Category Archives: comedy

Paul – Greg Mottola (2011)

Every time my girlfriend wanted to watch something funny, the film turned out to be not really so. So I searched Netflix for obvious comedy. Not really my genre, but I think I found a few that I could enjoy too. “Paul” is the first we watched.

Two British nerds travel to the Comic-Con and plan to rent a camper to see the famous American UFO sites. After the first site they run into an actual alien who goes by the name Paul. Paul has another destination in mind as Graeme and Clive.

Even for someone who seldom watches comedy “Paul” has a barely original story. Graeme and Clive are obvious references to Bill & Ted or the Waynes’ World duo and this time we do not have a cursing and swearing teddy-bear, but a cursing and swearing alien.

Well, that is about the level to expect. The film has a few good jokes, but overall it is but one of these trying to be silly type of films.

The Laundromat – Steven Soderbergh (2019)

Not quite was I expected. I thought this would be a comedy, but actually it is a ‘high end’ indinctment of the global financial system. The cast is pretty impressive. Gary Oldman, Antonio Banderas and Meryl Streep in the main roles; James Cromwell and Chris McLaughlin in by-roles.

An old Meryl Streep looses her husband (Cromwell) in a terrible boat accident. The company running the boat just moved their insurance to a cheaper company, but this proves to be a part of a big financial scam in which ownership is moved to all kinds of empty businesses on tax friendly islands.

Streep sets her mind on finding out why she does not just get the compensation that the boat company was insured for. She walks into a massive swamp in which people own thousands of companies with the only aim to raise their own wealth. Banderas and Oldman are the (fictional) masterminds behind the whole system and they ironically explain how all that works.

The film is amusing, but mostly in a painful way, because this is probably how it really works. “The Laundromat” is -so to way- an instructive comedy.

G.O.R.A. – Ömer Faruk Sorak (2004)

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My girlfriend wanted to watch a comedy on Christmas Eve and we came to this Turkish scifi persiflage.

Carpet salesman Arif Isik is kidnapped by aliens and is taken to the planet Gora. There he mingles with other abductees and tries to figure out a plan to escape. Naturally this also involves rescuing the daughter of the king.

The film has a lot of silly humour, sometimes funny, sometimes less so. There are quite some pranks that I think are probably funnier to Turkish people as they seem to refer to tiny elements of Turkish culture.

That said, “G.O.R.A.” is somewhat of a screwball comedy with references to many science fiction films from Star Wars to The Matrix. The stages look good, the characters are somewhat flat. Here and there it is amusing, but it does make me remember why I do not watch comedy a lot.

The Nice Guys – Shane Black (2016)

I do not often feel like comedy, but Ryan Gosling’s presence convinced me to give this film a try. Oh, the other actor is Russel Crowe. When was the last film I saw with Crowe? “Gladiator” or so?

The two prove to make a very funny couple. A private detective and a private detective in the making, are working on cases that are connected, so after an initial clash, they start working together.

Initially “The Nice Guys” is an amusing screwball comedy. Towards the end we move more towards a nerdy action film which worked out less.

Overall, the film is a descent comedy though.

Shimmer Lake – Oren Uziel (2017)

I saw this film last weekend and apparently forgot to review it. I do not remember much of it, which is probably a bad sign.

Both the Netflix announcement and IMDb immediately tell you that the film is told backwards. How inventive! Watching “Memento” (2000) for the first time, it is a lot more fun when you do not know the clue.

That said, some not too bright hillbillies think it is a good idea to rob the local bank. Of course everybody knows everybody in the small community, so it is not exactly difficult to figure things out. Just one character’s part in the whole scheme is somewhat elusive.

The film has a few descent jokes and amusing situations, but I do not remember many details, so I guess it was just alright.

Hotel Artemis – Drew Pearce (2018)

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In an apocalyptic near future LA, “Nurse” runs an expensive hotel hospital only for its criminal members. Jody Foster is great as the weird “Nurse” and the first part of the film the film has a bit of that Jeunet-like weirdness.

Naturally a few people that are better not in the same building need to find admission in Hotel Artemis, so things can only go wrong.

Especially the first half of the film is very entertaining. Nice humour, funny dialogues, strange findings. “Nurse” suffers a trauma that is mostly worked out in the second half which makes the second half less funny. The film explains all events in the end.

Amusing.

Réalité – Quentin Dupieux (2014)

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Dupieux again made a pretty absurd film in which he put a lot that does not fit. Reactions to situations that are ‘off’, the situations themselves are odd, weird dialogues and then a totally strange (yet interesting) interweaving of story lines.

The atmosphere is a bit like that of “Wrong” (2012). Suppressed absurd humour. There are some completely weird scenes, but when the film seems to get some sort of idea rather than being just “a collection of absurd scenes” as I described “Wrong”, it raises a little above that previous film.

Not great, but somewhat amusing.

Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood – Quentin Tarantino (2019)

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Hollywood 1969, a year of heights and lows. Tarantino shows how he would have preferred this year to go.

The main character is Rick Dalton, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. Dalton is a Western actor who has just past the top of his career. The actual hero of the film is Dalton’s stunt double, Cliff Booth, a part in which Brad Pitt gets to be the cool guy.

Dalton recently got new neighbours, the young and upcoming director Roman Polanski and his beautiful wife Sharon Tate. Tate also gets quite a bit of the story.

Then there is this group of hippies who live in a commune a bit outside Hollywood.

We mostly follow Dalton’s career, his films and his uncertainties. This gave Tarantino the opportunity to film Western and war movies to mix in the film. This is usually in the over-the-top Tarantino style and very amusing.

The story contains quite some drama, but also Tarantino-style dialogues and of course humour and violence. There is a range of famous actors in smaller parts too, Al Pacino, Kurt Russell, Mike Madson, just to name a few. He also again takes 160 minutes to tell his story.

Not great, but a fun watch.

Wrong – Quentin Dupieux (2012)

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The director of “Rubber” comes with another weird film. “Wrong” is a bit of a collection of absurd scenes, not unlike some Scandinavian films. After a while some sort of ‘story’ starts to unfold.

Dolph’s dog is gone and he later finds out that it has been kidnapped by some guru who says that people love their pets more when they have been gone for a while.

Dupieux presents a range of oddities that are sometimes amusing, sometimes less so. Overall the film is ‘just fine’ at best.

Spun – Jonas Åkerlund (2002)

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Is it a coincidence that a film of the director of the recently released “Lords Of Chaos” popped up on my watchlist? I actually do not remember.

Both “Lords Of Chaos” and “Spun” are about derailed youth. The former film could be closer to the director’s own youth, being a former member of the ‘first wave black metal’ band Bathory.

In “Spun” one of the characters is watching a black metal video in one scene, an amusing reference to the film of almost two decades later. Åkerlund has more amusing future references. A wonderful Mickey Rourke is playing “the cook” and he is constantly watching show wrestling. The cooks girlfriend is played by Brittany Murphey. The two will later join the silver screen again in “Sin City“.

“Spun” is a highly amusing film about drug-abusing youth. As soon as they snort something up, there are some very fast shots and Åkerlund added weird and sometimes psychedelic cartoon elements to his already ‘overdrive’ montage.

“Spun” contains a lot of drugs, sex, bad language, weird scenes, grim humor and is certainly a fun watch and like his latest, the film is based on “truth and lies”.