Category Archives: comedy

Smokey And The Bandit – Hal Needham (1977)

A classic on Netflix. This film is about as old as myself. Of course I saw it some time, probably decades ago. There is one scene that I remembered.

The main character is “Bandit” played by Burt Reynolds. “Smokey” is his buddy, or partner in crime perhaps.

Reynold’s character is a truck driver, or was he a stuntman, who takes an illegal job to pick up a load of beer in a neighboring state. Not only that, he has less time than anybody has managed to make that tour in the first place. Apparently he has done the same before, because he puts his buddy in his truck and he gets a fast car for himself to distract the police so they will not investigate the truck.

So the whole film we see wild boy Bandit being chased by the police, raising his problems by picking up a girl along the way. His hero status comes in handy will all kinds of help.

The film is still very amusing.

Hudson Hawk – Michael Lehmann (1991)

I was looking for something light to watch on Netflix and ran into this classic action comedy with Bruce Willis. Well, this is light entertainment.

Willis is Hudson Hawk, a master thief who immediately when he comes out of 10 years imprisonment is forced into new jobs. The film is a bit screwball, but the promising trailer seems to contain all the jokes.

There is a bit of a Da Vinci Code twist to the story as Leonardo da Vinci hid three parts of a diamond that combined he used for his gold making machine and of course the bad guys are after these parts and Hudson Hawk is forced to steal them in elaborate ways.

Amusing, but not great.

Young Offenders – Peter Foott (2016)

Two low-life Irish youth have an idea to became rich (well, one of them does) and leave their shitty lives. And off they go on stolen bicycles for a 100 mile trip followed by a kid they always have problems with.

Indeed, “Young Offenders” is a teen comedy of not too high standard. It does have some amusing jokes and fun situations, so it is good for a laugh here and there.

To The Wolves – Thomas Nöla (2007)

Old Europa Cafe proved to have more films of Nöla. Here we have a prequel to “The Doctor”.

This time no narrating Douglas P., but the film does have to DIJ songs.

The film is mostly about Bruno Helden, a philosophical man who meets The Doctor (because the latter pricks in his eye!). The Doctor was raised by wolves and blood thirst has stuck to him. The two set out to travel together in which way they meet strange people and strange situations.

Just as in “The Doctor” the film mostly revolves around interesting-sounding monologues and witty replies. The acting and camera work have improved somewhat since “The Doctor”, the staging and props are still… well, I suppose there was no big budget.

Just as with Nöla’s other film, it is amusing to see what ‘an underground film’ can be like, but do not expect a masterpiece.

Get your copy from Old Europa Café.

Spenser Confidential – Peter Berg (2020)

Spenser (Mark Wahlberg) has too much sense for morality, so he beats up his boss and is sent to prison for five years. As soon as he gets out, he bumps into another quest for which he has to go against the police force, his former colleagues.

“Spenser” is a standard but entertaining Hollywood action film with some humour woven in.

Holmes & Watson – Etan Cohen (2018)

Another failed attempt to find something funny.

As you can guess, this is a persiflage to Sherlock Holmes films. Holmes is a brilliant and popular but clumsy investigator and Watson tries to live up to Holmes’ expectations (or his own).

The men have to solve a plot to kill the queen so the film starts to pile up jokes that usually do not work for me. Here and there there is something good for a chuckle, but basically the overdone jokes are not of my liking.

Dolomite Is My Name – Craig Brewer (2019)

Eddy Murphey is Rudy Ray Moore, a man who tries to become famous, but has a hard time doing so. He tried music and dance and then he comes up with the idea to be a comedian.

This works very well. Rudy comes with a spitfire of dirty jokes for and about the black community. Indeed, most of his jokes elude me. Rudy does very well and when he starts to sell his shows on vinyl, his star rises quickly.

When watching a comedy film with his friends and finding it not funny at all, Rudy decides to make a film by and for the blacks. This does not entirely go easily, but eventually pays out.

The film is almost exclusively played by black actors, so you can expect people to appear such as Wesley Snipes, Graig Robinson, but also a great Snoop Dog and Chris Rock. Indeed, the film is about “Blaxploitation” and is basically a “Blaxploitation” film itself. A bit strange to see the director though.

“Dolomite” is amusing. Murphey is still funny and the film looks like everybody got a fun time making it.

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)

IMDb.com

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.