Tag Archives: Comedies
I, like most people, fell in love with Melissa McCarthy after watching her outrageous performance in the hit comedy Bridesmaids. I’ve called her the “One of the funniest women in Hollywood,” and to this day, I still believe this is true. However, just because I think she is funny, that doesn’t mean I find all of her work funny. Tammy and Identity Thief immediately come to mind. These films aren’t horrible, but in both of my reviews I talk about how the movies fail to reach the female, physical comedian’s potential, and now, I add another title to the mentioned list—The Boss.
The Boss is directed by McCarthy’s husband, Ben Falcone, who has been a creative force in the majority of her work. They make a great team, but unfortunately, they don’t always make great movies. See, before seeing this film, I argued that McCarthy was on the fast track of being type-casted. She usually plays the role of an eccentric character either a slob or in this case a wealthy snob. But, after seeing her newest picture, I realized it’s not her being typecast as much as her movies (the ones she or her husband are in creative control of) follow the same formula.
In 2002, director Joel Zwick and writer Nia Vardalos taught the world just how loud and large a Greek wedding can be with their hit movie, My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It remains the highest grossing romantic comedy of all-time, even though it never reached the number one spot at the box office. The film has earned over 368 million dollars worldwide, on the small budget of only five million dollars. With that type of success, nobody was surprised when My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 was announced, even if it was 14 years later.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 continues the story of Toula Portokalos (Vardalos) and her huge, sometimes very needy Greek family. Only this time, she’s trying to balance multiple parts of her life, including, dealing with her daughter who wants to go to college out of state and the lack of romance with her husband. But that’s not all, the entire Portokalos now have to ban together to arrange a wedding when they learn Toula’s parents, Gus (Michael Constantine) and Maria (Lainie Kazan), were never officially married.
Happy New Years Everyone!
I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday and had a great time ringing in the new year. Like most of you, I compiled a list of resolutions for the year of 2016. But, when I was writing that list that we all know too well, I thought for this year I needed a real challenge. Something to test my will power and my never give up attitude. But instead of choosing something silly, I decided to take on the 365 Day Movie Challenge.
Now for those who are unfamiliar with this 365 Day Movie Challenge, I am committing to watching one film a day, that I’ve never seen before. To some of you, this doesn’t sound very challenging. To you, nay I say. This is probably one of the hardest things to do. The 365 Day Movie Challenge will be a part of my life for one whole year. Every day my life for the next year will be revolving around the question of when can I sit down and watch a movie before the day ends. That not only intrigued me, it genuinely excited me.
Throughout cinema’s history, there have been numerous director/actor collaborations, and when these collaborative efforts are truly symbiotic, we get some of the most memorable films and performances. Whether it is Alfred Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart, Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro, or Woody Allen and Diane Keaton, these types of director/actor pairs have made some of the most iconic films of the last century. Now, it appears that we have another director/actor collaboration in the making. While it is way too early to even mention this new pair in the same sentence as the examples above, it feels like this new cinematic relationship can develop into something exciting and unforgettable.
This new pair is of course writer and director David O. Russell and America’s favorite star Jennifer Lawrence. They have made two films already, Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle, and their third effort is opening up on Christmas day. Joy is based on the life of Joy Mangano (Jennifer Lawrence)- the woman that invented the miracle mop. The film takes us on a wild journey inside Joy’s personal life as we watch Joy grow from a young, imaginative child into a strong woman who becomes the matriarch of her own business.
I am sure all of us can remember the financial crisis of 2008, but can any of us really explain what exactly happened? Do we actually know why the government bailed-out the national banks and why the housing market practically imploded? The answer is most likely no, and it is okay neither can I. So, take this opportunity now and drop what you are doing and see The Big Short. It is a brilliant indictment of the financial systems of America and allows you to see what exactly the banks did and got away with.
The Big Short, which is based on Michael Lewis book The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, follows a group of outsiders that were able to predict the build-up and eventual collapse of the financial and housing bubble. More specifically, the film follows Dr. Michael Burry (Christian Bale), Jared Vennett (Ryan Gosling), Ben Rickert (Pitt), and Mark Baum (Steve Carell) as they all begin to take on the big banks and prove that the most stable investment, the housing market, is destined to blow.
In the last decade or so, the great Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have become one of our most beloved and celebrated comedic actresses and duos. This great team has been close friends for 20 years after meeting at Chicago’s ImprovOlympic, but they first cemented their place in popular culture and TV history in 2004 when the duo became the first female co-anchors of “Weekend Update” on Saturday Night Live. That same year also proved to be productive for the both of them on the big screen.
Tina Fey wrote the screenplay for the Lindsay Lohan led Mean Girls, which also featured Poehler. Fast forward to a couple of years after they left SNL (Tina in 2006 and Amy in 2008), Fey and Poehler both went on to star in two of NBC’s most successful sitcoms of the 2000s, 30 Rock and Parks and Recreation respectively. However, their friendship and comedy pairing continued in other projects. In 2008, they starred in the comedy, Baby Mamma, and more recently they hosted the Golden Globes three times from 2013-2015. Now, they are returning to the big screen once again in the comedy Sisters.
Earlier this year, I watched Disney and Pixar’s film Inside Out. “[It] is one of the best movies of 2015 and one of greatest animated films ever made. It brought me joy, sadness, and fear, making it the emotional roller-coaster of a lifetime,” I wrote. The film struck me very strongly and in the back of my head I doubted that Pixar would ever be able to top it. That is until I sat down with a directing animator on The Good Dinosaur, named Rob Thompson. I landed the interview because Thompson visited the University of Nevada Las Vegas and gave a behind the scenes presentation of the movie. It was there that I got a sneak peek of the latest animated film, and for a second, I wondered, “Could this movie be better than Inside Out?”
The Good Dinosaur asks the great question, what if the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs missed Earth? But more specifically, it follows the story of a young Apatosaurus named Arlo (Raymond Ochoa), who is accidentally separated from his family. In order to make it home, Arlo goes on an epic journey, meeting an unlikely, human friend named Spot (Jack Bright), along the way. The movie was originally supposed to be directed by Bob Peterson, but in October of 2014, Pete Sohn took control of the film. Sohn had been working with Peterson on the movie since 2009 until Peterson was removed from the project in 2013. The cast and story were nearly changed in its entirety. During my interview with Thompson, he was sure to mention it the huge change of story and how it was reimagined, “When that happened, the whole movie changed.”
Peanuts was a syndicated comic strip, which debuted in October 1950, and was written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz. This influential and incredibly popular comic strip ran for fifty years, totaling in over 17,000 strips published, and it continues to be a major icon in pop culture. Peanuts was read and seen in 75 countries and reprints appear in almost every U.S. newspaper today. The lovable characters from the strip eventually leaped off the page and appeared in several successful TV specials, such as It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and A Charlie Brown Christmas, and even theatrical films. Similar to the comic strip, these critically acclaimed specials still air during the holidays. Now, for the first time in 35 years the Peanuts gang return to the big screen for the new film—The Peanuts Movie.
The Peanuts Movie tells the story of good man Charlie Brown (Noah Schnapp), a nervous, unconfident, but gentle boy. But that must all change so he can impress his new neighbor and crush, The Little Red-Haired Girl (Francesca Capaldi). At the same time, Snoopy (archival recordings of Bill Melendez), one of the world’s favorite dogs, takes to the sky to chase his arch-nemesis The Red Baron.