Category: Comedy


A bad movie that never really stood a chance is one thing. I mean, when you see a bad movie starring someone like Katherine Heigl or directed by Brett Ratner, you just sort of shrug and say, “yeah, well, what else was that gonna be, really?” On the other hand, Dark Shadows, Tim Burton and Johnny Depp’s new reimagining of the cult supernatural soap opera, is the most disappointing kind of bad movie, one that constantly teeters right on the edge of being something truly worthwhile, only to keep shooting itself in the foot at nearly every turn. It’s got a decent concept, with seemingly the right director and definitely a very game cast, but something just seems off almost the entire way through. If you could take the word “frustrating” and distill it into film form, it would be this movie.

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As I watched 21 Jump Street, the new comedic take on the cult-classic FOX show about undercover cops posing as high-school students, one critical thought kept floating through my head:

“Does this mean I have to like Channing Tatum now?”

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It seems strange to think that a movie actually needed to be made to re-introduce the Muppets to a new generation of kids. For those of us who did grow up with Henson’s creation, it often feels like the Muppets should just be one of those things that you are born with an instinctual knowledge of. You know – “fire is bad, the Muppets are good.” But I guess it makes sense. Although acquiring the Muppets in 2004 was an obvious coup for Disney (in terms of merchandising money alone), the company has never seemed quite sure what to do with them, and in recent years they have been relegated to forgettable TV movies and a number of excellent YouTube videos.

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The Rum Diary, which could just as easily be titled “Hunter S. Thompson Begins,” is an adaptation of the famous Gonzo journalist’s semi-autobiographical novel about a young American reporter named Paul Kemp, who goes to work for a struggling newspaper in Puerto Rico, only to soon find himself embroiled in a love triangle, a political conspiracy, AND battling a near constant state of chemically-induced mind alteration. The movie holds two exciting prospects for fans of Johnny Depp – to see him once again play one of Thompson’s kinda-fictional alter-egos (as he did so memorably in the great Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas), and to finally see him in a real adult movie again, after what feels like years of family-friendly fare (I guess you could point to The Tourist, but why bother?).

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I’ve never been a member of the “women aren’t as funny as men” camp, so I don’t really feel the need to celebrate Bridesmaids with the same exuberance I’ve seen from many others. Of course Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph can headline a comedy just as successfully as their male counterparts – anyone who thought otherwise hasn’t been paying attention to comedy for quite some time, and their opinion should hardly matter anyway.

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Three friends (Jason Bateman, Jason Sudekis and Charlie Day) decide that the best way to deal with their respective horrible bosses (Kevin Spacey, Colin Farrell and Jennifer Aniston) is to bump them off. Seeing as how they’re just three regular guys with no idea how to actually go about such a thing, they hire a “murder consultant” (Jamie Foxx) to mentor them. Hilarity ensues. Or, at least, it SHOULD have.

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You know how sometimes you see a movie with a great concept so obvious that you can’t believe no one thought of it before (and feel like kicking yourself for not being the one that did)? Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil is that kind of movie.

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A strange person inserts himself into the life of a dysfunctional family, at first seeming to be a hindrance, but time soon reveals that perhaps they have actually been sent there by fate, to help the family work out their issues. It’s certainly not a new formula, but – as I’ve said before – if movies like Drive, Hanna, Warrior and the Lincoln Lawyer have taught us anything this year, it’s that the old formulas can still make good movies when done right. And in this case, I think having your titular character be a burnt-out, long-haired, tattooed, anarchist metalhead played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt definitely counts as “doing it right.”

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I have stared into the mouth of hell, and what stared back at me was Bebe’s Kids.

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No, the world is not ending, but you’re forgiven for thinking so after seeing two Jennifer Aniston movie reviews in a row on my page.

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