Full Cavity Search
UR A Meatball Rating System

Everybody's Doing It

 

Lurk No Further

Entries in Comedy (10)

Friday
Jul152016

Ghostbusters

Ghostbusters
Directed by: Paul Feig
Release Date: July 16th, 2016
Grade: 2 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Justin Tucker

For the love of all that is great and wonderful in the universe, if you are going to remake a beloved movie, please make it better than the original. Otherwise what’s the point? For example, another version of Ben-Hur is set to be released next month. The 1959 version starring Charleton Heston and directed by William Wyler, itself a remake, still stands among the best films ever and certainly head and shoulders over the crap the studios pump out today. Why, Hollywood? Why?

You can ask the same question for the new Ghostbusters film. While it does have its funny moments and some decent special effects, there’s no real reason for its existence other than to make Sony money. Hell, even Columbia Pictures made a whole new division called Ghost Corps as a way to broaden the appeal of the Ghostbusters brand. This franchise isn’t going to die anytime soon.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb222016

Zoolander 2

Zoolander 2
Directed by: Ben Stiller
Released on: February 12th, 2016
Grade: 1 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: John Esther

From the opening scene, audiences will know exactly what to expect in Zoolander 2: a noisy, often nonsensical, unfunny enterprise with lots and lots of cameos from some of the culture industry's most recognized faces.

Looking like a lame music video, two daredevil motorcyclists are chasing singer-songwriter and non-actor Justin Bieber through the streets. (Fortunately the notoriously "dangerous" driver is on foot.) After getting gunned down in a hail of bullets a la Sonny Corleone (James Caan) in The Godfather, Bieber strikes a few selfie poses, picks the right one and then ends it out before his final breath.

It is a good thing none of those hundreds of bullets fired into Bieber ever struck one of the most recognizable faces in the world. Otherwise, it would have been very difficult for J-Beebs to send his facial message to the likes of Valentina Valencia (Penélope Cruz), leading agent of Interpol's Fashion Division.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec232015

Uncle Nick

Uncle Nick
Directed by: Chris Kasick
Released on: December 4th, 2015
Grade: 3 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: John Esther

Featuring a performance and physique few A-list actors would maintain in a Holiday-centered film, Brian Posehn plays the eponymous character in Chris Kasick's directorial debut, Uncle Nick.

We first meet Nick at home, lounging around in his boxers, surrounded by empty bottles of booze and X-rated material streaming on his laptop. When he stands up, he is all flab, rubber and smooth (except for a stretchmark he will inquire about later). Audiences may also ask: Is he too drunk to get an erection?

A lonely guy with seemingly nothing positive going on in his life, Nick finds out from his mother's nursing home that she will not be able to spend Christmas eve with her family. This does not sit well for Nick. He wanted his mother along, at least to serve as a buffer against his detestable brother, Cody (Beau Ballinger), and as a ride over to said brother's house. Nick just got a DUI.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct162015

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon

Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead: The Story of the National Lampoon
Directed by: Douglas Tirola
Released on: September 25th, 2015 [Limited]
Grade: 4 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Justin Tucker

My introduction to the National Lampoon brand was as a wee lad watching the Vacation movies with my family, and by the time I became aware of the seminal humor magazine which the films were spun-off from, it was in decline and unavailable to me growing up. Though National Lampoon ceases to exist as a periodical, its impact on American comedy is still being felt today.

The history of National Lampoon is explored in this funny and fascinating documentary by director Douglas Tirola (All In: The Poker Movie). He effectively combines magazine highlights, clips, photos and meaningful interviews with a very large array of people associated with National Lampoon, examining a subversive brood of talented writers, artists and performers whose contributions changed the comedy landscape.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep172015

Pixels

Pixels
Directed by: Chris Columbus
Released on DVD/Blu-Ray: October 27th, 2015
Grade: 3 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Justin Tucker

Given that this year is the 20th anniversary of the comedy classic Billy Madison, a lot has been recently written or said about not only about the legacy of that film, but also of the career of Adam Sandler. The general consensus, at least among my peers, is that his first few films — namely the aforementioned Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore — stand among the best comedies of its time, but his output has since become uninspired and unfunny.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug242015

Grandma

Grandma
Director: Paul Weitz
Released on: August 21st, 2015
Grade: 4 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: John Esther

One of the most audacious American films of the year is finally here. I am writing about writer-director Paul Weitz's Grandma. 

A considerable hit at this year's Sundance Film Festival, the 80-minute Grandma tells the story of Elle Reid (Lily Tomlin), a woman navigating her life after her longtime lover has passed away. Afraid to ever get close to another lover again, Elle cruelly, somewhat abruptly, ends her four-month relationship with Olivia (Judy Greer). 

That same day, Elle's granddaughter, Sage (Julia Garner) shows up at Elle's doorsteps unannounced. Sage is pregnant and needs the money to terminate the pregnancy and terminate it that day — no waiting periods in California. 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun092015

Spy

Spy
Director: Paul Feig
Released: June 5th, 2015
Grade: 3 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: John Esther

In her best lead role yet, Melissa McCarthy is Agent Susan Cooper, a computer whiz who gives super support to the best of undercover agents, Bradley Fine (Jude Law), from behind her desk. Susan not only gives the super spy support, she romantically pines for him as well. Bradley loves Susan, too, but in a strictly professional and platonic way. Poor Susan.

As fate would have it, however, Bradley fails in his next mission and it is up to Susan to save the day. On the surface, Susan is not the obvious choice for the mission, but that is what makes her the best choice. Nobody in the criminal world will recognize her.

Starting off her European sojourn, Susan is sent to France, in an attempt to track down the mastermind criminal, Rayna Boyanov (Rose Byrne), a vicious killer with a nuclear bomb who is not beyond putting people down permanently or with a direct insult to her or his face — mostly Susan's face (and fashion sense).

Click to read more ...

Friday
Mar212014

Bad Words

Bad Words
Directed by: Jason Bateman
Released on: March 21st, 2014
Grade: 2.5 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Justin Tucker

Jason Bateman, who usually is the straight man in a comedic ensemble, plays against type and takes the spotlight for himself while making his directorial debut with Bad Words. He stars as Guy Tribley, a crass, 40-year-old borderline sociopath who exploits loopholes that allow him to compete in children’s spelling bees. He makes it to the Golden Quill national competition, arousing the ire of both parents and bee organizers, and plays all sorts of nasty tricks on his moppet competitors to sabotage their bee performances.

Accompanying the wretched man-child in his quest to cruelly humiliate children is Jenny (Kathryn Hahn), a reporter covering his story and trying desperately to be granted an interview. Any attempt to probe Guy to discover his motivations instead leads to casual sexual encounters where she commands Guy not to look at her during the act.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb032014

That Awkward Moment

That Awkward Moment
Directed by: Tom Gormican
Released on: January 31st, 2014
Grade: 2.5 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: Justin Tucker

My expectations going into That Awkward Moment were about as high as Spike Lee as a toddler. It was written and directed by Tom Gormican, whose other major credit of note is as one of the producers of Movie 43, one of the many terrible movies that came out last year. It’s been marketed as a raunchy, drunken bro comedy, the latest in a long line of them. It even stars Miles Teller, veteran of such bro comedies as Project X and 21 & Over. Considering most raunchy, drunken bro comedies are sub-par in quality, I was ready to dismiss this film from the very start.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov082010

FOUR LIONS

Four Lions
Directed by: Chris Morris
Released on: November 5th, 2010 [LIMITED]
Grade: 4.5 meatballs
Reviewed by: John Esther

If you can appreciate farce through annihilation and death a la Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Stopped Worrying and Love the Bomb or Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse 5, then Four Lions is probably a very good movie for you.

A multiple winner at various prestigious film festivals, co-writer/director Chris Morris' film focuses on a group we do not usually associate with anything remotely funny: jihadists. Set in a contemporary, heavily surveillance city in England, Omar (Riz Ahmed) is disgusted by the treatment of Muslims around the world and western vulgar materialistic consumption. So the only logical response is to blow him self up into heaven – and he is the brains of the organization.

Click to read more ...