Tag Archive for comedy

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

8 out of 13 nots.
for not sucking, but being far from awesome

This movie could have been so much better.  The fact that this one was originally going to be titled “Indiana Jones and the Saucer Men from Mars” should set your expectations properly for this film.  It wasn’t horrible, but it is, in my opinion, the worst Indy film, and I actually wouldn’t be upset if I never saw it again.

It wasn’t crap, but it was, for me, a huge disappointment.  The action was well done, there was some great comedy in it, but overall the film was lackluster, and I lay all the blame at George Lucas’ feet.

And that’s about all I’m going to say… I don’t want to post any spoilers at least until their box office record breaking weekend is finished.

Undead or Alive

4 out of 13 nots.
for bad zombies, worse jokes and even worse music

So, a little over a week ago, I decided to sign back up with NetFlix, which I had canceled a while back just because the wife and I were watching so much TV and buying so many movies that we never had time to watch our rentals.  Now with TV in flux and not buying movies, we’ve got time… plus, since we use a PC to watch TV anyway, it gives us a great way to take advantage of the movie streaming available from NetFlix.  Furthermore, as I work from home most days, it also gives me an opportunity to stream movies I might otherwise never see to my other laptop while I slave away on program code.

And this is how I came to watch Undead or Alive, a zombie western comedy.  It was… bad.  The zombies were corny and goofy, the jokes were lame (in fact the movie never crossed the line from “mildly amusing” into “funny”), all in all not really a good film, or even a good bad film.  Don’t see it.

More after the break… Read more

Death at a Funeral

The wife and I decided to hit the theater this weekend, and after making her go see a bunch of action flicks she was overdue for picking the film. She narrowed it down to Death at a Funeral and I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry. Since I wasn’t in the mood for Adam Sandler, we went with Death at a Funeral.

I’d seen a trailer before and knew it was about funny things happening at a funeral, but to be honest I hadn’t really 100% paid attention to the trailer. If I’d known it was a) British and b) directed by Frank Oz, I’d have been more excited. Upon the movie starting and discovering both a and b, I settled in for a good comedy.

And it delivered… from the funeral home delivering the wrong body to the service to the… well, I don’t want to give away everything. It was great fun, completely worth the price of admission.

Reign Over Me

I saw Reign Over Me yesterday. A very powerful film about love and loss and life. I’m not going to spend alot of time reviewing it, I only want to say that Don Cheadle continues to be an excellent actor and Adam Sandler proves again that he isn’t just a comedy guy. Mike Binder, who’s work I have loved since Crossing the Bridge and Indian Summer, has written and directed a wonderful film full of joy and heartbreak. Maybe they’ll remember him by the time the Oscars roll around next year.

It is not a happy joy joy film, so know that going in, but I highly recommend seeing this movie.

2006: Day 2 – Deal or No Deal

The main reason I come to Dragon*Con is actually to attend the panels. Meeting authors, actors and other people in various industries, listening to them speak and speaking with them is cool. But, I can’t deny the lure of the Dealer’s room and the Exhibitor’s hall. The Exhibitor’s are there to sell stuff or just show off recent or upcoming stuff. Neverwinter Nights 2 is down there (and it looks cool), so is Age of Conan (and Funcom is also still peddling Anarchy Online too), as are many craftsmen and gaming companies. The Dealer’s room is less refined… comic books, t-shirts, bootleg TV shows on DVD, old movie posters, etc. Porn stars are usually in the Dealer’s room, except ones like Traci Lords, because she’s a legitimate actress (at least in the eyes of Sci-Fi and Fantasy fans).

The only issue with the draw of the stuff for show and sale is that it takes half a day or more to see it, so you basically miss most of a day of panels. Today was that day. But not at first…

I have never gotten anything autographed on purpose at Dragon*Con. I think I got a poster signed once by someone who I didn’t know on a poster I wasn’t planning on keeping. The wife, however, really wanted to get something signed by MaryJanice Davidson, who happened to be doing signings at 10 AM. So, rather than go to the parade, we went to the signing. We were supposed to have friends in the parade, but it turns out they didn’t go so thankfully we didn’t waste our time. It was interesting to watch the wife get so excited talking to Mrs. Davidson, about the books and introducing friends to books and other books. A real treat.

Then we went to the Art Show. There are alot of really talented artists out there. There are some that suck too, but that’s to be expected. And of course, talent is in the taste of the beholder, or something like that. One piece really stood out, and sadly I can’t share photos of it with you because they don’t let you take any, was a huge diorama of the front of a castle, mote and gate, being sieged by the undead. It was just very damn cool.

After that we hit the Exhibitor halls and the Dealers’ room, and saw a great many things that would be great to own. But alas, most of those things are simply not in the budget.

It was about 5 PM by then. So the day was pretty shot for alot of the panels.

We hung out and watched the costumes go by a little while and then went to Star Wars trivia. I don’t know nearly as much as I thought I would. We heckled instead. And then went back to hanging out and costume watching.

At 9:30 PM we made the decision to go see some short films… that started at 10, and the line was huge. We wandered around again, but returned at 11:30 for another round of shorts. We got in. I really wish we hadn’t. It was billed as comedy, and two of the four items were… one was weird but oddly humorous… the last was… well, it was neither comedy nor short. Forty minutes of some crap about a Jedi and some other Jedi and a group of Jedi and an army of Sith and a tree with black bark and roots and a snake and some of the stiffest melodrama ever filmed. It was… gut wrenching. It just droned on and on, and it wasn’t even bad enough to be made fun of. It just sucked.

More hanging out and watching costumes intermixed with stepping into various rooms to find out that I don’t like hentai, or filking, or watching TV shows in a room full of smelly people, or the drum circle, or DJs spinning techno, or Cruxshadows. Bed is nice. Its 4 AM and sleep is good.

Tomorrow, panels.

Instant Gratification

When it comes to movies, its been years since the world has gone to a model of instant gratification. I want to say it was Batman that sealed the deal, but I don’t know for sure. I do know that that is when I noticed the change. Before then, having a solid opening weekend and good review was what companies wanted… followed by their movie staying at the box office for a few months, maybe more. Somewhere in the late 80’s that changed and studios began pushing for a mega-opening followed by… well… nothing. Advertising for films push the opening weekend so hard, and any movie that doesn’t crack twenty million at least is considered a failure. And if you notice, up until that opening weekend you’ll see commercials, and hear radio spots, but after that first weekend, any movie that didn’t finish in the top 5, doesn’t have critical acclaim or an Oscar bid will vanish. No more ads. It lost. The only exception to that rule is a movie that came out before a holiday but might experience a surge due to a holiday, like any romantic comedy or date film type movie that came out in January always gets a second push for Valentine’s Day… if its still in the theaters.

Television in the last few seasons has finally caught up to movies. This season saw Emily’s Reasons Why Not get a huge advertising push prior to its debut, then when it didn’t snag a monster share of viewers, not only was the advertising dropped, it was cancelled. After one single airing of the pilot episode, the network scrapped the show. Now, I’m not saying that Emily was a great show. It was kinda funny, and Heather Graham is nice to look at… but one episode? First off, it was airing in a slot that had previously belonged to Monday Night Football, so people who watch fluffy romance comedy shows weren’t likely to be on that channel at that time. And to be honest, as much as ABC claimed they promoted the show, if I didn’t normally watch shows on ABC I’d have never known it was on as most of their ad push seemed to be commercials on their own network during shows that, while popular, were not anywhere near the same demographic… I kept seeing the commercials during Lost and Invasion. Sci-Fi fans aren’t likely to watch romantic comedy shows.

Outside of Emily, CBS has pulled Love Monkey after, what, three episodes? It was a quirky show about the music industry using unknown acts and delivering rapid fire dialog. Obviously they pulled it because some page of numbers somewhere indicated that this show should have dominate the dial pulling in 30 million viewers… and obviously there are some TV execs with their heads firmly planted in their asses if they thought this show was going to be anything other than a niche show until at least a dozen episodes had aired and allowed word of mouth to spread. ‘Night Stalker’ also got cancelled a while back because it was only pulling in ‘X-Files’ ratings (a show that started slow, but ran 9 seasons, had a movie, and continues to sell seasons on DVD for $70 despite that the usual season price these days sits around $40-$50) and not ludacrisly lofty ‘American Idol’ numbers. And there are lots more examples…

It seems like Television, as with their Film counterparts, have lost faith in anything but the Out-of-the-Gate success. And its a shame, because lots of these shows that are falling by the wayside are good shows, and half of the ‘monster hits’ of the past wouldn’t survive under today’s rules. But then again, I think I have loved every show that has ever been pre-maturely cancelled, so my view may be biased.

Sky High

John Hughes returns to high school with this tale of super powered children attending a school to train them to be heroes… or for the less usefully powered kids, hero support, a.k.a. sidekicks. Okay, its not really John Hughs, but its got enough teen high school troubles that it could pass for one of his movies…

I really had fun watching this movie. After seeing a number of comic book and superhero films take things in a more grown-up and serious manner, it was nice to see a film take it from an almost slapstick comedy family point of view.

I’m not going to say much about the movie itself, because I might get carried away and ruin it for you… but its definately worth the money to go see it. It’s one I’ll have to own on DVD when they release it. Good stuff.

EverQuest… What`s next?

I was going to originally post this in the EverQuest category, but that was really for my ideas for fixing EQ… seeing as I no longer play EQ, its a dead category but will remain as is… and this, this is just comedy.

Over on the message boards for Monkly-Business, someone asked, “Now that Omens of War is out, what do you think the next expansion will be?”

Seeing as the next expansion will come after World of Warcraft’s release, and there are a number of games on the horizon, as well as free content patches for City of Heroes, the following was my reply:

EverQuest: The Twenty Other Zones of Faydwer That You Just Never Happened to Notice During the Last Five Years of Playing.

Featuring zones like: Middle Faydark, Dagnor’s Other Cauldron, The Hidden Lair of Meldrath, The land of LXnmoptgWWjyr, The Brownie City, Randomly Generated Dungeon Zone with Poor Pathing and Randomly Placed Mobs 27, and at least three new Estates none of which will be restful!

With this expansion they will introduce new items contain the new NO LOOT tag – you can view the stats and take screenshots and have the items load to Lucy, but you can’t pick it up and equip it! These items are intended for all the people who like to make Magelo profiles for their non-existant characters by picking items that they’ve never seen for themselves and try to pass themselves off as uber!

Also in this expansion, we will be introducing female giants! Ever wonder where all the giants come from seeing as they are all male? Well, rather than fix class balance, we’ve decided to make a whole set of Lore including new zones, spells for mobs that you’ll never get, and new models (since we STILL aren’t going to do new player models no matter how much you beg) all about the story of the where the female giants have been for the past 6 years! All because we know you care!

And lets not forget that we will be introducing a new class! Following both the arcane and physical arts this player can nuke as well as a wizard, heal like a cleric, tank like a warrior, and dps like a rogue.. from ANY ANGLE! This new class, called the Tankmage is bound to turn grouping and raiding on its ear! Class balance? WE GIVE UP!!

The Girl Next Door

I just got back from seeing this movie, and for the first time in a while, I just felt I had to come write something about it before sleeping on it.

When I first heard about it, I laughed. When I first saw the preview, I laughed. But from what I heard and from what I saw, I expected to see a funny, yet typical movie about a not quite so cool kid who meets a girl who makes him into the cool guy he always had the potential to be.

What I saw can only be described as a Risky Business for a new generation. It was funny, and sexy, and it just drew me in in a way that your typical comedy can’t. The story is excellent, the comic timing is superb, the acting is perfect, and the girls are hot.

Its ‘R’ rated for a reason, and it needs to be. Much like American Pie, and the afore mentioned Risky Business, its not just kids, comedy, and naked chicks. There is quality here.

See this film.

Sometimes, you just have to say, ‘what the fuck?’ Make your move. Go with it.

Make Love Not War

I could talk about the Matrix: Reloaded, but there are approximately 4,783,548,451,963.33 websites already doing that. I’m sure you can find one, you just have to sift through all the porn…

Instead, let me tell you about another movie. Down With Love.

When I first saw the previews for this, I thought to myself, and told as many people and I thought cared to listen, that this movie was going to either be utterly fantastic or an utter pile of poop. I’m happy to say it is the former.

Down With Love is smart, witty, and has a fabulous sense of style. It takes the old 60’s romantic comedy, and honors it, and skewers it both at th same time. From the bright colors and clothes, to the painted city skyline backdrops, it fills a hole in the movie horizon that I didn’t know existed until they showed it to me.

Its about a woman who writes a book to empower women to be like men: all business, no love, and sex a la carte. Its also about a man, the ladies man, the man about town, the most eligible bachelor who is determined to remain one. She rebuffs his charms, and he becomes determined to show the world that she’s not really a “Down With Love” girl.

Beginning to end, literally from the first opening credits and music until the last of the credits rolled, I had a smile on my face. This is one movie that will definately find its way into my DVD collection someday.