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Category Archives: Comedy Movie Reviews

Home Alone (1990)


home-alone-movie-poster

Home Alone (1990)

Home Alone is the first movie that I could quote in its entirety line for line and I was maybe 6 years old at the time.  I watched the movie for the first time on VHS when I was 5 years old.

Home Alone Culkin eyebrows

The film is the first holiday tradition that I ever had.  Christmas just doesn’t seem like Christmas without watching Home Alone at some point.

It’s the movie that boosted Macauley Culkin to superstardom while simultaneously dooming his acting career.  Forever, he will always be known as Kevin McCallister, the little boy whose family forgot about him and left him home alone.  Thanks to Home Alone, Culkin is the most famous child actor ever.  However, Home Alone was the peak of his career and he was only 10 years old at the time.  He could never, and will never top that movie, no matter how hard he tries.

Home Alone Culkin Stern BB gun

Home Alone was touted as the family comedy without the family and it was exactly that.  I don’t know if I have ever met anybody who has not seen the film.  That is how popular it is.  Everybody has seen it.

So, for all of the newborns out there who weren’t in their mother’s womb over Christmastime, the movie is about Kevin McCallister (Macauley Culkin), an 8-year-old boy who gets left at home when his big family goes on a trip to Paris for the holidays.  He is left to fend for himself and forced to defend his home against two stupid criminals.

home alone pesci fire

The film was written by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus.  The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, Catherine O’Hara, John Heard, Roberts Blossom, John Candy, Devin Ratray, Larry Hankin, Gerry Bamman, and Keiran Culkin.

Home Alone has been one of my favorite movies ever since my childhood.  It’s festive, heartfelt and hysterical.  It’s everything that a family comedy should be.

Macauley Culkin did an excellent job for his age.  Pesci and Stern gave priceless performances as the knuckleheads who insist on trying to rob the McCallister’s residence, even after knowing a little kid is home.

Home Alone Stern Pesci

It’s a John Hughes classic that never gets old, no matter how many times you watch it.  Trust me, I know.  I’ve seen this movie more times that I could ever count.

I rate this movie a 10 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

If you enjoyed Home Alone than you will most likely enjoy:

Christmas Vacation (1989)

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Christmas Vacation (1989)


Christmas Vacation Poster

Christmas Vacation (1989)

Watching the movie Christmas Vacation has been a Christmastime tradition for as long as I can remember.  I don’t remember the first time that I watched it, but I know that I was very young and it was likely on television.

Christmas Vacation Dinner Table

Christmas Vacation is National Lampoon’s third Vacation movie.  This time, the Griswolds are not going anywhere for vacation.  Instead, they have decided to host a big family gathering for Christmas at their house.  Like previous Griswold vacations, things do not go as planned and quickly spin out of control.

The film was written by John Hughes and directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik.  The noteworthy cast includes Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki, Randy Quaid, Brian Doyle-Murray, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Doris Roberts, Diane Ladd, E.G. Marshall, Miriam Flynn, William Hickey, Mae Questel, and Sam McMurray.

Christmas Vacation Quaid Sewer

The movie is absolutely hilarious!  It’s my favorite of the Vacation movies.  It’s the ultimate dysfunctional family comedy.  It’s everything a family comedy should be, and more.

Christmas Vacation is one of the funniest Christmas movies ever made and it’s usually the first Christmas movie that I watch each year.  The festive soundtrack and the chaotic family gathering help to give you a feeling of Christmas.

There are so many memorable scenes, brilliant dialogue, and one-liners.  The comedy is sarcastic and poetic.

Christmas Vacation Family Tree Living Room

Chevy Chase and Randy Quaid both give unforgettable performances.  Christmas Vacation is easily each actor’s best and funniest movie.

The film has a very obvious John Hughes feel to it.  Even though Hughes didn’t direct, he still wrote and produced the movie.

Christmas Vacation is a timeless Christmas classic.  I’ve seen it dozens of times and it never gets old.  It’s one of the funniest Christmas movies ever.  It always puts me in the Christmas spirit.  Christmastime is not complete without watching Christmas Vacation.

Christmas Vacation Chase Tree

I rate this movie a 10 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy it and make it a part of your holiday tradition.

If you liked Christmas Vacation then you will probably enjoy:

Home Alone (1990)

 

Home Alone (1990)

The Internship (2013)


The Internship Poster

The Internship (2013)

 

The Internship pairs Vince Vaughn with Owen Wilson again for the first time since Wedding Crashers (2005).  Why is this relevant?  It is relevant because Wedding Crashers grossed over $285,000,000 worldwide and was a huge success and a hilarious movie.  Filmmakers hoped that Vaughn and Wilson together again in the same film would help them to repeat their previous success.  It has already been 8 years since the release of Wedding Crashers.

I think that a movie like The Internship would have been a much bigger hit if it had been made 5 or 6 years ago when the main characters were still in their prime.  As it turns out, The Internship lost money.

My gut feeling before watching this movie was that it was going to be a big disappointment.  It looked funny, but not very.

The Internship Wilson Vaughn Computer

The film is a comedy about two best friends (Vaughn and Wilson) who lose their jobs as salesman.  They manage to get internship positions at Google, but they are forced to compete against younger, much more qualified computer nerds for a chance at employment.

The movie was written by Vince Vaughn and Jared Stern and directed by Shawn Levy.  The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Rose Byrne, Aasif Mandvi, Max Minghella, John Goodman, Josh Gad, Rob Riggle, Will Ferrell, B.J. Novak, Gary Anthony Williams, and Tiya Sircar.

The Intership Wilson Vaughn Hats

Vaughn and Wilson showed a similar comedic chemistry to what they had in Wedding Crashers, except that they were not as funny as they could have been.

I think that the PG-13 rating was what ruined this movie.  Wilson and Vaughn do better in movies where they are allowed to get away with more craziness and crudeness.  Vaughn is fast-talking and witty and he is a lot funnier and thrives when his dialogue is not limited.  Wilson responds to Vaughn’s wittiness with his own charm, but if Vaughn is not allowed to be funny then it makes their banter incomplete.  The filmmakers tried too hard to reach a wider audience with the PG-13 rating, but ultimately this sacrificed too many laughs and the result was bone dry humor.

The movie is very formulaic.  It is very predictable.  It’s funny, but mostly stupid funny.  Some of the dialogue is clever, but some is also pretty cheesy.  Sometimes it’s wholesome and sometimes it’s cheap.  The Internship is entertaining enough as long as your expectations aren’t too high.

The Intership Wilson Vaughn Fist Bump

The film was a cross between Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004) and Old School (2003) without the raunchiness and the big laughs.  It’s a good time that you don’t have to think about too much.  For Vaughn and Wilson, this movie is a step down and a step back from the comedies that we are used to seeing them in.

I rate this movie a 6 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

InAPPropriate Comedy (2013)


InAPPropriate Comedy Poster

InAPPropriate Comedy (2013)

 

I did not have very high expectations for InAPPropriate Comedy.  However, I was a little curious as to why Oscar winner Adrien Brody would have any part in the making of this movie.  The fact that Brody was in it was what made me give the film a chance.  Lindsay Lohan and Rob Schneider are also both in the movie and that lead me to believe InAPPropriate Comedy was likely doomed.

InAPPropriate Comedy Brody Gun

The movie is not really a movie at all; it is rather a series of skits.  There are multiple categories pertaining to the different skits which are displayed as APPs on a computer screen.  Most of the skits are parodies of movies, television shows, or famous events.  A man on screen cycles through and selects the different APPs on the computer and as he selects them, they are what are shown next in the film.  Each APP is either racist, raunchy, out of control, blatantly wrong, or otherwise inappropriate.

The movie was directed by Vince Offer and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Michelle Rodriguez, Ari Shaffir, and Dante.

The film is obviously meant to be inappropriate and it succeeds in achieving its goal.  It is like a glorified dumber, more vulgar version of the television show Saturday Night Live.

InAPPropriate Comedy Brody pink pants

Some of the skits have their moments of humor, while others are mostly pretty awful in every possible way.

In Adrien Brody’s defense, the skits that he is in are pretty funny.  They are crude, but funny.  However, it just goes to show that Brody’s career has plummeted since his success in The Pianist (2002).  It is laughable and a little sad that he would even be in a movie like this one.

Given all of the bad media that constantly surrounds Lindsay Lohan, her part in the film was actually okay.  Her performance was short and sweet and somewhere in between good and bad.

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Overall, InAPPropriate Comedy is just plain bad.  There are not enough laughs in the movie to make up for how appalling the rest of the film is.  It is inappropriate in almost every way possible.  Wasting your time watching this movie would be inappropriate.

I rate this movie a 1 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  RUN!

The Way, Way Back (2013)


The Way Way Back Poster 2

The Way, Way Back (2013)

Steve Carell and Sam Rockwell both have the ability to be really funny and that is why I thought that The Way, Way Back could be hilarious.  If both of those guys are in the same movie together than it is bound to make you laugh right?

THE WAY, WAY BACK

The movie is about Duncan, a timid 14-year-old boy (Liam James) who is dragged along on a summer vacation with his mother (Toni Collette), her jerk of a boyfriend (Steve Carell), and her boyfriend’s daughter (Zoe Levin).  In order to escape the awkwardness, Duncan ventures off on his own to a nearby water park where he befriends Owen (Sam Rockwell) the manager, and gets a summer job.

The film was written and directed by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.  The rest of the noteworthy cast includes Allison Janney, Maya Rudolph, Rob Corddry, Amanda Peet, River Alexander, Nat Faxon, and Jim Rash.

The Way Way Back Rockwell James

The film did not have a very promising start, and I was worried that it was not going to get any better.  It was a stale dysfunctional drama until Sam Rockwell made his appearance and saved the day, and the movie.  Rockwell turned the film into a “dramedy” and made it worth watching.  The film literally went from awful to entertaining as if Rockwell had just flipped a switch.

Unfortunately, Carell’s character was not funny at all.  Carell is usually pretty excellent when he is in a comedic role, but when his character is all drama, he is hardly likable.

The Way Way Back Dinner Table

The movie was a good story of how uncomfortable life can be sometimes with a divorced parent who is dating again.  Maybe being a child of divorced parents myself, I related to the movie a little bit more than others might.  When you are a kid who is stuck dealing with a boyfriend or girlfriend of one of your parents whom you just don’t like or get along with, it is nice to be able to escape with your friends for support.  I was fortunate enough to be able to do that many times during my childhood.  That is what this movie is about and that is what this movie does a good job depicting.

The Way Way Back Party

It’s not the funniest movie in the world and it’s not the greatest, but it is a touching story that should make you laugh.

I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

If you liked The Way, Way Back, then you will most likely enjoy:

The Big Wedding (2013)

Stuck in Love (2012)

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

Pawn Shop Chronicles (2013)


Pawn Shop Chronicles Poster

Pawn Shop Chronicles (2013)

Back in 2006 I was blown away when I watched the film Running Scared (2006).  I saw that movie in theatres three different times.  It was that good.  Paul Walker was the main star and Wayne Kramer directed.  Yesterday I watched a preview for Pawn Shop Chronicles and thought it looked like it could be pretty awesome and it has a solid cast.  Paul Walker is one of the main stars, but when I found out Kramer directed, that made me want to see it.

Pawn Shop Chronicles follows multiple stories involving drugged-out hillbillies, newlyweds, and an Elvis impersonator as their lives all intertwine because of their transactions made at a pawn shop.

Pawn Shop Chronicles Walker

The noteworthy cast includes Paul Walker, Matt Dillon, Brendan Fraser, Kevin Rankin, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elijah Wood, Chi McBride, Thomas Jane, Norman Reedus, Lukas Haas, DJ Qualls, Michael Cudlitz, Ashlee Simpson, and Matt O’Leary.

The movie is a disturbingly dark comedy and weird, white trash, hillbilly adventure.

Kramer continues the trend of super intense filmmaking with unique, quirky, fun characters in a brutally twisted storyline.

Just like Running Scared, the camera work and editing is very unique and fast-paced which helps to make the movie more thrilling.

Pawn Shop Chronicles Fraser

The movie is very graphic.  It was pretty shocking at times.  F-bombs, nudity, and disturbing images were all overused.

Within the first ten minutes of the film, I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into.  But, then the movie hit its stride and got much better.

Walker plays a way different type of character than he has ever played.  It was actually pretty refreshing to see him try something new for a change.  It was a stretch for him, but he pulled it off nicely.

For you Reedus fans out there; his role will disappoint you because it is hardly noticeable.  I felt like he was way underused.

This is Fraser’s best movie in over a decade.  I was happy to see him in a likable role again.

Dillon stole the show, in my opinion.  It never seems like he misses a stride.  Every once in a while when he finds the right character, he gives a breakout performance that reminds us all that he still has the ability to take over a movie.

Pawn Shop Chronicles Dillon D'Onofrio

For the type of film that this is, it is an exercise in quality filmmaking.  It will keep you guessing.  It is a funny, messed up, shocking adventure like no other.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

The Big Wedding (2013)


The Big Wedding poster

The Big Wedding (2013)

I come from a very dysfunctional family, but I am sure that we all do in one way or another.  So maybe that is why I am drawn to dysfunctional movies.

The Big Wedding is about a couple that must pretend to be married even though they have been divorced for a very long time.  Their adopted son is getting married and the family is reuniting for the wedding, but his birth mother is unaware that his adopted parents were ever separated.

The Big Wedding Keaton De Niro birth family

The film was directed by Justin Zackham and the noteworthy cast includes Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Surandon, Topher Grace, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Ben Barnes, Robin Williams, Christine Ebersole, David Rasche, Patricia Rae, and Ana Ayora.

The movie is inappropriate from the very first scene and delightfully dysfunctional throughout.

The Big Wedding Surandon Keaton De Niro

The film revolves more around the families of the groom and bride rather than the groom and bride themselves.  That is what the movie actually has going for it because instead of being a sappy love story, it is more about the harsh reality of the lives of the family attending the wedding.

It’s very amusing to see acting legends De Niro, Keaton, Surandon, and Williams all in the same film together and all as awesome as ever.

There are tons of laughs to be had in this film.  From the awkwardness of a divorced couple acting like they are married to the funny insults back and forth between siblings and the jokes that get lost in translation with the adopted kid’s foreign birth family.

The Big Wedding Grace Heigl

The humor is raunchy and there is a lot of language.

I laughed harder than I thought I would.  The Big Wedding was a pleasant surprise.  It was hilarious, witty, messed up, heartfelt, and dysfunctional.  It was just like family should be, or at least how my family is.

The Big Wedding De Niro

The film appears like it could be a chick flick, but don’t be fooled.  It was just a pure comedy.

I rate this movie an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Buy.

If you liked The Big Wedding, then you will most likely enjoy:

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (2011)

The Way, Way Back (2013)

Stuck in Love (2012)

Admission (2013)


Admission Poster

Admission (2013)

 

Paul Rudd has been typecast in the same roles for the majority of his career.  When Tina Fey is not on television, she is acting in cheesy romantic comedies.  With this in mind, I figured that this movie would be very average, but I thought that I would give it a chance anyway.

Admission Fey

The film is about an admissions officer at Princeton (Tina Fey) who is not very fond of children.  After finding out that an applicant just might be her son that she gave up for adoption a number of years before, she puts her job in jeopardy trying to help him get accepted.

The movie was directed by Paul Weitz and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Paul Rudd, Gloria Reuben, Wallace Shawn, Lily Tomlin, Michael Sheen, Nat Wolff, and Travaris Spears.

I would hardly classify Admission as a comedy.  It is not even really a dramedy.  It is a romantic drama, but mainly just a drama.

Admission Fey Rudd Wolff

It seems like more and more movies these days have been released classified as comedy/romance/drama.  It is deceiving because often times these movies are just not very funny or any good at all, i.e. The Guilt Trip (2012) and Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012).

These types of movies take actors that are mainly known for their comedy and they try to stretch the parameters of their acting ability by making them do comedy, drama, and romance.  The end result is usually a light hearted, dysfunctional concoction of cheesy and cheap humor, a formulaic story, and characters that seem out of place because they are out of their element and in over their heads.  Admission is exactly this kind of movie.

I chuckled a few times, I was bored a little bit, and when the movie was over I knew that I would never have to see it again.

Rudd and Fey keep making the same movies and therefore will continue to make the same movies.

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Tomlin was charming.  Given that she has mainly been acting in television lately, it was nice to see her in a movie again.

This is not even a good “chick flick.”  Don’t waste your time on this below average movie.

I rate this movie a 4 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Run.

Kick-Ass 2 (2013)


Kick-Ass 2 Poster

Kick-Ass 2 (2013)

After being surprised at how much Kick-Ass (2010) actually kicked ass, I was excited to see this sequel.

Kick-Ass 2 good group

This time around Kick-Ass (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) has teamed up with a group fellow wannabe superheroes that he inspired to dress up and fight crime.  Red Mist (Christopher Mintz-Plasse) is out for revenge on Kick-Ass and has gathered a group of so-called super villains to destroy him and everyone he knows.

The movie was written and directed by Jeff Wadlow and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Chloe Grace Moretz, Morris Chestnut, Jim Carrey, Clark Duke, John Leguizamo, Lindy Booth, Claudia Lee, Donald Faison, and Garrett M. Brown.

I did not like this movie as much as the first one.  At times, it was pretty tacky.  Ass was kicked and laughs were had, there was a lot of quality action, but it just was not as good as it could have been.  It was less believable and more predictable.

Kick-Ass 2 Carrey

With the addition of Jim Carrey, I thought that for sure Kick-Ass 2 would be funnier than Kick-Ass.  I was wrong.  There were a few more laughs, but not because of Carrey.  His role was not big enough to make a difference.  Most of the other new characters in the film were not developed enough.

Moretz stole the show in the first movie and she was still probably the best part of this one, but she did not get the opportunity to kick as much ass as she did in the first film.

Kick-Ass 2 bad group

The film concentrated a little bit too much on the drama that the characters were having at school and at home instead of concentrating on them fighting crime.  This made the film a little slower at times and less enjoyable.

Even though I didn’t like a few aspects of the movie, it was still entertaining enough to have fun watching.  Almost all sequels are not as good as their predecessors, but maybe I just went into this film with expectations that were too high.  The story went a slightly different direction than I anticipated, but I still laughed and had a good time.

Kick-Ass 2 Johnson Moretz

I rate this movie a 6.5 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

The Last Stand (2013)


The Last Stand Poster

The Last Stand (2013)

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back, again.  He must have gone a little heavy on the spray tan and make-up because his face looks like a tanned piece of aged leather, but he’s back.  I held off seeing this movie in the theatre because I was not sure if Ahnuld could pull this one off.

The Last Stand Ahnuld Knoxville

The Last Stand is about a drug lord that escapes from protective custody and heads for the Mexican border.  The only thing standing in his way of freedom is small town Sheriff Ray Owen (Schwarzenegger) and his band of misfit deputies.

The film is directed by Kim Jee-Woon and the rest of the noteworthy cast includes Forest Whitaker, Johnny Knoxville, Luis Guzman, Peter Stormare, Eduardo Noriega, Jaimie Alexander, Zach Gilford, and Harry Dean Stanton, and Genesis Rodriguez.

The Last Stand Knoxville Flare

The film does not have a lot of character development, but there is a bit of stupid comedy and tons of action.  The special effects are actually quite good and they help to make the film enjoyable.  There are endless car chases, bullets are flying, people and things are exploding, blood is spattering, and fans of 90s action movies are applauding.

Schwarzenegger, Knoxville, Guzman, and Stormare all make this action movie more of a comedy not to take too seriously.

The Last Stand Ahnuld Whitaker

Whitaker seems to be the only person in the film taking his part seriously and it fits his character like a glove.

Overall, the film was better than I expected it to be.  It’s a bit predictable at times, but for the type of movie that it is, that is to be expected.  It certainly seemed like they had fun making it.  Even though Schwarzenegger looked a little goofy, he pulled his character off quite well and it was fun to see him acting again.

The Last Stand Ahnuld

I rate this movie a 7 on a scale of 1-10.

Buy, rent, or run?  Rent.

If you liked The Last Stand, then you will probably enjoy:

Bullet to the Head (2012)

A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)