Archive for the Comedy Category

Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In the sequel to the hit comedy Sister Act, Whoopie Goldberg reprises her role of Deloris Van Cartier, a Las Vegas entertainer who hid out with in a convent of nuns to avoid a nasty bunch of gangsters. In Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit, Deloris is persuaded to return to the convent by the Mother Superior (Maggie Smith), because her help is needed in teaching their choral students at St. Francis High in San Francisco. However, St. Francis is in a crisis, since the administrator running the school (James Coburn) is threatening to shut the place down. If the gospel choir wins first place in a singing contest in Los Angeles, St. Francis will be saved from the priest’s plans.

What people are saying:

“While the kids may sing a storm when at last they get down to mixing Beethoven, gospel and rap, in the good clean fun department this is monumentally weak and derivative.” 2 stars

“One must remember this is sequel and will probably not be as good as the first movie. Personally I really don’t like sequels all that much but see them anyway. Most of time they have the same plot as the first one. If the first film made a lot of money, It will continue on the same theme without being that good because they don’t have be to make money. So one should keep that in mind when viewing this movie. It’s okay but with no suprises. Whoopi Goldberg usually does well in comedies and will probably to continue with this type of role. In this movie she helps school children with their music abilities they don’t seem to know that they have until she as a nun comes along. A good movie but certainly not a great one. See the movie and form your own opinions. ” 3 stars

“I love this movie — Lauryn Hill singing, Maggie Smith vs. James Coburn, just wonderful music. I don’t know why it got such a low rating…I’ve gotta watch it every year at least. It’s such fun! Look at the discrepancy between the audience reviews and the critics — critics can’t always tell you what’s going to life your heart. She even quotes my favorite poet/philosopher Rilke. I’m a songwriter with major label credits and I just love the music — Lauryn Hill singing His Eye Is on the Sparrow slays me…and the final competition number is absolute joy. Glee fans should enjoy it too!” 5 stars

“Unfortunately, the sequel took a very cliche attempt of “reaching the children’s hearts” and tried for a more heartwarming feel good kind of film while the plot seemed to kill whoopi’s skills in comedy, since her comedy from the first film would have been somewhat inappropriate for this film. However what wasn’t filtered of Whoopi’s humour is worth at least knew watch even though it’s more or less a film that has you saying “I’d rather watch the good one”. Whoopi at least saves ut to be a half decent movie even though the script seems fairly unbelievable and predictable.” 2 1/2 stars

“It’s heart is definitely in the right place, but only the Good Lord Above knows where the hell its brain is. Goldberg throws her nun disguise back on for absolutely no reason, other than to lead an aged plot concerning a class of unruly kids learning to respect one another, and themselves. It turns out to be nice enough, and the music is as awesome as ever. But while the first one was loveably daft, this one’s just numbingly stupid.” 2 stars

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Footlight Parade

Posted in Classics, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Musicals with tags , , , , , , , on August 23, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The last–and to some aficionados, the best–of choreographer Busby Berkeley’s three Warner Bros. efforts of 1933, Footlight Parade stars James Cagney as a Broadway musical comedy producer. Cagney is unceremoniously put out of business when talking pictures arrive. To keep his head above water, Jimmy hits upon a swell idea: he’ll stage musical “prologues” for movie theatres, then ship them out to the various picture palaces in New York. Halfway through the picture, Cagney is obliged to assemble three mammoth prologues and present them back-to-back in three different theatres. There are all sorts of backstage intrigues, not the least of which concerns the predatory hijinks of gold-digger Claire Dodd

What people are saying:

“…generates laughs at a criminal rate” 4 stars

“What a gem! Saw it in the TCM’s on demand line-up, started it and just was transfixed. Dated, but in a timeless way that goes back not just to the 1930’s but to what it must have been like in vaudeville. Cagney is in top form and terrifically supported by Blondell, Keeler and a all round great cast. Powell is ok, being not nearly as annoying as he usually is. Great music/dance numbers with pussy cats, a honeymoon hotel, a waterfall and – the topper – Shanghai Lil. All of it wrapped up in snappy, risqué dialogue.” 4 stars

“It has singing. It has drama. It has comedy. It has a story. It’s one of the greatest movies ever made … period. If you can’t enjoy this movie, then you must be either asleep or in some kind of mental disarray. In “Yankee Doodle Dandy” James Cagney sings and dances his way to an Academy Award; but in this movie he is BETTER! This is James Cagney at his quisessential BEST! He’s fast with the one-liners! He’s fast with his feet! It’s nonstop action. And the song-and-dance skits are classics, especially “Shanghai Lil.” And the supporting cast is great; and the entire movie is upbeat, fast moving, and exudes confidence. And even though this movie was made over 70 years ago, it’s still watchable, even today. And of course, this movie features Miss Ruby Keeler (who was married to Al Jolson). She is the perfect partner for James Cagney … and Dick Powell too! If you like upbeat, fast paced movies, with lots of singing and dancing, this is the movie to watch.” 5 stars

“This is an example of one of those “super cutesie” type of flicks. Every character is loveable and silly in their own way. Though the Busby Berkeley dance numbers aren’t the best, the achievement of complexity and style is still in others choreographers left field.” 5 stars

“This fabulous movie must be viewed knowing that millions scraped together 10 cents to see it and forget the gloomy day-to-day economic conditions during the 30’s. Remember, 10 cents bought a loaf of bread back then, so this was a minor luxury for many people. It’s testimony to how Hollywood did its best to make the USA feel a little better about itself. You’ll note that with the studio system in Hollywood at the time many of the actors and actresses were type-cast in similar movies, e.g. James Cagney, William Powell, Ruby Keeler, Frank McHugh, Joan Blondell and Guy Kibbee . Then too, branches of the U.S. military were always respected with enthusiasm and patriotism as in the use of military precision marching by the great choreographer, Busby Berkeley, at the end.” 4 stars

Belle of the Nineties

Posted in Classics, Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on August 16, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In this film, Mae West is cast as cabaret entertainer Ruby Carter, plying her trade along the Mississippi. Having no trouble surviving on her own terms in a man’s world, Ruby fends off the unwarranted attentions of a steady stream of libidinous males, reserving her affections for a muscular boxer.

What people are saying:

“It’s fast, fun and funny — and the best-looking movie Mae West ever made, having the shimmery luster you only saw in Paramount movies.” 4 1/2 stars

“…a hopelessly forgettable effort that seems to have been assembled around a series of admittedly strong one-liners (ie the story is generic to an almost absurd degree).” 2 1/2 stars

“Mae lacks a charismatic male lead to play off here, so this is less funny than it could be. but the surreal vision of Mae as the Statue Of Liberty is worth the ticket price – and some great musical numbers with Duke Ellington’s band.” 2 1/2 stars

“Mae West throws all the curves in this one as a singer (?) in the 1890s who dumps her boxer boyfriend in a mix-up and runs off to New Orleans to perform and live there. She’s featured in a stunning musical number where she models a shimmering gown against which numerous costumes are superimposed by a projector! One pose has her as lady liberty. Unfortunately, this is a less liberated, somewhat cleaned-up Mae West. She still likes to have fun, and enough gags remain to make this one worth a few solid laughs. Good production by Paramount.” 3 stars

“This movie is classic Mae West, full of one-liners with carefully disguised meanings to escape the censors. It’s interesting to note that this is the movie where she really began to fight with the Hays Office and the Breen Office to get her movie past the censors…She had to change the title from “It’s No Sin” (people picketed in the streets with signs that said, “Yes, It Is”). Therefore, this movie could be seen by some as not quite as good as her 3 previous movies. However, it is still a gem from Mae’s classic period. Everyone should see a Mae West movie at least once…” 3 1/2 stars

Tag

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 15, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

For one month every year, five highly competitive friends hit the ground running in a no-holds-barred game of tag they’ve been playing since the first grade–risking their necks, their jobs and their relationships to take each other down with the battle cry “You’re It!” This year, the game coincides with the wedding of their only undefeated player, which should finally make him an easy target. But he knows they’re coming… and he’s ready. Based on a true story, “Tag” shows how far some guys will go to be the last man standing.

What people are saying:

“For audiences seeking a dose of high-concept yet undemanding action comedy, Tag might be close enough to it” 2 1/2 stars

“Based on a true story about fortysomething manchildren still playing tag, this bro-bonding comedy is all over the place, but fueled by a terrific cast and a partytime atmosphere that might be just what you’re looking for on a hot summer night” 3 1/2 stars

“The cast is talented and game. But the game itself is grotesque, largely because of the characters they’re forced to play. ” 1 star

“A real life 30 year game of tag “you’re it!” is the basis of this light summer comedy, that stars a pretty decent cast. You won’t remember much of it afterwards, but you won’t feel as if you’ve been gypped with half-assed, phoned-in performances miming a half-assed, phoned in script either. And it might well be rewatchable to boot.” 3 stars

“Simple entertainment for an undemanding audience let down by a lack of laughs. It’s a sweet story (all the more so as it’s based on truth), but could have been a lot funnier, drags on for too long, and gets very dark towards the end. Good acting, but there’s nothing really remarkable about it.” 2 stars

Sister Act

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 8, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Nightclub singer Deloris Van Cartier witnesses a mob hit and hides out in a convent, where she’s disguised (and tries to fit in) as a nun. She finds her calling when she introduces the sisters to doo-wop and turns the choir into fundraising stars.

What people are saying:

“If you like Whoopi, you should see this movie; if you like musicals, you should see this movie; if you like light-hearted comedies that make you feel a little bit gushy, that you know will have a happy ending, but you love it anyway, you should definetely see this movie! I loved this movie, for all of the reasons listed above, and after the first time I watched it, I went back and rewatched all of the singing scences. Whoopi is great and I think she fit the role just right. The second one I also love, because its the teen generation singing versus a bunch of nuns. But then again, the bunch of nuns singing was really good too. For kids I would probably suggest the second movie, but I can’t decide my favorite. See them both, enjoy yourself, and decide your own favorite.” 5 stars

“Light and fluffy as it is, Sister Act still has plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and some warm fuzzies as well as some believable action, and that makes it a 7 out of 10 in my book.” 3 stars

“A great 90s “feelgood family film” where a conspicuous lover of a Reno mobster has to go in hiding inside a convent, where after a rough start and short adaptation period she transforms the choir into a local success!”  4 1/2 stars

“Though it is meant as a bit of light-hearted entertainment, it fails at it being appealing and an apparent satire by becoming unfunny, uninspired, and nowhere near as controversial as it thinks it is.” 2 1/2 stars

Sister Act has a great cast and a sizzling soundtrack, and a hilarious script with plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and a rather ridiculous premise that somehow works. Goldberg’s soulful and well-acted performance is a highlight, but possibly the greatest character of comedy pictures during the 90’s, Kathy Najimy’s hilarious and stirring performance as Sister Mary Patrick, a rousing and successful bumbling sidekick who stumbles along with pride, is the greatest achievement of the film’s entirety. A great film.

When Harry Met Sally…

Posted in Chick Flicks, Comedy, Movie Reviews, Romantic with tags , , , , , , on August 8, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Does sex make it impossible for men and women to be true friends? This romantic comedy chronicles this dilemma through the eleven year relationship between Harry and Sally who meet in college, then pursue their own lives until they reconnect ten years later.

What people are saying:

“Rob Reiner’s touching, funny film set a new standard for romantic comedies, and he was ably abetted by the sharp interplay between Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan” 4 1/2 stars

“While it may be packed with whip-smart, endlessly quotable dialogue and laugh-out-loud moments, its enduring popularity undoubtedly stems from the fact that it has genuine heart.” 5 stars

When Harry met Sally was a massive critical and box office success when it was released. This is a witty comedy set in the big apple and both Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan are in fantastic touch. They were both huge stars at the time and the respective king and queen of comedy, unarguably. The reason the film was so successful is because it taps into the omnipresent societal dilemma: Can a man and woman simply be friends and nothing more. Nora Ephron’s screenplay is one of the finest examples of a funny screenplay and Rob Reiner is a master filmmaker who is in sublime touch here.” 4 1/2 stars

“An extended Seinfeld episode, but not very funny, not as well written, with lower quality of invention. Oh so-with-it New Yorkers, so cool, so fast talking! The ending evoked the ending of a movie with Dustin Hoffman where he runs and runs to rescue the woman he suddenly discovers he loves as she is in the very process of being married in church, and carries her away to a city bus, so even that wasn’t original.” 1 star

“So much more than a chick flick. This is the story of boy (Billy Crystal) meets girl (Meg Ryan). He makes the argument that men and women can never be “just friends”, to which she begs to differ. You get to see how their friendship progresses through the years, and who ultimately ends up being right. This film is like an excellent Woody Allen movie without all of the cynical self-deprecation, which makes it a refreshing breath of fresh air. It truly is uproariously funny, and I know I’m 26 years late, but it has been a long while since I’ve had such a great time with a comedy. This is directed by Rob Reiner, and I have to say, I don’t think he gets enough credit as being the brilliant comedy director that he really is. The script here is bulletproof, and the chemistry is fiery; even though these two characters are constantly butting heads, you can tell at every single turn that there is something more, brewing just underneath the surface. It’s blunt vs. neurotic, and the repartee that these two share makes the movie; there is a quick-witted comeback for every line of dialogue, and When Harry Met Sally fully encapsulates how you can be attracted to somebody who is constantly driving you up the wall. This is the quintessential romance movie, and I can’t think of a movie out there that does the romantic comedy better. It raises a ton of great points about relationship, and it forces you to ask yourself the question “can men and women really be just friends?” I believe the answer to this question is no when both parties are single, but it doesn’t force any sort of agenda, it allows you to make up your own mind. There are some really good make-up effects here as well, and you can totally buy both of them as college students as well as people in their mid-30’s. There’s so much about this that works, and it’s hard not to emphatically fall in love with it, much like how the characters interact within the film.” 5 stars

Panic Button

Posted in Classics, Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , on August 3, 2018 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

A businessman enlists the acting talents of two cinematic stars in the comedic romp Panic Button. After developing some tax problems, Frank Pagano (played by Michael Connors) decides to make a feature film version of William Shakespeare’s +Romeo and Juliet, and hires two star talents (played by real-life stars Jayne Mansfield and Maurice Chevalier) to act in it, and lands a top-notch director (Akim Tamiroff) to helm the movie. The film becomes an unexpected smash, as critics and audience alike view it as a comedy and it premieres to acclaim at a popular film festival.

What people are saying:

“I watched this yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it. How to write off a vast sum of money in a movie that’s doomed to failure and thus evade the revenue investigation………yes the plot is an earlier incarnation of The Producers’ like mischief and invention. It’s no where near that great masterpiece in achievement but is still a delightful excursion in to some good old fashioned boulevardier fun. Chevalier as the has-been matinée idol underplays with subtlety where he could have been gruesomely hammy.Oh the joy of seeing him play Romeo to Jayne Mansfield’s Juliet!! However he does sing a couple of numbers which are entirely pointless to the plot and immediately forgettable. The true star of the piece however is the GREAT Akim Tamiroff as an acting guru par excellence.As ever he scene steals effortlessly and rewards us with an immensely funny characterisation of vanity and dodgy intellect succumbing to the power of a few dollars wafted under his nose. To see him direct an advancing close up on a potted plant is to witness his genius. See the movie for this moment alone.” 4 stars

Panic Button is a cute, campy Italian comedy with a plot similar to The Producers. Overall, a light hearted and enjoyable watch!” 4 stars

“If one ignores the pathetic quality of the actual film stock used to bring this to the screen, If one ignores the sad overacting of Mr. Chevalier, If one ignores the convoluted plot, If one ignores the eccentric direction, One will find some redeeming qualities in Panic Button: The scenes of Europe, a more innocent Europe, a different mannered Europe were handled well. I really felt transported to the early 60’s. One is able to observe the way that our sensibilities have changed in such few years. We observe that the sophistication of moviemaking has come a very long way from those days. I watched this movie with not as much cringing as other reviewers. I tend to discern some of the good things that directors try to bring to movies. And lastly, I did laugh and I did smile where I should have.” 3 stars

“Not even the label of “camp” can save this one. A precursor of The Producers, but without its sparkle or satiric bite. Chevalier does everything short of winking at the camera–a sad final chapter to his career. The project ends up resembling the intentionally bad TV pilot that the film is about.” 1/2 star

“A laugh-less low water mark in the very long career of Maurice Chevalier. He’s a washed up actor hired to appear in a television version of ROMEO & JULIET (his co-star being none other than Jayne Mansfield) that is an almost certain disaster. The backers of the production are looking for a losing proposition as a tax shelter. Though the premise is pretty similar to the later Mel Brooks masterpiece THE PRODUCERS, this film lacks any of that classic’s wit or subversiveness. Instead, it’s a labored, lame brained mess that wastes Chevalier, Eleanor Parker and Akim Tamiroff and makes very ill-use of the great Mansfield.” 1 1/2 stars