Category Archives: Comedy

Shaft (2019) | Tim Story



Thirty years ago, J.J. (Jessie T. Usher) was fathered by Samuel L. Jackson’s Shaft, who was immediately estranged from his kid by the mother, Maya, who wants to keep her child’s life from the daily danger that Shaft is surrounded by. Shaft keeps his toe in the water with J.J. by sending presents on birthdays and holidays that often show how out of touch he is, not only in what’s going on in J.J.’s life but also in what is acceptable by standards of our less politically incorrect world. J.J. Shaft works primarily as a desk jockey in the FBI.  J.J. learns that his old friend Karim and sometimes protector died from an overdose in Harlem. Knowing that his friend had turned his life around, J.J. thinks the death smells funny and decides to investigate the cause, leading him to ask questions in a drug dealer’s lair that gets him nearly killed.  Desperate to move on with his investigation, J.J. reaches out to the father he never knew, currently working as a hardboiled private investigator in town, who readily accepts his role as his son’s new protector and mentor of all things “manly”. They soon discover there is, of course, far more involved in Karim’s death than what the official report says, and soon the men find themselves in the middle of a murder case. Tim Story directs this semi-spoof of its own franchise. Richard Roundtree takes a small role as the original John Shaft.


Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019) | Jon Watts



Jake Gyllenhaal gets to don the “fishbowl” as Quentin Beck, the interdimensional savior of Venice when a giant water monster surfaces to try to destroy the city.  Peter Parker (Tom Holland) happens to be there at the time, as he has traveled to Europe for a week-long class trip. Peter, of course, is gifted with superhero powers, but doesn’t have the “great responsibility of other incarnations of the character, and would rather just be a teenager and do teenage things, like trying to find a way to express his feelings to his major crush, MJ (Zendaya), doing it atop the Eiffel Tower..  With the Avengers in a sort of disarray, Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) assembles Beck, dubbed in the press as Mysterio, with Spider-Man who sees the new hero as a surrogate mentor to live up to in the wake of Tony Stark’s demise,  in order to stop future scary elementals from coming out of the woodworks again to destroy a major city. Jon Watts directs this MCU release.


The Dead Don’t Die (2019) | Jim Jarmusch



After the Earth’s rotation is disturbed due to environmental fallout resulting from “polar fracking”, strange natural phenomena begin occurring all over the globe, including, in one area at least, the dead coming back to life to feast on the living. Bill Murray stars in his second zombie comedy as Cliff Robertson, the chief of police for the small, Mayberry-esque town of Centerville. He, along with his partner in fighting very little crime, officer Ronnie Peterson (Adam Driver) find themselves having to deal with the gruesome deaths they uncover, coming to the realization that things may not end well for themselves or their community if they don’t take decisive action. Jim Jarmusch writes and directs. Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Danny Glover, Iggy Pop, Selena Gomez, and RZA also appear in this zombie comedy.


Men In Black: International (2019) | F. Gary Gray



For this fourth entry in the series, out are Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.  Instead, we get two new characters to follow working for the super-secret government organization to protect Earth from interdimensional threats and to keep knowledge of alien lifeforms away from human knowledge. The two are Tessa Thompson’s newly on-board Agent M and Chris Hemsworth’s roguish veteran named Agent H. The two “Men in Black” get their assignment from their boss, High T (Liam Neeson), to look after an alien of some renown and influence that is sought after by sinister forces for reasons come to learn more about through the course of the film. In the ensuing attempt at assassination, M is given a mysterious crystal object, one she knows must be important enough to make her a target, but something that serves no use to her until she can unlock its secret purpose. F. Gary Gray takes over the series from Barry Sonnefeld.


Always Be My Maybe (2019) | Nahnatchka Khan



The main premise is that two childhood friends, Sasha Tran (Ali Wong) and Marcus Kim (Randall Park), end up consummating their time growing up together as Asian-American teens in San Francisco with their first sexual experience, only to find their friendship has become awkward after going beyond the friend zone. These besties soon drift apart and lose connection as they progress into adulthood, with Sasha hitting the big time by becoming one of the most successful celebrity chefs in Los Angeles, while Marcus works by day in his father’s small-scale HVAC company while performing at the same dive bar frequently with the hip-hop group he’s been in since he was a teenager. When Sasha going to the opening of one of her posh restaurants in San Francisco, she ends up getting reacquainted with her old friend Marcus and finds him exactly in the same place, driving the same car, doing the same things all these years, while she’s become a jet-setting millionaire.  Neither can stand each other’s lives, but they seem to enjoy each other’s company for the time being, and with both stuck in relationships that may not lead anywhere, there’s a “maybe” that develops, even though it seems their different lifestyles can never coexist without someone giving in.  Nahnatchka Khan directs this romantic comedy in the vein of “When Harry Met Sally”. Keanu Reeves gets an inspired bit part.


Booksmart (2019) | Olivia Wilde



BFFs Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) have busted their tails off academically all through high school to set themselves up for post-graduation excellence, with Molly accepted to Yale and Amy going on a mission to help the poor in Africa. Their world gets rocked when they realize that the kids around them that looked like they just lived for partying are also going to similarly great colleges, or have lucrative careers waiting for them. Upset that they sacrificed all their fun for the same rewards, Molly and Amy decide to go out and have a blast and finally “break some rules” at the biggest house party in town for their last night before graduation.  However, they soon learn a few things about life, themselves, and one another, especially in how things don’t always go according to plan. Olivia Wilde directs this teen comedy.


The Professor (2018) | Wayne Roberts



Johnny Depp stars as an English professor for a prestigious New England college named Richard Brown who learns he has late-stage lung cancer and probably only six months to live without treatment, which he doesn’t plan on seeking.  On top of this, Richard is also a terminally bored, self-absorbed jerk whose own life has been falling apart long before this diagnosis. His wife (Rosemarie DeWitt) is cheating on him, with the chancellor at his school (Ron Livingston), no less. Now he can say whatever he feels like, knowing he’s on his way out, and what he has to say is not always kind.  With perhaps only months left, he decides to continue to teach his literature class, hoping to impart some actual value to his current crop of students before he succumbs to the disease. He’s also going to try to experience life without worrying about the consequences – a life he comes to realize he should have been trying to live all along.


Wine Country (2019) | Amy Poehler



Amy Poehler directs her first feature film with Netflix’s WINE COUNTRY, about six women who question their friendships and futures when they take a girls’ trip to Napa Valley, California, to celebrate the 50th birthday of one of them.  Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Rachel Dratch, Ana Gasteyer, Paula Pell, Emily Spivey, Tina Fey, Jason Schwartzman star for fans of old “Saturday Night Live”.


Long Shot (2019) | Jonathan Levine



In this raunchy romantic comedy, schlubby Fred Flarsky (Seth Rogen), an established left-wing journalist whose uncompromisingly progressive Brooklyn-based online news site has found itself taken over by a right-wing corporatist that he refuses to kowtow to. Due to his deep-seated principles, Fred quits immediately, but he’s bummed out at having to start over again. His best friend, Lance (O’Shea Jackson Jr.) takes him out to blow off some steam and forget hir troubles for a while with a performance from Boyz II Men at a swank charity fund-raising party, and while there, Flarsky ends up running into the Secretary of State of the United States, Charlotte Field (Charlize Theron), who he just so happens to have once known, as the older girl next door who used to babysit him, and with whom he has had a crush ever since.  The two end up catching up, and it just so happens that she’s looking for a writer to punch up her speeches with wit and humor, and with him needing a job, it’s impossible to say no.  He’s a refreshing change of pace to Field, who hasn’t been able to enjoy herself for a very long time, but with presidential aspirations on her horizon, the gossipy public isn’t likely going to accept such a mismatch should she pursue Flarsky romantically.


Hellboy (2019) | Neil Marshall



In this Neil Marshall reboot, we already have an established the scarlet-bodied Hellboy (David Harbour) as part of the B.P.R.D. (Bureau of Paranormal Research and Defense), working for his adoptive father, Professor Trevor “Broom” Bruttenholm (Ian McShane), in corraling and eradicating malevolent supernatural menaces wherever they may arise around the world. Hellboy reunites with Alice Monaghan (Sasha Lane), a powerful medium, and a cat-beast man named Major Ben Daimio (Daniel Dae Kim), in order to prevent the Blood Queen from Arthurian times named Nimue (Milla Jovovich) from taking a mate and growing powerful enough to finally take over the world and eliminate the human presence upon it once and for all.