Category Archives: Comedy

Us (2019) | Jordan Peele



As a young girl living in the coastal California town of Santa Cruz in 1986, Adelaide walked away from her parents while at  the beach boardwalk amusement park, into a seemingly empty fun house, and saw something that would negatively affect her the rest of her life.  Flash forward to today, and Adelaide is now married with two kids, and her husband, Gabe Wilson, has a yen to visit Santa Cruz for a family vacation, not knowing about her deep-seated fear of her experience there.  Despite her qualms, she consents to go, and while things appear harmless, she has a bad feeling about it. Her feeling would turn out to have merit, as they are soon visited in their rental by another family of four that looks just like them, except they mostly can’t speak well, and they’re dressed all in red.  The house soon becomes under siege by the doppelgangers, resulting in a battle for survival – a battle for continued existence, really – between the Wilsons and the Others. Stars Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke. Written and directed by Jordan Peele.


Isn’t It Romantic (2019) | Todd Strauss-Schulson



Rebel Wilson plays Natalie, working as an architect in New York City, though often marginalized by her peers at her firm as one of the administrative assistants who make copies and fetch coffee for the others a the board meetings. To make matters worse, she ends up getting mugged and assaulted in the subway, resulting in a loss of consciousness that finds her waking up in a too-nice hospital being catered to, and flirted with, by the handsome doctor there.  Her apartment is now three times the size and meticulously furnished, her neighbor now flamboyantly gay, and the hunky, wealthy client they’ve recently taken on at the firm (Liam Hemsworth) now only has eyes for her. In short, she’s the star of her own romantic comedy, and the only person she can confide in that knowledge is her best friend at work, Josh (Adam Devine), who holds a secret crush for Natalie that she’s been too stuck in her low self esteem to see.


Vice (2018) | Adam McKay



Written and directed by Adam McKay, who impressed in his last effort from 2015, The Big ShortVice is specifically a biopic of sorts about former Vice President of the United States under George W. Bush, Dick Cheney — both of whom were seen as responsible for the policies that brought about the stock market crash covered so well in McKay’s prior film.  McKay covers Cheney’s rise from drunken slob, to shaping up by entering Wyoming business and politics, to becoming a power player in the Republican party in Washington (Chief of Staff under President Ford), to his failed ambition to become president, to becoming the CEO of Halliburton.  However, some would say that, after a successful bed on the bottom of the ticket for the 2000 and 2004 elections, he found a way, dubbed the Unitary Executive Theory, to become the most powerful nation in the world from the number-two position despite it being seen as a do-nothing office.


BlacKkKlansman (2018) | Spike Lee



In this Spike Lee joint, we go back to the 1970s, where we find Ron Stallworth, the first black police detective working for the Colorado Springs Police Department.  In one of his first assignments after laboring behind the scenes to test the waters as a file clerk, Ron is hired to go undercover to record a speech being given locally by black activist Kwame Ture (Corey Hawkins), formerly known as Stokely Carmichael, at a nearby college, in which the subject is black empowerment, racist law enforcement, and preparation for the race war they feel will be inevitable. The police thought the speech would incite violence, but Ron saw the speech as just talk in that regard, and inspiring otherwise.


Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (2018)



Illumination Entertainment brings Dr. Seuss’ beloved story to the modern age with 3D animation and the vocal talent of Benedict Cumberbatch. The Grinch hates Christmas and plans to thwart the festivities of the Christmas-loving denizens of nearby Whoville, but after donning the Santa Claus outfit to steal their presents away, has to confront the wishes of a young girl who needs Santa’s help.


Destination Wedding (2018)



Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder star as bickering travelers who just so happen to be going to the same destination: a wedding of her ex, and his half-brother, who neither of them particularly hopes is happy.  Two unhappy people surrounded by mirth leads to a toxic concoction of feelings, but the two unlucky lovers find a bond in their despair that may be just as strong as that of initial attraction.  “Mad About You” producer Victor Levin directs this anti-romantic comedy.


The House with a Clock in Its Walls (2018)



Set in a small town called New Zebedee, in Michigan during the mid 1950s, we follow the adventures of a ten-year-old orphan named Lewis Barnavelt, mourning the recent loss of his parents to a fatal car accident, staying in the rickety and seemingly haunted Victorian mansion of his uncle, Jonathan.  Jonathan is an eccentric warlock often visited by his neighbor, a witch named Mrs. Zimmerman, and the mansion he resides in is anything but mundane. A new home also means a new school for Lewis, who is immediately labeled as a square by his peers and subsequently picked on as he tries in vain to make a friend.  School isn’t the only place of learning for the boy, as Jonathan and Mrs. Zimmerman begin to teach him the ways of the warlocks, whose acts are spurred on by visions of his dead mother, while they mysteriously spend their time looking for a fabled clock hidden within the walls of the mansion.  Jack Black and Cate Blanchett co-star in this PG-rated film by Eli Roth.


The Happytime Murders (2018) – A Podcast Film Review



In this puppet/human effort directed by Brian Henson, son of Muppets creator Jim Henson, Bill Barretta voices the top puppet character known as disgraced burnout Los Angeles-based private investigator Phil Phillips, who has to get to the bottom of a series of murders among the stars of a decades-old television show with a puppet cast of actors called, “The Happytime Gang”.  Melissa McCarthy gets the top human role, playing police detective Connie Edwards, Phil’s former, now estranged, partner in crime-fighting from his days on the force, who joins in to reluctantly assist.  Even if the characters look like Muppets, it’s a very raunchy, ultra-violent effort not meant for children.


Crazy Rich Asians (2018) – A Podcast Film Review



Constance Wu stars as Rachel Chu, who essentially serves as our best surrogate for the story, the daughter of a single Chinese immigrant mother, who rose above her station to become a professor of Economics at NYU.  Her current boyfriend is a man names Nick Young (played by Henry Golding), who, for over a year since they’ve been dating, has never divulged to her that his family back home in Singapore is insanely wealthy.  The cat has to be let out of the bag, however, when Nick asks Rachel to attend the wedding of his best friend in Singapore, where he also plans to pop a question of his own after she meets the family.  However, Nick’s stern mother, Eleanor, disapproves of trying to pursue what one wants in life independent of the family wishes, so Rachel’s pursuit of her own career, and Nick pursuit of love beyond his class, ruffles more than a few feathers among his family, friends, and the rest of the rich and famous they socialize among.  John M. Chu directs, with supporting roles for Michelle Yeoh, Awkwafina, and Ken Jeong


The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018) – A Podcast Film Review



Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon star in this buddy comedy about two best friends who end up embroiled in a spy assassin plot when some terrorists come looking for them for information that Kunis’ most recent boyfriend, who she didn’t know was a secret agent, may have in his possessions.  Laughs, thrills, and action are promised, but does it deliver?