Category Comedy

Bringing Out the Dead (1999)

Bringing Out the Dead is so similar to Martin Scorsese’s 1976 masterpiece Taxi Driver, so blatantly a spiritual successor, that the two should be required viewing as a double bill. Replacing Travis Bickle, the volatile, traumatized war veteran cab driver is Frank Pierce (Nicholas Cage), a third shift paramedic racing down the same streets that Bickle prowled after […]

Snapshot Reviews: Moonlight, Silence, 20th Century Women

Although some considerable time has passed since my initial viewings of these movies, preventing me from confidently writing an individual post for each, I wanted to take at least a little time to highlight just what makes three of last year’s best films so great. MOONLIGHT (2016) Like all great poetry, Moonlight finds its universal impact and […]

Wiener-Dog (2016)

Writer/director Todd Solondz’s latest is a series of (mostly) disconnected short films, all loosely tied together through a female dachshund that seemingly changes owners throughout the runtime. The connection does go a bit further than that, however. Wiener-Dog is purely driven by death and mortality, evidenced in the way the film itself is born and ages its […]

Stranger Than Paradise (1984)

“You know, it’s funny. You come to some place new, and everything looks just the same.” So says Eddie (Richard Edson) to protagonist Willie (John Lurie) while they loaf around snow covered train tracks in Cleveland, Ohio. The line is a funny one, but it might as well serve as the film’s thesis. Stranger Than Paradise‘s […]

The Nice Guys (2016)

The Nice Guys, despite all of its sliminess (both literally and figuratively, as the plot revolves around a missing porn actress and the pollution of the air) is a decidedly moral movie about niceness and decency. After all, it begins with an act of decency juxtaposed with debauchery: a young kid looking at a nudie magazine […]

Snapshot: Entertainment (2015)

Entertainment (both an ironic and completely fitting title) is an endurance test of a movie. It tracks an unnamed comedian (Gregg Turkington) while he tours out west through the desert. His comedy routine, a slight variation on Turkington’s real stand-up character “Neil Hamburger,” is nasty and vulgar and abrasive. And so is Entertainment, sort of. When not […]

Snapshot: Don Verdean (2015)

In which the ever-reliable Sam Rockwell plays a Biblical archaeologist. Like that sentence, the humor in Don Verdean stems less from gags and comedic staging, and more from the joke that runs underneath the film’s borderline sincere attempt at melodrama. However, there certainly are numerous gags and jokes right from writer/director Jared Hess’ playbook. Ever […]