Archive for Comedy

What is going on….

Posted in Apartments, Entertainment, Gaming, Hobby, Movies and Theatre, Reviews, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2013 by urbannight

I have not been coming up with as many good ideas as last year.  Or, I do have a few, but when I have time to jot them down, I can’t remember them.

So I’ve posted less.

And it looks like I’m in for another move again.  Fairly soon too.  So I may end up having a moving process to talk about. 

Tonight is my gaming night, but tomorrow I’m going to start the ambitious task of whittling my stuff down my 25%.  It may be painful.  But I need to have less stuff.  I really do.

So, it will be slice of stuff for a bit. 

I do need to write about a rather bad movie I saw last week.  I was watching 1980’s comedies.  One movie with an all star cast was not funny at all.  It was sad.  Just sad. But more about that later.

A train wreck of a movie.

Posted in Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2012 by urbannight

Do Not Watch This Movie. I give it an F.

I wanted to watch something before going to bed.  So while I’m puttering around, my roommate starts a Netflix movie.  Holiday in Handcuffs.  Melissa Joan Hart and Mario Lopez play the lead characters.

Hart breaks up with her boyfriend and loses her job just before Christmas.  To save face with her family, she kidnaps Lopez at gunpoint and takes him up to the family’s isolated Christmas cabin.  She tells a rather weak story to her mom and dad so they don’t believe Lopez when he tries to say he was kidnapped.

I can’t watch it.  It’s really bad.  Every moment that is supposed to be funny is just sad and pathetic.  Sometimes embarrassing and downright painful.  The acting comes off as stiff and wooden from everyone except Lopez.

It is like watching a train wreck.  Only a train wreck would be better.  It would be more interesting.

It’s really sad when a disaster with a high likelihood of fatalities is preferable to a movie.

Thoughts on Random Movies Randomly Selected by a Movie Poster Randomizer. Randomly.

Posted in Entertainment, Movies and Theatre with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 12, 2012 by urbannight

I have a couple of movie reviewers I follow. I like reviewers that, for the most part, like the same types of movies I like and yet have some differences of opinion or tend to focus on different aspects of those movies.  Not a perfect match, but maybe a 85% match in tastes.  Because that leaves room to be challenged with different ideas and opinions and to rethink where I stand on a movie.

Today I want to mention Fog because his review has a string of movie posters at the top of the page. I really want to mention those movies. By the way, the movie’s at the top change out every time you go to the page so if you go look you will see different posters. I have no idea how this randomized selection of images is generated, but I like it.  I saw this selection all at one time one day and had a visceral reaction to it.  So I figured I would share this list of films and a few thoughts on them.

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kidd w/ Paul Newman and Robert Redford. I haven’t seen it in ages. It has been over a decade for sure and possibly two. I remember watching it a lot whenever it was on T.V. For something I watched a number of times, I barely remember it. I remember that I really liked it a lot. This probably means it is more than time to re-watch it. I remember it as a comedy. It sort of bridged both comedy and western action genres.

Walt Disney’s the Jungle Book. I never could get into this movie. Everything about it seems ‘off’ to me. It seems like they didn’t have a good idea of what India was like so substituted it with the ‘deep south’. It never clicked for me. Although I remember reading the non-Disney version of the story and liking that. This was always a Disney ‘Fail’ in my book.

Animal House. This is one of those dim memory movies. Despite the fact I think I watched it not so very long ago. But then, the more I think about it, it could have been about 2 years ago. I always liked Peter Riegert. I think it was his thick, wavy hair and piercing expression. It always amused me that Donald Sutherland thought the movie was so bad and was certain that it would fail that, when offered a pay deal with 15% of the gross, he opted out and said he wanted a flat, one time payment. He was wrong. Despite being the highest paid cast member with little screen time, he lost out on millions. Not a great movie. Good concept. I liked the plot. And some really good acting here and there. It launched a few careers. But it decided that ‘gross’ was in and I hate that. Gross is what ruined it for me. I only re-watched it to refresh my memory after watching a documentary on the movie. As a big part of American pop culture, I figured I needed a refresher on it.

Airplane. A fun and funny movie totally making fun of comedies and disaster films all in one go. It is actually a remake of a 1950’s movie. The flight crew gets sick, with food poisoning. A former pilot who, is afraid to fly after the war, is on the plane chasing after an ex-girlfriend who wants to move on. His former military commander has to talk him down as he tries to land the unfamiliar plan. It was an all-star cast for the day. It was a huge success. If you haven’t seen it, why not and how old are you?

Pan’s Labyrinth. I love Guillermo del Toro’s films. This is one of the most haunting and beautiful and tragic (maybe) movies I have ever seen. This is the type of movie one never forgets, can list as a favorite, but may never watch again. The question always remains, was it a fantasy and she was really experiencing these things and did go to live in this magical world forever or was it just her very rich fantasy life making an unbearable situation tolerable and it ended with a horrible tragedy? That is what makes it so hard to watch more than once.

Goldfinger. This is the movie that makes the name Pussy Galore a pop-culture, iconical reference. If I can make up a word? Can I do that? (Can May, May Can, May can do the can can. 3 hrs of sleep, an exhausted mind, and I’m a little silly now.) I think I will. I think it is a word and this system just doesn’t recognize it. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. This movie introduces us to Oddjob, who may have shown up in another movie or is just so famous that we keep thinking he had a repeat performance. Of course, if it wasn’t for his hat that can cut through stonework, we might not have remembered him. This movie taught us all that if you cover yourself in gold paint, you have to leave a patch open so your skin can breathe or you suffered epidermal suffocation. I’m not even sure if this is true or not be we all believed it back then.

Going back to the name Pussy Galore and the use of double entendres for bond girls, I noticed an interesting trend in some research I was doing on Hammer Films. As European censors were growing more concerned with violence in movies and films watched the amount of violence but sex was okay, the reverse was happening in the U.S. and American censors were limiting sexual references and visuals but violence was a-okay. Just an interesting thing to see in the evolution of the film industry in Europe vs America. I never did get around to writing an article about that one phenomenon and now can’t remember all I wanted to discuss on the topic so I thought I would mention it here as a side note.

Young Frankenstein. I think is my favorite Mel Brooks movie. A true tribute to 1930’s Frankenstein movies, the black and while filming, the use of period transitions, and the use of period style music make this movie superior in every way to other tribute movies. I can’t imagine anyone not having seen this. Unless they are 10, in which case, their parents ought to be showing it to them.

Mirror Mirror, A Romp Through Fantasy Land

Posted in Art, Entertainment, Life, Movies and Theatre, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 24, 2012 by urbannight

This movie has received some intense criticism. It isn’t as edgy as the other Snow White movie coming out. The costuming goes too far. Performances are contrived, wooden, or just bad. The movie is just terrible.

I disagree on all accounts.

It is true that the movie isn’t as edgy as the upcoming version. It was never supposed to be. It was clearly advertised as a comedy. It was always meant to be a comedy.

The costuming is a delightful riot of colors and outrageous extremes as it mixes elements from various times into a hodge-podge of color, fabrics, laces, and exaggerated make-up. It creates a dramatic contrast to the villagers who all in dull brown and dingy grey rags. The point is that the court is so dissipated and narcissistic that they don’t even realize how foolish they all look to the people on the outside, the Prince and his servant. Even his valet, who seems to be a vain peacock himself, realizes that something isn’t right there.

The performances didn’t seem contrived at all. It looked like the actors were told to have fun with it and did just that.

I thought the movie was very enjoyable. The opening animation sequence was absolutely beautiful and reminded me of some old fashioned doll stop-motion animations I saw growing up, only so much smoother. I loved how the back story was told and the look of the porcelain dolls, even if it was CGI.

The cast of little people is absolutley fantastic and most viewers should recognize most of them. It’s like a whose who of some of the most underated but excellent acting talent out there. Good talent deserves good parts, not just parts where someone needs a little person. If you don’t recognize them all, you should at least recognize Danny Woodburn and Martin Klebba.

People complain that the story didn’t really add any depth to the classic tale. Of course it did not. The tale has been told and retold in a multitude of versions. And variants of it can be found in other cultures. He wanted to give a bit more precedence and depth to the Evil Queen. He did but I will agree that I still felt like we didn’t know enough. Where did she come from? How did she end up with the mirror? How long has she been doing this?

The rumor is that the upcoming one, Snow White and the Huntsman, will add that depth. But I don’t really see how. It looks like it could be a good action movie, but it looks like a totally different story. It will be interesting to see how much of the story had to change in order to fit that vision of it.

A young girl who sat behind me in the theater told her parents, “That’s two hours of my life I will never get back.” Her dad asked her if it was really that bad. She nodded yes. I walked out shaking my head. It was a very good movie if you view it for what it was and what it was intended to be. If she wants to know what a bad movie is, what losing two hours of your life that you can never recover is REALLY like, she should watch The Room by Tommy Wiseau. I wanted to take a brillo pad to my eyes and my brain to try to remove the memory of it.

Strictly Ballroom, A Color Extravaganza

Posted in Art, Entertainment, Life, Movies and Theatre, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2012 by urbannight

This is one of my favorite movies despite it being a bit of a RomCom. It hits you right away with vibrant, over the top, colors. The costuming it a bit over the top. But competitive dance costumes are. This just pushes it a little bit farther. Personalities are also a bit over the top, extreme, and unrealistic. Yet the actors pull it off as if there was nothing exaggerated about them at all. The fact that the female dancers all seem to be wearing performance night make-up as everyday makeup points at the deliberateness of this.

Young Scott Hastings wants to dance his own steps. The President of the Australian Dancing Federating wants to keep the entirety of the ballroom dance world under his thumb. At least on the National level. In reference to new steps he says, “If you don’t know them, you can’t teach them.” If he controls how people are teaching, he keeps control to himself and out of the hands of people who do stuff he himself can’t do.

This movie is a two-pronged coming of age story. Scott’s path is learning to be true to himself. His rebelliousness came from not knowing exactly who that was and fighting against the authority figures who were trying to mold him the way they wanted him. He starts to find himself when he walks home and is challenged by Fran’s father to show him his Pasodoble. Fran’s grandmother is the one to point the way when she shows him that he needs to feel the beat with his heart and not in his feet. The unexplained message here is that life, like dancing, must be felt in the heart,

Fran’s story is an ugly duckling story. The plain or homely girl that grows more attractive as she learns self-confidence. From the very beginning, she seems to have a good grasp on who she is but she seems to have no confidence in her nor does she seem to recognize her own value.

Throughout the movie, Scott repeatedly says he doesn’t care about winning the Pan-Pacific Grand Prix. He just wants to be able to dance his way. So the movie ends with them dancing their way and we never find out who wins.

That "Let me show you how it is really done" moment.

While Paul Mercurio, who played Scott Hastings, is a very attractive young man, I would argue that the hottest man in this movie is actually Antonio Vargas who played Rico, Fran’s Spanish/Gypsy father. He was also a contributing choreographer to the movie and brought with him his expertise and experience Latin Dance as he is an internationally renown flamenco artist.

NaNoWriMo year two.

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2011 by urbannight

Several months ago I decided to write a fictionalized novel on the life of Raedwald of East Anglia. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for over a year. Only I still had holes in my research as November approached.

So I started to chart out a fantasy, mystery, romance crossover novel with a main plot and a totally different sub-plot that overlapped with the mail story. I still want to do this, but I just couldn’t really get my brain into it.

On Halloween I decided to write another story I’ve been wanting to work on. I want to bring the evil back to vampires. I’m getting tired of this white washing and sanitizing of all the monsters. At the same time, I want the vampire to be the main character and to win the girl.

I remember watching Bela Lugosi as Dracula and thinking that Mina would be better off with him. Her fiancé/husband or whatever, looked like a football player but was annoying and ineffectual. I didn’t like him at all.

So I want to write a romantic horror novel in which the vampire corrupts the girl, makes her his bride, wins the day, and they live happily ever after in their blood drenched castle somewhere.

One small problem, I hated the way the story was going. The research into Spiritualism and Spiritism movements and the dates when several novels were published meant that the back story I wanted simply would not work out properly. My attempts to work around this just made the story worse. So two days ago I shelved it.

And yesterday I get a great idea for a comedy of manners. Involving a vampire. Because, for some reason, I got hooked on it. I really want a bad guy as good guy who really isn’t ‘good’. It is also still so close to Halloween and I don’t want it to end yet.  It was going MUCH better. And still is.

Only I noticed that I mistyped on my notes:  comedy of errors. This gave me another idea. One that creates another layer to this same story. One that will not require adding anything to what I already wrote. So it will be a comedy of errors on top of a comedy of manners on top of a supernatural romance novel.

And it seems to be going VERY well now.

It may seem silly. It may seem trite. It may seem like I am pandering to the masses. But what is wrong with that? I can write something fun that targets a large portion of the readers out there. It may be utter crap but at least it’s something that I can get farther than a couple pages without starting to hate it.