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Identity Thief

Steals a few more moments than expected.


Comedy

Rod Lott
Hate not Identity Thief, as so many have for its ridiculous, unbelievable, utterly preposterous plot. Accept that it's a big-budget screwball comedy and you may find yourself — gasp! — enjoying it.
 
Friday, May 31, 2013

Who’s Minding the Mint?

This comedy’s in ‘Mint’ condition.


Comedy

Rod Lott
Who's Minding the Mint? is the kind of comedy they don't make anymore: all-star and mad, mad, mad, madcap. It was released in 1967, which is the year that such old-Hollywood projects were put out to pasture by such edgy fare as The Graduate and Bonnie and Clyde. I'd argue Mint — while pure, cotton-candy fluff compared to those prestige pictures — has aged every bit as well.
 
Thursday, May 9, 2013

Manborg

Part man. Part machine. All really funny.


Comedy

Rod Lott
Following its hilarious Father’s Day, the ’80s-obsessed Canadian quintet known as Astron-6 unleashes another inspired homage/parody in Manborg. Instead of vengeance, sci-fi is the skewered genre of choice. And Manborg is indeed choice.
 
Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Revenge for Jolly!

‘Revenge’ is a dish best ignored.


Comedy

Rod Lott
Your first sign that Revenge for Jolly! may not be for you: the dead dog hanging in the protagonist’s living room.

There are more.
 
Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Bowery Boys: Volume Two


Comedy

Rod Lott
In the span of a decade, post-World War II, the comedy team known as The Bowery Boys (née The East Side Kids, née The Dead End Kids) made 48 movies. Up until now, I’d seen exactly zero of them.
 
Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Fast Company / Fast and Loose / Fast and Furious

We detect a book-smart mystery series.


Comedy

Rod Lott
In tacking the word “fast” onto each of these three comedy-minded mysteries, MGM wasn’t joking. Not only are the running times of the films brief, but its lead characters rattle through their dialogue like a teenager to pizza.
 
Monday, April 29, 2013

A Haunted House

Boo! Hiss.


Comedy

Rod Lott
Sporting possibly the laziest, most generic title in cinema history, A Haunted House might as well have been called Scary Movie 5, but I don’t wish to insult Scary Movie 5.
 
Wednesday, April 17, 2013

John Dies at the End

Far-out fun.


Comedy

Rod Lott
Better than the hit novel on which it’s as faithfully based as budgetary issues allow, John Dies at the End is one of those movies that tries really hard to be a cult movie. In this case, however, the goal has been met; I suspect that, as with most of director Don Coscarelli’s work, from Phantasm and The Beastmaster to Bubba Ho-Tep, we’ll still be discussing this one decades later. That’s not to say it’s without faults.
 
Friday, April 12, 2013

Dead in France

Parlez-vous Tarantino?


Comedy

Rod Lott
In case there were any question, Dead in France is a black comedy. Take the opening scene, for instance, in which a man takes a fatal fall from a cliff, but not before hitting his head on the rocks several times during the trip, grunting a painful “Oof!” with each knock to the noggin.
 
Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stitches

A horror comedy that doesn’t clown around.


Comedy

Rod Lott
We’re slipping, America. It look to Ireland to make the best horror comedy in recent memory, Stitches. The subgenre is one of the toughest to pull off — a feat about as rare as finding a four-leaf clover.
 
Friday, March 29, 2013

How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life

And ogle Stella Stevens in the process.


Comedy

Rod Lott
Coming at the tail end of Hollywood’s innocence, 1968’s How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life is one of those old-school romantic comedies that indulges in such outdated notions that a woman’s place is in the home.
 
Monday, March 25, 2013

Best in Show

Award-worthy comedy struts onto Blu-ray.


Comedy

Rod Lott
My favorite of Christopher Guest's mockumentaries is easily 2000’s Best in Show. While I think it helps to be a theater nerd to appreciate 1996’s Waiting for Guffman in full or a folk nut to opt for 2003’s A Mighty Wind, “must love dogs” is no requirement here. Love man’s best friend or hate him, the humor in Best in Show is less inside-baseball than its brothers.
 
Friday, March 8, 2013

Bath Salt Zombies

More than just a tantalizing title.


Comedy

Rod Lott
It’s kind of amazing how far $5,000 can get filmmakers these days, especially when Dustin Mills is in charge of the cash. Having helmed the inventive Puppet Monster Massacre and, less effectively, Zombie A-Hole, he now sets his deranged sights on designer drugs in Bath Salt Zombies. As one could surmise, it, too, sits squarely in the DIY horror-comedy realm.
 
Friday, February 15, 2013

The Great Gildersleeve Movie Collection

You’d have to be a harrrrrd man not to like it.


Comedy

Rod Lott
Now that I’ve devoured Warner Archive’s The Great Gildersleeve Movie Collection, I know who my mom was referring to all those years. It’s irrelevant for your enjoyment of the set, but Harold Peary’s Gildersleeve character proved so popular on the Fibber McGee and Molly radio program, he was spun off into his own show (and eventually TV and these films).
 
Thursday, February 14, 2013

Seven Psychopaths

And one derivative picture.


Comedy

Rod Lott
Seven's not a lucky number in the case of Seven Psychopaths, writer/director Martin McDonagh’s follow-up to the Oscar-nominated In Bruges. In fact, the math is all wrong, as I kept waiting for its disparate elements to add up. Unfortunately, it never did.
 
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
 
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