"I got news for 'em. There's gonna be hell to pay. 'Cause I ain't daddy's little boy no more."

Archive for the ‘Comedy/Laffs’ Category

Freaky Deaky

Monday, March 11th, 2013

tn_freakydeakyI guess different people are free to interpret Elmore Leonard different ways, but to me he writes serious stories that are funny. As far as this movie is concerned he writes comedies. I guess that’s the GET SHORTY approach as opposed to the OUT OF SIGHT/JACKIE BROWN/Justified one. Too bad this isn’t as good as GET SHORTY.

It’s been years since I read the book, but I think this is fairly faithful. In my memory Skip (Christian Slater) is one of the main characters, which is not really the case here (despite the terrible cover making him way bigger than everybody else). But the basic storyline I think is intact and the movie’s biggest strength is lots of funny dialogue, largely from the book I believe. (read the rest of this shit…)

John Dies At the End

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

tn_johndiesDon Coscarelli is really underappreciated. Including by me. Everything he’s done is good, right? I haven’t seen his first two, but one (JIM, THE WORLD’S GREATEST) is not on video and the other (KENNY & COMPANY) I’ve heard nothing but good things about. All four PHANTASM movies are pretty great. I like THE BEASTMASTER. I like SURVIVAL QUEST. But he’s a low budget independent guy who wants to do his own thing, so he takes a while. It’s been 10 years since his last movie, the one-of-a-kind BUBBA HO-TEP. It’s been 7 years just since his last TV work, INCIDENT ON AND OFF A MOUNTAIN ROAD, easily the best Masters of Horror episode I’ve seen.

So he’ll be out of sight for years and then he’ll travel through the portal of time to bring us one of these distinctive sort of fringe horror-ish movies. This time he brought us JOHN DIES AT THE END, probly the closest thing he’s done to an actual comedy. You could compare it to something like JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER or maybe CABIN IN THE WOODS or TUCKER AND DALE VS. EVIL, but still with enough weird, non-jokey horror in its guts to keep me satisfied. It arguably leans a little bit more to the left on the horror-to-comedy spectrum than those ones, but not by a huge amount. (read the rest of this shit…)

Bait (2000)

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

tn_baitWhen BAIT came out in 2000 I had no interest. That continued for 12 years. Then one night, in a dream, I was thinking that because of my love for Jamie Foxx’s performance in DJANGO UNCHAINED I was gonna rent his closest thing to an action vehicle. When I woke up I thought, “Yeah, actually I do want to rent BAIT.” So I did. You see, I don’t have a hundred updates a day for you guys, but I’m always working, even when I’m not conscious.

Foxx plays Alvin, a petty thief who gets busted trying to steal a bunch of prawns, and winds up in a cell with a guy (Robert Pastorelli) who recently betrayed his partner (Doug Hutchison) in a gold heist, and also is dying of a heart condition and gives Alvin a message for his wife which is a hint about the location of the hidden gold. The betrayed partner is a psychotic computer genius, and the Treasury Department wants him real bad ’cause he 1) killed two security guards and 2) broke a type of encryption that’s used to protect weapons, therefore posing a threat to national security. Or at least that’s their pitch when they ask for the money for a super-high-tech tracking device/bug that they implant in Alvin’s jaw without his knowledge before they get him released so they can surveil him until the psycho comes after him to get his gold back. (And no, the psycho is not a leprechaun. Maybe a metaphorical leprechaun, I haven’t really considered that yet. I’ll have to think on that a bit.)
(read the rest of this shit…)

Seven Psychopaths

Friday, February 8th, 2013

tn_sevenpsychopathsNow that I’ve seen SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS I understand why the ads made it look so dumb: it’s too hard to explain. They made it look like some corny post-Tarantino “isn’t it funny, they’re hardened criminals but they’re arguing over a Shih Tzu!” type bullshit. And that’s in there – writer/director Martin McDonagh (IN BRUGES) is about the only guy whose style can remind me of Tarantino in a good way – but overall it’s weirder and more distinct than that.

In IN BRUGES the protagonists were hit men, and there was a subplot about a movie being filmed near where they’re staying. In this one the movie business is more central. Colin Farrell plays a clearly idiotic screenwriter trying to write something called SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS, but he doesn’t have much more than a title. He doesn’t even have seven psychopaths, so he just spends his time trying to think of concepts for different psychopaths, sometimes based on stories he’s heard or seen in the news. So we see these stories in his head, or going on around him, and fictional reality begins to blend with fiction-within-fiction. (read the rest of this shit…)


Monday, January 21st, 2013
I wonder if they considered Leslie Nielsen for THE BOONDOCK SAINTS?

FROM THE OUTLAW VAULTS: I never get to take Martin Luther King Day off at my job, but I’m gonna simulate taking a day off here on outlawvern.com by posting an old review of a Leslie Nielsen movie you never heard of. This is a review I came across on my hard drive that I wrote two years ago shortly after Nielsen’s death, but never quite finished or posted. It’s not a movie I’m gonna go back and rewatch in order to complete the review, but I didn’t want to waste all that typing, either. So here it is.

* * *
Under normal circumstances I wouldn’t find myself renting some 2001 Leslie Nielsen movie I never heard of. But the poor guy died recently and I happened to notice this one was written by Billy Bob Thornton (with his partner Tom Epperson and some guy who was in SPIDERBABY), so I wanted to see what the deal was.


(read the rest of this shit…)

Beverly Hills Cop II

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

In Seattle we have this big music and arts festival every Labor Day weekend called Bumbershoot. This year I was waiting in line for one of the bands that was gonna play when a guy near me was looking at his phone, he says, “Eddie Murphy died!” I couldn’t believe it. It seemed like he was talking to somebody that was with him, then I realized he was by himself, just sharing this shocking news with the crowd. It used to be you go to an all day event like this and you’re off in a separate world, you don’t know until you get home that something blew up or somebody got killed or something. Now everybody knows, word spreads.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Combat Academy

Thursday, July 5th, 2012

During my intense POLICE ACADEMY research I learned that 2 years after part 1, story writer Neal Israel directed a movie called COMBAT ACADEMY. I don’t know if you can tell by just glancing at that title, but according to my calculations POLICE ACADEMY and COMBAT ACADEMY share one word and have the same syllable count. The cover uses the same font from the POLICE ACADEMY posters (and internal documents within the movies – look for that) and also the same sort of Mad Magazine style realistic painting of characters cartoonishly crowded together doing wacky things. I’m not sure if it’s an actual Drew Struzan, but if not it’s obviously based on that style. And Robert Folk did the music.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Police Academy 5-7: the Post-Mahoney Trilogy

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

After Steve Guttenberg floated away from the series in a hot air balloon they still made three more POLICE ACADEMYs without him. I think it would’ve been cool if every once in a while they cut to him still in the balloon looking down and smiling, like “Oh, you rascals, you sure know how to prank Captain Harris!” But I guess he was above that. Or maybe just Sharon Stone wouldn’t do it. (read the rest of this shit…)

God Bless America

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

“Frank – this is more fun than killing yourself, right?”
“Uh… yeah, I guess.”

Bobcat Goldthwait’s latest directorial work is sort of a primal scream or a cathartic punching of a wall. Like SLEEPING DOGS LIE and WORLD’S GREATEST DAD it has an outrageous high concept premise, but it goes more where you expect than those ones do. It’s fun, though.
(read the rest of this shit…)

Sleeping Dogs Lie

Sunday, July 1st, 2012

As we learned last week in this Comedy & Laffs Marathon, Bobcat Goldthwait directed SHAKES THE CLOWN in 1991, then sort of disappeared from the movie world. He was still doing shit, like touring as the opening act for Nirvana and getting in trouble for lighting Jay Leno’s set on fire (as most comedians were doing in the ’90s, if I remember right). But he stayed away from directing until he started doing TV shows in the 2000s.

SLEEPING DOGS LIE (2006) started out as a script he wrote but knew nobody else would ever make. So his wife convinced him to take the plunge into no budget independent filmmaking. He literally hired the crew on Craigslist. (That’s why he wasn’t making movies in the ’90s – he would’ve had to use AOL or Prodigy or something.) Luckily the movie got into Sundance, got him some respect and now this is what he does is write scripts nobody else would ever make and then make them.

Here’s why he knew nobody else would make it: it’s a deeply-felt relationship dramedy entirely revolving around the lead character (Melinda Page Hamilton) having once given her dog a blowjob. I know, but hear me out. It happens in the opening scene. She’s home alone, reading a book, probly had a couple glasses of wine, the dog is laying there, she gets a mischievous look on her face…

ah, shit. I can’t explain it. There is no rational justification. But she does it. (Off screen, thank the Lord.)
(read the rest of this shit…)