I know what you are thinking: But, A.F. Critic, what is funny about the future King of England overcoming a speech impediment to rally his country? Well, curious reader, the funniest part was easily the fact that it won Best Picture this past year over The Social Network, Black Swan, Inception, Toy Story 3, (list continued in another post). Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush are absolutely fantastic as the King & his speech therapist respectively and their chemistry is impeccable but everything else is anywhere from average to lackluster. But it’s the Best Picture Oscar winner regardless plus anything is better than watching Sandler chase Brooklyn Decker in Hawaii or wherever the film is set.
Michael Cera is his typical self in this mega-hyped and tragically under-seen hilarious ode to geek-dom. Edgar Wright’s ridiculous attention to detail is the true highlight with the video game sound effects and the numerical symmetry with the exes. Each of the fights is unique and most of them are fun to watch. One or two the fights are a little off and the final 10-15 minutes don’t exactly fit correctly in the scheme of things. But Scott Pilgrim reading the phone book is eons more entertaining than Sandler doing whatever the heck it is with Aniston.
Another under-seen flick, this pseudo-sequel to the wonderful “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” follows Aldous Snow (Brand) as he is drug halfway around the world by record label underling Aaron (Hill). Along the way, they learn the true meanings of life and love, not to mention having the craziest party with P. Diddy accompanied by Dexy’s Midnight Runners. The light-hearted moments can get a little too much at times, but not nearly as false as just about every tender or warm moment in every Adam Sandler movie in existence.
It is at this point that I take a 90 degree turn to before most of us were born. Let’s face it, comedy today is truly lacking any bite. Most movies recently have been overhyped and unfunny *cough* “Bridesmaids” *cough* so let’s go back to the Cold War.
Royal Air Force Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake (Sellers) has just learned of the plot by Brig. Gen. Ripper (Hayden) to start nuclear war with the Soviet Union. President Merkin Muffley (Sellers) & Gen. Turgidson (Scott) led the American team of suits determined to stop the attack. As the end grows nigh, Dr. Strangelove (Sellers, again), a former scientist for Nazi Germany, creates the dream scenario that appeals to all the men in the room. What the audience is given is a 95 minute dark romp written & directed by Stanley Kubrick. The laughs don’t start right away, but your patience is greatly rewarded, especially once the dear Dr. arrives. “Dr. Strangelove” probably would have a similar budget to the average Sandler movie if made today, but the return on investment is much greater with the former. Sandler tried smart comedy before but you could have cared less so the garbage will continue until further notice.
Back when a white guy could get away with racial humor, Mel Brooks created the town of Rock Ridge. Then, Brooks created Hedy Lamarr (Hedley!), a stooge for the railroad industry trying to destroy the town for an easier route for trains. How does he intend to do it: By appointing the son of freed slaves who works on the railroad as Mayor, invoking fear amongst the townspeople, causing them to flee and the town to be abandoned & destroyed. The plan is flawless, right? Right?
Brooks creates a wondrous comedy that bucks, reinforces & ridicules stereotypes all at the same time. The laugh rate after the opening credits is high but only gets higher as the movie goes on, climaxing in one of the most ludicrous & hilarious third acts that you will ever see.