Tag Archives: Dark Comedy

The Savages

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A dry, bleak, and often very funny look at aging parents and dysfunctional families. Fabulous performances.

Zombieland

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Silly, silly fun that deserves to live on the shelf next to Fido and Shaun of the Dead. Of course, since they’re making a sequel, I reserve the right to be massively disappointed ultimately, but for now the popcorn was happily crunched between laughs.

Jennifer’s Body

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Yeah, you’re right, this should have sucked, but it didn’t. Mostly due to Seyfried’s performance and Cody’s improbable but engaging Whedon-esque dialogue and plot. Is it brilliant? No. But we’d watch it again, which is our bar for 4 stars. If you like teen horror flicks, but want something with more, um, teeth, you’d like this one.

Topkapi

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A fun heist film that is much copied now. Dassin’s original inspiration (his own Rififi) is a less campy version, but they each have their charm and brilliance. Topkapi also has the fun of some well known faces in their younger years. Despite some of the over-the-top moments, it is relentless and charged in its execution. Now, to rewatch The Hot Rock for a complete trilogy of perspectives of the story (haven’t seen it since it first came out 😉

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day

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Sequels are difficult. You don’t want a repeat of the same movie, but going a different direction and losing what the first storie accomplished would be disappointing. Sadly, this sequel did just that. In trying to explain it all and have a more traditional story-telling approach, the essence of the original disappeared despite some great performances (Benz is always a treat) and surprises and even character substitutions to keep the same mix of stock sounding boards. Strangely, this movie seems to have shifted from “the boys” to something more diffuse. Perhaps that is where it failed for us? They just didn’t own this film they way they did the first. The Saints must be the maelstrom in which all other characters live and fight; in 2, it was all a single storm, with some unseen fronts affecting a good deal of the action. If you enjoyed the first flick, you will enjoy the second… but not quite as much. Boondock Saints 1 still remains one of the funniest, darkest comdey actioners ever… and 2 a poor treat to follow it.

Mary and Max

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I’m pretty sure this is the flim you get when Nic Park goes off his meds or when Tex Avery reads Satre. If you’ve seen Harvey Krumpet (and you should) you’ll see the natural progression of style and approach and deft stop-action animation. While somewhat bleak and dark, it is utterly hypnotic in the best oral tradition and manages to be quite affecting and even heart-warming. Definitely a director we will be following over the coming years.

Saved!

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Sweet, sarcastic, and honest, if more than a little bit of a stretch at points. The story manages to walk the line between critique of religous fundementalism without bullying faith as the culprit. Not a movie for everyone, but probably for most folks we know!

Kick-Ass

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Maybe it is when we were seeing this, but we roared through the dark and twisted story that is Kick-Ass. Fun and entertaining, loaded with dark humor, it just hit us in the right way. The movie manages to walk that high-wire act of reality and over-the-top absurdity, the tension between the two keeping it from falling to a heap of failure. Is it perfect, no, but it certainly wasn’t disappointing!

The Kingdom: Series 1 (original)

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Kitchy, over the top, silly, scary fun. And just wonderfully bizzare!

A Serious Man

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You don’t have to be jewish to watch this film, but it probably helps! Serious Man manages to capture an aspect of jewish culture, set up by the odd intro, that is not really well understood by, well, other folks. The concept of questions without answers and guilt without warrant. It is all captured rather well, but it sets up all the dominoes for about an hour (more than half) of the film before it starts to knock them over. There are some genuinely funny moments, but mostly it is a slow burn of insight and dark comedy. And the end is one of the most confounding since Southland Tales (which really just never worked IMO). Did I like it?… eh. The mileage on your matzoh ball may vary.