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Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

Gremlins

This strange classic is a mix of comedy and horror, not quite as scary as some of today’s films but definitely not for the youngest kids.  Even the comedy elements aren’t for everyone, tending toward the dark and pop culture.  But if you’re the sort who enjoys this sort of movie, you’ve probably already seen it.  The design and atmosphere of everything in this show are amazing and pitch-perfect.  The special effects are well done if a bit cheesy by today’s standards.  The acting is excellent, and the writing is sympathetic and interesting, making it easy to get involved in the story.  The plot is perhaps a bit simple, but there’s always some element of intrigue, action, or humor going on.  There’s a little bit of familiar but uncomfortable racism in the classic wise old Chinese man character, but he’s well portrayed.  There are almost no ill portrayals of women; in fact, they tend to be as strong and interesting as the men.  The mother character in particular is tough and manages to fight off several gruesome little monsters by herself without transforming into the stereotypical badass type.  The main protagonist is your typical boy-next-door type, the mogwai creature is cute, the gremlins are hideous and a little goofy.  Everything fits well together and makes for a scary little Christmas story.  Most people probably wouldn’t classify this one as a Christmas film, but it takes place over Christmas, there’s plenty of Christmas music and decorations and lots of snow, and the little fuzzy creature that starts it all is a Christmas present to our hero from his dad.  This movie is not a feel-good type of Christmas story, but it could be a refreshing respite from all of that if you’re looking for something a little creepy and a little tongue-in-cheek.

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Old Mary-Kate and Ashely Olson movies are still good fare for kids, but a few of them are actually worth watching if you’re an adult too.  This is one of the more entertaining ones.  The acting is typical kids stuff, except for the girls’ parents and Cloris Leachman as the evil witch, all three of them excellent.  The fun little story involves Halloween silliness and rescuing the witch’s good twin sister from an enchanted mirror.  There are goofy gags and a really basic plot, but it’s all good holiday fun.  If you’re impatient with simple stories and silly characters, this might not be for you, but it can easily grow on you if you look past the minor plotholes.

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Hocus Pocus

This live-action Disney comedy is great fun for the Halloween season.  It stars some well-known comedy actors and has some great acting, subsequently.  The writing is sharp, the music is fun, and the humor is gentle enough for kids but with plenty of in-jokes for the adults.  The story is engrossing and involves a group of witches coming back to Salem from 300 years ago.  Bette Midler sings a great toe-tapper of a song, and the characters are interesting and sympathetic.  It’s fun and goofy and great for the season and the family.

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Ernest Scared Stupid

If you’re a fan of the old Ernest movies, you’ll already know and love this one.  It’s classic Ernest comedy, stupid and childish.  Don’t expect smart storytelling, although this one does have a more complicated story than most Ernest movies.  It’s a Halloween tale involving a troll that hunts children.  The details don’t always fit together (especially as far as the timeline goes), and the acting is like something out of a public television children’s show, but it’s all in good fun and is quite amusing if you have the patience.  Jim Varney is as perfect as usual as the titular character, and Eartha Kitt has an inspired turn as an old mystery woman.  The acting in these two cases raises the quality of the show quite a bit on their own.  The effects are appropriately disgusting, and there are a couple of genuinely creepy moments.  Kids in particular will enjoy this movie, and it’s good, clean Halloween fun.  There’s also plenty of Ernest’s typical child-like jokes and crazy character personalities that utilize humor that younger kids won’t necessarily get.  But if you have no patience for silly, goofy comedy, you won’t be able to stomach it.

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Mouse Hunt

This physical comedy movie has some great stars in it, but that’s about the most positive thing I have to say.  The characters are two-dimensional and stereotypical, the plot is unoriginal, and the humor is bland.  It’s pretty good stuff if you’re very young and don’t have much experience in movie-watching.  But for those of us who’ve seen more than one slapstick comedy, we expect more.  Every joke in the film has been done before and better.  The highlight is Christopher Walken as a crazy pest control man, but even his scenes are slow.  The mouse itself is well-done and causes some humorous problems, but the focus is too much on the uninteresting human stars.  At least, the male characters are as maligned as the female ones for once, although one scene in particular had a woman simply allowing one of the male stars to jam his arm all the way down the front of her dress without knowing why, just sitting there as if she wanted it.  This made even less sense than the rest of the movie.  Which is really saying something, considering all the weak plot points and glaring plot holes.  It’s a pity because it felt like this one had some potential.  It doesn’t, however, live up to it.

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The movie is a different animal than the tv series.  It must be judged separately.  On that note, it’s almost a dark comedy about a slayer of vampires trying to deal with growing up and high school while learning about her destiny.  It’s fun and funny, and there are a lot of good and memorable moments.  Unfortunately, the acting doesn’t always measure up, and the rampant stereotypes get a little tiring after a while.  The whole thing has a very late ’80s, early ’90s feel to it, and that’s great if you’re feeling nostalgic.  It’s meant to make fun of a lot of things from that era, and it does, but it also falls short now and then, not really ever sure if it’s being serious or not.  If you can immerse yourself in the goofiness and humor, though, it’s delightful.

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This Disney classic is the humorous tale of a college coach who is haunted by the ghost of the pirate captain Blackbeard.  It’s a typical old Disney comedy, with plenty of goofiness and lightheartedness.  There are some super recognizable faces in the movie, and the acting is as good as you might expect.  The story is fun and silly and a good popcorn movie.  It’s a little old-fashioned, but there’s plenty of humor and mild action.  It’s all designed to be fun and funny, and it is definitely that.  There’s a lesson learned in the end about being helpful and kind and making the world a better place, despite one’s own failings.  But all of that is buried under the entertainment value.  And that’s just fine for a light, silly movie like this.

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