Directed by Martin McDonagh — Screenplay by Martin McDonagh.
By now, Martin McDonagh, a long-time celebrated British-Irish playwright, has established himself as a brilliant writer-director with a home in the dark comedy genre. His Oscar-winning short Six Shooter, as well as his equally excellent first two features In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths, set up his name as one to keep an eye on as a filmmaker. With Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, McDonagh had a genuine awards frontrunner, and that extra spotlight, or magnifying glass, revealed a far more divisive and controversial film than the 7 Oscar nominations (and excellent Rotten Tomatoes score) may have made general audiences suspect. I’ve enjoyed all of McDonagh’s films, including Six Shooter, but Three Billboards didn’t land as well for me as In Bruges or Seven Psychopaths had. Therefore it makes me happy to say that The Banshees of Inisherin, his latest film, is a return to form and arguably as good as, if not better than, In Bruges.
I’ve long been a fan of HBO’s Barry. When it first came out, I reviewed the first handful of episodes and I was blown away. Although I haven’t always had the time to write about the show due to life getting in the way, it has remained one of my favorite shows on television over the last several years. However, it feels like so long ago that season two of Barry ended. When the third season of Barry was finally released on HBO and HBO Max, it had been more than three years since the second season ended. Admittedly, I wondered if the show could still hook me in and if what it was aiming for would still work. And I was happy to find out that HBO’s Barry, led by Bill Hader, is still knocking it out of the park.
Directed by Adam McKay (Vice) — Screenplay by Adam McKay.
On Christmas Eve, Netflix released Adam McKay’s star-studded pre-apocalyptic satirical science-fiction film Don’t Look Up, which is a film about scientists trying to get people to care about a life-threatening event being on the horizon. The streamers’ global audience probably didn’t expect McKay’s satirical and irreverent take on a possible world-ending event in their Christmas stockings, but it isn’t coal you’ve found on Christmas morning, rather it is a minutes-to-midnight plea to look around you and realize what needs to be changed before it’s too late that is delivered via a scathing satire whose tone sometimes even resembles a Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg-esque apocalyptic comedy. Perhaps stars like DiCaprio, Lawrence, Streep, and Chalamet will get you to press play on a film that tries desperately to get people around the world to realize that we absolutely have to listen to and trust scientists and not just political campaigning.
Comedy isn’t black-and-white. The genre most associated with films like your average American comedy like, say, American Pie or some Judd Apatow film is much more than its stereotype. There are stylish and quirky comedies, absurd and dark comedies. Comedy films come in all shapes and sizes, and the Best of the 2010s-list highlights multiple different types in the genre. Continue reading “Best of the 2010s: Top Ten Comedy Films”→
The following is a review of Thoroughbreds — Directed by Cory Finley.
Remember My Chemical Romance? It was a rock band that my sister loved back in the day. I really liked their album The Black Parade, and every now and then some of the band’s songs come to mind. When I was watching writer-director Cory Finley’s directorial debut Thoroughbreds, I started to think about their song “Teenagers” — more specifically about the line “All teenagers scare the living shit out of me. They could care less as long as someone will bleed.” The late-great acting talent Anton Yelchin, in what seems to be his final role on film, has a similar line in the film, but he manages to express himself in much fewer words: “fucking evil children.” Continue reading “REVIEW: Thoroughbreds (2018)”→
The following is a review of the second episode of HBO’s Barry — Created by Bill Hader & Alec Berg.
In the second episode of HBO’s new half-hour dark comedy show Barry — Chapter Two: Use It — the title character (played by Bill Hader) tries his hardest to find a proper way to react to the death of Ryan Madison, which he is involved in, while the rest of the acting class decides to hold a memorial in Ryan’s honor wherein they will all perform in some way, shape, or form. At the same time, the local police department is trying to figure out what happened on the night of Ryan Madison’s death, while the Chechen mob is looking for Barry and Fuches (played by Stephen Root). Continue reading “REVIEW: Barry – “Chapter Two: Use It””→
The following is a review of the first episode of HBO’s Barry — Created by Bill Hader & Alec Berg.
Barry — a half-hour dark comedy series from HBO — comes from Saturday Night Live-alum Bill Hader, who plays the titular character, and Alec Berg, a producer of such shows as Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Silicon Valley. And if you’re the type of person who loved Dexter but thought it could have used a little bit of comedy, then Barry isn’t just ‘for you’ it is a match made in heaven. Continue reading “REVIEW: Barry – “Chapter One: Make Your Mark””→