Comedy

Review of Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Comedy Comments Off on Review of Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Monty Python and the Holy GrailRating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

Review

The legend of King Arthur gets the irreverent Python treatment. The film contains a seemingly endless stream of “quote worthy” one-liners, and slapstick set pieces. The Knights of the Round Table go off in search of the Holy Grail and the first port of call is a plague-ridden community, ringing with the cry of “bring out your dead”. Subsequently our brave knights encounter a wedding of convenience which is attacked by Arthur’s men while the groom continually attempts to burst into song. The Knights are nearly thwarted by the dreaded, tree-shaped “Knights Who Say Ni!” and then the feisty Black Knight, who brushes off the loss his arms and legs in combat and threatens to bite off his opponent’s legs. A French military officer taunts them with classics such as “I fart in your general direction”. Rabbits feature heavily, God knows why, ranging from the huge “Trojan” rabbit to the killer bunny that decapitates one of the knights. I really needn’t go on other than to say the film is basically a relentless barrage of the bizarre and has a somewhat surreal ending, but it is a Python movie so nothing should really surprise you.

The story is absurd in the extreme but for Python-lovers it is a work of genius. To others it probably just seems pretty silly.

Reason to Watch

Arthurs fight with the Black Knight alone makes the film worth watching.

Context

Made at a time when the popularity of Monty Python was at a peak on both sides of the Atlantic.

Most Memorable Quotes

“Come back here and I’ll bite your legs off!”

“Your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries.”

What You Need To Get Through This Movie

It is essential to ensure that you do NOT watch with either someone who “just doesn’t get it” or, conversely, a “Python bore” who endlessly quotes or analyzes. Both categories will completely ruin your enjoyment of the film so it is best to keep a large blunt object handy to deal with offenders.

Trivia

In the scene where the mob is weighing the ‘witch’ there are two quick shots of the crowd just as she is being put on the scales. In the second of the shots, one of the men is ex-Beatle and co-producer George Harrison.

Educational Content
  1. Do not rely on Monty Python films for your knowledge of history.
  2. English humor can be really weird.
  3. If you really don’t “get it” just pretend you do, believe me it will be better for everyone.
  4. The French and English have never really got on too well.
  5. In order to maintain air-speed velocity, a swallow needs to beat its wings forty-three times every second.
  6. You never know when useless facts may come in handy.
Justification for Rating

The high rating is either due to;

Me believing that the film is an English comedic masterpiece

or

I really just don’t get it but don’t want people to think I am a dumbass.

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Action

Review of Fight Club

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Fight Club Movie PosterRating: ★★★★★★★★★☆
Review

In this extremely dark and violent comic drama, the “Narrator” a depressed, angst ridden young man is dissatisfied with the world around him. He hates his work and has attempted to mask his emptiness by assembling his “perfect” apartment. In order to relieve his insomnia he’s taken to visiting support groups for patients with terminal diseases. His path changes radically when, on a business flight, he meets Tyler Durden, a charming soap salesman. Tyler doesn’t value a world driven by consumerism and he believes that men can learn through pain, misfortune and chaos. Tyler cheerfully challenges his new friend to a fight. The Narrator finds that bare-knuckle fighting makes him feel alive and soon the two become friends and roommates, meeting to fight once a week. As more men join in, the “fight club” becomes a sinister underground movement that spreads across the country, even though it’s meant to be a closely guarded secret among the participants. As the Narrator and Tyler continue to bond, a strange situation becomes further complicated when Tyler becomes involved with Marla, whom the Narrator became infatuated with when they were both gate-crashing the support-group circuit. As the “fight club” movement progressively darkens where will it all end?

Lots of violence, plenty of shocks, plot twists and a great ending what more could you want?

Reason to Watch

Any film that has a leading British film critic describing it as “an inadmissible assault on personal decency” has got to go straight onto the “must watch” list I reckon. Oh and Brad Pitt with his shirt off, if thats the sort of thing that floats your boat.

Context

Some people apparently saw the film as dangerous and a promotion Nazism, which seems rather overly-dramatic and suggests that these people need to get out more.

Most Memorable Quotes

“The things you own end up owning you.”

“The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club….”

“With a long enough timeline, the probability of survival is zero.”

What You Need To Get Through This Movie

Just in case the urge to re-enact fight scenes takes hold ensure that you only invite round your weediest and most feeble of friends. Smelling salts, first aid kit and route to nearest Emergency Room should all be kept close at hand. Plenty of booze should be made available for Dutch courage before and to mask the pain after the fighting.

Trivia

The home-made recipe for Napalm provided by Tyler was incorrect, for obvious safety reasons. Some sources state that the recipe was accurate in the book upon which the film was based but, in fact, that too was false (at the insistence of the books publishers). If I had known this sooner I would not have wasted a great deal of tasty orange juice in attempting a reenactment of scenes from Apocalypse Now last summer.

Educational Content
  1. You can make soap from the fat of humans.
  2. Misuse of steroids can land you with a nasty pair of breasts.
  3. Messing around with lye is a bad idea, that shit burns!
  4. Exercise helps you get healthy, natural sleep.
  5. Ikea do some nice furniture.
Justification for Rating

The film is challenging and controversial but is hugely watchable, quotable and enjoyable.

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Comedy

Review of The Big Lebowski

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The Big LebowskiRating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

Review

Set in 1991 this Coen Brothers comedy crime caper begins with a simple case of mistaken identity and a peed on rug. The principle character Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski, a laid-back, unemployed, bowling loving, slacker, seeks recompense for his rug from the “Big” Lebowski, his wealthy namesake. The Dude acquires his rug but also stumbles into a hilarious web of extortion, kidnapping, deception and sex.

His bowling buddies, the slightly unhinged Vietnam vet Walter and the mild-mannered Donnie, become embroiled in the constantly thickening plot. When the Dude is called upon to deliver a million dollar ransom for the return of the Big Lebowskis kidnapped wife things begin to go wrong. As the story proceeds, the Dude gets caught up in the schemes of Lebowski’s daughter, encounters an evil porn mogul, a bad cop, an Eagles loving cab driver and a group of European Nihilists.

The film is wonderfully crafted and acted. Jeff Bridges appears to have been born for this role and turns in a stellar comedic performance.

Initially largely under-appreciated by critics, which just proves that they generally know fuck all, but has become a “must watch” cult classic.

Reason to Watch

When a film has inspired the creation of a religion – The Church of the Latter-Day Dude – then not watching would be positively sacrilegious.

Context

Released in 1998 but set in 1991, the era of the first Gulf War. Only the Dude can steal a quote from George Bush Senior and still remain cool – “this aggression will not stand, man”.  Comedy gold.

Most Memorable Quotes

“Nobody calls me Lebowski. You got the wrong guy. I’m the Dude, man.”

“No, Donny, these men are nihilists. There’s nothing to be afraid of.”

“The Dude abides”

What You Need To Get Through This Movie

To truly immerse yourself in the movie White Russians (Vodka/Kahlua/Cream over ice) and some organic Glaucoma medication are a must.

Trivia

Donnie’s bowling shirts say names like C.K., Roy and Austin, never Donnie.

Educational Content
  1. Shomer Shabbos is the Jewish day of rest.
  2. If you are laid-back and lazy enough things will work out. If not, what the hey pour yourself a White Russian and smoke a J.
  3. Nihilists believe in nothing.
  4. Always check wind direction prior to scattering ashes.
Justification for Rating

This is a very clever and funny, funny film. If you don’t agree then all I can say is “Come on, you’re being very un-Dude”.

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Horror

Review of Bad Taste

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Peter Jacksons Bad TasteRating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Review

When four members of the New Zealand Astro Investigation and Defence Service (AIDS – well the movie is called bad taste) visit a small town in order to investigate a UFO siting they make some grisly discoveries and unveil a dastardly alien plot. The townsfolk have been murdered by aliens who, it turns out, are from the intergalactic fast food chain Crumb’s Crunchy Delights and human flesh is the delicacy they are seeking. A gore-fest ensues as Derek and his team do battle with the evil aliens. Lots of blood with a large dose of tongue-in cheek humor.

At times the movie has a somewhat amateurish feel but, for me, that just adds to its charm. Given that Peter Jackson made the film largely in his spare time, with the cast made up of friends and a budget tighter than a ducks ass I think a little slack should be cut.

Reason to Watch

Lots of gore, plenty of humor, man-eating aliens and an exploding sheep, what more could you ask for?

Context

Made over a four year period and funded by himself initially and completed with a grant from the New Zealand Film Commission. Peter Jacksons’ first foray into film – enough said really, a birth of a movie great.

Most Memorable Quotes

“I’m a Derek and Dereks don’t run!”

“Why can’t aliens be friendly?”

What You Need To Get Through This Movie

A real late-night beer and friends movie and it is preferable to have already had a few prior to starting the film. A love of gore certainly helps and also those from the US need an understanding that a “mate” has a different meaning outside of the USA. Possibly also a visit to Christians of Facebook to really feel terrible.

Trivia

The film contains the only known cinematic depiction of a sheep being blown up with an anti-tank missile.

Educational Content
  1. People carrying axes are rarely friendly.
  2. Having a bayonet hammered into your heel hurts.
  3. Blood is very slippery so make sure to mop it up before someone gets hurt.
  4. Throwing pine cones at someone who has a chainsaw is likely to be an ineffective form of defence.
  5. Kicking a decapitated torso in the balls accomplishes very little.
Justification for Rating

The film has plenty of gore and enough humorous moments to make-up for some of its’ shortfalls.

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Comedy

Review of Terminal USA

Comedy 8 Comments »

Rating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Review

Kazumi (Jon Moritsugu) and his girlfriend, Eightball, are just trying to make it by until the next score while his mom chats up the pizza boy, dad prepares for armageddon, brother Marvin discovers his sexuality, and sister Holly makes plans for a getaway. Bizarre, bloody, and gut-bustingly hilarious, Terminal USA is the best cult film ever made that you may never see. With zero distribution and cult video stores falling off the face of the planet, this gem will most likely slip further into cult obscurity (which is way worse than regular obscurity).

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