Tag Archives: Funny

The Interview Review, A Controversial Comedy of Mediocre Preportions

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The Interview

Directed by: Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg

Starring: Seth Rogan, James Franco, Lizzy Caplan, and Randall Park

I don’t know if there has been a movie that has received this much attention by the media in a long time. It is well-known that Sony recently got hacked and threatened by a terrorist organization to remove this movie from theater or else there will be grave consequences. Not long after theaters began refusing to show the film. Sony eventually pulled it from release all together, which lead to a public outcry. The United States didn’t appreciate Sony giving into the demands of a terrorist, so Sony decided to release the movie on VOD and select theaters. Usually movies that cause this kind of controversy are movies like Salo, or The 120 Days of Sodom or In The Realm of the Senses, not some comedy starring Seth Rogan. In short was all the controversy necessary; absolutely not. But does that mean it is a bad movie? Short answer, No.

Dave Skylark (James Franco) is a popular televsion personality who runs a show called Skylark Tonight. It is a show where he interviews celebrities and reveal personal things about them. Aaron Rapoport (Seth Rogan) is his producer and his best friend. One day the two learn that North Korean dictator Kim Jung-Un (Randall Park) is a big fan of his show. They end up scoring a personal interview with him. Not long after they receive this news the CIA come to them to go on a mission to assassinate him. Once they get to North Korea things go differently than they or the CIA expected.

To me, these are two separate movies, the first being a standard Seth Rogan comedy involving two buddies and their closer than normal relationship and the second is a movie about the assassination of Kim Jung-Un. Some choices made in the first half the movie don’t work as well as they should but once the movie gets going it feels fresh and interesting. There are many ways that the movie could have handled the “assassination” portion. I know if they created a fake dictator ruling a fake country, instead of North Korea, would have created the same effect. The fact they are making a statement about the hell that goes on there is pretty ballsy of them and I respect the movie for doing that.

Once the main characters reach North Korea the movie becomes exactly what you would have expected from it. During this part of the movie we really get a sympathetic look at Kim Jung-Un, who is played with great sincerity by Randall Park. They humanize a man that we all perceived to be a monster. Sure, in the end, he is still an evil dictator but the movie shows a much deeper and tortured side to him. The movie doesn’t just make a commentary on North Korea, it also says something about America today and the interest we have in celebrity life rather than actual “news”. It’s a satire to its core but it combines what Seth Rogan does well with its harsh political commentary.

I have a lot of problems with James Franco’s performance as Dave Skylark. For a man with an Oscar nomination under his belt, he isn’t able to bring life to his character. Lately his movie choices have been a little odd, focusing in directing and acting in multiple movies in a single year. After a while you can see the fatigue with his performances. He does have a lot of good interactions with Seth Rogan and Randall Park but nothing to make him interesting.

The beginning of the movie I have the most trouble with. Early on I believed that the movie will be a complete mess. Seth Rogan has developed this sense of humor that has branched out for many years and has become mainstream now. If there isn’t a drugs, gross out scenes, or male friends that appear to be way to “close” to each other. This is all that the first part of the story is. Like 22 Jump Street and Neighbors, this kind of comedy doesn’t appeal to me.  They abandon this template and go for something a little different. I like that transition and wish that would have done that throughout the entire movie.

The Interview is rather dumb comedy that manages to go for something new. It achieves a lot with their insane premise but doesn’t quite live up to its potential.

Grade: C+

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FX Orders New Comedy Series from Zach Galifianakis.

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FX has been on a role recently with their comedies and now FX has picked up a new comedy from Zach Galifianakis and executive producer Louie C.K.. I love the series Louie, Wilfred, and most recently You’re the Worst. Given that they aren’t the typical comedies and allows the creators free rain of their product and not held down by the constraints of their network.

The comedy tells the talk of Chip Basket (Zach Galifianakis), a man who attempts to follow his dream of becoming a professional clown, but he must join to local rodeo after failing to get into a prestigious school in Paris.

Zach Galifianakis, Louis C.K. and Jonathan Krisel have created an absolutely brilliant show,” said Eric Schrier, one of the presidents of original programming at FX. “To say Zach’s portrayal of the lead character Chip Baskets is hilarious/unique/riveting/fascinating would be an understatement. We can’t wait for the world to meet him.”

FX plans to release a 10-episode first season that will begin production sometime next year with a series premiere expected in 2016.

Robin Williams, A Tortured Comedic Genius

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After the death of Robin Williams yesterday I decided to look over his filmography and what made him so great. His first major role was in Robert Altman’s Popeye, which is a movie that he was perfect for but I never really cared for the movie itself. This movie is what sparked his career. He stared in plenty of movies afterwards but it wasn’t until Good Morning Vietnam that people started to realize that he was also a powerful dramatic actor. It was the first of three Best Leading Actor nominations at the Academy Award, he was also nominated for Best Supporting Actor. Two years later he starred in Peter Weir’s Dead Poets Society in which he plays an English teacher who attempts to teach his students about seizing the day and the love of poetry. For his performance he scored a second nomination Academy Award for Best Actor. Another two years later he teamed up with Terry Gilliam and Jeff Bridges for the movie The Fisher King. He played a homeless man on a search for the Holy Grail. It was yet another critically acclaimed performance and scored him his third nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role. Robin Williams managed to score three Academy Award nominations in four years. In 1992 and 1993 he stared in Aladdin and Mrs. Doubtfire, which he is best known for. In 1997 he teamed up with relatively unknowns Ben Affleck and Matt Damon for Good Will HuntingHis performance was highly acclaimed and completely brilliant as the therapist Sean Maguire and finally earned him Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. After this his movie choices become less interesting. He stared in a few comedies and dramas here and there but never lived up to his former glory of the 80s and 90s.

To me Robin Williams was one of the best comedic actors and a hell of an amazing dramatic actor. He acted in movies that I loved as a child and in movies that I appreciate as an adult and his death is personally effective to me.

Robin Williams Found Dead Due to an Alleged Suicide at the age of 63

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Today a great talent was lost. Robin Williams was found dead this morning due to alleged self strangulation. The last few year Williams has been dealing with depression and recently entered a 12 step program for drug addiction.

His wife Susan Schneider released a statement saying “I am utterly heartbroken. On behalf of Robin’s family, we are asking for privacy during our time of profound grief. As he is remembered, it is our hope the focus will not be on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”

Robin Williams is probably best known for his Oscar Winning role Sean Maguire in the critically acclaimed movie Good Will Hunting. He is also known for his role in Mrs. Doubtfire and The Genie in Aladdin. He has been nominated for four Academy Awards and winner of four Best Supporting Actor.

He is a great talent that will be sorely missed and my prayers go out to his family.