**+ About Adam
**+ Ace Ventura, Pet Detective
* After Hours
* American Virgin
**+ Almost Famous
** American Movie
**+ American Pie
* American Pie 2
**** Animal House
This classic hits on all cylinders, with John Belushi starring as the frat boy who will be copied for generations to come. The number of memorable scenes quoted are seemingly beyond count.
*** Annie Hall
*** The Anniversary Party
*** Austin Powers
Mike Myers spoof on the Bond flick, better than any Bond flick. Dr. Evil, Mini Me... ONE MILLIONS DOLLARS! Quotable as hell.
*** Austin Powers - Goldmember
Almost as good as the first, with even more nefarious misfit characters from Myers's imagination. Like the first, this spoof outdoes any of the Bond flicks it makes fun of.
**+ Austin Powers - The Spy Who Shagged Me
A slight dropoff for the genre, where for the second time the female lead/foil is a slight drag in not being able to quite pull off the humor. Still, not short on worthy gags.
*+ Bad Santa
***+ Being John Malkovich
A very clever take on, well, being John Malkovich and whatever eccentricities that might imply.
**+ La Belle Époque
*** Best In Show - dir. Christopher Guest
A worthy entry to the growing list of Guest films with their ensemble crew. Dog shows are under the spotlight in this one.
*+ The Big Lebowski - dir. Coen Brothers
** Big Trouble
** Black Sheep
**+ Blades of Glory
*+ Blow Dry
***+ The Blues Brothers
**+ Bottle Rocket - dir. Wes Anderson
Sacha Baron Cohen is off the hook as a beyond-effeminate man looking for stardom.
** A Bug's Life
**+ Burn After Reading
**+ The Campaign
Will Ferrell being Will Ferrell, a transparent simpleton role he's got down pat. Here he's an ingenuous politician seeking reelection as he breaks every rule related to image projection. He's poking a large finger at how elections and political office have come to be in the U.S. in the process.
**+ Charlie's Angels
**+ Chicken Run
**+ Cold-Blooded - dir. Coen Brothers
**+ Curdled - dir. Coen Brothers
*+ Cry-Baby - dir. John Waters
John O'Reilly plays a man competing for the affections of a woman (Marisa Tomei). The only problem is that her son (Jonah Hill) will have not of it. Nothing misses on this one, but you won't cry nor will you snort milk.
**+ Darjeeling Limited - dir. Wes Anderson
** Dark Habits
** Date Movie
Alyson Hannigan might be perhaps the cutest face to come out of Hollywood ever. And she's pretty funny while she's at it, which explains why she keeps on doing goofy parody movies like this. Some gross laughs, lots of misses, plenty of silly stupidity... yet it's not annoying.
**+ Dazed and Confused - dir. Richard Linklater
** Deconstructing Henry
**+ The Dictator - dir. Larry Charles
Sasha Baron Cohen is an amalgam of the megalomaniac dictators we've come to know and love - deluded, tyrannical, murderous. There will be some uncomfortable laughs.
** Drop Dead Gorgeous
*** Dr. Strangelove
*** Duck Soup
*+ Dumb and Dumber
** Easy A
Trying to create a bad reputation in high school has unintended results.
*** Edward Scissorhands - dir. Tim Burton
*** Ed Wood - dir. Tim Burton
**+ Everybody Wants Some!! dir. Richard Linklater
Linklater's a master at catching the spirit of the times, and here it's both about 1980 and on a U.S. college campus just as school's about to begin. Members of the baseball team all share the same house and are all trying to get... some, the sooner the better. The humor and the style are there.
***+ Fargo - dir. Coen Brothers
A lot can happen in the middle of nowhere, indeed. A man decides to off his wife to get his hands on money he wants badly to help him break out of his used car salesman life. Problem is, he's chosen a couple of idiots to do the job. The Coen Brothers at their best.Fast Times At Ridgemont High
** Feeling Minnesota
** Flamingo Kid
*** Flirting With Disaster - dir. David O. Russell
**+ For Your Consideration - dir. Christopher Guest
**+ Funny People - dir. Judd Apatow
A successful comic takes a fledgling one under his wing as an assistant, both hatefully and hurtfully when not helpfully. Adam Sandler's the one who's made it; Seth Rogan wants to get there.
**+ Get Him To The Greek
Bad boy Russell Brand is a rock star out of control, and Jonah Hill somehow needs to escort him to a concert. Some very funny - and crude - stuff here, even if completely predictable sequences.
** Get Hard
Another Will Ferrell vehicle that has him in his whitie tighties or naked at some point (I can't remember which or both), with Kevin Hart teaching him the ins and outs of prison life (erroneously, since he's never been there). Isolated yuks.
***+ Get Shorty
** God Of Cookery
**+ Grosse Pointe Blank
** Grumpy Old Men
*+ Haiku Tunnel
**+ Hail, Caesar! - dir. Coen Bros.
The Coen Brothers take on Old Hollywood, the empire of studios and their stables of owned stars - and the kinds of fixers needed to everyone - and everyone's image - in line.
**+ Hairspray - dir. John Waters
** Happy Gilmore
Adam Sandler, as always, is a man child... this time with anger management issues. Fortunately, miraculously, he's able to take it out on a golf ball with spectacular, sometimes even funny results... before getting the girl.
** Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
** Harold and Maude
* The Heat
Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock in a the odd couple buddy movie that's been done a dozen times... better. For the record, Sandra is the by-the-book one with something shoved severely up her rear.
**+ Hedwig and the Angry Inch
** Hot Tub Time Machine
Back to the 80s with a 2010 mentality, with isolated chuckles.
** How the Grinch Stole Christmas
** The Hudsucker Proxy - dir. Coen Brothers
*** Human Nature
*** Husbands and Wives - dir. Woody Allen
*+ The Identity Thief
Predictable schlock with comedienne-of-the-moment Melissa McCarthy getting the role of identity thief who makes mayhem of straight man Jason Bateman's life. Some of the gags get old as the easily-foreseen moral of the story is finally checked in its box.
** I Love Huckabees - dir. David O. Russell
**+ In and Out
**+ Intolerable Cruelty - dir. Coen Brothers
**+ Jackass the Movie
**** The Jerk
* Johnny Mnemonic
** The Last Supper
*+ Legally Blonde
** Legend of Drunken Master
** Liar, Liar
**+ The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou - dir. Wes Anderson
** Little Miss Sunshine
** Logan Lucky - dir. Steven Soderbergh
The redneck heist movie, both utilizing and overusing Southern cliches. It's entertaining enough to smile to, but not laugh out loud.
*** Married To the Mob
*** Mars Attacks - dir. Tim Burton
**+ Mascots - dir. Christopher Guest
Another Christopher Guest film, this one straight to video under the auspices of Netflix. It's still the same ensemble cast, a great thing, if it doesn't quite have je-ne-said-quoi its predecessors did in exploring the world of team mascots.
** The Mask
*+ The Mask 2
* The Matchmaker
** Me, Myself and Irene
** The Men Who Stare At Goats
***+ A Mighty Wind - dir. Christopher Guest
*** Moonrise Kingdom - dir. Wes Anderson
A love story circa 1965, as only Mr. Anderson can pull off. A boy scout breaks away from the monotony of camp life to chase the girl of his dreams and run away with her. It's a lot better than that, even, as the Americana keeps coming and the cast redefines the word quirky.
*+ The Muse
**+ Napoleon Dynamite
One of the odder comedies around, deadpan and in Idaho of all places. But there's no denying this world of (dare I say lovable) misfits trapped in or by their high school experience.
** Never Been Kissed
** The Night Before dir. James Levine
Another Seth Rogen stoner comedy, this one wrapped around the Christmas holidays and a legendary party that three best buddies have been hearing about for years - but have yet to find. Guess if they do.
*** Not Another Teen Movie
** Nurse Betty
**+ Office Space - dir. Mike Judge
The primer if there ever has been one on the inanity of working in cubicle-land and having to live through corporate double-speak on a daily basis.
*** Oh Brother, Where Art Thou - dir. Coen Brothers
Certainly in the top tier of the relentlessly great (or at least hugely appealing) Coen Brothers oeuvre, here three convicts escape a chain gang to make their way about the South in roughly the Prohibition Era of the 1920s. The music is top drawer in merging with this seamless telling of a modern day Odyssey.
**+ The Oh In Ohio
** Old School
** The Other Guys
Will Farrell doing his thing with moderate success, as one half of a detective team that gets the spotlight. Sort of.
*+ The Original Kings of Comedy
** Pecker - dir. John Waters
** Pineapple Express
*+ Pluto Nash
Eddie Murphy continues his plunge from standup comic grace with this one, set on another planet or the moon (it doesn't matter). Pluto is a dashing wiseacre for all seasons, we're supposed to believe. Nevertheless, there's some nice polish to this on some levels of its stupidity.
**+ The Princess Bride
*** Private Benjamin
*+ Practical Magic
** Private Parts
***+ Prizzi's Honor
*** Radio Days - dir. Woody Allen
** Road Trip
* Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion
*** The Royal Tenenbaums - dir. Wes Anderson
*** Rushmore - dir. Wes Anderson
** Saving Silverman
**+ Scary Movie
** School Of Rock
**+ Serial Mom
*+ Shadow of the Vampire
*+ Shakes the Clown
** Shaolin Soccer
** Shanghai Noon
Busing it, South America style - this is your typical fare circa early 2000s. Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson doing their thing in the Old West spaghetti. The former is an imperial Chinese lackey on a mission, the latter a new age cum bandit hapless gunslinger.
** Shanghai Knights
Busing it, South America style - this is your typical fare circa early 2000s. Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson doing their thing in London, foiling a royal succession plot or some such nonsense.
* Sister Act
**+ Sixteen Candles
*** Slums of Beverly Hills
** Small Time Crooks
** Spanking the Monkey - dir. David O. Russell
*+ Spies Like Us
Another Bond spoof, but nowhere on the level of Austin Powers. Melissa McCarthy has an amiable way about her, and is no foreigner to physical comedy, but it's a bit of a one trick pony in the end, too.
*** State and Main
**+ Strange Brew
*+ Strange Wilderness
** Sugar & Spice
** Sweet and Lowdown - dir. Woody Allen
***+ Swimming With Sharks
*** Talladega Nights
Will Ferrell does NASCAR to its ridiculous limit, a highwater mark for his films. As funny as the flick is, the outtakes are even better.
**+ Take The Money And Run - dir. Woody Allen
In the 70s, Allen is some schmuck who takes to a life of crime when all else fails. All else fails repeatedly, and he's not much of a good crook, either.
**+ The Tao of Steve
**+ Thank You For Smoking
***+ This Is Spinal Tap - dir. Christopher Guest
The mockumentary that started them all, following the formerly legendary band Spinal Tap on their tour through the U.S. - one that's going from fair and middlin' to the toilet in a hurry. Turn it to 11!
*+ !Three Amigos!
**+ Three Men and a Baby
** Three To Tango
** Throw Momma From the Train
** Trading Places
Amy Schumer is definitely a very funny woman who takes no prisoners, but this romantic comedy is still a weaker version of her mad brilliant comedy skilz.
** Tropic Thunder
** Twenty Bucks
*+ 20 Dates
*** Waiting For Guffman - dir. Christopher Guest
*** Walk Hard - The Dewey Cox Story
** The Waterboy
** Wedding Crashers
*+ Welcome To Collinwood
** Wet Hot American Summer
**+ While We're Young - dir. Noah Baumbach
Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts are a middle-aged couple who are drawn into the web of a couple of twenty-something hipsters who seem oh-so-in-the-moment, clever, idealistic, and artistic. It takes a while for them to see through the sheen, and it's a fun ride until the end.
**+ White Men Can't Jump
**+ Who Framed Roger Rabbit
* Without A Paddle
** Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
** Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
**+ Young Frankenstein - dir. Mel Brooks
The latest Dr. Frankenstein is sucked back into his ancestor's castle to ultimately decide on an updated take on how to make a monster. Here's Gene Wilder at about his best, plus Madeline Kahn, Terry Garr, and Marty Feldman. Quotable.
*** 1941 - dir. Steven Spielberg
(Kinda) Romantic Comedies, and like fluff...
**+ The 40-Year-Old Virgin
** As Good As It Gets
*+ Bridget Jones Diary 2
No, nothing will surprise you. Renee Zellwegger in a role she knows well.
** Bring It On
One of those incredibly self-conscious flicks that never quite catches fire with its comedy. Cute at times, an aspiring artist tries to make life art after art school and a breakup.
* Dan In Real Life
** Everyone Says I Love You
**+ Forgetting Sarah Marshall
**+ Forrest Gump
*** Groundhog Day
** How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days
** Joe Versus the Volcano
** Keeping the Faith
**+ Kissing Jessica Stein
**+ Knocked Up
** Mean Girls
*+ Meet the Parents
**+ My Best Friend's Wedding
* Music From Another Room
*+ The Nanny Diaries
**+ Out of Sight
**+ Pretty Woman
**+ The Secret of My Success
**+ She's Gotta Have It
**+ She's Having a Baby
*+ Skin Deep
**+ Sleepless in Seattle
** Something About Mary
*+ Soul Man
** The Sure Thing
**+ This Is 40 - dir. Judd Apatow
A couple bickers as they (Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann) hit 40 and aren't so thrilled about it.
*** Wayne's World
*+ The Wedding Planner
**+ The Wedding Singer
*** Weird Science
**+ What About Bob?
** What Happens In Vegas
** What Women Want
***+ When Harry Met Sally
*+ What's Up, Doc? - dir. Peter Bogdanovich
Barbara Streisand and Ryan O'Neal in a goofy caper of four identical luggage bags that lead to hijinks in a hotel. Dated, sure, but somehow still modestly entertaining and lacking any means to take offense in its saccharine.
** While You Were Sleeping
**+ Working Girl
**+ You've Got Mail
*+ Zack And Miri Make A Porno
There's nothing in this one that won't come from a mile away, in yet another flick about a shlub that finds himself a hot girlfriend somehow and - of course, in this version - manages to convince her to make porno movies with him as a co-star. There aren't enough monkeys to fly out of their butts, however, to allow this admittedly implausible story to take wing and actually be funny.
** 50 First Dates
Your typical cancer comedy. Or maybe the only one. Based on a true story, a screenwriter deals with discovering that he has cancer in his 20s. His surrounding universe scrambles to deal with the reality that he might die, a 50/50 chance.
*** The Aristocrats
**+ Margaret Cho - I'm the One That I Want
**** Eddie Murphy Delirious
***+ Eddie Murphy Raw
***+ Chris Rock - Bring The Pain
***+ Chris Rock - Bigger and Blacker
***+ Chris Rock - Never Scared
*** Seinfeld - Comedian
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