Category Archives: Comedy

LAST CHRISTMAS (2019): The Things I Liked…

Last Christmas (2019), Henry Golding, Emilia Clarke, Universal Pictures
Last Christmas (2019), Henry Golding, Emilia Clarke, Universal Pictures

Emilia Clarke, George Michael’s music (which is supposed to be heavily featured) and Emma Thompson are among the key reasons I felt drawn to Last Christmas, the latest comedy / romance from Spy (2015) director Paul Feig.

Also starring Henry Golding, at the centre of the film is Kate, a young woman who works at a Christmas store as Santa’s elf. Kate also happens to be subscribed to making bad decisions; a truth that only starts to change after she meets the seemingly perfect Tom (Golding). 

I found myself immediately happy as soon as Last Christmas began, thanks to the beautiful singing at the very beginning. Then came Michelle Yeoh and Thompson’s fun dialogue plus impressive comic and dramatic timing. Another personal highlight is the Covent Garden setting, one of my favourite parts of London.

Overall though, Last Christmas isn’t quite my favourite London based Christmas film – and that’s largely because the story isn’t especially memorable. It really felt watchable at best. The fact that the key revelation towards the end is one I figured out before it was confirmed also didn’t help my enjoyment of Feig’s film. Additionally, I really expected George Michael’s music to be more prominently featured. However, in fairness, it may also be that I’m not quite as familiar with Michael’s back catalogue as I thought.

Last Christmas is kind of ‘easy viewing’ and it’s one you watch if you’re curious enough. Also, maybe watch it for Yeoh and Thompson’s fun performances; plus the rather beautiful singing at the very beginning.

Happy Film Loving 

G

OLYMPIC DREAMS (2020): New Trailer Starring Nick Kroll Alexi Pappas…

Olympic Dreams (2020), Nick Kroll, Alexi Pappas, IFC Films
Olympic Dreams (2020), Nick Kroll, Alexi Pappas, IFC Films

Olympic Dreams is the story of the bond that grows between a young cross-country skier (after her competition ends) and a volunteer doctor.

Directed by Jeremy Teicher; Olympic Dreams stars Nick Kroll, Alexi Pappas…

I’m mostly curious about Kroll’s performance and precisely why his character seemed so taken aback by ‘the lunge’.

There’s also the ‘comedy running’ at 0:42 seconds into this trailer that made me giggle. Especially since Kroll is acting and he chose that level of tired running. Maybe I’m just too familiar with his comic personality. Or, that’s how truly exhausted non-athlete runners look – and I just don’t know.

Are you at all curious about this one?

Gus Kenworthy and Morgan Schild also star.

Olympic Dreams Release Dates: February 14th, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

SAINT FRANCES (2019): New Trailer Starring Kelly O'Sullivan, Ramona Edith Williams, Charin Alvarez, Braden Crothers…

Saint Frances (2019), Kelly O'Sullivan, Oscopelabs
Saint Frances (2019), Kelly O’Sullivan, Oscopelabs

Starring and written by Kelly O’Sullivan, an unexpected friendship is at the heart of director Alex Thompson’s latest comedy / drama Saint Frances.

Also starring Ramona Edith Williams, Charin Alvarez and Lily Mojekwu, the friendship in question is between a deadbeat nanny and the six-year old she’s responsible for looking after…

Right away I like the realness we get as soon as the trailer starts. I’m excited for what looks to be a beautiful friendship. It’ll be interesting to see how I feel about both Saint Frances and the different but also supposedly ‘saintly’ Saint Maud (2020).

William Drain, Laura T. Fisher, Mary Beth Fisher, Francis Guinan, Lily Mojekwu and Bradley Grant Smith also star.

Saint Frances Release Dates: February 28th, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

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GUNS AKIMBO (2020): New Trailer From Daniel Radcliffe, Samara Weaving, Rhys Darby…

Guns Akimbo (2020), Daniel Radcliffe, Madman Films
Guns Akimbo (2020), Daniel Radcliffe, Madman Films

In new action / comedy Guns Akimbo, Daniel Radcliffe is Miles, a nerdy video game developer. Things suddenly change for Miles when he gets caught up as the next contestant in an underground gang live-streaming real-life death match.

From writer / director  Jason Lei Howden; additional key cast includes Samara Weaving, Rhys Darby, Ned Dennehy…

First Free Guy (2020), now Gus Akimbo. I wonder how many more video game themed movies are coming this year.

I’m interested because it’s different and it’s crazy. I also just want to see Radcliffe in a memorable movie that’s very different from the ones that made him famous.

Mark Rowley, Natasha Liu Bordizzo, Hanako Footman, Set Sjöstrand, Racheal Ofori, Colin Moy, Jacqueline Lee Geurts and Jack Riddiford also star.

Guns Akimbo Release Dates: February 28th, 2020 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G

STRAIGHT UP (2019): New Trailer Starring James Scully, Katie Findlay, James Sweeney, Randall Park…

Straight Up (2020), James Sweeney, Katie Lindsay
Straight Up (2020), James Sweeney, Katie Lindsay

Straight Up, a romance / comedy minus the copulation. Why? Because this is the story of an odd couple whose romantic friendship develops out of intellectual chemistry rather than sexual attraction.

Written, directed by and starring James Sweeney; additional key cast includes Randall Park, Katie Findlay, James Scully…

The premise certainly intrigues me. And I already like the dialogue, costumes, framing and cinematography. Now fingers crossed that the end result will be delightful.

Tracie Thoms, Cayleb Long, Grace Song, Betsy Brandt, Laura Ortiz, Logan Huffman, Hillary Anne Matthews, Brendan Scannell, Ken Kirby, Ozioma Akagha and Dana Drori also star.

Straight Up Release Dates

Happy Film Loving

G

THE LOVEBIRDS (2020): New Trailer Starring Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani, Paul Sparks, Anna Camp…

The Lovebirds (2020), Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae, Paramount Pictures
The Lovebirds (2020), Kumail Nanjiani, Issa Rae, Paramount Pictures

In new crime / comedy / drama The Lovebirds, Issa Rae and Kumail Nanjiani are a couple trying to clear their name after being pulled into a bizarre murder mystery. Will their relationship survive the night following the day’s unexpected events?

Directed by Michael Showalter (The Big Sick (2017); additional key cast includes Anna Camp, Paul Sparks, Kyle Bornheimer…

I’m not yet sure that I’m sold on the premise / believability of this movie just yet, but I do want it to be good.

Also, it’s probably safe to say at this point that Hollywood currently has a thing for murder mysteries right now. First Murder Mystery (2019), Then Knives Out (2019), now The Lovebirds – and I’m probably forgetting another one or two. Maybe.

Joe Chrest, Kenneth Kynt Bryan, Moses Storm, Blaine Kern III, Andrene Ward-Hammond, Jaren Mitchell, Matthew Rimmer, Catherine Cohen, Rebecca Chulew and Kelly Murtagh also star.

The Lovebirds Release Dates: April 3rd, 2020 (US); April 24th, 2020 (UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

POKÉMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU (2019): The Things I Liked…

Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019), Warner Bros. Pictures
Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019), Warner Bros. Pictures

I enjoyed Pikachu’s cuteness, his red cheeks and the vibrant yellow of his fur. I remember being relieved when 20 minutes in, I finally heard Ryan Reynolds as the voice of Pikachu. Nevertheless, it’s unfortunate that I can’t say I had a good time while watching Pokémon Detective Pikachu.

From director Rob Letterman and set in  a world where people collect pocket monsters (Pokémon) to do battle,  Pokémon Detective Pikachu focuses on  an intelligent monster (Pikachu) who wants to be a detective, and his new lonely friend Tim (Justice Smith).

I must first admit that I never really got into Pokémon as a child and I’m sure this has a little something to do with why I didn’t enjoy Letterman’s film – but only a little something.

In all honesty, I really thought the film would have been funnier. But instead, the main focus is on a troubled father / son relationship resulting in some rather emotional scenes, most of which felt awkward and somehow out of place. Certainly out of place with my expectations at least, but also I feel, out of place with the tone that was set in the trailer.

There’s even a moment where it seemed obvious that the simple removal of a certain item of headgear towards the end, could have prevented a lot of mayhem, but I guess to keep the story moving, the obviousness of that solution seemed to be deliberately ignored.

Overall, Pokémon Detective Pikachu is a movie very likely most enjoyed by long time fans of Pokémon. As a non-superfan, I unfortunately think that the script / story needed more work.

Happy Film Loving 

G

STANDING UP, FALLING DOWN (2019): New Trailer Starring Billy Crystal, Ben Schwartz, Eloise Mumford, Grace Gummer…

Standing Up, Falling Down (2019), Ben Schwartz, Billy Crystal
Standing Up, Falling Down (2019), Ben Schwartz, Billy Crystal

The unlikely friendship between a struggling comedian named Scott and his alcoholic dermatologist Marty is at the centre of Standing Up, Falling Down, the new drama / comedy starring Billy Crystal and Ben Schwartz.

Directed by Matt Ratner, additional key cast includes Nate Corddry, Jill Hennessy, Caitlin McGee…

Movies about unlikely friendships are some of my absolute favourites. I recall Schwartz’s work most vividly in Parks and Recreation. Now I’m curious about what else he can do on screen – besides also playing Sonic in the upcoming Sonic The Hedgehog (2020) movie of course.

David Castañeda, Leonard Ouzts, John Behlmann, Debra Monk, Kevin Dunn and Wade Allain-Marcus also star.

Standing Up, Falling Down Release Dates

Happy Film Loving

G