In the Netflix Special Judd Apatow – The Return, Apatow, the writer, director and producer of some of my favourite comedies is returning to standup after 25 long years.
I myself didn’t even know that Apatow was a standup comic long before several of his best hit movies. There’s The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Knocked Up (2007) and This Is 40 (2012), to name just a few…
I like how this trailer is all about the other people echoing any doubts that Apatow himself likely had about returning to standup. It seems as though, this way if his show turns out to not be so great, that in itself will kind of be part of the comedy… maybe. I of course would prefer for the show to be fantastic. Even if it has been 25 long years since he stepped on a stage to make people laugh.
Judd Apatow – The return Release Dates: December 12th, 2017 (US) – Netflix.
The trailer for Snatched, an action comedy about a mother / daughter adventure in SouthAmerica had me a little hopeful. Starring Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn and directed by Jonathan Levine, I was not as enthused by the end product as I’d hoped to be. There are a few unexpected twists in the story and a funny piece of dialogue approximately every twenty five minutes the I enjoyed but overall, the story is largely unbelievable and not adequately fun or executed well enough for that to not really matter. I also wished that the story could have moved a long a little faster.
You may watch Snatched and find it less disappointing that I have. Should you want an action comedy that isn’t necessarily completely believable yet executed in a way that makes the lack of believability a non-issue, try The Hitman’s Bodyguard (2017).
In Thank You For Your Service, the new war drama / biography starring Miles Teller and Hayley Bennett, a group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq are struggling to integrate back into family and civilian life…
Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is interesting and my two favourite war films – American Sniper (2014) and The Hurt Locker (2008) touch on the subject to a degree. In Thank You For Your Service, PTSD is the main focus and so I must watch. The other reason for me to watch is Teller because of his memorable work in Whiplash (2014). Also I’m curious about Bennett. I’ve seen her in a number of trailers but I’m yet to watch one of her movies.
Directed by Jason Hall; Joe Cole and Keisha Castle-Hughes also star.
I love funny people so I knew I’d have a good time watching writer/ director Kevin Pollak’s documentary, Misery Loves Comedy. It’s a film that has a mixture of funny people from comedians to actors and filmmakers all answering the question: ‘Do you have to be miserable to be funny?’
I’ll start by saying that I had a good time overall but I did find some of the editing a tad odd, especially in the first two thirds. Secondly, maybe because I already know plenty about funny people and thats why I didn’t feel as enlightened by what most of the comics had to say. Thirdly, the number of people featured is a lot. Perhaps it would have been more interesting had the documentary been about a handful of celebrated funny people, therefore allowing for more in depth interviews and probably less jarring editing. Last but not least, as much as I love Steve Coogan, Richard Lewis, Amy Schumer, etc., it didn’t help that nearly none of my favourites comics made an appearance in this documentary; Louis C.K. to name just one.
The part I loved the most in Misery Loves Comedy is towards the end because that’s when the comics finally answer the question of whether one needs to be miserable to be funny. Another way to ask the question is ‘whether a person is born funny or if it’s something they develop.’ One of the best answers I’ve heard isn’t actually in this documentary, but in a Kjersti Flaa interview with Louis C.K. where C.K.’s response is…
‘I definitely don’t think you can be born funny. Funny happens to you. It’s like you can’t be taught how to be emotionally a wreck. Funny is a defence mechanism.’
Amen to that is what I say! Sometimes it’s a matter of whether you find a way to focus on the funny side or you wallow – and sometimes if you cant quite see the funny side, it’s wise to let yourfavourite funny person help you do that and/ or take your mind elsewhere.
Watch Misery Loves Comedy because you’re curious about funny people. It may not feature all your top favourite comics, but you’ll enjoy the entertaining company nonetheless.
Amy Schumer and Goldie Hawn’s new action / comedy Snatched centres around a mother daughter adventure in south America and the following trailer makes it look good…
Fingers crossed that this is even better than I anticipate. I figure that I can be a little hopeful since Spy (2015)was great and some of the producers behind that worked on this. I’ll hold on to that hope.
Ike Barinholtz, Randall Park and Christopher Meloni also star.
Dying Laughing is a new documentary that delves into the complicated lives of Stand-up comedians, the craft and their creative process…
I’m looking forward to hearing what many of the current great comics have to say. Names including Russell Peters, Billy Connolly, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Hart and Amy Schumer to name just a few. I really want to know if all comics really are ‘very damaged people. I’m sure many are but surely there must be exceptions, no?
I didn’t see Ricky Gervais or Louis C.K. in this trailer but I sure hope they too make an appearance.
Trainwreck stars Amy Schumer, the comedienne behind one of my favourite shows on Comedy Central, Inside Amy Schumer.
Written by Schumer and directed by someone I like to refer to as ‘comedy film king’, Judd Apatow, Trainwreck was a romantic comedy I had high hopes for.
Overall, the film isn’t bad. The scenes I enjoyed most are in the middle of the film and they include the conversations between the characters played by Bill Hader, LeBron James and/ or Amy Schumer. Ezra Miller’s Donald is also particularly memorable.
Some scenes in the first twenty minutes unfortunately felt quite long and the ending left me craving creative disruption of the romantic comedy genre – probably more than I ever have.
I often find that whenever comics star in their own comedy films, the narrative moves too slowly for my liking. It probably has something to do with being used to the sketch show / standup comedy format where the point is rarely dragged out unnecessarily, at least not by the good comics.
Part of the problem with Trainwreck is that I already enjoyed a good number of the funniest moments in the trailer. So once once again, I may have liked the trailer more than I did the film. Those who are not already quite familiar with Schumer’s comedy will likely love the movie more because of the general newness. The rest of us might end up doing more smiling than laughing.