It’s safe to say that, upon its release, Reefer Madness was intended to be, on some level, serious. It’s a film that was originally financed by a church group as a morality tale about the dangers of marijuana (or “marihuana,” as the film calls it). Whether or not it succeeded in that goal, I can’t speak to, but as it was purchased before release and recut by noted exploitation producer Dwain Esper, it probably instead reached an audience more concerned with seeing a film not approved by the MPAA than having an educational sit-down with their impressionable kids.
It’s also safe to say that, upon [...]
As The Finally Screenings have shifted from comedies that are at the top of classic-comedy lists to films that are found on more obscure or specific charts, I suppose it’s inevitable that there would be a higher proportion of films that I wouldn’t necessarily think to describe as comedies, per se. Light-hearted, fanciful, bizarre, stylish or satirical, maybe, but not funny-ha-ha. 1977’s Slap Shot is a perfect example, a film whose darker and more dramatic elements outweigh the laughs to a genre-stretching degree.
Which isn’t to say that Slap Shot is a bad movie. It has a lot of things going for it, and the laughs to be found [...]
This week, I watched Bill Murray's Quick Change. It's a movie I had barely heard of before having it recommended to me, but man — it's fantastic.
Murray plays Grimm, a guy so fed up with New York City that he devises a brilliant bank robbery followed by a permanent vacation to Fiji with his girlfriend Phyllis (Geena Davis) and best friend Loomis (Randy Quaid). The robbery goes perfectly, but as anyone who has lived here will tell you, just getting to the airport can be a nightmare.
It's Bill Murray's first (and so far, only) directing credit, and it really shows that this is a part he loves [...]
Normally for this column I watch a comedy many people have told me to see, but this week I did something a little different — I watched a comedy just one person has told me to see on a number of occasions. He’s got a good sense of humor, so I knew it wouldn’t be a total waste of time. Plus, I figured if I liked it, this column would help him evangelize it vicariously through me, and if I didn’t like it, I could publicly shame his questionable taste in movies.
Fortunately for my friend, Idiocracy is a pretty good movie.
For those of you who haven’t seen [...]