Toni Erdmann: Imagine Groucho Marx as your father

A- Comedy/drama Written and directed by Maren Ade Try to imagine a Marx Brothers movie weaved into a reasonably realistic family comedy/drama that runs almost three hours. Even more amazingly, imagine that it works, and for the most part, works beautifully. Toni Erdmann places an incorrigible prankster and practical joker into the world of giant corporations … Continue reading Toni Erdmann: Imagine Groucho Marx as your father

My thoughts on the Golden Globes, La La Land, and the Musical/Comedy category

The Golden Globes turned into a big party for La La Land. I liked the movie, but not as much as most people did. As you probably already know, La La Land won seven awards, including Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy. I loved the first part of La La Land. The opening song, … Continue reading My thoughts on the Golden Globes, La La Land, and the Musical/Comedy category

The Brand New Testament takes God down several notches

A Comedy Written by Thomas Gunzig & Jaco Van Dormael Directed by Jaco Van Dormael In this funny, silly, sacrilegious, and surprisingly touching comedy from Belgium, God proves to be a real asshole. He finds great joy is making innocent people suffer. He pronounces new rules for the universe, such as the one that requires … Continue reading The Brand New Testament takes God down several notches

Warren Beatty plays Howard Hughes for laughs in Rules Don’t Apply

B+ Romantic comedy Written and directed by Warren Beatty Story by Beatty and Bo Goldman Don't be fooled by the posters. Rules Don't Apply isn't a thriller. It's a romantic comedy. Warren Beatty returns to the director's chair for the first time this century, wringing laughs out of billionaire recluse Howard Hughes. (He also returns … Continue reading Warren Beatty plays Howard Hughes for laughs in Rules Don’t Apply

Jean Renoir and Spike Lee at the PFA

I saw two highly-regarded classic films Saturday night at the Pacific Film Archive. This was not a double feature. They were about as different as good films can be. The Golden Coach This was my first experience with Jean Renoir's 1952 commedia dell'arte about, well, commedia dell'arte. It's also about arrogant aristocrats, starving artists, and, … Continue reading Jean Renoir and Spike Lee at the PFA

The Best of the Marx Brothers in one Blu-ray Box

The Marx Brothers used comedy to deflate the pompous and tear down the establishment. They turned respectable, upper-class society into anarchy and surrealism. They also made us laugh. The brothers honed their comedy in vaudeville, jumped to Broadway, and made the leap to Hollywood at the height of the talkie revolution. They made their first … Continue reading The Best of the Marx Brothers in one Blu-ray Box

Diani and Devine Meet the Apocalypse at the Mill Valley Film Festival

Saturday afternoon, my wife and I drove across the Bay to the Lark for a Mill Valley Film Festival screening of the thoroughly outrageous comedy Diani and Devine Meet the Apocalypse. We arrived at the Lark just as the rain started falling. People think that a rainy day is perfect for movie going, but that's … Continue reading Diani and Devine Meet the Apocalypse at the Mill Valley Film Festival