The big question heading into “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping” was whether The Lonely Island trio of Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer could make their brand of pop music humor work in a format that lasts longer than three minutes. Not surprisingly, it’s in different three-minute clips that “Popstar” works best.
“St. Vincent” sticks to the script. You know, the story about the cantankerous grouch who forms an unlikely bond with a younger, usually troubled child with his opposite temperament. A tried and true formula. Despite lacking in originality, however, this classic storyline plays out in enjoyable fashion in “St. Vincent” thanks in large part to […]
The premise of “Neighbors,” a comedy about a couple with a baby getting into a prank war with a bunch of fraternity guys, seems unlikely to yield one good film, let alone two. Well, although “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising” is made mostly of recycled materials, it’s shockingly one of the better comedy sequels in recent […]
In tackling Hollywood’s Golden Age, the Coen Brothers have made their glitziest film to date in “Hail, Caesar!”
Amy Schumer has made the jump to the big screen in a big way with “Trainwreck.” The comedian whose Comedy Central show has gathered a well-deserved fan base couldn’t have made a better choice than to team up with Judd Apatow to bring her self-deprecating and shameless sense of humor to a movie genre in […]
When major theater chains decided not to show “The Interview” because of terrorism threats from North Korean hackers, Hollywood saw an unparalleled degree of hype surrounding a film that otherwise would’ve received a moderate spotlight at best. But while news buzz for this comedy about a TV host and his producer being recruited to assassinate […]
New parents take on frat boys in “Neighbors,” the latest dirty R-rated comedy from director Nicholas Stoller (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Get Him to the Greek”) and produced by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg’s Point Grey Pictures. Yet what separates “Neighbors” from the heap has a lot to do with the script, written by novices Andrew […]
The mystery of making a great comedy sequel has been solved. The catch? Now that it’s been done, it can never be done again.
Even an outrageous stoner comedy can successfully appeal to a wide audience with a little ingenuity. “This Is the End” could’ve stopped at being a comedy in which a bunch of friends are faced with the apocalypse, but what really makes Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen’s film work is that there’s a big glass window […]
The most effective comedies tend to be the ones you swear you’ve seen before yet you can’t name any other just like it. “We’re the Millers” has lots of familiar pieces but puts them together in a new-ish package. Often funny, sometimes hilarious and always amusing, “Millers” doesn’t raise the bar for R-rated comedy, but […]
Judd Apatow continues to get personal with “This Is 40″—maybe even too personal. When you think about it, it’s kind of awkward that he directs Paul Rudd as husband to his real-life wife (Leslie Mann) and father to his real-life children (Maude and Iris Apatow) and it’s really awkward because the film is about family […]
The zombie genre has gone the way of vampires lately, except that it managed to dodge the romance bits — until now. Yes, it’s even possible for the undead to fall in love, though considerably more difficult. “Warm Bodies” introduces the zombie romantic comedy (yes, zom-rom-com), and despite all the ways that in name alone […]
To Hollywood, the MIdwest is that amorphous blob in the middle of country that allows for the satire of corn-fed American values. Whenever a place such as Iowa serves as a film’s setting, as it does in “Butter,” you can be sure that small-town life is about to get put through the ringer.
Nothing about the premise of “Pitch Perfect” suggests it should be a funny movie, or anything more than a diversion for “Glee” fans who’ve burnt out on the hit show after three-plus seasons. A cappella groups might be a change of pace for Hollywood, but college humor isn’t, with most college comedies going straight to […]
When you let a child play with the same toys over and over again, you’re going to end up with some stale make-believe. Tim Burton has pulled his Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter dolls out of his play chest again and decided this time they’re engaged in a supernatural love story taking place in […]