Tag Archives: comedy

SBox Recommends: Entourage (Movie Review)

Note: SBR never spoils.

Off the bat I’ll admit one thing: I didn’t watch Entourage when it was still on. I wasn’t of age to see the show and maintain childhood innocence. The show started when I was in first grade and ended when I was in eighth. So, I wasn’t allowed to watch the show at the time. Besides, the only Entourage fan in the house was my dad. The rest of us had never seen an episode…Then the movie was announced.

My dad convinced us to watch the show in the hopes of us all seeing the movie when it came out. We started in mid-May with the first episode, then marathoned the show for a couple weeks. The week after the film came out, we were ready. Our hopes were high and patience low. We walked into a packed theater on a Tuesday night prepared to see the, little did I know, love-or-hate film of the summer.

Our thoughts were pretty much the same exiting the theater. This was an okay movie. Could’ve been better, but we were satisfied all the same. Continue reading SBox Recommends: Entourage (Movie Review)

My Thoughts on The Big Bang Theory Season 8

Yet another season of The Big Bang Theory has concluded. It’s been an eventful year for the show both on and off set. Season 7’s crazy finale left us with numerous cliffhanging questions. We nearly had the show delayed due to contract negotiations that almost costed us two cast members. We had the unfortunate passing of Carol Ann Susi resulting in her character’s death. And most importantly, on top of all of that… Penny cut her hair.
Continue reading My Thoughts on The Big Bang Theory Season 8

My 2014 Movies: 22 Jump Street (#6)

I’ve been discussing comedies for several slots now. But it appears that this is the last dedicated comedy on the list. Ladies and gentlemen, my comedy of the year goes to 22 Jumpstreet.

22 Jump Street is the sequel to the 2012 reimagining of popular 80s show 21 Jumpstreet. Our two favorite cops, Morton Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Greg Jenko (Channing Tatum), return to the Jumpstreet division in order to bust another drug operation. This time, it’s at a college where a new drug called WHYPHY killed a student of the university. With this new case come new obstacles, new situations, and a whole bunch of new jokes with the duo plus Captain Dickson (Ice Cube). Continue reading My 2014 Movies: 22 Jump Street (#6)

My 2014 Movies: The Interview (#7)

If any film could be considered the defining movie of the year 2014, it is this film. Not so much for what the film is or what it stands for, but for where this film unintentionally stands in film history. To remind you of the infamous Sony hack that occurred due to this film would be pointless because we all already know. Besides, that’s not what this post is about. Removing all of that controversy from the equation, the truly important question is whether or not The Interview is worth watching or not. If you ask me, the answer is yes. Continue reading My 2014 Movies: The Interview (#7)

My 2014 Movies: Ride Along (#8)

I’ve been waiting to talk about this movie. This was the first movie I saw in 2014. It was January, my mother’s birthday, and she chose to watch the latest movie starring one of my favorite stand-up comedians. January seems to be the month of the Kevin Hart film, and this is one of the first movies I’ve seen with him. I also happen to be a sucker for buddy-buddy cop movies, and Ice Cube has earned my respect as a comedic actor in his past movies. When you place these elements together, you get Ride Along, one of the funniest films of the year. Continue reading My 2014 Movies: Ride Along (#8)

My 2014 Movies: Neighbors (#11)

May was a pretty great month for me in terms of the movies. One of three of the films I saw that month was a comedy with two unlikely main stars. One is a famous comedic actor known for such movies like This Is The End, and the other is a famous teen icon known for such movies like High School Musical. My hopes were probably not the highest with this film, but my mother wanted to see this for Mothers’ Day. So ready or not, there I went. The result: this film is one of my favorite comedies of the year.

Neighbors has a very simple plot. A couple played by Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne live quietly and contently in a nice suburban neighborhood. One day, they find out that a college fraternity is moving into the house next door. They interact with the frat’s head, played by Zac Efron, and make a good friendship…at first. One night after trying to get the frat to turn their music down, Rogen and Byrne call the police on them for disturbing the peace against Efron and Rogen’s agreement. The frat responds by terrorizing and annoying the couple as revenge, which causes a war between the two households.

Again, comedies are often not the poster-children for complex storytelling, and they don’t need to be. But as far as concepts for comedies go, this is a pretty solid plot. Now had this been just any film, the story wouldn’t extend too much outside the initial concept. But there’s something much smarter about how this story is written.

What I think is the smartest aspect of the movie is the ages of both parties. The couple, Mac and Kelly, are somewhere in their late thirties and early forties. The frat consists of college students (no duh), with the leader, Teddy, being in his early twenties. What makes this set-up so clever is that both parties are at transitional points of their lives.

You find that Mac and Kelly are on the brink and are practically at their midlife crisis- a time where trying to be young is becoming difficult and where you begin to form more adult mindsets. Meanwhile, the two leaders of the frat are at a point where they’re facing adulthood and are trying to shed adolescence. Teddy addresses it through oblivion and denial, while Pete (played by Dave Franco) addresses it in a more head-on and prepared manner.

This makes the comradery particularly between Mac and Teddy more interesting. Both characters are reaching the next phase of their lives but don’t know how to handle it. So they do what many of us do and retreat into the youngest, most familiar age bracket. They are incredibly alike in their desperate immaturity. This is what makes this comedic duo work so well and makes the story that much more fun.

Speaking of which, the film is a riot. I watched this film in a packed theater and there were many periods of nonstop laughter all throughout the film. The jokes are very well-written, hitting a nice balance between slapstick and observational comedy. If I had to think of a favorite joke, I distinctly remember a scene toward the end involving a men’s clothing store which I won’t spoil. I also thought the climax of the film was especially funny.

Of course, the humor of any film is reliant on the acting. I dropped four big names in this review: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron and Dave Franco. All of them are known to be excellent actors and they further that fact here. I was especially impressed by Byrne and Efron, both of whom you don’t immediately associate with comedy but have certainly proven themselves here. You have Seth Rogen who we all know is a freaking rockstar at modern-day comedy, and he doesn’t hold back here. Then there’s Dave Franco who makes what may be the funniest performance of his career. All the background characters are also funny in their own right. I especially love the cameo role by Lisa Kudrow.

The music choice is definitely very fitting for the events of the film. A lot of it is licensed songs that are notably popular at high school/college parties. The special effects for one joke in particular (you may already know from the trailers) are seamless and hilarious. And the film is shot very well, with some impressive lighting considering how many late night scenes there are. Overall, all typical production values are well-executed here.

This is indeed one of the best comedies of 2014. I feel the perfect demograophic for the movie are college and high school kids. Adults can totally get a kick from this movie as well. This is a tad racy, though, so have the talk with your kids sometime before the very middle of the movie.

Other than that implicit exception, you should definitely catch the film whenever you get a chance. It’s a safe rental, but don’t be afraid to go for the DVD if that’s what’s available to you. You’re going to need it, trust me.

View #10 here!

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My 2014 Movies: Blended (#21)

When I say “Adam Sandler”, what goes through your mind? Do you consider him a comedic gem or an old friend who seems to have lost his way? Sandler’s good name has been tossed around in a recent debate over the quality of his current work. We reached a point where some moviegoers are instantaneously turned off by a film with him attached to it. However, I am here to tell you to never judge a book by its cover. Blended is actually enjoyable.

Blended is the third film to star Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore together. Both play single parents who meet each other on a blind date that goes terribly. Sandler has three daughters and Barrymore has two sons. Their paths end up crossing again when they both go on a trip to Africa in place of two former lovers that they both happened to know. Both families are forced to share the romantic getaway suite and deal with each other throughout the entire trip. They don’t get along at first, but that all could easily change with some hilarious misadventures.

You get where the story is going from the start, and I know it. But that’s not the point. Romantic comedies nine times out of ten are never too story-driven. It’s all about the comedic writing, chemistry within your cast, and memorable performances. All of which are aspects that Blended thankfully has.

I found this movie genuinely funny. I admit to being a fan of many Adam Sandler films. (I don’t care what anyone says.). With that said, if you also like Sandler’s style of humor, you won’t be disappointed with some good chuckle-worthy material. However, I would even dare to say that even if you aren’t a fan of Sandler’s recent outings, this may be your exception. I’m not saying it’s as funny as Waterboy or The Wedding Singer, but I can say it’s decent enough to watch.

What sets this film apart from That’s My Boy and Grown Ups 2 is that it’s light on the dumb humor. Every once in a while you’ll find a joke relating to poop or farts, but they aren’t as common here. Instead, most of the jokes are based on the chemistry between the characters. And because the characters are good and funny, the film succeeds in a way that stands out.

That’s the key to the entire equation. The characters are really enjoyable and likeable. Their quirks work to their strength, and the actors seem to have been having a blast playing these characters. Though, the most captivating of all character interactions, as you’d expect, is that of Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore.

These two have always been a powerhouse duo both comedically and romantically. And considering that they spend about half of the movie at each other’s throats (which is a departure from their previous collaborations), it introduces a comradery that you haven’t seen previously. You’d be surprised how much comedic material can come from these two not standing each other. And by the time they inevitably warm up to each other, it’s convincing enough to be effective.

As you would expect, Happy Gilmore films such as this one has good basic production values. The African location makes for some beautiful scenery and plenty of natural lighting. Cinematography is fast and cartoonish in some areas, but slows down when necessary during intimate moments.

I’ll admit to having a difficult time deciding whether this would rank higher than Top Five. While Top Five probably has smarter jokes, I chose Blended for its accessibility. And to those who have missed out on this movie, I would say it’s very accessible. I recommend you give it a go if you get the opportunity. It’s probably not one to seek out, but if you’ve had reservations before, you need not worry too much here. This is the best Adam Sandler movie in a long time for sure.

View #20 here!

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My 2014 Movies: Top Five (#22)

This was the last movie I saw in the theater in 2014. I was in New York, and there were two parties: one group saw Into the Woods and the other saw Top Five. I was in category B. Now I know a lot of people will have a problem with my placement of this movie on the list. I’ll get into why in a moment.

Chris Rock directs and stars in Top Five. He plays a very famous comedian (stand-up and film) named Andre Allan, who after dealing with alcoholism and controversy sets out to rebrand himself. Before the release of his new, more serious movie about the Haitian Revolution and his big wedding with a reality TV star, he takes part in an interview with a New York Times journalist named Chelsea, played by Rosario Dawson. Andre isn’t too thrilled with the interview, and jaded by his fans’ disinterest in his new work and constant requests for returning to comedy. He soon concedes with Chelsea to be rigorously honest throughout the interview.

The film is basically a day in the life of a transitioning, typecast celebrity. It highlights the revelations he goes through with the help of this reporter as well as the struggle to be more than what you’re known for. Can you do other things in a way people can understand and accept, and does branching out mean leaving the one thing you’re known for behind? These are two of many themes the story of Top Five tackles.

That’s the first and primary thing you can praise the movie for. Of all the films I discussed so far on this countdown this is probably the most cleverly written and directed. Again, the movie delves into many themes, both of which speak to celebrities and people in general.

Top Five is ingeniously and cleverly written and directed. As Chris Rock’s directorial debut, he couldn’t have done better with this story. On the surface a lot of the film’s issues seem to only apply to celebrities. It really can apply to anyone, though. Many of us try to take on other roles and are boxed-in by the expectations and stereotypes of others. You can tell he really knew what he was doing and what he was trying to get across.

The movie is also well acted by every last individual actor. You will see that the movie wields a lengthy all-star cast. Any fan of comedy will recognize at least one person in the film, but most likely a lot more. As a high-budget production, the film also has high production value, great camerawork and a high-brow soundtrack.

Then we get to the comedy of the movie. This may be where I get the most flack, but hear me out. I am not saying the film is not funny. It’s hilarious and anyone will tell you that. I recall three or five instances in the film where I busted a gut laughing. I won’t be the one to spoil it for you, though. Honestly, the movie’s place on the list is to no fault of the film itself. The problem is with me.

This movie is different from other comedies. The modern-day format of comedy has jaded me with what is usually a never-ending onslaught of jokes. This movie is mostly about its story than its jokes. My issue is one of expectations and hype. Both were through the roof before I saw the film and before I had a chance to come back to earth. The result was unfounded disappointment.

This is an incredibly selfish reason to underrate a movie, but at least I have the sense to concede and tell you what a great film it is. Had this list been based on quality, this would be a lot higher than it is. This list, however, is based on my enjoyment of the film. I do plan to see the movie again, knowing what I’m getting into, and most likely coming out with a much higher opinion than I do now. As it stands currently I thought the movie was good where it is.

It may seem low to some, but understand that I saw a lot of good movies this year, this is one of them

I would recommend the film without a shadow of a doubt to any and all fans of comedy. You will enjoy the film just fine as long as your expectations are in the right place. Do not overestimate to a ridiculous standard like I did. I got overexcited, but I can almost guarantee you will enjoy the film. Even if you’re not big on comedy, the story is surprisingly good. Take my thoughts for what their worth. I found it good, but you may find it great.

View #21 here!

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