Saturday, August 05, 2006

Extensive Movie List (Pt. 3)

Part Three: Comedies

Note: I should preface this section by saying that some of the films, especially in this genre are ribald and often times sexually suggestive, so please of all the genres, be careful that you view only what you think you can handle.

Anchorman: The Tale of Ron Burgundy
Ron Burgundy is an over-assured anchorman in 1970's San Diego played magnificently by Will Ferrell. Now, I believe Ferrell to be the funniest man alive, especially when he is in some state of undress, which seems to happen in every one of his films. The role as the anchorman really set Ferrell apart from the rest of the pack as being able to carry a film. There are hilarious scenes throughout the movie, as the story follows Burgundy being #1, falling from grace, finding salvation in what he hated until he finally reaches redemption. And the whole thing is very, very funny.

There's Something About Mary
This movie was, in my mind, the Farrelly Brothers last really, really funny movie. Before this they had made the comedy classic Dumb and Dumber, followed it up with Kingpin (which was funny, but not on the same level as D&D or Mary), then came this comic masterpiece. The story follows the life of Ted Stroehmann (played by Ben Stiller) as he falls in love with Mary Jensen, possibly the perfect girl (played by Cameron Diaz). Mary has a mentally disabled brother who Ted actually treats like a person, so Mary loves him. An unfortunate incident happens on prom night and soon after Mary moves away, leaving Ted, for the rest of his life, in love with Mary. 10 years later, Ted hires a P.I. to find her. The P.I. (Matt Damon) falls in love with the girl, and Ben set out on his own to win his woman back. There are sight gags, funny animal comedy, hilarious dialogue and some of the most memorable characters to ever come to life in a comedy. The Farrelly brothers had it for a while. Now, they seem to lower themselves to make the drivel that was Fever Pitch. Let's hope they turn it around soon.

Austin Powers in Goldmember
In a line of films that spoofs the James Bond series as well as some more obscure British spy films of the 60's, this one (the 3rd) is definitely the funniest. Mike Myers, to me, is a modern day Peter Sellers...a chameleon who writes and performs his own characters, and each character is perfect. In this one, he plays 4 characters - Powers, Dr. Evil, Fat B*stard and Goldmember. The film starts off with a hilarious cameo sequence in which supposedly Steven Spielberg is making a movie of Austin Powers starring Tom Cruise as Powers, Kevin Spacey as Dr. Evil, Danny DeVito as Mini Me and Gwyneth Paltrow as a vixen named Dixie. From there, the film follows Powers in his silly quest to locate the new villain Goldmember in 1975. I laughed harder during this film than just about any film I've seen in my life. It is very, very funny. Mike Myers is a brilliant writer and a more brilliant character actor. The fact that you are laughing the entire time simply makes you forget how good he really is.

Bruce Almighty
A lot of Christians were up in arms because it looked like this film was allowing Jim Carrey to play God - how sacreligious! But the story, written and directed by the born-again Tom Shadyac, follows the life of a man (Jim Carrey) who feels cursed by God and along the way begins to believe that he could do a better job with the world than God could. So, God (Morgan Freeman) calls him in for a job interview and gives Carrey His powers. Of course, being the sinful man that he is, Bruce uses the powers selfishly, across the board. We come to find out that Bruce doesn't have all of God's powers...he was just given enough powers to help a small section of the city of Buffalo. Unfortunately he helps no one but himself. As his selfish life falls apart, he turns slowly to God, realizing that even with magnificent powers, he still is in need of God. There are things about the story that are inconsistent with who God is, but overall the story is a touching story of a man turning to God.

Wedding Crashers
The Frat Pack has made a lot of movies over the last few years, and they almost always star more than 1 or 2 of the group. This one, starring Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn follows the lives of two divorce negotiatiors who, every wedding season, put on their best acts and fake names and crash weddings in order to get women in the sack. Their thoughts are that women are at their weakest when they have just seen a friend get married. It's when they go for the wedding of all weddings (the daughter of the Secretary of Treasury) that things go haywire. I can't explain any more of the story without giving away hilarious sections of the film, but if you can handle a little ribald humor, you will weep during this film. The movie also has Christopher Walken, Jane Seymour and Rachel McAdams.

The Royal Tennenbaums
Wes Anderson is a genius. You are required to go our and rent every Wes Anderson film made tonight and watch them in marathon style. This film follows the disfunctional families of all disfunctional families. With a brilliant cast (Ben Stiller, Owen & Luke Wilson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Gene Hackman, and Anjelica Huston), the movie shines when it is at it's wierdest best. The film is odd. There are segues that are different than any film you've ever seen. The humor is hilarious without being dirty. The characters are complex yet funny, which is oftentimes hard to pull off. This film is just pleasing, as is every other Anderson film I've seen. This is definitely a must see.

Office Space
The story follows a man who hates his job at a computer software firm and decides one day (after a little backstory) that he doesn't care any more. So, he shows up to work when he wants, does what he wants and when he wants...and gets a promotion! Unfortunately part of the promotion involves firing 2 of his best friends. So, they hatch a plan based on Superman 3 where they steal money from their company a few tenths of a cent at a time over years so no one notices. Unfortunately, the scheme goes horribly wrong when over one weekend they steal close to $300,000. This film is based on short films called Milton by Mike Judge, the creator of Beavis & Butthead and King of the Hill. The characters in this one are all funny, and Milton almost steals the show. Definitely a must see.

This film is based on the 1970's tv series of the same name, starring Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller as Starsky and Hutch, respectively. The movie, instead of creating a whole new world, basically does a tongue-in-cheek recreation of the show. It is almost a knowing nod to the fact that they are recreating a classic show and if it ain't broke, don't fix it. However, this film is much, much funnier than the series. The story follows the two detectives as they become friends while investigating a murder. Will Farrell, Vince Vaughn and Jason Bateman all make appearances in this one, and they are each on top of their game. The Will Farrell scene is one of the funniest scenes in recent movie history.

Spinal Tap
This was the first of the mockumentaries that have of recent years become so popular (Best in Show, A Mighty Wind, Waiting for Guffman). This movie documents the life of a British rock band trying to make a comeback. The film basically mocks all the excesses that made up 70's & 80's heavy metal, and it is point on. Any musicians with any experience gigging can identify with almost everything that goes on in the film. But the movie is more universal than just making musicians laugh. There are some very, very funny parts in this film. This is an oldie but goodie. Watch it tonight (after the Wes Anderson marathon).

Meet the Parents
I love Ben Stiller when he plays a lovable loser. This film pits him as a lovable loser trying to find the chance to ask his soon-to-be father-in-law if he can marry his daughter. Unfortunately, the father in law ends up being a former CIA agent played by Robert DeNiro. The comedy in this film is in the chemistry between DeNiro and Stiller. Who knew the Taxi Driver could be so freaking funny? I love DeNiro in general, but in this film he showed how broad and talented an actor he truly is (he had started to do that with Analyze This & That). The whole film has funny scene after funny scene and I think that one thing director Jay Roach (also directed the Austin Powers series) does really well is make sure that there is never a scene without a laugh in it. I actually would probably put this up there in my top 10 favorite movies of all time...not the best, but my favorite. I love this movie.


-Di. said...

Dear Mr. Sligh,

I can't believe the words best and Austin Powers in Gold member were mentioned in the same sentence. Ok that really didn't happen but the sentence "In a line of films that spoofs the James Bond series as well as some more obscure British spy films of the 60's, this one (the 3rd) is definitely the funniest." is inconceivable to me.

I will agree that the first scene was amusing. That was a movie I would have paid to see. But the rest of it? Purely made up of rejects from #1 and 2. Although Beyonce Knowles' acting has improved she was ..... a whole lot of painful to watch.

But the movie Office Space saves this list. Where is the movie "Prince Bride"? That movie is not only brilliant but brilliantly acted.

I think you'd like the podcast Filmspotting. You should check them out in your copious amount of free time.

Love & Peace,


Anonymous said...

I was a little disappointed in Goldmember. It just wasn't as funny as the rest, but Bruce Almighty was so much better than I expected.

Coming from Hollywood, I expected it to run totally counter to my faith. Other than one particular incident that rubs me the wrong way, most of the film went really well. Truly impressed.

AshG said...

A good list, perhaps a little too contemporary. Anchorman is pure improv genius, it is THE most quotable movie off all time. If you dont believe me, just ask James Westfall or Dr. Kenneth Noisewater. I personally would go for Kingpen over TSAM but that is the obtuse choice for sure.

Agree on Austin Powers, Royal T (anything from Wes Anderson, seen Bottlerocket?), Spinal Tap for sure and Office Space. I would throw in Tommy Boy, Monty Python Holy Grail, The Jerk (I proposed to my wife with the thermos song), Dodgeball and my uber-obtuse choice... Death to Smoochy.

bmorebamma said...

my favorite's are nacked gun#1 det.frank drebbin what can't you say bout him , blazing saddles. i like @ the end where the 2 main charters ride off in the sunset in a big ole caddie lmao, and my fave drama is rain man. deffently , deffently , rainman. it made ME wanna go to k-mart get me some draws. lol you can tell my my choices that iam NOT quite right in da head lol

Anonymous said...

Hey Chris:
I have a few recommendations for your movie list

Boondock Saints,
Pump Up the Volume (a classic) and
Shrek, both 1 and 2 (thinking 3 will be on my list as soon as it comes out)
check 'em out when you have time.
~Just Jules

Lauryn said...

I was kind of dissapointed that Monty Python and the Holy Grail wasn't anywhere on here :(

Though The Royal Tenenbaums was an ingenious movie :]

-clap clap-

P.S. My mother and I both think you were the best singer on American Idol <3