A pair of misfit science teachers find an Arizona meteor strike hiding an alien invasion. OK SF comedy modelled on Reitman’s earlier Ghostbusters, down to a gunge/giant monster/Dan Ackroyd finale. Julianne Moore on sprightly pratfall form.
Once Upon a Time in Venice (2017, Dir. Mark Cullen)
Meanderring tale with a borrowed plot. An aged Willis stumbles around Venice Beach in a pastiche of himself. Billed as a comedy, with the only laughs coming from how shoddy this films looks now. Might have been a hit in 1994. Dull and tiresome. 😦
The Cabin in the Woods (2012, dir. Drew Goddard)
Five students have a weekend away, but nothing is at it seems. Hugely entertaining horror deconstruction, as much about storytelling and the power of myth as it is about pulling apart old tropes for the sake of it. Absolutely recommended.
Year One (2009, dir. Harold Ramis)
Two neolithic losers stumble into Old Testament-era civilization. Patchy lowbrow comedy ticking off every genitals-related gag in the scrolls. Some funny moments; the always-welcome Oliver Platt steals the show as a lascivious high priest.
An American Werewolf In London (1981, dir. John Landis)
A US student to the UK survives a werewolf attack. Spry horror-comedy with still-excellent make-up effects and an absurdist tone, as well as a keen sense of horror movie history and strength in depth in the casting.
Vacation (2015, dir. John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein)
The next generation of Griswolds go to Walley World. Sequel/reboot to the 80s Chevy Chase flicks; an okay episodic gross-out road movie of the old school. Inevitably hit-and-miss, but some genuinely funny moments.
Bloodsucking Bosses (AKA Bloodsucking Bastards) (2016, dir. Brian James O’Connell)
A mail-order company is taken over by a vampire corporation. That rarity – a genuinely funny horror-comedy – which makes the most of its modest budget with sprightly playing, decent gore, and a very niche cameo appearance joke.
Your Highness (2011, dir. David Gordon Green)
The younger brother of a noble prince is a reluctant quest participant. Handsomely-mounted stoner fantasy romp, with a good cast struggling to make the most of a weak script. A handful of funny moments if you’re feeling indulgent, but that’s about it.
Hail, Caesar! (2016, dir, Joel & Ethan Coen)
A Hollywood fixer’s day from hell. Delirious Coen Brothers’ farce, affectionately spoofing 1950s movies, while spinning another of their noirish kidnapping-goes-wrong yarns. Tons of fun, with everyone concerned clearly having a great time. Recommended.