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Posts Tagged ‘Dark Comedy’

“Extracurricular Activities” A Cool Dark Comedy

June 6th, 2019 No comments

 

 

 

 

Review by John Delia, Sr.

Assuredly that when a well-acted, directed and written film gets produced, the accolades will be high. This is the case of Extracurricular Activates, a wicked, compelling and jaw dropping dark comedy that will have glued to the screen. Get the popcorn and drinks ready, then pop the DVD or start the VOD for an evening of fun. Mature teens and up for this winning film. Read more…

“The Death of Stalin” Satirical and Irreverent

April 1st, 2018 No comments

 

 

 

 

 

Review by John Delia, Sr.

Irreverent, totally off the wall, and exaggerated are the good things about the dark comedy The Death of Stalin. The film goes bonkers on the Russian regime lead by Stalin as they picture the death of their leader in 1953. In actuality when the Soviet Leader died rumors were rampant on whether it was ordinary or murder, well this film isn’t going to answer that question, but it’ll lay to rest the madness of it all. You don’t have to be a historian to enjoy the film, just be able sit back and laugh at what may or may not have taken place. Read more…

“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri ” (Written Review & Trailer)

November 20th, 2017 No comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review by John Delia, Sr.

A great assembling of actors, excellent control by director Martin McDonagh and a vicious script make Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri a winner. The crime drama, laced with cynical comedy puts the film up there with the movie Fargo and even TV’s “Fargo”. While I may like the film, it does have some racist tones that may offend. That said, McDonagh has a penchant for turning the tables on the offensive comments and actions, and here he does it big time. Read more…

“Get Out” (Written Review & Trailer)

February 22nd, 2017 No comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review by John Delia

Disturbing and provocative the movie Get Out turns up the volume on suspense and terror. One of the better scary films in a long time, the movie challenges you from the very start as to the motives of a family gathering with a “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” impression that turns sour. If you like fright films like The Visit this is your cup of tea. Read more…

Le Capital, a Comedy? (Movie Review)

October 31st, 2013 No comments

capital POSTERA FRENCH FOREIGN FILM

 

 

Review by John Delia

Attempting to make capitalism a comedy the French movie Capital comes to the screen with a story that looks into the deep dark suspense of a world gone mad.  Using banks as the battleground, we are shown how even the slightest tilt in global finance can cause catastrophe.  Although the film is a fictional narrative, it could be more real than you think. Read more…

The Family, Chaos, Comedy and Mayhem (Film Review)

September 13th, 2013 No comments

FAMILY posterReview by John Delia

A fine cast, a notable director and some very nice camerawork create Luc Besson’s newest film The Family.  Delivering a lot of family angst mixed with a good measure of chaos the movie works its way into the kind of comedy that often takes a chunk out of the box-office.  Starring Robert De Niro, Michelle Pfeiffer and Tommy Lee Jones The Family should have enough star power to attract a sizable audience, especially since the target 25 plus crowd should be available for a new movie this weekend. Read more…

Pain & Gain, A Dark Comedy (Film Review)

April 25th, 2013 No comments

PAIN GAIN post

Review by John Delia

Continuing to make exciting films Michael Bay releases Pain & Gain a movie that’s reminiscent of his storytelling with the wild and enthusiastic Bad Boys, but far from his explosive films like Transformers and Armageddon. Here he takes you on a roller coaster ride with a true crime story, a dark comedy that gets so absurd I found myself questioning whether the three main characters saw too many movies and thought that even the fictional ones were reality. It’s totally unbelievable, but in today’s world I guess most anything can happen. Read more…

THIN ICE, Reviewed by Alyn Darnay

February 16th, 2012 No comments

FUNKY

UNEXPECTED

GREAT

PERFORMANCES

THIN ICE

Review by Alyn Darnay

Directed by: Jill Sprecher
Written by: Jill Sprecher and Karen Sprecher
Cast: Greg Kinnear, Billy Crudup, Alan Arkin, James Detmar, David Harbour, Lea Thompson

So I started watching this film and I said to myself, “self, what’s this all about?” It seemed dull, dull, and dullier. “What was Greg Kinnear thinking when he took on this role?” Then all of a sudden, the film takes this funky turn and I’ve fallen through the ice and am absorbed in the story up to my neck…and it keeps getting better and better. With rapid and unexpected plot twists and turns and a climax that just sings, THIN ICE is a small gem of a film with great performances and a crafty everyman story.

Greg Kinnear as Mickey tries to talk Alan Arkin as Gorvy into some life insurance

Very reminiscent of both ‘Fargo’ (1996) and ‘A Simple Plan’ (1998) for it’s Bible-Belt characters and wintery location, THIN ICE carves out a place all its own that holds your attention and takes you on a dangerous journey of deceit and double-dealing.

The story goes like this, a Wisconsin based con-man insurance salesman (Greg Kinnear), separated from his wife (Lea Tompson), broke, and precariously near the end of his rope, discovers that an elderly client (Alan Arkin), whose account he stole from a new associate, has inherited an extremely valuable violin from his ailing sister and is not aware that it’s worth $25,000. Hatching a plan to grab the violin and sell it himself, Kinnear tries to build a friendship with the befuddled old man. But Kinnear is hopelessly out of his depth and that’s when things start to get really complicated.

Kinnear is amazing in his endless desperation, Arkin is masterful as the old man, and Billy Crudup is explosively dangerous as a locksmith caught up in the whole scheme. The writer-director team of the Sprecher sisters (Clockwatchers-1997), themselves Wisconsin natives, show they have an intimate knowledge of their subject and place it on the screen beautifully, warts and all. Good job Everyone.

Thin Ice” gets all the elements just right, taking the audience on a wild ride with an abundance of cannily plot contortions combined with some wonderful comic touches that will have you agonizing right along with the main character. It a solid enjoyable film experience.

 

Rating: B+

“THIN ICE” is rated R (Under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian). Time: 97 min

 

Please Follow Alyn Darnay on Twitter @alyndarnay and Your Entertainment Ticket @yeticket

THIN ICE, review by John Delia

February 16th, 2012 No comments

A SLIPPERY

PLOT

DECEIVINGLY

DELIGHTFUL

THIN ICE

Review by John Delia

 

 

It seems like ages that a movie featuring a good cunning tale has unraveled on the big screen and I’m happy to say Thin Ice fits the bill.  A smartly written well-acted story with so many twists and turns I found myself wondering, “How did I not see that coming”?  It’s a deceiving, manipulative and funny film played out in a quick tempo that kept me spellbound throughout. 

The story centers on Mickey Prohaska (Greg Kinnear) a small-time insurance agent looking for a way to increase his business and escape from the Wisconsin snow. A salesman who can sell as long as he can find someone to believe his smooth tongue delivery and there’s money to be had. At a conference where he gives a speech he meets Bob Egan (David Harbor) who gets hired by Mickey to get leads for his insurance business.

 

Mickey hits pay dirt when Bob gives him a lead involving a lonely retired farmer Gorvy (Alan Arkin) who is sitting on something much bigger than an insurance commission. But Mickey’s attempt to con the old man spins out of control when a nosy, unstable locksmith Randy (Billy Crudup) with a volatile temper dramatically ups the stakes, trapping him in a spiral of danger, deceit and double-crossing.  

 

Greg Kinnear as Mickey and Billy Crudup as Randy at a frozen lake with a body

Director Jill Sprecher handles the dark comedy very well intriguing her audience with several interesting characters and keeping the interest high as the scheming Mickey works out his dirty deed.  Using the small town flavor, winter’s chilling weather and remote farm house as her stage, she spins the sordid tale bit by bit providing comedy and mayhem in just the right amounts to distract the audience from her ultimate surprise.

I can’t see the film working without the excellent performances by a first rate acting troupe lead by Greg Kinnear as Mickey the scheming insurance salesman who tries to pull the wool over the eyes of Arkin’s receptive farmer character.  The two are perfect opposites and when you throw in the unsuspecting locksmith Randy played aptly by Crudup the mix becomes even more interesting, especially when the value of the Mickey’s mission starts to rise.

But, the film would not have worked if it were not for two poker-faced actors David Harbour as Bob Egan Mickey’s new protégée and Bob Balaban as Leonard Dahl a violin appraiser who ups the challenge for a big score.   The two are the catalysts that suck you into the extremely deceptive story till the very end.

Thin Ice has been rated R by the MPAA for language, and brief violent and sexual content.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS: A very keenly written and highly deceptive piece of entertainment. (A)

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

  • Cast: Greg Kinnear, Alan Arkin, Billy Crudup, David Harbour, Michelle Arthur,
  • Lea Thompson, Bob Balaban
  • Directed by: Jill Sprecher
  • MPAA Rating: R for language, and brief violent and sexual content.
  • Genre: Drama, Crime, and Dark Comedy
  • Running Time: 1 hr 34 min
  • Opening Date: Now In theaters
  • Distributed by: ATO Pictures

Please follow John Delia on Twitter @staragent1 and Your  Entertainment Ticket @yeticket

 

 

GET LOW written review

August 26th, 2010 No comments

“ALIVE AT YOUR OWN FUNERAL”

getlowLARGE posterStarring: Robert Duval, Sissy Spacek, Bill Murray, Lucas Black and Bill Cobbs

Directed by: Aaron Schneider

MPAA Rating: PG 13 for some thematic material and brief violent content.

Genre: Drama, Dark Comedy, based on a true story

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Running Time: 1hr 40 min

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics

By John Delia

Inspired by a true story, Get Low transports the audience to the late 1930’s for a very unusual event.  Top notch acting, directing and smart cinematography makes the film an exceptional piece for those that like their drama with some dark comedy.  Get Low stands a chance for award nominations in all aspects, especially the acting of Robert Duvall and Bill Murray.

Felix (Duvall) Buddy (Black) and Quinn (Murray)

Felix (Duvall) Buddy (Black) and Quinn (Murray)

The film tells the remarkable real account of Felix Bush, a lowly hermit who lived in a cabin far from a small town for forty years.  Although most people only knew about him from tales that he was involved in wrong doing, most loathed his demeanor when he came to town, a deep secret to why he decided to spend so many years as a recluse had never been substantiated.  One day following a trip to town for getting supplies a ruckus breaks out between Felix and a villager.  Felix decides he’s had enough as a hermit.  With his shotgun and a roll of money he waltzes into town and approaches Frank Quinn (Bill Murray), the local funeral director, to set up a memorial service, but an unusual one.  Deciding that he wants to hear what the townspeople feel about him he wants his service while he is alive.  Thus begins a tale that takes Felix, Quinn and his salesman Buddy (Lucas Black) on an emotional journey.

Quinn and Buddy make a deal

Quinn and Buddy make a deal

The casting for Get Low gives the audience a chance to see remarkable actors Duvall and Murray in action.  The two amazing stars give one of the best performances of their long careers.  Although Duvall as Felix did remind me a lot of his strong performance in The Apostle for which he was nominated for an Oscar, the cool as a cumber actor pervades his character with anger, loathing, then sympathy and a desire for forgiveness.  Murray puts on the show as fast-talking salesman Quinn who will go to any length to make a buck.  He’s the epitome of the word schmooze and taker, but when the tables get turned the word humble comes to mind.

Quinn's 1930's Hearse

Quinn's 1930's Hearse

Direction by first timer Aaron Schneider is pinpoint and creative bringing 1938 to life with a 30’s hearse, costumes and sets.  His ability to bring out remarkable performances from his cast that also includes six time academy award nominee Sissy Spacek, Lucas Black (Jarhead, Legion) and the amazing Bill Cobbs, shows he’s an up and coming directorial star.

Get Low is rated PG 13 for some thematic material and brief violent content.

FINAL ANALYSIS: An acting tour de force. (4 of 5)