Since the beginning of humanity, we have wondered what happens when we die. This curiosity has opened the door for to creative answers to this very interesting and deep question.
Back in 2008, Ricky Gervais starred as Bertram Pincus in the movie Ghost Town. Living in New York City, Bertram’s social skills are lacking, to say the least. Then he dies suddenly, only to be revived seven minutes later. His return to the living is coupled with the new ability to see and speak to those who have passed.
The problem is that the ghosts he is now seeing all need something from him. Frank Herlihy (Greg Kinnear) is one of the dead who Bertram is in communication with. Frank wants him to stop his widow, Gwen (Tea Leoni) from re-marrying.
The score on Rotten Tomatoes for this movie is 85. Personally, I don’t get it. The narrative is standard for a rom-com, but Gervais is far from my favorite actor.
Satire is to my mind, one of the finest forms of comedy.
Talk Soup (1991-2002) perfected the art of satire. Airing on the E! network, the show had four hosts during it’s lifetime: Greg Kinnear (1991-1995), John Henson (1995-1999), Hal Sparks (1999-2000) and Aisha Tyler (2001-2002), the show satirized moments from the previous days talk shows.
As I recall, I did not get the humor initially because it was a little over my head. Then I understood the humor and I laughed. I laughed because of the ridiculousness of the clips and how self serious the shows made themselves out to be.
Who one has as a college roommate is often a toss-up. On one hand, this roommate can become your lifelong friend. On the other hand, this person can also be your worst nightmare.
In the 2000 movie, Loser, Paul (Jason Biggs) has just started college in New York City. Originally from upstate New York, Paul is on scholarship and must keep his grades up. But his roommates brand him as a loser because he is not there to party all the time. Then he meets Dora (Mena Suvari). Dora is having both financial and romantic troubles. She needs to pay for school and is also having an affair with their arrogant literature professor, Edward Alcott (Greg Kinnear). After Dora passes out after being slipped drugs at a party, Paul helps her to recover. They become friends and Paul’s feelings for Dora quickly develop. Will Dora return his feelings and will Paul be able to ditch his destructive roommates?
Written and directed by Amy Heckerling, the critics were not kind to the film. However, from my perspective, I have to disagree with the critics. Yes, the film has its idiotic moments, but the message of the film is that nice people who work hard succeed while those who party all the time and take advantage of others are doomed to fail. While the message overall is a little too preachy, it works for the film.
Sometimes superhero movies take themselves a little too seriously.
In 1999, the genre was given the satirical treatment in the form of Mystery Men.
When the local superhero Captain Amazing (Greg Kinnear) is captured by the local super villain Casanova Frankenstein (Geoffrey Rush), it’s up to a ragtag group of superhero wannabes to save the day. Led by Furious (Ben Stiller), the group includes Bowler (Janeane Garofalo) and Blue Raja (Hank Azaria), this bunch of second-rate superheroes must band together to save their city and their superhero from destruction.
As I recall, what I enjoyed about this movie is not the DC, Marvel Comics type movie that many fans of the superhero and comic book genre have come to expect. The film had an underbelly of dark satire that was unique to the genre and made the audience laugh.
And of course, what a late 1990’s movie without the requisite theme song sung by Smashmouth?
Audrey Hepburn is an icon. Her movies, her perfect fashion sense, have lived on 21 years after her passing.
One of her earliest movies, Sabrina, happens to be one my favorite classic Hollywood movies and the subject of this Flashback Friday post.
Sabrina Fairchild (Audrey Hepburn) is the daughter of the Larabee family chauffeur. She is mousy, quiet and watching from the sidelines. She has a crush on David (William Holden), the younger Larabee son who does not know that she exists. After receiving an opportunity to live in Paris, Sabrina returns home, fashionable and elegant.
David quickly takes notice of her. But the problem is that David is engaged and breaking his engagement could potentially ruin a business deal with his future father in law. David’s older brother Linus (Humphrey Bogart) starts to spend time with Sabrina to try to sway her attention away from his brother. But Linus will soon find that he too is falling for her.
This movie is classic Hollywood at it’s best. Despite the age different between Hepburn and Bogart, their chemistry is perfect. What I love about this movie is the Cinderella-esque journey that happens to Sabrina. Her transformation from a gawky, unsure young girl to an elegant woman who thinks that she has finally gained the attention and affection of the man who she has secretly loved is magical.
In 1995, a lackluster remake of Sabrina premiered. Taking over from Hepburn, Holden and Bogart was Julia Ormond, Greg Kinnear and Harrison Ford. While the movie tries to be what was then a modern update, there is something not quite right about.
I recommend first the 1954 original movie. And then if you like that movie, try the 1995 remake.