Posts Tagged ‘comedy’

Once Upon a Time in Venice Movie PosterAn ex-Los Angeles detective turned PI seeks out the ruthless gang that stole his dog.

Director, writer Mark Cullen’s entertaining beach bum action caper which sees Bruce Willis as Steve Ford return to centre stage instead of small cameos. Thankfully Willis isn’t just there to just pick up a pay cheque, its very much his own film, and he’s as cheeky and charming as ever.

The on location feel captures the heat of Venice Beach and Cullen offers plenty of colourful locale visuals. The characters are all quirky and larger than life including humorous Jason Momoa as mumbling gangster Spider and Steve’s heartfelt troubled friend Dave (excellent John Goodman). Things get more and more outlandish as Steve tries to solve a number of weird cases. Sadly, Famke Janssen is wasted as Katey Ford.

With echoes of the recent The Nice Guys (2016) there’s a few shoot outs and double crosses with hints of watered down Tarantino thrown in for good measure, Cullen like the moments of comedy set these up with perfect timing thanks to some effective staging and Matt Deizel fine editing.

Overall, while not Willis’ best it’s an almost return to likes of Last Boy Scout form rather than Die Hard, still it’s good fun and worth a viewing.

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Image result for Ibiza Undead impawardsIn a world where zombies are rumoured and known, a group of youngest head to uninfected Ibiza for the holiday of a lifetime – only it’s not as zombie free as they thought.

A low budget comedy yarn, with sex, partying and zombies. It’s not in the league of productions values as The Rezort or the likes of Cockney Vs Zombies. Writer/director Andy Edwards offers a watchable rough round the edges undead romp.

Some of the lines are funny but without Ed Kear as wise cracking Big Jim this would have completely fallen flat. Dealer Karl played by Richard Brake, Rhys Ifans-like Matt King is notable and plays a good psycho, but he’s too good compared to the rest of the cast and feels out of place. Also UK’s Alex Zane cameos as a Club Host in amongst the rubbery makeup and fake blooded zombie extras.

It’s not Shaun of the Dead, as a gauge picture a low budget The Inbetweeners Movie (2011) mixed with Kevin & Perry Go Large (2000) versus zombies. With limited production values and a sod’s law twist at the end it has its limitations but to Edwards credit, you can’t fault his effort as he works with what he has and makes the most of the sun, sea and location.

Teens who want to see some bikinis and a pair of boobs should enjoy but everyone else, well…

  *** This review may contain dead girlfriend spoilers ***

A guy’s overbearing girlfriend, who he’s afraid to break up with dies in a freak accident. However, she rises from the grave hampering his new relationship.

Written by Alan Trezza reminiscent of IZombie, Big, Over Her Dead Body (2008) only with the ghost aspect replaced with a zombie and Death becomes Her to name a few just a few, Burying The Ex has its own inner city charm. Packed with horror references, it’s a genre aficionados dream thanks to Joe Dante’s magic touch, effects, score and on location shoot.

Things get interesting when vegan Ashley Greene’s Evelyn returns from the grave and Anton Yelchin as Max tries to juggle his new crush, Olivia (Alexandra Daddario) and possessive ex. Yelchin gives the same great every guy performance as he did in Odd Thomas. Greene steels the show with some good makeup effects, from spewing up embalming fluid to being a drop dead gorgeous psycho corpse.

There’s touches of the Howling (1981) with the old reference books and Amazing Stories (1986). Some jokes fall flat, but most of the lines, gross out gags are on the money. There’s some eerie scenes, vileness and blood when Evelyn realises what zombies enjoy. The film then takes a macabre turn in the latter Evil Dead-like half.

Dante creates a unique off beat atmosphere as he did with Gremlins and Small Soldiers. While zombies have become stale and saturated lately Dante injects some life in what could have been a Twilight Zone, Monsters, Tales from the Darkside or Crypt anthology episode into a snappy horror comedy film. It’s not John Landis’ American Werewolf but it’s a hoot for old school horror, practical effects fans.

IMG_0959Walter Davis needs a blind date to impress his boss and allows his brother Ted to set him up with his wife’s cousin, Nadia, who goes a little wild as she has an intolerance to alcohol.

Not to be confused with the TV show or the Kirsty Alley film. Straight off the bat of Moonlighting Bruce Willis is on fresh form as Walter. Incidentally he is being stalked by Nadia’s ex called David (Willis’ character name in Moonlighting). Willis is witty sharp, physical and funny. Blind Date was a box office success but it was panned by critic’s, most likely as it poked fun at the very yuppies who were reviewing it.

Yes its packed with slapstick humour, but after all this is a Blake Edwards’ film. There’s mooning at a guard dog, golf balls knocking people out of trees, a menagerie of drunken moments as Nadia, played perfectly by Kim Basinger, causes mayhem, only for Walter to later embarrassingly do the same. There’s Walter holding David at gunpoint and getting him to ‘Moonwalk’. A Japanese ladies wig coming off. Walter’s sleazy workmate palming off his card to his date. A James Brown car alarm. The sulky French head waiter. There’s too many great moments and characters to mention.

It’s not perfect, it has it’s eye rolling moments and it’s not as slick and pacey as it could be, but bear in mind the late great Edwards was in his mid sixties when filming. Walter and Nadia fall in love a little quick and while the creeping around the house scene is not as well executed as Secret of My Success (1987) of the same year, Willis’ falling on the golf- ball is hilarious comparable to Bill Murray’s fall in Scrooged (1988).

There’s plenty of great lines and performances from the supporting cast. Phil Hartman and William Daniels are particularly memorable. And Henry Mancini’s score complements the film well.

Whether intentional or not writer Dale Launer and Edwards’ Blind Date offer a social commentary in amongst the comedy. Blind Date is actually very self aware, spoofing its own time period, highlighting the sterile materialism and superficial modern life of the 80s.

Overall great fun.

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