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Archives for : Comedy

Movie Review: “Ticket to Paradise” is a Decent Trip w/ Scenic Sights

It’s kind of hard to say no to anything with George Clooney or Julia Roberts. But when they team up for a rom-com, I’m sold! 

“Ticket to Paradise” tells a predictable story about a divorced couple, David (Clooney) and Georgia (Roberts), who can barely tolerate sitting next to each other at their daughter’s law school graduation. But, when their daughter, Lily (played by Kaitlyn Dever) goes on what was supposed to be a summer trip to Bali and falls in love/gets engaged to a native named Gede (Maxime Bouttier); David and Georgia put their differences aside to stop the wedding.

Like most romantic comedies, I’m sure you see where this story is going. When it comes to rom-coms, it’s not the predictability that is the issue, it’s whether or not we are served a fresh perspective and/or a handful of laughs. “Ticket to Paradise” offers nothing new story wise and, sadly, not a whole lot of laughs.

The film’s runtime is around an hour and 40 minutes, but the pacing is a lot slower compared to other films in that genre. This is due to the lack of comedy. The best moments are when Clooney and Roberts are at each other’s throats. Their disdain for each other is funny, and the audience will crave more bitter banter as the two have wonderful comedic chemistry. I’m just shocked they didn’t utilize their humor more. We have seen Roberts go much bigger in past rom-coms, and it’s always a joy to see. That being said, it seems that, Director/Writer, OI Parker’s intentions with this film were to have more serious conversations with subtle humor verses the typical slapstick comedy tropes. I absolutely respect this choice, but also seems like a missed opportunity with these two stars.

What “Ticket to Paradise” does offer, is a stunning setting that’s its own character, and a charming, talented cast you can’t help but fall for. Dever and Billie Lourd team up again since “Booksmart” and continue to shine on-screen. Bouttier and the rest of the actors playing island natives are also a joy to watch. And of course, the whole purpose of this movie– George Clooney and Julia Roberts are magnetizing. I think we’d be entertained watching these two have a conversation about drywall.

There’s nothing wrong with the film, but in a year where there have been some fresh romantic comedies like, “Bros” or “I Want You Back”, it’s hard to get excited about this one.

However, with such a lovable cast, and beautiful location, “Ticket to Paradise” can be an enjoyable, lighthearted comedy to escape all the madness in our lives.

Rating: B-

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Movie Review: “Bros” is the Funniest Film of the Year!

Bros. CR: Universal

It’s crazy to think that “Bros” is the first romantic comedy about two men falling in love to be produced by a mainstream studio. It’s long overdue. But, if we had to wait this long, I’m glad we put it in the hands of Billy Eichner (Co-Writer) and Nick Stoller (Director/Co-Writer) to be the first ones to make it.

The film centers on Bobby (Eichner), a popular podcast host and LGBTQ+ historian who prides himself on being guarded and non-committal when it comes to relationships. He seems perfectly satisfied with his one-night stands and Grindr hook ups even though all the people in his life are in serious relationships. But everything changes when Bobby meets Aaron (Luke MacFarlane) at a night club. The two are total opposites. Aaron gives off meathead vibes, Ken doll looks, and a bro-like personality. However, the two are insanely drawn to each other. What starts off as a no-strings attached kind of fling, quickly turns into something much deeper. But like any romcom, the couple face some obstacles that will challenge their newfound romance.

In addition to the film’s historic romantic storyline, the movie also features and entirely LGBTQ+ cast. And it’s entertaining to watch some of those characters poke fun at their own current identity politics. “Bros” goes beyond the surface level romcom with its conversation about the importance of LGBTQ+ historical figures. It will likely spark a debate about what age children should learn about these figures, but the way the film handles this topic is one of my favorite parts of the movie.

“Bros” does follow the typical romcom formula with many familiar tropes, which are well done and nice to see in theaters again. What’s also great to see is the chemistry between Eichner and MacFarlane. The banter between the two of them is exciting foreplay, and the romance it leads to actually brought back the butterflies I use to feel from 90’s romcom classics. Not to mention, the two of them are fantastic actors. MacFarlane throws a nod to his “Hallmark” movies resume, but proves he deserves to be on the big screen. And Eichner is more than a supporting role or “Billy on the Street”, he’s a damn good leading man!

I should add, the film is produced by the one and only, Judd Apatow. Meaning, yes, it holds all the same magic that his previous, successful romcoms had, like “Knocked Up” and “Trainwreck”. “Bros” is just as raunchy, original, and HILARIOUS! The laugh out loud moments are greatly due to the witty screenplay.

“Bros” is an important watch for many reasons, but it’s also an incredibly fun one. I highly encourage moviegoers see this one in theaters and spread the word! Also, can we get started on a “Bros 2”?

Rating: A+

Check out my interview w/ the stars, Billy Eichner and Luke MacFarlane in the video below!

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Movie Review: “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.”

This week I review Focus Feature’s newest comedy, “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul”. The film stars Sterling K. Brown and Regina Hall. It’s a thought-provoking dark comedy that stays with you long after it’s over.

The film opens in theaters and available on Peacock September 2, 2022.

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“Day Shift” Interview w/ Jamie Foxx, Dave Franco, & J.J. Perry

I got the chance to speak with the director and stars of the Netflix action/comedy, “Day Shift”. Jamie Foxx, Dave Franco, and J.J. Perry discuss the film, which ring tone they would choose for each other, who they fanned out over and more!

Be sure to watch the hilarious interview, and the movie when it releases on Netflix August 12, 2022.

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“Vengeance” Interview w/ B.J. Novak

B.J. Novak’s directorial debut, “Vengeance”, is a thought-provoking, hilarious, dark comedy. The talented filmmaker also, wrote and starred in the film. I got a chance to speak with him about the film, the best way to connect with people, what he loved about Texas, and much more!

Check out the interview and the movie when it opens in theaters on July 29, 2022.

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We Start A Series (Movie Event)

A comedy about an aspiring film crew doing whatever it takes to make it big, from starting a porno, to fighting demons, to starting a gang.

About this event

Raw Lemon’s first feature-length film “We Start A Series” screening at Texas Theatre on Jefferson! Experience the biggest comedy movie event happening in Oak Cliff, by Oak Cliff filmmakers. We’re buying three kegs of beer and handing them out to all who arrive on time! Come out, have a drink, have lots of laughs, and enjoy the night with us!

Date and time

Sun, July 17, 2022

6:00 PM – 9:00 PM CDT

Location

Texas Theatre

231 Jefferson Boulevard

Dallas, TX 75208

Purchase tickets here:
We Start A Series (Movie Event) Tickets, Sun, Jul 17, 2022 at 6:00 PM | Eventbrite

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Movie Review: “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” & “Bridgerton” Season 2

This week I review the hilarious new Nicolas Cage action/comedy, “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” and the new season of the popular Netflix series, “Bridgerton”. 

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” opens in theaters April 21, 2022 and “Bridgerton” Season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.

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Rapid Review: “Fresh” is a Deliciously Good Time


Mimi Caves directorial debut serves a familiar dish, but with a “fresh”, new taste. 

I hate to spoil anything about Fox Searchlight Pictures’ “Fresh”, so I’m going to keep it brief. 

The film follows, Noa (Daisy Edgar-Jones), a young woman whose tirelessly looking for love through dating apps. The opening scene of the movie is an awkward, horrible first date. Noa is left feeling hopeless, and thinking that she’ll ever find a good guy. Her best friend, Mollie (Jojo T. Gibbs) is always by her side to console her and tell her she doesn’t need a man, but Noa still hopes for that special someone. 

On a random evening at the grocery store, a handsome, charming man named Steve (Sebastian Stan) hits on Noa by the produce section. Sparks fly and they begin to date. They seem to have a true romantic connection. After a few dates, Steve suggests taking Noa away for the weekend. Unfortunately, this dream vacation quickly turns into an unthinkable nightmare.  

Cave’s debut feature goes from rom-com to a dark, provocative horror. Audiences may think they’ve seen this story before, but it hasn’t been told quite like this. For starters, the film features a Grade-A cast. Stan’s character is unlike anything he’s played before. Between this film and “Pam and Tommy”, he’s proving his incredible versatility as an actor. And Edgar-Jones gives an unforgettable performance, as she brings a whole new level to the “damsel turns badass” story arc. 

Screenwriter, Lauryn Kahn carves out a sharp, witty, and thrilling script. Caves brilliantly brings Kahn’s words to life with her directing. The film’s images range from picturesque to beautifully grotesque. “Fresh” delivers the whole package. It’s a deliciously, twisted horror/comedy that leaves you craving more. 

“Fresh” is available to stream on Hulu on March 4, 2022.

Rating: A

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Top 10 Best Films of 2021

10. West Side Story (2021)

I didn’t think we needed a remake of “West Side Story.” Turns out we needed Steven Spielberg’s remake! I’ll admit, at the start of the film I was thinking “What is happening?” I didn’t appreciate what the choreography was saying right away. But about 15 minutes into the movie, I was hooked. Spielberg created a beautiful musical with a modern-day Romeo and Juliet tale that’s sadly still relevant.

9. Pig

“Pig” is the sleeper hit that has stayed with me since viewing it earlier this year. The film follows a truffle hunter (Nicolas Cage) who lives alone in the Oregonian wilderness, but must return to Portland in search of his beloved, stolen, truffle pig. I didn’t know much going into this movie, but I was quickly reminded of what a talented actor Nicolas Cage is. Even though he’s had some questionable roles, “Pig” solidifies him as one of the greats. I love the simplicity of the story, and the power behind all the performances; especially, Alex Wolff, who plays opposite Cage. You’d expect this film to go full on “John Wick”, but instead it’s more of a subtle human, drama of a man living with regret and grief.  

8. A Hero

Over the years, director Asghar Farhadi has tried to create empathy between audiences and the characters he writes. In his newest film, “A Hero”, we follow Rahim (Amir Jadidi) – A man who was in prison for unpaid debt. During his two-day leave he tries to end his prison time, but things get a little out of hand. “A Hero” is another fantastic piece of work by Farhadi. He continues to keep audiences on the edge of their seat as he constructs an intricate story that powerfully showcases manipulation through social media

7. Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

“Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” is another notch in the Marvel belt of quality superhero movies with fleshed out characters and heartfelt stories. In this film, Shang Chi has been secretly going by the name Shawn (Simu Liu), and spending most of his time with his best friend, Katy (Awkwafina), as a valet in San Francisco. But when they are unexpectedly attacked by his father’s terrorist organization, the Ten Rings, he is forced to return to his old home, and confront the past he so desperately tried to run away from. The film provides a well-thought-out storyline with an emotional backstory. It stuns visually with its seamless choreography and electrifying special effects. It is also the Asian-inspired action flick audiences have been needing to see as Disney continues to successfully showcase diversity and inclusion in their productions.  

6. Don’t Look Up

When two scientists (Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence) discover a comet will soon destroy the Earth, they try everything they can to warn the world and prevent the destruction. But for some reason, people won’t take it seriously. What was intended to be a social commentary on climate change, happens to also relate to our current pandemic and how society chooses to deal with or ignore a global issue. Director/writer Adam McKay creates a hilarious script featuring an all-star, talented cast. The film is timely, terrifying, and laugh-out-loud funny. It’s a comical cautionary tale everyone should watch. 

5. The Last Duel

I have no idea why this film didn’t get more award attention! Jodie Comer at the very least deserves a nomination. “The Last Duel” is based on a true story set in France during the 14th century. Sir Jean de Carrouges (Matt Damon) accuses Jacques Le Gris (Adam Driver) of raping his wife, Marguerite de Carrouges (Jodie Comer), and challenges him to a duel to the death. Damon and Ben Affleck reunite to write a gripping tale told from three different perspectives. With their words and Ridley Scott’s masterful vision, “The Last Duel” is a painful, but important reminder of the #MeToo survivors.

4. The Mitchells vs the Machines

“Mitchell’s vs the Machines was one of my early favorites of 2021. It follows Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson), a teenager who has felt like an outcast most of her life and spends a lot of her time making funny videos. She’s lost the bond she once had with her father (Danny McBride), and is looking forward to going away for college. But, in an effort to rebuild their relationship, Katie’s dad plans a last-minute family road trip. Unfortunately, this bumpy ride finds the Mitchells in the middle of a robot apocalypse, and they become humanity’s last hope. “The Mitchells vs. The Machines” is original, clever, funny, touching, and an absolute blast. This is a movie both kids and adults will connect with and enjoy.  Though Katie and her dad have had their arguments, the entire family has drifted apart by burying themselves in their electronics. Katie’s mom, Linda (Maya Rudolph), is obsessed with other families’ online personas; admiring a life she wished she had. And her brother is obsessed with everything dinosaurs. Rick is the only one in the family who hates technology and enjoys more of the outdoors. It’s enough to make you think twice before pulling out your phones when you’re spending time with your family.  

3. Our Friend

Before I gush about this film, I’m sure some of my colleagues are wondering why a movie that qualified for awards in 2020 is on my top 10 list for 2021. Well, I first saw “Our Friend” in January this year and if you check the official US theatrical release date (not TIFF or other festivals), it opened on January 22, 2021. Moving on! “Our Friend” is an incredibly moving, true story that still brings me to tears when I talk about it. Matt (Casey Affleck) and Nicole (Dakota Johnson) are a loving couple with two daughters; but when they discover Nicole has ovarian cancer, they struggle to keep their life together. When their best friend, Dane (Jason Segel) hears of the tragic news, he decides to put his own life on hold and be there for the whole family. As many times as I have seen a story about losing a loved one from cancer, I have never seen one told like this. Even though it seemed as though Dane was helping Matt and Nicole during a difficult time, in actuality, they were saving him. I think we can all relate to feeling as though a friend may not care as much as you do when you’re sick, or when you just want to feel valued. This is a beautiful portrayal of a mutually loving friendship, and the powerful affect it can have on your life.

2. Spider-Man: No Way Home

I can still remember how I felt when I first saw “Spider-Man” (2002) in theaters. I got chills, my jaw dropped a few times, and I could not stop thinking about what I had just seen. As time went on, we got more Spider-Man movies and different Spider-Man actors. I truly enjoyed them all, some more than others. But never did I think I would be treated to such a theatrical experience in 2021. I’m scared to share any details, because for those who have yet to watch, it’s best to know nothing about the plot. “Spider-Man: No Way Home” weaves together decades of characters we loved and hated to honor a true hero. Tom Holland gives his best performance to date. The film is a nostalgic gift to fans as it engages us in laughter, pulls at our heartstrings, revisits the past, and gives us hope for the future.  

1. King Richard

This probably comes as no surprise as I have raved about this movie since I first saw it. I’ve seen it 3 times, and each time I fall more in love with it. “King Richard” breaks the mold of a formulaic sports biopic. There’s a lot to learn from this film. Though it’s about the Williams sisters’ journey to greatness, it’s also a character study on a flawed man. Richard (Will Smith) is overbearing, selfish, and hard-headed. But he’s also humble, kind, and a loving father. Yes, he wants his daughters to go to Wimbledon, but his first priority for them is to do well in school and enjoy being kids. He also teaches them the importance of good sportsmanship and never forgetting where you came from.

The Best of the Rest:

11. Licorice Pizza

12. Cruella

13. Raya and the Last Dragon

14. The Lost Daughter

15. A Quiet Place Part II

16. Lady of the Manor

17. The Novice

18. House of Gucci

19. Mass

20. Language Lessons

Top 5 Worst Films of 2021

5. Without Remorse – Like a bad date with a good looking person.

4. Space Jam: A New Legacy – Do yourself a favor, just re-watch the original film and forget this exists.

3. Things Heard and Seen – What the actual hell?

2. The Comeback Trail – Luckily, for this all-star cast, most people didn’t know this ever came out.

1. Halloween Kills – An all around joke of a movie that wasn’t funny or fun.

Trevor’s Top 10

10. The Green Knight
9. Candyman
8. No Time to Die
7. The Suicide Squad
6. Don’t Look Up
5. King Richard
4. Pig
3. Spider-Man: No Way Home
2. Bo Burnham: Inside
1. Our Friend

Movie Review: “Licorice Pizza” & “Hawkeye”

Alana Haim and Cooper Hoffman in ‘Licorice Pizza’.

“Licorice Pizza” is Paul Thomas Anderson’s newest, lighthearted romance and “Hawkeye” is Marvel’s newest mini-series. I reviewed both! Find out if they should be on your “must watch” holiday list.

“Licorice Pizza” opens on December 25, 2021

“Hawkeye” is currently streaming on Disney Plus

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