Archive for the ‘Dark Comedy’ Category



11:14 consists of five stories of about a dozen small town inhabitants whose lives intersect at… well 11:14 as the title suggests.

I knew very little of this movie…actually almost nothing of it other than what’s written at the back of the dvd cover…I don’t think it even got any theatrical release here. But I was looking for something short to watch and this one fits…it was only 86min long.

The story starts off with this guy talking on the phone while driving…pretty drunk too and as he comes out from under a bridge his car hits something. And so this is how the movie starts off with the other stories following, connecting the characters in some bizarre unimaginable way.

The movie is puzzle like.Often going forward and backwards…each story leaves you wanting more… to know what is actually going on here…how are they connected?…what other insane things are the characters going to do next?…hide a body, rob a convenience store, urinate from a window of movie car…Surely another disastrous consequence. But then none of the characters are truly that good…all very flawed and makes the worst choices…they had it coming.

The movie was an interesting drama/black comedy. Had a pretty good plot…easy to understand and piece together and good pacing too…I like it.

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Also known as He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not.

There’s probably a ton of those movies about crazy psychotic women who are obsessed with getting their men. The Crush comes to mind here. They tend to have the girls/women…pout their lips here and there…wear cute sexy outfits…seduce the men…or something like that. Then the obsession creeps in…they start to wreck havoc in the lives of these men and everyone else.

À la folie… pas du tout…though is quite different than most of those other movies…and of course a lot better too. It actually splits the movie into two perspectives (A simple yet a clever idea don’t you think)…One is that of Angelique ( what a name for the psycho character) the one who is in love with the married Dr Loic and the other is the from the perspective Dr Loic himself.

**Contain Spoilers**

The first is Angelique’s perspective. We see her going on with her life…being totally in love with Loic…gushing about him to her friend…telling her about her plans with Loic…how they’re going on a romantic trip…and how he sometimes disappoints her by not turning up for their dates. Of course this friend believes her..as do we…there’s no reason not to. Angelique seems straight…innocent,sincere,cute,sweet and truly in love. Loic does really seem like a jerk…stringing Angelique around.

Then again this is only one side of the story…later the story starts back at the beginning and we get to see it from Loic perspective…He goes on living his life. He loves his wife. His wife is pregnant. They’re both excited…awaiting the arrival of their child. Then he starts getting flowers and other gifts…his wife has a miscarriage…soon his personal and professional life is in ruins. And finally what Angelique is like and what she has done becomes clear to us. Underneath that sweet and innocent surface…she is one whacked character.

I liked how the first half was light, cute and sweet story about a girl in love. It was actually even funny at times. Then the second half is all serious…A dark thriller about how a girl’s obsession is ruining a man’s life. Almost a whole different different story…yet fused together perfectly and made the story whole. I thought it was a fresh take on the whole obsessive love story…quite unexpected. You could probably call it a dark comedy slash thriller. I like it.

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Ok so I was at the bookstore today…browsing movie magazines, and I stumbled upon this small section in a DVD magazine…dedicated to readers collection of DVDs…where readers get to boast the huge collection they have …with pictures and all. And wow…the collection they feature was huge…This guy had like close to 3000 DVD…Wow. And of course he doesn’t have the biggest…Some other guy has like close to 14000 DVDs. Lets do a calculation. How much do I need to get myself 14000 DVD assuming each costs at least $25….14000×25=350000…again Wow.Thats a lot of money. Haha…If only I have that much…my collection is pretty pathetic…not worth mentioning…Then again why would I want 14000 DVDs…other then…to show it off in a magazine…I’d want only the good ones…the ones I actually like…the ones I can watch over and over again…thats maybe like a 1000 at most. 🙂 or maybe a lot less.

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Thank You For Smoking (2005)

Brilliant. This movie was smart sharp witty cynical…I loved it. Aaron Eckhart plays Nick Naylor a tobacco lobbyist and he is the type of guy who in real life you’d want to just punch him in the face for being such a smart ass and his zealousness to prove you’re wrong because as he says it…if you’re wrong than he must be right. But as a character on screen he is about the most interesting entertaining character you’d watch. I mean seriously you can’t believe the kind of stuff he can come up with…he really is talented in the art of talking and spinning. But you know what…I actually found myself rooting for him…especially with that little battle of words he had with the senator. Despite all the spinning, the movie still manages to make Nick human through his efforts at being a good father to his son.

Oh and the M.O.D squad…that was another brilliant idea…putting them together…some funny scenes there…the lets compare whose products kills more people…of course Nick and his cigarettes had to win. I even love the America Spin feature in the DVD. They threw in clips of American politicians at their best. Bush saying “when we’re talking of war we are actually talking about peace”…or something along that line…I mean…wow …that is just classic. Well back to the movie. I would definitely definitely recommend this movie. This is an excellent watch…especially if you love satires, dark comedies and movies with clever dialogue. Great movie here…watch it.

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Keeping Mum (2005)

**May Contain Spoilers**
Two meanings to that title. Keeping quiet and keeping a mother safe…from well…the police. An entertaining dark comedy…Interesting how Rowan Atkinson plays a serious Vicar in a comedy when in most films he is the comedian. I actually like the younger Grace more than the older Grace.She seems much more calm, collected and sweet you can hardly believe she was capable of murder. Its weird how murder is portrayed here…happy and each deserving…but hey its a dark comedy…its the irony of it all. And the ending…never actually thought that would happen…since the daughter was so disapproving of her mother’s murderous ways…But I guess it was a pretty fitting ending for the movie. Like mother like daughter and keeping mum.

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American Dreamz (2006)

American Dreamz is basically a satire on American popculture. It pokes fun at all the talent shows, reality shows and of course mainly the phenomenan that is American Idol. We have Martin Tweed (Hugh Grant) the host of the most popular show in the world…American Dreamz…I’m sure he’s modelled after Simon Cowell. Then there are the contestants… Sally Kendoo (Mandy Moore)…the conniving little witch, who does everything she can do to get what she wants. And Omar the clueless Arab who is thrust into the show when he was initially mistaken for his cousin. Thrown into the storyline is also President Staton (Dennis Quaid) who has won a second term in the office and seem to be having a nervous breakdown.
I had expected this movie to be extremely funny…And well I did find it funny…but not as much as I hoped. I mean this movie had a lot of potential. They could have poked around more with the whole American Idol thing. There are the judges…the crazy fan support…the contestants…and so on. But they just had to stretch themselves with the politics and terrorism side plot. Don’t get me wrong though…this is a rather entertaining movie…just that it could have been a lot better. I’ll give it 3/5.

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Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)

Four friends and small time criminals pool their money together to play in a high stakes game. But when they loose, they ended up owing half a million pounds to Hatchet Harry. Pay within one week or start losing their fingers. Where are they going to get the money? Maybe the thin walls will save them??

I didn’t know much about this movie in the first place. It just looked like the typical gangster type of flick…with a lot of guns and violence. I also knew that this was a British film…and when I was checking out the special features…they had a guide to Cockney…I was thinking….not another movie I won’t be able get what they’re saying with their thick accents and slang.

Surprisingly though…I managed to pretty much understand what they were talking about…the slang used wasn’t that bad….ok maybe the subtitles helped me a bit…especially since they fast talk a lot. And Hah…was I wrong about the movie. I mean sure it’s a gangster movie with guns and violence…but ultimately it is a comedy. Even the tagline goes…Disgracing Criminals Everywhere.

And it is a very funny comedy at that… with a lot of dark humour. Almost everything that comes out of Eddie and his friends mouth is bound to draw a few laughs. The plot too is there . Its fast paced with a lot of twist and turns…that makes you want to watch what kind of ridiculous hole everyone is getting themselves into. The shots are stylish, the music is loud and very fitting for such a movie…and the dialogue…very sharp and smart. Overall…an entertaining and funny film. I would have never have thought that I would actually like it…but I do. Recommended.

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Art School Confidential (2006)

Jerome Platz wants to be an artist. No…he wants to be a great artist. So after finishing high school he enrols in an art school. But he soon learns how the art world works and gets his first hit of criticisms. What’s more he’s in love with the art model. Can his dreams of being a great artist come true and get the girl too?

**May Contain Spoilers**

One of the reasons I wanted to watch this movie was that scene in one of the trailers, where Bardo starts labelling the students coming into the class. There was the mother, the freak, the suck up and him, the guy who keeps changing his major cause he’s afraid that he suck at everything…I thought that was very funny and that it would be a rather funny film that pokes fun at the art world.

And yes the movie is pretty funny in all its art school clichés, at least the first half of the movie is. We get to see all Jerome’s wacky classmates …and roommates, one is gay and as aspiring fashion designer and the other a film student trying to get funding from his grandfather to direct a movie based on the local serial killer. Than there’s the thing where Jerome tries to lose his virginity…another zany affair which ends unsuccessfully. And of course he later falls in love with the art model…which maybe the reason he even joined this particular art school…so he can meet her.

But the movie takes a serious turn in the second half. Even though Jerome works very hard on his art, his work doesn’t even get recognised by he’s classmates…they much rather see a painting with weird big strokes or a plain picture of a car. And after getting criticism and even criticism for criticising a fellow classmate’s work, Jerome falls into despair. He starts smoking, drinking, and visiting Jimmy, (Jim Broadbent) a washed up art school graduate living a dingy apartment, who starts giving him weird dark advice.

Then a drastic event happen which changes Jerome’s life…and after that his art started getting recognized and he finally even gets the girl…which I thought was a fitting end for a movie that’s poking fun at the art world right? Don’t artists need drastic events before their art get recognized….I mean look at Van Gogh…did he not cut his ear off?? Did he not die first??? Before his art fetch a ton of money. Suddenly his art was impressive, fascinating and great?

I actually like this little flick, its funny, with a little seriousness, and actually I didn’t mind the serious turn like some people do…I mean it’s needed to lead to the chosen ending…right??…which I thought was rather funny…don’t you think??…with the media interviewing the art teacher and all. Plus don’t you think the art world takes itself way too seriously…they probably should watch this film and take a look at themselves. Oh and theres probably tons of Jeromes out there who only needs a drastic event…to finally make them a great artist right? 🙂

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Confessions of an American Girl (2002)

Jena Malone plays Rena a teenager living in a trailer park with her mom, brother Jay (Brad Renfro) and half sister Barbie (Alicia Witt). She is suicidal and pregnant as a result of an affair with her secret popular boyfriend. Rena also has this notion that her life would be better if her dear father, who used to read her bedtime stories..or issit rhymes when she was little, had more part in her life…except that of course he’s in prison. So when the annual family picnic at the prison arrives…she convinces her mother to let her go there.

Two reasons why I wanted to watch this. One. Jena Malone. I think she’s a great actress…maybe one of the best actresses of her generation …too bad she doesn’t get too much notice since she doesn’t act in one of those popular teen flicks. Mostly she’s in those smaller drama and dark comedy type of films playing interesting complex characters. You’d might want to check out Stepmom, Donnie Darko, Life as a House and Dangerous Lives of the Altar Boys.

Second. Brad Renfro. Where has he been lately? This is the most recent I’ve seen him in. I liked the movies he did as a child. The client was an excellent debut for him. In Sleepers, his and the other child actors performances pretty much outshined the adults… which was no mean feat considering there was Robert De Niro, Brad Pitt And Minnie Driver. And then there was the Apt Pupil… which was pretty wicked.

**May Contain Spoilers**

Ok…so getting back to the movie. I like dark comedies and so I rather enjoyed this movie. Rena is a naive and rather childlike too. She believes she’s in love with her secret boyfriend…who obviously is just using her. She even thinks that the child she is pregnant with is some type of blessing and the three of them will live happily ever after. And when she failed to have that “I’m pregnant with your child “ conversation with her boyfriend she tries to commit suicide by hanging herself…and since this is a dark comedy…she fails at this one too as the branch, or was it the rope,…wasn’t strong enough. Of course she would make further attempts as the story progresses…like trying to overdose herself with children’s vitamins…yes go figure. I thought the conversation of her mother and the paramedic following the “attempted” suicide was quite funny.

Another thing about Rena…is that she loves her absent Daddy. She has this faint memory of him reading bedtime stories…and she pictures him to be a loving father…if only he was more around…her life would be much better and happier. Maybe he would even be happy that she is pregnant… So determine to see her father she convinces her mother and siblings to go to the picnic.

Since the majority of the film takes place in the prison. I won’t go into it any further…I don’t want ruin the movie for anyone. But I think it’s safe to say Rena’s father is not as she imagined him to be. As I’ve said before, I enjoyed the movie. It is funny, quirky and yet quite sad and tragic in dark comedy type of way. Jena Malone does a fine job here. Rena can be absolutely irritating in her naive ness…that makes you want to knock some sense into her…cause like its soo obvious…why cann’t you see!! But she is likeable, rather innocent, vulnerable and childlike and you feel sorry for her. Plus I guess we all can relate to the living in denial part. And Brad Renfro…whoa…he actually plays Rena’s gay brother here…what a change from the other characters he’s used to playing…and I think he pulled it off.

Wow…I got carried away here…I’ve written a tad too long. I’ll wrap it up. Good movie. Good story. Good Performances Thoroughly enjoyed it. If you enjoy dark comedies…you’ll probably enjoy this one. I’ll give it 3.5/5

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