To Live and Write in LA

Archive for Comedy

IFFF: James Caan as ‘Undercover Grandpa’ Gets Help from Paul Sorvino and Louis Gosset Jr

Is your grandpa really who you think he is? (Are you reading this, grandkids?) Or, like Jake’s grandpa played by James Caan in ‘Undercover Grandpa,’ does he have a secret identity? Jake’s fun and dramatic discoveries about his grandpa helped Undercover Grandpa win the Best Feature Foreign Comedy accolade at the International Family Film Festival.

IFFF: Not Just ‘Another Day in Paradise’ for Jeffery Patterson and Frankie Muniz

‘Another Day in Paradise’ takes us into the world of a recent widower who is trying to reinvent his life

‘Evil Dead The Musical’ Sings Like a Chainsaw

The 1980s are cool again, as evidenced by the popularity of ‘Stranger Things.’ Something from the 1980s even stranger than ‘Stranger Things’ was the ‘Evil Dead’ trilogy. The films starring Bruce Campbell as Ash set the bar for campy horror. Can something be stranger yet? Yes: ‘Evil Dead The Musical.’

‘Unbelievable!!!!!’ Sneak Peek for ‘Star Trek’ 50th and Uhura Was There

A sneak peek for cast and crew of the sci-fi parody “Unbelievable!!!!!”–part of the celebration marking the 50th Anniversary of the debut of Star Trek.

Anthem Film Festival: Laughing Though the Pain

Lord Byron said, “Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine.” If that’s true, then attendees of the Anthem Film Festival, part of FreedomFest, July 13-16 at Planet Hollywood, left Las Vegas well medicated.

Anthem Film Festival: Lenny Bruce, Gilbert Gottfried, and Penn Jillette vs. The Outrage Mob

In the 1960s, cops arrested Lenny Bruce for word crimes, but today the policed have become the police.

Anthem Film Festival: Do Right-Wingers Have a Sense of Humor?

Do right-wingers (meaning conservatives, libertarians and anyone who would not be caught dead wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt) have a sense of humor? You might not think so, if your main sources of news have been John Stewart and Lena Dunham piped into your safe space on a politically correct campus. I have, however, seen right-wing humor in the wild, often at previous iterations of the Anthem Film Festival, and I have laughed and survived.

Interview: ‘Quirky Female Protagonist’ Creator Shares Her Secrets [Embarrassed Giggle]

I caught up with the creator of web series “Quirky Female Protagonist” at this year’s LA Film Festival. She shared her secrets with me.

‘Don’t Think Twice’ with Keegan-Michael Key – Success Can Be Both Funny and Sad – But Mostly Funny

The new dramedy “Don’t Think Twice” begins as if it’s a documentary on how to do improv. Then the members of the fictional improv group, The Commune, violate all the rules in their improv dire results, in their personal lives.

Interview: ‘Creedmoria’ Director Alicia Slimmer Admits Coming-of-Age Flick is All About Her

‘Creedmoria’, a film by first-time writer/director Alicia Slimmer, made its SoCal premier at the Dances With Films Festival. It chronicles the efforts of sweet-sixteen Candy Cahill, played by Stef Dawson, to come of age in one of the most dysfunctional families in movie history. As I watched the film, I hoped, for Slimmer’s sake, that this movie wasn’t too autobiographical. It turns out that it was.

‘Girl Flu’ – A Movie About Firsts that Gives New Meaning to the Phrase ‘Period Piece’

In Hollywood parlance, a “period piece” is a script or film that takes place in the past. ‘Girl Flu’, a film written and directed by Dorie Barton, gave a new meaning to that phrase. It’s a film about firsts. Without a doubt, it is the only film you’ll ever call charming, funny and heartwarming that has menstruation as its focus.

SXSW: Seth Rogen Makes Food Talk Dirty in ‘Sausage Party’

At this year’s South by Southwest film festival Seth Rogen debuted, as a work-in-progress, his new animated feature ‘Sausage Party.’ It is the first foray into the “R-rated world” for an animated feature. If you have no problems with watching food have sex, it’s really funny.

SXSW: ‘Everybody Wants Some’ and a Tribute to Richard Linklater

Sometimes, when a movie plays at SXSW, it’s not just a screening, it’s a celebration. Last year, that was true about ‘The Breakfast Club.’ This year, the celebration was for the opening night premiere of Richard Linklater’s ‘Everybody Wants Some.’

‘Chimes at Midnight,’ Orson Welles’ Best Work, Available for First Time in Decades

I inherited a respect for Orson Welles and a love for his work from an uncle who came of age in the 1940s when Orson Welles was one of radio and cinema’s best known actor/directors. When ‘Chimes at Midnight’ came out, I was busy coming of age and rioting at UCLA. I heard about the film and that Welles considered it his best work, but I missed it. Then, like the mysterious Mr. Welles himself, it disappeared for decades. Now, it’s back.

Anthem Film Fest: Help Me, Obi Penn Jillette – You’re My Only Hope

Producer Ted Balaker said, “There has always been outrage, but now with technology, we can supercharge outrage.”

LA Film Fest: ‘Seoul Searching’ – an Homage to John Hughes and the 1980s

The LA Film Festival chose to make ‘Seoul Searching’ one of its Gala Presentations. After the red carpet arrivals, the film was introduced by its director-screenwriter Benson Lee, and had its LA debut in Regal Cinemas’ Premier House. The entire event and the film itself gave that evening at the festival an old-time Hollywood feel. ‘Seoul Searching’ takes viewers on a nostalgia trip. Its theme, its style and its presentation are all retro in a good way. Prior to the screening, the audience did a stadium-style wave for the director. That’s getting into the 80s!

LA Film Fest: Dude, It’s a Dude-omongus Fest

Two films at the Los Angeles Film Festival, June 10-18, explored the Dude weltanschauung to bring us all closer to a profound understanding of the essence of dudeness. (Dude, that was heavy.) ‘Flock of Dudes’ looks at what happens when you put off becoming your father for too long. ‘Dude Bro Party Massacre III’ suggests that maybe dudeness could be a topic for satire.

Crazy Bitches

Billed as a horror/comedy, Crazy Bitches, written and directed by Jane Clark (Meth Head) was something of a disappointment. It wasn’t that scary, and not all that funny, but you might want to see it anyway. Two or three glasses of wine will help.

‘Cocktails and Camouflage’ Comedy Show Raises Money to Employ Veterans in Film and Television

(Originally published on Blogcritics.org) Cocktails & Camouflage was an evening of laughter, memories, and hope at Flappers Comedy Club in Burbank, California, on November 6, 2014. The laughter came because on the surface it was a night of stand-up and a darn funny one at that. Emceed by KLOS radio personality Frazer Smith and headlining […]

Anthem Film Fest: A Dark Future, but with a Few Laughs

Two films — two questions about America’s future

An exploration of film and filmmaking