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There are different forms of how people express themselves yet the most common one has got to be laughter. Face it – everybody wants to laugh, no matter how serious the situation is. Laughter can be contagious, too and the moment other people can hear laughter, they’ll be very curious and would want to know what made them laugh.

What are the Things that Makes Comedy So Great?

Each person’s perspective on how to make themselves laugh is different, too. What one makes them laugh may not be that laughable for others. Some would laugh at natural jokes while others can laugh at situations wherein people involved are insulting each other. It really depends on what tickles the funny bone of people. However, you can’t deny most people easily laugh when they watch comedy movies and shows. Isn’t that why many people stay up late at night just to watch late night shows? This is because most late night shows are filled with laughter, especially with how the host of the show delivers their comedy skit.

Another form of comedy that most people will surely laugh is a comedy film. There is various comedy film in the movie industry today. If you take a look at the comedy films more than ten years ago and compare them with the ones out today, you will see a lot of differences with how comedy was delivered. Some comedy films today are quite complicated to understand that some people would start wondering what was so funny about it. The simplest ones can make most people laugh, but then again it all depends on perspective. Some comedy films are aimed for children, for families while others for adults.

Ric Klass

Director/Producer

Tom Pelphrey

Starring

Melissa Archer

Starring

The latter is usually censored since it is not appropriate for kids. The same can be said for late night shows. There is a reason why it is called a late night show – kids are already sleeping at such time of the night. One of these adult comedy films is entitled “Excuse Me For Living”, directed by RicKlass. It is a story about a drug addict that had just enough about his life and want to end it all. He used to enjoy the life of most adults his age – partying, getting frisky with the women and even getting addicted to yuppie substance. He was coping with a number of personal issues. But then, he was already fed up with his life, thus attempting to jump off from the George Washington Bridge. However, he was stopped by a security guard that was monitoring the bridge. He winded up a clinic filled with senior men and have to stay there. He also has fallen in love with the doctor’s daughter in the story, too.

There is a hint of drama to the story, but it is all more about comedy. But why should you invest your time watching a comedy like this title? Usually, a protagonist that has undergone through addiction and coping through it sounds like a drama, but this is entirely acomedy. So why watch comedy like this one instead of a drama?

Drama can be very serious, it will control you.

Have you ever seen comedies get to win an Oscar award? Here is what you have to look through a closer picture: movies that win the best picture always centers on suffering. It has been a pattern ever since then. First, the protagonist or the hero gets beaten up, and then he triumphs, restores and brings out the world back that most people are familiar with, and then lastly you bathe with all that sticky love. Some examples of this would be war movies – they show young men sent to war to protect the common people’s way of life. Romance movies usually end up in a tragedy. Historical ones dwell so much on injustices that are not even happening anymore.

Keep in mind that such as this is considered popular entertainment. The hero of the film is designed to be inspirational. The audiences are meant to take cues regarding the values the hero inspires to be. So what are these cues?

The first thing that you’ll notice here is that suffering is portrayed as something noble. Second, it accepts status quo as being great. The heroes depicted in the story always have this something to sacrifice for and that they die all the time in the hopes of keeping things as the way they are. It always keeps repeating the same message, telling people that by going through suffering, it is considered noble or that you are respectable. They place too much important on being in pain, making the country great and so on.

Comedy can stick really good to the man

It doesn’t have to be a comedy that goes against everything that is deemed popular. It just has to provide something more powerful compared to the person that is delivering the essence of comedy. And because of this, comedy can turn out entertaining and funny.

Here is one fine example: the difference between taking a look at a bully that pummels some little runt and that run surprises the bully with a straight jab. The former displays tragedy, yet the latter is a very popular genre that you’ll witness a lot in YouTube videos. People love to see an underdog win, yet at the same time, they don’t want to see anyone getting hurt. This is the reason why a lot of comedians talk about the useless things when they are on stage – the more people get better compared to them, the more of the stuff they can make fun out of it. That is why it is quite dumb to make jokes out of the homeless – because they do not have power over anyone.

But is this all the reason that you have to watch a comedy over drama? That is not the only reason. The reason why people love comedy is because they love to laugh, and what good laughter it is to have when watching comedy shows and films.

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‘Burnt’ – A Move Review

I recently had the pleasure of seeing the movie Burnt, starring Bradley Cooper. I had never heard of this title before I saw it in the discount bin at my local Wal-Mart. I’m a huge Bradley Cooper fan so I figured for a few bucks, I’d give this movie a shot. I’m glad I did.

Burnt tells the story of a chef who has hit rock bottom due to alcoholism. In his quest for resurgence, he opens his own restaurant with the hopes of becoming a 3-star Michelin restaurant. The main chef is played by Bradley Cooper.

This isn’t your typical redemption / cooking film. In fact, there’s actually a lot to learn about the restaurant industry and cooking in general from this movie.

Burnt gives an excellent look into the world of high-end restaurants. You see the dedication that all of the working folks have to their craft. It’s simply not cooking and serving. Rather, it’s creating and complimenting.

One thing that I really loved about Burnt was the use of sous vide. In fact (spoiler alert) sous vide cooking is what ends up saving the restaurant and getting them their 3 stars. While they were able to use a new, best commercial sous vide machine to cook the award winning steak, they also incorporated other fine elements such as vacuum sealing and searing. The attention to detail was amazing.

In addition to sous vide cooking, there were other traditional French recipes used. Bradley Cooper’s character has a strong French cuisine background. They dabbled in other realms of cooking but ultimately fell back on what they knew.

The discipline that was shown throughout the film is amazing. Chefs have to endure so much; it’s really remarkable.

Bradley Cooper did a great job in this film. His portrayal of a desperate chef should have won him some awards. The movie wasn’t even nominated for any awards; even independent ones.

I feel that this is one of Bradley Cooper’s best films to date.

I highly recommend everyone go and rent or buy Burnt. It’s an easy-to-watch, thrilling, dramatic 1.5 hours of cinema. And you get to learn about sous vide cooking!

Wigstock: The Movie – A Documentary of an Interesting Drag Festival!

Many people who are fascinated by drag come to Wigstock every year. People from all over the world come to visit this spectacular event. Some of these people are performers and others just enjoy being members of the audience. Professional, working drag queens attend as well as people who only dress up once a year. Anyone can go to the festival and put on a wig and just have a good time.

Every year since 1984, the drag festival Wigstock has been held in Tompkins Square Park in New York. It was The “Lady” Bunny who started this first outdoors drag festival. The first Wigstock movie was released in 1987 and was made back when the festival was very small. In the beginning of the 1995 version of Wigstock: The Movie, black and white footage is shown of older festivals. This documentary is mainly interested in the 1993 and 1994 Wigstock festivals.

 

The performers of Wigstock are each unique. However, they are almost all men dressed up as women. “Their towering, Day-Glo hair stretches toward the heavens. Their high-heel sizes range in the doubledigits. They ooze glamour even as they’re lampooning it.” The opening act is that of Misstress Formika singing “Aquarius” from Hair. I thought that Misstress Formika looked more like a woman than any of the other drag queens. In her tight purple dress, showing every curve on her body, plus a great wig it would have been hard to tell she were a man if seen on the streets. In contrast with Misstress Formika’s performance, the performer Tabboo! wore her hair spiked and performed a song about it being natural to dress up in drag. Deee-Lite was one of the few female performers. She said that it was the drag queens that had taught her glamour. Deee-Lite looked about the same in her interview as she did in her actual performance because she had incorporated a lot of the glamour into her everyday style of dress. However, Lypsinka looked like a model performing, yet very strange in the footage of him practicing with a skirt on but his shirt off. Seeing him dressed as a man for the interview was kind of weird because he looked just like any ordinary guy, but before he appeared to be a model. Another thing that really stood out was the level of dedication of these performers. The case of Wendy Wild really stands out. She came to watch part of the festival the day she got out of the hospital after a bone marrow transplant and then the next day was performing on stage still hooked up to an IV. A few of the performances were also quite bizarre. “Perhaps most bizarre of all is a large fellow in Kabuki makeup who climaxes his act by ‘giving birth’ to a red-stained nude woman, complete with umbilical cord.” Another shocking performance was that of Flloyd performing “What Makes a Man a Man?” After taking off his wig to reveal his purple hair underneath, he takes off all of his clothes until he is completely naked. I thought all of the performances were very interesting in their own ways.

 

This film has an important significance for the LGBT community. “Gay pride is on display in his film, pride that is celebrated with raucous exuberance.” One of the performances by Misstress Formika celebrates the coming out experience. His song tells of coming out, being sent to a shrink, and his dad getting mad at him for dressing in drag. The chorus of the song is, “You’ve gotta fight, for your right, to be queer!” Another important part of this festival is the performers lost to AIDS. ”

Issues pertaining to drag are also going to have significance for issues of gender. In this film, Misstress Formika discusses social stereotypes. He believes that men who wish to wear a frock should be able to wear a frock. There was no good reason according to him, that a man was forced to a certain dress code. However, he said some women’s clothing articles would not be necessary for most men, such as a bra. The Wigstock dancers also felt that it should be more accepted for men to dress as women in today’s society. While many do not understand the need for males to dress as females, The “Lady” Bunny says, “[i]t’s a tribute to women, they like the way women talk and they like the way women talk.” While in most of the performances drag queens go over the top and do not really portray women, in one of the performances, traditional gender roles are portrayed. A bride and groom show a traditional marriage ceremony. Then, the groom spins the bride around, unraveling her dress. Suddenly, the bride is a housewife and is dancing around with eggs in a frying pan. I thought that performance was an interesting play on gender roles.

 

Another important aspect of this documentary is that which deals with identity. One of the professional, working drag queens describes his experience in high school of wearing a gown at graduation and feeling like a woman. Now it is a high for him to dress up. He says, “we’re all a family” referring to transsexuals, transgendered persons, and transvestites. He is now going through a sex change operation. RuPaul had a story about being unaccepted at first in the drag world for being black. Later, he became identified as a supermodel. He also spoke about his amazement that in the 90s it was actually “in” to be gay. The “Lady” Bunny says about the festival that, “This is not necessarily a drag thing or a gay thing or a straight thing. It’s proof that we can all get together and have a great time.” This festival may have helped strengthen the drag community’s identity, since they were finally able to be out in the open.

 

Many performers in this movie had either had a sex change operation or were going through a sex change. Misstress Formika as a kid “was dressed in male drag because [he] had male genitals” and society had taught his parents to dress him that way. Others described society not being understanding of those who were transgendered. In Sex Change and the Popular Press, sex change surgeries also seemed to be looked down upon by society, far more so than today. In the past, if someone were not intersexed, the doctors would not have seen a need to operate. Both the article and the movie describe a request for the surgery and then major lifestyle changes. The article and the movie acknowledge that nature can mess up. However, based on what is said of the procedures in the article, the procedures had greatly advanced as far as being more realistic and safer, by the 1990s.

 

Bodies in Motion: Lesbian and Transsexual Histories also brings up a few points that are significant in the movie. This chapter talks about cross-dressing in women often being a sign of lesbian sexuality rather than a sign of being transgendered. In Wigstock: The Movie there was only one cross-dressing woman portrayed. Crystal Waters performed in a suit and tie, with a group of similarly dressed men as her backup. However, the movie did not say if she were lesbian or transgendered. However, in the chapter it is made into a political fight as to who was lesbian and who was transgendered. Transgendered individuals were kicked out of certain lesbian events and were not always welcome in the lesbian community. In the movie however, all performers were accepted and it did not matter if they were lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or even straight.

 

There were a few similarities in the movie to the chapter on Creating Good-Looking Genitals in the Service of Gender. In the movie, some of the drag queens described what it was like to be “butch drag queens” in that they could never really look like a woman. Others described feeling more feminine and said there was more to being a man than just having a penis. In the chapter, doctors who perform sex changes on intersexed infants seem to base their decision of whether the baby should be male or female on the size of their penis. However, an infant born with a large clitoris is described as being too difficult for feminine cosmetic results and basically looked down upon as being defective. It was interesting that doctors and parents could just pick the sex of their child. However, in the movie no intersexed performers were interviewed. Although many performers did express that their parents would not allow them to wear dresses as children simply because they had a penis.

 

This was a very interesting documentary. Overall, I thought it was well done. There were a few performances that I might have left out, if I were making a documentary of Wigstock. There may have been other performances that should have made it into this documentary. It may have also been beneficial to take out a few performances and include more interviews. I would have liked to see what the professional drag queens thought of people just going to Wigstock and dressing up one day a year. It would have also been interesting if a female in male drag were interviewed. However, it was interesting to see many members of the public interviewed about what they thought of this festival. It was a lot of fun to watch and I think anyone interested in drag but unable to go to New York to see Wigstock in person should see this movie.

“The Black Dahlia” Falls Flat

Brian De Palma has, in the past, executed some intriguing film noir with an uncanny style, a unique touch of creativity, and interesting multi-layered characters. Unfortunately, none of these things can be found in his latest film “The Black Dahlia.”

Supposedly based on the novel by James Ellroy, the movie attempts to cram absolutely every subplot of the novel into a mere two-hour time frame. The result is a convoluted story with a series of senseless and unnecessary subplots that confuse the audience and leave them wanting to throw popcorn at the screen. Additionally, one has to wonder why the movie is named “The Black Dahlia” since so little of it has anything to do with this notorious California crime. In fact, the Dahlia isn’t even introduced into the story until 20 minutes into the film.

 

“The Black Dahlia” boasts what should have been a dream cast with Hillary Swank, Josh Harnett, Aaron Eckhart and Scarlett Johanssen. Sadly, the performances of these stars are blatantly disappointing. Harnett and Eckhart in the roles of Buddy Bliechert and Lee Blanchard respectively represent the two LAPD detectives assigned to the now infamous Hollywood murder. Eckhart overplays his role to the point of utter distraction. While Harnett paces himself in the part, he simply lacks the charisma necessary to make moviegoers care about his character. Swank is reduced to a second fiddle role as narcissistic heiress Madeline Linscott. Her role brings little to the film except for further jumbled plot confusion. Johanssen, as the love interest of the two detective partners, sincerely attempts to make the best of a poorly developed role. However, she still falls below her obvious acting capabilities. The only shining performance of the entire film is that of Mia Kirshner as Elizabeth Short, AKA The Black Dahlia. Her scenes, which show the screen tests of the Dahlia – – filmed in eerie black and white – – are absolutely captivating.

 

The real shame is that the story of the Dahlia, who is supposed to be the focus of this film, doesn’t really get much play. It is only through the use of her haunting screen tests that the audience gets a glimpse into Short’s life. These, along with her pornographic films, make it clear what the aspiring actress was willing to do to achieve fame and fortune. Ultimately, it is believed – – although never proven – – that these deviant ventures were responsible for her death.

 

On a positive note, the film captures the feeling of the 40’s and shows a pretty realistic picture of the ugliness of the film industry during that time. The costumes, makeup, set design, and photography of this film is right on target; almost making it worth watching for those things alone. Almost. In reality, this movie bogs down almost at the outset and never quite catches fire. I regret that I can only give it one and a half stars and that is strictly for the work of supporting staff (costume designer, set designer, cinema photographer).

 

“The Black Dahlia” is a Universal Picture in association with Millennium Films, Signature Pictures, Equity Pictures and Nu Image Entertainment. Brian De Palma directs it. The movie is rated R for violence, some grisly images, sexual situations, and some bad language.

A Review of the Lifetime Movie She’s Too Young

She’s Too Young is a movie depicting a Syphilis outbreak in a school in any-town United States.

It tries very hard to point out a very real problem. I say that it tries because the acting in this movie is extremely forced. Over all it is not a bad movie, it just seems to be from a one sided viewpoint. As parents we all have to educate our children into the dangers they may face. We all would like to shelter our children and guide them in the right direction.

 

This movie does nothing to glamorize the sexual activity of teens and that is a very good thing. However this movie seemed to be made as a wake up call for parents only. I believe more effort could have been made to not just give the parents a wake up call but also for teens. Of course it pointed out a very real sexual transmitted disease, but it overplayed the stereotypical outlines of teen-dom.

 

In addition what kind of parents were they targeting. All of the parents in that movie were 40 something. Most parents of teenagers in this day and age are all under forty easy. I believe a more realistic plot could have been gained with adults that were a more realistic age.

 

As I said before the teenagers in this movie were cast and starred in specific stereotypes that have always been played up by Hollywood. However these lines in more modern times are blurring. The interaction between the cast of young adults was very forced and did little to show how they may actually relate. It seemed these parts were written from an adult point of view. Because of this they acted exactly as an adult would think they may act and not actually how they would react.

 

Overall it was a decent movie and they went very far to picking cast members that supported each other well. It was good they were pointing out very real dangers all teens are facing. If I were to grade on a scale of one to ten, it would get a eight for entertainment value and a 7 for actual believability. Movies such as this need to target not just a realistic parent target audience, but more importantly a realistic teen target market. I would watch this movie again in a pinch with nothing else to watch. I recommend that you watch it on your own and gather your own opinion.

Classic and Campy Spring Break Movie Musicals

As winter begins to subside, students around the country anxiously await their annual rite of passage: Spring Break. And while a younger generation might think that MTV’s pilgrimages to Daytona, South Padre Island and Cancun were the start of the fusion of music and Spring Break, cinematic history suggests otherwise. The Spring Break movie musical is the ultimate in campy melodrama and the older versions are sure to bring about some laughs. So whether you are a year-round working stiff or are strapped for cash, pick up one of the following Spring Break movies available for rent at your local video store, pour yourself a pina colada and enjoy!

Girl Happy (1965, MGM Studios) – Starring Elvis Presley, Shelley Fabares, Harold Stone, Fabrizio Mioni

 

This film features Elvis as a singer asked to escort the daughter of a Chicago mobster on her first-ever trip to Fort Lauderdale. And while this Spring Break movie has all the romantic twists and turns one would expect, its real value is the beauty of both the landscape and the Spring Breakers.

 

Notes for serious Elvis fans:

 

-This film features Elvis’s only known recorded appearance in drag.

 

-Many of the tracks for this film were sped up making Elvis’s voice sound higher. When these tracks were re-released in the 1990’s, the tracks were re-adjusted back to normal speed.

 

Where the Boys Are (1960, MGM Studios) – Starring Dolores Hart, Yvette Mimieux, Paula Prentiss, Connie Francis

 

This is the gold standard of the campy Spring Break movie musical genre. When four young women just can’t take the frigid weather, they make a break for Fort Lauderdale in hopes of finding Ivy League husbands. The title song remains one of Connie Francis’s greatest hits. From scenes of the Fort Lauderdale police department battening down the city’s hatches to the perfectly coiffed and tan Yalies, the film has each aspect of the Spring Break movie captured in an impeccably corny fashion. However, be forewarned, the plot takes a surprising and highly controversial (for its time) twist, and does so in an impressively subtle manner.

 

From Justin to Kelly (2003, 20th Century Fox) – Starring Kelly Clarkson, Justin Guarini, Katherine Bailess, Greg Siff

 

Unfortunately, the Spring Break movie musical has not had much of a revival in the last forty years. However, this recent attempt is worth at least a mention. The plot is quite similar to “Where the Boys Are” – guys and girls road trip to Florida for a little bit of sun and fun and a chance at meeting the right guy or girl. However, this version isn’t wrapped up in the gender norms of almost fifty years ago and thus loses some of the kitschy charm. And as you might imagine, two American Idols with little professional acting experience surrounded by a no-name cast does not bode well – not that acting was ever the hallmark of a great Spring Break movie. But shoddily put-together dialogue and weak music are simply unforgivable. While the previous two movies were good to laugh with, this is a good movie to laugh at. If Kelly Clarkson’s career lasts another few years, talk show hosts will certainly be pulling footage of this in attempts to embarrass her.

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