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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!

Can We Go to the Movies?

Best kids movie of 2009: Cloudy with a chance of meatballs: For me a surprise from left field, Cloudy with a chance of meatballs was a whirlwind of a movie that was quite impressive with its depth and the quality of the comedy. Cloudy takes us through the life of a child and later young man, Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader), who aspires to be an inventor of Einsteinian proportions. Unfortunately for Flint both his father and town do not heavily support his passion as the town routinely has to deal with the consequences of his experiment and his father because he thinks the inventing is silly. Most labored of all is the town police Officer Earl Devereaux, voiced perfectly by Mr. T, who is constantly telling Flint off. In my opinion despite not being a major character in the film, Mr T’s Earl Devereaux steals the show and is even responsible for saving the townspeople.

Second best kids movie of 2009: Ice Age 3: I was not expecting Ice Age 3: Dawn of the dinosaurs to be as good as it was. Anticipating the typical sequel fare, as was the second Ice Age, I was pleasantly surprised to not see the bigger is better mentality and the “threat” was scaled back greatly from the previous movies biblical proportions. Ice Age 3 saw the return of all main characters from the previous two films as well as the introduction of Buck (Simon Pegg) a one eyed weasel. Ice Age 3 Dawn of the dinosaurs was easily the equal of the first Ice Age movie and possibly its better. With rollicking laughs and a good pace this was a really good family movie.

 

Runner up kids movie of 2009: Monsters vs Aliens: Following the success of 2008 Kung Fu Panda, production company Dreamworks released Monsters vs Aliens. Starring Reese Witherspoon as Susan Murphy, a young woman on the eve of her marriage to up and coming News man Derek Dietl. After being disappointed by Derek following the revelation that they will not be honeymooning in Paris as they thought but Fresno, California because he has an interview there; Susan goes to the field adjacent to the church to get fresh air. While in the field Susan is struck by an irradiated meteor that causes her to mutate during the wedding. Following this Susan is captured by the military and her name is changed to Ginormica. After being apprehended Susan meets others like her including B.O.B (voiced excellently by Seth Rogen) as well as Dr. Cockroach Ph.D (voiced by Hugh Laurie) and The Missing Link (Will Arnett) who have all also been imprisoned by General W.R. Monger (hilariously brought to life by Keifer Sutherland). After an attack by the alien Gallaxhar on Earth, the President authorizes the General to use the “Monsters” to attack the aliens.

Ten Movies to Love During Valentine’s Day

Ever since I was old enough to have a source of income, I have used a portion of my earnings to see as many movies as possible. Whether this means paying through the nose to see a film on the big screen or buying a copy of a new release the day it hits the shelf, my movie-viewing experience has been vast in the last ten years.

I’ve watched movies throughout the different stages in my life, including the many romantic phases I’ve experienced. From being single, to you-know-what-backward in love, to bitterly regretting the former, to falling in love in the “to death do us part” style, there’s been a movie appropriate for all these emotional rollercoasters. I’m sure one of these flicks will speak directly to your heart this Valentine’s Day. So whether your heart is bursting with love or broken over a break-up, put on your favorite pj’s, order a pizza, crack open a beer and a box of Godiva and enjoy!

 

Gone With The Wind: Oh, Ashley! Is there anything more romantic then those poofy dresses, defying society by line dancing while (feigning) mourning, and seducing your husband when you catch him drinking alone in the study in the wee hours of the night? I think not, and if you disagree, well, I don’t give a damn.

 

The Princess Bride: It is simply inconceivable to ignore the possibilities of true love when watching Wesley flop down the largest hill in the world while he proclaims “as you wish”, revealing his identity and love to the slightly dim but always endearing Buttercup.

 

Clueless: Watching a young Paul Rudd pine after Cher as he tries to pretend like his interests go no further then his humanitarian lawyer aspirations reassures me that there probably were guys who had crushes on me in high school that were too shy to ask me out, and this is why I never had any dates. I’m still waiting for my kiss on a grand marble staircase.

 

Pearl Harbor: One of the most incestuous yet believable love triangles in cinematic history. This movie will have you cheering when Evelyn arrives to the train station against Rafe’s wishes and crying when she believes he has died. You will fall in love with her as she begins to look at shy second-string Danny in a different way, and be utterly torn when Rafe returns from the dead to find Evelyn with his best friend. Just when you think you can’t feel any worse or love the characters any more, the Japanese attack and love and life are threatened on a whole new level. Grab your tissues for this three-hour tear jerker.

 

Cinderella: Ladies, enjoy the benefits of a fairy godmother who makes you sparkle and shine and true friends who would get eaten by a cat just to hook you up with Mr. Right. Fellas, take lessons from Prince Charming; ask us to dance, chase us when we run, acknowledge our footwear and we’ll live happily ever after.

 

Unfaithful: From the moment Diane Lane gets blown away by that over-the-top windstorm, you can feel the tension from your head to your toes. If you can manage, ignore the rampant infidelity and betrayal to Richard Gere (he gets even, don’t worry) and vicariously enjoy some of the hottest, I would-never-do-that-in-a-million-years-but-wow-it-looks-awesome lovin’ I’ve ever seen on the big screen. Keep the lights low; you WILL blush!

 

The Notebook: I’ll be honest; even in a romantic movie I enjoy, I usually find myself detached in some way because I am smart enough to know the difference between the real thing and the Hollywood-version of love. When the time comes in your life that you are spending Valentine’s day with your soul mate, pop in this movie and watch a genuine testament to the kind of love we all hope we are lucky enough to find. Even with its bittersweet ending, I am hooked on Noah and Allie from the minute they lay down in the street to stare at the stoplight.

 

Sweet Home Alabama: Watch this and you will be tempted to call the one that got away. Finding your other half at twelve may not be fun, but for all of us who have an unresolved love in our past, this movie allows us to imagine that it is possible to find your way back together again. Plus, who hasn’t wanted to throw out everything in their sweetheart’s house and change the locks, just to prove a point?

 

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: With all the butchering going on in this movie I’m sure a heart flies out of someone in at least one scene! This movie may not scream romance, but it does take your mind off your own scorned heart when you watch these couples get hacked into teeny tiny pieces.

 

You’ve Got Mail: Maybe Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks don’t do it for you; maybe listening to the antiquated AOL slogan chime repeatedly drives you over the edge. I know that’s how I would feel if I hadn’t had my first kiss in the last five minutes of this movie! But I can’t help myself; almost twelve years later and I melt when I hear Meg Ryan say, “I hoped it was you!” Feel free to substitute this with your own melt-inducing movie moment.

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.

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