I recently checked out Let's Be Cops on TV, and I don't know how to feel about it. Basically, the plot is about two dudes from Ohio who aren't cutting it in Los Angeles, so in an effort to redefine themselves, they pretend to be police officers because … reasons.
Ultimately, it wasn't that good, but it also wasn't that bad either. The funniest scene in the movie came in the first 30 minutes. Everything that followed was a visual representation of the word “Meh.”
Most of the humor stems from the chemistry between Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr, and if you've seen New Girl, you can probably guess that it comes easy for them. But how can the dynamic between two funny guys anchor an hour-and-a-half long movie?
Spoiler alert: it can't. However, it doesn't really hurt that the main characters are immensely likable. That was basically the only thing that kept me from switching to a Family Feud rerun after the first 10 minutes. Everything else about it could (and probably should) have been better.
This seems to be the ongoing trend with most comedy films these days; Filmmakers put all of the effort in casting the right people for the roles, but little-to-no work is put into the script, visuals, or direction.
Y'all ever hear the phrase "Dying is easy, comedy is hard"? That's a fairly accurate statement, as anyone can die on screen and make it look convincing and compelling. Well, maybe not Marion Cotillard in The Dark Knight Rises, but most actors can.
Getting people to laugh, on the other hand, takes a lot more than just telling jokes or making silly faces. It involves timing, delivery, body language, inflection, etc. The same goes for movies as a whole: It doesn't require much to bring someone to the verge of tears during one, but to make people cry tears of joy is a borderline science.
My problem with most comedy films today is that very few directors, writers, and actors seem unwilling to study that science and allow themselves to experiment and work towards creating a successful comedic formula. It's all about the money to them; not about the art.
That doesn't go for every major comedy director, of course. You ever watch an Edgar Wright movie? Like Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, or my personal favorite Scott Pilgrim vs. The World? If you want a crash course in what a great comedic flick should be, check out all of his work.
Wright's fantastically frenetic usage of camerawork, physical humor and witty dialogue at mach five speed is engaging and entertaining, but most importantly, it's actually funny. Plus, his dedication to getting each scene just right is a testament to how serious he is about comedy (Is that an oxymoron? I can't tell).
For example, check out this outtake from Scott Pilgrim: In the movie, Scott immediately throws a package he ordered from Amazon in the garbage (He only ordered it so Ramona would come to his house). The thing is, the wastebasket is behind him, so he throws it over his shoulder without turning around.
It's hilarious, but also impressive because the toss wasn't achieved with CGI or other forms of cinematic fakery. Michael Cera actually threw the package from over his shoulder and into the garbage can.
Unless you're the Stephen Curry of tossing things into wastebaskets, this is not an easy feat. The 25-plus tries it took Cera to complete the shot is also plenty of evidence to demonstrate Wright's determination to sell the joke.
I don't want to sound like I'm completely jockin' for Edgar Wright, (even though I gladly will whenever necessary) but my point is that more comedy filmmakers should try to approach their work with the same energy, inventiveness, and artistry that he does.
Poop jokes and pratfalling are great in moderation, but if that's what' people expect to keep their movie buoyed above the surface, I'm sorry, but it's probably going to be sub-par – Or in some cases, just flat out suck.
I don't expect my opinion to make any impact on the landscape of comedy films down the road, but as a fan of both movies and laughter, I hope that something changes soon.
After all, I don't know how many more Pixels or Drillbit Taylor's my cheerful disposition can handle.
I'm just going to come right out and say it: post-grad life is kind of weird.
The amount of freedom and down time that I've had this past week has been necessary and much needed, so I'm not complaining about that. Quite frankly, I'm just not used to having so little to do. No matter how hard I try to bum out, I always have this urge to get up and do something productive. It's basically like I'm living some weird form of purgatory, but I've got family and friends around, so it's really not that bad. It's ultimately an adjustment that I need to get used to for the time being.
Aside from the stagnancy and a minor injury (I recently found out that I pulled my groin, which is probably the randomest diagnosis I've ever received), I really can't complain that much. Life is good, y'all. I don't know if you read my senior column for The Scout, – which I will once again shamelessly plug again here – but I was fairly nervous about walking across the stage last Saturday.
Uncertainty dominated my thoughts for most of the time leading up to the ceremony, but I'm now happy to say that a lot of those nerves and butterflies have disappeared for the time being. Don't get me wrong, I'm still broke and swimming in debt, but I've got an internship lined up for the next few months, which will give me a piece of piece concerning the job search.
It's an exciting time; Not only for myself, but for many others who have recently graduated, will graduate soon, and are about to take big, life altering steps in their lives. What'll the future hold from this point on? Only time will tell, and I don't know about you, but I'm excited to find out.
On a somewhat related note, one of the best things about having a lot of free time is that I can now chill out and watch movies I've wanted to see, or catch up on TV, or read, etc. Here's some stuff that I've been watching/reading/listening to that I'd highly recommend (or steer you away from) for your own media consumption at some point.
"Jurassic World" - Obviously, it's nowhere near as magical, suspenseful, and intriguing as the OG, but it's still an enjoyable sequel. It's exciting to see the park finally come to fruition, even if everyone involved with it is still stupid enough to believe that a theme park with live dinosaurs is still a good idea. The tears of their failure will never stop being delicious.
"Jessica Jones" - Krysten Ritter and David Tennant should receive every award possible for their work. This is hands down the best Marvel adaptation I've seen so far for reasons that you should just check out yourself when you get the time. Plus, LUKE FREAKIN CAGE. Bruh.
"Seconds" - If you've never read a graphic novel, this is a good one to start with. The artwork is cute, colorful, and dynamic and the story is effortlessly intriguing. Plus, it's funny, but in a subtle way. Is it funny enough to make you LOL? I think so, but I can't gauge your humor through a computer screen.
That's all he wrote for now. Until next time, y'all.