Monday, March 23, 2009

The Changing Face of Comedy

In honor of my new favorite comedy, 'I Love You, Man' I would like to take a look at the past 20 years of comedy. I won't be looking at all the trends but just the most popular.

Looking back, the 90's most successful comedies were because of SNL. Thanks to SNL we were given comic geniuses: Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, Chris Farley and David Spade, and Will Ferrell (who flourished in the 2000's) Let's break it down further. In the 90's we saw

Wayne's World
Austin Powers
Tommy Boy
Black Sheep
Billy Madison
Happy Gilmore
The Waterboy
Big Daddy
There's Something About Mary
Dumb and Dumber

You can see what the tones of these comedies tend to be. They are your typical, dumb but loveable lead character fighting for something good. The humor tends to be a bit on the crude side and dim-witted. But it's not over the top. This will change.

The 90's was easily the decade of the SNL star. But the 2000's is certainly the decade of Judd Apatow, his filmogoraphy of Writer/Director/Producer credit should be convincing enough.

The 40 Year Old Virgin
Talladega Nights
Knocked Up
Walk Hard
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Drillbit Taylor
Step Brothers
Pineapple Express

And that's just Apatow, there have been many more comedies that were very successful in the past few years. But this is the trend of comedies in this decade. Raunchy and Vulgar. Apatow will stop at nothing and he will raise the bar to get a laugh.

But in my review of 'I Love You, Man' a film with no creative input from Apatow, we are given a film that goes against the norm. While still an R rated comedy, this film treats its audience with decency and respect, making it genuinely funny. It's my hope that this can be the new trend for the next decade.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Goodbye Film, Hello Digital, We Were Expecting You

I had the most amazing theater experience yesterday, it will be unrivaled for a while I think.

Yesterday, I went to Lincoln Square Cinemas, a very good theater in Bellevue, Washington. I was with my friend Cam and we had some time to kill, so we decided to go to the movies. 3 of them, to be exact. Now the first two weren't cinematic masterpieces, but they were still good, they were 'Sunshine Cleaning and 'Taken'. The last one, 'I Love You, Man' was a masterpiece though. I thought it was great and if you want a review from me you can find it at, it will be up in about a week or so.

The movies were great, but I was hit with a cinematic twist: Lincoln Square has gone High-Def. That's right, there are no longer film projectors there, it's all digital, high definition. This is a huge improvement to the movie going experience. The cinematic experience now once again trumps any home theater, thanks to its crystal clear, high definition projections on giant screens. This means that there will be minimal projection problems at all. It will be consistently clean and clear of any sort of film deterioration. It also means that you won't see any "Cigarette Burns" in the corner of frames before a reel needs to be changed. I'm a little sad that it doesn’t feel like Film any more, we really can't even say we're going out for a film any more, really we're going out for a Digital High Definition Presentation. Doesn't really roll of the tongue any more. But either way it does look amazing, and hopefully people can find the shekels to participate in the film community and enjoy a good film.

On that note I would like to say that seeing a movie is really best in a room crammed with people. 'I Love You, Man' was in a sold out screen, it was packed full of people ready for a good film. And boy did they have a good time. The movie was hilarious and tasteful, the audience truly appreciated it. There was an energy in the room that really made the night memorable. I felt a connection between all of us, with the sole intention of seeing a great comedy. And it was easily a successful night, for the film, the theater, and us, the audience.