Because the humor is overly done, Black Sheep is nothing more than a very bland comedy...

31-03-2015 Sharath Cr

Because the humor is overly done, Black Sheep is nothing more than a very bland comedy...


Black Sheep, starring Chris Farley and David Spade, is a great example of a comedy film that just tries way too hard. For me, this is one of those comedy movies where I spent the entire movie not laughing at all. Instead, I used the time to analyze and ponder on the reason the humor in this movie didn't work. You could say that this review also provides words of advice for anyone want to write or act in comedy. So if you're one of those people, listen up. 

First, let me summarize the plot. Chris Farley is a guy named Mike Donnelly, the accident-prone brother of politician Al Donnelly (Tim Matheson), who is running for Governor of the state of Washington. Mike is someone who means well, because he does try to inspire people to vote for Al. Unfortunately, disaster always follows Mike, which makes Al increasingly impatient. Meanwhile, David Spade as Al's campaign advisor Steve Dodds also has to make sure that Mike doesn't get into any more trouble. And while we're at it, throw in the campaign staff of Al's political rival and their efforts to exploit Mike's problems for political gain. 

The plot is really just a backdrop for physical comedy. I don't mind comedies where the story is only a string for funny scenes to hang from (the Naked Gun movies are a great example of this), so I really could care less about what Black Sheep's plot is. I also don't mind the kinds of comedy situations seen throughout this movie, including those that involve falling down a mountain, catching a bat in a cabin, getting stuck in a voting booth, and even having a jacket stuck in an airplane door as it is taking off a runway. However, they have to make me laugh, and I'm sorry to say that every one of those scenes failed to do so. 

In fact, I have the same criticisms for every single comedy scene, as if each comedy scene were clones of each other. Basically, the scenes were not funny for me because they were missing two key elements: surprise and wit. To be at least minimally funny, the scene has to deliver the punchline when it's least expected. There's a scene where Mike and Steve are sleeping in a damaged cabin as a strong wind lifts part of the roof. You can easily anticipate what happens next: the roof comes off completely. Then you can correctly guess that precipitation will come pouring down into the roofless cabin (in this case, it involves hailstones). As for wit, you have to let character traits, situations, and other elements collide in unexpectedly clever ways. You can't just let physical antics be the sole source of comedy, and you certainly can't let the physical comedy be overacted, as Chris Farley does here. 

For me, Black Sheep wasn't a movie that was painful or boring to watch. It was simply flat. Sure, I stayed awake enough to pay attention to the story and sit through the comedy scenes, but I came out feeling the exact same way as when the movie started. Inability to make the audience feel good after the movie ends is always a bad sign for a comedy, not to mention a waste of time. Perhaps Black Sheep is an appropriate title for this unfunny comedy. Among comedies that are great, this one stands out as the troublesome one that deserves to be ignored. 


Twitter Is Not a Comedy Club (As Trevor Noah Just Found Out)

31-03-2015 Sharath Cr

There are a lot of issues at hand in the "Trevor Noah Situation," but maybe there's a lesson here for stand-up comics.


Trevor Noah Standup Routine - H 2015

The Trevor Noah Situation, as we should probably be calling this little phase of his barely started career as the newly announced host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central, has moved from Twitter-centric crossfire, to overreaction, to calm-seeking and, lastly, to a message of support from the channel that was calculated to be brief and straightforward so that it wouldn't feed the news cycle — and so this whole thing would blow over in the resulting quiet period, during which people would be off writing their Big Picture sentiments.


Cinderella (2015)–Movie Review

31-03-2015 Sharath Cr

Cinderella poster 

I was interested to see what Kenneth Branagh, a director best known for his acclaimed Shakespeare adaptations, would do with Cinderella (IMDB). There have been innumerable adaptations of this story…and I wouldn’t say that this one is the best. (I particularly like 1998’s Ever After (IMDB)).

But Branagh was hired to do a live-action, non-musical remake of Disney’s 1950 animated Cinderella (IMDB) and he probably did as good a job as anyone could have done within those constraints. The movie looks great and adds some nice touches to the original Disney story.

I particularly like the way that the new version fleshes out the character of the Prince (Richard Madden) including his relationship with his father (Derek Jacobi.) The other roles are, as might be expected, pretty one-dimensional, but Cate Blanchett at least manages to make the Evil Stepmother seem believable.

The scenery and special effects look great, as one would expect. Whatever Disney’s faults, they can at least be counted on to deliver first-rate CGI. (As opposed to the cut-rate washed-out crap that we sometimes get from other studios.) It’s easy to shrug this off, but it really takes a lot of talent, money and effort to make these effects look seamless. I have to give credit where it is due.


How ‘Furious 7’ Created a Digital Paul Walker For His Unfinished Scenes Read More: How ‘Furious 7’ Created a Digital Paul Walker

31-03-2015 Sharath Cr



When Paul Walker tragically passed away midway through the production of Furious 7, Universal and director James Wan faced a difficult task. Do they scuttle the film or charge ahead, using rewrites and body doubles to finish Walker’s performance? They ultimately went with the latter option but refused to go into any details. Now, a new report confirms that a digitally recreated Walker appears in the film and that he was brought to life by the same company that made Gollum in The Lord of the Rings and Caesar in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

The news comes to us via The Hollywood Reporter, who say that Peter Jackson’s WETA Digital was quietly hired to finish the journey of Walker’s Bryan O’Connor. Although WETA declined to comment, it makes sense. If you’re going to hire a special effects company to resurrect a dead actor, you might as well go with the people already known for creating photorealistic, lifelike characters.

Before you think Universal made a crass decision here, it should be noted that Furious 7 is actually very tasteful on this front. Viewers who pay careful attention will note that the majority of Walker’s unfinished scenes are completed using his brothers Caleb and Cody as doubles. When combined with CGI, carefully chosen camera angles and the right lighting, they are the spitting image of Paul.


Walker is not the first actor to get temporarily revived through visual effects. Oliver Reed was digitally recreated for his unfinished scenes in Gladiator when he passed away during production and Nancy Marchand had one final scene on The Sopranos after her death. And then there are the countless commercials that resurrect iconic celebrities like Steve McQueen and Bruce Lee to hock modern products. (If you ask us, using CGI to finish a late actor’s performance is weird but understandable. But commercials? That’s kinda’ gross.)

As tasteful and subtle as WETA’s work is in Furious 7, the article from the Hollywood Reporter can’t help but suggest a darker future where actors are scanned and their likenesses used for years to come (which just so happens to be the subject of the excellent sci-fi film The Congress). They note how actors are already digitally recreated for impossible action scenes, but some performers are apparently being scanned for “archival” reasons. In theory, this means Chris Evans could keep on playing Captain America for the next century. In theory, that is also when we stop watching movies.

Furious 7 opens in theaters on April 3.


Robert Downey, Jr. Turns Down Iron Man Role To Star In ‘Captain America: Civil War’

31-03-2015 Sharath Cr

Robert Downey Jr. turns down Iron Man role to star in Captain America

Robert Downey, Jr. has turned down the role of Iron Man in the franchise’s fourth installment to star in Captain America: Civil War along with Chris Evans.


Downey, who turns 50 this year, told Venture Capital Post there were no plans for a fourthIron Man movie, nor were there any scrípts although he does plan to be involved in upcoming Marvel films.

“Just between us, no. But I’m gonna do other stuff with Marvel. I’m still gonna be involved with Marvel.”

Downey already has commitments to star in other Marvel films in the coming years and the aging star has said he wants to be spend more time with his family.

If and when there is a fourth Iron Man movie it will probably star Ty Simpkins, according to rumors circulating around Hollywood. Simpkins played the boy, Harley Keener, in the lastIron Man movie.

The studio is contemplating a prequel to Iron Man and Simpkins will be old enough to play a young Tony Stark, the Inquisitr reported.

For the moment, Downey told Collider, he was looking forward to starring in the thirdCaptain America movie opposite Chris Evans.

“They said to me, ‘If we have you, we can do this, or Cap 3 has to be something else.’ It’s nice to feel needed. And at this point it’s about helping each other, too. I look at it as a competition and I go, ‘Wow, maybe if these two franchises teamed up and I can take even a lesser position, with people I like and directors I respect, maybe we can keep things bumping along.'”

Rumors concerning the next Iron Man movie continue to abound, however, as Downey recently went on the Ellen Degeneres Show and said there would be a fourth movie only to withdraw his comments later.

That appearance set the internet aflame lately with rumors of a fourth Iron Man movie along with a possible cameo by Robert Downey as he hands off the torch.

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