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ENTERTAINMENT
March 5, 2010 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
Jacques Tati (1908-82) was a master of the maladroit. The French comedian and director, a lumbering, ladder-legged man, emphasized his misfit status in extended slapstick sequences that star himself as the Everyman who folds himself into places that barely contain him. Tati's low-key observational wit most famously is showcased in Mr. Hulot's Holiday (1953), a cheery postcard from Brittany celebrating the hard work of leisure. A throwback to the silent comedians of the 1920s, Tati is a keen observer of the absurd, registering the serenity of a beach resort before the vacationing hordes descend in August, and the controlled chaos after.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 6, 2010 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
The Concert is a breakneck melodrama that milks laughs and wrings tears. In broadest outlines, this mistaken-identity crowd pleaser is about a janitor and onetime Russian symphony conductor, Andrei Filipov (Alexei Guskov), who belatedly completes a concert that was tragically interrupted. In 1980, during the Brezhnev regime's crackdown on Jews, Filipov refused to fire Jewish musicians from the Bolshoi Orchestra. As a result, as he conducted Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major , a Communist apparatchik broke Filipov's baton and his spirits.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 28, 1991 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
Imagine being locked in the basement for 85 minutes with Johnny Carson, Arsenio Hall, Groucho Marx and Don Rickles - all simultaneously going on full throttle and all assuming that no joke is too broad, too obscure or too political as long as it gets the laugh. You have just simulated the experience of watching The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear. How funny is it? I'm snickering too hard to answer. Not only does David Zucker's preposterously silly film stoop to new comic lows to get you to laugh, it even does the limbo.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 25, 2005 | By LAURA RANDALL For the Daily News
To prepare for his latest comic relief role, Oliver Platt made a deal with himself. The only way he could screw up was to be afraid to make a complete idiot out of himself. "It's a physical state more than anything else," Platt said of playing a guy who has ingested way too many highballs. "I heard somewhere the way Meryl Streep works with an accent is that she'll totally immerse herself in it until they say action. Then she completely forgets about it and that's why it's just there.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 15, 2010 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
Beware, people: Flirtatious phone patter seems harmless enough - two strangers batting innuendos late into the night - but it can be hazardous to your health. One minute you're on the phone, separated from the husky-voiced gent by hundreds of miles. Next thing you know, you've been drugged and abducted, and folks are chasing you in cars and helicopters, shooting at you with guns and rockets. That's how things shake out for Mary-Louise Parker, anyway, gamely playing a lonely government pensions clerk in Red , a breakneck (for a time)
NEWS
October 6, 2010
British slapstick comedian Norman Wisdom, 95, who was the only Western entertainer shown on Albanian television during the more than 40 grim years under dictator Enver Hoxha, died Monday on the Isle of Man after suffering a series of strokes. Albanians, from the country's current leader to citizens who lived under Communism, paid tribute to the man who made them laugh. Prime Minister Sali Berisha said he was "deeply saddened" at Mr. Wisdom's death. Mr. Wisdom was known in Albania for his role as Norman Pitkin, a clumsy underdog battling adversity, with his trademark cloth cap worn sideways.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 1998 | By Douglas J. Keating, INQUIRER THEATER CRITIC
The Creature in the version of Frankenstein at Old City Stage Works isn't the character of popular mythology, the ugly, square-faced guy with a bolt through his head and a bad haircut. The performer playing him here acts and looks normal. He affects no stiff stagger or outstretched arms, and his most distinguishing physical characteristic, long hair falling below his shoulders, reflects a lack of tonsorial attention of any kind. This humanized Creature is the central character in an adaptation of Frankenstein, described by its creators as "a slapstick tragedy.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 16, 2010 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
Potty mouths, potty jokes, and dotty performances are the chief selling points of Death at a Funeral , Neil LaBute's alternately sidesplitting and poop-splattered remake of the 2007 Frank Oz movie about everything that can go wrong at a patriarch's last rites. Los Angeles replaces England as the setting for the frantic antics. Chris Rock and Martin Lawrence headline as the deceased's respectively dutiful and prodigal sons, a would-be writer and his successful-novelist sibling.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 16, 2003 | By Carrie Rickey INQUIRER MOVIE CRITIC
My favorite movie of all time? Glad you asked. It's Buster Keaton's Sherlock, Jr. (1924) and, lucky for all of us, on Saturday this 45-minute slapstick masterpiece is screening - with live musical accompaniment - at the Prince Music Theater, along with the appealing Keaton short One Week (1920). Whether you're an action-flick type or the kind of moviegoer fond of romance, whether you like high comedy or down-and-dirty pratfalls, Sherlock is the movie for you. The tale of a projectionist who dreams of being a sleuth and who literally walks into the movie he's projecting and solves its mystery, Sherlock is really about the mystery of movies.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 6, 1990 | By Gary Thompson, Daily News Movie Critic
Stupefying casting blunders spoil "I Love You to Death," a movie that shackles comic acrobat Tracey Ullman and relies instead on the innate wackiness of dour actor William Hurt. If you're thinking you wouldn't drive very far out of your way to see Ullman play the straight man to Hurt, who was last seen barely moving his lips in "The Accidental Tourist," your instincts are good. Thus doomed from the beginning, "I Love You to Death" is remarkable only for the fact that it occasionally manages to be funny, thanks to the efforts of Kevin Kline and a memorable performance by English stage actress Joan Plowright.
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NEWS
March 8, 2015 | By Peter Dobrin, Inquirer Music Critic
Is there a more gorgeously depicted transformation in all of Western music than the last seven or eight minutes of Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos ? With the emotional intelligence of Mozart, the score moves from mystery and tension, through elation and serenity, into the bright radiance of human love. Strauss traverses a great distance so magically that Ariadne herself wonders out loud: Are we on the other side already? The beauty of that stretch stopped the opera's characters in their tracks Wednesday night in the Curtis Institute of Music's production, a welcome moment of introspection after all the silliness.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 3, 2014 | BY GARY THOMPSON, Daily News Staff Writer thompsg@phillynews.com, 215-854-5992
SOME NUMBERS to consider: $159 million, $134 million, $169 million. Those are the domestic box-office hauls of the last three movies ("The Heat," "Identity Thief" and "Bridesmaids") with substantial starring roles for Melissa McCarthy, so far be it from me to tell this woman how to go about her lucrative business. Of the "Bridesmaids" ladies, it's McCarthy who's gone on to be the breakout star. She's a screen natural with a vivid and unpredictable comic presence who is usually paired, for effect, with a straight-laced partner.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 1, 2012 | By Gary Thompson, Daily News Staff Writer
Marijuana brownies put the "high" in High School, a gleefully irresponsible comedy about a stunt that turns an entire campus into stoners. When an authoritarian principal (Michael Chiklis) mandates drug testing a few days before school ends, panicked valedictorian Henry (Matt Bush) enlists class burnout Travis (Sean Marquette) in a scheme to feed fortified brownies to the entire school, thus rendering the test results immaterial. Director John Stalberg Jr. stages the movie as an escalating slapstick comedy, gradually adding far-out characters (Adrien Brody as a unibomber-ish local dealer, Mykelti Williamson his henchman, so paranoid his name is Paranoid)
ENTERTAINMENT
September 13, 2011 | By Toby Zinman, For The Inquirer
I'm still laughing. "What's the wherefore? / Every why got a wherefore. " And here's the wherefore of my laughing: The Bomb-itty of Errors , an Off-Broadway hit, then a Philly hit four years ago (nominated for seven Barrymores), is being reprised by 11th Hour Theatre Company. Written by Jordan Allen-Dutton, Jason Catalano, Gregory J. Qaiyum, Jeffrey Qaiyum and Erik Weiner (well, you didn't expect one guy to come up with two hours worth of rhymes, did you?), the show is directed by Megan Nicole O'Brien with hilarious precision, and DJ'ed by Mark Valenzuela.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 21, 2011 | By John Timpane, Inquirer Staff Writer
Tuesday's attempted pieing of Rupert Murdoch during his testimony to the House of Commons was an outrage. As it was meant to be. It was also a failure. The assailant, stand-up comic Jonathan May-Bowles, or "Jonnie Marbles," got more shaving cream on himself than on Murdoch. He was restrained by bystanders, including Murdoch's wife, Wendi Deng, who has emerged a heroine, a stand-up woman. May-Bowles has emerged with shaving cream on his face. (He was charged Wednesday with "behavior causing harassment, alarm or distress in a public place.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 14, 2011 | By GARY THOMPSON, thompsg@phillynews.com 215-854-5992
You may have finished your holiday leftovers, but Hollywood is just getting started. Studios are starting to release movies deemed unfit for competition during the hotly contested months of November and December, which means (yikes) that somebody didn't think "The Dilemma" would hold up against "Little Fockers. " You probably agree if you've been watching the movie's dreadful TV commercials - several lame outtakes in search of a joke. It turns out, though, that "Dilemma" is not the lazy pile of bromance, buddy-movie slop it appears to be - it's much more ambitious than that, a lot darker, which explains why Oscar collaborators Ron Howard, (producer)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 15, 2010 | By Steven Rea, Inquirer Movie Critic
Beware, people: Flirtatious phone patter seems harmless enough - two strangers batting innuendos late into the night - but it can be hazardous to your health. One minute you're on the phone, separated from the husky-voiced gent by hundreds of miles. Next thing you know, you've been drugged and abducted, and folks are chasing you in cars and helicopters, shooting at you with guns and rockets. That's how things shake out for Mary-Louise Parker, anyway, gamely playing a lonely government pensions clerk in Red , a breakneck (for a time)
NEWS
October 6, 2010
British slapstick comedian Norman Wisdom, 95, who was the only Western entertainer shown on Albanian television during the more than 40 grim years under dictator Enver Hoxha, died Monday on the Isle of Man after suffering a series of strokes. Albanians, from the country's current leader to citizens who lived under Communism, paid tribute to the man who made them laugh. Prime Minister Sali Berisha said he was "deeply saddened" at Mr. Wisdom's death. Mr. Wisdom was known in Albania for his role as Norman Pitkin, a clumsy underdog battling adversity, with his trademark cloth cap worn sideways.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 20, 2010 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
In the buoyant urban fantasy Lottery Ticket , Kevin Carson (Bow Wow) is 18, lives with his grandma in the projects, and works at Foot Locker. He hopes one day to design sneakers. As the July Fourth weekend looms, lottery fever sweeps through the community. The jackpot has climbed to $370 million. His friends and neighbors are banking on the bank they are certain to win. Kevin? He tells his best friend, Benny (Brandon T. Jackson), that the lottery is a scheme "to keep poor people poor by selling them false dreams.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 6, 2010 | By Carrie Rickey, Inquirer Movie Critic
The Concert is a breakneck melodrama that milks laughs and wrings tears. In broadest outlines, this mistaken-identity crowd pleaser is about a janitor and onetime Russian symphony conductor, Andrei Filipov (Alexei Guskov), who belatedly completes a concert that was tragically interrupted. In 1980, during the Brezhnev regime's crackdown on Jews, Filipov refused to fire Jewish musicians from the Bolshoi Orchestra. As a result, as he conducted Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto in D major , a Communist apparatchik broke Filipov's baton and his spirits.
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