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crime comedy

Game Night (2018)

DIRECTOR: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein

CAST: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Kyle Chandler, Billy Magnussen, Sharon Horgan, Lamorne Morris, Kylie Bunbury, Jesse Plemons


For those seeking a comedy of a little darker, more twisted variety than a fluffy rom com, Game Night might deliver the goods, or at least enough of them to justify its hour and forty minute existence.  Co-directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, who previously wrote Horrible Bosses and the Vacation reboot, and screenwriter Mark Perez keep the twists and turns coming rapid-fire and have the good sense to not get bogged down by the thin dramatic/sentimental tissue.  Game Night might not be a “great” comedy, but it’s an entertaining dark screwball entry with an often witty, occasionally twisted sense of humor. Continue reading

Lone Star State of Mind (2002)

DIRECTOR: David Semel

CAST: Joshua Jackson, Jaime King, Matthew Davis, D.J. Qualls, Ryan Hurst, John Mellencamp, Thomas Haden Church


If one happens to stumble across the fairly obscure Lone Star State of Mind, they might not find a lost great film, but an amiable comedy that serves up enough slapstick, twists and turns, and quirkiness to make for a diverting hour and a half, even if it might not linger long in the memory. Continue reading

Heartbreakers (2001)

DIRECTOR: David Mirkin

CAST: Sigourney Weaver, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Gene Hackman, Ray Liotta, Jason Lee


Despite a little star power in its cast, Heartbreakers doesn’t really rise above television sitcom level, but it’s an entertaining enough diversion that serves up enough laughs to be enjoyable, at least until its overlong runtime and dragged-out third act starts to wear out its modest welcome. Continue reading

Ruthless People (1986)

DIRECTOR: David Zucker, Jerry Zucker, Jim Abrahams

CAST: Danny DeVito, Bette Midler, Judge Reinhold, Helen Slater, Anita Morris, Bill Pullman


Ruthless People, a product of the Zucker/Zucker/Abrahams directing triumvirate behind Top Secret, Airplane, and The Naked Gun, and screenwriter Dale Launer, is a deliciously twisted and screwball little black comedy that serves up enough twists and turns to maintain a high entertainment level through a slim 90 minute runtime that doesn’t outstay its welcome.  Fans of the previous Zucker/Abrahams works shouldn’t be disappointed with what they’ve wrought here. Continue reading