Episode 12 – Colossal (2016)

I had mixed feelings about how this film ended. At first I expected something totally different. I think it did a great job at bringing up consciousness for women abused in relationships and the web of alcoholism. Listen to my take on this mercurial and enjoyable film.

Colossal (2016)
R | 1h 49min | Action, Comedy, Drama | 21 April 2017 (Canada)

Gloria is an out-of-work party girl forced to leave her life in New York City, and move back home. When reports surface that a giant creature is destroying Seoul, she gradually comes to the realization that she is somehow connected to this phenomenon.
Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Writer: Nacho Vigalondo
Stars: Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Austin Stowell

The Big Sick (2017)

This is great: a bio pic about a comedian trying to make it and how he fell in love with his girlfriend. Oh, and there’s some Pakistani ethnic issues that threaten the relationship as well since he is Pakistani and she is white.

The Big Sick (2017)
R | 2h | Comedy, Romance | 14 July 2017 (USA)

A couple deals with their cultural differences as their relationship grows.
Director: Michael Showalter
Writers: Emily V. Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani
Stars: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter

I had seen Kumail’s work here and there and I’ve always thought he was a chill comedian. IN fact, in this film, something I noticed was how calm he is, even in face of rejection or turmoil. As the smooth dialogue would transpire I’d think to myself: “I wonder if it went down this smooth in real life?” I’m really impressed the way he broke out with this film that essentially a love story of how he and his girlfriend (now wife) met. I find that charming.

The director Michael Showalter has some good stuff on his resume. The film I recognized the most was My Name is Doris with Sally Field. That was a fiction but it watches like a bio pic. He shows the dark side of Doris, not just the funny one. This ability shows up in his directing on this film, he’s done a stellar job here.

Zoe Kazan plays Emily, Kumail’s love interest. Hear me when I say this: she embodies the character. I think she was a great casting choice. I never miss a chance to see a Zoe Kazan film and this one is no exception. I loved her in this. She actually resembles the real Emily. Ray Romano and Holly Hunter play her parents. They do a great job testing and finally accepting Kumail. The hospital scenes are really the heart of the film. A sub plot of the film is his family’s attempts to arrange a bride for him. These scenes are funny and add a lot to the believability of the characters. It’s all done without pushing Pakistan into your face, like My Big Fat Greek Wedding does with the Greek culture. It’s subtle and keeps you curious. Another sub plot is the Improv club where Kumail and his friends are honing their craft. They all live on the cheap which is fun to see as the camera travels into and among their zone.

For romantic comedy fans, this one’s a must. I give it my highest recommendation!

10/10

At time of writing this, the film is still in theaters.

Airplane (1980)

Great comedy like this doesn’t just fall out of the sky. Much should be remembered about how the three directors worked for years to build a style of comedy in a theater group they would later mold into the 1980 film Airplane! In addition to being laugh-a-minute hilarious, it also stands as evidence that hard work pays off in Hollywood.

The directors of this film, David and Jerry Zucker as well as Jim Abrahams Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker (abbreviated ZAZ) made something to be quintessentially proud of here. They had worked on the Kentucky Fried Theater group together so they had a lot of experience riffing and coming up with improv stuff before they ever directed any movies. John Landis took their humor they had developed and made it into a film called The Kentucky Fried Movie. It is full of dichotomous humor juxtaposing serious settings and scenes with surreal and slapstick humor. Watching the Landis film yields all sorts of influences seen in Airplane! It is a lot more racy however, specifically in its nudity.

This film stars Robert Hays and Julie Hagerty and features Leslie Nielsen, Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges, Peter Graves, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and Lorna Patterson. There are several other cameos by then well-known actors and celebrities. Robert Hays, the lead actor, was an unknown at the time. He does a good job but his role is more of a cog in a larger machine of comedic actors. Leslie Nielsen is by far the most memorable actor in the film. He had been in loads of episodic television as well as films like The Poseidon Adventure. Though he hadn’t done comedy before, Airplane! showed the world he was a closet comedian.

The film is a fairly simple plot derived from the 1957 film, Zero Hour! Note the exclamation mark in both titles. His serious look helps the deadpan humor work so well. The rest of the cast is side-splitting making the film a must watch for any filmcritic or lover of films.

As a kid growing up in the 80’s, this film was alluring to me. Older kids would talk about it and how their parents let them see it. After all, there is a bare breasted woman in it for about 2 whole seconds (the scandal!). Unfortunately I didn’t see it until after I was 10. I don’t recall my exact age but I know it was in my teens. It was the funniest film I had ever seen. Others have come close since, but I think it still hovers around that ranking with me still.

FINAL THOUGHTS
It’s no wonder Airplane! is one of the worlds funniest films. Its three directors took years to hone their comedic skills and work together. Finally, they put their own money up to pitch the idea to movie studios. After persistence and hard work, the film was made and it remains to this day one of the most exciting and funny films ever made. I recommend it to anyone and everyone.

10/10