Given the show’s explicit judgment of judgment, it’s perplexing that many critiques, warranted as they are, overwhelmingly rely on and perpetuate a neurotic suspicion of pleasure.
Death to Smoochy failed spectacularly when it was released, finding no purchase with viewers looking for an easy escape from the antebellum early aughts. But a film whose excesses lacked an audience in 2002 might just have found its spiritual home 18 years later.
As each male performer in Young Frankenstein revels in his own strangeness, I find new ways to tap dance in my own haunted house.
Like all good farces, Smiley Face feels heightened to the point that causality becomes nonsensical. This, too, is stoner logic: enjoy the journey, forget the destination.
Sacha Baron Cohen has always had a complicated, meta-textual relationship with irony; his trailblazing satirical work observes the ugliness of the United States while refusing to offer any solutions.
Alien: Resurrection swings the pendulum away from the dour grimness of its predecessor towards a sense of humor and ironic self-awareness; the result is an Alien eager to thumb its nose at its precursors. It doesn’t care if anyone who loves those earlier films gets caught in the crossfire, either.
The Marx Brothers' A Night at the Opera is first and foremost about feeling over understanding, about distorting language, teasing it apart to get to the meat of it all.
The Muppets are an invitation to look at our weird, messed up world, and laugh instead of cry. Their acceptance of chaos means an acceptance of everyone, from seven-foot-tall carrots to psychopathic coffee spokesman to neurotic frogs.
If the world is going to rot, Daisies suggests, all that’s left to do is dig in.
In 2020, Burn After Reading feels both more ridiculous and more painful than when it was first released—more capable of breaking down your defenses against laughter, and more likely to keep you up at night.
Well, I haven’t done one of these in a while. For 39 months, to be precise. But November 2020 is...