Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Top 5: Comedy

By S. R. Ellis

In celebration of the latest episode of the FilmGeeks podcast being released, I've decided to do a lovely post about my personal Top 5 Comedy Movies of all time!

So, let's dive right in. Some of these will be franchises, as narrowing down to one in a continuation can be difficult. 

5. Happy Gilmore

This is a classic for me. My father and I would always watch this movie together and it was a staple in our VCR. Adam Sandler is also one of my favorite comedians of all time. He still can't make a movie I won't giggle at. Yes, even his recent endeavors. I know, it is a unpopular opinion, most think he lost his "mojo" a long time ago. To me, Happy Gilmore is a representation of the golden age of comedy. American Pie spiced things up in 1999 with risque antics we hadn't seen in a major motion picture before, and Superbad revolutionized this genre, and I don't believe we've turned back since. The more raunchy it is, the better it seems to do in the box office. I'm not knocking those movies, I truly love them, but I think Adam Sandler's style of comedy got left behind in this new world of comedy. To me, he'll never die. Happy Gilmore, Billy Madison, and even Grown Ups will always hold a special place in my heart. This is why Happy Gilmore is in my top 5. It hasn't ceased to stop making me laugh in all the years I've been watching it, and that makes a good comedy movie. 

4. 21/22 Jump Street (Reboots)

These two caught me off guard. I had no desire to see the 21 Jump Street reboot, and it wasn't until months after it was released on DVD that my friend and I sat down to watch it, having heard it wasn't terrible. Apparently this is how most of the fans of the reboot discovered it. The DVD sales far surpassed what it did at the box office, and ultimately led to the sequel being made. I have never laughed so unexpectedly hard at a film in my life. What an instant classic. They took the fact that it was a typical Hollywood reboot and used that to their advantage by calling themselves out as the plot unfolded. (Spoilers ahead) The cherry on top for me was the cameo by Johnny Depp in the ending scene, it was truly magical and brought the whole thing together. Channing Tatum also really showed his acting abilities and range in this role. He is one of the most versatile actors of this generation. He can do almost any role thrown his way, and I think it was a smart move to do this film because he gained a whole new fan base that probably couldn't care less about him before this. Plus, the ending credit scenes in 22 Jump Street are pee-your-pants worthy. 

3. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy

Will Ferrell is a classic character actor, and Ron Burgandy is one of my favorites of his. I haven't watched the sequel, simply because I don't want the magic of the original ruined. But, I have heard from many a people that it was a decent follow up. The ensemble cast of this film is a great compilation of some talented comedians. Each character has such an abrasive personality, they all come together quite perfectly for some side splitting scenes. I haven't been able to get the epic battle of newscasters out of my brain since watching this so many years ago. Literally as I'm typing this I'm chuckling thinking about all the news teams nearly, and sometimes actually, killing each other. Also, this movie had a plot. Some comedies with big stars I feel try too hard to do more jokes than to keep the plot progressing, but in this movie we see a true evolution of a man from top to bottom, then climb back to top. It's a hilarious tale I will always keep on my video shelf. 

2. The Cornetto Trilogy

One name: Edgar Wright. No, scratch that, TWO names: Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg. No, scratch that again, THREE names: Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost. Honestly, this series is a true masterpiece, and you may not even know the three films are connected. The Cornetto Trilogy is comprised of three films: Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, and The World's End. Each of which were directed by Wright, a true visionary of comedy. Each were written by Wright and Pegg. And each starred Pegg and Frost. The duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost is one that I don't think can be beat by any other comedy duo today. The only one that I think comes close would be the pairing of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, but even some of their sketches or movies together weren't as promising as everything Frost and Pegg have put out together. Shaun of the Dead is a classic parody style movie that completely stands on it's own. You don't even think about Dawn of the Dead while watching it. It is just a gory, hilarious depiction of a zombie apocalypse. Hot Fuzz is brilliant, a classic cop film Wright-afied. The World's End is also a perfect tale of brotherhood and drinking, and maybe the end of the world. I don't want to go into too much detail, as unfortunately this series is not as well known outside the cult following as it should be. If you are reading this and haven't watched any of these films I suggest you get yourself a copy to enjoy. All will become instant favorites. 

1. Zoolander

Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson as male models. I mean, what more could you want? I doubt there is a person reading this who hasn't seen this film. It's one of Stiller's most recognizable performances. On it's surface it's a comedy making fun of the ditzy nature of models; at its core it is an action packed conspiracy movie. There honestly isn't a whole lot I can say about this movie. It is one of the best films of the early 2000's, one I know many people have re-watched over and over. Like many of Stiller's comedy films it was made in a layered way so each time you watch it you catch a joke you haven't heard before. I still quote it in almost every day conversation. Which may, or may not be annoying. But I don't care, because I love Zoolander and I don't care who knows it!

Well, those are my five, this list is obviously highly debatable, as comedy is so subjective depending on the personality of the viewer. What's your top 5 comedies of all time? Let us know in the comments!

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