Tag: martin short

MOVIE REVIEW | The Big Picture (1989)

In a nutshell, Bored & Dangerous says: “The moments of originality are surrounded by too much beige, anonymous blah to make any real difference.  ”

Big 1.jpg
“I don’t know you. I don’t know your work. But I think you are a genius. And I am never wrong about that.”

In 1989, Christopher Guest was the bloke who had co-written and co-starred in one of the biggest surprise hits and greatest movies of all time, This Is Spinal Tap.  In 1989, Kevin Bacon was at the peak of his a career as a bankable leading man.  Even as a kid, I was a Kevin Bacon fan then with Footloose almost playing on a loop in my house.  In the years since, Christopher Guest has become one of my absolute favourite voices in Hollywood.  So how then, in almost 30 years, had I never heard of their collaboration, The Big Picture?

After winning a prize for best short film at his film school graduation, Nick (Bacon) is the hottest new name in Hollywood.  Pursued by agents (including Martin Short with little hints of what would become his Jiminy Glick character as Neil Sussman), and studio executives, including JT Walsh as Allen Habel.  Caught up in the glitz, glamour and ego stroking of the film world, Nick signs on with Allen to make his pet project, a dark, love triangle drama. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Misery Loves Comedy (2015)

Misery Loves Comedy

“You don’t have to be miserable.  But there has to be something wrong with you.”

I’d say most people who recognise Kevin Pollock, recognise him as an actor.  In the 90s, he had an amazing run.  He was in big budget, big prestige movies like Scorsese’s Casino.  He was in massive money makers like Grumpy Old Men.  And he was in one of the quintessential indie-movie-becomes-blockbuster of the 90s, The Usual Suspects.  But before his acting career took off, during his acting career since, and seemingly with no sign of slowing down, he’s always been a stand up comedian.  Which is why he seems like as a good a person as any to make a documentary examining what makes comedians tick, with Misery Loves Comedy.

Through a series of talking heads, Pollock takes us through a kind of life cycle of his subjects.  Who was the first person they recognised as funny?  When was the first time they realised they were funny?  When did they start using that skill to their advantage?  And eventually, he gets to the title with his final question, do you need to be miserable to be a successful comedian. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Inherent Vice (2014)

Inherent Vice

“If it’s a quiet night out at the beach and your ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire- developer boyfriend, and his wife, and her boyfriend, and a plot to kidnap the billionaire and throw him in a loony bin…”

There was a lot of hype about Paul Thomas Anderson that I refused to believe for years. I thought Boogie Nights was pretty awesome, but the pretentious wank of Magnolia and the meandering bullshit of Punch Drunk Love left a bad taste in my mouth for a long, long time. Then, he made There Will Be Blood, a movie unlucky enough to come out the same year as No Country for Old Men. Which is the only reason it wasn’t the best movie of 2007. It was followed by the ambitious, scientology baiting The Master, and I was officially OK with people calling Anderson a genius.

So when I first heard a new Paul Thomas Anderson movie was on the way, I was automatically excited. Then I saw the trailer, and it quickly became one of my most anticipated movies of the year. There Will Be Blood and The Master were dark, brooding, serious and epic. But the trailer for Inherent Vice was goofy, cartoony and genuinely hilarious. In the end, it turned out to be an amazing trailer for a movie that’s not quite amazing, but still pretty good. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | Innerspace (1987)


Joe Dante is a name I’ve never paid enough attention to. As a director, you’ll see it next to 80s classics like Gremlins, its sequel and The Burbs. Movies I love. Yet I’ve never taken the time to delve into his filmography. Even this movie. A movie I can remember mates watching when we were kids and raving about. I can remember me really wanting to see it and never being able to for various reasons. I movie that I know I saw bits and pieces of on cable, but for more various reasons, never watched beginning to end, until now. I have finally seen, Innerspace.

Tuck (Dennis Quaid) is an alcoholic astronaut showing up drunk at astronaut functions, bitter that he’s not walking on the moon. Lydia (Meg Ryan) is his fed up girlfriend. Sick of his selfish ways and ready to kick his ass to the curb. Jack (Martin Short) is a hypochondriac, timid supermarket checkout operator scared of his own shadow. And once Tuck’s experimental shrink ray is put to the test, these three people are drawn into the kind of adventurous romp that could only happen in the 80s and could only be directed by Joe Dante. (more…)