Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer star in Rob Reiner's 'This is Spinal Tap'

‘This Is Spinal Tap’ on Netflix

“It’s such a fine line between stupid and clever.” – Nigel Tufnel Rob Reiner walks that fine line in his hilarious mockrockumentary This Is Spinal Tap (1984), ostensibly the portrait of a has-been metal band resurrected from a well-deserved obscurity for a disastrous comeback tour. Improv comedy veterans Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer don’t […]

Richard Linklater's 'Everybody Wants Some'

‘Everybody Wants Some!!’ – Richard Linklater goes to college on Amazon Prime and Hulu

Filmmaker and chronicler of growing up in America Richard Linklater describes Everybody Wants Some!! (2015) as the “spiritual sequel” to Dazed and Confused, his 1993 coming of age (or perhaps more accurately coming of self) classic. Set four years after Dazed and centered on a high school baseball all-star on a sports scholarship arriving on […]

Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi write, direct, and star in the vampire mockumentary 'What We Do in the Shadows'

‘What We Do in the Shadows’ on Amazon Prime

What We Do in the Shadows (2014) takes the mockumentary approach to the vampire film, though that hardly describes the deadpan absurdity of this comedy of ancient European vampires in New Zealand, who after centuries of unlife haven’t gotten any smarter. It’s written and directed by Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, who previously collaborated on […]

Joel McCrea, Claudette Colbert , and Rudy Vallee in the classic romantic comedy from Preston Sturges

‘The Palm Beach Story’ on VOD and Criterion Blu-ray/DVD

The Palm Beach Story (1942) – Leave it to Preston Sturges to create the funniest, sexiest, and most grown-up romantic comedy of his day. Claudette Colbert has never been more desirable as Gerry Jeffers, the flirtatious pragmatist with a clear-eyed take on the realities of men, women, and sex, and Sturges turns Joel McCrea’s All-American […]

Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell in the film by Howard Hawks

Blu-ray: ‘His Girl Friday’ vs. ‘The Front Page’ on Criterion

His Girl Friday (Criterion, Blu-ray, DVD) should really be listed as a double feature, for the “bonus” movie—a new edition of the original screen version of The Front Page, adapted from the snappy, cynical, double-barrel Broadway hit by Ben Hecht and Charles MacArthur—is not just a home video debut but a major discovery. The Front […]

‘BrainDead’ – Aliens invade Congress on Amazon Prime

BrainDead (2016), created by Michelle King and Robert King (of The Good Wife) as a limited summer series, is a mix of mix of alien invasion thriller and political satire centered in Washington D.C., where an infestation of ant-like insects from outer space colonize the brains of politicians and government officials. Mary Elizabeth Winstead stars […]