Jordan Peele’s canny ‘Get Out’ on VOD and Blu-ray/DVD

The Stepford Wives meets Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner in Get Out (2017), the directorial debut of writer / comedian Jordan Peele, a tricky and successful mix of social satire, modern horror, and savvy commentary on race as experienced by a person of color in a largely white society. Daniel Kaluuya stars as Chris Washington, […]

John Cleese, Connie Booth, Andrew Sachs, and Prunella Scales in the classic BBC comedy

‘Fawlty Towers: The Complete Series’ on Netflix

Fawlty Towers: The Complete Series (1975-1979) – Basil Fawlty, the brazenly rude hotel proprietor created and incarnated by John Cleese in his brilliant British sitcom, is the most insolent, boorish, hilariously obnoxious character in the face of customer disservice. He’s a man who treats his guests as an inconvenience to running his business, with the […]

Meryl Streep is "Florence Foster Jenkins."

Meryl Streep is ‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ on Amazon Prime

Florence Foster Jenkins (2016) may sound like a one-joke contrivance—a rich, generous, arts-loving heiress in 1940s New York City gives private recitals to a select group of high society insiders who never let on to the oblivious woman that she is quite possibly the worst singer to ever trod a stage—but it is both a […]

Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia, Kate Micucci, Chris Gethard, Tami Sagher are an improv comedy team in this comic drama

‘Don’t Think Twice’ – Improvising life on Netflix

Whether you call Don’t Think Twice (2016) a hilarious drama or a serious comedy, it is a bittersweet story of frustrated dreams and difficult passages of funny people in a pitiless business. Mike Birbiglia, a standup comedian and “This American Life” contributor turned filmmaker, writes, directs, and co-stars in the film as Miles, founder and […]

Jeff Bridges is the Dude in 'The Big Lebowski' from Joel and Ethan Coen.

‘The Big Lebowski’ abides on HBO Now and Blu-ray/DVD

Rolling Stone once called The Big Lebowski (1998) “the most worshipped comedy of its generation.” I like to think of it as the Book of Duderonomy, the lost gospel of the post-modern Testament. Jeff Bridges is brilliant as the Dude, one of the most strangely centered individuals in the movies. This bowler/stoner/free spirit is mistaken […]

Peter Sellers and Claudine Longet in the Blake Edwards comedy

Peter Sellers joins ‘The Party’ on FilmStruck and Criterion Channel

The Party (1968) reunited Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers after a falling out during the second Pink Panther movie for a different kind of comedy: a modern sound version of a silent movie comedy. They don’t pretend it’s a silent film, mind you, but rather build a series of visual gags on a basic premise—Peter […]

James Garner and Jack Elam star in Burt Kennedy's comedy western

Blu-ray: ‘Support Your’ James Garner double feature on Twilight Time

Support Your Local Sheriff / Support Your Local Gunfighter (Twilight Time, Blu-ray) – James Garner established himself as a natural for the comic western with the TV series Maverick, playing the reluctant hero who avoided conflict and gunplay with charm, wit, and a con-man’s knack for keeping his opponents off balance. The brought that sensibility […]

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 […]