Comedy

Scrooged (1988) - Richard Donner

Hey constant reader, it’s December and that means it’s okay to bust out the holiday movies and partake in some cheesiness that would otherwise be scoffed at. That’s no different here at RottenPop. We love these soon-to-be forgotten treasures. However, it is often harder to appreciate these “classics” without a little assistance from sweet lady cannabis. So, I am pairing some cannabis or cannabis products with my viewings of these movies. I will let you know what the effects are. How it feels. And weather or not it helped the viewing experience.


We are always looking for suggestions on products or movies to watch. Just go ahead and comment below!

89/100

A fantastic holiday comedy!

Director: Richard Donner
Producer: Richard Donner & Art Linson
Starring: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, Bobcat Goldthwait, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, Michael J. Pollard, and Alfre Woodard.
Studio: Paramount Pictures

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Okay, let’s open the bag…

I got these Camino Gummie’s from Airfield Supply Company in San Jose, California. And the packaging is pretty childproof. The trick is to put one thumb in the outside flap, and one in the inside. Then you just pull apart. Oh wow. The smell just hits you. It’s definitely spicy. Oh man. This is crazy how far edibles have come. This is just amazing.

Look at these things. The gummie’s themselves are really soft and juicy looking. It’s not sticky or anything. It looks like a common gummy candy. I love it.

Oh wow. It’s so soft. The flavor hits your taste-buds right away. The consistency is great, it’s like a high-quality gummy bear. You swallow it, but the flavor just sits there. It just stays in your mouth. And if you like spicy things, then this will be right up your alley. If they were trying to replicate the feeling of California in a flavor, then this is just about it.

They’re delicious!

Today we get to take a look at the Christmas dark-comedic classic, Scrooged. A fantastic film directed by iconic filmmaker Richard Donner. It features an all-star eighties cast with the hilarious Bill Murray, alongside Karen Allen, John Forsythe, Bobcat Goldthwait, Carol Kane, Robert Mitchum, Michael J. Pollard, and Alfre Woodard. It’s a fun film that can be enjoyed by the entire family. I will be viewing my personal Paramount Home Video VHS copy, while enjoying Pineapple Habanero Sativa Gummies from Kiva Confections. A delicious cannabis treat that makes for a great movie-time snack.

First, I am going to look at the gummies. They look delicious. I’m a pretty tolerant user of Cannabis and I need about 60 - 75 milligrams of THC to feel any good effects. However, edibles have always been pretty inconsistent for me. KIVA seems to be the only exception. Their products hit well all the time. Making the 5mg. per piece a perfect snack for the movies. I am going to have to eat roughly two-thirds of the bag to feel a good effect. But at least they’re good. Let’s see how it goes!

The packaging describes the effect as uplifting. A great effect for a dark comedy like this one. These Camino gummies have some amazing packaging. The artwork, colors, and design scream California. And the package describes the flavor accurately as a tropical and tangy heat. Personally, I love spicy foods. I was instantly hooked by the Pineapple Habanero flavor and enjoyed the sweet and delicious spice!

Scrooged is a Christmas comedy film from director Richard Donner and Saturday Night Live sketch-writers Mitch Glazer and Michael O'Donoghue. It was released on November 23rd, 1988. The movie features Bill Murray doing an amazing job as the deplorable, Frank Cross, the President of IBC Television. He’s so slimy and smarmy. But also human and redeemable. I mean it’s Bill Murray so you can’t really hate the guy.

Cross doesn’t have the Christmas spirit. Instead of being caring and compassionate, the evil corporate president is manipulative and greedy. (Staples) On Christmas Eve, he makes his employees work overtime while simultaneously laying people off. And he does it with so much glee. Frank Cross has no regard for anyone other than himself. Well… I guess that isn’t entirely true. He pines for his ex-girlfriend Claire Phillips, played by the magnificent Karen Allen. But it isn’t enough to chisel through his stubborn exterior.

This holiday grumpiness brings on a visit from his deceased ex-boss, who informs Cross that he will be visited tonight by three Christmas ghosts. The ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present, and The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. The humor and story are both fully entertaining. But these effects on the ghoulish zombiesque boss are what really make this picture stand out. It’s one of the only Christmas movies to feature this level of creature effects.

Right around here is where those Camino Gummies started to take effect. The Sativa effects are subtle and smooth. It’s not anxiety driven at all! This is also the time that we get to see Frank Cross at his worst. He argues with Claire about her compassionate nature. Cursing about her being held down by the people she lends her time to. Frank even delivers the line…

BAH HUMBUG

There is an adorable scene with Frank’s assistant Grace’s family. It’s seriously touching and a bit nostalgic for me. I haven’t ever been very wealthy. Growing up was always a struggle. My mother never made very much money, but she always tried to hold Christmas together. This scene just reminds me of that time. They love each other and that’s all that matters. The touching scenes continue as Frank witnesses his brother’s friends and family opening their Christmas gifts. They are opening gifts and playing Trivial Pursuit, pondering the name of the boat that shipwrecked in Gilligan’s Island. These are some of the best parts of the picture. Bill Murray is able to show his range. He isn’t just a funnyman. He evolves before your eyes and shows empathy. He learns about the repercussions of his greed.

The final ghost comes when Frank wakes up in the gutter with the frozen corpse of a local wino staring at him. It’s haunting. His trip shows a possible future where the people that are close to him, have become broken down and shells of their former selves. Claire is an uncaring socialite. Grace’s sick son is locked up in a mental health facility. It’s a bleak look at Frank Cross’ possible life or death. Then… the greatest scene of Bill Murray going insane with holiday happiness! It’s a Christmas miracle!

If you are a fan of movies like A Nightmare Before Christmas and Bad Santa, then Scrooged should be a part of your holiday viewing. It’s not the Norman Rockwell-esque type Christmas movie that A Christmas Story is, but rather an Alternative look at the entire Christmas genre. A proper setting for a modern retelling of Charles Dickens classic tale, A Christmas Carol. The story is interesting and it delivers a positive message about love and caring. Not to mention the humor and a great deal of talent. Bill Murray is effective, and Karen Allen was great. But Alfre Woodard and Bobcat Goldthwait both deliver some great performances. Both comedic and dramatic. This is a great movie that can be watched and loved by everyone. A movie that feels right at home next to a cozy fireplace or bright decorations. The kind of movie that you can enjoy a nice hot meal in front of when it’s raining, snowing, or just too damn cold outside. It’s got that feeling. And it comes highly recommended from me.

These Pineapple Habanero gummies were hot enough to keep me warm while watching this chilling comedy. The delicious, sweet flavor has a spice that sits right on the back of your tongue. It goes really well with some popcorn. I only ate about half the bag and man… they have me feeling really good. Bill Murray and Sativa go really well together. They put you in the mood to laugh and using these gummies as a movie time snack with Scrooged proved to be a great idea. If you live in an area that has these gummies then check them out. These are going to be my go-to when it comes to tasty edibles.

A Fish Called Wanda (1988) - Charles Crichton

CLEVER BRITISH COMEDY
★★★

Director: Charles Crichton
ProduceR: Michael Shamberg
Writer: John Cleese
Starring:
John Cleese
Jamie Lee Curtis
Kevin Kline
Michael Palin
Music by John Du Prez
Cinematography Alan Hume
Edited by John Jympson
Production Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Prominent Features
Distributed by
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
United International Pictures
Release date
July 15, 1988
October 14, 1988
Running time
108 minutes
Country
United Kingdom
United States
Language
English

A Fish Called Wanda is a comedy from 1988 that was released by MGM Pictures. It’s directed by Charles Crichton and stars a lot of big names like John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Palin and Kevin Klein. The movie was an extremely popular around the time of its release. I remember my mom and her friends liking it when it came out. Unfortunately, it has faded from most people's memory in recent times.

The film is set in a relatively modern London (1987). It features two American criminal lovers Otto (Kevin Kline) and Wanda (Jamie Lee Curtis), who are planning to double-cross their boss George Thomason (Tom Georgeson) and his right hand man, Ken (Michael Palin), following a jewel heist that would get them over ten thousand British pounds. The plan involves a schlub British barrister (John Cleese), that gets involved with Wanda eventually driving this entire plan off a cliff. Hilariously.

The entire project started as a discussion between John Cleese and veteran director Charles Crichton back in 1969. The two had wanted to work together, but couldn’t come up with a viable plan. However, that desire to work alongside one and other never died, and in 1987 the two linked up to begin work on A Fish Called Wanda. A fantastic mix of smart comedy and great character work from a tremendous cast. The film direction is sold considering MGM had their doubts with the 78 year old director. Although John Cleese was alongside and picked up a Co-Direction credit.

This is a movie that I would definitely recommend to anyone looking for something smart to laugh at. John Cleese and Michael Palin are known for their work in the Monty Python series. However, this is a pretty far jump from that comedy troupe. I had a great time watching it and I think you would too. It’s not obscene or raunchy, but entertaining and clever. A damn fine movie that shouldn’t be forgotten.

The Big Lebowski (1998) - Joel & Ethan Coen

TREMENDOUS COMEDY - 99/100

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (uncredited)
Writers: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore
RATED: R
Country: USA
Language: English
Release Date: 6 March 1998
Budget: $15,000,000
Gross USA: $17,498,804
Production Co: Polygram Filmed Entertainment, Working Title Films

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The Big Lebowski is a comedic mystery from the Coen brothers, distributed in 1998. It stars Jeff Bridges in his most iconic role as the burnt-out slacker, Jeffrey Lebowski, known to everybody as The Dude. Bridges is accompanied by John Goodman and Steve Buscemi. We also get performances from Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, David Huddleston, John Turturro and even Tara Reid. I had first come across this picture late one evening on HBO. I was quickly enamored and very fascinated with the witty comedy and style. This was the movie that sparked my interest in films.

Jeffrey Lebowski, or The Dude, is just a laid back stoner that meanders through life, and occasionally gets into strange experiences. His best allies are a deranged Vietnam vet named Walter, and his sheepish sidekick Donnie. The Dude likes to employ his time bowling, drinking White Russians, and living in Zen. So when two thugs rough up his place, confusing him for a rich Jeffrey Lebowski. The Dude is less than happy. He is sunk into a world of mystery, sex and intrigue. But the Dude just wants to roll!

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The Coen brothers had come up with the concept for The Big Lebowski alongside their dramatic gem, Fargo. Confidence had been firmer with Fargo, and that was released first. The Big Lebowski was distributed by PolyGram and Working Title Films in 1998. It got mixed reviews at the box-office and recovered much more life on cable, VHS and DVD sales. Gaining a cult following. There is even an annual festival devoted to it called Lebowski Fest. I linked to the current 2018 festival here.

The writing is the strongest element here. The characters are rich; the dialogue is witty and interesting; the world is built masterfully. The Coen’s had drawn inspiration from the detective pulp stories of the thirties and forties. They noted Raymond Chandler as a big influence. Also drawing on their surroundings in early nineties Los Angeles. It’s the perfect California movie. I love how elements throughout the film play back into each other in the dialogue and in the surroundings. Again, this is some really strong writing.

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The acting is truly on point. Everyone plays their characters perfectly, and they are all quotable. The Dude character was based on a friend of the Coen’s, Jeffrey Dowd. And Jeff Bridges brings everything his role asks for. He and John Goodman have an amazing dynamic. The Dude comes off as such a genuine character that everyone can identify with. I think that's the reason for his reputation. The Dude represents that part of us that wants to chill-out and be mellow. Deep down everyone wants to be the Dude.

The Big Lebowski is excellent. It has everything that you could want from a film. A great story line full of comedy, drama, adventure, mystery and suspense. Tremendous acting from top notch actors with bonus added cameos from surprise stars. Quotable lines. A deep and rich world. It literally ticks every single box in film-making 101. If you are a fan of comedies, please check this out. Also, I am writing this on April 20th 2018, that’s 4/20 for my ent’s out there. If you're a fan of movies like Pineapple Express or Cheech & Chong, then I think you’re going to embrace this!

The Big Lebowski gets 99/100

Clerks. (1994) - Kevin Smith

GREAT COMEDY - 92/100

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A hilarious comedy from Kevin Smith that's relatable to just about anyone.

Directed by: Kevin Smith

Produced by: Scott Mosier and Kevin Smith

Written by: Kevin Smith

Starring: Brian O'Halloran, Jeff Anderson, Marilyn Ghigliotti, Lisa Spoonauer, Jason Mewes and Kevin Smith

Studio: View Askew Productions and Miramax Films

Release date: October 19, 1994

Budget: $27,575

Box office: $3.2 million

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Clerks. is an independent comedy from Kevin Smith, released in 1994. It is quite possibly the most independent film ever made. Famously, the filmmaker and his friends had to max out all of their credit cards to finance the filming of the picture. But it paid off, because Clerks. has gone down in history as one of the most important indie films of all time. Cementing low-budget film making in the mainstream.

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The plot is simple, almost too simple. Dante and Randal are two clerks running the Quick Stop Convenience and RST Video Stores, in a quiet suburb of New Jersey. Dante was called into work on his day off, and has compounding issues throughout the day. We get to focus on his struggle to maintain order at the Quick Stop, play hockey, go to a wake and balance his love life. All while his best friend and coworker, Randal commentates from the sidelines. We are also introduced to Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Kevin Smith), two cheebed-up drug dealers that loiter outside of both stores and thread together the bulk of Smith's work.

Clerks. is the beginning of Kevin Smith's View Askewniverse and the best example of the strengths in his work. It's a tremendous comedy that has more relatability than most other films. The tight, black-and-white static shots of our characters talking makes up a good 85% of the picture. And that style makes it more comforting and familiar. That style is what keeps it so relevant with young people today.

Jeff Anderson (Randall) and Brian O’Halloran (Dante) feel so natural as buddies. A scene featuring their back-and-forth about Star Wars’ independent contractors dying is a perfect example of Smith's top notch writing. The acting slips up quite a bit, but it's forgivable. The films charm far outweighs the negative and graphic conversations. It's too good to give any focus to the negative cracks.

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Clerks, Pulp Fiction and Swingers shaped cinema for me in the nineties. It blew my mind open to the possibility that my friends and I could express ourselves artistically without it being a financially impossible task. Clerks speaks to everyone and it's inspired so many. If you are a fan of comedy, or just a fan of cinema in general. Then I implore you to check this out. It's a wonderful movie and a shining example of what Kevin Smith can do. 

Trading Places (1983) - John Landis

GOOD HOLIDAY COMEDY 80/100

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Trading Places is a comedy film from 1983. It was directed by John Landis and had an all-star cast including Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy and Jamie Lee Curtis. It’s a loose and modernized take on the Mark Twain tale The Prince and the Pauper. It isn’t just a great comedy, Trading Places is a great movie. It satirizes our society so accurately and relevantly. And it does so with charm. I’ve been a fan of this movie since first seeing it as a kid. My friends and I grew up quoting it in the schoolyard. This high-quality film pairs masterfully with the holiday season especially with a bit of spiced wine.

Mortimer (Don Ameche) and Randolph Duke (Ralph Bellamy) are two old and greedy entrepreneurs. They are brothers that own and run the commodities brokerage firm of Duke and Duke. They are horrible rich bullies that play games with young executives at their firm. They make a bet for one dollar to take a snooty, up-and-coming investor, Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd), and trade his everyday life with a destitute conman, Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy). Louis is framed for theft and drug abuse, destroying his life and forcing him into the care of a crass prostitute, Ophelia (Jamie Lee Curtis). Valentine is picked up by Duke and Duke and dropped into Winthorpe’s old life. He goes from a street conman to a well adjusted young businessman. Louis vows revenge on the Dukes and Valentine for stealing his old life.

This is my favorite comedy of the eighties. It never ceases to make me laugh. Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd are in top form. The content of their jokes is a bit dated, but it doesn’t take away from the hilarity. Both do a tremendous job. I loved watching a snooty Dan Aykroyd. “... Oh sure, like he went to Haaarvard.” is just one of his amazing lines. Aykroyd just plays a scummy character so well. Jamie Lee Curtis was great too. She broke away from the scream queen moniker that followed her since Halloween. The role of Ophelia gave her the opportunity to broaden her range as an actress.

I cannot recommend Trading Places enough. It’s hilarious, and it has a good story. The racial and sexual jokes are a bit harsh for our society today, but they shouldn’t detract from the entertainment of the picture overall. We love rags-to-riches stories that are set in a world we know. Even with the heavy handed, pro-capitalist nature of the film. If you can look past that you will see one of the greatest comedy films of the eighties.

Trading Places (80)

A fantastic comedy from Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd. A bit dated, but still highly entertaining and perfect for the holiday season.

DIRECTOR

JOHN LANDIS

PRODUCER

AARON RUSSO

WRITER

TIMOTHY HARRIS
HERSCHEL WEINGROD

STARRING    

DAN AYKROYD
EDDIE MURPHY
RALPH BELLAMY
DON AMECHE
DENHOLM ELLIOTT
JAMIE LEE CURTIS

STUDIOS

CINEMA GROUP VENTURES
EDDIE MURPHY PRODUCTIONS
PARAMOUNT PICTURES

RELEASE DATE

JUNE 8, 1983

RUNNING TIME

116 MINUTES

COUNTRY

UNITED STATES

BUDGET    $15 MILLION
BOX OFFICE    $90.4 MILLION