Entertainment Weekly is an interesting magazine. They have some writers that do great columns (Stephen King and Diablo Cody are two). They cover so much about movies, yet they always seem to give good reviews to everything.

It's strange. A movie like G.I. Joe could get horrible reviews, and it'll squeak out a C- or B in EW. And of course, it just made $58 million over the weekend, just to show how idiotic our society is.

So I was disappointed when their head female film critic gave a bad review to Funny People. Not just because it's one of the best movies of the year. But she had what I consider to be a big contradiction.

She was saying she couldn't like a movie where all the male characters were jerks. On a hunch, I searched out her review of Sideways, another great film with male characters that are jerks.

Yep. She said that was one of the best movies of the year.

It's a shame that Funny People isn't getting better reviews. It's so much funnier and more interesting than The Hangover, which for some reason the critics are all over.

When it comes to making comedy, it's hard to beat the late John Hughes, who recently died at 59.

It was no surprise to me, that this same film critic didn't like Hughes' classic "Ferris Bueller's Day Off." She said Ferris was a jerk that bullied people around. Come on. This movie is a comedy classic. Maybe he bullied his friend Cameron, but who wouldn't? It got them to take an old Ferrari out on the town (a choice ride I'd highly recommend, if you have the means).

Hughes started out writing commercials and one of his famous ad campaigns was the Edge shaving test, that involved the credit card being run across the face.

He started writing jokes for comedians like Joan Rivers, before jumping to National Lampoon to write pieces, one of which became the Chevy Chase film "Vacation."

I think his films Some Kind of Wonderful, 16 Candles, and Breakfast Club are among the best teen comedies ever made. And I'm not biased because I was a teen when they came out. They still stand up today (what's with that song by Yello being played in so many of them?)

Pretty in Pink was okay. Hard to forget the great scene of Jon Cryer lip-synching to Otis Redding (although, Lloyd Bridges lipsynching to Otis in "Cousins" is even better).

I didn't care much for Weird Science, although...you gotta think Anthony Michael Hall loved the fact that he got to do so many Hughes films.

I had never seen Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Many critics said this was his best film.

A guy I play racquetball with lent it to me a few years back, and I was very disappointed. I think the main problem is...John Candy is so annoying that it's hard to ever have sympathy for him later on in the movie. But maybe I'm just a jerk, because it worked for everyone else (and is it really that funny to have two men sleeping in the same bed, with one claiming to have his hand between two pillows?)

I thought Candy worked better in Uncle Buck, which had some touching moments and nice touches of humor.

Macauley Culkin ended up in another film of his, the very popular Home Alone. Again, not my favorite movie, as I don't care for the slapstick stuff. And the premise of course, is way to unbelievable. But Pesci and Stern are great as the burglars. And of course, it's the movie that probably put Culkin on Michael Jacksons radar.

Hughes wrote She's Having a Baby and Mr. Mom, which were both cute comedies.

The last movie he directed was the horrible Curly Sue.

And the last movie he got a writing credit for was the Owen Wilson flop "Drillbit Taylor," which I never saw.

I say you rent (or Netflix) one of the classic Hughes films you haven't seen. I'd recommend Some Kind of Wonderful, which I love and so many people haven't seen.

And go out and see Funny People. You won't have a more fun time at the movies this year.

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TFB Aug. 10, 2009 @ 11:22 a.m.

I hope I can do a movie review based on a trailer - OK, yes, it's a trailer review, just like on Conan last week.

I had to look up a Funny People trailer on the internet just so I could see what's up. (Great title for your blog, by the way. I was a Breakfast Club junkie. Saw it like 12 or more times as an adolescent - yes, it was a little OCD.)

So at first with the trailer, I thought, "oh my God, it's another cheesy feel good yada yada...." but by the end, it had me (sort of) won over because it appeared that there were enough funny lines to get past the "go steal her away because you were meant for each other" been there done that story line. I don't know - the lines have to be REALLY funny to get past that for me.

And speaking of contradictions, I remember a blog you posted about Bucket List and how it was cheesy and predictable. Funny People seems kind of similar to me. And I thought Bucket List had some funny lines in it, too. Maybe you have to be an AARP member to really appreciate them, but hell, I love the AARP newsletter, and I'm only 35!


Josh Board Aug. 10, 2009 @ 2:40 p.m.

I remember Conan doing the reviews of movie trailers years ago. That's nice to see he's back doing it. Craig Kilborn, who was a great late night host, used to review movie posters. It was a thousand times funnier than the Conan bit. His sarcastic, smart-ass attitude...and the way he'd throw the poster across the stage if it was lame...classic stuff.

I don't think watching movies multiple times is OCD so much. I'm guessing plenty of women have seen Grease, The Notebook, and many other movies, multiple times. I find it more odd when they watch a movie like Sex and the City, and actually think it's good.

The trailer for Funny People really doesn't do it justice. It's weird, because the trailer for The Hangover, literally, showed all the funniest scenes. Funny People did the opposite. I think they were able to hide the gags (not to mention, many are X-rated), and it had enough big stars, and a big name director, that they probably thought it would draw based on all that.

Regarding The Bucket List...I love the cast. I just wish it would've been written well. I was fine with the premise behind it. Although, The Simpsons last night did a Bucket List with the grandpa, and the 30 minute episode was better than the entire Nicholson/Morgan Freeman movie!


shizzyfinn Aug. 10, 2009 @ 3:35 p.m.

The Breakfast Club = cinema's finest ode to detention

Ferris Bueller's Day Off = perfect in every scene, every character, every line

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles = starred Steve Martin and was therefore pre-destined to be painfully unfunny

The Hangover = really really really overrated

Funny People = looking forward to checking it out


rickeysays Aug. 10, 2009 @ 5:39 p.m.

"Funny People" is very good, and nothing like any of the trailers I saw, which is a good thing. One of the best movies this year.


PistolPete Aug. 10, 2009 @ 8:20 p.m.

Being a kid from Chicago,John Hughes was a part of my inner circle's family. I own every movie Hughes did. Planes,Trains & Automobiles holds a special place in my heart. I grew up in a neighborhood about 3 miles from the El Rancho Motel. The first time I tripped on acid was in the room where the motel scenes were shot. Yes,it did look exactly like that room in the movie. If you google map The El Rancho Motel(Gurnee,Ill corner of Route 41 and Route 21),to the left of it is a truckstop(spent MANY drunk/stoned nights there eatin' B&G),to the right is what used to be a biker bar named Fatman's( hat my older sister spent many drunk/stoned nights at) and to the right of Fatman's at the actual intersection of Rts.41 & 21,you'll see The Point restaurant where my sister honed her waitressing skills.

I have been to almost EVERY location shoot in Chicago for Hughes movies. Some are quite obvious. Most are hidden and some are of the unique. R.I.P. Mr.Hughes-Growing up stoned just wouldn't have been as fun without you :-(


PistolPete Aug. 10, 2009 @ 8:29 p.m.


Here's what the El Rancho looked like back in the day during filming.


Josh Board Aug. 10, 2009 @ 11:14 p.m.

I agree with every statement everyone has made. Oh...except for the one about Steve Martin. Although he has done some lame movies (wow, Shop Girl was bad and so was Three Amigos)...he's done so many movies I enjoyed. The Jerk, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Roxanne, LA Story, All of Me (very funny, some say, he should've gotten an Oscar nod, for acting like Lily Tomlin was inside of him walking), and others that aren't coming to mind right now.


verolicas69 Aug. 11, 2009 @ 12:29 a.m.

But the Ferrari was a '61 not a '69 Josh!


Josh Board Aug. 11, 2009 @ 3:59 p.m.

It was? Well, they used four replicas for that movie, all built right here in El Cajon (I read that somewhere years ago). But...I'd be willing to give up my 69 Jag for a 61 Ferrari Anyone wanna trade?

And PP, Grand Canyon was a good flick. Any movie that starts off with characters at a Lakers game, and Kevin Kline blasting his car stereo to Zevon's "Lawyers, Guns, and Money", is already a better movie in its first 15 minutes than most films all the way thru.

But the whole aspect of Martins character, playing this guy that makes trash movies because they make money. He gets shot and has this epiphany and wants to change his life. Only to heal up and go back to his old ways, because that's where the money's at. Good stuff.


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