The Producers

discs wb 20 comedy

Welcome back to This Week In Discs! As always, if you see something you like, click on the image to buy it. Best of WB: 20 Film Collection – Comedy A Night at the Opera, Stage Door, Bringing Up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, Arsenic and Old Lace, The Long Long Trailer, The Great Race, Blazing Saddles, The In-Laws, Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Risky Business, The Goonies, Spies Like Us, Beetlejuice, Grumpy Old Men, Ace Venture: Pet Detective, Analyze This, Wedding Crashers, The Hangover Warner Bros. has been releasing various box sets to celebrate various anniversaries, genres and talents (including musicals, gangsters and Clint Eastwood), and as is often the case with collections there’s inevitably a mix of good and bad. Their comedy collection manages a coup of sorts though by featuring almost nothing but fantastically funny films. (Sorry Analyze This.) The discs are in sleeved pages along with brief info on each movie, and each of the films include whatever extras previous releases had. [DVD extras: Multiple extra features]

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Culture Warrior

Tomorrow, the Sacha Baron Cohen-starring, Larry Charles-directed The Dictator opens. Unlike the previous two docu-prank collaborations between Charles and Cohen, the humor of the fully staged Dictator doesn’t so much rely on the reactions of ‘real people’ to an idiosyncratic foreigner as it uses its fish-out-of-water arc to chronicle the pseudo-enlightened changes that its eponymous character experiences (this is all based on the film’s advertising – I have yet to see it). With its riches-to-rags narrative, The Dictator seems to be the newest iteration of a long tradition in Hollywood comedy: the story of the redeemable asshole. It’s rather appropriate that the teaser trailer for Anchorman 2 will be premiering in front of The Dictator.  Will Ferrell has made the redeemable asshole into something of an art form in his collaborations with Adam McKay. Ferrell’s often narcissistic, privileged, ignorant, and empathy-challenged creations should, by any measure of any other genre (audiences are far less tolerant of asshole protags in, say, dramedys) be reviled by audiences. But we ultimately find something redeemable, even lovable, in Ferrell’s jerks, even if this surface-level redemption overshadows the fact that they never quite achieve the level of self-awareness that would actually redeem one from assholedom. These are characters we would likely avoid in nearly any real-life circumstance, but yet we go see movies about them learning life lessons which add up to little more than common knowledge for the rest of us. The redeemable asshole is often a white male who is conniving, manipulative, entitled, […]

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decade_cinematicjourney

Paul Sileo reviews the decade in film in his own special way, by chronicling his own journey from wayward moviegoer to engaged movie blogger, one film at a time.

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