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Comedy Movies 2019 – Guide

ALL RANKED

OCTOBER

Zombieland Too

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin, Zoey Deutch
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Out: October 11, 2019

Nervy Columbus (Eisenberg), cocky Tallahassee (Harrelson), sarcastic Wichita (Stone) and her sneaky sister Little Rock (Breslin) go from the White House to the American heartland as they face off against evolved super-zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family… ‘Zombieland Too’ will open on October 11, the 10th anniversary of the original film’s release. Hard to imagine that crew of characters would still be together 10 years later, but somehow this feels like the right time. All four lead actors are now Academy Award nominees. Original ‘Zombieland’ director Ruben Fleischer returns, having last directed sleeper mega-hit ‘Venom’. He re-teams with original writers Paul Wernick and Rhett Reese, who wrote both ‘Deadpool’ movies. In other words, the behind-camera team are as white hot as can be imagined right now. They could pick any project in Hollywood, so the fact they’re on this means it must have something special. I wonder who the megastar cameo will be this time?…

NOVEMBER

Last Christmas

Starring: Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Emma Thompson, Michelle Yeoh
Director: Paul Feig
Out: November 15, 2019
best comedy movies 2019

Christmas rom-com. Kate (Clarke) harumphs around London, making a bundle of bad decisions which includes her job as an elf in a year-round Christmas shop. Tom (Golding) seems too good to be true when he walks into her life and starts to see through so many of Kate’s barriers. As London transforms into the most wonderful time of the year, nothing should work for these two… Titled after the Wham! festive classic, the film will also use unreleased George Michael songs. Rumours say the plot is based loosely on the song itself. So here are the key lyrics to help potentially piece together more of the story: “Last Christmas, I gave you my heart but the very next day you gave it away. This year, to save me from tears I’ll give it to someone special. Once bitten and twice shy I keep my distance but you still catch my eye. A crowded room, friends with tired eyes. I’m hiding from you, and your soul of ice. My god, I thought you were someone to rely on. Me? I guess I was a shoulder to cry on. Now, I’ve found a real love you’ll never fool me again.” Big-grin Emilia Clarke seems well suited to a Christmas story, Henry Golding is a breakthrough star thanks to ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, and they’re supported by Emma Thompson (also co-writer) and Michelle Yeoh. Director Paul Feig may have made a mistake taking on Ghostbusters with a flippant attitude but outside of that he’s done great comedic work from ‘Bridesmaids’ to ‘Spy’. Chances are this will be charming, poignant (see George Michael connection) and amusing.

DECEMBER

Jumanji 3

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan
Director: Jake Kasdan
Released: December 13, 2019

Sequel to ‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’. Plot is unknown but the director and writing team return, as do its four stars… 2017’s Jumanji surprised everyone by making close to $1 billion worldwide – more than the last Bond and most of the Potter films. It was also an enjoyable comic romp through the jungle, based on a couple of amusing premises: each star is an avatar for a teenager, playing against type. And the world is poking fun at videogame conventions (such as interactions with non-playing characters). While financial reward makes the sequel inevitable, it’s not obvious where it will go, if the same concepts would merely be repeated. But with the likeability of the cast all they need is a good idea.

Super-Intelligence

Starring: Melissa McCarthy, James Corden (voice), Bobby Cannavale, Brian Tyree Henry
Director: Ben Falcone
Out: December 25, 2019
New Comedy Movies 2019

Action-comedy. Nothing extraordinary ever happens to Carol Peters (McCarthy), so when she starts getting snarky backtalk from her TV, phone and microwave, she thinks she’s being punk’d. Or losing her mind. In fact, the world’s first super-intelligence (voice by James Corden) has selected her for observation, taking over her life – with a bigger, more ominous plan to take over everything. Now Carol is humanity’s last chance before this artificial intelligence-with-an-attitude decides to pull the plug… It’s a nice concept, timely, and they chose a good AI voice. Only problem is ‘Super-Intelligence’ is directed by McCarthy’s husband Ben Falcone, who’s 3-for-3 responsible for many of her worst films: ‘Tammy’, ‘The Boss’ and ‘Life of the Party’.

SOMETIME IN 2019
Going Places

Starring: John Turturro, Bobby Cannavale, Audrey Tautou, Susan Sarandon
Director: John Turturro
Out: TBC 2019
2019 top comedies

A spin-off of ‘The Big Lebowski’ centered on the notable bowler Jesus Quintana. A fellow thief (Cannavale) competes with Quintana to give a woman (Tautou) her first orgasm. But the irreverent, sexually charged dynamic of this trio of misfits actually evolves into a surprising love story as they become an outsider family. In between inadvertently performing good deeds, they make enemies with a gun-toting ex-con hairdresser (Sarandon), propelling them on their journey of constant escape from the law and society… Inspired by the 1974 French film ‘Going Places’, the original title was ‘100 Minutes With Jesus’. Given Quintana was described in ‘Lebowski’ as a “pederast”, it’s not someone who’s backstory you’d think you’d want to flesh out, but this entire project is down to John Turturro. He wasn’t a writer on ‘Lebowski’ but created the character’s eccentric personality and mannerisms, and has been campaigning for years to play him again. The Coen Brothers gave him permission to use the character but had no involvement in this otherwise unofficial spin-off. Turturro previously directed ‘Fading Gigolo’ and ‘Romance & Cigarettes’ both of which were so-so. Can’t imagine this will be brilliant, but it’ll make for an interesting side-note.

The Dead Don’t Die

Starring: Adam Driver, Bill Murray, Selena Gomez, Chloë Sevigny
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Out: TBC 2019
best comedy movie 2019

Director Jim Jarmusch returns to the genre after the success of vampire comedy ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’, for his take on the zombie-com. Little is known except Bill Murray, Adam Driver and Chloë Sevigny play cops (see pic above), Steve Buscemi is a farmer, and Tom Waits a hermit. The main cast have all starred in Jarmusch films before, including Murray (‘Broken Flowers’ +3), Driver (‘Paterson’), Sevigny (‘Broken Flowers’), Buscemi (‘Mystery Train’) and Tilda Swinton (‘Only Lovers Left Alive’). All except Selena Gomez. Jarmusch’s films are eccentric, minimalist and unhurried, favouring mood, character and music over clear plot progression or narrative structure. I find the tranquillised comedy doesn’t rise to more than wry smile territory but he’s amassed a loyal following as one of the faces of award-winning independent cinema for 35 years. ‘The Dead Don’t Die’ feels like a good fit, it has a stellar cast, and Bill Murray hunting zombies will be one of life’s pleasures.


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