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Posts Tagged ‘humor’

Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Remember Tucker Max, author of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell? His book, releasing a few months ago, was a major hit among young college students. It detailed the degrading sexual endeavours of a sarcastic, arrogant twenty-something-year-old with no sensitivity or tact. It was even so controversial and ridiculous that it was followed by a movie, which did fairly well in the box office.

Well, Tucker Max, meet your match: Ms. Chelsea Handler.

Handler is certainly the female equivalent to Max. I just finished reading her book My Horizontal Life: A Collection of One-Night Stands. I laughed so hard I nearly fell off my seat. Handler has sure had her fair share of hilarious sexual encounters. All I can hope (for her sake) is…wow, I hope she doesn’t have an std.

Back to a more positive note, here’s a quick look at some of the stories you will find in her book…sex with a midget. Sex with a Las Vegas stripper. Attempts at having sex with a male gynecologist, only to find out he’s gay. Stories about small penises. Stories about lying to get someone in bed. Stories about waking up in someone else’s apartment and remembering you crapped your pants the night before. I think you get the idea.

This book is a quick read. It’s doesn’t demand much from the reader, but sometimes we all need books like that. Either way, you won’t be disappointed in Handler’s work if you’re a twenty something, in college, and have a sense of humor. To anyone who doesn’t fit in that category — make sure you prepare yourself for crude funnies.

Chelsea Handler is a comedian who has had numerous television appearances. She had her own show, has done comedy routines on Comedy Central, and has also done interviews on late night tv talk shows. She has also written a second book called Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea. That book also made me laugh so hard I wanted to pee.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Even though the movie Bruno came out a few months ago, I have just had the displeasure of seeing it recently. I say displeasure because, well, it was awful…and I completely understand why it was banned in several countries.

Sacha Baron Cohen is hilarious. I love the sick and twisted humor he brought in his two earlier movies, Ali G Indahouse and Borat. But I think that perhaps he went a little overboard in Bruno. I don’t know too many people who can handle watching two men have sex, let alone watching one of them being catapulted into the other one’s bum.

I’ve watched Bruno’s character on the Ali G show many times and was highly amused, but I’m rethinking that now. He’s good in small doses, but when you have to sit through an hour and a half of his nonsense, things can get a little old. Throughout the movie, I kept getting progressively more annoyed at his character. I even tried to watch some of the extra features at the end, but then sourly gave up.

As far as the actual plot of the movie goes, it’s pretty much the same as Borat. A foreign celebrity travels to America to become famous. He meets all different kinds of people and makes a huge ass out of himself in the process. He deeply offends costars and audience members. Yep, sounds like the same plot line to me.

It’s also amusing that Bruno is following in the footsteps of Borat in that Cohen has been sued. According to the Wall Street Journal, ‘Ayman Abu Aita filed a lawsuit in the District of Columbia federal court last week against Cohen, talk show host David Letterman and others for slander and libel. Abu Aita is seeking $110 million dollars in damages after Cohen appeared on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and spoke about finding and meeting a terrorist in a secret location. Cohen’s film “Bruno” identified Aita as a ”terrorist group leader al-aqsa martyrs brigade,” which Aita says isn’t true.’

So, to conclude…if you are in any way offended by homosexuality, don’t see this movie. Perhaps if you’re one of those sick individuals with a twisted sense of humor, you might enjoy. As for me, I’m saying “No thanks, Bruno.”

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

As an avid reader of Carl Hiaasen books, I can say that none of his books have ever let me down. I’ve read five of his great eco-friendly novels now, but for some reason, the sixth one just isn’t catching me.

Not the greatest Hiaasen book, but still worth a read. Photo from filedby.com.

Not the greatest Hiaasen book, but still worth a read. Photo from filedby.com.

Double Whammy takes place, as always, in sunny Florida. Well, mostly. (This novel switches a bit to Louisiana, too.) The plot thickens when a famous local bass fisherman is suspected of cheating to win bass tournaments throughout the state. Private investigator Decker is hired to take on the case, but the events in this case go way beyond his usual assignments.

When the famous fisherman is discovered murdered days before a big tournament, someone tries to frame Decker for the crime. All the while, he is still in love with his ex-wife, is seduced by the real killer’s sister, and must try to pull off escaping from the cops long enough to prove his innocence.

The characters in this book are colorful, to say the least. Most of Hiaasen’s characters are. However, there is one in particular that keeps coming back in many of the novels — ex-Florida governor Clinton Tyree, who nows goes by either the name Skink or Captain. He is a crazed environmentalist who eats fresh roadkill, shoots a gun at airplanes, and badly punishes anyone who dares to get caught hurting nature.

In the case of this book, I think Skink may be one of the only reasons I’m still intrigued. I am always curious to see what he’ll do next. Perhaps it’s the fact that the story is about a bass tournament that has turned me off. I’m just having a hard time grasping this story.

But hey, it’s all about opinion. If you like Carl Hiaasen, by all means, read this book. You might love the fishy story!

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

For those of you who know me, you know that I’m a general book buyer for a small, independently run University bookstore. To lead into my next post, I would like to prelude with the following information: Last week, I bought three copies of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell by Tucker Max and the first day I put them out on the shelf, they all sold within five hours.

Of course, we’re selling to a college audience here, so naturally I was pretty sure they would sell…but that fast?

This is the man to hold responsible. Photo from ihopetheyservebeerinhell.com.

This is the man to hold responsible. Photo from ihopetheyservebeerinhell.com.

Last night, the movie version of the book was released in theaters. Judging from the trailer, it looks to be a real winner (note: sarcasm detected), and not to mention a dumbed down version of The Hangover. From those who have read the book and have seen the movie, the review seems to be, “the movie did not give the book justice.” But isn’t that how it usually goes with books-turned-movies?

Regardless, it’s interesting that one of the main selling points of this movie is that it is offensive. The film’s website even includes I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell facts. As of right now, it says: “Fact #3: Fat girls are not real people” then gives web surfers the option to tweet that message on Twitter. As much as it’s really f-ed up, offensive things usually sell. Just look at the success of Borat. Any publicity is good publicity.

Along the same vein, it seems that the movie creators are also really enthused that critics have called the film “a worthless piece of crap.” They are quite proud of the fact that their movie has sparked controversy after only having been released a day now.

If you want to check out that website, it could be fun. Go ahead and feed your curiosity. I think I’ll put this movie in the good ‘ol Netflix queue and wait for it to come to disc.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

I sat through Dewey Cox and told myself that I’d never see it again. However, that soon changed after a loved one decided to buy the movie when it came out on disc and I saw it again. You know, I thought, it’s not so bad. Just really silly.

John C. Reilly will take the role as the lead vampire in a freak show in 'Cirque du Freak.' Photo from product-reviews.net.

John C. Reilly will take the role as the lead vampire in a freak show in 'Cirque du Freak.' Photo from product-reviews.net.

I received Stepbrothers as one of my May Netflix movies and laughed sidesplittingly hard throughout the whole thing. I thought, maybe it’s just this funny because I’m a Will Ferrell fan. But no, there was something about the way one of the other character acted that really got me.

John C. Reilly. He’s your man when you want to watch something mindless and utterly ridiculous.

But today I watched the HD trailer for “Cirque du Freak,” Reilly’s latest movie, and I was a little bit disappointed. It didn’t seem silly…well maybe a little. The fact that he plays a role as a vampire in a freak show is silly indeed, but not like the other loveable goofball characters he has played in the past.

The movie revolves around a young boy who goes to a freak show, meets and vampire (played by John C. Reilly), and then decides he wants to become one and continue his life performing in the freak show. Strange, no?

Cirque du Freak is slated to come out October 23, 2009, so I guess we’ll have to wait a while to see how things turn out with this film. Check out all the movie details at IMDB.com.

All I’m saying is that I want to see more silliness from John C. Reilly. I crave it like a vampire craves blood…at a freak show.

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Whether you love him or hate him (there’s usually no in between) Michael Moore has been involved in worldwide entertainment for many years. He is the creator of such controversial documentaries Fahrenheit 911, Bowling for Columbine, and his latest endeavour, Sicko.

Michael Moore's new comedy festival will definitely turn some heads. Photo from mifilmtourage.com.

Michael Moore's new comedy festival will definitely turn some heads. Photo from mifilmtourage.com.

These days, it seems that Moore has retreated a bit from the highly opinionated, passionate films. He now has plans in the works for a comedy festival in his hometown of Traverse City, Michigan.

Enter the Traverse City Comedy Arts Festival. The weekend long festival will feature comedy stand up, sketches, and movies, along with various other entertainment. Moore will have help in creating the new fest — his buddy Jeff Garlin (of the television show Curb Your Enthusiasm) will be one of the organizers as well.

This will be the second festival Moore has started in Michigan. He is also the creator of the Traverse City Film Festival, which just so happens to end today.

There is little information being released about the new festival, but as the event is planned, I’m sure we will be hearing more news from Moore.

Perhaps this is a good thing for the actor/activist. I mean, he sure did manage to piss off a lot of people with his past films. Sometimes, it may be easier to take a break and enjoy the comedy instead of create it.

(I’m still secretly waiting for his next film.)

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Kate Langenburg/A&E Groove

Today I would like to spend some time talking about one of my favorite authors — Bill Bryson. He is the king of hilarious, witty travel writing that always holds your attention, whether you want to go to his travel spot or not.

This book serves as a great little getaway to Australia without actually going!

This book serves as a great little getaway to Australia without actually going!

Recently, I have been reading In a Sunburned Country, an older novel (written in 2000) but still lovely to wrap your thoughts around. In this story, Bryson sets loose on the sunny, unbearably hot continent of Australia, tackling its dangerous animals, friendly people, and of course, its pubs.

The great thing about this book is that it is a mixture of facts and pleasurable storytelling. All of it is nonfiction, but the way in which Bryson writes it really makes it come alive. He puts himself in the action and then relates facts about which part of Australia he is in. And the factoid parts never get boring — he often throws in his own little witticisms on the subjects, which are most always very funny.

Perhaps some of my favorite parts in this book occur when the travel writer finds himself at odds with one of Australia’s deadly creatures. There are plenty of them! Right from the beginning of the book, he is swimming in Portuguese man-o-war infested waters. He also purchases various books with great subjects like crocodile encounters and killer creatures to read on his trip.

At the end of each day, you can usually count on Bryson retiring in some small pub, observing the Australians around him with great interest. Some of the people he meets during his travels are quite entertaining characters, to say the least.

The storytelling done here is most pleasant because Bryson does it with such ease. You really feel like you’re getting a good look (even though it’s only an overview) of the entire continent. The same can be said for his other books. There is definitely no one else out there quite like Bill Bryson.

Where will he take us next?

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