DVD Review: The Royal Tenenbaums, Louie: Season One, Community

The Royal Tenenbaums is an old favorite of mine that I’m continuously fascinated with and drawn to.  I love Wes Anderson as a cinematic artist for his unique take on telling a story.  The cast is fantastic. I could watch Gene Hackman and Anjelica Huston read a telephone book. I have also revisited the wonderful soundtrack repeatedly. The film is strangely appropriate for a twisted holiday party vibe. 

Ugly Americans is a relatively new adult cartoon on Comedy Central set in a world where zombies, demons, vampires, wizards, trolls, or any type of fantasy creature you can imagine all live in modern New York.  The main character is a social worker in the city and it’s his job to help all of these creatures exist together peacefully.  The details in the animation are amazing and the stories are hilarious.  Worth checking out!

  • The Royal Tenenbaums (USA) 2001, Criterion
  • List price: $19.99
  • Ugly Americans (USA) 2010, Comedy Central
  • List Price: $19.99

In theme with our company, I picked DVDs created by amazing do-it-all performers. Louie C.K. is my favorite comic writer and stand-up performer right now. He delivers weekly on his FX TV series.  The autobiographical show depicts his life as a divorced father of two living the life of a New York City stand-up comic poking fun at the dark side of life.  He produces, writes, directs, edits, and stars. It’s one of the most artistic, truthful, and funny shows around. 

As a theater geek, I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the brilliant mockumentary Waiting for Guffman. Created by Christopher Guest, it is the story of a small-town community theater director who creates a show to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Blaine, Missouri.  Between the great improvised interviews and the ridiculous musical numbers, it keeps you laughing all the way through.

  • Louie: Season One (USA) 2010, FX Network
  • List price: $39.99
  • Waiting for Guffman
  • (USA) 1997, Turner Home Entertainment
  • List price: $29.99

The first season of Community manages a perfect mix of comedy and heartfelt moments that expose the characters’ darker, weirder sides.  It’s a great show that takes shots at the tropes of modern formulaic sitcoms while finding a way to make you laugh out loud every 30 seconds.  Personal favorites are Troy and Abed: their relationship grows as their comedic genius becomes more apparent. The credits always have short skits by the duo.

Swingers is one of my rainy-day movies and fits just about any mood. Essentially a romantic/buddy comedy between Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, it centers on a man whose heart has just been broken and his best friend pulling him out of the gutter. Vaughn drags Favreau from Vegas to L.A.’s swing-dance scene, where he finally succeeds in getting a girl’s number. It’s a comedy filled with humiliation and triumph, which all can relate to.

  • Community (USA) 2009, Sony
  • List price: $39.99 (4 discs)
  • Swingers (USA) 1996, Miramax/Lionsgate
  • List price: $14.99

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