‘Trainwreck’ and ‘The Gallows’: Comedy vs. horror

By on July 22, 2015

The intent was to see “Ant-Man” over the weekend, but after seeing Amy Schumer and Bill Hader on The Tonight Show last week I switched it up and hit the theater to see “Trainwreck.” The crass comedy from the folks who brought us “Bridesmaids” reaped a respectable $30 million at the box office holding onto a solid third place (behind “Ant-Man” and “Minions”). Funny still sells.

Meet Amy (Amy Schumer), a young professional writer slaving away at a pop culture mag who learned at a young age, “monogamy isn’t realistic,” via her father (Colin Quinn). She drinks, smokes, and enters into many last-call relationships. Amy is “a modern chick who does what she wants” until she meets Aaron (Bill Hader), a surgeon specializing in sports injuries. The two click and romance blooms, but Amy’s penchant for debauchery drives a wedge between the blossoming love of two opposites.

Quinn, to my surprise, shows a lot of range playing an aging New Yorker faced with death and the outcome of his decisions earlier in life. His part is small, but impactful. No one actor stole the show in “Trainwreck.” Basketball star LeBron James is a hoot! Wrestling superstar John Cena goes way out of character and brings a ton of laughs. Vanessa Bayer (of SNL), Randall Park, and Jon Glaser are hilarious as Amy’s coworkers and Tilda Swinton plays a hysterical no-nonsense boss. Look for cameos by Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) and Marisa Tomei (“My Cousin Vinny”) in a movie-within-the-movie bit.

Schumer is hilarious. Yes, she is crass, but her comedy is more of a real life poke at herself. She isn’t demeaning or foul. There aren’t flatulent jokes written into her comedy for the simple sake of causing an awkward giggle; her jokes are more soulful and tangible. I have instantly become a fan. Move over Melissa McCarthy, there is a new funny girl in town.

Director Judd Apatow has once again shown his brilliant ability to meld a boundary-pushing comedy with a perfect date movie. This guy has the Midas touch. Apatow is currently producing “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday,” a TV movie due out in 2016. Until then, if you are looking for laughs, go see “Trainwreck.”

Amy Schumer, in “Trainwreck,” lives up to the film’s title. “Schumer is hilarious. Yes, she is crass, but her comedy is more of a real life poke at herself,” said reviewer Michael Upton. “I have instantly become a fan. Move over Melissa McCarthy, there is a new funny girl in town.”

Amy Schumer, in “Trainwreck,” lives up to the film’s title. “Schumer is hilarious. Yes, she is crass, but her comedy is more of a real life poke at herself,” said reviewer Michael Upton. “I have instantly become a fan. Move over Melissa McCarthy, there is a new funny girl in town.”

Also in theaters: ‘The Gallows’

The market for “found footage” horror films is not completely dead …but, thanks to “The Gallows,” the genre’s time may soon be up. Made famous by movies like “The Blair Witch Project” and “Paranormal Activity,” found footage films are exactly what they sound like — footage from “actual events” turned into a movie. Some are more believable than others.

“The Gallows” is the story of a bunch of high school students bent on producing a play, which when first under the school’s proscenium arch had tragic results — understudy Charlie Grimille hung from the gallows in an apparent prop malfunction. Now, football jock Reese Houser (Reese Mishler) and theatre regular Pfeifer Ross (Pfeifer Brown) look to recreate the performance without the mortifying ending. Little did they and friends Ryan Shoos (Ryan Shoos) and Cassidy Spilker (Cassidy Gifford) know the ghost of Charlie Grimille lived in the school!

Yes, your eyes are not deceiving you. Many of the young, unknown actors in this film took names similar to their own. The movie has a slow start and has met with harsh condemnation from critics and chat board members, but it’s what I expected– a D list, low-budget horror with a few jumpy spots and more than obvious twists and turns.

Agree or disagree? Reel Reviews works like this: 1) Watch a movie; 2) Send suggestions, comments and criticism to Michael at SomeProMCU@gmail.com.

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