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One Crazy Summer (1986)
Who doesn't like this movie?
Ok, so there's always people out there that seem to make it a point not to like movies because they're good, but instead choose to like movies based on how depressing or boring they can be, or whether they're from a foreign country. All that aside, One Crazy Summer is the perfect example of what a great American teen comedy should be. The jokes are a good mix of slapstick (a la Bobcat Goldthwait), surreal (Bobcat under the inspired direction of Steve Holland), and dry (John Cusack, one of the most morosely dry and funny actors in American cinema), and there is no character in this movie who does not deliver at least one funny line (ok, except Demi Moore).
Yes, it's immature, yes, it's screw-ball, yes, Bobcat dresses up like Godzilla and trashes a scale-model of a seafood restaurant. It's also funny as hell. Watch it.
"Twin Peaks" was the best thing to happen to television in years. It paved the way for fan-favorites like "X-Files" and "Six Feet Under." Even distant cousins like "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" owe that surreality, and that horror-opera continuity, to David Lynch's amazing contribution to television. And as much as I enjoyed Lynch's ability to re-work the failed TV pilot "Mulholland Drive" into the very enjoyable film it became, I'd still give my left arm for it to have remained on the air for a few seasons. Maybe it's the additional subtlety that Lynch was forced to apply when dealing with the much more touchy medium of TV (sponsors only want the type of nudity and swearing that will GUARANTEE better ratings,) but I think TV's a medium that he excelled in, and for that reason, the SERIES "Twin Peaks" will always be better than it's cinematic sibling. "Fire Walk With Me" is for "Twin Peaks" fans. No one else will enjoy this movie. No one else will GET this movie. And if you do, then you have more surreal and creative tastes than I do. But for all of the Peak-Freaks, this movie was the last hurrah, one more crazy, red-curtained dance party for a show that we all felt ended too soon. If you love Lynch, if you can quote every stupid line about coffee and cherry pie that falls from Agent Cooper's lips, then "Fire Walk With Me" will remain one of the greatest movies of all time.
Swimming with Sharks (1994)
Don't be fooled
The key to enjoying this movie is not to be fooled by the box. "Hysterical" is not the word for this movie. Yes, there is enough black humor for the film to qualify as "funny," but this is not a slapstick comedy. This an experiment in dark shades of the human psyche that will make you squirm in your seat. See this movie if you like Robert Altman movies. See this movie if you liked "Hurly Burly" or "Glengarry Glen Ross." Then you will think this movie is "funny." But don't go looking for Adam Sandler or Jim Carrey. They don't live here.
(exception to the Jim Carrey rule:) If you liked "The Cable Guy", then this might be the movie for you.
Lake Placid (1999)
Black-Comedy, not Horror
This is another in my long list of underrated movies, and it does what all GOOD horror movies do well, which is throw in elements of black-humor to break up what would otherwise be a monotony of pseudo-suspenseful moments. Lake Placid takes what is otherwise a thoroughly worn out genre and breathes a little bit of life back into it. Keep an eye out for truly funny moments from Brendan Gleeson and Betty White.