Phillips, Phoenix pull off an impressive magic trick with non-DCEU ‘Joker’ (Movie review)

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n 1988, Alan Moore wrote “The Killing Joke,” imagining the Joker’s origin story outside the primary DC Comics continuity. And now director/co-writer Todd Phillips (“The Hangover” films) does the same with “Joker,” a movie set outside the DC Extended Universe that imagines the Joker’s origin story in more robust fashion than ever before seen on film. It happens to be better than anything in the DCEU so far, so it’s a shame that this is a side project, especially since it builds up Gotham and the Wayne family so effectively.

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‘Road Trip’ review

“Road Trip” – This comedy combines the now-ubiquitous gross-out element with some genuine humor and likable characters. Breckin Meyer, Seann William Scott, Amy Smart, Tom Green and DJ Qualls – a rare screen nerd who actually looks like a nerd – play out the giddy romp that ensues when Josh (Meyer) accidentally mails a sex tape to his girlfriend and races to chase it down. For many of the crude jokes, you don’t know whether to laugh or gag, but laughter wins out in the end – barely. B

– John Hansen, NDSU Spectrum, Sept. 8, 2000

‘Borat’ review

“Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan” – Everyone will find something offensive about “Borat,” which spins off Sacha Baron Cohen’s character from “Da Ali G Show,” but there’s no denying his commitment in playing this culturally clueless eastern European reporter. Borat travels across America exposing people’s less-admirable qualities through their reactions to a decidedly non-cultured foreigner. Cohen goes to incredible lengths for laughs, including speaking in gibberish that convincingly stands in for a foreign language and taking a naked wrestling match with his producer into the shocked throngs at a convention hall.

– John Hansen, Brainerd Dispatch, Dec. 28, 2006

‘Hangover Part II’ even stupider — and funnier — than the original (Movie review)

From the opening scene where Phil (Bradley Cooper) calls his wife from a Bangkok rooftop and says “Honey, it happened again,” “The Hangover Part II” takes off as a brilliantly implausible, over-the-top mystery-comedy. It’s better than the original — which started strong but petered out at the end — precisely because it goes further into the realm of stupid.

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