In a World…, Rewind This! and Comedy Bang! Bang! 


click to enlarge In a World ...

In a World ... (R)

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

From the opening info-dump on Don "The Voice of God" LaFontaine, the late gravel-throated movie trailer voiceover guy, to the final triumphant ... voice-acting class? ... one can't help but wonder how writer-director-star Lake Bell (Comedy Central's Childrens Hospital) managed to make such a compelling rom-com set in such a bizarre, insular, almost silly niche profession. In a World... , however, is effortlessly knowledgeable, fanciful, romantic and hilarious. Bell's Carol is the daughter of LaFontaine's closest competition, a second-generation "voice" bucking not just against the outgoing first-gen, but against its dismissive misogyny and petty jealousy. She falls in "like" along the way with her studio producer, played by Demitri Martin. Their chemistry, and her gut-punching sense of humor, sets this film apart from even last year's excellent Frances Ha. Together, those films confirm something unthinkable just a few years ago: The rom-com is back. — Justin Strout

click to enlarge Rewind This!

Rewind This! (NR)


As DVDs slowly begin the descent into obsolescence thanks to streaming media, a new generation of cinematic hipsters is marking its special-snowflake territory by proclaiming loudly a love of VHS. While many of us over, say, 35, might have a slight, memory-inflected affection for those old-school cassette tapes, anyone under that age who proclaims the same is doing so more out of a desperate need for an identity — VHS was truly a terrible way to watch media. The documentary Rewind This! is all about this newfound fandom of the format, featuring interviews from a wide array of people who really need a new hobby. The film is well-made and entertaining, but it's also a needless exercise in useless nostalgia that is almost ironic, considering that physical formats in general will soon be a thing of the past. In 20 years, will we see a doc about DVDs? — Louis Fowler

click to enlarge Comedy Bang! Bang!: The Complete First Season

Comedy Bang! Bang!: The Complete First Season (NR)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Even though the IFC series Comedy Bang! Bang! seems to share a feel and tone with the Adult Swim works of Tim and Eric, it also quickly overstays its welcome. That's mostly thanks to host Scott Aukerman, whose jokes seem to try way too hard. The show does have some high points, from the hilarious Reggie Watts as the beat-boxing Ed McMahon to the fake guests intermingling with real guests like Seth Rogen, Jon Hamm and Amy Poehler. It's a fun piss-take on the talk-show format that, when it works, works well. However, even these little victories are quickly forgotten as the show's various forays into hipster-comedy racism (Native Americans, Mexicans, etc.) provide heartbreaking examples of how even the most lauded funnymen will go for the easiest jokes to fill out a running time. Comedy, pass, pass. — Louis Fowler


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