Category: Humor

“The Takedown” (2022) / Z-View

The Takedown (2022)

Director:  Louis Leterrier

Screenplay:  Stéphane Kazandjian

Starring:  Omar Sy and Laurent Lafitte 

Tagline: Two Cops. One Case. No Clue.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Ousmane Diakhité (Sy) and François Monge (Lafitte) are two cops who years ago worked together.  Their careers took different paths, but a case has brought them together again.  Half a body was found on a train!  Although they have different methods,  Diakhité and Monge are going to have to make things work to solve the case!

The Takedown is full of bad jokes and forced humor.  I tried to make it through the movie.  When they chased a suspect into a bumper car rink, and the suspect jumped in a bumper car to make his getaway, I thought this cannot get any worse.  Then one of the cops used his police ID to commandeer a bumper car and give chase.  If this is your kind of humor, you’ll like The Takedown better than me.  Look at the photo below, if that makes you laugh, then add a couple of stars to my rating to get yours.  As for me, The Takedown gets 1 of 5 stars.

“The Winchesters” – The Extended Trailer for the “Supernatural” Prequel is Here!

Today we have an extended trailer for The Winchesters, the prequel series to Supernatural.  Although I wasn’t a fan of the original series, the humor is drawing me in for prequel.  “Stop Helping!”

About The Winchesters:
Before Sam and Dean, there was John and Mary. Told from the perspective of narrator Dean Winchester, this is the epic, untold love story of how John met Mary, and how they put it all on the line to not only save their love, but the entire world.

Murder in Greasepaint: A Rock Cobbler Case by Whiskey Leavins / Z-View

Murder in Greasepaint: A Rock Cobbler Case by Whiskey Leavins

Trade Paperback: 242 pages
Publisher: Independently published (March 30, 2022)

First sentences…

“STOP IT! We’re not clowning around here. Just put it down, why don’t you?”  I used my best cop voice.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

The first thing you notice with Murder in Greasepaint is another very cool painted cover by Rafael Andres.  Andres also did the cover to Leavins’ first book, The Devil’s Own Piss.  I’m happy to see this partnership continue.

Rock Cobbler is a detective with the Santa Lacrimosa PD.  An apparent suicide at the local clown college, gets Cobbler’s number called.  What looks to be an open and shut case turns out to be murder.  Rob Sofritas aka Mr. Rubadubdub was tortured, stabbed and then thrown from his dorm window.

Sofritas was well-liked and had a bright future in clowning.  Did jealousy lead to Sofritas’ murder?   He also came from money.  Blackmail gone wrong? Then there’s the nasty rumor about Sofritas’ affiliation with a clown faction and their legendary fights to gain control of an artifact that supposedly gives power to those who posses it. Did Softitas have the item?

With so many leads, Cobbler seeks the assistance of Professor Wiggles aka Corine D’Ambrosia.  From their first encounter, Cobbler finds himself attracted to her.  She’s beautiful, smart and also a suspect.  D’Ambrosia may have nothing to do with the murder, or she may be setting Cobbler up for a fatal pratfall.  One thing’s for sure, clowning ain’t no joke.

Hat’s off to Whiskey Leavins for finding the perfect balance of suspense and humor.  While we meet many colorful characters, they’re believable because of the way Leavins presents them.  The situations are humorous and sometimes silly, but we never lose sight that the danger is real.  I was especially impressed with the exchanges between Cobber and D’Ambrosia.  They reminded me of the flirting patter we’d get in an old Bogart/Bacall film.  Also kudos to Leavins for bringing back three characters from The Devil’s Own Piss.

Whiskey Leavins has another winner.  This is his second novel in a row that has earned my top rating.  I hope he goes for a trifecta.    Murder in Greasepaint earns 5 of 5 stars.


Murder in Greasepaint Trade Paperback

Murder in Greasepaint Kindle

ROCKETS and RAYGUNS by Dan Boultwood!

Rockets and Rayguns by Dan Boultwood is a blast (pun intended).  It’s a throwback to old movie serials and comic books where brave men and women save the galaxy from evil.  Boultwood’s web comic is more entertaining in just three than many 28 page comics.

I love the art style Boultwood chose for Rockets and Rayguns.  It reminds me of Bill Pressing’s Rex Steele, Nazi Smasher (and that’s a very good thing). Boultwood isn’t just an excellent artist, he also shows writing chops by moving the story along with just the right amount of dialogue and a heaping helping of humor.

I hope that Dan Boultwood is able to keep Rockets and Rayguns going for a long time. I’d also be down for trade compilations once enough strips are created. Rockets and Rayguns can be found at: and here: and even here:

“Here Come the Marines”  (1952) / Z-View

Here Come the Marines  (1952)

Director:  William Beaudine

Writers:  Tim Ryan, Charles R. Marion, Jack Crutcher

Starring: Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall, Hanley Stafford and Bernard Gorcey.


The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

When Satch is drafted, the rest of the gang joins the marines too.  While on a training march, the boys discover the body of a dead marine.  The only clue is a playing card that leads to an illegal gambling house.  Mobsters are running the place.  Further investigation shows the games are rigged to cheat soldiers out of their pay and the mobsters did kill the soldier.  Have no fear Satch, Slip and the gang are on the case.

Here Come the Marines rates 2 of 5 stars.

Fighting Fools (1949) / Z-View

Fighting Fools (1949)

Director:  Reginald Le Borg

Writers:  Bert Lawrence, Gerald Schnitzer, Edmond Seward

Starring: Leo Gorcey, Huntz Hall and Bernard Gorcey.

Tagline:  None,

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Frankie Darro was a one-time boxing challenger for the title.  Now he’s a drunk.  When Darro’s brother is killed is killed in the ring, Slip (Gorcey), Satch (Hall) and the boys help Darro get back in fighting shape to once again challenge for the title and avenge his brother’s death.  Along the way, the boys learn that mobsters are behind Darro’s brothers death and so they work to take the gangsters down.

In Fighting Fools we get more drama than usual in a Bowery Boys movie.  It feels out of place to see alcoholism and death in one of their comedies, but they gloss over the issues so quickly the scenes seem out of place.  I have a strange affection for Bowery Boys movies, perhaps because I watched them often when I was a child at my grandparent’s house.  Most are OK at best, but I still enjoy them.  Keep this in mind when you consider watching.

Fighting Fools rates 2 of 5 stars.

“Love and a .45” (1994) / Z-View

Love and a .45 (1994)

Director:  C.M. Talkington

Writers: C.M. Talkington

Starring:  Gil Bellows, Renée Zellweger, Rory Cochrane, Peter Fonda and Michael Bowen.

Tagline:  In The End There Are Only Two Things That Matter…

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

A convenience store thief (he’s got it down to a science) and his fiancé are on the run for Mexico.  Chasing them are cops, two loan sharks and the thief’s crazy ex-crime partner.  Love and a .45 tries hard to be outrageous, hip and cool.  Characters named Watty Watts, Starlene Cheatham, Billy Mack Black, Dinosaur Bob and Creepy Cody give you an idea of what we’re dealing with.  Tarantino Lite.

Renée Zellweger is so young here that she doesn’t look like the movie star she would become.  Rory Cochrane as Billy Mack Black is good.  I saw Love and a .45 years ago and liked it better than my recent viewing, so your mileage may differ.  Love and a .45 gets 2 of 5 stars.

“The Takedown” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

Despite the generic poster, The Takedown looks like a fun ride.  Since it is on Netflix, it’s a no-brainer to check it out.

Ousmane Diakité (Omar Sy) and François Monge (Laurent Lafitte) are two cops with very different styles, backgrounds and careers. The unlikely pair are reunited once again for a new investigation that takes them across France. What seemed to be a simple drug deal turns out to be a high scale criminal case wrapped in danger and unexpected comedy.

Watch The Takedown, only on Netflix May 6


Usually I like my crime fiction to be hardboiled and serious.  But there are times when a bigger helping of humor is a nice change of pace.  Murder in Grease Paint by Whiskey Leavins looks to be a prime example.  I loved Leavins’ The Devil’s Own Piss and Other Stories. So picking up his latest offering is a no-brainer.  Check out the synopsis and see what you think.

Washed up pitching prospect, Rock Cobbler, now a hotshot detective with the Santa Lacrimosa PD likes working alone as much as he likes bourbon. That is to say, a lot. One rainy night at Santa Lacrimosa Clown College he finds himself looking out a dorm room window. Down below lay the hilariously twisted body of Mr. Rubadubdub, apparently tossed from that very same window.

The investigation into the defenestration of the promising young clown will lead Rock through dive bars, contemporary Christian clowning performances, and down into the seedy underbelly of clown lore. He will discover what no non-clown should know; like the existence of dangerous, rival clown factions that will stop at nothing in search of clown dominance and the possession of one particular venerated clown relic. To crack the case, he will have to match wits, and game, with the alluring Professor Wiggles. Will Rock take a pie to the face? Or will he solve the case before more clowns die?

Murder in Greasepaint is equal parts Chandler, Christopher Moore, Bozo, and Bourbon.

“The Takedown” – The Poster and Trailer are Here!

I like the poster and trailer for The Takedown.  I’m ready for a fun buddy-movie.  Deal me in.

Ousmane Diakité (Omar Sy) and François Monge (Laurent Lafitte) are two cops with very different styles, backgrounds and careers. The unlikely pair are reunited once again for a new investigation that takes them across France. What seemed to be a simple drug deal turns out to be a high scale criminal case wrapped in danger and unexpected comedy.

Watch The Takedown, only on Netflix May 6

Rattlesnake Rodeo by Nick Kolakowski / Z-View

Rattlesnake Rodeo by Nick Kolakowski

Trade Paperback: 208 pages
Publisher: Down & Out Books (October 26, 2020)

First sentence…

After we blew up a few of the richest and most powerful men in Idaho, my sister Frankie wanted to stop for fries.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

After surviving the horrors of the Boise Longpig Hunting Club, Jake Halligan, his fiancée and sister think they’re in the clear.

They’re not.

A powerful judge knows what Jake and his crew did to survive.  The judge offers them a deal: If they murder a child that has information the judge doesn’t want to get out, she’ll destroy all incriminating evidence linking Jake, his fiancée and sister to the crimes that they committed.

The clock is ticking as Jake, Janine and Frankie try to figure out a way to save the child and themselves.

Kolakowski picks up the action right where the Boise Longpig Hunting Club leaves off.  If you like action with heart and humor, then this one is for you.  Rattlesnake Rodeo rates 4 of 5 stars!


“Bullet Train” Starring Brad Pitt & Directed by David Leitch – The Trailer is Here!

While I didn’t care for the book, I am looking for Bullet Train starring Brad Pitt and directed by David Leitch.  Check out the trailer and see if you agree.

Getting back on the job is never as easy as you think… especially with the world’s deadliest assassins on board. Take a ride with Brad Pitt in #BulletTrainMovie, exclusively in movie theaters July 15. Visit our site:

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Subscribe to the Sony Pictures YouTube Channel for more exclusive content:

An original movie event, Bullet Train is a fun, delirious action-thriller from the director of Deadpool 2, David Leitch. Brad Pitt headlines an ensemble cast of eclectic, diverse assassins – all with connected yet conflicting objectives – set against the backdrop of a non-stop ride through modern-day Japan.

Directed by: David Leitch
Screenplay by: Zak Olkewicz
Based upon the book Maria Beetle by: Kotaro Isaka
Produced by: Kelly McCormick David Leitch Antoine Fuqua
Cast: Brad Pitt, Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry, Andrew Koji, Hiroyuki Sanada, Michael Shannon, Benito A Martínez Ocasio.

“Murderville” Season 1 (2022) / Z-View

Murderville: Season 1 (2022)

Directors:  Brennan Shroff (Eps.1 -2); Iain Morris (Eps. 3 – 6)

Teleplay: Marina Cockenberg (Ep.1, 4);  Krister Johnson (Eps. 1 – 2, 4); Kerry O’Neill (Ep. 2); Anna Drezen (Ep. 3); Hannah Levy (Ep. 5); Adriana Robles (Ep. 5); Jack Kukoda (Ep.6)

Starring:  Will Arnett, Haneefah Wood, Lilan Bowden, Phillip Smithey, Conan O’Brien, Marshawn Lynch, Kumail Nanjiani, Annie Murphy, Sharon Stone and Ken Jeong.

The Overview:  Beware of Spoilers…

Detective Terry Seattle (Arnett) likes to think of himself as rugged, intelligent and capable.  Sadly, he’s not.  In each episode Detective Seattle is teamed with a new guest star who is tasked with solving a murder.  The conceit of the series (and it’s a good one) is that the guest star is never given a script or access to the set until it is time for his/her scene.  If you enjoy improv comedy, you’ll probably like Murderville.

Each episode has a basic framework: Detective Seattle meets his new partner, they’re sent to solve a murder that has three suspects.  After interviewing each potential murderer, everyone is brought together and the guest star has to say who the killer is and the clues that led to that conclusion. Then the actual killer and clues are disclosed.  A cool aspect of the show is that we can play along and see if our suspect is guilty.  I was wrong as often as I was right.

There’s also an overarching mystery that runs throughout the six episodes.  Fifteen years ago, Detective Seattle’s partner (Jennifer Anniston) was murdered.  There were few clues and her murder was never solved,,, (at least until the last episode of the season)!

I enjoyed the mystery aspect as much as the improvisation in each episode.  It was as fun guessing the killer as guessing which actors would break character or try to hide a smile/laugh.  I enjoyed Murderville and hope it gets a second season.  Murderville rates 3 of 5 stars.