by Aaron Peck
Our "So Far…" series continues since we've come to the halfway point of 2012. We've already covered this year's best action movies on Blu-ray, so let's hit up some of the funniest movies that have been released on the format this year.
Below you'll find my list of the movies that made me laugh more than most this year. Some are darker than others, but all of them are funny in their own way.
Hockey and comedy haven't gone so well together since 'Slap Shot.' This movie starring Jay Baruchel, Sean William Scott, and Liev Schreiber is nasty, brutal, bad-mouthed fun. If you like your hockey fights bloody and your dialogue salty then look no further than 'Goon.' It came to fruition without much fanfare at all, but chances are good you'll be cheering by the end.
Okay, that sounded ridiculously corny. How about this: Sean William Scott beats the shit out of people and it's really funny? Was that better?
Based on the play 'God of Carnage,' Roman Polanski's 'Carnage' features a perfect cast for a one-room set (Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet, and Christoph Waltz). Even though they spend much of the movie yelling and screaming at each other the comedy is found in the subtext. The realization that these so-called adults haven't progressed at all past juvenile delinquency is funny indeed; in a rather morbid way of course.
It's hard to admit that Paul Rudd can do any wrong, especially nowadays with his string of R-rated comedies which have run the gamut of pretty funny ('Role Models') to downright friggin' hilarious ('Knocked Up'). 'Wanderlust' falls somewhere in the middle. This was a movie that I wasn't really anticipating being as funny as it was. Paul Rudd transplanted to a hippie commune, er, intentional community, made room for all kinds of laughs. The moment when Rudd tries to psyche himself up to have sex with Malin Ackerman by talking to himself in the mirror remains one of the only comedic scenes this year that has brought tears to my eyes from laughing so much.
Comedy can be dark, and it doesn't get much darker than 'Young Adult,' the story of an egotistical misanthrope played by Charlize Theron who goes back to her hometown to win back her high school boyfriend. While there is plenty of drama in 'Young Adult' there are also plenty of laughs, albeit they're more like "should I really be laughing at that" laughs. Theron's performance here is reason enough to see it.
Speaking of dark comedy, 'The Guard' has all the dry Irish wit you'll be able to handle. This is Gleeson's finest darkly comedic role since 'In Bruges.' Anyone who liked 'In Bruges' will adore 'The Guard' like I did. This is one of those movies that you have to watch multiple times because there are sure to be jokes you may have missed the first time around, what with Gleeson's thick accent and all.
Did I expect this remake of a somewhat popular 80s television show to be any good? Hell no. Next thing I knew I was laughing and I couldn't stop. What was this? A remake with Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill that was genuinely funny? It was suddenly like the world didn't make sense anymore. I felt dizzy. '21 Jump Street' is the poster movie for not judging a movie before you have a chance to see it.
One of my favorite theatrical releases of 2011 became one of my favorite Blu-ray releases of 2012. Jason Segal's adaption of 'The Muppets' franchise was spot-on in humor, comedic timing, and character understanding. You could tell that he was a fan of Jim Henson's Muppets long before he put pen to paper for this movie. His love for the characters shows. Plus, each one of the movie's songs is borderline brilliant in humor and emotional tone.
Sure it's got its emotional tugs here and there, but deep down 'The Artist' is one of the most wonderfully made romantic comedies out there. There are plenty of laughs to go along with the tears. As far as I'm concerned its Academy Award was well deserved. Who says comedies don't have a chance at the Oscars?
There aren't many black-and-white 87-year-old films that can still reproduce the same joy and heartfelt laughter that they inspired when they were first released. High-Def Digest reviewer Luke Hickman watched Charlie Chaplin's 'The Gold Rush' with his five-year-old daughter who laughed all the way through it. Consider that for a second. In a world filled with a bombardment of seizure-inducing cartoons and unfunny kid-oriented sitcoms, a kid can still find joy in a black-and-white movie from the 20s. That's amazing and a true testament to Chaplin himself.
Ah, the comedic Holy Grail itself. I could spend the rest of this paragraph quoting its immortal lines one after the other, and you'd soon realize that this is indeed one of the funniest movies ever filmed. 'Holy Grail' is one of those films that no matter how much you've watched it, you can stick it in and watch it again (like 'The Princess Bride'). 'Holy Grail' offers endless enjoyment so it was rather nice to see it finally offered in high definition this year.
Like all lists, this one is relative, but it should give you a good idea of what kind of comedy we've already had on Blu-ray this year.
Please let us know which comedies this year would make your top ten. Follow the link below and join the discussion in the forums.