‘A Futile and Stupid Gesture’ isn’t that futile or stupid

If any genre of film will endure until the end of time, it’s the biopic. Famous, unique and important individuals will always fascinate us normal folks. Unfortunately, too many biopics feel familiar; it can feel like we’ve seen the same song and dance before, no matter who’s the star of the show. Thus, experimenting with the genre can yield fun and exciting results. David Wain’s “A Futile and Stupid Gesture” attempts (and mostly succeeds) at doing just that. Released on Netflix at the end of January, after debuting at the Sundance Film Festival, “A Futile and Stupid Gesture” follows Doug Kenney (Will Forte), one of two co-founders of the National Lampoon comedy magazine. Kenney lived a wild life, filled with sex, drugs and one-liners, and he dealt with drug addiction and mental health issues while trying to leave his mark on the comedy world. The film not only traces Kenney’s successes and struggles, but functions as a sort of tribute to the comedian, framing it with a supposed older version of him (Martin Mull), offering up insights and commentary throughout. This elderly narrator isn’t the only part of this film that toys with the typical biopic formula. The whole film is very tongue-in-cheek and occasionally self aware. In one sequence, the film showcases a group of actors who join National Lampoon to start a comedic radio show, including Chevy...

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What to watch on Netflix this Halloween

The old monster flick, slasher or Disney Channel Original Movie not doing it for you? Thankfully, we always have Netflix to turn to in times of need. The streaming service has recently released a few new horror efforts just in time for your spooky movie nights. “The Babysitter” Curious about what teenagers do after dark, Cole (Judah Lewis) sneaks out of his bedroom to spy on his babysitter Bee (Samara Weaving) and her friends, only to discover they are members of a cult in the midst of a ritual sacrifice. When he is discovered, Cole must fend for his...

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‘Battle of the Sexes’ serves up solid performances

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I shouldn’t need to remind you that “Wonder Woman” was one of 2017’s biggest hits. It’s a fun action movie, but the coolest byproduct of the film was reading stories of young girls feeling empowered by what (and who) they saw onscreen. Films like “Wonder Woman” tap into a truth that counters conventional Hollywood logic — heroes are cool, but heroines are just as good. And if “WW” left you hungry for stories of real-life heroines, there’s a movie now in theaters that should grab your attention. I had the opportunity to...

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