DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

DRUNK STONED BRILLIANT DEAD: THE STORY OF THE NATIONAL LAMPOON (director/writer: Douglas Tirola; screenwriter: Mark Monroe; cinematographers: Sean Price Williams/ Emilie Jackson /Nick Higgins/David Alen/Peter Buntaine/ Charles Poekel / Jeffrey Schneider; editors: Joseph Krings / G. Jesse Martinez; music:  Bryce Jacobs ; cast: Chevy Chase, John Landis, Judd Apatow, Kevin Bacon, Tim Matheson, John Goodman, Billy Bob Thornton, Meat Loaf, Christopher Buckley, Henry Beard, Matty Simmons, Tony Hendra, P.J. O’Rourke, Chris Miller, Anne Beatts, Mike Reiss, Sean Kelly, Brian McConnachie, Michael Gross, Janis Hirsch, Chris Cerf, Peter Kleinman, Judith Jacklin Belushi, Rick Meyerowitz, Ivan Reitman, Bruce McCall, Al Jean, Beverly D'Angelo.; Runtime: 95; MPAA Rating: NR; producers: Susan Bedusa/Douglas Tirola ; Magnolia Pictures; 2015)

"It makes it clear that the National Lampoon represents where contemporary comedy began."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Entertaining documentary written and directed by Douglas Tirola ("Hey Bartender"/"A Reason to Believe"). Writers Tirola and Mark Monroe trace the history of the legendary raunchy The National Lampoon magazine. It inspired generations of comedians and launched the careers of comics like John Belushi, Bill Murray, Chevy Chase and Christopher Guest. Besides collecting an all-star cast, Tirola stylishly helms it. The documentary summarizes its start  by Harvard Lampoon’s Douglas Kenney, Henry Beard and Rob Hoffman and publisher Matty Simmons. Among the talking heads Simmons and Beard stand out. Christopher Buckley waxes nostalgic about the Lampoon’s famous “If You Don’t Buy This Magazine, We’ll Kill This Dog” cover.

The diverting movie, worth checking out, even if all its tidbits are already well-known. It makes it clear that the National Lampoon represents where contemporary comedy began.

REVIEWED ON 11/10/2015       GRADE: B-

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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