The Death of Stalin - Barney's Incorrect Five Second Reviews

The Death of Stalin - Barney's Incorrect Five Second Reviews

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This makes me realize that Valkyrie should have been a comedy perhaps.

This is a really good political comedy on what transpired after the death of Joseph Stalin and how the committee quickly schemed to gain control and advantage in the hours and days directly after.

There's some pretty funny stuff going on but it's not going to be for everyone. One guy in the theatre was cracking up at some parts, I was laughing at others. It will certainly hit people differently.

Steve Buscemi is good, Jeffrey Tambor is better, but Jason Issacs really steals the show as Zhukov. He just kills it in every scene he's in.

Warning, this is as black as comedy gets. Naturally, this movie has been completely banned in Russia.

They say that comedies are the hardest scripts to write. I seriously am dumbfounded as to how they manage to pull off a comedy set amongst a monstrous number of executions. But they did it.


Heart rating: 5 stars (the amount of risk this film takes alone makes it worth 5 stars, they put everything into it)

Brain rating: 4 stars


Patrick "Black Barney" SullivanFollow PatrickSullivan

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Patrick "Barney" Sullivan is a divorced father of one beautiful girl who he drags to the movies whenever he can, searching for the perfect family flick. Here, he writes movie reviews for us whenever he can but word to the wise.... Michael Barnes was heard saying once that Barney is « mostly wrong about everything » and that’s probably not far off. If you end up loving one of the films he points you too, be sure to let him know. It’s a thrill for him as he desperately needs validation.


The Death of Stalin - Barney's Incorrect Five Second Reviews There Will Be Games

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(Updated: May 15, 2018)
Black Barney
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Movie Title
The Death of Stalin

This is a really good political comedy on what transpired after the death of Joseph Stalin and how the committee quickly schemed to gain control and advantage in the hours and days directly after.

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Posted: 02 May 2018 17:29 by DukeofChutney #272547
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I love this movie. I love the scenes with people being tortured or thrown down stairs in the background as a bit of stage dressing. A lot to like here but it will not work for everyone but most Iannucci is like that.
Posted: 02 May 2018 20:09 by BaronDonut #272551
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Darkest comedy I’ve ever seen. I loved it.
Posted: 03 May 2018 07:13 by Black Barney #272565
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Duke, that scene with the passing camera and some dude is just rolling down the stairs, I think I was in shock just how hilarious that was.

Or when everyone on the list is being grabbed and the conductor hears someone at his door and the person acts like nothing is going on behind him. Business as usual.

I think Zhukov and the various guards were my favourite characters in the film. Remember the guard who was all miffed the recording was late?
Posted: 03 May 2018 12:38 by DukeofChutney #272608
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Zuckov is amazing, has some great lines and general boss attitude. I love it whenever the guards try to run or escape.
Posted: 03 May 2018 12:55 by Black Barney #272615
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Beria's best line:
I'll oversee the releases. We have
unloosened the Union’s great
corset. Nikita, you've some
swatches and bouquets to look at. A
funeral doesn't organise itself.

lol, remember Malenkov's face when Beria says corset there?
Posted: 04 May 2018 17:52 by MacDirk Diggler #272693
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DAMN. I wish the picture of your RL face was not attached at the bottom. Now you are no longer an enigma. Nothing wrong with your appearance, its just that my mind had conjured an image of what you would look like and this will supplant that. Same happened when I saw Barnes' face in MM staff. Thank got I have never seen Jeb or Gary Sax, etc etc.

If you want to know what I am experiencing now, google some local radio or NPR person you hear every week and see what they look like. Its never anything like you'd imagined.
Posted: 06 May 2018 12:27 by jpat #272737
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The review prepped me for Isaacs stealing the show, but even so, I was still impressed.

And don't worry, Beaker is exactly what I look like.
Posted: 24 May 2018 11:47 by Jackwraith #274006
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I finally saw it yesterday! Like pretty much everyone else, I thought it was brilliant and I agree that Jason Isaacs totally steals every scene that he's in. From everything that I've read over the years, Zhukov was pretty much like that in the post-war environment: "Sure, you guys are the party, but I'm the fucking WAR HERO! None of you would be standing here if not for me." He threw his weight around quite a bit and Stalin and Beria just kind of ate it because a) Zhukov had the army and b) he was right. He was the war hero from the war that people were still recovering from. It was funny because I haven't seen Isaacs in very much and I was trying to remember where I'd seen those really distinctive eyes before and I finally remembered the Harry Potter films and then remembered that I'd done the same thing when I first saw one of those because he was in Event Horizon, which is still a guilty pleasure SF film (it's awful, but the ship looks just like the Adeptus Mechanicus cruisers!)

Overall, it was really well done and I was glad that Iannucci's trademark humor from Veep translated perfectly to this scenario. Yes, it was dark but that's the point. Sometimes things are so morbid as to be funny (witness the current political situation.) I thought it could have used maybe one moment of levity during Beria's execution, especially since it was such a personally satisfying event for all of them, and you kind of lost all of the "this is so unbelievable it's funny" veneer on everything, but that's a minor complaint. It was great.
Posted: 24 May 2018 12:31 by Black Barney #274009
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Love me some Event Horizon. It's fantastically creepy.

Issacs for me will always be that jerk limey from The Patriot. I think of it everytime I see him in anything. I don't even remember him from Harry Potter.
Posted: 24 May 2018 13:33 by Jackwraith #274013
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He's Lucius Malfoy in the Potter films; the dad of the slimy little blond guy that Harry detests. And, yes, I remember him from The Patriot now, too (speaking of bad films...) Ugh. Everyone was chewing so much scenery in that film it's a surprise that any of the cast survived.
Posted: 24 May 2018 15:15 by Black Barney #274018
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lol, so true. That movie is brutal.

I wonder if both Chris Cooper and Gerald Depardieu said after the first live script reading, "...are you sure this is all you want us to do?"

also note to the director: if an on-screen death of a child in front of his family has the audience feeling annoyed at the kid... you're doing it wrong.