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Film Review: ‘Punching Henry’

Film Review: ‘Punching Henry’
Comic singer-songwriter Henry Phillips continues to engage as a likable loser in “Punching Henry,” a sharply observed and understatedly amusing follow-up to “Punching the Clown,” the prize-winning 2009 indie in which he played a chronically luckless character modeled, and named, after himself. Mind you, it’s not absolutely necessary to have seen that earlier film for you to appreciate this one (which, like its predecessor, Phillips co-wrote with director Gregori Viens). But if you are familiar with the 2009 opus, your enjoyment here may be laced with melancholy, since it appears that Phillips — or at least his on-screen alter ego — is still going nowhere fast while doggedly chasing his dream.

As “Punching Henry” begins, Phillips remains stuck in the lower depths of show business, telling jokes and performing tongue-in-cheek tunes before small audiences (and, sometimes, aggressive hecklers) at second- and third-tier comedy clubs in flyover country. Five years after inadvertently blowing a big break in L.
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‘And Punching The Clown’ First Look: SXSW Comedy With Sarah Silverman & Jk Simmons

  • Deadline
‘And Punching The Clown’ First Look: SXSW Comedy With Sarah Silverman & Jk Simmons
Here’s a first look at And Punching The Clown, the comedy starring Henry Phillips, Sarah Silverman, J.K. Simmons, Jim Jefferies, Tig Notaro and Ellen Ratner. It makes its world premiere during next month’s SXSW in Austin in the fest’s 24 Beats Per Second section. Co-written and starring Phillips, the pic centers on the comedian-songwriter who is lured to L.A. by a renowned TV producer (Simmons), who hopes to create a TV series about the life of a struggling performer…
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J.K. Simmons, Sarah Silverman & Others Stand up For ‘Still Punching The Clown’

  • Deadline
J.K. Simmons, Sarah Silverman & Others Stand up For ‘Still Punching The Clown’
Exclusive: Nearly six years after Punching The Clown won Best Narrative Feature at the Slamdance Film Festival, a sequel is in the works. Henry Phillips returns to star in Still Punching The Clown, which he again co-wrote with director Gregori Viens. David Permut, Matt Ratner and Rick Rosenthal are producing the pic, which also stars J.K. Simmons, Sarah Silverman, Mike Judge, Jim Jefferies, Derek Waters, Ellen Ratner, Ginger Gonzaga and stand-up comedians Tig Notaro, Nikki Glaser and Doug Stanhope.

Still Punching The Clown follows Phillips’ misadventures as a stand-up comic attempting to make a name for himself amid myriad trials and tribulations as he tries to balance success with artistic integrity. Watch the trailer for the original 2009 pic above.

The film is a co-production of Permut Presentations, Tilted Windmill Productions and Whitewater Films, in association with Tunnel Post, Kandoo Films and Lola’s Productions. It’s the second teaming of Permut,
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2010 Holiday Movie Guide - Theaters

  • IFC
2010 Holiday Movie Guide - Theaters
Good things come to those who wait and for those who feel as though they've suffered through a year of largely uninspired films up to now will likely breathe a sigh of relief at the sound of names like Darren Aronofsky, Sofia Coppola and Peter Weir. 'Tis the season for Jim Carrey to take a pay cut to star in a gay romance like "I Love You Phillip Morris" or Javier Bardem is whispering sweet nothings to spirits in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarittu's "Biutiful" rather than Julia Roberts.

There is the naughty -- Kristen Stewart stripping in "Welcome to the Rileys," the would-be terrorists of the Brit comedy "Four Lions," or the evil Santa in "Rare Exports" -- and the nice -- the tap-dancing lovers in "Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench," the glory of James Franco's daredevil surviving "127 Hours" and Colin Firth's verbally-challenged royal conquering his stutter in "The King's Speech.
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Punching The Clown Movie Review

  • ShockYa
Punching The Clown Movie Review
Title: Punching the Clown Directed By: Gregori Viens Starring: Henry Phillips, Ellen Ratner, Matthew Walker, Audrey Siegel, Guilford Adams, Evan Arnold, Mark Cohen, Mik Scriba Punching the Clown grew from a documentary director and writer Gregori Viens made with co-writer and star Henry Phillips back in 1997. The plan was to turn it into a fictionalized narrative feature and while they did find a super chic production company to fly them to London and Paris to secure financing, that’s about as far as they got. From there it was a typical indie filmmaking experience resulting in maxed out credit cards and the entire thing being shot on a semi-professional Panasonic Hpx [...]
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Punching The Clown

  • SoundOnSight
Punching The Clown Directed by Gregori Viens The very best independent films somehow avoid the pitfalls of a low budget--showcasing great performances or beautiful cinematography against all odds. Punching the Clown achieves something nearly as impressive: it works despite its limitations.  Writer and lead actor Henry Philllips has crafted a pseudo-autobiography so genuine and likable that the sometimes stiff acting and unglamorous aesthetic serve as essential elements of the film's ramshackle charm. Phillips plays, and is, a down-to-earth satirical folk singer who often has trouble describing exactly what it is he does ("it's like folk music--well, uh, not like real folk music...") but is nevertheless compelled to do it.  Tired of the unreceptive audiences and meager pay on the road, Henry decides to crash with his brother, an L.A. actor who specializes in children's birthday parties, and see what kind of success awaits him.  He becomes a regular and
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