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VHS comedy era comedy Hall of fame III (1977-1989)

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Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
I've watched both Annie Hall and A Fish Called Wanda and will get some reviews out in the next few days.
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They say: that after people make love there's a kind of melancholia, the petite mort, the little death. Well, I'm here to tell you, after a romantic night with yourself there's a very acute sensation of failed suicide. ~Dylan Moran



"Money won is twice as sweet as money earned."



To be honest I kind of thought the same thing while watching the movie. Loved the movie, but to me Dan Aykroyd was much more of the draw. Then again I'm a fan of Aykroyds.
I'm not much a fan of the 80's Aykroyd, only Dragnet comes to mind as something I actually liked, but I think he's done some really good work later in his career, mostly in supporting roles. Belushi had the reputation (deserved) of being able to say more without saying anything just through his facial expressions and eyes. In the Blues Brothers we don't get any of that until the end and even then it's just a taste.





Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

I thought this was a rewatch but as I was watching it nothing rang a bell except for the scenes with Ruprecht. So I'm gonna say this was a first time watch. It took a while to get going but once Steve Martin (Freddy) showed up in the wheelchair...from there on out it was pretty good.

I loved Michael Caine's character, Lawrence. I know he's kind of the straight guy role but the way he needles Freddy was cracking me up. The scene on the dance floor is a perfect example of this. Director Frank Oz did a nice job managing Steve Martin. He let Steve do Steve when it was appropriate (Ruprecht) but had him reigned for the most part. Steve, left to his own devices, is a lot like Robin Williams - a little goes a long way. The story is a bit predictable but that didn't take away any enjoyment I had for the movie. I would certainly watch this again.



I re-watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit and still love it. I don't think I can write anything better than my original review. So without further ado...


Who Framed Roger Rabbit
(1988)

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Writers: Gary K. Wolf(novel), Jeffrey Price(screenplay)
Cast: Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy
Genre: Animation-Live Action, Adventure, Comedy

About: A down and out, toon-hating, boozen detective, Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) is Roger Rabbit's (voice by Charles Fleischer) only hope of beating a framed-up murder rap. The suspects include Roger Rabbit's voluminous & voluptuous wife, Jessica Rabbit (voice by Kathleen Turner). Into the mix comes the mysterious and dangerous Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) who takes a twisted pleasure in dipping toons in a deadly toxic solution.



Review: Who Framed Roger Rabbit is the most innovative animated movie ever made. In 1988 it was the most expensive movie ever made...and one of the longest to make too. It took 7months for principal photography(filming of live actors), another month of blue screen work...and an excruciating 14 months in post production to do the complicated animation work.

Unlike previous attempt at live action intermixed with animation, this movie went to great lengths to teach the live actors how to do pantomime so that when a human picks up a toon, it looks like he's lifting weight and not just air.



Many of the live props in the hands of the toons were shot with robotic controlled arms, then latter the animation was layered over top of it. A prime example of that is Baby Herman and his real cigar. Which moves realistically as it's a real prop shot on film and being controlled remotely.

To make it so the humans had eye contact with the toons an initial blocking scene was filmed with rubber dolls standing for the toons. Then the eye path could be checked and corrected so that humans and toons look like they're really interacting. And it works! It's easy to believe what you're seeing is true.

Bob Hoskins was the perfect choice for detective Eddie Valant, he looked the part and his annoyance at the outrageous Roger Rabbit made the movie all the more humorous.




A big shout out, to Joanna Cassidy and Christopher Lloyd, both who helped make the movie a truly fine stand out film.

I enjoyed the nod to Film Noir, circa 1947 where Hollywood meets Disney and Looney Tunes. It's totally cool to a film buff to see Jessica Rabbit patterned in the style of Rita Hayworth (Mrs. Orson) and sporting a Veronica Lake peek-a-boo hairdo. Even more fun was seeing all the old cartoon characters from Disney and Warner Bros together on the big screen for the one and only time. And just as important is the animation is drawn in the original style of the 1940s...and voiced by many of the original vocal artist, including legendary Mel Blanc.

I really enjoyed this, it was well done, entertaining, fun, with great sets and lots of neat movie related stuff in the background.

+



GREAT write up!!

It's been FAR TOO LONG since watching Roger Rabbit -- looking forward to that one immensely!
One thing that I liked the most was that the toons had their own world with it's own set of rules. I believed the toons were real and that then worked wonders for the film.



ahwell's Avatar
Registered User
Real Genius

I didn't like it. First of all, the first thing I look for in a comedy is the humor... it just wasn't funny! I don't know if I laughed once at the "jokes," they were so dated and most of it was so cheesy that I was just rolling the eyes.

I did really like the premise. A young science whiz gets recruited to do the government's dirty work, it's a great plot idea, too bad it was executed poorly. The love interest portion was stupid, and the whole thing was just overlong. I hesitate to call this a bad movie, but it certainly was not a good movie either.




The Jerk (1979)

Was this really highly regarded when it was first released? It had no structure other then throwing Steve Martins character into one misadventure after another. Neither of them connected in any way.
But it’s easy to see how much Joe Dirt copied off of it. There’s even a side adventure involving a job at a carnival where he meets a blonde woman with a kid. But I digress.
I laughed at a few parts, a few genuine lines spoken here and there, rather then any of the situations he involved himself in. And I guess that was the problem. It went in for gags too heavily rather then let it flow naturally with its dialogue. But hey, at least he gets the girl....

2 *’s




Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

I'm a huge fan of John Candy, almost anything that he's in, I'll like. He's not only the naturally funniest actor I've seen, he also excels at being human. I first became a fan of his when I use to watch SCTV way back in the day. After I joined Movie Forums I started on a quest to watch every film Candy had been in. I watched them all except for a couple of the more obscure movies from the 1970s. And I've seen Planes, Trains & Automobiles once before. I remember I didn't love it, but thought it was a well made movie so rated it pretty highly. But this time around my opinion has went down on this classic Candy film.

I've thought about just why it is that this film doesn't work for me and it comes down to three things.

1) The music score: I hated it...It was overbearing and unlike a good score that punctuates the emotions of the film, the score here was just overlaid on top of the scenes without much regard for it's usage. The score consist of bad electronic music which just doesn't age well. As a result the score stuck out like a soar thumb and made it hard for the emotions of the scene to be as poignant as they should be. I really think this film has one of the worst scores I've encountered in a movie, (both the choice of score and it's over usage).

2) John Candy's appearance. Geez that curly hair and mustache just didn't work for Candy. He looked more artificial than human. And when coupled with hims smoking all the time, it just didn't give his character the same kind of likeable comedy magic that he usually imparts on this roles.

3) Too many gags...and not enough actual comedy coming from what should have been a funny situation of being forced to travel during the holidays. There were a few scenes that seemed naturally funny based on who they were and what they were doing but so much of the film relied on gag comedy and I'm not a fan of gags.

There were several scenes that I really liked: where Steve Martin dumps all over Candy in the motel room and Candy gives an awesome performance about how it feels to be him...very touching and human. The scene on their airplane was funny, as was the deleted airplane food scene (if you have the DVD check it out)...Of course the ending is exceptional well done and rewarding. It's a good film, but I just don't connect to it the way I should.








Broadcast News (1987) is a funny film I'm not sure what box to put the film in. Perhaps it could be viewed as a deconstruction of the genre. Sometimes it's a drama, other times a comedy but it feels like romance film between the three lead characters. James L Brooks is one of those auteurs that always feels like a guy who operates on a level I don't get but I appreciate.

This is the story of three individuals that end up working in a News Station. Albert Brooks character is an obnoxious mid level reporter, Holly Hunter a producer with emotional issues and William Hurt is a dumb but earnest anchor. Jack Nicholsen is also in this as the main anchor who is mostly seen on TV. If the film was told from any one of the three anchors perspective it might have been a stronger comedy but the humor is more thoughtful and the people more messy.

At the end of the day I enjoyed the drama but the humor I found a bit lacking..still good watch.




The Princess Bride (1987)

A nice film and one that I have no complaints about. I liked the on location scenes the best, especially the cliff scenes were cool. So where the castles and the scene where they slide down a very steep hill side. I thought all the actors were well cast and they could even do convincing sword fighting too. This reminded me of Star Wars as it's for the young and young at heart...but unfortunately those are the kind of films I don't usually care for.

I had to check to see if this was even a comedy because it didn't seem like one to me. IMDB didn't mention it as comedy but Wiki called it a comedy fantasy.




And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!

The Princess Bride (1987)

A nice film and one that I have no complaints about. I liked the on location scenes the best, especially the cliff scenes were cool. So where the castles and the scene where they slide down a very steep hill side. I thought all the actors were well cast and they could even do convincing sword fighting too. This reminded me of Star Wars as it's for the young and young at heart...but unfortunately those are the kind of films I don't usually care for.

I had to check to see if this was even a comedy because it didn't seem like one to me. IMDB didn't mention it as comedy but Wiki called it a comedy fantasy.


The Princess Bride didn't seem like a comedy? Not even the scenes with Miracle Max or Vizzini? Inconceivable!
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ahwell's Avatar
Registered User
The Jerk

I can do without this movie. Not really sure why people find it funny, to me it's dated and somewhat campy humor. I don't like Steve Martin's performance, he's much better in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, although I LOVE Bernadette Peters in this movie. She's such a great actress, I wish she was in more movies, but she's in my favorite production of Into the Woods, the famous Broadway one.

I wish the Jerk took more time to develop an actual story rather than a score of goofy and stupid scenes. It also made me feel oddly depressed about life, like I was sitting on my ass and that I would have to worry about my future. I don't know, it was weird, but I didn't like it, and I'm pretty sure that was not the movie was going for. Still some great laughs, though, so for basically humor alone:

+





The Jerk is a stupid film, it's very much Steve Martin trying to extend a bit to an entire film. Sadly for me...The Jerk worked. I'm somewhat ashamed that I liked this as much as I did. I nominated a WC Fields film in the first Hall and a big complaint was that the story wasn't cohesive enough well this is how you make a cohesive story work with a set of bits.


I hate wacky humor but The Jerk does a lot of turn of the phrase humor and will constantly subvert your expectations but you have to get over the fact that Martin is annoying as hell.



I guess I'm going to have to watch The Jerk tonight as it seems to be getting reviewed. I haven't seen it in decades, so it will be interesting to see what I think. I only have 3 more to go.





Kevin Kline won an Oscar for A Fish Called Wanda, it's somewhat ironic that it was in the supporting category because this very much felt like his film. It's kinda on an ensemble piece with John Cleese as a lawyer, Jennifer Lee Curtis as I suppose a walking honeypot and Michael Palin as a stuttering member of a gang. This is one of those films where comedy is almost secondary to the drama but I still loved it.



At the end of the day I'm not sure what genre we would classify this one as...is it a Rom Com? Are we supposed to love at the story as a drama and the humor comes from the side characters. Though really at the end of the day it didn't matter to me because Kline was hysterical.


Also was Otto stupid or not..at the end of the day I'm not sure. This is one of those films you kinda don't want to review you just want to talk about...but it will score highly on my personal list.





Annie Hall (1977), the Oscar winner for best picture and perhaps the best film to encompass a directors oeuvre. This is Woody Allen trying to deconstruct the romantic comedy and doing a very good job. He's in a messy relationship with Annie though it jumps back and forth with the time line(and does so very well). So many of Allen's jokes are one liners


What's great about rewatching a classic is it's the stuff you missed the first time around. The Lobster scene is famous but I completely blocked out that Allen redid the Lobster scene with another actress. Annie Hall also has a massive cast with cameos and that all mostly work. This is a definitely a film that works great on the rewatch



Couple points about the above Few posts. I looked up a few old reviews of The Jerk and even then it wasn’t exactly hailed as some comic classic. Most liked Martin, and indeed he had a few funny lines, but for the most part reviews weren’t kind. So it isn’t us thinking it’s “dated” or anything. It didn’t connect well back then either.

Second, on Otto being stupid or not. I don’t think he was as stupid as some think but he definitely wasn’t as smart as he thought either. Somewhere between the two and cradling the lines of pretentiousnous.



And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!
The Jerk

I can do without this movie. Not really sure why people find it funny, to me it's dated and somewhat campy humor. I don't like Steve Martin's performance, he's much better in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, although I LOVE Bernadette Peters in this movie. She's such a great actress, I wish she was in more movies, but she's in my favorite production of Into the Woods, the famous Broadway one.

I wish the Jerk took more time to develop an actual story rather than a score of goofy and stupid scenes. It also made me feel oddly depressed about life, like I was sitting on my ass and that I would have to worry about my future. I don't know, it was weird, but I didn't like it, and I'm pretty sure that was not the movie was going for. Still some great laughs, though, so for basically humor alone:


I saw "Into the Woods" on Broadway when Bernadette Peters was starring in it, and she was wonderful. I'm so glad that she, (and the rest of the original Broadway cast), was in the American Playhouse version that was filmed and released on DVD.



And that rhymes with "P" and that stands for pool!


Kevin Kline won an Oscar for A Fish Called Wanda, it's somewhat ironic that it was in the supporting category because this very much felt like his film. It's kinda on an ensemble piece with John Cleese as a lawyer, Jennifer Lee Curtis as I suppose a walking honeypot and Michael Palin as a stuttering member of a gang. This is one of those films where comedy is almost secondary to the drama but I still loved it.



At the end of the day I'm not sure what genre we would classify this one as...is it a Rom Com? Are we supposed to love at the story as a drama and the humor comes from the side characters. Though really at the end of the day it didn't matter to me because Kline was hysterical.


Also was Otto stupid or not..at the end of the day I'm not sure. This is one of those films you kinda don't want to review you just want to talk about...but it will score highly on my personal list.

I think A Fish Called Wanda is definitely more of a comedy than a drama. There are laughs throughout the movie by almost every character, and the dramatic moments are overshadowed by the humor. And it has some rom-com elements, but IMO it's more of a comedy than a rom-com.