In preparation for his daughter's wedding, dentist Sheldon Kornpett meets Vince Ricardo, the groom's father. Vince, a manic fellow who claims to be a government agent, then proceeds to drag... See full summary »
So you want Plot? Woody Allen bought a Japanese spy movie, removed the voice track, and replaced it with one of his own. He doesn't seem to have bothered with the original script at all. Typical Joke: "Back off! My secret spy camera has taken pictures of you all through your clothes. Unless you release me, your naked photos will be sold in every school yard in Tokyo within the hour. Unless you are totally comfortable with your body, you must release me." Very funny, but also very unusual. Written by
John Vogel <email@example.com>
When the Port of Yokohama is shown, the captions call it "Yokahama". See more »
I'm such a great piece!
I wish Phil would get here. It's getting awfully late.
[Running to answer a knock at the door]
It's Phil, bringing the promise of joy and fulfillment in its most primitive form!
I hope he brought the vibrator.
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Woody Allen is laying on a couch eating an apple while a woman stripper is taking her black dress and undergarments off in front of him. Meanwhile the end credits scroll up on the right side of the screen. The credits say: The characters and events depicted in this photoplay are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons living or dead is purely coincidental. And if you have been reading this instead of looking at the girl, then see your psychiatrist, or go to a good eye doctor (the credits now scroll faster and give and eye test): E 1 FP 2 TOZ 3 LPED 4 PECFD 5 EDFCZP 6 FELOPZD 7 DEFPOTEC 8 LEFODPCT 9 FSFPTFED 10 ????????? 11 By this time, the stripper is about to remove her underwear. Woody stops her and says, "I promised I'd put her in the film somewhere." (only his voice is dubbed) THE END (appears in the lower left) See more »
not for all tastes, but if you're in the right crazy-comedy mode it could be one of Woody's funniest films
In its own nature, the film being made fun of within the film What's Up, Tiger Lily is inherently silly. It's a James Bond rip-off done to the Nth degree, where based on only a few films its Japanese B-movie counterpart does everything just in imagery alone to make it a ludicrous action-movie experience. Just in the opening moments, even before Woody Allen appears on the screen to explain the method to the madness in the film, is quite funny in a bad-movie sort of way. And I think that it's probably not too unexpected that it puts a divide in Woody Allen's audience. There's the group that's more into just his later style of wit and humor, and I can tell that for those it's not surprising to see some not really 'getting' into this style of wacky, off-the-wall, cartoon humor. But after seeing a couple of more dramatic films recently, this one really did the trick. It's the film that was the most likely to spawn the underground Night of the Living Dead parody of 1991, along with Kung Pow (the former being better than the latter), but it also has a kin-ship, if not ascendancy, of the ZAZ comedies of the late 70s and 80s, and even a tinge of Mel Brooks.
So, for me, this is actually one of my favorite Woody Allen comedies. Not really up as high in terms of cinematic 'quality' (in terms of craftsmanship, I mean) as his 70s films, but with material like this, it's almost required not to carp. Woody and his team of writers and voice actors almost have it cut out for them. There's much to wonder, perhaps, in what the 'real' plot of this Japanese spy film (Kokusai himitsu keisatsu: Kagi no kagi, or International Secret Police: Key of Keys) is almost as funny as what the writers come up with. Spies and assassins are on the look out for, get this, an Egg salad recipe! But, of course, this is just as much a gimmick as is, well, much of the rest of what comes out of the actor's mouths. At times I wasn't even sure if it was all Woody Jokes, or which were (twenty minutes, apparently, are not by Woody Allen's group but by someone else, though it's hard to tell which is a credit to most involved), but I didn't care. It's got the kind of jokes that, on a certain plain, can allow you to laugh like an idiot.
Certain gags just come with the territory of the film itself, and are heightened by the added bits during fights. But much of the film is based on the wit Woody's known for, though here sometimes to equally 'bad-pun' and juvenile terms, even featuring (practically never in any of his other films) rock and roll and cartoon-like voices (my favorite the snake-obsessed henchman) right out of Looney Tunes and Ren & Stimpy. So many lines strike up laughs to greater or lesser degrees it's hard to really spot them out, but it's suffice to say that by the time it's done- and through its end credits featuring an eye-exam- you'll know whether you'll want to watch it again like a ZAZ or Brooksfilm to memorize the quotable lines and bits, or put it in the lower, deeper-to-find section in your video collection. Things like a spy who bursts into an operatic love song during tense confrontation scenes, and with puns like "two Wong's don't make a right", are what you can expect in this film, but there's more, and it will either ignite the anything-goes funny button, or just not do it for you. One thing's for sure, you'll never see the Lovin' Spoonful the same way again.
By the way, this review reflects the Woody Allen dub of the movie (of what's 2/3 there anyway), and it's available on the DVD; recommended over the other dub that's been floating around too.
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