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|Index||29 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Fun fact, this was Joel Schumacher's directorial debut. Yep that's
right, way before we got ultra campy, neon lit Batman movies we got
this, a campy, excessively colourful romp based (of course) on the
Richard Matheson novel 'The Shrinking Man'. Yeah I know exactly what
you're thinking, I'd never heard of this movie either, well judging by
the films poster it doesn't look like anybody gave it much hope
frankly, holy cheeseballs!
So I think we know what's gonna happen here don't we. An everyday woman leading an everyday life falls afoul of a bizarre accident that causes her to slowly shrink down to a microscopic size. In this case its not a nuclear/atomic bomb scenario, its not a mad experiment and its got nothing to do with potions and magic. In this movie the protagonist suffers from a serve reaction to an experimental perfume her husband is working on, along with various other household things. So yes...OK, it is about a weird experiment, but its not military based. Unfortunately despite the fact they have clearly tried to move away from the old formulaic notions that have surrounded previous movies like this, this new concept is really quite daft. Sure the entire notion of shrinking to the size of an ant is daft but...as a result of a perfume?? couldn't think of anything a bit better?
What's even more ludicrous is the fact that despite it being a perfume/household products related accident and perfume/household products being a relatively innocent and unexciting plot device, they still manage to cram in a few nasty whitecoat scientist types because of course the perfume company gets taken over in part by dubious sources wanting to work out the shrinking mystery for their own dubious plans. Everything is entirely predictable of course, you know once Kramer starts to shrink their will be the media hype to content with, the humiliation, the rubbernecking etc...Along with that you know at some point evil people will try to kidnap her for their evil ways (obviously shrinking people around the world or their own armies), and there will be some kind of adventurous escape from a nasty old lab etc...Didn't really expect anything too mind blowing in all honesty, naturally this will take on many elements of the original source material, they have tried to go in a new direction, but I'm just not sure if this was the right way.
I'm still not really sure what the colour scheme/palette was about here either. All the sets, costumes, cars, props, everything, is an array of soft, outlandish, pastel colours that range from anything and everything. Think 'Dick Tracy', 'Miami Vice' or the 50's suburban housing estate in 'Edward Scissorhands' but in really really extreme camp colours. The weird thing were the outfits everybody wears, its was like some kind of retro 50's, 70's, 80's mishmash with suits in emerald green with bright pink ties etc...I'm guessing Schumacher wanted to create some kind of timeless hybrid that has never existed, a fantasy America where everything is kinda perfect, but scratch beneath the surface and its actually just like reality.
Another odd thing was the usage of Lily Tomlin as multiple characters. Now I'm assuming this was down to her comedic background as others have done the same thing, the problem is others have done it way better. The silly thing was you can clearly tell its Tomlin, there is no real effort to not make her look any different, so in that sense its not really funny or clever (an Eddie Murphy challenge this is not). I might add her various characters aren't exactly very different from each other...and did I mention she isn't funny?
Effects wise the movie does hold its own well and this is mainly down to the old old use of large scale props and sets. Tomlin looks great within the oversized sets and the forced perspective illusion, it just never fails to win that old trick. Naturally there are some hokey bluescreen moments but that can't really be helped. The best thing about the movie effects wise is easily Rick Baker and his gorilla suit. Now if you know your movies and special effects wizards then you know Baker has a gorilla fetish, a fetish he explores deeply here. Not only is his suit excellent in detail and movement, but Baker actually plays the gentle giant too. Think the gorilla from 'Trading Places' only better. The only stupid thing about that (along with all the other stupid stuff), is at the end the Kramer family decide to keep the gorilla as a pet, because that won't cause any problems will it (do I see a gorilla based sequel with hilarious gorilla shrinking antics??..no).
Yeah so this was a pretty mixed bag really. The visuals are undoubtedly lovely to look at in places, very colourful and cheerful, good designs and creativity, but it doesn't really make much sense why its like that. The comedy is so so, the action and adventure is so so, the acting is unsurprisingly so so despite having a darn good line-up of old stars, and the finale is too sickly. Everything gets wrapped up in a nice harmless bow with literately every character there to witness it because...I dunno. Why does she shrink so rapidly right at the end? and why or how does the chemical spillage bring her back to normal size?? Meh, its a family movie heavy on light-hearted tomfoolery and nothing more, don't question it.
Not-so-funny satire of American compulsive consumerism society, based
partially on Jack Arnold classic 1957. movie, with several scenes
knowingly re-acted completely close to original.
Instead of Grant Williams, here we have Lily Tomlin as everyday housewife slaving for her family and shrinking away, to the delight of media hungry for sensations. Besides being more or less ignored by her family, used that Tomlin simply have to take care of them, she has other serious threats that don't involve cats and spiders but something far more dangerous - humans. Along with quite inane plot, everything is exaggerated: this is not a kind, loving family but a bunch of spoiled brats throwing tantrums, husband and his colleagues are more concerned with profit, Mexican maid is non stop dancing and even neighbors are more concerned about giving interviews than actually giving Tomlin support. Any normal person would pack her bags long ago and run away, but Tomlin - being good wife and self-sacrificing mother - totters on, even as her steps became smaller and smaller. It sounded as a good idea on the paper but is not really funny, perhaps because main character is simply not likable enough - Tomlin is great comedian when given chance to be wicked but as a perpetually serving housewife she is simply annoying (only once, she appears as rude telephone operator "Ernestine" and that minute lightens up the screen). Perhaps great fun for teenagers who delight in obvious jokes but not particularly involving as movie experience and sadly, very far from thrill of 1957. original.
Lily Tomlin is known for her acerbic wit, her sharp tone, and her sense of style for all these years. Ever since "Rowan and Martin's Laugh In", most of her characters come to life in this movie. In "The Incredible Shrinking Woman", she plays Pat Kramer, a housewife who started to shrink, at a alarming rate. I don't mean about her weight, I mean about herself. She has been commonly exposed to all the chemicals around her house. Even small, she can make it all around her surroundings. When she got caught and put inside a lab, she meets a new friend, a big gorilla1 The minute she escapes the lab, the bad guys go after her and the ape. It was funny when the gorilla gives the bad guys the finger after they say, "FREEZE!!" The more she shrank, the news get grim. When she shrank away, it was sad. However, when she came back, they indeed got a new pet, and it's not a dog nor a cat. Then a new problem occurs, I don't think she's worried. A fun movie, lots of gags, and it was a great start for "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" later in the years. 3 out of 5 stars!
Just go ahead and watch 9 to 5 again if you want to see Lily Tomlin in
something funny depicting more realistic struggles of women. Here, she
has to carry the entire load, and the results just aren't as
satisfying. Tomlin plays a suburban housewife who suddenly begins to
shrink, presumably from a combination of household chemicals and
products that her husband's firm has marketed. The whole thing is
symbolic for how women are somehow diminished by the world around them.
Excessive commercialism, suburban sameness, housekeepers taking over
duties of parents, etc... etc... etc. The whole concept ends up taking
a backseat to sight gags involving Tomlin climbing around on expanded
sets depicting household rooms and appliances. Some of these are quite
The film tries, but the message just isn't as sharp as we'd hope. Many characters also spend the majority of their screen time shouting and acting zany, and this doesn't help. Satire sometimes slips into madcap comedy when the director (this time Joel Schumacher) doesn't keep a tight enough hold on things. And I don't think I can buy this premise on an idealistic level. How does an increased variety of consumer goods diminish the role of a housewife? I think it might do just the opposite. She may now be empowered to find just the right things her family needs. Now I do certainly get the part about the Hispanic housekeeper taking over the role of mother. You look at this house, and it clearly doesn't seem big enough to need a housekeeper if the wife has no job. Was this a swipe at Californians who think having a maid/housekeeper is some sort of status symbol especially if they don't need one? Perhaps. Anyway, the film is loud and the production VERY much a sign of the early 1980s. Charles Grodin and Ned Beatty provide their usual solid support, and Tomlin does her best in multiple roles. The film just doesn't get its point across, and maybe it doesn't have a very good point to make in the first place. 5 of 10 stars.
This film is one of the best comedies ever made and it features Lily Tomlin at her comedic best. Here, Miss Tomlin not only portrays Pat Cramer, the title character but she also gets the opportunity to showcase her comedic genius by portraying several of the characters that helped make her performances on "Saturday Night Live" and "Laugh-In" the stuff of legend. She plays her own chemically conscious neighbor Judith, as well as 2 of her most beloved characters Earnestine the telephone operator and Little Edith Anne! This is a movie I have loved since childhood and grow to love even more with every subsequent viewing. It is rather difficult to locate a copy but is worth the search. Inexplicablly, some copies and some airings on networks such as Encore cut out the Edith Anne skit, which really annoys me personally but I have seen so many different versions of this film that I practically have the scene memorized anyhow (who can forget Tomlin's hysterically funny line as Edith Anne to herself as Pat Kramer..."Is that you, Hamster lady?"). The cause of Pat Kramer's shrinking dilemma is a chemical reaction caused by the use of too many commercial products which really sends a powerful political message as relates to American consumerism that still holds true today. Do yourself a favor and enjoy an evening with Pat Kramer and her kin...you'll be glad you did!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Stunning in its dullness considering the talents behind it. Joel Schumacher directed this empty headed and far too late goof on 50s sci-fi films. Lily Tomlin, very funny in the film's first half, is left out to dry in the film's second half. Once she's shrunk, the film itself folds in on itself...it's lifeless, tiresome and very badly photographed (everything has a haze around it). Tomlin is not well served by Charles Grodin as her husband...he's wasted. Henry Gibson plays a scientist, but there's nothing remotely funny about him or his character...it's a real waste. A real misfire written by Tomlin collaborator Jane Wagner (who clearly improved her talents with THE SEARCH FOR SIGNS OF INTELLIGENT LIFE...)
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Before I go any further, I'd just like to say I can't understand the
people who complain this film doesn't stick to the spirit of the
original. Though it contains a few humorous tributes (the central
character's kids trying to frighten their mother with a rubber spider
on a string, etc), it is a completely different story.
Pat Kramer is an ordinary housewife who suddenly finds she is shrinking. The cause is a mix of various products, and before long she is living in a doll's house, being menaced by wind-up toys and being trapped in a sink before finding herself in a laboratory at the mercy of a secret organization who intend to shrink the people of the world. This film is entertaining and has a good cast (I'd never have realized Lily Tomlin was playing those two characters but for the credits list at the end of the film), is also a social satire about the way tacky products and advertising are taking over society.
Lily Tomlin is Fantastic in this Role. You might as well Re name this The Incredible Sexy Shrinking Woman, the Smaller Pat gets the Sexier she is....Look how Beautiful Lily is in this movie....Really look at her. Remember this is a Pre 1990's sadly out of the closet Lily Tomlin. But I think of the Past Laugh in and her Specials. Lily is Great looking in this. Come on. Look at this and her. Beautiful SEXY and Barbie Doll size. I wish I was cast as her husband. The Incredible Shrinking Woman is Awesome and Sexy. This Movie is a Classic for fans of Lily Tomlin. Lily is Featured on the now Rare Mike Douglas show looking Sexy in a dress (Barbie Doll Sized)and everyone of us loves her.Overall a great Lily Tomlin movie. (I think her Best) many different roles. I Love Lily Tomlin in this role....I would love to be cast in the role as Vance.
Incredible Shrinking Woman, The (1981)
** (out of 4)
Semi-spoof of The Incredible Shrinking Man has Lily Tomlin playing a housewife who tests several of her husband's (Charles Grodin) household products and soon finds herself shrinking. This was Joel Schumacher's directorial debut and he handles the material fairly well but the problem is that the material isn't that great to start with. The film tries to be very smart and hip when it comes to commercialism but it forgets to add very many laughs. There are several cute scenes that earn a smile but nothing beyond that. Grodin is wasted in his role as the father and Ned Beatty doesn't add too much either. The highlight is certainly Tomlin in her three roles.
I've seen the Incredible Shrinking Man and now the Incredible Shrinking Woman. Whoever says this is a bad film is entitled to say so, but has it occurred to them that Ms. Tomlin is a comedian? The ESW is a comedy, the old movie was not. The funniest parts of the more recent version are that Lily Tomlin plays characters she used to play in her acts. Edith Ann, Telephone switchboard operator, a psychologist, etc. For comparison to this movie, I would look at Innerspace with Dennis Quaid (a film listed on the IMDB) . Innerspace was tedious in my opinion, this was funny. If you loved the Incredible Shrinking Man, then you might miss the point of the Incredible Shrinking Woman.
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