|Index||4 reviews in total|
As the third to comment on this movie, I'm am wavering between the two
extremes of good and bad. This is a comedy that has an offbeat rhythm
like 'Choose Me', but attempts to be outrageous without point like a
spoof comedy (but more like 'Kentucky Fried Movie' than say, 'The Naked
Gun'). So, you really have to be ready for such an odd, and almost
illogical narrative and a seriously strange mix of characters who seem
to exist in detachment from one another. But, this kind of humor seems
to become so overdone to a point that it becomes, for me, not only
ridiculous, but to the point that it just ends of being a terrible
This is the story of Channel 92's rise to fame, thanks primarily to a scheme hatched by investing parents which leads to a misunderstanding between a wife and husband, which in turn leads to a turnaround in the news department and a failure of all other networks. The situation is far to weird and too varied to explain, really except that a wife, finding a woman's skirt in his briefcase, assumes that he is a repressed homosexual, and says he must prove his innocence by trying on the skirt. This somehow gives confidence to the new 'Action News' reporter and all of a sudden, every weirdo in New York has some problem for the guy to solve. And that's only half of it.
A very strange comedy indeed, but for those who like obscure, and outrageous, almost nonsensical humor, might give it a try.
This film is pretty good, in fact it has a lot of the characteristics that are in all of Downey's best work: the weird dialogue, the almost rhythmic way in which certain characters repeat phrases throughout the film, not so much a real plot as an assemblage of vignettes involving eccentric characters, and just the way a joke's punch line can leave one as much bewildered as amused, like coming in after the joke has already started...you don't get what the punch line refers to but it sounds funny in an absurd way. My favorite character was the main anchor man, played by Earl Thomashefsky, with the over the top hair piece, who still lives with his mother, always needs $10 for reasons never divulged, and yells as he reads the news. Michael J. Pollard as a womanizer is a hoot as well. Plus, Zack Norman really does pull off wearing a skirt and still looking manly and ready for "Action News". What drags this film down is the music which is straight up trite, especially the theme song. The score almost ruins certain scenes, silence would have been preferable. Plus Richard Belzer's comedy routine after he drives through the studio's brick wall during the news cast is not very funny, and it takes up way too much time, killing the rhythm mentioned earlier. Nevertheless, the film is not nearly as bad as many reviews would have you think. Downey's worst effort is still more enjoyable than a lot of other people's best films and it may not be PUTNEY SWOPE or even MOMENT TO MOMENT but AMERICA is very much worth checking out.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
America (1986) is an interesting movie, sort of a rougher, less polished version of Network, about how people's need to be rich and famous hinders the quality of the news. Plus there's just something bizarrely inspiring about a bunch of losers who keep putting on the worst show ever and just not giving a crap, lol. It helps to have some nostalgia for early '80s NYC and fledgling local cable networks. If nothing else, the theme song is surprisingly catchy ("America, anyone can be a star, America, doesn't matter who you are")! Note: Look out for early cameos by stand up comic Richard Belzer and a young Robert Downey Jr.
Rarely, does a film combine so many poor actors, such a lame story, stilted
script writing and unappealing characters.
The good thing about this movie is the 2 minute cameo appearance by Corinne Wahl describing how much she enjoys riding on motorcycles. Very sexy scene. This segment appears about 5 minutes into the movie. After that, eject the tape from your VCR and throw it into the fire.
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