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|Index||37 reviews in total|
Tod Spengo (Jon Lovitz) has overthrown the government of his small,
strange planet, renamed it "Spengo", and is now intent on destroying
the Earth so that he can lay claim to the most powerful planet in the
universe. A monkey is thrown in the works when he looks through the
scope of his death ray to aim it and spots a hausfrau-looking Marge
Nelson (Terri Garr). He decides that he must have her as his Queen, so
postpones the destruction of the Earth for a day, until he Marge can
get to Spengo.
I wasn't aware of this film until recently, and that's a shame, because this is right up my alley. The name of the game here is absurdism and surrealism, with a hokey/campy comic bent. Think of a merger between Monty Python, Mel Brooks and Dr. Seuss, and you'll be in the ballpark.
For me, the first sign that this film was definitely on the right track was how Tod absconds Marge--he basically uses a huge magnet, apparently with high-precision aiming capabilities, and pulls Marge along with her husband Dick (Jeffrey Jones) through space in their station wagon. Dick frets that they're running low on gas and he hasn't even checked the oil, while Marge snaps holiday photos.
I loved the set, costume and creature designs. The Spengo sets tended to be very Seussian, and the costumes and creatures aimed for and achieved maximum ridiculousness. The fact that Spengoans are mostly idiots, by their own accounting, made available some hilarious plot devices, and provided believability within the context of the film. Eric Idle even has a cameo as the former King of Spengo. He delivers some very funny dialogue that I'd guess was primarily improvised, as it bore a strong resemblance to typical Python dialogue. The rest of the cast was excellent, too. It probably helps that I'm a fan of all three of the principles--Jones, Garr and Lovitz.
On another level, Mom and Dad Save the World is a very enjoyable sci-fi/fantasy/adventure film--director Greg Beeman and writers Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon almost subtly spoof the conventions of that genre, and there is also a theme about breaking out of shells to live more authentically.
But of course this isn't just an existentialist treatise, it's a wonderfully funny film that anyone with a taste for the bizarre should check out. It's also fine for children to watch. Let's see this released in the U.S. on DVD!
This is a great, fun movie if you enjoy Monty Python and other movies
that blatantly defy logic. The statue delivery, the grenade and several
other scenes would be at home in a Monty Python episode.
The cast is well chosen. The costumes are ridiculous. When you think that a scene cannot get more stupid, you will be wrong.
The language is clean. The adult humor will mostly be missed by kids. This can be a fun movie if you are looking for a relaxed, unstructured fun time.
If you need a serious plot, real science in your science fiction, or highly structured entertainment, look elsewhere.
...but you have to be in the right mindset. If comedies like Dumb and Dumber, Kingpin, or yes, even Leonard part 6 are your style of comedy, this movie is for you! This comedy is dumb, but intentionally so. As a test, do you think an Emperor named "Todd" is funny? If so, see this movie! If not, maybe you should move on to a smarter comedy.
This isn't "The Princess Bride," it's just silly. But silly in a fun way.
John Lovitz and Terri Garr give it some substance, but the best part by
is the scene with the "light grenade." I've known folks who would have fit
in that scene, just fine.
When you've got some time to waste, and don't care how, this is the movie for you.
While this is a mediocre sci-fi adventure at best, with no attempt to
rationalize the science of the movie, and about as much time with the
special effects, the movie retains a charm all of it's own. The costumes
look as if they were removed straight out of a Dr Suess book, and the
effects help with that feel.
With Jon Lovitz as the diabolical, yet moronic, Emperor Spango, Teri Garr as the 'Voluptuous' Marge, and Jeffery Jones as the Brave and Wise 'Earth-Dick,' Mom and Dad Save the World will keep anyone with a sense of humor entertained for the 88 minutes of runtime.
Also--special guest appearances by: Dogs playing poker; The Wilhelm Scream; An escape from Blaster-related death by jumping down a garbage disposal chute on the wall; Woodland Hills, CA; and The Planet Saturn.
oh, and Eric Idle
This is a marvelous film and one which is guarantee to make you laugh. The storyline is as simple as the people who live on Spengo. The movie is called " Mom and Dad save the World." Mr and Mrs Nelson (Jeffery Jones and Teri Garr) set out on a Summer vacation. never realizing that somewhere on route, they are suddenly snared by a powerful 'Magnato' beam and taken to the planet Spengo where they land. Once there, they are captured by Emperor Tod Spengo (Jon Lovitz) a self-centered, egotistic half-wit Idiot. Naturally, his planet is populated by Idiots too. Indeed, stupidity is not only hilariously rampant, it's inherently heredity as all of Spengo's Inhabitants are idiots as well. The emperor takes Marge Nelson hostage and plans to marry her, while Dick Nelson escapes and joins a group of rebels led by Raff's son, Sirk (Dwier Brown) who seek to overthrow the monarch. To do this they enlist the Earthman's help. Upon learning, the Rebels are incredible stupid, he nevertheless decides to help them with words of encouragement, such as, " OK. So you're Idiots, they're Idiots too. Just because you're stupid, doesn't mean you can't run a planet. Hey! Come to Earth sometime." Along with varied group of Fish and dog people, a general named Afir (Thalmus Rasulala) and a prisoner called King Raff (Eric Idle), Mom and Dad have their work cut out. From beginning to end, this movie is playfully exciting and contiguously funny. So much so, it easily earns the title of comedy Classic. Highly Recommended. ****
This movie is outstanding in the context of its genre ("absurd parody",
sub-genre science fiction). Analogous to the Leslie Neilsen "Naked Gun"
movies (crime), Mel Brooks' movies (e.g., Blazing Saddles), or anything
at all by Monty Pyton.
The closest movie in topic and sensibility is probably Brooks' "Spaceballs" -- which was directed at "Star Wars", whereas "Mom & Dad" seemed aimed broadly at Flash Gordon, et al.
While this movie is clearly not to everyone's taste, I found the parody in this little gem hilarious.
And assuming you like the broad parody of the other movies mentioned, I expect you would too.
I loved this movie! From the beginning to the end it is an absolute masterpiece! The title alone makes you wonder 'Mom and Dad Save the World'. If you take this movie seriously, please do yourself a favor and have your head examined. This is a great movie when you need a quick laugh. 5/5.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
There are some bad parts in this movie, but those are merely because it
overreached a couple times. But if you like absurd comedy of the
Airplane, Hot Shots, and Police Academy type, you should give this one
a try. Although there are the odd non-sequiter based humor, unlike
those other movies I used as a comparison, most of them seem to occur
in service to the story line and are done in character. The sets props
are clearly from the Dr Suess school of architecture and design, and
are very enjoyable. Mom and Dad Save the World is one of those movies
with lines that stick with you and make you chuckle days later.
"Open my pants." "He DOES know father!"
"Muttonchops? Wrong! Shoot yourself in the head!"
"The Earthman has a light grenade for a head!"
"That's my planet, that's my wife, and that's...just some guy I met!"
Man, I loooove this movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I really liked this, and for much of the same reason I dislike Mel Brooks. With Brooks, the gags are king; around them you arrange characters. And then you fabricate some sort of story and surroundings.
Projects like this start with a notion about a world, in which you have a story, which has characters which have gags. It is a more coherent way of creating. Now, in both cases, say this and `Space Balls,' you have rank stupidity and juvenile humor. But here, the humor is situated in a world whose physics is itself funny.
Its a little like the Bizzaro Superman world. An even better example is the world of Dr Seuss. And indeed the set design is a cross between organic exotica of Cronenberg and Geiger, art nouveau architecture and Dr Seuss.
You really only watch these sorts of things for the art and hope that there is enough charm and humor to take up the rest of the space. This art is pretty good. Not great like the sets for `Casper.' But engaging.
And there are a few jokes, especially the in jokes like having Wallace Shawn be a brainsucker. He had long since done `Andre' and was beginning work on `Vanya.' This joke is sweet.
Terri Garr may not have been the right one for this role. I would have picked Joan Cusack and cast her brother as her husband. Or maybe Geena Davis of just a couple years earlier.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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