|Index||3 reviews in total|
Mel Brooks Strikes Back (2012)
*** (out of 4)
Alan Yentob sits down with Mel Brooks for this one hour interview that has the famous comedian talking about his early life, his days on television and eventually some of the movies he made. I must admit that I had really mixed feelings about this production that turned up on HBO. For starters, yes it's great getting to hear from Brooks but at the same time I must admit that it was rather disappointing that it was longer and didn't dig deeper into his career. We hear about how his mother came to America and we get a great story about him getting caught shoplifting but the majority of the running time deals with stories that aren't all that interesting. Things finally pick up when we get to his professional career but even here you have to wonder why they quit talking about his movies after BLAZING SADDLES. If it weren't for a question from the crowd we wouldn't even have heard about YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN. The rest of his filmmography is pretty much overlooked. Again, there are some funny stories told here and it's great seeing Brooks doing the interview but you have to wonder who came up with the questions and why this thing wasn't more focused or at least longer.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Mel Brooks briefly reviews his life in this 1 hour production. With a
totally uninspiring moderator, Brooks talks about his early life in
Brooklyn and his being influenced by his mother. There are some funny
lines, but that's about it. No mention was made of his father or of his
wife, the late Anne Bancroft except for the very end when both husband
and wife sang Sweet Georgia Brown in Polish in 1983's remake of "To Be
or Not to Be."
Naturally, there are clips from the Show of Shows and the 2000 year old man. While Brooks praises Gene Wilder, his actor in "Blazing Saddles," and "The Producers," we don't see that regarding Carl Reiner, Howie Morris, Sid Caesar or Imogene Coca.
I have to say that every cell of my body loves Mel Brooks. But like
some of the other reviewers, I wish it was longer and went deeper. I
would have loved to hear about Anne Bancroft and their son they had
together, what it was like working with Richard Prior, if he was
surprised by the success of "The Producers" musical on Broadway, The
Elephant Man, and the science of comedy. Also, some of the clips were a
little on the long side. I would have rather had more stories from Mel
instead of scenes from his movies, which I have all seen a gazillion
times. Last but not least, at times, the interviewer falls flat and
asks somewhat stupid and uninteresting questions.
All of that being said, I loved it! If the subject matter were anything other than Mel Brooks, I would rate this a 7, but because it's about my beloved Mel, it gets a 9.
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