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NOT that bad
Critics have just torn this movie apart, but I have to say I liked it. Sure, it could have been more clever, but it's nowhere near being the worst movie of the year as some have claimed. Brenda Fraser is great as usual, and the Downtown scenes look freaking great. Those scenes are the ones where Henry Selick does his best directing. All the actors do their parts well, and the puppets and animation are quite good. Really the only flaws are in the script, which doesn't always exploit the great ideas of its premise. Some of the humor is on the lowbrow side, but that's to be expected, especially considering how the cartoonist character gave Monkeybone his name. It may have been universally panned and opened in 11th place, but I was entertained and I'm not ashamed of it, dadgummit!
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Fun! Funny! It's a musical!
Since the 70s or so, there haven't been many musicals at all, so it's a great thing that this movie got made. "Little Shop of Horrors" has it all: musical numbers, Steve Martin, and a singing plant. This was director/Muppet performer Frank Oz's first non-Henson movie, and he did a darn good job. A lot of it is blocked as a stage musical would be, to give it that musical feel. The acting is all good & funny, the script is good, the songs are catchy, and the effects are terrific. A lot of the plant effects would today be done by CGI, but the puppetry they use here looks so much more real. I haven't seen the original Roger Corman movie that this is based on and satirizes, but I'm sure it would be interesting to compare the two. It's just too bad they had to go with the "Hollywood" ending rather than the original intended ending. Hopefully someday soon there'll be a rerelease of the DVD with the footage from the original ending.
I happened to see this movie on cable TV. I was surprised I had never heard of it, and it turned out to be quite funny. It's a parody of "Backdraft" in the tradition of "Airplane" and similar spoofs, and though it doesn't quite reach the levels of excellence of "Airplane," it does have several genuinely laugh-inducing moments. So see it if you get the chance.
Spider-Man Strikes Back (1978)
No, not quite
Although this isn't terrible for a low-budget TV movie, it doesn't really work. This is mainly for one reason: Spider-Man hardly gets to do anything! Most of the movie is Peter Parker stumbling into an incident involving a nuclear bomb, and stuttering to people when they ask him about Spider-Man. A good effort was made here, but it just doesn't have a Spidey feel to it. They should have gotten one of the comics' writers to come up with a story for this one. Oh, well.
The Family Jewels (1965)
Ah, Jerry Lewis. One of the most underappreciated comic actor/writer/directors. In "The Family Jewels" he attempts to play every single member of a family of brothers...and pulls it off successfully. All these Lewis characters are funny and quirky, and this movie is consistently entertaining all the way through. Note the similarites between the voice of the airline pilot Peyton brother and the voice of Paul Reubens' Pee-Wee Herman. The plot here involves a young girl who must live with one of her uncles, and her search for the uncle she likes best. But that's mostly an excuse to let Lewis show off his incredible comedic character talents. Sometimes downright cartoonlike.
A Polish Vampire in Burbank (1985)
A dumb classic
This movie cannot be compared to any other movie. Thanks to the USA Network, this very low budget film has been discovered, thank goodness. This movie is not sophisticated, but what it is is funny. It's the story of Dupah, the reluctant vampire as he goes out for his first kill, presented by actors with good timing. The script is pretty good. Even if you don't thin it's funny, you have to admit the idea of a "Queerwolf" is creative. There are a few failed attempts at humor, and many of the running gags get old. Still, any movie with Eddie Deezen it has to be good. It's not easy finding this movie, but if you get the opportunity to watch it, go for it. As long as you like lowbrow.
How Wing Commander III pulls you in.
I got Wing Commander III from my dad for my birthday. I had never even heard of it, but I saw that Mark Hamill was in it and that got me interested. The cool graphics, the live-action cut scenes, and the entire fun of space simulation soon had me hooked. Afterwards I have purchased Wing Commander IV and Wing Commander Prophecy and hope to get Wing Commander: Secret Ops soon. Overall, this game is very fun and addictive.
Buffalo '66 (1998)
Well worth watching
Buffalo '66, while not a terribly exciting film, is quite engrossing. Vincent Gallo does a good job writing and directing, though as an actor it sometimes seems he is ad-libbing. The basic idea has been done before, but here it happens in such a way that you really never know what's going to happen next. Christina Ricci is excellent as always. All this and a few quirks make this movie a better experience than the average flick.
Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
good, thoughtful comic-drama
Woody Allen has done it again with this thought-provoking film about relationships, life and death, and the things people do to themselves. Great acting throughout, especially Allen and Michael Caine.