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Animal House (1978)
The king of sophomoric comedies,if you are into them.
You have to have a certain kind of humor to consider this a great comedy film.I understand that I'm probably in the minority if I stop short of calling this film a great comedy,but I just don't have that certain humor.There were a few moments in the film where I found myself chuckling a bit,but the other moments were loaded with vulgar language and blatant sexuality that I must say I am getting a bit long in the tooth for.I suppose I should have watched it when I was younger,at say 18-21,then I guess it's possible I would give it higher marks.If you are into this kind of humor,go for it.It is considered the best of it's kind,after all.If you are more like me,I would steer clear.
The Great Dictator (1940)
Chaplin gives the best of both worlds.
Charlie Chaplin is amazing to watch.He brought the very talents that mesmerized us in his great silent films to the sound era,thereby giving us the best of both worlds in this film.The sound era was unkind to many a silent star,but not Chaplin.He made the transition with flying colors.He showed us new talents,while not letting us forget all of those elements from his silent films that made him a star.There is great support all around him,and his final speech at the end was stunning.Upon seeing it once,I had to go back and watch it again several times,not only for Chaplin's great performance,but for it's rousing message,which could be considered just as relevant today.Great comedy film and great film.
Great ensemble comedy.
Based on everything I have heard about it,I bet this film was an awesome theater going experience,with it's "announcements" coming over loud speakers and at concession stands about the status of those in pursuit of the buried money.Makes me wish I could go back in time and experience it,but alas,it was 2 years before my time and my first viewing of it was on DVD.It was still awesome,but I do wish that could include those theater announcements in a special edition of the DVD.That would be a treat.Great ensemble comedy action here with a virtual who's who of the comedy world of the time doing what they do best.I do wish Stan Laurel would have accepted their offer to be a part of it,but I guess it wasn't meant to be.He wasn't going to work without his good friend Ollie Hardy.It's a laugh a minute great film.
Throw Momma from the Train (1987)
A forgotten (by me) gem.
I recently stumbled across this film again after many years while channel surfing and soon I found myself laughing to beat the band.I had seen it years earlier when it was new.I'm not sure why I steered clear of it in subsequent years.Maybe it's under-rooted disturbing theme of murder.At any rate,I found myself engrossed in this film.Despite being dark around the edges,it really is an entertaining film.Billy Crystal was still in his prime,as was DeVito,and Anne Ramsey was a delight as "Momma"..Now that I have revisited this comedy gem that I had apparently forgotten,I will be looking to put it on the DVD shelf in the near future.
Love Italian style!
There's really nothing spectacular about the story here.It's story is very basic and that's the best kind.Cher plays a woman who has been unlucky at love.So much so,that she is afraid to unite with anyone.She agrees to marry Danny Aiello's character out of a sense of pressure from her family,but soon things get complicated after she meets his estranged brother(the great Nicolas Cage).What we end up with is a very comical look at love and all of it's potential complications.It will make you laugh and put a little joy in your heart because after all the chaos,everything ends up exactly where it should,with the proverbial "happily ever after" at the end.Great film.
A Knight's Tale (2001)
Better the second time,years later.
This is one that had to grow on me over a period of time.When I first viewed it years ago,I very much enjoyed the story,but felt it was sunk by the ridiculous addition of the modern music soundtrack.In viewing it a second time only recently,I have come to overlook the soundtrack issue and just enjoy the story.I still think the choice of music is odd,being a child of the era of which the music is from makes the overlooking easier.I also have come to recognize what a great young talent that Heath Ledger was,a fact that escaped me back then.While I did not plan to view the film again after seeing it the first time,I'm certainly glad I came across it accidentally all these years later.
My Man Godfrey (1936)
William Powell gives an awesome performance as Godfrey,and he even had the class to suggest his ex wife be cast opposite,stating that she was perfect for the part.He was right.The two may not have been married anymore in real life,but they had an undeniable professional chemistry between them.I like how Powell metamorphosizes from street dweller to the dapper gentleman that was hiding underneath.I have to date not seen much of his work,but judging by this one performance,I do have a lot to look forward to.His presence was great and his delivery was sharp here.All involved made it well worth the viewing and will most likely be back to see it again in the future.
Harold and Maude (1971)
Dark elements aside,entertaining enough.
While there were moments in this film that made me chuckle,I find the overall film to be somewhat too darkly humored for my taste.I have no problem with a teenager falling in love with and gaining a whole new outlook on life from a 79 year old woman.That plus the brief elements of slapstick,such as the woman tormenting the motorcycle cop on the road were quite appealing.What I have a problem with is the running gags associated with the boys fascination with death.The fake suicide scenes were not particularly funny to me,though I can see where some might see it the opposite.Overall,the film had just enough entertaining elements to get a thumbs up from me.
The beauty of romance amongst the ugly aspects of life.
I like to think of this film as a documentation,although animated,of just how lazy we are getting as a society.We are working ourselves to a point of just not even having to get out of bed in the morning.The man on the hover chair who fell out of it and just laid there like he didn't know what to do to get himself up is an example of that..It's ironic,really.We are trying so hard to take all of the work out of life because we think it makes it easier,but the truth is,we're killing ourselves slowly.Just my opinion.I love our little robotic hero and the romance story that evolves in the middle of all of the ugliness that surrounds them.Worthy of a place on the DVD shelf.
So long,Woody.You're not funny.
Since Woody Allen himself has stated that he himself does not like this film,that's all the excuse I need for myself not to like it.I'm just not into Woody Allen's humor.In every film that I have seen of his,he basically plays himself with different names.He whines about his life,he trashes religion,and he has relationship problems.He has a thing for underage or near underage girls(Heck,he proved that in real life,later).This is the last Allen film that I will be watching and reviewing,basically because it's the last film on a list of films that I challenged myself to watch and review.Now that that particular mission is complete,I can say that there is nothing in these few Woody Allen films that I have reviewed that compels me to ever watch another.So long,Woody.