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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
A mildly hokey but wildly underrated Disney film. Certainly one of the very few Hollywood films I can personally relate with., 19 March 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I understand the problems many people have with this movie. There are a few ridiculous subplots and hokey slapstick violence in a little over 90 minutes that seems redundant and ridiculous. But when I heard how underrated this movie actually really is I must say I was shocked. OK so there are some stupid subplots in the movie but so what? A lot of pre-teenagers (as well as early teenagers) can really learn a lot from this movie especially if they have experienced a family event like a divorce and having to deal with a step-parent. I am one who has had to deal with a divorce and a step-parent and they both are no day at the beach whatsoever. But the Jonathan Taylor Thomas character in this movie really reminded me of being younger and how I thought it was fun to do silly tricks and manipulations to get my step-parent to go away. And with all the hype of Farrah Fawcett recently passing away I think a lot of people who are interested in her career should look back at this movie as this was one of her very few Hollywood theatrical films. She had much more success on the smaller screen as we all know. I think a lot of people also had trouble with this movie because it tried to make Chevy Chase into more of a heartwarming character unlike his "Caddyshack" and "National Lampoon's Vacation" series characters. Why people had a bad reaction to that is a mystery to me. Comedians like Chase should not be playing silly oafs their whole career. Sometimes it is OK to change characters if you are going in the right direction and for the most part I think Chase was doing so here. And George Wendt's supporting performance as the Indian Guide leader I thought was very good and made him into a more endearing and heartwarming character unlike his Norm Peterson fame on "Cheers". As aforementioned a few things in this film do not work. For instance on the camping trip that Chase and Thomas attend in the woods with the Indian Guides and Chase tells a campfire story it is supposed to be funny but it really isn't.At least that monologue could have been written better for Chase. The supporting charactersmake that scene more interesting. I also don't like the subplot of the man who wants to kill Chase because he sent his father to prison as a prosecutor for committing a crime. We get some hokey dialog once again there and then it turns into a semi "Home Alone" rip off trying to scare away the bad guys with "Home Alone" like booby traps. But aside from those flaws I think "Man of the House" on the whole is a good film that parents and kids alike can enjoy and learn a lesson from. And with all the parents complaining about content in films today and how "family films don't exist" I think this one blows that theory. There is only one mild discussion about sex (it is a pre-teenager film what else do you expect?) profanity is very mild, and the violence is done on such a slapstick level that you cannot take it seriously at all. By the end of the film Thomas likes having Chase for a stepfather and now life will be great with his mom and Chase. I only wish the ending of this movie could have happened with the situation in my parents divorce and my later teenage years. All I am saying is ignore this movies flaws and go along for the ride. If you have experienced something like this in real life this will be a movie you will be glad you didn't miss.

It's good. But it is more of an interesting crime solver than it is a hilarious comedy., 17 December 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Being a fan of Danny De Vito and the ZAZ team's work (Zucker Abrahams, and Zucker) I rented this from Netflix hoping for it to be absolutely hysterical. While I felt this was a very dark film and I did not laugh very much with the exception of a few scenes I did find it to be an enjoyable crime solving type of a movie. In other words there is a ransom involved and trying to figure out whether or not Bette Midler would be rescued from kidnappers Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater(Reinhold is actually very funny here). I was expecting De Vito's performance in this film to be absolutely hysterical but he did it with such a dark tone that I thought he had more of a serious rather than comedic performance. He was enjoyable as always though. The music score including opening song by Mick Jagger I think may be the best part about the film along with the scene when the people who are angry at De Vito supposedly film De Vito and Midler having sex. That as well as Jagger's song and the main opening titles are terrific to say the least. Screenwriter Dale Launer wrote a better script with the Joe Pesci vehicle "My Cousin Vinny" six years after "Ruthless People" was made, but he is a very good writer and his characters in this film are written very well as they also were in "My Cousin Vinny". He obviously knows how to write a good movie and RP and MCV are very good examples. The ending with Midler pushing De Vito into the bay and leaving him after she finds out about the kidnapping plot I felt was far too abrupt and I wanted the movie to go on for about 10-15 more minutes. However "Rutless People" is a good movie. Just do not rent and expect anything like the Zucker, Abrahams, Zucker team's "Airplane!" and "Naked Gun" series and I guarantee that you will not be disappointed by this movie at all.

North (1994)
2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
Too poorly written and unfunny to really like, but certainly not worth hating passionately, 25 October 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is the kind of film that makes you ask the question when you have a wonderfully talented filmmaker (Rob Reiner) and a terrific cast that includes no less than Elijah Wood, Bruce Willis, Jon Lovitz, Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, John Ritter, Kathy Bates, Jason Alexander, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and an estimated $40 million budget what went wrong with the movie? It can't be the direction, it can't be the terrific actors's fault because their acting in the film is OK, and the movie is certainly not boring. It's the script. The script in this movie is meant to be laugh out loud hilarious and while sporadic jokes and events throughout the film are mildly funny most of the writing is embarrassing and uncalled for. Many people are blaming Reiner and the cast members for what went wrong with "North" and I'm sorry to disappoint you but I can't blame any of them. Sure Reiner may have chosen to direct the movie but because writer Alan Zwiebel chose to write this as unfunny and more or less a kid's movie with an adult mind that is the only way Reiner could direct it. I guess it could be an embarrassment for Reiner because he finished directing his most successful movie "A Few Good Men" a great film then followed up with a lousy film like this one. Maybe Zweibel needed a famous director like Reiner to direct his lousy writing skills. Of course this movie is now famous because Roger Ebert "hated, hated, hated, hated, hated this movie." I think Ebert was overreacting about hating it but I can certainly agree with him that the jokes in this movie were not funny and totally wrong-headed for a children's film. This is the kind of film that should be appealing to children 8-10 years old and Rob Reiner can make a children's film. He had success in this category with "The Princess Bride." But do children's films contain jokes about testicles, sex and have an eleven year old say "asshole" and "damn it."? And how is seeing the star of "Die Hard" in a bunny suit funny? More or less the idea of a kid shopping for a new set of parents may have been funny in the 1950's but it certainly isn't funny in the 1990's. "North" is a bad movie yes, but it is not worth hating. Ebert and everyone else who has told you this movie is deplorable is wrong. It is bad but is not so awful to where you would have to shut the movie off from your television set and the distributors should release a DVD at some point. If you want to see a good children's film by Reiner take "The Princess Bride" and skip "North" (if you can ever find it anywhere) but if you choose to watch "North" for whatever reason remember you may not like it but you don't have to passionately hate it like Ebert did.

0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
OK time killer that wastes most of its cast., 19 September 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The plot of "Krippendorf's Tribe" is not entirely terrible. I would not mind seeing a movie about a college anthropology teacher who needs to find an African tribe but has blown all his money and then is forced to use the family as the tribe. The idea is funny and the movie itself had moments that were very entertaining and the movie is not boring at all. But there is a problem with this movie. The script is mildly funny, but the cast is totally in wrong parts that do not fit their talents. Dreyfuss in particular is good in serious roles which is where he succeeds best. "Jaws", "Always", and "Mr. Holland's Opus" are perfect examples of this theory. Now granted Dreyfuss has been good in a couple silly roles such as his parts in "American Graffiti" and "What About Bob?" But those films were written for a part that Dreyfuss can play. In both those films Dreyfuss is a comic figure but his mildly comic mostly serious personality works. All in all this silly role is wrong for him and I think this part would have been better possibly for either Bill Murray, Steve Martin or Chevy Chase. Those guys could play a part like this due to their silly personalities. As far as the rest of the film I found Jenna Elfman and Lily Tomlin to also be miscast. Elfman was very endearing on TV's "Darma and Greg", and Tomlin had wonderful supporting roles in "Nine to Five" and "All of Me". But how did Dreyfuss,Elfman and Tomlin think their talents would work in a script like this? It is not written poorly and its not the worst movie ever like some have claimed. As far as the writing and direction goes it is mediocre. But the casting is where this film fails because the actors that are cast are do too many sophisticated dramatic and comedic roles that they cannot afford to do something laid-back and silly like this. Its easy to see why the cast of this film (particularly Dreyfuss) have not had much activity in recent years. Might be worth the price of a Saturday night movie rental but you know the cast have been in better roles that fit them.

4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:
Quite possibly the worst Hollywood theatrical film I have ever seen., 26 August 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So I rented this from Netflix because somebody gave me Roger Ebert's book "I hated, hated, hated this movie" and he gave this one a rare zero-star rating in the book and said at the end of his original review "Mad Dog Time should be cut up to provide free ukulele picks for the poor". So I figured from Ebert saying that I would see if it was really as bad as he said it was. I know most society says not to listen to critics and to judge for yourself but I could not express how much I hated this piece of junk like Ebert did and never since Ebert's review of Rob Reiner's "North" where he said he hated that movie ten times had I ever heard such a brilliant hatred movie review. Here we have Richard Dreyfuss as a gangster which I don't think it would be terrible to see Dreyfuss as a gangster if the screenplay for this movie were written well. But above all the other things that were awful about this "movie" I can certainly tell you the script was not written well at all. While the movie starts off with Jeff Goldblum saying that he enjoyed watching Dreyfuss's girlfriend while Dreyfuss was at a criminal hospital the movie starts off with some decent dialog after the opening credits. But after that first 4 or 5 minutes the other 85 minutes just consists of dumb characters talking pointless garbage for 30 seconds then someone gets shot. Then there are a whole bunch of jokes about Dreyfuss being mentally ill. Haha. Not funny. Then we get an unpleasant and unfunny scene parodying Frank Sinatra's "My Way" sang by Gabriel Byrne apparently to insult Dreyfuss. Of course because the screenplay was written on the level of a sixth grader Dreyfuss shoots Byrne over five times and Byrne just will not die. Are we as the audience supposed to even care or find that mildly funny? I can certainly tell you I did not care or find that funny. Not only am I disappointed in Dreyfuss (who I admire much as an actor) for producing and starring in this tripe but I am also extremely disappointed in Jeff Goldblum because this was released the same year that "Independence Day" was the top grossing film of the year and ultimately one of the most successful films in history. Did Goldblum feel that "Independence Day" would be a flop and then just take the next role that was offered to him to make some money if "Independence Day" were a bomb? What did an Oscar winner and the star of two of the biggest money making films in history find remotely enjoyable about this? The opening sequence of "Mad Dog Time" says that the movie is set on another planet. I only wish now that I have wasted 93 minutes watching this trash that it would have stayed and opened in theaters on the planet where it supposedly takes place so that way everyone on this planet would never here of this ridiculous waste of 93 minutes out of my life that I will never get back. Ebert saying the movie should have been cut up is not good enough I am afraid. Every copy of "Mad Dog Time" should have gasoline poured all over it and be lit on fire. I have yet to top a worst movie I have ever seen because this one has won it's honor as the worst movie ever.