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Agood lit nus test for today
Every time I watch a movie from the 40s 50s or 60s I'm amazed at how there is little difference between then and now. This film is no exception. This film stars James Stewart as Elwood P. Dowd an overly friendly person who claims to have an invisible 6ft rabbit named Harvey as his friend. This causes problems with his socially conscious family who want to commit him to an insane asylum. Now believe it or not it really doesn't matter whether Harvey is real or not. What matters is how the viewer sees Elwood. Is he nuts or is he sane? Well consider this am an walks up charming polite treats you and everyone around like they are the most important person around like they were his brother or sister regardless of race, religion or background. Yet this same person will tell you he sees an invisible rabbit who is 6ft tall. Now look at the people in Elwood's life. they are snobs who would treat people like dirt if they don't measure up, but these people don't claim to see Harvey. Who the viewer choose? All I can say is sometimes a few eccentricities are worth over looking for a good friend.
Frasier: Cheerful Goodbyes (2002)
What everyone has been waiting for.
This is the episode of Frasier every Cheers fan has been waiting for. This is the one that brings back the Cheers gang. Ted Danson(Sam) Shelley Long(Diane) and Woody Harrelson(Woody) have all had their episode of Frasier and Bebe Neuwirth(Lillith) became a recurring character but the core gang had yet to appear. Well here they are Cheers mainstays Carla, Cliff, and Norm appear along with background characters like Paul and Phil. Even one of Cliff's postal buddies appears. For those concerned about the plot Frasier is in Boston to give a speech and brings his family along. At the airport he runs into Cliff who invites Frasier and his family to his retirement party.
Speed Zone (1989)
Unworthy of the Cannon Ball Run Legacy.
I know people have debated this but this movie IS part of the Cannon Ball Run series. Its only tie however is a brief appearance by Jamie Far as The Shiek within the first few minutes of the movie. After that the movie severs most of its ties with the first two save for the race. Here a new crop of Cannon Ballers run the race while being pursued by Spiro T. Edsel a sheriff in the mold of Bufford T. Justice (a character played by the late Jackie Gleason on the Smokey and the Bandit series). Now believe it or not this is actually a decent movie when viewed outside of the Cannon Ball Run series. However when lined up with the first two Cannon Ball Run movies this just seems like a blatant rip off of them and to a lesser extent Smokey and the Bandit.
The Wedding Singer (1998)
A great look back that should have had us looking forward.
Robbie Hart (Adam Sandler) is a wedding singer who is dumped by his fiancée. He is brought back from the abyss by a new waitress named Julia (Drew Barrymore) who is busy planning her own wedding. This movie is a nostalgia trip for me because I grew up in the 80s and I remember most of the gags and in-jokes of this movie ($700 dollars for a CD player; someone not wanting his ex to have his Van Halen t-shirt because he's afraid she'll jinx the band into breaking up). I also went to school for a few years in the town that this movie was set in so of course more memories. However the thing that I just realized after re watching it this morning is that no one realized that Adam Sandler had what it took to be a great leading man. In 1998 he had made three other movies before The Wedding Singer: Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, and Bulletproof. All three of these showcased his comedic talents but The Wedding Singer brought out a whole other side of Sandler that no one knew existed. Even after this picture it took several years before people would see this. The movie that truly showcased this was Spanglish However it was seven years between the two films. Imagine what he would have made if the right people had seen the Wedding Singer back in 1998. To anyone who appreciated Adam Sandler in Spanglish and Reign On Me check out the Wedding Singer. You'll be pleasantly surprised.
I Am Stamos (2004)
Good satire of Hollywood's obsession with looks.
This 34 minute film centers on Andy Shrub an average looking guy who is trying to make it as an actor in Hollywood. Due to his looks the best Andy can accomplish are supporting roles as the side kick to the lead. Then one day Andy has a freak accident. Andy looks the same to anyone he sees in person, but whenever he's photographed or caught on film he looks exactly like John Stamos. This opens up several doors for Andy but infuriates the real John Stamos. For only 34 minutes this film says a lot about Hollywood's obsession with looks and it's inability to relate to the average joe. Most people do not have Hollywood style looks and are often cast to the side in favor of people viewed as more attractive. This happens a lot in relationships but also in areas like employment (how many businesses hire gorgeous women and handsome men for customer service positions regardless of their qualifications). This movie shows how one man is virtually ignored because he is too average until he develops the ability to look good on camera. I've also got to give credit to John Stamos for being able to laugh at himself by doing a hilarious send up of his celebrity persona. Only a few any actors can do a good job at comedy and parody and even fewer can pull off self-parody. John Stamos does a good job at that because he feels comfortable laughing at and spoofing himself.
Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983)
Not bad just misunderstood WARNING: SPOILERS
Most people have panned this movie because of a lack of Burt Reynolds but the producers have done a good job of working around that. Instead of finding a new Bandit. The producers set the story around Buford T. Justice.
Here Buford T. Justice has retired and moved to Florida where Big and Little Enos show up to challenge the retired sheriff to race from Miami to Austin with a huge fish to promote their new fast food chain. Long the way Buford gets every sort of disaster thrown at him including Cletus who gets to "be the Bandit." Despite having Cletus get to take center seat in Trigger and a possible romance with Dusty Trails this is Buford T. Justice's story.
Buford is the one initially approached by the Enos boys. The audience gets to feel his excitement and despair along the way. He even gets to have a theme song in the movie. HERE IS WHERE THE SPOILER COMES IN DO NOT READ ON IF YOU DON"T WANT MUCH REVEALED.
Most reviewers have commented that Burt Reynolds does appear as the Bandit in this movie. Yes he does. At the end of the movie. Buford T. Justice catches up to Cletus and Trigger won't start. When Cletus realizes that the only one who thinks he's the Bandit is Justice he "transforms" into Burt Reynolds: even though it's Cletus in the mind's eye of Justice it's Burt Reynolds as The Bandit. Justice and Bandit commiserate about being kindred spirits and you get the impression that the sheriff really doesn't want to bring him in. As he is about to arrest "Bandit" Junior pipes in about how now Justice can go back to retirement now that he caught the Bandit. Buford T. Justice gives the Bandit a five minute head start and continues on to the only life he really loves: pursuing the Bandit
The Dentist (1996)
He needs to pick better scripts
L.A.Law created two different types of actors: those unable to land descent roles due to typecasting and Jimmy Smits.Corbin Bernsen falls into the first category. Here he plays Alan Finestone; a dentist obsessed with the prevention of decay, who is sent over the edge by his adulteress wife; who then takes his frustrations out on his patients and staff alike. This movie more than anything seems to be going for laughs because no one could ever see this guy as scary. The scariest thing I noticed was that they made a sequel. While Alan Finestone will not rank up there with horror legends like Freddy Kruger, Jason Voorhees, or even The Tall Man or Michael Meyers he does produce enough gore to satisfy most of the die hard gore fans. Just don't expect Corbin Bernsen to make the cover of Fangoria.
Definitely NOT worth the wait
I had received several movies from a friend last night one of which was The Hulk. It was the most horrendous comic book adaption I have seen(yes I am counting the last two Batmans and Superman IV the Quest for Peace). First they turn the whole premise on its head by having the cause of his transformation to be his father who was experimenting on him as a young boy. The experiment plus the radiation triggered David Banner's transformation. Second, the producers thought to turn Bruce into a total wimp which is supposed to make us cheer when he finally emerges as The Hulk. Bill Bixby's Bruce Banner was not a wimp and I don't think the comic book version was either. So why should this incarnation be? Jennifer Connelly is as always appealing eye candy and serves as the only person who can calm the Hulk's rage and transform him back into Bruce. Nick Nolte gives another redneck-from-hell performance as the elder Banner. The highlight for me were the cameos of Lou Ferrigno and Stan Lee at the beginning of the movie. On a final note a friend of mine actually fell asleep watching it. That's the simplest review I've ever seen.
Dream a Little Dream 2 (1995)
Not as good as the original. - Spoilers
While this was not the worst movie I have ever seen this one does pale to the original. First Corey Feldman's Bobby is now a suit. I guess that could happen but most of the movie seemed predominated by the conservative vs liberal debate between Bobby and Dinger's sister Rachel (Robyn Lively), a trend which we say way too much of in the '90s I also feel that Corey Haim was grossley underused. There's an unwritten law in sequels that says use your returning players as much as possible. I'm not going to argue the death of Jason Robards' character Coleman Ettinger because it would be one of the only ways to not have him appear, but I will voice my biggest gripes over the following: 1) that Coleman was actually conducting more experiments on a professional level and 2) that he was having sex with his assistant. Did the filmmakers of this one even bother to watch the original. The reason Coleman-as-Bobby endured high school life, fought Bobby's best friend and put up with countless other high school humiliations was so he could be reunited with his wife and after that he had given up on the experiment was because he just wanted to live his life with his wife. This movie did establish one thing: that Bobby, Dinger, and Rachel are from Cleveland. However this is not the worst movie I have seen and it was good to see these characters again. I had seen the original and liked it so it was almost like a reunion with old friends and I could think of worst ways to spend a Saturday afternoon.