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Throw Momma from the Train (1987)
Crystal and DeVito make a good team.
When I watched this movie when I was a kid I didn't understand the premise of Hitchcock movies, and dark comedy. Now that I'm in my mid 20's it makes a lot more sense.
I think the reason I like this movie so much is that the comedy duo of Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito make for some interesting comedy, both slapstick (the frying pan and car scenes) and verbal (the arguments/conversations over murder and writing).
The story revolves around Larry Donner(Crystal), a struggling writer who has his masterpiece stolen from him by his wife Margaret (played by a surprisingly radiant Kate Mulgrew, aka Capt. Janeway from Star Trek: Voyager).
While he shifts between writer's block and teaching creative writing class, he meets with student Owen Lifts(DeVito), an aspiring writer and overgrown mama's boy who sadly still acts like a kid. He has toy train tracks, need I say more? Think of Failure to Launch, only Matt McConaughey is short, fat, and bald.
Owen is stuck in his own life, with a demanding evil mother(Anne Ramsey) who he can't stand. He seeks Larry's advice on how to get out of it, and when he says to go see a Hitchcock film Owen gets the wrong idea that if he kills Larry's wife, he'll return the favor and kill his mom for him. Hilarity ensues while the two try to deal with each other's problem. Owen goes to extremes to kill Margaret while Larry, who refuses to agree to do his "part of the plan", is driven nuts by Owen's mother.
Throughout the film, Larry and Owen slowly but surely form a bond of friendship that is rare in dark comedy nowadays. One part of the movie I really loved was where Owen shows Larry his coin collection, and lets just say its more a sentimental collection than anything.
The two main stars aside, the late Anne Ramsey is hilarious as Mama, and deadly with that cane of hers. She's a lot more comedic verbally and physically in this as opposed to her role as Mama Fratelli from The Goonies. So she curses like a sailor and belittles her son at every turn, but thats what makes her character so vivid. She makes her character the kind of person you love to hate.
Another treat in this movie is the music of jazz great Brandford Marsalis, who plays Larry's neighbor and friend Lester. There is a great moment in the movie where he plays jazz for Larry, who is depressed and needs some good tunes to relieve the pain. Jazz can do that.
In closing, I wish Billy Crystal and Danny DeVito would do another good movie together, but their kinda getting too old for the game I'm sad to say. This is one of those rare movies where both stars shine in their own subtle ways. DeVito's childish comedy and Crystal's sharp wit made this movie for me. 5 star comedy.
Mecha Lovers Lament
G-Saviour, for the most part, is a fair movie. Decent characters, above par storyline that would fit the Gundam universe, but if you came for mecha fights and robots slaughtering each other for 2 hours, you're out of luck.
For what it's worth the mecha scenes, that are few and far between, are good. The G-Saviour will not win any awards for Best Gundam, but the fights between it and other mobile suits are worth a glance at, and yes you get both laser cannons and beam saber action as Mark Curran flies around in the G-Saviour aptly saving the day and holding up the tradition of Gundam.
So if you're a die-hard Gundam/mecha fan who must see every shred of Gundam footage known to man then knock yourself out. But if you are just discovering the world of anime and/or Gundam and have access to the animated shows, consider this movie a last resort. At least wait until they someday (god-willing) attempt to make a live action version of the original series.
3 out of 5, fair.
War through the eyes of a child
UC 0079, the One Year War is almost at an end. A neutral colony of Side 6 has been targeted by Cyclops, a Zeon task force. Their target, a new Gundam being built exclusively for Newtypes (supposedly built for Amuro Ray from the original Gundam saga) inside. When little boy Al Izuruha, a fan of Zeon MS, encounters a Zaku after battle breaks out in the colony, he befriends newbie MS pilot Benard "Bernie" Wiseman. The two become good friends, Al is treated as an honorary member of the Cyclops team. Through the show, Bernie acts as a father figure to Al (whose real father is always working) and seems to be taken with Federation pilot Christina McKenzie, but eventually they must meet....in battle. Al soon learns that war is not child's play and Bernie must choose to make the ultimate sacrifice to complete his mission.
For only 6 episodes, Gundam 0080 is a well done show. The mobile suits are extremely well designed, and the animation may look dated but really shows emotion in the characters. If you liked 0083 then check this one out, or if you are new to the Gundam world, this is a good show to start with. If you look to a show for drama and character development, this is the one for you, it focuses more on that then mobile suit battle. I would rate it more of a drama than action.
Mobile Suit Gundam 0080, War in the Pocket.
Sometimes you have to lose to win.
Gundam vs Gundam
UC 0083, peace has come to Earth and Space after the Federation wiped out the Zeon forces, or so they thought. A remnant Zeon squad known as the Delaz fleet, who is led by the most loyal of Zeon's admirals, plan to steal one of two powerful new Gundam prototypes, the difference? This one is armed with a nuclear warhead!!
The Gundam is taken by ace Zeon pilot, Anaval Gato, who carries the label "Nightmare of Solomon" for the way he was feared on the battleground. It is up to rookie Federation pilot Kou Uraki to master the other Gundam and stop Gato from using the warhead and letting Zeon reform. As the battle progresses, Kou and Gato constantly battle and become bitter rivals, Federation vs Zeon, Gundam vs Gundam, both fighting for their beliefs and eventually for the affection of mobile suit technician Nina Purpleton, who is smitten with both of them, past and present. While the battles ensue, the lines of good and bad becomes blurred, and one has to ask, who is the real dictatorship in this war.
Mobile Suit Gundam 0083 is by far the best spin off of the Universal Century time line ever, bar none, and it explains some of the things that happen in Zeta Gundam that is set 4 years later. The animation is crisp, the story is tight, and the music can't be beat. The rivalry between Kou and Gato is one of the best of the Gundam universe, I'd rate it second only to Amuro and Char from the original Gundam series. For only 13 episodes, this show is very well done. It left me begging for more.
Gundam 0083, Gundam vs Gundam, LETS GET IT ON!!!!!!
Kidô senshi Gandamu (1979)
Always imitated, but never duplicated
Macross, Evangellion, and Patlabor. All of these series pale in comparison to the original mecha piloted by a young man with a competitive spirit.
Young protagonist Amuro Ray is pulled out of his everyday monotonous life and is thrown headfirst into adventure and war just by pushing a button or two. Amuro must pilot the Gundam to save his friends. Rivals are made, obstacles are presented, and battles are fought, and Amuro through it all becomes a man and a great pilot, but that's only half of this war story. The other half is about the man in red, Char Aznable, the mysterious masked man who is an ace pilot for the fascist Zeon army, who always pilots red mechs, his signature color, hence his nickname "the Red Comet". No one knows where he came from or what his true objectives are, and this is what draws you in to him. His rivalry with Amuro takes center stage in much of the series, and it keeps you on your toes. Just when you think you got it figured out the battle situation changes.
If you are thinking this show is the campy "good guy always prevails over bad guy" cliché, you're in for a rude awakening. The plot and character's features are a staple for future Gundam series, such as Gundam Wing and more recently Gundam Seed. The formula is the same, the main character is a young man thrown into war and finds a bitter enemy in an enigmatic blond masked man. The formula is interpreted differently in both these shows, but Amuro and Char set the standard for an enjoyable plot that can be imitated in many different ways. Always imitated but never duplicated.
Old men tell me War and Peace is something everyone should read, and I tell them Mobile Suit Gundam is something everyone should see. Sure it has giant robots killing each other but behind the machines there are elements of war that are all around the world today. The pitfalls and the possibilities, the consequences of battle and the reason to fight. I rank Mobile Suit Gundam up there with Platoon and Full Metal Jacket since it shows how violent and horrid war can really be.
The definitive anime for 20+ years, Mobile Suit Gundam. Who will survive?