Jealous, harried air traffic controller Max Fiedler, recently dumped by his girlfriend, comes into contact with nuclear waste and is granted the power of telekinesis, which he uses not only to win her back, but to gain a little revenge.
A visiting dignitary, a CIA agent, a Nazi spy, Japanese tourists, an assassin and a group of "midget" actors from The Wizard of Oz (1939) all check into an elite Los Angeles hotel called Under the Rainbow.
When police discover that a mob hitman has moved in next door to the Robbersons, they want to find out what he is up to. So they set up a stakeout in the Robbersons' home. Hard-nosed, ... See full summary »
The escaped delinquent John W. Burns, Jr. replaces Dr. Maitlin on a radio show, saying he's the psychiatrist Lawrence Baird. His tactless radio show is a hit, and he becomes very popular. ... See full summary »
Henry Perkins, a mild-mannered accountant, accidentally trades briefcases with another man, to find out that there's five million dollars inside. Henry tells his unsuspecting wife of their ... See full summary »
Penelope Ann Miller,
Air traffic controller Max Fiedler is unhappy with his career and his second marriage. An exposure to toxic waste gives him the power of telekinesis. He comes to a crossroads at a beachhouse he shares with his wife, his ex, and a voodoo priestess.Written by
Has it's moments, but glaring errors drag it down....
First of all, it is worth nothing that director Ken Shapiro seemingly hasn't been employed since this near-catastrophe was released in 1981. It's pretty safe to say that's a bad sign. Secondly, even a stellar cast cannot make a movie very good (what I like to call "Mars Attacks!" syndrome). Now that I have gotten that out of the way, a quick synopsis : Chevy Chase (that in itself is a bad sign) stars as an air traffic controller who, after an encounter with nuclear waste, acquires telekinetic powers, which he uses against his romantic rivals. The premise in itself is engaging and open to the possibility of great comedy. So what happened?
Well, Ken Shapiro could be blamed. The direction is sloppy; actually it is downright pathetic. The pacing is WAY too slow, the action is ineptly handled, and many of the actors seem bored. And worst of all, the special effects are woeful...I haven't seen so much camera equipment on-screen since the glory days of Ed Wood. Case in point...the scene with the Flying-Airplane-Ashtray (don't ask), where some strange, large object is obviously present in the close-ups, holding up the Ashtray next to the camera. I've made home movies with better effects.
What about the actors? Well, Nell Carter is an absolute hoot; she deserves better. And Dabney Coleman is entirely in his element here as a shady, egotistical author. Brian Doyle Murray and Mary Kay Place are also entertaining. Patti D'Arbanville is a bit lacking in comedic talent; she is given nothing more to do than pout and screech. But the real problem here is Chase. He is just going through the motions here, playing the hapless bumbler bit to death and looking very bored doing it. There is no life to his performance, and it grinds the movie to a halt.
True, there are some funny moments here...Nell Carter gets most of the laughs in a woefully small role, the scenes involving Chase's romantic rival Barry (Mitch Kreindel) are pretty amusing, and one reviewer here has already mentioned Chase's throwaway line "Smells like feet," which for some reason made me laugh hysterically...but the funny moments are few and far between. There is so much BAD to sort through to get to the GOOD stuff, and it just isn't worth the time and trouble. Perhaps in better hands, "Modern Problems" could have been a good movie. This certainly isn't it.
14 of 27 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this