Thursday, October 08, 2009

My Week In Movies - Claws & Balls

Hamburger The Motion Picture (1986) This week I finally hooked up the ol' VCR back to the big TV in the living room after having gone without it since the great DirecTV/surround sound install of February `09. The first movie I popped into the cassette player was the classic 1980's T&A comedy Hamburger The Motion Picture which I recently purchased at a flea market for two bucks. This is one of an endless number of Police Academy rip-offs that I adored when I was younger. Instead of training to become police officers, we meet a group of young misfits who are all training to run their own Buster Burger franchise. They all take classes like Pickleology 101 and learn how to treat customers rudely. In classic Police Academy rip-off style, each of the characters has one personality trait upon which all jokes are hung. Among the new recruits at Buster Burger University are a fat guy, a nerd, a South American freedom fighter complete with strips of ammo criss crossed across her chest, a ladies man, and of course...a nun. One of the new guys is so irresistible to women that he keeps finding himself at the mercy of topless girls who want to have their way with him. This of course provides the film with plenty of opportunity to show off some bare skin. But unlike alot of other 80's teen sex comedies, this one is pretty funny. It also features perhaps the greatest big screen performance of Dick Butkus' career ( I mean, he was great as Klawicki on My Two Dads but that was just TV!)

Beach Balls (1988) Delighted to have my VCR back, I dug through my library of tapes and rediscovered another low budget sex-minded brainless film from the 1980's. Here's the plot: Charlie likes beautiful Wendy, but Wendy likes Keith - some dude from a local hair metal band. So to impress Wendy, Charlie lets Keith's band perform at a big party at his parent's house while they are away at an anti-rock n' roll rally. Ok, that's not really a plot as much as it is just something that happens but that's all this simple movie needs to move along through an hour and fifteen minutes of smart ass remarks, girls in bikinis and more than one extended performance from a terrible metal band. Whether it knows it or not, Beach Balls takes it tone and structure from the classic Beach Party movies of the `60's. This isn't a great movie, but as someone who has seen every movie with the word "BEACH" in the title, I'd have to say it's above average.

Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009) You at least have to give me credit for admitting that I watched this movie. I usually watch just about every Disney movie that comes down the pike, plus I'm always interested in a movie version of a TV show, especially when the show is still on. I'm not really a Hannah Montana fan, I've seen the show once (when Larry David was on) but I do have to confess I love the hell out of that song "Party in the U.S.A. Anywho...Getting back to the movie, Hannah Montana: The Movie was probably the first theatre going experience for alot of kids. The movie downplays the slapstick nature of the TV show and opens up the world to Miley/Hannah with a visit to her hometown in Tennessee where life is quite different from the Hollywood lifestyle she's used to. There's about a dozen songs in this movie, some G-rated romantic story lines and some stuff that probably makes more sense if you watch the show. In the end, it's a nice slow-paced wholesome movie that Disney is known for.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009) Here's another movie I went into not knowing much of the backstory. I've never seen any of the other X-Men movies, in fact all I know about the X-Men is that Wolverine is one of them and I think Firestar and/or Ice Man from the old Spider-Man cartoon might have been in the X-Men at one time or another, I don't really know.

Wolverine kicked off the summer movie season this year and raked in...or should I say "clawed in"...close to $180 million domestically. What? Really!?! It's pretty much just two hours of Wolverine running around and killing people/things. I'm so sick of movies that rely entirely on CG. If you want to use computers to make a horse's mouth move while he talks...that's great, but two hours of fake explosions and monsters that jump around like cartoon characters doesn't really hold my interest. The only reason I saw this movie is because my 6 year old son was begging me to watch it. I'll give kudos to the filmmakers for not putting anything too inappropriate in this movie, but I found it to be a big snooze fest.

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