Monday, January 16, 2012

My Week In Movies - You Shouldn't Hang Me On a Hook, Johnny. My Father Hung Me on a Hook Once. Once!

Johnny Dangerously (1984) As far as comedies go, this has got to be one of the all-time most unsung hilarious pictures ever made. A great cast led by Michael Keaton along with Marilu Henner, Joe Piscopo, Peter Boyle, Griffin Dunne and Dom Deluise...just to name a few...spoof 1930's gangster pictures. Now, most of us ain't really seen enough 1930's gangster picture to spot a good parody of one - but this movie is chock full of solid gags from beginning to end. As the film opens up we see a city street from the past. The subtitle at the bottom of the screen tells us it's 1935...and then a car in traffic runs over the subtitle causing it to crumble in the street. That's the first joke in the movie! The first time I saw it, I knew I was going to be hooked on the whole movie from minute one. I used to watch this great flick every chance I got on HBO back in the day. I hadn't seen it in a while, so it was great to revisit it and laugh myself silly. Look it up on Netflix Instant if you ain't ever seen it - or if you just need a good laugh.

An Extremely Goofy Movie (1999) Another under rated gem, the direct-to-video sequel to the also under rated A Goofy Movie from 1995, finds Goofy's son Max off the college where he butts heads with the big fraternity on campus. Goofy finds himself also on campus as a new student and falls in love with the school librarian. This is really a solid animated film, with no singing but plenty of groovy disco tunes take make up a pretty awesome soundtrack.

Winnie The Pooh (2011) Bob Howdy, this is a really good movie. I was excited to see it again as my theatrical screening last summer was severely dampened by a very obnoxious child in the row in front of us with even more obnoxious parents. I really enjoyed it a second time around and my kids once again laughed themselves uncontrollably. Afterwards Elias declared the movie "Hilarious" which is an honor he has only also bestowed upon "Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs"...which he's seen 1 million times. Pooh's latest movie has a running time of 63 minutes, the actual movie itself wraps up at 57 minutes with the remainder of the time dedicated to a very creative credits sequence. It's honestly, a perfectly paced film. In some of the DVD bonus features, there are deleted scenes which the director said were cut because of pacing problems. If he put out a 63 minute movie, and removed stuff due to pacing...he should be in charge of editing every Hollywood movie from now on! Good stuff all around! See it.

The Tigger Movie (2000) So then we revisited Pooh's initial return to the big screen which I loved when it came out and I've seen it several times since. It's still a really good movie, the first time the Hundred Acre Wood gang was treated to a full-length narrative instead of shorter stories tied together. The problem with The Tigger Movie now, is that the 2011 Winnie The Pooh did such a perfect job of creating a newer version of Pooh and Co. that this older flim seems a little less sparkly than it did 12 years ago. Still, it's alot of fun with a pretty good story and an exciting climax plus original songs from Disney's original songwriting team, The Sherman Bros.

The Last Starfighter (1984) I borrowed the VHS of this flick from my buddy Joey Carwash about 15 years ago and have never watched it. In fact, I'm pretty sure I sold the tape at a yard sale somewhere along the line. Not to worry, Joey has the DVD now. I didn't watch his tape, and I hadn't watched it off my TiVo since I recorded it over a year ago. I finally broke down and watched it this week. It's one of those movies that really isn't very creative or interesting, but it just has a certain charm about it that makes it watchable and memorable. If nothing else, this movie is notable for being the last screen credit of the original Music Man himself, Robert Preston. It was also one of the first movies to deal with video games which was such a big deal back in the early 80's. I know I had first seen this when it came to HBO in `85, didn't think much of it then and quite honestly not that big of a fan now either.

The Smurfs (2011) There are chunks of this movie that are so dumb and have nothing to do with Smurfs, it's still kind of irritating that this is the best they could conjure up for iconic characters like Papa Smurf and the gang. Yet, there are some fun moments sprinkled throughout the picture and it has it's heart in the right place so for a PG rated family-friendly comedy, it's ok.

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