Sunday, July 13, 2008
Buy a novel about a pimp-turned-actor who will stop at nothing to get an Oscar (imagine Get Shorty as a cautionary epic). Pay Harlan Ellison to adapt, adding money lines like "Will you stop beating on my ears! I've had it up to here with all this bring-down!" Cast dramatic legends like Jill St. John, Tony Bennett and Milton Berle. Sprinkle heavily with cameos. Overbake. Serve.
A relaxed horror spoof that's not as good as comedies that make you laugh every five seconds, but a lot more likable than the ones that try and fail. Major points for scoring the movie with Jimmy Buffett parodies sung by Bill Paxton.
Great actors, windy speeches, major issues, absurdly contrived subplots, liberal fantasies both self-adoring and masochist. All that keeps the film from just being a watchable throwback to the glory days of Henry Fonda is Joan Allen's palpable frustration with institutional sexism. This would be guaranteed $100 million and a best actress Oscar if it was coming out this Christmas.
After The Thin Man
Aside from a young Jimmy Stewart's climactic freakout, there's nothing of interest aside from the boozy, hilarious leads, which makes the movie excruciating when they're away too long. Oddly, this is exactly how I feel about Strange Brew.
Tim Leary, as played by Not Richard Burton, gets the Wild In The Streets treatment. LSD freakouts (complete with psychedelic, Alice In Wonderland-themed ballet sequences), riots and miscarriages are milked for maximum drama, so it's disappointing when the public assassination of a hippie demagogue occurs with a minimum of fuss in the final minutes.
I don't remember anyone saying Halloween should have had fewer teenage girls and more fog.