Tom Hanks, showing early signs of that everyman charm, plays Allen Bauer, a single New Yorker consumed by his job and coming off a bad breakup. Driven by alcohol and a lingering childhood memory of encountering a young mermaid on Cape Cod, Allen takes a cab to Massachusetts. The trip turns out to be a bust: He nearly drowns and loses his wallet.
Continue reading: Splash Review
I don't doubt this is the case for many fans of the best Brooks films--how many kids of the seventies saw Blazing Saddles before laying eyes on a real western, or Young Frankenstein before the bride of same? I point this out to place Spaceballs with those other, more acknowledged Brooks classics.
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What money is that? Oh, just $30 million, left to Montgomery Brewster (Richard Pryor) by his sole relative. The catch? The real inheritance is $300 million -- and if Monty wants it, he has to spend the $30 million in 30 days, and at the end of that time he can't have any assets to show for it. Oh, and he can't tell anyone what's going on, either.
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All that was dead the moment Bill Murray threw the candy bar in the pool in Caddyshack. Critics hated Caddyshack, and called Saturday Night Live skits "mean-spirited," but for everyone else, it was finally OK to be crude, clever, offensive -- and funny. Subsequent films like Stripes, often featuring one or more cast members from SNL (Murray, et al.) or Second City TV (Harold Ramis, John Candy), set the mold. The formula hasn't needed much tweaking since then, either; the successful comedies of recent years (There's Something About Mary, American Pie, etc.) owe everything to them.
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The movie is a solid adaptation; beyond some alterations at the end after test audiences complained (they should have complained even more), the movie is very similar to the play. Most of the songs remain intact, and the cast is full of energy and zest. The special effects fill an important niche. So why does so much of Little Shop of Horrors feel distant and wearisome?
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She's Having a Baby is a pleasant comedy, but PTA is an absolute gem and one of the 1980s' most overlooked movies, a mixture of human drama and dizzying goofiness that qualifies it for timeless status. I should know. A co-worker and I continually quote lines from this 17-year-old movie. At this point we could audition for a remake.
Continue reading: Planes, Trains & Automobiles Review
1) The music is great, coming from a legendary line-up of soul and blues artists: James Brown, Aretha Franklin, John Lee Hooker, Cab Calloway, and Ray Charles, whose performance of "Shake a Tail Feather" will get you dancing with the horde of extras onscreen.
Continue reading: The Blues Brothers Review