Club Paradise is a prototypical specimen, starring a dozen actors in career lulls, including Mork, Twiggy, a gaggle of Second City vets, Jimmy Cliff, and even Lawrence of Friggin' Arabia. A word of warning: these leftovers are rotten.
Continue reading: Club Paradise Review
Like Bill Murray's other top comedies, the slightly more subversive Caddyshack and Stripes, Ghostbusters passes the most important test of cinematic greatness -- no matter how many times you've seen it, you may end up watching it again when it comes around on TV. Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis are postgraduates in "parapsychology" who pretend to investigate paranormal phenomena (the movie begins with Murray trying to pick up a coed by convincing her she's psychic) until they're kicked off campus. So they start a business and become celebrities when they start capturing real ghosts. This cheesy premise is handled so smoothly that there is never a confusing moment, something screenwriter Ramis would achieve again with Groundhog Day, an equally odd concept which also worked. Unlike Groundhog, Ghostbusters is strictly for laughs -- which doesn't mean that it's dumb.
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The new movie picks up with legendary Mob boss Paul Vitti (De Niro) nearing the end of his term in Sing Sing and Dr. Ben Sobol (Billy Crystal) dealing with the recent death of his legendary father. After a series of attempts on his life, Vitti puts on a semi-catatonic act to avoid the general prison population and save his own life. The FBI, baffled by this turn of events, brings in Sobol, his former psychiatrist, to consult on the case, ultimately releasing Vitti into Sobol's custody. Thus, the reluctant doctor is forced to once again try to mend Vitti's fractured psyche, in addition to housing him and finding him an honest job. Needless to say, this wreaks havoc with the poor doctor's already troubled personal life.
Continue reading: Analyze That Review
Such is the case with Multiplicity, the new Harold Ramis-Michael Keaton comedy about a guy who clones himself in order to get a little free time.
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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.
Continue reading: Stripes Review
Murray's TV weatherman is a burnout with a bad attitude, a small fish in a small market, who affects the egotism and cynicism of all members of the press but knows that he's second-rate. Then, in a bizarre plot turn, he is thrown into a time warp where he is forced to live the same day over and over until he gets it right -- and to learn to appreciate life's blessings in the process.
Continue reading: Groundhog Day Review
Life has been good for Shaun Brumder (Colin Hanks) in simple Orange County, California. He's a good kid with a love of catching waves, a sweet girlfriend, and despite his eccentric family, life is always like riding six-foot waves that curl for days. After a freak surfing accident drowns one of his best buds one summer, Shaun begins to reassess his life and inspiration strikes one day in the form of a novel by Marcus Skinner. He decides to become a writer, trades in his surfboard, improves his grades, and waits for his acceptance letter from Stanford College to study under his new idol Skinner. But when Stanford rejects him due to a guidance counselor's mistake, Shaun only has 24 hours to fix the problem and get the hell out of O.C. to follow his dreams and work out the angst.
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The story's the thing that kills GB2 right from the get-go, which picks up five years after the original: Our boys in brown saved the city, but now they're reduced to hosting cheesy psychic TV shows and begging for work, as most of the spirit disturbances have been cleaned up. Even Venkman (Bill Murray) didn't end up with Dana (Sigourney Weaver), who's now divorced and has (gasp) a baby, one which will figure centrally in the plot machinations later on, involving (double gasp) Peter MacNicol as a vaguely Eastern European art expert. Good lord.
Continue reading: Ghostbusters II Review
Continue reading: Animal House Review
Date of birth
21st November, 1944
Date of death
24th February, 2014
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