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High Anxiety Review


Very Good
One of the reasons we film critics have a soft spot for Mel Brooks's High Anxiety is that its endless parade of campy Hitchcock gags makes us feel smart. "Oh, that's from Vertigo. Hey, that's from North by Northwest. Did you hear that? He just said MacGuffin."

Of course, it's vitally important that you be in the mood to see a Mel Brooks movie when you see a Mel Brooks movie -- any Mel Brooks movie -- because if you're not, you'll just groan, roll your eyes, and walk away. But if you're feeling silly, Mel will make you laugh, and High Anxiety keeps the zingers coming from the very first moment, when the urgent strains of the powerful orchestra accompany Dr. Richard Thorndyke (Brooks) as he walks through the airport during the opening credits. The credits end, and Thorndyke comments, "What a dramatic airport!" Later, the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra will follow him around in a bus to add more drama to pivotal scenes.

Continue reading: High Anxiety Review

Splash Review


Very Good
For me, watching Ron Howard's Splash is like paging through an old high school yearbook. Look how young everyone is! Oh, the potential they had! What a great time that was! Most of the major talent in Splash did better projects later on, but the movie is a fun reminder of where everyone started and ended up.

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

High Anxiety Review


Good
Mel Brooks does the best of his second-tier works (outside the holy canon of The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein) in this send-up of Hitchcock flicks. The story tries to ride closely to Spellbound and Vertigo, but ventures into virtually all of Hitch's major works, including the most notable scenes from Psycho, The Birds, and North by Northwest. Not an easy feat, but it's funny as often as it's not.
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