Lloyd Bridges

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Airplane! Review


Essential
If Airplane! isn't the funniest English-language movie ever made, it could at least get into some spirited comedy fisticuffs with Monty Python and the Holy Grail, A Fish Called Wanda, or Wayne's World for the title. It might win, too. The first non-sketch film from the team of Zucker (David), Abrahams, and Zucker (Jerry) established the joke-a-minute-spoof subgenre, frequented by various iterations of the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker team (not to mention several imitators); this means it gets credit for The Naked Gun, but also the blame for Scary Movie 2.

But Airplane! doesn't reign just by calling firsties. Or rather, it does - because it hit the bull's eye so dead-center that there wasn't much room left for other arrows. It purportedly spoofs the airplane-based disaster movies so popular at the time of its 1980 release, but much of the main plot (a scarred war pilot must attempt to land a passenger jet during a storm when the crew falls ill) and even some specific scene are lifted from the little-known 1957 B-movie Zero Hour (unseen by me); it simultaneously satirizes one particularly obscure film, '70s disaster films, and every bad B-movie you've ever seen.

Continue reading: Airplane! Review

High Noon (1952) Review


Good
Sure, it's a classic, but High Noon has never been a favorite Western of mine. Its pace is too slow -- though some scenes of Gary Cooper's marshal in desperate search of a posse before the black hats arrive in town can be tense. The scene where Cooper waits for the conveniently-timed train to arrive at the station is also quite stylish. Alas, Grace Kelly or no, High Noon just doesn't have the depth of character for my tastes. No flawed hero, no injustice to be avenged. Just a good guy, a bad guy, and a clean-cut ending that leaves you shrugging the whole thing off.

Roots Review


Excellent
When you think of epic mini-series, what comes to mind? Rich Man, Poor Man? Shogun? More likely than not, it's Roots, the based-on-a-true story tale that spooled over 12 hours and six nights, the story of "an American family," albeit one that began captured in Africa in 1750, then sold into slavery in the U.S. colonies.

Roots begins with Kunta Kinte, emerging from childhood and undergoing warrior training in his tribal homeland. The slavers arrive soon enough, and after a harrowing three-month ride back across the Atlantic, Kunta is sold, becomes Toby under his new master, attempts repeated escapes, and eventually accepts his fate as he settles down with a wife and child. The Revolutionary War comes and goes, and Toby's daughter Kizzy is sold, becoming the mother of her new master's son, known as Chicken George. Chicken George in turn is sent to England to pay off a gambling debt. When he returns home after 14 years, he is a free man. The Civil War arrives, and the rest of the slaves are freed. Soon enough the family faces the perils of vehement racism and the KKK, and Chicken George finally leads his family to safety in a new settlement.

Continue reading: Roots Review

Airplane! Review


Essential
If Airplane! isn't the funniest English-language movie ever made, it could at least get into some spirited comedy fisticuffs with Monty Python and the Holy Grail, A Fish Called Wanda, or Wayne's World for the title. It might win, too. The first non-sketch film from the team of Zucker (David), Abrahams, and Zucker (Jerry) established the joke-a-minute-spoof subgenre, frequented by various iterations of the Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker team (not to mention several imitators); this means it gets credit for The Naked Gun, but also the blame for Scary Movie 2.

But Airplane! doesn't reign just by calling firsties. Or rather, it does - because it hit the bull's eye so dead-center that there wasn't much room left for other arrows. It purportedly spoofs the airplane-based disaster movies so popular at the time of its 1980 release, but much of the main plot (a scarred war pilot must attempt to land a passenger jet during a storm when the crew falls ill) and even some specific scene are lifted from the little-known 1957 B-movie Zero Hour (unseen by me); it simultaneously satirizes one particularly obscure film, '70s disaster films, and every bad B-movie you've ever seen.

Continue reading: Airplane! Review

Jane Austen's Mafia! Review


OK
To my knowledge, there's never been a Godfather spoof, let alone a good one. The cryptically-titled Jane Austen's Mafia! certainly isn't going to change that, but it isn't as bad as some recent spoofs (notably Mel Brooks' last 4 or 5 movies) have been. Thanks to the natural charm of Jay Mohr, an often-funny tale of corruption, casinos (offering Go Fish), showgirls, and the Macarena unfolds. The flip side is that much of Mafia! is not funny, resorting to fart and/or vomit humor to generate cheap laughs. The spoofs range from the obvious - Godfather, GoodFellas, Casino - to the unexpected - Forrest Gump, Jaws - which generally work well. Then again, maybe my expectations are so low I didn't notice how bad they really were.
Lloyd Bridges

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Daniel Craig Hasn't Officially Signed On For 'James Bond 25'

Daniel Craig Hasn't Officially Signed On For 'James Bond 25'

The actor says he isn't "holding out for more money or doing anything like that".

Jason Bateman's 'Ozark' Gets Season 2 Renewal At Netflix

Jason Bateman's 'Ozark' Gets Season 2 Renewal At Netflix

The drama will be making its return to the streaming service in the near future.

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Jessica Jones And Daredevil

Jessica Jones And Daredevil "Don't Like Each Other" In Marvel's 'The Defenders'

Charlie Cox explains why his character Daredevil 'doesn't have time' for Jessica Jones.

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