Rodney Dangerfield

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Caddyshack Review


Excellent
No, they don't make 'em like this any more. Now you just can't make jokes about guys eating boogers and turdlike objects floating in the swimming pool -- not unless you want the FCC coming down on your ass! The absurd humor of Caddyshack is legend enough to merit little additional comment from me, but it's notable for featuring Chevy Chase in one of his most sophisticated roles -- but his deadpan dialogue is only the second-most quotable in the movie, after Bill Murray's infamous Carl Spackler, one of Murray's most ridiculous roles on film. The plot wanders around the golf course and involves a half-dozen elements, but if you simply dig the gopher, the caddy, and the Dangerfield, you're not going to be doing half bad.

Natural Born Killers Review


Excellent
Violence got the star treatment in the early '90s. With much of America feeling powerless to stem the crime and gang culture that seemed to be on the rise, we began to react to the ocean of carnage that dominated popular culture. Congress held hearings about violence on television, the finishing moves in Mortal Kombat, and Body Count's otherwise obscure gangsta-metal single "Cop Killer." For a while, blaming the pervasiveness of fake violence for real-world murder and assaults came to be as fashionable as flannel shirts and ripped jeans.

And yet, America kept consuming it. Snoop Dogg sold millions of CDs, video games amped up the gore, and children could quote the grisly details of the O.J. Simpson murder trial as if it were written by Dr. Seuss.

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Back By Midnight Review


Grim
I suppose Rodney Dangerfield is as ripe as any other celebrity for exploitation in death. So here's one of his last films, shot in 2002, and hustled out on DVD.

Lord knows you couldn't release this thing theatrically. With the triple threat of Dangerfield, Randy Quaid, and Kirstie Alley above the title, I can't imagine anyone paying $10 to see this in a theater where they can't fast-forward or go to the bathroom to vomit. Well, OK, it's not that bad, but high art this is not.

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Little Nicky Review


Unbearable

Having now seen "Little Nicky," in which Adam Sandler plays the retarded son of Satan, I have formulated a hypothesis I'm calling the Sandler Theory of Exponentially Obnoxious Returns. It goes something like this:

Adam Sandler goes out of his way to make each gimmick character he plays ("Billy Madison," "Happy Gilmore") more grating than the last, just to see how far he can push it before his easily amused fan base will turn on him.

His most detestable character to date had been "The Waterboy," but that Southern-fried dope was mister congeniality compared to Nicky, the little devil that couldn't. Sandler spends this entire movie with his face screwed up in a hit-by-a-shovel grimace and speaking in a silly, raspy voice like a little kid pretending to be sick so he can stay home from school. There's no joke here. It's just Sandler's version of stretching as an actor.

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Rodney Dangerfield

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