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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

Silent Movie Review


Good
Mel Brooks has never exactly been a master of subtlety. He's also never known when a joke is worthy of a five-minute bit and when it's something you can flesh out into a full length feature.

Silent Movie is exactly what it says in the title: An honest to God silent film. In fact, it's a silent film about the making of a silent film. Brooks plays, basically, himself, a movie producer who's trying to get funding for the first silent film in 40 years. The studio is on the verge of bankruptcy, and our hero attempts to save the studio by rustling up Hollywood's biggest stars to appear in the show. They play themselves and, indeed, represent some of Hollywood's biggest stars.

Continue reading: Silent Movie Review

Silent Movie Review


Good
Mel Brooks has never exactly been a master of subtlety. He's also never known when a joke is worthy of a five-minute bit and when it's something you can flesh out into a full length feature.

Silent Movie is exactly what it says in the title: An honest to God silent film. In fact, it's a silent film about the making of a silent film. Brooks plays, basically, himself, a movie producer who's trying to get funding for the first silent film in 40 years. The studio is on the verge of bankruptcy, and our hero attempts to save the studio by rustling up Hollywood's biggest stars to appear in the show. They play themselves and, indeed, represent some of Hollywood's biggest stars.

Continue reading: Silent Movie 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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