Ronny Graham

Ronny Graham

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To Be or Not to Be (1983) Review


OK
Over a decade after Mel Brooks envisioned a Nazi musical in The Producers, he got his chance to make one for real, in the remake of Ernst Lubitsch's 1942 film To Be or Not to Be. The movie itself is kind of a dud (Polish actor makes do during the Nazi invasion, impersonates the Germans to get out of trouble), but listen for the dirge theme, which was stolen e-x-a-c-t-l-y from the ominous tune periodically underlying Raiders of the Lost Ark. Listen for yourself!

Spaceballs Review


Excellent
True story: Before I turned 18, I had seen Spaceballs far more times than I had seen Star Wars. Since then, innate geekiness caught up with me and Star Wars eclipsed it. But when I was ten, my loyalties were with the Mel Brooks parody; the Schwartz was with me.

I don't doubt this is the case for many fans of the best Brooks films--how many kids of the seventies saw Blazing Saddles before laying eyes on a real western, or Young Frankenstein before the bride of same? I point this out to place Spaceballs with those other, more acknowledged Brooks classics.

Continue reading: Spaceballs Review

To Be or Not to Be (1983) Review


OK
Over a decade after Mel Brooks envisioned a Nazi musical in The Producers, he got his chance to make one for real, in the remake of Ernst Lubitsch's 1942 film To Be or Not to Be. The movie itself is kind of a dud (Polish actor makes do during the Nazi invasion, impersonates the Germans to get out of trouble), but listen for the dirge theme, which was stolen e-x-a-c-t-l-y from the ominous tune periodically underlying Raiders of the Lost Ark. Listen for yourself!

The Substance of Fire Review


OK
"The substance of fire," apparently, is the printed word, in this play-adapted work about a man who is slowly ripping apart his publishing house, and his family to boot. Ron Rifkin appears in a rare -- perhaps unprecedented -- starring role, while Tony Goldwyn, Timothy Hutton, and Sarah Jessica Parker play the kiddies. Be warned this one's largely a melancholy exercise for drama students, but some nice performances help cut through the gooey histrionics to make the film somewhat worthwhile.
Ronny Graham

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