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Blazing Saddles Review


Excellent
Blazing Saddles isn't the funniest Mel Brooks movie (that'd be The Producers), but it's by far the least politically correct. Oddly, by venturing into new realms of racist humor, Brooks finds comedy gold, because he's mocking a genre (the western) that's chock full of racist content. And Brooks realizes, as do we during the screening of this film, that history has been willing to look the other way if John Wayne is the racist, so why can't a Jew do the same thing?

Saddles starts out both funny and inappropriate from frame one, with Burton Gilliam's chastisement of an Asian railroad worker who's passed out on the construction line: "Dock that chink a day's pay for nappin' on the job!" And that railroad actually has something to do with the movie: Evil governor (Mel Brooks) and his cornies (led by Harvey Korman) want to build a railroad to get rich. There's a town in the way, though, and they residents won't sell, so Lamarr appoints a black sheriff (Cleavon Little) to convince the redneck residents to leave voluntarily.

Continue reading: Blazing Saddles Review

Blazing Saddles Review


Excellent
Blazing Saddles isn't the funniest Mel Brooks movie (that'd be The Producers), but it's by far the least politically correct. Oddly, by venturing into new realms of racist humor, Brooks finds comedy gold, because he's mocking a genre (the western) that's chock full of racist content. And Brooks realizes, as do we during the screening of this film, that history has been willing to look the other way if John Wayne is the racist, so why can't a Jew do the same thing?

Saddles starts out both funny and inappropriate from frame one, with Burton Gilliam's chastisement of an Asian railroad worker who's passed out on the construction line: "Dock that chink a day's pay for nappin' on the job!" And that railroad actually has something to do with the movie: Evil governor (Mel Brooks) and his cornies (led by Harvey Korman) want to build a railroad to get rich. There's a town in the way, though, and they residents won't sell, so Lamarr appoints a black sheriff (Cleavon Little) to convince the redneck residents to leave voluntarily.

Continue reading: Blazing Saddles Review

Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb Review


Essential
Only Stanley Kubrick could make a movie about World War III and make it one of the most hilarious films ever made. No, it doesn't hurt to have Peter Sellers in your film, either. And it doesn't hurt to have him in three roles (originally he was slated to play four, but a broken leg and trouble with Slim Pickens's southern accent kept him out of the B-52 that just might bring about Armageddon).

Ranking as filmcritic.com's #1 movie of all time in our recent Top 100 Films of the Millennium feature, I suppose we have some explaining to do as to why we picked it. Not only is the movie wickedly funny, it's a subversive anti-war film that shows just how easily a conflict could erupt and the end of the world be brought about. The cast is top notch, and Sellers would have stolen the show if George C. Scott, Pickens, and Sterling Hayden didn't keep taking it back. Never for five seconds is this film less than perfect -- from its devilish gags (courtesy of co-writer Terry Southern) to its hilarious improvisations (courtesy, of course, of Sellers) to its simply unpredictable plot. I've seen this movie two dozen times and each with each viewing not only do I get something more from it, but I keep thinking the ending is going to change.

Continue reading: Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb Review

One-Eyed Jacks Review


Weak
Marlon Brando proved he wasn't cut out for westerns with this, one of his few stabs at the genre.One-Eyed Jacks is a long, meandering, and poorly constructed film that has faded even further since its release -- none of which is terribly surprising, as this was Brando's sole attempt at directing a film. The plot concerns a criminal (Brando) who falls in love with a Mexican girl, among other misadventures. Unfortunarely, the slick-haired Brando doesn't come close to looking the part, and the movie's randomness quickly becomes a major turnoff. Note that many current-era DVDs are extremely badly mastered, with atrocious video and audio that comes primarily out of the rear speakers.

The Howling Review


Very Good
Werewolves are the least-regarded of all the classic monsters. While vampires have all the sex appeal and mummies have already had their blockbuster remake, werewolves have a tendency to seem low-rent and shaggy; basically like really angry dogs. 1981 changed all that with a brief two-film comeback for the hairy beasts: John Landis's An American Werewolf in London and Joe Dante's The Howling. Superior both in terms of its story and sense of humor, The Howling shares American Werewolf's post-modern cheekiness but knows when to rein it in and let the wolves howl.

Starting in a welter of televised static, the movie's setup is straight from a standard thriller: TV anchorwoman Karen White (Dee Wallace, one year before E.T.) is taking part in a police sting. She's been receiving letters from a man claiming to be the brutal serial killer currently terrorizing L.A., and as part of the sting, has agreed to meet him. After a cop mix-up and a horrific encounter between Karen and the killer in a peepshow booth, the killer is shot dead. Karen keeps having bad dreams, however, prompting her psychologist, Dr. George Waggner (Patrick Macnee), to send her up the coast to convalesce at The Colony, a retreat where his teachings - vague mumbo-jumbo about harmonizing the relationship between one's animal and civilized selves and something called "The Gift" - are put into practice. Then she starts hearing all that howling in the woods around her cabin...

Continue reading: The Howling Review

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Jason Statham Loves The Mechanic's Complicated Action

Jason Statham Loves The Mechanic's Complicated Action

Five years after his first stint as hitman Arthur Bishop in The Mechanic, Jason Statham has returned to the role for Mechanic: Resurrection.

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John Krasinski Used His Experience To Make The Hollars

John Krasinski Used His Experience To Make The Hollars

In a busy year that has seen John Krasinski star in movies and TV shows, he somehow managed to find the time to direct, produce and star in the new...

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Slim Pickens Movies

Blazing Saddles Movie Review

Blazing Saddles Movie Review

Blazing Saddles isn't the funniest Mel Brooks movie (that'd be The Producers), but it's by...

Blazing Saddles Movie Review

Blazing Saddles Movie Review

Blazing Saddles isn't the funniest Mel Brooks movie (that'd be The Producers), but it's by...

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Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb Movie Review

Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb Movie Review

Only Stanley Kubrick could make a movie about World War III and make it one...

The Howling Movie Review

The Howling Movie Review

Werewolves are the least-regarded of all the classic monsters. While vampires have all the sex...

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