Birthday boy pick, one of my favorite films ever, completely mad, doomed to fail due to being smothered by NUMEROUS blockbusters the year it came out (Batman, Lethal Weapon 2, Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids), and a film I would proudly teach in a Cult Classic film class as this truly is one. It just hooks you with its imagination, its bizarre sensibilities, and its relentless mockery of popular culture.
It also has Stanley Spadowski.
Who wouldn’t want to be on Stanley Spadowski’s Clubhouse? I know I would.
Frankly this role truly shows just how damn funny Michael Richards is, the origins of Cosmo Kramer, and….makes me dislike the whole racial tirade he pulled while doing stand-up more. It takes genius to play a role like Stanley and not come off as forced or an act.
But there is so much more to UHF. Lots of cameos, lots of humor, the twinkie wiener sandwich, more crazy TV show offerings like Raul’s Wild Kingdom, Wheel of Fish, and my favorite…
Conan: The Librarian.
Weird Al also shines here as George Newman and the parodies he gets into, because of his vivid imagination, moves the story along while keeping the audience laughing. Such scenes include the following:
There are others and I won’t ruin them if you have never seen this movie. In fact if you have NEVER seen UHF before stop reading and do it. DO IT NOW! This post will still be waiting for you when you get back. How will you’re life be complete with out knowing the glory of Town Talk or the wonders of Spatula City?
In other words I love this film.
I was reading about this movie on various websites after the screening to get more info about this and the biggest nugget I found was this is the film Orson Welles claimed was the best film he ever made; yes even surpassing Citizen Kane. I can see why he could feel this way because this comes much later in his career where he fine tuned his craft to surpass his prior work. Citizen Kane was revolutionary with what Welles did; The Trial is a showcase for his genius and is a reminder to why Welles is studied in film courses and why he desperately needs to be taught to some of the current directors making movies.
The man knows how to make grand spaces feel unending and simultaneously claustrophobic. Through out the course of the film I felt trapped in purgatory; the scenery was unending, it was interconnected through doors or archways, it was nonsensical yet organized, and I was unnerved in a way that didn’t remove me from the film but dragged me deeper into this world.
The errant thought I had while watching this was would this film work if it was shot in color instead of black and white. I’m not sure it would but I need to research other similar films (if I can locate them) to come up with a reasonable conclusion. I will say that if you are hesitant about black and white films, yet are curious, you need to watch Orson Welles’ films from 1941-1960’s. Citizen Kane, The Lady from Shanghai, Touch of Evil, his Shakespeare films; the man knew the medium better than anyone and could manipulate it in ways not seen before. If you are a doubter watch the opening continuous shot from Touch of Evil sometime; one take, the FIRST take I believe.
So to the geek that recommended The Trial to me on Facebook: thank you. This was wonderful and was a gem I’ve never seen before. A true highlight to the Blitz experience.
Now for something strangely bizarre and loosely based on a true story.
Loosely based on the story of one Alferd Packer comes this musical homage from the minds of the creators of South Park. Its the origins of the typical Trey & Matt film; absurd premise, naïve main character, toilet humor, dialogue or effects for shock value. I admit that I cracked up laughing at the very first scene of the movie just because of how ludicrous it was.
The musical numbers are quite funny and are the prelude to the work the duo have done in South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut and the Broadway production of The Book of Mormon; in other words they are witty and humorous. There is also the liberal use of a particular word through out the film that was just a place holder for Trey Parker to come up with something better yet the cast loved using it. Lets see if you can guess what it is.
It was a amusing film overall. Nothing to rave about but it is an enjoyable musical if you’re craving something different. Out of all the films Trey & Matt have done I would place this in third behind Orgazmo and South Park: BL&U.
Now for this last movie….well just read on.
Iron Sky was the case of an interesting premise with horrible execution. It bored the piss out of myself, my wife and our mutual friend (and cinematic Judas who recommended the My Little Pony film). We just couldn’t handle how bad and uninspiring this movie was. It bad on so many levels: dialogue, acting, plot, musical score. It was so bad that it got turned off after 40 minutes.
I didn’t mind the look of the film because it was done similarly in style to Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow with its noir lite imagery and its crisp, clean CGI modeled sets. I just couldn’t bear to watch it any longer and I held out longer than the other two. When your significant other is looking at you and silently pleading you to “please kill me or turn this off” and this person survived Manos: The Hands of Fate, Sharknado, and The Room then you know its bad. As for my “friend” who recommended My Little Pony…screw him; he can suffer.
So the movie was shut down and we began hunting for something else to tide us over and moved onto something more moronic yet highly satisfying.
And why not? Its so bad its funny (unlike Iron Sky). Its so poorly acted, edited, scripted, produced that it is endearing (unlike Iron Sky). It had us laughing within moments, quoting lines, picking up on the production flubs, and quietly wondering why this movie has not been given the ‘Merica remake.
Its gory, stupid, and fun. Most importantly it is fun. Iron Sky was not fun.
So go watch Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky and make sure its the English language dub to make it more absurd than intended. In no time you’ll know why “That Oscar, he’s got a lot of guts.”
Next up: Odd Thomas and City of Lost Children