The railroad's got to run through the town of Rock Ridge. How do you drive out the townfolk in order to steal their land? Send in the toughest gang you've got...and name a new sheriff who'll last about 24 hours. But that's not really the plot of Blazing Saddles just the pretext. Once Mel Brooks' lunatic film many call his best gets started logic is lost in a blizzard of gags jokes quips puns howlers growlers and outrageous assaults upon good taste or any taste at all! Cleavo
If you were to argue Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein ranks among the top-10 funniest movies of all time, nobody could reasonably dispute the claim. Spoofing classic horror in the way that Brooks' previous film Blazing Saddles sent up classic Westerns, the movie is both a loving tribute and a raucous, irreverent parody of Universal's classic horror films Frankenstein (1931) and Bride of Frankenstein (1935). Filming in glorious black and white, Brooks recreated the Frankenstein laboratory using the equipment from the original Frankenstein (courtesy of designer Kenneth Strickfaden), and this loving attention to physical and stylistic detail creates a solid foundation for non-stop comedy. The story, of course, involves Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) and his effort to resume experiments in re-animation pioneered by his late father. (He's got some help, since dad left behind a book titled How I Did It.) Assisting him is the hapless hunchback Igor (Marty Feldman) and the buxom but none-too-bright maiden Inga (Teri Garr), and when Frankenstein succeeds in creating his monster (Peter Boyle), the stage is set for an outrageous revision of the Frankenstein legend. With comedy highlights too numerous to mention, Brooks guides his brilliant cast (also including Cloris Leachman, Madeline Kahn, Kenneth Mars and Gene Hackman in a classic cameo role) through scene after scene of inspired hilarity. Indeed, Young Frankenstein is a charmed film, nothing less than a comedy classic, representing the finest work from everyone involved. Not one joke has lost its payoff, and none of the countless gags have lost their zany appeal. From a career that includes some of the best comedies ever made, this is the film for which Mel Brooks will be most fondly remembered. No video library should be without a copy of Young Frankenstein. And just remember--it's pronounced "Fronkensteen". --Jeff Shannon
A country house situated in the London suburbs holds a collection of photography dating back through the last century. Plans have been raised to divide the collection and turn the house into a business school.... Three-part drama written and directed by Stephen Poliakoff about the battle to save a vast photographic library. A US property developer finds the library employees still ensconced in a London building he's come to renovate. After unsuccessfully trying to sell the pictures to an advertising agency Marilyn makes a personal plea to Anderson. Meanwhile Oswald begins an investigation into Anderson after seeing a picture of his mother in the library.
Mel Brooks scored his first commercial hit with this raucous Western spoof starring the late Cleavon Little as the newly hired (and conspicuously black) sheriff of Rock Ridge. Sheriff Bart teams up with deputy Jim (Gene Wilder) to foil the railroad-building scheme of the nefarious Hedley Lamarr (Harvey Korman). The simple plot is just an excuse for a steady stream of gags, many of them unabashedly tasteless, that Brooks and his wacky cast pull off with side-splitting success. The humour is so juvenile and crude that you just have to surrender to it; highlights abound, from Alex Karras as the ox-riding Mongo to Madeline Kahn's uproarious send-up of Marlene Dietrich as saloon songstress Lili Von Shtupp. Adding to the comedic excess is the infamous campfire scene involving a bunch of hungry cowboys, heaping servings of baked beans and, well, you get the idea. --Jeff Shannon
Breathless, Jim McBride's 1983 remake of Au Bout de Souffle rewrites Godard's existential hipster as a vain, style-obsessed hood and in the process loses some of the point. Godard's hero was a translation and productive misunderstanding of a quintessentially American sort of delinquent; because it is a retranslation, Gere's intelligent, nervy performance as Jesse Lujack suffers by comparison, however admirable it is taken in itself. McBride's direction strokes Gere's face and body lovingly--his every foxy smile, or glance at himself in a mirror, is played for passionate significance. This is also a good-looking film: the back alleys of LA and sunset over the Mojave desert have rarely looked as good. Valerie Kaprisky's Monica is inevitably given secondary importance; the decision to make the woman who goes along with Jesse's wild final ride on a whim an exchange student makes her at once more and less like her equivalent in the Godard--she has a touching exoticism that is at the same time somehow beside the point. The DVD includes the original theatrical trailer. --Roz Kaveney
Herbie is back in gear - revved up and ready for more madcap comedy adventure in this sidesplitting sequel to Disney's smash hit The Love Bug. This time Herbie's leading lady is Helen Hayes. Aided by co-stars Ken Berry and Stephanie Powers she's out to save her beloved Victorian firehouse home from the wrecking ball of greedy real estate tycoon Keenan Wynn! It's up to Herbie and his bug battalion to save the day...
Herbie - The Love Bug (1969): The tale of a struggling race car driver named Jim Douglas who only begins winning races once he starts driving Herbie. Elated at his new found success Jim does not realise that it is the Volkswagen who is responsible for the first-place finishes! Herbie Rides Again (1974): Herbie the lovable VW protects Grandma against an evil property tycoon! Herbie Goes To Monte Carlo (1977): The lovable VW Beetle is entered for a road race from Paris to Monte Carlo. He falls in love and gets mistakenly involved in a robbery; will he manage to make it to the finishing line in time? Herbie Goes Bananas (1980): There's disorder south of the border when Herbie the almost human Volkswagen meets Paco the pickpocket and has to dismantle a counterfeiting ring down in Mexico! Herbie - Fully Loaded (2005): Herbie the most beloved movie-car of them all is back and Lindsay Lohan's behind the wheel in Disney's latest revved-up comedy hit! Maggie Peyton the new owner of 'Number 53' puts the free-wheelin' Volkswagen bug through its paces on the road to becoming a NASCAR competitor. Being a third generation member of a NASCAR family racing is in Maggie's blood but she if forbidden from competing by her overprotective father Ray Sr. (Michael Keaton). When Maggie's offered a car as a graduation present she surprisingly ends up with a battered old '63 VW Beetle; but this is no ordinary 'Bug'. As she prepares to leave town for a career at ESPN News Maggie discovers that 'Herbie' has a mind of his own... and an alternate route for her future.
Before Hollywood had entirely typecast Alfred Hitchcock as the master of suspense, with Mr & Mrs Smith he was allowed to fashion an elegant romantic trifle starring Robert Montgomery and Carole Lombard. It probably won't replace Rear Window or Psycho in your affections, but the film is more than a curious footnote to the director's career. The two leads play David and Ann Smith, a devoted but endlessly squabbling couple who discover their three-year marriage isn't legal. When he unexpectedly hesitates to arrange a second wedding, she storms out in a huff and soon begins dating his solid, dependable business partner Jeff (Gene Raymond). The rest follows the formula laid down by such previous screwball comedies as The Awful Truth (1937) and Bringing Up Baby (1938): David employs fair means or foul to win back Ann's heart, causes all sorts of complicated mischief, then... well, three guesses what happens in the end. The intriguing thing about the movie is how Hitchcock takes Norman Krasna's paper-thin script and adds sly undercurrents of menace. You may note, for instance, that the ostensibly happy Smiths treat each other with subtle sadism right from the start, and that David's tactical pursuit of his ex-wife (spying on her and deliberately offending Jeff's parents) involves them both in humiliations that are really quite sinister and ugly. Violence seems about to erupt in the recurring scenes where Ann shaves her husband (suggestively holding a razor up to his throat)--and make what you will of our hero's symbolic nosebleeds. There's a touch of Vertigo in one scary moment when a jammed amusement park ride leaves two characters dangling helplessly high above the ground--and a touch of shall we say relief for Hitchcock's well-known love of toilet humour in another oddball sequence. Montgomery and Lombard keep the mood acceptably frivolous, while indicating the flawed nature of the marital relationship. From the evidence of this one-off, Hitchcock might have been among the best comedy directors in the business, had he so wished. --Peter Matthews
Look ma, no script! As expected from a movie by Hong Kong action director Hark Tsui, there are many explosive, fast-paced sequences in this Jean-Claude Van Damme vehicle. Some are thrilling, others inconsequential. There is also another mumbling, overdone performance by Mickey Rourke, who looks as if he performed his own plastic surgery. Except for an unintentionally humorous ending, the only surprise is Dennis Rodman as Van Damme's partner in exploitation. Rodman has plenty of charisma, but needs someone to weed out those inferior scripts. He plays an eccentric arms dealer coerced by an avenging Van Damme into tracking down the evil and sadistically weird character played by a well-muscled Rourke. It says little for the production that the best sequence of the movie occurs a quarter of the way into the action. It concerns an escape by Van Damme from an island think tank for forcibly retired covert agents. After that, everyone should have gone home. --Rochelle O'Gorman, Amazon.com
The railroad's got to run through the town of Rock Ridge. How do you drive out the townfolk in order to steal their land? Send in the toughest gang you've got...and name a new sheriff who'll last about 24 hours. But that's not really the plot of Blazing Saddles just the pretext. Once Mel Brooks' lunatic film many call his best gets started logic is lost in a blizzard of gags jokes quips puns howlers growlers and outrageous assaults upon good taste or any taste at all! Cleavon Little as the new lawman Gene Wilder as the wacko Waco Kid Brooks himself as a dimwitted politico and Madeline Kahn in her Marlene Dietrich send-up that earned an Academy Award nomination all give this sagebrush saga their lunatic best. And when Blazing Saddles can't contain itself at the finale it just proves the Old West will never be the same!
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