I don’t know how many of you have ever seen Comedy Central’s crank yankers. Where celebrities and others make prank phone calls to the general public which are acted out as puppets. Some of the scenes are so funny I find myself crying with laughter others, however, are such duds you find yourself getting up to get a glass of water or do anything but watch the sketch. Since the show has its ups and downs, we can’t throw it in the dung heap nor can we make it a rose. So it looks like Crank Yankers is just not crap! Perhaps one of the funniest sketches in the show’s history is what I’ve inserted into this post.
Monthly Archives: December 2009
One of the great things I always associate with the Bad Lieutenant is sports radio talk show commentary lurking in the background of the film discussing the New York Mets eventual comeback against the L.A. Dodgers. Why? Because my brother, like the Lieutenant, is a hard core sports gambler and he constantly reminded me of where he was, what he was doing and how much money he had on any particular game. My brother also reminisces about hearing the same clips played in the movie, except that he heard them live.
In this movie, Keitel plays a degenerate New York cop, with massive drug, gambling, and sex addictions. Ironically this corrupt cop is investigating the rape of a nun which leads to his eventual “salvation” or as saved as the Lieutenant could get. There is plenty of grit in this movie so it is not for the naïve or squeamish. The film has two ingredients that help make it a rose. First it is original, there is no cliché story line here and second is Keitel’s acting which is almost disturbingly real.
If you are going to go see The Bad Lieutenant Port of Call—or what ever it is, you owe it to yourself to see this one first.
Oh by the way, you can watch this movie on a date, but my significant other warns that you should not expect yourself or your date to be feeling particularly amorous afterward.
Recently Quentin Tarantino listed his top films of 2009 (see http://www.heatvisionblog.com/2009/12/quentin-tarantino-lists-his-top-films-of-2009.html) and there was not one word about what in my opinion was the clear winner; that is, Red Cliff–whether parts 1 or 2. Tarantino, a self-proclaimed HK film nut, ignores one of that genres undisputed heavy weight champion’s master pieces: Red Cliff. Indeed, many of Tarantino’s films “borrow” (to say the least) from numerous HK films in both style and thematic plots. Then he names Star Trek as the number one film of the year? The repercussions of this border on the betrayal, betrayal of where Tarantino got his start and made his bones so to speak. I still have a lot of respect and love for many Tarantino movies, but those positive thoughts have diminished greatly as it looks like on its face he is selling out to the Hollywood mainstream.
This “movie” could be one of the worst movies I have seen in the last five years. In fact, I could not even sit through the entire show even in the comfort of my own home. This movie has the tired and predictable theme of a policeman whose spouse or significant other gets kidnapped because of something or someone hidden in the officer’s past. Of course the title gives away the trials and tribulations that the officer must do in order to save his beloved spouse. In this particular case, detective Danny Fisher must successfully complete 12 challenges in order to retrieve his girlfriend. Each challenge of course raises the bar to a new level of crap.
Naturally, each level of crap causes utter mayhem and destruction upon the city and surrounding areas while the tough and single-minded Fisher will not let anything deter him from his objective. Not only is this plot embarrassingly stupid, but the acting is the equivalent of watching a high school Shakespeare play. This movie is yet another example of Hollywood trying to buy its way into better films. I’m sure someone figured that if you throw enough money and destructive action at an audience that the plot or story really becomes irrelevant. Seems to me that they’re doing things in reverse order of making movie like 12 Rounds. They have a bunch of action scenes where things get destroyed and then write the script to fill in the gaps.
As I mentioned, I got to about the fourth or fifth level of crap before I was swimming in it and couldn’t take it anymore. It felt like I was drowning in quicksand. I sure hope this movie was not shown abroad because it would only further the stereotype that Americans are either Philistines or morons and we don’t need anymore that crap. I still want my 45 minutes back.
Real Men (1987) starring John Ritter and Jim Belushi is an unknown quantity to many. The movie didn’t do anything in the theaters, and get at best very infrequent airings on cable movie channels, but is has become a sort of cult classic (yes I agree that term is overused). I normally reject movies with severe logic deficiencies—even comedies but Real Men has a special place in the comedy section of my DVD collection. A movie like Real Men for many people is actually quite difficult to like. Some might say it falls in the same class as “Hudson Hawk,” a different spoof that is as much vilified by its critics as it is glorified by its fans. As for me and many of my friends, Real Men was an absolutely hilarious experience.
Belushi plays a womanizing super CIA agent who has to take Ritter, a less than average suburbanite, across the country to give aliens a glass of water in exchange for “the good package” or “the big gun.” On the trip they have so many completely eccentric situations happening to them that I couldn’t help but be entertained. Today the “zany” adventures of many so-called comedies are so strained that they are beyond being “not funny” and reach into the realm of annoying. However Real Men has such an air of informality about it, that the films outlandish circumstances were seamless and even got this hardened cynic to suspend belief and laugh until there were tears in my eyes.
This one is definitely a rose, but a tough one to find.
Well Since We Are Discussing T.V. That Still Should Be In Production . . . I would like to bring up a show that was taken off the air after three seasons: Arrested Development. While I don’t have “regular” TV, nor have I for about 5 years now, I still managed to keep up with Arrested Development. When I heard that show was being prematurely canceled after three seasons several items became apparent to me. First is that in general Americans are dim-witted and could not follow the many jokes, quips and otherwise hilarious dialogue that pervaded the show. When I asked my stepdaughter Emma what she thought about my position she said “I don’t know.” Well neither do I.
Rarely have I ever seen a show that was so well cast and the actors were so in sync with each other. Yes you had to pay attention during the show to get all of the jokes and other witty sarcasm, but that was almost as fun as the comedy itself. Perhaps all of the studies “they” (who ever they are) may have a point when they say that Americans have lost any form of concentration or attention span. Anyways, because Arrested Development went for three seasons, I decided to put one clip from each season onto this post for your enjoyment. Let’s hope that more, and not less, shows like Arrested Development are syndicated in the future do not become relics.