A New Leaf
We’re venturing back to 1971 for this interesting twist on the RomCom genre. Walther Matthau plays a New City City socialite who finds himself in the horrible position of being poor. It’s not some evil twist of fate that caused this, he just lived beyond his means at a rapid pace. His butler suggests an alternative solution to honorable suicide, find a rich woman and marry her. Matthau’s character takes this a step further and plans to murder his wife so he go back to his life of a rich bachelor. Enter Henrietta Lowell, played by Elaine May (who also wrote and directed the movie), a very rich, and socially clueless, young woman with no living family. This film has fine acting, but May’s over the top portrayal of the nearly helpless (except in her chosen field of biology) is a comedic high point. Matthau’s character, Henry, quickly wins her heart, gets married, goes on the honeymoon, and secures his financial security. All that is left is to kill Henrietta. When moving into his new wife’s mansion and estate, Henry finds the staff has been robbing his nearsighted wife blind, all with the help of her lawyer. This offends Henry’s principles, and fires the staff (at gunpoint when needed), and replaces with with a honest and reliable staff. Shortly after that, when Henrietta is about to drown and make his dreams come true, Henry finds that he would miss his wife, who truly loves him, and saves her. A delightful comedy with really first rate acting.
Tomorrow is Halloween, so let’s keep with tradition here.
It’s almost Halloween again, so we’re going with some of the classics. This 1984 classic is currently being remade. Personally, don’t think they will capture the spirit of the film, pun intended. Part of that spirit they will probably miss is the Libertarian theme to the movie, which the director admits was intentional.
A classic example of the Screwball Comedy genre from the 1930s and 1940s. The absolutely stunning Veronica Lake plays a Witch who was burned at the stake in Salem, MA, but not before she cursed the Wooley family who identified her as a witch. 270 years later, she’s back and decides to torment the current Wooley, who is running for governor of Massachusetts and is engaged to a shrew (because of the curse). A comedy of errors results in her falling in love with him!
Elizabeth Banks stars in this light comedy about a “good girl” having a bad day. She plays a local LA news anchor (i.e. a meat puppet news reader) who goes out drinking with her friends after a bad day (her fiance dumps her, and she comes up second for a network news position. Much drinking occurs, and after a series of advents going wrong, she ends up on the streets of LA without ID, phone or cash. She does have her car keys, but her car has been towed. To add to the drama, she has to get to work on time because it turns out she has a shot at the network meat puppet job. She endures a series of adventures, including a cabbie who thinks she is a stripper, cops who think she is a hooker, and the best part, spending some time in a South Central crack house. An ok comedy, not a great comedy. I think Banks took the role because she was turning 40 and wanted to show she could rock that yellow tube sock of a dress she spend most of the film in.
Nice little comedy with some decent star power in the way way of Bruce Willis, Vince Vaughn, and Catherine Zeta-Jones. You don’t see much of Zeta-Jones, but what you do is good eye candy with more than a phone in acting. The movie is based on the book by Beth Raymer, and the movie appears to follow the book fairly faithfully. A fun flick, well worth the rental fee. Oh, bonus casual upper torso nudity by That 70’s Show alumni Laura Prepon.
Going back to 2005 for another Mary Elizabeth Winstead flick. Sky High is the nickname for a floating high school where the children of superheros, super villains and their respective sidekicks to learn the trade of their parents. It’s a fun, light hearted flick that combines teen angst and super powers. It has a good cast which includes B-Movie SuperStar Bruce Campbell, Dave Foley, Lynda Carter, and Kevin Heffernan as Ron Wilson, Sky High Bus Driver. Oh ya, Kurt Russell is in it too. He plays the father of the protagonist, the uber-superhero of the era. Which provides a whole new level of angst to his son, who has to try to live up to his parent’s reputation as the top of the superhero food chain.
National Lampoon is back in the spoofing biz. In this one they take on Troy, The 300, Gladiator and a bit of Braveheart thrown in for flavor. They go for the cheap gag line every chance they get, which is what makes this spoof awesome! Plus they cracked open the piggy bank for the budget and sprang for topless actresses. So there is plenty of scantly clad, bare breasted, hot young blonde women in the film. This isn’t a beer and pretzels movie, it’s a six pack and ribs movie. They had fun making this movie, and you should relax and enjoy watching it.
Not the recent Bond franchise reboot, but the 1967 comedy version. A great cast including David Niven as the original James Bond, Woody Allen as his nephew Jimmy Bond, Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, Orsen Wells, and a few other cameo shots by actors you should recognize. I’m a fan of the Austin Powers movies, but Casino Royale proves that you could squeeze every last drop of Mojo out of Austin, and the whole batch would not be as cool as David Niven’s mustache alone!
Woody Allen’s latest movie. I was a bit hestitant about watching this after the horribly bad Curse of the Jade Scorpion, but I figured at worst, Scarlett Johansson might provide some decent eye candy, which she does BTW. I was pleasantly surprised that this flick was much better than the last effort I saw by the Woodman, but then that bar wasn’t set very high. At least he didn’t cast himself as the romantic lead in this one, instead taking the role of the helpful elder, sort like your goofy uncle who alway avoided those ‘respectible’ jobs. Hugh Jackman supplies the eye candy for those who aren’t into curvy blonde females. You won’t be studying this one in film school, unless you are doing a theis on Woody Allen, but this one was worth the rental and home made popcorn.