By: Justin Hopkins
Thanks to how the last few months have gone, I haven’t been able to do a Classic 13 and was definitely looking forward to getting back on track with it and when a co-worker told me I have to watch Naked Gun. Figured, that I would save it for today. It may sound strange that I haven’t watched this classic, but I don’t normally go out of my way to watch comedy movies all that often. While some are good, I don’t get a lot of enjoyment out of them. Lets dive in and see how Naked Gun is shall we.
The movie kicks off with a meeting between terrorists. Trying to plan out an attack on America. Only to be stopped by Police Squads on, Frank Drebin in an over the top fight, before making his escape through a window and we go to a opening title sequence from the view point of a police siren watching the car going through things like a house, roller coaster and even a girl’s locker room. Movie picking up with Nordberg watching the ship about to make a massive drug bust on his own. When he failed to kick down the door though. Ends up getting shot and running into a slew of awful things before going overboard. Frank comes back from his trip from Beirut to both that news and the news his girl had run off and married someone else. Going straight to the hospital to find out what Norbert knew about his attackers, only to do more damage to him than anything else. His wife showing him a picture of the ship. Before they can go to the dock they have to attend a press conference that pertains to the impending arrival of the Queen of England. A conference that goes wrong pretty quickly. After a back and forth bribery exchange with the Dock Master, is told he is dealing Heroin for respected businessman and owner of the docks Ludwig. The same man who ordered Nordberg to be killed on the dock. Who is quick to help him by getting assistant Miss Jane Spencer to collect the shipping files. Files that don’t have the ship in question. Then he finds out that they found drugs on Nordberg’s clothes and is given twenty four hours to clear his name, before the Queen’s arrival and that is where I will leave it for now.
This was a fun story. A cop who tried his best, but continuously bungled the situations that he found himself in. Fact that he plays it serious half the time added to the amusement. Some of the jokes were hysterical. Such as the back and forth bribery scene and when the airbag blew all the way up and kept going. To the point it put the car into gear and rolled away. Actually most of him hitting stuff when he parked and the car chase was great. Helped massively by a comedy great, Leslie Nielsen.
Leslie is just a legend in comedy. His delivery and ability to play it as straight while insane things breaks out around. To go along with his ability to talk. Made this movie fun to watch and he was backed up by a solid supporting cast.
With that said, there were some negatives. Some jokes fell just flat and boring and some just didn’t know when to end. Such as when Nordberg was shot and kept hitting things and was funny, but they just kept it going. To the point it wasn’t funny anymore and just meh. Then the musical montage with him and Jane was just dumb. It felt like it slowed down the pacing and one two many being that they would do something similar later on when he was in disguise as the umpire.
I get why this is a classic and beloved movie and it should be held up in high regard and there are plenty of good moments to be had. If you haven’t checked it out. You should you’ll probably have a great time with it. Comedy is just not really something I enjoy all that much and think that hurt it going in. I am glad I watched it, but won’t be in a hurry to watch it again. Final Grade – B –
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Watching.
By: Justin Hopkins
When sat down to look for a classic to review this month, wasn’t exactly sure which way to go. Obviously, a fair number of movies jump to mind, but with what is going on in the world. Wanted to go with something a little more light hearted, and while I am not much of a fan of comedy movie. When I spotted this classic, knew I couldn’t pass it up. A favorite growing up that hadn’t seen I was a kid, and what better time to relive it then now. So, lets dive back to 1988 and see what made this live action hybrid so memorable.
The movie starts out with a cartoon, of Roger Rabbit failing to watch a baby. Trying hard to save the child from dangerous situations and ending up worse off for it, but a refrigerator hits him and he see birds. Which causes the director to yell cut, and berate him for not seeing stars. While the baby turns out to be man, who storms off for his trailer and we meet Eddie Valiant. Who is there to meet the head of Maroon Toons, R.K. Maroon. Tells him Roger’s mistakes are from a broken heart. Due to rumors his wife, Jessica Rabbit may be cheating on him, and he wants Eddie to follow her, take pictures and bring them to Roger to see. After a bit of haggling, due to his reluctance on working a toon job. He agrees to work the case for a hundred dollars and fact he doesn’t have to work ToonTown. After hitchhiking a ride back on the back of the Red Car, and some smokes from kids. Returns to his office, but goes to the bar across the street. Getting a camera from Dolares, who wants the money he owes the bar. After an altercation with one of the patron who was heckling him for working a toon job and he storms off. We learn a Toon killed his brother by dropping a piano on his head. We go to the club Jessica sings at. A swank club where Toons work at as either hired hands or entertainers. Such as Daffy Duck and Donald doing dueling pianos. He meets Mr. Acme. A prankster who sprays him with invisible ink, and according to Betty Boop. Never misses a Jessica Performance. Who turns out not to be a rabbit like he assumed, but a thin waisted, busty cartoon woman. Who draws everyone’s attention. After she finishes, Eddie follows Acme to the back, and gets the pictures he needs. Which is them playing Patty Cake. After seeing the, Roger goes from sadness to anger. Yelling that she was the one for him and that they would be happy again, before jumping out of the window. The next morning, Eddie wakes to the news that he killed Acme during the night. With a Maniacal Judge and pack of weasels tracking him down. Only Roger shows up at his office, proclaiming his innocence… and that is where I will leave it for now.
This was a wonderful story that reaches a lot of layers. You had the silly, slap-stock zaniness that Roger and the Toons provided. Had the redemption of one Eddie Valiant, from drunk who hated toons to finding what made him the detective Toons could rely on for help. Truly terrifying moments with Judge Doom, especially when he is revealed to be a Toon himself and everything that is Jessica Rabbit. Had jokes that pay off later, like the portal black holes, the punching bag hammer, and the you’ll die laughing. Foreshadowing with the invisible ink and the missing will. While, it ain’t much of mystery. Kind of just spell it out for you. A story that stays with you long after it’s over.
The characters they got were as diverse as they come. From Bugs and Daffy. Goofy and Mickey. Keeping Betty Boop in her black and white form was a great touch and a load others. Can spend an entire watch just trying to name them all, but they blended so well together. Not only that, they blended well with the characters they made for the movie. Roger feeling like the perfect cross blend of the big cartoonists at the time, and Jessica Rabbit is still popular all these years later. Maybe even one of the things remembered most.
Despite being over thirty years old now. The animaton still holds up pretty well. It does have some moments that have not aged to well. Particularly when one of the toons are in the background, and may be being a bit lenient on it, but stills looks good to me, and unfortunately see much worse in some movies far newer. The cartoonist and animators who worked on this film deserve a lot of praise for the work they did here.
The cast was tremendous here. Bob Hoskins was delightful. Straight faced, down on his luck Eddie was perfect balance to Roger, and he did so well playing off to characters who were not there to work with. Christopher Lloyd was great as the villain. Just terrifying in his ways. His movements and posture were perfect and made himself known every chance he had. Memorable performances from Charles Fleischer and Kathleen Turner for Roger and Jessica.
The only negative really is the fact we only got one of these movies. We’ve had a lot of hybrid movies since, with their own varying degrees of success, but never a return to ToonTown. Despite having plenty of stories they could tell. From what was transpiring in ToonTown now that they ran the town or just a new mystery for Valiant to solve. Way to much time has passed and some dearly missed cast members, including Bob Hoskins. Which would leave a remake, but not even sure that would work. From having to get all of the owners to agree to share their characters and agree to ignore the vocal minority, because they would have to stick to the fact it was not only cartoon enough for kids, but mature humor for the adults. This came out just in the right time to have all that and avoid the MPAA. So, until the winds change. This may be the only trip to ToonTown we get. Which is unfortunate.
Times may be rough right now and while we wait for them to pass. It’s great to have movies like Who Framed Roger Rabbit to kick back and laugh along with. Final Grade is A+. As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
Hello and welcome back to this months Classic 13, with the 3rd installment of the Friday The 13th Series. While this may not be as classic as some, I couldn’t not do a Friday The 13th Movie this time around, and since I did the first and Paul did the second. The third one it is. Besides, an iconic moment does happen here, with not only getting the Hockey Mask, but the crack in it. It’s weird, but always enjoyed the fact the crack carried on for as long as it did. Showing the scars from his prior fights. So, let’s dive in and discuss shall we.
We get the movie started with a recap of what happened in Part 2, with him crawling away after Alice and Paul leaves. Going off and killing two of the locals, before we meet the teens, and see some of their characteristics. Like Shelly being awkward and trying to gain attention and laughs by scaring them. Chris has a backstory of some sort of trauma. We meet her Boyfriend Rick that she hasn’t seen in some time. Vera is going against her Mother’s demands, Andy and his Girlfriend, and of course, two hippies, cause why not. After yet another prank from Shelly. Vera goes to the store. Taking pity on Shelly at the last minute and takes him along the way. Ending up on the wrong side of a biker gang. When they get back with the damaged car. Rick leaves in some sort of strange anger and Chris goes along. Not spotting the biker gang, who steal the gas, and meets their end at the hands of Jason, and from their, starts the game of Jason laying and wait and will leave it there.
The story was nothing really much to write home about. It was effective enough for what the movie was, but their was one aspect that I really liked, and that was Chris’s backstory. Having escaped Jason’s grasp once in her past, for two reasons. It kind of raises a things a bit. Normally you hear people reference kills that have occured between movies, but this kind of hammers it home that a lot happens between the movies, and liked the fact that he recognizes her and heightens the interactions between them. Particularly when he removes his mask on the rope.
Speaking of Chris, she really makes for a memorable Final Girl. A stand out in a series of top notch Final Girls, but she stands out. What really sold her performance was how fast she was to go for the kill, by hanging him. Most of the time, they hit the killer and walk away, but she goes all in. Knocks him out, gets the rope on him, and hangs him. Showing not just strength to survive, but guts to take the extra steps to make that happen. Dana Kimmell did a stellar job at bringing out the best parts of Chris.
And we got to talk about Shelly. I never knew there was a group of people who don’t like him, and I don’t get why. He is kind of relatable to a lot of people. His low self-esteem and his desire to be accepted, but doesn’t know how to be and so he goes with the one thing he knows, which is also the one thing that makes everyone angry and makes things worse for a guy who just wants to be accepted. Deep down he is a good guy and sad to see him go and we all owe him a debt of gratitude for Jason’s Hockey mask.
This Jason is brought to us by the talented Richard Brooker. As a human Jason, he didn’t get the privilege of being able to tank everything thrown at him, but got a lot out of him all the same. He had the size to be intimidating and held himself in the right way when he was simply walking around. When he was hurt, he didn’t oversell to much, but as it went on. Can see it was all taking a toll, but was driven by the need to kill, and still laugh when the mask comes off at the end. He may not be my favorite, but Brooker’s take on the roll is high up there.
Some may be put off due to the 3-D, but was still fun to watch the likes of an eyeball popping out of Rick’s head and various pitch fork kills. You had one of the best kills when he cut Andy in half when he was walking around on his hands, and the kill from beneath the hammock. Plus, a projectile kill to the eye. Friday the 13th is known for great kills and part 3 is a great example as to why that is, and Higgin’s Haven is one of my favorite locations they used. If I sat down and thought on it, may actually be my favorite, but story for another time.
This is far from perfect though. They could have done a few things much better. They could have made the biker gang a little more viscous. Liked the fact that they were used to explain why Chris couldn’t simply drive away, but if they come across looking stronger and Jason takes them out. He looks stronger than in the process and Fox was a great character and would have liked to see her make it that much further. My next gripe is with Rick himself, and the fact his mood seems to swing at a moments notice, and don’t know why. We need someone to despise and wonder what colorful way Jason will kill him, but we have the biker gang for that. All Rick does is come off as annoying and that doesn’t serve any good. Than there is the end. The jumpscare with Pamela just doesn’t work, and I hate when the final girl goes crazy at the end. Always feels like I rooted her on for nothing and no, the argument that it would happen to anyone in this situation would experience the same thing, does not work because this is not real.
And that brings us to the end. Despite the complaints. The pros far outweigh the negatives. Part 3 is just as fun to watch today as it was when I first watched it as a kid. Brutal kills, a strong final girl, and Richard Brooker. All makes for a great watch on this, Friday The 13th.
As always, hope you enjoyed and..
Thanks For Reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
So, I was struggling a bit. Choosing which movie I wanted to review for this Classic 13. Would pick one, I was so sure about, only to change my mind at the last moment. Even started watching one and turned it off after a minute. Just nothing seemed to feel right, until I spotted Event Horizon. A movie a Co-Worker of mine stressed how great this was and called it, “Hellraiser in space.” Have to say, after watching it. He wasn’t that far off, except this may be in fact, better than Hellraiser. So, lets go amongst the stars, and go through the psychological horrors held within Event Horizon.
The movie opens with a bit of information on where Mankind is on space exploration. 2015 colonized the moon. By 2032 began mining on Mars and in 2040, The research Vessel went to explore the far reaches of the solar system, only to disappear beyond Neptune and we open in 2047. A rescue crew and Dr. Weirs are heading to Neptune tol address an immediate situation. Once they get closer to Neptune, Dr. Weirs makes them aware of the situation and what the Event Horizon actually was, and that was finding a way to travel ” Faster than light.” By using a gravity drive, the ship would fold time and space, so that it’s location and destination would be one in the same. Allowing it to punch through and appear where it was going in seconds. We find out later on, that it achieves this affect, by using a man made Black Hole. It all appeared to go exactly according to plan, but never returned till now and they are going to find out what happened. When they arrived, they couldn’t detect any signs off life, and a Miller, Stark, Mr. Justin, and Cooper go in to investigate, and while checking out the room the Gravity Drive. He gets sucked inside. Sending out a massive shockwave that damages the Lewis and Clark ship. Forcing everyone to evacuate onto the Event Horizon. With twenty hours of oxygen, they not only have to try and get the ship fixed, but figure out what happened on the ship, as more and more start to hallucinate and paranoia begins to sweep over, and that is where I am going to leave it.
I almost don’t even know where to begin throwing positives. Philip Eisner, seems like a good place. The Writer, who brought this psychological masterpiece together. It is one thing to scare someone, but this movie gets into your head. The way it tortures everyone with their greatest regrets, failures, and desires even. Way it haunts peters and teases her with her son and his condition. Miller is a caring leader, but strict, and the ships hurls the reason why he is so strict at him, and poor baby bear (Justin) And everything in this movie has some sort of meaning, and that is so much more powerful than just building emotion. It makes repeat watching even more fun. I am watching it while I type this and picked up to things that I overlooked the first time, because I knew more. That is just beautiful. Standing ovation for Philip Eisner.
Giant kudos goes out to Paul Anderson and everyone who worked behind the scenes as well. The shots and lighting were great. The scene where they are first inside. Flashing of lightning illuminating the gory walls waiting to be discovered. The atmosphere is intense. When you are looking at the Event Horizon, in the dark and dim lights. You see all these regular instruments, that take on an evil, and scary form. You had these floating balls of coolant that were such a fun addition to have floating around the glorious room that housed the Gravity Drive. The sets were great and shots made them that much better. The CG involved, is not bad for a nineties movie. Don’t know much about space, but they don’t do anything to outrages to the point of dumb, and the carnage candy is awesome. Especially the death of D.J and again where Justin getting sent out into space.
I don’t even think I can give a nod to one actor over another here. They were all so good. You had Laurence Fishburne, as Captain Miller, who you don’t really like, but he has a reason for being so strict and his sole reason for being is his crews safety. Than you have Sam Neill as Dr. Weir. This is the first movie I have watched of his that is not Jurassic Park, and definitely want to watch more. While he may not have started out as the bad guy, by the time he gets there. Is such a good bad guy. Could talk about the chemistry these two have been great, but that’s the truth between everyone. Kathleen Quinlan, Joely Richardson, Jack Noseworthy, Jason Isaacs, Sean Pertwee, and the “lifesaver” Richard T. Jones. Absolute All-Stars, each and everyone.
Negative wise… Guess you can say some of the space CGI is a bit dated, but I have seen so much worse in recent years than what we get here. So, minor nitpick I can see someone might have. Doesn’t really bother me to much, but one big one, is something we don’t have, and that is the full 130 minute cut of the film. It was cut down due to how gruesome some of it was and whatnot, but when they went back and wanted to use it. It was not well achieved, and most of which is simply lost. Obviously, this isn’t going toward my final thought on the film, and I don’t have anything negative to say about the film itself. Just something depressing I found out about the movie.
In closing, if you haven’t had a chance to check out this classic film. I couldn’t suggest it enough. Mastercraft in Psychological Horror, and shows that you don’t need jumpscares to scare your audience. Just a showcase of talented people, crafting a story, with some talented actors bringing it all to life. Final Grade – S
Hope you enjoyed and as always…
Thank you for reading.
By: Justin Hopkins
This might seem to be a stretch to run with. There are more beloved classics to pick. You got the likes of Gremlins, Miracle on 34th Street, It’s A Wonderful Life, and a trio of Grinch movies to select, or even Die Hard for the lols, but I think Ernest deserves this slot. It is far from played out. There is no day long marathons, nor does it seem to pop up in a whole lot of conversations when talking about favorite. Which is a shame, because it’s a fantastic, light hearted Christmas film. So, I thought we’d take a break from the horror, monsters, and mayhem and delve into the world of Ernest P. Worrell, man who lives his life in the fast lane.
The movie opens up, with an two old men getting off an airplane, in Florida. Each talking business. One a businessman, and the other is of course Santa Clause in a regular suit and tie, and he is not afraid to say it. There is a rather fun joke taken at Pittsburgh from the businessman, who wants snow for Christmas. Then we get our first look at Ernest, who is driving someone to the Airport, and the slapstick starts right up, when the man tells him to hurry up, and Ernest obliged in his own way. Speeding to the point where the man falls out of the car and petrifies in fear, and his agony continues from there. Ernest doesn’t mean anything bad of course, just him trying to help, in his own way, and after dropping the man in baggage terminal and chased by an angry group of people. Runs in Santa and speed away in the cab. This is where Santa admits to who he is and needs to meet with a former Children Tv Show Host, Joe Carruthers. Who we find out later, is to take over the mantle as the new Santa Clause. On the way, they meet Harmony. A juvenile delinquent, who jumps in the cab during a dine and dash. Making up a story about being held captive at the restaurant. They finally arrive at the Children’s Museum, where Joe volunteers, and Ernest comps him for the ride, because he doesn’t have real money, and it’s christmas time and all. When he finally gets a chance to talk to Joe, is interrupted by Joe’s agent who has a movie audition for him, and when Santa goes to explain why he is there. Realizes he left his bag in Ernests car. Meanwhile, we see Ernest being fired for giving to many free rides. Back at Santa Joe wants to help, but the agent convinces him to go to the audition, and the agent learns who he is, and thinks he is crazy and gets him arrested. We go to Ernest and Harmony who are bringing Vern a tree, which may be the best scene in the movie, and when Ernest is getting bolt cutters, opens the bag and discovers that he really is Santa Claus and it’s up to him to get the bag back into the right hands and save Christmas.
This was such a fun story, that kind of added some layers to Santa’s Lore. That the magic is not unlimited. He has to pass the torch down to someone new every few hundred years or so. It’s an intriguing look, and handled well throughout. The B side of the story was great as well, with Bobby and Carl at the Airport, with the reindeer. It was nice little filler that helped break up the main story without detracting from it. You knew something important was going to happen, due to the reindeer and Bobby and Carl were so good that got excited when they cut back, and when the climax came. Storylines came together nicely. For me as well, not being a fan of comedy in general. This never really has a drop off that I normally see. Even when things look bleak, the actors are strong enough to keep you invested. Of course, big fan of foreshadowing, slightly minor ones. When Joe makes it snow, to bring the businessman’s Christmas wish from the start happen, and them playing up Ernest forgetting Blitzen’s name when he needs to get the sleigh to fly. One was sweet and the other was fun. Both got their desired effects and was better for them.
Jim Varney, is absolutely fantastic. Comedic timing in perfect and great at body language and movements. He was just always on and mixed up his disguises with ease. Ernest being such a good hearted person, who always looks on the brightside fit perfectly into the story, and he may not be the brightest, but he had a moment that should he wasn’t completely dumb. When him and Santa came back from the studio. Knew Harmony did something with the bag, and pointed it out to Santa. Showing he is self aware of what Harmony is up to and fleshed him out more than just a naive klutz.
From there, you can take your pick of excellent talent. Oliver Clark who played Joe, came across as the perfect guy to become Santa. He was just such a nice guy, when it came to being around kids. Ready to drop everything to help a man he doesn’t know find his bag. Douglas Seale could beliveably been Santa in real life. Noelle Parker did a great job bringing a complexity to Harmony. That she wasn’t a bad kid. Just one who was lost and confused about so much in her life, and sent her into a bit of a spiral and of course, enough can’t be said about Gailard Sartain and Bill Byrge, Bobby and Carl were a joy to watch.
I don’t have anything negative to really say here. Anything would just be nitpicky stuff that is down to the age. Mostly due to special effects and what not. Not worth talking about. It was everything I could ask for from an Ernest movie. Great slapstick humor, with a warm hearted feel to it. Wants to get you into the holiday spirit and achieves that goal marvelously. Final Grade: A
Thank you for reading.