A and A's Movie A Day

Watching movies until we run out.

Further Endor reviews

The Battle for Endor review is the review that will not die! After enjoying the movie yesterday I decided to search the ‘net to see if I was the only person to have fond feelings for it. It turns out that I am not (because in the Internet no matter how obscure and strange your tastes may be there will be other people who share them.) So I present for you a few of the reviews I found:

This reviewer says pretty much exactly what I said yesterday:
http://www.mutantreviewers.com/rewok2.html

I quite liked this review as well:
http://www.comingsoon.net/news/dvdreviewsnews.php?id=7383

I like this review from a horror fan who watches the movie with an eye to my uncles’ more bloodthirsty side:
http://finnclark.thiswaydown.org/Review/EwoksTheBattleforEndor.html

Only vaguely related to Ewoks, but OMG! I just stumbled upon a review of a DVD release of Ken & Jim’s first ever commercial movie release! And it has behind-the-scenes interviews with them! How did I not know that this existed? I am sorely tempted to buy it now for our project. Although I know it would hurt me.
http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/40530/silent-scream/

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May 13, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Movie 74 – Spaceballs

Spaceballs – May 13th, 2010

There is a wonderful scene in this movie that is one of my favorite examples of comedy through a broken fourth wall. In order to find their quarry, the baddies check their on-board video rental location for Spaceballs: The Movie. One says to the other “But we’re still in the middle of making it!” But never fear! Movies are now instantly available as soon as they’re begun! And so they fast-forward through the beginning and stop to watch that very moment in the movie. On the screen they see what we see and a great Abbot and Costello-esque bit of dialogue follows, with one explaining to the other “We’re watching now, now.” And then they fast-forward more until they figure out where they need to go. It’s clever and yet simple at the same time. When a comedy breaks the fourth wall well, it’s one of my favorite things to watch. Monty Python does it exquisitely. Mel Brooks does it often enough for it to be a hallmark of his movies. Some movies it works better than others. This is one where it was a perfect hit, which is good, because the above example isn’t the only time they do it. It’s just my favorite.

Spaceballs is definitely more on target than Men in Tights. Maybe it’s the source material, which is rich indeed. The Star Wars movies and the other handful of science fiction that was drawn upon for this are easy to parody. And the parody that’s been created has so many excellent bits. There’s the Schwartz instead of the Force. There’s Yogurt instead of Yoda. The princess’s silly hair style? Is actually a ridiculous pair of headphones. And seriously, Dark Helmet instead of Darth Vader, with his ridiculously oversized helmet? A great part played brilliantly by Rick Moranis.

Sure, it’s an incredibly silly plot with a hole big enough to drive a Winnebago through. Princess Vespa of Druidia runs off from her own wedding, leading to her kidnapping by Dark Helmet, military leader of the Spaceballs – a group of not-so-bright types who’ve squandered their air supply. The princess’s father hires the rogueish Lonestar and his sidekick, Barf, to rescue her, and they almost manage it, but while they’re hanging out with the mysterious keeper of the Schwartz, Yogurt, she’s kidnapped again in a plot to coerce the king of Druidia into letting the Spaceballs steal Druidia’s air. Except… The whole thing hinged on Vespa leaving Druidia alone.

But why am I nitpicking a plot hole in a Mel Brooks science fiction parody? I guess it must be habit.

Anyhow, I could spend pages enumerating all the funny bits in this movie. I could quote it and explain scenes and talk about how Andy and I frequently repeat the “You’re right! And when you’re right, you’re right. And you? You’re always right!” bit. I could get all giddy that there’s even a Wilhelm scream. But it wouldn’t really communicate just how much fun this movie is. It’s got great lines. It’s got hilarious performances from people you will recognize, people you might recognize, and people you might not realize you’ve seen before. It’s just plain silly, but it’s silly in all the right ways, from every break in the fourth wall to Dark Helmet to the Planet of the Apes-reference ending.

May 13, 2010 Posted by | daily reviews | , , | Leave a comment

Spaceballs

May 13, 2010

Spaceballs

I’m resisting putting any quotations from today’s movie into my review. I know that if I start I’ll just end up quoting the whole damned film. It’s just that full of catchy moments that are perfectly crafted to stick forevermore in your brain. Indeed that’s pretty much all that the movie is: a series of quick one-liner gags all strung cleverly together into a feature film.

Well – maybe just a couple quotes – just because they’re quotes we use on a very nearly daily basis. I frequently tell Amanda “When you’re right you’re right. And you… you’re always right!” Because she is. And you have no idea how often after taking a bite of foor or a big gulp of liquid the loud exclamation of Dark Helmet “HOT! Too… HOT!” comes in handy. My friend John and I spent an entire afternoon once quoting this movie in the highschool student union. Not reciting it from start to finish (as I can do with a couple movies) but just quoting lines to each other and laughing, then thinking of another great quote and laughing again.

Part of what’s so much fun about this movie is how aware of its own silliness it is. It frequently breaks the fourth wall. (Rick Moranis stares right at the camera after some plot exposition to ask the audience “You get all that? Good!” And there’s the classic scene where Helmet and Saunders check the VHS tape of Spaceballs: The Movie to find where Lonestar and the princess have escaped to. They end up recursively watching themselves watching themselves. “When does this happen in the movie?” “Now.”

Dammit! I’m quoting it again! I just can’t help it. It’s so quotable that you can’t review it without getting caught just quoting all your favorite parts. And my favorite parts are the whole movie. From the ridiculously long opening shot (one of those how-long-can-they-sustain-a-single-gag moments) to Spaceball One going to plaid to capturing their stunt doubles to… well everything. I can’t think of a gag in the whole movie that doesn’t at least make me snicker a little. Even after having seen the movie umpteen bajillion times.

It’s the perfect way to round out our Star Wars week.

May 13, 2010 Posted by | daily reviews | , , , | Leave a comment