Archive for Elizabeth Perkins

The Flintstones

Posted in Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 13, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Cliff Vandercave (Kyle MacLachlan), an executive vice president of industrial procurement at Slate & Co., explains to his sexy co-worker Sharon Stone (Halle Berry) of his intentions to frame Fred Flintstone (John Goodman) for a crime, which leads into a live action montage of the opening credits of The Flintstones.

While Fred leaves work for the day, Barney Rubble (Rick Moranis) reveals that he is going to be a father, much to Fred’s amazement. After returning home, Fred reveals to his wife, Wilma (Elizabeth Perkins) that he loaned Barney money so he and his wife, Betty (Rosie O’Donnell) can adopt a child. After adopting a caveboy named Bamm-Bamm, Barney appreciates what Fred did for him and is determined to pay him back. While taking the exams, Fred fails it, and is disappointed since he will not be able to give Wilma the wealthy life she used to have. To pay him back for giving him the money to adopt Bamm-Bamm, Barney (who did well on the exam) swaps his with Fred’s and Fred is promoted to Vice President.

On Fred’s first day as an executive, Cliff brings him to his new office and introduces Miss Stone as his secretary, using her to seduce Fred to keep his attention off of work so he won’t find out about their plan. Cliff has Fred fire Barney because of his exam score, but does his best to help Barney afterwards with financial problems. Cliff proposes a new machine that will do all of the quarry work and increase the company’s income. However, Fred is concerned about the operators losing their jobs. Cliff plans to have a fake version of the machine built and flee with the money gained from the machine, and frame Fred for it. After giving the contracts to Fred, Miss Stone seduces him in an attempt to prevent him from finding out Cliff’s intentions. However, Wilma walks in on the two, forcing a strain on their marriage. The Rubbles move into the Flintstones’ house, causing tension between the Flintstones and the Rubbles, while the Flintstones’ wealth increases. While out at a restaurant, Barney, now working as a busboy, sees on the news that Fred has fired all of the quarry operators. He confronts him about it, and their argument leads to Barney revealing that he switched their tests. The Rubbles move out of the house and Wilma abandons Fred.

Fred discovers Cliff’s intentions, eventually leading into a chase by an angry mob of the unemployed quarry operators. They eventually catch Fred and attempt to lynch him and Barney once they find out it was because of him that Fred was promoted the job. Fred and Barney reconcile while Wilma, Betty and the dictabird arrive at the scene to explain the crime to the mob. Meanwhile, Cliff kidnaps Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm and lures Fred and Barney into a trap. Cliff attempts to kill the dictabird, but is knocked out by Miss Stone, who had realised Cliff’s eventual betrayal. While Barney rescues the kids, Fred uses the catapult to destroy Cliff’s machine, causing Cliff to be trapped in a mixture of water and stone. Miss Stone is arrested, but Fred agrees to vouch for her. Mr. Slate (Dann Florek) declares his love of the substance that Cliff was trapped in, deciding to name it after his daughter Concretia, and declares the Stone Age over with its creation. Slate offers Fred the presidency of a new division in the company, but Fred turns it down in exchange his old job, Slate rehiring all the workers, and adding a few other improvements to the workplace he had originally desired as an executive.

The film ends with a live action montage of the animated series’ closing credits.

REVIEW:

For those of us that actually grew up in the time when cartoons actually came on TV, you may remember The Flintstones (or some versions of it…for me, it was reruns of the original and The Flintstone Kids). This film version of the great cartoon does the show justice, which is something many films that are based on TV shows don’t do.

As you may know from watching the original series, The Flintstones was set in prehistoric time in the fictional town of Bedrock. Everything in this world was similar to today…well, more like the 60s, when the show was originally created, but you get the picture. The only difference is that everything was made of stone, wood, and powered by animals such as mammoths, birds, etc. It is these creatures that made the series such a delight. The movie doesn’t give us as much of them, but what we do get is just like the series.

Casting is actually quite spot on. John Goodman as Fred is perfect, although, at times he seems like he’s trying to more Jackie Gleason than Fred Flintstone.

Rick Moranis could not be more perfect for the role of Barney, but he could have brought a but more of Barney’s simple nature to the character, at least for my taste.

I’m not sure I care for Rosie O’Donnell as Betty, but considering how Rosie was still loved by the public ast the time this film was released, as opposed to the bitter lesbian she appears to be nowadays, my opinion maybe have been swayed subconsciously.

Halle Berry is drop dead gorgeous, no matter what role she’s playing, but as a vixen secretary (scantily clad, btw), she really captures the audience.

Kyle MacLachlan is a total douche as the villain, and it works for him.

I know that the series focused mainly on Fred and Barney, as does the film, but it would be nice to get more of Betty and Wilma. That could just be a personal opinion, though.

As I said before, the fact that this film stayed true to the original series is a huge plus for me. I get so tired of films that based on old series that totally forget their roots. There is a reason these shows worked in the first place, so by taking that away from them, you are stripping them of their identity. It is really impressive to watch the opening and ending. The filmmakers obviously took the timer to make sure they took the animated scenes and turned them into live action, frame by frame. It really works, and if you don’t watch this film for any other reason, you should check that out.

The creatures here are mostly crafted by Jim Henson, but a few are CGI, such as Dino and the sabre tooth tiger cat. No surprise, but the puppets look much better than the CGI. I will give them credit, though. Dino looked good for what he was. I just think he could have been better. Of course, if this film were made today, they’d probably try to make him look unnecessarily real. So much so that he’d be unrecognizable.

The Flintstones is better than most people give it credit for. This may because of the sequel/prequel that was released after, or just because people don’t want to give the flick a shot. I’m willing to give anything a chance, and this was definitely worth the time. A mix of comedy, nostalgia, and fun, this is a must-see. With the same tone as the series, it is hard to not like this film, unless you’re a total purist or one of those people who thinks everything needs to be dark and dreary. If that is the case, then this isn’t the film for you in the first place. Of course, there is alwas Halle Berry to distract you.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Big

Posted in Classics, Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on June 26, 2010 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

After being humiliated attempting to impress a teenage girl at a carnival, 13-year-old Josh Baskin (David Moscow) goes to a fortune-telling machine, called Zoltar Speaks, and wishes that he were “big”. The next morning, he discovers to his shock that he is a 31-year-old grown man (Tom Hanks). Fleeing from his mother, who thinks a strange man has kidnapped her son, Josh rents a cheap hotel room in New York City with the help of his best friend, Billy Kopecki (Jared Rushton), and gets a data entry job at MacMillan Toy Company.

By chance Josh meets the company’s owner, Mr. MacMillan (Robert Loggia), checking out the products at FAO Schwarz and impresses him with his childlike enthusiasm. They end up playing a duet together on a foot-operated electronic keyboard, performing “Heart and Soul” and “Chopsticks”. This earns Josh a promotion to a dream job: testing toys all day long and getting paid for it. He soon attracts the attention of the beautiful, ambitious 27-year-old Susan Lawrence (Elizabeth Perkins), a fellow toy executive. A romance begins to develop, much to the annoyance of her current, competitive boyfriend, Paul (John Heard). As Josh becomes more and more entwined in his “adult” life by spending more time with Susan, and his new ideas becomes a valuable asset to MacMillan Toys, this eventually leads to Billy feeling annoyed and neglected by his best friend, who feels that Josh has forgotten who he really is.

Susan asks Josh to come up with proposals for a new line of toys. Although Josh is intimidated by the need to formulate the business aspects of such a proposal, Susan insists that she will handle the business side of it, and that Josh need only rely on his childlike affinity for toys to come up with a good idea, but he soon begins to feel too pressured by this new life. When he expresses doubts to Susan, and attempts to explain to her that he is really a child, she interprets this as fear of commitment on his part, and dismisses his explanation.

Longing to return to the life of a child, he eventually learns from Billy that the Zoltar Speaks machine is at Sea Point Park. In the middle of their proposal to MacMillian and other executives, Josh leaves. After Susan realizes something is wrong, she leaves as well, and encounters Billy, who tells her where Josh went. At the park, Josh finds the machine and makes a wish. He is then confronted by Susan, who, looking the machine and the fortune it gave Josh, realizes Josh was telling the truth all along. Despite her despondence over realizing that their relationship is over, Josh tells her that she was the one thing about his adult life that he wishes would not end, and suggests that she use the machine herself to join him back in childhood. She declines, indicating that her childhood was not something she remembers fondly, and takes Josh home. After sharing an emotional goodbye, Josh reverts to his true, child form, and is reunited with his mother, and later, with Billy.

REVIEW:

I have very fond memories of this film. Shhh…don’t tell anyone, but this is one that my friends and I snuck out of a kiddie flick in the next theater to see (easier said than done when there are only 2 theaters and the entire staff knows you on a first name basis).

Big turned out to be worth getting caught and thrown out of the theater, then, and was worth the time to watch today.

There are so many of these films with this premise of the little kid or old guy wishing to grow up or go back to their youth. Vice Versa, 18 Again, 17 Again, and 13 Going on 30 are just examples. It is Big that has, however, managed to become the gold standard for this plot.

Some of my younger readers may find it hard to belive, but Tom Hanks was actually a comedian to start out with, so for him to play a comedic role like this isn’t a stretch, especially back then before he became a serious actor. Hanks becomes a virtual manchild for this role and eats up the screen as he does it.

There are quite a few memorable things about the film, but I would have to say that the thing that sticks out the most to me was the keyboard scene. I was forced to take 2 yrs of that evil instrument in college, and if I would have had this, I can guarantee that it wouldn’t have been so painful. Hanks and Robert Loggia looked like they had a blast on it, but I have to wonder how it is they managed to be so coordinated with chopsticks if their characters hadn’t practiced.

There is a bit of drama that I could do without. First there is the sexual tension between Hanks and Eliabeth Perkins’ character. Yes, I said sexual tension between a virtual 13yr old boy and a (I’m just guessing) 35 yrd old woman. Once that tension is resolved, Hanks becomes more of an adult. This is fine, except we forget that he is still a 13 yr old, and until the other drama comes up, that with his best friend, it seems as if he’s forgotten about his family. I don’t know about you, but if I was a 13 yrd old boy and had to be away from my family for 6 weeks, I’d have been jumping up and down for joy to get back to them.

So, yeah, there isn’t much wrong with this picture other than the unnecessary drama, but I guess you have to build up tensions and whatnot for the denouement, right? Big is a wonderful picture that makes us all think about what we were like as a little kid. At least that’s how it was with me. I also pondered what I would think about if I was 13 yrd and made the wish to be what I am today. would I be proud or disappointed. Yeah, I know that’s a bit deep for a simple film like this, but it happens. I highly recommend this film to everyone. With its mix of comedy and a feel-good tone, how can you not enjoy it?

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 95 other followers