Archive for Christopher McDonald

American Pie: Beta House

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 30, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

It’s pledge time, and as fraternity row becomes rife with eager young freshman looking to make an impression on campus, the stage is set for Greek rivalry so fierce it will resurrect a competition that was previously banned by the administration. Great Falls high school graduates Erik and Cooze are about to become college freshmen, and once they do, the campus of a modest Michigan college will never be the same. Immediately aligning themselves with the notorious Beta Delta Xi house, the boys dive headlong into the party scene while suddenly being swept up in an ongoing rivalry between their new brothers and a rival house with a power-hungry president. Now the only way for the Beta Delta Xi brothers to prove their true worth is to resurrect The Games – a long-banned competition that will discern the true kings of campus once and for all.

What people are saying:

“Raunchy college comedy is sexist, dumb, and boring.” 1 star

“the first three are obviously not much like anything thats come after them but if your a straight guy you’ll probably enjoy this soft core porn comedy.” 3 1/2 stars

“More topless & sex scenes than ever with practically no plot or of the original cast other than (Eugene Levy) Noah Levenstein aka Jim’s father who’s lead quite an interesting life other than being the father to Jim from the first “American Pie”. Not much to tell other than it was frat boys versus the Geek boys all over again…” 3 stars

“…what was once a fresh slice of teen comedy has become a slab of stale crudeness” 2 stars

“Best one so far. Could not stop laughing. The actor that plays Dwight Stifler should get his own spin off movie because he was fantastic in this role and reminded me so much of myself when I was in college. This was a solid step up above The Naked Mile and a lot more out there then the first 3 films.” 5 stars

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Flubber

Posted in Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2015 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Professor Philip Brainard (Robin Williams) of Medfield College is developing a new energy source, in an attempt to raise enough money to save the college from closure. His preoccupancy with his research distracts him from his fiancée and the college president Sara Jean Reynolds (Marcia Gay Harden); he has missed two weddings in the past as a result of this, much to the anger of Sara. On the day of the third attempted wedding, Philip is approached by his former partner Wilson Croft (Christopher McDonald), who has profited from ideas he has stolen from the chemist and now desires to steal Sara from Philip and make her his wife, which he declares directly to Philip. Before he can make it to the wedding, his latest experiment shows fast development, forcing him to miss another wedding. The resulting substance created from the experiment is a green goo that increases in speed as it bounces and proves to be difficult to control, wreaking havoc on the neighborhood before the professor finally manages to capture it. Weebo (voiced by Jodi Benson), Philip’s hovering robot assistant, classifies the substance as “flying rubber”, leading Philip to christen it as “Flubber”.

Philip continues to work on Flubber into the early morning, looking to stabilize the rubber’s movement as opposed to stimulation. Philip’s watch alarm goes off at 6 a.m. (set wrong) and Weebo informs him that he has missed the third wedding. Philip goes to Sara’s office and unsuccessfully attempts to explain the situation to her. Meanwhile, Medfield College sponsor Chester Hoenicker (Raymond J. Barry) is unhappy that Philip failed his son Bennett (Wil Wheaton) in chemistry class. That night, Hoenicker sends his two security guards Smith (Clancy Brown) and Wesson (Ted Levine) to Philip’s house in an attempt to persuade Philip into giving Bennett a better grade. However, Philip is too busy testing the Flubber to even notice them and suddenly knocks them out unconscious with a Flubber-coated golf ball and bowling ball. He uses Flubber to give his vintage Ford Thunderbird flight. During a test run, he discovers Wilson making the moves on Sara. Afterwards, Weebo attempts to confess her love of Philip, only to be shrugged off as a computer. In response, she secretly creates a holographic human version of herself named Sylvia (Leslie Stefanson) in hopes of winning him over. Before Weebo can make out with Philip in this form as he sleeps, Philip awakens with another idea for Flubber. He enters an empty basketball arena and tests the effects of Flubber on a basketball. Later, he gives Flubber-padded shoes to the unskilled Medfield basketball team to increase their abilities.

Back in Philip’s home, a spiteful Weebo unleashes Flubber from his case, allowing him to dance around the house and cause general mayhem. After the close but successful basketball game, Philip’s attempt to win Sara back into his favor fails. Philip dumps all of his emotional baggage onto Weebo, saying his absent-mindedness is due to his love of Sara. Weebo records Philip’s ramblings and shows the footage to Sara, who then reconciles with Philip. Philip demonstrates Flubber’s abilities to Sara and they discuss how it can be used for profit. However, Hoenicker discovers Flubber’s existence and sends Smith and Wesson to infiltrate Philip’s house and steal Flubber. Weebo attempts to fend off the henchmen, only to be struck down by Smith with a baseball bat. Philip and Sara return home and find Rover (Philip’s house-robot) cleaning up, Flubber gone and Weebo destroyed. Later, Philip discovers that Weebo had downloaded back-up data of herself onto his computer in the event of her destruction, as well as a video recording of Weebo’s hologram professing her love for him.

Philip and Sara confront Hoenicker and try to retrieve Flubber, only to discover that Wilson is allied with the millionaire. After a battle, Philip and Sara defeat Wilson, Bennett, Hoenicker and his henchmen, get Flubber back, raise enough money to save the college and finally have a successful marriage, along with Flubber and the “daughter” of Weebo, called Weebette. The film ends with the family heading to Hawaii in Philip’s car.

REVIEW:

I’m not sure how many of you can remember this, but back in the late 80s/early 90s on Sunday nights ABC (or one of the other networks) would show movies suitable for family viewing. This eventually turned into Disney movies, of course, but one of the films I remember seeing was The Absent Minded Professor (starring Harry Anderson, of Night Court fame, not the original). Flubber is the big screen adaptation of this film starring Robin Williams and with a bigger budget. Do the extra $$$ help make this a viable viewing option?

What is this about?

On the verge of losing his girlfriend and his job, a scatterbrained college professor accidentally invents a bouncy material called Flubber.

What did I like?

Innocence. Remember those days when families could sit around and watch a movie together without getting uncomfortable because of certain themes/topics, situations, language, etc. that was included in the film? Well, this is a bit of a throwback to those days. As a matter of fact, if not for some one scene of potty humor, this could very well have been rated G. When was the last time anything was rated G, come to think of it.

Scum and villainy. In old movies and cartoons, you can usually tell the villains. Automatic indicators tend to be, wearing black, polar opposite of the hero, twirling mustache, etc. Well, such characteristics have long since gone away and when used today result in critics and audiences referring to the villains as “cartoonish”. The villain in the film is a rich guy who wants to shut down the college and has his henchmen steal the flubber, I swear this guy might just needed to have the swiveling chair and some death traps to perfectly fit the stereotype of rich villain but, for this film, it works. Don’t ask me how, but it does.

Mambo. I’m not going to deny that the special effects since this was released in 1997 have become a tad dated, but one cannot help but be impressed with the Flubber mambo scene. The movement and formations in time with the exciting Latin music make for perhaps the best scene in the film. The animators really took care to make sure these balls of goop had enough personality to put on an elaborate dance scene that, while totally random, was extremely entertaining.

What didn’t I like?

Snot. Staying on the topic of Flubber, I have to mention the way it looks. Who had the brilliant idea to make it look like a ball of snot? Seriously?!? Did it have to be green? Why not blue, purple, or maybe have it some sort of chameleon? Seeing as this is a film aimed at kids, I’m sure they thought it was just a giant blob of snot. Also, the film is named for the stuff, and we do get a lot of use out of it, but the character Flubber seems to only have 3 or 4 scenes. I imagine this is due to CGI costs, but we get Weebo for almost the entire film, surely Flubber could have had another scene or two!

Love story. This is probably going to sound like I don’t have a heart, which is something I am accused of more often than not, but I really believe this film could have done without the love story. I say this because it doesn’t really move the story anywhere. All that is accomplished it a way to show Weebo is in love with the Professor, something else that probably could have been left out. The angle with Marcia Gay Harden ran its course when she he falls out of her window. At that point, we should have focused on the flubber experiments (and the comedic results and explosions).

Not nerdy enough. For this role, I see some scrawny, nerdy guy. Someone in the vein of Rick Moranis, Jerry Lewis, maybe even Martin Short. Robin Williams, in comparison, is John Wayne. What I mean by that, is Williams is more burly and dare I say manly, not exactly features one would expect when describing an absent-minded professor who spends most of his time in his garage lab or running to teach his classes and then running back home for more experiments. Maybe it is just me, but I didn’t find Williams nerdy enough.

Here’s a bit of trivia about Flubber. The voice of the little robot Weebo is the same as another well-known redhead in the Disney Universe, Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Yes, Jodi Benson lends her voice to this film, and I think she appears as Weebo is “dying”, but I’m not sure if that was her or not. So, what is the final verdict on this film? It is what is it, and that is a solid family film that will make you laugh, perhaps cry, and give you that warm fuzzy feeling. As an overall film, though, it isn’t that great. Still, I would highly recommend it, so bounce on over or start your flubber powered flying car and check this out!

4 out of 5 stars

Dutch

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , on December 3, 2014 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Dutch Dooley (Ed O’Neill) attends a ritzy party with his girlfriend, Natalie Standish (JoBeth Williams). He stands out terribly among the upper-class aristocrats – wearing a cheap suit and telling boorish anecdotes. Natalie’s relaxed, less rigid personality also does not fit with the rest of the patrons. Dutch also meets Natalie’s snobbish, wealthy ex-husband Reed (Christopher McDonald), who tells Natalie that he will have to break his Thanksgiving plans with their son Doyle (Ethan Embry) for an unexpected business trip to London. He also threatens to strip Natalie’s custody of Doyle if she gives Reed a hard time. Dutch overhears the conversation and threatens Reed with bodily harm should he hurt Natalie.

Natalie calls Doyle at his private school in Georgia and invites him home for Thanksgiving, but Doyle rudely refuses the offer and expresses his disdain for his mother, solely blaming her for the divorce. Despite this, Dutch sees an opportunity to get to know Doyle and further his relationship with Natalie, so he offers to go to Georgia and bring Doyle back to Chicago for the holidays.

Upon arriving in Georgia, Dutch finds Doyle to be much like his father: snobbish, selfish and elitist. He welcomes Dutch by throwing a book at his face and shooting him in the groin with a BB gun, to which Dutch promises revenge. Dutch ultimately hogties Doyle to a hockey stick and carries him to the car to start on the drive back home.

The trip entails several mishaps: A fireworks show Dutch gives Doyle in an attempt to make Doyle warm up to him goes awry when one lit rocket lands in the bag and sets off all the fireworks at once. Later, Dutch throws Doyle out of the car and makes him walk to the next motel by himself (Doyle eventually gets even by parking Dutch’s car in the path of an oncoming semi truck, which totals the car and endangers the truck driver). They also hitch a ride with two prostitutes (E.G. Daily and Ari Meyers) who steal their luggage and leave them stranded with no money.

Doyle calls his father, whom he discovers has lied about his trip to London; he instead spent the holidays with a girlfriend. Stunned by his father’s betrayal, and wounded by Dutch’s accusation that he “hates his mother”, Doyle begins to regret his callous attitude. Dutch initially gives up and wants to call Natalie for assistance, but Doyle refuses and insists on getting home on their own. They sneak a ride on the back of a semi truck and are assaulted by security guards at a cargo storage station; Doyle feigns insanity and pretends that voices in his head are telling him to kill the guards, which frightens the guards enough to allow them to escape.

The two enter a restaurant, where they meet a married couple who takes them to a homeless shelter in Hammond, Indiana for the night. At the shelter, Doyle grows fond of a young girl and her family. While getting to know them, he finally realizes that he has been neglecting his mother and indeed wants to be with her for the holidays. The next day, the family drives Dutch and Doyle to Natalie’s home, where Reed is waiting. Doyle shares an emotional embrace with his mother and reveals to Reed that he knows the truth about his trip to London. Doyle decides to stay with his mother instead of going with Reed for Thanksgiving. An angry Reed gives Natalie only a few days to pack and leave the house, which he owns. Dutch follows Reed outside as he departs and makes good on his promise to hurt Reed, putting a dent in his forehead with his pinky ring. He then demands that Reed show more respect to Natalie and become a better father to Doyle, to which a dazed Reed agrees.

The film ends with Natalie, Dutch and Doyle at the dinner table about to begin the Thanksgiving feast. Before they commence, Dutch asks Doyle to retrieve Dutch’s coat, as it contains a very special gift for Natalie. As Doyle turns to walk away, Dutch pulls the BB gun Doyle originally shot him with and finally gets his revenge on Doyle by shooting him in the buttocks

REVIEW:

Apologies for my tardiness with watching Dutch. This is a film that is regarded as must-see viewing for Thanksgiving because, as well know, there are few to no actual Thanksgiving films (Free Birds doesn’t count, sorry). Thanks to AMC showing Gone with the Wind last week and my usual tradition of watching The Magnificent Seven every Turkey day, this film slipped my mind, but I said I was going to get to it this week and here we are.

What is this about?

Dutch is a working-class guy who offers to take his girlfriend’s son home from boarding school, not realizing the kid is a snotty brat.

What did I like?

Stay classy. A recurring topic that this kid brings up the entire time they are on the road, especially in the early part of the trip is how Ed O’Neil’s character is a working-class citizen. Last I checked, there was nothing wrong with working class. I’m not sure if this was meant to be some political, socioeconomic statement the film was making, but I appreciated that O’Neil didn’t resort to underhanded tactics to defend his station in life, but rather took pride in what he did. Something we don’t see on film too often. Mostly, working class are portrayed as mindless buffoons…with hot wives!

Go for a ride. Of course a couple of males, in a film, are somehow going to find a way to get a ride from two hot chicks. Big surprise is that they are prostitutes, rob them, and leave them stranded at the gas station. All this is after making an impression on young Ethan Embry’s character, who was, as he put it, “she made me horny.” I guess it was worth it, then, right?

Fireworks. Did you know that in Illinois it was illegal to light fireworks? I didn’t, but I was aware of Tennessee’s stance on fireworks. In a scene that shouldn’t be as memorable as it is, Ed O’Neil’s character buys a bunch of fireworks, drives out in some field and puts on a fireworks show as a way to bond with his possible son-in-law, who has a sever disdain for him at this early point of the film. Did it work? Eh, not really, but it did get a smile out of the kid and we, the audience, were entertained, so there’s that.

What didn’t I like?

Embry-o. Ethan Embry is just one of those actors that I have never gotten behind. It isn’t that the guy is a bad actor. There is just something about him that is very off-putting. This is a very young Embry and his character is just horrible to everyone he encounters, making it extremely hard to like him, which is the point, but even in the parts where we are supposed to feel some compassion I found it hard to muster up any feeling. Why is that? I can’t really tell you. Perhaps it is a great performance by Embry or my personal prejudice against him.

Party all the time. The film starts at this swanky party that just doesn’t seem to jibe with the vibe of the rest of the film, not to mention that the two people we care about being there are so uncomfortable and out of place it is painful to watch. This scene is there to set up the plot, but something tells me that this could have been done in a better setting, or just through a quick mention in passing, because I felt nearly as uncomfortable as they did watching this scene that should have ended up on the cutting room floor.

Looks can be deceiving. Ever walk into a restaurant and feel like everyone is staring at you as if they don’t want you there because you’re not good enough? Imagine if you’d just been through hell and back and just walked in to get cleaned up and some rude waitress makes it a point to inform you repeatedly that you’re not welcome, based solely on appearance. That is what Dutch and Doyle have to endure. Now, this puts me in mind of what it must have been like in the Civil Rights days where African-Americans were forced to sit at separate counters, purchase and eat their meals in the back of the store or in the bathroom. Seriously, are human beings that shallow that they can’t show a little compassion and charity? There is a reason they went in there, which actually wasn’t to get food, but this lady wouldn’t even let them go to the restroom. Did I mention Doyle’s head was bleeding? Ugh! It is just so frustrating!

I am actually a little disappointed with Dutch. For all the talk I have heard about this being a great Thanksgiving film, there isn’t much Thanksgiving about it. This is more of a road trip film, much like Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, that just happens to take place at Thanksgiving. That being said, I enjoyed it for the most part. Will this become a holiday tradition in my house? Probably not, but I wouldn’t be opposed to watching it again at some point. I say give it a shot someday.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Thelma & Louise

Posted in Chick Flicks, Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2014 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Two friends, Thelma Dickinson (Geena Davis) and Louise Sawyer (Susan Sarandon) set out for a two-day vacation to take a break from their dreary lives. Thelma is married to a controlling man, Darryl (Christopher McDonald), while Louise works as a waitress in a diner. They head out in Louise’s 1966 Ford Thunderbird convertible, but their vacation in the mountains quickly turns into a nightmare before they reach their destination.

They stop for a drink at a roadhouse, where Thelma meets and dances with Harlan Puckett (Timothy Carhart). After she gets drunk, Harlan attempts to rape her in the parking lot. Louise finds them and threatens to shoot Harlan with a gun that Thelma brought with her. Harlan stops, but as the women walk away, he yells profanity and insults them. Louise loses her temper and fires, killing him. Thelma wants to go to the police, but Louise says that because Thelma was drunk and had been dancing with Harlan, no one will believe her claim of attempted rape. Afraid that she will be prosecuted, Louise decides to go on the run and Thelma accompanies her.

Louise is determined to travel from Oklahoma to Mexico, but refuses to go through Texas. It is revealed that something happened to her in Texas years earlier, but she refuses to say exactly what. Heading west, they come across an attractive young man named J.D. (Brad Pitt), and Thelma convinces Louise to let him hitch a ride with them. Louise contacts her boyfriend Jimmy Lennox (Michael Madsen) and asks him to wire transfer her life savings to her. When she goes to pick up the money, she finds that Jimmy has come to see her. Thelma invites J.D. into her room and learns he is a thief who has broken parole. They sleep together, and J.D. describes how he conducted his hold-ups. At the same time, Jimmy asks Louise to marry him, but she declines.

In the morning, Thelma tells Louise about her night with J.D. When they return to the motel room, they discover J.D. has taken Louise’s life savings and fled. Louise is distraught and frozen with indecision, so a guilty Thelma takes charge and robs a convenience store using the tactics she learned from listening to J.D. Meanwhile, the FBI are getting closer to catching the fugitives, after questioning J.D. and Jimmy, and tapping the phone line at Darryl’s house. Detective Hal Slocumb (Harvey Keitel) discovers the traumatic event that Louise experienced years earlier in Texas. During a couple of brief phone conversations with her, he expresses sympathy for her predicament and pledges to protect her, but he is unsuccessful in his attempts to persuade her to surrender.

When they are pulled over by a state trooper (Jason Beghe), Thelma holds him at gunpoint and locks him in the trunk of his car, while Louise takes his gun and ammunition. They then encounter a truck driver (Marco St. John) who repeatedly makes obscene gestures at them. They pull over to demand an apology, but when he refuses, they fire at the fuel-tanker he is driving, causing it to explode. Leaving the man furious, they drive off.

Thelma and Louise are finally cornered by the authorities only 100 yards from the edge of the Grand Canyon. Hal arrives on the scene, but he is refused the chance to make one last attempt to talk the women into surrendering themselves. Rather than be captured and spend the rest of their lives in jail, Thelma proposes that they “keep going” (over the cliff). Louise asks Thelma if she is certain. Thelma says yes, they kiss, and Louise steps on the accelerator. As soon as the car starts forward, Hal sprints after it in an attempt to save them, but the car zooms over the cliff.

REVIEW:

The other day I was having a discussion about the direction films seem to be taking these days One of the topics that was brought up involved more and more use of strong female protagonists and less and less of the “damsel in distress”. Say what you will about me, but I prefer the “damsel in distress”. Thelma & Louise is unique in that it utilizes both female tropes.

What is this about?

An Arkansas waitress and her naïve housewife friend hit the road for a simple weekend of freedom — and end up on a wild flight from the law.

What did I like?

Fire and Ice. Thelma is the free spirit who has been held down too long by her over controlling husband. Louise is the no-nonsense waitress who it can be assumed has had some rough experiences in her past. The contrast between these two ladies is one of the major contributing factors to why this film is so popular. The chemistry between these two women, though, is remarkable. I don’t want to sound like it is as if they would have no chemistry, but rather the pairing of Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis was a nice bet that paid off.

Introducing… Brad Pitt has been called one of the finest actors of our generation. I can’t really argue that, to be truthful. He has shown that he does have some acting chops to go with that pretty boy look of his. I’m always fascinated to see the early works of actors, singers, etc., especially their debuts. For instance, I still crack up laughing when I see the WWF debut of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, then known as Rocky Maivia (look it up on Youtube and see if you don’t laugh, as well). This isn’t the first thing Pitt had done, but it is his feature film debut.

Exit. In the film’s climactic final scene, the girls are faced with the choice of turning themselves in or getting shot up like Bonnie & Clyde (more on that shortly). If you know anything about this flick, then you are more than aware that they hightail it for the Grand Canyon, rather than head to jail. It is an exit befitting the greatest of fugitives. Bonnie & Clyde were shot up holding hands. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, contrary to the movie’s portrayal, went out with each other…one even assisting the other in death. Thelma & Louise go out together as well (though there are theories as to whether or not they actually die).

What didn’t I like?

Shoot ’em up. In yet another case of the cops and FBI going overboard, they send out what is just short of a military strike force to capture these two women, who haven’t really done anything other than rob one convenience store and kill one asshole rapist. With the force they sent after them, you’d think they’d have kidnapped the First Lady! On top of that, when they get to the climactic scene, these cops and other personnel are aimed and ready to shoot. Again, these women have committed a couple of crimes, but they aren’t nearly dangerous enough to have adopted a “shoot first, ask questions later” attitude. WTF?!?

Rape. Rape is a tough subject to tackle, but there is a scene where Geena Davis’ character is about to get raped by this guy at the bar. I won’t lie, I’ve had all kinds of impure thought of Geena Davis, but I would never act on them….unless she wanted me to HA! Seriously, though, this rape scene was a bit uncomfortable to watch, and it wasn’t even as bad as some others that I’ve seen in film and TV. Plus, it was a major plot device, so there was no way to omit it, really. Personally, though, I could have done without this scene.

Smooth it out. Anyone that has been on the back roads in this country knows that they are far from smooth sailing, let alone as straight as this film makes them, unless that is how they are over there in New Mexico, which I doubt. Perhaps this is just me being a little too over critical, but there should have been more bumps in the road as they were traveling. At the same time, there are very many 1966 Thunderbirds with Arkansas license plates driving about, either. How is it no police officer didn’t notice them?!?

Thelma & Louise is a film that I’ve been putting off watching for years and years now. With a couple of hours carved out of my schedule this week, I managed to have the time to check it out and I must say that it was worth the wait. The few complaints I have with this film are very minor. Here we are in 2014 and I think this film is still relevant, if not moreso. Do I recommend it? Yes, very much so! This entertaining film will definitely go down as one of the finest pieces of cinema you’ll watch in your lifetime, or at least this year!

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Happy Gilmore

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2014 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

Happy Gilmore (Adam Sandler) is an aspiring ice hockey player who possesses a powerful and dangerous slapshot that his late father taught him as a child. However, Happy also possesses an overaggressive streak and lack of skating talent that consistently preclude him from joining a hockey team. His grandmother (Frances Bay), who raised him after his father died and Happy’s mother had left the family, has not paid her taxes for many years. As such, she owes $275,000 to the IRS, and the house that Happy’s late grandfather “built with his bare hands” is about to be seized. Gilmore has only three months to come up with the money or else the house will be sold. Grandma Gilmore is forced to temporarily move into a retirement home, run by a sadistic manager named Hal (Ben Stiller in an uncredited role).

While repossessing Grandma’s furniture, a pair of movers challenge Happy to hit golf balls. With his unorthodox, hockey slapshot-style swing (running up to the ball instead of standing over it), he hits the ball 400 yards three times, winning $40 as a result. This gives Happy the idea to go to the driving range to hustle golfers with his swing. When his progress is noticed by former golf star and current club pro Chubbs Peterson (Carl Weathers), whose pro golf career ended when his right hand was bitten off by an alligator, he convinces Happy to enter a local tournament by telling him he can make the money to buy back his grandmother’s house. Happy wins the tournament and earns a spot on the Pro Golf Tour (fictionalized golf tour based on the PGA Tour). Chubbs advises Happy to wait to join the tour for six months, so that Chubbs can make him a better all-around golfer. Against Chubbs’ advice, Happy joins the tour immediately due to the fact that Happy needs to come up with the money for his Grandma’s house less than three months.

On the tour, Happy makes an instant enemy of pretentious and arrogant star Shooter McGavin (Christopher McDonald), who sees Happy as both a detriment to golf and a threat to his career. In addition, Happy discovers that although he has a powerful drive, his putting is terrible, and his violent outbursts and lack of golf etiquette eventually prompt Shooter to ask Doug Thompson (Dugan), the commissioner of the tour, to expel Happy. But Happy’s antics are garnering the tour’s highest television ratings, increasing attendance, drawing more youthful sponsors, and Happy isn’t breaking any rules, and Shooter’s request is denied. To help Happy cool down and start acting more professionally, tour PR head Virginia Venit (Julie Bowen) is assigned to him by the tour, and a romance forms between the two. Happy begins to develop a cooler head while continuing to improve in tournaments much to the chagrin of Shooter, who decides to cheat and employ Donald (Joe Flaherty), a mentally unbalanced fan, to heckle Happy at the next tournament, the Pepsi Pro-Am, a tournament where tour pros team up with celebrities.

At the tournament, Happy is paired with Bob Barker, then host/executive producer of the long-running CBS Daytime game show, The Price Is Right. Donald immediately starts taunting Happy, taking his focus off his game so much that he plays terribly. Exasperated at Happy’s poor performance, Barker even begins criticizing him before they break into a full-scale brawl, in which Barker knocks Happy unconscious. As a result, Happy is suspended from the tour and fined $25,000, but secures an endorsement deal with Subway, which gives him enough money to buy back Grandma’s house and pay the fine.

However, Happy discovers that the house is to be sold at an auction. Despite bidding the originally required $275,000, Happy is outbid by Shooter, who has purchased the house to leverage a deal with Happy – he will let him have the house back in return for quitting the tour. Instead, Happy decides to make a bet with his rival based on the upcoming Tour Championship – if Happy places higher than Shooter, he gets the house back, but if Happy finishes behind Shooter he will leave the tour; Shooter agrees. Although Virginia is confident Happy will win, Happy is not as confident. He seeks the help of Chubbs, admitting his past mistakes. Together they head to a miniature golf course so Happy can improve his putting, which he does. Pleased with Happy’s progress, Chubbs gives his protege a modified putter, fashioned in the shape of a hockey stick, as a present to use for the tournament. In return, Happy presents Chubbs with the head of the alligator that took his hand (which Happy had killed in a previous tournament). Horrified by the sight, Chubbs reels backward and falls out an open window to his death.

Determined to win the tournament for Chubbs, Happy is evenly matched with Shooter after the first two rounds. Shooter is stunned that Happy has been keeping up with him, and by the end of the third day of the tournament, Happy is leading Shooter. In desperation, Shooter once again cheats and calls on Donald. The next day Donald hits Happy with a Volkswagen Beetle, which he proceeds to ram into a television tower at the 18th hole. An injured Happy refuses to forfeit the tournament, but quickly discovers that he is too hurt to hit the long drive and drops from the lead by several shots heading into the final holes. However, after applying a lesson from Chubbs, and receiving an important morale boost from Grandma, he is able to refocus and ties Shooter going to the 18th hole. After Shooter makes his shot for par, the TV tower collapses and blocks Happy’s putt for birdie. Happy is forced to take his shot with the tower in the way, and uses what Chubbs taught him on the miniature golf course to make a trick shot to win the Tour Championship and the house.

Afterwards, a hysterical Shooter attempts to steal Happy’s gold jacket, but is quickly beaten up by Happy’s old boss, Mr. Larson (Richard Kiel), and an angry mob of spectators. Back at Grandma’s house, the film closes with Happy being congratulated by the two-handed ghost of Chubbs, Abraham Lincoln, and the alligator.

REVIEW:

Sometimes to see the true genius of an actor, you have to go back to their early work. This is the case with Adam Sandler, as many of his recent film have been utter crap. Even someone as forgiving as I found little to laugh at with those. Not wanting to forget how funny Sandler can actually be, I went way back to his early days and watched Happy Gilmore. Hopefully, this wasn’t a mistake.

What is this about?

Failed hockey player turned golf whiz Happy Gilmore — whose unconventional approach and antics on the links spark the ire of rival Shooter McGavin — is determined to win a PGA tournament to save his grandmother’s house with the prize money.

What did I like?

Schtick. These days, it seems as if Adam Sandler’s manchild schtick has worn thin on audiences. While I may still be a fan on his antics, your average moviegoer probably doesn’t feel the same. Watching this film took me back to the day when this routine was fresh and new, causing us to realize that Sandler was an alleged genius.

Golf. I’m not a fan of golf. It is just too uptight and stuffy for my taste, not to mention the fact that watching it is just plain, flat-out boring. I’m sure Sandler felt the same way when he was writing this film. Why else would he have made such a satire about it? As his character grows in popularity we see the crowds change into more of a football/hockey type, complete with tailgating. These just aren’t the kind of things you see on the golf course, am I right? If they were, maybe more people would watch, with or without Tiger Woods.

Barker. I am always a fan of seeing people play a skewered version of themselves in film, especially if it is a dramatic shift from what we know them to be in real. Bob Barker gets the chance to do such a thing in this film. He is partnered with Sandler as he is being heckled and thrown off his games. Barker immediately starts to berate him. As anyone who was a fan of The Price is Right during the Barker days can tell you, this is attitude is far from the lovable host we all know, and it is that change that allows this to work and end up as funny as it is, including the fight between Barker and Sandler.

What didn’t I like?

Weather. It seems as if Carl Weathers cannot stay alive in a movie he’s it. He accidentally dies in this film, in a rather comical, yet stupid way. Not really sure why it bothers me that he keeps dying in his films, but it does. At least when he dies in the Rocky movies, they give him an honorable death, of sorts. Also, I don’t believe I’ve seen a more fake looking prosthetic arm than what they gave him. Oh wait, yes I have…on shows like In Living Color and Saturday Night Live, where the props are meant to look cheap, because they are.

Rest. After her home is repossessed by the government because she didn’t pay her taxes, Sandler’s grandmother has nowhere else to go, so she is placed in a retirement home. Here’s my thing, it is a decent subplot that serves as the motivation for why Sandler is trying so hard to win the tournament money and all, but the sadistic orderly, played by Ben Stiller, just seemed to be there because he and Sandler are friends. Considering the rest of Sandler’s films, this is quite possibly the case.

Pros. Maybe this is because at the time of this release Adam Sandler wasn’t a huge star, but it just seems to me that in a film about pro golfing, there should have been a few cameos by professional golfers. I’m not saying Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson, but some kind of pro cameo, or perhaps as an added antagonist or something would have been nice, and perhaps added a bit of credibility. I’m just saying.

Looking back at this film, it is obvious that Happy Gilmore is one of Sandler’s early films, although not much has changed from then to now, except he’s older and has put on a few pounds, but who among us can say that they haven’t, right? After the depressing and dark films that I watched a couple of days ago, I was looking for something fun and funny and got exactly that from this film. So, if you’re looking for that and know what you’re getting when you watch a Sandler film, then this is for you. Check it out sometime!

4 1/3 out of 5 stars

Cat Run

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2014 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The Andorran hooker and single mother Catalina “Cat” Rona is hired to participate in an orgy in Montenegro with other escorts and powerful men and the American Senator William Krebb. Something goes wrong with the politician and all the girls are murdered by the security of the host to avoid witnesses. However, Cat escapes and brings a hard disk drive with classified information with her. There is a manhunt for Cat and the cruel assassin Helen Bingham is hired to retrieve the HDD and kill Cat. Meanwhile, the Americans Julian Simms and Anthony Hester decide to open a detective agency to raise money. When they read in the newspaper that Cat is being chased, they decide to seek her out, expecting to receive a reward. However, they cross the path of Helen and they end protecting Cat from the killer. When Helen is betrayed by those who hired her, she decides to help Anthony, Julian, and Cat retrieve the HDD and their freedom.

REVIEW:

Well, I am finally getting around to Cat Run after quite a while of it just festering on my instant queue. After quite a few recommendations from friends and Netflix, I finally got the hint and hit play on this little known Paz Vega film. However, I have to pose the question, is there a reason that no one has ever heard of this flick?

What is this about?

A pair of private dicks find themselves caught up in a suspected government conspiracy when they take on an uncommon case: helping a high-class call girl fight off a sexy assassin who’s already torn her pimp to pieces.

What did I like?

Nothing is true, everything is permitted. Janet McTeer plays a cold-hearted, highly skilled assassin that is not to be messed with. Watch what she does to that pimp when in the early scenes involving her if you have any questions. When it comes to assassins, this is the kind that I like to see on film. She gets the job done and gets it done efficiently.

Not scared. A film like this seems tailor made to not be a violent adventure flick, but rather one of these adventure dramas that are very popular in many markets. Yes, this film follows that formula, but there is also some glorious bloody violent scenes, such as a guy getting his head blown off. I’m not one to generally gush over blood and gore, but sometimes its just what one wants to see, just not in the way horror films seem to be obsesses with doing these days.

My buddy. The buddy cops “stars” of this film, who have just started a detective agency to make money since the restaurant one of them came to Europe to open isn’t panning out. What I enjoyed was how the two of these guys served as a sort of avatar for the audience, giving us a balance of funny and nevish moments that are quite entertaining.

What didn’t I like?

Vega. The titular character, Cat, is played by the beautiful Paz Vega. One would think that she would be in nearly every scene, but that isn’t the case, as we get the two guys who are trying to solve their first case. Once they catch up to her, we get more, but it still doesn’t make up for the fact that Vega isn’t featured in the way the marketing for this film led us to believe.

Amputee. When D.L. Hughley appeared, I figured he was just going to be in that one scene, but it turns out that he was a somewhat major character. I believe he’s still doing stand-up, but one has to wonder how bad things are for him to take this role. The part itself was bad enough, but throw in the fact that he is an amputee (I believe he said there was accident that left him that way), and you are really left scratching your head.

Leading man. In direct to DVD films, there usually is a guy who happens to be the best audition, related to someone with connections, etc., but they aren’t good actors. Well, the leading man in this film, Scott Mechlowicz is just as bad as those guys, if not worse. The term wooden acting is tossed around like salad, but there is absolutely no charisma, life, or anything, really with this guy. How or why he was chosen to lead this picture is beyond me. Thanks goodness Alphonso McAuley was so over the top with his comic relief and made watching this guy bearable.

For all the excitement I had when I hit play on Cat Run this afternoon, it quickly dissipated as the film progressed. I was hoping for something to reach out and grab me, but it didn’t. As I sit here writing this review, the only thing I remember about this flick is that it starts with an orgy and is quite violent masterpiece. So, as you can imagine, I don’t recommend this film. Spend you time elsewhere.

2 3/4 out of 5 stars