Last night, I was looking over my DVD collection, and I realized something: I love campy movies. I have a great fondness for cheesy comedies, and I happen to own some of the classics.
“Hot Shots!” and “Hot Shots! Part Deux”
In these movies, some of the guys behind Airplane! did to Charlie Sheen what they did for Leslie Nielsen: they took a serious actor and proved he could do comedy brilliantly. While mainly a parody of Top Gun and Rambo: First Blood Part II, nothing is held sacred in these unbelievably freewheeling satires. Also to their credit, they feature Lloyd Bridges, the amazingly gorgeous Valeria Golino, and a third actor (whom I won’t name) in a different role in each movie.
Weird Al Yankovic’s feature movie. (Yes, I have all his albums.) Many critics dismiss this as merely a collection of sight gags, music videos, and other brief parodies, but it’s much, much more. I’d like to see it used in film schools as a lesson in making a “complete” movie. I think nearly every single plot element is wrapped up satisfactorily by the end, including the shocked little old lady watching TV at home and the annoying “change, mister?” bum. It also features the delightful Victoria Jackson as Al’s love interest, Kevin McCarthy as the bad guy chewing huge holes in the scenery, Billy Barty, and a pre-Seinfeld Michael Richards as the show-stealing (literally) janitor-cum-kid-show-star, Stanley Spadowski. And let’s not forget the promo for “Gandhi II” — “No more Mr. Passive Resistance!”
You don’t have to be a Star Trek fan to love this, but it sure as hell helps. Tim Allen NAILS William Shatner perfectly in this sci-fi satire, Alan Rickman grafts Spock’s character on to a Patrick Stewart background, and Tony Shalhoub is a stoner Scotty. Sigourney Weaver riffs every single bad cliche’ about female characters in sci-fi with barely a single “Alien” reference, and and Sam Rockwell is the all-too-disposable background crewman who knows EXACTLY what his red shirt means.
My best friend and I are both huge Star Trek fans. He can recite the dialogue of every single original series episode, while I have all the movies on DVD and a three-foot-tall stack of Star Trek books that are purely reference books. We only see each other a couple times a year, since he moved away, but we always make a point of watching this together.
Further, I have an ex-girlfriend who is also a Star Trek fan. I bullied her into letting me take her to see it in the theatres, and she has still not forgiven me — I think her sides still ache from laughing.
One of the finest, funniest superhero movies ever made. This movie and this movie alone gives me a reason to overlook Ben Stiller and Jeneane Garafolo’s politics. (It also helps that they have both badmouthed it since.) William H. Macy plays the biggest boy scout this side of Superman as a man whose “power” is his ability to wield a shovel. Hank Azaria is a poofty British master of flying cutlery — but NO knives. Geoffrey Rush revels in his role as the villain, Casanova Frankenstein, who rides around in a limo made from a 70’s Corvette. And Paul Reubens absolutely steals any scene he’s in as The Spleen, the superhero whose power is — I kid you not — flatulence.
And here’s one last thing that appeals to the trivia geek in me. One of the movies I mentioned above has the distinction of featuring both a star from “Buffy The Vampire Slayer” and a star from “The Drew Carey Show.” Can anyone name it and them, without going to imdb.com?
It’s a relief that off my chest. Confession may be good for the soul, but I suspect I’ve done grave damage to my reputation around these parts.