Tag Archives: Mel Brooks

Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

FAMILY VACATION. IT WILL SUCK THE LIFE OUT OF YOU.  Mavis books a cruise for Dracula and the whole gang; after reluctantly boarding the ship, the old vampire falls head over heels for its human captain. The third chapter introduces new environs for the gang, which is a good idea. There’s a lot to like … Continue reading Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation

Neil Simon, 1927–2018

The same day I wrote about John McCain, another giant passed away, but a very different one. Neil Simon, truly an icon of the theater, is dead at the age of 91. In the clip above, a Johnny Carson interview from 1980, Simon (in a tuxedo) talks about how he writes his plays, the struggle … Continue reading Neil Simon, 1927–2018

Happy 200th, Frankenstein

On a dark and stormy night 200 years ago, Mary Shelley created Frankenstein. Traveling through Europe, visiting among other places Frankenstein Castle near Darmstadt, Germany, together with her future husband Percy, Lord Byron and the writer John Polidori, Shelley came up with the idea of a scientist who finds a way to reanimate a corpse. … Continue reading Happy 200th, Frankenstein

Hotel Transylvania 2

DRAC’S PACK IS BACK. Mavis and Jonathan are raising a little boy, but grandpa Dracula worries about him not growing fangs… The sequel moves a few years into the future and sends the Count and his monster buddies on an adventure (behind Mavis and Jonathan’s backs) to try to bring out the child’s inner vampire. … Continue reading Hotel Transylvania 2

The Muppet Movie

MORE ENTERTAINING THAN HUMANLY POSSIBLE. Kermit, a frog in a Florida swamp, is persuaded by a Hollywood agent to go west and pursue a showbiz career; along the way, he meets friends and finds a dangerous enemy. The beloved felt creatures from The Muppet Show (1976-1981) delivered their first movie, a funny, chaotic meta experience … Continue reading The Muppet Movie

History of the World – Part I

IN MEL WE TRVST. One of director Mel Brooks’s slightest comedies is an episodic look at historical events, from the dawn of man to the French Revolution. Misery is a theme; regardless of era and place, there’s always been people suffering, often Jews. As expected, Brooks turns it into comedy, as in the memorable scene … Continue reading History of the World – Part I

The Producers: Springtime for Mel Brooks

HOLLYWOOD NEVER FACED A ZANIER ZERO HOUR! I had not seen this movie, Mel Brooks’s first, for a very long time and was somewhat surprised to discover just how funny it is – and original. Who else would come up with a story as clever and insane as this? Perhaps Brooks found inspiration in his … Continue reading The Producers: Springtime for Mel Brooks

The Producers

Down-on-his-luck Broadway producer Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane) talks a clean-cut accountant (Matthew Broderick) into joining him in a scheme where they will make money from putting on a show guaranteed to fail. This adaptation of the Broadway smash hit was done pretty much the way the play was produced; the original director made it together … Continue reading The Producers

Blazing Saddles: Farting By the Campfire

NEVER GIVE A SAGA AN EVEN BREAK. Most people would say that 1974 was Francis Ford Coppola’s year, as the director delivered not one but two classic films, The Godfather, Part II and The Conversation. However, I would also say that anyone who is too serious-minded to forget about Mel Brooks is truly missing something. This was the … Continue reading Blazing Saddles: Farting By the Campfire

Robots

YOU CAN SHINE NO MATTER WHAT YOU’RE MADE OF. A young robot leaves home for Robot City where he hopes to become a successful inventor, but he ends up crossing paths with an evil corporate leader. The man and studio that brought us Ice Age (2002) deliver another entertaining CGI adventure. Ambitiously designed, the environs … Continue reading Robots

Young Frankenstein: No Escaping Destiny

Mel Brooks and the cast and crew allegedly had so much fun making this classic comedy that the director decided to add a few sequences just to keep the production going a bit longer. Watching the final results, I can understand why. This is one of the funniest movies ever made and it is also … Continue reading Young Frankenstein: No Escaping Destiny

High Anxiety

DANGER, INTRIGUE, ROMANCE… AND A TOUCH OF KINKINESS! Richard Thorndyke (Mel Brooks), a famous psychiatrist, is appointed new head of a California sanitarium, but he discovers plenty of secrets there. The director spoofs another genre, this time Hitchcock thrillers. He has assembled a terrific cast, with himself as the doc who becomes a murder suspect, … Continue reading High Anxiety