Tag Archives: Michael McKean

True Crime

When a journalist is killed in a car crash, a veteran colleague (Clint Eastwood) is assigned to her story; she was covering the upcoming execution of a man (Washington) who might be wrongly convicted. The first screen adaptation of an Andrew Klavan novel was a commercial failure and not one of Eastwood’s sharpest films. His … Continue reading True Crime

Planes, Trains & Automobiles

PACK IN THE LAUGHTER! After a business trip to New York City, Neal Page (Steve Martin) is trying to get home to his family in Chicago for Thanksgiving, but frequently gets stuck with a very loud co-traveler (John Candy)… Director John Hughes is back on the roads after National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) for a comedy … Continue reading Planes, Trains & Automobiles

This Is Spinal Tap: Band in Need of Aid

DOES FOR ROCK AND ROLL WHAT “THE SOUND OF MUSIC” DID FOR HILLS. In 2002, This Is Spinal Tap was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress. It’s not hard to see why. The film has become a template for an entire genre of “mockumentaries” and numerous rock musicians have talked about mistaking it for a … Continue reading This Is Spinal Tap: Band in Need of Aid

Jumpin’ Jack Flash

SHE DIDN’T KNOW JACK ABOUT BEING A SPY. Bank employee Terry Doolittle (Whoopi Goldberg) suddenly receives a coded message on her computer that turns out to have been written by a British spy. Whoopi’s first bad career move after breaking through in The Color Purple (1985) would be followed by many others. This is also the subsequently successful … Continue reading Jumpin’ Jack Flash

Whatever Works

Misanthropic New Yorker Boris Yellnikoff (Larry David) reluctantly agrees to let a runaway Mississippi girl (Evan Rachel Wood) stay in his apartment and a complicated relationship evolves. After arguing his way through six seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm, it was easy to get enthusiastic about David taking his TV alter ego to Woody Allen’s world. He’s amusing … Continue reading Whatever Works

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

For Your Consideration

As veteran actors Marilyn Hack and Victor Alan Miller (Catherine O’Hara, Harry Shearer) are working on a movie together, they learn that their performances are generating Oscar buzz for the first time ever in their careers. Another mockumentary from director Christopher Guest, who probably objects to that term since he and co-writer Eugene Levy clearly have … Continue reading For Your Consideration

Little Nicky

YOU KNOW HIS NUMBER. YOU KNOW HIS NAME. AND NOW YOU WILL MEET… HIS SON.  When his nasty brothers wreak havoc on Earth, Satan’s overly sweet son Nicky (Adam Sandler) has to bring them back to Hell. Every Sandler movie may be hell to some, but this really is one of his worst. The star … Continue reading Little Nicky

The Guru

WHEN HE TALKS, WOMEN LISTEN. Indian dance teacher Ramu Gupta (Jimi Mistry) leaves his country for the United States where he’s hoping to become a movie star; however, circumstances turn him into a “guru of sex”. Bollywood meets Hollywood in this cheerful but utterly conventional comedy. Watching the fake guru’s escapades in New York are … Continue reading The Guru

The Aristocrats

NO NUDITY. NO VIOLENCE. UNSPEAKABLE OBSCENITY.  This documentary is certainly one of the most foul-mouthed movies you will ever see, so don’t miss the opportunity. Allegedly, it features 100 comedians (I haven’t counted them) talking about the most famous joke of the trade, the one that ends with the punchline “The Aristocrats”, and gives anyone … Continue reading The Aristocrats

A Mighty Wind

BACK TOGETHER FOR THE FIRST TIME, AGAIN. They went from heavy metal to musical shows to dog shows, and now Christopher Guest and his fellow mockumentarians of This is Spinal Tap fame are turning their attention to folk music; we get to follow several legendary performers as they prepare for a reunion concert. There’s such hard … Continue reading A Mighty Wind

Best in Show

SOME PETS DESERVE A LITTLE MORE RESPECT THAN OTHERS.  Another Christopher Guest mockumentary, this time focusing on dog shows, as we are introduced to a number of colorful dog owners as they try to take the prize at a Philadelphia dog show. The dialogue was supposedly improvised, but that’s not a problem when you’re dealing … Continue reading Best in Show