Movie Essays Reviews

Movie Essays Reviews-76
There's a story that when Mel Brooks — until then acknowledged king of the movie spoof with the likes of Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety and Young Frankenstein behind him — first saw Airplane! There were, he realised, some new kids on the block playing Mel's game, and they seemed to be playing it as well and sometimes better than he did. Over the next few years Brooks would vainly struggle to retrieve the send-up mantle with insipid pastiches such as Spaceballs and Robin Hood: Men In Tights, but his spirit was mortally wounded and he retired from the fray shortly after Dracula: Dead And Loving It (1995). The brothers Jerry and David Zucker and Jim Abrahams had first met in the 70s and, as "ZAZ" founded the Kentucky Fried Theatre Company, a sketch troupe specialising in spoofs of bad TV commercials.To gather material they used to leave an old VCR taping the telly through the wee small hours.Rapunzel, Rapunzel...") Thankfully Zucker Abrahams Zucker turned down the immensely inferior Airplane 2, leaving their flight of comedic genius unsullied and making the asinine parpings of today's comic duo, the Farrelly Brothers, look distinctly grounded.

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Some time in 1974 they were spinning through the ads when they came across a terrible 1957 disaster movie - Zero Hour - based on a novel by Arthur Hailey (who would also pen the novel Airport, the film of which is often mistaken for Airplane! They immediately saw the comedic potential of the story of a shell-shocked ex-navy pilot having to land a jetliner packed with food poisoned passengers and started writing gags. One studio wanted it as a 20 minute sketch at the heart of Kentucky Fried Movie 2; ZAZ saw the movie as set in 1957 aboard a twin prop, but were dissuaded.

And the movie was originally written with commercial breaks, into which ZAZ would bung some of their ad spoofs. What emerged six years later was quite simply the Citizen Kane of zany comedies.

But “Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet,” an animated attempt to turn the essays into a family movie, won’t give you goose bumps of nostalgia; it’s more likely to put you to sleep.

Directed, too earnestly, by Roger Allers and shepherded into being by Salma Hayek — who acts as a producer and overacts as the voice of a voluptuous house cleaner — this collection of eight mini-sermons falls flat.

Liam Neeson’s creamy Irish brogue is an odd fit for Mustafa, a Christ-like poet in a fictional Mediterranean village who has been accused of sedition and who, en route to his demise, bursts into parable whenever the opportunity arises.

This makes him rather annoying, but opens up the picture to a selection of the world’s most talented animators, who illustrate Gibran’s philosophies in segments that offer shining relief from the stale, computer-assisted images that tell the main story.

The movie review is created to help the reader to draw a conclusion: is the movie worth time, or is it better to watch something else.

The main thing is that the author’s opinion should be independent.

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you're getting four recommendations to expand your horizons! Jedi-Bendus will get a patron-only review every two weeks, as well as the weekly recommendations.

What's more: patrons get to decide one of the things I will be reviewing that month!

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