Tag Archives: Frank Oz

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

NICE GUYS FINISH LAST. MEET THE WINNERS.  Sophisticated British con artist Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine) gets competition in the French Riviera by a loud American colleague (Steve Martin) who talks Jamieson into becoming his mentor. Frank Oz reunited with Martin from Little Shop of Horrors (1986) for this funny remake of Bedtime Story (1964). The … Continue reading Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

The Force Awakens: Saving Another Franchise

EVERY GENERATION HAS A STORY. There are some people out there who call themselves fans of Star Wars but still prefer to pretend like the trilogy of prequels that George Lucas created in 1999-2005 never happened, even though they were as excited about them before the premiere as they are now when the saga continues … Continue reading The Force Awakens: Saving Another Franchise

Inside Out: Rollercoaster of Emotions

MEET THE LITTLE VOICES INSIDE YOUR HEAD. In 2009, director Pete Docter had completed and released the phenomenal Pixar film Up when he started noticing things about his preteen daughter Elie. She was becoming more shy and reserved, going through a process that Docter recognized from his own childhood. As he looked into the science … Continue reading Inside Out: Rollercoaster of Emotions

The Muppet Christmas Carol

  The fourth Muppet movie is the first after Jim Henson’s death and now more clearly than ever is the concept directed at children. A smart commercial move, but adults will love this transition into the world of classic stories as well. Charles Dickens’s Christmas carol is virtually reinvented by Henson’s son Brian and gets … Continue reading The Muppet Christmas Carol

The Muppets Take Manhattan

Kermit and the gang take their amateur variety show to Broadway, but the city doesn’t exactly welcome them with open arms… The third Muppet movie echoes all of those 1930s and ‘40s Hollywood musicals where a boy and a girl try to put on a show but run into all sorts of difficulties. In other … Continue reading The Muppets Take Manhattan

The Great Muppet Caper

Newspaper reporters Kermit, Gonzo and Fozzie head to London to look into a sensational jewel theft, but Miss Piggy complicates everything. The sequel to The Muppet Movie (1979) has less ambition and star cameos, but amps up the number of meta jokes; the opening credits are devoted to small talk about… opening credits. The jewel … Continue reading The Great Muppet Caper

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 … Continue reading The Muppet Movie

Death at a Funeral

LAST RITES… AND WRONGS.   When his father dies, Daniel (Matthew Macfadyen) arranges the funeral, but from the moment when the wrong body is delivered to the ceremony everything goes awry. Comedy veteran Frank Oz strikes back with another hilarious movie, this time a classically structured farce set in Britain, appropriately enough. The story takes place … Continue reading Death at a Funeral

American Werewolf in London: Moonstruck

FROM THE DIRECTOR OF “ANIMAL HOUSE” – A DIFFERENT KIND OF ANIMAL. When John Landis decided to finally make the horror comedy he wrote ten years earlier, studio bosses allegedly suggested that Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi should play the two leads. Landis refused – this was not going to be a film in the … Continue reading American Werewolf in London: Moonstruck

Star Wars Episode I: Vader’s Boyhood Years

EVERY GENERATION HAS A LEGEND. EVERY JOURNEY HAS A FIRST STEP. EVERY SAGA HAS A BEGINNING. According to Merriam Webster, the word “anticipation” means among other things “pleasurable expectation”. They might as well have included an image of the poster for this film, the fourth in the Star Wars series, the first in chronological order. George Lucas … Continue reading Star Wars Episode I: Vader’s Boyhood Years

Return of the Jedi: A Case of the Cutes

THE EMPIRE FALLS… When I told a friend of mine that I had recently reviewed the first three Star Wars movies and realized that the third film is inferior to the others, he objected. That’s the most entertaining chapter of them all, he argued, and I used to agree with him. But Return of the Jedi suffers from a … Continue reading Return of the Jedi: A Case of the Cutes

Empire Strikes Back: Deeper Space

THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES… I went back to this old favorite certain that I would be less impressed this time and give it a lower rating. But I’m surprised to say that the sequel to Star Wars is still a masterpiece as far as popcorn blockbusters go – and it’s quite different from its predecessor. The first film’s … Continue reading Empire Strikes Back: Deeper Space