Tag Archives: John Cleese

Life of Brian: In Christ’s Shadow

A MOTION PICTURE DESTINED TO OFFEND NEARLY TWO THIRDS OF THE CIVILIZED WORLD. AND SEVERELY ANNOY THE OTHER THIRD. Modern audiences are not likely to find Monty Python’s most controversial film terribly daring or blasphemous. But back in 1979 it was a big deal. Several British town councils banned it, and so did a few … Continue reading Life of Brian: In Christ’s Shadow


FROM ABOVE THE WORLD OF CARS.  Dusty Crophopper, a cropduster plane, dreams of becoming a racer and see the world; when the chance finally comes, the challenges pile up… John Lasseter came up with the story for this film whose connection to the Pixar hit Cars (2006) is obvious; made in the same style, the … Continue reading Planes

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

Jamie Lee Curtis, 55: Taming the Horror Nerds

Jamie Lee Curtis turns 55 years old today. Once the scream queen of Hollywood, let’s take a look at her journey. She was born to Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, and in spite of this turned out pretty well. After all, it isn’t easy to grow up as the child of not just one but … Continue reading Jamie Lee Curtis, 55: Taming the Horror Nerds

The Meaning of Life: A Mixed Blessing

IT TOOK GOD SIX DAYS TO CREATE THE EARTH, AND MONTY PYTHON JUST 90 MINUTES TO SCREW IT UP.    Sketch movies are not easy to judge because of their, well, sketchy nature. They throw a bag of very loosely connected skits at us, hoping that some of them work and not too many of … Continue reading The Meaning of Life: A Mixed Blessing

The Big Year

EVERYONE IS SEARCHING FOR SOMETHING. Three birders (Steve Martin, Jack Black, Owen Wilson) keep bumping into each other in remote places; initially reluctant to come clean, they are all secretly doing a Big Year. While Mark Obmascik’s book follows real-life birders who compete against each other, trying to spot as many species as possible all … Continue reading The Big Year

James Bond 50: Wave of Discontent

  As the world’s most famous spy celebrates 50 years as a movie star, the time has come to celebrate everything we love about him. In 22 blog posts, I’ll find something in every Bond movie, from Dr. No (1962) to Quantum of Solace (2008), that’s worth illustrating. Yes, even the bad ones. It’s obvious that the filmmakers wanted … Continue reading James Bond 50: Wave of Discontent

Around the World in 80 Days

LET YOUR IMAGINATION SOAR. In 1872, inventor Phileas Fogg (Steve Coogan) wagers that he can travel around the world in 80 days; he’s accompanied by his recently hired manservant (Jackie Chan) who has an agenda of his own. Another adaptation of the Jules Verne perennial, one that takes a lot of liberties but not in a … Continue reading Around the World in 80 Days

Shrek Forever After

IT AIN’T OGRE… TIL IT’S OGRE. Shrek is going through a midlife crisis and becomes an easy victim for Rumpelstiltskin and his wicked plan. The fourth film in the series is in widescreen and 3D, but nothing else has changed. Much like Shrek the Third (2007), the filmmakers take us down our favorite ogre’s path to maturity and … Continue reading Shrek Forever After

The Pink Panther 2

INSPECT THE UNEXPECTED. Someone is stealing the most precious historical artifacts in the world and Jacques Clouseau (Steve Martin) is hired to lead a team of crack investigators. There are virtually no redeeming qualities in this sequel that has few real jokes and no imagination at all. The impressive cast makes the failure even more galling; … Continue reading The Pink Panther 2