What About Bob? (1991)

1f90d-what_about_bob_filmI was not sure I would like this film because honestly Bill Murray is not usually one of my favorite actors. However, his portrayal of Bob Wiley, a man with every phobia imaginable, is maybe his most lovable. True, he is annoying and neurotic, but he means well. In many respects he reminds me of Jimmy Stewart as Harvey because both characters were able to captivate most of the people around him. Only with Bob he got under the skin of one man and that man was his psychologist Dr. Leo Marvin (Dreyfuss). Bob tags along on Dr. Leo’s family vacation and that is where the conflict really gets started and the laughs begin. Every moment that the doctor loses his sanity continually builds up  until the stress of Bob is just too much to take! All in all this was a pretty entertaining film and I gained a new found respect for Bill Murray.

3.5/5 Stars

Review: Airplane! (1980)

754a5-airplane2In the wake of Jaws came another film almost just as riveting in its intense thrills and human drama. Let’s hear it for Airplane! Okay, well it may be the farthest thing from a real melodrama, but that does not take away from the good ol’ fashioned fun of it all. It’s quirky. It’s goofy. And it has the prototypical ZAZ humor laden with sight gags and boatloads of puns with an accompanying score courtesy of everyone’s favorite comic composer Elmer Bernstein.

The faux drama stems from former war pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays), who has an aversion to flying due to his devastating experiences and a drinking problem to boot. Now all he does is drive a taxi, and it has cost him his love, the airline stewardess Elaine (Julie Hagerty), who lost all faith in him because he lost confidence in himself. Things used to be so marvelous when they first met in the throes of romance and yet…

Who am I kidding? This film hardly has any plot, but instead, it’s one big excuse for often childish, sometimes innuendo-filled, off the wall antics. Seriously though, Airplane! rifts off a lot of things from gushy romances, to disaster films, and old Hollywood serials. But this plane is only a vehicle for gags. There’s a whole scene about a little girl who is deathly ill just so Captain Oveur (Peter Graves) can say over the telephone resolutely, “Give me ham on five hold the mayo.”

Then there’s co-pilot Kareem Abdul-Jabbar moonlighting as Roger Murdoch. He eventually breaks out of character following the nagging of a little boy named Joey (You try dragging Walton and Lanier down the court)! Why is he even in this film? We don’t know and it doesn’t matter because it’s hilarious.

There’s a kiss parodied straight out of From Here to Eternity, an appearance by the always loud-mouthed Ethel Merman, and even a jab at incumbent president Ronald Reagan. And of course who else would know how to speak jive with the two African-American passengers but June Cleaver or Barbara Billingsley? I’m not sure which one is funnier.

What stands out most about this film is all of its old vets playing this insanely wacky film straight. From Peter Graves to Leslie Nielsen on the plane, to Robert Stack and Lloyd Bridges down in the tower, their performances are priceless.

By the way, what ever happened to that guy in the taxi? If I’m not mistaken the meter’s still running.

4/5 Stars

“We have clearance, Clarence.”
“Roger, Roger. What’s our vector, Victor?”

Airplane! (1980)

15556-airplaneStarring Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty, Peter Graves, Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges, Robert Stack, with Kareem Abdul Jabbar, this is a funny if not quirky parody and comedy. The story opens with the break up of a former pilot who is scared of flying, and his flight attendant girlfriend. She leaves on her flight and he also boards unbeknownst to her. In the air many passengers get food poisoning, but it also affects the pilot and co pilot. After a doctor diagnoses everyone, the attendant messages the control tower and is instructed to activate the autopilot. But someone needs to land the plane so the fearful Ted is called upon to face his fear. Despite the anxiety and some engine trouble, his former commanding officer is able to talk him down. After these events, the couple is back together once more. Airplane has memorable lines, sight gags, puns, and a plot that parodies other films. It takes a normally dramatic and serious situation and makes it utterly hilarious. I think it works so well because the gags infiltrate the story in every instance creating this tongue-in-cheek humor.

4/5 Stars