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Teen Movie Critic

Reviews for the week starting on April 22, 1996

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MOVIES ON VIDEO

Airplane! (1980)

Airplane!
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If you want laughs-out-loud every minute, then look no further. The famed Zucker Bros. achieved fame with this send-up of all the airplane disaster flicks of the 70's. The story is incredibly funny, as all the things that could possibly go wrong on an airplane do. Julie Hagarty and Robert Hays lead a large ensemble cast as a flight attendant and her ex-boyfriend, who is also an ex-pilot. When the entire cockpit crew is poisoned, Hays is forced to take over the controls, leading to some hilarious scenes.

This is one of the ultimate dumb-but-funny comedies. One of the funniest scenes in the film is the spoof of Saturday Night Fever, in which Hays defies the laws of gravity to impress Hagarty. Also, actors like Lloyd Bridges and Leslie Nielsen (who would later appear in the Zuckers' Naked Gun series) and sports figure, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar display some previously hidden comic talents. This used to be my favorite comedy, but it was dethroned awhile back. Still, it's at least No. 2 on my favorite comedy list.

My Rating = Four Stars

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Top Secret! (1984)

Top Secret!
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Do you really want to know the plot of this one?! Alright, for arguments sake, I'll tell it. This great spoof of both spy films and Elvis Presley musicals is hysterical. Though not the Zuckers' best, it's still extremely funny. Val Kilmer, an actor who I've always admired, presents one of his funniest characters to date, Nick Rivers, a Presley-like rock star, who goes behind the iron curtain in East Germany and virtually tears it apart.

Once again, the comedy is great and the supporting cast strong. Although it lags in some spots, it is held up by the dumb-funny humor of the Zuckers' and the charismatic performance of Kilmer. Funniest scene: While Kilmer is being tortured, he drifts into a nightmare about missing all his high-school classes, and then...well, you'll just have to see the movie to find out.

My Rating = Three Stars

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Life Stinks (1991)

Life Stinks
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Mel Brooks' first attempt at a "straight" doesn't come close to succeeding. Brooks plays a rich LA businessman, who makes a bet with his colleagues that he can survive on the streets of Los Angeles for a month. However, his colleagues end up backstabbing him and leaving him desperately broke.

Brooks' attempt at laying social messages on the viewer is maudlin at best, moronic at worst. The only good performance in the film is by Lesley Ann Warren as the hopelessly depressive bag lady, with whom Brooks falls in love. Her performance is full of the stuff Brooks' script wishes it could be. And that is comedy.

My Rating = Two Stars

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The Lion King (1994)

The Lion King
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The last really good Disney animated musical, before the well-animated, but badly overdone music feature Pocahontas (yes, I still hate the music). The story revolves around a young lion named Simba, who is destined to become king of the animals of the Serengeti. However, his uncle Scar (voice of Jeremy Irons) wishes to dispose of Simba, so he (Scar) will be the next in line for the throne.

Wonderful animation, very good music and songs, set to an African beat and some hilariously broad humor, make this enjoyable all the way from beginning to end. The best characters are, like always in a Disney animated film, the supporting characters of Timon the Meerkat (Bird Cage's Nathan Lane) and Pumba provide some of the biggest laughs of all. I definitely think you should rent this one. It's perfect for both adults and kids.

My Rating = Four Stars

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