The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is a 2022 American comedy film directed by Tom Gormican. The film stars Nicolas Cage as a fictionalized version of himself. It also stars Pedro Pascal, Sharon Horgan, Ike Barinholtz, Alessandra Mastronardi, Jacob Scipio, Neil Patrick Harris and Tiffany Haddish. 

Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage is struggling with his career after being passed over for several big movie roles and is constantly annoyed by “Nicky” who appears as his youunger and more successful self. His relationship with his ex-wife Olivia and daughter Addy is also ruined by years of emotional neglect. Following a humiliating event at Addy’s sixteenth birthday party and losing another big film role, Cage plans to retire from acting. He decides to accept a hazy offer of $1 million from his agent Richard Fink that involves going to Majorca to meet billionaire womanizer Javi Gutierrez and to be the guest of honor at his birthday. 

Upon meeting Javi, Cage is at first irritated by his neediness and insistance that they create an improv type movie based on a cript he wrote, but quickly inspired by Javi’s determination, and the two bond over their shared love the same movies. Shortly after, Cage is confronted by CIA agents Vivian and Martin. They suspect that Javi, who they claim made is fortune through dealing weapons, is behind the kidnapping of Maria the daughter of an anti-crime politician, with the hope that he will drop out of the upcoming election. Despite his insistance, Cage decides to help the CIA with the case. 

After successfully rigging the cameras on Javi’s compound, Cage goes to a party where he announces his work with Javi on a new movie, an excuse to stay on the compound long enough to find Maria. After a disaster involving LSD, Cage discovers that Javi has a shrine room dedicated to all his movies, including a wax figure of his character Caster Troy from his movie, Face/Off, complete with identical golden guns. Cage finds it hard to work with Javi, but Vivian convinces him to work the kidnapping into their screenplay so the he could actually reveal where Maria is. 

Cage explains tells his new idea to Javi, who believes that Cage is artistically bankrupt, and like has problems he needs to work out. Javi bring Olivia and Addy to his villa from Los Angeles; they are scared and angry over what is happening. Cage tries to make amends with them, but they reject his words and accuse of prioritizining his his film career over his family. Javi sneaks away and sees his cousin Lucas, who is revealed to be the real weapons dealer and the one who kidnapped Maria. Lucas warns him that Cage is working with the CIA and threatens him to kill cage, or else Lucas will kill Javi. Cage begins to rethink his friendship with Javi. 

After a stand-off between Javi and Cage, where neither can bering themselves to kill each other, Lucas sends men to after both of them, and the run back to the house and dscover that Addy has been kidnapped. 

This film has laugh out loud moments throughout. There are lots of references to other Cage films, which make this pretty enjoyable, but the one downfall is all the cheesiness and unoriginl part of the plot with the kidnapping and weapon dealing, which has been done to death. The entire thing about Cage, playing himself is just plain silly, but he does a very good job at it, making the film enjoyable, but still not great. Nothing against the acting, which is very good from all the main stars, but I couldn’t get past the terrible plot, also the beautiful scenery of Majorca, only helped much either. Being a Cage fan, I wanted to like this film more, but it was so hard to get past the negative aspects and I only enjoyed the film some, but not a lot. 

At a run time of nearly two hours, I could hardly wait for the film to end by about the second half it. It jumps from funny and cheesy scenes to action secens so much and so fast, it’s not as entertaining as it should be. It’s definitely not Nicolas Cage’s best or worst work and definitely won’t kill his career given the rave reviews and upcoming projects his has. This film has the Cage his fans love, which make it an pretty entertaining film, but that still doesn’t make it great. 

Yes this film is laugh out lod funny at times, but it is is also overly corny. It does however have a few heartwarming scenes, that make it a good bit better. This is not a movie that has to be seen in theater, in fact, it has the feel of a straight to streaming type. Would I watch it again? Maybe if it came on TV and there was nothing else on. Sorry plot, somewhat funny, but mostly dowdy humor and lots of action. 18+ 3/5 

The Lost City (2022)

The Lost City is a 2022 American action-adventure film directed by The Nee Brothers and starring Sandra Bullock, Channing Tatum, Daniel Radcliffe, Da’Vine Joy Randolph and Brad Pitt. 

Loretta Sage is a moody middle-aged author who writes romance-adventure novels centered around a fictional hero named Dash McMahon, who is played by cover model Alan Caprison. Her publisher, Beth, insists that she must go on a book tour with Alan as an effort to soften Loretta of her secludedness. 

After a messy start, mostly because of the popularity of Alan’s Dash image, Loretta is met by the outlandish billionaire Abigail Fairfax. Fairfax realizes that Loretta has based her books on actual historic research she did with her dead archaeologist husband. Fairfax has found a lost city on a remote island and is convinced that this is the location of ‘The Crown of Fire,’ a priceless treasure. When Loretta refuses to help decode an ancient map to the treasure, Fairfax who is scared the location will be destroyed by an an active valcano, kidnaps Loretta and takes her to the island. Alan, who is secretly crushing on Loretta, witnesses her kidnapping. He gets Jack Trainer, an ex-Navy SEAL turned CIA operative, to meet him at the island and map out a rescue mission. Beth finds out about Loretta’s abduction and also goes to the island to try to save her. 

This is not just an action-adventure film, it is also a screwball romantic-comedy film. It doesn’t shine like so many classic treasure hunting or comedy movies, but the cast makes it very entertaining. Not once is this film boring. Lots of the humor is cheesy and awkward, but that just makes this movie more enjoyable. You find yourself laughing out loud at many times throughout the production. 

You have an all-star cast, but this is far from their best work, which is probably one of the points of the movie and that does make it more humorous. It does prove that they are versatile actors and can do both serious and comedic roles. The acting is great. The storyline is beyond silly, but that’s the main point of the film. The soundtrack is perfect, except for Pat Benatar’s “Shadows of the Night,” which is about questioning how strong a relationship is, but some people don’t care about song meanings. The scenery of the Domenican Republic is absoutely breathtaking. 

Some scenes can be hard to hard to watch for those with claustrophobia and there is a bit of violence and foul language, but nothing over the top. The plot of of this film is a lot like Romancing the Stone, but worse, in fact, it’s more like a parody of the movie. It won’t be winning any awards Lost City, but it is wildly entertaining. It’s not a movie that I was dying to see, but it is worth a watch for the cast, humor and scenery. 

Overall, a very funny movie and I like the story with a story type plot. The film could’ve been less cheesy and awkward and less time could’ve been spent on trying to decipher the map’s code. In general, this is a very enjoyable film. It’s not awful, but far from being fantastic. It’s a good movie to see on a date or with friends. Would I watch it again? Probably not, unless it came on TV and there was nothing else on. 13+ 3.5/5 

Dog (2022)

Dog is a 2022 American comedy drama road film directed by Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin both maing their directorial debuts. The film stars Tatum as an Army Ranger who must take the dog of his fallen commander to the funeral. The film also stars Jane Adams, Kevin Nash, Q’orianka Kilcher, Ethan Suplee. Emmy Raver-Lampman and Nicole LaLiberte. 

U.S. Army Ranger jackson Briggs is commissioned with bringing Lulu, a Belgian Malinois military working dog, from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington to Nogales, Arizona in time to attend her handler’s funeral. On the way, Briggs has to come to terms with his post-traumatic stress disorder as well as his trouble with making emotional connections. 

This movie is filmed mostly on the road. Tatum’s character, Jackson Briggs is at first very unlikeable, because he is a selfish, heavy drinker and tries to pick up random ladies. He leaves the dog in his truck, ususally tied up alone with no food, water or chew toys. The dog goes crazy with boredum, hunger and cabin fever and starts barking incessantly, tearing up items in the truck as well as destroying the seats. Eventually, Briggs learns how to handle Lulu and stops the negligence and abuse towards her and she becomes calmer and friendlier and even sweet to him and the two become best friends. 

Some of this film is tough to watch, as it can be offensive to dog and animal lovers, especially the way Lulu is mistreated for much of the story, also the way Briggs treats himself in the beginning by constantly drinking, trying to pick up ladies, drinking and driving and not wearing a seatbelt. But once you get past all that, the film is heartwarming and will make you tear up. This movie is so touching, it will make even a cat person cry. 

Channing Tatum is great throughout the movie, bring the humor, ugliness and love to the main character. This is definitely one, if not the best of his roles. Parts of the film are extremely offensive like I said, the animal abuse, and the scene where Briggs pretends to be a blind war veteren with his war veteran guide dog just to get a room at a fancy hotel and dinner and drinks at an expensive restaurant. The latter scene does have a very sweet part where it has Briggs with Lulu in a bathtub, giving her a bath. 

I wish this film hadn’t spent so much time on the road and more time was spent on his time in the Army with his Army dog. So much of the time that was focused on his Army time and Lulu’s handler’s time is told and shown in a scrapbook and a DVD of camera footage from Lulu’s collar camera (though we don’t get much of that). But the movie does a great job of going from making you uneasy to to warming your heart and making you believe in the power of dogs and how much impact they have on the lives of humans. 

Tatum is not an actor of a destinct range, but he knows what his viewers want and this film, he gives them more than what they expected. He has come a long way from the “Magic Mike” Tatum that made him a household name. He is doing more serious roles and trying not to become typecast like so many others. This is not a film that deserves any awards and at times it’s a bit slow, but it’s not bad or even boring despite that. 

On the surface it looks like just another road trip movie or another “Tuner & Hooch” but it’s not, though at as funny or entertaining, it’s story has layers and makes it worth watching. It makes you love dogs even more and believe in the power of love and friendship. You don’t have to be an Army supporter or dog person to enjoy this movie or get any deep emotions from it. It is a well done emotional film from beginning to end, though maybe not the best of this year so far, but likely not the worst either. I can’t say whether to watch it or skip it, this one is up to you, since I liked, but not loved it. I will say, Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin did fine job on this one. 13+ 3.5/5 

Classic of the Week: Boogie Nights (1997)

Boogie Nights is a 1997 American period comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Heather Graham. It is set in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley and follows a young nightclub dishwasher who becomes a popular star in pornographic films, documenting his rise in the Golden Age of Porn of the 1970’s to his downfall into the 1980’s. The film is an expansion of the director’s mockumentary short film The Dirk Diggler Story (1988).

In 1977, high school dropout Eddie Adams is living with his father and emotionally abusive mother in Torrance, California. He works at a Reseda nightclub owned by Maurice Rodriguez, where he meets porno director Jack Horner. Interested in starting Eddie in porn, Jaxk auditions him by watching him have sex with Rollergirl, a porn actress who loves to roller skate. After arguing with his mother about his girlfriend and sex life, Eddie moves in with Horner at his San Fernando Valley house. Eddie gives himself the screen name “Dirk Diggler” and becomes a star because of his good looks, young presence and unusually large penis. His success allows him to buy a new house, a large wardrobe and a 1977 Chevrolet Corvette. With his friend and co-star Reed Rothchild, Dirk pitches several successful action themed porn films. While his is at a New Year’s Eve party at Horner’s for the year of 1980, assistant director Little Bill Thompson finds out his wife is having sex with another man. Bill, tired of the adultry, shoots them both dead.

Dirk and Reed begin using cocaine on a regular basis and because of this, finds it very difficult to have an erection and falls into violent mood swings and beomes aggrivated by Johnny Doe, a new leading actor Jack has recruited. In 1983, after fighting with Jack, Dirk is fired and takes off with Reed to start a music career with Scotty, a boom operator, who is in love with Dirk.

This is a film you either love, hate, or have a love-hate relationship with. It is awkward to the max, not a film one would want to watch with your parents, or anyone super conservative. There is still to this day, controversy with this film. The fact Eddie Adams is a teenager working in the porn industry and using drugs, is highly inappropriate and can make some viewers very uncomfortable, but this is not Paul Thomas Anderson’s first film like this, he does these kind of things again in 2021’s Licorice Pizza. PTA is known for pushing the bounderies and causing controversy with his works.

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This would have been a really good movie if it weren’t about a teen porn star and druggy. The film focuses far too much on Eddie in the porn film industry and not enough on his life outisde that ot the other manin characters. Though this film recieved tons of rave reviews, I was left unimpressed. The acting is outstanding, the costumes are period perfect and the soundtrack is great is as well, but the story lacks in quality. Adding great talent does not always make for a great movie.

The film also talks far too much about the size of the star character’s pecker and focuses a bit much on him trying to get erections. If I want to watch teen porn, I’ll go on porn website. This movie is considered a dramedy, but I didn’t find it funny much at all. The sexual jokes were all throughout, giving the film a pretty sleazy feel, which I guess is what PTA was going for just like in Licorice Pizza, where a fifteen year old boy tries to woo a twenty-five year old woman.

Overall, a decent film, but the runtime of two hours and thrity-five mintutes is had me wishing it could’ve been over sooner. Fantastic acting and a great soundtrack is really the best thing about this one. Not Paul Thomas Anderson’s best work, but not his worst. 18+ 3.5/5

Licorice Pizza (2021)

Licorice Pizza is a 2021 American coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. The film stars Cooper Hoffman, Alana Haim, Sean Penn, Tom Waits, Bradley Cooper, Benny Safdie and John Michael Higgins.

The film takes place in the San Fernando Valley in 1973. 15-year old Gary Valentine prepares for his high school picture day, when he notices 25-year old Alana kane, a photographer’s assistant and starts a conversation with her. She rejects his advances, but then later meets him for dinner and the two begin a friendship. Gary goes to auditions and appears in a variety show with Lucy Doolittle, when Gary’s mother says she’ll be in Las Vegas when she is supposed to take him to New York, Alana chaperones him instead. On the plane, Alana meets Lance, one of Gary’s co-stars in a Doolittle film, and the two start dating. but they break up after an awkward dinner with Alana’s family.

Gary starts a waterbed business with Alana as an employee and assistant. While selling beds at an expo, he is arrested on the suspicion of murder but is released soon after. When Alana decides she wants to try acting, Gary introduces her to his agent, who gets her an audtion for a film starring Jack Holden, directed by Sam Harpoon. After her audtion, she goes with Holden to a local restaurant, which Gary and his friends as well as film director Rex Blau, are paying for. Blau convinces Holden, a motorcycle lover, to recreate a stunt on a local golf course involving a jump over a firey ramp. A wasted Holden brings along Alana but she falls off the bike during the stunt. Gary runs to her to make sure she isn’t hurt while Holden performs the stunt and wreck the motorcycle, though he is unharmed.

Gary, Alana, and Gary’s friends deliver a waterbed to Jon Peters’ house as a gas crisis starts to take over the country. An irritated Pters leaves ro see a movie, but not before threatening to murder Gary’s family, specfically his brother, if they ruin his house. After setting up the bed, an upset Gary floods the house before leaving with Alana. They’re later flagged down by a furious Peters, whose car has run out of gas. They drive him to a gas station but when they arrive, he threatens a customer. Alana and Gary leave him behind. Gary stops and attacks Peters’ car, but they end up running out of gas too. The waterbed company ultimately fails because of the gas crisis.

Alana starts to work on the Joel Wachs mayoral campaign. Gary briefly joins her, but after overhearing that pinball has ben legalized in California, he decides to open an arcade. The two cut ties after an argument, where Alana pretty much calls Gary immature and he calls old in revenge. As Gary prepares for the opening of his arcade, Alana is invited to have drinks with Wachs that night. She gets to the restaurant and learns Wachs is gay after being introduced to his partner Matthew. He asks her to take Matthew home as a beard, despite Matthew’s obviously hurt feelings. Afterwards, apologizes to Matthew and they share kind talk. She goes to Gary’s arcade, but finds him gone, as he has gone to look for her.

This film has a sweet story, but the age gap is beyond weird, him being fifteen and she being twenty-five, but at least Paul Thomas Anderson doesn’t make it pedophilic, unless you count him seeing her boobs and them kissing, but at least there is no sex between them. But the fact that she is a woman hanging out with immature teenage boys is also weird. It’s like you want to jump in the movie and tell her to get some friends her own age. At times, Alana seems like a mother figure to Gary and other times, she seems just as immature as him mand his pals. Gary does eventually become very mature and a businessman and you are proud of him. Alana, makes poor decisions throughout the film, like wearing a bikini and heels to sell waterbeds at the grand opening of Gary’s waterbed company. Cooper Hoffman (Philip Seymour Hoffman’s son) and Alana Haim (of the band Haim), both of whom have never acted before this film, do fantastic jobs in their rolls as Gary Valentine and Alana Kane, definitely Best Lead worthy.

There are some things about this film that have stirred controversy, like the age gap between Gary and Alana, the fake Asian accent used by Jerry Frick, John Michael Higgins’ character can be seen as racist, the fact she never wears a bra and you can tell and the fact a fifteen year old boy becomes a businessman.There is also a couple of scenes that deal with anti-semitism. All of this controversy might make some people uncomfortable and/or offended.

The acting is great and the story would’ve been better if several things had been changed like the ages of the two main characters, the underage-ness of Gary running businesses and slight racism. The soundtrack is great, although Bowie’s “Life on Mars” doesn’t fit. The costumes are spot on 70’s, although you get see Alana’s nipples a lot, same as the cars and decor. I just wish the band Haim would have recorded a song for the movie, since they do often have a sort of Fleetwood Mac sound to them.

Overall, a very good, not outstanding film. They focus too much on Gary and Alana’s relationship and Gary’s business ventures and not enough on each others lives outside of that. I thought it was going to be more about Gary trying to become an actor and win over Alana as well, so that was a disappointment. I like the indie feel of this film and the era. This is better than most Paul Thomas Anderson movies, but not his best. I was so excited to see this one and when I finally saw it, it was not nearly what I anticipated. Good cinematography, excellent acting and awesome soundtrack, but that is practically all. 18+ 3.5/5

Classic of the Week: Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928)

Steamboat Bill Jr. is a 1928 silent comedy film starring Buster Keaton and directed by Charles Reisner. The film is known for what may be Keaton’s most famous film stunt: The exterior of a whole house falls around him while he stands in the ideal spot to pass through the open attic window instead of being crushed. The film inspired Disney’s Steamboat Willie, Mickey Mouse’s 128 film debut.

The film follows William “Steamoat Bill” Canfield, who is the owner and captain of a paddle steamer that has seen better days. He impatiently awaits for his college student son to arrive, whom he hasn’t since the boy was a baby. Expecting a big man like himself to help him compete with businessman John James King and his brand new, expensive riverboat, William is sorely disappointed with his awkward son, who arrives with a beret, a pencil mustache and a ukulele. He gets enraged when he finds out that his son and King’s daughter Kitty, also visiting her father, are in love. Both business opponents are determined to break up the relationship.

When Canfield’s ship is said to be unsafe, he accuses King of plotting it. He beats him up and is put in jail. His son tries to set him free by bringing him a loaf of bread with tools hidden inside, but his plan is dicovered. The sheriff hits the son on the head, sending him to the hospital. A cyclone then hits, tearing down buildings and jeopardizing this ships. As Canfield Jr. is making his way through town, a build front falls around him.

Although this film was a box office failure and received mixed reviews upon its release, it has since gone down as one of Keaton’s best movies and one of the greatest films of all time. It has many laugh out moments, lots of slapstick and special effects that were ahead of its time and still impress to this day. It has romance, drama and a few heartwarming and instense scenes.

This iconic film has inspired so many movies and televisions shows, especially the house falling scene. This is a movie with a simple plot and that was so brilliantly executed in every way, I don’t understand how this did so poorly in theaters and had such mediocre reviews. It is a wonderful, fun-filled and very entertaining film from begining to end. There is not one dull moment and it is Keaton at his best.

There is no nudity, no profanity (of course) and no drinking or smoking. There is slapstick violence. The father’s rejection of his vain son and the cyclone scene may be disturbing to some children, but other than that this is a pretty family friendly film. This is one movie that can be watched over and over again. This film has definitely stood the test of time. Truly a masterpiece that will continue to entertain and inspire. 7+ 5/5

Top Feminist Films Part 2

60. Faces – 1968

61. A Smiling Madame Beudet – 1923

62. 3 Women – 1977

63. Drowning by Numbers – 1988

64. Street of Shame – 1956

65. Women Without Men – 2009

66. Entre Nous – 1983

67. The House of Sand – 2005

68. Sweetie – 1989

69. Girls Town – 1996

70. The Children’s Hour – 1961

71. Ukraine is Not a Brothel – 2013

72. Bhutto – 2010

73. Kadosh – 1999

74. Klute – 1971

75. Real Women Have Curves – 2002

76. Lovely & Amazing – 2001

77. A Taste of Honey – 1961

78. He Named Me Malala – 2015

79. It’s a Girl! – 2012

80. Medea – 1988

81. After Tiller – 2013

82. Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle – 1994

83. A Case of Rape – 1972

84. Girl Rising – 2013

85. The Apple – 1998

86. When We Leave – 2010

87. Everlasting Moments – 2008

88. Stella Dallas – 1937

89. Camille – 1936

90. Tangerine – 2015

91. The Sleeping Voice – 2011

92. The Invisible War – 2012

93. She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry – 2014

94. RBG – 2018

95. Adam’s Rib – 1949

96. Harper Valley PTA – 1978

97. The Burning Bed – 1984

98. Working Girls – 1986

99. The Watermelon Woman – 1996

100. Offside – 2006

Classic of the Week: Girl Shy (1924)

Girl Shy is a 1924 romantic comedy film starring Harold Lloyd and Jobyna Ralston and directed by Fred C. Newmeyer. In 2020 the film entered the public domain. The film is a bout a shy young man who is unable to talk to women, who sets out to publish a book, finding true love in the process.

This film is filled with laugh out loud moments, romance and slapstick humor. Harold writes a book called “The Secret of Making Love,” though he is terribly shy and awkward with ladies. He thinks that if the book gets published, it will bring him good money and a wife, but to his misfortune, he still stutters. He does end up finding love, but the road there isn’t an easy one.

Harold Meadows (Lloyd) is a tailor’s apprentice for his Uncle in Little Bend, California. He is so shy around females and can hardly talk around them. To stop his stuttering, his uncle blows a whistle. Despite this Harold writes a book about the secrets to making love, describing how to pursue different types of women, like “the flapper” and “the vampire.” He takes a train to a publisher in Los Angeles. He meets Mary Buckingham (Ralston), a rich young lady when she happens to board the same train after car breaks down and helps rescue and hide her Pomeranian that isn’t allowed on the train. Throughout the film, he both wins and loses her love, while trying to become a writer.

Though this is a romantic comedy film, it isn’t like many rom-coms that either super cutesy or super cheesy, it is the perfect balance of romance, comedy, slapstick humor and heartwarming moments. it makes you laugh out loud and smile. Harold is one of the original comedy guys and he is fantastic in this movie. This is a film that inspires you to not give on your dreams and that there is love for everyone. This is one that can always put a smile on your face and a glow in your heart.

There is a scene where the lead the character, (comically) spanks a woman, there is also violence (slapstick), sexual innuendos, kissing, car chases and bootleggers and in one particular scene, wine is consumed. So this isn’t a movie for young viewers, but older ones may enjoy it more. This is an adventurous, romantic and humorous story rolled into one wonderful film. One of Harold Lloyd’s best films, definitely in the top five. Not just one of the greatest silent films, but films of all time. One that can be over and over without getting old.

If you’re looking for a classic to watch, a movie for date night or just something to cheer you up, this is undoubtedly a perfect choice, or just for any time. Very entertaining, yet has it’s sweet scenes This may be a lesser known silent film, but it is one that should be on everyone’s “must watch” list. Nothing too silly or cheesy, it is lovely, funny and clever from start to finish. 10+ 4.5/5

Classic of the Week: The Odd Couple (1968)

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The Odd Couple is a 1968 American Technicolor buddy comedy film written by Neil Simon, based on his 1965 platypus of the same name. It was directed by Gene Saks and starred Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau. The film follows the story of divorced men, neurotic neat freak Felix Unger and fun filled slob Oscar Madison, who decide to live together, despite their personality differences.

 

Felix Unger (Lemmon) checks into a roach motel near Times Square and attempts. To kill himself by jumping out the window, but fails to get it open and pulls a muscle in his back. He limps back on the street and tries to get drunk at a dance bar and ends up hurting his neck when throws down a shot. He contemplates jumping in to the river.

In the unkempt Upper West Side apartment of divorced sportswriter Oscar Madison (Matthau) on blistering hot summer evening, Oscar and his buddies are playing poker  and discussing their friend Felix Unger, who is unusually late for the game. They also complain about how messy the apartment is. A friend’s wife calls and tells them Felix is missing. Oscar calls Felix’s wife, who says they have split up. Worried Felix might commit suicide, he shows up not knowing his friends already know about his wife kicking him out of the house.

Felix starts crying and his friends comfort him. Oscar then suggests that Felix move in with him, since Oscar has lived alone since his split up with his own wife, Blanche, several months before. Felix agrees and tells Oscar to let him know is he gets on his nerves. Within only a week, Oscar is going crazy.

This is a hilarious movie that many can relate to. Living with someone who has different personality can be difficult, especially when one is tidy and the other isn’t. You both want things a certain way and they often causes chaos. Sometimes you either learn to compromise or just live it and sometimes that works and sometimes, it doesn’t, like in this film. Oscars grows fed up and kicks Felix out for his obsessive compulsive ways. Eventually Oscar lets Felix back in and two realize best friends should have each other’s backs.

This film is filled with laugh out loud humor, fighting and bickering, but it also at times, has heart when the two realize messiness and tidiness isn’t the end of the world, that friendship is more important.

This move will have you laughing at time, but also it will warm your heart at other moments. It teaches you family and friends are the most important thing in life. That despite all their hardships they had to endure living together, Felix and Oscar, remained best friends and vowed to always be there for each other, through thick and thin.

This not just a humorous film, but also one that teaches not just about friendship, but also about how to overcome  misfortune and to never be afraid to ask for help, especially when needed the most. Underneath all the confrontation, this story has true heart. A wonderful film that has inspired two television spin offs. Outstandingly written, directed and acted. A perfectly imperfect movie from beginning to end that never disappoints. 10+ 5/5

Classic of the Week: Animal Crackers (1930)

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Animal Crackers is a 1930 American pre-code comedy and musical film directed by Victor Heerman and stars the Marx Brothers, Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo with Lillian Roth and Margaret DuPont. It was based on their Broadway musical of the same name. The film follows the story of how a valuable painting goes missing during a party in honor of famous African explorer Captain Jeffrey T. Spaulding.

This is not only a Marx Brothers and comedy classic, but it is truly one of the funniest films of all time. It is clever and funny. There musical numbers and Groucho and Zeppo sing as well and Harpo and Chico both play the piano, Harpo also plays the harp. Like most of the Marx Brothers’ films, Groucho is the ringleader. There is lots of cheesy, yet fun songs (except for one love song), slapstick fighting, clever humor, tricks and flirting.

Groucho is fantastic as Captain Jeffrey T. Spaulding, Harpo is great as the professor, Chico is also great as Signor Emanuel Ravelli and Zeppo does a fine job as Horacio Jamison. Margaret Dumont does a fine job in her role as Mrs. Rittenhouse, owner of the house (on Long Island) and Lillian Roth does equally god as her daughter Arabella.

There are many fun musical numbers in this film such as, “Hello, I Must Be Going,” “Hooray For Captain Spaulding” and “He’s One of Those Men.” There’s also the love song, “Why. Am I So Romantic?” The songs give this film the right amount cheese and excitement.

There is also a lot of jokes, some that have become famous with the brothers like Groucho saying, “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know” and when the party guests are giving three cheers to Captain Spaulding, Harpo brings in three chairs. Harpo is the only Marx brother that doesn’t speak in their films, although he occasionally laughs and whistles, he is also very gullible and naive.

This movie will have you laughing, cheering and dancing. There is mild sexual innuendo and flirting and slapstick violence, but no one is seriously injured. There is drinking and smoking throughout, Groucho is seen with his trademark cigar. But other than that, it is very mild and okay for older children, as younger ones won’t understand the jokes.

Never once is this film boring. It is truly hilarious and entertaining and gets that way more and more after viewing. The Marx Brothers were and still are some of not just the funniest, but greatest actors and movie makers of all time. They, to this day, can put a smile on a person’s face and brighten a day with laughter. This is a wonderful movie that is just as quick-witted as it an enjoyment. With music, dancing, humor, peril and romance, this one will never disappoint. 8 & up 5/5