Parody

[5.0] With a script by Neil Simon and an incredible all-star cast, I expected more from this spoof of murder mysteries. Most of the ensemble are confined to playing the same note throughout the film, including Peter Sellers as a simile-spewing Charlie Chan and Alec Guinness as the blind butler. The squeaky-clean humor is in dire need of some double-entrendres or naughty subtext. Still, it’s kinda …

[4.0] When I ask myself why I like so few Mel Brooks movies, I think the answer has to do with character investment. Even in a parody movie, I still need it. There just isn’t much to latch onto here. Cary Elwes (The Princess Bride) makes a good-looking Robin Hood, but the character doesn’t really come to life at all. I sorta chuckled once or …

[9.0] Birdman swoops into cineplexes offering the antidote to superhero hysteria, CGI migraines, and Hollywood’s usual hackneyed, formulaic bullshit. It’s goddamned original, a showcase for skill and craft, and a breath of fresh fucking air. Michael Keaton turns in a career-best performance as a one-time popular film actor who is risking it all to put on a Broadway play. In the span of hours leading …

[6.0] Seth MacFarlane (creator of The Family Guy) both directs and stars in this send-up of the American Western. MacFarlane is plenty charismatic to carry a movie and he has great chemistry with leading lady Charlize Theron. Even though her character is married to a rough-and-tumble outlaw (Liam Neeson), she naturally falls for MacFarlane’s charms and agrees to help him learn to shoot a gun so …

[6.0] Mel Brooks sends up Alfred Hitchcock in High Anxiety, a spoof centered around a psychiatrist who uncovers shenanigans at ‘The Psychoneurotic Institute for the Very, VERY Nervous’.  Brooks plays the shrink, a man who must cope with his own ‘high anxiety’ while getting to the bottom of a murder mystery before the Institute’s nefarious head nurse and former administrator order him killed! Cloris Leachman …

[5.5] Three charlatan filmmakers try to save a studio from corporate takeover by uniting all of Hollywood’s biggest stars into one big movie — a silent one! And the title of this Mel Brooks yuk fest isn’t an empty boast — Silent Movie is indeed devoid of dialogue, though not without plenty of whacky sound effects and an energetic score by John Morris. At first, …

[10] This superb dark comedy blows apart any precious John Hughes-like notions of high school life. Winona Ryder stars as Veronica, a high school girl caught in an elitist bitch-clique with three other young women (including Beverly Hills 90210 star Shannen Doherty) — all named Heather. But when the dangerous and alluring JD (Christian Slater) rides into town, Veronica falls under his spell as the …