A look to the past...in movies

More movie reviews!

Young Frankenstein - A laugh riot from beginning to end, this classic parody from director Mel Brooks stars Gene Wilder as Frederick Frankenstein, who detests his family history but ultimately can't resist the temptation to follow in his infamous grandfather's footsteps. Adding to the fun is a brilliant supporting cast that includes Marty Feldman as bug-eyed assistant Igor, Madeline Kahn as Frankenstein's frosty fiancée and Peter Boyle as the zipper-necked monster.

(rent) I’ve enjoyed other Mel Brooks movies, and this one was no different, although it definitely didn’t rank as high as some of his others. I think my favorite is Men in Tights, so that may give you an idea about where I fall in the humor spectrum. This felt like it was trying too hard, and involved more one-liner-eye-wiggle jokes than what I was expecting. I have Blazing Saddles in the future, so we’ll see how that goes!

History of the World, Part 1 - Mel Brooks's comic genius is unleashed in spades in this episodic spoof of history's seminal moments (narrated by Orson Welles), which begins with a brilliant send-up of the cinematic classic 2001: A Space Odyssey. Brooks goes on to lampoon the Stone Age, the Roman Empire, the Spanish Inquisition and ends with a clever takeoff on the French Revolution. The all-star-cast includes Gregory Hines, Madeleine Kahn, Dom DeLuise and Harvey Korman.

(rent) An enjoyable, funny bit with several skits from the dawn of time to the French Revolution. My disk was scratched, so sadly I missed some of the funniest bits, but it is amusing. It’s slightly less amusing when everything has been quoted to death around you, but I could still appreciate it as the origins for many other things.

Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter - Honest Abe: he was the 16th president, the Great Emancipator ... and a righteous slayer of the undead spurred to action by his mother's vampiric murder. History and legend are both turned upside-down as Lincoln tracks the creatures of the night.

(rent/buy) A fun actiony-historicalesque moving, pretty much everyone I know who read the book first hated it. While I’m not saying the book isn’t better, the movie to me felt like a perfectly enjoyable afternoon spent in the blasting AC. It isn’t great cinema, but it had some gorgeous ax choreography, fun battle scenes, and some nice eye candy. A bit slow for a pure action flick, but overall enjoyable.

Super Size Me - Director Morgan Spurlock takes a hilarious and often terrifying look at the effects of fast food on the human body, using himself as the proverbial guinea pig. For one month, Spurlock eats nothing but McDonald's fare.

(rent) I work for a dietitian magazine, so I hear lots about this type of content (and have heard lots about this movie). I found it enjoyable and entertaining, and while nothing was groundbreaking for me, I could see how it could potentially have a positive influence on others. Definitely worth a viewing, although it will either make you want fast food or make you never want to eat it again (or for at least five minutes after the movie ends).

Bringing Up Baby - Love runs wild for a hapless scientist and an unstoppable heiress in Howard Hawks's classic screwball comedy that ranks high on the American Film Institute's list of the funniest Hollywood films ever made. With her eye on paleontologist David (Cary Grant), heiress Susan (Katharine Hepburn) lures him to her home. But the hilarity begins when Susan's dog steals David's prize dinosaur bone and her pet leopard, Baby, is mistaken for a zoo escapee.

(rent) I couldn’t finish this, I don’t even think I got very far in, either. The characters were too ridiculous, the leading female annoyed me, the leading male confounded me, and overall it had little to nothing that caught my interest.

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