Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by RayS, May 19, 2020.
I enjoyed it at the time, but haven't seen it since
Quite like it, but haven't seen t for a while.
IIRC Tim Matheson was 'getting off' with an older Lady again?
The coming attractions at the end of "History of the World, Part 1" promised us "Jews in Space". Six years later, "Spaceballs" delivered.
Before I get into Spaceballs...
Apparently not many "Spaceballs" fans in the house!
In 1991 Mel tries his hand at a different kind of movie. A fantasy with some gritty edges and comedy mixed with pathos a la Charlie Chaplin. The movie bombs, grossing about $4 million. IMO, like "To Be or Not to Be" this is a film that gets a bad rap. It's not a laugh riot (it wasn't meant to be) but it has some memorable bits and holds together well. Every once in a while I check my "elevens" in the mirror, to make sure they're not up.
Life Stinks (1991)
I'm surprised there aren’t many!
Same with the Gene Hackman portrayal. I watched “Bride...” last week on the Svengouli show here in Chicago. The blind man scene was basically copied by Brooks.
I'd forgotten I'd even seen this movie.
From what I understand, in addition to be a comedy Young Frankenstein was also supposed to be a loving tribute to the original Frankenstein movies.
Using original props and sets wherever possible.
So...curiosity got the better of me and I checked to see if Life Stinks ' was on YouTube. It was. I watched it. Very mediocre Brooks with very few laughs. Highly not recommended.
I guess you can stop following my reviews on Twitter now.
Another brief sidetrack (or backtrack in this case, since it preceded "Life Stinks")
Mel ventured back into TV in 1989 with "The Nutt House". He co-created the show and co-wrote the pilot episode. The show ran on NBC and only lasted 5 episodes. The ratings were so bad that the network left the 5 other completed episodes unaired. They eventually were aired on British TV. All 10 episodes are on YouTube. Cloris Leachman and Harvey Korman are on board but the scripts and supporting characters (particularly the myopic elevator operator - a joke that wasn't funny the first time but gets revisited over and over) leave a lot to be desired.
And onward to 1993, "Robin Hood: Men in Tights"
"Dracula: Dead and Loving It" (1995)
After this film bombed (with box office of about a third of the film's budget), Mel's directing career was over.
I have never seen Men in Tights or Dracula; the word of mouth about how unfunny they were and the bad reviews were enough to keep me away. I tried watching Life Stinks and gave up after about 30 minutes.
I must try watching those films sometime.
What happened to Mel? Why didn't he have another Producers or a High Anxiety in him?
IMO, "Robin Hood" actually has a better reputation than it deserves. Apparently it did quite well on home video and does have its "cult classic" fans. Mel worked with new writing collaborators, and a number of jokes were lifted from "High Anxiety" (the camera smashing through the window), "Young Frankenstein" (the king's mole moving in each scene, like Igor's hump), "When Things Were Rotten" ("Hey, Abbot!") and even "Sanford & Son" (having a character named "Achu"). Unlike Mel's previous movies, "Robin Hood" relies on lots of very contemporary references, like recent movies "The Freshman" and "Malcolm X", pump-up sneakers and "the club". It is oddly dated, as compared to his better movies which have a timeless quality.
"Dracula" is just rarely funny, settling for "wacky" rather than witty in a number of scenes. Leslie Nielsen was not meant to play Dracula, even in a comedy! Mel was pushing 70 when he made that movie, and his ability to write funny material (or work with people who were as funny as he once was) had simply diminished, IMO. I assume after "Dracula" he couldn't get major financing for another movie even if he had a script idea.
Damn, I'm sorry I missed this thread. Several of Brooks's movies are favorites of mine, but they were discussed way back.
Yeah, but he was still Mel Brooks! Surely, some studio, producer or distributor would have welcomed the opportunity to work with him. And what of his Broadway success with the musical versions of The Producers and Young Frankenstein ? That must have given him some renewed clout in Hollywood.
Is it too late for Mel to put his head together with Rudy De Luca and Ron Clark to come up with with one final classic Mel Brooks film?
Sadly, Harvey Korman, Madeline Kahn, Gene Wilder, Dom Deluise, Marty Felman, Ron Carey, Ronny Graham, Kenneth Mars, et. al. are long gone. Perhaps, it is too late...
Mel is going to be 94 later this month. The fact that he knows his own name and ties his own shoes is probably all the success he needs these days.
I'm guessing he could have gotten some small, non-Hollywood production deal after "Dracula" bombed but at his age with his accomplishments he didn't want to go that route.
While "Young Frankenstein" the play could be considered a success by most metrics, after "The Producers" it was a relative disappointment critically and commercially.
I know the musical version of Frankenstein wasn't nearly the hit Producers was, but I believe it was still profitable.
Is Mel really 94?? I was thinking he had recently turned 90 for some reason.
That means he was around 68-69 when he directed Dracula, his last film.
I've said it before: it's so easy to forget how old people are and how quickly time passes.
Yes, Mel is 94 on the 28th of the month and Carl Reiner is 98.
Men In Tights was a disappointment. No way to sugar coat it. Still, the scene where they repossess the castle and put it up on wheels still cracks me up.
'Men In Tights ' is a masterpiece compared to the Dracula debacle. I didn'r crack a smile watching it.
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