I’ve never seen much evidence that this movie is much more than, “Haha, a man has to take care of his children while his wife goes to work! How upside-down is this world?” I can hold out hope for some mention of how the expectation that men will always be away from the family at work leads to men who were never taught how to maintain a household, but it seems unlikely.
It’ll probably be funny, but just, maybe not the kind of funny that’s aged well.
It’s almost certainly just the snow and the 80s design aesthetic, but the poster makes me think of Spies Like Us a lot more than I should be.
Basically, these two New Yorkers lose their jobs the same week and their personality clash as they keep running into each other escalates to absurdity. Matthau and Williams may not seem compatible, but the central conceit is that they’re not compatible, so this could be a peanut butter and chocolate kind of combination.
This movie has the rough edge to its animation that I normally associate with Don Bluth or Ralph Bakshi. I guess everybody that wasn’t Disney had this kind of look in the 80s, and The Black Cauldron didn’t quite escape at that.
Being an animated adventure centered around rock and roll and magic, this reminds me vaguely of Rock-a-Doodle, but by way of Cool World.
This seems strongly positioned as a guardian angel/Mary Poppins kind of movie, but I think that’s just metaphorical, and hopefully tongue in cheek. The movie I would really like this to be is Max Dugan dropping into his daughter’s life expecting to fix everything and be instantly forgiven and failing miserably on both accounts, then working to earn his way back into her family and in the process making things better. That’s the plot vibe I’m getting from this movie, and I hope the magical trappings are just because it’s the kind of art Neil Simon brings to a project, because if it’s as straightforward as it looks, that would easily become too simple and saccharine.
I suppose I shouldn’t be so surprised a movie known for one sequence (slow-motion astronauts) is over three hours long. After all, Lawrence of Arabia is mainly known for the desert montage. I am surprised to learn the scope of the movie. I always understood it to chronicle the Mercury program, and possibly Gemini leading to Apollo. But I’m now seeing it described as starting with breaking the sound barrier. On reflection, supersonic speed would have come from the same test programs that produced the Space Race astronauts, but I never connect aeronautics and astronautics.
I should address that I somehow got the idea the film was made in the 60s, which is ridiculous, since it chronicles the 60s. But on the rare occasions I thought about that, I considered it kind of a propaganda film doing a victory lap after a successful moon landing. Which would still probably make it early 70s, but that’s quibbling.
I think I first heard this existed in some kind of Eddie Murphy retrospective. I just remember an interview clip of Murphy talking about being awed at getting the chance to work with Nick Nolte. This looks like a slight revision of the “buddy cop” formula, where in this case, one of the chalk and cheese pairing isn’t a cop but a convict, presumably with the connections the one who is a cop needs.
Buddy cop wasn’t played out in the early 80s, but I think it was still well established at the time. What comes to mind right now is that the two-year later Beverly Hills Cop seems like a streamlined version of this premise without the buddy cop dynamic, merging the streetwise fast-talker character with the unshakeable detective character. It’s highly likely from the similarity and proximity that Murphy got Beverly Hills because of this movie.
I’m not sure I’ve seen Nolte in anything other than Lorenzo’s Oil, which I saw in a science class in high school. I don’t remember much of it, but I do know it’s clearly a very different film from this. Continue reading →
Rodney Dangerfield should be able to play a slob pretty convincingly. It’s a large part of his persona. And all he has to do to inherit a windfall is give it all up. It’s an interesting conflict for an actor known for one personality to do a movie where he has to give up a large part of that personality. Vaguely like Jerry Lewis turning ultra-suave in The Nutty Professor.
Beyond that (admittedly large) nugget I’m going into this movie pretty blind. I don’t know how it’s going to play out in any detail beyond a guess at the basic plot structure.