Coneheads

Coneheads. Paramount Pictures 1993.
Coneheads. Paramount Pictures 1993.

Before watching the movie:

Have I seen this before?  There’s something special in my memory about Coneheads, but I can’t quite place it. I’m fairly sure that I had a friend in Kindergarten or first grade who talked about it fondly, but the only concrete recollection I have is that there were a few clips of it in a Paramount promotional montage on a couple of tapes I liked to watch a lot. And more recently, I’ve seen some of the original sketches. Since my memories are so hazy, and there are a few alternative options, I’m going to conclude for now that I haven’t seen it before, and if I did, it was so long ago that nothing really stuck and my view will still be fresh. However, in the interest of transparency, I’m making this decision public.

While not as widely talked about as other Saturday Night Live spinoffs, this seems to have a pretty positive reputation. The concept certainly offers room for a full-fledged plot and lends itself to a higher budget. In fact, it may be so much more of a movie concept than a sketch concept that it becomes hard to remember it got its start on SNL, like Blues Brothers.

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The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors. Universal Pictures 1988.
The Great Outdoors. Universal Pictures 1988.

Before watching the movie:

The 80s, a camping trip, a family rivalry, two comedy legends. Why didn’t I know about this sooner?

I just found this while looking for something lighter, since I intentionally tried to keep January dark to offset my tendency to hit recent comedies, and it’s time for a short break.

So, Dan Aykroyd smugly one-upping John Candy on their family vacation in some mountainside lake area it is.

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Dragnet

Dragnet. Applied Action 1987.

Before watching the movie:

I was kind of expecting this to be funnier than the show (which I’ve never seen, but am familiar with through homage), but I didn’t know when I first selected Dragnet that it’s intended to be a parody. Maybe if I was a fan of the original show I’d be worried, but Dragnet plays to parody so well I see a lot of potential to be the definitive parody (displacing the Stan Freberg audio sketches).

This movie seems to afford an increasingly rare opportunity to see Tom Hanks do comedy.

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The Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers. Universal Pictures 1980.

Before watching the movie:

Somehow, this movie started as a Saturday Night Live routine. Now it’s a cult classic slightly more mainstream than Wayne’s World. Why? I haven’t a clue. That’s why I watch these movies.

It has Dan Akroyd and John Belushi (or as I know him, Jim Belushi’s father). Apparently they wear cool suits, and they play Blues, though their family name actually is Blues. This routine lasts two and a half hours (though apparently I have the extended version).

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