Bowfinger

Bowfinger. Imagine Entertainment 1999.
Bowfinger. Imagine Entertainment 1999.

Before watching the movie:

Why haven’t I seen this movie? Well, it’s PG-13, and I was ten or eleven when it came out. But why haven’t I seen it since? I’m not sure why I never circled around to it. Eventually I started doing this blog and I knew when I saw it, I’d have to review it here, which has a tendency to slow things down. But Steve Martin and 80s-90s Eddie Murphy together make for a film I’d have to experience eventually.

I always had some concept of the plot as being about a scam going down, so I was picturing something like Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. But then a movie is involved, so maybe it was more like After the Fox. It turns out, the scam is that a box office superstar is getting tricked into acting in a no-budget film for free, I guess via hidden cameras. This is going to be fun.

Continue reading

The Out of Towners

The Out of Towners. Paramount Pictures 1999.
The Out of Towners. Paramount Pictures 1999.

Before watching the movie:

I need a break from Christmas. Also there are very few Christmas movies I can get hold of that I can blog and wanted to see.

The impression I had of a couple getting out to New York for a change and everything going off the rails reminded me a lot of Date Night, but it looks like they’re looking at moving out there permanently as a change once their kids have moved out, so it’s a different time of life here. And also it probably isn’t going to go off the rails in anything like the same way.

Steve Martin is of course very consistent, and I recall Goldie Hahn doing well in Foul Play, but that may be the only thing I’ve seen her in.

Continue reading

Parenthood

Parenthood. Imagine Entertainment 1989.
Parenthood. Imagine Entertainment 1989.

Before watching the movie:

I always thought this had something to do with a Bill Cosby book that doesn’t seem to actually exist. I’m probably thinking of a section of Himself, but I thought he wrote a triptych of books on growing up (I couldn’t give a title for this), raising a family (the nonexistent “Parenthood”), and getting old (Time Flies). If one of his books of comedic anecdotes were filmed, he’d probably have been cast as the star anyway.

It sure seems like I’ve reviewed this before. It seems to be a sibling to Father of the Bride, and the synopsis sounds an awful lot like Cheaper By The Dozen, which not only has a “suggested by” not-remake with Steve Martin, but also, as I discussed, seems to have been made many times as many different movies. So, here we go again?

Continue reading

YesterMovies Rewind: L.A. Story

L.A. Story. Carolco Pictures, 1991.
L.A. Story. Carolco Pictures, 1991.

Five years ago, on December 4, 2009, Yesterday’s Movies officially began. To celebrate half a decade of movie reviews, I’m rewatching some of the highlights and giving them second-look reviews. I’m kicking it off with a look back at the best reviewing experience I had, L.A. Story.

As I recall, I’d heard the film spoken of glowingly, but never expected it to be much more than one more copy-paste romantic comedy. I didn’t expect the amount of fun, warmth, and satire, and I certainly didn’t expect the element of fantasy. At this point the main thing I remember about the plot is that Steve Martin falls in love with a woman he probably shouldn’t. Also there’s a cameo with Patrick Stewart.

I’m concerned that it won’t be as good as I remember, simply because so much of my impression was born from the gulf between what I expected and what I actually saw.

Continue reading

Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid. Universal Pictures 1982.
Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid. Universal Pictures 1982.

Before watching the movie:

This film’s use of archive footage within the narrative reminds me of What’s Up, Tiger Lilly?, but when I try to draw a tighter comparison, they aren’t really all that alike. The Woody Allen film takes a few foreign films and uses the audio to dub a new story onto it. I can’t quite tell if this is new material supported by old films or new material stringing old film clips together, but there’s much more new content on the screen than in “Tiger Lilly”. I get the idea it has more in common with Forrest Gump than the other. I’m sure there’s a better example of new material interacting with old material to tell a new story, but I can’t bring it to mind.

Otherwise, this looks like a standard noir detective spoof rested on Steve Martin’s capable back. It’s hard to say much past that, since everything I can find about it focuses on the classic clips.

Continue reading

Mixed Nuts

Mixed Nuts. Tristar Pictures 1994.
Mixed Nuts. Tristar Pictures 1994.

Before watching the movie:

I found this because I was looking for Christmas movies. I thought I knew what this movie was about, then I read more than one description. Now I’m less sure. Something about a crisis hotline, and somehow a tangled mess of relationships is involved.

Lots of big-to-medium names here. It’s sold as a comedy, and Steve Martin is in it, so it should be fun.

Continue reading

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Paramount Pictures 1987.

Before watching the movie:

I saw a little of this movie over a year ago, but I mainly remember a rant Steve Martin delivers. I certainly don’t remember as much in general as a DVD blurb could tell me, but essentially Steve Martin has to cross the country with planes snowed out, and faces a million irritations, many from John Candy, a traveler going the same way.

Maybe I do know as much as the blurb after all.

Continue reading