Mini Movie Review: Avengers: Endgame

Sunday 5 May 2019 @ 10:27 pm

After the events of Avengers Infinity War what’s left of the Avengers group together to avenge their losses and try to put things right. That’s all I’m gonna say about the film.

Huge MCU fan here and my single word summary is that Endgame was …… disappointing.

My expanded single word summary comprising a single word + several more mainly beginning with “over” is that I found Endgame disappointing, overhyped, overblown, overrated, nowhere near as good as Infinity Wars, underwhelming and really didn’t meet the expectation. I wanted to be entertained and came away feeling that overall, Endgame was a letdown. It never reaches the height of Infinity Wars in story or action. Even the conclusion of some Avengers characters didn’t make any sense.

Why?

Here are some random thoughts after having watched it several times (mainly because I couldn’t believe it was so bad and keep thinking it can’t be that bad):

1. The first hour is the gloomiest and dullest part of any MCU film and I almost nodded off. When I watch an MCU flick, I wanna be entertained not bored with character back stories moping about the previous instalment. I already *know* what happened, everyone is devastated, large loss of life, yadda, yadda, yadda, get on with it. This is Avengers Assembled not Avengers Anonymous.

2. In the end, everyone gets their few minutes of screen time but it just feels forced and I don’t really care about secondary characters and even some of the primary ones. Just seeing Spidey again with those silly extra limbs makes me remember how rubbish they looked the first time round in Infinity Wars. Really no need to show us each and every one of the squad and give them a few token lines just so the audience can say “Look! It’s < insert random MCU character here >.”

3. There is a point in the movie when I actually groaned. Step forward the undisputed winner of the FFS Award, yes, it’s Pepper Potts in an Iron Man suit trying to look tough. Whatever the hell Pott’s is supposed to be doing in a battle with Thanos is anyone’s guess. She’s become increasingly more annoying in each subsequent MCU flick and has no place in a schoolyard fight, let alone fighting Thanos army. And wearing an Iron Man suit? With that expression? By far and away the worst and silliest bit of the whole movie when I seriously started thinking that the Russo’s were deliberately jumping the shark.

4. Runner up of the FFS award is the #MeToo PC shite at the end when Danvers is surrounded and protected by her coven of witches. They might as well have just replaced it with a Tampax ad complete with girl roller skating across the battlefield in Daisy Dukes to the tune of “It’s my life”. Gimme a break man, we get it. Women are Good. All men are Bad. Femalez RuL3.

5. Some of the dialogue was ropier than a trapeze artists suitcase. Cap saying right at the beginning “Let’s go get this sonofabitch” and “It has to work because I don’t know what I’ll do if it doesn’t”. And Stark at the end saying “I am Iron Man” just in case we forget. Not expecting a Shakespearean performance but it has little of the wit of previous MCU films.

6. The plot was too well signposted so it was obvious from the ending of Ant Man that the Quantum Realm and time travel would be used. Clever how they tied it though and always good to see Ant Man. The best part of the whole movie was when they went back to New York for the first Avengers battle. Reminds me just how great the first one was and how poor Endgame stacks up against it.

7. Biggest cheer of the movie and most fabulous moment? Cap wielding Thor’s hammer which *was* a surprise and totally awesome even though there were hints of this in Age of Ultron (which I’d almost forgotten). Go Cap! I also liked that Thor had become a fat slob with a and the melted ice cream quip was funny. The Lebowski reference was genius. However ……

8. What the feck has happened to the Hulk? We want unpredictable rage and smashing not the Jolly Green fuckin’ Giant. Cap, Stark, Thor and Hulk *are* the Avengers so to neuter the rage of the strongest one (two if you count an alcoholic Thor) was just stupid. This was one of the biggest disappointments as Hulk is a favourite character and we never really got to see him go beserk in Infinity Wars. When people go see a movie with a Hulk in, they want to see him smash. This was a total balls up.

9. The end battle is really unsatisfying with too much crazy bullshit going on. It’s not a patch on the focused and choreographed fight that happens in Civil War or even other Avenger movies and I couldn’t help thinking that with all the flames and scorched earth, might as well invite Sauron with a gang of trolls and orcs from Middle Earth. And what’s with the imprompt game of Pass the Parcel with the Gauntlet?

10. There were loads of plot holes, or at least stuff that I simply didn’t get or was glossed over:

– How does Stark get the stones at the end by just pulling on a glove or using his own gauntlet? When did he build said gauntlet or is it the same one Hulk wears? What black magic has he used to magically pull the stones into his own gauntlet? And from Thanos of all people, the biggest bad ass in the universe.

– How come Stark cracks time travel in a few hours when Pym couldn’t manage it in several years and he was the SME of the Quantum Realm?

– How come Stark knows where the Tesseract and Pym will be in the past to the precise day and place? He’s not Sheldon FFS.

– Why doesn’t Danvers hang around and do more instead of flying off to another planet every two seconds? This is Convenient Plot Hole No. 1 because she could have easily wrapped the whole thing up by preventing him from snapping his meaty fingers in the first place.

– How do the wizards know where the battle is at the end when they make everyone appear?

– How come Barton and Black Widow know how to fly a spaceship with no training or instruction manual? Sure, it’s on autopilot but are we supposed to expect it’s got two buttons, for for “Fly” and the other for “Stop”?

– How does Danvers know exactly where to find Stark and Nebula in the inky infinity of deep space?

– How come it takes the combined strength of Danvers, Hulk, War Machine and Thor to subdue a severely weakened Thanos without any stones yet Iron Man can just grab ’em off him later when Thanos actually does have the fully loaded gauntlet and is at full power? It’s BS man! Thanos managed to pulverise an enraged Hulk and we’re supposed to believe that Stark can just grab the stones with his Iron Man suit?

– Hulk has already worn the gauntlet and survived the fingersnap, why doesn’t he get the gauntlet and do the kung fu so nobody has to die? Even Danvers could have gotten it. Sure, Strange says there is only 1 in a gazillion chance to defeat Thanos but I simply don’t buy that this one and only chance was Stark nicking the stones off an enraged and fully tooled up Thanos.

– When Banner asks the Ancient One where Strange is, she says he’s about 5 years too early. In other words, if she can see into the future, and already has, why didn’t she see the Thanos event?

– How come Nebula forgot to change her brain WiFi password after five years? She’s sharing the same conciousness as the other Nebula but if Harry Potter can manage to stop Voldemort getting in, how come she doesn’t.

 

11. Passing the baton on to the next generation of Avengers was uninspiring and nothing to look forward to. A Valkyrie queen for Asgard? A black Captain America with no super powers? Utter PC crap and I can’t wait to see them both get their asses kicked.

12. The movie gets going once they decide on the time travel plan and that’s where it gets interesting but again, it’s not really explained why having all the stones and putting them into a gauntlet makes you end up having something like a magic genie that grants wishes. Why a gauntlet? What happens if you put the stones in your shoe and tap dance instead?

13. The money shot at the end for Starks funeral when the camera pans across everyone just so we can count ’em was totally unnecessary. Critics and reviews have been falling over themselves to boast about how much they blubbed. Why? I thought the ending with Cap was more sweetly sentimental when he decides to actually live in the past with Peggy rather than come back to the future. I blame the snowflake generation Millennials who want any excuse to burst into tears. Look at me, I’m sad and emotional, look at me, LOOK AT ME!!!

14. I liked that Cap was still in charge and led the team. The “Avengers Assemble” battle cry was a good, albeit brief, point in the movie before it all went batshit crazy.

15. How come so few of the squad dies? I counted Black Widow, Stark and er … that’s it. The combined might of Thanos and his crew against all of the Avengers and none of them die in battle apart from Stark? This is an Angry Thanos we’re talking about not the Guildford Women’s Auxiliary Balloon Core.

16. You don’t really get to see the Avengers using their super powers much. The bit when Barton goes beserk in Japan was cool and the Cap vs. Cap fight was very cool but that was about it.

17. I liked it when Tony loses his temper early on arguing with Cap about his ring of defence to protect the Earth. Shades of Civil War there which for me is still *the* best MCU movie. More of this dialogue needed with friction between the team, and less about irrelevant stuff like “feelings”.

18. The whole Quantum Realm time travel element of Endgame fucks things up and I’ve been trying to get my head around it.

Banner tells the Avengers that if you travel to the past, that past becomes your future. And the former present becomes the past which can’t now be changed by the new future. Or in other words, once something has happened, it can’t be changed but you can create a new version of it where things are different.

So.

Endgame is set in 2023 (five years after Infinity Wars which was 2018).

Nebula and Hawkeye travel back in time to 2014 (GoTG) to get the power stone. 2014 Thanos does not yet have all the power stones and there are now two Nebula’s in this space time; 2014 Nebula and 2023 Nebula.

In this new reality, 2014 Nebula kidnaps 2023 Nebula and replaces her to travel forward to 2023 with Hawkeye which is now a different version to the one in IW. Let’s call this different version of reality v2.0.

2014 Nebula uses the Avengers kit to open a wormhole to v2.0 so 2014 Thanos can arrive and get all the stones in 2023. However, when 2014 Thanos is dusted by Iron Man, the other version of reality has already happened because it’s in the past which as Banner said can’t be changed. So in other words, the events of Infinity War happened and can’t be stopped but the events of v2.0 can be changed as they now become the future. This means everyone has to be dusted in IW but in the v2.0 reality, can be brought back.

Or in simple terms, you can’t stop Thanos getting rid of the 50% because its happened but you can bring them back.

I think.

Now, if Cap returns the stones to the exact same place, the events of 2018 *do* happen in Infinity War so the whole 50% of existence being wiped out *does* occur anyway. Why bother returning the stones then? What’s the point of doing that if they’ve already brought everyone back and the past can’t be changed?

The whole time travel thing makes it complicated and the explanation in the movie about how the Quantum Realm is not Back To The Future so changing things in the past doesn’t affect future events makes it even more confusing. I reckon the whole time travel arc is a balls up, badly explained, shoved in to tie up all the loose ends and a bit of a cop out. Unless you’re an expert in the Marvel Multiverse bollocks then it makes as much sense as 1980’s Japanese VCR instruction manual.

 

Yes, it’s just a movie but when you’ve invested time and effort in the entire MCU back catalogue, it’s a bit of a kick in the balls when the final installament falls flat. Endgame is easily the the worst of the 4 Avengers flicks. If this is the direction they’re going, I’ll be glad to see the back of it.

Score: 2/5

(or a 3/5 when it’s available on home media so I don’t have watch it with an audience that’s been conditioned and spoonfed to whoop and holler)

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Mini Movie Review: Justice League (2017)

Friday 2 February 2018 @ 1:42 pm

Following on from Batman V Superman, the Caped Crusader rounds up the other meta-humans (The Flash, Cyborg, Aquaman) to take on a super villain called Steppenwolf who’s intent on transforming Earth into his own world.

I like Justice League. It’s a good solid movie and, like Batman v Superman, unfairly panned. Fuck the critics, what do they know? I’ll stick my hand up here and say Justice League is the best one yet in the wider DC Universe and I enjoyed it far more than I expected. I’m not familiar with any of the back stories either or even the characters themselves so it was interesting to see how they were introduced.

Batman is still the grizzled soldier from the previous movie; a little older, greyer but still cynical and loaded with cash to spend on over-the-top gadgets. Affleck is on cruise control here and doesn’t need to do anything else. He makes a really good Batman for this particular angle.

Wonder Woman is still hot, sexy and the first time you see her, she’s standing on top of a building in full riot gear so you can take in her long legs and cute frown. She’s much better here than in the wet-behind-the-ears Wonder Woman movie. Go Gal!

The Flash is the joker, and also the baby of the pack and gets some of the best lines. Ezra Miller nails all the quirks and tics of The Flash and apart from the slightly weird running style that looks like he might be having a fit, adds a nice light touch to a movie that veers between dark and funny and can’t quite make up its mind which to be.

Aquaman is played by Jason Momoa as a big, bearded, butch New Age traveller with a gruff yet cool sideline in drinking beers and taking his shirt off. The thing is Aquaman has always been the least interesting character of the bunch and apart from being a fantastic swimmer and able to control water, which seems to conveniently appear purely as a reason for him to join the action, there’s no other USP. If the Justice League got rid of Aquaman, it’d be no great loss and the jury is still out as to whether he actually adds any value.

Cyborg is the Iron Man of Justice League and I’d never heard of him before watching the movie. He’s kinda like an ultra serious version of Inspector Gadget and seems to be the ultimate Swiss Army Knife capable of producing anything and everything at will. If the Justice League were trapped in a restaurant and stuck making a souffle because they didn’t have the right kitchen utensil, Cyborg would be the one to rustle up an egg whisk.

That leaves Superman and let me say that in Justice League, he’s awesome. Henry Cavill plays him with just the right amount of menace; when first confronted by Batman you could even believe Superman has gone all Breaking Bad. It’s a bit like the apocalyptic dream sequence scene in Batman V Superman dialled up several notches.

Cavill also captures the humourous side of Superman who delivers several quips whilst beating the shit out of Steppenwolf, managing to make the whole thing look like a picnic. I’ve seen Clark Kent having to work harder making a cup of coffee.

The villain is some big bad bod called Steppenwolf who seems be a hackneyed cliche version of pretty much every villain you might see in a super hero movie. No complaints from me and he’s a damn sight better than the Cave Troll that Batman, Supe and Wonder Woman defeat in the previous film.

All things considered, this could have been a lot worse and it could have been much better. You can see the directions that both Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon were going and as it stands, Justice league is hugely enjoyable, certainly a film that deserves repeat viewings. Rumour has it that there’s an Extended / Directors Cut possible and I can’t wait.

Score: 4/5


Mini Movie Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

Monday 28 August 2017 @ 10:33 pm

Amazon princess Diana leaves her tranquil island of Themyscira, home of the Amazonian race of warrior women created by Zeus, and joins US pilot and Allied spy, Steve Trevor, to fight against the Germans who are developing a lethal type of gas to win the war. Diana believes that only she can bring an end to the war by finding and killing Ares, the God of War, who despises mankind and is intent on wiping them out for good.

In short, there are four things wrong with this movie.

Firstly, Gal Gadot is too sexy and comes across as a little dim naive. She’s hot, beautiful, has a body built for sin the catwalk but, as a kick-ass warrior princess, about as believable as a lingerie model advertising burgers. This isn’t a criticism of Gal, I like her lots, but she just doesn’t have the build for this part and is the type of woman who could turn you on whilst wearing a burka with a gas mask. The coy glances and seductive smiles peppered throughout the movie don’t help and neither does the sexy foreign accent. I’m not saying a woman can’t be sexy and aggressive (Linda Fiorentino nailed it in The Last Seduction) but Gal Gadot was so much stronger and intelligent in Batman v Superman.

Secondly, Diana’s weapons are all pretty lame; a lasso of truth which is as naff as it sounds; a pair of gauntlets which can deflect all manner of bullets conveniently fired at head height; a standard issue super hero shield which Captain America rejected; and an elaborate sword that looks like it was borrowed from the 1960’s Sinbad movies. Granted, her abilities are super cool and the fighting scenes are awesome when Diana gets to kick ass but these are all too fleeting and brief.

Thirdly, Chris Pine as Steve Trevor comes across as a typical smug know-it-all American. The last time such a hackneyed clichéd version of a smarmy US Air Pilot was on-screen, he was feeling the need for speed and playing volleyball with a bunch of other buff guys pretending to be straight. A drop dead gorgeous Amazonian warrior princess and a male model look-a-like pilot in World War I? I don’t buy it, not even on celluloid.

Lastly, the movie is too long and the fundamental issue of love conquering everything is a proper cop out. I actually groaned out loud when I heard some of the atrocious dialogue. Gal deserves better than this.

Another way of looking at this film is that the Wonder Woman portrayed in Batman v Superman is a hundred times more entertaining in less than a quarter of the on-screen time than the full 2+ hours of this movie. I mentioned in a previous blog that the DC Universe is no match for Marvel and on the basis of this flick, nothing’s changed. Roll on the next Batman movie.

Score: 2/5


Mini Movie Review: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

Tuesday 17 May 2016 @ 9:29 pm

Following on from the rather dull Man of Steel, public opinion is divided as to whether Superman is a good guy or a threat to all. Batman however has no such qualms and is determined to get rid of Supe once and for all after the Man of Steel demolished Metropolis whilst battling General Zod. Meanwhile, Lex Luther has found some kryptonite as well as a Kryptonite ship and wastes no time in setting the two up for an epic fight and unleashing a seemingly invincible monster engineered from General Zod’s DNA. Wonder Woman pops up to both beguile and befriend the two superheroes whilst the other nobody’s who form the Justice League also fleetingly appear, The Flash as a tramp for some inexplicable reason, as a prelude to the next movie.

Batman v Superman has been unfairly panned I reckon. Sure, it’s not a great movie but it’s a good movie. Ben Affleck is suitably grizzled as a much tougher and more brutal Batman and Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is excellent. Some of the supporting characters are good too, Perry White in particular. However, there are two big elephants in the casting room; Jesse Eisenberg as a spoiled rich kid Lex Luthor who is all edgy nervous tics and trying too hard to be cool. I really like the new interpretation of Lex but he’s no evil genius, that’s for sure. Then there’s Amy Adams as Lois Lane and pretty much responsible for fucking everything up at the end. Teri Hatcher’s Lois Lane is smart, sexy and sassy whereas Any Adams is about as sharp as a wooden spoon.

The whole movie is a gloomy, ponderous affair, full of moody lighting and devoid of humour. The Marvel movies have the right mix but Batman v Superman takes itself too seriously and you just long for the odd wisecrack. The plot is muddled too with dream sequences and scrappy bits left unexplained. Oh, and the end battle is a bit naff, I couldn’t tell what the hell was going on and the monster looks exactly like a Cave Troll from LOTR.

Despite all that though, it’s still a good movie, very watchable in its own right but I can’t say I’m looking forward to the useless Justice League. With the exception of Batman and Superman, and Wonder Woman purely because of Gal Gadot’s portrayal, there isn’t a single interesting or redeeming character to rival even third rate Marvel superheroes.

Score: 3/5


Mini Movie Review: London Has Fallen (2016)

Thursday 12 May 2016 @ 6:59 pm

Secret Agent Mike Banning returns as Head of the US Presidential Protection Detail. A funeral in London for the Prime Minister gathers all the heads of state who are a prime target for Aamir Barkawi, a Pakistani arms dealer and terrorist. When Barkawi ambushes the party, and picks off the US Security Services, it’s left to Banning to protect the US President at all costs.

Screw the so called critics, this is terrific entertainment and a great action movie. Is it better than Olympus Has Fallen? Yes, most definitely. There’s more action, everything is on a bigger scale and even some of the more dodgy CGI bits can be overlooked in favour of the plot that moves along briskly. One bit in particular, when Banning and the Special Forces mount an assault on a suburban terrorist base, is excellent and filmed in the style of a video game with a single panning shot that follows Banning around as he ducks and weaves past enemy fire.

Banning and the POTUS spend more time together here unlike in the previous movie and an added bonus is that it’s set in London which is not the natural choice for action films so it’s great to see recognisable landmarks. A solid by-the-numbers action flick then and if you enjoyed Olympus Has Fallen, this is more of the same but much better.

Score: 5/5


Ferris Bueller is a dick

Saturday 15 August 2015 @ 11:32 pm

One of the most popular comedy films from the 1980’s is Ferris Bueller’s Day Off where Ferris decides to bunk off school and take his best friend’s dad’s prize car for a spin. Am I the only one who finds Ferris a complete twat? No matter how many times I’ve seen the movie, he’s still the kind of irritating slacker that everyone hated at school and let me tell you, if he tried to pull a stunt like nicking my dad’s Ferrari, I’d kick the shit out of him.


Ten great comedy films from the 80’s

Friday 18 July 2014 @ 11:15 pm

It seems like they just don’t make great comedy films any more. By this, I mean genuinely funny movies that are as good now as they were back in the 80’s and which you could watch again and again. Most of the rubbish they churn out these days sacrifices laughs for crudity or gross-out humour, neither of which stands the test of time.

So, with plenty of great films to choose from, here are my 10 favourite comedy movies from the 80’s.


Airplane! (1980)/Airplane II (1982)

Ted Striker (Robert Hays) saves the day when the passengers on an airplane, including the pilots, fall ill from food poisoning. The sequel, Airplane II, has a similar plot only this time Ted Striker is aboard the Mayflower One, a commercial lunar shuttle on its maiden voyage that goes awry when the in-flight computer malfunctions.

What makes both of these a pair of fantastically funny movies is that everyone plays it deadpan straight and they’re absolutely rammed with both visual and verbal gags. If you miss one, there’s another along in half a minute with plenty of scenes having something hilarious going on in the background. As parodies of umpteen disaster movies, they also expertly nail all the clichés. The sequel reprises most of the cast and is even better with a great comedic turn by William Shatner as Buck Murdoch.


Stir Crazy (1980)

Skip Donohue (Gene Wilder) and Harry Monroe (Richard Pryor) are two out-of-work friends who, after being fired from their jobs in New York, head for Hollywood. En route, they are wrongly convicted of a bank robbery and end up in the slammer from where they plan to escape during a prison rodeo.

This is the second movie of four starring both Wilder and Pryor and their best I reckon, with the interaction and chemistry between the two serving up much of the comedy as they adjust to prison life, a corrupt warden and a collection of motley inmates.


Trading Places (1983)

The uber rich Duke brothers hatch a social experiment plot to see if they can turn their managing director, Louis Winthorpe III (Dan Aykroyd), to a life of crime and poverty whilst at the same time taking a poor street hustler, Billy Ray Valentine (Eddie Murphy), and making him a successful and rich commodities broker.

This is my most favourite comedy film of the 80’s and I’ve watched it so many times that, like most of my favourite movies, can pretty much quote the whole thing. It’s not just the sharp script, witty dialogue and comedy timing between the stellar cast but also the fab soundtrack that veers between classical music (The Marriage Of Figaro) and funk. The trading parts are also great and you’ll never look at OJ futures in the same way again.


Police Academy (1984)

When the doors are thrown open to let anyone become a cop, a group of misfits join the Police Academy and are assigned to D Squad, (the D stands for Dirtbags). With the Chief lamenting that when he joined the force “every cadet was the right weight, the right height, the right colour and they all had johnsons”, the academy staff do their best to force the cadets to quit.

Forget the rubbish sequels after part 2, the original is still the best and a damn funny movie. With so many diverse characters, everyone will have their favourites (mine’s Tackleberry!) with most of the laughs derived from the pranks played by D Squad on Lieutenant Harris and his two cadet stooges.


Ruthless People (1986)

Sleazy millionaire Sam Stone plans to murder his wife Barbara but before he can execute his dastardly plan, Barbara is kidnapped and a ransom demanded. Unwilling to pay the ransom and with the hapless but kindly kidnappers prone to drop the price so they can get rid of Barbara, Sam’s mistress and her lover soon become embroiled in the plot along with the Chief of Police who unwittingly finds himself the star of an amateur video.

This is a hilarious, often overlooked film full of back-stabbing double-dealing charlatans all held together by the wonderful performance of Danny DeVito as Sam Stone. The humour is derived from the plot rather than the script with everyone out to scam everyone else which doesn’t always work out well for the kidnappers who are about as ruthless as a rubber duck.


Three Amigos (1986)

Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase), Lucky Day (Steve Martin) and Ned Nederlander (Martin Short) are the Amigos, three stars of the silent screen who in the movies always end up beating the bad guys and saving the village folk. When real life villain El Guapo (Alfonso Arau) takes over a small Mexican town, one of the residents sends a telegram to the Amigos asking for help. The Amigos, thinking it’s a lucrative new movie opportunity accept and unwittingly take on El Guapo and his gang.

A gloriously silly movie with a cast at the peak of their game. There are plenty of absurd moments and despite the different personalities of the Amigos, they’re all equally clueless when it comes to dealing with real life villains.


Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

Uptight marketing executive Neil Page (Steve Martin) is in New York on a business trip and trying his best to get home to Chicago on the eve of Thanksgiving. Reluctantly teaming up with nice guy Del Griffith (John Candy), a travelling shower curtain ring salesman with annoying habits, after the flight and then the train to Chicago is cancelled, the two set off to try and get Neil home in time for Thanksgiving dinner.

A wonderful comedy about two guys who really don’t get on but learn to muddle through together. Although this is a comedy, it’s equal parts road movie and buddy movie with an ending that hits all the right notes. I reckon both Steve Martin and John Candy have never bettered their roles here and it’s tragic that a decent DVD with all the alleged hours of deleted scenes has never been released.


Coming To America (1988)

Prince Akeem Joffer (Eddie Murphy), together with his best friend Semmi (Arsenio Hall) heads to America to find his bride. Determined to find a woman who loves him for who he is rather than what he is, the two pretend to be a poor foreign students and take up a low paid job in a local burger bar where the Prince falls in love with the daughter of the proprieter.

This is a marvellously funny movie with both Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall playing several other comedy characters. The laughs are based mainly around the Prince and his best friend as they do their best to fit in with the locals including a slum landlord, jealous boyfriend and a trio of barbers who love nothing more than talking about boxing. There’s a wonderful cameo scene as Prince Akeem helps a couple of tramps who turn out to be two down-on-their luck commodities brokers.


The Naked Gun (1988)

Lieutenant Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) of Police Squad is tasked with investigating a drugs bust that went wrong and put his friend (OJ Simpson) in hospital. The trail leads to the sinister Vincent Ludwig (Ricardo Montalbán) and his glamorous assistant Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley). Meanwhile Police Squad are put in charge of security for a visit by Queen Elizabeth II and it’s not long before Drebin puts the two together to foil an assassination attempt.

Nobody does deadpan better than Leslie Nielsen and this is a fitfully funny movie that, like Airplane!, is just stuffed with rapid fire slapstick. A lot of the gags are lifted from the series Police Squad upon which the movie is based (and also starred Leslie Nielsen) but this no bad thing, especially since the series never got a huge airing, at least here in the UK. If you like Airplane! this is a must see and if you haven’t, this is even more of a must see.


The Burbs (1989)

Ray Peterson (Tom Hanks) lives in a normal suburb with his wife and kids and whilst mooching around the house on vacation, begins to obsess about who his strange new neighbours, the Klopeks, really are. Enlisting the help of his other neighbours, the paranoid Art Weingartner (Rick Ducommun) and military enthusiast Mark Rumsfield (Bruce Dern), the trio begin to spy on the Klopeks in an attempt to discover what is really going on in their house.

A perfect example of a film that is just wildly entertaining, I never tire of watching The Burbs. The humour is very much situation driven and what makes this funny is that you recognise the characters in the neighbourhood and the seemingly humdrum day-to-day life of the residents which is nothing out of the ordinary meaning they just can’t help poking their noses into the Klopecs business.