Monday, November 19, 2018

SUMMER RENTAL (1985)

I don’t care for comedies like this. The ones where the main character is a sad sack and/or a totally unlikable asshole and the entire movie is simply him/her bumbling around acting like a jackass and/or getting fucked over.  It's depressing.

John Candy plays a unlikable slob who sucks at his job so much that they force him to take a paid summer vacation.  Once in the fictional Citrus Cove, Florida, Candy does everything wrong right from the beginning.  Including, on the very first day, moving into the wrong house (how does that even happen?!) and then getting into very public argument in a restaurant with one of the most powerful guys in town (Richard Crenna)...who also just happens to to be the landlord of the house he's suppose to be in.  The insane consequences don't stop there!  Ohhh, no...Candy also sucks so bad at sailing that he accidentally punctures a hole in the side of Crenna's boat.  After that, he takes sailing lessons from a local restaurant owner (Rip Torn) and then races Crenna in the annual Citrus Cove Regatta.  Crenna has won the last 7 years.

SUMMER RENTAL isn't a bad film, it's just really boring and frustrating to watch.  I felt zero connection with the main character and thought over and over that if I ran into him in real life, I'd most likely be irritated by him.  Example: when he walks out to the beach to meet his family, he tramples and spills cold water all over dozens of innocent people that were just relaxing.  Also, the jokes were totally lame.  At one point, Candy sees his daughter moping around, so he asks his wife "What's with Frances Farmer?"  Yeah, that's a real knee slapper!

Failed attempts at humor, boring photography, one lame topless scene, slow pace (mainly because nothing really happened for the entire film), abrupt ending, some cool old vintage movie posters in the movie theater lobby scene.  I really can't think of any reason to watch SUMMER RENTAL.  Skip it.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

RAISE THE TITANIC (1980)

"It's just laying there! Move, you bastard, move!"

With the popularity of the 1970's disaster phase waning and audiences demanding more fantastic blockbusters (like SUPERMAN, STAR WARS: EPISODE IV - A NEW HOPE and STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE) what better time was it to sink $40 million into a slow-moving film about the wreckage of the Titanic?!  Keep in mind, the same year's STAR WARS: EPISODE V - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK only had a budget of $18 million!  Another thing that puzzled me was 1977's all-star AIRPORT '77 (which not only featured a commercial airplane being raised from the ocean floor, but was also directed by Jerry Jameson!) only brought in $30 million...so why would the filmmakers of this film think that retooling basically the same story with even less star power would make more money?!

The entire story behind the making of this movie would be fascinating to hear.  Like...what was the logic behind financing this film?  Looking back on it now, it sounds like a completely insane idea...and it was.  RAISE THE TITANIC cost a reported $40 million to make and only brought in $7 million at the box office.

So, we established that RAISE THE TITANIC was a financial disaster, but is it a good film?

Ehh, not really.  I enjoyed the beginning, but once the story got going it, it quickly became too silly and slow-moving for it's own good.  Long story short: the American government needs a rare mineral (the fictional "byzanium") for a full-proof nationwide missile defense program.  Unfortunately, the only known location of the amount of byzanium needed for the project is in the cargo hold of the Titanic.  Don't ask.  The whole story is ridiculous and only gets more ridiculous when the government decides the best way to retrieve the cases of byzanium is to first locate the Titanic and then raise that big bitch out of Poseidon's underwater sex dungeon and drive it back to New York City.

And if all that wasn't enough: On top of wildly convoluted story (how about instead of a bunch seahorse shit about a government defense program, you just have rich guy who simply wants to raise the Titanic?), there's the exceedingly pointless love triangle between the two men in charge of the program and a female newspaper reporter!  And don't forget about the Russians!  Or Alec Guinness who's listed in the opening credits, but is only on the screen for less than 6 minutes.  The script for this movie is a mind-blowingly wonderful train wreck.  I can't quit thinking about how dumb the whole thing is.

Overall, being a box office bomb doesn't make RAISE THE TITANIC into a bad movie, it's the dumb story, slow pace and poorly written script that make RAISE THE TITANIC a lame movie.  But then again, I pre-ordered the blu-ray, so what the fuck do I know?