Here's the rebooted thread of Your Reviews of the Last Movie You Watched as the previous thread is about to reach maximum capacity. The same rules apply here as they did last time: You review the last movie you watched. And like last time, there's still plenty of flexibility to get into discussion about movies.
So with that said, here's the first review I will post on this thread:
A Fish Called Wanda
A film that was deemed to have been so funny that a guy was said to have died from laughing so hard. Does this film live up to the potential? Yes it does, and in spades!
So where do I begin with this picture? Let's cover the acting because frankly, you couldn't have got a better casting if you tried. Well...except maybe Cary Grant instead of John Cleese because the latter was essentially playing Cary Grant (his character's name is Archie Leach; Grant's birth name was Archibold Leach). But given the fact that Grant retired in the mid 1960's AND had died two years prior, John Cleese did a wonderful job in the lead role (he also penned the Oscar-nominated script, making him the only former Python to recieve an Oscar nomination). Jamie Lee Curtis--who I really don't care much for--did a good job as one of the titular characters (there's also a fish named Wanda), who has a fetish for foreign languages (specifically Italian and--as demonstrated in a hilarious Cleese-stripping scene--Russian). And of course, who wouldn't love Michael Palin as the stammering hitman/animal lover whose frequent attempts to take care of an old woman results in the death of each one of her dogs.
But the best casting choice? Kevin Kline as Otto, a painstakingly stupid (oh, yeah! Don't call him stupid or he'll dangle you upside down out a window) hitman/former CIA agent in which his idiocy may very well have resulted in him being a psychopath. His expressions are beyond priceless, his actions throughout the film are mercilessly hysterical, and he loves it! He was so good in this film that he won his sole Oscar nomination to date in this picture. And who could forget his famous catchphrase? Everytime he starts the car, he gets another driver into an accident. He turns around, and shouts, ''@2$h000000111ee!''
The writing--surprisingly enough--is rather complicated, but harkens back to the classic Cary Grant comedies. Only with some language and sexuality thrown in to boot, and to good effect. Wanda, Otto, and Ken (Curtis, Kline and Palin respectively) are hired as jewel thieves by George Tomson (Tom Georgeson in a name-reversal role) to rob this bank of diamonds worth a fortune. George pulls a fast one on the rest of the group--anticipating that they'd backstab him--by hiding the diamonds in a different location (only Ken--who is loyal to George--is given the keys and the location to the diamonds) just before he is arrested. Once Wanda and Otto realize that George never truly trusted them in the first place (well, not Otto anyways; he may or may not believe Wanda truly loves him), the former hatches a plan to seduce George's lawyer, Archie Leach (John Cleese) into carressing George into pleaing guilty and revealing the location of the diamonds. But every time Wanda attempts to bring Archie to bed, something goes wrong, and it often culminates with Archie's embarrassment. All of this, to Otto's chagrin as he covets Wanda--who was about to backstab him anyways--furiously, and continues to make a fool out of himself trying to meddle in their affairs (before they even have an affair). And the stupid things Otto does are beyond stupid--yet you understand his line of thinking all throughout in spite of the foreknowledge that his stupidity may very well be what makes him a psychopath in the first place.
And frankly, I do not want to give any more of this picture away. The twists and turns in this film are just plain priceless. It is one of the smartest, funniest movies I have ever seen--at least of the comedies that came out in the 1980's. Not a frame hinges on sentimentality. Not a single joke falls flat. If there's a negative that might take away from this experience, it's the fact that Archie is frequently made to commit infidelity only to fail to go all the way every time (and to comedic effect). It just so happens that his wife is a spoiled, snobbish little b!+(h (how convenient) who clearly wears the pants in the relationship. The fact that she dumps him over Otto's stupidity--and Archie doesn't dwell on it in the least--could be deemed a major turnoff.
But overall, this film holds up very well. I like the fact that it's a homage to the Cary Grant comedies of old--yet still carries with it an 1980's feel. I love these characters. And I love these performances--especially from the great Kevin Kline who really deserves more roles that plays to his strengths as an actor. Especially more comedic roles with such sharp writing.
A 9 out of 10, and the highest recommendation to any fan of classic comedies!
So I welcome all--both former members of the last thread, and newcomers to this thread: Discuss and review movies for another 400 pages!
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