Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Airplane: An Amentior Film Review!


ome of you know that Vincenzo and I think Airplane! Is a classic film. I’ve no idea what Swissy thinks of Airplane! She is far more cultured than Vincenzo and I which is part of the reason she was invited to write on this blog because we desperately need class. Well, she is insane like me and Vin but in a refined way.

I recently rewatched Airplane! It’s been awhile. For those of you youngsters out there; the “Scary Movie” franchise owes a lot to Airplane! Like Scary Movie 1-23 (or whatever number they are on now) Airplane! has references to cultural events of the late 1970’s (the movie was released in 1980). However, unlike ‘Scary Movie' it’s not as heavy handed with the references. There are references to Jaws,, Saturday Night Fever , An Officer and a Gentlemen and From Here to Eternity. However, the overarching mockery is reserved for the disaster films of the 1970’s. There was a wave of them in the 1970s; including several "Airplane" movies that were overwraught dramas that cried out for mockery. At least, Titanic was based on a true story. Now that I think of it hasn’t there been a recent wave of disaster flicks to rival any of those from the 1970’s? Deep Impact, Outbreak, The Perfect Storm, The Day After Tomorrow, The Presidential Election (just kidding about the last one). Is the economy to blame? Might as well go down with the ship as you can’t even get a job these days!

Airplane! has moments but maybe it helps to have the references or the recognition of the “serious” actors mocking their own gravitas: Robert Stack, Lloyd Bridges and chief among them, Peter Graves. Graves’ actually makes implied pedophilia and man-boy love funny in a classic comedy turn.

The film has several non-PC references that I wonder would even make it these days into a film. It manages, in all fairness, to offend everyone. But, if you are easily offended don’t see this film. But, it winks at us continually. It’s like a film made by 16 year old boys. In reality it was written and directed by 3 men who I doubt were high schoolers.

It has a Benedictine nun with a guitar (natch), 2 jive-talking brothas that have to be interpreted by The Beav’s Mom, assault, Ethel Merman, a war story, disco, a gynecological exam, Kareem Abdul-Jabar, a blow-up doll that pilots the plane and has a, uh, bizarre relationship with Julie Haggerty’s character, creepy adult acting kids, perky stewardesses, unecessary nudity, oh, yes and a plane in danger. Let’s not forget the obligatory cute kid who is using the plane to get to the hospital for a critical transplant. Sorry, no priest on board!

After all these years I still think the disco parody with Robert Hays channeling John Travolta is funny and when is Leslie Nielsen, who appears in this film, not funny.? I still roar over the landing sequence.

But, the film is stolen from the dippy leads: Julie Haggerty and Robert Hays by the old-timers. Lloyd Bridges and Robert Stack just absolutely crack me up. Smoking like chimneys (could they even show two guys chain smoking in a film anymore?) Bridges lines about “I picked a helluva week to (insert imbibing vice here)” is classic as Stack tries to “build Hays up” so he doesn’t crash the plane but manages to fail to inspire much of anything other than laughter from me. “Have you ever flown a multi-engine plane before?” “No” S**t!, this is a d****ed waste of time those people are all doomed” (while he’s on an open mic and Hays can hear him is hysterical.

Maybe it helps to be in junior high (I literally was when this film was released) or drunk and stoned or just amentior but I think this film is classic.

5 out of 5 bananas!

Note: I was going to review Eat Pray Love but Vincenzo was so furious (How furious was he?) that it was not a non-stop cooking film that he refuses to have the review posted on a blog he's a part of.


swissmiss said...

"...insane...but in a refined way."
Is that like being kinda pregnant?

Airplane? I'm too young to remember it ;)

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Sure Swissy!

Kathryn said...

Surely you must be joking!

Cathy_of_Alex said...

Don't call me Shirley