She's pretty good when she gets a hold of the right material, usually colorful comedies.
The Brady Bunch Movie (1995) -- Writers Bonnie and Terry Turner, director Betty Thomas, and perfect casting all came together to make what's pretty much a perfect Brady Bunch movie--better than anyone should have expected. They got the tone just right and had a good idea to set the family in modern times with no "explanation" or time travel or anything that some other dumb movie might have done. All the jokes anyone has ever made about the show is here, but what's really great is that the show (and the family) isn't being poked fun at too severely, but lovingly. (See Arlene Sanford for the sequel, A Very Brady Sequel.)
The Late Shift (1996) -- There's something I like about this made-for-HBO movie. It seems accurate enough coverage of this period of late night history, which is pretty interesting. The guys who play Leno and Letterman do a good job, managing to capture their essence more than doing a caricature or parody (the same goes for Rich Little who plays his famous Johnny Carson this time seriously instead of for laughs). Kathy Bates says "fuck" about as many times as you can say until it becomes ridiculous, but that's the general premise of HBO movies and TV shows of course, so that can't be helped.
Private Parts (1997) -- This could have been a disaster, or simply dumb... but Howard Stern, Robin Quivers, and the rest of the company playing themselves through the years actually makes the movie work; if someone else had played them, this probably wouldn't have been worth watching at all. It's not a great movie, but it's decent coverage of Howard Stern's rise to power.
Dr. Doolittle (1998) -- This seems like the kind of movie I would avoid: Eddie Murphy starring in a kids' movie about talking animals. But it actually works pretty well, especially as a really good children's movie. The talking animals aren't annoying at all (like most of the CG-based creatures of the time and of the present), but likeable and remain their animal-ness. The casting of the animals was also good, from Norm MacDonald to Chris Rock to Garry Shandling.
Copyright (c) Jun 2004 - Nov 2006 by Rusty Likes Movies