Tag: Sally Field

MOVIE REVIEW | Mrs Doubtfire (1993)

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters
Original Cinema Quad Poster – Movie Film Posters

“I just want to know one thing. Are your kids well-behaved? Or do they need like, a few light slams every now and then?”

Sometimes a movie permeates the culture to such a degree, that even without seeing it, it feels you’ve seen it.  Twenty years ago, Robin Williams wacked on a dress, a wig and some facial prosthetics and made one of the most famous movie characters to have emerged before or since.  I was 12 or 13 when Mrs Doubtfire came out, so I probably had an adolescent chip on my shoulder about not wanting to watch a kids’ movie.

It was only a year earlier that I’d done my best to avoid William’s voice work in Aladdin as well, I assume for the same shoulder chip related reason.  But it turns out, I never needed to literally see Mrs Doubtfire then, because, after having seen it now, Mrs Doubtfire’s complete saturation then, and for years later, meant I had basically seen it all, whether I tried to or not. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***AFI 100*** #76. Forrest Gump (1994)

“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.


“Anyway, like I was sayin’, shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. Dey’s uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There’s pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that’s about it.”

Love this movie, hate it, or fall somewhere in the ambivalent middle, there’s no denying that Forrest Gump is one of the most iconic movies of the last quarter century.  When it came out, it was unavoidable.  I was 13 or 14 years old, looking back now, I can’t see a single thing about it that would have made a 13 or 14 year old interested in Forrest Gump.  But I saw it in the cinema, like every single other poison my age and older.  It was the kind of movie quoted by people before they’d ever even seen it.  And the soundtrack, the laziest and most obvious since The Big Chill, was everywhere.  The movie won all the major awards at the time and made a shit tonne of money.

In the years since, I feel like it’s reputation may have dipped a little and its syrupy cheese has become just a bit derided.  I remember liking it, not loving it, and haven’t seen in at least a decade.  So even though it’s a movie I feel pretty familiar with, I was actually intrigued going into Forrest Gump again to see if and how it held up. (more…)

MOVIE REVIEW | ***DUD SEQUEL WEEK*** Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983)

I love Smokey and the Bandit.  I love Smokey an the Bandit II even more.  Not ironically, not in a kitschy way, and I’d like to think it’s not even all based on nostalgia.  I think Burt Reynolds in the 70s and early 80s had a kind of charisma as the Bandit that was unequalled.  I think Sally Field was the perfect, adorable chick to play the love interest, Frog.  I think Jackie Gleason’s performance as Buford T Justice is a master class in broad, character comedy.  I think Jerry Reed nailed it as the Bandit’s sidekick Snowman.  It is for all of those reasons that I have always avoided the Reynolds and Field-free Smokey and the Bandit Part 3.  Until now.

This movie is so bad and so ignored, I can’t even find a trailer on Youtube. All I can find is the trailer for the original cut of the movie that never even got released, where Mason was going to play both roles of Smokey and the Bandit. Now, while that sounds absolutely terrible, at least it sounds crazy enough to be a little interesting, unlike the version that was released.

A common sign that a sequel might struggle to reach the highs of its predecessor is the promotion of supporting players to more prominent roles.  Think Frenchy in Grease 2, or Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 3.  Well, in Smokey and the Bandit Part 3, not only do we get the Snowman promoted to the role of the Bandit, we also get the comic relief characters of Big and Little Enis bumped up to major supporting characters.  In the first two movies, they make bets that send the Bandit off on his adventure and Buford T Justice off in hot pursuit.  In Part 3,they make the bet to kick things off, then pop up constantly, trying to hinder both sides’ attempts to win. They’re funny in little doses, just outright annoying when peppered throughout.

So the story is, Buford T Justice is retiring.  We learn this in a spoof of the famous George C Scott opening scene from Patton where he addresses the camera (his troops) in front of American flag.  This is after an opening titles spoof on Star Wars and a long montage of clips from the first two movies that shows Reynolds’ signature laugh no less than three times.  Two spoofs of iconic cinematic landmarks, shoehorning in as much footage of the absent star as possible…  I have a feeling the film makers weren’t too confident about this one.

But back to Buford’s retirement, he heads to Florida with his “tick turd” son and never seen wife, soon realising retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.  His boredom makes him accept a bet from the Enises to make a cross country road trip in a designated amount of time.  You know, like the Bandit had to do in the first one.  And the second one.

Once they think Buford might actually succeed, the Enises decide to enlist the help of the Bandit.  But not the original, for convoluted reasons that don’t make any sense, Jerry Reed’s Snowman decides to take on the persona and take the job of the all new Bandit, Trans-Am and all.  But not the awesome Trans-Am of the Reynolds era.  It’s a cheap, plastic looking 80s Trans-Am that has none of the balls or character of the 70s original.  It’s sort of like the car equivalent of downgrading from Burt Reynolds to Jerry Reed.

What happens in the story doesn’t matter.  There are hints of the Snowman / Bandit learning a lesson about ego and realising you should accept who you are instead of trying to be someone else.  But it never really goes anywhere.  There’s a clunky moment of genuine affection shoehorned in between Justice and his always abused son Junior, but it never feels earned.  Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 really is the lazy, exploitative, half assed, last gasp of breath sequel that makes you scared all sequels are going to be a lazy, exploitative, half assed, last gasps.

Smokey and the Bandit Part 3
Directed By – Dick Lowry
Written By – Stuart Birnbaum, David Dashev