Day 100 & Day 101 – Spaceballs & Rings

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Movie Title: Spaceballs

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. and 36 min.

Rated: PG

Who did I watch with?: Stephie

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

Spaceballs: The Review is brought to you by my first complete viewing of Spaceballs. Yes, I’ve never seen all of Spaceballs

Spaceballs is a great mockery of the Star Wars franchise by the incomparable Mel Brooks. Planet Spaceballs is in need of oxygen. It is fresh out, so President Skroob sends the infamous Lord Dark Helmet to steal the oxygen of a nearby planet called Druidia. They hatch an elaborate scheme to steal the planet’s lone princess and hold her hostage to get the oxygen. She makes this very easy by running out on an arranged marriage to the droll Prince Valium where she needs to be rescued by the handsome space dog Lone Starr and his companion mog Barf.

The send up of Star Wars is particularly great in light of the recent disaster that was Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which was a mockery of the franchise in its own continuity. The characters are fantastic and the actors playing them are sadly now a trip to a different age. John Candy as Barf, Joan Rivers as the voice of Dot Matrix, Bill Pullman as Lone Starr, John Hurt as John Hurt, and the not dead, but now thoroughly obscure Rick Moranis as Lord Dark Helmet. It is an acting power house.

The comedy is in the same vein as other Brooks movies like Blazing Saddles, Robin Hood: Men in Tights, and The Producers. It regularly breaks the fourth wall. It actively engages in the absurd and isn’t vindictive towards the source material. Mel Brooks has a talent that no one around today can replicate.

Verdict:

I can only hope Spaceballs 2: The Quest for More Money becomes a thing. It’s a classic. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Rings (2017)

 

Movie Title: Rings

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. and 42 min.

Rated: PG-13

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

Rings is a movie that did not need to be made. It is a sequel to The Ring (itself a remake of a Japanese horror movie called Ringu) and The Ring Two. The Ring was a decent movie with a really terrible plot twist at the end that ruined the internal validity of the plot. The Ring Two was a train accident that featured some of the worst CGI I’ve ever seen in a big budget studio movie. How Rings fits into the continuity of these other two movies is unclear and not worth wondering about.

Rings opens on an airplane in a scene that is ultimately inconsequential to the rest of the movie though thoroughly poor. It does improve from there thankfully. Holt (Alex Roe) is off to college. While there he enrolls in a class taught by Gabriel played by Big Bang Theory’s Johnny Galecki. Gabriel discovered the tape from the original movie and sets up a scientific theory that it could prove the existence of the afterlife. He sets up a series of tails with one person watching the tape after the next. Holt’s girlfriend Skye (Aimee Teegarden) watches the tape to spare him from the horrific fate of being killed by it. When she goes to copy the video it can’t be copied and new scenes appear in the video. She then needs to solve the mystery of the tape or die. When they go to solve the mystery Galecki exits the film.

The mystery treads over familiar territory from the original movie and attempts to solve the mystery that was left unresolved from the first movie. What is causing these hauntings and how can they be stopped? There are gaping continuity errors and plot holes, especially between the movies, but internally as well. The movie builds to an ultimately satisfying climax with a resolution that leaves an opening to make more movies in the series. I hope they don’t. However, it is entertaining and features Vincent D’Onofrio in an excellent turn.

Verdict:

If you accept the shortcomings of its two predecessors it really isn’t terrible especially if viewed as a mystery rather than a horror movie. It would have been better off as an independent movie rather than part of The Ring universe. The ending borders on atrocious, but on the whole I still liked it. I would say see it, but I feel like I will be in the minority on this one. Take it or leave it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: The Void (2016)

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