Friday, October 27, 2006

[1980] USED CARS: Well--as far as bloated comedies from the year 1980 go, it's not as good as Blues Brothers, but it's okay. Jack Warden is great in a dual role as a nice and amoral used car lot owner and a mean and amoral used car lot owner. Kurt Russell is Kurt Russell. I get the idea from a bit of Googling that Zemeckis and Gale intended this to be sort of a Capra movie where everyone was completely hateful. But nobody who matters (Russell, his girlfriend, his sidekick) is quite hateful enough to stop being likeable. And Capra didn't need to keep blowing cars up to keep people watching. I'm just going to quote from a review I found at IMDB, because I agree with it: "The situations are funny enough, and the writing is passable, but there's a sense to almost every scene that the gags are being overplayed. Zemeckis seems to have pushed the actors to be zanier, and louder, and more profane, when a more low-key approach might have served them better. The situations are outlandish enough that it's not really necessary to sell them much. Zemeckis's approach, however, is to sell everything harder, like he's hawking some old beater instead of a serviceable machine."

See also this Movie Martyr review. Bill Chambers liked it, as did (apparently) Pauline Kael, so I could be full of it.

No comments: