Sunday, December 03, 2006

[1980] STIR CRAZY: Much like I dismissed Caddyshack as the stupid gopher movie, I always dismissed this as the stupid Wilder and Pryor in chicken suit movie--and of course they're only in those costumes for about twenty seconds, proving that I should never ever believe a studio's advertising campaign, or something. Anyway--Pryor is good in this, but it's Wilder's movie more or less. It's not that he gets all the good lines, but he gets to be the hero (sort of) and get the girl in the end. It also seemed like he was on camera more, and his charming and neurotic character is what impressed me most about this movie--it's a very aggressive New York sort of charm and sensitivity though. Sidney Poitier (who directed) for the most part just lets them do their thing, and keeps the machinations of the plot to a minimum, cutting away just when he's communicated the bare medium of whatever was needed to keep things moving. So his timing was great. Even during a mostly humor-negative stretch near the end he kept things moving well (an actually reasonably clever prison break--the boys are in prison for this one, you see; hence the title.) It's a genuinely funny movie with and because of a great performance from Wilder and I think I will leave it at that.

No comments: