Thursday, December 28, 2006

[1980] UP THE ACADEMY: Yeah, so Midnight Madness was worthwhile trash and this pretty much is useless trash. This was supposed to be Mad Magazine's foray into movies (to keep up with National Lampoon) and Gaines and the rest of The Usual Gang of Idiots ended up disowning the final product. I can sort of see why they did--this isn't the most awful thing ever committed to celluloid, it's just pretty blah, and pretty much unacceptable for a magazine that was still trying to be on the cutting edge of a certain type of humor. (Adolescent male humor.) And I guess Ron Leibman must've been a real Mad fan to have wanted himself removed from the credits of a film that he starred in and where he gave the most entertaining performance by leaps and bounds. And the only competent performance, as the deviant, lonely, sociopathic academy instructor Major Liceman. He was one of the few good things in this movie, along with a somewhat dignified Barbara Bach cameo (doing a terrible Southern accent, though) and Rick Baker's Alfred E. Newman mask. Oh, and the soundtrack is this amazing grab bag of 80sness. Blondie! The Stooges! Nick Cave! Lou Reed! Pat Benatar! Cheap Trick! But the movie isn't worth watching for the soundtrack (it's the only thing that keeps it interesting sometimes) or for Ron Leibman's efforts or anything else. It's just a pretty indistinct piece of cinema.

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