Thanks to the Warner Archive I have a Steve Martin double-header for you. Although, it is worth noting that I did not watch them back to back and I would wager that the second film would definitely suffer if I had. I love Steve Martin. I love his films. But I think that I have a maximum fill line for my Martin-tank.
However, you may have a stronger constitution than I do so be my guest and give it a whirl because these are definitely worth the time.
My Blue Heaven
Screenplay: Nora Ephron
Release: Warner Archive
My Blue Heaven is a film which has been on my to-watch list for years. Without cheapening the film, I moved it over to my watch list because our friends at the Warner Archive sent me a copy so I could tell you about it. Don’t be me, order it yourself.
The FBI’s Witness Protection Program is turned funny-side up when Steve Martin and Rick Moranis play mob informant Vinnie Antonelli and agent Barney Coopersmith in this criminally comic caper. Vinnie’s got smooth moves, a swank wardrobe and a mean dance step. His identity, home and lawn mower are new, but he’s still the same: a guy with an eternal scam. That makes overseer Barney a guy with a huge headache.
Costars Joan Cusack, Carol Kane, Melanie Mayron and William Hickey, director Herbert Ross (The Goodbye Girl) and writer Nora Ephron (You’ve Got Mail) ably aid and abet the two stars. No wonder My Blue Heaven is a paradise for lovers of funny, funny stuff!
It is my understanding that they may be the first time that My Blue Heaven has been available in widescreen, which seems a little strange, and I have
nothing to base that on aside from the mention of someone a sort-of trust. True or not this is a wonderfully produced, cute, little comedy.
Watching Steve Martin and Rick Moranis sparring is very special. It is unfortunate that Moranis has retired. There are two few really classic movies with him and I love them all. He is a talent which is missed. Also, it is worth noting that I do not remember seeing Joan Cusack as the love interest rather than her friend; although, perhaps I have watched High Fidelity so many times that is how I see her. Either way she is a treat too.
It is almost tiresome to constantly say how great this picture looks but Warner Archives maintains their trend of excellence.
Director: 6 – Cinematography: 6 – Edit: 7 – Parity: 3 – Main performance: 10 – Else performance: 6 – Score: 7 – Sound: 7 – Story: 5 – Script: 5 – Effects: 6 – Design: 6 – Costumes: 9 – Keeps interest: 8 – Lasting: 10
Man With Two Brains
Screenplay: Steve Martin, Carl Reiner, and George Gipe
Release: Warner Archive
Unlike My Blue Heaven, The Man With Two Brains has been a movie which I have enjoyed for many years. It is silly to its core and, while not an anytime-its-on film it is certainly a good pick-me-up.
Anyone who doesn’t think Steve Martin is one of the funniest fellows on the planet should have his head examined. As The Man with Two Brains, madman Martin is just the guy to do it, playing Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr, famed originator of screw top, zip lock brain surgery. The good doctor pines for his late wife – but slinky siren Dolores Benedict (Kathleen Turner) sashays into his life and changes all that. They’re soon married, but the truth quickly emerges: Dolores’ beauty hides a calculating heart of stone. The situation is hopeless – until another brain specialist’s oddball research offers a bizarre ray of hope. Anyone with half a brain will rejoice in the sheer lunacy of this sublimely silly farce, directed and cowritten by frequent Martin collaborator Carl Reiner (The Jerk, All of Me).
Over the top does not seem to be a strong enough adjective for this film. It is downright silly. “These walls are paper thin.” I mean, really. “Get that cat out of here!” Reiner and Martin channel their inner slapstick on overdrive. Chaplin and Keaton, with some Mel Brooks dialog mixed in for good measure.
Unfortunately, what was probably very acceptable in the 1980s is lost now. It is, unfortunately, difficult to discuss this issue without any spoilers and that is of the policies that I don’t like to break. I absolutely recommend the movie with that caveat of knowing something troubling will come up.
Director: 6 – Cinematography: 6 – Edit: 5 – Parity: 1 – Main performance: 10 – Else performance: 6 – Score: 5 – Sound: 6 – Story: 6 – Script: 9 – Effects: 4 – Design: 8 – Costumes: 5 – Keeps interest: 8 – Lasting: 5