Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Scene Stealer: From Dusk Till Dawn

“Now this is my kind of place,” Seth says before all hell breaks loose. “This place” comes out of nowhere, in the middle of nowhere, in a film that has played like a hostage film for the first half and then suddenly and without warning transitions into a vampire-gore flick. From Dusk Till Dawn, the Robert Rodriguez-Quentin Tarantino collaboration is one crazy, entertaining film. It’s got it all – guns, criminally-insane brothers, a Winnebago, Cheech Marin, bikers, booze, blood, profanity, strippers, vampires, decapitations, stakes to the heart and so much gore. You can’t take it seriously, but that’s the best thing about it. It oozes cheese, but it works.

It’s at the point where the movie switches gears from hostage film to horror-gore fest that I most enjoy. For about an hour, we follow two brothers, Seth and Richard Gekko (George Clooney and Quentin Tarantino), who’ve robbed a bank and are heading for the Mexican border. They take hostages while on the run – a Baptist minister named Jacob Fuller and his two kids. The Fullers are travelling in a Winnebago that the Gekko’s decide to hide in to cross the border.

Once in Mexico, the Gekko brothers, with the Fullers in tow, head to a skuzzy biker-trucker-strip joint called The Titty Twister to rendezvous with their contact Carlos. All’s well and the brothers are having a good ‘ol time until a barroom brawl erupts. Richard is stabbed in the hand and all hell breaks loose…literally. The last 30 minutes of the film are full of fantastic fun. The original plot falls by the wayside as the vampire plot begins. The spill of blood from Richard’s hand ignites an outbreak of vampirism as the bar’s employees, all of whom are shape-shifting, blood-sucking vamps, turn into a pack of hungry animals and begin attacking the bar’s patrons.

Rodrigues goes for all out violence and special effects, with blood spewing everywhere; with heads flying off bodies; with limbs being hacked off; with throats being ripped open. Even the weapons of choice are wacky and creative – water balloons, super soakers and a handmade power saw. It’s a crazy, bloody and gory vampire extravaganza that is ridiculously unexpected and over-the-top. You have to wait until the end for the best part, but it’s no matter, since the first half of the film plays well too, particularly if you enjoy classic Tarantino dialogue. And I would be remiss if I failed to mention the point at which the pace of the film slows but for a few brief moments for a bikini-clad, erotic snake dance by Salma Hayek. It’s hands-down CS’s scene stealer of choice from this film so I had to mention it. CS and I have debated the bikini scene on several occasions. He sees it, in a farfetched way, as being symbolic of female empowerment. I usually just roll my eyes since he says that just to bug me and appreciates the scene for its "visual effects" rather than for its "feminism." Anyway, the film’s got something for everyone!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Blind Spot: The Outlaw Josey Wales

Clint Eastwood and the western genre go together like peanut butter and jam, it is hard to think of one without the other. Although I have seen many of the Sergio Leone collaborations and a few of Eastwood’s westerns such as Pale Rider and Unforgiven, there was one film that always eluded me...The Outlaw Josey Wales. Directed by Clint Eastwood, and cut from the same cloth as spaghetti westerns like A Fistful of Dollars, The Outlaw Josey Wales is a film that is part revenge flick and part anti-war film.

One of the great things about The Outlaw Josey Wales is that it wastes no time getting to the action. Within the first fifteen minutes of the film, the family of peaceful farmer Josey Wales (Eastwood) is murdered by pro-Union Jayhawkers. After taking a brief stint training himself to be a better shot, Josey Wales joins a band of pro-Confederate guerrilla fighters but is reluctant to follow when they ultimately decide to surrender to the Union Army. When his guerrilla comrades are betrayed by the Union Army, Josey Wales finds himself an outlaw with nothing but revenge on his mind.

Despite the presence of anti-war undertones, The Outlaw Josey Wales is an action film first and foremost. This is the type of western where six-shooter pistols fire off thirty shots in a battle and rarely need reloading. Even Wales himself manages to make it two-thirds of the way through the film before getting hit by any of the bullets flying about. This is by no means a knock against The Outlaw Josey, but the film works best if you know what you are in for. Although Eastwood is directing, this film is not a slow burn like Unforgiven.

If there is one surprising aspect to The Outlaw Josey Wales it is the level of humour. The film is filled with several supporting characters who offer up comic relief. Whether it is the ragtag group that Josey Wales finds himself making a makeshift family with, or dimwitted men trying capture Josey for the ransom, there a plenty of laughs throughout. However, there is probably no character more amusing than Josey Wales himself. Eastwood plays Josey Wales in that same dry style as he did with the man with no name in Sergio Leone’s films. The main difference here is that Josey has a slew of great lines. For example when faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, Josey is asked why he is continuing to fight? Without hesitation he states in his gruff voice “because I ain’t got nothin’ better to do.” If nothing else the film is endlessly quotable.

While not quite as strong as Eastwood’s Sergio Leone films, The Outlaw Josey Wales is still a satisfying western. While Eastwood does lay the anti-war message on a little thick, the film is far more enjoyable if you just watch it as a simple revenge flick. Watching Eastwood as he seeks revenge, and cracking jokes along the way, is what you should go into the film looking for. On that front it delivers.

The Outlaw Josey Wales is also part of our "The Must See List" series.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival: T24 Project 2012

Founded by Henry Wong, the Toronto Youth Shorts Film Festival has been giving young filmmakers a creative outlet since 2009. In preparation for the upcoming 4th edition of the festival, the organizers have brought back the T24 Project challenge. The T24 Project pitted fifteen teams of young local filmmakers, to write, shoot, and edit a short film in a 24 hour timeframe. If that was not challenging enough, all the short films had to answer the question: what is your Toronto?

The filmmakers were encouraged to explore not only the cultural richness of the city, but many of the ideologies and myths that encompasses Canada’s largest city. With only 24 hours, the fact that twelve of the fifteen teams completed their films is a remarkable feat. Needless to say the films were as diverse as the city the filmmakers had to capture. I was fortunate to get an advance look at a few of the submissions:

Jan. 31 – Directed by Andrew Millani, the film is a bitter sweet look at to individuals destined to meet one fateful day. Millani takes a simple but extremely effect approach to telling his story, even managing to throw in an unexpected twist.

Appetizers – Directed by Philbert Lui, this comedic tale centres around three vastly different roommates who only seem to connect through their love of food. Though the script could have been a bit tighter, this was one of more amusing films of the shorts I previewed.

Facing the Strain - Directed by Alex Kingsmil, Facing the Strain explores one man’s quest to find himself in a city that was once his home but now seems so foreign. The performances and script could use work, which is to be expected for a film made under such a tight timeline, but Kingsmil’s film touches on a topic that is fairly relatable.

Wake Up – Directed by Roop Gill, this short takes a documentary style approach to looking at how Toronto’s obsession with coffee is starting to overshadow the city’s diverse identity. It is an interesting premise that could be fleshed out more as a feature film length documentary

Metro – Directed by S. Jeysan, Metro follows the lives of individuals as they intersect on the local transit. The film tackles themes of interracial relationships, racism, and the generation clash within families. The performances by the couple in the crumbling relationship are what stood out for me. It would have been nice to see the film tackle just one story in-depth.

Penny for Your Thoughts – Directed by Joy Webster, this film left a rather unexpected lasting impression on me. Using a homeless man to emphasize how little people living in the city actually see each other is not a new concept. However, the way in which Webster goes about making a statement about the need for connection, instead of the quest for commercialism, is what I liked about the film.

Trinity (Spadina) – Directed by Andrew Lee, the short is comprised of three vignettes looking at different Torontonians’ views of the city. Each segment is shot in a vastly different style and genre, and features a character named after a local subway station. The second segment, which plays like a documentary, is the one I enjoyed the most.

The Ivory Giants – Directed by Jamie McMillan, The Ivory Giant is the most ambitious, though least successful, of the films I previewed. The film simply tries to cover too much ground in the short running time. As a result, the mystery of the ivory talisman, or why the main characters are interested in it, is never fully realized.

Although some of the shorts I previewed were more successful than others, there was no lack of creativity. As I mentioned earlier, the fact that the teams were able to make a short with such tight time constrains is a testament to the future filmmakers in this city.

The full T24 Project lineup will be screening this coming Thursday, March 1, at 7 pm at Innis Town Hall (2 Sussex Avenue). Tickets can be purchased online or at the door

Sunday, February 26, 2012

When He Was King

Writing my last scene stealer post on Beverly Hills Cop got me thinking about Eddie Murphy. He was the king of comedy in the 80s; a provocateur and an in-your-face, larger than life personality who delivered many superb comedic performances with brashness and bravado. Even before his string of hit comedies, he was lighting the stand-up comedy stage on fire with his sharp tongue and profanity-laced hilarity. Love or hate his brand of stand-up, it got people talking.

Who could forget the leather suits he wore? For Delirious, it was a red leather jumpsuit. For Raw, it was purple. And nothing and nobody were off limits. Murphy poked fun at other people in the biz – Michael Jackson, Mr. T and Bill Cosby. He made fun of his mother and father; he ribbed his fellow Americans and he devoted segments to joking about the stereotypical behaviours of other cultures. He talked about sex, women and his relationships, and everything, everything, was described with frankness and punctuated with the word “fuck.” His stand-up was raunchy, raucous, crude, controversial and full of foul language; it was even grotesque, often politically incorrect and off-putting, yet people loved it. It wasn’t his jokes that made the shows because some of them were really bad. It was his delivery and charisma that grabbed you, and even when he riffed about homosexuality and AIDS in the most ignorant and appalling of ways, his performance held your attention like a horrific car crash that you couldn’t turn away from. Murphy was only 22 when he did Delirious and so the immature, irresponsible and offensive comedy might be explained by his youth and the times; times which were less progressive. As such, his stand-up comedy specials have aged poorly and might not play so well to audiences today. Anything that makes references to pop culture or provides social commentary specific to a particular time risks becoming outdated, and such is the case with Murphy’s early stand-up.

What do continue to play well, however, are Murphy’s early sketch comedy stints and films. Anyone in the 80s who liked comedy or watching movies knows Eddie Murphy. He was one of the biggest, funniest, edgiest and most bankable movie stars of that era. At just 19 years of age, he was cast as a regular member on Saturday Night Live. Remember Buckwheat and Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood? He created so many memorable characters during his SNL tenure with laughter behind his eyes and a genuine sense of happiness that showed that he was having the best time. He had so many successes, like the aforementioned stand-up comedy specials, Delirious and Raw, and a series of popular comedies that are still so much fun to watch today. Among my favourites are 48 Hours, Trading Places, Beverly Hills Cop 1 and 2, The Golden Child and Coming to America. These films starred Murphy at his most confident and at his best, and then he kind of hit a skid and so did the films he made.

Do you remember the last time that Eddie Murphy made a good comedy? I had to think long and hard about this one and the earliest comedy I could recall that actually made me laugh and did well commercially was Bowfinger in 1999. Before that, it was his amazing multi-character juggernaut The Nutty Professor in 1996. He also starred in a series of successful family-friendly films in the last decade like Dr. Dolittle, Daddy Day Care, and the Shrek series.

He was slated to host the Academy Awards tonight. Though I’m delighted to see Billy Crystal return, I have to wonder what Murphy’s approach would have been to hosting since it would have, essentially, been like his return to stand-up – holding a mike and performing before a live audience – for the first time in ages. And let’s face it; Murphy isn’t the same Murphy of yesteryear with a cool looseness and natural confidence in his work. He’s gotten tighter; more guarded, and now has a reputation for being difficult and unlikeable. Still, the announcement that he’d been tapped to host the Oscars was an exciting thought. What would he have done? It’s anyone’s guess now. I, for one, hope that he’s asked to host again and goes through with it if only to see if a glimmer of the Eddie Murphy from the 80s will show himself again.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sharing the Blogging Love

Wondering what bloggers have been chatting about this week?

Here is Your Reading and Listening Schedule for Today:

9 am: Episode241 of the Mamo! podcast finds the guys sharing tips on how to win your Oscar pool. Be sure to visit the Mamo! site on Sunday as the guys will be doing their annual up-to-the-minute Oscar mini-podcasts and live Oscar tweeting.

10 am: Episode 6 of The Long and Late Movie Show talks Oscar predictions and Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.

11 am Cinema du Meep list Ten Movies about Movies.

12 pm: Anna reviews Divorce, Italian Style.

1 pm: Sam got the "1001 Movies You Must See Before Your Die” book for Christmas and has already marked off all the films he plans to see.

2 pm: James took in Take Shelter, a film I am hoping to get to this week.

3 pm: Bob recently watched Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff, a documentary about the cinematographer behind such films as Black Narcissus and The Red Shoes.

4 pm: Sean gives top marks to Pink Ribbons, Inc, a documentary that has been getting positive reviews ever since it premiered at TIFF.

5 pm: David has an interesting piece on The Artist is Present .

6 pm: As I mentioned yesterday, Andrew is ran a Motifs in Cinema blogathon and posted all of the submissions on his site.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Motifs in Cinema: Art and Artistic Pursuits

Perhaps because it’s one of the youngest artistic forms, cinema is often assessed in much different manner that literature, or the visual arts. We discuss it in terms of genre, not in terms of thematic offering. Comparing, for example, Corpse Bride and Up because they’re both animated leads to some dubious discussion especially when – like any art form – thematic elements examined in cinema and the way different filmmaker address them make for some stimulating discussion. Motifs in Cinema is a discourse, across eleven film blogs, assessing the way in which various thematic elements have been used in the 2011 cinematic landscape. How does a common theme vary in use from a comedy to a drama? Are filmmakers working from a similar canvas when they assess the issue of the artist or the family dynamic? Like everything else, a film begins with an idea - Motifs in Cinema assesses how the use of a single idea changes when utilised by varying artists.

2011 is already in the books, but it is far from forgotten. As the Academy Awards are just days away, many film lovers are scrambling to catch up on many of the 2011 film they may have missed. Capitalizing on this 2011 nostalgia, and the lack of must see new releases, Andrew from Encore’s World of Film & TV commissioned several film bloggers to partake in his Motifs in Cinema blogathon. Each blogger was given a theme to tackle and was charged with looking to how that theme related to films released in 2011. I opted to tackle the theme of Art and Artistic Pursuits in cinema.

Why take such a subjective topic you ask? Well the easy answer is that film itself is a form of art that has the ability to evoke various emotions. The more complicated response is that cinema saw an artistic resurgence of sorts in 2011. More than any other year, filmmakers really took the time to explore the artistic merits of cinema, literature and visual forms of art. No film exemplified this more than Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy, a film in which the main characters (played by Juliette Binoche and William Shimell) debate the importance of original art versus artistic replications. Kiarostami makes the case that art is all about the emotional response and not the form in which it is presented. To emphasize this he structures his film in such a way that the audience is not quite sure what aspects of the interactions are real and what is false? Kiarostami wants to prove that his characters are still engaging despite the way he plays with the audiences’ perception of the events. He wants to break the audiences’ preconceived notion of what they think art should be, and what “true” artists should strive for.

The idea of following the path of what others deem as art is a prominent aspect of several films released during this past year. No one needs to look further than Woody Allen’s charming film Midnight in Paris for an example of this. The protagonist, Gil (Owen Wilson), is a successful Hollywood screenwriter struggling to write his first novel. Though he makes good money writing scripts for mindless films consumed by the masses, Gil longs to write something on par with the great intellectuals and writers of the past. He views the likes of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Salvador Dali, and Gertrude Stein as the benchmarks he needs to achieve. The fascinating thing is that Gil is oblivious to the fact that true artistic success comes from paving your own way instead of mimicking others. This is one of the reasons a film like Hugo works so well.

Martin Scorsese ‘s first attempt at 3D not only plays like a wonderful lesson in cinematic history, but it is also a loving homage to the brilliant Georges Méliès. Embracing his artistic impulses, Méliès (Ben Kingsley) always strived to push the limits of creativity. Instead of trying to copy others, Méliès found ways to bring his visions to life on screen, even if the funds were not always available. Georges Méliès did not care about achieving fame like Paris’ Gil, he merely wanted to share his creative passion with the world. In Hugo, Méliès only reaches his lowest point when it appears that he will no longer be able to share his art with a world that has changed so drastically due to the war.

The fear of the changing world leaving art behind is a theme that runs throughout, Michel Hazanavicius’ film The Artist. Silent film star George Valentin (Jean Duradin) soon finds his world in turmoil when the studio, that he has made so many memorable films for, decides to move from silent films to talkies. Valentin does not view this new invention as true cinema and dismisses the notion as being nothing more than a gimmick. However, Valentin’s reluctance to change soon makes him obsolete in the world of cinema. What is even more crushing for Valentin is the fact that his protégé, Peppy Miller, becomes a huge star in the world of talkies just as his career is on the decline. The Artist serves as a reminder that embracing change does not have to stifle creativity.

On a smaller scale, several artistic pursuits in 2011 entailed trying to take ones career to the next level. In The Trip, Steve (Steve Coogan) is constantly trying to land that big American role and must conceal his jealousy when long time colleague, Rob (Rob Brydon), seems to be getting more fame than him. Similar to Coogan in The Trip, musician Goh Nakamura plays a heightened version of himself in the film Surrogate Valentine. Reduced to taking a job teaching guitar lessons, Goh struggles to get both his musical career and love life in order. The struggling artist motif is also found, though briefly, in Mike Mills’ film Beginners. Oliver (Ewan McGregor) is an artist commissioned to create an album cover for a up and coming band, but his work is deemed too ”out there”. While he wants to do something truly ground breaking, the band wants something simple but effective. At the end of the day it seems that this is something all of these films have in common. All of the characters are striving to create something exceptional in the face of a world that only wants their art to be simple. Though there are many films in 2011 that dealt with family and love, it was the films that focused on art and artists that left a lasting impression.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Which is Better?

John Malkovich
10 sample films:

Being John Malkovich
Dangerous Liaisons
Shadow of the Vampire
Burn After Reading
In the Line of Fire
The Killing Fields
Empire of the Sun
Of Mice and Men
Con Air


Gary Oldman
10 sample films:

Sid and Nancy
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
The Book of Eli
Léon: The Profession
Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead
The Contender
Romeo is Bleeding
Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Certified Copy Strikingly Original

How do you define what is and is not art? Is art about originality or is it more about the way it makes you feel? If it is the latter, than should you get upset if something is a copy? These are just some of the numerous questions raised in Abbas Kiarostami mesmerizing film, Certified Copy.

The film follows a British writer, James Miller (William Shimell), as he is promoting his latest book in Tuscany. While there he meets and spends the day with a French antiques dealer (Juliette Binoche). As the couple explores Tuscany, debating the merits of originality verse reproductions, the tone of their conversation goes from flirtatious to oddly familiar. To say anymore about the plot would take away from the joy of watching how Certified Copy unfolds.

There is a wonderfully poignant moment, early on in the film, where James discusses how people misguidedly judge art based on the form and shape in which it is delivered. James uses the Tuscany landscape to prove his point, highlighting that the beautiful trees in Tuscany get ignored by the locales. However, if those same trees were to be placed in a museum they would be heralded as being true art. In many ways Hollywood studios could use the philosophy engrained in this film to justify the countless number of remakes and reboots hitting theatres lately. Kiarostami is challenging audience to focus more on the reaction art evokes rather than the form in which the art is presented.

One of the enjoyable things about Certified Copy is the way Kiarostami uses the film itself to emphasize the points that his characters are discussing within it. He forces the audience to question what is real and what is fake? Is the couple meeting for the first time or pretending to meet for the first time? If they are pretending does it make their connection any less engaging? It is a daring choice in regards to how Kiarostami structures his narrative and how he pulls the rug out from the audience at times.

Kiarostami does not only change your perception of events mid-stream, but in doing so he also changes how you view the characters. At the beginning James is portrayed as the open-minded individual who sees beauty in everyday objects. Whereas the unnamed woman sees art and real life as two distinct terms. However, as the film progresses, James soon loses his ability to see the beauty of both the woman in front of him and the time they have shared together. Even when tackling the issue of love, Kairostami pushes the audience to analyze their own notion of love by playfully juxtaposing the increasingly disgruntle couple with images of newly married couples and elderly couples who have be in love for years.

Although thought-provoking, and masterfully directed by Kiarostami, Certified Copy never comes across as a gimmick. The film plays like a wonderful piece of cinematic art that begs to be watched numerous times in order to decipher all of the nuances.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Scene Stealer: Beverly Hills Cop

Beverly Hills Cop is easily one of the best 80s action-comedy films. It’s got Eddie Murphy at the top of his game and at the height of his career doing what he does best: fast-talking his way out of jams and sweet-talking his way out of trouble. He plays a brash, motor-mouthed, shrewd Detroit cop named Axel Foley. He’s a king at inventing fish stories and bending the rules, and he’s got a knack for assuming fake personas. He succeeds in gaining the upper hand in virtually every situation because he’s never daunted, always confident and enjoys a challenge, and it’s hard not to be taken in by his character when you watch the film.

Eddie Murphy proved with this film that he could single-handedly carry a movie, though he’s surrounded by an exceptional supporting cast. When Axel’s best friend is killed, he vows to find his buddy’s killers and the trail leads to an art gallery in Beverly Hills. In the art gallery, Axel meets Serge, the art gallery assistant played in scene stealing fashion by Bronson Pinchot of Perfect Strangers fame. Though Pinchot only appears in a couple of scenes, he is among the film’s most memorable supporting characters.

The exchange between Axel and Serge is unexpectedly hilarious. Axel walks into the posh art gallery sporting jeans and a t-shirt complete with a cocky and devil-may-care attitude. Traditionally, such fish-out-of-water situations result in the fish being asked to go home and find a tie. Here, Axel engages in warm banter with Serge whom speaks in an indecipherable accent. He continually calls Axel “Achmed” instead. It’s frickin’ funny stuff. Axel doesn’t mind and isn’t even all that perturbed by the mispronunciation of his name. You get the sense that Axel is himself amused by the situation, with a constant smirk on his face, and plays the part of interested gallery-goer. He even asks Serge how much a strange piece of art would go for. “$130, 000,” Serge says. “Get the fuck outta here,” exclaims Axel. Serge is not offended at all by Axel’s repeated remark. He sold it himself and he’s proud of it. It’s a truly great scene stealer in a highly entertaining 80s classic which has Eddie Murphy doing his best work in one of his most memorable roles in one of the top ten comedies of its decade.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The 80s Movie Library: Disorderlies

If you’ve checked out my brief bio and read my blog posts, then you’ll have noticed that I’ve got a soft spot for 80s movies. I thought what better way to honour the movies I love than with a regular monthly feature dedicated to a different 80s film each month. So here goes…let’s begin with Disorderlies.

The film takes 80s rap group The Fat Boys and casts them as three reject orderlies who work for a nursing home with the dubious honour of being the worst run nursing home in the country. Add a ruthless, cunning and self-serving nephew looking for inept caregivers for his ailing millionaire uncle, and you’ve got a hilariously entertaining mash-up with cool music and ghetto fabulous fun.

The Fat Boys represent the bubble gum era of rap music when MCs rapped about “loungin’,” “cool stylin’” and breaking into pizza parlours for all you can eat pizza pies. What the Fat Boys lack in acting talent, they more than make up for with catchy songs, goofy personalities and their own brand of slapstick comedy.

The boys are Buffy, Markie and Kool – three bumbling, food-obsessed and troublesome nursing home assistants who are constantly on the verge of being fired. Then there’s Winslow Lowry, a gambler who’s deep in debt to a vicious gangster and is zealously awaiting his wealthy Uncle Albert’s death so that he can collect his inheritance. Lowry decides to expedite his uncle’s death by firing the existing healthcare staff and replacing them with incompetent orderlies. After all, he has to make it look like his uncle’s death is accidental, and what better way to sell it than to have completely inept caregivers looking after him. The Fat Boys fit the bill. Lowry hires them to care for his uncle, convinced that it’s only a matter of time before his uncle croaks under their care.

The Fat Boys are exactly what Lowry wanted - bumbling and irresponsible in caring for his uncle. They mix up his prescription medications so badly that they just throw them all out. Rather than deteriorate and die under the disorderlies care, the ailing Albert is actually re-energized by their crazy antics and feels more vibrant than ever. The Fat Boys call Albert “Cool Al.” They get him out of his wheelchair and take him to roller-skating rinks and clubs. They’ve even got him speaking Ebonics and picking up the ladies. Albert isn’t dying anymore. He’s living it up and has a new zest for life thanks to the Fat Boys’ unique quality of care. They inadvertently save the day.

Lowry is beside himself with anger over his uncle’s miraculous recovery. The gangster he’s indebted to is breathing down his neck even more, so while his Uncle Albert is partying with Buffy, Markie and Kool, Lowry aligns himself with the gangster and together they plot to steal his family’s fortune, off Uncle Albert and pin his death on the Fat Boys. Do the Fat Boys succeed in foiling Lowry’s nefarious plan and save Cool Al? If you’ve seen the film, you already know. If you haven’t seen it, you should!

Disoderlies is pure entertainment. Director Michael Schultz basically lets the Fat Boys’ goofy charisma and slapstick humour take centre stage in this fish-out-of-water tale. The Fat Boys are like an urban version of the Three Stooges and the film comes complete with cartoon sound effects when the Fat Boys fall down, slip, slap each other or bump into things. It’s a silly movie filled with enjoyable juvenile humour, infighting and slap fests, and it’s hard not to find the boys endearing and the film utterly enjoyable.