When I was 19, my friends and I invented fireball. We hollowed out a nerf football, filled it with gas, lit it on fire, and kicked it around. The goal of the game, more or less, was…Do Not Die. I mention this as a standard of comparison because when Eddie Murphy was 19, he was starring on Saturday Night Live.
People forget after Murphy’s career has bottomed out twice, that he was in the 1980s the single biggest comedy superstar of his generation. SNL would have died on the vine after the original cast left the show if Murphy had not single-handedly kept the sketch comedy show afloat. Then came 48 Hours when Murphy was 21. By the time Beverly Hills Cop came out in 1984, Murphy (a seasoned 24 years of age) was a rock star, and unlike 48 Hours, which has not aged very well, Beverly Hills Cop still stands up a quarter-century later.
The fish out of water story is a staple of comedy (and film in general), but there’s something about Detroit cop Axel Foley (Murphy) wandering around the surreal landscape of 1980s Beverly Hills that works incredibly well. The film had kicked around Hollywood for years mostly as a much more serious action film. Mickey Rourke was first offered the part. Sylvester Stallone had it for a while and had renamed the character “Axel Cobretti”. Richard Pryor, Al Pacino, and James Caan all passed on the role before it was retooled to be an action-comedy and Murphy was approached after the success of 48 Hours. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Film Musical or Comedy and an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and ended up as the highest-grossing film of 1984 in the United States.
As good as Murphy is as Foley, and he’s astounding, he nearly has his movie stolen from him by a pre-Perfect Strangers Bronson Pinchot. Sometimes all someone has to do to be funny in a bit role is to just be patently absurd. There’s something about Serge’s accent that makes it impossible for me to listen to him for more than thirty seconds without losing my mind, and I’m not alone. All through the gallery scene that introduces Serge to the world, Murphy is clearly barely keeping it together. Eddie’s best scene is the classic storming of the country club, but it’s Serge that keeps me rewatching this film.
Sully was one of last year’s best films (and in a weaker year would have received a lot more awards attention). Clint Eastwood and Tom Hanks teamed to bring one of the most astounding true life stories in recent memory to life by doing a very un-Hollywood thing: they didn’t glamorize it. If you watch the documentaries and compare it to the film, there’s only embellishment to make it believable. Sully was actually CALMER than Hanks, who only amped it up a slight notch. The crash scene is meticulously recreated. Eastwood knew he didn’t have to give the story any more glitz, because “The Miracle on the Hudson” was already a miracle. It didn’t need a pounding score or extra complications.
My favorite scene is where you really understand how extraordinary Sully’s quick decision-making and piloting skills are: during the NTSB hearing when he challenged results showing he could have done anything other than what he did. We all know the range of Hanks. He can literally do anything onscreen, but it takes a seasoned actor to mimic the restraint of the real hero and let that power carry the scene. As a bonus, if you missed Hanks reprising his role on Sully on Saturday Night Live , I’m including that as well because 1) it’s hilarious and 2) it shows the massive Hanksian range I just mentioned when compared to the film.
We here at Killing Time are huge, huge fans of Auralnauts hysterical web series “Kylo Ren Reacts”. We got the fledgling Sith Lord’s opinion on the trailers as they came out (see below along with the now-classic SNL skit Kylo Ren: Undercover Boss), but it was only a matter of time before Kylo settled down to give us his VERY SPOILER FILLED thoughts on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. We get his weigh in on the shots in trailers not making the final cut of the film, a shout-out to the fight picking dedication of Dr. Evazan and Ponda Baba, a formal apology to the Death Star’s welding crew, and GRANDFATHER!!!!!! Yesterday, Star Wars moved most of us to tears as we lost Carrie Fisher, but Star Wars is, at it’s core, a joyful thing, and out of joy comes laughter. So, while the hurt lingers, let’s laugh a little too. That’s just as big a way to honor Fisher’s career as to mourn her passing.
One of the great things about Star Wars is it has the ability to take itself extremely seriously, but at the same time, viciously parody itself out of love. After watching Kylo Ren execute one of the most beloved characters in film history, you’d think there could be nothing funny about him, but Auralnauts and SNL beg to differ. Auralnauts has put together two videos in which an actor (who is either secretly Adam Driver or doing an amazing impression with vocal filters) reacts to the upcoming promos for the film from “his grandfather’s” glory days. Also included is a sketch from when Adam Driver hosted Saturday Night Live last season and absolutely killed in a skit where Kylo Ren participates in the boss/employee switcheroo show: Undercover Boss. Watch and enjoy the humor of the DARK SIDE!!!
Game of Thrones, Veep, and The People vs. OJ Simpson were the biggest winners at Sunday’s Emmy ceremony, winning Drama, Comedy, and Limited Series. Game of Thrones was the night’s biggest winner with 12 awards, bringing its series total to 38. That breaks Frasier’s record for the most awards ever won by a Drama or Comedy series, and the show has two, albeit abbreviated, seasons left to catch Saturday Night Live which has the overall record with 44.
Veep’s continual Emmy domination is in the tradition of lazy Emmy voting that leads to repeat winners year-after-year (a trend that’s gotten much better on the dramatic side, but really did Ben Mendelsohn deserve another win? He was more of a guest star in Bloodline’s second season.). Its wins this year bother me less than when it has been inexplicably lauded over better shows like 30 Rock and Parks & Recreation. The state of the comedy on TV, at this point, has degraded to the level where I don’t think any current show is worthy of recognition.
Check out the list of major winners below including much deserved wins for Sherlock and John Oliver. The People vs. OJ Simpson was given five much-deserved major wins for limited series and for series stars Courtney B. Vance, Sarah Paulson, and Sterling K. Brown. By the way, how is Fargo still considered a “limited series” when production is starting on its third season? Such are the baffling ways of the Emmys. Continue reading 2016 Emmy Winners List: Game of Thrones is the Most Decorated Drama of All-Time!!!→