81. Sgt. Bilko
Critics don’t know shit.
I was raised during the 90s. It’s when I was born. My dad was born when the original show was on TV, so it a TV show from the 50s is dated and probably a safe to do a remake of even if it was a classic. I wouldn’t know I never saw it. The only thing I’ve seen Phil Silvers in was It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. I love both movies and loved him in both, but that’s the extent of my knowledge of him.
I liked Sgt. Bilko (the 1996 film). I have no knowledge of the original other than it is supposed to be amazing so I have nothing to compare this to. Maybe I’m biased because of the leads. I mean Dan Aykroyd and Phil Hartman are SNL legends and I’ve always loved them. Steve Martin might as well join them since he’s one of the best hosts of SNL. All three are amazing comedic actors and they all did a great job in this. It’s not their best film or best work, but they were damned good in the roles provided.
The plot and whatnot were nothing special, but are they ever in these kind of comedies? I mean a lot of comedies are not meant to be the most amazing things ever. There are those which are grand and those which are just going for simple laughs and that is what this film falls under. If the movie gets me to laugh than it works. I mean that is an extremely large part of comedy yes? I don’t expect cinematic masterpieces from comedies to begin with. I expect to be amused and that’s pretty much it.
So the critics might have hated the movie for whatever reasons. Maybe it is because they are older and actually have seen the show this is based off of. Maybe the have different tastes in comedy or general expectations. Who knows. I say give the movie a chance if no other reason than the actors in this are pretty much accepted to be legends so anything they are in is at least worth checking out.
To switch gears I also watched Cry Freedom. I actually started it a couple of days ago, but didn’t finish. It’s a longer movie and I was tired. Instead of just falling asleep (not because of the movie being dull. It wasn’t) I turned it off about twenty minutes in. I had time to watch it today, so I did. Great movie.
I always like watching movies about Africa, especially on this subject matter. There’s an interesting history to it that I really don’t know much about. In school we never cover modern stuff. If we are lucky we get to Vietnam at some point, but we only focus on America during those years. Americans (from my experience) are horribly educated on current history and issues in school. High schoolers have gotten better to paying attention to what is happening now, but they still don’t know about the 80s and 90s. It’s some magical dead zone in our history curriculum.
Enough of my education issues. The movie is really good. I don’t know enough about the actual facts to know how truthful it is, but as a movie its a good drama. Even with its length I was invested in the film and didn’t really notice it. Well I did, but I get fidgety after sitting for twenty minutes.
I’ve mentioned my love for Kevin Kline and I have to say he’s proving himself again and again. He was great in this movie. I’ve mentioned that I’ve read complaints about him overacting. This movie is a great example of that not happening at all. His character isn’t that wild and the one or two instances he does “let loose” it is very much a character move, not him overacting. Denzel Washington was fucking great! I have to give a slight spoiler, though being as this is based off of real events it isn’t much. Denzel is only actually in the first hour of the movie and even at that Kline is the main protagonist. You see some flashbacks of Washington the rest of the movie, but none of its new (that I recall at least). Still that one hour performances was amazing and deserved the Oscar nomination.
Basically they took a powerful and emotional story and gave it a great cast. Hard to fail with that. Even better they did a good job of telling the story.