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Posts Tagged ‘Dumb and Dumber’
Twenty years ago Roger Ebert wrote that a moment in Dumb and Dumber, “made me laugh so loudly I embarrassed myself.”
The movie, starring Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels as the chicken-brained Lloyd and Harry, made 250 million dollars at the box office and seemed likely to spawn a sequel but nothing happened for almost twenty years. There was a prequel, Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd, but it was a Carrey-and-Daniel-less exercise in futility I called, “one of the least funny and ineptly made movies to ever play at your local multi-plex,” on its 2003 release.
So why did it take 19 years and 333 days to release a Dumb and Dumber follow-up? Carrey says he wasn’t into doing sequels but softened because everyone kept hounding him, he joked, “even dead people.”
Fans had to wait ages for Dumb and Dumber’s return, but two decades is a mere drop in the bucket when compared to the gap between the 1942 Disney classic Bambi and it’s sequel Bambi II. A ten-year-old who saw the original would have been old enough to send their grandkids to get popcorn refills when the sequel hit theatres overseas (it went direct to DVD in North America) almost sixty-four years later.
Thirty years after Alfred Hitchcock made seagulls menacing in The Birds a made-for television-movie called The Birds II: Land’s End revisited the killer avian story. Tippi Hedren, star of the original, signed on and it was shot in the house from the first film, but that’s where the similarities between the two end. The New York Times called the film “feeble,” and Hedren said, “It’s absolutely horrible, it embarrasses me horribly.”
29 years and 343 days after 1968’s The Odd Couple hit the big screen, writer Neil Simon and stars Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau reunited for The Odd Couple II. “We always had bad chemistry,” says Oscar Madison (Matthau). “We mix like oil and frozen yogurt.” It marked the last starring roles for each of its leads and the final collaboration between Lemmon and Matthau after making ten movies together.
These days Hollywood seems obsessed with sequels and next year will be no different. Mad Max: Fury Road, starring Tom Hardy in the role that made Mel Gibson famous, returns thirty years after Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome and Jurassic World revisits Jurassic Park III thirteen years later. The biggest sequel news of the year—maybe of the decade—is the December 2015 release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. In the official Starr Wars chronology the new film follows 1983’s Return of the Jedi after a space of 32 years and 207 days.
Watch the whole thing HERE!
Twenty years ago, in a simpler and sillier time, “Dumb and Dumber’s” Harry Dunne (Jeff Daniels) shrieked at Lloyd Christmas (Jim Carrey), “Just when I thought you couldn’t possibly be any dumber, you go and do something like this… and totally redeem yourself!”
It’s a line that echoes through the sequel, “Dumb and Dumber To.” Can the Farrelly Brothers find redemption after a string of flops by resurrecting their most famous characters and out dumb and out funny the modern sultans of silly, Seth McFarlane and Judd Apatow?
The new film begins in present day. Lloyd has spent two decades at a Baldy View Psychiatric Hospital, traumatized by the loss of his love Mary Swanson. Or is he traumatized? On one of his weekly visits Harry discovers Lloyd has been faking his comatose state for twenty years as a gag. “That’s awesome,” he says. “I feel for it hook, line and sphincter.” Reunited, they hit the road, this time in search of a daughter (Rachel Melvin) Harry never knew he had. She’s the “fruit of his loom” but could also be the kidney donor he needs to save his life.
The experience of watching “Dumb and Dumber To” is like spending the weekend with your hamster brained nephews. It’s super fun to see tem when they first arrive, but by Saturday night their antics have started to grow thin. By Sunday you’re wondering how you can miss them if they won’t go away.
Twenty years later Harry and Lloyd haven’t gotten any wiser but they haven’t gotten much funnier either. There are some astoundingly unPC gags—and I mean that literally—here, but none that reach the otherworldly vulgarity of the original’s laxative overdose scene. Instead it’s wall-to-wall jokes and one-liners, some hit, most don’t and nothing, save for the “Did you hide them in this turkey?” scene reach the level of McFarlane or Apatow outrageousness.
Carrey, however, is on overdrive. When he isn’t flailing about he’s mouthing malapropisms like, “That’s water under the fridge,” and what the material lacks in actual funny lines, Carrey makes up in sheer enthusiasm. For his part, Daniels leaves the dignity of “The Newsroom” behind, showing his behind more times than is comfortable for anyone.
“Dumb and Dumber To” is predictably silly, amiable stuff, which, I suppose, explains why it isn’t called “Dumb and Dumber Quantum Entanglement.”
“Grand Hotel… always the same. People come, people go. Nothing ever happens.”
That famous line from the Greta Garbo film Grand Hotel is only half right. Hundreds of movies have used hotels as a backdrop for the action because people come, people go, but despite the quote’s assertion, there’s always something happening.
This weekend’s The Grand Budapest Hotel is a case in point. Starring Ralph Fiennes as a concierge at a European hotel between the world wars, it features an all-star cast, including Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Harvey Keitel and Edward Norton. They are all part of the fabric of the hotel’s history, which includes assassins, murder, riches and a mysterious painting.
Hollywood has always recognized that the transient nature of hotels makes for great drama.
New York City’s Plaza Hotel has played host to many famous movie scenes. Everything from Barefoot in the Park to Funny Girl to The Great Gatsby has used the iconic hotel as a backdrop, but it is probably best known as a location for North by Northwest. In the Alfred Hitchcock film Roger O. Thornhill (Cary Grant) is mistaken for a government agent and kidnapped from the ornate lobby.
The opening shot of Goldfinger features a stunning aerial view of Miami’s Fontainebleau Hotel, which at the time was the most luxurious guesthouse on Miami Beach. Later in the film Bond Girl Jill Masterson (Shirley Eaton) dies of skin asphyxiation inside the hotel after henchman Oddjob (Harold Sakata) coats her whole body in gold paint.
In the 1920’s the Hotel del Coronado was a famous weekend getaway for Hollywood stars like Mae West, Charlie Chaplin, Clark Gable and Errol Flynn but the Victorian wooden beach resort found fame as the setting for several scenes in Some Like it Hot. Located on San Diego Bay across from San Diego, the beachfront location was the scene of one of the film’s most famous lines. When Jerry (Jack Lemmon) first spies Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe) sashaying through the sand he says, “Look how she moves! It’s like Jell-O on springs.”
Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining after staying at the 140-room Stanley Hotel in Colorado. “I think a lot of things happened right here in this particular hotel over the years,” says Dick Hallorann (Scatman Crothers) in the film version. “And not all of ’em was good.”
The Stanley has been used as a location for Dumb and Dumber and other films, but Stanley Kubrick chose not to showcase the place in his 1980 adaptation of the novel. Instead, much to King’s disappointment, he used Oregon’s Timberline Lodge as a stand-in for the film’s fictional Overlook Hotel.