Posts Tagged ‘Wayne’s World’


Screen Shot 2015-08-15 at 9.50.02 AMRichard’s CP24 reviews for “Straight Outta Compton,” “The Man from UNCLE,” and “I Am Chris Farley” with Nneka Elliot.

Watch the whole thing HERE!


Screen Shot 2015-08-14 at 10.16.18 AMRichard’s “Canada AM” reviews for “Straight Outta Compton,” “The Man from UNCLE,” and “I Am Chris Farley.”

Watch the whole thing HERE!

I AM CHRIS FARLEY: 3 STARS. “always looked like he was having the most fun.”

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 2.52.49 PMLorne Michaels, creator and guiding light of “Saturday Night Live,” said he was, “infuriatingly talented.” David Letterman called him “the human thunderball” while Dan Aykroyd noted his, “automatic charisma.” The “he” is Matt “I live in a van by the river” Foley and “Tommy’s Boy’s” main character, Chris Farley, the heavy-set comedian and subject of a new documentary, “I Am Chris Farley.”

Executive produced by Farley’s brother Kevin, this loving tribute is an affectionate look at the guy who “always looked like he was having the most fun.” Michaels and Aykroyd are joined by Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, David Spade, Bob Odenkirk and a variety of childhood friends to paint a picture of a man who was ruled by his excesses.

After an all American upbringing in Madison, Wisconsin he joined a local improv group and later trained at Chicago’s fabled Second City, where he fine-tuned his wild, out-of-control style under the tutelage of improv king Del Close, who gave him the same advice he gave another of his famous students, “Attack the stage like a bull you have that power.”

And attack he did, quickly becoming a star on “Saturday Night Live” and in films like “Wayne’s World” and “Tommy Boy.” Offstage his behaviour was as frenetic as his onscreen persona. Spade and others say whatever Farley did he did wholeheartedly. If he liked you, he loved you. If he went for a laugh, he would do anything to get it. By the same token, when he let loose, he attacked the bottle, and later drugs, with the same gusto. He was, as one talking head says, “a sweet guy before midnight.”

It’s hard not to compare Farley to another doomed “Saturday Night Live” cast member. John Belushi was another similarly driver performer who left scorched earth behind, on stage and off. Both men died at age 33, the victim of their own overindulgences.

“I Am Chris Farley” doesn’t have the same gut-wrenching impact as “Amy,” the recent doc about the tragic life and death of singer Amy Winehouse. That film has less warmth, and is more an examination of how Winehouse’s world spun out of control. The Farley doc has a kinder, gentler tone and doesn’t dwell on his final moments. Perhaps it’s just as well. As the film makes clear, Farley lived to make people laugh. He wouldn’t want to leave behind a legacy of heartbreak and misfortune.

THE SKELETON TWINS: 3 ½ STARS. “features breakthrough performances from its leads”

theskeletontwins1The offspring of “Saturday Night Live” have provided highs and lows in terms of the movie going experience. On the upside there is “Wayne’s World,” a very funny comedy about a suburban headbanger and his best friend. Less successful was Dan Aykroyd and Jane Curtin as Beldar and Prymaat Clorhone in “Coneheads.”

Then there is another category of “SNL” movies. The ones like “The Skeleton Twins,” films that just happen to feature former stars of the show.

Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader are Maggie and Milo, twins who haven’t spoken in ten years. The product of a troubled upbringing, she still lives in their upstate New York hometown, he in Los Angeles where he pursues a career in acting while waiting tables at a Hollywood tourist trap.

When Milo survives a suicide attempt Maggie invites him to recuperate at her home. Her husband Lance (Luke Wilson) welcomes him, but Milo’s presence in town brings up old, disturbing feelings for his ex-boyfriend Rich (Ty Burrell) and Maggie who is still troubled by the past.

Unlike Aykroyd and Curtain in “Coneheads,” Wiig and Hader are revelations in “The Skeleton Twins.” The movie is a parade of dysfunction, but the performances from these two actors are nuanced and delicate. Both are famous for making people laugh—Wiig has several dramas on her resume like “Girl Most Likely,” but is best known on the big screen for “Bridesmaids”—but both stretch here, becoming dramatic actors who know how to deliver a funny line.

Despite its downbeat tone the script (co-written by Mark Heyman and director Craig Johnson) is packed with laughs, most of which are situational and massaged out of the material by Wiig and Hader.

Luke Wilson and Joanna Gleason are also noteworthy. He’s the sweet but dim-witted “big Labrador Retriever” of a man, and brings some down-to-earth humanity to a movie about people searching to find their humanity. Gleason is terrific as the world’s worst mother, a self-centered woman who presence dredges up old, bad memories.

“The Skeleton Twins” is an interesting and funny character study for much of its 93 minute running time, but the ending feels almost as if the production ran out of money and shut down before they figured out a satisfactory conclusion. Its as if someone simply flicked off the story switch before the narrative was quite done.

Despite a rushed ending, “The Skeleton Twins” features breakthrough performances from its leads that are worth a look.

MIKE MYERS, “Canada is the essence of not being” By Richard Crouse

waynes-worldFrom a gig as a dance show host (billed as “Funky Mike Myers”) to a stint on Saturday Night Live to hit films like Wayne’s World and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame Michael John Myers has followed the path of Canadian trailblazers like the SCTV folks who found fame making Americans laugh.  The Scarborough, Ontario born comedian says he was able to break into the American comedy market “because other Canadians helped me.”

Citing early boosters like Dave Thomas, Martin Short and Lorne Michaels (who the young Myers idolized, even doing an eighth grade project on the producer) Myers found his feet as a comedian with Second City, (on stages in Toronto and Chicago), and then in 1989 he, like Dan Aykroyd and Phil Hartman before him, found fame as part of Saturday Night Live.  

Since then he’s had time to reflect on why Canadians have been so successful in America. To explain he quotes one of his early advocates.

“Martin Short said something that was kind of interesting which is when Americans watch TV they’re watching TV but when Canadians watch TV they’re watching American TV. There is sort of a separation. We can look at American culture as foreigners except that we’re not all that different. ‘Wow, we are like two cultures separated by a common language,’ to quote Winston Churchill.”

Canadians, he suggests, are the great observers, carefully studying and digesting American movies, television and music before putting their own spin on them. Having both objectivity and perspective allows comics like Myers to analyze pop culture, and then create a unique style that adds to the culture while cleverly (and quietly) dissecting it.

“Canada is the essence of not being,” he says. “Not English, not American, it is the mathematic of not being. And a subtle flavor. We’re more like celery as a flavor.”