Sunday, March 18, 2007

saw not one but 2 George Hamilton movies: Love at First Bite and Zorro the Gay Blade. we actually went to Barnes and Noble in search for Apocalypto. reviews of which I haven't seen, but it being set in pre-Colombian Central America and my having seen the trailers, it looks engaging. yes, I realize Mel Gibson can go over the top. the dvd is not available till may, but Beth saw the 2 Hamilton movies, of which she had fond recollection. LAFB was the lesser movie. Hamilton plays Dracula, who comes to NYC to secure the affection of Susan St James. Hamilton's good-natured, somewhat preening acceptance of his roles is a transmogrification of corny. it doesn't come across as hammy because he's having so much fun. I particularly enjoyed Richard Benjamin, who took his usual earnest neurotic and added a fun squirrelly touch. the movie seemed dated for several reasons. the iconic disco era stuff, like the de rigueur disco scene itself, were included to highlight the movie's freshness. not so fresh now. likewise all the current stars, like Susan St James and Arte Johnson (who was pretty good, actually), as well as the cameos by Sherman Hemsley and Isabelle Sanford: these folk seem out of date now. Hamilton doesn't. Zorro The Gay Blade was much stronger. GH plays Zorro's son. his father bequeathed mask and cape to him and Hamilton takes over the duties. the other actors don't seem as dated, maybe because they are better at what they do. Ron Liebman as the evil alcalde gets to snap and shout thru out the movie. Hamilton enjoys playing with a broad barely fathomable accent. his Zorro sustains an injury, but luckily his long lost brother shows up to take over duties. this is Hamilton as well. he's flamboyantly poncy and just plain silly. he eschews the black costume for various colourful, fringed and beaded substitutes. Kasey Mohammad writes on his blog about how disappointing his recent viewing of Blazing Saddles was. je connais. a lot of movies, especially comedies I think, hold up poorly over time. partly, it is because the performers aren't able to get out of the era. I mean, Susan St James simply doesn't arise above the late 70s and 80s. she's a worm hole back to then. so is Richard Benjamin, but at least there's a tweak to his role that provided a revivifying flair. there was a Mel Brooks collection available at B&N. I've seen 4 of the 6 movies and have no inclination to see any again. even tho I thought the films were mostly really funny. their edge has dulled, their freshness dissipated. there's a bit of Shakespearian gender juggling in Zorro, with the Gay Blade dressed as a woman fending off the alcalde and dressed as Zorro fending off Lauren Hutton. both brothers enter the realm of mock heroic. anyway, both movies are pleasantly cute and Zorro holds up quite well.
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