Tag Archives: Harold Ramis

Stripes

So film 2 in my series of comedy films I should’ve seen a long time ago is Stripes, a comedy about two guys down on their luck who decide the best means to solve their joint problems is to join the army. ¬†Looking at the film as a man who grew up in the ’80s, I can’t help but compare it to Police Academy. The two films are basically the same plots. Group of misfits join a military-like organization, get into trouble, prove themselves, get the respect of their superiors.

It’s definitely easy to make these comparisons, but I must also remember that Stripes came first. While I watched Police Academy countless times as a kid, that film was the redux.

So Stripes. It’s hilarious. Undoubtably hilarious, within the first few minutes, both Bill Murray and Harold Ramis had me in stitches. This is to be expected from the half of the Ghostbusters. While the plot was (to me) old, the gags, and the humour were better than I was expecting, but I don’t see why it’s such a classic. The plot is paper thin and a good platform for the humour, but it in no way shows the good storytelling that is Ghostbusters or other classic comedy films.

Definitely worth watching.

Caddy Shack

I decided recently that I should watch a handful of classic comedy films that I’ve never seen. I started with Caddy Shack, because it was the smallest file, and I didn’t have much time between when I could start watching and when I had to be somewhere. It might not have been the shortest of the films, but it was quickest to transfer between machines1.

Brief plot synopsis

Some young caddy, played by someone, wants to get laid, and wants money. There’s an amazing, rich golfer (Chevy Chase) who also likes sex, and is slightly eccentric. There’s the weird groundkeeper (Bill Murray) who’s in a Looney Tunesesque battle of wits with a gopher. There’s the annoying developer (Rodney Dangerfield) who’s annoying the stiff. There’s the stiff (Ted Knight) who hates the developer, takes a liking to the caddy, until he fucks his daughter, granddaughter, whatever, and tolerates the amazing, rich golfer, because of his money. The caddy needs money for school. There’s a caddy’s scholarship which he wants to win, so he sucks up to Ted Knight’s character. In the end there’s a golf-off between Chase/Dangerfield and Knight/unknown.

The film is directed by Harold Ramis, yes Egon. For those unaware, Harold Ramis would later go on to be old and chubby, and at that point would start looking like me, if you believe Aaron.

Thoughts

Chase’s character isn’t all that interesting, but he’s the highlight of the film.

Murray’s annoying, he’s created a caricature, rather than his usual skill of creating a character.

Ted Knight is good. He was a great choice for this role. There’s only a few small times where you see Ted Baxter in his performance.

Dangerfield kills this film. His delivery is annoying, and brutal. His one liners, don’t have a place in a plot driven film, and those are the films I like. He takes all the bad bits of Groucho Marx, and steals them for himself, creating this schtick that will get under your skin within about 30 seconds of screen time. Honestly, Rodney Dangerfield is, in this film, Rodney Dangerfield, and it seems I don’t care to ever see Rodney Dangerfield.

Don’t bother.

  1. Through 802.11g, see why file size mattered? []