STRIPES (1981)

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Elizabeth

Stripes was playing at a local theater in honor of Bill Murray’s birthday, so it seemed pretty necessary to go, especially since I had never seen the movie before. I really didn’t know what to expect; all I knew was it was a movie in which Bill Murray joined the army.

I think what I enjoyed the most about Stripes was the fact that it’s view of the army wasn’t the stereotypical movie view: it’s not like they made it seem like being in the army was easy, but it also wasn’t a Full Metal Jacket-esque hell hole, either. They made it almost seem like summer camp. Maybe people in the army wouldn’t feel great about that, but I thought it was pretty funny. But the starts of the movie, Bill Murray and Harold Ramis, really carry it. They’re funny and sweet and have a funny and good relationship. I loved Harold Ramis’ character in particular, maybe because I feel like I would have similar views to everything as he. Naturally, Stripes isn’t exactly a feminist movie, but you have to choose your battles with that. It came out in 1981, so for me it gets a pass for a lot of the bullshit. But at least they showed a female character in the army who was actually good at her job, despite being a female, plus she was played by Sean Young, which helps with the you-can-be-feminine-and-be-in-the-armed-services idea.

Stripes is really just good, young Bill Murray action, and definitely fun to watch.

Christopher

I think this was the third time I have watched this movie in my life but it was enjoyable to see it on the big screen for the first time. We were able to get tickets to a new theater in Round Rock that for $5 a ticket we got to see the movie, got a piece of cake, and a pint glass with a picture of Bill Murray and a memorable quote form the film. Well worth it and the theater was great, except the employees were a little too friendly for me.

I think Stripes is a good funny movie to enjoy. I know people really do love it but I don’t think it ever really struck me as a favorite in any way. I think my favorite experience seeing it was this last time. Maybe since I was older more of the jokes made sense to me? I’m not sure but I’m glad I saw it again cause I have a better memory of it now. That’s not saying that all my other experiences with it were bad, I really would just forget almost everything about the movie. As funny and straight-forward as the plot was, none of it really stuck with me.

The best part of the movie to me is easily Bill Murray and John Candy but I don’t think I ever realized how funny Harold Ramis is!

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TOOTSIE (1982)

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Christopher

We watched this movie because Elizabeth loves it but also because it’s on the National Film Registry. I wasn’t really expecting to like this movie but it’s actually pretty funny and one thing I did not know is that Bill Murray is in it!

This biggest thing I have against this movie is that Dustin Hoffman really doesn’t look like a lady when he’s dressed up as Dorothy, he looks like Dustin Hoffman in drag. But I guess that’s kind of part of the story, no matter what you look like you should be given a chance. Dustin Hoffman is fantastic is in it, Bill Murray is fantastic, and the jokes are constant and effective.

I’m not sure if I will watch this again anytime soon but it’s easily something I would recommend to people.

Elizabeth

I’m really not sure what it is about men dressing up as women that I find so funny. I know that probably sounds offensive, like I laugh at crossdressers. But I really just mean men dressing up as women for comedic purposes. It kills me. Does it come from lots of secretly watching The Kids in the Hall when I was little? Or is it just something I naturally find funny? I don’t really know, but I do know that Tootsie is amazing already, made even more amazing by how funny I find Dustin Hoffman dressed as a woman.

There’s about a million things to love about Tootsie. One of them is how great Dorothy Michaels is, Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman)’s female alias. She sort of reminds me of Clair Huxtable, in that she’s always standing up for herself and women and telling men what’s up. The way Michael is affected by what he’s seen and done as a woman is also really interesting; he understands some of the difficulties of being a woman (like being hit on and wearing stockings) but not really enough to betray his male tendencies (like leading women on and having a one night stand with a long-time friend).

Tootsie also really makes me love Dustin Hoffman, even though I loved him already. When I think about how Dustin Hoffman is also Raymond from Rain Man and Captain Hook from Hook, and then Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels from Tootsie, it’s clear how incredible his range is. I think a lot of actors get their inspiration from makeup and costumes when they play such a different character, as they should, but Dustin Hoffman always seems able to take it to the next level.

Also, this probably is weird, especially considering the fashion of 1982, but I loved how comfortable Julie (Jessica Lange) always looked. When she wasn’t in her nurse costume for the soap opera she’s on, she was always wearing sweatshirts or loose blouses or dresses or something and she just looked so comfortable. Not only do I think it made her character seem softer and approachable, but it was just nice to look at.

HEAVYWEIGHTS (1995)

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Christopher

WATCH THIS MOVIE NOW! If you remember at all seeing this as a kid, see it right now. It’s been close to 10 years since I saw it, it’s still as funny as I thought it was when I was young. Fat kids versus a healthy Ben Stiller, who I don’t really like but think this is best role, is the perfect setup for hilarity!

But the other big thing Heavyweights does is makes me want to see all of the Mighty Duck movies, for some Goldberg (Shaun Weiss) action!

Elizabeth

I’ve seen Heavyweights a million times, but I hadn’t seen it in a really long time. Two things that I noticed this time were that A.) Judd Apatow co-wrote and co-produced it and B.) Paul Feig is in it.

I really enjoy seeing kids’ movies and shows from the 90s, if for no other reason than seeing how much stuff is in it that would never be in a kids’ movie today. Heavyweights has a lot of it: from adults smoking cigarettes around kids, to always saying “Oh my God” instead of “Oh my gosh,” to the bigger theme of what is essentially child abuse in comedy form.

One great thing about Heavyweights is that, unlike most kids’ movies, the kids and the adults are much more evenly comedically matched. The kids in this movie are actually funny. And Ben Stiller as Tony Perkis is working on Zoolander levels of comedy.

Much of my love for Heavyweights comes from pure nostalgia, but I don’t care. It’s funny and I love it.

BANANAS (1971)

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Christopher

This movie was insanely dark. Elizabeth and I recently got our library cards and have gone crazy checking movies out. Bananas was something that we wanted to see for a while, mostly cause we want to watch more Woody Allen movies. And I am very happy that Elizabeth decided to get this so close to us watching The Act of Killing. It’s basically the comedy version! Which makes so many scenes intensely scary.

I absolutely loved this film. The structure of the film is great, just a bunch of scenes, and most of the jokes are pretty funny. I also really liked Woody Allen’s character in this, basically himself just not very smart.

Go see The Act of Killing and then immediately go watch Bananas.

Elizabeth

I’ve seen some pretty dark comedies, but Bananas has to be one of the darkest I’ve ever seen. I really didn’t know what to expect at all, and it’s pretty crazy.

I guess the easiest way to talk about the tone of Bananas is to say that the movie shows executions, and it’s still part of the comedy. It’s funny but you’re not sure why. It just sort of adds to highlighted the absurdity of politics. The most interesting aspect of watching Bananas was watching it so closely to The Act of KillingThe Act of Killing is, in a lot of ways, about the same thing as Bananas, and after watching such a scary documentary about that time period, it made Bananas much darker and scarier.

While I don’t think Bananas has a ton of laugh-out-loud humor, there’s a pretty great courtroom scene in which J. Edgar Hoover is put on the stand, but Hoover is played by a large black woman, as Hoover is in disguise. I don’t know what about that is so funny, but it definitely got to me.

AIRPLANE! (1980)

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Elizabeth

This wasn’t my first time seeing Airplane! but I think I liked it more this time than when I first saw it in high school. I sort of feel like Airplane! is what Family Guy tries to be (but fails at 90% of the time).

Airplane!‘s plot sort of gets lost sometimes in all of the gags, but I really feel like it’s okay in this situation. The plot pretty much only acts as a vehicle for the gags to happen anyway. Airplane! just has a unique sense of humor about it, but it’s so simple. If Mitch Hedberg, one of my favorite comics, had made a movie, I think it would be something similar to this.

Christopher

I saw this movie multiple times as a kid. I always found it extremely entertaining and funny and I still feel that way. It’s fantastic! It is pretty outdated and a lot of the jokes are racist and sexist but I think it’s done in such a good nature it doesn’t really take you out of the movie.