Friday, January 30, 2009

Grumpy Old Men

Donald Petrie, 1993 (7.5*)
I didn’t remember liking this so much until I saw it again recently in widescreen (Odd Couple didn’t fare so well, like one long bad marriage argument). Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau play two neighbors who have basically grown into a couple of bickering curmudgeons, without their kids or wives around to keep them civil. Much of the action here centers around new neighbor Ann-Margret, who reminds the two antagonists and their friend Chucky, played by Ossie Davis, what it’s like to be a “young pup”, as 88-yr old Burgess Meredith calls his son Lemmon when he sees Ann-Margret. There are some hilarious scenes here, especially one at the local frozen lake in winter where everyone gathers to ice fish in their shanties. The outtakes at the end are just as funny, but here Burgess steals the show, coming up with about half a dozen euphemisms for ‘romance’ as he and Jack watch Chucky going inside to visit Ann-Margret. Jack and Walter’s kids are played by Darryl Hannah and Kevin Pollack. No one expected a film with "all old people" would be a box office hit, but it was, thanks to the superb cast. The sequel with Sophia Loren, Grumpier Old Men, wasn’t nearly as successful nor as popular.
Quote: Looks like Chucky is taking old one-eye to the optomitrist!
Quote 2: Looks like Chucky is gonna ride the old baloney pony!


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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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