Thursday, April 21, 2011

30 Day Film Challenge-Day 16 - A Film I Used to Love, But Now Hate

Mel Brooks used to be funny. He's written and/or directed some of the most iconic, and hilarious comedies in history, and his send-ups of the movie making industry itself, such as Young Frankenstein, Blazing Saddles, High Anxiety, and of course Spaceballs were not only entertaining and laugh riots, they also exposed the sometimes ridiculous nature of the biz itself. So when he decided to poke fun at the popularity of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves we medievalists and role players were ecstatic. Robin Hood: Men in Tights came out in '93, and I recall loving it, while at the same time realizing that Brooks's humor was showing its age. I think I only saw it once, but there were many a quote bandied about during the ensuing decade and a half. Well, a couple of years ago I found Men in Tights in the 'we can't give this shit away' bin at Wally World, and excitedly grabbed it. I flew home, popped the DVD in the player, and prepared myself for a gigglefest. Wow, was I wrong. Most of the jokes were either stale retreads from previous films, or were so grounded in the pop culture of that particular time in history(the 90s, not the Middle Ages) that they fell totally flat. And what wasn't a repeat or a reference to a long forgotten film was on the level of something a 12 year old might say to an 8 year old to try to get them to snort milk out of their nose in the lunchroom. While I love living in the future where we can revisit our faves from the past whenever we wish, sometimes memories are best left as just that...imperfect, inaccurate, but enjoyable memories.


flurrious said...

I think Mel Brooks has always been kind of uneven. I saw History of the World when it came out and everyone in the theater was incredibly fidgety throughout. At the end, when "To Be Continued" flashed across the screen, everyone booed; I think that's the only time that's ever happened at a movie I've been to -- and I saw both Popeye and Ishtar, so I think you see my point.

Marius said...

I agree. I think for some directors we think they're funny because we're supposed to think they're funny, and not really because they are funny. Like Woody Allen.