Rick Moranis

strangebrewtruth-1

Two things come to my mind when we start rolling into December and the holiday season. No, it’s not peace or love or some such slop. It’s also not blockbusters or award films. It’s cold weather and drinking. This also makes me think of Canada, and this in turn makes me think of legends of comedy: Bob and Doug McKenzie. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the motion picture premiere of the beer-drinking duo from the Great White North. In their film Strange Brew, Bob (Rick Moranis) and Doug (Dave Thomas) must stop an evil Brewmeister (Max Von Sydow) from controlling the minds of Canadians with a tainted beer supply. In one scene, Bob saves the Royal Canadian Institute for the Mentally Insane from burning down by pissing all over it. This got me thinking: Would it be humanly possible to put out a large fire by urinating on it?

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strange-brew-scenes

This is a great week for beer-loving movie fans. Friday saw the opening of Edgar Wright’s The World’s End, which involves a nostalgic pub crawl featuring many pints being guzzled, and Joe Swanberg’s Drinking Buddies, about employees at a brewery who spend their shifts drinking the wares. And tomorrow is the 30th anniversary of the U.S. opening of Strange Brew (aka The Adventures of Bob & Doug McKenzie: Strange Brew). Last monday was the date it opened in Canada, so I guess I’m showing some fitting incompetence here. I should blame my brother or something. Strange Brew is a feature-length adaptation by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas of their Canadian stereotype characters from SCTV, the McKenzie brothers. It’s also based loosely on Hamlet, making it the oddest update of Shakespeare still to this day (sorry, She’s the Man) and giving it way more plot than you’d expect from a dumb comedy about knuckleheads trying to get a free case of beer. The movie also co-stars Max Von Sydow as the villain, which wasn’t that rare a deal in 1983 but it’s still pretty awesome. This movie isn’t referenced enough these days, in spite of it being a major predecessor to Wayne’s World, Step-Brothers, Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle and plenty of other modern favorites. It also has the best MGM lion logo parody since the Marx Brothers’ A Night at the Opera. If you don’t love this movie and the following scenes, you’re a hoser, eh. Coo loo […]

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Little Shop of Horrors is a story about a man-eating plant that’s been around for quite a while. It started off as a silly Roger Corman movie from the early ’60s, but even before that, Corman’s work is thought to have been inspired by a John Collier story called “Green Thoughts” from the ’30s. What most of us probably think of as Little Shop of Horrors comes from the ’80s, however. In 1982 Alan Menken and Howard Ashmen wrote a stage musical based on Corman’s black comedy, and then in 1986 Frank Oz directed a film version of their musical. As strange and campy as it is, Oz’s version of Little Shop still has quite a few fans to this day, so would it be considered an atrocity for someone to remake it? Maybe not, because, according to THR, the someone who’s newly responsible for trying to get a remake of Little Shop together is none other than Internet darling Joseph Gordon-Levitt. That guy’s so cute and talented, we can’t be mad at him, can we?

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Commentary Commentary: Ace Ventura

Before he directed Patch Adams – I’m pretty sure that little nugget of information will rear its head again further down this article – Tom Shadyac had a strong hand in making Jim Carrey the man he is today. Shadyac directed Ace Venture: Pet Detective, the film that essentially launched Carrey’s career into super stardom and eventually landed him a few $20m paying jobs. Shadyac, on the other hand, was easy to get for the film’s commentary track. And that’s what we’re doing for this week’s Commentary Commentary. Here’s hoping it’s loaded with deep analysis on the character and the slaps in the face Shadyac had to give Carrey in order for the performance to bleed through. Who am I kidding? There’s probably plenty of laughter and talking about the first time he saw Carrey talking out of his ass. Let’s find out, shall we?

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Welcome back to Commentary Commentary, the weekly analysis of our favorite films and what the filmmakers have to say about them. This week we’re calling someone. Not sure who. It’s almost like there should be a classic line to fit in here, but right now it’s escaping me. In addition to being a modern classic, Ghostbusters is also arguably the best comedy of the last 30 years. Plus, it features Reginal Veljohnson and William Atherton, two co-stars of Die Hard, so that’s something to note, right? The two also co-starred in Die Hard 2. We’ll have to cover Renny Harlin’s commentary on that classic some day. While you’re holding your breath for that, though, we’re in the mood to laugh, get slimed, and laugh heartily some more. So take a ghostly gander – yeah, I said it – at what we learned from the Ghostbusters commentary right here.

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