Friday, April 14, 2017
THE CONEHEADS (1993)
Directed By: Steve Barron
Written By: Tom Davis, Dan Aykroyd, Bonnie Turner & Terry Turner
Cinematography By: Francis Kenny
Editor: Paul Trejo
Cast: Dan Aykroyd, Jane Curtain, Michelle Burke, Chris Farley, David Spade, Michael McKean, Sinbad, Jason Alexander, Lisa Jane Persky, Julia Sweeney, Adam Sandler, Michael Richards, Tim Meadows, Eddie Griffin, Phil Hartman, Kevin Nealon, Jan Hooks, Garrett Morris, Ellen Degeneres, Parker Posey, Joey Lauren Adams, Whip Hubley
Aliens with conical crania crash-land on Earth.
There seemed to be a time in the 90's where after the success of WAYNE'S WORLD. Where it seemed that Lorne Michaels choose to flood the market with SATURDAY NIGHT LOVE skits turned into movies. He commonly choose projects that were based on current stars of the show or at least skits that were more recent. Here is where he seemed to take a big gamble on a skit from the past.
The only problem is that while this skit was popular. At least to me it was never a really funny skit. I can see the comedy coming more from the absurdity, but what might work on paper or even for five minutes is totally different than trying to make it work in the big screen for ninety minutes.
Now maybe the film could have worked if more basis was placed on the allegory of illegal aliens only these for. Outer space and the comedic struggles they face in trying to fit in. As the films cast is very diverse.
The Film Showcases how easily the family can assimulate and find new values in their achievement of the american dream. As well as satirizing how similar we all can be, plus the all encompassing lure and comfort of the suburbs. --Though you can tell the film is more attuned to Star Dan Aykroyd’s hyper verbal type of comedy.
It also would have helped if the film allowed other characters to be funny. Instead of just reactive. Even though both Chris Farley and David spade are humorous in their supporting roles.
The film has so much comedic talent In small to supporting roles. They are usually funnier than the stars of the film. The main cast feels like straight men in their own wacky comedy.
Though it reeks of most of the then cast of SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE doing a favor for producer Lorne Michaels. Almost like an office party that all must attend. So it had a roster of stars in the cast but it all adds up to anything. It is an all-star movie where half of the comedic cast might be here more as a tribute to the skit and the power of the show that aired it.
It also feels like half the cast is here more as guest stars like on television show. Trying to get in good or paying back favors.
Other than some bits of humor. The material and film feels just as tired as the skit. It seems more bland than anything. Looking to. It offend or cross the line. In fact the most memorable aspect of the movie might be the soundtrack with the hit single SOUL TO SQUEEZE by THE RED HOT CHILLI PEPPERS. Other then that the obvious SUBWAY sandwich product placement tie in is he only other hilarious thing in the movie.
Part of the problem was that the film came out too late. As if it had been made when still fresh it might have had enough comedic energy to work for the time period. Now the jokes it has to tell are tired or been done plenty of times and better. Also the skit was more of a memory for those who remembered it. Rather than a contemporary audience of the time or even now. Part of the reason for renewed interest at the time was that nick at Nite/Nickelodeon and Comedy Central started airing repeats of the shows episodes. Focusing more on the early years.
This feels like a bit of scraping the bottom of the barrel. As a spin-off of a skit. When this whole movie seems to play like one. It feels like a cash-in The film even feels rushed especially for a project that had decades to work on and cash in on. So that the film in the end just feels like an example of wasted talent. Though it maintains an inoffensive light touch throughout. that makes it feel ike more of a movie for children that families can enjoy together.