Archives for posts with tag: Frank Oz

As much as I’d like to deploy a more current analogy in describing “The Dark Crystal,” I’ll revert to 1982, when it was released. This Jim Henson puppet fantasy is a dismal cross between Dungeons and Dragons and another popular board game, Risk. There are various clans that seem to be murky geopolitical metaphors (Fascists? Pacifists? Japanese-speaking, Irish-looking Greeks?) in a parable about the Cold War concept of mutual assured destruction. Most of the puppets are extremely creative but also extremely unattractive, as are most of the mock-Medieval settings. Can you tell me how to get back to Sesame Street?

At the beginning of “Housesitter” (1992), Steve Martin tells Dana Delany he’s had a crush on her since ninth grade. Given that he’s 10 years older than her in real life (and looks every minute of it), I immediately began to have issues with this film. But then the more age-appropriate Goldie Hawn came along in her tight jeans and fixed everything. Martin and Hawn are such pros, they took a hackneyed rom-com plot (little fib becomes big lie, hijinks ensue, people make speeches, mismatched couple finally realizes true love, gag, the end) and turn it into something entirely watchable.

At the beginning of “The Score” (2001), Robert De Niro cracks a safe. Then we see an artsy, through-the-windshield shot of him driving, rain droplets and wiper blades and all. Then we hear one of those jazz trumpets with the toilet plunger thingy stuck in the hole. So we know it’s going to be one of those kinds of movies. A formula caper flick with a noir edge. The execution is very average. De Niro, Angela Bassett, Edward Norton and Marlon Brando seem to be going through the motions. The jazz trumpet with the toilet plunger thingy sounds good, though.