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A BAGFUL OF PARANTHETICAL BLAKE EDWARDS ARCHIVE REVIEWS

Bruce Willis and Malcolm McDowell YEAR: 1991 Score: **1/2
SUNSET: James Garner is the real life Marshall Wyatt Earp and Bruce Willis is cowboy actor Tom Mix portraying Earp in a movie, and they team-up to solve a murder in old Hollywoodland...

Reminiscent of those episodes of "Rockford Files" with Garner and the classier, prettier and younger Tom Selleck, but since there's really no clashing between the REAL cowboy and the FAKE one there's not much chemistry either. It's like watching two friends agreeing upon everything — what's the fun in that? But there are some decent performances and you'll have light fun watching. Meanwhile, as usual, Bruce Willis is passable doing his ever-charming-reaction acting style and James Garner keeps the ball rolling at a comfortable pace. Although in the end you'll forgot you've seen anything: except maybe cult icon Malcolm McDowell's final moments as a bizarre, classy and then monstrous villain as the affable comedy morphs wickedly into a chilling/thrilling Hammer Film. 

Year: 1980 Score: ***1/2
S.O.B.: Before THE PLAYER, a film that poked fun at Hollywood films, writers, producers, directors, and how they're made from behind-the-scenes, there was S.O.B., a wacky mesh of everything thrown into the pot, and beyond...

There are good moments, like anything involving Richard Mulligan (as buried lead William Holden futilely attempts to protect him from bad choices) as a hit-making director who made a big budget disaster, losing his mind and becoming a suicidal maniac. Writer/director Blake Edwards is making a statement here and it's still not very clear what it is: but he might've felt similar many times throughout a hit/miss career...

Year: 1986 Score: **1/2
He has his own wife, Julie Andrews (paling to hot young hippie Rosanna Arquette), the queen of G rated musicals, playing an actress who is the queen of G-rated musicals... and she takes off her top in the movie-within-a-movie (being recut by Mulligan's character to redeem itself). Herein lies the parody of a parody, but things get too physical and eventually, though sporadically entertaining, it gets downright tiresome.

A FINE MESS: For a bad movie this wasn't THAT awful. A lot of running around and hijinks and pratfalls and all things Blake Edwards. Ted Danson and Howie Mandel make an odd team — sometimes it's not apparent which one is the straight man in the pair. Which is strange: It would seem Mandel would play the goofy sidekick but he's about as smooth with the ladies as Danson, only Danson gets more of them. Ted's basically playing his CHEERS Sam Malone on speed. The plot involves... well no matter — it's just a screwball comedy send-up of the Laurel and Hardy films and overall is a fairly decent time waster.

Elegantly Misleading Classy Title Sequence YEAR: 1962 Score: **1/2
DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES: Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick play a good looking young couple who meet, get married, and then become hopeless drunks; especially Remick who doesn't want to change no matter what. Not bad directing by Blake Edwards and the acting is decent, although it tends to get extremely hammy...

And it's funny seeing Jack Lemmon on screen with Jack Klugman, the original "Felix Unger" with the TV "Oscar Madison", but they're not such THE ODD COUPLE as one is a drunk and the other a recovering drunk/AA sponsor, which is what this movie turns out to be — a searing two hour ad for Alcoholics Anonymous.

Bruce Willis and Kim Basinger Year: 1987 Score: *
BLIND DATE: If you make a comedy where the funniest part is a Rick Dees radio bit played in the background, you're in big, big trouble. This is a tedious rollercoaster ride centering on a blind date between a yuppie (Bruce Willis) and a beautiful woman (Kim Basinger) who gets really weird when she's drunk...

Everything goes awry for him while she remains untouched since she has no real purpose but to eventually drive this poor bastard's life down the drain. She has an ex-boyfriend stalking them, adding frenzy to the frenzied chase. This is not only an out-and-out ripoff of Martin Scorsese's AFTER HOURS but feels like a dull unending nightmare — one of those where every character exists to annoy either other, and their audience. 

Year: 1982 Score: **1/2
VICTOR/VICTORIA: Kind of a drag, pun intended... but the first hour is pretty okay. Robert Preston is irritating since his every single line seems like something from a stage play (albeit his style), but Julie Andrews is intriguing as an out-of-work American singer in Paris who, with Preston (her gay friend), ends up posing as a man dressed up as a woman — thus becoming a huge nightclub attraction.

James Garner, whose bodyguard Alex Karras has a secret, is a bigwig who falls in love with Andrews: first thinking she's a she then finding out she's a him and his manliness is questioned. Once the "relationship" begins with Garner and Andrews, the film goes downhill — well past the entertaining first half with Andrews and Preston struggling together as everything gets too muddled. Blake Edwards has so many wheels turning in different directions the vehicle gets stuck in the mud. But the mud isn't intentionally/altogether uncomfortable to wallow in as Julie steals both shows.

YEAR: 1989 Score: **1/2
SKIN DEEP: A scene involving two men running around a dark room wearing glow-in-the-dark condoms fighting over a girl is quite hilarious and brings back THE PINK PANTHER style of slapstick that made Blake Edwards famous...

But the rest of the movie, dealing with a bearded piano-playing playwright who's addicted to sex played by John Ritter, is hit-or-miss and often gets weighed down by its own navel-gazing while conquest conversations with a bartender seems to feed Edwards' alter-ego more than move the character's story.

Ritter is able to display his subtle pratfalls and dry witty charm, and is thoroughly convincing since he's had so much practice playing sex-starved men. And, although this character is much luckier than his game-changing Jack Tripper from THREE'S COMPANY, the lack of underdog charm makes this Ritter role not very relatable or altogether engaging. Leaving no reason to review Blake Edwards' earlier THE MAN WHO LOVED WOMEN starring Burt Reynolds because... they're basically the same film. 

John Vivyan & Ross Martin in MR LUCKY Year: 1960 Score: ***
MR LUCKY: Most episodes of the one-season-wonder television series directed by creature-feature turned BRADY BUNCH director Jack Arnold, the coolest, most surprising aspect of Blake Edward's MR LUCKY is it takes two early-binge-style episodes for the story of an honest gambler running a casino on a boat, three miles away from the law's reach, to establish itself (with the boat!) — and without being a two-part pilot with a set-up agenda...

Like Edwards' PETER GUNN star Craig Stevens, MR. LUCKY lead John Vivyan is a perfectly good-enough actor for the twists and turns to occur around his well-suited charm as he's faithfully flanked by sidekick, Andamo, played by Ross Martin, who'd become famous as another number two on WILD WILD WEST. With a fickle Spanish accent that hardly matters anyway, he keeps their combined energy fresh and engaging: along with the usual Blake Edwards wallpaper of gorgeous women, often as unpredictable and spontaneous as the mazy plot-lines in which they're caught: the good episodes are serious and breezy while the mediocre entries play semi-comedic upfront. Either way, at 24 minutes per, LUCKY is pretty decent bet.
Malcolm McDowell does a vampire thrust at Bruce Willis in an otherwise lightweight SUNSET
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