|John Landis is SCHLOCK|
Now, as successful as some of their works have been and rightfully taking their place in the pages of Hollywood film history, it still bothers…no, irritates the hell out of me, that some of these great filmmakers have either taken on ‘below their expected’ level of film projects or have simply fallen off the radar screen altogether. One such great director that must be mentioned is John Landis.
|Actor Vic Morrow|
|TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE|
John Landis’ earlier films consisted of ground-breaking, box office hits including the hilarious spoof-filled
KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE (1977), the introduction of John Belushi in ANIMAL HOUSE (1978), the dynamic duo of Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as THE BLUES BROTHERS (1980) and then came the blending of humor and horror for AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN (1981). With a strong and very successful career blooming, more doors began to open including directing Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy in TRADING PLACES (1983), Aykroyd, joined by SNL pal Chevy Chase in SPIES LIKE US (1985), the memorable trio of Chase, Martin Short and Steve Martin as THE THREE AMIGOS! (1986). LONDON
|THE THREE AMIGOS!|
One of the most popular MTV videos: Here's THRILLER!
The undeniable downward spiral of bad film choices for John Landis would begin to put the nails in the coffin with clunkers like BEVERLY HILLS COP III (1993), Tom Arnold in the aptly titled THE STUPIDS (1996) and the ill-fated BLUES BROTHERS 2000 (1998).
Sadly, Landis would turn to television work in the late 90’s and into the 2000’s including “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show” (1999) and numerous episodes of “Psych” (2007-2008).
So, is it really that hard for a once high-profiled director who has worked with some of the most talented comedians in the industry to make a comeback? If not, why sink yourself into a deeper pit? Take a break, re-group mind and spirit and come back strong! I would be the first to line up at my local theater and plunk the outrageous cash-ola requested to enter into the multiplex palaces of today for one good John Landis film! Landis, where are you? We miss you…I MISS YOU! Come back, please. The industry needs your eye for capturing the right kind of comedic timing and visuals that only you can provide again! I’ll be waiting…cash in hand.
|THE BLUES BROTHERS|
JOHNNY CHAZZ: Well, there is no doubt that John Landis will go down in history as one of the well respected Directors for his time. This at least seems to be the consensus. Yet, to compare Landis to the likes of Spielberg, Kubrick and Scorsese may be stretching it a bit.....no, a great deal actually.
|COMING TO AMERICA|
The early eighties may have been his brightest hour with the "Blues Brothers" and "American Werewolf" which were both significant and offered some substance. As an added note, "Animal House" was probably his best moment of the 1970's.
The "Twilight Zone" movie was basically a disaster and ranks very low on my list...especially being a lover of the Serling series in the 1960's. However, as we move into his films of the late 1980's and into the 1990's the Landis films become increasingly less creative, and almost appeared desperate in a sense for an audience reaction. "Blues Brothers 2000"??? "The Stupids"???
|AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON|
I will plea my case and leave it to our readers to hear their opinions…let us know your thoughts of John Landis, today’s comedy films, comedy films of the 70’s and 80’s or anything else we have covered here.
Stay tuned for next week’s special look at the outcome of the ACADEMY AWARDS! Until then…to quote straight off a well-known inside joke that can be found in most John Landis films…SEE YOU NEXT WEDNESDAY!
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