The buddy comedy genre is one that is both limited in scope, but also, if done in a certain way, can go beyond the traditional boundaries.
The 2001 film, Osmosis Jones combines live action and animation. Frank DeTorre’s (Bill Murray) life has turned upside down since his wife passed. His emotional response to her loss is to overeat and not take care of himself. Inside his body, Osmosis “Ozzy” Jones (Chris Rock) is a white blood cell cop who is just a little too enthusiastic about his job. When Frank contracts a virus named Thrax (Laurence Fishburne), he has to work with new partner Drix (David Hyde Pierce). They try to get along, but like any new partnership, it takes time to find its sweet spot.
This movie is funny, charming, and takes the buddy cop comedy genre to a level in which audiences have not seen before. It is also a lesson in biology that teaches more about our bodies than we ever learned in school.
When a book (whether it is a traditional book or a comic book) is transferred to the big or small screen, it has to be much more than a soulless copy. Whatever qualities made the book successful, those qualities must be transferred to live action adaptation.
Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer hit theaters in 2007. The sequel to Fantastic Four(2005), the film adds to the world of this narrative by introducing the characters and the audience to the Silver Surfer (voiced by Laurence Fisburne and physically played by Doug Jones). Sent by Galactus, the Surfer arrives on Earth to warn of it’s residence of his master’s impending arrival and our destruction. It is up to the Fantastic Four to save the day and ensure that the planet remains intact.
Though it is slightly better than it’s predecessor, this is far from the best comic book movie ever made. Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer is the type of film one watches on a lazy weekend afternoon when you need to something, but don’t want to leave the house.
Do I recommend it? I am leaning toward maybe with a possibility of a no.
The best children’s programming appeals to both adults and children. It is entertaining and/or educational to the children watching, but can also be slightly subversive to the adults who are watching with their children.
Pee-Wee’s Playhouse was on the air from 1986-1991. Paul Reubens played the titular character, Pee-Wee Herman. It was a child’s dream come true. There was wacky characters, cartoons and household objects coming to life.
As a kid, I remember finding the show amusing. But now as adult, not only do I recognize that some of the jokes were very over my head at the time,but I also recognize that several actors, including the late Phil Hartman and Laurence Fishburne has Pee Wee’s Playhouse listed on their resume.
Science fiction has an odd way of predicting the future. Whether it is Frankenstein or 1984, in hindsight, some of these stories can be prophetic.
The Matrix (1999) can be added to this list. By day, Thomas A Anderson (Keanu Reeves) is an computer programmer working the daily grind. After work, he uses the nom de plume of Neo, spending him time as a hacker. When the police target Neo, Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) introduces Neo to the real world and the fight to save humanity from annihilation by machines.
At the time of it’s release, this movie was ground breaking in more ways than one. It still is 16 years later. And after nearly 20 years, it still holds up as enjoyable entertainment.