Trading Places

Trading Places

Director John Landis rose to the top of his profession on the heels of the talented alumni from Saturday Night Live. He first hit gold in the late 70s with the box office hits, Animal House and The Blues Brothers. Then, in 1983, he paired Dan Aykroyd with big-screen newcomer Eddie Murphy in the socially-conscious comedy, Trading Places, one of his most endearing films to date. Continue reading...

Gremlins

Gremlins

In the 1980s, Steven Spielberg became a superstar director with hits like E.T. and Raiders of the Lost Ark. However, people often forget he scored just as many hits by producing films for his filmmaker buddies, including box-office champs like Poltergeist and The Goonies. One of the finest of these productions was Gremlins, a good old-fashioned monster movie that was just as funny as it was scary. Continue reading...

The Great Outdoors

The Great Outdoors

There’s nothing like taking the family on a little getaway to the wilderness, where the wild animals roam free and everyone can get in touch with nature. Such was the premise of the John Hughes comedy, The Great Outdoors. Released in 1988, the film paired funnymen John Candy and Dan Aykroyd together for the first time as polar opposite brother-in-laws, and their chemistry alone propelled this funny film. Continue reading...

Grumpy Old Men

Grumpy Old Men

Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon were the peanut butter and jelly of actor pairings, each bringing out the best in the other and always to hilarious results. Grumpy Old Men, released in 1993, was their sixth collaboration, and it proved to be one of the most endearing, with the two aging thespians at their cantankerous best. Continue reading...

The Blues Brothers

The Blues Brothers

America got their first glimpse of the Blues Brothers during a 1978 episode of Saturday Night Live. Jake and Elwood (played by John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd respectively) brought the house down with their energizing performance, leading to more appearances on the popular show and a well-received album. In 1980, they brought the pair to the big screen in The Blues Brothers, a beloved film filled with great music and plenty of car crashes. Continue reading...

Up in Smoke

Up in Smoke

For better or worse, the comedy team of Richard “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong enjoyed quite the successful career in the 70s, portraying two drug-addled hippies in their popular stand-up routines. This led to a string of well-received comedy albums, enormously popular with the counter-culture youth. In 1978, the pair finally took their act to the big screen, in the first of many feature-length films, Up in Smoke. Filled with drug references and some surprising cameo appearances, the movie was a major success for the duo and has since gone on to become a cult classic. Continue reading...

Parenthood

Parenthood

It isn’t an easy job to raise a family. No matter how you prepare, no matter how you hope and pray you are making the right decisions, life has a way of lobbing curveballs, one after another. Sometimes the best you can do is hold on tight and prepare for a wild ride. Such was the premise of Parenthood, a 1989 film directed by Ron Howard. Thanks to an ensemble cast featuring Steve Martin, Jason Robards, Rick Moranis, Mary Steenburgen, Dianne Wiest, Tom Hulce, Keanu Reeves, and a very young Joaquin Phoenix (billed as "Leaf"), Parenthood captured the trials and tribulations of raising a family in heartfelt and amusing detail. Continue reading...

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al Yankovic

Novelty acts usually fade from the limelight after their fifteen minutes of fame are up (quick - who wrote "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer"?), and any kid with a tape recorder and a spare afternoon can record a song parody. So how did a frizzy-haired California kid with an accordion turn novelty music into a platinum-selling, Grammy-winning, celebrity-spoofing career that has so far spanned almost four decades? Sure, Dr. Demento's radio show helped, but "Weird Al" Yankovic has survived for one simple reason: the guy is just flat-out funny. Continue reading...