Friday, December 2, 2011

Favourites #17: Parodies

If I may be honest, I have been feeling a little under the weather these past few days, hence why I haven't been doing much of creative writing. It takes a lot of energy, believe it or not. So what I've been doing instead was just sitting back and indulge myself in a string of Frasier reruns as well as some movies (surprise, surprise). Well, you know what they say, nothing lifts a heavy heart like a laugh can... Or something to that effect.

So I browsed through the internet for some of my favourite comedy movies and I stumbled upon a subgenre that I had long forgotten; Parodies, or spoofs. I think it had a lot to do with the fact that they hardly make those anymore. Whenever they tried, the best that they can come up with was Epic Movie [2007], which was horrible to say the least. And no, I didn't like Scary Movie [2000] all that much either.

For once, it wasn't false advertising. The movie was indeed a disaster...
I think for the most part it's because I was spoiled with movies of this genre when it was at its peak, namely the '80s and '90s. If you wish to know what I'm talking about, here are five of my favourite parody movies that can still make me laugh regardless of how many times I've seen them.

Honourable Mentions: The Nude Bomb [1980], The Naked Gun movies, Spaceballs [1987], Shaolin Soccer [2001], Kick-Ass [2010]

#5 Airplane! [1980]
Purists are going to kill me for this, placing this movie at number five instead of the top spot because arguably, this was the movie that started it all. Or at least the one that brought the subgenre to prominence the same way Nirvana's Nevermind brought Grunge music from Alternative rock to the mainstream. But being number five is in no way a discredit to how funny this movie is. It's just that I didn't get the chance to see this movie until I was in my mid-teenage years, and I have grown to like other movies of this genre.

#4 Hot Shots: Part Deux [1991]
If I remember correctly, this was the first from the genre that I've seen, before I even knew what the word 'parody' means. Since I was still in primary school at the time, much of the pop-culture references was lost on me. But still, I had plenty of laughs just watching Charlie Sheen's take on the Rambo character, the similar deadpan expression and indifference to the chaos going on around him. Just like the real thing, but this time with irony thrown into the mix.

#3 The Other Guys [2010]
Older is not always better, as this movie made me realise and not to mention, restored my faith in parody movies. What made it pretty special was not only how they adhered to the conventions of the Buddy Cop genre, but they also tried something new by making it ambiguous which one was the straight man and which one was the comic. Do you remember how great it worked? Then there was also Michael Keaton with his TLC references, and a number of action sequences that made it a credible movie on its own. A modern day classic, if you ask me.

#2 Hot Fuzz [2007]
At first glance, this second collaboration between Simon Pegg and director Edgar Wright may appear to not fit the mold of parody movies. In fact, I myself had to stop typing for a while as I lean back to consider if Hot Fuzz was actually a spoof. Just like The Other Guys, this movie was solid enough to be taken as it is (That moment when Simon Pegg flying-kicked an old lady in the face pretty much defined the movie as a whole). But once you realise that it sought to poke fun at every Buddy Cop movie in existence, a whole new layer of funny opens up.

#1 Robin Hood: Men In Tights [1993]
Not as well-received as many of his other works, but in my mind there's no doubt that this is my favourite out of everything Mel Brooks has ever done. For starters there's Cary Elwes, whom in my opinion isn't as popular as I think he deserves to be. The dude is a versatile actor whose works range from comedies such as this and The Princess Bride [1987], to Horror/Thrillers like the very first Saw [2004] movie (the only one worth watching). Also notable was Dave Chappelle in his debut and together, they parodied other Robin Hood movies and to this day (for me) was ironically the best movie about Robin Hood ever made.

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