Monday, July 16, 2012
UHF (1989) review
This is one of my guilty pleasures, for I love "Weird Al" and simple, weird slapstick.
PLOT:George Newman ("Weird Al" Yankovic) has always been a screw-up and can never keep a job; his creativity has always kept him from acheiving a true business. After he and his best friend, Bob (David Bowe), lose another job, George's uncle Harvey wins the deed to a small, down-the-drain UHF station in a poker game and is convinced to let George manage it. Now George must liven up this station with more interesting shows and compete with the top nework, Channel 8, led by the mean-spirited R. J. Fletcher (Kevin McCarthy), not to mention keeping his love life alive with his girlfriend, Terri (Victoria Jackson). Nothing goes well until the goofy, newly-hired janitor (who was fired from Channel 8), Stanley Spadowski (Michael Richards), is put on-air. He instantly livens the station up and becomes the number one TV icon; this puts the UHF station at the top. In an evil change of events, George must save the station from being bought out and demolished by Fletcher by raising $75,000 and the crew from Channel 8 will do anything to stop it. It's a decent plot executed very comically.
ACTING:The acting in here was pretty decent for a goofball comedy. Yankovic did a pretty funny job as George Newman by just being his goofy, natural self. McCarthy actually did a sucky job of playing the villainous R. J. Fletcher in my opinion. The shiners aside from Yankovic were David Bowe as Bob, Michael Richards as Stanley Spadowski, Gedde Watanabe as Kuni, Fran Drescher as Pamela Finkelstein, and Vance Colvig as the bum with an honorable mention to the cameo of Dr. Demento.
SCORE:The score is mainly made up of "Weird Al"'s parodic songs, from the title track to a parody of "Money for Nothing". The soundtrack was pretty decent.
EFFECTS:There were a few effects in here used for comical measure that were pretty ok, but I mainly liked the effects in one scene were one of the characters turns into an alien and warps off the outer space. The claymation effects of the face molding into an alien were very well done.
OTHER CONTENT:Some might say this movie is stupid, unfunny, and dreadful, but I found more than that in here. The simple slapstick, raving weirdness, and cleverly-placed movie references made this movie just worthwile. This movie mocks many classics such as Indiana Jones, Close Encounters, Rambo, and even Gone With the Wind, and it mocks them pretty well. However, there were some jokes that just fell flat and were too bizarre to enjoy. "Weird Al" definitely has a unique personality and sense of humor, and that's saying a lot.
OVERALL,an ok goofball comedy with a decent plot, decent acting, decent soundtrack, well done claymation effects, loads of simple slapstick, raving weirdness and cleverly-place movie jokes, but some jokes fell flat and were hard to enjoy, not to mention the unconvincing villain.