All posts tagged: Caddyshack

ramis

In Memoriam: Harold Ramis (1944-2014)

If you were one of the many (and there were many) who found yourself delving into a list of actor-writer-director Harold Ramis‘ achievements upon hearing of his sudden death yesterday at the age of 69, you may be wondering where all that time went. One minute you were probably minding your own business, the next you were realizing that this seemingly unassuming, nerdy-looking Chicagoan had a hand in at least 10 of the most influential comedic institutions of the last half century. As if we could hold one over the other. Was Ramis best known as a writer, who cut his teeth in the pages of The National Lampoon and on the staff of SCTV before writing or co-writing the likes of National Lampoon’s Animal House, Meatballs, Caddyshack, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Back to School, Groundhog Day and Analyze This? Was he most accomplished as the director of Caddyshack, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Groundhog Day or Multiplicity? Would he be immortalized for his acting work, whether Russell Zinsky, the withering straight man to Bill Murray’s off-kilter John Winger …

Blu-ray Reviews: “Caddyshack,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and More

Proving Blu-ray isn’t just for videophiles, Caddyshack makes the hi-def leap this week — a low-budget comedy made by an inexperienced director, and a movie that looked like shit 30 years ago and still looks that way today. So why give it a 1080p transfer? Well, to make money, of course. And also because Caddyshack is awesome. One of about a million “snobs versus slobs” comedies from the decade, Caddyshack took a diverse starring lineup and made the most of it, blending the old guard (Ted Knight’s stuffy bluster; Rodney Dangerfield’s dinner-theater shtick) with the new (Bill Murray’s mumbled improv; Chevy Chase’s arrogant buffoonery) to create something altogether smarter and funnier than any film co-starring a gopher puppet had any right to be. Stuffed with classic bits and quotable lines, it proved Harold Ramis’ success with Animal House and Meatballs wasn’t a fluke, and provided a launchpad for his (intermittently) successful directorial career in the bargain. It’s unapologetically lowbrow, and it’s brilliant. Part of Caddyshack‘s brilliance is just how labored over the gags were; Ramis …

Revival House: Eleven Great Comedies

Everybody can use a good chuckle now and then, but the feeling one gets from uncontrollable laughter is hard to beat. I’m talking about the kind of laughter that makes your face turn red, brings you to tears, and leaves you begging for it to stop, if only for a second. That’s the kind of comedy I’m talking about here. Every film on this admittedly slapstick-heavy list is all about one thing: that bubbling feeling of joy that comes from laughing until your sides hurt. Airplane! (1980). Truth be told, in terms of sheer laughs, I consider this to be the funniest movie ever made. The jokes come so fast that you don’t even have time to process them all — I think it was around my 15th viewing of Zucker-Abrahams-Zucker’s directorial debut that I noticed a vulture lurking in the background in one shot. Just about every single disaster-movie cliche is spoofed, plus a few other genres are thrown in for good measure. And just when you think you’ve seen it all, a woman …