Monday, February 09, 2009

Stripes

(Movie Review)

The third film in my comedy from the 80s marathon (see previous two posts).

To be honest, I don't take particular joy in admitting I wasted my time on any of these films. They were all watchable, but none of them were really remarkable.

And that holds true for this film as well. It's mildly funny, but nothing I'd recommend you go out of your way to see.

The plot makes almost absolutely no sense. I didn't find believable any of the actions or decisions the characters made along the way. Characters in this movie are always making spontaneous decisions or undergoing sudden changes of heart for no apparent reason whatsoever. I never even got sold on the whole premise of the movie in the first place--a lifelong slacker decides to join the army just for the sake of having something to do.

But, as in the case for many comedies, the plot isn't the main point so much as it is an excuse for a series of connected gags.

If for no other reason, this 1981 movie is probably worth watching just to see Bill Murray when he was still a rising star. He was just fresh from "Saturday Night Live" when this movie came out.

I have friends who will watch anything Bill Murray is in. I'm not quite one of them, but I can understand them. Even in a bad Billy Murray movie, you're bound to get some chuckles with his great dead pan style of humor. And this comes through in this movie as well.

My personal favorite part:
Woman: "You're a bum! A bum! And that's all you'll ever be. A bum!"
Murray (in his typical monotone voice): "Well Ma'am, that really hurts."

Other rising 80s stars are in this movie as well. According to wikipedia, it was one of the first breakthrough movies for John Candy, the first movie for Judge Reinhold, and the first movie (as an actor) for Harold Ramis.

Link of the Day
This youtube video is a couple years old, but still pretty interesting. Christopher Hitchens and Andrew Sullivan, two of the biggest proponents of the Iraq War going in, talk about how it went wrong.

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