#52FilmsByWomen, Film, Reviews

#52FILMSBYWOMEN – WAYNE’S WORLD

#52FilmsByWomen

Living in 2016 with knowledge of films like The Love Guru (2008) and there being more bad Shrek films than good, it can be easy to forget that Mike Myers can be funny. Lets go back to 1992, before I was born, when he made his big-screen debut with Wayne’s World.

Directed by Penelope Spheeris, I decided to watch Wayne’s World as part of my #52FilmsByWomen pledge. In terms of genre and thematic content, it’s a pretty far cry from Lost In Translation (read what I thought of that here) but, hey, variety is the spice of life.

It had been a long time since I watched Wayne’s World, which I generally hold fond memories of from childhood, and it was great to revisit it from a (slightly) more grown up perspective.

The film is based on a Saturday Night Live sketch – in fact, it is one of the only good movies with that origin story, the other being The Blues Brothers (1980) – and stars Myers and Dana Carvey as Wayne and Garth, two metalheads who perform their show, Wayne’s World, from Wayne’s parents’ basement.

The plot is pretty straightforward – the pair are noticed on Public Access TV by Benjamin (Rob Lowe), an executive who talks them into a deal to broadcast their show. Of course, nothing goes to plan, and all the pair are really interested in is getting chicks anyway, with Cassandra (Tia Carrere) stealing Wayne’s heart.

The thing is, the plot is secondary here, with the jokes and dialogue being the star of the show. It’s rare that a film can pull off having such a flimsy plot, but Wayne’s World not only handles it but actively embraces it, with hilarious results.

The film plays out like a series of sketches, with frequent breaking of the fourth wall and clear segments. They are ultimately a bit of a mixed bag – Bohemian Rhapsody and the product placement skits are hilarious, whilst others went over my head (this is probably a combination of being from the UK and not being born when it came out – some of the pop culture references are bound to be lost on me).

Take it at face value, and Wayne’s World is a fun and offbeat comedy where nothing really happens, but where you can revel in the comedic meandering. However, the film does play with themes of friendship and innocence, particularly through Garth’s character.

Whilst Garth may seem like a one note character, that doesn’t seem so bad when the note is played so beautifully, and Myers and Carvey play off each other brilliantly in one of cinemas great bromances.

Another highlight is of course the music – the in-movie band Crucial Taunt are led by Cassandra and deliver some of the catchiest tunes, such as a rendition of Ballroom Blitz. Then of course there is the Alice Cooper cameo, which sees him perform Feed My Frankenstein.

Wayne’s World proves that women can do comedy and they can do it brilliantly – the film is an enduring cult classic that was both critically and commercially successful when it was first released, so much so that it spawned a sequel the following year. So much for women aren’t funny, right?

Here are my top five quotes from the film (it’s hard to pick just five from such a goldmine of dialogue)… 

“It’s sucking my will to live!” 

– Garth

“I love you two months ago. Are you mental? Get the net!”

– Wayne

“Wayne, did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he put on a dress and became a girl bunny?”

– Garth

“Benjamin is nobody’s friend. If Benjamin were an ice cream flavour, he’d be pralines and dick.”

– Garth

“I’d never done a crazy thing in my life before that night. Why is it that if a man kills another man in battle it’s called heroic, yet if he kills a man in the heat of passion, it’s called murder?”

– Glen

Learn more about #52FilmsByWomen here.

Advertisements
Standard
Film, List

5 HILARIOUS PRODUCT PLACEMENTS IN MOVIES:

Waynes-World-product-plac-001Movies are a tough business, no doubt about it, and they sure do cost a pretty penny. This means that in order for a lot of movies to get made, they might have to accept payment from companies and brands in return for incorporating a product into the finished film. It’s just one of those things, and most of the time filmmakers manage to incorporate product placement without drawing too much attention away from whats going on – some even manage to use it to their favour to create laughs (Wayne’s World, for example). However, that’s not always the case, and more and more films are being accused of laziness in this area – Jurassic World this Summer felt at times like an extended ad break. I have compiled a list of five hilarious instances of product placement:

Honourable mention…

CASTAWAY – FEDEX

10This one is an honourable mention due to the fact that FedEx didn’t actually pay for the extended appearance in Robert Zemeckis Castaway. The film, starring Tom Hanks, follows the story of a time-obsessed FedEx delivery man who fights for survival on a desert island after a delivery fight for, you guessed it, FedEx crashes. The company logo features pretty heavily throughout and the service is essential to the plot, leading many to deduce that FedEx must have paid a huge sum for such extensive product placement. However, this was not actually the case – Zemeckis has publicly stated that it was he that approached FedEx rather than the other way around, believing that an authentic logo was essential to the overall realism of the film. Interestingly enough, FedEx were in fact initially dubious about the film due to the fact that it featured one of their planes crashing.

5 – SAN ANDREAS – PEPSI

Pepsi-Product-Placement-in-San-Andreas-2015-MovieSan Andreas is hilarious in a lot of ways, very few of them intentional, but the product placement is without a doubt one of the highlights amongst the madness. The film is a disaster movie which appears to exist only to allow director Brad Peyton to live out all his childhood fantasies and let Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson flex those gigantic muscles – there are explosions, earthquakes and tsunamis galore, so just where they would manage to fit in an advert for Pepsi was always going to be problematic. Yet manage it they do, with Paul Giamatti’s Dr. Lawrence Hayes taking a nice long sip of Diet Pepsi before going about finding out about that pesky earthquake, as you do. Even more hilariously, this is not the only example of blatant product placement in the film – there is also an excellent shot near the beginning where we see dozens of Apple logos light up on students macbook in a crowded lecture hall – the height of subtlety.

4 – WORLD WAR Z – PEPSI

03-pepsi-bisPepsi seem to love placing their product into films where it makes little sense, with Coca-Cola’s main rival also showing up in zombie thriller World War Z back in 2013. It seems that any character in a film that is going to be required to deal with some form of disaster just has to have a few glugs of Pepsi goodness before they can continue on their way – even if you’re Brad Pitt. It’s hilarious in the same way that San Andreas is in that it is just flat out ridiculous and only succeeds in totally bringing you out of the film for a couple of minutes as you try to get your head around how weird it all is.

3 – THE LEGO MOVIE – LEGO

the_lego_movie_2014-wideThis one manages to be both hilarious and clever, surprising everyone in the process. The Lego Movie became one of 2014’s biggest success stories – based on the building block toys, directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord managed to make a film that was inventive, wacky and above all else, entertaining with a heartfelt message. This is no mean feat for a kids film, but its all the more impressive when you consider that the film is really just one long advert for Lego, with sales reportedly going up by 11% in the wake of the films release and a sequel in the pipeline. Now that’s product placement done right.

2 – ZOMBIELAND – TWINKIES

8-zombieland-quotesProduct placement works best when it is either natural to the surroundings or incorporated into the plot in a way that doesn’t feel overly intrusive, usually in the form of a joke or gag. Zombieland pulls this off perfectly, with Woody Harrelson’s character “Tallahassee” being obsessed with Twinkies. The character is on a quest to find them, and that moment when he gloriously fulfils his dream probably had all of America hankering for the sweet yellow treat. The joke is funny, but also feels organic to the overall tone of the film and is a great example of how to pull off product placement without compromising the finished film.

Side Note: Zombieland also nailed cameos – Bill Murray, anyone?

1 – ANYTHING MICHAEL BAY IS INVOLVED IN

transformers_product_placementMichael Bay isn’t a director known for his sophistication, so it can hardly be a surprise that the guy appears to be a pretty big fan of the old product placement. How else is he going to fund the increasingly ludicrous explosion extravaganzas he calls films? There was X-Box in The Island, Burger King in Transformers, but Michael Bay was officially awarded for his contribution to the big business that is product placement earlier this year. The Bandcameo product placement awards (yes, it’s a real thing) deemed Transformers: Age of Extinction the film with the most product placements in the past year, with a staggering 55 separate brands being featured throughout. 55. The film ran for a ridiculously bloated 165 minutes, but how they still managed to fit FIFTY-FIVE different brands in a film about robots and Mark Wahlberg is a mystery. It’s hilarious because if you didn’t laugh you would probably weep at the fact that this guy continues to make films and that they continue to make millions.

What are your favourite moments of hilarious product placement? Let me know in the comments section!

 

 

Standard