Lightning Review: Black Sheep

Black Sheep movie posterSynopsis
Mike Donnelly (Chris Farley) wants to help his brother Al (Tim Matheson) win the election for the governor of Washington. Al assigns Steve Dodds (David Spade) to keep Mike occupied so he doesn’t ruin his election campaign.

Chris Farley and David Spade made such a great pair in Tommy Boy so it was only right that they would team up again. Black Sheep has the same heart but it doesn’t doesn’t hit the same highs as their first film collaboration. Both Farley and Spade play similar characters with Farley being the goofball screw up and Spade being the “responsible” one to look over him. It’s a dynamic that works for these two. However, the film is written in a way that the jokes feel few and far between. Several scenes last too long, seemingly simply to fill the runtime, which is a brisk eighty-seven minutes. There are moments that are genuinely funny but the time between them isn’t really worth the wait. Besides Farley and Spade, the rest of the characters don’t do very much and none of them were particularly enjoyable besides Gary Busey, whose character is as Gary Busey-y as you would expect.

I thought Black Sheep was OK :-|. Its heart is in the right place and Chris Farley and David Spade once again make a great comedy pair but the material isn’t there for them to really play off each other to their best abilities.

Favorite Quote
Motorcycle Cop: Now, I don’t know how you do things up in “Buckleytown” but down here we are protective of the other drivers on the roads.
Steve Dobbs: [High in the back seat] Ro-ads. Rooooads.
Mike Donnelly: [Imitating a police officer] Quite back there! Taken enough guff from you for one day, raving psycho. Butchered 400 chickens and screwed a beagle. Taking him back to Nevada where he is wanted for banging horses.
Motorcycle Cop: Good, God! Can you get him through the state a little faster than seven miles an hour, officer…?
Mike: Uh, Mehoff. Jack. [Turns to Steve and mouths] Jack me off.


Cast & Crew
Penelope Spheeris – Director
Fred Wolf – Writer
William Ross – Composer

Chris Farley – Mike Donnelly
David Spade – Steve Dodds
Tim Matheson – Al Donnelly
Christine Eversole – Governor Tracy
Gary Busey – Drake Sabitch
Grant Heslov – Robbie Mieghem
Timothy Carhart – Roger Kovary
Bruce McGill – Neuschwander
Michael Patrick Carter – Scott Colleary
Boyd Banks – Clyde Spinoza
David St. James – Motorcycle Cop

Lightning Review: Tommy Boy

Decades Blogathon bannerThis review was originally posted for the Decades Blogathon, hosted by Three Rows Back and Digital Shortbread.

Tommy Boy movie posterSynopsis
Tommy Callahan (Chris Farley) is the heir to Callahan Auto Parts who barely graduated college. When his dad (Brian Dennehy) passes away suddenly, Tommy and his father’s assistant, Richard (David Spade), go on the road to sell the company’s new brake pads and keep the business from getting bought by Zalinsky Auto Parts.

Tommy Boy may possibly be my favorite feel good film (I’m not for sure on that but it’s up there). The story is straightforward and light, allowing you to have a ton of fun along the way. Easily the movie’s strongest point is the chemistry between Chris Farley and David Spade. The way they bounce off each other is spectacular. This is evident from their first scene together. Just about every time they are on screen together is side-splitting. There are so many memorable lines throughout the entirety of this movie, mostly from the lead duo but everyone gets quip or two of their own. Below is one of my favorite quotes but truth is, I had a hard time choosing just one. From “a lot of people go to college for seven years” to “housekeeping,” it’s difficult to pick a favorite line or moment.

Most of this movie sees Farley and Spade traveling around the mid-eastern United States, which like most great road trip movies, cause some crazy shenanigans. Thankfully, this film doesn’t follow the normal road trip trope of the leads becoming buddies, and then something happening that makes them not buddies again, then at the end they make up and are closer than ever. Once they become friends, they stay friends, which turns into a touching moment between them towards the end. Tommy Boy is fun, pure and simple. At ninety minutes of run time, you’d be hard pressed to find more entertainment for your time.


Favorite Quote
Boy 1: Hey, Tub-o, you ain’t moving!
Tommy: Yeah, need a little wind here.
Boy 2: No, you need to drop a couple hundred pounds, blimp.
Tommy: [Laughs] Rascals. I guess that’s your theory.
Boy 3: Hey, your sail is limp, like your dick.
Tommy: Watch your language in front of the lady, punk! Jeez. You were saying?
Boy 1: Hey, Gilligan, did you eat the skipper?
Tommy: You better pray to the god of skinny punks that this wind doesn’t pick up! ‘Cause I’ll come over there and jam an oar up your ass!
Boys: Oooooh.
Tommy: Jeepers creepers. Those guys keep interrupting us. I’m sorry about that. You were saying about, the, um…
Boy 2: Hey, lady, look out! There’s a fat whale on your boat!
Boy 3: Yeah, free Willy.
Michelle: Listen up you little spazoids, I know where you live and I’ve seen where you sleep! I swear to everything holy that your mothers will cry when they’ve seen what I’ve done to you! [Boys run away] I was just kidding. I have no idea where they live.


Cast & Crew
Peter Segal – Director
Bonnie Turner – Writer
Terry Turner – Writer
David Newman – Composer

Chris Farley – Tommy
David Spade – Richard
Brian Dennehy – Big Tom
Bo Derek – Beverly
Rob Lowe – Paul
Julie Warner – Michelle
Dan Aykroyd – Zalinsky
Sean McCann – Frank Rittenhauer
Zach Grenier – Ted Reilly
James Blendick – Ron Gilmore

Lightning Review: The Benchwarmers

The Benchwarmers movie posterSynopsis
Tired of watching kids get bullied, Gus (Rob Schneider), Richie (David Spade), and Clark (Jon Heder) form a baseball team. They enter a round robin tournament, created by Mel (Jon Lovitz), and compete against youth baseball teams as representatives for those who get picked on.

The Benchwarmers is an entertaining movie, but it doesn’t do anything to stand out among similar comedies. Schneider is good, but the role is what I have come to expect from him and wasn’t anything special. Spade and Heder were excellent and had some good jokes, but I was surprisingly drawn to Lovitz character. His gags, pop culture references, comedic timing was spot on. The humor is very similar to other Schneider movies. So If you like those, or Adam Sandler’s movies, then you’ll find this movie enjoyable. There isn’t anything that separates The Benchwarmers from similar movies, but funny characters and a feel good story make it a fun ride.