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October 12, 2009 5:53 PM   Subscribe

"Won't you gentlemen have a Pepsi?" Raised from '80s oblivion by Family Guy, the 1986 Dan Aykroyd / Chevy Chase comedy Spies Like Us deserves some respect. When the American government sends two inept diplomats abroad into enemy hands as unwitting decoys, hilarity ensues all the way into the Soviet Union where they have to prevent World War III with plenty of classic Chase one-liners and Aykroyd attitude. Then there's Paul McCartney's theme song, "Spies Like Us", and the remixed version from Art of Noise.
posted by Servo5678 (123 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have no earthly idea what could have inspired this post, but I approve.
posted by schoolgirl report at 5:56 PM on October 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Ah, I remember that movie. I never saw the second half of it, because I was getting my first beej.
posted by orthogonality at 5:56 PM on October 12, 2009 [9 favorites]


i would kill my DVR, but hulu has the episode, so it is spared, for now.
posted by djduckie at 5:59 PM on October 12, 2009


I was just discussing the merits of Spies Like Us with my wife over the weekend. Excellent.
posted by The World Famous at 6:00 PM on October 12, 2009


This was relegated to the 80's oblivion category? I had no idea. I swear this one was on cable every other night while I was growing up.
posted by Think_Long at 6:05 PM on October 12, 2009


This is amazing, I rewatched Spies Like Us just last night. Chevy used to be so good. And don't forget the cameo from Terry Gilliam!

Doctor.
Doctor.
Doctor.
Doctor.
Doctor.
Doctor.
Doctor.
Doctor.
Doctor.
posted by turgid dahlia at 6:07 PM on October 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


orthogonality: "Ah, I remember that movie. I never saw the second half of it, because I was getting my first beej."

You got a chimp?
posted by boo_radley at 6:09 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


This was one of my favourite movies when I was little.
posted by Ouisch at 6:10 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


And my high school guidance counselor said I'd never amount to anything.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:16 PM on October 12, 2009


I was probing for skeletal girth and muscle tone...
posted by horsemuth at 6:18 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh lord, I paid money to see this at the theater, and I remember it only dimly, like some sort of disorienting fever dream. And now I'm going to have to see it again, aren't I? Damn you.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:22 PM on October 12, 2009


My theory is that there are two mostly non-overlapping groups here: those of us who were sentient in the 80s and consider The Simpsons to have been (in its prime) the best animated sitcom that ever was, and those who think the same about the Family Guy. For the first group, Spies Like Us is not an obscure movie. For the second, the 80s is prehistory.
posted by killdevil at 6:23 PM on October 12, 2009 [34 favorites]


You can keep the stool samples.
posted by jonmc at 6:24 PM on October 12, 2009


I had a friend who insisted this was one of the most under rated comedies of all time. As a result I’ve seen it [and Animal House] about eight times or more. Not once sober, I would guess.

I often use "we MOCK… what we don’t understand" but 80% of the time people don’t realise I’m joking, and they get all defensive and want to argue, and then I have to… meh… you get the picture…
posted by uncanny hengeman at 6:27 PM on October 12, 2009


What's a dickfer?
posted by hifiparasol at 6:28 PM on October 12, 2009


"Spies Like Us is not an obscure movie"

I've found over the years that hardly anyone in my social and working circles have seen it or even heard about it. I'm 28, for the record.
posted by Servo5678 at 6:28 PM on October 12, 2009


On a side note, I recently watched Fletch with a bunch of early-20-somethings. Their unironic, bemused, slightly befuddled reaction to the shoulder pads, synth-pop and other stuff that hasn't aged well made me feel older than I had in awhile.
posted by killdevil at 6:35 PM on October 12, 2009


Hardly obscure or cult enough for the selection of YouTube clips and IMDb quotes assembled here to collectively attain "best of the web" status, but I always liked Strange Brew better, so sour grapes, maybe. I'm also 28, but um, a really serious film nerd.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:36 PM on October 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm sorry I'm late to the thread, I had to attend the reading of a will. I had to stay till the very end, and I found out I received nothing. Broke my arm.
posted by codswallop at 6:39 PM on October 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


(props to the movie for the Raimi/Coen cameos though.)
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:41 PM on October 12, 2009


So this is what the generation gap feels like.*


-----
* Old enough to have not liked "Spies Like Us" during its original theatrical run.

posted by mazola at 6:41 PM on October 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Well I'm 46. And that movie, even by 1980's standards, blowed.

I say that as a huge fan of Fletch, Caddyshack, Trading Places, National Lampoons' Vacation.

Spies Like Us had a couple moments. The problem I think was the sheer smarmy over-exposure of Chase and Aykroyd at the time. It felt like they were coasting on their SNL hipness. Now it's pure camp. But at the time it blew chunks.

It was trashed by the critics. Almost every comedy Aykroyd ever did was trashed by the critics. Some for good reason. He did some stupendously bad comedies. The worst are ones he was coasting on SNL's coat tails. Coneheads? JESUS! And Nothing but Trouble? That movie made me want to beat my five bucks out of Aykroyd.
posted by tkchrist at 6:43 PM on October 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


To this day, "You had a tent?" is a running gag among my friends.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 6:44 PM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


“My theory is…. For the first group, Spies Like Us is not an obscure movie. For the second, the 80s is prehistory.”

It’s been on cable. I’ve seen it. I thought it was terrible. And yet, I can’t get it out of my head. It’s so … the both of them. One of those goodbad movies maybe. I'd watch it again.

But then, Family Guy does that a lot. Takes the goodbad stuff and rehashes it in a goodbad way. Where the jokes are in an Eigenvalue of humor value where audience vector determines comedy value, age is a second order differential operator and the scalar quantity … perhaps I’m overthinking this. (Still, they did have some recursion and self-reference in their normal callback joke schtick.)
Just seems like there’s a threshold of watchability in which humor can remain in flux relative to whatever’s going on such that even if it sucks you enjoy watching it
posted by Smedleyman at 6:46 PM on October 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


BTW. Spies Like Us was a send up of the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby "Road" pictures. You want obscure history... and pretty funny if you understand all the 1940's FDR era references. Rent those.
posted by tkchrist at 6:46 PM on October 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


I remember SLU mostly as being one of a long line of comedies that Chevy Chase appeared in without managing to irritate the fuck out of me because his presence, which was nigh-unbearable for longer than your average Saturday Night Live sketch, was diluted by another SNL ex-member. (This includes the first Vacation movie, since Randy Quaid was a member of the same star-crossed cast that included Anthony Michael Hall and Robert Downey, Jr., and the second which gets a dispensation via Eric Idle. I wouldn't piss on Chase's "solo" movies if the last copies of the lot were on fire.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:50 PM on October 12, 2009


>Almost every comedy Aykroyd ever did was trashed by the critics.

Yeah, what was that one, he goes around performing exorcisms with a nuclear reactor on his back, I think a couple of the guys from Stripes and someone from Alien was in it? Pee-yew! Good thing no one remembers it.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:53 PM on October 12, 2009


On a side note, I recently watched Fletch with a bunch of early-20-somethings. Their unironic, bemused, slightly befuddled reaction to the shoulder pads, synth-pop and other stuff that hasn't aged well made me feel older than I had in awhile.

Wait 'till they see Judah Friedlander in 20 years. Or re-runs of The O.C. in five.

Who'll have the last laugh now!
posted by tkchrist at 6:55 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


>Almost every comedy Aykroyd ever did was trashed by the critics.

I'm just waiting for the critics to apologize for the bad reviews they gave the classic film My Step-Mother is an Alien.
posted by mmmbacon at 6:56 PM on October 12, 2009


Perhaps you didn't read the crucial descriptors Almost every.

And anyway for that I answer Ghostbusters II.
posted by tkchrist at 6:57 PM on October 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm 26 and love Spies Like Us. I've seen it numerous times and never ever considered it obscure by any means. I do really enjoy family guy as well.
posted by dead cousin ted at 6:57 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I remember the 1980s as being rich with comedy. Maybe I've fallen to confirmation bias but I can't think of more than a handful of noteworthy ones in the past ten years. There's Zak and Miri, Harold and Kumar, Sideways, and.. I'm already drawing blanks.
posted by crapmatic at 6:57 PM on October 12, 2009


For anyone who wants to read about SLU instead of click through oodles of videos, here's the obligatory wikipedia entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spies_Like_Us

And I recall seeing it when it was released - most of my friends thought it was a laff riot. I was less enthused, remembering a few funny scenes - at the time. In hindsight, it probably is better with age. Hope it pops up on cable soon.

I suppose if it was remade in current times, it would star...um...Ben Stiller and Adam Sandler? Jeebus, please no. See? It's stuff like that - just the the possibility of a Stiller/Sandler "comedy teaming" to recreate an 80s not-even-semi-classic that makes the 80s version seem so much better.
posted by davidmsc at 6:59 PM on October 12, 2009


My Step-Mother is an Alien

I had purged that one. Though it did have a young Alyson Hannigan.
posted by tkchrist at 6:59 PM on October 12, 2009


Pfah! I laugh at your weasel words! Laugh at them! Ha-ha!

Besides, the first Ghostbusters movie and the first Blues Brothers movie make up for a multitude of sins, moreso than, say, Julia Sweeney appearing in Pulp Fiction for what amounts to a cameo makes up for It's Pat.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:00 PM on October 12, 2009


Just posting in this thread to say: Fuck you, Family Guy.
posted by m0nm0n at 7:02 PM on October 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


Also, Crystal Skull Vodka, with the knowledge that Aykroyd actually believes that stuff. Can your Brad Hall or your... you know, that guy who did the Mango thing, can they say the same? *holds crystal skull up to ear* My little buddy here says "no".
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:04 PM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am now threatening to make an Ingmar Bergman post.
posted by ovvl at 7:07 PM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm already drawing blanks.

Really?

Achorman
Beerfest
Election
Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Little Miss Sunshine
Kung-Fu Hustle
Meet the Parents
Roadtrip
Rushmore
South Park Bigger Longer Uncut
The 40 Year Old Virgin
Tropic Thunder
Zoolander
posted by tkchrist at 7:08 PM on October 12, 2009


As much as a lot of Dan Aykroyd's work blows and no matter how horrible his weird paranormal gets he will forever have a place in my heart for his genius SNL bits. The guy gets a pass forever. Hell, he'd get a pass forever if the only thing he'd ever done was Super Bass-O-Matic '76.
posted by Kattullus at 7:09 PM on October 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


Spies Like Us is an underachieving film that most people paying even the loosest attention to cinematic comedy in the mid-1980s remember, if only because it was widely hyped upon its release as some monumental commercial spy comedy caper (reliant on over-the-top facial expressions from its two leads in the TV trailer) and it played relentlessly on cable.

It was never very funny, but you wanted it to be. It wasn't as terrible as The Experts (1989), which desperately tried to mimic it (both Spies Like Us and The Experts involved Dave Thomas). But it wasn't as memorable as Fletch, Ghostbusters, Vacation, Three Amigos (now that's a love-it-or-hate-it movie more worthy of discussion), Trading Places. or The Blues Brothers -- all of which featured one or some of the Landis/Chase/Aykroyd triumvirate. In 1985, Spies Like Us didn't quite live up to its promise. But because it was such a desperate film that wanted to be liked, you somehow wanted to like it. It was that runt that caught your eye in the dog pound. And every kid demonstrating even a modicum of cultural attenuation in a schoolyard identified with that feeling and talked it up. But more than twenty years later, the dog is dead and whatever pedantic relationship you had with the film is more or less moot. Because you've moved onto the next slobbering dog.

Resurrecting slobbering cultural dogs in the name of dubious nostalgia is one of Family Guy's specialties. It's not that Family Guy's writers are without talent, but you want them to do better. Just as you wanted Spies Like Us to do better. Perhaps there's a postmodernist essay on reduced expectations that somebody might write, but it hardly seems worthwhile. In the end, we must often settle for Family Guy in the same way that we settled for Spies Like Us.
posted by ed at 7:11 PM on October 12, 2009 [9 favorites]


Only fond memory I have of this picture was the line, "Stop... and I'll bring back the sun." Great line.

Also, bit o' trivia: Joel Cohen and Sam Raimi are in the Pepsi scene.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 7:12 PM on October 12, 2009


Halloween Jack: Blues Brothers 2000 destroys any and all that came before and after. Aykroyd will have to cure cancer AND build us a moon base to make up for that piece of eternal cynical shit.

Saying Ghostbusters is a get-out-of-jail-free card is like Hitler giving you a Candygram to apologize for the Holocaust. Exactly like it. EXACTLY!
posted by tkchrist at 7:12 PM on October 12, 2009 [3 favorites]



Halloween Jack: Blues Brothers 2000 destroys any and all that came before and after. Aykroyd will have to cure cancer AND build us a moon base to make up for that piece of eternal cynical shit.


Done and done, both suppressed by the Illuminati. Come 2012, you'll see.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:14 PM on October 12, 2009


Drummer McCartney looks like Bob Saget.
posted by djduckie at 7:16 PM on October 12, 2009


HITLER! CANDYGRAM!
posted by tkchrist at 7:17 PM on October 12, 2009


tkchrist,

What kind of candy are we talking about here?

Rock-hard tootsie rolls win no friends but razzles repair a plethora of sins.
posted by mmmbacon at 7:22 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm 33, love SLU and saw it in the theater when it came out (for its corniness, but it has some genuinely funny parts), love the Simpsons (still watch it, still think its funny) and love Family Guy (although I thought the Peter-Joe-Quaqmire improv subplot was better -- when Peter started doing John Wayne at the end, I lost it. When he said, "And..." I could barely breathe).
posted by Saxon Kane at 7:23 PM on October 12, 2009


I am a big fan of the Spies Like Us, and would just like to note here that I won a 45 of the McCartney theme song from the film at Caren (not Karen) Kurtz's bat miztvah in 1986. I still own it. It is a terrible, terrible song -- #2 on the McCartney Shit List, right after "Temporary Secretary." (And I love McCartney, almost as much as I love the Hope/Crosby "Road" movies which are the central reference point for Spies Like Us.
posted by Dr. Wu at 7:28 PM on October 12, 2009


BTW. Spies Like Us was a send up of the Bob Hope and Bing Crosby "Road" pictures.

And to bring it full circle, the way I'd heard of the "Road" movies is that they were parodied on Family Guy.
posted by smackfu at 7:30 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I only like the baby and the dog.

The Quagmire rape jokes... well, they piss me off.
posted by tkchrist at 7:31 PM on October 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


I saw it in the theater when I was thirteen. It taught me that sometimes all the funny bits in the trailer are pretty much all the funny bits in the entire film. I've been wary of hilarious film trailers ever since.
posted by oneirodynia at 7:38 PM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


THIS is the movie people always try to tell me I'm thinking of when I can't remember what The Experts was called, which is weird because the only thing they have in common is the Soviet Union.
posted by Never teh Bride at 8:10 PM on October 12, 2009


Holy smokes Terry Gilliam!
posted by basicchannel at 8:16 PM on October 12, 2009


I remember seeing this on cable and hoping that it was sort of a last gasp of the early SNL crew. They seemed to be running out of jokes by then. All I can remember is the centrifuge and the guidance councilor joke.
posted by octothorpe at 8:33 PM on October 12, 2009


I saw SLU three times during its theatrical release. It, along with Better Off Dead, Weird Science and The Sure Thing, helped build the man I am today.

Every year I do a Hanukkah brunch, and every year I screen an 80s movie which my friends love to groan through. I had to special order SLU for last year's brunch. I received it in July and it sat in its shrink wrap til December. It was a special day, finally tearing off the cellophane.

This year is The Sure Thing.
posted by dismitree at 8:36 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


This movie (one I loved in the 80s and still love now) really brought home the pitfalls of an international, second-language marriage. I showed it to my wife, and she was fantastically unappreciative. Perhaps it was the subtitles not getting the witty wordplay (common issue with comedies), or just that you had to be there. I was vaguely crushed, and have refrained from trying to force more of my youth on her, since, well, it doesn't go over well.

I'd say more, but I have to go, right now. Now. This very moment. I do indeed feel a very urgent pressing on my bladder.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:38 PM on October 12, 2009


a) you can stream Spies Like Us instantly on Netflix.

b) Three Amigos (now that's a love-it-or-hate-it movie more worthy of discussion)

Jefe, what is a plethora?
posted by GuyZero at 8:39 PM on October 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


If more of you who are 28 were 45 (a thing you would not necessarily wish to be, of course) you would know that the best reason to remember this movie was Vanessa Angel (reasonably NSFW). I was willing to overlook any number of flaws, including a cameo by Bob Hope, once she came on screen.
posted by bryon at 8:42 PM on October 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


To pee with.

I can't believe no one else took the bait.
posted by JaredSeth at 8:49 PM on October 12, 2009


I saw this in the theater when I was 13. Part of what was great about it then was that we believed that we were close to being annihilated - I did, anyway, and I relished ANY portrayal of positive Soviet/USA relations or avoidance of nuclear war, no matter how far-fetched. And it wasn't particularly funny, you know, but the good gags were good enough to pass the time in Mr. C's science class on Monday morning.

I mean, it was no Ice Pirates, but it was worth my $3.75.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:07 PM on October 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Me love Vanessa Angel.
posted by Saxon Kane at 9:12 PM on October 12, 2009


I like Hulu and all, but I'm getting tired of just the one video on it. Genius though it is, you can only watch "You are not in the US" so many times before it loses its charm.
posted by Poagao at 9:16 PM on October 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Doctor.
[...]
Doctor.
posted by turgid dahlia at 9:07 AM on October 13

No sarcasm intended, but I'm a convert. Have to watch the movie. That was funny. :-D
posted by the cydonian at 9:19 PM on October 12, 2009


Ah, I remember that movie. I never saw the second half of it, because I was getting my first beej.

To quote Lenford "Lenny" Leonard: "that's a little bit more than I needed to know."

But while I've got you, orthogonality, was it a boy beej or a girl beej? [SEE 2:10-2:20 FOR DETAILS]
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:31 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


On preview... I dare you to tell me 2:32-2:39 isn't academy award winning material - from both actors.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:37 PM on October 12, 2009


It's not that Family Guy's writers are without talent
Worst. Show. Ever.
posted by ...possums at 9:38 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'll say this for "Spies Like Us": the more I see of it, the more I like Ishtar.
posted by mazola at 9:49 PM on October 12, 2009


To this day, "You had a tent?" is a running gag among my friends.

FYI, that was at the 2:56 mark. I only vaguely recall that quip, but it gave me a hearty chuckle thanks to the above comment. Obscure, running gags amongst friends are one of the great joys of life, non?

/can I be your friend now?
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:54 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ready to suck the paint off of your house and give your family a permanent orange afro....
posted by 8-bit floozy at 9:59 PM on October 12, 2009


I always liked Strange Brew better, so sour grapes, maybe. I'm also 28, but um, a really serious film nerd.

Strange Brew is one of the greatest comedies of the last fifty years, possibly of all time, and I will defend that statement until my dying breath. I have seen that movie more than any other, more times than I can comfortably count. I love it so much that I once dubbed the audio onto cassette so that I could listen to it during those long, lonely road trips across the state, from college to home and vice versa. It is still the only thing that never leaves my iPod.

I have owned (and still own in some cases) copies in every known format (save theatrical prints, but if I ever see one, I will probably buy it or stick it under my coat and run away). I have the soundtrack album (yes, there is one), and I was about to pay someone to make a digital transfer when some helpful soul offered a torrent of FLAC files, saving me from breaking open the virgin plastic. I have both the original theatrical poster and the original theatrical lobby cards, although my wife won't let me hang any of them up until I win the lottery and can afford to add that second wing.

I know the movie so well that I once submitted a Star Wars-related anachronism to the IMDB, which they probably rejected because it was too pedantic.

Reading the script for the unproduced sequel (Home Brew) probably ranks on my top ten things to do before I die, although part of me is kind of glad that they never got around to making it, because it would be damn hard to equal the original.

I can't wait to watch it with my son, when he's old enough.

...

What was I saying? Oh, right... Spies Like Us is pretty good, but it can't hold a candle to Strange Brew. So, like, TAKE OFF!
posted by gern at 10:13 PM on October 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


I've seen SLU often enough, thanks to cable, that I probably know most of it by heart. It's mostly really corny, but it does get good in spots. For serious early-teen nostalgia, though, I turn to Bill Murray's Meatballs and Stripes.
posted by me3dia at 10:53 PM on October 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm just hear to name check another Chevy Chase movie that nobody my age knows: Modern Problems
posted by empath at 11:03 PM on October 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


I loved when they were surrounded by ninjas. Ackroyd says (something like): "We don't want anyone to get hurt." And Chase turns to the ninjas and says (something like): "Did you hear that? He just threatened us. Let's kick his ass!".
posted by RavinDave at 11:45 PM on October 12, 2009


I have to admit I really like Funny Farm, though, so maybe I'm not the best judge of 80s comedy.
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:07 AM on October 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Aaaaaahhhh, memories. Loved that film when it came out. Not sure what possessed McCartney to play the title song - sure he had enough money already. Although he does seem to enjoy himself in the video.
Thanks for this!
posted by MessageInABottle at 2:27 AM on October 13, 2009


If you let me go free, you may keep my friends head for polo.
posted by RavinDave at 3:52 AM on October 13, 2009


I saw this recently for the first time since junior high (when it was in theaters), and aged better than I thought. Though a lot of the gags read better here on MetaFilter than they played out on the screen.

It's been downhill since Airplane!. I just wish someone would dislodge Hotel New Hampshire from my brain. And Porky's along with it.
posted by fleacircus at 4:15 AM on October 13, 2009


I enjoyed it ... but it sort of falls apart at the end, which is probably why it isn't remembered.

But then, I sorta liked "Nothing But Trouble" too.
posted by RavinDave at 4:21 AM on October 13, 2009


Fuckit, take DC Cab and Doctor Detroit, too.
posted by fleacircus at 4:23 AM on October 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Saw this the summer between 6th grade and my first year of jr. high. Loved it. Has so many quote-worthy lines.

And why am I the first to mention this was directed by John Landis in his prime, way before he lost his edge. Look at his output at the time:

* Burke and Hare (2009)
* Susan's Plan (1998)
* Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)
* The Stupids (1996)
* Beverly Hills Cop III (1994)
* Innocent Blood (1992)
* Oscar (1991)
* Coming to America (1988)
* ¡Three Amigos! (1986)
* Spies Like Us (1985)

* Into the Night (1985)
* Trading Places (1983)
* An American Werewolf in London (1981)
* The Blues Brothers (1980)
* National Lampoon's Animal House (1978)
* The Kentucky Fried Movie (1977)

* Schlock (1973)

Those in bold (NOT the more recent ones) are some of my all time favorites. I think he is (was) a great director.
posted by zardoz at 5:03 AM on October 13, 2009


I saw this movie at the drive-in when I was like 9 years old and I have loved it ever since. I think it's the only reason I know about Soul Finger.
posted by Jinkeez at 5:22 AM on October 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oscar was kind of cute. Felt like a stage farce. Can't get enough of those anymore.
posted by grubi at 5:28 AM on October 13, 2009


don't get me wrong, I love me some Spies Like Us, but everyone knows the best spy comedy of the 80s was Top Secret!.
posted by namewithoutwords at 5:35 AM on October 13, 2009 [12 favorites]


Hey! Into the Night might be Landis's best movie!
posted by Dr. Wu at 5:38 AM on October 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


So... does Grosse Pointe Blank count as a Dan Aykroyd movie...?
posted by twine42 at 6:08 AM on October 13, 2009


"Uh, will you hold my wallet for me while I take the test, please? There's a thousand dollars in there... or maybe there isn't. Know what I mean?"

"Are you saying I can take this money if I help you pass the test?"

"What do you think?"
posted by LakesideOrion at 6:09 AM on October 13, 2009


So... does Grosse Pointe Blank count as a Dan Aykroyd movie...?

Any movie in which Dan Ackroyd delivers the line 'Like I'm gonna put a bullet hole in your fucking forehaed and fuck the brain hole!' is without a doubt a Dan Ackroyd movie.

I fucking love Grosse Pointe Blank.
posted by permafrost at 6:22 AM on October 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Look at his output at the time:

Wow. You actually left out the movie that I'm sure he'd like to have left out: Twilight Zone, the Movie. You know, the one where he killed Vic Morrow and was the start of sending his career into a tailspin?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 6:23 AM on October 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Fred Garvin, male prostitute!
posted by stormpooper at 6:24 AM on October 13, 2009


Oh, and two kids were killed along with Vic Morrow. I shouldn't have left that out.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 6:24 AM on October 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


killed Vic Morrow and was the start of sending his career into a tailspin?

no pun intended.
posted by stormpooper at 6:25 AM on October 13, 2009


"I think that's....Soulfinger...by the Bar-Kays."
posted by jquinby at 6:56 AM on October 13, 2009


No, sirs. Stripes was the finest comedy of the 1980s.
posted by grubi at 7:02 AM on October 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I like Family Guy when it seems like the writers are actually huge fans/nerds about the reference of choice. So the "Shipoopi bit", the "Road to _____" episodes, the extended Spies Like Us parody/allusion, "Hey, is that Journey?", Conway Twitty, and so on all make me very happy.

Less so the Prom Night Dumpster Baby and other bits where they seem to be trying to offend.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:26 AM on October 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


"If you don't like this movie, we cut off a finger."

"Mine or yours?"

"Yours"

"Dammit!"
posted by exparrot at 7:54 AM on October 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm glad that "Family Guy" is still inspiring such partisan love/hate. However, I thought the "Spies Like Us" spoof was pretty unwatchable and way too enamored of its "Look at us, we have Stweie interacting with Chevy Chase" shtick. That was probably only partly because I've never seen "Spies Like Us" and consider myself fortunate not to have done so.

On another Chevy Chase note, I watched about five minutes of "Foul Play" the other night and had to switch channels, it was so godawful. I can't think of a single good movie he's ever been in, with the possible exception of "Caddyshack."
posted by blucevalo at 7:56 AM on October 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, this was the one that I went to see for all the director cameos. It's my first memory of massive stunt casting, it was even Bob Hope's last movie.

Yet another reason to miss John Belushi. Can you just imagine...
posted by djrock3k at 8:07 AM on October 13, 2009


I can't think of a single good movie he's ever been in

It's slim pickens but I sill think Vacation, Fletch, and Three Amigos! are funny. I'd certainly take any one of them (or Caddyshack) over the entirety of tkchrist's list of supposedly funny movies from the past decade.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:18 AM on October 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


fuck hulu and their non-working content. it's WORLD WIDE web.
posted by krautland at 8:21 AM on October 13, 2009


I'm not really a Chevy Chase fan but his 2 recent tv gigs (Chuck and the current Community) are warming me up to him.
posted by Mick at 8:22 AM on October 13, 2009


My Step-Mother is an Alien

I had purged that one. Though it did have a young Alyson Hannigan.


Also Seth Green.
posted by thivaia at 8:24 AM on October 13, 2009


I never really liked Spies Like Us that much, but Dan Aykroyd did the Blues Brothers and Ghostbusters, so as far as I'm concerned, he could have spent the rest of his career doing furry porn, and I'd still have to respect him as a beloved actor. That he also did Sneakers and Gross Pointe Blank just makes him that much more legendary to me.

Though I can't figure out what this "Blues Brothers 2000" thing everyone keeps talking about it, because no such thing ever existed. Ever.

*cocks hammer*

Ever.

posted by quin at 8:53 AM on October 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Those in bold (NOT the more recent ones) are some of my all time favorites. I think he is (was) a great director.

Coming to America? Really? I thought Into the Night was better than that. Three Amigos was his last truly funny movie.

Anyway, not sure about great director, but he was good at what he did, until he got too old to relate to the college-age demographic.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:57 AM on October 13, 2009


I will drop whatever I'm doing if Trading Places comes on. Landis fucking rules.

I vaguely remember watching Spies Like Us, which is weird because I know I saw it at least five times, back when it was on HBO.
posted by cereselle at 9:13 AM on October 13, 2009


OMG, Spies Like Us. I'd blocked this from my memory until I saw the post, but my parents took me (and all my friends) to see this for my 14th birthday. I can only speak for myself, but I hate, hate, hated it, and it still conjures up a feeling of truly deep disappointment to me.
posted by stinkycheese at 9:19 AM on October 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is it possible that those who like Family Guy also think Ralph actually dreams he is a Viking?
posted by Muddler at 9:26 AM on October 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Drugs aren't funny. They ruin lives.

Thanks for the Family Guy link. ;) Spies Like Us blows. I saw it when it came out.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:03 AM on October 13, 2009


Dan Akroyd was in the Twilight Zone movie. And Driving Miss Daisy. And the horrific Dragnet movie.

"Excuse me. Are you the singing bush?"
posted by kirkaracha at 10:24 AM on October 13, 2009


And then there's Deal of the Century.

A little touch up! (yeah, it's not really a laugh riot)
posted by schoolgirl report at 10:26 AM on October 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


No love for Chevy in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation?
posted by thewittyname at 10:49 AM on October 13, 2009


"Hallelujah - Holy shit!!"

There you go.
posted by zoinks at 12:19 PM on October 13, 2009


I'm more of a European Vacation man.
posted by GuyZero at 12:21 PM on October 13, 2009


I enjoyed the first three Vacation films, each in a different way.
posted by grubi at 12:45 PM on October 13, 2009


Unlike wine, movies tend to be one of those things that can start out really, really terrible, but get better over time. Some of the worst cat-piss vinegar seem to be passing for art-house triumphs, lately.

I don't know how the movies do that. I had a theory once that it is the viewer and viewer context that changes over the years, but that can't be it.

I watched "Escape from L.A." last night. By Crom, that movie was awesome, but I'm sure it was complete shit when it was released.
posted by clvrmnky at 1:26 PM on October 13, 2009


>I thought Into the Night was better than that.

I wanted to like Into the Night more than I did, because Bowie was in it, but it seemed like Landis' attempt to do his own version of Scorcese's After Hours, even though they came out the same year. (Also, again with the gratuitous director cameos.)
posted by Halloween Jack at 2:06 PM on October 13, 2009


thewittyname: No love for Chevy in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation?

I loved that movie when I was a kid but I'm reluctant to check how well it's held up over time.
posted by Kattullus at 4:43 PM on October 13, 2009


No, sirs. Stripes was the finest comedy of the 1980s.

Only if you've never seen Withnail and I.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:17 PM on October 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


And the horrific Dragnet movie.

Oh, that had it's moments. Christopher Plummer hamming it up is always fun.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:24 PM on October 13, 2009


The Family Dad Show
posted by tehloki at 4:08 AM on October 14, 2009


I always wondered how many of the numerous SLU references people were getting in Chuck. Then they had Chase on as a guest and it really sealed the deal.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:12 AM on October 15, 2009


Drugs aren't funny. They ruin lives.

Nothing's funny when you put it like that.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:23 PM on October 15, 2009


No, sirs. Stripes was the finest comedy of the 1980s.

Only if you've never seen Withnail and I.


Oh, man, can someone please explain why that movie (Withnail, not Stripes) gets so much love? I can appreciate it for the Fear and Loathing-esque abandon the characters have with drugs and alcohol, but otherwise there's no there there. Half the movie is a long gay panic gag about the uncle, which wasn't funny at the start of it. Anyway, I'll stop here.
posted by zardoz at 6:26 PM on October 15, 2009


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