The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988)

I get that the plot’s not supposed to be the star here, but when it’s written as lazily as it is (the villain’s motivations are completely absent, as is the romantic chemistry between Frank and Jane), its presence distracts from what is otherwise an appreciably large and creative collection of silly sequences (see the driving instructor during car chase), pointed one-liners (“just think: next time I shoot someone I could be arrested”) and ever-escalating side gags (see the baseball montage).

Airplane! (1980)


A man afraid to fly must ensure that a plane lands safely after the pilots become sick. (IMDb)
A comedy film in the truest sense of the term: Literally not a scene goes by without a joke or two or three, and I wish I could mention them all: The one-off ones are certainly hilarious (see Kramer talking to no one), as are the random background visual gags (see doing the laundry at the control tower), but it’s the repeated ones that really take the cake (see Striker’s unfortunate seatmates), especially the ones that don’t even start out funny (“Looks like I picked the wrong week…”).
8.5/10 (Amazing)


The Poseidon Adventure (1972)


A group of passengers struggle to survive and escape when their ocean liner completely capsizes at sea. (IMDb)
Five trivial character set-ups converge at a fancy New Years cruise ship party as scenes with the captain and crew increase in frequency as the foretold disaster (see the opening story summary) draws near: It’s a straight-forward and effective opening act that leads naturally to the “rag-tag group of survivors” disaster adventure plot. The pace is slow (realistic, but tiresome at points) but it’s offset in part by the well-defined characters (marred only by Hackman’s eye-rolling macho overload).
7/10 (Good)

Forbidden Planet (1956)


A starship crew goes to investigate the silence of a planet’s colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has. (IMDb)
There’s a compelling psychological climax here but it’s mostly too little, too late for a slow-paced storyline squashed by ridiculous romantic tangents and interesting but unnecessarily bloated discourse on futuristic technology, while an incessant and annoying “space sounds” soundtrack makes these contrived grabs for attention even less bearable. Inventive and enjoyable (if a little campy) sci-fi exploration here is outweighed by a shoddy plot in desperate need of substance and streamlining.
6/10 (Mediocre)