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Ghost here! Thanks for joining me today for yet another
Everyone is a fan of something or someone. If you were to ask me who I was a fan of, I would have many answers. I could easily give names such as Danny DeVito, Dwayne Johnson, Taylor Swift, Doug Walker, and many other people with various levels of fame. However, if you were to ask me to only pick one celebrity who rises above the rest and has influenced my life in some way, that man would be "Weird Al" Yankovic.
But enough about how much I love Weird Al. You're here for the movie review right? When most people think about Weird Al they generally only think about his songs and music videos. What people may forget (or not even realize) is that Weird Al has done a great deal more than just his amazing music. Al has been busy writing children's books, voice acting, directing music videos for other artists, and he even created a tv show and movie. The movie, UHF, is the focus of today's review. In 1985, somewhere around the release of Al's second album, his producer believed that Al's type of parody could translate well into a movie similar to the likes of Leslie Nielsen's "Airplane!" The pair spent the next couple of years bouncing the idea around different studios until Orion finally picked it up. In 1989 UHF was finally released to the public.
Did Weird Al's venture into the film industry make us all laugh or was it just another "Polka Party"? Let's take a look.
George Newman is a constant daydreamer. His dreaming always seems to get him and his friend Bob fired from every job they have, including their latest job flipping burgers. When George's Uncle Harvey wins the deed to a local run-down UHF station in a poker game, George's aunt convinces her husband to allow George to work there as the manager of Channel 62. George takes the job eagerly and brings his girlfriend to see the place, meeting a beggar along the way for a rather amusing joke (the beggar will be important later.) George meets his staff who are, in all honesty, a group of misfits like himself including a secretary who wants to be a newscaster, a "little person" camera man, another silent camera man, and the bizarre engineer named Philo. George attempts to meet the competition, and he introduces himself to R J Fletcher of Channel 8, the town's network station. R J, a very hateful and detestable man, kicks George out. On his way out, George meets up with Stanley Spadowski, Channel 8's recently fired janitor, and hires him on to be the Janitor of Channel 62.
What's Good About It?
Let's be perfectly honest here. You didn't come here for that plot mentioned above. Nobody came to this movie for that plot. What you came here for is Weird Al being crazy and doing his parodies and satire. Thank goodness there is a fair amount of that in this film. I didn't focus on that aspect in the plot segment as it generally had little to do with the plot.
There are still a few of the odd jokes here and there that made me laugh far more than they probably should like George making a mountain of mashed potatoes, dumping a terrier in a punch bowl absentmindedly, and eating the dog treats by mistake. One of the single funniest random moments outside of dreams and television was when George first met the beggar. The beggar asks for change so George reaches into his pocket and holds out his hand for the beggar. The beggar counts up to $1 then places a $1 bill in his hand and walks off. While there are some good moments like that in the regular plot, most of the comedic gold comes from the exact reason this movie was made to begin with. Weird Al being crazy and funny with his satire of TV shows and Movies all through the filter of late 80's cheese!
What's Bad About It?
Obviously, I love Weird Al. I love his type of comedy whether it be in his music or any other avenue. As I am such a fan, I can honestly say that I enjoy this film. However, even my love of Al can't hide the extremely mediocre plot that's woven in between Al's awesome spoofs. I also can't ignore the fact that some of the jokes fall flat on their face. It's a sort of mixed bag of equal parts excellent, cheesy, forgettable, and bad.
This film is for fans of Weird Al Yankovic and lovers of late 80's comedic nonsense. If you aren't fans of either then there's literally nothing here for you and I would suggest you skip this one. However if you are a fan of either Al or late 80's comedies then this might be an interesting little diversion for you. It was created solely for the purpose of Al getting to set his particular brand of parody out there on the big screen. If this sounds like something that might interest you then you'll probably be fairly entertained. It's not a masterpiece but it's still a good watch for any and all of us close personal friends of Al!
UHF is rated PG-13 and is available on DVD from Orion Pictures.
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