Chris Farley

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Black Sheep (1996) Review

Chris Farley's tragic, untimely death at age 33 sparked a newfound admiration of his talents, but loving eyes can't appreciate (or overlook) something as painfully unfunny as Black Sheep, the second and final pairing of Farley and David Spade.

The movie is a lazier, stupider version of Tommy Boy. Al Donnelly (Tim Matheson) is running for governor in Washington state, but his chances are hurt by his well-intentioned but reckless younger brother Mike (Farley), who is a newspaper editor's wet dream. Enter Steve Dodds (Spade), an eager Donnelly volunteer who offers to supervise Mike until the election ends. The pairing is disastrous from the start, and things really get out of hand when Mike gets framed for arson. The two escape to a remote cabin, where they encounter redneck kids, a runaway boulder, and Gary Busey, before uncovering an election scandal.

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Tommy Boy Review

Given time and some top-rate producing talent, David Spade and Chris Farley might have evolved into a Martin and Lewis for the 21st century, but we'll never know. They only had two outings together, Tommy Boy and Black Sheep, before the red-faced Farley overindulged himself to death in 1997. Of the two films, Tommy Boy is better (and has since become an inexplicable cult hit), but neither one is much good, and for that, aim the blame at Lorne Michaels, who has a very spotty track record of creating decent features for his Saturday Night Live stars. For every Wayne's World, there are three Coneheads.

Tommy "Boy" Callahan (Farley) has just graduated from college after seven years, much to the delight of his beloved father Big Tom (Brian Dennehy), buy no sooner does the widowed Big Tom marry his second wife (Bo Derek) than he drops dead of a heart attack. Now Tommy Boy has to rescue the family's brake shoe business before it's devoured by arch-rival Ray Zalinksy (Dan Aykroyd) while he also keeps an eye on the evil Beverly's schemes and her equally evil son Paul's (Rob Lowe) sabotage.

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Almost Heroes Review

Farley and Perry, as powerful a comedic force as, say, Nixon and Hawking. Farley's final movie before he died, and pretty representative of his work on the whole.

Wayne's World 2 Review

Gotta love those references to An Officer and a Gentleman. Having Chris Farley channel depressed pilot-in-training Richard Gere during the tear-soaked line, "I got no place else ta go-ho-hooooooooo," is almost worth the price of admission right there. Too bad that Wayne's World 2 is mostly just mining the same pop culture terrain as its far more worthy predecessor. It was a surprise to see that Mike Myers and Dana Carvey were able to take their "two guys on a couch" cable access rock 'n' rollers through even one feature length adventure, with enjoyable detours to an Alice Cooper concert as well as a playful game of street hockey. Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" was instantly embraced by a generation of kids who didn't even know Freddy Mercury from Adam -- poor bastards. Hasn't anyone seen Highlander? Jesus Christ, what the hell's wrong with the kids of America, anyway? Don't answer that.

Wayne's World 2 opens with our dynamic duo still running their own show, though they've moved from their basement to a warehouse. Good for them, right? But when smarmy record producer Bobby Cahn (Christopher Walken, coasting but still The Man) steps in to make life miserable and steal Wayne's lovely girlfriend Cassandra (Tia Carrere, who still can't act but is still One Hot Tamale), Wayne is told in a vision by Jim Morrison(!) that he should stage a rock concert in Aurora, Illinois. Waynestock, of course. "If you book them, they will come." This will bring Cassandra back and, no doubt, provide a sense of meaning in Wayne's slacker life. Right? Right? Uh... maybe.

Continue reading: Wayne's World 2 Review

Coneheads Review

It sounds weird to say it, but Coneheads the movie is underrated. How come it's better than your typical SNL adaptation? A new spin on the original skit with some fresh stars like Sinbad and McKean plus a generous special effects budget fill in the gaps when the movie flags. Plus a revival of "Tainted Love" doesn't hurt.
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