OK I've had enough of talking about Sitcoms for the time being, got a couple of more to do but they can wait for a few weeks. This started out as my favourite "crap" movies until I realised they were actually all comedies and maybe not that crap. Film comedy is pretty hard to pull off and in compiling this list I wondered if this was actually my Top 5 comedy movies. None of these films would have won any Oscars but then perhaps that's the nature of comedy. They have all been able to make me laugh with repeated viewing.
1. The Big Bus (1976) - A disaster movie spoof like no other. Set on a huge nuclear powered bus (equipped like a luxury liner, with bowling alley, swimming pool, formal dining room and piano bar) as it attempts to travel non-stop from New York to Denver. So many moments that make me laugh out loud no matter how many times I see it. In particular the "The Flags of Many Nations" used to slow down the bus after a bomb explodes damaging the braking system and co-pilot "Shoulders" O'Brien who, despite having big shoulders, actually got his nickname because he has narcolepsy which causes him to fall asleep and drive on the hard shoulder.
2. Mystery Men (1999) - Picked this up cheap on video. Any film with a super hero theme being something I want to see. It wasn't quite what I expected but as with most of this Top 5 repeated viewing has resulted in a greater appreciation. My boys had seen the box lying around and were keen to watch it too and for a while this became THE movie being watched at home. I must have seen it, or at least parts of it, at least ten times now. The Mystery Men themselves have some dubious names and fairly unimpressive powers; 'The Shoveler' can wield a shovel very well, 'The Blue Raja' throws cutlery with great accuracy and 'The Spleen' can aim his highly noxious flatulence with deadly precision. The cast (including William H. Macy, Eddie Izzard and Paul Ruebens - Ben Stiller too, but don't let that put you off. Tom Waits is an eccentric scientist so that balances things out) is fantastic and there's some brilliant dialogue.
3. Team America: World Police (2004) - Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone of South Park fame "Team America" parodies the current state of American foreign policy and in particular George Bush's "war on terror". Inspired primarily by "Thunderbirds" Parker and Stone move from animation to marionettes to great comic effect. Stand out scenes include an extended naked puppet sex scene, lead puppet Gary's descent into alcoholism and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il's songs. Comedy at it's most basic level but very funny all the same.
4. Three Amigos (1986) - I'm no fan of Steve Martin and the first time I watched this film, a comedy western with a similar plot to the Magnificent Seven, I thought it was awful. However after a discussion with a friend who'd also seen it had us both in fits of laughter I returned to watch it again and found that I really enjoyed it. The search for the singing bush remains the standout moment for me.
5. Slap Shot (1977) - Cracking movie starring Paul Newman as the coach of an Ice Hockey team that is put up for sale by it's owner. Can't think of much to say about this other than go and watch it.