As all BMT super fans know, we operate on the Stallonian Calendar. It consists of 6 months of 8 weeks each, plus four random breakout weeks that represent the BMT Celebration of the Life, and then on very special years an extra week culminating in Stallone Day, where all laws are suspended and murder is legal (bum bum bum). The only law is Stallone himself and he goes around curing the disease of crime. I think we can all agree this has been a wild success. However, I have to admit that there was one unforeseen and unexpected consequence: the reduction in the number of Stallone films we watch. How paradoxical. This is because it has been foretold in one of the many BMT prophecies that when a Stallone Day arrives and there isn’t a qualifying film to watch then the apocalypse will be upon us. That’s… not great, but sometimes you gotta throw caution to the wind. We need Stallone like Stallone needs… Stallone. So here we are watching Oscar, a classic Stallone BMT film.
To recap, “Snaps” Provolone (he is not named Oscar, I repeat, Sly Stallone is not the titular Oscar), is a gangster who has promised to go straight. With that in mind we enter a very important day in the life of Snaps. It’s the day he makes good on that promise by making a deal with the bank. Everyone is on their best behavior, but things just keep on getting in the way. Most significantly is his accountant, who announces that he is in love with Snaps’ daughter and as a result has stolen thousands of dollars from Snaps in order to make sure he deserves her hand in marriage. Snaps is enraged, but relents and goes to talk to his daughter Lisa. Turns out that she’s pregnant (not really) and not by the accountant, but rather the former chauffeur Oscar (ah, there he is, I’m sure he’ll play a major role). Snaps pushes the accountant and Lisa together, but they don’t seem particularly thrilled, so Snaps eventually sets her up with his speech teacher. She surprisingly seems quite thrilled with him and the worldly academic trips he takes. Meanwhile, the other “daughter” that the accountant actually likes shows up and turns out that she was lying to the accountant. He is angry and they break off their engagement as well. A bunch of people are spying on Snaps trying to figure out what he’s up to and when the bankers show up that blows up in everyone’s faces. Once that’s out of the way, Snaps finds out from his new maid (that turns out to be his former lover) that his fake daughter is his real daughter and they have a double wedding. THE END
Boy that is way worse to recap than the film is in reality. It’s actually not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. A bunch of the supporting actors are amazing and Tomei is a raw talent that picks up steam as the film goes on. You could dissect Stallone’s performance all day, but it is probably his strongest comedic performance. On the one hand he performs admirably when there is a lot of work to be done. He is the star through and through and has to support the entire film. On the other hand I’m not exactly sure what he’s doing some of the time. His character appears to be the straight man in a series of comedy bits and yet he plays it pretty broad. It seems like he enjoyed showing off his comedy chops, but not sure this is the film to do it. Doesn’t come together for me, but not a total disaster. As for Arena, I would highly recommend it. The film is just flat out fun. Lots of makeup and aliens and a strangely coherent style of alien boxing. I really dug it and thought it looked cool. Great start.
Hot Take Clam Bake! Exact same movie but with Al Pacino instead of Sly Stallone and it works. You’d think that’s not a hot take (Al Pacino was offered the role), but I mean it in the literal sense. When BMT makes us a million dollars… no wait, what’s better than a million dollars? Oh right, a billion dollars. So when BMT makes us a billion dollars we will sink that hard earned cash into digitally inserting Al Pacino (or a hologram of Al Pacino) into Oscar. Just word-for-word exactly the same, but with the correct inflection and straight-man energy that Pacino showed off in Jack & Jill. Now it’s good and it actually doesn’t have a sadly ironic name because it ends up winning the Oscar for Best Picture. Sorry, Silence of the Lambs. Hot Take Temperature: Mild. Patrick?
‘Ello everyone! Oscar? Not likely for this piece of garbage. Ziiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing. Let’s go!
- Sly Stallone of the 80s was a national treasure. A true triple threat who bet on himself time and time again to write himself to multiple Oscar nominations, and then (somehow) writing and directing himself into the role of Biggest Action Star in the World (for a time at least). He basically redefined action filmmaking. Not to mention when he beat Drago (in Russia!) he ended the Cold War. Word.
- But Stallone also thinks (or at least thought) he was really funny, and seemingly just one comedy away from everyone realizing how funny he is.
- He is not funny. His comedies are pretty much universally terrible and legitimately you could argue they almost ruined his career in the 90s before he came back (like three different times).
- Oscar, weirdly, is maybe the most successful Stallone comedy. It turns out when you aren’t funny, a French farce works well enough to give you lines that sound like jokes and some people might be tricked into thinking you’re funny.
- So let’s summarize. Stallone is a legend of an industry he basically single-handedly helped redefine. Stallone really really thought he was funny. Stallone is not funny. But when he kind of shouts lines and is surrounded by a weird French farce people who like French farces might find him funny. I laughed zero times during this film.
- Marissa Tomei is quite good in the film.
- It is not at all surprising Ornella Muti was voted as the most beautiful woman in the world in the early 90s.
- I liked the two suit makers, they were actually funny (in a French farce kind of way).
- This film felt endless.
- It is a French farce through and through complete with people running around, near misses, and mistaken identity. Still not funny.
- Amazingly this film doesn’t really have any superlatives. Fictional setting. Non-holiday. No planchet. A period piece so tough to place products. No real twist. No MacGuffin. Just a plain old Bad movie IMO.
- We decided to pair the 1989 straight-to-video action film Arena. I have to say, this is a really fun film. Wacky sets. Funny huge alien costumes. Multiple actors from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine specifically. Maybe the funniest bit is that the main character is like … a Great Human Hope for this weird battle competition? Some nice bad acting to boot. Actually, we were already there. This felt like a bad episode from Season 1 of Star Trek: The Next Generation where some special effects coordinator was like “I can totally make huge aliens that look good!” and when it came to the day of the shoot the director was like “Yikes … welp, get some people to move this horrible looking giant tube legs around I guess?” But still, a funny and fun film. It is exactly why late-80s / early-90s direct-to-video films make the best Friends.
Check out the spin off series The Finucci Bros Fine Italian Suits in the Quiz. Cheerios,