Silent Movie

July 24, 2010
By TheGothicGunslinger ELITE, Lakeland, Florida
TheGothicGunslinger ELITE, Lakeland, Florida
177 articles 0 photos 6 comments

Favorite Quote:
"To be great is to be misunderstood" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

There are two schools of thought concerning Mel Brooks. The first thinks he's a hilarious satirist that pokes fun at both filmmakers and genres with his corny, yet lovable, sense of humor. The second absolutely detests his humor and claims that he's actually just a dirty joker that hides behind the facade of "film parody". I don't really care either way, personally, as I've never been a huge fan of Mel Brooks to begin with. This film, however, really irked me for some reason. Perhaps it's because I'm a fan of real silent comedians such as Buster Keaton, Harpo Marx, and Charlie Chaplin that I didn't like this film; it's like a mediocre version of everything that made those people so great.

The film follows Mel Funn, an alcoholic director who's looking to get back into the filmmaking business with his two troublemaking friends. Because he wants to get back into the movie business so badly, Funn comes up with a "huge" idea that'll be sure to rake in the crowds - the first silent movie in 40 years. However, Funn is surprised when the Chief executive absolutely refuses to do it. Funn goads him on, though, saying that he'll bring plenty of A-list stars and starlets to the movie and that these appearances would be sure to save the studio. The rest of the film follows Funn and his friends as they go around collecting as many stars as they can for their new movie.

The film has an interesting concept, that's true enough, but the execution is just trashy and terrible. The slapstick jokes either don't work or heavily borrow from works by professional silent comedians. It's just unbearable to watch because of how blatantly unfunny it is. Oh, what's that? The executive is hearing cash register noises when he hears about money? O, what hilarity and originality! What's even worse is the fact that it feels like everyone in the film is trying *really* hard to be funny. It tries so hard and the results are so bad that I can't help but feel some pity for this terrible movie.

The film doesn't seem to understand character either. Silent Movie tries to create charming and lovable characters, but completely fails in virtually every aspect. That's because these people feel incredibly forced and lackluster in comparison to characters like Chaplin's Tramp or Keaton's "Stone Face". That's because the latter characters took *years* to develop and perfect, while the ones that show up in this film feel more like an afterthought than anything else.

The film's well-crafted in terms of camerawork and editing, but that's nothing to brag about. The editing, camerawork, and concept are literally the only positive things I can say about this cheap parody.

It's unfunny, forced, and completely corny. Silent Movie proves to be more of a disservice to silent films than anything else.

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