REVIEW: THE NAKED GUN 33 1/3: THE FINAL INSULT

CAST

Leslie Nielsen (Airplane)
Priscilla Presley (Dallas)
George Kennedy (The Dirty Dozen)
O.J. Simpson (C.I.A)
Fred Ward (Carny)
Kathleen Freeman (The Blues Brothers)
Anna Nicole Smith (To The Limit)
Ellen Greene (Pushing Daisies)
Raye Birk (Best Defence)
James Earl Jones (Star Wars)
Weird Al Yankovic (Halloween II)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
Randall ‘Tex’ Cobb (Liar Liar)
Marc Alaimo (Star Trek: DS9)
Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch)
Shannon Doherty (Mallrats)
Morgan Fairchild (Menu For Murder)
Elliott Gould (Ocean’s Eleven)
Mariel Hemingway (Superman 4)
Raquel Welch (Fantastic Voyage)
R. Lee Ermey (Full Metal Jacket)
Ann B. Davis (The Brady Bunch)

4Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) has retired from Police Squad and lives a basically happy life with his wife, Jane Spencer-Drebin (Priscilla Presley). It remains “basically happy” because police work has been Frank’s meaning of life, and he feels unhappy about not being able to legally take on criminals anymore. Additionally, Jane tries to push him into siring a child, but Frank does not have the courage to go through this yet. It comes as a blessing to him when his old friends Ed Hocken (George Kennedy) and Nordberg (O.J. Simpson) come by and ask for his help in an investigation. The Police Squad has caught wind that a well-known bomber named Rocco Dillon (Fred Ward), who is currently incarcerated, has been hired by a terrorist (Papshmir, known from the first movie) to conduct a major terrorist act against the United States. An important contact, Tanya Peters (Anna Nicole Smith), Rocco’s girlfriend, proves to be a dead end, so Drebin is asked to join Dillon undercover in prison, befriend him, and then leak details of the plan to his colleagues. However, the first part of the mission – by pure accident – proves to be extremely taxing; Jane becomes frustrated both at Frank’s sudden unwillingness to engage in his marital duties and the suspicion that he is doing police work again, and storms out of the house.
2Frank joins Rocco in prison, and after winning his trust, the two stage their breakout together. Rocco even manages to persuade his dominant and highly distrustful mother, Muriel (Kathleen Freeman) to take Frank into their house. However, both are loath to tell Frank too many details right away, which is why he is forced to stay around a little longer. In the meantime, Jane joins her friend Louise (Ellen Greene) on a road trip, but in time she realizes that she really misses Frank. When she calls home and receives no reply, she follows a clue Frank had inadvertently left behind to Tanya, where she is promptly taken hostage by Rocco and his mother. Frank is barely able to save her life for the time being, and eventually Rocco reveals his plan: the bomb is to be set off at this year’s Academy Award ceremony, with the bomb hidden in the envelope with the nomination of the Best Picture category and triggered when the card is pulled out.
3At the awarding night, Frank and Jane separate from Rocco’s team and frantically begin searching for the bomb, with Frank inflicting his usual chaos on stage during the prelude show. However, Frank and Jane are unable to find the bomb before the nomination for Best Picture has begun. When Frank bursts onto the stage and awkwardly tries to prevent the detonation of the bomb, Rocco and his mother realize what is going on and kidnap Jane, but in the process, Frank loosens an electronic sign which takes out Muriel. Desperate, Rocco decides to detonate the bomb to follow his mother, but Frank manages to catapult Rocco and the bomb out of the awarding hall right into Papshmir’s private helicopter (which was circling overhead), with the bomb eliminating all hostile parties involved. Frank and Jane reaffirm their love under the applause of the awarding audience and viewers worldwide.6Nine months later, Frank and Nordberg rush into the pediatric ward to witness the birth of Frank’s child but in their hurry run into the wrong delivery. Seeing that the baby is African-American, Frank assumes Nordberg is responsible and angrily chases him. Just after they leave, Ed comes out of another hospital room with Jane, who is holding their real baby.7Leslie Nelson is brilliant as the straight faced cop who causes havock wherever he goes. If you liked the first 2 then you’ll like this too – if you havent seen a naked gun movie before then you’ll probably like it as well.

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REVIEW: THE NAKED GUN 2 1/2: THE SMELL OF FEAR

CAST

Leslie Nielsen (Airplane)
Priscilla Presley (Dallas)
George Kennedy (The Dirty Dozen)
O.J. Simpson (C.I.A)
Robet Goulet (Two Guys and a Girl)
Richard Griffiths (Harry Potter)
Jacqueline Brookes (The Good Son)
Anthony James (The Teacher)
Lloyd Bochner (Drums of Africa)
Tim O’Connor(Wheels)
Peter Mark Richman (Friday The 13th – Part VIII)
Weird Al Yankovic (Halloween II)
Vitamin C (Get Over it)
Zsa Zsa Gabor (60s Batman)

maxresdefaultFrank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) is honored at the White House, where President George H. W. Bush (John Roarke) announces that he will base his recommendation for the country’s energy program on Dr. Albert Meinheimer’s (Richard Griffiths) advice at the National Press Club dinner the following week. The heads of the coal and oil (fossil fuel) and nuclear industries are apparently distressed by this fact, as Dr. Meinheimer is an advocate for renewable energy. Jane Spencer (Priscilla Presley), now working for Dr. Meinheimer, is working late at his research institute, crying about Frank, when she spots a man leaving in a red van. A maintenance worker, emptying out garbage cans, discovers a clock with dynamite attached and takes it to the security guards, accidentally triggering it.
600full-the-naked-gun -from-the-files-of-police-squad!-screenshotThe next morning, Frank reacquaints himself with Jane as he interviews her about the explosion. He is shown around the institute and meets Jane’s boyfriend, Hexagon Oil executive Quentin Hapsburg (Robert Goulet), of whom he becomes exceedingly jealous. Frank’s boss, Ed Hocken (George Kennedy), finds him and Jane at a lonely blues bar, where Frank promptly blows another chance to make up with her. Meanwhile, at a meeting of the “energy” industry leaders, Hapsburg reveals that he has kidnapped Dr. Meinheimer and found an exact double for him, Earl Hacker, who will give their recommendation to the President endorsing fossil and nuclear fuels.
600full-the-naked-gun -from-the-files-of-police-squad!-screenshot6Police Squad tracks down the driver of the van, Hector Savage, and find him connected to a sex toy shop. Once he discovers the cops are onto him, Hector holes up in a house, demanding money. Frank then takes it upon himself to drive a SWAT tank into and through the house, allowing Hector to escape and causing more damage when he loses control of the tank and crashes into the city zoo, causing all of the animals to escape. Later that evening, at a party Frank makes matters worse when he attempts to push the wheelchair-bound doctor up to the front of the room. However, in the encounter he notices that Dr. Meinheimer did not remember him upon sight. Since Jane told him he had a photographic memory, Frank confronts her with that at her home following the party. She refuses to believe him and dismisses him. Moments later, Hector enters the house trying to kill Jane, who spots and alerts Frank. After a tussle where Frank causes Hector’s body to burst by sticking a fire hose in his mouth and turning it on full blast, Frank confronts Jane again and she realizes that he was right. They then rekindle their romance.
32323232The next day Police Squad stakes out Hexagon Oil’s headquarters where Dr. Meinheimer is being held. Frank tries to go undercover into the building, but instead is discovered and tied up by Quentin’s henchmen. The rest of Police Squad is able to return after a snafu and free both Frank and Dr. Meinheimer, and head to the Press Club Dinner to try and intercept Earl. Finding their only way in locked, Frank, Ed, Nordberg (O.J. Simpson), and Dr. Meinheimer commandeer a mariachi band’s costumes and head in, stopping briefly to perform for the gathered crowd. After heading backstage, Frank encounters Earl, who attacks him. Several members of the Chicago Bears see this and begin attacking Frank, not knowing he is not attacking a defenseless man. The confusion ends when Ed and Meinheimer take out Earl so the doctor can begin his speech.
a4a636377f325d1ebc01de3d025a1045However, due to the confusion Frank does not know that Earl has been eliminated and goes into the gathering assuming Dr. Meinheimer is the fake one. After embarrassing himself for a few seconds, Ed comes in to inform the audience that Quentin is the mastermind of the whole scam. However, he has already left the room with Jane, and after a shootout on the roof of the building Quentin informs Frank that he has one more trick up his sleeve; he has rigged the building with a small nuclear device which will kill everyone in there except for him and render Dr. Meinheimer’s speech useless. As Frank gains the upper hand and is about to get the disarming code, Ed enters and throws Quentin out a window. On his way down Quentin hits an awning and is able to come to the sidewalk unscathed, but is immediately met by a lion and devoured. Frank frees Jane from being handcuffed to the bomb, and they attempt to disarm it while Ed and Nordberg go back into the ballroom to evacuate it. After several failed attempts, Frank finally manages to disarm the bomb at the last second by tripping over the power cord, unplugging it. He is commended by the President, who offers him a special post as head of the Federal Bureau of Police Squad. He declines, instead asking Jane to marry him, which she accepts. They go out to a balcony, where they accept commendations from the crowd. Frank spins around and accidentally knocks Barbara Bush (Margery Ross) off onto the edge. She manages to hold on, although in an attempt to help her, Frank pulls off her dress.
960I thought this film was hilarious! It was funny from the first shot to the last. Leslie Nielson was perfect for his role

REVIEW: THE NAKED GUN: FROM THE FILES OF POLICE SQUAD

CAST

Leslie Nielsen (Airplane)
Priscilla Presley (Dallas)
Ricardo Montalban (Star Trek II)
George Kennedy (The Dirty Dozen)
O.J. Simpson (C.I.A)
Nancy Marchand (Ladybug Ladybug)
Raye Birk (Best Defence)
Susan Beaubian (Norbit)
Weird Al Yankovic (Halloween II)
Lawrence Tierney (Born To Kill)
Joyce Brothers (Embryo)

600full-the-naked-gun -from-the-files-of-police-squad!-screenshot6Lieutenant Frank Drebin, taking a vacation in Beirut, disrupts a conference of America’s greatest enemies (Idi Amin, Muammar Gaddafi, Khomeini, Yasser Arafat, Fidel Castro and Mikhail Gorbachev[4]) who are trying to conceive a terrorist plan to humiliate the US. In Los Angeles, Officer Nordberg attempts to bust a heroin drug operation at the docks organized by dock’s owner Vincent Ludwig, and is shot by Ludwig’s henchmen. After being briefed on the case by his boss, Captain Ed Hocken, Police Squad Lieutenant Drebin visits Nordberg in the hospital. Nordberg provides cryptic clues, including a picture of Ludwig’s ship on which the deal had been organized. Frank meets with police scientist Ted Olsen, who has invented a cufflink that shoots a tranquilizer dart. Frank learns through Ted that Nordberg’s jacket tested positive for heroin. Police Squad is in charge of security for the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to Los Angeles, and Ed tells Frank that he has 24 hours to clear Nordberg before word gets out about what happened and detracts from the queen’s visit.
600full-the-naked-gun -from-the-files-of-police-squad!-screenshotWhen Frank visits Ludwig in his office, Ludwig learns that Nordberg is still alive. Ludwig has his assistant, Jane Spencer, assist Frank in his investigation, and the two fall in love. However, Jane is unaware of her employer’s illegal activities. After Frank leaves the office, Ludwig meets with Pahpshmir, a participant of the Beirut meeting, to discuss an assassination plot against the queen. Ludwig agrees to do it for $20 million, with Pahpshmir wondering how he plans to pull it off. Ludwig explains that using a beeper he will create the assassin using post-hypnotic suggestion. Ludwig unsuccessfully attempts to have Nordberg killed at the hospital; while the hypnotized doctor escapes Frank, he accidentally ends up riding a ballistic missile into a fireworks store, leaving the assassination motive unknown.
maxresdefaultFrank enters Ludwig’s office in his absence, searching for evidence. Although Frank finds a note from Pahpshmir addressed to Ludwig which confirms his suspicions, he inadvertently starts a fire that destroys the note and the office. Frank later has a run-in with one of Ludwig’s henchmen at his factory in a stockyard, and after that confronts Ludwig with his allegations at a reception for the Queen’s arrival. Frank misinterprets Ludwig’s presentation of a musket to the Queen as an attack and tries to protect her, but only causes more of a problem and is fired from Police Squad. Afterward, Jane finds out about the plot and tells Frank that the plan will be executed at a baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the California Angels at Anaheim Stadium during the seventh inning stretch and that one of the players will perform the act.
a4a636377f325d1ebc01de3d025a1045In order to search the players, Frank knocks the home plate umpire out with a baseball bat and takes his place, frisking the players for weapons while they are at bat. The seventh-inning stretch begins and Ludwig activates his ‘sleeper’, Reggie Jackson. Jane alerts Frank, who chases after Jackson and tackles him, but Jackson manages to get away when Frank’s action starts a general riot between the two teams. Ludwig holds Jane at gunpoint as he begins to leave the stadium while Jackson takes aim at the Queen. Frank tries to incapacitate Jackson with one of his cufflink darts, but misses and hits a large woman on the upper deck. The woman falls over the railing and lands on Jackson, incapacitating him and saving the Queen’s life.
32323232Frank follows Ludwig to the top of the stadium and shoots Ludwig with the other cufflink dart, causing him to fall over the side of the stadium where he is struck by a passing bus, run over by a steamroller, and finally marched on by the USC marching band. Some of the band members inadvertently step on Ludwig’s beeper, and Jane is hypnotized into killing Frank by using Ludwig’s gun. Frank breaks Jane’s hypnotized state by openly professing his feelings for her and giving her an engagement ring. Frank and Jane meet Mayor Barkley, who reinstates Frank back to Police Squad, and a recovered Nordberg congratulates him – until Frank inadvertently pushes Nordberg’s wheelchair down the stadium’s stairs.960This movie goes from one hilarious situation to another, from commandeering a car that’s being used for a drivers test, to trying to save a valuable pen from a fish tank. Leslie Neilsen’s comedic timing is brilliant. His facial expressions during the slapstick sequences are priceless, as are his dead-seriousness of delivering one liners. Some of his quotes are so hilarious. This is another classic in the same style as Airplane, which means hilarity

REVIEW: POLICE SQUAD

CAST

Leslie Nielsen (Airplane)
Alan North (Highlander)
ed-frank-and-tall-al
RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST CAST

Lorne Green (Battlestar Galactica)
Barbara Tarbuck (walking Tall)
Marvin Miller (The Millionaire)
David Schwimmer (Friends)
Tony Sirco (Family Guy)
Kathryn Leigh Scott (House of Dark Shadows)
Robet Goulet (Two Guys and a Girl)
K Callan (Lois & Clark)
Joyce Brothers (Embryo)
Georg Stanford Brown (Roots)
Grand L. Bush (Die Hard)
Cathy Murphy (The House of Eliott)
William Shatner (Star Trek)
Florence Henderson (The Brady Bunch)
William Conrad (The Fugitive)

32323232The creative team that brought us Police Squad – and the Naked Gun derived from it – said in interview that they were told by their network contact that the show would be canceled, after their delivery of the first episode. Basically, the show was never given any chance. Typical Hollywood. The contact apparently told the team that the problem with the show was that, for the show to be funny, the viewer would actually need to watch it; most shows are presented on TV with the understanding that the viewer needed to get up and miss a few minutes while getting food, or going to the toilet, etc. The humor of the show is extremely dry (it uses no laugh-track), and the universe the characters inhabit is one in which anything can happen, regardless of logic, as long as it was totally unbelievable; so, for instance in one episode a surgeon has to bribe an informant on the street in order to get a tip on heart surgery.
960Those familiar with the Naked Gun films should be warned that there are a number of interesting disjunctions between the show and the films. In the films, Nielsen developed a particular “take” approach – that is, eyes widened when confronted with the unexpected. This doesn’t happen in the show, where Nielsen’s Drebin is the center around which the rest of the universe revolves – nothing is unexpected to him. The show takes certain risks that the films avoid; in the first episode, Drebin, to “re-enact the crime”, has a squad of homicide detectives shoot each other from a number of different angles – ballistics the hard way. This is actually a risky bit of humor, since we need to accept that it’s perfectly normal for policemen to kill each other while investigating a crime, for no other reason than experimentation. This sort of thing rarely happens in the films. Taken individually, each of the episodes is actually funnier than any one of the Naked Gun films, since they are both more compact (more happens in a shorter time-frame), yet more leisurely paced (there’s not the rush for a punch-line as sometimes happens in the films).a4a636377f325d1ebc01de3d025a1045Of course, there’s no doubt that Naked Gun  is one of the great comedies of theatrical cinema. And if you watch the TV show episode after episode in one sitting, the dry quality of the humor might wear away one’s tolerance. None the less, it would be useful to have a DVD of this, and watch an episode a day for a few weeks – If laughter has, as some claim, medicinal value, watching this show is good for one’s health.