Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Punk Panther

If you're a professional writer, actor, director, composer--to name just a few job categories--then chances are pretty good that you'll occcasionally take jobs because you need the money or just have a hole in your schedule. Unless of course you're a major star. Then you can spend your time pissing on your former competitors as from a great height.

I speak to this because I can't believe how bad The Pink Panther 2 trailer is. These are presumably the funniest moments? When Steve Martin is good he's great but he's trafficed in mediocrity so often in his later years that you can only conclude that he has a lot of free time on his hands and needs to fill it up somehow. Maybe he should mow the lawn.

He was brilliant on his recent Letterman appearance. The set up with the plane floating in the Hudson, his timing as he narrated it and then starred in it--you see why he's endured. I can't think of another comic/writer/actor who could have pulled it off with such ease and style.

'And for me that only makes it all the more puzzling that he'd do these two Panther films. The franchise belongs so indelibly to Peter Sellers that it should be a felony for anybody else to try it. And even the last Panther with Sellers showed that the series was out of ideas and vitality.

Pink Panther 2 makes a damned good case for no good movie ever being remade.


Fred Blosser said...

The ads are painful, aren't they? Sellers had the genius of being funny as Clouseau without straining to be funny. Martin strains to be funny, starting with the dumb moustache as a prop. The ads for the GET SMART movie were equally unwatchable as Steve Carell mouthed Don Adams' catchphrases with none of Adams' inspired inflection and timing. On the other hand, for two adept comic performances in recent films in which the actors are spot on with their characters, check Anna Faris in THE HOUSE BUNNY and Gerard Butler in ROCKNROLLA.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I couldn't agree more. I am embarrassed for what Steve Martin was, for what the Blake Edward movies were, for humanity.

Todd Mason said...

Fred--will agree that the trailers/ads as cut for GET SMART were bad, but the film wasn't. Can't agree about THE HOUSE BUNNY, which was pretty painful to watch. Will agree that Faris probably deserves a real script.

Patti and Ed--Well, Martin has always been kind of in and out...THE JERK was painful, too, and I think that was his first, whereas the first fully successful film from him I remember was the adaptation of PENNIES FROM HEAVEN, which was less sublte (it was telescoped down) from the tv miniseries. Did Blake Edwards do the Alan Arkin INSPECTOR CLOUSEAU? Yes, it probably takes a Peter Sellers to sell such an utter cartoon as remotely worth watching, and Arkin and Martin's strengths lie elsewhere.

The explorer said...

Sadly I thought the second one was actually more enjoyable, granted neither film had Martin Perform on par with Petter Sellers or even Alan Arkin for that matter. Steve Martin seems to have a thing for ruining classics, I mean look at what he did to Cheaper By the Dozen. I guess inspired by Murpy and Dr. Doolittle and the Nutty Professor, he came to realize classics can be brought back and people will watch them.