204. Hot Shots!

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Movie: Hot Shots!

Release Date: July 31, 1991

Director: Jim Abrahams

Starring: Charlie Sheen, Cary Elwes, Valeria Golino, Jon Cryer, Kevin Dunn, Bill Irwin, Lloyd Bridges, William O’Leary.

Tag Lines: “The mother of all movies!”

“There’s something funny in the air.”

“Unprecedented! Uncut! Under 10 dollars!”

Relevance: I love to laugh. I think I said it on a post two days ago, but it bears repeating again. There is no better medicine in the world than laughter. Thankfully I grew up in a household with a lot of laughter. My mom and dad laughed a lot, caused lots of laughter and always welcomed laughter in the house. Because of them, I have always tried to surround myself with people who felt the same way. Whether it was friends, partners or co-workers, if you laughed, made me laughed or weren’t afraid to laugh, you were most welcome in my circle. Detractors were not allowed in or were ejected very quickly.

There’s nothing better than a movie that makes me laugh. On my list of most influential movies of all time, there are a total of one-hundred, twenty-eight movies that fall under the comedy genre. Jim Abrahams, the director of ‘Hot Shots!,’ has a total of four movies included on this list. He has already appeared twice before with his work with the Zucker brothers. (see 309. Top Secret! and 248. Ruthless People) He has one more with them that will appear much later this year. Today’s movie is a solo effort, but equally as funny.

I went to see ‘Hot Shots!’ in theaters with a group of friends during my summer break between my Sophomore and Junior year of college. These friends were “laughers.” Like me, they liked to be silly, so going to a silly movie was a no-brainer. The movie theater was very crowded and we actually ran into other people we knew from our grade school and high school experiences. I have been to many, many movies in my life, but never as one as uproarious with laughter as ‘Hot Shots!.’ There were so many laughs throughout the movie, we sometimes missed other quotes and jokes because we were laughing so hard. Laughter to the point of tears.

‘Hot Shots!’ was very well received by critics and was a huge box office hit. I have rented, owned and watched this movie over and over throughout the years. It never gets old. It’s stupid, ridiculous, outrageous, over-the-top and pure perfection. If this movie doesn’t make you laugh, check your pulse.

Today’s Thoughts: “What do you do with an elephant with 3 balls? Walk him and pitch to the rhino.”

The comedy obviously continues on my blog as this is the third straight day I had the pleasure of watching a movie that makes me not only smile but laugh uncontrollably. Not a bad gig if you can get it. After two Mel Brooks’ classics (see 205. History of the World: Part I and 206. Blazing Saddles), I easily slid into the ridiculousness of Jim Abrahams and the brilliance that is ‘Hot Shots!.’

Does a movie get any more stupid? I don’t think so, and thank goodness for that. The running jokes, gags, one liners and silliness are in full force in this film. The writers, director and actors went all out and the result is one of the funniest spoofs and parodies ever put on film. I have seen this movie so many times, but the jokes never get old. They always make me laugh, an incredible feat for all involved.

The cast is ridiculously perfect. Charlie Sheen and company, under the direction of Mr. Abrahams are all as goofy as they need to be. Cary Elwes and Jon Cryer are definite standouts in the ensemble, but Lloyd Bridges as Admiral “Tug” Benson steals the show. He has the best lines (“God, I love a good funeral.”) and his delivery is impeccable. And was that Ryan Stiles as “Mail Man?” Indeed it was. it is always fun to catch actors in a movie I either forgot or never knew they were a part of.

‘Hot Shots’ is essential viewing if you want to see a film that succeeds at parody. Yes, it is stupid. But that’s its point. And it proves that point over and over again. It is a very funny movie that will chase your blues away faster than you can say “fluffy bunny feet.”

Ways to Watch: YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, Amazon Prime, Hulu, DVD Availability.

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