Thursday, October 13, 2016

1989 - THE BURBS - mild comedy/satire.


After a while you begin to appreciate now good actors can be.  Faced with the task of breathing life into some mediocre film screenplay, many films sink or swim on the talents of the cast.  The director John Huston said that 70% of the success of a film was based on the casting.  The Burbs is a good example of this.

Tom Hanks is a homeowner in some generic suburban tract.  He is surrounded by a bunch of neighbors who have some kind of quirk or another.  These neighbors become obsessed with a family in the neighborhood who don't take care of their house or their lawn.  This leads to lots of improbable pieces of comedy shtick which involves everyone in the neighborhood spying on the weirdos across the street .


The director, Joe Dante actually restrains himself for a change.  The film isn't loaded up with a lot of his old film in jokes.  But Dante's actually too restrained this time.  The film could probably have used a more anarchic approach.  If you want to show a bunch of zany people perhaps you should have a more over the top style of storytelling.

The Burbs is mostly enjoyable thanks to actors like Tom Hanks and Bruce Dern among others because they know how to milk most of the mild comedy situations about as well as can be expected.

101 minutes.

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