CHICAGO – It is the simple, timeless stories that work best when they are mounted again on Broadway, and the musical “Pippin” stays true to that assertion. Taking the concepts and the songs from a play that debuted in 1972, and featuring one of those original cast members in a key role, the National Touring revival of “Pippin” is being performed in Chicago at the Cadillac Theatre until August 9th, 2015.
Film Review: Torturous, Awful ‘Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star’
CHICAGO – Adam Sandler lost a bet. How else to explain the existence of “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star,” a movie that no one but the man behind Happy Madison would possibly finance? If you took this script (co-written by Little Nicky himself) to any sane film producer, they would assume you were pulling a prank. When you told them the shockingly untalented Nick Swardson was attached as the lead, they’d call security. And yet here it is, one of the worst comedies of all time. Must have been a hell of a gamble that resulted in this comedic abomination.
“Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star” is awful on two levels. First, there’s the to-be-expected juvenile humor that thinks saying “YouPube” instead of YouTube and “Erection” instead of action qualifies as writing a joke. But bad writing is merely half the problem with this laugh-free excuse for a comedy. The second level of awful comes courtesy of some of the worst direction I’ve seen in a major cinema in years. “Bucky Larson” contains some comic timing so horrendous that it practically approaches Ed Wood or Tommy Wiseau pacing. Lines are said and then everyone stands around, as if you can see them waiting for someone to call cut. It’s obvious something this puerile doesn’t need a lot of character development but director Tom Brady (not the New England Patriot, I hope) doesn’t seem competent enough on basic tools of direction like camera placement, continuity, blocking, and, most importantly, how to produce a laugh. It’s like he called action and went to get a coffee. Or something stronger.
|Read Brian Tallerico’s full review of “Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star” in our reviews section.|
The title character is played by the abrasive and annoying Swardson as a buck-toothed man-child. He’s grown up in Iowa, where he’s been sheltered from every element of the real world, especially sex. When he learns that his parents weren’t just kind-hearted yokels but actually had former lives as porn stars Rosie Bush and Dick Spraysium, he decides that his destiny is to be an actor in “nude” movies – never mind that he’s never had sex and has a penis so small that a straw can be used as a condom (not a joke on my part but in the actual movie…and not a joke there really either). Bucky packs his bags and gets on the bus to Hollywood, determined to follow in the footsteps of his infamous parents.
Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star
Photo credit: Sony Pictures