|UHF (DVD, 2002, Widescreen and Full Frame Presentations) Mint #S0629|
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Warren, MI, USA
|UHF (DVD, 2002, Widescreen and Full Frame Presentations) (DVD, 2002)|
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Average review score based on 60 user reviews
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"Reviewed by Nate Yapp : 2004-04-13 00:00:00
Every week, video companies release more films from their vaults that are critically acclaimed and loved by the masses. UHF is not one of those films. Roger Ebert gave it One Star and basically called it a disgrace to comedy. Others have lambasted it. It did poor box office when it was originally released. However, UHF has done something many films in this position have: become a cult classic. Sure, its following is small, but it's savage.
Essentially, UHF is a vehicle for the God of Musical Parody, 'Weird' Al Yankovic, probably intended to promote him as a movie funnyman a la Leslie Nielsen. Despite being riddled with great jokes and a funny premise, the film never made Yankovic a leading man.
George Newman (Yankovic) is given control of a UHF station by his gambling Uncle Harvey. Under the control of the innovative young man, U62 goes from a constant relayer of reruns to a powerhouse of original programming. Leading the pack is the children's show hosted by U62's wacky janitor, Stanley Spadowski (a pre-Seinfeld Michael Richards), but other great programs include "Wheel of Fish," "Strip Solitaire," "Celebrity Mud Wrestling" (with special guest Mikhail Gorbachev). When the little station-that-could starts threatening the ratings of network affiliate Channel 8, sadistic head honcho Kevin McCarthy starts making plans to stomp on the competition, with any means necessary.
What makes this work is that there are literally thousands of jokes in this film, ranging from quick physical bits to minor film references (George makes a mountain out of his potatoes and starts exclaiming that it means something) to full-out movie parodies (Raiders of the Lost Ark and Rambo: First Blood, Part II get a good grilling). There's no complicated jokes, no long set-ups - just gag after gag after gag.
And therein lies what is also very wrong with UHF; It tries too hard, and forgets the number one rule of great comedy - "Timing is everything." There's no relief from the deluge of funny stuff, and it becomes just this huge long squawk of somewhat amusing material. It can become mind-numbing. I recommend watching the film in half-hour increments, pausing for a few moments to cleanse the palate, so to speak.
Yankovic, for all his brilliance in crafting jokes of hit pop singles, cannot carry a film very well. His comic acting consists of battering his head against things, making weird faces, and speaking in a voice that defines "geeky." However, you really have to admire his earnestness. You can tell that he desperately wants to make you laugh. It may not work, but the effort is certainly appreciated.
UHF will not be everybody's cup of tea. Rent it and give it a try. You'll probably either absolutely love it or savagely hate it. It's one of those kind of divisive films. It's good a few minor chuckles, perhaps a guffaw here and there, but it will never be a classic of the comedy genre, like My Man Godfrey or even There's Something About Mary. It just is what it is, and you may have to discover whether that's good or bad for yourself. "
Weird Al is at his best. This was such a great movie, but I did have one complaint...ok...two complaints. 1) It's not still in print. 2) "Al" needs to make more! George Newman (Weird Al) had a fertile imagination, but no way to constructively express it. His father wins U-62 (a failing UHF television station) and makes George the manager....needless to say hilarity ensues as U-62 (previously "unknown")becomes the #1 television station in town.
I had this on VHS...but VHS wears out and does not have the "extras!" Other good viewing is "The COMPLEAT AL"...which is Al's life story. It is not available on DVD.
Mister Yankovic...make...more...movies. And please don't put ends to printing time. OOP is NOT kool!
This is a totally full-on gag based movie, starring the one and only "Weird" Al Yankovic. Based around the premise that "Weird" Al has become the station manager of a perpetually failing local UHF station, this movie gets to skewer many topics; most of which seriously date the movie, though it honestly takes nothing away from the comedy; in fact, it makes it even cornier and cheesier. Most of the topics were probably already dated well before the movie even started production, so... Also of note is the pre-Seinfeld appearance of Michael "Kosmo Kramer" Richards; who puts in a completely hilarious and unrestrained performance as the stations star and janitor.
The movie caries a PG-13 rating, but I haven't been able to figure out why. I assume it would be due to several instances of VERY comical violence (this is Looney Tunes level violence here). Unless you are completely against any sort of violent acts, I would definitely say this is suitable for kids; there aren't any swear words that I can think of; no nudity or sexual situations, and it is just so incredibly cheesy. The story is simple, but definitely a good deal more substantial than just a manner to get from gag to gag.
I don't think I will ever tire of this movie...
UHF is a 1989 film about a hapless dreamer who suddenly becomes in charge of a small town UHF television station and turns it into the most popular channel. UHF is parodist "Weird Al" Yankovic entry into movies. He grew up on oldtimey novelty performers introduced to him by bearded radio DJ "Dr. Demento". "Dr. Demento" later aired many of his earliest works both parody and original satire. If you like this kind of satire, his UHF movie is a scream, keeping the best 25% of the actual footage. Includes jokes like station electrician/engineer's home brew show; "Hello, my name is Philo and welcome to...[unfolds a piece of paper with the title written on it; recites title with echo effect] Secrets Of The Universe. [folds paper back up] Today we are going to learn how to make plutonium from common household items."
This DVD is worth the price! After disappearing for several years from the home video market, it's nice to see UHF make a dazzling comeback in this fantastic re-release, complete with commentary from the director and several stars of the film (including Yankovic himself), a hilarious reel of deleted scenes, and enough extras to keep true fans of this lost comedic masterpiece satiated for some time to come. So grab your favorite spatula, take a drink from the firehose, and tune in channel U-62 for hours of stupid and irreverent fun!