Tag Archives: James Coburn

The Set of 400: #5 – My Favorite Sadly Temporary Side Effect

Today! Because it’s not often you see a guy that green have the blues that bad –

The Muppet Movie (1979)

Directed by James Frawley

Starring Jim Henson (x3), Frank Oz (x10), Dave Goelz (x7), Richard Hunt (x3), Jerry Nelson (x6), Charles Durning (x4), Austin Pendleton (x2), Orson Welles (x5), Cloris Leachman (x6), Dom DeLuise (x8), Steve Martin (x7), Richard Pryor, Bob Hope, Milton Berle (x3), Edgar Bergen, Charlie McCarthy, Elliott Gould (x5), James Coburn (x4), Carol Kane (x6), Madeline Kahn (x9), Mel Brooks (x6), Telly Savalas, Paul Williams (x3), Bruce Kirby (x2), Caroll Spinney (x2), Scott Walker

The gold standard of Muppet productions. The zenith of the entire franchise. The culmination of nearly 25 years of Mr. the Frog’s place in the cultural landscape, beginning way back with Sam & Friends in 1955. After this, and the subsequent completion of The Muppet Show’s dynamite five year run, the felt gang would achieve superstardom few puppets have entertained before or since. A groundbreaking, world-altering comedy/musical motion picture unduplicated in success or popularity through the entire course of human history. The Muppet Movie is the greatest thing ever produced by anyone, anywhere, at any time.

Kermit, for one, is stunned by this adulation

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The Set of 400: #250 – My Favorite Blind Forger

Today! Because I haven’t seen Berlin yet, from the ground or from the air, and I plan on doing both before the war is over –

The Great Escape (1963)

Directed by John Sturges

Starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, Charles Bronson, Richard Attenborough, Donald Pleasence (x2), James Coburn (x2), James Donald, Gordon Jackson, John Leyton, David McCallum, Hannes Messemer, Angus Lennie, Nigel Stock, Robert Graf, Jud Taylor

Not to be confused with the Midwestern patio furniture chain of the same name, The Great Escape doesn’t offer much by way of spas and hot tubs, but it is lousy with tunnels! All of your tunnel needs in one epic, Nazi battling stop! Shop The Great Escape!

Prisoner of war camps are not overly fun settings for movies and TV shows. Sure, Hogan’s Heroes, but that’s a straight comedy inside one of the stranger concepts in sitcom history. The Great Escape, while hardly a laugher, does have a surprising number of light moments to sustain the huge run time, so if POW misery stretched across three hours of film was putting you off from watching, fear not! It rips right along, with a little bit of levity to aid the way, largely in the form of Steve McQueen’s Hilts, The Cooler King, often a diversion from the escape itself as he gets caught in his own botched attempts at going over the fence and sent to solitary confinement. Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #340 – My Favorite Heckler Retaliation

Today! Because sometimes when you want something so bad, you do just about anything to get it –

The Nutty Professor (1996)

Directed by Tom Shadyac

Starring Eddie Murphy, Jada Pinkett, James Coburn, Larry Miller (x2), Dave Chappelle (x2), John Ales, Jamal Mixon

Okay, look, right off the bat, let me say that The Nutty Professor is an almost unconscionably cruel movie, across the board. I don’t know if any movie in the history of film has such diabolical focus on one topic for jokes, and is in any way watchable. The sequel doubles down on this to a ludicrous degree, so that it is barely a movie at all. And the manic barrage of jokes doesn’t exactly lessen this idea as the years wear on – it is aging horribly. It may already be past redemption. All this I will acknowledge, and my enjoyment of this movie is my shame, but I’m trying to be honest here.

But, come on, it’s pretty impressive

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