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Canadian Bacon (1995)






movie poster Michael Moore's only non-docu movie was this comedy, which laid an egg at the box-office. Still, it has it's moments: like when Dan Aykroyd as a Canadian cop comes upon two guys painting grafitti on a police van in English and warns them that under Canadian law, everything must be bilingual. The plot, promising at first, is that a wimpy President (Alan Alda) running for re-election, decides to get his polling numbers up by declaring war-- on Canada. The film has long scenes in which something interesting should be happening, but a good cast keeps it going: Rhea Perlman, Kevin Pollak, Rip Torn, G.D. Spradlin, comic Steven Wright, James Belushi, with John Candy as a Sheriff put in charge of northern-border patrol duty in a scene that sort-of spoofs the Berlin Wall. The big finale involves a long-forgotten Cold War weapon hidden in Seattle's Space Needle that might start WW3, but never quite works out as good as the doomsday weapon in a previous Aykroyd movie, Spies Like Us (1985) with Chevy Chase. Part of the problem was the film's timing: popular President Bill Clinton was running for re-election in 1995, and nobody thought he would declare war on anyone just to boost his popularity. Two years later, the Barry Levinson movie Wag The Dog with a similar premis, did considerably better, starring DeNiro and Dustin Hoffman (of Monstervision's Tootsie)

"Canadian Bacon" availability on video and on DVD from Amazon.com

Americathon (1979)

It is the year 1999, twenty years in the future. The world has run out of cheap oil, so freeways are used only by bicyclists and joggers. Angry Americans lynch the President "and two or three of his snottier Cabinet members." He's replaced by a pot-smoking do-nothing (John Ritter who gets an ultimatum from a Navajo billionaire (Chief Dan George, in one of his few comedy roles) to pay the billions owed him or the Indians will foreclose and take back the country. To stave off bankrupcy, a telethon is arranged with Harvey Korman as emcee. In a spoof of Network, Korman is shot onstage, but manages to keep going. Performers include The Beach Boys, Meatloaf, Elvis Costello and others. Directed and co-written by Neil Israel, music by Eddie Money. This one laid an egg at the box-office too, though it's more consistantly funny than Canadian Bacon.
Additional cast:
Fred Willard, Jay Leno, Peter Marshall (then-host of Hollywood Squares), Howard Hesseman of WKRP In Cincinnati), and is narrated by George Carlin (the time-traveller in Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure). Zane Buzby is hilarious as a Vietnamese punk-rocker (no he doesn't sing "She Bangs")

"Americathon" availability on video and in film books from Amazon.com
John Candy movies shown previously:
The Blues Brothers (1980, starring John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd)
Mon  Feb 12  12:30P on American Movie Classics

Brewster's Millions (Richard Pryor's 1985 remake of the 1945 comedy, with John Candy)
Wed  Mar 28  05:50A on Encore

Canadian Bacon
Fri  Mar 30  06:35A on Encore

Cool Runnings
Tue  Feb 20  09:10P on Wam!
Fri  Feb 23  04:35P on Starz in Black
Fri  Mar  2  12:45P on Starz Comedy
Wed  Mar  7  09:00A on Starz
Sat  Mar 10  09:45A, 4:20P & 4am on Starz Kids and Family

Delirious
Thu  Mar  8  09:45A on Encore Love Stories
Mon  Mar 19  10:40A on Encore Love Stories
Mon  Mar 19  11:40A on Movie Plex

The Great Outdoors (starring Candy & Aykroyd)
Tue  Feb 27  08:30P on HBO Family

Nothing but Trouble (1991, Aykroyd, Chevy Chase, Candy)
Wed  Mar 28  01:30P on HBO Comedy

Once upon a Crime (comedy starring Richard Lewis, directed by Eugene Levy)
Fri  Feb 16  01:05P on The Movie Channel
Wed  Mar 28  01:15P on Showtime Women

Planes, Trains and Automobiles (starring Candy and Steve Martin)
Tue  Feb 27  09:00P on Nick-At-Nite (Nickelodeon)
Thu  Mar 15  05:00P on Comedy Central

Spaceballs (1987, Mel Brooks spoof of Star Wars, Candy as the wookie)
Tue  Mar 27  10:00A on TBS 

Splash (starring Tom Hanks & Daryl Hannah, with Candy & Eugene Levy)
Mon  Mar  5  05:30P on American Movie Classics

Summer Rental (1985)
Sat  Mar 31  02:00P on Spike (TNN)

Uncle Buck (comedy, starring Candy)
Fri  Mar  9  07:30A on HBO

Volunteers (starring Tom Hanks, with Candy spoofing the Manchurian Candidate)
Sun  Mar 11  03:00A on Bravo
When a psychiatrist asked his new patient what her main problem seemed to be, she said, "Hotcakes, doctor. I simply adore hotcakes."
"Well," replied the psychiatrist, "I don't see that as a big problem. I like hotcakes, too."
"You do?" the woman shrieked in delight. "Then you must come to my house. I have closets full of them!"

Canada's Misguided Miss-all

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Bill Laidlaw. All Rights Reserved. That's my 2 worth