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Jennifer

"Herbie Fully Stacked"

Lance- you think too much. I'm not judging, I've been accused of that too, it's just the new Herbie obviously had little to do with the first one and had more to do with providing a vehicle for Lohan and a supporting role for her breasts... I haven't seen it just because I have fond memories of the first ones and when my brother-in-law saw it and asked me who was this Lohan girl with the great rack, I knew it probably was not going to be of the Dean Jones variety.

As for Michael Keaton... wasn't he in some horror movie in this past year??? "White Noise" or something like that?

Douglass Truth

Matt Dillon in Crash - yow. They could be doing more of that with him.

Daryl

Just saw Crash last night, and have to second Douglas there. Dillon has amazing range in that movie.

Nothstine

My theory--which is mine--is that talking cars, magical cars, satanic cars, cars posessed by the spirit of one's dead mother, and the like--are like the parrot in "Paulie:" They're sitting there quietly, all around us, right now--even as we speak--watching us, taking our individual measure, waiting for the right person to come along, to whom they will reveal their powers. [The same principle does NOT apply to talking horses and architects, though. That would just be silly.]

Wacky complications [or, in some cases, teen carnage and mayhem] ensue.

It's just a theory that I happen to subscribe to [and that, my friends, is how you work a "Jaws" reference AND a "Monty Python" reference into a single comment]. But keep it in mind the next time you see that "abandoned" car behind that farm house on your Sunday afternoon drive: As you're watching it, it may be watching you.

bn

Exiled in NJ

"For one thing, it stopped being a comedy. As so many contemporary movie "comedies" do, about two thirds of the way through it turned into a sentimental drama. I figure this happens because most movie comedies are about 30 minutes too long. Their premises are worth about 45 to 60 minutes worth of good jokes, but you can't sell a 45 to 60 minute movie, you need 80 minutes at least. So the writers give up being funny and go for telling a "story."

Once again you nail it, Lance. And you know when that moment happens because the music changes. In the old days we had swelling choruses or violins; now the score is taken over by a noodling piano and is hushed. It is usually at this point that I want to shout, "Okay Martha, here comes the treacle."

The real problem is that modern storytellers can never be both solemn and humorous; every bit of humor must end with a lesson, like the teacher we have all had at one time who would bring us up short with 'now let's get serious, men.'

Pam and I watched "Heaven Can Wait" last night, and not the Warren Beatty remake of Here Comes Mr. Jordan, but the Lubitsch wonder from 1943 with Don Ameche and the beautiful Gene Tierney. Even to the end the story is told with warm humor, as Ameche's character dies behind closed doors to the strains of the Merry Widow waltz. See it, rent it for Family night, and you will have a course on why humor has died.

Jaime Weinman

Since I love The Love Bug, it's good to read some praise for it.

Another thing about the original Love Bug is that the point of the film is that the hero, Dean Jones, is redeemed when he comes to understand that it's not all about him, that he's not so great or special, and that he can only succeed by being less selfish and self-absorbed. Hollywood films now, and for quite a long time, have tended to deliver the opposite message: heroes and heroines succeed by learning to "believe in themselves," which means recognizing that they really are great and wonderful and special.

I missed Joe Flynn.

I'll see your Joe Flynn and raise you a Peter Ellenshaw.

mac macgillicuddy

I've come to realize that, while it's a lot easier to go to the movies if it happens, grown-up appeal buried cleverly in a story for kids is not something to hope for -- or rate a kids' movie by -- when rating these things.

For example, Monster's Inc had a lot of things that grown-ups could appreciate. Madagascar did not. But our kids liked both about the same. The Incredibles had a lot of fun stuff for us, but the kids don't ever even think of renting it nowadays.

And don't get me started on Star Wars. Oh, ok, since you did...

If the first episode had been the first movie, there would have been no second movie. If the second episode had been the first movie, George Lucas would never have worked again. And if the third episode had been the first movie, he'd have been SHOT.

Dreadful, noisy movies all. But my son loves each of them, including Revenge of the Myth.

So, Lance, looks like we have to appreciate the Herbie movies -- saw the first one in NYC's Radio City Music Hall with some friends and still love the scene where Herbie breaks in two -- and realize that even "remakes" or new "sequels" really have nothing to do with us.

I just hope they don't ever remake Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

The Heretik

A car with more character than the driver? A magical car that drives itself? Two strains of car criticism currently inhere in this driving edge of cultural angst. From the west by way of sunny California is the work of Hasselhof.

Knight Rider will forever be remembered for its dark implications. A car. Indeed the ultimate representation of the American Eighties. A Trans Am. This car was both smarter and gave better line reading than the driver, Hasselhof, sometimes called the American David.

In the east by way of Maine, the man who would be King, Stephen, offers a bildungsroman embodied in an auto, an auto de fe, a macabre deus ex machina meditation on modern man's inability to compete with the car. Christine, was she named evocative of the heroine in The Phantom of the Opera? Have we become phantoms of our selves, seing nothing but the road behind in the rear view mirror? And what more mournful tomes will tone tomorrow?

Do not ask for whom the gas tank now shows empty . . . the road tolls for thee, unless you have QuikPass. Think less, and put the pedal to the metal.

Have we overdrawn from the literary left bank? And how to make it right with these writers and their lame plots about cars. Alas, my fingers fade now into the keyboard and I am but a ghost in the machine. Oy.

Linkmeister

Heh. I think The Heretik, whatever his return address may be, is actually Tracy Kidder.

sfmike

I've never seen "The Love Bug" because I can't stand Dean Jones and have always hated that period of Disney films (anything after "The Parent Trap" was a serious decline). Still, I've always been extremely curious about the flick because I went off to Singapore to be a sailor with my uncle in the Merchant Marines back in 1972, and "The Love Bug" had played in the same 3,000 seat theater (with four balconies) five times a day for four straight years. It was a phenomenon.

The Merchant Marines didn't work out, but I did get to discover kung fu movies before the rest of the world and just before they were banned in Singapore because they were "socially disruptive." Ah, to see Bruce Lee and David Chang and Alexander Fu Sheng in their young prime when it was all new, exciting and bizarrely trashy. The Shaw Brothers films in Shawscope of the 1970s really do need to be experienced in a large Chinese movie theatre for their full, weird splendor to be appreciated.

Sorry for the digression. If you tell me I need to see "The Love Bug," Lance, I will obey. Two million Singapore moviegoers can't be wrong.

Nance

That movie didn't just stop being a comedy, it also started being a non-stop commercial. I'm reasonably tolerant of product placement in movies, but I thought Herbie went over the top, ran down the side and stopped by the bank six or seven times in selling out so thoroughly to Nascar and their evil minions. That whole scene with Jeff Gordon and the other driver (can't remember) should have been labeled "advertisement." It certainly didn't do a damn thing for the plot.

Kevin Wolf

plucky young heroine with the spectacular breasts every character in the movie and the camera are doing their darnedest not to notice

Oh, man - I haven't even seen it but I know what you mean.

And while I think you may be over-indulging in analysis, I still agree with you. You have at least recognized the fact that most comedies these days (and most movies, I would add) are too damn long.

BTW, re Matt Dillon: the movie he directed, and stars in along with James Caan, Stellan Skarsgard and others - City of Ghosts - is very good. Definitely worth a look.

somewaterytart

I had to see this on a babysitting job. Halfway through I flashed a handful of quarters at the kid and promised him a good time at Chuck E Cheese if we could just get the hell out of there. I'll take flashing electronic mouse noises and bleeping, blooping colorful video games over Lindsey Lohan's sanctimonious bullcrap any day. BTW, this was in Phoenix, and it was 115 that day.

As for her breasts, they were awesome before she lost all that weight, and I think they were digitally reduced for the movie.

Kenny

I enjoyed the movie, and I managed to rationalize a convoluted backstory in my head that didn't involve Dean Jones dying, which helped.

But your criticism of the movie as reflective of the cult of celebrity is very astute and thought-provoking. Well done.

Bob Croesus

Please visit our new Love Bug Central Web site! This site is dedicated to the "Herbie" The Love Bug movies and all of his fans around the world. We have put together this site to honor Herbie via information, photos, interviews and contributions by Fans. This site was designed by a few but showcases the generous donations of many.
www.lovebugcentral.com

Ken Rice

2 things.
Dean Jones' character (Jim Douglas) didn't marry the gal in "...Monte Carlo." They simply walked off together at the end. Jim Douglas married Carole in "The Love Bug" and then the gal in the 1982 TV series (leaving us to suspect Carole has died or run off with Tennessee Steinmetz).
The other: The website above is fine if you happen to be a White Christian Republican heterosexual.
The site where the owners of authentic Herbies hang is www.LoveBugFans.com and it's popular and busy enough that they're getting over 130 posts per day.

Oceangirl81

I really think that all the Herbie movies were great. "The Love Bug" was really funny. Herbie came in first and third. LOL! I just don't get "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo." Jim Douglas married in the first movie, and then in the third one, he is in romance with another girl. It doesn't make sense. There is also the mystery from what happened to Herbie between "Herbie Goes Bananas" and "Herbie: Fully Loaded." I mean, how did Herbie get in a shed? So, I have a few questions with no answers, but other than that, the Herbie movie series is awesome. They should make more movies in the future.

DR

In case you're here because you like Herbie, I occasionally look at the site and forum run by owners of authentic Disney Herbies, with about 25 sub pages of Herbie photos, music and media downloads, information, authentic graphics kits, and their online forum is open to everyone, Bug owner or not.
http://LoveBugFans.com
Anyway, strangely enough, even the hard core fans have mixed feelings about the various Herbie movies. if you want to see shameless product placement, the sequels were WAY worse. Most of the stuff, like Dover Fan Belts, in "The Love Bug" was fictitious.

DR

Oops. Goofed their URL.
http://www.lovebugfans.com

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