Home > Uncategorized > Top 20 favourite movies of all time (#19)

Top 20 favourite movies of all time (#19)

#19: UHF

I freaking LOVE “Weird Al” Yankovic.

He’s probably one of the greatest musicians to have ever graced the music industry and no one seems to give him enough credit for how much talent this guy truly has.

People write hit after hit after hit and Weird Al comes along and can write up a hilarious parody of it at the snap of your fingers.

I remember him most for his “hijacking” of Much Music during the 90s and bringing us Al Music, his own spoofed up version of Much Music and that was some really funny shit.  Even funnier were when he riffs on actual music videos and you don’t see those nowadays, except for Rifftrax and MST3K of old as far as movies go, but when it came to music, Weird Al has a level of genius that can only be thrown into the same group as your well-known rock legend of yesteryear.

So as far as my choice for number 19 on the list, UHF fits comfortably so.  Again, not many would consider this a cinematic masterpiece but anyone who’s loved and listened to Weird Al’s music would look to this movie and say fuck yeah I love this movie.  So…fuck yeah, I love this movie :D.

Plot:

George Newman is a down-on-his-luck jack-of-all-trades who very so often goes into his imaginary world, but reality brings him back and he feels horrible about being unable to balance real life with make-believe and its also caused a strain on his relationship with his girlfriend Teri.

When his uncle Harvey (didn’t he name his hamster Harvey?) wins the deed to a UHF tv station, his aunt decides that George should become the station’s new manager and he and his friend set off to see what they can do with it.

George brings his creativity to the station with a couple of shows like Town Talk where he talks to a shop teacher who ends up sawing his thumb off and doesn’t seem the least bit phased by it (dark but funny :)).

We also get your token bad guy of the movie, R. J. Fletcher, owner of channel 8, the “big man” of tv networks and as simple as plots go, he schemes and tries to undermine everyone underneath him, babies his son and bullies his way around to get what he wants.

So when Fletcher fires the janitor (pre-Seinfeld’s Michael Richards), George comes across him after delivering a package that was accidentally sent to him when it was addressed to Fletcher and hires him.

The general theme that plays throughout this movie is that any accident seems to bring an opportunity.  George’s back luck with keeping track of time cost him his relationship since he forgot his girlfriend’s birthday whom he promised he would take out for a fancy dinner.  oops.

With the station about to go down for good, George decides to drown his sorrows in booze and lets the janitor, Stanley Spudowski (a name not many people can easily forget) to take over for his attempt at a kid’s show.  Again, crisis or accidents bring opportunity in this movie and Stanley’s an instant hit with the kids and the audience that somehow caught on to the program as it was airing.

The little monologue Stanley gives about using a mop to clean up your mess and clean up the messes in your life is probably one of the highlights of the movie and really well-written for this kind of movie and many people can take note of that.  Realizing that they’ve got something good going, they start adding new shows with some of their neighbours hosting them:  A Karate instructor running a game show (STOOPID, YOU’RE SO STOOPID!), a latino with a lazy eye who has a menagerie of animals and one wonders how he gets away with the subtle cruelty, an early version of Jerry Springer with a revamped Town Talk, Conan the Librarian and Ghandi 2 just to name a few, on top of Stanley’s clubhouse being their main show.

Word gets to Fletcher that the station’s ratings are going through the roof and he vows he’ll stop at nothing to shut them down.  He makes a deal with Uncle Harvey to pay off his gambling debt but before he closes the deal, George hears about this and makes an appeal to match the debt and keep the station alive.

So they hold a telethon and the community buys shares to help save the station and Fletcher does what he can to stop them, but fails of course.

Another key plot element is this bum who asks for change and the first time when George gives him change, he gives a dollar bill back.  Guess the bum really likes change for some reason, lol.  But later on, Fletcher gives him a coin which the bum knows is very valuable and gets a few thousand dollars from it.  He gives enough to save the station to George to pay off the debt and got a sweet Rolex watch to boot.  oops again, lol.

There’s also pre-nanny Fran Drescher playing the secretary who gets promoted to a journalist and while I can’t stand her voice, she does add depth to the character as do the others of this movie.  You got the hopeless dreamer who wants to succeed but can’t catch a break, his friend who stands with him even though he could easily ditch him for a better career, you got the girlfriend who’s tired of the guy’s bullshit but it motivates him to try harder to win her back, you got the loveable idiot with a heart of gold who just wants to help others, you got the bully who gets what he wants and will step over anyone to get it, and you got an alien that disguises himself as the station’s “engineer”…huh.

While most often you have seen characters like this before, the actors do bring a certain degree of life to them and for a simple movie you do feel for them and you want to root for them to succeed and for the bad guys to fail and you get a sense that small town folk really do care about their community which shows near the end when they want to own a piece of the action and simple tv that only wants to entertain.

While I wish Weird Al could have made more movies, maybe the critics were too harsh on him or it didn’t do so well at the box office and that’s probably why you don’t see him in the movies, but for what he was able to make, I certainly loved it enough to consider it one of my all-time favourites :).

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