The Man with Two Brains

I was getting rather anxious for the holiday weekend to start. I prepared for two lectures and took a lunch break to have a chicken sandwich. I returned home to watch “The Man with Two Brains” with Steve Martin and Kathleen Turner. Carl Reiner was one of the writers and also the director, and some similarities to “All of Me” were noticeable. Steve Martin is Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr, a famed brain surgeon. Kathleen Turner is Dolores Benedict, an opportunist, black widow, and all-around Scum Queen reminiscent of her character in “Body Heat.” Kathleen Turner still had a lot of energy on the screen back in 1983. I regret missing her in her play about Molly Ivins last year. Steve Martin was so funny in this movie that I had to think back on his work in all those years from “The Jerk” to “Roxanne.” I wouldn’t say those movies were classics, but they were consistently enjoyable. I was surprised with the nudity in the movie. I hadn’t realized that the movie was rated R. I liked the idea of falling in love with someone’s mind. The whole telepathy bit was something I couldn’t truly accept, though, even for a comedy. The voice of Anne Uumellmahaye sounded familiar because she was Sissy Spacek. There was a surprising cameo at the end. That person died in recent years, though, so it’s not quite as funny seeing him now as it was in 1983. I rather miss the Carl Reiner touch when I see crappy comedies of today. It’s good to inject some heart and emotion into a wild and foolish story. I liked that period that had people like Carl Reiner and Blake Edwards amusing us. Not every single gag worked, but as the years pass I realize that it’s not easy to be funny. I think I wasn’t quite over the shock of seeing Steve Martin in “Pennies from Heaven” when “The Man with Two Brains” was released. I saw some tough times ahead for Dr. Hfuhruhurr at the end. The reality is that you get sick of being around the same woman day after day. If Dr. Hfuhruhurr was really a man, flesh and blood, Anne’s increasing weight would have cooled his passion. There was at least one funny gorilla joke in this movie. It seems that there wasn’t much difference between the mad scientist Dr. Alfred Necessiter and the brilliant surgeon Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr. I wondered if Ramon returned at the end. Some of the reference points for this movie were “Donovan’s Brain,” “Beast of Blood,” “They Saved Hitler’s Brain,” and “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die.” One interesting fact about “Donovan’s Brain is that Lew Ayres and Nancy Reagan were in the cast. I stayed up to watch the Walter Hill movie “Hard Times” with Charles Bronson and James Coburn. It was directed by Walter Hill, and this was an interesting movie, something like a “Fight Club,” only made in 1975 and set in the Depression. Bronson seemed to be getting too old to be a tough street fighter. Some of the people who died on November 25 include Upton Sinclair (1968), Yukio Mishima (1970), Laurence Harvey (1973), Nick Drake (1974), Jack Albertson (1981), Anthony Burgess (1993), and Flip Wilson (1998). Today is a birthday for Christina Applegate (44), Amy Grant (55), and Ben Stein (71). According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for November 25, The Beatles released their White Album in the United States in 1968. In 1982, the Jamaica World Music Festival, featuring the Grateful Dead, the Beach Boys, and Aretha Franklin, opened. In 1998, Michael J. Fox revealed that he had Parkinson’s disease.

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