SNL: S14E04... HOST: MATTHEW MODINE... DATE: NOVEMBER 5, 1988

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or...

Is This Season Already Starting To Settle?

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If you've read any of my reviews of the movies on AFI's Top 100 Movies Of All Time list you might already know that I can't stand the War film genre because this genre made up a pretty good portion of this list. That said, I am a huge fan of the movie Full Metal Jacket which is pretty much the only movie that I know Matthew Modine from, making me nervous about this episode.

Though I thought that Matthew Modine was great in this rare war movie that I actually like, he's not even the thousandth name to come to mind when thinking about comedy. My concerns then doubled down the moment the name and face came together to me and I realized that he was also in the movie The Real Blonde which is one of the very few movies that I ever walked out on.

In case you're interested, the only other movies that I ever walked out on were Mighty Aphrodite that I attempted to watch because I had a crush on Mira Sorvino but couldn't stomach her making out with Woody Allen who I was never a fan of in the first place. I also walked out of a movie called Eat A Bowl Of Tea but that was just because I was an early teen at the time and bought the ticket to sneak into a rated R movie, then snuck in to see it as well but was too young to appreciate a subtitled movie which was the real reason I decided to leave. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, was the final movie that I walked out on but that was because there was a guy on acid in the audience who was cracking me up so when the ushers escorted him out I wasn't ready to shift moods and settle into the serious movie that it seemed to be. 

Sorry I got side tracked there, but that's just how my reviews go. Getting back to the matter at hand, I had low expectations for this episode only to end up being slightly impressed by the outcome. Just like yesterday's episode with John Larroquette, I felt that the acting was fine and the cast and host put in the effort but now I'm starting to feel that the writers are over confident from three successful seasons in a row as these last two episodes were both entertaining without being all that funny.

Though entertaining is a real good attribute for a show, minus the funny my enthusiasm starts to dwindle to where I fear that I might grow to become overly critical about episodes that just did an okay job, especially when there are several episodes at this quality in a row that I would otherwise give proper credit as single slip up episode.

Now that I've bounced around between my connection to Matthew Modine, the movies that I've walked out on, and my concerns for the rest of this season, it's now time to move on and share what I saw as I give you... 

The Wicker Breakdown:

  1. This week's show started with a parody of Full Metal Jacket with Phil Hartman as the aggressive Drill Sergeant only unlike R. Lee Ermey's character from the film his insults aren't that quick and are very uncreative. Just like in the movie Hartman walks down the line of soldiers giving them nicknames but unlike the movie these nicknames are uninspired and end with the announcement of, "Live from New York..."
  2. Matthew Modine then officially opened the show with a monolog about being a method actor, living as his characters on and off the set then goes on to list example claiming to actually be other actors from De Niro's Raging Bull character to Oprah in The Color Purple. He then quickly threw to the show.
  3. We then got a fake political ad The Republican Party trying to show just how diverse the party is by putting a handful of people with different ethnicities who agree with the party front and center with the rest of the gathering being nothing but white guys in suits.
  4. The Liberal was a parody of The Fugitive only instead of being an ex-con Matthew Modine plays the last liberal of the land who is on the run from all the Republicans. Victoria Jackson takes him in where he struggles to hide his liberal views in his efforts to blend in as a conservative.
  5. Church Chat then returned for another installment of more of the same with the Church Lady. As always, I found these sketches to be very fun when they originally aired but am now burnt out on the character to where I find the repetitiveness a bit boring rather than sitting on the edge of my seat like I used to, waiting to join in and say... "Maybe, SATAN..." Though this may sound very harsh, there is still enough nostalgic value to the sketch that even though it's not my favorite, I wouldn't go so far as to say that I hated it. This particular installment was fun because not only was there a real life monkey there was also a real like Morton Downey Jr. who was my favorite freak show host. 
  6. Edie Brickell And The New Bohemians then took to the stage to perform What I Am?
  7. Once again, Dennis Miller gave us the news. This week, a crew member walked into the shot on accident while setting up for Al Franken who draws every state from memory while explaining the Electoral College giving states to the candidates based on the views of celebrities from the day and polling information or anything legitimate. A. Whitney Brown also dropped in for yet another Big Picture segment where without using the modern term he discusses the de-evolution of our election process to uninspired lesser of two evil voting.
  8. Dukakis After Dark was a sketch where Lovitz as Dukakis uses this last minute broadcasting effort to say screw it, as he knows that he losing so uses the prepaid nonrefundable commercial time to have a Playboy After Dark parody of a party that was too caught up with political minutia from the time for me to get many of the references and being that there was more parodying of specific politicians and not policy, I didn't bother to look up what they were talking about and found myself zoning out.
  9. Win, Lose Or Tie was a parody of Win, Lose, Or Draw only this is the day time edition with lesser known clebs like you would now see on shows like Dancing With The Stars who are desperate for any publicity.
  10. We then got a fake Dukakis Ad showing Barbara Bush as a beautiful woman when she and George got married. They then showed her as she looked at the time while saying something to the effect of, "If this is what Bush did to his wife, just imagine how the country will look with at least four years with this man as president."
  11. Edie Brickell and The New Bohemians then returned to the stage to perform Little Miss S.
  12. Lenny And Two Sammies was a sketch about two basement dwelling buddies with the same names who do nothing but drink beer all day while watching hockey and talking about their unrealistic dreams, like the Swiss Army Hockey Stick and other ways to avoid a real job. Lenny eventually joins with a kindred dumb guy attitude but is against the violence in what used to be his favorite sport and has plans to coach a group of kids to be more peaceful in their action but then realizes he can't change the sport so gives in and joins the two Sammies on the couch to drink beer and waste time while watching sports. 
  13. Finally, Matthew Modine closed the show by thanking the audience and saying his goodnights.

Although none of these sketches got me to laugh out loud these were my favorite three moments from the night. First, I loved the Drill Sergeant sketch because I do really like Full Metal Jacket and it was great to see Phil Hartman as R. Lee Ermey only without the witty rapport. Next, I really liked Lenny And Two Sammies because I like these basement dwelling buddies and hope that they become reoccurring characters. Finally, I was a fan of Al Franken's segment on the news because I was super impressed how he can draw all the states from memory while performing a comedy routine.

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Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.