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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bakshi Review: Hey Good Lookin' (1982)

Plot: In 1950's Brooklyn, two members of a gang called The Stompers named Vinnie and Crazy Shapiro roam around town hanging with their ladies Roz and Eva and getting into rumbles with their rival gang, The Black Chaplins.

Virtues: To me, this is one of Bakshi's best. This is a return to the cartoony style of Bakshi's early films. However, this goes one better because of the great character designs by David Jonas (who designed the main characters) and Louise Zingarelli (one of Bakshi's best artists who designed the side characters) . Every character is distinct in their looks and movement. Their is also some fantastic animation throughout the film. In particular, the scene where we first meet Roz is great. It has a great homage to Tex Avery's Red cartoons. The story behind the animation is also one of Bakshi's best. It flows from scene to scene like a river. Also, the character add to the story. I cannot think of one character who detracts from the entertainment value of this film. However, the greatest character in this movie has to be Crazy Shapiro. Wonderfully played by David Proval (Peace in Wizards), this character definitely lives up to his name.

Vices: What the hell is the talking garbage can doing in this movie? The only other problem is a big one that the film hinges on. I wasn't convinced by the love story. I don't know why Roz fell in love with a lug like Vinnie. However, I did actually feel a love vibe coming from Roz. Vinnie, not so much. The animation didn't support the idea, not until the end, when Roz and Vinnie are reunited nearly 30 years later. However, there's a lot more going on in the film that tries to make up that fact. My final point is that the film switches tone, often too fast for it to feel natural. Heavy Traffic had a more consistent feel to it. However, still highly entertaining, which counts for a lot here.

Best Scene: When Crazy Shapiro and Vinnie wake up on the beach and find they woke up near some showering wives of Italian mobsters. Crazy Shapiro fighting those mobsters and actually winning is hilarious.

Final Grade: 9.0 out of 10

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