Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Andra Akers, Richard Dean Anderson, Leon Askin, Diana Bellamy, Savannah Smith Boucher
Five college buddies fired from their summer jobs start a moving business together. But faced with ruthless loan sharks and brutal rivals, the boys soon find they have more on their hands than other people's furniture. Pau... more »
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"Now remember, Cabrizzi rhymes with sleazy."
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 05/09/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Here's an idea...let's a get group of moderately well known comedians, dump them in a low budget comedic vehicle with a really skimpy plot and even skimpier script (allowing for the comedians own material to fill in the bare spots) and see what happens...that seems to have been the idea behind the feature Odd Jobs (1986), at least as far as I could tell. Co-written by Robert Conte and Peter Martin Wortmann, both of who would go on to write the movie Who's Harry Crumb? (1989), which I thought was infinitely funnier than this film, and directed by Mark Story, in his one and only film to date, the movie features Paul Reiser (Diner, "Mad About You"), Robert Townsend (I'm Gonna Git You, Sucka), Paul Provenza (Survival Quest), Rick Overton (Gung Ho, Willow), and Scott McGinnis (Joysticks, Making the Grade). Also appearing is Leo Burmester (Cruising, The Abyss), Thomas Quinn (Turk 182!), Julianne Phillips (Fletch Lives), Richard Dean Anderson ("MacGyver", "Stargate SG-1"), and Jake Steinfeld (The Money Pit, Tough Guys), probably better known to many as the `Body by Jake' guy.
As the movie begins we meet five college students/frat brothers named Max (Reiser), Dwight (Townsend), Roy (Overton), Byron (Provenza), and Woody (McGinnis). Anyway, as classes break for the summer, the guys go their separate ways, all taking on odd jobs...Max gets work with a mobbed up moving company, Dwight and Byron become caddies at a posh golf course, Roy takes a door to door salesman gig peddling nuclear powered vacuum cleaners (seriously), and Woody signs on at his uncle's ritzy restaurant as a waiter. Oh yeah, Dwight invites Byron to stay with his upscale, African American family for the summer, which allows Provenza's character to show how `with it' he is by acting all ghetto for his hosts. We also learn Max's is on the outs with his girlfriend Sally (Phillips) since he's neglected to call her for like five months, and she has since hooked up with a snooty, pastel clad, Porsche driving preppy named Spud (Anderson). After various incidents involving little in the way of humor, all the men either quit or get fired from their respective jobs, and Max gets the bright idea to start his own moving company, drawing his buddies in as partners. Business is slow going at first, but things eventually pick up as the boys engage in various scams to drum up business to get people to move, including (but not limited to) having Robert Townsend's character, in full `pimp' mode, drive around predominately Caucasian neighborhoods in a yellow Cadillac with a throng of `ghetto' children pretending to show interest in moving into the area...oh man, that's some good comedy...from here things get a little hairy as Max not only has to contend with trying to get Sally back, but also going up against his former employers the Cabrizzi Brothers, who don't much care for competition, and will do whatever it takes to put the guys out of business...permanently.
I enjoy dumb comedies as much as the next guy, but, while this film was certainly dumb, it wasn't very funny. The script, which relies on a lot of lame, stale stereotypical humor and a handful of sexual innuendoes (although no nekkidness), has very little plot, seemingly left open enough to allow for each of the comedians to insert small bits of their own schtick, but since half the performers aren't even funny comedians in their own right, that might not have been the best way to go...I've never been a big fan of Paul Reiser or his routines, as he always seemed like a toned down version of Richard Lewis, whom I do find funny in small doses. Here's an example of a line from the film that I think was supposed to be funny, as Reiser's character states one of the things he learned while on the job...
"I learned you should never lift something you can't lift."
Stop it...you're killing me...on the other hand I've always thought Richard Townsend to be pretty funny, but more so when he's allowed to doing his thing, which really wasn't the case here (some of his bits made it in, but they were obviously forced given how out of context they were). As far as Rick Overton, I think he comes across better in a tightly controlled environment, as I've liked him in such films like Gung Ho and Groundhog Day (he's relegated here to a role as an socially retarded albino with an overbearing father). And then there's Paul Provenza, who really shouldn't be allowed to perform his comedy act anywhere, as he's about the unfunniest individual I've come across in a long time. Provenza comes off the worst here, and that's saying a lot given his competition. There's a couple of odious scenes when he's sitting at the dinner table with his upscale African American hosts trying to act `street', including one where he's sporting some dreadlocks. I don't have a problem with racially driven humor (I always thought Dave Chappelle excelled at this on his Comedy Central show mainly because he made fun of everyone equally), but this was just embarrassing. It's sad when the funniest parts of the film come from not the four comedians starring in the feature, but from two actors playing supporting roles, namely Jake Steinfeld, who played a muscle bound moving man, and Leo Burmester, who played Wylie, a big, greasy redneck truck driver. Steinfeld's character came across more annoying than funny, but once I was knee deep into this film, I was willing to take what I could get, and I was willing to cut him a lot more slack given he was probably just following the lame script rather than displaying his `comedic' prowess like his co-stars. If you've ever wanted to see the Body by Jake guy in a three sizes too small French maid's uniform, this is the movie for you. As far as Burmester, his was probably the most memorable role, but it's certainly not a reason for anyone to run out and see this movie. Most of the comedy in this film would probably appeal to those under the age of ten, and even then they'd have to be pretty indiscriminate. All in all I thought this a poorly conceived, sloppily written, miscast film with a few laughs, but not nearly enough to sustain its running time....but hey, that's just my opinion, and as we all know, opinions are like a-holes, in that everyone's got one...
The picture on this DVD, presented in fullscreen aspect ratio, looks decent, and the audio comes through well enough. I was unable to discern the format for the audio, but I'm guessing it was in stereo. The only extras included with the DVD are English, Spanish and French subtitles.
Oh yeah, one last thing...who was the Einstein in casting who decided to try and pass off a bunch of thirty plus year old comedians as college students?
One of my favorite obscure movies!
Todd Bovair | Wynantskill, NY United States | 05/30/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let me start this off by saying Odd Jobs in NOT a film for everybody. If you like very wacky comedies and don't mind your humor being dumb, you may enjoy Odd Jobs. The charm of the film is difficult to describe, as the story is rather absurd, the situations are ridiculous, the writing is unsophisticated, and the characters are one-dimensional. Put all those together in this right combination though, and you get a very funny and memorable movie. The hightlights of Odd Jobs are Jake Steinfeld (the Body By Jake guy) as a villanous yet funny henchman, and Leo Burmeister as Wylie, a redneck greasy trucker with a heart of gold. The cast of comedians each has a distinct character, and each has several funny scenes to shine in.
If you like Monty Python wackiness, and you like Airplane! type dumb yet funny comedy, give Odd Jobs a try. You may find a hidden comedy treasure."