Archive for Matt McCoy

Police Academy 6: City Under Siege (1989) Review

Posted in Police Academy 6: City Under Siege with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2014 by Last Road Reviews


*** Out of 5

Tagline- The Grads are Going Undercover in the City to Unmask the Master mind of Crime.

Release Date- March 10th, 1989

Running Time- 83-Minutes

Rating- PG

Screenplay- Stephen Curwick

Director- Peter Bonerz

Starring- Bubba Smith, David Graf, Michael Winslow, Matt McCoy, Marion Ramsey, Lance Kinsey, Leslie Easterbrook with G.W. Bailey as Captain Harris and George Gaynes as Commandant Lassard

Released in 1989 Police Academy 6: City Under Siege was pretty much the death of the series. In past reviews I mentioned how I felt the Police Academy films were sort of the comedic versions of Friday the 13th as each more or less are light on plot and what there is of a plot is basically a rehash of the other parts. However both were mindless fun and were able to go on longer than most franchises, but at some point enough is enough and it got to that point with Police Academy 6. As I’ve also mentioned in other reviews each sequel pulled in less than the previous film, but they all turned a profit and as of this point the first 5 all opened at number 1, but that changed here as Police Academy 6 was the first to not open in the top spot and only pulled in roughly 11-million dollars down about half from part 5. It is common for sequels to have a higher budget than the original, but in some cases if there aren’t returning actors you can still keep the cost down, but when actors return the budgets might go up a little more even if still can be kept reasonable. Since a good portion of the cast once again returned I’d have to assume the budget had to go up a bit and the 7th film had a budget around 10-million (and it only made 126-grand!) so I would think Police Academy 6 probably had a budget around 10-million or a little less. All the Police Academy films except the 7th came out within a year of the past and sometimes even less and this came out less than a year later than the 5th and from 1984-1989 there were a total of 6 films and this one isn’t as poor as I’ve may have said in other reviews for the series, but it also was as of this release by far the weakest (7 though would make this seem like comedic gold), but I don’t think this film really could have been much better due to overkill.

The Police Academy films aren’t known for their plots, but this one while no exception does have a tiny bit of a plot and its not a complete rehash either though it does take some elements from part 2. A trio of thieves always remain one step ahead of the police as the person they’re working for has inside information. When Commandant Lassard (Gaynes) is accused of being the inside man the members of his police academy set off to clear his name and capture the real mastermind.

The screenplay was written by Stephen Curwick who also wrote part 5. The 5th film is actually my favorite sequel as its just silly fun and while the writing wasn’t great it was entertaining. The script here isn’t quite as entertaining, but it does have some amusing bits. While all the sequels were more or less the same thing I still felt they worked, but this point some of the antics were a bit tiresome. The characters while still fun pretty much repeat themselves, but the cast helps continue to make it at least a little funny. Really at this stage in the series nothing could have been done as the formula for the series was done to death, but to Curwick’s credit he does the best he can and in someways it was a little successful.

Director Peter Bonerz does a fairly decent job as for the most part Police Academy 6 is decently paced, but like most of the sequels in my opinion does begin to run out of steam by the end. While never as funny as the past 5, it does however feature some fairly funny scenes and at the end of the day Police Academy running at only 84-minutes makes for a decent enough time killer and you could do a lot worse like the 7th film. As a series goes on unless sequels aren’t related like the Bond series or outside of a remake, there really isn’t much a filmmaker can do to keep things fresh without straying, which would probably be the wrong move. So to the credit of Peter Bonerz he makes the best out of a very tired series.

The core of the cast from part 5 return including Matt McCoy. Also returning is Bruce Mahler as Fackler who was last seen in part 3 and his return was welcomed as he’s quite funny. The standouts were again Captain Harris (Bailey) and Proctor (Kinsey) who make the very best out of cliched material. Harris and Proctor were my favorites in the series and their scenes in not only this, but the 4th and 5th films were the highlights of each. After this film however several cast members would exit the series and their losses were very much felt in the 7th film.

Overall Police Academy 6: City Under Siege isn’t exactly a good film, but its better than I made it out to be in other reviews for the series. At this point again the formula was tiresome, but there was enough here to keep it fairly amusing. As I mentioned Police Academy 6 only pulled in about 11-million dollars and I assume the budget was between 7-10-million so there wasn’t much of a profit made. The film itself also looks a bit on the cheap side not that the others had Oscar worthy production values, but this one looked cheap. I own the blu-ray collection released by WB in the UK, which is region free and while none are demo worthy, they look fairly good, but part 6 looked like an upconverted DVD and perhaps a better transfer things would look better. As of this film it was easily the weakest as the gags are quite tiresome, but there are enough decent moments to keep it above float. WB realized it was a sinking ship, but 5-years later someone thought it would be a good idea for a 7th film and that would be hands down the worst of the series and as mentioned the lowest grossing of the series and buried an already dying franchise. Part 6 is again weak, but has enough going for it to make it a decent time killer.

1989 wasn’t a good year for franchises and ignoring box office adjustments Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan would be the lowest grossing of the series, Halloween 5 would also be the lowest grossing and while A Nightmare on Elm Street 5 even at the time wasn’t the lowest total it was however way down from the last two and of course Police Academy 6 would be the lowest grossing at this time, but again 7 would pull in less. And all of these franchises would return, but all took a few years until the next (except Elm St., which was two-years later until the next).

Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach (1988) Review

Posted in Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach with tags , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2014 by Last Road Reviews



*** ½ Out of 5

Tagline- Hold Everything! The Cadets Are Droppinb in on Miami Beach for An All New Adventure.

Release Date- March 18th, 1988

Running Time- 90-Minutes

Rating- PG

Screenplay- Stephen Curwick

Director- Alan Myerson

Starring- Bubba Smith, David Graf, Michael Winslow, Leslie Easterbrook, Matt McCoy, Lance Kinsey with G.W. Bailey and George Gaynes

The Police Academy series was a highly successful franchise for Warner Brothers in the 80s and from 1984-1989 there were a total of 6 films made with a 7th in 1994 and even a TV series from 1996-1997. Franchises with seemingly never ending sequels are more common in the horror genre and in pretty much all cases the more sequels made at some point it’ll get tiresome. Really the exceptions being the Bond series, which is quite different in how each film is handled. Warner Brothers had a cash cow with the Police Academy series and basically ran it into the ground. Released in 1988 Police Academy 5: Assignment Miami Beach was sort of the beginning of the end for the franchise. By this point a few of the cast members didn’t return with the most notable being Steve Guttenberg. Police Academy 5 may not be the high mark for the series, but to be honest it is one of my favorites of the series and the one I find myself revisiting most often. Each film in the series made less than the previous part and that continued here as Police Academy 5 was the lowest grossing of the series at the time (the 6th would make less and than the 7th wouldn’t even pull in a million dollars). Despite lower box office totals they pulled in enough for another sequel and all of them actually opened number 1 until the 6th film and that continued with the 7th. Police Academy 5 does draw mixed reviews with perhaps more subpar reviews and its easy to understand, but like I said this is one of my favorites of the series and is the very definition of mindless entertainment.

The Police Academy films aren’t generally known for their plots and the 5th seems to have less. Lassard (Gaynes) is up for an award and with several members of his police academy head out to Miami Beach. However jewel thieves are also heading there and the package with the stolen jewels gets mixed up with Lassard’s stuff and the bumbling thieves set out to retrieve it. Meanwhile Lt. Harris (Bailey) learns Lassard is passed the age of retirement and plans to expose it so he can get his job.

The screenplay by Stephen Curwick is light on plot, but than again most of the films in the series are, however with that said the script by Curwick isn’t meant to be high quality cinema it’s simply meant to be fun and in my opinion it succeeds. The film is absurd with some really over the top comedic scenes, but the silliness of it makes it mindless fun. Character wise, Curwick does as well as at this point all the main characters have been established and with the returning characters and new ones, Curwick mixes it in well and all the characters have at least a moment or two to shine. There are some truly hysterical moments featuring Lt. Harris and Proctor (Kinsey) and while I get the subpar reviews I thought Curwick wrote a silly, but funny script that never aims to be more than it is and always really entertaining.

Director Alan Myerson crafts a well paced and fun film and at only 90-minutes it never outstays it’s welcome. In some of the sequels even the ones that clocked in at under 90-minutes can sometimes be a little overly long as the silly nature of the plots start to wear thin, but Myerson always keeps the film running smoothly and while this isn’t comedic gold and if it wasn’t a Police Academy movie would most likely be forgotten, but I found it quite hysterical. Sure the comedy is silly and immature, but Alan Myerson worked it well and of all the sequels I have no shame in saying this was my favorite.

As a series goes on returning cast members can sometimes go through the motions and even new cast members don’t always seem as energetic, but I gotta give credit to the cast as they all seem to be having a lot of fun with the material and everyone gives it their all. My favorite scenes were those with Harris and Proctor as both were my favorite characters in the series and both actors have such great chemistry with each other. While the loss of Steve Guttenberg is noticeable I thought Matt McCoy did a terrific job as Nick Lassard. Basically McCoy is playing Mahoney as if not mistaken the script was written with Mahoney, but after Guttenberg passed it just had minor rewrites and some of the dialogue for Mahoney was apparently left unchanged and just changed the name of the character.

Police Academy 5 is again a silly mindless film, but I really love this one. I can just sit back and enjoy the absurdness of the film and it never fails to make me laugh. As I mentioned the original to me was the best, but Police Academy 5 is the one I revisit most.