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You can't afford not to rewatch 'Used Cars'

Usedcar1 Do you remember Used Cars? Only the real die-hard '80s fans do, and that includes Commander Jeff Johnson down in Cuba, who is headed for civilian life this summer. Let's hope this retro-review isn't a peak into his next career.

TODAY’S RETRO-REVIEW: 1980’s hilarious Used Cars, starring Kurt Russell and Jack Warden. Written and directed by Bob Zemekis.

THE PLOT:
Fast-talking salesman Rudy Russo (Russell) scrambles to keep the used car lot owned by kindly Roy Fuchs (Warden) from falling into the hands of Roy’s evil brother, Luke (also Warden).

MAYBE YOU REMEMBER: Recent podcast guest Michael McKean’s cameo with his Laverne & Shirley cohort David L. Lander. As “Freddie & Eddie,” they hack into a televised speech by President Carter (Jimmy’s only shred of '80s cred).

SURELY YOU CAN’T FORGET: Jack Warden demonstrating why he was a consummate character actor. He packs as much Wilford Brimley heart into Roy as he does Montgomery Burns acid into Luke. It’s easy to forget it’s the same actor.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAID:
  “A foul-mouthed, bumpercrunching farce that is often funnier in theory than in fact but, even so, is a movie that has more laughs in it than any film of the summer except Airplane! It wipes out The Blues Brothers,Caddyshack, Up the Academy, Where the Buffalo Roam and just about every other recent comedy aimed, I assume, at an otherwise television-hooked public.”  - Vincent Canby, New York Times.

WHY WE STILL LOVE IT:
It was the first (and only) rowdy, raunchy, R-rated outing for Mr. Zemekis, he of the Back to the Future campiness and Forrest Gump folksiness.  Today’s “Frat Pack” crew should remember that he was getting lowbrow belly laughs when Judd Apatow was still in elementary school.

TOP 5 MEMORABLE LINES FROM USED CARS:

5. “You know what I just noticed, Mrs. Lopez? Your hair matches the color of these tires!”

4. “Well, Old Man ... for $2,400, it better run like a wet dream.”

3. “Fifty bucks never killed anybody!”

2. “I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that you can’t afford the classic luxury of the 1972 Buick Centurion. But I’m here to tell you that you can’t afford not to buy this car, and I’m going to make it easy on you.”

1. “Marshall Lucky here for New Deal Used Cars, where we're lowering inflation not only by fighting high prices, not only by murdering high prices, but by blowing the living s--- out of high prices.”

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:45pm]

    

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