Short Takes: May 4, 1992

CINEMA

Failing Marx

WRITER PAT PROFT ASPIRES TO MAKE SIlent-movie comedy. The first moments of BRAIN DONORS tell you this, with half-a-dozen quick, sprightly sight gags. The rest of Proft's script says the same thing: the talking isn't nearly so funny. Or perhaps it's the delivery. Proft, a longtime toiler in the Zucker brothers' Airplane! factory (The Naked Gun, Hot Shots!), has updated A Night at the Opera, this time with the anarchic philistinism demolishing a ballet company. But director Dennis Dugan's zanies -- John Turturro, Bob Nelson, Mel Smith -- can't enunciate, and their playing is way too broad; they...

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