Irredeemably not funny, so that it doesn't matter what the actors do, because they are in a movie that should never have been made. When Clifford is barred from reboarding, his frantic parents leave him with his Uncle Martin Grodin. Advertisement A movie like this is a deep mystery. Right before Clifford and Roger get up, the shadows on the brick wall instantly shift, revealing that scene was edited together from multiple takes. Clifford, on a quest to get to Dinosaur World, is unstoppable. Corporal punishment never sounded so sweet. The other person laughed right after I did, maybe because he agreed, or maybe because my laugh is darn infectious.
In a screening of some 150 people, two people laughed, once apiece. Little does he know that Uncle Martin hates kids. At first, Clifford is a godsend for Martin, who is wooing day-care operator Sarah Mary Steenburgen by pretending to a non-existent rapport with children. Will his diabolical behavior send the lovely Sarah packing? Running time: 1 hour, 43 minutes. It's not bad in any usual way.
I'd love to hear a symposium of veteran producers, marketing guys and exhibitors discuss this film. Will Clifford undo the unflappable Uncle Martin? The movie doesn't know and neither does the audience, and for much of the running time we sit there staring stupefied at the screen, trying to figure out what the hell we're supposed to be thinking. It fails on a deeper level still, the level of the underlying conception. However, after Uncle Martin is forced to renege on his promise due to his work obligations, Clifford resorts to destroying his Uncle's life in any means possible. Their comic styles couldn't be further apart: Short's nattery verve is a universe apart from Grodin's down tempo spaciness. Clifford tells a tale about how he himself was once the most hateful boy imaginable, setting up the narrative proper, which begins as a young Clifford is upset that his parents Richard Kind, Jennifer Savidge won't interrupt their trip to Hawaii so he can visit the Dinosaurland amusement park.
There have been a lot of movies about adults as children, or vice versa, but Short is beholden to none of them. This is one of Martin Short's funniest and odd roles. Clifford is a comedy that leaves you scratching your head and feeling a little devilish at the same time. While on a plane headed to a family vacation to Hawaii, Clifford Daniels Martin Short manages to stop the flight in Los Angeles, by entering the cockpit and shutting off the engines. If their scenes were better written by Jay Dee Rock and Bobby Von Hayes and directed by Paul Flaherty , these two actors might have come up with some classic bits together. What's the difference between slapstick and realistic violence? Short, at 42, is the ideal actor to play a 10-year-old because, at his best, he always seems to carry around inside him the animus of a wacked-out imp.
Short plays him with no makeup other than a wig and little boy's suits, and the camera angles are selected to make him look a foot shorter than the other actors. Even the technical credits were promising. A scene with Sarah and Mr. The movie treats the sequence as a bravura set piece, but actually it's an embarrassing assembly of shabby special effects, resulting in absolutely no comic output. But it just happens to be perfect timing because Martin is trying to convince his sweetheart, Sarah Davis that he loves children. The humor is strange and the jokes are mean spirited but in the end will you cheer for Clifford or his dad to succeed? It asks the question: What went wrong? Clifford is a little boy from hell, a sneaky practical joker, spoiled, obnoxious.
Other scenes include: When Clifford's stolen dog, Sneakers, runs away, there's a scene when they're leaving Sarah's house when Martin tells Clifford about this. Rating: A weird movie that could have stood to be weirder still, this off-the-wall farce teams 40-year-old Martin Short as a diabolical 10-year-old with Charles Grodin as his hapless uncle. Ditched by his parents and longing for a day at the Jurassic Park-like Dinosaurworld, Clifford at first comes on all adorable--and Short playing adorable is not a pretty sight. He creates all sorts of problems for his uncle from embarrassing him in front of his boss, Gerald Ellis Dabney Coleman to spiking Martin's drink with large doses of Tabasco. But that quickly changes when Martin, an architect, is forced to postpone taking Clifford to Dinosaurland because his demanding boss Dabney Coleman puts him on a 24-hour deadline to redesign a city transit system.
But Short has a few of those laugh-out-loud moments, like the scene where his uncle Martin Charles Grodin asks him if he could at least try to look normal and Clifford, making his best effort, scrunches his face into the look of a demented kiwi. » Am I one of only a handful of people who think Martin Short is hysterical? Goofs Towards the beginning of the movie, Father Clifford is standing in front of a brick wall when Roger jumps from a window and lands on Clifford. There are a few swear words, some leering at attractive women, and one predator makes sexual advances toward a co-worker. Most of the movie is taken up with Clifford's sojourn with his bachelor uncle and his girlfriend, Sarah Mary Steenburgen. Clifford is the rotten kid that never grows up, because he doesn't have to. » Alternate Versions When Clifford is aired on television, several scenes not in the final print are included. He's bopping to his own syncopation here--he's a peewee pain with an unaccountably lewd undercurrent.
It's bad in a new way all its own. Ellis in a helicopter looking over a new location for a new business. Martin Short relies heavily on facial movement and voice tonal changes to make his character Clifford funny. Obsessed by a trip to California and an amusement part called Dinosaur World, the boy manipulates his parents into letting him visit his estranged Uncle Martin in Los Angeles. Martin retaliates by trying to murder Clifford on a Dinosaurland thrill ride, but he relents at the last second and sends him back to his parents. How do filmmakers let an audience know that some is not to be taken seriously? To deal with the 2050 scenes right up front: They are completely unnecessary.