Author Topic: Police Academy films  (Read 4126 times)

Fambo Number Mive

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Police Academy films
« on: July 20, 2021, 12:23:14 PM »
Watched the first one a few weeks ago, still hilarious, watched the second one yesterday (good, although I find Zed rather unfunny). Halfway through number 6(which has no Mahoney which is unfortunate).It's quite funny. My understanding is that 1,2 and 6 are the best - is that correct?

It's been years since I've watched 3 and 4 and I've never seen 5 - are they any good? Considering watching number 7 just to see what it is like - I understand it has 0% on Rotten Tomatoes.

I find the bumbling unpleasantness of bad guys Harris and Mauser (aided by Proctor in some films) is the funniest thing about the films, followed by Michael Winslow's vocal brilliance. I do find Lassard a little unbelievable in his childlike idiocy - how did someone like that become Commandant?

Better Midlands

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Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2021, 12:31:47 PM »
Michael Winslow's vocal brilliance

The word on my school playground at the time was that Michael Winslow was Doug E. Fresh, something I believed for decades.

I think PA was the first rented VHS tape I ever watched, that or Trading Places.

Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2021, 12:41:00 PM »
The Police Academy films (1-6) were the first six VHS tapes I had, beginning with 5 (Assignment Miami Beach). Because I've never seen them properly in order at an age of being a Serious Comedy Appreciator, I find it hard to analyse where they were just treading water as you might expect with a low-rated long-running series of unsophisticated comedies.

The Halliwell's Guide has 6 (City Under Siege) down as the best, and I can see why: it has a darker tone and feels a little more considered - almost comic book rather than sketch comedy, right down to a very Scooby Doo like reveal of the mastermind. The crime feels contemporary too, rather than the dumb scenarios of previous works.

My favourites are 4 and 5, though I concede I probably need to go back. They're easy and breezy and the jokes come at a good pace. Yeah they're sexist and stupid and weird (Tackleberry's gun fetishism hits new sexual lows in 5) but you all know this right.

The earlier sequel films feel a little baggier, especially 3 with rival police academies (?) giving an excuse to bring Art Metrano back, with diminishing returns and trying to coast on Steve Guttenberg's charm.

7 is widely considered awful - I can only remember the sideplot of Lassard being taken in by a Russian family and tipping some borscht down a sink - but I say you should watch it to remember the good old days of perestroika and new optimism about post-Berlin Wall cooperation and liberal domination.

None of them are better than a 7 out of 10 (being generous) but Bubba Smith, Michael Winslow, and George Gaynes are good value throughout each one.

DJ Bob Hoskins

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Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2021, 01:12:28 PM »
Homer: "When Marge first joined the police academy, I thought it was going to be fun and exiting, like that movie Spaceballs, but instead it was sad and depressing, like that movie Police Academy."

Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2021, 01:33:19 PM »
When I was about 13 or 14 I had Police Academy 4 VHS and would watch it almost every day. Partly I think this scene gave me strong feelings



The Blue Oyster scenes probably still my favourite in the films.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2021, 01:41:27 PM »
I rewatched all of them a year or so ago, and they aged really really poorly. It felt like a collection of tics masquerading as a movie - you could guarantee that Winslow (who's performing live near me in a few weeks) would do some stupid noise even if the scene would have been better if he'd behaved like a human being. He has absolutely no character whatsoever. Every other person in the movies (apart from Mahoney) has one aspect to their character - she shouts! He's a gun nut! She's got big boobs! He's extremely tall! He's a screaming lunatic! - and whenever they're in a scene, they will display that aspect and then leave.

I guess I'll be the asshole who brings up the Blue Oyster bar, a joke that was unpleasant even by the standards of the time and has aged like Prince Philip. There's a scene in part 2 where the guys in the bar have beaten up a bunch of bad guys. Mahoney drives the wagon full away and Hightower is stood in the middle of the denizens of the bar, receiving adoring stares. Is he happy that there's a club full of gay dudes who don't hate the police? No, he's afraid that one of them might touch him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REwimg6y1Cg

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2021, 02:10:45 PM »
Is it 1 or 2 where Jones runs a couple's meal because they were boasting about not watching television? That always seemed mean spirited to me.

Agree about the Blue Oyster bar as well.

Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2021, 02:24:18 PM »
sad and depressing, like that movie Police Academy."

Not sad and depressing, painful and disturbing.

It's taken me a few years to think that the Simpsons were being somewhat unfair to Police Academy. By the third film things were starting to get repeatative and by the sixth film which I think was Mission to Moscow it was complete and utter shite. Something you might plonk a 6 year old in front of and they might enjoy but not something of any quality.

The first film is a 6/10 comedy film that definitely has it's moments. The second film isn't that great but it's the one I have most memories of as it must have been flogged to death on telly in the late eighties and early nineties I'm guessing. Also Bobcat was definitely imitated a good few times in the school playground.

I'm sure I watched a couple of these films a few years ago so it's something of an occasional nostalgic pleasure for me. Possibly more nostalgia than pleasure if I'm completely honest.

Better Midlands

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Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2021, 03:41:11 PM »
No, he's afraid that one of them might touch him.

That's definitely how I took it at at the time and it does fit with the overall narrative, but watching now at the way he straightens his tie I'm not so sure.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2021, 03:56:26 PM »
Marion Ramsey (who died this year) was so beautiful. Sorry, I know this doesn't add much to the discussion.

Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2021, 03:57:07 PM »
I think it's pretty natural to feel discomfort if you're surrounded by a load of blokes from a fetish bar who are looking at you like a piece of tasty meat though. They are a crude stereotype of the gay community (although actually toned down for that specific subculture if you know about America's leather bars in the 80s) but you're not going to get any subtlety with PA films. I view it more as amusing that these (probably) homophobic macho characters find themselves in a situation that's their worst fear, culminating in them having to just dance with them for a bit and getting the piss taken out of them back at the station.

Better Midlands

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Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2021, 04:10:22 PM »
They are a crude stereotype of the gay community (although actually toned down for that specific subculture if you know about America's leather bars in the 80s)

and a bit out of date by 1984 I'd have thought, I wonder if it was a joke based on Al Pacino's club scenes from Cruising?

Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2021, 04:24:16 PM »
Wayne's World 2 is the only comedy movie I can think of with a genuinely funny, non-hateful "whoops, we stumbled into a gay bar" scene.

Famous Mortimer

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Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2021, 05:14:05 PM »
I think it's pretty natural to feel discomfort if you're surrounded by a load of blokes from a fetish bar who are looking at you like a piece of tasty meat though. They are a crude stereotype of the gay community (although actually toned down for that specific subculture if you know about America's leather bars in the 80s) but you're not going to get any subtlety with PA films. I view it more as amusing that these (probably) homophobic macho characters find themselves in a situation that's their worst fear, culminating in them having to just dance with them for a bit and getting the piss taken out of them back at the station.
The characters we're supposed to like are all homophobes, and the only gay people in this universe are extremely predatory leather daddies. It isn't just a matter of subtlety. Our heroes trick people they don't like into going to a gay bar.

Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2021, 05:18:38 PM »
I've always recalled this exchange from one of the films.

'Just remember - no-one screws with me!'

'Well you never know, maybe one day you'll meet the right girl and all that'll change.'

Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #15 on: July 20, 2021, 05:22:38 PM »
I remember the Police Academy films (the first five, at least) being regulars on ITV weekend/holiday schedules through the late 80s/early 90s - but I'm wondering if in the first one at least, there was some editing done for language/content unsuitable for daytime TV.

Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #16 on: July 20, 2021, 05:46:33 PM »
Yes, the first, and by some distance the best, has a few swears and tits. It has the staple of laddish comedies, secretly watching girls being naked.

I always loved Blanks or Copeland trying to throw Leslie Barbara's classwork out of the open window.

Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2021, 05:56:24 PM »
The characters we're supposed to like are all homophobes, and the only gay people in this universe are extremely predatory leather daddies. It isn't just a matter of subtlety. Our heroes trick people they don't like into going to a gay bar.

But isn't it only the unlikeable characters who end up in the bars? I don't think there's any suggestion that Mahoney, Hightower etc are homophobic, but they know some of the others are which is why they put them in such an awkward situation.

The joke doesn't really work if it's not a leatherman bar (part of the joke is that they're dressed in a similar way to the police themselves), but I don't think they're portrayed as predatory. On the contrary, they look intimidating but they always just innocently dance with whoever comes in.

Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #18 on: July 20, 2021, 06:55:48 PM »
A favourite recurring joke of mine from some of the sequels was the young lad always involved in violent, but good natured, fistfights with his old man. I'm trying to remember why they were introduced now - was Tackleberry dating the lad's older sister? I think it freaked even him out, though the mother of the family found it all amusing enough.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

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Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #19 on: July 20, 2021, 07:02:01 PM »
All of the Police Academy films were a load of unfunny shite. HTH.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #20 on: July 20, 2021, 07:03:31 PM »
I remember watching the Police Academy TV series when I was a teenager and finding it somewhat erotic, although it was probably just a few women in bathing costumes and the odd pair of buttocks in the show.

Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #21 on: July 20, 2021, 07:08:22 PM »
Watched the rest of 6, all of 3 (not that funny really) and some of 5 today (there was nothing else on television). I think Harris is funnier than Mauser but they are both good comic foils.




Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #22 on: July 20, 2021, 07:10:55 PM »
Harris is fantastic. His monologue while he's drawing on the blackboard is superb.


Bad Ambassador

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Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2021, 07:29:39 PM »
I rewatched them a few years ago, and found that 5 has some unusally stylish shot choices, as well as Rene Auberjonois as a villain.

Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2021, 07:32:59 PM »
"How you doin'... Mahomo?"

Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2021, 07:37:17 PM »
Harris is fantastic. His monologue while he's drawing on the blackboard is superb.
I was mildly surprised when flicking through channels a few years back to see him as a regular in one of those American police shows, playing a grizzled veteran detective - maybe it took him 20 odd years to move past the Harris-related typecasting.

Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2021, 08:16:33 PM »
You know what C.O.P. really stands for?

No, sir. What?

Collection Of Pissants.

Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2021, 08:21:59 PM »

petrilTanaka

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Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2021, 09:25:14 PM »
it was the eighties so they had the obligatory cartoon version

check the nick of the pound shop Morris Major vocals

Re: Police Academy films
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2021, 09:30:02 PM »

Can't believe that the Robocop (Robotic Police Officer Film) Academy never got made.

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