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Bill Murray , Harvey Atkin , Ivan Reitman    Unrated   VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)

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Bill Murray plays a hip camp counselor at a summer facility for geeky kids and assorted losers. Murray's brand of ironic comedy feels grafted onto this banal and sentimental 1979 celebration of misfits. The comedian's frequent director, Ivan Reitman (Ghostbusters), was still finding his sea legs with this one, and he nearly convinced everyone at the time that Murray's film career was never going to happen. --Tom Keogh

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Murray July 18 2004
I think there are two types of people in the world -- those who get Bill Murray and those who don't. For those of us who intrinsically get him, he simply has no peer when it comes to pulling off the kinds of comedic characters that he portrays. It's not so much about what he does, but who he is and how he presents the character that matters. As the head camp counselor "Tripper", Murray is funny but he is also so much more than funny: He gives the movie it's heart and humanity, without which, it would be nothing more than a series of sophomoric pranks. In my opinion, that is why this movie works when all of the others in the series are deplorable.
To be sure, this is one of the definitive "summer camp" movies of all time; just as Caddyshack is one of the greatest golf movies ever made. But for those who somehow just don't get Murray, there is little that can be said that will convince them to like either movie. Even with as much commercial success as he has had, I believe his comic genius is still way underrated. I have given this movie four stars because I reserve five star ratings exclussively for movies which I believe are exceptional, and because the transfer of this movie to DVD should have been handled with greater care. Otherwise, it's a solid movie with plenty of laughs and some tender moments as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spaz & Fink Rule!!!!!!!! Nov. 17 2002
I can hardly call this a great film but it is entertaining. In my case I, at the time this film was released, was the same age as some of the junior campers in the film. For me watching this film brings back the memories of my camp years. While some of the pranks that takes place in this movie, like carrying the camp director out in his bed and leaving him on the side of a road, strung up in the trees or out on a lake, are a bit over the top some of the other pranks are not. When I went to camp the campers and counselors pulled similar stunts such as running underwear up the flag pole, canoe battles and boys raiding the girls cabin. As I grew older I realized these night raids to the girls cabin that I participated in were carefully orchestrated by the counselors so that we wouldn't find the girls in embarrassing situations but at the time I thought it was real and it was fun. That's what MEATBALLS (MB) is.
MB captures not only the scenic beauty of camp surroundings but the beauty of being young and carefree. MB gives a great example of pre-teens, teens and young adults living their summer with no concerns other than guys hooking up with girls and girls hooking up with guys and booth having as much fun as they can before they head back to junior high & high school and college. The opening title song that goes "Are you ready for the summer?...no more homework no more books, no more teachers dirty looks..." describes exactly how summer is viewed by school kids.
I personally enjoyed the two campers Spaz and Fink. What boy, nerd or jock, didn't spend all camp trying to cozy up to some pretty girl camper? What guy didn't want to be accepted by the other campers and counselors?
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Format:VHS Tape
'Meatballs' is one of my all-time favorite films. I can watch it repeatedly and never grow bored with or get tired of it. It works successfully on several different levels. It has some truly memorable funny moments, a lot of them. It also has some touching, moving and poignant ones, as well. Anyone who has ever been to summer camp, just camping or been a kid, will find much to identify with and relate to. I really don't understand why so many well-known film critics "reviewed" this warm and wonderful family film so harshly. I always feel good and upbeat when the film's end credits roll to a close, although I am always sorry and a little bit sad when it is over. Anyone who is looking for an entertaining, enjoyable and bright family film won't be disappointed. Anyone who loves summer and has wonderful memories of summers gone-by will enjoy 'Meatballs'. It is about having a good time, making friends, memories, being a kid, growing-up and saying goodbye. It is very realistic, especially for anyone who has ever had a wonderful time and been left with bittersweet memories of the day it all ends and you have to say goodbye to good friends. It is a real pity that the so-called sleazy and cheaply-made sequels chose to start off in the gutter and go downhill from there. Start and stay with this wonderful family comedy film and avoid the would-be and in name-only sequels. You won't be sorry. These later, cheap rip-offs didn't have Bill Murray or anything else that made this film so wonderful and most fortunately, none of them can possibly do anything to give this fine film a bad name or reputation. It has lasted and stood the test of time and stands sturdily on it's own merits and truly towers over any subsequent films that have very misleadingly used the name 'Meatballs' in their titles. Read more ›
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5.0 out of 5 stars CLASSIC! June 26 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Anyone who grew up in the eighties has to remember and love this film.
Please don't listen to reviewers who call this movie sophmoric and cruel. It does have a little low-brow humor BUT for the most part the film is surprisingly kind-hearted and sentimental (a perfect way to remember childhood).
Even if you don't purchase this movie, do yourself a favor and rent it. You won't be disappointed.
Some classic lines:
(what other movie has so many quotable lines?)
"the kids wanted adventure so this year each camper will stalk and kill his own wild bear."
"Spaz, Spaz, Spaz, Spaz, Spaz! "
"You can change that record, but don't you change! Promise me! "
"Wun you wascally wabbit! Wun! "
"Come on Morty, make up your mind! "
RUDY: "I'm going away." TRIPPER: "You goin to Vegas? Cause if you were going to Vegas I'd be up for it!"
"Well, that's life in the slam-bang, live-on-the-razor's-edge, laugh-in-the-face-of-death world of junior league soccer!"
"You make one good friend a summer, and you're doing okay."
"Spaz! What are you a homo or what? "
"THE EGG TOSS! Probably the most PUNISHING of all food-related sports"
"Ya gotta WANT it, Larry! "
"Come on, Fink, this is weenie WAR! "
TRIPPER: "Roxanne, I have what doctors call very active glands. You're the only person I've told. My folks don't even know."
ROXANNE: "Well, maybe you can have surgery without them knowing." TRIPPER: "Awwww, heck with surgery! LET'S WRESTLE! "
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 days ago by Roy Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Miss movies like these
These comedies are great. Great and fun humor. Yes, there was some toliet humor mixed in, but its so tame by today standards you don't even raise an eyebrow when you hear it. Read more
Published on Sept. 16 2003 by John La Rocca
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Summer Camp Movie Ever
As a person who spent many of my summers at camp I found this movie to be excellent. It also doesn't hurt that this movie stars Bill Murray...one of my favorites. Read more
Published on April 28 2003 by Steven D Agee
5.0 out of 5 stars SOOOOOOOOOOO Funny!
You probably think this movie is stupid and that it is just about meatballs. NO WAY! I'm not going to give this movie away, but it is about a sleep away camp. Read more
Published on Dec 28 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Bill Murray's Best Movies!
I saw Meatballs when I was about 14 years old and I loved it, partly because I was a big Saturday Night Live fan and I like Bill Murray but also because I thought it was a very... Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2002 by Thebookwoman
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, but a classic nonetheless
Bill Murray is basically this entire film. His character will make you laugh even if you are not a Bill Murray fan. Read more
Published on April 12 2002 by Virgil
5.0 out of 5 stars Hardwares air conditioner
"You animal, what are you doing" "Hooking up our new air conditioner!" "An air conditioner, where'd you get it!" "Morty's office! He loves the heat!" "Are you guys, ready! Read more
Published on March 14 2002 by Marilyn Monroe
5.0 out of 5 stars Bill Murray at his comic best
Mr. Keogh's review of Meatballs misses the point so painfuly, there's really no reason to take it seriously. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2002
3.0 out of 5 stars Mildly entertaining
An entertaining coming of age comedy, but not one of Murrays better movies and not one that I am anxious to see over again unlike the bulk of Murray films. Read more
Published on Nov. 17 2001 by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Profound, Moving
This 70's classic remains the masterpiece of Bill Murray's noteworthy career. Murray's years of training in the Suzuki method of acting is plainly evident as he tackles the... Read more
Published on Nov. 15 2001
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