Moving Violations Neal Isreal

In the mid-'90s, Neal Israel, along with brother Bob and partner Pat Proft, were responsible for some of the better generation-defining comedies, like Bachelor Party, Real Genius and, dare I say it, Police Academy. Moving Violations was the film Neal made after Bachelor Party and it was largely overlooked. John Murray, the younger, less funny brother of Bill and Brian Doyle, stars as a plant shop owner who is sent to driving school after one too many run-ins with the law. There he meets a gang of similarly bad drivers, including Fred Ward, Jennifer Tilley and the "Where's the Beef?" Lady in a class taught by tight-ass cop James Keach. I remember loving the movie when it came out, perhaps because it contained the same smart-alecky writing style that gave the protagonists in his other movies the last laugh on "the man." However, on further review of all those movies it's clear that what made them work was their stars' ability to deliver the zingers with authority. Tom Hanks in Bachelor Party, Val Kilmer in Real Genius and even, God help me, Steve Guttenberg in Police Academy. Murray is no Hanks or Kilmer and he sure as shit isn't Guttenberg. Yeah, there are a few great lines and some good gags but on the whole it's just flat and predictable. Much more interesting is the director commentary track from Neal Israel, in which we learn that Michael J. Fox was passed over for the film because he looked too young for producers, that the film cost the outrageous sum of ten million to make (keep in mind it was made in 1984) and that it took 60 days to film (a lifetime by any film standards). (Anchor Bay)