Jay Allen Sanford 1 p.m., May 4
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
- Rated PG | 1 hour, 30 minutes
The moviegoer's first introduction to Pee-wee Herman, and both of them should be very happy about it. Jerry Lewis would seem to be the comedian's closest screen cousin, at least in measurement of time, but he even bypasses Lewis in likeness to their silent-era forebears, with his complete and unalterable stylization from head to toe (from glazed ceramic face, that is, to mincing, teetering, geisha-girl step). Included also in that stylized head, to be sure, are a fully operative tongue and set of vocal cords, with an assortment of giggles and guffaws out of the repertoire of Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig, and their Warner Brothers stablemates, and a speaking voice like a slightly older brother of Lily Tomlin's Edith Ann. But enough of comparisons. In personality there has never been anyone quite like him. His continual responsiveness to stimuli in the world around him, and especially to self-generated stimuli whenever the world lets him down (e.g., the "mad dog" effect of toothpaste froth, or the face he constructs on his breakfast plate out of fried eggs, bacon, pancake, and strawberry) will no doubt be perceived in terms of childlikeness -- or, since he is not an actual child, in terms of dementedness. But in his indefatigable alertness to the physical world he makes an example for intellectuals too. And his attitude toward that world is nothing short of philosophical. Directed by Tim Burton. 1985.