The game was created to demonstrate the futility of individual effort.
This is a film that seems to be a cult classic at best, when it should really be an all-time classic. I find it puzzling how difficult it is to get a hold of this film in a physical format. It’s not impossible, and it’s affordable, but you have to go out of your way to do it. Any DVD version that got a release went quickly out of print. The only Blu-Ray versions tend to be “Limited Releases”. And it doesn’t exactly show up on television all that much, even though there is no sex, there is a brief amount of nudity (men’s asses in the showers), and the violence isn’t exactly excessive, especially when compared to films we get today. Hell, this movie is rated R, and PG-13 films get released today that have much more violence and foul language than this film does. Guess we’ve become desensitized to the violence. Ironic, given that this relates to one of several messages contained within the film. Both the being desensitized to violence, and the seeming hindering of historical knowledge. The messages within this film are more relevant today than they were when the film was made.
But political fear is more than an individual experience, and it affects more than personal lives. The morals contributing to it descend from tradition and popular belief, and the rational calculus underlying it reflects the realities of social and political power. Whether by design or consequence—for sometimes the outcome is intended, other times not—political fear reinforces a society’s distribution of power and resources, influences public debate, and compels public policy.
— Corey Robin
In 1894, one of the first films ever was censored by the mayor of Newark, New Jersey. The films is titled Carmencita. It was censored because, during the dance, the woman’s underwear is (briefly) visible. But this was a minor act of censorship compared to what would happen three years later.
The film starts off with an eerie title sequence, beginning with a full moon with some dark clouds around it, which disappears as a lone blue 2D drawn house comes into view along with the title words “Home Alone,” as the single window of the house lights up. It emanates a light creepy and paranoid vibe, with a sense of isolation, a lone individual surrounded by the darkness. If I didn’t know any better, I would say this is setting up for Night of the Living Dead or some werewolf movie. The HOME ALONe title only has the lone letter “e” not capitalized, intentional to foreshadow that it is a young immature individual who will be isolated rather than all the mature people who are capable of being independent and looking out for themselves. A line is underneath these words and the house to give a comforting ground to stand on, but soon disappears at the same time as the title, leaving the house alone, as it grows smaller and smaller within the surrounding darkness. It wouldn’t take much to convince audiences that this could be a slasher film, like this:
Thankfully it gets more cheerful right away, showing a well decorated and lit house. With a cop inside trying to get anyone’s attention. On the one hand, this could be seen as a way to show that (spoilers) villains won’t disturb this family’s fun/holiday. But on the other hand, at least one of the adults could have noticed that a POLICE OFFICER was in the house, which is something that demands attention.
“Kevin, out of the room!”
“Hang up the phone and make me why dontcha?”
The appropriate response would be, “Hang on I’ll call you back,” and then start smacking the shit out of that little asshole so he can learn some discipline and respect his parents, so that he doesn’t grow up to be an even bigger asshole. But that doesn’t happen. Even his dad doesn’t provide any sort of discipline, and it becomes obvious that Kevin is a spoiled brat with irresponsible parents.
“All kids, no parents! Probably living in a fancy orphanage.”
More indications on the theme of parents being around for their children, to raise them/discipline them properly. Or a lack thereof in this case. All the children in the household are living breathing walking representations of the result of irresponsible parenting, and because of that they are selfish with no thoughts of helping others, because their parents never acted accordingly towards them. This is indicated even later on when they’re on the plane to France, where the parents are all in first class, but all the kids are in coach. Only Kevin’s mother questions this, though to be fair first class tickets are expensive, but on the other hand the family seems to be fairly wealthy, what with all the items they have at their house, and that they can even afford to take such a large trip with so many people. The kids are being setup to be the next Alex from A Clockwork Orange.
The first individual seen outside of the household is Marley, a man dressed in black, including black rubber boots, who is shoveling snow off the sidewalks and sprinkling salt so that they won’t be slippery. One of the on-looking kids states, “Maybe he’s just trying to be nice,” which is exactly what he’s being. But Buzz, the owner of the tarantula and BB gun in the house (symbolizing his fascination for things that are creepy and dangerous) builds up paranoia for the two kids looking on the man, including Kevin, by telling them a false urban legend about him. This unfounded gossip builds up an unnecessary sense of dread, which makes them want to keep themselves isolated from the dangers that lay beyond the familiar, a callback to the title screen earlier with the lone house and the darkness surrounding it. Therefore the darkness can have 2 meanings in this case, a sense of dread, or a sense of comfort. There can be nice things, or bad things, in the dark unknown. There are some things to be afraid of, but it’s no good having paranoia add to the legitimate fears, especially when they’re misplaced, such as with the crook disguised as a cop at their house.
This isn’t the first time Buzz has made Kevin terrified of something, as the scenes in the basement show later, where Kevin imagines the radiator as a monster.
“I don’t want to see you again for the rest of the night.”
“I don’t want to see you again for the rest of my whole life, and I don’t want to see anybody else either.”
“I hope you don’t mean that. You’d feel pretty sad if you woke up tomorrow morning and you didn’t have a family.”
“No I wouldn’t.”
The way Kevin is acting, this could be attributed either to a light abusive family, or a lack of discipline making him spoiled, or a combination of both. Then again, there are other films and real life scenarios that have kids who act the same way, even if only for small amounts of time. For example, Tree of Life. Either way, the problem’s with Kevin’s attitude can be associated with the parenting. And once he gets his wish for not having any parents around, getting his wish, he celebrates, doing whatever he wishes around the house, having a ball.
1990. Back then, airport security wasn’t too bad, because you could drive from your house, and get to your flight within an hour in that amount of time. Also, plenty of groceries only cost less than $20 bucks, which can get someone by for at least a week. And this movie was made. God the 90s was so fucking awesome.
The film Kevin watches, “Angels with Filthy Souls”. Right after that scene ends, we see Kevin’s dad on the plane reading the book “Nobody’s Angel”. I believe this implies that many children, Kevin included, are angels, but they are naughty on the inside. They are capable of doing much good and providing much love, but Kevin at the start of the movie is dirty on the inside. Watching this film makes him shocked and scared at what he sees, a reflection of later when he realizes how terrible he has been to his family. And the father, well, I guess it’s implied that there’s not much left to him. And let’s not even get started with the uncle.
Eventually Kevin’s mother is the first to realize that Kevin isn’t on the plane with them, after a long amount of time, an unusual amount of time. It soon dawns upon her that she’s a neglectful parent, just like her husband. But she is now in a situation where she may have realized this too late.
As for more consequences of neglect and fear, this is exemplified by Kevin unintentionally stealing a toothbrush from a store. He accidentally stole it by running out of the store with it because of his unjustified fear of Marley, thanks in part to Buzz. There is a twofold message here. One is that paranoia can cause one to do bad things that they normally wouldn’t do if they weren’t afraid. The second is an indirect reference to parental neglect, how that can drive a child to a life that is not respectable, such as a life of crime. The latter scenario is not something that is a plot point or direct lesson in the movie, but simply a subtle lesson within the movie that can be found if one looks hard enough, like the adult humor in an episode of Freakazoid. Or with Marv stating, “We’re the wet bandits.”
Despite how much of an asshole Buzz is, he does have a point when he says that Kevin could use a couple of days in the real world, implying that this would be a way for him to learn some self-responsibility and be less helpless. Sure enough, that’s exactly what happens to Kevin through the ordeal. He learns how to run the house responsibly, go shopping (without stealing), become less afraid of the outside world (and the basement), and learn to appreciate family as the loneliness gets to him.
“Have you been a good boy this year?”
“Swear to it?”
“Yeah, I had a feeling. Well, this is the place to be if you’re feeling bad about yourself.”
The scene in the church, where Kevin confesses his faults to the man he had been afraid of the entire film, even on how there are times where he says he hates his family, even thinks he hates his family, but really doesn’t. Every child tends to have moments like that during their life.
“You can be a little old for a lot of things. You’re never too old to be afraid.”
And that’s the thing. Fear of the unknown isn’t limited to criminals and monsters. It’s also about what could happen with relationships, if they could get worse, or become irreparable. The fear that you could lose what hope you have left of reconnecting with someone and become more alone than you were before.
I have to admit, for a kid who didn’t know how to pack a suitcase, he sure does know how to lay traps for the burglars. And that’s the part of the film everyone remembers. And it is glorious. The stuntwork combined with the hilarity. That said, this movie is responsible for spawning the terrible kids films that would follow suit for the rest of the decade. The 90s were full of children’s films that had bumbling criminals/jerks who are outdone by kids or animals and their ingenious methods. And they all had the same thing in common, they had some dumbass fucks who are much more stupid then the protagonist(s), and/or the protagonist(s) were ridiculously smart. The 90s had the worst of it. Unfortunately, the 2000s weren’t exactly victimless of this either, but at least less and less of them made it to theaters. This includes Home Alone 4 and 5 (I can’t believe they made that many of these fucking unnecessary sequels).
One other thing. Is that “M” on the doorknob a tribute to the movie M?
Now, I believe I’ve got a critic’s review that I near to tear to shreds. I’m talking about Aaron and his negative review of this movie. He had this to say: “Home Alone is terrible because it is a mean-spirited film populated by nasty people that emotionally manipulates its audience in the most cynical, unconvincing ways possible. It is a misanthropic hatefest masquerading as a jovial holiday jaunt.”
Alright then, show me.
“The McAllisters, we may stipulate, are awful people.  They treat each other deplorably with little-to-no regard for the impact of their actions on others.”
Well, yeah, especially the uncle and Buzz. But you may be exaggerating that a bit.
“This creates several problems for Hughes’ and Columbus’ goals. For one, little Kevin is supposed to be the put-upon youngest child, alternately pestered and ignored and viewed as a burden, such that he has our sympathies. But little Kevin, disrespectful budding sadist that he is, is no more sympathetic than his self-absorbed, hate-filled relatives. Perhaps we shouldn’t be too harsh toward Kevin—after all, he has learned his behavior from a pack of howling mongrels—but a child who says to his parents things like, “Hang up the phone and make me, why don’t you?” and “I am upstairs, dummy,” is not some meek, beleaguered urchin. He is a child who has willfully entrenched himself on the naughty list and deserves at best a stocking full of coal (or perhaps hot manure), not our rooting interest.”
Most children who get raised like this do turn out this way. But I would say it’s too early to be rooting for Kevin. More importantly, the intention was to have the audience shocked at the current relationship between Kevin and the family. It’s not until later in the movie when he learns to take a look at himself and realize how terrible he has been, and tries to be better, starting with taking some responsibility.
For another, this deplorability makes the entire goal of the story—the reuniting and reconciliation of the McAllister family—an impossible proposition to desire.
Or to see that at least some members of the family learn the neglect is not a good trait to have. The biggest problem is lack of discipline, which we never see any parent do. Well, not do well enough, as the worst they did was a “Go to your room!” type of line, but even then Kevin had to be escorted there. That’s not just a fault of the movie, but I feel a fault with society in general. When’s the last time you’ve seen a children’s film where the kid gets punished, a film made within the last decade? At least A Christmas Story kept that element in, and used it well.
Even if one overlooks the thorough reprehensibility of the protagonists, contrivances and inconsistencies of convenience abound. The McCallisters, for example, apparently live on the only street in America where every single family (save one deus ex old man) leaves home for Christmas
Well, 5 families. But for a film with a concept like this, there’s going to have to be some contrivances. Hell, I can find a bust-load of contrivances in the Kill Bill films, that doesn’t make them terrible (at least not for you).
And not only is the street deserted, but it has no small amount of bad luck, what with power and phone outages that are, incidentally, central to the film’s plot–  We need the McCallisters to seem like concerned parents, after all, even if nothing that goes before would so indicate. And we need Kevin to be phoneless so as to make the central dilemma harder to solve—until, of course, Kevin needs to demonstrate what an “adorable scamp” (read: entitled enfant terrible with unchecked anger issues) he is by ordering a pizza solely for purposes of torturing the delivery boy. How, with no phone and no internet, does Kevin order that pizza?
Good point. Only thing I can say in the film’s defense is that the phone lines were repaired at that particular time, and the parents never bothered to call back when the lines were repaired, because they assumed they would be down for the holidays. Even so, you could argue for another contrivance, which again is one that a film like this needs in order for the concept to work. Otherwise, the concept would either have to not be tried at all, or the film would need to be set back a century or two, back in the day where if there were robbers, the kid could probably easily get a hold of a gun his papa taught him to use and blow the crook’s heads off if he didn’t kill them with bear traps first. As for the pizza thing, I think he just wanted pizza, and figured he could do so with help from the video tape, and thought he mine as well as have fun with it in the process. I mean come on, you have to admit, that would be really tempting for anyone age 13 and under. People do pranks like that (or worse) all the time, even people who are older and more mature than Kevin.
Even worse are the character inconsistencies. Granted, Home Alone is not intended to be King Lear (though its implications are just as tragic), but requesting some sort of plausible character arc is not exactly asking for the moon. At the beginning of the film, Kevin is presented as something of a dullard (what the French might call les incompetents), so thoroughly inept that he is panic-stricken at the thought of having to pack a suitcase. Yet once left to his own devices, Kevin becomes something of a wunderkind, able to leap tall plot contrivances in a single bound. As Roger Ebert put it, Kevin “single-handedly stymies two house burglars by booby-trapping the house. And they’re the kinds of traps that any 8-year-old could devise, if he had a budget of tens of thousands of dollars and the assistance of a crew of movie special effects people.”
That part can’t be defended. I wouldn’t exactly call being able to lay such elegant traps a character arc so much as a flat out impossibility for a kid that age in that time period to do without the aid of the Internet. I certainly wouldn’t call it a character arc, it’s a skill capability. The character arc of him turning from asshole to less of an asshole, on the other hand, was handled well.
“Kevin needs to hate his family? Eh, sounds good. Now Kevin, for no apparent reason, sorely misses them? Great, alright, swell.  But Kevin’s wild veering from ill-tempered holy terror to wise-beyond-his-years lover of family is so obviously driven by cynical plot manipulation that it rings utterly hollow.
I wouldn’t say it’s wild, but it is cynical plot manipulation. I’ve seen the same type of arguments made against just about every Steven Spielberg movie ever made, and especially against Forrest Gump. When it comes to this, it’s more a matter of personal taste. What some may find cynical, others may be ok with, and vice versa. But I can see where you’re coming from with this, such as when he sees a family in a house all happy and celebrating. Or when he’s at the church. That said, it is not for no apparent reason that he misses his family. The first indication is when he shouts for his mom after watching that scene from that movie. The second is when he’s watching television, again, but is starting to get bored with it (and at the same time is starting to do less and less crazy “freedom” stunts because after a while the excitement is bound to wear off), and he starts to get lonely. So no, it isn’t for no apparent reason. It’s due in small part to fear, in large part to loneliness.
“But the mercenary emotional contortions of Hughes’ and Columbus’ story and its myriad gimmicks wouldn’t grate so intensely were it not for the mendacity of their true (not pretended) central thesis: That how you treat others doesn’t matter”
On that I disagree. Kevin eventually realizes that he treated his family like shit, and his mother realized how far she has gone with her negligence. Both make a journey to fix these flaws in their traits. I doubt either one has fully succeeded in completely fixing these flaws, but they’re not as great at the end of the film as they were in the beginning.
Guess I didn’t shred the review as much as I’d hoped I would, but I do believe I’ve left some scars.
This review is ported over from Letterboxd. Just you you understand the context of some criticism I make later on in the review.
“Maybe we could paint the house with vanishing cream. Then it would be invisible.”
“That is the stupidest idea I ever heard. What if it rains? Ding-dong! You ever think about that, Kokoshka? It’ll wash the vanishing cream off, and then everyone’ll see us.”
Wow was this a lot of fun! Every single character was great (especially Ernie, the guy with the red hair who had dynamite hidden under his bed). It masters the craft of blending serious moments, down to Earth moments, with over-the-top cartoony and hilarious moments. I was surprised this movie managed to make me laugh as much as it did.
“You have to take time to enjoy these moments in life.”
“I think you enjoy these moments too much.”
It’s films like these that are a bit difficult to review for me. Yeah it’s a solid film, one of the best Eastwood has done since Gran Torino, which was a decade ago. But trying to find things to talk about when I enjoyed the film, and padding it out to a respectable length, I find that difficult for something like this.
I could talk about how there’s a surprising amount of comedy in this, with his anti-PC quips that I know for a fact several people knew ahead of time were coming.
I could talk about the crowd I saw this with, which was made up primarily of old people, Vietnam and Korean War veterans. And how there was this one old lady who laughed too often a little too loud.
I could talk about how this is loosely based on a true story (ie inspired by), where the film mainly gets the jist of the real-life events and character, but took plenty of liberties with it. But that’s why the film itself never really prides itself on being a true story. It’s not trying to be that per-se. It is its own thing.
I could talk about how crazy it is to see Eastwood directing and starring in a film at his age. How I keep thinking that this is the last film he’s going to do, and then he does another one. I always keep wondering just how many more he still has in him.
But the fact of the matter is that this is a fairly straightforward movie, without any real twists and turns. So I figure it’s more important to focus on the message Eastwood is trying to deliver here.
The film starts off in 2005, where Eastwood’s character Earl Stone (name changed from the real life individual Leo Sharp; that’s how loose of an adaptation this is) is doing his usual florist business. But he sees an early sign of things to come, with cell phones and the Internet offering a new avenue of selling and purchasing products. Sure enough, 12 years later (roughly a year after Leo Sharp actually died), his home is foreclosed due to his business doing terribly with everyone opting to buy flowers (among other products) online rather than in-person. His business is over, and other businesses are closing down as a result. There is always suffering to come with change. Out with the old, in with the new.
Thankfully, the film also doesn’t shy away from the other downsides to the Internet. As efficient as it makes things for various businesses, whether it be retail, talking/texting over cell phones, among other things that can also be used to help drug cartels run their business; it also makes people too reliant on it. This is demonstrated in this one scene where Eastwood helps this black family out who suffers from a flat tire… who don’t know how to swap it for a spare. Becoming too reliant on one thing has its downsides.
While change has its upsides with more efficient business with technologies and ways of social life have their upsides, there are also downsides, as demonstrated with the drug cartels who have no problem killing off one another to gain a higher position of power, who may not be as intelligent as they think they are when it comes to running a business. Just as the drug business has its upsides and downsides. In this film’s case, on the one hand one can make a lot of money in the business. On the other hand, many tend to have a short life expectancy doing that sort of business.
So the film is partly a reflection of the past, and taking jabs at the way things are now, while also having a sort of acceptance to it regardless. While showcasing that times have changed with how people are meant to speak to one another (by “filtering” their words), it also doesn’t have a problem showing that there are still some towns that are still about as xenophobic as they were in the 60s, where Earl stops at one point to have a sandwich with his Mexican “friends,” and the whole time everyone is giving them “looks;” and a cop shows up who is about as racist of a caricature as many would have you believe is the rule rather than the exception nowadays. But the reflections mainly happen with the people Earl hangs out with, those he financially supports; and the songs he sings during his drug runs while taking in the scenery.
And, of course, there’s the whole issue of family. This usually tends to be Eastwood’s weak point when it comes to film-making. He never seems to be able to pull off family aspects without coming off as way to sentimental, overdramatic, etc. The prime example of this can be found with True Crime. The black daughter in that movie needed to die; the mother/wife needed to take a chill pill and shut the fuck up; but the dad was ok. Let alone that stupid zoo scene.
Thankfully, in this film, the family drama is actually solid. Which is something I honestly wasn’t expecting. Especially with Alison Eastwood, Clint’s daughter, playing the role of his actual daughter. It worked. Which helps, considering the other major theme revolves around the consequences of putting family second to work. The film doesn’t go as in-depth with this as I would’ve liked, considering how work is usually necessary, financially-speaking, to keep a family together. But it’s implied that it was prioritizing his time socializing with others and being the center of attention at parties, rather than prioritizing his time with his family, so it’s not exactly a weak section of the film. Just wanted it to be a bit stronger is all.
And yes, the film does get tense at times; but there’s plenty of laughs to be had too at many points throughout the film. The kind of laughs those of us can appreciate who aren’t overly sensitive. And honestly, the quips aren’t anywhere near as anti-PC as in Gran Torino (I wish they were, but that’s not where the film has its priorities). The humor, in fact, acts as a good way to cut the tension, especially considering that Earl is naive to just how out of his depth he really is, until much later on in the film. To the point where when someone attempts to intimidate him for the first time, he starts making jokes about the guy being a dictator for several minutes. The film is as funny as it is tense as it is dramatic.
All around solid, albeit straightforward. Recommended.
Alright, time to give women their due. There is a movie in existence from the 90s (well duh; you’ve probably read the title) directed by the Wachowski Brothers (as they were known as back then), which has two female protagonists.
A couple weeks ago we were challenged by Anomalous Host to find a film for him to review. And he suggested, which is what we kicked off November with, Frankenstein & Me; some kind of a family film about a boy who wants to bring to life his own Frankenstein monster. So we thought, “Wouldn’t it be a good if we picked something in a similar vane? Like a family movie? So we thought Hocus Pocus […]
[…] We decided to throw Anomalous Host under the bus by instead requesting that he review Ghost Dad, starring Pills- pills, what pills? Bill Cosby.
You miserable bastards. Hocus Pocus would’ve been fucking perfect, especially with the news story out there about how many millennials are turning to witchcraft to fill the void of Christianity, which will eventually be overtaken by Islam who will lead the next wave of Salem Witch trials where they will stone witches and bitches to death. Plus it would’ve given me an excuse to not just tackle that movie and virginity, but also tackle Nostalgia Chick, who is an obvious influence on you guys. I’ve seen some of her videos, I’ve seen how some of her dialogue is mirrored by you guys.
Normally I’d want to do a dual review in a case like this, but I can’t do dual reviews while drunk anymore (last time I did that I binge drinked and watched Battle Royal 1 and 2, and that endeavor lasted me at least 6 fucking hours; and I’m not doing it!). So I’ll save Hocus Pocus, and Frankenstein & Me, for another time (for all you readers, I recommend both films; fuck the haters, haters suck). So it will just be this film. And as you can tell from the title, I’m not going to be doing this fucking sober. So fuck you guys for making be review a movie I probably can’t get through sober, fuck you for choosing it over Hocus Pocus, and triple-fuck-you for not reviewing Thankskilling 3 for Thanksgiving. At this point, you fuckers deserve that movie.
And one last thing. You didn’t throw me under any fucking bus. I’m the one driving that motherfucker and running these flicks over myself (except for the decent ones I stop for to give a lift). Because this film was released in April of 1990, which suits me just fine considering I needed to watch it for my next entry in my Nostalgia for the 90s series. I guarantee that you hurt me more with that Combat Shock movie.
Edit (11-22-2018): Ok, I got that wrong. Ghost Dad was released in June 1990.
PS: For those not familiar with my drunk reviews, these are reviews I pretty much type out in real-time, without bothering to correct too many typos when I catch them, and don’t really do much in post except add in some gifs and pics and vids. Because I’m pretty sure some visual images are needed to make sense of the incoherent mess you’re about to witness.
Rated: 2.5 / 5
Oh God. Those Universal Studios intro clips. I have a fondness for the last two, the ones from the 80s and early 90s. It’s about as good as the original intro logos HBO used to have.
Wait a minute. The director is Sidney Poitier? THAT Sidney Poitier? What the fuck? This movie better be better than its reputation claims, or I’m going to be sad. And I don’t wanna be fucking sad when I’m fucking drunk! I wanna be either really happy or really pissed, and nothing else!
Strange way they did that title.
“Ok sweetie, it’s storytime. Let’s see. Where’d we leave off last night?”
“With me coming into the bedroom, feeling dizzy, and then passing out?”
“Ah, right. So then I proceeded to–
Ok, the dialogue didn’t happen like that. Goddamnit! It’s so fucking hard to do this without bringing up a roofie and rape joke!
“Never, in the brilliant career of 300 years had the ghost been so grossly insulted. So he decided to enter the twins room and give them a scare–“
Aren’t we getting ahead of ourselves here? Cosby isn’t dead yet. I mean, I know it feels like he’s been around for 300 years, and I’m pretty sure this wasn’t the first time he snuck in to a room with passed out twin girls, but shouldn’t we wait a while before hitting him with the dead jokes?
Alright, I gotta stop with this. No more rapist and roofie jokes, I promise. Not unless this movie makes it too fucking easy to pass up on.
The daughter looks bored, heheh. Oh, it’s because she’s listening to a cassette player of her dad reading her a story. Well then fuck this guy. I mean seriously, not only is he not there to tell her a bedtime story in person, but the recording doesn’t even do it for longer than 1 fucking minute! Fuck this guy!
Now this movie just isn’t realistic. It’s a black family with a single father? Thought it was usually single moms that ran black families, with the dad ditching them when the family became too much of a pain in the ass for him. On the other hand, the dad isn’t there much for the family anyway. I take it back, this movie is a bit realistic. I’m going to assume the mother died or something before he could walk out on them.
Goddamnit! Just how much are they going to rub it in our face that this is a dad who puts his work far above his family? We have the, “he’s too busy to tuck them into bed,” routine. We have the, “he’s too busy to remember their birthday,” routine. What’s next? The, “Oh shit, I forgot to pick them up from school!” routine? Or the important phone call that the kids interrupt routine? Come on, what do you have?
He forgets her fucking name!?!? What the fuck, is she adopted or something? Did he take her out of foster care when she was 15? Does he have Alzheimer’s? This is bullshit!
“You take out your own garbage?”
“We pay people to do that for us. Anyway, I wanted to show Danny my new bike.”
“You mean you have a new possession and you actually want to show it off? That doesn’t sound like you Stewart.”
“Yeah. You can’t get this kind without connections. And, uh, it’s a lot faster than Danny’s. But it should be, since it’s about, uh, twice as expensive.”
“You’re a Republican aren’t you?”
Man, they really try to get ya when you’re young don’t they?
“You are so funny?”
“Well I’m not that funny.”
So far, I agree.
Ok, what the hell? I mean, I appreciate the tension with that elevator bit and all, but how the fuck is it that no one in the fucking building seems to be reacting to an elevator that just crashed from the top floor to the bottom floor? Not that this is realistic anyway, because there’s other countermeasures elevators have (which is why it wouldn’t surprise me if some Final Destination movie did that somewhere; I stopped watching them after the 3rd one, so I wouldn’t know), but I’m trying to give the movie some fucking credit here.
“Thanks. I’m trying to quit.”
Ok, now that was a little funny. I miss the days where they could drop the shit-bomb in kid-flicks. You know, like the Monster Squad, or The Sandlot.
Someone’s been playing Crazy Taxi too much. Oh wait, that didn’t exist yet. Oh God, that means this is a legitimate maniac driving the taxi! Aaaaaaaaaaagggggghhhhhhh!!!
Ok, that was a decent bus effect. Though that scene with the cop was just plain stupid.
I just started thinking, which is something I shouldn’t be doing for these reviews: what would make this movie more interesting? If Patrick fucking Swayze showed up. If that happened, we’d have one of the best ghost comedies of all time.
This doesn’t make any sense, this whole thing of him walking on solid surfaces, and then having trouble doing so when he’s in his home. I mean seriously, is the floor ghost-proof or something?
Is that Legends of the Hidden Temple on the television? No, it can’t be, that didn’t show up until 1993. So what is this kids obstacle course show? Seriously, I have a fascination for these things from the late 80s to the 90s.
Wait, so he can sit easily in his chair now!? Ah fuck it. Ghost movie logic.
Speaking of which, his kids can see him when the room is dark, but not when it’s lit up. Hmmm. Wonder if that would still happen if the ghost was a white guy?
Astonishing. The film actually has it revealed early on to the children that their dad has become a ghost. Usually films like these have 20 minutes of bullshit shenanigans before making that reveal, but this film just does it early on. I’ll give it kudos for that.
Bhahahaha! Ok, I’m not sure if this film was trying to be funny or not, but seeing his children celebrate that he’s a ghost is one of the funniest fucking things I’m probably ever going to see in films. I seriously doubt this film is going to top this moment in terms of segments that made me laugh out loud. But it’s exceeded my expectations a tad so far.
Heh, it’s also kinda funny hearing Cosby do that “ghost talk” in a manner only Cosby can do.
“Stick these on your forefingers.”
Oh my God, he’s giving him a Scientology test.
“I sensed a disturbance in the spirit ether.”
Oh, is that what they’re calling the Force now?
Aha! I called it! The wife died.
I’m actually liking this little twist on the ghost story. How people can become ghosts because heaven “misplaced paperwork,” or something like that, so sometimes people stay on Earth temporarily in ghost form until heaven gets their shit together.
Whoah whoah whoah whaoh whoah! A fucking lightsaber sound effect? Alright, now I’m pissed that these motherfuckers refer to the Force as a “spirit ether.” Hacks. Fuck you. And fuck Kathleen Kennedy too.
Ok, come on. They’re dragging on the whole “Edith is a girl’s name” joke too much, and it wasn’t funny the first time.
Well, this actually has a decent heartfelt moment. He has a good excuse for putting work over his children. Because the wife died, he used up his life-insurance funds to try and help her, and mortgaged the house too to do the same. He’s been trying to work hard and get enough funds to put himself and his family back on track. Kudos again, for not making him a 2-dimensional “job first” character.
“I’m talking about the fact that I want to concentrate, and the view and the sunlight is distracting.”
“… Ok, I’ll buy that one.”
Hah! I could imagine that line being used a lot in the screenwriter’s room.
Health inspection for life insurance. I just know this is going to contain some bullshit. X-Ray portion: bullshit. Checking your heartbeat: bullshit. Bunch of incompetent doctors. … Then again…
Ok, come on. Now this movie can’t decide if it wants to be a movie about a ghost or about an invisible man.
Lady attempting to have sex with the Bill Cosby ghost. Come on, you can do this. You can make it through without doing another rape/roofie joke.
Jesus, they are making that Stewart kid into a real (republican) dipshit. Spoiled, semi-rich, blackmailer who has no intelligence (seriously, your plan is to blackmail an “alien”? Why not tell Batman you’re planning to rob him while you’re at it?). He does have one of those cool glowy phones though.
“Put the bitch on the phone!? Put the bitch on the phone!? The bitch!?”
Those 3 lines need to be put on a T-shirt.
Ahhhhhhh, Jesus. All the shit that’s going on, and it’s going to pull the whole “kids are disappointed in their father at the end of the 2nd act” routine? You know, I really shouldn’t be bitching about something like this, considering what I was expecting out of this movie. But this film dared to show me some moments of potential to indicate that it could’ve been good. But a combination of cliches and eye-rolling moments, and leaps in ghost logic (which I’m pretty sure means fuck-all to just about everyone except for me) just keeps bringing this film back down to the level I was expecting. And that fucking pisses me off even more. Come on movie, be good. BE GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODDD!!!!!!!
Man. So for the magic trick this kid is planning on doing. A black kid has himself in a straitjacket, while wrapped around in chains, and locked in a magic box? Good thing this isn’t the 1700s or someone would think he’s about to go up for auction. That’s 1 of 2 reasons (though I’m sure there’s more) as to why the teacher shouldn’t allow this stunt to happen, but he does anyway. I do like how much more lax the 90s were.
“How am I doing?”
“You’re getting an A.”
How the hell did this guy from London track down Cosby’s location? Ah fuck it, he’s got a lot of science shit that probably acts as a compass, and some computer tech, and all sorts of made up Star Trek bullshit that probably makes it logical somehow in this universe.
Fuck you for bringing up the “girls’ name” joke again.
So he’s not dead, but in some coma, where his spirit has temporarily left his body. Whatever you say to give this a happy ending.
“Let’s check the riverbank!”
Bullshit! Check the fucking hospital you dumbfucks!
Phahahahahahah!!!!! Oh my– Hahahahahahahah! Ooooohhhhh my God. I take it back. I thought them cheering when they learned he was a ghost was the funniest moment in the movie. It’s not. It’s when the daughter slips on the skates left by the dumb cunt littler daughter, rolls down the stairs, and somehow flies out far enough to smash into the television (or microwave) and stool. I mean, I know it sounds fucked up to laugh at something like this. But, Jesus Christ, that little build-up moment they had to this at the beginning of the film, and that it happened at that moment, and just how fucking far she had to fly from where the stairs were to smash into all that stuff. I’m fucking dying here. It was worth watching this movie just for that moment that brings me endless joy (well, maybe not endless; just for the next half hour or so). I don’t care how shitty the rest of the film was, it was worth it just for that.
Oh, Jesus fuck! That’s not how you carry a patient from one hospital bed to another! You don’t pull on her fucking head! Christ, as if this wasn’t funny enough.
Superfast recovery once the ghosts get back into their bodies. Too fast, especially for the daughter who should be in a fucking neck brace right now.
Ok, this is also kinda funny. Cosby finds that lunatic Satan-worshiping driver again (who somehow isn’t arrested by now), and basically tells him to commit suicide. And he drives off, leaving the audience under the impression that’s exactly what he’s going to do. Man, that’s got to be a first for a “family” movie.
And the movie ends just like that. With Cosby happy, back from the dead, but jobless, poor, and likely to live a life with a minimum-wage job for the rest of his life, unable to support his children. And he’s pissed off his rich Republican neighbor kid. He’s fucked.
It’s honestly not as bad as I thought it was going to be. Aside from some swearing, some sexual innuendo, and convincing a lunatic to commit suicide, it’s not a half-bad family film. On the other hand, families should loosen up a bit and let their children enjoy shit like this, because it’s not as if they aren’t going to here the words “shit” and “bitch” when they’re at school, or anywhere else for that matter.
Plus it has these two hilarious laugh-out-loud moments, one of which may be intentional, the other of which is definitely unintentional.
But I don’t think it was bad enough to qualify for a drunk review. Couldn’t muster up anything that drunk-type-worthy for this film. Ah, whatever.