Home Alone review

Rated 4 / 5

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?”
“Yeah.”
“Swear to it?”
“… No.”
“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.

 

Ghost Dad (1990), drunk review

Introduction, and go fuck yourself

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.

The Review

Ghost Dad movie posters at movie poster warehouse ...

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!

john wick hands

“You take out your own garbage?”

“Yes.”

“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.

“Eat shit.”

“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?

So it wasn’t the force Leia used to save herself in The Force Awakens.  It was spirit ether!

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.”

Perfect response!

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.

 

Conclusion

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.

Destination Wedding (2018) review

Rated: 3.5 / 5

So I’ve been curious to see this movie after watching the trailer.  The trailer actually made me laugh, plus I was curious to see how Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves would work together again, considering how long it’s been since Bram Stoker’s (or Francis Ford Coppola’s) Dracula.  Unlike that time, Keanu doesn’t speak with an accent in this film, though I do wonder if it would’ve been more hilarious if he did.

Unfortunately the film wasn’t playing at any theater near where I lived.  Figures, considering it’s a small budget indy film (though that doesn’t mean the film suffers for it, it still looks great).  So I decided to put it off and wait and see if it will be on the rental shelf of my local library a few months from now.

That was, until I read a single-sentence review of the film.

destination wedding pics1

What’s this, a film that makes tranny jokes?  Well now I was more curious to see it than ever.  But being the smartass I am (more emphasis on the “ass” than the “smart” in this case), I decided to make a joke in the comments section of this review.  Bit difficult to resist, considering she took a John Wick assassination jab at Keanu’s character in this film.

Unfortunately, despite my inner warnings telling me I should take a snapshot just in case, my comment was deleted a couple days after being made, and after having several people remark on it.  From what I recall, the comment went something like this: “Nah, he’s off shooting trannies and pansexuals.”  I was tempted to add on to that, “You know, because the pansexuals raped his dog and the trannies shot it.”  You know, in an attempt to consider this a shared universe where John Wick and Destination Wedding can coexist.  But I didn’t want to go that far, so I just stuck with the first sentence.  Had to show some restraint after all.  As for the replies I got…

destination wedding pics2

So first of all, it probably would’ve been more appropriate if my name was Donny.

Second of all, they obviously didn’t see that I gave favorable reviews/ratings for Priscilla: Queen of the Desert and The Crying Game (though I do still need to see Bound and rewatch Boys Don’t Cry).

Third of all, now I realized how sensitive they all are.  Probably should’ve known better, considering the author of the review stated in the comments section that she walked out of the film after the film made its pansexual and transphobic joke.  But now I knew for sure just how uptight their assholes really are.  You probably couldn’t even stick a chopstick up there.  It’s no wonder their so pissy all the time, they probably can’t even get laid the way they want because there’s no one in existence with a dick small enough to penetrate that region of their anatomy.  And on top of that, they probably don’t even remember the last time they squeezed a turd out of their ass, considering they’re so uptight they’re incapable of doing so.  They’re so full of shit they spout out this pro-outrage culture bullshit while virtue signalling, which inevitably happens when you get so backed up the shit starts to seep into your brain.  They make themselves and everyone around them unhappy.  People who are this pissy and this full of shit need to sit on the toilet for at least 20 minutes, learn to relax, and remember what it was like, how blissful it is to have that turd just slide out of you.  They might actually be able to walk around more normally in society without feeling like someone’s jammed a broomstick up their ass.

In other words: STOP BEING SO UPTIGHT AND POLITICALLY CORRECT!!!  Learn to take a joke for Christ’s sake.  Oh wait, they may not believe in Christ.  Let me rephrase that: Learn to take a joke for fuck’s sake.  Hell, according to Zack and Miri Make a Porno, being less uptight so you can get fucked in the ass while congested actually helps.

Christ, I need a drink.

But I digress.  That whole incident made me want to see the film even more, which I eventually did, after seeing that it could be rented on the Playstation Store.  And it didn’t take long before I realized I was really going to enjoy this movie.  Aside from the nice laughs provided early on, it had this dialogue exchange (for the record, the whole movie is basically just Keanu and Winona’s characters conversing with each other), starting with Keanu:

“What do you do anyway?”
“I prosecute companies and institutions for culturally insensitive actions or speech.”
“You’re the politically correct police.”
“Pfft, no.”
“You parse what people say and do and then accuse them of being racist or misogynist or otherwise horrible. You destroy lives and reputations for money.”
“Uh, no.”
“Is that what you dreamed of, a career in reverse fascism?”
“I can’t remember dreaming.”

It’s at this point that I’m starting to realize why it is the film didn’t get a mainstream release, outside of the fact that it’s an indy film, aside from the fact that it’s made differently than most rom-coms (with emphasis on the “com” in my opinion) by having the entire movie stay with these two protagonists who pretty much only converse with each other throughout the runtime.

Ah, but I know what you must be thinking.  “What was that transphobic pansphobic joke that was made earlier?”  I’m glad you asked.

“Why is the minister in a seersucker suit?”
“Because he’s not a minister. He’s Keith’s friend from college.”
“Levy, I think his name is.”
“Kaplan?”
“Kaplan, right. Is he wearing makeup?”
“Always. Usually the Nars Radiant Creamy.”
“If memory serves, he’s gay.”
“The correct term is ‘Effeminate American.’ And actually, he’s pansexual.”
“What does that mean?”
“He’s attracted to all genders, gender identities, and sexual orientations.”
“Come on.”
“I’m telling you.”
“How’d he get the gig?”
“He fucked the bride and the groom.”
“Which was like no big deal.”
“Vanilla.”
“I mean, because he would fuck, for example, a man who believes he’s a woman?”
“Absolutely.”
“Or a straight woman who believes she’s actually a gay man?”
“Not a day goes by.”
“What about hermaphrodites?”
“You’d have to think.”

So in other words, it’s a joke about pansexuals who take it to trannies and pannies in the fannies.

Yeah, I went there.  So what?

But in all honesty, I don’t see what the big deal is.  People make jokes all the time about how straight cisgendered men are pigs who always want to fuck the next straight hot female they see, yet you can’t joke about who or what trannies and pannies want to fuck because… they’re underprivileged or underrepresented or misrepresented or something?  Well what the fuck makes you think straight people who are steadfast in their sexual orientation and are confident that their gender matches their DNA and what they were born with aren’t being underrepresented or misrepresented either in numerous cases (nevermind that there are plenty of white people who are underprivileged; go see American Heart for an example).  Because that’s the hill they want to die on.  And I can’t help but laugh and treat it as a joke.  Because it is a joke.  That’s why stand-up comedians from pre-2005 were taking jabs at that sort of shit all the time.  And make no mistake, it’s ok to joke about everything and everyone.  Jokes are universal and gender-neutral, and I’m not talking about the watered-down kind.

Which brings me to the point of this movie.  Yes, with all that talk of trannies and pannies (I’m lazy and I prefer using less syllables and less letters, regardless of how blunt and anti-PC it is) and assholes and shit-talk I’ve been doing, there’s actually a way to come back full-circle and tie that in with this movie.  And for the record, that dialogue exchange quoted above is the only instance I could find of the film making a joke about sexual orientations.

The two protagonists are individuals who have built walls around themselves throughout a good portion of their life, whether due to their upbringing, a failed relationship, or a combination of both.  They resist any attempt at having a relationship with others to avoid feeling that pain again.  This resistance comes in the form of bickering, both to and about each other, and about everything and everyone around them.  They are pessimists to the extreme.  Anything that can be viewed in a positive light they always find a way to look at in a negative light.  From the petty things such as airplane food, massages, various locations hobbies and trivial things; to more significant things like relationships and an overall outlook on life (and the afterlife to a small extent).  It’s done primarily for comedic effect, but it can be taken in that serious manner as well, especially during the last act of the film.  The film does have it’s traditional 3-act structure similar to most rom-coms by having the couple starting out by hating each other, to finally having sex with each other and developing a friendly (at the least) relationship, to the (sort of) break-up and ending with the (potentially) getting back together at the end.  But it does this by having the characters talk to each other like the writers from The Social Network wrote the script for them (they didn’t, it was just one guy named Victor Levin, who also directed the film, who is mostly experienced with writing for television shows rather than full-length feature films; but the fast-paced dialogue reminded me a bit of that).  And they don’t beat around the bush during the third act, they straight up tackle the subject of long-term relationships head-on.  They are aware that it is highly unlikely that it would ever work out, they weigh the pros and cons (primarily focusing on the cons).  They don’t treat their chances any differently than the chances of the couple who’s wedding they attended (who they also bad-mouthed and said they would likely turn out miserable later on in life).  Because while opening oneself up to such a passionate relationship can feel great at the start and for a while, there’s a good chance you can be hurt and become miserable and bitter for a long while afterwards.  The protagonists know, because they’ve been through it once before.

In the end, they realize how much it sucks to be alone.  How could they not?  They’ve been reminded of what it’s like to have a significant other.  As protected against such emotional attack can be when you’ve closed yourself off and stay isolated, looking for any and every excuse to not get close to anyone else again by having such a pessimistic outlook on everyone and everything; you’re never truly happy by being alone.  So, to take a chance.  To take a chance by lowering your guard and to be optimistic for at least a moment, which may lead to more moments.  Chances are it could end badly, and thus lead to one becoming just as bitter and pessimistic and closed-off as before (if not more-so); but then there’s the off-chance that it won’t.  It is uncertain.  Such is life.

Recommended movie.

PS: Thank you lauren for giving me that push to shell out money to see this flick, and for providing me with enough content to pad this review out to a length that satisfies me.  Here’s to you; may you learn to be every which way and loose, and find happiness in your future.

PPS: For all those pansexuals who read this and didn’t like it, you thundercunts can piss off and go watch Rey getting fucked by a robot.

 

Edit (11-16-2018): So Letterboxd may have shown its true colors (either that or my account on that site got hacked; but I doubt that considering they only did 1 thing as far as I can tell).  They took down my review of this film, which I had already redacted considerably, removing any mention of names of site users like lauren who has such a hard-on for pansexuals and trannies that she easily takes offense at any joke made at their expense, but had no problem making a joke at Keanu Reeve’s expense.  I also removed entire paragraphs of this review just to keep it safe from censors.  Well, not good enough they say.  And like the last two times, they removed it without warning.  Well that’s fine.  Now I’ve got no problem not holding back on any of my reviews I make on that site from now on.  I’m looking forward to them burning me.  I’ll lose much, but I’ve learned that digital friends and family are easy to replace.  They have nothing on friends and family that you can socialize with outside of the digital realm.

So here’s some images that tell of the story, from when I became aware of it yesterday:

Destination Wedding image2
The review, now modified by the admins.
Destination Wedding image3
Comment from Michael that made me aware.
Destination Wedding image
Additional “review” made, as of the date indicated by the “Edit,” that could also get taken down for all I know.

The Voices (2015) review

Rated: 3 / 5

“Being alone in the world is the root of all suffering.”

Warning, this is one of those movies you should see before reading this spoiler-filled review.  So if you haven’t seen it yet, I would strongly advise watching it before reading this review.

I watched this film 3 times.  The first time I was a bit out of it due to being high, the second time I was still high but starting to come out of it.  The third time I rewatched it was because I wanted to make sure I caught as much as I could.  Because this is one of those films that is deceptive in what it shows.  One of those films where the point of view is from the perspective of the protagonist, who is a bit crazy, and doesn’t always see things as they are in reality, thus what we see from his view isn’t necessarily how things actually are.  Basically like David Cronenberg’s Spider, except, well, more deceptively cheerful and definitely more colorful.  Plus this whole film has the dark humor thing going for it.

Continue reading

Ladybugs (and a bonus mini) review

90s rated: 2.5/5

2017 rated: 3.5/5

So my initial interest in this film drew from information I had gathered that this is one of Rodney Dangerfield’s best films, the others being Easy Money and Back to School. But when the film got going, all of a sudden I found another reason to get into it. This film also has the kid who played “Stuttering” Bill in the 1990 It miniseries, Jonathan Brandis. I kept waiting for this kid to stutter, but unfortunately he never did (except for maybe one brief moment in one scene, but that doesn’t count).

Anyway, this movie is a bit bizarre. It seems like it should be a kid flick. It’s constructed like one. Has plot developments like one. Has that 90s kid stuff that makes it seem like one. But it ends up being as much of a kid flick as Game of Thrones is a porno. Sure the latter has some nudity and sex scenes, but that hardly qualifies, even during the first 2 seasons. As for this film, oh man, the dialogue and content are way out there.

She seems pretty concerned doesn’t she?

Where to start? Oh let’s just start with the fucking swearing. There weren’t any fuck-bombs dropped, but they sure let loose with everything else. Asshole, son of a bitch, blind bastard, a girl soccer team called the beavers, bullshit, shit, and bitch are all words uttered at one point or another during the film’s runtime. I mean, I guess I could’ve taken a hint early on by seeing that the film was rated PG-13, but why look at the rating when the poster looks so family friendly?

Now if I was watching this in 1992 (or during the 90s in general), I wouldn’t have thought much else about it. Yeah it had Rodney doing his one-liners (most of which are definitely PG-13 rated), but it also has typical 90s kid hi-jinks and some painful attempts at comedy. If you’ve seen enough 90s films aimed at being comedies, especially the kid ones, you know exactly what I’m talking about. The sort of stuff that if you’re kid talked into seeing today, you would be thinking, “Christ, why didn’t I get an abortion?” It would be one of those films you wouldn’t think to much of after seeing it.

However, this isn’t the 90s anymore. Today’s cultural climate is different (for the worse) compared to that of the 90s. Stuff that was typical and moderate back then is considered far too extreme and offensive today. That isn’t a good thing under almost every circumstance I can think of, but one way in which it is a good thing is that it got me to enjoy this movie more. Back then, it was just a so-so comedy elevated by Rodney Dangerfield’s presence and dialogue with a couple decent morals, marred by some painful attempts at comedy (not all attempts are painful, but there’s enough to make you hurt). By today’s standards, this is one of the most politically incorrect sexist racist perverted stereotypical homophobic films ever made. Not to mention Rodney Dangerfield plays the dirty creepy old man angle so well it would make the Japanese proud. It turned me into one happy masochist. I tolerated the painful moments just to be showered in the anti-PC nature of this film. How the changing of times can make one appreciate things of the past.

Anyway, the plot of the film.  Rodney Dangerfield plays the main protagonist who works for a company that he wants a promotion at.  And he’s not the most pleasant fellow around, he’s a womanizer, and spouts one-liners that put everyone down, of all ages, genders, and races.  And that’s part of his charm, because I’m not going to lie, as despicable and politically incorrect the jokes he makes are, that’s what makes them so funny.  Like much of the stand-up humor back then, the jokes were so shockingly outrageous and offensive you just had to laugh at them.  But in any case, he’s despicable, and is willing to stoop to despicable levels to get his promotion.  So he winds up coaching a girl’s soccer team in the hopes of getting them to win the season.  And he knows jack-shit about soccer, much less how to coach a soccer team.  And as to be expected, the team sucks.  They play like shit and couldn’t win a game to save their lives.

It’s at this point you would be able to guess correctly exactly how this film is going to go from here.  The team is going to learn to overcome their differences/obstacles/lack of talent, they’re going to get better, and they’re eventually going to come out triumphant.  And that does happen, but it’s how it gets there that makes it interesting.  Rather than Rodney mustering up the willpower to read the Soccer rulebook (which his black assistant played by Jackée Harry is at least willing to do, even if I’m pretty sure she doesn’t finish it), or do better coaching, he decides to take his stepson, who is a talented athlete but has issues with authority, to dress up as a girl and join the team and get them to win more often.  Let the tranny and sexist jokes fly (let alone the pedophilia)!

“Oh how I want to tap that young manly ass.”

Oh yeah, this film got fun real fast.  It makes bearing through the “90s painful humor” bits worth it for all that gets unleashed.

Oh and don’t worry.  There’s room for racism too.  Like this discussion between Rodney and Jackee have about sports:

“You know that black people are the best at sports, c’mon! We’re the best runners, the fastest runners, the best at track. We’re the best at baseball, the best at boxing, the best at basketball, football. Hey, you name it! ”

“Eeesh, black people are best at sports. Are you kidding? How about hockey? And waterpolo? Fencing! Best at sports… hey, badminton! Yachting! Best at sports… Oh, I forgot fox hunting! Best in sports…”

And this other moment when their Asian goalie blocks several ball shots, and Rodney says something along the lines of, “She’s become the Great Wall of China!”

I love this film, in all of its anti-PC glory as much as I hate political correctness with all of my little black fucking heart.  The film and Rodney let these jokes fly not giving a single flying fuck about who (or what) it would offend.  Even to the very end (even if the last joke is really stupid), do these jokes continue.

But anyway, back to a more serious note (yeah right), Jonathin Brandis disguises himself as a girl named Martha at the behest of Rodney so that he can teach the game to get better.  However, because the stepson is a selfish prick, he’s all about himself during the game.  Playing on his own, scoring on his own, leaving the rest of the team in the dust and getting pissed at them when they’re not playing on the same level as him.  Basically acting the same way he would when playing with the guys.  On top of that, he rarely puts forth the effort to disguise his voice as a feminine voice, and often still yells around like a dude.  But eventually, he learns to be less selfish, starts teaching the other girls how to play better and function as a team, and by the end they are able to play fine and win games even without his help.  In fact, the final game of the film is played entirely without him.  Have to admit, for such an immoral film, it actually has some decent moral lessons in it.  It’s all brought to light with an inspiring speech by Rodney near the end:

“You don’t need a boy to help you win! You’re women! You don’t need anyone! You’re liberated! You got the vote! You can burn your bras! When you get them!”

Plus he even learns to value those around him rather than his promotion in another fairly decent speech.

“The best, the best. That’s all I keep hearing. You want to be the best. Let me ask you this, what good is being the best if it brings out the worst in you?”

Granted, the last moment of the film pretty much pisses on all of those good morals for the sake of a cheap laugh; but hey, at least they’re there.

But anyway, going outside the box for a moment, this also reminds me of other issues today.  Of guys not only disguising themselves as women, but identifying as a woman, on and off the field.  Like that transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox, and an actual transgender soccer player Miranda Salman, among other cases.  Plus the 2018 Olympics should be interesting since they’ll freely allow transgenders to participate in whichever gender section they feel like, regardless of how they were born.  The point is, as this film shows, and as other real-life cases have shown, men tend to be better than women at sports.  Sorry ladies, but it’s a fact.  You can wipe the floor with us at college studies and the mental games, but we tend to be dominant when it comes to physical sports.  It’s just not fair (and biology proves this) for people born as men to compete in a women’s sports division.  It’s unfair to the other (naturally born) women.  Most women aren’t like Chyna damnit!

That being said, this isn’t the only soccer film to do this concept, and it pretty much fires back against that last paragraph you just read.  Over 10 years later, and a similar plot would be used in another movie, but with the gender roles reversed.

Now, by the end of Ladybugs, I was reminded of She’s the Man.  I remember watching it many years ago, remember thinking it was a so-so film, and didn’t think anything of it afterwards.  But now that I’ve seen Ladybugs and have been reminded of this film again, and have seen some of the comments made about this film in more recent years, comments long the lines of, “This movie invented [modern] feminism.”  In this movie, a girl decides she wants to play soccer in the men’s division at college, and so dresses up as a guy to fool everyone.  And it pretty much goes the same as in Ladybugs, a soccer ball to the crotch joke, a love interest, everything working out in the end.  So I rewatched it, and determined that there wasn’t enough material there for a big review.  Like Ladybugs, it also has annoying humor.  And the first 15-20 minutes is fucking agonizing in that film, it made me question my tastes in films a decade ago.  Then some familiar faces start to show up.  Like, “Hey, that’s Vinnie Jones!  Hey look, a young Channing Tatum!  Hey look, that Jewish guy who shows up in films like this!”  The humor in the film is nowhere near as great or memorable as in Ladybugs, but there’s enough there to keep the movie going once it gets past the first 20 minutes; and then I was reminded of why I didn’t think it was all that bad back then.  I mean, it does have a moment where, when they discover the protagonist is carrying tampons (while she’s playing a dude), she uses the excuse that she shoves them up her nose when she gets nosebleeds, and Channing Tatum takes the advice later on.  There’s also a scene in a pizza restaurant that worked better than I thought it would.  And the flashing at the soccer game.  But then there’s the fact that the protagonist falls for Channing Tatum rather than that hot chick who was into her.  Come on, they were a better fit for each other.  Let the girls kiss each other damnit!

“Kiss her!”

Other than that, it does have a couple characters who pretty much say what I stated earlier about men being superior to women in sports, only a lot more assholish about it.  Because, you know, yay feminism!  Even so, I kinda wonder if even this film would be made today with dialogue like this:

“Listen, I know I should have told you who I was, but I was afraid. I’m sorry.”

Well, you know maybe if I had known you were a girl, we wouldn’t have talked like we did, and got to know each other the same way. And that would’ve been a shame.”

“Just so you know, everything you told me when I was a guy, just made me like you so much more as a girl.”

“Ok, but just from here on in, everything would just be alot easier if you stayed a girl.”

Then again, there is dialogue like this:

“Just remember, inside every girl, there’s a boy. That came out wrong but you know what I mean.”

Honestly though, the movies not half-bad once you get past the first act.

So, back to Ladybugs, some of you outraged fellows may be wondering how it is I could enjoy such tripe as Ladybugs, wondering why it is I haven’t moved on the the immature and intolerable 90s era.  I’ll tell you why.  It’s because I’m sick and tired of the safely manufactured and sterilized humor of today.  Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against safety PC humor in of itself, but only so long as the unsafe homophobic transphobic non-white-phobic humor is still around in other films, which they’re not, nowhere near the extent of stuff like this.  “But isn’t that a good thing, like moving on from The Birth of a Nation films and such?”  No, it isn’t, and here’s why.  Today it’s considered ok (ie open season) to make fun of straight white people.  Today it’s not considered ok to make fun of anyone or anything else (just ask Milo Yiannopoulos).  Worse yet, it’s become taboo, to the point where it can’t even be discussed with people why it should or shouldn’t be ok to use this type of raunchy humor.  And lest we forget, that’s all it is, humor.  It’s not meant to start a gender/race war with anyone, it’s made for laughs (cheap or otherwise).

“But these jokes put those people down as being inferior.”

All jokes do that!  Every funny joke is done at the expense of either some individual or some group of people!  And I’m not biased, I love seeing jokes made at my expense, at white people’s expense, and at straight people’s expense (let alone at the pervert’s expense).  But I want to see jokes fly everywhere at everyone.  In fact, I think it should be mandatory for everyone to be made fun of at some point in time.  It makes them learn how to deal with insults and such (and if they’re quick-witted, they may learn to deal a few of them back), and they learn how to toughen up and not let it get to them.  Or maybe it does get to them and they end up committing suicide.  Didn’t say there weren’t cons, but the pros outweigh the cons as far as I’m concerned, because the alternative is a lot fucking worse as I’ve seen.

“But they should never be put down!”

Says who and by what authority and what logical reasoning?  Let me provide some insight into what some legends of the profession have to say about this (not George Carlin, I’ve used him enough for now):

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Brooks stated: “We have become stupidly politically correct, which is the death of comedy.”

“It’s not good for comedy,” he added. “Comedy has to walk a thin line, take risks. Comedy is the lecherous little elf whispering in the king’s ear, always telling the truth about human behavior.”

Source

 

 

 

 

 

PS: Honestly, I wasn’t planning on ending this on a rant about the current state of comedy.  But sometimes, that’s just the way things go.

 

PPS: Oh, right.  She’s the ManRated: 3/5

 

Mermaids (1990) review

Rated: 3/5

“Sometimes I feel like you’re the child and I’m the grown up.”

“You know, sometimes being a mother really stinks. I don’t always know what I’m doing. It’s not like you and your sister came with a book of instructions. You know, if I can help you, tell me. I’ll give it my best shot, but it’s all I can do.”

“Are we having a fight!?”
“Yeah!”
“Why!?”
“It relieves the tension!”

So here I am watching movies as I usually do, trying to find something that I am able to talk about at length on this blog site. So I initially wanted to go out and see Wind River, but none of the fucking theaters within a 20 mile radius of where I live are showing it. So I watch a few movies from the 90s, since I’m prepping for an epic nostalgia for the 90s series on this site. Some of them were bad, others were good, some were mediocre; none of them had me thinking about it afterwards. Then along comes this little chick flick which appears to be fun family entertainment at the surface, with some mature themes thrown in here and there. Initially, I didn’t think much of it other than emotional manipulation (which worked on me, big time; this fucking movie) and some good acting and a few witty one liners. But moments in the film stuck with me afterwards. That and I’m also desperate for an outlet, with my mind racing a mile-a-minute in a not-so-constructive manner, making me practically needing an edible to calm myself down and slow my racing brain so I can actually focus on what’s in front of me, and stay focused. So what I’m trying to say is that I watched this film high while procrastinating for most of the week.

So first, the title of this film. The mother (played by Cher) dresses up as one at one point, going to a party she isn’t fully comfortable with for the sake of intermingling. Then there’s the youngest daughter who is a good swimmer, and can hold her breathe underwater for a long time. And the oldest daughter Charlotte (the Harlot), played by Winona Ryder, well, she’s tries to be overly religious, often with comedic results, and I’m not entirely sure what she has to do with mermaids outside of some metaphorical/thematic level that only some artistic film connoisseur motherfucker who watches French films and Shakespeare while drinking thousand dollar wine all the time would be able to get. Either that or some half-assed critic like me who will just take a wild guess as to the meaning.

This family of 3 moves around often, mainly because of the mother who sleeps around with guys, and moves away before she can get a bad reputation or suffer humiliation in the town she was in. There are other reasons she does this, the main one being she fears emotional attachment, because she has been hurt too much from breakups of the past. So she’s unwilling to make a commitment unless it’s some 100% guarantee that it will work out, which has never ever been the case for anyone.

Then there’s the main protagonist, Winona Ryder, who dislikes her mother at times and has to put up with her antics. One of her ways of trying to cope is by seeking Catholicism (though Cher make’s the quip, “We’re Jewish.”) Yet she winds up being like her mother (and not very Catholic) in several situations, especially when she gets a crush on a boy and can’t stop fantasizing about him. Basically she wants to escape her life, escape her family, to live her own. You know, like in that movie The Little Mermaid, based on the story where a mermaid wishes to do the same thing, except things don’t turn out that well for her by the end, because Disney doesn’t like sad depressing endings.

There’s the young daughter, of course, played by Christina Ricci, but she is more of a plot device that will be utilized during the last quarter of the film. Until then, she’s there to build sentiment as part of the family. This film is never blunt or obvious about this, but it slowly works its hooks into you. This mainly works because of the family dynamic, how they seem like a real family. Also helps to have Bob Hopskins play a fun character who starts a relationship with Cher. The film also shows the good and the bad with Cher and Ryder’s character, which is fitting because they’re the main focus, the main ones who have a character arc.

But anyway, all this is a build-up to this scene that successfully does what most slasher films wish they could do. They make a sex scene disturbing and emotionally scarring. Yes, Ryder and the one she fauns over have sex atop a bell tower. No, some mutated/psycho/demon killer doesn’t show up to butcher them while they’re doing it. No, this film is far more devious than that.

So let me set it up for you. So the youngest sister (I’ll just call her Ricci) gets drunk before she goes with Ryder to the bell tower. While Ryder is up there getting shown the old in-out in-out, Ricci wanders around drunkenly until she falls into a river. So it intercuts between her drowning, and Ryder having sex. It’s at this point that I started to feel a bit sick to my stomach, and feel like I’ve just been conditioned to never want sex at all in my life. And all it took was some comedy/drama (heavy emphasis on the drama during the last quarter of the film) chick-flick rated PG-13 to do it, rather than a slasher/horror flick.

So first I should say that I was stunned, disturbed, saddened, and hooked. Because the film accomplished its task of making me feel for each member of the family, that the loss of one would be a huge blow to the family dynamic, one in which it may never recover from should it receive such a blow. And this, of course, leads to the big dramatic moment of the film where Ryder gets in an argument with Cher. The big moment where Cher finally lets her guard down, is willing to be real with her daughter, and showcases that vulnerability she refused to let out throughout the rest of the runtime. Thus giving hope that it’s possible she may come around in the future. At the same time, she’s finally able to talk with her daughter without putting up a barrier of judgement and condemnation (even if she does condemn her daughter for what she inadvertently ended up doing to the youngest daughter). She talks about how she didn’t want Ryder to end up like her, yet the path she is leading causes her to do so anyway, the irony of it all being that the mother’s actions of the past and present drive her daughter into being as she is now. To the point where she makes out with the boy Ryder has a crush on, making her even more desperate to want to have sex with him before her mother steals him away from her. It makes me wonder what Cher’s mother was like.

And then the family is shown to be all happy and together again after the whole endeavor. And tears of joy were running down my cheeks. Cut to a few minutes later after the credits were done rolling, and I felt manipulated. I wanted to hate this movie for bringing me to this state. But it is so well made with the character interactions, the sharp witty one-liners, the memorable characters, the comical situations, a couple dramatic moments prior to the big one, the theme of how lack of communication and openness of willing to put your faith in others and become emotionally vulnerable at the risk of being hurt (though the consequences can be even worse if you live your life never being open), that… Goddammit, fuck this movie!

PS: Oh, right, and Ryder broke up with her boyfriend she just got laid by soon after the tragic event. Gee, I wonder why the fuck that is?

PPS: Oh yeah, did I mention spoilers? Well there’s you’re fucking spoilers. If I can get emotionally traumatized from a scene in this movie and live through it, you can suffer being emotionally traumatized by having a major scene spoiled for you in this movie.