Untamed Heart (1993) review

Off-Topic Introduction

So the past few weeks I’ve been struggling to find something to write about.  There’s a few things I’ve been wanting to get to, but being a spur-of-the-moment kind of guy, I just couldn’t summon the willpower to get to them.  So first I’m thinking, “Hey, I’ve recently got through the original Star Trek series?  Why not review that and joke about how The Last Jedi pissed me off so much it made me into a Star Trek fan?”  But then I thought, “Oh Christ, it’s going to take me forever to point out which episodes I liked and why, which episodes sucked and why (and why some episodes from season 3 didn’t just plain suck, they sucked cock), let alone find some gifs that I want to use to highlight these moments.”  Then I thought about posting up an old drunk review I made a long while back on Friday the 13th.  Because it’s October.  I even got about halfway through finishing it, but then I thought, “It’s such a pain in the ass to find the gifs I want to use for this; I wish I still had the fucking thing (illegally) downloaded onto my computer from way back when so I could do it with ease; now I gotta track down gifs from other sites and youtube videos to help make my point; which is making me put in more effort than when I reviewed the damn thing; fuck it, I’d rather stop this, get drunk, and watch an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and then play Thief II and Quake.”  And then I started getting stressed out and worried that I’m not going to get through that book Gosnell in time to make a review about the movie I saw in an early access showing of it, which made me worry that I won’t get the review up by October 12 or 13 (I still don’t know if I’ll be able to do that), especially when I’m dealing with the death of my aunt and have to go drive out to the coast with my other family members to toss her ashes out to the sea during that time period.  At one brief point, I started just thinking, “Fuck all this and fuck the blog, if I don’t feel like doing it, I’m not going to do it.  I’ll just slack off for the next month or so and say to hell with all the viewers I’ll lose in the meantime.”

But then suddenly, one day, I manage to watch a film that finally lights a fire under my ass.  A movie I was driven (not by a vehicle or anything like that) to see thanks to some negative reviews I read about it.  So for those of you who follow this blog, sorry for keeping you waiting, and sorry for slacking off.

Untamed Heart movie posters at movie poster warehouse movieposter.com

Rated: 3 / 5

So I saw this had some negative reviews (to say the least) on letterboxd.com, and at first I didn’t want to think much of it; even though I don’t trust most reviews on that website anymore (for reasons I won’t get into, at least not for my review of this film). But after reading one review which mentions the guy catching the hockey puck, at that moment I knew I had to see this. Not exactly because I wanted to see that moment per-se, but because I realized this is one of those films from my childhood I caught a glimpse of (my mother was watching it at the time) that never really left my mind. And that, and the few minutes following it, are the only scenes I really remember from this movie (which basically spoils it for me, because that all takes place in the last 20 minutes, though they foreshadow the shit out of the ending, so it didn’t really matter). So it was the nostalgia that drove me to seeing this.

And, as I suspected, the negative reviews weren’t trustworthy for my experience, because I enjoyed this film. But it is worth addressing some of their points.

1.) The big one being that Christian Slater’s character Adam is a stalker, a creep, and the film makes an attempt to make him seem like a great guy in spite of this by having him rescue Marisa Tomei’s character Caroline from an attempted rape.

For example, off-screen, he snuck into her house in the middle of the night to put this Christmas tree in her room.  And he somehow did this without waking her up.  At this point, I’m less interested in him being a creeper and more interested in knowing how he acquired such mastery of stealth.

2.) That last note would be the other major strike many have against the film, using sexual assault and the rescue from it as a plot device to get their relationship started, and to make the creepy stalker boyfriend less creepy.

Regarding point #1, if that was all the information we were given regarding Adam’s actions and motivations, yeah it probably wouldn’t be much more excusable than that of Mr. Grey (but horny bitches still love the 50 Shades films, let alone the books, both of which are of lesser quality than this film, so…). However, that’s not the only information given. It’s clear that Adam is retarded, literally. He’s had mental and physical issues during his early years, which prevented him from having a normal life, and kept him as a social outcast for most of his life. He’s more of a child in an adult’s body. And on that note, let’s just say children have been known to do stuff like that, following around other girls/boys they have an attraction to. Their intentions aren’t devious, they’re innocent. It’s adults who view it as devious and creepy because they know that adults who do this generally tend to be creepers will ill-intent. They don’t even bother considering that ones intentions could be anything other than bad. Growing up and losing one’s innocence sucks.

So in a sense, you could see the polar opposite of Adam with those 2 guys who attempt to violate Caroline. Men who are the same age as Adam, more fully developed mentally, but far less innocent. Just because one grows up and learns of the bad things that can happen in the world doesn’t mean one should let go of that blissful feeling innocence and naivety can bring. It can reap heavy consequences for letting your guard down like that. But the rewards one can gain in spite of the risks (whether because they take a chance knowing the risks, or are unaware of them) is something magical, something this movie strives to show.

So while Adam does follow Caroline around unbeknownst to her, and sneaks into her house to watch her at night (this all happens off-screen), it’s because of a childlike fascination, curiosity, and adoration rather than for lust. Obviously most adults aren’t like this, but due to biological circumstances, Adam tends to be the exception to the rule. And that’s another thing some people reject, or at the very least ignore, when it comes to faulting Adam. They act like this movie is promoting the idea that it’s ok for men to follow women around without their knowledge because they enjoy that sort of thing. No. This movie is saying that in this case one should accept an exception. Because Adam isn’t like other people. And Caroline learns this the more she gets to know him.

That awkward first kiss.

Point #2, sexual assault as a plot device, the event that causes Adam and Caroline’s relationship to start after he rescues her from the perpetrators. Some take issue with the fact that the film uses such a device in this film, considering it tasteless. I say anything can be used as a plot device and make it work. It just depends on the context, if it ties into some theme/character/story that’s in the film and fits within it to keep it cohesive rather than just jutting out like a pimple on the nose. In this case, as pointed out above, one of the reasons is to offer contrast between innocence and sinful. Not to mention Caroline’s downward spiral with her luck in life (if you can call it luck), with her choice in boyfriends of the past, and eventually having one of her past acquaintances coming to do her harm. She wasn’t seeing much to be happy about in life, and experienced much that would eventually make her as much as a sourpuss as many around today. That is until Adam showed up and became a bigger part of her life, a sort of savior who shows her how wonderful life can be, what joys can be found by the naive.

And because of what those 2 perpetrator assholes represent, it was only inevitable they would come back to do harm to Adam later on, showcasing that sooner or later, innocence would be tested. Such childhood innocence is bound to die out one way or another, whether due to actual death at the hands of the sinful because of their naive innocence, or because they lose that innocence when they see how terrible the world (ie people) can be at times. So when this other form of physical assault happens, done for hatred rather than lust, it inevitably leads to the hospital where the foreshadowing comes in more heavily from then on out.

Indicated by the title Untamed Heart (as opposed to the originally proposed title “Baboon Heart”), Adam is one who won’t be tamed. And by tamed, that means the taming of his innocence, of his childhood ways. While that does keep him to be the angel Caroline comes to adore, it also means he is destined to die by the end of the film. Being naive, after all, does have its downsides.

So by the end of it, I didn’t take issue with either of those two points. Now that being said, this film isn’t perfect. There are some elements I do have issue with. The film didn’t have the talent necessary to make the last act work, where Caroline is expressing how much Adam has changed her life for the better because he made her aware of how wonderful life can be with love; true love; innocent love. The film couldn’t figure out a good way to express this, so it stumbles with the last few lines of dialogue. In fact, you could say the last act, the third act, is when the film is at its weakest. It doesn’t do anything to ruin the entire film, but it doesn’t do anything to bring it up another level. It doesn’t do enough to bring everything together in an impact way. And it goes a little too hard with the foreshadowing of Adam’s death, when it thinks it’s being smart and subtle about it. Like Adam, the screenwriters seem to have a hard time expressing themselves here.

Though to be fair, she did nail the emotional expressions in this scene.

But for what it does provide, it’s a nice charming little love story, showcasing a relationship built on a love only childhood innocence can provide. The highlight of this is when Adam and Caroline become romantically involved for the first time. It doesn’t go down the way you would think, but the way it does happen I found to be emotionally powerful and perfectly fitting for Adam’s character.

So yeah, don’t listen to the haters. Give this film a chance. It’s no “greatest romance movie of all time” or anything, not like Frankie and Johnny; but it’s good enough to be worth a watch.

The scene I remembered from my childhood.

 

PS: Oh yeah, and be wary of the DVD version.  It has apparently edited footage from the VHS version.  I’m not sure which version I ended up watching, but I intend to find out at some point.

Shugo Chara Funny Anime GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

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.