Hot Tub Time Machine

Crispin Glover makes ALL movies better…but especially movies about time travel.

Seriously, if I had realized that Crispin Glover was in Hot Tub Time Machine, chances are I would have seen it a lot sooner.

Hot Tub Time Machine is the answer to the eternal question, “What if real life happened to Lane Meyer?” (Or Cusack’s character in One Crazy Summer, the name of whom I am too lazy to look up in IMDb right now.) At some point, no matter how many wacky, drug-fueled adventures you have as a teen and young adult, real life is likely to catch up with you and slow things down. (I want to believe that having kids is what slows people down on the drug-fueled adventures, but a late night trip to Wal-Mart will show you that this is decidedly not the case.) But what if you COULD go back and relive those wacky, drug-fueled adventures? Would you? I admit it, I would fuck things up, Butterfly Effect-style. I totally wouldn’t have eaten the soft shell crab during that wacky Spring Break trip to New Orleans during Freshmen Year. I really thought I was dying.

I like John Cusack, I really do, but then I realize that I haven’t seen most of his recent films, because they’re romantic comedies…although I haven’t seen 2012 yet either. I think I’ll save that one for December 21, 2012 – as I lay dying, cursing the Mayans, John Cusack will be the last thing I see before shuffling off this mortal coil…

The rest of the cast was perfect…Craig Robinson and Rob Corddry were hilarious. Cusack’s love interest was a chick with big eyes who is not Zooey Deschanel. Chevy Chase plays the Hot Tub Repairman. Plus…Billy Zabka! BILLY FUCKING ZABKA is in this movie.

The one thing I don’t understand…the film starts in 2010, they go back to 1986 – 24 years. John Cusack’s nephew is 20, yet he mentions early on that his mom gave birth to him 9 months or so after this weekend. Bad movie math, but I can forgive the error in logic, because the film was so fucking hilarious.

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Oh, Tim Burton, you’re like a tampon…when you do your job well, I love you…but when you fuck up, I hate you and I swear I’ll never trust you again….

Visually stunning as Alice in Wonderland was, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was watching twenty pounds of shit in a ten pound bag. Tim Burton can’t stop taking stories we all know and love and cramming them with so much backstory that you sit there, annoyed as hell, hardly able to enjoy the ride. I’ve complained about this beforeI’ve complained about this and not known what I was complaining aboutSometimes it doesn’t bother me at all. I just need to come to terms with the fact that the days of Beetlejuice and Edward Scissorhands are gone and Tim Burton is just going to keep on remaking old films and TV shows, thinking that he’s doing us a favor by adding in all the parts that he thinks were missing before. Imagine how inflamed I would be if I had even read any of Lewis Carroll’s books or even particularly liked the boring Disney version…

One more complaint…I CANNOT stand it when a film uses the “was it all a dream?” thing. Even if it is my most beloved film of all time. If I wanted that shit, I’d watch reruns of Dallas or Roseanne or Newhart.

Anne Hathaway looked like shit. Was she supposed to look like shit?

I could have done WITHOUT having to hear Avril Lavigne during the end credits. That song fucking sucks.

Okay, enough venting – I don’t have only bile and hate for Alice in Wonderland. How often do I get to see Crispin Glover and Johnny Depp in a film together? It’s been a decade and a half since Dead Man, people! Even longer since Gilbert Grape. I’ll pretty much tolerate anything with either of them in it…but BOTH at the same time? Elation!

True confessions time…I liked last year’s SyFy mini-series version (Alice) better. So, sue me – it’s heresy, blah, blah, blah….Alice’s steampunk world is what Tim Burton should have made. Either that, or gone totally Blade Runner. THAT would have gotten me excited….

Drop Dead Sexy

Jason Lee + Crispin Glover + necrophilia jokes = Drop Dead Sexy.

Jason Lee should NOT be allowed to wear his “Earl” mustache in other films! It’s just too damn confusing – I kept expecting him to whip out his list.

I never thought I would see Crispin Glover as a sidekick in a buddy film after Rubin & Ed. (Ask me about the film designated as “The Funniest Film Ever Made” by the Manager of Cox Video – it’s pretty fucking funny.) He doesn’t quite shed his mantle of weirdness, thank god. I don’t think I could handle it if he all of a sudden started playing it straight.

Drop Dead Sexy owes much to the originator of “corpse on a field trip” films, Weekend at Bernie’s. (It eats me up inside, but I gotta give credit where credit is due.) I wish I could say that Drop Dead Sexy does it better – but it doesn’t. At least Weekend at Bernie’s has necrophilia going for it – for all the jokes leading up to it, Crispin never actually does the deed…

Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter

Crispin Glover. Crispin. Fucking. Glover.

Okay, I guess you can tell why I stayed up until 4:35 in the morning last Friday night, watching this crap. I had to see how Crispin Glover died. Unfortunately, he was one of the last to go, so I figured I might as well tough out the last fifteen minutes and watch it till the end. He got corkscrewed, in case you’re interested.

There were many fine moments of Crispin Glover-ness in this installment of the Jason series. By far, the best is his dance scene. Words cannot describe the dancing that took place. There was just a glimmer of Groovin’ Larry, but mostly Rubin. (You know, Rubin and Ed!) Crispin also got laid! He was the guy who got laid, there’s always one in a slasher flick – and this time it was Crispin! So impressive. I did feel cheated by the skinny dipping scene. Everyone but Crispin went skinny dipping in the lake! I got to see the skinny guy from The Last American Virgin’s ass, but not Crispin’s. What were they thinking?

So if Crispin Glover starred in this movie, why is the rating only 2 BOBs? I’d have to say that the mere presence of Corey Feldman negated any bonus BOBs that Crispin might have added. Even though The Final Chapter was made way before Feldman was ‘one of the Coreys’ – but still…he is so damn obnoxious! And why did he get to be the one that killed Jason? Why? Couldn’t Crispin have killed him? Crispin could have killed Jason with a single kick of his platform shoe…but I digress. The end was really disturbing, what with Corey shaving his head and dressing up like the young mongoloid Jason. I do not understand the twisted ‘psychology’ behind that move, but apparently it worked.

Even though I was watching this on a Cable Movie Channel (Showtime, I think), it seemed like the movie was all cut to hell. There was very little blood and gore and there seemed to be little pay-off to Jason’s mutilations. After checking IMDb, it does appear that the studio version was greatly cut. I feel very little motivation to search out an uncut version. I don’t think I could make it through this movie again.

So…this was only the fourth movie and they labeled it as the “final chapter.” I hope no one back in ’84 was gullible enough to believe that. There’s been seven more already…and after the success of Freddy Vs. Jason, I’m sure there will be more.

Willard (2003)

How is it possible that while watching the best film I’ve seen so far this year, I had the worst film-watching experience I have ever had in my entire life?

Review after review, I complain that my husband won’t ever take me to the movies. Poor me, whenever he does take me to see a movie, it’s a month after release and WHYYYYYYYYYYY? Now I know why. He’s old. Guess what? After last weekend, I realized that I’m old too. My sister and I foolishly decided to go see Willard at 7:20…at a “kid” mall. What’s a “kid” mall? It’s a mall full of fucking kids, you idiot! I couldn’t hear the movie for shit and did I really need to hear a twelve year old girl crying every time a rat appeared on screen?

Aside from the distraction of the mating rituals of the suburban teen, Willard was everything I hoped for and more. No one else except Crispin Glover could have played Willard. It’s just not possible. His quiet dementia bled through the role. Although the rest of the cast was adequate, even great – this was really a one man show. I can see it in the lights of Broadway now. If Carrie could do it, why not Willard?

Calista Flockhart was really intense as Willard’s infirm mother. I know she’s no stranger to vomiting – what a trooper she was to bring her real life experience to the role. The bodily fluids that came out of that woman deserve an Oscar.

R. Lee Ermey brought his usual flair to the role. Yeah, he was an asshole – just like every other asshole he’s ever played. What stood out the most about his character was his appalling taste in porn!

Rats are not one of my phobias. They don’t do much for me, but Ben was fucking disturbing. Ben was a fucking NUTRIA. How the hell did a Louisiana swamp rat get into Willard’s house? Predictably, Michael Jackson’s Ben was played at the appropriate point. Unpredictably, Crispin Glover sang a heart-wrenching version during the closing credits. When does the Soundtrack go on sale?

I will probably go see Willard again before it leaves the theater. And trust me, it will be while school’s in session.

The Beaver Trilogy

Before there was Rubin, there was the Orkly Kid.

Thank god for eBay, or I may never have gotten a chance to see this unique piece of film history. It is a bootleg of the Superstar caliber! (Superstar is the Karen Carpenter story told with Barbie dolls – I’ll get around to reviewing it someday.) Fuck Olivia Newton-John for not giving up the rights to song! Fuck her right in the ass!

The Beaver Trilogy is comprised of three short films. The first is simply titled The Beaver Kid and stars the REAL Groovin’ Gary. Harris stumbles upon ‘Beaver’s Rich Little’ and films a little bit of his impersonations and some great footage of Groovin’ Gary’s car, Farrah – yes that Farrah! All of a sudden, we are transported to Beaver, Utah for a talent show starring Groovin’ Gary…as Olivia Newton-Don! Of course, before the show, we make a pit stop to the mortuary – Gary’s gotta get his make-up done. Groovin’ Gary delivers a truly heartfelt performance of Please Don’t Keep Me Waiting…and then returns to do a Barry Manilow song.

Next is The Beaver Kid 2 – starring Sean Penn. Filmed right before Fast Times at Ridgemont High, there’s a hint of Spicoli in the new Beaver Kid – Groovin’ Larry. This time, the camera steps away from first person point of view to include a ‘new’ director, Terrance. Gone are the awe struck fans of Olivia Newton-Don, the townspeople are a little less good humored than the real townsfolk of Beaver -they almost drive poor Larry over the edge!

Finally, we leave Beaver and meet The Orkly Kid. This time, Crispin Glover is filling the blonde wig as Groovin’ Larry. We now delve deep into the psyche of Groovin’ Larry, well at least his bedroom, complete with a glowing Xanadu poster. We interact with Orkly townspeople, who are even crueler than the Beaverites of second film. Larry is ridiculed and taunted even before he dawns the persona of ‘Olivia Neutron Bomb.’ He has a best friend, Merill, who believes in him, up until Olivia makes her appearance. This time though, Olivia triumphs and rides off into the sunset. Literally.

Each film would be unwatchable separately, but together they create a mythology. You can’t stop watching any of the three Olivia performances – they’re painfully humiliating, yet beautiful at the same time.

Tonight, I will be hearing Please Don’t Keep Me Waiting in my sleep – unavoidable really, since it was played throughout the entire three films. Again, curses upon Olivia Neutered-John!

Wild at Heart

One of most romantic films ever.

It was on The Independent Film Channel the other night, and whenever it’s on TV, I just can’t resist watching it, even though I have it on tape. Like most films by David Lynch, Wild at Heart affects me so emotionally, that I almost cry. Cry like most women cry at the end of Beaches…which is not me at all.

Of course the fact that Wild at Heart is a homage to The Wizard of Oz is one of the reasons to love this film. I stand by my declaration that The Wizard of Oz was the first Road Trip film ever made, and all Road Trip films thereafter contain a small piece of Oz…but few films actually admit it. Whereas the through Oz was bright and colorful for Dorothy, Lula and Sailor’s trip was a desolate wasteland, ending up in Big Tuna, Texas, instead of the Emerald City. Lula’s mother, Marietta was the perfect Wicked Witch, ultimately melting into a glass of liquor. But I never can decide which one is Dorothy – is it Sailor, or is it Lula????

The music of Chris Isaak doesn’t hurt either. Wicked Game launched his career, and that is the first song by him many people, including me, had ever heard from him. I didn’t really like him at first, until one fateful night. April and I were pretty fucked up, we were in college at the time, and I think she had gone to the pool. I was sitting in my apartment, in the dark, watching MTV, and the video for Wicked Game came on. I was glued to the set and I think I started crying, I’m not sure. I just felt so empty, the relationship I had at the time wasn’t like that at all – oh it was wicked all right, not in a good way, I just wanted to be rolling around on a beach somewhere, wanted something in black in white, but I think I just went to the pool after that. Pretty soon after that, I “borrowed” the Chris Isaak tape from my shitty roommate and never returned it. I hadn’t even seen Wild at Heart yet, though I ended up seeing it a year or so later. Wild at Heart evokes the same emotion from me, longing for a relationship like that, so passionate and sexual, seeming to be the only important thing in the world. The difference between now and then is that watching it now, I realize that it’s not real and that no one has that, at least not for very long. I cried so much because I wanted to have that illusion, rolling around on a beach or dancing on the side of a Texas Highway, that I didn’t realize sex isn’t all there is to a relationship. Now when I watch it, I take it as I would pornography, even above that, because it makes me feel something inside that pornography fails to – a reason for it all, not just sex, not just the fantasy. Sometimes, I almost feel relieved when I go back to my normal, boring life now. Only sometimes, though.

Nicolas Cage sure was hot, when he had hair. And he does a decent Elvis Impression. Yes, that really is him singing throughout the film. Like all Lynch films, gotta go buy the soundtrack – Angelo Badlamenti.

So I’ve poured my heart out, probably sounding wild at heart and weird on top, but that, in and of itself, should be enough for you to take this film seriously as an alternative to Beaches and/or pornography.

Charlie’s Angels

It didn’t suck as bad as I thought it would.

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I never really liked the TV show. It just didn’t have the cheezy panache of say, Knight Rider or The A-Team, or even Manimal. I would rather watch 20 hours of Teletubbies than 20 minutes of Charlie’s Angels. Somehow though, I actually enjoyed the ‘new and improved, plus Calcium!’ version.

The one part of the film that made me laugh my ass off was the Soul Train scene. It was just so bizarre and strange, that I couldn’t help but laugh. Of course it was predictable that Cameron Diaz would be warmly accepted by the black community, but I would rather visualize what would happen in real life – that the silence would continue, she would keep on dancing obliviously, until some pimp daddy put a rhohyphnol in her Cape Cod and she is sold into white slavery…but I digress. Is Soul Train actually even still on? Probably is – even if Don Cornelius was on life support, they would still drag his ass on stage to get jiggy wit it.

I wonder if it was strange on the set, what with the backstory on Luke Wilson and Drew Barrymore – I think they were engaged at some point. Tom Greene is definitely a trade-down compared to Luke Wilson.

Is every single action film made AM (After The Matrix) going to have the same exact style of fighting. I swear – every single film made now has the same Matrix look and feel. I hope somebody comes up with something new – soon!

P.S. Lucy Liu can’t act, just thought I would let you know. After seeing the same exact performance in Payback and Shanghai Noon – I am now convinced that she should go back to her mundane TV existence and keep on tonguing Ally McBeal.