Gnomeo & Juliet

You may not know this, but my backyard is full of garden gnomes. The pink flamingos are packed away in the garage, as the evil HOA guidelines specifically prohibits plastic lawn ornaments. But there’s also a gargoyle on the birdbath and a three foot tall lady statue. Needless to say, if all the statues in my backyard came to life at night, I would shit my pants.

Yet this horrifying premise is the basis for a children’s movie. As disturbing as that sounds, don’t forget that it is also based on Romeo & Juliet, a violent tragedy that includes underage sex, murder and suicide. In addition, the soundtrack is entirely composed of old Elton John songs (doesn’t he LOOK like a garden gnome), barring a new duet with Lady Fucking Gaga. Keeping all this in mind, this should be the most disturbing and utterly depraved film ever made. I was completely shocked that I found Gnomeo & Juliet to be utterly charming.

Charming is not a word I use a lot. In fact, only once before have I ever referred to a film as charming. Charming is for Pottery Barn catalogues and seersucker suits on toddlers…not Knobby’s universe. But once in a while, I get charmed and I like it.

James McAvoy is sexier as a garden gnome than as the founder of the fucking X-Men. How’s that?

Did I need to see a garden gnome in a Borat man-thong? Yeah, I kinda did.

The obvious question is whether or not this tragic tale has a happy ending. It’s rated G, so what the fuck do you think happens? Of course, they live happily ever after. They just don’t make movies like Old Yeller anymore.

So yeah, happy ending and all, I totally liked this movie. I’m not embarrassed about it either. It’s no Tromeo & Juliet, but maybe it’s the second best adaptation out there? (No, I’ve never seen the Leonardo DiCrapio version and it’s not on my “to watch” list in the foreseeable future.) A sequel is in production – Sherlock Gnomes. Why the hell not?

Tromeo and Juliet

Someday, I will work for TROMA.

I have been trying to see this film for years, at least since I saw the preview for it in front of Redneck Zombies. Every time I tried to rent it, I was thwarted. Somebody stole it from the Video Update, then Video Update burned down. Then Rhett and I rented it from Starlight, but we never got around to watching it, we watched Jerry Springer “I Married a Horse” (yes, it is as bad as it sounds) and Bi-Claudius (rancid bisexual porn). Finally, Sean rented the DVD and we all went to his place…

You gotta love any film that has Lemmy as the narrator. Shakespeare himself would have approved, what with all the sex (lesbians, incest and gay priests, oh my!), drugs, amputations, penis monsters, car chases, piercings and the list goes on and on. Yes, I did say penis monster. I cannot explain it without sounding dumb, but trust me, penis monster is cool. We all laughed ourselves silly while we were watching it – and we were all stone cold sober! Imagine that!

For some reason, the sex scenes were all really hot. Troma always has plenty of T & A, but for once, the sex scenes were erotic and tastefully done (Well, I guess that’s a relative term. You can’t really put “tasteful” and “Troma” in a sentence together…) What I mean to say is, they really turned me on – especially the scene in the plexiglass box. It gave me interesting dreams the next night, to be sure. The lesbian scenes with Juliet and Ness, the chick with all that shit in her face, were also pretty neato. Just ask Sean…

I got the soundtrack as well. It is sweet, lots of punk and aggro music. There is an Assponys song, Mr. Superlove, that I really dig on. Yeah, and I just wanted to say asspony. Again? ASSPONY! There are also dialogue bits, so I can hear Murray Martini tell off Tyrone Capulet any time I want…

I want to see it again. Again! AGAIN!!!


10 Things I Hate About You

10 Things I Hate About You…The Taming of the Shrew – how hard was it to come up with a title that not only rhymes with the original Shakespearean one, but conveys the theme of the film as well?

I had to go see this film by myself, because I didn’t know anyone who would go with me. I wasn’t sure what to expect either. At 23, I am a bit too old to enjoy mindless teen cinema…which I stopped doing at about the age of 14. Despite fairly good reviews, I had misgivings about cutting out of work to see it…but I wasn’t entirely surprised when it turned out to be really good…even though I am fairly bitter on the subject of The Taming of the Shrew since doing it in high school and not being cast as Katarina…but that is a story for a different time.

10 Things followed the original plot of Shrew fairly closely. The motivations were pretty believable. I understood the reason Kat was so hateful – a small penis can mess you up for years. For real though, I found the characters to be compelling and I really wanted Patrick and Kat to get together – way more than Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton anyway. Cameron and Bianca were an adequate couple, but no sparks. I think Cameron should have dumped Bianca and went after Mandella…

One thing that bothered me – 10 Things must have taken place at the same high school as in JawBreaker – the school of no dress codes. If I was Bianca’s father, I would be more concerned with the shit she was wearing to school, then who she was dating. In all the teen movies that come out these days, the characters are just absurdly dressed. There is no high school anywhere that would let kids dress like this! If I had a nickel for every time I was sent to the office for skirt-too-short or tits-hanging-out when I was in high school a mere 5 years ago, I would be dead. John Hughes, the master of teen cinema, never made this mistake. His teens were all dressed appropriately dorky – even the cool kids were fully clothed at all times. So, pretty please, with sugar on top, will filmmakers be realistic in portraying what teenagers wear to school?