Thursday, April 26, 2018

The Thing is the greatest movie of all time

Oh The Thing. One of my faves. I've long been sort of obsessed with Antarctica and so want to go there (shout out to the book I'm reading, To the Edges of the Earth: 1909, the Race for the Three Poles, and the Climax of the Age of Exploration by one Edward J. Larson about the first expeditions to the North and South Poles and the top of K2). Though the best thing to come off the continent, in my opinion, is still the 1982 John Carpenter film The Thing which is still just wow. Scared the shit out of me as a child. Scares the shit out of me as an adult. One of Carpenter's best, which says a lot. Ditto on Kurt Russell. Gotta love Keith David and oatmeal/diabetes man Wilford Brimley as well. This shit will scare the shit out of you. Isolation, dudes in crisis, aliens, melting, shape-shifting, body snatching, heads that pop off and grow crab legs, bodies that grow mouths and bite hands off, this movie has it all and is the greatest film of all time.

Want to hear some crazy shit about this movie? Well, it is tradition at the South Pole Telescope for scientists to watch The Thing every February. This is the time of year when the polar winter begins and the sciency folk are cut off from the rest of the world until summer begins in November. I feel this is just asking for trouble and freak outs but these are people with a bunch of PhDs so I'll trust they know what they are doing.

Did someone say crab legs?
Rotten Tomato Consensus: Grimmer and more terrifying than the 1950s take, John Carpenter's The Thing is a tense sci-fi thriller rife with compelling tension and some remarkable make-up effects.

Pros: Scury as hell. Great cast (although it is all-male). Special effects (by one Rob Bottin) are fucking sick (literally and figuratively). Extremely cool gore. Super tense. Relentlessly fucked up.

Cons: Pretty much a perfect movie.

Gist: An Antarctic crew of laborers get attacked by a nearby group of Norwegians in a helicopter who are coming after their dog, firing at it from a helicopter. After the Norwegians blow themselves up/are shot in the face, the crew goes to their base camp where the entire crew is dead, killed by some sort of alien that they pulled from a crashed saucer. Soon the men discover that the dog was not what it seemed and is really some sort of parasitic "thing" that assimilates and impersonates other life forms. Wilfred Brimley, a scientist, crunches some numbers on his Atari projects that it is very likely that several of them are infected, oh those 1980s computers on film, and that "IF INTRUDER ORGANISM REACHES CIVILIZED AREAS... ENTIRE WORLD POPULATION INFECTED 27,000 HOURS FROM FIRST CONTACT." Bummer. From there paranoia and infighting take hold as no one trusts that any of the others aren't the Thing.

The movie was based on a 1938 work by one John W. Campbell Jr. called Who Goes There? which was also the basis for the 1951 sci-fi thriller The Thing from Another World which leads people to  mistakenly call this rendition a remake. The film stars Russell as R.J. MacReady the team's helicopter pilot/quasi leader, Wilford Brimley, T. K. Carter, David Clennon from Gone Girl, Keith David from They Live/Future Man/Community, Richard Dysart from LA Law as Dr. Cooper who famously gets his hands bit off in the film, Charles Hallahan who looks old as fuck but is in his 30s here, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur who I mostly think of as the adult Stanley Uris in the 1990 It miniseries, Donald Moffat who played LBJ in The Right Stuff who plays the leader of the expedition, Joel Polis, and Thomas Waites. 

The movie opened to awful reviews and also under-performed at the box office, going head to head with E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. It came in eighth its opening weekend meaning it was a fucking flop which is a goddamn travesty. Hell of weekend to come out though. Beating it out in ticket sales were E.T., Blade Runner (which is genuinely a top 10 of all time flick), Firefox (whatever the fuck that is), Rocky III (the one with Mr. T), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Annie, and Poltergeist. Shit, that's rough. A lot of early (and later) reviews focused on the erroneous but persistent myth that this was a remake. The two movies used the same source material but went completely different directions. That or critics focused on the grotesqueness or nihilism at the heart of the film. Know nothing Roger Ebert wrote that "Because this material has been done before, and better, especially in the original The Thing and Alien, there's no need to see this version." Um, what? I mean, it's no Valley of the Dolls. Anyone who doesn't think this is a masterpiece needs to rethink their career as this is maybe legitimately the greatest horror movie of all time.

Moving on. There are three scenes that are fucking unbelievable. The first is probably the most memorable from the film and even people that haven't seen the movie have seen or are familiar with this little bit. This is the "chest chomp" scene (see gifs below) where Norris, played by Hallahan who was the old looking dude, has a heart attack and keels over. Dr. Cooper goes to revive him with a defibrillator when Norris's chest-mouth opens up with these gnarly teeth and bites the dude's hands off. Once this happens they torch Norris whose head comes off, grows spider legs, and walks about the room before they find it and torch that too. Fucking nuts.

From there they decide something has to be done and Russell's character, MacReady, comes up with a solid plan that sort of holds up when you think about it. Basically, according to his logic, this based on the creature's head coming off, ever bit of the creature, including its blood, will fight for its own survival. Basically all of the Thing is an individual life form with its own survival instinct. His idea then is to take samples of everyone's blood and stick it with a heated piece of metal. Everyone's blood passes the test until they get to Palmer (played by Clennon) who freaks the fuck out and turns into the monster who kills and starts assimilating Windows (played by Waites). MacReady then torches the pair of them. The thing that is so terrifying and fucked about this is that all except for a couple of them are tied down while they perform the test. Those guys that are tied down are just forced to sit there helplessly as the monster changes and starts killing right before their eyes. The bear scene in Annihilation was very much a nod to this scene and was equally as unsettling.

This sort of ushers in the end of the movie which is super fucking dark even by John Carpenter standards. The remaining survivors go to administer the test to Wilfred Brimley who freaked out earlier and had to be isolated. When they get to his shed, dude is gone and has built himself a little spaceship to fly to the mainland, I guess. He was obviously assimilated by this point (when exactly, again, is hotly debated) and has the idea to kill the power to the facility, freeze itself, and wait out the winter. They all get it on at the end there as they do in these things and two men remain standing, freezing to death in the ice. However, one of them, Childs, Keith David's character, it is hinted may have been assimilated.

Is this a black dude who lives to the end of a horror movie?
The theory goes thus, when Childs finds MacReady at the end, he says that he saw Wilfred Brimley in the snow and got lost chasing him. Stuck outside, sure to die of hypothermia, MacReady tells Childs that distrust at that point is worthless and they have a drink while the cold closes in on them and the camp burns. People point to several pieces of evidence here that suggest Childs was indeed killed and was being imitated by the Thing. First, Childs's coat changes color from navy blue to white. When other characters get got, that person's close would change as he would die horribly and the Thing couldn't walk around covered in blood and all. Second, most significantly, at the end when we see Childs, his breath does not fog up which suggests he doesn't have to and is indeed an alien. This could be some sort of oversight or something, and not to mention that when another character, one Bennings (played by Maloney), gets assimilated, his obvious imitation breaths and has vapor. So who knows but I think going with the vibe of the film, Childs is likely a fucking alien. Pessimistic as fuck.

Something else of note here is that the movie is supposedly part of a trilogy, this being the first in Carpenter's "Apocalypse Trilogy" along with 1987’s Prince of Darkness which was meh and the 1994 film In the Mouth of Madness which also scared the fuck out of me. Might be rewatching those again at some point as I've seen all of those individually and couldn't imagine them in the same universe.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Super Troopers 2 is the greatest movie of all time

First off, if you haven't seen or didn't like the original Super Troopers, then there is no reason for you to see this movie as it is more of all that. Gotta say that I was pretty worried that this movie was going to be garbage. I fucking LOVED the original Super Troopers and the two other movies of their's that I've seen (Beerfest and Club Dread). Though their movies are never very highly regarded among critics, Beerfest is their highest rated film on Rotten Tomato scoring a 41%, but what the fuck do they know. Those movies were awesome. But the trailer for this one... had me super worried indeed. That whole "feather duster croissant Les Miserables fart catcher Luc Robitaille perriere Fran Tarkenton something something parfait," bit was anti-funny. Thankfully, that was the only part that was like that and even that scene was one they end of salvaging when they told the couple they had pulled over that the secret to life is "happiness in your household." Trust me, they turn it around. Regardless, I was LOLing pretty much the whole movie. I guess my sense of humor is still one of slapstick and one-liners. Greatest movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Meow that the wait for Super Troopers 2 is finally over, all but the most devoted fans mustache themselves why they waited so long for such cruel and tragic shenanigans.

Pros: Funny as fuck. The opening scene was great. Features one very pretty lady. Absurd in a good way. Solid stoner humor.

Cons: It's super asinine/juvenile but what are you a film critic? Not as rewatchable as the original.

Gist of the movie is the US and Canadia are in the midst of border dispute whereupon the super cops--Captain O'Hagan (Brian Cox), Farva (Kevin Heffernan), Foster (Paul Soter), Mac (Steve Lemme), Rabbit (Erik Stolhanske), and Thorny (Jay Chandrasekhar)--are put in charge of policing the area while the area transitions from Canadian land to American. The Canadian townsfolk, especially the Royal Mounted Police whose jobs they are taking and the mayor of the town Guy LeFranc (played by Rob Lowe) who has a lot of stuff going on that would become illegal when the town moves to the states (i.e. brothels, 10% ABV beer, so forth). As they settle into their new temporary positions, the group uncovers an international smuggling ring that's pretty reminiscent of the original. On comes the high jinks and hilarity and so forth.

Chandrasekhar (Thorny) directed the film which also stars Lynda Carter (who was the original Wonder Woman in the TV show) as the Governor of Vermont, Emmanuelle Chriqui who plays the very pretty French chick Genevieve Aubois, and Tyler Labine the pudgy bearded guy in Tucker and Dale vs. Evil, Hayes MacArthur who is the partner in Angie Tribeca, and Will Sasso who was the big guy from MADtv played a trio of Mounties.

We also get cameos from Clifton Collins Jr. who is one of those "oh yeah, I recognize that guy" dudes who I most recently remember from the series Westworld where he played El Lazo/Lawrence, Marisa Coughlan who was Ursula in the original, stand up comedian Jim Gaffigan who was Mr. Larry Johnson that they pulled the meow prank on in the original, the unfortunate Fred Savage who plays himself, and Jimmy Tatro who was the alleged dick drawer Dylan Maxwell in American Vandal.

What was easily my favorite scene in the movie, which sets the tone up nicely, also features cameos from Seann William Scott (Stiffler in the American Pie movies) and Damon Wayans Jr. where they are cops that pull over and kill one of the super cops, Mac, during a high speed chase. This is during a dream sequence where the group is a world famous police band. The guys then use Mac's corpse as a distraction that they throw out of the back of the bus onto Stiffler's squad car. It's surreal and hilarious. I LOLed.  

Nothing to complain about here. This is a movie I've wanted for years. They did it and it is funny as hell. Almost didn't happen either. For the last 15 years or so the group had been working on a sequel with rumors circling that it was just on the horizon. But it kept not happening. At one point Chandrasekhar expressed doubts that it was going to every happen, saying at Comic-Con in 2006 that the movie "has sort of a special place in a lot of people's hearts, so all we can do is mess it up." But then they got a script written along with the rights to film. However, no one wanted to fund it saying that no one would go see the sequel that in their opinions was a decade too late. But around that time crowdfunding became popular and they tried it out and boom, they raised close to 5 mill and that was that and they were able to produce the greatest movie of all time.

So go see that shit. I want to keep seeing Broken Lizard's absurd AF flicks.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Blockers is the greatest movie of all time

Blockers. Fucking hilarious. I can't remember the last time I watched a teenage comedy. Superbad, Juno, so like 2008ish, some time around then. They seemed big when I was in high school, shit like 10 Things I Hate About You, American Pie, Bring It On, Can't Hardly Wait, so forth, and started fizzling out when I was in college/grad school, these later movies were flicks like the ones Adverntureland, Easy A, Mean Girls, so on and so forth. Maybe as us millennials started aging, we grew out of that shit. It didn't help that the quality of these movies went to shit or had a bunch things that are problematic (teachers doing students, filming naked chicks without their knowledge, rampant homophobia, to name some of the problems). I think the genre sort of went as far as it could go when parody movies like Not Another Teen Movie and Detention (which came out a decade apart) were better and more enjoyable than the movies they were spoofing.

Now this comes along. A totally refreshing look at the genre told through the perspective of the parents unwilling to let their kids grow up and take their places in that time of sex and boozing which causes many a shitty/hilarious situation for everyone involved. It is also a pretty empowering movie for young, female sexuality which is pretty cool but sort dangerous in this climate. But because of the way the whole thing is done and portrayed, with kids being respectful of each others desires and so forth, it totally pulls it off in a way that is not as offensive as it could be. Anyyyywhhhooo. Greatest movie of all time. Instant classic.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: Blockers puts a gender-swapped spin on the teen sex comedy -- one elevated by strong performances, a smartly funny script, and a surprisingly enlightened perspective.

Pros: Surprisingly funny (the trailer looked sort of dumb). Pretty touching, I guess, if you are into raising kids. Sexually empowering for young people. It's a good twist on the typical trying to get laid teen sex comedies.

Cons: There was some pretty gross scenes. Also a lot of cringing. The kid who looks like a young Russell Brand is sort of irritating (but he doesn't pressure his prom date into sex so he gets a pass).

Basic gist of the movie is a trio of parents--played by Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors, Suicide Squad, the male nurse in The Mindy Project), John Cena (Sisters, Trainwreck, wrastling), and Leslie Mann (Knocked Up, she was "fucking french )--find out that their daughters--Gideon Adlon, Kathryn Newton, and Geraldine Viswanathan (none of which I recognized)--have committed to a sex pact wherein they will lose their virginities post prom and completely lose their minds, going to extraordinary means to keep their daughters V-cards intact.

Each of these parents have their own reason for stepping in here. Mann's character identifies as Julie's mom, Julie is played by the actress Kathryn Newton who was the murdered girl in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and is freaking out about her going to college her daughter's deflowering, for her, represents her daughter leaving the nest. Cena, on the other hand, is way overbearing so his little overachiever, one Kayla played by Geraldine Viswanathan, getting it on means his loss of control. And Barinholtz (who has been more or less deadbeat dad for most of his daughter's life) is at least observant enough to know that his daughter, Sam played by Gideon Adlon, is gay and wants to stop her from having her first sexual experience be with a guy that she isn't attracted to, his thinking is that this will make her forgive him for being a dick and what not. They all freak out and go insane. Go team!

In this movie we get exploding cars, Cena butt-chugging, adults beating up children, high school dudes calling their parents to tell them they got laid--high five! (a hilarious double standard), and Gina Gershon getting it on with Bill Lumbergh. Though there are a few parts that drag on that are meh, like the blindfolded sex game scene, the film works. It is part chaos, part heart. Each of the teens are sweet and cool and their banter and the parents freak outs make for a pretty dope comedy.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Isle of Dogs is the greatest movie of all time

An island of dogs you say? I'm in. Also Wes Anderson. Fuck yeah. His typical ensemble cast and Brian Cranston. Stop-motion-animation. Japan. How can this not be amazing? But was it amazing... It was. It was the greatest movie of all time.

Some podcasts I listen to were giving this movie shit. Saying stuff like it doesn't make any statement whatsoever, there is no feeling to it, lots of cultural appropriation, and the story is garbage. To all of these people I say chill out. I don't really need a movie to make a goddamn statement in the Trump era. I go to the movies to to think about stuff that is not that. These are good dogs. Good dogs are the greatest, noblest creatures on earth. I love movies about them that don't involve humans losing them. This is a beautiful movie with a strong dog bias. So lay off, cat people. You've got Life of Pi and the internet. 

Pros: That Wes Anderson style and color usage are on point. Cute, sweet dogs everywhere on an island. Does a good job of telling what each character is about without overly explaining shit, which I loathe. It's the only dog movie I can remember that didn't make me tear up. 

Cons: Ludicrous story which occasionally gets lazy but it is fun. 

After a trio of canine diseases threatening to jump species infect most of the dogs in dystopian Megasaki City in Japan, Mayor Kobayashi (voiced by Kunichi Nomura) proposes the extreme action of quarantining all of the pups on the island where the city sends its trash. In a symbolic gesture, Kobayashi deports the family dog, Spots (voiced by Liev Schreiber), to the island first. This leads to his ward, his young, orphaned nephew Atari (voiced by Koyu Rankin), steals a plane and heads to the island in search of his pet/bodyguard. He is assisted in his quest by a ragtag group of pups with their own unique and interesting story. From there, a group of pro-dog advocates are inspired to question the government which ultimately leads to the uncovering of a vast pro-cat governmental conspiracy. It is sort of insane. 

The ensamble cast is super impressive, as Anderson's movies universally are. Voice actors for the main pack of dogs include Bob Balaban who was Russell Dalrymple (the head of NBC) in Seinfeld as King, Cranston as pack leader Chief, Jeff Goldblum as Duke, Bill Murray as Boss, and Edward Norton as beta Rex. Other dogs are voiced by F. Murray Abraham as Jupiter (the one with the brandy barrel), Scarlett Johansson as Nutmeg (the sexualized one), Harvey Keitel as leader of the cannibals Gondo, and Tilda Swinton as Oracle who speaks TV. Some notable humans include Greta Gerwig as the blond girl with the fro, two-time Oscar winner Frances McDormand as Interpreter Nelson, and Yoko Ono as Assistant-Scientist Yoko-ono. 

He should sue
There are some that are weird going on here like in any Wes Anderson movie. Like Mayor Kobayashi straight up murders a dude by tainting his sushi with poisoned wasabi. This was suspected by fringe conspiracy theorizing pro-dog folks, they happen to be correct though, whom it is implied proved that Kobayashi offed the dude. After Kobayashi sort of has his redemptive moment, everyone is fucking cool with him again. He goes to jail because he is a fucking murder (not to mention extreme dog hater), but everyone is like "aw, Kobayashi-san!" Fuck that guy. Another guy that can go fuck himself is that Major-Domo dude who at the end when everyone is back on the dog bandwagon still tries to gas them all. Dude looks straight up like the giant from Twin Peaks, by the by. Just look at those mugs. The only thing in the movie that really annoyed me was the Japanese hacker kid from Tracy's newspaper extracurricular (Tracy is the chick with the fro) who saves the day at least twice in storytelling that is lazy AF. Also, I sort of just realized that Tracy is in high school and she has a crush on/ends up with Atari who is 12. Gross, main. 

Though a lot of those things are ridiculous, this movie still fucking rocks. I totes want to live on dog island and would if my girls got sent there. As a hardcore atheist, this is sort of my secret religion. Getting licks from all the dogs I've loved throughout time for all of eternity. Getting choked up thinking about it. And I'm crying.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Feast is the greatest movie of all time

Feast is some great comedy horror. The monster flick was featured on season three of Project Greenlight—I never watched so some of the details might be a bit fuzzy here—which was a documentary series on HBO and later Bravo where Ben Afflect and Matt Damon (with the help of, ahem, Harvey Weinstein) would pluck first-time directors out of obscurity and fund their idea for a feature film. So the movie had that going for it and apparently the making of the low-budget film made for low-budget film. I may have to check it out as this is the greatest movie of all time. 

D-Listers Rollins and Wade
Pros: Original, made me laugh out loud at least once, was super disgusting, and features a solid list of Hollywood D-Listers. The monsters look surprisingly dope in a 1990s cheesy sort of way. 

Cons: Little too much shaky cam. Drags on (towards the end especially).

Feast was made by one John Gulager (son of Clu who is one of my faves and plays the bartender in this movie) and is about a ragtag group of barflies in a country tavern who are forced to fight for their lives against a family of alien, demon things hell bent on eating them. The movie spawned two sequels, Feast 2: Sloppy Seconds and Feast III: The Happy Finish that came out in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Wade... Ger
Lot to like about this flick. Doesn't fuck around early when it gives us everything you need to know about each of the characters in these three-second backstory cards with each of their nicknames, job/fun fact, and life expectancy. For example, the old pickled drunk lady who goes by “Grandma” has the following pop up on the screen when she shows up for the first time: “Fun Fact: Blew Mick Jagger ... recently. Life Expectancy: Maybe dead already.” Lot of info in no time. Love that shit.

As for the D-Listers, we get Krista Allen who was the enfamous Billie Reed on Days of Our Lives, rapper Anthony 'Treach' Criss from Naughty by Nature, Judah Friedlander who was Frank Rossitano / Streak in 30 Rock, Balthazar Getty who was the lead in Lost Highway and David Foster Wallace called out as a huge piece of shit in one of my favorite essays on David Lynch, Gulager's father Clu Gulager as Bartender who is a great character guy with some real horror chops having played amazing roles in two of the most ridiculous movies of all time having played the dad in A Nightmare on ElmStreet 2: Freddy’s Revenge and the iconic Burt in The Return of the Living Dead, Jason Mewes who is Jay in all the Jay and Silent Bob movies (he plays himself), one of my all-time favorite people Henry Rollins and I go crazy for whenever I see him in anything as Coach, Jenny Wade who plays Honey Pie and is the hot one (you might recognize her from American Horror Story, The Good Guys, Grimm, or Mad Men), and Duane Whitaker who was the fat rapist in Pulp Fiction as the Boss Man.

Like so
The first thing we get after the little intros, spoiler, is “Hero”, played by one Eric Dane, popping in saying stuff like “listen and do everything I say if you want to live,” and then immediately getting decapitated by a monster. It was a great little twist. For the next few minutes it is just pure chaos which is exactly how it would happen IRL when some shit hits the fan like that. During that time we get a bunch of carnage with several characters dying off early including Treach and Jason Mewes who gets his face ripped off. Also during that time Boss Man gets his foot blown off as he bones Tuffy upstairs when Hero’s head is getting bitten off. Tuffy, who has a young child, has her kid hide in the closet. We are then introduced to Heroine who yells that everyone needs to stay downstairs. Tuffy freaks out and runs to where her kid was. He ain’t there. But then they find him. Aw. Tuffy is all, “I want let anything happen to you, ever, I promise,” at the exact moment she finishes, one of the monsters busts in and eats the kid in like two gulps. It is in-fucking-sane and darkly hilarious.

Lots of other funny shit in there like using Rollins’s head as a battering ram, you sort of have to be there, monster-on-moster sex, and later cutting off its dick and balls via door slam, its pretty gross, and a great line at a slower part of the movie with “It has been a long time since someone has been horribly killed; seems like an opportune time for someone to get offed,” when they are trying to get people to do some shit that is dangerous. Check this shit out. It’s comedy/horror gold.

DFW on Getty in the essay "David Lynch Keeps His Head." What a guy. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

A Quiet Place is the Greatest Movie of All Time

A Quiet Place. Damn. Another great horror movie from an actor, John Krasinski who was most famously Jim on The Office, more known for his comedic work. And it is the best horror flick I've seen since the one fitting that criteria last year (Get Out by Jordan Peele of Key & Peele fame). Krasinski knocks it out of the part as both writer and director. From the very start you are on edge and that shit doesn't go away. I had trouble sleeping after watching it last night. It is rare that you get a movie that affects such a real life response.

I really loved this movie. I was shocked when I came out after the movie and heard a group of baby bros (one with an American flag tat... cool) talking about how the movie was "trash". Some people just hate on everything I guess. It is a great movie but it watching it is not a pleasant experience. I get that. But "trash". Fuck that. Greatest movie of all time.

Rotten Tomato Consensus: A Quiet Place artfully plays on elemental fears with a ruthlessly intelligent creature feature that's as original as it is scary -- and establishes director John Krasinski as a rising talent.

Pros: Premise is completely unique. Acting was perfect from everyone. Super intense and in engrossing (rivals Breaking Bad here). The monsters are terrifying and look pretty good. The movie is super taut. They don't fuck around with your time. Every second of this movie is necessary and exceptional.

Cons: Not for the faint of heart. Watching this movie was a very uncomfortable movie going experience (but that also made it awesome).

Gist of the flick is that a small family featuring Krasinski as the dad, the mom played by Emily Blunt (The Girl on the Train, The Edge of Tomorrow), and their kids played by Millicent Simmonds (a young deaf actress who was Rose in a movie called Wonderstruck for which she received a lot of acclaim and was amazing in this movie) and Noah Jupe live in complete silence in the country as they hide from these blind killing machines that hunt based on sound. Not a good situation but the family has a minor advantage as the daughter is deaf and they are able to sign with each other instead of having to be vocal.

One of my favorite things about the movie is how they just throw you in. Hell, we don't know if the creatures are aliens or what. I fucking hate when movies give you too much unnecessary back story. I feel most movies would show you how all this started and go into the early days of survival before finally getting into the movie. Krasinski doesn't fuck with any of that. We are thrust in this world several months in with the family already making it work. Yet we still get the gist of all of it because Krasinski is a fucking genius. Instead of having characters explain it or something like that, we see newspaper headlines, a whiteboard with facts about them, and the monsters themselves with anatomy that illustrates what they are all about.

I saw a bunch shit about plot holes. Most of these were bullshit. I don't think I would really thrive in that situation but I was sort of like "come on, main" when they went into the soundproof room. Why not stay in there all the time, ya know? Or maybe live under a waterfall. Of course the soundproof room isn't perfect either as nothing is in these situations. But I didn't really consider that anything to dwell on.

A lot of this
I heard another spicy take with a coworker saying that the movie was pro life. I guess that is sort of correct. When the movie skips ahead and the main lady showed up pregnant, this is in the trailer so not calling it a spoiler, my female companion and I were both like, "fucking breeders, man." That is a bad situation. You sort of need to procreate to perpetuate the species. But if that baby makes too much noise, then everyone is fucked. I'm gonna go with um, maybe don't get pregnant in the middle of a demon alien invasion. Everything surrounding this plot point was fucking nerve wracking. Being in labor and having to be silent and then everything that comes after that. Fuck. It was almost too much to handle.

Not trying to give too much away about the end but similar to Get Out it is super fucking satisfying and way more bad ass. It's sort of a release after all that tension where you and the characters are suddenly like "aw shit, you done fucked up" and then it is fucking on. It was tense, sure, but that made it totally worth it. Not only that but wait until you leave the theater. Right before the climax at the end, with 10 or so minutes left in the movie, I had to take a piss. When I came out and people were yammering on willy-nilly, I freaked out. Be warned, stress munching in this movie is highly frowned upon but you are totally gonna need something to stress munch. Too fucking quiet. I might go back though and rip a loud fart at a tense moment (I have since found this on the interwebs which is Krasinski talking about just that). That shit would be legendary. Anyway, yeah, this movie was the fucking bomb.

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan is the greatest movie of all time

Here we are, months after I started watching the Friday the 13th movies, still making our way through another franchise with Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, more or less universally considered the worst of the bunch, this movie is garbage... but also the greatest movie of all time. On one hand, these things have been getting exponentially worse with each sequel. On the other, they have getting exponentially more watchable. This movie gets off course early and is a total free fall into what the fuck by the end. Holy shit this movie is weird even by this franchise's standards.

Gist of the movie is that a bunch of high school students go on some weird boat trip to New York, Jason tags along, kills most everyone on said boat, reaches Manhattan, and then kills most of the rest of them there (as well as some of your average 1980s New York thugs) before getting drowned in toxic waste and reverting back to child-form. Again, what the fuck? How? Believe the hype surrounding this movie, greatest fucking movie ever. Especially that boxing scene. That was fucking amaze balls.

Pros: The boxing scene is hilarious. Jason looks cool. The change of locale is sort of interesting and we get a really cool shot of Jason in Times Square. They don't kill off the dog.

Cons: The plot is all over the place and makes no sense. There aren't really any good kills. They change the rules of the game (Jason can suddenly teleport). The ending is really bad and really insane.

Notes: Here's some shit about this piece of greatness... Obviously, again, intended to be the last in the series (shockingly, it wasn't), some say this shit show was fucking doomed. When Paramount first started marketing the movie, the original poster was Jason tearing through an "I  NY" poster with a bloody knife. Yeah, the New York State Department of Economic Development (or whatever it was called then), which owns the trademark to the logo, was pissed the fuck off. Paramount toned it down by making the knife not bloody, not really the point, and the committee filed a formal complaint resulting in the studio retracting the image. What's worse, in following previously established precedent, Lar Park-Lincoln, the Carrie type survivor girl from Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, apparently asked for a modest increase in pay from nearly nothing to dirt. The studio, as they had with every single survivor from the previous seven films, said "fuck no!" and they let her go. And that was that. Paramount really didn't give a shit about these goddamned movies.

Looking at the film itself, some bizarre decisions were made. Opening the movie we get a couple hooking up on a boat with one exposed breast. They suddenly stop so the gentleman here can tell the Jason story. During this tale they coincidentally bring Jason back to life unearth blue lightning when their boat anchor hits a 3000 volt power line that runs from the mainland to the camp at the bottom of the lake. They dead. Also early on we get this really strange side story with the hunky love interest guy. He is maybe out of high school and working as an assistant captain or is in high school and working as an assistant captain while his classmates party and get murdered below deck. What a fucking loser. Am I right? His old man relinquishes command to him, strangely, and he immediately fucks up because he is not qualified to do this job. Nice. Nepotism and incompetence. Immediately following this scene, after the kid storms out, the standard old crazy guy comes up and tells him that the voyage is doomed. I suspect with amateur hour here that even if Jason weren't on the boat that this would still be the case.

Now we start getting a bunch of kills on the boat. Most of them are lame city they make it clear that Jason can definitively teleport in this one. This is most apparent when he is the disco room with the Asian girl as Jason totally teleports around the dance floor before killing her. In sum we get kills with the following implements: a guitar, a sauna stone, a harpoon, Jason's mitts, and a navigation system (Jason throws a dude into it who catches fire before he hits the fucking thing), among other things. Eventually chaos ensues and the ship starts to go down. But not before Jason teleports up the mast one last time to throw some loser off down onto the decks below. He also T\tosses the black dude in the ocean before the boat actually sinks.

Only ones to make it off are the old dude, stupid heart throb, the survivor girl, her mom or whatever (who disappears at some point), the black dude (who they pick up in the ocean), and the dog. As they approach the city, the black dude explodes with a burst of horrible acting. It's fucking insane.

Some further ridiculous stuff with Jason becomes apparent here. First, Jason crawls out of the ocean behind the lifeboat. Apparently Jason swims to NYC. Funny that a kid that drowned is now able to marathon it from the middle of the sea. Second, on the docks of Manhattan he sees a billboard with his hockey mask on it and is weirded out. We also see a young Jason a couple of times. He looks completely different than he did before but whatever. This is foreshadowing to the end or something.

Back to the survivors. They have now discovered that New York is a 1980s hellhole, per usual. Before they even realize Jason is on the island with them they get robbed and the survivor girl gets kidnapped. These kidnapper guys don't give a fuck. This is how my parents think of New York right now, by the by. These dudes shoot her up to rape her. It's insane. Jason actually intervenes and saves the day here. Out of nowhere he pops up and stabs one of the guys in the chest with a hypodermic needle filled with drugs. The other guy, however, is not impressed with Jason who tries to fight him. Jason smashes his head through a steam pipe. He dead. Also, heroine has no affect on the girl who is up and on the move while Jason gets his killing on.

Around here we get what is easily the best scene in the movie: Jason boxes the black guy on the top of an apartment building. It was fucking insane (see the first gif). The guy connects like 400 straight punches before tiring himself out just when he has Jason with his back to the wall where he could potentially punch him off the side of the building. The rope-a-dope works pays off. Jason was down on points but wins on a knock out. Jason literally punches the dude's head off. It looks terrible and is amazing.

A cop shows up to arrest Jason and immediately dies. The remaining boaters hop in the cop car and hit Jason who appears as a child as they make their getaway causing the car to crash and eventually  explode. This conjures up a repressed memory from the survivor girl's childhood where the teacher chaperone dick bag guy scares the piss out of her about Jason being in the lake and throws her in off a row boat. Child Jason is at the bottom of the lake and pulls her down. She is like "you almost made me drown." He is like "uh... oh, when I taught you to swim?" The love interest dude is like "you son of a bitch" and the dude is kicked out of the group just in time for Jason to wake up. The old dude runs away into a building. Jason teleports in and throws them out a window. He then drowns him in toxic waste which is just chilling there like barrels of toxic waste do outside of industrial buildings.

Now we are at the beginning of the end which is quite the journey. Don't remember how they got there exactly but dream boat and survivor girl start making out in a big pile of trash, great time for a first kiss. It's short lived as Jason busts through knocking over a bunch of garbage. They flee and take the subway. Jason is on there. The teleporting thing. This begins this amazing montage of Jason just being an aggressive asshole. First he tools and a bunch of losers. The teeny bopper dude, I think, tackles him at the end of the line and knocks him into an electric grill. Sort of slows him down for a minute. Next thing you know you get Jason in Time Square, my second favorite scene in the flick. Punks see this and rage, for some reason, and decide to fuck with him. All he does is take his mask off which scares the shit out of them. Everyone is still running. They end up in Monk's Diner, maybe. People are barely fazed by Jason. Just another day in New York for them, I guess. Jason, on the other hand, seems to struggle with this many people to kill. Instead of slaughtering indiscriminately, which is what you would sort of hope for, he just focuses on these two.

Makeup Artist: Nailed it
STILL RUNNING, they end up in the sewer. Some guy, a sewer laborer, pops out of nowhere just to tell them the sewer fills up with toxic waste every night at midnight. Why? That seems dubious. New York in the 80s, yo. The boaters figure this is good time to bring up their issue and tell the guy about Jason who suddenly shows up, no surprise there, and pipe wrenches the laborer to death. To get away the girl splashes Jason with toxic waste that is just laying around. Jason takes off his mask. His face looks comically shitty and completely different than it has in all the other movies (it's never the same twice, strangely). This gives everyone enough time to escape as toxic waste starts rushing at Jason. You hear Jason's child voice saying "mommy, don't let me drown." That's fucked up. Then he throws up and drowns in toxic waste with his head turning into a rotting pumpkin. From there we get some more blue lightning and voila, Jason turns another child version of himself. What the fuck? I'd just leave him in the sewer. What the fuck did I just watch?

Researching what the hell that was about, I found an interview with director Rob Hedden where he explained the ending thus: “In the first film a young boy drowns and we find out it is his mother who is the one that has been killing everybody.  It’s not Jason.  That was a great twist, but young Jason still propelled the whole thing.  So, in our movie, he drowns in the toxic waste and turns back to that young boy.  I wanted to have it come full circle.  His soul has finally been released.”

So that was Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, a movie that really tested my Greatest Movie of All Time pledge. But it was totally awesome in a bizarre, train wreck kind of way.