Archive for May, 2008

It’s one thing to want someone out of your life, but it’s another thing to serve them a wake-up cup full of liquid drainer.

May 20, 2008

Well, another match has been completed. The results are in, the votes have been counted, and there will be no recount. Heathers, backed by strong support initially from 1/2 of the Throwdown Panel, gained the needed 3rd vote after some great back and forth between the panelists. Almost more noteworthy than the actual movies in this match-up is the fact that we had our first split decision. We thought long and hard about how we wanted to handle this occurrence, and decided that the first step is to try to talk it out like the gentlemen we are. It worked this time as after a little back and forth, Heathers stole the 3rd vote, and moved on. In this case, no one was absolutely married to either movie, and a compromise of sorts seemed to have been reached. It will no doubt get more interesting, and quite heated, when an impasse is reached in deciding among lower seeded films that we all love. Anyway, here is a brief recap of each one of each camp’s initial arguments, either for their movie or against the other movie. In this recap, we’re going to focus on Fatal Attraction, as it was the higher seed beaten by a lowly underdog. So, what gives?

Mainly, the initial Heathers camp stressed that what we essentially have in Fatal Attraction is a VGMWMDPAL. This means “Very Good Movie Where Michael Douglas Plays a Lawyer.” Think about it. Have you really seen a movie where he wasn’t a lawyer (or a generic powerful businessman so maybe it’s VGMWMDPAPB) with a gruff exterior? I mean, we’ve already seen the archetype in this tourney in Gordon Gekko. Then we have Fatal Attraction. War of the Roses. Basic Instinct. Disclosure. The Game. A Perfect Murder. Traffic. Romancing the Stone. No wait, scratch that last one. In 2009, he will reprise his role as Gordon Gekko. Simply put, it just didn’t really stand out, despite the fact that it is a very good movie. Where Michael Douglas plays a lawyer.

Supporters of Fatal Attraction pointed out the fact that the movie was seen as pushing the envelope of good taste back in the day, much like Michael Douglas and would do some again some years later in Basic Instinct. They further pointed out Glen Close’s character and what an incredible job Ms. Close did. This cannot be argued. She is a great psycho. She scares the shit out of you when watch that movie…whether you’re male or female…but especially if you’re male. It’s been pointed out before that men have approached her on the street and told her that she saved their relationship, at least from being broken up by cheating on their part. I guess there’s just something frightening about the thought of a crazy woman pouring acid on your car, and then cooking your “daughter’s” rabbit. Seriously though…that was a their daughter?

I am convinced this picture has two penises.

So Heathers moves on, but it has a long way to go. Can the plucky upset keep it up? The girls will face the winner between The Big Chill and 3 Amigos. Onward!

-Venkman

Just Say No Round 1: Girl people inexplicably thought was attractive versus Detective John McClane

May 5, 2008

#16 Pretty in Pink v. #17 Die Hard

I know, I know. That’s not Molly Ringwald, or even a Pretty in Pink promo poster! Well, allow me to explain. We’re going to be watching a lot of movies during this thing. A LOT of movies. And we’re, hopefully, going to give each movie a fair shake, and approach each with an open mind. That said, in the interests of full disclosure, I will say I hate Molly Ringwald. I hate her with a passion. In Breakfast Club, another high ranking movie infected by this 80s Ginger, she plays the seminal 80s Princess/Cheerleader (well this is probably the seminal 80s cheerleader, but whatever, bear with me). Yeah. Fucking. Right. Everyone knows that cheerleaders look like this, and not this. Beyond that, I guess I never liked her because her name sounds like “ringworm.” So let’s see…an unattractive ginger wanna-be cheerleader that sounds like a fungal infection? You had me at unattractive, meowwwwww!

But after such a bashing, how can I remain objective? Well, I can overlook Ringwald, because there are good things about this movie: John Hughes, for one. Second, it’s a classic look at how rough and terrifying high school can be. It also has an underrated 80s power team in Andrew McCarthy and James Spader. How so, you ask? The two team up in another well-known 80s movie, Mannequin, which I lobbied for, but sadly didn’t make the cut. Big mistake, in my opinion:

Anyway, yeah Pretty in Pink. I’m going in with an open mind, but I thought I should get my feelings for Molly Ringworm on the table. And by the way, sorry for the pictures of her in those links. Cleanse your pallet with this (SFW, don’t worry).

For many of us, 1988’s Die Hard stands out as Reginald VelJohnson’s greatest work. Personally, I think that is like trying to name Michael Jordan’s greatest highlight: when you’re routinely operating at a level head and shoulders above the competition, no one play defines you. Such is Reginald “Reggie” VelJohnson’s career. Some people think of “Family Matters” as the height of his career, but to those people I say: Fuck you, people. Everyone knows Die Hard is where it’s at for the RVJ love, followed closely by his out of character role as a law enforcement officer in Turner and Hooch. His range is incredible. Don’t believe me? I’d point you to Tales from the Crypt “Werewolf Concerto” in which he played “Hotel Guest.” This guy can do it all. So for me, Die Hard is really a celebration of the Hollywood flame that burned too bright, Reginald VelJohnson.

Also, there is a fleeting 80s star named Bruce Willis in this, and he curses a lot, walks on glass, and shoots a bunch of Germans. Fun for the whole family!

Dr. Venkman

It’s a Bull Market

May 4, 2008

Wall Street is good. Wall Street is right. Wall Street works. Wall Street captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit.

Wall Street also captured the hearts and minds of the voters in its first round match-up with Lethal Weapon, capturing all four votes to unanimously advance to the second round.

While both films nicely captured a pair of ubiquitous 80s themes – gratuitous nudity and cocaine use (and even the latter was rather unnecessary to the plot line of Wall Street) – Wall Street advanced on sheer rewatchability. There may not be nobility in poverty anymore, but there’s even less in being forced to sit through Lethal Weapon 21 years after it was made.

Mel Gibson’s mullet (and his ass) only allows for so much entertainment. Overall, the move wasn’t much more than your classic buddy cop film — only look, it’s a black guy and a white guy!

Wall Street, released just two months after the stock market crash of 1987 (I learned that one from an AMC commercial), captured an era. From the way Bud Fox’s million-dollar condo was decorated to the slick-backed hair, white collars on blue shirts and suspenders worn by Gordon Gekko. On top of that, in spite of the numerous viewings over the past 20-plus years, it still felt fresh and relevant. For that, it advances to the round of 64, where it will meet the winner of Stand by Me and Coming to America.

– Noonan

Jast Say No: Strange Brew (#23) vs. Cocktail (#10)

May 3, 2008

So what’s your preference – a fresh and tasty mixed drink or maybe a nice cold beer? How about some Jamican Rum, maybe? Or how ‘boot a Molson, eh? Our first matchup from the Just Say No bracket – an all-alcohol extravaganza – will answer all those questions.

In this corner we have the 1983 release, Strange Brew. The hosers in this film weren’t much different from the rest of us – always in search of more beer.

Though Strange Brew only grossed about $8.5 million domestically for its theater run, it definitely developed a cult following. And it provided my friends and I much more fodder with which to make fun of Canadians and their silly style of pronunciation.

Battling Strange Brew will be the 1988 film Cocktail, in which Tom Cruise provided the inspiration for bartenders worldwide to flip bottles and recite poetry — can I just have my goddamn drink already? This will be the first of numerous appearances for both Tom Cruise and Elizabeth Shue in this 80s throwdown.

As Couglin would say: Drink or be gone. One of these films will be the latter after this matchup.

– Noonan