Archive for the ‘Alex P. Keaton’ Category

Alex P. Keaton Round 1: Hey, Great Fish versus My Favorite Babysitter

November 19, 2009

#15 A Fish Called Wanda v. #18 Adventures in Babysitting

As great as the dialogue is, it’s the subtle boob grab at the end of Otto’s initial meeting with Ken that foreshadows just how extensive the comedy is in the 1988 classic, A Fish Called Wanda. The film was both a commercial and critical success, earning Academy Award nominations for Best Original Screenplay and Best Director, while Kevin Kline took home an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Rare air for a comedy.

But Academy Awards don’t mean anything when matched up against a movie like Adventures in Babysitting. Made one year earlier and earning about half as much at the box office as Fish, Adventures in Babysitting was never going to be confused with an Oscar-caliber film. But it has stood the test of time so much that a 2011 sequel is in the works. Unfortunately, the sequel won’t include Elisabeth Shue.

This marks Shue’s second appearance in the throwdown, after Cocktail was upset by Strange Brew. Remarkably, 22 years after she babysat, Shue doesn’t look any different, as seen in a recent Curb Your Enthusiasm episode. (Though as Will Leitch notes, it was odd to see Elisabeth Shue not playing Elizabeth Shue. Maybe it was the three-way?). Even more remarkably, seeing Shue on Curb made me realize that my opinion of her hasn’t changed since my younger sister first made me watch this:

But it’ll take more than Shue’s beauty to knock off the best stutter in film until Rocket Science came out in 2007.

Ken

Ken

Between Michael Palin’s performance as Ken, Kline’s incredible portrayal of Otto and the always stellar John Cleese (who also co-wrote and co-directed the film), A Fish Called Wanda is clearly the favorite to advance to the Round of 32. Can Elisabeth Shue turn the tables just as Strange Brew did to her earlier in the tournament?


Nice Mustache Nick, But Flying Cars Are Just Way Too Cool.

June 2, 2008

It looks a little something like this:

Livin' on the edge

Because Harrison is clinging to the edge, both as a metaphor for how ridiculously old he is (seriously, he sounded like the black death in Indiana Jones 4), and for how he pulled off this victory. We literally spent more time discussing where Venkman was when we needed to count his vote (answer: he was on the highway driving 95 mph while texting) than what our tally was. So, Blade runner won by a count of 3-to-a-strenuously-objecting-1, with Noonan declaring from the mountaintops that Blade Runner had no “watchability” or “re-watchability” or “pre-watchability” or some crap. I say: flying cars=easy win, end of story.

So end of story, in fact, that instead of details of the 4 minute vote and discussion, I’m instead going to talk about another recent film I watched with Harrison as the lead, namely Indiana Jones 4, or rather
How George Lucas and Steven Spielberg Managed to Skull Rape the Only Good Trilogy Left. Review of this abomination to follow.

I hate movies

***WARNING SPOILERS BELOW DO NOT READ IF YOU WANT TO WATCH THIS PIECE OF SHIT MOVIE***

We return to the saga of Indiana Jones, the once dashing and resourceful professor by day and priceless artifact adventurer by night. What’s he been doing since we last saw him melt some Nazis with the cup of Christ? Why he’s been working for the U.S. Army as a decorated secret agent of course. HUH!?!?! Indiana Jones does not care about the cause of one nation, and his only interest in war is what rare nickel osmosium plated shrapnel he can find on the intricately tatooed ass of the last of seven brothers sworn to protect the sacred tomb of Atatum Kamen. Apparently, he gave up all of that to work for the military as a spy, and now against the Ruskies of all folks. The red army is headed by a clairvoyant psychiatrist/archaeologist bent on knowing the secret of a certain artifact (I’m ok with this part so far). Never mind the fact that Indy survives an atomic blast by jumping into a fridge (cars and houses exploded to nothing, but that fridge was American made baby!), the artifact itself is what troubles me.

*Deep Breath*. The item that holds true power and could control the fate of the world as we know it is the crystal quartz skull of an interdimentional humanlike alien from 2000 years ago that ruled the Mayans and made them build the temples full of riches in places they knew would be torn to bits once they all sat in the proper places. The skull of the alien is super magnetic (but only when the plot so requires), causes you to go insane, gives you the ability to read minds and also become omnipotent (but that kills you), helps you find places you were a few weeks ago before going insane, and eventually opens an interdimentional gate that apparently knew it would be closed when one of the skulls was stolen. Now I guess the skulls were always there, but ancient thieves stole one, which is now in the hands of our new comic relief crackpot sidekick, and they have to put it back, so the skeletons can zoom back to their own world, which they were not in for some reason before. Yeah, I know, there really isn’t a purpose, shut up and watch the movie…he just has to take the shiny thing and put it back in the booby-trapped place, right? Oh no, even that’s not enough.

We also add in his past love, and apparently a son who is *gasp!* an “I don’t do what others tell me” resourceful kid who likes adventure. Of course, Indy doesn’t know it’s his kid, and though he hasn’t spoken to Marion in what must be 20 years, they of course fall back in love instantly and are married. He should give a seminar on how to get a chick pregnant, split, then get her back once the kid no longer can draw child support from the government seminars.

In an early scene, Indy sits at his desk with photographs of Marcus and his father, who are explained to have passed away in the past year. I can only pray that Indy’s photo joins them, because if our favorite heroes from 20 years ago can keep being “reborn” and “remastered” and “rebooted” over and over, then original thought is truly over and I’m going to kill myself.

***End of my spoiler of the movie that spoils half of my childhood***

– #5

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

Alex P. Keaton Round 1: #16 v #17

April 25, 2008

Raising Arizona (#16) v. Blade Runner (#17)

The Perfect 'stache

Early work from the Coen brothers bringing over-the-top comedy to a level the 80s were just too young to fully fathom. The film only brought in a little over $22 million at release, but after more than 21 years of aging has become a fine wine, perhaps embodying one of the least talked about classic comedies of our generation. And I am convinced that the current TV series “My Name is Earl” is based of the life and image of Hi McDunnough.  This work has it all: baby snatching, ransom, blackmail, bounty hunters, policewoman-convict forbidden love, quintuplets, wife swapping, yodeling, diaper stealing, unfinished endings, grenade-explosion-gotcha-moments,…I think I just pooped myself a little bit.

Badass

If this were a competition for which movie had the longest periods of time without any dialog whatsoever, we’d already have crowned Blade Runner the Ultimate Grand Champion. In between Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, Mr. Ford wanted to deviate from his typecast character of cocky hardened space jockey to a deeper role of cocky hardened futuristic android hunter, and pulls off this drastic change of style beautifully. Adding to the unintentional comedy value of this piece, it is set in the far future of 2019, where flying cars and 700 story complexes saturate downtown LA. If this is our future in 11 years, we really need to start on that engineering right away. Though I was only 3 months in the womb when this movie came out, it shaped me as a man. If watching Indiana Solo shoot robots in film noir while tagging with a sexdroid and occasionally daydreaming about unicorns doesn’t excite you, then you simply do not have testicles.

The matchup should be our first highly contested vote, possibly ending friendships and imploding the entire bracket before it reaches its first month in existence, and it may all be in vain. After the brutal battle between these two, the one emerging will have to bring it’s “A” game, for the winner of the #1 Ghostbusters/#32 Ordinary People confrontation waits in the wings.

– #5

Alex P. Keaton Round 1: #10 v #23

April 24, 2008

Fatal Attraction (#10) v. Heathers (#23)

Since this 80s throwdown cannot get enough of Michael Douglas we are going to go right into it with the #10 seed out of the Alex P. Keaton division. Many thought that sending this film all the way from New York to play in suburban Columbus, Ohio was a bit harsh upon the committees’ part considering its 1987 $156,645,693 gross earnings and 81% fresh rating from RT. Still others have commented that the 10 seed’s fate was sealed when female lead Glenn Close got old and rusty.

Every year for the past 25 years there has been a 10 v 23 upset. Will this year’s upset be the black comedy Heathers emerging victoriously over blockbuster mainstream Fatal Attraction? If you like playing croquet, using your own slang, and even purging with your best friends, then perhaps this movie is for you. If Heathers can stay sleek, low to the ground, and remember their fundamentals then they may be a strong upset bid early in the tournament and come screaming full tilt yelling “fuck me gently with a chainsaw” into the next round.

– Kobra Kai WOPR