OLD DOGS (2009)

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Elizabeth

You know a movie is bad and not memorable when two people start watching it thinking they’re totally different movies. Chris thought Old Dogs was Wild Hogs (they do have the same director, though) and I thought Old Dogs was The Shaggy Dog. Sooo how bad does a movie have to be to be mistaken for two different also bad movies?

Pretty bad, because Old Dogs is insanely terrible. Granted, for the first 45 minutes or so I was waiting for either Dan (Robin Williams) or Charlie (John Travolta) or both to turn into dogs, so that was sort of distracting. But I think it somehow would have still made more sense than the real movie. Dan and Charlie are bachelors, or at least that’s what they say. I’m convinced that they’re just gay. I’m basing this not on the fact that they’re just two guys who are friends, but rather on the fact that they appear to be two guys who are life partners and in love. But, I guess not. Dan discovers that when he had a one-night stand with Vicki (Kelly Preston) seven years ago, she ended up having twins by him that are now 7. And now Vicki has to go to jail for 3 weeks for trespassing. After other plans fall through, Dan agrees to watch the kids. And Vicki accepts? Even though she barely knows this guy. But then again, the kids don’t know him at all and when they see him, they immediately run to him screaming “Daddy!” So obviously relationships don’t really matter in this world.

The majority of the movie is about Dan and Charlie hanging out with this kids. Dan and the kids move in with Charlie because Dan’s condo is only for adults. They do some crazy, sort of fucked up shit. Case in point: the most disturbing scene in the movie. Apparently, Dan’s son, Zach, has always dreamed of going to a men’s restroom alone, but can’t because he doesn’t have a dad. Okay. So Dan takes him to a men’s public restroom with stalls. Okay, no big deal. But then, Dan stands in the stall with Zach while Zach sits on the toilet. Ehhhh, what? Taking a kid to the bathroom is one thing, but why the fuck is he standing in the stall with this half-naked, pooping child that he just met? It’s insane and Dan should have been arrested, the end.

There’s also a scene where Bernie Mac plays a master puppeteer and develops a “human puppet suit,” which he lets Dan use so Bernie Mac can control his body while Dan has a make believe tea party with his daughter, because Dan feels too incapable of doing it himself. Uhhhhh. There’s also a scene where they take the kids to some kind of fucked up Boy Scout camp, with Matt Dillon giving the only bit of comedy ever in this movie. There’s also a scene where Dan gets locked in a spray tan chamber and ends up, essentially, in blackface.

THIS MOVIE IS GREAT!

Christopher

I totally thought this movie was Wild Hogs before we watched it. And I know Elizabeth thought it was something else too. So when we sat down to watch this my hopes that this movie might just be boring quickly disappeared, this movie is beyond terrible. It’s so insane!!! It has a mom going to jail, Robin Williams watching a kid shit, and the last appearance of Bernie Mac.

This movie is a complete mess and it’s one that gets worse with every scene. Watch this if you have the time!

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THE CONVERSATION (1974)

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Christopher

I love this movie more than most and this is a movie I hope to see many more times to come. I would also be really into a poster of it in my apartment. But this movie is so quiet, so intense, and has such an interesting protagonist, it’s pretty much perfect.

Something Elizabeth read to me recently was that this movie lost best picture to The Godfather Part II. So Coppola made both in the same year!?!? That’s completely crazy! The same guy that directed Twixt?!

If you have not seen this, it’s on Netflix, go, right now!

 

Elizabeth

The Conversation is really good and really interesting, and sort of in ways that I really didn’t expect at all. I thought it was going to be about Harry (Gene Hackman), solving some kind of crime based on audio surveillance he was recording. Which is sort of the plot, but not really.

What makes it so different from that is Harry himself. He’s obviously some kind of surveillance genius and is a celebrity within the field. But for all the intelligence he has for that, he’s lacking it in other ways. And is just kind of weird. Like how he pretty much constantly wears a raincoat, no matter what the weather is. Or how he’s super Catholic, which can kind of get in the way of spying on people sometimes. So the movie follows Harry after he’s recorded a couple’s conversation, which Harry suspects will ultimately get the couple killed (something that happened to Harry before). He tries to keep the tapes away from his client, “The Director” (Robert Duvall) and The Director’s assistant, Martin (Harrison Ford). They eventually get the tapes from Harry, who still tries to prevent what he thinks will be the murder of the couple, only to find out he had the crime completely backwards.

So, it’s interesting to have Harry be a bit of an unreliable narrator. Some of it is his fault, with his weird quirks, but some of the unreliability just comes from him misinterpreting the situation. It was nice to see a movie where a normal person tries to be a detective, and fails.

I do have to mention something in particular. This movie came out in 1974, when Harrison was 32 and had just done American Graffiti. So this is pre-Star Wars, pre-Indiana Jones, pre-most Harrison Ford movies. And holy shit. He looks GOOD. Like, distractingly good. He is so insanely good looking that he does not look like a normal person. It’s CRAZY (and awesome).