THE MIGHTY DUCKS (1992)

the-mighty-ducks

Christopher

I really don’t think movies can get better than this film, this trilogy even! Now, watching this as an adult a lot of the motives really don’t make sense. I mean the whole rivalry in the movie is based off a relationship Gordon Bombay, a full adult, had when he was 12 or something. He really just needed to get over it far before he was forced to look after a bunch kids when he was punished for drinking and driving, something that would never happen in a Disney movie today. But obviously my and probably everyone’s love for this movie comes from watching it about a hundred times as a kid. I mean the kids in this film are basically adult comedians. They’re legitimately funny and constantly prove to be just as quick-witted and smart as most of the adults in this film. As a kid that was so cool and made me basically want to be one of them. Hockey was never my sport, which I regret, but it was still very relatable.

If you have never seen any of these films then I’m sorry that you missed out on it.

Elizabeth

In terms of nostalgic movies, I don’t think there’s much bad I can say about the whole The Mighty Ducks trilogy. Watching it as an adult, it was pretty funny to catch things that I hadn’t caught before. The whole start of The Mighty Ducks is based around Gordon Bombay (Emilio Estevez) and his weird issues.

My memory of the plot of The Mighty Ducks was that Bombay was an ex-hockey star who somehow is forced to coach a pee-wee hockey team. That’s soooooort of true. What really happened is that Bombay was pee-wee hockey star that is now a lawyer being forced to coach the team after being caught driving drunk. Not quite as rosy as I remembered. But what’s insane is that Bombay is a grown man (Estevez was 30 when it was filmed) who is completely traumatized by a pee-wee hockey game he participated in. Except, the game itself wasn’t even that crazy! Bombay had an evil pee-wee coach, Reilly (Lane Smith), who put the pressure on Bombay when it was his chance to make a foul shot (don’t know if that’s what it’s called, but you get it) in the third quarter of some final game. Bombay missed it, which sucks, but it wasn’t even the end of the game! It wasn’t even the fourth quarter! Bombay making the shot would have helped the team win, but wouldn’t have guaranteed it. But apparently it was awful enough to make Bombay quit hockey forever. This is just so bizarre to me. When we meet Bombay, he’s a powerful attorney, so the fact that he hasn’t emotionally moved on from this pee-wee hockey game is sort of absurd. I think this part of the plot would have made a lot more sense if Bombay was a high school or college kid.

Anyway, besides all of that weirdness, The Mighty Ducks still holds up; it’s still cute and fun and, sometimes, legitimately funny, too.

Advertisements

I STILL KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER (1998)

fhd008YDL_Jennifer_Love_Hewitt_033

Elizabeth

When I was younger, I sort of had a weird obsession with wanting to see horror movies. I was a pretty scared child (I grew up in New Orleans), so I don’t really know what this was about except maybe it was comforting to see bad things happen to fake people. I was 9 when I Know What You Did Last Summer came out, so I was obviously out of the running for seeing it in theaters. I was so desperate to see it, though, that I read the book. It was . . . not good.

Years later, I finally saw it and its sequel. I was probably in about 8th or 9th grade when I first saw this. The biggest thing I took away from it was not feeling scared because the majority of the characters were stupid and did stupid things that no real person would do, or at least I wouldn’t do. The biggest thing I had a problem with stuck out to me this time, too. So, okay we have Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt), a year or so after her friends got murdered in the first movie. Now she’s in college and has replaced her former best friend of Sarah Michelle Gellar with BRANDY. One morning, Brandy randomly gets a call from a radio station, telling her that she’s live on air and if she can correctly guess the capital of Brazil, she’ll win a trip for 4 to The Bahamas. Julie grabs a bag of coffee, sees that it was made in Rio, and that’s what Brandy guesses. They tell her she’s correct, they go on the trip, and more murder happens while they’re there. So, here’s my problem: why did no one, especially Julie (who has since become pretty paranoid from the first movie), question the fact that a radio station called them? In what world does a radio station hold a contest in which they just call a random person and offer them a trip? It’s later made clear to Julie and Brandy that it was a set-up, since Rio is in fact not the capital of Brazil. But no one ever brings up the fact that they should have caught onto it whether they knew the capital or not. Stupid.

So, this one wasn’t as scary. I have to say, though, Jack Black is in this as some weird island stoner, and his murder is kinda scary, mostly because he’s not actually doing anything and the killer sort of tortures him first. That was a bummer.

Christopher

For most of my life I stayed away from horror films because they just scared me way too much. Because of this I missed the boat on so many well-known films. I know ISKWYDLS is not great but it’s parodied enough times for me see every twist in this film far before it happened. We did watch this without watching the first one but I already knew what it was about, Elizabeth had seen it already, ISKWYDLS was the only one on Hulu and we just read the Wikipedia page for the first one. This movie is not very scary. I think what I took away the most was just being able to say I have seen it but I am looking forward to watching to first one at some point. I hope that one is a little more intense.

GEORGE WASHINGTON (2000)

large_george_washington_01_blu-ray_

Christopher

There was definitely a lot in this movie that I do not think worked but overall I really enjoyed watching this. I hear it’s very similar to Kids, something I know I need to see but have yet to, minus all the sex, so I think I wanted the one I was more interested in anyway. The story follows a group of kids during the course of a summer where some pretty awful stuff happens. I think the characters in this film are really what make it. That being said, all the adult characters are really worthless in this film. After the movie Elizabeth mentioned this and it made me think of the adults as part of the scenery. The whole movie is shot in abandoned warehouses and buildings. Maybe the emptiness of the building had to do with the lack of development of the adult characters.

I would totally watch this movie again but I’m more interested in watching other David Gordon Green films.

Elizabeth

The biggest thing I took away from George Washington was not so much what the movie was about, but how it felt to me. The cinematography really is beautiful; it sort of reminded me of Badlands or even Nebraska. I didn’t exactly identify with the kids in the movie in that we had similar childhoods, but I did identify with the feeling they had: just how hot the summer is and how boring it can be when you’re a kid.

To me the two weakest elements were the narration and the adult characters. There’s narration throughout, but I honestly found it sort of hard to tell who was talking (I’m pretty sure it was Nasia, one of the main girls) because boys and girls at that age tend to have similar-sounding voices. And there were adult characters, but they were never developed and never really had plotlines, they mostly just had scenes, which in turn felt out of place and slow.

George Washington is good, especially for a directorial debut. But it’s also pretty tragic and a little strange, but beautiful enough that anyone should really see it.

JUST MY LUCK (2006)

JustMyLuck2006m720pBluRay-1

Elizabeth

You might read a synopsis for Just My Luck, or see an ad for it, or see the trailer, and you think you know what happens in it. For example, would you expect to see Lindsay Lohan pick up a contact lens out of a pile of cat shit and stick in her eye? Ha ha, of course you wouldn’t, and of course that happens in this movie.

Just look at this poster:

Justmyluck

If you weren’t sure, that up there is supposed to be Lindsay Lohan and Chris Pine. I can basically see Chris Pine in there, but WHO THE FUCK IS THAT LADY??? That is not Lindsay Lohan. Maybe at one time it was, but after all that Photoshopping, that time has passed.

So anyway, Lohan plays Ashley, “the luckiest girl in Manhattan.” Her good luck is on a supernatural level: when she whistles for a taxi, 5 nearly crash into each other trying to stop for her. When she walks out of her building, the cloudy skies turn sunny. Shit like that. Alternatively we have Pine playing Jake, a guy who maybe has less-than-great luck, but is mostly just stupid. Ashley is incredibly successful and well-liked despite not really knowing anything or thinking about anyone but herself. She throws a masquerade ball for her company, which Jake shows up for. Oh, why is Jake there? Well, do you remember the musical group McFly? You don’t? Yeah, that makes sense, considering they’re a mid 2000’s shitty pop rock band from England that inexplicably has promotional ties to Just My Luck. McFly play themselves and Jake acts as their friend-but-not-manager and tries to get a record exec to hear McFly’s CD at the party. Ashley and Jake kiss and their luck switches, but even when it switches, Jake’s good luck is so insane that it’s really just magic, and Ashley does not have bad luck, she just cannot do anything. Remember when I said she picked up a contact lens off of cat shit and put it in her eye? Yeah.

It doesn’t matter how this movie resolves itself. I’m sure you can make a pretty educated guess. But what’s really insane is that I just learned that Lohan was 19 when she filmed this, and from the picture at the top of the post that either seems like a huge lie (which it is not) or a huge tragedy, considering she looks at least 10 years older than I am now (which is 26). That blows my mind.

Christopher

This movie maybe more boring than not but holy shit is it weird. It’s all about Lindsay Lohan who has crazy good luck, like insane good luck, like good luck where something completely unrealistic happens every couple of minutes. On the other hand there is Chris Pine’s character who has crazy bad luck, the same kind of luck as Lohan, just bad. So bad that it’s a miracle he’s even alive. Well the story really begins when they kiss and their luck changes, Pine has bad luck and Lohan has good luck.

What I don’t really understand is why this power is called luck in this film. It really is a superpower. It’s to the point where either of them could create some kind of following. This movie could very well be the director’s version of what will happen when the lord our savior Jesus Christ comes back. I sure hope it is.

AMERICAN BEAUTY (1999)

large_american_dream_blu-ray_2

Editor’s note: We watched American Beauty a while ago and forgot to write about it, so I’m not sure where it really fits in our chronology of movies. But here you go!

Christopher

I should of watched this in high school, it has so many people and themes I would have been very into at the time. Watching the film now though, it just looks and feels so 90’s I don’t think it had the same impact on me know as it would of when I was younger. I still found the story to be interesting and I wanted to know what each character was going through, but I just feel like I missed the boat on this movie.

Elizabeth

I wanted to see this movie so bad when it came out. Unfortunately, I was 11 at the time and couldn’t go, even after it was re-released a little while later with all the Oscar buzz around it. I remember being so sure my mom would let me see it when it was re-released for some reason, even though it was less than a year later. But anyway.

A lot of my feelings about American Beauty are clouded by the fact that I’ve seen it so many times at so many stages of my life. I did finally see it when it came out on video, with my mom fast forwarding through Lester (Kevin Spacey)’s shower masturbation scene. So I saw it in early middle school, and then multiple times in high school and college. So I’ve definitely been able to relate to it in different ways over the years; I always found Jane (Thora Birch) to be a character that really spoke to me. Her angst seemed genuine and well-deserved, and her relationship to Angela (Mena Suvari) was eerily similar to a friendship I had at the time I first watched it. Now I definitely can see parts of myself in the parents, too, and understand their problems more.

This is just such a great movie. And I have to say, I know the “paper bag floating in the wind” scene gets a lot of shit, but in the context of the movie and what the characters are going through at the time, it really is beautiful.

BOTTLE ROCKET (1996)

br15

Elizabeth

Oh, how I love Bottle Rocket. I feel like it’s sort of fallen out of style to be a big Wes Anderson fan, and I don’t really know why but I definitely do not care. He’s still one of my all-time favorite directors, and Bottle Rocket is so great.

I think the biggest thing that stands out when I think about Bottle Rocket is how sweet it is. I first saw it a loooong time ago, when I was fairly young, and looking back on it, Bottle Rocket is really more than okay for a younger person. There’s no real sex, violence, or language (just bits of it and allusions to it) and the plot is pretty simple.The relationships also feel very natural and genuine; Dignan (Owen Wilson) is the leader of the group, but mostly because Bob (Robert Musgrave) is a pushover and Anthony (Luke Wilson) lets Dignan be the leader because he knows it’s more important to him. Anthony is close enough to Dignan to never really stand up for Bob, but is also coming into his own more where he cares less about what Dignan is doing. Anthony’s relationship with Inez (Lumi Cavazos) also feels very natural; their relationship is brought on by pure attraction (since they speak different languages), but it stays a relationship because Anthony is genuinely interested in Inez and she genuinely needs a confidant. Also, Anthony reminds me a lot of Chris, so that makes me like him even more.

Bottle Rocket is just such a great introduction to Wes Anderson, not just because it’s his first but because it’s a lot simpler than his other movies but is still signature Wes Anderson. Everything in this movie feels very organized when it needs to be and chaotic when it needs to be. It’s all just laid out perfectly, until something fucks it up, which is very relatable. Bottle Rocket is not the best movie ever and it’s not even Wes Anderson’s best movie, but GOD is it gooooood.

Christopher

I saw the end of this movie on Comedy Central when I was, in middle school maybe, and that was the first time I ever heard of Wes Anderson. The part that I starting watching from, for the first time, was the robbery at the end. I remember thinking to myself, “How does this exist?” (Something I never thought twice about when watching a Ron Howard movie). Through the help of IMDB I quickly found out what the movie was and started watching all the Wes Anderson movies that existed at the time.

If you do not know who Wes Anderson is then start here, I think. Also, the Alamo Drafthouse shows this movie at the hotel it was filmed to raise money for it to stay open. I think Elizabeth and I are going to try to go next time or if nothing else try to stay a night.

 

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST (1975)

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (2)

Christopher

I love this movie. I have also grown up knowing that nurse Ratched is the worst most insensitive terrible creature to ever appear on screen.

The scary thing is that now, as an adult, I don’t really find her as terrible as I did as a kid. She’s just kind of doing her job. But that does not keep me from still loving this movie. I love Jack Nicholson in it, he brings terrific energy to such a bizarre cast. If you have not seen this movie please do; it does a great job of capturing interesting people and how they react to being trapped.

Elizabeth

Alright, I’m going to straight up have a very unpopular opinion about this movie, so be warned. I first saw One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 7th grade. I enjoyed it then, but there was something about it that made me feel like I was missing something. Then Chris and I went to a screening of it, and that same something was still there, except now I have it figured out.

Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) always shows up toward the top of lists about greatest movie villains. But here’s the thing: she’s not the villain. If there is a villain at all, it’s most certainly McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), our assumed protagonist. I mean, hear me out. McMurphy is in prison for the statutory rape of a 15 year old girl. He fakes being crazy so that he’ll get sent to the mental institution instead of prison, which he does. That alone is awful to me; committing rape (statutory or not) and then abusing the already-abused state and federal mental health system to try to get out of his due punishment does not make me want to rally behind McMurphy. McMurphy and Ratched first bump heads because McMurphy wants to watch the first game of The World Series, which would be at a time where they don’t watch TV on the hospital ward’s floor. McMurphy doesn’t understand why she won’t “let” him watch the game, even though she (calmly) explains to him that they have a very precise schedule they need to stick to and that deviating from that schedule could cause a lot of mental harm to the men on the ward, plus the fact that they can’t bend the rules for one person. While this baseball game thing is continually a point of contention, McMurphy furthers it along by making a bet that he can drive Ratched crazy, causing him to target her and act out just for this bet. So, first of all, of course they can’t watch the stupid baseball game, because they’re in a mental ward. That is something, for better or worse, that I do know something about, and I know they really can’t change up rigid schedules because people really will totally freak out. So it pisses me off that McMurphy automatically thinks Ratched is just being difficult, instead of actually listening to her.

The movie continues like this until the climactic night where McMurphy bribes a night guard to let them have girls and booze on the ward. The guard passes out and the patients completely trash the ward, get drunk, and one of them has sex in one of the padded cells. When Ratched comes in the next morning, she immediately tries to assess the situation by first figuring out if everyone is accounted for. When they find someone missing, and then find him asleep with a woman in the padded cell, Ratched tells him that she will tell his mother about it and that he should wait for the doctor in his office. While waiting, he kills himself, presumably out of fear of Ratched telling his mother. This leads to McMurphy attacking Ratched and strangling her almost to death. Okay, so here’s how I read this situation: Ratched leaves her shitty, shitty, shitty job, late at night. She relies on the night guard not to do her job, but to at least do his job of keeping the peace and making sure everyone and everything is intact. She comes into work early the next morning and finds that she cannot in fact rely on the night guard, or maybe anyone, to do their jobs enough to where she doesn’t have an entire hospital ward turned upside down. I mean, can you imagine the frustration of that? I certainly can, and I don’t see where in this situation we’re supposed to feel sympathetic toward McMurphy and dislike Ratched. Was she overly harsh to that kid by telling him she was going to tell his mother? Yeah, probably. But did she kill him? No. And did she do that clearly out of the anger and frustration of having to deal with the situation at hand, which McMurphy created? Yes.

So, I mean, that’s really all I have to say about this movie. I hated McMurphy; his character is like a child who is also capable of rape. I liked and pitied Nurse Ratched and I feel fairly certain if she was a man, she would just be a “boss” and not a “cold bitch.” But maybe that’s just me.