Wednesday, November 22, 2017

There's No Crying in Baseball

A League of Their Own
Director: Penny Marshall
Cast: Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell, Lori Petty, Jon Lovitz, Bill Pullman
Released: July 1, 1992


When people think of baseball movies, I'm sure this one is always at the top of the list. And when people think of movies with a predominately all-female cast, I'm sure this one is also at the top of that list. It is set during 1943 which means since there is a war going on, there is no longer anymore Major League Baseball since all the men are overseas. This movie tells the story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (or the AAGPBL (it's still quite a mouthful even when it's abbreviated!)) 

Sisters Dottie (Geena Davis) and Kit Hinson (Lori Petty) who live in Willamette, Oregon are recruited by an AAGPBL scout named Ernie (Jon Lovitz) who wants to take them to Chicago to be on a team. Correction: he only wants to recruit Dottie who is an exceptionally good player (she can easily catch a ball without a glove and without any warning a ball is being thrown to her). Dottie has no desire to leave her rural farm life and wants to wait for her husband (Bill Pullman) to return home from the war. Her younger sister, Kit, who loves baseball, but isn't as good as her Dottie really wants this opportunity and Dottie tells Ernie she'll go to Chicago, but only if Kit can also go to which he agrees. 

They make a pit stop in Fort Collins, Colorado so Ernie can check out a ball player named Marla that he hears is really great. And she is really great and she's ready to sign her and take her to Chicago until he gets closer to her and she lifts her hat up so he can see her face and it is revealed she is quite homely. At first he doesn't want to sign her, despite her being a great hitter, because image seems to be the first and foremost priority of the team. They are looking for beautiful young women to wear short skirts (although what's the point since the majority of their target audience are overseas, anyway?) However, Dottie and Kit refuse to go on unless Marla also goes with them.

They find out they will be playing for a team called the Rockford Peaches (such a...wussy name....haha, that reminds me, my dad and I went to someone's house once (I forget who or where or what for) and they owned a cat named Peaches (because it was orange) and after we left, my dad said that was a wussy name). We meet some of the other players, most notably "All the Way" Mae (played by Madonna - I think you can guess why they call her "All the Way Mae")  and her smart mouth friend, Doris (played by Rosie O'Donnell). There's also a player who can't read and needs help from another player to see if she made the team because she wouldn't know if her name was on the list or not. In another scene, we see Mae (whoops, almost typed Madonna!) teaching her how to read on the bus, using an erotica (no pun intended, I swear! I forgot for a split second that that's a name of a Madonna song) novel. Tea Leoni is also a player and last, but not least, there's a woman who has a young son who is a complete and utter brat and she has to bring him along to all the games.


The first time they are all gathered is when they learn they'll be wearing skirts which they think is ridiculous because how can they slide in skirts?  This is also when we learn they'll be going to charm school because this was 1943 and everything was so sexist back then. One of the instructors gives a stylist advice on what to do with each player's hair and/or skin and when she comes to Marla, she doesn't have any advice to make her look any better.

We see a montage of the girls being photographed for newspapers and magazines and one of the headlines is (and get ready to roll your eyes!), "Trading oven mitts for baseball mitts!" Ugh. Just ugh. Oh, wait. That might not be the worst part. There's a TV ad about the new league and a voiceover says, "Girls playing baseball?" Yes, I don't know which one is worse. We also get a montage of many of their games and this is where we see Dottie catching a ball while doing the splits and a huge nasty bruise on the back thigh one of the players received after sliding onto one of the bases. I thought for sure it was just make up because this thing is huge, but after doing some research, apparently it was real. Ewww. And ouch!

The Peaches' coach/manager is former player for the Cubs (he hit 58 home runs in 1936), Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) who is not thrilled to be coaching a bunch of women at first and spends most of his time drinking, but does come around in the end. He gives us the most famous line in the entire movie, "There's no crying in baseball!"

There's a very odd scene where he has to deliver bad news to one of the players that her husband has been killed in the war. It's odd because we first get a mail carrier who comes to the locker room after a game, announcing he has a telegram for one of the ladies from the war department. Well, this could only be bad news and all of them (well, the ones who are married and/or have a loved one overseas) are all understandably apprehensive about this news. The mail carrier is being really callous, saying how this should have been sent personally for someone to find out that their husband is dead. He looks through the list which doesn't have the name of the receiver and tells them he has to go back to the post office to straighten it out. Seriously, you just told this group of women that one of their husbands is dead, and now you have to go back and straighten something out, only making it more agonizing for them to have to wait any longer to find out who is getting possibly the worst news of their life? Yeah, that just seems really unprofessional and something that would never happen in the real world. By this time, Jimmy has taken a liking to his players now and demands that the carrier give him the telegram. He has to snatch it out of his hand and push him out of the room with the carrier protesting about it being "official war business." Dugan opens the letter and reads it, finding out who is about to get bad news. Now I realize there's no good way to tell someone their spouse is dead, but I think in this instance the best way would be for Jimmy to announce the name from where he's standing. Instead, he slowly starts to head to the brand new widow, making the other women he passes fearful that it might be one of them who he's headed to. This includes Dottie who is very scared that her husband, Bob, is dead. Of course, the woman he is headed to, Betty Spaghetti (I think they call her that because she makes a mean spaghetti?), is towards the back, so therefore he passes many women on his way to deliver her the telegram.

In the very next scene, Bob has arrived in Rockford after being discharged from from the army. This literally happens thirty seconds right after Betty received her telegram that I was sure that this was a dream sequence and Dottie was imaging her husband was with her, after hearing the horrible news about Betty's husband, but no, after a few minutes, I realized that this was reality. This is around the time where the Peaches lose a few of their players. Obviously Betty doesn't come back after losing her husband. Dottie decides to leave when her husband returns because she wants to starts a family with him. Despite her looks, even Marla finds love and marries a man she met at a club all the players snuck out to one night and marries him shortly after.

Because of the Hinson sister's rivalry, Kit has been traded to the Racine Belles (yeah, female sports teams sure had some wimpy names). Wearing skirts comes in handy for them because their motto is "Dirt in the skirt". Dottie has decided to play until the end of the season so she is playing against her sister when the Peaches and the Belles are playing against each other in a game that will determine the champion. Dottie gives the pitcher advice since she knows her sister and Kit misses the first two, but hits a home run. Dottie had caught the ball, but dropped it, declaring Kit safe.

The movie starts and ends in "present day" 1992 where Dottie is going to visit an exhibition of the AAGPBL at the Baseball Hall of Fame. At first I thought it was Geena Davis in old age makeup, because that was certainly her voice I was hearing, but it didn't quite look like her. I found out they got older actresses to play elder Dottie and Kit, but had Geena Davis and Lori Petty do the voiceovers, which was very odd. The young boy who used to be a nuisance is now a middle aged man and comes to pay his respects to the team and tells the others that his mother has died. We also learn that Jimmy has also in 1987.

The movie ends with Madonna's "This Used to Be My Playground" playing over the credits. I was familiar with that song, but I had no idea it was used in the movie. It's a bit of a downer song for it: "This used to be my playground, this used to be my childhood dream. This used to be the place I ran to whenever I was in need of a friend....why did it have to end?" Yeah, pretty dreary lyrics! They could have at least changed the title to "This Used to Be My Ball Field."

I believe this is the only Madonna movie I've seen and she's really only a background character. Her one big scene in the movie is when they sneak out to a club called the Suds Bucket and she swings dance, which she's quite good at (I'm assuming that was really her!) This is probably smart of me that A League of Their Own is the only Madonna movie I've seen because from what I've heard, she's a terrible actress. I never saw Evita or the one where she has a baby with her gay friend or any of the ones she made when she was married to Guy Ritchie.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

RepuTAYtion

I haven't listened to Taylor Swift's new album yet (won't have time until Monday or Tuesday), but I did make a list with my fifteen favorite songs of hers:

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Ghostbusters
Director: Ivan Reitman
Cast: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver, Rick Moranis, Annie Potts
Released: June 8, 1984

Oscar nominations:
Best Visual Effects (lost to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom)
Best Original Song - Ray Parker Jr. for "Ghostbusters" (lost to Stevie Wonder for "I Just Called To Say I Love You" for The Woman in Red)


I remember watching this movie a lot as a kid, although it must not have been that many times because there were things I didn't remember during my recent re-watch or just thought had happened differently. I do remember the Ecto Hi C Cooler, although I don't think I ever drank it because it looked pretty gross. I remember the cartoon. I do know there was a sequel and that I saw it, but I could not tell you anything about it. And I definitely remember the catchy theme song by Ray Parker Jr. They even still play it on the radio around Halloween. (The remake of the song they play in the 2016 version of the movie is TERRIBLE!) 

Everyone's seen this movie, right? I don't really need to do a plot synopsis, do I? Well, in case you haven't seen it or don't know what it's about for some ungodly reason, our four main characters: Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis), Peter Venkman (Bill Murray), Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd), and Winston Zeddmore (Ernie Hudson), all go around NYC to bust ghosts, hence their name. They all have cameos in the 2016 rebooted Ghostbusters (except for Ramis who passed away).

Slight spoiler for Stranger Things 2 coming up, but nothing that will ruin the plot of the season: So I love the second episode where the four boys dress up as the Ghostbusters for Halloween and wear their costumes to school. The montage scene where the theme song is playing and their mothers are taking their photos is very adorable. I loved when Mike and Lucas were bickering because they both came as Venkman and Mike says there can't be two Venkmans (Venkmen?) and thought they had decided on Lucas being Winston (pretty much because they're both black), but Lucas doesn't care for Winston as a character because he joins the group later (he joins about halfway through) and isn't a real scientist. Personally, I would have thought Egon would have been the character to fight over being as he is the best one, right? Well, he is my favorite Ghostbuster. I suppose Venkman IS the main character and he has more of the funnier lines and he gets the girl in the end. But when I think Ghostbusters, I think Egon.

Oh, and I also think of Slimer...who is barely in this movie. I remember him being the mascot of the Ghostbusters. Am I thinking of the second movie? Or am I thinking of the cartoon? He's not even given a name in the movie. The Ghostbusters (minus Winston since this is before he joins the team) gets a call from a fancy hotel about a ghost terrorizing the place. Their receptionist, Janine (Annie Potts) takes the calls and tells the hotel that "They'll be totally discreet" and we see their car zooming down the street with all its bells and whistles making a huge ruckus. They do get Slimer when they lock him into the ballroom of the hotel where it looks like a function is about to start soon and end up just destroying the room while they try to capture the poltergeist. We briefly see him again when all the ghosts are released due to Walter Peck ordering their operation to be shut down, thus realizing all the ghosts that have been captured, but that's about all you see of Slimer in the first movie.

Another thing that I remember differently is the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. The reason he comes to exist is because Gozer, the Big Bad of the movie tells the Ghostbusters that whatever they think of, that will come to life and destroy the city. Three out of the four Ghostbusters manage to keep their minds clear, but Ray ends up thinking of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man because it was the least harmful thing he could think of. (I guess he didn't realize it would be the size of a Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon!) I do not remember the Marshmallow Man being created this way at all. I could have sworn it came to be in Dana's kitchen cuz all that weird stuff happened with the eggs cracking and cooking by themselves on her counter and when she opened her refrigerator, she saw a Hellscape. I do remember those moments and I also remember she bought a bag of the Stay Puft Marshmallows, hence is why I thought the Marshmallow Man was created in her kitchen.

Dana Barrett (Sigourney Weaver) calls the Ghostbusters about her freaky fridge situation and is one of their first clients. Peter takes a liking to her (and some of the comments he makes to her are very unprofessional). Luckily he is there when she becomes possessed by Zuul and when she starts talking to him in a deep guttural sound, he tells her, "What a lovely singing voice you have." Peter isn't the only one who has a thing for Dana; so does her nerdy neighbor Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) who lives in the same apartment building. He's always inviting her to his parties which she politely refuses. Forget Venkman; I would say Louis is the funniest character in the movie. We see him throwing one of his parties and telling one of his guests, "I'm giving this whole thing as a promotional expense which is why I invited clients instead of friends." At that same party, he takes the coats of two guests who have just arrived and throws them into the closet not seeing the demon-dog sitting in there. When he hears the growl, he asks his guests, er clients, "Okay, who brought the dog?" You kind of have to see his scenes to appreciate how funny he is...it's his line delivery that's great.

This movie scared me as a kid, but yeah, it's not scary at all. There might be a few jump scenes, but nothing too bad. Also, the "special effects" are just terrible, especially the demon-dogs. They looked good when they were just standing still, but whenever they jumped or ran, it just looked terrible. Anytime they used puppets for the ghosts, it looked fine, but there's a lot of things that just look bad. I suppose for 1984 it looked good... 

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Wonder Years

What would you do if I sang out of tune?

I recently watched The Wonder Years on Netflix (thank goodness I was able to watch them all before the show was taken off Netflix or before my computer went kaput!) and wanted to share my 10 favorite episodes from the 6 seasons (technically they had five and a quarter seasons since the first season was only six episodes!



I'm going to say it: I think Fred Savage is the best TV child actor ever. Sorry, Frankie Muniz. Sorry, JTT. Sorry, Ron Howard. Sorry, Finn Wolfhard. But it's just true!

Did you know that Fred Savage was the youngest person to be nominated for an Emmy when he was 12? And he is the third youngest person (13) to host SNL after Macaulay Culkin (11) and Drew Barrymore (7). 

So here are my ten favorite episodes The Wonder Years:

10. The St. Valentine's Day Massacre (Season 3, Episode 14)

Okay, I admit, I may only have this episode on my list because Cory Matthews is in it. I knew Ben Savage was in an episode of The Wonder Years (only makes sense since Fred was in an episode of Boy Meets World!), but I just didn't know what season or when he would show up, but as soon as I saw him, I knew it was him. But even without Fred Savage's real-life little brother, I still would have liked this episode. Kevin's trying to win Winnie Cooper back and makes her a Valentine's Day card. Ben plays a student dressed as Cupid and Kevin tells him which locker to put the Valentine. There is a funny exchange between the two of them as Kevin (who is in 8th grade) is skeptical that the kid is in 7th grade (in real life, Ben is four years younger, so he would have been 8 or 9), but he says he skipped a grade. Uh, more like a couple of grades! Unfortunately, Ben (I don't think his character had a name), puts the Valentine in the wrong locker. Not only does it not get to Winnie, but it ends up in Becky Slater's locker. She is Kevin's ex-girlfriend/nemesis and she thinks Kevin wants to get back together. Whoops!

9. Don't You Know Anything About Women? (Season 3, Episode 11)

You know nothing, Kevin Arnold! This is just one of many episodes where Kevin is a total jerk. He has a crush on a beautiful blonde named Susan who is already taken and his lab partner, Linda, who he calls "comfortable" and "a great guy" gives him advice to ask Susan to a dance. Kevin tries to, but loses his nerve. Linda suggests that they go to the dance together "as friends" since neither of them have dates. Kevin agrees. Of course as soon as that happens, Susan reappears and tells Kevin to "save her a dance" at the dance and he is elated. He's trying to think of a way to weasel out of going to the dance with Linda, but decides he can't let a friend down. He even mentions it's "like going to the dance with Paul...only not at all" once he sees Linda in her dress and she's all made up. He almost seems like he made the right choice in going with her, but he gets his dance from Susan. Afterwards, when he's getting them both a drink from the punch bowl, Linda comes up and starts to take the drink, thinking it's for her, but he tells her it's for Susan and that she will be back soon. Clearly hurt by this, Linda leaves to look for the guy who initially asked her to the dance. He justifies this by thinking that while Linda was a great girl, he didn't like her the way he liked Susan...only to look up and see Susan dancing with her boyfriend, who she made up with. I thought the girl playing Linda looked familiar and she also played Sara Andrews in Adventures in Baby-Sitting, you know the one obsessed with Thor?

8. Carnal Knowledge (Season 5, Episode 19)

The Netflix synopsis of this episode spoils what happens, but I'll get to that later. Kevin and his friends are 16 and they are excited about a new movie called Carnal Knowledge (I looked it up, and yes, it is a real movie directed by Mike Nichols and starring Jack Nicholson, Candice Bergen, and Ann Margaret and it came out in 1971 which would coincide with the timeline of the series) which features a lot of sex and apparently, according to one of Kevin's friends, it shows "everything". Since they are only 16, they plan to sneak into the movie with fake IDs, only problem is there is a misunderstanding and the guy who was suppose to get the IDs doesn't have them. Before that we get a funny scene where Kevin's mom is trying to get her husband to see the movie (the same showing he was planning on seeing), but Kevin convinces his dad to stay home and watch the John Wayne marathon instead. Kevin and his friends try to get Paul to see the film with them, but he can't because his mom's friend from college is visiting with her family which includes a college-aged girl who we meet briefly. They are annoyed with him because what teenaged boy wouldn't want to see this movie? Well, it turns out he lost his virginity to the college girl while the other guys were trying to see the sexually explicit movie. Which is pretty ironic if you think about it cuz they were giving him grief about not wanting to see it. This is spoiled in the Netflix synopsis because it says something like "Kevin tries to sneak into an R-rated movie, while Paul is having his own R-rated night." Or something like that. It pretty much implies he has sex, so I wasn't as surprised as Kevin when it is revealed. After his failed attempt at seeing the movie, Paul comes over and is trying to tell Kevin what happened and Kevin sarcastically says, "Did you make passionate love on the kitchen table?" and Paul says, "Well, it wasn't in the kitchen..." which Kevin wasn't expecting at all.

So the remaining episodes on my list all made me tear up or flat out bawl!

7. The Hardware Store (Season 5, Episode 3)

I thought this episode was from an earlier season, but I kinda watched them all in a big clump, so that's probably why I thought that. I guess since this episode is about Kevin's very first job, I thought he was younger than 15, but I suppose that is pretty young! But in Wonder Years years (heh), 15 is on the older spectrum for Kevin since we first meet him when he's 11 and the show ends when he's 16 (or maybe he's 17...I don't remember). Anyway, this episode shows us Kevin's first job, which you may have guessed, is at the local hardware store. He just sorts stuff and helps out his boss, Mr. Harris, who is a curmudgeon. Kevin hates his job and wants to get a job at the mall food court, where his other friends work, and the pay there is....get this...$1.60/hour and he's thrilled about this. I was like, huh. I mean, it IS 1971, but that still doesn't seem like enough. This is ten cents more than his job at the hardware store and when he tells Mr. Harris this, his boss tells him he'll give him a 15 cent raise, thinking this is about money, although it's not, so Keven is forced to stay at the job. However, it doesn't last too long and he quits to take the job at the mall so he can hang with his friends and have an easy job. It turns out Kevin did learn a lot while working at the hardware store because his dad needs to fix something and Kevin seems to know exactly what kind of tools he will need, thanks to his apprenticeship. Looking back, adult Kevin narrates to us, "When I left [the mall job] a month later, no one cared, but every time I pick up a flat head screw, I think of Old Man Harris and how those cowbells clanged as I walked out that door. And even though I can't say exactly what I gained, I know I can't measure what I lost." Uh, that made me lose it and I started to cry!

6. Grandpa's Car (Season 5, Episode 12)

Kevin's grandfather (Jack's dad) has been a recurring character throughout the series. In this episode, he has been having trouble with driving safely and he is furious when Jack and Norma want to take his car away from him. He tells him he's leaving so Kevin drives him to his house and will take a bus back. Once they are out of sight from the Arnold house, Grandpa Arnold makes Kevin pull over and get out so he can drive. They visit many sites along the way which annoys Kevin at first, then realizes that all of these places serve as important memories for his grandfather and learns to appreciate spending time with him. Grandpa Arnold also realizes that he really shouldn't be driving after he has a near collision (which really wasn't that bad...Kevin was totally overreacting when he said they were nearly killed) and sells his car to Kevin for a dollar. What a great deal...even for 1971! The last line made me a little teary-eyed. Kevin says he remembers his first car "not because it was my first car, but because it was my grandfather's last." ::SNIFFSNIFFSNIFF:::

5 . A Very Cutlip Christmas (Season 4, Episode 9)

The 4th season takes place during Kevin's last year in junior high as a ninth grader. In another episode from this season where he says he's a ninth grader and was still in junior high, I was very confused. I had no idea that back in the day 7-9 was junior high and 10-12 was high school. Now I knew that sixth grade used o be part of elementary, but I just assumed junior high was only 7 and 8! I guess it would make more sense to have three grades in each school. This is also our last season with Coach Cutlip, Kevin's gym teacher who is a major hardass and nobody likes him. One day, while at the mall, Kevin sees a familiar man dressed up as Santa and recognizes him as his gym coach which shocks him because it's such a different side to the tyrannical coach. Cutlip sees that Kevin sees him and the next day at school he tells him "Kids like me when I'm Santa." He doesn't want Kevin to tell anyone, so he starts being really nice to him, which makes the other kids suspicious. Kevin doesn't plan on telling anyone, but he does let it slip that Cutlip "works at the mall" and the others are determined to go and find him and laugh at him. I'm assuming they think he works at one of those kiosks or somewhere at the food court. I really have no idea why they want to waste their time going to the mall just to look for their teacher, but then again, they are teenagers and it is the mall and teens love hanging out at the mall. When they see Santa, they are also like Kevin in that they see this guy giving small kids joy and they can't make fun of him. Maybe not the most memorable Christmas episode, but a very sweet episode, nonetheless.

4. Birthday Boy (Season 2, Episode 13)

Kevin and Paul's birthdays are only four days apart and they usually have joint birthday parties, but this year (1969) is different because they are turning 13 and that means Paul, who is Jewish, will also be celebrating his bar mitzvah. Kevin is livid when Paul tells him it's on his (Kevin's birthday), March 18. (I always like it when we know the birthday of a TV character...makes them more real). Paul invites his best friend to one of the most important events of his life and Kevin is a total jerk and tells him no, that's HIS birthday and HE has plans. Kevin, calm down, it's not like you can't celebrate your birthday another day. It is clear he is jealous that his best friend is having this HUGE party filled with tons of guests, tons of food, and tons of presents on his birthday. On March 18 we see that Kevin really didn't have any big plans and both of his older siblings leave as soon as Kevin has opened his presents and his mom seems to be the only one who wants to make the day special for her son. We cut to Paul at his bar mitzvah ceremony and Kevin enters the synagogue and Paul sees him. This is when I start crying and then we see Paul and Kevin celebrating and dancing with Paul's family and I am still crying.

3. The Accident (Season 4, Episode 20)

This was during the time Winnie Cooper went to a different junior high because her family moved. She's hanging out with new friends and acting very erratic and Kevin is worried about her. The accident the title is referring to is when Winnie gets into a car accident. What I really love about this episode in particular is the music. We have "Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson playing when Winnie is skating with her friends at the  roller rink (while I knew the song, I had to look it up to find out the title). It goes very well with the 1970 vibe of the scene. But most of all, I love the inclusion of "We've Got Tonight" by Bob Seger at the end. Although I looked it up and that song came out in 1978 (according to Wikipedia) and this episode takes place in 1970. In fact, it's 1973 when the series ends. Huh. Oh, well, I think it's the perfect song and I love that song. After Winnie comes home from the hospital, Kevin is waiting at her house to see her, but her parents tell him that she doesn't want to talk to her. This song plays as Kevin sneaks up to her bedroom window to mouth "I love you" and she does the same. It's a very sweet moment and you can bet it brought tears to my eyes.

2. Square Dance (Season 2, Episode 15)


This episode introduces a character named Margaret Farquhar who is only in this episode but leaves a huge impression. She's this really weird, nerdy girl who wears glasses and has three braids. She's into bugs and even has a pet bat. She doesn't have many friends and is often shunned. Kevin refers to her as the least popular girl in their grade. She's annoying because she is constantly asking really stupid questions. She also didn't seem to have any self awareness that nobody liked her which made me cringe. Throughout the series, Kevin has always been worried about being cool, but more so when he's in the seventh grade. In this episode, the boys and girls gym classes are working together because the kids are going to learn to square dance, so they're going to partner up together and this will last for a week. Kevin and Paul are total jerks and tell each other they hope they don't get stuck with any loser girls. Paul is thrilled when he is paired with a pretty girl, but Kevin's worst nightmare comes true when he is partnered up with Margaret Farquhar. After all, he tells us, being paired for a week in middle school is equivalent to eleven years! Everyone makes fun of him and Kevin is worried about his reputation. Kevin does dance with her because his mom tells him to be nice to her, but then she starts talking to him in the hall and cafeteria and he doesn't know what to do. His classmates start teasing him that he's in love with her. At the next gym class, he snubs Margaret by telling her that he sprained his hand so he won't be able to hold hers. He thinks she's gotten the message, but she comes over to his house that afternoon and brings her fruit bat named Mortimer. He tries to get her to leave, but Mrs. Arnold comes in and tells Margaret to stay. Kevin spends an hour with her and finds her very interesting "in a weird way". When Kevin asks her why she has three pigtails, she replies, "Cuz you never know when you're going to need an extra rubber band." He learns a lot about her and they seem to bond. In a haste to get rid of her before Wayne got home and started teasing him, he promises that he'll come over to her house for dinner. He does arrive at the house, but then starts freaking out that somebody is going to see him (even if they did, do they know that's the Farquhar house?) and runs away after ringing the doorbell. The next day at school Kevin tells her that they can talk to each other, but not at school or at his house or in front of anybody. Basically, they can be "secret friends". He is super proud of his "solution", but Margaret, is rightfully pissed off. She doesn't understand why he doesn't want to be friends and starts yelling at him which causes a commotion and Kevin's classmates start making fun of both of them. Narrator Kevin tell us he wished he had been braver and he could have stood up for Margaret and been her friend, but instead during their last square dancing lesson he said he danced alone as Margaret wouldn't look at or speak to him. He talks about her being one of the kids in his yearbook that he will never forget. She became a professor of biology, a mother of six, and remained a friend to bats. This episode definitely made me cry!

1. Goodbye (Season 3, Episode 20)

There is an arc in season three with Kevin struggling with his math class. He doesn't much care for his teacher, Mr. Collins, and is appalled when he suggests that he come to his tutoring classes because only the uncool people go to those and Kevin doesn't want to be associated with them. In another episode, he cheats on his math test because some of the other boys in his class are doing it after finding a book in the library that has all the teacher's answers. He and Mr. Collins do find a respect for each other, but in this episode, Kevin resorts back to being a jerk to a reasonably fine teacher. Kevin has been getting C's on his papers which he thinks are pretty good for him, but his teacher tells him he knows he can do better. He starts to tutor Kevin, but about a week before the test he tells him he won't be around and won't be able to tutor him. This makes Kevin angry and he feels betrayed by his teacher. When the test is given, we know Kevin knows all the answers, but to be a huge jerk, he writes responses like "Who cares?" and "I don't know" for the answers and when he gives Mr. Collins the test, he tells him something like, "Don't even bother grading it". This happens on Friday and by Monday, Kevin has regretted what he's done and Monday morning he tries to find Mr. Collins and asks the vice-principal where he is who has to give the Kevin the sad news that Mr. Collins had died. Even though I didn't know that is what happened, I could sense that was coming.
Even before he heard the news, we know that Kevin feels horrible for what he did, but after hearing that his teacher died and he never got the chance to apologize...oh, man, what a gut punch! The VP is the one taking over the math class and after handing out the math tests, he tells Kevin that Mr. Collins doesn't have his test and asks Kevin what he thinks he should do to which Kevis isn't sure. The VP tells him that Mr. Collins had a thought and gives him a brand new test with his name on it that Mr. Collins had written, so his math teacher had given him a second chance on the test posthumously. Kevin takes it and tells the VP he knows it's already an "A", then we see him look back at the teacher's desk where he sees an image of Mr. Collins and says, "Good job, Mr. Collins." Cue the tears! This episode had be BAWLING!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Say Hello to Your Friends!

The Baby-Sitters Club 
Director: Melanie Mayron
Cast: Schuyler Fisk, Rachael Leigh Cook, Larissa Oleynik, Bre Blair, Marla Sokoloff, Ellen Burstyn
Released: August 18, 1995




When I was in elementary and middle school, I was obsessed with the Baby-Sitters Club. I had the books. I had the videos. I had the calendars. I had the day planner. I had the board game. I had BSC postcards. I had the Chain Letter and Secret Santa thing-ies (if you're a BSC fan, then you know what I'm talking about!) I was first introduced to them when I was eight and my aunt gave me a few books for my birthday. While I don't remember which book was the last one I read (I think somewhere in the 60s), I will always remember "Dawn and the Impossible Three" was the first one I read. Don't ask me why the fifth book in the series was the first one I read; I must not have been given "Kristy's Great Idea" for that birthday. I actually started reading the Little Sisters series, the spin off series with Kristy's stepsister, Karen Brewer, first because she was closer to my age at the time, but within a few months I was reading about the much more mature lives of the 13-year-old members of the Baby-Sitters Club. I remember I always had to go to my mom and ask her to read any entries Claudia wrote because I could never read her awful cursive handwriting. I once wrote a BSC fanfic and I had a lot of fun writing her letters because all you do is just spell everything atrociously. Here are a few examples from my fic:


Dear Mom, Dad, and Janine,
I am haveing the best time in NY! Alredy we have bean to the Nashural Hestory Moozeum and Times Schware! There are lots of grate shops in Times Scware! There was one that suld lots of chaclite!
Love, Claudia


Daer Ashley,
Oh my Lurd! Yoo our nefer going too baliv wut I did! I haf a chilly noo look. Yoo well bee sow saprized wen yoo see me! I mett a guy frum Awstrayleea. He wus really meen too me. He thut I as dume! Who rood!

Yore freind,
Claudia

P.S. NYS is grate! 

Haha, I remember once reading a BSC/CSI fanfic crossover and Stacey is found dead in the first chapter and Gil Grissom says, "Don't tell mom....the baby-sitter's dead." That STILL makes me laugh when I think about it. I am so easily amused. 

I remember going to Waldenbooks every month when a new book was churned out and spending part of my allowance on it. When the Super Specials came out, it felt like Christmas. The Super Specials were...wait for it...super special! Like I mentioned above, I'm not sure which book was the last one I read. I probably stopped reading when I turned fourteen since I was then older than the girls. I know I stopped reading before Abby was introduced (why did they need a new baby-sitter anyway? They had plenty of members!), before Mallory was shipped off to boarding school, and before Dawn moved to California permanently. God, remember how obnoxious Dawn was about California? ("Everyone in California is blonde and tanned!" Everyone in California hates junk food and only eats health food like tofu and rice cakes!" "The sun is always shining in California!" "I hate winters in Connecticut..it's so cold." God, shut up Dawn. (In my fanfic, I had Dawn wear a shirt that said "We got more bounce in California than all y'all combined" because YOU KNOW she would totally wear a shirt like that!))



About five years before the movie came out, they had the Baby-Sitters Club TV show. You might remember the theme song: "Say hello to your friends! Baby-Sitters Club!" I believe they aired on HBO, a channel I didn't get it, but luckily I was able to own all the episodes (13!) on video. I remember I used to act them out with my friend and her younger sister. Yes, we would watch them so many times we had them all memorized and could act them out. True, they were only about 25 minutes, and true, the dialogue was pretty easy to learn. Now I'm sure you're probably wondering: how did you act out the episodes if there were only three of you and there are seven main characters, not to mention all the ancillary characters like their charges and the parents and random people like Zach Braff and Grandma Gilmore (yes, imagine my surprise when I found out Kelly Bishop was in an episode!) Well, we would strategically choose which characters we would be. For instance, the first episode involves around a Mary Anne and Logan plot with a girl, Marcie, who is trying to steal Logan away from Mary Anne. (Why didn't they just have that actress play Cokie Mason? Duh. Marcie is a character we never meet from the books...) Anyway, one of us would play Mary Anne, one would play Logan, and one would play Marcie and then we would divvy up the other characters and just make sure if two characters had a major scene together, then one person wasn't playing both those characters. There's a scene where the girls are in the park and throwing popcorn and catching it in their mouths and we actually would have real popcorn and do that...that's how dedicated to our craft we were! 

Probably my favorite episode was "Stacey's Big Break" when Stacey becomes a model (huh?), but then decides it's too much for her and is missing too many important things and Kristy tells her, "Anybody can be rich and famous...but not everyone can be a member of the Baby-Sitters Club!" and she and Stacey high-five each other, like that's suppose to make Stacey feel better. Also, not everybody can be rich and famous so that doesn't make any sense. Speaking of things that don't make sense...the girls are helping their chargers put on a production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves" and Charlotte Johansson (I'm pretty much writing this assuming you know the names I'm mentioning because I'm assuming you're only reading this if you're a BSC fanatic too!) is playing Snow White, but needs help with her lines and she and Stacey make up a memory tactic where Stacey will cluck her tongue and Charlotte will automatically remember her lines. Huh? How is that suppose to help with her lines. Wouldn't it be more practical if Stacey started saying the beginning of the line? But during the production, Stacey clucks her tongue when Charlotte forgets her line, but then remembers it! WTF?

The episodes are up on Hulu and I encourage everyone to check out these masterpieces and you can also imagine three young girls acting these out!

It's always fun to ask, Which BSC member are you? I feel like I'm a mixture of a few. Physically, I'm the most like Mallory as I'm a redhead and she's the only redhead member. I also could relate to her, because as a pre-teen, I also hated the way I looked...I had the curly red hair, the freckles, the glasses, the braces...Mal, I FEEL YOUR PAIN! It was awful! Looking like that is the worst! I hated being a redhead until I was 17 and saw Titanic. Luckily, I got to leave that awkward stage of my life, but somewhere Mallory Pike is still eleven-years-old because Ann M. Martin kept her characters in this weird time paradox where they never age. I also probably have the most in common with Mallory interests-wise, because I like to read and write (though I did not draw like she did) and once upon a time I was into horses (even took horseback riding lessons which I think she does at one point). The member I'm most like internally is Mary Anne because we're both shy and hate being the center of attention. She's a total cat person and I love my kitty. I'm not as patient as her, and probably not as sensitive as her either, but I can pretty much cry over anything like she does. The main difference between us is she had a boyfriend at 13 (who the eff has a steady boyfriend when they're freaking 13...a crush maybe, but a steady boyfriend? The hell?) and she was raised by a strict father because her mother died. Speaking of which, the member whose family life is most like mine is Claudia. I can relate to her with having an older sibling that is better than you at everything.

Okay, so I've talked about my history with the BSC, BSC fanfiction, the TV show, the members I'm most like, what am I forgetting....oh yeah, the movie! See, I have so much history with this fandom it took me awhile to get here.

I didn't see the movie in the theater because by that time I was 14 and much too mature for the BSC! I did eventually see it on video. I think this is only the second or third time I've seen the movie, so obviously I didn't see it hundreds of times like I did with the TV episodes. I think this is the reason why I always picture the actresses from the TV show as the girls in the club. Most of the actresses in the movie are much more well known than the TV actresses (who are a bunch of people you never heard of...though I once saw the girl who played Jessi on an episode of Clarissa Explains it All...haha, remember that show?) and they are actually the age of the characters. The TV show actresses look to be around 14 - 16, maybe even older. I remember being SHOCKED at how young Mallory and Jessi looked, they honestly look like they should have been baby-sitting charges, not the sitters, but then again, they were only eleven which seems ridiculously young for a baby-sitter. I will go through each member and I've put them in order from most important to the story to least important.

1. Kristy Thomas (played by Schuyler Fisk aka Sissy Spacek's daughter) - It makes sense that Kristy is the main character and narrator of the movie because she IS the club President, after all. She has the great idea (of course) of having a daycare at the Schafer/Spier residence during the summer for the kids they sit for. However, her main storyline is about her estranged father coming to Stoneybrook to visit her (and ONLY her, not any of his biological sons). The whole thing is really shady. I thought this was an interesting plot development because in the books we know that Kristy's biological dad walked out on his family when she was young (well, she's young now...but probably when she was five) and she, according to the books, has never heard from him...until now. I have no idea if he ever makes an appearance in the books after the movie came out (and I have no idea if the events in the movie are even mentioned in any of the book that came out after the movie. Like, did Mary Anne ever say to her, "Hey, Kristy, remember that one summer [the 8th one they spent as 13-year-olds!] when your dad came to Stoneybrook?"). So, like I said, it's totally shady because her dad doesn't want her Kristy telling her mom that he's in town. He doesn't want her telling ANYONE. Uh... However, she does tell Mary Anne who does keep the secret. There's this scene where they see Kristy get into her dad's car and Stacey thinks she's dating an older man. Seriously, Stacey? I thought Claudia was suppose to be the dumb one. Anyway, while the girls are a little concerned that their 13-year-old friend is getting into the car of a 40 something man, they're not concerned enough to tell her mom. Also, why did nobody come to the conclusion that he was her biological father. Duh. It's much more plausible (and not as creepy) than thinking she's dating a much older man. Eww. But to be fair, her dad has never made an appearance in her life until now, so I can kind of understand why they wouldn't automatically think that. Oh, wait. I said she was 13, but she's actually 12 in this. :::rolls eyes::: They only do this because Kristy's dad wants to do something special for her birthday and they mention she is turning 13. Aurgh. It's so stupid. I always hated that Ann M. Martin didn't let the girls age at all. Seriously, being 14 isn't that much difference than 13. She could of at least aged them a freaking year! I know she aged them from 12-13, but she could have also aged them at least another year. But, I disgress...  Anyway, guess who doesn't show up to meet Kristy at the carnival? Yep, her dad has left town and Kristy finally confesses to her mom what happened. There's also this weird scene where Kristy wears a dress that her dad gave her to play baseball with him. First of all, Kristy would never wear a dress, especially to play baseball, and this should give her a clue of how crappy her dad is because he should know this about his daughter.  


Stacey would never
wear this outfit!

2. Stacey McGill (played by Bre Blair) - When we are first introduced to Stacey, we see her hailing a taxicab...in small town Stoneybrook to show us what a city girl she is. Uh....pretty sure there are no taxis in Stoneybrook! That was...weird. Anyway, a Stacey storyline wouldn't be complete without her falling in "luv". She has a sitting job for Rosie Wilder and her cousin Luca who is from....somewhere in Europe. It turns out Luca is seventeen and Stacey is smitten with him. He was suppose to leave, but decides to stay when he sees Stacey. Keep in mind he doesn't know how old she is (I think she tells him she's 15 or 16). Um, if I were Rosie's mom, I would NOT pay Stacey because what's the point of her being there if Luca is already there? Duh. Also, they pretty much go on a date (they go out for ice cream) with a seven-year-old. It's so weird. At one point Rosie even asks Luca if he's going to kiss Stacey and they just laugh it off. When Stacey tells the other how old Luca is, Kristy says, "That's ancient!", which kinda is if you're 13! There's a really "dramatic" moment where Stacey faints when she's taking a hike with Luka because she didn't eat enough and she confesses she has diabetes. Luka learns the truth about Stacey (heh, see what I did there? Only true BSC fanatics will get that) when they go to a "teen club" in NYC and she's not old enough. Haha, Stacey, you're not even old enough to get into a "teen club". He is aghast when he finds out how she is. ("You're THIRTEEN?") However, it turns weird when he continues to pursue her and her mom encourages her to go for it. Uh, excuse me, Maureen, but you do know that a seventeen-year-old boy is trying to creep on your 13-year-old daughter? Stacey and Luca share a kiss (so wrong) and Stacey reminds him that she will soon be fourteen. So what, Stacey? A fourteen-year-old with an eighteen-year-old is not any better than a thirteen-year-old with a seventeen-year-old. And let's not forget, Stacey, you NEVER age! Bre Blair is 37, but Stacey McGill will always remain 13. 

3. Mary Anne Spier (played by Rachael Leigh Cook) Fun fact: this was RLC's first movie. We know this movie takes place after the book where Mary Anne gets her haircut because she has short hair in this movie (although I think it's actually cut shorter in the books). Like I mentioned in the Kristy blurb, she's the one who keeps Kristy's secret for her and the other members get mad at her. She even tells Kristy it's difficult for her to keep her secret because she "tells Dawn everything, but Logan even more." This makes no sense...what is more than everything? Also, I always assumed she was closer to Dawn than she was with Logan since, you know, they were STEPSISTERS and lived together. Of course Dawn does move back to California, but this is before that happens. Anyway.... there's also a subplot where Cokie Mason (played by Mia Sokoloff) is trying to steal Mary Anne's boyfriend, Logan (played by Austin "Last Action Hero" O'Brien). She asks him to attend a Smashing Pumpkins concert with her and while he doesn't say yes, he also doesn't say no. There's this really inappropriate song playing where the lyrics are "Let's get busy"every time Cokie approaches Logan. She is really obsessed with trying to mess with the BSC  (it's really pathetic), but theay are always one step ahead of her, and gets really mad when one of her friends tells her that they seem cool.  


4. Dawn Schafer (played by Larissa Oleynik) Dawn actually doesn't come across as self-righteous or irritating like she does in the books or the TV show. Like I mentioned, the BSC is having a summer daycare for the kids they sit for and it's in Dawn's backyard. An older woman lives next door (Ellen Burstyn....I was surprised as you are when I saw her name in the credits) and she is (rightfully) annoyed by all the children who are throwing things over the fence. She warns Dawn that if it happens again, she will call the police and have their organization closed down. But she and Dawn bond over...something (probably flowers). Also, there's another subplot where Alan Gray is helping the girls watch the kids and he has a crush on Dawn and asks her to the movies. Uh...I thought it was Kristy who he had the crush on? I don't remember this being a storyline in the book. But I guess it is kinda cute.

5. Claudia Kishi - (played by Tricia Joe) Claudi's main (and only!) storyline is the same storyline she has in one of the TV episodes and I know it also happened in a few of her books: she's failing a subject and if she doesn't pass the next test coming, she will have to quit the BSC! Oh no! Seriously, how many times has that been a storyline for Claudia? The BSC help her by making up a song for her test and it helps her and she passes. Yawn. There were some nice touches to her character where we saw her artwork or we would see her pulling out junk food from a hiding place in her room. I was SOOO disappointed in the way she was styled. First of all, she always just wore her hair down. She never wore it in a side ponytail which she does a LOT on the cover of the books; she never wore any crazy headbands or barrettes in her hair; and she never braided it or did anything fun with it. She just wore it down with NO hair accessories. It was so boring! That's not Claudia! Even though she may wear a shirt with a wild print, her clothes are very disappoint too. Let me give you an example of what a usual Claudia Kishi original consists of (thanks to this great website):
-Purple capris with suspenders
- Plaid purple shirt with a matching hat
-White tight with clocks on them

-Lobster earrings (I have lobster earrings!)
-hightop sneakers

In my fanfic I had her wear orange day-glo parachute pants with an orange vest with black trim, an orange scrunchie in her hair and orange rubber boots. My story took place in New York and she got inspiration from a traffic cone. Claudia is always the most fun member to write in BSC fanfics because of her atrocious writing and outrageous outfits. 

So there's also this subplot where the girls are thinking of buying a greenhouse to hold their meetings. I wasn't quite sure what was going on because I was confused. Why would they want to uproot their meeting place from Claudia's house (where she has her own private phone line...hence the reason why they hold them there!) to some random greenhouse? This makes no sense! They would have to get a whole new phone number and that would be a pain having to tell all their clients. Instead, they let Ellen Burstyn (I didn't care to remember her character's name) have it for ...something. 

6. Mallory Pike (played by Stacy Linn Ramsower) and Jessi Ramsey (played by Zelda Harris) - the two 11-year-old members are tied for last place because they're just...there. Seriously, does anybody care about these two? I have never met a BSC fanatic who said one of these were their favorite member. (My favorite? Stacey when I was younger, but now, I would say Claudia). We get a line from Mallory where she says she's working on a novel and we hear Kristy narrate how Jessi loves to dance. Other than those throwaway character traits, they're just really immature. Jessi tells Dawn that she heard that Alan likes her and Mal says, "Does he like her or like like her?" and they both giggle. Seriously, girls, how old are we? Oh, right. Eleven. Then there's a scene where Stacey tells everyone how much money they made the first day at the camp and Jessi says, "We almost have enough to buy a car!" (I don't remember the amount, but I'm pretty sure it was nowhere enough to buy a car) and Mal replies, "And in five years we can drive it." Uh, no. Because you will remain eleven forever!

If you're a fan of these books, I highly recommend the podcast The Baby-Sitters Club Club.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

My visit to Washington


I made this video after visiting Washington state. I'm only posting it here since Facebook won't let me post it! 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Oregon Trail to Treasure

The Goonies
Director: Richard Donner
Cast: Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman, Martha Plimpton, Joe Pantoliano, Anne Ramsey
Released: June 7, 1985


Hey, you guys! Goonies never say die! Down here it's our time; it's our time down here! I love this movie so much! It is THE quintessential children's film from the '80s (although there are certain things that aren't quite appropriate for children, but we'll get to those later!), but, to my knowledge, no other movie captured the awesomeness of being a child in the '80s like this one does. Now, this was a little before my time and I didn't see it theaters as I would have been much too young. I actually don't even remember when I first saw it, but it has been awhile since I last saw it (about 15 years) and I was worried that I might not like it since I'm a little older and more mature. But, nope! I loved it! I was laughing so much. Sure, it has its flaws and there are a lot of things that just don't make any sense at all, and sure, I may have had my nostalgia glasses on, but this movie is AWESOME! (Damn, those glasses just won't come off!) Without this movie, we would not have the likes of Super 8 or Stranger Things, which both defintely have elements of The Goonies. It probably shouldn't surprise you that Steven Spielberg was an executive producer on this. I have even told people about this movie who had never seen it and they watched it and they loved it!

This movie is about a group of kids (leader Mikey,  smart-ass Mouth, clumsy Chunk, and innovative Data) who call themselves "The Goonies" and they live in the coastal town of Astoria, Oregon. They live in an area called the Goon Docks, hence their nickname. The movie is set on what is going to be their last weekend together as their homes are being foreclosed and the property will be used to build a golf course and a new country club. (To be honest, I was never clear on whether it was all their homes or just a few of them). A treasure map is found in Mikey's attic and they use it to see if they can find the treasure and save their homes. The four young boys are joined by Mikey's older brother, Brand as well as Brand's crush, Andy, and her friend, Stef. While trying to find the treasure, they run into the criminal Fratelli family who are after them to shut them up about what they saw. And thus the adventure of a lifetime begins!

I thought it would be fun to rank the Goonies in order of my own personal preference. I'll start with my least favorite and work my way up to my favorite:

7.  Andy (played by Kerri Green)
"This isn't like my mother's Steinway!"


Andy is the only "Goonie" I don't like. And I put "Goonie" in quotes because she tells Mikey she's not even a Goonie. She's just there to be the "girl". She's a cheerleader, she wears a short skirt, she has all the boys lusting after her (Brand, Mikey, and Troy all have crushes on her). She's also the one to freak out the most when they're lost in the cave and realize there may not be a way out. Look, I don't blame her for freaking out...I would probably freak out too, but my god, she's SOOOO annoying! And the way she freaks out is a little disturbing. Let me back up and explain: When we first meet Andy she is riding with Troy in his convertible. Troy is the hotshot jerk athlete (and his dad is the one trying to take all the homes away, so that way you know the entire family is evil). I'm not sure if Troy and Andy are dating, but I'm guessing they are because she's wearing his letter jacket with his name on it and there's a scene where Troy's friends are asking him if he's "made it" with Andy yet and he says no, but he plans to soon. But if they're dating, then why does Brand tell the others that he has a date with Andy? Maybe she's keeping her options open? She seems like one of those girls who always has to have a boyfriend and can't do anything without a man. Ugh! So when she's freaking out, she keeps blabbing on about how she should have let Troy look up her skirt (when she was in his car, he was adjusting his rearview mirror so he could get a better look) and maybe she wouldn't be stuck in this cave as she tells Brand that's the reason she ditched Troy and joined the others. So she's pretty much admitting she would have rather been sexually violated than be in a cave (where there are ways to get out...she was being a little overdramatic). She also keeps going on about what a beautiful body she has and she doesn't want to die before she gets "fat and ugly". Ugh, shut up!

Oh, and it gets worse with her! With every opportunity, she tries to make out with Brand. Now Brand likes her, but even he gets annoyed with her constant goo-goo eyes and always trying to make a pass at him. Once they are safe, and they are no longer being chased by the Fratellis or they are no longer in harm's way, he has no problem kissing her, but there are times she's trying to kiss him that are just not the right time and this happens about three times during the film. There's a scene when they're taking a bathroom break so she and Steph are separated from the rest of the guys and she starts wailing, "Brand! Brand!" in her annoying "help me, I'm just a helpless girl who needs a big strong man" voice. (CAN.NOT.STAND.HER!) Brand tells his brother to see what she's harping about and when he goes over to her, Andy, with her eyes closed, grabs Mikey, thinking he's Brand, and kisses him. My first thought was, How dumb is this girl? Does she not realize that the person she's kissing is the same heigh as her and therefore is not obviously Brand. They do address this when Andy tells Steph to "be careful" because she thinks there's a hole in the area and that "Brand" was standing in it. Okay, I'm glad they thought of something for that, but I still feel like she would have been able to tell she was kissing a twelve-year-old and not a sixteen-year-old. She does tell Stef that it was "weird" (but she still seemed to like it...we got a future cougar on our hands!) and she's confused because she didn't know that Brand wore braces. I mean, really, how stupid is she? Later, when she's kissing Brand she asks him where his braces went (this girl is really so stupid) and that's when she realizes she was making out with a twelve-year-old...because that's what every high school girl dreams of. God, I hate Andy so much. She sucks.

Okay, okay, okay, I will admit she does have one good scene where she is actually helpful in getting the Goonies out of trouble. There's a scene where they have to play certain notes on a piano made out of bones. If the wrong not is hit too many times, a part of the floor falls away and eventually they will all plummet to their death, but each time a right note is struck, a door will open a little at a time. She hits the wrong note quite a few times and with each one exclaims, "This isn't like my mother's Steinway!" or "I'm not Liberace, you know!" Or "I can't tell if it's a B flat or an A sharp!" To which Mikey replies with, "If you hit the wrong note, we'll all be flat!" I just love the look his brother gives him when he says that. But Andy does come through and plays enough right notes that they are able to open the locked door and escape from the Fratellis who are after them at that point.

6.  Brand (played by Josh Brolin)
"I'm gonna hit so you hard that when you wake up, your clothes will be out of style!"


Brand is Mikey's older brother who failed his driver's test, is always exercising, and has a crush on Andy. His taste in girls is terrible, but I guess you can't blame the guy. Albeit annoying, Andy is a pretty and popular cheerleader and always want to make out with him. What sixteen-year-old boy wouldn't like that? He thinks the idea of going after the treasure is dumb, so Mikey and the other Goonies use the spring-y thing (the thing he's holding in the gif) to tie him to the chair and make their escape. Brand was in charge of watching his younger brother and making sure he doesn't go out in the rain so he doesn't get sick. His mom tells him that if his little brother goes out, then he'll (Brand) will be in some serious you-know-what. Brand says, "Sh*t, Mom." His mom tells him not to cuss, but yes, that's what she means. This scene doesn't make any sense because literally seconds after that happens, she sees a mess of chips on the floor and says, "What is that? What is THAT?" Mouth and Chunk think she's referring to the broken statue (I'll get to that later!) and Chunk says, "Oh, sh*t, what?" Mrs. Walsh doesn't even blink that Chunk just cussed and tells the boys she wants the mess cleaned up. I don't know if she was so enraged by the mess that she didn't hear Chunk cuss or if she only dislikes it when her own kids cuss? It was weird.

I love the scene where Troy's dad and this other guy come to the house to remind them about the foreclosure and Troy's dad says, "Is your Mommy home?" and Brand replies with, "No, she's at the market buying Pampers for all us kids." These kids are all twelve and older...why is he asking about their "Mommy"? It's so weird. But that line made me laugh.

Brand goes after the younger boys by stealing Data's little sister's bike (Data and his family live next door) and telling her he "owes her one" (because Mouth let the air out of Brand's bike tires ("Now it's his flattest thing in the world!")) and is seen riding a little girl's bike with training wheels and a flowered basket by Troy, Andy, and Stef in Troy's car. Troy grabs Brand and starts driving really fast and lets go as Brand flies off a cliff. Um, I'm pretty sure Troy just attempted MURDER and anyone who just rode their bike off a cliff would DIE. But we never see how Brand managed to survive it as the next time we see him, he is with Mikey and the others. I honestly have no idea how he even knew where Mikey was, but whatever.

5. Stef (played by Martha Plimpton)
"I feel like I'm baby-sitting, except I'm not getting paid."


Stef is Andy's friend and while she has even less to do than both Andy and Brand, I put her ahead of them because she does have one of my favorite lines in the whole movie which is the one I chose for her quote. That line cracks me up and I've even used it in my real life a couple of times. (Because, really, haven't we all felt at one point or another like we were baby-sitting, but not getting paid?) I also laugh at the scene when the kids have just discovered the pirate ship and she and Mouth (who hate each other) are hugging each other and exclaiming, "Oh my God!" Then she realizes who she's hugging and says, "Oh, God!" in disgust as she pushes him away. That was hilarious. I had forgotten that there was a little crush subplot between Mouth and Stef and that was the reason they hated each other...because they secretly liked each other. This was a little weird because even though Martha Plimpton is only a year older than Corey Feldman in real life, in the movie, she is suppose to be part of the high school group and Mouth is part of the younger group, so why would she like the a young boy? Is she another cougar in the works? At the end of the movie, she tells him, "You know, your voice is kind of nice when your mouth isn't ruining it" after he thanks her for saving his life and he replies, "You know, your looks are kind of pretty when your face isn't ruining it!" OMG, nice line there, kid. Yes, he does say he's just joking, but ouch!

This movie has many Scooby-Doo elements to it and Stef is definitely the Velma of the group (we all know Andy is the Daphne!) just for the mere fact that she is wearing glasses when we first meet her and ends up losing them once they are in the cave and Mikey steps on them and breaks them. ("You broke my glasses!) However, her eyesight must not be that BAD because she seems to see just fine for the rest of their journey.

4. Mikey (played by Sean Astin)
"Goonies never say die!"


Before he was a Notre Dame college football player or a hobbit, thirteen-year-old Sean Astin played Mikey, the asthmatic unofficial leader of the Goonies. It's his idea to find the treasure when all the boys go up to the attic and they're looking through all the "reject" stuff Mr. Walsh, who is the curator at the Astoria museum brought home, because apparently he's allowed to keep it in his attic? Don't ask me how that works. They find a map of the Astoria coastline behind a painting and realize it leads to treasure that was stolen by the pirate One-Eyed Willy. Mikey tells them the story that his dad told him about the infamous pirate and how the British armada was after him and he got trapped in a cave with his men. They set booby traps so nobody could get the treasure and Willy killed all his men so they couldn't escape with the treasure, although apparently one man did escape and thus that's how people know about the treasure and why there's a map. If there was a way to escape, I'm not sure why Willy didn't just sail away with the treasure, but whatever. The way he was telling it, I was sure Sean Astin was reading off of cue cards because for a while he just stares up at something, but I guess Richard Donner told him this story and just had him tell the story based on memory.

It's also Mikey's idea for them to keep going when they're all about to get out of the cave via the well. He gives them that speech where he says, "Down here it's our time! It's our time down here! Up there, it's their time! But down here it's our time!  Don't you see? Don't you get it? The next time we see sky, it will be over another town. The next time we take a test, it will be in another school." I may not have gotten that exactly right, but you get the gist of it. I have to tell you a true story: I remember seeing The Two Towers in theaters and I believe that's the movie where Samwise gives Frodo that speech about...something. I don't remember exactly, but it was a nice, uplifting speech. Anyway, when I first saw that, all I could think of was this speech Sean Astin gives in the Goonies and I kept imagining that he was saying, "It's our time down here! Down here it's our time!"

You have to give L'il Samwise credit, because without him they would have never had their adventure. He's the one who discovers the map that leads to treasure in the attic and he finds the doubloon where he's able to line up the rock, lighthouse, and restaurant and he's the one who first "meets" One-Eyed Willy.

3. Mouth aka Clark (played by Corey Feldman)
"This was my dream, my wish, and it didn't come true. So I'm taking it back. I'm taking them all back."


This kid is such a little sh*t stirrer and never shuts up, hence his nickname of "Mouth". He is an evil little child, but he is hilarious. I get the feeling the others don't like him very much, but they let him be part of their group. We know Stef doesn't care for him and he makes poor Chunk, the chubby kid do the Truffle Shuffle which is a dance where he has to lift his shirt and shake his belly, which Mikey doesn't think is very funny.

Mouth's main attribution to the group is that he is fluent in Spanish, so he is able to decode many of the messages/instructions that are written in Spanish as they make their way to the treasure. This is first set up when Brand and Mikey's mom comes home with an older woman named Rosalita who is going to help them pack because Mrs. Walsh broke her arm and needs help. This really makes no sense because a)They are suppose to move the next day and they are just now packing their house? and b)Why didn't Mrs. Walsh just hire a moving company instead of an older woman? Anyway, since Rosalita doesn't speak any English, Mouth ever so kindly offers to translate for Mrs. Walsh since he knows Spanish. Every time they go to a different room and Mrs. Walsh gives the instructions, Mouth tells her something outrageous and everything is so not appropriate for a children't movie! I am shocked at what they were able to get away with for a children's film in the '80s! I guess it was a much different time back then! In the first room, he tells her that the heroin goes in one drawer, the cocaine goes in another drawer, and the marijuana goes in the last drawer and to make sure to not get the drugs mixed up. When Mrs. Walsh tells Rosalita not to go in the attic, Mouth tells her not to go up there because that's where Mr. Walsh keeps his sexual torture devices. And finally, when Mrs. Walsh is telling her about the broom closet, Mouth tells her that's where she'll be kept without any food or water if she does a bad job. It's so messed up! Mrs. Walsh thanks him and tells him how nice it was for him to translate and he replies with a sweet smile and says, "Nice is my middle name!" Mrs. Walsh also tells Rosalita she wants the house clean before they tear it down, which makes no sense at all...why would someone care about their house being cleaned if it's going to get torn down anyway?

When we are first introduced to Mouth, he comes into the Walsh home ready for the last weekend they will be spending together before they are all separated. He is disappointed they won't be able to do anything fun since Brand flunked his driver's test and they won't have a car and now they won't be "cruising the coast, sniffing some lace, downing some brews." Why is a twelve-year-old talking about drugs and alcohol? Oh, never mind, it is Corey Feldman, after all. Funny how that worked out.

One of my favorite Mouth moments is when clumsy Chunk knocks over this statue of a naked man (I think it's suppose to be a replica of Michaelangelo's David and the genitals break off. Both Mikey and Brand are freaking out like it shattered into a million pieces instead of one piece just broke off and it would be pretty easy to glue back on. Brand screams "YOU IDIOT!" and Mikey is also upset and tells him, "That's my mom favorite piece!" In reply, Mouth says, "You wouldn't be here if it wasn't" and that just made me laugh...not just what he said, but the way he says it. Both Mikey and Brand yell at him to "SHUT UP!", but I'm on Mouth's side here. I think he had every right to make that stupid crack and honestly I would have done the same thing. Mikey was totally asking for it. First of all, why is he sharing the fact that the penis on the naked male statue is his mom's favorite "part". Who says that? And why does he even know that in the first place? Did his mom tell him that? Is she sexually crazed or something? It's so weird!


Not surprisingly, Mouth's mouth often gets him into trouble. It also almost gets his tongue sliced off! When the four young boys go into the restaurant (that's closed for the season) that lines up with the doubloon, what they don't know is that it's the hideout for the Fratelli family which consists of Mama Fratelli (Anne Ramsey) and her sons Francis (Joe Pantoliano) and Jake (Robert Davi). There's a third son called Sloth that they keep locked in chains downstairs, but we'll get to him later. That enough is to say the Fratellis are horrible people, but Mama and Francis have also broken Jake out of jail and have killed two feds along the way. The fact that they are counterfeiting money seems to be the least offensive thing do.

Mama Fratelli offers the boys water (nasty unclean water!) and asks if they want anything else. The three other boys don't want anything, but Mouth, being Mouth, starts talking in an Italian accent and asks for a bunch of Italian dishes. This prompts Mama to grab him by the face, force his tongue out and tells the kids the only thing they serve is tongue and process to take out a pocket knife and open it up very close to Mouth's face. Now while I don't remember seeing this for the first time, I have no doubt I was covering my mouth with my hand like the three other boys do! And this isn't the only time that Mama Fratelli will threaten to cut off a kid's body part!

I loved the scene when they're all on the water slide (oh, man, how fun did that look?) and when they're coming out of the chute (which was a pretty high drop into the water), Mouth yells, "Ohhhhhhh shhhhhhhhhhhhh*tttttttt!" They must say the s-word at least twenty times in this movie and I'm not exaggerating! And this is a PG movie! I think nowadays you can only get away with using that word once in a PG-rated movie.





2. Data (played by Jonathan Ke Quan)
"That's what I said! Booby trap!"


Data is the Inspector Gadget of the group with all his nifty inventions. Some of them work and some of them don't. Some of them even save his life like the Pinchers of Power (or is it Peril...I'm not quite sure) which is a pair of those plastic clattering teeth attached to a spring coil that he uses to grab hold onto a rock as he's falling hundreds of feet down a pit and the teeth grab the rock right before he is about to get spiked. Don't ask me how that manages to hold a ninety pound kid (well, maybe he's more like eighty pounds because he does say he is the smallest of the group at one point, but still...), but this is a movie and there are many ridiculous things in it. He uses his "slick shoes" to deter the Fratelli brothers who are after them at this point. They're crossing a log over water and Data squirts oil that is in the bottom of his shoes onto the log, thus making it slippery and the two brothers slip on it and land on their groins very painfully. This movie was like a precursor to Home Alone what with all the booby traps that are set (some by Data, some by One-Eyed Willy) and Chris Columbus, who directed Home Alone wrote this movie. Data also uses the Pinchers to grab Francis in the groin and he has a boxing glove attached to a spring so when he opens his trench coat, it knocks out Jake, but the second time he tries to use it, it malfunctions and he ends up punching himself instead.

Data lives next door to Mikey and uses a zipline to enter the Walsh home. Because of their proximity, he appears to be Mikey's closest friend and they have their arms around each other as they're skipping to the restaurant. It's really quite adorable.

There's a running gag throughout the movie where Data will incorrectly say "boody trap" and one of the kids, usually Mikey, will correct him and he's reply with, "That's what I said! Booby trap!" Data also refers to himself in the third person.

Even though the actor is originally from Vietnam, I think Data was suppose to be Chinese because at one point, Mikey says they're going so deep into the cave that they might end up in China and Data says, "Ooh, maybe I can visit one of my aunts!"

I mentioned that there are some booby traps set by the famed pirate, One-Eyed Willy. This guy really did not want anyone finding his treasure! I already mentioned the piano made out of bones that Andy plays to open a door. The kids always seem to set off all the booby traps and just narrowly miss getting killed. One that is set off has these huge boulders falling to the ground, about five in a row. Apparently, another set of these was set off as that's how Chester Copperpot, the guy who got the closest to getting to the treasure, was killed. We see a skeleton comically posed under a huge boulder. I mean, I don't know if it was suppose to be funny, but I sure laughed. The only part sticking out from under the rock was the upper body and the head and the rest of the skeleton was crushed underneath the boulder.


1. Chunk aka Lawrence (played by Jeff Cohen)
"Gee, Mister, you're even hungrier than I am!"


Chunk is the chubby, klutzy, scaredy-cat, pathological liar kid who has a much different adventure than the other kids because he gets separated from them. I laughed so hard when we are first introduced to him where he's in a pizza parlor and sees a police chase and excitedly runs up to the window to watch it and smashes his pizza AND his milkshake against the glass (I'm not sure why!), but as you see from the above gif, it gives a very amusing result! This is the first use of the s-word when Chunk exclaims, "Ah, sh*t!" after he ruins his lunch. He has a ridiculous sense of smell. When they're in the basement of the restaurant, he can smell the ice cream in a sealed refrigerator. He is so excited to have all these different flavors of ice cream that he doesn't even notice the DEAD GUY with a bullet through his head that's also in the fridge. ("IT'S A STIFF!") He is a fed the Fratellis killed and Chunk ends up getting stuck in the fridge with him while the other Goonies make their escape. I loved when the corpse is falling onto him and he tells it to, "Stay! Stay!" The other Goonies have escaped down through the firepit, but after Brand and Mikey notice Chunk is missing (glad they didn't make it too far before they realized someone was missing!), they go back up and tell Chunk to run and find the police because they are in "serious sh*t". By this time, it is dark when Chunk goes outside and he keeps telling himself, "I'm not afraid of the dark. I like the dark, I love the dark. But I hate nature! I HATE nature!" He runs out in front of a car and screams, "STOP! I'M JUST A KID!" which cracked me up. When a car does stop, he tells the driver he needs to be taken to the police because he found the hide out of the Fratellis, these disgusting people and that he can describe all three of them. A light comes on and of course it's Jake with Francis in the passenger seat and they grab Chunk and throw him in the back...where there's another dead body. That's some pretty scary stuff right there.

They bring Chunk back to the restaurant and threaten to put his hand in a blender if he doesn't spill the beans and tell them where the other kids are. In a matter of seconds, Chunk gives them all up (I can't blame the kid; I would do the same) and tells them they're down the fireplace, but they don't believe them. Lucky for Chunk, right when they have his hand in the blender and are about to turn it on, this is when the Goonies have come across a bunch of bats that have been let loose when Brand moves a big rock blocking a part of the cave. After we see a bunch of (obviously) fake plastic bats dangling in front of the kids, they all fly up through the fireplace and that's when the Fratellis realize there's a tunnel leading down somewhere.

They throw Chunk in with Sloth, the third Fratelli son. He's this super jacked guy who has a deformed face. It's like his skull didn't quite form properly and he had a droopy face because his eyes don't match up and he has about four teeth. We later learn that his mom may have dropped him "more than one time" when he was a baby, hence his deformity. He's quite scary when you first see him, especially since he screams at Chunk, but then you realize he's just a gentle giant who just wants some chocolate. ("Choc-o-late? Choc-o-late!") I'm pretty sure when I first saw this, I thought they actually found someone who looked like that. No, they used make up to make the actor look like that. Sloth was played by John Matuszak who was a football player for the Oakland Raiders (and Sloth wears a Raiders t-shirt). After Chunk gives Sloth a Baby Ruth candy bar ("Ruth! Ruth! Ruth! Baby Ruth!") they have an unbreakable bond. ("Sloth love Chunk!") Sloth even breaks his chains to retrieve the candy bar that Chunk threw at his head. They start heading after the Fratellis who are now heading after the other Goonies.

Chunk does call the police and tries to tell them about the Fratellis, but the officer doesn't believe him because Chunk has pranked called the police before by telling them that 50 Iranian terrorists took over all the Sizzler steak houses in the city (how many Sizzler restaurant are in Astoria anyway?) and about the creatures that multiply when water is thrown on them, which was obviously a reference to Gremlins which Chris Columbus wrote (remember, he wrote this film) AND Corey Feldman was in as well. At the beginning of the film, the others don't believe Chunk when he tells them about the police chase he just saw. This is because he has lied about Michael Jackson using his bathroom, that he saved a bunch of old people from a nursing home fire, and that he once ate his weight in Godfather's pizza. He admits that MJ didn't use his bathroom...but his sister did! Hmm, I wonder it it was Janet or LaToya?

When the Fratellis have captured the Goonies on the pirate ship, Chunk and Sloth save the day. This is where we get the famous "Heyyyyy youuuuuu guyyyssssssss!" line from Sloth. The scene below I clipped from YouTube, was something I (and I swear to God I'm not even lying) laughed AND cried at the same time. And no, I'm not talking about I was laughing so hard because it was funny, no I was laughing at this scene because it was absurd, but I was also crying, because it was so heartwarmingly sweet.  Just watch:


It was just so sweet, BUT, on the other hand, absolutely ridiculous that Chunk would just have this grown man, who obviously has special needs,  live with his family without getting his parents' permission first. So that's why I was crying and laughing at the same time.

I don't know how exactly how long the kids were in the cave; I know it was overnight for sure because it's daylight when they get out, but everyone is there to greet them on the beach: their parents, the police, the MEDIA. They act as though these kids have been stuck in the cave for WEEKS. Oh, and even Troy's father shows up to have Mr. Walsh sign the foreclosure papers. However, Rosalita, who is also there discovers Mikey's marble bag in his jacket (she has his jacket for some reason). The kids had gathered a ton of treasure on the pirate ship, but Mama Fratelli made them all hand it over. However, she missed the marble bag that Mikey had dumped out his marbles and filled with jewels. Rosalita announces the bag of jewels (why didn't she just keep quiet and keep the jewels for herself? She has no loyalty to this family, plus that Mouth kid was a little jerk to her!) and Mr. Walsh rips up the papers even though he has no idea how much these (cheap-looking) jewels are worth. And we will never know because the movie ends with the kids and Sloth watching the pirate ship sailing away (I guess the ghost of One-Eyed Willy is at the helm?) and there was never a sequel.


There are so many things about this movie that don't make any sense:
-What were 17th century pirates doing in the Pacific Northwest?
-If they had found that secret tunnel that Willy and his men built, then what were those very modern pipes doing in there?
-Why are there water slides in this secret tunnel...pretty sure water slides didn't exist in the 17th century!
-How come Mouth was able to enter the house without activating that Rube Goldberg contraption and this was before Chunk arrived and they made him do the Truffle Shuffle before they let him in...and he could have easily unlatched the gate! (Is he just a little dim?)
-Why did the museum let Mr. Walsh keep all that historical stuff in his attic? If they had actually went through all this stuff, they would have found the map that led them to some valuable treasure.
-If nobody was allowed in the attic, then why are those glass orbs with the "laser beams" seemingly plugged in all the time? (I don't know what they're called, but you know what I'm talking about, right?)
-Why did nobody go after the ship at the end? Um, hello, it was filled with rubies, diamonds, gold, silver, coins, you name it!

But even despite all those problems, I still love it. Those nostalgia glasses will never come off! If you are also a fan of The Goonies, I hope you thought this review was, ahem, good enough!