Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Toy Story Thoughts

As you know, Toy Story 4 is coming out this summer. It's probably my most anticipated summer movie. I recently re-watched the first three films and would like to share some observations and thoughts I had. Now I already reviewed these films back in 2010 (click the Pixar label to find it), so think of this as a little bonus!

1. Sid: Psychopath in the making or misunderstood kid? Of all the humans in the Toy Story universe, I find Sid the most interesting. There are some concerning things about him such as he loves blowing up his toys (he even has a sticker on his bedroom wall that says "I 🖤 explosives") and his door has about seven deadbolts. Seriously, where are his parents and why aren't they checking his room (probably because there's seven deadbolts!) or the boxes of explosives he's ordering? Are they even aware that he's ordering explosives? The only parental figure we see in that household is the father (I assume it's the dad; you only see the socked feet of someone on a recliner) who seems to be passed out. I heard a really grim theory that the father is an alcoholic who beats Sid which would explain his morbid fascination of being cruel to his toys and why he has so many deadbolts on his door...to keep out his abusive dad. However, being that this is a family friendly Disney/Pixar movie, I doubt that's the case. In any case, his parents are not being very parental as they seem to let him skateboard by himself at night to Pizza Planet and back home. I wasn't aware that Sid is supposed to be the garbage man  in Toy Story 3; I guess the telltale sign is that he's wearing a shirt with skulls and crossbones, much like the shirt he wears when he's a kid. For someone who had to go through the horror of seeing his toys come alive, he sure seems like a well-adjusted young man.

2. That claw has some mighty powers. Indeed, in Toy Story 3, we will find out that the claw does have some mighty powers as it will save our toy heroes, but I'm sorry, there's no way in hell that a claw in a toy machine could grasp the slippery plastic helmet of a Buzz Lightyear toy. No way in hell! It would have slipped right off. Not buying it! Maybe Sid is just good at controlling the claw; he did manage to get an alien before he grabbed Buzz and Woody. When I played the claw machine as a kid, I was lucky if I barely grasped a little stuffed animal. Those things were the best way to lose money, but there was something so enticing about them.

3. Why is Andy not the least bit suspicious? We know that Andy has been looking for Woody and Buzz for about twenty-four hours and we know that he's looked everywhere. I'm pretty sure that includes the box that is sitting next to him in the car when he makes the move with his mom and sister. As we all know, Woody and Buzz fall into the box ((a, they're lucky the sky roof was open) and (b, how did Andy not hear two large thumps or see two of his toys fall from the sky?)) and that is how Andy just suddenly discovers them. He just accepts that they were there the whole time when he's been looking everywhere for them. If I were him, while I would be happy that I found my two favorite toys, I would be asking myself such questions as, "How did these toys get here?" and "I checked everywhere a million times and suddenly they're in this box right next to me? What's going on here?" It would just drive me absolutely crazy. If there isn't a logical explanation to why something isn't working or if something isn't adding up, I drive myself mad trying to figure out why.

4. Emily is Andy's mom? This is a theory that's floating around the web. As you may recall in that super sad scene from Toy Story 2, Emily was Jessie's owner who loved her doll and had a lot of fun adventures with her, until she started to grow up and forgot about poor Jessie who was collecting dust under Emily's bed for years before Emily eventually donated her (and some other stuff from her childhood that she didn't want/need anymore). Cue tears. There are some good reasons why this is a theory: the time period lines up, Andy's mom would have been the same we see Emily as a teenager; Emily is wearing a hat very similar to the one Andy wears. While this is a fun theory, I don't think it's true because it's way too convenient. Also, wouldn't we have known? Wouldn't Andy's mom tell her son that she had a Jessie doll when she was younger? Wouldn't Jessie have recognized her pervious owner?

5. I don't like the bloopers at the end of Toy Story 2. When I saw the movie the first four or five times, yes, I did enjoy the bloopers and thought they were quite funny, but now I don't like them because they don't make any sense. The characters of the toys are acting like they're making a movie and they're actors, not toys who actually belong to Andy. If that's the case, then what's the point of these movies? They should have done what they do at the end of Toy Story 3 did where you see a little montage of what's happening with the toys at Bonnie's house or you see what's up with Barbie and Ken at Sunnyside Day Care. I think it would have been fun to see Stinky Pete with his new owner, the "artistic" Amy and we could have seen Andy playing with his new toys.

6. Big Baby is creepier than any of the disfigured toys Sid had. Enough said.

7. Does Lotso deserve all that hate? Hearing Lotso Bear's backstory is pretty heartbreaking. To remind you, he belonged to a little girl named Daisy, who, while one day at the park, left him along with Big Baby and Chuckles the Clown. (Chuckles the Clown was also creepy...what is up with this little girl and her creepy toys? Though I will admit Big Baby wasn't creepy here). Daisy falls asleep and her parents pick her up to put her in the car. You think they would see her toys too, but nope, they just leave them. They eventually find their way back to her house, Homeward Bound-style, but by then Lotso discovers he has been replaced when he sees Daisy with another Lotso Bear. They eventually make their way to Sunnyside Daycare where Lotso becomes a dictator deciding where toys are going to go. When all the toys are in the landfill and about to heads towards certain death, Woody does the right thing and saves Lotso when they're about to go through the shredder, but when Lotso climbs a ladder to a button that will stop the incinerator, he doesn't push it and just leaves the other toys to burn. So yes, Lotso deserves all the hate. Lotso is a piece of sh*t. Who happens to smell like strawberries.

8. I love the callbacks. Of course in the first movie, we have Woody telling Buzz, "You are a toy!" and Buzz will reiterate that point to Woody in the second movie. There are several little callbacks in the movies, but my favorite is probably The Claw. ("The Claaaawwww!") Of course a huge claw would rescue the toys right before they're about to go into the incinerator. If they didn't worship The Claw before, they certainly do now!

9. What happened to Bo Peep? I guess we will find out in Toy Story 4! 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Looking Back at Tragedy

We Are Columbine
Director: Laura Farber
Released: various dates in 2018 at different film festivals

The twentieth anniversary of the Columbine High School shootings was not that long ago (how is that possible? It seems like the ten year anniversary was only last year!) and I found this documentary on Hulu. The director is a former student of Columbine and she graduated in 2002, so, if you do the math, she was a freshman when the murders occurred. She interviews four of her former class of '02 classmates (two boys and two girls), a teacher who started his first year at Columbine as a freshman English teacher during the '98/'99 school year (yikes!), but is still teaching there, and Frank DeAngelis, who was the principal from 1996 to a few years ago when he retired.

So before you're wondering if any of the former students interviewed were in the library where ten of the thirteen murders and the two suicides occurred, no, they were not. Three of them were in their classes and one of them was in the cafeteria. The girl who was in the cafeteria tells the director it's very hard telling her memories of this horrific event, but she's only doing it because the director is her friend (she was also eating lunch with her that day) and she knows what she went through that day. As far as I know, she (or anyone else interviewed) didn't see anyone get killed in front of them, but if she has a difficult time talking about this, then there's no way someone who was in the library would want to relive their memories. I'm not saying that they had it "easier" because they're weren't at Ground Zero, because if I put myself in their shoes, where, if I was a freshman at my high school and two seniors brought guns to school and killed twelve students and one teacher before offing themselves, yeah, I would be pretty shook up and freaked out too. I'm surprised they returned to their school to finish their next three years of high school, because, honestly, I don't know if I would be able to do that. One girl said she knows where all the exits are anywhere she goes in case of something like that happening again and that any loud noises like fireworks or a balloon popping makes her anxious. I would also imagine a fire alarm going off also puts them all on edge since one was going off that day. I've never been in a situation like that and fire alarms make me anxious; I can only imagine what it does to them! 

The four former students go through their memories of that day. The girl who was in the cafeteria says she heard loud shots and thought it was a senior prank and then a teacher told everyone to get under the table, which she did with the other students she was sitting with. They later ran to a nearby house where the man who lived there called the police. She would later find out that one of the two duffel bags with a bomb inside was placed under the table she hid under...yikes! But luckily it didn't detonate. If you didn't know, this wasn't supposed to be just a school shooting: it was supposed to be a bombing that would rival Oklahoma City. Their plan was to "top" McVeigh and kill as many students and faculty members and then each one would be in a different parking lot with their guns and shoot any survivors streaming out of the doors, then they planned to kill any media and police that would make their way to the school. Yeah, their plan went a bit differently... In fact, DeAngelis points that out, saying they could have lost hundreds of people that day and that's how he knows there's a God. 

One of the former students who was in a locked classroom talks about how they were in there for hours (three or four, maybe by that time) before the police came in and told them to put their arms locked behind their heads and run out of the school. Unfortunately the police came right at the time he said he and a few of the other boys in the class had to use the bathroom so they got a trashcan to urinate in and right when he was about to go (in as much privacy the corner of the room could offer him), that's when they barged in. Understandably, that's the only humorous part of the film. He also says when they were locked in the classroom, he heard keys rattling in the door and a teacher came in without his shirt on, covered in blood, and rummaged through the cabinets before running out again. I have to wonder if he was helping the teacher who was shot and would eventually die? Or a student who was wounded when they got shot? We don't really find out what that was about.

The title of the movie comes from their rally cry which was created in 1989 by a coach. One of the interviewees said he thought that had transpired after the shootings, which, I can't blame him, as it has more of a poignancy. Before the shootings it jut sounds like an obvious statement. Also, he probably doesn't remember anything from his only normal year of high school, plus, as he adds, he was probably getting stoned somewhere!

Another former students says when he was running outside and a policeman told them to get away from the school, he had asked him if they had to return to class later that afternoon. He says now he realizes how ridiculous that was, but in that moment it was just a confusing and surreal moment. 

I never really though about it before, but the Columbine class of '02 had it pretty rough. They had one normal year of school before everything turned to hell and during their next three years, security was heightened to the max. That school probably became the safest school in America, ironically. They had all these security measures that was super frustrating for them. Think of the airports after 9/11. Remember how people used to be so lax about airport security? DeAngelis says that he knew the students hated the ridiculous security measurements, but the parents insisted on them. They also talk about how the media would always be harassing them for interviews and how tour buses would pull up to their school with tourists. Look, it's one thing if a couple of young idiots drive there in their own cars if they're into ghoulish things, but a tour bus? Someone is making money off of this? Ick. One of the girls was on the track team and volleyball team and when she would wear her uniform people at the other schools she was competing at would ask her if she was there THAT day. I won't lie; if I ever met someone that attended Columbine, I would probably think, Oh, they go to THAT school. (Why I would ever be conversing with a teenager from Littleton is beyond me, though!) 

As one of the girls says, "It's not a normal experience". Despite this, all four former students (who are in their mid-30s) have normal and stable lives. A couple of them are in steady relationships and they all went on to have some sort of career. One became a teacher at Columbine and he says he's one of five teachers there now who were students on the day of the shootings. Another became a social worker, another one is in the medical field, and one became a recording artist. One of these things is not like the other! Would it surprise you if I told you the stoner kid became the recording artist?

In this hour and a half documentary, there's probably really only about twenty minutes of interesting information. I find that even if you had never heard of this massacre, you really wouldn't be surprised by what the former students were saying. It's really more about their experience that day (though they don't really go that much into depth about it) and then how the rest of their high school career was like living after tragedy. If you are interested in the Columbine school shootings in much more detail, I would recommend two books. The first is called Columbine by the Denver-based journalist Dave Cullen. It's probably the most well known account of the shootings and goes into a lot of detail before, during, and after the tragedy. It's vey disturbing, insightful, fascinating, and while I was reading it, I would go, "What?...What?....WHAT??" Because there were a lot of things that shocked me; either things I didn't know or had forgotten or vaguely remembered. If you're into true crime stories, it's worth checking out. The other book is A Mother's Reckoning: Living in the Aftermath of Tragedy and it's by Sue Klebold, the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the two shooters. Her story about what happened that day is much more interesting and devastating than any of the class of '02 graduates who were interviewed. The parents of the shooters went through absolute hell and she talks about what it was like. She's only started sharing her story within the last few years and the book is really quite interesting. Not surprisingly, she is an advocate for parents checking their kids' bedrooms. I think it's a terrible idea for parents to snoop through their teenagers' stuff, but of all people, I can understand why she would insist parents to do that. It's probably never a bad idea to check under your kids' beds or in their closest just to make sure they're not hiding any guns or bombs. Both of those books made me cry while reading them; this documentary really didn't evoke any emotion from me. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Doggone It

Director: Brian Levant
Cast: Charles Grodin, Bonnie Hunt, Dean Jones, Stanley Tucci, Oliver Platt, David Duchonvy, Patricia Heaton, Nicholle Tom, Christopher Castile, Sarah Rose Karr
Released: April 3, 1992

When you hear the name "Beethoven" and think of a St. Bernard before the dead classical composer, then you might be a child of the early '90s. I remember seeing this in theaters...I think my dad took my brother and me. Seeing it again in a very long time, I forgot how dark (especially for a kids' film!) it is! I remembered there's a bad guy and that Charles Grodin, who was the only one in the family who doesn't care for the dog, saves Beethoven from said bad guy. However, I didn't remember that the bad guy was going to flat out MURDER the dog; my memory was foggy and I thought he was either dognapping or at the worst, going to injure Beethoven. When I realized what the bad guy's motives were, I was like, Holy crap, THIS is in a kids' film??? But we'll get to that later. This movie gets SUPER DARK, y'all!

But first...let's start with something everyone loves....PUPPIES! We first meet our dog hero (whose name isn't Beethoven just yet) as a puppy in a pet store. Oh. My. God. HE IS SO FRICKIN' CUTE!!!!  Cuuuuute! Suuuuuper Cuuuuuuuute! I want a St. Bernard puppy! They're so adorable! I mean, what is wrong with Charles Grodin? How could he not want this dog? But before the dog meets his new family, he is first dognapped by two bumbling minions (Oliver Platt and Stanley Tucci) who are working for the bad guy who wants them to bring him puppies. Two dogs manage to escape: the St. Bernard puppy and a Jack Russell terrier. The bad guys chase them, both both dogs get away and go their separate ways. The next morning the St. Bernard follows Charles Grodin into his home as he's getting the newspaper and he's so preoccupied looking at it, that he doesn't even notice the puppy. His wife (Bonnie Hunt) and two oldest children don't notice the dog either, but when he hops into the youngest  daughter's bed, she hugs the puppy and when her mom and siblings see her, she exclaims, "Look! I dreamt I had a puppy and it came true!"

Bonnie Hunt and the three Newton kids (who include 13/year old Ryce (Nicholle Tom aka the oldest kid on The Nanny); 10/11-year-old Ted (Christopher Castile aka Suzanne Somer's son on Step by Step); and 4/5-year old Emily (Sarah Rose Karr), want to keep the puppy, but Charles Grodin isn't too keen on the idea, but finally gives in when they tell him it will teach them responsibility. He tells them they're only keeping the dog until they can find the owner (good luck with that, Charle Grodin!)

The Newtons are trying to come up with a name for the newest addition of their family and nobody can agree with anything. Ryce wants to name the dog MC Hammer (terrible) and Ted wants to name him Ultimate Warrior (stupid). Finally, when Emily plays a few chords of Beethoven's (the composer!) Symphony Number 5, the puppy barks along to it. You know, the one that goes da-da-da-da! I'll sing my cat's name to those notes when I talk to him, "Mi-mi-mi-lo!" They take that as a sign and the puppy is christened "Beethoven".

Oh, hell no! 
I have to wonder, though, if the name "Beethoven" was chosen for the dog because of the song, "Roll Over, Beethoven", which will be played in a montage scene. I can see it now in the pitch meeting: they already have the idea for the movie, they just don't know what to name the dog. Someone says, Hey, you know that Chuck Berry song, "Roll Over Beethoven?" Well, dogs roll over so let's call the dog Beethoven and we can use that song in a montage!" I bet you exactly that's how it happened! Of course during the montage (where we see Beethoven grow from a puppy to a full grown adult), we see the kids having fun with the dog while Charles Grodin is cleaning up after him. There's a funny scene where he's just come in from the rain and there are muddy paw prints on the front and back of his clothes. The montage ends with an extremely muddy and wet Beethoven (btw, not a cute look for any dog!) on the master bed and when Charles Grodin comes in and shouts "YOU!", Beethoven gets up and in slow motion we see him shake all the water, mud, and dog drool all over the place. It's really gross. I would have been so mad! Speaking of dog drool, my memory of it is that there was a lot more, but they really only show it a couple times during the montage. Maybe I was thinking of and Hooch; doesn't that dog drool an excessive amount? (I just looked back at my review for that movie and just answered my own question! Yes, that dog drools a lot).

Beethoven sleeps in his doghouse which is inside its own little fenced in area in the backyard. However, he has dug a hole (which is super obvious, but yet nobody knows about it) and when the kids are at school, he meanders through town, getting treats and pats from the local people. You can tell this is an everyday occurrence because everybody seems to be expecting him. Beethoven gets a treat at a bakery and we see him bring it to a back alley where he gives it to the Jack Russell Terrier who had escaped from the dognappers with him and is now making his life on the streets as a homeless dog. I was super impressed they got a dog to carry a treat in his mouth without eating it! Beethoven visits a park where he shares an ice cream cone with a little girl. It's super gross; he slobbers all over it and she willingly puts it in her mouth!

Beethoven is a super smart dog. He seems to understand the English language (and more than just "Sit!" or "Stay!") and we will see this throughout a few times. One of the first times is when he comes to meet Ryce at the end of school (who doesn't seem at all surprised to see her dog, so this must be a regular thing too) and when she starts telling him about Mark, the boy she likes, and how he likes this other girl who's super popular, Beethoven grabs a stick and walks over to Mark and brings him over to Ryce. Ryce is ecstatic that he knows her name (of course he does; your name is Ryce! Who would forget a name like that) and exclaims quite loudly, TWICE, "He knows my name!" Honey, why don't you at least wait until he's out of earshot? Oh, hear's the best part: this so-called "most popular girl in school" was wearing a completely dorky outfit: a pink sweatshirt with white hearts on the bottom and pink jeans with blue, purple, and white flowers. Even I wouldn't be caught dead in this atrocious outfit in the early '90s. (Although I'm sure I wore some pretty terrible stuff!)

Charles Grodin is in the air freshener business and he has a snooty married couple (played by a pre-Everybody Loves Raymond Patricia Heaton and a pre-The X-Files David Duchovny) who want to invest in his firm and who are trying to swindle him. When Charles Grodin invites them over to a barbecue at his house to sign the papers, we learn about this when the Newtons are out of earshot and the couple are talking, but luckily Beethoven is in the yard and he hears every word...and seems to understand what they're saying! He's on a long leash to roam around in the backyard and winds it around the table the snooty couple are sitting at. When Charles Grodin throws a ball for him to chase so he'll leave them alone, he ends up taking the table and the two chairs the couple are sitting at with him and they fly over the fence when Beethoven jumps over it. It is absolutely ridiculous, but maybe not as ridiculous as another scene where Beethoven sneaks into the house one night and gets in the bed before Charles Grodin gets back in after investigating things. What Charles Grodin doesn't know is that his wife is in the bathroom, so when Beethoven starts licking his ear, he thinks it's her. Okay, seriously, how do you confuse your wife with your dog??? Dogs tongues are absolutely disgusting...you can tell a dog's tongue from a human tongue.  And there are other ways you can tell. He dismisses the smell by thinking it's him since he spends so much time around Beethoven cleaning up after him. Yes, very stupid scene and seemed highly inappropriate for a kids' movie!

Bonnie Hunt is going back to work and has the kids go to an older woman's house in their neighborhood even though Ryce is old enough to watch after her younger siblings. The woman likes to sing showtunes and while she and the two older kids are inside doing their homework, little Emily is outside playing with a bouncy ball by the pool. The camera ligers on the pool for a second so you know something is going to happen, like, I don't know, the little girl is going to fall in it! Well, guess what? She does! She screams for help and Beethoven saves her. I was confused by the geographic layout of where they were. At first I though their backyard faced the baby-sitter's backyard and that's how Beethoven saw her, but that doesn't seem to be the case as he runs along a sidewalk, then jumps over a few fences. He must have really good hearing. After he brings Emily to the pool steps, she tells him he needs to go home since he might get in trouble for leaving the yard. As far as I know, she will never tell anyone that if it hadn't been for Beethoven, she may have drowned. Remember that. I thought it was a bit unbelievable that her siblings didn't notice their little sister thrashing around in the pool. Yes, I know the piano was (supposedly) drowning (haha, unintended pun!) out her screams, but they were right in front of the glass door and while they weren't looking outside directly, there is something called peripheral vision and they would have definitely noticed! In fact, Ryce only has to tilt her head a fraction when she notices Emily sitting on the pool steps after Beethoven has rescued her. (I guess they thought she managed to swim to the steps). Needless to say, the woman is fired.

I haven't even touched on the bad guy yet! So the bad guy (Dean Jones) is...get this...a VET. Not just any vet, but Beethoven's vet. He is in cahoots with a gun manufacture who wants him to acquire a dog with a large skull (like a St. Bernard) and SHOOT IT IN THE HEAD to see "how messy it is". WHAT. THE. F**K!!!! What kind of sick bulls*** is this? This is in a kids' movie?!? Wow, good thing I didn't remember this or maybe it just went right over my head, cuz this movie should have traumatized me as a kid! This seems vey extreme...why can't they just shoot a watermelon to see how much of a mess the bullet makes? After Beethoven has a routine checkup with Dr. Evil Vet, he wants to keep the dog overnight for "observations", but the kids say no, that he'll be too scared. He does put a seed in Charles Grodin's head that St. Bernards can be dangerous dogs and to watch him closely. Here's what I don't understand about Dr. Evil Vet: did he become a vet after he went into this shady business. He is being paid (seemingly) lots of money to murder dogs, but why would you go through veterinary school for all of that? Was he already a vet when he was approached with this offer and because he is so greedy, he has no qualms about murdering one (or more!) of his client's pets? I'm very confused...and troubled about this whole thing. I was listening to a podcast about this movie and the hosts were saying this should have been a test for vets to see if their license should be renewed or not. The gun would be a blank and if you actually went through with it and shot at the dog, you would be dismissed as a vet! Might I add, that they should also be sent to jail for attempted murder!

Dr. Evil Vet pays Beethoven a "home visit" telling Bonnie Hunt that he just wants to check on their dog to see if everything is okay. I would be highly suspicious because there is no reason for a vet to pay a home visit, especially if there is nothing wrong with the animal, as in their case, but she just lets him into the yard. Nobody is paying any attention except for Emily who is playing upstairs in her room. (With a stuffed St. Bernard animal! It is so cute! Ryce is a bit of a traitor as she has a poster of a dalmatian in her room. ) The Evil Vet puts fake blood on his arm. I don't think Emily saw that part, but she defintely saw the moment when he hits Beethoven (obviously filmed in a way where the dog isn't actually hit). He eggs Beethoven on to attack him and when he does, the Evil Vet calls for help and everyone comes running out. Emily tells her parents that she saw him hit their dog, but Evil Vet dismisses her by saying of course she would want to defend her dog. He tells the Newton parents that they must surrender their dog and he must be put down at once! While they're not happy with this news, they do what the man says without any questions. At this point I'm thinking, why isn't Emily telling them that Beethoven saved her life? Also, don't they think it's a little weird that they've never once had a problem with their dog, but all of a sudden this vet makes an unannounced house call to "check on their dog" and allegedly gets attacked by him while unsupervised? Also, why aren't they listening to their own daughter? Bonnie Hunt will bring this up to her husband after they've surrendered Beethoven. I understand if you think your dog is dangerous, you definitely don't want him around your children, but I think they should have gotten a second opinion! I thought it was a little weird that they didn't put a muzzle on Beethoven when Charles Grodin drives him to the vet to be put down. At this point, they think he's just attacked their vet, so if you think he's dangerous, why are you just letting him ride in the backseat of your car? Charles Grodin does seem genuinely upset that he has to put down the family pet. The receptionist tells him that they won't put down the dog until the next day, so he will have to pay for an overnight stay. There is a bit of a humorous moment in this depressing scene where all the dogs in the waiting room look down at the floor when Charles Grodin walks past them as if they know why he's there. When he returns home, his kids won't look or talk to him except Emily who calls him a "Dog killer!"

Bonnie Hunt tells him that she thinks they were too rash and they should go and talk to the vet. The kids, who were eavesdropping, tell them they're going to0. When they get to the home of Dr. Evil Vet (how did they even know where he lives?), they see he has no fake bandage on his arm like he was wearing when Beethoven was taken to the vet earlier that day and there are no bite marks on his arm.
The vet tells him it's too late; that the dog has already been put down, but Charles Grodin knows it'a lie and they follow him to his lab. Charles Grodin climbs up to the roof with a glass ceiling and right when the evil vet is pointing the gun at Beethoven, he jumps through the glass and right on top of Dr. Evil Vet. He's about to shoot the gun at Charles Grodin, but the Jack Russell Terrier (who was caught earlier in the movie) saves the day by running up and biting Evil Vet in the groin. As if that's not the worst part for our bad guy, when the kids, who are in the car, waiting for their mom who is calling the police, hear gunshots, Ted drives the car through the wall and hits a table that sends fifteen syringes filled with god knows what flying and they all land in the chest of Dr. Evil Vet, who somehow manages to survive this. I don't think so. However, the evil vet's minions are still loose and all the caught dogs (who are freed by the kids) run after them. We're supposed to think the dogs are menacing and are out for vengeance, but in reality these are cute and friendly dogs who just want to play. I laughed so hard when they run through an outdoor market and a bunch of cabbages roll out on the sidewalk and one of the dogs is running with a cabbage in his mouth! You can tell he just wants to  play!

Beethoven is reunited with his family and at the end of the movie we see he is sleeping at the foot of the Newton parents' bed. The camera pulls down and we see the Jack Russell Terrier that they've named Sparky. (If I had a dog, I would totally name it that). So I'm thinking, that's cute, they gave a new home to Beethoven's friend. But then the camera pulls down even further and we see that they have brought home ALL of the dogs. I think it's safe to say they brought them to the Humane Society the next day. They also probably double checked the credentials for Beethoven's new vet!

Sunday, April 21, 2019

How Do You Like Them Apples

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Directors: William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen (Goodness, this movie could have been called Snow White and the Seven Directors!)
Voice Talent: Adriana Caselotti, Lucille La Verne, Roy Atwell, Harry Stockwell
Released: December 21, 1937 (premiere in L.A.)/ February 4, 1938 (United States)

Oscar nominations:

Best Score (lost to One Hundred Men and a Girl)

A few months ago, my mom and I were trying to see if we could name all the seven dwarfs. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, guess again! We came up with Doc, Sleepy, Sneezy, Grumpy, Happy, and Dopey, but we could not think of the damn seventh dwarf no matter how many times we listed them! So finally I had to get  my phone and when I figured out we were missing Bashful, we were both like, "Oh! Of course!" I think we couldn't think of him because he's the only one (aside from Doc, but everyone remembers him) whose name doesn't end in a "y".

I'm trying to think of my history with this movie, which is now 81 years old, can you believe that? (And you thought The Lion King was old, turning 25 this summer!) I know I've seen it before, but it's been awhile. I don't really remember growing up with this movie. I have a vague recollection of seeing it in theaters during one of its many theatrical re-releases. While I'm very familiar with the storyline and characters from this movie, I'm pretty sure it's been quite a few years since I last saw it. There were a few things I had mis-remembered, for example, I always thought the Evil Queen says, "Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?", but she actually says, "Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?" Mind blown!

Snow White is simultaneously the oldest and the youngest Disney princess. She is the oldest because she is the first official Disney Princess since her movie came out in 1937 (and was the first full-length animated film to boot), but she's also the youngest because her character is only fourteen-year old and all the other Disney Princesses have been older than that. I have no idea how it is known she is 14 since her age is never mentioned in the film, but there is an age for every Disney Princess in their movies whether they tell us how old they are or not. I bet the last time I saw this movie, I was younger than 14!

There's no doubt Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a remarkable cinematic achievement and paved the way for all other animated movies, not just ones from Disney. For a movie that was made 80 years ago, I was pretty impressed with the animation, even watching it today. I was expecting it to look really bad and while the faces of Snow White and the Prince look a little flat, there are lots of really impressive animated scenes, like when it's raining during one of the later moments in the movie. Walt Disney received an honorary Oscar for it (well, he received one Oscar and seven mini ones) and its box office total would come to over a billion dollars if adjusted for inflation. Despite all those remarkable achievements, do I like the movie? We-ell, even though there is plenty to like about the movie, there's also plenty of things I don't like. For one thing, there is absolutely no character development. When the movie opens, we see pages of a storybook informing us how Snow White's evil stepmother, the Queen, is jealous of her looks (seriously, why is she jealous of a fourteen-year-old) and makes Snow White dress up in rags and makes her do chores (sounds like Cinderella!). We learn how the Evil Queen will stop at nothing so she can be the most beautiful in the land, including killing her stepdaughter. We never learn what happened to Snow White's father, the King. Why did he ever marry this vain woman? I'm assuming she must have used one of her magic books to create a spell to make him fall in love with her, then killed him, but we are never told anything about her father.

We only meet the Prince at the very beginning, and then, not until the very end. When Snow White is singing at the wishing well about one day her prince will come, he just comes up and starts singing beside her. This is their only interaction until he will wake her with a kiss. We don't even know his name. Let's be honest: the early Disney Princes were bland, bland, bland.

Another thing I don't like is the music, more specifically, Snow White's singing voice. Oh god, it is so shrill. And way too saccharine. Maybe it's because my ears are more used to "current" music and if I had grown up in this era, it wouldn't have bothered me because maybe that's how singers sounded. While I'm not crazy about the songs (I'm somewhat familiar with them, but besides "Heigh Ho", couldn't really sing any of them for you), I think I would have liked them a lot better if that irritating voice wasn't singing them. Sorry, Snow White. Or should I say, sorry, Adriana Caselotti.

While this movie isn't very long (about an hour and twenty minutes), it can feel very long at times because there's a whole lot of nothing going on in this movie. A lot of time is devoted to cleaning the cottage, or the dwarfs washing their hands (that scene goes on FOREVER...a good time to use the bathroom or get a snack), or dancing with Snow White.

Also, I'm not sure how I feel about Snow White as a character. She comes off as very sweet and innocent and caring and while she does have all those qualities, I also found her to be very condescending at times. She's also a little bit dumb, let's be honest. First of all, she's the one trespassing in the dwarfs' home and when they confront her, she just laughs at them, calling them "little men", then asks, "How do you do?" and repeats, "I said, how do you do?" when they don't answer. Keep in mind she has just woken up in three of their beds and is asking this question like she lives there. Uh-huh, honey, you don't live there. This is not your home. You have no right to ask any questions. They should be asking the questions! Grumpy is the only one who is wondering what she's doing there, but all the others don't care because she's so pretty and looks like an angel. There is a mother/child relationship between them. Before she meets the dwarfs and sees all the small chairs and bed, she assumes that seven children live in this cottage and have no mother. She tells the dwarfs that if she can stay with them, she will cook, clean, sew, etc. Sounds like a fair trade, but then she chides the dwarfs for not washing their hands before dinner and the way she comes off across at times, I'm really surprised they didn't kick her out. I guess it's a good thing she's pretty, because I wouldn't be putting up with that.

In fact, because of Snow White's beauty, she has been saved from death twice. The first time is when the Queen orders the huntsman to take her out to the woods and kill her and bring back her heart in a box. Because she is so beautiful and young, the hunter tells her to run away and instead brings a pig's heart back to the Queen. Then, when the dwarfs see the form of Snow White sleeping under the covers and thinks it's a monster and is about to kill her, they stop when the sheet falls off her and they see such a beautiful princess. I guess you could also argue that if she wasn't pretty, then the Queen wouldn't be jealous of her.

The dwarfs all have their own personality or unique trait, thanks to their names. I thought Doc was supposed to be the smart one, though. After all his name is "Doc" and he wears glasses. But instead he either has a speech impediment or he's a total idiot because he can never say the right word or phrase. I forgot that Dopey doesn't talk at all and the reason he doesn't talk is because he never even tried. Yeah, Dopey is pretty dopey. Also, he could have been easily been called Pervy because he's always trying to get an extra kiss (on the top of his head) from Snow. Settle down, Dopey. While Grumpy seems to be the only voice of reason among the seven of them, he's also quite the misogynist. He tells them that all females are "poison" and that they're full of "wicked wiles". Makes you wonder what HIS backstory is. Did he not have good relation with his mother? Did he have a dwarf woman who scarred his heart? (I wonder if dwarf women also have beards?) I laughed when Snow White is trying to guess who is who and when she gets to Grumpy and he's being, well, grumpy, she says in a mock irritable voice, "Ooh, you must be Grumpy." Okay, now THAT was funny and it gave Snow a little bit of personality which I appreciated.

Speaking of things I liked, I really loved the woodland creatures that Snow befriends after she is told to run away. I thought they were all super cute. Once again, she is a bit condescending to them when she's telling them she needs a place to sleep (super cute how the rabbits are nodding), but tells them she can't sleep on the ground (super cute how the rabbits are shaking their heads), or in the tree or in a nest. The "Whistle While You Work" number is my favorite musical scene in the movie because I'm able to ignore Snow's shrill voice because there lots of funny and cute (and quite unsanitary!) moments involving the animals cleaning. We see the deer and squirrels using their tails to dust and get rid of cobwebs (two squirrels try to sweep the dust under the rug until Snow stops them), the deer are licking the plates to clean them, and the turtle provides his belly as a washboard when a chipmunk is cleaning the clothes. In a later scene when she's cooking gooseberry pies for the dwarfs, the birds will help her by using their feet to create designs on the pie crust. When Snow makes her comment about the seven children not having a mother, a baby deer rubs up against his mother and cries.
Perhaps a precursor to Bambi?

There's a great running gag in this movie involving the turtle. I felt so bad for him! He's always the last one to get to where all the other animals have gone and by the time he reaches his destination, all the other animals go back to where they just were. I believe this happens three times. One of the first times is when all the animals follow Snow White upstairs and by the time the turtle makes it to the top step, the other animals hear the dwarfs (wait, is the plural dwarfs or dwarves?) return home and rush back downstairs. Luckily, the turtle just slides down the stairs so he is able get away just in time!

Another character I loved is the Evil Queen. She's not in the movie much and we go long stretches without seeing her, but the few scenes we do have of her are deliciously delightful...almost like a scrumptious crisp red apple, you could say. There's a scene where she's walking through her dungeon with rats and cobwebs and human skeletons everywhere. One of the skeletons is in his cage, poised reaching for a pitcher of water that's just out of reach. The Queen cackles when she sees this and says, "Thirsty?" while kicking the water even more of out the way. You could tell the voice actress (Lucille La Verne) was having a lot of fun with it. I'd like to think that the skeleton was Snow's father. Morbid, I know.

When the Queen learns that Snow White is still alive, she goes to her sorcerer's dungeon room where she concocts a potion to  change her appearance. She gets the spell from her "Disguises" book. Other books in her sorcery library include "Black Arts", (is that the same thing as the Dark Arts? If so, I bet all the DADA professors at Hogwarts had copies of that!) "Black Magic", "Alchemy", "Witch Craft" (I bet season six BtVS Willow had a copy of that!), "Sorcery", and "Poisons".

Most of the ingredients the Queen needs for a peddler's disguise are intangible items, so I have no idea how she acquired them. I guess that's why she's a witch. There's mummy dust, the black of night (seriously, how do you capture that in a bottle?), an old hag's cackle, a scream of fright, a blast of wind, and a thunderbolt "to mix it well". Why not just stir it?

Would you let this woman into
your home????
I don't quite understand the Queen's motives. Her goal is to get Snow White to eat the tasty red apple that's poisonous, right? Well, why the heck did she disguise herself as the creepiest old woman you could possibly imagine. She has one tooth, a wart on her nose, long white scraggy hair, a long pointy nose, long knobby fingers, dark circles around her eyes, and she's wearing a ragged black robe. This woman screams no good; I wouldn't open my door to her. If you're trying to get someone to trust you, why not disguise yourself as a sweet old lady type, like a Betty White? I feel like the Queen wasn't being very smart there. Luckily for her, Snow White isn't the sharpest tool in the shed and will invite the super scary looking woman inside.

The animals are the only ones with a brain in this film. THEY know what's up. They know that this scary looking old woman is up to no good and try to discourage Snow from taking the apple from her. Snow scolds the animals, "Shame on you, frightening an old lady!" No, shame on you, Snow White, for not having any sense of stranger danger! The animals will run to the mines to get the dwarfs and once again, we will get the running rag where the turtle is the last to reach them and by the time he gets there, everyone is running back to the cottage. I really don't understand why the animals need to get the dwarfs. There were a couple of deer among them; why couldn't they just break in, then impale the Queen with their antlers? These animals are much more capable than the dwarfs.

The old fruit peddler takes out the red poisonous apple and gives it to Snow, telling her it's a "magic wishing apple" and of course the naive Snow White believes her and makes her wish of living happily ever after with the prince, you know the one she's only met for thirty seconds and doesn't even know his name. I laughed when the Queen hurriedly says, "Fine, fine, now take a bite" as if she's saying, "Just shut up about your prince and die already." I don't know, the way she said it just made me laugh.

So of course Snow White takes a bite and is cursed by the sleeping death and by the time the dwarfs arrive, it's too late. They chase the old woman up the cliffs and she tries to dislodge a huge boulder to run them over, but she ends up falling off the cliff and the boulder falls on top of her. In a really creepy scene we see two vultures watching all this, then they fly to where she had just fallen, ready to feast on her corpse.

The curse is called the sleeping death, but she's not really dead. The Queen even says, "She'll be buried alive". And I think the dwarfs know this (I hope so at least), cuz otherwise they wouldn't have kept her coffin out in the open because they claim she was too beautiful to bury. I would like to think they know she's not technically dead; that she's just sleeping, but unable to wake up, otherwise don't they know about human decomposition? The only way for her to wake up is by true love's kiss, so in a way it's very similar to the Sleeping Beauty story. A year passes and the bland Prince we met in the first five minute of the movie comes trotting up on his horse, lifts up the glass lid of the coffin and kisses the Princess. First of all, how did he even know to kiss her? Also, don't you think it's a little weird that he's kissing a dead girl? (I don't think he knows she's technically only sleeping). ALSO, they have only met once and all of a sudden, he's her true love? What the huh? I don't buy that at all. I mean, I would have bought it more if one of the dwarfs had kissed her and she woke up from that...at least she had somewhat more of a relationship with the dwarfs then she did with Prince Drip! At least on the TV series Once Upon a Time, Snow and the Prince develop a relationship and are in love before Snow is cursed by the Queen. And the Prince has an actual name! They also have a much better reason for the Queen hating Snow other than she's prettier than she is.

Snow White is like "Peace out!" as she says goodbye to the dwarfs and gives them one last kiss on their heads. Really, she could not get out of there fast enough and barely acknowledges the dwarfs for keeping a candlelight vigil at her coffin for a year.

Yes, this movie is pretty dated and definitely needed help in the character development department, but you have to give it a lot of credit for starting the Disney empire and paving the way for animated movies, so this is defintely a must see. Come for Snow White and the seven dwarfs; stay for the Evil Queen and the woodland creatures.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Another Movie Montage

I have made my ninth movie montage! If you want to check out all the other movie montages I've made, click the "montage" tag. Thanks for watching! 

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Don't Make a Sound

A Quiet Place
Director: John Krasinski
Cast: Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Millient Simmonds, Noah Jupe
Released: April 6, 2018

Oscar nominations:
Best Sound (lost to Bohemian Rhapsody)

I am going to review this movie the same way I reviewed Searching: first I will give a quick synopsis without spoilers, then I will dive into a more in-depth review that will include spoilers. Even though I found certain aspects of this film frustrating (which I will touch on in spoilers), I would recommend it.

The basic plot of A Quiet Place is that everyone has to be quiet because there are these monster/alien-type creatures that have very acute hearing (probably to compensate for their lack of eyesight) and if they hear any sound, they attack and kill. The aliens reminded me of something you would see in a season of Stranger Things, only this movie takes place a few years in the future (I believe it's 2021, so literally it's just a few years in the future!)  It's a very suspenseful movie and it's clever how the family we are following (John Krasinski and Emily Blunt play the parents, Lee and Evelyn) have to adapt to living a silent life. They play Monopoly with felt pieces and roll the dice on the carpet, they never wear shoes, they use their hands instead of silverware when they eat, they listen to music through headphones, they have their yard outlined in lights that are usually white, but they can turn them red when there's an emergency. (I don't think it's a spoiler to say the lights will turn red!) In a way, they are lucky because their daughter (Millicent Simmonds) is deaf so the family already knows sign language and are able to communicate that way. However, I do question some of their soundproofing methods. For one thing, they have a whole bunch of framed photos hanging on the wall and if one of those drops, it's making a loud thud. Also (and I don't think this is considered a spoiler), Evelyn is pregnant and I'm thinking, Hmmm, is a baby what you really need right now? You live in a world where you're supposed to be quiet and you are adding something that cries and screams a lot? Yikes! They will have a solution to this problem which I will discuss in spoilers, so at least they do address it. I know what you're thinking: why would this be a problem when they already have children? Yes, that's true, but the three children they already have were all born before the aliens appeared. When we first meet the family, we are told it is "Day 89" and the youngest is four, making all the kids old enough to know what's going on and to not make any sounds. With a baby, you really can't tell it not to cry. 

This movie is on Hulu, so if you haven't seen it, go watch it, then come back and read the rest of the review because we are getting into spoiler territory now! 

Spoilers starts right now! 

So something pretty shocking happens within the first ten minutes of the movie. I'm not sure if you can count anything that happens so early in a movie a spoiler, but I thought I'd rather be safe than sorry. Maybe everyone already knew about this, but me, but I have to say I didn't see it coming at all and I was shocked! When we first see the family, they are all at an abandoned drug store getting supplies, including medication for their older son (Noah Jupe). The younger son, the four-year-old, wants a toy rocket, but his father tells him it's too noisy and takes out the batteries leaving both the batteries and the toy on the counter. In hindsight, his dad should have just taken out the batteries and let the kid have the toy, but I guess he though it would still be too loud. The kids follow their parents out the door and the girl gives her brother the toy, indicating for him to keep it a secret. What she doesn't see is that the kid also grabs the batteries on his way out. I guess when I said that all the kids were old enough to know they need to be quiet at all times, that wasn't exactly true. I guess his parents didn't exactly put enough of the fear of God into him because, needless to say, he puts the batteries in the toy and it starts making loud noises. His parents are a bit further ahead of him and when they hear the noise, they just have a sheer look of horror over their faces. His father runs to try to save him, (even if he did catch him, I'm not sure what he could have done), but the alien is faster and just grabs him. It's very quick and you don't see anything, but they are setting the tone that these things mean business and being quiet is an essential part of survival. 

It's been a little over a year since the boy's death and Evelyn blames herself for not carrying her son home; the girl blames herself for giving the toy to her younger brother and she thinks that her dad blames her for her brother's death as well. The older son tells his father this when they are at a waterfall and are able to speak since the water is so loud that the aliens won't be able to hear them. 

Lee has been tinkering with his daughter's cochlear implant so she will be able to hear, which seems kind of ironic since they have to be quiet at all times, yet in a situation like this, it is important to be able to hear so you know if you have inadvertently made a sound or not. Whenever we get the POV of the daughter, it is completely quiet. When he tells her he has made adjustments to her hearing device, she angrily brushes him off, telling him it never works, so he just puts it in her hands. The daughter is angry because she wants to go with her father and brother as they leave to go fishing and gather supplies and she has to stay behind with her mother, but instead she sneaks out to her brother's memorial spot.

Of course on the day Lee is gone, Evelyn's water breaks. Before that, she had been doing the laundry in the basement and when she's lugging the bag of clothes upstairs, it gets caught on a loose nail which is pulled up, sharp side at the ready for a bare foot. The camera zooms in on the nail so we know it will come into play later. All I could think of was that scene from Home Alone; wonder if John Krasinski is a fan and paid homage to it, haha. When she does go into labor, she heads to the basement where that sharp nail is waiting for her bare foot. She has to clap her hand over her mouth to keep from screaming. I'm telling you right now that if that were me, I would not only scream, but also be screaming a list of curse words. This is by far the worst scene in the movie and made me cringe! And it's not any better when we see her dislodge her foot from the nail. :::shudder::: While she does keep from screaming, she puts her hand up on the wall and knocks down a frame that crashes to the ground which inevitably alerts one of the three confirmed aliens that live in their area. We see it pass by the basement door so this gives Evelyn a little bit of time to put on the red lights to alert her husband she's in trouble and to set an egg timer that will distract the alien when it goes off while she hides in the corner of the basement. This poor woman is in labor, a nail just went up her foot, AND she has a dangerous creature after her. I mean, what else could go wrong?

When the egg timer goes off, she is able to escape and goes to the upstairs bathroom where she gives birth in the tub. Lee, who sees the lights, tells his son to set off fireworks to distract the alien (and it is distracted in the nick of time as it is on its way up the stairs to where Evelyn is about to give birth and she's trying really hard not to scream!) Once the fireworks go off, she lets out a loud scream. Lee checks on his wife and newborn son. And wouldn't you know, the baby starts crying, which of course, attracts the alien back to the house. We see how they plan to keep the baby quiet by putting an oxygen mask on him and putting him in a wooden box with a lid.

Guess what? We find out these aliens do have a weakness. The girl, who is wearing the new cochlear implant that her dad gave her, is heading home and an alien comes up right behind her and her hearing aid starts emitting a high-pitched sound which makes the alien back away. I know the girl can't hear anything, but I am surprised she didn't feel the presence of this large creature which was literally only a few feet behind her. This will happen again when both kids are being attacked by one of the creatures and the hearing aid will scare it away. You think this would have have tipped off the girl, but nope, when the kids are once again being attacked by an alien, this time while they're in an abandoned truck (which reminded me of the scene from Jurassic Park), the girl takes off her implant because the sound is so painful. Their father sacrifices his life by screaming to attract the monster to him, but not before he tells his children he loves him.

I think that's what I found so frustrating about this movie; why didn't they know what the aliens' weaknesses were before it was too late. It's not until the very end of the movie, when Evelyn and the three kids are all down in the basement, when the girl finally discovers her hearing aid is the key and is able to keep the first alien at a distance while her mother shoots it. I do love the very last shot of the movie where they see on the TV monitors they have in the basement that the other two aliens are on their way to the house because of the sound of the gunshot and Emily Blunt cocks the gun, ready to kill the last two. 

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Three's a Crowd

Pretty in Pink
Director: Howard Deutch
Cast: Molly Ringwald, Jon Cryer, Andrew McCarthy, James Spader, Harry Dean Stanton
Released: February 28, 1986

Spoilers? For anyone who really cares that much?

I thought this movie was directed by John Hughes, but he just wrote it. Of all the Molly Ringwald movie I've reviewed (including The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles), this is the only movie where she ends up with a guy who isn't a complete douche. Don't get me wrong; he's still a douche, just not a COMPLETE one. While not great, the movie didn't make me groan or cringe as much as those two did. 

Molly Ringwald plays Andie, a high school senior who is "poor" so she has to make her own clothes, which she is made fun of for. I think they're supposed to be these amazing creations, but she tends to favor floral patterns, so she ends up looking like a ninety-year-old granny especially when she's wearing her old granny hat and old granny glasses. She also likes to wear a lot of pink, hence the title of the movie. Look, I am also a redhead who will wear the occasional pink top, but even I know my limitations and redheads should not wear that much pink! I put "poor" in quotes because she and her father live in a house (on the small side) and she drives a car and they're able to own a dog and take care of it. I think "poor" in this case just means they're not part of the really wealthy crowd. Her mom left her and her dad and her dad (Harry Dean Stanton) can only get part time work. 

John Hughes loves giving Molly Ringwald's characters a rich boyfriend (or in the case of The Breakfast Club, he made her character rich and gave her a boyfriend from the "wrong side of the tracks") and in this movie the rich boy from school who likes her is Blane (Andrew McCarthy). On the other side of the spectrum, Andie's longtime friend, Duckie (Jon Cryer) is in love with her. Even though he is scared to tell her that he loves her, he's often coming on to her, so she has to know that he likes her. Unless she thinks he's just joking around or being the big perv he is because we see him hitting on other girls. I honestly thought it was going to be revealed that Duckie is gay and he was just compensating for it by being so overly heterosexual. I mean, it is ridiculous how much he comes on to Andie and being that she doesn't seem him as anything other than a friend, it's also a bit icky, but she doesn't seem to be bothered or uncomfortable about it. But then I remembered that this is a John Hughes movie. While I found Duckie to be on the annoying side most of the time, I did laugh at the scene where he's thrown into the girl's bathroom by bullies and thinks the tampon dispenser is a candy machine and is mocked outraged that the boys' restroom doesn't have a "candy machine".

Let's turn this love triangle into a love square! As it isn't enough for both Blane and Duckie to be interested in Andie, let's bring in the super rich and super suave Steff (James Spader) who is a friend of Blane's and doesn't give a f**k about anything. Look, '86 Molly Ringwald was a very cute girl, but to have THREE guys be into her? Let's not get carried away, movie! I had to look up to see how old James Spader was in this movie because not only does he act like he's 30, but he looks like he's 30 too. I was close; he was 25. That's still quite old to play a high schooler! Of course, we all know Steff (what kind of guy's name is that, anyway?) is off the table, so we all wait with bated breath to see who Andie will end up with at the end of the movie. Did my tone sound sarcastic enough?

Duckie is upset when he finds out that Andie is going on a date with Blane. (I will admit "That's a major appliance; that's not a name!" is a great line.) For one thing, he's part of the rich group who makes fun of both of them for not having as much money even though Blane himself has never said anything bad about Andie or her finances.

Andie and Blane have a terrible first date. This guy is such a chump; he takes her to a party at Steff's house which is full of the people who are mean to Andie. All that aside, who takes someone to a party on the first date? That's a horrible first date...a party is something you go to once you're a couple with somebody. She even tells him she doesn't want to go to a party because they're his friends and he tells her if they're going to try to make "this" work, then they're going to have to hang out with each other friend's anyway. I don't think that's true. Who says you have to hang out with your significant other's friends? Nobody, that's who. Oh, and even before that he makes a rude comment about her outfit, asking her if she wants to go home and change when that's the outfit she's wearing for the date! Ouch! He does apologize for taking her to the party once he realizes just how rude his friends are towards Andie. Then they go to a club where they run into, who else, Duckie, who acts like a jerk towards Blane. He's also there with Iona (Annie Potts) who is the manager of the record store Andie works at. She is fifteen years older than both of them and Duckie tries to make Andie jealous by kissing Iona and telling Andie that she's been replaced, but of course she's not jealous. Andie doesn't want Blane to take her home because she doesn't want him to see the shack of a house (which I'm pretty sure is two stories) she lives in, but he does anyway and even though they had a terrible first date, he asks her to the prom and share a romantic first kiss. *rolls eyes*

Iona was the Lady Gaga before Lady Gaga even existed...literally as this movie was released a month before she was even born. Iona wears some crazy outfits such as a dress made out of vinyl and is always wearing a different wig or hairstyle. She shows Andie her prom dress (which she is still able to fit into, so go Iona) and tells her she can borrow the dress if she wants. Iona and Andie have a big sister/little sister relationship which is really sweet, especially when she's comforting Andie during a scene later on when Andie will get her heart broken.

I need to have a quick Fashion Corner Segment. We see a scene of Andie in gym class about to play volleyball where the mean girls (one of them is played by a young Gina Gershon) are being, well, mean, to her and her friend. What is up with these uniforms/ They appear to be blue jumpsuits with collars that button up the front and completed with a belt. WTF? When I was in gym class, we just wore a t-shirt and shorts. Plus they seem to allow the girls to wear not just dangly earrings, but humongous dangly earrings. Pretty sure you're supposed to take all your jewelry off before gym class. Also, it looks like Molly Ringwald legs are all tattooed, but she's wearing these stockings with designs on them; I'm not really sure what's going on there. And what is up with her shoes? They're these white half sneakers/half boots? I'm not sure...what are those? Only in the eighties, am I right?

Oh, and speaking of dangly earrings, there's a scene where Andie and Blane are making out and she's wearing a super dangly earrings in one ear (she has three piercings: two in one ear and one in the other and wears one super long dangly earring while also wearing a pair of smaller earrings) and he puts her hand on that side of her face and I am just so worried that his hand is going to get caught in that earring and is going to rip it out of her ear! :::cringes::: But that doesn't happen, although it easily could have!

To Andie's dismay, Blane starts ignoring Andie's phone calls and starts ghosting her. Haha, was Blane the first ever ghoster? Blane does this because he is pressured by Steff who tells him if he hangs out with "trash" like Andie, then he won't be friends with him, but of course we all know Steff has a thing for Andie (which I'm not really sure why, no offense to Andie...maybe he just wants to try to get with her because it's a "challenge"?) so he probably just doesn't want Blane to be with her and Blane, being the wet blanket he is, decides that Steff is right. I don't understand why Blane and Steff are friends as Steff is a jerk to him, but I guess they're friends since they run in the same social circus.

Andie calls Blane out in school and tells him that he should just admit that he's ashamed to be with her AFTER he tells her that he can't go to the prom with her because he asked another girl to the prom and that he "forgot". Bitch, please! Oh my God, if I were that other girl he supposedly asked to the prom before Andie, I would have been PISSED! How do you forget you asked someone else to the prom? Seriously, how. Of course, we know there was never another girl. Cuz while Blane is a f**king idiot, he's not that stupid. Poor Molly Ringwald. Why can't any of her John Hughes movie characters get a decent boyfriend? First she had the super gross Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles who had no qualms about raping his own girlfriend, then perhaps even worse is the thirty-year-old creep Bender from The Breakfast Club who is just absoluetly terrible to Claire and somehow they end up together. In comparison to these two wankers, Blane isn't really that bad, but he's still not great. And it probably is no coincidence that his name is one letter off from being "bland", heh.

Bo Peep! 
It's time for another quick Fashion Corner Segment. Even though she no longer has a date, Andie decides she's still going to the prom. Remember, she still has the offer to borrow Iona's old prom dress which is actually quite cute. It's a pink dress with white flowers that look like polka dots (you have to look closer to make out that they're actually flowers). It doesn't scream prom dress to me; it looks more like something you would wear to a Sunday brunch or a baby shower. Andie's dad  surprises her with a prom dress, which I personally thought was really ugly. He tells her that it reminds him of Andie's mom and all I could think was that Andie's mom had some terrible taste. It's a strapless pink dress with a full length tulle skirt and dark pink flower designs on the bodice. It also has this plastic-y sheen on the bodice which makes it look really cheap. And of course there's a godawful huge bow around the waist to top it off. Andie seems to really like the dress, though. Instead of choosing between the two dresses (the choice to me is obvious), she decides to cut up both dresses and make what is truly probably the worst prom dress in all of history, probably just the worst dress ever, period. If she had been a contestant on Project Runway she would have been auf'ed on the spot! I can just see Tim Gunn now going over to Andie with a huge frown on his face as he looks up and down at this monstrosity. OMG, this thing is so fugly; I don't know what's going on. We have some bare shoulders, a weird neckline, a unflattering fit, I honestly don't know what she was thinking. I guess even Molly Ringwald herself thought the dress was atrocious, heh. If I were Iona, I would have been PISSED that my perfectly fine dress was ruined. Andie never tells her her plan that she was going to cut up her dress which I thought was a little s****y of her. I bet Iona would have loved to keep this dress and give it to her daughter one day.

At the prom, Duckie gives Andie his "permission" to be with Blane (gee, thanks Duckie) and Blane tells Andie that he loves her. Where the hell did this come from? I guess originally Andie was going to end up with Duckie, but test audiences didn't like that, so they reshot and she ended up with Bland Blane. I personally don't think she should have ended up with either of them. Why couldn't she just pull a Kelly Taylor and declare, "I choose me!" 

Tuesday, March 26, 2019


Director: Aneesh Chaganty
Cast: John Cho, Debra Messing, Michelle La
Released: August 31, 2018

I am going to write this review in three parts. First, I am going to give a basic plot of the movie without spoilers. I highly recommend you watch this movie without being spoiled because half the fun is trying to solve the mystery and if you knew who is or isn't involved, then it wouldn't be a satisfying watch. The plot of the movie is about a single father, David Kim (John Cho) trying to find his daughter, Margot (Michelle La), who's missing. At first, he thinks she's avoiding him because she's mad at him, but when he tries to reach her at her piano lesson, her teacher tells him she quit lessons six months ago (even though she's still been taking the $100 a week for lessons he gives her). He then finds out that she was invited to go camping with a group of friends, so he thinks that's where she is, but discovers that she never went. This is when he really starts to worry and  Detective Rosemary Vick (Debra Messing) is assigned to help find her. The gimmick of this movie is that the whole thing is told through screens: phones, computer, security cameras, news camera. Social media plays a huge part of the movie as David uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all of those to help find clues about Margot's whereabouts. There are very few times when you see two actors in the same room together; most of them communicate by FaceTime or video chatting or texting. I can only imagine that would have been very difficult to have no one to act against! So if you've never seen this movie, please go see it before you read the rest of the review! This is a debut of a young director and even though I had more questions at the end and some things seemed a little too convenient, I think it was a really good mystery movie and it's fun to watch a second time to see all the clues that were right in front of you and you get things from a different perspective when you know what happened.

In this next part, while I'm not giving away the main reveal of what happened, I will be talking about all the red herrings (as in any good mystery, you always have a few of those!), so I will be talking about the eliminated suspects.  First of all, you always know the obvious ones are never the ones who did it. We get a couple of those here. David talks to a bunch of his daughter's classmates who were study group friends of hers and I never thought they were involved in her disappearance. For one thing, she didn't have any close friends and no one really paid attention to her. One of the first real suspects the movie wants you to think could possibly be involved (which meant he wasn't) was a guy named Derek Ellis who often made pervy remarks on her Instagram posts. I assume he was a classmate of hers. I don't know if he was a perv to just Margot or all the girls, but I'm surprised she never blocked him because in another scene when we see David looking at vlogs she did, she blocks a pervy user. David gets Derek's number (by paying $50! I thought he was going to get a bunch of results since he had a pretty common last name, but he gets the right guy.) At first, Derek refuses to tell David where he was the night Margot disappeared, but after David threatens to call the police, we find out he was at a Justin Bieber concert...and it's confirmed, haha. Once this case goes public and is all over the news with people posting their thoughts and prayers and theories about what happened on social media, David sees a post from Derek saying that Margot is with him and implying they've been having sex. It's another gross post, though I don't know which is worse: that or the girl in Margot's study group who told David they weren't close friends, but posts a YouTube video saying they were best friends. Thanks to Facebook and people loving to post where they are every minute of the day, David is able to find Derek at the movies and ends up beating him up. Detective Vick tells him to stop interfering in the investigation.

Another possible suspect is David's brother, Margot's uncle, who we meet early in the movie. I also knew this was a red herring because it seems to come out of nowhere and is only there to shock the audience as David finds texts between his brother and Margot implying something illicit is going on, like perhaps a sexual relationship, but I knew that wasn't it. Of course that isn't the case, but rather David finds out that Margot has been hanging out with her uncle to smoke weed. Hmm, is this a slight reference to Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle?

Another suspect is a girl Margot had been communicating with through a YouTube-like site called YouCast. It's the only made up social media platform in the movie. I understand why YouCast doesn't exist in real life because it's quite possibly the most useless thing. It's like Facebook in the sense that you post videos, but you're always live, so it's like when someone live streams on YouTube. Live streaming makes sense when you're a popular podcaster or YouTuber and have a live show where people can join in and ask questions or make comments. It makes sense when you have well over 100 people who are watching live. However, every time Margot goes on YouCast, she's lucky if she has even one "viewer". I guess the point of YouCast is to answer questions that people who join your cast can ask you. I've seen popular YouTubers stream live videos where they answer questions that people join in and ask, but Margot isn't a popular YouCaster; so how would people even know about her YouCast channel? It's just very weird. David goes through many of her videos and you can see that the highest number of people who ever viewed a single video was eight. It's no wonder, because the videos were super boring. Half the time she's having a one on one conversation with a young woman from Pittsburgh named Hannah who goes by the user name "fish n chips". Hannah types a question and we see Margot answer it verbally on the screen. It's a very weird way to have a one on one conversation with someone, especially when other people can listen in. It appears Hannah has a lot in common with Margot and she's the most prominent person in those YouCast videos, so naturally David wants to have her alibi checked out. Detective Vick tells him she was indeed in Pittsburgh at her job as a waitress and it was also confirmed by the girl's boss. So those are all the main suspects who seem the most likely, but they all have confirmed alibis. The plot thickens!

In this final part, I am going to discuss my prediction, then what really happened. I will say my prediction wasn't right, but I was kind of on the right track, but not really. But if you're still reading this and haven't seen the movie yet, this would be a good time to stop reading, go watch the movie, then come back and continue reading because some major spoilers are about to start right now! You have been warned! Do not read another word of this if you do not want to know who or what is behind the mystery! Spoilers start...NOW! 

Okay, so Detective Vick tells David that they got a confession from an ex-con who admits that he abducted and killed Margot. Of course this is horrible and David is overcome with grief, but I'm checking how much time is left in the movie and thinking, Hmmm, there's still half an hour left; something isn't adding up. Not to mention that even though they found trace evidence of the guy at the lake where Margot's car was found, her body isn't found. They can't question the guy because he killed himself after he taped the confession. And keep in mind this is the first time we're seeing this guy. I didn't know why he was confessing; maybe he just wanted the attention, but I knew he wasn't the reason behind Margot's disappearance.

Let me tell you who I thought was behind Margot's disappearance: I thought it was Hannah aka fish n  chips, the girl Margot had been chatting with on YouCast. Like I said before, they have a lot in common, but one of the main things is that Hannah's mom is sick with cancer and Margot has a lot of empathy for her because her own mother died of cancer about a year ago.  Because of this, David has a hard time talking to Margot about her mother and their relationship has been a bit strained. I didn't think Hannah lured Margot away or anything malicious like that, but rather Margot decided to run away. Of course, I probably thought that because that's the narrative being pushed by Vick. She finds that Margot had created a fake ID and the money she was apparently sending to someone was actually going to herself.

I was right that fish n chips was involved, but I was also way wrong! When David is going through his emails on the day of Margot's memorial, he gets an e-mail from the funeral service telling him he can upload photos of Margot to preserve her memory. After he does that, he sees a photo of a young redheaded woman holding flowers as part of the site's homepage. It's a different picture, but this young woman is clearly the same young woman fish n chips uses as her YouCast profile pic. Hmmmmm. I was like, WTF is going on here?!?! And then I was like, Aha! I knew fish n chips had something to do with this! You think they made her a redhead so you would think she was just a red herring? (Ha ha). But I knew better. Okay, so while I was right that fish n chips was somehow involved, everything else I didn't see coming...and probably should have. It didn't even occur to me the Margot was being catfished (duh!) and when David calls the young woman who he finds out is a stock photo model (her name really was Hannah, though) living in L.A., she tells him she has no idea what YouCast is and never spoke to the police. This probably should have sent a red flag to David, but he calls Vick and gets her secretary who reveals to him that Vick had volunteered for the job rather than was assigned to the case as he was led to believe. Long story short, Vick's son, Robbie, was the one who was cat fishing Margot. He had a crush on her, but was too shy to tell her and pretended to be "Hannah" and brought up things in the conversation he knew about her (hence the reason "Hannah's" mom had cancer) and Margot had sent $2500 of the piano lesson money to "Hannah's" Venmo account after she finds the same user name. To be fair, "Hannah" never asked for the money, but we do see fish n chips telling Margot how rough money is, so that's why Margot sent her the money. Margot may be book smart, but she seems a bit stupid. Why is she sending some stranger she's never met TWENTY FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS? This person could be lying to you, oh wait, they were! Robbie wants to come clean to Margot, but instead of talking to her at school or calling her on the phone, or even Facebook messaging her like any normal person would do, he FOLLOWS her to the lake around 9 in the evening where she's just parked and smoking weed, and then surprises her by getting in her car. Seriously, what kind of a creep does that? Not surprisingly, Margot starts freaking out and runs away with Robbie following her and "trying to explain", but she's still fighting against him. I believe this is the moment when she calls her father, who's sleeping, but I didn't understand why she didn't leave a message or leave the phone on while she was having the confrontation with Robbie. He ends up pushing her down a fifty foot ravine and calls his mother, who is conviently a detective. Instead of calling the police and telling them there was an accident (which it was) or making sure Margot was still alive (she told the police there was no way she would survive the fall because she didn't hear anybody calling for help, but didn't she think of the possibility Margot may have been knocked unconscious?), she goest through this elaborate rouse just to protect her son where she pushes Margot's car in the lake, then gets in touch with David to help him with the case where she sends him on a wild goose chase making him think she had run away with the story of the fake ID. A huge clue David gets that Vick was involved was that there's a photo of her standing next to the man who confessed to killing Margot. He was an ex-convict who had worked with Vick in some volunteer project and when he's making his confession, he's clearly reading from something so you know Vick was there making him read it, then killed him after. This crazy bee-yotch went through some serious lengths when all she had to do was call for help and Margot would have been fine. Actually, Margot was fine (well, alive, anyway) when they found her because it had rained for a few days so that meant she only had to go two days without water.

Sure, a few things make you go "Hmmmmm" and what are the odds that the random girl's photo Robbie chose to be to pose as fish n chips would also be the same girl on the funeral site, but it's a pretty impressive movie. I wouldn't want to watch the computer/phone screen POV all the time, but I felt like I did learn a few things about technology while watching this!

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Video Review: The Mountain Between Us

I watched The Mountain Between Us and here is my video review of it (with spoilers):

Thursday, March 14, 2019

What Happens in Vegas...

The Hangover
Director: Todd Phillips
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifinakis, Justin Bartha, Heather Graham, Ken Jeong
Released: June 5, 2009
Viewed in theaters: June 15, 2009

I know this movie is already ten years old, but I will be spoiling key plot points, so there is your spoiler warning.

I remember this movie being a big hit when it came out. (Of course I remember! It was only ten years ago!) It was the highest grossing rated R comedy in a very long time and it won the Golden Globe for Best Comedy/Musical. Usually the movies that win in those categories are usually musicals or slight comedies like Shakespeare in Love or Lady Bird. There might be a few laughs, but they're not giving you belly laughs.  It was so popular and talked about that I even went to see it in theaters. I did see the other two sequels (terrible...the second one was exactly the same as the first one, only set in Thailand and I barely remember the third one except it was set in Vegas again). Obviously the sequels were made because the first one was so popular and made a ton of money. The first movie was lighting in a bottle; it's just hard to recapture that magic. 

The Hangover kind of reminds me of a comedic Memento. Now it's not told backwards, but our main characters are trying to piece together the puzzle of what happened "the night before", during their friend's bachelor party in Vegas with the clues they obtain. It's a fun and clever concept and you're going along for the ride along with Phil (Bradley Cooper), Stu (Ed Helms), and Alan (Zach Galifianakis ) as they try to find their friend, the soon-to-be-married Doug (Justin Bartha). And when I say soon-to-be-married, he has his bachelor party two days before the wedding which seems a bit crazy, especially since the wedding is in Los Angeles and they go to Vegas for the bachelor party. But they need to set the stakes high. If there wasn't a chance Doug might miss his wedding, it wouldn't have an urgency to it and wouldn't be as compelling.

Most movies would have just shown this movie with the bachelor party as the focus: we would have seen them stealing a cop car, Stu getting married to a stripper, and them stealing Mike Tyson's tiger among their many hi-jinxes. It probably still would have been funny, but not nearly as satisfying as watching these three guys try to figure out what the hell happened the night before. And there is some crazy stuff that happened!

Phil and Stu are friends of Doug's, but Alan is meeting them for the first time as he is the brother of Doug's fiancee. It's not just me, but there's something a bit...off with Alan, isn't there? It's not just that he unknowingly gives the other guys roofies (he puts them in their drinks when they're having a toast before they start their night) he bought from some guy at the drug store thinking it was ecstasy. What is up with that scene when he and Doug pick up Phil at the school he teaches at and Alan says, "I'm not supposed to be within 200 feet of a school or Chuck E. Cheese." And later, when they're talking about returning to Vegas another week, Alan tells them that week won't work because "The Jonas Brothers are in town." Pretty sure the Jonas brothers were teens back then. And then you get that weird line when he tells Alan that he "found" a baby before at Coffee Bean. I don't think he's a sinister person, but there's definitely something off about him. Not to mention he keeps insisting that he's best friends with Phil and Stu even though they've just met. He's a bit...intense when he declares his friendship towards his sister's fiancé's friends. He tells Doug that he doesn't care if they kill someone during their stay in Vegas (spoiler alert: they don't, thankfully!) and while he's giving his speech on top of the roof, he gets out a pocketknife and starts to slice open his palm so they can be blood brothers! A bit much!

I was confused by Bradley Cooper's character, Phil. Through most of the movie he's a pompous jerk. He tells his students (who he refers to as "nerds") he needs the money for the field trip they're going on, but we find out he's using the money for his Vegas trip (and he has a LOT of it!). He sarcastically says he's going to miss his wife and kid on their way to Vegas and claims he hates his life. Basically, he's not a very nice person. You could even say he's a bit, ahem, shallow. However, at the end of the movie when he's at the wedding and his wife and son meet up with him, he's very lovely to her and super sweet to his kid....so is this all an act? Does he just act like a douche when he's around his friends or did the events of Vegas change him into a better person? I suppose watching the sequels again could help me figure this out, but I really don't want to watch the sequels again.

The straight man of the group is Stu. He's the most responsible one (although only when they're sober!), though that's not a hard feat with this group! I had seen all The Hangover movies many years before I binged-watched The Office on Netflix this past year. I knew Ed Helms was on that show, but I didn't realize he doesn't show up until the third season so when I started watching it, I kept wondering where "that guy from The Hangover was". It is pretty humorous when watching that show and Andy (Helm's Office character) is gone from several episodes or is written off the show for awhile and you know that he's filming one of The Hangover movies. Andy doesn't wear glasses and that took me awhile to get used to that since I was used to Ed Helms as Stu who DOES wear glasses. Stu is also a bit of a pushover as he has a girlfriend, Melissa, who is horrible to him and he's so afraid of her that he has to lie to about everything because he doesn't think she'll approve of anything he does, so he tells her the bachelor party is in Napa Valley where they're going for a weekend of wine tasting. 

On the rooftop, before their wild and crazy night, Phil makes the toast, "To a night we'll never remember, but the four of us will never forget." Truer words have never been spoken! We see a time lapse, then it's the next morning and we're back in their hotel suite. You know, their suite isn't as trashed as you think it would be. Sure, housekeeping isn't going to be too thrilled, but nothing you wouldn't be able to clean up and be good as new. We see a bubble-filled hot tub, a TV askew on the wall, a woman's bare legs as she leaves the room, a chicken strutting about (we never do find out how the chicken is involved in this story), and Stu is the first one to wake up with a missing front tooth.  

One of the most surprising reveals is the tiger in the bathroom. We first see it when Alan uses the toilet and when he sees the tiger, he just blinks at it and says, "Stupid tiger", then realizes that there's a TIGER IN THE BATHROOM and runs out screaming. The other surprising reveal is the baby in the closet. (Super cute baby, by the way). I love it when Alan says, "Check its collar or something."  I also like the Three Men and a Baby reference when he says, "It's got Ted Danson, Magnum PI, and that Jewish actor." Now that's a movie I haven't seen in a long time!

Of course we'll find out that the baby is the son of Jade (Heather Graham), the stripper who Stu married in the early hours of the morning during their crazy night and the woman who is leaving the apartment, we find out later, to grab coffee for everyone. Jade isn't getting any Mother of theYear awards anytime soon. First of all, who marries a man she just met the night before? And who leaves their child with that man? She's lucky that Stu is a good person and is responsible (when he's not under the influence of drugs and alcohol!) I'm sure many mothers cringed when they put the baby in the police car (which they stole the night before) without a car seat and drove over the sidewalk; not to mention the part when the bad guy bashes in the windshield with the baby in the backseat!

Through clues they find in their pocket they find that Stu has an ATM receipt from the Bellagio for $800 and that Phil is wearing a hospital band where he went for "a mild concussion and some bruised ribs." This is also when they learned that they had roofies in their systems. Yikes! 
Stu's overbearing girlfriend keeps calling him during the worst time such as when they're in the police car with the baby who is crying and when the bad guys who are after their money, are bashing in the windshield. He tells hher they're just about to go on a tractor ride and for her benefit, says, "Sir can you please start the tractor?", but of course she can hear all the commotion and is highly suspicious of him.

When they return back to their suite, Mike Tyson is there singing along to Phil Collins' "In the Air Tonight", one of the scenes I remember most from seeing it in theaters. I do agree with him; the part with the drums is the best part. We learn that the tiger belongs to Tyson and he wants them to return it to his mansion. At first I was wondering why he just didn't call animal control, then realize he was probably owning this tiger illegally as it is probably not legal to own wild animals. Oh, wait, hold up. I just did some Google research and Nevada is one of eight states where owning a pet tiger is considered legal. (Good to know my state isn't on this list! I don't want to run into anyone with their "pet" tiger!)

I did some research to see if Mike Tyson had a pet tiger and not only did he have one, but he had three of them! (I also found another source saying he had seven of them at one time...good Lord!) I'm not sure if the one used in the movie was one of his or was a tiger "actor". He doesn't own them anymore because he didn't have the proper license so they were taken away. That's probably best for everyone involved!

They put some roofies in a raw steak to knock out the tiger and drive him to Tyson's mansion, but the tiger ends up waking up on their way and claws Phil, who's driving, in the neck. Now you can tell it's a fake tiger head (the only part you see) in the backseat when they're all in the car because they didn't want any of the actors in close proximity to the tiger. They have to push the car with the tiger inside the rest of the way. There, Tyson shows them a video of them stealing the tiger so that's how they ended up with it. Now, I've never been to Las Vegas, but I can only imagine that people are up during all hours of the night so I find it peculiar that nobody saw them with the tiger when they returned to Caesars Palace. At the very least, you think there would be cameras and the tiger would have been caught on those! Oh, and this probably shouldn't come to a surprise to anyone, but Mike Tyson is a horrible actor.

They find their Mercedes, the one Doug told his father-in-law that he would be the only one driving and when they hear something in the trunk, they think Doug is in there, but it is Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong) who accuses them of stealing his 80 grand and that he has kidnapped their friend, Doug. Alan, who brought a book about counting cards, gets an idea of how to get the money back for Chow and this is when we get the Rain Man scene  (with Alan as Rain Man and Phil as Tom Cruise) where they're coming down the elevator in the casino complete with "Iko Iko" playing. I laughed when there's all these equation swirling around Alan's head on the screen. They obtain the money and make the trade, but the man is not Doug. He is named Doug, but he's a black guy who they start calling"Black Doug".

Stu finally figures out that Doug is on the roof of the hotel and they find him there and have to get him back to California with just hours before he's about to get married. The poor guy was there for nearly a day! If I were his fiancee, I would have been so pissed he was late to our wedding! The do manage to make it just in the nick of time, but it's pretty down to the wire. Stu breaks up with his girlfriend and makes a real date with Jade who tells him the reason he lost his tooth was because Alan bet him he wasn't a good enough dentist to pull out his own tooth...and he did! We see this as one of the pictures on the digital camera they find where they took a bunch of pictures of the night they didn't remember. We still never find out how they came to get a chicken!