Wednesday, April 29, 2015

I didn't love this Lucy!

Director: Luc Besson
Cast: Scarlett Johansson, Morgan Freeman, Amr Waked
Released: July 25, 2014

Congratulations, The Other Woman, you have some competition for being the worse movie of 2014!  What the f*** did I just watch? Scarlett Johansson plays Lucy, a naive girl who's living abroad in Taipei who gets herself into a bad situation after she's gone out with some dude a couple times and he tricks her into being a drug mule by locking a briefcase to her wrist and wants her to take it inside a hotel. Of course she is terrified and becomes even more freaked out (but probably not all that sorry!) when the guy who tricked her is shot. She is taken to the basement of the hotel by a mob boss and his gang. Fearful that there might be a bomb in the briefcase, they hide behind walls and protective shields as the mob boss orders her to open the case. I forgot how she got the code, but she opens it and reveals four plastic bags of some blue substance.

Lucy becomes their new drug mule and a bag of the drug is put into her abdomen so they can export her and the drug out of the country. She is kicked there by one of her captors and the drug released into her bloodstream and goes to her brain. Meanwhile, Morgan Freeman plays a professor who specializes in the brain and teaches a class about how humans only use ten percent of their brain, which, I'm sorry, is a load of crock. He claims that if we used more of our brain, who knows what we could do! Someone asks what would happen if somebody used 100% of the brain and he replies, "I have no idea!"

Whenever Lucy starts to use more of her brain, we see a black screen with the percentage written in a bold font: 15%, 30%, 50%, 75%, 90%, etc. Apparently, the more you use your brain, the more superhuman abilities you obtain. Lucy had the power to build invisible walls (just like Jean Grey!) and move things with her mind (just like Jean Grey!) and other absolutely ridiculous things that nobody could ever do in any lifetime; I don't care how much of their brain they are using! At the very end when she is using 100% of her brain and is trying to defeat the bad guys, she turns into a freaking computer...or she makes one with the atoms in the room...I have no just got insanely ridiculous and I just didn't care anymore. And see the picture I posed above? That was when Lucy was in a car and uses the windshield as a computer because she can beam these lights onto it with her hands...I know, I don't get it either. Maybe if I could use ALL of my brain I would understand!

I should mention that I missed a good half hour right in the middle of the movie because I got a crappy disc that was all scratched. Don't you love it when that happens. When that happens, I just go back and get another disc, but with this movie, I really didn't care. It started to get messed up when she's in the hospital and calls her mother, telling her she can feel every vibration of the earth's rotation. Unfortunately I didn't get to hear her mom's reply of, "Sweetie, what are you on?" (That had to be her mom's reply right? And technically, she WAS on something!)

I think Luc Besson wanted to make his version of The Tree of Life because there are a lot of quick cuts to nature shots which reminded me a lot of Tree of Life (there was even a dinosaur in this movie!) At the beginning, when the mob boss and his crew are heading towards her, there are quick cuts to a lion killing his prey and when we see Lucy looked terrified, there's a quick cut to an antelope running from its captor! The dude who went out a couple times with Lucy tells her that the first woman was named Lucy. If you've ever taken any anthropology or archeology 101 class in college, you would know he was referring to a skeleton that scientists named Lucy after the song "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" (so it wasn't like she was named that when she was alive...what an idiot!) and hers are the most complete homosapien bones archeologists have found. But I'm not an archeology expert, so don't quote me on that. When he tells her that, they (of course) cut to a shot of a replica of what Lucy looked like when she lived nearly three million years (I can't believe that moron thought the name "Lucy" existed that many years ago!) I saw the bones of Lucy when I was at the American Museum of Natural History in New York (coolest museum ever!) Or at least, I thought that's what they were when I was looking at them, but it turned out the real bones were in Ethiopia (that's where the bones were found) and what I was looking at were just replicas for exhibits. I felt so deceived! Look at that, you got a little history/archaeology  lesson there!

Monday, April 27, 2015

I have Kitty Pryde!

Director: Bryan Singer
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Anna Paquin, Halle Berry, Famke Janssen, Rebecca Romijn, James Marsden, Shawn Ashmore
Released: July 14, 2000

X2: X-Men United
Director: Bryan Singer
Cast: Same people plus Brian Cox and Alan Cumming
Released: May 2, 2003
Viewed in theaters: May 26, 2003

X-Men 3: The Last Stand
Director: Brett Ratner
Cast: Same people plus Ellen Page and Kelsey Grammar
Released: May 26, 2006

My knowledge of comic book lore hovers  around "none" and "barely any" so please forgive me if it seems like I may not know what I'm talking about, because, chances are, I don't! After all, I thought Thor was created for Adventure in Baby-Sitting and didn't realize he was actually from a real comic until a few months before the movie was released in 2011. I'm not kidding; that's a true story.

When I saw first saw these movies, I enjoyed them for the most part, but after re-watching them recently, they didn't hold up that well, but honestly I think that's because they suck in comparison to First Class and Days of Future Past, the films' prequels. Wait, are those prequels or reboots? See, I really have no idea!

The X-Men are called mutants and they all have some kind of power. There are differing levels of powers as some are pretty impressive and others, not so much. There was one young boy in the second movie who could change the channel on the TV by blinking his eyes. Ooh, big deal! Sure, I suppose it would be convenient if you've lost your remote and perhaps there's more to his power, but they didn't show it. Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) runs a school for young mutants (and there are other grown up mutants who teach's just like Hogwarts!) and he must be a bit of an ego maniac because the X-Men are obviously named after him and he has X's on his wheelchair's, uh, wheels and there's a big X on the vault that leads to Cerebro which is this huge room with a bottomless pit where he can track any mutant at any time...IDK....just go with me! But he seems like a pretty humble and down to earth guy for having a bunch of his initials everywhere. Besides being able to find any mutant, he can also read and control minds.

The first movie focuses mostly on Logan aka Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) and Rogue (Anna Paquin). Rogue is from Mississippi and has run away to Alaska because whenever she touches people she ends up hurting them. She hitchhikes a ride from Logan. They are ambushed by bad mutants, but are saved by Xavier's crew of Storm (Halle Berry) and Scott aka Cyclops (James Marsden). They bring them back to the school where Jean Grey (Famke Jannssen) does a medical exam on Logan. Apparently he doesn't age so he may be even older than Xavier! She even says this to Xavier's face and I'm thinking, Wow, that's really rude to imply your boss is really old! Besides having retractable claws, Wolverine's power is that he can heal. Rogue's other power besides being unable to have sex is that she absorbs other mutants' powers. For instance, she sees Logan is having a nightmare and goes over to wake him. Um, if someone has five inch long sharp nails, DON'T startle them! Because this is exactly what happens and Wolverine drives his claws into her stomach, but after she touches him, she absorbs his powers and heals herself.

Storm's power is that she can manipulate the weather, which, I won't lie, I wouldn't mind having that power! If I did, everyday would be a nice and balmy 72 degrees and it would only snow at Christmas and maybe a nice thunderstorm every now and then. In the first movie, a pre-Oscar winner Halle Berry barely has any lines or scenes. But perhaps this is a good thing because she has the weirdest accent...I heard it was suppose to be South African? And she has possibly what is being touted as the worst line in cinematic history: "You know what happens to a toad when it gets struck by lighting?" (Strikes a bad  mutant with toad-like qualities with lightning and he get electrocuted). "The same thing as everything else." So. Stupid! By the second movie she has miraculously (and thankfully!) lost her accent (and Berry is by then an Oscar winner) and gets to fly the cool jet and by the third movie she is rocking a cute shag cut and is doing twirls in the air to simulate tornados and has a lot more scenes thanks to other people getting killed off!

Scott and Jean are a couple and they are so boring together. Scott's power is that he has laser eyes. He has to wear these tacky sunglasses that make him stand out in public (but I suppose there are mutants who are worse off in the ways they stand out!) otherwise his laser eyes will destroy anything in front of him. Like Professor X, Jean can read minds, but her true powers and what she is really capable of is not revealed until the third movie. She can also move objects with her mind. Logan has the hots for her but she tells him, "I love Scott and his dorky eyewear!" Did nobody tell her that Wolverine is the star of these movies and Cyclops barely has anything to do in any of the movies?

Professor X's archenemies is Magneto aka Gandalf (just kidding! He's played by Ian McKellen). Magneto can control stuff made out of metal which comes in quite handy for him. He has other mutants working for him, including the "toad" that Storm fries, but his second in command is Mystique (played by a very brave Rebecca Romijn who wears body paint...but she has the physique to pull it off! (Heh, Mystique has the physique!)) While most mutants are lucky enough to blend in with other normal human beings, Mystique sticks out quite a bit because she has bright red hair and blue skin and doesn't wear clothes. However, she has what I consider has to be the most impressive ability: she is a shapeshifter so she can transfer into anybody and mimic their voice and attributes. This come in very handy for a villain who is trying to fool the good guys...and they do get fooled. There is a scene in the first movie where she is fighting Wolverine. I don't know about you, but if I were an X-(wo)man, I would want to be Mystique. I wouldn't be crazy about the blue skin, but who cares if you can look like anybody. I would disguise myself as Julia Roberts and go shopping on Rodeo Drive and get free champagne and clothes! Mystique only disguises herself as other people (mostly men) when she's trying to fool her adversaries. There's a scene in the second movie where Romijn looks like herself when Mystique is seducing a man to get something.

In the first movie, Rogue runs away when Bobby, the boy she has a crush on (Shawn Ashmore) tells her that nobody likes her because she just makes things worse and it would be best if she just left. Of course, it wasn't really Bobby who told her this, but Mystique disguised as Bobby. So she runs away and Magneto kidnaps her and Wolverine and the others have to save her. They also have to deal with a senator who wants to enable an act where a mutant would have to reveal their abilities and the fact that they are mutants. I would not want to live in a world with mutants! You could have somebody breaking into your place just by walking through your walls or somebody could mind control you or Mystique could try to pretend to be someone you know to mess with you.

The cold never bothered him
The second movie is two and a half hours and believe me, it feels that long. It just seemed to drag on forever...and I found that there was more action in the first and third movies. A subplot of this movie focuses on Rogue's and Bobby's relationship...except they can't kiss or anything of the physical nature because she'll hurt him. Bobby is like a male Elsa: everything he touches turns to ice. But he can't create massive ice castles and snowmen that come to life, so fail, Bobby! His alias is Iceman, how fitting. He has a friend, Pyro who can create fire, but seeing as fire and ice are not compatible, they have a falling out and Pyro goes to join Magneto's team. The second movie is called X-Men United because Professor X and the "good" mutants must unite with Magneto and the not-so-ethical mutants to join forces so they can stop a scientists  (Brian Cox) who hates all mutants (and has a son who is one) and wants to destroy all of them.

There's a scene where a cat startles Wolverine and when the cat meowed, my cat was looking at the screen in confusion. There's a lot of dicing and slicing in this movie with Wolverine taking out the claws (literally!) Alan Cumming  (Eli Gold!) plays Nightcrawler, a mutant who is manipulated into killing the POTUS, but doesn't. He can teleport anywhere which is very helpful when he and the other X-Men are in a jet but when it is shot down and crashing to the ground (before Magneto stops it by holding it up), Rogue, who doesn't have her seatbelt on, flies out of the plane when the back half rips open and Nightcrawler is able to teleport to her and bring her back.

The movie ends with Jean Grey sacrificing herself so the others can escape a massive flood (they were near a dam) and builds a wall to shield the water from them. Everyone is really sad she's dead especially Scott and Logan because they both loved her.

But wait! She isn't dead! As we will find out in the third movie! Scott asks her how this happens to which she replies, "I don't know." Yeah, that's the movie's way of being lazy and they just needed to find a way to bring Jean back but they can't think of a way to explain it! Scott is killed off immediately by Jean's now superstrong powers, mostly because James Marsden had a scheduling conflict. Patrick Stewart must also have had scheduling conflicts because Professor X is killed off by Jean who is now known as the Phoenix and has joined forces with Magneto. Oh, and Rebecca Romijn also must have had other plans because she is only in a few scenes at the beginning. While trying to protect Magneto from being shot with a vaccine that makes mutants into regular humans, she gets it instead and becomes a normal (but pretty hot - so good for her!) woman. Magneto has no more need for her as she is just a civilian. I thought he was going to kill her, but he doesn't.

Magneto wants to stop this vaccine from getting out. Meanwhile, Rogue, who is still a couple with Bobby, but is getting jealous of his friendship with Kitty Pryde (Ellen Page), the mutant who can run through walls, decides to get the vaccine so she can have sex with her boyfriend. I understand that this is what she wants and it must be difficult to not be able to touch people at all, but the fact that she's doing this for a boy is so stupid. The vaccine is actually taken from a young mutant who takes away other mutants' powers....he ends up coming back to the mutant school founded by Professor X, so how Storm and the other grown up mutant teachers can teach, I have no idea. I guess they will have to keep Leech (the young boy) locked up in a padded room. But if Rogue and Bobby wanted to get it on, they could just have him sit with his back turned! She didn't need to get rid of her powers. And now that she did, does that mean she can't attend the school anymore?

I was so confused because, from what I could tell, the third movie takes place perhaps only a few months after the second one ended. Kitty Pryde is in the second movie, but she is played by a different that looks like she is no more than seven or eight years old. In the third movie, she is a teenager. Uh....? I thought it was weird that if she touched people, objects could go through her and through that person. For instance, she and the other students were doing a simulation where they had to fight giant robots and meteors and things like that and she sees a flaming rock hurtling towards Bobby so she grabs him and it goes through her and him. I have no idea how this is possible...why would his body be able to enable the rock to go through it? But maybe since it was a simulation, the rock was just a hallucination? I am so confused! But there's a scene where she and Bobby jump off a roof and they go through the ground because she's holding on to him. So by this logic does that mean if Mystique touches somebody, they also have the ability to transfer into anybody? Kitty Pryde has to use her ability to get to Leech before the big dude that can also walk through walls, but he has to knock them down first before he can walk through them!

Of course we have a duel between Pyro and Iceman, fire v. ice. I'm pretty sure fire always trumps ice, but in this scenario, Iceman defeats Pyro.

There's this scene where Magneto needs to get to Alcatraz because that's where Leech is kept, so instead of summoning a boat, he moves the Golden Gate Bridge. Sure, it's a cool scene, but it just seems like so much work when going over on a boat would be a lot easier!

Oh, and one more thing....does this mean that these movies never happened since they went (back!) to the future in Days of Future Past, but I don't know exactly when in the future the young Charles Xavier went to see his other self (I guess it was before the third movie since he died in that one)....Oh, God, I'm confusing myself now! I need a timeline....someone get me a timeline for these movies, stat! I am so confused!!

I want to know how many fanboys out there have cats named Kitty Pryde!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Don't You Forget About Me

The Breakfast Club
Director: John Hughes
Cast: Emilio Estevez, Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson, Anthony Michael Hall, Ally Sheedy, Paul Gleason
Released: February 15, 1985

Think back to March 24, 1984. Do you remember what you were doing that day? (Why do I feel like Sarah Koenig?) It's very possible that you were way too young (such as myself) or weren't even born yet! Even if you were around back then, you probably don't remember since it was over thirty years ago! Hell, I can't even remember what I was doing 30 days ago! But for five students at Shermer High School, that was the day they had detention all day on a Saturday. (I did double check on my iCalendar (it took awhile to go back that far!) and yes, indeed March 24 was on a Saturday in 1984!) And it was, quite possibly, the day that changed their lives (not trying to be overdramatic or anything!)

The five students in question all represent a different high school stereotype. There's Andrew, the jock (played by Emilio Estevez); Claire, the popular rich girl or the "princess" (played by Molly Ringwald); Bender (first name, John), the rebel or the "criminal" (played by Judd Nelson); Brian, the smart kid or the "brain" (played by Anthony Michael Hall); and Alison, the weird girl or the "basket case" (played by Ally Sheedy).

Confession time: I had never seen The Breakfast Club before. At least not in its entirety. I have only seen it in bits and pieces on TV and it always seems to be the same scenes I see: the montage of them in the hallways trying to avoid being caught by the principal (played by Paul Gleason) and the famous dance scene where they're all dancing like dorks to a song I didn't even know. (Who dances like that?!) I had always known they played "Don't You Forget About Me" (Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!) at the end, but I didn't know they played it at the beginning too. I also had no idea that song was specifically written and sung for this movie! I've always associated the song with the movie, but I just thought it was a popular song that was already released when they made the movie and they just used the song since it was so popular and thus it became synonymous with the film.

I was very young when this movie was released. I cannot relate to the '80s teenager. Even in the next decade when I was a teen, I still could not relate to any of these characters because I don't have anything in common with any of them and I wasn't any of the stereotypes that are represented by them. None of the actors were ever on my radar. Of course I knew that Molly Ringwald was the quintessential '80s teen movie star (and I haven't seen any of her other movies!) The only thing I knew Anthony Michael Hall from was when he played Rusty in National Lampoon's Family Vacation a couple years before Breakfast Club. For something more recent, he had a small part in The Dark Knight, but I don't remember who he played because it's been a few years since I've seen that. I'm sure he looked a lot different since he was significantly older! Emilio Estevez, of course, will always be the coach from the Mighty Ducks to me. That was the generation I grew up with. When I saw that movie as a 12 year old, was I thinking, "Oh, the coach is the jock from The Breakfast Club!" Hell, no! I didn't know he was in The Breakfast Club; I probably didn't even know what it was...well, I probably had heard of it by then but I certainly didn't know who was in it. Speaking of the Mighty Ducks, there was an episode of Dawson's Creek where the four main characters have detention (and how convenient that happened! At least in Breakfast Club, they don't all know each other) and Dawson remarks how it's just like the Breakfast Club (remember, he was the film nerd) and Jen wants to know what happened to the actors and Pacey (who was played by Joshua Jackson, who of course got his start by playing the main kid in The Mighty Ducks) says something about Emilio Estevez being in those "Duck" movies and how much he loved them. That was some shameless meta lamp shading there! Judd Nelson and Ally Sheedy, I couldn't tell you anything else they were in.

The casting was very interesting because originally John Hughes wanted Molly for the part of Alison, but she wanted to play Claire and Emilio was going to play Bender, but Hughes couldn't find anyone to play Andrew, so he switched him to that part. Also, they were thinking of Nicolas Cage for Bender but he wanted too much money. (What, even back then?) And I think John Cusack was also up for the part of Bender or he may have already had it but had to bow out.

10 year age difference, almost! 
In 1985, only Molly Ringwald and Anthony Michael Hall were the closest to their characters' ages: 17. Emilio Estevez and Ally Sheedy were a few years older as they had turned 23 that year but they could still pass for high school students if you didn't scrutinize too much. However, Judd Nelson looked like a thirty year old in the movie (he had turned 26 that year) and I kept expecting the movie to explain that he had been held back a few, three, four times, but no! They never do! So I guess we're suppose to believe this guy is eighteen? Uh-huh, right. I had TEACHERS in high school who looked younger than this guy!

So our five students, who have never met each other (except for Claire and Andrew who are in the same social circle) are stuck in the library for eight hours on a Saturday. Okay, am I the only one who remembers detention as having to stay after school for an hour, maybe two at the most? But even though they're all very different, they find out they have a lot more in common than they think: that they all have issues with their parents. Oh, the teen angst! Alison's parents ignore her! Andrew's father expect him to be the best and win all the games! Claire's parents are too busy for her and are never around and they fight! Bender's father is an abusive drunk! Brian's parents expect him to keep up his grades!

I realize that Bender is suppose to be the star since without him there really would be no movie. Without him, the other four would just be sitting in the library and there would be no scuffles. This is because Bender instigates everything. Are we suppose to think he's cool or hot, because he's neither of those things. He's the biggest ass! He picks on the nerdy kid; he has to put on the tough guy act and pull a knife on Andrew and then put it away and tell him that he's not worth killing because Andrew's parents would sue him, and he sexually harasses Claire by insinuating he thinks they should lock the doors so the guys can rape her and later he finds himself under the table she's sitting at hiding from the principal and is looking up her skirt. He's so gross. Oh, and then he insults her by saying she has a "fat girl's name" and that even though she's not fat now, she will be later in her life. And they end up making out at the end of the movie! What the effing hell? Ugh! But I'll get to that later. I hate that character so much! I guess we're supposed to feel sorry for him because his father hits him?

While you could find some kind of student like those represented in The Breakfast Club at any high school (although I don't know many 30 year olds who attend high school!), the one archetype that I never knew or saw at my high school (or any high school student I've ever known) is the "basket case." There's quirky weird and then there's just WTF weird and Alison is of the latter camp. I've met plenty of quirky weird people and they are delightful in their own amusing way, but they still maintain some sort of social awareness. Alison? She is just freaking weird. For starters, we find out that she didn't do anything to get herself in detention; she just decides she has nothing better to do on a Saturday so she'll spend eight hours of it locked in the school library! (And shouldn't the principal had known she wasn't supposed to be there? Duh!) When she's drawing a picture, she uses her dandruff for snow. When they're eating their lunch, she takes the bologna out of her bread and flings it onto the ceiling where it sticks. Okay, any other NORMAL person would have discarded the bologna in the trash can instead of trashing school property! Just saying! She then puts corn chips (I think that's what it was) between the slices of bread and proceeds to smoosh it with her fist as the others watch in horror/amazement. Speaking of lunch, Claire brought SUSHI to eat. And those lunches weren't refrigerated because when the principal tells them they can eat, they all take out their lunch bags from their back packs. I'm guessing it was noon when they had their lunch and they had arrived for their sentence at 7, so that's FIVE HOURS that sushi was without any refrigeration! That is disgusting! I'm guessing she got food poisoning later that night!

Layering must have been really popular in the '80s, because, my God, these kids (and 30 year old man!) sure do love their layers! Andrew is wearing a varsity jacket over a white turtleneck over a blue jersey. It's no surprise he takes off the layers since he's doing a dance scene similar to that in Footloose. He also should have been an opera singer because he goes into an office and shatters the glass door because he's singing so high (and he is high!) Alison starts out by wearing the biggest parka I have ever she from Canada or something? It must have been really cold in that part of Illinois on March 24, 1984 because damn, not only is she wearing that huge parka, but she's always wearing a huge bulky black sweater and under that she's wearing a turtleneck and apparently under that she's wearing a white girly blouse...but I'll get to that layer. My God, she must have been BOILING in that damn outfit, especially when they were running in the halls and dancing like idiots! And then Bender was wearing a duster, a plaid shirt with the sleeves cut off, and a white long-sleeved t-shirt. I think a vest may have been involved there too, but I couldn't tell you for sure. Oh, and he also wears these leather fingerless gloves which I guess is suppose to mean he's a badass (no, he's just an ass!)

There's a lot of talking, crying, yelling, hurting of feelings, understanding between the five students (or should I say between the four students and one thirty year old man?) They all share their stories of how their parents treat them and why they are in detention. They bond over trying to one-up the principal.

Like I mentioned earlier, Claire and Bender make out at the end of the movie...ugh...Claire totally lost my respect there. I guess she felt sorry for him? And they were making out in front of her parents' car either her mom or dad (you couldn't see who was in the driver's seat). Who the hell makes out with their 30 year old high school boyfriend in front of their parents? Nobody I know, that's for sure! And then, for some stupid reason, Claire gives him one of her diamond earrings (and I'm assuming those are real diamond earrings since she never denied it when Bender makes a comment about them earlier) to him to wear because I guess it's some sort of romantic gesture? Eww. You know he's just going to pawn it off to make some quick cash!

Even though I don't like that pairing, at least it makes more sense than the other, totally random pairing of Andrew and Alison. Claire and Bender share more scenes than Andrew and Alison do (although most of them consist of Bender insulting her and her looking at him in disdain or her crying and yelling at him). It's only when Claire gives Alison a makeover when Andrew sees how pretty Alison is when she has her hair away from her face and is wearing soft makeup instead of the heavy black eyeliner and is now wearing the aforementioned white blouse. :::rolls eyes::: She does look better with her hair pulled back. They also share a kiss at the end of the movie. That pairing just seemed to come out of nowhere.

The question remains, will they be friends come Monday? Probably not, but they will always have that one special Saturday they shared together. Thirty years ago now!

They never eat breakfast in this movie!

Monday, April 13, 2015

My ten favorite Glee performances

10. Gloria (Laura Branigan) - sung by Rachel, Santana, and Adam Lambert  in season 5 at that musical diner where they worked in NYC. Great song from the '80s.

9. We Found Love (Rihanna) - sung by the Glee club in season 3 (?) when Will proposes to Emma. Because Will has to include the Glee club in every aspect of his life! Since when did McKinley High get a pool? I do like the synchronized swimming/dancing; it's something the show had never done before. I laughed so hard when Artie went in the pool with his wheelchair...uh...

8. Girls Just Want to Have Fun (Cyndi Lauper) - sung by Finn to Santana in season 3 when Santana is feeling down. I think this must have been after her grandmother kicks her out of the house for being a lesbian. Oh, look, it's Adele Dazeem!  It was nice of Finn to cheer Santana up even though she was always so mean to him! I really liked that they took a very poppy pop song and made it into a slower ballad. It almost makes me tear up a little.

7. Gives You Hell (All-American Rejects) - sung by Rachel in season 1. Obviously she is mad at Finn but I don't remember why. I think the back ups sound really good! It's a really fun number and I love the song. LOL at Mr. Schuster rolling his eyes. He's probably thinking, I need friends my own age! I think Quinn's cardigan is really cute! Oh, and Rachel totally cheated on this assignment because they were supposed to do songs that had "Hello" in the title, but she left out the "o". Not that I'm complaining or anything!

6. You Get What You Give (New Radicals) - sung by the senior Glee club members to the younger members in season 3 in their graduation episode....I think it was the graduation episode. I was very happy when they sang this because I love this song! It's a one hit wonder from 1998 and it reminds me of my own senior year. If you remember, back in 2011 when I was reviewing the ten teen movies that came out when I was a teen, I cited this song as something that reminded me of that time...yeah, you don't remember that, do you? You know Mr. Schu is probably thinking, Yeah, this is my jam! as he's nodding his head. This song is so '90s I love it!!! They sing about Beck and Hanson and Courtney Love and Marilyn Manson, LOL!!!

5. Jump (Van Halen) - sung by the Glee club in season 1 when they do a commercial for a mattress store. I don't remember how or why. And I don't know how they can sing that well when they're jumping on beds but I think they sound really good on this song! And it's just a fun number. LOL at Artie just sitting there randomly while the others get to have fun and jump on beds. I died when Kurt gives the "come hither" finger to the guys watching them. Did you notice that huge picture in the background with the couple cuddling in bed? For some reason, that makes me laugh. And did you hear Mercedes hit those notes? You get it, girl! And Brittany is killing it with those flips. I would totally buy a mattress if I saw this as a commerical...they look really comfortable...and fun to jump on, haha!

4. What a Feeling (Irene Cara) - sung by Rachel and Tina in season 3. This is the episode where Tina quantum leaps into Rachel's body. Actually, it was just a daydream, but wouldn't that be awesome if they gave that amazing show a shout out? I believe this is the only time Rachel and Tina have a duet together, but I could be wrong. I remember my friend Cameron and I sang this at karaoke after this episode aired because we were so inspired by it! This performance is just pure perfection.

3. Like a Prayer (Madonna) - sung by the Glee club in season 1 during the Madonna episode (duh!) They sang this song as their big grand finale because what other Madonna song are you going to sing, "Into the Groove"? (although I did love it when Kurt sang that song much later in the series!) This is the best group number they've ever done. Kurt looks like a cute little choirboy and I get chills when Mercedes sings her part! And then they open the curtain and all those gospel singers (where did they come from? Oh, who cares!) start singing and clapping and it's like, "Yeah, we're going to church!" And it also makes me want to grab a Pepsi! Unfortunately, I  couldn't find any good quality videos of this performance.

2. Don't Stop Believin' (Journey) - sung by the original Glee members in the very first episode. This was the first group performance of the show and it's very iconic. They did it again in season five as a tribute to Mr. Schu after he quits/is fired (I don't remember what happened to him!) and it's kind of funny because they start out with the five original members, then the ones that joined later that season come in, then the ones who joined in season 2 came in, then the new kids come in so there's 5000 people onstage...then Mr. Schu has to come up on stage and sing cuz he always has to make it about himself. I actually really do like the season 5 performance, but like I said, there is something iconic about the one from the very first episode and I do love that they showed it again in the penultimate episode.

1. Safety Dance (Men Without Hats) - sung by Artie in season 1. Flash mob! This is by far the best performance Glee has ever done.  It was only the 19th episode and they had at least 100 episodes after it and I knew that nothing was ever going to top it and I was right! This was from the episode that Joss Whedon directed. Artie has a fantasy if he could walk and he's actually quite a good dancer! Haha, the first time I saw it, I was thinking, This better be a dream or something he's imagining or else this show has just jumped about ten sharks in a row....but it would do that later! I love the song, I love the dance, I loved the way it was shot. I also loved that they filmed it in a mall that was open to the public so you see people in the crowd (blended in with the extras) snapping photos on their phones who are either smiling or have a WTF? look on their faces. It's fun to spot the other Glee members. There are Mike, Matt, and Brittany as his back up dancers! There's Mercedes and Kurt and Tina!  The song doesn't start until a minute in, so feel free to pass through the talking part.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Don't call him Shirley!

Directors: Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker
Cast: Leslie Nielsen, Lloyd Bridges, Julie Hagerty, Robert Hays, Robert Stack, Peter Graves
Released: July 2, 1980

This is a movie I've seen in bits and pieces when it was on TV, but had never watched it in its entirety until just now. The only scene I can even recall from when I did watch a little bit of it was the Saturday Night Fever dance spoof scene and I only remember it because my brother tried to emulate the main guy when he was doing that move where he's squatting on the floor with his arms crossed and kicking his legs out. Of course this dance move is pretty much impossible without the use of your arms and so my brother could never do it. 

This is one of the most famous spoof movies out there, but because this movie came out before my time, I didn't know any of the movies that were being spoofed aside from the aforementioned Saturday Night Fever scene. I'm sure there are other movies spoofed that I would probably know, but just didn't realize. The jokes/gags are funny though some of them seem really antiquated (there's a scene right before the plane takes off and a guy right outside the pilot's window puts this contraption on the windowpane (and I should note that the window was open...which obviously you can't do on a real plane because that would be very bad!) At first I thought he was measuring the window, but then the pilot gives him what looks to be a credit card and the guy swipes it though the device. I had no idea what it was and figured it must be something of the time) or they were a bit racist (like the "translation" given for the two black guys speaking "jive" - although it was funny when that little old white lady said she could translate jive) or they were just a little bit dark (three passengers committed suicide because they couldn't stand listening to the main character's story of how he met the love of his life...I don't really get how that was suppose to be funny! It's not like the stories were that tedious!)

Ex-fighter-pilot Ted Striker (Robert Hays) is on Trans American Flight 209 from L.A. to Chicago. His ex-girlfriend, Elaine (Julie Hagerty), who he still has feelings for, is a flight attendant (or a stewardess as they were called in those days) on that flight. As we hear from the (apparently awful and tedious) stories that Striker told some of the passengers, they met during the war and fell in love. I was really confused what era this movie was set because they made it seem like he was in World War II, but then he meets Elaine while dancing to "Stayin' Alive" by the BeeGees and obviously they didn't have '70s disco music back then! Then I realized that it must be part of the joke.

The pilot was called Captain Oveur so he would say, "Captain Oveur, over" and the first officer was named Roger so everytime the Captain would say something to the air traffic control tower and end it with "Roger!", his co-pilot would say, "Huh?" When a young boy visits the cockpit, he outs the First Officer as being basketball legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar which he repeatedly denies even though the boy finds a basketball on the floor and we later see "Roger" wearing basketball shorts and knee pads and sneakers. 

I noticed that the overhead compartments where the luggage is stored were just shelves - there were no actual compartments that you could open and close to store your belongings. I thought that was really weird because if there's even a little bit of turbulence, all that luggage is going to come spilling out and hurt I don't know if this was a real thing back in then and people who designed planes were really stupid or if this was going to be a joke that was going to pay off later. We do see the plane go in a nosedive, but there was only two pieces of luggage that fell! So maybe that was the joke? I don't know; I didn't get that. But passengers did get hit in the head with an object when a flight attendant asks the nun if she can borrow her guitar to sing to the sick girl on the gurney and when she takes it, she whacks everyone in the head when she brings it down the aisle. 

Leslie Nielsen plays an on-flight doctor ("Surely you can do something doctor"; "Don't call me Shirley!") and after everybody who ate the fish for dinner gets food poisoning, he tells another flight attendant that they need to get everybody to a hospital and when she replies with, "Hospital? What is it?" (meaning what was wrong) and he replies with, "It's that big building where all the sick people go." They had a lot of jokes like that one and by the third one, it wasn't that funny anymore! The ongoing joke that worked better was when the the supervisor at the air traffic control tower (played by Lloyd Bridges) keeps exclaiming things like, "I picked a hell of a week to quit smoking!" or "I picked a hell of a week to quit drinking!" There was about four or five of those ongoing jokes. 

I don't know what the in-flight movie was, but it showed a plane crashing and bursting into flames! 

As I mentioned earlier, everyone on the plane who had fish for dinner gets food poising and passes out (although by the time they crash land, most every one is awake!) and this includes the captain, first officer, and the flight engineer and their passed out bodies are dragged through the aisle to the back of the plane in front of all the passengers. And even though the only choices were fish or chicken, the doctor states that he had the lasagna for dinner! 

Because they have no pilot, Elaine switches on the "auto-pilot" which is an inflatable pilot named Otto. But Otto isn't equipped to land the plane (you think!) and everyone is extremely sick and must be taken to a hospital as soon as possible. Over the intercom, Elaine asks a question that NO passenger on a plane ever wants to hear: "Is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?" This results in a huge panic scene where the passengers are fighting with each other and there's even a sword fight between two of them. Not only were there swords aboard this flight, but also a gun and gasoline and matches...yeah....

Striker is the only one who is equipped to land the plane (even though he has a fear of flying from being traumatized by an event in the war where he lost six (actually seven according to Elaine!) men). He is also one of the very few who didn't eat the fish. It's a little touch and go, but he manages to land, er, crash land the plane! 

Something I like to do before watching a movie is look through its IMDb page and see if there are any character actors that I might recognize. Honestly, the only person I knew from this movie was Leslie Nielsen and I knew Lloyd Bridges is the father of Beau and Jeff, but I wouldn't have known that it was him if I didn't know if he was in it. I did see a name I recognized: Jonathan Banks. I kept my eye out on him, but I never did see him in the movie. This is probably because this movie came out over 30 years ago and I'm familiar with him looking like Mike Ehrmantraut. He's also in only one scene as an air traffic controller. Now, if we remember our Breaking Bad lore, Jane's dad was also an air traffic controller and stupidly goes to work after his daughter is found dead and causes a mid-air collision because his mind is elsewhere. As for Airplane!, the movie never gets that dire! It's a comedy, after all!