Look, I know that this movie isn’t all that good. It spends a good portion of it’s incredibly short running time recalling funny moments from old Looney Tunes cartoons in ways that make them nowhere near as funny.
When Marvin the Martian said “where’s the Kaboom? There was supposed to be an Earth shattering Kaboom” in “Hare-way to the Stars,” it was funny. When he says the same thing in this film, it feels kind of desperate.
Back in my youth, I fell in love with the Looney Toons on Saturday morning. For 60 or 90 minutes, they would play the best of the classic cartoons. A lot of them were shortened or they would splice together a couple of road runner cartoons to make a really long road runner cartoon in which Wile E. Coyote really got the shit kicked out of him.
I imagine the pitch for Look Who’s Talking Now went something like this:
“Boys, we need to strike while the iron is hot and get another ‘Look Who’s Talking Film’ into the theatre!”
“Hot, how do you define hot…?”
“Great Idea Sir!”
“Problem is, the kids are growing up. And Willis won’t sign for less than ten million dollars on anything these days. How do we keep the voiceover gag. Do they have another baby?”
“No sir, that’s played out. We need another angle.”
“What’s your angle Johnson?”
“I’m thinking DOGS, sir!”
“We could have TWO dogs! And one could be a classy dog. That would obviously be the bitc….uh….female.”
“I love this!”
“Are you guys even listening to yourselves?”
“Shut up, Wick.”
I’ve always been puzzled by Kirstie Alley’s career.
I’m not saying that I think she’s a horrible person. I don’t really know her.
Nor am I saying I have a problem with the fact that she has, from time to time, had weight issues.
Because seriously, there’s all sorts of unhealthy body issues going on in the Entertainment industry and the fact Alley gained a few pounds was actually something to be celebrated rather than vilified. She may have been heavy for Hollywood but she still weighed less than most Americans.
My problem with Alley’s career is that she is a comic actress whom I never found particularly funny.
I think I set a record with the Look Who’s Talking trilogy.
As has happened a few times before, I was gifted this trilogy of films by a friend who enjoys the fact that I’m a stickler for the rules of the Alphabetical movie project. If I own the movie, I will watch it.
Even if I hate it.
So what better way to screw me over than to give me a trilogy of films that get progressively worse until you reach one that is inexplicably awful. How it failed to kill John Travolta’s career (again) is beyond me. Kirstie Alley’s career has always been beyond me.
I’m getting ahead of myself.
Since Lolita is a story about pedophilia, I’m going to tell a story about pedophilia.
Doing Vilification Tennis at the Renaissance Festival is a dicey proposition. We are doing a show that is pretty vile and vulgar and the audience likes it that way. However, we are doing it at a venue that is advertised as appropriate for all ages. That means you have to walk a pretty mean balancing act between offensive humor and trying to ensure parents who are walking by don’t have to explain too much to their kids later. Because parents hate that. More on that later.
Most days I think we do an admirable job of walking that tighrope. Every now and again, though, there is a complaint. I take the complaints seriously and I do my best to keep the performers from getting out of hand. Our show is best if we flirt with the line without merrily skipping across it.
On occasion, we get an instruction from the festival management about the kind of material they would like us to avoid. Most of the time, the request is a little odd and when I ask for clarification, I find it was one joke that caused the problem.
Hitchcock’s The Lodger is loosely based on the story of Jack the Ripper. It seems possible that the ripper will continue to be the most famous serial killer of all time for the simplest of reasons – he was never caught.
How many stories can you tell about Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer? One. There is no rampant speculation about who they were or what they did. We all know.
You can make one movie about Ted Bundy and you’ve pretty much covered the story.
Jack the Ripper, on the other hand, could be anyone. He could be a time travelling alien! He could be professor Moriarty! He could be a lady! He could be Abraham Lincoln (the assassination was faked so he could emmigrate to England and fulfill his darkest desires)!
It isn’t often that I watch movies in English with subtitles. The accent needs to be pretty thick for me to give up on my own powers of comprehension.
I don’t actually need to watch Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels with subtitles. Not anymore. Those first couple of times watching the film were pretty challenging, though.
I don’t know what to make of Guy Ritchie, honestly. This film and Snatch are an awful lot of fun. I like his Sherlock Holmes films. But I just don’t feel like he produces great movies. Fun movies, sure, but fairly slight.
Oh that’s great Cardinal! I’m glad to see that a high-ranking member of the Catholic Church finally realizes that the Church has no right to make moral judgements for those individuals who aren’t Catholic and you’d stay out of the political arena and…wait a minute.
No. That’s not what he thinks at all. He wants gay people to know that sex is only OK if you are trying to produce offspring so while it is totally OK to be gay, you can’t actually have sex or be married or anything like that. Gay people are totally entitled to friendship, though.
He also wants gay people to know that the Catholic Church is not anti “anybody.” They don’t hate gay people. They just want to make sure that gay people know they aren’t permitted to sexual fulfillment the way straight people are.
So basically, the difference between gay guys having male friends who are gay and me having male friends who are gay is a lifetime of unresolved sexual tension? I bring this up an awful lot but you know what? If that is really what god wants for gay people, god is a dick.
How about you work on improving that message, Cardinal?
What a difference twenty years makes.
The Living Daylights was made in 1987 and while it doesn’t have the best of Bond villains, I think it is a solid film in the franchise. I’ve already defended Timothy Dalton as Bond so I won’t bother to do that again.
Watching the film now, what I’m struck by is the depiction of the Mujahideen as heroes and freedom fighters.
I’m not making any value judgements on whether or not that is right. Rather, I’m thinking that to a post 9/11 audience, that depiction might not make any sense. I can think of a few reasons why.
The cliché that a Bond villain can’t just fucking kill James Bond is rarely more evident than in Live & Let Die. Bond is constantly surrounded by bad guys with guns and yet not a one of them seems capable of pulling the trigger.
When Bond gets home at the end of this one, I really feel that he’s got to consider himself lucky that the bad guys he faces are so fucking stupid.
Let’s look at a few examples, shall we?