RSS

Project X: Week 2, episodes 1.08 – 1.14

Shut up. Leave me and my quote-unquote “lateness” alone. I’ve been busy.

Episode 1.08: “Ice”

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder and Scully are sent to investigate when a team of geophysicists stationed at a remote Alaskan outpost is killed by a parasitic alien life form.

Alaina’s Synopsis
It’s the one where they end up in Alaska with the guy from 24 and Mrs. H. Macy and paranoia ensues! It’s the alien worm thingee in the spine — wait, no, that was when Scully was giving birth. Maybe. But still! This is a great episode!

MOTW / Mytharc?
Monster of the Week – I mean, it’s an ice tapeworm that lives in ammonia that makes people crazy-angry!

Special Guest Stars
Xander Berkeley, erstwhile of 24! Felicity Huffman, lately of that show that no one watched to my knowledge, American Crime! No slight against you, Felicity Huffman, because you’re amazing!

Also, wait — who’s the guy playing the pilot? Is that – is that Kralik, the evil vampire that had to battle Buffy in “Helpless”?
*imdb’s that shit*
HOLY SHIT IT IS OH GOD OH GOD

Mulder, You Precious Angel
as they’re all disrobing, attempting to see if anyone has been infected with the evil alien tapeworm:
Before anyone passes judgment, may I remind you — we are in the Arctic.”

Ships Ahoy
I’m sure it wasn’t supposed to be played this way, but after they’ve locked Mulder in the closet because they think he’s infected with the evil alien tapeworm, and Scully goes in to inspect him for worms, and then he turns her around angrily and does the same thing, pushing her hair off her neck and rubbing her shoulders and back looking for the evil alien tapeworm? It’s … it’s a lot sexier than it sounds right there, trust me.

Classic Quote
We are not who we are.

Scully is a Badass, Haters to the Left
Kralik attempts to escape the ice pod or wherever they are, and brains Mulder with a jar and makes a run for it. Scully just fuckin’ tackles the fucker and nails him to the ground when no one else has the wherewithal to move.

Also, she tells everyone to Shut Up. For those counting, we’re at one. (full disclosure – I may have missed some. but I’m not going back to recount.)

Watch or Skip?
Definitely watch this one. Evil alien tapeworm aside, the paranoia running rampant in what is essentially a bottle episode amps up the creep factor.

Episode 1.09: “Space”

Netflix Synopsis
When a space shuttle mission is sabotaged, Mulder suspects it may be the work of an alien spirit that inhabits the body of a former Gemini astronaut.

Alaina’s Synopsis
… … oh, brother. This is a stupid one, isn’t it? I seem to remember hearing that this one is rather stupid.

MOTW / Mytharc?
Monster of the week.

Full Disclosure Moment
So basically, this whole episode is a setup to show how much Mulder loves space. We get it. He also idolizes this astronaut, Marcus Aurelius Whatshisface. But look, guys – they say “sabotage” and “saboteur” so much, I may have created …

Drinking Game!
I poured myself a Tom Collins and took a sip every time someone said “sabotage,” “saboteur,” or some other derivative. I may have also kept this in a tab and played it every once in a while: listen all of y’all it’s a sabotage!

Mulder, You Precious Angel
Just look at this face, as he gazes upon his childhood hero, Marcus Aurelius Whatshisface:

20150731_224251So precious.

Unbelievable Shit
That some mother out there thought that naming her son “Marcus Aurelius” was a good idea. I mean, it doesn’t even matter which Marcus Aurelius it is – either way, the playground must have suuuucked for little Marky.

Unexplainable Phenomena
The alien spirit that’s possessing Marcus Aurelius? Is White Pac-Man.

20150731_231241

See?  See?!

Drinking Game Update
After Alaina’s 10th sip: OH GOD, how are there still 13 minutes left?!

Classic Quote
Mulder: Something weird is going on here, Scully.

Watch or Skip?
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, unless you like polishing off a Tom Collins in under half an hour, there is NO NEED WHATSOEVER to watch this episode. If you decide to be brave and do Sabotage Shots, there are twelve of them. TWELVE.

SKIP THIS EPISODE IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY.

YOU’RE WELCOME.

Episode 1.10: “Fallen Angel”

Netflix Synopsis
The future of the X-Files project is jeopardized after Mulder secretly infiltrates the government cover up of a UFO crash.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Mulder investigates a possible UFO crash on his own, makes a new BFF named Max (they exchange friendship bracelets!) (no they don’t, but I think they wanted to), Max suffers seizures because he was abducted when he was 10 (or so Mulder thinks, because Max doesn’t actually remember); Max gets abducted again and then Mulder takes Max’s hat home because he really was a friend, guys, and then the X-Files almost gets shut down but Deep Throat (REMEMBER HIM?) (he’s also the one who sent Mulder to the UFO crash site in the fucking first place) overturns the decision so the X-Files isn’t cancelled yaaaay

MOTW / Mytharc?
Definitely Mytharc. Shadowy government, code words, hiding a crash site of a UFO, Deep Throat … all of the inner workings of an early Mytharc.

Mulder, You Precious Angel
Max tells Mulder that all of his (Max’s) buddies devoured the papers Mulder’s written under the pseudonym “F.M. Luder.” Mulder is astonished that Max and his buddies knew it was him (Mulder). Seriously, Mulder? Really? You’re supposed to be intelligent, dude! That is the stupidest pseudonym!

Ships Ahoy
Mulder’s friend Max introduces himself to the “enigmatic agent Scully” and extends a hearty handshake, while Mulder pushes Max away from her. Later, Mulder is seen to whisper to himself, “the enigmatic agent Scully,” with a soft smile. Oh, you.

Watch or Skip?
Skip, unless you want to see Mulder in a slightly darker black tactileneck.

Episode 1.11: “Eve”

HOLD ON, I NEED Y’ALL TO OPEN THIS IN ANOTHER TAB AND PLAY IT UNDERNEATH AS YOU READ THIS: clicky!

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder and Scully search for two girls who disappeared after their fathers were murdered in an identical fashion.

Alaina’s Synopsis
This plot is like if Orphan Black was merged with Dark Angel, and a dash of The Omen. Also, never trust twins on this show. Ever.

MOTW / Mytharc?
Monster of the Week, although it’s really Creepy Clones Of the Week.

Special Guest Stars
Harriet Sansom Harris plays the elder Eves. She was everywhere in the early 1990s. Some of you may remember her from Frasier as Dr. Crane’s agent, Bebe; she was on a very unwatched show called The Five Mrs. Buchanans that I’m pretty sure I was the only audience member; and more recently, she was Felicia Tilman on Desperate Housewives. But my sister will know her as Maggie Cutler from that video of The Man Who Came to Dinner starring Nathan Lane.

Thing I Didn’t Know About Myself
Mulder wearing glasses is apparently very attractive to me. Huh. Did not know that.

Thing I Yelled At The TV
At Mulder’s slide of an exsanguinated cow:
“THAT IS THE SAME COW!”

20150802_213711

This cow will be important in approximately 98 episodes.

Classic Quote
Mulder: Agents Mulder and Scully to see Eve 6.

Fun Fact!
The band Eve 6 took their name from this episode!

Watch or Skip?
It’s our first evil twins! You should watch this one.

Episode 1.12: “Fire”

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder and Scully join forces with an inspector from Scotland Yard when a man with pyrokinetic powers stalks members of the British aristocracy.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Mulder’s ex-girlfriend Phoebe comes over from Britain and basically makes him walk through fire for her, because she’s a bitch. Also, Crowley from Supernatural is there!

MOTW / Mytharc?
Monster of the Week, in that a pyrokinetic is a “monster.”

First Meetings
– Mulder’s ex-girlfriend, Phoebe! Not that I think we see her ever again; just the fact that Mulder has a girlfriend who happens to be flesh and blood is rather new right now.

Special Guest Stars
Mark Sheppard, in his first television role! Woo hoo! Y’all may know him as the aforementioned Crowley on Supernatural, but he’s been on almost everything. He was Benedict Valda on Warehouse 13, Romo Lampkin on Battlestar Galactica … Badger on Firefly! But to me, he will always be Manservant Neville on Show of My Heart, The Middleman.

Mulder, You Precious Angel
His hair is so full of secrets! In this episode, we learn that Mulder is deathly afraid of fire, and also, he’s “cursed” with a photographic memory – his words.

Ships Ahoy
Scully nurses Mulder back to health after his smoke inhalation scare. Somehow he got down to his boxers… ?

That’s What She Said
Mulder: I was merely extending her a professional courtesy.
Scully: Oh, is that what you were extending?

Watch or Skip?
Watch it only for the moment when Mulder realizes he won the breakup. Also, though, Mark Sheppard is a delight.

Episode 1.13: “Beyond the Sea”

Netflix Synopsis
Scully believes that the psychic predictions of a death row inmate are the only hope in apprehending a vicious murderer.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Master Character Actor Brad Dourif uses “psychic” abilities to help Scully solve a a kidnapping and also resolve some daddy issues.

MOTW / Mytharc?
Neither, really. More of a character-building episode? This feels more like an episode designed to bring Scully closer to the fold of “believing.”

First Meetings
– Scully’s mom, Maggie!
– Scully’s brother, Bill!- Scully’s sister, Melissa!
– Scully’s father, Captain William Scully!

Sadly, Captain Bill Scully succumbs to a heart attack before the credits roll, leaving Scully – the Starbuck to her father’s Captain Ahab – distraught and adrift.

Also:
– Mulder gets shot for the first time! For those counting, we’re at one.

Special Guest Stars
BRAD DOURIF! Wormtongue from the Lord of the Rings movies, but also Doc Cochran from Deadwood! He masterfully plays Luther Lee Boggs, the death row inmate who Scully starts to believe is maybe actually psychic. (oh my god he’s so young here)

Scully’s Hair
Is less voluminous in this episode than we’ve seen recently. It’s probably in mourning.

Unexplainable Phenomena
Mulder calls Scully “Dana.” Repeatedly. I get that he thinks he’s being comforting, but it’s very weird.

Ships Ahoy
Mulder gently caresses Scully’s cheek as she bravely holds back her tears. He also pats her shoulder a couple of times to comfort her. you guys come on

That’s What She Said
Scully: I thought that you’d be pleased that I’d opened myself to extreme possibilities.

Classic Quote
Mulder: Dana, open yourself up to extreme possibilities, only when they’re the truth.

Everything is Hannibal and Everything Hurts
Serial killer behind bars, coded messages, kidnapped kid(s), daddy issues, Scully-as-Clarice … come on.

Scully is a Badass, Haters to the Left
She leads the team to catch the kidnapper (because Mulder’s currently residing in a hospital bed, recuperating from his flesh bullet wound), and she’s kicking down doors and letting dudes fall to their deaths left and right.

Watch or Skip?
Seeing as how this page in my notebook is the fullest, you had better watch this one. Brad Dourif, guys! COME ON

Episode 1.14: “Gender Bender”

Netflix Synopsis
A religious sect member capable of changing gender becomes the prime suspect in a murder spree.

Alaina’s Synopsis
A cult somehow has the power to switch genders and one of them – with super aphrodisiac touch powers – goes on a rumspringa of doom and murders a lot of people.

MOTW / Mytharc?
Monster of the Week.

Special Guest Stars
The town of Storybrooke, Maine!

20150815_232325
(It’s a set outside of Vancouver. But hey, I’ve seen that town before!)

Also, we have —

First Meetings
– Nicholas Lea, playing a random dude victim! (we’ll meet him for reals later)

Wrap it Up, Alaina
I didn’t have much to say about this episode. Basically, the cult ends up being aliens anyway, what the fuck.

Watch or Skip?
Skip.

Next time, on Project X: “Lazarus,” “Young at Heart,” “E.B.E.,” “Miracle Man,” “Shapes,” “Darkness Falls,” and “Tooms.” And the introduction of four of our favorite characters!

What am I saying, the other three can be lame at times.

Guys. Guys. Guyyyyys….

skinner’s comin’ for y’all.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 19, 2015 in Project X

 

Project X: Week 1, episodes 1.01 – 1.07

All right – here we go.

20150707_224159

Episode 1.01: “Pilot”

Netflix Synopsis
Agent Dana Scully is instructed to debunk an FBI project dubbed “The X-Files,” paranormal cases that have been reopened by Agent Fox Mulder.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Scully meets Mulder for the first time, is almost immediately taken on a trip out to West Bumfuck, Oregon, at which point weird shit happens to their car and some dude may or may not have been abducted (note: not), and also Scully mistook mosquito bites for alien shit. Also, Scully and Mulder (platonically) shared a motel room, and thus, a Ship was born.

Monster of the Week (MOTW) or Mythological Episode (Mytharc)?
As it’s the Pilot, I’m going to call it “a little of both.”

First Meetings
LITERALLY ALMOST EVERYONE
– Dana Scully: who, in the Pilot, looks EXACTLY like Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling from the back. Scully is brought to the X-Files by …
– Section Chief Blevins: who wants Scully to debunk Mulder’s cockamamie X-Files theories so Mulder can get back to solving real crimes again.
– Also there’s CIGARETTE SMOKING MAN, smoking ominously in the background in a federal building, as one does.
– Don’t forget: Fox Mulder! Oxford-educated, he works in his basement office, constantly looking through the X-Files in the hope of learning about …
– Samantha Mulder’s abduction: Mulder’s driving force.

I also want to point out that we meet the following:
– Mulder’s Slide Carousel
– Mulder’s Sunflower Seeds
– Chryons (letting us know when and where we are, in neutral Courier New font)

Fashion Statements
Hol. Lee. Shit. Scully’s blazer. That’s not a blazer, that’s a dress. It’s not double-breasted, either – it’s like, Blade Runner-replicant triple-breasted, if that’s even a thing. What the fuck.
(from Alaina’s notes: thank god it burned in that motel fire)

Scully’s Hair
Shoulder-length bob, curled under, parted to the side. In the field, up in a ponytail. We won’t see it this long again until The X-Files: I Want to Believe

scully pilot

Unexplainable Phenomena
Bright lights, time loss, screwy compasses, disappearing teenagers, weird bumps that look like mosquito bites, unknown organic proteins; Scully’s plaid blazer that literally died in a fire

Unbelievable Shit
That their flight to Oregon from DC was that empty.

Ships Ahoy
Scully runs into Mulder’s motel room wearing her underwear and her robe, and disrobes in front of him because she’s worried some mosquito bites could be alien bites or something. Seriously – Chris Carter, how did you not think people would think they were doing it? Episode One, baby!

Classic Quote
Mulder: “Nobody down here but the FBI’s Most Unwanted.”

Everything is Hannibal and Everything Hurts
No, seriously, did you know that Clarice Starling was one of the points of inspiration for Dana Scully? This episode premiered about eighteen months after The Silence of the Lambs won big at the Oscars; it only makes sense that Dana Scully resembles Clarice.

Watch or Skip?
Watch. It’s the pilot, guys! You kind of have to.

Episode 1.02: “Deep Throat”

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder and Scully investigate the mysterious case of a military test pilot who disappeared after experiencing strange psychotic behavior.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Mulder and Scully go to … Iowa? maybe? to see what happened to this pilot that disappeared and then returned but his wife didn’t think he was the same person, and there have been UFO sightings in town near this base, WHAT A COINCIDENCE MULDER, and also, Seth Green was there.

MOTW or Mytharc?
Mytharc; a case could be made that this episode introduces the shadowy military-industrial complex that The X-Files uses so often.

First Meetings
– Credits sequence! Oh god — right in the feels!
– Deep Throat! played to hangdog perfection by Jerry Hardin, this is someone who works in the Department of Defense who befriends Mulder and feeds him information about DOD stuff that relates to the X-Files.
– Microfiche!
– Cell phones the size of a brick!

Special Guest Star
Seth Green! With long hair and full Nirvana grunge flannel. It’s like he stepped out of a Pearl Jam mosh pit and landed in Iowa or whatever.

Fashion Statements
The aforementioned Nirvana flannel on Seth Green and his girlfriend. Also, SCULLY.

20150711_222138
THOSE GLASSES. And is that – is that a flower brooch? Oh honey, no.

Scully’s Hair
See the above photograph. As you can see, Season One Hair is much shorter than in the Pilot. It has a little bit of bounce, of curl, all shellacked down underneath a cloud of hairspray. It’s just long enough to pull into a short ponytail for the occasional autopsy, and we may see it in the occasional chignon for her very few and far between date nights. Basically, all the hair needs is to be jet black and it’s like Dark Helmet sans visor.

Dearest Dana Scully: I kid because I love and admire you. Don’t ever change, Season One Scully.

WAIT I FORGOT A FASHION STATEMENT
Mulder’s Running Outfit. Holy. Shit. Those short shorts. With holes. and the sweatshirt with the sleeves ripped off by bears, apparently. Oh dear god, early nineties fashion; you may very well be the death of me.

Unexplainable Phenomena
Military aircraft built out of UFO parts, so they don’t follow the laws of physics.

Ships Ahoy
In the above still, Scully’s waiting for Mulder at 2 in the afternoon in a bar in downtown Washington, DC. When he approaches her from behind (and to the left – HOLY SHIT CONSPIRACY), he leans in as if he was going to kiss her cheek, but she ~senses~ a presence and leans back just in time.

That’s What She Said
“… while they were routinely penetrating Russian airspace.”

Classic Quote
Scully: Mulder, did you see their eyes? If I were that stoned —
Mulder: Ooh! “If you were that stoned,” what?

Watch or Skip?
As this episode introduces the shadowy government and Deep Throat, it’s worth the watch.

Episode 1.03: “Squeeze”

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder and Scully search for a humanoid killer whose savage murder spree reoccurs every 30 years.

Alaina’s Synopsis
From my notes: “OH SHIT THIS IS THE ONE WITH THE GUY WHO LIVES IN THE WALLS NOOO WHY AM I WATCHING THIS ONE BEFORE BED AHH GOD”

MOTW or Mytharc?
Monster of the Week

First Meetings
– Eugene Victor Tooms! The guy who can squeeze into any space and kills people and eats their livers! He’s lived for over a hundred years between killing people and then hibernating! He’s wicked creepy and definitely should not be an episode you watch at midnight!

Special Guest Stars
Donal Logue as an Academy acquaintance of Scully’s, who has lunch with her in the beginning of the episode.

Fashion Statements
This is the episode where the shot in the credits of Mulder and Scully entering a room and waving their flashlights around comes from. So – mahogany plaid suit with fully-buttoned button-down for our girl Scully. Damn, girl – Season 5 cannot come soon enough for your wardrobe.

Scully’s Hair
Up in a chignon at some point.

Unexplained Phenomena
Why does the first dead guy have a carved wooden hippo on his desk?

Ships Ahoy
– Donal Logue calls Scully “Mrs. Spooky” at one point, referring to her partner at the X-Files. (Did I forget to mention Mulder’s nickname was “Spooky”? Fuck, I’m a terrible narrator. Mulder’s nickname at the Academy was “Spooky.” Also, the horse was blue.)
– In the police station, Mulder realigns Chekov’s Necklace – I mean, Scully’s Necklace; in doing so, he comes perilously close to second base.
(Seriously, I know I haven’t watched a lot of this show, but I don’t recall Scully wearing long necklaces ever. Maybe she stopped after the Tooms case because necklaces apparently lead serial killers directly to her apartment?)

Classic Quote
Scully: Mulder, I think it’s bile.
Mulder: Is there any way I can get it off my fingers quickly without betraying my cool exterior?

Everything is Hannibal and Everything Hurts
The location of this episode was Baltimore, Maryland.
The victims had their livers removed.HANNIBAL RUTHERFORD LECTOR WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING

Watch or Skip?
Watch, most definitely.

Episode 1.04: “Conduit”

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder becomes obsessed with solving a case that closely parallels an “encounter” he experienced as a child.

Alaina’s Synopsis
A kid goes missing similar to how Samantha went missing, Mulder and Scully investigate, the kid brother starts drawing in binary and it turns out it was all a teenage runaway story. Also, Scully invades Mulder’s privacy by listening to the tapes of his regression hypnosis therapy.

MOTH/Mytharc?
Mostly Mytharc, what with all the emoting about Samantha and whatnot.

Fashion Statements
Scully sports a hunter green velvet blazer over a dark purple sweater. She looks like a leprechaun.
— OH WAIT! Houndstooth suit with black collar tips! There you are, old friend!

Ships Ahoy
The NSA barge into Scully’s motel room in the middle of the night … looking for Mulder.

Classic Quote
Mulder: “I want to believe.”

Watch or Skip?
If you’re a purist? Probably watch. If  you’re okay getting to the better parts? Feel free to skip.

Episode 1.05: “The Jersey Devil”

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder and Scully track a legendary creature that has roamed the New Jersey countryside for over 40 years.

Alaina’s Synopsis
“Holy shit, Scully goes on a date.” Also, there’s a — THERE’S A CANNIBAL ON THE LOOSE HOLY SHIT BUCKLE UP KIDS THE HANNIBAL GLOVES ARE COMING OFF

MOTW/Mytharc?
ooohhhhh Monster of the Week.

First Meetings
– Mulder’s pornography!
– Scully’s biological clock!

Special Guest Star
Who the hell is the guy playing Scully’s date? **goes to IMDB** Oh, he’s —

parks-literally-3

lit’rally? been in everything.
*scrolls further*
Aw, he was the dad on Reaper! I loved that show!

Fashion Statements
Scully’s wearing a collar pin. This is not a drill.

Scully’s Hair
The hair is more windblown than in episodes past; but maybe she was just rushing to get to the basement office to keep Mulder from abusing himself in a federal building.

Mulder, You Precious Angel
The motel he chose in Atlantic City? The Galaxy Gateway.

Ships Ahoy
– Scully’s friend thinks she (Dana) should date Mulder.
– Scully’s mouth twitches in pride when Mulder praises her as a prestigious medical doctor to the detective in charge of the case.

Classic Quote
Lead Detective: I got a perpetrator out there. Whether it’s Hannibal the Cannibal [[ed.: (c) Frederick Chilton]] or Elmer Fudd, I’ve got a job: to protect people.

tom haverford

will graham chibi

Watch or Skip?
I mean … I put it high on the Watch list, only because there are some funny parts and EVERYTHING IS HANNIBAL. is it mandatory? Probably not.

Episode 1.06: “Shadows”

Netflix Synopsis
Mulder and Scully investigate the deaths of two men believed to have been killed by a powerful psychokinetic force.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Someone created a ghost that can kill people with her brain. Or something.

MOTW/Mytharc?
Monster of the Week.

Fashion Statement

20150720_222822

Please see above. Oh, Scully.  (That’s a dark green suit with a pumpkin orange blouse, and white hose. OH THE HUMANITY.)

Ships Ahoy
Mulder wants to take Scully to see the Liberty Bell. Sadly, this aired well before Barney Stinson and Ted Mosby went and licked the Liberty Bell, and maybe I’m reaching, but guys – you want to date me? A midnight trip to lick the Liberty Bell will get you to at least second base.

There’s a joke I could make right there about your dick not being a Liberty Bell, even though it’s got a crack in it, but then I remembered that my mother may read this, so I’m going to refrain.

Whoops.  (sorry Mom)

Classic Quote
Mulder: I would never lie. I willfully participated in a campaign of misinformation.

Watch or Skip?
SKIP. Holy Hell, skip this one. I totally tuned out of this one.

Episode 1.07: “Ghost in the Machine”

Netflix Synopsis
On Halloween, Mulder and Scully investigate the death of a corporate executive who may have been murdered by a thinking computer.

Alaina’s Synopsis
Mulder and Scully investigate the second coming of Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey. It ends just about how you’d expect.

MOTW/Mytharc?
Monster of the Week. Er … technological monster of the week, that is.

Fashion Statements
Scully’s ankle-length pants and heels. Yikes, honey.

Unexplainable Phenomena
Mulder’s interacting with people outside of his office at the breakfast cart? What? Mulder knows people? There are other people in the basement? Has my entire life been a lie?

Horrible Irony
That the name of the evil computer is abbreviated C.O.S., and that its brain scan images bring to mind some iconic sweaters from a certain 80s TV show.

20150721_223223

Scully is a Badass, Haters To the Left
Basically John McClane-ing her way through the air ducts, shooting out the motors of fans to keep her from being sliced like proscuitto, and shoving her gun in a Dept. of Defense agent’s face. DANA SCULLY: FUCK YEAH

Watch or Skip?
You can skip this one. For a better “Computer Controls Everything” episode, might I recommend “Treehouse of Horror XII,” wherein Pierce Brosnan voices the evil computer house that falls in love with Marge and tries to kill Homer with the sweet, sweet scent of unexplained bacon?

Join us next week for “Ice,” “Space,” “Fallen Angel,” “Eve,” “Fire,” “Beyond the Sea,” and “Gender Bender.” I hope to be caught up to the rest of y’all in about a week, but we’ll see. I have … things to do.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 28, 2015 in Project X

 

Project X: Inception

Y’all should know by now that I have a problem with consuming media. (My mother, upon reading this sentence, will roll her eyes and entreat me to tell her something she doesn’t already know.) Between the Breaking Bad marathon, the fact that my Netflix list is about 700 items long (an actual exaggeration), and all my Hannibal — well, “Hannibal-ing,” for lack of a better term (“Hanniballing” is something I’d like to do, all night every night HEYOOO), clearly, television is a very important part of my life.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, by the way. My outside life is very full. But I digress.

With the advent of having Netflix available on my TV – thanks, Blu-Ray Player With Streaming Capabilities That I Have Not Yet Named! – I can now consume media from My Spot On the Couch. Since Christmas, I have watched 30 Rock and Bojack Horseman all the way through, rewatched Bob’s Burgers twice, and am currently in season 5 of Parks and Recreation. I plan a big rewatch project every year (maybe Alias will be next year, you guys), but this year? I may actually achieve it.

I bring you … Project X.

The-X-Files

GUYS. The X-Files is coming back. This is awesome on so many levels.

I was *mumblemu* — you know? Fuck it. I was ten when The X-Files premiered. Being a rather sheltered kid growing up, I would not have been allowed to watch it even if I had shown an interest wanting to watch it. I was – and still am, in certain cases – a bit of a scaredy-cat, and the idea of watching a show about things that go bump in the night would have given me nightmares. But as my tastes evolved from the likes of Step by Step and Boy Meets World (and The Simpsons, because by that time Mom had given up on trying to keep me and my sister from watching them with Dad), the show’s popularity grew.

It wasn’t until I was in eighth grade – the spring of 1997 – that I started to get interested in The X-Files. My good friends Beth and Amelia were super-into the show, and I finally said “heck with it!,” and started to watch some of the reruns on UPN. (GUYS – remember UPN!?)

I am 95% sure that the first episode I ever saw was “Small Potatoes.” I seem to recall watching that and the slide into “Gesthemene” within a couple of months, before freshman year started. (I remember Beth being devastated after watching “Gethsemene” when it aired, and I had to know what happened. That may have been the true impetus for me getting involved with the show.) When season 5 began in my freshman year, I would watch them on my tiny TV in my bedroom with the lights off, because that’s what made the most sense.

And then, on February 22, 1998 – my life changed. Because on that night, “Bad Blood” aired. And I have yet to find another episode of television that touches my heart as much as “Bad Blood” continues to do.

I mean, “Mizumono” left scars on my heart that have yet to heal, so — totally different animal, there.

But I’ll talk about “Bad Blood” later. (and if i ever figure out how to make those fanvids on the youtubes, there will be a fanvid of “bad blood” set to Taylor Swift’s hit single “Bad Blood” and it will be EPIC)

So here’s what I’m going to do – The X-Files’ official internet presence is conducting a rewatch of all 201 episodes. It began last week, and if one is able to keep up, the rewatch will bring one right up to the premiere of the limited series next winter. I am going to attempt to follow along, and make a handy-dandy cheat sheet for each episode, so I can be reintroduced to the show all over again and maybe, inspire some of my readers to join in.

As you can probably imagine: I’m already behind.

Unlike my normal Movies Alaina’s Never Seen entries, Project X will be comparatively, blessedly short in scope. I plan to do a weekly post of seven eps, with the barest of depth: the episode summary from Netflix, Special Guest Stars, Mytharc or Monster of the Week, Classic Quotes, things like that. Depth will probably show up in introducing major characters (Krycek; there will be an epic ode devoted to Skinner, I’m sure), but then there will be other topics like, Ships Ahoy, wherein I point out all the places where Mulder and Scully were totally doing it (or people on the show thought they were doing it), or Fashion Statements, or Can Alaina Tie This Into Hannibal? Yes She Can!

Hopefully, by the end of Project X, you too will be able to tell what season the episode is in just by looking at Scully’s hairstyle.

I think it’s going to be fun! Also, I’m now taking bets to see how many episodes I watch before I give up. Hopefully it’ll be episode 201, but I’m not sure, my stamina’s not the greatest. But at the end of the day —

want to believe

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on July 16, 2015 in Project X

 

Psycho (part II)

So FUNNY STORY, as I was driving to work this morning, a state trooper came up on my ass from outta nowhere, and all I could think was that if he did pull me over (which he did NOT, booyah to me!), I would have no choice but to ask him, “Hey, so I watched Psycho last night, and if you came across a parked car on the side of the road and a woman was sleeping in it and when you went to make sure she was okay, she asked if it looked like she was doing anything wrong, what would your reaction be?”

Yes, I totally realize that I would be arrested after saying “Hey, so I watched Psycho last night.”

OKAY, so, what was going when we left off last night? (Oh no I’M GETTING DISTRACTED JAKE PERALTA’S FATHER IS BRADLEY WHITFORD ON BROOKLYN NINE-NINE I really didn’t think I could love this show more [maybe if Hugh Dancy or Mads Mikkleson guest-starred…])

(UPDATE: I have to turn off Brooklyn Nine-Nine because I can’t stop laughing at Terry Crews covered in donut hole powder. I HAVE TO GO.)

No really – what happened last night?

Okay, so Marion’s face down on the linoleum, and then the camera pans over to the newspaper filled with money, and then out to the house, where Norman shrieks, “Oh Mother, what — the blood!” Norman runs into Cabin #1 and is horrified by the sight he sees, but he steels himself to his task. He closes the window and the door, and turns all of the lights off. He comes out of the office carrying – oh, okay. It looked like he was carrying a giant poking device, and I was all TRUST ME SHE’S DEAD, but it’s actually just a really tall mop.

He drags Marion’s body outside and onto the shower curtain, then he washes his hands and starts cleaning the bathroom of all the arterial spray. Oh the 1960s, where no one knew about Luminol and basic crime scene investigative procedures. I mean, he’s not even using bleach!

Norman pulls Marion’s car directly up to the cabin door and pops the trunk. Then he gently places the corpse in the trunk, and goes back into the cabin for her belongings. He manages to grab everything except the $40,000 rolled up in the newspaper, which is still on the nightstand.

And just like in the pilot episode of Bates Motel, just as Norman’s dragging the mop and the suitcase outside, a car drives by! Only this time, the car doesn’t stop. One more trip into the cabin, and this time Norman grabs the newspaper. Thinking it’s only a newspaper, he tosses it in the trunk on top of the corpse.

He drives like, around the block, right into a swamp. And then manages to push the heavy car into it, where it sinks, like a dinosaur being covered by a tar pit. It’s only a minute before the car is swallowed whole, every trace of it gone.

The next day – possibly – Marion’s sister Lila shows up at Sam’s hardware store in Fairville or wherever the heck Sam lives, and Lila demands to see Marion. Apparently it is after the weekend, because Lila references her shopping trip in Tucson, and she just wants Marion to tell her this whole mess is none of her business. There’s a familiar-looking dude watching the scene from outside the door, and while this next bit of business proceeds, I’m gonna look the dude up on imdb.

Oh, whoever this guy is ends up playing O.J. in Breakfast at Tiffany’s!

Okay, back to the plot. Lila’s about to cause a scene, and Sam tries to get the jackass shopboy out of the background. O.J. is playing private detective Arbogast, and he’s also looking for Marion. Well, that’s not quite right – he’s actually looking for the $40,000 that Marion stole from the office. Everyone agrees that Marion’s probably in town, and Arbogast is determined to find her. The good news is that no one wants to prosecute, they just want the money back.

Finally, Arbogast drives up to the Bates Motel, to find Norman reading a magazine or something and munching on kettle corn. Arbogast, very friendly-like, manages to get Norman to crack rather quickly – Norman says that he hasn’t seen anyone for almost three weeks, but five seconds later he says something about how a couple stopped by and thought the motel was empty last week. Arbogast pushes the point and asks to see the registry, and HOW DID NORMAN FORGET TO DUMMY THE REGISTRY?! God, he’s such an amateur! You know who wouldn’t let something like the registry go forgotten? HANNIBAL.

DIRECTING GEEK-OUT MOMENT
There’s a moment where Norman’s looking at either the registry, or matching the handwriting sample Arbogast has to Marion’s fake signature on the registry, that’s shot at an interesting angle. It’s about chest-high, so Norman has to bend down to look, and his neck extends out, and he’s chewing on kettle corn the entire time, so his Adam’s apple keeps bobbing, and it’s such a bird-like expression – OH LOOK THEY HAVE A GIF OF IT NOW

bird neck psycho

THANK YOU, INTERNET!

Anyway, all of a sudden, Norman remembers that Marion showed up and stayed the night Saturday night, and she went right to bed without making any phone calls. After he made her a sandwich. And she said she was going to drive all the way back to Phoenix the next morning. NORMAN, GET YOUR STORY STRAIGHT, YOU’VE HAD A WEEK TO COME UP WITH A COVER! GOD, he’s such an amateur!

Y’know, the more I talk about Norman Bates’s amateurism, the more it sounds like I’m a professional, and I just want to say that I have never killed anyone. I just watch a hell of a lot of crime shows. Crime shows and Hannibal.

Norman insinuates that his mother met Marion, and that gets Arbogast’s knickers in a twist. He’s determined to meet Mrs. Bates. Arbogast calls Lila and gives her the skinny, then returns to the Motel. Norman’s still changing the linens in the cabins, and ducks out of sight when he sees Arbogast’s car drive up. Arbogast goes directly into the office, but can’t find Norman. He does, however, find all of Norman’s creepy assed birds. And an open safe with no money in it. IT’S NEVER THAT EASY, ARBOGAST, BELIEVE ME.

Arbogast takes this opportunity to approach the old bird (HEY I MADE A JOKE AND POSSIBLY ALSO AN INFERENCE) living in Bates Manor. And look, can I just say, What-the-Fuckery aspect aside, the production guys at Bates Motel did a stellar job in recreating that place.

Wait, I think I know what happens next, and my window decides to take this moment to make some weird noises, so I’m gonna pause momentarily to ensure that the noise I heard was the house settling after one of the first warmer days of the year, and not a gigantic bird and/or bug-type thing trying to come inside where it’s warm. Be right back.

Good news! House was just settling. Now pardon me while I turn the volume down slightly and see what happens here and if my faulty memory is correct.

Arbogast just waltzes in, hat in hand. No one makes a sound, and he doesn’t exactly announce his presence. He starts walking up the stairs, hoping to meet Mrs. Bates, when a door opens on the second floor. The EEE EEE EEE EEE EEE starts up again as Mrs. Bates storms out of the open door and stabs Arbogast in the chest. Thanks to the chocolate sauce effect, it almost looks as if Arbogast was stabbed in the face, but the Hays Code wouldn’t allow that. He falls down the stairs (in one of the worst green-screen effects I’ve ever seen – and look, I know they weren’t going to throw an actor down a set of stairs, but having the green-screen move as if Arbogast was falling down the stairs but having Arbogast tap-dance backwards to make it look as if he’s falling maybe wasn’t the brightest idea in the house, Hitch.)

Lila and Sam are waiting for Arbogast at the hardware store – because remember, Arbogast said he’d meet with Lila in an hour. It’s been three, and now Lila’s getting antsy. Jeez, how much longer is this movie? *checks imdb* another thirty minutes? uuggggghhhh… why did I watch Last Week Tonight first?

Sam now shows up at Bates Motel, yelling for Arbogast. Norman is standing in the swamp, thinking. But he’s nowhere near where he dumped Marion’s car, so at least there’s that. Sam goes back to Lila at the hardware store, and he suggests they go meet Deputy Sheriff Chambers. WHOA. That guy looks like an angry Skipper from Gilligan’s Island. He’s no Sheriff Romero, that’s for fucking sure.

Anyway, the Marion Family Players catch the Sheriff up with the situation, and they want the sheriff to investigate because something feels hinky. The sheriff doesn’t think anything’s going on besides Arbogast took off on a lead from Marion and lied to Lila. At Lila’s insistence, the sheriff calls up the Bates Motel, and Norman tells the sheriff that yeah, Arbogast was there, but then he left. Well, at least his storytelling’s getting better.

Lila insists that Arbogast was going to talk to Norman’s mother. At which point the sheriff drops a truth-bomb: Mrs. Bates has been dead for ten years. HEY, SPOILER ALERT FOR BATES MOTEL, SHEESH. Anyway, apparently Mrs. Bates poisoned some dude she was seeing and then killed herself in remorse. Mrs. Sheriff even helped to pick out the dress she was buried in.

So … if Mrs. Bates is dead … who did Marion hear? … Oh come off it, Alaina, you’re not fooling anybody. WE ALL KNOW WHAT HAPPENED.

While Sam and Lila are emphatic that Mrs. Bates is a real person, the sheriff begins to wonder who’s buried in Greenlawn Cemetery. At the same time, Norman has an argument with his mother – he wants her to hide in the fruit cellar for a few days until the heat dies down.

The next morning, Sam and Lila corner the sheriff and when he refuses to do anything, they get it into their pretty little heads to play detective theirownselves. Sam drives Lila over and asks her what the play is. She says, “We’re going to check in as man and wife.” Now, if I were writing this screenplay, I’d have that be the denoument – that Lila arranged to have her sister killed, so she could get her hands on her sister’s boyfriend. How great a twist would that be?

Sam and Lila peek into the office, and we see Norman peer out of one of the windows of Bates Manor. I – aw, man, Anthony Perkins is wearing a crisp, white shirt, with the top button unbuttoned. Dammit, my sexual kryptonite! Did anyone else realize that Anthony Perkins was kind of a babe? Ugh – so many conflicting feelings I need to discuss with some food.

Norman runs into the office and gives the couple Cabin #10. Sam makes a point of not only signing the register, but also asking for a receipt. Sam makes a snide remark about how he’s never been in a motel where they didn’t make a couple without bags pay in advance. Speaking from experience, Sammy Baby? Lila, clearly just now getting the type of relations Sam and her sister got up into, announces that she’s going to go on ahead. As Sam’s signing something, Lila checks the doorknob to Cabin #1, and sure enough, it’s unlocked. WHAT THE WHAT?! NORMAN, I AM SO DISAPPOINTED IN YOU

The happy couple books it into Cabin #10, and decide they need to search Cabin #1. Lila’s gotten it into her head that Norman killed Marion for the $40,000, and maaaaaaan, if she knew what actually happened to the $40,000, she’d shit a brick. Sam and Lila then go and search Cabin #1. Five minutes after signing the register. In broad daylight.

ACTUAL DIALOGUE TRANSCRIPTION TIME
Sam: If he sees us, we’re just taking the air.
Alaina: Jesus Christ, I’m surrounded by amateurs.

AND THEN SAM CALLS FOR BATES BUT DOESN’T GET AN ANSWER. Look, dude, if you’re gonna go snooping, don’t call for the person you’re trying to avoid! Especially creepy dudes who have a fondness for staring at swamplands!

Sam and Lila end up in the bathroom. Sam comments on the weird fact that there’s no shower curtain in the bathroom. Lila finds a scrap of the paper Marion used for her calculations, and takes it into her head as proof that Norman knew about the $40,000. Sam and Lila split up, Sam to speak to Bates, and Lila to get something out of the mother. Sam finds Norman in the office, getting Lila free to walk up the tumbleweedy hill to Bates Manor.

THE DOOR IS UNLOCKED. COME ON, NORMAN! Anyway, Lila storms in and actually remembers to close the door behind her, so thank goodness for small miracles. As Sam talks to Norman and asks him if he’s tried to get away, Lila manages to break into Mrs. Bates’s bedroom. She finds it, all things considered, rather opulent – tons of figurines and jewelry, and a wardrobe full of really ugly dresses. Then she notices the very defined body divet in the mattress.

psycho body divet

I mean – that is disgusting. For someone who changes the linens in the cabins every week, Norman, your regular house-cleaning skills have slagged off a bit, don’t ya think?

Sam asks if Norman would do anything to get away, and he is adamant that he would never think to leave. Bates Manor and the motel are his entire world, and he had a perfect childhood. PULL THE OTHER ONE. Sam pushes Norman too far, and he clonks Sam over the head with a vase or something, and sprints into the Manor. Lila sees him coming and hides in the basement staircase, and when she sees the door, she moves down into the fruit cellar.

And there, she finds Mother Bates. Who, as we should all know by now, is nothing more than a well-preserved corpse. And as Lila screams, Norman runs downstairs, wearing the wig and one of the ugly dresses from his mother’s wardrobe, brandishing the butcher knife. But he pauses in the doorway for effect just long enough for Sam to find Lila by her screaming, and Sam’s able to overpower Norman and disarm him.

Later that night at the courthouse, a psychiatrist comes out and gives us the story: Norman suffers from split personalities, and now his mother’s personality has taken over. Norman had been disturbed since his father died, and his mother was a clinging, demanding woman. The two of them lived as if they were the only two people in the world, until Mrs. Bates took a lover. Norman got jealous, and killed both his mother and her lover, and made it look like a murder-suicide. He stole her corpse, and then incorporated her personality into his own so she could stay alive.

And if Norman felt a strong attraction to any woman, “Mrs. Bates” would take over and eliminate the threat.

The final shot, after the Poirot-esque explanation on the part of the psychiatrist, is a shot of Marion’s car being pulled out of the swamp.

Well. That certainly sets up Bates Motel very nicely. I’m glad that I knew so much of the plot even after not having seen anything past the shower scene. I can’t wait to prove that I know everything about Vertigo without having seen any part of it!

(it’s about crippling dizziness in San Francisco, right?)

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 10, 2015 in The List

 

Psycho (part I)

All right. I said I was going to get back into this, and dammit, I’m going to get back into this. Tonight seems to be a wonderful, crazy random happenstance. First off, I finished mainlining Bates Motel a couple of weekends ago. You want to talk about a suspenseful show with a good amount of cheese, scenery-chewing, and what-the-fuckery, you guys: Bates Motel is AMAZING in that respect.

If you haven’t heard, Bates Motel tells the story of how Norman and his mother – Norma (“fathers name their sons after themselves all the time, why can’t a mother?” <– actual paraphrase) – come to own the Bates Motel. Apparently the town in which the motel resides runs on illegal pot money, as well as formerly on an Asian sex ring. Norma’s big battle? Trying to kill a proposed bypass that would ensure tourists would never drive past her motel. Norman gets involved with multiple women, including his Language Arts teacher, who he later kills. I’m sure there are other stupid things that happened, but I can’t remember important events. Just be aware that the what-the-fuckery aspect? I wouldn’t lie to you about that.

So I sped through the second season of Bates Motel once it was released on Netflix. The third season starts tomorrow night (9/8 central, on A&E!). And Turner Classic Movies showed Psycho yesterday, and I had juuust enough room on Jeremy the TiVo: Episode IV: A New Hope to record it.

And then I reviewed my list and saw that Psycho was indeed on it, and since I slept almost ten hours last night, it’s not like I’ll fall asleep any time before midnight tonight. And if I happen to miss this amazeballs timing, I’m going to be mad at myself.

(Also – if I watch it tonight, I’ll be able to delete it tonight.)

Now having said all that, I have seen key scenes from Psycho. I know I’ve seen the beginning, the scene in the office, the shower scene, and the scene where Norman puts Janet Leigh in the trunk of the car and then sinks it into the swamp. (Look, if y’all wanted me to not mention spoilers, you wouldn’t be reading my live-blog about a movie I’ve never seen.) I may have even seen the scene where the detective goes into the foyer and a wheelchair falls down the stairs, though that may be a different movie. I’m not one-hundred percent sure.

But I do know one thing – I’ve never seen it all the way through. And therefore, it goes on the list.

Psycho_(1960)

A Phoenix secretary steals $40,000 from her employer’s client, goes on the run and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.

Oh, imdb. You sweet, summer child; still thinking after all these years that people don’t know what the real plot is.

Dammit – I said I was going to watch an episode of Scandal while I wrote the preamble to this entry, and apparently I really can block Scandal out while writing because I totally finished the preamble before Olivia was able to fix this situation. Guess I’ll just finish this huge metaphor for Ferguson, Missouri writ large – I mean, “last week’s episode” – first.

(Seriously, Shonda – and trust me, I love you,  I’m with you, and I stand with Ferguson, but while this wasn’t nearly as heavy-handed as Aaron Sorkin’s shark-jumping “Isaac and Ishmael,” there is a fine, fine line between “metaphor” and “wish-fulfillment history rewrite.”)

Okay, this movie is just about an hour and a half long. I should finish this before midnight. Right?

According to Ben Mankiewicz, the second-most important person working on this film was Bernard Herrmann, the composer. GEE, I WONDER WHY

I feel like I should turn some lights off, but I’m keeping them on because I feel like I should turn some lights off. (I hate horror, you guys. Even horror I’ve seen pieces of.)

Fancy credit sequence. Why don’t more movies nowadays go in for fancy credit sequences? (answer: too many people work on a movie nowadays for the credits to fit within the time required for a fancy credit sequence.)

Afternoon falls on Phoenix, Arizona, on apparently Friday, December 11th, at 2:43 p.m. The camera zooms into a cheap hotel where Marion Crane is enjoying her lunch hour with her gentleman lover. My first thought is: that bra really looks uncomfortable. My second thought is: Well, that’s definitely the best way to eat out at lunch.


jon-stewart-boom

SORRY NOT SORRY

Apparently, Marion’s gentleman caller is divorced, but Marion wants to marry him in spite of his alimony payments. But if he won’t marry her, she’s going to call the whole thing off. Despairing of having nowhere to eat lunch in the future (I SAID I WASN’T SORRY), he agrees to think about it. I think. I was too busy searching for that Jon Stewart .gif up there.

Marion returns to the office and learns that her sister will be out of town for the weekend, and then her boss’s client comes in with the boss, after their own lunch meeting. They must have gone to a place that served Italian sausage. (I’M NEVER SORRY) Anyway, the client starts waving around $40,000 in cash, because he’s going to buy his daughter a house for her wedding present. He’s buying his unhappiness away, and basically, Marion begins to look at him with dollar signs in her eyes.

ACTUAL DIALOGUE TRANSCRIPTION TIME
The Other Secretary In the Office: Well, I declare.
The Client: I don’t. That’s how I get to keep it.

HEY, I’M A TAX EXAMINER NOW. LET ME TAKE YOUR NAME DOWN, SIR.

The boss wants Marion to deposit the cash in the safety deposit box over the weekend, because he doesn’t believe cash is legal tender, or something. Marion gives him some paperwork then asks to go right home after the bank, as she has a headache. The client gives her permission, and even suggests she head to Las Vegas for some reason. Marion goes back out into the office, and she tells the Other Secretary that she’s going home to spend the rest of the weekend in bed. I BET SHE WILL.

We then cut to her changing her clothes. We know that she’s turned evil – even before we see the pile of money she most certainly did NOT deposit in the bank – because her lingerie is now black, whereas in the motel room, they were white. And everyone knows that bad girls don’t wear white underwear. She finishes packing, including some important-looking paperwork, and then leaves her apartment behind, ostensibly forever.

She then drives out of town, but not before seeing her boss cross the street in front of her. She drives all through the night, eventually parking off to the side of the road to catch a nap. The next morning, a police officer drives up behind her, to find her sleeping on the front seat of the car. Man, cars were huge back then. No bucket seats or anything, plenty of room to sprawl out.

Marion Crane has apparently never learned how to be cool in front of cops. NOT THAT THAT’S A SKILL I’VE EMPLOYED, but as soon as the cop knocks on the window she attempts to skeedaddle. He wants to know what happened, and she explains that she almost got in accident last night while driving, so she just pulled over. THEN SHE ASKS, “Am I acting like I’ve done something wrong?” And the cop and I both yell, ‘YES.’ Seriously, lady, why don’t you just casually drop the envelope full of money you stole out the window? If you know you’re guilty, you just have to try and not act guilty. Put on the “stupid blonde woman” routine (this works even if you’re not a blonde, by the way. As long as you’re a woman, you can get away with this, because men are dumb) (HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY EVERYONE, and hey all women, how do you like your day devoted entirely to you be one hour shorter than literally all other days in the year?)

Anyway, after much flop sweat, Marion gets to drive away. But not without the cop following her for a few good miles. When the cop pulls off to go to Gordon (wherever that is), Marion’s shoulders relax and we can all feel her relief.

DIRECTING GEEK-OUT MOMENT
In the above scene, Hitchcock does something great with camera blocking: he films it using one-shots, so the film is cutting between Marion’s POV and the cop’s POV. We never see the two of them in the same shot, until Marion goes to get her driver’s license out of her glove compartment. But during the interrogation, whenever we see Marion (cop’s POV), the focus from the lens is off-center, but whenever we see the cop (Marion’s POV), the cop is centered in frame. It puts the viewer into Marion’s head, looking directly at the cop, and we feel claustrophobic and nervous because of it.

This would be a good time for me to break out my phone and take pictures of some of these angles, with which I could better illustrate, but my phone’s battery is dying and it’s late, so here’s the MS Paint Reenactment:

Psycho Direction

(Marion’s POV on the left; the cop’s POV on the right. The frames are the car windows. I am not an artist.)

(PS you know who else used this technique? Jonathan Demme in The Silence of the Lambs. HANNIBAL RETURNS JUNE 4TH YOU GUYS, AND IN THIS CASE I DO APOLOGIZE IN ADVANCE)

Marion pulls into a used car garage and looks to make a trade. She spies a newspaper bucket and buys one, and while she’s checking to see if news of her theft had made the morning edition, the cop pulls up and sets up a post across the street. The salesman comes out and wants to sweet-talk her, but she cuts him off, wanting to trade her car in for another model, and quick-like. The more she badgers him into showing that she’s decisive and isn’t going to change her mind, the more California Charlie (his real name, swear to god) gets suspicious. AND GOOD REASON TOO, considering she keeps looking over her shoulder at the cop and pretty much accuses Charlie of accusing her of having stolen her car. They go into the office to hash out paperwork and the cop pulls into the parking lot. She almost drives off without her luggage, and leaves the men in her dust. GIVING THE COP A GOOD LOOK AT HER NEW LICENSE PLATE, MARION.

Marion drives off, and imagines all sorts of conversations between the players we’ve met up to this point: California Charlie and the cop; her boss and the Other Secretary; the boss and the client. As the conversations continue, getting more frantic and panicked, Marion’s face becomes twisted and horrific. I wish my phone weren’t dead so you can see this, and I don’t have time to do another MS Paint Reenactment, so instead I’ll tell you that the best facial expressions are about 27 minutes in (so far), and when you watch this movie, you’ll see what I mean.

Basically, I can see how the first audiences for this movie could have thought that Janet Leigh was supposed to be the title character. But oh, what a MacGuffin that turned out to be.

Marion drives right into a driving rain, and then comes across the infamous Bates Motel. Of course, it hasn’t become infamous yet. Regardless, she jumps out of the car and runs into the office, but there’s no one there. She sees someone walking around in the big scary house on the hill, and when she honks the horn, a pleasant looking man jumps down and runs down the stairs to let her in.

She asks if he has a vacancy, and says:
“We have twelve vacancies. Twelve cabins, twelve vacancies. They moved away the highway.”

98058-Aladdin-genie-jaw-drop-gif-Img-ptbX

IT WAS A PLOT POINT THIS ENTIRE TIME?! GODDAMMIT, I DO MISS THINGS WHEN I DON’T WATCH MOVIES! (NO ONE TELL BRAD OR JOHNNY O)

Marion signs the register as Marie Samuels from Los Angeles – Los Angeles was where she bought the car, and Sam was the name of her gentleman lover.

Norman shows her around Cabin #1, pointing out the bathroom and opening the window. He invites her up to the house for dinner – just sandwiches and milk – and she agrees. While he goes upstairs to get things ready, Marion hides her cash in the newspaper she bought at the car dealership. The rain slows down, and now she can hear a very pained conversation between Norman and his mother. His mother emphatically refuses to allow Norman let a strange woman into her house, so he pulls together some bread and milk and brings it down to the motel for Marion.

She invites Norman into her cabin to eat dinner, and he almost acquiesces, but at the last moment, asks her to eat in the office. She follows him, and over bread and butter, Norman tells her about his taxidermy hobby, how he fills his time, and that a boy’s best friend should be his mother.

DIRECTING GEEK-OUT MOMENT
The next conversation, in which Norman rationalizes how he lets his mother speak to him in the way that Marion overheard (and wow, the acoustics around that motel are fantastic – is it in Red Rocks or something?), Norman leans back in his chair, and overpowering the frame from the upper-left is a giant stuffed owl, wings outstretched, staring at Norman, ready to strike on its prey. Now that is a beautifully-formed visual metaphor.

norman owl

Marion suggests that Norman leave his mother, but he refuses, because if he leaves, the fire in his mother would go out. “You don’t understand, I don’t hate her; I hate what she’s become.” But when Marion suggests his mother be put “someplace,” Norman’s demeanor completely changes, knowing that Marion means “madhouse.”

While realizing the type of private trap in which Norman has been living, Marion decides that tomorrow morning, instead of continuing on to Fairville (to reconnect with her gentleman lover, and how far does he have to drive for his lunch takeout?), she’s going to return to Phoenix and rectify the private trap she put herself in. Norman is surprised, but offers to bring her breakfast at dawn. When he says goodnight, he says, “Goodnight, Ms. … uh…” and Marion supplies “Crane.” BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT YOU PUT ON THE REGISTER, MARIE

Has anyone ever mentioned how similar Anthony Perkins looks to Nestor Carbonell? I mean it’s really kind of uncanny.

anthony perkinsnestor carbonell

Norman takes a picture off the wall and watches Marion undress in the cabin next door through the peephole he carved out of the wall. THAT’S WHY HE GAVE YOU CABIN ONE, MARION.

#ProTipForLadies: NEVER accept Cabin #1.

Actually, in some light, Anthony Perkins looks like James D’Arcy.

anthony perkinsjames d'arcy

All right, here’s where I’m going to turn the volume down slightly on my TV, because I don’t want my landlady to hear it and get weirded out at — oh shit, it’s already midnight? DAMMIT, I have to work tomorrow. Shit.

Okay, here’s what’s gonna happen, and since I’ve already written about 2500 words, I feel good about hitting pause. I MEAN NOT RIGHT NOW, IN ABOUT THREE MINUTES, JUST LET ME FINISH THIS THOUGHT FOR A SECOND. So look, I’ll get through ~THE SCENE~, close up shop for the night, and then pick it up back in the aftermath first thing tomorrow after work. Before dinner, even. Deal? Deal.

Okay, so Marion’s doing some fancy math to make sure she can pay her boss back what she took, then tears up the calculations and flushes them down the toilet. (FUN FACT!: This is, apparently, the first film to show a toilet flushing on screen.) Then she takes off her bathrobe and starts the shower. She unwraps the soap, and turns the water on.

Oh shit, I just remembered I wanted to take a shower tonight. Shit.

Then we see someone open the door, and loom up behind her, and then —

Well — you know.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on March 9, 2015 in The List

 

Oscar!Watch 2015: My Predictions

Oscar!Watch 2015: My Predictions

You guys, someday I’ll get back into this, I promise. Maybe next Friday night, I’ll kick off Movies Alaina’s Never Seen 2: The ReDeepening. I mean, I barely cracked anything open last year, and here it is almost March. Maybe I just need to schedule it or something. Not Thursdays, though; Thursdays are gonna be real busy next month. Between Trivia Nights and The Princess Bride Quote-A-Long, I’m pretty much booked solid. Plus my birthday, which is also a Thursday.

But y’all didn’t tune into this because this blog is called Diary Entries Alaina’s Never Made. Y’all hopefully clicked whichever link brought you here because you’re curious as to whether I think Will Tippin’s gonna win an Oscar. (SPOILER ALERT: Not this year, Will.)

This is the part where I’d roll out a cute Photoshopped banner, but I don’t have Photoshop on this netbook, so here’s the MS Paint reenactment:

OscarWatch

Heh heh heh, I’ve missed this. (Also, I’m gonna make a Tom Collins.)

Best Original Screenplay
Nominees: Birdman; Boyhood; Foxcatcher; The Grand Budapest Hotel; Nightcrawler

This will be the first match-up between Boyhood and Birdman, so let’s get some stuff out of the way regarding these two first.

Birdman was the first movie I saw during the Oscar!Watch Official Period (the day the nominees are announced through the day before the awards ceremony), and I still don’t know how I feel about it. There were parts of it I really, really liked; and then there were parts that I didn’t like as much. Being a person who identifies herself as the modern-day, female version of the great Addison De Witt (or at least a person who aspires to be the modern-day female version of Addison De Witt), I can pick a Chekov’s Whatever out at the most normal of times, but in Birdman, there was a Chekov’s Whatever that was not only gift-wrapped, but the wrapping paper had written all over it THIS WILL PLAY A MAJOR PART LATER PAY ATTENTION TO THIS SEEMINGLY MEANINGLESS PROP. And if there’s one thing I abhor, it’s lazy writing. But at the same time, the writing didn’t feel lazy; because all of the action takes place in a theatre, I start to think, “maybe Innaritu meant to make it look lazy, to make a point on how people rely on such tropes, where they could be creative and find another solution to their problem.”

Basically, Birdman has kept me thinking about it, and I saw it almost six weeks ago.

Boyhood, on the other hand … I realize the movie took twelve years to make, but was I the only one who felt the movie was twelve years too long?

So I’m going to give a slight edge to Birdman for its creativity. Of these nominees, the only film I haven’t watched is Nightcrawler, How did I enjoy Foxcatcher and/or The Grand Budapest Hotel? Well … Grand Budapest is classic Wes Anderson, and obviously the film made an impression, seeing as how it was released in February 2014. But do I think it’s better than Birdman? No. Will I be surprised if Boyhood wins? No, but I don’t think the writing was very strong.

I MEAN THERE WASN’T EVEN REALLY A PLOT although I guess that life itself doesn’t really have a plot BUT STILL

Best Adapted Screenplay
Nominees: American Sniper; The Imitation Game; Inherent Vice; The Theory of Everything; Whiplash

Of this list, I have seen only The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything. Full disclosure: I really had no interest in seeing American Sniper. As much as I love Bradley Cooper (and it’s a lot – again, I saw him as Will Tippin on Alias … oh shit, fourteen years ago?? I have got to stop counting things), I couldn’t stomach the thought of sitting through a two-plus hour movie extolling the virtues of blind jingoism. So I passed. Inherent Vice came up to one theatre in Maine, I think? And I could have seen Whiplash, and I still kind of want to, because I love J.K. Simmons, but I just never somehow made it.

So of the two movies I’ve actually watched in this category, I’m going to go with The Imitation Game, because I like how the flashforwards were woven between the main plot, and really, I just liked the story better.

But honestly, this category’s kind of a crap shoot.

Best Director
Nominees: Birdman; Boyhood; Foxcatcher; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Imitation Game

Guys, Richard Linklater directed Boyhood over twelve fucking years. If you think the Oscars aren’t going to award that level of tenacity, then you clearly haven’t been watching the same self-masturbatory award show I’ve been watching for the past …. mumblemumble years.

Best Supporting Actress
Nominees: Patricia Arquette, Boyhood; Laura Dern, Wild; Keira Knightly, The Imitation Game; Emma Stone, Birdman; Meryl Streep, Into the Woods

Let’s get two people out of the way first: Meryl Streep is not going to win her next Oscar for playing The Witch in Into the Woods. She was fine, but the Oscars aren’t going to give Meryl Streep a Best Supporting Actress Oscar; it’s just not done. Two: Keira Knightly is fine in The Imitation Game, but she didn’t blow me away.

I liked Emma Stone’s role in Birdman, but it’s her first nomination. While the Academy has been known to reward first-time nominees fresh out of the gate — and nowhere is that more apparent than in this category in particular — I don’t think this is the right time for her to win.

That leaves Patricia Arquette and Laura Dern. I loved Laura Dern in Wild – between the subtle direction, the writing, and Reese Witherspoon’s guiding hands, Laura Dern’s character’s presence is felt in every frame of the film, and most of that can be attributed to her portrayal. Having said that, Patricia Arquette has won nearly every award leading up to this, so I’m going to go with Patricia Arquette to win, even though I really didn’t like that movie or her character, and if I’m wrong and it goes to Laura Dern, just be aware that I will be celebrating.

Best Supporting Actor
Nominees: Robert Duvall, The Judge; Ethan Hawke, Boyhood; Edward Norton, Birdman; Mark Ruffalo, Foxcatcher; J.K. Simmons, Whiplash

Remember, I haven’t seen Whiplash, and I also didn’t catch The Judge. Let’s be real, Robert Duvall isn’t going to win here. Of the three films I’ve seen, I’d give an edge to Edward Norton because I really liked his character (although if Mark Ruffalo wins, I wouldn’t be mad), but let’s be real, J.K. Simmons is going to walk away with this, based on all the other awards and buzz he’s won.

Best Actress
Nominees: Marion Cotillard, Two Days, One Night; Felicity Jones, The Theory of Everything; Julianne Moore, Still Alice; Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl; Reese Witherspoon, Wild

One of the reasons I’m not as huge a fan of The Theory of Everything that I’d like to be is because I feel the movie was based on a book written by Jane Hawking, but she’s a supporting player in the life of Stephen Hawking. Fucking Hollywood, man. Anyway. If anyone thinks they’re not going to finally give Julianne Moore the award she should have won by now, then you really haven’t been watching the Oscars. And unlike Kate Winslet’s pity Oscar for The Reader, Julianne Moore will have earned it for Still Alice.

Best Actor
Nominees: Steve Carell, Foxcatcher: Bradley Cooper, American Sniper; Benedict Cumberbatch, The Imitation Game; Michael Keaton, Birdman; Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything.

Hey look, a category where I’ve seen all the movies!

Let’s take this in alphabetical order. Now, I love Steve Carell; I was addicted to The Office when it was on, and while I would love nothing more than to see him win an Oscar — and I do believe he will, eventually — I don’t think he’ll win it for this film. Unfortunately, there were a couple of lines that he said as DuPont that could have almost just as easily come out of Michael Scott’s mouth, and if I noticed it, I’m sure some other people did as well. Not saying he wasn’t great; because he was. He just wasn’t good enough.

Bradley Cooper. Beautiful, amazing Bradley Cooper. Little Will Tippin, all grown up. Sure, he’s getting some buzz for Chris Kyle, but there was, unfortunately, a dark side to the real Chris Kyle, and that political-ness (meaning outside the Oscars-politics) is going to keep Bradley from winning here.

Benedict Cumberbatch will not win an Oscar for this. Sorry, fellow Cumberbitches. Maybe next time.

And that leaves Keaton and Redmayne. As much as I would love to see Michael Keaton win for Birdman — and if he manages to upset, I’ll be dancing — I have to admit that Eddie Redmayne‘s performance should win. I mean, the physicality of the role alone was astounding.

Best Picture
Nominees: American Sniper; Birdman; Boyhood; The Grand Budapest Hotel; The Imitation Game; Selma; The Theory of Everything; Whiplash

Honestly, I think it comes down to Birdman and Boyhood again. Between buzz and backlash, the only films that are still being talked about as having a shot at this are those two. And I think it’s going to come down to which card the Academy wants to play here: reward a film that tries to generate or answer questions about everyday life without really accomplishing it, although managing to achieve something … ineffable; or it’s going to be Boyhood.

My preference is to have Birdman win, obviously. I think it’s possible; but I also think it’s entirely possible and most likely more probable to have Boyhood win. It’s a coin toss.

I’m going to give Boyhood the edge here, because if anyone has the opportunity to give the Oscar to a movie that is deserving of it, because it engages us in actual, artful conversations about both life and art, the Academy is going to fuck that opportunity up royally and reward the bloviating, emotional claptrap option instead.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on February 21, 2015 in Oscar!Watch!

 

OscarWatch! 2015

image

BRING IT.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on January 15, 2015 in Oscar!Watch!

 

Netflix Roulette!

You guys — you know what we haven’t done for a while? NETFLIX ROULETTE

Full disclosure: I may have started this when I housesat for my parents a month ago, and now I’m finishing it at the house of someone else I’m housesitting for. So basically, if you ask me to housesit, and you have Netflix on either a Roku, AppleTV, or a laptop with a bigger screen than my netbook and also more mobile than my laptop, I’m gonna play Netflix Roulette.

Did y’all know that there’s an actual app in the GooglePlay Store called “Netflix Roulette?  And that it’s completely free?  And that I’m COMPLETELY PISSED that I did not copyright that term when I had the chance?

ANYWAY, this is how this is going to work:

– I’m going to open up the Netflix Roulette app on my phone.
– Since this is the movie blog, I’m going to eliminate the TV show selections.
– Because this is “roulette,” I am not limiting myself to a genre. EVERYTHING IS FAIR GAME. EH. VER. REE. THING.

Here we go …

Beavis_and_Butt-head_Do_America

OH HELL TO THE YES I DID NOT JUST GET BEAVIS AND BUTT-HEAD DO AMERICA! DON’T TELL ME I CAN LIVE IN THIS WORLD IT’S TOO GOOD FOR ME

DAAMMIT

Okay, good to know – the Netflix Roulette app includes everything, not just streaming movies. Dammit.

So to add to the above criteria:
– The first movie that is available to stream will be the movie that I watch.

NOW here we go …

Chicago_Overcoat

When Chicago mob kingpin Stefan needs a witness eliminated, Lou volunteers for one last big job so that he can retire. The task becomes complicated, however, when younger thugs resent Lou’s interference.

If I find out that a Chicago Overcoat is ANYTHING like a Columbian Necktie, I am going to be SO PISSED OFF.

This movie takes place in Chicago,1986. So there had better be some good references in this thing. The first place we see is – WAIT, IS THIS IN BLACK AND WHITE? The poster’s in color — why is the movie in black and white?! Goddammit!

OKAY, so we open in a film noir strip club… great. (I’d feel bad about using my friend’s Netflix to watch this, but  … I mean, I’m watching Orange is the New Black right now, so I figure everything’s off the table at this point.) One woman gyrates in front of a smoking man (remember – this is 1986), and she takes the cigarette from his mouth, takes a drag, and then blows the smoke right back in his face. Note From the Future: That is the oldest stripper I’ve ever seen. And look, he’s not exactly sitting at the edge of the bar – they’re like, a foot away from each other. He passes her a bill (I was too busy laughing to catch the denomination) and then he gets a lap dance. So, a ten, then? (Remember – this is 1986.)  Note From the Future: She’s also the most underfed stripper I’ve ever seen. Seriously, honey, use that lap dance money for a sandwich; coke doesn’t put any meat on your bones.  

A soulful sax plays in the background while the nameless dude snorts a line of coke in the bathroom. OH RIGHT THIS IS WHY I WAS LAUGHING there’s this dude, sitting in a booth? And he’s wearing a fedora and he’s got the collar of his trenchcoat popped up high and his face is covered? He looks so out of place here. But not in the bathroom, which is where Faceless Dude sneaks up on Cokehead and shoots him in the back.

Oh, great – the blood is red. Meaning they’re going to attempt to be all fancy with the cinematography. Trenchcoat Guy walks out, and the screen fades to red, if that’s possible. Trenchcoat Guy looks familiar.

When the video comes back in, apparently the black and white was just a flashback. OH THANK GOD, I don’t know if I could have taken a Sin City knockoff seriously. Now we meet (I’m assuming) Old Trenchcoat Guy, who’s busy polishing his gun (not a euphemism) and collecting on debts or something. Oh, now he’s winding his watch. That might be a metaphor.

There’s a knock on the door, and before he answers it, he hides the money he collected in a coat in his closet. His … daughter? granddaughter? seems too old to be a granddaughter – anyway, a female person enters carrying a bag of groceries. Apparently she tried to get him to get her out of a ticket, but she can’t get her license back until she sees a judge. Then she complains about taking the bus and working two jobs, and that her son gets shuffled around from latchkey house to latchkey house. Old Trenchcoat Guy (because no one’s been named, yet!) asks her, “Why didn’t you ask me?” So apparently Old Trenchcoat Guy is going to be babysitting soon.

Oh, apparently the woman is Trenchcoat Guy’s daughter. She divorced some dude from the Cicero crew. CICERO?

chicago cicero

Sorry – I just had to watch “Cell Block Tango.” I mean, I didn’t do it – but if I’d done it, how could you tell me that I was wrong?

OKAY so anyway, Overcoat says something about how in this life, you’ve got one family, then your job becomes your family, then another family shows up, and then it cuts to jail and wait, wasn’t I just watching this? Is there a men’s version of the Cell Block Tango? Wait, these are old men in jail. Is there a hot young male criminal version of the Cell Block Tango, perhaps starring a certain handless pirate captain who stars on Once Upon a Time?

Criminal is talking to Lawyer, and apparently Criminal wants to stand trial, but if he loses, he could stay in jail for 25 years to life. Criminal insinuates to Lawyer that he’s going to take care of his witnesses, maybe? It’s all very innuendo-ey and coy, and they are essentially trying extremely too hard to be all tough guy mafia don. Oh, but apparently his name is Stefano! THANK YOU FOR NAMING SOMEONE, MOVIE!

Ew – beer does not wash down Oreos well.

Overcoat goes into an Italian restaurant – as mafia dons do – and apparently now in his old age, he’s playing second fiddle to some dude. I’m not sure who, but Overcoat is clearly the oldest guy in the room. Overcoat complains that he was late because of traffic, and Second Fiddle says, “Only two seasons in this fucking city: winter and construction.” HEY THAT’S MAINE’S LINE.

Some dude who is either Bobby Baccala or Big Pussy from The Sopranos is wearing a tie and conducting bizness. Wait, which one was he? (browses the imdb.) Wait, he was never on The Sopranos? Then where do I know him from? HOLY SHIT he was on Ed! Am I the only one who remembers that show?

Lawyer has met up with Kenny from Ed and wants to have three people killed for $80,000. Jeez, I’m not a contract killer and even I know that’s low. Kenny from Ed would love to help Lawyer out, but he doesn’t have anyone who works for that kind of dough.

Lawyer leaves (apparently), and Kenny leads everyone into the back for collection. He hints that there’s a job that needs doing, and then takes the envelopes from everyone and kicks everyone out. Twelve hours later (I’m assuming, seeing as how in the first scene it was broad daylight and now it’s pitch black), Trenchcoat goes back to the restaurant and finds Kenny all alone counting the money. Trenchcoat – WHOSE NAME IS LOU, THANK YOU, MOVIE! – offers to take the job because he could use the extra cash. Kenny shakes his head and says that Lou hasn’t done a job since 1986, and also, whacking is a young man’s job (PHRASING).

That night, Lou and a young thug go and beat up a mechanic who happens to be working at like, midnight. Seriously? Sign me up for that, I’m afraid I may need new tires. Young thug beats the mechanic with a tire iron (yet manages to avoid the face) while Lou beats up a car that’s on the lift. End scene.

Next day (I’m assuming – we’ve switched back to daytime), Lou’s taking a pill when his friend Whoozits calls him up and just says “Tiger Cage.” Is that code for something?

Oh. Lou goes to meet Whoozits at the tiger cage at the Chicago zoo. There’s a zoo in Chicago? (googles) Oh, Lincoln Park Zoo. Okay, carry on. Anyway, Whoozits hands Lou a manila envelope, because they gave the jobs to Lou. Whoozits wants to know why Lou wants this job all of a sudden, and Lou says that maybe he’s decided he wants a new life in Vegas or somewhere. I’d make a joke, but the story I’m writing actually involves people starting over in Vegas, so maybe I’ll shut up. I’m also a little surprised that they don’t end this scene with a lingering shot of the tiger pacing in its cage at a horrible attempt at metaphor.

Lou parks in front of a bar and narrates, “I need a fucking drink.” I’ll drink to that!  He goes inside and while he waits to hit on the bartendress he watches a news report about his first mark.  The bartendress comes over with a fresh Scotch and Lou greets her as Lorraine. Look at that – we get the name of the character in less than five minutes? That’s amazing. There’s some wicked flirty banter regarding his cigarette lighter being out of fluid and maybe it’s a metaphor for his hydraulics ifyaknowwhaddimean and watching this after the high that was FDR: American Badass, I am attuned to all the ways this movie could be better if it wasn’t so focused on taking itself so godamned seriously.

Anyway, Lou asks Lorraine about a parking spot on Wednesday, and apparently that’s code for something because she stubs out her cigarette and says, “I read somewhere that the person you are at thirty is the person you’re gonna be for the rest of your life.” Jesus, if that’s true, I’m not sure if I like it. Well, that’s not true; I like thirty-year-old me much better than twenty-two-year-old me. Anyway, Lou tells her that she didn’t know him at thirty. I was gonna say, that seems like quite the age difference.

The next day, his grandson’s standing on the couch trying to get the machine gun that just happens to be hanging up above it. He stops his grandson, but then takes it down himself. He calls it a Chicago Typewriter – “the city was written on these machines.” Oooh, poetic. *eyeroll* He lets the grandson hold it, and I’m petrified for all of two seconds before Lou explains that the gun is an antique so it doesn’t work. Thank god; if this were Hobo With a Shotgun, the gun would misfire and the son would kill his mother on accident.

OH NO NETFLIX IS HAVING TROUBLE ACCESSING THIS CONTENT WHAT THE HELL? Oh, thanks for rewinding a few seconds what the fuck how have I watched only twenty-three fucking minutes?! Seriously?!

Later that night, Lou puts on his trenchcoat and heads down into a machine shop and hits up a friend, asking for a piece. It’s all made out to be incredibly epic, what with the sparks from sautering irons and dobermans and the slow walking shit that’s going on. Lou’s friend, Eddie, tries to talk Lou out of returning to the life of hitmanning, but Lou’s determined.

Lou parks his car outside of Lorraine’s bar and waits for his target to arrive.  The target takes a detour past the bar and into an alley and goes to piss behind a dumpster. Lou walks up behind him and shoots him as the El train passes overhead, covering the sound of the gunshots. The victim drops to his knee to avoid bruising, and it’s one of the worst fake deaths I’ve seen in a while.

HOLY SHIT THE COUCH I’M SITTING ON RECLINES GET THE FUCK OUTTA HERE HOW HAVE I BEEN SITTING UPRIGHT THIS ENTIRE TIME??

Then there’s this Asian guy who’s tying a tie in the mirror when there’s a knock on the door. It’s Lou, and they know each other. Apparently the Asian guy is a mortician, because Lou tells him to “flush his ashes down the toilet.” I can tell that the Asian guy is a mortician also because they’re standing in front of an occupied coffin in a viewing room. The Asian confirms what he’s going to do, by insisting that he’ll give the corpse his first taste of hell.  I — what?  What?

Then Lou abandons his car somewhere and blows it up. He comments to himself that maybe he should start appreciating Lorraine more. But then he does nothing about it, and before we know it, we’re seeing the cops arrive at the crime scene after the CSI units. By day, the alley looks like an exact replica of the alley in The Boondock Saints, where Greenly et. al are trying to figure out what happened to the guy who got a toilet dropped on his head, only there is no evidence of a huge friggin guy anywhere, and this is the wrong town. Dammit. It has been at least a year since I’ve watched Boondock Saints. Maybe tomorrow …

So for the cops! We’ve got Stacy Keach playing Angry Cop, and some young guy who’s playing Eager Play It By The Rules Cop. Eager Beaver is trying to find a rhyme or reason for the crime, but Angry Cop isn’t having it. I get the impression that Angry Stacy Keach just wants to get back to his bottle.

Then we cut to Lou and Lorraine hanging out, so apparently instead of going home, he did go upstairs to “appreciate” Lorraine. She’s helping him with his alibi, so clearly she knows what’s up. For a lowly bartendress, she’s got a pretty sweet apartment.

Eager and Angry are interrogating the widow (who doesn’t know she’s a widow yet) because the car the victim was driving was registered to his mother-in-law. The widow is extremely defensive, but mainly she’s pissed off at her husband – she’s not defensive in that she knows anything, because I don’t think she does. She mentions that she didn’t know anything about what her husband was doing, but he must have been in deep, because just that morning he sent her flowers, and he never sent her flowers. Angry Cop gets even angrier (if that’s possible) and storms out.

In the car, Angry Cop tells Eager a story about the Flower Guy. FLOYD?! Apparently in the late 80s, there were tons of murders, and the weird thing was the morning the murder was discovered, the widow would have received a bouquet of flowers from her husband. The majority of the widows admitted that their husbands were never the type to randomly send flowers. DUN DUN DUNNN

With the prosecution’s star witness now missing, Criminal from earlier (apparently his real name is Stefano) has been released, and Lou comes to visit him the restaurant. Stefano comments that they are surrounded by young copies of old friends. This movie picks the strangest times to be poetic.

Then Lou sees someone sitting at the bar and he goes over and makes a stink. Turns out it’s his erstwhile son-in-law. He politely reminds him that he’s got a family, and maybe he should pay attention to them and start paying quicker. Lou’s compatriots assume that he’s trying to start something and calls him off. Kenny from Ed accuses Lou of trying to take over Cicero now that he’s back in the hitman game. Lou asserts that it’s “just family shit.” Apparently where Cicero is concerned, it’s never just family shit. Yeah, no kidding – just ask Velma Kelly.

Oh …. my god. Okay, so we leave the mafia party and head over to the precinct, where Angry Stacy Keach is investigating the dead guy. At one point, he pulls out a flask of whiskey — you know in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, when Eddie Valiant is about to head back into Toontown for the first time since his brother was killed, and he takes out the Toon bullets, and is about to take a swig of his whiskey when he realizes what an epic boozehound he’s been the past few years, so he dumps it, right there in the road in front of Robert Zemeckis’s Favorite Tunnel, and then tosses it up in the air so the Tomahawk Bullet can smash it?  Well, basically, that’s the flask that Angry Stacy Keach is drinking from. Also, he’s using the oldest computer. It’s like the Gateway my parents had when I was in high school. In 1998.

One of Angry Stacy Keach’s friends – maybe an ADA? I’m not sure, THIS MOVIE DOESN’T IDENTIFY PEOPLE WELL – brings him a hearty breakfast of a disgusting, greasy steak sandwich, and as they eat Stacy Keach brings up Flower Guy.

ACTUAL DIALOGUE TRANSCRIPTION TIME
ADA: What’s your gut say?
Angry Stacy Keach: It says, after twenty years of nothing, we got flowers.

OH MY GOD.

Cut to: Angry Stacy Keach and Eager Beaver Cop interrogating a florist.

ACTUAL DIALOGUE TRANSCRIPTION TIME
Angry Stacy Keach: 34 East Schiller.  East Schiller, with an ‘S.’

HOW THE FUCK ELSE WOULD YOU SPELL SCHILLER!? Oh, apparently the florist speaks Spanish and Angry Stacy Keach is a racist in this movie, so Eager Beaver Cop steps in to demonstrate his bilinguilistic tendencies. Eager Beaver Cop learns that the person that placed the flower order to the Widow was …. a thirteen-year-old Latino boy wearing a red hoodie. Eager Beaver Cop is extremely skeptical that a thirteen-year-old boy took down a political-hungry jackass, but Angry Stacy Keach will not be deterred. He leaves Eager Beaver Cop to stop every thirteen-year-old boy wearing a red hoodie. On the corner next to a florist. Yeah, this will end well.

Meanwhile, someone calls Lou and wants to meet. Cut to: big shiny limousine driving on the Loop. What? Who’s so fancy? Oh, apparently it’s Tiger Guy giving Lou his second target. Tiger Guy wants to know how Lou’s doing – is he okay? Cuz he can sit this one out if he wants. OH MY GOD LEAVE LOU ALONE, HE’S HAVING SO MUCH FUN KILLING PEOPLE AGAIN

Angry Stacy Keach runs into one of his retired buddies, and the retired buddy asks Angry Stacy Keach if he wants a beer. OH RIGHT Well, while the buddies are bonding over their Budweisers (yick – it’s Sam Adams or Blue Moon or nothing), the retired buddy tells ASK (what? I’m getting lazy, sue me) that this old case of his was all mobbed up. No kidding. This movie takes place in Chicago, right? ANYWAY, retired buddy tells ASK to keep doing what he’s doing as long as he can, and ASK replies, “Amen, brother.” OH LOOK, PARALLELS

Meanwhile, we jump to that night (I’m guessing – the transitions and time jumps are really fucking weird) and Lou is taking Lorraine out on an honest-to-goodness date. I wonder if it’s a coincidence that Lorraine looks like Velma Kelly.

ASK joins EBC on his stakeout, and (surprise!) there hasn’t been a single sighting of a red hoodie. If I followed the DC universe of characters, I’d make a Jason Todd joke right there. They sleep in the car (but not like that), and then the next morning, EBC actually spies a Latino kid with a red hoodie, and sure enough, this kid was sent on an errand to send a bouquet of flowers. The cops actually pick the kid up and take him in for questioning.

That afternoon (see what I mean about time jumps?), Lou picks his grandson up from school – or, he tries to, but apparently Lou’s grandson likes being a bully.  Hm – I wonder where he picked that up. As a … reward? Lou takes the grandson out for his afternoon snack. But the kid isn’t eating it, because he doesn’t like onions. I know that feel, brother. And instead of doing the “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m not in your life all the time, I didn’t realize that you didn’t like onions” thing, he basically tells the kid that that’s a Chicago Dog, and Chicago Dogs come with relish, and ketchup, and mustard, and lettuce and tomato and onions, and by gum, he’s going to eat the whole damn thing or he’s walking home. Jeeez… The grandson takes one bite – reluctantly – and Lou says, “Do you like it?” His face says, “No, old man, I fucking told you, I hate onions,” and for once, a character’s mouth said “no” at the same time.

The conversation actually turns into a conversation about bullying and the fact that the kid doesn’t really have a reason for bullying, and that conversation just emphasizes Lou’s belief that the low-down punk from Cicero is to blame. So what does Lou do? He drives to Cicero and attempts to have a conversation with the Cicero punk, but ends up cold-cocking him with his Old Fashioned. The Cicero crew jumps up, worried that he’s starting something, but Lou waves his gun and declares that this is ‘family shit.’ He threatens to the Cicero punk to step up and be a man, otherwise, next time he comes down here, he’ll kill him.

The next morning, ASK’s friend comes down and reminds ASK to drop the Flower Guy case. I mean, seriously, Floyd’s gotta be hunkered down in Cleveland by now. But ASK proudly proclaims that he’s got a thirteen-year-old kid that’s gonna break this case wide open! ASK’s Friend asks ASK to just fucking retire already, and calls him the “oldest stewed potato on the force.” That is …. whoo, that is some kinda prejudiced right there. Apparently ASK reports to the Friend, and that’s as a courtesy. Basically, ASK’s on thin ice, but he doesn’t give a fuck.

Lou goes to scope out his next target, but finds that the target already has a tail on him. He tells Kenny from Ed, and Kenny from Ed doesn’t give a shit. Then Lou drives over to see Lorraine, who breaks up with him because she wants to be more than just an alibi. I can’t say as I blame her.

Lou’s on his way to murder the target, and we learn that the second tail was put on the target by the cops. The target is recovering from his nightly blowjob from his secretary when he sees the first victim on the news. While the secretary’s doing a line of coke in the bathroom, Lou comes out and suffocates the guy with a plastic bag. The cops see the thrashing from across the street through binoculars, but because the blinds were drawn, they can’t see the aggressor. The coked-up secretary misses the whole thing, and the cops aren’t quick enough to get there to catch Lou in the act.

Lou takes the freight elevator downstairs, then gets stopped by a patrol car because he’s limping. And because he doesn’t have any ID on him, he’s going to get brought into the station. SO MUCH FOR PULLING A CLEAN JOB, LOU

Angry Stacy Keach starts interrogating Lou and oh my god, I wish I had the energy to transcribe this, because it is made of win. And by “made of win,” I of course mean “terrible beyond all reason.” Basically, I’ve only got twenty minutes left and I don’t want to waste time with transcribing anything else. This movie is, by the way, the longest ninety-minute-long movie I’ve ever seen.

ASK brings the kid into the lineup room – so, how many days have they had this kid in lockup? 48 hours? I’m pretty sure that’s illegal. I mean, the kid hasn’t even changed his clothes, so he definitely hasn’t been home. The kid can’t pick out the man from the lineup. Then EBC interrogates Lorraine as to Lou’s whereabouts earlier that night, as well as the previous Wednesday. Their stories match, so Lou is released. ASK is so mad he tosses his half-empty paper cup of water on the floor and stomps like a three-year-old.

Oh, apparently, the Criminal in jail in the beginning was Stefano, but the guy who got released was a different guy. Stefano’s calling his lawyer from a pay phone in the jail yard, and that is a different setup than in Orange is the New Black. I mean, can you imagine Piper calling Larry from the yard? Basically, Stefano orders his Lawyer to order Enzo to get rid of Lou. I’d care, but I totally don’t.

Lou and Tiger Guy meet up in an abandoned parking garage or something. Tiger Guy makes some noise about how times are changing, and when Lou says he wants a smoke, Tiger Guy waves on the assassins as Lou leans over to the cigarette lighter in his Cadillac. Lou grabs the cigarette lighter and burns Tiger Guy’s hand, then smashes his car into that of the assassins, then PULLS OUT HIS MOTHERFUCKING MACHINE GUN and shreds everyone within range.

Apparently Tiger Guy was only burned, and he advances on Lou, telling him that the best thing he can do for his family right now is die clean.

ACTUAL DIALOGUE (AND ACTION) TRANSCRIPTION TIME
Tiger Guy: Come on out; I promise you an open casket!
[Tiger Guy shoots repeatedly until … he runs out of bullets.]
Alaina: Oops, no bullets!
Lou: Fuck that, I’m going to Vegas! [shoots Tiger Guy IN THE FACE]

Oh man — that was awesome. And by “awesome,” I mean “awesomely bad,” of course, but … you get my drift.

Meanwhile, ASK gets suspended. And true to character, he’s pissed about it. HOW IS THERE STILL TWENTY MINUTES LEFT OF THIS MOVIE

EBC goes to see ASK’s Friend and asks to take over the case. He feels that ASK was close to something, but they need some help cracking the case. EBC gets shut down by the Friend, which tells me that maybe the Friend was supposed to be the third target?

Lou heads over to Kenny from Ed‘s diner, where he shoots someone in the chest with a huge-assed rifle, then goes to kill Kenny from Ed.  Kenny tries to talk him out of it, but Lou’s had it with talk. The only person left standing besides Lou is another old guy, and Lou gives him some money and his gold watch.

ASK is drinking Maker’s Mark in a dive bar, and bitching that everything fell apart because of flowers. Oh Christ on Sale, seriously? Enough.

The next morning, when the diner has a call out on it, the cops – including a reinstated ASK and EBC find the old man wearing Lou’s watch. Except Lou isn’t at his apartment – he’s picking up the money from the Criminal’s lawyer. Then Lou goes over to his daughter’s house to give the money to his daughter, and asks her to take the money and his grandson and leave town.

Grandpa Lou has a heart-to-heart with his grandson: be brave, be smart, and that there’s no room for “I don’t know’s” in his life. Then he makes his grandson promise to never pick up a gun for his entire life, and the kid promises. Well, good for him.

Jesus, one minute the cops are in the apartment and it’s daytime, the next they’re getting a call, and then when they go down to their cars on a tip, it’s the middle of the night. What the fuck, Chicago?

OH AND I WAS RIGHT ABOUT WHO THE THIRD TARGET WAS

So the third target – who, for those not following along, is ASK’s Friend – called EBC and ASK up to an abandoned rooftop and sure enough, he kills EBC right off, and then is about to finish off ASK when Lou finishes the Friend off from behind. ASK goes barrelling off after Lou, and then EBC gets up because HE WAS WEARING KEVLAR, GOOD FOR YOU EBC, except as Lou’s running away and EBC is chasing him, ASK is aiming without being able to see clearly because not only does he have blood and brains in his eyes, but also he’s perpetually shitfaced, so he’s shooting blindly and OOPS SHOOTS EBC IN THE NECK WHICH IS NOT KEVLAR-PROTECTED, so good job, dude.

Somehow ASK manages to beat Lou down to the street, where it’s Hollywood Raining where it wasn’t before (meaning, the rain is coming down in one location but the water is falling in different directions because no one can set up a rain rig straight enough to replicate real rain). ASK has a cigarette dangling from his mouth, and he’s about to shoot Lou for shooting his partner, except no, that didn’t happen, Drunky McDrunkerson, maybe shut your hole?

ASK keeps yelling at Lou, and finally Lou gives up caring, and he whirls around and blasts a hole in ASK’s forehead. Then he walks off into the rain, narrating about how he’s going to miss the rain, and HOLY SHIT THE MOVIE’S DONE.

Well. Thanks, Netflix Roulette; that was the opposite of illuminating. Normally, I’d end this with some pithy remark, but I really should get to bed before the animals in the house decide to wake me up for their breakfast in about six hours. So … don’t watch Chicago Overcoat, because it’s not nearly as funny as I’d hoped it’d be.

i mean where does the overcoat even fit in they never explained that come on guy you had one job to do

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 9, 2014 in Netflix Roulette

 

THIS JUST HAPPENED.

Me: Do you have Netflix?
Brad: No, but I think I’m gonna sign up for it again.
Me: When you do, you need to watch a movie.  Ready?
Brad: Oh god.
Me: FDR: American Badass.
Brad: Is … is it a documentary?
Me: … … … yes.
Brad: Is it?
Me: Okay, no.  But it’s AWESOME.  Barry Bostwick plays FDR, and Ray Wise –
Brad: Robin’s dad?
Me: Robin’s second dad, yes, he plays Douglas MacArthur, or as he’s known in the film, “Dougie Mack.”
Brad: NO.
Me: OH YEAH.  And Kevin Sorbo plays Abraham Lincoln.
Brad: Kevin Sorbo of Hercules fame?
Me: The very same! And FDR gets bit by a werewolf, which carries the polio –
Brad: Oh god.
Me: And they get into World War II because Hitler and Mussolini are werewolves, and FDR is a badass.
Brad: Jesus Christ, Alaina.
Me: Last weekend, I went to Jen’s for her birthday, and I said, “I’m making you a cake, but your other present is I’m making you watch FDR: American Badass.” She said it was the best present she’d ever received.
Brad: So let me get this straight: you’ve watched this … cinematic masterpiece twice, but you haven’t watched all of Shawshank?
Me: Tell you what – if you watch FDR: American Badass, I’ll watch Shawshank.
Brad: Really?
Me: Hand to god.
Brad: Fine. I’ll get Netflix just for that.
Me: Good, you do that.
Brad: I’ll watch that piece of shit for that.
Me: Oh, you’re gonna eat those words.

IT’S ON, CHILDREN.

 
 

Alaina’s Friend Sarah Recommends: FDR: American Badass

So a weekend ago, I house-sat for my parents. While there, I attempted to do a Netflix Roulette, because a) I realized the last time I did a Netflix Roulette was when Amelia and I watched Two Girls, An Abortion, and a Pizza Place, and b) I could use my mother’s laptop for the Netflix viewing and type the entry on my netbook, because I have yet to enter the next generation of technology and have no other ways to access streaming Netflix. (Please send any gently-used X-Boxes, Playstation 3s, Wiis, RoKus, or streaming Blu-Ray players to: Netflix Roulette, c/o Movie’s Alaina’s Never Seen. Cash donations are also greatly appreciated.)

I say “attempted” to do a Netflix Roulette, because I grew extremely tired halfway through and had to go to bed. But never fear, dear readers: I have the post saved. I would have tried to finish that first if it weren’t for Sarah sending me this tweet yesterday:

And it wasn’t just me – she told EVERYONE. She live-tweeted her watching of it, she tagged people in her Facebook status about it; this was the biggest deal since Hobo With a Shotgun. BUT, she also told me that, unlike Hobo With a Shotgun, this movie would actually be enjoyable. (I can hear Sarah yelling at me through the twitterverse that the movie is actually delightful, it gives you exactly what the title tells you, how could I not love that movie with all of my heart, apparently I’m broken, blah blah blah OKAY THE HOCKEY SKATE WAS PRETTY AWESOME I’LL GIVE YOU THAT.)

So tonight, I have enough time to watch this while still getting to bed before midnight (she says, optimistically). Oh, I should mention: because I have to use both my laptop and my netbook? Well, a few years ago, the screen on my laptop died, so it’s hooked into a monitor, so basically, this is my setup tonight:

2014-07-17 21.02.06

For science!

Now that I’m ready to go (WAIT I JUST REMEMBERED I HAVE BEERS beers won’t make me hungover, right? I have to work in the morning here), let’s take a closer look at that synopsis.

FDR-American-Badass

After contracting polio from a werewolf bite, FDR and a team of historic figures seek victory in World War II by defeating an army of Nazi werewolves.

WHAT. WHAT THE FUCK. WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS GOING TO BE. THIS IS GOING TO BE EPIC IS WHAT THIS IS GONNA BE. HOLY SHIT.

WAIT SARAH

SARAH

SARAH

YOU DIDN’T TELL ME BARRY FUCKING BOSTWICK IS PLAYING FDR

BRAD FROM ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW IS PLAYING FDR

IN A WHEELCHAIR WITH ROCKET LAUNCHERS

WHAT THE FUCK

(Aw, it didn’t attach the tweet I did after, wherein I said “I’M NOT DENYING THAT – I’M EMBRACING THIS CASTING CHOICE WHOLEHEARTEDLY”)

Also, Ray Wise is in this. Holy shit. Robin Scherbatsky’s (second) dad is in this. The Devil from Reaper is in this. Man, I love Ray Wise so much, you don’t even know.

Okay, Sarah’s chomping at the bit (read: sending me tweets every fifty seconds making sure I’ve pressed play), so let’s let my shoddy internet buffer and LET’S DO THIS.

Goddammit, laptop, what do you mean I have to re-activate SilverLight? WHY ARE YOU HOLDING THIS MOVIE OF ALL MOVIES HOSTAGE!?

God, technology hates me.  Okay.  HERE WE GO.

We start with FDR narrating a couple of pieces of paper. I flashback immediately to when the titular Ghost Hunter narrated her chyrons, but the dulcet tones of Barry Bostwick make this much better. Plus:

“Badassery is not born, but often thrust upon you. The film you are about to see is dedicated to Badasses everywhere. If you have to ask yourself if you are one, you’re probably not.”

Truth.

NO NOT THE BATMAN THING WITH THE PRESIDENTIAL SEAL OH MY GOD THAT’S AMAZING

We come upon FDR having a laugh about Woodrow Wilson’s dick [“That was Wilson for ya – he just didn’t give a fuck!” So Woodrow Wilson is the honey badger of the presidents?] when something runs back and forth between trees a few times, giving FDR enough time to scan the surrounding area with a pair of binoculars, and they learn that the thing running back and forth a few times is a werewolf, who looks like (much like the presidents do) he shopped at LL Bean, judging from his sporty flannel shirt. He jumps the Wilfred Brimley lookalike (you know the one, he’s in everything), who moans, “Why me? I’m fat and weak!” OH MY GOD THAT’S GOING ON MY TOMBSTONE

And then the guy who’s dressed up like Indiana Jones’s dad says, “we got to get to the cabin, Frank – werewolves carry polio!” And I know I read that in the summary up there, but I guess it didn’t register back then, because I’m dying of laughter right now. WEREWOLVES. with POLIO. I mean – I know we had the conversation in college, about what to do if a werewolf had AIDS, but we never even thought about polio! Oh my god. Oh my god.

Also, that’s the shittiest werewolf mask I’ve ever seen.

FDR shoots the werewolf, but doesn’t have silver bullets, because who uses silver bullets on a routine hunting party? There’s a GREAT MOMENT where the werewolf kills another guy by ripping his innards out and throwing them at Indiana Jones’s Dad, and Dad asks, “Why even take the time to do that?” AND THE WEREWOLF SHRUGS. HE JUST SHRUGS, YOU GUYS!

Then FDR gets bit, and wakes up in a hospital with Eleanor exclaiming over him.

ACTUAL DIALOGUE TRANSCRIPTION TIME

Some Dude: How do you feel, Frank?
FDR, American Badass: Like a bag full of dicks at a lesbian convention.

Oh my god.

And then, because Eleanor doesn’t like language, he repeats it in a sucky French accent.

The doctor walks in and HOLY SHIT IT’S ETHAN ROM GET OUT OF THERE FRANK YOU DON’T WANT TO BE AN OTHER

“You’ve got the polio, Frank.” OH MY GOD “THE POLIO”. And all Frank wants to know is if his dick still works. Bless him. Also, true to Weird Other Form, Dr. Ethan Rom had one of the nurses test his tackle out. Good news, everyone! His cock still works. Frank winks at the pretty nurse over Eleanor’s head, and oh my god, why did this movie not make a jillion dollars?

Apparently, wherever werewolves bite people, that’s where the polio sits. Which his why his legs are — HOLY SHIT YOU GUYS VISUAL AID TIME

20140717_215957

HIS TINY LITTLE LEGS. OH MY GOD. They are flailing around like Kermit’s arms after an excellent episode of the Muppet Show. FDR comes to terms with the fact that he’ll never walk again and kindly tells Eleanor to shut the fuck up.

Dr. Ethan Rom takes Indiana Jones’s Dad out of the hallway and tells him he wants to show him something. Indiana Jones’s Dad – actually, now that I think about it, dude’s dressed more like Marcus than Sean Connery, so I’mma start calling him Marcus. Sorry for the confusion. Anyway, Marcus takes a gun out and threatens to shoot Dr. Ethan Rom if he tries any dick business. Ethan Rom says that he has something important to show him – important to the fate of all mankind.

He takes Marcus into the morgue, and he dramatically lifts up a sheet to reveal: a dead dude with a squirrel stuck up his ass. Marcus says, “What the fuck, dude” in this “are you kidding me” sort of way, it’s priceless. Ethan’s all, sorry, my bad, that’s the wrong dead dude, and instead reveals the dead werewolf, now in autopsy mode.

They reveal: a perfectly tattooed swastika on the werewolf’s stomach. “How can you be sure he’s German?” “Oh, he just happened to have stuck up his ass a vinyl of Beethoven’s greatest symphonies, Mein Kampf, and also, a German-English dictionary.” Marcus and Ethan decide to hide the Nazi werewolf from Frank.

Frank doesn’t want to use the wheelchair, but then a ten-year-old kid who also has polio comes in, and inspires FDR to get in the chair. A of all, there is no way that actor is ten. Timmy/Tommy is 19 at best. B of all, MARCO POLIO OH MY GOD.

A douchebag reporter wants to know how FDR will feel as the first invalid president. I’m surprised he didn’t make a crack at William Howard Taft. (Oh come on, we were all thinking it.) But essentially, FDR decides to run for president. I WONDER HOW THAT’S GOING TO END UP.

Marcus tells Eleanor she has to ride up front on FDR’s shriveled little legs because there’s a dead werewolf in the trunk. HAHA wait what?

THE BATPRESIDENTIAL SEAL COMES OUT AGAIN YES

Eleanor goes to sleep in the guest room because she can’t share a bed with a cripple. Marcus goes in to check on Frank and asks him how he’s doing. He had trouble getting into bed – “I was as nervous as a ten-year-old in a whorehouse” (sooo, childhood Don Draper? ZING). FDR reads his announcement for presidency in the paper, and is appalled that there’s nothing in the paper about the fact that his dick still works. Marcus is more concerned about the werewolf being German and apparently Lincoln was also attacked by a werewolf before he ran for president? Oookay. Anyway, they’re going to keep the werewolf on ice until he becomes president.

FDR goes on a campaign trail, taking names, cracking wise, and letting eeryone know that his dick works. Until he gets to Jersey, when a dockrat starts telling a story about some guy named Tommy. Wait, wasn’t he the kid back at the hospital?

ACTUAL DIALOGUE TRANSCRIPTION TIME (I’m gonna make a banner for that… not tonight … next time.)

Dockrat: Tommy used to work on the docks. Union’s been on strike, he’s down on his luck. It’s tough.
FDR, American Badass: So tough. What happened to him?
Dockrat: He got so depressed, he tried to off himself.
FDR, American Badass: And who’s taking care of him?
Dockrat: His wife, Gina. Gina works the diner, all day. Workin’ for … [sobs.]

OH MY GOD. That was beautiful and completely unexpected; I LOVE THIS.

WAIT IT GETS BETTER

FDR, American Badass: I am not going to leave you living on a prayer!

Bless you, movie.

So FDR heads to Warm Springs, Georgia and meets a Clark Gable lookalike and his pretty wife, who not only has great melons, but her tits are perky too, and she offers to go down on FDR and Marcus. Clark Gable has no problem with this. I’m getting reminders of Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle with this.

And then there’s a scene about racism that’s actually quite funny, but transforming it into a liveblog might not translate well, so I’m just going to skip it.

Clark Gable – who is apparently Jimmy Carter’s uncle – takes FDR to the hot springs. He tells the story about how Clark Gable – whose name is actually Cleavon – got attacked by a werewolf years ago. He got a mild case of the polio, but he’s able to keep it in check with blowjobs from Peaches.

FDR offers Cleavon a position of Vice President in charge of Hot Tubs if he wins the presidency. This scene is going on entirely too long, but it highlights Cleavon’s ability to generate tears and spittle, so kudos.

Finally, it’s election night and FDR wins every state except for six plus Maine. Dammit, Maine, what is wrong with you?

The Roosevelts celebrate by … well … shit gets really fucking weird. Eleanor takes her bra off, Roosevelt’s son James shits in a vase … seriously, what the fuck is going on?

While Roosevelt gets driven to Washington, Hitler, Mussolini and Hiro Hito get on a three-way conference. Oh, and all of these people are werewolves. The guy playing Mussolini-Wolf looks familiar, which is really weird to me. Hold on. *To the imdb!* HOLY SHIT THAT’S STAN FROM IN PLAIN SIGHT! STAAAAAAAAN? WHAT DID YOU DOOOOO?

FDR makes his first radio speech, and it is full of excellent good stuff:
– “Hoover was great. They’ll probably name a dam or a vacuum cleaner after him.”
– “This is the Delano, signing off.”
– “I was freestyling son.”

And then there’s this, from a florist to James Roosevelt, who is again crapping in a vase:
“If your father wasn’t President, I’d steam your chest like Grover Cleveland!”
OH MY GOD

The Batsignal/Seal joke never EVER gets old.

HOLY SHIT RAY WISE/THE DEVIL IS DOUGLAS MACARTHUR

HOLY SHIT HE CALLED HIMSELF DOUGIE MACK

DOUGIE MACK

holy shit you guys.

“My father was a midget so I’ll keep it short.” Holy shit, you guys. I want to hug this movie so hard.

“We’re the United States Government. Anything’s legal.”
FDR, American Badass: “Fuck yeahhhhh.”

Apparently alcohol’s being imported into America, and all of the booze is tainted with Werewolf venom. Anyway, Dougie Mack wants to outfit FDR, and does so, with….THE DELANO 2000. It’s a wheelchair with a shitload of silver bullets, plus two rocket launchers. That thing is fucking sweet.

Flash to Baltimore Harbor, where three Italian werewolf mooks are trying to unload some tainted wine. The werewolves make a lot of puns, which I love, and then FDR starts shooting the shit out of them. I’m assuming this scene is one big allusion to probably both Godfather and Scarface, what with the opera in the soundtrack, but a) I’ve never seen those movies (THEY’RE ON THE LIST), and b) anytime someone puts a lot of violence and blood over an operatic soundtrack, I just think of Hannibal and then a tiny piece of my soul dies because February is so far away, you guys!

ACTUAL DIALOGUE TRANSCRIPTION TIME

FDR, American Badass: The Delano don’t give a fuck!

And then he rolls away on his wheelchair ahead of a big ass explosion. It’s kind of epic, you guys.

FDR ends Prohibition, and Mussolini calls Hitler, who is playing Beer Pong with what I can only assume is Naked Eva Braun. They get Hiro Hito on the line and try to figure out how to take over the world. They’re going to invade their neighboring countries and make everyone werewolves. It’s not as quick as turning all the college drinkers of America into werewolves, but it’ll work.

Churchill goes to meet with FDR and Dougie Mack, and enters into an alliance. Cleavon offers the lease of his wife (who looks damned familiar, but I’ll be damned if I can remember her from anything specific), and everyone is okay with this plan.

Churchill asks for troops to help out England, and FDR’s secretary offers to give him a massage. He thinks she’s talking about a neck rub, but she starts rubbing and licking his legs, which do not look very shriveled anymore. Then the secretary tells FDR that she was a hot-dog eating champion at Coney Island, and she pulls … mustard and ketchup out from her garters? and starts squirting the condiments all over his legs, and it’s weird. Eleanor walks in, and she says, “It’s time for Eleanor Roosevelt to strong-arm a ho.” OH HELL YES

Dougie Mack brings in Eisenhower (code name: Dewdrop) and they agree to go to war. FDR, still in his pajamas with his fedora, is stressed out, so he goes to the Oval Office, where his butler lets him know that George Washington kept pot in the third drawer on the right. FDR lights up a joint, and then MOTHERFUCKING ABE LINCOLN POPS OUT OF HIS PICTURE FRAME AND STARTS TALKING AND DID I MENTION IT’S FUCKING KEVIN SORBO PLAYING LINCOLN? NO I DON’T THINK I DID.

Before we know it, FDR and Lincoln are laying on the roof, passing the joint back and forth and stargazing. FDR feels slightly sorry for Lincoln’s plight, who replies, “Mary Todd had to go to that fucking play. Bitch.” Lincoln gives FDR a pep talk, and then he flies him around Washington. But then he wakes up in the Oval Office hugging a bust of a bald eagle.

The next day, he goes to speak to the smallest contingent of D-Day soldiers ever committed to celluloid. Seriously, this army only has seven dudes. But he tells everyone that he’s going to fly the first plane. Oh, so maybe this is actually the bombing of Hiroshima? I’m not sure. What I am sure of is that logic has no place in this movie, and I love it for it. FDR ends his speech by saying “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Now let’s go kick some werewolf ass!”

I’m not really sure where the Delano was fighting, but it sounds like the plane’s goin’ down. Eleanor asks Marcus for a drink, and he hands her a bottle. She chugs it, and all she needed to do was this and this movie may have supplanted Raiders of the Lost Ark as my most favorite movie ever (but she didn’t, so have no fear, Indy; you’re still number one:)

drinking-moonshine

FDR struggles to get back into the Delano 2000, because with the rocket launchers he’d at least be able to land. It looks like a no go, but then! Cleavon Buford pops out of a trunk where he had stowed himself away, and he helps put Delano in the Delano 2000 and they both bail out.

As they’re falling with style, I see this

20140717_235817

and immediately think of this

mickey-mouse-bugs-bunny-112

but because Cleavon isn’t wearing a parachute, he ends up dying. But he manages to find Hitler and shoot him to shit. Hitler fulfills his destiny by dying in a ditch.

But Frank manages to roll himself back to Washington, and he announces his return by asking, “Who ordered the honky with a side of polio?” Oh my god, you guys – this movie. Eleanor looks like she’s gonna strong-arm a ho again, but they end up reconciling. And by “reconciling,” she means he’s going to be – how’d she put it? – “ridden like a pony at the state fair tonight.”

Roosevelt rolls fireside to address the nation, and the final words in the movie are:
“Allow me to reintroduce myself: it’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt, motherfuckers!”

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS. YOU GUYS. I don’t want to say that this movie makes up for Hobo With a Shotgun (mainly because I don’t want Sarah to gloat about that), but it TOTALLY DOES. This movie is …. the only comparison I can make for it right now is by detailing it like a Stefon club recommendation. This movie has EVERYTHING. Violence, nudity, stoner Abraham Lincoln, L.L.Bean werewolves, a human valet service –

“Stefon, what’s a human valet service?”

– It’s that thing, where a midget with polio brings your wheelchair right to you at the end of the night?

ANYWAY. Thank you, Sarah, for recommending the amazing movie that is FDR: American Badass. I’d gush more, but I’ve got to be on the road to go to work in 6.5 hours, so I’m gonna go the fuck to sleep. If I graded movies anymore, I’d give it five stars. But since I don’t grade … make up something.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on July 18, 2014 in Alaina's Friend Sarah Recommends