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Thread: DOES IT HOLD UP?

  1. #1
    Man Who Fell From Earth A Gruesome Discovery's Avatar
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    Default DOES IT HOLD UP?

    I have a cold, or the flu, or malaria, or AIDS, so while I'm stuck in the house I'm going to watch a few movies that I thought were the mostest awesomest shit when I was a kid but haven't rewatched in well over a decade. It's time to play: Does It Hold Up?!

    I suppose there's spoilers ahead.




    WAYNE'S WORLD (1992)
    Starring Mike Meyers, Dana Carvey
    Dir: Penelope Spheeris


    -BEFORE REWATCHING-

    Plot Synopsis, as best as I can remember: Two slacker guys from either Canada or Illinois, I forget which, hit the big-time with their scrappy cable-access talk show. Their partnership falters under the stress of the sleazy world of show business, but in the end they overcome the corporate villain's nefarious plans through the magic of FRIENDSHIP.

    Scene that I remember best: That scene where they're singing Bohemian Rhapsody in the car. But everyone remembers that one, so I'll go with the bit in the music store where Wayne starts playing the opening notes to "Stairway to Heaven" on guitar, only to be immediately silenced by the clerk who angrily points to a prominent "No Stairway to Heaven" sign. That's burned into my brain.

    Will it hold up?: I doubt it; I have a feeling that I'll chuckle at a few parts, but the characters are going to come off as incredibly annoying - aimlessly wandering from scene to scene saying "schwing!", "sh'yah, right!", and the myriad other catchphrases that remained in the pop culture lexicon for a surprisingly significant chunk of the 1990s.

    -AFTER REWATCHING-


    How accurate was my Plot Synopsis above?: Very. And it was Aurora, Illinois, which may or not be real - unlike Canada, which I know for a fact is made-up.

    What had I totally forgotten and/or didn't "get" the first time around?: I'd forgotten how often Wayne and Garth break the fourth wall. As a kid I didn't really notice; it just inherently made sense that characters would start explaining shit to the camera, but as a grown-up with a few thousand films under my belt, this took a little getting used to. When done poorly, it can take you out of the film, but when done right, it can draw you in. Here, it's done right. Also, I now realize that Penelope Spheeris was the director of a bunch of Megadeth videos before she directed this, which is awesome.

    Sex/"adult themes" missed the first time around:
    There's some sexual content but it's basic and crude enough that a dumb kid who hasn't even seen a single tit could understand it.

    So, did it hold up?: I was totally wrong; this holds up amazingly well. The catchphrases are a bit out of control for the first ten or fifteen minutes of the movie, but once the characters are established and the story gets going it's full of fairly hilarious setpieces and great comedic performances. I think I might even appreciate it more as a grown-up. This is definitely not a straight-up narrative story; it incorporates mini-skits and vignettes seamlessly like a pop-culture stream-of-consciousness fever dream. I recommend this movie to anyone with a temperature of 101-degrees Fahrenheit or above.

    Verdict: Pretty fucking great.




    BATMAN RETURNS (1992)
    Starring Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeifer
    Dir: Tim Burton


    -BEFORE REWATCHING-

    Plot Synopsis, as best as I can remember: Batman punches clowns and fights the Penguin for some reason and I guess Catwoman's there too.

    Scene that I remember best: There's a part where the Penguin eats a raw fish and it's all bloody and gross had an effect on my young self. Also, I'm pretty sure Michelle Pfeifer in a vinyl catsuit triggered my earliest memorable erection.

    Will it hold up?: It's a Tim Burton movie with fucking Batman in it, for fuck's sake; of course it'll hold up! This movie rules and I'll fight anyone who says otherwise.

    -AFTER REWATCHING-

    How accurate was my Plot Synopsis above?: Pretty accurate; I'm still not 100% clear on Penguin's motivation aside from being angry at his parents for dumping him in a freezing river, but who isn't?

    What had I totally forgotten and/or didn't "get" the first time around?: Holy shit, Batman straight up murders a bunch of motherfuckers. The very first thing he does in the movie is use dynamite to blow up a clown. After a decade of Chris Nolan's "I don't kill people" Batman, this was a WTF moment. Also, I think this is the first movie I saw with Christopher Walken in it, so he was "Max Shreck from Batman Returns" in my mind for years. For example, Max Shreck from Batman Returns hid a watch in his ass in a Vietnamese POW camp.

    Sex/"adult themes" missed the first time around:
    The sexual content in this movie is even more juvenile than that in Wayne's World, so as a kid I understood it just fine.

    So did it hold up?: Fuck, no. This movie's a goddamned mess. There's too many characters and plot points, and the story's all over the fucking place. I think Tim Burton had ideas for four or five movies; one about a bunch of discarded circus performers who start a gang, one about a freak who runs for mayor, a revenge fantasy starring a disillusioned woman trying to make her mark in a male-dominated workforce... and he tried to cram them all into one movie that also had to have Batman in it.

    Verdict: Tim Burton only made four good movies and the rest range from "bad" to "shit". This one's "bad".

    ------------------


    So have you recently revisited a movie that you used to love but hadn't seen in forever? DOES IT HOLD UP?
    This space intentionally left blank.

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  3. #2
    A Mental Revolution Nemoris Inferioris's Avatar
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    I think Wayne's World hold up really well. Not that dated and still is funny as hell. One of my favorite comedies too. Definitely better than the sequel. Anyway I agree.
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  4. #3
    HEAVEN UPSIDE DOWN Hazekiah's Avatar
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    If anyone plans on revisiting Batman Returns, or ANY of the Burton/Schumacher Batman movies, I would HIGHLY recommend doing so with Kevin Smith's commentary tracks playing along in time with them, lol. They are as ABSOLUTELY FUCKING HILARIOUS as they are interesting and insightful.

    :)



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