Thursday, December 02, 2010

Though Poe and I weren't what you'd call simpatico, he shouldn't have taken two in the chest.

Ha ha, Alex, I just couldn't get this line out of my head.

I have to admit I've been watching The Good Guys. It's not that it's good, but...I keep watching it. I guess I have two reasons.

The two main characters (Colin Hanks and Bradley Whitford) are entertaining enough but if the two women were any more poorly written or uninteresting...they are clearly token women. (One could try to argue that that goes with the show's "style," but I call bullshit and weak writing.) And I find the women so disappointing since the same guy who created it (Matt Nix) created Burn Notice. And we all know Burn Notice has Gabrielle Anwar. 'nuff said.

So the first reason I have for continuing to watch is that I just like Bradley Whitford. Even if his character does have to have a creepy 'stache. Whitford does smarmy so well, from Adventures in Babysitting to the pretentious douchebag he played on The West Wing. Not that I didn't secretly enjoy Josh, but man, what a douche. And he's actually not playing smarmy here at all, but he does provide the only laughs, usually from a nice, dry delivery. (To be fair, Hanks does a nice job, he's just not written for laughs. Also? He sounds exactly like his father and it's often quite eerie.)

The other reason? It is totally and completely shot in Dallas! I think I spend the majority of the time trying to figure out where they are, checking out the backgrounds or the buildings. One whole episode large featured The Crescent (where Alex I stayed once and I believe Mob and K had their honeymoon). Though I have to say, it took them long enough to get some new B-roll, sheesh. Also? Kinda neat to see all the Texas license plates again. ;)

#44. Gremlins (1984).

Ah, Gremlins. I had not seen this in several years, but I still remember it vividly.

(I never really noticed in this scene before but yes, Gizmo's mouth goes from this horrified frown to a gaping "O" throughout the scene, it's awesome.)

I just appreciate this movie even more, though, you know why? I honestly feel like this was supposed to be "family-oriented" but you know? It's really pretty dark! And I also think this is a great example of special effects having way more attention and love paid to DETAILS. That just doesn't happen with CG these days.

For example, the kitchen scene. Someone spent HOURS figuring out how to blow up a Gremlin, what should happen when you put one in a blender, and then they got to spend HOURS making the innards and they clearly had fun doing it. The microwave-exploding Gremlin--now that's a real nice effect. Also, the scene where Billy feeds them chicken after midnight--great close-ups and even greater sound effects...I'm surprised I can still eat fried chicken.

So I know it was this movie and Temple of Doom (same release time) that brought about PG-13 from the MPAA. Because this is more than a PG but really not R material. And I loathe the MPAA generally, but I do see the point here. For example, like right off the bat, Mrs. Deagle is telling Billy about how she wants his dog so she can take him to the kennel to have him put down, but if she got her hands on him she'd kill him slowly, like put him in her dryer on high.

Real nice. But I just wish movies were still like this, kinda dark and edgier and not so watered down like they are now.

And apparently it was supposed to be darker (from imdb):

Chris Columbus' script went through a few drafts before a shooting script was finalized. His original version had the creatures killing the dog and cutting off the mom's head and tossing it down the stairs. These elements were never shot due to the fact that both Joe Dante and Warner Bros. wanted the movie to be more family oriented.

Mr. Hanson, the science teacher, originally died with dozens of hypodermic needles stuck in his face. But, by request from Steven Spielberg, this scene was re-shot it with just a single needle in the buttocks.

And though this movie is 26 years old (!!), Gizmo is still really fucking cute. And this was also one of the first movies I ever saw in the theater. My dad and two sisters saw it first and I had to stay home with my mom. But I got to eat Nerds, so there was that. And apparently after seeing it, my dad thought I could handle it. (Sound judgment similarly demonstrated later by making me watch Eraserhead at age 11--ha ha, hi dad! Of course I'm glad I saw both.) I wasn't a fan of going to bed that night after the Gremlins viewing, but obviously I managed.

But getting back to the content, I never really liked Billy much. He's just too douchey and naive. Like when he's walking Cate home. "I thought everyone was happy at the holidays." What are you, five? Of course, then there's Cate: "While everyone else is opening their presents, [some people] are opening their wrists." WTF?? Thanks, Cate. Super cheery.

But back to the bucket of douche that is Billy: I love his reaction when he first sees Gizmo. "Wow, Dad, he's really neat." NEAT? Like, NO ONE is fazed by the fact they have no idea what the fuck this living creature is. (This living creature that can't drink water. O_o)

Even when he first shows Gizmo to Corey Feldman (who's like 7), Feldman's all, "Neat. What's his name?" I mean, if someone showed you a weird looking live creature and claimed it was their pet, I think I'd be mildly concerned.

And then when Feldman knocks the water over? Billy really doesn't seem all that concerned in proportion to the intense FREAKING OUT that Gizmo starts up. He really comes off like an irresponsible shit, I can't believe his dog has lived as long as he has.

And one last neat thing from imdb I hadn't ever picked up on:

Mrs. Deagle, the richest lady in town, has named her cats after different kinds of currency (including Kopeck, Drachma and Dollar Bill).

So all in all, I think this one survives the years really nicely, but I'm also incredibly biased by nostalgia. If you don't believe me, I think I still have my stuffed Gizmo in storage. ;)


Anonymous said...

I agree! I rewatched this recently with Fiona (whoops! I forgot how dark it was!). Good times.

Ellen Aim said...

Ha ha, did it scare her at all?

Veloute said...

No, it didn't! Whew. :)