My memory sucks. I might have reviewed at least two of these before elsewhere, but save the Hitler movie, I just saw these all again recently. They're fun to talk about. Enjoy.
To be assaulted by my critical fist:
Over the Top - Sly Stallone arm wrestles his way into your heart.
If this ain't (or, tweren't) Ronnie Reagan's favorite movie, I don't know me my Ronnie. What's not to love? An arm-wrestling movie called Over the Top, based on an arm-wrestling move where you go "Over the Top" on the guy's hand to get leverage and win. Maybe you didn't know this, but arm-wrestling another man is the ultimate struggle to prove your manhood against guys who eat lit cigars and drink motor oil right before they hand-grapple you into submission.
Does "Over the Top" have a duel meaning for you, too, yet?
It couldn't be the grunting, sweating, slow-mo vein-bulging, big-rig driving alone that makes this Ronnie's favorite movie. That alone might be kinda gay.
Oh, wait. Let's get this outta the way... Sylvester Stallone plays a semi-truck driver named Lincoln (yes, like the best president EVER...next to Ronald Reagan, of course) Hawk (not quite an eagle, but a noble effort nonetheless) whose son just graduated some sissy boot camp school (they had to wear uniforms - I don't know...) where he learned how to be a giant douchebag sissy bastard who hates his dad (Hawk) because he never met him before. Upon douchebag boy's dying mother's request (if she weren't dying, or had big breasts, why would we care what she thinks? Right Ronnie?), Lincoln picks up his son (in the big-rig) for a father-son bonding adventure across the Land of the Free (that's America, for all you people who are not Ronald Reagan). Sissy boy's grandpa yells at the school's principal for letting his dead-beat father take him home, claiming his dying mother doesn't have the brain anymore to make such a decision... (I'm sure what he meant to say was "Women are too stupid to make such decisions," right Ronnie?! HA! That was a good one, wasn't it Ronnie?! HA!)
Sorry, I got carried away. It's just as easy to make fun of this movie by doing a synopsis as it is to call it Reagan's favorite movie. Well, know this - it's one of those bad, bad movies that doesn't get old. All 93 minutes are a laughing riot, because Stallone's script does not pick up on the irony of calling this movie Over the Top.
To sum up - arm-wrestling movie. Bizarre family values featuring a sunuvabitch kid. Ronnie's fave.
Super High Me - Doug Benson smokes his way into your heart.
If I were a stand-up comedian, the idea of Super High Me probably would have occurred to me in a joke at some point, much like it did for Doug Benson. He saw Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me (stoned, no doubt), and thought he could do the same thing with pot. Some filmmakers heard the idea and made it happen.
Doug smokes zero pot for 30 days (the constant of the experiment, I guess??), and then smokes pot constantly for 30 days. He takes tests of all sorts (psychology, psychic abilities (he was more psychic when stoned), physicals, memory tests, SATs, etc.) for no reason other than to legitimize this film's existence.
One major bummer here - you see DEA agents busting legitimate businesses (dispensaries, they're called - the legal pot-selling businesses in California). To summarize this debate, states are legalizing pot, but it's illegal federally, and federal law trumps state law. At least according to the DEA. So they can bust whatever legitimate business they feel like that sells pot. Just because. Isn't that awesome!?
Anyway, I recommend this movie. It depicts stoners as they are. As they should be. Stoned. But also because it doesn't ram the legalization issue down your throat. Sure, we see the DEA confiscating legal marijuana and the protests that ensue, but it's not the focus of the movie. The movie is fun and doesn't try to be anything else. But it doesn't try to ignore its topic, which is currently enshrouded in controversy. So it addresses it. Otherwise, you just feel high and giggly from watching this movie. Or from otherwise.
The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters - Billy Mitchell cheats his way into your heart.
This is my favorite documentary of all time. It gets a rise out of you, the viewer, like you would never expect from a movie about an arcade game from the early 80s. Hell, some WWII movies don't get me as worked up as The King of Kong. Really good ones, even (see review below). So, just see this for chrissakes and then we'll talk.
Seriously - just put your pre-conceived notions aside for one fucking second, of what this movie will be, and fucking watch it. Billy Mitchell/his hot sauce '08.
Downfall - Hitler hara-kiri's his way into...your...heart? Uhhh....
Based on a documentary called Blind Spot: Hitler's Secretary, Downfall allows us to peak into The Fuhrer's existence during his last few days in the bunker before he offed himself - indirectly through the eyes of one of his secretaries, Traudl Junge (who is the focus of the documentary, obviously, but not the focus of Downfall, obviously). Now, personally, I'd like to believe that no one was ever this insane - that it would be impossible - but I defer to the based-on-a-true-story-ness of this flick. (It just has that based-on-a-true-story feel to it - that's how I know this actually happened.)
Needless to say, lotsa disturbing shit here, uhh...it's Hitler, up close and too personal. He shouts nonsense and refuses to listen to anyone (that doesn't sound like Fox News or Rush Limbaugh or George W. Bush or Dick Cheney or Karl Rove or anyone in our American political arena!). Hitler never struck me as a "good-lookin' dude," but in his last few days he's decrepit. All that hatred did quite a number on that guy.
For me, the most disturbing scene in the film was at a ballroom dance. Eva Braun was leading the show, dressed to the nines, dancin' to the band... Then the music stopped because of all the war they can't help but hear and feel in the background. It shook everyone. Life stopped, until Eva scolded the band to keep playing, hopping up on a table or piano and kept dancing until everyone who wasn't crying played along. I'd like to think that something like the Holocaust could only be possible in states where denial is so strong that you put your own life in danger. But who really knows. Guess how this scene ended.
This was nominated for the Best Foreign Picture Oscar a few years ago, and it's an excellent work. At times, too excellent. Depicting such a time excellently can be quite taxing on the viewer.
...And that's a medley. I like putting arm-wrestling, pot-smoking, arcade-playing, and (rounding it out with) Hitler together in a group. Good times.
What's that bad taste still in your mouth, you ask? That's Hitler. Don't worry about it.
#136: My So-Called Life
6 years ago