Sunday 25 March 2012

Triple Bill Mini Musings: The Weird, The High, and the Other...

Weird Science:
I caught some flack (in-jest) from some of the folks over on Homepage of the Dead for having not seen John Hughes' bonkers teen-sci-fi-com, and seeing as I'm a big fan of the Hughes catalogue of films, I figured it was about time I caught up with it. Anthony Michael Hall and Ilan Mitchell-Smith play two high school nerds (and social rejects to boot) put 1980s computers, phone-modems, and lax military security to good use as they create - Frankenstein style - the woman of their dreams (Kelly LeBrock). Taking them on a zany journey of self-discovery that involves all sorts of bizarro flights of fancy, it's a bloody entertaining ride. Lessons learnt include standing up to your bullying older brother (played by Bill Paxton) and a gang of bikers (including horror icon Michael Berryman, and Mad Max II's Vernon Wells), to getting the girls (Judie Aronson, and Suzanne Snyder - whom I finally discovered I recognised from Return of the Living Dead Part II). One of the great things about the movies of John Hughes is that the jokes remain fresh and timeless, and the decidedly 1980s look is always a fun time capsule (rather than a dating hindrance), and Weird Science is no different. I'm glad I finally caught up with this dose of teenage male fantasy ... well, PG-13, good-natured level fantasy, anyway!

Your Highness:
From the Director of Pineapple Express (which was a quite enjoyable action comedy) comes this flacid, distinctly unfunny swords 'n' sorcery 'comedy', the peak of which is one of a handful of half-decent knob gags. Starring Danny McBride, James Franco, and a whole range of other actors who are far above this sort of tosh, this really should have been better - but for those outside of the niche circle of fans of flicks like Krull et al, this is just crap. To think that the director of this rubbish took the piss out of Kevin Smith's predilection for 'dick and fart joke movies' ... just goes to prove the existence of karma.

Love and Other Drugs:
Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway star in this romantic comedy drama about a skirt-chasing drugs rep who falls in love with an artist who happens to have Parkinson's Disease. There's a well crafted mix of drama and comedy in this flick - from the sweet & funny to the rude & crude, L&OD will choke you up and crack you up. Gyllenhaal and Hathaway make a great on-screen couple, exhibiting an involving screen chemistry, and indeed there's a fair bit of flesh on display (as was the main headline regarding this film when it was first released), but to focus on the bared breasts and buttocks would be to entirely miss the film's worth.

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