Archive for May 2010

Movie Night Meal: The New Kids

May 30, 2010

Our most recent movie night was quite a doozy. The New Kids (1985, directed by Sean S. Cunningham) is pretty demented as far as cheesy ’80s teen thrillers go. The story revolves around a brother and sister, Abby (the sister, played by Aunt Becky Lori Loughlin) and Loren (the brother, played by nobody Shannon Presby), who go live with their aunt and uncle in Florida after their parents die. Said aunt and uncle run Funland, a carnival (slash gas station slash Santa’s workshop slash child labor sweatshop), where the siblings get jobs to help out. When Abby and Loren go to their new school, they become the target of the most sadistic set of high school bullies that ever existed, headed by an Andy Warhol-looking James Spader. Since the movie’s climactic battle scene takes place at Funland, we paired the movie with carnival food:

Corn Dogs*
Turkey Legs
Funnel Cakes
Candied Peanuts
Kettle Corn
Mike’s Hard Lemonade
*Recipe below

Although I knew The New Kids would be violent, I thought it would still be campy and fun (something like Red Dawn… or West Side Story). But in fact, it’s way darker than I was prepared for, but still fairly awesome. Some stray (and meandering) observations:

-This movie was written by Stephen Gyllenhaal, father of Maggie and Jake. Hopefully Stephen sexually harasses his children less than Abby and Loren’s dad does. Dad’s first lines in the movie are talking about Loren jerking off and telling Abby she has a “sexy little bod.” And remember, he is not the villain.

-I’m not sure about the representation of teenagers in this movie. When Loren and Abby’s parents leave town to die meet the President, the two teenagers invite all their friends over to… watch the news? If Stephen Gyllenhaal was drawing from real experiences, Maggie and Jake must have been fucking nerds.

-James Spader was known for playing preppy assholes in the ’80s, but before Pretty in Pink and Less Than Zero, he played Dutra in The New Kids. And instead of just being a dick, Dutra is legit evil. When Dutra decides he wants to bone Abby, he seems unfamiliar with the “no means no” mantra. You see, Dutra has a trademark: setting girls on fire. And then raping them. (Which for some reason seems to make more sense the other way around). Moral of the story, you don’t say no to Dutra.

-Spader’s gang is a riot. Not only does one of the dudes look exactly like Judah Friedlander, but their names are Dutra, Gid, Moonie, Gordo, and JoeBob. That’s one backwoods, horse-fucking group of names if I’ve ever heard one. Gid literally uses “You ever been to a dogfight?” as a pickup line.

-Eric Stoltz makes his first major film appearance as the innocent ginger who develops a crush on Abby. (A normal crush, not a rapey-pyro crush like Spader’s).

-When Abby and Loren get to their uncle’s house, nobody seems bothered that they are put to work and made to sleep in a dingy garage. The uncle is portrayed as “wacky” instead of what he is, “barely more normal than the dude that kidnapped Jaycee Dugard.”

-Two things this movie has plenty of: animal cruelty and Shannon Presby’s balls. I shit you not, when I was looking up YouTube videos of this movie, there’s a tribute vid of all of Loren’s crotch shots. Take a look, if you dare.

-Uncle Charlie constantly complains about Funland’s financial woes, and yet it was hard to feel sorry for him. Maybe if it wasn’t goddamn Santa Claus-themed; in the spring; in Florida, business wouldn’t be so bad.

-The movie’s climax is pretty incredible. After Abby rejects Dutra’s rapey suaveness, the gang follows her to Funland, where she and Loren have to fend off the bad guys one by one (not to give anything away, but death-by-rollercoaster may be involved). Loren quickly goes from bland white boy to Rambo in acid-washed jeans. Things get so over-the-top intense that you have to laugh at how happy and well-adjusted Abby and Loren are when it’s all over. Um, you just murdered an entire clique from your high school. Cool it with the smiles, kids.

-One thing people in the ’80s didn’t understand is that not every movie needs a theme song. Sometimes it fits (Footloose, The Breakfast Club, The Karate Kid). Sometimes movies even have two theme songs that work well (Top Gun, Flashdance). But most of the time, the tune is extremely questionable and doesn’t really makes sense in the movie (St. Elmo’s Fire, Caddyshack, Weird Science, The Neverending Story). Even Short Circuit had a theme song. That being said, it makes you wonder who thought putting this upbeat number in a movie about murderous adolescents was a good idea. (Song starts at 2:05, but notice that this clip also includes dad’s creepy sexual come-ons to his children, the longest training montage in a non-sports movie ever, and more of Loren’s balls).

-One last thing about our menu. Mike’s Hard Lemonade is super gross. They need to stop making ads trying to sell it to grown men and focus on their actual demographic: 15 year-old girls who just snuck out of the house and are probably about to give their first handjob.



Obligatory LOST Post

May 25, 2010

I watched all six seasons and the finale, which leads me to only one question:

What the fuck was that show about?

Here is a slightly maddening video recapping all the questions we’ll never get answers to.

This is a True Story…

May 13, 2010

I have an addiction that I’m not proud of. As hard as I try, I cannot pull myself away from season after season of Real World/Road Rules Challenges. I don’t even watch The Real World anymore, and I’m pretty sure Road Rules hasn’t been on TV since the Clinton administration. So at this point, I don’t even know who most of the Challenge cast members are (unless one of the old farts from the early seasons comes out of retirement… I’m looking at you, Syrus. And even then it’s more embarrassing than entertaining. Are you really still saying “I’m not here to make friends” at forty?). So as much as I love watching this train wreck, it still sometimes keeps me up at night.

Back in 1993 during its second season, this was the “hot girl” in the Real World cast. In recent seasons, we get her, her, and her. I can’t even tell if these are different people or not.

It may be even less “real” for the guys. I went to college, and from my experience, constant binge-drinking and partying did NOT result in my stomach looking like this. Yet somehow, these guys metabolize Jagermeister like it’s a protein shake.

When I first started watching Real World and Road Rules in the mid-’90s (I actually have favorite seasons. God, I’m disgusting), I legit thought of them as documentaries. There is absolutely no mistaking it for a documentary nowadays. Documentary subjects are either animals or they look like this, not this.

Documentary subjects also tend to leave the spotlight once the doc is done. The Challenges, however, seem to be a black lagoon that keeps sucking these people back in. I’m pretty sure they’ve all swapped bodily fluids at this point, and it makes me wonder if a cast member would be ostracized for not dating “one of their own.”

I’ve heard that recent Real World seasons have been a little less vapid lately, but I still haven’t gotten back into it. Yet for some reason I cannot break my habit of the Challenge. It’s a tough thing to admit that you unabashedly love a TV show aimed at 14 year-olds, but that’s why I consider myself so unbelievably brave. I’m like a 9/11 firefighter.

I’m glad to finally get that off my chest, plus the newest episode of the Challenge: Fresh Meat II is on my DVR. So I’m gonna go rip some tequila shots and make out with a stranger. ‘Cause apparently that will do wonders for my abs.


21 Minutes of Awesome

May 7, 2010

Community has done parodies of Goodfellas, The Color of Money, The Breakfast Club, and The Dark Knight. But they pulled out all the stops by spoofing almost every action movie alive with this week’s episode. I know Hot Fuzz already covered that territory, but Hot Fuzz didn’t have Chevy Chase and Ken Jeong. It was also 2 hours long, and this is less than 30 minutes, so shut up. Just tell your boss you’re doing research. You’re researching “things that qualify as bodacious.”