Friday, May 31, 2013

Derp Blog Into Darkness #23: ROYAL WEDDING

In Derp Blog Into Darkness, I take a plunge into the deep with movies I’ve never seen or (in some cases) never even heard of, with the only common thread throughout being that they were purchased by my partner in the years after the break with her religious upbringing. This gives me a range from mainstream comfort food to more daring, “rebellious” stuff.

LAWL “MGM’s gayest Technicolor musical”

There’s nothing to better prepare you for ROYAL WEDDING as an inexperienced musical watcher than that tagline, really. It’s a viewing experience from a completely different cinematic world than the one we have in 2013*. I like musicals, although I’ve never really delved deep into the genre per se. My biggest exposure has no doubt been Gene Kelly, more specifically SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN and AN AMERICAN IN PARIS. ROYAL WEDDING was my first Fred Astaire movie. Astaire is a bit of a weird looking guy to be a movie star, huh? I mean look at him up there! He’s perfectly charming and a great performer and all that, but it just makes you think how homogenous movie stars in our day are. Think of Astaire, Cagney, Harlow… those were some WEIRD looking motherfuckers!

The plot of ROYAL WEDDING (such as it is) has Astaire and co-star Jane Powell as a brother-sister dancing duo, hitting it big on Broadway. Their agent comes to inform them that their numbers are so good, he can get them to perform in LONDON, ENGLAND, don’tchaknow! Powell leaves behind three suitors who end up engaging in fisticuffs on the very shore when the boat leaves with the siblings. What a wild dame, especially for a 1951 movie! Now, the concept of a brother-sister dancing duo is pretty weird in and of itself, I think – especially considering that they’re playing a flirting king and maid in the opening number! But Astaire is super adamant about them both not getting married, cuz it just wouldn’t fit their lifestyle. Suitors and beaus and whatnot, all good and well, but don’t you settle down, missy!

So, of course, over the course of the film, they both meet that Special Someone to make them settle down, Powell in an impoverished lord played by Peter Lawford and Astaire in a barkeep’s daughter (Sarah Churchill). There is a minimum of conflict in these relationships; Powell/Lawford’s big obstacle is that Astaire doesn’t approve (“Nothing serious!”), Astaire/Churchill’s problem is that she’s already with someone. Okay, that last one would seem pretty big, but you know how it gets solved? SPOILERS, I guess! Astaire has his agent call some guys in the US (the rival is in Chicago) and see what he’s up to. Turns out, the fellow married someone else a few months ago! Well, that’s convenient! Wait a minute, how are we filling up a 93 minute movie here? Sounds like someone forgot that it’s a MUSICAL!

Sometimes there’ll be 30 second dialogue intervals between 5 minute tapdance scenes. My favorite was right after an elaborate dance number, Powell and Lawford are having a romantic day-for-night stroll in the English countryside, when Lawford asks Powell if she loves him. CUE SONG MOTHERFUCKER

Probably the best bit (although maybe musical scholars, as there must exist, would find it gimmicky and cheap) was Astaire being so happy about his newfound love with Churchill (and her love for dancing! Oh! What a woman!) that he just has to… you guessed it! TAPPA TAPPA TAPPA in victory all over his hotel room. And I do mean all over:

BRRRAAAWWWWWWWW

Final bit of movie-related lulz: the “royal wedding” of the title is actually just a background thing that’s kinda happening. None of the characters are royals. The royal wedding does get all the principals married, though, as Astaire and Powell, in the final moments of the film, just get SO FUCKING HYPED SON at the marriage of Princess Elizabeth and Phillip Mountbatten that they just both have to get married right the fuck now hnnnghhhh and they do. This is the big final act reversal as they both, with no outside stressing, had decided earlier to keep on keepin’ on with their NO SERIOUS RELATIONS policy. But goddamn you know, that’s really impressive stock footage! So they find a descendant of Oliver Cromwell to wed them on a day where seemingly every other Briton is waving Union Jacks out on the street and he’s just happy to be out of that stupid poopyhead royalist confusion. END CREDITS

ROYAL WEDDING is a charming little movie from a bygone age that maybe isn’t THAT different from the cinematic age in which we live now. I think the (pre-STAR WARS) 70s are probably far more different to what’s in theaters now than the musical age ever was.

But now for some REAL TALK! The DVD for ROYAL WEDDING was by the same cheap publishers that did the HIS GIRL FRIDAY release talked about in this same series. Check out that link for essentially the same main DVD menu as ROYAL WEDDING but with a different title. After the end titles of RW faded out, though, I was treated with a chilling rogue image. I decided to pop the DVD into my computer disc drive, but VLC Media Player cut back to the main menu. I was gonna have to capture this motherfucker the hard way! So I played the end scene on my TV again about four times before I could register this PHANTOM FRAME

WP_000109

what

Does that mean this DVD was just transferred from a VHS and ROYAL WEDDING wasn’t the first thing on it? Is CLASSIC MOVIES into more sinister dealings than selling cheap, ugly transfers of classic movies? What? WHAT????? I will not stop my investigations until I feel the puppies lapping at my toes, dear reader, you may rest assured of that!

 

*Although you could argue that big blockbuster action movies have basically supplanted the musical as the dominant form of cinematic comfort food for mainstream audiences. How many times over the past decade have YOU gone out to see a young man gain powers, assume a super-identity and fight some equally powered-up bad guy? Consider this before dismissing the Hollywood musical!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Derp Blog Into Darkness #22: THE PRINCESS DIARIES

In Derp Blog Into Darkness, I take a plunge into the deep with movies I’ve never seen or (in some cases) never even heard of, with the only common thread throughout being that they were purchased by my partner in the years after the break with her religious upbringing. This gives me a range from mainstream comfort food to more daring, “rebellious” stuff.

As far as Hollywood ugly duckling stories go, it doesn’t get anymore Hollywood ugly duckling than THE PRINCESS DIARIES. Shortly before her sixteenth birthday, Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) finds out that her “snooty grandma from Europe who never calls or wants anything to do with us” is in the country and would like to have tea with her. Mia, shunned by fancy high school society* because of her frizzy hair and clumsy ways, is skeptical at her grandmother’s interest, but is convinced by mom to do her that courtesy. Turns out that grandma is actually Queen Clarice of Genovia and Mary Poppins to boot! Daddy done died back in the old country, and Mia is to be heir to the throne, should she accept her mission. This regent will self-destruct in five amendments.

It’s a pretty famous movie, and I was familiar with the basic set-up. So color me surprised that it never actually leaves San Francisco, Mia’s hometown! All the fancy ballroom stuff happens at the Genovian consulate, which I guess is a nice way to cut costs. Why not have Mia be a Vancouver resident and go all the way, huh, Disney? But no! The SF location is actually essential for a couple of gags and a PLOT COMPLICATION in the third act. San Francisco has GAYS and HILLS you see!

No but seriously, Hollywood ugly duckling story. LOL outcast Anne Hathaway! Okay, I really only know Hathaway as THE QUEEN OF HOLLYWOOD that she is now, but come on! Come onnnn! Look at that picture up there! It’s supposed to be all “oh lol this dress it’s SO NOT ME GUYS” but it comes across more as a “aren’t these boots wacky?? gimme my heels back!” to me because it’s Academy Award winning movie star Anne Hathaway. Julie Andrews is feeling underdressed!

The movie! It’s pleasant and gentle and aimed at little girls. Director Garry Marshall of (lawl) PRETTY WOMAN and RUNAWAY BRIDE delivers good pandering, I guess, so there’s that. This was in the pre-TWILIGHT times, so of the two boys Mia has to choose from, one’s actually a douche. But the other puts M&Ms on his keyboard, so I don’t know what’s what! Mia apologizes to him at one point by sending him a pizza with M&Ms spelling out “SORRY” on it. I was so angry! What a waste of pizza and M&Ms! And you know you can’t pick that shit off cuz the chocolate’s gonna be all half melted in the cheese and oh GOD I have to stop thinking about that horrible shit.

My favorite scene is one where Mia has banged her Impala (!!!) into the back of one of those SF trolleys as seen in THE ROCK, and she’s in big trouble and has to come down to the station. Granny Julie, however, uses her queenly demeanor to praise the trolley driver and the cop writing it up, knighting them into the newly-invented Order of the Rose (they were on the corner of Rose & Branch St). The cop and driver’s reactions are all “Aww shucks ma’am, ‘t weren’t nuthin’!” as if this movie was made in 1951 or something and they get off with a warning because that lady was just so gosh durned fancy. That’s cute! Like a movie aimed at ten year olds should be! At one point, Mia and Mandy Moore have a shouting match and they can’t get any nastier than FREAK and JERK! That’s cute too! Is it funny? Cuz it’s a comedy too, right? Ehhhh… maybe? It’s too inoffensive to be really funny, I think, but there are a couple of funny cat reaction shots. Hathaway and Andrews sell it pretty well!

This movie was the big break-out vehicle for Hathaway, so it’s funny that I should only see it a decade after release. In fact, the very first time I saw her in a movie was fucking BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN! I was very aware of this movie though cuz it was pimped pretty hard on the televisions, back when I still watched it. For just this once, we can thank Disney though, cuz this movie launched Anne Best Catwoman Ever Hathaway and the world got a little better. I won’t forgive you for JOHN CARTER’s marketing campaign though, Disney. Ever. YOU HEAR ME?

*including Mandy Moore and that herp-a-derp oldest brother from Complete Savages who Mia wants nothing more than to kiss her already because she has a fetish for the mentally disabled

Friday, May 24, 2013

Derp Blog Into Darkness #21: PRIMARY COLORS

In Derp Blog Into Darkness, I take a plunge into the deep with movies I’ve never seen or (in some cases) never even heard of, with the only common thread throughout being that they were purchased by my partner in the years after the break with her religious upbringing. This gives me a range from mainstream comfort food to more daring, “rebellious” stuff.

Another movie whose revisiting was dreaded by Ella. I was amazed at her actually sitting through it with me – the first of her subsection of “Ugh, why did I ever buy that movies” for which she had done so. She claimed she’d only seen it the once, when she was far less discerning, and maybe it’d be a good chance to re-evaluate it. It was for nought, however, as she started playing with her phone about 30 minutes in. A true failure of a movie, then, holding no interest for casual viewers and dilettantes alike. When I inquired about what precisely turned her off, I got as a response the fact that all the characters were schemers and hypocrites and liars, but not in that outsized Game of Thrones way, just your regular old political bastardry, which rendered the whole thing uninteresting to watch.

I quite liked it, as I am finding to be the case with plenty of movies in this particular subgenre! After trudging through the first season of The West Wing and having found my intelligence thoroughly insulted on many occasions, PRIMARY COLORS felt like a nice dose of unpleasant reality with regards to politics on that level. John Travolta and Emma Thompson are First Couple-hopefuls Jack and Susan Stanton, a thinly veiled send-up of Bill and Hillary Clinton.

The story is told through the eyes of new campaign manager Henry (Adrian Lester) – a *gasp* black! He’s really taken in with Stanton as the governor visits an adult literacy program in Henry’s home city. His girlfriend is understandably skeptical and tells him to focus on more immediate, community-centered goals, but soon Henry is whisked away to join the national circus. For much of the first act, he keeps in touch with his girlfriend over the phone, trying to convince her that “this guy is the real deal!” The movie’s grey enough to not have Stanton be a complete asshole OR “the real deal”. When we meet him, he gives a heartfelt speech about his illiterate grampappy, followed immediately by Henry catching him banging the teacher at campaign HQ the next scene. In debates, however, Stanton’s polite and respectful, agreeing with and even lauding his opponents at times. Behind the scenes, he’s constantly adamant that the campaign not “go negative” with attack ads and the like, but focus on the message. So we’ve got a pretty (personally) sleazy, but relatively (politically) honorable guy here. Of course, shit starts going off the rails, and the Stantons find their lofty ideals put to the test as they start going ever so imperceptibly slowly down that slippery moral slope – and so does Henry.

Special mention I feel should go out to Kathy Bates as Libby, the Stantons’ unstable lesbian college buddy and self-proclaimed “dust buster”. She basically cleans up any messes that Jack makes, but will not go digging for dirt on opponents due to her beliefs. She gives a funny, emotional and heartfelt performance which she apparently got an Oscar nom for. Kudos to her, I say! When do women of a certain age and (sorry) weight ever get to have cool parts like that? In that vein, Henry’s capacity as story focalizer is cool, cuz it’s not a “black” movie. While his race is acknowledged in a few scenes*, he’s not The Black Guy. He even has an affair with a white co-worker that sort of happens between scenes, without much fanfare. Any movie that just sort of presents gay and interracial couples as a given and doesn’t dwell upon them is a-okay in my book. If it’s well-written, witty, well-acted and delivers some nice political burns in the meantime – well, you’ve got yourself a good movie there!

I was under the impression that, like with Robert Altman’s A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION, this was my first beginning-to-end viewing of a movie by a fancy pants filmmaker, in this case Mike Nichols. But no! I had already seen CLOSER, which I also found a good movie, if not for the faint of heart. While PRIMARY COLORS held no personal revelations to me as CLOSER did**, it’s still an interesting (if no doubt still pretty white-washed) look at American politics for those who haven’t seen the third season of The Wire.

*Mostly by friends of Henry’s, telling him to face the reality that a guy like Stanton isn’t gonna do anything for his community.

**Jude Law, M.D., informing me that “wanking” is applicable to women as well.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Derp Blog Into Darkness #20: A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION

In Derp Blog Into Darkness, I take a plunge into the deep with movies I’ve never seen or (in some cases) never even heard of, with the only common thread throughout being that they were purchased by my partner in the years after the break with her religious upbringing. This gives me a range from mainstream comfort food to more daring, “rebellious” stuff.

My first Robert Altman movie! Altman’s last Altman movie! I actually had no idea of this fact going in, which makes the experience of watching A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION all the more bittersweet. Originally entitled “The Last Broadcast”, Altman’s star-studded final work tells the tale of a live country music radio show on its last legs. The film is bookended by the VO narration of security chief Guy Noir (Kevin Kline) in a just-over-the-top-enough hard-boiled gumshoe parody. Kline starts out talkin’ detective talk in a diner car at the start of a movie, and then goes to work as security guy at the old theater. The reveal that it’s actually 2006 and Kevin Kline is this weirdo Dashiell Hammett cosplayer for no reason immediately endeared me to the film. He has no detective plot and his VO happens maybe twice in the movie. He just is, okay? And shit, he wasn’t even my favorite guy in the movie. That’s a shared honor between cowpoke singin’ duo Dusty and Lefty (Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly), two crooners with an obsession for dirty/lame jokes that had me cracking up in basically every one of their scenes. Rounding out the cast are Garrison Keillor as the ever befuddled MC of the show, and Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin and Lindsay Lohan* as two singing siblings and one’s daughter.

All of these storylines are good, gentle fun with the Dusty and Lefty one just barely bringing the movie a PG-13 rating, but if there was one I’d have excised it would have been Virginia Madsen’s “Dangerous Woman” who actually turns out to be the Angel of Death. It’s not really a spoiler, since this movie doesn’t really hinge on plot. You’re just hanging around a bunch of colorful characters during their last broadcast, and it’s a great fun 90 minutes. There’s a lot of talk of passin’ and movin’ on, to the extent that I think any reasonably intelligent person picks up on the bittersweet vibe the movie’s trying to convey. Madsen’s character, delivering platitudes on “the fullness of time and the spirit” and don’t take life for granted and blah dee blah, just feels extraneous. You really could have had the entire movie happen without her, and for The Angel of fucking Death to be able to be excised completely from the movie without consequence… well yeah, you can see how superfluous the storyline is.** But ultimately, it doesn’t detract from the overall experience too much, especially in light of the circumstances of the movie’s production.

Yeah, I realize I don’t have that much to say, but it’s just a good ass movie! Learning that Altman died in APHC’s year of release makes the film’s preoccupation with death extremely poignant. The fact that it’s still so light-hearted and fun to watch makes me tip my hat to this giant of American cinema. I really should get off my ass and watch some of his stuff. I guess I should start with POPEYE.

If you think this is funny, this movie is absolutely for you.

*She used to be in movies!

**Okay fine, you’d have to do some MINOR reshooting since she interacts with a few big characters, but still.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Derp Blog Into Darkness #19: ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL’S

In Derp Blog Into Darkness, I take a plunge into the deep with movies I’ve never seen or (in some cases) never even heard of, with the only common thread throughout being that they were purchased by my partner in the years after the break with her religious upbringing. This gives me a range from mainstream comfort food to more daring, “rebellious” stuff.

There aren’t many movies in Ella’s collection that, over the course of this experiment, I had to watch by myself because of her unwillingness to subject herself again to an unfortunate blind-buy. IGOR was one, BROKEN FLOWERS was one, and now, ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL’S. When asked why, she said she couldn’t actually remember anything about the movie besides blind buying it, subsequently having it be something “completely other than what I expected”, and hating it.

My recollection of this movie’s existence was limited to Liv Tyler seducing a bunch of guys while washing a car, so I was going in pretty blind. The movie is told from the perspective of barkeep Randy (Matt Dillon), lawyer Paul Reiser and detective John Goodman. Equally credited (and producing) Michael Douglas is actually not one of the guys in the tale, but rather Matt Dillon’s confessor*. Reiser and Goodman also have fairly famous confessors, respectively Reiser’s psychiatrist Reba McEntire and Father Richard Jenkins. ONE NIGHT AT MCCOOL’S these guys came across a sexy young woman named Jewel (Liv Tyler), who appeared to be in trouble with her abusive boyfriend (lol fuckin Andrew Dice Clay). Dillon “saves” her in the most half-hearted way possible, and they go home to have hot steamy no-nudity-clause sex while the soundtrack blares GETCHUUU HOT GUUUURLLLL.

Turns out that Liv was going to rob the shit out of Dillon with her boyfriend the morning after, but she just can’t bear to call him up to get it done since… by gum, Dillon’s just so great! MISHAPS mis-happen and Liv and Dillon end up killing the sleazy boyfriend. Now that they are BONDED 4 LYFE, Liv starts fixing up Dillon’s shitty old place with stuff from her scrapbook. She’s got a home deco scrap book! Jewel’s life-long obsession was/is to live in a house that comes straight from the magazines, and she’ll do anything to get it. Soon, she’s got Dillon robbing homes of single guys she seduces to accessorize her new pad. When Dillon starts complaining, she decides it’s time to get some legal counsel (Reiser) and protection (Goodman) and rid herself of this whiny barista. Naturally, shit gets complicated (and murderous) as the three men get at each other’s throats over their special eclectic angel.

MCCOOL’S is a big, broad comedy for mainstream audiences. Some jokes are played for the cheap seats**, but others are pretty dry***, while some are delightfully coarse****. The actors are all really funny and entertaining, although Dillon is perhaps saddled with a boring “nice guy” role. When Reiser is telling his side of the story, Dillon’s always a retarded douchebro, so it’s quite a contrast to see Dillon really let loose in these scenes. Special mention for Liv Tyler, whom I pretty much knew as eye candy from Aerosmith videos, ARMAGEDDON and Arwen in LORD OF THE RINGS. She’s very beautiful, but I always found there was this weird detachedness about her which, of course, was ideal for an Elven Lady or Michael Bay Good Girl. In MCCOOL’S she gets to play nutty, petty and downright sociopathic with aplomb. Her I-just-sucked-down-half-a-roach demeanor actually helps sell it quite well!

I liked this movie perhaps more than I should, as I am always partial to blackly comic movies that show people of some authority and esteem giving in to their lower impulses while trying to maintain a veneer of respectability as everything crumbles around them. Shame about the occasional broadness, but it’s funny with a few hints of not-too-darkness. It’s kinda like a Coen brothers movie for your parents!

 

*A “confessor” is both the guy confessing and the priest listening to it. How confusing can you get!

**A pretty good set-up that is then wasted by driving it too far has all the men standing next to each other in different types of stereotypical outfits, with a wooden indian at one end – to which a gunman calls them “some Village People motherfuckers”. This was pretty organic, they weren’t dressing up as the Village People or anything, so it was a funny observation, well set up. Then the shootout is set to YMCA for no reason.

***”It’s like you don’t even care if we have a top tier home entertainment system!!” Tyler dramatically intones.

****In the second version we see of Jewel’s rescue from the eyes of a drunk Reiser in his parked car, he just slurs “Titssssss” – end scene.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

“I’ve made a huge mistake.”– Don Bluth

ROCK-A-DOODLE opens in space. ROCK-A-DOODLE is a movie about a bunch of farm animals on a quest to find their lost rooster friend Chanticleer, who despondently left the farm for parts unknown after being humiliated by some mean owls. And yet, ROCK-A-DOODLE opens in space. That should tell you all you need to know about this frantic hobo’s fever dream of a movie.

Why space? Chanticleer does not take off into the far reaches of space after his embarrassment. Let me give props to mah dawg Gérard Genette for a second and lay down the histoire rather than the récit.

There is a farm of anthropomorphic animals who all love the farm’s rooster Chanticleer. He’s a cocky (hehe) rockabilly type, who impresses all the lady-chickens and is just generally a very popular guy. Additionally, the animals believe that Chanticleer’s song is what causes the sun to rise each morning. The owls, however, are not very happy with this. They are naturally creatures of the night, so they’d rather the sun didn’t come up at all. Also, the Grand Duke of Owls simply loathes rock ‘n roll music. To these ends, he comes up with a plan to silence Chanticleer permanently. An owl thug (!) is sent to tussle with Chanticleer at the moment of sunrise, so he is impeded in singing his song. To all the animals’ surprise, the sun still rises. They ridicule Chanticleer mercilessly, and the minstrel leaves a broken cock.

Let’s hold up a second right here. The owls want it to be night forever, but in trying to effect this, they simply prove that Chanticleer’s song doesn’t make the sun rise. The owls do not have a realization moment about this. At least they got rid of that damnable rock ‘n roll, huh?

So, space. An opening VO tells us about that whole rising sun thing, and what better to illustrate this than to actually pan in to Earth from motherfucking space. If that voice sounds familiar to you, it’s Phil Harris aka Baloo, voicing the hound Patou. Not Baloo, Patou. Get it right. He has a sorta cute recurring gag that he can’t tie his shoelaces. In a typical instance of half-assery/weirdness on the movie’s part, however, he is a dog that walks on all fours most of the time. Even though he has shoes, socks and pants on. As a result, Patou reminded me of one of those poor Chinese dogs that are made to wear panties and heels.

Patou narrates all the stuff I just told you, by the way. This is how we learn of the owls’ plan before we ever even see the Grand Duke (Christopher Slu—uh, Plummer). In fact, there’s such an overwhelming exposition dump going on, brought in such an incredibly clumsy manner, that I was starting to suspect that the money had run out during production and this VO was the best way they could patch already-animated scenes together. Turns out there originally wasn’t a VO, but test audiences found the owls’ plan confusing. I’ll say! I don’t understand it even with the VO!

We’re not done Veein’ Oh, however! Patou tells us that elsewhere, there was a little live action boy named Edmond, who was a super Chanticleer fan, and understandably upset by this turn of events. His mother reassures him that it’s only a story, but good luck with that when dad busts in dripping wet and tells mom that the barn is floodin’! Edmond wants to help, but mom says he’s too little, and he’d best stay in. Disappointed, he keeps on reading his storybook until, frustrated, he calls out for CHANTICLEER or SHAWNTECLEAARRRR depending on the scene. This unfortunately summons the Grand Duke, who is very upset that anyone would want Chanticleer back. For this impertinence, he will eat Edmond. But first, he shall be transformed into a cat because kittens are more easily digestible! The Grand Duke has some sort of weird multi-color breath attack that can change stuff into other stuff. He does this several times over the movie to several creatures.

Why doesn’t he just change Chanticleer into a worm or something? It is later revealed that Chanticleer is thriving as THE KING, a totally-not-Elvis singing act in the big city. His manager, Pinky Fox (voiced by BOSS HOGG), turns out to be in league with the Grand Duke, keeping Chanticleer dazzled with the empty and materialistic charms of pop success.

Why doesn’t the Grand Duke just change him into any animal that can’t sing? WHY SET UP A FAKE POP CAREER? Kitty Edmond, Patou, Snipes the magpie and Peepers the mouse set out on a quest to the big city to get him, beset on all sides by the tyranny of evil owls. Well, they get jostled a bit until they shine a flashlight at them and then they fly away screaming. Oh man, the Grand Duke has this hysterically screeching nephew called Hunch and I swear to god, his voice actor drew “speed” as the random drug to ingest that was contractually required for all VAs on this production. The movie already moves at an insane pace (all this has happened before the 30 minute mark) but whenever that little owl comes on, engage fucking hyperdrive, man. BUMP ZAP CRASH SCREEEECHHHH

Hunch is an unfunny character, but even the better Bluth movies are notoriously unfunny.* Far more damaging for a movie ostensibly about the power of song are the incredibly crappy musical numbers. Glen Campbell (LaBoeuf in the original TRUE GRIT) voices Chanticleer, and he’s got a servicable, if unremarkable voice – certainly nothing that makes the sun come up in the morning! The villain songs are more traditional Broadway/Disney style affairs, but since Plummer apparently isn’t too keen on singing, he half-narrates his way through the numbers, often drowning out the at least half way capable chorus singers.

Chanticleer’s private helicopter looks like this:

helicockter

which I’m on the fence about whether or not it was intentional. Chanticleer is a cock, after all. The presence of faux Jessica Rabbit love interest Goldie Pheasant (cleavage toned down after shocked test audiences!) seems to indicate at least an attempt at mild sexual humor.

Here’s one way in which ROCK-A-DOODLE may be viewed in a possibly positive light. I very much doubt Bluth considered this angle, but here ya go: if you interpret the movie as the story a little 7 year old boy who can’t read very well, trying to come up with a story after his mom – the conduit for those weird markings under the pictures – had to go out on an urgent errand, then maybe the screaming anarchy of this movie makes sense. Hell, he even inserts himself into it as a cute kitty who saves the day! But, again, I sincerely doubt it.

You wanna judge for yourself?

Genuinely one of the shittiest movie’s I’ve ever seen, but it’s a heck of an experience. CLICK IT

*There is probably one sorta-clever gag in the movie. The bouncers are frogs.