Saturday, August 30, 2008

time for something different or whatever

In an effort to maintain whatever readership I still have, I shall now attempt to have a little more cohesion and coherence, by writing about more crap, but in a way much more palatable to your sensitive palettes. Or... not.
I thought about writing about some books I read recently, and I will, but I really really feel like writing about some old-skool movies from the early 90's which I watched and reminisced over. So much so that I decided to keep them on my iPod for future viewing, for old times' sake. I'd put up pictures but my google's not working (wha???). So let us start with....

1. Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure(1989); Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991)

People have panned Keanu Reeves so often it has become something of a pastime, to the point where if someone does one more "whoa...." joke I don't know, it feels completely trite and cliched. In a few more years' time, most kids wouldn't even know what the joke references (here's a fun fact! The Matrix!). And frankly speaking I think it is time we moved past that. The dude has starred in a few noteworthy roles, even in bit parts, like in that thumbsucker movie, and he wasn't bad.

Anyway, let us take an excellent journey back in time to the dawn of the 1990's, when words like "excellent", "radical", "tubular", "bodacious", and "bogus" were part of your daily vernacular, and "awesome" is still about a decade away from being part of your (my) lexicon. People wore funnier clothes back then, with guy t-shirts showing the midriff, and it was still cool to wear your baseball cap backwards. The Bill and Ted stories encapsulate that era perfectly, both in terms of expressing the general attitude of the youth at that time, and particularly in setting the tone for other early 90's comedies about young dudes to come (unfortunately most of them had Pauly Shore in lead roles).

I won't get into too much detail in terms of plots, because let's face it, they're pretty shallow as far as storylines go. Payphone from the future has technology that allows you to travel through time to any period. Two best friends who are about to fail history need to find some kickass research material for their final presentation so they don't flunk out of school and end up not creating music that would change the world (are you still with me here?). Because apparently their band, the Wyld Stallyns is like the Beatles or whatever and bring about world peace.. you know what, let's move on. Anyway, they collect famous figures from history, starting with Napoleon all the way to Joan of Arc and Genghis Khan. They pass history by putting on an excellent presentation with guest appearances by their abductees and the world is saved. Yay!

The second movie deals less with time travel than it does with the concept of death and the afterlife. Um.. the plot and opening scene for this one is a little harder to buy than the first (if that is even possible), but let's see: evil genius from the future creates evil android versions of Bill and Ted to send back in time, to kill the original Bill and Ted, so that they can replace them in some Battle of the Bands and ultimately ruin the Wyld Stallyns' chances of healing the world. Did I get that right? I'm not even going to try fixing that explanation. Anyway Bill and Ted do die, and they have to challenge Death himself in order to get back to life and save their girlfriends. Oh and there's aliens. Station!!!!

What can I say? For a good dose of innocent humor from a more innocent time, you can't go wrong with these movies. Some of the jokes and gags do fell a little tired and old today, of course, but that's just a sign of the times. In the end, the performances of Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter, as well as George Carlin as Rufus, don't dissappoint, and are genuinely touching in a cheesy way. And seeing Death lose at board games, freestyle with bass and pull a wedgie never gets old.

2. Wayne's World (1992)

You know, there was a time. A time when Mike Myers was just another Saturday Night Live performer, when his jokes didn't reach the point of tiredness and vapidity, and he could make you laugh with some well placed puns and knowing smiles. When Dana Carvey could say "well isn't that special" while crossdressing on a late night TV show, and Adam Sandler did not become the caricature of himself that he is today (at least in his "comedy" films). In fact, when all the best SNL comedians from the early 90's didn't yet become the Eddie Murphies that they would eventually be, and only a few of us ever really recall their glory days. Wow that was pretentious of me. You young'uns don't know how good things were, dagnabbit!

Wayne's World, and to a certain extent, Wayne's World 2, was the stepping stone for Mike Myers to ascend to making movies as opposed to his weekly shows on SNL. It was after all, one of his best characters, and one of the few SNL characters to make a successful transition to film. This was also the case for Dana Carvey, who plays Garth, but unfortunately he failed to meet the same success as Mike Myers commercially, but I think that is sort of a blessing, at least he didn't make the Love Guru. Which I am not planning to see, ever. For reals.

The other day I was on the train and this one girl was talking with her friend about movies she had and hadn't seen and she recommended The Love Guru to her friend. I was crying inside. Oh and apparently she did not know that The Dark Knight was already out for a month.

Anyway back to the movie. It's a slice of happy, man that is all I have to say about it. The monologues, the comedic timing, Tia Carrere singing cheesy hair band ballads, everything. It is the movie Mike Myers got right. And unfortunately, given the blueprint that he established in this film, this is also the movie that he aped in practically every other comedic film he made after Wayne's World 2. Did I like Austin Powers? Sure! But its sequels? Not as much, if at all. Some people should know when to quit. I wish he'd gone back to SNL. Sighs.

If you want to see people rocking out to Bohemian Rhapsody, this is the movie for you. Also you can see Rob Lowe being given a taste of humble pie because his character is an asshole.


Anonymous said...

Is it the one where they play twister with Death? Only remember glimpses of that one..and of course the phone booth.


Ezanee said...

Yeah, that's it! You got it right. I don't think it is one of those movie series that would stick in someone's head, so it's ok.