Welcome to The Mundane Adventures of a Fangirl

I consider myself a Fangirl. What does that mean, you ask? A "fanboy" in the most common understanding is a hardcore fan of 'genre' based entertainment in particular. In my case - science-fiction and comic book based movies and television. Because I'm a chick - it's fangirl, not fanboy. There you have it! I am a big movie fan, however, not necessarily a 'film' fan. And now - I have the forum to present my opinions to the public! These will mainly be movie reviews -that will always be my opinion - repeat OPINION. Just what I think, and in no way do I present my opinion as fact. I hope you enjoy and maybe it will help you decide what to see at the movie theater this weekend!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Movie Review: John Wick (R – 101 minutes)

Thank you to the marketing team of this movie for making sure every trailer has it very loud and clear that the dog gets killed.  I am definitely an animal lover, and any movie with animals getting hurt or injured is not for me (can’t watch the new Planet of the Apes movies, and those are CG apes!).  I don’t care what you say about Boondock Saints – I hate that movie because the cat gets killed.  I knew the dog wasn’t going to make it in this one before going in, so I was prepared enough to close my eyes for that scene.   It is the action that “sets off” John Wick. 

Keanu Reeves is actually better than you think and has been for a long time.  Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure is easily one of the best movies ever (yes, I said it, and I stand by it).  And his performance in Parenthood is actually very impressive.  I think he’s best in action movies, and I enjoyed 47 Ronin last year, and yes, the Matrix was great (the sequels were not), but Speed is probably his best action movie, "Pop Quiz, Hot Shot!.

I love a pure, straightforward action movie that is more visuals that plot.  John Wick is a retired hit man who used to work for the Russian Mob.  He met a woman, fell in love, and requested out.  They let him go after demanding he do an impossible job, which no one else could have pulled off – but he did.  He had a lovely life with his wife, but then she got sick, and slowly started to pass away.  On the day of her funeral, she arranged to have a little beagle puppy delivered to John – with a note letting him know he would have to learn to love again – and he could start with the puppy.   He takes his car out for a spin, and has a minor run in with some punk Russian twenty-somethings at a gas station.  They break into his house that night, beat him up, and kill the dog.  He immediately comes out of retirement to hunt every single one of them down to make them pay.  As it turns out, the kid who killed the dog is the son of the mobster he used to work for.  While the mobster understands that his kid was an idiot, he still can’t let John kill his kid – so he puts a hit out on John.  John then has to battle other hitmen and more Russian Mobsters to get to the kid.  But don’t worry – he does.  Sorry, spoiler alert, but really – you knew he was going to get that kid.

The movie is directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch, both of whom are seasoned stunt performers.  In fact, Stahelski was the stunt double for Keanu in the Matrix movies.  When he and Leitch started putting this movie together, Keanu agreed to be in it because of their past relationships.  This is actually a really good thing because Stahelski knows Keanu’s abilities in and out and is able to choreograph amazing fight sequences that are almost entirely Keanu.  And, really, the fights in this movie are absolutely amazing.  

The cast is also pretty fantastic:

  • I’ve pretty much always been a Keanu Reeves fan, I even saw My Own Private Idaho (I do NOT recommend that), but this movie seems to be something he really enjoyed doing.  The relationship he already had with the director really pays off in the incredible action scenes.  He’s also really surprisingly good in the quiet scenes. 

  • Michael Nyqvist from the original Swedish Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movies plays the head Russian mobster, Viggo Tarasov.  He’s very good – you absolutely believe that he values John Wick for his abilities, and the friendship they once shared, and almost regrets having to turn against him to save his wretched son. 

  • Speaking of which, the wretched son is played by Alfie Allen.  He’s already somebody you hate since he plays Theon Greyjoy on Game of Thrones…or you know, Reek.  In either case, he’s spectacularly terrible in this, and you really cannot wait for John to finish him off. 

  • Willem Dafoe plays rival/friendly hitman Marcus.  You can’t really tell which side he’s on for a bit, and he’s not doing anything you haven’t seen him do before, but he’s really really good at this type of character, so he’s perfect here.

  • Adrianne Palicki plays Ms. Perkins.  She’s been exceptional as Mockingbird on MAOS lately, and she’s pretty good in this too.  She’s another rival hitman, and she goes just a bit too far, and ends up breaking the Hitman Rules.  Which is not stood for.

  • Ian McShane plays the head of the hitman hotel, the Continental.  And when Ms. Perkins breaks the rules, he makes sure she understands that is no good.

  • Lance Reddick plays the concierge of the Continental – and he seems to be able to get you anything you need at any time.  If you’re a hitman staying at the Continental, and you have the gold coins.
  • John Leguizamo has a very brief role as the chop shop owner that the Russian kids take John’s car to once they steal it.  As soon as he recognizes the car, he bitch-slaps the kid and demands they remove it from his shop.  He then explains to Viggo why he slapped his kid, and Viggo fully understands.

  • Martial Artist/Actor Daniel Bernhardt is in this as one of the mob henchmen. Basically he’s there to have an amazing fight (or two) with Reeves. 
  • Dean Winters (everyone's favorite Mayhem) pays Avi, who seems to be Viggo's assistant? accountant? sidekick?  Whatever he is, he's got no combat skill - but he has a couple of entertaining lines.

  • Bridget Moynahan plays Helen, John’s dearly departed wife.  She’s barely in the movie, just enough to be lovely, then sick, then posthumously puppy-sending.
  • Also – keep your eyes peeled for both Kevin Nash and Keith Jardine as bit players.

Overall – the action is amazing, the movie is slick and fast-paced.  If you can get past the puppy-murder (I closed my eyes), then you should enjoy the rest of the movie, and welcome back Action-Keanu.

8 out of 10;  Lost points for losing that puppy, and really, as soon as the puppy showed up, I groaned, because it’s the cutest puppy ever, and you know what’s going to happen to it.  Gained points for John Leguizamo being awesome.  Lost points for Alfie Allen, sheesh, that kid makes me want to greet him with a punch to the throat -  I suppose that means he’s talented?

Bonus Video 1:  Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever.  This was a very quiet action movie with Lucy Lui and Antonio Banderas – very little dialogue and almost all visuals.  I always loved it, and I feel like John Wick is in that vein.

Bonus Video 2:  47 Ronin – If you missed this last year, you should check it out. Keanu was good in this too.

Bonus Video 3:  Cast interviews:

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Movie Review: The Book of Life (PG – 95 minutes)

I have this ongoing debate about the legitimacy of “kids” movies.  If you look at the top box office totals for any given year, inevitably there is an animated feature or two in the top ten.  This can be confusing, because I will be the first one to tell you that the box office totals (as opposed to critics’ lists or Award totals) are the best way to find out the ‘best’ movies of the year – or at the very least, the most popular.   This is true for everything except kids’ movies.  The reason is that kids’ movies will always have huge box office totals – not necessarily because people loved them, but because people will take their kids, their neighbor’s kids, their friends kids, and random kids to the theater to see the movie.  Suddenly you have 12 tickets purchased for the movie because people want to get the kids out of the house for two hours, not necessarily because the movie is good.  
Now – I will admit that is a huge generalization – and there are quality kids movies out there.  The LEGO movie earlier this year turned out huge numbers – at first because it was an animated kids’ movie, but then as word of mouth spread that the movie was entertaining for kids and adults, it continued to build steam.  

The opposite is also true.  Certain animated movies will have huge opening weekends, but then as word of mouth travels that the movie is not good, the sales quickly drop off for the following weekends. Occasionally, I will encounter a kids’ movie that is so good, I am blown away.  The first How To Train Your Dragon did that, LEGO Movie did that earlier this year, and The Book Of Life has done it again.  

I went to see it because it is produced by Guillermo Del Toro, who is one of my favorite directors.  The Book Of Life is epically beautiful and elegant.  The story begins with an elderly tour guide outside a museum, bemoaning that he has one more tour to give that day.  A bus pulls up with about 6 difficult children on it, the “detention kids”, who begin by shooting spitballs at the old man.  He is saved by a young woman tour guide, who volunteers to take the kids. She leads them through a secret door in the side of the museum, where she introduces them to the beauty of Mexico and its history.  She shows them an illustration of three spirits or gods – La Muerte (who rules the Land of the Remembered), Xibalba (who rules the Land of the Forgotten), and the Candle Maker – who seems to function as the balance between.  The tour guide shows the children a box of wooden figures, who each represent a character in the story she is about to tell them that took place long ago in Mexico.  

The animation then shifts, and each of the characters are portrayed as these wooden dolls. 
Manolo, Maria, and Joaquin are three friends who are playing together as children.  Joaquin is struggling to live up to the expectations of his family, and his fallen father who was a great solider.  Manolo is struggling to live up to the expectations of his family – which are all bullfighters.  Maria is struggling to live up to the expectations of her father, which seem to be for her to be good and behave.  On the Day Of The Dead (November 2nd, the day that families get together to remember those they have lost) La Muerte and Xibalba form a wager (Xibalba is tired of ruling the Land of the Forgotten, and wants to rule over the Land of the Remembered – which is much nicer).  La Muerte backs Manolo, Xibalba backs Joaquin – whichever boy ends up being chosen by Maria to be her husband, that backer will get to rule the Land of the Remembered.  After some shenanigans, Maria is sent off to Spain to be raised as a lady by nuns, Joaquin joins the militia, and Manolo learns to be a bullfighter, but really wants to be a singer – forcing him to try to choose between following his heart and following the expectations of his father.  

Years pass, and Maria returns.  Joaquin is now the greatest hero in the land (mainly because of an enchanted medal that Xibalba gave to him as a child that prevents him from getting harmed), Manolo is about to have his first major bullfight (which he keeps disappointing his father at, because he insists on not killing the bull).  Manolo once again does not kill the bull – but puts on quite a display of skill.  Joaquin attempts to woo Maria by being physically strong – and her father insists she consider his marriage proposal because he will then stay and protect the village from the coming bandit king, Chakal.  

Maria is not thrilled that her father is making plans for her, and besides, Manolo comes to her window to sing to her.  He asks her to meet him under a tree, where he also proposes to her.  

However, as she is about to say yes – Xibalba has a snake sneak up to attack Manolo – Maria pushes him aside to save him, but gets bitten.  Manolo carries her back to town, where of course her father and Joaquin blame him for the snakebite and he returns to the tree, completely disheartened at the loss of Maria.  Xibalba takes advantage of this opportunity, and offers to have the snake bite Manolo twice – causing him to die and wake up in the Land of the Remembered.  

Manolo is reunited with all of his lost family members, who escort him to see La Muerte to find Maria. However, he finds that Xibalba is now sitting on the throne of the Land of Remembered, because Maria recovered from her one snakebite – and will now marry Jaoquin for the good of the town, causing Xibalba to win the bet.  Manolo, his mother, and his grandfather then have to find a way to the Land of the Forgotten to tell La Muerte of Xibalba’s treachery, and get back to the Land of the Living – to save Maria from marriage, and the town from Chakal.  Spoiler alert – it has a happy ending.
Directed by former animation director Jorge R. Gutierrez, the story is wonderful, and the movie is absolutely beautiful.  The animation is mind-blowing and the celebration of the Day of the Dead is truly touching.  The cast is pure perfection.
  • Diego Luna plays Manolo with exceptional earnestness.  He is such a great hero, because everyone has been in a place of wanting to follow their heart, but also wanting to do what is expected.  He gives Manolo great relatability, and a wonderful sense of romance and determination.

  • Zoe Saldana plays Maria – giving her just the right amount of spunk as she at first fights against her father’s demands, but then realizes that she should marry Joaquin to keep him there to protect the town.  Also - her pet pig is awesome.

  • I was a little perplexed by the choice of Channing Tatum to play Joaquin, but the reality is that he’s perfect in the part.  He’s supremely confident, but is also well aware that his success is because of the enchanted medal.  His absolute cocky assurance is hilarious.

  • Ron Perlman (because he is Del Toro’s muse) plays Xibalba, and is the perfect blend of menace and mischief for the character.  He does seem to genuinely love La Muerte (a little bit of Thanos there), but is also determined to beat her so that the can get out of the truly depressing Land of the Forgotton.

  • Kate del Castillo is a huge star in Mexico, and she is the perfect choice for La Muerte – she makes her warm and kind, and patient with Xibalba – until she realizes that she has been duped.

  • Christina Applegate plays Mary Beth – the tour guide who handles the tough kids and basically serves as the narrator of the story.  She’s very important in walking the kids through the events, and reassuring them at some of the more difficult points.

  • There is once casting choice I did not understand – and that is Ice Cube as the Candle Maker.  It’s not that he is bad, he’s just fine –but he very much is Ice Cube, and I’m not sure he fit in the story – he was more distracting than anything.

  • Hector Elizondo is perfect as Carlos Sanchez, Manolo’s father, who is bound and determined to get his son to live up to the Sanchez name as a legendary bullfighter – and will not stand to hear any mention of the song-playing.
  • Danny Trejo is in this (of course he is), and he plays Manolo’s grandfather, Skeleton Luis (everyone in the Land of the Remembered are skeletons).  He’s hilarious, and really puts the skills he picked up in Robert Rodriguez’s Spy Kids movies to use here.  There’s not a trace of Machete…in a good way.

  • Carlos Alazraqui of Reno 911 fame plays General Posada – Maria’s father.  He’s determined to get Joaquin to stay and protect the town, even at the expense of his daughter’s happiness.
  • Ana de la Reguera plays Carmen – Manolo’s mother, who is thrilled to see him, but then is shocked to see him that soon in the Land of the Remembered, so she helps him on his journey to return to the land of the living.

  • The members of Manolo’s mariachi band, which are over-the-top comic relief, are played by Gabriel Iglesias, Cheech Marin, and Ricardo el Mandril Sanchez. 
  • Dan Navarro plays Chakal – the bandit king, 

  • It’s also worth mentioning that Placido Domingo (yes, that Placido Domingo) plays one of Manolo’s other skeleton relatives, Jorge.

Honestly, see this movie.  It is so incredibly beautiful – both in the story, and the visuals.  And, man, the visuals!  The “real world” is lovely, ancient Mexico is beautiful, then when they get to the Land of the Remembered – it is breathtaking.  Each of the people living in the Land of the Remembered is a skeleton, decorated like Mexican Day of the Dead typical skull artwork with amazing colors and designs.  And because the characters in the story are wood dolls, that is carried through the movie as well.  I was the only person in the theater when I went, which I found really distressing.  People will take their kids to see the terrible Ninja Turtles reboot over and over, but not this piece of art?  Perhaps the marketing was lacking – I don’t really remember seeing any commercials for it.  Well – I will have to start my own word of mouth campaign.  Go see this – take your kids, take everybody – it’s wonderful, and see it in 3D.

8 out of 10 – Gained points for the look of the movie, gained points for the mariachi versions of current pop songs – that was really different, but fit perfectly.  Gained points for the nuns who sang everything.  Gained points for the story within a story format.  Gained points for the Land of the Remembered – what a lovely way to think of the afterlife.  Lost points for Ice Cube.  Again – not bad, but really distracting.
Bonus Video 1:  Pan’s Labyrinth – del Toro’s hard R adult fairy tale that is absolutely hauntingly beautiful.  Do not let your kids watch this one.

Bonus Video 2:  Desperado – yes, the sequel was called Once Upon A Time in Mexico – but it was not nearly as good (remember the debate about Banderas (who is Spanish) playing a Mexican hero?).

Bonus Video 3:  Cast Interviews:

Monday, October 13, 2014

Movie Review: Gone Girl (R – 149 minutes)

This will be a spoiler-free review, because I think you should really see this movie.
Let’s begin this one with a brief David Fincher discussion.  I have always said, and I will continue to say, movies are a director’s medium (theater and the stage are an actor’s medium).  If you are wondering what to watch – figure out who the director of a movie you loved was, then look up other stuff by them.  Chances are you will like their other items.  Likewise, if you hated a movie – remember that director, chances are you will want to avoid their other work too (Terry Gilliam and Darren Arronofsky are on that list for me).  It always blew my mind that people were so shocked at the level of violence in the Passion of the Christ – why?  It was by the same insane director who hired real amputees for Braveheart so that the maimings would look more realistic. 

David Fincher is a director who started in music videos – but weird ones – in the late 80s and early 90s.  He then moved on to creepy weird movies with Alien 3 (yes, the really weird prison one), The movie Se7en (while I will agree that was well done – I hated it and never want to see it again), The Game (which I really liked, but was super creepy and weird),  Fight Club (which I personally hated, but again – was well put together), Panic Room (Jodie Foster stuck in a room for two hours while Jared Leto, his cornrows, and Forrest Whittaker try to get her), Zodiac, Benjamin Button, The Social Network, and the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (American version).  You can start to see the pattern.  The movies are well-directed, well-crafted, with some amazing performances; however, on the whole, they are all creepy and weird, and not necessarily enjoyable – just watchable.  Did you like those movies?  You’ll love this one.

Gone Girl started as a book by Gillian Flynn which was released in 2012, and was swiftly added to the Best Seller List.  From what I have been told (I didn’t read it), the movie follows the book pretty closely.  

The movie is exceptionally well-crafted, but is very creepy – the score is by Trent Reznor (yes, the one from Nine Inch Nails) again – just like Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – and is also very, very creepy.

The movie starts innocently enough – we are introduced to Nick Dunne as he goes out to the trash on a cold morning, the morning of his 5th anniversary to his wife, Amy.  He gets in the car and heads out a bar, named The Bar, which he co-owns with his twin sister, Margo.  He shares a drink with Margo, gets a call from his nosy neighbor that the cat is out and heads home.  He takes the cat in, and finds the coffee table in the living room destroyed and his wife nowhere to be found.  Concerned, he calls the police.  Detective Rhonda Boney and Officer Jim Gilpin come by to do a preliminary walk through of the house.  Detective Boney puts post-its around the house when she notices interesting things – a potential blood spatter, and the envelope in the bedroom underwear drawer that clearly states “Clue 1”.  Nick explains that Amy creates an anniversary treasure hunt for him each year on his anniversary.   

As they dig a little deeper, things look worse and worse for Nick – it comes out that he has a young mistress (an incredibly young mistress), that there was a large pool of blood in the kitchen that has since been cleaned up, and that there is a lot of suspicious activity on his credit cards. 
All of that much is in the trailers – but I am not going to say anything else.  Honestly – you need to see this movie.  This is one of those that you absolutely can believe the hype.  It is creepy – it is weird, but it is really well done and it is mind blowing.  I cannot remember the last time I was sitting in a movie theater and repeatedly had my mouth fall open in astonishment.
Cast-wise, the movie is perfect.
  • Ben Affleck plays Nick Dunne – and I will just keep hanging out on the Ben Affleck bandwagon as I always have.  He is really good in this – quietly subtle, frustrated, and angry.  You really go back and forth during the course of the movie – did he kill his wife?  Did he not? 

  • Rosamund Pike – who has quietly been really good for a really long time (I love Doom – but she was first noticeable in Die Another Day), does not let her American accent slip at all during this movie and is just fantastic as Amy.  I almost can’t say anything else, but she probably needs a nomination for this movie.  The set up of Amy’s character with the effect her parents had on her is incredible.

  • Neil Patrick Harris plays Desi Collings – an old flame of Amy’s, who she once filed a stalker complaint against.  He is perfect as the completely devoted old friend.

  • Tyler Perry’s Tyler Perry plays nationally famous defense attorney Tanner Bolt who comes in to take on Nick’s case.  He is very intrigued, and does what he can with the case.  Tyler Perry is really good in this, and I look forward to seeing him in more movies both his and others.

  • Carrie Coon is really fantastic as the beleaguered Margo Dunne.  She does what she can to stand by Nick, and support him – but the evidence is really against him.  For a few minutes I thought maybe she was Justine Bateman, but she’s not.

  • Kim Dickens really steals almost every scene that she is in as Detective Boney.  She goes where the evidence leads her, and tries her best to not be swayed by the public opinion.

  • Patrick Fugit plays her assistant, Officer Jim Gilpin.  He believes Nick is guilty, almost from the get-go, and the two of them bounce ideas off one another as the case progresses.

  • David Clennon and Lisa Banes play Rand and Marybeth Elliot – Amy’s parents, who fly in to help Nick with the search effort.  The movie does a great job of clearly explaining them, their business, their personalities, and their effect on Amy.

  •  Missi Pyle (who normally excels at comedies – go rent DodgeBall again), plays TV pundit Ellen Abbot, who very quickly convicts Nick in the court of public opinion.   It is a thinly veiled Nancy Grace impression.

  • Emily Ratajkowski plays the young mistress – apparently she was one of the naked models in the Blurred Lines video.  You know that is going to go bad for Nick, and you’re right.

  • Casey Wilson (the genius from Happy Endings) plays neighbor Noelle Hawthorne who steps up as Amy’s best friend once she goes missing.

  • Sela Ward plays Sharon Schieber – another woman with a TV show that Nick goes on to try to convince the public that he is innocent. 

  • Scoot McNairy plays a man from Amy’s past – he’s great, but I can’t say anything else about that.

Really, that’s the theme here, I can’t say anything else about it – go see it, and see it quickly before someone ruins some part of it for you.  It’s creepy, some parts are really off-putting, I wouldn’t say it was entertaining or enjoyable, but it was a really good film and it has been a long time since I have been that surprised by a movie.  Be warned – the R rating is no joke, there is a lot of blood and a surprising amount of oral sex in this movie.  But don’t worry – nothing happens to the cat.  Based on some other Fincher movies (did I mention how much I hated the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo?) I was worried about the cat.

8 out of 10 – really good, and really – go see it.  Lost points for the blood.  Gained points for Scoot McNairy, lost points for NPH – just too weird.  Gained points for Pike, give her the Oscar now, and Gained points for Affleck, and him being the only part of Batman v. Superman that I am looking forward to.

Bonus Video 1:  Did you forget Fatal Attraction?  You should probably watch it again – don’t get attached to the bunny…also – best ending ever.

Bonus Video 2:  Jersey Girl – honestly, one of my favorite Kevin Smith movies, and one in which Affleck is really, really good.  If you haven’t seen it – rent it.  Also - the best Will Smith cameo of all time.

Bonus Video 3:  The Fugitive – There’s no one-armed man in Gone Girl, that would have made things a little easier for Nick, but Sela Ward is in it! 

Bonus Video 4:  Cast interviews.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Retro Movie Review: Earth Girls Are Easy (1988, PG – 100 minutes)

This weekend sees the release of The Judge, the very Oscar-y RDJ and Robert Duvall movie.  Last weekend was Gone Girl - and it's only going to get more drama-y as we get closer to the end of the year.  I found myself wishing there was some sort of zany comedy to watch.  Then, Tim and Eric (if you're not familiar with their work - they are insane comedians who have had several shows on Adult Swim on Cartoon Network - Tom Goes To The Mayor being my favorite) released a commercial they shot for GE lightbulbs starring Jeff Goldblum –who has worked with them on many occasions, and it reminded me that I am a huge Jeff Goldblum fan. 

There are so many things he has done that I have loved – he was brilliant as Dr. Ian Malcom in the Jurassic Park movies and felt exactly as he was described in the book.  He is fantastic in the multiple Wes Anderson movies he is in, particularly The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.  He was absolutely the best part of the Hugh Grant rom-com Nine Months.  Independence Day goes almost without saying and then of course, there is the Fly.  In general - he's just a pretty cool dude.

I’m sure you have your own favorite Jeff Goldblum movie, but I was suddenly reminded of Earth Girls are Easy – one of my all time favorite silly 80s comedies, and one that was semi-responsible for some of the best parts of In Living Color.  Earth Girls Are Easy is classified as a “musical romantic comedy” and was written by comedienne and MTV VJ (back when they had VJs because they played only music videos) Julie Brown – not to be confused with MTV VJ Downtown Julie Brown (wubba wubba wubba).   It was directed by Julien Temple, who really has only directed musical documentaries since and before.  The story came from a song on Brown’s album at the time, and was developed into a movie. 

In what is surely one of the most ridiculous plots you’ve ever heard, Valerie Gail is a valley girl (get it?) manicurist working in the fantastically named “Curl Up and Dye” hair salon.  She catches her fiancĂ© Dr. Ted cheating on her with his nurse, and kicks him out of the house, spending the next day sunbathing.  Meanwhile, three fuzzy aliens (Mac, Zeebo, and Wiploc) who are on a long mission through the galaxy are bemoaning the fact that they have had no female contact in a very long time.  They check out earth and see Valerie sunbathing – as a result, they crash in her swimming pool.  Valerie handles this pretty well, and brings them into the house.  She calls her friend Woody to come drain the pool so that they can get the spaceship out.  There is a bit of a language barrier, but then the aliens begin watching TV, and swiftly learn our language and customs (of course they do).  In order to help them blend in, Valerie takes them to the salon, where her friend Candy helps shave them.
 Turns out – they look human, hot, and exactly like a young Jeff Goldblum, Jim Carrey, and Damon Wayans.  Hijinks ensue, and in the end, Valerie realizes that Dr. Ted is a loser, and that she wants to travel the galaxy with Mac.  

Yes, completely and totally ridiculous, but trust me, that’s the point.  Madonna and some other big time 80s pop stars were approached for the lead, but lucky for us, that didn’t happen. 

  • Geena Davis got the lead and plays Valarie as a complete stereotypical SoCal Valley Girl.  It’s hard to believe from someone who auditioned for Sarah Connor, and would go on to be extra awesome in Long Kiss Goodnight. 
    She was married to Jeff Goldblum from 1987 to 1990, and they made three movies together:  This, Transylvania 6-5000, and the Fly.  Their chemistry is crazy obvious, especially in this silly movie, and they are really entertaining to watch together.

  •  Jeff Goldblum plays Mac, and once the blue hair comes off, he has never looked as sexy as he looks in this movie (just my opinion).  He plays Mac with a very simple, straightforward, almost elegant quality.  He’s so good in everything, and this movie is so fluffy that he really stands out as the best part.

  • Jim Carrey plays Wiploc, and this is where he met Damon Wayans, which would eventually land him on In Living Color (1990-2001), and that is where the world found him. 
    This movie really allows him to take advantage of his comically rubber face, and spend most of the movie bouncing around with Damon Wayans, being silly.

  • Damon Wayans plays Zeebo, and is equally silly to Carrey.  The two of them clearly establish Goldblum as the leader, which allows them to go for the straight slapstick comedy.  Honestly, it’s over-the-top and completely insane, but it works for this movie.

  • Julie Brown plays Candy Pink (yes, Candy Pink), the salon owner, who helps shave down the aliens.  She doesn’t really act in this so much as just is the exact same personality that she was on MTV.  
    Also – we do get entire music breakdown of the song, “Cuz I’m A Blonde”, which I definitely remember being played on the radio around that time.

  • Charles Rocket plays Dr. Ted, who is mostly useless in the movie, and just serves to drive Valerie into Mac’s arms.  He’s a tool, but in a really entertaining way.
  • Michael McKean plays Woody, who is hilarious in the small role as he completely distracts the two aliens to take them to the beach. 

Overall, it’s completely insane, silly and ridiculous.  I also find it completely hilarious.  Chances are you forgot about it, or maybe never saw it.  Do yourself a favor and rent it now!

8 out of 10.  Gained points for Zeebo stating that he is black once he’s shaved down, cracks me up.  Lost points for Dr. Ted and his nurse.  Gained points for Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davis’s chemistry.  How much better would Cutthroat Island have been if it had been Goldblum instead of Modine?  Nevermind, I can’t picture Goldblum as a pirate, besides, I like that movie as it is. 

Bonus Video 1:  Cutthroat Island - the best Frank Langella has ever been - oh, no wait - that would be Masters of the Universe.

Bonus Video 2:  My absolute favorite recurring Jim Carrey bit on In Living Color

Bonus Video 3:  Damon Wayans and Jim Carrey in the Wrath of Farrakhan.