August 26, 2017

The X-Files, Fight the Future: Bee Movie

Posted in movies tagged , , , , , at 1:13 pm by Jenn

Not the best picture of Mulder and Scully, really

Summary: Mulder and Scully have made it to the big screen! But first, we take a trip to Texas in 35,000 B.C. Two cavemen hear a screeching noise while checking out a cave. One finds another caveman trapped in something that looks like amber, then gets attacked by an alien. The second caveman finds his buddy dead and goes looking for his attacker. He comes across the alien, which attacks him as well. The caveman has a weapon and stabs the alien, which bleeds black oil that infects the caveman.

In the present (judging by the fact that the cavemen didn’t have jean shorts), a kid named Stevie falls into the same cave after digging around in the dirt with some friends. He finds a skull, then sees black oil seeping out of the ground. It crawls up his legs and under his skin. His friends ditch him and run home. Sometime later, firefighters arrive and one goes into the cave to get Stevie. His captain loses contact with him, which can’t be a good sign.

Next a team in Hazmat suits shows up and gets the civilians off the scene. They take the boy away in a sealed container, transporting him by helicopter. Some big trucks drive in, and Bronschweig, the man in charge of securing the scene, calls someone to report that the impossible scenario they didn’t bother to plan for now needs some sort of plan.

A week later, an FBI agent named Michaud is helicoptered to a roof near Dallas’ Federal Building, where he instructs other agents to make absolutely sure there’s no explosive device inside. Scully’s also on a building roof, letting Mulder know via phone (“Mulder, it’s me”) that no bomb has been found, despite a threat being called in. She uses, like 100 words to talk about how they need to follow the rules but still might not find a bomb. Anyway, Mulder’s there now, talking about hunches and expecting the unexpected.

Scully warns that Mulder needs to stop thinking unconventionally like he did when they were working X-files. He can’t be looking for things that aren’t there. Mulder jokes that they should call in a bomb threat in Houston so they can go to a game at the Astrodome. Scully tries to open the door letting them off the roof, telling Mulder it’s locked – “so much for anticipating the unforeseen.” She’s just messing with him. “I had you,” she gloats.

In the lobby, Scully continues teasing Mulder, saying she saw panic on his face. He claims she’s never seen him panic. He heads off to buy them sodas from a break room, but the machine doesn’t work. I guess he didn’t anticipate that unforeseen complication either. Mulder sees that the machine is unplugged, which gives him an idea. Unable to get out of the room (the door really is locked), he calls Scully in the lobby and lets her know he found the bomb in the machine.

With just under 14 minutes left on the timer, Mulder tells Scully to evacuate the building. She immediately gives orders to the people workers there, then calls Michaud to tell him he’s looking in the wrong place. Michaud and his agents hurry over to save Mulder (taking their sweet time – the counter’s below five minutes now). Scully calls and Mulder tells her he’s now making his not-panicking panicked face.

Michaud cuts through the door and the agents study the bomb. He says he can defuse it, but he wants everyone to leave. Mulder hesitates to leave him behind, but Scully makes him go with her. Instead of working on the bomb, Michaud sits and watches the timer count down. Mulder realizes that something’s wrong and turns back to the building. Scully insists that he head off to safety with her, and they drive away as the bomb explodes. “Next time, you’re buying,” Mulder tells Scully, because even though a man just died, he wouldn’t be Mulder if he didn’t make jokes.

The agents go back to D.C. and attend a review led by an agent named Cassidy. (Mulder’s late.) She tells them that five people died, including a young boy and three firemen. Mulder’s surprised to hear that the firemen were in the building – the agents were told that the building had been evacuated. Cassidy sends him away so she can question Scully first.

Mulder anxiously eats sunflower seeds until Skinner leaves the review to talk to him. He says Cassidy wants to know why Scully wasn’t in the right building. Mulder says she was with him. Skinner says that the city of Dallas sustained $45 million of damage, then that people are dead, as if the money is the more important thing. There also haven’t been any arrests, so the FBI is being scrutinized. Where did they screw up? Who will they be blaming?

Mulder’s willing to take the blame since he didn’t follow protocol. He feels horrible that he left Michaud alone with the bomb. But Scully also wants to take responsibility. She sends Skinner back into the review, then tells Mulder that the two of them are being given separate assignments. Scully hasn’t made a difference in the FBI, and she’s not going to be happy if she’s transferred to a field office somewhere. She wonders if Mulder’s heart is still in the work.

After the review is over, Mulder goes to a bar and gets hammered. He tells the bartender that he’s in charge of investigating aliens, but no one believes him when he tells them what he’s found out. They think he’s just running around, screaming that the sky is falling, but when it really happens, it’s going to be horrible. The bartender decides it’s time to cut him off. As he leaves, Mulder realizes that a man who was watching him has already left.

He goes to use the bathroom but finds an out-of-order sign on the door, so he does his business in an alley. The man from the bar approaches him and asks if the FBI is accusing him of screwing things up in Dallas. The man, Dr. Alvin Kurtzweil, has been watching Mulder since he started at the FBI. He also knew Bill and says that, back when they worked together, they could have been called “fellow travelers.” Mulder wonders if Kurtzweil is a reporter. Kurtzweil says he’s an OB/GYN and knows something about the bombing that Mulder hasn’t been told.

Mulder says Kurtzweil can talk until Mulder hails a cab. Kurtzweil tells him that Michaud never tried to defuse the bomb. He also knows that the bomb was put in that building, not the Federal Building, because FEMA had a quarantine office there. The four supposed victims, other than Michaud, were dead before the bomb exploded. Mulder scoffs at the idea that Michaud didn’t try to stop the bomb, but Kurtzweil knows that the bomb was detonated so people could hide something – possibly something they couldn’t predict.

Mulder still thinks Kurtzweil is nuts, so he leaves him there on the street outside the bar. He starts to go home, then decides to go to Georgetown to see Scully, even though it’s 3 in the morning. She wonders if he got drunk before or after he decided to come see her. Mulder makes her get dressed so he can take her somewhere.

Back in Texas, the site around the cave has been turned into a research facility. CSM arrives to see what Bronschweig and his team have found. He thinks the fireman’s arrival raised the body temperature of someone already in the cave. That someone is the amberfied caveman, who is basically alive because of the black oil, though he’ll never recover from the infection. CSM wants to use the vaccine/cure on him; if it’s unsuccessful, they’ll burn his body “like the others.”

Mulder takes Scully to Bethesda Naval Hospital, where they’re told they can’t access the morgue. Mulder bluffs their way in, pretending they were summoned by the same general who has declared the morgue off-limits. The agents find the body of one of the firemen, which has something sticky all over it. Scully diagnoses a cellular breakdown of his tissue. She can also see that, despite what they were told, the body hasn’t been autopsied yet, so the report stating his cause of death as injuries from the explosion is false. Scully says she’s not sure anyone could determine a cause of death.

She realizes that there must be some sort of cover-up happening. Mulder says he has a hunch that whatever Scully finds from an autopsy, it won’t be something they can explain. But he’s being blamed for Michaud’s death, so he’d like to know what killed him. He knows Scully would feel the same if she were in his position.

While Scully gets to work, Mulder goes to Kurtzweil’s house, which is being searched by the police. A detective tells Mulder that Kurtzweil is being investigated for child pornography. Mulder finds books on Kurtzweil’s shelf about the apocalypse and tells the police not to bother letting him know if they find the doctor. As Mulder leaves, he spots Kurtzweil, who says the investigation is an attempt to discredit him. He claims that FEMA, which is super-powerful, wouldn’t normally be involved in the investigation of whatever’s going on in Texas. It must be bigger than they’re letting on.

Kurtzweil continues that he and Bill once looked into a case involving biological warfare. He thinks now they’re looking at “a plague to end all plagues.” For 50 years, the government has been working on a planned Armageddon. FEMA will end up in charge. Mulder thinks Kurtzweil is even more paranoid than he is. Kurtzweil warns that if he doesn’t go back to Texas, he’ll be as in the dark as everyone else in the country, and by the time he catches on, it’ll be too late.

Scully autopsies Michaud, finding something crystallized inside his body. She’s able to hide in another room before guards can see her. Mulder calls (“Scully, it’s me”) and she tells him that Michaud was infected with something. He wants them both to go to Texas, though Scully has to go back to the review hearing the next day. As they’re talking, Scully hears the guards approaching and has to hang up so she can hide again.

Mulder goes to Texas alone and learns that FEMA found some bone fragments from an archaeological site. Scully joins her partner and tells him that the infection she found in the fireman’s body could lead to a major health threat. Mulder has Scully look at the bone fragments, even though they weren’t found near the explosion site. Scully’s stunned by what she sees under the microscope.

At the cave site, Bronschweig prepares to administer the vaccine/cure to the amberfied body. However, he realizes that “it’s” left the body, which means it’s gestated. “So much for little green men,” he says. Bronschweig decides to use the vaccine/cure on the now-sentient black oil, which looks like an alien, but it attacks him before he can. Bronschweig begs his crew for help, but they’re not about to let him come out of the cave and risk spreading the infection.

WMM is enjoying tea in England when he gets a phone call alerting him to “a situation.” CSM has arranged a meeting in London, as ordered by someone named Strughold. WMM meets up with the rest of the Syndicate there, and Strughold tells them that they need to reassess their role in colonization. The Elder clarifies: “The virus has mutated.” They’re now dealing with a new alien biological entity.

WMM says this is spontaneous repopulation, not colonization. This means they’ve been used and lied to this whole time. Strughold says they’re going to turn over a body infected by the new entity and tell “them” what the Syndicate has found. WMM thinks this will ruin them, but Strughold says it’ll buy them time to work on the vaccine/cure. CSM reveals that Mulder saw one of the infected bodies, which means someone tipped him off, probably Kurtzweil.

Though Kurtzweil is a kook and no one will believe him, at least according to WMM, the others know that they need to remove him from the equation. They also need to take out Mulder. WMM points out that that will just make him a martyr for his cause. Strughold says that, in that case, they need to take away “what he holds most valuable – that with which he can’t live without” [sic, ugh].

Mulder and Scully go to the cave site, but all traces of the investigation have been removed. Mulder sees that the grass at a nearby playground has recently been laid, and Scully can tell that the equipment is new. Stevie’s friends approach but won’t answer the agents’ questions about the playground or their new bikes. They also don’t believe that Mulder and Scully are FBI agents, since they look like door-to-door salesmen. When Mulder flashes his badge, one of the boys tells him that the crew left an hour ago.

The agents follow their trail, wondering what they’re transporting in their unmarked tanker trucks. They can’t decide which direction the crew went, left or right, so Mulder drives straight onto a dirt road. He boasts that he’s never been wrong in the five years he and Scully have worked together – “not driving, anyway.” The agents end up in the middle of nowhere, and Scully regrets coming to Texas in the first place. She doubts that the crew is hauling a virus in the tanker trucks. Mulder finally tells Scully that the virus might be extraterrestrial.

A train comes by, giving Mulder an idea. Well, really, two ideas, one of which is to follow the train. The end up at a site that looks like the one set up during the cave investigation. Scully wonders why there’s a cornfield around it, since they’re in the desert. They go inside a domed building, which Scully thinks is a venting system on top of a larger facility. There’s humming below them and catwalks above. Someone has definitely figured out they’re there, and the response is to release hundreds of bees.

The agents run for it, managing to escape without getting stung. They see lights approaching and realize they’re being pursued by helicopters. They run back through the cornfield, crouching down at one point to avoid detection. They get separated, so Mulder gets to run through the corn, yelling, “SCULLAY!” They both make it out of the cornfield, realizing that the helicopters have disappeared.

Scully makes it back to D.C. for the hearing, where she presents the bone fragments. Meanwhile, Mulder meets with Kurtzweil and tells him about the tanker trucks. Scully tells the hearing panel that Michaud may be involved in whatever’s going on. Mulder tells Kurtzweil about the bees and corn. As Cassidy questions Scully about the investigation, a bee crawls around Scully’s back. She admits that she’s working with Mulder again.

Kurtzweil and Mulder think that the corn is a way of carrying a virus contained in altered pollen. Mulder’s annoyed that Kurtzweil doesn’t have any answers; he doesn’t think Kurtzweil even knew Bill. In fact, he suspects that Kurtzweil has been using Mulder to get information. Kurtzweil points out that Mulder wouldn’t have known where to look without his help. He thinks there’s a reason Mulder and Scully were allowed to leave Texas alive. As Kurtzweil leaves, Mulder realizes that someone was listening to their conversation.

He goes home and looks through a photo album, seeing Kurtzweil in an old picture. Scully arrives and announces that she’s being transferred to Salt Lake City. She’s not willing to make the move, so she’s resigned. Mulder tells her she can’t quit now – they’re close to finding something. Scully asks him not to drag her into something crazy yet again. She’s ready to walk away. Mulder says he needs her, but she disagrees – she’s only ever held him back.

Mulder goes after Scully to argue that she can’t resign with a clear conscience. She reminds him that she was brought in as his partner to debunk his work. Mulder says that she really saved him with her science and reason. “You kept me honest,” he says. “You made me a whole person.” He owes her everything but she owes him nothing. Mulder isn’t sure he wants to move forward alone, or if he can, but he knows that if he quits, the bad guys win.

The two give each other meaningful looks for a while, then hug for an even longer while. She kisses his forehead, and after some more meaningful looking, Mulder moves in for a real kiss. But that STUPID FREAKING BEE interrupts them by stinging Scully. Mulder says it must have gotten in her shirt (unlike him, who won’t get into her shirt for another season or so). Scully immediately starts feeling like something’s wrong; it’s like she’s having an allergic reaction without having a bee allergy.

Mulder calls paramedics and tells them that they may be dealing with a virus. Instead of telling Mulder which hospital Scully’s being taken to, the paramedic driving the ambulance shoots him through the window. Moments later, an ambulance presumably carrying real paramedics arrives. Meanwhile, Scully’s taken to a plane, where CSM is ready to take her somewhere else.

Mulder wakes up in the hospital with the Lone Gunmen standing over him. He calls them the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and Toto. They tell him the bullet only grazed him, but he’s been unconscious for a while. Mulder wants to go look for Scully, but Skinner comes in and stops him, noting that the bad guys will never let him find her. Mulder suggests that he and Byers trade places, which fools the person watching his room, allowing him to leave the hospital undetected.

WMM tracks down Kurtzweil and corners him in the alley behind the bar where he and Mulder keep meeting. When Mulder arrives, he finds only WMM and another Syndicate man in the alley. They tell him that Kurtzweil has already come and gone. WMM invites him into his car so they can discuss a way to save Scully. He gives Mulder a vaccine/cure that he has to administer within 96 hours, and the coordinates where he can find his partner.

WMM admits that the virus is extraterrestrial, and though they don’t know much about it, it was the original inhabitant of the planet. He waxes poetic about a virus being a “colonizing force” that can’t be defeated. It lives underground until it mutates and attacks. Mulder can’t believe that the Syndicate has been working to conceal a virus this whole time. WMM says he has it all backwards – today’s deadliest viruses are “newborns.” The one they’re dealing with now has been around longer than humans.

Aliens sent the viruses here centuries ago, and they’ve been waiting to be awoken. Humans will be the hosts. The vaccine/cure is humanity’s only defense. Bill was one of the people trying to conceal the truth. Without the vaccine/cure, humans will become slaves to aliens. Now the virus is gestating, and it’s time to fight. WMM only wants the truth out now because he wants to protect his family. He knows he’ll be killed for telling Mulder everything.

Mulder asks where Kurtzweil is, but WMM won’t tell him. Mulder demands to be let out of the car, so they take him back to the alley. WMM warns that the Syndicate will stop at nothing to accomplish their goals. They ordered WMM to kill Kurtzweil, and now he’s supposed to kill Mulder. Instead, he kills his driver and tells Mulder to “trust no one.” WMM tells Mulder that the alien colonists don’t know about the vaccine/cure yet. If he can find Scully, he’ll understand how huge the project they’ve been working on for 50 years is. Mulder leaves, and WMM gets back in the car, which immediately explodes.

48 hours later, Mulder’s in Antarctica, on the hunt for Scully. The coordinates WMM gave him have led him to a spot near yet another investigation site. As he’s approaching, he falls through the snow into a tunnel. There’s a hole leading deeper underground that eventually takes Mulder to a cave containing frozen bodies, at least one of which is an alien. CSM arrives at the site and sees that he has a visitor. Mulder goes through a tunnel into a cavern filled with frozen bodies.

Using binoculars, Mulder is able to spot a container he figures is Scully’s. He slips on his way down and almost falls into the bottomless pit that the cavern leads to. He manages to grab on to something and make his way to Scully’s container, but only her cross necklace is inside. He checks out the rows of bodies and finds her frozen. As guards move in to intercept him, Mulder frees Scully from the ice and administers the vaccine/cure. It works immediately, pulling the virus from her into the cave’s weird life-sustaining system, but he can’t finish disconnecting her from the system before the cave starts to quake.

Someone tells CSM that there’s a contaminant in the system. CSM realizes that Mulder has the vaccine/cure. Mulder finishes freeing Scully as the facility’s apparent self-destruct system goes into effect. CSM orders everyone to abandon the facility, predicting that Mulder and Scully won’t make it out alive. Mulder takes his partner back the way he came in as all the frozen bodies start thawing. One of the aliens is really ticked about being trapped in ice.

Scully stops breathing, and Mulder has to put her down to revive her. “I had you big-time,” she teases. The trapped bodies start trying to break free of their frozen prisons, and somehow steam is released. The agents are able to get out just before an alien can get a good hold of Mulder and pull him back inside. They climb back to the surface as the ice around them starts to break and the whole facility collapses in on itself.

The agents can’t outrun the deepening pit, but something rising out of the ground pushes them back up, saving them. It’s a giant UFO. Mulder isn’t sure Scully sees it before it’s gone, but she assures him she saw it. He’s exhausted, so she cradles him in her arms, right at the edge of a gigantic ice canyon.

Back in D.C., Cassidy addresses Scully and Skinner as someone steals the bone fragments. Cassidy says that Scully’s report is implausible, and nothing in it really points to domestic terrorism. The bone fragments end up in a tanker truck supposedly transporting corn oil. The corn in Texas is set on fire. Scully gives Cassidy the bee that stung her and says that she doesn’t think the FBI currently has a devision that’s equipped to continue the investigation.

Mulder reads a news article about the hanta virus being contained in Texas. Scully joins him and he complains that the truth is once again being buried. Scully says she told the whole story, but Mulder knows it won’t make a difference. They’ve been here before, right next to the truth, and once again, they’re being knocked back to the beginning. Scully was right to want to quit. She’d be safer away from him, working as a doctor. Scully refuses, saying her work is with him. There’s a cure for the virus she was exposed to; they could save other people. She takes his hand and repeats what he said about the bad guys winning if she quits now.

In the desert of Tunisia, a helicopter delivers CSM to a cornfield. He tells a man that Mulder has seen more than he should, and now he’s determined to uncover the truth. The other man says that Mulder’s just one man, and “one man alone cannot fight the future.” CSM hands over a note he received, which the other man reads, then drops in the sand. It’s a telegram announcing that the X-files division has been reopened.

Thoughts: This movie features a cavalcade of stars:

  • Kurtzweil is played by the recently deceased Martin Landau.
  • Michaud is played by Terry O’Quinn, in his second role in the series.
  • Cassidy is played by Blythe Danner, who I love, and who should have had a bigger role, and who better be in the Will and Grace revival.
  • Strughold is played by Armin Mueller-Stahl.
  • She’s uncredited, for some reason, but the bartender Mulder mopes to is played by the also recently deceased Glenne Headly.

Once again, thanks, writers, for names like Kurtzweil and Bronschweig that I had to type over and over. We need more Smiths, Lees, and Kims on this show.

Whoever wrote the line “that with which he can’t live without,” your third-grade English teacher is weeping somewhere.

Aww, ‘bye, WMM. You were the only bearable part of the Syndicate.

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April 13, 2014

BH90210 7.20, With This Ring: Isn’t Anyone On This Show Happy?

Posted in movies tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 2:53 pm by Jenn

Apparently the jeweler is Jason Priestley in makeup. Freaky

Apparently the jeweler is Jason Priestley in makeup. Freaky

Summary: Valerie has a dream that’s a mixture of her father and being in bed with Tom. She wakes up when Tom starts bleeding on top of her. Real Tom tells her that they’ll have to “face it all” when Abby returns from her business trip. Kelly writes in her journal on the beach, admitting to feeling alone. She chose herself instead of deciding between Brandon and Dylan; now they’re seeing other people and she’s single.

Brandon runs a production meeting at CUTV, but Tracy’s not paying attention. She’s not happy that he held on to the engagement ring he wanted to give Kelly. Brandon wants the conversation to wait until after the show. Donna talks to Clare about her David/Cliff issues; she wants to date Cliff but doesn’t want to take him places David might show up. She’s tired of people seeing her and David as always together, and would like to live her own life.

Ryan asks Steve for advice about taking a girl out. Steve suggests a double date with him and Clare at a pier carnival. Abby returns from her trip, and Valerie admits that she’s surprised to see her. She still won’t sign the papers for the second mortgage on the house. Abby decides to go back to Buffalo the next day.

That night, there’s a special CUTV program, where Chancellor Arnold presents Brandon with a plaque commemorating the station’s 100th broadcast. It’s followed by a party, which Clare, Steve, Donna, and Cliff ditch to go out. Tom urges Valerie to talk to her mother about her issues, but Val resists. Kelly and Brandon make awkward small talk, which Tracy sees, and she blasts Brandon for talking to his ex when they’d planned to have their big conversation.

The party ditchers go to the carnival, and Donna enjoys her time with Cliff. Steve wonders where David fits into things. Clare points out that David hangs out with Chloe all the time. Ryan’s date is going well, and he asks Steve for a condom. The girl’s parents are going out of town, and he wants to be ready for some alone time the next night.

Tracy and Brandon finally have it out, with her accusing him of cheating with Kelly. He assures her he’s not, but when she asks if he still loves Kelly, he doesn’t know what to say. Tracy’s done with him. Cliff tries to turn things romantic with Donna, but she resists since she’s kind of still with David. She doesn’t think she should be playing around with Cliff. Cliff replies that he’s not playing.

David’s hanging out with Chloe, who thinks Donna’s cheating and tells David to get out before he gets hurt. David’s sure that nothing like that is going on since Donna’s a virgin. He wants to respect her decision to send time with someone else. Valerie has another nightmare, this one about her father coming to tell her a story to help her fall asleep: “Once upon a time, there was a little girl who loved her daddy very much. She made her father do all kinds of terrible things.”

Valerie immediately goes to Abby’s hotel for the talk she’s been putting off having with her. She can’t believe Abby was always able to sleep through everything Mr. Malone did to Valerie: She was molested. Abby doesn’t believe her; she and her husband were married for 20 years, so she would have known if he was a molester. Valerie says that Abby could have stopped him. Abby slaps her and tells her to go to Hell, but Val says she’s been there since she was 11.

Kelly wonders why she and Brandon aren’t together if there were truly meant to be. Donna tells her that she still loves David, but she has feelings for Cliff and thinks thing are easier with him. Kelly brings up what I did about how Brandon was with Emily when Kelly was in the fire, and how David was with Chloe when Donna was being held hostage. Donna urges Kelly to tell Brandon how she feels. Kelly points out that they’ve dated other people since they broke up, so they seem to have moved on. If she has to talk to Brandon, Donna has to talk to David.

Clare wants Steve to talk to Ryan about sex instead of just handing over a condom. Steve doesn’t think Clare is the best source for sex education, considering how she handcuffed herself to Brandon’s bed as a teen. Clare decides to initiate the sex talk herself. Brandon talks to Nat about Kelly, saying that she knows how he feels, since he proposed. If she wants to be with him, she knows where to find him.

Abby goes by the After Dark to talk to Tom, and he reveals that he knew Valerie was being molested. Now Abby gets that the accusations are true. Valerie shows up and explains why she never told anyone about the molestation: She thought she’d get into trouble. Plus, Mr. Malone told her that Abby wanted it to happen. Valerie reveals that she only said something because Tom threatened to go to the police. She confronted her father, and he responded by killing himself. Now she feels responsible for her father’s death.

Tracy goes to the beach apartment to tell Kelly that she and Brandon broke up because she found the ring. Tracy wanted to tell Kelly that she’s backing down, and Kelly and Brandon can be together again, but she wants him back. Kelly admits that she still loves him. Tracy’s upset that Kelly gave up her chance and now wants Brandon again. Steve approaches the sex talk with Ryan, but it turns out he doesn’t really need it. He’s relieved to hear that it’s okay if he wants to wait a little while. Kelly comes by to see Brandon, but Steve tells her he left to return the ring.

Chloe gets invited to New York to meet with Luther Vandross’ manager, and she asks David to come along. David doesn’t want to leave Donna back in Beverly Hills, and he definitely doesn’t want to hook up with Chloe and her top that is definitely just a bra. Donna shows up for a talk, and David sends Chloe out of the room but she doesn’t stay out of sight. She comes in with her jacket undone, looking like she was just getting dressed.

As Abby’s packing to return to Buffalo, Valerie arrives to tell her she’ll sign the papers. Now, though, Abby wants to sell the house, knowing what was going on without her knowledge. She feels horrible that she didn’t know what Valerie was going through. The jeweler Brandon bought the ring from two years ago remembers him (whatever) and asks if he wants cash or an exchange. Brandon considers swapping it for a bracelet, but he wants to make sure he and Kelly are really over first.

Outside the store, Brandon runs into Kelly and tells her about returning the ring. She claims to be happy about that decision. She doesn’t think they should get back together. Brandon pretends to agree. At the After Dark, Valerie tells Tom that she wants to leave the past in the past, but looking at him makes her think of her father. She loves him, but she can’t be with him right now. Brandon gives Tracy the bracelet, having returned the ring after all. He has no idea that Kelly bought it.

Thoughts: Why are we suddenly back to Brandon and Kelly? Where did that come from?

I like Tracy, but she needs to calm down. And not just because Brandon’s nowhere near worth it.

They sure waited a long time for the Valerie reveal. I wonder if the molestation storyline was planned all along?

Girl with Ryan, what’s wrong with you?

Chloe doesn’t see what Donna sees in Cliff. Poor girl – she’s blind.

Clare, I’m 99 percent sure Ryan doesn’t want to have the sex talk with his brother’s girlfriend.

December 31, 2013

10 Things I Hate About You: Herding Kat

Posted in movies tagged , at 1:29 pm by Jenn

Why is Julia Stiles standing like that? Did Joseph Gordon-Levitt hurt his back? Why is Gabrielle Union in this picture when she has so few scenes?

Why is Julia Stiles standing like that? Did Joseph Gordon-Levitt hurt his back? Why is Gabrielle Union in this picture when she has so few scenes?

Summary: Some girls are rocking out in their car to the Barenaked Ladies’ “One Week.” Kat Stratford (Julia Stiles) pulls up alongside them to glare and listen to “Bad Reputation.” Cameron James (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is welcomed to Padua High School by the guidance counselor, Ms. Perky (Allison Janney), who hates everyone. Next she gets a visit from Patrick Verona (Heath Ledger), who’s the resident bad boy. He used a bratwurst to pretend to expose himself to a lunch lady. Ms. Perky thinks he’s being optimistic with the bratwurst. After he leaves, she goes back to writing a romance novel.

Michael (David Krumholtz) takes Cameron under his wing and shows him around the school. He introduces him to various cliques: white Rastas, cowboys, future MBAs (yesterday, Michael was their god, but Bogie Lowenstein started a rumor that his Izods come from an outlet mall). They come across Bianca Stratford (Larisa Oleynik), and Cameron immediately falls in love: “I burn, I pine, I perish.” Too bad she’s not smart. She and her friend Chastity (Gabrielle Union) discuss the difference between like and love (she likes her Skechers and loves her Prada backpack) while Michael tells Cameron that the Stratford sisters aren’t allowed to date.

Kat goes to her English class with teacher Mr. Morgan (Daryl “Chill” Mitchell), where they’re discussing The Sun Also Rises. Kat hated the book because Hemingway was a misogynist. Joey Donner (Andrew Keegan) taunts her, so Mr. Morgan tells him to shut up. Patrick arrives late for class, then immediately leaves again. Joey continues taunting Kat, and Mr. Morgan warns that she’ll hit him one day and he won’t try to stop her. However, he’s also sick of her for constantly complaining since she’s rich and white. He sends her to the office just for annoying him.

Ms. Perky continues working on her erotica, with an assist from Kat in the form of a synonym. They exposit that she recently kicked a guy in the family jewels for groping her. Ms. Perky notes that a lot of people find Kat… “Tempestuous?” Kat supplies. “Heinous b&^%$ is the term used most often,” Ms. Perky replies. After class, Joey ogles Bianca, telling a friend he’s going to land her. Michael tells Cameron that Joey’s a model (not exactly international).

Cameron continues admiring Bianca, insisting that she’s deeper than she seems. Michael says that guys like them can never date girls like her. But if Cameron wants an in, he can tutor Bianca in French, despite not speaking it. Joey taunts Kat one more time as Chastity wonders if you can be “whelmed,” as opposed to under- or overwhelmed. Bianca thinks you can in Europe. Joey gives them a ride home, which Kat and her friend Mandella (Susan May Pratt) find gross. Kat almost runs over Michael, who tells Cameron that she’s Bianca’s sister. Then he accidentally drives down a hill on his scooter.

Kat goes home to read The Bell Jar and let her father, Dr. Stratford (Larry Miller), know that she hasn’t made anyone cry today – “but it’s only 4:30.” She’s thrilled to get an acceptance letter from Sarah Lawrence. Dr. Stratford objects to her going to school on the East Coast. Kat tries to change the subject by telling him that Bianca let a senior drive her home. He busts out his two house rules, both of which are no dating until graduation. Dr. Stratford is an OB/GYN, so he sees pregnant teenagers all the time and doesn’t want his daughters to end up in the same mess. Kat has no problem abstaining from dating since all the guys at school are gross. Dr. Stratford decides to use this to his advantage and makes a new rule: Bianca can date when Kat does.

Bianca goes to her first tutoring session with Cameron; he wastes no time asking her out. “That’s so cute! What’s your name again?” she replies. She tells him that she can’t date until Kat does. Cameron wonders why Kat’s such a jerk. “I’m pretty sure she’s just incapable of human interaction,” Bianca says. “Plus, she’s a b&^%$.” Cameron thinks they can find a guy somewhere who would think of going out with Kat as “extreme dating.” Bianca would be eternally grateful if he succeeded. So Cameron and Michael gather some guys to interview potential dates for Kat, but not even the most desperate of them is quite that desperate.

In chem lab, Cameron wonders if Patrick is an option for Kat. Michael quickly vetoes him: He set a state trooper on fire! He just got out of San Quentin! He sold his liver for new speakers! As Patrick uses a Bunsen burner to light a cigarette, Cameron makes up his mind that he’s the right guy. They approach him in woodshop, where Patrick won’t even talk to him, instead drilling a hole in his French book. The guys consider offering Patrick money, so Michael suggests getting it from someone dumb. That would be Joey. Michael advises him to hire someone to date Kat so he can have Bianca. All he wants in return is a “hi” from Joey every so often. And probably for Joey not to draw penises on his face anymore.

Michael approaches Patrick on the school’s sports field, where Kat has soccer practice. Michael starts with the truth, saying that he can’t date Bianca until someone takes Kat out. Then he offers Patrick money to go out with Kat. His opening offer is $20, but after Kat shoves a girl, he ups it to $30. Patrick figures that a movie date would cost $75 (popcorn alone is $53), then negotiates it to $50. It’s a deal. After practice, Patrick tries to talk to Kat, starting off with, “Hey there, girlie.” Unsurprisingly, he doesn’t win her over. He tells her he’ll pick her up on Friday. Cameron and Michael watch from the bleachers, Cameron trying to stay upbeat about how screwed they are. Then Bogie hits someone with a golf ball.

At home, Bianca bugs Kat to put more effort into her appearance and try to be nice. Kat insists that she doesn’t care what people think, telling her sister that she doesn’t have to act the way everyone wants her to. Bianca says she likes being adored. Kat notices that Bianca is wearing a strand of their mother’s pearls and objects. Bianca notes that their mom isn’t coming back for them. Kat goes shopping and runs into Patrick, who’s surprised that she’s not afraid of him the way everyone else is. Also, she’s probably thought of him naked. Joey double-parks her and she rams into his car.

Of course, Dr. Stratford is upset about this, and thinks Kat’s acting out because he doesn’t want her to go to Sarah Lawrence. Kat counters that her father’s punishing her because her mother left. He tells her that she doesn’t really know what she wants; by the time she does know, she’ll be too old to use it. Kat just wants him to let her make her own choices. Bianca confronts Kat for her actions, calling her psycho. Speaking of confrontations, Joey’s upset that Patrick hasn’t come through on his end of their deal yet. Patrick decides he wants $100 a date now.

Cameron and Michael visit Patrick in woodshop again and tell him they know about his deal with Joey. They want to help so Cameron can go out with Bianca. They offer to find out the kinds of things Kat likes so Patrick can connect with her. Michael thinks that he should take Kat to a party Bogie’s throwing that weekend. He also plans to get Bogie back by flooding the party with tons of students. A clueless Joey asks Bianca for her opinion on some headshots. He wants to hang out with her at the party.

Cameron also wants to hang out with Bianca at the party, and tells her that he’s working on getting Kat a date. Bianca confirms that Kat is straight, but the only guy she’s shown an interest in is Jared Leto. She also won’t date a smoker. They sneak into Kat’s room, finding concert ticket stubs and black panties; Bianca says that means Kat wants to have sex someday. Cameron asks to see Bianca’s room, but she gets flustered and tells him that a girl’s bedroom is personal.

Michael and Cameron find Patrick at a biker bar to give him the information they got from Kat’s room and Bianca. Patrick worries that he’s not pretty enough for Kat. Cameron and Michael assure him that he is. They encourage him to hang out with Kat at Club Skunk the next night. Patrick is reluctant until Cameron reveals that Kat has some black underwear. At the club the next night, Patrick “runs into” Kat, pretending he’s not stalking her and likes this kind of music, too. Also, he quit smoking. Just as he tells her she looked sexy dancing, the music stops and everyone hears. He invites her to the party again, and she plays coy.

Bianca and Chastity try to sneak out of the Stratfords’ house for Bogie’s party; when Dr. Stratford catches them, they say they’re going to a study group. He tells them they can’t go if Kat doesn’t go. Kat refuses, giving a speech about parties that she’s given so many times, Bianca and Chastity can recite it. Bianca begs her sister to do something nice for once, so Kat gives in and agrees to go with them. Now Dr. Stratford has no excuse to let them go. But first, Bianca has to wear a fake pregnancy belly to remind her what could happen if she has sex. Just as the girls are leaving, Patrick shows up to join them.

Cameron and Michael get ready for the party; Michael’s overexcited because the last party he went to was at Chuck E. Cheese. Dozens of students show up at Bogie’s, turning his lowbrow cigar-and-brie party into a kegger. Michael tries to hit on a girl by talking about possibly getting a Toyota. Patrick follows Kat around, losing track of her as she comes across Joey. He taunts that he’s getting closer to Bianca. When Kat tries to warn Bianca away from him, Bianca ignores her. Kat decides to drink some shots to distract herself. Patrick’s concerned since it’s not like her to give in to peer pressure.

Michael continues to fail at flirting. Cameron finds Bianca, who appears to be a little more into him, but she gets pulled away by Joey. He spends the next few minutes boring her. Later, Bianca and Cameron run into each other again, but don’t talk. Patrick goes looking for Kat and finds her dancing drunkenly on the kitchen table. She hits her head on a chandelier and falls off, but he catches her. He takes her outside, thinking she could have a concussion so he needs to keep her awake.

Cameron tells Patrick that the deal is off, since Bianca wants Joey. Patrick tells him to keep fighting for her. “Don’t let anyone, ever, make you feel like you don’t deserve what you want,” he says. He takes Kat to a tree swing, which he has to stop her from falling off of. She passes out and he revives her, genuinely concerned for her. Kat notices that his eyes have some green in them, then pukes on his shoes. Joey asks Bianca to go with him to another party, but she has to go home to make curfew. Chastity happily accepts the invitation in his place. Stuck without a ride home, Bianca asks Cameron to drive her.

Patrick takes Kat home while she talks about how she should start a band. She comments that her father would love that, and he notes that she doesn’t seem like the type of person to ask permission. Both of them mention that people think they’re scary. Kat says that her father wants her to be like her sister. Patrick tells her that Bianca isn’t that great. She tries to kiss him, but he declines.

Cameron drives Bianca home and they also have an awkward moment. He confronts her for pretending she wanted to hang out with him when she really wanted to date Joey. He asks if she’s always been this selfish, and she realizes that she has. Cameron tells her everything he’s done for her, and she kisses him. “And I’m back in the game!” he exclaims after she gets out of the car.

At school on Monday, Mr. Morgan raps a Shakespearean sonnet for the class, delighting the white Rastas (and Kat). He assigns the class to write their own version of the sonnet. He thinks Kat will object to the assignment, but she likes it. Mr. Morgan is so confused that he kicks her out. In the hallway, Cameron and Bianca make eyes at each other. Michael teases Mandella about the pictures of Shakespeare in her locker, then wins her over by quoting Macbeth. He brings her into his and Cameron’s inner circle.

On the field, Cameron blasts Patrick for not kissing Kat and furthering their plan. Then he shares that he got kissed himself. Michael reports that Kat “hates [Patrick] with the fire of a thousand suns.” Cameron suggests that she just needs a day to cool off. Kat disproves that theory by firing a soccer ball at Patrick’s head. Later, Kat tears down a prom poster, complaining to Mandella that no one smart would want to attend. Mandella’s annoyed that Kat wants to make yet another statement about something.

Joey visits Bianca during gym class, where she loses concentration and shoots the teacher, Mr. Chapin (David Leisure), with an arrow. He asks her to prom, telling her that he’s lining up a date for Kat so Bianca will be allowed to go. He gives Patrick some money, but Patrick won’t accept until Joey ups it to $300. He heads out to stalk Kat some more (seriously, he follows her around a lot in this movie), finding her trying out a guitar at a music store, then looking at feminist tomes at a bookstore. They snark that neither is as mean as he or she thinks.

At school, Patrick confirms to Cameron and Michael that Kat’s still mad. Cameron advises him to “sacrifice [himself] on the altar of dignity and even the score.” Patrick uses some of Joey’s $300 to pay a guy to help him sing “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” (with accompaniment from the school’s marching band) to Kat on the field. She’s so touched that she flashes Mr. Chapin to distract him so Patrick can sneak out of detention. They end up in a paddleboat, talking about how they always disappoint others for not living up to expectations. Patrick says that Kat never disappointed him.

They play paintball and have their first kiss, then head to Kat’s house, clearing up various rumors about each other. Patrick asks Kat to prom, but she still thinks it’s a dumb tradition. He encourages her to defy people’s expectations. She asks what’s in it for him, and though he tries to laugh off the possibility that he needs a motive, Kat isn’t convinced. Patrick pulls out a cigarette, making her realize that he didn’t quit smoking after all. Cameron tutors Bianca, and her French is so good now that she can use it to insult him. She’s mad that he hasn’t asked her out yet.

While Mandella finds a dress and prom invitation (from William S.) in her locker, Dr. Stratford pretends to work out on his roof. Bianca approaches to talk about prom, shocking him so much that he accidentally launches a piece of exercise equipment. Dr. Stratford doesn’t want her to go out with Joey, and finds her naïve for thinking that she’ll just end up kissing a boy. Bianca insists that she just wants to do something normal. “What’s normal? Those damn Dawson’s River kids sleeping in each other’s beds and whatnot?” Dr. Stratford asks. He doesn’t approve of her “going out and getting jiggy” with a guy – “I don’t care how dope his ride is. My mama didn’t raise no fool.” At least his neighbor returns his exercise equipment.

Kat finds Bianca moping while watching The Real World: Seattle and tells her she’s not going to sacrifice her beliefs so Bianca can go to prom. She admits that she and Joey briefly dated their freshman year, and even had sex. Joey dumped her because she told him she didn’t want to sleep with him again. From that moment on, Kat promised herself that she would never do what everyone else was doing. She didn’t tell Bianca because she wanted Bianca to come to her own conclusions about Joey. Bianca’s mad that she was so overprotected.

After some moping from both sisters, Kat ends up going to prom anyway. Cameron arrives to pick up Bianca, to Dr. Stratford’s dismay. “I know every cop in town, bucko,” he warns. Kat and Patrick meet up (and make up) at the dance while Joey goes to the Stratfords’ to get Bianca. Dr. Stratford just closes the door in his face. Mandella nervously waits for her William S., making Kat think she’s lost her mind. It’s Michael, of course, so the two of them can go off and be weird together.

Kat’s surprised when her favorite band starts playing, having been hired by Patrick. Bianca learns that Joey brought Chastity to the dance instead of her, and tells Chastity he’s all hers. Chastity snots that Joey only wanted to date Bianca to have sex with her. He even made a bet with his friends that he would sleep with her after prom. Patrick tells Kat that he spent the past year (when he was rumored to be in prison) taking care of his grandfather. Joey pulls him aside to blast him for failing to help him land Bianca. Kat overhears that money exchanged hands and runs off.

Joey next confronts Cameron, who’s had enough of his vile talk about Bianca. Joey throws a punch, then gets punched twice and kneed in the groin by Bianca (once for hitting Cameron, once for the way he treated Kat, and once for the way he treated her). Kat blasts Patrick for the deal with Joey, though he insists that he didn’t care about the money. He tells her he only cared about her, but she tells him he’s not the person she thought he was.

The next day, Bianca invites Kat to go sailing with her and Cameron, thanking her for going to prom so Bianca could go. Kat’s glad that she had a good time. Dr. Stratford wants to hear all about prom, so Kat tells him about Bianca beating up Joey. He admits that he’s impressed, and not concerned that his mean daughter had a bad influence on his nice one. He tells Kat that it’s hard for him to see his daughters become independent, and it’ll be even harder for him to let her go across the country to attend Sarah Lawrence.

At school, Mr. Morgan asks for a volunteer to read his or her sonnet. Kat reads hers, which is a list of reasons she hates Patrick, concluding with, “I hate the way I don’t hate you, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.” She and Patrick both start crying. After school, Kat goes to her car and finds a guitar inside, purchased with Joey’s $300. Patrick approaches and they make up, though she notes that he can’t buy her a guitar every time he screws up. He notes that he still has plenty of instruments to get. They kiss while Letters to Cleo plays on a roof, because weird things like that happened all the time in the ’90s.

Thoughts: I’ve seen this movie so many times that I can tell when they’ve censored it for this broadcast.

She makes a great Bianca, but Larisa Oleynik will always be Alex Mack to me. That show was awesome.

Also, I want her wardrobe in this movie.

Whoever cast Bogie doesn’t know what high schoolers look like.

Favorite quotes:

  • “Maybe if we were the last two people alive and there were no sheep. Are there sheep?”
  • “Should you be drinking when you don’t have a liver?”
  • “Who knocked up your sister?”
  • “You are amazingly self-assured. Has anyone ever told you that?” “I tell myself that every day.”
  • “She’s meeting some bikers. Big ones. Full of sperm.”

December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Posted in books, Misc., movies, TV tagged , , , , , at 12:48 pm by Jenn

Santa, I specifically asked for Dylan

Santa, I specifically asked for Dylan

Merry Christmas, everyone! (For those who don’t celebrate Christmas, enjoy the day off!) My present to you will be extra posts. Here’s the tentative schedule:

December 26th: Party of Five 3.23, “Promises, Promises”

December 27th: Beverly Hills, 90210 7.4, “Disappearing Act”

December 28th: Party of Five 3.24, “A Little Faith”

December 29th: Beverly Hills, 90210 7.5, “Pledging My Love”

December 30th: Sweet Valley University #10, No Means No

December 31st: A super-special year-end surprise (have I hyped that enough?)

If you still need more ’90s goodness, check out these links:

1. Vulture’s oral history of 90210‘s Donna losing her virginity

2. Vulture’s oral history of the Valley party scene in Clueless

3. Previously TV’s musical tribute to Jack McKay’s pants from “The Kindness of Strangers”

December 31, 2012

Clueless: As If!

Posted in movies at 3:06 pm by Jenn

Our phones are hilarious and awesome

Our phones are hilarious and awesome

Summary: Teenagers are frolicking in California, like they’re in a Noxzema commercial. But they’re not – it’s just Cher Horowitz’s (Alicia Silverstone) life. She has an awesome wardrobe and picks out matches on a computer. Her father (Dan Hedaya) is a lawyer who fights with people for a living, but fights with Cher for free. He tells her Josh, her former stepbrother, is coming to town that night and will be having dinner with them.

Cher has a great Jeep she’s horrible at driving, and she doesn’t even have a license yet. Her best friend is Dionne (Stacey Dash); both of them were named after “great singers of the past who now do infomercials.” Dionne and her boyfriend Murray (Donald Faison) fight a lot, and Cher thinks they’re inspired by What’s Love Got to Do With It? Murray accuses Dionne of “jeeping” with other guys, so she accuses him of cheating on her, since she found an extension in his car. Cher doesn’t see the appeal of high school boys, which are like dogs.

Cher’s debate teacher Mr. Hall (Wallace Shawn) asks her and her rival Amber (Elisa Donovan) to hold a debate on immigration. Cher uses an analogy involving her father’s birthday party and rearranging chairs to make more room for unexpected guests. Also, “it does not say RSVP on the statue of liberty.” Amber doesn’t get it. Cher replies that it was her father’s 50th birthday.

Elton (Jeremy Sisto) has no comments on the debate but wants to go to the quad to find his missing Cranberries CD. Travis (Breckin Meyer) has learned that tolerance is good because he may not always like the music his future children will listen to. Mr. Hall hands out report cards (Travis tries to jump out the window), learning that one student, Christian, won’t be in class until the second half of the year. Cher is shocked that she got a C in debate.

Cher goes home to her gorgeous house, where a huge portrait of her late mother looks over the foyer. Josh (Paul Rudd) is home, and Cher tells him to go bug his new stepfamily. She also thinks he should go to school on the East Coast since girls there aren’t as particular about guys. Josh changes the TV from Beavis and Butthead to the news because he actually cares about the world. They eat dinner with Mr. Horowitz, who wants Josh to be a corporate lawyer instead of an environmental lawyer. Though at least Josh, unlike Cher, knows what he wants to do.

Mr. Horowitz asks Cher about her report card, but she isn’t ready for him to see it since she hasn’t finished negotiating her grades with her teachers. Josh is disgusted, but Cher has been successful with it every other semester. She gets her PE grade changed by complaining to her teacher about a mean boy. She gets another teacher, Ms. Geist (Twink Caplan), to change her grade by promising to write her congressman about violations of the Clean Air Act. But Mr. Hall won’t budge.

After school, Cher and Dionne head to the mall for retail therapy. Dionne thinks Mr. Hall is miserable and wants everyone else to be the same way. Cher decides that’s the place to start – get him laid. Too bad there aren’t any hot female teachers at school. Ms. Geist is the only possible option, and Cher decides not to discount her, despite her obvious flaws. She writes her a note containing a famous quote (from Cliff’s Notes) and leaves it and a rose in her box. Ms. Geist is touched.

Mr. Hall tells his students how many tardies they have to work off. Travis has the most, 38, and gives an acceptance speech thanking his parents, L.A.’s bus drivers, and McDonald’s for making Egg McMuffins. Cher has two tardies and gets one excused because she was “surfing the crimson wave.” She tells Mr. Hall that Ms. Geist was right about him – he’s the only one in the school with “any intelligence.”

At home, Mr. Horowitz confronts Cher over a notice for unpaid tickets. She’s forbidden to drive her Jeep without a licensed driver. (Dionne doesn’t count – “two permits do not equal a license.”) Cher charms Josh, who’s reading Nietzsche, into giving her a lesson, or maybe less charms him than bugs him until he gives in to shut her up.

He tells her he’s going to a Tree People meeting; they might get Marky Mark to plant a tree. Cher isn’t impressed, but Josh thinks he might want to use his celebrity for a good cause. Cher says she does nice things all the time, like donating outfits to their housekeeper, Lucy. Plus, she’s matchmaking for Mr. Hall and Ms. Geist. Josh says that’s probably more for Cher than for them. If she ever did anything that wasn’t 90 percent selfish, he’d die of shock. She says that would be enough of a motive for her.

At school, Cher asks Dionne if she would call her selfish. “Not to your face,” Dionne assures her. She guesses that Josh is making Cher feel bad about herself. They catch up with Mr. Hall and Cher gives him coffee, encouraging him to share it with Ms. Geist. They then visit Ms. Geist in the guidance office and try to give her a quickie makeover. Ms. Geist just wants them to sign up for the environmental fair.

The girls head to PE, where Cher hopes to work off the miniscule amount of food she’s eaten. They see Ms. Geist and Mr. Hall together and think they’re hitting it off. “Old people can be so sweet,” Cher says happily. Indeed, the teachers are involved, and Mr. Hall’s attitude in class improves. Everyone applauds Cher for making it happen. Her grades go up, and Mr. Horowitz is pleased that she was able to argue them better.

Cher’s so happy with herself that she feels like being benevolent to more people. This involves telling Dionne to take out her nose ring when her allergies act up. She complains to their PE teacher about the state of gym class, then almost gets hit by a tennis ball. Dionne gets out of tennis by turning in a note from her private instructor, who’s afraid gym class will interfere with his lessons. Amber’s plastic surgeon won’t let her participate in any activity where balls fly at her nose. “Well, there goes your social life,” Dionne remarks.

There’s a new student at school: Tai (Brittany Murphy, RIP). Amber immediately makes fun of her grungy clothes. Cher says Tai is clueless and they should make her over. Dionne disagrees; “she is toe up. Our stock would plummet.” Cher quickly befriends Tai, who’s looking for “herbal refreshment.” The girls tell her they don’t have tea, but she can get Coke. Tai’s impressed. They give her a quick tour of various cliques, sharing Cher’s choice not to date high school boys.

Murray comes by looking for money from Dionne, who he calls “woman.” She reminds him that she hates it when he calls her that. “Street slang is an increasingly valid form of expression. Most of the feminine pronouns do have mocking, but not necessarily misogynistic, undertones,” he replies. Tai’s impressed that people at the school talk like adults. Cher tells her it’s a really good school.

Tai goes to the cafeteria, where she meets Travis and bonds with him over their shared love of Marvin the Martian. When she tells Cher and Dionne about him, Cher cautions her not to get involved with someone who’s always high. Smoking pot at parties is okay, but no one respectable would date a pothead. She suggests a makeover, and Tai agrees to it, saying she’s never had straight friends before.

After school, Cher and Dionne wash the red dye out of Tai’s hair, then do her makeup and alter her clothes. Cher and Tai do Buns of Steel, and Cher teaches Tai the word “sporadically.” They’re also going to expand their reading horizons – Cher will read Fit or Fat? and Tai will read Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Josh comes home and Cher tells him she wants to do something good for humanity. He suggests sterilization. He’s impressed that she found someone more clueless than herself to rescue. Cher thinks she’s improving Tai’s life. Tai hopes to see Josh again, and “not sporadically.”

Back at school, Travis gives Tai a flyer for a party, but Dionne and Cher tell her it won’t be attended by anyone respectable. They think she has potential to be popular because she has something going for her that no one else does. Tai says she’s not a virgin, but Cher says their friendship will help her get any guy she wants. Like Elton, for example. Cher tries to get them together by getting them close while she’s taking pictures of her friends.

Dionne beeps Cher during dinner, telling her that Murray saw her picture of Tai in Elton’s locker. She thinks they should all go to the Valley party after all. Murray drives, fighting with Dionne over a map. Cher goes Tai pointers on leaving Elton wanting more, though Tai’s distracted by Travis’ skateboarding skills. She notices that Amber’s wearing the same dress Cher had on the day before. Cher’s evening gets worse when Travis spills beer on her shoes. He offers pot to make up for it.

The girls spot Elton and do the pretend-I-just-said-something-funny trick. It just confuses Travis, who doesn’t know what’s going on. Meanwhile, Murray’s friend is shaving Murray’s head, which Dionne flips out about. She threatens to call Murray’s mother. The rest of the partiers dance, and Tai is still drawn to Travis, whose idea of impressing her is jumping off of something really high. Cher pulls Tai away and gets her to dance to catch Elton’s attention. All she catches is a shoe to the head.

Elton and Cher tend to Tai, chasing away Travis. Cher tells Elton to ask questions to keep Tai conscious. Elton asks what seven times seven is. “Stuff she knows!” Cher exclaims. Once she’s recovered, Tai goes off to dance with Elton. Cher’s pleased with herself again, but not for long – her father wants her home in 20 minutes, unaware that she’s in the Valley, which is more than 20 minutes away.

Cher, Tai, and Elton leave the party together, and there’s some shuffling to decide who’s driving who home. Tai ends up with another classmate while Elton takes Cher. Cher wants to see Elton settle down, and he thinks she means with her, not Tai. He keeps trying to kiss her, but she fights him off and gets out of his car in a liquor store parking lot.

Elton ditches her, so Cher tries to call for a cab. Suddenly a guy puts a gun to her head and takes her money and phone, telling her to get on the ground. Cher objects – she’s wearing a designer dress. Finally she gets on the ground, and her mugger thanks her and leaves. Cher doesn’t want to call her father, so she calls Josh for a ride. He picks her up while discussing something scholastic with a date. The date and Cher end up disagreeing over who said “to thine own self be true.” (Cher is correct because she remembers Mel Gibson correctly.)

Even a massage doesn’t make Cher feel better, since she has to tell Tai that Elton doesn’t want to be with her. The two of them and Dionne ditch school to talk about boys and Cher’s virginity. “She’s saving herself for Luke Perry,” Dionne explains. Cher adds that she doesn’t want to have sex until she finds the right person. She’s picky enough about her shoes. Besides, Dionne is also (technically) a virgin. Tai gets emotional when she hears the song she and Elton danced to at the party.

Cher realizes she needs to find someone to take Elton’s place, but there aren’t many good choices at school. Until one day, when Christian (Justin Walker), shows up. Cher figures it’s okay to find her own guy while she’s looking for one for Tai. She gives an oral presentation in debate class about violence in the media, saying that there’s so much in the news that there’s no point in taking it out of TV shows. Amber again objects to Cher’s thought process, but Christian liked it.

Cher tries to make Christian interested by sending herself flowers, candy, and love letters. Eventually he asks her to do something with him. He comes to pick her up while Josh is helping Mr. Horowitz and a bunch of other lawyers with a big case. Mr. Horowitz slams Christian for being a Rat Pack wannabe. He also objects to Cher’s dress, which Josh thinks looks hot. He thinks he should follow them to the party to keep an eye on Cher.

At the party, Tai takes a spill down some stairs, then spots Elton dancing with Amber. Cher assures her that Amber isn’t that pretty; she’s a Monet. From far away, she looks pretty, but up close, she’s a mess. Tai messes with her outfit, then ends up dancing with Josh. At the end of the night, Josh drives Cher home, and she suggests that they take the lawyers food since they’ve been working so hard.

Cher tells us that sometimes she enjoys staying home more than partying, maybe because she gets to wear more comfortable clothes. (Also because she gets to watch Ren and Stimpy and joke around with Josh.) Josh’s mother calls but he doesn’t want to talk to her because he’ll have to go home for spring break. Cher invites him to stay with her and Mr. Horowitz over break. He accepts, though he can’t believe he’s listening to someone who watches cartoons. She tells him that Ren and Stimpy are “way existential.”

Christian calls and plans a night watching movies with Cher. She uses photos to pick out the perfect wardrobe, gets Dionne to do her makeup, and puts a tube of cookie dough in the oven because women should always have something baking when a man comes over. Cher thinks this might be the night she loses her virginity.

Cher suggests that she and Christian go swimming, but he’d rather watch Tony Curtis movies – Some Like it Hot and Spartacus (or, as Cher calls it, Sporadicus). During the movie, Cher tries to primp herself and look sexy but instead falls off the bed. Then she suggests wine or coffee. Christian starts seeing the light and makes up an excuse to leave.

Cher tells Dionne and Murray what happened while Murray gives Dionne a driving lesson. She’s coming to grips with the rejection, since Christian dresses better than she does: “What would I bring to the relationship?” Murray breaks the news that Christian is gay. Cher’s in disbelief, but Dionne notes that Christian likes to shop and dresses really well. Then she accidentally drives onto the freeway. Murray gets her to safety and they celebrate their brush with death by making out. Cher tells us that after that, Dionne was no longer a virgin, technical or otherwise.

Christian and Cher go shopping together at the mall while Tai flirts with some boys. They terrorize her by threatening to drop her over a balcony, and Christian comes to her rescue. Cher thinks that for a clueless girl, Tai’s good at being a damsel in distress. The story of Tai’s experience spreads through school (with a number of embellishments), and Cher tries to relate by talking about her mugging. No one cares. Also, now Tai is really popular and has no time for Cher or Travis.

Cher tries to get ready for her driving test but can’t find the white shirt she thinks makes her look responsible. She asks Lucy to talk to the gardener about something since Cher doesn’t speak Mexican. Lucy takes offense, and Josh explains that Lucy’s from El Salvador, not Mexico. Cher doesn’t get the difference. He points out that she gets upset if someone thinks she lives below Sunset.

The driving test doesn’t go well, partly because Cher’s a horrible driver and partly because she feels strange because she doesn’t like that Josh thinks she was mean to Lucy. The driving instructor ends the test early, and this time Cher can’t negotiate her way to a passing score. When she gets home, she’s disheartened to see Josh and Tai having fun together. Tai’s brought over things that remind her of Elton; she wants to burn them and move on. She’s found a new guy and wants Cher to help her land him. It’s Josh.

Cher feels even worse than before. She asks Tai if she’s sure she’s the right girl for Josh, since he’s such a brain. Tai thinks Cher is calling her stupid. She doesn’t know why she’s listening to Cher anyway: She’s “a virgin who can’t drive.” Cher admonishes that that was “way harsh.” She feels like she’s created a monster. She goes for a walk, lamenting all the things she’s done wrong and wondering why Tai likes Josh anyway. Then it hits her: She likes Josh, too.

Now Cher doesn’t know how to act, since her normal methods of getting a guy’s attention won’t work on Josh. She watches the news with him, confused about war in Bosnia because she thought peace was declared in the Middle East. Later, she helps Mr. Horowitz with his case and asks if he’s ever had a problem he couldn’t argue his way out of. She confides that she likes a boy who likes someone else. Mr. Horowitz says the guy must be an idiot. Cher says he’s not, but he makes her feel selfish. Her father points out all the ways she takes care of him and the house.

At school, Ms. Geist talks to the students about the Pismo Beach disaster, and Cher is suddenly inspired. She offers to help organize a relief effort. She starts by gathering canned goods, clothes, and various other things (like skis) from her own house, then getting people at school to sign up to donate belongings. Travis stops by to help and apologizes for ruining Cher’s shoes at the party. (The apology is part of a “club” he’s joined – a club that has 12 steps.) He invites her to a skating exhibition.

At the exhibition, Cher runs into Tai and the girls apologize to each other and make up. Cher sees that Tai and Travis really like each other, so Josh is no longer a factor. Back at home, Cher helps with the case again, but another lawyer gets mad at her for screwing something up and starts yelling. Josh defends her, but the lawyer accuses him of taking her side because of a crush.

Josh assures Cher that she didn’t screw anything up, then blasts the lawyer for making Cher worry. He encourages her to go do something fun instead of working. She thinks he only thinks she does superficial things and is “just a ditz with a credit card.” Josh tries to recover, saying Cher is young and beautiful. She’s touched by this. Josh says he’s only helping with the case because it’s a learning experience, and because Mel’s the only one who cares about him. Cher says that’s not true. Josh asks if she cares about him. She tries to pretend she was kidding around, but he kisses her.

Cut to a wedding – but not Josh and Cher’s. (She’s only 16, and they live in California, not Kentucky.) It’s Mr. Hall and Ms. Geist’s wedding, and Cher’s a bridesmaid. At the reception, Cher, Dionne, and Tai discuss their future weddings as Josh, Murray, and Travis try not to freak out. Josh encourages Cher to catch the bouquet since the guys have a pool going over whose girlfriend gets it. Cher succeeds, though she has to fight Amber for it.

Thoughts: ’90s music alerts: No Doubt, Cranberries, Counting Crows, Coolio. So, basically, all the ’90s music you can think of.

Trivia: Cher mispronouncing “Haitians” wasn’t scripted. Alicia Silverstone really didn’t know how to say it.

One of my proudest moments in life (and yes, this is pretty sad) was when I was in the car with someone who got in the wrong lane leaving a Metro station parking lot and I got to say Josh’s line: “Hey, James Bond, in America, we drive on the right side of the road.”

I love watching Donald Faison in this moving, then watching him on Scrubs. It’s funny to think of Murray and Turk being played by the same actor.

Remember when I said this super-special surprise was related to the new show I’ll be recapping soon? That’s not true. It was true, when I originally planned to recap something else for the super-special surprise. But at the last minute I saw that Clueless was on TV and jumped on it. For the record, my original super-special surprise was I Know What You Did Last Summer.

October 31, 2011

Scream: What’s Your Favorite Scary Movie?

Posted in movies tagged , at 8:50 am by Jenn

Skeet definitely looks skeezy here

Summary: Casey Becker (Drew Barrymore) gets what she thinks is a wrong-number call, but after she hangs up, the caller calls back. This time he just wants to chat. Casey hangs up and goes to make some popcorn on the stove. The caller calls again and she tells him she’s about to watch a scary movie. “What’s your favorite scary movie?” he asks. Casey picks Halloween, then has to guess what the caller’s favorite horror movie is. She guesses Friday the 13th, saying only the first one was scary. The caller asks her name, saying he wants to know who he’s looking at.

Casey starts to get nervous, turning on the patio lights and locking the back door. She hangs up but the caller calls a fourth and fifth time. Now he’s angry and threatens to gut her like a fish if she hangs up again. He tells her they’re playing a game. Casey runs around the house, locking all the doors, and looks into the yard but can’t see anyone. She threatens to call the police, but the caller points out that they’re out in the middle of nowhere and the police would never make it in time. Casey asks what he wants, and he replies, “To see what your insides look like.”

The doorbell rings and Casey calls out asking who’s there. The caller calls again, telling her never to ask who’s there. (As if he would tell her anyway.) Casey claims her boyfriend’s on his way, but the caller isn’t intimidated. He asks Casey if her boyfriend’s name is Steve. He makes her turn on the patio lights, and now she can see Steve tied to a chair outside. She starts to go out to him, but the caller tells her not to. He tells her they’re going to play a game, and if she doesn’t play, Steve’s dead.

Casey turns off the light as the caller tells her she just has to answer one question. She gets the warm-up question right, the name of the killer in Halloween, but she mistakenly says Jason is the killer in Friday the 13th. (It was his mother. Uh, spoiler.) Casey will get another chance in the bonus round, but Steve’s time is up. After watching him die, Casey begs the caller to leave her alone. He says he will if she can answer his final question: Is he at the front door or the back door?

Casey grabs a letter opener as a chair is thrown through the patio door. She runs through the house, ignoring the fire that the popcorn has started in the kitchen. She sees a flash of black run through the house and sneaks outside, still carrying the phone. She peeks inside and sees a figure in black wearing a white mask. A car is coming up the road, and instead of running right toward it, Casey stays next to the house. She turns to see the figure in black standing right behind her.

The figure grabs Casey through the window, chasing her as she runs off and stabbing her in the chest. She tries to fight him off and get to the house, which her parents are just now entering. She’s too weak to call out, and the figure grabs her again as her parents go inside. Casey reaches up and pulls down the figure’s mask as he raises his knife to finish her off.

Casey’s parents panic over not being able to find her in the house, and her mother picks up the phone to call 911. Casey’s phone is still on, and her mother can hear her gasping for breath as her killer drags her across the lawn. Casey’s father tells her mother to drive to the neighbor’s house and call the police. She goes outside to do so and screams. Casey’s bloody corpse is hanging from a tree in the front yard.

Elsewhere, Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) is working at her computer in her bedroom. She goes to close her window and Billy Loomis (Skeet Ulrich) scares her from outside, making her scream. Sidney’s father comes to check on her, but she insists everything’s fine. Billy’s nowhere in sight. Mr. Prescott tells Sidney he’s going out of town for a few days, and after he leaves, Billy pops up from under the bed.

Billy tells Sidney he misses how their relationship used to be almost R-rated; now they’re more of an edited-for-TV version. They start making out, but Sidney stops them before they can go too far. As Billy exits through the window, Sidney offers him a PG-13 relationship, flashing him a breast.

The next morning, the police and press are swarming Sidney’s high school. Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) is one of the reporters. Sidney meets up with her friend Tatum (Rose McGowan), who tells her that Casey and Steve were murdered. They police are investigating, saying it’s the worst crime their town, Woodsboro, has seen since… She trails off. Sidney is called out of class to meet with Sheriff Burke and Deputy Dewey Riley (David Arquette) in Principal Himbry’s (Henry Winkler) office in case she has any information that can help them.

At lunch, Sidney, Tatum, and Billy discuss the murders with Randy (Jamie Kennedy) and Stu (Matthew Lillard). They talk about whether a woman could have committed the crimes. Stu doesn’t spare any graphic details. Randy notes that Stu used to date Casey, so he could be considered a suspect, but Tatum says she was with Stu all evening. Randy also has an alibi, as he was working at a video store. Their joking around makes Sidney uncomfortable, and she walks off.

Sidney comes home from school to an empty house, since her dad’s out of town, and talks to Tatum on the phone. Sidney feels déjà vu from all the police and reporters being around. They make plans to meet up that evening, as Sidney’s going to spend the night at Tatum’s. She tries to watch TV, but everything she sees is about Casey and Steve. She also sees a report from Gale about Sidney’s mother, Maureen, who was raped and murdered a year ago.

Sidney lies down for a while, waking up after dark when the phone rings. It’s Tatum telling her she’s on her way. The phone rings again, but this time it’s Casey’s killer. Sidney thinks it’s Randy playing a trick on her. She scoffs at horror movies, saying they’re all about big-breasted girls who run upstairs when they should run out of the house. The caller tells her he’s not Randy and announces that he’s on the front porch.

Sidney heads for the window and doesn’t see anyone, so she opens the door and steps outside. The caller insists he’s there, so Sidney looks around, still not seeing anyone. She starts getting nervous, then realizes the caller’s bluffing. She pretends to pick her nose and asks what she’s doing, since the caller can supposedly see her. Sidney threatens to hang up, still thinking the caller is Randy, but he tells her he’ll kill her like her mother. She goes back inside, where a masked figure in black grabs her.

Ghostface and Sidney fight, and he threatens to cut her with the knife, but she gets away and goes upstairs (exactly what she said people shouldn’t do in horror movies). She uses her closet door to keep her bedroom door from opening all the way. Sidney tries to call the police, but the phone is off the hook. She instead uses the Internet to reach 911. Billy appears at the window and Sidney frantically tells him the killer’s in the house. As he comforts her, his cell phone falls to the floor.

Sidney runs downstairs and opens the front door, where Dewey is holding up the mask. They scream and scare each other. Billy’s arrested as he insists that he didn’t do anything. Tatum arrives and Dewey tries to get her to leave. In the process, they reveal that they’re siblings. Gale shows up but Tatum won’t tell her what happened. Gale takes her anger out on her cameraman, Kenny, for not moving fast enough.

Dewey tries to call Sidney’s father from the police station, but he’s not registered at the hotel where he’s supposedly staying. Burke interrogates Billy, whose father says they should call his cell phone company and check the phone records to see that Billy never called Sidney. Billy admits to stopping by Sidney’s house the night before, but insists he didn’t go to Casey’s and didn’t kill anyone. Burke says they’ll have to hold him until they get his phone records.

Gale goes to the police station to make a report as Billy is taken to lock-up. He tries to reach out to Sidney, but she ignores him. Burke tells Dewey that kids today are so messed-up that Billy could easily be a killer. Tatum bugs Dewey to let her take Sidney home, overriding his authority. The three try to sneak out the back door to avoid the press, an idea Gale has thought of as well. She meets them behind the station and tries to get Sidney to give her a soundbite. Instead, Sidney asks how her book is coming along, then punches her.

At the Rileys’, Tatum relives the moment triumphantly. She asks Sidney if she thinks Billy is guilty. Sidney points out that he was there. Mrs. Riley tells Sidney her father’s on the phone, but when Sidney picks it up, it’s Ghostface. He tells her she “fingered the wrong guy again.” He promises that she’ll get some answers soon.

The next morning, a news report explains that Sidney was the key witness against Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber), her mother’s alleged killer. Dewey tells her that Billy was released, since he couldn’t have made the phone call to her at the Rileys’. The police are still going to look into any phone calls he made to Sidney and Casey earlier.

At school, Sidney’s harassed by another reporter (Linda Blair!), then asks Gale to talk to her, saying she owes Maureen. Gale notes that someone was going to write a book about Maureen’s murder. Sidney accuses her of making things up about the case. Gale replies that Sidney got what she wanted – Cotton in jail.

Sidney asks if Cotton has changed his story, and Gale says no. He still claims that he had a consensual sexual relationship with Maureen and left his coat at the Prescotts’ house. Sidney saw someone leave wearing the coat, and though she testified it was Cotton, Gale notes that it could have been anyone. She thinks Cotton was framed. Sidney tries to sound confident when she saw Cotton killed Maureen, but Gale can tell that she’s not so sure anymore. Gale also thinks Maureen’s murder is related to Casey and Steve’s.

Tatum takes Sidney to class, and Gale tells Kenny they need to get proof about the murders being connected. She knows how much saving Cotton from death row could help her book sales. Sidney asks Stu if Billy’s mad, which is kind of a dumb question. A guy runs through the hall in black, wearing the white mask, and upsets Sidney. She runs off, smacking into Billy, who thinks she still suspects him. He insists he’s innocent and scared off the real killer.

Sidney tells Billy that the killer called her, and he notes that it couldn’t have been him, since he was in lock-up. He wonders if she’s trying to come up with reasons not to sleep with him. Billy notes that things between them changed after Maureen died. Sidney can’t believe he’s so flippant about her mother’s death. Billy notes that it was a year ago (tomorrow); when his mom left him and his dad, he got over it pretty quickly. Sidney sarcastically tells him she’s sorry her life isn’t perfect enough for him.

Principal Himbry blasts the student who ran through the halls, as well as his coconspirators. He cuts up their mask and expels them. One of the students complains that he’s not being fair. Himbry says fair would be hanging them from a tree and exposing their insides. In the bathroom, Sidney overhears two girls accusing her of making things up for attention. One of them even thinks she’s the killer and killed Casey because she and Steve were having an affair. The other notes that Sidney has a boyfriend, and the first says she could be a slut like her mother.

After the girls leave, not realizing Sidney was in the bathroom with them, Sidney starts to get paranoid and makes sure she’s alone. She’s not: Ghostface is hiding in a stall. Sidney hightails it out before he can get to her. The police return to the school, which Gale is staking out, and she meets Dewey. She flirts with him, thinking he falls into her target demographic, 18-24. He’s immune to her charms.

Himbry announces that classes have been cancelled but there’s a citywide curfew starting at 9. Gale asks Dewey where Mr. Prescott is, wondering if he’s a suspect. He won’t give he any info but tells her she’s prettier in person. Gale’s pleased that he watches her show. “I’m 25. I was 24 for a whole year,” he replies.

Everyone leaves school early and Stu tells Sidney and Tatum he’s having a big party that night. Tatum talks Sidney into coming. Himbry plays around with the mask, then hears a knock at his office door. The only person around is a janitor (Wes Craven!) wearing a Freddy sweater. Himbry is overly jumpy and keeps scaring himself, but he’s still not prepared when Ghostface comes out from behind his door and kills him.

Tatum and Sidney discuss Gale’s claims; Sidney’s still in denial that Maureen could have had an affair with Cotton. She’s angry with Gale for spreading what she thinks are lies about her mom. Sidney’s nervous about the killer, and Tatum tells her to stop freaking herself out “like some Wes Carpenter film.”

Randy’s working at the video store, where he tells Stu he thinks Billy’s still a suspect. Stu finds it suspicious that Mr. Prescott is missing. Randy says he’s probably dead and his body will pop up in the final reel. He yells that there’s a simple formula for horror movies: “Everybody’s a suspect!” As he says that Mr. Prescott is a red herring and Billy is the killer, Billy arrives and asks how they know it isn’t Randy. Randy admits that he’d be a major suspect in a movie, even without a motive: “It’s the millennium. Motives are incidental.”

Woodsboro prepares for curfew as Dewey takes Sidney and Tatum downtown and stops by the police station. Tatum wonders who would play Sidney in a movie version of her life. Dewey suggests Meg Ryan, but Sidney thinks with her luck, she’d get Tori Spelling. As the girls shop for the party, they discuss Billy and his patience over Sidney’s hesitance to have sex with him. They don’t see Ghostface watching them from nearby.

Burke tells Dewey that the calls from Ghostface to Sidney were made from a phone registered to Mr. Prescott. He reminds Dewey that the next day is the anniversary of Maureen’s death. Burke decides to keep roadblocks and the curfew in effect while they try to find Mr. Prescott. He tells Dewey to stick close to Sidney. Dewey does so by…taking Sidney and Tatum to the party, then leaving. (Good job, Dewey.)

Gale also goes to the party, running into Dewey outside and telling him she wants to be around in case a story breaks. He’s actually sticking around to keep an eye on things. Gale takes advantage of this to get access to the house, taking a camera with her. Randy has brought a bunch of horror movies, many of them featuring Jamie Lee Curtis. Stu sends Tatum to get him a beer as he answers the door and lets Dewey and Gale in. Dewey proves again to be a bad cop when he lets the kids keep drinking. Gale places her camera on top of the VCR without anyone seeing.

Tatum goes to the garage for beer and gets spooked by a cat. As she’s heading back into the house, the lights go out and Tatum realizes the door is locked. She opens the garage door, but it only goes up a little, then goes back down, thanks to Ghostface. Tatum thinks it’s Randy, telling him Sidney will freak out if she sees him. She asks if he wants to “play psycho killer,” asking if she can be the victim. Ghostface definitely wants to play, and he’s brought his knife along to prove it.

Tatum tries to make a run for it, using the beer bottles to buy her some time. The garage door is still closed, so she tries to make it out the doggy door. She gets stuck and Ghostface sends the door up, killing her. Inside, the party breaks up, with only Sidney and Stu remaining. Billy shows up and Stu sends him and Sidney upstairs to talk or…not talk. Randy reappears, upset that Billy came back and ruined his chances to hook up with Sidney.

Gale goes back to her van, where Kenny’s already watching her slightly delayed footage from the party. Inside the house, Billy apologizes to Sidney for being selfish, though she admits she’s the one who’s been a jerk. She knows she can’t remain in denial about Maureen forever, and she can’t stop hiding behind her death. Sidney’s afraid she’ll turn out like her mother. Billy compares her situation to Jodie Foster flashing back to her dead father in Silence of the Lambs. Sidney notes that this is her life, not a movie. Billy tells her it’s all one big movie. They start making out, then more.

Downstairs, Randy and a bunch of people watch Halloween, and Randy gives everyone a lesson on horror movies. Rule #1: No sex. Rule #2: No drinking or doing drugs. Rule #3: Never say, “I’ll be right back.” Stu breaks the second two rules by heading outside for another beer and telling everyone he’ll be right back. Dewey gets Gale from the van, telling her that someone reported a car in the bushes down the road. As she leaves Kenny, she tells him she’ll be right back.

As Sidney and Billy get it on upstairs, Randy gets a phone call telling him that Principal Himbry was found dead, his body hanging from the goalposts on the football field. The last remaining partygoers (minus Stu, Randy, and the lovebirds) drive off to go cut him down. Gale and Dewey flirt as they walk down the road, then have to jump out of the way of the speeding partygoers. Dewey winds up on top of Gale and they kiss. They come across the car, which Dewey recognizes as Mr. Prescott’s, and run back to the house to get Sidney.

Post-coitus, Sidney asks Billy who he used his one phone call to contact when he was arrested. He says he called his father, but she knows Burke called him. Billy says no one answered when he called. He asks if Sidney still thinks he’s a suspect, and she assures him she doesn’t, she just thinks it would have been clever of him to use his one call to contact her. Billy angrily asks what he has to do to prove he’s not the killer. Well, getting stabbed by Ghostface would do it, which is exactly what happens.

Ghostface goes after Sidney next, chasing her through the house and trapping her in a bedroom. She spots Kenny’s van outside and yells for help, but no one hears her. As Ghostface tries to get into the room, Sidney starts to go out the window. She fights Ghostface off, falling onto a boat in the driveway. From there, she can see Tatum’s dead body hanging from the garage door. Randy drunkenly watches Halloween by himself, yelling for Jamie Lee Curtis to look behind her. He should really be looking behind himself, since Ghostface is there.

Sidney makes it to the van, where she and Kenny watch Ghostface approach Randy 30 seconds after the fact. They get out of the van to go up to the house, but Ghostface is waiting and stabs Kenny. He gets Sidney in the shoulder, but she’s able to escape by going back into the van and crawling out the back. She hops a fence and runs off as Dewey and Gale return to the house. Dewey heads inside, telling Gale to call Burke for backup.

Inside the house, Dewey hears screams and calls out for Mr. Prescott. The screams are actually from the movie. Gale runs to the van to get Kenny’s phone and sees puddles of blood. She calls 911, getting spooked when Randy pops up outside the car. She hits him with the phone and starts to drive off, but the windshield is covered in blood. That’s because Kenny’s dead body is on the roof of the van. Gale manages to throw him off, but as she’s driving away, she swerves to miss hitting Sidney and hits a tree instead.

Sidney heads back to the house, yelling for Dewey, who stumbles out the front door. He’s been stabbed in the back. Ghostface is right behind him. He chases Sidney to Dewey’s car, which she locks herself inside. Too bad he has the keys. Ghostface ducks down so Sidney can’t see and unlocks the back of the jeep. The radio goes off and Sidney uses it to call for help. Ghostface attacks but Sidney gets away again, heading back to the house.

Randy and Stu approach and Sidney grabs Dewey’s gun. The guys each tell Sidney the other is the killer, but she can’t decide which of them to trust, so she locks them both out of the house. Upstairs, a bloody Billy stumbles out of the bedroom and falls down the steps. He gets Sidney to give him Dewey’s gun, then opens the door and lets Randy in. Randy tells him Stu’s gone crazy, to which Stu replies, “We all go a little mad sometimes” before shooting Randy.

Stu licks his fingers, letting Sidney know that his “blood” is corn syrup. Stu comes in through another door with the voice modulator used to create Ghostface’s voice. The guys corner Sidney in the kitchen, telling her she needs to answer a question. First she has her own question: Why did they kill Maureen? Billy denies that they need a motive, saying it’s scarier without one. Maureen was a whore and they put her out of her misery. Billy reveals that Maureen was having an affair with his mother, which is why his mom left town. Stu notes that Sidney’s no longer a virgin, so she can die.

As Stu ducks out of the room (saying he’ll be right back), Billy tells Sidney it’s after midnight, so it’s officially the anniversary of her mother’s death. Stu returns with Mr. Prescott, planting a cell phone and the voice modulator on him. The guys do that stupid-villain-who-talks-too-much thing, explaining that they’re going to make it look like Mr. Prescott snapped, killed a bunch of people (including Sidney), and committed suicide.

First they have to make it look like they’re victims, so Billy stabs Stu. Stu repays him in kind, but not as gently as Billy would have liked. Sidney and Mr. Prescott communicate with their eyes as Stu says they’re going to survive to plan a sequel. Sidney calls them crazy, and Billy tells her, “Movies don’t create psychos. Movies make psychos more creative.” He orders Stu to get the gun, but it’s missing. Gale has arrived and grabbed herself a weapon. She doesn’t move fast enough, though, since Billy’s able to get the gun back, shove her outside, and knock her out. Billy’s about to shoot Gale when Stu realizes that Sidney and her father are gone.

The phone rings – it’s Sidney, taunting Billy that she called the police. Billy leaves the phone with Stu, who’s losing a lot of blood, and Sidney asks for his motive. Stu blames peer pressure. Billy freaks out, ripping up pillows in the living room as Stu cries that his parents are going to be mad at him. Billy goes back through the house, looking for Sidney, who’s now in the Ghostface outfit. She jumps out of a closet and stabs him with an umbrella. Stu runs in and attacks her, but she fights him off, hitting him with a vase, then pushing the TV over on his head.

As she goes back to where Billy’s lying and picks up the Ghostface mask, Randy reappears, saying he’s never been so happy to be a virgin. Billy pops up with the knife and tells Sidney to say hello to her mother. She puts her finger in one of his stab wounds, which just makes him angrier. Before he can bring the knife down, he’s shot by Gale. Randy warns that this is usually the part of the horror movie where the killer comes back to life for one last scare. Billy sits up and Sidney quickly shoots him, saying, “Not in my movie.”

Mr. Prescott comes in with a crash and finally gets untied. As the sun comes up and the paramedics take Dewey away, Gale gets to give an eyewitness account of what happened.

Thoughts: I just had to do this for Halloween. I’ll do the second and third ones some other time (even though the third one isn’t actually from the ’90s). Probably not the fourth, though, since it doesn’t really fit with the first three.

I wonder what Billy would say about the fact that I did this post off of an edited-for-TV version of the movie. (Hey, it’s been on MTV, like, ten times this month. I took advantage of it.) I think the language is the only thing they edited, anyway. I’m pretty sure they didn’t take any scenes out, and I’ve seen the movie enough times that I probably would have noticed if they had.

This is the only movie where I can tolerate Matthew Lillard. However, he did a really good job in an episode of House he was in last year, and it was all dramatic.

What’s with Kevin Williamson having people go through each other’s windows? Do they not have doors where he grew up?

The party is kind of confusing. It seems to break up twice. But apparently it was filmed over 21 days, so the continuity problems can be forgiven.

I never realized that the scene where Ghostface chases Sidney through Stu’s house after “stabbing” Billy is a big hint as to his identity. The house is big and has a number of doors and hallways, but Ghostface knows his way around. This makes sense, since it’s his house.

I’ve always loved the inside joke of Randy yelling for Jamie Lee Curtis to turn around, calling her Jamie, which is the actor’s name.

Kenny’s “cellular” is a Zack Morris phone. Hee.

I found some great trivia about the movie, some of which I didn’t know before:

  • Wes Craven got Drew Barrymore to cry by telling her tales of animal cruelty.
  • The MPAA wanted Craven to edit Drew’s death scene because it was too graphic, but he lied that they only had one take of it.
  • Bob Weinstein told Craven to kill off Himbry because there are 30 pages of script where no one dies.
  • Ghostface was originally supposed to wear white, but people thought he might look like a member of the KKK.
  • The person playing Ghostface when he sneaks up behind Randy is actually Skeet, who asked to do a scene where he wears the costume.
  • Dewey was originally supposed to die, but Craven filmed the scene where he’s conscious and being taken away by the paramedics in case he changed his mind about killing him off.

October 10, 2011

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: This Movie Sucks More Than a Vampire

Posted in movies tagged , , at 2:23 pm by Jenn

Spandex: scarier than any bloodsucker

Summary: A James Earl Jones wannabe tells us that since the dawn of time, the Slayer has been responsible for protecting people from evil, while being looked over by a Watcher. In the Dark Ages, a Slayer gets a weapon from her Watcher. Buffy (Kristy Swanson) and her fellow cheerleaders perform at a basketball game at their high school. Later, Buffy and three of her friends (one of whom is Kimberly, played by Hilary Swank) go to the mall and Buffy complains about a history test she didn’t do well on. They discuss going to a movie and use slang like “stale” and “bogus.”

Merrick (Donald Sutherland) tries to get in an elevator with the girls, who make fun of his clothes and think he’s homeless. Buffy’s friends think she’s lucky because her parents are always going away for the weekend. They talk through a movie while Benny (David Arquette) and Pike (Luke Perry) complain about them. After the movie, Buffy meets up with a guy named Jeff who’s going to meet her at her house that night. Meanwhile, their friend Ben goes by a carnival and gets killed by Amilyn (Paul Reubens). Buffy’s flighty parents leave for the weekend while Buffy and Jeff make out in the living room.

Back in what looks like Elizabethan times, a Slayer fights off some bad guys but gets captured. Buffy wakes up from her dream about this as some ancient creature is almost brought back to life. At school, Buffy and her friends discuss themes for a school dance, settling on the environment. Principal Murray (Stephen Root) sends them to class. They continue the conversation at some teen hangout that night and Buffy officially meets Pike and Benny. Benny gets all sexual-harassy on Buffy. The guys end up by the side of a road, where Amilyn finds them and bites Benny. Merrick shows up and takes a totally out-of-it Pike away.

Buffy stays behind after a cheerleading practice and does some gymnastics while Merrick watches. He tells her he’s been looking for her everywhere because he wanted to bring her her birthright. She’ll have to come with him to a graveyard to get it. Buffy’s not too bright, but she’s at least smart enough to know better than to go to a cemetery with a creepy old man. Merrick tells her she’s “chosen” and has to help stop the vampires. She asks if Elvis talks to him. Merrick notices that she has a birthmark and calls it the Sign of the Covenant.

Merrick asks if Buffy ever has dreams about being someone else. He guesses what some of them are, even though she’s never told anyone about them. He tells her this has to do with her birthright, and he’s part of it. Buffy agrees to go to the cemetery with Merrick and he takes her to the grave of a guy named Robert Berman who died three days earlier. He gives her a stake and tells her to watch. They’re waiting for Robert to wake up. “Do you have any gum?” Buffy asks. Meanwhile, her friend Cassandra is totally in danger.

Robert comes out of his grave and Merrick goes after him with a stake. He’s really bad at this. Another supposedly dead person comes out of a grave and Buffy fights her off as Merrick struggles with Robert. Buffy winds up staking both vampires. Benny, now with fangs, comes to see Pike and asks to be invited in. Pike notices that he looks bad. Oh, and he can fly now, so there’s that. Merrick drives Buffy home and tells her to act normal when she goes to school the next day. When the vampires find out who she is, they’ll come after her. He gives her an address and tells her to meet him after school, though she has practice. Buffy clarifies that vampires can’t come in unless invited.

Buffy comes home late and her mother doesn’t notice that she’s dirty and bloody. She dreams about going to bed with Lothos (Rutger Hauer) in a room that’s definitely not her room. Amilyn takes Cassandra to the place where he’s been trying to raise Lothos, who seems to have been completed restored. Merrick stalks Buffy at school, mad that she didn’t meet him. She tells him he’s wrong about her being the girl he’s been looking for. He pretends to accept this, then throws a knife at her. She catches it and he notes that only the chosen one could have done that.

Buffy tells Merrick that all she wants to do is graduate, go to Europe, marry Christian Slater, and die. She asks if he knew she was sitting on a fresh grave the night before. When he confirms this, she punches him in the face, pleased to see that she didn’t even break a nail. Cue a training montage with a punching bag, tires, rope, and stakes. Also, lots of neon and leggings. Later, Merrick asks Buffy how Lothos makes her feel in her dreams. She admits to being scared.

Principal Murray summons Buffy to his office, thinking she’s on drugs. She spits a jelly bean at a spider and pins it to the wall. Pike works on a van at a garage, telling his mechanic boss that something weird is going on in town and he should get out. He also mentions that something weird is going on with Benny. Buffy walks home alone at night and runs into a vampire. She uses her new Slayer skills to fight and kill him. It was actually a trap, and Merrick warns Buffy not to get herself into trouble with multiple vampires.

Buffy’s been having cramps, which Merrick says is a natural Slayer reaction to unnatural vampires. This should help her track them. Buffy’s upset that she’s risking her life while Merrick does nothing. He tells her he’s trained a ton of girls and isn’t allowed to interfere, no matter how exceptional his Slayer is. Buffy wonders if he has to keep being a Watcher until there are no more vampires. She assures Merrick that her keen fashion sense will keep her alive. He sarcastically comments that all vampires should beware, and she teases him about cracking a joke.

Pike’s van breaks down, but it’s okay because some friendly guys with fangs are coming along to help him. Oh, wait, one of them is Amilyn. Pike tries to lose him but Amilyn has a tight grip on the front of the van. He climbs up to the roof and punches through it, trying to grab Pike. He falls off when he’s hit with a branch, losing an arm in the process. Pike crashes into a tree and has to ditch the van. Amilyn’s mad that Pike tore his new jacket and tells his minions, “Kill him a lot.” Pike starts fighting them, then is joined by Buffy, who kills the two minions.

Merrick shows up as well and Pike recognizes him before passing out. Buffy takes Pike to her place and confirms his suspicions that the minions were vampires. He tells her one of his friends is, too. Buffy confides in Pike that her whole life has changed in three weeks, and everything she thought was important before now seems stupid. She invites him to sleep in the guest room, but he wants to stay in the living room and make sure the sun comes up. Lothos blasts Amilyn for leaving Buffy and Pike behind. Amilyn is so incompetent that Lothos isn’t sure how he made it through the Crusades. Then he goes to eat a cat.

At school, Buffy’s friends discuss Cassandra but aren’t entirely broken up about her death. A jock grabs Buffy’s butt, so she attacks him up. Later, she complains to Merrick about her slaying interfering with her cheerleading. He comes to a basketball game, where Buffy’s the only person who notices that one of the players is now a vampire. A ref tries to get him kicked out of the game for floating. The other players won’t play defense against him because he’s weird. (“He has no concept of zones,” one of them remarks.) Even Ben Affleck is freaked out. (No, seriously, Ben Affleck is in this movie.)

Buffy trips the player and faces off with him, making him run off. She chases after him, telling Merrick that the vampire knows who she is. She gets hassled by some bikers, beats on one, takes his motorcycle, and keeps chasing the vampire. The vamp loses her by jumping over a fence, but Pike sees Buffy riding by and goes after her on his own bike. They wind up at a spot where parade floats are stored, and the vamp uses one to run Buffy down. She tries to remind him who she is, since they used to be friends. A couple of vamp minions grab her, but before the vamp can bite her, Pike stakes him. Together, Buffy and Pike kill the minions, then almost make out.

Lothos and Amilyn appear, and Pike wants to run but Buffy’s entranced by Lothos. Merrick shows up as well and Lothos asks if he’s finally brought someone worthy. He starts to bite Buffy, but Merrick stops him. He starts to stake Lothos, who stabs him with his own weapon. Lothos and Amilyn leave as Lothos doesn’t think Buffy’s ready. A dying Merrick tells Buffy that she does everything wrong, but that’s good. “When the music stops, the rest is silence,” he says. Then he dies.

The next day, Buffy’s friends discuss her sudden disappearance from the game. She shows up and tells them she met an older guy a few weeks ago. They think she’s having an affair. Buffy asks them if they’ve noticed weird things going on. They tease her for hanging out with Pike and ask why she keeps blowing off all of her activities. Buffy blasts them for being so excited for a school dance. That night, Pike tracks her down as she’s out looking for a dress for the dance. He doesn’t understand why she’s going when the world is under attack. She blames herself for Merrick’s death. “I’m the chosen one, and I choose to be shopping,” she says. Benny overhears this.

The news spreads to Amilyn and Lothos, who plan to go after Buffy on Saturday, the day of the dance. Pike whittles stakes and makes himself look pretty while Buffy picks out a dress. On Saturday, everyone gets ’90s-glammed-up and dances. Buffy arrives in a white dress and looks for Jeff, who’s come with another girl, one of Buffy’s friends. He left her a break-up message on her answering machine. Pike arrives and dances with Buffy. He tells her she’s not like other girls, but she says she is. They finally make out.

Vampires attack, and Buffy tells everyone they can’t come in unless they’re invited. Kimberly says she already invited them – “they’re seniors!” Fortunately, Buffy has a bag of weapons and is ready to fight. Pike gives her his leather jacket, for some reason. Despite the fact that there are 20 vampires (I’m pretty sure one of them is Seth Green) and just Buffy fighting them, she doesn’t get killed. Pike isn’t very good at protecting the kids in the gym, though. Amilyn finds Buffy, who mocks his hair and tries to hide from him. Benny attacks Pike, offering to turn him into a vampire.

Amilyn tracks down Buffy (which isn’t a surprise, since she didn’t do a very good job of hiding) and warns that he’s immortal and can do anything. Lothos appears, playing a violin; hilariously, he brought a metronome with him. Buffy uses the distraction to her advantage and stakes Amilyn. “You’re going to wish you’d died,” he says, then takes approximately five minutes to die. Lothos notes that Amilyn was Buffy’s first real kill, and Lothos’ last gift to her. In the gym, Pike throws holy water in Benny’s face. Lothos tilts Buffy’s head and tells her it’s “time to put away childish things.”

Suddenly everything is quiet, and Buffy remembers what Merrick said about silence. She tells Lothos it’s too late. “You and I are one,” he says – they’re joined. She fights him and he says she’s just like all the other girls. Buffy holds up a cross, lights it on fire, and uses hairspray to ignite it and burn Lothos. In the gym, the principal hands out detentions and knocks out Kimberly for freaking out. Buffy returns and tells someone to find Pike.

Lothos arrives with a big sword, telling Buffy that she’s his destiny, so he could never hurt her. Instead, he’s going to kill everyone else. Buffy grabs a flag and uses the pole for a sword fight. Just as Lothos is about to finish her off, Pike attacks him and gets his attention off of Buffy. She uses a wooden chair to fend off Lothos’ sword, and when the sword breaks it, she uses a piece to stake him. Buffy revives a dazed Pike and confirms that they’ve won the battle. They dance, then ride off on his motorcycle.

Thoughts: If I hadn’t been recapping this movie, I wouldn’t have watched all of it. It is so, so bad. Like, Karen Brewer levels of annoying. Everyone in this movie could do better. Okay, maybe not David Arquette. I think the biggest problem is the camp factor. Everything that’s supposed to be serious can’t be taken seriously. The series is much darker, and its funny moments are funnier.

Kristy Swanson makes a pretty good Buffy, but I don’t think she could have handled it on the show. Sarah Michelle Gellar IS Buffy.

The dreams about past Slayers don’t come up in the series until the last season of the show, I think. At least I don’t remember Buffy mentioning them before that.

Merrick sucks as a Watcher. Giles FTW!

Hee, “kill him a lot” made me laugh out loud. I think that was the only part that did.

I think I have a crush on Luke Perry now.

October 7, 2011

Emergency club meeting: The people have spoken…

Posted in movies at 11:31 pm by Jenn

The results are in, and with 21% of the votes, the winner of the Which Movie Should Jenn Recap First? poll is…

Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

Interestingly, all of the movies got at least one vote. 10 Things I Hate About You was the early favorite, and I thought it would win, but it ended up tying for second place with Cruel Intentions. I hope to eventually get to all the movies, and I’ll run more polls in the future to help me decide which to recap when.

Thanks to everyone who voted! You have amazing timing, as AMC is showing Buffy in the middle of the night. My DVR is all excited.

October 4, 2011

Emergency club meeting: Vote early, vote often

Posted in movies at 8:38 pm by Jenn

I want to recap a movie. I just can’t decide which one to start with. So take a look at the options below and let me know what you’d like to see. You can also leave suggestions in the comments, if you want.

A couple of guidelines:

  1. The movie has to be from the ’90s, obviously.
  2. The movie also has to be set in the ’90s. There has to be something…’90s-ish about it. So while I’d like to recap something like Newsies, it doesn’t really make sense.
  3. Movies that include Dawson’s Creek or Beverly Hills, 90210 actors are a plus.
  4. I’m trying to stick with the theme of most of what I cover on this blog: teenagers and college students. I really wanted to put Speed on the list, but it doesn’t quite fit.
  5. I didn’t put The Baby-sitters Club movie on the list because it’s a given. I’ll get there someday.

Vote! Vote now!