We’re off on a music tickle + some other stuff on streaming, seeing as VBAH is mainly about that thing you call music. If these aren’t already on Netflix/Amazon they soon will be.
Bill and Ted Face The Music
Holy shit it is 29 years since Bogus Journey, and if the first two Bill & Ted films pre-date your existence go watch them immediately, as A) this won’t make any damn sense if you haven’t and 2) they exist in that slim pantheon of films where the sequel is as good if not better than the first – see also: Aliens, The Godfather II, Superman II. Everybody else: you know what this is.
- I’ve asked around and I’ve yet to find anyone except Jim who dislikes either Keanu or the first two Bill & Teds so this was always going to coast in on a tidal wave of goodwill. And good news – it’s funny, endearing and remarkably they manage to keep the dudespeak fresh, although that might just be me, given I still use ‘totally’ mixed with an unexpected adjective in my everyday speech to this day.
- A light comedy here schooling the fuck out of just about every other release of 2020 on how to colour grade a film, especially the parts shot in Hell. This film looks fresh as fuck, and is all the better for it. Thanks, demons!
- We open on B&T trying to write the song that will unite the world, with an avant-garde Theremin attempt Stockhausen would be proud of at a wedding no less, which is how I’d begin my journey to writing the song that unites the world. I liked this better than the final song.
- Continuing the tradition of guest star cameos, Kid Cudi being an expert in Causality & Temporal Physics and Dave Grohl simply turning up are nice touches. Surprised they didn’t tap Grohl to be in the band though.
- I know the daughters are helping, but I thought it’d be more of a family effort instead of keeping them apart for 90% of the film. Good turns from Samara Weaving/Brigette Lundy-Paine though.
- Dennis the robot does fuck all for me, like they were trying too hard to replicate Station from Bogus Journey.
- Same with the side-story involving the princesses: adds nothing. Also, I don’t think the daughters interact with their mothers once in this, unless that’s some in-joke I’m unaware of.
Should I watch this?
Totally. It gets a bit saccharine towards the end but I can forgive that, as it’s a message I wish more people would take and indeed, join in with. Let’s be fair, my expectations were low so I’m happy I was this impressed, it’s few and far between you can leave that much of a gap and come back with something worth watching, Fury Road being the exception rather than the rule.
Documentary on late 70s/early 80s all girl LA ‘punk’ band that foisted Belinda Carlisle on us, you’ll have probably heard ‘Our Lips are Sealed’
- Using the standard documentary ‘talking heads/archive footage’ model, the ladies of The Go-Gos recount how they came together/did things/split/reformed. I learned a bunch of things from this, like how they toured the UK with Madness/The Police/The Beat/The Specials, ended up releasing a single on Stiff Records, and Terry Hall co-wrote ‘Our Lips are Sealed’, which makes sense once you listen back to it, it’s got that ‘Ain’t whatcha do it’s the way that you do it’ Funboy 3 vibe all over it. It’s also kind of funny that even though nobody admits it, they were all blatantly fucking each other. Stewart Copeland turns up and he can’t enthuse about them enough. Bear in mind his brother signed them to his IRS label in the US though.
- I only knew the one song mentioned above. No matter how they’re dressing onstage they aren’t exactly Black Flag in the punk stakes, but as New Wave Pop it’s catchy as hell. It becomes apparent that they were massively influential in the US as they – (this is off Wikipedia): “were the first, and to date only, all-female band that both wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to top the Billboard album charts. They are widely considered the most successful all-female rock group in history.” This shit blows my mind given we’re talking about 40 years ago. I thought it’d be The Bangles or Dixie Chicks (now The Chicks because fuck your Deep South slavery connotations) but I guess they didn’t write all their own tunes. We clearly have a ways to go.
- The ladies in this band all seem like they kick arse and take names.
(Can’t really do CONS here given it’s documentary nature)
- Eternal Miseryguts Terry Hall doesn’t put in an appearance, probably because his wife said no. Lynval Golding does though, enthuses massively about them.
- Fun aside 1: I used to work in the Art Dept at Tower Records, and had the choice to play any CD of my choosing on the office stereo from the immense selection off the shopfloor. An unwritten rule was whatever any of the five of us played, no matter how much you hated it, you couldn’t turn it off or complain. In just over a year despite playing some ridiculously hardcore shit the only CD the other four made me turn off was The Best of Belinda Carlisle :/ Fuck you I think she rules, and has a voice that immediately says ‘BELINDA CARLISLE’. Go listen to In Too Deep, tell me I’m wrong.
- Fun aside 2: Guitarist/Songwriter Jane Wiedlin, who had a solo hit with Rush Hour in the 80s (believe me you will know it) was also Joan of Arc in Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. Nothing is coincidence.
- Everyone seems to have done alright for themselves. I find it baffling a band can be so massive in the US and so little-known here, Carlisle’s solo career aside. They’re never gonna come to mind when you think ‘trailblazing female band’ but here we are. They inevitably all ended up in court arguing over royalties but that was expected of every 80s band above a certain size.
Should I watch this?
If you like music history, girls doing things on mostly their own terms and finding things out about people you previously considered pop fluff, this film is for you. For everyone else, this film is also for you. Highly recommended.
The Very Excellent Mr. Dundee
Know what the last decade has been screaming out for at the top of its lungs? A film
about Paul ‘Crocodile Dundee’ Hogan’s day-to-day old man bumbling around LA.
- HNNNGGGGGG. Grudgingly, there’s a musical dream sequence halfway through with a song about the famous ‘this is a knife’ bit off Crocodile Dundee which had about as much money spent on it as I dropped on frozen potato products at Iceland yesterday, but has decent lyrics. Granted, whoever wrote them has had 34 years to refine them.
- Taking a wild stab here, and readers if you’ve been offered a knighthood please correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think you can confirm/cancel/re-confirm the actual sword on the shoulder ceremony around your own plans like it’s an appointment to get your nails done.
Surely it’s more of a ‘see you then your Majesty’ or ‘fuck you, parasite’ choice in that regard? And then Hogan fucks it off anyway to see his granddaughters school play thing. This leaves his agent to pick it up for him, which as far as the Queen’s concerned has to be the cherry on the bun as far as telling a monarch to go fuck herself goes. This is the only thing Hogan himself does in this entire debacle that owns.
- Reginald VelJohnson! Who in complete contrast to Hogan somehow looks slightly younger than he did in Die Hard. Which is 32 years ago. Age and time is important to our understanding of this film.
- I’m going to check with my Australian connects but is Hogan still big there or something^? The precise audience I can think of for this consists of one P. Hogan, Esq., and my gad. It’s fucking excruciating, and even comes with a handy ‘Hey here’s a quick zoom through Hogans career in the credits’ and the principle cast reminding us of what that said not two minutes before in the opening scene.
^I did ask my mate Emma who lives there, and apparently people know who he is still, but general opinion dipped when he left his wife for someone much younger. Nothing like the level of cultural pervasiveness this bullshit film would have you believe though.
- And this all being well, I wouldn’t mind this if it was some nod-wink meta-textual take on
a man with a supposedly successful 50 year career, in the same vein as JCVD was to
Van Damme. But instead it’s a comedy of errors written by people who’s sketch ideas would’ve been museum pieces in 1974. Every scene, Hogan flits between looking so very, very tired and showing the same kind of spark a grandad you don’t want to visit has when you step into the care home lounge. He’s isn’t even acting, he’s just there. But we slog on through the obvious moves of a man so firmly entrenched in his sandwich queue he morphed into being the dividing rail somewhere around 1981. You know everything will work out in the end though, it’s a tired set of 80s clichéd setpieces run through a post-ironic 2020 filter and it fails catastrophically at being either.
- None of this is helped by giving large cameos to notoriously reviled fucker Chevy Chase and Brexit cunt John “London’s not an English City any more” Cleese* either.
- Everyone keeps referring to him not being in the limelight for 20 years, which had me going ‘the fuck has he done since 2000?’, to which the answer is… 2001s Crocodile Dundee in L.A. So the answer actually was ‘what the fuck have you done since 2000?’. Absolutely no idea that existed, and even if I did it was 12 years too late – I mean strewth you were pushing it doing CDII 3 years after the first one. Oh and by the way, this is set in a universe where even children recognise him on the street. He is 81 years old, I saw Crocodile Dundee at the cinema and I wouldn’t recognise him if he walked past me on the street.
- There is a Wilhelm scream. Thanks, Spielberg.
- There’s a ton of Australian actor cameos in this, but whether or not all of them actually know their image was being used remains to be seen.
Should I watch this?
This film is not a film of honour…no highly esteemed deed is commemorated here… nothing valued is here. Straight up, as has been proven time & time again the world would be a much better shape if mandatory retirement from doing anything but trying to enjoy your old age were enforced from the age of 65. We’d take the hit of losing some Morgan Freeman or Donald Sutherland** performances, but if it stops shit like this getting made or old white men with mush for brains running countries, that’s fucking fine by me.
* I don’t even use hindsight in knowing Cleese was the weak link in Python. Fawlty Towers is overrated trash people for people who think Menorca is exotic and while I’m glad his ex-wife took him to the cleaners, it means he keeps popping up cameoing everywhere trying to recoup his losses. Fuck him and his shitman racism.
** I fully realise there are also equally great female actresses over the age of 65, these are the first two examples that came to mind.
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