Weekend Movies

ghouliesFriday night, I watched Ghoulies 3: Ghoulies Go to College with a couple of friends who I believe should be a sort of boyfriend / girlfriend MST3000. I didn’t catch a lot of the dialogue in the movie for all the couch commentary but the entire experience was hilarious.

Essentially, the movie is Porky’s plus Gremlins with a little Revenge of the Nerds thrown in. They aim for Animal House with plenty of references but, honestly, that movie was just as crappy as Porky’s. Also Ghoulies 3 starred Eva LaRue who looked entirely familiar to me. It’s possible that I reconize her from CSI: Miami, but it’s more likely that I recognize her from Body of Influence and Mirror Images II. Such is my taste for crap.

littlemisssunshineSaturday night, I saw Little Miss Sunshine and really enjoyed it. The movie has some dark undercurrents running through it but it never quite pulls them to the surface. The drug-using grandpa, the nihilistic son, the obsessed father, the suicidal uncle — these characters each have their moments but they resolve more or less easily. Their problems may be difficult but the solutions don’t seem to be. Whatever. It’s not a particularly deep movie. Though not exactly upbeat, the movie is optimistic. It is, basically, about being okay with being fucked-up. And actually celebrating that.

kingkongSunday night, I watched King Kong — the recent Peter Jackson remake. For almost an hour, I wondered if Jackson is perhaps a complete hack. I thought back over his movies to try to remember actual human interaction between characters. I’ve only seen one of the LOTR flicks but it wasn’t particularly engaging. I liked Heavenly Creatures a great deal but it’s been a while since I saw it. The Frighteners was pretty cool. And Meet the Feebles was just downright horrifying. Bad Taste I avoided entirely.

But after that first hour, the movie significantly improved. Once the party got to Skull Island, things really started kicking. At that point, I could stop telling myself to suspend disbelief at the corny way everyone acted previously and just watch Jackson’s imagination take over. I see now that the film is actually an allegory for Jackson’s imagination. At home, in Hollywood, actual human beings act illogically and often badly. But once he leaves that environment and gets to the island, his id can run wild. And that’s clearly where Jackson’s strength lies. The monsters, huge battles, and ridiculous landscapes feel more genuine than life on the mainland did. From that moment on, I was hooked.

I can’t say that I’d have enjoyed the movie in the theater because I have a rule about sitting through films longer than 90 minutes. But I’d have loved to have seen it on the big screen.