Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
especially welcome to extensive readers

Friday, November 17, 2006

Some cinematic turkeys are tastier than others

Next week is Thanksgiving,aka Turkey Day and while it's a good time to get together with family & friends for a fine meal,it's also an excuse to watch trashy films.

One of my favorite guilty pleasures is the flick Demolition Man,where Sy Stallone plays John Spartan,who's a total break all the rules and then blow something up kind of cop in the 20th century who is framed for a crime by his arch nemesis Simon Phoenix(played by Wesley Snipes) and winds up being a prison popsicle who gets thawed out in the year 2032. Just the subtlety of the character names alone in this flick are enough to endear it to camp sci-fi lovers;Edgar Friendly,Lenina Huxley,Zachary Lamb.

The best thing about this movie is Wesley Snipes. He just has a ball being an over the top bad guy who revels in being set loose upon a world that's become "a pussy-whipped, Brady Bunch version of itself, run by a bunch of robed sissies." and getting some payback at his old foe. His physicality in this film enhances every scene he's in-the man is a literal whirling dervish. This scene is a good example of that. Even tho the dialogue's in German(sometimes you just have to make do with whatever YouTube has to offer,folks),you get the gist and the evil joy of what Simon is up to:

Here's another clip,in English but a tad fuzzy,that gives him a nice showcase:

Another good detail about this film is it's humor. There's quite abit of social satire about the rise of PC tactics-in this future,peace loving society, anything bad for you is not good,hence illegal. That means no salt,chocolate,alcohol,red meat,contact sports,swearing,caffeine,etc-all the fun things that make life worth living! No one has physical contact with each other,even for sex(it's done with these goofy VR helmets). Also,all restaurants are Taco Bell due to surviving the"Franchise Wars"(maybe McDonalds and Burger King wound up destroying each other as KFC and Subway were picked off by Starbucks)and Arnold Schwarzenegger has a Presidental library. Arnie had made a Stallone joke in The Last Action Hero,which I believe came out before DM, so that's a touch of Hollywood insider mockery there.

Not everyone enjoys this sanitized lifestyle which brings us to Denis Leary as the literally underground rebel leader Edgar Friendly. Edgar has a very simple philosophy on modern living that goes alittle something like this:

"[A]ccording to Cocteau's plan, I'm the enemy, 'cause I like to think, I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech, and freedom of choice. I'm the kinda guy that likes to sit in a greasy spoon and wonder, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecue ribs with the side-order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol! I wanna eat bacon, and butter, and buckets of cheese, okay?! I wanna smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in the non-smoking section! I wanna run naked through the street, with green Jell-O all over my body, reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly may feel the need to, okay, pal?"

Now's that the kind of guy I want to follow when the revolution comes. Even Simon Phoenix agrees with that-"You can't take away people's right to be assholes!" and stages a coup of his own. Of course,this is a Stallone movie and Sly gets plenty of opportunities to be befuddled by the new age wimpland he's been tossed into. One of the running gags in the film has Sandra Bullock(yep,it's her)trying to make old school slang talk and screwing it up bigtime,with John Spartan having to tell her "Away! It's let's blow this guy AWAY!" Not to mention lots of explosions and fighting which leads to trashing many of the setpieces.

So,if you're looking for a slice of mindless entertainment to help settle your stomach after Thanksgiving dinner,Demolition Man is a great item on the menu. It's sure to be available at your local video store(all the Bond movies will be out,even the Timothy Dalton one)and makes for fun family viewing. Be well!


David de Beer said...

whoo! this brings back memories! I'm a kid who grew up in the Arnie, Sly, Bruce Willis, Van Damme era - I loko at these movies now, and...they're really bad! But I love them anyways.

Couple of my favorite Demolition man scenes:
Sandra Bullock gets reprimanded by her boss. A co-worker walks up to her and says: "That was intense!"

Sly and the cops find the resistance and go: "What is that stick?" And Sly responds: "Oh, yeah!". And makes a beeline straiogth for the guy frying rat burgers!

You know, I didn't like the Matrix movies - didn't see why they wanted to rebel. But now THIS is a resistance movement I can identify with.

A more recent cheesy favorite of mine was "Onc upon a time in Mexico."

lady t said...

I saw DM on TNT recently and they totally clipped that rat burger scene(why,I have no clue.). I also dig the Jeffrey Dahmer joke,even tho it's very dated(and snipped out of the TV version as well).

Anonymous said...

I'd forgotten the dahmer joke; pity that one, not many people will get it now.
I've never understood why TV cuts scenes from movies.
I remember the first time Total Recall showed on TV here - it was 45 minutes in total, including ad breaks.
I mean, come one...