Who else had the desire to see this today? Just me then?
Given the absolute magic that was Xanadu and The Apple its understandable the appeal to create fantastical ’80s musicals meshing fashion and sound, cartoon humor with knowing winks to the audience. So some filmmakers in Australia decided to try their hand at something everyone in the 80s was begging for – a big splashy rendition of the Pirates of Penzance.
The obvious observation out of the gate is giving this film the award for laziest title ever. We couldn’t name it Pirates of Penzance? How did that producers meeting go?
Producer 1: Its called Pirates of Penzance and its a musical. People like both of those things, right?
Producer 2: People won’t know what they’re getting! We need to give it a more hip, more contemporary title! We’re calling it The Pirate Movie until we think of something else.”
At this point in my blog I give a quick recap of the plot. To this one, I say, if you have to ask, then this movie just isn’t for you. You walk in blind and let it dress your brain up in ruffles.
How much sense does this movie make? Absolutely none. None at all.
I had to link the 80s-tastic opening credits. Somewhere Gilbert and Sullivan are shaking their heads and saying, “Don’t put our names on this.”
The film doesn’t try for seriousness, in fact it tries for lightheartedness in the way that surgeons try to save patients lives after near fatal car accidents. Basically, if you’re not making a goofy face on frame, then you’re not doing your job…
“Okay, we wanted this scene to show you’ve got muscles, but how will the audience know we’re being funny?”
But what you’re missing is the weird grunty sex noises Kristy McNichol makes while Pirate John Tesh flexes his muscles.
(shifts uncomfortably, looks down at phone….)
“We’ve got a big goofy song and dance number going on…but the audience might not understand its funny. Get me a silly face!”
This is our villain. He’s hilarious. At least according to the director who kept making him do these faces. Espescially during song and dance numbers.
Maybe you’re asking yourself, “So much dignity left at the door. How low could they go?”
Oh, they went low. Low, like the bottom of the sea.
Kristy McNichol sings a song called “Pumpin’ and Blowin…”
…while the guy from Blue Lagoon did a weird awkward dance with animated fish.
No one asked for this, but they gave it to us anyway.
(shifts uncomfortably in my chair, stares at phone)
“Chris, this scene is funny and all but you know what would take it to the next level? Make that funny face!”
I guess an important part of the plot is that our hero can’t go out on his own and be independent from the Pirates of Penzance because he was born on a leap year and is therefore only 5 years old. I’ve filed this story twist away in THINGS TO NEVER USE IN A SCRIPT.
There’s a lot of music that is used in this. Some of it is from the original opera, some of it from a songwriter based in LA that had a “lost weekend*” style writing session when coming up with these songs.
*This infers that there’s a songwriter who did a lot of illegal substances in hopes of touching the mind of God while creating these songs. This is never the way to do it.
During this 90 minute music video, there was a music video that had this romantic montage…
“Kristy, you clearly understand the hilarious undertones of hiding out in a knight costume are all dependent on your goofy face. You’ll have to teach Chris…”
Have you discovered your movie is funny, but could be funnier? Gather together the largest group of Keystone Cops possible and watch things really take off.
This is not photoshop. During a swordfight, our hero picks up a lightsaber and waved it around. Clearly our movie was not expecting people to sit this far into it.
The big finale was a high school production of Pirates of Penzance set in one of the chaperone’s yard.
People are playing along, but you can tell everyone who went to Julliard in this lineup is regretting everything espescially not going to that networking meeting where all those Broadway producers showed up.
But none of this matters. You know why?
Because it was all a dream.
OR WAS IT?
Happy endings all around.
And well done to the casting directors who picked the love interests to look like fraternal twins.
(uncomfortably shifts, stares at phone when realizes the implications of that reality).
Usually I like to approach my films to current events, time of year or what’s currently playing at your local cineplex. Given that this is a flashy 80s musical extravaganza with a board to the head message, it dawned on me that there are somethings that are just fitting for any moment in life. And so, I sat down with The Apple.
For those of you who haven’t seen it, I give you a taste…
I think we can all agree that 1994 was a grim year for music. This movie was a warning and we all ignored it. This is how Ace of Base happens.
Should you need a quick recap of the plot, here it is, courtesy of Wikipedia…..
Alphie (George Gilmour) and Bibi (Catherine Mary Stewart), two youths from Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan in Canada, travel to America to take part in the 1994 Worldvision Song Festival. Despite being the most talented performers, they are beaten by BIM (Boogalow International Music) and its leader, Mr. Boogalow (Vladek Sheybal), who use underhanded tactics to secure a victory. The duo are approached by Mr. Boogalow to sign to his music label, but soon discover the darker side of the music industry. Bibi is caught up in the wild lifestyle BIM offers, while Alphie risks his life to free her from the company’s evil clutches. He eventually convinces her to run away with him and the pair live as hippies for a year (and produce a child) before being tracked down by Mr. Boogalow who insists Bibi owes him ten million dollars. However, the two are saved by the Rapture, and all good souls are taken away by Mr. Topps (aka God).
Yes, you read the last part of that correctly. Having gotten down by the music business, the Rapture comes and everything is right with the world.
Frankly, there is not one thing wrong with this film. There, I said it and I’d say it again.
Don’t let this movie fool you. It may tell you that these two fresh faced young’ens are from Canada and that they’re visiting New York, but there’s nothing but interior shots of Germany. The film takes your imagination and takes liberties. But you will thank it for it later.
Nope, not Germany. America. When in doubt, tell yourself, its America.
I don’t know much about the music industry. I’ve read the memoirs, seen the interviews and listened to crappy albums made by artists who were just trying to fill out the last of their record contracts (I’m not going to name names, I’ll just say that one example rhymed with R.E.M.)
Here’s what I do know, and its mostly thanks to this movie. Your magical folk music may stir up the masses, but if you let a record company dress you in red leather, theres just no boundaries of where you’ll go.
Meet your new boss, kids. He’s going to tell you when your single isn’t “radio friendly”.
Not gonna lie…their “corporate disco” is actually better than their folky entry into the world.
Plus, I really want her silver jumpsuit.
Which looks even better on a man. People in the fashion industry are failing by not convincing the Middle America man of today that this is a acceptable and practical look for the man on the go.
I’m going to intersect here, that this movie had an amazing musical number which involved Old Testament theology and a catchy dance tune that commanded the cast members to dance. No film has dared to attempt this and none will ever reach the heights that this did.
She’s taking a bite of an apple, folks. I dare you to find a better way of teaching the origins to sin to a congregation.
Well played, movie. Well played.
Frankly, I think this movie is a little confused on the message. Yes, Satan is bad. And the general train of logic would dictate that if he gives a thumbs up to something, its a red flag that you should stay away from it. However, the music is catchy, there’s glitter everywhere, the choreography is just a treat for all the senses – and then the movie makes you feel bad for wanting to do a DIY musical extravaganza in your apartment.
Also a musical orgy happened. It was incredibly catchy.
This movie has everything you could possibly want – that is, if your list of heart’s desires only includes BMX bikes, Australia and Nicole Kidman. And if that was your list, this might possibly explain why you didn’t enjoy Moulin Rouge. Because something very important was missing. I’ll let you figure out what it was.
The plot synopsis – three teens, one of which being a rosy cheeked Nicole, thwart a bank robbery using their bikes. Also, there’s walkie talkies – a box full of walkie talkies. And they’re AMAZING. Like, if you lose your walkie talkie, there’s just no getting it back. And if you do find out who stole it, then you just committed yourself to a thirty minute BMX chase across suburban Australia.
Quentin Tarantino called this Australia’s Goonies. According to the DVD box anyway.
Or so I learned from this movie. Let’s begin….
Its common knowledge that in order to gain acceptance as a legitimate sport, you need a movie about it. Karate has the Karate Kid, archery has The Hunger Games. BMX has this. I can’t wait to see what exciting story curling has up its stony sleeves.
The movie opened with a bank heist and followed the tradition of having its participants wear creepy masks like in The Town and The Dark Knight…
This movie’s thing was these odd sorts of angles. Like what it might be like to see the movie from the bike or a earthworm’s point of view. Frankly, I think this makes us all better people.
The movie’s plotline revolves around teenagers finding a box full of walkie talkies that belong to the bad guys. The bad guys will want these back and are prepared to give chase over them. I’m assuming there are no Radio Shacks in Australia.
I’m going to spare the twenty minutes that was spent in the mini mall….
And where we watched the chase from the car’s perspective…
It ends with a guy getting a pie in the face.
Brace yourselves, readers. There is a big stupid ending coming….
Our heroes round up some fellow BMX casual bandits…
…and everyone gets really excited….
And they fight the bad guys by dumping flour and foam everywhere.
They also took a break from the four notes that were being played with repetition with a cheap Casio, to insert some wacky ragtime cartoon music.
Needless to say, the bad guys learned some pretty good life lessons today, thanks to BMX bandits everywhere.
And now with no more distractions, lets get back to the real reason we’re watching this movie….
Never ending BMX action.
Seriously, it’s not ending.
Every now and then, a film is released that’s so edifying to the human soul, so poetic in its dreams that it wraps itself around your heart and lifts your spirit in such a way that is completely unexplainable.
And then there’s Big Money Rustlas, which made me want to hurt this movie so badly. The tragic thing is that I can never hurt it in the way its hurt me. I went toe to toe to brash ugly stupidity, and lost when it reared its hideous head, cornered me, then pummeled me with the lowest common denominator of the human experience.
In the end…I was defeated by this movie. I just couldn’t finish it. I crawled away from it and thought of happier days – the pull of the tide, the laughter of children. Its hard to say when I’ll feel like me again.
There’s a plot – the members of the Insane Clown Posse, still confused on why no one will take them seriously, put on westerny clothes and pretend they’re making a movie. There is a plot that I assume was hastily written on a napkin, which was used to wipe off wing sauce, which then fell on the floor. I’m also assuming the editing floor was surprisingly clean after this was deemed good to go.
Here’s some moments. I hated all of them.
Separately, I could tell you what these words mean. Put together, I just don’t understand.
You can make me read all you want, movie, still going to hate you.
Tom Sizemore shows up for no reason. Don’t you have a urine test to fail somewhere?
Here’s what you need to know about this scene. Purple and gold are complimentary colors. Unlike this man and acting talent.
Let’s say you’re involved in a shootout and want to stay hidden. Might I suggest you don’t where bright white clown makeup?
I’d make a horse’s ass joke here, but its just too easy. Also my soul was hurting at the time.
Hey guys – let’s decide who we’re shooting at before we commit to putting this scene on film.
I hate everything about this movie. I hate the fact that people got up at dawn and brewed coffee, sliced bagels so that the crew would have the energy to film this movie.
Once upon a time, this was a mother’s little miracle. And now I hate everything.
Bridget Nelson and Jimmy J Walker finally together in a scene that nobody asked for, doing things that nobody wanted.
The well crafted dialogue and cinematography blend so perfectly together in this story, its hard to pick up on the subtle racism that peeks out of the blankets of filmmaking, then hits you over the head with a oversized clown hammer.
I…just can’t. If this had been a real injury, I’d just assume that we were watching God’s judgement unfold in real time.
Everytime a clown laughs, a child’s dream dies a dark humiliating death.
This movie made me wish for the deceptive simplicity and heart strings tugging approach of Convoy. May this film be translated to film stock then stored in a dark damp place. Like a cheese factory. Or the ample mouth of a member of the Insane Clown Posse.
Joseph Gordon Leavitt knows, to be Robin – USE THE BUTTONS ON YOUR SHIRT, SON.