We Didn't Start The 80s

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Wooley
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Wooley » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:05 pm

Captain Terror wrote:Being stranded on the couch with a fever all day resulted in the following screenings:

Ea$y Money (1983)
Never a big Rodney Dangerfield fan and this did nothing to change my mind. If this is considered one of his lesser works I'm willing to give him another chance.
I always loved Rodney, even though I was a kid and a teenager in his heyday, and I always really enjoyed this movie, but I haven't seen it in many a year. Was thinking about revisiting but your response makes me wanna keep my happy memories intact.
Still, I thought Joe Pesci and Taylor Negron were hilarious, I always liked Jennifer Jason Leigh in everything she ever did (especially The Hudsucker Proxy), I even liked Candice Azzara as Rodney's wife Rose, but I especially just loved Rodney being Rodney.
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Wooley » Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:10 pm

Captain Terror wrote: Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988)
Although I wouldn't call myself an Elvira "fan", I was a regular viewer of Movie Macabre simply because I'd watch any creature feature I could find. I considered her commentary a minor, occasionally funny, nuisance interrupting my movie. (Unlike MST3K, she actually showed some great films, even though her role was to make fun of them).
So this feature film isn't great, but it was pleasant enough to spend a wasted Saturday afternoon with. It also reeks of the 1980s from stem to stern, for those who seek out such things. Homages to Rambo and Flashdance happen, as well as a cringe-inducing music video to end the film. If you've ever wanted to hear Elvira rap, this is your movie. (My favorite part was her T-Bird)
Image
And, ya know, I got into Movie Macabre right before my balls dropped and I didn't necessarily have that rabid sexual attraction that young men have to the slightest hint of skin, but I knew I wasn't just watching the show to see The Green Slime (and I think my mom knew it too). I loved Elvira for a number of reasons, one because she hosted the late-night horror-show, another because she was a woman hosting the late-night horror show, another because she was so all-in on her character that even though it was often (intentionally) groan-worthy, her unfaltering commitment to it made it almost even more fun, and finally her cleavage and sexuality. And the way that sexuality was mixed with horror has absolutely shaped me forever. I'm pretty sure a direct line can be drawn in my life from Elvira to my taste in so many types of movies and my penchant for eroticism in horror (Hammer didn't hurt in that regard either).
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Captain Terror » Mon Apr 08, 2019 5:00 pm

Wooley wrote: I always loved Rodney, even though I was a kid and a teenager in his heyday, and I always really enjoyed this movie, but I haven't seen it in many a year. Was thinking about revisiting but your response makes me wanna keep my happy memories intact.
Still, I thought Joe Pesci and Taylor Negron were hilarious, I always liked Jennifer Jason Leigh in everything she ever did (especially The Hudsucker Proxy), I even liked Candice Azzara as Rodney's wife Rose, but I especially just loved Rodney being Rodney.
Well, I'm watching my first Dangerfield movie in 2019 so my opinion is hardly relevant, I'd say. (And yes, this includes Caddyshack.) I will say that I was disappointed that Pesci wasn't funnier, since I've always liked him. But yeah, if you were a RD fan back in the day, I don't see why this wouldn't still hold up.
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Captain Terror » Tue Apr 09, 2019 12:40 pm

Wooley wrote: And, ya know, I got into Movie Macabre right before my balls dropped and I didn't necessarily have that rabid sexual attraction that young men have to the slightest hint of skin, but I knew I wasn't just watching the show to see The Green Slime (and I think my mom knew it too). I loved Elvira for a number of reasons, one because she hosted the late-night horror-show, another because she was a woman hosting the late-night horror show, another because she was so all-in on her character that even though it was often (intentionally) groan-worthy, her unfaltering commitment to it made it almost even more fun, and finally her cleavage and sexuality. And the way that sexuality was mixed with horror has absolutely shaped me forever. I'm pretty sure a direct line can be drawn in my life from Elvira to my taste in so many types of movies and my penchant for eroticism in horror (Hammer didn't hurt in that regard either).
Yeah, I definitely didn't dislike Elvira, I only meant that I wasn't tuning in because of her. So if she'd been replaced by another host I'd still watch so long as there was a monster movie. (Unlike Morgus Presents, for example. We'd record his show every week, but edit out the actual movie). One thing I noticed about the humor in this movie is that she wasn't always going for the obvious Addams Family-type joke. Example-- She inherits a house from a relative, a house that looks like the standard Hollywood haunted mansion, and she's disappointed because it's so ugly and filthy. The more cliche joke would've been that she preferred the dilapidated house. She sleeps in an Elvis T-shirt instead of a burial gown. Her pet poodle has a pink mohawk, and so on. She had her own thing going, is what I'm trying to say.

And now a word about her boobs. I mentioned that the film ends with a terrible music video. Well, during that segment the film basically stops for a giant screen-filling closeup of her chest as she does that stripper trick of twirling tassles. This lasts for an uncomfortably long time and has a cheap tacked-on feel, as if someone decided "let's give the people what they came for". It was a pretty disappointing way to end the film. (Maybe it's my fault for not finding boob stunts to be terribly erotic.) Peterson has a co-writing credit so I hope for her sake that it was her idea, because the idea that she was convinced to do it by someone else is pretty gross. I don't know what my point is here. Even with the many dirty jokes and double entendres throughout the film, this just stuck out as being really tacky and out of character for her and the movie.
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by John Dumbear » Tue Apr 09, 2019 3:55 pm

Rodney's '80s (& '90s) rating:

1. Caddyshack (8/10)
2. Natural Born Killers (8/10)
3. Back to School (7/10)
4. Easy Money (6/10)
5. Ladybugs (4/10)
6. Meet Sally Sparks (3/10)
7. Little Nicky (3/10)
8. My Five Wives (2/10)

Damn funny stand up act and a less than stellar movie career.
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Wooley » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:27 am

Captain Terror wrote:
Yeah, I definitely didn't dislike Elvira, I only meant that I wasn't tuning in because of her. So if she'd been replaced by another host I'd still watch so long as there was a monster movie. (Unlike Morgus Presents, for example. We'd record his show every week, but edit out the actual movie). One thing I noticed about the humor in this movie is that she wasn't always going for the obvious Addams Family-type joke. Example-- She inherits a house from a relative, a house that looks like the standard Hollywood haunted mansion, and she's disappointed because it's so ugly and filthy. The more cliche joke would've been that she preferred the dilapidated house. She sleeps in an Elvis T-shirt instead of a burial gown. Her pet poodle has a pink mohawk, and so on. She had her own thing going, is what I'm trying to say.

And now a word about her boobs. I mentioned that the film ends with a terrible music video. Well, during that segment the film basically stops for a giant screen-filling closeup of her chest as she does that stripper trick of twirling tassles. This lasts for an uncomfortably long time and has a cheap tacked-on feel, as if someone decided "let's give the people what they came for". It was a pretty disappointing way to end the film. (Maybe it's my fault for not finding boob stunts to be terribly erotic.) Peterson has a co-writing credit so I hope for her sake that it was her idea, because the idea that she was convinced to do it by someone else is pretty gross. I don't know what my point is here. Even with the many dirty jokes and double entendres throughout the film, this just stuck out as being really tacky and out of character for her and the movie.
Wait... sorry... the image of a young Elvira sleeping in an Elvis t-shirt just took over my whole life...

On the latter, I've actually kinda studied Cassandra Peterson's career for many years, I'm just a fan of what she did, regardless of the obvious sexuality part, and honestly, that sounds totally in keeping with her MO. Like not one word of that didn't sound like a Cassandra Peterson thing to do, so I'd be surprised if that was exploitation rather than her dancing with the ones that brought her, which she was never shy about.
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Captain Terror » Wed Apr 10, 2019 12:34 pm

Wooley wrote:
Wait... sorry... the image of a young Elvira sleeping in an Elvis t-shirt just took over my whole life...

On the latter, I've actually kinda studied Cassandra Peterson's career for many years, I'm just a fan of what she did, regardless of the obvious sexuality part, and honestly, that sounds totally in keeping with her MO. Like not one word of that didn't sound like a Cassandra Peterson thing to do, so I'd be surprised if that was exploitation rather than her dancing with the ones that brought her, which she was never shy about.
Well, I'd feel better about it if that were the case so I hope so. I guess you'd have to see it in context to understand what I mean. Her idea or not, it's still pretty cheap but then again this wasn't exactly high art to begin with. It didn't ruin the movie or anything, just thought it ended it on a bad note.

And here's one for you:
Image

Fun fact: When I was a kid (70s) my aunt had a pretty serious boyfriend, but they broke up when he moved to L.A. I've been told that he dated Peterson at one point while he was out there. (Pre-Elvira, I think. Or at least pre-stardom.) My aunt is kind of the worst, so that was decidedly an upgrade. :)
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Wooley » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:27 pm

Captain Terror wrote: Well, I'd feel better about it if that were the case so I hope so. I guess you'd have to see it in context to understand what I mean. Her idea or not, it's still pretty cheap but then again this wasn't exactly high art to begin with. It didn't ruin the movie or anything, just thought it ended it on a bad note.

And here's one for you:
Image

Fun fact: When I was a kid (70s) my aunt had a pretty serious boyfriend, but they broke up when he moved to L.A. I've been told that he dated Peterson at one point while he was out there. (Pre-Elvira, I think. Or at least pre-stardom.) My aunt is kind of the worst, so that was decidedly an upgrade. :)
I remember it from when I saw the movie a long time ago. I get what you're saying, but Cheap Thrillz was exactly what Peterson trafficked in and I always thought the way she took ownership and control of it was cool. I can understand how that scene might be a bridge too far and kinda cheapen things a bit, but I don't blame her (or anyone else) for throwing anything at the wall, especially with a little "give them a taste of what they really want".

Funny story. I wonder what the working pick-up line for a woman like that is.
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Captain Terror » Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:46 pm

Wooley wrote: Funny story. I wonder what the working pick-up line for a woman like that is.
My admittedly hazy memory of the guy was like David Soul hair with a John Oates 'stache. No pickup line needed when you're rocking that combo! :D
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:40 pm

There was a certain look for actresses that was very "in" in the 80s. Square-jawed actresses with big eyes and quirky hair (feathered hair or a funky perm or a pixie cut). Catherine Mary Stewart, Linda Hamilton, Lucinda Dickie, Ally Sheedy, Jenette Goldstein, Amanda Peterson, Demi Moore, Geena Davis, etc. This isn't to say that actresses like Valerie Bertinelli didn't exist in the 70s or that this sort of look was not selected for in the 90s (e.g., Sandra Bullock), and this is not to say that we cannot list many exceptions to the rule (e.g., Molly Ringwald) but there is something distinctly 80s about a square-jawed girl with raccoon eyes and quirky hair. To me, there is nothing more 80s than the combination of Disney eyes, tyrannosaur jaw, and a funky mop of hair in a coming of age flick.
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Wooley » Tue Apr 23, 2019 8:53 pm

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Tue Apr 23, 2019 4:40 pm
There was a certain look for actresses that was very "in" in the 80s. Square-jawed actresses with big eyes and quirky hair (feathered hair or a funky perm or a pixie cut). Catherine Mary Stewart, Linda Hamilton, Lucinda Dickie, Ally Sheedy, Jenette Goldstein, Amanda Peterson, Demi Moore, Geena Davis, etc. This isn't to say that actresses like Valerie Bertinelli didn't exist in the 70s or that this sort of look was not selected for in the 90s (e.g., Sandra Bullock), and this is not to say that we cannot list many exceptions to the rule (e.g., Molly Ringwald) but there is something distinctly 80s about a square-jawed girl with raccoon eyes and quirky hair. To me, there is nothing more 80s than the combination of Disney eyes, tyrannosaur jaw, and a funky mop of hair in a coming of age flick.
And I had no defense against it. Still don't, really.
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Torgo » Sun May 12, 2019 11:43 pm

Has anyone seen Never Too Young to Die? I've seen a lot of '80s cheese in my lifetime, but this may be the cheesiest of them all. It's essentially how a James Bond Jr. movie would play out if it had been made in the '80s. Gene Simmons is a villainous hermaphrodite who wants to poison L.A.'s water supply for...some reason, and his minions all look like extras from The Road Warrior. John Stamos plays the James Bond Jr. role in the form of a college gymnast named Lance Stargrove ("Stargrove!" Listen to the theme song, you'll know what I mean), and his roommate Cliff, famous for playing the rain god in Big Trouble in Little China, is essentially the movie's Q. Vanity is also along for the ride as the lady who Stargrove gets to bed, and George Lazenby, naturally, plays Lance's father. Like I said, it plays out how a James Bond, Jr. movie would play out, and as predictable as the plot is, as nonsensical the villain's motivations are and even though Lance's gymnastic skills are barely a factor, I can't say I was ever bored. To paraphrase Mozart in Amadeus: "one watches such a movie, and what can one say but...Stargrove!"
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Rumpled » Wed May 15, 2019 7:07 pm

Image

Now giving this a first time watch, i'm loving the girls already :heart:
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Death Proof » Thu May 16, 2019 12:06 am

Rumpled wrote:
Wed May 15, 2019 7:07 pm
Image

Now giving this a first time watch, i'm loving the girls already :heart:

I love that movie.
"Mom, I am going to rip off your head and shit down your neck."

Shepherds we shall be, for thee, my Lord, for thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand, our feet may swiftly carry out Thy commands.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee and teeming with souls shall it ever be.
In Nomeni Patri Et Fili Spiritus Sancti.
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Thu May 16, 2019 1:04 am

Death Proof wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 12:06 am
I love that movie.
"Mom, I am going to rip off your head and shit down your neck."
The Doctor does not worry and the Doctor does not pay.

This was one of those films in the 80s (these films always appears in groups after an idea in a script has been passed around that trashy little town) that explored the premise of a white middle class male becoming a pimp. Risky Business and Night Shift. are the other entries that spring to mind. The lighter side of sex work features that cousin of the manic pixie dream girl, "the hooker with the call to adventure." It's also a bit "Jack and the Beanstalk" because our hero is as much of a mark as he is a liberator. As much "John" as he is "Jack," our hero is used and mocked while at the same time finding himself transformed and galvanized into a functional man. Our men are blocked, stunted in their life growth, especially their masculinity. They learn to be assertive, to throw off the confinements of their middle class existence, encouraged by ladies of the night. It's whiteness dabbling in blackness. It's richer slumming with poorer. It's masculinity embracing the whore-aspect of the old whore-Madonna dichotomy.

The track by DEVO for this film is shamefully overlooked in their discography (great "electro" steel guitar solo in that track).

The uptight whitey was a comfortable pair of shoes of Akroyd who score a definitive hit in this character-type in "Trading Places" which was a similar but a bit more "Prince and the Pauper" than "Jack and the Beanstalk" by harnessing the atomic energy of the then unstoppable Eddie Murphy as his counterpart character.

I think today that the them would play out in terms of gender, with our uptight straight becoming an unlikely transvestite dancer, learning empathy and self-expression (complete with Ru'Paul dropping one liners).
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Wooley » Thu May 16, 2019 2:31 pm

Death Proof wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 12:06 am
I love that movie.
"Mom, I am going to rip off your head and shit down your neck."
I also love that movie.
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Jinnistan » Thu May 16, 2019 11:45 pm

I would say the obvious thing, which is that it's very telling when one presumes 'pimping' to be a strictly black phenomenon, except that, yes, Aykroyd is clearly glomming onto the black aspects of the vocation here, so it isn't exactly out of the question in this context. I think there's far less black connotations in Risky Business (Joey Pants ain't quite Ron O'Neal), and I haven't seen Night Shift recently enough to tell.
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Fri May 17, 2019 1:31 am

Jinnistan wrote:
Thu May 16, 2019 11:45 pm
I would say the obvious thing, which is that it's very telling when one presumes 'pimping' to be a strictly black phenomenon, except that, yes, Aykroyd is clearly glomming onto the black aspects of the vocation here, so it isn't exactly out of the question in this context. I think there's far less black connotations in Risky Business (Joey Pants ain't quite Ron O'Neal), and I haven't seen Night Shift recently enough to tell.
What is telling is that you appear to think that I am the one who is presuming.

To be clear, cultural stereotypes are not renowned for their actual demographic accuracy. And these films reflect the cultural stereotypes of their era.

And don't forget about the player's ball scene with James Brown. It's not something which "isn't exactly out of the question in this context."

Films of the era were quite comfortable playing with middle class whites swimming in ponds of race and class,





Risky Business does not racial code our protagonist more "blackly," however, his answer to his call to adventure does involve a (for him and the audience at that time) terrifying confrontation with a black transgender prostitute (Jackie) who reminds us of Joel's whiteness and middleclass standing.
Jackie : Joel, I'm going to give you a number. You ask for Lana. It's what you want.

Joel Goodson : Thank you.

Jackie : It's what every white boy off the lake wants.

Also, we should note that "Guido," while not "black" is certainly "Off-white." Even dear Joel is learning to exceed the boundaries of his race and class in this film.

Whether we like it or not, the cultural coding associating pimping with blackness is there. Consider this bit from Saturday Night Live where Eddie Murphy as "Raheem Abdul Mohammed" is interviewing Ron Howard about his new movie Night Shift:

Ron Howard: Look, look, Raheem, I’m not Opie Taylor and I’m not Richie Cunningham. I’m Ron Howard, I’m a grown man. You know I’m directing now? Did you see the new movie I have out, “Night Shift”?

Raheem Abdul Mohammed: Was there any black people in it?

Ron Howard: No.

Raheem Abdul Mohammed: I didn’t see it, then. What was it about?

Ron Howard: Oh, well, it was, uh, the story about these two pimps.

Raheem Abdul Mohammed: It’s the story about two pimps and wasn’t no brothers in it? I don’t know whether to say “Thank you” or punch you in your mouth, man.
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Jinnistan » Fri May 17, 2019 2:44 am

Melvin Butterworth wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 1:31 am
What is telling is that you appear to think that I am the one who is presuming.
Perhaps you're presuming that my comment was exclusively directed at you?

Yes, pimps are and have been one of the handful most common stereotypical roles for black men, and black people have a love/hate relationship to that role and what it connotates (hence Eddie's confliction). Detroit is very clearly a trip into exotic blackness. Some similar charges were lobbed at Blues Brothers, but I think the sincerity of their affection for black music makes that a much weaker point.

A more general observation would be in how commonly the attributes of black culture which are appropriated by the white middle/upper class tend to be the more criminal elements, more dangerous for vicarious adventurers, like throwing gang signs in wedding reception selfies or something. Little wonder then why the white middle/upper class then begin to essentialize black people as being congnitally dangerous criminals. It's an interesting thing to explore in itself, but I wouldn't take Dr. Detroit that far.

80s films that have white, usually upper class, kids engaging in criminal behavior, with or without a clear racial element, is definitely a genre unto itself though.
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Fri May 17, 2019 3:47 am

Jinnistan wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:44 am
Perhaps you're presuming that my comment was exclusively directed at you?


That was certainly the appearance that comment had to me. Moreover, I am entitled to a rejoinder since you admit that it was directed at me.
Jinnistan wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:44 am
Yes, pimps are and have been one of the handful most common stereotypical roles for black men, and black people have a love/hate relationship to that role and what it connotates (hence Eddie's confliction). Detroit is very clearly a trip into exotic blackness. Some similar charges were lobbed at Blues Brothers, but I think the sincerity of their affection for black music makes that a much weaker point.


The key difference is the dignity accorded to the "other" in these adventures, along the lines of "laughing with" and "laughing at."
Jinnistan wrote:
Fri May 17, 2019 2:44 am
A more general observation would be in how commonly the attributes of black culture which are appropriated by the white middle/upper class tend to be the more criminal elements, more dangerous for vicarious adventurers, like throwing gang signs in wedding reception selfies or something. Little wonder then why the white middle/upper class then begin to essentialize black people as being congnitally dangerous criminals. It's an interesting thing to explore in itself, but I wouldn't take Dr. Detroit that far.
Dr. Detroit is not a racist film, but it is playing with racial tropes and coasting along with the casual racism of the era. It is both laughing with and laughing at. Black people are wonderful, because they're (allegedly) less uptight and affected than whites. Black people are also (apparently) casually associated with criminality.

At any rate, "Pimp for a Day" was blip on the early 80s radar screen for cinema as much as underwater extravaganza was for the late 80s (e.g., The Abyss, Leviathan, Deep Star 6).

In the 90s, Gangsta Rap music (the product of alleged authenticity made largely by black artists pretending to be hoodlums for largely white consumer audiences who wanted to imagine themselves as tough guys) would only more deeply inscribing the racial coding of pimping as black.
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Rumpled » Wed May 22, 2019 7:05 am

Talking about white pimps, i'm now first time watching this tonight...

Image
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Melvin Butterworth » Wed May 22, 2019 10:32 am

Rumpled wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 7:05 am
Talking about white pimps, i'm now first time watching this tonight...

Image
Not quite the same genre. This is the story of Persephone's journey to the underworld, albeit a sleazy retelling (girl next door does a turn in the gutter). This is in the same style as flicks like "Angel."

It's a Roger Corman flick and you've got Julie Newmar in it, so it's got that going for it in terms of archaeological viewing interest.

It's interesting that the middle class male becomes a pimp genre is played for comedy, where the middle class girl becomes a whore genre is played for lurid tragedy.
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Death Proof » Wed May 22, 2019 10:54 am

Wooley wrote:
Mon Apr 08, 2019 4:05 pm
I always loved Rodney, even though I was a kid and a teenager in his heyday, and I always really enjoyed this movie, but I haven't seen it in many a year. Was thinking about revisiting but your response makes me wanna keep my happy memories intact.
Still, I thought Joe Pesci and Taylor Negron were hilarious, I always liked Jennifer Jason Leigh in everything she ever did (especially The Hudsucker Proxy), I even liked Candice Azzara as Rodney's wife Rose, but I especially just loved Rodney being Rodney.

Can I call you "dad" now?

Shepherds we shall be, for thee, my Lord, for thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand, our feet may swiftly carry out Thy commands.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee and teeming with souls shall it ever be.
In Nomeni Patri Et Fili Spiritus Sancti.
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Wooley » Wed May 22, 2019 6:15 pm

Death Proof wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 10:54 am
Can I call you "dad" now?
Image


The Cyrano de Bergerac bit still cracks me up.
"The Hedge, Allison Capuletti. Allison, The Hedge has a few words to say to you."
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Re: We Didn't Start The 80s

Post by Death Proof » Wed May 22, 2019 7:33 pm

Wooley wrote:
Wed May 22, 2019 6:15 pm
Image


The Cyrano de Bergerac bit still cracks me up.
"The Hedge, Allison Capuletti. Allison, The Hedge has a few words to say to you."
"I don't know what to say!"
*cue screaming in Spanish, physical abuse of the hedge

Shepherds we shall be, for thee, my Lord, for thee.
Power hath descended forth from Thy hand, our feet may swiftly carry out Thy commands.
So we shall flow a river forth to Thee and teeming with souls shall it ever be.
In Nomeni Patri Et Fili Spiritus Sancti.
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