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An Honest and Tender Review of ‘Twilight: Eclipse’….

2010/07/06

….isn’t happening here.  I mean, I could have seen it, but I didn’t.  Instead, I used my time wisely.  I watched Hot Tub Time Machine.  And I believe I am a better man for it.  

Let me sum HTTM up for you pretty succinctly, to save time if you’re busy doing things like working or raising children or eating a cake.  Have you seen any ads for it?  Yes?  Did you like what you saw?  Your answer to that question should correlate proportionately to your enjoyment of the actual film in question.  

As for me:  Loved the ads; loved the movie.  Oh, it’s stupid as hell, I’ll give you that.  Ridiculously stupid.  But then, I’m ridiculously stupid, so we’ve got a nice match that eHarmony wishes it could put in a commercial.  Allow me to flesh this out for you…  

The plot is what you think it is, more or less:  Three guys that are in their early-to-mid forties (and the one guy’s nephew) take a vacation to the ski lodge where their great memories of wild youth took place – and all three of the older guys are pretty much losers in life.  John Cusack’s Adam just got left by his live-in-girlfriend of forever for being a workaholic dick; Craig Robinson’s Nick has long-back given up his singing career to work in a dog beauty boutique and become emasculated; a-hole friend Lou (Rob Corddry) has just almost killed himself drinking vodka in a plastic bottle in his car whilst rocking out to the Crue’s ‘Home Sweet Home’ with the garage door shut; Adam’s nephew Jacob is more or less along for the ride.  Arriving at the lodge, they discover the whole town is one good fire away from not existing, and the lodge is a dump.  So they get all drunk and jump in the hot tub anyway.  When they awaken, they’ve been magically transported back to 1986.  

But you probably could’ve ciphered all that from a 30 second commercial.  Good on ya!  Here’s my point:  this was awesome.  Granted, I got all the references, and I do mean ALL the references, not just the easy ones, so I dug that a ton.  Rob Corddry’s Lou is pretty much the gross-out, full-bore ‘in your face’ comedic presence, Craig Robinson does pretty much what he does on The Office and everything else Ive ever seen Craig Robinson in (which is great, mind you), but Clark Duke, as the nephew, Jacob, is the funniest character and performance in this whole thing.  There were two instances were I was laughing so hard at him I stopped breathing, and that’s a ringing endorsement.   

One Crazy Sure Thing Better Off Hot Tub Machine

 

  As for Cusack?  Welcome back to your roots, Johnny!  He hasn’t made this dumb and broad a comedy since One Crazy Summer, and that one, combined with The Sure Thing and Better Off Dead made me a Cusack shill for life…but it’s been a long time.  While watching it, I concentrated on Cusack’s part more intently – and my suspicions were confirmed:  if you removed the other three guys from the movie, this is one singing clay cheeseburger away a sequel to Better Off Dead, and god bless Cusack for it, since he co-wrote the thing. Further kudos to him for making a pretty dead-on homage to ALL the teen movies from that era, from the dickbag ski patrol captain right down to the completely unneccessary, gratuitous and improbable-situation boob shots.  Authenticity is important:  Thank you, John, for maintaining your artistic integrity.  

Sure, HTTM is probably not for everybody, but it was better than I thought – I still laughed at all the lines I saw in the trailer a million times, and that counts for something.  Plus, this film continues the trend I call ‘Chevy Chase 2010:  The Reckoning’.  Granted, Chase’s part as the ‘mystical’ hot tub repairman isn’t nearly as golden as his work on Community, but it’s solid AND he sneaks in a brilliant callback to his ‘Bab’s Uvula’ skit from the first season of SNL that could blow right past you if you aren’t paying attention, and I really dig things like that.   

But with all this said, in total seriousness, I couldn’t give this more than a 4 on the 7 scale. I mean, I couldn’t if it weren’t for one little, tiny, awesome-incarnate thing:  

  

Crispin Glover.   Carving an ice-bear.  And then juggling chainsaws.  Ka.  Boom.  

5 out of 7.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. 2010/07/06 9:54 pm

    I finally decided to write a comment on your blog. I just wanted to say good job. I really enjoy reading your posts.

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