Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Mac and Me
Jim and I have once again reviewed the same movie, but instead of linking to each other's site we're going to be trying to write this one together, it's more like an actual conversation we'd have about a movie rather than a review, so I imagine it'll be hard to sit through, BUT then again EVERYTHING i write is hard to sit through and if you can read that then you can read this! Enjoy!!!!!
J: If friendly aliens ever really do come to earth with the intention to share their knowledge with us, I would do my best to make sure they never learned about 1988's Mac and Me. It's not that it's the worst movie I've ever seen (oh, I've seen worse), it's that the intentions behind it are so transparently crass and corporate. I would just be really embarrassed if the aliens ever saw it.
K: Calling this movie corporate doesn't even begin to sum up HOW awful the product placement is in this movie, it was almost painful at times. At one point Coke LITERALLY saves characters lives, there is a dance sequence at a McDonalds that lasts a good 10 minutes, and there are constant references to skittles and Big Macs. I remember LOVING this movie when I was a kid and that made me sad.
J: You missed a great "I'm Lovin' It" opportunity there. I think McDonalds was trying to create a new corporate mascot with Mac. A bunch of companies must have been pissed off for missing the boat on E.T. and decided to make one of their own. So, tell me, Kent, what is Mac and Me about?
K: They had the perfect opportunity to make the same movie about this guy!
I'd much rather watch the same movie about a guy with a moon face who sang and played piano.
But what is Mac and Me about? Aliens, who drink water from straws on the moon......I think, get picked up by a lunar lander, you know from those famous moon landings back in 1988.
J: I thought it was a Mars lander? From the landscape, I thought it was Mars. Also, was it water they were drinking, or was it Mars Coke? If it was, Mars and Mars Coke, then let's assume they lived a Mars-Coke-less existence for the entire year-long transit back to earth. This family of aliens (a mom, a dad, an older kid and Mac) freak out at the government facility they arrive at and escape. This stuff was all pretty unclear. I didn't even realize there were two kids until the end of the movie.
Anyway, the youngest, Mac, gets hit by a car driven by a father and son. Did this father and son take the alien in and then hijinx ensue? No, we never see them again, but it sure felt like they were more important at the time. Instead, Mac sneaks into another car and goes home with a wheelchair kid.
K: It was actually just another part of California, seriously you could tell from landscape, so I guess what was actually going on was immigrants who need coke to live snuck in to California and got picked up by a Mars lander that the military was testing for some reason in southern California. I heard this is in the directors cut but I can't yet confirm that.
My favorite part about the first car that Mac hits, is the kid's reaction. He's not like "Holy crap we just hit some weird alien thing" he's like "dad you're driving like an idiot." which is the logical thing the say at that point. Either way, the handi-capable child, his brother, and Mom move in to a house. Mac moves in with them since he's a young migrant worker on the run from the law. This is where hilarity ensues, see the only people who have seen Mac are the little neighbor girl with the hot older sister and the handi-capable one, I believe his name was Eric. So when Mac decides he wants to turn on all the power tools and allow them to ruin the house ERIC GETS BLAMED! when Mac from some reason moves a bunch of stuff from outside, inside ERIC GETS BLAMED AGAIN! When Mac tries to kill Eric by making him fall off a cliff, oh that goofy eric always trying to kill himself to prove there's an alien in the house.
J: One of my favorite scenes was when Eric and the little girl are trying to catch Mac. They lure him into his bedroom with Coke and Skittles, where Eric tells the girl, "here, strap this vacuum cleaner to your back. We're going to suck him up!" It's really weird that a kid his age would think something like that would even work. Even weirder, it was already established that this is EXACTLY what works. They were vacuumed up by the Mars lander that took them to earth in the first place, which is something that Eric would have no inkling of.
They vacuum Mac up and he causes such a ruckus inside the vacuum bag that the little girl with the vacuum cleaner strapped to her back gets yanked up the wall and across the ceiling like a ragdoll. I have this rule about violence towards children in movies: As long as the kid doesn't cry or show any adverse effects, it is the funniest thing in the world. This movie might have some of the greatest kid violence I've ever seen, with the wheelchair falling off a cliff and the girl getting flung around by a MACuum cleaner. Here is the point where Mac becomes friends with the kids, and they proceed to hide him from the government spooks that come after him.
K: That's the point when Mac get's something like small pox, they never really explain what happened, but they just keep saying he's sick and he looks different he's got some skin lesions or something, so they put him in a Teddy bear outfit and tell everyone it's a toy, that seems to cure him cause this is NEVER mentioned again. ALTHOUGH, this does lead to the BEST scene in the entire movie, it's a long dance scene led by Teddy Bear Mac, followed by a chase scene where FBI agents can't catch a kid in a wheel chair simply because he's going down hill. There's a chase scene in a Steven Seagal movie called "Hard to Kill" where he's being chased in a hospital bed, this is better! the only reason they can't catch this kid is because they're going DOWN A HILL! had he gotten to the bottom 2 minutes before his brother shows up with a Van they would've easily caught him.
J: Let's stop on that McDonalds scene for a minute, it is clearly the centerpiece the entire movie is built around. They take Teddy Bear Mac to a birthday party at McDonalds, which is clearly the most amazing place on earth. There are kids dancing around outside when they get there. And then when they get inside, there are more kids dancing around. When Mac jumps on the counter and starts dancing along, he transforms from a creepy alien puppet into what is clearly a child in a teddy bear suit. The dance number is quite simply the most amazing thing ever put to film.
The thing that struck me about the wheelchair race was that the kid was careening out of control through speeding traffic, and he was smiling and laughing like he was having the time of his life!
I think around this time, there's also a flashback to the alien family's life on Mars. It's played with a sense of Spielbergian wonder, but it really feels kind of weird and unsettling. Something about the aliens' droopy cheeks and permanently puckered lips gives me the willies.
K: Oh yeah McDonalds is clearly one of the greatest wonders of the world. The kids there are all amazed all the time. Mac at one point grabs a McDonald's cup from some kids and the kids just stare in amazement, even before anything's happened! The Teddy bear suit dance scene, the thing that drives me a little crazy about it, is it kinda seems like they couldn't get the Mac puppet to behave how they wanted it to, so they were just like "Grab a kid a throw him in a teddy bear suit" And as the FBI agents come in Eric I believe says "Just keep him dancing" the suit was probably good enough to fool 8 year olds, but the FBI? is that why it took them so long to find Osama Bin Laden? was he just in a McDonald's dancing in a teddy bear suit?
As far as the flashbacks go, what really creeped me out was the aliens legs, none of them bent at all, they had clear knee joints and everything else seemed human enough to expect the knees to bend, but they just walked straight legged all the time.
Moving on Mac leads Eric and his friends to a cave, where he finds his family on the brink of death, sine they've been in a cave and can't get Mars-Coke through straws like they've been able to do for most of their lives.
J: Wow, by now, it seems like this movie should be over. Can't they just find a spaceship home or something? No, instead we get a scene where the Mac Daddy accidentally robs a grocery store at gunpoint. And it goes on from there. I'm not sure if I want to spoil anymore. Kent? Do you want to spoil anymore? Even better, do you have anything GOOD to say about Mac and Me?
K: Well if we spoil any more they'll have no reason to watch the rest. So without saying to much there is a small explosion that makes this movie kinda hilariously awesome toward the end here. The movie was full of hilariously bad moments, but a lot of that is dulled when you realize how EVIL the movie is. The acting's bad, because it's a movie filled with kids who can't act. If you take out the scenes of just pointless product placement it's probably a 45 minute movie. Anything I'm leaving out Jim?
J: The score is by the guy who did the Back to the Future trilogy. He's clearly doing a John Williams impression, but I thought the music was actually pretty good. It sometimes felt out of place against the ridiculous things happening on the screen.