A Double Feature for the Ages: PCU (1994) & The Boondock Saints (1999)

2008-07-07
2:37:26 am

The other night (Wednesday I think), I decided to get caught up on my movies from Blockbuster so I watched a double feature of PCU (1994) and The Boondock Saints (1999). Now, these two flicks don’t have anything in common (trust me I looked), but I really enjoyed re-watching both movies.

 

PCU’s about this high school senior (pre-frosh) who comes to visit a college (based on Wesleyan from what I’ve read), but instead of staying in the dorms, he ends up in a place called The Pit that used to be a fraternity house back in the day, but is now co-ed housing. We had something like this at my college, they were called SLUs (for “single living units,” I think). Anyway, the blind dude from Becker signed Jeremy Piven (who even then, looked about 30) up to house a pre-frosh, but he’s having none of it. After the usual “introducing the new kid to all the different groups on campus” scene (I still love those scenes, even long after high school and college), the pre-frosh successfully pisses off each and every highly-sensitive group and minority on campus. Meanwhile, David Spade plays a yuppie who belongs to the fraternity that used to live in The Pit. He’s conspiring with the president of the school to get The Pitters kicked out of their place. All of this leads to a killer party at The Pit (so they can raise money to keep their house) where George Clinton and Parliament/The P-Funk All-Stars play. Then they ruin the bicentennial thingy so the dean gets fired. Basically, the whole idea is that being overly politically correct (hence PCU) actually separates people instead of bringing them together. Oh, and that beer and funk solves everything.

I remember watching this flick on Comedy Central back in the day. I’m not sure if it was on the T & A Matinee that they used to do right around the time I got home from grade school (excellent scheduling CC!) or just on the pre-South Park station, but I saw it a lot. And it made me want to go to college. It was a lot of fun watching the movie post-college because, even though the movies about 15 years old by now, there’s still a lot of truth in the cartoony antics. Oh, it’s also a lot of fun watching it and calling out different people. One of the guys from Big Love is in it, so is Gary Busey’s son Jake. Oh, also, Zak Penn of X-Men movie writing fame go-wrote this movie. That’s awesome. If you haven’t checked out PCU, I highly recommend it.

Which brings me to Boondock Saints which is a flick about two Irish brothers in Southie (that’s in Boston, kids) who decide to become vigilantes and kill bad dudes in their neighborhood. One of the mob bosses isn’t too thrilled about this, so he arranges for an incredibly dangerous hitman that goes by the name Il Duce (played by the second teacher from Head of the Class Billy Connelly) to kill the brothers. Oh, duh, Willem Dafoe plays an FBI agent trying to figure out who’s killing these bad guys. He’s like a profiler I guess. They shoot the scenes pretty interestingly, basically they show the brothers about to kill somebody, then jump to the aftermath when Dafoe shows up. Dafoe then re-imagines the whole thing, at one point, even acting like a conductor. It’s a hard thing to explain, but it was pretty cool to see.

I was kind of surprised about the reaction I got to my friends when I told them I re-watched Saints. I really enjoyed the movie (in the same way you enjoy a good Punisher comic, who doesn’t like watching bad guys get wasted? especially when the guys doing it are just so damn likeable), but when I mentioned it to a few of my friends they said they didn’t like it very much. But it wasn’t really the movie they disliked but the hype that surrounded it. I only ever had two people tell me I should watch it, so I didn’t realize there was such a huge cult following around the movie comparing it to Pulp Fiction (which I would definitely not do). So, I suggested they check it out again, like I suggest all of you to check it out. I’m also excited to see the long-planned sequel that may or may not ever happen. Heck, I’d even check out a comic based on The Boondock Saints.

Indy Jonesing

2008-05-25
4:13:56 pm

So, I’ve been on a bit of an Indiana Jones kick for the past few weeks. On Mother’s Day Spike (I think) was showing the movies in reverse order for some reason. I caught the beginning of Temple of Doom (my favorite as a kid), remembered how much I love these movies, so I tossed my DVD in the tray and watched it without commercials. Still gotta say that the dinner scene is still one of my all-time favorite scenes in movie history. What can I say, I guess I’m still just a kid at heart.

Watching the movie got me thinking about the Young Indiana Jones Chronicles TV show from the early ’90s. I never watched it when it was on, though I’m not sure why because I probably would have watched just to see the return of chilled monkey brains. Anyway, I added all the DVDs to my Blockbuster queue and have since watched the fist two. Well, the first one and a half.

To catch you up to speed, the show was conceived by George Lucas as a way to tell Indy’s history while also teaching kids about history, the world and all that jazz. It supposedly switches back and forth between a pre-teen Indy and a teenaged one, but the two episodes I saw focused on the younger version. At first I thought watching a kid get in trouble would get a little boring, but the first episode really grabbed my attention as young Indy’s dad takes him, his mother and Indy’s tutor across the world for various reasons. The second episode, however, lost my interest pretty quickly, even with the appearance of Teddy Roosevelt in Africa. It turned from an actual story into an animal film so quickly that the shock almost put me to sleep. Actually, it did put me to sleep. So, while I can’t judge the entire series yet, I’m thinking that I’ll probably like the adventures of the slightly older young Indiana Jones as opposed to the younger young Indiana Jones.

After all this, in preparation for Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Em and I watched Last Crusade. I have said for years that Temple is my favorite, but I now have to give that designation to Crusade. It’s just got such a great mix of action and comedy that I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen the entire time. Unlike a lot of trilogies, though, I actually like all of the installments in the Indy series. Even with Star Wars, I don’t like watching New Hope all that much). So immediately after finishing Crusade yesterday, we checked show times and went out to see Crystal Skull. And you know what?

I liked it. I don’t want to get into the plot details too much, but i think a lot people out there need to remember that the previous three Indiana Jones installments have had two acts of God (one of which can be avoided by simply looking away) and one dude who can put his hand through your chest without killing you, take your heart out, again without killing you, show you your own heart and then lower you into a giant pit of fire and lava which finally kills you. So, lighten up people, these are fun, kinda goofy moves that don’t take place in our world, but still continue to wow audiences.

Over the past few days I realized what it is that really grabs me about the Indy movies. Sure, the action is great and the entertainment is top notch, but what really keeps bringing me back is the sense of exploration and discovery with the world around us that seems all but dead in the real world. It seems like every square inch of the Earth has been documented and the sands have given up all their secrets (even if they really haven’t). The Indy movies and TV show reignite that sense of wonder and exploration that I think lies within all of (or at least many of) us.

That being said, I’m off to watch Cannonball Run, so what do I know?