This week on the podcast there was a lot of revisiting. The guys and Jenny rewatched Close Encounters of the Third Kind and at least pretended to reread Ready Player One. I couldn’t do the first since I loaned my DVD to a co-worker trying to give her son a geek pop culture education, which I have to approve of. As for Ready Player One, I am on-record for saying that while I did enjoy the book, I wasn’t the huge fan of it that Ryan at least is, since I don’t generally go for nostalgia, particularly 80s nostalgia. I lived through those years once and very much believe in living in the now. A pop culture world that stopped in 1989 is pretty sad in my opinion.
So, I rewatched Clue.
Clue is probably the finest movie ever made based on a board game. Keep in mind, the competition there is basically Battleship and Ouija. It also was being removed from Netflix on April Fools Day, so anyone reading this that doesn’t already have the movie may be out of luck.
But I hadn’t seen the movie since I was a kid. I remembered the three endings thing, and a few of the actors in it, but that was about it. Watson naming this a favorite movie isn’t really unusual, but claiming it is highly quotable is. As such, as an adult, I rewatched to see what I could pick up. Little things like a co-writing credit to John Landis, director of such comedy hits as Coming to America, Animal House, An American Werewolf in London, Trading Places, The Blues Brothers, The Three Amigos, and, er, The Stupids. Clearly, I should have stopped at The Three Amigos. Man, that guy had quite the drop-off in his career.
Oh, hey, IMDB tells me the actress who played the French maid was in American Hustle. She’s kept busy. Good for her.
So, how was the movie itself? Eh, it was OK. Nothing super special. It had some amusing moments, a good cast of comedy vets, and it’s totally cursed. Just ask Eileen Brennan or Madeline Kahn. Oh wait, you can’t.
As cursed movies go, there was a bit of clever wordplay. Truly they were trying the most elusive of comedy forms to the modern moviegoer, which is the screwball comedy. Those were big back in the 30s, with lots of wordplay, slapstick, and outright silliness, but for some reason, they don’t get made much anymore. They’re tricky. Today’s comedy styles are more along the lines of slapstick and adults acting like children maybe learning to be adults in R-rated films from Judd Apatow. Screwball requires a lot of fast talk, characters that look dignified before skipping right to the ridiculous, and above all excellent timing. Clue does its best to replicate that, but no matter how much communism might be a red herring, the movie doesn’t quite get it. For one thing, classic screwball comedy usually features some sort of class warfare. Since all the servants seem to end up dead in the “official” ending, that’s not a good idea to suggest with this movie.
Bottom line: I did enjoy it, but it wasn’t particularly quotable, no matter what Watson says. And I’m not Watson, so I sure don’t say that. Really, Ryan should be having Jenny and Watson watch a much more quotable movie, say Army of Darkness. You don’t even need to see the previous two movies to enjoy it.
Give me such sugar, baby.