» 90s Lights! Camera! Vegan!

Freaks and Geeks

Freaks and Geeks is probably tied with My So-Called Life for ‘most beloved one season show of the 90’s’. There isn’t really one specific reason why it’s so great, it’s got everything going for it: the acting is good, the writing is good, the characters are relatable, the situations are realistic, and it takes place in 1980 so there’s lots of clothing choices to laugh at. And unlike a lot of movies or tv shows that are modern period pieces, they don’t go out of their way to smack you over the head with pop culture references. And even though it’s mostly regarded as a comedy, the overall feel of the show is very muted. The crew actually lit the scenes with green tinted lights to give them a muted, ‘midwestern’ look and they avoided shooting outside as much as possible so the sunny California weather didn’t contrast with it too much.

Freaks and Geeks is about the lives of two groups of students at a high school in a small town in Michigan. Lindsay is a girl who has gone from geek to wanna-be freak, and her brother Sam is a total geek. The show mostly centers around them, but it is an ensemble cast so we get plenty of back story on the other kids. Lindsay has the hots for the cute freak, and even though she clearly struggles with being ‘bad’ she goes along with a lot of stuff to impress him. Which is weird because he has a girlfriend. Sam is in love with a cheerleader and also tries to impress her, but that just ends in him being embarrassed repeatedly.

One episode that I really relate to is the episode where Sam freaks out because his gym class is told that after class showers are now mandatory. he’s a really short, skinny kid so of course he’s self-conscious about getting naked in front of the other guys. I remember when we did the tour of my junior high and I saw the showers, I thought of every embarrassing high school shower scene i’d ever seen a movie and started freaking out. Luckily, I quickly found out that no one showered after gym and even if we wanted to, the teacher gave us less than ten minutes to change. And no one ever ripped off my clothes and pushed me out into the hall!

My favorite character is Nick, because look at this guy. Jason Segel plays obsessive characters a lot and he does it really well, and he’s nice at the same time so you kind of want to root for him to get the girl even though he’s kind of creepy about it.

Freaks and Geeks never stood a chance, it started out on Saturday nights and was often preempted for other programming. They actually shot the finale halfway through the season because they didn’t even expect to get past the original 13 episodes, but NBC ordered another five before cancelling it. They received lots of critical acclaim and even won an Emmy, and the show has a huge following. The only thing I find disappointing is that there wasn’t a ten year reunion movie! What the hell! Judd Apatow is rich, everyone on the show got really famous, they totally could’ve gotten the money to make it!

In case you don’t recognize the people above, starring Linda Cardellini (ER, Scooby Doo, Mad Men), John Francis Daley (Bones, Waiting), James Franco (Spiderman, Milk, General Hospital), Busy Philipps (Dawson’s Creek, ER, Cougar Town), Jason Segel (How I Met Your Mother, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Slackers), Seth Rogen (Knocked Up, Zack and Miri, The League), Samm Levine (Inglorious Basterds, Not Another Teen Movie), Martin Starr (Adventureland, Party Down, Veronica Mars movie), plus cameos from everyone to Joel Hodgson (MST3k) to Ben Stiller.

Menu time! Lindsay’s mom is such a good cook that it’s hard to choose one entree, so take your pick. No peanuts are present anywhere!

Entree: Skip the three way date and go straight for the ribs, comfort a hysterical teenage girl with seitan (not veal, ew) piccata, invite your mom over for some Monster Mash shepherd’s pie and maybe to help her hand out candy in dorky costumes, or enjoy Bill’s mom’s pot roast.
Side dish: relive the 80’s by boiling the shit out of any vegetable you want!
Dessert: make some vegan donuts for your French class, and then let people eat them off the floor. Or just make the donuts.

posted: September 16, 2014
under: 90s, comedy, kid friendly, period piece, teen, tv shows
6 Comments on Freaks and Geeks

Citizen Ruth

I actually wanted to do Citizen Ruth two years ago, but I watched it and really couldn’t find much inspiration for a menu. I mean, it’s a satirical movie about a drug addict caught in the middle of a war between anti-choice and pro-choice groups. But today, while I was eating a taco I thought of the movie and it all became clear.

Citizen Ruth is one of my favorite ‘no one else has heard of it’ movies. It has an amazing cast, it’s funny but not slapstick-y, and it addresses a real issue. Ruth is a homeless woman who bounces from place to place, trading sex in hopes for a place to crash, and huffing paint is her drug of choice. She lands in jail again and is pregnant, after having multiple children that she does not have custody of, so she’s charged with endangering her fetus. She ends up sharing a cell with some anti-choice protesters, who decide that they need to help her get out of her serious charge and get her life back into shape.

Unfortunately for them, Ruth is a giant child and a serious addict, she’s nice and saying she wants to change one minute, but any chance she gets to sniff or smoke or drink, she takes it. When people challenge her, she immediately calls them names and resorts to violence. She is definitely not a hero in this story, there really isn’t one. There’s also no side that comes out looking good, this movie is neither an endorsement nor a condemnation of abortion. The overall lesson of the movie is that when opposing sides of an issue start to rally around a person as their cause, they often lose sight of the person totally. The two sides are so caught up in their fight that in the end, they don’t even notice Ruth. And she notices them not noticing, and takes advantage of it.

Starring Laura Dern (Jurassic Park, Enlightened), Swoosie Kurtz (Pushing Daises, Mike & Molly), Kurtwood Smith (That 70’s Show, Robocop), Mary Kay Place (Big Love, My So-Called Life), Kelly Preston (Jerry McGuire, married to scientology), M.C. Gainey (Lost, Django Unchained, Justified) with cameos from Tippi Hedren (The Birds), Burt Reynolds (hairy chested 70’s sex symbol), David Graf (Tackleberry from Police Academy), and Diane Ladd, Dern’s real life mother, plays her mother.

So like I said, there is little food inspiration in the movie besides some steaks on a grill, but today I did the Taco Or Beer Challenge and while I was eating I thought of the movie and it was like a lightbulb. Citizen Ruth is currently available on Netflix streaming, so challenge or not I hope you check it out. Here is a recipe for steak tacos, and at one point in the movie Diane mentions that she and Rachel had brought a lot of the clothing that they give to Ruth back from Guatemala, and wikipedia informs me that Guatemalan cuisine “prominently feature[s] corn, chilis and beans as key ingredients” so tacos work perfectly anyway!

posted: September 7, 2014
under: 90s, comedy, drama
2 Comments on Citizen Ruth

Johnny Mnemonic

Today is my husband’s birthday, and I promised he could post this. Whenever I mention looking for movie ideas, he tells me to do Johnny Mnemonic as a joke and finally I said, “Why don’t YOU do it?!” And that is why you should never blurt things out in the heat of the moment.

Cover
William Gibson is a fantastic author. He’s practically the creator of the cyberpunk genre. Neuromancer is one of my favorite books of all time, and William Gibson wrote it, and he wrote the screenplay for Johnny Mnemonic. In many ways, Johnny Mnemonic does not do William Gibson justice. However, I can’t help but appreciate the many ways that it tried.

 

Johnny Pizza

“Double cheese, anchovies?”

The world is run by giant megacorporations, constantly fighting each other for world domination. Johnny is a mnemonic courier, a human with a hard drive in their brain who is hired to smuggle sensitive data.  Johnny is played by Keanu Reeves, four years before he found serious commercial success in the cyberpunk genre for his role in The Matrix. Johnny’s in deep crap. He’s forgotten all of his memories, and he wants out of the courier game, but he can’t afford the surgery to get the hard drive taken out. He takes one more big-risk job to try to get out for good. There’s just one problem: his hard drive is overloaded by the data and will kill him if he can’t get it out soon. And then the Yakuza massacre his clients and destroy the key to getting the data out of Johnny’s brain. From there, he’s off to Newark to find out what’s inside his head, and how he can get it out.

 

Snatch back your brain, zombie, and hold it!

“Snatch back your brain, zombie, and hold it!”

This movie’s got Keanu Reeves. It’s got Ice-T, Henry Rollins, and Dolph Lundgren. It’s got Yakuza, low-tech hackers, cyborg street preachers, and cyberspace. None of those things can save this movie. The dialog is bad, and it’s delivered poorly. Some characters are changed from the original short story and they’re not improvements. Jane, in Dina Meyer’s first role, is particularly bad in performance and in poor story adaptation. But it gets so much right, like the set design, and the pace. It’s constantly moving, and it nails the cyberpunk atmosphere.

 

"I need to go online"

“I need to go online!”

So what do you eat when you watch Johnny Mnemonic? There are a number of bad options, but at one point Johnny shouts, “I want the club sandwich, I want the cold Mexican beer, I want a $10,000-a-night hooker!” And that made my job dead simple. So here’s a recipe for a vegan club sandwich, featuring chicken-style seitan and tempeh bacon. I’m not a beer person, but according to Barnivore, Grupo Modelo beers are vegan, so grab a Corona and you’re good!

posted: September 3, 2014
under: 90s, sci-fi, so bad it's good
7 Comments on Johnny Mnemonic

Can’t Hardly Wait

 

It’s the last party of their high school career and Preston just found out that his dream girl, Amanda, is newly single.  As you can see above, he is dorkily excited about it.  He decides he’s going to give her a letter about how he feels at said party, and obviously that doesn’t go smoothly.  Also he drags along his best friend who hates everyone and no one even knows her name.  But who cares about that crap when we can talk about Kenny Fisher?

This movie is full of high school stereotypes, and Kenny is the rich (look at that SUV) white kid who drops so much street slang that almost everything he says could be a catchphrase.  Why is he wearing goggles?  Was that ever cool?  Anyway, Kenny desperately wants to get laid, and he has a backpack full of sexy things to help, like a Fragrance of Love scented candle, bitch.  It’s so ridiculous that it’s cute and i’m not sure if anyone but Seth Green could’ve pulled this role off without looking like a total jackass.  Keeping this all in mind is the only thing that got me through the pilot of Dads.

There are other sub-plots, like a group of nerds plotting to embarrass the jerky jock/Amanda’s ex, said jock trying to get his friends to all dump their girlfriends because he’s convinced that girls will be lining up for them at college, Barry Manilow, and a whole lot of stuff that was edited out to get a PG-13 rating/for time.

Mostly starring Ethan Embry (Empire Records, Sweet Home Alabama) and Jennifer Love Hewitt (Party of Five, The Ghost Whisperer).  Also a whole bunch of Buffy alum appear!  And does anyone else remember that show that ran for one season, Byrds of Paradise, where J-Love and Seth Green played siblings?

This movie came out my senior year, so it’s only natural that I would try to pick out my ‘character’ in the movie.  I would’ve been Amber Benson, obviously.

Entree:  Anyone order a Loveburger?  No?  I’m not entirely sure what would be on a Loveburger (no jizz jokes), so just pick any ol’ burger you want to make, Joni has quite a few recipes.

Side: We are gonna get rippppppppppppppppped on watermelon!  And by we I mean people who actually drink, us sober assholes could I guess just use raspberry juice.

Dessert:  I bet you’re thinking the pot brownies, right?  Wrong, those brownies sucked, remember?  We are gonna make our own strawberry poptarts/hand pies.

 

 

 

posted: September 26, 2013
under: 90s, comedy, romance, teen
2 Comments on Can’t Hardly Wait

Dazed and Confused

 

AIR RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAID!!!

Dazed and Confused is about the last day of school/first day of summer break in 1976, that focuses on the new group of seniors and some of the incoming freshmen. Even though there’s a 20 year difference, some of the movie reminds me of my teenage years. Driving around, listening to…probably the Dazed and Confused soundtrack…being a pothead, looking for a field to drop a keg in. What, did you think I was going to say I was covered in mustard and ketchup and/or chased down and beaten by seniors?

The thing with the initiation, which one of the characters even comments on as they’re watching it (“They clearly have permission to use the parking lot, they’re selling concessions…”) is that it seems to be a totally sanctioned town activity for older teenagers to drive around, capture, and beat the younger ones with wooden paddles all summer long. The girls have it much easier because not only is their hazing being yelled at, having food dumped on them, and a drive through the car wash, but their hazing lasts for one day and it’s voluntary.

It’s weird to say this, but Dazed and Confused has two of the best ‘perpetually high’ performances ever: Rory Cochrane and Matthew McConaughey really nail the body language of people who are stoned so often that you can’t even tell when they’re not. Matthew McConaughey explains his character inspiration briefly here.

Starring Jason London (Carrie 2, The Man in the Moon, his twin was the one in Mallrats and Party of Five), Adam Goldberg (crazy Eddie on Friends, The Hebrew Hammer), Anthony Rapp (Adventures in Babysitting, Rent), Matthew McConaughey (Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, Tropic Thunder), Cole Hauser (Good Will Hunting, Pitch Black), Milla Jovovich (The 5th Element, Resident Evil and other ass kicking roles), Joey Lauren Adams (Chasing Amy, The United States of Tara), Parker Posy (Party Girl, Scream 3), Nicky Katt (Planet Terror, Boston Public), and some dude named Ben Affleck as the poofy-haired asshole that no one actually likes.

Entree: Sunflower Mac, Zig Zags are optional.
Side: There’s a lot of beer in this movie, so take your pick: beer battered pickles,onion rings, or zucchini.
Dessert: Why climb the Moon Tower (and possibly fall off, smacking your head on every beam) why you can just make and eat moon pies?

posted: September 25, 2013
under: 90s, comedy, drama, period piece, teen
1 Comment on Dazed and Confused

Empire Records

Empire Records is a movie about a day in an independent record store in the 90’s.  My dad owned a record store when I was a teenager (and drove a hearse), and despite what you may think it didn’t make me popular or cool, I was actually ridiculed about it from 7th grade up until I switched high schools.  Luckily, this movie plays into the idea that working at a record store is cool as shit and it’s full of hip, hip people with a buttload of problems.  But who cares about that?  Not I.  Not on Rex Manning Day!

On the same day that one of the employees sells $9,000 and they all find out that their beloved store is being turned into a chain ala Tower Records, a washed up pop star is coming to the store to promote his new album.  And then there’s head shaving, shoplifting, Gwar hallucinations, college pressures, and lots and lots of music.  Because you know.

Empire Records was panned by the critics when it came out, but fans love it.  They celebrate Rex Manning Day (I just watch the movie and make brownies).  There is a special ‘fan edition’ dvd that includes the Rex Manning music video and a whopping extra sixteen minutes of footage, most of which I honestly think should’ve stayed out.  If you’ve never seen the movie and can’t pick out what the extra footage is, if you find yourself wondering why they’re blathering on about bullshit for no reason, it’s probably an extra scene.

It has been done before and it has been done since, but a woman shaving off her hair on camera for a movie is always bad ass.  It’s not just about making yourself less ‘pretty’, I constantly hide behind my hair so shaving my head to me is the same as walking around topless.  Right after this, Robin Tunney filmed The Craft so her hair in that movie is 100% wig.

While I was poking around last night I found this list of who’s who in Empire Records, so instead of listing them off i’ll just link to that.

Bonus:  if you are a fan of Grease 2 this will either ruin or make your day.

There is limited food and food inspiration in this movie, i’ll admit, so we’re dipping into the vast (and awesome) soundtrack to help!  Eddie brings in a pizza at one point but honestly, you can only use a random pizza so many times.

Appetizers:  The Cranberries + Cracker = Cranberry Herbed Crackers.  I’ve never made my own crackers but that recipe seems pretty simple.  Serve with blue cheese dip (the buffalo bites have no reference to the movie but there’s no reason you can’t make them too, or anything else you want to dip).

Cocktail:  Gin Blossoms + The Martinis = Dirty Gin Martini.

Dessert:  There is only one thing (okay, two things if you want to make Happy Rex Manning Day cupcakes) to make:, some ‘herbal’ brownies.  Actually i’m noticing that everything in this menu has herbs of some sort.  Substitute pot wherever you want, just don’t watch Gwar videos while eating it.

posted: September 24, 2013
under: 90s, comedy, drama, teen
4 Comments on Empire Records

Showgirls

 

Showgirls is one of the accidentally greatest movies EVER MADE.  EVER.  It has a cult following, especially in the gay community.  One of the more notable adaptations is Show Girls In Drag, which stars Willam and Detox from Rupaul’s Drag Race.  There was also an off-broadway musical.  Why?  Because Showgirls is so bad, on every level from the writing to the acting, that it is absolutely hilarious.  On top of the badness, it had a huge budget, the director of Robocop, and some pretty well-known faces in the cast.  Everyone involved thought they were making an amazing movie, right up until it flopped hard.

Nomi hitches a ride to Vegas in pursuit of her dreams of becoming a dancer – and the first person she meets steals her suitcase.  The second person she meets, however, lets her move into her trailer and she does get a job as a dancer, of the private variety.  And wouldn’t you know it, her roommate is the seamstress for the big show at The Stardust!  I’ll bet that’s going to come in handy but in a very roundabout way.

Eventually, Nomi makes her way out of the strip club and onto the big stage, with help and simultaneous interference from the lead, Cristal.  Cristal Connors is like the Ghost of Bitchmas Future to Nomi, showing up to dispense wisdom, snort coke, call everyone darlin’, and make sexual advances while putting Nomi down and really messing with her life.  Over the course of the movie we learn that Cristal and Nomi have pretty much an identical past and identical methods of pushing their way to the top.  Can Nomi out-bitch Cristal and take her spot, though?

By far, the most ridiculous and hilarious scene in Showgirls is the pool sex scene where it appears that someone might be tasering Elizabeth Berkley from off camera.  I showed this movie to my friend Robie once and she laughed so hard, it made me laugh harder and I fell off the couch, and after we were able to breathe we rewound it and watched it again.  Here’s a little animated (obviously NSFW) .gif of the scene, you can tell that Kyle MacLachlan is really having a hard time holding onto her.  Not to mention that the waterfall is going right into her face.  I can only assume this was choreographed by the wet dream of a 13-year-old boy.

I’ve never seen Showgirls 2, but here’s a review written by someone who loves Showgirls just as much as I do.

(P.S. If you do decide to watch this movie, fair warning that there is a violent rape scene in it.)

Starring Elizabeth Berkley (Saved By the Bell, she’s so excited), Gina Gershon (Bound, Rescue Me), Kyle MacLachlan (Twin Peaks, Portlandia), Glenn Plummer (Sons of Anarchy, ER), Alan Rachins (Dharma and Greg, L.A. Law), and Gina Ravera (The Closer, ER).

Onto our menu, which is free of any puns related to bare breasts!

Entree:  Who says you can’t have a burger AND brown rice and vegetables?

Side:  I’ve never heard Caesar sing, but I have been to The Forum before (I did not buy a dress at Ver-sayce with lap dance money).

Dessert:  Sad fact time, I have lived and breathed on this earth, in the midwest even, for 32 years and I have never had puppy chow.

Cocktail:  I don’t usually include drinks, but if you drink alcohol will probably improve your enjoyment of this movie tremendously, so have a sexy, wet, Tornado.

 

posted: September 19, 2013
under: 90s, comedy, drama, so bad it's good
7 Comments on Showgirls

Clueless

How do we even talk about Clueless?  I feel like trying to describe it is like trying to describe a unicorn sliding down a rainbow while playing a sweet guitar riff.  I also feel like you’ve all seen it so you know, but anyway:  high school!  Rich kids!  Crazy fashions and made up slang!  Finding yourself and realizing that you have depth and a big crush on your ex-stepbrother!  The best soundtrack of any 90’s movie (tied with Empire Records)!

As a teen in the 90’s, I found Clueless totally unrelatable.  I lived in the midwest and dressed (and acted) more like Travis Birkenstock than any of the girls.  Shoes and shopping and parties was not my thing at all, but I was still totally obsessed with the movie and watched it not sporadically.  Because it’s not about being an accurate depiction of teen life, or teaching us a social lesson.  It’s about breaking in your purple clogs.

Beyond the superficial surface, Clueless smartly takes Cher from an almost cartoonish spoiled rich girl to a normal human being.  When the movie is starting and she says, “She’s my friend because we both know what it’s like for people to be jealous of us.” you kind of want to choke her.  And then after a short while you realize that she’s a lot nicer than most popular girls and by the end you want to be her BFF and let her dye your hair in her jet powered bathtub.

The most important thing that Clueless gave us was the sickest burn of all time that I still use, “You’re a virgin who can’t drive.”

If you love cast reunions as much as I do, check out this one:

This movie launched many careers, including Alicia Silverstone, Paul Rudd, Donald Faison, Breckin Meyer, and Jeremy Sisto, and I guess you could say Brittany Murphy if you weren’t a fan of the amazing The Torklesons/Almost Home. Girl was, is, and will always be a star.

Onto the menu!

Entree:  If there was a readily available vegan McMuffin available, I would always be tardy for it.  There are so many ways you can make one, if you want to make your own English Muffins there’s a recipe in Vegan Brunch or the Ezekiel ones are readily available even where I live.  You can make the tofu omelets from the PPK or the fried egg from Betty Goes Vegan,  Top with Upton’s seitan bacon or maybe some Tofurkey slices or just the ‘egg’.  Normally I am down for homemade cheeses but I think in this case it’s some sliced Tofutti/Go Veggie slices or go home (those Daiya slices are awful, sorry).  Be sure to squeeze your VegMuffin while declaring that your buns, they don’t feel nothin’ like steel.

Side:  A plateful of popcorn fries (recipe below) is way better than a handful of popcorn and some bacon and peanut butter m&ms and whatever else is in that quote, and they will go great with your VegMuffin!

Dessert?  Craving an herbal refreshment, you friggin’ pothead?  That’s cool, I support legalizing marijuana and wish that medical marijuana was more widely available.  But in the meantime, make some Chocolate Chip Mint Leaf Icebox Cookies (recipe below) instead. Please don’t drop the entire roll of dough into the oven to impress a guy.

 

And finally the connection to Kevin Bacon from this film is our favorite fashionable vegan herself, Alicia Silverstone.  They were in Beauty Shop together!  Tune in Monday for a new set of movies.

 

Popcorn Fries, from Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, posted with permission by Dreena Burton

2 1/2 T coconut oil

2 1/2-2/34 lb Russet or white potatoes, washed

1/2 t sea salt

1/2-1/2 t ground turmeric (optional, for color)

2-3 T nutritional yeast (the recipe says optional, but in my opinion nooch is always a must)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  Cut potatoes (peeling optional) into strips 1/2-in think.  Add coconut oil to baking sheet and place in oven for 2-3 minutes until oil is just melted, then remove from oven and add potatoes, salt and turmeric and carefully toss to combine.  Bake for 60-70 minutes, until potatoes are golden in spots and fully cooked.  If desired, toss in nutritional yeast five minutes before end of baking.

——————————————-

Chocolate Chip Mint Leaf Icebox Cookies, from Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar, posted with permission by Terry Romero

(As a side note, I want to say that these are some of my favorite cookies ever and a great use of an overactive mint plant, so if you’ve never tried them, please do!)

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, lightly packed

1/2 cup nonhydrogenated margarine, softened

1/2 cup nonhydrogentated shortening

1 cup plus 2 T sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/4 cup non-dairy milk

1 2/3 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup cornstarch

1/4 t salt

1/2 t baking soda

1 cup chocolate chips (lightly chop chips if they are very large, this will make slicing through the dough much easier)

 

1.  Wash the mint leaves and pat them dry with a towel or spin them in a salad spinner.  Remove any stems and with a heavy knife mince the leaves very fine.

2.  In a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer, cream together the margarine, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy, about three minutes.  Scrape down the sides often.  Beat in the vanilla and mint extracts.  Add non-dairy milk and beat until creamy.  Sift in the flour, cornstarch, salt, and baking soda and mix to form a soft dough.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the finely chopped mint and chocolate chips.  Dough will be slightly sticky.

3.  Scrape the dough, with a rubber spatula, onto a large sheet of wax paper.  Form a log about 2 inches wide and 12 inches long, taking hold of the ends of the wax paper and gently tugging to create a rounder log of dough.  Wrap and tuck in the ends of the wax paper and chill the dough till very firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.

4.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Slice the dough into 1/2 inch thick slices, place them at least 2 inches apart on the sheets (cookies will spread), and bake 12 to 14 minutes till the edges start to brown.  Remove the cookies from the oven and allow them to cook 5 minutes before carefully lifting them with a spatula onto wire racks to cool.  Store in a loosely covered container.

 

 

posted: September 7, 2013
under: 90s, comedy, teen
15 Comments on Clueless

200 Cigarettes

 

200 Cigarettes is a movie with an ensemble cast (all of whom are pretty famous now so I can’t even remember their characters names half the time) about various pairings of people on New Years Eve in 1981, in New York City.  What they have in common is that they’re all eventually going to go the same party, and are all at some point going to get in a cab driven by Dave Chapelle.  Occasionally, we’ll flash to the party hostess (Martha Plimpton) losing her friggin’ mind because no one is showing up to her party because they don’t want to get there too early.  I always hated hanging out with people like that, who insisted that we had to sit around their house until 10 pm before going to a bar or a party because ‘no one would be there yet’.  But I turned 50 before I was even old enough to legally drink so what do I know.

My least favorite group is the ‘artist group’ which is a guy, his girlfriend, and her friend who hits on the guy on the sly.  They’re just all annoying and boring.  My favorite is Paul Rudd and Courtney Love being mean to each other and in general being sarcastic assholes.  My favorite single character is Guillermo Diaz because this:

The common theme in each of the stories is that at least one person in each pair/group is having the most dramatic issues ever, Paul Rudd got dumped and it’s his birthday, Kate Hudson is the clumsiest and unluckiest girl in the world, Gaby Hoffman is convinced that she’s going to die in the big bad city, etc.  Then, naturally, they run into problems throughout the night as they navigate their way through the city as Martha Plimpton slowly unravels and eventually decides to drink her part fail sadness away, until she passes out shortly before everyone arrives.  So what happens at the party?

Well, they hilariously skip that except for some polaroid-esque freeze frames, and at the end of the movie we get to see who ended up going home with who.

This is my favorite kind of movie because it’s a comedy, but it’s not full of purposeful jokes so there’s no ‘whomp whomp’ moment if you think a joke isn’t funny.  It’s light-hearted and fun for the most part, and the perfect movie to eat food while watching with friends.  If you talk over a lot of it you’ll obviously miss some of the dialogue, but the plot is pretty easy to follow so no one is going to get lost.

 

I wasn’t kidding about that famous cast!  Most of them weren’t super-famous when the movie was released, but if they weren’t then they are now.  Imma go clockwise from the top left in this photo:  Guillermo Diaz (Half Baked, Weeds, Scandal) Jay Mohr (Jerry McGuire, Suburgatory, stand up) Courtney Love (those movies I mentioned and also a small part in Sid and Nancy where she was actually pretty terrible), Ben Affleck (everything, ruining rage/faux nerds lives right now), Angela Featherstone (The Wedding Singer, the girl on friends who caused Ross to say ‘we were on a break’, Con Air), Paul Rudd (Wet Hot America Summer, 40 Year Old Virgin, Clueless), Martha Plimpton (Goonies, Pecker, Raising Hope, being a badass feminist on twitter), Casey Affleck (yes they’re brothers, he’s also Joaquin Phoenix’s brother-in-law, yes he’s vegan, The Last Kiss, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), Christina Ricci (Addams Family, Pecker, Monster), Janeane Garofalo (Reality Bites, Wet Hot American Summer, stand up), Dave Chapelle (Half Baked, Con Air, his own tv show, giving the finger to Hollywood),  and down in the corner is Kate Hudson (Almost Famous and a bunch of chick movies i’ve never seen).  Not pictured for some reason is Gaby Hoffman (Uncle Buck, Crystal Fairy, soon the Veronica Mars movie!!!!), and Nicole Ari Parker (Soul Food [tv series], Boogie Nights).  The actors who played Hilary and Eric haven’t done much else worth mentioning.  Phew!  Onto the food!  No one eats a meal at a New Year’s Eve Party, so let’s snack!

 

Snack 1:  I recommend just eating this vegan crab dip with crackers instead of licking it off of Elvis Costello’s glasses.  I’ve never eaten crab dip but since the person who made it isn’t vegan i’ll trust their opinion that it’s similar!

Snack 2: Nothing says ‘I want you to sleep with me, bartender’ like drunkenly demanding (smoky boiled) peanuts.

Snack 3:  Because I have also eaten a huge chili because I thought it was okra, I deeply sympathize with Kate Hudson.  Let’s avoid any possible burning confusing and eat this Bhindi Zunka.

Dessert:  It’s not New Year’s Eve without champagne cupcakes.

 

 

 

posted: September 6, 2013
under: 90s, comedy, period piece
5 Comments on 200 Cigarettes

Man On the Moon

Raise your hand if you immediately started singing ‘Andy Kaufman in the wrestling match, say yeah yeah yeah…”

Man On the Moon is the biography of Andy Kaufman.  Growing up, I had the vaguest idea of who Andy was.  I knew he was on Taxi and I knew he was dead and that a lot of people thought he was really funny and that was really it, my knowledge of comedy was limited to whatever stand-up was on Comedy Central.  And Kids In The Hall.  And MST3K.  But I digress.

I think everyone knows by now that Jim Carrey is a great dramatic actor, like most good comedians because comedy is infinitely harder than any kind of acting.  You can teach people how to act but you can teach people things like comedic timing.  I remember before this came out everyone was like, “Ace Ventura in a serious movie?  Why I never!”  These are possibly the same people who won’t shut up about Batfleck.  (Seriously, get over it.)

Man On the Moon is possibly one of the sweetest movies i’ve ever seen that doesn’t involve dogs trying to find their way home, and y’all know I don’t get down with sappy crappy movies.  Events were dramatized/fudged and shuffled around for the sake of a good movie, but if you don’t go out of this thinking that Andy is one of the best people who ever graced the planet I don’t think you have a soul.  I don’t cry for many things but like Buffy’s The Body, I will weep at the funeral scene every time.  But that doesn’t mean that the movie isn’t also funny and full of cussing and some boobs, just be prepared that you’re gonna be kind of sad at the end.  But only near the end.

The best part is learning that Andy Kaufman didn’t consider himself a comedian, he just really liked to fuck with people, sometimes by morphing into an obnoxious, loud, drunken, untalented lounge singer.  Even if it meant losing fans, he would rather make himself laugh than perform like a typical showbiz monkey.  He was a loner, Dottie.  A rebel.

Starring Jim Carrey (uh, you know), Danny DeVito (Always Sunny, 80’s), Courtney Love (The People vs. Larry Flynt, some band about Holes), Paul Giamatti (Sideways, Saving Private Ryan), the entire cast of Taxi and several other people portraying themselves.

entrée:  one thing that we quickly learn is that Andy Kaufman was a crunchy yoga hippie.  He takes his new manager to an unidentified restaurant, and from looking at the plate in front of him it looks like he’s eating pretty much this.  Anything macrobiotic will work, if you can’t get lotus root where you live.

Side:  Andy was famous for doing a dead-on Elvis impression, and we have to think about what Tony Clifton would want to eat, so chow down on some Elvis sandwiches.  It’s a direct contrast of the entrée, just like the contrast between Andy and Tony.

Dessert:  I really wish I could go to a show that involved the Rockettes and ends with milk and cookies for everyone.

posted: September 4, 2013
under: 90s, comedy, drama
2 Comments on Man On the Moon

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