If it's crap ... We'll tell you
For some, it was Shannon Elizabeth taking her clothes off for Jason Biggs in "American Pie". For others it was Kim Basinger being fed a variety of foodstuffs by Mickey Rourke in "9 1/2 Weeks". And just to keep things on an even keel, for some of you it was Ledger and Gyllenhaal cowboying it up in a tent in "Brokeback Mountain". The moment from Hollywood that jump started me into puberty was Phoebe Cates stepping out of the swimming pool and in slow motion revealing those glorious, milky-white, double...well, you get the idea. God knows I did. Every night for about 3 minutes right before bed (much like Judge Reinhold was doing in the film). Regardless of my TMI (I know some of you are already pouring bleach on your eyes), the Amy Heckerling directed 1982 teen party film, "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" remains among the very best of the genre, essential watching even if these sorts of affairs aren't normally your cup of tea. Lots of actors who'd end up a lot bigger (and some who, sadly, never did) play characters in the sizable ensemble cast, but none are more memorable than Sean Penn's surf-stoner, Jeff Spicoli. Who knew this guy would grow up to win Oscars? One has to blame the original low quality (it was pretty indie) of the film on the mediocre transfer, but there's nothing new in the extras either, although that commentary track between Heckerling and writer Cameron Crowe is reportedly well worth the time for those who dig such things.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Fast Times at Ridgemont High [Blu-ray]
YOUR HIGHNESS (Blu-Ray and DVD)
I'm not sure how much I can add to what I said in our original spill review about this not terribly hilarious 2011 film that seems to think that these raunch silly-fests are still the cutting edge of comedy. For those who missed it (and don't feel like hitting the link below), Danny McBride is Thadeous, the lesser of two princes of a kingdom and boy does he know it. In fact, he won't shut the fuck up about it. Five minutes in and already it seemed like it was gonna be pretty hard to find anything sympathetic about this guy. Although his brother Fabious (James Franco) is kind, virtuous, and brave, he appears to be completely oblivious (to the point of what I can only consider to be mental retardation) of Thadeous's barbed comments. When Fabious's fiancee Belladonna (Zooey Deschanel) is kidnapped on their wedding day by an evil wizard (Justin Theroux), Thadeous reluctantly accompanies his brother on a quest to find the wizard's castle, defeat him, and rescue Belladonna before time runs out and he, well, rapes her. Apparently he's got only a narrow window available for such things. Such is the life of an evil wizard, I guess. Along the way, the pair lose the help of some ignoble knights, and gain the assistance of an adventure seeking warrior woman (Natalie Portman). Every moment left to spare is filled with lowest common denominator humor that, while on occasion strikes the right notes (I thought some of the stoner jokes were funny, but I got a past, dontcha know) more often than not, it's usually just relying on being offensive, hoping to gain the titters from the 'I can't believe they said that' crowd. This has become the 'violins in the soundtrack of a drama' of adult comedy lately: obvious, manipulative, and boring. Just going for shock for the purpose of laughs with no context to give it meaning is lazy writing. "Your Highness" is FULL to bursting with that. Even so, it's actually got some kind of fun action scenes in it, Theroux is given a few good bits, and there's even half-way decent special effects. Hey, it's a better "Dungeons & Dragons" movie than "Dungeons & Dragons" was, I'll give it that much, but I'll tell you, I'm getting to be all but done with Danny McBride's character. You know the one. The one he pretty much plays in EVERY movie.
--CLICK HERE TO BUY Your Highness [Blu-ray + Digital Copy]