Category Archives: All the Spoilers

John Tells Liz What Happened In “Endless Love”

Dear Frank,

endless-love-poster01Look who’s back! That’s right, our dear friend John Ross is back to continue his anthropological survey of what teenage girls seem to be into these days. His dedication to science is a blessing to us all.

Love,
Liz

Dear Liz,

Scott Spencer, the author of the novel Endless Love, really, really regrets selling the movie rights to his book.  In this devastating op-ed in The Paris Review, he equates viewing Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 movie adaptation to being stabbed in the heart, and predicts that the 2014 remake will be a “Valentine’s Day massacre.”

My reaction to the new remake was somewhat similar in that it also involved stabbing.  That is, during the film, I wanted to stab myself in the eyes and ears, and when it was over, I wanted to go to a crowded place and see how many people I could stab before the police shot me.  That might maybe cancel out the experience of watching the new Endless Love remake.

Spencer himself describes the book as an “unhinged novel about the glorious destructive violence of erotic obsession,” and from what I’ve read of it, that sounds about right. Read the rest of this entry

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Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “SeaQuest DSV”

Dear Frank,

SeaQuestDSV_S1_OuterBoxIt’s funny, to remember the year 1993, and the minor civil war that broke out between television-loving nerds: Specifically, the rift between those who chose to watch the premiere of Lois and Clark at 8 PM Sunday nights on ABC, and those who chose to watch SeaQuest DSV during the same time slot on NBC. Funny, because it’s a battle now made irrelevant by DVRs, and funny, because I’m pretty sure neither show was actually very good.

I know you were a Lois and Clark person, Frank, because of your deeply held Superman alligence, but I definitely fell on the SeaQuest side of things, for reasons that we’ll get into over the course of this retelling. However, it has been close to 20 years since I’ve seen an episode of this show, and I suspect that it doesn’t hold up. Let’s find out!

This thing opens with what I think is an old speech by John F. Kennedy and some stock footage of whales and dolphins, which, yay. How to win a pre-teen Liz’s heart, right off the bat? Motherfucking WHALES AND DOLPHINS. When I was a kid, I either wanted to be a marine biologist or a writer, and the major reason I went down the latter path is that I suck at doing actual science. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Spaceballs”

Dear Frank,

Spaceballs_DVD_coverIf I ever have kids, I’m not too worried about them being exposed to graphic media. I mean, I’m going to keep them away from the really violent stuff as long as humanly possible, and yeah, maybe I’ll try to keep a lid on the swears.

But when it comes to comedy, I’m pretty confident that if my kids hear a dirty joke, they won’t be terribly scarred for life — because they just won’t get them. How do I know this? Well, growing up, one of my all time favorite movies was the Mel Brooks Star Wars parody Spaceballs.

Here is how much my brother and I watched Spaceballs growing up — the VHS cassette case BROKE, and my mother (whose excellent qualities include a MacGuyver-ish ability to fix stuff) had to transplant the physical tape into a new case. Here is how many of the really dirty references we got: Pretty much zero. Here is how many times I’ve seen Spaceballs as an adult: Maybe one, and years ago. (You might have seen it as well — but I’m certain not recently. We’re both in the same boat here.)

However, the film is available on Netflix, and I’m a sucker for anything set in space. So, Frank, let’s revisit this classic! Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “The Following” Pilot

Dear Frank,

poster-the-followingOh, ugh, she said in advance. What have I signed up for?

Tonight’s viewing of The Following‘s pilot comes by reader request, and even though she immediately regretted making that request, I remain a slave to our loyal readers. It’s only 44 minutes long, Frank! How bad could it be?

Sigh. Time for gross serial killer drama seen fit to be aired on a major broadcast network!

We start off in prison. Not so fun (despite what Orange is the New Black might have you think) especially after a whole bunch of guards get murdered! Poor guards. Read the rest of this entry

Liz Tells Frank What Happened In “Cloud Atlas”

Dear Frank,

Cloud Atlas German PosterAs we’ve previously discussed, I have a weird fondness for the Wachowskis despite their career ups and downs, and (as we have not previously discussed) I am DEFINITELY a fan of Tom Tykwer. (Run Lola Run is one of those movies that gets you a good two decades worth of goodwill from me. I mean, I haven’t watched it for at least a decade, and it might not hold up, but DAMN that was a good movie when it first came out.)

So a Wachowski/Tykwer team-up like Cloud Atlas, last year’s big budget genre mash-up? A-PLUS IDEA.

The actual movie, though… Sigh.

My initial exposure to Cloud Atlas, the book, was pretty much ideal: I borrowed it from a friend I was crashing with during a 2008 stay in England, and pretty much devoured it while crossing back and forth across the Thames on the bus. It absorbed my attention in spurts, and the structure of the storytelling kept me compelled; some sections I liked better than others, but that’s always the nature of a novel like this.

I’ve only read the book once, but it was pretty memorable — thus, when discussion of there being a film adaptation arose, I felt vaguely well-qualified to understand what a crazypants idea that was. (And that was BEFORE I heard about the fucking sixtuple-casting!)

A year after the film’s premiere, adapting this book remains a crazypants idea; yet I’ve now seen Cloud Atlas a whopping three times and could see myself watching it again at some point. Why is that, you might ask? I mean, what the hell happens in this movie, anyway? Read the rest of this entry

Liz and Frank Tell You What Happened In “Star Trek Into Darkness”

Dear Everyone,

MV5BMTk2NzczOTgxNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwODQ5ODczOQ@@._V1_So. Um. Star Trek Into Darkness. Totally a movie that exists and has just recently arrived in disc form. Frank and Liz both saw it, for once — and they want to talk about it!

Liz: Frank, here’s the thing — not only have I seen this movie twice, but I have seen the opening sequence four times (due to various screening-type things). But the reason I’ve seen it twice is that I thought I was busy on opening day, then a lunch got canceled and I suddenly had an opening in my schedule. My original plan was to see it that Saturday night — I had tickets and everything — but I was SO TERRIFIED of spoilers that I decided to skip out to the movies and be on top of things. And I am glad, because I don’t think I would have gotten to Saturday without finding out which classic Trek film was being appropriated. How about you — did you go unspoiled?

Frank: Liz, first of all, I love that by the end of its first weekend you had already seen the movie two to four times. I have seen it once (but I really paid attention). And no, I was spoiled. Read the rest of this entry

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