For years, teen Boggy held the Netflix queue hostage, moving the rest of the family's selections around like chess pieces on a board, or deleting them as heartlessly as toppling pawns. Then he magnanimously created the Boggy Movie Tournament, and a meta game was born. The playing field is finally open. The competition is fierce. You'll never recommend another movie without asking yourself, "But, is it a winner?"

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Kids are Not All Right

posted by Beth

I won this round of the movie tournament with a piece of trash (Kick-Ass), so I'm trying hard to redeem myself by curating seven movies that don't make us feel like washing our brains with soap afterward. I haven't succeeded, but that's because I'd have to choose all Buster Keaton movies to fully satisfy that criterion. The curated list is:
  1. Do the Right Thing  
  2. Despicable Me
  3. The Kids are All Right
  4. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
  5. Leon: The Professional
  6. Tyson
  7. Oceans (Disney's documentary)
We've seen the first four, and I have to say that The Kids are All Right is the worst of the bunch so far. And yes, that includes Despicable Me.

At first I thought, "Why are people so excited about this movie?" Four academy award nominations? Best Picture and Writing? Seriously? It has way too many plot threads that aren't tied up (Laser's destructive friendship, Paul's genuine feelings for Jules, anything about Paul's future at all, Joni's relationship with Paul, Joni's advances toward her guy friend, Joni's lusty girlfriend), incomplete character development and motivation, and the coup de grace: nothing happens. Nothing but a lot of graphic sex that does not advance the plot one iota.

At some point we need to have a discussion about whether any overly graphic sex scenes in cinematic history have ever advanced the plot one iota.

But then I figured it out! I figured out why people are eating their poop (to paraphrase Eric) over The Kids are All Right. Or more specifically, I figured out who is eating their poop, besides a certain Lhasa Apso named Bella: it's movie industry people. Movie industry people who love themselves and their lives, and think the whole world revolves around them. They think they're so hip, writing about a lesbian family fighting to stay intact; writing a "day in the life" script in which people are struggling to remember why they love the people they love; writing about rich people in L.A.; including organic farming somewhere in the plot, and then ironically including the over-saturation of contemporary foodie-ism in the plot. This thing was so inbred — so Santa Monica and Venice and Mar Vista — even the college-bound protagonist ended up going away to a California college. The rest of the country rolls its eyes when we see this highly-specific southern California version of White People Problems on screen. Which only goes to show you who populates the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

And we can talk about the lame title later. Or not.


  1. How did Kick-Ass beat Minority Report and Enchanted!?

    As for The Kids are All Right, it's okay. It is totally self-indulgent but at least it's not as bad as other LA films that have been up for the award... (Remember Crash in 2004?)

    I didn't think it was terribly annoying and it was incredibly watchable.

    You also have to keep in mind that the Oscars are kind of a joke now with 10 movies being nominated for Best Picture... Anything with any amount of critical praise gets nominated for Best Picture... It's a movie wouldn't have made the cut had it been only 5 nominees... It's most likely not going to take any awards home (with the exception of possibly Original Screenplay, which they would win because people kind of like the movie and they didn't vote for it for any other category)

    But look at the Oscars on the bright side at least The Kids are All Right it's not the most offensive movie of last year (that honor might have to go to Kick-Ass)...

    As for movies with overly graphic sex scenes in cinematic history that have advanced the plot:
    In the Realm of the Senses
    Last Tango in Paris
    Eyes Wide Shut
    Leaving Las Vagas

    I know there are others that I am not thinking of off the top of my head, these are kind of just scraping the surface of the issue.

  2. All I have to say is, the only situation in which a character can sing an entire Joni Mitchell song unaccompanied (and unrequested) at a dinner table is if the CSI credits are about to roll and the next scene is about possible weapons and motivation.

  3. *Writes down Alex's list of movies with graphic sex scenes for the next tournament*

  4. I thought naming your crappy movie after your favorite pop song was something you weren't allowed to do after high school.

  5. Well, then it would be spelled "Alright." But someone thought they were cleverer than that, so they changed it to...a double entendre that makes no sense?

  6. The film (screenplay) manages to insult every group represented: lesbians, teenagers, mothers, landscapers, doctors, skateboarders and sperm donors.