Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Sorta feels like '86

So, I just saw HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, which I thought would be fun and it is. But... while they're spot on in some respects, there are far too many inaccuracies here for a time-traveling comedy. I know, I should let this stuff slide a bit and if I pick and prod too much, I might not enjoy it.

But, it's a bit distracting when there's a poster for RAMBO III on the wall in '86, or characters from that era referencing 21 JUMP STREET. Especially annoying when you consider that, in some instances, royalty fees could have been avoided had the filmmakers done their research. (i.e. Paying for the inclusion of "I Just Died In Your Arms" by The Cutting Crew, a 1987 song that is heard playing on an '86-era radio.)

There's more mistakes, but I can't remember or perhaps didn't notice them. Not a huge deal, but it's a bit lazy and it seems to be a constant issue with period films. (AMERICAN GRAFFITI had a couple post 1962 songs on it's soundtrack.) The worst or, I should say, best example of this is AUSTIN POWERS: GOLDMEMBER. A film which bases itself in 1975 shouldn't include a Viagra joke from anyone who isn't privy to the future. Wait, the inconsistent honor really should go to BEOWULF with Christopher Lambert. Sure, it's a fantasy film, but it amazes me how many times I've had to point out to viewers that PA systems and jacket zippers were actually quite uncommon in the middle ages. Oy.

I don't get it. With HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, if it's not inaccuracy, it's missed opportunity. How can you pay homage to one John Cusack film, SIXTEEN CANDLES, and completely miss the boat on a nod to ...BETTER OFF DEAD? After all, this is a ski resort. I guess they didn't get the K-12 memo? Or, since this is an MGM/UA film, why not reference the most obvious '80s sex-on-the-slopes comedy, HOT DOG... THE MOVIE, which MGM/UA already owns? Double oy.

Aside from all that, while it may not be epic or ground-breaking, HOT TUB TIME MACHINE is a fun concept which makes for a fun ride. Besides, any film starring both Chevy Chase and Crispin Glover can't be all bad!

"Hello, 1988? We were wondering if you had any posters to help dress our 1986 set with..."

For added fun, check out these online games based on the film:
(Adult content. Age verification required.)


Damon said...

I had fun with this movie but I thought it could have been so much better. The more I thought about it after leaving the theater the more upset I got. It's the same basic guy "road trip" style movie as The Hangover, just with a much less funny script.

I wanted many more 80s references, especially from Cusack films! Is that too much to ask? However, there was a brief Better Off Dead reference. When they begin to realize they are in the 80s the guy talking on the brick phone on the slope says something to the effect of, "I'm calling you from the slopes! I won the bet, I want my two dollars."

I laughed quite a bit, as I did with the Sixteen Candles scene and the Back to the Future-esque band performance, but I wish I could give them some suggestions and have them give it another go.

Nathan Martin said...

I stand corrected on the ...BETTER OFF DEAD reference. I completely missed it!