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Episode 96 — Monkey Shines

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DVR SET!

Can't wait for "Eat Shit Asshole" Tuesdays at 9:30.

I'm assuming with that airtime it's a special 90 minute pilot episode.

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Oh my God he was warging into that monkey. Allen was a greenseer.... why didn't I make this connection??

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OK - I think I get what June is driving at here. I really do.

 

The problem with animals as villains in films is that (because they have no voice) there is a tendency for audiences to make assumptions about them in real life. The best example I can think of this is "Jaws." It is one of my all-time favourite movies, and a great film, but it's not an "animal" movie - it's a monster movie. Sharks don't launch themselves onto boats just to eat people, for example. That film led to increased shark hunting and fewer people at the beach; people BELIEVED what they saw in the film even though it was total fiction. Peter Benchley, who became a conservationist, went so far as to say he wouldn't have written the book at all if he had known then what he knows now about shark behaviour and how important they are to ocean ecosystems.

 

Would crediting all of the monkeys in "Monkey Shines" have really helped people understand monkeys better? I doubt it. I am from Toronto and last year a woman dressed up a monkey in a Shearling coat and took it to Ikea. (Google it.) People knew in 1975 that the shark in Jaws was a freakin' MACHINE and it didn't stop them from being morons after that film came out. And it's no better now - in 2014 the demand for shark meat in restaurants soared during SHARK WEEK - you know...the thing that we have each year because we "LOVE" sharks so much? http://www.npr.org/b...-at-restaurants

 

So June… I think I'm picking up what you are putting down here. I don't think that the credit thing would make any difference, though. An extra credit or two is not enough to make people stop being dumb.

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No, I totally get what June is saying in terms of the crediting the monkeys:

 

Look, no one (who is sane) will watch American Psycho and believe that Christian Bale is a serial killer in reality- he's an actor! But to play a convincing serial killer on screen makes you believe that such a person could exist. If someone can mimic one accurately, then there's a level of belief in the possible existence.

 

No one who sees Monkey Shines is going to believe that the monkey who played Ella is a murderous primate. It's just an actor monkey. But if one monkey can convincingly portray a serial killer monkey, you can get the impression that such a thing could exist- however, one monkey didn't play a serial killer monkey. It took a team of monkeys to create the impression of a serial killer monkey, so the monkeys are so innocent of the possibility of a serial killer monkey that there's not even a single monkey actor who could possibly even pretend to be one. But crediting just one gives the illusion of the possibility.

 

It's a subtle point, to be sure, but I'm not sure it's wrong!

 

And, believe me here, I feel like I've gone off the deep end for thinking I understand June.

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...I don't know if this is really a correction or omission, but the ending – the very last few seconds of this movie – seemed to be in odd contrast with the film's overall message. Did anyone else find it strange? Basically, the movie was underpinned throughout with the message that experimenting on animals in an unnatural, laboratory environment was fraught with moral complications and is inherently wrong. All this bloodshed came about because an animal, Ella, was tortured in unnatural ways...

 

Then, at the end, as Allen gets into the car, Mel looks at him and says, "Let's go fishing."

 

So, basically, she's saying "We've got to move past this nightmare that was brought on by torturing innocent animals. So let's go torture some innocent animals."

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This episode REALLY broke down into something primal and existential. Sheesh-o-mally.

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Yes! Toward June's point re: not crediting all of the monkeys

 

It's a tiny way to not admit to the artifice of the premise.

 

Like when you first realize some kid on TV is portrayed by twins, and it snaps you out of your suspension of disbelief.

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Hi I haven't listened to this episode but here's an idea for a slogan for Pond5

 

Pond5: Media Files for Mediaphiles

 

Please send money to my paypal

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Amazing episode. I have one omission:

 

How in the hell did Ella burn alive The Tucc and that Clinical Cunt? The monkey cam shows The Tucc getting in the cooch and Ella starts a fire under the bed. So that means both people (assuming it wasn’t some freaky Tucc threesome) were awake at the time the fire was started. In actuality once the fire started they would have stopped having intercourse, smelled the smoke, and then would have immediately left the room to finish up in the hallway. Fire just doesn’t magically engulf things without first dousing the item with something extremely flammable; it takes time to get bigger. I didn’t see a gas can in Ella’s other hand. The only logical explanation is that during the sex Ella snuck in, boarded up all the windows, locked all the doors from the outside, then escaped through the heating vent once the fire started.

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Yes! Toward June's point re: not crediting all of the monkeys

 

It's a tiny way to not admit to the artifice of the premise.

 

Like when you first realize some kid on TV is portrayed by twins, and it snaps you out of your suspension of disbelief.

 

That was actual my problem with the disclaimer. Of course, I am glad no monkeys were harmed, and I guess the fact the what Ella is doing is possible is interesting, but why put that at the front of the film? Most people go to the cinema for escapism, so when you put that up you are immediately saying, "This is fake" and pretty much takes you out of the fantasy. It would be like at the beginning of Friday the Thirteenth they had a card that said, "Yes, a person could theoretically do the brutal things depicted here, but let us assure you that this is all a fantasy. Relax and you're welcome. We've taken away all emotional stakes you may have attempted to invest in this film.".

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Guessing that the Stephen King confusion comes from the (probably intentional) similarities between the Monkey Shines poster and the cover of King's "Skeleton Crew":

 

200px-SkeletonCrewHC.jpg

 

Speaking of Stephen King, please do a "Maximum Overdrive" episode.

 

Oh my gosh, yes! I thought it was from a Stephen King story too - but I couldn't figure out why I thought that! THANK YOU.

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Did no one else notice how you could see every inch of the actor before he went on his ill fated jog in the beginning ? Those sweat pants left to the imagination. Aka Bruce Willis in the Color of a Night.

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Wow, shit got real at the end. That was amazing. Also loved June's line, "When the monkey kissed him, I don't know what happened."

 

With all the (deserved) posts about the end, no one has mentioned one of my favorite HDTGM moments ever, which was June positing that Allan was running to class at the beginning, and Jason's ensuing fit of uncontrollable wheezing laughter.

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OK - I think I get what June is driving at here. I really do.

 

The problems with animals as villains in films is that (because they have no voice) there is a tendency for audiences to make assumptions about them in real life. The best example I can think of this is "Jaws." It is one of my all-time favourite movies, and a great film, but it's not an "animal" movie - it's a monster movie. Sharks don't launch themselves onto boats just to eat people, for example. That film led to increased shark hunting and fewer people at the beach; people BELIEVED what they saw in the film even though it was total fiction. Peter Benchley, who is now a conservationist, has gone so far as to say he wouldn't have written the book at all if he had known then what he knows now about shark behaviour and how important they are to ocean ecosystems.

Look, no one (who is sane) will watch American Psycho and believe that Christian Bale is a serial killer in reality- he's an actor! But to play a convincing serial killer on screen makes you believe that such a person could exist. If someone can mimic one accurately, then there's a level of belief in the possible existence.

 

No one who sees Monkey Shines is going to believe that the monkey who played Ella is a murderous primate. It's just an actor monkey. But if one monkey can convincingly portray a serial killer monkey, you can get the impression that such a thing could exist- however, one monkey didn't play a serial killer monkey. It took a team of monkeys to create the impression of a serial killer monkey, so the monkeys are so innocent of the possibility of a serial killer monkey that there's not even a single monkey actor who could possibly even pretend to be one. But crediting just one gives the illusion of the possibility.

 

It's a subtle point, to be sure, but I'm not sure it's wrong!

Both of these comments are spot on at illustrating June's points, and I hope Paul reads them on next week's show!

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No, I totally get what June is saying in terms of the crediting the monkeys:

 

Look, no one (who is sane) will watch American Psycho and believe that Christian Bale is a serial killer in reality- he's an actor! But to play a convincing serial killer on screen makes you believe that such a person could exist. If someone can mimic one accurately, then there's a level of belief in the possible existence.

 

No one who sees Monkey Shines is going to believe that the monkey who played Ella is a murderous primate. It's just an actor monkey. But if one monkey can convincingly portray a serial killer monkey, you can get the impression that such a thing could exist- however, one monkey didn't play a serial killer monkey. It took a team of monkeys to create the impression of a serial killer monkey, so the monkeys are so innocent of the possibility of a serial killer monkey that there's not even a single monkey actor who could possibly even pretend to be one. But crediting just one gives the illusion of the possibility.

 

It's a subtle point, to be sure, but I'm not sure it's wrong!

 

And, believe me here, I feel like I've gone off the deep end for thinking I understand June.

 

No, sorry, it still makes no sense. The audience knows that monkey didn't really kill anyone. People know how movies work. They don't dive out of the way of the screen if a train comes barreling towards the camera anymore. And even if you somehow discovered a completely unsavvy country bumpkin who had never heard of a movie before, telling him or her that the monkey was in fact a composite of six monkeys wouldn't do anything to help disabuse that person of the belief that a monkey might go crazy and try to kill them.

 

And that's not even getting at the craziest part of June's rant: the idea that we shouldn't give animal actors (and possibly animals in general) names.

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Wow, shit got real at the end. That was amazing. Also loved June's line, "When the monkey kissed him, I don't know what happened."

 

With all the (deserved) posts about the end, no one has mentioned one of my favorite HDTGM moments ever, which was June positing that Allan was running to class at the beginning, and Jason's ensuing fit of uncontrollable wheezing laughter.

 

I could listen to June and Jason laughing at each other laughing for maybe an hour. Who am I kidding, hours.

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I can't believe no one bothered to mention her incredibly hairy, almost monkey-like, legs during the sex scene. I figured this would set off Jason.

 

HDY24Tn.jpg

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Did no one else notice how you could see every inch of the actor before he went on his ill fated jog in the beginning ? Those sweat pants left to the imagination. Aka Bruce Willis in the Color of a Night.

 

One of my favorite things to do when watching a movie is to sing what is happening over the background music and I definitely remember singing "look at my dick just swingin in these sweatpants running with my backpack of bricks"

 

So I noticed. I noticed.

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No, sorry, it still makes no sense. The audience knows that monkey didn't really kill anyone. People know how movies work. They don't dive out of the way of the screen if a train comes barreling towards the camera anymore. And even if you somehow discovered a completely unsavvy country bumpkin who had never heard of a movie before, telling him or her that the monkey was in fact a composite of six monkeys wouldn't do anything to help disabuse that person of the belief that a monkey might go crazy and try to kill them.

 

I literally said that no one believes the monkey killed anyone. That's actually right there in the thing you quoted. The point is that monkeys are SO incapable of killing people as depicted in the movie that they couldn't even get one monkey to PRETEND to do it. They needed lots of monkeys. Saying one monkey did all of the acting makes it the tiniest bit more plausible that one monkey could actually also do the things in the movie, when just one monkey couldn't even pretend.

 

Also, fuck you for telling me what I do and don't do when I see that movie about the train coming at me.

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Long time listener, first time caller. Here are some scattered observations in no particular order:

 

- As a few people mentioned, Allan's presumably spent several weeks, if not months, in the hospital. Distraught Northern Exposure is seen throwing random items (including a pink negligee that passed the "smell test" - eww) into her purse while a party takes place downstairs. Does she think there's no better time to leave her newly disabled lover than immediately upon his homecoming?

 

- Not to be a Northern Exposure apologist, but Allan's feelings towards her relationship with the Tooch seem a tad unfounded. To me, Allan's ranting implied that she betrayed and possibly cheated on him by hooking up with Dr. Hot Tooch. The problem with that is it's already been established that she never visited Allan in the hospital, and she raced upstairs before Allan got home so she could pack up her odd assortment of belongings. Thus, she never met the doctor and decided to end the relationship before being introduced to the doctor at the party. Sure, she stone cold abandoned Allan when he needed her most, but she didn't cheat on him.

Does anyone remember Allan's complaints about the "clinical c-nt"? Perhaps that can shed some light on his perception of her.

 

- Yowza, what is the layout of this house? Maybe it's the 3 glasses of cheapo chardonnay I drank in preparation of watching this movie, but I thought the master bath was adjacent to the bedroom, and that bathroom is upstairs (which is established by Northern Exposure packing her stuff in there then going downstairs to peace out on everybody at the party). The pre- and post-accident bathrooms are different, but Allan's bedroom appears to be the same. Do we assume that he has identical rooms upstairs and downstairs? Or is someone carrying him upstairs to bed every night?

 

- Perhaps other people here have a penchant for bearded men with mother issues and decided to do a little research on the star of this movie, but here are some fun facts in case you didn't:

  • - Jason Beghe (Allan) went to school with David Duchovny and John F. Kennedy Jr. and became close friends with both men, even serving as Best Man in Duchovny's wedding to Tea Leoni
  • - Beghe convinced Duchovny to pursue acting
  • - JB joined Scientology to later leave the religion cult. He's considered a Scientology "whistleblower" and states that he spent millions of dollars participating in the religion.
  • - He currently stars on that NBC show "Chicago P.D." and is virtually unrecognizable. He now has a much deeper, more gravelly voice and attributes it to repeatedly pulling his ventillator out while hospitalized after a bad car crash in the late '90s. I hope he wasn't wearing a backpack full of bricks at the time.
  • - Lastly, when the film was released in 1988 JB was friends with JFK Jr., and JFK Jr. was dating Darryl Hannah. I love the idea of JFK Jr. and Darryl attending a screening of Monkey Shines.

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I literally said that no one believes the monkey killed anyone. That's actually right there in the thing you quoted. The point is that monkeys are SO incapable of killing people as depicted in the movie that they couldn't even get one monkey to PRETEND to do it. They needed lots of monkeys. Saying one monkey did all of the acting makes it the tiniest bit more plausible that one monkey could actually also do the things in the movie, when just one monkey couldn't even pretend.

 

Also, fuck you for telling me what I do and don't do when I see that movie about the train coming at me.

 

Does knowing that it wasn't Tom Cruise who pretended to jump out of the way of that huge explosion you just saw on screen, but instead a different human who was slightly more practiced at the specific skill required to make it look like he'd just jumped out of the way of said huge explosion, in any way affect how plausible you found Jack Reacher? No, it doesn't.

 

Would changing the credits of Jack Reacher so both Tom Cruise and his stunt double were credited as the eponymous (sorry Uncle Scott) star of the film change how plausible you thought the scene was? No, it wouldn't.

 

Believing it would is dangerous.

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wow, a lot of hostility up top towards Christopher Guest. He is amazing in everything. To each his/her Own. #oprah

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