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JulyDiaz

Episode 149 - The Lawnmower Man: LIVE! (w/ Neil Casey, Emily Heller)

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Yeah wow you've been missing for months and months and just came back a tooootal asshole!

 

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To be fair, I was an asshole before I was left.

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"Great. The one time I'm being sincere and saying I'm glad someone else enjoys something, she's going to think I'm just being an asshole."

 

What was it like to be sincere for a change? Itchy? :)

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What was it like to be sincere for a change? Itchy? :)

It's kind of like what I imagine herpes feels like.

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Also maybe this is not the time or place to admit this but.... I've never seen an episode of Gilmore Girls. I know Jason loves it and it seems popular on here. People I know have recommended it to me and I like the cast and from clips I've seen of it it seems like something I would enjoy. However, I always seem to forget about it or when I do remember I remember it's like 150 episodes and that's a huge commitment.

 

It's Wednesday so I feel like I can get into this now. For me, I only checked Gilmore Girls out ironically and only because Jason kept mentioning it. I did not watch it during its initial run. However, after watching it ironically, I somehow got sucked in for a bit and actually enjoyed the show, but then...I just sort of started hating it. Not the show exactly, but the two leads specifically. They just keep making the dumbest choices imaginable. And all the Goddamn quipping! Oh my God! Don't get me wrong, I enjoy some quick wit, but after awhile it just gets to be too much. Anytime another character is on screen (and other characters are only ever seen on screen to be objects of their derision, their desire, or to act as emotional crutches), they have to respond to every sentence with some quirky pop culture joke. I'm like, if I were ever talking to either of these two, y'know trying to be sincere like Fister Roboto for a change, and all they did was dismiss whatever I was saying with some lame ass joke, I would lose my fucking mind. Everything is about them. Everything! Anytime a "friend" of theirs has a problem, they somehow make it about themselves. It's kind of like how everyone in Twilight keeps saying how special Bella is without any evidence to support that claim. Gilmore Girls is kind of like that, except if Bella could crack a joke (that are admittedly pretty good sometimes) and there weren't any werewolves. The best part of the show is the eccentric townspeople, but watching them get trampled by the GG's does get old pretty fast.

 

So I'd say you should check it out, but only stick with it for as long as you still enjoy it. Like I said, my ironic joy, turned to real joy, but then morphed into a kind of hatred. It would get so bad, that after watching an episode, I would actually be angry and that's just stupid. I think I only ever got through five seasons or so. Anyway, the only reason I'm watching the new ones is because I'm a masochistic weirdo who just wants to see how it all ends. But all of my complaints still stand. It also feels like it's taking forever to get through all of them...

 

But still, check it out sometime. A lot of people legit like it, and who knows, you may be one.

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This is not the most WTF line in the movie but still:

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"you'll get used to games"? Huh? Note that it doesn't say "video games" but just "games". Not that I'd expect Jobe to be up to playing, say, chess, but has he really never played a game of any kind before?

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More head-scratching dialogue: Jobe is confused by Dr. Lawrence Angelo's mention of "endocrine", which the good doctor then explains as follows:

 

Endocrine: it carries secretions of certain glands, like the thyroid, adrenal, and pituitary, which regulate growth.

 

If Jobe doesn't know the word "endocrine", how would he know the words "secretions", "thyroid", "adrenal", and "pituitary"? How is he acquiring new vocabulary, anyway? Even if he's getting smart, he can't know words he doesn't encounter. Is there a virtual reality educational program, like Reader Rabbit on steroids? Is he speed reading like Johnny Five in Short Circuit?

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Glad to have you back!

 

Thanks!

 

I also went thru a long stint watching GG. I love conversational pyrotechnics and musical dialogue, the way words sound is just as important to me as what they say. It allowed me to forgive many of my favorite writer's faults when they got me through so many times in my life with just a little snappy banter.

 

And for awhile it allowed me to forgive the selfishness of the titular Gilmore girls, all the way up until it didn't. Mostly because Rory's story just kept getting annoying to watch and I wasn't even invested in the character. I haven't watched the new series but courosity has lead me to spoilers. And as much as that dialogue is calling me back, I know enough to know that I have seen enough.

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Thanks!

 

I also went thru a long stint watching GG. I love conversational pyrotechnics and musical dialogue, the way words sound is just as important to me as what they say. It allowed me to forgive many of my favorite writer's faults when they got me through so many times in my life with just a little snappy banter.

 

And for awhile it allowed me to forgive the selfishness of the titular Gilmore girls, all the way up until it didn't. Mostly because Rory's story just kept getting annoying to watch and I wasn't even invested in the character. I haven't watched the new series but courosity has lead me to spoilers. And as much as that dialogue is calling me back, I know enough to know that I have seen enough.

 

Yeah, I hear you, and I think I'm the same way in that I also appreciate snappy dialog.

 

I think my biggest problem with the new stuff is that the characters have gotten a little to old for the whole "stunted adolescence" shtick to be cute anymore. I mean, Rory is 32 in the new episodes, which means Lorelei has to be about 48. For fuck's sake! Grow the fuck up already! I mean, I get it. I'm an adult with children and probably spend far too much of my time making dick and fart jokes on the Internet as I over analyze shitty movies, but I also know how to be a functioning member of society too. The GG's don't seem to have any balance. And while you can argue that's where the drama comes from, it also becomes tedious after a spell.

 

I also checked out the spoilers for it and I'm like, "This probably would have made a bigger impact 10 years ago." As it stands, who really gives a shit? You're a freaking adult!

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I think my biggest problem with the new stuff is that the characters have gotten a little to old for the whole "stunted adolescence" shtick to be cute anymore. I mean, Rory is 32 in the new episodes, which means Lorelei has to be about 48. For fucks sake! Grow the fuck up already!

MFW I'm a 35-year-old manchild...

 

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MFW I'm a 35-year-old manchild...

 

Awww, you're still cute to me. Who's my big guy? You are!

 

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After long consideration I've decided that I agree with New Line: this is a Stephen King movie. I don't mean that he wrote it or has any creative influence whatsoever. I mean that it has a painfully uncomfortable portrayal of a "simple" person, supernatural forces with no internal logic or consistency, and every single character is irredeemable and abusive. What's more, by these criteria not only is Lawnmower Man properly identified as a Stephen King film, but so is Punch Drunk Love, The Number 23, and Leprechaun.

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After long consideration I've decided that I agree with New Line: this is a Stephen King movie. I don't mean that he wrote it or has any creative influence whatsoever. I mean that it has a painfully uncomfortable portrayal of a "simple" person, supernatural forces with no internal logic or consistency, and every single character is irredeemable and abusive. What's more, by these criteria not only is Lawnmower Man properly identified as a Stephen King film, but so is Punch Drunk Love, The Number 23, and Leprechaun.

 

I agree! The portrayal of the priest alone qualifies it to at least be called "King-ian." In fact, before I learned the history behind it, I wondered if it might have been written after, and in reaction to, the lawnmower accident during the filming of Maximum Overdrive.

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In fact, before I learned the history behind it, I wondered if it might have been written after, and in reaction to, the lawnmower accident during the filming of Maximum Overdrive.

If only Jobe had taken his revenge on a cruel director of photography by flinging digital debris out of a lawnmower at his eye.

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For all the monkey business, it's never explained why they use chimpanzees in particular. Wouldn't gorillas be more effective on the battlefield, larger and stronger and with a longer thumb making it easier to hold weapons?

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Are the chimps being trained to actually use weapons in physical reality the way the chimp uses the gun in the opening? If so, why don't they take precautions against just such an occurrence? If not, and they're only controlling the weaponry remotely like a drone pilot (or virtually), why would the training make them good at holding and aiming a physical gun? Having lots of practice playing Street Fighter doesn't automatically translate toward the motor skills used in an actual street fight.

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If not, and they're only controlling the weaponry remotely like a drone pilot (or virtually), why would the training make them good at holding and aiming a physical gun? Having lots of practice playing Street Fighter doesn't automatically translate toward the motor skills used in an actual street fight.

Seriously, I wondered about this too during that scene. Virtual reality is more like a video game. Just because the game mimics your movements, that doesn't mean it can prepare you for the weight and recoil that you'd deal with when using a real weapon. And I don't think a normal handgun has a sort of "locked on target" mechanism lol

 

Initially the whole chimp attacks scene reminded me of Shakma, and then I was depressed.

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Was Jobe suppose to be an idiot savant? When we first meet him the drunk Irish man comments that he built "Big Red" the lawnmower and that he is a whiz with machines. I thought that would play into things later on in the movie, but he's not good with the game or other machinery in the film until he starts to get smart.

 

Why isn't he even worse the first time he plays the VR game? The first arcade game, Computer Space, was famously incomprehensible to a general audience, and it has graphics like this:

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How is Jobe able to fly around in 3D with no prior experience? (The game's rules are unclear, but it does not appear to be a rails shooter-type game that takes care of movement for the player.)

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Emily touched on this at the end of the show, but the one scene that really irked me takes place when Jobe is driving the truck and is listening to the first five seconds of each CD he puts in the boombox. I get that this is supposed to be something akin to Data from Star Trek: The Next Generation super speed reading a book, but seriously? Speed listening?!? Even when Data would speed read, he would read whatever he was reading in its entirety.

 

It's as if the movie is telling us all Jobe needs to do to fully comprehend music is to listen to a snippet of it. Wouldn't a true genius listen to an entire song or album to glean the nuances of it? Like say, Jobe listens to Beethoven's 9th Symphony and, using his super genius brain, hears something in each and every note no human has ever conceived of before.

 

Data did have an efficient way of listening, but it was a bit different:

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For all the monkey business, it's never explained why they use chimpanzees in particular.

Pretty sure it's because chimps are in Actors' Equity.

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For all the monkey business, it's never explained why they use chimpanzees in particular. Wouldn't gorillas be more effective on the battlefield

 

I would assume that the chimps were the last step of testing before human trials. Since chimps are humans' closest genetic relative, they were used really frequently in trials to test safety for all kinds of things before it went to human testing.

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But if the organization that's doing the experiment is so eeeeevil, why don't they just experiment on humans to begin with?

 

Because wanton murder and reckless experimentation on humans is a great way to get shut down fast--due to pesky friends and relatives foolishly "missing" them and all. All evil geniuses know that...

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This wasn't dwelt on for obvious reasons, but revisiting this movie I was horrified by how casually people with mental disabilities and disorders were equated with chimps. (Larry can't experiment on an ape so he tries the simple groundskeeper instead.) Rise of the Planet of the Apes does the same thing. (Desperate to cure his grandfather's Alzheimer's, James Franco sets out to make an ape smarter.) I feel like I've seen this trope in a bunch of movies, too, but I can't recall which. Am I wrong about this?

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The 3 video games based on Lawnmower Man is not an extraordinarily high number. Movies often have licensed video games for almost all the various gaming platforms current at the time, which can be a lot. For instance, there were Spider-Man 3 video games on at least 9 different devices: Game Boy Advance, mobile phone (pre-smartphone), Nintendo DS, PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Portable, Wii, Windows PCs, and Xbox 360. Last Action Hero had 7: Amiga, DOS, Game Boy, Game Gear, Genesis, Nintendo Entertainment System, and Super Nintendo.

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