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CameronH

Musical Mondays Week 39 Josie and the Pussycats

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Du Jour means: we watched

 

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I have made it clear that I really love this movie. I think it's funny and has some great satire of the time period like calling pop sensation "du jour" is genuinely smart. There are a couple potential criticisms that I'd like to address: the product placement and homophobia.

 

According to the commentary, the product placement wasn't paid for. The writers/directors thought it just made sense aesthetically for the themes of the movie similar to the product placement in Talladega Nights. I think that's an interesting and kind of bold move.

 

The homophobia of having a young boy fan having to hide being in love with his favorite band and "Backdoor Lover" isn't really acceptable. It dates this movie to that era where this kind of joke was still kind of acceptable. It wasn't and we shouldn't have been making homophobic jokes, but society was mostly fine with it. Even then, this feels either right on the cusp or just a bit late for this kind of joke. Or maybe I'm just remembering 2001 a bit better than it actually was.

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So I was new to all this and had no idea what to expect and it turns out.... I actually really enjoyed the movie!

 

I thought it was very clever and fun and the music was good. My biggest complaints would be that the love story should have been scrapped or beefed up. I wasn't invested or interested and it didn't really fit in. Also, I think there were some tonal differences in acting styles that would have been nicer if everybody was on the same page or there was only one straight man. Otherwise there were some creative jokes, and solid laughs and it is a comedy so that's all that really matters.

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According to the commentary, the product placement wasn't paid for. The writers/directors thought it just made sense aesthetically for the themes of the movie similar to the product placement in Talladega Nights. I think that's an interesting and kind of bold move.

I mean I thought that was the meta joke. The whole movie is about brainwashing people through subliminal advertising of products and goods and what does this movie do? Exactly that but in a way that you are aware that it's doing it unlike other films that hide it. So we have two characters exploring for their feelings for each other in an aquarium and there is a giant ad for Evian water behind them. First, advertising water in an aquarium, clever, and second why would there be an ad in a tank? Have you ever seen that? No, because it's a joke. It's like Wayne's World except they're not directly telling you they just hoped you inferred it.

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I mean I thought that was the meta joke. The whole movie is about brainwashing people through subliminal advertising of products and goods and what does this movie do? Exactly that but in a way that you are aware that it's doing it unlike other films that hide it. So we have two characters exploring for their feelings for each other in an aquarium and there is a giant ad for Evian water behind them. First, advertising water in an aquarium, clever, and second why would there be an ad in a tank? Have you ever seen that? No, because it's a joke. It's like Wayne's World except they're not directly telling you they just hoped you inferred it.

While I agree it seems obvious as a joke, here is from the rotten tomatoes consensus summary: "constant appearance of product placements seems rather hypocritical". So, it seems the joke was lost on some critics.

 

I get people being put off by it if they don't realize its a joke but I also see a lot of (the same) people praise Arrested Development for Burger King product placement. I think people assume Josie And The Pussycats isn't smart enough to do it? I guess there can be debate on obvious product placement being a smarter joke than fake placement. I don't know.

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I really enjoy this movie and actually bought it instead of renting for once because I knew I'd want to watch it again. I love this soundtrack, its so damn catchy.

 

I had a lot of thoughts but the only one coming to mind at the moment is how evil the pilot at the beginning of the movie is. That guy was willing to kill the Pussycats with zero prompting. Did they hire an assassin with a pilot's license or did they hire a pilot and then force him to kill a bunch of bands until he was just conditioned?

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While I agree it sends obvious as a joke, here is from the rotten tomatoes consensus summary: "constant assistance of product placements seems rather hypocritical". So, it seems the joke was lost on some critics.

 

I get people being put off by it if they don't realize its a joke but I also see a lot of (the same) people praise Arrested Development for Burger King product placement. I think people assume Josie And The Pussycats isn't smart enough to do it? I guess there can be debate on obvious product placement being a smarter joke than fake placement. I don't know.

 

I feel like if you weren't paying attention early on, you didn't realize the meta aspect of the movie. People going in thinking it was a fluff movie about comic book characters likely weren't expecting a movie about brainwashing and subliminal advertising. I can see how you'd be turned off by the immediate deluge of product placement. Perhaps if it wasn't based off existing characters it would have done better?

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The homophobia of having a young boy fan having to hide being in love with his favorite band and "Backdoor Lover" isn't really acceptable. It dates this movie to that era where this kind of joke was still kind of acceptable. It wasn't and we shouldn't have been making homophobic jokes, but society was mostly fine with it. Even then, this feels either right on the cusp or just a bit late for this kind of joke. Or maybe I'm just remembering 2001 a bit better than it actually was.

I have to admit in all of my viewings of this movie I don't remember a young boy having to hide his love of this band. Also never saw Backdoor Lover as anything more than a butt sex innuendo song that would easily go over the head of any child watching but then be a subtle sex joke for adults (gay or straight). In my opinion I thought everything about DuJour was brilliantly done to poke fun at boy bands of the time. Especially cause I'm sure there are a lot more sex references in Backstreet Boys and N*SYNC than even I realize.

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According to the commentary, the product placement wasn't paid for. The writers/directors thought it just made sense aesthetically for the themes of the movie similar to the product placement in Talladega Nights. I think that's an interesting and kind of bold move.

I mean I thought that was the meta joke. The whole movie is about brainwashing people through subliminal advertising of products and goods and what does this movie do? Exactly that but in a way that you are aware that it's doing it unlike other films that hide it. So we have two characters exploring for their feelings for each other in an aquarium and there is a giant ad for Evian water behind them. First, advertising water in an aquarium, clever, and second why would there be an ad in a tank? Have you ever seen that? No, because it's a joke. It's like Wayne's World except they're not directly telling you they just hoped you inferred it.

While I agree it sends obvious as a joke, here is from the rotten tomatoes consensus summary: "constant assistance of product placements seems rather hypocritical". So, it seems the joke was lost on some critics.

 

It's possible that the joke wasn't lost -- it was just overdone. Or maybe the critics just assumed that the ads were paid for, because that's what I thought, too ... at least, some of them. The aquarium Evian ad was obviously a joke, and at one point I think Val hits her head and the camera moved to an Advil ad, or something, which is all very funny, but it gets fatiguing at a certain point because there are many 5 total minutes of screen time that doesn't feature an ad.

 

Now, knowing that ads weren't paid for just makes me wonder why they didn't use ads for fake products. The jokes would've have still landed, and it wouldn't have gotten so tiresome. They might've gotten away with fewer overall advertising sight gags, too.

 

I don't know how many of us are gamers, but it reminds me of games like Lollipop Chainsaw and Bayonetta which feature hypersexualized female characters, and the creators frequently try to excuse that by saying "Well, we're just parodying the hypersexualized female characters in video games," which is great, but at some point a spoof can become the genuine article. In the movie, sometimes the ads were clearly jokes, but other times, the ads were just there, being ads.

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My previous comment notwithstanding, I really enjoyed this movie. Just like Quasar said on the other board, I was too into being cool and morose and edgy to give this flick the time of day when it came out, but I think I would have loved it even then. It was smart and funny and subversive and the music was good. This movie even made me like Tara Reid for a moment.

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I also thought all the ads were paid for, but I also thought you legitimately couldn't use any products in TV or movies if there wasn't some kind of agreement. Why else would there be so many things where people use a computer with a pear on it rather than an apple. So I always figured that McDonald's and Target were in on this action from the get go... and now I'm wondering if there was any backlash for it by the companies. It certainly doesn't paint corporations in a great light since they all seem part of the problem.

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Would this be Tara Reid's best role as she was basically playing herself? Not to mention this was Rachael Leigh Cook's first starring vehicle after "She's All That". Also made by the directors of "Can't Hardly Wait".

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I figured it was all a joke because there is a 7-Eleven logo on the bowling lane closest to the ladies but not further down. Also there was a different logo on the plane that flew Josie and the girls (and Alan M.) out to New York(?). I have a hard time believing Target would have approved being splashed all over a plane that crashes shortly after.

Even though it really didn't because DuJour means piloting skills. I thought Les said they landed the plane safely. Yet he was the only one not completely broken by the crash? That's not very safely.

I loved the Evian joke.

 

My bigger concern was how did the evil plot really work? If the subliminals were encoded in the music then wouldn't playing that CD a week or more later make that person want something that was now out of fashion? For instance if I play the soundtrack now am I going to want to drink Zima?

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Guuuuuuuuuuuys...I really didn't like this movie.

 

Usually I'm a sucker for these types of movies, but this just didn't work for me at all. The cheesy pop-punk, the dumb jokes, the clichéd story, I was resistant to all of it. I remember laughing exactly one time, and I honestly can't remember what the joke was that made me chuckle.

 

I had no connection with the characters. Both Josie and Val are an absolute drag. These are supposed to be musicians and it's like they never let loose. There was a song that they were singing where Josie kind of did this rock nod thing that looked painful to watch. There was absolutely no swagger in anything they were doing. The movie keeps telling us how cool these women are, but I never actually see it. Even the concert scene are boring. At least School of Rock gave us some rock slides, kicks, and jumps. This movie is just stand in front of the microphone and sing.

 

Within a minute, I basically mapped out the entire plot and just watched as, piece by piece, everything fell into place. And I'm not saying that even good movies aren't sometimes predictable or formulaic, but usually they can bring something new to the table to make you forget about all of that.

 

I mean, I'm glad I saw it, but for the life of me, I really don't get why everyone seems to like it so much.

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It's possible that the joke wasn't lost -- it was just overdone. Or maybe the critics just assumed that the ads were paid for, because that's what I thought, too ... at least, some of them. The aquarium Evian ad was obviously a joke, and at one point I think Val hits her head and the camera moved to an Advil ad, or something, which is all very funny, but it gets fatiguing at a certain point because there are many 5 total minutes of screen time that doesn't feature an ad.

 

Now, knowing that ads weren't paid for just makes me wonder why they didn't use ads for fake products. The jokes would've have still landed, and it wouldn't have gotten so tiresome. They might've gotten away with fewer overall advertising sight gags, too.

 

I don't know how many of us are gamers, but there are games like Lollipop Chainsaw and Bayonetta which feature hypersexualized female characters, and the creators frequently try to excuse that by saying "Well, we're just parodying the hypersexualized female characters in video games," which is great, but at some point a spoof can become the genuine article. In the movie, sometimes the ads were clearly jokes, but other times, the ads were just there, being ads.

This is a completely fair response to the logos everywhere. In this viewing, I thought it would have been a bit smarter to limit the barrage of products to MegaRecords owned places. They didn't need to be in the Pussycats house for example. But that could also be a comment on how far reaching advertising is.

 

You're right though. It could have been toned down and maybe lead to greater effect.

I also thought all the ads were paid for, but I also thought you legitimately couldn't use any products in TV or movies if there wasn't some kind of agreement. Why else would there be so many things where people use a computer with a pear on it rather than an apple. So I always figured that McDonald's and Target were in on this action from the get go... and now I'm wondering if there was any backlash for it by the companies. It certainly doesn't paint corporations in a great light since they all seem part of the problem.

I don't know this for certain but I think most companies let this kind of stuff slide if it doesn't negatively affect them. Considering so many companies spend money to just have a logo somewhere on screen, getting that for free seems like a win. Even with the anti corporate message, this probably didn't hurt Target.

 

I think a lot of shows probably cover up logos so they aren't accused of product placement. Or probably to get away with song something negative. The Simpsons can say whatever they want about Mapple Computers but probably can't say whatever they want about Apple.

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I think the joke that made me laugh was the "Thank God I knew all of the lyrics to 'Enter Sandman.'" But even then, I don't think Metallica fans would just beat up a boy band. It just seemed dumb.

 

It's not even like Metallica is a super hardcore Metal band. They're fucking Metallica. They're like the N*Sync of Metal music.

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Guuuuuuuuuuuys...I really didn't like this movie.

 

Usually I'm a sucker for these types of movies, but this just didn't work for me at all. The cheesy pop-punk, the dumb jokes, the clichéd story, I was resistant to all of it. I remember laughing exactly one time, and I honestly can't remember what the joke was that made me chuckle.

 

I had no connection with the characters. Both Josie and Val are an absolute drag. These are supposed to be musicians and it's like they never let loose. There was a song that they were singing where Josie kind of did this rock nod thing that looked painful to watch. There was absolutely no swagger in anything they were doing. The movie keeps telling us how cool these women are, but I never actually see it. Even the concert scene are boring. At least School of Rock gave us some rock slides, kicks, and jumps. This movie is just stand in front of the microphone and sing.

 

Within a minute, I basically mapped out the entire plot and just watched as, piece by piece, everything fell into place. And I'm not saying that even good movies aren't sometimes predictable or formulaic, but usually they can bring something new to the table to make you forget about all of that.

 

I mean, I'm glad I saw it, but for the life of me, I really don't get why everyone seems to like it so much.

Josie And The Pussycats is best case scenario Bratz. So, I get it. I'm honestly not sure why this movie works on me so well; it just does.

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Even though it really didn't because DuJour means piloting skills. I thought Les said they landed the plane safely. Yet he was the only one not completely broken by the crash? That's not very safely.

He landed safely, it was the Metallica fans that beat them up that caused all the injuries.

 

Usually I'm a sucker for these types of movies, but this just didn't work for me at all. The cheesy pop-punk, the dumb jokes, the clichéd story, I was resistant to all of it. I remember laughing exactly one time, and I honestly can't remember what the joke was that made me chuckle.

 

 

The line that makes me laugh every time is at the end when the agent comes in and say 'Holy shit that girl has a skunk on her head" and then apologizes but follows it up with 'That's messed up'.

 

I think this movie is fantastic, but the one thing I would do to change it is make Alan M. be like their videographer or something - have some written in reason why they keep performing directly to camera plus loop him into the story more. What was he even doing in New York while they were being a big deal for that week or so? Did the record company put him up too?

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Guuuuuuuuuuuys...I really didn't like this movie.

We can't be friends anymore

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Josie And The Pussycats is best case scenario Bratz. So, I get it. I'm honestly not sure why this movie works on me so well; it just does.

 

I totally get that. I mean, I love Captain Ron. I shouldn’t, but I do. ;)

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I think this movie is fantastic, but the one thing I would do to change it is make Alan M. be like their videographer or something - have some written in reason why they keep performing directly to camera plus loop him into the story more. What was he even doing in New York while they were being a big deal for that week or so? Did the record company put him up too?

Josie brought him along because she knew Missi Pyle was going to try and steal him away if he was left in Riverdale, and then she told him that she had to convince the record company that he was her guitar tech. The part that doesn't make sense is that if they had convinced he was part of their crew he should have been there a lot more for the BTS stuff.

 

I think my favorite lines were all the ones where the acknowledge the comic like when the manager asks Missi Pyle why she was even there and she goes, "Because I was in the comic." Just a little bit of genius for me to explain why this super shitty character that legit had no purpose was still hanging around. Also again legit every DuJour line still cracks me up.

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We can't be friends anymore

Oh yeah, I forgot to say that we're mortal enemies now and we have an eternal, highlander like feud to the death.

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Guuuuuuuuuuuys...I really didn't like this movie.

 

Usually I'm a sucker for these types of movies, but this just didn't work for me at all. The cheesy pop-punk, the dumb jokes, the clichéd story, I was resistant to all of it. I remember laughing exactly one time, and I honestly can't remember what the joke was that made me chuckle.

 

I had no connection with the characters. Both Josie and Val are an absolute drag. These are supposed to be musicians and it's like they never let loose. There was a song that they were singing where Josie kind of did this rock nod thing that looked painful to watch. There was absolutely no swagger in anything they were doing. The movie keeps telling us how cool these women are, but I never actually see it. Even the concert scene are boring. At least School of Rock gave us some rock slides, kicks, and jumps. This movie is just stand in front of the microphone and sing.

 

Within a minute, I basically mapped out the entire plot and just watched as, piece by piece, everything fell into place. And I'm not saying that even good movies aren't sometimes predictable or formulaic, but usually they can bring something new to the table to make you forget about all of that.

 

I mean, I'm glad I saw it, but for the life of me, I really don't get why everyone seems to like it so much.

I'm glad I'm not the only one. This movie just didn't appeal to me aesthetically or in its plot, music, or even the comedy. I actually think Rachael Leigh Cook is an underrated actress who just kind of got lost after she became a "Teen" sensation in this era of movies, so seeing her starring in something was fun. But the music though just reminded me of the Avril Lavigne-brand of pop punk that still irks me like fish hooks scraping my ear drums. So for me, seeing a satire of Du Jour as a prefabricated boy band, then presenting the Pussycats as "real," genuine musicians with integrity to be manipulated by Evil Executives seemed pretty disingenuous from the get-go.

 

But Alan Cumming as a smarmy, suited villain chewing scenery? I will watch that. However, Parker Posey seemed like she thought she was in a Mad TV sketch or something. I kind of don't know what she was doing.

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I'm glad I'm not the only one. This movie just didn't appeal to me aesthetically or in its plot, music, or even the comedy. I actually think Rachael Leigh Cook is an underrated actress who just kind of got lost after she became a "Teen" sensation in this era of movies, so seeing her starring in something was fun. But the music though just reminded me of the Avril Lavigne-brand of pop punk that still irks me like fish hooks scraping my ear drums. So for me, seeing a satire of Du Jour as a prefabricated boy band, then presenting the Pussycats as "real," genuine musicians with integrity to be manipulated by Evil Executives seemed pretty disingenuous from the get-go.

 

But Alan Cumming as a smarmy, suited villain chewing scenery? I will watch that. However, Parker Posey seemed like she thought she was in a Mad TV sketch or something. I kind of don't know what she was doing.

I CAN'T BELIEVE WHAT I AM READING HERE Y'ALL

 

Jk in all honesty I do understand why this doesn't hit with certain people. Especially since I was 11 when this came out and was exactly the person this movie was targeted to. My best friend at the time and I both dressed up as Melody for Halloween that year and I owned not just one but two pairs of cat headbands (one was the legit ones they wear and the other the heavily marketed one you could get at Target after the movie came out). So to say I ate this shit up is an understatement. But even as an adult I love this for it's subtle comedy moments that I didn't get as a kid.

 

While I understand what you mean about Avril Lavinge like music, I still think we need to look at this through the 2001 pop-punk lens so I think it's a little unfair to say that just because this was music made for a movie and some may not have enjoyed the sound that it is less genuine than the music of DuJour. Also, we have to look at it through the lens of the story where these three girls are working their asses off, writing their own music, and have songs that they like, and in that sense they are more genuine no matter what kind of music they are playing. Obviously I still want to defend this really bad because even in 2018 I have a lot of these songs on my rotation (Pretend to Be Nice is a god damn jam and I will not hear otherwise) and to be honest I think this just comes down to musical preference more than anything.

 

Alan Cumming is legit the winner of this movie, but I think Parker leaning into the ridiculousness of it is actually perfect. If she wasn't acting like she was in a sketch I don't think I would have liked her performance as much as I do.

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