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JulyDiaz

Episode 96 — Monkey Shines

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First of all Finnytron, great post.

But as a correction: Janine Turner most definitely met and started goochin' the Tooch while Allan was in the hospital.

When they first interact the Doctor excuses himself from talking to "coach" to talk directly to her and asks her "How are you holding up?" - She says "good".

Then when Allan tells her 'It's been a while' (Staind) she says "I know, I should have come to visit you more at the hospital".

Also the Doctor then calls her by name saying "Linda, would you get this gentleman a drink"?

You can't blame the guy for being upset at this, but hey, he's the freakin' Tooch! That's just how he operates. (no pun intended)

 

Whoa, how did I miss that?! In the words of Jason, "ohhh boy". Thanks for the clarification, Bernard.

 

PS - can't wait to go home and tell my husband that I wanna gooch his tooch.

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Now that I've finished (the movie, that is) I have a lot to say. This movie is amazing. I agree that there are a ton of crazy things about it, from the monkey teeth to the monkey POV to the monologues to the nonsensical science. But I love all of it. ALL OF IT.

 

I think there's some real tragedy in the movie. Allan's rage at his injury and the betrayal of the people around him (which is totally understandable) contributes to the terrible things that Ella does. Geoffrey was trying to help Allan by having Melanie train Ella, but through the experiment Geoffrey destroys himself, Ella, and the people around them. If not for the experiment, everything would have been great. The scientist's reach exceeds his grasp, and he's ruined by his own creation. Hubris; classic Greek tragedy.*

 

I thought there was a ton of great camera work that ratcheted up the tension even though the whole thing was pretty hilarious. I laughed at Allan rolling around slowly while Geoffrey was running around chasing Ella and yet it was also really scary to imagine that happening while being trapped in a chair. The bird pecking at Allan's eyes was really disturbing, and Ella pressing the needle to Melanie's cheek was hard to watch. And that muhfugging jump scare near the end really got me, I'm embarrassed to say.

 

I love this movie.

 

*not a student of drama history, so I don't know for sure if this is correct, but it sounds good so yeah

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Last thing (probably not the last thing): Jason Beghe (Allan) looks like he has aged approximately 8 years in the last 25. Look at this mofo:

 

http://www.imdb.com/...mmi_mi_all_sf_4

So from that page I found out that he is in X-men First Class as "XO" - apparently a random guy on one of the boats at the end of the film. In my Google search to find out who the hell "XO" was, there was a link to a Daily Mail article that starts "X-Men star Jason Beghe..."

 

I like to think Monkey Shines gave him enough clout to be credited as a star in a non-speaking cameo...

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Probably the worst thing about this movie is this: it spends an hour telling you a harrowing story a man who had a life altering injury and became a paraplegic. Most of the movie shows him struggling with this very real, very relevant adaptation of his life. Its frustrating for him, he is angry with it, and he sees the change in everyone around him. People talk down to him, his girlfriend leaves him, its just a nightmare unending. Then at his lowest moment, he tries to commit suicide. The poor guy, you are never given a reason to do anything but feel sorry for him. When he survives the attempt, you want to root for him and want him to win. But what does winning mean?

 

Well, in Monkey Shines what it means is suddenly being able to regain control of your body again. There is no real redemption, there is no triumph over adversity here. The struggle to deal with an injury like that, and the depression and frustration it causes, is real. That his disability is so flippantly disregarded, and the "happy ending" completely reverses what the first hour of the movie spends establishing, its kind of dickish. Its like people who are disabled are just ruined meatbags with no hope for happiness or a real life unless they regain the ability to use whatever part of their body has been disabled. I would have at least liked it if the happy ending was Allen and his gf enjoying their lives with him being a paraplegic.

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I always thought "Monkey Shines" was loosely affiliated with that book of Steven King short stories Skeleton Crew, even though none of the short stories were anything like this movie. (I guess it was because of the toy monkey on the cover of both - hey, I was a little kid!)

 

Also, I saw this movie in the theater when it came out, it was my first experience being the only person in a movie theater.

It did not make the movie scarier. Not at all.

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So from that page I found out that he is in X-men First Class as "XO" - apparently a random guy on one of the boats at the end of the film.

XO is military shorthand for Executive Officer.

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I now want Jason Beghe to be in every movie for all time. We need to do some monkey experiments to make that happen OH NOOOOOO

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Probably the worst thing about this movie is this: it spends an hour telling you a harrowing story a man who had a life altering injury and became a paraplegic. Most of the movie shows him struggling with this very real, very relevant adaptation of his life. Its frustrating for him, he is angry with it, and he sees the change in everyone around him. People talk down to him, his girlfriend leaves him, its just a nightmare unending. Then at his lowest moment, he tries to commit suicide. The poor guy, you are never given a reason to do anything but feel sorry for him. When he survives the attempt, you want to root for him and want him to win. But what does winning mean?

 

Well, in Monkey Shines what it means is suddenly being able to regain control of your body again. There is no real redemption, there is no triumph over adversity here. The struggle to deal with an injury like that, and the depression and frustration it causes, is real. That his disability is so flippantly disregarded, and the "happy ending" completely reverses what the first hour of the movie spends establishing, its kind of dickish. Its like people who are disabled are just ruined meatbags with no hope for happiness or a real life unless they regain the ability to use whatever part of their body has been disabled. I would have at least liked it if the happy ending was Allen and his gf enjoying their lives with him being a paraplegic.

 

I agree with this. The message is pretty harsh to people who are disabled. "Hey, cripples! Your lives are worthless unless you can move your bodies. George Romero says so."

 

It sort of like if at the end of Mac and Me, Mac touched his alien hand on the boy's legs and the boy got up out of the chair and dunked a basketball. It's a bad message to send.

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It sort of like if at the end of Mac and Me, Mac touched his alien hand on the boy's legs and the boy got up out of the chair and dunked a basketball. It's a bad message to send.

 

I never watched Mac & Me, and it's been a long time since that episode, so thank you for mentioning this and making me burst out laughing.

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I think movie could have been good if they hyped up the scientific angle much more and gave it a The-Island-of-Dr.-Moreau-type vibe. The nugget of this story is like a Critchon nove -- man messes with nature, and nature fucks man over. But they would have had to lose the good guy lawyer main character and make him one of the evil scientists who is using the monkey like a tool to improve his life instead of respecting the animal's life. This would have been a great movie if they had a Timecop time car, rode to the year 2014, and copied the plot of Rick and Morty's Mr.Meeseek episode and just find-replace with chimps.

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I get the feeling this movie stopped the pre-Planet of Apes rebellion period where apes were used to assist humans that need help. Now, you can't own any animals except dogs, cats, fish, and reptiles in most states. I would love to have a spider monkey farm where I teach seeing eye monkeys, extended hand monkeys for the paralyzed, and murder spree psychically-linked serial killer monkeys.

 

 

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Anyone else have a hard time pinning down how Allen felt towards Ella? Like, I seriously couldn't tell if he loved her, or was afraid of her...or both I guess? But there was one scene where that dick husband from Object of My Affection like angrily picks up Ella and drags her out of the room and Allen is just like...sitting there. I felt like if this monkey was important to him and he was on her side that he would have been like yelling "Hey you fuck! You put her down! You can't treat her like that you fucking scum!" Or whatever.

 

...maybe by that point she was super evil, (I'm just having such a hard time remembering the order of this movie even though I watched it like 3 days ago. It's like a blur in my mind.) but even then he could have said "get that thing away from me! it's evil!" but he was just sitting there watching.

 

He just felt so fucking indifferent towards the thing until the end that it left me very confused.

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I've been thinking about watching this movie, but now that June has emphatically proclaimed this movie as dangerous for reasons I still am not sure I fully understand... Something about 6 monkeys being monkeys and not naming or naming them... All I know is with the passion she expressed, I have concerns about watching this. I'd like to watch it, but not be in danger. Would wearing a helmet make it safer? Perhaps watching from the safety of a pillow fort?

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Ok, I just have to say something. The last 30 minutes of this episode has made me certain of something that I have assumed for quite a while. June Diane Raphael is officially an insane person. I'm dead serious about that. She is diagnosable.

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Corrections and Ommissions:

 

1) No one talked about this, so I don't know if this was mentioned in the movie at all but according to Wikipedia, Alan's last name is "Mann". So this movie is literally a tale of "man vs. monkey".

 

2) When you were describing how the monkey were injected with human brain cells, it reminded me of the movie Deep Blue Sea where they did the same thing to sharks. And like in Monkey Shines, the sharks got smarter and tried to kill people. So the lesson seems to be "do not put human brain cells in animals or it will make them try to kill everyone".

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On the theme of names:

 

The monkey was named "Ella" like "Cinderella", because she does all the chores and she has an evil stepmom (Mom) and two evil step sisters (Nurse Wretched and Clinical Cunt) and she just wants to get with Prince Charming Law Student.

 

The Tucc was named Dr. Wiseman, as in "wise man", which we can safely say was intended ironically and could easily seem subtle under the influence of a bottle of vodka.

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Omission: What really happened to the nurse? Can we agree that the mother killed her, stuffed her body in the trunk of the nurse's car, and sunk it in a pond? The scene was deleted because it made the mother too sympathetic.

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

 

 

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.

 

yes . This is totally what she's saying but i'd also like to pose this question:

 

if one monkey convincing played a serial killer made you afraid of monkeys, wouldn't SIX monkeys convincingly playing a serial killer make you six times as afraid of monkeys?

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Omission: Why didn't Geoff bring a net to catch the monkey in the last scene? Presumably his lab is equipped with safe and simple implements, such as a net and sedatives, for catching monkeys that get loose and act hostile. Why introduce a couple of syringes of poison into a house dominated by a psychic killer monkey, when a harmless net would do the trick?

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yes . This is totally what she's saying but i'd also like to pose this question:

 

if one monkey convincing played a serial killer made you afraid of monkeys, wouldn't SIX monkeys convincingly playing a serial killer make you six times as afraid of monkeys?

I counted 6 monkeys, 2 muppets, a marionette, 3 animatronics, and at least one Olsen twin playing the part of Ella, and yes, I am afraid of all of them.

Hey, I saw "Magic" in high school, and I am still convinced that ventriloquist dummies are pure evil.

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