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Tags:Hot Tub Time Machine Review,films,Hot Tub Time Machine,indie films,John Cusack,movie review,new films,science fiction comedy,Steve Pink,The Substream,Watch This Instead
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Hi. This is Mike from thesubstream.com and this is an episode of Watch This Instead for the weekend in Friday the 26th of March, 2010. Hot Tub Time Machine comes out today, starring John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke is four down and out buddies who get hammered, puking, stinking, naked, drunk in a hot tub and wake up to find themselves whisked back in time into their younger bodies in 1986 in a pivotal party night at a ski resort, where with the help of a maintenance man slash time lord played by Chevy Chase and must decide to whether or not to reenact their past actions exactly or deviate from their fate and save themselves but risk crashing Tokyo with a tsunami. It’s precisely exactly as stupid as it sounds and it’s powerfully, convulsively funny.
The film uses the weird excesses of the mid-80s as more than just a flatten device and source of gangs and about hairmental and Reagan The film is also as stylistic throwback to the screw ball, goofy comedies of the 80s that took an inherently kind of dumb, unbelievable, ridiculous goofy premise put the most marginal bit of support around it and then use that to make a comedy. Movies like Teen Wolf or Real Genius or Look Who’s Talking? or Ski School which came out in 1981 but I love Dean Cameron so I had to mention or even movies like Ghostbusters. Movies that are on the circus of it and concepts that are ridiculous about a teenage werewolf or three cool dudes that fight ghosts in downtown New York whose the time when it didn’t matter really if movies were dumb as long they were funny and I miss it.
The film is not just dumb for the sake of being dumb. It’s a conscious stylistic throwback. It looks old fashioned. It’s shot in a very old fashion, studio set 1980s look kind of way. It’s got the same feeling as a lot of those films. The good ones anyways, and it’s got a really charming kind of earnestness about it.
Of course the characters in the film and the people writing the film and directing it or from 2010 and that informs a lot of the humor in the film, except, it doesn’t wear on you by being ironic or too arch or too self referential or sarcastic or snarky it’s just earnestly ridiculous and pukes. And unafraid at all to make next no sense, whatsoever as long as it’s funny which it is.
If you can’t get out to see it this weekend because you’re watching NCAA basketball or doing some other thing, do the next best thing and revisit the 80s yourself and rent Weird Science; Planes, Trains and Automobile or Uncle Buck, all directed by the very, very, very great late and credible under rated directed John Hughes who passed away last year.
Weird science is probably the prototype of the 1980s goofy, teen, comedy. And Hughes was one of the absolute best doing what he did which is take a concept that on its face were completely ridiculous like two dudes that somehow manufacture a genius bombshell woman who is dedicated to helping their lives get better or four guys that fall in a hot tub and go traveling back in time in 25 years. And making out of that stupid source idea, something that was funny and touching and real and earnest and charming and entertaining.
Dumb is not a bad thing. Dumb is a great thing because in Hot Tub Time Machine in a lot of John Hughes movies, when a movie is dumb, it let’s funny people do what they do best, puke on squirrels.