6 months ago:
it’s been an embarrassingly long time since i first received this request. it coincided with real life stressors and i fell behind on my reviews/work/ability to care for myself to a shameful degree. i have a plethora of excuses and explanations but who cares. we don’t have time for that. we need to prepare for our case. although, i’ll be honest with you, i think it’s a slam dunk. you read the notes, right? never mind. we’ll go over them again.
i mean it all revolves around this ad here. a newspaper ad? probably. they really don’t make ads like this anymore; exuberant testimonials from some unseen narrator who is both too friendly and too formal at the same time. in this case it’s like getting a movie recommendation from your “cool” teacher who has to think extra careful about what words he’d going to use in front of a classroom of bloodthirsty 13 year olds.
nearly every statement in this poster is a lie. it looks like lionel hutz already took the marker to it.
i do plan to “see it twice” in order for me to “really get it all”, like it do when i review all my movies. im feeling a little self conscious about this one because i dont know robert altman’s movies at all outside of “popeye”, which i think is charming and fun in it’s own way (not something i’d seek out on purpose but, you know, if someone else put it on i wouldn’t complain). im not unaware that altman is a beloved filmmaker and this movie has, in my opinion, a baffling, inexplicable array of glowing reviews. taking aim at something that i am likely not “getting” due to the honest truth of being a regular ol’ simpleton feels like im setting down my own rake to walk on. regardless, the mission statement of this my reviews are to view these movies through the eyes of someone devoid of sophistication. i do not think these reviews should be intended to be insightful. they’re for laughs and recommendations on the basis of taste (not expertise) only.
additionally, i am going to be looking at this movie as a modern day viewer, which i mention because it will make my assessment seem a little less unhinged to people who do like altman and this movie. i can admit i do not have extensive context for the 1970s that would have likely given much more context to this VERY “of the times” apparent satire. the only stuff i picked up on was the bullitt reference and the m*a*s*h poster in the background. oh wait, i just noticed that it just tells you its bullitt inspired lol. they’re just saying it!
special note that doesn’t fit anywhere else: the soundtrack is from john phillips from the mama and the papas and it fucking sucks.
with that said, let’s talk about what IS true on this ad so we can address the egregious false advertising at play here.
i will now examine the claims made by the defendant in preparation for our “big case”.
RAVE: roger ebert gave it a 3.5 out of 4. that’s all i have to say about that. okay roger!
“I DON’T KNOW”: ryan cracknell from “movie views”, a website that sounds like it was made up exclusively to be the workplace of the protagonist of a 2015 a hallmark movie, seemed delighted but mystified by this movie.
“NOW I HAVE SEEN EVERYTHING”: 0 out of 1 people found this helpful.
YOU’LL TALK ABOUT IT: i am, as part of my agreement with my patreon donors. many people were contractually obligated to talk about this movie. the problem is, i haven’t really be sure HOW to talk about this movie. that’s why we have this silly framing device.
WEIRD: i’ll give it this one. i am forced to admit its not every day that you watch a movie in which a serial killing boy uses bird shit as a calling card.
HOT LIPS: absolutely true and the kind of nickname i would murder someone to have. if someone named “hot lips” was starring in your movie you bet your fucking ass you’d put that on the poster.
RATED ‘R’: factual. today it would be like, pg.
“SOMETHING ELSE” FROM THE CREATOR OF M*A*S*H: this might be the funniest use of sarcastic quotation marks i’ve seen in a long time. this is just a non-controversial statement of fact made passive aggressive for no reason. spectacular.
YOU DUG M*A*S*H*: i have not seen m*a*s*h*. i did like m*a*s*h* the tv show. does that help.
THIS ONE WILL BLOW YOUR MIND: sorry mr. altman, no dice. i literally have no idea what this thinks its referring to.
- unconventional or avant-garde.2.excellent.
i guess, arguably, it could be the first one but it is by no means the second one.
VERY HIP, VERY IN: i hate to imagine that it was.
STARRING ‘THE WEIRDO TWOSOME’:
god who the fuck is this part talking about. what the fuck does this mean!!! every time i’m face to face with it i’m fucking vexed at this phrase that no one outside of a marketing exec would ever think to use in any context. imagine being one of the stars and seeing this poster. did they ask first if they could call them a pair of freaks.
WILDEST AUTO CHASE SINCE “BULLITT”/SPACE ODYSSEY: okay, first of all, the gothic novel-esque use of capital lettering in this section is absolutely bizarre. like, this is a transparent attention grab for people who liked actual good movies, but the phasing and the formatting is completely sporadic and random. no rhyme or reason.
additionally, this is not a “tip”. and not true.
IT SHAPES UP REAL GROOVY: perhaps “brewster mccloud” is a movie that simply exists too far outside the parameters of my enjoyment specifically. i am vexed by the knowledge that other people truly gained something from this movie that i did not so i can assume it is a combination of these factors: 1. i am too far from the historical immediacy needed for context for many of the references or concepts that fly (hee ehehehehe ohohohoh) over my head, 2. it is simply not to my taste, being a movie that is both too grounded to be fantastical and too self-serious in spite of its deliberate use of ridiculous situations, and 3. maybe it fucking sucked a little to begin with. and all of these factors combined made for a watch that was the movie sensory experience equivalent to walking down a baby toy aisle with all the toys playing noise at once.
also i hate birds, so there’s that.
GREENBORO, ET AL.: unverifiable. this is evidently a tri-city area in north carolina. i think the opinions of people in greensboro, north carolina have never mattered less in human history.
CONTROVERSIAL: maaaaaybe. by today’s standards…? the most controversial aspect is the language, which we’ll cover more in detail in a moment. there is a fair bit of suggestive nudity in it (with occasional incestual overtones) and a girl who has extremely annoying screeching orgasms twice while gesturing wildly under a blanket. although, it was the early 70s. wasn’t that when directors realized boobs sell tickets? i guess it was a different time.
this is what our case hinges on. let’s examine this…in depth.
the movie begins with a man who is not, but is trying to be, gene wilder. he is a disheveled professor teaching us about man’s lust for the concept of flight and the jealously one harbors for birds, who move as freely as the wind. after his monologue, which continues throughout the movie and results in his loud and physically-embarrassing-to-watch degradation into a squawking bird-type man for no reason. i guess the parallel is that as brewster gets closer to the clouds, the professor uhhh wait this doesn’t make sense. i guess he’s just doing it to be random. anyway, smash cut to a racist woman bellowing out a deliberately bad version of “the star spangled banner”. this movie is an audio and visual torture session. the CIA should just play this movie on loop at guantanamo if they want people to really crack. don’t worry if you missed it, because she make everyone, including the credits, stop and start over again; this opening scene is only a taste of what’s to come. i was already checking my watch and realized i was in for a rough time.
our titular character is a “dork” aka a ripped guy with glasses. despite this reality, everyone around him keeps trying to push him around like he couldn’t just crush their heads with a well timed judo punch. a bird takes a dump on a newspaper clipping about agnew. wow. social commentary. the professor reads about bird pecking order as a rich landlord in a limo with the license plate “owl” (who delights in taking mustache-twirling actions against his renters such as: calling them racial slurs, hitting them, sexually abusing them, stealing money from their boobs, etc.) abuses his driver, brewster.
cutting edge stuff.
the radio announces the murder of the aforementioned lady who is apparently the singer at the astrodome? do people not have ears in this universe? i don’t mean this in like a cinemasins “HEH PLOTHOLE” kind of way, but more bewilderment at the truly off-putting, grotesque world the movie is trying to build in front of me. i dont want it. i don’t want to be here. go away mr. altman.
the shittiest song you’ve ever heard in your life plays as the old man is lifelessly rolled down a hill after pointing a gun at brewster and getting shid and farded on by a bird.
a flashback to the death of the national anthem singer reveals that she died wearing the wizard of oz ruby slippers for no reason. as “somewhere over the rainbow” faintly plays, a bird shits on her shoes. how irreverent! take that “hollywood”.
shelley duvall is in this movie, thank god, and she is somewhat charming acting as brewster’s ACTUAL love interest (until she realizes he’s batshit crazy), as opposed to the screeching intrusive orgasm-haver that invades his living space over the astrodome. “hot lips” has been skulking around various locations stealing things and being sexually attractive. a detective from the exotic locale of “san fransisco” arrives. another bird shit-related murder of a racist occurs, this time its an off-duty cop who beats up his wife, emotionally batters his kid and then tries to start shit with brewster over a camera.
the detective discovers that brewster stole a book from the racist old man after he killed him. a book from the old man’s “brothers”.
the first actual joke happens in this movie at 31 mins in.
brewster’s supernatural………….mom??????? aka hot lips shows up and takes off all her clothes and bathes this grown man with a sponge bath. according to her, brewster’s quest for his wings is also his quest to preserve his virginity and purity, since if he comes in contact with a sexually interested woman he will become tainted and bad and stuck on this gay earth without any magic. love this movie’s heart-warming message!
but uh oh! shelley duvall is soooooo pure compared to La Horny Llarona. when brewster tries to steal duvall’s car she just brushes it off and offers very sweetly and lightly to drive him where-ever he wants because she’s soooo quirky. 🙂 i have no idea what these women see in him since he is explicitly disinterested to the point of seeming like he might be slamming xannies. like, when she asks if hes going to kiss her he says “i don’t know how” in a flat tone one might use in therapy when recalling how you used to rip the wings off flies as a kid. mom runs interference with the cops making sure brewster can’t be arrested for his murders of scumbags. serial killer moms really are on another level.
the car chase happens and fellas, it’s not exciting. its just like the rest of this movie: loud. a guy does drive through a wall of cardboard boxes though. that’s pretty cool. just kidding that’s lame as shit. i’ve seen literally any martial arts movie where they smash each other over the head with florescent bulbs and drive into walls of bulbs. you gotta work way harder to impress me!!!
it ends with the detective killing himself after getting in a mildly inconvenient car accident. me too, dude.
brewster and shelley duvall have the traditional post-car chase sex, taking brewster’s magical virginity; immediately after having sex for the first time brewster tells her that he’s going to be with her forever. men are the worst. hot lips mommy has a problem with brewster seeing other women and tsks-tsks over his sexual exploration. however, when she finds out that it wasnt just SEX and he LOVES shelley duvall, mom squawks like a heart broken bird and leaves the astrodome presumably forever due to brewster losing his inherent magical spirit to those yucky dream-ruining sluts. how can mom stay 5 steps ahead of the cops, but she can’t cock (hehehe hahaha hhoohoho) block her bird son. its because women are duplicitous disgusting creatures naturally. i hate this movie dude. this second watch isn’t doing it a single favor.
shelley duvall squeals on brewster after he spills his whole insane plan to use his magic bird mom’s advice to create wings to fly in order to escape his serial killings. she and her ex-boyfriend, a low-level government employee who hasn’t mattered at all, are spotted by brewster while making out very close to his astrodome home (poor planning on her part). unfortunately, they’re spotted and spot brewster while he’s wearing his goofy ass looking wing machine. it’s awkward for everyone.
brewster takes flight as another shitty, corny song takes over the soundtrack. what could have been a technically impressive moment is really undercut by this school house rock ass music.
brewster starts to screech and freak out like a bird. turns out flying is harder than it looks when you’re coated in the weighty sins of eve or whatever. he stalls out and plummets, dying on impact. uh. i guess there were people in the stands. despite the camera showing moments before that the place was completely empty except for the cops rolling in. but now there’s a crowd here to clap in an ironic fashion at brewster’s splatfest. how ironic that he chose to do this the day of the circus! and that everyone watched him fly and fall screaming to his death and managed to keep themselves contained until they saw a clown.
miserable film. some real misogyny 101 shit. lot of making me think about how this says much about society. blech! the ending would have been shocking and upsetting in literally any other movie or if it happened to a character that didn’t come off as a jeff dahmer’s apprentice.
ah, oh shit the trial’s starting. okay. uh, your honor. we plead guilty.