Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Grumpier Old Men

Year 8, Day 62 - 3/2/16 - Movie #2,263

BEFORE: So I spent part of my Leap Day at the dentist's office, first time I've been to see a dentist in well over a decade.  They took x-rays first, and found a giant cavity in a tooth on the upper left, so big in fact they're wondering how the tooth is still managing to stay in one piece.  I'm going to have to get that one drilled, filled and capped at the end of the month - while I'm at it, I should finally get a crown on my front tooth, which got chipped badly 30 years ago.  I had a temporary bond on that tooth for about a month back in 1986, but it didn't last.  But that's the kind of guy I am, I keep something on my "to-do" list for three decades, weighing all the options before I spring into action.  

If I can get the dental work done, that will take care of New Year's Resolution #1 - and #2 is to get that poster that's a mash-up of "The Last Supper" and the dogs playing poker (it totally works, just think about it) framed and hung up in the living room.  Then I can think about Resolution #3, which is to wrap up the Movie Year project.  Right now, however, I can only plan the chain that gets me to the next tentpole film, which is "Batman v. Superman", even though I'm not sure which superhero is suing which.  (Batman's name is first, that means he's the plaintiff, right?)  

Oh, the chain is in place, I can get there, no problem.  But "Bats v. Supes" looks like it will be film number 2293, and it would be SO much cooler if it could be film #2300.  I'll have to take some time later this week and see if I can shoehorn a few more films into the March line-up to get that film positioned on the century mark.  If not, no big deal.  

Like, I've got 4 Ann-Margret films this week, but it could be five if I add "52 Pick-Up", which is now part of a Roy Scheider triptych scheduled for... well, later.  But I can't add just that film to March without splitting up the 3 Scheider films, and if I add all three Scheiders, then I'll lose my connection back to the rest of the March line-up.  Umm, I think.  That's what I have to check.  

Tonight most of the cast of "Grumpy Old Men" carries over for the sequel, of course.  

THE PLOT:  John and Max resolve to save their beloved bait shop from turning into an Italian restaurant, just as its new female owner catches Max's attention.

AFTER: It was nice to see some progress made in the friendship/feud between Gustafson and Goldman - after all, Goldman and his son really came through at the end of the last film, and it looked like they'd buried the hatchet, and not in each other's skulls.   Oh, they still call each other "Moron" and "Putz", at the start of the sequel, but in more of an affectionate way.  And they're working together to plan their kids' wedding, which is something.  

Even when a new attractive older woman moves to town and takes over the bait shop, they still work together at first to try and ruin her business.  How dare she try to turn the shop into an Italian restaurant!  Who would want to come to a lakeside restaurant and enjoy a nice meal outside on the porch, overlooking the beautiful scenery, when they could have a dirty bait and tackle shop that smells like bait?  

But before long, Max's love/hate relationship turns to, umm, love/hate I guess, and there's another mix-up over who's slept with whom, and the frenemies are back to being enemies.  It's too bad, they were doing so well when they worked together, it's a huge step backwards.  I wish the plot could have continued without backsliding, but you just know that eventually they're going to patch things up and agree to disagree for the sake of their relationships.  It's supposed to be bros before hoes, guys.  

Which makes this all feel a little by-the-numbers in the end.  It's too bad that there wasn't enough time to get around to a "Grumpiest Old Men", because Matthau died 5 years later, and Lemmon the year after that.  With all the attempts at making topical cultural references, one assumes that these two couples would get into swinging or wife-swapping, or maybe the two hot wives would become a couple after the grumpy men die.  Oh, wait, maybe that's just what happened in my fan fiction.  

(Ah, the trivia section on the IMDB is telling me that a 2nd sequel was planned, where the four leads would travel to Rome and meet Maria's ex-husband, who contests her new marriage on the grounds that their divorce was never finalized.  But after "Out to Sea" and "The Odd Couple II" tanked at the box office, the plans were scrapped.)

But jeez, at least have these old men figure out how to use a cell phone, or at least some kind of camera that isn't a Polaroid.  That way if they're running late for a wedding ceremony they can at least call, or take a photo of the big fish that they caught, as proof that they finally landed it.  Oh, right, they're old people, what am I saying?

Stay tuned for the outtakes shown during the credits, it's one of those rare instances where those cut scenes are probably funnier than anything in the main film.

Starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret, Burgess Meredith, Kevin Pollak, Daryl Hannah (all carrying over from "Grumpy Old Men"), Sophia Loren (last seen in "Houseboat"), Ann Morgan Guilbert, with cameos from Max Wright, Geraldo Rivera.

RATING: 5 out of 10 Hawaiian islands

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