Hostage’s Pick: Hot to Trot

Good day all,

I have to open with a bit of a disclaimer folks, sometimes I’m a little tough on the old cinephile. Every now and then she comes into the room, looks down with those big blues, gives a bat of the lashes and hands me a double ration of gruel. I always pause, sniffing at the gruel like an uncertain ground squirrel, and then proceed to eat as I cower in the corner. She giggles, and then says “why don’t you pick tonight?” Again, cautiously, I’ll suggest something artsy; the answer I think she’s looking for. Then come those blissful words “seriously, your choice.” Today is one of those days but first, quick PSA at camera 3:

Hello again folks. Today I’d like to talk about Stockholm Syndrome, and how, once a client has been properly broken down through sleep and sense deprivation, the captor can come to be seen as a benevolent parent of sorts. If you ever find yourself in a kidnapping, type situation and your captor turns suddenly kind, be wary. Their either going to kill you or their trying to Stockholm you up. I know my captor is just culturing me up to marry me, but you might not be so lucky. I figured the only offense I had was passive aggression, so I gave her Bob Goldthwait and a talking horse (Booyah!). You might not be so lucky, so if they get friendly you should be willing to risk trying to escape. Real talk.

So, as I was saying, Annie Wilkes on the other page gave me the reins and I aimed low. This is a terrible movie, but it has awesome moments. You might point out “hey, every scene fades to black and they give you a sound effect to let you know a new scene is coming” and I’d say “Hey. Shut up!”  You might say “the most engaging character is a buck-toothed horse channeling John Candy (pour a little on the curb)” and I’d say “yeah, well you suck!” You see this film has to be viewed. You have to watch it through the eyes of a twelve year old boy, a point of view that I have made a responsible, adult decision to not evolve past; just old enough to be crudely dirty without losing that wonderful gift of reveling in the stupid. With those eyes in mind, I give you Hot to Trot.

Five minutes in you meet Dabney Coleman, the evil step-dad. He’s one of those actors so good at being douche-bags they become typecast, like Shooter McGavin or William Atherton, as soon as he pops on screen you love to hate him. Fred inherits a horse and half a stock brokerage from his mom and Douchey McTurd tries to screw him out of it. Goldthwait plays Fred pensive and defeated at first, but ribald and carefree during the high times (strangely both look like screaming and making faces). Fortunately, for Fred, the horse, Don, has the gift of speech ( you see, horses are made in God’s image so he’s like a god-king of horses). Now, some of you would think that a horse picking stocks is ridiculous, but think about the type of information a horse is privy to. It makes perfect sense that Don would have a beat on the business scene, hanging out at barns and tracks an all. Fred rises to the highest heights, the good times seem like butter on a roll and nothing could tear it down. Then, then tragedy hits. A bad pick, a dead father, a brother bravely facing the plight of mental illness, angry words doing the damage they do between emotional horses; think “Terrance and Philip: Behind the Blow.” Logically, the only thing that can save the day is a horse race, and we get some of the funniest track fare since , , ah, , well never (imagine all of A Day at the Races was like the unfortunate “All God’s Chillin'” number).

Goldthwait earns a few, genuine laughs with some absurd speeches and great timing. Virginia Madsen comes in a close second to Satin Belle as the comeliest equine and Lou bravely triumphs over what I can only assume is Three Stooges related PTSD. John Candy is the only part of this film that is really funny for the reasons it’s supposed to be funny, and Don is a pretty awesome horse, but the director and writers held this gem back from its lofty potential, namely the finest cinematic triumph in the history of carbon based life. It really looked like they threw it together over a bucket of blow in about three weeks and beat the deadline by a week and a half. The premise, with the people involved, and it could have been genuinely funny. Instead the ridiculous direction and editing (again, sound effects) ruined the great little gems hidden throughout. This film is terrible, but for all the right reasons. Well, that’s my time (as things have been a little rough since I subjected Ilsa McArtsy to this little gem). Needless to say there have been no kind attempts by her to Stockholm me up since watching Goldthwait utter the words “I think I ate some poo” during the homestretch of the climactic race, in fact she went back to the extension chords and phone books. I claim her frustration as a symbolic victory and prepare myself for her her revenge (five bucks there’s a lot of talking, about feelings).

Until the captor feels benevolent (or I wriggle my hands free),

The Hostage

~ by stew37 on December 6, 2010.

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