|Posted by Miserable Retail Slave on June 1, 2011 at 8:45 PM|
The Quest to Purify My Pop Culture Soul" is RFP's attempt to finally see all of the movies that he's wanted to see. Many of these are some of the most successful films in Hollywood. Chances are, you've seen most of these. Join in the discussion as RFP stops procrastinating and takes the time to experience these movies for the first time.
The Quest to Purify My Pop Culture Soul, vol. 19
starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito
Those same action heroes that we love to see break necks, destroy massive amounts of properties, and guilelessly steal the virtue of every big-breasted beauty within eye shot are the same action heroes that we love to see completely emasculated.
I talked about this before when I covered Schwarzenegger's The Last Action Hero, but the gist is this: at some point every action hero does a humiliating project that plays off their extreme masculinity by putting them in a dress or giving them an entire brood of kids to babysit or by getting them pregnant or etc.
Junior is the ultimate feminist equality dream given life in the form of a ridiculous, ill-conceived "comedy" that inexplicably earned $108 million worldwide at the box office.
If I had to guess, much of that box office intake came from legions of delirious housewives, who marched to theaters to bask in the hilarious spectacle of a muscle-bound, alpha male finally being able to relate to the statement: "you don't know how it feels!!!!"
You could even consider my guess to be an educated one considering I remember my grandmother rounding up a posse of women to see Junior and then standing on her pulpit and raving about the hilarity of a man having to deal with mood swings, exotic cravings, cramps, and morning sickness. "Every woman should see this," I remember her saying. I can just picture her in the audience, wildly pointing at the screen and choking out the words, "so true, so true" between hearty guffaws.
She expressed her disappointment that men couldn't actually get pregnant and dismissed the entire male population as "sons 'a bitches," not realizing that she was also cutting down her entire gender in the process.
In Junior, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Dr. Alex Hesse, a fertility doctor who has developed a drug called "Expectane" - a drug that is supposed to reduce the chances of a woman's body rejecting an implanted embryo thereby increasing her chances of getting pregnant.
Hesse's partner in this endeavor is Dr. Larry Arbogast, a gynecologist played by Danny DeVito. I know what you're thinking. Bringing in Arnold's old co-star from the movie Twins, a movie also dealing with scientists messing around with the reproductive processes, was a stroke of genius, right? The sight of the manly man, Arnold Schwarzenegger standing next to that Oompa Loompa, Danny DeVito is LOL-worthy as it is, but add to the fact that Arnold is PREGNANT and you have a recipe for a spleen-ripping, laughter-induced coma. Sarcasm, friends. Sarcasm.
The movie begins with a groan-worthy dream sequence, in which Hesse (Schwarzenegger) finds a baby in an otherwise deserted library. He picks up the baby while uttering this Hemmingway-esque dialogue: "There's a baby here! There must a mother!" The baby promptly pees all over the place and the hilarity fucking ensues.
At any rate, when the funding for Expectane is cut, Arbogast has the bright idea to implant Hesse with an embryo and have him take Expectane. The thinking is that if the product will get a man pregant, naturally companies will be lining up to bid on the drug because it would certainly get women pregnant.
After a certain point Hesse discovers that he is extremely happy being pregnant and wants to carry the baby to term. Arbogast reluctantly agrees to Hesse's choice and Hesse becomes a domestic housewife. Imagine the issues that baby will have when she grows up.
If you're looking for more plot details, you're out of luck. Sure, Junior has a story and a plot, but it is threadbare. Junior is more of a premise film and I'm sure that's how it was pitched to the studios. The crux of the movie is the "joke" of a pregnant man and all of the wacky misadventures that revolve around that one idea. Haha, Arnold just said "My nipples are very sensitive." It's funny because he can bench press a Buick, but he's preggers so his nipples are sore. That's some Grade-A comedy.
Has Some Part of My Pop Cultural Soul Been Saved by Seeing This Movie?
The world is full of talented and creative people with original, groundbreaking ideas that never really get the chance to have their voice heard.
And, yet, films like Junior continue to get made.
Although, I'm not sure what's worse: the fact that these movies get made in the first place, the people that shelled out the cash to see it in theaters, or me, who sat there and wasted his time watching this through Netflix instant streaming.
There is one genuinely horrifying part of Junior, one that makes Arnold's recent personal troubles all the more poignant - not so much for Schwarzenegger, but for the illegitimate child he (allegedly) fathered. At one point, Hesse has another baby-related nightmare, in which he's holding a baby. As the camera pans closer, you can see, through the magic of special effects, a computer-generated likeness of Arnold's face on the baby's body. What a disgusting and creepy abomination! If there is a God in heaven, any child sired by Schwarzenegger will be spared the indignity of resembling the Governator.
As far as this movie is concerned, it is probably in the Top 5 worst movies that I have ever seen. Like I said, it's 109 minutes of one broad comedy joke. Even that one joke - a pregnant man - isn't even that funny. It's more disturbing than anything.
I was 13 when Junior was released and. although I was weirded out by the entire concept, I was also extremely curious as to hows and whys of how the movie even worked. How did he get pregnant? Why did he get pregnant? What orifice would the baby squeeze through in order to be born? Now, 17 years later, God help me, I know the answers to all those nagging queries.
By the way, my mind was equally blown a few years ago when I heard about the man in real life who had gotten pregnant. My first response was "That's like Junior!" because my mind naturally gravitates toward pop culture followed by the questions that I had just expressed in the paragraph above. Turns out man in the pregnant man should be "man", depending on your view of things. Dude used to be a woman / still is, whatever. Long story short, that citizen has female plumbing and is capable of carrying children. Always great when pop culture carries over into real life.
Saved or Failed? FAILED
Film Count: 2,074 when last we met. +It's Kind of a Funny Story, + All About the Benjamins. + The Green Hornet, + Fast Five, + The Happening, +Due Date, + Chloe, +Thor, +Sunshing Cleaning, + Angus, + Harolld and Maude, + Knight and Day, + Jackie Brown, + Water World, + Jordan Rides the Bus, + Invasion of the Body Snatchers, + The House That Steinbrenner Built, + The Dilemma, +The King's Speech = 2,093 films that I have seen in my lifetime.
I promised you a review of Avatar...where did it go? You'll find out. Some big news in the next few months about this column, if all the stars properly align.
Next time: We take a trip back down the nostalgia highway and revisit The Wizard starring Fred Savage.
f you have seen Junior, your achievement badge is below. Create a folder on your facebook page titled "Film Geek" and save the image to that folder. You'll be able to track you progress and show the world how geeky you really are. the world how geeky you really are.