Taking Woodstock

Taking Woodstock

(Ang Lee, 2009)


A man working at his parents’ motel in the Catskills inadvertently sets in motion the generation-defining concert in the summer of 1969.

First of all, we gotta talk about the fact that so many people in movies suck at running motels.  The motels are depressing, awful places, and the owners are usually sad people, or totally psycho, (like in the movie Psycho).  These people never seem to be happy to be running these motels.  How the heck did they start out?


Luckily, for these old crotchety assholes they have their entrepreneurial son, Elliot, played by Demetri Martin.  He is a painter and designer, who lives in New York, and goes back to the Catskills to figure out how to help his parents and the small town.  His parents are pretty awful.  As the movie progresses his parents seem to chill out and enjoy themselves.  They are definitely happy for the business and money that comes in.

mom and dad

They may be happy, but the townspeople are not all feeling the same.  Some are happy that the festival is coming to town.  They are happy for the business that will help to revive the town and put some much-needed money in their pockets.  Some are not happy that a ton of hippies will be invading their little town.  One of these unhappy people is Dan, who is played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan, (who looks a lot like Javier Bardem, like A LOT!!).  His brother, Billy, who is played by Emile Hirsch, is back from the Vietnam war and is suffering from PTSD.  He has flashbacks throughout the film, and seems to be taking back his life and mind after the atrocities that he saw while fighting in the war.


Can’t really blame the unhappy people, hippies are literally the worst.


Gotta say, there is a lot of penis in this movie.  There is one scene where everyone is naked.  You don’t always see penis in movies!  If you like penis, then you will like this movie.  Also, if you like pubic hair.  There is a ton of pubic hair.

The mom is a real firecracker!  The dad is too.  They both fight off some gangsters who want to do security for the motel for a hefty sum.  Like, they literally fight them.  It is amazing.

Enter, Liev Schrieber, who plays Vetty Von Vilma, a “gay transvestite”, according to IMDB.  She is hired to do the security.


I think this movie really did well to show how crazy, dirty, but also amazing Woodstock was when it was happening.  It is crazy to think that it was the first huge outdoor festival of its kind.  The sheer amount of people is insane.  A great scene is when Elliot gets a ride with a cop to the festival.  The screen is cut in two or three segments, which all show different parts of the festival.  It shows the different types of people who attended the show.  There were hippies of course, but there was so many different types of hippies.  The anti-war ones, the acid trippers, the weekend hippies who were there for the music.  Some people were full time hippies, who live in a van and travel the country, and those who take advantage of hippies.

the walk

Elliot later finds out that his mom has a bunch of money that she has been saving over the years.  The money would have saved the business.  He is very mad because he used all of his money to help them, and not to mention, all of his time.  She seems more than happy to let him suffer and struggle to make life better for them.

It is an interesting movie.  I had never heard of it before, and did not know what to think.  But, I was pleasantly surprised.  The movie portrayed not only the hard work put into putting on Woodstock, but also the relationships that were formed and strengthened while the show went on.  I like that the movie shows the everyday people and not the celebrities at Woodstock.

I definitely recommend this ‘Taking Woodstock’, especially if you are a fan of the 60’s.

‘Taking Woodstock’ gets 4.5 “dirty hippie penises” out of a possible 5.



Summer school

Summer school

(Carl Reiner, 1987)


A high-school gym teacher has big plans for the summer, but is forced to cancel them to teach a “bonehead” English class for misfit goof-off students. Fortunately, his unconventional brand of teaching fun field trips begins to connect with them, and even inspires ardor in some.

Shoop, who is a high school gym teacher has to teach a summer remedial english class to a bunch of rando students, who have failed an english skills test.  The students are described as a bunch of misfits prone to goofing off.


First of all, Shoop is not teacher of the year, but the hottie with a body next door certainly would win the award!  The hottie is Ms. Robin Elizabeth Bishop, played by Kirstie Alley.  She teaches the advanced english class.  She is also dating the vice principal, who seems to be a real douche canoe.


Shoop, who is up for a tenure position at the school, is told that in order to obtain the job everyone in the summer school class has to pass the final exam.  The students make a deal with him to get what they need, i.e. driving lessons, rides to the beach, and they will show up for class and pay attention.

Shoop asks for help from Ms. Bishop, and she agrees?  She even bails him out of jail and stands up to the “bite in the ass” vice principal, as well as in court!  I think she loves him!!

Boy, teenagers in the 80’s were zany!  And their parties were off da’ hook!  Every party in every 80’s movie is soooooo wild, like “burn the house down afterwards” wild!


‘Summer school’ is another Carl Reiner movie, which was made two years after ‘Summer rental’.  This movie has a ‘Breakfast club’ vibe, but is the whole summer!


The most random scene in the movie is when Shoop finds a male student stripping at a male strip club.  Why?!  Why is he there?!  WHY!?  Eventually, the student loses  his job because the club found out how old he is, also his mom and aunt were at the club.  Ewww on all levels.

strip club

There are a lot of familiar faces in this movie:

Patrick Labyouteaux, (huh? Hell of a last name!), who was “Ram” in the movie ‘Heathers’.  He plays another football meathead in this movie, but this time he is a sweet heart and develops a relationship with a pregnant chick.

Courtney Thorne-Smith from ‘Melrose place’ and ‘Ally McBeal’.  Her character is a spaced-out, surfer chick.  She also has a big crush on Shoop.

Dean Cameron, who plays “Francis ‘Chainsaw’ Gremp”.  He and his buddy are obsessed with horror movies and the new hot chick, who is played by…


Fabiana Udenio, who was “Alotta Fagina” in ‘Austin Powers’.

Shawnee Smith from ‘Who’s Harry Crumb’.  She plays a pregnant teenager, (Ram’s love interest), who is totally different than Nikki Downing, her character in ‘Harry Crumb’.  Nikki was the “Penny” to John Candy’s “Inspector Gadget” in that movie.


Keep an eye out for Denise’s zebra print outfit.  WANT!


Shoop ends up quitting when the students ask for more incentive to study for the test.  The vice principal shows up to teach the class, it goes well, (not).  He calls the kids psycho, and in retailiation they set up a horror scene the next day, which scares off a possible teacher.  They convince the vice principal to hire back Shoop.  The kids are able to get Shoop to come back, and they study their misfit butts off.  Unfortunately, they all fail the test and commit mass suicide in the gymnasium.


Okay, just kidding.  But, most of them do fail the test, but their test scores have improved enough that the principal is convinced that Shoop is a good teacher, obviously he does not know what a good teacher actually is like.  Shoop gets tenure.

In the end, the students are better people, Shoop is a better teacher, (questionable), and Robin falls for Shoop.  But the biggest triumph is that Shoop’s dog gets his lost toy back!! (I am a dog person now).

Quotable: “Why don’t you order two lunches and eat them both yourself.  One for each face!” -Ms. Bishop to vice principal (way harsh, tai)

Summer school gets 5 “bonehead teachers, who don’t give a damn, but really start to care when they get to know the students” out of a possible 5.



Summer Rental (1985)

Summer Rental (1985, Carl Reiner)


An overworked air-traffic controller takes his family on a beach vacation but is soon beset by series of mishaps.

Mishaps is correct!  Don’t worry, if you want a movie that has all of the quintessential, cheesy, summer doofus moves, then this is the movie for you!  If you don’t want to watch a garbage movie, well then, keep looking!  I really wanted to like this movie, but alas, it just was not turning my crank.  It is unfortunate because I really like John Candy and Carl Reiner.


I love love love John Candy!  He always plays the loveable idiot in movies, but in ‘Summer rental’, his character, Jack, is just kind of an asshole!  I get that he wants a nice vacation, but he does not seem to handle set backs very well.  He just seems angry all of the time.  It is a very different role than any of the others he has played, in which he may get angry but the fact that he does nothing and lets people get away with everything makes him the, “big hearted buffoon” that IMDB states.  His characters in ‘who’s Harry Crumb’, ‘Uncle Buck’, ‘Delirious’, and ‘the great outdoors’ always seem to be in second place, but yet they come out the winner because they do not give up, which is true with Jack, but they seem not be a true dick deep down.  I don’t trust Jack.  Something shifty about this guy.  I think that it is because he is a buffoon, but does not apologize for any of his buffoonery.

John Candy was Canadian, and unfortunately his last film was ‘Canadian bacon’, which he ironically had a heart attack after making, and then subsequently died.  Very tragic.

Carl Reiner, is still alive!  According to Wikipedia his career has spanned almost seven decades!  That is pretty impressive!  He directed one of my all-time fav movies, ‘the jerk’ with Steve Martin.  You should definitely check that one out!!

The mishaps in this movie are classic.  You got the guys ogling the beach babes running, the massive sunburn on the first day, and the smarmy rich asshole sailor guy who steals your table at a seafood restaurant.  Classic!

Turns out this asshole sailor guy hates the summer renters, or as we called them back home, “tourpests”.  Of course, the house that they move into and think they have rented from a friend turns out to be on the wrong street.  The actual house is awful, and the landlord is the asshole sailor guy.  Classic!

rich asshole

In true buffoon fashion, Jack decides that he will learn how to sail, and then challenges the landlord in the local regatta.  If they win then they get to stay in the house, of course the rental period was only for a month?!  Not sure if they are staying longer, maybe I missed that part.

Anyways, they win the regatta by pulling a couple stunts, like throwing all of the frozen food in the freezer off the boat, which is littering and does not provide a very moral lesson about how to win a regatta.  Jack also takes off his pants to use as a sail.  Classic sailing tactic!


To be honest, I didn’t really like this movie.  I had such high hopes!  Not sure I would recommend it.  This movie felt like a lame version of ‘National Lampoon’s Vacation’.  There are better “summer fun” movies out there, and hopefully I will watch some of them!  You don’t even see any boobs!  What is the point?!  If boobs aren’t seen in a summer movie is it a summer movie????

Quotable: “He is a life guard, they are all sex maniacs!  Right now each of his gonads are screaming “me first”!

life guards.jpg

‘Summer Rental’ receives 2 boobs out of a possible 5.



Back at it in July: Summer fun movies!

After a break, I am ready to spoil some more movies!!  June was hot, but July is going to be crazy hot, well at least on this blog!  July’s theme is “Summer Fun” movies.  I am going to watch and review, well spoil, movies about summer break.  There is actually a lot of movies that delve into this complicated topic, okay, not so complicated.  But, to be fair, a lot can happen over the summer.  You could find a dead guy or get boobs!  Both very traumatic.

The movies that may, or may not, be spoiled in July are as follows:

The Seven year itch; Summer rental; Now & then; Moonrise Kingdom; Taking woodstock; Monte Carlo; Dirty dancing; Jaws; The sisterhood of the traveling pants….

This a quick list, which may change depending on my watching needs.

Keep your eyes glued here for a nice summer fun movie spoil session!!