Friday, May 8, 2009

Movie Review: Cool World

Cool World
RatedPG-13 (Who rates these movies anyhow?)
2 Slimes
Copyright Paramount Pictures 1992


Detective Frank Harris: Brad Pitt! Hard to believe this guy was ever nominated for Best Actor in the Academy Awards after seeing this performance. He is a very stiff person who acts as Cool World’s main police detective and tries to keep the peace as best as he can. He is in love with Lonette, but he can’t continue their relationship since he is human and she is just a drawing. He gets killed, but comes back to life as a doodle. Doesn’t make much sense to me, but this is Cool World.

Jack Deebs: Gabriel Byrne! A cartoonist who thinks he invented Cool World. He has sex with Holli, which turns her into a noid (A real human). He ends up saving the world from turning into a cartoon nightmare, but ends up being stuck as an overacting superhero doodle.

Holli Would: Kim Basinger! A doodle that wants to escape into the real world. Considering where she lives, I don’t blame her. She seduces Jack, gives him a lap dance, and becomes a real girl. I don’t often get to say that. She loves to dance horribly, animated and non-animated. She is turned back into a doodle and remains stuck inside of Cool World for good.

Nails: Charlie Adler! He is a spider who is Harris’ partner in fighting the crime of Cool World. He does a lousy job of it and nearly gets killed because of it. He is also allergic to clouds.

Lonette: She is a doodle who is in love with Frank, but they cannot be together since they are from different movie worlds. He is live acting and she is animated, big difference here. Luckily for her, he dies and is reincarnated as a doodle so they can be together.

Doc Whiskers: He broke the all laws of science and movies by accidently bringing Harris into dimension Cool World. He ends up in the real world for unexplained reasons, among the many other unexplained reasons.

Sparks: He is one of the sleaziest guys in Cool World who has money that can bite people. He often causes or is around when there is trouble. Provides nothing to this film, but is worth mentioning.

+ Cartoons prefer to be called doodles.
+ Cartoons watch us from their own dimensions.
+ Jails allow prisoners to have a full cartoonist studio.
+ All cartoons rejected by Nickelodeon and Warner Bros end up in Cool World.
+ Cartoons refer to people as noids.
+ Cartoons and humans having sex together is a big no-no.
+ You see dancing hippos when you smoke.
+ Cartoons become real when a human has sex with them.
+ Pen are dangerous weapons in animated worlds.
+ You are turned into a clown doodle if you break the laws of animation and reality.
+ If you are killed by a cartoon, you become a cartoon.

1 min – Alright! Now this is music!
7 min – That scientist is breaking all the laws of animation and live acting!
13 min – Oh God that was creepy…
17 min – Someone should talk to the animators; they got to stop doodling on the strips of the movie.
19 min – RANDOM FREAK OUT MOMENT!24 min – I swear the movie is being shot at a cardboard cutout warehouse.
36 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST AN ARTIST DESK!38 min – Anyone feeling… weird?
41 min – So this is what cartoonist draw when they’re high.
46 min – RANDOM FREAK OUT MOMENT!49 min – Must… resist… urge… to… vomit!
58 min – Can’t catch a break, huh?
62 min – Whoa! The movie is somehow getting even weirder!
64 min – So you are saying it’s safer in Cool World? Where have you been living for the past 47 years?!
77 min – She runs pretty fast for being in heels.
84 min – At this point, the artists will be trying something new with the film folks, so please excuse the insanity you are witnessing.
91 min – How dramatically convenient!

Frank Harris: You screwed us all... for a piece of ass?

Bunny: (To Police Officer) Boo Woo! Boo Woo! These bad guys didn’t play fair! I WANT YOU TO TEAR THEIR MISERABLE FACES INSIDE OUT SO THAT THEIR MOTHER DOESN’T EVEN RECOGNIZE THEM! Pretty please?

Jack Deebs: I'm a cartoonist. I drew all this. I have visions. I translate this.
Frank Harris: You do nothing, man. This place exists with or without you. You believe me, right? I'm not one of your creations.
Jack Deebs: Right. You're not pretty enough.
Frank Harris: Good one. Have a seat.

Doc Whiskers: We may not be real to you yet, but we will be.


Cool World is one of the strangest, wildest, and craziest movies ever to be released. It is consider the mean spirited, poor man’s version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit. It is inventive in the areas that it didn’t copy and it can surprisingly keep your focus, but it’s sure one of the poorest examples of a movie trying to have structure in it. So, let’s take a look.

The movie opens up in 1945 Las Vegas where we find Frank Harris, coming home from the war to his mom. He takes her for a ride on his new motorcycle and then these two drunken idiots crash into them. They end up killing his mother and hitting him so hard, that he forgets the right way to act when suffering from a mental breakdown. Out of nowhere, he is then transported into Cool World. Why? Because this scientist doodle (Also known as a cartoon) was trying to enter his world. Why? Ah… I don’t know, I guess he was trying to escape into another movie because he realized this film was going to blow.

After this strange moment, we cut to a Las Vegas prison in 1992. We meet Jack Deebs, a cartoonist who is in jail for murder. Don’t think about it. It’s not a plot point and is only brought up once throughout the entire film. He spends his time in his cell drawing cartoons for his comic series, Cool World, and he is drawing Holli Would, a female cartoon. When Jack is drawing her, she teleports him to her, where they can meet face to face. He then lands in a dance club full of he and she wolves who are watching Holli dancing HORRIBLY!! I emphasize horribly because she really is a bad dancer. It is then revealed that all of it was just a dream and she is just sending him messages to come to her.

Back to Cool World, life goes on in their criminally deranged world where people are constantly beating each other up, money will eat you, people drive in cardboard cutouts, and safes randomly fall out of the sky. Frank Harris, since he has arrived here, has become a police detective (For yet another unexplained reason, he still looks the same after 47 years have passed). He goes to confront Holli about how she has been contacting Jack through his dreams and has been bringing him here. She says it is just an accident and asks Frank to help her bring Jack to their world or help her get to that world. It is possible after all, since reality has been shattered before and there is a rumor that a doodle has crossed over into our world. Frank refuses to help her and she tells him she’ll get someone who will help her. Also, that whole doodle rumor is never mentioned again, so what was the point of mentioning it? That’s right, it was completely pointless!

Back to sanity (or as close as you can get to it given the movie), Jack Deebs gets out of prison and he continues to draw his comic. While he is trying to get on with his life, Holli brings him back to Cool World where a bunch of weird cartoons assault him. Holli comes to his rescue and seduces him. Ah… this is weird and it was already weird when Jessica Rabbit did it, but this seems a bit more provocative then that. Then they flee from the police in a car that is made of… rubber…? Anyways, at this point the movie is having a freak out so I’ll skip ahead until we reach a slow point… in Cool World… heck with it, I’ll skip ahead until the car chase is over.

We then catch up with Frank meeting another femme fatale called Lonette. They seem have something going on between each other, but they nothing can ever happen since he is noid (human) and she is a doodle. Right, because having another cartoon and human have a romantic relationship would be so strange in a movie such as this. Anyways, he and his partner, Nails, find where Holli and Jack are at. Frank lays down to rules to Jack about Cool World and tells him the biggest, most important rule of them all. A noid can’t have sex with a doodle! Hmm… I didn’t realize there was a problem with that kind of thing in their world. Also, what kind of person wants to do it with a cartoon (Outside of Brad Pitt)?

Jack is sent home, but he can’t stop getting telepathic messages to him from Holli no matter where he goes. He is then again brought back into Cool World. While this is happening, Frank decides to check in on Holli at her building. He confronts her about if she has Jack with her, but she denies it. She’s telling the truth, though Jack is brought to her later. Then, in one of the most mind bending and totally disturbing moments I have ever seen in cinema, she gives him a lap dance. This is so wrong and disgusting on so many levels! It’s not shown completely shown or anything, but it is so disgusting that it makes my stomach queasy.

Because of what she did, Holli becomes a real girl. I would say this is crazy, but then again this movie is Cool World after all. One of the doodles, Sparks, finds out and reports her to the police. Nails, Frank’s partner, goes to arrest Holli alone, since Frank is busy having fun with Lonette. Nails confronts Holli, in her new form, but she subdues him by using Jack’s pen. You see, the pen has the ability to kill, destroy, blow up, or suck characters in Cool World. By the way, this pen thing is never mentioned again.

Anyways, Holli & Jack return to the real world, but something weird is a blazing. There is a break in the inter-dimension vertex or something between the real world and Cool World when Holli comes over. Because of this, she and Jack start turning into clowns doodles! At this point, I assume the writers have switched from one drug to the next. It’s the only logical explanation! Then, Frank heads to the real world to search after the two of them. If it is so easy to go between dimensions, why did Holli need Jack in the first place?

We then find Holli and Jack driving around after their weird clown moment. Holli then sees a billboard where it shows something called “The Spike of Power.” She says it can cure them of their clown issue. Alright, where did this plot line come from? Jack refuses to help her, so she kicks him out of his car and takes off without him. Frank comes across Jack and both of them decide to help each other return Holli back to her world. At this point, we can give up on that whole plot structure thing.

Holli comes to the casino where the “Spike of Power” is at just as Frank and Jack show up. Frank chases after Holli and manages to corner on the balcony of a hotel suite, but she knocks him over the side, killing him. Jack, now angry, gives chase after her himself. He confronts Holli on top of the casino, just as she touches the “Spike of Power.” Doing so turns her back into her doodle self, Jack into superhero doodle, releases tons of other doodles onto the world, and starts turning people into doodles themselves… ok then…

At this point in the film, I like to say we have entered the trippiest and most mind bending part of this film, because it seems like the artists, writers, producers, and creators just said to themselves, “Hey! The movie is ending soon, so let’s mess around with the audience even more than we already have!” Seriously, this is the most insane part of the movie as Jack becomes a superhero doodle who tries to turn the world back to normal by putting the spike back where it was, Holli is riding black ghost doodles, the casino is bleeding out red goo, and like I said before, people are turning into doodles. To make a screwy story short, Jack puts the spike back in its place and everything doodle like is sucked back in, including Holli & him (Why?) and closed off.

Lonette and Nails, who is still alive, kneels over Frank as they find his body back in Cool World. Then, according to Lonette, if a noid is killed by a doodle, the noid becomes a doodle (Sounds awfully convenient to me). Since Holli killed him, it counts for Frank as he comes back to life as a doodle. How nice, an already one dimensional person gets to become a one dimensional cartoon. Now that he is a doodle himself, he can peruse a more romantic relationship with Lonette. The movie then ends with the two of them having cartoon sex. Don’t get to see that often as an ending.

Now this movie is pure madness and insanity, but unlike the Raggedy Ann movie, it sort of works for it. Don’t get wrong, this movie is bad. The plot feels like a couple of comic books were strung together, but unlike Dick Tracy, it doesn’t work. The live actors are bad, with Brad Pitt being the worst due to his over exaggeration on the emotional scenes and his stiff acting every other time. The focus of the movie isn’t good since the movie jumps from actor to actor to scene to scene randomly while plot elements are poured in at any given moment.

There are positives of this movie though. As crazy and surreal as the movie is, it can keep your attention and it can be interesting to look at. The animation of the movie is nice and it is neat how there is different styles of animated characters in Cool World. The soundtrack is awesome, where it has some great techno to orchestral pieces that sets the mood for the world. Voice acting was good, and interestingly Kim Basinger did a better job voice acting than live acting. The movie is half and half, it has the good and the bad. I actually like it, but people out there, view at your own risk of sanity.

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