Monday, November 8, 2010

Movie Review: Mac and Me

Mac and Me
Rated PG
1 Slime
Copyright Orion Pictures 1988

THE CHARACTERS

Mac: A young alien separated from his family, who is frankly a public menace with all the trouble he causes. Breaking into people’s home, wrecking everything with power tools, and stealing kid’s toys. What a jerk!

Eric Cruise: A wheelchair bound kid who is determine to get the alien and then help him find his family. He loves his Skittles. He dies at one point, but the aliens do some kind of voodoo magic to bring him back to life.

Debbie: She is Eric’s first new friend in California and happens to be the first person to see the alien. She helps protect Mac and find his family.

Michael Cruise: Eric’s older brother who has a crush on Courtney. He helps protect Mac and his family from the government and the police.

Courtney: Debbie’s older sister, who has a crush on Michael. She is almost always wearing McDonalds approve clothing (As in clothes that have the logo of the fast food chain on them).

Mac’s Family: Damn they got some fake looking costumes. They have soda addictions, move around like they are drunk, whistle to talk, and they all have beer bellies.

Janet Cruise: Christine Ebersole! She is Eric and Michael’s mother who works at Sears. She’s your basic mom character who doesn’t believe in anything the alien until she sees it for herself.

Mitford & Wickett: Your basic ‘evil’ government agents that are trying to capture Mac and his family. These guys have incredible foresight and psychic abilities to be able to come to many lucky conclusions and results.

LESSONS LEARNED
+ Coca Cola is God.
+ People are always dancing and break dancing at McDonalds.
+ Aliens are easily confused with dogs.
+ Moons are hard on the outside, cola on the inside.
+ When in doubt, blame the kid in the wheelchair.
+ People in wheelchairs and very steep hills do not mix.
+ Vacuum cleaners have the ability to scale walls and ceilings, even with a kid attached it.
+ Illinois love teddy bears.
+ All NASA agents are Olympic athletes.

STUFF TO WATCH FOR
1 min – I could question where they got the straw from, but there will be far stupider things in the future I assume.
9 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST A WINDOW!
10 min – My God! It turned into the Noid!
18 min – BROUGHT TO YOU BY UNITED MOVING!
20 min – BROUGHT TO YOU BY SKITTLES!
27 min – My spider sense is tingling.
30 min – That is not the proper reaction to seeing an alien.
32 min – He could have tried getting out of the chair before going over the cliff.
39 min – BROUGHT TO YOU BY COCA COLA!
42 min – Well that’s just strange.
49 min – Damn those things are ugly.
51 min – BROUGHT TO YOU BY POWER WHEELS!
52 min – Time for a cheesy 80’s pop song.
60 min – BROUGHT TO YOU BY MCDONALDS!
62 min – RANDOM FREAK OUT MOMENT!
66 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST SEARS!
70 min – BROUGHT TO YOU BY WICKERS FURNITURE!
77 min – Oh you wondrous drink! How we adore you.
86 min – RANDOM ACTS OF VIOLENCE AGAINST AN ENTIRE GAS STATION!
89 min – Sure, why not? Not like anything else about this movie could be taken seriously.

NOTABLE QUOTES
Michael: You know what I feel like?
Eric: A Big Mac?
Michael: The man's psychic!

Michael: [Asking about where she works] McDonalds huh?
Courtney: Yeah.
Debbie: Why don’t you stop by for a Big Mac?

THE PLOT

We got ourselves a special treat today with this E.T. rip-off film, Mac and Me. It’s a movie that grabs you by the neck and forces product placement down your throat until you suffocate, probably by Coca Cola in particular. In fact, the amount of products being whored and pimped out here and are so blatant that I’m actually using this movie to write a college paper on how not to do product placement in a movie. It’s that bad. So, let us begin our journey, brought to you by McDonalds, Coca Cola, and whatever else crap that is funding this movie.

Our film begins on some moon orbiting Saturn where we see an alien family, that look part The Scream painting and part demon, walking drunkenly around while stabbing the ground with straws to suck up some strange liquid from it. Now there’s a way to start off any good movie! A NASA probe lands on their home world all of a sudden and starts collecting samples. The family is accidently sucked by the probe’s vacuum and taken back to Earth. The main question here is how long the trip took since the distance between Saturn and Earth is rather far.

NASA scientists start checking out the probe when it comes back and are shock to discover the alien family. The family escapes the laboratory by blowing crap up with their fingers, but unfortunately, one of the little aliens gets separated from them and runs out onto a highway. There, it gets run over by a car and cause a bunch of car wrecks and even a pileup. Great, our little alien friend killed some people.

We meet the Cruise family next; Janet the mom, Michael the older brother, and Eric the youngest & wheelchair bound brother who is drinking a refreshing Coca Cola. The family is on their way to their new home in California after they moved from Illinois and just so happen to be passing by the accident scene on the highway. When they are waiting for traffic to clear, the little alien hitches a ride with them towards them. I sense hijinks will ensue!

Also, with the first product placement of the movie, let’s start a drinking game. You either take a shot every time Coca Cola appears or if product placement appears (If you chose that, take an additional shot because there was a United Moving box in the back of the van). Either way, you’ll be wasted when it’s all over.

The family arrives at their home, where the United Moving company’s men are currently moving their stuff in. Eric starts unpacking things in this room, including a family portrait and his bag of Skittles, when he notices something weird going on. His TV turned on all by itself (To Snorks of all things) and the shower in the next room is running all by itself. He then follows some strange looking tracks to his backyard, where he meets his next door neighbor, Debbie. She asks him about the little thing that ran out of the house, but he isn’t sure what it was.

The next day, Eric gets up and discovers that the house has been trashed. Tacky lawn ornaments are in the living room, flowers and very small trees are scatters all over, 100 year old paintings have been wrecked, and Craftsman tools have been used to cut holes in the walls and doors. You know, that alien isn’t whimsical like the soundtrack suggests, but more of an asshole. Now get this, mom and the brother then wake up and blame the disaster on Eric. Of course! The kid in the wheelchair obviously did all of this! Then again, I’m not sure how the 2 feet tall alien made of rubber did most of this either.

Eric, feeling a bit sad, wanders off into the backyard to think for a bit. However, there is suddenly a steep hill and he goes careening down it. You would think the mother of a son in a wheelchair would have warned him about the hill before moving here, have that part of the backyard blocked off, or even bother to consider the very dangerous hill does not go together with her son very well before buying the place. Anyways, he goes flying off a cliff and falls into the water below. Luckily, the property destroying alien pops up to rescue him from his watery grave! Still doesn’t make up for causing car wrecks and vandalism.

That all of that craziness and a call from 911, Eric taken back to his house and checked out by a doctor to see if he is alright. He tells the doctor about seeing the strange creature, but he doesn’t listen him. The doctor’s probably more concern about calling Child Services and having them ask the mom why she bought a house that has a death trap from kids in wheelchairs. Debbie visits him and he asks her why she didn’t tell anyone about seeing the creature. You see, she happened to witness him going down the hill and seeing the alien save him. I’m more interested in why she didn’t warn him about that hill before he went down it.

She says no one would believe it even if she told anyone what she saw and they decide to hatch a plan to capture that havoc causing alien. That night when his mom is gone, Eric leaves a trail of cups filled with Coca Cola to lure the creature into a trap. Coca Cola not only taste great, but is perfect bait! As planned, the alien breaks into his house again (that thing is public menace!) and follows the trail to the ambush where the kids trap it inside of a vacuum cleaner. Good thinking too, since vacuums seem to be the alien’s ultimate weakness (Even though he would have no idea that it would work)!

Oh yeah, at this point you should have taken at least 20 shots already if you are counting every great and wonderful product shown here. If you ain’t drunk yet, get ready the film’s second half!

Michael finds out about the alien as well once the kids release it from the vacuum cleaner, who is naturally shocked. The alien has passed out from the whole ordeal but luckily, the kids revive it with old good Cola Coca. I wouldn’t personally since the damn thing has caused at least a thousand dollars worth of damages to the house, an entire neighborhood power failure when capturing it, and frankly, I wouldn’t even know that Coca Cola has healing properties.

The alien runs off when Janet returns home, so she naturally doesn’t believe the boys (Debbie took off as well) when they tell her what happened. The following morning, the alien has officially cleaned up the entire house according to the brothers and left a bunch of flowers in Coca Cola cans all scattered throughout the house. So the thing also patched up the holes in the walls, painted a new painting, and got a new door? He also left behind a message of a cutout ad for Wickes Furniture to try to tell them something. I assume the message is to buy from Wickes Furniture, but I doubt it’s that in movie context.

We then see our trouble maker alien, now nicknamed Mac for Big Mac… err I mean Mysterious Alien Creature (What was I thinking?), stealing a Fisher-Price Power Wheels and causing all the neighborhood dogs to chase him. So now he is guilty of carjacking and dognapping. Anyways, the power company comes to check out the Chase’s home after the power failure, but it’s really just a cover up for the government to check out the area for the alien and they are even certain the alien is here! Okay, how did the government even figure out the alien was in this area and what proof do they have?

Eric recognizes the government agents from the highway (They were searching cars for the alien there) and is naturally worried about them finding the alien. Debbie comes to his house to pick him up for a birthday party he’ll be attending and he tells her about the agents. They then discover Mac is back in the house and realize they just can’t leave him there since the agents are so close, so Eric decides to dress him in a large teddy bear costume (where the hell did he get that?!) and takes him to the birthday party. Then the government agents, Mitford & Wickett, decide to follow the kids and Debbie’s mom to the birthday party then. OF COURSE! It makes perfect sense for them to do that even though they have no idea the alien is or why it would even be with them!

Where is this birthday party you may ask? Why at the happiest place on Earth! A McDonalds! I’m lovin’ it! I feel so cheap saying that even as a joke. So they get there and everything is quite hopping; with people break dancing in the parking lot (WTF?!), Ronald McDonald himself at the party, and a dance contest that includes people in football uniforms (DOUBLE WTF?!). Eric tells Michael, who is there, that Mac is hiding in the teddy bear costume. Speaking of that disguise, the alien has grown an extra feet wearing it.

While everybody is dancing (Again, WTF?!), Mac starts dancing too. I have a gigantic and obvious question that needs an answer badly. Why doesn’t anyone find this odd?! Eric says it’s a toy with electronic computer chips in it, but are people that brain dead to believe that crap?! Luckily, the government agents are not idiots and take notice of the teddy bear dancing, assuming it be the alien. Eric sees them and takes off with Mac in his wheelchair, while the agents take off after him on foot.

After that insane dance number at McDonalds of all places, let’s take another count. You should have taken well over 30 shots by now. How drunk are you now?

As they escape from the agents; who must be extremely good shape for their age if they are able to keep up with the wheelchair; they go backyards, down hills, down busy streets causing car crashes all over, through the Sears where Eric’s mom works, and eventually being picked up by Michael, Debbie, and Courtney (Debbie’s sister). Eric believes Mac is looking for his family, since Mac was looking at picture of Eric’s family sadly earlier, so they decide to go back to highway where it all started. Along the way, they discover Mac also like Skittles. No reason to bring this up other than the fact that you should obviously go out to buy some and taste that damn rainbow.

As they drive along, they see a Wickers Furniture billboard and assume that was what Mac was trying to say with the message he left behind earlier. They check out the area near it and sure enough, that’s where his family is. Unfortunately, the family is dying because of a lack of food, but don’t worry folks! It’s good old Coca Cola to the rescue. Its official, Coca Cola is a gift from God because of its ability to heal people! Give glory to this soda!

With the aliens all healed, they have a touching moment as they reunite with Mac. It is sweet and heartwarming, all thanks to Coca Cola. Anyways, everybody takes them with them on their way back to town, but have to stop at a gas station to fill up. Unfortunately, the aliens get out of the van and go into a local grocery store nearby. In there, they cause a ton of chaos and gather the attention of the police. The kids try to reason with the police that they can’t talk to the aliens since they don’t understand. Eric goes to the aliens to try to talk them and when they turn to face him, the police open fire!! What the hell cops? There’s a wheelchair head in the line of fire!

Well naturally, shooting randomly at the aliens near a gas station ends up causing a gigantic explosion when the bullets hit the pumps. Things go ka-boom and Eric gets caught in the blast. Great job coppers. Well Eric’s dead now and that’s quite a way to end a… oh wait. Mac’s family walks out of the fire (Damn!) and magically heal him. Since when did they have magical healing abilities? Talk about pulling a Deus EX Machina right out of your ass.

So our grand adventure brought to us by Coca Cola and McDonalds comes to an end as Mac and his family go before a U.S. court. Oh good, they stand trial for every crime they (especially Mac) committed and should be in jail for quite a while. Nah, it turns out that they are being sworn in as U.S. citizens and frankly, they shouldn’t. They are literally illegal aliens and should be sent back to where they came. Then film then ends with them driving away in car with a silly pink balloon popping up saying, “We’ll be back!” Oh hell no you won’t be coming back. The dismal profit at the box office made darn sure of that.

What can be said about this movie other than to remember to drink your Coca Cola? Well a lot of things, but most of it has to do product placement. Other than that, this is a basic E.T. knockoff but with a lot more plot holes, bad acting, and horrible looking aliens. Sure the soundtrack is fine and there is occasionally a sweet moment, that’s not what this movie is all about. It’s all about what it can try selling to you and as such, enjoy this list:

Product Placement Count:
Coca Cola: 15
McDonalds: 10
United Moving: 5
Skittles: 4
Wickes Furniture: 3
Power Wheels: 2
Sears: 2
Avia Shoes: 1
Brawny Paper Towels: 1
Snapple: 1
Marlboro: 1
Gatorade: 1

Oh there’s probably more, but let’s just settle with that. Now if you’ll excuse me, I must be off. I’m going to go to get a Whopper from Burger King, eat a bag of M&Ms, and drink a bottle of 7-Up. No more cola for me!

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