Friday, December 31, 2010

Still Easier Than Being Married to Alec Baldwin

Note: On Wednesday morning, I awoke to discover this wonderful fact called 'my blog had disappeared.' Some of you may have noticed clicking on my link would send you to an empty page. Thankfully, this issue has been resolved (I'm still not actually sure how, but we'll call it a Kwanza miracle) and I have a lot of thoughts about it to share later in the week. Before that, let me urge every blogger reading this to back up your work. You never know when something like this can happen, and we all work far too hard to simply lose all our posts. 

And now onto the main attraction!

Winter may be here, but that doesn’t mean the bug(gs) aren’t still watching movies! This month, my pal Zach (he of the one and only Lightning Bugg’s Lair) and I did a conveniently Watch Instant swap. Over at the Lair, Sir T.L. Bugg will be reviewing my pick, the gloriously pun-filled, Passions connected late ‘90s go-kart classic, Rumplestiltskin. Head his way for what I can’t not possibly believe will be a 5 bug review.

In return, Zach pointed me towards some classier holiday fare: 2007’s While She Was Out, a MILF revenge flick starring (and executive produced by) Oscar winner Kim Basinger.
Quick Plot: Della is an upper middle class suburban housewife, miserably married to an abusive (and oddly puffy) Craig Sheffer. Her only happiness seems to come from mothering her perfectly blond twins. On Christmas Eve, Della heads to the mall for wrapping paper (I guess wealthier neighborhoods don’t have Rite Aides?) and has the nerve to write a mildly scolding note to a rude empty car that took up two spaces in the packed parking lot.

Big mistake. After shopping, Della returns to her spot and is ambushed by a punky quartet led by the smarmy Chucky (Lucas Haas, all grown up from The Lady In White). It’s not quite clear whether they’re on drugs or just assholes, but they prove their badassary immediately by executing the rent-a-cop with a double head shot.

A chase follows, ending in the woods of a developing real estate complex. Della is armed only with her truck’s handy toolbox, while the gang pursues with a loaded gun.
That’s pretty much the basics of While She Was Out. The film is sold as a woman-gets-vengeance tale, but it’s really more about the actual pursuit as Della--a timid woman who gets spooked even by the gentlest salespeople--rotates between her survivalist instincts  and human guilt. Save for the film’s final beat, she never takes any pleasure in defending herself against her would-be assassins. She just wants to live to see her kids open their Nintendo Wii.

While She Was Out is dependent on two things: Basinger’s performance and the tension of the chases. While I’ve never been a huge fan of the former Mrs. Baldwin, she is quite wonderful as Della, selling the bored WASP act like the A-list star she sometimes is. While She Was Out was probably conceived as a character piece, something evident in early scenes meant to establish Della’s fragile state. As we watch her timidly ask a friend for a drink date or get scared off a biscotti when the Starbucks barista asks her to choose a flavor, the audience gets a very clear picture of what kind of person our soon-to-be protagonist is.

The other key to While She Was Out is first-time director Susan Montford’s ability to stage a good chase. It’s hit or miss. Though setting the majority of the action in development property provides plenty of neat visual twists, the repetition of watching Della hide behind trees or freeze in flashlight beams does grow tired. At a certain point, savvy viewers can make a pretty clear guess as to where our story ends up. I wish Montford gave us a few different types of teases.
High Points
After clowns, dolls, Carol of the Bells, clown-dolls and caterpillars, next on my list of Random Things That Freak Me Out are kids’ crayon drawings and high-voiced children singing choir music. The fact that While She Was Out’s opening credits featured both set a pretty wonderful (for me) tone for the film. 
Low Points
Though Haas has fun channeling his inner thug, there’s something just lacking in his gang. Maybe it’s their overly obvious “It’s a Small World” multi-ethnicity or general ineptness of their housewife catching, but the villains felt more like they needed detention in High School High than maximum security prison

Lessons Learned
Loyal Pilates practice will prepare you for all sorts of life survival
To keep your husband happy, comb your hair and clean up after your kids. Really woman, do you HAVE a vagina?

When in doubt, duck
Part of why I love these Bugg-sponsored swaps is because I thus far have gotten the chance to watch films I probably never ever never would have otherwise thought to queue. While She Was Out isn’t a new classic, but I enjoyed it far more than I ever would have expected. It’s a brisk and well-made little thriller that gives us an unusual and quite sympathetic heroine, someone we genuinely root for for the right reasons. It’s seasonal AND on Instant Watch, so if you’re looking for a tight and entertaining 86 minutes, I say go for ungrateful little pig.


  1. First off, let me say that I am absolutely thrilled to wake up this morning and find that DDH is alive and kicking in the door to the new year. Secondly, I am so happy that you enjoyed this flick. Though flawed, I found it to be one of Basinger's better performances in recent years, and I really liked how the worst enemy for the thugs was really their own dumb asses.

  2. Believe me Zach, I thought I was dreaming when I was able to click on my link! Mostly because the previous night, I totally dreamt that I could.

    And I completely agree about Basinger in this film. I never thought much of her acting--L.A. Confidential to me was more a victory in writing and directing that she happened to fit perfectly in than a truly great performance--but she went all out here and was came out quite sympathetic.

  3. jervaise brooke hamsterDecember 31, 2010 at 11:45 AM

    Kim Basingers vagina would be of no interest to me (vaginal penetration seems so ludicrously out-moded in this day and age) because i`d much prefer to bugger her (as she was in 1971 when she was 18, not as she is now obviously). By the way, Alec baldwin is a bloody load of old rubbish, the only good thing about him is his rampaging heterosexuality.

  4. Woo-hoo! I also got all fist-pumpy when I saw that the return of that doll's head photo. Welcome back!
    I haven't seen While She Was Out, but I have to say if Lucas Haas started menacing me in a parking lot, first I'd start laughing, then I'd give him his grandpa's 'Gun-of-the-hand' lecture from Witness. However, I would like to see Kim Basinger get chased just on general principle, and as retribution for her awful performance in The Door in the Floor, so I'll be queuing this one up.

  5. And it's back!!
    Congrats, you filthy little pig you!

  6. jervaise brooke hamsterDecember 31, 2010 at 10:27 PM

    emily...i said EMILY...its time to fall about laughing again. go to Google and write "The Cheap Bin J Astro" then when you get to that site scroll down until you see the words "memory lane" in small letters on the right hand side, then go to the "August (43)" posts, then scroll down again until you get to a truly hilarious little black and white image of a smiling geezer giving the finger, then read the incredibly funny article that accompanys that image to see what that silly bastard wrote about me over there, its hilarious and like i said that picture of the geezer giving the finger always makes me fall about laughing, happy reading darlin`

  7. Jervaise: I hesitate to ask, but what's the difference between 'buggering' and vaginally penetrating? And I'm afraid I'll have to save that Google journey for another day when I have an hour to spare. That's an awful lot of work.

    Thanks Shiftless! I would agree about the non-threat of Lucas Haas. He'll always be Amish!

  8. jervaise brooke hamsterJanuary 2, 2011 at 3:48 AM

    Emily, "buggering" is where i shove my knob up a gorgeous sexy young girls bum as opposed to her twat. By the way, i would really like you to make that Google journey (its not a lot of work at all, its very easy) because like i said whats at the end of the line is absolutely hilarious.

  9. jervaise brooke hamsterJanuary 2, 2011 at 4:06 AM

    By the way Emily, in my last com-girl-t there was something that i forgot to girl-tion, I DESPERATELY WANT TO BUGGER "YOU".

  10. I am so relieved Deadly Dolls lives on!!!!!!!!!
    It looks like my voodoo rituals worked....
    Also is it odd I keep having sexual dreams about Alex Baldwin? I am watching too much 30 rock I think.

  11. jervaise brooke hamsterJanuary 2, 2011 at 3:51 PM

    You little darlin`, do you know how much i desperately want to bugger you as well?. From yours truly. that cheeky Heather O`Rourke obsessed lunatic that you love so much.

  12. Yes, yes we know you want to bugger anything that has a vagina. Charming as always JBH.

  13. Thanks for the voodoo Andre! I used to consider Baldwin my guilty pleasure crush, but then he got all accepted and Emmy winning. Now it's cool to have sexual dreams about buggering him. And one can really never watch too much 30 Rock.

    And isn't it odd that JBH is so intent on buggering things with vaginas when there's absolutely no need to have a vagina if being buggered? I think all he really needs is a pumpkin.

  14. jervaise brooke hamsterJanuary 3, 2011 at 2:57 AM

    Andre, baby, darlin`, kitten, you and i were made for each other, after all you`re a gorgeous sexy bird and i`m a big tough geezer. Of course another important reason why we`d be perfect for each other is the fact that we`re both obsessed with Heather O`Rourke, if we got together i bet we`d produce a little girl who looks just like her.

  15. jervaise brooke hamsterJanuary 3, 2011 at 3:22 AM

    Emily, of course its vitally important that any bird i bugger has a twat as well and i`ll tell you why, heterosexual buggery is the ultimate heterosexual act (much more so than simply shaggin` a bird) because when i`m bumming a bird off i`m indulging in an act that is the exact polar opposite of what pansy queer bastards do, there-fore when i`ve got my knob stuck up a gorgeous sexy young girls bum i`m more rampagingly heterosexual and murderously homo-phobic than at any other time. You see, a birds arse-hole is the holy grail of sexual activity, the gateway to sexual heaven (as it were), the pot of gold at the end of the proverbial sexual rainbow (so to speak) much more so than the poor old-fashioned and ludicrously out-moded twat, thats why heterosexual buggery is fast taking over as the number 1 sexual act in the world.