Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Rocking Getaway

My expertise on Jamaican reggae music is akin to Sarah Palin’s understanding of the American history or Chris Klein’s skills with not looking like an idiot. So naturally, I’m the most qualified person ever to discuss 1978 Rockers.
What prompted me to watch a film so far out of my comfort zone? None other than T.L. Bugg, aka Zach, aka the keeper of The Lightning Bug’s Lair. It’s time for our monthly movie swap and since summer is a’comin, we both went with a seasonal hot weather treat. I ordered Zach to queue up the far-better-than-it-looked-and-was-misadvertised-as-being little gem, A Perfect Getaway, a film that featured one of my favorite performances of the year (and yes, Timothy Olyphant gets brownie points for handsomeness but is an absolute joy in that film). Be sure to head Zach’s way for his review.

Now, let’s get dreaded!
Quick Plot: Horsemouth is a chillin’ drummer making money where he can, be that selling records to local shops or playing in a band at a ritzy hotel. His days get a little more motivated after his new motorbike is stolen, prompting an Operation Robin Hood to retrieve it from some greedy gangsters’ warehouse.

I’d love to give more detail on the storyline of Rockers, but that’ Much like Wild Style, Rockers is far more about celebrating Jamaican culture than telling any sort of narrative. Sure, there’s the throughline of Horsemouth’s business, Pee-Wee-like quest to save his rather Pee-Wee-like bike, risque flirtation with a rich man’s pretty daughter and brazen attempt to play Santa Claus to his locals. But this action happens randomly in between musical breaks, all of which mosey along with a playful reggae beat.

Rockers isn’t a film I’d normally think to watch, but its energy is pretty darn likable. Sure, nothing really happens. At all. The main character shamelessly flirts with a pretty young thang while ignoring his (real-life) wife and kids, but the dude CAN drum. 

High Points
A montage that demonstrates how a record is manufactured is weirdly entrancing, much like that brilliant crayon factory sketch on Sesame Street

Low Points
You know, the whole nothing-really-happening-at-all thing does have some negative effects
Lessons Learned
I must find ways to incorporate the phrase ‘Dread Out’ far more often in my daily life

White people can’t and really shouldn’t dance
It is possible to look good in a green lame three-piece suit. It’s possible, but not easy for mere mortals. Not easy at all...
The tensest moment of Rockers involves Horsemouth’s pal, Dirty Harry taking a DJ booth hostage and playing his own tunes. That says a lot about Rockers, a film that’s the epitome of style over substance and that style being reggae, reggae, and more reggae. It’s interesting on those lines as something truly different, and as a breezy Netflix stream, it can certainly entertain you. Don’t expect anything to actually happen, but pop it on for a lazy brains-off day.

As always, thanks to Zach for the recommendation. Rev up your motorbike and putter on over the The Lightning Bug's Lair for his Olyphantful thoughts on A Perfect Getaway!


  1. Emily, I am SO glad someone else is talking about the Perfect Getaway! I know it's not new at this point but you are so right, it was TOTALLY misadvertised! Did you also go into it thinking it was going to be a Hostel-esque torture porn horror movie? Because that's kind of what I got from the previews... instead it was an Oliphantastic adventure! My fiance and I now constantly look at each other and say "he's really hard to kill" just because :)

  2. I actually snuck into A Perfect Getaway with friends after District 9. We didn't really know anything about it, just wandered into the empty theater, then started to get nervous because NO ONE ELSE came in for a while and we were convinced they wouldn't even show the film! Then they did, and I kept turning to my friend and saying "Timothy Olyphant is SO FUCKING GOOD!" It ended, and I felt reallllllly guilty that I didn't pay for it, especially since it turned out only seven other people in the world did.

    The shame is that it was marketed TERRIBLY. Why release this kind of movie during the big blockbuster summer season when it was just going to fizzle under the radar? Drop it in the theaters in January and let it be a little sleeper. Heck, the Hawaiian setting was enough to get some people into the theaters if they released it in winter! I'm excited to hear Zach's thoughts on it as well. His review isn't posted yet, but check back later or tomorrow if you wnat more writeups on it!

    And man, Olyphant has SO much fun in that movie! You can tell he took the role thinking 'okay, the script's okay, but I'm gonna do my own thing with this' and just RAN! And while I hated the actess on Lost (she of the NIkky & Paulo controversy), his girlfriend in this movie is simply adorable here.

  3. A movie called Zyzzyx Road suffered like A Perfect Getaway, It's entire box office grossings amounted to literally only 30 bucks!! Only about six people in the entire WORLD must have seen it theatrically!

  4. If they saved their ticket stubs, they could make something happen on eBay!