July 5, 2017

Cool As Ice

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The early 90s were a strange time for music. Hair metal was on its death bed. (It remains on life support to this day, thanks to a small but rabid group of fans who refuse to let it die a dignified death.) Country music was turning into Rock-Lite, headed up by the likes of Garth Brooks and Shania Twain. And rap music was at a crossroad between becoming regular old pop music (Run DMC, Fresh Prince, MC Hammer) or the angry, defiant voice of the African-American community (Tupac Shakur, Public Enemy, NWA), both groups paying homage to the groundbreaking artists who came before them (Doug E. Fresh, Kool Moe Dee, Sugarhill Gang).

And then there was Vanilla Ice.

Duke Nukem's skinnier, douchier brother?
In 1990, Vanilla Ice made a big splash by illegally using a sample of the Queen song, "Under Pressure", to record his one big hit, "Ice Ice Baby".

In 1991, Cool As Ice was released on an unsuspecting public. That public was completely unimpressed, and it died a quick death, aside from a small, but dedicated, group of people who have never known joy and apparently never want to.

That's what Derek and Larry sat down to watch this week. Jake couldn't make it because family fun was on the menu at the Streeter household. One cannot and should not pass up such opportunities. Especially when the alternative is watching a movie that stars Vanilla Ice.

Ice plays Johnny, a rapper who enjoys riding his motorcycle and hanging out with his group of friends, Jazz (Deezer D), Sir D. (Kevin Hicks), and Princess (Allison Dean).

While out for a ride after a gig at a weird warehouse where Naomi Campbell was his backup singer for some reason, Johnny spots a girl riding a horse. The girl's name is Kathy (Kristin Minter), and she is not particularly impressed with Johnny, especially after he almost gets her killed by jumping a fence with his motorcycle and spooking her horse.

Worst. Meet-Cute. EVER.
After this brief introduction between the two of them, Johnny and his gang head into the whitest town in America, where they are gawked at in horror by the terrified locals. And when Jazz starts having problems with his motorcycle, the group stops in the middle of the street to have a look at it, much to the consternation of doughy people in cars behind them.

When it is determined that the problem is not fixable to them, they go to a weird-looking, inside-out sort of house, and its owners, Roscoe (Sydney Lassick) and Mae (Dody Goodman). This elderly, goofy couple is short a few teaspoons and think that Johnny is there to sell them his motorcycle. After he explains that they need Jazz's motorcycle fixed instead, Roscoe offers to fix it as quickly as he can.

Um, "yo-yo-yo," youthful person! It would be "fleek" if you let me fix your "dope ride"!
What follows is a stupid montage meant to endear us to the house, its owners, and Johnny's gang. Mostly, it just makes the viewer wish it would stop.

And it does stop when Kathy is spotted coming home with her boyfriend, Nick (John Newton). Johnny decides it's time for a more formal introduction.

An uncomfortably close formal introduction.
But really, it's just a front for Johnny to steal Kathy's day planner and assign nicknames to her ("Kat..." said with an unnecessary amount of smugness) and Nick. ("Nick the dick.") Step aside, Dorothy Parker!

Kathy and Nick go inside to join her family (Michael Gross as Gordon, Candy Clark as Grace, and Victor DiMattia as little brother Tommy) in watching an interview that Kathy did with the a television reporter about her college choices. Somewhere--it is never established where--a couple of goons (Jack McGee and S.A. Griffin) also see the interview, and they recognize Gordon. It turns out they believe he owes them a bunch of money because of some excessively complicated plot involving Gordon's old partner (he used to be a cop) and some dirty dealing. So they make plans to go see Gordon about getting their money back.

Back in the middle of nowhere, Johnny and his friends discover that Roscoe was a bit off in his estimate for the repairs. Jazz's bike is now in hundreds of parts, all over the garage floor. Mae insists that he can fix it, but the gang can stay at their house until it is done. He also suggests that the friends go to the Sugar Shack to check out the local club scene, which they do.

It is awful. There is a horrible, untalented band playing. Johnny and his gang decide to liven things up by making some music of their own. It's still awful, but at least it's in key.
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During the performance, Johnny pulls Kathy onto the dance floor and dry-humps her on the ground while Nick watches, slowly fuming.

After the musical number, Kathy and Nick argue in the parking lot, and she walks away, choosing to hoof it home rather than be with that screeching asshat, which really seems like the right choice all around.

On the way home, she is followed by a car containing the two goons, and just as it pulls up beside her, Johnny comes riding to the rescue and pulls her onto his motorcycle, and he takes her safely home, asking her to go out with him in his typical smarmy way. She tells him, basically, to eat a bag of dicks because he still has her planner. So Johnny goes back to the Sugar Shack, where he finds Nick and his drunk buddies beating on Johnny's friends' motorcycles with baseball bats. Inexplicably, he manages to beat them all up, even putting Nick in the hospital.

The next day, Johnny has a plan.

Don't know what this means, but it is probably gross.
That plan, apparently, involves breaking into Kathy's bedroom via the window, and stuffing an ice cube in her mouth. (Metaphor?) Gross. But she seems into it. Just as she's about to drop her gear and let Johnny do unspeakable things to her, Tommy comes in and totally ruins the moment, so she and Johnny take off and go for a ride on his bike.

They end up at a housing development, where they talk, run around in the unfinished houses, and make out on Johnny's bike. After an entire day of this, they go home.

Kathys is confronted by her parents, who tell her to stay away from Johnny because they incorrectly believe he is associated with the two goons who are now harassing their family. Kathy, not the sharpest knife in the drawer, believes this story after some prompting from her father, and decides that she doesn't need Johnny. All she needs is her idiot friends who think she is in the wrong for not putting up with Nick being an asshole.

Tommy, on the other hand, wants to be pals with Johnny and starts stalking him, demanding a ride on his motorcycle. Johnny finally relents, and they cruise around town for a bit, after which Johnny drops Tommy off at home, safe and sound.

Unfortunately,just after Johnny leaves, the goons show up and kidnap Tommy! Will Tommy be saved? Will Kathy Realize that her only true love is Johnny, for some reason? Will Michael Gross please, for the love of god, grow his beard back? Tune in to find out!

Derek hates this movie, and the only reason he chose it was to hurt Larry. He thinks it worked. He also thinks there are very few redeeming things about this movie, short of the end credits signifying that it is, finally, over.

Larry did not like this. He also feels that Johnny may be a disturbed serial criminal, and he may be right. The one spot of joy that he got from this movie involved Derek's reimagining of the ice cube scene, which kept them both laughing until the movie was over.

So shave a dumb-ass design in your head, shave off half an eyebrow, put on some stupid clothes, and listen to this week's show!