Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bateman Begins

(this is a continuation of a blog entry that started here, regarding the seminal 80s classic Teen Wolf. We now continue by viciously mocking its terrible, terrible, terrible sequel)

Sexy, until you realize her coat is made from the pelt of Michael Fox's character from the first film.

This flick tells you how vestigial it is right up front. "Teen Wolf Too." It isn't done out of some attempt to be clever, as far as I can tell. It isn't a pun but in the most loose sense. This is literally one step from "Teen Wolf Oh Yeah This Other Guy Went Through The Exact Same Shit."

This is a film so bad that it makes good, funny people seem uninteresting and bland.  Case in point: the film's star, Jason Bateman.

Shown here mustering up his most bland and uninteresting expression for the occasion.
Teen Wolf Too does Jason Bateman no favors. To judge him based solely on this performance (as so many of us did at the tail end of the 80s), you'd be forgiven for thinking he was just one of a million interchangeable dudes who are technically competent at acting, able to hit marks and deliver lines and wear outfits. You'd have no reason to think he was especially capable of, say, playing the lead in one of the most ingenious, subversive, clever, downright hilarious television comedies ever broadcast and pulling it off with aplomb, self-awareness, crack comic timing and a flawless deadpan, all of which helped him stand out even amidst a murderer's row of talent in the show's ensemble.

Maybe the best sitcom of all time, folks.
It's somewhat of a minor miracle that he was able to ever show us this side of him.  And I largely blame Teen Wolf Too for keeping that hidden for so long. It is just one of hundreds of things to hate about this film.

To say Teen Wolf Too is the perfect definition of "unnecessary" is a slap in the face to American Idol, but it's a shoe that fits. It is the perfect movie to watch if your only goal for the evening is to make the first Teen Wolf film appear well-paced and nuanced.  It is a tired, cynical, wheezing attempt to recapture what people inscrutably liked about the first flick, calculated right down to the bitterness you can feel wafting off of the screen from the producers' ire that they couldn't talk Michael Fox into a cameo.

Every chance they had to remind you of Teen Wolf, they took. The film never had a chance to stand on its own merits, partly because it had none but also because the whole script appears to simply be an all-caps edict to "MAKE 'EM REMEMBER THAT ONE GUY OR SITUATION FROM THE OTHER MOVIE THAT HAS THE GUY WHO IS A WOLF."

For instance, the main dramatic through-line is once again about "Regionals," which I'm pretty sure colleges don't give a shit about, but they'd already set a movie in high school and, y'know, didn't want to repeat themselves.

At the very least they trade basketball for boxing, as we're told in the opening scene by the college's dean, Gomez Addams, that his reputation as an educator somehow depends on how his boxing team does at the regional championships.

Not the short road to accreditation that he thinks.
To that end they've given a full-ride sports scholarship to Jason Bateman due to a clerical error, as Bateman is an egghead with designs on a degree in science, and possesses absolutely none of the genetic skill in athletic competition that previously benefited his cousin, the Lilliputian basketball phenom from Beaconton named Michael Fox.

Perhaps Bateman put "the sweet science" on his registration form and they misinterpreted.
We meet Bateman as he's being driven to college by none other than Michael Fox's dad from the first film, because that makes total sense. They discuss this briefly to cover for how unlikely it is, but manage to muddy the waters ever further by alluding to what will happen when the university inevitably discovers that Bateman is attending the school under quite faulty scholarship pretenses.

"I promised your mom and dad I'd look after you, but that doesn't extend to making a phone call to the college to clear up why you have an athletic scholarship and are likely to have your higher education tied up in bureaucratic red-tape as a result. Have fun!"
They also discuss the possibility that Bateman has the wolf gene or that it has once again skipped a generation, as every billboard they pass reads "FORESHADOWING!" in giant letters, and Bateman is certain that he isn't lycanthropic, and that his parents love him and haven't just abandoned him.

In a twist no one saw coming, these are his parents.

And they aren't at the university for five minutes (indeed, we're only seven minutes into the film) before Bateman runs afoul of this film's version of The Pop-Collared 80s Prick, who tries to pick a fight with Bateman over a parking spot.

Averting a confrontation, Bateman and his uncle carry some boxes of belongings to his dorm, where we're shown that his uncle clearly doesn't give a shit about the kid's welfare whatsoever since Bateman is to be roommates with everyone's favorite sociopathic piece of shit, Stiles! And Uncle Dad knows what a Cancer this prick is, and how his own son barely escaped having his life ruined by his association with this dickhole, but somehow doesn't run across the room and strangle him.  Perhaps he just doesn't recognize Stiles, as a different actor is playing him this time around.

For whom exactly one picture exists on the whole of the Internet.

Chubby is also attending this very college, and is sitting in this very room, and is being introduced to Bateman by that very nickname. The fucking guy isn't just called "Chubby" by his friends, it's how he's introduced to complete strangers. Perhaps the most cruel unspoken undercurrent of this whole series of films, that.

So, fuckwad Stiles has somehow changed all of Bateman's classes, already fucking over Bateman's life just moments after meeting him. Bateman heads to the registrar's office to change them back to what he originally signed up for rather than just leaving his college education to the whims of a sociopath. After standing in line and watching the old battle-axe lady in the office shoot down every schedule-change request, Bateman takes his turn and trots out an old tried-and-true trick to get the job done.

"...and also, a keg of beer, if there's one back there. I'll wait."
Bateman heads to one of the science buildings and meets one of his professors to straighten out his class enrollment, and while he's there he meets-cute with some girl who, unless I missed it, isn't given a name for nearly an hour of the film's run-time.

"Yeah, it's Science Girl. My parents were weird hippies. Good thing I wasn't into the arts, huh?"
Bateman makes a strong first impression on Science Girl by helping her with the microscope she's using by finding the Lubris Protozoa slide she was looking for. He makes a lot of eye contact and really enunciates as he says Lubris Protozoa to her, which is maybe the worst double entendre ever, but it seems to lubris her right up, so maybe I'll just defer to Bateman's panty-dropping prowess here.

"That's right. Slide this slide right into the microscope , where it fits perfectly and feels so good..."
That taken care of, Bateman heads to the gym to meet with the bizarrely Aspergers-esque boxing coach, who happens to look eerily like the late 1980s porn legend John Leslie.

Shown here appreciating a really good jab-uppercut-jab combo.
Coach is a bit unhinged, which we knew from when he already coached high school basketball at Beaconton High, but in this film it was obviously decided that whatever was mildly amusing in small doses would be GODDAMNED HILARIOUS in giant heaps. So the coach is given nothing coherent to say at any point in the film, in the hope of recreating the "never get less than twelve hours of sleep per night" speech from the first film. Indeed, he goes off on a bizarre rambling anecdote about a kid with birth defects, because that's wacky and quirky and not depressing in the slightest!

Oh, and of course Chubby's on the boxing team. There is no fat person in the history of the world who is as active as Chubby is, otherwise they would be string-bean thin in a year's time. You cannot name an occupation or hobby that Chubby isn't depicted doing in these two films. He's a true Renaissance man.

They weren't all "mainstream" hobbies.
That interlude behind us, Bateman runs into Science Girl again, this time in the library as they each reach for a book through both sides of a bookshelf (because that's a natural thing to do; just reach through all the books on your side of the shelf so you can grab at some book whose title you can't even see because its spine is facing the way it should be) and proceed to tug-of-war for it for an awkward and medically impossible few seconds. Seriously, look at the 21:00 mark on the DVD and tell me how human beings can do that given where we can plainly see their elbows. Inspector Gadget would have had difficulty pulling it off.

Bateman has had a bad day, between being forced to box for scholarship money, rescheduling his entire freshman class plan, and being made to cohabit with the ambulatory piece of human feces that is Stiles. And now, on top of all of that, he can't check out the book he wants! College is ruined!

Maybe pick up Elementary Psychological Coping Mechanisms. Audit it, at least.
Worse still, he'll never be able to check it out, since Science Girl doesn't bother to check it out herself, instead just stuffing it in her bag and walking out of the library without a clear understanding of how a lending library works. Moments later she confronts him on the front steps and gives him the (stolen) book as some sort of fucked up olive branch, or perhaps just to make him the fall guy to cover her escape.

They make up and decide to go on a date, and Bateman's flirting here makes my brain hurt when I try to remember that this is the same guy from Arrested Development.

It's no "I like grass because it isn't sand," but what is?
Bateman and Science Girl bond by sitting in a concert hall and making flirty almost-eye-contact as they listen to three violinists and a cellist somehow playing synthesized keyboard music (I couldn't make this up), and I realize with some horror that Science Girl still has no name.  Given his unquestionable mastery with the ladies, what is Bateman going to yell out at the height of ecstasy later tonight or, hell, two songs from now in this very concert hall?

Before you even try, he's heard every "Master Bateman" joke you could think of.
I don't really understand what happens next, but it involves Gomez Addams forcing Bateman and some girl to dance together during some sort of fancy cotillion. I don't have a fucking clue what any of this means, and I'm not about to research the plot intricacies of the Teen Wolf sequel to nail it down. Just suffice to know that Gomez Addams evidently arranges marriages in his spare time, given his utter insistence on getting his way with this weird matchmaking skill he thinks he has.

"Now, Ass To Ass!"
I guess this was the filmmakers' attempt to inject a blonde obstacle a la Pamela Wells, to gum up how easily Bateman is charming his way into Science Girl's pants heart. The difference then was that Michael Fox was actually interested in Pamela Wells, which made for friction with his childhood friend Queef. This time it's literally, "Here, dance with this pretty blonde with an off-putting exaggerated Southern accent! Now look over her shoulder to see Science Girl sadly leaving with a stabbed-through-the-heart look on her face! Oh, and if you can, grow some creepy Hot Topic fingernails as you watch her go! Yes! It's perfect!"

To her credit, Off-Puttingly Southern Blonde slow-dances with him with all the enthusiasm of a woman being made to play Twister with her rapist. Perhaps this is not the first time Gomez Addams has had her dance with a random dude at a cotillion to serve some macabre means only he can understand.

Now Bateman undergoes the full transformation to werewolf, presumably due to the stress of watching Science Girl leaving. All of this seems very familiar to Chubby, who looks on with worried recognition that this, yet again, will mean having his own achievements dulled by a werewolf who can do everything better than he can.

Which, of course, is now "first-chair tuba playing." This man is everywhere.

And finally, nearly half an hour into the second film in the series, we get something approximating an honest reaction to having just watched someone turn into a werewolf in full view of the room, when Off-Puttingly Southern Blonde disgustedly remarks, "You're a dog. I've been dancing with a dog." No quick-acceptance-now-let's-play-a-game-of-basketball for her. She genuinely looks revolted.

It's an expression which serves her well just seconds later, when Bateman hurries out of the room and somehow manages to launch a bowl of slime (punch? Nickelodeon Gak?  I have no idea) into the air and onto her dress and hair.

Well, it beats what Gomez Addams was going to spray on her after the cotillion, at least.
Confused and in dire need of a friend, Bateman makes the tactical error of daring to share any aspect or moment of his life with 519th-trimester abortion Stiles, who rolls right into his self-serving spiel about how much money he'll make off of this, assuring Bateman that "everything will be fine if you just wander around campus as the wolf, because I didn't learn jack shit from when this happened to my buddy in high school, all of which will make sense years later when I take my first glimpse inside the DSM-IV and start reading the symptoms for sociopathic behavior."

Not everyone on campus is as "supportive" as Stiles, though. We see one scene of some irascible punks sliding a petri dish filled with fleas (because every college has those, right?) beneath Bateman during a lecture, which miraculously makes only him itchy and antsy while leaving everyone sitting around him unaffected and watching him judgmentally as he makes a quick scratching exit.

And then, finally, blessedly, Science Girl is referred to as Nicki, merely 33:45 into the film.

Hookers offer their johns their real names more freely than this gal lets us in on it.
As you'll see, this will have no bearing on nor further mention in this write-up.

Science Girl may have her reservations about the wolf, but they are shouted down pretty thoroughly by her desire to have Jason Bateman's tongue in places her dad would not likely approve. Lots of pre-sexual banter follows, none of which is as clever as what my lady and I came up with on the fly while watching them ineptly flirt their way toward the bedroom.

"You're not neutered yet, are you? Come tap this before Bob Barker finds you."
"It's college. I'm allowed a beast-curious phase."
"We're not limited to just doggy-style, are we?"
"Something about Milk Bones and doing it."
So, freshly fucked and ready to concentrate, Bateman remembers the whole boxing-for-scholarship subplot of this alleged comedy, and heads back to the gym to take part in a fight. Of course, Coach is randomly flossing his teeth while he discusses things with Bateman pre-fight, in accordance with the edict that he now always has to be saying or doing weird non sequitur shit.

Bateman's team is going up against a much-better-prepared looking team from another college. Frankly, though, Gomez Addams wouldn't have to worry about regionals if he just put Chubby in for every fight, as we're shown when Chubby hops in the ring and proceeds to confuse collegiate boxing with Thunderdome cage fighting, stopping just short of ripping his opponent's head off and drinking from his neck hole.

The other team's coach boastfully tells our Coach that "That's the last fight you're gonna win..." in an attempt to intimidate him.

Except for the fight against gingivitis, of course.
Then the other team's coach brings The Pop-Collared 80s Prick into the ring, I think. Might not be the same guy who tried to beat Bateman's ass over a parking spot, I don't know. Either way, this guy is the clear villain of the piece, unless you count the screenwriter, director, and every single one of the producers.

I'm not remotely joking when I tell you that this douche enters the ring while wearing a pair of shiny reflective aviator glasses, and I found myself hoping against hope that Teen Wolf Too would abandon the last vestige of logic to which it was desperately clinging, and let this clown engage in a boxing match while wearing his stupid fucking glasses. Alas, I would go wanting.

Just BARELY, though. The shades came off roughly three seconds before the opening bell.
Now the film resumes the proud series tradition of providing us with the worst film depictions of a given sport ever put before a camera. Wildly telegraphed haymaker punches, no sensible footwork or foot planting, barely any attempt at blocking... just like a disciplined boxer does it.

If I may digress for a moment, it really is never explained why merely being a werewolf makes Michael Fox and Jason Bateman better at sports. I'd really like at least a token explanation, even in the form of Boof sauntering out with a cooldown cigarette and her hair all tousled as she purrs about how "he's better at everything, girls. Trust me on this..."

Needless to say, we don't get this. Instead Bateman turns into a wolf and beats up a dude, and everyone is bizarrely accepting of this. At no point does anyone raise the question of whether turning into a wolf and suddenly being good at boxing is some sort of NCAA substance abuse violation. Lance Armstrong can't get a good race time in Super Mario Kart without accusations of performance enhancing drug use, yet this fool can improve as a fighter in a split-second before everyone's eyes and we're all just fine with it. And in this insane world, we still are denied the opportunity to watch a dude box in aviator glasses.

I'll never forgive you, Teen Wolf Too.
Now Bateman is unsure how to proceed, now that everyone is keenly aware of his wolf status. "Luckily" for him, he knows the walking pustule known as Stiles, who assures him, "Have no standards*, Stiles is here!" while coming to his aid with plans for a big party.

(*may have actually said "fear")

At said party we're shown that Bateman evidently had time between his classes, his boxing schedule, and wildly rutting with Science Girl to choreograph a dance number with a team of backup dancers to accompany his embarrassing lip-sync karaoke display he puts on at this college party, all actions that we know lead to popularity and continued invites to future parties.  Seriously, when did they have time to rehearse this Fly Girls dance routine? Since the boxing match earlier that day?

And of course Chubby is the fucking DJ at the party, spinning records like a lucid nightmare that DJ Jazzy Jeff once had, and hoping the party finishes in time for him to get to his other past-times as a tuba player, boxer, basketball player, gynecologist, butcher, baker, candlestick-maker, and rodeo clown.

The Dark Rodeo We All Walk, In The End.
Then a bunch of students randomly destroy a table filled with snacks, and the party descends into rioting, evidently solely because of bad karaoke and a sloppy shot of film run backward to make it look like Bateman leaped from a makeshift trampoline and landed perfectly on a second-story windowsill. That, or they just really hate Chex Mix.

Evidently this counts as a success, for we now see the embodiment of mankind's suffering, Stiles, making a killing by selling all of the unsold merchandise he can finally roll out again, which he's been holding onto since he was in high school and which he brought with him to college just in case he met another werewolf, I guess.

Or so I thought. A closer look at the shirts and stickers and cock rings in Stiles' collection shows that it's all branded with the "Too" that lazily serves as the film title's appendage. This begs the question of what Stiles is going to do when he selfishly wishes to profit from his friends' lycanthropy after they are no longer teens. Surely even this prick knows that no one will be clamoring to buy a "Legal Drinking Age Wolf" tee-shirt.

No time for logic, though, as we're quickly swept into another wacky montage of Being Popular With the Student Body Because You're a Werewolf!  This begins with perhaps the most absurd shot of the series, in which the reason the terrorists hate us, Stiles, seriously plays a game of Frisbee with Jason Bateman exactly as a dog and its owner would, introducing a terrible subtext to their relationship that I cannot bear to think about.

Especially when there's so much laughing to be done at the 48:30 mark on the DVD. DIGNITY!
This rapid-fire montage continues with a quick shot of Bateman, as the wolf, clearly breaking a fellow collegian's spine by punching him out of the ring like Mike Tyson, onto the scorer's table, as everyone cheers the horrific paralysis of one of their fellow man.

We then speed through a litany of opponents getting their asses handed to them in the ring by Bateman.  "Honey, it's my dream role! I'm gonna be the seventh boxer who falls to the mat during the 'Bateman Always Wins' montage! Surely this will open some doors and I'll finally book that local tire-retread service commercial I auditioned for!"

You see how it jump-started the career of the guy playing the referee.

We also see insert shots of The Aviator Glasses Prick looking unenthused, which may or may not be related to anything happening in the film. Pop-Collared 80s Movie Pricks are rarely happy with anything in life. At one point he growls, "Every dog has his day, and his is mine..." as if that's supposed to be menacing rather than indicating a recurring concussion problem.

We're also treated to Bateman driving like a maniac in a sports car provided, for some reason, by Gomez Addams. This joyride, with Chubby riding shotgun and alternating between looking thrilled and alarmed, includes an attempted Vehicular Manslaughter perpetrated on Patrick Duffy, who Bateman cheerfully runs down from behind while Duffy rides a bicycle around campus. I'm not sure how this scene was designed to make us laugh or think that Bateman is cool, because he just flat-out runs a cyclist off the road and nearly kills him.

In my notes I have written that my lady, at some point in this montage, spat, "What's wrong with his makeup? He looks like a retarded werewolf." I don't recall which moment this refers to in the montage, though that's probably due to it blending in so thoroughly with the tapestry of retardation that went into every aspect of this film.  Although I imagine I'd look pretty deranged with joy if I'd just almost run over Patrick Duffy.

Try surprising America by coming out of the shower after that one.

Immediately after this, Bateman ejects Chubby from the car to make room for some sluts who are eager to get railed by a dog and have gone into heat themselves to help facilitate that happening. Hos before bros? Not cool, Bateman, not cool.

Although I know at least one dogg who'd condone it.
Back in class for frog dissection, Science Girl tells Bateman off for his cavalier and careless womanizing ways, all while dipping her hair in the formaldehyde dish in front of her. At this point we're asked to believe that someone attending college actually yells, "FROG FIGHT!" and everyone responds by standing up and throwing their frogs around the lab instead of looking at this person sideways and silently hoping he flunks out sooner than later.

Hardly the strangest thing to occur in Bateman's life.
Bateman escapes the frog fight and tracks down Science Girl on the steps outside the building, likely tracking her by the scent of fresh formaldehyde in her hair, and they continue to argue. At one point Science Girl says, senselessly, "I never thought I'd say this, but I miss the old Todd."

To which my lady cried out, "Why did you never think you'd say that? You're head-over-heels for 'the old Todd' and you don't like the wolf!"

Perhaps dazed by this airtight statement, Bateman apologizes and they make up, heading straight to the local miniature golf course so that at least half of their planned evening is wholesome and able to be described in mixed company.

"Yeah, 'wheelbarrow-style.' Twice."
Invariably the Aviator Glasses Prick is playing mini-golf at the same time, and he and his entourage storm up to talk shit to Bateman.  Aviator Glasses Prick is just about to throw a punch when one of his buddies grabs him and yells, "NOT HERE, GUS! We can't have you shit talk at Putt-Putt! Is nothing sacred? Save it for a roller rink, at least!"

Aviator Glasses Prick, who we now know is named Gus, proceeds to hold up a golf ball before Bateman and crush it to rubble in his fist, which we know is physically impossible and thus forces us to ask if this clown just carries Styrofoam balls around with him everywhere. What if he wants to intimidate someone but there's no mini-golf course nearby? Does he have to carry Styrofoam likenesses of dozens of items to cover for every contingency? I guess that explains his need for a large entourage.

Back at the dorm, Bateman once again makes the critical error of engaging in conversation, rather than repeated abdominal stomping, with Stiles.

I told you photos of him were in short supply.
Stiles, who somehow got into college in the first place despite his pride in every D minus he received in high school, is now qualified to give life advice. First off, the scene begins with someone referring to him as "Mr. Stilinsky," which is exactly the lazy naming convention you'd expect, while also raising the chilling question of whether the film's shepherds have also determined that a "Mr. Chubbinski" rooms in this dorm.

Secondly, Bateman asks what he's become, and Stiles, with great meaning and import, says, "A jerk."

The day that fucking Stiles tells you you're a jerk is the day you should probably just walk into the ocean. The movie should have ended right then, with one final scene of Bateman heading to the bathtub with a straight razor.

Instead Bateman recognizes that his family has truly left him for dead, and so he calls the one member of his extended family who returned for the sequel. Because the filmmakers had very few sets and probably a very short shooting schedule, Bateman and Uncle Dad meet in the gym where we've seen every boxing scene in the film.  Glad you drove all the way here, Uncle Dad, so we could meet in the gym at my university instead of just talking on the phone, but hey, it gives you a bit of screen time, so whatever!

For what it's worth, Uncle Dad believes in Bateman and wants him to compete in the regional boxing championships as a human being.

"I watched my five-foot-four son win a regional basketball tournament a couple years ago, so anything's possible. The less we say about how badly they got slaughtered in the state tournament afterward, the better."
Uncle Dad brags about how he used to box back in the Spanish-American War or some such, and then proceeds to teach Jason Bateman the fundamentals of boxing in a single evening that still proved so unremarkable that it didn't even get a montage in the film.

Now re-dedicated to boxing, classwork and his love life, Bateman confronts Science Girl and tells her he loves her, despite that I'm pretty sure they met roughly a week ago.  Newly together, they retire to the quiet privacy of a dorm room for a night of feverish cramming.

"We should also study for finals, if there's time after."
During the "cramming for finals" montage we are treated to Bateman wearing perhaps the single worst sweater of the 1980s. I combed the Internet for it. I'm genuinely sorry I can't show it to you, because the alternative is recommending you rent Teen Wolf Too, and there are limits to my misanthropy.  You'll have to get by on our knee-jerk comments as we watched him study in this eyesore:

Me: "What is that fucking sweater?  Is this Spider-Man cosplay?"
My lady: "Spider-Man Cosby-play, maybe."

And then we arrive at
The Single Creepiest Scene in The Film, at the 1:14 mark on the DVD, as Bateman is in the locker room preparing for his regional boxing championships. At once he is accosted by Gomez Addams, who sneaks up behind Bateman with a deranged "time to get my murderin' on!" look on his face and grabs Bateman by the hair on the back of his head to better intimidate him, then yells into Bateman's face for nearly a minute about how he'd better wolf out and win this championship or else, spitting wildly on Bateman the whole time.

So, in summary, Gomez the Rapist storms in while in a crazed rage, holds a student by the hair and sprays body fluid on him while growling about how "I still run this school!"

Late 1980s porn legend John Leslie approves, as long as it's consensual.
So, shaken up by almost certain sexual assault, Bateman heads into the ring to box as a human being rather than a wolf, and we're given yet another showcase of a sport being depicted in a manner that is wholly convincing, if you aim to be convinced that the filmmakers have never heard of nor seen the sport they're depicting.  I've seen characters in the Rocky movies blocking punches more often than the participants in this supposed regional boxing championship.  The fight choreography in The Bridges of Madison County was tighter.

So, Gomez Addams watches as Bateman enters the ring as a human being, and yells to Bateman that his college education is done for. On his way out, though, Gomez Addams is stopped by the nice lesbian professor who had told Bateman that she saw something special in him, earlier in the film. She is in protective mode, telling Gomez Addams to lay off of Bateman and let him earn his education, or else. Then she gives him some tail, which is far less erotic than it sounds.

Unless you're a furry enthusiast, that is.
Never mind that none of the other werewolves we've seen so far have tails. This film has not the time for logic! Nay!

The fights continue, and I don't know what happened to Chubby, but he is quite simply not the roaring gladiator we saw in the ring earlier in the film. With a big assist from the film's foley artist I can tell you that Chubby's match at regionals consists of him taking NINETEEN uncontested punches before bothering to throw his first punch, which is then immediately rewarded by his being punched twelve more times. Then he starts swinging the sort of wild haymakers we've come to expect from this film, landing maybe five of the seven he throws, ending the fight in his favor. Chubby is the greatest and worst boxer who ever lived.

Other fighting happens, but it's all a blur as we speed to the big final match between Jason Bateman and none other than Gus the Aviator Glasses Prick.  Now, I know this movie was a bit slapdash, but I'm not shitting you when I say that the actor playing the ring announcer introduces Steve "Gus" Gustavson using at least twice as many syllables as you just did in reading it.  No one on the set bothered to teach him how to pronounce it, nor correct him once he got it wrong every time they rolled a camera?

And, as you might expect, a guy who has actually earned a legitimate boxing scholarship is faring far better than the dude whose only advantages are based on lycanthropic performance enhancements he's no longer relying on, and who just got taught how to box last night by his uncle.

Gustoffississon is just whaling on Bateman, but it's hard not to think of him as the hero of the film for one bright shining moment, what I like to call
The Absolute Highlight Of Either Of The Teen Wolf Films.

Bateman has just been backed into the corner, and Gustavvissiffissivon is moving in for the kill. For some goddamned reason, Stiles pops up at ringside to offer moral support to Bateman, and then Gustaffissivission gets to live the dream of every human being who has had to watch this prick exist in an unpunished state for the past two films, at exactly the 1:22:35 mark of the film, when he punches Stiles in the face and sends him flying out of frame.  Maybe the most satisfying single second of film I've witnessed.

Such euphoria.
It seems that Gustaffissississon's best move, though, is to point at his chin as looped dialogue yells "COME ON!" and "HIT ME!" more clearly than anyone could ever enunciate around a mouthpiece. This happens endlessly throughout the match. Maybe he's trying to bait Bateman into going on the offensive so that Gustaffiffississon can claim self-defense.

Watching his friend get pummeled, Chubby picks up a pebble and throws it at the bell, prematurely ending the round. Everyone seems fine with this Looney Tunes approach to problem solving, and no one at the scorer's table nor in the crowd seems to care that the previous round lasted roughly half as long as it was supposed to.

The crowd has bigger fish to fry, though. Bateman looks ready to collapse, and his corner men are Chubby and Stiles, who couldn't even benefit from a quick day's training from their uncles in how to be boxing corner men beforehand. So things are dire.  What does the crowd do?  Unbelievably, they're rallying by chanting "TEEN WOLF TOO! TEEN WOLF TOO!" again and again. I was in disbelief, certain I was hearing it wrong, but the subtitles confirmed it.

This room full of people are cheering on a guy who's making a point, and a very risky stand, in persisting in boxing as a regular guy rather than a wolf... by yelling the name of the goddamned movie at him.

The next round begins, with the estimated punch tally decidedly in Gustavifivifivison's favor by a roughly 4723 to 5 margin. Seconds after the round begins, Todd is on the mat and the ref is counting.

We then get one more reaction shot of Gomez Addams, way too happy to watch a kid get beaten nearly to death.

"He's so sweaty... glistening... hit him again!...nngh..."
We then sweep through quick shots of Chubby, Freshly Punched Stiles, Uncle Dad, Science Girl, and Lesbian Professor, each shown looking on with worry in their eyes. Science Girl makes eye contact with her possibly brain-damaged boyfriend and mouths "I love you," giving Bateman the strength to get to his feet as the ref's count reaches nine. Re-energized by the power of love, Bateman releases a heretofore unseen flurry of competence, knocking Gustaffivifivifivifivifississoffivvosson out and winning the match.

And the film's not yet run out of ways to carbon-copy its predecessor, as Bateman makes his way out of the ring and absently pushes aside the Off-Puttingly Southern Girl everyone forgot about an hour ago, to get to Science Girl.  Because that was such an indelible moment when Michael Fox pushed Pamela aside to go hug Boof, it was worth recreating shot-for-shot, y'know?

And it's all a happy ending, unless we count that the college is still run by a corrupt rapist, that Stiles is still allowed to attend the school and reside within 500 yards of an elementary school, that Bateman's parents are off somewhere living their lives completely unaware and uncaring of the accomplishments of his life, or that this film exists in the first place. We can all pretend that things were better back in the day, but we all have to live with the shame of having allowed Teen Wolf Too and its aggressive mediocrity to be wrought on society. Our childrens' childrens' children will look back on us as such simple creatures, and they'll do so with no small amount of pity.

There's more creativity on display on those fake book spines than in the entire film advertised.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Hairy Teen Fantasy Action, Featuring Chubby, A Blonde, and Some Prick

(An aside, before we begin in earnest: my last entry to this blog, which had a Google-search-friendly title and thumbnail image, has to date pulled in THREE TIMES as many page views as any other entry, including the one all of my friends went to when I linked to it in my "hey, I've got a blog, here's an entry" announcement. So, from here on in, it's all racy opening images, and at least as many Google keywords as I can cynically fit in the title. Be warned)

Look What I Did To My Netflix Queue For You: Teen Wolf and Teen Wolf Too

Let's try something new in this space. I've put together a list of truly horrible movies that I intend to watch (who am I kidding? RE-watch) and break down for you, in the hope that we can all learn a bit about ourselves and each other. And since many of us have inexplicably fond memories of it, I decided to start with one we mostly all know or are at least aware of, in this inaugural double feature of 1985's Teen Wolf and its essential 1987 sequel, Teen Wolf Too.

(insert sound of wolf whistle to maintain a tenuous connection to the topic)
First off, let's head off that nostalgia at the pass.  Teen Wolf is not a good film. You may have a soft spot for it. I know I did. It's pretty terrible, and easily in the pantheon of Worst Film Depictions of Any Sport Being Played Ever Ever Ever. No one acts like a real person might in the film's circumstances, and there are more characters you'd want to punch in the mouth than there are ones you think you'd want to carry on a conversation with.

One of the latter is Michael Fox's character, Alex P. Keaton.

He was just told Teen Wolf wasn't just a lark put together by friends, but something intended to play in theaters.
Fox is inscrutably cast as one of the starting five on his high school basketball team, the Beacontown Beavers, which in the film's opening moments are seen losing a game by a score of 51-11; moments later we're shown the scoreboard as the game ends, with the lambasting extending to a 71-12 finale. None of these numbers should interest you as much as the idea of Michael Fox, all five-foot-four of him, playing on a basketball team. As a first-stringer.

Which, in a real game, would look something like this.

His teammates are almost entirely inconsequential; the only two given anything to say or do in the script are Doug Savant From Melrose Place, and Chubby.  There's very little to say about Doug Savant From Melrose Place, as he's only there to give Chubby someone other than Michael Fox to talk to on the team. But that just gives us more time to consider Chubby, a man with no actual name mentioned anywhere in the entirety of Teen Wolf or its sequel, who is courting obesity despite being among the starting five for his basketball team, who answers to "Chubby" as a nickname and is occasionally seen eating while on the court DURING games. I'm more and more convinced that this film is just the prequel to his eventual shooting rampage or suicide.

"Can you believe this, Doug Savant From Melrose Place? Yeah, me either..." (gravy)
And I cannot move on without telling you that there won't be many images of Chubby in this blog, simply owing to the sexy sexy frustration that comes with entering the keywords "teen" and "chubby" (and, to a much lesser extent, "wolf") into Google. I was shown a great many things, but not much from the film Teen Wolf.

One of the very, very few images I can include here.
We are quickly told two things about Michael Fox's character; that he is pining for a bitchy blond ice queen named Pamela Wells, and that one of his closest friends from childhood is a girl who, like Chubby, also suffers from Beaconton's horrible nicknaming conventions (such as calling their basketball team the Beavers). I'm speaking, of course, about Boof.  I checked the subtitles, hoping that it was at least "Beauf" or something that might not instantly make me think "Queef" whenever her name is spoken. Alas, no.

Later she would meet Laverne and work at a Milwaukee brewery under an assumed name.
The Teen Wolf universe is filled with people who don't go by any logical name, but for the most part the characters are likeable enough that you don't hold it against them.

Notice I did say "for the most part."

Does anyone have a glass of urine I can throw? No reason.
For Michael Fox has two other friends of note, and one of them is the reprehensible douchebag known only as Stiles.  I hate Stiles. I've always hated Stiles. Even when I saw this film in the 80s I thought he was a complete idiot. Now that I'm older I'm just sickened by him and his stupid shirts and his free-range
sociopathy. He's a sixty-year-old man's idea of what a "hip" high school kid is like, then embodied by a nearly thirty-year-old man in a way that would get anyone else arrested for trying to emulate his character.

The other friend is Lewis, who is so inconsequential that he disappears for the whole middle hour of the film. Stiles mentions that Lewis doesn't like Michael Fox as the wolf, which makes his inclusion in a movie called Teen Wolf awfully perplexing.  So he doesn't hang around after a cursory introduction. I'm assuming the actor had some other obligation he didn't tell the Teen Wolf director about until it was too late to recast him. That, or he walked off the set after realizing he was going to be depicted in a major motion picture as someone willingly spending time around Stiles.

Seriously, fuck off.
So, Michael Fox wants to quit the basketball team and maybe consider being a jockey. His coach dissuades him from this, and I can only assume the actor playing the coach decided that he was going to use the acting-class trick of always having some business to do with your hands during a scene. Throughout the two Teen Wolf films he will be seen eating, shaving, flossing, practicing billiards shots, masturbating to the farm report, slicing, dicing, and making thousands of Julienne potatoes, all while carrying on conversations with Michael Fox.

He's dicking around with a waffle iron and a tennis racket just out of frame, I assure you.
Dejected but still on the team, Fox leaves school, but not before somehow discovering a chest hair right in front of his sternum that is at least a foot long. Already you can hear the audible creak of credibility straining, as we're asked to accept that a teenaged male accustomed to studying his body in detail, hourly, could go that long without noticing that his torso was sprouting a ponytail.

Fox heads to his dad's store, where we're shown a scene that will only seem odd in retrospect. By the end of the film we'll know that Fox is a werewolf and comes from a line of such. And we see him reacting in pain to a whistle that no one else can hear, eventually tracking it down to a kid blowing on a dog whistle.

But why isn't his dad, the fellow werewolf, bothered by the sound?

And why did they go with that take of the scene, where the child actor can barely say his one line ("It's broken") without smiling?

So many questions.

So Fox tells his dad that he might quit basketball, and when prodded for what he'd do instead, he suggests acting on stage with the school theater department. This is a ploy to get close to Pamela Wells, who is playing a Southern belle and just generally looking hot.

Yeah, Queef's got no chance of getting his attention.
Despite that the play is clearly already in rehearsals, we're shown that Fox has somehow joined the cast in time to walk onstage in an ill-fitting suit and recite some wooden dialogue, though it's doing nothing to get him closer to Pamela. In fact, it's at this rehearsal that we're introduced to Mick, the perma-frowning embodiment of The Stock 80s Movie Pop-Collared Spiky Haired Prick, who can't seem to appear in the film without the phrase "steroid Bill Hader" leaping into my mind.

Which is another phrase Google has no idea what to do with.
Mick shows up to pick up Pamela, who is of course his girlfriend, and they leave together as Mick decides to do a big exaggerated villain laugh back to Fox, for no reason whatsoever.  He's literally laughing at nothing. He didn't talk much trash beforehand, he just says "Come on, let's go," puts his arm around Pamela, then starts cackling at Fox like they were sharing some inside joke we should have probably been let in on.

"Evidently he doesn't know I intend to fuck you later in the film."
Then it's off to the liquor store, where motherfucking Stiles has decided to just march his fire-engine red pants and stupid trucker hat into the store and try to buy "a keg of beer." At no point does anyone care what brand they get; I guess they'd just be so surprised by one of Stiles' dumbfuck plans succeeding that they'd be happy to drink whatever results from it.

One keg of O'Doul's, my good man!

We're talking about an asshole who is seen at various times in the film driving while standing up in his car, celebrating a D minus on a returned homework assignment, encouraging friends to hold up a liquor store ("but leave the money for it, so he can't say you robbed him!"), and making them drive without drivers' licenses. He is a fucking weasel, and the liquor store clerk can tell as much at a glance.

Michael Fox goes into the store and successfully navigates the purchase via his emerging wolf traits.

"Give me... a keg... of beer... and maybe... some Visine..."
And then it's time to head to a huge party with the newly acquired keg. No sooner does this journey begin than Stiles climbs out the window to stand atop the van while Fox drives. As evidence that there is no loving god who wants good things for us, Stiles is never once thrown from the roof of the van and into the path of an oncoming bus, even as Fox slams on the brakes upon discovering he now has Spock ears.

We arrive at the party, which is just about the last time we hear from Lewis for the rest of the film, and again we are presented with a scene that makes no sense in retrospect. We've already established that Stiles is a reprobate in need of nothing so much as chemical castration, but we've also just watched him arrive at a party several hours after it got underway, judging from the size of the crowd and the appearance of the house.

So why in fuck's sake are we then "treated" to his acting like the emcee presiding over a bunch of party games like whipped-cream-covered hogtied wrestling, and Jell-O body shots, and Two Minutes in Heaven, as if it's his own fucking party? Whose house is this, and why haven't they broken a lamp over this attention-whore's skull?

So, Queef draws some other dude's name from a hat but says Michael Fox's name when asked, giving her a chance to seduce him with her feminine wiles while they're locked in a closet together for two minutes. At this point Fox is fidgety and unable to understand the changes happening to his body, which is only exacerbated by his sudden make-out session with Queef in the closet, just in case we weren't all taxied in that this was an allegory for puberty and adolescence.

It had no chance of being more than 16 Seconds in Heaven, is what I'm getting at.
Fox escapes the party and rushes home, where his first true werewolf transformation occurs. After a brief impersonation of either Eric Roberts or John Merrick...

...he blooms in full, into what appears to me to be a slightly shaved Chewbacca.

"Christ, now I have acne AND parvo to worry about?"
Now, I have a lot of problems with this film. For instance, the next day at school we're shown a brief glimpse inside Stiles' locker, which appears to be filled with ironic "funny" items that the director thought would make Stiles seem more quirky and eccentric and less like an almost certain future date rapist.  So of course he has "wacky" googly-eyed glasses hanging in his locker, and of course he's sitting in class wearing a shirt that reads "WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT DICKNOSE" without any fear of reprimand from the school administration.

But when Fox comes to Stiles and turns into the wolf in front of him, we begin to depart from any semblance of reality even in a film about werewolves. Stiles seems concerned for about five seconds, then instantly begins scheming for how he'll directly benefit from this new development, like the fucking parasite he is.

You fucking fuck.
And when Fox "wolfs out" during his next basketball game, there is a similar bizarrely short window before everyone in the gym, including both teams, the coaches, the referees and the sparse crowd of spectators all just accepts this as something that happens sometimes. Yeah, there's a fucking wolfman standing down there dribbling the ball, where once it was just the kid from Back to the Future.  No disbelief, no screaming, no mass exodus from the gym as panic sets in and everyone wonders if they're ALL about to undergo some hideous transformation.  Everyone just shrugs and gets on with a game that was so unimportant two minutes ago that almost no one was watching and the Beavers' coach was more concerned with getting salt for the hard-boiled egg he was giving his full attention to on the bench.

Indeed, even as shit like this starts to happen...

Michael Fox. Five-foot-four. 
...everyone just takes it in stride. No quick phone calls leading to a screech of tires as a black van pulls up and men in suits hustle Michael Fox away to be dissected. Just a high school basketball game.

In fact, the next day in school we're shown the front page of the school newspaper, which features a picture of Fox as the wolf next to the headline "CAN HE DO IT TWO IN A ROW?" instead of the far more realistic "STUDENT DISAPPEARS AFTER VISIT FROM GOVERNMENT AGENTS, PRESUMED DEAD; BEST FRIEND COPING BY WEARING IDIOTIC PANTS."

No, instead the newly lupine Fox is the hottest thing at school. After a terse confrontation with the ridiculously suspicious school principal, Fox then promptly breaks into fucking pop-locking in the school halls with the only black guy we've seen in the movie thus far.  I'm not making this up nor exaggerating. The filmmakers even went to the trouble of dressing the black guy like the only black people they'd ever seen before, which explains why he looks like he's on his way to hang out with Fat Albert.

"But he looks WAY too ridiculous to hang with us!"
We're then treated to a quick-cut montage of the team doing well and of Fox's popularity skyrocketing; the scoreboard shows the Beavers winning a game by a 32-5 margin, then we see Fox signing autographs for a gaggle of kids whose parents are negligent at best, unless the "kids all get rabies booster shots" scene was cut from the film for time.

We see fucking Stiles selling merchandise in the halls, again with no fear of reprimand as he profits from his friend while conspicuously never discussing profit-sharing.

"Why should I? I'm the one who spent the forty seconds designing them!"
And we see the first cracks between Fox and his alienated basketball team, or at least between Fox and Chubby/Doug Savant from Melrose Place.

That is quietly swept aside for now, though, as it's time to reveal some of the horrors residing in the mind of Pamela Wells!  See, she's dating Mick, but she wants some strange, to put it mildly. Either she's really into bestiality in general, or she was just consumed by the question, "What would it be like to fuck a dog and not get socially judged too harshly for it?"  So she invites Fox to her dressing room after a theatre rehearsal and quickly, easily seduces him in order to say she fucked a werewolf.

He's standing full-height here. My point is that he shouldn't have been on the basketball team in the first place.
This she then does; sadly, we're shown none of this, and are made to suffice with an exterior shot of a random building while Fox howls like a wolf. If that sound normally accompanies his ejaculations now that he's a wolf, I'm sure that'll make for an easy adolescence.

By now the wolf is out in public more than Michael Fox is in his regular human form, much to the growing dismay of Queef but almost no one else.
"Hey, that's the third forceful stream you've gotten in my hair today alone!"

The next scene has Fox and Pamela on what we can all agree is a date at a bowling alley, despite her later assertion that Mick is still her boyfriend and she just wanted to bone the wolf, and Fox follows The Bro Code to the letter in "helping a lady with her bowling form" as an excuse to stand with your junk pushed into her butt cheek while you spoon in a standing position. This doesn't sit well with Mick, who just happens to be bowling there and exhibiting his usual level of joy at life.

Later he'll sit grimly over a pizza and then watch disgustedly as he receives a blowjob.
Mick is driven understandably jealous by the display, and storms over to confront Michael Fox, who loses his cool and throws a bowling ball, not down the lane but into the room at large. It's clear that this was included to show the sheer unyielding popularity of the wolf, as the town just tacitly excuses these occasional murders that tend to result from throwing a bowling ball into a crowded place of business.

Also, fucking Stiles unveils The Wolfmobile, which is just a van with a decal on the side, assumedly the same van that will host a number of chloroform-aided rapes in the undepicted years of Stiles' life following the film.

Stiles prepares to drive his friend around town.
Fox rides on top of the van now, and the director is so proud of the footage they got of Fox's stunt double doing a backflip that they proceed to show it five times in a row, as if he spent several miles just backflipping over and over.

And now it's time for the school dance, which Fox has agreed to go to with Queef despite her misgivings about his having to appear publicly as the wolf at all times. We're now given a montage of Fox getting dolled up either for the dance or to play backup bass for Steely Dan, followed by a shot of Stiles arriving at the dance as The Suburban White Guy Who Took The Wrong Idea From the First Picture of a Pimp That He Saw.

For her part, Queef looks nice in a strapless white gown she's no doubt hoping to turn Fox's head with, which manages to forgo her ninth pastel granny sweater of the film. No help from Google Image Search on this one. Sorry.

Fox arrives and everyone suddenly breaks into Beaconton's newest dance craze, The Wolf, which consists solely of doing jazz hands every three seconds. As this goes on, Mick the Obvious Sociopath decides to stalk over and punch Fox in the face, completely unprovoked. That is, assuming there isn't a deleted scene showing Pamela describing Fox's doggy-style technique to Mick moments before. Fox leaps up and slashes at Mick's suit, which appears to open it by neatly undoing its buttons without causing any damage to what was probably a rental by the film producers.

He said "doggy-style"! And the guy's a WEREWOLF!

Lewis pops up in the film for a few more precious seconds to display his lone character trait of "disapproval of the wolf," and the principal drags Fox into the hallway while all but twirling a mustache as he evidently plans to expel Fox from school for being punched in the face by some dick who doesn't even go to that school.

Fox's dad saves the day by randomly appearing to scare the shit out of the principal, and they call back to an earlier anecdote about Fox's dad making the guy piss his pants in fear, though I find the scene much more satisfying when I pretend the principal and Fox's dad are both looking down at the principal's out-of-frame erection instead of a puddle of piss.

So now Fox is depressed. He wants to please everyone but is turning everyone against him. His "good friend" Stiles gives not a shit, clearly more interested in protecting his investment in all the goddamned merchandise he's inscrutably allowed to sell in the halls at school. And the basketball coach delivers one of the few genuinely funny moments of the film with his oft-quoted “Always get at least twelve hours of sleep, never play cards with a guy who’s first name is a city, and never go near a lady with a tattoo of a dagger on her body” speech.

Delivered while simultaneously winding his watch and fly-fishing.
Fox decides to play the regional championship basketball game as himself rather than as the wolf, drawing ridicule from everyone with any intelligence whatsoever, as all are keenly aware that the wolf is the only reason the Beavers didn't lose every game of the season by sixty to seventy points.

And it's only natural that the Beavers will face the Dragons in the regional championship, the very team who beat the Beavers senseless in the first game of the season, and who feature Mick as a key contributor.

"If we win Regionals, I'll consider expressing happiness, but don't hold your breath."
The team, coach and fans are left to assume that Michael Fox has just walked away from the team all together, since we see him arrive at the gym with his team already trailing 22-3 in the first quarter. Thanks, buddy! Go Team!

Fox gathers the team to explain that he won't be playing as the wolf, and that they can still win this. Never mind that they've already let the Dragons run up a 19-point lead in less than a quarter of play, and that their starting five includes a possible Lilliputian and some fat guy eating a Hot Pocket while he shoots free throws.

More bizarre than his speech is the fact that Fox delivers his "No, seriously, we can win this" speech while sweaty and out of breath, evidently from the sheer physical strain of entering and walking across a gym. Fuck, Chubby isn't as disheveled. Our hopes hang on this guy, so obviously out of shape that he's panting and gasping for air after standing near the court?

Thus begins a game montage, at the 1:20 mark on the DVD, that is an embarrassment on par with the worst sports montages available in the film media. Maybe if you've never watched a game of basketball in your life, it's okay, but for anyone with the most remote working knowledge of the game, it's a mess. And, frankly, it speaks to the strength of this region that these two teams are meeting for the championship.

We have Chubby taking point and holding the ball out near the 3-point line instead of jostling for rebounds beneath the basket. We have Michael Fox playing at least three positions, rotating between point guard, shooting guard and small forward on a play-by-play basis. We have Chubby holding the ball for what seems like an entire shot-clock's time with no whistle. We have a string of hilariously vicious fouls by Mick that would have gotten any player at the pro, college or high school levels immediately ejected from the game, some of which go completely uncalled by the referees. We're talking running clotheslines and leg sweeps. I wouldn't be surprised to see him pull an uzi to stop a layup.

"Did he have to key my car, too?"
Yet the Beavers are whittling away at the deficit. We're shown scoreboard glimpses at 32-10, 35-12, and 36-15, but then suddenly it's 44-35 the next time we see it. Other than telling every Dragons defender that his mother was banging Delonte West, I don't know how such a collapse was made possible given the skills we've had on display by the Beavers.

One such x-factor is The Shot Blocking Ginger. This unsung hero of the game, who might be Joey Slotnick, is shown in several clips out-hustling the Dragons and coming away with steals and blocks and outlet passes on a regular basis. In fact, the director is again so proud of the footage he shot that he shows us The Shot Blocking Ginger blocking the same shot three or four times over the course of the comeback. Just exactly the same, down to the impossibly bad shooting stance of the Dragons player who was told to hold the ball so far behind his head that his release would have had no chance of ever reaching the basket had The Shot Blocking Ginger not been there to swat the ball loose.

Spoiler Alert: he isn't actually Joey Slotnick.
In quick montage, then:

Chubby with a skyhook! Hooray, fundamentals!

"It's like looking in a mirror!" ~Shawn Kemp
Mick's fourth criminally flagrant foul of the game! Huzzah, subtlety!

Uh, can we maybe go to a gym where Mick doesn't play racquetball?
And the single funniest shot of the entire film, which happens at exactly the 1:24:40 mark on the DVD: Fox scores, then inexplicably leaps into his teammates arms in a "hold me like a baby" manner to celebrate instead of getting back down the court to play defense, resulting in an almost instant basket by the Dragons at the other end to cancel out the two points Fox was just celebrating like they were vitally important.  Seriously, the Dragons score with what I'd guess is about 21 seconds left on the 24-second shot clock. I'm not even sure the ball touched the floor between when Fox shot it and the Dragons players scored.

Regardless, it's now 51-44 and the Dragons are nearing a collapse so complete that their parents will all stop recommending state universities and begin looking into community colleges. Meanwhile, other than the few aforementioned glimpses of The Shot Blocking Ginger doing what he does best, the whole comeback seems spearheaded by Fox and Chubby. Granted, there are so many shots of Chubby in the game because the only other team member who's had a single line of dialogue (Doug Savant From Melrose Place) was knocked out of the game by Mick's first Aggravated Assault of the game, so they have little else to work with.

I'm seriously out of pictures of the guy, though. If he does anything else, I'm down to the "Hey, that's Enrique Palazzo!" moment from The Naked Gun.
So Mick commits what is likely his eleventh or twelfth violent rib-cracking foul of the game, and the refs begrudgingly foul him out of the game with no time remaining. The Beavers trail by a single point, and for some goddamned reason Michael Fox is going to shoot two free throws despite Mick's foul happening away from the ball and to someone not in the act of shooting.

"Please make it, I put all my flea-market-sweater-shopping money on the Beavers!"
Mick talks some trash, then the head ref yells, "Get back off the court, but feel free to stand here in this dramatic eye-contact enabling spot for a staredown where it's clearly against the rules to lurk during a free throw attempt!" or words to that effect.

And Fox sinks both free throws despite arguably the worst shooting mechanics ever seen outside of a Chuck E Cheese's skee-ball trough, and the Beavers win it all, 52-51.  Michael Fox's instinctive response to this is "WE WON! YAY! NOW IT'S TIME TO STRADDLE MY DAD IN THE STANDS!"  

"Stop laughing. You didn't just see that. I'm serious."
Again we must ask the question of how any basketball game was ever won by a guy who can naturally be held like a baby or an extremely petite Thai hooker by everyone in his life.

"Don't make me dunk on you, lightweight."
Fox then shoves past Pamela to get to Queef for a big meaningful embrace, and Pamela saves face by telling Mick to get lost when he, for what must be the eighth time in the film, says some slight variation on "Hey, let's get out of here."

And then the end score kicks in with what might be the worst possible choice for a "we just won a championship" song, a wispy gentle piece that makes me think we should be walking on the beach and talking about scented douche.

Not Stiles. NEVER Stiles.
And, granted, it's in slow motion, but the roaring celebration of the crowd rolls under the entire end credits of the film. They won Regionals, not the damned Olympic Games! The only justification for that ratio of lusty celebration to actual accomplishment is a monoxide leak in the gym.

Thus ends Teen Wolf, and most of America's idea of what a high school basketball game should look like. this just became a two-parter. There's no way I'm squeezing in the sequel after having gone on this long about this one, especially given the simple fact that, as bad as this one was, the next one is so much worse.

Second part coming very soon!