Mar 30, 2020

Need to Catch Some Films in Isolation? Presenting CinemAntix®!

A list of some movies you most certainly missed

By Ed Goldman

Have you had it with being home? Board games got you bored? Weary of wayfaring friends posting Facebook photos showing them enjoying tall, umbrella’ed cocktails in the Eastern Republic of Uruguay? “Hi, y’all! Can’t wait to share the recipe for this rabo-de-galo! when we come back, which we may or may not do!” (For those of you who have no intention of seeing these people if and when they return, a “rabo-de-galo” is just a mix of red vermouth and cachaca, which is fermented sugar cane juice. And if you’d like to further dazzle your remaining friends, “rabo-de-galo” is simply Portuguese for “cocktail.”)

Meanwhile: Are you nettled at Netflix, believing that since the beginning of our Isolation Age you’ve watched every movie ever made? 

Not yet you haven’t, my wall-climbing, pillow-chewing friends! Here are some new offerings from CinemAntix®, the streaming service that exists only in my head, where there’s always been plenty of room (even with the excessive baggage):

MAXED MAX: BEYOND THUNDER-THRONE. In a dystopian society in the far future (at least two weeks from now) renegade bikers take to the highways in search of two-ply rolls of Charmin, which has now taken on the value of gasoline, the rare commodity in those dystopian Australian films starring Mel Gibson as the handsome, monosyllabic (and off-screen, antisemitic) Mad Max. 

In this spin-off, Mel returns as Max, confessing to his psychiatrist, guest star Jodie Foster, that he feels “blocked.” She misinterprets that as meaning Max is “mentally suffocating” and requires “emotional ventilation”—so, just as in their 2011 film together, “The Beaver,” she encourages him to use a puppet to express his angst. Even though this causes a “breakthrough,” things don’t work out pleasantly for anyone, including the puppet and Jodie’s janitor.

LITTLE SWIMMIN’. A drama about young people who’d been training for the summer Olympics and are now forced to practice high-dives into their parents’ compost piles because the university pool where they worked out is closed, due to health concerns.  

UNCUT GERMS. Often mistaken for the recent Adam Sandler film because of its similar name and identical lack of audience appeal, this movie follows the adventures of bacteriology students who, overly isolated from the real world, spend their time cooped up in a lab trying to develop a vaccine to prevent a boy’s voice from changing when he reaches adolescence. Leonardo DiCaprio is on hand as the students’ hip and kindly professor, who reminds the kids that he’s had a wonderful career despite the fact that his own voice has never changed. Then he returns to his office, which resembles a hollowed-out grizzly bear.   

FROZEN 2 LONG. Elderly spouses decide to self-isolate. They make it all the way to dinner the first night but then they go to defrost either a chicken leg, lamb chop or Allen wrench they froze—in 1992, if their own crudely scrawled label on the package can be believed. 

They cling to each other in fear until there’s a knock on the door, revealing their grown children and grandchildren standing on the porch with packages of hot food and, alarmingly, the grandkids’ sleeping bags. The elderly couple realize now they really are in trouble and wonder how long it takes an Allen wrench to thaw out.  

THE LYIN’ KING. This half-cartoon/half-human concoction comes from the Disney Studio’s thought-to-have-been-mothballed economy division because of its members’ contempt for their late boss (OffTheWalt). 

The storyline: In the jungle, the mighty jungle, also called Washington, D.C., Mufusa Trump, the orange-maned half-cartoon/half-human who’s seen as a wise leader by the orange-maned half-cartoon/half-human Mufusa Trump, tries to stop a tropical fever from spreading by tricking it into retreating, such as disowning it (“not my responsibility”) and predicting it will be gone when the weather warms up: “I have a hunch,” he says, confusing himself with another fabulous Disney character, Quasimodo. 

—And now, if you have your playlist in hand, please excuse me. I’m overdue for my nightly vodka martini. Or, as I like to call it, my rabo-de-galo.

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).