Mister Cinecal

Mister Cinecal

Friday, 2 August 2013

Generation X Review, Part 2!

Welcome to the exciting conclusion of my look back at Generation X, a TV special about Marvel mutants that you’ve never heard of and don’t care about. There was Jubilee, the White-American-Asian-American, Mondo, who probably only isn’t named Mongo because Blazing Saddles go to it first, Angelo, a whiny nerd who needs a dermatologist but not for the usual whiny nerd reasons, Arlee, who wears baggy clothes so idiots won’t make fun of her muscular body, Kurt, an idiot who makes fun of her muscular body but is also attracted to her and…the other one. I forger her name but she doesn’t do anything so I think we’re good.

The gang are in a training session in a poorly lit room where they’re rock climbing. It's like the Danger Room was broken for the weekend so they had to go to the local fun complex and make do. Actually, almost every room in Generation X is poorly lit, and many of them have strange multi-coloured lights for no reason. It makes everything look like a British kid’s game show, like Get Your Own Back. Angelo tells Jubilee that he’s found Emma Frost’s machine that let’s their minds travel into the dream dimension and they should try it out that night.

We see the board of directors our hated villain Not Jim Carey is working for and they all agree they don’t want to make money with his ideas. Any why would they when his ideas involve tricking people into farting? His direct boss Bob, who we’ve seen him argue with throughout the movie says he’s gone off the deep end and he’ll take care of it, but surprise! It’s all a dream Bob is having that Not Jim Carey has invaded. Not Jim Carey is talking like Blanche Dubois because fake voices are hilarious. He uses his powers of inception to have poor Bob jump out of a window in the non-dream dimension and really it is just the most blatant cheap knock-off of Jim Carey in Batman Forever which was already bad in the first place.

Angelo and Jubilee both meet Not Jim Carey when they use the dream machine. Angstelo really wants to escape the drudgery of the superhero mansion and escape into fantasy. I’d ask why he can’t just masturbate like a normal teenager but I suppose when your mutation is that your skin stretches masturbation isn’t very appealing. Jubilee starts dreaming about her parents discussing why they sent her off to mutant academy before she’s accosted by Eternal Sunshine of the Empty Mind, our villain crossing paths with one of the heroes 45 minutes in. There’s wasn’t much room for a plot with momentum when there were games of pool to be played. He fucking creeps on her like a maladjust at Comic-Con bothering a cosplayer and Jubilee comes out of the dream machine distraught and traumatised. So Angelo completely dismisses her and can’t wait to try it. I kind of hate Angelo. Angelo dreams about the pretty girl he saw in town the other day and then Dumb and Dumber Both Inhabiting the Body of One Dumb Fucker shows up (A pun for that film wasn’t the freebie I thought it would be when I started typing.) He tells Angelo that he can use his powers of suggestion to make the girl fall for him and rather than being horrified Angelo’s response is an enthusiastic “Yeah!” and now I definitely hate him. 

In the real world, the police (or maybe security guards it’s kind of unclear) try to pull Not Jim Carey out of the dream world, but Angelo uses his stretch powers to pull him back in. Good luck figuring out how that works. The results is that NJC’s body is in a catatonic state but in the dream world his mind is free to be as irritating as ever. He says “talk about your out of body experience!” and I realise that’s probably the third time he’s said “talk about your something!” and then I realise that “take about your something!” is perhaps the perfect embodiment of hacky comedy from the 90’s.

Jubilee and Angelo talk about their experiences in the dream dimension. Jubilee says it was like floating in space but with nothing to hold on to and Angelo thinks that he’s agreeing with her when he says “yeah, it was awesome!” Can we just launch this prick into space since he’d like it so much? Jubilee asks if he’s “fucking nuts” and that she “shit (her) fucking pants” which is really surprising considering there’s been no swearing at all in this so far and it was a TV pilot and the production values make it look like a kid’s show. Angelo is just that terrible.

Kurt successfully asks Arlee out on a date to the fair by talking about how “kosh” it’s going to be, which is an unrealistic level of enthusiasm for a teenager in this decade. He should have said it would be fun to go and laugh at how bad it, is, just like watching Generation X. The whole gang heads along to the fair, again with no supervision from the only teachers in the school, Emma Frost and Banshee. I’m not sure either of them have been properly vetted. Frost couldn't at least set up a psychic link to keep tabs on them? Angelo sees his dream girl again (her name is Kayla, I think. I am very bad with names.), they really hit it off thanks to her being successfully fucking dream-drugged. Fucking Angelo. Monet impresses all the boys in town, which isn’t too difficult when your mutation is that you’re “perfect” (honestly how lazy can you get?) Mondo and Jubilee are bonding which is good because it might mean she’ll stop hanging out with fucking Angelo. Arlee and Kurt are getting what I believe the young people call “hot and heavy” in the backseat of a car, until Kurt’s X-ray vision finally kicks in and he freaks out and leaves. 

They all get into a fight with the local bullies after they start hassling Angelo for hanging out with Kayla. I would say they should leave the bullies to it, but in their defence they were being racist to Angelo and they did call Xavier Academy a school for “retards” so I suppose better the dickhead you know and all that.
Frost flips out at the kids after she has to bail them out of prison and expels Mondo when he admits to using his powers on the townies. It seems unfair to single him out but then again it’s only happening so we can finally get to the Spartacus Moment. The whole team stands up for each other and Frost, obviously drunk with power, expels them all until Banshee, drunk with alcohol, intervenes. Frost relents after he says something about teamwork and going easy on the kids who have it tough, what with the world hating and fearing them and all. Still, I think his best argument is when he points out that they can’t have a school if they expel the only students who seem to go there. That would get them laughed at by the real X-Men.

Angelo sneaks off to have a secret date with Kayla, with more bad lighting but now with bad saxophone music. Everything looks like it’s coming up Milhouse until it turns out this is a dream and Not Jim Carey shows up demanding Angelo help him get back into his body. He threatens to dick around with Angelo’s dreams if he doesn’t, not only his dreams but Kayla’s as well, and Angelo’s little sister from the start of the film. Then Not Jim Carey licks the dream version of a little girl. Who wouldn’t want to see this creep just before Mulder and Scully every week? Angelo agrees to do what Not Jim Carey says rather than, I don’t know, ask for help from his teammates and teachers and I know I’m harping on about this but seriously, Angelo is the true villain of the movie, nearly everything bad that happens is his fault. I know he's a mixed up teen but if you can't see how obviously evil Not Jim Carey is you have no business being on a superhero team because you're perception stats are way too low.

So Angelo resurrects Not Jim Carey and then gets kidnapped by said villain so he can steal his precious mutant brain. Whoever wins, I lose. The climax of the movie fits the tone of what’s come so far by having very little happen. At least Kurt and Arlee reconcile after he explains that he freaked out because of his powers kicking in, not because of her muscly body type. Hurray for breaking down barriers! Angelo uses psychic powers to contact Jubilee and she rallies the whole team to rescue him. Emma opens a door to the dream dimension and at this point it’s very obvious that the writers are making things up as they go along. Why is Not Jim Carey doing his brain surgery in the dream dimension? Why is this the first we’re hearing about this door when the whole movie has been about a MACHINE that let’s you into the dream dimension? Why the fuck would anyone want to help Angelo? Anyway they show up in the dream world and then just queue up one after the other to hit Not Jim Carey. He really doesn’t pose much of a threat. Frost tells the others to go so she can seal off the dream door thing and trap her and this goon forever, prompting him to say “Just you and I falling through the abyss forever…I don’t think I’m ready for that kind of commitment!!” which is just one hacky bit too many for Angelo who finally steps up and uses his stretchy powers to wrap his arms around Not Jim Carey and throw them both into the abyss. I think I’d be able to take his big heroic sacrifice more seriously if his arms didn’t look totally ridiculous.

Everyone pretends to be sorry that Stretch Armstrong is dead, but since I can’t be happy it turns out he isn’t really as he stretches his arms back out of the abyss and climbs back up. So the day is saved. We cut back to the mansion and the gang, with the exception of Arlee are playing some card game with perplexing rules. It is honestly so strange, here is a transcript of what they’re saying. By all means, leave a comment if this makes any sense to you whatsoever:
Jubilee: I want full enlightenment *puts card down on stack*
Mondo: Dr. D’s going corporate. Can you dance? *puts down another card*
Kurt: Captain with a necro buy-out. Bam! *puts down another card*
Angelo: Depenetration, chica. *Also places down a card*
Monet: Transparent!
Angelo: Call it!
Monet: Zap!
*Jubilee puts down a card with a picture of two aliens on it*
Kurt: Chemical Marriage? I’ve got Francis Bacon. *flips over a card with a picture of Sir Francis Bacon on it*
Jubilee: Zap! *throws down a card, wins*


Ahem, anyway. Arlee comes in dressed like she wanted to be a Power Ranger for Halloween but couldn’t afford a costume so her mother made one herself. It’s the Generation X uniform. Actually to be fair for a low budget 90s show it doesn't look that bad and I suppose it underlines how she got over her issues over her muscley body. Considering she's the most likeable character and she had an issue teens could actually identify with why wasn't she the main character? Hell, give Monet the focus, just anybody but that creep Angelo. Thankfully we were spared the great adventures of the Generation X team (they hang out at the record store but don't buy anything! They complain about their stepparents!) since this wasn’t picked up for a television show. Not hard to see why. The plot is silly, the characters are annoying, the lighting is distracting and the whole thing is trying way too hard to be cool, which is a dangerous game to play at the best of times but is particularly perilous in the 1990’s. I’m really not sure why they thought this could run with The X-Files as tone-wise they’re completely different. Big Bad Beetleborgs is more this show’s bag. So that’s Generation X. Just keep in mind the next time you’re watching forced to watch the horror of will.i.am acting in X-Men Origins: Wolverine that it could in fact be much worse. And then weep.

I was thinking I might look next at the obscure Roger Corman Fantastic Four movie from the 90’s that unexpectedly was such a big influence on Arrested Development this year. Let me know if you’d be interested in reading that. Or just leave a general comment, either here or on the Facebook page. If nothing else, it lets me know that someone is reading this besides internet bots trying to sell me “7 Simple Scientific Tricks For Getting Any Woman I Want”…

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