Contemplations On Chucky: Day 3 (Child’s Play 3)

Director: Jack Bender (Game Of Thrones, The Sopranos, Lost)

Budget: $13million

Box Office: $20million

  • This film is weird, was definitely seen as the weakest at the time. It was released only nine months after the second one yet the in-universe time difference between the two is about 9 years. It’s actually lucky this film was badly received as it meant that there wouldn’t be a sequel to this for almost a decade, by which time real time had caught up with the movie’s timeline. Stupid of Universal to demand a sequel that quickly really. They asked the writer to start it before the second film was even released. As such the writer (Don Mancini) was out of ideas as he used a lot of them in the second one, and because it wasn’t released yet he had no idea about what people thought worked in it and what didn’t, so he was basically going into the third one without knowing how the second one was going to be received.
  • Okay that is one hell of an opening credits sequence. It shows the Chucky doll being remade, there’s something about melted plastic forming into shapes that is quite unsettling and it’s used wonderfully here, especially when combined with the music.
  • Oooooo a presentation, I hope it ends with a duck on a boat.
  • “the notorious lakeshore strangler” not so notorious of course that when people say his name people don’t go “who?”
  • “Why put the Good Guy doll back on the market?” Guy there asking a very sensible question.
  • “Before this it was our biggest seller”, well, yeah but that was eight years ago, eight years ago from today Alexandra Burke had a UK number one, doesn’t mean she’s due for a comeback any day now.
  • “I really don’t think this is a good idea” I like this guy, he’s really sympathetic, shame he never appears after this and is probably going to be fired.
  • “Doesn’t matter what we’re selling whether it’s cars, nuclear weapons, or toys” As a toy manufacturer I’d suggest you stick to toys. There’s not much room on the Fisher Price “My First Nuclear Bomb” playset.
  • “The Good Guy of the 90’s” Looks exactly the same as the 80’s one. And why do they keep insisting on using the model that was accused of murder and has been burnt and chopped up? Try fixing one that hasn’t been almost completely destroyed.
  • I always felt these films have missed out on a really creepy shot of a line of Good Guy dolls in a toy store, all perfectly still except for the eyes are all moving at the same time, seemingly following someone walking through the aisle, then the eyes on one of them dart quickly the other way.
  • Businessman doing business things, like playing golf and watching  business news, good work Vincent Adultman.
  • Random fact: Peter Jackson was asked to direct this. First there was Nightmare On Elm Street, now this. Can Peter Jackson just make a god-damn horror movie now so we can stop wondering?
  • Chucky uses a bunch of toys to create horror movie scares. See, this annoys me as if they had more time in the scripting process this would have been a highlight of the series. As it is it’s good, but not quite great. Although the scene at the end with the two dolls “conversing” whilst sitting in chairs is unsettling enough to justify it.
  • Actually where did those two dolls come from? They said this was the first one in eight years, did he keep two dolls around in his office for almost a decade? Weird guy.
  • “Nothing like a strangulation to get the circulation going” obvious sex joke is obvious.
  • Psychological profile of Andy describes him as a “juvinile” The real crime is illiteracy. And murder. And making tea by putting in the milk first.
  • “these fantasies of killer dolls” weirdest fetish ever.
  • “Who are you?” “I’m a Good Guy”. This advert reminds me of the biggest problem I have with this re-release of the toys, the children who brought them eight years ago will all be grown up now. Children now won’t have any idea who they are, so why on earth would they want a toy they don’t know when there’s so many better ones available?
  • Guy is found tied up in the cupboard, yup, definitely nothing homoerotic about that.
  • “Do you know who I am?” Has a character, actually no, scratch that, a person, ever said that who hasn’t been a complete arsehole?
  • “You are without a doubt the most pathetic thing I have ever seen”, I take it he hasn’t seen his own penis then.
  • “asshole” “what did you say” “I said you asshole” “you think you’re pretty funny don’t you?” “yes”. That woman is basically me if I was older, and a woman, and in the military, and looked better, and was in shape.
  • Person knocks the toy out of a child’s hand, and then immediately disappears. The person who knocked it out of his hands was walking down the stairs, and the toy got knocked down them too. So in the next shot they should have been there, but nope, just disappeared yet.
  • “who the fuck are you?” “I thought you guys only said three sentences”, yeah the other two are “Go fuck yourself” and “I’m your friend to the end”
  • “What am I doing wrong?” Well when you’re shooting you miss the target, that’s your biggest problem.
  • It’s weird that they didn’t actually teach him proper gun use and instead are depending on one of the other cadets to do it.
  • “It’s not a baton Barclay”, well to be fair how would you know as you’ve never fucking taught him how to shoot.
  • “This is my rifle, this is my gun, this is for fighting, this is for fun”. To clarify the gun is his penis. And there’s a shot of him grabbing his own dick, a close up.
  • “A soldier’s rifle is his best friend”, well that’s just sad.
  • Chucky crushes the garbage collector because….reasons. That’s the trouble with constant sequelization of horror films, the characters lose their motivations. In the first film Chucky didn’t kill many people, and only really did it for personal vengeance from when he was alive, or when people discovered him. Was similar in the second one, only he seemed to have a connection with Andy so he also moved onto those who were mistreating Andy, so he was almost going against those who wrong his potential vessel. In this one he’s so far killed two people, none of which were necessary, and the second one actively helped blow his cover. If he didn’t kill the garbageman after escaping the truck then Andy wouldn’t have suspected he was there so it would have been easier for him to go about his nefarious ways.
  • Chucky slices the back of Andy’s foot. I very rarely say this but I definitely wrote a better version of that. If he got the achilles tendon that would have severely disabled Andy for the rest of the film. The actual slicing should have been a lot more visceral too, it should have made people wince, as it is it just looks like nothing.
  • “Chucky’s gonna be a bro” that’s racist. And stupid, why on earth did he reveal himself to Andy then? He’s just making things difficult for himself.
  • “I got myself another slave” I’ll take “lines that would have sounded a lot worse if the main character was black” for $1,000 please.
  • “I’m trying to weed out a thief”, but you stole it first.
  • Chucky kills someone via heart attack, even he seems disappointed by that. Funny thought, about time that happened.
  • “Do yourself a favour and get the hell out of Kent”, people have been saying the same thing to me for nigh on 30 years.
  • You may remember this character said earlier that the reason soldiers need short hair is so that someone can’t grab it and slit your throat. Predictably he dies by someone slitting his throat.
  • The idea of switching out paintball bullets for normal bullets is a good idea on paper (I actually used it in a short story for GCSE English) but it’s stupid and ridiculous in execution for two reasons: 1) Guns which fire paint rounds are usually specially modified to allow it and can’t fire normal rounds. 2) It’s standard military practice to check your ammunition before firing. So a nice idea but one that defies logic.
  • “Now we can play hide the soul” is that similar to hide the sausage? If so I don’t want to play it.
  • Surely they’d notice they’re not firing paint rounds when they change the ammunition or when their shots hit a tree or something and there’s no paint.
  • Obvious fake snow is obvious.
  • So out of all these trained cadets, not one of them noticed a live grenade being thrown towards them.
  • We now go to a nearby fairground, which to me is way too close to the military exercises to be considered safe.
  • So now we’ve moved away from the army base, which is a shame as there were a lot of opportunities for interesting set pieces that weren’t really used. Okay the fairground also has a lot of interesting things that could be used but they only have like 12 minutes left in this film in which to do so, and that’s including credits.
  • Wait, the fairground ride has paper masquerading as fire, yet has a real f*cking scythe?  More to the point, nothing of interest happened in the ghost house, massive disappointment.
  • See, now there it makes sense to have blades, in a fan, but they should still be covered by something.
  • Andy ducks to avoid being hit by a rollercoaster train. Wait, the train is still going? And nobody can see or hear the attempted murder that’s going on?
  • Chucky gets his hand cut off, again, I think that’s happened in ever film so far. You’d think he’d be used to it.
  • Chucky falls into the fan and gets cut, and seems to explode. Quick question; how on earth is this going to be covered up? How are they going to explain the gun?
  • Wait, I know that cop. That’s the manager from Chuck. Cool.
  • So now the end credits. Overall somewhat enjoyable, definitely the weakest so far though and way too many missed opportunities.

The 5 Best HBO Shows

The American television industry had shockwaves running through it this week as president Michael Lombardo left after 33 years at the network, 9 of them as network head. Lombardo has spearheaded some of the networks most loved programming, notably he was responsible for guiding Game Of Thrones into development. The future for the network is now somewhat uncertain, not in a “they’re going out of business” way, but in a “wonder what’s happening next” way. Longtime collaborator Terence Winter quit halfway through development of the second series of Vinyl, Westworld had production halted when it was decided it needed retooling, and Game Of Thrones is suffering from rumours that it will end after another two seasons (or in other words; the time it takes George R.R. Martin to decide on a verb). So let’s celebrate the network with this, a look at the best work they’ve produced. This isn’t ranked by order of popularity, or critical success, just personal preference, so statistically nobody will agree with this, if that’s the case, comment and tell us where I went wrong.

5. Sopranos

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One of THE shows of the 2000’s. It was almost like they saw Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and said “Awww, Britain thinks they can make gangster related media, how adorable” and reclaimed America as the centrepiece for gangster films and television shows. I said “almost like”, the pilot was actually ordered in 1997, so it’s just a coincidence. But meh, still an awesome show. The effect it had on television cannot be understated, it could easily be argued that it was this, not Breaking Bad that legitimised television as an artform, not as a stepping stone on the way to film. If it wasn’t for this there wouldn’t be Six Feet Under, there wouldn’t be The Shield. It was this, more than anything, that legitimised HBO as a network that provides high concept dramas, a network that will produce content you wouldn’t get anywhere else. This was a show that could only really be done on this network, it was too brutal, too uncommercial to be made by anyone else.

4. Game Of Thrones

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A show so good it deserves its place here despite me having never seen an episode. A show once described (not by a critic, or anybody important, but by a woman behind me on the bus) as like “Merlin with muff”. Everyone knows roughly when Harry Potter was published, and it’s the same with a lot of book adaptations, but I think a lot of people would be surprised to discover the first book was published in 1996, yet most people weren’t aware of it until the TV series (the series didn’t really pick up until A Feast Of Crows in 2005). Without the show the book series would be highly regarded, but with it? It’s become a cultural phenomenon, and shown that you can do not just high concept, but high budget adaptations too. If the show was made sooner then the chances of Harry Potter being a TV series instead of film would be much higher, and we might have got Rik Mayall as Peeves, AS WE DESERVE!

3. Veep

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A show so good that it’s replaced The Office as evidence that American adaptations of British sitcoms can occasionally work out. Is this better than The Thick Of It? Not quite, but is it worthy enough to be discussed on its own? Definitely. It wasn’t really the easiest show to adapt, ABC attempted it in 2007 with Michael McKean (of Spinal Tap and Better Call Saul fame) and Oliver Platt in the leads. They made the pilot, and by all accounts it was pretty awful, they turned it into a conventionally shot sitcom, removed all improvisation and swearing, and then were surprised when it didn’t work. It would be like if you remade Transformers and took out all references to any robots, removed baking from Great British Bake Off, or added jokes to Joey. So when a second adaptation was announced, people were kind of worried. Then it was announced that Armando Iannucci would be directly involved and people were excited again. Then it was announced that Julia Louis-Dreyfus was the lead and I became very excited as I was a massive Seinfeld fan. I was slightly concerned how an American version of this would be, but it’s just as sweary and brilliant as the original. The original was good, but it didn’t have the line “That’s like trying to use a croissant as a fucking dildo, it doesn’t do the job, and it makes a fucking mess”. It’s probably helped not just by Iannucci as showrunner (at least until the 5th season when David Mandel took over almost seamlessly), there’s other talent behind the camera too. The list of director’s is like a who’s who of British television comedy: Chris Morris, Chris Addison, Tristam Shapeero etc. This show is a mesh of British and American talent, and is all the better for it. Long may it continue (still needs Peter Capaldi though)

2. Curb Your Enthusiasm

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Seinfeld is undoubtedly one of the biggest American sitcoms of all time (sadly, one which has never really got the love it deserves over here) so it was always going to difficult for the creator, Larry David to pull off that greatness again. Yet he managed it, this show not just matches his previous show, at many times it beats it. Seinfeld had a weak period, the last two seasons in particular are nowhere near as good as the earlier seasons, but Curb hasn’t suffered that problem. The first season is a little off as the show is still finding its feet, but the second one is just all kinds of brilliant and details the character attempting to make a show after the success of Seinfeld, so lots of meta-comments and the media, lots of in-jokes, and a season long story arc. Basically, all the pretentious stuff that film students love. Oh yeah, the cameos. Because Larry David plays himself, and he konws famous people, there’s a lot of celebrity cameos; Ricky Gervais, John McEnroe, Mel Brooks all send themselves up beautifully. The Ricky Gervais one is important because he also made a cameo-heavy sitcom: Extras. There’s one major difference between the way the cameos are handled thought: Extras is defined by the cameos, episodes can almost be titled after them. People think “oh, that’s the Samuel L Jackson episode”, or “that’s the Orlando Bloom episode” and that’s how they’re defined, in Curb, the story comes first, and it’s all the better for it. The best one is probably Michael J. Fox, where he uses his Parkinsons as an excuse to be a bit of a dick in one of the best “I shouldn’t be laughing at this” moments, of which the show has plenty (a highlight is the episode where a holocaust survivor has dinner with someone from the TV series Survivor, and they argue over which one is the true survivor).

1. Last Week Tonight

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An odd choice for number one, I know. Not the funniest, not the best made, but definitely the most important. Like a surprisingly high amount of American political comedy, this owes its existence to The Daily Show. When Jon Stewart took a break from the show in 2013 to make Rosewater, he handed the show over to John Oliver, who filled the role admirably. That’s not an easy role to fill, as anybody who has been on the comments section of the facebook page of the show since Trevor Noah took over can attest (for the record, I think he’s doing an excellent job). John Oliver’s stint was so successful HBO offered him a series. Unlike the Daily Show this only has one episode a week, so isn’t really suited for extremely topical stuff. But what this does mean is the areas they do focus on, they REALLY focus on, aiming for them like US Military planes aim for terrorist training camps, only unlike the military, this show usually hits what it’s aiming for. Whether he’s creating Jeff The Diseased Lung in a segment on tobacco companies, or starting Our Lady Of Perpetual Exemption to show how televangelists should by all rights be told to go f*ck themselves with that knife-penis from Seven, this show constantly creates amazing segments which are perfect for sharing on social media. His reaction to the terrorist attacks in Paris last year was particularly fantastic, basically telling ISIS “if you gigantic arseholes are hoping to win a war of culture with France, good fucking luck”. To me, a personal highlight will alway be his war of words with former FIFA vice president Jack Warner, which led to the corrupt former executive to respond, calling him a “comedian fool” in a really badly made video. It’s weird, you’d think a guy who (allegedly) diverted relief funds from a Haiti earthquake appeal, and illegally sold black market tickets (not allegedly, this definitely happened, and he was punished for this million dollar making fraud by being made to pay back $250,000) would have enough money to make sure his videos were of a better production quality.