Mom and Dad
Can’t get enough of Nicholas Cage going over-the-top crazy? Then belly up to this jet-black comedy that makes fun of those moments when parents just want to murder their kids. ‘Cause in this movie, they do.
Listen to this week’s episode to learn why we were not as thrilled with it as everyone else seemed to be. Maybe we’ll understand when we’re older?
Mom and Dad (2018)
Episode #254, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw
Todd: Hello and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.
Craig: I’m Craig.
Todd: All right. After a little bit of retro action that we’ve had those last a few weeks, we’re going a little more modern to 2018’s “Mom and Dad”. This was a straight out of the blue selection by Craig this week. It is directed by Brian Taylor and starring….
Craig: Uh, the ever so subtle….
Todd: Yeah. Nicholas Cage.
Very good. Very good. You thought I was going to say Selma Blair or something? Yeah, definitely a Nicholas Cage. So yeah, it was kind of Nick, Nick Cage, man. This guy’s in everything now. Is there a project? This man doesn’t take. He’s all over the map and all over the place. And honestly often is playing these characters.
This isn’t really the Nicholas Cage movie I wanted to do. I was really interested in that new one that seems like he’s in. Like a Chuck E. Cheese that’s gone crazy or something. And apparently doesn’t speak a word, but, uh, have you heard anything about that one? Well, what is that about? Uh,
Craig: uh, I’m not really sure.
I think I know about as much about it as you do. It’s like, uh, Possessed animatronics or something. I don’t know if they’re possessed or evil or malfunctioning or what, but yeah. Uh, I also recently, I, I also recently saw him in another movie, um, color out of space, which was based on, uh, uh, HP Lovecraft, um, story.
Uh, and it was. Pretty good. I liked that one. Really. I picked this one at the last minute we had something else planned and, uh, I couldn’t find it. And because we’re on opposite sides of the world, it’s not easy to immediately communicate. So I didn’t have time to talk to you about what we should do. And so, uh, I just went to Hulu to see what was on my to watch list and this was on my to watch list and it was also the leaving soon list. So I thought, well, let’s give it a go
Todd: the best, our best shot at it. And how do we feel about that choice? It’s I don’t know, man, people, people rag on Nicholas cage a lot. There are a lot of movies there, quite a few movies he’s been in that I’ve really liked. And I hadn’t really had a problem with his performances.
I hadn’t really cared. Yeah, he goes crazy. And a lot of them, whatever it’s Nicholas cage, but also maybe it was just because back in the days of the rock and that kind of thing, like, uh, he hadn’t done, you know, 20 rolls in a row that were almost like the same character. So it didn’t bother me as much, then it doesn’t really bother me now.
I don’t care. Um, Arnold Schwartzenegger is in a bunch of movies and he just plays a big muscular, tough guy, generally speaking. So, uh, I don’t really have this. These weird feelings about Nick cage, just like a little while ago, I was saying maybe it was on this podcast may was just a conversation over coffee that I don’t really have a problem with Keanu Reeves either.
You were good at playing a certain kind of role. Those are the roles you’re going to get. And, uh, generally speaking, Nick cage is really good at going crazy. So he might get those roles and this movie is kind of crazy. I don’t know. I never heard of this before. What did it play in the theaters or was this like a straight to streaming?
Craig: I, I don’t know. Uh, I think this movie got a theatrical release. I’m not really sure. It’s uh, yeah, it’s bizarre. I had heard of it. I, I don’t know if it was. Just, you know, perusing horror websites or what, but I had heard of it around the time that it came out and I’m not a huge NIC cage fan either. I don’t have, um, any problem with him.
A, you know, he is what he is. And I feel like, uh, especially these days, he’s really kind of embraced his unique acting style and he puts it on display in the films that he’s in and he gets work. Obviously there must be an audience for him. Um, he must have his fans. Uh, he’s a little bit over the top, kind of a kin in my.
Perspective to like Jim Carey, not really my cup of tea, but you know, I get it. They have their own particular acting style and that’s fine. I think that I was more interested in the movie because of Selma Blair. Um, I really liked Selma Blair. I’ve been a fan of hers for a long time. I think. The first time that I was introduced to her was, um, in cruel intentions, uh, which is such a schlocky movie in hindsight, but, and she played such a silly character in it.
Um, but I really enjoyed her in that. And she’s done a lot since then. She was in a John Waters movie with. Tracy Ullman, uh, that was crazy and off the wall. And I liked her in that. Um, and, and she’s done TV and other movies. I would say that. If this movie has anything going for it and it may have more than one thing going for it.
But I think that Selma Blair is the shining light of this movie. I just think that her, I don’t know, there’s something about her. She’s interesting. Um, she’s endearing, sadly, you know, um, in recent years she’s been diagnosed with Ms, which has really re yeah. And it’s really restricted. Did, um, what she’s been able to do as far as work is concerned, but as far as her life is concerned, she’s a fighter.
And, uh, she’s a spokesperson for Ms. And, uh, she’s, she’s living her life with support, you know, from her fans and from her friends like Sarah, Michelle Gellar, like Elizabeth Berkley from saved by the bell. It was actually Elizabeth Berkley who recommended that. Uh, she go get checked out. Elizabeth Berkeley’s brother apparently is the doctor.
And, uh, she referred Selma to her brother and it was, uh, he, that, um, diagnosed her with Ms. And, um, when she was finally diagnosed, she was relieved more than anything. Because she had been struggling with symptoms for so long. Um, she said that she estimates that she had probably been dealing with symptoms of Ms for 15 years before, uh, she was actually diagnosed.
Um, so, you know, it’s a struggle that she faces as you many people around the world, Ms. Is, is a terrible debilitating disease, but she’s a tough broad, and, uh, I like her you’re right.
Todd: She was definitely the shining star in this movie. Brian Taylor is the writer director of this. Uh, he tends to do more high concept films.
I think he did crank, which was one of Jason’s datums earlier films, which is a, again, another high concept movie of this guy who has to keep adrenaline going in his blood or he’ll die. Cause he gets injected with this thing. And this movie is kind of like that, uh, in that it’s, it’s, it’s a high concept idea and it is so simple.
It’s basically one day for, for reasons we never. Never understand or know all the parents in the world decide they need to kill their kids,
Craig: their kids. It’s really, it’s a really interesting concept and you’re right. That we never know what is going on. It seems like somehow there’s some sort of signal through televisions or something like through static and television.
That seems to be the trigger, but it happens to different people at different times. Um, and, and we never know the root cause of it, but I think that the concept of eventually, you know, like the news stations. Try to explain it. They, they say, you know, consider parental instinct and how your parental instinct is to protect your kids at all costs.
But what if somehow that instinct could be reversed? And I feel like that’s a really interesting concept, but I just felt like ultimately it just didn’t play out like. Well, I have to say upfront as much as I was looking forward to watching this movie, I walked away from it more than disappointed, actually a little bit pissed off.
Todd: Yeah. Similarly, and this movie gets really great critical acclaim. I mean the rotten tomatoes score is high and all that, and they were saying, wow, it just, I didn’t find it that deep. I felt like it’s just like, it’s like a joke, you know, it’s like a, it’s like a J one punchline movie that just extends for an hour and a half.
And I found it kind of boring after a while, honestly, because it didn’t really have anything beyond that to say, you know, you watch a movie like the purge, for example, maybe that’s somewhat close to this in a, in a way, you know, where just suddenly society’s kind of gone wrong and society’s kind of, you know, but, but, but that, that film.
The concept has a lot to unpack this notion that, you know, we, we, we have one night, a year to kind of, uh, deal with our violence so that we can’t be, you know, we’re not violent anymore. And, uh, all of that, I mean, there’s a lot behind that. There’s, there would have to be a history to that. There’s sort of political ramifications.
There’s a lot to say. This is just sort of the idea that, you know, We love our kids. I’m speaking as a father now, unconditionally, we’re supposed to anyway, we generally do, unless there’s something majorly wrong with us, but we don’t always like them. You know, they, they, and I, you know, and even if you’re not a parent, you were a kid once.
And you remember how you treated your parents and what a douchebag you could be at times, and, or it’s coincidental that I’m watching this movie this moment because my son just turned four and he up until about six months ago was the most compliant. Sweet. Just generally smart and kind of like insightful little, little kid.
And, uh, we would go to play dates and, uh, he would be the one who, you know, some kid was hitting or punching or kicking him or whatever. He would just kind of look in amazement, like what’s going on? Why are you doing that? And I was really always proud of that. I heard about the terrible twos and we get through the terrible twos and almost the terrible three supposedly.
And there’s nothing, but now here we are at four and he’s become that kid now. Uh, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned about being a parent, it’s that there’s never any like Stacey Russ, it’s always like, just when you get into this routine, just when you think everything’s sort of settled and, uh, you’ve, you’re starting to learn about your child’s personality and everything’s kind of congealing and, and into something routine, it changes.
I think it’s just the nature of child development, you know, went through all of us and it’s something that we all put our parents through. And, you know, it’s tough to deal with as a parent, it just is tough to deal with, and it makes you feel guilty because you just want to wring their necks sometimes, you know, like big, you know, so this movie just takes that notion and make some, makes a movie out of it.
But. But the problem is that’s it like, okay, like this is a normal part of Parenthood, normal part of the way we are. There’s nothing more to say about it. So once that was sort of established, here’s the idea, it just became a bunch of kids running away from their parents who were trying to kill him.
Right. It didn’t have anything more to say, now don’t get me wrong. It leaves lots of room for black comedy and dark humor and kind of poking fun at this notion that ah, you know, Well, so we could have really kill our kids sometimes. And, but this movie does what horror does. You know, horror is generally not subtle as a genre.
It really kind of rebels in taking something and, um, Making it extreme and playing that out in front of us. So that’s what it does. So this isn’t a subtle psychological study of the, uh, bond between parents and children and what that means as they develop and grow older and how the end of the toll that it takes on them.
It’s a horror movie that just says, Oh, one day. Parents decide they’ve had enough for some reason. And, uh, all of their psychological frustrations on their kids get taken out in the most extreme ways. And that the very matter of faculty, they decide they need to kill them. And like you said, not anybody else’s kids just.
Their own. Right. So I found it boring after a while. Honestly, I was kind of ready for the movie to be over after about an hour.
Craig: Yeah. See, I think that the, my problem with it is more on me because I had expectations for where I thought it was surely going to go. And when it didn’t go there, I, it irritated me.
Um, I, and, and I think that maybe it’s because I’m not. Used to these type of movies. I think that they are going for a modern Grindhouse kind of feel. Um, and I, and it’s, it’s very nihilistic. Like it opens up. The very first thing we see is a mother with. Uh, uh, baby little tiny kid in the backseat of the car, in a car seat.
And she gets out of the car and walks away and we realized that she’s left the car on the train tracks and the train just smashes this car. And that’s the first thing we see after that. Then there’s this really interesting seventies style Grindhouse style opening credits, which had me excited
Todd: me too retro.
It was just. Charming and fun. And I thought, okay, this is what we’re going to get. And then. W we didn’t get that, like, like the movie has a very modern style to it. I thought
Craig: a very modernist aesthetic. Yeah.
Todd: That was so disappointing,
Craig: which is strange because it does end up being pretty nihilistic. I mean, it it’s, it’s the story of this family.
We’ve already mentioned the parents, Nick cage plays Brent. He’s the dad, some of Blair plays Kendall. She’s the mom. Um, there’s a teenage daughter. Carly played by Anne winters and a son who I guess was supposed to be probably like seven, I guess. I don’t know. Um, I felt like they had him playing a little bit younger than he looked, but whatever.
Um, his name is, uh, Josh played by a kid named Zach Arthur. I don’t know anything about any of these people except, um, the two
Todd: leads, but they’re all well accomplished. I mean their own lot of stuff. It’s acting movies. TV, they’re all over there somewhere. I know, just not instantly recognizable
Craig: and, and it just establishes them as a family in the beginning.
And, you know, at this point they’re very typical. You know, the son is still very young and sweet and cute and running around in his little pajamas. Meanwhile, the teenager. Is a teenager like, um, you were talking about, you know, your four year old and all of a sudden he’s somebody that, you know, you don’t recognize from six months ago or whatever, but that, I think that happens to virtually every parent, when their kids become teenagers, I was horrible as a T like, I wasn’t super rebellious as a teenager, but I was a smart ass.
And I thought I knew everything and I thought I knew better than my parents. And I was constant. I was constantly in conflict and fighting with my parents and my parents were great parents. I was the one that was being a Dick, but at the time I didn’t realize it. And you feel like, you know, people go through that as teenagers and I’m sure that’s really hard on parents and it does seem to be particularly hard on Kendall.
The mom. Driving the teenage daughter to school, she’s trying to connect with her. She’s trying to talk with, to her, you know, why don’t you talk to me anymore, part of a family, Carly. And that means that you love each other, even when you can’t stand each other and that you give a shit, even when you don’t really give a shit.
Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. It’s just for me, you and Josh are everything. So you don’t get to just shut me out. It’s not fair. It’s not my fault. You have no life.
I would have said that to my dad. And then we would have. Had a horrible, shouting match. Nothing in my life was better for my relationship with my parents than when I moved out. Um, and I moved out fall semester college. I immediately moved out of the house. Never went back. I don’t think I’ve spent a night at my parents’ house.
Um, since that time and I was ready to go, my parents were ready for me to go.
And our relationship improved 10 fold. Like we get along great now. And even then, you know, immediately, as soon as I was out of the house we got on. Great. But I understand how this mother, you know, she’s sad and I, I can imagine. I don’t know. And we’ll never know because I don’t have kids, but I can only imagine how sad that is.
Um, on the other hand, and this is something that I kind of had a problem with in the movie was Nick cage as a Brent, there’s an after this whole scene in the car with the mother and daughter, then there’s a scene where the kid is lying on the couch and it’s a very. Ominous shot of Brent approaching Josh.
It looks like he’s going to attack him, which I mean, I guess kind of he does, but it’s a tickle fight, but then right after that, he, the dad’s getting ready to leave for work. And, uh, Josh throws like a Nerf ball or something. Adam and it hits him in the head and it looks like he’s almost ready to snap and, and rip this kid’s head off then.
And this is well before the sickness has impacted him. So, and throughout the movie, I got the sense that the dad is bat shit crazy Loco
Todd: from the beginning.
Yeah. Well, The thing is, I felt like you’re right. And that was a problem because it just kind of clouds everything. You’re not quite sure it doesn’t seem consistent with what the movie is trying to be, where it’s supposed to be horrifying that these otherwise relatively normal loving families. Have these issues, but then again, dad is going through clearly some sort of midlife crisis.
And I think that’s, what’s maybe in between that clouds things a little bit, because he gets these little flashbacks, like he goes to his car and he just looks inside the car as he’s about to step into it. And he has this, what is it? A Firebird it’s like a classic car. Trans-Am and there’s a whole story behind it that we hear later where he tr he crashed it with his father, made him pay to have it repaired.
Now he owns it, blah, blah, blah. But, um, there’s this quick flashback to him as a young kid, you know, running around, doing donuts in this car with his half naked girlfriend sitting in his lap and kind of having the time of his life. A little over the top, you know, but, uh, I mean, I guess it gets the point across that he had Wilder days and they’re done, and he has this reminder of the Wilder days and he regrets the fact that he doesn’t have those wild days anymore.
And now he’s just got two bratty kids. I mean, I felt like maybe there was a little bit of that that was supposed to be coming out here. It’s just dads going through midlife crisis. Not necessarily going crazy, but you’re right. Like the movie plays with it enough. You know, what makes a tickle fight seem sinister.
And then that seems like a joke, right? It’s just a tickle fight. But then when he throws a Nerf ball at him, that’s not a joke. Right. And so I’m not sure if we’re supposed to read that as this is sort of a crazy guy, or this is a guy who, you know, I mean, just cause he had, uh, your, your playing around with your son doesn’t mean your son has permission to whack you over the back of the head or if it’s this.
Guys going through this midlife crisis, he’s having these issues. And so he, his emotions are kind of conflicted or is that the early onset of whatever is affecting all these parents is sort of slowly creeping in. And you know, it’s not just a sudden switch, that’s flipped in their heads, but it’s something that kind of creeps in.
And that, that was just a foreshadowing of that. I’m really not sure what to make of that scene, but yeah, I mean, the scene was. Obvious and intentional and very dramatic. So, uh, I mean, what, what it did more than anything else, it’s just really set up attention. Like something’s weird here. Like something’s going to be going on.
Craig: I wanted to believe that it was that, you know, whatever this was that was happening to these parents, that it was slowly setting in with Nick cage. But ultimately, I don’t think that that’s the case because it seems like everybody else
Todd: he’s late to turn. Right. He’s late to turn he
Craig: is, but everybody else who turns right.
Um, it’s, it’s
Todd: immediate, but, but do we see that though? I mean, we see, yes, we see the immediate turn in the others and we just see that they’ve turned,
Craig: we see the immediate turn it’s in my favorite scene, which comes later. But like, I feel like everything that happens up until that part is kind of just boring.
Todd: Like, yeah. It’s just setting up kids at school here. All the friends here are the relationships. She’s got a boyfriend, blah, blah, blah.
Craig: Right. And, and like, the teacher gives this big lecture about planned obsolescence, about how like technology manufacturers intentionally keep putting out new things so that the old things will become obsolete.
And I thought that that was going to be like significant, but if it was and went right over my head, they spent so much time on it. Yeah. It was weird.
Todd: I wasn’t sure about that either, but I’m trying to think about it now. Like, does that mean, are they talking about like, like, like kids and adults, like grow older and so then you kind of become obsolete and.
Uh, uh, I don’t know. I don’t either in the eyes of the younger generation or
Craig: right. I don’t know either. We, I mean, we do start to see some ominous things. It’s like a zombie movie where you kind of start seeing things in the background that should suggest you because we know we’re watching a horror movie.
We know what to watch for, but like kids are being called out of class at the daughter’s school. Cops are showing up. Their, um, parents are like ominously waiting right outside the door of the PSA T where Carly’s boyfriend is, is taking the PSA. But when he goes out, nobody bothered there’s him. You know, because it’s not his parents, they’re just waiting for their kids to come out.
The daughter gets her phone confiscated, which again, I thought it was going to be significant, but really wasn’t like, I thought, Oh, ha, they’re setting this up. So she can’t doesn’t have her phone. But like it never even, yeah. Is an issue. And then they evacuate that an alarm goes off. The whole high school starts evacuating.
These parents are waiting on the other side of offense. Um, and they’re beckoning their kids to the fence, but most of the kids aren’t going, but one kid finally does run to his mom and tries to jump the fence. And the cops and the teacher tried to pull him back, but the parents get them over and the moms stabs him to death with her car keys.
And at that point, the parents breach the fence. And this is probably the most fun sequence. There’s tons of chaos. As all of these parents are chasing all of these kids, but, and they’re chasing them through the parking lot and across the football field and like these great big fat middle-aged dads are like, their kids.
And, um, it, it was a fun scene. It doesn’t go on for very long. Carly and her female friend see parents like running towards them and they cower in fear, but the parents just run by. So I feel like it’s at that point that they realize, and we should have at this point have already realized that they’re, the parents are only going after.
Their own kids. And I really liked that part. Like I, so I’m stretching for things to say because it’s like things keep happening, but. Nothing is particularly significant. Like Damon gets attacked, but th that’s the boyfriend gets attacked by his dad and his dad ends up falling on the bow. He breaks a bottle to attack his son with and he ends up falling on it on his neck.
Can we talk
Todd: about this for a second too? There’s some kind of problematic things in here. I thought the thing that day. Okay. The one child of color. In this movie is the one whose dad is clearly like an alcoholic and an abuser and abuser and, and it’s, and, you know, it’s kind of made to be like the way that he is now with this affliction.
Isn’t too far off from the way he is pretty much every day, you know, just one step away from murdering his son. And I thought, Oh, come on. Really? You know, and then the family has a housekeeper who’s Chinese who has a daughter and. I don’t know, man, I’m sorry. Maybe also, because I live in China and it wasn’t even right.
The way she was speaking with her. Chinglish like, it was a complete caricature of a. Chinese made or whatever housekeeper in, you can barely speak English in the, his house. And it was supposed to be kind of funny, but I thought it was cringy the way that she talked and the stuff that she said. I don’t know, man.
There was some that was weird too. It was supposed to be funny, I think, but I didn’t find it funny. A little racist.
Craig: Yeah. I get what you’re saying. It’s not as though, um, non-American housekeepers don’t exist, right?
Todd: what they do and they don’t believe it. Perfect English and all that, but, but there’s a difference between the way it kind of really is.
And the way that like a cartoon character version of that would be, and I felt like she was closer to that. And when
Craig: you’re. Presentation of minority characters play into those stereotypes. Yeah. Yeah. It’s I agree with you. It’s it’s a little, uh huh. But Oh God, the mom, uh, Kendall has a flashback where like she wanted to go back to her old job after the kids were a little bit older, but the boss treats her as though, you know, like she’s useless.
Because she’s been out of the field for so long and she cries in her car, but then she gets a call from her sister and we knew that she was waiting for this call because her sister was going to be going into labor and she gets this call and it’s obvious that it is the call. And as soon as I realized that we were going to be seeing a delivery scene, I thought, Oh man, Oh, this is going to be bad right before she gets there.
The teenage girls like smoke some weed and then see news footage of parents killing their kids and Dr. Oz cameos, um, explaining, explaining savaging, which is apparently a phenomenon in nature where animals killed their kids. I don’t know. Uh, Carly’s friend. Gets murdered by her mother, which Carly sees and screams and runaway runs away.
And then, okay. So I previewed it. 10 minutes ago, but finally getting there. My favorite scene, Kendall is in the hospital with her little sister who is giving birth after she gives birth, she holds the baby and she’s like loving on the baby. And then all of a sudden on a TV screen in the delivery, every room, the static screen comes on and everybody notices it.
And I have to say that one of my favorite things about this movie was, um, The soundtrack. I thought they made excellent use of music, and this was my favorite. Part, yes, this new mother, this new mother is holding her baby and they see the static screen. And all of a sudden you hear ding, ding, ding, and it is rock sets.
It must have been love.
Oh, I thought it was so funny. Cause the words of the song are, it must have been love. Oh, nah,
Todd: it was
Craig: brand new and the new mother starts trying to squeeze the daughter to death and Kendall freaks out. Starts trying to tear the baby away. And, um, the new mom is like trying to grab a scalpel off the medical tray next to her is trying to stab the baby. They eventually get the baby away from her and I think they have to knock her out or something.
Um, but that scene was really tense.
Todd: It really was.
Craig: And I just thought the movie was. Or the music was gold. Like I was just laughing out loud and I’m like, this is so good. Uh, that was my favorite part of the movie.
Todd: Yeah. It’s one of those eerie juxtapositions, right? Where you have this kind of music, that’s kind of supposed to evoke something different from what you’re seeing on the screen, but also kind of fits.
And then that’s followed up by, you know, a shot of all of these expect and fathers and mothers, whatever, just. Standing outside the nursery staring in the window, like very patiently staring in the window, like waiting, like, like just get that baby into my hands, you know? And it was so creepy. So it had these really cool creepy moments.
Right. And this really eerie stuff and a lot of mystery to like, what’s going on, what’s with the static. Why are these parents turning like, what is causing this to happen? But then. I don’t think the movie’s really interested in the reason. No. Like I said, at that point, I mean, all of the exploration is kind of done.
Right? And so all we get is parents chasing after kids and kids trying to defend themselves and that culminates and Josh and Carly holding themselves up in the basement, trying to get away from mom and dad when mom and dad. Finally turn. And it seems to me like Kendall turns a little bit later than everybody else.
And I wondered if that was significant
Craig: in some way. We’ll see. I don’t know because you know, she, the interesting thing about it is they, the movie seems to suggest that that static on the TV is what triggers the change. However, they only then. Seem to be triggered at the sight of their children. So like, I assume that Kendall was, you know, she was exposed to that signal at some point during the day.
But for some reason, it’s, you know, even after that, she’s concerned about her kids, she wants to get to her kids and she hears on the radio. Somebody saying, whatever you do, stay away from your kids because. It seems like until they see their kids, everybody’s normal. And then they see their kids and they freak out and they kill them.
And then they’re basically still normal, except they’re remorseless about what they have done. They interview a guy on TV. Intellectually, I should feel devastated. This should be the most awful thing that can happen to anybody. I get that, please. Just,
I’m trying to sum it up. Some crocodile tears for you, just so you don’t think I’m a monster.
Do you think it’s good? What’s happening? Absolutely not. I think it’s horrible with time. But for you, it was exactly
Todd: right. It had to be done. Yeah. Yeah.
Craig: It’s, it’s really kind of bizarre. And we get like all of these. Um, and they do, you know, uh, Damon and Carly get back to the house and where they find the housekeeper who has killed her own daughter, who was there helping.
And she’s just, you know, cleaning up as though nothing is weird, but then the dad does get home and he has a really super angry conversation with the boyfriend before he even sees his kids, which again, makes him seem like he’s unhinged. Already, but then when he sees the kids, he immediately tries to attack and he brutally knocks Damon out on the floor and chases the kids and the kids go down to the basement when we get a flashback and we keep having these flashbacks that I feel like are supposed to establish something, but I don’t really get what, like.
It says three weeks ago. And we see that the dad is building a pool table and then Kendall comes down, the wife comes down and fights with him about it. Like we can’t afford this or whatever. And it, you know, it does seem like he’s having a midlife crisis. Like he’s building a man cave or whatever, but he’s not.
That’s like she chastises him mildly for doing this without consulting her in for spending money when they can’t really afford it. So he picks up a sledgehammer and destroys. Like it’s a big scene of him destroying this pool table that he had just put together while singing some kid’s song. What does he sing?
Like? The hokey pokey or smell super crazy. And then they, and then they sit down and the dad, Nick cage has this whole monologue where he’s just crazy feeling, sorry for himself about, you know, how he used to be Brant, you know? And he was super cool. And . And the wife sits down and very calmly is like, look, I get it.
There’s this bigger thing all your life, you know, it’s coming. And there’s this mix of anxiety and excitement and terror because you know that one day inevitably you’ll create this. Hugeness of it, the importance of it, everything is building to that moment and then it happens. And no matter what you thought it would be.
It’s not like, I know this is the way things are supposed to be. I know we’re doing it right. It’s just hard to get my head around, you know? I mean, I used to be branch and you used to be Kendall now. We’re just mom and dad. Yeah. And I felt like that was supposed to be a really significant part of the movie.
And I. I get it. I understand the message. It’s true. You know, we all grow up. I was wild and fun to one. Now I’m in bed by 10 o’clock every night. Like I used to be wild, fun. Crazy party guy. And now I’m just Mr. Higgins, you know, like I get it, but get over
Todd: it. Right. And so it’s not super sympathetic. I mean, you understand it, but at the same time, like parent or not, this is what happens, right.
I mean, you know, it’s not really about being a parent that that happens to you. It’s just part of growing up. So it’s, it’s not quite. There, you know, she, I think what I think what she actually says is she, when she’s talking about the kids, she says, you, no matter how you think they will end up, it’s not like that.
So she’s kind of saying, you know, you have this vision for your children. It’s probably very positive. You, you know how you’re going to have a relationship with them, how they’re going to grow power, they’re going to turn out and then. It’s just not ever that way for anybody, you know, and that’s depressing that that’s a different point, right?
From the midlife crisis point of, I used to be wild and crazy and have my own identity. And now I feel like a completely different person blaming the kids for that. Uh, I don’t know, you know,
Craig: like it’s yeah. I was going to say like, I feel like I understand it conceptually, but it’s naive. Like, no, your kids aren’t going to be exactly who you expect them to be.
They are people, you know, they are individuals and they’re going to make their own choices and they’re going to be their own person and they’re going to screw up and they’re going to do things that you don’t agree with. Like. You should know that going in. Right. Well, and you all, like you said before, we were all kids once, you know, like, yeah, geez.
Todd: Well, and you and your kids didn’t make you lame your job. Did your, uh, growing up being an adult did, it’s just natural part of life as you grow up and you don’t do those wild, crazy most of us anyway, do we don’t do those wild, crazy things anymore because we have responsibilities now because nobody’s taking care of us.
So you have to take care of ourselves. And that sometimes involves, uh, you know, a lot of work and, and a lot of struggle. And then, you know, you don’t have time for running around and driving around in cars with half naked chicks on your lap. And so like, there’s it doesn’t connect. I don’t think it’s a complete
And the mom’s response is a little bit more sympathetic, but the dads it’s, it’s like the more I talk about it, the more it irritates me, like when you grow up your priorities change and they should, and he is like that loser at the bar. Who’s just constantly thinking back on his high school glory days, like grow up like
Todd: w and it’s.
It’s not your kid’s fault, right? It’s not the, it’s not becoming a dad that made you this way. You know, maybe to a certain extent, the kids are just more responsibility. So they’re more things, quote, unquote, dragging you down, but also wait a few more years and your daughter’s going to be out of the house.
And it’s like, I mean, and you’re in a, you got a nice job and you’ve got to like a clearly like established neighborhood and everything’s internal, everything’s personal for him. But it’s all inward. And so I’m really kind of failing to see the point that the movies making, I mean, on the surface, when you hear this conversation, it kind of seems to make sense, but when you really think about it, it doesn’t.
Craig: Yeah. And you’re kind of shitty people and you’re kind of shitty parents, if that’s the way that you feel
and that, you know, everybody, you know, I can only imagine that parents have rough. Days and, and difficult times, and everybody does. And I get that, but it just seems like he, especially, I do get the sense that Kendall is sad and disappointed that she doesn’t have the relationship that she would like to have with her daughter.
And I get that, but the, and maybe it’s just Nick Cage’s performance, but his he’s just, he’s only focused on him. It’s like, he feels so sorry for himself. And. I don’t feel sorry for you. Like you’re just a douche bag.
Todd: Here’s the other thing, too, when you get mad at your kids or when I do it to this level where you just like, want to, like, not literally, but you just feel like you want to strangle them or you want to shake some sense into them.
It’s usually because of an immediate thing, like they are completely tearing into your day or you are super tired and now they’re being an asshole and it just is irritating. Right. These kids are, they’re just normal teenagers and they’re not causing major strife in the household. You could say the, probably most of these kids at this school are not coming home and acting like four or five year olds, or they’re fine.
One second and crazy the next. And you’re irritated at them. You’re mad at them and you just want to strangle them. It’s just not that way. So. No, I get it. I realize the movie’s trying to be kind of a Twilight zone. What if type thing? And it’s trying to make this point. It’s just a hard thing for me to get behind and, and, and really care about it.
It’s like sort of like too high concept maybe is what is what I’m saying. It it’s incomplete. It doesn’t really work for me the way it was presented in the movie.
Craig: The more that we talk about it, the more that I realized that that’s kind of what my big problem with it was because I didn’t really care the way that I wanted it to turn out is I wanted.
I wanted their parental instincts to somehow overcome whatever this was. And, and I just expected. That in the end, you know, I thought, well, maybe Nick cage will die because he’s an asshole, but you know, Kendall seems nice. You know, she can overcome this something,
Todd: we’ll talk her out of it. Right. Somehow.
Yeah. Something will snap her out
Craig: of it. But what does happen? And as Kendall gets home and she immediately switches to. And so both the parents now are going after the kids and, you know, Kendall tries to trick them by pretending to be nice. They’re locked in the basement and she tries to coax them out.
The, the kids won’t come out. And so then, uh, Nick cage releases a tie, right? Tirade of mother efforts. That’s it like, he’s good at it. Eight times in a row. So silly. And so then. The parents tried to get in and they try to solve their way in the, the son has a gun, uh, where there’s a flashback where we see him playing with a gun, which is terrifying to me that that just made my blood run cold, but they shoot and I think Kendall gets shot, but she’s.
Fine. Um, when they can’t get them out, even though the hinges are on their side of the door, I could have easily just take
Todd: it, figure that out myself
Craig: when they can’t get them out, then they decide that they’re going to run a garden hose. Um, from the gas line in the kitchen, into a basement window and gas them up, that
Todd: was, you know, all of this was so weirdly elaborate. Right? I mean, come on. Like he had his saws all just saw through the door. It just like you did, once you realized that, you know, you thought the kids were gassed enough, which is what they do, except the daughter is kind of smart and she finds this place that she can kind of, that they could maybe hide and crawl out of the basement through the wall or something.
And so then she gets some matches and the match thing. And does this sort of MacGyver type thing where she tapes the matches on the door. So that. When the door opens, it’s going to create a spark. That’s going to ignite the gas or whatever, but they’ll be safe because they’re already gone and it does a Nick cage gets blown away.
Craig: mom is totally okay. The dad is. Uh, burned but alive the kids, I don’t know if they were trying to get away or whatever, but they’re in the house now. And the mom sees them and chases them and there’s, you know, like a flashback to nice times between mom and daughter. And then the mom gets in and is like fighting and biting at the daughter.
And the boyfriend is somehow now magically awake and he’s helping out. And I don’t know. I think I usually watch these movies stone cold sober during the day, but because it was so last minute, um, I had to, uh, convince Alan to watch it with me. And one of the only ways that I was able to do that was like, well, we can have a couple drinks.
Craig: so at this point, I think I might’ve been a little drunk, so I’m a little fuzzy.
Todd: Well, it’s all it was is just a bunch of fighting. I mean, It was well done, I guess it was, seemed very brutal the way it was filmed, lots of close-ups and flashes and sped up things. And, and, uh, again, it kind of committed that sin, sometimes aware things are cuts are so rapid. You don’t really have a sense of what’s happening, but like you said, the sound design was really good and it made everything.
Very visceral and raw and that bit I did like, I mean, I thought the cinematography and stuff was nice. The problem is like, like you said, they were going for this Grindhouse thing, which, which isn’t generally known for it. It just had still as stylized as it was. And as brutal as it was, it was still very modern aesthetic.
And that was a little disappointing because I felt like they were. From the beginning credits and from the theme of the movie and where it ended up, I felt like they were trying for something more retro, but it didn’t play that way. So it wasn’t even interesting in that way. For me, I was just ready for it to be over, but just okay.
Just who wins, who wins, fight, fight your parents. And I almost fast forward through all this. It wasn’t that great.
Craig: Wait there, I mean, there is some good brutality, like the mom. Um, stabs Damon, the boyfriend through the cheek with the coat hanger. Yeah, that looks kind of cool. And then she pushes him over the stair railing where he falls flat on the, you know, like tile floor below.
And I thought he was surely dead, but he’s not like how he should have been dead several times,
but my, okay. So my second favorite part, they had casually mentioned in the very beginning that the grandparents were coming over later. And so just as the parents are about to like, get the kids, the doorbell rings and they’re like, Oh, it’s grandma and grandpa. And I saw this coming too. And I was so excited.
Um, the dad went to the door to, and was like, mom and dad. It’s really not a good time or something. And his mom pepper sprays him and his. Dad played by Lance Hendrix. Yes.
Stabs him and Josh, the little boy begs the grandpa not to hurt the dad and the grandpa’s like, he still loves the grandson. Like he’s like, Oh, Sunday, don’t worry or whatever. Um, but then it’s a hilarious cat and mouse thing where. Nicholas cage is chasing his son and then his dad is chasing him. Oh my God.
Money. And they end up in the Trans-Am and like each father is trying to kill their son. Um, Kendall is fighting with her mother-in-law who, this was hilarious too, because it turns out that the mother-in-law just hates Kendall anymore. She’s it’s not because it’s her daughter. It’s just because she hates her and she’s a bitch.
And so they’re fighting the Trans-Am somehow gets started and. Bursts out of the garage and ends up hitting the mother-in-law. And I liked when the grandpa’s is, is fighting with the dad and he’s like, I fought in Wars, whatever.
Yeah. The grandma gets taken out by the Trans-Am Damon knocks out. I don’t remember what happens to the grandma or grandpa. Um, Damon knocks out Kendall. With a shovel. And then the next thing we see are they have mom and dad, um, Kendall and Brent, both tied up in the basement and they’re trying to like pretend to be nice and talking about how much they love them.
And then Nick cage says, we love you, but sometimes we just want to, and then it cuts to black and that’s the end. And I was so pissed off. Like there’s no resolution. It all.
Todd: Yeah, no worries. No explanation. I could have done with the no explanation, but no resolution was kind of, I guess God, I thought this movie would have been a good black mirror episode.
Could have been interesting. Shorter form. Well, those aren’t that short, I guess, but they’re about an hour. Yeah. This, this movie just got boring real fast for me. And I didn’t feel like it really went anywhere. It made its little point. It wasn’t even that coherent of a point and a, that fully formed, I should say of a point.
And then, uh, it was just watching them all fight for a while and, and run away from each other. And then again, that it was well done in that respect. You know, I mean, it was, well, it was exciting fight scenes and stuff, but even sort of like watching transformers, you know, you watch enough of this. If the fighting goes on for too long with basically no break, it does get boring.
And I did get to that point. And then it just seemed like a, you know, a kind of a vehicle for a bunch of these little silly jokes. And, uh, and that was fine. At least there were jokes, but. Oh, I don’t know. It’s disappointing was
Craig: disappointing. Especially I had been looking forward to watching it for a long time.
It had been on my list for a long time. Alan’s in here. He just gave it two big thumbs down in case you were
Todd: well he’s among the minority. Apparently. My goodness. I know because
Craig: yeah, it’s got a, it’s got a decent, um, rotten tomatoes score. I just, I don’t get it. Like it, it didn’t work for me at all. I ultimately, I was kind of disappointed that I felt bad for making out and watch it. I kind of felt bad for making you watch it.
I think I texted you and I was like, dude, it’s, it’s pretty lame. Sorry.
Todd: I’ll never forgive you.
Craig: Whatever it is what it is. And there are people out there who like it and it’s, so if you’re, if you’re one of those people, shoot us a message or comment on our Facebook posts and let us know what we’re missing, because I feel like I’m missing something aside from Selma Blair, who I really did think did it.
I thought she did a really good job. I liked she,
Todd: dear performance was very nuanced.
Craig: Yeah, I really liked her beyond that. I just, there was that, that’s it? I mean, there was nothing else for me to really like, except
Todd: for the music, honestly, it was the nuance of her performance that made me really hold out hope that she was going to turn back.
Like you said earlier, like she was going to come to some realization or something was going to snap back. And it was really curious to see what that would be. I
Craig: thought maybe she would have to turn on the huddle. Spend to protect the kids, which could have been interesting. I don’t know. Maybe it’s my desire for things to be tied up in it.
Nice way that is impacting my overall view of it. And you know, that’s not really fair. Filmmakers are under no, you know, they’re, they’re not required to meet my expectations every time in term of, in, in terms of storytelling, but, uh, it just didn’t work for me, but
Todd: the, the, the lack of resolution kind of.
Makes the point incomplete, right? Like what’s the movie trying to say, like, I feel like only some kind of resolution here would have clarified that instead what the movie is saying is, Hey, you know, sometimes parents hate their kids. That’s it that’s it. So, anyway, well, it was interesting to chat about it.
Nonetheless. Thank you,
Craig: Greg. Yeah, there’s something that I can grab onto to say, well, if you like this, if you like this, I don’t know. I, I mean, I guess if you really, really like some of layer or you really, really like Nick cage, I mean, if you’re a Nick cage fan, like you’re going to get Nick cage and all his glory.
So I guess there’s that, but I’m not a huge, I mean, I think he’s,
Todd: I know that he said this was at the time anyway. His favorite role in 10 years?
Craig: Yes. Well then like Clinton Tarantino loves. This movie there’s a lot of people do again. Seriously fill us in, what are we saying? But yeah, that’s, that’s it. I I’m I’m I’m spinning me too.
Todd: Well, thank you for listening to another episode. If you enjoyed it, please share it with a friend. You can just search us online, two guys and a chainsaw, and you can find our Facebook page or Twitter feed and our website. You can leave us a message at any one of those places and they give us some feedback.
Till then, let us know what we’re missing about this movie, and also, uh, suggest some other movies for us to do in the future until then. I’m Todd and I’m Craig with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.
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