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Where Have You Gone, Charlie Tweeder??   Leave a comment


A nation turns it's lonely eyes to you?

My wife and I have very different tastes when it comes to movies.  She’s a fan of drama, mystery/crime, and horror – aka movies you watch one time until you forget most of the plot then you can watch them again (I bought her Alpha Dog as a joke present once and she loved it).  I am more a fan of comedy movies where you can re-watch them many times as the plot of the film isn’t as important as the jokes that remain funny no matter how many times you see or hear them (I have seen Step Brothers and The Burbs roughly three hundred times each).  Because of that difference of opinion, it is rare that we both agree on a movie to watch.  One exception to this rule is Varsity Blues.  My wife likes it because, well, to be honest, it has just enough drama and more importantly Dawson and the guy from The Fast and the Furious either have their shirts off or wear shirts without sleeves for a good portion of the film.  I like it because of Charlie Tweeder, the hilarious, over-the-top party character who was basically Stiffler from American Pie with a 4.4 forty-yard dash and hands that could catch any pass thrown in his direction…and because when compared to Billy Bob I actually appear to be in half-way decent shape.

I re-watched the movie a little over a week ago and began to wonder where movies like Varsity Blues went.  Remember teen movies from the 1990’s?  Specifically 1999? American Pie, Can’t Hardly Wait (1998…sorry), She’s All That, 10 Things I Hate About You, Drive Me Crazy, and Varsity Blues (basically all the movies Teen Movie made fun of)?  What happened to over-the-top, exaggerated teen movies?  Most had every high school demographic represented:  the overly popular jock, the less popular but more easy-to-relate-to-guy, the gorgeous cheerleader/snotty/morally questionable girl, the not as gorgeous but still cute and much more down to earth “other girl”, the somewhat lovable geek, and the crazy party guy.  The plot usually centered around a party, prom, or game that was so larger-than-life it usually involved a choreographed dance number or participants who looked like pro athletes.

This man changed teen movie history?

Somewhere between 2000 and 2004, the “teen movie” concept changed.  Loser, although a huge bomb, and American Wedding, where the band geek and Jason Biggs (coincidently, the lead in Loser) ended up together and Stiffler became a softie instead of the party-hard lacrosse jock we met years earlier, started the trend that Napoleon Dynamite eventually mastered.  Instead of glorifying how high school unfortunately tends to be with the rich, attractive, and athletic kids getting the majority of the attention and always coming out on top, the movies focused on portraying what some would call the “lesser” groups and showed them winning (Charlie Sheen your copyright money is in the mail…I promise) over the popular groups.  Napoleon shopped at thrift stores and could barely handle riding a bike.  Despite those “limitations”, we couldn’t get enough of him and we couldn’t stand the former over-the-top jock Uncle Rico.  “Ligers” and “bo staff skills” became regular topics of conversation.  “McLovin” became a cultural icon.  Michael Cera and Jonah Hill, two guys who would have been cast as “the Sherminator” and a sober driver in 1999, were able to be leading-role caliber movie stars in the new century.

As a former high school cross country and track runner, I appreciated these movies as they were about guys like me when I was in high school.  I weighed 120 lbs soaking wet.  I was a smartass, but wisely always avoided running my mouth to the wrong people.  My friends and I did really dumb things with a lot of our weekends, including filming our own versions of “Nuthin’ But a G Thang” music videos and marching through Wendy’s restaurants chanting “I’m the Whiz” from Seinfeld.  I dated girls, but they were never the future model, “prom queen”-types (if any of you are reading this, sorry, but it’s true…also, my phone and address are unlisted and my wife, thanks to the massive pregnancy hormones, now has Hulk-like strength).  They were smart, normal, and down to earth …and according to 1999 teen movies, they, and I, were bad things.

Unfortunately, if the ebb and flow of teen movies of the past is any indication, teen movies will eventually swing back to the Usher-led dance number movies of the late 1990’s.  After doing a little research, I realized this had already happened in the 1980’s.  Movies like Risky Business, All the Right Moves, and Sixteen Candles opened the decade with the same types of parties, proms, and characters seen in films like those in the late 90’s.  One could argue the turning point of the decade was Teen Wolf, where we saw Michael J. Fox be a part of both sides of the spectrum, with the nerdy, unathletic side eventually winning out over the cool, white leisure suit wearing, unstoppable basketball player “wolf” and the less attractive, girl next door character of Boo winning Fox’s heart over the gorgeous and extremely popular blonde Pamela Wells character.  Following Teen Wolf, movies like The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, and The Goonies featured beloved “geek”-like characters who triumphed over or won the respect of the high school elite.  When this will happen again, I have no idea.  My guess would be sometime after Glee runs it’s course on TV and once the Jonas Bros. hit the weight room.

To close and answer your questions, yes, I really did go through and look this stuff up.  Yes, I had that kind of spare time today.  Below is a list of teen movies in chronological order with release years from the 1980’s through today that shows what I am talking about:

Risky Business 1983

All the Right Movies 1983

Sixteen Candles 1984

Footlose 1984

The Karate Kid 1984

Teen Wolf 1985

Weird Science 1985

Just One of the Guys 1985

Breakfast Club 1985

The Goonies 1985

Pretty In Pink 1986

The Karate Kid Part 2 1986

Lucas 1986

Ferris Buehler 1986

Say Anything 1989

The Karate Kid Part 3 1989

Clueless 1995

Can’t Hardly Wait 1998

American Pie 1999

Cruel Intentions 1999

She’s All That 1999

10 Things I Hate About You 1999

Varsity Blues 1999

Drive Me Crazy 1999

Bring It On 2000

Road Trip 2000

Loser 2000

Van Wilder 2002

American Wedding 2003

Napoleon Dynamite 2004

Juno 2007

Superbad 2007

Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist 2008

The House Bunny 2008

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World 2010

Easy A 2010

Thanks IMDB.com

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A Bite Out of Bluetooth…   3 comments


Technology improves people’s lives.  I have been a firm believer of this ever since I put my first copy of Oregon Trail into the old Apple IIe and promptly learned to stay away from any situation where cholera and dysentery may end my life or that of any member of my family.  Who knows, without that knowledge I may have been lost fording a river or passed on to the other side due to exhaustion years ago.  That explains my stellar 60% completion rate of the lists my wife leaves for me on my days off.

Andy and I could very well have shared the same fate...

Unfortunately, after moving to the far suburbs and being exposed to it everyday, I have found a technology that I am convinced was created solely for the purpose of annoying me to no end – Bluetooth Technology.  Please don’t get me wrong, I am all for safe driving and I see the validity of using Bluetooth in your car.  I actually enjoy pulling up next to a person who appears to be talking to his or her self as it makes me feel a little saner.  Professionals in a busy office or workplace?  Bluetooth until you’re blue in the face as I am sure you have a million things going on during your day and need both hands free.

Where I don’t see the necessity of Bluetooth head sets is in public places like Panera Bread, the Panera Bread right by my work, to be exact.  You may be asking yourself, “How is talking on Bluetooth in line any different than talking on a cell phone?” and I am glad you asked.  When one talks on a cell phone, the mouth piece is near one’s mouth and the talker realizes this and generally speaks at a normal level.  This is different with Bluetooth as the earpiece with the seizure-causing blinking light is far away from the speaker’s mouth so the speaker yells his or her end of the conversation.  Did you know that Ashley went into an empty bedroom with Ryan, who happened to be dating Amanda at the time, at Gia’s New Years Eve party while Gia’s parents were away for the weekend in Wisconsin?  I did because I was lucky enough to be in the same zip code of the nameless friend of Amanda who was conflicted as to whether she should tell Amanda because she kissed Ryan at a party a few weeks back and doesn’t want Amanda to find that out if she confronts Ryan and he comes clean about everything.  OMG.

A friend of mine used to list his “dislikes” on his Facebook page when we were in college and #2 on his list was “Bluetooth Technology” (#1 was Elijah Wood…BT came in a whole three spots ahead of Harry Potter and five above “grown men on razor scooters”…nice work, AJ)  I never really agreed with him because I thought “grown men on razor scooters” was one of the more ridiculous things I had ever heard, but I have seen the light, AJ – the irritatingly intense, bright, blue, blinking, brain-bedlam-inducing light.

Consider this a public service announcement

Here goes nothing…   1 comment


From what I have seen, most of these things tend to have themes or stay within a certain subject.  For anyone that knows me, that just isn’t my personality.  I’m doing this because I sell beds for a living and believe it or not, there is some down time at work.  Instead of taking up smoking or other worse habits, I’ve decided this is something I can do.  As I said, there won’t be any themes, I just hope anyone who reads this stuff enjoys it and it helps you pass some time.  Regardless of if you hate or love things I write, throw up a comment and let me know what you think. 

Thanks and have a good one,

Joe

Posted October 29, 2010 by joejack7500 in Uncategorized