Wednesday, April 29, 2009

unruly review: labyrinth

...because the Goblin King is my favorite fake boyfriend ever.

When you send a grouchy Dr. Krog into the Unholy Closet of Lost Movies, you never know what you're going to get. You would usually guess Excalibur or Ghostbusters, and you would usually be correct and make fun of him, but last night, you would have been wrong. Because he chose Labyrinth, because he wanted to hear me recite every line in a perfect accent, with gesticulations and spot-on timing.

Labyrinth, made in 1986, is the story of a young girl who gets sick of a crying baby and wishes the exotically attractive Goblin King would come take the baby away so she could spend more time wearing stupid costumes in the park in the rain and not having any friends.

I tried it, and it didn't work.

Anyway, he takes the baby, and she wants it back, because boy, will her stepmother ever be angry! So he tells her she can have the whiny brat back if she solves his labyrinth within 13 hours. The weirdo clock is ticking, Sarah!

Sorry that's so small. If you click on it, you can actually read it.

Along the way, she meets several helpful friends, most of which are really awesome puppets that make you very, very angry at CGI, because they actually look *real*. I ache to see a random goblin cage match vs. Dobby.

She also meets this guy, who is possibly the cutest puppet ever built. He's a worm.

She has many fun adventures, including being felt up by thousands of freaky blue hands, being stuffed in a sparkly oubliette, solving riddles, dancing with terrifying fire puppets, being nearly dumped into the Bog of Eternal Stench, and battling her giant eyebrows with a sword.

Okay, she doesn't actually battle her eyebrows, but she should.

Thankfully, as this is Labyrinth and not Pan's Labyrinth, we never see anything like this.

That thing gives me the screaming heebie jeebies.

But then she is slipped a poisoned peach, which gives her an awesome hallucinogenic dream, in which she wears the world's froufiest ball gown and walks around the world's awesomest costume party to dance with the world's awesomest Goblin King.

Oddly, in the movie, this is considered a bad thing.

One is lead to wonder if she liked the druggy dream so much that she went on to star in such questionable movies as Career Opportunities, The Rocketeer, Dark Water, and She's Just Not That Into You. Or if maybe that's what got her so desperate for heroin in Requiem of a Dream, which i've never seen, but i've heard an awful lot about.

Do you see the difference in her from 1986b to 2000?

In the end, they have a big fight, which is really a chase through an MC Escher drawing, and everybody is friends forever and has a super big group hug, because that's how the 1980's worked, generally.

I loved the 1980's.

And I have to say that Labyrinth is one of my lifelong favorite movies. It honestly appeals to me as much as an adult as it did as a child. It's beautiful, imaginative, dark, creepy, curious. The music actually holds up pretty well. David Bowie as The Goblin King just has this magnificent magnetism. And the puppeteering is genius and makes me wonder if CGI has already jumped the computer-generated shark.

Sadly, I can imagine a 2009 remake. Sarah would be played by Zac Efron. The Goblin Queen would be Gwen Stefani. They'd be the only two humans in the whole thing, performing in front of a green screen with giant, CGI explosions everywhere and breaking out into songs every 5 minutes.

That actually might not be too bad. But I would miss the puppets.

And David Bowie's pants.


Tammy Howard said...

Loved. This.

Miss the 80's. Miss big hair. Miss big eyebrows. (well, I don't MISS them, I just miss having people think they looked good)

Saw Requiem for a Dream. (shudders)

Had no trouble picturing your proposed remake. Not completely sure I hate it as much as I should...

veganf said...

I will sit right beside you, reciting the whole thing with a box of tiramisu cupcakes in my lap, to share of course.
I even have the soundtrack on CD.

katiri said...

you made SO good on your promise! I had Requiem for a Dream mixed up with What Dreams May Come for a minute. I think you'd plan Cuba Gooding Jr.'s murder if you saw the latter.

Kyrissaean said...

I've actually never seen this movie, but your review has finally made me interested in it. Most of the time all I ever hear about Labyrinth is "OMGSQUEEBESTMOVIEEVERILOVEDAVIDBOWIE!!!!!!" , and that sort of "review" usually turns me off from watching something. But you're awesome, and now I want to watch the movie.

Virginia Valerie said...

OMG you make me laugh, and you have mad photo skillz! Or was that you in the movie?

It's been so long since I've seen it, but now I want to see it again!

Heather said...

Seriously, those puppets were the coolest creepy awesome things ever. Watch "Dance Magic Dance" again... and then remember watch that there's no CG. :D I LOVE Labyrinth. :D

edward and lilly said...

Oh my, that was such a cool round up, I loved it!!! Thanks for the laughs :D

charissimo said...

Krog loves Excalibur? We have to talk. This simply will not do.

Beth said...

My hubby raved about Labyrinth and so back in college I watched it with him expecting something spectacular... I think one must see the movie as a child to appreciate it. David Bowie gave me the willies almost as much as the creature from Pan's Labyrinth. Again, I was 20ish the first time I saw it.

However, Legend is right up my ally... Tom Cruise back when his nose was crooked and he didn't act like a cult loving freak. Plus, it has the best devil portal ever. And there's puppets and dancing. AND UNICORNS.

I can't stop reading your blog. Totally addictive.

delilah, the unruly helpmeet said...

Hey, thanks, Beth! And welcome!

I must review Legend some day, as well. It's upstairs in my closet on VHS, right next to Labyrinth and Last Unicorn. I expect they throw parties and wear masks and drink Shirley Temples when i'm not looking.

Adrian's Crazy Life said...

I love this movie. It's right up there with Sargent Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band, the Peter Framton version (don't judge me).

I get a kick out of the name Sir Didymous. Isn't there a part of the male anatomy that sounds kind of like that? I think so. I'll bet the guys had a few beers on the set that day!

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