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10 things you didn't expect to see or hear in 'Hot Tub Time Machine'



Hot tub time machine

John Cusack's new movie Hot Tub Time Machine opens nationwide in theaters on Friday. I caught a sneak preview last week and, predictably, I loved it.

"Ever since John Cusack lifted a boom box over his head in 1989's Say Anything, the specter of his glory days has hung over his acting career," my review goes. "And try as he might to gain traction in action flicks like 2012 and Con Air, maybe Cusack has finally realized it's time to embrace his past (or at least satirize it) in order to capture a new generation of fans."

Bottom line: I gave it a B, and I feel pretty good about that grade. That's still my way of saying everyone who loves Cusack and the '80s needs to see it. Is it as good at capturing the '80s as Adam Sandler's The Wedding Singer? No way. But it wasn't trying to do that.

Not to give too many secrets away, but here's a quickie list of 10 things you didn't expect to see or hear in Hot Tub Time Machine.

1. Co-star Rob Corddry's naked butt. Over and over and over again. Meanwhile, you might see one-quarter of Cusack's bare bottom. Sorry ladies.

2. The F-bomb. Over and over and over again. I wish I had counted them up because I'd bet the finally tally is on par with Scarface. The older folks in the theater weren't happy.

3. No Joan Cusack. I sat through the end of the credits because I just couldn't believe John would do a movie without his sister.

4. Better Off Dead references. Cusack reportedly hates that movie, but there's at least one nice Easter egg in there for hard core fans.

5. Poison, circa 1986. It didn't take Avatar-esque technology, but I appreciate the effort the filmmakers took to recreate a Poison concert (with the band in the mid '80s glory) during a ski party.

6. A John Hughes moment. Look at the photo at the top of this blog item with Cusack and Lizzy Caplan. Remind you of a some '80s movie? How about the ending of Sixteen Candles with Samantha and Jake? Yep, the only John Hughes movie that Cusack appeared in.

7. A salute to Red Dawn. There's a sideplot of the movie where numb-skulled ski patrol thugs think Cusack and his buddies are Russian spies. It all gets explained with a Red Dawn movie poster barely visible in the background. This moment fell flat during my screening, since the entire audience was under 30 years old.

8. A Black Eyed Peas song. It's all part of the predictable plot of using the knowledge of the future to change the past. So cue up Let's Get It Started.

9. A tender Crispin Glover. The quirky actor who played George McFly from Back to the Future gets a bad rap sometimes for being, well, just weird. But he might have the best role in Hot Tub as a helpful, warm-hearted hotel bellboy who's going to lose an arm sooner or later.

10. A nearly absent Chevy Chase. Somebody had to play the role of the hot tub repairman/shaman (like Don Knotts did in Pleasantville). But I just expected to see more of him. 

I'm hoping that a director's cut of the movie, with audio commentaries, will show up later this year. It'd be nice to hear Cusack talk his way through 1986 all over again.

[Last modified: Wednesday, June 9, 2010 2:57pm]


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