Wednesday, April 28, 2010
The Bring It On-a-thon
I don’t know whether to be proud or mortified, but on Monday I overcame exhaustion, emotional outbursts and all good taste. On Monday I looked filmic death square in the eye, and you know what I said? I said ‘Bring It On’.
It all started with an inspired Christmas gift from Sammy. Knowing my passion for Bring It On, and following a conversation about that film’s various straight-to-dvd sequels, Sammy gave me the box set edition of the ultimate cheerleading franchise. Ultimate… and only cheerleading franchise. What came next, several wine bottles later, was a vow I couldn’t take back. A vow that would take me to the edge of sanity. I swore to sit through all 458 minutes of pom-pom waving wonder in one go. That’s a 7 hour and 38 minute cheer-tacular.
At the time, as many as 4 friends claimed they too would give it a go. Why that number dwindled to 2 when we set a date with destiny remains a mystery. Their loss.
Sammy, Fi and I settled in to Bring It On-a-thon 2010 with pom-poms in our hearts and spirit fingers at the ready. What followed almost broke me. Will I ever cheer again? It’s difficult to say.
3:30pm – Bring It On
The 3 of us were buoyed with optimism, because this is a truly awesome movie. It also appears to have been a career high for Jesse Bradford and Gabrielle Union (where are you now?). It’s also the only time I’ve ever seen bad breath used as a plot point, to be followed by a lengthy teeth brushing scene. Is this a special extended teeth brushing scene for the DVD? I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much focus on dental hygiene in a film. Oh Sparky Polastri, you had me at “Report that compliment to your ass before it forms it’s own web site.”
Verdict = brilliant as ever
4:25pm – Bring It On: All or Nothing
This was a point where we made a controversial decision. We skipped the first sequel, Bring It On Again (the ill-fated attempt to take the cheerleading plot to college, when we all know it belongs in high school), in an attempt to make sure we get through to 5 (Fi was desperate to see Christina Milian). There was another dream sequence opening, this one involving a fart. Fart comedy is never a good sign. Hayden Panettiere, could this be your career highlight? Solange Knowles-Smith, this is definitely your career highlight (god it must suck to be Beyonce’s sister). Hayden is a rich girl who has to move to a poor school after her dad loses his job. As we all know, poor schools have never seen white people before, so Hayden’s arrival is utterly shocking. Hayden and Solange must work together to win cheer glory, and computers for their poor school. If I never have to see Hayden krump again, it will be too long. Krumping is not a sport for white people. Also, who convinced Rihanna to appear?
Verdict = not disastrous, but certainly ridiculous
6:55pm – Bring It On: In It To Win It
Here lies the movie that nearly killed me. It was my Alamo. I have never sat through an entire movie that was this bad before. It’s what it feels like when doves cry – unnatural, unholy and indescribable. I wanted to eat my own hand in horror. You will not recognize anyone in this, because their careers promptly died after this was made. IITWI is a loose adaptation of West Side Story, with the two rival teams called the Sharks and the Jets. When injuries force them to merge teams to compete in a competition that makes no sense, they name themselves The Shets. No joke. For the nadir/highlight, tune in at 39 minutes and 40 seconds to see a ‘cheer-rumble’ in a darkened street where they click, and swing around lamp-posts. Then take the DVD out of the machine and burn it.
Verdict = Don’t, just don’t
8:45pm – Bring It On: Fight to the Finish
By this point Sammy, a broken woman after IITWI, had to throw in the towel. I don’t blame her. Fi reveled in the glory that was her Christina Milian fetish, then quit halfway through. The film itself was such a vast step up from the horrors of the previous movie that it’s racial stereotyping and lack of logic barely registered. Plus it’s actually occasionally funny. Christina is the Cuban-American who moves from a poor school to a rich one after her mum marries up (for love, of course). Once there she gives the school’s incompetent cheer squad an ethnic cheer-makeover. This is the film where it becomes clear it’s not really about cheering anymore, it’s about a miss-labeled dance troupe.
Verdict = really stupid, but sporadically amusing
10:05pm – Bring It On Again
I decided that to claim an official Bring It On-a-thon I needed to do it properly. I couldn’t risk ever having to see IITWI again. So alone and fading, I pulled out the disc for the very first sequel, and completed the final leg of my cheer-athlon. It was as forgettable as I had suspected. A bunch of cheer rejects form a 2nd college cheerleading group with the catch-less name the ‘Renegades’. The highlight is Bree Turner’s uber bitch, who is a Judy Greer in waiting (Judy Greer is Hollywood’s go-to gal for snarky romcom best friend. If Judy Greer is your best friend, it’s a reliable sign your about to meet your soul mate).
Verdict = meh
Bloated with triumph and junk food I stumbled to bed. I vowed to do something cerebral the next day to try and even out the mental black hole I had just formed in my brain. I didn’t, but it was totally the thought that counts. I can guarantee I will never attempt a Bring It On-a-thon again. I am, however, already looking for volunteers for Step Up-a-thon 2011. Any takers?