adventure, comedy, movie, movie review

October 5th, 2018 Movie -Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery

austin powers

Ok folks. I am done playing catch up so it is back to reviewing all of the movies I bought or was gifted over the year. So let’s start with today’s movie, Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery. Now in the interest of full disclosure, I have to admit that I did not buy this movie, nor did any of my friends give it to me. So how is it that I own this movie and doing a review for it, you might ask? Well, the answer to that lies in the modern era of movies and digital/ultraviolet copies. See, several of the movies I have bought over the years have codes for ultraviolet or digital copies included with them. So I had signed up for a Vudu account, and a Movies Anywhere account, and inputted the codes onto the site to get the digital copies of the movies. However, what I honestly didn’t notice at the time is that I was given several movies for free when I opened these accounts. The only reason I noticed was when I listed my movies in alphabetical order and this movie came up towards the front. So there are going to be some movie reviews over the next few weeks for movies that I honestly would never have considered buying, but I will be fair with my reviews. Now, onto to today’s movie. I will admit that I did not see this movie in theaters but I saw it numerous times when it came out on video, as it seemed like everyone wanted to rent it or would buy their own copy. I have to admit that it has been a while since I watched it so let’s see if it still holds up.

The plot: In a secret lair outside of Las Vegas in 1967, Dr. Evil is holding a meeting with some of the world’s deadliest assassins, where he chastises them for failing to kill Austin Powers; promptly killing 4 of them and leaving Frau Farbissina and Mustafa still alive to deal with Austin. In London, Austin Powers and his partner, Mrs. Kensington, are contacted by Basil Exposition, head of British Intelligence, who warns them about a plot to kill Austin at the Electric Psychedelic Pussycat Swingers Club. Austin and Mrs. Kensington head to the club and uncover one of the assassins posing as a woman but before the can question him, he is shot in the back with a harpoon by Dr. Evil. Austin and Mrs. Kensington give chase only to see Dr. Evil, and his cat Mrs. Bigglesworth get into a cryo-preservation pod and launch into space inside a rocket disguised as a Big Boy statue. 30 years later, a NORAD radar operator contacts Commander Gilmour to alert him about an object shaped like Big Boy entering Earth’s orbit before it disappears somewhere over Nevada. Realizing what this means, Gilmour heads to London and meets with Basil at the British Department of Defense. Basil explains that Austin had volunteered to be frozen in case Dr. Evil returns and they proceed to thaw him out. Once Austin is thawed out, he is introduced to his new partner, Mrs. Kensington’s daughter Vanessa, who tells him that she will be working on getting him acclimated to the 90’s, and after collecting his possessions, they head out to his private jet and take off for Nevada. Meanwhile, in Dr. Evil’s lair, Dr. Evil meets with his henchmen, having Mustafa killed for his failure with the cryo unit that resulted in Mrs. Bigglesworth’s hair falling out. Dr. Evil then introduces Frau Farbissina to Patty O’Brien, Random Task, and Numer 2, who runs the legitimate arm of Dr. Evil’s empire, Virtucon. Dr, Evil tells his henchmen that he has some ideas on holding the world for ransom but when he is told that his plans have already occurred, he decides that they should just steal a nuke and blackmail for $100 billion (after learning that $1 million is no longer as high a sum as it was in ’67). Later, Frau tells him that the used some of the semen he had frozen to create a son, and introduces him to Scott but Scott is resentful that Dr. Evil is just now showing up and tells him that he hates him. On Austin’s plane, Vanessa is trying to be serious about the mission but Austin keeps attempting to seduce her, only to be shot down. When they arrive in Las Vegas, Vanessa explains that they are undercover as a married couple and that Virtucon executives gamble at the casino they are staying in, then points out Number 2. Austin joins Number 2 at the black jack table and after losing his hand, tells Vanessa to keep an eye on his assistant, Alotta Fagina, while he follows Number 2. Austin follows Number 2 into the men’s room only to lose him but as he sits on one of the toilets, Patty O’Brien appears from a secret panel and attempts to strangle him but Austin is able to kill him by drowning him in the toilet. Back at his lair, Dr. Evil shows his cohorts that they have successfully grabbed the nuke before placing a call to the United Nations. Once he has them on the view screen, Dr. Evil tells them that they must pay him $100 billion if they want the nuke back, then ends the call when they tell him they don’t negotiate with terrorists. Back in Las Vegas, Austin and Vanessa are staking out Virtucon when Austin sees Random Task carrying Mrs. Bigglesworth out of the building and recognizes her. With nothing to do for the time being, Austin takes Vanessa for a night on the town and when they return to the hotel, a drunken Vanessa asks Austin to kiss her but he refuses, not wanting to take advantage of her. Vanessa then asks him to tell her about her mother when he knew her and Austin tells her that she loved her husband and if she wasn’t married, he might have tried being serious with her, as he loved her as well, but that ship sailed. Vanessa falls asleep and Austin receives a video call from Basil, telling him to sneak into Alotta Fagina’s penthouse and discover what she knows about something called Project Vulcan. Austin breaks into the penthouse and takes pictures of her files when Alotta Fagina returns to her penthouse, only to find Austin sitting there waiting for her. Austin speaks with her briefly before she changes into a kimono and invites Austin into the hot tub with her and they eventually end up having sex, but not before Alotta learns Austin’s real identity. The next day, Vanessa takes Austin to get some new equipment and Austin shows Basil the files he photographed from Alotta’s penthouse while Vanessa tells Basil that they plan on going as tourists on the tour of Virtucon and see if they can discover where Project Vulcan is and shut it down. Meanwhile, Dr. Evil is upset that Austin is getting close to their scheme but Frau shows him her new weapon to kill Austin; android women called Fembots, with guns hidden inside their breasts. Dr. Evil is pleased with the Fembots but is less than thrilled having to attend a father/son counseling session with Scott. Back in Las Vegas, Vanessa talks to Austin and voices her concerns and jealousy about Alotta Fagina and when Austin tells her she was right to be concerned, as he did sleep with her, Vanessa gets upset with him, telling him that this isn’t the 60’s anymore. Austin goes out and has a hard look at himself, realizing almost everyone he knew is dead and how much really happened while he was frozen. The next day, Austin and Vanessa head to Virtucon and sneak inside but after they make it past the guards, they are knocked unconscious by Random Task and transported to Dr. Evil’s lair. Inside his lair, Dr. Evil contacts the U.N. and tells them what Project Vulcan entails and the U.N. agrees to pay the ransom. Dr. Evil then has Austin and Vanessa join him for dinner, which confuses Scott as he feels they should just shoot them and be done with it. Dr. Evil tells Scott that he doesn’t get how things work, then orders Austin and Vanessa lowered into a pit containing sharks with lasers on their head but Number 2 says they couldn’t get the sharks and instead have mutated sea bass. Leaving Austin and Vanessa to their fate, Dr. Evil heads off to start the drill for Project Vulcan. Austin and Vanessa manage to escape the trap and Austin sends Vanessa to get some back up while he keeps an eye on Dr. Evil but he ends up being captured by the fembots. Trying to get away from the fembots, Austin decides to counter their charms with his own and ends up shorting them out and making their heads explode. Vanessa shows up at the aftermath and wonders why Austin is in his briefs and when he explains what happened, she tells him she believes him and to get dressed. Austin and Vanessa lead an attack on the drilling platform and Austin manages to abort the drill before it reaches the Earth’s core but Dr. Evil gets away. Austin chases after him and goes to capture him but Alotta Fagina appears, holding a gun to Vanessa’s head. Austin grabs Scott to hold hostage but when Dr. Evil tells Austin to go ahead and kill him, Scott runs out of the room. Number 2 shows up but instead of helping Dr. Evil, he tells Austin he wants to give him the evidence he needs to put Dr. Evil away, as Number 2 would prefer continuing to run Virtucon as a legit company. Dr. Evil kills Number 2 and Vanessa uses the distraction to knock out Alotta Fagina but Dr. Evil gets back into his cryo chamber and blasts off in the Big Boy Rocket, activating the self destruct before he leaves. Austin, Vanessa, and their team get away and three months later, Austin and Vanessa are shown to be married. As they are enjoying their honeymoon, Basil calls them to tell them that Dr. Evil has disappeared from their scopes. After hanging up on Basil, they hear a knock on the door and Austin thinks it is the room service he ordered but it turns out to be Random Task, who attempts to kill Austin. Austin and Vanessa manage to beat him and after getting rid of him, they go out on to their balcony to look at the stars and see the Big Boy rocket flying in space, where Dr. Evil vows revenge on Austin Powers.

Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery met with positive reviews from the critics, holding a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A light and goofy comedy which provides laughs, largely due to performances and screenwriting by Myers.” The America Online on Austin’s computer is version 3.0. In the commentary on the DVD, Director Jay Roach states that he did the AOL product placement to get a free year of service from them. The movie was a box office hit, earning $67.7 million off of a $16.5 million budget and would become a cultural  icon of the late 90’s/early ’00’s, and would spawn 2 sequels, with a 3rd sequel supposedly in development since 2005 but has yet to progress any further.

Maybe my taste in comedy have changed some in the last 20 years but while I still find this movie to be funny, it is not to the same degree that I once thought it was. The acting was good, with Mike Meyers doing a good job in the dual roles of Austin Powers and Dr. Evil. I also liked Elizabeth Hurley as Vanessa Kensington and thought that Robert Wagner (Number 2), Mindy Sterling (Frau Farbissina), and Seth Green (Scott) made for some funny scenes. The story was pretty funny, mainly spoofing James Bond but also spoofing the 60’s spy genre in general. I also liked the idea of a man being thrown out of time and forced to adapt, as it brings the story of Rip Van Winkle to new life in a way. The comedy was pretty much one sexual innuendo joke after another for the most part, with a couple of slap stick elements and some bantering to kind of even things out. It might not be as funny to everyone now but it is still one of those movies that is good for a laugh.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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action, comedy, movie, movie review, thriller

March 27th, 2018 Movie – True Lies

true lies

You know, usually I try to have something witty or funny to say about the movies I watch but regarding today’s movie, I am kind of at a blank. I mean I remember seeing this in theaters and on TV numerous times and enjoying it. When I saw it on DVD for cheap, I obviously decided to buy a copy of it. For all of this, I honestly can’t think of much to say about this movie. Well, I might as well get on and watch today’s movie, True Lies.

The plot: At a high class party in Switzerland, Harry Tasker, a secret agent for Omega Sector, manages to sneak inside and, after locating the owner of the house Jamal Khaled, Harry sneaks up to his office to bug his computer. Keeping in touch with the rest of his team, Albert “Gib” Gibson and Faisil, Harry leaves the office, but security gets suspicious and so Harry dances with a woman, Juno Skinner, to avoid them. Making his way outside, Harry tries to just walk through the front gate but is stopped by security so he detonates the explosives he had set up before hand, then fights his way through security, eventually meeting up with his team. After arriving back in the states, Harry returns home to his wife Helen and daughter Dana, who are unaware of his real job, believing him to be a computer salesman. The next day, Harry’s boss, Spencer Trilby, berates Harry, Gib, and Faisil over the fiasco their mission turned into and Faisil tries to explain what they have so far but Spencer doesn’t believe it is enough hard evidence. After digging into the files some more, Faisil discovers that Jamal sent $2 million to Juno, so Harry decides to go find out more. Posing as an art consultant, Harry visits Juno at her office in DC to try and find out what her connection is, not noticing some of her workers watching him. After Harry leaves, one of the workers, Salim Abu Aziz, asks to speak with Juno alone and when Juno’s assistant leaves, Aziz slaps Juno and tells her that they are being watched and suspects Harry is a government agent. Aziz and two of his men follow Harry as he leaves the hotel to head back home but Gib spots them so they detour to a mall. Aziz’s men attack Harry in the bathroom but he manages to defeat them, only for Aziz to show up and start shooting at Harry. Harry fires back and then chases after Aziz, with Aziz grabbing a motorcycle and Harry commandeering a police officer’s horse. The chase eventually makes it’s way to a hotel roof, where Aziz jumps the motorcycle off of the roof and into the pool of another hotel across the street, and Harry can only stare in frustration as he gets away. Harry returns home and apologizes to Helen but she is upset that he missed the birthday dinner she and Dana prepared for him. The next day, Harry decides to make things up to Helen by surprising her for lunch but he overhears her taking a call from someone named Simon and leaving to meet him. Upset at the idea that Helen might be cheating, Harry has Gib put surveillance equipment into Helen’s purse and then they follow her to her meeting with Simon. As they listen in on Helen and Simon’s conversation, they realize that Simon is passing himself off as a secret agent and using Harry’s exploits as his cover. Learning that Simon is actually a used car salesman, Harry approaches the dealership and talks with Simon during a test drive, learning that he hasn’t done anything yet with Helen. That night, Simon calls Helen and asks her to meet him and he takes her to his trailer, claiming it is a safe house. Inside, he asks her to go to Paris with her as the cover for his mission and Helen agrees but when Simon says they need to practice the part of being a married couple, Helen balks at actually cheating on Harry. Suddenly, Harry and a team of Sector Omega agents, wearing masks, break into the trailer and take Helen and Simon captive. Helen is placed in an interrogation room and Harry and Gib, disguising their voices, interrogate Helen and learn that she had gotten involved with Simon in order to add some excitement to what she felt was a boring life but never slept with him. Harry tells Helen they will be in touch and sends her home, then he and Gib take Simon out to the middle of nowhere and warn him to leave town. The next night, Helen is told to dress sexy and head to the hotel to seduce the man inside an plant a bug on his phone. When she gets there, she sees a man sitting in a chair and is told to undress and start dancing, not knowing that it is Harry sitting there. Harry attempts to kiss her but Helen hits him with the phone, plants the bug, and goes to leave only to stop when Harry calls out to her. Before Harry can explain, Aziz’s men break into the room and grab them both, taking them to a private jet that Juno has waiting for them. Harry tries to convince them to let Helen go but when Helen, shows Juno her locket with pictures of her and Harry, Juno has her brought along as insurance. Harry and Helen are taken to an island off the Florida Keys, where Aziz has smuggled 4 Soviet nuclear warheads, hidden inside some of Juno’s statues. Aziz has Harry verify the warheads are real, revealing to Helen that Harry is a spy, and then has him and Helen taken away for interrogation. Harry is given truth serum and while under the effects, Helen asks him how long he was a spy and he reveals that he was a spy since before they got married. Harry manages to pick his restraints and kill the interrogator and the guards, then he and Helen make their escape. They see Aziz making a video and talking about blowing up the island as a test, then threatening to detonate a warhead in a major city every week unless the U.S. pulls it’s forces out of the Persian Gulf. Realizing they have to stop them, Harry and Helen make their way through Aziz’z compound, with Harry taking out as many men as possible but Helen ends up being captured and placed in a limo with Juno while Harry escapes being blown up. Gib and the Sector Omega agents arrive and Harry explains the situation as they fly off to rescue Helen and stop the missiles. Warning people to stay clear of the island and for the Coast Guard to air lift anyone that can’t get clear, Harry calls in for air support and 2 Harrier jets arrive and take out the bridge, causing the two trucks to crash into the ocean. Meanwhile, Helen begins fighting with Juno, which causes the driver of the limo to accidentally be shot and the car to go out of control. Flying in a helicopter towards them, Harry climbs onto the landing skids and leans down to grab Helen just before the limo plunges off the ruined bridge. Landing the Harriers and helicopters on the highway safely away from the blast zone, Harry and Helen embrace and kiss as the warhead detonates in the background. Gib tells HArry that Aziz has the last warhead at a Miami office building and had grabbed Dana to use as a hostage so Harry jumps into one of the Harriers and flies off to rescue her. At the building, Aziz has a film crew brought in so he can make his demands but while they are not looking, Dana steals the ignition key for the warhead. When he notices it missing, Aziz chases after her with some of his men. Faisil, who was disguised as the cameraman, takes out the remaining soldiers on that floor while Harry arrives and uses the Harrier to take out the others in the building. Dana makes her way out on a crane on the roof and Aziz follows her, ordering his remaining men to get in the helicopter and kill Harry. Harry manages to grab Dana as she jumps onto the nose of the plane and Aziz jumps onto the plane afterwards, and attempts to kill Harry. During the struggle, Aziz ends up stuck onto one of the Harrier’s missiles and Harry fires it at the helicopter, killing Aziz and the last of his men. One year later, Harry’s family life has improved and Helen is shown to have joined Sector Omega. Harry and Helen go on an assignment and, seeing Simon there attempting to seduce another woman, quickly scare him off before dancing a tango while waiting for their contact.

True Lies met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a 72% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “If it doesn’t reach the heights of director James Cameron’s and star Arnold Schwarzenegger’s previous collaborations, True Lies still packs enough action and humor into its sometimes absurd plot to entertain.” The movie was a box office success, earning $378.9 million off of a $120 million budget and garnered several award nominations, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects and a Golden Globe win for Jamie Lee Curtis for Best Actress. A sequel was planned which would have reunited the principal cast and a script was written but the movie was scrapped, or at least indefinitely shelved, after 9/11.

James Cameron isn’t really known for his comedies but this is a pretty decent action-comedy. The acting was good, with Arnold Schwarzenegger (Harry) and Jamie Lee Curtis (Helen) doing good jobs in their roles. Tom Arnold made for some great comedic relief as Gib while Art Malik (Aziz) and Tia Carrere (Juno) made for some great bad guys. The story was interesting and had a good mixture of action and comedy going for it that kept it from being too serious while not losing any of the entertainment value. The action scenes were a little over the top, which is to be expected, but no less entertaining. This isn’t something that will absolutely blow you away but it will provide you with some laughs and excitement and makes for an entertaining watch.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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comedy, movie, movie review

August 31st, 2017 Movie – Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday The 13th

shriek if you know what i did last friday the 13th

So in 2000, a parody of horror movies called Scary Movie came out in theaters and it was a massive hit. What most people don’t know is that another parody came out right around the same time, but it was released direct to video instead of being given a theatrical run. Now I remember watching this on USA Network when it first aired and thought it was the most ridiculously funniest movie I had seen in a long time. So when I saw the DVD while wandering Best Buy, I decided to go ahead and buy it. Now let’s see if the comedy still holds up as I watch today’s movie, Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday The 13th.

The plot: One night, Screw Frombehind receives a phone call from The Killer, who had dialed her number by mistake. As they are talking, The Killer starts asking Screw some questions but when he falls into her pool, she promptly hangs up on him. As Screw goes back to work on a cake, she accepts a collect call from The Killer and when she gets his question wrong, he suddenly bursts out of the cake and tries to attack her. The Killer chases Screw around the table but stops when he answers the phone, then hands the phone to Screw, who talks to her friend Stacy for a minute before The Killer reminds her that he is there to kill her. The Killer chases Screw outside, where she ends up electrocuting herself with a bug zapper and as The Killer lights up a cigarette, his hockey mask bursts into flames and after he ducks his head into the bird bath to extinguish it, his mask has melted into the Ghost Face mask. The next day, Dawson Deery enrolls at Bulimia Falls High school and is introduced to Slab, Boner, Barbara, and Martina. Dawson and Martina appear to be attracted to each other but when Dawson notices that Martina is in a softball uniform, he wonders if she is a lesbian. As the 5 kids head through the halls, Martina is telling them about Screw’s murder, no noticing that The Killer attempts to kill a student behind them. When they head outside, they are confronted by Hagitha Utslay, a reporter for EmpTV News, who is keen on interviewing Dawson, as she had written a book accusing him of the murder of his family. Dawson punches out Hagitha but she is picked up by Doughy, Barbara’s brother who works as mall security. Doughy says he is working the case as The Killer mask was stolen from the store and as the kids leave, Hagitha and Doughy start flirting. unaware that The Killer is killing Hagitha’s cameraman. As the kids head to their classes, Martina, Boner, Slab, and Barbara each receive a note from The Killer saying he knows what they did last summer/semester/chanukah/period respectively. This causes all of them to remember the time they were driving and hit a deer and got rid of the body, but also their own secrets. Martina forgot to give her grandmother her laxative, Boner forgot to deliver a letter to the governor for his brother, resulting in his brother’s death, Slab smoked his grandfather’s ashes, and Barbara ripped the tag off of a mattress. As they all sit down to lunch, Martina and the others reveal their notes and believes The Killer is targeting them and just as Boner says that Dawson didn’t get a note, Dawson finds one in his food. As he looks at it, Dawson remembers how his dad got drunk and dressed him up in a deer costume and forced him to lick a salt lick but Dawson ran out of the house when his dad passed out on the floor, who then caused an explosion when he farted into the fireplace resulting in the house blowing up, while Dawson ended up being hit by Slab in the others, as he was still wearing the deer costume, and they dump his body into the ocean. Worried about being attacked by The Killer, the group decides to find a place to stay the night where they can be safe and they end up deciding to stay at Slab’s house. As the school day continues, Dawson and the others each encounter The Killer but manage to escape. The Killer then goes to kill “The Administrator formerly known as Principal” but instead watches as the principal is hit in the head with a skillet and falls into his hot tub, electrocuting himself. After the kids give their statement to the police about their attacks, and interrupting Hagitha’s interview of Doughy, the kids all head over to Slab’s house and throw a party while Doughy, Hagitha, and her latest cameraman (as she has already lost three) are keeping watch outside. As the kids go to watch a movie, Barbara says she doesn’t like parodies and goes to get another beer. As Martina tries to explain the rules of being in a parody, Boner has taken an unconscious woman upstairs in order to try and lose his virginity but when The Killer shows up, he ends up having a heart attack. The Killer then goes after Barbara in the garage and as she attempts to escape through the cat door, she gets stuck and The Killer tries to kill her by opening the door. However, someone outside is pressing a remote that cause the motor to overheat, allowing Barbara enough time to take out her breast implants and escape. The Killer chases after her with a weed wacker as she runs through the bushes but before he can kill her, she is stung by some bees and dies from an allergic reaction, while The Killer is dejected at first but then comments on the good job he did sculpting animals into the bushes while he was attacking her. Inside, one of the kids tells everyone about The Administrator Formerly Knows As Principal’s body being discovered and most of the kids leave to go see it. Dawson and Martina end up alone and Martina tells Dawson she wants to have sex with him. When they hear a noise and find one of Slab’s cats in the kitchen, they go looking for Slab only to find him overdosing on steroids and exploding. The Killer shows up and they run for it, which ends up being turned into a music video. When they are forced to confront The Killer, Martina ends up knocking him out and they go to reveal who The Killer really is, only to find that he is wearing multiple masks. While all of this is going on, Doughy, Hagitha, her cameraman, and a pizza delivery man are playing strip poker when Doughy hears something and they go to head inside. Dawson removes the last mask to reveal The Killer as Hardy, Doughy’s identical twin cousin. When Doughy, Hagitha, and the others arrive, Doughy is shocked at learning his cousin is The Killer but decides to forgive him only for Hagitha to accidentally shoot him and then her cameraman when she uses her gun as a mirror to put on lipstick. Hagitha ends up leaving with the pizza man, leaving Doughy heartbroken as he leaves the house with Dawson and Martina. As the authorities show up, Boner is found to still be alive, as he had taken a bottle of Viagra, which kept his blood flowing. An attractive doctor sees his condition and says she will take care of him, and Boner is excited as he will finally lose his virginity. Dawson and Martina kiss just as The Killer starts to rise up from the gurney but Doughy, who was standing nearby at catering, quickly shoots him. Feeling the danger is now over, Dawson and Martina go for a walk in the woods when Dawson receives a call from a new Killer, but his cell reception is bad so he hangs up and The Killer, who was calling from a nearby pay phone, gets angry and chases after them.

I will admit that some of the comedy lost it’s charm, but this is still a funny movie due to it’s ridiculousness. The acting was ok, with all of the actors doing a decent job in their roles but nobody really stood out. The plot was primarily a parody of Scream and followed that movie pretty closely but also parodied numerous other movies or TV shows; including Nightmare On Elm Street, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Child’s Play, Friday The 13th, Dawson’s Creek, Airplane, Grease, There’s Something About Mary, Porky’s, and Christine. My favorite parody though was Coolio, whose character was a parody Prince, as the whole “Administrator formerly known as Principal” absolutely cracked me up for some reason. The sight gags throughout the movie focused on a lot of pop culture at the time, such as Barbara mimicking the Mentos commercials in order to escape The Killer in the bathroom. Absolutely silly and ridiculous but you can’t help but find yourself laughing as you watch it.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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