Wednesday, April 24, 2013


[Oh hai! Paul Bower didn’t die, after all. Mea culpa. That was actually another Paul who died. You don’t know him, he goes to a different school/is from Canada]

Deciding to follow-up his anachronistic and relatively lucrative foray into the Wild West (1990’s Young Guns II) with a balls-out crazy vision of a dire, polygon-glutted future was a fairly gutsy move on director Geoff Murphy’s part. Trusting one of Young Guns II’s leads to carry the project might’ve been a case of his reach exceeding his grasp, but who doesn’t like an animated Emilio Estevez from time to time? Freejack is a weird one, at times surreally funny and self-aware, and at most others just too ridiculous to ignore. In this dystopian New York City of 2009, how do you suppose you’re going to find your way around Champagne trucks, Renee Russo’s chin, and the finer points of rat haute cuisine? Why, with a scorecard, natch!
  • It's impossible to over-stress the importance of starting a doomed future off on the right foot. For instance, maybe a Lethal Weapon-esque sax theme song by Trevor Jones with just enough 8-bit glitchy shit added to "get us in the mood"? = +12pts 
  • Picture of Emilio Estevez and his girlfriend Renee Russo on the armoire? Check. Toy racecar right next to it? Check. Just using clunky expository dialogue to reveal Estevez races cars for a living and dates Russo? Sure, why not? = -14pts 
  • Uh oh, Estevez just promised to marry Renee Russo if he wins this next race. Think he might, you know, meet with an untimely accident or something? = -45pts 
  • Russo just keeps shaking her head when she says she loves Estevez. Almost as if she were communicating to the audience, letting us in on the joke. = +34pts 
  • Mick Jagger sets the tone right off the bat, showing up in some gnarly industrial future wearing the most awesome Virtual Boy® helmet imaginable. You can kind of tell it’s his job to capture Estevez, but you can also kind of tell he could go either way… = +7pts 
  • Back in the past, Estevez just crashed into a BRIDGE! Or did he?? = +9pts 
  • The polygon budget alone for this movie is obscene. = +34pts 
  • Watching Estevez run around in the future. It's like… No one, not even the rain has such feathered hair. = +33pts 
  • Mick Jagger looks so bored. He could discover the Holy Grail and dollars to donuts he'd still look like he'd rather be somewhere else. = +100pts 
  • Just found out this movie is supposed to take place in 2009, and it accurately predicts how crappy New York was going to be. Way off the mark on how neckties were going to look, though. = -12pts 
  • So when rich folks die, they can pay a bunch of money to transfer their minds to a "spiritual switchboard" and then some poor hardbody from the past gets jacked right before he dies and becomes the host for a rich dude. Maybe Ray Kurzweil is onto something? = +12pts 
  • Was that member of a black paramilitary gang wearing a confederate flag WITH a swastika on it?= -45pts 
  • So, there are such things as Champagne Trucks in the future. Like, food trucks, but they have champagne instead of really small tacos . Also, maybe not the most sensible vehicle for a getaway, Estevez? = -12pts (for teasing us with such a wondrous glimpse of an impossible future) 
  • The image of Mick Jagger's maniacally laughing face on what looks to be a Thinkpad will get stuck in your head. Bet on it. = +60pts 
  • Now that there's no champagne left on the truck we kind of don't care anymore. = -3pts 
  • Jagger's witty comment upon Estevez's plunge into the East River? "If you drink any of that, I'm out of a job." = +5pts 
  • Thanks to Frankie Faizon, I now know that preparing river rats all comes down to the sauce you make to go with it. = +45pts 
  • Upon showing up together at a seedy bar, it becomes apparent that Russo's been slumming once or twice before her long dead boyfriend returned. Get tested first, Estevez. Just saying. = +3pts (The More You Know™) 
  • Obligatory club scene with lots of exposed beams and electric blue drinks (in the future, screw it, why not just drink straight blue curacao?) and girls with a bunch of paint on their boobs. It's like Coachella without the oppressive sun. = +70pts 
  • Back at home they're looking at each other for like, a straight up minute before he finally touches her hair and it gets super gentle and gross. = +200pts 
  • Of COURSE the boat waiting for you at the river is going to explode when you get close to it. You're a freejack, Freejack! = +1pt 
  • After a bracing post-industrial wasteland chase scene, Jagger still looks ridiculous, sashaying around in a dang warehouse with that kid's helmet on. = -21pts 
  • You know how crummy it is when you’re trying to escape from one of the most fortified buildings in the entire future and pressing the down elevator button only brings you to the top of this massively fortified building? Estevez and Russo do. = +31pts 
  • The spiritual switchboard does not look awesome. Not awesome at all, folks. If we were Anthony Hopkins playing the wealthiest man in the world we’d definitely not store our mind there. Actually, remember that one scene from Enter The Void that you wish you didn't? Kind of like that, but with markedly less vagina . = -70pts 
  • We take that back. They're inside a dead dude's eyeball right now. Just waiting for the Lawnmower Man to show up. = +80pts 
  • "Welcome to My Mind." Damn, Anthony, how is ANYONE going to say no to that offer? = +47pts 
  • If you ever find yourself in a futuristic room with Anthony Hopkins and he tells you to "go with it" just don't do that. That's a bad plan right there. = -20pts 
  • So it’s come down to this, Estevez vs. Hopkins in a supremely boring mind-battle to the finish. Although, you can totally see a vein on Estevez’s neck when he’s trying to act like his mind is doing something other than story prep for Mighty Ducks = +10pts 
  • You thought you'd seen the last of Mick Jagger in his silly jacket? You should think again! = -26pts 
  • Final shot with Twin Towers visible? (1992 = 0pts) 2013 = -250pts TOO SOON!

Total Score = +171pts
Available on: Available: YouTube, Underneath a pile of money in one of Mick Jagger’s houses.

Freejack will only give you as much as you put into her, and even then it’s a little dicey. But with this scorecard handy, you’ll have plenty in your kit to make the best of it.

Score Technician: Paul Bower

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