Friday Flicks August 16: “Good Boys” & “RiffTrax Live: The Giant Spider Invasion”

M.V. MoorheadAugust 2019
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Opening this weekend:

Good Boys—The title characters are three preteens; much has been made in the publicity of the fact that the stars are too young to see their own R-rated movie unaccompanied. Max (Jacob Tremblay from Room) is interested in girls, one in particular. His friend Thor (Brady Noon) aspires to sing, but aspires even more fervently to be thought cool and to shake off the nickname “Sippy Cup.” Lucas (Keith L. Williams) just wants to keep the trio, known among themselves as the “Beanbag Boys,” together.

When they get invited to a “kissing party” at the home of a cool kid, they decide to research how to kiss. This leads them into a standoff between them and a pair of older girls (Molly Gordon and Midori Francis) and all sorts of crude slapstick mayhem ensues. Directed by Gene Stupnitsky from a script he co-wrote with Lee Eisenberg, the movie is pretty funny for most of its length, and more importantly it’s good-natured in its depiction of boys as kind and supportive friends.

What’s really striking about the film, however, is its sexual politics. This would seem to be the first major raunchy comedy for the post-#MeToo generation of boys; these kids discuss consent and respect for women as a matter of course. The results are every bit as ribald and foul-mouthed as any other comedy of this sort, but also uncommonly sweet.

August 20 at several Harkins Theatres multiplexes:

RiffTrax Live: The Giant Spider Invasion—Comedians, led by Michael J. Nelson of MST3K fame, crack wise to Bill Rebane’s lurid, low-budget sci-fi shocker of 1975. I saw this movie as a teenager at a Pennsylvania drive-in, and all I can say is that it requires no comedic enhancement to make it a laugh-riot.

The largest of the title arachnids is played by a Volkswagen in a spider suit, driven backwards; the taillights serve as the creature’s glowing red eyes. The movie was shot in Wisconsin and, perhaps not coincidentally, is extremely cheesy.

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