Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Movies You Already Should've Seen: THE TERMINATOR

at 6:00 PM
We jump from a movie about parallel time periods with a robopocalypse to a movie about parallel time periods with a robopocalypse.

 THE TERMINATOR (1984)
Directed by: James Cameron
Written by: James Cameron & Gale Anne Hurd

THE TERMINATOR in one sentence:
Yourself: Grandma-fucker.

Golem: Terminator? I hardly know 'er!

Here's a story about me and THE TERMINATOR:
Yourself: I have an old friend who called himself Kyle Reese for years. I still don't really get that joke.

Golem: Kyle Reese is an old friend of mine.

Get the plot bitching out of your system:
Yourself: Isn't it crazy how all the major Hollywood sci-fi franchises started out as slashers? ALIEN, PREDATOR, TERMINATOR, STAR TREK, pretty much all the big hits. TERMINATOR tends to get lumped in with time-travel sci-fi action post-apocalyptia, probably because it's got all that, but structurally this tale is 100% slasher. It's got far more in common with JASON LIVES than with BACK TO THE FUTURE PART II. We've got the 'masked' unstoppable psychopath, we've got the survivor girl, we've got the falsely accused hero, we've got the skeptical police officers, we've got the slutty friends, we've got the sacrificial lover [all of whom get murdered], we've got the highly contrived defeat of the slasher.

The key thing that makes this movie feel more substantial is that the survival of the girl has a point. When I sit down and watch a Friday 13, I root for Jason, because who gives a shit about these little nerds he's wiping out. Generally we're made to hate them (fuckin' Crispin Glover). TERMINATOR goes back to the sane non-extremely-cynical movie-making handbook and says hey, let's make the mass murderer the bad guy. And let's not only do that, let's also hang the fate of the entire human race on the survival of this one woman. And that, ladies and gentleman, gives us a conflict. The elaborate backstory for the slasher and the hero really fall straight from this.

The only plot gripe I have is that Sarah becoming this great leader feels like a fairly bizarre twist. I know the point is that she's a totally normal waitress and it's as big a shock to her as it is to anyone else, but I don't really buy it. The Sarah of this movie feels kinda milquetoast. So, what, learning how to make pipe bombs transformed her into the kind of nutjob that could raise a revolutionary leader? [well, that is implied in T2, where she's introduced as in brain jail for trying to blow up a Circuit City or something].

Golem: Why doesn't Kyle Reese eat a gun to take a weapon into the past? How does Sarah outrun an 18-wheeler?

Sarah's transformation into resistance leader felt fine to me upon watching because its spot in the plot is natural. After the Terminator wrecks a police station, Sarah has no one left to rely on but Reese and herself. That's when Reese's world takes over Sarah's world. You sleep in the most secure hole-in-the-wall you can find, and kitchens aren't for cooking food but for cooking explosives. But then, on reflection, that doesn't make the transformation any more logical.

The aesthetic is basically:
Yourself: 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY for the '80s (armed to the teeth and on cocaine). Cameron loves his raw images. He can't help breaking out the geometry over and over, be it the thousand match cuts in the first ten minutes, cars driving in parallel, the trash heap future that can't be bothered to have a straight line anywhere (except, of course, robo-lazers), or, you know, rippling male buttocks. Sigh. Douche chill. The framing is hella intense too, from Sarah Connors being crushed but isolated in the club to the repeated close-ups of the Terminator driving around in a cop car in search-and-destroy pan-and-scan mode. It's all jammed in there at a jarringly fast rate suitable for the action blockbuster fascination of the time.

Going in I remembered TERMINATOR being a largely blue-gray-night movie, but there's a lot of subtle color shifting to keep us up with the tone. Sarah's all-too-consciously sitcom intro in the diner is set in the soft lighting and pastel wash of an AMERICAN GRAFFITI, while the police station, bastion of logic and order, is sterile white and brown.

Golem: Maybe this speaks more to my nostalgia for films of the period than a genuine sense of taste, but THE TERMINATOR shows that bad practical effects are still creepier than CG. The Terminator scraping out his own eye stuck with me for years after my initial viewing, even though I chuckle over how obviously fake his head is. Plus, the sleek, mechanical stop-motion skeleton at the end gives me the heebie jeebies. The animation jerks awkwardly, but something about the image looks more tangible than CG. Although maybe it's better these days.

Performances to speak of?
Yourself:I know this is anathema, but this is not my favorite Arnold role. His physical presence is immense and integral to the below-discussed thematics of mechanical perfection, but Arnold was (or became) a pretty great actor in his own right (in a pure camp way). He works best when his murderous rampages are played like mischievous hijinks. Although he looks truly demonic cruising around eyebrow-free, I spent too much time wanting to high-five the old boy to be scared. While I don't think it's a better movie, T2 makes better use of similar players. Arnold gets his moron-hero role and Robert Patrick gets to be the child molesteriest artificial intelligence I've seen since last week when I watched THE MATRIX.

Golem: In the first half of the film, I love watching desperate Kyle Reese. He steals a guy's pants, he holds up a cop to ask the year, and he begs Sarah to "come with me if you want to live." Just a lot of running and yelling. His run is panicked--compare it with the Terminator's confident stride (during the Technoir scene I think?). His voice is high enough that his yelling comes off as tryhard instead of badass. (Hate to admit it, but: when I hear his opening lines, his voice reminds me of Silver the Hedgehog, a hero from the future notable for his high level of whine.) Naturally, Kyle finds peace once Sarah believes him, but their goofy home life and his self-sacrificing action sequence aren't as entertaining. Although I did raise an eyebrow when Sarah played "think fast!" with the bag of pipe bombs and Kyle played along, smiling.

And it's hard not to get into the snarky, dry characters inhabiting the police station: Lieutenant Traxler, Detective Vukovich, and Dr. Peter Silberman. There's also Nancy, Sarah's fellow waitress and the queen of ironically meaningful statements such as, "In a hundred years, who's gonna care?" and, "You're dead, honey." But I think at this point I'm listing side characters that I like instead of talking about acting.

A really cool shot or sequence:
Yourself: To me a great scene is one that abstractly reproduces the entire concept of the movie. I can't come up with a better example than the parallel 'birth' of the Terminator and Kyle Reese.

The Terminator appears in clouds of smoke in front of a pneumatic garbage truck, scaring off the driver. He's crouched, perfectly still, back hunched forward in an unnatural semi-circle (not unlike an egg!). He rises silently, fluidly, showing off the sculpted Davidian physique and perfect posture that only a lifelong career as an international bodybuilder can bestow. After scanning his surroundings with a meticulously horizontal neck-pivot, The Terminator strolls forth to loom over a vista of the city, dominating the night skyline.

Reese makes his entrance in a dark alley swirling with trash and filth, materializing splayed out in midair before slamming immediately to the ground. He's grimy, scarred, and bruised; he can't scramble to his feet quickly enough. By the time he jogs down to swipe the pants off a bemused hobo, he's already been spotted by the police and is on the run.

So, what we've set up in about three minutes is that machines, the sleeping giant in plain sight, have risen, co-opting the human ideal and hovering over every aspect of our lives. The machine is god, all-powerful and all-seeing. Humanity's fleeting moment in the sky is over - we've come crashing back to earth, battered from our ambition, knee-deep in waste and little more than scared animals on the run.

Golem: The entire film superimposes Kyle and Terminator's future antics over the present. Kyle scampers between clothing aisles in the present the way he does through heaps of mangled wreckage in the future, and Terminator bulldozes. The Terminator just bulldozes always and forever.

But the police station shootout firmly yanks Sarah out of her time and into Reese's. Watching the Terminator tear apart the station, it's not hard to imagine how the future got the way it is (will be?). More than that, though, he demolishes the law established by humans. "It decided our fate in a microsecond," Reese says, and you can see that microsecond when the Terminator says, "I'll be back."

It's also fun to see a staple sequence of the monster-of-the-week style executed so well. Watching it brought back memories of those old episodes of Doctor Who where the ineffective military would have terrible-looking clashes with terrible-looking, invincible monsters. Only now the direction is engaging.

Also, I just really like the Terminator crawling after Sara at the end. They're both so hopeless and desperate, it's great to watch them at their wits' ends.

What does it all really mean?
Yourself: I guess this was James C.'s little way of saying turn off your goddamn iPhone you dirty motherfucker have a real conversation we are having dinner listen to me goddamnit I am your father. I would say about 35% of the run-time of TERMINATOR is spent on one-way phone calls. Let's count!

- Sarah misses a call from her date who leaves a message to cancel their date
- Sarah picks up her apartment phone and is mistakenly sex-talked by roommate-boyfriend
- Sarah's Mom leaves a message in the background while Sarah dicks around with her lizard
- The police call Sarah's house and miss her
- Roommate gets killed by the Terminator because of her head PHONES (he kinda did her a favor, she was gonna go deaf by 40 anyway)
- Sarah calls her house from a payphone and misses her roommate
- Sarah calls 911 from the club and they put her on hold (this feels like not that real a thing)
- The Terminator fakes out the cops over the radio with his magic voice box
- Sarah calls her mom to say some incredibly irresponsible things only to never find out she was talking to the Terminator, or as I prefer to call him, the Answering Machine.
- And lets not forget, it's a phone directory the T-800 uses to track down all the S.C.s in the city.

That was just REGULAR phones and they almost caused the downfall of the human race. Now we have phones that we call "smart" and "droid" and "Terry". Kyle Reese would be ashamed of us.

Oh, right, the point being I guess that reliance on technology is dismantling our social interdependence and that leaning on machines to interface with people is about as personal as interfacing with a murder machine with the skin of a person. I don't know if that's how anyone would've read it in 1984 but in 2015, consciously considering how much deeper we've dug that hole, it's hard to miss.

Golem: I came away from this with a more sappy message. Sarah trades in her cold, awkward iguana for a German shepherd. She's just terrible with people, always getting accidentally sex-phoned and kids dumping ice cream in her work uniform. But when she meets a guy who taught himself to ignore his feelings (probably great with future-people but not so much with present-people), they get around to having a good time. Not only does she find purpose, she finds someone willing to invest in her. That's when she clicks on and starts investing in others: buying a vehicle with more than one seat and recording memoirs for her son.

There are also some one-way communications sans phones. Kyle shouts at the security camera during his interrogation, speaking directly to Sarah from the past. Sarah talks to Big Boy and her iguana (at different points in the movie). And you are watching the movie!!!

Note to future self on watching THE TERMINATOR:
Yourself: If time travel is real, send a hamburger (organic beef only) back in time to this exact moment. By TERMINATOR rules, I've just disproven time travel. Also, watch TERMINATOR more often.

Golem: You know, I enjoyed this movie more after knowing what would happen. Pay more attention to shot composition. During the shot when the kid puts ice cream in Sara's pocket, don't get so distracted about who is telling who should be tipping who. Mull the foot/stomping motif.

Other movies you already should've seen:
DICK TRACY (1990)
THE MATRIX (1999)

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Movies You Already Should've Seen: THE MATRIX

at 6:00 PM
If DICK TRACY was the Pearl Harbor of the '90s trench coat war, THE MATRIX is its atom bomb.

THE MATRIX (1999)
Directed by: Andy & Lana Wachowski (The WB)
Written by: Andy & Lana Wachowski

THE MATRIX in one sentence:
Yourself: If Neo is the 1, does that make everyone else 0s?

Golem: On April 3rd, a lonely software developer gets to work on saving the world.

 Here's a story about me and THE MATRIX:
Yourself: I watched it a good 3 or 4 times between the ages of 11 and 13. I'd stomach anything on cable TV to kill time while my Ogre Battle 64 units lethargically crawled across the map.

Golem: In middle school, I heard so many stories about the action sequences in this film.

Get the plot bitching out of your system:
Yourself: This movie works almost too well as a first-act thriller, so much so that I was a little disappointed once the red pill happened and the curtain pulled back. It's a testament to the quality of the reveal, but requires an extra level of suspension of d.b. - here in the Year of Our Lord 2015 the nature of the Matrix is as ingrained into American cultural consciousness as Luke Skywalker's paternity.

Joe Pantoliano being revealed as a traitor before his actual betrayal is big-time putting character over drama, which makes sense if you're a TV show or just not two seconds away from killing that character. He's fairly memorable for essentially a hack Judas, but the tension of trip two into the Matrix is kinda cramped thanks to the self-spoiler. Plus that fucking interminable phone speech he gives while unplugging his buddies is easily the most boring scene in the entire movie.

I don't think the machines' plan makes a lot of sense, but I also don't care.

Golem: The movie took its time getting to Neo doing lots of zany stuff, and I went in expecting those action sequences to make the film. But I can appreciate the careful buildup to it.

The aesthetic is basically:
Yourself: THE MATRIX? This is such a watershed movie in terms of visual style that, save for the (heavenly) absence of shakycam, pretty much every current action flick still looks like it. If THE MATRIX didn't invent genre color-coding and John Woo, it's certainly the movie that got everyone talking about 'em.

If the terminal green filter doesn't jog your memory, keep in mind that everything else is latex and leather; you oughta call this movie Green Öyster Cult! With hit single "Godzilla"! Haute couture comes to the rescue of the Nebuchadnezzar's fairly quiet crew - compare that to the last squad of nobodies captained by Fishburne on a mission of Infinite Terror. I'll take the purely visual presence of Apoc, Switch et al. over EVENT HORIZON's "dialogue-driven" say-my-personality-ism. THE MATRIX's wardrobe is as shallow as metaphors get, but clearly the idea is that our fashionable heroes aren't just rebels, they're individuals. The bad guys' team uniforms (Agent suits, SWAT gear, or funny security guard hats) are exactly what's holding them down!

The weaving of special effects into highly stylized shots (your bending-over-backward circular pan or someone flying in a perfectly straight line after being kicked) really accentuates the idea of an unraveling reality. The viewer can't separate where the characters are bending the rules of physics from where the filmmakers are, creating a visual realization of the thematics. So much time is spent panning and slow-moing that the movie starts to feel like a sequence of paintings, undoing the idea of time in the same way the Agents (and eventually Neo) can.

Golem: Maybe this is corny, but the one-color look of the film--be it green inside the Matrix or gray outside of it--drives home how depressing this world is. From the beginning, Neo suspects that the Matrix is fake and hollow, driving him to play on his computer all day. But then, the real world sucks too, because you have to live on a space ship flying through sewers. You either trick yourself into believe you're eating steak, or you face reality and eat gruel. I really wanted a moment with some color, but I don't think it would fit. Instead, the whole movie is sad to look at. (Aside from the woman in the red dress.)

Occasional computer effects keep things interesting. The bug that enters Neo looks and behaves realistically. It's tangible. On the other hand, when he takes the red pill, the mirror melts in a sequence that's fantastic and dream-like. Finally, when agents pop into a person, the victim convulses in pain, making them feel real. But then, the convulsions are so twitchy and fast-paced that it can look more like buggy animation than human pain.

Performances to speak of?
Yourself: Hugo Weaving, duh. His staccato matter-of-fact delivery transcends self-assured into a manner only a computer program could duplicate. All you need to know about what he's thinking is in the varying enunciation of his punctuating "Mr. Anderson"s. All the better when he finally unleashes his seething disgust. Weaving's weird toothy grimace and bug-eyed stare give us that Agent Smith isn't really a program - he's a sociopath. Debate the other aspects of the movie all you want, but Agent Smith belongs in the pantheon of classic genre villains.

Shout out also to the other two Agents. I don't know if it's hard to act emotionless, but Weaving wouldn't be as great without them as an offset.

Golem: Yeah, Agent Smith was great at chewing the scenery. Everyone had a cool manner to them, delivering sly lines and trying to appear badass, but Hugo Weaving ran with that as far as he could to make a totally fun-to-watch menace.

A really cool shot or sequence:
Yourself: Going with something from the surprisingly quality thriller act, the agents cornering Neo in an interrogation room really effectively sets up the main philosophical interests of the movie: 1.) duality (Mr. Anderson or Neo?) 2.) Kobayashi Maru (help us or we'll kick you in the nuts) 3.) reality isn't real (oh my god my mouth) and 4.) Hugo Weaving is rad. In fairness, the movie is pretty much on fire anytime the Agents are controlling the screen. Maybe the Matrix isn't so bad after all? Considering they're the "human" incarnation of McAfee Virus Protection, the seamless blend of menace, exasperation, and incredulity is a lot of fun.

Golem: To steal something Yourself brought up, one sequence has the good guys crawling in the walls of a creepy old building to avoid agents. It's cramped, and everyone is stepping all over everyone else. It's a nice parallel to their real-world predicament. Sure, I understand that they cruise the sewers to avoid detection, but this sequence drives home the feeling of what it's like to live on the fringes, huddling in a corner and hoping no one looks your way. Even scarier, the only escape is for an agent to grab your comrade and reveal you.

What does it all really mean?
Yourself: Like most mainstream blockbuster action films that want to be taken seriously, THE MATRIX really lobs it in. It's all teenagers 101 questions without answers: how do I know life isn't a dream? why do I care? "No one can tell you you're in love/the Matrix" is a funny bit of wisdom in this context; it's like the movie is telling me that I'm not supposed to watch it. There's a nice little bit that parallels having a career with living out a simulation: the woman-in-the-red-dress training, when Morpheus first gives the full spiel on the Matrix, has some of the only dialogue I can take seriously. It's a welcome touch of spirit, but what the hell does it have to with all the Messiah stuff? If he really wanted to fight the man, Neo should've taken the blue pill then turned the rest of the movie into FIGHT CLUB.

Golem: Maybe the film gets a bit mired in its existential dialogue, but there's a golden nugget of meaning at the core of it all: with self-mastery, you can accomplish anything. Neo can't change when his boss expects him to arrive at work, and he can't change that he has to live on a dumpy sewer ship. But he can change whether or not he is The One. The Oracle herself can't tell him otherwise. Nothing is true unless you believe it. In the film's closing shot, Neo loses his belief in gravity. Taking this philosophy into a virtual realm lets the film toy with the laws of physics without it getting (too) silly.

Also, the film also claims that the late 90s were the pinnacle of human society.

Note to future self on watching THE MATRIX:
Yourself: (Don't Fear) The Trench Coat. Although the images that stick belong to the thriller, sci-fi, and action genres, if you dive headfirst into the Matrix alongside Neo, you'll find a proper (Star-Warsian) adventure. Golem is going to say something pessimistic, but remember: it's because he lacks Imagination.

Golem: Is it too flippant to say "take the blue pill"? Well, at least try to pay more attention to the more abstract dialogue. Watch Agent Smith closer, too.



Other movies you already should've seen:
DICK TRACY (1990)

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Movies You Already Should've Seen: DICK TRACY

at 6:00 PM
It's the movie of the week this time, with hosting film fans but not pros, Yourself & Golem.

DICK TRACY (1990)
Directed by: Warren Beatty
Written by: Jim Cash & Jack Epps Jr. (Characters by Chester Gould)

DICK TRACY in one sentence:
Yourself: What better way to ring in the '90s than a superhero detective slathering tie-dye Tim Burton onto Sam Spade?

Golem: The system of justice is a childish game of tug-of-war, where one side bests the other by use of a comical montage (and tommy guns).

Here's a story about me and DICK TRACY:
Yourself: As a child I thought Dick Tracy was the Phantom, for reasons so obvious I won't explain.

Golem: This is the first I've seen of him!

Get the plot bitching out of your system:
Yourself: The reveal of No-Face's secret identity kinda pancakes it. Mahoney is dead before she's even unmasked; you couldn't get a more Scooby-Doo moment if you tried.

No-Face is this black-suited literally faceless nihilist, intent on decimating order - be it the rule of law or Big Boy's criminal empire. And blanch-faced Mahoney does bring that to Tracy's doorstep, threatening to ruin the order of his life by pulling him away from Tess and the Kid. Functionally, the link makes sense.

But that's stuff you think about three days later. I don't get how the two gel and I definitely don't get Mahoney as a character. What the hell is "Tracy, we can rule this city together", aside from just being a line from EMPIRE STRIKES BACK? Why does she sit around singing in a club taking Big Boy's shit all day? If constant abuse at the hands of Big Boy turned her into a nihilist, I need five more minutes of movie to understand that. No-Face is a regular Superman: eventually you start to wonder why Kal-El takes time out of his day to be a foppish reporter.

Golem: I thought Kal-El enjoyed being a foppish reporter.

Mahoney sings over the montages where one side overcomes the other, which maybe kind of suggests she's pulling strings? It vaguely works as a figurative gesture, but it has little if any basis in the plot.

No-Face frames Dick Tracy for the murder of D.A. Fletcher, getting Dick out of her way. Dick's buddies break him out, and that's the end of it, not even a confession from 88 Keys (perhaps offscreen?). While it's not a critical bug, it still leaves me itching after the credits roll.

The aesthetic was basically:
Yourself: Hey, you got your Skittles in my Humphrey Bogart! Call an ambulance! The rainbow color thing is almost too bizarre - there's no rhyme or reason to what color anything will be, and it starts to feel like a '60s Batman episode gone off the rails. I think, and this might just be me making shit up, that the level of color contrast ultimately made it hard for anything to be particularly effectively lighted and instead of washed out like Batman, the movie looks a bit dim.

Every outside scene is a matte painting. Clearly that's a thing, but it's a thing I never fully got into.

Danny Elfman did the score, which shows in the theme that I couldn't distinguish from BATMAN's, but the aural mood is overtaken by the flapper kicky-legs musical numbers. All for the better; Elfman toodle-oodling is not what this movie needed.

Golem: The high contrast and often-dim lighting make DICK TRACY a treat just to look at. There was one point where Yourself and I were wondering why there was such a big streak of yellow in the street.

You've got exaggerated personalities running around in an ultimately kind of sad world. I think it was Yourself himself who remarked that the acting felt more theatrical, overstated so that you can hear it from the nosebleed seats. You can tell who's bad and who's good from a mile away. The movie is a mess of personalities the same way it's a mess of colors. And, combined with the painted exterior shots, the whole world felt fake (a strange thing to say when I watched this the same weekend as THE MATRIX). The system of justice is portrayed as a childish game of tug-of-war, where one side bests the other by use of a comical montage.

On the other hand, Mahoney is out of step with the rest of the film, always clad in black with freakishly pale skin. To match, her acting is some of the most sober (although comical when set against Dick himself), and her alliances are the most difficult to sort out.

Performances to speak of?
Yourself: It's hard not to like Al Pacino (so much so that the avi file I snatched advertised itself as "Dick Tracy Al Pacino Action"). Aside from his ridiculous fat suit I thought he made the most of the grotesque make-up, playing up body language and facial expressions. That weirdo scene with him producing a dance number is unseasonably fun. I like the way he puffs up his chest for a big angry-Pacino speech early on and then gradually peels down to a zany blowhard as the film winds down.

He wasn't amazing, but child star [whoever] did a perfectly entertaining job as The Kid. It is rare to be able to tolerate a main character under age 17.

Golem: I'd watch more Warren Beatty. Dick's stone-faced response to everything from his buddies to Mahoney is always entertaining if not funny. I have a hard time imagining what he would be like in a normal movie.

A really cool shot or sequence:
Yourself: Considering my distaste for the painted backdrops, I'll have to go with the climax with Tess tied to the gears of the... uh... I think they were under the drawbridge? You've got some spooky PHANTOM OF THE OPERA shadows being cast, and getting crushed in clock gears is a pretty horrific fate. Plus it reminds me of Castlevania (64) AND Castle of Illusion. Considering that Big Boy is pretty much a hunchback, etc. etc. Interestingly, this is not a particularly colorful scene - order is breaking down! No-Face is gaining control and sucking the color out of the world! This is starting to feel like a children's cartoon!

Golem: When Dick Tracy finds Kid, he dukes it out with Kid's... caretaker. Most of the fist fights in the movie are just Dick wailing away on someone, but here, the film cuts outside, and we get an animated shot of a flimsy old shed rocking back and forth with each punch thrown. It's far from my favorite shot or sequence, but it's among the most notable and distinct.

What does it all really mean?
Yourself: Probably my favorite aspect of the movie is the way it sets up our heroes as the core family unit that doesn't realize it's a family unit. Your husband'll get a desk job before he gets a girlfriend, the wife likes living alone, and their son, well, he's an orphan. It's really satisfying the way the relationships are built up dynamically before our eyes. They don't stick up for each other because they're a family - they're a family because they stick up for each other! There's genuine emotional payoff when The Kid shows off his certificate reading "Dick Tracy Jr." or when Tracy tosses that ring to Tess. The juxtaposition of the would-be sap with the wry characters makes for the best possible kind of laugh.

Golem: On the other hand, Big Boy forces a family. He usurps henchmen, and he arm-twists his fellow thugs into partnership with him. And then there's Mahoney, who slips from relationship to relationship; at first ready to join Big Boy's side, later trying to force a relationship on Dick. She plays the opposite of Kid, who resists family with all his might only to find himself happily in one.

But what it all comes down to is: when Dick asks a buddy to jump, he replies, "On what part of the wooden plank?"

Note to future self on watching DICK TRACY:
Yourself: Give up on color theory. Close your eyes when The Kid is eating. Watching Dick Tracy be Dick Tracy is enough to enjoy.

Golem: Try to remember all of the crazy thug names.