Monday, December 12, 2011

15 Minute Movies: The Ref (Part Two)

 There's no part one, so don't go looking for it. That would be silly. Today we'll look at the second fifteen minutes of Ted Demme's The Ref which is, I kid you not, the only consistent Christmas tradition we've had at the extended Blogorium headquarters for the last... let's say 16 years*. We'll give it until the movie was out on video, though we did see it in theatres.

 It was that very same VHS copy I put in the other night, having completed Grosse Pointe Blank with a twinge of holiday spirit rattling around the brain. I will say that nobody programs trailers that just barely make sense better than Disney / Touchstone / Miramax, so it is worth noting that before The Ref began I saw trailers for The Nightmare Before Christmas and The Crow. Back to back. This is the VHS trailer for The Nightmare Before Christmas, because it entertained me. The end the most.

 Where were we? Oh, right: The Ref. The second fifteen minutes pick up right after Denis Leary kidnaps Judy Davis and Kevin Spacey as the couple from Hell and takes them back home. Because the first fifteen minutes is setup of Leary's thief and Spacey and Davis bickering in front of therapist Dr. Wong (played by B.D. Wong), this section of the film also introduces many of the secondary characters in the film: George, the soon-to-be-drunken Santa Claus, the "fucking waste of life" Murray who abandoned Leary and fled to the nearest bar, Jessie the kind of son Davis and Spacey's characters could spawn, the head of the military school that Jessie is blackmailing (J.K. Simmons), and the extended family coming to Christmas dinner (including Christine Baranski and Mary Poppins' Glynnis Johns).

 It also has the scene I suppose most people, even ones who haven't seen The Ref (and you really should - it's more mean-spirited than Bad Santa and funnier than Christmas Vacation at the same time), which is the "kitchen" scene. If you haven't seen the film (and I put the whole thing up two years ago for Christmas), here's a healthy chunk of what I watched:

 The whole thing is on YouTube so feel free to watch it - I somehow think you'll enjoy the whole thing.

 Back next week with... something else.

* It beats, by a long shot: driving around looking at tacky yard lights while blaring Jim Nabors, unsuccessfully trying to get Cranpire to go see a movie with us Christmas night, the night before Christmas eve arbitrarily getting some form of "the gang" back together and going somewhere (usually the "free section" of Reader's Corner, and sausage balls.

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