Thursday, July 28, 2016

Tape Headz Session 4: The Jazz Singer (1980)

Returning tapes Wired to Kill and Hard 'n' Heavy were no match for the voting juggernaut that was The Jazz Singer. Friday the 13th part 4 came pretty close: both received a hundred votes from specific people, and had Friday the 13th part 4 received only six more points, it would have won. Crystal's love of Neil Diamond and Emily's interest in jazz singers was victorious. Many good tapes received no points this time.

Friday the 13th part 4: 125
Wired to Kill: 45
Hard 'n' Heavy: 0
Mesmerized: 10
Young Doctors in Love: 30
Arena: 60
Time of the Apes: 0
The Jazz Singer: 130

There was a total debacle involving the selection of the film that shall never be discussed and will
never be repeated again.

Popcorn was had by all. Josh ate pickles, gin, and iced tea. A manatee named Manny joined Crystal and Emily on the couch. Andy's butt put the tape in for everyone to see.

Manny was played with a lot. Josh complained almost non-stop the whole duration of the film. Andy said it wasn't that bad. Crystal ate up every moment in it. Emily just didn't know what to think: why was this film called The Jazz Singer when there is no jazz in sight?

To make it brief, The Jazz Singer is a remake of the first talkie film ever, now starring Neil Diamond and his menagerie of soft rock hits. There are frequent moments where someone is playing something fast and he intentionally slows it down or switches to an altogether more depressing song. People's attachment to the songs greatly affected their enjoyment of the film: Andy and Crystal both said they loved songs like "America", while Emily and Josh scratched their heads.

In general, there were cool likable characters: the black men and the old Jewish guys were great, but Neil Diamond's character was agreed to be a huge dick. He left his wife and dad in New York to start a career, screws that up by making a song more boring, screws up his marriage and starts a new relationship before they're divorced. Eventually Neil Diamond's awesomely Jewish dad realizes Neil is having this California floozie's pizza and Jew dad tears his coat to show that he wants his son dead. Neil then abandons his new love interest who, unbeknownst to him, is having a baby. He eventually comes back, then becomes a mega superstar again anyway. There are no repercussions for his dickwad actions.

Everyone agreed that there was Kool-Kasting because of the dad character, and everyone agreed there was a lot of Sweet-Emotion revolving around his character. There's a great scene where everyone sings and dances around the dad and another where Neil and him reconcile.

Visual-Touchdowns are mostly related to Neil Diamond's clothes. He wears a lot of glittery shirts in the film which received a number of votes, but everyone generally agreed that the film's finale in which he wears a glittery scarf and lasers start appearing out of nowhere was the real highlight.

Hip-Tunes received a bonus point from Crystal and two from Andy. They both enjoyed the Neil Diamond and a new wavey British guy's interpretation of one of his songs. Emily left it at 0 for the lack of jazz, while Josh just said screw everything.

Few Spiffy-Scripting points were given, with Emily giving 0 and Josh and Andy both giving it 1. Crystal gave it 2, mostly for her love of Neil Diamond. The others agreed that while there was the occasional good line, Diamond's character was portrayed as too big of a dick to receive high marks.

Emily gave the film it's sole Eye-Candy point for all the old Jewish men in the synagogue scenes.

The cover was a point of much contention. Josh liked the cover graphic and little else, Andy liked the images on the back of Neil Diamond standing around, Emily said it gave her false hope of jazz, and Crystal gave it full points because Neil Diamond was all over it. Emily was deeply distraught that there was no jazz in the film.

Emily and Josh both gave it 5, Andy gave it a 10, and Crystal a 16. Friday the 13th, Arena, and Wired to Kill are still up for the next session.


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