Friday, October 19, 2012

American Anthem - Part 3

American Anthem is many things. Subtle is not one of them. After Steve-o and Barbie make out in Steve-O's car, the camera cuts to a shot of a gray, cloudy sky. But whatever could that mean?

One doesn't have to be an English PhD student at Harvard in order to interpret this symbolism. A storm is brewing on the horizon. Something bad is going to happen.

O.M.F.G. That's so deep.

We don't have to wait long before the shit storm hits. As soon as Steve-O enters the house, his mom and his father zap him with their lightning bolts of words. "Where have you been?" his mother inquires. Steve-O responds, "I've been riding around." What he fails to mention is that a girl may have been riding him. Had he mentioned that, his dad may not have pinned him against the wall in a fit of rage.

I feel like I should care more about this scene. I mean, it's a climactic scene in the sense that Steve-O reveals that his father broke his arm, but the entire time I'm thinking, "Why is that lamp crooked? And why does her necklace look like terrible zombie-severed-head makeup?"
I'm also left thinking, "Why does Steve-O keep looking at his mom like this? Did Oedipus make the same faces?"

After a lot of dramatic leaning on Oedipus's part,
This is the kind of work that earns one an Academy Award, a Golden Globe, a Razzie nomination

he heads off to hang out with Barbie. After knowing the girl for a few hours, he blabbers on and on and on about his daddy issues, and he reveals that he turned down a college football scholarship. Now, he feels like a failure, and Barbie's all like, "Stop trying to make everyone happy. You gotta live for yourself."

In that moment, Barbie seems somewhat sagacious and less insufferable. But only for that moment. It also helps that she's making this amazing face as she's delivering her lines.
Is she bored? Is she on drugs? I don't know, but it's a good look on her. It's much better than her entitled bitchface, which she puts on in the next scene.

The scene opens with a shot of the semi-sweaty Becky.
She has just put in several hours in the gym. On a Sunday. Alone. Without a coach. Completely Safe. And she's pissed that Barbie didn't show up. Who can blame her? Barbie was off with a boy while Becky was putting in long hours at the gym. So, when Barbie does show up, Becky's all like, "I guess you don't need my help. Good luck at the meet, bitch." And Barbie's all like, "I'm sorry." And Becky's all like, "Sorry doesn't cut it."

I wonder if Aly ever felt this way while Alicia was off with Brady Quinn.

Anyway, honestly, who would you rather spend your Sunday with? The guy with tight white pants and a motorcycle?
It's daylight. Is the headlight necessary?

Or a woman with almost the same haircut who wears tube socks over her leggings?

What if I told you that the man with a motorcycle wore these shoes?

Of all the things the cameramen could zoom in on, why the shoes? Why not something artsy like the sun?

This movie is going to go down in the books as an example of cinematographic excellence.

Once again, the symbolism runs deep in this movie. The solar flare signifies that Steve-O is on fire and is burning to do gymnastics again. In fact, he's so excited to do gymnastics that he hunts down his coach on a Sunday, which happens to be the Hoff's day off. You know, my parents are both teachers, and seeing their pupils on weekends is the last thing they want. It's like going to yoga, and then, BAM! The cast of the Jersey Shore walks in.

Zen moment, ruined!

Side note: In case you didn't read the first post, I'm talking about this Hoff.

Not this one.
Don't you just want to pucker up and kiss that?

Anyway, Steve-O declares that he's going to make a comeback, and then Steve-O drives out into the woods to train. There, a makeshift high bar awaits him.
And we thought that the Romanians and Russians were poor. They, at least, had roofs over their heads.

Who can forget these lovely shots from NBC's fluff pieces?

While in the woods, Steve-O does a couple skills on the high bar, ending in a full-twisting double back fly away that he sticks. Content with himself, he decides to head home and make peace with his dad. Just guess what his peace offering is... A pack of cigarettes.
'Cause nothing says, "I love you, Dad" like a pack of cancer sticks.

After buttering up his father, he asks him to lower his rent so that he can train. His dad doesn't like that idea, and Mitch, in a whiny voice, asks, "Why don't you support me like everyone else is?" His father's reply? "'Cause they don't have to live with your mistakes."


This is what we call a healthy family relationship.

Against his father's wishes, Steve-O starts working out again, and against her coach's wishes, Barbie decides to use her cousin's floor music. She struggles at first, which annoys her floor coach.

Your big moment on the silver screen, and you make this face, and your necklace is crooked. How embarrassing!

After a rough practice, Barbie and Steve-O stick around for an extra "workout" session. Barbie's all like, "I'm going to do some hoochy body rolls in my high cut leotard."
Can you see why Jake Dalton liked this movie as a young boy?

And Steve-O, well, is he doing pommel horse naked? Or does he have pants on? And is he staring at his wee wee area? And is he covered in baby oil? Woof.

All I have to say about that is...

The next day Later on (the chronology is hard to follow in this oh-so-postmodern thriller), the Tops gymnasts head to the Southern Regional competition, where their judges look like extras from 80s pornos.
Before Steve begins his floor routine, a fan in the stands yells, "Let's go, Mr. Football. Bring it home." Now, I would not consider myself an aficionado of ball sports (balls, perhaps, but not ball sports), but I'm familiar enough to know that baseball players "bring it home," while football players score touchdowns. Gym fans really are morons, aren't they?

In his big debut, Steve takes to the floor, where he does a front through to a double back, a headspring, a full, and another double back. To channel my inner Tim Dagget, "HUUUUUGE hop on the headspring."

The routine also consists of Stacey Maloney's (aka Kirk's) facial expressions. Here are some of the best ones.
I'm starting to wonder if everyone was stoned on the set. 

Steve scores a 9.25, and he's mad because he thinks he's better than that. Umm, you started training like 2 days ago, Steve-O. Be glad you didn't kill yourself on those double backs!

Next up, Julie Lloyd on floor exercise. During her routine, she does a triple full, a double pike, and a double full. (I feel like she was missing her double salto pass.) All in all, her tumbling was impressive. In fact, it was harder than Steve-O's, but her dancing, well, that left something to be desired. Keep in mind that this is the first time that we really get to see her perform her routine, and yeah... Just look for yourself...

ASS-OUT JAZZ HANDS, FOR THE WIN! With such titillating moves like the one featured above, I just can't understand how she scores in the low 9's. She, like Mitchy Poo, is pissed.

Speaking of which, after doing a grand total of 1 event, Mitchy Fuckin' Gaylord gets ready for his last event: high bar. (In movie math, 1 + 1 = 6!) After, like, 2 days of practice, he decides to prove to the world that he's still DA MAN! So, he decides to do a super hard dismount on high bar: a "triffus," which, as the commentator reminds us, has never been done before. (From what I can gather, a triffus is a full-twisting triple back. Years later, Jonathan Horton performed a "triffus".)

And after, like, 2 days of practice, he nails that dismount.


The scene ends in a way that only a gay man in the 80s could appreciate...

...with a faceful of Mitch Gaylord's ass.

On that note, I shall call it quits for the day. But before you go, I do have one assignment for you: Practice your hoochy body rolls in the clubs this weekend, and let me know how people react. Oh, and, if you could wear a hoochy high-cut leotard, that'd be great. Take pictures. xx, Uncle Tim


During Barbie's routine, we realize how quickly and efficiently meets can be run. As she is going into her triple full, one man is up on high bar.
And when she dances out of her first tumbling pass, a different guy is dismounting...
...with a bent-armed, flexed-footed tucked flyaway. Blech.

If gymnastics meets ran that quickly, more parents wouldn't mind attending. Just a thought...

1 comment:

  1. These American Anthem posts are hilarious!! And thanks for sharing Horton's "triffus". I had no clue that dismount was even possible, let alone someone like Horton could pull it off. I wish I saw these more often, just like full twisting double back off p-bars.