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Mystery DVD #249 - There Are No Walls in the House of Jearl
February 19th, 2015
01:20 pm


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Mystery DVD #249
Director Jonathan Lynn's board game-inspired campfest finds six colorful dinner guests gathered at a mansion, where they all become suspects in the death of the house's owner, who had been blackmailing each of them.

There's no reason to not see Clue, just find Clue and watch it, you have probably seen this movie like four times in cumulative chunks randomly playing over a bar, or on a TV you dozed off in front of. It's not a masterpiece, but it's comfortable. It's goofy. Christopher Lloyd is in it and flails a lot. Tim Curry is in it and scampers about a lot. Madeleine Kahn is in it, exuding subtle menace and occasionally suffering a dignified pratfall. Michael McKean is in it and his storyline is kind of homophobic but it was 1985 and they probably honestly thought they were being inclusive. Just... fair warning, it is to cringe a bit.

The blurb has the plot covered: Who Killed Mister Boddy? How? Where? It's really faithful to the board game, down to rooms with the right names and secret passages and a candlestick, a revolver, the whole nine yards. Take that, Battleship. You did not line up those pegs even once. The DVD offers the movie as it was shown in theaters in 1985, with a random ending, or with all three endings strung together 'home movie' style. From what i understand, the choice of showing only one out of three versions in each theater doomed Clue when it came out -- audiences weren't keen on wondering whether they would get the best ending. And they were right -- I watched it the first time random-ending style and I got the most plausible but also least funny scenario. I could have gone through my whole life thinking Clue was mostly dumb and cheesy with a really frenetic Tim Curry holding it together. You have to see this with all three strung together to be properly warmed up for the utterly bugnuts final ending with Madeleine Kahn improvising a trembling rage-fugue. Completely worth the price of admission.

Netflix Arranger Pattern Matching: This is at least the second DVD based on a board game! How many are there? Was Clue the pioneer? Do we count Jumanji? Also, we've seen the mayor from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" a couple of times now.


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Date:February 20th, 2015 08:50 pm (UTC)
I actually read the novelization of this when I was a kid (months or possibly years before I saw the movie). http://www.amazon.com/Clue-Michael-McDowell/dp/0449130495
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