Mystery Fest: Big

1988 comedy

Rating: 15/20

Plot: A kid successfully drops a coin into an animatronic sorceror's mouth and wins himself a wish. He wishes to be big so that he can meet the height requirements for a ride. He's granted his wish and wakes up the next day in the shape of one of the bosom buddies. He gets his best friend to understand his predicament but has to flee to the city when his mother freaks out. As he looks for a way to get small again, he has to figure out how adults act. Oh, and he gets a bitchin' trampoline!

I wasn't sure which poster to go with on this one. The poster up there with Hanks leaning from the left or this one. . .

where you get more of his face and a tag line but that same ridiculous grin. This one:

Or this one:

Again--this one:

Or this one:

What do you think? Should I have gone with this one, which we'll call Choice A:

Or Choice B which is what we'll call this one:

Here they are together:

And again:

Wait a second! I just found another one. . .

where he's touching a mirror like he's Nicolas Cage in Vampire's Kiss. Not bad, but shouldn't it come with a spoiler alert or something. Just by seeing that poster and reading the tagline, you can figure out that there's a mirror and a secret in this movie. Here's another poster:

It seems like Hanks' "really big secret" for this might be that he's a homosexual who has belched. I don't know what's going on with this one. So, pass. How about this one?

Not only do you get belching Tom Hanks, you also get one that George Zimmerman would probably take a shot at if given the chance. And that top picture where it makes Hanks look like he's one of the Little Rascals--the confused one. It also makes the movie seem like it's called Big Big Big. One more:

Well, there we go. That's the one I should have used. That's an impressive piece of art right there. It's probably too weird for this blog though, and I don't want to make any potential readers uncomfortable. So let's stick with our original two choices. Choice A:

Or Choice B:

But what about the actual movie? Does it live up to either of those posters? I do like that the whole thing ends with a dick joke. And speaking of dicks, this is definitely a movie that makes you think. I mean, consider that sex scene a little bit. There's the type of scene where you almost have to pause the movie just to work it all out in your head. Is it statutory rape, for example? And how disappointing do you think Josh would have been in the sack there? What is he, 12 years old? I think it's safe to assume that he had never been with a woman. I think at the age of 12, I would have shot my wad as my hand cupped the woman's boob. I mean, we're talking about Elizabeth Perkins' boob here. I'm 40 years old and have had sexual intercourse about 7 or 8 times, and I'm not sure I'd be able to keep from giggling and making a big mess in my pants. But let's say he doesn't prematurely ejaculate in this situation. This is, after all, a fantasy movie. So there's penetration. How's Josh going to know what to do there? Josh is the type of kid who is buying trampolines and making dinosaur toys growl and playing video games where he's a wizard. I really doubt he's put a lot of thought into the details of the female anatomy. How disappointed do you think Elizabeth Perkins had to have been? Of course, one of the central themes of this thing is about how a child's mind is more capable of creative thought than an adult's mind, so maybe that applies in the sack, too. However, let's face it. That's a ridiculous concept anyway. It was a ridiculous concept in Ender's Game where they figure the titular kid can handle the Buggers or whatever they were called in the movie better than the adults, and it's ridiculous here. We get to see a few of Josh's decisions here. The electronic interactive comic book? There's a reason why those don't exist now. Children wouldn't like them. It's a dumb idea. And I don't care what Josh says, that Chrysler Building Transformers action figure is something that would have really taken off. Another theme in this movie has to do with what a person loses in the process of becoming an adult, and I like that. It's subtle here, mostly there with Hanks' nuanced performance. Hanks really is good here. There's a nice unbroken scene after his idiot friend leaves him alone in the St. James that's really great. It's little things--like biting his nails during his job interview--that make this entire far-fetched concept plausible. The best acting nomination makes sense just because he was able to pull that off. He's also got good rapport with Jared Rushton who played his pal Billy. Rushton's annoying, but Billy's important because it brings out another important theme for this whole movie--bros before hos. I do like Billy's "Good bye, Mr. Spalding!" trash talk, pretty sophisticated stuff for a dumb kid who is obsessed with his teacher's breasts. He's also quite possible the worst basketball player in the history of movies. He looks like he could be one of Teen Wolf's future teammates. You do have to love his reaction to meeting Josh's girlfriend later. The best actor in this is Paul Herman who plays the "Schizo," a bearded lunatic they meet on the streets who shouts, "Kill the bitch!" It's fascinating to me (because this is the type of thing that fascinates me) that Herman went from playing a schizophrenic who says "Kill the bitch!" to playing the Apostle Phillip in The Last Temptation of Christ the same year. I'll have to check that Bible I may have stolen from a hotel during a recent vacation to be sure, but I don't think Phillip said anything like "Kill the bitch!" in any of the Gospels. I actually don't know if he had any speaking parts in there. Maybe he said something like that during the woman at the well part?

One more thing: I know the "Heart and Soul" scene in this is considered an iconic moment or whatever, but isn't it really weird?

No, wait! I thought of another thing. Do you think there are women out there who are sexually attracted to Zoltar? If so, do they meet in groups to discuss things? I'd like to think there's some Women Who Are Sexually Attracted to Zoltar Group out there having meetings. I know one thing--even though you can't see Zoltar's lower half in those little boxes, he's obviously rocking a pair of Zubaz.

Let me know if you have any questions about Big.


cory said...

I think you may be a little off-topic with that review. I also think your grade is off. An 18.

Shane said...

I did?

18 is a little high.