Friday, July 31, 2009

Jumpin' Jack Flash (1986)

A very special guest post from the poor sap who married Knarf.
This was the last movie on my childhood Ghostbusters tape. I watched the hell out of that tape, but whenever Jumpin' Jack Flash started the boringness and the wavy lines came with it. Well, now the tape is long gone and I'm all growed up and ready for some whoopass "Adventure in Comedy" (the movie's tagline).
We are first introduced to Whoopie's character, Terri by staring at all of the crazy crap on her walls. This chick likes the movies Metropolis, Casablanca, okay--classic movies. She's poor and cold but has time to start her morning routine with two jumping jacks: girl after my own heart, and it fits with the title of the movie. I know I'm supposed to like Whoopie's character because she's friendly to everyone, except busmates who choose to sleep on her shoulder. Her bright yellow scarf and sneakers set a tone for her wardrobe in the movie--awful, but it's Whoopie so, deal.
This girl has some class clown syndrome. But you just want to tell her your problems because you think he could fix them. Even Jon Lovitz flirts with her--but they're just friends. And she's a computer nerd. I feel like I'm ready to write her e-harmony page. I wonder if this is a Saturday Night Live production like Superstar, or Ghostbusters. (I'm pretty sure only one of those counts - K.) Even Phil Hartman is there.
Hi. I'm dead.

This is the part where I try to figure out what she does for a living. What kind of place has a bell that starts your day? She works at a computer. She barely gets started when opps! Russian television magically appears on her computer screen. Good thing Terri is a smart cookie. She figures out that "The shielding on the IO port is loose." Is that a part of a computer? All she did was hold the cord that connects the monitor to her computer. Is there magically wi-fi in 1986 that sneaks into your computer monitor? Eh, I guess no one cares. But what does she do? Well good thing she gets in trouble and has to explain what is expected of her to the audience her boss. "To transfer funds and accept the transfer of funds between international banking establishments using the computer so that the transfered funds are easily called upon." I guess she's being too friendly. How dare she act unprofessional by chatting with customers. Oh they're planning a trip to this new place called Kohls!Well time for some plot. Someone begins chitchatting with her on a "clamshell terminal" not within her network. Hmm. He seems nice. He likes Jumping Jack Flash. Intriguing, but he won't talk with her--no privacy. He gives her a riddle to solve in order to have a private conversation. Find his password within the Rolling Stones hit. Note: Whoopie Goldberg is a sing talker, which is a good thing. Fuck a Duck. She does a "figuring out the lyrics to the song montage" which must have been a comedy bit Whoopie did on stage. She makes fun of how nobody can understand the lyrics of the song. Seedy saxophone and man smoking a cigarette. Stranger Danger!

Awesome outfit alert! Whoopie's back at work to try some passwords. This is like me with my passwords. Is it this? Hmm no? Well, I need to pay that $7.00 Kohls bill!! No I don't know my username!! She needs that KEY! Well she did it and because she did, she gets awesome screen graphics, like all 80's computers had. Big difference, her screen has color now.There's a downside. He has a task for her. Go to the British Consulate and deliver a message boring. Wait why is the guy from "7th Heaven" here? And now it's explained: Soviet television uses the same satellite as this capitalist pig bank. No more worries about computer magic.
Next on Lifetime: Raped by the 7th Heaven guy

I know people who talk when they type. And I want to smack them. But hey, Whoopie's alone here in this movie. And it's been done before. Castaway, ummm no, I can't remember any more. Why is Jim Belushi here? He’s a bumbling spook who has to kill Whoopie so he can be free to make Jumpin' Jack Flash 2000. (It'll be on later in the flight. - K.)
Hi. I'm not dead, but my significantly more talented brother is.

Time to contact some other spies who might try to help Jumping Jack, who is stuck in the Soviet Union. Whoops, the first one died. Well, she’s arrested and they have to make sure she’s not a hooker. But, like she said, “There’s not a lot of work down on the pier. Unless she’s giving blowjobs to goldfish.” Well her potty mouth almost gets her sent to fucking jail. But blah blah blah she meets Annie Potts.

New task, sneak into the British Consulate and break into their computer system. Whoopie. Just when I was sick of hearing Whoopie talk to herself and read every line that is typed, they stuck in a voice for Jack. Now I only have to cut one wrist.
This movie has a powerful message about…no, no it doesn’t. Nevermind.

Ugg, Whoopie in a blue sequin evening gown doing a Diana Ross impression. She’s thin enough but no bosom. Spying. Hiding under desks. Stealing information from 20-year-old computers, that kind of stuff. But there's always time for Whoopie to do some thing funny, like get her sequined gown stuck in a paper shredder. Now she’s doing Tina Turner. I’m an audience member that pays attention so I noticed that even though it was just a quick visual gag.
Returning home from espionage she finds her Clark Gable cutouts and giant toothbrushes strewn about. I wonder if that’s a crack about her big teeth. I was really worried until 7th Heaven comes knocking to check on her and, again, to help the white people understand.

I'll get you, Cavity Creeps!

Whoopie does another stand up routine while waiting for Jumping Jack Flash to communicate. She told her boss she’s going to work extra hours for a promotion, but the cleaning staff and security guards know the truth. She’s lying on her desk, chatting with boys, not getting any work done BACK TO YOUR ROOM YOUNG LADY! Pshew, I went into parental mode for a second. I think she really…barf…barf…likes this guy. I was missing him. Desperately wondering where he was, if I was ever going to see him again. Oh thank God, he’s back: Jim Belushi is on screen to give Whoopie a sodium pentothal shot to make her give up that KEY aka password—it also delivers some hilarious consequences!
Only Whoopie’s hilarious comedy can save her now. She’s dragged through New York in a phone booth attached to a tow truck, screaming and everyone seems to think it’s just a good time. To make matters worse, she’s really late for her job at the bank--better go in and (still under the effects of sodium pentothal) ala Liar Liar, tell everyone in the office what she thinks before passing out.
But during her truth serum freak out she contacts a poodle haired lady with power and guilt trips her into helping Jumping Jack Flash with an exit contact. Hooray!

Now she’s kissing the monitor displaying their last chat. She can do what she wants but my “stranger danger” sirens are going off. Falling in love with a guy on the Internet! He could be a big fat weirdo!

Well there’s still enough time in this movie for Whoopie to get kidnapped. Oh, they’re going to torture her. bone saw! Drill! One kick to the family jewels and they’re all finished. Aww, no harm came to her. She’s been used. She gave Jack a fake contact. Well, she’d better assault a police officer.
It's gonna take a lot of beers with the president to smooth this one over.

Shooting spree at 1st Financial. Awww Hell! 7th Heaven reveals himself to be CIA! And then you see it. In order to saver her own life Whoopie bites a dick. This movie has the biting of dicks. I love it. And then 7th Heaven asks for Jack's key code. But he’s American and a TV dad so you know Whoopie can trust him.

The movie then limps into the doghouse with one last scene. We finally to meet Jumpin' Jack Flash and see he’s… the guy from Brazil! Oh mullet and ordinary face and they walk out hand in hand. These two fugly people deserve each other.
So, I got to see 2 stand up routines, eccentric Whoopie Goldberg pining away for a guy on a computer screen, and also inferred that she bit some British guy’s dick. I couldn’t help wonder if she tilted her head for it. And I learned that you can go to Kohls to feel better about yourself.
Hey look! It's two funny actors with only one scene and barely any lines! Huzzah!

Knarf's take: On several occasions during Jumpin' Jack Flash, I seriously considered beating myself to death with my own skull. It's a cruel bait-n-switch that throws legions of SNL alumni at us before doing approximately jack squat with any of them. Seriously, who are the ad wizards who came up with the idea of filling the bottom half of the credits with the likes of Phil Hartman and Jon Lovitz, then making a movie which is essentially two hours of Whoopi Goldberg talking to a fucking Apple II monitor?Melora thought I would like this movie because of the humorous way it quixotically pretends to have the slightest clue how computers work. (A recurring theme here at VU) Unfortunately, the magic password that can turn monochrome monitors into freaky colored acid trips is not funny enough to make my eyes stop bleeding. So her punishment was writing this post; I hope you enjoyed it.


  1. Aw. I have fond memories of this one, but any 80s movie with a computer was awesome to my nerdy self back in the day.

  2. I can imagine it would be far less aneurysm inducing in its own time.

  3. Whomever wrote this post has no taste in movies, it's an absolute classic.