by Rosalie Kicks, Old Sport
As a small child, I was frequently told that I didn’t act my age. I wasn’t being told that I was immature, instead it was the complete opposite. I was a serious old sport. A responsible child: pen in hand, clipboard in hand…always ready. I was four going on 40.
Often, I found being a child rather frustrating. Many people would judge me based on my youth and couldn’t seem to comprehend that someone my age could do many of the things that I did. I always wanted a seat at the big kids table. In my family, you grew up fast and you didn’t really have a choice. Everyone worked for the family. It wasn’t cool like The Sopranos…we sold produce. Around the age of nine I was just about the right height that I could see over the checkout counter at my grandparents’ farmers market. From that day forward I was employed.
My grandmother (also named Rosalie) first taught me how to bag groceries. The next step was cash handling. Working for Grammy Rose, you learned quickly nothing was done the easy way. Therefore, I was not allowed to depend on a machine or robot to tell me how to count change…I had to use my brain. With my crazy work schedule, I rarely had time to kick back and watch movies. However, one film that I seemed to watch quite a bit as a young child was the Peter Pan (1960 TV special), starring Mary Martin. I specifically remember visiting Blockbuster with my mom’s youngest brother (who was about 17 years older than me, he drove a t-bird and was real cooooooooooool) and to his dismay, I always picked out this movie (dear god why?!). I guess the subject matter spoke to me? Maybe it was because I felt I was robbed of my childhood and I longed to experience what every other child I knew experienced: being a kid. Who the hell knows…either way I went down this dark path and became obsessed with Peter Pan. This character taught me that being an adult sucked. By the time I hit my late teen years, I did not want to grow up. I was a lost boy through and through. I became obsessed with the whole “Peter Pan way of life." Why in the hell does anyone want to grow up? I started to revert, I grew down.
I seriously must have rented this thing over a dozen times. Question is: Why in the hell did my uncle allow me to rent this horrifying TV special from the 1960s? He had to have seen it for what it truly was: a dark story masked in skin tight green leggings. Until several years ago, I always had a fond memory of Peter Pan. Leave it to Steven Sp***b*** to ruin everything. After Thanksgiving dinner, I re-watched: Hook. Wow Steven, I’ll just get my therapist on the phone now and thank you for the nightmares. You would think that after this experience, your favorite old sport would have learned her lesson…nope. Earlier this year, I made yet another error in judgment and viewed: Pan. Huh, maybe these Peter Pan flicks are not what I thought they were.
I noticed a PETER PAN PATTERN (P3)! Guys, it is simple: Those old sports in Hollywood HATE us. Peter Pan is used to haunt our dreams and ruin children’s lives. Hollywood wants us all to have lives filled with nightmares forever and to take our souls. The evidence is there, open your eyes: each generation pays witness to a Peter Pan movie that gets a little more darker. A little creepier. Each generation gets the Peter Pan movie they deserve.
Peter Pan (1924), Directed by Herbert Brenon
Don’t waste your time with those other ones: This is the Peter Pan to watch. In the 1920s, prohibition was in full swing. Which most likely explains why this generation lucked out and was given a watchable Peter Pan film. Without alcohol, life is hard enough. This film is one of the few to closely stick to J. M. Barrie’s story. Practically all the intertitles used in the film were taken right from Barrie’s play. I was extremely impressed with the flying sequences, the portrayal of Tinkerbell and the set designs. From here on out, my friends, it is downhill. Conclusion: Skip the rest. Watch this. The movie, in its entirety can be found here: youtube.com/watch?v=4bNLJG_Kkug
Peter Pan (1960), Directed by Vincent Donehue
I can’t even tell you the last time I watched this thing (OK. Maybe I was 15? Christ). Whoa! This thing is absolutely dreadful. Let’s start out with the obvious: it is racist. Unfortunately, this seems to be a re-occurring issue in the universe of Pan films. None of the filmmakers seem to understand how to properly cast Tiger Lily. She is a Native American, not a blonde white girl. Then there is the scene in which Peter Pan pretends to be a lady (no need to pretend, as the person playing Peter - Mary Martin - is a lady) and taunts Captain Hook in the woods. Hook is fascinated by possibly having the opportunity to kiss the “mysterious YOUNG lady." He stalks her in the woods trying to grab out for her several times. V O M I T. This scene WHY? This scene: disturbing and disgusting. I must mention: I never had an issue with ladies playing Peter although, I have found the reasoning a bit peculiar. Many of the filmmakers felt that it was too difficult to find a boy that had small enough features to play Pan. Therefore, they would often cast ladies in the part since they tended to be the size they were looking for. As a child watching this movie, I couldn’t care less that Peter was played by a lady. Honestly, I don’t think I noticed until someone pointed it out to me and even then, I still didn’t care. Peter is Peter - didn’t matter if the character was played by a man, lady, or robot. Doesn’t matter. A lady playing Pan doesn’t make your eyes bleed. The racism, pedophilia, drab costumes and terrible set designs will. You best have those tissues ready cause before that hour and forty minutes is through, your eyes will be raining blood. Conclusion: this generation did a lot of drugs. People were just plain bonkers.
Hook (1991), Directed by Steven Sp***b***
The MJ crew has a strict policy when it comes to Steven Sp***b***: we don’t talk about him. We don’t discuss his films. He doesn’t exist. However, I am breaking my silence. Because when you talk about terrifying Pan films this one should be at the top of your list. If it doesn’t ruin your life, nothing will. This is a pile. A two hour and twenty-two-minute pile to be exact. I dare you to watch this thing again and come to any other conclusion other than: LIFE RUINER. This thing should be burned and forgotten, never to be viewed again.
The children want their dad to die in a plane crash. Robin Williams, (who plays the dad) is a sad sack that would make any child fear their impending doom known as: adult life. Because adult life means NO FUN, absolutely NONE. Instead your life will be filled with business cards, handshakes, and sleepless nights.
The colors are muted, the design is drab…Spoolberg might as well have shot this thing in sepia. The acting is deplorable. The costumes make me sick to my stomach. Who in the hell is Rufio? What is Julia Roberts doing? OH MY GOD – please don’t make me think about it anymore. What in the hell did we do to deserve this? Conclusion: Spoolberg hates children and especially YOU.
Pan (2015), Directed by Joe Wright
This movie: NO.
There is not a single positive statement that I can make about this film. I have attempted to block the entire event of viewing this film out of my mind. As I write this, I find myself getting riled up once more. This film is what nightmares are made of. What was meant to open a door to an entire Peter Pan universe instead made a belly flop right in Mermaid Lagoon. There is a reason that this $150M film only made $34M in the box office. It is an abomination.
If it weren’t for movie houses going digital, you would have read reports of the film just instantly going up in flames as it started to be projected on screen. This thing was from HELL. Director Wright’s choices were WRONG. It is amazing how in 2015, we still can’t cast a Native American to play Tiger Lily. Instead we pick: Rooney Mara…not a bad actress, but last time I checked she is a white girl from New York.
Wright thought it would be a great idea to bring a bit of grunge to Peter Pan by including a deafening rendition of Nirvana’s Teen Spirit. This dude showed us Hugh Jackman snorting fairy dust, Pan living in a drab foster home that tortures children, and the future Captain Hook as a dude that quite possibly had a mental disorder. All of this adds up to an hour and fifty-one minutes of TERROR.
You don’t want these images, cause once they are in they are never coming out. This thing = nightmare fuel. Don’t make the same mistake I did unless you are prepared for the countless sleepless nights just pondering what in the actual fuck did they do with $150M bucks?! How hard is it to make a Peter Pan movie? It is a god damn children’s story, not a biopic about lawyers. Conclusion: This is what we got in 2015, are we prepared for what is next to come?