If you do one thing this weekend, go see Hot Tub Time Machine, preferably on a mind-altering substance. It's really that good. However, there are some things this master of obvious comedy is going to change forever.
For those of you who don't know, this movie stars John Cusack, Rob Corddry, Chevy Chase and others and is about a group of friends who travel back to 1986 via a time machine in a hot tub. Yes, it's that simple. However there is a combination of strangely thoughtful storytelling and the sort of infantile gross out humor that made the Farrelly brothers and South Park so popular. It is the ultimate blend of high and low culture, but here are some things that it is going to ruin for the future.
Nostalgia Movies: This is the ultimate "back in the day" comedy. Basically what Cusack, who also serves as a producer, has done here is remake Better Off Dead as an adult. Hot Tub Time Machine is the same as the 1985 gem about a dork trying to be popular on the side of a ski slope, except the main character knows better this time around and is trying to make it better. The audience gets all the fun of seeing the old costumes and hearing the old tunes, but also gets to live out the "if I had to do it all over again" fantasy. Rather than seeing a slice of what it was like back then, we get to see how we would change it, and that is the real power of nostalgia.
Funny Titles: Snakes on a Plane was a brilliant promise unfulfilled. Hot Tub Time Machine is everything it could have been. It tells you exactly what you're getting when you walk into the theater. It says it's about going back to the past, be trashy, and probably catch something from Snooki, but then it socks you in the gut and delivers more. After its success, you know Zombies at the Prom and a bunch of other silly things are going to get made and not deliver. It will be a happy day the first time I get to say, "It was no Hot Tub Time Machine."
Your Appetite for Energy Drinks: I'm sorry, but Red Bull is disgusting. Even the smell of its florescent sweetness is enough to make my stomach churn. And that "5 Hour Engergy" shit that they sell next to the register at the bodega. What is even in that shit? It must be horrible and toxic and do crazy things to you. And what is so bad about good old fashioned coffee anyway? You really need some sugary mess with unnatural chemicals and flavors and a stupid name and marketing campaign? There is a wonderful plot point in HTTM that revolves around Chernobley, a new energy drink with a banned substance. I hope it ruins the energy drink racket for good, because vodka should only be diluted with soda, tonic, orange, or cranberry—not that noxious concoction.
Time Travel Movies: Films that mess with quantum physics make the inside of my skull itch. Like the recent Star Trek reboot. Future Spock is in the past with past Spock but then he changes the shape of the past by meeting past Spock so it changes the future? Where do all the Spocks go? Can't he just go back even further and correct everything? Why can't he send himself back to the Future? Is his DeLorean broken? Hot Tub Time Machine doesn't even try to make its year-leaping trope work or make sense. It just says "these bitches are in the past now and we know it's stupid but it will make you laugh." You will never be able to watch another year skipping plot again and take it seriously, because the whole gambit has been exposed as a meaningless fraud.
Puke Jokes: Next to a little poo humor, nothing makes me laugh like a good puke joke. The one in HTTM is so excellent and unexpected that I've been laughing at it every since I saw the movies weeks ago. It's a great thing to create the gold standard.