Thursday, May 31, 2018

Movies That Suck #11 - Urban Cowboy

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Movies That Suck is a feature where I watch a bad movie and share my reactions to it in real time. Sort of like live tweeting without the tweeting. I watch it so you don't have to! This will be spoilery I guess by definition but since you probably won't want to watch these anyway it probably won't matter? But heads up anyways. So get comfortable, grab a favorite beverage, and let me tell you about a movie that sucks. 

This week is Urban Cowboy. John Travolta riding a mechanical bull! And Debra Winger who rides it better than he does! This was fun, y'all. Seriously- yeah it's kinda dated, and there are some cringe worthy moments- trust me, we'll get to that, but this was entertaining and hey country music and Gilley's bar (a real place at one time)- what's not to like??? 

So Bud (Travolta) has moved to Houston to get a job at an oil refinery, and his uncle takes him lickety split to Gilley's to sample the nightlife. I love how there's a fight as they're going in, and his aunt is all like this place hasn't changed a bit. Bob (the uncle) advises "Keep walking. If they go to shoot, drop to the ground." Seems like good advice. Oh, and just at the outset- the uncle is played by Barry Corbin. If you know who Barry Corbin is, you know how awesome that is. Okay- onward. Bud is like shit, this place is bigger than my hometown. Uncle Bob helpfully points out that Gilley's is the biggest honky-tonk in the world. Now I don't care if you like country music or no, but Gilley's in its heyday- I'm just sayin. 

Bob's showing Bud around and introducing him to all the happening people, including Steve who works there. Bob asks Steve to "take good care" of Bud, which translates to Steve asking a couple of girls over. Next scene is Bud waking up in bed with both of them. Okay then! Welcome to Gilley's, Bud! And aunt Corene is a naughty thing! Bud's mom calls the next morning to check on Bud, and Corene tells her Bud must still be at church. Her and Bob have a good laugh at that one. And Sissy (Winger) takes notice of Bud. A few nights later he's at the bar again and Sissy waltzes on over and asks him to dance. 

So it doesn't take long for those two to get hot for each other. They're making out on the dance floor and all that. Bud, however, is kind of a tight ass and doesn't think girls can do certain things. Oh-oh. Then he slaps her after they have a disagreement- they're in a diner after hours and the two women he had the menage with stroll by all flirty like. Damn, he slapped her? Not cool, Bud. 



"I didn't hit you that hard." Really, Bud??? Oh shit, now they're married!!!! Um, see the clip above- it explains everything. So the reception's at Gilley's (do they live there??) and they got themselves a new home- a trailer! Marital bliss. But trouble's on the way- they go to a prison rodeo and watch a guy named Wes Hightower (Scott Glenn) riding a bull. And right after that Gilley's get a mechanical bull. See where this is goin? 

Bud of course has to give it a shot. And he ain't half bad! Course he's a little, um, sore down below afterward, if you catch my drift. Sissy says she wants to ride it and Bud freaks. He won't let Sissy ride, and she's none too happy about it. But he's riding the fuck out of it, and fancies himself quite the badass, until Wes shows up. Yup, the convict. Turns out he knows Steve, and he knows how to ride too. Sissy asks him if he's a real cowboy (the same question she asked Bud when they met) and he smiles at her. Trouble is a- brewin. 

Oh and Wes is wearing like a see-through muscle shirt too. I guess this was the 80's. He tips his hat to Sissy at the diner later and before long him and Bud are fighting in the parking lot. Bud's got himself a jealous streak- that and he's kind of an asshole drunk. Not that Wes is any better. Sure can pick 'em Sissy. Anyway Bud goes to work drunk and- surprise- gets hurt, while Sissy goes to Gilley's and learns how to ride the bull- with Wes' help. Afterwards they have a big ole fight after aunt Corene comes over and is like damn, y'all live like pigs. Food everywhere. Bud and Sissy are a mess, although Bud telling her to get him a beer constantly and expecting her to be all domestic-he's kind of an ass.  

So even though he almost fell off a scaffold at work and is hopped up on codeine, they go to Gilley's and Sissy shows him she can ride. Bud's all jealous (shocking, I know) and rides - then challenges Sissy to ride again, even though she doesn't want to! Yeah Bud's an asshole at this point. And he ends up with a broken arm after getting thrown- thanks to Wes turning the bull up. Bud wants to go after Wes, who we see had a knife ready- yeah he's bad news. Bud and Sissy fight *sigh* and Bud hits her- again- and throws her out. Dang. Is Bud supposed to be sympathetic in this movie? Because no.  



Back to Gilley's! You know, it must get expensive? Sissy won't talk to Bud so he asks some hottie named Pam to dance, and she responds by dancing with Wes. Hands on asses and everything. These two are like kids. I mean maturity-wise. Bud and Pam leave to have sex and Sissy throws a bottle at them- the staff seem to take it in stride. Just another night at Gilley's. Pam asks Bud who that was, and he tells her his wife. Doesn't seem to slow Pam down. Is he doing this just to make Sissy jealous? He says yup, and Pam smiles. She likes a cowboy. Um, is anyone likable in this movie? 

Pam has a nice place, I'll give her that. Downtown with a nice view. So Sissy decides not to sleep with Wes, and when Bud gets home from his night with Pam she moves out. And moves into Wes' dump of a trailer. These two. Pam comes around and wants to make Sissy jealous some more- for some reason she likes Bud. They go to Gilley's with Bob and Corene and Sissy is there- she rides the bull all seductive like and Bud's like, let's go. So they go to an uptown place Pam knows, and Bud talks Bob into teaching him how to really ride, for the upcoming rodeo at Gilley's. Turns out Bob was a rodeo champ at one time. 



Sissy goes home and leaves Bud a note- she wants to get back together- but Pam walks in. Sissy says she was just leaving and Pam's like "Good." Dang. Why do I like Pam in this movie? I don't even know. I mean I like Sissy too, it's the men who are all assholes. Oh and Pam disposes of the note. Her and Bud seem to be doing swimmingly. What I don't get is what Pam sees in Bud??? Things aren't going so well for Sissy though- Wes cheats on her and gets rough with her. He's worse than Bud! Bob meanwhile gives Bud a little heart to heart about getting back with Sissy, and afterwards is killed by lightning at the oil refinery. Yes, really!  

So at the funeral Sissy shows up and tells Bud that Wes was fired for hurting too many people on the bull. Her and Wes are planning on going to Mexico with the prize money from the rodeo- Wes is going to ride and expects to win. Bud's like screw that and he goes to ride, and it's party time! I like Pam's vest, by the way. So we get a lot of bull riding here, and it will probably surprise no one that Bud wins. Wes is not happy, and hits Sissy when she says she's not going to Mexico with him. Man, is Sissy a pinata in this movie or what? Someone is always knocking her around. Wes wants that money and tells Sissy to keep the motor running while he goes to steal it.  

Meanwhile Pam tells Bud about Sissy's letter and how she got rid of it, and says she knows he still loves Sissy- but if he ever wants to make her jealous again, he knows where to find her. I think Pam is my favorite part of this movie. Bud goes to find Sissy and apologizes, all the way back to when he first hit her (what a gentleman!), and says he loves her. She loves him too but when he sees her face... he goes ballistic on Wes, who just happens to be walking out with the $5000 in prize money. Wes is busted! And our two lovebirds are back together again. And going home.  



Okay, so does this movie suck? Definitely! Although it has its moments. I'm sorry though, but John Travolta as a cowboy... no. Scott Glenn is quite good as the asshole Wes, and Debra Winger is a fine Sissy. This movie is pretty dated though, and Gilley's is the real star of the show. As an aside, I understand there's still a Gilley's in Dallas, but it's not a bar anymore- at least not exclusively. More for private events looks like? Kind of a shame, in a way. No honky tonk! This movie's also perhaps a little too long, clocking in at over two hours for whatever reason. Also, why kill uncle Bob? That wasn't necessary. I'm also not really feeling Bud and Sissy, in spite of the forced HEA at the end. Those two are not good together. But it was kinda fun, and it's got some good country music.  


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33 comments:

  1. OMG Greg, as soon as I saw you were featuring Urban Cowboy I was howling. This is such an (unintentionally) campy classic. Back in Travolta's heyday. There is no telling how many times I've seen this one. In today's PC climate this one would likely never even get made - or if it did it would be ripped to shreds (I mean, he's sorry all the way to the first time he hit her? Nice one, Bud. LOL) But even though those two are obviously freaking toxic together, I'm a sucker for this cheese-fest. :)

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    1. Right??? This thing's a train wreck (you know, the kind you can't stop watching). But... it's a fun train wreck? I agree, this movie would possibly not get made today, and if it did there's be none of that hitting stuff (which maybe is good, but I think they were going at some gender differences there)? I couldn't believe it either when he apologized ALL THE WAY back to the first hitting- I just about sputtered. And when he tells her didn't hit her THAT hard! I kinda like too that no one is really likable??

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  2. Ha ha, Urban Cowboy, yes a movie that sucks. But I did enjoy it back in the day, for Debra Winger, the setting and the music. I never was a Travolta fan from the get-go. And slapping the woman-- not cool at all! I love all the notes you took while you watched it, so thanks for sharing!

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    1. Debra Winger's great. I am NOT a fan of Travolta, at least in this movie. I mean he was a jerk- maybe not intentionally, but nevertheless. And thanks!

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  3. John Travolta has been in a few dodgy films when you look back on it! Maybe you should check out Rhinestone, with the pairing of Dolly Parton and Sylvester Stallone. I like both of them but a film about her turning him into a country music star was strange!

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    1. You know as I look back, he HAS been in some stinkers! Rhinestone sounds like it might fit this feature really well!

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  4. Wow, I has forgotten so much of this. All the men were assholes in this movie! I rode a mechanical bull once and stayed on, it was crazy!

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    1. I'd only seen parts of it. Yes ALL the men were asses in this movie- true!! And I've never ridden one?

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  5. haha I remember this movie! I did suck lol

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  6. Wow! You really went way back on this one Greg, and yes I remember that dang mechanical bull. (lol) In fact, it was the first time I'd ever seen one. Not one of my favorite movies of all time, but at the time it was fun and a good romance. You have to admit that John Travolta has truly evolved from Welcome Back Kotter and has shown us some serious acting chops. Hugs...RO

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    1. True, he's come a long way. I actually have a hard time watching him in anything from this period (except maybe Grease) as they were some... stinkers, we'll say. Although I have a soft spot for Two of a Kind.

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  7. Oh my god, this is not a movie I have EVER had a desire to watch! XD You have definitely confirmed that this is a good decision! Haha!

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    1. I would say you're not missing much???!!!???

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  8. I wondered about this movie way back when it came out. Had a thing for John Travolta, of course. Who didn't after Saturday Night Fever? But no, just no, Bud! I think Sissy should've packed her bags and left these asshole cowboys for a man that doesn't slap the shit out of her! I don't think I'd ever watch this one, but I love that you broke it down because like I said I've always been curious. Sounds like this one actually did suck! Great movie review, Greg! :)

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    1. Right, who didn't? But yeah- Bud is an ass! Maybe it's a time and place thing but I ws kinda shocked how EVERYONE hits her in the movie- well not everyone, but it was ridiculous. It does kinda suck, but ya know it's not THAT bad if you can overlook some of the... issues, it's got good music anyways. But yeah not one to seek out. :)

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  9. It was just ok for me too. it's been a long time since I watched this one.

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  10. I've never seen this one! Not sure I want to but I also feel like it's required maybe?? lol

    Karen @ For What It's Worth

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  11. You know, I have never watched this movie. I loathe cowboy themed anything. Ha!

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  12. Wow, it has been ages since I watched this one. I think Debra Winger was the only part of the movie I really liked, that and the music, lol.

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  13. Oh man, I have tried to make it through this movie so many times from the point it came out on late night TV now and then. It was one of those movies that frustrated and yet I couldn't look away at times before I'd finally turn to another channel.

    Great 'movies that suck' post.

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  14. John Travolta did a cowboy movie??? I did not know that lol. And wow, his character does sound like a jerk. And his aunt and uncle sound... interesting. And Gilley's sounds like a wild place lol.

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  15. I forgot how much he hit her in this movie. That would never fly nowadays (of course it shouldn't even fly). I used to have a Gilley's tee when I was a kid - I don't think my parents knew what they were supporting :) Bud and Sissy? Who named these characters. I remember detesting how she said the name "Bud" all the time.

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  16. KInd of fun and country music...sure why not ;)

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  17. I've never heard of this movie. How have I not heard of this movie?! I mean, LOOK at that cover! lmao

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  18. Wait. So the "HEA" at the end involves Sissy and... the dude who hit her and was emotionally manipulative to her during the whole movie? Wow. I mean, okay, it was awhile ago, but I don't recall men hitting women being okay in the 80s either, so... And the "apology", that's Abuser 101 right there. I hope that on the way hope, Sissy snapped out of her obvious concussion, said "wait, I need NONE of these losers" and eventually found herself a nice, reputable man who doesn't hit women. #EndRant

    Also, John Travolta is no cowboy. I can't buy it. And honkey tonk stuff makes me want to claw out my eardrums so I mean, can you tell I am NEVER watching this one? Hahh. Glad you took one for the team :D

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  19. I have watched this one! I don't remember all that much about it other than being confused. I couldn't remember why I was confused but now I definitely do! Yeah this is definitely not an HEA I can support! Thanks for reminding me that I really don't need to watch this one again!

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  20. Never even heard of this film but I need to see Travolta as a cowboy now!! Ha ha!

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  21. I like this movie, but yes, I remember Bud hitting her and that was horrific. Also, the guy she started dating in the middle of it all was god awful too. Not for nothing, but all of these characters were trashy. And Pam was awful, didn't she hide a letter at one point after Sissy cleaned Bud's trailer?

    I always like seeing John Travolta dancing though, especially back in his younger years. I can't say how many times I've watched Grease.
    Great post!

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  22. My dad hates this movie with a passion. It's kind of hilarious!

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