Monday, September 1, 2008

Cool as Ice (David Kellogg, 1991)

Deep, philosophical questions rarely enter the superficial vortex that is my subconscious mind. However, one in particular was vexing the lukewarm brisket out of me the other day, and, that is, "Has anyone in the history of filmed entertainment ever come close to exuding the amount of double-dyed masculinity that Vanilla Ice (a.k.a. Rob Van Winkle) drips all over the floor in Cool as Ice?" I mean, call me someone who possesses the quintessential properties of something that is straight-up whack, yo, but after seeing his gaudy ass prance, chill, and represent in this totally buggin' movie, I wanted to mouth-massage his vanilla-flavoured cock 'til the end of time. In other words, to answer my own question, I'm gonna have to say, "no." In the overcrowded realm of badasses with extremely high self-esteem, no one can touch Vanilla Ice as Johnny Van Owen, a boundary-destroying humanitarian and full-time wordsmith (the loquacious Johnny teaches underprivileged children how to read through the sheer legibility of the moronic sloganeering on his loose-fitting leather jacket). A true visionary in terms of righteousness and phonics, he's one of the most authentic and single-minded characters to claw its way out of the festering sore that was early 1990s cinema. Now, some might say that the film that surrounds Vanilla is the cinematic equivalent of encountering a family of shaved parsnips on the same day as your penis enlargement surgery. And they would be right, the movie is so awful in places, that it boggles the mind. In addition, it features a fish bowl that contains way too many fish for a fish bowl of that size to hold. However, it's that kind of adversity that only makes a character like Johnny Van Owen fly even higher. Seriously, crap acting and nonsensical plot twists be damned, because 'Nilla Ice is super mad fresh as Johnny, and that's all that matters when it comes to things that matter, yo.

Yep, yep, check out the scene where Johnny inexplicably jumps a fence with his yellow motorcycle for unambiguous proof of his upward rise. I like, by the way, how he almost kills his love interest, Katharine/Kathy/Kat, before he can even say "Hi" (he lands his bike in front of her galloping horse, causing her to crash violently to the ground).

The upright Kat is played by Kristin Minter, and even though she's not affiliated with dope rhymes and doesn't have any ice cream-related words amidst her letter-centric identification (tho', the first four letters of her last name are on the cusp of being a type of frozen treat), she is still a vision of loveliness, especially when she's wearing one of her many floral sundresses.

Oh, and, before I split, I gotta say, the romantic montage with Vanilla and Kristin rollicking at the construction site should be mandatory viewing for all up and coming directors. Combining the pure physicality of Leni Riefenstahl and the ornamental greenery of Terrence Malick, Cool as Ice helmsmen, David Kellogg and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski, capture the forbidden lovers in a tantalizing dance that wonderfully symbolizes the clash between different modes of transportation. (She teaches him how to ride a horse, while he gives her a lesson on how to ride a motorcycle.) It's a beautifully filmed sequence that evoked memories of the days when I didn't work on a farm in rural Ruthenia (damn, I have been namedropping this lush and magical land a lot as of late). Anyway, this film is sweetness personified. Word to your nearest matriarch. It's an unequivocal fact, yo.

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  1. Oh man, I only have the most vague memories of this movie. I saw it when it came out on video with some good friends of mine at about 2 am. It's kind of hard to find now I believe...

    What a flashback!

  2. Great write-up. Haha, Cool As Ice is a riot! "Drop that Zero and Get with the Hero!"

  3. Thanks, Ty.

    Vanilla Ice is currently a judge on a show called "Canada Sings."

  4. First class wry and witty commentary as usual Yum-Yum, but don't hold back on the screen queen. Dude! Kristin Minter was Rachel McLeod in HIGHLANDER! Are you kidding me? Yeeowtch!