Up the Mountains, Down the Icy Tubes.
It’s hard to even believe skiing was ever cool (no pun intended) at some point in time, in our seemingly endless post X-Games bubble. Sure, Warren Miller has managed to produce and release films of snowbound XXtremeness; most of which could easily be filed by accident in the adult section if going by title alone. Take, for example, 1985′s “Steep and Deep,” 1994′s “Vertical Reality,” and 2001′s “Cold Fusion.” All the same, skiing seems to be like golf in the eyes of our current generation, except even less cool. And less likely to get you in as many affairs as you do lost endorsements afterwards.
Maybe I’m out of touch with people who love to get in touch with pure whiteness, but as far as I’ve been aware in living somewhat close to some decent mountains that collect decent snow, skiing is considered kind of a codger thing. This is substantiated by the fact that the last popular snow-sport video game involving skiing was Tommy Moe’s Winter Extreme: Skiing & Snowboarding for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System; which, if anything, acknowledged that two skis would eventually become as converged as technology itself was becoming, resulting in ths transition to snowboards being totally badass.
Although I’ll have the box copy posted in full after the jump, if you’re one of those types who doesn’t want to put in so much effort without a damn good reason to continue then let me just quote one sentence off the back of the box: “If you don’t ski, you will!” Initially, I laughed off this statement. There’s no way they could get me to have thin sleds on both my feet after faking being able to skateboard for nearly 8 years. Then I actually watched the movie.
To be completely fair, this movie is also kind of a stalker-rape fantasy. Typical romantic comedy behavior is completely ridiculous when thought of in a realistic context (following a woman onto an airplane, then attempting to seduce her wherever you land with the promise of such as a treasure chest full of gold and you assure her this is not a euphemism), but this movie defies all that.
To quote the whole back cover:
FIRE: The passion between two people
ICE: The Sport that ignites it
Their first meeting is a disaster: he falls off the ski lift, and when she jumps to rescue him he leases her on a Key Stone Cops chase down the mountain. For JOHN EAVES, six-time winner of the Freestyle World Cup and stunt man for James Bond, it’s love at first sight. For World Champion Freestyle skier SUZY CHAFFEE, it’s see-ya-later-buddy. But John doesn’t give up easily. He decides that if the only way to win her means following her across the country, then that’s what he’ll do. Starting in Manhattan he trudges 3,000 miles, thru urban jungle and flatland desert, all the time fantasizing about what they’ll do when they’re together.
Spectacular filming of incredible ski stunts and snow dancing blend with a power-punching soundtrack to make FIRE AND ICE a movie packed with action and adventure. If you don’t ski, you will!
I almost didn’t want to write any post-text to the movie itself. With all but about three inches of my soul, I want it to stand alone without me trying you color anyone’s commentary.
Then I realized, very few people are willing to spend 80 minutes on what’s ultimately an opportunity to condescend not only XXXTREME LIFESTYLES.
I decided to edit the film into a 30 minute feature, for those of you who can’t take a grueling 80 minutes. Just know that you are doing yourself a disservice if you’re not taking the whole movie in, especially if you’re the type that likes to make comment that some stupid popular sports film is the most 80′s film ever because it has a couple montages and one or two original songs about overcoming difficulty. This movie is at least 60% montages and empowering original music. This is at least 35% more than the other similar films. In this economy, you should see the value and want to invite it into your home.
This clip showcases all the things that make skiing great: first-timers, falling off ski lifts, property damage, free Christmas Trees, wasting pie, and causing a woman being rescued by the ski patrol to die.
If you happen to own an entire series of mountain cohabited by a large number of fellow ski freaks, please let me encourage you to not try this at home.
So, this is when the movie starts to make you worried the protagonist may be a serial ski rapist. What happens in Aspen in Aspen may stay in Aspen, but we should hope that this doesn’t imply forcible anal penetration.
Oh, and, hey, making fun of the middle east. This movie does that too. Though, I will admittedly eat my words if the protagonist falling into a trash heap does measurably smell “like Tehran”.
Of course, the real highlight comes halfway through, within the break-skiing sequence. “Ski Dancing” as they’d like to call it. I have nothing insightful to say that hasn’t been said before, but please do enjoy the sequence where they’re plowed by robo-breakin’ plows. I’m near certain they blew half the budget, no pun intended.
A high-concept take on 30s-ish skiing. High on what is up to debate, but we did feed methamphetamines to babies that grew up in that era.
This is followed by our protagonist’s journey through the midwest, which led to a joke in a local diner that was likely discarded from such as Airplane; involving two Japanese men in a fist-fight argument over Pearl Harbor (BECAUSE THE MIDWEST IS STILL LIKE OH 40 YEARS IN THE PAST THEY STILL WEAR ASCOTS). I’m just surprised they didn’t make an internment camp joke.
Note also that the protagonist orders “Steak Tartare.” For the less than gourmand types in our readership, this is a slab of raw beef or horse, covered in Worchestershire and onions. This makes me wonder if the entire movie was meant to be portraying an E. Coli fever dream.
Later, it would lead to a joke over how the protagonist’s journey was “worse than being an Arab… it must be worse being a camel.” Is the anti-American sentiment behind 9/11 any wonder anymore?
Finally, our protagonist arrives at Aspen. After finding Suzy, they then proceed to attempt to melt the entire mountain, eventually leading to 1995′s Waterworld.
Soundtrack by Peter Gabriel. Should be no shock.
MORAL OF THE STORY: make fun of middle easterners you don’t understand, blow up aspen, and stalk the girl of the dreams who you have merely the shallowest fantasies about, and your dreams can come true. At least until next winter.