The Beaver, Green Lantern

The Beaver (2011, Jodie Foster)

“So, Mel Gibson is a depressed toymaker who finds a beaver puppet in a dumpster. He drinks himself unconscious one night, and a TV falls on him while he’s wearing the beaver. All of a sudden, he can only talk through the beaver, which has a cockney accent.”

“Why?”

“It just does.”

“No, not just the accent — why any of this?”

“Oh, better question. What I’m told is that a brilliant script had been sitting on desks, or shelves, or whatever scripts sit on — cocaine mirrors? — for years, and that Jodie Foster finally acquired it, turning it into a comeback vehicle for Mel Gibson.”

“Well, they’re both good actors.”

“They’re not alone! Anton Yelchin is Gibson’s depressed son. Jennifer Lawrence is convincing and button-cute as a cheerleader with a secret. Well, two secrets.”

“Which are?”

“Her brother died, and she used to be a graffiti artist.”

“Does everyone in this movie have totally stupid interests?”

“Yes. Stop interrupting. So, Gibson immediately turns his life around because the Beaver gives him amazing advice — usually along the lines of ‘shut up and do something constructive.’ He gives an inspiring speech to his failing toy company and it’s saved with a new product — Beaver-themed wood carving kits.”

“This is a child’s toy?”

“Yes. It sells out immediately. Gibson becomes a national celebrity. There’s one of those ‘cover of every magazine’ montages, and a Today Show interview.”

“So this solves his problems?”

“Sort of. He reignites his marriage for a while, having what appears to be great sex…”

“With the Beaver still on?”

“Yes. But he still can’t function without the puppet. Foster takes him out to dinner and he’s basically non-responsive. I’ll give it to him, Gibson is quite good at portraying the shame and resignation of someone suffering from extreme depression.”

“In a movie about a puppet.”

“Rub it in, huh? Anyway, everything works for a while, then falls apart. Gibson’s son screws things up by encouraging Jennifer Lawrence to pick up graffiti again as therapy and getting them both arrested. Gibson sinks back into depression, and the puppet attacks him. Or something. Gibson fights the puppet. He defeats him by taking him to the garage, building a coffin, and chopping off his arm with the puppet on it.”

“Shut the fuck up.”

“This actually happens. Anyway, everyone learns something and the movie ends with the characters frolicking at an amusement park.”

“This sounds hilarious.”

“It is!”

Green Lantern (2011)

After all the hype about how terrible it was, it really wasn’t so bad.