Liveblogging the '90s: Varsity Blues
You know what my favorite thing about Liveblogging the ’90s is? Watching movies I haven’t seen since freshman year of high school. And, last time I saw this, I totally wasn’t paying attention because I had a big crush on a boy I was watching it with who was deeply uninterested in me. It’s a sad story. LIKE I GIVE SIX FUCKS, I LIVEBLOG ‘90S MOVIES ON THE INTERNET NOW, DEAL WITH THAT, FRESHMAN YEAR BOY.
Anyway. Varsity Blues. More like Varshitty Blues ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha god fucking dammit that guy didn’t even know what he was missing.
0:00:33 - I completely forgot this was an MTV Films production, with its little floating astronaut friend.
0:01:15 - This movie opens with a monologue from James Van Der Beek about the law, and how there’s laws against killing and stuff but football has its own rules and it seems as though these rules are different. WIN AT ALL COSTS. SHANK THE RUNNINGBACK.
0:02:47 - Van Der Beek’s little brother is wearing a cross on his back because he’s preparing to die for man’s sins. We’re supposed to know the dad has wrong priorities because he wants the little brother to take off his back cross like that’s not some weird fucked up shit for a child to do. Also Van Der Beek’s name is Mox because why not.
0:04:31 - OK, first and foremost, Ron Lester plays Billy Bob and Billy Bob has a pig named Bacon that rides with him in the front of his pickup truck while his black friend rides in the back, and also he dips waffles in peanut butter while driving and pours Mrs. Butterworths down his throat and thinks his pig is a dog and holy shit so much just happened. Also, Ron Lester is skinny now.
Damn. More like Ron Sexter or a better play on words than that, I don’t know, I’m still confused by the pig and waffles and pickup truck segregation.
0:04:42 - This movie takes place in Texas. If you didn’t know from all the pickup trucks and pigs and southern people and children on crosses.
0:05:21 - Paul Walker walks out of his house to dramatic patriotic music in slo-mo then everything is back to normal.
0:06:35 - Scott Caan has been in this movie 25 seconds and it’s too many seconds already. He’s just yelling and screaming and shouting about fucking a pig.
0:07:18 - Jon Voight just said…something. I don’t know. His accent is too much, like the amount of Scott Caan. They’re apparently playing a football game against Boom Boom. That’s what I heard.
0:08:34 - So every student is having very emotional reactions to every word out of Paul Walker’s mouth, like they’re in the studio audience of a Saved by the Bell episode.
0:09:39 - Bengal? Bing Bong? Big Ball? I don’t know what the fuck the name of this school they’re playing is.
0:10:31 - Paul Walker is getting secret knee shots behind door that says “courage” as it slams in Mox’s face because this movie is Subtle. Also, Paul Walker’s name is Lance Harbor because why not.
0:11:48 - Mox has a very strong arm and a very good throw that makes refs get hurt in the stomach and makes an angry whistle sound but he’s not allowed to play because of reasons. Billy Bob gets hit and falls down because of reasons I missed while typing about those other reasons. Billy Bob is clearly concussed and no one cares because FOO’BALL and the character probably had five years to live max after this movie.
0:13:32 - Mox was reading a book during the game and Voight wants to fire him from football because of it. BECAUSE OF BOOK LEARNINGS.
0:14:42 - Everyone hurts and is popping pain pills because football goddamn hurts.
0:15:31 - Ali Larter just offered her body to Paul Walker by saying she would be his “wide receiver.” That’s…sexy? Question mark?
0:16:56 - Scott Caan just hit someone in the balls with a wiffle ball bat after singing a song about punching a woman because he’s a real sack of cocks in this movie.
0:17:50 - I feel like this movie isn’t as much about how Texas is all about football as it is about how teenagers are dumb as shit and it’s amazing that any of us make it to adulthood.
0:19:42 - And the parents are out-of-touch garbage and Jon Voight is an orange-haired dickdong and everyone is the worst. I only like the pig.
0:22:59 - All the dads are the worst and I want to throw footballs at all of their heads but mostly I want to throw balls at the director’s head for being as garbage as everyone else. Dramatic zoom pans blah dee blahs.
0:25:32 - It’s important we see that the teacher is super awkward so that we’re surprised later when she’s a stripper even though she’s totally good looking and they’re clearly shooting around her chest region.
0:28:28 - Billy Bob is literally dying of concussions and obesity right before our eyes but Jon Voight doesn’t give a single fuck, he’s all THROW YOUR BROKEN BRAIN AND BODY AT THE BALL AND THE PEOPLE. Then Paul Walker gets hurt and he’s probably dying of knees or something. I genuinely care more about the characters in Not Another Teen Movie, which is a flawless perfect movie except for that one scene with the toilet, that wasn’t OK, but other than that, good times. Let’s watch that instead.
Le sigh. Oh captain, my captain. Oh, right, this movie is on, the one with all the garbage.
0:32:17 - Everyone really hates and roots against this teenage child a whole bunch until he throws a ball good and then everyone is all “MOXY HOOCH, WHAT A HITTER” or whatever.
0:35:27 - Ali Larter is all “well my Paul Walker boyfriend is broken forever I should probably bang Van Der Beek because I’m a female in a sports movie and it is my only role in this existence.” She’s trying to make things all Scandal Beek.
0:39:10 - Scott Caan stole a police car. He won’t get in trouble. There are no rules.
0:40:53 - Scott Caan has been in this car for 25 seconds and he’s naked with a bunch of sophomore girls which makes them 15 and literally children and everyone is trying to bury Mox in vaginas because he was quarterback for five minutes.
0:42:43 - We just had a semi-dramatic scene set to “Run” by Collective Soul and I feel like no words were said, other than “…it’s a weird night.” If there hadn’t been a song it would have just been dumb and dumb. Instead it’s magical drama.
0:43:59 - Why does Jon Voight hate Mox so much? I don’t remember anything about this movie. Did Mox Tonya Harding Paul Walker?
0:46:29 - This is the middle of this movie and I have no idea what the central conflict is because it is ALL conflict. Everything is conflict. Everything is ANGST.
0:48:54 - Billy Bob can’t catch a ball because he’s I think because football? I don’t know I don’t understand this game.
0:49:44 - Ali Larter really wants to dip Mox in her vagina like it’s made of hummus. It’s ridiculous. Mox is talking to himself in the convenience store and his brother is Malcolm X and a whole bunch of things are happening again and I don’t quite know how to deal with it all.
0:51:23 - OK while things here get real sexual, all my peoples who graduated high school a virgin say HEYYYYY! *raises roof in the saddest way* OK maybe I was 18 before I saw a penis but I didn’t cry in front of a boy while I had Cool Whip on my boobs and I’m gonna call that a win because that shit sounds sticky.
0:55:07 - The black friend is talking about how racist the coach is because he hasn’t given him a shot and it’s totally sad and true except the movie hasn’t even told us his name or devoted more than 10 seconds to him until this one single scene, so the movie in this way is a lot like Jon Voight.
0:56:45 - “Bitches are all just panty droppers.” That’s something Scott Caan just said. He’s the affable comic relief in this movie, if you were wondering. He’s swell.
0:58:10 - Amy Smart just informed us that Ali Larter used the whipped cream bikini move on her brother, Paul Walker, which means two things: 1) Ali Larter has ONE MOVE, 2) he told his sister that? Ew.
1:00:59 - Billy Bob just took off his shirt and started dancing on stage at the strip club, which makes me sad for Ron Lester.
1:03:07 - Stripper teacher just stripped and now it’s morning and it’s time for football. Apparently you can’t play football if you drank the night before and I feel like that’s not super true because I went to high school. Also aren’t there OTHER football players who aren’t Van Der Beek, Scott Caan, concussed broken Billy Bob who can’t catch anyway and nameless black guy who we’ve already established isn’t allowed to play? I mean this all seems like a poorly planned scene.
1:08:38 - While Jon Voight yells at children, let’s talk about the soundtrack. I’m going to list some artists included on this soundtrack. Third Eye Blind. Collective Soul. The Offspring. Green Day. Fastball. And John Philip Sousa. All about those ’90s and those 1890s y’all.
1:10:22 - Mox just said the “I don’t want your life” line and it’s actually quite understated. A bit of a throwaway line. It actually doesn’t really even matter much in the scene. Apparently only the trailer editor noticed it was important while the director, editor and screenwriter did NOT.
1:11:32 - Billy Bob is suicidal and he’s the best actor in this movie and the only character we should care about. Then he got thin and his career ended because Hollywood is a weird place when you’re heavy.
1:13:47 - The dads are having a talk about football that’s really about exposition and in fairness I don’t know how else football exposition is supposed to come out.
1:14:52 - Mox got into Brown with a full scholarship and his dad wants to talk about football instead. So many angsts. Jon Voight is threatening Mox with something. Some thing. Something that involves getting Brown to cancel his scholarship which is confusing because Brown didn’t accept him for football so why do they care about his football.
1:18:32 - Amy Smart just asked Mox if he’d like some cheese with that whine and if he know anything about heroes because dammit they got that Foo Fighters song and they’re gonna use it and also this is a hideously written film.
1:20:34 - It’s the biggest game of the year or at least of the movie, and this is the shot they use of the stadium.
What the shit? Couldn’t they get anyone to sit in that stadium? Craft services, a few union guys, anyone? That’s like the director, his mom, his cousin Tito and a couple of stoned freshmen they found under the bleachers. Where is everyone? Was it rodeo night?
1:21:30 - OK he’s all like “I have to play my way or they’ll all think Jon Voight is awesome” but if they win, won’t they think it’s Voight who made it happen? A win is a win, right? No one is ever all “oh the QB clearly came up with all of this.”
1:23:15 - I just noticed Nameless Black Friend’s last name is Brown. No first name is necessary, but let’s just slap “BROWN” on the back of his jersey. This movie is fucking lazy.
1:24:44 - Nameless Black Friend got hurt. He tore something. That’s bad. Voight’s like DRUGS MAKE PLAYING GREAT. The only other black person in the movie leads a bonkers end-zone dance because this movie IS NOT RIGHT.
1:28:03 - Jon Voight just strangled Mox because this movie IS NOT RIGHT.
1:28:38 - What if this movie is a prequel to Ray Donovan, you guys? I don’t get it, don’t worry about it, I haven’t worked it out yet, just, it’s fine.
1:30:02 - Guys. You guys. Guys.
Van Der Beek is totally good in this movie.
1:30:34 - You know what’s not good? The script. Amy Smart had a minor, weird, throwaway line about heroes and it apparently inspired this speech, at least I think that’s what they were going for, this movie is lazy. The only one who put in any effort was the pig and whoever applied the whipped cream to Ali Larter.
1:33:32 - Jon Voight is all sad in his office reconsidering his life and I’m 90% sure there exists some iteration of the script where he totally kills himself in his office, I’m certain.
1:36:07 - You know what I like to picture? The Foo Fighters all watching this together. Laughing merrily. That makes me happy. This movie doesn’t make me happy but that makes me happy.
1:37:29 - Some of their shirts are tucked in and some aren’t and I don’t know how football works but they should really tuck their shirts in. They’re just flailing around like floppy fabric things. Anyway, all that aside, Billy Bob is winning the game even though he’s made of brokenneess. No one remembers that Billy Bob totally saved the day. This is like the Lucas of morbid obesity, dammit, and it gets none of its due.
1:39:37 - Van Der Beek’s voice sounds totally different in the narration. It’s like it was recorded in a bathroom made of tin cans and Reynolds Wrap. It was definitely completed after test screenings. I bet my life. I don’t bet my life, please don’t kill me if the narration was in the script. Oh, it’s time for that Collective Soul song again. When we were in high school, my now-husband once told me that a Collective Soul song reminded him of me. It was that one about “spit me out.” I don’t know. He’s a weird guy. Anyway, this was a movie. Whatever. I don’t want your life or something I suppose.
Collect all the Liveblogging the ’90s here. They’ll totally be worth money someday, just like your pogs and Beanie Babies.