It’s Easy To Sleep When I’m Not Buzzing All The Time: Jack And The Cuckoo-Clock Heart Review, Part Three

31 Jan

Remember when I had titles that could be pronounced in less than a full minute? I miss those days.

Orange and blue? What a unique colour scheme.

Previously, on Jack And The Cuckoo-Clock Heart: Jack, of the cuckoo-clock heart, has hunted down his long-lost sweetheart, Miss Acacia, at a carnival. Unfortunately, while she’s in love with Jack from long-ago, she doesn’t actually recognize him. Which is doubly unfortunate, because Jack is too much of a tightly wound pansy to tell her yet.

Ahem!

Jack runs off to the Inventor to ask for some help, and we cut to the next day. The twins that the Inventor has been romancing invite Acacia into the theatre, where they put on a little puppet show that… basically summarizes the plot thus far, baring all the parts about murder, parental abandonment, and and gerbils. And then, of course, after the show, Jack steps out of the curtains… and shows off the piece of her dress that he tore when they first met?! You could have just DONE THAT! There was no need for a puppet show.

Acacia faints, so Jack picks her up and takes her to her trailer. And tries to kiss her while she sleeps, because there’s something about romance that makes consent optional. She wakes up and stops him, because this movie has a soul, and explains her origin story. Namely, her family snuck into Scotland, and got into trouble with the local constabulary because of the law and all that, and also to give me an excuse to use the phrase “constabulary”.

As she fled from the police, Acacia wandered outside on a cold winter night, and got so cold that it permanently disfigured her eyesight even more than it was before hand, so now she can barely see, even with glasses. And naturally, Jack’s first response when somebody says that they can hardly see is hand them the key to open his clock, so they can poke around as much as they wish. It’s okay, suicidal stupidity is okay when you have a boner.

Is that a cuckoo in your chest, or are you just happy to see me?

She opens Jack’s heart, and proceeds to muck around with his inner workings, while they begin a love duet. And while I’m sure it’s all terribly romantic, I must point out that she is poking around the inside of his heart there is absolutely no way that that is even a little healthy. Just before she and Jack kiss, they get interrupted by Jack’s carny boss who tells Acacia that she has to perform in five minutes. Which is why she had already made plans to hang out with Jack today- wait.

Just before she goes on, Jack asks her to run away with him, which is really just an impressive amount of utter failure. I mean, you’re already at the carnival. Once you have to run away from the carnival, what’s next? Running away to… running away to… no, I can’t think of anything more tropely pathetic than that. Congratulations. You monster.

But after Acacia’s performance, as she begins packing, who shows up but Joe! Yes, he’s still alive, which is a complete shock, assuming you never saw the poster before. He’s missing an eye, thanks to Jack’s cuckoo, and he starts telling Acacia how dangerous Jack is. And, of course, the three rules about Jack’s heart. Wait, when did Joe ever learn about those- oh, I’ll just assume the Ripper did it.

Once Jack shows up, Acacia starts a fight, but… not because of the eye thing, but because of the whole “can never fall in love” thing? Um. Okay, didn’t see that coming. True, while she’s miffed about the eye thing, she’s far angrier with the idea that Jack might let her kill him. You… you get points, movie, that’s actually a far more interesting idea.

As Jack loses his temper, he gets struck by… lightning, for reasons that I don’t quite understand, but Acacia decides to leave him anyway. In perhaps the angriest version of “leave him to save him” I’ve ever seen. And that means it’s time for a duel between Jack and Joe! All while… Joe gives the strangest villain song ever. Seriously, he’s just… talking. In rhyme.

Joe gives Jack the verbal smack down, and tells Jack that he’s won, before tossing the clockwork schmuck to the ground and taking Acacia away in a carriage. In a fit of rage, Jack tries to tear out his own heart, and we cut to him talking to the Inventor.

“Sir, you have to give me a new heart!”

“Well, I can certainly repair your clockwork-”

“No, no, a completely new one, no clockwork!”

“Um. I don’t think I can do that. Where’s your key?”

“I… I kinda gave it away. To… to Miss Acacia.”

“… YOU GAVE AWAY THE KEY TO YOUR HEART?! YOUR LITERAL, NON-METAPHORICAL, ACTUAL KEY TO MAKING YOUR HEART WORK?!”

“That would be a yes.”

“… You dozy motherfucker.”

Cholesterol encrusted springs are a problem, as I understand.

As Jack is slowly dying, thanks to not having cranked his heart in a while, the Inventor loads him onto a carriage to go catch up with Acacia. And meanwhile, in Joe and Acacia’s carriage, Joe fills her in on how the Midwife… is dead?! France, you are metal. Anyway, Acacia realizes that she has Jack’s key, and heads back to the carnival to give it to him… unaware that Jack is already on his way back to town, to see the Midwife who can repair his heart… unaware that said Midwife is already dead.

Acacia runs all the way back to the carnival, and the Inventor fills her in on what’s going on, before handing her a diary that he’s been keeping ever since he met Jack. But Acacia misses Jack by seconds, as he hops onto the scary train yet again, and has to wait for the next train. She reads the diary on the train, all about how jolly good Jack is.

(… Well, they said it prettier.)

Jack makes it all the way back home, in yet another winter, where Luna and Anna drag him in from the cold and fill him in on the Midwife’s death. We cut to him stopping by her grave, presumably forgetting about his whole heart problem by this point, until he keels over in the snow. Kind of like the Tin Man, only with squishy fleshy bits that actually will rot away if he doesn’t get his oil.

That’s a… pleasant thought.

Acacia finds him in the snow, and he’s so happy to see her that he… tosses the key off the mountain before she can save his life. Sorry, Acacia, your boytoy is in another castle. They share a kiss in the falling snow, and when they’re done… all of time has stopped. Yep, he’s dead. Jack smiles sadly, and climbs the frozen snowflakes up into the end credits.

So, that was Jack And The Cuckoo-Clock Heart! How was it? Very good, actually!

Well written, well acted, with a frankly fascinating art style, and a very touching story! It’s always so fascinating to see the cultural differences in children’s movies, and the soundtrack was freakin’ awesome. 

Although, if I did have one complaint, is it really that easy to tear somebody’s eye out using a cuckoo-clock?! I mean, really?

Actually, one second.

Huh. Go figure.

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