May 2008

Megatron is horny!

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Killer Bud is a very low-rated movie — 4.1 on IMDB, and 2.5 stars on Netflix. We’d been avoiding watching it, but as we run out of better movies, we watch the worse ones. This movie is an excercise in watching the idiocy of two stoned losers. I’m not sure who would go into this movie expecting something brilliant, but apparently a lot of people were disappointed. It is described as “like The Stoned Age, but much worse”. Basically, 2 loser stoners get fired, meet some girls, and spend all night trying to get them weed to smoke. They also manage to [highlight for spoilers] break into a convenience store in such a manner that they are unable to break back out.

PEOPLE: The 2 leading losers were brilliantly cast. Say you need to cast a loser? Who do you cast for irony value? Someone who can’t lose, right? And that’s what they did: The alpha male is played by Corin Nemec, better known as Parker Lewis from Parker Lewis Can’t Lose (and a scummy Scientologist, according to Wikipedia). Seeing this actor in a total juxtaposition of his “can’t lose” role was very interesting — in this movie, he is a total loser. Parker Lewis Can’t Win! I’m not sure if this is an admission on his part that his career is shit, or that he realizes that self-deprecating parody can actually be good for your career. Either way: Good casting. And the beta male of our stoned duo? David Faustino (aka Bud Bundy from Married… With Children). These two guys made a great pair of losers — they’d get along with Cheech & Chong quite well. This was good casting. Without them, the movie probably would have actually been as bad as everyone said it was. The 2 girls were played by Caroline Keenan and Danielle Harris, both of whom are relatively unknown.

QUIRKS: A mysterious, militaristic, clad in black, sunglasses-wearing character named “The Gooch”, played by Robert Stack, really only exists as to get them out of trouble. The inflatable raft motor was hilarious! And another character — a teacher-turned-gangster — helped keep things dangerous.

BAD STUFF: I think Caroline Keenan is hot, and it’s a shame that this movie more or less killed her sad, sad career. Of course almost any negative criticism hurled at this movie is likely valid, but none of that stopped us from enjoying this film.

CONCLUSION: We actually liked this better than Homegrown, Bongwater and Cheech & Chong’s Corsican Brothers (not yet reviewed), the last 3 “stoner” movies that we watched. It exceeded our expectations. It was nothing more than a horny stoned loser caper — and it worked.

RECOMMENDATION: If you are able to watch a movie without taking it seriously, like stoned horny capers, and love the actors involved … See this. I’d actually rate this 3 stars on Netflix, and a 6.5/10 on IMDB.

Make sure to click through — he also does Beavis & Butt-head, Peter Griffin from Family Guy, Johnny Bravo, and Vegeta from Dragon Ball Z.

Mr. Burns-real, originally uploaded by mataleone.

Because of 2 extraordinary months earlier this year, I had predicted I’d reach 400,000 by April 27th (later revised to May 10). But it wasn’t until much later — May 24th — that I actually reached 400,000. I guess you can’t count on constant growth. Also, I had previously named some bad cops by name, in the subject line, and that seemed to really increase traffic. But a turn towards posting movie reviews instead of naming bad cops in the subject line definitely lowered the traffic some.

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Soapdish was something I’d felt so-so about seeing for quite a long time (17 years?). I finally decided to get it over with!

PEOPLE: I could do without Sally Field, who I feel is a relic from yesteryear — but she was playing an “America’s Sweetheart” / washed-up-but-famous soap-opera actress anyway, so it actually felt appropriate. Kevin Kline and Robert Downey Jr. also costar — but it was Elisabeth Shue who provided a special treat … Other than Hollow Man, I haven’t seen her since Back To The Future and Adventures In Babysitting! She is delicious eye candy; so sweet… And only 28 or so in this movie. Also, a tiny role by Carrie Fischer.

QUIRKS: The entire movie was a quirky “tv show bleeds into real life”-type plot, which is a postmodern cliche that I’ve grown fond of. What’s in a plot, anyway? Jack London sold plots for $5, y’know. I am reminded of The Larry Sanders Show, another endeavor where shows bleed into real life in a twisted, comical way, often relating to rivalries between various “talent”.

To a lesser extent, I am also reminded of Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into The Future, another show-about-a-show-within-the-show and the consequences therein. Though Max Headroom: 20 Minutes Into The Future was not a comedy; It was to me the most brilliant hour-long live-action show on TV until Twin Peaks, Six Feet Under, and 24, so it is always fresh in my mind.

BAD STUFF: The real problem with this movie, unfortunately, was that the humor level simply wasn’t high enough. Nor was it twisted enough. Like Bongwater or Hudson Hawk, this movie had an incredible cast, and did not live up to the expectations one would set when reading who is in it.

CONCLUSION: This gets my ‘generic pass’ of 3 stars on Netflix, and 6/10 on IMDB. I think Carolyn agreed with that.

RECOMMENDATION: If this sounds like your kind of thing, see it. But if you’re just looking for great comedies — this isn’t it. But if you like Elisabeth Shue, or want to see Robert Downey Jr. movies now that he is even more famous as the star of Iron Man — go ahead. If you’re a fan of the cast, and just want to see them, then this definitely delivers.

FANTASY ANTHOLOGY SERIES: Thieves’ World. Robert Lynn Aspirin JUST died, and it reminded me of how much I absolutely LOVED this fantasy-anthology-series growing up as a kid. I have the original printing of the first 10 or so books. And now they are going to maybe make movies?!?!?! That would be SO awesome.

I never actually read any Aspirin, other than his contributions to the Thieves’ World books (Which were comprised of stories written by many authors, the only other name I remember being Diane Duane,I think.)

But Thieves’ World stuck in my mind growing up… a LOT. Though it was hard to get a hold of the “final” book(s).

It was like a mature Middle Earth. It was where I first heard of anti-rape devices being vaginally implanted, which, when raped, would close sharp teeth onto the invading penis, cutting it off. That haunted me in 8th grade, hehehe.

I remember the “Vulgar Unicorn”, which was an awesome name for a tavern… And I remember some of the characters names, such as Shadowspawn, Enas Yorl, etc. I really don’t remember much, come to think of it. But it was so freakin’ awesome at the time that I read it (middle school!)


 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] This was a caper about a “Rock & Roll Detective”, played by Andrew Dice Clay. It got a very low 5.4 on IMDB, and won 3 out of 6 Razzies it was nominated for, including Worst Screenplay, Worst Actor, and Worst Picture. I happen to think this is nothing more than backlash against Andrew Dice Clay‘s controversial (by 1990 standards) stand-up act.

PEOPLE: We have Andrew Dice Clay on screen pretty much every second of the movie. He does his thing, and Andrew Dice Clay fans will not be disappointed. His character in the movie is basically his persona on stage, but a bit less 2-dimensional (he actually cares about things at points). Dice was quite good, although I imagine the role was written with him in mind, so how hard is it to play yourself?

It also had a surprising roll by … Wayne Newton?!?!?! He plays villains? Really?! Then we have Gilbert Gottfried playing a shock jock — he talks with a normal voice when not on the air. It was interesting to hear him sound normal for once. We also had Robert Englund (aka Freddy Krueger of A Nightmare On Elm Street) and Ed O’Neill (aka Al Bundy of Married… With Children). And keep an eye out for a wee part played by Kari Wuhrer, the ultra-sexy hostess of MTV’s Remote Control gameshow. Priscilla Presley, too. I believe one of the comments that helped convine me to get this was roughly: “It has a koala bear, Freddy Krueger, and Al Bundy — how can you go wrong?”

QUIRKS: This movie doesn’t really attempt to take itself seriously, and that’s a good thing. The general attitude reminded me of other detective-based comedies, such as Duckman and Moonlighting.

BAD STUFF: A lot of people rate it low, automatically, because Andrew Dice Clay is in it. I have no doubt that tons of the ratings come from people who never saw the movie, and think they are doing a good deed by burying Dice with bad ratings.

CONCLUSION: This movie was under-rated. Carolyn & I both really liked it. It was fun!

RECOMMENDATION: All Andrew Dice Clay fans absolutely must see this film. Quit procrastinating and Netflix this. And if you like wacky detective capers — this is a good movie to see once.

MOVIE QUOTE: “What… you didn’t really think we’d kill the fuckin’ koala bear, now did ya? ”

 movie coverI'd rather be watching TV![IMDB link] [Netflix link] Demolition Man was yet another movie I had avoided simply because the title seemed to indicate “generic action flick”. I’m glad I finally came around and watched it; it surpassed my expectations.

PEOPLE: I actually got this because Daniel Waters, writer of Heathers and Sex & Death 101, co-wrote the screenplay. What I did not realize was that the screenplay was also co-written by Peter M. Lenkov, who wrote 4 (and co-produced 6) episodes of 24. It showed. Demolition Man also starred a lot of well-known names: Sylvester Stallone, Wesley Snipes, and Sandra Bullock played the leading 3 roles. It also had Denis Leary and Bob Gunton (the warden from Shawshank Redemption, and Junction Jack from Greg The Bunny), as well as Rob Schneider in an appropriately-comedic wee part (“You don’t know how to work the 3 seashells?!?!”). So, the screenplay and the actors were of a higher quality than I expected. Even Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes — two people who annoy me — were tolerable.

QUIRKS: The way people spoke in the future was completely different. And their society was completely despicable. Salt was illegal? Non-simulated sex was eliminated? One character said he tried not to think anymore. Everyone was chipped and tracked at all times, and there had not been a murder for 19 years. Suffice to say, I definitely sided with the “Morlocks” who lived in the sewers… If I had lived in this time, I would have willingly used force — as much as necessary, regardless of the consequences — to bring true living back to these people. They were themselves too broken to even understand that they weren’t really free. Their lives were hollow approximations of what it means to be human. They may as well have been robots. You couldn’t even fuck. If you cursed in an empty room, you were automatically fined a credit — like an automated swear jar. I can think of nothing more offensive. This was a great example of what could happen if the Technology War succeeds in ensuring that technology is only used to oppress (and not empower) people. The fact that society was unable to even cope with one crazed murderer (“murder-death-killer”) said a lot about how impotent humanity could come if we all end up having homogeneous goals, thoughts, and actions. Grey areas exist for a reason, and this fascism was intolerable.

Also: In case anyone was wondering how to work the “3 seashells”, the answer from Sylvester Stallone is: “OK, this may be bordering on the grotesque, but the way it was explained to me by the writer is you hold two seashells like chopsticks, pull gently and scrape what’s left with the third. You asked for it…. Be careful what you ask for, sorry.”

BAD STUFF: Well — it was basically a “cop apprehends another cop” sci-fi movie. From that standard, one could argue that the story was not at all unique. But the science fiction, futuristic, fascist setting more than made up for that, to me. For instance, I liked this a lot better than Gladiator, Hudson Hawk, Alien Vs. Predator 2: Requiem, Bongwater, Homegrown, or the Resident Evil movies! Also: Taco Bell took over the world in the movie, but in the version we watched, they had dubbed all mentions of Taco Bell over with “Pizza Hut”. You can clearly see their lips saying “taco bell” while hearing their voices say “pizza hut”. This was done because internationally, everyone has heard of Pizza Hut, but Taco Bell is strictly an American endeavor. Knowing this secret at least made the appearance of the food (which looked like tiny tacos) make more sense.

CONCLUSION: This was a good sci-fi action flick that I had mistakenly overlooked. But this was a good thing, as it is far more impressive to watch a 1993 movie in 2008 and still think their prediction of the future not completely unrealistic. Most movies, when predicting the future, are laughable 15 years later … But this was not. They even joked about Arnold Schwarzenegger having become president! This was in 1993, 10 years before before he was ever elected governor. They even had a prisoner named Scott Peterson, though this was total coincidence.

RECOMMENDATION: See it if you are into predicting the technology of tomorrow. See it if you are intersted in the intersection of technology and politics. See it if you like cop movies.

We started keeping our watching lists long before we started blogging them. Periodically, I will post an old, un-posted watching list. Here are all the shows we watched in 2003. Yes, this is a tad late. :) (more…)

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