Tuesday, December 25, 2012

12 More Days of Christmas Specials: Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey

Bravo Rankin/Bass, bravo. I thought I had plumbed the depths of your Christmassy madness, but that was before I saw Nestor, the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey. The Nestor Special takes a few cues from Rankin/Bass's Rudolph Special, wherin our protagonist is an outcast because of his physical abnormalities. After being thrown out of the stable where he grew up and the death of his mother, Nestor meets up with a cherub named Tilly who tells him that he has a greater purpose, one that will bring him to Bethlehem. Along the way he hooks up with Mary and Joseph and uses his long ass ears to help guide them to Bethlehem through a sandstorm, much as Rudolph used his freaky nose to help Santa through all that Christmas fog. The Special is narrated by Roger Miller (who sounds an awful lot like Bruce Campbell) and is somewhat based on a song written by Gene Autry, which makes about as much sense as anything else in this Special.

Rating: 72%
 

Monday, December 24, 2012

12 More Days of Christmas Specials: Mr. Bill's Christmas Special

I'm not sure what to say about Mr. Bill's Christmas Special. A third of the Special was filled up with some lame schtick from Father Guido Sarducci (Remember him kids? No? Ask your parents). Another good chunk of the special was filled with a weird retelling of A Christmas Carol featuring some of the worst first generation CGI you have ever seen. There were also a few fake TV commercials thrown in the mix as well. There was actually very little of Mr. Bill in Mr. Bill's Christmas Special, which makes me wonder why the heck they made the dang thing in the first place.

Rating: 51%

(Image from worldwonders.net)

Sunday, December 23, 2012

12 More Days of Christmas Specials: The Smurfs Christmas Special

Though Gargamel and Azrael were present, I'm pretty sure the main antagonist of the Smurfs Christmas Special was the devil. Referred to only as "the stranger," the villian was a mysterious cloaked figure capable of powerful magic who tried to transport some kidnapped children via a ring of fire. Once defeated, the stranger simply disappeared. That's some heavy shit for a cartoon about little blue people.

Rating: 61%

(Image from humordistrict.com)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

12 More Days of Christmas Specials: The Little Drummer Boy

The Little Drummer Boy is pretty typical of Rankin/Bass's Christmas Specials, it takes a well known Christmas type figure and tells an origin story of sorts. The Little Drummer Boy is probably also one of the more straightforward Rankin/Bass Specials, since it doesn't feature warlocks, abominable snow men or anthropomorphic depictions of weather. The Special is kind of a sidequel to the Gift of the Magi, as the little drummer boy crosses paths with the three wise men and eventually follows them to Bethlehem. Aaron, the little drummer boy, spends most of the Special pissed off, he's sworn to hate all people after his parents were killed by desert bandits. By the end of the special Aaron makes it to Bethlehem, is reunited with his dancing animals and swears off hatred after playing his drum for the newborn Jesus.

Rating: 63%

(Image from christmas-specials.wikia.com)

Friday, December 21, 2012

12 More Days of Christmas Specials: The Christmas Raccoons

This one is probably a bit obscure for any of my non-Canadian brethren out there. The Raccoons was a cartoon series that ran from 1985 to 1991 on the CBC. The series was preceeded by a number of television specials, the first being The Christmas Raccoons. The show and the Special had a bit of an evironmentalist agenda, every week the Raccoons faced off against Cyril Sneer, an aardvark industrialist bent on maximizing profits whilst destroying the Evergreen Forest. Since the Christmas Special was the first ever adventure for the Raccoons it mostly just introduces the main cast of characters. The Raccoons bump heads with Sneer for the first time after the aardvark cuts down their home for lumber. And when I say they bumped heads, it's pretty much what actually happened. The Raccoons are only able to stop Sneer from clear cutting the forest after they beat him up. And who says all Canadians are friendly?

Rating: 75%

(Image from gilsinan.com)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

12 More Days of Christmas Specials: Santa Claus is Comin' to Town

Ah Rankin-Bass, you can always be counted on to bring me some yuletide absurdity. I probably hadn't sat through 1970's Santa Claus is Comin' to Town is some 20+ years, so it was nice to essentially see it again for the first time. The Special (which includes voice work from Mickey Rooney, Fred Astaire and Keenan Wynn) tells the story of how Kris Kringle came to be Santa Claus and how many Christmas traditions got their start. You see, Santa began as an abandoned orphan, raised by toy making elves, who really wanted to bring toys to the children of a vaguely Germanic village called Sombertown. The town was under the thumb of Burgermeister Meisterburger who outlawed toys and made Santa and his associates outlaws. Herr Meisterburger even went so far as to burn a pile of toys in the middle of the town square in front of the children as a warning. In the end, Santa and his friends (which include a warlock and a penguin) succeed, mostly by outliving the Burgermeister, and Christmas is saved.

Rating: 68%

(Image from theotherjournal.com)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

12 More Days of Christmas Specials: Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales

Bugs Bunny's Looney Christmas Tales probably isn't on too many "Must See Christmas Specials" lists, but the Special deserves at least some credit for the amount of material that they're able to cram into 23 minutes. The Special is a compilation of three original cartoon shorts with a bit of a wrap around story to tie them all together. The first short is the obligatory adaptation of A Christmas Carol, featuring Yosemite Sam as Scrooge and Bugs Bunny filling in for the spiritual motivators. The second short is a Road Runner cartoon that has virtually no connection to the holidays. The last short finds the Tazmanian Devil accidentally assuming the role of Santa Claus and bumping heads with Bugs. There's nothing terribly special about the Special but I appreciated it for it's lack of somber themes.

Rating: 70%

(Image from jeffco.ca)

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

12 More Days of Christmas Specials: Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas

I managed to get in my annual viewing of my favorite Christmas Special with some friends last night, that special being A Muppet Family Christmas of course, so I thought I'd follow it up with some more of Jim Henson's Christmassy goodness. I'd heard of Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas before, but I'm not sure if I'd ever actually seen it. The special tells the story of Emmet Otter and his widowed mother, two down on their luck otters trying to make ends meet. A local talent contest promising big time prize money offers them a chance to finally have a proper Christmas, but in order to enter they'll have to put their last few meager possessions in hock. They'll also have to compete with the likes of the Riverbottom Nightmare Band, a rock group made up of degenerates who sound an awful lot like Deep Purple. I was convinced that the special was going to be a serious downer, but it thankfully steers clear of cliche endings and overly maudlin moments.

Rating: 73%

(Image from muppetcentral.com)

Monday, December 17, 2012

12 More Days of Christmas Specials: The Fat Albert Christmas Special

Most Christmas Specials do little more than insert their sitcom/cartoon characters into variations on A Christmas Carol. The Fat Albert Christmas Special does that too, but it also mixes in a little bit from the Christmas pageant. The Special starts out with Fat Albert and the gang rehearsing a Nativity play when they're interrupted by Mr. Tyrone, the heartless owner of the junkyard where the gang have made their clubhouse. Mr. Tyrone threatens to bulldoze the clubhouse because he's a jerk and that's what jerks do around the holiday season. After he leaves, the gang are interrupted by a family in distress. Their car has broken down, they've got nowhere to stay and the mother is due to give birth any minute (sound familiar?). From there it's a madcap dash to save the clubhouse and help the struggling family. The special is short, entertaining and has a visual stlye that depicts urban environments in a stylized yet somewhat realistic manner that marks it as being very much from the 1970s.

Rating: 72%

(Image from charlesprogers.com)

12 More Days of Christmas Specials: It's a SpongeBob Christmas!

I've only ever seen a handful of SpongeBob SquarePants episodes before but, as far as I can tell, the stop motion animation special It's a SpongeBob Christmas! only differs from a normal SpongeBob episode in that everything is made of felt and clay rather than being traditionally animated. The plot of the Special finds Bikini Bottom's resident evil genius, Plankton, plotting to get everyone put on the naughty list by feeding them fruitcakes contaminated with jerktonium, thus turning them all into jerks. SpongeBob himself is immune to jerktonium due to his innocent heart and overwhelming capacity for Christmas Spirit. I have to give the makers of the Special props for having John Goodman do the voice of Santa (because everything is better with a little Goodman in it) as well as climaxing the special with a song called "Don't Be a Jerk (It's Christmas)." All in all, it's a bit more absurd and manic than what I usually look for in a Christmas Special, but it's still miles away from some of the treacly, depressing crap I've sat through in the past.

Rating: 68%

(Image from strangekidsclub.com)

Saturday, December 15, 2012

12 More Days of Christmas Specials: Christmas Comes to Pac-Land

I wasn’t surprised to find out that there was a cartoon series based on Pac-Man but I was surprised to learn that it somehow lasted for two seasons and had its own prime time Christmas Special. It couldn’t have been easy for the people at Hanna-Barbera to adapt Pac-Man into a Saturday morning cartoon series. It’s not like the original video game contained an abundance of backstory or character development. But they forged ahead and made a show out of the property anyway and, 30 years later, I watched their Christmas Special. The plot of the Special is pretty standard for a cartoon that doesn’t feature humans and doesn’t exactly take place in our world. An unfortunate mishap leaves Santa stranded in Pac-Land on Christmas Eve and it’s up to Pac-Man and his friends to save Christmas. I don’t recommend watching the Special unless you are overly fond of the words “Pac” and “chomp,” as they featured in every other line of dialogue.

Rating: 56%
 

Friday, December 14, 2012

12 More Days of Christmas Specials: Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice

I wanted to kick off the holidays on a positive note this year, which is why I decided to lead off my annual Christmas Special binge with Prep & Landing: Naughty vs. Nice. I really enjoyed watching the original Prep & Landing special last year and I can happily say that the sequel does not disappoint. Everybody’s favourite elves Lanny and Wayne are joined by Noel, Wayne’s charismatic younger brother (voiced by Rob Riggle).The trio are on a mission from Santa to recover some North Pole technology stolen by a young hacker known only as jinglesmell1337 (yes, you are old and internet lingo has become the domain of children). Will Wayne be able to put aside his emotional issues (again) and effectively lead his team, thus saving Christmas? Spoiler alert: yes, he will.
 
Rating: 70%
 
(Image from movieposterdb.com)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Daleks

Way, way back at the beginning of the year I decided I was going to watch and review the entire Doctor Who series from the beginning. I knew it would not be an easy task. It certainly didn’t help that I waited 10 months to watch the show’s second serial. Said serial introduces the Doctor’s most iconic foes, the Daleks. After escaping a tribe of pissed off cavemen, the Doctor and his companions are transported to a planet ravaged by a centuries-old nuclear war. Our travelers encounter the pacifistic, agrarian Thals and the mutated, robotic, murderous Daleks. The Thals vs Daleks conflict is reminiscent of the Eloi and the Morlocks of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, though Wells’ Morlocks didn’t have laser cannons and intergalactic genocide on their minds (correct me if I’m wrong, it’s been awhile since I read The Time Machine). The Daleks are (spoiler alert for a 48 year old television program) eventually defeated, though their popularity ensured they would continue to return throughout the entirety of the show’s run.

Rating: Make no attempt to capture them, they are to be exterminated%

(Image from Wikipedia)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Bloody Birthday

This movie starts out really terribly, with actual still photographs of three phases of an eclipse being used in between shots of a busy hospital. It gets better, or at least more charming by bad 80s horror standards? It's about three kids all born during this eclipse (though I thought they were triplets until the last act of the movie), and they're kinda murderers. I mean, exactly murderers. The violence is light, but the acting's pretty good and the poster is great. Whenever kids are evil murderers in movies I want to see them get beaten up which makes me sort of a bad person? Sorry America I know they're our future and all.

RATING: 59%

Martyrs

Hey, do you like feeling good about yourself and life? If not, then this movie is for you. It is about the same thing every French horror movie post 2000 is about - horrible suffering and pain with no relief (although this one is actually about that, physically and philosophically). France is an interesting country because people from there will always talk about what awful savages Americans are but then they ban mosques from the whole country or make violent garbage like this where non-white girls get tortured to death. In conclusion France has the Louvre but remember that liking Western art is admitting complicity with imperialism you dumb duck!

RATING: TOOMUCHGRADSCHOOL%

(Alternate ending here)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Garfield’s Halloween Adventure

Garfield’s cultural cred has fallen pretty far in the last twenty years or so, but you can call me a Garfield apologist if you want because I still find some of the old TV specials enjoyable. After revisiting the Christmas special a few years back, I knew it was only a matter of time until I got around to watching Garfield’s Halloween Adventure again. Since it was alright for children’s entertainment in the 1980s to be somewhat frightening, the special combines both family friendly white sheet ghost scares with some freaky murderous pirate ghosts (ghost pirates?). Garfield’s Halloween Adventure used to be my favorite Garfield special, but I’m going to have to give the advantage to the Christmas special now. I guess that makes me a sentimental old sap as well as a Garfield apologist.
 
Rating: Candy, candy, candy%
 
(Image from inbeacima.blogspot.ca)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Golem

This is one of those old movies where they don't have sound so instead they have title cards describing what people say or think and a bunch of library organ music. It's pretty good I guess for its time - the sets are really expressionistic and fun to look at. The plot, if you don't know the legend of the Golem, is that some mean  gentiles in old timey Prague are going to rough up the Jewish community, so a rabbi brings to life a monster made of clay to protect them. It doesn't really work out in everybody's favor, PS.

RATING: 61%

Friday, October 26, 2012

Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead

Directed by Lloyd Kaufman and produced by (who else) Troma Studios, this is a movie about a fast food chicken... um, what does "about" even mean when it comes to Troma? You can see mutilation, poop coming out of a butt, and some meth-y lesbians making out topless.

RATING: ROMNEY%

Roseanne: Tricks & Treats

The Tricks & Treats DVD, which can probably be found in most $5 bins this time of year, is a collection of Roseanne’s Halloween episodes (plus one episode from the final season which was more of a Rosemary’s Baby homage). Before watching this I probably hadn’t seen an episode of Roseanne since the show’s initial run. The Halloween episodes were always fan favorites and it seems pretty obvious that the cast and crew must have had fun putting them together. Highlights from the DVD include awesome costumes, a mulleted George Clooney, an appearance from the ladies of Absolutely Fabulous, a fresh faced Johnny Galecki, and an appearance from the mysterious “Second Becky.”
 
Rating: 72%
 
(Image from comedians.about.com)

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Cabin in the Woods


If you haven’t already seen The Cabin in the Woods, go see it now. I won’t tell you anything about the movie’s plot and you should probably avoid spoilers like the plague. I will tell you that it’s one of the smartest original horror movies I’ve seen in years. If you’ve been a horror movie fan for a while, you owe it to yourself to see this movie. Stop reading this hype and go watch The Cabin in the Woods.
 
Rating: 85%
 
(Image from themodernallegory.com)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The Gingerdead Man

Going into The Gingerdead Man I knew that it was directed by Charles Band and released through his company Full Moon Features. So I was ready for a bad movie, one that probably wouldn't even be a "fun" bad movie. I was prepared to be underwhelmed and in that regard I was not disappointed. The movie's running time, minus credits, is 57 minutes. Gary Busey is on screen for approximately three of those minutes. Busey is also credited as the voice of the Gingerdead Man but I'm not entirely convinced he recorded all of the puppet's lines. I think they were going for Child's Play in a bakery but it's closer to something that might have been on a 90's horror anthology series like Goosebumps or Are You Afraid of the Dark? I do not recommend watching The Gingerdead Man. I briefly considered giving up horror movies for a while after watching it. I have since recovered.

Rating: 13%

(Image from bmovieshelf.blogspot.ca)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ice Spiders

I don’t like to ski but for some reason I’m a sucker for movies based around skiing and ski resorts (Ski School, Better Off Dead, Hot Tub Time Machine, etc.), which explains, for the most part, why I ended up watching Ice Spiders. The movie, directed by Tibor Takács (The Gate), finds a sleepy ski resort preyed upon by giant, genetically engineered spiders. The CGI spider effects in this movie are pretty terrible, but that probably comes as no surprise. Stephen J. Cannell, who created dozens of TV shows including The A-Team, has a small part in the movie as the owner of the resort. As far as poorly made, low budget, made for TV horror/sci-fi movies go, Ice Spiders is definitely one of them.
 
Rating: Web of Death%
 
(Image from freecodesource.com)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Re-Animator

This crazy med school student named Herbert West thinks he can bring the dead back to life with a glowing green potion. He thinks this because he actually can I guess, except the people are usually sorta psychotic and murdery when he brings them back. The movie is shot kinda blandly, which is what happened in the 80s for almost every movie, but the gore and comedy (goredy?) are pretty good if you are making me come to a determination on this movie's worth and etc.

RATING: 71%

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Creature From The Black Lagoon

This is another one of those Universal Monster movies everybody knows about but nobody has probably seen. It is about this gill-type man who lives underwater going about his own business until a bunch of busybody scientists harass him into kidnapping a bikini lady. It doesn't end up to well for one particular titular amphibian, let me tell you! The movie is pretty boring, with lots of long shots of biologists spouting that pseudo-science laced with heavy religion that seemed to be the only kind of science acceptable for 1950s era movies. On the bright side, the Creature's effects are still terrific, and the movie spawned this song and this scene.

RATING: 43%

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Innkeepers

This movie is a pretty spooky movie about (as you can probably guess) a haunted hotel. It's obviously no The Shining, but it takes it nice and slow so the scares have more impact. My only problem is that after the movie was over, I was like, "Oh, it's just about a haunted hotel." There's not really any kind of depth to it whatsoever (like what do the ghosts symbolize, man?), and it's definitely not as good as Ti West's The House Of The Devil. Also it divides itself into "chapters" for no apparent reason other than to make itself seem smarter maybe?

RATING: 61%

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sea Beast


When you watch a bunch of shitty horror movies in a row, you start to evaluate them on a sliding scale. “Well, Sea Beast wasn’t very good but at least it was better than Octopus. So I guess that means it wasn’t a total waste of time.” Sea Beast stars Corin Nemec (TV’s Parker Lewis) as a down-on-his-luck fisherman plagued by little green aquatic monsters. The movie is quite similar to Humanoids from the Deep (which I can’t believe I haven’t already reviewed on this site) wherein a small fishing village is besieged by killer creatures from the sea. That said, Humanoids is an enjoyable B movie from the golden age of Roger Corman schlock while Sea Beast is more of a forgettable SyFy Original movie that hardly merits a rewatch.
 
Rating: Better than Octopus%
 
(Image from amazon.ca)

Chillerama

This is one a those horror anthology type movies, which are sometimes great (Creephsow) and sometimes awful (Creepshow 2). This one is awful. It's a "horror comedy" but it seems like the directors all think that the genre they are spoofing is stupid - they've got a couple characters who love movies but they only ever quote Star Wars or Indiana Jones, no horror movies - and the comedy is lower than brow (numerous jizz and shit jokes). Also if you like jokes at the expense of gay people or Jewish people then you might like this movie but also fuck you. Don't worry though there's not even any black people in the movie to have racist jokes about.

RATING: 7%

Monday, October 8, 2012

Blood Surf

I think Blood Surf was hoping to catch on with extreme sports fans by mixing surfing with sleaze and saltwater crocodiles. The trailer beats you over the head with various in-your-face fonts and radical spellings of the word ‘extreme.’ The movie follows some brain dead surfers and a couple of opportunistic documentarians hoping to shoot some surfing footage in an exotic local teeming with man-eating sharks. They run afoul of a grizzled sea captain (played by Duncan Regehr of Monster Squad fame), some rape-happy pirates and finally a giant killer croc. None of the characters really have any redeeming qualities or self-preservation instincts, which left me hoping for a real downbeat ‘70s style ending where either everybody dies or nobody really survives intact. This, however, was not the case.  
 
Rating: I wish the croc had won%
 

Let The Right One In

This  is a Swedish vampire movie in which a bullied kid befriends another kid, except the second kid is a vampire. So there's some vampirish hijinx including the kid vampire's slave trying to get blood for the kid vampire (in the book I guess the slave is actually a pedophile?), and the main kid learning to deal with bullies in responsible and less responsible manners. It's a beautiful movie, and it just goes to show you that if you recommend a movie to me I will watch it eventually, years later, unless that movie is Sliding Doors which my father recommended to me 12 years ago and I still haven't gotten around to watching it. (Also I was sure Internet John reviewed this but I couldn't find it in the search, so I win again at reviewing things first!)

RATING: 79%

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Razortooth

I had a pretty good idea of what I was in for with Razortooth within the first five minutes. The movie opens with some escaped convicts on the run in a swamp. The convicts are being chased by a search party of cops. Well, not so much cops as a group of non-descript guys wearing black t-shirts with the word "Police" printed across the front. They didn't even spring for fake uniforms or badges or anything. Multiple members of the production staff had to have come together and said something to the effect of, "We've got to get some costumes for our search party. Now, we could rent some uniforms or we could just get some shirts printed up that say 'Police' on them." And someone else had to have replied with something like, "Yeah, you know what, that's probably good enough."

Rating: Josh Gad probably doesn't have this on his resumé anymore%

(Image from forgottenflix.com)

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Crocodile

Combining standard Jaws ripoff fare with some slasher movie elements raises Crocodile just above terrible, but not by much. Directed by Tobe Hooper (Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Poltergeist), Crocodile finds a batch of horny college students on a spring break lake cruise getting stalked by a killer croc. The animatronic crocodile used in the movie is decent, but more often than not the movie relies on a CGI croc that looks pretty damn terrible. Whenever the computer generated croc has to move around in the same frame as some of the actors the effect is laughable. Not that the real live actors do much better. Across the board the acting is all pretty bad, but a special mention has to be made for the male lead who is remarkably terrible. The crappy cast is at least rounded out with some older, grizzled character actors who easily act circles around the rest of the main cast.

Rating: Chomped in half%

(Image from scifi-movies.com)

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Wolf Man

In this "classic" "monster" movie a guy gets bitten by a Wolf Man so then he every now and then turns into a different Wolf Man and acts a damn fool. It's fine I guess - it's the 40s so how can you criticize the makeup or acting or gender politics of when the main dude basically forces himself on an engaged lady because he's that sort of doughy leading man type of pre-1960? Well, it is 1941 so I do think you can criticize the reprehensible nature of implying this Wolf Man thing is the fault of movieland gypsies while the Nazis are rounding up real live gypsies and putting them in concentration camps. Uh, but, like, go Classic Universal Monsters???

RATING: 37%

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Octopus


You have to get through 35 minutes of the movie Octopus before you get your first look at the titular cephalopod. What’s worse is that it takes that long before the octopus even becomes a factor in the movie at all. While it’s not uncommon for a low budget creature feature to hide its monster for as long as possible, at the very least the filmmakers normally imply that their monster is an active threat prior to the big reveal. It might take some time before we get a clear view of the shark in Jaws, but at least it kills someone in the first five minutes of the movie. You shouldn't have to sit through a third of a movie called Octopus before you ever see a freakin' octopus.

Rating: Tentacle through the head%

(Image from mrqe.com)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Red State

Internet washout Kevin Smith made this movie without any kind of studio backing, which as an artist I can appreciate, but the movie is shapeless and takes four or five turns into totally different movies which leads me to believe there was nobody there to say "Hey, uh, wha?" Is that good? I STILL DON'T KNOW. I feel like I'm too familiar with Smith's other movies to think of this as genius, per se, but maybe it's sort of like Adam Sandler's performance in Punch Drunk Love, one weird and unique artistic expression that the artist himself would never recognize in a million years. So the plot is a Fred Phelps-esque preacher hates gay people in pretty violent ways and lots of people say "homosexual" in really fake southern accents.

RATING: 73%

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

If you're having trouble placing A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master in the overall Elm Street series, just remember it's the one where Freddy is revived by a dog pissing fire on his shallow grave. It's also the only one that shares some similarities with the Highlander franchise. As the survivors of Part 3 get killed off, the new Final Girl, Alice, begins to inherit their talents (karate, nerdiness, etc). The Dream Master is a mixed bag, it's not the worst in the series but it's part of the long, slow decline of the franchise. The films kept dialing down the tension and gore while amping up the jokes and spectacle. When they started out, you were supposed to be afraid of the supernatural child murder who could kill you in your dreams, you weren't supposed to root for him to show up with Spuds MacKenzie and crack wise at the horny teens.

Rating: Roach Motel%

(Image from traileraddict.com)

Stephen King Cameos

Ok so full disclosure I accidentally rereviewed Creepshow 2 of all movies, but here's something related. So in the 80s and 90s no matter how bad the adaptation, you could always count on Stephen King popping into his movies somewhere. The best is obviously Creepshow where he stars as a redneck in segment two, but second best is, I dunno, Maximum Overdrive where the ATM tells him to fuck off? Oh, cocaine!

RATING: 75%

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Golden Child

Eddie Murphy was on a roll in the '80s, putting out hit after hit.  The Golden Child may have made some money (79 million bucks) but it was a boring, meandering bomb.

Take all the Asian mysticism and kitchy stereotypes of Big Trouble in Little China and throw in a watered down Beverly Hills Cop script and you have an afternoon-waster on your hands.

Eddie Murphy never gets revved up joke-wise and there is complete lack of chemistry between him and Charlotte Lewis.

Rating: 13%

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Airplane!

#20 on Glenn's Top 100 Movie List

If you've never seen this movie and then try to watch it now, it might not be that funny to you, because of Scary Movie 4 and 2001: A Space Travesty and etc. But this was one of the first of its kind - a parody movie that just goes crazy slapstick on an overplayed genre. I used to watch a version taped off of tv when I was a kid, so all the blowjob humor was cut, but it's works with or without the fellatio, sort of like James Joyce I guess.

RATING: 91%

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The Mighty Peking Man

Most genre movies steal from their predecessors, which is why I forgive The Mighty Peking Man for aping so much of King Kong (see what I did there?). Made by the Shaw Brothers Studio to cash in on the late seventies King Kong remake, The Mighty Peking Man is a pretty standard low-budget "man in suit" style monster movie. Except for the addition of Samantha, the blonde jungle woman raised by the Peking Man after her family's plane crashes in the jungle. Samantha wears just enough animal skins to cover her naughty bits, except for the times she falls out of her homemade bikini while running (and there are a lot of scenes of her running). The Mighty Peking Man is entertaining if you don't take it seriously, at all.

Rating: 63%

(Image from classic-horror.com)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

V-Neck Shirts


We have to face the fact that people are curious about how our chests look.  Why be all prude and stingy with a normal shirt when you can show off your pecs and chest fuzz?

Plus it takes less material to make a v-neck, so consider it saving the environment.

It adds four or five points to your hotness rating easy.




Rating: Man cleavage%

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Vanishing


Jeff Bridges' Barney Cousins is one of the creepier and compelling murderers ever filmed.

In the opening scene, he chloroforms himself to see how long it takes to wake up and then casually writes the result in his notebook.

Sandra Bullock, Kiefer Sutherland and Nancy Travis all do fine jobs; it's not their fault that Bridges rocks his role so hard.

Not exactly date night material, but excellent viewing.

Rating: 93%

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Upland Something

A Beer For Every State # 14 - Indiana

I can't remember the specific name for this beer, and can't tell from that photo I took apparently by candlelight. It was a wheat beer, and was ok despite (because of?) A distinct cookie dough aftertaste. Also I am testing a blogging app so apologies to Indiana and also our readers if the formatting is off.

RATING: 55%


Monday, February 27, 2012

The Royal Tenenbaums

#21 on Glenn's Top 100 Movie List

My pledge to you, R3 reader(s?), is that in this election year, 2012, I will finish my Top 100 Movie List and my Beer For Every State Countdown! And this movie is pretty good, right? I haven't seen it in like six years. I remember watching it on 50 cent Tuesday at the discount theater in Tallahassee, and I got like three dollar hot dogs. Must be listworthy I guess.

RATING: 94%

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Audio, Video, Disco

Last time I talked about the French electronic duo Justice everybody freaked out and tried to burn down R3. Well, now nobody reads this site except for Quammy and me and spammers, so it's a different time. I guess that's ok, because it's a pretty different album, too. It's... good? I vacillate between hating it a lot and thinking it's actually one of the most compelling electronic albums ever written. Don't come to me for answers, like you don't know by now.

RATING: ??%

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

(In a fakey British accent) Oh bother, there appears to be a double agent in our midst. I do suppose I'll be required to have some long, slow, quiet conversations with all the suspected parties then. This is a sticky wicket. It's a jolly good thing that it's the early seventies and I can drink and smoke copious amounts of cigarettes during my investigation. Pip pip, think of the Queen and all that.

Rating: 70%

(Image from incontention.com)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Symphony No. 2 by Sergei Prokofiev

Everybody hates this piece because it's atonal, unpleasant, and aggressive, but then Chris Brown gets to be on the Grammys so it seems like this is right up America's alley (topical humor). This is pretty good despite the fact that Prokofiev never really went expressionist again for the rest of his career. I guess we all have our phases, and for some of us those phases are maybe brought on by constant threat of execution by the 2nd most murderous tyrant of the 20th Century (write nicer music for workers lol or else ;) - JS).

RATING: 71%

Monday, February 13, 2012

Sharktopus

Jaws was one of the first movies I ever really obsessed over and becuase of that I've seen quite a few shitty shark and Jaws-style ripoff movies over the years. I've also seen a number of questionable Roger Corman productions in my time. Even with all that said though, I don't think anybody who purposefully elects to watch a movie called Sharktopus thinks they're in for anything other than a cheese fest. The acting, dialogue and CGI is all pretty much terrible, but you probably could have guessed that. I will say this in Sharktopus' defense though, I watched the movie in two sittings and when I watched the second half I wasn't exactly sober, which made the movie a lot more enjoyable.

Rating: 49% (In the sober light of day)

(Image from heropress.net)

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

An Unearthly Child

Because I apparently don't have enough nerdy things to obsess over, I've decided to watch the entire Doctor Who series from the beginning. The first serial "An Unearthly Child" introduces us to the First Doctor (William Hartnell), his companions Susan, Barbara and Ian, and a time travelling police box known as the TARDIS. In "An Unearthly Child," the Doctor and his companions travel back to the Stone Age where they encounter a tribe of cave men scrambling to unlock the secret of making fire. A power struggle amongst the tribe means that our heros spend much of the serial either being held captive or running for their lives through prehistoric forests. Considering Doctor Who has been on (and off) TV for almost 50 years and the fact that I have a full-time job, it will likely take me several years to wade through the entirety of the series. But seeing as the show has one of the coolest theme songs of all time, I'm looking forward to the challenge.

Rating: Eh, Doctor who? What's he talking about?%

(Image from thetardis.tumblr.com)

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Rocker

I ended up buying and watching The Rocker recently after finding it in the $5 bin at Wal-Mart. I thought, "Even if this is terrible, it's only gonna cost me $5." Going into the movie with an attitude like that was probably one of the reasons I enjoyed The Rocker as much as I did. The movie is essentially a mix of Bad News Bears and That Thing You Do! Rainn Wilson's character gets kicked out of his band on the eve of their massive success, 20 years later he finds redemption and some success of his own playing the drums for his nephew's band. If nothing else, this movie is notable for having an amazing cast, which includes: Rainn Wilson, Emma Stone, Josh Gad, Christina Applegate, Jason Sudeikis, Jane Lynch, Jeff Garlin, Will Arnett, Fred Armisen, Bradley Cooper, Demetri Martin, Aziz Ansari, Howard Hesseman, Jane Krakowski, and Pete Best (yes, the Pete Best).

Rating: 74%

(Image from allrovi.com)