May Movies - Week 4
Yup, getting close to busy season on the festival circuit... so here are some movies we watched...
May 22 – Fast X (2023)
We got to see an early screening of this movie the Monday night before it was released worldwide… and as you may have heard, we’re HUGE fans of the series… but that wasn’t always the case (see our episodes during April 2020 where we went through the series). In this installment, the son of a drug kingpin that they killed in “Fast 5” (Jason Momoa) is trying to take down Dominic Toretto’s family (Vin Diesel and half of Hollywood). Starting essentially with the final scene of the 4th installment, this series has taken the step from criminal with a heart of gold drama to FULL Superheroes who drive cars… and the villains have to match them… and luckily, Jason Momoa as Dante Reyes understood that he’s basically the villain in a video game & went full f**king over-the-top & I loved it!!! As usually, Vin Diesel is probably the worst part of the movie (only competition is Tyrese) but he’s learned to surround himself completely with other charismatic actors & some of the most ridiculous action set pieces that you can imagine (you’ve seen the trailer, right?). So what did I think?
Rating – 10/10 – It’s not 10+ but it’s exactly what I thought & wanted it to be… and now I can’t wait for the next one!!!
May 23 – Forest Warrior (1996)
So… Izzy got to pick the theme & movies for June… so she went with Bear Month because we love killer bear movies… and then she said we HAVE to do this movie… where Chuck Norris is a shapeshifting forest spirit who protects the forest from loggers & kids are thrown in because Chuck can’t have more than 7 minutes of screentime. Hijnx ensue. Now, yes, there is a bear in this movie… as Chuck morphs into a giant bear at seemingly random times… and I can get behind the “protect the forest” & “take down the rich guy who goes against the rules that his kind even made to get ahead” themes of the movie… but yeah, it’s pretty rough. The fight scenes are kind of funny in a ridiculous manner but… it’s Chuck Norris.
Rating – 6/10 – Not the greatest, not the worst, it’s what they set out to make
May 24 – The Pope’s Exorcist (2023)
Recently featured on the Flop House Podcast, I’ve heard nothing good about this movie. Based on true events in about the same vein as the Conjuring movies or religion in general, but it’s about an Italian man (Russell Crowe) who is the lead exorcist of the Vatican (ergo the Pope’s Exorcist, not the Exorcist who is exorcising the Pope for example) and based on the dates given, this is one of his first exorcisms as The Pope’s #1 guy as he goes to a Spanish castle where some Americans have just moved in (what?) and the young son has been possessed by a powerful demon… and hijinx ensue. Now… I get it… the main plot of the movie is a little… questionable… but you know what kind of movie you’re going into with a title like this. That being said… I’ve seen MANY worse exorcism movies & I’ll give it to Russell Crowe… he did a decent job with the Italian accent & charisma to play an aging exorcist. Will there be a bunch of sequels cataloging the tales of Gabriela Amorth or whatever the name of the real exorcist is? Of course not… the movie flopped in spite of them planting the seed for 199 other demons being unleashed upon the world at the end… and his young sidekick priest joining him.
Rating – 8/10 – I actually enjoyed this movie & don’t understand the hate. I feel like most of it is from people who haven’t seen it though because the RT scores are fairly high.
May 25 – The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023)
Making a movie for a video game like this is difficult. It’s even more difficult when you don’t really take the original stuff into the movie & go off on your own weird interdimensional Blade Runner thing as we found out in 1993. However, this is about as good a movie as you can make with the source material. It’s a fun romp of two plumbers who get caught up in hijinx in the Mushroom Kingdom against the evil King Koopa who has a crush on the local princess. Is this movie made for me? Not really… I haven’t played a Mario game since Super Nintendo, but it’s still a fun kids movie & Jack Black does a great job as Koopa.
Rating – 9/10 – Like I said, just about as good as you can do with the material used
May 26 – Cocaine Bear: The True Story (2023)
This is a documentary about the real life incidences that “inspired” the movie Cocaine Bear earlier this year. Honestly, the bear isn’t the story until the minute when it died instantly after snorting a few grams of cocaine. However, it is a 40 minute documentary about a corrupt Kentucky cop who was running drugs from Colombia and… basically they don’t know what happened exactly but his corpse ended up splatting on somebody’s driveway when his parachute didn’t open when he was making a run with 80 pounds of cocaine in his hands & dumping a bunch into a nearby national forest. That’s about it. Was he trying to fake his death (it was 1985)? Did something go wrong on the plane? No one really knows… and one of their Southern dandy experts fancied himself a funny man but… I must’ve missed the jokes.
Rating – 7/10 – Just raises more questions than anything… but a fun look at what corrupt cops have been doing since the beginning… yeah…
See y'all next week!
May Movies - Week 3
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Another busy week but somehow we manage... so here are some movies we watched...
May 15 – Death Proof (2007)
Often brought up as one of Quentin Tarantino’s worst movies, I absolutely LOVE this half of the Grindhouse double feature where we follow the exploits of Stuntman Mike (Kurt Russell) as he uses his “death proof” ’70 Chevy Nova to kill groups of women in horrific fashion. Throw in a bunch of QT dialogue & stunts by the amazing Zoe Bell and you’ve got yourself one of my favorite odes to genre cinema EVER!
Rating – 10/10 – Only reason it’s not a 10+? Some parts drag with dialogue (and 2007 texting exposition) and I’m waiting for the sequel “Lee & Jasper’s Wild Ride”
May 16 – Marlowe (2023)
Liam Neeson takes on the role of literary noir private investigator Philip Marlowe in this film from the director of “The Crying Game” & “Interview with the Vampire” and after watching it… my wife & I started to wonder… can a decent noir movie be made in a modern setting now that everybody knows all the clichés & nuances of the genre? Thinking back, LA Confidential did it well but that was 25 years ago with a host of Academy Award winning actors & filmmakers… but for every one of those, there are dozens of “meh” takes that… I mean… a beautifully shot but… the acting or the stories of whatever just don’t grab you or give you intrigue. This one especially… I honestly didn’t care what happened in the story. Some rich broad wants her husband tailed but won’t even tell the PI why… you know, to create mystery or allure somehow, but honestly… the whole movie I was like “Well, this is where I politely decline to continue investigations due to you bullsh*tting me…” but I know that’s part of the genre, which I’ve enjoyed!
Rating – 5/10 – Just didn’t grab me & was really boring and pointless… but beautifully shot!
May 17 – Winnie the Pooh: Blood & Honey (2023)
Yup, Disney is finally getting into the horror genre… no, of course not! The copyright on the classic children’s book has lapsed & so it was IMMEDIATELY announced that this movie was coming out thanks to public domain. A bunch of girls go to a luxurious AirBNB to “get away from it all” in the 100 Acre Woods… where Pooh, Piglet (and others you won’t see) have turned into neurotic speechless killing machines like Michael Myers because… their friend Christopher Robin went off to college for a few years. Don’t worry! He’s in the movie too! It’s what you think… pointless violence, random nudity, story that with a few simple tweaks would be consistent & still terrifying, instead is just kind of a jumbled mess… and the whole time you just think “It’s a big guy in a bad Winnie the Pooh mask playing Michael Myers” and… his buddy in a boar mask.
Rating – 4/10 – Was it a total loss? No, some of the kills were decent but… yeah, just kinda rough all around & obvious cash grab
May 18 – Renfield (2023)
Nicolas Cage + Dracula + set in New Orleans + director of The Lego Movie + Nicholas Hoult as his familiar? Absolutely! Sadly, we didn’t see this in theatres (lots of reasons) but we were finally able to watch it and… it’s everything I wanted & more! Nic Cage HAMS it the f**k up in a role that he’s always wanted to play (even pulling out the weird accent from “Vampire’s Kiss”), Nicholas Hoult is basically this generation’s Hugh Grant… but can also be funny, Awkwafina is usually the best part of bad movies & this time she was a great part of a great movie, the violence & humor was reminiscent of Matthew Vaughn, yeah… this may be the movie of the year thus far.
Rating – 10+/10 – I’m giving it a 10+ because I want MORE movies like this! It’s okay to laugh everybody! There’s also a great lesson about toxic relationship buried in there…
May 19 – The Adventures of the Wilderness Family (1975)
This movie came up on a list of movies with bear attacks for Izzy’s June theme… and it’s about a family of four (and a SUPERDOG) leaving the city life in LA for the wilderness life of the Pacific Northwest on a whim and… hijinx ensue. Now, it’s a G-rated modern 70’s retelling of Swiss Family Robinson from the director of “Ice Pirates” & “Mac & Me” but… yeah, it’s a kid’s show. They even take in a raccoon & two bear cubs as pets… and there’s a big bear that hangs around too… and Buck Flowers shows up as a prospector or something… harmless fun unless some family out there takes it in the vein of “I could live like this in the wilderness.” Spoilers: You won’t.
Rating – 7/10 – Bears are great. Animals were harmed. Acting was meh… safe for kids though
May 20 – Koala Man (2023)
This was an 8-episode animated run on Hulu about an ordinary man with a secret identity in Dapto, Australia… and he’s trying to enforce the law (mostly like a meter maid or something) but then hijinx ensue & he has to balance that with the family life… and he’s not a great hero at that. It’s a comedy of course… Hugh Jackman pops up as the voice of his boss Big Greg. Jemaine Clemente & Hugo Weaving are in it too… it’s not the greatest but a good poke at Australia.
Rating – 8/10 – Check it out, you can watch it in about the time of a Fast & Furious movie
May 21 – Magic Mike’s Last Dance (2023)
Yes, the third in the Magic Mike trilogy with director Stephen Soderbergh coming back to finish the growth of Mike Lane (Channing Tatum) as he’s a man in his 40’s wandering the Earth after the global pandemic… but then stumbles into a relationship with a beautiful divorcee billionaire (Salma Hayek) & she flies him out to London to direct a strip dance show at a legendary theatre that she got in the divorce settlement… you know, tale as old as time. So he assembles his Magic Mike’s 11 (though past costars only show up in a zoom meeting for two minutes) to put the show on… while dealing with an eccentric billionaire hottie… and her pretentious daughter who won’t stop narrating during the movie trying to convince you that dance is the most important thing that has ever been invented or something… and then THEY STEAL THE ENDING FROM AN EPISODE OF IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA!!! EVEN THE CO-STAR IN THE LAST DANCE!!! It’s ridiculous… but I still had fun watching most of it. Definitely didn’t need to be almost two hours long though… we get it… he’s hot… she’s hot… they’re going to end up together.
Rating – 8/10 – The last half hour is what you all paid for…
Tune in next week... because we got to watch Fast X a few days before its release & we have to talk about it... but not quite yet, no spoilers & all. Basically, go watch it starting tomorrow night WORLDWIDE!!!
May Movies - Week 2
Good Morning Ladies & Gentlemen,
Sorry I'm a little late this week... it's probably the start of things to come because my work & my wife fill my life with business & busyness... but here we go...
May 8 – Croczilla (2012)
The internet went out during a snowstorm… and physical media to the rescue for a bit of Tubi roulette… and we found a multi-pack that I bought a few years ago for a dollar that had 7 movies… and the premiere one on the cover was… this! Long story short, it’s a Chinese movie about a giant crocodile grown in captivity who gets loose in Hangzhou and the only people that can stop him are the man that raised him (as much as you can raise a croc), the local detective (who’s not that good at his job… like at all) & some random chick who got kicked out of a BMW at the beginning of the movie. To be fair… this movie was a LOT better than I was expecting. The frenetic pacing & style is interesting… even when the plot is pretty basic for the genre… and the CG can be ridiculous but… actually better than about 90% of this ilk.
Rating – 8/10 – Subtitles may not be your thing but… I’d say give it a shot if you can take it
May 9 – Piranha (1972)
No, not the Joe Dante from the late 70’s that’s a campy treat. This one is from a few years earlier and is about a brother & sister who meet up with a friend in Venezuela to photograph the jungle, motorcycle through it and/or drink themselves into a stupor. Along the way, they meet a local hunter (William Smith) named Caribe at the hotel… and he offers to be their guide when they start asking about where you can find a diamond mine. Along the way, they realize that he may not be a cuddly character (even though they started as skeptical) and… well, the movie turns really dark when there’s about 15 minutes left. It’s a slow build before that but… yeah, it’s a decent loooooooow budget thriller… but then again, I wouldn’t be in the middle of the damn jungle with some jerk I just met anyway without a gun to his head or something because I don’t trust anybody so… the premise is weak to me.
Rating – 8/10 – For a 50+ year old movie, I really enjoyed it but it drags at times.
May 10 – The Mandalorian – Season 3 (2023)
I’ve been saying it for years… and season 3 of The Mandalorian confirmed it… Captain Power & the Soldiers of the Future is a viable series in today’s entertainment industry. Why do I say that? This season has a bunch of Mandalorians in their mighty power suits taking on the forces of Darth Gideon a.k.a. Lord Dread. There’s a big one that I called Tank the whole time… throw in the super cute Grogu Baby Yoda & boom… the money rolls in.
Rating – 10/10 – The story was a little whatever… but this is honestly as close as I’m going to get to a Captain Power series so… 10!!!
May 11 – Children of the Corn (2023)
Okay… so a little behind the scenes on this movie. Apparently it was filmed in the heart of COVID shutdown in 2020… and they’ve been sitting on it for three years… then just kind of released it with zero fanfare or promotion. Not a great sign. It’s the triumphant return of writer/director Kurt Wimmer who brought us “Equillibrium”… but also brought us “Ultraviolet” which was the last movie he made in 2006. Also, not a great sign. It stars friend of the podcast Bruce Spence as Pastor Penny. Great! The rest of the cast are kids. This… could go either way. You all know the story, right? Something wicked in the corn is causing the kids to do horrible things… or is it just a shared psychosis of these isolated farmer’s kids? Adaptation of the Stephen King story… relaunch of the series that apparently spawned a DOZEN movies. Here’s what I’ll say. The main kids weren’t horrible. The evil girl was by far the best performance… but as is tradition with Stephen King stories, the parents are idiots, drunkards & fodder… the other kids are okay… and the movie does the cardinal sin by showing the monster… and it’s f**king GROOT!!! The movie is violent but pointless… and honestly one of the worst constructed movies I’ve seen in a long time… but I love Bruce Spence getting work!
Rating – 3/10 – “Old” is the last movie I can think of that baffled me at every turn with the choices it made. Battlefield Earth levels of filmmaking.
May 12 – Deadly Eyes (1982)
From the director of “Enter the Dragon” & “Gymkata” comes the story of a city run amok with killer rats the size of dachsunds in rat outfits… Scatman Crothers makes a cameo… hijinx ensue! Definitely not enough martial arts for the director’s repertoire… but it’s instead replaced with an odd romance between a professor, an environmental shipping agent, and some silly college student who wants a piece of the professor despite his constant refusal. It’s a weird tale of terror… and I enjoyed it but it’s not super special. The dogs in rat outfits is kind of funny though.
Rating – 8/10 – Cannot complain and mildly fun just with how awkward some scenes get
May 13 – Rampage (2018)
Watched this movie in a special preview before it was released in theatres… it’s Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and a bunch of CGI creatures destroying Chicago & other random locations in the U.S. Loosely based on the 80’s video game… have not pulled the trigger on it for Ape-ril on the podcast YET but yeah… it’s exactly what you expect. Malin Akerman, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Naomie Harris & others pop up for a bit… harmless fun…
Rating – 9/10 – The Rock is too charismatic for his own good…
May 14 – The Wild Beasts (1984)
The animals at a zoo in “Northern European City” (Frankfurt, Germany) have gone wild & broken out the zoo causing havoc… but why? Spoilers: Though it’s in the trailer, all the advertising & any descriptions of the movie though it’s treated in the movie like a big reveal… it’s PCP PUMPED INEXPLICABLY INTO THE DRINKING WATER though only a few kids & no other humans are affected!!! Hijinx ensue. This is an Italian made movie… and so there’s a LOT of fun craziness that happens… Elephants on the runway at an airport… rats eating people & cats… a polar bear chasing kids… a cheetah chasing a car… lots of lions & tigers & hyenas tearing at dolls filled with meat… it’s exactly what you expect… and throw in some crazy misogyny while you’re at it… and a Stephen King level ending…
Rating – 9/10 – I really enjoyed this movie… but I love Italian craziness & animal exploitation movies
Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there!
May Movies - Week 1
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
We're back from Southern Utah... and we've seen a few movies...
May 1 – The Lawnmower Man: Director’s Cut (1992)
Yup, the extended 2+ hour cut of Lawnmower Man from director Brett Leonard is on Tubi… with an extra 40 minutes or so from the theatrical cut… and honestly, I really liked it. The whole opening portion is completely different with more time for the escaping ape in the beginning… and more backstory for Jobe & his living situation… and a more subtle transition from Simple Jobe to Cybergod. You know the story, right? Local dim 20-something lawnmower (Jeff Fahey) meets up with handsome mind doctor (Pierce Brosnan) and hijinx ensue with mind experiments & VR… insert questionable CGI even for 1992 standards… but yeah, I like the theatrical cut… and I LOVE the director’s cut.
Rating – 9/10 – Honestly makes it feel more like a Stephen King story (though the real Stephen King story is NOTHING like this)
May 2 – The Mask (1961)
No, not the Jim Carrey one! This one has an archeologist find a mask (that I looks like a disco ball but in black & white?) and instantly feels like he’s cursed by it… and kills himself… but before he does that, he mails it to his psychologist friend… who slowly loses his mind… and every time he puts the mask on, we get some fairly decent 60’s 3D mind melting sequences driving him insane. As far as 60’s horror goes… it’s not the worst or most boring… but it’s a little silly at times too.
Rating – 8/10 – Some of those sequences are kind of fun & creepy… not much else will stick though
May 3 – The Bubble (1966)
New season of MST3K had this one… about a husband, his pregnant wife & a pilot pulling off an emergency landing into a city… but it seems to be a bunch of zombie-like people… and they basically stay for WEEKS trying to find a way out, including digging underground, and hijinx ensue. This was like a 90 minute Twilight Zone episode… but not one of the great ones… one of the fillers or something. Maybe if it were 22 minutes it’d hit better but there were long areas of nothing.
Rating – 6/10 – Kind of boring… but fun with MST3K stylings
May 4 – The Christmas Dragon (2014)
Another MST3K one about a group of medieval orphan kids who go on a journey with a poor man’s Jack Sparrow to restore magic to the land and SAVE CHRISTMAS?!? Okay, I’ll be nice… the two main girls were tolerable… but just about everybody else was questionable at best. I understand it’s not a great script or anything though, so I don’t blame them. It’s… even by Christmas movie standards… kinda ridiculous & not in a good way.
Rating – 5/10 – Then again, could I have done better? Probably not… feel free to pass… or watch MST3K
May 5 – Knock at the Cabin (2023)
That’s right! Time for the next M Night movie!!! I think the lowest score I’ve given since starting this thing was for “Old” a while back… because it’s horrible. Everyone has seen the commercial (and therefore the movie) where it’s four “Strangers” led by Dave Bautista dressed as a Jehovah’s Witness talking to two daddies & their tiny Asian child saying that they have to sacrifice one of them in order to save the world from the Apocalypse… and hijinx ensue. What kind of hijinx? The hijinx you expect. “No way! You’re crazy!” Something happens to prove their point. “You can deepfake that! Screw you!” Tidal wave takes out populated coastline. “COINCIDENCE!!!” And it goes from there… that being said… Bautista & some of the performances were great… which is more than I could say for “Old” and most other M Night movies. So did I enjoy this?
Rating – 6/10 – Meh… decent tension & great performances… but yeah, the ending is exactly what you expect from M Night… nothing good & makes any sense
May 6 – Plane (2023)
Pilot Gerard Butler & convict Mike Colter (Luke Cage) have to crash land a commercial airplane in the Phillippines… and then have to join forces to save the passengers from a terrorist group… and hijinx ensue. Is this going to be the Movie of the Year for 2023?!? Probably not… because Cocaine Bear exists… and Fast X is coming soon enough… among others. Did we enjoy it?!? Of course! It’s violent action with Jerry Butler & they’re already talking sequel!!!
Rating – 10/10 – Not quite a 10+ but a lot of fun… and I highly recommend.
May 7 – The Stunt Man (1980)
We’re doing this one for the podcast… but I had not heard of it before doing research for Stunt Man movies (and of course this came up given the name). Basically an escaped convict (Steve Railsbeck) evades the law… and stumbles onto a movie set where the eccentric director (Peter O’Toole) convinces the authorities that he’s one of his stuntmen… and gives him a job on his next production… but at what cost?!? Throw in Barbara Hershey as the love interest & you’ve got yourself a movie. Look… I’ve only seen Peter O’Toole in a few things… and he f**king KILLS it in this movie!!! There’s also so much action it’s hard to keep things straight… and you MUST hear all about it on the podcast… or watch it on Tubi!!!
Rating – 10/10 – I absolutely loved this movie!!! Great action, great performances, you have no idea what’s going to happen at any point, damn near 10+
More on the way... and thank you for reading... yes, YOU! You're the one!!!
April Movies - Week 4
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Off to our Southern Utah road trip... so until our return... here are a few movies we watched...
April 22 – Undeclared War (1990)
During our trip to Cincinnati, homey Michael Bagford took us to a record shop that had a Vinegar Syndrome movie section… and he had mentioned that he really enjoyed this one… so Izzy bought it for $35 because she has seemingly limitless funds at her disposal (me). I knew NOTHING about this movie… but basically think “Rush Hour” where a Hong Kong Special Branch cop (Danny Lee) and a CIA agent (Peter Liapsis) team up to bring down a master of disguise terrorist (Vernon Wells) and Olivia Hussey is involved too. From acclaimed action director Ringo Lam (Maximum Risk, Replicant, In Hell) and yeah… this movie did not disappoint at all. Vernon Wells is a treasure as the villain… the action is great… it’s what you want it to be & there are some turns the movie takes that are hilarious & great.
Rating – 9/10 – It does drag at some spots where there’s no action… but yeah, give it a watch!
April 23 – Destroyer (1988)
Tubi recommended this one about a serial murderer (Lyle Alzado) who’s executed in the opening scene… and then we cut to 18 months later where a movie crew (including director Anthony Perkins) are making a schlock film in the now-abandoned prison… and hijinx ensue when the murderer… apparently didn’t die!!! Yup, Lyle Alzado as a maniacal killer months before his untimely death in a prison setting… it’s what you expect.
Rating – 8/10 – That being said… it’s a lot of fun with Anthony Perkins playing the director & Deborah Forman (April Fool’s Day) as a stuntwoman
April 24 – Hell Baby (2013)
This one was recommended by my friend Kaliecia who lives in New Orleans… and you find out why immediately as it’s a comedy about an expecting couple (Rob Corddry & Leslie Bibb) who move into a haunted house in New Orleans… but when it becomes apparently that the wife is possessed & having the devil’s baby… the Vatican is called in! This also stars Paul Scheer, Keegan Michael Key, Rob Huebel, Michael Ian Black & starring/directed by Reno 911’s Robert Ben Garant & Thomas Lennon. My favorite part is probably Keegan Michael Key’s character because… having been to the Big Easy a few times… I know a few of these people who randomly pop up in your house & seem to be your best friends though you barely know them.
Rating – 9/10 – A lot of fun poking fun at the exorcism genre… check it out!
April 25 – Mean Guns (1997)
Director Albert Pyun (RIP) has made some strongly entertaining movies (Cyborg, Blast, etc.) so when I found out there was a movie where crime lord Ice T corrals 100 of his enemies into a new prison to have them fight it out over $10 million… I was in! Wait, Christopher Lambert is the star?!? DOUBLE IN!!! There’s definitely some great parts to this movie (the action primarily) but there’s also a LOT of extra stuff that doesn’t need to be there making it a full two hours. The pacing is bad. There are plot twists that don’t make any sense. Overly dramatic slow motion that leads to nothing. That being said, if you watch this movie at 1.5x speed or something, it’d be quite fun at times.
Rating – 6/10 – Not nearly as good as the potential
April 26 – Deathcheaters (1976)
Friend of the podcast Brian Trenchard-Smith brings you this amazing tale of two best friend / Vietnam vets / stuntmen (John Hargreaves & Grant Page) are recruited by the Australian government to take out a fortress in the Philippines. Okay, actually that’s like the last 30 minutes of the movie. The first hour is their witty hijinx as stuntmen & being general badasses in high speed chases & practicing for other stunts. This movie is great action fun… and the dialogue is surprisingly witty in an Aussie way. I can’t recommend this movie enough for a fun action watch.
Rating – 9/10 – It’s not going to be for everybody… but it should be.
April 27 – Stunt Rock (1978)
Also on the “Man from Hong Kong” Blu Ray from Umbrella Entertainment (like “Deathcheaters”) comes the BTS tale of real life stuntman Grant Page coming to Los Angeles to do a few stunts, have some fun, and hang out with his cousin who’s in the band Sorcery… that has a full live magician stage show with their rock concert!!! That’s basically the plot. Along the way, Grant explains why he’s a stuntman to a reporter (played by Brian Trenchard-Smith’s wife of 48 years) and we got a LOT of flashbacks to past stunts that he did, while also mixing in some new ones in her presence. Is it a great movie? I mean… it’s more like a compilation of Sorcery music videos & Family Guy-esque cuts of flashbacks like “it reminds me of that time I nearly died on the set of Mad Dog Morgan” but… I find it entertaining as all hell.
Rating – 8/10 – That being said, the music of Sorcery isn’t great… and that’s half the movie. You see why they add the magic show.
April 28 – Neon Maniacs (1986)
Another Tubi recommendation where a woman in San Francisco is hanging out with her friends near the Golden Gate Bridge one night… and a bunch of homicidal demon monsters show up & kill everyone else but she gets away! The authorities don’t believe her at all… and then more people go missing… and another teenage boy & preteen girl meet up with her to find out what they are & how to stop them. Now… the monsters & practical effects in this one… are actually pretty dang good. It’s a good quick 90 minute horror flick that you’ll probably enjoy if you like the genre… but while a lot of people in this didn’t do anything else, it’s also the debut of Andrew Divoff (Blast & Wishmaster) who plays the evil doctor demon.
Rating – 9/10 – Definitely worth a watch if you’re the fan of the genre
April 29 – Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
WHAT?!? A movie before 1981?!? Shut up… yes, the movie that catapulted the Jane Crawford-Bette Davis feud into the stuff of legend… where the now-grown Baby Jane Hudson (Bette Davis) is taking care of her paraplegic older sister (Jane Crawford) but then… she basically starts losing her mind big time & keeps her a prison in her own home while deciding to eliminate her completely. This movie… is really good. Sure, it’s a slooooooow pace at points because it was made 60+ years ago but still suspenseful. The only real drawback is… look… Izzy & I were both watching this & screaming “SAY SOMETHING!!!” to the imprisoned sister when people were visiting or outside her window and… for whatever reason, she did nothing… so we pretty much lost a lot of empathy for her… but that may just be our mentality. Other than that, there’s a reason it’s a classic & now we want to watch the “Feud” series where their feud is brought to you by the creators of “American Crime Story”.
Rating – 9/10 – SAY SOMETHING!!!!!!
April 30 – Island of Terror (1966)
This was a Peter Cushing movie that… I don’t think was Hammer Films but definitely had that sort of feel to it… but on a budget. Basically there’s this remote island town where these creatures show up that look like turtle shells with a tentacle… that liquefies bones of all it touches… and they’re multiplying at an exponential rate. How will they stop them? Honestly… I didn’t really care by the time they figured it out… but it was kind of fun to watch them try & fail a bunch of times.
Rating – 6/10 – Not a whole lot to this movie… but a typical 60’s weak horror flick
See you in May... maybe...
April Movies - Week 3
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Getting close to that southern Utah trip... but until then...
April 15 – Shadowzone (1990)
Full Moon Productions brings you the tale of scientists (James Hong & Louise Fletcher) who are experimenting with Extreme Deep Sleep for space exploration purposes… but accidentally find that they’ve opened a dimension containing a creature that can make your worst fears come true! By the way, this is totally not a scientific Freddy Krueger so don’t even start… but it IS one of those movies that is in one location (secret underground bunker in this case, not a space station in the depths of space or an underwater facility or something like that) so you know those are my favorite kind of ISOLATION tales. This movie isn’t… bad… it’s just kind of horribly paced & I started dozing off at a lot of points. I admire that it maximizes the tension (and minimizes the budget) by not even showing a LOT of the creatures or kills off-screen and stuff like that but… man, it kind of shows you why they went that way towards the end… and I even liked the actual creature when it came out… just on a budget. Lo Pan & Kai Wynn (Hong & Fletcher) are their usual greatness…
Rating – 8/10 – Real potential but… yeah, pacing issues for me personally
April 16 – The Dead Pit (1989)
Director Brett Leonard (Lawnmower Man & Virtuosity) has his first movie on Tubi… and it’s about a woman with amnesia being placed into a mental institution… and then a weird ghost surgeon starts making people disappear… or is it all in her mind?!? No… because the first scene is 20 years earlier when the head doctor of the institution kills a surgeon who was doing weird experiments and had a DEAD PIT in the basement… but he killed the surgeon & buried the pit never revealing to anyone… so then why are these things happening now?!? The story is… whatever… but you definitely see how somebody saw this movie & gave Leonard plenty of work with his use of effects, tension in some scenes, and frankly… the lead actress Cheryl Lawson (stuntwoman by trade) is not only VERY easy on the eyes (even a few questionable moments where white T-shirts, lack of undergarments & even firehoses are implemented) but she’s also KILLING IT as a woman who has amnesia & switching between different characters & mentalities. I’m surprised I haven’t seen her in more things (other than stunts in some major motion pictures).
Rating – 9/10 – Never really a dull moment… and the finale is the kind of trashy awesomeness that I really enjoy!
April 17 – Scanners (1981)
The Cronenberg classic about people with special psychic powers called “Scanners”, where there’s a corporation trying to utilize & monetize them… and an underground movement of Scanners (led by the ultra-powerful Michael Ironside) who want to eliminate those that don’t join them & take over the world. Obviously the movie starts off GREAT with the head explosion scene that everybody knows… and though the lead actors (Stephen Lack & Jennifer O’Neill) are really not charismatic, they don’t need to be for the story since they’re supposed to be reclusive and/or sheltered individuals… and the score & pacing is really good at setting that tone where you feel like your head might explode… but yeah, Ironside is the best part… and it’s a great movie that people should watch if they haven’t already.
Rating – 9/10 – One of the many reasons that Cronenberg is an institution now… and even his son
April 18 – White Pop Jesus (1980)
This was another Satanic Temple Movie Night watch… and it’s basically an Italian Jesus Christ Superstar… where basically Jesus comes back during modern (80’s Italy) times & through basically wandering around… surrounds himself in followers (mostly busty women who desperately want to feel his warm salvation all over their faces) & takes on the mafia… or really some sort of weirdly violent corporation or something? It was the subtitled version and… honestly, I had a lot of fun watching this movie! The songs were… catchy & ridiculous so for being a bad VHS rip of an Italian musical (oddly similar to Bollywood at points), I found myself enjoying it.
Rating – 8/10 – Musicals typically aren’t my thing… or Jesus movies… but this one worked.
April 19 – Born to Be Wild (1995)
I had never seen this movie because… well, there was another ape that knows sign language movie that caught my interest at 14 years old that summer… and it’s CONGO!!! Basically this one is about a a-hole kid whose mom punishes him by making him work with her on gorilla research… and then a flea market owner calls his lease back on the gorilla & the kid breaks the gorilla out & they go on a road trip to sweet freedom in Canada. Friend of the podcast John C McGinley shows up towards the end because… he was in a few 0% on Rotten Tomatoes movies in the mid-90s but… he’s great! The movie is… actually not horrible… but I think the #1 problem is that the tone is ALL over the place. Whimsically dumb kids show… meets trying to be a drama about troubled kids with separated parents… and then just a weird haphazard string of circumstances that go nowhere… but yeah, I’ve seen FAR worse ape movies.
Rating – 7/10 – Not great… but definitely not the worst… and streaming everywhere for free. Check it out & let me know what you think!
April 20 – Scanners II: The New Order (1991)
After watching the original Scanner for the first time through, I was curious how the sequels would compare. In this one from Quebecer director Christian Duguay (Screamers) we pick up 20-25 years after the original & there’s this kid going to medical school… and he has scanner abilities… and then he finds out that the government has taken over for the corporation from the first movie & now THEY’RE using scanners for their own nefarious plots (mostly assassination & mind reading). It’s basically shot like a film noir a lot of the time… and the best performance is from the villain Peter Drak (played by Raoul Max Trujillo) as he hams it up knowing what movie he’s in.
Rating – 8/10 – Not the original, but honestly not too bad… just a little slow at spots
April 21 – Scanners III: The Takeover (1991)
That’s right… later that same year comes the 3rd installment from the same director… and I think he basically said “Screw it! I’m not getting to do a 4th installment, let’s crank it up to 11!!!” In this one, we start off with a scanner guy in his early 20s accidentally killing his friends… so he goes off to a Thai monastery. His sister finds out that she has scanner powers… and luckily her dad is developing this drug that makes them stronger… and within a week she goes from a meek pretty thing to a goddamn X-Men villainess… and there’s only one scanner that might be powerful enough to stop her… but he’s in Thailand. What happens throughout this movie… is craziness that’s fun & has to be seen… I REALLY enjoyed it…
Rating – 10/10 – Can’t wait to talk about this one again on the podcast with others… it’s crazy fun!
Until next time, true believers...
April Movies - Week 2
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Oh boy... we've got some interesting ones this week...
April 8 – Dawn of an Evil Millennium (1988)
Next up was this 20 minute Super-8 film from Damon Packard about a demon going to Earth and hopping in an Oldsmobile to conduct a road-rage killing spree… but really it’s just showing show footage can be cut weird & keep the viewer “on their toes”. Visually, it’s pretty good… the audio is basically just gargled noises like death metal except for the occasional stolen excerpt from a familiar movie… but overall, pretty high energy & definitely more intriguing than “In Our Garden”
Rating – 5/10 – Worth a watch maybe if you can find it but… it’s 20 minutes
April 9 – Killer Bean Forever (2008)
Last up for us was this CGI-animated movie about a world of sentient coffee beans… and the assassin Killer Bean is sent into Beantown to take out the warehouses of the mob boss Cappucino… and hijinx ensue. Think of this as a bloodless action movie starring semi-goofy coffee beans wearing a mix of Matrix-style & film noir outfits and doing a straight action movie with cheesy dialogue & all. Sounds pretty ridiculous, right? Well… it’s actually pretty well done for what appears to be a passion project done by maybe 5-6 people doing the writing, voices, catering, all of the above. Aside from a lot of staring pauses for a few extra seconds while the music plays, it’s beat for beat action flick… and kinda fun with the awkward characters doing the action.
Rating – 7/10 – If this sounds like it might be your jam, check it out!
April 10 – Cocaine Bear (2023)
Yup, 2023 movies are making their way to the home entertainment market now… and I’ve been excited for this one for a few years now. Elizabeth Banks directed, based on a true story (in the faintest of ways) about a group of people (moms, children, drug dealers, park rangers, etc) who find themselves in a forest… shortly after a HUGE stash of cocaine was dumped via airplane for pickup… but a bear got to it first… and now (instead of the real story where it immediately died of a heart attack) you have a coked-out furry killing machine on the search for his next fix by any means necessary… and hijinx ensue. The movie was hilarious, a little vulgar & just about everything you could hope for. My only criticisms… I have no idea why the little girl survived the first act… and Baby Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson jr) doesn’t seem to realize that he’s supposed to be in the 1980’s or giving much of a f**k about his role in the movie… but everybody else is EXCEPTIONAL!
Rating – 9/10 – Definitely recommend checking it out!
April 11 – Rustlers’ Rhapsody (1985)
I heard about this movie for the first time on the Quentin Tarantino podcast… and heard that it’s a parody of Old Western serials from the 40’s & 50’s from the director of “Police Academy” and starring Tom Berenger as the lead. Basically Rex O’Hallahan (Berenger) is the star of one of these serials… but then it takes on 80’s meta sensibilities and he starts to realize that the same thing keeps happening every small town he goes into… he’s the good guy, there’s a bad guy, an asexual female character or two that falls for him, the town drunk turned sidekick, etc. and it sounds like it’d be repetitive & contrived but… this movie was actually a LOT of fun! I especially liked GW Bailey’s drunk exposition turned sidekick character.
Rating – 9/10 – If you’re a fan of the Old Western genre, or parodies of it (like Blazing Saddles) then definitely check it out!
April 12 – Dead Space (1991)
You all know that I LOVE Deep Space horror movies… so when I found out there was an early 90’s Roger Corman produced one starring Bryan Cranston & Beastmaster (Marc Singer) on Tubi… then you know it was about to be watched. It checks all the marks for the genre… distress signal on a space station near Saturn, organism on the loose, two-faced scientists characters, lead is a bit of a dimwit with a robotic sidekick, plenty of fodder… but the one that holds this movie back is that the Corman production limits really start to show on the Tubi version at least. It was down in the “Lords of the Deep” level of film quality (and awfully fitting to the ridiculous pre-Photoshop poster) but if that’s your bag, then check it out…
Rating – 7/10 – Decent but slow at times and… yeah, a little dumb… but this is my genre
April 13 – MVP: Most Valuable Primate (2000)
From the people who brought you “Air Bud” and the cinematic universe that it spawned… comes an ape playing hockey!!! Yes, we’re watching this for Ape-ril… and it actually paired up pretty well with us watching a lot of hockey related comedy in “Letterkenny” & its spinoff “Shoresy” but… yeah, it’s kids finding a chimp in the Canadian wilderness… and hijinx ensue. The chimp actors were great… the kids grew up to do things too… what else can I really say about the movie? Find out on the podcast…
Rating - ???/10 – Everything I Learned From Movies…
April 14 – Making Contact (1985)
Roland Emmerich makes movies… scratch that, he makes Hollywood blockbuster FILMS… usually in the disaster genre because it’s big special effects, questionable story & situations, but we tend to love them anyway… even the REALLY bad ones. Ever wonder what his first movie was? Well, it’s on Tubi… and it’s in the mid-80’s after E.T. & Poltergeist made a bunch of money… so this story starts off with a funeral where a boy has just lost his father… but he then starts communicating with his deceased father on a glowing toy phone… and stumbles upon a possessed ventriloquist doll… and now the boy has telekinetic powers… and hijinx ensue. Is it a coherent movie? Sort of… The special effects and stuff are actually pretty decent for a movie made in the mid-80’s on a shoestring budget… but yeah, there’s a lot of head-scratching in this movie…
Rating – 8/10 – That being said… worth a watch if you like that 80’s movies feel… it steals from ALL the big hits of the time!
Getting close to my birthday road trip with the wife & dog through Southern Utah... Perhaps I'll post pictures here... or on Facebook at @EILFMovies to be safe! See you next week!
April Movies - Week 1
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Sorry I'm a few days late... website issues... but here we go...
April 1 – Buddy (1997)
Allegedly based on the true story of a 1920’s socialite who… let’s face it, was absolutely insane & had unlimited means… decides that on top of her chimp children that she’s been raising wants to raise a gorilla at her palatial estate as well… and her doctor husband (remember when being a doctor meant you were exceedingly wealthy?) does nothing but support her craziness because… I assume she’s dynamite in the sack. The real story is much more… of the time… but this is the first Jim Henson Picture & the animatronics aren’t bad at all… but it’s just hard to get into the story of crazy hoarding of animals… so we talked about it on the podcast for Ape-ril!!!
Rating – 6/10 – The story is stupid but… the movie is at least impressive to watch & nobody mails it in
April 2 – Demon Seed (1977)
A scientist (Fritz Weaver) creates an AI supercomputer (voiced by Robert Vaughn so you know it’s gonna be evil) that then becomes obsessed with human beings… specifically the scientist’s estranged WIFE (JULIE CHRISTIE!!!). What ensues was… honestly a VERY creepy adaptation of a Dean Koontz novel because… well… the AI decides that he wants to have a CHILD with the wife… and this was a major MGM movie!!! Sounds really dumb, right? Well… I actually really enjoyed it… especially the special effects that come up towards the end with the computer’s apparatuses but… yeah, check it out on Tubi!!!
Rating – 9/10 - Very intriguing film that… is up my alley but I can see how it might not be up somebody’s
April 3 – The Mutations / The Freakmaker (1974)
Speaking of scientists, here’s the story of another (Donald Pleasance) who decides that he wants to cross humans… with PLANTS!!! Throw in an entire REAL circus troupe as costars & Dr. Who (Tom Baker) as the deformed lead henchman and… yeah, this one gets a little weird too as you might imagine.
Rating – 8/10 – Again, I really enjoyed the creepiness & silliness in this film but… it’s not for everybody
April 4 – Screamers (1995)
In 2078, there’s an interplanetary war between factions on Earth… and at one outpost on a far off moon, there’s a commander (Peter Weller) whose basically asked to meet with the other side for a peace treaty… but along the way finds out that there are a bunch of robots trying to kill him… and things are not what they seem! Look, Peter Weller looks like he could not give less of a f**k in this movie most of the time, but the rest try as they might… and the story is pretty intriguing with potential twists & turns and trying to understand what they can really believe they’re being told… so yeah, if you want to get into the story, you really can.
Rating – 8/10 – That being said, I enjoyed it… but again… not everybody’s bag of tea, I’m sure.
April 5 – The Zero Boys (1986)
There’s a trio of glorified paintballers who go camping with three hot young girls (one is Kelli Maroney as a girlfriend prize that the lead won from his opponent?) but then hijinx ensue… and they end up at somebody else’s cabin (WHERE THEY OBVIOUSLY WERE LIVING & EXPECTING TO BE THERE THAT NIGHT) and then they have to fight to survive! Look, I’m all for the standard “cabin in the woods” horror movie which this movie absolutely is… just the setup is a little… farfetched & unnecessary for the end means to start happening. There’s some interestingly shot scenes, especially when weapons are involved… but yeah, it’s your basic trope story.
Rating – 8/10 – If this is your bag, then you’ll probably enjoy it.
April 6 – Nukie (1987)
Okay… so I enjoy Mac & Me, the knock-off of E.T. that came out in the mid 80’s… so when I heard there was a South African dollar store knock-off version of MAC & ME (not even E.T.) & it starred Steve Railsbeck (“Turkey Shoot” & “Lifeforce”), then you KNOW I had to find a way to watch it. Shout out to the Bloody Bits Horror Show Podcast & their Blood Bank for hooking me up!!! Okay, a pair of alien brothers (Nukie & Miko) crash on Earth… but somehow, Miko’s in America & Nukie is in Africa… and they try to find one another… but there’s also some government doctors involved… and a pair of brothers in Africa (Tiko & Toki) who help Nukie… and Glynis Johns pops up as a nun for some reason… hijinx ensue.
Rating – 5/10 – This movie is ROUGH… but I’m glad that I got to at least experience it for myself…
April 7 – In Our Garden (2002)
Okay, so for the next few, The Satanic Temple hosts movie nights on Wednesdays… and they’re weird movies that friend of the podcast Lucien Greaves selects for viewing pleasure (or outright confusion). The first one up this evening was this story about a 60 year old widow who lives in a trailer park & hooks up with a crack addicted ex-cop… and hijinx ensue. This one was written & directed by Guiseppe Andrews (young actor who played Lex in Detroit Rock City & Troy from Independence Day) when he was 23 years old… and basically seems like he got his aunt & random cousin to just read his ridiculous script with no second takes… and honestly EVERY SINGLE SCENE is out of focus & with horrible settings on the camcorder… except for maybe the one where you see the cop’s cock while he’s taking a shower. The show is… a ROUGH watch visually (because of the horrible settings, not actors in their 50s) but it can be mildly entertaining to hear bad actors read stupid dialogue for 90 minutes straight.
Rating – 4/10 – I saw it once… it was mildly arthouse… but yeah, seems to be purposely bad in composition
Probably gonna drop the next batch in a day or two... enjoy!!!
March Movies - Week 4
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Here are the movies for the last week of March... and next week will be a little late because we'll be at the ART & SOUP event in Salt Lake City!!! Come buy some of Izzy's art... for a CAUSE!!!
March 24 – Sweepers (1998)
It’s a movie where Dolph Lundgren is a humanitarian mine sweeper in Angola… and his son is killed stupidly in the opening scene. Then years later, there’s a new super high-tech mine (that… I don’t know… waits 45 seconds to explode?) and he has to join forces with Claire Stansfield (with poorly plumped-up lips) to save the region… and hijinx ensue. Yeah, this was kinda silly at many points… but overall, obviously not a bad movie for explosions with mines being a key plot point.
Rating – 7/10 – May be a future podcast episode… but yeah, not the greatest.
March 25 – Batman Returns (1992)
On our trip to Cincinnati we ran into a few delays sitting in the tarmac or whatever… so I watched this Christmas chestnut. Michael Keaton as Batman, Danny DeVito as Penguin, Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman, Christopher Walken, directed by Tim Burton as he was purposely trying to get fired from having to make another Batman movie… it’s absolutely amazing & fun to watch as a kid or an adult. Surprisingly violent, a little crass, man some things are just so funny in a cringy way… absolutely classic!
Rating – 10+/10 – Gotta start watching this one every Christmas with the Misses
March 26 – Casino Royale (2006)
When we actually got on the flight, I was able to watch a 2.5 hour Bond movie revealing Daniel Craig as the world’s greatest spy (though everybody knows who he is). This has been one of my favorites since I first saw it (and that opening scene? AMAZING!!!) but then again, I love “A View to A Kill” and apparently… that’s controversial.
Rating – 10+/10 – Although I’m not a fan of P-whipped Bond in the subsequent sequels… this movie kicks
March 27 – Raiders of the Lost Ark (1980)
The first Indiana Jones movie… and honestly, probably the best (I really like Last Crusade though) and… damn it, Spielberg has made some damn near perfect movies (Jaws, Jurassic Park, this, etc.) in his career… but yeah, Indiana Jones hunting down the Ark of the Covenant before the Nazis get to it… you’ve seen this movie & you love it!!!
Rating – 10+/10 – Again, damn near a perfect movie! Watch it tonight!
March 28 – Alien Predator (1986) (or also “The Falling”)
Three Americans are doing a road trip across Spain and they get stuck in a remote town… and something is happening to the people in town. What ensues (besides hijinx) is somebody trying to do an American Werewolf in London… but the dollar store version… with a cute, dumb blonde in the middle of the two friends for… well, no good reason… but hey, it’s a dumb 80’s horror flick.
Rating – 8/10 – There’s definitely some fun things… but a lot more confusing things in this one
March 29 – Evils of the Night (1985)
Some teens on vacations are kidnapped one at a time by two elderly mechanics so that aliens can suck their blood or something at the local hospital before… I don’t know, their time runs out? This movie is stupid as all hell… but has a cast including John Carradine, Julie Newmar, Neville Brand, Aldo Ray & Tina Louise but FAR past their expiration date. The entire movie made me angry because there’s no way these elderly mechanics are scary in any way… but yeah, whatever, it’s a dumb 80’s horror flick.
Rating – 6/10 – Laughably bad… but still fun in that way
March 30 – Battletruck (1982)
After WWIII, the world is a Mad Max knock-off!!! I love this genre of movie… and this one basically has a general & his troop roaming the countryside in their War Rig / Battletruck & taking what they want, when they want… and usually about gasoline & women. Michael Beck (Warriors) is your hero… sorta… and he’s on a motorcycle… but yeah, the most impressive thing about this movie is the Battletruck & some of the stunts/explosions.
Rating – 8/10 – I can dig it… and Mad Max: Fury Road found inspiration in this, I’m sure!
March 31 – The Spy Who Dumped Me (2018)
Okay, when this movie came out, I figured that a spy movie with Mila Kunis & Kate McKinnon as two random girls as fish out of water sounded like some “Bridesmaids” BS that I wanted no part of… but oh man, this movie is pretty much the best version that it can be. Basically Mila Kunis was dating a spy… and then she finds out… so she & her friend are pulled into an international conspiracy with LOTS of action & dead bodies in the wake as they globetrot more than a Bond movie (must be f**king nice) and there’s even some great cameos and… yeah, I really enjoyed this movie a LOT more than I thought I would.
Rating – 9/10 – A few scenes are a little over-the-top stupid… but man, this movie was a lot of fun!
See you in Ape-ril everybody!!!
March Movies - Week 3
Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Another week, another batch of movies...
March 17 – Andor (2022)
Alright guys, take a knee… I’m about to talk about the latest Star Wars prequel series that I watched about a character that I barely remembered from “Rogue One” which was itself a great footnote movie that I’ve only seen once. This tells the tale of a Lost Boy (or one of those kids from Thunderdome) who’s taken in by rebellious scavengers (played by Aunt Petunia from Harry Potter & a guy who gets 2-3 scenes across 12 episodes) and raised to be a thief who sells parts on the black market… and then is recruited as a mercenary by a rebel leader (Stellan Skarsgard) to pull off a robbery… then when almost everybody dies… he bails for a few episodes with his cut… gets arrested on vacation for nothing… then has to break out of an internment camp with Andy Serkis… and stumbles upon the events of a rebellion because they took place at his surrogate mother’s funeral. End Season one. Is he a good character? Not really. Does he have an arc? Not really. Stuff just kind of happens around him as he’s trying to Gandalf from the situation & he’s one of the few who survives. I’ll admit, there’s some great allegories and themes about the Empire & fighting against oppression that hit to modern day events… but they basically have nothing to do with Cassian Andor, the Forrest Gump of Star Wars. The worst part about the whole story though… is that it’s NINE F**KING HOURS LONG!!! This is a three-hour movie tops… but it’s 12 episodes at 45 minutes each. Literally nothing happens until episode 3(?) and then again in episode 7. It sort of picks up from there… but you’re already six hours in.
Rating – 6/10 – It’s okay… but no need for it to be nine hours long
March 18 – Bridge of Dragons (1999)
Tubi is probably my favorite movie streaming service. They have almost ALL of the Dolph Lundgren library and when I was this one where he plays a mercenary named Warchild who works for an evil general (Cary Hiroyuki-Tagawa) and has to go save a princess… but then realizes he may be working for an evil man… and from the director of the Antonio Sabato jr vehicle “High Voltage” from a few months ago… I was in. It’s a hilarious mess of a movie with a strong Asian cast… but set in an unnamed country… shot in Bulgaria… but people have cockney accents too… and it’s supposed to be modern day 1999 but everyone is dress like they’re at a Ren Faire or Rambo III… and when the general dresses like M. Bison from Street Fighter though he played Shang Tsung in the movie… I can’t unsee it. Great explosions & predictable story… give it a shot if you like the genre.
Rating – 8/10 – I’ve seen MUCH worse… and it’s at least fun.
March 19 – Storm Catcher (1999)
We followed it up with another movie from the same year where Dolph is the only man who can fly a stealth bomber… but then a general decides he’s going to steal the stealth to drop a nuclear bomb on the White House (but back when Clinton was there so some didn’t want that to happen). Your standard kind of “Broken Arrow” plot… and Dolph is good… the little girl from “Long Kiss Goodnight” plays his daughter & she’s okay (but they didn’t need to f**k up her hair)… but a lot of the other actors & actresses were… not as great. Still fairly fun & a dumb action movie though… check it out.
Rating – 7/10 – Not an essential see in the Dolph Lundgren library… but yeah, why not?
March 20 – Mile 22 (2018)
Izzy & I had seen this in theatres when it first came out (back when we had MoviePass) and I remembered really liking it. Did we feel the same way on a second watch of this secret special ops team (led by Mark Wahlberg & John Malkovich) transporting a double agent (Iko Uwais) to an airport 22 miles away in order to save some major cities?
Rating - ???/10 – Find out on an upcoming episode of Everything I Learned From Movies…
March 21 – In the Shadow of Kilimanjaro (1985)
You can find a VHS rip of this movie on YouTube… but that’s about the only way that you’re going to find it from what I can tell, maybe some bootleg DVDs of a questionable nature. Anyway, white savior in an Africa village… and during a drought, 90,000 baboons are going around & eating people… hijinx ensue. John Rhys-Davies comes into the story too… and we’ll go in depth about this movie (and whether it’s based on a true story) in an upcoming episode as well but…
Rating – 7/10 – Look… you had me at killer apes… and 80’s ridiculousness. If either of those intrigue you, check it out!
March 22 – The Barbarians (1987)
Amazon Prime suggested this based on our previous movies (lots of Sword & Sorcery movies as you know) and I had never seen this movie starring the Barbarian Brothers (David & Peter Paul) about twin barbarians who are reunited & seek revenge against a warlord (Richard Lynch with Bo Derek’s rope wig) and hijinx ensue. Is this a great movie? Absolutely not. There were genuinely some parts that I laughed at though… and let’s face it… this is a couple of bodybuilders & hot chicks dressing up for a Ren Faire & I’m all here for it.
Rating – 7/10 – Glad to have seen it… may do it again for the podcast some time…
March 23 – Circle of Iron (1978)
So… apparently in 1969, Bruce Lee & James Coburn wrote this magnum opus of Bruce Lee’s philosophy about a martial artists (Jeff Cooper?) who goes on an adventure to defeat this evil ruler (Christopher Lee!!!) who possesses a book that contains the ultimate truth. Along the way, he meets a blind man (David Carradine), a monkey man (David Carradine), a vaguely Asian or Middle Eastern master (David Carradine in blackface?) & Death itself (David Carradine) along the way… learning lessons & completing trials. Now… the only other time I had heard of this movie was when we interviewed the great martial artist / weapons master Anthony DeLongis (check out our interview) as this was one of his first gigs in his 40+ year career and… is it a great movie told in a straightforward matter that makes sense? No, not exactly. It’s the philosophy of Bruce Lee told through David Carradine’s riddles & more of an inner perspective look at growing as a person… and a few other random things tossed in. Your lady probably isn’t going to like it. Not because they don’t enjoy those kinds of movies, but because it’s fights… gibberish… lots of walking… more fighting… repeat, so they’ll be bored with it. That being said…
Rating – 9/10 – I enjoyed it. The fights were… okay, especially for the 70s. The story was… okay. Definitely worth a watch though if you’re a fan of kung fu movies.
Alright, see you next week (insert outro music)!!!
Steve and Izzy
Steve and Izzy are the hosts behind the EILFM podcast, are BJCP beer judges and have terrible to questionable taste in movies. Along with the PodCats Pickles, Cameron and Poe they will justify why these movies are amazing