Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Bad/Awesome Flixxx Review: Waterworld (1995)

"If you'll notice the arterial nature of the blood coming from the hole in my head, you can assume that we're all having a real lousy day." - Deacon

"You know, I thought you were stupid, friend. But I underestimated you. You are a total freaking retard! Ha-ha-ha..." - Deacon

"I don't have a goddamn clue. Don't worry, they'll row for a month before they figure out I'm fakin' it." - Deacon

First things first. I'm not a Kevin Costner fan. Never have been. But take a look at this movie! I thought forever that it was gonna be a piece of shit, but they should've called this MAD MAX 4!! Mad Max underwater! That's basically what it is. "With no where left to go, those that remained took to the seas." Or something like that. I feel like you could've slapped Mel Gibson in here and it wouldn't have been such a flop at the theaters. But what can I say? Old Kevin Costner holds his own. He only had about ten lines in the whole thing, and plus he had Dennis Hopper to play the foil, and you can never go wrong with him. Those two alongside a pretty hot Jeanne Triplehorn in one of the biggest (and most expensive) box office flops ever to grace the silver screen, I present to you WATERWORLD!!

So Kevin C plays this dude that everyone calls "the mariner". They call him this because he never gives us his name and he's obvious a skilled boatsmith. It is some time in the distant future. We are led to believe that as time went along, the polar ice caps all melted and gave way to a new world where those who survived lived on whatever boats were left behind. It is so far into the future in fact that the surviving members of society were born believing that this is how it had always been and always will be, water as far as you go in all directions, with precious few small islands existing somewhere out there. But there are old timers who heard stories and spread rumors that they believe that there is a sacred place somewhere called "Dryland". When the movie begins, we have this unnamed chap floating around the sea in this wild boat that is super fast and is like a sailboat with training wheels.

The guy on his boat speeds up to this floating city to trade some "dry" dirt. He's got a pickle jar full of it. The people are suspicious as to wear the Hell he got the dirt from as its super rare. He is very tight lipped and trades buying himself some drinks and an orange tree. He makes a shitload of bread off of his dirt and then when he's about to leave, the people in the floating city turn on him. They figure out he's a mutant and has webbed toes. They don't like freaks around those parts, so they decide to turn him into compost. About that time, a bunch of Dreadnots on jetskis (that need some serious muffler work) calling themselves "smokers" come into town like a bat outta hell looking for this little girl with a treasure map backplate. Supposedly, the little girl floated into town in a basket and someone had tattooed something on her map that was rumored to be a map to "Dryland".

The bossman of the Smoker's is this dude who calls himself the Deacon (Hopper). He is the captain of this huge oil tanker that we later figure out is supposed to be what's left of the Exxon Valdez. For those of you reading this born in the 90's, that was a tanker in Alaska that ran aground and spilled thousands and thousands of gallon's of oil. It was a national tragedy. Anyway, he wants to kidnap the little girl and be the first one to found a city on Dryland that he'll be the ruler of. Basically he's your everyday ruthless villain with dictator/world domination tendencies a la Cobra Commander. The chick and the little girl miss their chance to escape with the crazy oldtimer on his homemade hot air balloon and end up hitching with the mariner. He can't stand them though because he's a loner. He ends up cutting their hair off to make lashings for the mast. He does end up liking them though because the little girl makes him feel like a piece of shit and says she's his friend. Also we find out that the mariner has all this cool shit because he swims to the bottom of the oceans and finds cool stuff like sony walkmans, clocks, and old copies of national geographic. He tries to tell the girls that there is no dry land, because he's sailed so far and believes that he knows everything.

Around then the mariner takes the chick to the bottom of the ocean to the ruins of Denver to show her that he gets his cool stuff from where humans "used to" hang out. She then realizes that water has now covered all that and her dreams are vanquished. While they're down there, Deacon and some Smokers board his sailboat, kidnap the little chick and destroy the boat. Luckily the little old grandpa flies his balloon over to them, rescues and takes them to the place where all the survivors of the floating city are chilling. The mariner takes a jetski and blazes a trail to find the little chick. The Deacon is only in charge by sheer cleverness. He'd be overthrown in a minute if they knew he had no idea what he was doing. So they're looking the little girl over when the mariner comes on deck and threatens them by holding a flare over their refining oil tank (which makes no sense whatsoever. I know very little about refining oil, but to run that ship and all those exhaust blowing jetskis, theres no way they have the capacity to refine that oil on that ship. That ship was made to haul oil and thats about it. We've seen THE ROAD WARRIOR! You need a whole city for that!). They call his bluff and SHWOOP! He drops the thing down the shaft blowing the whole goddamn ship sky high. BUT... That's not the last of the Deacon! Bungee jumping was REALLY BIG in the mid 90s and the next scene proves that. I won't tell you how this one ends, because its a pretty fun ride even though its a bit of a stretch, and the acting is pisspoor. But as far as another far fetched sequel to MAD MAX goes, there are literally a few hundred who have tried and they're much worse. I thought I would hate it, but it kinda ruled.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bad/Awesome Flixxx Review: Tuff Turf (1985)

"Mm-hmm. So did that girl he brought home for Easter last year. Remember? She was so stoned, all she could do was look at the peas and say, 'Wow, they're so green!'" - Page Hiller

"Oh yeah, if I ever catch you near Frankie again, I'll take you out so fast, you won't even have time to spit." - Nick

"How many bullets are left in this gun, Nick? Enough for Morgan? For my father? For everybody else who doesn't fit in your turf?" - Frankie

This flick was suggested a while back by my friend Robyn. I had heard of it but had never seen it. Boy was I missing out. These type of 80s high school revenge flicks are always up my alley. Starring James Spader, Robert Downey Jr., Kim Richards, and with a musical performance by Jim Carroll Band (with Robert Downey playing drums no less!!) I present to you TUFF TURF!!!

So this flick is basically about Morgan Hiller (Spader). He's just moved to a southern California town from Connecticut where his father has lost his job. In Connecticut the Hiller's were well to do, but since the cut, things are different. No more private school for Morgan who's been in and out of trouble all of his 17 years much like any rich folks I've ever known growing up. Especially ones who live in the shadow of older siblings. This seems to be part of the drama that makes Morgan the obstinate and stubborn teenager that he seems to be. When our story begins Morgan is riding his bike around his new town. Cut to Frankie (Kim Richards) flirting with some dude and asking him for some money. This schmo probably thought he was gonna get laid as he pulls out a money clip fat with cash, but in reality he's about to get robbed by Frankie's punk boyfriend Nick and his boys. And that's what would have happened if Morgan hadn't ridden by and pulled some fast moves on them rescuing homeboy's loot. And pissing off the gang.

The next day is the first day of Morgan's senior year in public school. He gets hassled by the school cops for riding his bike. He goes to the office to register after being clocked in the parking lot by Nick and his gang who hang out and wait for him (all day?) to whoop his ass after school. Robert D. Jr plays Jimmy, a dude who hears about Nick's proposed ambush and hits up his friend "Feather" for her "blade". After already getting chewed out by the principal, Morgan receives the switchblade from Jimmy who sits behind him in class for protection. "YOU GOT- THE SWITCHBLADE". (That's a Legend of Zelda joke folks. Ill be here all week.) Jimmy then invites Morgan to come see his band that night. Apparently he plays drums for The Jim Carroll Band. I love that song "People Who Died". It says my name in it. Anyway, in the parking lot Nick is riding around on Morgan's bike with Frankie on the handlebars. Morgan goes to get it, but is almost hit by a badass '68 Camaro which totally runs over his bike totally crushing it. BUMMER.

He walks his bike home, gets yelled at by his mom (that bike cost $500) and then he bails to see the Jim Carroll Band. On the way there he steals a convertible Porsche because he lives on the edge. He hangs with the band, talks briefly with Jim Carroll who gives him guitar tips, and then proceeds to mack on Frankie because again- he likes to play with fire. He grabs her and forces her to dance with him. The gang arrives and beats his ass and takes the keys to what they assume is his Porsche and then joyride it around town only to be stopped and thrown in jail for grand theft auto. Then Jimmy steals the 68 Camaro and tricks Morgan into thinking he's the goons. They joyride it while Nick is jail and even trick Frankie and her friend. They cruise Beverly Hills and sneak into a bougie country club party, eat a ton of killer food and then when the band takes a break, Morgan jumps on the piano and sings Frankie a jam. They get kicked out and Frankie starts to fall for Morgan and takes him dancing. Nick hears about this bullshit and tells his boys to get Morgan. They beat the shit out of him with padlocks in the locker room, but undeterred Morgan sneaks in Frankie's window the next night asking her to have dinner with his folks the next night. He has to bail quick though because Nick busts into her room after telling Frankie's father that they're getting married (unbeknownst to Frankie).

Morgan is pissed about this supposed "engagement" but Frankie assures him she'll still come to dinner. She does and then bails because she feels like scum compared to them and is embarrassed when Mrs. Hiller asks her about her mother who is dead. Meanwhile the whole dinner is being spied on by Nick and the boys. Nick and the boys cruise around getting drunk and pick up Frankie. They see a cabbie and tell Frankie to ask the driver for money by trading a watch. She sees the cabbie is Morgan's dad, and says she won't do it. Nick says fuck it and they get ready to beat his ass. Frankie tries to warn him, and the old man holds up pretty good until Nick pulls a gun and shoots him! WHOA! GONE TOO FAR DUDE! Frankie totally feels like a piece of crap now and when Morgan comes to see his dad at the hospital she's goes back home with him and bangs him. The next day Nick comes to Frankie's dad's liquor store and beats her and her dad up and makes her call Morgan and invite him to a fight at the warehouse. Morgan goes at them all guns blazing with a goddamn fireman's axe and some Doberman pinchers. I could tell you the end, but if you dig the story so far, you should just go ahead and watch this one. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bad/Awesome Flixxx Review: The Frighteners (1996)

"Shut up! That Russian cannibal creep is telling everyone he did 50 plus. That reflects badly on both of us, Patty. This record should be held by an American." - Johnny Bartlet

"Get back in the goddamn ground you unorganized grab-asstic gob of teleplasmic shit!" - Sgt. Hiles

"By the power invested in me by the president of the United States,I am telling you to get the hell out of this room." - Dammers

This is one of those flicks that just totally passed me by. It seems whenever I ask anyone about it, they immediately know what I'm talking about. I think I missed it because it has such a generic horror name like PHANTOMS, or, THINNER. I got all those mixed up when they were coming out. But check the lineup! Michael J. Fox, Jeffrey Combs (RE-ANIMATOR, CASTLE FREAK), Jake Busey, and Lee Ermey and directed by Peter Jackson with a soundtrack by Danny Elfman?! How could I have missed THE FRIGHTENERS?!!!

So Michael J. Fox has developed some kind of combination of psychic and telepathic powers that allow him to communicate with the dead. We learn that he acquired these abilities after his wife died for which he was under suspicion of murder for some time. I can't remember but I'm pretty sure no explains why he doesn't just have conversations with his wife? She's dead. Maybe it was that he couldn't speak with all spirits, just spirits that were lingering around for some reason. Either way, a bit of shoddy writing there if you ask me. So he teams up with three ghosts and has them haunt people and then scams them out of money. One of them is a nerd, One of them is a gangster, and one is an old man named "The Judge". So they basically prey on the stupid. But, even though he's really doing this, people in town think/"know" he's a con man. The thing is, if they know he's a con man, do they believe in ghosts, or is he just piss poor at executing his job? So pretty soon he goes to "exercise" the house of this asshole and his hot wife.

Suddenly days later, the asshole turns up dead and comes looking for M.J. Also a bunch of people in town start dying and M.J. sees numbers on the dead people's heads. Furthermore he realizes that the numbers mean those people are about to be killed by this mega ghost who has escaped Hell and is coming after people in their town Grim Reaper style. M.J. and the other ghosts are the only ones who can see him. He figures out that whoever killed his wife is killing these people because she had the same number on her forehead. So he starts trying to tell everyone to look out because they're going to die and tries to save a lady and then when she dies everyone suspects him of being involved with the killings. The asshole tries to get M.J. to talk to his wife for him but M.J. starts putting the moves on her!

The chick's name is Lucy and she starts investigating and decides she believes M.J. The cops call the Feds on M.J. and they bring in FBI agent Dammers (Combs) a complete freak who is convinced that M.J. did it, who will stop at nothing to bring him to justice. Lucy goes to see M.J. in jail and the Grim Reaper decides he's going to kill her, but M.J.'s ghost buddies help him escape but they get (re)killed in the process. Also Lee Ermey is in this flick basically playing the ghost of himself from FULL METAL JACKET. He doesn't like M.J. and wants him to stay away from the graveyard. Meanwhile M.J. comes up with a plan. He's going to kill himself so he can get to the Grim Reaper before he kills again. But Lucy tells him she'll freeze him and slow his heart down so he "sort of" dies, but only to the point to where they can bring him back. While he's a ghost he finds out that the "reaper" is the ghost of this dude Johnny Bartlett (Busey) who worshipped the devil with his girlfriend and killed 12 people back in the day.

Lucy and M.J. visit Johnny's ex girlfriend and decide that her mother is a real bitch. She's a freak and keeps the girl locked up. But for good reason! Because after a while we learn that the girlfriend really has been worshipping Satan all the time and she has Johnny's ashes, not her father's (or whoever's) in her room and she becomes a psycho and tries to kill them all after they try to help her. Anyway, there's a big showdown at the end between Johnny and his girl, Dammers, Lucy and M.J. Should you see this one? Yeah, its an unexpected good little flick. Check it out.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bad/Awesome Flixxx Review: Two-Lane Blacktop (1971)

"I don't like being crowded by a couple of punk road hogs clear across two states, I don't." - G.T.O.

"I don't believe I've seen you. 'Course there's lots o' cars on the road like yours, they all get to lookin' the same. They perform about the same, too..." - The Driver

"Make it three yards, motherfucker, and we'll have us an automobile race." - The Driver

This is one of THE classic old school 60s/70s hot rod movies. Along with VANISHING POINT, and EASY RIDER- this was one of those defining "end of an era" flicks that captured a generation that was fading fast. I always loved this one because I could easily picture my dad as "the Driver". It was also one of the last movies I watched with my dad before his passing. The movie that inspired the real life Cannonball Run (which of course inspired the two flicks of the same name) starring Warren Oates, James Taylor, Dennis Wilson and a cameo by Harry Dean Stanton in TWO-LANE BLACKTOP!!!

This movie rules. There's only one thing bad I've ever heard people say about it and we'll talk about that in a bit. Never before had James Taylor or Dennis Wilson acted. They were cast in a hurry and the experience of filming this put a bad taste in their mouths and they never acted again. The movie was shot "on the road" while they were actually traveling from Needles, California along old Route 66 across the country. The director (Monte Hellman) wouldn't let them look at the script and gave them lines to act out on the day they were shooting that particular scene. So along with the travel and the hectic schedule, and by the time the thing came out with no real push from the studio (Universal) these dudes were over it. No names are mentions, but Taylor is "the Driver", Wilson is "the Mechanic", Oates is "GTO", and an actress named Laurie Bird is "the Girl".

We have the driver and the mechanic who go from town to town earning bread by challenging rednecks to drag races at bars or restaurants or gas stations. They come into town, scope it out, shit talk and hustle as much as they can. They drive a primer gray 2 door Chevy 150 hot rod and it smokes. They are straight up motorheads and eat, drink, and sleep this car. You get me? When they get to Flagstaff, Arizona (which is a beautiful city and an oasis out of the monotonous desert if you ever get the chance to pass through there) they make a stop and a hippie hitchhiker chick basically just jumps in their rig.

Further along the road somewhere in New Mexico, the gang stops to get gas and this hot shot, complete and total scumbag liar pulls up behind them in a brand new 1970 Pontiac GTO. He is full of shit from the get go and they talk some shit back and forth. They follow along passing each other back and forth until an arrangement is made. They decide to race to Washington D.C. for "pinks" or pinkslips. Basically whoever makes it there first gets to keep the others car. So they take off. Now, its heated for a little while and we initially don't like GTO, but we come to realize he has no idea about cars and as long as the mechanic keeps the driver awake and aware of any problems, they're most definitely going to win. Then we have the girl who ends up sleeping with both the driver and the mechanic. They both act like its no big thing, but the driver actually falls for the chick. Meanwhile GTO is doggin his new ride hard and its not actually built to race across country. So the mechanic gives him some friendly advice and they even trade up for while. There's a part where they get drunk and pass out and GTO almost gets caught trying to steal the parts he needs for his car. Then somewhere along the lines the girl jumps in with GTO who is poisoning her ears against the other guys the whole time so he can hit it. He's always picking up hitchhikers and telling each one different lies that he either makes up on the spot or changes them according to whatever has just happened trying desperately to impress whomever comes with him.

So the driver freaks that the girl left them and he then goes on a mad chase to catch up with GTO. They finally catch up to them and the girl goes with them and then acts totally non chalant about the whole thing even blowing off most of the drivers suggestions about what to do when they get over to the east coast. Finally when they stop to get some food, she bails with some random dude on his motorcycle and just leaves her enormous bag in the parking lot. JUST LIKE "FUCK IT!". WOW. Anyway, the dudes are so pissed that they venture apart from the GTO who continues on picking up hitchers and lying to them. Now the reason a lot of people complain about this movie is right here: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SPOILER WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 The guys need some parts or money for gas or something around Tennessee and they go to a dragstrip around there and then they start the race. Then the sound goes out. Then the film gets eaten up like the film strip disintegrated. So... you either interpret it as arty and that's the aesthetic they were going for, or you end up pissed because (even though we don't know their names as such) we've invested time in this story, and we wanted to know who made it first to fucking Washington! Now, the when I first watched it, that's how I felt. A bit disappointed. Then I thought about it later and decided that they were going about their business living their lives and thats how shit happens anyway. That's real life. They didn't need to follow this kook to D.C. just on some dumb bet or dare. Fuck that guy! They would get there or they wouldn't. They were "living". On the road. By the balls. People say life was different then. But, not that much. You can do those things still to this day. Gas costs a lot more, but you can be a weird drifter hippie street racer if you really want. If you have no connections to anywhere, I recommend giving it a try. You never really know about a place until you've used all their public restrooms and washed your hair in sinks, and been stuck and got into adventures. That's how you find it out. Not reading blogs about it on the internet. Should you watch this? Yes. But not if you are one of those people who have to have a set ending. A good or bad. A Hollywood lie. If you think the chase is better than the catch, then this is for you.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Bad/Awesome Flixxx Review: Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)

"Every time I look at you I don't understand why you let the things you did get so out of hand? You'd've managed better if you'd had a plan. Why'd you choose such a backwards time in such a strange land? If you'd come today you would've reached a whole nation. Israel in 4 B.C. had no mass communication." - Judas

"What's the buzz? Tell me whats-a-happening? What's the buzz? Tell me what's-a-happening?" - Apostles

"Can you show me now that I will not be killed in vain? Show me just a little of your omnipresent brain! Show me there's a reason for your wanting me to die! You're far too keen on where and how, but not so hot on why!" - Jesus

At much, much insistence from my sweetheart I finally got around to watching this one. I have heard various people either singing its praises (or its songs) or talking about how they didn't like it for years and decided that it was time to make up my own opinion about it. Based on Andrew Lloyd Webber's play, a bunch of hippies go out to the desert and star in JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR!!!

I'll start this one off by saying that besides a few Disney numbers when I was younger (THE SOUND OF MUSIC, MARY POPPINS, or my favorite one {not Disney} CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY) I haven't partaken in all that many musicals in my lifetime. That's not to say that I don't like them, I just haven't watched that many. I didn't really like ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW, and I didn't really like this one either. It didn't have anything to do with the subject matter. I actually think some of the guys (Judas in particular) were even good actors. I just don't think I like "rock operas". Does that make sense? I love rocknroll. More than a good portion of other people- I LOVE rocknroll. But something about "rock opera" makes me squirm. Could it possibly be that rock opera's DON'T rock? That's probably it. I recently came up on an insane cassette tape collection. In going through these tapes, I found maybe four by the band Savatage. One of their albums is called "STREETS: A ROCK OPERA". Interestingly enough its about a dude named DT Jesus. Some hobo who calls himself Jesus. I was trying to decide if I liked that album or not and thinking about "rock operas". I've come to no overall conclusion. But that record has a few good songs on it, and a few definite stinkers. Much like this movie. Some of the songs are catchy and that's why you hear fans of the soundtrack humming them or singing lines from them totally out of context in your daily life. But it also has some stinkers.

Like I said, a bunch of hippies drive this school bus out into the desert, pull out a bunch of costumes and props, smoke a joint or two, and dress up like their favorite characters from the bible. Right from the start everyone is praising Jesus. And call it jealously if you want, but right away, one of Jesus's right hand dudes- Judas- starts criticizing everything Jesus does. Apparently he's privy to this whole plan Jesus has to start a movement and thinks that they're probably going to get in trouble when his other friends start calling Jesus a "god". The other dudes that hang with Jesus are anxious to get the movement off the ground, they're tired of the way things are going and they wanna be free and don't want to be hassled by the man or taxes or any of that stuff. So they put a lot of pressure on Jesus to find out "whatza happenin". Judas comes and tells him to chill out and stay away from Mary cause she's a whore and bums everyone out. Then Jesus snaps and tells Judas that he's no saint and he tells the Apostles that he thinks that none of them really care about him, basically calling them mooches.

So Jesus profile starts getting bigger. Some of the high priests start to argue about what should be done about him. Two of them are talking about it and one is worried that if they crown him king they'll upset the Romans. One tries to talk the other out of being worried about it but finally suggests they should take it to a council of head priests. Then Judas and Jesus get into another argument over ointment. Jesus tells him that the poor people will always be there to help, but that he won't always have Jesus to kick around. Way to guilt trip him Jesus. Then those two priests bring their grievances up to the high council and they decide that there's only one thing that can be done. Execution. Meanwhile Jesus and his merry band of Apostles arrive in Jerusalem and everyone is partying. The one high priest tells Jesus and them to break it up in fear of a riot starting. Jesus tells him "no way" and basically tells him to kick rocks. Then Jesus sings a song called "Hosanna" to all his followers. Simon then tells Jesus's followers that they should rise up against the Romans, but Jesus tells them to cool out because they obviously don't understand why he's really there for them.

Then we have a section of the movie where Jesus comes to realize what's about to go down. He gets emotional. He goes to the church and sees everyone playing bingo and gambling and having a flea market, and he freaks out and turns over their tables and starts screaming at them and breaking everything in sight. Then he goes out on the edge of town to chill out and a gang of lepers find him and demand that he heal them. He heals one or two of them and then they start to overwhelm him and once again he freaks and screams at them to leave him alone. So Jesus splits to the comfort of his prostitute friend Mary. And she sings a song about not knowing how to love him because she's used to doling out lots of faux affection and sex but never any real true love. Jesus passes out at her house. Then Judas sets about betraying Jesus by speaking with the priests. He reluctantly takes their money telling himself that maybe he can use it to help the poor. Cut to the last supper and Jesus starts telling his boys how it is. He tells Peter that he's going to deny him three times and he straight up tells Judas that he's gonna betray him to his face. Judas says bullcrap and they get in an argument and Judas splits. Everyone passes out after such a big meal and then Jesus goes and prays in a garden. Judas comes to him and kisses him sealing the deal of worst friend ever. Guards then take him to the priests where they charge Jesus with blasphemy. Then he's taken to Pilate who is the governor of Judea. Pilate says he doesn't deal with Jews and sends him to a super flaming version of King Herod (no disrespect). Herod dares him to do all his super powered tricks that he's heard about but Jesus just stands there and won't indulge him so they throw him in jail. Judas sees this and freaks out and curses God and throws his money at the priests and cusses them out before splitting to the desert and HANGING HIMSELF IN A TREE. I didn't see that coming in this flick! HEAVY! So they take him back to Pilate, who basically does everything he can do to try to get Jesus off the hook. He tries to get him to admit that he's crazy or a liar but Jesus won't do it. And Pilate can't believe that he has to kill this guy. They make it seem like Pilate isn't such a bad guy but he is forced to have Jesus killed because his constituency is so bloodthirsty that he's actually afraid that they may riot if he doesn't. But as a final act to show that he wants no part of it, he washes his hands of the blood and says its on their heads and not his. After this is gets a little crazy. Heaven opens up and Judas floats down wearing kriss-kross style overalls on a silver cross. And they crucify Jesus leaving Judas's questions about other religious figures unanswered. Then it kind of fades out with all the hippies packing up and splitting from the desert. Should you watch this? I mean is it a super bum-out? If you truly like musicals then this a formidable one. Me, I don't ever need to see this again. I didn't get the songs stuck in my head. ALTHOUGH the one guitar line on the first Judas song is pretty sick. I don't know maybe its just not my thing.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Bad/Awesome Flixxx Review: Starship Troopers (1997)

"No. Something given has no basis in value. When you vote, you are exercising political authority, you're using force. And force my friends is violence. The supreme authority from which all other authorities are derived." - Rasczak

"They sucked his brains out." - Rasczak

"You're some sort of big, fat, smart-bug, aren't you?" - Johnny Rico

Paul Verhoeven is a dutch director that has made some all time classic blockbusters: TOTAL RECALL, ROBOCOP, BASIC INSTINCT, SHOWGIRLS, AND HOLLOWMAN. This is another one of his classic jams from the 90s. A story adapted from a novel by Robert Heinlein of the same name. This story is a war machine production set in the future that follows a new recruit on his climb to the top as aliens invade our airspace, and Earth goes to battle against some evil space bugs. Denise Richards, Jake Busey, Doogie Howser and Michael Ironside star in STARSHIP TROOPERS!!!

So in the future its just how we all picture it. Man has reached out to the stars and has begun colonizing other planets. Back here on Earth, just to even be a citizen, you have to do some kind of community service. Those in charge call it "civic duty". Sounds like some heavy fucking "jury duty" to have to join the space marines! If you don't do that, then you can't vote and you're considered second class. OR... you're rich. Either way, Johnny Rico is this dude who's from Buenos Aires. Don't ask me how so many white people live down in Buenos Aires, its the future, ok? His girlfriend is Charlie Sheen's ex ol' lady and she says she's gonna enlist when she graduates. So does their friend Doogie Howser. He's super smart (we all know he's been a doctor since he was a kid), and he ranks up super high in the final test scores. Denise ranks high enough to be a pilot. But poor Rico isn't smart enough for all that, but determined, he enlists anyway to become one of the dudes on the front line. The movie is full of segue-way propaganda ads that look like the old reels they played before movies back in the 40s during WWII.

So they go off to training and this hot curly headed chick named Dizzy (who played football with Rico) followed him into the infantry because (just like he digs Carmen (Denise)) she digs him. But Rico is oblivious. He befriends Jake Busey (PCU, THE STONED AGE) and they become fast friends. They have a tough commander training them and then one day Carmen sends an ipad message to Rico telling him she's moving on. BITCH! Even worse than that, she's been hanging around and banging his ex dickhead jock football rival!! FUCK-IN' BITCH! So Rico gets promoted to squad leader and during a training mission gone awry, one of his dudes gets shot in the noggin' with a laser gun. So Rico gets demoted and puts in his resignation. He's about to call his mommy (his folks never wanted him to leave in the first place), but- BOOM!!! The call is cut short. A meteor hits Buenos Aires!!

Turns out the Arachnids sent out an asteroid and it collided with the Earth (exactly where Rico's folks lived). They're all pissed because apparently the Earthlings have been invading their airspace. Rico comes out of the phone booth to find all his boys running to man the battleships. He goes to his sergeant and begs to be reactivated for duty. They're reluctant until they here that his whole city was blown up and he has no place to go. So the troops get deployed to the Bug planet to get revenge on the millions they've killed. Too bad the whole mission is bunged up and the earth troops get their asses handed to them. Rico gets hurt and is listed as killed in action and even thought she's banging his worst enemy, Carmen still cares enough about him to check and see if he's dead. But he gets rebuilt in a space age water chamber that looks like some Weapon X shit. And then Dizzy, Ace (Busey) and Rico are sent to join the Roughnecks. Basically a bunch of tough ass space marines led by none other than Michael Ironsides (SCANNERS) who used to be Rico & Dizzy's high school civics teacher. Small world huh?

So, Rico and his Roughnecks go check out a distress call at an outpost on a distant planet that turns out to be a bug ambush. Thousands of bugs come out of no where and start swarming on the troops. His ex girl is nearby and brings a ship down to rescue them. Doogie Howser ends up being a psychic bigwig and puts Rico in charge of finding this "smart bug" that's controlling all the other bugs. I won't tell you how this one ends because its pretty much a classic! You're either into or not, so there's no point here in me telling you what to do. Just enlist already!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Rocknowledgy Episode 42 with special guest BRENT HINES of MASTODON!!

Alahoyus Thorriors and Rocknowledgists!! Me and the T-6000 have a very special treat for you this month! We went to the studio in Nashville where Brent Hines was working on the new Mastodon record and then we went down to Alabama and recorded this episode! It was an insane experience to say the least, but I'm here to tell you, Rocknowledgists, Thorriors, Mastodon fans and fans of music in general will enjoy this inside look- and I have no qualms about saying EXCLUSIVE SCOOP... on everything going on in the Masto-world!! We talk about all of Brent's influences and he throws down a mean gauntlet of rocknowledge! I ALMOST don't wanna give away the playlist because of how special all the stories are!! Prepare for it boys and goils. Spread the word! This one's a keeper!!

Here's a direct link to the episode: http://traffic.libsyn.com/rocknowledgy/Rocknowledgy_Episode_42_w__Brent_Hinds.mp3

Or here's the downloadable page yall:

Episode 42 playlist:
T-6000 intro,
Mastodon- Octopus Has No Friends,
Black Sabbath- Children of the Grave,
Dire Straits- Sultans of Swing,
Slim Whitman- I Remember You,
Eric Clapton- Cocaine,
Van Halen- Jump,
Fiend Without A Face- Calypso,
Neurosis- Locust Star,
Melvins- Sacrifice,
Thin Lizzy- Chinatown,
Zebulon Pike- Space Is The Corpse Of Time,
The Mars Volta- Drunkship of Lanterns,
Suzukiton- VIII,
T-6000 outro,
Mastodon- Curl of the Burl

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bad/Awesome Flixxx Review: Ronin (1998)

"Yeah. I once removed a guy's appendix with a grapefruit spoon." - Sam

"Tell me about an ambush. I ambushed you with a cup of coffee!" - Sam

"No questions. No answers. That's the business we're in. You just accept it and move on. Maybe that's lesson number three." - Vincent

Man, this has always been one of my favorite chase films. I saw this in the theater back in 98. Some counter intelligence spy vs spy- "get the suitcase" type shit with insane car chases through Nice and Paris. Stellar cast equals an awesome ensemble flick too. Robert DeNiro, Sean Bean, Jean Reno, 2 other dudes and an Irish chick star in RONIN!!!

We start off with DeNiro- he plays a dude named Sam who is creeping around outside of a bar. He's very wary of meeting up here in Paris with this Irish chick and this French dude, and some other dude. They were all hired by some "man in a wheelchair" to pull off some kind of job. The Irish chick (Deirdre) is supposed to be their contact but over the course of the next thirty minutes we find out that she knows fuck all about what they're doing there, or at least she's TELLING THEM FUCK ALL. DeNiro questions her relentlessly because as we also come to learn, he is a total professional and is not to be fucked with. They meet up with a Swedish dude and Sean Bean. Sean Bean's character acts much the way he did in the first LORD OF THE RINGS flick. He's cocky and arrogant, and in this case at least, he is completely full of shit and gets called on it. Basically, Deirdre tells them they have to intercept this case from a bunch of armed dudes and they'll have to do it while driving. That's about all she tells them. They start to plan the mission by getting the equipment they need: cars, guns, shit like that... and then while buying guns they end up having to kill the dealers who were gonna fuck them over, and Sam sees right away that Sean Bean is a chicken shit fraud who'll get them killed. They end up going on a chase through Paris to avoid the cops and barely get out without getting caught. Meanwhile Deirdre meets up with her boss Seamus, who is in the IRA. He tells her the Russians with the briefcase are gonna make the deal soon and they need to get a move on.

So the next day they're making a plan and Sam calls out Sean Bean on his bullshit and they tell him to kick rocks and then they split to Nice. When they get there the team sets up camp near the hotel where the Russian dudes are staying. Sam wants to get a closer look so he takes Deirdre out and they pose as a couple and Sam pulls some sweet moves to get super up close and take pics of the bad guys and sees that they're pros. Then he pulls even smoother moves by making out with Deirdre so as to stay covert and hide from the coppers. Then the next day, Sam and his team ambush the unsuspecting Russians and we get a 20 plus minute machine gun car chase through the countryside and Old Town Nice and down into the Port. At this point, the Swedish dude fucks them all over and steals the case for himself and completely bails without a trace!! At this point it gets a bit complicated as any good espionage movie would. A lot of people fucking other dudes over, some people using other people's weaknesses to their advantage. It really turns out to be a movie about the IRA and the Russian mob and an important briefcase and those who get tangled up in the web and the fallout of who is willing to go exactly how far it takes to possess it.

Swedish dude tries to sell to a buddy from the KGB. KGB wants to fuck him over. Swede kills him. Swede contacts Russian mob leader. Says he'll sell it to the IRA if mob doesn't pay 3 or 4 times what they were already gonna give for it. Mob leader says cool. Sam's team tracks Swede and a heavy gun battle goes down. Swede escapes but is captured by Seamus (IRA leader). He takes Deirdre with him too. So we find out she's crooked. Sam saves Vincent (Jean Reno) but is wounded badly and Vincent takes him to see this weird dude who paints little samurai models. Sam sews himself up while the weird dude tells him the story of the old Ronin's who killed their betrayers and then committed seppuku on themselves after it was over. I'm not sure what they were trying to get out of that. None of the guys kill themselves after seeking revenge. I wondered if they were going to when I saw it in the theater, but subsequently I've never gotten it. I guess it just sounded cool. "Yeah, fuckin' Ronin, man." HA!

So the IRA dude figures out that the Swede mailed the case to himself, they go to pick it up and Sam & Vincent are on their asses. Another high speed chase through Paris. Then they figure out the Russians pulled a switcheroo on them and that mob guys girlfriend is a big time figure skater. The case is a fucking figure skate box, so they go see the chick perform and find the Swede dead after threatening to kill them for the case. As soon as the mob guy drops the Swede, a sniper drops the mob guys girlfriend WHILE SHES SKATING causing the whole arena to freak out and split. In the ensuing chaos Seamus kills the mob guy, steals the case and Sam reveals to Deirdre that he's actually working for the CIA and she should high tale it. He let her go after she had fucked him over so badly that he could've been killed several times over. That's love yall. Anyway, a few more introspective perhaps philosophical things happen, but all in all, that's the story on this one. Should you see it? If you love car chase movies and/or spy films, this is highly highly recommended partner.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bad/Awesome Flixxx Review: Mutant Chronicles (2008)

"What do you believe in?" - Severian

"I don't get paid to believe, I get paid to fuck shit up." - Maj. Mitch Hunter

"Any last words?" - Lt. Maximillian von Steiner

"Shut the fuck up." - Maj. Mitch Hunter

A pretty horrible flick with a convoluted story. Actually the story is as intriguing as a lot of comic books I've labored to read over the years, but let's say the execution of the film is pretty grueling. For starters it looks like complete and total dogshit. It looks like they used the same engine that produced Playstation 2 graphics back in the early 2000s. And the color is basically brown and gray the whole time. Besides that, is has an alright cast: Thomas Jane, Ron Perlman, Jon Malkovitch, and this guy Sean Pertwee. I've watched him in four movies since summertime (the other three being EVENT HORIZON, DOG SOLDIERS, and SOLDIER.) I noticed his last name and looked it up and sure enough, he's Jon Pertwee (the 3rd Doctor on Doctor Who)'s son. Anyway, all of them are in MUTANT CHRONICLES!!!

So the Chronicles is like an ancient Bible about Mutants. It is really old and foretold their coming and told of their subsequent demise at the hands of some hero. Before the movie begins you get this ten minute back story on how a long time ago at the end of the Ice Age some machine came from space and dug a hole into the ground that would turn men into mutants. Some dude defeated the machine, sealed it for all eternity and wrote a book about it that was stored for centuries in some monastery. Fast forward to the year 2700 and something and the world is divided into four corporations that are waging war on each other. No cities, no countries, the land is just divided up into four sections that are at war. We are thrown into the mix where Thomas Jane and Pertwee are soldiers fighting for their side. Doesn't matter which one, they're all the same really. Unfortunately for them, they've just blown a hole in the ground and broken the seal on the long covered up "machine".

Very quickly, the shit goes down. Soldiers fall into this machine and are turned into "mutants" which look a lot to me like zombies. They are dumb and come after you and try to kill and eat you. That's a zombie in my book. Anyway, Jon Malkovitch is president of one of the corporations and him and the richest of the rich are taking spaceships and fucking off to Mars. Before he can split tho, he's hit up by Ron Perlman who is the head monk at the monastery I was telling you about. He (Brother Samuel) tries to tell "Constantine" that all is not lost and even though thousands of mutants are ripping apart citizens and society has went from total war to complete anarchy that if he gives him 20 soldiers, an airplane, and a nuke, they can stop this machine and everything will be totally cool.

So Constantine says yeah, go for it, I DON'T GIVE A SHIT, I'M GOING TO MARS WITH THE REST OF THE SANE HUMANS. And somehow (I can't remember) 20 characters are assembled to go battle the evil mutants way down in the hole at ground zero. Of course Thomas Jane is recruited, his picture is on the poster, but his buddy Pertwee was one of the first soldiers to be transformed into a mutant. We see him later though. Then there is a beautiful but deadly Asian lady, and another super hot monk chick who is bound by a vow of silence, a Spanish guy named Jesus "el Jesus"(!), a German guy with about ten names, an Asian dude and I guess like 14 more people, but I can't remember them either. I guess they're all supposed to represent some portion from each of the four corpo/countries coming together.

The only thing I remember about the last half of this movie is they spend a lot of time getting to the machine and down into the thing itself. They fight a LOT of zombie/mutants, and pretty much all of them get infected and die off one by one. Perlman eats it, Pertwee comes back and helps them even though he's already a mutant, and even T.Jane himself gets infected and then gets a punk haircut and then kills everyone else. I also remember the machine looking like a cross between something in a cartoon and an old Nintendo game. Like they have to jump over fire pits and duck under swinging blades and shit like that. Anyway, yeah he seals it and thats the end. Should you watch this? No. Go bowling. Get out of the house for once.