March 17, 2018


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(A Note from Derek: Hi, everybody. Sorry for the late post. It has been a bleh week, motivation-wise, and I just got behind. Also, we have been working with Larry's schedule, as he's been getting a lot of overtime, which means he ends up working on days we usually record. Hopefully, both of these issues will be under control soon. Anyway, enjoy this new commentary episode!)

The 1980s were a good time to be a muppet.

In 1979, Jim Henson released The Muppet Movie into the wild, where it garnered heavy accolades and opened up all kinds of doors for him. One of those doors led to his now famous Creature Shop. Another led to him being able to expand his horizons and make movies that were his dream projects. One was The Dark Crystal--in fact, that was his dream project. After that, went on to do this episode's movie, the second in our quartet of Fantasy-type films, 1986's Labyrinth, starring Jennifer Connelly, David Bowie, and a ton of the regular Henson muppeteers.

With special guest, David Bowie's horrible, terrible pants.
Jennifer Connelly is Sarah. She's your average 1980s teenage girl who fancies herself an actress and/or princess(?). Unfortunately, she has an infant stepbrother named Toby (Toby Froud) that she is saddled with when her father (Christopher Malcolm) and stepmother (Shelley Thompson) want to go out and enjoy themselves on the town.

Naturally, this teenager immediately gets tired of having to be in the same house as this crying poop machine, and she does what any other teenager would; she recites a spell that excites a bunch of tiny goblins and opens a doorway from their world to hers, allowing their king, Jareth (Bowie), to come and take Toby away to his castle. Happens all the time.

Holy shit, you guys! She said it! let's go!
Now terrified that she is going to get grounded for giving her stepbrother away to the king of the goblins (as one does), she freaks out and summons Jareth and begs him to return Toby. Jareth refuses, but offers her a chance to rescue the boy. However, she has to do it by making her way to his castle in the the middle of a gigantic labyrinth. And she only has thirteen hours to do it.

She starts on her way and, trying to be smart about it, marks each turn she makes. Unfortunately, everything in the labyrinth is stupid and evil, so that fails almost immediately. Fortunately, in her wandering around blindly, she runs across Hoggle (Shari Weiser/voiced by Brian Henson), a dwarf that is kind of a dickweed, but wants to have friends.

Bernie Sanders in a rare cameo!
He offers to help her, but his motives are not exactly on the up-and-up. Especially when Jareth comes to see him and insists that Hoggle keep Sarah going around in circles so she cannot save Toby in time.

Not long after, Sarah meets Ludo (Rob Mills/voiced by Ron Mueck), a gigantic hairball with ram horns and an underbite that makes him look like he is terribly sorry for whatever it is he did. But he's big and friendly, so Sarah brings him along to help her reach things on high shelves and dust hard-to-reach things. Hoggle, already the shortest of their group, feels threatened by this giant teddy bear and runs off.

Sarah and Ludo make their way to a pair of doors with talking doorknobs that require her to answer a riddle. She solves it and is allowed past and into a forest, where she misplaces Ludo.

Meanwhile, Jareth learns that babies are, in fact, rather moist most of the time
and wonders what's taking Sarah so long.
Hoggle is confronted by Jareth, who demands that the dwarf take a drugged peach and give it to Sarah, which will cause her to lose all of her memories and forget why she is there. Hoggle is reluctant, but he agrees.

In the forest, Sarah meets the Fireys. They try to pull her head off, only to be stopped by Hoggle, who has made his way back to her. Sarah is so pleased with Hoggle that she kisses him, and Jareth sends them both to the Bog of Eternal Stench, probably because even a Fantasy movie needs fart jokes.

While jumping on farting flat stones, they meet back up with Ludo, and then are introduced to Sir Didymus (Dave Goelz and David Barclay/voiced by David Shaughnessy), a fox that rides around on a sheepdog.

Hoggle! Can't you stop touching yourself even for a minute?
They continue on, but they're hungry. They stop for food, and Hoggle gives Sarah the peach, and then he runs off again. Sarah falls asleep and starts to dream about Jareth (and his upsetting pants), who proclaims his love for her. However, she starts to remember, and she wakes up in a fake version of her room in the middle of a junkyard. The Junk Lady (Karen Prell/voiced by Denise Bryer) tries to brainwash her, but Ludo and Didymus show up and save Sarah before it can happen. As an added bonus, they discover that they're not far from Jareth's castle!

As they are leaving the junkyard, Sarah finds Hoggle again, and although he tried to poison her, she forgives him, and he rejoins the group and they head toward the castle to confront Jareth and save Toby.

But will she save her stepbrother? Will Didymus ever come to the horrible realization that his riding a sheepdog is a metaphor for the slave trade? Will Ludo finally get tired of Hoggle and just eat him? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Derek picked this one because it's a cult classic and that sort of thing is right in his wheelhouse. Also, the music is pretty catchy, as it is in any Jim Henson film. Really, the only bad thing he has to say is about Jareth's pants. Why, oh why, did nobody consider giving him a codpiece?

Larry is willing to give Jareth's batch a mulligan and just enjoy the heck out of this movie. He loves the puppets, the music, Jennifer Connelly, and everything else about this movie. And, really, who can blame him? It really is great.

So put on your upsettingly form-fitting pants, poof up your hair, and listen to this week's commentary!

March 2, 2018

The Neverending Story

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So, the guys decided that they needed another four-episode theme, and they had a bit of a go-around as to what the focus was going to be. Finally, they decided that family-ish Fantasy-type movies were they way to go. And, boy howdy, did they kick it off with a winner: The 1984 Wolfgang Petersen classic, The Neverending Story, starring Barrett Oliver as Bastion, Noah Hathaway as Atreyu, and Tami Stronach as the Empress. It also features Thomas Hill, Deep Roy, Alan Oppenheimer, Moses Gunn, Sydney Bromley, and Gerald McRaney's mustache as Bastions father.

Bastion is an introvert who is regularly picked on by three bullies (Chris Eastman, Darryl Cooksey, and Nicholas Gilbert). One morning, while running away from them, Bastion stumbles into an antique bookstore, where he meets Carl Conrad Coreander (Hill), who personifies the antique bookstore owner, in that he refuses to sell any books to anyone. One book, in particular, catches Bastion's attention, and he steals it when the old man isn't looking, and sneaks into the attic(?) of his school, where he hunkers down to read it.

Because that's what you do, right?
This, of course, brings him into a magical world called Fantasia, where there are giant bats, giant snails, one of Willy Wonka's Oompa Loompas (the Tim Burton brand), and, of course, dragons.

It also introduces us to a young hero named Atreyu, who is tasked with finding the Empress of Fantasia in order to save the land from destruction because of reasons.

Atreyu heads out on his trusty horse, Artax, and immediately gets stuck in the Swamp of Sadness.

 He didn't have his muddin' hooves on.
And suddenly, less than half an hour into the movie, Atreyu's horse--arguably his only real friend--is dead, drowned in the swamp. In this family movie. Which is meant for children. (This method of emotional manipulation would later be adopted by Pixar, taking the company to the greatest heights of success by leaving a trail of  dead characters in its wake.)

A giant turtle appears and sneezes all over Atreyu, and then tells him to go to the Southern Oracle, which is ten thousand miles away. What a dick.

Fortunately, there just happens to be a dragon named Falkor out for a leisurely stroll, who happens to see the young hero and picks him up, taking him to a small Hobbit house where Atreyu meets the delightful Engywook (Bromley), a scientist/astrologist, and his wife, Urgl (Patricia Hayes).

Who's a good dragon? Who is? You  are! Yes, you are!
Engywook shows Atreyu the entrance to the Southern Oracle, and they watch as a knight attempts to make his way past the entrance, only to be reduced to a pile of dust because the statues at the entrance have laser eyes and gigantic breasts with hard nipples. (The nipples don't do anything; we just felt it was necessary to point out that this family movie features not one, not two, not even three, but four statues with rock-hard nipples. Let that sink in.)

Atreyu decides that, lasers and giant nipples notwithstanding, he has to get to the Empress, because she can tell him how to stop The Nothing from destroying Fantasia. With the help of his ninja-like stealth, Atreyu makes it past the statues, only to be confronted with a mirror that is supposed to show the viewer their "true self". What it shows Atreyu, however, is Bastion, which totally messes with both of their heads.

Bastion, suitably freaked-out, tosses the book aside for a minute, long enough to notice that a huge storm is raging outside, and although it is pretty clear he has been in this attic for hours, nobody has bothered to go looking for him. Aaaaanyway, he goes back to the book.

Atreyu makes his way to the Southern Oracle, which is the second pair of statues, and it tells him that he has to find a human child to give the Empress a name in order to save Fantasia from The Nothing.

The Nothing appears to be controlled by a rogue animatronic wolf
from the Country Bear Jamboree.
While escaping from The Nothing as it consumes the Southern Oracle, Atreyu falls off Falkor and into the Sea of Possibilities, only to be washed ashore, where he meets Rockbiter--a troll of some kind that eats rocks. While poking around the area, Atreyu finds a bunch of paintings that appear to represent the quest he is on, and the is confronted by Gmork, the above-mentioned animatronic wolf-thing.

It turns out Gmork has been hunting Atreyu since he began his quest, with the sole intention of eating him. Atreyu, while sympathetic, is not too keen on Gmork's plan, and immediately kills the wolf when it attacks him. There is no major struggle or anything. It jumps, and Atreyu stabs it. End of the evil doggy.

Not, however, the end of The Nothing, which has begun to consume everything around him. Falkor manages to rescue Atreyu, and they find the Empress's Ivory Tower, so they go see her and try to figure out what they can do.

Much to her disappointment, it does not involve Hatchimals.
As The Nothing begins to destroy the Ivory Tower, the Empress tells Atreyu that he did what he was supposed to do, but the dumb-ass kid reading their story isn't doing his. After a lot of shouting at the book, Bastion realizes that he knows what the Empress's new name should be. He shouts it at the pages, hoping it will save them...

But will it work? Will Fantasia be rebuilt? Will Atreyu stick around and get hair grooming tips from the Empress? And what about Falkor? Will he get to go back to doing whatever it is dragons do in their free time? Or will he be forced to help whiny Bastion exact revenge upon those who wronged him? You'll have to tune in to find out!

SPOILER ALERT: There's definitely some revenge happening here.
Larry loves this movie unabashedly, all but finally admitting that he is, in fact, a thirteen-year-old girl trapped in the body of a grown man more than twice that age. He digs Falkor. But then, who wouldn't? It's a freakin' dragon that has the face of a friendly dog! He is also totally into Rockbiter and the other oddballs that live in Fantasia, which involves some pretty groovy puppeteering, as well as Deep Roy.

Derek is very much not a fan of this film. He argues that he is not really the demographic the studio was focusing on, and is therefore happy with his opinion. He, too, likes Falkor, but really, who wouldn't? He is very deeply troubled, however, by the film's title, which is clearly a lie. The movie clocks in somewhere around the two-hour mark, and although it was followed by two sequels, it is, by no means, "neverending". He is in talks with his lawyer to see what legal action can be taken.

So grab your Auryn, grab your disposable horse, and listen to this week's episode!

February 23, 2018

Graffiti Bridge

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Let's get this out of the way, right off the bat: We at Here Be Spoilers absolutely love Prince. We've all listened to his music since at least his 1999 album. Derek was even lucky enough to see him in concert once.

But, alas, even Prince was human, and therefore capable of making mistakes. And Derek and Larry sat down to have a look at one of them, 1990's Graffiti Bridge. And then they talked about it. And then Derek somehow managed to lose the recording somewhere in the vast disk drive of the very laptop on which this page is being created. So they sat down a week later to talk about it again. This time, it stuck.

Graffiti Bridge is an "unofficial" sequel to 1984's vastly superior Purple Rain. Prince is The Kid, a Minneapolis musician who is also half owner of a club called Glam Slam, which resides in an area known as Seven Corners.

With Special Guests...BELL BIV DEVOE! (Not really.)
The owner of the other half is none other than Morris Day (as Morris Day). Both men were willed the club when Billy, the owner of 7th Avenue in Purple Rain, passed away sometime between the two movies.

Morris has taken a dark turn since 1984, and is now some kind of low-rent gangster in the area. He wants all the clubs in Seven Corners (there is George's, which is run by George Clinton; there is Melody Cool, which is run by Mavis Staples as Melody herself; and there is Pandemonium, which is run by Morris), but The Kid refuses to hand over his half. This disagreement leads to numerous musical confrontations, usually at Glam Slam.

See? Obvious gangsters. Not "gangstas". These guys dress better.
Meanwhile, a mysterious woman named Aura (Ingrid Chavez) has drifted into Seven Corners, and she has a running internal monologue that sort of explains why she's there, although it is left vague enough that it takes some time before she reveals she's some sort of angelic-type person. She has come to Seven Corners to help The Kid along his path to enlightenment and spirituality. For some reason, she also seems to think she can turn Morris in that direction, as well. On top of that, she takes up residence under the bridge mentioned in the title, like some kind of poetry-writing, Latino bridge troll.

She may be from Heaven, but she will not tolerate billy goat jokes.
Naturally, The Kid and Morris both fall for her, which brings a new angle to their ongoing battle, despite Morris being with Robin (Robin Power) and The Kid having something going on with Jill (Jill Jones, who played the blond-haired waitress in Purple Rain).

Morris tries to woo Aura with his usual style, including the help of his associate/manservant(?), Jerome (Jerome Benton). This is accomplished by getting her drunk at his club and then abducting her so he can take her back to his house and do unspeakable things to her.

Fortunately, The kid intervenes, causing an awkward moment between Morris and Jerome, and then takes her still-unconscious self back to his place. When she wakes up, he attempts a weird seduction that involves forcing her to play Hangman with him while he wordlessly lay uncomfortably close to her in his bed.

This is some serious SIlence of the Lambs serial killer stuff right here.
Morris sends his guys to trash Glam Slam a few times in order to force The Kid out, but it just makes him funk harder, if you can believe that's possible. Unfortunately, in his attempts to display his funkitude, he starts to drive Aura away because he strays away from the spirituality.

Things are not exactly going so well for Morris, either, as his band wants more money, Robin wants more money, and Jerome seems to be getting fed-up with Morris being so mean all the time. In fact, he even challenges Morris to an odd money-counting contest.

And it is set to the tune, "Duelin' Banjos". Really.
Things finally come to a head when The Kid challenges Morris and The Time to a battle with his own band, New Power Generation. Morris agrees, and the stage is set, so to speak. But who will win? What will become of Aura, who tells The Kid that she will not be around for long? How does a giant velvet painting of a nude, large-breasted angel fit in to all this? And how does Melody, who appears to be well into her fifties or early sixties, have a son who is about 14 (Tevin Campbell as Tevin)? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Also, what was it like to be on the set and working as an extra? Well, we can help you there, because Derek was lucky enough to exchange messages with Beth "Beez" McKeever, prop diva for Mystery Science Theater 3000, and Prince enjoyer. She was kind enough to talk about her experiences working as a club extra in two scenes, as well as some fun stories about what it was like to just sort of, you know, be around such a fascinating and talented artist.

This is the opening New Power Generation performance...
...and here she is on the Pandemonium set, "trying to shake something" (her words)
during a performance by The Time.
Derek freely admits that this movie is not great. However, he will defend the soundtrack to the very end because there are some great songs. He is also enraged that we are only shown what is at four of the Seven Corners. What is on the other three? Also, what the heck is up with the ending?!

Larry did not care for this movie at all. He, too, liked the soundtrack, but did not feel it make up for the story, such as it was. He did enjoy those few moments where Morris and Jerome slipped back into their comedy, which felt like it did in Purple Rain. Too bad there wasn't more of that.

February 7, 2018

Beat Street

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Once again, we find ourselves going back to 1984. That year, rap music was starting to become huge, with the rise of artists like Run DMC, Doug E. Fresh, Kool Moe Dee, Beastie Boys, Afrika Bambaataa, Sugarhill Gang, Slick Rick, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Melle Mel, and so many others.

Along with that music, there came a new style of dancing known as breakdancing. And when the two were combined for major plot points in a movie, how could it possibly not be a hit?

The answer, of course, is this episode's movie: Beat Street.

Beat Street was in direct competition with Breakin', and both were meant to capitalize on the growing new music-based lifestyle. When the two studios found out the other was making a breakdancing-related movie, they both rushed to finish first. Breakin' got out two months before Beat Street, and it made a ton of money. Two months later, Beat Street failed to make even half of the box office that Breakin' did.

Some blame star Rae Dawn Chong's demand to be carried everywhere Yoda-style.
The movie itself stars Rae Dawn Chong, Guy Davis, Jon Chardiet, Leon W. Grant, Robert Taylor, and Mary Alice. It also features performances from Afrika Bambaataa, Doug E. Fresh, Kool Moe Dee, Melle Mel and the Furious Five, Soul Sonic Force & Shango, Us Girls, and a bunch of other ones. Sure, it's not the lineup we had for Krush Groove, but it has its merits.

F'rinstance, you won't see LL Cool J dressed like this!
The story, such as it is, revolves around four people: Double K (Guy Davis), Ramon (Jon Chardiet), Chollie (Keon W. Grant), and Lee (Robert Taylor).

Double K is a DJ. He wants to become famous for working the turntables, but he is not getting anywhere by throwing parties in abandoned buildings. With his friend Chollie's help, he hopes to get work in some of the bigger clubs in the city.

Ramon is, to use his own words, "a graffiti writer" who dreams of having his art seen all over the country. Unfortunately, his work is ruined by a mysterious tagger by the name of Spit (Bill Anagnos), who writes his own name all over Ramon's art. AND THAT IS ALL. Seriously. The guy just shows up with a paint can, and very neatly writes his name--in cursive--all over Ramon's work. What a dick.

Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen.
And then there's Lee, Double K's brother, who wants to be a professional breakdancer, despite his mother's (Mary Alice) insistence that he knock it off. Lee, however, insists on continuing, so that he and his crew can challenge the other groups around the city to prove they are the best.

When Double K gets work filling in at a club called Burning Spear, Lee and his crew show up to challenge the Rock Steady Crew, and they are seen by Tracy (Rae Dawn Chong), a composer and writer who is currently working on a show for the local dance school. She invites Lee to the school for a demonstration, and Lee tells his brother that he is going for an audition, and when it is made clear that it is not an audition, Double K immediately gets pissed at Tracy, and then storms out with a videotape of Lee's performance, thereby setting Tracy up as Double K's love interest, for some reason.

This is why you don't leave banana peels on the dance floor.
Meanwhile, Ramon, whose father thinks he is wasting his life, is fascinated with a shiny new subway train that is completely white, and he immediately begins plans to paint it, with the help of his friends.

Chollie convinces the owner of another club, Monte (Jim Borrelli) to come see Double K at Burning Spear, hoping it will get him a job at Monte's club. Monte is impressed with what he hears and offers Double K a spot, which he accepts.

Tracy, wanting to talk to Lee, comes to his home and talks to Double K, who takes her to see him. She starts planning a show of some kind, and she takes Double K along to the studio to see if he can do anything there while she works with her writing partner, Robert (Duane Jones from the original Night of the Living Dead). When Tracy shows a minor display of affection toward her writing partner, Double K immediately assumes she is dating him and crashes an expensive Synclavier computer/keyboard, then storms out of the studio.

Ramon suddenly reveals (to the viewers, at least) that he has a child, as well as a girlfriend named Carmen (Saundra Santiago), and he realizes he needs to take care of them. So he gets himself a real job and, with the help of Double K, Lee, Chollie, and a weird Puerto Rican dude (Dean Elliot) they found in the basement of the abandoned building they hold parties at, makes an apartment for the family in that same building.

Ironically, his job is cleaning graffiti off of subway cars. (Not really.)
Almost immediately after, Ramon gets a chance to tag the white subway cars, and he takes Double K along to help him. While they are working, Ramon hears a noise and goes to investigate. What he finds is Spit, and he gives chase down the tunnels, with Double K bringing up the rear. Ramon catches Spit, but the two stumble and fall on the third rail, electrocuting both of them.

Double K decides that the new gig at Monte's club will double as a memorial to Ramon, with live performances by himself, as well as a gospel choir, Afrika Bambaataa, and all the local breakdancing crews. But will it help with the healing and possibly raise money for Carmen and the baby? Will Double K be able to keep the job? Will Lee become the world-famous breakdancer he hopes to be? And will Tracy ever realize that she is just setting the bar way too low in her choice of men?

You'll have to tune in to find out!

Larry picked this movie based solely on what little he remembered from seeing it decades ago, as well as his love of three songs on the soundtrack. He now regrets this choice, but what can he do? He thinks the movie is a bit choppy, and the story mainly focuses on exactly the wrong character. He is right.

Derek never saw this one before, and now, having seen it, wishes he could get that 121 minutes back. He thinks the movie is sloppy and poorly edited. He also agrees wholeheartedly with Larry that the main story focus was on the wrong characters. It should have been Ramon's story. And why did it take so long to introduce his girlfriend and child?

So put on your Kangol hats and Puma sweatsuits, limber up, and listen to this week's episode!

January 31, 2018

Krush Groove

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After a brief hiatus due to computer issues, the guys are back! And ready to look directly at another movie! This movie, however, had something to offer that Breakin' could not: A better soundtrack.

This week, Derek and Larry sat down to watch the 1985 straight-up classic hip-hop movie, s fictionalized version of the early days of Def Jam Records, Krush Groove, starring Sheila E., Run DMC (and Jam Master Jay), Kurtis Blow, Fat Boys, Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, LL Cool J, New Edition, Beastie Boys, Rick Rubin, and tons more. Oh, and Blair Underwood, because there had to be at least one person who had acted before.

Underwood is Russell Walker, owner of Krush Groove Records, a small record company that is starting to take off, thanks to their biggest act, Run DMC. Run (Joseph Simmons) is Russell's brother.

Siddown, rappers of today, and observe some real talent.
Krush Groove is exploding! Run DMC's new album is a huge hit and the orders are coming in fast, but Russell doesn't have the money to get them printed. His producer, Rick (Rick Rubin), is freaking out a little, but Russell promises that he'll get everything handled.

Meanwhile, the Disco 3 are at school, getting kicked out of class because one of them (Darren "The Human Beat Box" Robinson) keeps interrupting the class. He and his partners, Cool Rock Ski (Damon Wimbley) and Prince Markie D (Mark Morales), take to the hallways so they can musically harass a female classmate that Markie D digs. She looks super young, and it feels a little creepy. Fortunately, she blows him off.

Fortunately, they have an alternate plan to meaningful relationships: Buffet-style pizza!
Additionally, there is some disagreement between the three of them about whether or not to enter a talent contest. While Markie D and Human Beat Box want to do it, Cool Rock Ski is not onboard because he thinks the audience will make fun of them and not listen to their music. But after some further pushing by the other two, he agrees, and they head to the bar, where they are immediately stopped by a bouncer who refuses entry to them because they are under 21. They tell him they only want to perform, not drink, and after a small display of their abilities, he relents and tells them they can get in for a ten dollar cover. Unfortunately, they do not have the money, and they have to leave.

Later, Russell visits his father, Reverend Walker (Daniel Simmons), to borrow some money so the label can get some records printed. It starts out bad when Run and DMC walk into the church with their new song blasting on a boom box, and gets worse when, after refusing to give Russell the money, Reverend Walker tells him that he needs to get his shit together and get a real job.

That night, Run, DMC (Darryl McDaniels) and Jam Master Jay (Jason Mizell) accompany Russell to a club, where they see Sheila E. (as herself) and her band performing. Russell is into it, as is Run, who wants to meet her. Sheila's friend Karen (Karen Moss) encourages Sheila to meet him because he might have connections. And while Sheila agrees, she is far from impressed, pointing out that she does not listen to rap.

Oddly enough, she is a big fan of Prince, but nobody knows why.
The next day, Russell and Rick go to a bank in order to get a loan. Unfortunately, the loan officer, whose oddly-shaped head is incredibly distracting, turns them down, leaving Russell no choice but to go to Jay B. for a loan. The records get printed, and the artists start to chart.

Which brings us to a show where Kurtis Blow is performing. Terri Beiker (Charles Stettler) from Galaxy Records makes an offer to Russell for Run DMC, but Russell turns him down. But when Run DMC shows up and put Sheila onstage before them, they get into an argument and Run storms out, right into a limo where Beiker is waiting.

Kurtis is well-known for his renditions of Big Band songs from the 30s and 40s.
Beiker tells Run about the offer he made to Russell, and how he turned it down, further pissing-off Run, who decides to take Beiker up on his offer.

Later, just as Rick and some of the artists are doing auditions for new acts (in which we get to see a young LL Cool J force his way in to do a bit of his song "I Can't Live Without My Radio"), Run comes in and tells everybody he is moving Run DMC over to Galaxy, and they should come along because they could actually get paid.

Well, most of him. He appears to have left his pecs home.
Apparently, something happened with the girl Markie D was interested in that resulted in him having his pants ripped off. While his friends are berating him, Human Beat Box notices an advertisement in the newspapers Markie is using to cover himself, about a talent contest.

At the talent show, we get to see New Edition and a tiny bit of the Beastie Boys (like, one verse), and then the Disco 3 get up and do their thing.They don't win the contest, but Kurtis tells them that they can be the alternates, in case one of the winning groups can't perform.

At the same time, Russell finds Beiker and tells him that, for $100,000, he can have all the krush Groove acts. When Beiker tells him that he already signed Run DMC, a big fight starts, and then there's lots of yelling, and then Russell runs away and does chin-ups until Kurtis comes to talk to him. Russell tells him to go ahead and go to galaxy because Krush Groove is over.

The Disco 3, upset from losing, decide to comfort themselves with all the food at a Sbarro's. Really. All of it. And then they decide to embrace who they are and rename themselves Fat Boys.

Russell tries to push Sheila's new record, but nobody wants it. At one club, he is confronted by a couple of Jay B.'s goons, who crush his junk and tell him he has one day to get his money back.

Will Russell get the money and pay off Jay B., thereby saving his genitals from further abuse? Will Run get Sheila, who is clearly more interested in Russell? Will the Fat Boys stop eating long enough to fill-in at the finals when New Edition cancels? Will the Krush Groove artists ever return to Krush Groove? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Larry remembers the music, but doesn't think he saw the movie before. However, he liked it. He is angered, however, that, while most of the artists featured got to perform an entire song, the Beastie Boys were relegated to a single verse. Still, it was cool to see them perform.

Derek saw the movie years ago, but definitely remembers the soundtrack. He's a bit miffed that some of the best songs in the movie are left off the soundtrack album. But he has all of them anyway, so it's all good. He's also bummed they didn't get to see the Beasties do their whole song. Otherwise, he digs it.

So dust off those Adidas, put on your Members Only jacket, and check out this week's episode!

January 23, 2018


To listen/download, click here!

After a too-long, unwanted break, the guys are back! And they are doing it 80s-style!

This time Derek and Larry sat down to watch 1984's Breakin'--a movie that made America sit up and ask the question many of us have wondered for a long time: Did Christopher McDonald ever play a character that wasn't a complete asshole?

The answer is yes, but he always looked like a malnourished Joe Piscopo.
Our story begins with Kelley (Lucinda Dickey), a dancer being trained by a super-rapey Luke Perry simulade named Franco (Ben Lokey), being dragged to Venice Beach by a fellow dancer named Adam (Phineas Newborn III), where he exposes his naive friend to breakdancing, which involves a lot of spinning around and flailing like you're having some sort of seizure.

In particular, two of the breakdancers--Ozone (Adolfo "Shabba Doo" QuiƱones) and Turbo (Michael "Boogaloo Shrimp" Chambers)--catch Kelley's attention, and she is soon out there flailing like the rest of them of the crowd.

Including this nobody. Good thing his career never blew up.
Kelley is super-impressed with Turbo and Ozone, and she wants them to come to her dance school and maybe teach the students a few new moves. However, Franco is having no part of that. Instead, he just wants to see what's under Kelley's dangerously tight and possibly circulation-inhibiting dance outfit. Kelley makes it very clear that she is not interested in Franco licking the inside of her face, so she storms out and goes looking for some dance work.

After several auditions--possibly for the same job, while wearing several different outfits and wigs--Kelley gives up, choosing instead to hang out with Turbo and Ozone while they moonwalk and thrust their hands outward a lot.

Ozone would go on to be a semaphore flag waver. Turbo would direct traffic at airports.
It is during one of these arm-thrusting competition against their sworn enemies, Electro Rock (Bruno "Pop 'N Taco" Falcon and Timothy "Poppin' Pete" Solomon), that Kelley realizes that this whole breakdancing thing may be a force to reckon with. Unfortunately, it is as this realization comes to her that Turbo and Ozone lose their competition when Electro Rock bring out their secret third member: A woman (Ana "Lollipop" Sanchez)!

It should be noted at this point that, despite being the main antagonists in this movie, the members of Electro Rock are never given names. Now, some may argue that Franco is, eventually, the main antagonist, but it could be argued that this is a bunch of poop because Electro Rock get more screen time than he does. Hell, even Ice-T, in a role that can only be referred to as "Rap Talker" (because that's what it says in the credits), has more screen time than Franco.

Anyway, Electro Rock deserves more credit, is all.

You don't see Franco doing this, do you?!
And when they bring out their secret weapon, they win, sending Turbo and Ozone off in shame.

Kelley decides that what they really need is her, shoehorning her way into their crew because, it seems, nobody else wants her, except for her half-lizard dance teacher Franco. (And let's be honest...Ick.) So the three of them start practicing, putting together a new routine.

And Turbo still manages to keep up his attendance at Hogwarts.
Meanwhile, Kelley also tries to get them into a dance competition, but she is shot down by Franco. Kelley's agent, James (Christopher McDonald), however, is having no part of that. He intends to do everything he can to get them into that competition so the world will know that spazzy arm and leg waving is here to stay!

He sneaks them into the competition by dressing them in tuxedos and top hats. However, Franco immediately spots them and has them disqualified. In a fit of mild protestation, Ozone rips off his sleeves and starts wildly gyrating. Turbo and Kelley join him in an attempt to endear themselves to the panel of elderly white judges while Franco pouts in the corner.

But will they convince the judges? Will they win a bunch of money and use it to finance some sort of off-off-off-off-off-off-Broadway dance show that includes a bunch of their friends and even--*GASP!*--their sworn enemies, Electro Rock? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Derek only vaguely remembered the movie, but he didn't remember seeing JCVD at all, so that was a pleasant, if somewhat disturbing, surprise. He is also upset about Electro Rock not getting proper names. THEY'RE PEOPLE, TOO, DAMMIT.

Larry really digs this movie, and he is shocked to realize that this is possibly the only movie where Shooter McGavin isn't the most terrible, self-centered human being alive. It gives him hope, all of which is immediately crushed when he sees JCVD dancing in that black unitard.

So put on your studded belts, get out those bandanas, and listen to this week's episode!

December 29, 2017

Home Alone

To listen/download, click here!

Well, it's finally time to pack up #HolidayMoviepalooza for another year, but even though Christmas is past, and we had to skip a week, the guys went ahead and recorded a commentary for the movie you, dear reader/listener, chose from our polls: the 1990 classic, Home Alone.

Home Alone is essentially Die Hard for kids.

With Macaulay Culkin in the Hans Gruber part.
It's a few days before Christmas, and the McCallister family is preparing for a trip to Paris, where the patriarch of the family, Peter (John Heard), has been temporarily transferred for his job.

The night before they are scheduled to leave, a policeman (Joe Pesci) shows up to check on the house, claiming he is making sure that that people in the neighborhood are taking steps to combat break-ins that have been taking place. After Peter makes assurances to the officer that there are timers on the lights and an alarm system--there is also an overlong bit about paying a pizza delivery guy--the cop leaves, and the family dives into the pizza, including young Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), who gets upset at his older brother Buzz (Devin Ratray) for eating all the cheese pizza.

A fight ensues, and Kevin's mother, Kate (Catherine O'Hara), banishes him to the attic, telling him he can sleep there for the night. Kevin, being a snotty eight-year-old, argues with her and then says he wishes the whole family would disappear, the storms off upstairs.

Where he proceeds to invent his own family from random objects around the house.
The next morning, the family wakes up late, and in the frenzy to get to the airport on time, they accidentally leave Kevin home without realizing it. Later, when he wakes up, he sees there is nobody else in the house, and he assumes, quite naturally, that his wish came true.

And so, Kevin starts enjoying the heck out of life. He watches movies he is not normally allowed to watch, eats nothing but junk food, jumps on his parents' bed, and rides a sled down the stairs and out the front door.

High above, on a Paris-bound jet, Kevin's mother comes to the realization that they have left their youngest son at home, and she immediately freaks out, quite reasonably.

Meanwhile, the "cop," who is really a burglar named Harry, and his partner, Marv (Daniel Stern), are  using information Harry got from the people in the neighborhood to determine which ones are out-of-town for the holidays. Harry shows Marv the McCallister house, and they both decide that that one will be the big score. But when they go for a closer look, they are spotted by Kevin, who, thinking quick, pretends his parents are still there, causing Harry and Marv to leave the place alone for the time being.

Which is just as well, as it turns out that they are both idiots.
Kevin continues his own questionable activities by ransacking his brother Buzz's bedroom in order to steal his life savings (about $25), and orders a cheese pizza all for himself. In order to convince the pizza guy that there are adults in the house, Kevin uses a VCR to play audio clips from an old gangster movie, which conveniently has perfect dialog for the pizza guy to perform the entire transaction without actually seeing another human being. To top it off, Kevin uses part of a murder scene to scare the guy off once and for all. And one has to wonder, why didn't that guy call the police?

The kid goes shopping the next day for some essentials, only to almost get run over by Harry and Marv while those two argue about whether or not it's a good idea to continue calling themselves the Wet Bandits, whose signature move is to plug the kitchen drains in the houses they rob, and leave the water running, thus flooding the houses. After the brief run-in, Kevin continues on to the store, where he asks a lot of questions before "accidentally" shoplifting a new toothbrush after seeing old man Marley (Roberts Blossom), whom the kids int he neighborhood believe to be The Shovel Killer.

Now a hardened criminal, Kevin heads home, where he comes to the conclusion that he needs to beef up security with his own special plan. He does so by setting up an elaborate and improbable machine using dummies, mannequins, and a Michael Jordan standee mounted on a train to make it look like there's a big party happening at the house, causing Harry and Marv to again put off robbing the house.

Again, because they are idiots.
Over in Paris, Kate is trying desperately to get call friends back home, as well as the police, to go and check on Kevin to make sure he's not dead or, worse, eating too much junk food and not changing his underwear. The police send a patrol car out, but Kevin refuses to answer the door, so the police immediately wash their hands of the whole situation. Your tax dollars at work, folks!

Kevin makes some attempts to not be a terrible person, even going to church for mass, where he runs across old man Marley, who is there watching his granddaughter's Christmas choir concert. Marley tells Kevin that he knows what everybody thinks about him, but insists it is not true. He's just a sad old man who is estranged from his son. Kevin, being only eight-years-old, believes him completely, and the two discuss the difficulties of dealing with family. They part ways after kevin offers the sage advice that Marley should probably ought to talk to his son. You know, just in case his son doesn't actually hate his guts.

Back home, Kevin decides that he has to defend his home, and he begins setting up several dangerous and increasingly complicated traps, as well as a zip line so he can escape to his treehouse for a dramatic Last Stand.

When Marv and Harry show up, Kevin shoots Harry in the dick with a BB gun, and then shoots Marv in the face. To be honest, Kevin takes entirely too much joy in assaulting these guys with a potentially deadly weapon, even if they are trying to break into his house, but it's Christmas! So we guess that makes it okay.

And, of course, there is the fact that they are idiots.
Their resolve strengthened, Harry and Marv split up to find an easier way in. Marv heads for the basement, where he first slips and possibly suffers a concussion because Kevin coated the outside basement stairs with water, which froze into ice. When he finally manages to get inside, he heads for the stairs, which are covered with tar and shingles with nails pounded through them, adding to Marv's potential health risks with tetanus and possible infection! Harry does not fare much better, burning his hand on a heated doorknob, and then having his head set on fire with a torch.

Did we mention that this is supposed to be a comedy?

Now back in the United States, Kate is trying to get a flight from Pennsylvania to Chicago, where Kevin is, no doubt, dead from a sugar coma, and probably still wearing underwear from two days ago...Any mother's nightmare. And although there are no flights available, she is offered a ride by Gus Polinski (John Candy), the Polka King, and his band. This sounds sketchy, but she accepts, dooming herself to hours of terrible polkas as they drive through the night.

Kevin causes further trauma to Harry's and Marv's craniums by smashing them in the face with paint cans when they both finally make it inside the house. It is very likely these two will not escape alive, and if they do, they will still suffer from debilitating brain damage at the hands of this rambunctious, psychopathic scalliwag.

After what feels like several more hours of abuse at the hands of this tiny psychotic, the two of them manage to chase him to his escape point, where he uses the zip line and openly mocks them from his treehouse after calling the police and giving them the address to a neighbor's house. Harry insists the crawl along the rope to get to him. Marv, now terrified of this small child, does not think it is a very good idea, but he's not the brains of the outfit, so he has to follow Harry. This, of course, results in them being further injured when Kevin cuts the rope as they are halfway across, causing them to swing across the yard and smash faces-first into the brick wall of the house.

Kevin escapes to the neighbor's house, where Harry and Marv catch him. But before they can take their revenge on him for the assault, they are stopped by old man Marley, who assaults them himself by pounding their heads with a snow shovel.

That they even survived is a miracle. Also, as previously noted, they are idiots.
Will Kevin get the house cleaned up in time for Christmas? Will Harry and Marv, now taken into what can only be considered protective custody, survive through the night after the brutal beatdown administered by a small child and an elderly man? Will Kate make it home without being raped by a group of lonely polka musicians, or will she end up in jail herself after killing them all when Gus shouts "ONE MORE TIME!" as they enter into hour fifteen of their journey? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Larry loves this film, as he was twelve when it came out. Also, his mother was obsessed with it, so it was a family tradition, and so there are all kinds of soft, squishy memories attached to it, which is understandable. He also thinks Joe Pesci is hilarious, which is also true. He does, however, think Kevin is an unstable and psychotic human being. This, too, is also understandable and most likely true.

Derek does not care for this one, mostly because Kevin is a horrible little turd of a human who takes entirely too much joy and satisfaction in injuring people, regardless of whether or not it is done in the course of protecting one's home. This kid has issues, and will suffer for it some day, most likely in some sort of institution. If not, he will probably grow to be a criminal himself, or possibly an addict of some kind.

December 22, 2017

It's a Wonderful Life

To listen/download, click here!

Four years. Several attempted scripts. Numerous run-throughs. Zero finished product.

Until now.

Yes, after discussing doing a riff of It's a Wonderful Life back when this podcast was called "The Ugly Couchcast", plans were made. Then they were pushed back. The next year, when the guys started doing movie reviews and occasionally recording commentaries, they decided it was time to try again. And then they didn't, pushing it back another year. Are you seeing a pattern here?

After yet another failed attempt, Derek finally took the initiative and announced that they were just going to do it on-the-fly...No script. No planning. No backsies. Just put the movie in and let the cards fall where they may, which brings us to this week's addition to #HolidayMoviepalooza 2017.

Larry wanted to do Snakes on a Plane, but couldn't present a plausible argument.
Meet George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart). Looks like a pretty happy guy, right? Big family, beautiful wife (Donna Reed as Mary)...Yup. Things are looking good. But, alas, not all is right in the small town of Bedford Falls, USA. We'll get to that in a minute.

It's Christmas Eve, and the people of Bedford Falls are worried about their old buddy George. So, as one might choose to do, they send out some prayers to anybody who might happen to be listening. And, believe it or not, it works!

Well, sort of. Saint Peter, who is represented by a glowing tempura shrimp and handles God's schedule and appointments, decides to send a guardian angel named Clarence (Henry Traverse) down to see if he can help George. But before he can do that, he has to hear George's backstory, and we, the lucky viewers, get to see all of it!

Including a vicious beatdown at the hands of his first boss! Christmas!
Young George (Robert J. Anderson) enjoyed most of his childhood. He hung out with his friends, saved his younger brother's life, and worked at the local drug store/soda fountain, where the girls, Violet and Mary, fought over him. He had plans to travel when he got older, and was proud of his father, who ran the local building and loan, which gave loans to the people in town who couldn't go to the mean old guy who ran the other banks in town, Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore).

While at work one day, George notices that his boss, Mr. Gower (H.B. Warner), is acting sort of odd. He's drunk and really yelly, and George discovers it's because Mr. Gower's son was killed while overseas. When George tries to talk to him about it, Mr. Gower yells at him and tells him to go deliver some pills. George, however, notices that the pills are, in fact, filled with poison. Mr. Gower won't listen, so George decides to go talk to his dad (Samuel S. Hinds) to see what he should do.

Unfortunately, Pa Bailey is busy arguing with Mr. Potter. So George heads back to the store to try and talk some sense into Mr. Gower, who beats him without mercy until George manages to penetrate Mr. Gower's rage and sputter out that he thinks the pills are poison. A quick investigation reveals that he is right, and Mr. Gower, the damage already done, apologizes to George, who tells him he won't ever tell anyone what happened.

Jumping forward, George is getting ready to leave town. He wants to travel! He wants to see the world! He wants to get the hell out of Bedford Falls! But not before he disappoints his father by telling him that he doesn't want to work at his dumb old building and loan.

Despite his constant urge to want to argue with Mr. Potter.
Before hitting the road, George's brother, Harry (Todd Karns), insists he come to the school dance and see his old friends. George goes, only to run face-to-face into the now very grown up Violet (Gloria Grahame), and the stunningly obnoxious Sam Wainwright (Frank Albertson). Fortunately, another friend, Marty (Harold Landon), interrupts to ask George if he would dance with Mary, Marty's little sister. After getting a look at her, George agrees, and they begin to Jitterbug vigorously, until the floor opens and swallows them up. (True story. Well, sort of; a jilted potential suitor of Mary's takes his revenge by opening the floor, which is over a pool, and George and Mary fall in it, followed by everybody else in the gym.)

On the way home, in clothes scavenged from the gym locker rooms, George tries to make a play for Mary, but his smooth talking is interrupted when Harry and Uncle Billy (Thomas Mitchell) come looking for him because Pa Bailey has had a stroke.

Pa Bailey doesn't make it, and the building and loan is on the verge of being taken over by Potter, until the board votes to keep it separate, but only if George takes over. He grudgingly agrees, and Harry goes off to college instead of George going off to travel.

Jumping ahead one more time, George and Uncle Billy await Harry's return. Once Harry is back, he can take over the building and loan, and George can head to college. But, as you may have guessed, that doesn't happen because Harry, crazy college kid that he is, went and got married to a woman named Ruth (Virginia Patton). Her dad owns a big ol' business, and he wants to put Harry in there, once again leaving George holding the building and loan.

Where he has to explain to Uncle Billy daily why pants are necessary.
While the family celebrates Harry's marriage, Ma Bailey (Beulah Bondi) informs George that Mary is back in town, and he ought to go see her. He does, trying to play it cool, while Mary makes it very obvious that she is interested. Mary's mother (Sarah Edwards), however, wants Mary to make George go away because she thinks her daughter needs to hook up with Sam Wainwright, who is in New York...AND HE'S ABOUT TO CALL!

George overplays the whole "cool" thing, and ends up getting into an argument with Mary, just as Sam calls. They both talk to him until he starts telling them they need to invest in plastics. Apparently, this gets George and Mary's motors running, because they drop the phone and start making out while Mary's mother watches from upstairs. What a sicko.

George and Mary get married, and, because this involves George, the departure date for their honeymoon falls on Black Friday. No, not the one where people trample each other at Walmart for a Hatchimal. We mean the Black Friday--the one that started the Great Depression.

They rush to the building and loan, only to find that Uncle Billy had locked the gates,, refusing to let people in. George opens the place, and all their customers come in, hoping to be able to get their money out. But Uncle Billy has already given all the money to the examiner, so they are kind of screwed.

Or are they? First, Mr.Potter calls and offers to buy everyone's shares in the building and loan for half the price. Just as everyone is getting ready to go over there, Mary jumps in and offers up her and George's honeymoon fund, hoping it's enough to get everybody through until the banks reopen. It works. (Yay!) But in the commotion, Mary has disappeared. (Boo!) She calls (Yay!) and tells George he needs to come home. (Wha'?)

George arrives at the old Granville house, which the two of them talked about and threw rocks at the night of the dance, and Mary has either bought it or just sort of took it over, where she and George can have their honeymoon among the leaky ceilings and broken windows. Outside, Bert the cop (Ward Bond) and Ernie the cabbe (Frank Faylen) serenade them while they do...honeymoon stuff.

Another quick jump takes us through George and Mary's new life together. Potter keeps being a jerk, George and Mary have a pile of kids, World War II starts (probably not related), Harry becomes a hero during the war, and Uncle Billy's incompetence grows, up to the point where he puts the entire building and loan, as well as George's freedom, in jeopardy when he loses the money he was supposed to deposit in the bank on Christmas Eve. George threatens to beat Billy to death, then goes home to yell at his kids and threaten his daughter's teacher over the phone.

Mary, suddenly aware something may be wrong, tried to comfort George, but he's having no part of it. He stumbles out the door, goes to a bar for a drink, gets punched by the teacher's husband (karma can be a real jerk sometimes), and decides that the best way to help everyone would be to jump off a bridge and end it all, because that seems completely reasonable.

However, before George can jump in the icy river and end it all, someone else beats him to it, and George jumps in anyway, but with the intention of saving the mysterious man.

Why can't you poop inside like normal people do?
The man reveals himself to be Clarence, an angel (second class, because he hasn't earned his wings yet). He claims to be here to show George that he is better off alive than dead. In order to do so, he gives George a Twilight Zone-esque glimpse into what the world would be like if he had never been born: Harry des as a boy because George wasn't there to save him, everybody has miserable lives because George wasn't there to enrich them with his clumsy good-naturedness, Mr. Gower goes to jail because he poisoned that kid because George wasn't there to stop him, everybody is living in crappy homes owned by Mr. Potter because George wasn't there to give them loans for better houses,the whole town has turned into a stripmall of depravity because George wasn't there to...not let it happen? Also, everybody suddenly has a New York accent...because...uh... Okay, you got us on that one. We don't know why.

Oh, and Mary is, according to Clarence, an "old maid" who works at the library. (*Gasp!* Scandalous!) So, obviously, everything is terrible. But will George realize it? Will he want to go back to existing? Is Clarence even able to do that? And what was going on the whole time with the real star of this flick, Annie (Lillian Randolph)?

She was off doing her thing, uninterrupted, because she is awesome like that.
You'll have to tune in to find out!

Derek loves this film unabashedly. Seriously. It's his absolute favorite. Everything is great. Really. He has nothing bad to say about it at all, except that there should have been more Annie in it. Otherwise, straight-up perfection. There's no joke here. Move along.

Larry likes it a lot, too. But not as much as Derek. Seriously, that guy has some sort of weird obsession with it. It's really starting to worry Larry. It keeps him awake at night, knowing that Derek is probably watching this movie yet again. But then he thinks about the lovely Violet, and drifts off to sexy dreams of the proto-Cyndi Lauper.

So check your insurance policy, listen for ringing bells, and listen to this week's commentary! HEE-HAW!