December 29, 2016

Batman Returns

No download this week, either...Quit clicking! You look silly.



Hi, everybody! Derek here. As we are still recovering from Christmas, the guys and I didn't get together again this week. But I continued to watch movies because, well, that's what I do. And, as it's still technically the holidays, I chose to watch what can technically be called a holiday movie, although the holiday itself is more set decoration than a part of the plot: Tim Burton's Batman Returns, starring Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Michael Gough, and Pat Hingle. It also features cameos from Paul Reubens and the late Jan Hooks.

Walken's hair game is, as always, on point.
The movie opens with the standard stunningly rich couple (Paul Reubens and Diane Salinger as the Cobblepots) having a weird mutant child and dumping it into the local stream, hoping it will float away and never be seen again. That's one of the perks of being rich; don't like the looks of your kid? Just toss it out and try again! I understand there's an entire underground complex at the Kennedy compound for exactly this sort of thing. Only one of them--a giant-headed toddler--ever escaped, and he went on to become a beloved senator from Massachusettes until he passed away in 2009.

I wanna pahk the cah by the garahge.
Jumping forward a few decades... (There's no specific timeline, so it's hard to say how long. My guess is at least thirty years.)

Super-rich guy Max Shreck (Walken) is trying to convince a group of other super-rich guys, including super-duper-rich Bruce Wayne (Keaton), that what Gotham City truly needs is a power plant. And when Bruce points out that Gotham totally doesn't need that at all, Shreck gets all sassy about it, and he looks as though he might slap Bruce with a powdered glove and challenge him to a duel until their squint-off is interrupted by Shreck's clumsy assistant, Selina Kyle (Pfeiffer), who offers tea, gets yelled at, and then calls herself a "corndog".

Shortly after, while Shreck is giving a speech at Gotham's Christmas tree lighting ceremony, a gang of circus performers interrupt the proceedings, and Batman (also Keaton) shows up and hits everybody until they go away. Shreck runs and hides, but gets captured and taken to the sewers, where he meets the Penguin (DeVito, with a lot less make-up than you might expect to get the proper look), who wants to blackmail Shreck into helping him find out who his real parents are.

I feel like I'm missing something...
Meanwhile, Selina comes home to her apartment, where she is well on her way to being a Crazy Cat Lady already, and listens to her answering machine, giving the viewer a deeper look into her depressing lack of a social life. You know, just to establish how pathetic she's supposed to be. One of the messages is from herself, reminding her to get some files ready for Shreck, which she forgot to do, so she goes back to the office. Shreck arrives, and she informs him that she has looked at his protected files, which show that his power plant wouldn't actually generate any power for the city and, in true evil rich guy fashion, Shreck throws her out a window for her efforts.

Okay, maybe she really is kind of pathetic.

Selina survives the fall, despite being tossed from an upper floor of one of the hundreds of comically gigantic buildings around Gotham, and is revived by a bunch of feral cats trying to eat her fingers off. Reasonably traumatized, she goes home, trashes her apartment (including stuffing several stuffed animals down the garbage disposal), and tears apart some of her wardrobe in order to make a skin-tight suit so she can terrorize people, as one is wont to do when tossed out a high window. Heck, I myself have dozens of skin-tight cat suits in my closet, and most of those happened because I just stubbed my toe in the dark on the way to the bathroom. My therapist says it's a healthy hobby, so don't judge.

Like this, but hairier, and with a mustache.
While the mayor of Gotham (Michael Murphy) is giving a speech, another evil clown (as if there is any other kind) shows up and kidnaps his infant child and dives into an open manhole. (That seems kind of unsafe, given that there were dozens of people standing around it, watching the speech.) There is the sound of a struggle, and then a giant duck rises from the manhole. The Penguin is inside, holding the baby, and he returns it to the mayor, thereby establishing himself as a lonely weirdo who wants to help. But as we already know, this is not what it seems. Instead, it is the first step in his plan...

Bruce Wayne is not convinced. Why? Because he's goddamn Batman, is why! He sits quietly in his cave, brooding and reading old news clipping about a gang of performers from a freak show who have been terrorizing people for years. He thinks this Penguin guy is their leader, although Bruce's faithful butler Alfred (Gough) is not so sure.

Alfred's judgement is clouded by his obsession
with "dropping some dope tracks, sir.  "
At the same time, a woman is being mugged, and another woman in a skin-tight cat suit--a "Catwoman", if you will--saves her. (Who knew that body-hugging fake leather magically gives you astounding martial arts skills? Me, that's who. As I said, I have dozens of the things.) But then she threatens the woman because she has the nerve to go around being all womany. Weird chick.

Penguin goes to the hall of records, where he begins compiling a list, ostensibly to find out who his parents are, and eventually announces that he has found them; his real name is Oswald Cobblepot, and his parents, now dead, were one of Gotham's wealthy families.

(You know, with all these wealthy families, you'd think that all this crime that the city has would be under better control. It's like the rich people in Gotham don't even care about the poor or something. Good thing this is fiction!)

Initial costume tests for the movie Twins.
Selina resurfaces at Shreck's office while he's arguing with Bruce again, and she starts acting all weird and talking about forgetting to wear underpants when she was little. Needless to say, she's maybe not in the most stable condition. Naturally, Bruce is totally into her, and almost gives away his secret identity, mentioning that they met already, although he was busy being Batman at the time.

Their next meeting went slightly better.
Shreck begins a drive to oust the current mayor and install Penguin as a replacement. The Red Triangle Gang (yes, they have an actual name) starts terrorizing Gotham. Batman beats up a lot of them, confronts Penguin, and then they both meet Catwoman, who blows up Shreck's department store. Catwoman and Batman smack each other around a little, he throws acid at her, and she falls off yet another building. It's an eventful evening for everyone, and nobody is happy with the outcome. Just like your average Christmas get-together, but with even more rubber and vinyl clothing. (That's a Christmas thing, right? I'm not alone in this, am I?)

Penguin begins his bid to take over as mayor and meets with Catwoman, who really wants to get destroy Batman. Penguin wants to get her out of that cat suit and do horrible, flipper-based stuff to her, but she's having no part of it. So he tells her his plans to steal the Batmobile, and she suggests setting Batman up to look like a bad guy and turning the city against him. To be honest, it's a ridiculously gross scene, with both Penguin and Catwoman making sexual innuendo that just straight-up makes my skin crawl. It's...unsettling.

In a televised speech, Penguin throws down the guantlet to Batman, and Bruce hits on Selina, asking her to dinner. Despite Alfred's attempted cock-block, she agrees.

While Bruce and Selina are tongue-wrestling, the television announces that the tree-lighting girl has been kidnapped, and one of Batman's Batarangs was found on the scene. Both of them react as though the guy on TV is actually watching them make out, and they both make excuses to leave. Batman heads to the scene as the mayor gives a speech about how everything is under control. Penguin's people get hold of the Batmobile and start dicking around with the electronics. Batman finds the kidnapped tree-lighter, and Catowman shows up, so they dance around a bit, and then Catwoman leaves with the girl, taking her to the top of the building and leaves her for Batman to find. When he gets up there, the Penguin jumps out and scares the girl, who falls off the building. Then Catwoman licks Batman's face. It's arousing, yet disturbing. And, as I was 21 at the time, all I wanted in a woman.

Worst. Ride-pimping. EVER.
Catwoman and Penguin have an argument, Catwoman is dropped from great heights again, and Batman hops in the Batmobile to head on home. But he isn't going to be that lucky; Penguin's people did their job, and Penguin has control of the Batmobile, so he drives it around the city, running over people. Batman eventually gets control of the car, and even manages to get a recording of Penguin saying mean things about the city. He's a multitasker...No wonder he's such an awesome superhero.

Catwoman and Penguin have an argument, Catwoman is dropped from great heights again, and Batman hops in the Batmobile to head on home. But he isn't going to be that lucky. Penguin's people did their job, and Penguin has control of the Batmobile, so he drives it around the city, running over people. Batman eventually gets control of the car, and even manages to get a recording of Penguin saying mean things about the city. He's a multitasker...No wonder he's such an awesome superhero.

And, of course, the cool toys.
Despite not killing Batman, Shreck and Penguin's plan to recall the mayor is working, and the people of Gotham want him out. As Penguin gives a speech, however, Bruce and Alfred cut into the audio feed and play the recording Batman made, where Penguin lays out his real feelings about the city, which are not especially positive. The crowd, which happens to have brought a bunch of vegetables, throws them at Penguin (and even he acknowledges that this is kind of weird), and he retreats to the sewers to enact his alternate plan: he will kidnap all of Gotham's firstborn sons and kill them all. Obviously, he is a religious man.

Bruce attends Shreck's Christmas costume party (again, that's a thing, right?), hoping to see Selina. She's there, but she's kind of preoccupied, having only come to kill Shreck. Bruce stops her, but they accidentally reveal their secret identities to each other, and things get awkward. Also, Penguin shows up to reveal his plan and take Shreck's son, Chip. (Andrew Bryniarski.) Shreck, in a rare selfless act, insists on taking his son's place, and Penguin agrees, taking him down to the sewers to kill him.

So...uh...wanna try on each other's costumes?
When they arrive at Penguin's hideout, none of the other kids are there, but there is a note from Batman, which sets Penguin off, and he sends his actual penguin minions out into the city with bombs and rockets strapped to their backs. It's the cutest Armageddon ever!

AWWWWW! Murderously adorable!

Will Batman be able to stop the hundreds of adorable exploding penguins before they can destroy the entire city? Will Catwoman kill Shreck in the grossest way possible? Will Penguin somehow manage to be even more disgusting than he was when we were treated to a close-up of him cramming raw fish into his mouth? Will any of this make sense?

You'll have to watch to find out!

Despite the gross-out factor of this film--and it's mostly DeVito's drooling, snorting Penguin that doles out most of that, I really do like this film. Not only is it one of only two Batman movies that do not show a flashback to Bruce's parents being killed, but Michael Keaton is genuinely likeable as Bruce Wayne, despite his brooding moodiness. And, as disgusting as it is to watch DeVito as Penguin, with his mouth dripping some sort of dark green goo and his upsettingly soiled long johns, that's not a jab at DeVito himself. He acted the hell out of the part, and even managed to make the viewer sympathetic to him at times. (Those times being when he wasn't all drippy and gross while searching for the names of his parents.)

And, of course, I wouldn't be able to finish this review without mentioning Michelle Pfeiffer's Selina Kyle/Catwoman performance. Yes, she was hot as heck in that cat suit, but her actual performance is what really stands out. Her pre-Catwoman Selina is literally almost an entirely different person. She's a shy, quiet woman who really just wants to do a good job, despite working for a man who sees her as little more than a talking coffee dispenser that can type, as well. Now, finding Michelle Pfeiffer bland and boring is a difficult chore for anyone, but she effortlessly makes herself appear meek and unsubstantial in the beginning. Once she transforms into Catwoman, she is an entirely different person, and it carries over into Selina's personality, although it seems everybody is so wrapped up in how attractive she is (mussed-up hair, thick mascara...she kind of looks like the cover of the Hole album Live Through This), nobody seems to actually notice.

Overall, this is an excellent follow-up to 1989's Batman. Unfortunately, the quality of the films dropped like a rock after this, when Burton stepped out of the director's chair and gave the reigns to his evil henchman, Joel Schumacher. Oh, Batman Forever has its moments--it's one of only three Jim Carrey movies I can tolerate--but I would avoid those two movies, for the most part. Val Kilmer is a bland and uninteresting Bruce Wayne, and George Clooney...well, we all know how that one went.

On a final note, I just wanted to say, on behalf of myself, Jake, Larry, and Bosco, have a very Happy New Year, and we look forward to hearing from you in 2017!

December 27, 2016

Ten Funny Tweets Derek Re-Tweeted Last Week

Hey, guys.

I had a bunch of the usual silly-assed stuff I wanted to talk about, and I'll get to that. But as I was compiling this week's list, I saw that Carrie Fisher, best known as Leia Organa in the Star Wars series of films, passed away at the age of 60. last week, she had a massive heart attack on a flight between London and LAX, and had been in the hospital since then.

Carrie Fisher was a talented actress, a talented writer (she doctored a lot of movie scripts and was never credited for them, and she wrote a number of best selling books), an advocate for mental health, a reformed drug user, and a genuinely funny and engaging person. She was also my first actress crush, even before the metal bikini in Return of the Jedi.

Not gonna lie, you guys; this one hurts a lot. She will be missed.


Another talented performer, singer George Michael passed away on Christmas Day. He was the lead singer of Wham before going solo and releasing a string of hits, including one of my favorite songs ever, "Careless Whispers".

And, until his passing, the public was completely unaware of the kind and generous man he was, quietly donating money and time to those in need, and then completely failing to mention it to the press or anybody else because he did not want the attention from it. He was a classy dude like that, and he, too, will be missed.


2016 can just eat a Jumbo-Sized, Economy Bag of Dicks. This year has straight-up sucked for people my age, and I'm tired of it. If you're famous and awesome, keep an eye on yourself, okay? I don't need this kind of shit through next year, too.

Now, to other stuff...

On the other end of things, Rolling Stones guitarist and living Easter Island monument Keith Richards celebrated something like his eighth century, and shows no sign of stopping.


Everybody keep an eye on Mick, Ron, Charlie, and the rest of them, will ya? Anyway, in celebration of Keith's 937th birthday, he is the subject of this week's .GIFs.

Yes, you.
My week started out pretty okay. I got to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in 3D at the new Sperrys Moviehouse here in town, and it was awesome. The movie was great, the theater was small (about 48 seats) and comfortable, and I was the only person in there. Best moviegoing experience of my adult life.

But before I could see the movie, I had to buy tickets, and so I trekked over to my dad's to buy them online. It was...an experience. Not because getting the tickets was difficult, though.


For my dad's part, he finally got his VCR to quit blinking "12:00". About two weeks ago.

Yeah, it's a corny joke, but Keith thought it was funny.
That same day, the fate of the country was sealed. The Electoral College got together, had sandwiches and tea (I'm guessing here), and put their voted in. The result was not pretty.


But at least they didn't vote for Val Kilmer. That guy...

Keith demonstrates what "voting your conscience" involves.
On a related note (sorta), it seems that Angry Orange is having difficulty acquiring acts to perform at the Inauguration. He claims it's not a problem, though, and I have to agree. It's going to be a shitshow all on its own. the only difference is that there won't be musical accompaniment.
It's okay, Keith. There will be music elsewhere.
And, as always, there were tweets from Twitter. So I grabbed a handful for the last list of the year to cram into your eyes. Let's have a look (in no particular order)...


And there you have it! Now get out there and have an awesome recovery from the holidays, and prepare for New Years Eve. And if you are going out that night, be safe. I don't need to read about more cool people I like dying.

Easy for you to say. You're immortal. And my name isn't Jackie.
All the best and Happy New Year,
Derek and Bosco

Rock on.

December 19, 2016

Ten Funny Tweets Derek Re-Tweeted Last Week

Hi, guys! Guess what! I still haven't got all the links fixed, but I've got a solid 30-ish percent done, so there's that. But you can bet your hinder that I've got another pile of tweets for you!

But first, there's stuff to talk about...such as what kind of animations I'm using this week. And, as next weekend will be Christmas, I have naturally picked some appropriately silly-assed ones.

Santa makes Clint hot and sweaty...
As I said, Christmas is coming. And with holidays like this, there are traditions to maintain, which is why I watched The Star Wars Holiday Special again. This year, however, I decided to quiz others who may remember it.


Damn. I was sure it was choice number three. But at least I didn't get the usual reply when I ask questions like that...

Okay, lady. Whatever you say.
Another week of Angry Orange being horrible and probably treasonous has passed, and some stuff happened. Not the usual stuff--misogyny, racism, huge conflicts of interest... That stuff happens every day with that yammering bucket of snot. (This is not to say that it should be normalized. Far from it. He should be called out on every terrible thing he does, and have it thrown in his face at every opportunity.) No, instead, he made more horrible choices for his cabinet...


...met with someone that would probably not normally be allowed on the top floor of Trump Tower...


...and fought with Vanity Fair because they said mean things about his restaurant. And then got pretty quiet about it because another journalist offered independent confirmation of the quality at the restaurant's bar.


Oh, and he's casually bringing us to the brink of World War III before he even sullies the White House with his gold-plated shitheadedness. But, again, that's nothing especially new from him.

(Props to Barry Bishop for finding this one.)
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opened this past weekend, taking in every single dollar. All of them. No more dollars left because Rogue One took them all. New dollars are quickly being printed, but will not be distributed because it'll get those, too.


I sincerely hope at least one of these turns out to be true.

Santa loves Chipotle!
Oh, and this happened:


How awesome is that?!

Possible video of the guy trying to escape afterwards.
And, of course, I contemplated new ideas presented by people funnier than me...


My mind is opened to a whole different way of thinking.

For instance, I suspect Voldemort wasn't hugged much as a child.
Oh, and some other folks found some of the greatest stuff ever. (As if the robber being repelled by dildos wasn't awesome enough.)


Despite the horrible things that have been happening, these were a nice reminder that not everything is bad. Just most of it.

"Up on the housetop...oh...nevermind."
And, as usual, there were tweets. I grabbed a handful of them to throw at your eyes. If you dig 'em, get over to Twitter and follow them!

In no particular order...


And there you have it!

Santa tries to handle a labor dispute with Blitzen. It does not go well.
Now get out there, have an awesome week, and have an amazing Christmas (or whatever your holiday of choice is)! And to help it along, here's another holiday favorite:

Merry Christmas (or the equivalent)! We hope you get every gift you want or need!

Whatever it might be...
All the best,
Derek and Bosco

December 15, 2016

Krampus

Do not bother clicking here...There's nothing here, and you'll look silly.



Hey, everybody. Derek here. Due to scheduling stuff (again), we couldn't record this past weekend for Holiday Moviepalooza. So, in order to maintain some sort of regularity around this joint, I decided to writea review. However, as Christmas Evil was Jake's pick, I decided to pick another movie in the same genre: 2015's Krampus, starring Adam Scott, David Koechner, Emjay Anthony, Toni Collette, Stephanie LaVie Owen, Krista Stadler, Conchata Farrell, Allison Tolman, Maverick Flack, Queenie Samuel, Lolo Owen, and Leith Towers.

It's Christmas, and the family is making what they can of it. Max (Anthony) is upset because the rest of his family isn't getting into the holiday spirit like they used to. His parents, Tom (Scott) and Sarah (Collette), aren't getting along as well as they used to, and his sister Beth (LaVie Owen) is not interested because she would rather be with her boyfriend, Derek (Towers). His grandmother, Omi (Stadler) is trying, but nobody seems to notice because she only speaks German. Max is showing signs of depression, and decides to write a letter to Santa asking for help getting things back to how they used to be.


Things take a turn for the worse when Sarah's sister Linda (Tolman) and her family arrive to spend Christmas with them. Linda's husband, Howard (Koechner) is a loudmouth who likes to shoot things. Jordan and Stevie (Samuel and Owen, respectively) are their daughters, both of whom are tomboys who revel in antagonizing Max. Howie, Jr. (Flack) is their son who doesn't speak, but makes up for it by being creepy and chugging soda. There's also a baby (Sage Hunfeld) who is introduced and mostly left alone. Oh, and they brought an obnoxious, alcoholic aunt (Farrell) and a dog, too! Fun times.


When Jordan and Stevie steal Max's letter to Santa and read it at the dinner table, a huge fight ensues, leading to Max wishing everybody would just go away. He tears up his letter and throws it out the window, where the wind catches it, taking it...somewhere else...

And that's when stuff starts going off the rails.


A huge snow storm moves in, knocking out the power. When Beth can't get through to Derek on her cell phone, she asks to go check on him, making the excuse that she can check on the neighbors and see if they lost power, as well. Tom and Sarah reluctantly agree, and she heads out into the less-than-hospitable weather. As she walks down the street in waist-deep snow, she sees a dark shape jumping from house to house, seemingly following her. And boy howdy, is it!


As it gets later in the evening, Beth's parents start to worry that she has not returned home yet, so Tom and Howard take a few of Howard's guns and go searching. They get to Derek's house but nobody is there. When they hear what they think is Beth screaming, they run outside, and Howard is attacked by something that leaves a pretty impressive bite mark on his leg. Tom manages to get him back to their own house, where Beth takes care of Howard while Tom lets Sarah know what happened.

From there, things get even worse, as whatever it is that attacked Howard--and possibly took Beth--starts working its way through the whole family, using some pretty creative methods, including a batch of murderous gingerbread men armed with a nail gun and sharpened candy canes, and homicidal toys, that are swiftly dealt with in a rather entertaining fashion.


A plan is finally hatched involving Tom getting the remaining family to a deserted snow plow and make their way to somewhere that might have food, electricity, and maybe a stiff drink. It goes about as well as you might expect, and culminates in Max facing down the actual Krampus and its minions, where he demands that the family be returned to him and things go back to how they were. This does not appear to impress the best, as its buddies grab Max and stuff him down Krampus' sack.


Max wakes up to find himself at home, and everybody there with him. Things seem to be back to normal. But are they really?

The thing that I like most about this movie is that director Michael Dougherty manages to maintain a reasonable balance between both comedy and horror. What could have turned into National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, but with Lots More Murder ended up reminding me of Steven Spielberg's Poltergeist; it starts out as a slice-of-life piece about a typical family that is sudeenly thrust into a supernatural situation that gets progressively more terrifying as it goes forward, but without the resolution the former gave us. (At least before the two terrible sequels ruined everything for everybody ever. But perhaps I'm being a bit hyperbolic.)


Adam Scott is a great straight man, who faces every new development with a disappointed head shake, followed by a grim determination to make it past each new hurdle. He excels in this role, and it's nice to see him not acting as a huge douchebag, as he does in most of the other movies in which he appears. That's not to say he isn't funny in those; it's just nice to see him taking on a darker, broodier role.


Scott is the perfect foil for David Koechner as his equal but very opposite brother-in-law, Howard. I like Koechner, and by all accounts he is a generally quiet, friendly man in real life, which is something that I've always had a hard time reconciling in my head, having been so much the opposite of that in just about everything I've seen him in. And yet, even as a loud-mouthed jerk in this film, he still manages to show that he has some serious acting chops that haven't been on display very much in previous roles. And when things get serious in this movie, he's no longer the yelling idiot. He's quieter. More serious. And very good at it.

The other adults in the cast-- Toni Collette, Allison Tolman, Krista Stadler, and Conchata Farrell--are also excellent, although Tolman doesn't get a lot of screen time, being relegated to the "Alice Kramden" role to Koechner's "Ralph", Howard. She shakes her head with a knowing look, argues with Sarah, and takes care of the baby. The rest of the time, she frets and looks nervous. It would have been nice to see her doing more.

Stadler also had very little screen time, and what time she had was mostly spent speaking in German. However, she still gave a wonderfully creepy performance as Omi, and when she reveals in the one scene where she actually speaks English that she believes that they are being stalked by Krampus, telling a story about how it came to her village when she was a child, she owns it, even though most of it was done in voiceover to a Tim Burton-style animated sequence, which was another brilliant choice, in my opinion.

The kids in this film--Emjay Anthony, Stephanie LaVie Owen, Maverick Flack, Queenie Samuel, and Lolo Owen--are amazingly subdued. As Jake has pointed out more than once, too many child actors seem to think that "acting" means "yelling your lines and making goofy faces". This group is very much not from that school of thought. They all performed at a level you might expect from older, more experienced actors. Anthony, in particular, handles the role of Max with just the right amount of sadness, fear and defiance, especially when going head-to-head with Krampus.

And, of course, we cannot forget to mention the design of Krampus itself. It is super creepy, appearing to be made primarily of toys, a theater mask, and lots of teeth. It has a scream that sounds suspiciously like the T-rex from the Jurassic Park movies, but is still effective in adding to the overall feel of the thing. Add some cloven hooves, sharp claws, giant curled horns, and a really gross snake-like tongue, and you've got a winner of a murder monster!

Should you watch this flick? I think that's the wrong question. What should be asked is, if you haven't seen it, why not?! It pulls off something that rarely works right: a Christmas horror film with all the trimming that actually manages to be scary and not cheesy. So, yes. See this movie. Heck, watch it regularly during the holidays. It's the perfect film to cue up after you've let the kids watch A Christmas Story and sent them off to bed.

And if you hear something on the roof, you had better hope you were good this year!

December 12, 2016

Ten Funny Tweets Derek Re-Tweeted Last Week

Hi, guys!

It all started with a simple tweet.

See, my buddy @bryism retweeted a link to a poll someone had posted, asking who had the worst account on Twitter, him or another guy. Being the friendly guy I am, I voted for @bryism and retweeted the poll, too. I'm a team player.

Anyway, thus began a long back-and-forth in which he and I made fun of each other a lot. I feel like I won the night when I posted this one.

Yesterday, however, it snowed pretty heavily here, and I posted a picture of Bosco, who loves to play in the snow, after we came in.


But then @bryism struck back!


So I had no choice but to get personal.


And I won again because my version of his picture was more popular than the original one he posted. To finish him off, I posted another this morning.


He's on the ropes. I know it. Soon I shall destroy him completely. And all will be good in the world.

Go, me! 'Tis the season!
Meanwhile, everybody else was getting ready for the upcoming holiday of their choice!


I don't have time for that kind of commitment.

I was busy, okay? Leave it at that.
I was hanging out with my dad...


Learning about the right way to treat a woman...


And reading these things that @redtache turned me on to...


Follow them for more fun!

Hey! Henry Rollins!
Of course, there were also tweets from the hilarious folks at Twitter. As always, if you dig the tweets, follow the people!

In no particular order...


And there you have it! Now have an awesome week. And to get it happening, here's my favorite Christmas song performance ever.


All the best,
Derek and Bosco

December 7, 2016

Santa Claus Conquers The Martians

To download, right-click here and choose, "Save file as..."


Welcome to Week Two of Holiday Moviepalooza, where the guys settled in for another holiday classic, Santa Claus Conquers The Martians, starring John Call as Santa Claus, Leonard Hicks as Kimar, Leila Martin as Momar, Vincent Beck as Voldar, Bill McCutcheon as Dropo ("The Laziest Man on Mars"), Doris Rich as Mrs. Claus (or Ms. Claus, depending on your info source), Carl Don as Chochem, Victor Stiles as Billy, Donna Conforti as Betty, Chris Month as Bomar, and Pia Zadora as Girmar.

If you are like anybody here at Ugly Couchcast Industries, at best you recognize exactly one of those names, and even then, it's a pretty solid bet that you have no idea why, other than if you've seen this movie.

Kimar, a Martian who appears to holds some kind of status, and his wife, Momar, are worried about their children, Bomar and Girmar. They are quiet, well-behaved, industrious, and intelligent. Something is clearly wrong. The one thing they seem to have in common with "normal" kids like the ones here on Earth is that they spend hours staring blankly at television programs. And, in a Shyamalan Twist of epic proportions, the shows the Martian children are addicted to are the same ones kids on Earth watch!

After seeing what amounts to a 60 Minutes-style investigative piece on Santa's workshop, the Martian kids become infatuated with confusing things like toys, emotions, and why their father regularly roofies them so they will sleep.

Concerned for his children, Kimar consults with a sentient pile of dust bunnies named Chochem and decides there is only one thing to do: he must take a crew and kidnap Santa Claus so he can be forced to entertain these dull-eyed, creepy green children.

Please, God...Let me die...
Unfortunately, one of the crew, luxuriously mustachioed Voldar, is against the plan, believing that children are to be seen and not heard, and stuffed in a room somewhere until they are needed for whatever it is that they do with kids on Mars. Voldar is reluctantly forced to take part in the mission anyway, but he has a plan of his own. Another Martian with no plan whatsoever ends up on the ship because even the most hardened space traveler can use a laugh or two. Unfortunately, that comic relief is Dropo, and he is an utterly worthless and unfunny pile of talking garbage.

Turns out Dropo isn't lazy; he was having a stroke!
Upon reaching Earth, the Martians get confused when they see several Santas standing around on the streets, so they consult with two small Earth children whom they find hanging out and listening to a radio under a tree. Billy is smart, and he lets the Martians know that he's not keen on threats and guns pointed in his face, but he eventually caves in and reveals to the Martians that Santa lives at the North Pole. For her part, Betty asks a lot of stupid questions ("Are you a television set?") and hinders any and all efforts Billy makes to stop the Martians' plans like a dead albatross around his neck.

Try not to become lost in Voldar's mustache like the guys did.
Landing at the North Pole, Billy and Betty escape so they can warn Santa. Voldar tells Kimar about it, and they dispatch Torg the robot to find them before they get to Santa. Fortunately for the Martians, Betty the idiot gets herself and Billy trapped in a cave by a polar bear that must be seen to be fully appreciated, and Torg scares it away so it can take the kids captive again.

Next on Fox, When High School Mascots Attack!
Kimar's next move is to send Torg into Santa's workshop to drag Santa out, most likely kicking and screaming. The plan, like every other plan the Martians make, goes banana-shaped and Torg shuts down in the face of heartless, demeaning ridicule from Santa (or something like that), so the Martians run in, Wham-O Air Blasters a-blazin', and freeze almost everybody. They grab Santa and make for home.

Torg is made from nothing but the best discarded garbage from Goodwill.
On the return trip, Voldar is locked up for trying to kill the kids, but he escapes because Dropo is incompetent and should not be allowed any significant job, as it will always, always end in disaster. When the ship reaches Mars, Santa and the kids are taken to Kimar's home, where they can meet Bomar and Girmar. Voldar, meanwhile, goes and hides in a cave with a couple of his flunkies, trying to come up with another plan.

The kids have shut down the factory! They're demanding we pay them!
Santa almost immediately puts the kids to work in his toy sweatshop, and Dropo steals a suit and spare beard that Momar made for Santa. When Voldar and his cronies come looking for Santa, they accidentally grab Dropo instead, thinking they got the right guy, and then go off to find Kimar so they can demand he shut down the toy factory and kill Santa and the kids.

Will Kimar do what he can to save Dropo? Will Santa bring joy and lots of cheap toys to the kids of Mars? Will Shim ever learn how to properly pronounce "nuclear"? Will Betty ever manage a complete sentence from her dumb face-hole that makes any sense? (In order: Sorta, we think so, no, and abso-fucking-lutely not.) You'll have to tune in to get the whole story! But as a little teaser, here's the fight scene between Voldar and Kimar! It's awful!



Derek is upsettingly aggressive toward Betty, and nobody is really sure why. He also gets angry about Shim's inability to say a simple word correctly. However, whenever Voldar's mustache is onscreen, all is forgiven and forgotten. It is...transcendent.

Jake had not seen this before, so he went in cold. And came out the other end still cold, but also bitter and angry. However, he could hold no anger toward the hypnotic allure of Voldar's soft, downy mustache. It represents all that is good in the world.

Larry is angry at Derek for making him watch this movie unriffed, and he is sick, so that probably didn't help much. It must be said, though, that when lost in the comforting warmth of Voldar's lush, welcoming mustache, all is forgiven...Aaaaaalllll is forgiven....

So attach a (non-working) gas pipe to your head, take your food pills, and download this week's episode!

December 5, 2016

Ten Funny Tweets Derek Re-Tweeted Last Week

Hi, guys!

I have to be honest; I almost didn't do a list this week because I found out that some of the links from the Ugly Couchcast episodes aren't working, as well as some of the older Here Be Spoilers shows. but I decided, no, Derek...You can't do that to the two or three people who still read these. You have to put that list up and then worry about broken links.

So that's what I've done. And, in the spirit of saving time, as well as to acknowledge straight-up laziness on my part, I'll be reusing more of the GIFs I've collected here, such as this one:

Remember, kids: Always take your Bat-Shark Repellant to the beach!
Anyway, I spent last week mostly ignoring politics. However, I highly recommend looking at the Trumpgrets Tumblr page. It's a wonder to behold as people post their surprise that they are going to get screwed like the rest of us.

A practical demonstration of the next four years. Guess which hand is you.
The rest of the week was spent answering the tough questions...


Offering advice...


And probably revealing more about myself than the world really wants to know...


Don't judge.

I don't judge your diet choices.
Then there were tweets. SO MANY TWEETS! And I pared the great ones that I saw to a list of ten that I not only feel are hilarious, but also deserve some love. So, if you dig them, get over there and follow 'em! In no particular order...


And there you have it! Not a bad haul, if you ask me. Now get out there and have a great week! And if you, like me, are suffering from terrible Christmas music overexposure, here's a personal favorite from Barenaked Ladies.


All the best,
Derek and Bosco