November 29, 2017

A Christmas Carol (1999)

To listen/download, click here!

Hey, gang! It's #HolidayMoviepalooza time again! And this week, Derek and Larry sat down to watch and record a commentary for the 1999 TNT/Hallmark version of A Christmas Carol starring Patrick Stewart, Richard E. Grant, Joel Grey, and a cast of amazing actors.

Ebenezer Scrooge (Patrick Stewart) is a grumpy, angry man who hates everybody and everything, especially Christmas. (This is not a sudden change; he has been like that his entire adult life.) He also tends to take this anger out on his long-suffering assistant, Bob Cratchit (Richard E. Grant).

Mr. Scrooge, I'm here to count. Why must I clean the chamber pot, as well?
Scrooge's business partner, Jacob Marley (Bernard Lloyd), has passed away, but Scrooge continues on running the counting house the two of them shared.

On the seventh anniversary of Marley's death, Scrooge is visited by his nephew, Fred (Dominic West), who is the complete and total polar opposite of his uncle, something Scrooge clearly takes personally. Therefore, when Fred tries to spread a little holiday cheer and invite his uncle to Christmas dinner, Scrooge refuses and mocks poor Fred for getting married. What a jerkface.

After a visit with two men (Edward Petherbridge and Jeremy Swift) who are collecting for charity leaves Scrooge in an even worse mood, he berates Cratchit for wanting Christmas Day off and then goes home to his cold, dark apartments.

As he is about to enter, he sees what appears to be the face of his long-dead partner on the door knocker, which kind of freaks him out a little bit. But then it goes away and he heads upstairs to put on his dressing gown and eat some soup as loudly as he possibly can. (No, really...It sounds super gross and wet.)

His soggy lip-smacking is (thankfully) interrupted when he is visited by none other than the ghost of Jacob Marley himself!

Or, possibly, Mick Jagger.
Marley is there to warn Scrooge that he is currently on the same path Marley himself went down, leading to his spirit wandering the face of the earth, seeing the terrible things everybody was doing, but unable to stop them. But now, this one time, he has been given the opportunity to contact hs old partner and tell him what needs to be done to change his potential future.

He tells Scrooge he will be visited by three ghosts--ghosts who will show him the error of his ways. Scrooge, naturally, is not particularly thrilled about the idea, but he is not given a choice.

The first ghost appears shortly after midnight, waking Scrooge with a bright light. A quick investigation directly outside his bed curtains reveals the Ghost of Christmas Past (Joel Grey).

Or, possibly, Edgar Winter.
The spirit takes him to the school he attended and shows him a young Ebenezer (Rowland Sterlng, and then Josh Maguire), whose father does not want him to come home. Young Ebenezer is a loner...a loner who dresses like Angus Young, but completely fails to rock out.

When his sister, Fran (Rosie Wiggins), arrives a few years later, she tells him that their father finally wants him to come home, the two leave, but we don't get to see what happens because the Ghost takes them away to Mr. Fezziwig's (Ian McNeice) business, where Scrooge worked as a young man (Kenny Doughty). And just in time for the Christmas party! (What are the odds?)

During the party, young Scrooge meets the lovely Belle (Laura Fraser). The two of them begin seeing each other, promising to marry once Scrooge is making enough money to support them. However, once he hits that level, he is not willing to put Belle ahead of his work, and she leaves him.

Returned to his home in the present, Scrooge is immediately met by the Ghost of Christmas Present (Desmond Barrit)--a large, hairy man with a disturbingly low-cut robe and a booming voice.

Or, possibly, Harry Knowles from the future.
He takes Scrooge on a tour of the city on Christmas Day. They stop off at the Cratchit residence, where Scrooge discovers for the first time that Bob does, in fact, have a family, including a fiercely protective wife (Saskia Reeves), and a young son, Tiny Tim (Ben Tibber), who is crippled.

The Ghost is so very disappointed in Scrooge that he does not know Cratchit has a family, although, for his part, Scrooge takes an interest and asks about whether Tiny Tim will live. When the Ghost tells him that he sees "an empty chair and a crutch without an owner," Scrooge has his first twinge of real concern. Oh, sure, he was disappointed in himself for not choosing Belle over his work, but he is finally seeing the effect he is having on those who more-or-less depend on him. And he's even touched that Cratchit insists they toast Scrooge, even though he treats Bob like garbage.

Their next stop is Fred's house, where he and his wife, Martha (Claire Slater), are hosting a dinner party for their friends. Bob also insists on toasting his uncle, and everyone seems agreeable, for the most part, although his wife wonders why he keeps inviting Scrooge to Christmas dinner when he knows the old man will refuse. Then it's time to play some games!

Scrooge asks the Ghost if they can stay for a bit and watch, because games! Another chink in the hardened exterior that is Scrooge's armor against the world...

The Ghost of Christmas Present, whose red hair is now grey, announces that his time is up, and he disappears, leaving Scrooge standing on a street in the middle of the city. Not for long, however, because he is in the presence of the Third Spirit (Tim Potter).

Or "Jeff" to his friends.
Their first stop is the stock exchange, where they see a group of men taking unsympathetically about a colleague that has died. They discuss whether or not they are going to the colleague's funeral, and they come to the consensus that, so long as lunch is served, they might consider it.

The next stop is a pawn broker (Trevor Peacock), who is looking over some items that some locals stole from the home of someone that has recently died. Very recently. In fact, one of the items is a shirt that is still warm. Ick.

Disheartened by all of this greed and negativity, Scrooge asks the Third Spirit to take him somewhere that is sympathetic and caring.

They visit the Cratchits, who are mourning the loss of Tiny Tim. Bob is taking it especially hard--understandably--but manages to hold it together for the rest of the family. For the most part. Scrooge is deeply troubled by this, and asks the spirit about the dead man they heard about earlier.

They visit a morgue, where a body is laid out on the slab, but Scrooge refuses to pull off the cover and see who it is the others spoke so poorly about. This seems to anger the spirit, and he takes them to a cemetery, where he shows Scrooge his own grave. With his body in it.

Will this be enough for Scrooge to change his ways? Will he wake up in time for Christmas? Will he have the most awkward laughing fit ever committed to film? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Larry was a newcomer to this version, having been brought up on the (very popular and well-made) George C. Scott version. That said, he seemed to enjoy it. He has issues with Mrs. Cratchit's dental issues, but was otherwise impressed by the whole thing.

Derek, having seen this numerous times before, thought this was a perfect time to bust out his killer Patrick Stewart impression. He also worries that Scrooge thinks changing his ways will somehow keep him from ever dying, because that's how the character acts.

So throw one tiny piece of coal in the fire, put on your night cap and dressing gown, and tune in to this week's commentary episode!

November 22, 2017

Miracle on 34th Street

To download/listen, click here!

Happy Thanksgiving!

As the cold wind blows, and there days get shorter, we find ourselves moving inexorably toward that most important port of the year, the annual Here Be Spoilers #HolidayMoviepalooza event! And guess what, lucky reader; that time is now!

Yes, Derek and Larry sat down this week to record a commentary to the 1947 classic, Miracle on 34th Street, Starring Maureen O'Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, Natalie Wood, about a hundred well-known character actors, and the entire city of New York (1947 Edition)!

Including this overflowing fountain of raw sexuality right here!
An elderly man (Gwenn) wandering the streets of New York City on Thanksgiving happens across some sort of parade or something (we've never heard of something like that), thrown by Macy's, one of the mom-and-pop department stores that inhabit that small, bustling burg. (We know literally nothing about New York, except that David Letterman haunts part of it.) The first thing he discovers, however, is that the parade's Santa Claus (Percy Helton) is completely hammered! So the mysterious old fellow goes looking for someone to lecture about it, as old people are wont to do.

He finds Doris Walker (O'Hara), the parade's coordinator and immediately lays the blame at her feet, and she reacts to his blind verbal assault in the only reasonable way possible: she hires him on the spot to be the new Santa, because his unquenchable rage makes it clear he would be delightful with children.

He answered with a string of profanities that made her burst into flames.
Having handled one potentially career-destroying incident, Doris heads home to see her daughter, Susan (Wood), who is watching the parade with their neighbor, Fred Gailey (Payne). For his part, Fred tries to inject some fantasy and fun into the parade for little nine-year-old Susan, but she is having no part of it, having been told the dark, soul-crushing truths of adulthood way too early in her life by her mother.

Susan is not so jaded, however, to keep from letting Fred bribe her to convince her mother that she should invite Fred to Thanksgiving dinner.

The next day (possibly--the timeline is kind of sloppy), Fred brings Susan to the store so she can see Santa Claus. She, being the nihilist that she is, goes along to humor him, but she makes it clear that she thinks the whole premise is ridiculous. When she finally meets him, she tries to rip off his beard and, when it doesn't come off in her hand, she immediately switches sides. Doris spots this and lectures Fred about confusing poor, stupid Susan. (She doesn't actually call Susan stupid, but the way she talks about her implies that she considers her daughter to be a window licker.)

Why, you rotten little monster!
The new Santa appears to be working swimmingly, and Susan's boss, Mr. Shellhammer (Philip Tonge), and his boss, Mr. Macy (Harry Antrim), are super-thrilled. Everything is just dandy, until Shellhammer overhears Santa suggesting to a child's mother that the toy the kid wants is available at another store. He goes to Susan and tells her that this Santa has to go, so she fires him.

Later that day(?), during a meeting, Mr. Macy is thrilled that Santa is offering people alternatives when they cannot find what they want at his store. He even gives them a bonus and suggest giving one to Santa, as well. (Sad trombone sound as Doris and Shellhammer realize that their money just walked out the door.)

Santa, meanwhile, has assembled an army to invade Macy's!
They find him and give him a bunch of money, and then ask him to have a psychological evaluation from the in-house therapist, the extremely twitchy Dr. Sawyer (Porter Hall), after he reveals that he believes he is actually the Santa Claus, or Kris Kringle, as he prefers.

Dr. Sawyer is a chinless bully who clearly despises Kris and does not believe he is the least bit sane, and he shares this opinion with anyone who will listen. It falls on mostly deaf ears, although Shellhammer is on the fence.

In the meantime, Kris has befriended not only Doris and Susan, but also Fred, who offers him a place to stay while he's working at the store. Kris also tries to teach Susan how to use her imagination, undoing the years of mental torture her own mother has subjected the poor child to, and probably saving her a fortune on decades of therapy later in life. It starts out slow because Susan is not too keen on pretending to be something she is not.

Young Susan, the John Merrick of holiday movies.
After a bit of work, the two of them bond over bubblegum and pretending to be monkeys.

Later, while speaking to a young man named Alfred (Alvin Greenman), Kris discovers that Dr. Sawyer has told the kid to stop playing Santa at the local YMCA, because he feels that Alfred will develop the same delusions that he believes Kris suffers from.

Duly enraged again, Kris goes to Dr. Sawyer and assaults him, hitting him over the head with an umbrella. Sawyer plays it to the hilt, using the opportunity to convince Shellhammer that Kris is an unstable loony that could go off at any moment, and they decide to have him committed.

An overly complicated plot is enacted, and they get Kris into a car and headed to Bellevue. It isn't until later that evening, when Fred is about to go to bed, that anyone realizes that Kris is missing. He speaks to Susan, who finds out what happened. When she tells Fred, he goes to visit Kris, who intentionally failed the psychological examination because he felt that the people he had trusted and believed were his friends had betrayed him.

Fred convinces Kris that they can fight the commitment in court, and even offers to represent him. All they have to do is prove that Santa exists, and that this elderly man who came out of nowhere is that very person. No problem, right?

But will Kris be able to prove that he is both sane and Santa? Will Sawyer still have eyebrows by the end of the hearing? Will the bitter and unbelieving Susan change her mind yet again when Kris gives her the ridiculously extravagant gift that she demands as proof that he is who he says he is? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Derek loves this film, going back to when his mother used to make him watch it every year. (It was her favorite, too.) He does feel that Susan is way too cynical for her age, which brings up all kinds of questions about Doris' parenting skills. He also wonders what happened between Fred and Doris, because there isn't a lot of detail.

Larry, having never seen this film, was pleasantly surprised. He also worries about Susan's mental health later in life, but assumes all is well by the end of the film. His only real concern is for Shellhammer, Sawyer, and the others at the store who play the parts way over the top. There is also a disturbing question about the chins (or lack thereof) these men possess.

So fire up your Miracle on 34th Street DVD, load up on turkey, and check out this week's episode!

November 17, 2017

Gremlins 2: The New Batch

To listen/download, click here!

(Note: This week's episode is a commentary track meant to be listened to while you watch the movie. If you don't actually have the movie, you can either listen to the beginning and then skip to roughly the two-hour mark, or just go ahead and listen to the whole thing and try to figure out what the hell we're talking about. Whichever works for you. We won't judge.

Also, stick around until the end, because we have news about this year's Holiday Moviepalooza choices! - Derek)

This week, Derek and Larry sat down to watch and discuss Gremlins 2: The New Batch, the sequel to Gremlins, the 1984 Christmas classic from Steven Spielberg.

Six years after some horrible little critters (Dick Miller and Polly Holiday) all buy destroyed the sleepy little town of Kingston Falls, the person responsible for it, Billy Peltzer (Zach Galligan), and his adorably cute girlfriend, Kate Beringer (Phoebe Cates), are now living in New York, working for the Clamp Organization, which is owned by one Daniel Clamp (John Glover).

In Chinatown, fuzzy little Mogwai Gizmo (voiced by Howie Mandel) is back in Mr.Wing's (Keye Luke) curio shop, where he belongs. When a visitor (Robert Picardo) shows up to play a videotape at Mr. Wing--a videotape of Daniel Clamp offering to buy his shop in in order to build a giant, gaudy Chinese-themed tower. Mr. Wing is the only holdout, but he is in poor health, so it may only be a matter of time. And that time is about three minutes.

Whatever...I don't even care,
Back at Clamp Tower, Billy and Kate head to their respective jobs; he as what appears to be a conceptual artist, and she as a tour guide to the massive, "technologically advanced" building. (Really, it's a crap building. Every mechanical thing in the place tries to kill anybody using it, and the gremlins haven't even shown up!)

Billy is forced to deal with one of the most stereotypical 80s New York women since Jeanine Melnitz in Ghostbusters, his supervisor, Marla Bloodstone (Haviland Morris), a constantly smoking, neurotic, power-hungry woman who treats every single thing like it is the end of the world. Not only does she constantly shoot down Billy's ideas, but she also wants to see what his underpants look like.

The man she wants meets the man she wants to be.
The carpet under her feet is ruined right now.
Back across town, the curio shop is being destroyed, now that Mr. Wing is dead. Gizmo, now homeless, wanders the mean streets until he is captured by twin scientists, Martin (Don Stanton) and Lewis (Dan Stanton), and taken back to the genetics lab where they work, which just happens to be in the Clamp Tower! What are the odds?!

(No, really...What are the odds that this one rare creature would somehow find its way through a city of about 7.5 million people at the time, and end up in the laps of the two people that it knows? Based on what little information we could find about this kind of probability, it hovers around about 12%, although that seems way too high to us.)

Not only does Clamp Towers have an art department, a genetics lab, and what looks like a mall of some kind; it also has a television studio that rivals 30 Rock in size. There are a number of shows shot there, including Microwaving with Marge (Kathleen Freeman), The Clamp Cable News channel, and a b-movie show featuring a host named Grandpa Fred (Robert Prosky), who looks like Al Lewis as Grandpa Munster. Billy and Fred are friends, and they lament the fact that Daniel Clamp only wants horrible gaudiness instead of quality.

Back in the lab, Dr. Catheter (Christopher Lee) is unimpressed by Lewis and Martin's new find, and he's all-in on the idea of dissecting Gizmo and trying to find his "cuteness gene".

Yes, but can I make it one of my dark minions?
Fortunately (and improbably), a deliveryman (Raymond Cruz) hears Gizmo humming his song, gets it stuck in his head, and starts humming it himself. Moments later, in another incredible coincidence, Billy overhears the song and grills the man about where he heard it. The man tells him, and Billy immediately lies his way into the genetics lab to see if his suspicion is correct. (SPOILER: It is.)

Billy rescues Gizmo from the lab, but now he has to hide him until he can go home. He stuffs the Mogwai into a drawer and tells him to wait. Immediately, Marla arrives and suggest she and Billy discuss some new ideas over dinner (at a restaurant that serves Canadian cuisine, because why the hell not). More or less trapped into going, Billy finds Kate and tells her that she will have to take Gizmo back to their apartment while he fends off Marla's advances over a Molson and some poutine. Kate, who is a reasonable person with a pretty good memory of instances when a bunch of these creatures tried to murder her to death, is not especially thrilled about the idea, but she agrees.

Billy tells Gizmo that Kate is coming for him, and then goes off to dinner with Marla. Gizmo,satisfied that Billy is really gone, escapes the desk drawer he was left in, and is almost immediately soaked by a janitor (John Astin) who is fixing a water fountain while muttering to himself about how underappreciated he is. This causes a number of little fuzzballs to shoot out of Gizmo's back, and we all know where this is going, right?

Left to Right: Larry, Jake and Derek meet Grandpa Fred
Yes, these little fuzzballs are all evil Mogwai. They torture Gizmo and throw him into an air duct, and then go about causing mayhem. Kate comes to the office and takes the googly-eyed, giggling Mogwai, believing it is Gizmo. She takes it home, where it begins to trash the entire place.

At the Canadian restaurant, Marla continues trying to woo Billy, who is not the least bit interested. When she realizes that she isn't going to get anywhere, she lets him leave, but not before laying a sloppy, lipstick-covered kiss on his cheek.

Billy returns home to find Kate covered in food and the apartment wrecked. And then he finds that t wasn't Gizmo that Kate brought home. It slowly dawns on them both what has happened, and they get ready to go back to the tower and find Gizmo. Unfortunately, they are delayed when the Mr. and Mrs. Futterman (Dick Miller and Jackie Joseph, respectively) arrive a day early to visit. You will recall Mr. Futterman as the astoundingly racist, alcoholic tractor driver from the first movie, and Mrs. Futterman as his put-upon wife. But now they're fun and goofy, so it's okay!

Billy and Kate blow them off and head to the tower, just in time to discover that the Mogwai have eaten after midnight, and are now the super-killy gremlins, whose antics make the tower slightly more glitchy.

What follows is the usual gremlin hijinks, including attacking the television studio, the genetics lab, Daniel Clamp himself, and even the film itself. (This last one is remedied by the appearance of Hulk Hogan, for some reason.)

Once the gremlins get into the genetics lab, they begin trying all the different concoctions available to them, creating several genetically-modified new gremlins: a bat-gremlin, a spider gremlin, and one that can actually carry on a normal conversation (voiced by Tony Randall).

And a musical number. Did we mention a musical number?
Billy meets up with Clamp, and they come up with a plan involving getting the gremlins into the lobby and exposing them to sunlight. But will it work? Will Billy and Kate's relationship survive Marla's incessant need to paw at Billy? Will Gizmo's affinity for Rambo movies every be explained? Will Mr. Futterman have a relapse and murder everybody? You'll have to listen to find out!

Larry enjoys this movie. All the gags, the gremlins themselves, and even whatever the deal is with Marla. He is also thrilled that Gedde Watanabe makes an appearance as, surprise, a camera-toting Japanese tourist whose grasp of what is actually going on is only marginally better than his grasp of the English language.

Derek also loves the film. Despite the harsh reviews, he can appreciate that it doesn't even try to take itself too seriously, even during the darkest moments. He says it is, essentially, a parody of itself and the entire franchise. He was also excited to see Leonard Maltin in the movie, but it raises the question: If the first Gremlins movie exists in this universe, is it considered a documentary to him?

So don't get wet, don't eat after midnight, and tune in to this week's show!

November 9, 2017

Future War

To listen/download, click here!

If you took Terminator and threw in some Theodore Rex (minus Whoopi Goldberg's staid and nuanced performance), and then added a pinch of the "special" effects from the old Krofft show Land of the Lost, you would have a horrible, unwatchable mess of a film. But it would still be better than this week's movie.

This week, the guys sat down to watch Future War, starring Daniel Bernhardt, Robert Z'Dar (and his chin), Travis Brooks Stewart, and Andre Scruggs.

And Jake "The Snake" Roberts as Dog the Bounty Hunter!
"Four days ago, fire fell from the sky," our narrator, Annie (Stewart) tells us. Repeatedly.

You see, this is her "poetic" way of telling us about The Runaway (Bernhardt, a Jean Claude Van Damme knock-off from Sweden), who uses an escape shuttle to get away from what appears to be some kind of prison ship in space.

Although we are never told exactly why he is a prisoner, he is pursued by a cyborg bounty hunter (Kazja, shown above) and the cyborg's tracking dinosaur, which is a thing in space, we guess. After a brief fight with the cyborg during which a number of innocent cardboard boxes are destroyed, Jean Claude Aw Heck stabs the dinosaur in the neck, and it explodes, because there is a collar around its neck that monitors its vital signs, and when those tank, it explodes, destroying any evidence that it existed at all.

Jean Claude Gosh Darn IS The Prisoner.
Immediately after defeating a killer cyborg and its killer dinosaur puppet, Jean Claude Oh Shit is run over by a nun driving a Miata. The nun turns out to be Annie, our cursing, cigarette-smoking, drinking narrator. (The Miata is probably borrowed from a Production Assistant.)

Fortunately, Annie's ability to kill runaway prisoners from space with her car is about as effective as her ability to be a nun, so he is alive, but in pretty rough shape. She loads him into the hatchback of her car and takes her to the halfway house for fat guys(?) where she is a counselor and has a nurse friend give him a look.

While the nurse tends to the Jean Claude Aww Yeah, Annie knocks back a few shots of brown liquor and tells her own backstory to Fred (Scruggs, whom Derek and Larry incorrectly refer to as Frank throughout the whole show...oops).

All's I'm sayin', Frank...Frank? Fred? I dunno...Ya wanna get some tacos?
You see, Annie used to be a prostitute. And did a lot of drugs. She partied, she drank, she smoked. And then, one night, another of the girls she worked with was killed, and that put her on the path of giving up roughly 40% of the bad habits she had, which apparently is good enough to qualify you for the sisterhood in California.

When Jean Claude Oh Well returns to the land of the living, he is unable to speak because he also had one of those exploding collars on, but he manages to explain to Annie about the dinosaurs and cyborgs by using broad gestures and making whining puppy noises at her.

After a looooong walk-and-talk where Jean Claude Gosh Darn can suddenly speak (possibly because Annie gave him beef jerky on a train?), they return back to the house just in time to be attacked by another dinosaur puppet, which Frank (Fred?) shoots, and then run away again, only to be arrested for a reason that is never made clear.

As they are being transported to the police station, a call comes over the radio of yet another dinosaur puppet attack, and the police car diverts to the scene, which we're pretty sure is a breach of protocol when transferring prisoners, but what do we know.

One SWAT guy shows up, as well, and is almost immediately eaten. But then another cyborg shows up (Z'Dar), and fights with Jean Claude No Way. There is much kicking in the face, several more cardboard boxes are destroyed, and then the cyborg is taken out by being gently poked with a thin aluminum pole.

A rolled-up newspaper could have probably allowed them to avoid all of this.
The dinosaur is also killed, and it explodes, prompting the police to re-arrest Jean Claude Th' Hell and Annie, whom they finally take to the police station.

As they are being interrogated, some FBI guys show up and take over the case, deciding to cut a hole in Jean Claude Well Yeah and removing a tracking device imbedded in his spine. Unfortunately, it's still active, and the dinosaur puppets find them again, and lots of people get dead.

Somehow, they manage to get out alive, and Annie meets up with a gang to help her get some weapons and explosives so she and her cohorts can blow up the dinosaur puppets, which are now hiding out in a warehouse(?) underground(?) in the sewers(?).

They set a trap, tease the dinosaur puppets, causing them to give chase. One falls into an inexplicable pit in the middle of a hallway, and another is taken out with a microphone stand. A third continues to follow them, making its way past the traps and pit.

You be quiet, Muldoon.
Just as the dinosaur is about to catch up, the bomb goes off, blowing it up into a million tiny foam pieces.

Everybody's safe now, right? RIGHT?!

Of course not, you silly theoretical reader, because just as Annie is taking her final vows to become a real nun, Robo-Z'Dar returns to get kicked in the face some more!

And there is a lot of face to kick.
Will Jean Claude Fuck Yeah be able to defeat Robo-Z'Dar again, but for reals this time? Or will Z'Dar's mighty chin finally bring down The Runaway? Will Annie be able to stop smoking, drinking, and swearing long enough to be an actual nun? You'll have to tune in to find out!

Larry almost immediately regretted choosing this one, because it was astoundingly stupid. Even though they watched the MST3K version of it, it was still unwatchable. He thought the jokes were pretty funny, but not funny enough to recommend the movie itself. And he is right.

Derek is straight-up furious about the special effects. This was one year after the film Jurassic Park was released, yet they used shitty foam puppets for the dinosaurs. He's super angry about that. But he was excited to bask in the majesty of Robert Z'Dar's magical chin for two scenes.

So put on a wife-beater tank top, do some splits, and avoid actually watching this movie by listening to these clowns talk about it!

November 3, 2017

Super Mario Bros.

To listen/download, click here!

Imagine having the opportunity to make a movie out of the most popular video game franchise ever created. Now imagine taking almost every single thing that actually resembles the game itself and removing it. Throw in a British guy and a Colombian-American guy to play the very Italian lead characters, and throw in Frank from Blue Velvet, Harry Potter's Aunt Petunia, and the parking valet who took Cameron's dad's Porsche for a joyride in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Oh, and also Mojo Nixon.

No, really. Someone thought this was a good idea!
Finally, add in a bunch of nonsense about rival plumbing companies and mafia-run construction companies (because New York, we guess), and you almost have whatever the hell Super Mario Bros. was supposed to be. And that's what Derek and Larry sat down to watch this week!

65 million years ago, a meteorite crashed into the Earth, apparently killing off the dinosaurs...

...or did it?

No, it totally did. But Super Mario Bros. suggests that, instead, the dinosaurs were blown into an alternate dimension, where they continued to thrive and evolve into some sort of dino-human hybrids.

Millions of years later, a mysterious woman leaves a mysterious package containing a mysterious egg with a mysterious baby in it at a not-especially-mysterious convent. When the egg hatches, the nuns discover a small rock that had been embedded in the egg's shell...

Jumping ahead a few more years (probably around twenty-ish), we meet Mario Mario (Bob Hoskins) and Luigi Mario (John Leguizamo), a pair of plumbers who work in the cutthroat sewer repair industry that apparently exists in Brooklyn, New York.

Mario is all business--a guy who knows how to fix the heck out of a leaky pipe. He has no time for the silly tabloids and garbage television shows with which his apprentice brother Luigi is infatuated. When the brothers get a call for a repair job, they pile into their truck and take off, only to be beaten to the customer by the Scapelli Construction Company.

Across town, Anthony Scapelli (Gianni Russo) himself is causing problems for someone else: Daisy (Samantha Mathis)--an archeologist who is trying to have a poke around a piece of land where Scapelli wants to put a building. Scapelli, unimpressed by Daisy, threatens to make things incredibly unpleasant for her and her crew, so she goes looking for a payphone (remember those?) so she can call the museum and get them to hire more security for the site.

By a strange coincidence, she finds the exact payphone that Luigi happens to be using to call an answering service while Mario goes into a nearby store to get some water for the truck's radiator. Luigi offers Daisy the phone, and Mario comes out, only to discover that his little brother is smitten with this average-looking young lady. Mario immediately starts laying the groundwork for Luigi to get some action, offering Daisy a ride back to the site so Luigi can stammer at her for a bit.

And show off their incredible fashion sense!
Despite the fact that Daisy only walked a few blocks to the phone, the ride takes long enough for the site to clear out almost entirely, aside from a couple of creepy guys (Fisher Stevens as Iggy and Richard Edson as Spike) who are following Daisy.

Daisy offers to show Mario and Luigi what it is that she is digging for: the skeleton of a dinosaur that appears to have opposable thumbs, which means that they continued to evolve after the meteorite supposedly killed all of them.

While this is going on, Iggy and Spike open up a water valve, hoping to flood the site and force them out. Fortunately, Mario has his tool belt, so he and Luigi set about shutting off the water, only to be knocked unconscious by Iggy and Spike, who then grab Daisy and make a run for it down the tunnel.

Mario and Luigi give chase, only to find some kind of portal. Daisy manages to get halfway out, long enough for Luigi to make a grab for her, but only managing to get her necklace, before she is pulled back in. Luigi convinces Mario that they need to go through that portal to rescue Daisy, so they jump in, only to find themselves in a dark, crowded underground city.

They are immediately mugged by an elderly woman, who steals the necklace. That woman is then mugged by Big Bertha (Francesca Roberts), who takes the necklace and throws the old lady over a railing.

She may be vicious, but she's still all woman.
As Mario and Luigi try to get the necklace back, they stop to listen to a protest singer named Toad (Mojo Nixon), who is singing a song about the evil King Koopa. He is almost immediately arrested, and then so are Mario and Luigi when they try to defend him.

Sent to jail and caged, the brothers receive a visitor (Dennis Hopper, for some reason). When they go to meet him, he says that he is the lawyer assigned to them, but after they start talking trash about this King Koopa guy, the lawyer reveals himself to be Koopa and sends them to the Devolution Chamber, where they will be devolved back to dinosaurs, or goombas, as Koopa calls them.

Before they can have their bodies enlarged and their heads shrunk, they turn the tables on Koopa, stuffing him into the machine, which gives Koopa lizard eyes and that's about it. The brothers make their escape, steal a police car, and a chase ensues. Just like in the game.

Getting stuck on top of another car, and then making a wrong turn or two, Mario drives them over a cliff, Thelma and Louise-style, only to be saved by the mucus that seems to be all over the place. Luigi thinks it intentionally saved them. Mario is dubious.

Daisy, who has now been stuffed into a room with a bunch of other women who had been kidnapped, is taken to speak to Koopa, who wants her to give up the necklace because it turns out the rock in it is part of the original meteorite that hit the Earth millions of years ago, and reattaching it to the meteorite will reconnect this dimension with ours, allowing him to take his goombas and rule that world, too.

And really get his Kiss tribute band out there, ya know?
She's not down with that idea, even though he also promises to let her father (Lance Henriksen), who is a drippy wad of goo currently, live.

Mario and Luigi find themselves in a desert, with Iggy and Spike coming after them. The brothers ambush the two nimrods and tie them up, demanding to know what it is they want. When Iggy explains that they just need the necklace and why, Mario offers to get it back from Bertha if they will help him and Luigi get Daisy back. An agreement is made, and they all head back to the city to find Bertha and dance the necklace away from her. (This makes sense. Trust us on that.)

Now that they have the rock, Iggy and Spike take it to Koopa, only to have it snagged by Koopa's assistant, Lena (Fiona Shaw), who wants to put the pieces together and rule bother worlds herself.

Meanwhile, Mario and Luigi are trying to find Daisy, and they run across the other women, one of whom is Mario's girlfriend, Daniella (Dana Kaminsky). But Daisy is nowhere to be found, because she is being taken to see Lena.

With her chaperones in tow. Just in case.
Lena chains Daisy up with Yoshi, a small dinosaur that looks nothing like the one in the game, and then takes the necklace to the room where the meteorite is stored. Mario breaks the girls out of the room they are stuck in, and leads a bunch of goombas on a chase that involves sliding down an ice tunnel on a mattress. Luigi finds Daisy somehow, and they go looking for Lena, getting there just in time to see her get blasted into the wall because only the princess--Daisy--can put the pieces back together.

Lena did manage to open the portal briefly, transporting Koopa and Mario to the "real" world long enough for Koopa to turn Scapelli into a chimpanzee with a portable Devolution gun, and then sending them back, where Koopa and Mario square off. Will Mario defeat Koopa? Will the brothers ever get back to Brooklyn? Will this movie never end?

You'll have to tune in to find out!

Derek picked this movie because he thought it would be funny to watch Larry's reaction. Unfortunately, the film was so terrible that he forgot to look at Larry, so the whole point was lost. He is, however, upset that such a great cast would read the script for this film and still agree to be in it.

Larry actually enjoyed the movie, for some reason, causing Derek to question just what sort of horrible things Larry has experienced that would make him enjoy this film. He does, however, agrees with Derek about the casting.

So get your toolbelt, grab your plunger, and listen to this week's episode!