Drama

Review of Night of the Comet

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Night of the CometRating: ★★★★★★★★☆☆

Review

1984 is wholly drowning in science-fiction oddities. Some of them fail miserably and others are quaint and retreaded, though sort of intriguing. Night of the Comet is unabashedly open to taking in influences from many mediums and genres, sort of crafting a romance story around a science-fiction tale, capping it with humor and drama alike. Night of the Comet isn’t particuarly good, but for what it does, you come to appreciation the seamlessness of making so many types of movies in one and having it turn less into a hodge podge mess and something not entirely pretentious. Night of the Comet is quiet for all its exaggerated tendencies, and the film comes and goes without making a huge splash, but a quiet simmer that will stick for some time. Like a slow kiss and not meaningless mediocre sex, Night of the Comet is pretty and interesting, and for sci-fi in the 80’s, that’s about as modest as it gets.

Reason to Watch

Night of the Comet does a lot right, and doesn’t focus on one thing to drive the characters through their silly story.

Context

The film’s charming elements are helped further by a story that actually sort of makes sense, something akin to a god-like impossibility in mid-80’s science-fiction realm.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Willy: You wouldn’t believe what we want from you. In your worst nightmare you wouldn’t believe. 
  • Regina Belmont: C’mon Hector, the MAC-10 submachine gun was practically designed for housewives. 
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

A nice cup of coffee and your viewing glasses, this contradicts the absurdity with a little bit of wholesome goodness

Trivia
  • The original working title for the film was Teenage Mutant Horror Comet Zombies.
  • The Shopping Mall featured in Night of the Comet was the Sherman Oaks Galleria. The Galleria has been used for several movies including Terminator and Fast Times at Ridegmont High.
Educational Content

If famed gruesome horror/children’s film director Robert Rodriguez likes something, it’s probably good

Malls are creepy when empty

If Night of the Comet does something right, they remind you that Dawn of the Dead is a good movie

Justification for Rating

Unlike many cult films, Night of the Comet is a legitimate engrossing movie. it takes influences from many different sources, yet on its own, its a nice mix of many different things that work well together, as opposed to a blender of random items that make a chunky gross brown smoothie.

Clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91xWXTIwTwM

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Action

Review of Demolition Man

Action 1 Comment »

Demolition ManRating: ★★★★★★★★★☆

Review

Demolition Man is one of the most relentless action movies not starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Before Steven Seagal made it cool, Wesley Snipes was killing innocent people left and right. Ok, not really, but Demolition Man is relentless, fast-paced, and totally MAN. There’s enough testosterone hear to fill a pool, which only barely makes sense, just like the science-fiction future plot lines threading through the whole first half of this movie. but when you realize it doesn’t have to make sense, and Sylvester Stallone is going to crack a skull, the movie becomes entirely clear- we are seeing action film at its best. Demolition Man is probably an hour and a half longer than it needs to be, but there is something truly special about a white man and a black man duking it out for the future of the races- in the future! that IS what this thing is about right?

Reason to Watch

Sandra Bullock is actually attractive here. Oh, and the final sequence is one of the best things ever put on film next to the middle half of Gone With the Wind, another relentless action flick.

Context

Demolition Man is stupidly awesome, and the best thing ever,  and if you want proof, look at the list of actors and the director, who has directed this movie ONLY and not another before or since.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • John Spartan: You’re gonna regret this the rest of your life… both seconds of it. 
  • Simon Phoenix: Wait a minute, this is the future. Where are all the phaser guns? 
  • Boggle Guard: Mellow greetings. What seems to be your boggle?
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

Three cases of beer, a dead shark wrestled with your bare hands, and a pet grizzly bear who feeds you cake and recites lines all Stallone’s lines

Trivia

Sylvester Stallone wanted the Simon Phoenix character to be played by Jackie Chan. Chan refused, since Asian audiences don’t like the idea of actors who have always played heroes suddenly playing evil characters

The “ray gun” used by Wesley Snipes in the Museum Armory sequence is based on the Heckler and Koch G11, a prototype weapon for the German army that would have been the most advanced rifle in the world, firing caseless ammunition

Educational Content

Being frozen for 44 years has awkward side effects

Jackie Chan can’t play a villian

John Spartan, the name, induces immediate fear

Justification for Rating

No matter how you cut it, Demolition Man is pure badassery and unrelentingly violent and borderline misogynistic- hence the 9 rating

Clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCagn9-OUQk

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Scifi

Review of The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

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The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th DimensioRating: ★★★★★★★★★★

Review

On the surface, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension is not a good move. I would not disagree if you though it was, in fact, a terrible abysmal film. Yet Buckaroo Banzai does something few films have managed to do well- it was brilliantly spoofed the entire science-fiction genre. it has played on the cliches and basic ideological bullshit stuffed into them, while being engrossing and entertaining throughout. The film is smarter and better than most its peers, and stands as just a ridiculous example of film making. Everything about this film cries out as being the last calling card for all sci-fi byproducts. None are greater than the one that single-handedly mocked all the cliches of the times in one fell swoop.

Reason to Watch

Buckaroo Banzai might kick your ass if you do not. Personally, I like my ass intact and have ordered a new copy of Buckaroo Banzai Across whatever through Amazon.

Context

It’s like Dune, except not as pretentious and bloated and more streamlined and awesome.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Perfect Tommy: Pictures don’t lie. 
    Reno: The hell they don’t. I met my first wife that way. 
  • John O’Connor: They’re only monkey-boys. We can crush them here on earth, Lord Whorfin. 
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

An awesome open mind and appreciation for Banzai, the Chuck Norris of his time.

Trivia
  • The latitude and longitude recited by the technicians during the “alignment” of the Oscillation Overthruster are the coordinates of Cape Canaveral, Florida.
  • President Widmark is clearly intended to look and sound like Orson Welles, who directed and starred in the radio presentation of “War of the Worlds” referenced in the film.
Educational Content

Well, for starters, there is an 8th dimension

Science fiction films as a whole are sort of dumb, no matter how many dimensions they add

Justification for Rating

However you spin it, this science fiction spoof is smarter, wittier, and basically superior to any legitimate science-fiction film ever made. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy holds its own as a film, but this came out decades before and stands the test of the time as the final capstone on terrible science-fiction, and what a way to bow out.

Clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NG8Ipk9CnU

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Comedy

Review of UHF

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UHFRating: ★★★★★☆☆☆☆☆

Review

There aren’t many things that have involved both Weird Al Yankovic and David Bowie. One known more for his quickly dated parody songs, the other as the experimental pop mastermind, these two men have made a calculated risk with UHF and over 20 years later, I’m still not sure if it did much of anything. UHF has both musicians playing “sort of” archetypes as themselves as George and Bob. George earns, through a series of events, the ability to run a quickly declining television station. he hires his friend Bob to help, and through a host of unrealistic and obnoxiously prototypical characters, we have chaos and “humour.” UHF isn’t all that funny, but it does show you that when a musician acts, it more often than not fails miserably. Sting tried it, Bob Dylan tried it, just doesn’t work unless your black.

Reason to Watch

If you are a fan of Weird Al or David Bowie, you may get a kick out of watching them pretend their not themselves by basically acting how they would act as musicians in the spotlight. Also, the Rambo scene.

Context

UHF is silly and harmless, and instead of hurting the career’s of those involved, it essentially kept everything completely and utterly neutral. Yay for film moving forward.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • George Newman: Lesbian Nazi Hookers Abducted by UFOs and Forced Into Weight Loss Programs… all next week on Town Talk. 
  • Stanley Spadowski: I’m thinkin’ of something orange. Something orange. Give up? It’s an orange. 
    Stanley Spadowski: Ok, now I’m thinkin’ of something blue. Something bluuuuuue. 
  • Bob: I don’t know about this, George. We don’t know the first thing about what goes on in a television station. 
    George Newman: Don’t worry, Bob. It’s just like working in a fish-market. Except you don’t have to clean and gut fish all day. 
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

You may need Keanu Reeves from Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey to help out. I believe he’s a fan of both Weird Al, David Bowie, and arbitrary stupidity.

Trivia

After extremely positive feedback from test screenings, Orion Pictures concluded that this film was their sure-fire summer blockbuster. Unfortunately, the film was released during the summer of 1989 against huge films like Lethal Weapon 2Batman and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  It did turn a minor profit but wasn’t enough to save Orion. Following a string of box-office flops, Orion went bankrupt in the early 1990s.

The first cut of UHF was over 2 and a half hours, and where Weird Al still insists on not releasing the director’s cut, saying there was a reaosn those scenes did not make the film

During film, Weird Al had moles on his face removed. Some scenes they are visible, and others they are not

Educational Content

Even as an actor in a comedy film, Weird Al barely qualifies as funny

Justification for Rating

UHF is reminiscent along the lines of Wayne’s World, but ends up being only partly funny, because the whole time you are never attached to a character or itnerested in the paperthin spinning wheels recycled scenarios plot. Clever ideas tossed and turned around…

Clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n1hKQULa9Y

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Comedy

Review of Return of the Living Dead

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Return of the Living DeadRating: ★★★★★★★☆☆☆

Review

When Dan O’Bannon and George Romero crafted Night of the Living Dead in the late 60’s, the producers and the duo themselves never obtained proper copyright. In totality, the franchise naming and overall premise wasn’t particularly owned by anyone, allowing both O’Bannon and Romero to create two deviating franchises based on the original movie. Due to creative differences, the two parted, and O’Bannon took a more humors approach to the zombie apocalypse, ushering in Return of the Living Dead and four sequels. And like many many-sequeled franchises, it is the earliest iteration that obtains the most respect. Return of the Living Dead is a largely comical trope through the zombie outbreak, drowning in comical overdone make-up effects and solidifying many zombie archetypes that stay in place even to today.

Reason to Watch

If you felt the zombie apocalypse story lacked a little comedy relief this way of jar Jar Binks or Animal House, return of the Living Dead is there to save the day.

Context

Return of the Living Dead is violent, gruesome, and horrifying stupid. With that said, it’s pure unrelenting entertainment, and I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

Most Memorable Quote(s)
  • Burt Wilson: I thought you said if we destroyed the brain, it’d die! 
    Frank: It worked in the movie! 
    Burt Wilson: Well, it ain’t working now, Frank! 
    Freddy: You mean the movie lied? 
  • Suicide: How come you guys only come around when you need a ride someplace? 
    Spider: ‘Cause you’re one spooky motherfucker, man. 
What You Need to Get Through This Movie

A love for zombie films is pretty necessary. this thing is straight zombie grade-A sweetness

Trivia
  • The film’s original intention was to be filmed in 3-D. Not quite Avatar level 3-D I’m sure, but also two decades before that movie became a hit
  • Executives attempted to get George A. Romero involved with the project as producer, and had a hefty lump to pay. He never responded
  • The director was shocked to see so many females interested in the film, saying he would have shown Thom Matthews naked if he knew that would occur
Educational Content

Even in death, you have a sense of humour

Nicknames make you zombie fodder

Justification for Rating

This unrelenting take on the zombie franchise works better as a comedy and as an entertaining film far more than any of George A. Romero’s latter-day zombie attempts where he essentially took the zombies in a direction of banding together and forming societies- except without the comedy and more of a “we’re serious, we’re building a farm” angle. it was awful.

Clip

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wylpeAXYcBQ

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