#2: The Worst Video Game Movies, Round One: King Pooper Vs. Uwe Boll
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Episode Description: This month, the Bad Idea boys tackle a very bad idea when they decide to examine the bottom of the video-game-movie bell curve—the Ron-Jeremy-starring adult feature Super Hornio Brothers, about which the nicest thing that can be said is that it ends, eventually. Before that, though, you have to endure bored early-’90s porno sex, incoherent plotting and a villain who
#1: Lemme Take You to a Show, Whoa-oh Whoa-oh-oh-oh Oh-oh Oh Oh: Frank Zappa on Film
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Episode Description: Everybody’s got to start somewhere so this first episode is not even close to being topical. The topic du jour is Frank Zappa on film and why watching either 200 Motels or Uncle Meat, mockumentaries-cum-freak-outs starring Frank and the Mothers of Invention, are arguably a unique form of cruel and unusual torture. They’re also unique products of
Some directors spend their entire careers switching effortlessly between genres. Zack Snyder does not. He is an action director, and everything he makes emerges as an action film. Clearly he wishes to be seen as a jack of all trades, the kind of guy who can make any movie; he’s hung his name on a horror movie, two highly divergent examples of comic-book cinema, and now, a film populated by talking owls and aimed at children. All of these films, without fail, have come out chock full of amped-up action sequences, isolated moments of “awesome,” and endless, endless use of slow motion.
Will Ferrell is a very funny guy who has been accused of doing a certain type, a type he falls into easily, too often. I prefer to think of his as a coherent body of work. Whether macho man or milquetoast, Ferrell’s characters are tied to each other by the carefully-arranged and precise lives they lead, and by their adverse reaction to shifts in those lives. The slightest upset can send them off into fits of howling anger or surrealistic verbiage. The man’s hallmark is a barely concealed rage
“We’re all just trash, waiting to be thrown away…” Consider what it must be like to be a toy in the world of the Toy Story films. It’s all fun and games as long as your owner is of the age where you matter. Every toy, like every human, must know that nothing lasts forever; and as long as you aren’t junked, you’re effectively immortal. This translates to a relatively brief window of happiness sidling into a long dry desert of disappointment and boredom. These are not parameters explored by the average children’s film. Then again, it’s debatable whether it can be said that Pixar is
“What’s the worst that could happen?” The smart viewer, upon hearing this phrase during a film, will cringe. This is always intended as a rhetorical query, yet the asking will invariably summon up the barrel-bottom worst-case scenario that the characters are doing all they can to avoid. This holds especially true if these characters are in a film wherein they’re practically inviting the worst upon themselves by Tampering in God’s Domain—a film like, say, Vincenzo Natali’s creepy-funny sci-fi shock show Splice.
The man is pale and severe and gaunt, terribly gaunt. His crisp white lab coat hangs on him as though it has always been there. The stentorian cast of his aged features is impenetrable—he rarely smiles, and when he has cause to try the result is closer to a grimace. Everything about his existence—his house, his workspace, his actions—is clean, measured, precise. This stands in direct contrast to the horrible unnatural desires rumbling and churning just beneath the surface. The last couple of clauses, while applicable to the not-so-good Doctor Heiter, could also apply to Tom Six
The problem with Kick-Ass is that it has too much Kick-Ass in it. That statement could be read a couple of ways, all true. There’s a terrific story and a terrific film in this material—there’s probably several terrific films, truth be told—but for Matthew Vaughn’s version to work like it should, he needed a different protagonist. So what’s wrong with Kick-Ass? Haven’t we all dreamed of righting wrongs, of playing the hero and garnering the admiration of a grateful city? Dave Lizewski sure has. That’s the first thing he does—ask us, via voiceover, why nobody else had ever thought to try
How to Train Your Dragon is warm and winning—a real charmer of a family film. Given that it’s a product of Dreamworks Studios, who are more apt to churn out cynical and lazy product replete with lousy pop-culture jokes, this comes as a surprise. But then, they also released Kung Fu Panda, so maybe they’re just trying harder now. The formula for success used by Panda, in fact, is more or less the same that works for Dragon: take some well-worn life lessons for the kids, wrap them in appealing visuals and snappy dialogue