We jointly review Mortal Engines. It’s a “young adult” novel so of course it’s post apocalyptic. Cities in Europe chase down and consume each other for reasons that don’t make any sense. London has basically picked the land clean of smaller towns and now wants to attack Asia. Hugo Weaving is planning on doing this by reviving the weapon that ended the world.Continue reading Popcorn Pulse 102: Mortal Pulse
Comedy is probably one of the few genres we don’t often bother to review as it’s far too subjective for a fair review. Joe Dirt may be one of the dumbest things David Spade was involved with outside of letting Chris Farley die alone but, apparently, it had some sort of a cult following which earned it an illegitimate sequel years later.
Still, we decided to do Big Stan. All because it’s our second movie pairing David Carradine and M Emmet Walsh. It’s a Rob Schneider movie and falls on its face harder than the Rob himself. He plays a sleazy land developer who gets sent to jail. Determined not to get assaulted, he decides to learn martial arts from Carradine. Tim says that, of the two parts that he laughed, one was Rob being punched for saying ‘that’s what she said’.
Tim then gets to a request, Run the Tide. It star Taylor Lautner in yet another desperate attempt to keep his film career from petering out. It’s about as effective as a homeopathic cure and brings Lautner a step closer to doing bachelorette parties for the rich. He’s a high school dropout who’s taking care of his brother while mom is in prison. Tim at least has a lot to say about how much he dislikes it.
Weltall then talks about First Man. The movie based on the first moon landing by the USA. It does decent job of conveying some of the lesser known aspects of the astronauts like their intelligence and that they’re adrenaline junkies. It’s very difficult to saying anything about a historical movie when they don’t drop a six ton weight on their balls.
We had a plan for this. Thanks to the kind of ineptitude which is the hallmark of the show, we completely failed to do the movie we set out for. So we had to settle on the Ben Affleck movie, The Accountant.
Ben plays an accountant who’s on the high functioning part of the autism spectrum. A role that seems custom tailored to Affleck’s brand of acting. He makes his money getting called to audit accounts that are too complex for the average bear. Also, he’s trained like a special ops agent because he dad decided that he wasn’t going to let a learning disability block his aspirations of raising two contract killers.
Tim then talks about Jurassic World. Having held off on seeing it until well after the sequel has come and gone, he figured it was time. It’s more self referential than a modern comedy and hangs enough lampshades to stock a Pier 1. Half the cast is given the role of Malcolm from the original in that they trash talk science and the park for no explained reason. The monster was apparently give a copy of the script which informs it of exactly what to do in order to drive the plot. But audiences appeared to like Chris Pratt’s mugging and all the dinosaur scenes.
Weltall then talks about Sandy Wexler, and Adam Sandler film. Being as it wasn’t the kind of movie which received an oil tanker load of sponsorships and was promoted by tie ins with Burger King, it’s not quite the usual garbage. He plays a Hollywood agent who’s personal success is hampered by his genuine good nature. This is put to the test when he ends up representing a talented singer. Weltall believe it’s worth seeing if only to show Adam we don’t hate him when he stops putting together the cast of his friends and taking them on vacation while calling it a movie.
The horror genre is perhaps one of the genres that abuses concepts and settings more than academy bait movies. Which means writers and directors are desperate to come up with a bankable character or premise. This allows them to stand out and try to milk a franchise for a paycheck. Assuming it resonates in anyway with the audience.
So we have Candyman (1992). Which would make you think it has to do with an evil version of Willy Wonka that murders adults with confections. Instead it’s about an urban legend about a man who was murdered by having his hand cut off, then covered in honey and stung to death by bees. This somehow allows him to be summoned by saying candyman in the mirror. You can hear us completely butcher the plot, according to the live chat, more deep in the show.
Tim then talks about Maniac Cop 2(1990). It picks up where the first leaves off. Using some recycled footage of Bruce Campbell in order to avoid paying him his lofty salary of gas money to be replaced by someone who’d work for a credit. The titular maniac cop teams up with a serial killer and proceeds to murder more cops. He’s stopped by the mayor admitting the cop was set up and murdered in prison. With him laid to rest there’s a confusing stinger where the undead cop punches through his grave because the series hadn’t yet become unprofitable.
Weltall then talks about Skyscraper(2018). The movie that clickbait pricks did their best to try and stir up controversy because Dwayne Johnson has the audacity of playing an amputee without being an amputee. In the end, no one cared and the movie was nearly unnoticed. It’s about an advanced, computer controlled office building taken over by a terrorist organization. This turns out to be part of a plot to recoup insurance. Which is surely the easier option of recouping your money rather than just not investing it.
Ryan Reynolds success in movies lately makes it hard to remember that he was involved in a lot of terrible super hero movies. So we decided to dig through it and review one of them. No, not Blade 3. Not Woleverine Origins. We decided to drive a steam roller over the corpse of the buried and, the studio hopes, forgotten Green Lantern.
Reynolds is perhaps the worst cast choice of Hal Jordan with perhaps the exception of Ron Jeremy. He’s a cocky test pilot who watches his dad explode in a plane crash as a child and says “yeah, I’d like to go the same way.” There’s evil yellow energy used by Parallax who is a Watcher gone bad. Hal’s childhood friends include his romantic interest and a guy who gets converted to the henchman for Parallax. Sinestro is there but he’s not evil, or is he? At least the big bad can be defeated by tricking it into leaving earth and crashing into the sun.
Tim reviews Super Fuzz(1980). An Italian take on the superhero genre where an Italian actor, playing an American cop, goes out to deliver a warrant on a parking ticket gets hit by an atomic blast being set off by NASA. This gives him a gamut of super powers like strength, speed, ability to wish a stadium of people into the corn field, and super vision. Pretty standard things. His weakness is the color red. Not red dye, ink, or blood. Just someone wearing a red sweater is his kryptonite.
Weltall then hits Mile 22. Mark Walhberg is some sort of soldier who is tasked with helping a cop from Indonesia who has sensitive information. Most of it is an excuse to go from one action set piece to another. Made a little less believable by Marky-Mark’s constant expression of mild confusion which doesn’t really befit an intelligence officer. Even the bang bang shooty parts are lack lustre considering the previous work of those involved
It’s October and that means a lot of people making lists of scary movies or pimping classic ones. We like to think we do a little better by shining a light on movies that have gone forgotten and unloved. For that reason, and not because Tim likes to drag out old crap movies from the dumpster like a hoarder collecting furniture. “It’s still good.” He says, staring at the bed bug infested recliner. “I can’t believe someone would just throw this out.”
We jointly discuss The Beast Must Die(1974). For once Tim has picked an actual good, bad movie. Calvin Lockhart plays a rich man who wants to hunt the most dangerous game. The twist is, that’s not people but rather the werewolf. He has gathered a guest list of people who could very well be werewolves(say that three times fast.) During the course of the film he has to find out who is the werewolf and will he be able to kill it?
Tim reviews a movie which had an internet micro-versy about it back when it was announced, No Escape. Owen Wilson plays an engineer who goes to some unnamed, for real life political reasons, country in the middle of a revolution. He then has to try and keep his family safe and escape. Something that wouldn’t be possible if he didn’t get help from the criminally underused Pierce Brosnan who dies heroically to save them later.
Weltall then reviews Den of Thieves. It stars the temporary patron saint of the show, Gerard Butler who uses his accent to charm a rag tag group of misfits into a group of thieves. Wait, no he’s the cop investigating a group of thieves which make high profile heists and are targeting the Federal Reserve. So it’s a detective movie and a heist movie where Gerard never yells “This is So-Cal!”
If there’s on thing that movies have taught us is that all real estate developers are evil. Whether it’s attempting to tear down a youth center or buying the foreclosed home from a grandma, they’d powder orphan and snort it if they thought it would help them get rich or high.
To that end, we watched Rocknrolla. It’s about a shady British land developer who rooks a couple of criminals for their investment money, keeps the land and tries to sell it to a Russian. The Russian loans him a painting which then gets stolen and threatens the deal. Everyone and everything crashes into each other towards the end because this is a Guy Ritchie film and that’s just how he operates.
Tim then reviews A Cure for Wellness. Tim normally doesn’t hate slow and atmospheric horror movies that eschew jump scares. This movie takes a lot of boring horror cliches extracts any character drive and tells the audience to go pound sand. It’s a weak body horror movie set in a creepy asylum that runs far too long and is so predictable an AI probably wrote it. Oh look, the guy with the german accent is evil? What a twist.
Weltall then reviews two Youtube channels. Gas Station Encounters is a particular chain of stations and their encounters with the wacky customer base that happens on a regular basis. Because even the mentally unstable and the Klepto’s need cigarettes and fuel. He also talks about The United States Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board. It’s the least sexy name for a channel but it has some wonderful documentaries made by the government on accidents.
Considering the recent news on the passing of Burt Reynolds, we figured we should do something of a tribute episode. Which is why we choose an Uwe Boll movie to jointly review. In the Name of the King is what happens when someone watches the Lord of the Rings and decides to push their fanfic off as a screenplay.
Jason Statham is the main character who is called Farmer. Not a problem in a universe where other characters have ridiculous names like, say, the Discworld series. Quite a glaring issue within a world where no one else is named after their profession. Ray Liotta is busy trying to capture the ham of Jeremy Irons from Dungeons and Dragons. Burt is busy thinking about the glory days of Gator and Smokey and the Bandit.
Weltall then talks about Sharky’s Machine(1981). It’s about a detective who ends up in a botched drug bust where another cop dies. Disgraced, he gets transferred to vice where he busts a prostitute. She turns out to be part of a high class prostitution ring. This leads him to a crime syndicate who’s using it to blackmail a politician.
Tim then talks about Rent-A-Cop(1987). Burt plays a cop who is part of a drug bust that goes bad and other cops die. Disgraced, he ends up working as a security guard. At least that’s the promise of the synopsis. A prostitute, played by Liza Minnelli, who witnessed the murders tries to enlist him for protection. Things happen and attempts at jokes are made. The only one that lands is that anyone would have paid Liza money for sex in the eighties.
As we’re getting on in episodes, we must be getting crotchety and senile. Today we’re focused on a film from the seventies when men were men and people drove nothing but muscle cars. Smoking was breathing but for cool people who didn’t do pussy things like save for retirement or plan for their future. People who did such things were clearly communist sympathizers that needed to be shipped to Cuba.
Today’s joint review is The Getaway(1972). It stars Steve McQueen who’s character is imprisoned for something and getting denied parole. The only recourse is to have his wife sleep with someone who has th authority to let him out. Even so, this isn’t enough as he has one more job to do before he’s free. It’s a heist movie that turns into an escape film as in the name.
Weltall then talks about Demolition Man(1993). Because there’s nothing quite as amusing as a future envisioned in the nineties that gets almost everything completely wrong. Wesley Snipes is a bad guy who going to cryo-prison along with the cop who arrests him as Snipes blames the death of the hostages on Stallone. They’re woken up in a future seventies years after the nineties where everything has been sterilized into a semi-utopia to wreak havoc.
Tim, unconsciously keeping in line with the theme of police, talks about Maniac Cop(1988). Who it stars is unclear as Bruce Campbell is credited but doesn’t show up to about a third of the way in. A rogue, tall cop is killing people for no reason which leads detectives to find the nearest guy who’s six foot and put him in cuffs. Naturally this doesn’t stop the killings of a possibly supernatural murder who was a disgraced cop.
Time to put on your puffy winter vests and hop into your Deloreans as we go back into the eighties and theme the episode around movies that Billy Barty appears in. This time at Weltall’s prompting to look back at Legend(1985). In one of Tom Cruise’s earliest roles directed by Ridley Scott before he decided to butcher the Alien franchise in its crib. If nothing else it should be required viewing for Tim Curry’s performance as basically the devil stealing every second he’s on screen. Tim also adds that while the director’s cut is an excellent watch, you should give the Tangerine Dream score a listen on a streaming site for some exposure to eighties synth.
Tim then talks about Life Stinks(1991). It’s a Mel Brooks film which should put it in for a lock as a hilarious movie. Instead, Mel is attempting to make commentary about homelessness and land development. It’s confusing, lacking in jokes, and makes you long for the hilarity of Silent Movie. At least Billy Barty got a few bucks out of the deal.
Weltall’s contribution is Under the Rainbow(1981). Set around the time of the Wizard of Oz is being filmed, Barty plays a nazi who’s job is to collaborate with a Japanese agent before the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Does that sound so hilarious it should be the premise of a comedy movie? If so, please write us and let us know how much cocaine you’ve taken. Just so we can gauge exactly how much may have been passed around the conference table. We’re guessing the conversation when a little like this. “How’s ‘bout a movie with them little people?” “You mean workin’ folks?” “No, da short ones like in Wizard of Oz only if one of them was a nazi?” “fnurrrrrrrrrkkkk! Oh shit yeah! That was great!” “The coke or my idea?” “Both, man. Both.”