There’s been a rather dirty word thrown around since Taken live up to its title and caught the imaginations of a wider audience, dadsploitation. Unfortunately, there are films that embody the zeitgeist of the word. Movies where clearly a studio is trying to cash in a trend and aiming it at what they believe to be the target audience of older men who fondle themselves to fantasies of saving a bus load of cheerleaders who fellate them for their efforts.
Thus we have I Am Wrath  starring the Travolta and his amazing technicolor hair. Someone kills his wife because she’s crunched the numbers on water safety and now she knows too much. Luckily for the premise of the movie, Travolta is an ex special forces who has loads of training and hunts down her killer for some revenge but mostly for fun. Considering he seems to be having a lot of fun for a guy freshly made a widower.
Tim then talks about Armed and Dangerous(1986) staring Eugene Levey and John Candy. They play a couple of guys who get fired from their day jobs and end up working together as security guards. This causes them to stumble into a plot by the company to steal merchandise and rip off other employees. It’s best watched while reminding yourself that it’s still better than Candy’s last film, Wagon’s East.
Weltall then talks about Precious Cargo. It’s back in the same cash-in vein as I Am Wrath. This time it’s Bruce Willis grumping his way around a green screen. It’s a heist style movie and, would you believe it, there are betrayals of trust? Shocking, we know. Next we’ll tell you that there are action scenes in which Willis suffers only a torn sleeve and a mild grimace of disappointment.
There’s an old joke that when a horror series gets stale the producers will react in desperation and move it to the vastness of space(see Leprechaun 4 or Jason X). Some wonderfully drugged producer snorting coke through his fifth ruptured nostril decided to do away with the conceit of a series altogther. Why not just begin in space without all that mucking about. And that’s how we got Dracula 3000.
It stars Casper Van Dien as a Helsing descendant running a salvage ship. They run across a fifty year old abandoned transport which originated from the “Carpathian” system. So yes, Dracula decided to send himself priority mail across the galaxy to earth in the year 300X. Of course, he snacked on the staff and got it stranded. Watch a cast of five people fail in stopping a vampire and earth save through the accident of autopilot.
Tim then talks about Mom and Dad Save the Universe(1992). It stars Jon Lovitz as emperor Spengo. Spengo has a bit of a Mavin the Martian problem with earth and wants to blow it up. Before he does, he kidnaps two earthlings to woo the wife. If there’s anything good that came from this it’s that this bomb is the reason that Jon Lovitz left the cast of SNL permanently. That’s a pretty good value for fourteen million dollars.
Weltall then talks about a YouTube channel, Lindybeige. He’s primarily focused on history, weapons and whatever else strikes his fancy. At Weltall’s suggestion, Tim watched a couple videos after the show. He recommends that if you check it out, the pair of video about the katana are excellent starting points.
Given it’s rather weird source material and the era out joint review is based on, it’s not much of a surprise that Remo Williams(1985) doesn’t get much love. A movie based on a pulp novel series which is still ongoing for some unbeknownst reason. Our main character is trained in magic martial arts by a racist Korean master who is directed to do so by Wilford Brimely for reasons that only make sense in the film.
Weltall briefly discusses the youtube channel of Officer 401 and recommends anyone looking for police stories seeks it out. Then he delves into The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness. This is a documentary about Studio Ghibli. Weltall highly recommends it whether you are a fan of their films or just curious to see how an animation studio runs.
Tim then discusses Trailer Park Boys. It’s a Canadian show centering around the hapless members of a trailer park. They’re often focused on attempting to make a lot of money by selling drugs without getting caught. These shenanigans run them afoul of the law and other members of the park. Tim says it’s funny and has a lot of true to life elements within.
You might remember on the last Popcorn Pulse were we did a movie where a talented actor tackles a script with semi-philosophical ideas in a bleak future. Someone looked at that and said “I like the movie, but what if we took all that shit out and kept the sport?” Thus we were given the remake, Rollerball , wherein a bland actor stands in for James Caan and Jean Reno is wasted like a condom dispenser in Utah. It takes place in modern day and it’s only takeaway message is the director should be kept away from a smart phones for fear exposure to a camera will cause him to remake something else.
Tim then talks about a Spanish film, Fermat’s Room. This seems to end up on a lot of lists along with Saw and The Exam. It’s about four mathematicians who end up trapped in a room because they get invited to dinner far out in the woods and are told to leave their cellphones behind. This only works because, presumably, Spain doesn’t import horror films. If they did, they’d know meeting someone you’ve never met in the woods and leaving your only means of communication is a surefire way to become cannibal soup stock.
Weltall then takes a moment to talk up the Armored Skeptic channel on Youtube. He’s a skeptic who tackles all sorts of varied subjects from flat Earthers to hippies without hesitation and applies logic to it. He’s also Canadian and pronounces process like the beginning of professional and the latter part of excess which we find unreasonably humorous.
Let’s take a little trip back in time. Back when people were groovy, mustaches were bushy and we took a chance on Abba. That’s right, we’re back in the seventies and reviewing Rollerball(1975). This is probably a movie you’ve never heard of except to mock the panned remake from the early two thousands.
This is a shame because it’s a big idea science fiction film. This is not without its shortcomings of course. Being as it’s a “dystopian” future, everything is mega-corporations. Also, there aren’t countries because of this. James Caan at least gives it his all as he fights back doing the one thing he can, play Rollerball.
Weltall then talks about Battle Los Angeles. It’s the Aaron Eckart vehicle where aliens invade earth for water. For some reason, it reads more like a military recruiting tape than a movie about an alien invasion. Everyone not in a uniform dies horribly and even some of those that are. Oh, and Michelle Rodriguez survives because of course she does.
Tim then talks about Das Boot(1981). It’s more of a miniseries than a movie about a German U-Boat crew. It’s hard to imagine that a film maker would try and succeed in getting an audience to sympathize with German soldiers during World War II. That this succeeds so well is no small miracle.
Did you know we’ve done a number of time travel movies? Tim alone has gone through a suite of movies about people tooling around the fourth dimension like it’s an afternoon drive. So we thought it appropriate to do a themed episode revolving around the Doc Browns and their respective Martys.
Our joint review is Primer. It’s a very small and independent film which focuses on a couple of engineers copying some stolen blueprints. They accidentally discover that it’s also a time travel device and begin to exploit it. Things are very slow paced so don’t expect timequakes and planes being kidnapped for genetic material.
Weltall then goes over Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure(1989). It’s Keanu Reeves and some poor bastard playing high school stoners who are about to fail a history class and not graduate. As this will ruin the future, George Carlin gets sent back in time via a time traveling phone booth to let them hop about so they can give a passing report. If it sounds crazy, that’s because cocaine was plentiful in the eighties.
Tim then talks about The Philadelphia Experiment(1984). It is probably one of the few movies based on an urban legend of the same name. We highly encourage you to read the wiki on the urban legend even if you never view the movie. Long story short, some guys from the early forties end up in modern day(the eighties). Things happen for seemingly no reason and they end up kidnapping Officer Lewis from RoboCop. You know, the wacky adventures of time travelers.
This week is another one of choices. Whereas Tim put forth Brainscan prior, he offered something a little more palatable for Weltall. This might be due to him having something truly awful waiting in the wings that he swears is good or “fun” or whatever other garbage reasons he comes up to justify his purchase of a ten ent copy of “Hell Comes to Frogtown”.
To that end, we talk about The Edge(1997). Some of the casting alone were an enticement. It stars Anthony Hopkins as a billionare who travels to Alaska. Alec Baldwin, yes the good Baldwin, is a photographer who’s tailing Hopkins wife. Things happen and they end up in the woods being hunted by a bear. It’s a lot of fun for anyone who like wilderness survival films and felt The Grey ended on too much of a downer.
Tim then talks about Project Almanac, It’s a time travel movie which came out and was probably forgotten a month after. It’s shot in the found footage style that’s obnoxious, senseless, and half assedly explained. There are some hilarious moments like them claiming the only place they can find hydrogen is at the school. It’s almost a remake of The Butterfly Effect with some technobabble thrown in.
Weltall then talks about The Dark Knight Rises. In short, it makes no sense. A lot of characters run around doing things either because the plot demands they do it or Gotham has complementary lobotomies handed out every Friday. This sparks a bit of a discussion between the two which drags out til the close of the show.
Given how Tim seems to pick movies that drive Weltall insane, he offered Weltalla choice. Unfortunately, he failed to exercise this option before the show loomed large. This left Tim with the autonomy of choice. Naturally he picked something from the nineties that was probably dredged from the bottom of a dollar bin and previously viewed.
The joint discussion, once it begins, is Screamers(1995). It’s a very similar plot to that of Avatar mized with Red Faction. There’s a valuable mineral on some planet or moon which the earth wants. Some of the local miners revolt and start a war. The earth coporation governement decides robot that can kill the locals is the best solution. The movie starts when something goes terribly wrong, of course.
Tim then briefly talks about Midnight Run(1988). It features Robert De Niro before his tough guy persona became the punchline in Ben Stiller comedies. He is taked with recovering Charle Grodin who skipped out on bail. Robert has to take Charles from Los Angeles to New York within a week while trying to keep him away from the FBI, the mob and other bounty hunters. He doesn’t manage much to say about it, other than it’s a good flick, blaming time.
Weltall then talks about a Youtube channel, Frank Howarth. Tim rolls his eyes which prompts Weltall to argue that Tim seems stuck on movies. With that out of the way, the content of the channel, named after the creator, is mostly woodworking with insane tools on projects most people will never accomplish. While there are more than a few channels and shows like this, the presentation and effot Frank puts into his videos is astounding. He turns a large majority of his project into a stop motion film and the scope of effort involved is often mind boggling and an experience well woth the price of admission.
For once, we had a movie recommendation for the show that had to be done. Brainstorm(1983) which features Christopher Walken and the guy who played Uncle Ben in the Raimi Spiderman trilogy. They develop technology with the ability to transmit thoughts from one person to the other. They also figure out they can record memories and share them among people.
Because this was the eighties, the military wants this technology for sinister reasons. At least, we’re told it’s sinister. We never see the technology being abused in anyway. The military does make a tape that’s supposed to drive people insane though what practical use this is beyond the scope of the movie and us.
Weltall then talks about The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. It appears to be a remake of a Danny Kaye movie from the late forties. It features Ben Stiller as a boring man who fantasizes interesting things happening like any of us resisting the urge to fap in the copy room. Sean Penn becomes the impetus for something interesting to actually happen to Stiller as he goes on a journey and finds himself. It’s a sort of feel good comedy that isn’t packed so full of sugar that Wilford Brimley appears to give you “the speech” when it’s watched.
Tim then talks about The Witch. A modern horror movie filmed without found footage or, the worst horror staple of all, cats jumping out at characters who chase spooky noises into the laundry room. It follows a family who’s living out a solitary existence when things start to go wrong. Is it all just happenstance or is it the work of a witch and the devil? It’s probably the first part though everyone really sells the latter with all they’ve got.
As we didn’t attend the yearly pilgrimage to the San Diego, as press, we aren’t dedicating an entire show to recapping. Weltall did go solo and was able to note a few major changes. Such as the complete absence of con funk! And if you didn’t know we were lying, you’ve never been to a con. Weltall does report improved crowd control and access which has smoothed things out quite a bit.
The joint discussion is on a relic from the nineties, From Dusk Til Dawn(1996). It features George Clooney attempting menace while Quentin Tarantino tries to swallow Selma Hayek’s right foot. We decided that the movie has a point where Quentin lost interest and just said “fuck it, everybody turns into vampires and dies.” A mister R.R. Martin would probably mistake the end for a wedding if he glanced up at it. Continue reading Popcorn Pulse 57: Ghost Dawn→
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