Manga Pulse 334: King Ghost

There are some things in life which are just plain classy. A finger of whiskey, neat on a cold day. A silk tie done in a proper Windsor knot. The clean lines of an Aston Martin. We, however, do not have much truck with class. We could explain more but you’ll only understand once you’ve listened to this episode where we tackle sensitive subjects like a raging bull after a cape. Continue reading “Manga Pulse 334: King Ghost”

Script 2 Script 7: The Clan of the Cave Bear

Given that we’re attempting our best at keeping this from being a strictly genre based show, we mixed it up with a Neanderthal tale. The Clan of the Cave Bear was released in nineteen eighty as the wave of cocaine prepared to engulf Hollywood. Fueled in no small part by the novel’s success, they made an adaptation of it.

Being as the story centers upon an orphaned Cro-Magnon girl being adopted by a tribe of Neanderthals, who would best be cast? Probably someone with a good dramatic background. Oh, no one like that is available? Just grab the lady who played the mermaid in Splash and hand me that razorblade, willya?

The movie is so hilariously bad, Weltall could probably watch it for fun. Condensing the plot is excusable in almost all cases with adaptations. What the filmmakers do though it crunch this down so far that anyone who hadn’t read beforehand will likely be confused at what in the hell is going on.

The novel takes the film to the mat and pins if for a solid count. There is one thing the movie has that is missing from the book. Darryl Hannah in half assed kabuki makeup. It also lost at the Oscars, nominated for makeup, to The Fly. We couldn’t figure out if they decided that the SNL caveman makeup or Hannah’s face paint was Academy worthy.

Script 2 Script 6: Relic

As we first tackled something more lighthearted involving a museum in New York, it only seemed fitting that we go a bit morbid. In this episode we discuss Relic, adapted as The Relic.

Unlike our last show, the books starts off with a couple of kids getting lost in the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Their end comes about not at the hands of a quick witted security guard who hasn’t been lobotomized but at the crushing jaws of a monster. The film changes this by moving to Chicago, forgivable, and having the two kids escape death, unforgivable.

We pity the movie on so many levels as they tried desperately to make an interesting horror movie. It’s full of practical effects, a monster that’s fairly memorable and kept hidden for much of the running time, and the characters weren’t pared down to badly. Where it suffers is the random and pointless diversions. The prime example being the lucky bullet carried by the detective and bestowed upon Margo.

While this ultimately spells another win for the novel, the movie remains entertaining enough. Fans of cheesy monster flicks will enjoy and laugh at the poorly aging CG along with the clunky dialogue.

Script 2 Script 5: Hideaways

Ah, the follies of youth. Fighting with siblings, complaining about chores and running away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Wait, one of these things might be unlike the other and just doesn’t belong. Someone get one of those damned muppets in here to figure it out because I want answers and I want them yesterday.

This episode focuses on the novel “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” which was adapted into the, thankfully, succinctly titled “The Hideaways”. The book features a pair of siblings that decide to run away from home because they’re tired and want an adventure. The film adaptation features a couple of whiny brats who run away because someone pissed in their cereal.

If this were a modern day Pulitzer winner, the characters would have no names and they would learn very rough lessons at the hands of herpes ridden, chapped hobo hands in an alley. Instead, we’re treated to children surviving in New York on pocket change and hiding from security guards who were hired because they bring their own blinders to the job.

The novel is easily classified as superior and not just for the trimmings which must occur. It’s almost solely on the shoulders of the director who casts Ingrid Bergman as the dowager. Being as she was older but not nearly old enough to play the character, they slammed her face into spirit gum and then a latex mask of her own face. She’s also wearing the same wig Christopher Walken would don in Batman Returns and giving Don King future inspiration for a haircut.

Popcorn Pulse 38: Smash Again

We welcome you back to more pulses of popcorn. If you’re trying to imagine it, it works not unlike the scene in Troll 2 where two underpaid actors have popcorn thrown at them from off camera in waves. You just have to watch for the husks ’cause those things will scratch your cornea.

We jointly discuss The Incredible Hulk[2008]. It’s hard to pin down exactly where it fails. Perhaps it’s the complete lack of motivation from the characters. Or maybe it’s the weird shit like the Lamaze exercises Ed Norton does or complicated transformation process to make the Abomination.

Weltall then talks about Last Action Hero(1993). If features the future Governator staring in a very meta film. It’s about a kid who gets sucked into an action movie, which this movie is. Charles “Lannister” Dance is the main villain who escapes to attempt to rule the world. Being self aware, any one who dares watch this will find it basically gives the scream treatment to eighties and early nineties action flicks.

Tim, breaking tradition of dragging ancient eighties movies out of their crypts, brings up Mirrors[2008]. It features Keifer Sutherland as a man who’s just tired of this bullshit. There’s a demon that uses mirrors which is mildly original. That the burned out department store he guards at night was built on an old mental institution is not. At least it’s not as dumb as the sequel which will get a treatment one of these days.

Popcorn Pulse 34: Ascending Vigilante

Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, providing that you offer tartar sauce, breading and fry it first. Teach a man to fish and he’ll probably start asking you when he can go home while promising not to tell anyone that you kidnapped him.

Tim and Weltall free their captive and take on the nameless with John Doe: Vigilante[2014]. It’s a film where a man goes around killing people who are bad, or does he?, while wearing a mask. The movie aspires to ask the question if it’s moral to take justice into your own hands if the system doesn’t work the way you want it to. Then it just starts saying that, yes, it’s awesome to kill bad people for fun as long as you’re sure they’re really bad.

Weltall then talks about Jupiter Ascending[2015] because he wanted to spoil something besides that pound of ground beef he forgot in his trunk for six weeks. It features Mila Kunis as a queen bee who gets abducted by the crystal skull aliens and taken to meet house Harkonen. There she is proposed to be married before being whisked away by an angel werewolf with the flying boots from Star Trek V: The Final Frontier.

Tim then prepares to grapple with a mob of old people by criticizing Frank Sinatra in The Manchurian Candidate(1962). It is the basis for many a parody and knockoff involving mind control and overbearing mothers that don’t cause their sons to stab Janet Leigh in the shower. So if you’ve never seen it and decide to rectify that, you’ll suddenly get a lot of references from that episode of Venture Brothers and it’ll be that much more familiar.

Popcorn Pulse 33: Mr Kazaam

Watching people through their windows turns out to be the perfect recipe, for murder! Or, at least it becomes the recipe for disaster in what Tim and Weltall will agree is probably the second best thing Dane Cook has ever been in, Waiting being number one. If you needed more hints, it stars Kevin Costner as he was attempting to wean himself off of the Oscar withdrawals, Mr Brooks [2007].

In it, Costner plays a serial killer who does it because he feels compelled to do so. Being as he’s the protagonist and a murderer, Hollywood can either make him snarky or filled with regret. While Kevin may have known he wasn’t aiming for an award he still wasn’t about to be a wise cracking stab dealer so morose and upset murder machine he is. It also has way too much time spent and focused on Demi Moore’s character.

Weltall then talks about Jinn. Yes, he wants to discuss Shaquille O’neal’s transformation in Kazaam as he ascends from genie to jinn by being wished free by a poorly supervised child. Or he might want to discuss the film Jinn [2014] because he’s quite the fan of middle eastern mythology. At the very least, it pays a few nods to the mythos you could quickly find out via a Google search.

Tim then talks about Vanilla Sky [2001]. Tom Cruise plays a man who ends up down on his luck due to a crazy blonde woman and ends up wearing a mask. So it’s like a more serious take on the Jim Carey vehicle, if you discount the transformation. Though it’s totally worth it to see Tom running around, screaming for tech support a the top of his lungs.

Popcorn Pulse 37: Shulking Bone

Don’t make me write an excerpt, you wouldn’t like me when I type. How many reviews, do you imagine, began with some variation of “wouldn’t like me when I’m angry” when the original Hulk film was released? I’m sure a quick search could give us an estimate but no one wants to go back and read warmed over reviews for a bad movie.

Which is why we decided to watch and jointly discuss the Ang Lee Hulk[2003]. Tim had only ever seen the Edward Norton Hulk while Wetall has only seen Eric Bana. Only one of those was rectified for this show. We talk about the Hulk Dogs, Nick Nolte and pitch a possible theory as to why it doesn’t work as a whole.

Weltall then talks about Skin Trade[2014]. It features Tony Jaa and Dolph Lundgren, whose name Wetall likes to mangle for fun and profit. They’re both combating the titular skin trade, prostitute slaves, being run by the slab man himself, Ron Perlman. There’s a bit of a Taken thing going on with Lungren’s daughter who doesn’t get found by the time the credit appear. So it’s a very cheerful film, is what we’re saying.

Tim drags up the ancient and decaying Bones[2001]. It features Snopp Dogg, who can’t act, terrorizing people who killed him. Or rather, that’s the summary of the synopsis on the cover. The movie has no idea what it wants to be, constantly loses focus and drops in plot points wherever convenient. It is a train wreck that occurs in slow motion over the running time and invites unfavorable comparisons to other horror franchises by leaning on their tropes. Which all makes it hilarious.

Popcorn Pulse 36: Dark Retreat

Someone must have spiked our drink with the waters of forgetfullnes. We spend an inordinate time attempting to figure out which episode number we’re on. It might be the result of a contact high from all the April celebrations here in Colorado or we’re stupid. Really, whichever of those fits your preferred narrative is perfectly fine.

Our joint discussion centers on the wonderfully campy Sundown – The Vampire in Retreat(1989). Going by the DVD cover, and IMDB poster, you might think it stars Bruce Campbell and David Carradine. This is a disservice to all the macho posturing done by the world’s most disappointed dad and his college rival, who may or may not have knocked up dad’s wife. Also, cowboy showdown between vampires.

Weltall then talks about The Protector[2005] and The Protector[2013]. Not to be confused with the half other dozen movies and single TV series that bear the same name. We stumbled on the tabline reshow, Taken but with elephants, and that’s what we’re sticking with. Feel free to imagine Liam Neeson speaking Thai and kicking ass across Australia.

Tim then digs up another vampire film, in keeping with the them. Near Dark(1987). If the very fact that it has both Lance Henriksen and Bill Paxton isn’t enough to get you to watch it then you’ve clearly spent far too little of your life watching Aliens. Also, no one in the movie stops and gapes when they realize there are vampires around them. They don’t say vampire specifically but it’s clear they haven’t traded their brains for some magic beans.

Popcorn Pulse 35: Wax Girlfriend

While passing through a nice but still shady neighborhood, Tim and Weltall stumbled upon a Waxwork. “Gee, that’s a strange place to put a waxwork” said absolutely no one born after the Roaring Twenties. But that’s an actual line from the movie Waxwork(1988). It stars people playing college students who act like they’re in high school and look like they’re dreading their kids piano recital.

If that wasn’t enough to get you excited, Waxwork has cameos from actual famous people. John Rhys-Davies shows up just long enough to transform into a werewolf before collecting his rent check. David Warner wears a Wonka-esque costume for half of the ten minutes he appears. You can also see Miles O’Keefe, of Hercules fame featured on MST3K, recite lines like someone glued his dentures together during makeup.

Weltall then discusses The Girlfriend Experience[2009]. It stars a former pornstar Sasha Grey. She plays a prostitute who has a boyfriend. There was a budget for the film and has other actors in things called “scenes” which were then edited together in a sequence. Some people watched this in theaters but not enough to cover the costs.

Tim then talks about Sneakers(1992). It features Dan Akroyd going bugnuts insane for minutes at a time in his small parts. Meanwhile, Robert Redford is trying to steal a magic cryptobox which can haxxors nineties computers easily. Redford ends up giving it to the wrong people and steals it back so he can give it to the NSA who, oddly enough, aren’t playing the villains.