Thursday, December 23, 2021

Podcast: The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018)

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Just in time for Christmas, we review our third Nutcracker movie in five years, 2018’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms! Eventually filmmakers will run out of ways to ruin this classic public domain story.

Clara’s (Mackenzie Foy) mom is dead. She and her family are sad. Her dead mom gives her a toy egg with a lock but no key. Clara goes to a Christmas party, talks to a weird scientist Drosselmeyer (Morgan Freeman) and finds herself in another realm (or realms? We’re not entirely sure which realm is what) with a Sugar Plum fairy (Keira Knightley), a Mother Ginger (Helen Mirren), a guy dressed as an 18th century soldier but is just a regular dude but I guess he’s the Nutcracker but his name is Phillip (Jayden Fowora-Knight), and some rats.

There’s something about finding the key, yes the key to the egg but also to a machine that does bad or good things. Some tin soldiers come to life and there’s a clown gang. There’s also some dancing.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Podcast: Top Dog (1995)

1995’s Top Dog asks the big questions. Well, really one question: What would happen if we paired Chuck Norris with a dog to fight Neo-Nazi terrorists in San Diego and released it nine days after the Oklahoma City bombing? The answer is nothing good.

Reno (played by Betty the dog, uncredited) is a hero dog who plays by his own rules. After his human partner is killed by white supremacist terrorists, Reno teams up with loser drunk spin-kick cop Jake Wilder (Norris) to bust the case wide open. But there are some departures where Reno has to bust up a trap house, and watch the show Cops. Eventually they get around to stopping the terrorists.

Some Notes:

  • We don't actually know if ripping all the wires out of a C4 bomb will disarm it. So if you find yourself with an armed bomb under a limo that has the pope and the Jewish pope trapped inside it, it's best to leave it to the professionals.
  • Top Dog noises provided by animal sounds expert Frank Welker.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Podcast: Halloween: Resurrection (2002)

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In honor of Halloween Kills slicing up the box office (and the holiday of Halloween in general) we reviewed a less successful foray into the franchise with possibly its worst entry, 2002’s Halloween: Resurrection!

After decapitating Michael Myers in the last film, the embarrassingly titled but by all accounts decent Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, this movie opens with Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) in a mental institution. The exposition nurse reveals that in a stunning plot twist that allows them to make more Halloween movies, Michael switched his outfit with that of an innocent father of three EMT, who was the person Laurie actually decapitated. Michael is still alive.

Laurie is in a constant state of pretend shock one year later, but lies in wait for Michael to come for her on Halloween so she can unleash her trap for him. Unfortunately for Laurie (and fortunately for Jamie Lee Curtis, who desperately wanted to stop making these movies) Michael slips out of the trap and kills her.

A year later, and unrelated to everything that just happened, some college students sign up to star in a livestreamed internet reality series called Dangertainment. After being recruited by Freddie Harris (Busta Rhymes) and Nora Winston (Tyra Banks), the cadre of horny teens are locked in Michael Myers’s childhood home and must search for clues as to why he’s so crazy. But what’s really crazy is Michael has been living under the house this entire time and emerges to kill them off!

Some Notes:

  • Directed by Rick Rosenthal, who directed Halloween II.
  • Katee Sackhoff (Starbuck in the Battlestar Galactica remake) appears as Jen Danzig, I assume the daughter of Glenn.
  • This movie continues with Halloween H20's continuity, which ignores Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers, and Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers. I can't definitively say Halloween III: Season of the Witch is not canon; this universe may also contain an evil Irish toy company located in California that used pieces of Stonehenge placed into Halloween masks in order to turn millions of children into bugs and snakes when they watch a television commercial. I can't be 100% certain.

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Podcast: Exit Wounds (2001)

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Since we are completists, we circled back to watch Exit Wounds (2001). Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak and starring... well just switch out the cast from Cradle 2 the Grave but replace Jet Li with Steven Seagal. And add Michael Jai White, Jill Hennessy, Bill Duke, and the visage of Eva Mendes.

Orin Boyd (Seagal) is a loose cannon Detroit cop who is in a lot of trouble for saving the vice president’s life. As punishment, he must go to the the dreaded Precinct 15, the most corrupt precinct in the entire city. While there, Boyd has situations thrust upon where where he is required to Judo like fifty guys; whether it be the half dozen street punks trying to steal his truck, or the elaborate heist in the hall of records.

Through his bumbling, Boyd eventually figures out the force is crawling with corrupt cops trafficking heroin by soaking t-shirts in it and then drying them (yes, that’s their actual plan). Will he have to settle the score himself? Or will he have a little help from friend/foe Latrell (DMX)? Seagal also pummels a bouncer in the face with a chain for basically no reason.

Some Notes:

  • For some inexplicable reason, the producers cast a yet-to-be-super-famous Eva Mendes in a small role, but completely re-dubbed her voice. In an interview on the Daily Show a few years later, Mendes claimed that a producer said she "didn't sound intelligent enough."
  • In this movie, Michigan militia members disguise themselves as motorcycle cops and try to kill the vice president. Thus proving my theory (similar to "all helicopters in movies blow up") that all motorcycle cops in movies are evil (see: Exit Wounds, Magnum Force, Terminator 2).
  • A helicopter also blows up in this movie when Seagal shoots a handgun that sounds like an Uzi at it.
  • This a second time DMX Anthony Anderson Tom Arnold have stared in Cradle 2 the grave together (source)

Thursday, August 12, 2021

Podcast: Cradle 2 the Grave (2003)

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We’ll be honest. We were trying to watch Exit Wounds, the Andrzej Bartkowiak directed movie starring DMX, Anthony Anderson, Tom Arnold, and Steven Seagal. Somehow we mixed it up with Cradle 2 the Grave, directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak starring DMX, Anthony Anderson, Tom Arnold, and JET LI. We’re considering it an upgrade.

Anthony Fait (DMX) is a friendly jewel thief who steals from rich jerks and doesn’t use guns. With his crew Daria (Gabrielle Union), Tommy (Anderson), and Odion (Michael Jace), they break in somewhere and steal some mysterious black diamonds. Su (Li) calls Anthony and wants those stones. X won’t give it to him (what?) he won't give it to him. So Su beats up Odion in a subway.

Weirdly, Su turns out to be a good guy, because he’s trying to protect the stones from the evil Ling (Marc Dacascos), who steals Anthony’s daughter, which requires an MMA cage fight, backroom striptease, ATV street chase, and tank attack to get her and the stones back.

Some Notes:

Thursday, July 8, 2021

Podcast: The New Mutants (2020)

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Film critic, tabletop gaming enthusiast, and Trinity University alumnus Matthew Monagle joins Your Stupid Minds to talk about 2020’s The New Mutants, a film troubled by reshoots, company mergers, and a theatrical release right in the middle of a global pandemic.

Dani Moonstar (Blu Hunt) is brought to a mysterious facility after her entire family dies during a “tornado.” The facility’s sole employee, Dr. Cecilia Reyes (Alice Braga), tells her she’s a mutant (of the X-Men variety, not the post-apocalyptic) and she’s in this building for her own protection.

Dani meets other young mutants in the facility: Sam (Stranger Things’s Charlie Heaton), Rahne (Game of Thrones’s Maisie Williams), Illyana (The Queen’s Gambit’s Anya Taylor-Joy) and Roberto (Teen Wolf’s Henry Zaga), and together they try to take control of their powers (or discover what they are), figure out why they can’t leave, watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer (created by no one), and, if they have time, discover why their nightmares come to life and try to kill them.

If you’re wondering if this a) has anything to do with a certain “sinister” X-Men villain teased in a previous film, and b) if this will result in an entire New Mutants cinematic universe, the answer is yes and no.

Some Notes:

  • You can find our special guest Matthew Monagle's written work on his Authory page. You can follow him on Twitter. He is a co-founder of Certified Forgotten, a podcast and website focused exclusively on the movies that have fallen through the cracks. He was also on the Hit Factory Podcast to talk about Ravenous, a Your Stupid Minds favorite.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Podcast: Me You Madness (2021)

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Strap yourself in and enjoy the ride for this fast-paced, tongue-in-cheek, aesthetically beautiful episode! Did you know Louise Linton, (possibly better known as the wife of Suicide Squad executive producer and former Trump treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin) produced, directed, wrote, and starred in her own movie about a girlboss serial killer? Did you know it's just as awful as I just described? Because that's 2021's Me You Madness baby!

Catherine (Linton) is a take-charge finance person who's rich, beautiful, confident, and also... murders and eats people? Whoa, talk about a twist! Unless you've seen American Psycho. But don't worry, this movie hangs a lampshade on that so this doesn't count as a ripoff. The movie (which takes place in modern day) also features a bunch of chart-topping '80s songs, just in case you forgot American Psycho took place in the '80s.

For the purposes of setting up this threadbare plot, Catherine catfishes a sexy conman Tyler (Gossip Girl's Ed Westwick) into renting a room in her hideous cavernous Malibu mansion in order to kill him. But things get complicated after an MDMA-fueled threesome, and Catherine starts to fall for him. Will sparks fly? No. Will they argue for the last third of the movie in a completely annoying way? Yes. Did Louise Linton hire a troll farm to spam positive reviews of her movie on Rotten Tomatoes? Almost certainly yes.

Some Notes:

  • The sole IMDb trivia item is "Louise Linton came up with the concept for You Me Madness after falling asleep in a hot car following a trip to the pharmacy. She described a 'Doors-like vision' of an indigenous man telling her to make a movie about a girl-boss serial killer. So she did." It is most definitely completely made up.
  • For juicier online content related to this movie, check out the Rotten Tomatoes user review section, which contains dozens of reviews from robot troll farms writing five star reviews two days after the movie came out. Including someone who claimed they watched it three times in a 24 hour period.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Vice City contains two Michael Jackson songs: "Wanna Be Startin' Something," a definite b-side but a banger, and "Billie Jean," a definite a-side and also a banger.