Monday, February 8, 2016

Podcast: Ghetto Blaster (1989)

Direct download.

Your Stupid Minds returns to its roots with a vigilante revenge movie: 1989's Ghetto Blaster! But don't be fooled by the title. Yes, it does feature an exploding boombox, but it's also a double entendre about a white guy murdering people of color!

Richard Hatch (both Battlestar Galacticas) stars as Travis, a good honest dude just like you and me who returns to the neighborhood where he grew up to discover it's overrun by gang activity! The Hammers have taken over, and use their power to murder innocent people, rape women, and steal boomboxes from unsuspecting children. After his father and new friend are murdered, Travis takes the law into his own hands. Using childish pranks and elaborate clown-based drug heists, Travis hits the gang where it hurts until his daughter his kidnapped and he just decides to murder everyone.

Some Notes:
  • This movie is pretty racist, but somehow not as racist as we expected.
  • There are also numerous mixed metaphors that pepper the film which include: medieval Europe, dancing, hammers, and boomboxes.
  • This was a time when the protagonist of a film could call someone a "retard" and still be considered the hero.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Podcast: Fantastic Four (2015)

Direct download.

Despite our protestations in the last episode, Your Stupid Minds has, by somewhat coincidence, decided to make January a Worst of 2015 theme. We review our second Fantastic Four movie with one that for some reason was actually released, 2015’s Fantastic Four. Featuring a hip new cast of Oscar nominees and hopefuls, gritty teal and orange cinematography, and a rushed, nonsense final product with 30 minutes cut, the 2015 version manages to be the worst of the bunch.

Plot synopsis: See the 1994 and 2005 versions. Science, accident, get powers, Dr. Doom is evil. Add: Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Bell, Dan Castellaneta, bad American accents, and science fairs. Remove: Most of the plot, anything charming or fun, and the director’s original intent.

Some Notes:
  • The Flash is from Central City.
  • Eagle-eyed viewers should keep a look out for Kate Mara's wig, visible in her re-shoots.
  • Marvel's response to this film, beyond not promoting it at all, was to cancel the book in April 2015. This marked the first time in fifty-four years that Marvel was not publishing at least one Fantastic Four comic.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Podcast: Accidental Love (2015)

As part of Your Stupid Minds’ Worst of 2015 week, we have a single episode highlighting an appropriately forgotten lemon of the previous year. To call Accidental Love a 2015 film, however, is somewhat unfitting. Originally titled Nailed and helmed by prestige Oscar bait director David O. Russell, this film went through production hell following the recent 2008 financial crisis.

Filming proceeded from 2008 to 2010 with numerous stoppages (some say up to fourteen) due to lack of payment. Russell eventually left the project, and when the eventual rights holder decided to cobble it together into something resembling a film, David O. asked that his name be removed. Therefore the fictitious “Stephen Greene” is named as director.

Accidental Love is a high concept farce wherein Alice (Jessica Biel) is shot in the head with a nail gun as her boyfriend proposes to her at a local Indiana restaurant. When she is somehow refused treatment at the local hospital because she’s uninsured, she goes on a quest to Washington to seek universal healthcare. She sleeps with her representative in Congress Howard Birdwell (Jake Gyllenhaal) due to the nymphomania side effect of her injury, and then more things happen, some of which might be interpreted as jokes. Also starring Catherine Keener, James Marsden, Tracy Morgan, Kurt Fuller, Kirstie Alley, Bill Hader, Paul Reubens, and some other people.

Some Notes
  • James Caan left the project due to creative differences regarding his characters' death. James Brolin filled the role.
  • In an effort to trick people into thinking the movie might be good, the Canadian distributor misquoted the AV Club's A.A. Dowd. "[T]here’s little reason to believe that the ideal, untroubled version of the material would have been a comedic masterstroke" turned into "A comedic masterstroke."
  • Worst of 2015 lists are often do a poor job of representing bad movies. They usually opt to simply include mediocre films which underperformed financially. This list from Rolling Stone is particularly egregious and insulting to actually terrible movies.
  • And, because we will never forget, David O. Russell's masterful temper tantrum on the set of I Heart Huckabees.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Podcast: Santa with Muscles (1996)

Direct download.

Your Stupid Minds reviews another Christmas classic with Terry “Hollywood Hulk ‘The Hulkster’ Hogan” Bollea (a.k.a. Hulk Hogan) in Santa with Muscles! Hogan takes a break between exhibition bouts in Japan to film this family classic about a large man using physical violence to bond with orphans.

Blake (Hogan), during one of his regular paintballing jaunts with his personal staff, gets mistaken for a terrorist by the local sheriff (Clint Howard) and disguises himself as Santa Claus in a nearby shopping mall. After a bump on the noggin he believes he actually is Santa Claus, and holes up in a local orphanage with his elf partner (Don Stark).

After drinking milk and eating cookies with the three orphans (one played by young Mila Kunis), an evil gang of scientists led by Ebner Frost (Ed Begley Jr.) tries to take the orphanage by force in order to acquire the magic exploding crystals hidden underneath. Blake punches these guys until everyone learns the true meaning of Christmas.

Some Notes:

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Podcast: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)

Direct download.

Christmas season in high gear, and that means we'll be looking at less-than-stellar Holiday movies in the month of December. Our first foray into the genre is Ron Howard's brazen cash grab live action remake of the Dr. Seuss classic with How the Grinch Stole Christmas (a.k.a. Grinch 2000). Jim Carrey cranks it up to 11 with his manic interpretation of the Grinch that is 60% Richard Nixon, 3% Jerry Lewis, and 37% Other Parts.

Howard and company pad out the 64 page illustrated source material (with additional heavy influences from the 1966 Chuck Jones cartoon) by adding signature Carrey ad libs, a needless Grinch backstory, additional characters, a love interest, and precocious Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen) as a nearly jaded young adolescent.

Some Notes:
  • Where is the Grinch's penis anyway?
  • Needed additional backstory: Christine Baranski backstory. Max the dog backstory. The origin of the Grinch's conception, involving Oscar the Grouch and Cindy Lou Who's grandmother.
  • According to Wikipedia, Gene Autry got the idea for the song "Here Comes Santa Claus" after "riding his horse in the 1946 Santa Claus Lane Parade (now the Hollywood Christmas Parade) in Los Angeles, during which crowds of spectators chanted, 'Here comes Santa Claus'." So the lyrics are even lazier than we originally imagined since the crowd more or less wrote the song for him.
  • IMDb trivia authors are obsessed with the dog:
    • The words "Grinch" and "Christmas" are spoken by every major character in the movie, except Max.
    • The Grinch's dog, Max, has the same name as Jim Carrey's son in Liar Liar.
    • Despite living with the Grinch, Max has a lot of Christmas spirit. Max is shown secretly dancing to Christmas music while the Grinch is away.
    • Max the dog is supposed to be a boy in the movie but actually Max the dog is a girl dog.
    • Max appears to understand the English language by being able to obey specific commands by, the Grinch, like what size wrench to bring him.
  • Don't worry, Clint Howard is in this movie. As well as a very young Bryce Dallas Howard.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Podcast: Prince Valiant (1997)

Your Stupid Minds transitions from Halloween season into Renaissance Festival season with the 90s low-budget medieval fantasy movie Prince Valiant! Based on the boring, overwritten comic strip from the Sunday newspaper’s back page that your grandparents never read, this film adaptation eschews the sweeping ongoing medieval tale and instead opts for a trim 90 minute action movie with swords instead of firearms.

I can't find an English version of the trailer, so here's the German one.

Lowly squire Valiant (Stephen Moyer) steps in at the joust for his knight after an unfortunate concussion and proceeds to not even win. King Arthur (Edward Fox) sends him on a mission to return Princess Ilene (Katherine Heigl) to her home country after Excalibur is stolen by what he thinks are Scots. In reality, goons led by Sligon the Usurper are the culprits. Sligon stole Merlin’s spell book (titled simply, “Merlin”) and plans to use it to take over the kingdom. It’s up to Valiant and his new friends Boltar (Ron Perlman) and Pechet (Warwick Davis) to stop him.

Some Notes:
  • You see Katherine Heigl's butt.
  • You know you want to see how a duel between Prince Charles and Joe Biden would play out.
  • Chris makes a brief reference to this baffling passage of the Bible, Genesis 18:33: "And the LORD went his way, as soon as he had left communing with Abraham: and Abraham returned unto his place." Where did God walk off to?
  • Mary Worth's lame comic strip Avengers team:
    • Prince Valiant
    • H├Ągar the Horrible
    • The Wizard of Id
    • Marmaduke
    • Spider-Man (comic strip version)

Direct download.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Podcast: It! The Terror from Beyond Space (1958)

A scary monster movie is in order on Halloween for this episode of Your Stupid Minds. Recommended by friend and listener of the podcast Brendan McNamara (who also guest hosts on this episode), it’s It! The Terror from Beyond Space. This 1958 space horror flick bears a striking resemblance to Ridley Scott’s Alien, and some comparison to Scott’s most recent film The Martian (in that it involves Mars and that’s about it).

When Col. Edward Carruthers (Marshall Thompson) is the sole survivor of his Mars mission, the rescue crew must decide if he murdered the others or if it was some mysterious monster he keeps yapping on about. In the meantime Carruthers is free to wander around the cavernous spaceship, smoking heavily and playing poker while the womenfolk clear the dishes and crew members lob insults related to his mass murderer status.

As it turns out, an actual monster wanders onto the ship while they’re dumping some space garbage on his home planet and the crew implements a series of absurd and progressively more violent means of disposing of it, including but not limited to: World War II surplus firearms, grenades, poison gas, electrocution, and a bazooka. What they were doing in space with all of these things is anyone’s guess.

Some Notes:
  • As alluded to in the description, women are on the crew (including one who's a medical examiner), but frequently assigns them into less than progressive duties such as: clearing the table, refilling coffee, and making sandwiches.
  • The monster mask was too small for the actor and his chin jutted out of the mouth. Rather than redesign it, his chin simply became the monster's tongue.
  • The Martian would have been better with a pesky monster neighbor terrorizing Matt Damon and his potato plants.
Direct download.