Friday, May 17, 2019

Podcast: North (1994)

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Superfan Leo requested one of those most notoriously bad movies in modern history: Rob Reiner's 1994 box office bomb North.

The titular 11-year-old wunderkind North (Elijah Wood) is tired of his parents' (played by Jason Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfus) bickering and self-centeredness, so he decides to become a "free agent" and shops around for new parents.

With his parents in a shock-induced double coma, North traipses the globe looking for a new family, which takes him to Texas, Hawaii, Alaska, and so on. A number of A-Listers and fun character actors appear, including Bruce Willis, Jon Lovitz, Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, Reba McEntire, Kathy Bates, John Ritter, Abe Vigoda, Richard Belzer, Ben Stein, and a very young Scarlett Johansson in her very first role.

Some Notes:

  • Roger Ebert famously disliked North, writing in his review that he "hated this movie. Hated, hated, hated, hated, hated this movie." I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie later become the title of one of Ebert's books.
  • The movie was based on the book North: The Tale of a Boy Who Becomes a Free Agent: and Travels the World in Search of the Perfect Parents, written by Alan Zweibel, who also penned the film's screenplay. Fun Fact: No one read this book. Not even the author.
  • Abe Vigoda plays a inuit grandfather sent off to die on an ice floe. The actual Vigoda (who has always been 100 years old) would go on to live another 22 years.
  • A young Jussie Smollett also appears in the film, this time uncovering an elaborate deception rather than (allegedly) perpetuating one.

Saturday, April 13, 2019

Podcast: Longshot (2001)

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Have you ever wanted to see *NSYNC, Kenny Rogers, O-Town, Zachery Ty Bryan, LFO, Gilbert Gottfried, Dustin Diamond, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Paul Sorvino, Britney Spears, and Art Garfunkel all together on the big screen? No, you didn't. You really, really didn't. Because that’s what happened in 2001’s Lou Pearlman produced film Longshot, and it was awful.

Sorry, we couldn't find a decent version of the trailer, so here's Britney Spears's scene in Longshot.

Much like a Russian nesting doll, the film is a gigolo-based espionage thriller within a high school basketball redemption story within a story about O-Town watching the film just described. Producer and co-writer Tony DeCamillis stars as said gigolo Jack, who is forced by gangster Lazzlo Price (Sorvino) to seduce a rich widow for information about a recent merger.

Meanwhile, Jack’s nephew Alex (Joey Sculthorpe) misses a game-winning basketball shot, and slowly gains confidence over his tormentor Deke (Ty Bryan) by beating up a mugger (“The Rock” Johnson) in a poorly-lit New York alley. Cue numerous gratuitous and pointless cameos from Lou Pearlman’s various employees, friends, and well-wishers.

Some Notes:
  • Producer of numerous boy bands (and this film) Lou Pearlman was sentenced to 25 years in prison for running a $300 million Ponzi scheme. He died in prison in 2016.
  • YouTube Originals and Lance Bass recently produced a documentary about Pearlman titled The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story.
  • Pearlman's first love was airships, but could never get any to successfully fly. He once got Jordache to sponsor a blimp, which promptly crashed into a New Jersey garbage dump shortly after takeoff.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Podcast: Twisted Pair (2018)

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We are back…. now for Your Stupid Minds’s 150th episode! Since we’ve gotten into the habit of releasing episodes featuring Neil Breen movies at fifty episode intervals (see: Fateful Findings, Double Down), we had to wait until Nick’s $30 standard definition DVD copy of his latest film, Twisted Pair, arrived via USPS from the Breen’s Las Vegas estate.

Neil Breen plays twins Cade and Cale Altair, who were taken by aliens at birth and imbued with AI Intelligence superpowers that make them jump really high and unconvincingly. They are returned to earth to a secret agency in order to protect stock footage soldiers from gif explosions. While Cade excels, Cale flounders and grows a fake beard.

Since this is where the voice over ends in the film, the rest of the synopsis gets a little hazy. Cade stalks a college campus at night, while Cale kidnaps evil corporate greed corporate business men and tortures them. The twins each have girlfriends who look remarkably similar in sparse lighting. Also starring Astro-Eagle and Brad Stein as Dectective (sic).

Some Notes:

  • Also see our episode for I Am Here.... Now. It was not released at a fifty episode interval, but it's worth listening to nonetheless.
  • Keep an eye out for some footage from I Am Here.... Now on the projected screen in the home theater, along with framed posters for the films Ultraviolet and Shark Tale.
  • Trivia
    • The beard that Cale wears is not actual facial hair that Neil Breen grew, but a hair-based prosthesis that Breen attached to his face.
    • The rat that accompanies the homeless man on the college campus is not, in fact, a real rat, but a whole-rat prosthesis. A keen eye will note the "rat" does not move nor make noise for several seconds while on screen.
    • Mr. Breen cannot, in fact, jump incredibly high. That effect was accomplished through the use of movie magic.
    • Neil Breen and Astro-Eagle were both featured in the Marvel film Thor: The Dark World (2013), where Breen played Malekith and Astro-Eagle played himself.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Podcast: Deathstalker II (1987)

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Your Stupid Minds goes back to its roots (we always say that) to cover a movie that, as Mary Berry likes to say, ticks all the boxes. Roger Cormon, Jim Wynorski, ‘80s, swords and sandals, buff dudes, John Lazar... Deathstalker II has it all!

Deathstalker (John Terlesky) helps out a seer/princess Reena/Evie (Monique Gabrielle) regain her throne after the evil Jarek the Sorcerer (John Lazar) seizes the throne and clones an evil version of the princess to serve as his princess queen. Deathstalker is a swaggering mercenary who reluctantly goes on the mission, but stops a few times for side quests involving cemetery jewels. There are also amazons, nudity, wrestling, dwarves, bar fights, and a matter transmitting video phone bog.

Some Notes:

  • Directed by Your Stupid Minds regular Jim Wynorski (Vampirella, Desert Thunder, Chopping Mall).
  • Featuring some higgledy-piggledy world-building, including henchmen who claim to know Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun, and Ivan the Terrible; figures of history which span roughly 1,200 years.
  • Featuring Dee Booher, a.k.a. Matilda the Hun from the original Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling television series. She is credited as Queen Kong, her roller derby name at the time.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Podcast: The Little Mermaid (2018)

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Your Stupid Minds starts a new life... under the sea! Just in time for DC Comics' aquatic superhero movie, and (probably) two years before Disney makes an embarrassing remake of The Little Mermaid, it's the Walgreens genetic brand The Little Mermaid! Armando Gutierrez is a "banker, political consultant, and entrepreneur," who decided he should also become a movie producer after producing and appearing in Walt Before Mickey, a film version of a negative bio of Walt Disney. Armando teamed up with Blake Harris (writer, 12 Dates of Christmas), to make a public domain version of the Little Mermaid!

A grandmother (Academy Award winner Shirley MacLaine) tells a familiar story of mermaids to her doubting grand-kids. After they scoff at the idea of mermaids, she tells a story that for legal reasons is entirely new: in the early 1900s, handsome journalist Cam (William Moseley, Peter from Chronicles of Narnia) takes care of his niece Elle, who has a vague asthma-like ailment that she fancifully associates with being a mermaid.

Cam's boss tells him to go on assignment in Mississippi to investigate a mermaid and a circus selling a mermaid panacea. Cam doubts whether the story is true, even though it seems to directly relate to his own life. Will Cam fall in love with the mermaid? Will Elle get her mermaid-itis treated? Did I mention there are three other characters with super-powers in addition to the mermaid at this circus? Well, there are.

Welcome to Note-Vale:
  • Armando and Blake are already on to their next project, Anastasia, where Armando will play Rasputin. Brandon Routh has been cast as Tsar Nicholas.
  • Chris embarrassingly did not recognize Gina Gershon, star of Showgirls, Bound, Face/Off, etc. To the best of our knowledge, her only other film on the podcast is a cameo appearance in LOL, where she gets high with Demi Moore and real-life friend Fisher Stevens.
  • When the Mermaid assumes mermaid form, she grows her scale bra back; this raises a lot of biologic questions that we need answered! Please write in if you have theories.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Podcast: The American Templars (2013)

Near-fatal cat infections and paternity leave is over, so after a brief hiatus, we are back! Chris's recuperation involved a trip to scenic New England, where he saw an old building once owned by Benedict Arnold (great-grandfather of the guy you're thinking of). A Google Maps search revealed a strange museum dedicated to the building. Friend of the show Sarah Long (guest on American Strays,  .com for Murder) mentioned that the owner of the museum produced a movie! So we watched it!

Notent Notables:
  • To the best of our knowledge, there isn't any method to impeach a witness's testimony by showing the witness is a homosexual. The cartoon villain Catholic bishop seems to disagree, literally using information learned in confessional to try to discredit a witness against him.
  • Henry Sinclair was a Scottish guy born in 1345, an Earl and a vassal of the King of Norway. What this movie presupposes is: what if he's actually Jesus' secret great-grand-kid, *and* he took a boat to America in 1385 or so? And the prosecution of the Templars in 1307 was part of this cover-up of this guy being born thousands of miles away decades later. It's pretty obvious.
  • The movie gets basic details of the history of American colonization wrong, and gives that dialogue to someone whose job is working for a historical society. 
  • The handsomest man in the movie, hitman with a heart Salazar, seems to have a chance at "making it," as he was a major character in the video game prequel "Life is Strange: Before the Storm."
  • If you are interested in this movie, it is available for rent on Amazon Prime.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Podcast: Uninvited (1988)

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You, you are allowed, you are invited to check out our newest episode of Your Stupid Minds! After last episode's ghostly boat adventure, we head back to the open seas with 1988's Uninvited.

Wall Street wiz Walter Graham (Alex Kord, Archangel from Airwolf and one of the bad guys in Street Asylum) and his partner (George Kennedy) have a vague, illegal plan that the SEC is investigating, and the only thing they have to do to become ultra-rich is take Graham's yacht from Fort Lauderdale to the Cayman Islands. As a front, they pick up two spring break babes, and the trio of dudes the babes recruit to make sure they're never alone with gross old men.

Along with the ship's captain Rachel (Toni Hudson, Leatherface: Texas Chainsaw Massacre III), the gang also decides to bring a cat: unfortunately, as a result of genetic experiments (?) a monster comes out of the cat and poisons people's blood when he bites them (???).

Join us as we discuss how this cat's demon powers work, guess at George Kennedy's shooting schedule, and more! Plus, Chris brings a new pet into his home. What could go wrong?

Some Notes:
  • Available now on Amazon Video.
  • August 24, 1988 is listed as the release date, making the film 30 years old. It's unclear if it was given a theatrical release. The Amazon version is clearly a VHS transfer.
  • Is the Uninvited Cat the result of the same experiments that created the Contaminated Snake in Hard Ticket to Hawaii? We assume so. 
  • As mentioned in the episode, our schedule may be a bit off as Nick plans for the arrival of his first child, while Chris recovers from mutant cat poisoning.