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
    • Hägar 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.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Podcast: The Wolfman (2010)

Patrick Regan returns to Your Stupid Minds after his appearance in Jonah Hex (both the episode and the movie) to help us review Universal’s 2010 flop The Wolfman (back when Universal used to make flops). This episode is part of our de facto ghoulish Halloween theme, when we review some scary movies in October and then go back to other things.

Lawrence Talbot (played by the excessively British Benicio Del Toro) receives a visit from his sister-in-law Gwen (Emily Blunt), who tells him his brother is missing. After some reluctant hero hemming and hawing, he takes the train back home to his bizarre father Sir John Talbot (Anthony Hopkins) where some spooky doings are transpiring.

His brother was ripped to shreds and the locals suspect either a gypsy bear or a werewolf. During a visit to the gypsy camp, Lawrence is bitten by a werewolf and later transforms into a werewolf. Then Hugo Weaving shows up as a Scotland Yard inspector and we glacially proceed to the giant London action set-piece and inevitable Marvel-style werewolf fight.

Some Notes:
  • The Wolfman was conceived in 2006, passed from director to director for two years, began production in 2008, and then dumped into a February 2010 release.
  • The CGI bear is actually reused polar bear computer effects from The Golden Compass.
  • Regardless of what you think of this movie, the asylum transformation scene is fantastic.
  • We apologize to all of our Romani listeners. We don't think you steal atlases from the reference section of the library and cook them.
  • We also apologize for spoiling the secret ending of Sicario.
Direct download.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Podcast: Blank Check (1994)

Your Stupid Minds returns to 1990s children’s movies with Disney’s Blank Check! Featuring threats of murder, smoking, horrible parenting, potential statutory rape, and Michael Lerner.

Twelve year old Preston Waters (Brian Bonsall) has it rough. He never has enough tokens for the roller coasters at Fiesta Texas, his parents don’t respect him, and his annoying brothers are allowed to set up a home office is his penthouse-sized bedroom. Fortunately a run in with a criminal (Miguel Ferrer) grants his access to a blank check tied to a criminal bank account with exactly one million dollars in laundered funds. 

After Preston uses his personal computer to commit check fraud, the crooked bank president (Lerner) thinks he is the criminal contact and hands off a million bucks to a pre-teen. It’s now up to the crooks to catch this kid before he spends all the money, which Preston does dutifully in six days purchasing a castle, waterslide, personal limo driver, virtual reality helmet, and truck full of branded Chips Ahoy! packaged cookie products.

Will Preston’s newfound wealth (which he spends under the artfully crafted pseudonym “Mr. Macintosh”) allow him to start a romantic relationship with an adult woman (Karen Duffy)? Or will he learn that money can’t buy happiness? Or will the movie hedge its bets and preach a simultaneously pro and anti capitalist message while Home Alone style hijinks ensue?

Some Notes:
  • For anyone in the FBI or with FBI contacts: If an agent maintains a regular job while undercover, does that agent get to keep her paycheck?
  • The castle Preston purchases in the film is a real house in Austin now owned by Robert Rodriguez.
  • Featuring Joe's mom from Wishbone as the real estate agent.
  • Someone wonderfully and appropriately edited together a mash up of Blank Check and The Wolf of Wall Street trailer.
Direct download.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Podcast: Wing Commander (1999)

Based on the 1990s flight simulator computer game (and not Space Invaders), Wing Commander is a modestly budgeted space opera set before an impending alien invasion. Starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Saffron Burrows, Matthew Lillard, Jürgen Prochnow, and Malcolm McDowell replacement David Warner, the film is largely a Star Wars ripoff injected with overt references to Star Trek, Das Boot, Battlestar Galactica, Top Gun, and whatever else director and game creator Chris Roberts could get away with.

Lieutenant Christopher Blair (Prinze) arrives at the TCS Tiger Class with vital information regarding their war with the Kilrathi aliens. Commander Gerald (Prochnow) doesn’t trust Blair because of his Pilgrim geneology. Pilgrims were the original explorers and colonizers of space who turned into big jerks and attained Force-like powers of intergalactic navigation. Meanwhile, Blair’s buddy Todd “Maniac” Marshall (Lillard) hot dogs around in his ship and generally makes an ass of himself. Will they save the Earth before the impending Kilrathi invasion? Will Blair hook up with Wing Commander Deveraux (Burrows)? Why is there gravity in space? Does any of this matter?

Some Notes:
  • "The needs of the Earth outweigh the needs of me." -Dr. Spock
  • Actual historical exchange:
    • JFK: We should give a bunch of money to NASA just cuz. Also the guy who said that died.
    • Nixon: How is it I'm the only rationable (sic) person here?
  • Check out the Box Office Mojo Worst Wide Openings list to play along at home.
  • Check out Chris's other podcast Some of My Friends Read Comics, part of the All My Friends Are Right Here network.
Direct download.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Podcast: Simon Sez (1999)

The summer ninja series has come to a close. We now return to our regular pre-May programming with a Your Stupid Minds mainstay: a movie with a basketball player! Dennis Rodman stars in arguably the worst of his two action movie vehicles: Simon Sez. Fresh off the heels of Double Team starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Mickey Rourke, Rodman returns to (or remains in) France to make this action spy comedy.

Simon (Rodman) is a freelance Interpol agent working to uncover a mysterious arms deal with his monk-attired partners Micro (John Pinette) and Macro (Ricky Harris). Later, Nick Miranda (played by an insufferable Dane Cook) asks Simon to help him with a kidnapping exchange. Their two missions intersect and the spy group must stop the vamping bad guy from blowing up the Eiffel Tower.

Some Notes:
  • David Robinson was never a spy but he was honorably discharged from the Navy for being too tall.
  • Karl Malone makes a nonexistent appearance as Dennis Rodman's bocce opponent.
  • IMDb claims that "Robert Downey Jr. was replaced with Dane Cook because Downey dropped out and they needed someone within a few days." I have no other source to verify this.
  • Technically, Hulk Hogan would be okay with Dennis Rodman dating his daughter, so he has no excuse to not be in this movie.
Direct download.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Podcast: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III (1993)

Your Stupid Minds finishes off the summer ninja series with a ninja movie of the teenage mutant turtle variety: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III! Our heroes in a half shell (or full shell, if you want to be accurate) return for their final non Michael Bay film appearance.

When a magical lantern transports April (Paige Turco) back in time to 17th century feudal Japan (and the prince Kenshin takes per place), the turtles must travel back to save her. The turtles almost immediately muck everything up and intersperse their heroic deeds with dated early 90s pop culture references.

Featuring the often referenced photorealistic turtle scroll.
Michelangelo falls in love with the rebel leader Mitsu (Vivian Wu), and Raphael flies a kite with an adorable boy named Yoshi (Travis A. Moon). Meanwhile, the Japanese honor guard who replaces the turtles in the present have a great time with Casey Jones (Elias Koteas) playing hockey and arcade games.

Some Notes:

Direct download.