Pump Up The Volume (1990) review

Rated: 3.5 / 5

Do you ever get the feeling that everything in America is completely fucked up?  You know that feeling?  That the whole country is like one inch away from saying, “That’s it!  Forget it!”  Think about it, everything is polluted: the environment, the government, the schools; you name it.

So begins this little movie about a high schooler launching a pirate radio station aimed at the other high schoolers in his city.  Before social media and youtube videos, there was pirate radio.  And yet not much has changed in regards to the message this movie has.  If nothing else, it seems as relevant as ever, if not more-so.  The topics the film tackles are not only relevant today, but other issues plaguing society today can easily draw parallels to the stuff this film has to say.

The main point of contention is school, followed by parents.  In this film’s case, the protagonist played by Christian Slater finds it easy to rant about the unfair practices of the school, which gets expanded upon further and further until it is revealed that this isn’t just some petty criticism about how hard school is.  It turns out the principal implemented some policies that are questionable at best, illegal at worst.

And it’s this first point that is worth dwelling upon.  Although the film is one-sided about all this, it is worth discussing the pros and cons of it considering the knowledge we (or at least any half-assed independent individual who seeks to gain knowledge outside the system) has about school policy.  So it is discovered the principal (and others who were involved I’m sure) has been expelling students who had scored low on the S.A.T., which causes the school’s S.A.T. average among students to become inflated.  A harsh method that may doom the expelled to living a life without a diploma, yet it also keeps the school funded and doesn’t have many dumb students bogging everyone else down.  And from what I’ve seen of the expelled students, they aren’t really attempting to make anything of themselves.  Then again, “They’re just kids.”

Contrast that with the No Child Left Behind policy that’s been adopted since the early 2000s.  Nowadays, it’s not so much the students being expelled to inflate the S.A.T. scores so much as curving the scores, giving handicap points to the “minorities” to boost their scores, etc.  So now the S.A.T.s are inflated once again, but for completely different reasons, and allowing dumbass kids to drag the others down with them.

Either way, the school policies are fucked.  Either way, they do it for the monetary benefits for pretending to be better than they actually are.  The solution to me is pretty simple.  Get rid of No Child Left Behind, and get rid of the cocksucking S.A.T.s, which at this point are overrated and borderline irrelevant, at least in regards to gauging a student’s potential.  The cons have been shown to outweigh the pros, especially in this day and age.

Not to mention the pressure it puts on students due to expectations that normally can’t be met except by the best of the best.  Creating the “model student.”  And the film depicts how some of these model students are not happy with this facade they put on.  Hell, this isn’t the only film to do it.  Plenty of films just from the decade this spawned from have several examples of model students who either aren’t as cracked up as they appear to be, are suffering from depression and stress from trying to keep up appearances, etc.  That’s not to say there aren’t legit model students out there who are what they appear to be, but others shouldn’t be forced to try and live that way.

They say I’m disturbed. Well, of course I’m disturbed. I mean, we’re all disturbed. And if we’re not, why not? Doesn’t this blend of blindness and blandness want to make you do something crazy? Then why not do something crazy? It makes a helluva lot more sense than blowing your fucking brains out.

And this is where the aspect of the parents come in.  Parents who want more than to just bring out the best in their son or daughter.  They want what they think is best for them, and it’s common knowledge at this point that what they think is best for them isn’t always what is actually best for them.  But they don’t care enough about that to listen to their children seriously.  So their children have a difficult time talking to them about their problems, let alone working them out.  It can get to the point where talking is pointless.

So naturally, if they can’t talk about their problems to their own parents, they’ll seek input from other sources, or drive themselves to suicide (as was the case for one unfortunate soul in this film).  Which is where Slater’s character comes in, as an anonymous voice over the radio.  He speaks brashly, without a filter, being as foul-mouthed and offensive as he wants (primarily for comedy); and doing so allows him to talk about subjects that these dejected students not only relate to, but also wanted to get off their chest but find themselves unable to do so.  They find a voice that expresses what they want to express.  A voice that talks about things they want to talk about, says things they want to say, and offers suggestions on what they can do about it; which some of them end up doing.

We at the F.C.C. feel that democracy is all about protecting the rights of the ordinary citizen.  Unregulated radio would result in programming of the lowest common denominator, the rule of the mob.

Imagine, a fucking political hack in charge of free speech in America!

Of course, once the school faculty, and most parents, find out about this anonymous pirate radio host, they discuss ways to stop his influence, and then ways to shut him down.  Things escalate, from punishing students who sell cassettes of his program (and create graffiti of his best lines), to getting local authorities involved, to eventually getting federal authorities involved via the F.C.C.  The inevitable discussion of free speech is brought up of course; a film like this is destined to go down that road.  But it’s one-sided, in that he shouldn’t be shut down and speech shouldn’t be suppressed.   And it should be one-sided.  After all, to a lesser extent, the same thing was happening to various students all around the campus, which created many of these problems they wanted to rebel against to begin with.  Even a teacher sympathetic to the students’ cause tries to speak out against some of the mistreatment, only to get fired by the higher ups.  That being said, the students go a bit too far at times, in my personal opinion, with regard to how they freely express themselves, such as the graffiti.  On the other hand, what other way to communicate their frustrations towards those who won’t listen?

They think you’re moody, make ’em think you’re crazy.  Make ’em think you might snap.  They say you got attitude, you show ’em some real attitude.

And this is where the parallels of today can be found.  Of course, pirate radio isn’t currently in-style as it was back then.  Nowadays there’s podcasts and videos which can be found online with people speaking and ranting in the same way Slater’s character does in this film.  And the escalation still occurs.  Alex Jones too extreme, he gets banned from every major social media website, from Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, his InfoWars app banned from all major app stores.  Twitter banning conservative speakers, Facebook doing this same, YouTube following suit, Amazon banning books they deem hateful/offensive, universities banning conservative speakers, and so on.  In this film, being unable to speak to parents and school staff brought the protagonist to speaking over the radio.  Being unable to have books published on Amazon causes writers to sell on their own website, or through other independent publishers.  Being banned from Twitter causes users to flock to alternatives like Gab.  Banned/removed from YouTube causes users to migrate to BitChute.  Next thing you know, the Internet will be as heavily regulated as radio stations were back then, with the F.C.C. (among others) knocking at your door should you talk about something that shouldn’t be talked about, or in a way they don’t like.

I’m sick of being ashamed. I don’t mind being dejected and rejected, but I’m not going to be ashamed about it. At least pain is real. I mean, you look around and you see nothing is real, but at least the pain is real.

And yet there are warning signs to be seen over this lifestyle of being a radical speaker.  Slater’s character is shown to be socially awkward, having difficulty expressing himself around others, yet feeling the frustration of living as an self-made outcast.  But he made himself unique out of the others because of his talent with being entertaining, edgy, and philosophical on the airwaves.  Today, anybody can be that way.  And there are so many, it’s hardly unique anymore.  YouTube videos, social media accounts that proclaim to be the best at something, they’re a dime a dozen.  It would take a lot to stand out (assuming your natural charisma isn’t enough), and even then, it would be difficult for others to find your voice/opinion on the web.  And this social media generation isn’t exactly churning out healthy individuals, hooked on that dopamine rush and all.

You see there’s nothing to do anymore. Everything decent has been done. All the great themes in life have been used up, turned into theme parks. So I don’t really find it exactly cheerful to be living in the middle of a totally exhausted decade where there’s nothing to look forward to and no one to look up to.

However…

… there is one factor to consider.  The appeal of Slater’s character in that community wasn’t because he was just a (pirate) radio host.  It was because he spoke about topics deemed relevant by the students, the intended audience.  It was because he had ways of addressing the topics that made sense to the listeners (though this outraged and triggered others that demanded his silence, the same “others” causing the topics to be relevant to the audience in the first place).  His voice was unique in how it addressed those social issues.  If his voice wasn’t around for them to listen to, just as there aren’t any serious conservative speakers in the mainstream media, let alone radical foul-mouthed ones that the more modern liberal speakers have in abundance, then another would arise sooner or later.  Because when there is a social environment that silences the heartfelt opinions and legit grievances of enough people, sooner or later, a voice inevitably rises that will cause them to rebel.  A voice that shouts out an idea, a thought, something that cannot be killed due to suppression.  And it will inevitable spread until the unheard are finally heard, or until they’ve determined actions speak louder than words.

I like the idea that a voice can just go somewhere, uninvited, and just kinda hang out like a dirty thought in a nice clean mind. Maybe a though is like a virus, you know, it can… it can… kill all the healthy thoughts and just take over. That would be serious.

Recommended film.

Cowboy Bebop series (1998) and movie (2001) review

The bounty hunters, who are gathering in the spaceship “BEBOP”, will play freely without fear of risky things. They must create new dreams and films by breaking traditional styles. The work, which becomes a new genre itself, will be called… COWBOY BEBOP

Series Rating: 5 / 5
Film Rating: 3.5 / 5

 

Cowboy Bebop. Probably the first major anime I introduced myself to when I was younger, outside of Dragon Ball Z and Yu-Yu Hakusho anyway (didn’t see much of the latter). One of those series I found myself coming back to on a couple of occasions, including recently. I wanted to see if it was as good as I remembered. Well, it wasn’t. It was better.

Despite its episodic structure, in the sense that each episode is sort of stand-alone, there is an overarching theme to the whole thing. It’s all about the weight of the past, and the ways it affects the present. Every episode has that aspect of it to some extent. Whether it’s a character’s past mistake or broken relationship, a misdeed done by a government or corporate agency, old vs. new technology, or even a callback to a past cultural influence such as the western cowboys, Japanese samurai, or the Jazz/Blues music of the 70s exploitation era. It all affects one or more of the major characters in each episode in some way.

Each episode tackles this central theme in a different way, while also building upon the central protagonists who are in (almost) every episode themselves, or the galaxy they inhabit. This is a setting where mankind has acquired the technology to colonize a few planets in the solar system, thanks to jump gate technology (which itself had at least one catastrophic event with its development, which has affected individuals in certain episodes), and the development of various forms of spacecraft, small and large (including one ship design giving it the look of a tommy gun), capable of entering and exiting planet atmospheres and flying in space. And aside from ship technology, it is also possible to change one’s identity if one has enough cash (woolongs). Some episodes show a man going from skinny to fat, from a white guy to a black guy, a man to a woman, etc. Primarily with the intention to evade authorities and bounty hunters (the latter of which exist because there isn’t enough of a police presence on a solar system scale to track down all criminals).

Just as the criminals can’t outrun apprehension from the hunters or the authorities forever, neither can the protagonists, or anyone for that matter, outrun their past forever. The past only serves to chain us down until it is confronted and resolved. Yet one may find themselves in a position where resolving the past is impossible, or so one could think. There are multiple ways to resolve the weight of the past, each way leading to a different outcome. After all, the criminal could always just turn themselves in, an option that was presented in at least one of the episodes (though they never seem to take that option). It’s more about figuring out a way to let oneself be reconciled with their own past. Otherwise, being so hooked up on the past, you’ll be unable to appreciate what you have in the present. And if you stay hooked up on the past long enough, the stuff in the present you could’ve appreciated may be gone, just like the past.

And incredibly enough, this is a mature series. And by mature, I don’t mean in regards to the violent content or the sexual content or the nudity (the latter of which is only present very briefly in one episode). I mean mature in the themes themselves. Past weight and consequences aside, have you noticed a trend in most anime films that are out there? The same kind of trend that occurs in most films over the past few decades? This series is not one about “the coming of age,” or, “realizing/fulfilling one’s destiny,” or, “overcoming impossible odds through comradery and personal discovery,” the latter of which is something I tire of seeing, because it’s fucking everywhere, in virtually everything that is classified as an action/fantasy/adventure film. It’s about adults, who are likely past their prime, trying to rediscover a meaning in their life, to try and make a living in their self-employed conditions and harsh lifestyle. Adults who have no more life-lessons to be learned. Because normally, a situation like that acts as the motivation for the protagonist to do any of the previous traditional film/series arcs. We need more series and films with mature content like this, without any quest or destiny to be fulfilled. We need films and shows that teach us to be mature in their own way.

But anyway, funnily enough, the first episode I ever saw of this series is the same episode a few people I’ve become acquainted with coincidentally first saw. Heavy Metal Queen. And yes, it’s still one of my favorites, with this space trucker chick who blasts heavy metal music, plus that awesome sequence where Spike Spiegal is attempting to hop from one ship to another, by ejecting himself into space without a suit. My other favorites include Mushroom Samba (the “Edward” episode that’s also all about 70s blacksploitation, and a bit of Django), Gateway Shuffle, and Wild Horses. That being said, all the episodes are great.

As for the characters, the major characters are all solid. Spike and his Bruce-Lee inspired martial arts and philosophy, Jet being his stubborn hard-ass self, Fey being dangerous seductive manipulative and somewhat self-destructive, Ein just for being there, and Edward. Edward completely steals the show from everyone else, for two reasons. One, she is so wacky and unique and fun. Two, the English voice actress for her is unbelievably great. We’re talking greatest dub for one of the greatest animated characters of all time great. On-par with Mark Hamill’s dub of the Joker.

There’s a reason this is considered not only one of the best gateway anime series to watch, but also one of the greatest of all time. Accessible and deep, and ages like fine wine.  Some episodes are hilarious, others great solid action/drama/noir/thriller entertainment, others pack an emotional gut-punch.  It doesn’t answer every question raised or hinted at, and that’s perfectly fine, because it’s good to leave people wondering about some of these things, to have some mystery about the past, and how some characters will turn out in the end. And unlike most anime, it’s also refreshing to see one that has a definitive end.  With it’s mismatch of different genres and episode structures, and managed to pull things together in such a perfect concoction, it’s a true lightning in a bottle series.

 

 

 

And then there’s the movie Knocking on Heaven’s Door.

It does a bit of development on Spike’s character, but it’s not really anything any true fan didn’t already pick up on from the series. But it does have those bitchin’ insta-noodles, and the callback to the battle on Titan (and no, this has nothing to do with that series Attack on Titan, though I’ll eventually get around to watching the latest season of that), with another dimension to it. Another example of how fucked up things were in that war. The show and the movie never does enough to show/tell all with what happened there, and that’s a good thing. All you need to know was that it was hell, and there were some weird biological/chemical/nano experiments utilized on some of the soldiers in some of the battles. It’s more of a background thing among a bunch of other background elements in both the movie and the series. It has enough subtle world-building moments to compare to the series.

I want to like the movie more than I currently do. It’s a decent enough stand-alone (fitting in with the episodic nature of the series). Not the best entry, maybe not the worst (though the worst is better than most anime can approach). But it is a real slow burn at times, especially during the first half. The filmmakers really wanted to indulge in having that extra time they wished they had to pad things out, going from a 25 minute episode, to a 90 minute movie. It’s just that you can really feel the slow crawl at times.

Thankfully, the film kicks into high gear at two separate points, from Fey chasing the hacker arcade guy, and leading to the fight on the subway; then the breaking out of jail all the way to the finale. It made getting through the slow portions worth it. That’s not to say the slow portions were entirely bad, they had some decent moments too. Like Edward and Ein going trick or treating (this movie should be watched annually for Halloween!).

There are two aspects of this film that make it truly memorable. First, the fights between Spike and Vincent, especially during the finale. It’s some of the best martial arts sequences ever put to animation, and I challenge anyone to find grounded fight sequences in any animated film that does it better than this (CG does not count, and fuck anyone who tries to pull that shit; you won’t find any grounded fights that use CG anyway; sorry if that’s coming off as harsh, I’m boozed up for this review [not while I was watching the movie]).

Second, the sequence where Spike is flying his ship and dodging the military aircraft. Holy God. That whole bit is a masterpiece in animation. You can feel the weight, you can feel the change in gravity and momentum. They put so much effort into making these aircraft seem real that it’s insane. This sequence doesn’t get anywhere near enough of the appreciation it deserves, especially for a non-CG animation sequence. I’m sure there are other anime films/shows that have reached the level of this sequence, if not surpassed it. But it’s more than a pleasant surprise to see something like that in this movie. I also appreciate that it doesn’t dumb down the military aircraft/pilots just to have the protagonist have a chance. They use some intelligent maneuvering, and it’s never anything really over-the-top.

And that’s one of the things I appreciate about this anime flick. Just because it’s an anime (let alone an animation) doesn’t mean they have to go full bonkers with it by doing stuff that defies the laws of physics and couldn’t possible be done in a live-action film. They keep it grounded, which makes it all the more investing for someone like me. Plus there aren’t enough solid R rated animated flicks out there, especially ones that don’t do R-rated stuff just for the sake of having an R-rating, or for the sake of being exploitative, and really cartoonish. That’s not to say I don’t get enjoyment out of animated flicks that do just that (Dead Leaves, Heavy Metal, Golgo 13: The Professional, Redline), it’s just refreshing to see one that makes an extra effort to stay in grounded territory when it comes to the action.

So I’d say that extra half star is partly for appreciation of what the film contains compared to other animated flicks out there, and also partly just for being a Cowboy Bebop flick, with the same director, and same voice actors. The film didn’t do a disservice to the show, but I can’t say it’s outstanding in it’s own right. It’s just there, as a stand-alone extended episode. And that’s perfectly fine.

I do have to admit though. Considering this was originally released in Japan September 1, 2001, 10 days prior to 9/11, and it has a Middle Easter character responsible for developing a bio-weapon (and the vaccine for it), terrorist bombing killing hundreds of civilians, plus brief imagery of the twin towers, it got a bit eerie. It makes some of the more subtle themes and background stories somewhat relevant, though you have to pay attention to catch it.

 

 

 

PS: Just to get ahead of the curve, fuck you Netflix for fucking this up.

 

American Deep State (2019) review

So I received a message from The Strasson Group to watch an early screening of and review their film American Deep State: The Movie.  A documentary about the Deep State and its war on Trump since the 2016 election, and up to when the film was released.  Well, this might not be the review they were hoping for.  Might not get paid for this as a result.

Rated: 1 / 5   2 / 5 *

* : with a big caveat, see below

So the film begins with the usual bru-hahah, mention of the 18th amendment with the whole “equal treatment under the law” thing which it of course is building up to be bullshit by today’s standards (assuming those standards were ever met to begin with). Plus talk of the JFK assassination, and mentioning how every conspiracy theory around the assassination involved the CIA to some extent. Then mentioning how the Trump administration blocked the scheduled release of declassifying the Kennedy assassination documents and delaying their availability to the public, even after all these years (makes you wonder who is alive today that was involved, or if it’s more about an organization that was involved and still around today). And it talks about all the organizations these conspiracy theories bring up about it, including the mafia, the KGB, CIA, FBI, Fidel Castro, Lyndon B. Johnson, etc. Guess what group this documentary decided to leave out? The people running the Fed, the big banker groups like the Rothchilds and such. That’s a big thing to leave out if you’re going to cover several bases in brief, especially when Kennedy was preparing to sign a bill that would remove the Federal Reserve and the dollar currency and replace it with something else.  After all, he took some inspiration from Hitler’s methods of making his country nationalist-socialist by removing the big Jewish banks and making his country a powerhouse (something Dinesh D’Souza’s Death of a Nation documentary can attest to, that JFK and the Democrats were inspired by Hitler’s policies for a time, up until the headlines reported on the holocaust atrocities). Consider my skepticism raised at this point.

The first portion of the documentary covers the conspiracy of the JFK assassination (not exactly original at this point, it should be taken for granted that most are skeptical at the very least about the official story).  But this does have the advantage of utilizing sources of the newly released government documents (as of 2017; still excluding the documents under classification that should’ve been released), which the film indicates that the CIA was directly involved with the assassination.  Now I just wonder if the documentary is going to imply a rogue CIA group acted alone on this, or if some other organization is pulling some CIA strings.

It portrays the Kennedies in a positive light, which is a mistake.  No documentary should ever assume anyone they cover is pure and innocent and well-intentioned, especially if they’re a politician (or even a lawyer).  They even have a “Moment of Silence” bit for the Kennedies.  Well, considering I usually watch these movies quietly, they’ve got that.  But too offset all this, here’s a bit from Lexx (Season 4, Episode 4):

 

Anyway, 30 minutes into the film, and it finally gets to more recent events.  It’s a by-the-numbers coverage of Trump vs. the Deep State which anyone who has read any headlines from websites like The Gateway Pundit, Daily Caller, Blacklisted News, youtubers like The Red Elephants, Black Pilled, Black Pigeon Speaks, etc. basically has a decent idea about.  But this documentary goes a bit on the in-depth side of it, but not in the most efficient way.  It utilizes a bunch of still photos of websites, stock news footage, etc, yet never really utilizes graphics, still photos of heads with names and line links to organizations and/or other people.  It’s more tell than show.  Not the best method for a documentary like this, which is basically a glorified youtube movie (like Europa: The Last Battle, except that film was done better).

There’s also a lot of lines that are all, “likely this” or “possibly that.”  Comes off like Michael Moore at times.

The music tracks that continually plays throughout the film get tiring real fast as well.  They needed something more subtle and atmospheric, as opposed to booming choir vocals.  I swear, it gets so distracting at times it becomes difficult to hear the narrator.  Plus the audio tends to cut off abruptly at times between scene changes.  Did I mention this isn’t made all that well?  But in all fairness, the narrator sounds good and speaks clearly, when you can hear him.

It also briefly covers heavily worn ground about Trump’s election, and how no one really thought he would be elected (again, covered by Death of a Nation, and even then it was getting to be old news).  And stuff covered by that documentary Clinton Cash.

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Trump getting wiretapped, controversy with Comey, war on terror during Bush administration, bullshit with the Obama administration, radical Islam, news media working hand in hand with the liberal agenda, MI6, etc.  All that stuff, and they don’t mention a few significant figures.  The big one being George Soros.  Why the fuck isn’t that asshole mentioned, when he’s financially responsible for half the shit going wrong in the United States?  In fact, why isn’t ANTIFA mentioned either?  Both of them have links to the Deep State (you could say George Soros is one of the main members of the Deep State, and he’s one of the financiers of ANTIFA, let alone illegal immigration).

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Bottom line, this film doesn’t cover anything new or relevant enough to preach to someone like me who they believe would be a choir boy (plus it’s too simplistic).  And it’s not made well enough to pull anyone in who is of the opposing side.  The quality isn’t that great, it runs for too long (2 hours and 40 minutes total; Christ, I could be watching Ben-Hur, the Charlton Heston version), and it’s just not all that investing with how it’s done.  Make no mistake, there is enough content to have a decent historical informative documentary.  But the execution is poor.

It’s not as informative as it should be.  It’s not entertaining.  It gets boring real fast (and annoying soon after).  And despite me being on the side of the stuff this documentary preaches, I can’t recommend it.

 

 

PS: So about that 2 / 5 rating.  I feel bad about previously giving it a 1 / 5 rating (a rating less than what I gave Ghostbusters 2016).  Especially with the monetary donation they gave me (which was honestly more than I was expecting).  Considering I don’t exactly disagree with the points the documentary makes, and because they asked nicely, and money sways people, I’ll boost the rating up a point.  That being said, I still don’t recommend the documentary.

Amazons (1986) drunk review

I guess I’m not done doing these types of reviews.  Not yet.  Maybe not ever, unless my liver gets fucked up somehow.

I’m in the mood for some 80s sword and sorcery flicks.  But not the ones that are in the top 5 that hold the highest standard for the rest.  Those would be Conan: The Barbarian, The Beastmaster, The Sword and the Sorcerer, Deathstalker, and Red Sonja (I honestly haven’t seen that last one; I tried once, but couldn’t get into it).  No, not those ones.  I’m talking about the more lower tier flicks, that look like they have a backyard budget and are always shot on location, in a forest.  And the only thing they really have going for them aside from the genre are the hot chicks willing to show their skin.

I have seen a couple of these that actually aren’t half bad.  But most of them are pretty fucking terrible.  Let’s see where this one falls.

If nothing else, the 80s sure knew how to make some great posters that were too good for the films they represented.  I miss those.

 

Not sure how I feel about the soundtrack so far.  Sounded bad at first, then it got a bit better the longer it went.  Foreshadowing of this film being a mixed bag?

Executive producer Roger Corman.  Whoah boy, we’re in for it now.

I swear, I didn’t mess with the editing at all.

Weird editing choices with the women warriors practicing their staff swinging.  “Huh!  Hyah!  He!  Hye!”  I swear, some of the shouting gets cut-off mid-shout.  Almost sounds like what you would hear playing a 16-bit videogame.  They should’ve made a sword and sorcery side-scroll beat-em-up done in thee same vane as Streets of Rage.  Oh wait, they did, Golden Axe.  Well, I want an all-female scantily clad version damnit!

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There’s an evil king named King Kaloomba?  What the fuck?  Well in that case, I wanna know where King Koopa is!  I mean, I could be mishearing this, maybe it’s King Kalunga or something, not that it doesn’t sound any less ridiculous.

The lighting hand effects.  I gotta make a meme-gif out of that.

Phahah!  The sounds they make during this battle scene!  I swear, some guys are yelling, “Get out of here!” to the enemy.

I love how these women try to act badass, yet some falling rocks make them react like an elephant seeing a mouse.  It’s actually kind of adorable.

The soldiers talking to their king after they got beaten up by the Amazons, “[The Amazon women] fought like demons!”  Heheh.

And yeah yeah yeah, the typical, “There is no mercy for failure” speech.

Ok, as much as I like some of the cheesiness, I’m not really getting into this movie.  I don’t give a shit about the plot, I’m not spending enough time with any of the characters to give a shit about any of them.

Are those guys who look like women, or are they women without tits?  They’re hot either way.

Hah!  How they are so casual with how they practice with their spears (or whatever you call those weapons).  As in not putting much effort into it.

Oh yeah, and just like that they know where to look for this long lost sword no one’s been able to find.  Because of some vague vision that doesn’t give any details.  Whatever.

Maybe his name is Kolungo.  I don’t know, their pronunciation of his fucking name seems to change every time they say it.  Goddamnit, now I’m too curious about the name.  What the fuck does IMDB say about its spelling?

According to IMDB, it’s spelled Kalungo.  I don’t know if it’s the booze or that most people in this film don’t know how to pronounce the fucking name.  Then again, it’s not like they knew how to be consistent with pronunciation during that time period.  It’s not like they had dictionaries, or the Internet, let alone books.  Well ok, maybe the did have books, but fuck if they knew how to read them.

Hah!  A white female James Earl Jones!

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They stare at each other like they’re about to have an arm wrestling competition.  “You want me to do what?”  “Kill her!”  Fuck that!  I wanna see these chicks arm wrestle each other!

Ohhh, I see.  This one blonde chick (amongst all the other blonde chicks who look so similar I have a hard time telling them apart; and that’s probably the first time I’ve ever said that about a group of people who were white) has a fake metal hand, or something.  Apparently they were so advanced about replacing sliced off hands back then, that they could muster some finger movement while they were worn.

“I raised you as a tool Tashi.  An instrument of vengeance.  I never loved your father.  And I never meant to love you.  But I do.  Are you my daughter or aren’t you?”

Well, that’s a nice inspiring family speech.  18 minutes in and we finally get some character development and some protagonists (kind of) to get attached to.  Plus some motives about wanting to kill a woman who is a part of their tribe for vengeance.  Not sure why she didn’t try this at an earlier time, especially considering it sounds like this mother has been holding this grudge since before her daughter was born (it makes less sense the more I think about it)… You know what, fuck it.  I’m supposed to be drunk enough to not think about this shit.  Hang on, I need to chug a few more shots.

Ok, back to the movie.  Horses.

“It’s time to ride, not talk.”

Oh how I would love that to be a line used in a sexual way.  “Stop talking, start riding me!”  Or, “Stop talking and let me mount and ride you!  Maybe not in that order!”

Huh.  Interesting plot twist that I might care more about if I knew this character (or her daughter) better.  The mother being in league with the evil King Doodoopudu or whatever the fuck his name is.

Whoah!  What the fuck was with the lion montage?  And with lion masks that looked fucking weird on these people?  That came out of the blue.

Oh wait, no it didn’t.  It was supposed to show the lion in his room turning into a human female.  Who is naked.  Alright!  Our first nude scene of the Sword & Sorcery flick!  How long until there’s more?

Jesus Christ!  Apparently the two lead actresses were so jealous of lion lady’s good looks that they decide to not only bare their breasts and asses int he next scene, but to swim in the water too.  Phahahah!  Are they condensing the mandatory female nudity requirement at this point in the movie?  It’s shameless enough to seem so.

And they fight the pervs who were looking in on them and trying to pierce them with their swords.  Oh shit, but the men best them, and strip them, and try to rape them.  And then lion lady saves them, in lion form.  On top of that, we get what will probably be the best moment in the movie when a topless chick kicks the shit out of a perv and kills him (I think, based on that hilarious groan sound he makes).

Why the fuck are these villains so keen on having these protagonists get the sword that can kill them?  Am I the only one who thinks this is fucking ridiculous?  Ah whatever, titties.

Hah!  Ok, this has gotta be it.  The most hilarious part of the movie.  When she’s wrestling with this snake, and overacting in how it’s strangling her.  Pretending that this isn’t a friendly domesticated snake.

Whoop, more tits to show.  And it seems more pointless than last time, and that shouldn’t be possible.

What the fuck!?  What the hell is up with this movie?  Every time some girl flashes her tits there’s pervs in the bushes waiting to ambush them, and then do exactly that?  You’re not supposed to be representing people like me who are watching this movie, let alone showing them getting their asses kicked!

“I will only let someone stand by my side who is strong.  Like you.  And who will let me fondle her tits.”

I made that last sentence up, but seriously, that’s exactly what he does when he says that.  You know, I seriously misjudged this movie.  For the first 20 minutes, I thought the women were going to dress only slightly scantily, and remain that way throughout the rest of the film.  I only thought that because I’ve seen films like that.  I don’t know, maybe I’m too used to seeing modern shit films that frown upon this sort of thing.  Glad to have misjudged this.

Speaking of which, now we get a sex scene.  And not just any kind of sex scene, oh no.  This has got to be the most unique sex scene in the history of film-making.  The main villain antagonists are the ones who have sex with each other.  And we see it in all its softcore porn glory.  Seriously, when the fuck has that ever happened?  When have we ever gotten a movie where we see the villains go at it.  Never!  You know why?  Because it makes me want to root for the antagonists!  You know what that means?  If the protagonists get into a hardcore lesbian sex scene where they scissor each other and moan.  Then again, Roger Corman may have a thing against lesbians.  I doubt it though, considering that weird shower/sparkle/massage scene in Forbidden World (1982).

Alright, after seeing this slave prison cell caravan thing with a topless chick in it, I’m convinced this film is going overboard with the nudity.  Yes, it took me this long to realize this.

Ok, how far am I into this 76 minute movie?  Only 38 minutes?!  Fuck me, I need to ease up on the comments.

Forbidden World

Alright, now I’m getting bored with the tits.  I can’t believe I’m saying this, but this movie needs to ease up.

Fuck these guys!  I don’t care who they are, or what their reasons.  When they indiscriminately start sacrificing hot topless chicks by knifing them, they become permanent villains in my eyes.  Someone kill these fuckers!

Whoop de doo, a rescue from people who sacrifice hot chicks to a tree.

“With the sword I can conquer even the Where-Ways.”  Yeah, you can conquer wherever.

Hey, 3 minutes have passed without nudity being show.  Guess things are getting interesting again.

If this horse turns into a man, I swear to God, I’m going to start watching spaghetti western flicks again.

The sword of Azandaddy.  Who’s you’re daddy?  Azan is your daddy.

“Three will enter, one will leave.”

Fuck you, and your Mad Max wannabe rip-off dialogue!

I’m bored.  Can we get a lesbian sex scene yet?  Preferably one that involved more than just kissing?

These two women are so desperate to find a sword.  I take it back, we don’t need a lesbian sex scene.  We need one or two guys capable of pleasuring both these women.

“Hell?  Hell will be my greatest conquest.  Then I’ll be in Heaven.”

Ok, I have to admit, that’s a badass line.

You know, a crossing across the rope over a cliff scene isn’t all that tense when you keep showing the river below them.  Because, you know, in 80s flicks like these, water seems to break their fall just fine regardless of height.  You want to give us tension, make it a pit full of spikes or snakes or rapists or something.

The third who will enter is a literal lioness.  At this point, I’d be up for that kind of beastiality.

Friendship.  Didn’t see that coming.  Give me a hug.

What the flying fuck!?  This lioness chick can throw a knife to kill a bitch and then instantly transfer back into a lion before the body hits the floor?  And start a woman vs. lioness wrestling match?

I’m convinced the lioness should’ve kicked this chick’s ass.

No tits being shown over a span of 10 minutes.  It’s like there’s a bell curve with this flick in terms of nudity.  Appropriate.

Morons.  They should’ve been charging the palace/fortress/set/whatever the fuck it’s supposed to be during the first sorcerer lighting bit.

Where-ways again. Or We’re-Ways.  “It’s the only way.”  Balgor, folklore, butt-whore, whatever.

Flashing white light.  We gonna get a dance floor scene?  No?  Then fuck off with that shit.

Hah!   Ghost attack!

I fucking hate getting the fucking hiccups when I’m fucking drunk!  Or at anytime regardless of my state!  Fuck hiccups!

Did she just fucking kill that guy by hitting him with the hilt of her sword while he was behind her on horseback?  That’s stupid.

“You cannot defeat me!  I have the power!” 

Fuck you.  He-Man has the power!

She shouts, “Where are you!?”, and then a horse sticks its ass into the frame.  There’s a joke in there somewhere.

This final fight between the Amazon chick and the evil King Koopahka is kinda lame. Until they resort to this very weird edit trick that’s beyond words of describing.  I would’ve preferred they just sped up everything, but whatever.

I swear, I didn’t mess with the editing at all, again.

And the protagonist decided to try overacting.

I’d like to know about the guy with the mustache.

“Someone is killing my tree!”

Can’t say I’ve heard that line before.

Ok, this final final fight scene is also kinda lame.

What the fuck!?  PHAHAHAHAHAH!  Oh my God!  That’s got to be one of the most hilarious death scenes in my life.  The bitch villain accidentally kills herself by chopping down a tree which then falls onto her.  You can’t make this shit up.

WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!????????????!?!!?!!?????????????!!!!!!!!!!?????

This bitch that died in the cave came back to life?  Alright, fuck this movie and the assholes who decided to give it a happy ending.  Especially when they did that without having the decency to give us a lesbian sex scene.  You know what?  Just because of that shit, I’ve decided how I’m going to score this movie.

Rated: 1 / 5

Fuck this movie and it’s contrived happy ending.  I don’t care how much tit service it decided to give, among all the other so-bad-it’s-good shit.  That ending pissed me off!

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Chernobyl (2019) miniseries review

Rated: 2.5 / 5

“We live in a time where people seem to be re-embracing the corrosive notion that what we want to be true is more important than what is true.” 

— Craig Mazin, the writer and creator of Chernobyl

This is what it took to claw my attention away from a board game I’m designing.  After being convinced to give it a watch by The Critical Drinker from cocksucking YouTube (and I will continue to use some derogative adjective, even a half-assed one that might not even be considered an adjective, to describe that site until things change or until it burns to the ground to pave way for better sites like BitChute or DailyMotion or something), I gave it a watch.  I can recommend it, but with some serious caveats.  Hey, if they want to make something based on a true story, they’re going to eat a serious shit sandwich from me, and approved by Jill Valentine, for anything not historically accurate about it that ticked me off.  Especially from an event as big and serious as this, which had the S.T.A.L.K.E.R. franchise spawn from it, both the film and the game series, let alone Metro 2033.

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Entertainment Industry Nostalgia: May 1990

microsoft 3

Stuff that happened this month: Angela Bowie reveals that ex-husband David slept with Mick Jagger.  Nora Dunn and Sinead O’Connor boycott “Saturday Night Live” to protest Andrew Dice Clay’s hosting which was perceived as sexist; the show uses a time delay for the third time in its history.  “Cheers” star Kelsey Grammer sentenced to jail for 30 days for DWI.  European court rules on pension rights for men & women.  World Health Organization takes homosexuality out of its list of mental illnesses.  Hubble Space Telescope sends its 1st photographs from space.  Microsoft releases Windows 3.0.  NYC’s Zodiac killer shoots 3rd victim, Joseph Ponce.  James “Jim” Henson, American puppeteer, artist, screenwriter and filmmaker, best known as the creator of ‘the Muppets” (Sesame Street, The Muppet Show), dies of toxic shock syndrome caused by pneumonia at 53.

Source: https://www.onthisday.com/date/1990/may

 

Music

Music some may like that I don’t (again, I won’t include everything, as there’s too much, and I’m not exactly a connoisseur): Sonia: Everybody Knows; Kim Wilde: Love Moves; Tony! Toni! Toné!: The Revival; Adrian Belew: Young Lions; Doug Anthony All-Stars (notable for only releasing one album, which was successful in Australia, but banned in the UK); George Strait: Livin it UpThe Pretenders: Packed!; Katydids: Katydids; John Doe: Meet John Doe; The Breeders: Pod (maybe add this, with the track Fortunately Gone); Wire: Manscape.

Billy Idol: Charmed Life

His 4th studio album.  You should know his name, as he’s one of the most famous rock stars to have ever existed.  While I enjoy the whole album, the biggest hit was the single Charmed Life, which also had a hit music video directed by David Fincher, which also appeared in the film The Adventure’s of Ford Fairlane, an Andrew “Dice” Clay movie that would be coming out very soon this same year.

 

Flotsam & Jetsam: When the Storm Comes Down

Thrash metal.  Not considered their strongest album (it does get monotonous at times), but it does have some notable standouts such as The Master Sleeps, and Suffer the Masses.

 

Mark Lanegan: The Winding Sheet

Not bad, but I’m only really keen for “Mockingbirds.”

 

Yngwie Malmsteen: Eclipse

“Devil in Disguise,” “Faultline,” “See You In Hell,” and “Save our Love” are pretty damn good songs.  In fact, the “See You In Hell” song has some beats similar to what would be used in Final Fantasy VIII battle music some years later.  This could very well be the best album of the month.

 

Bruce Dickinson: Tattooed Millionaire

First singles album from the lead singer of Iron Maiden.  The song “Lickin’ the Gun” isn’t half bad either.  Rather enjoyed “All the Young Dudes,” if only to be reminded of that awesome song’s existence (originally done by Mott the Hoople).

 

Dio: Lock Up the Wolves

It’s Dio.  You can’t go wrong with him.

 

Y&T: Ten

Not bad.

 

Ice Cube: AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted

Considering this is one of the most famous rappers and rap albums of all time, kinda have to include this just for the culture shock (though not as big of a culture shock as NWA, but that was the 80s).

 

Madonna: I’m Breathless

Released to promote the film Dick Tracy, which would be released next month.  Also has a music video directed by David Fincher (that guy sure gets around) that was also a big hit.  Big hits were “Vogue” and “Hanky Panky.”

 

The Jeff Healey Band: Hell to Pay

 

Concrete Blonde: Bloodletting

Behold the resurgence of the goth subculture.  And I’ll be damned if I didn’t find some of this catchy.

 

The Breeders: Pod

Quite unique and interesting girl band.

 

Movies

There was this one little movie called Bird on a Wire, starring Mel Gibson and Goldie Hawn.  It sucked.  That’s why I’m not listing it.  But it does have some amount of popularity, mainly because it was such a terrible film made with a film starring two popular stars.  There’s also this bland forgettable Top Gun knockoff with Tommy Lee Jones and Nicolas Cage called Fire Birds that isn’t really worth recommending.  The better Top Gun knockoff would come next month.  Lastly, there’s this one film called The Swordsman, Chinese martial arts film (kind of), which was the first part of a trilogy of which many say the 2nd is the best.  I can’t seem to find a way of getting a hold of this film currently, so this blog might get revised if I ever do see it.  That being said, this wasn’t exactly what I would call a good month for movies in my personal opinion.

Short Time

Honestly, this movie is just an ok film.  So why mention it?  Because it has this amazing car chase sequence.

 

Tales From the Darkside: The Movie

http://www.movieposter.com/posters/archive/main/99/MPW-49945

This personally isn’t my kind of film.  I’m not really into horror anthologies, or even anthologies in general.  But it’s a cult classic that deserves to be mentioned, and you’ll likely enjoy it more than I did.  This film is also known as the true sequel to Creepshow 2.

Back to the Future: Part III

While it is considered the weakest of the trilogy, it’s still Back to the Future.

Class of 1999

Easily my favorite film of the month, by a mile.  Such a guilty pleasure.  Schools taken over by gangs, so cyborg teachers get sent in to get the students in line, and then they start a gang war, and it ends in a climax at the school with shootings and explosions and stuff.  And to be honest, it’s kind of eerie when you consider how relevant some of the thematic implications of this are today.

Games

I couldn’t find a large selection of games that were released this month in particular.  Either I’m missing a bunch of releases, or there weren’t very many released this month compared to the previous months.  Either way, here’s a short but very sweet selection.

Qix (May 1990; Game Boy)

Fascinating.

 

Shove It! …The Warehouse Game (May 1990; Sega Genesis)

I’m getting a sense of deja vu.

 

Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos (May 1990; NES)

Are you a glutton for punishment?

 

 

 

TV Shows

America’s Funniest People (May 1, 1990 – August 28, 1994; ABC)

America’s Funniest Home Video’s spiritual cousin; both shows aired during the same period (this one came a few months after AFHV got started).  I personally consider this to be inferior, but it has its fans, and it certainly ran for a long enough time period.

 

Talespin (May 5, 1990 – August 8, 1991; The Disney Channel)

Oh-eyah!

 

The Dave Thomas Comedy Show (May 28 – June 25, 1990; CBS)

Another comedy sketch show that was somewhat popular at the time, but has faded into obscurity.  Seriously, despite how it crashed and burned in the ratings, many today still think it was great, and wished it went longer.  Or even got a DVD release.

 

 

Edit (6-29-2017): Removed Final Fantasy from Video Games (the actual release date for that game in North America was in July).

John Wick 3: Parabellum (2019) review

If you want peace, prepare for war.

Rated: 4 / 5

So I’m sitting in the theater, and watching all the trailer for the upcoming films this year.  And I felt nothing.  Felt no anger at all the PC feminist SJW NPC moments in practically all upcoming films.  I’m burned out from being angry.  I’m just bored with it all.  I’m just waiting for it to end.  And if it doesn’t end, that’s fine by me, ’cause I’ll just find something else to do.  Like trying to find employment somewhere where I’m not going to get circle-jerked everywhere between cities and states.  Or maybe even try writing a fucking fantasy book again.  Dare I try making a video again?  Not today with the latter (just to squish any of your hopes).

Before you all get up in arms and put a contract out on me, you should be warned that spoilers will follow.

Honestly, there are only two films coming out this year that I have any semblance of interest in seeing.  One is Godzilla: King of the Monsters, but each new trailer I see of that movie crushes my hopes a little more.  It looks like it’s pushing the same bullshit diversity message that I’m sick of seeing, to the point where it’s going to knock the enjoyment factor down a couple notches (these talentless hacks have spread far and wide enough to fuck up Star Wars and Game of Thrones, I should’ve figured Godzilla would be next on the chopping block; next sequel will probably have him kill some white nationalists and some albino monster or something).  The other is Joker.  After all, life isn’t a tragedy.  It’s a comedy.  Sometimes I just have to look back at everything and laugh.

John Wick hasn’t succumbed enough to those attacks yet, but I’m sure some pushback is building from this successful franchise.  To make my case, consider what happened near the end of John Wick 2.  He kicked Ruby Rose’s mute ass so hard, she got pissed at him and men in general.  Pissed enough to regain the gift of speech, start trashing on men, get hooked up with a black lesbian lover, and steal Batman’s persona (along with a black butler pretending to be related to Alfred), dress up as Batman while calling herself Batm’am, try acting more “handsome” masculine and manly (penis envy), and start kicking dude’s asses while trash-talking men in the process.  John Wick is sending some serious shockwaves (as Atomic Blonde will attest).  But that’s one of the main themes this film is carrying: consequences.  He’s not the only one feeling them.

I was expecting this film to be the conclusion to the franchise.  Up until this point, I’ve been hearing, “trilogy,” and some talk of how the 2nd film ended on a cliffhanger because the writers didn’t think they could condense the story they had in mind into a single film.  Well apparently, that story didn’t involve wrapping things up in a satisfying manner.  So, yeah, this film ends wide open for a sequel.  Not quite as cliffhanger-heavy as the 2nd film, but definitely not as conclusive as the first.

Women say men are bad because they’re dogs, yet women love dogs.  Have a biscuit you bad boys!

That disappointed me a tad, but that was simply due to my expectations (I don’t have much of a problem with those kinds of expectations being subverted; you listening Rian Johnson and David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, you fucking hacks!).  But I got over it quickly, because this film is expectedly awesome.  I’d even go so far as to say that it’s the best John Wick film to date.  The first film was an unexpected solid surprise introducing us to gun-judo-fu (it was Equilibrium that introduced us to actual gun-fu, John Wick just threw in the judo aspect, and ultimately does it all better than Equilibrium).  The 2nd film was a solid follow-up, but the gun-fu started to get monotonous.  This film mixes things up with a pleasant mixture of gun-fu, judo, martial arts fights, various non-gun weapons, motorcycles, horses, dogs, and iron chefs.  Seriously, Keanu Reeves actually fight Mark Dacascos, and that is something I never thought I would ever want to see, let alone ever think it would happen.  But it does happen, and it’s fun as fuck.  And Dacascos is practically winking at the audience at various points in the movie letting them know he also thinks it’s fun as fuck.  That would probably be the best martial arts and blade fight in the film if not for the fight that precedes it, where Reeves goes against those two guys from The Raid films (it’s not Iko Uwais).  Goddamn if I wasn’t having a fun fucking time with this thing!  I recommend this highly over Triple Threat (what a disappointment that ended up being; it wasn’t terrible, it just wasn’t “great,” and any self-respecting martial arts film with the cast that film had needed to be “great” at the very least).

I won’t spoil all the action stuff that’s in this film, but I will say the only moment where the action felt like it was dragging too much was this sequence where Reeves and Berry and the dogs were going on a killing spree.  That sequence lasted too long.  Mainly because they wanted to prove Berry was capable of kicking ass in something outside of Catwoman (huh, maybe that’s also why she’s a dog person in this film, plus this joke metaphor acting as a callback to the first film).  Goes on a minute or two longer than it should have.

So I guess my worries about this franchise running out of steam were unfounded.  Plus I was pleasantly surprised to gain insight into John Wick’s origins at one point in this film.  Seems like each film manages to not only build upon the lore, opening up this assassin world even more, but also showing more about John Wick himself.

Still, as far as action sequences are concerned, I am starting to get a tad bit irritated at seeing these faceless bad guys running into the open and becoming easy targets, hesitating a bit too long during some of the close-quarters-combat sequences, etc.  You know, the kinds of irritations we’re not supposed to have when watching any shoot-em-up and martial arts flick where one or two protagonists go up against multiple opponents at the same time.

Plus the plot and situations get more fantastical than in the previous film, and that’s saying a lot.  A part of me started to hope it would get ridiculous enough to where the Iron Chef’s cat would face off against John Wick’s dog.  Honestly, wouldn’t that be great?  Maybe in the next Dog Wick parody they come up with (please oh please make a sequel to that, I’m begging you; come on, people loved it enough to where they included it as a special feature of the blu-ray release of the 2nd film).  Considering how the 2nd film ended along the lines of, “Everyone is an assassin,” at that point my level of disbelief went to, “This does not take place in the same dimension we’re living in.”  You either go along with it or you don’t.

Go see it.  It’s likely the best action film we’re going to get all year.