LAST ACTION HERO (1993)

For years, I have used this title as a punching bag for bad movies that nearly bankrupted studios. But I’ve never seen it.

UNTIL NOW.

Lets take the time machine back to 1993, which was one of those blockbuster years for movies. We got Jurassic Park, Mrs. Doubtfire, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Tombstone, etc. It was a good time to be a movie going kid. And then there was Last Action Hero, which Schwarzenegger got $15 million to make.

If you haven’t seen this movie, its about an impressionable boy who’s only crime is to love the movies, so much so that he skips school to go, only to be pulled into a level of ultraviolence parading as fun as Schwarzenegger mugs for the camera. He learns a very valuable lesson in that violence always gets you what you want. #murica

I do not doubt the talents of the cast and crew that were hired to make this. As is the usual case with these movies,  I know that hundreds of hours of talented people’s lives went into this and they can’t be at fault. I did pinpoint where this movie goes wrong.

(Yes I know this movie is a parody of action movies – in case you were starting to draft a comment about it)

Here’s the thing that puts a damper on the whole production.

This face:

They put this face near children, folks. A studio put money behind it and that’s what happened.

Our story involves a kid skipping school, going to the movies and getting a golden ticket which allows the creation of worse movie making to enter an already bad movie. Step aside Intersteller – this movie will really scramble your head of space and time.

The star of Touched by an Angel and Lawnmower Man 1 and 2 is a seemingly wide eyed innocent kid who just really loves super violent movies. We also find out he likes to say disturbing things like “Who do I gotta kill around here to get in to see that movie?” His mother lies to cover for his truancy and during a disturbing scene where a meth head (I’m assuming) breaks in, terrorizes this kid, the police just shrug and say, “Tell your mom when she gets off her shift.”

None of this bodes well.

I’m sure this sight gag was pitched as the big joke of the movie. And here it is.

You should also know that Arnold Schwarzenegger plays two characters. One is his movie within a movie character and the other is himself. Sort of a pre-Being John Malkovich. Just without the thoughtful script and without Arnold out mugging himself in every scene.

This movie has probably one of the best lines of dialogue ever written: “What you want a bunch of guys dancing and throwing cocaine at each other? Just kick the door in!”

This child gets to sit and drive through mass explosions and have a gun discharged within inches of his face. Had more people seen this movie, I’m sure the parental outrage would have been through the roof.

Impressionable Child : “Where are you going?”
Arnold “Got to catch the red eye.”

(slow applause)

I realize that this is a parody of action films. I realize that none of it is supposed to be taken seriously. Its just a little trouble how easy this movie hands guns to minors and has them blow groups of people away.

That being said, Arnold and this kid’s negligent Mom really hit it off.

Given that this is the year 2014 and we’ve seen horrific headlines over the past few years, I don’t think I need to describe how unsettling this scene was.
Hilariously (I guess) Arnold 1 and Arnold 2 end up in the same theater together, each one trying to out act the other. Again, a great idea in the pitch room. In practice, its just two hammy guys winking at the camera.

This kid gets put in the most traumatizing circumstances and the movie merely shrugs its shoulders and barrels on into the next action sequence. And don’t tell me since its parody, the kid would be fine because once I dreamt that we had an intruder in our house because my dad didn’t patch up the walls made by the Kool Aid guy breaking through it earlier and I woke up in a cold sweat #truestory

The movie has three factors. Either Schwarzenegger is mugging….

Or this kid is explaining something in a high whiny voice…

Or firearms are being used obscenely inappropriately.

One might argue that that’s pretty much most action movies of the 80s and 90s, but I’ll tell you this. At least Die Hard didn’t ask a child to murder.

Thoughts? Feel free to discuss in the comments or on our Facebook page or Twitter.

INFERNO (1999)

I think the movie’s tagline says it all…

“Left for Dead. Burning for Revenge…”

I get chills just thinking about it. That and the fact this was brought to us by the same guy who made a squeaky voiced Ralph Macchio roar.

This is how we meet our hero…

Drunk and passed out. You can’t see it, but his motorcycle is crumpled up in a heap somewhere off in the distance. Maybe it was written in the script but something tells me this is just JCVD being JCVD.

Its now occured to me that the movie’s tagline “Left for dead…” isn’t exactly true. More like “Wasted Loser Life, Might Get Up Later.”

The other thing we establish very quickly is that JCVD’s best friend is a guy named Johnny Sixtoes. No one questions this last name, they just plow into the story as if we all didn’t just hear one of the silliest names in movie history.

As the movie will explain to you (through the ramblings of a drunk JCVD) he’s here in the middle of nowhere to drink himself to death over his actions while serving in the Army. Honoring his Army training, he recklessly fires shots in the air, which makes Johnny Sixtoes disappear (the name stays though) and a group of guys in a truck appears upset about JCVD’s inability to understand gun safety.

What follows is flareups of tempers and conflict that could have easily been avoided had these guys just driven away from the gunfire. But that would have been a blissfully short movie and we would have watched another 75 minutes of JCVD slobbering unconsciously.

If there’s one thing this movie has that other Van Damme movies don’t is that Jean-Claude is rocking a cowboy hat for most of it. He clearly really likes himself in said hat, because once its on, he seems reluctant to be without it.

Guns, grenades and cowboy hats….Van Damme for President 2016.

It should be mentioned…

Mr. Miyagi is in this. His role in this movie is useless, which is fantastic because its long been forgotten and he can remain a cherished icon of our childhoods. Instead, he works at a dumpy diner with this little love interest (van DAMN!)

Her acting is genuine – it says, “I’m playing a character that doesn’t know she’s supposed to kiss Jean Claude Van Damme later.”

Johnny Sixtoes comes back. He’s also Danny Trejo, pretending we don’t remember his name is actually Johnny Sixtoes.

He hangs out, soothes Jean Claude’s ego and then disappears into the night. God bless you Johnny Sixtoes. I’m hoping for the sequel where we meet his wife, Susie Fourthumbs.

You would think this movie would be about JCVD overcoming his suicidal guilt Army thoughts, but no, its just about him getting back at the guys who got mad at him for almost shooting them. So his plan of attack is, kill the guys and have Hot Waitress and Mr. Miyagi help dispose of the bodies, making this one of the darkest movies I’ve watched for this blog (please keep in mind I sat through two Insane Clown Posse productions).

I realize JCVD wants us to know that he’s a formidable force for good, but when you garble out dialog and insist on wearing cowboy hats that are too big for your head, it just defeats the purpose.

Man loves his hat. Not much else you can say about it.

He does take it off from time to time though…

Because its extremely hard to do a roundhouse kick in one. If Chuck Norris has mastered it, then he’s not showing it nor talking about it.

The lesson we learn from this is that if you’re depressed, do whatever makes you feel better. If someone has a problem with it, feel free to introduce them to Sonny & Cher (aka your fists).

“You guys, I’m really working my way through the grumpies. Thanks!”

Better than therapy, albeit way more messy. No word on how Mr. Miyagi and Johnny Sixtoes coping skills have held up.

Thoughts? Feel free to discuss in the comments or on our Facebook page or Twitter.

FRIENDS TIL THE END (1997)

I’ve dipped my fingers into the made for TV Lifetime cinematic universe and reemerged with a tale of what happens when you push Shannon Daugherty to her mental limit. The answer? A single emotional girl debating a career change (aka any College Girl USA).

Its about to get real in here, so strap in.

Once upon a time, roughly mid-90s, there was a princess of a sorority named Shannen Doherty. Born of pasty white cheekbones, raven hair and a kickin’ band where she dates one of the London twins (Jeremy I want to say) who also plays the bass (they always do).

She unknowingly has a blonde psychotic stalker who has done everything in her power to infiltrate Shannen’s life and then ruin it.  Had Shannen been paying attention, she would have remembered that talent show she competed in when she was seven and beat out that girl as well as everyone else. Since she didn’t keep tabs on it, her life is about to get amazingly complicated.

From there, Blonde Stalker (didn’t bother to remember her name) sneakily joins Shannen’s band, turns Shannen’s sorority friends against her, gets her kicked out of the band and seduces Shannen’s boyfriend.

Why is it called Friends Til the End? Because someone must die. (Spoiler alert: its the blonde crazy girl)

Shannen has a charmed life (pun intended)…

Espescially this girl. This girl who’s name I don’t remember. Not that it matters because her whole goal in this movie is to Single White Female Shannen Doherty. We’ve all been there.

Look at how much she cares. She just wants all things for all people.

Here’s the thing – and this is a Lifetime Cinematic Universe rule. Pretty white girls get stalkers. If you make a new friend and things are really going good – she’s probably planning your murder .

Its always the mousy unspectacular ones…

The one thing you should know about this movie is that Shannen Doherty sings. She sings a lot. She has a band and she wears tiny 90s dresses. Some of them have fruit. Some are made of crushed velvet. All of them took me back to a simpler time when we all thought that was okay.

I know what you’re thinking – but does she have chunky Mary Janes on?

Rest easy, gentle reader. She does.

I’ll say this…should you watch this movie, which you absolutely should (its on YouTube…for FREE), there’s some catchy songs. Like hummable, stuck in your head songs. And had this been the year 1997, I would have gotten the gumption to walk to WalMart or order the Friends Til the End Band’s (not their real name) from BMG as part of my 12 CDs for one cent offer. Sadly, its 2014 and none of those words make sense and I’m forced to move on with my life anyway. Had things been a little bit different,  Apple would have been sneakily putting the Shannen Doherty Experience (again, not the band’s real name) into our iTunes without asking and Bono would’ve been hosting Scare Tactics or doing commercials for Education Connection.

Some movies get college life and some just don’t. Maybe my college experience was unusual, but so many things that happened in this movie I had no recollection of. For example, the women in the sorority house were just genuinely NICE.

It started to feel a little bit more like home when Blonde Stalker overheard Brittany telling Shannen a secret and totally told everyone behind Brittany’s back that Brittany was super super fake and then Blondie blamed Shannen and everyone totally believed it.

Brittany totally thought she was pregnant by the way but it turns out she just can’t do math. Which is a far more dangerous rumor. Then again, I may have had a different college experience than most.

Blonde Stalker knows Rule #1 of gaining your sympathy back – when confronted with something you may or may not have done (ie spilled a friend’s confidential secret, gotten caught going through your personal stuff, killed a guy in an alley) start to act like you are in deep deep pain – either physical or emotional. Its girl catnip.

This is as good a time as any to talk about the acting styles of Shannen Doherty. Actually, she has one style. And its this –

Shannen processes new information onscreen like no one else in the business.

“Shannen, you just learned that your career won’t skyrocket due to badmouthing everyone on Charmed. You’re reaction?”

“…….”

End scene

Speaking of the 90s, you will never see anything that sums up the 90s experience than this screenshot.  Its a music video shoot for one. Jeremy London’s jacket for two…

In case you weren’t sure, Shannen Doherty is pure and blameless. She deserved none of this. See how she flourished in a nest of loving nurturement? You’d think that but then take into account she brought Blonde Stalker friend home, the friend who had no family and then rubbed her face in it.

Blonde Stalker is truly in her element behind a mic and just singing her heart out. Which makes one wonder – if she had just gotten to this point, embraced the friendship and made room for a Shannen, things would be so much different. For example we might all be downloading that one really catchy song of theirs from iTunes.

Sadly, no. Instead, we get this face…

Which I’m not going to lie. This was my face for the whole movie.

Thoughts? Feel free to discuss in the comments or on our Facebook page. You can also share your Shannen Doherty impressions with me on Twitter

For Your Consideration: LADY DANGER!


This week’s post, I’ve given the reigns over to my good friend over at First World Failure, who’s shaking up the format a bit and giving us a compilation of movies meant to inspire us to safety…
Summer’s almost over gang, and it’s time to think about “back to school.” For ladies, whether you’re in high school or college, this means a number of things: Deciding which ankle length skirt is your go to first day of school skirt. Buying all the school supplies so you can highlight your notes in three different colors. Trying not to get raped/murdered. Wait…what!?!  
It’s true. The world is a dangerous place, and there was nothing like made for TV movies from the 90s to make us aware of it. High school and college are dangerous places (unless you’re homeschooled), and we’ve put together a wonderful collection of cautionary tales to keep you safe from the prom to the frat party and everywhere in between.  
1.       A Friend to Die Foraka Death of a Cheerleader (1994) – We’ve all been there. Maybe you’re not the prettiest girl in school. Maybe your family doesn’t buy you a new car to drive. Maybe you become obsessed with a popular girl and then try to fly too close to the sun with your wax wings. All Kellie Martin wanted to be was to be one of the popular girls and Tori Spelling just won’t let her. Maybe if Tori was raised to have better manners she wouldn’t be getting the business end of a butcher knife. I think that’s a lesson we can all get behind – don’t be a megabitch who throws around the insult “freak” like it was going out of fashion.  
      Fun Fact: The highest rated TV movie of 1994.
2.    
          Co-ed Call Girl aka Her Deadly Secret (1996) – College is expensive. From meal plans to off campus apartments near the beach, the college experience isn’t something we can buy with savings bonds gifted from Grandma anymore. The first step to enjoying this movie is buying that Tori is poor. The second step is buying that Tori is a “bookish” college student. If anything, she’s “magazine-ish”. Tori just wants a little spending money as a college student, and thanks to a practical joke we find her at a Malibu-based escort service.   
      Casting Gold: Keep your eyes peeled for Barry Watson of 7th Heaven fame and Jeri Ryan of Star Trek: Voyager.  

  No One Would Tell (1996) – This is a great movie that shows what happens when a woman Just. Won’t. Listen. Fred Savage attempts to distance himself from Kevin Arnold and toward “serious actor” by playing an abusive boyfriend. It’s not too much of a leap for the audience, because Fred is the nicest kind of abuser. You know, the kind who makes you want to look the other way while he drags Candace Cameron into the locker room to change into some modest track pants. The title doesn’t lie – literally nobody has a problem with Fred’s anger problems. No one, that is, except for Sally Jessie Raphael who plays a judge and sets everyone straight in the end.

Fun Fact: SJR was on fire for acting in 1996, appearing in episodes of Touched by an Angel and Diagnosis Murder. 

4.       She Cried No (1996) – Why Mark-Paul Gosselaar, WHY!?! In an attempt to distance himself from his Saved By The Bell persona who was merely “mischievous”, MPG takes a role as a frat boy rapist (because thanks to Fred Savage, “murderer” was taken). Is there anything that Candace Cameron couldn’t do in 1996? She can’t get MPG convicted in court, but she’ able to put him in his place in math class AND by defaming him on television.  
        I like how this TV movie expands her role of “rape victim” by giving her characteristics such as “good at math” and “amateur detective.”  Amateur detective? YES. She tracks down video footage of MPG being a douchy date rapist and broadcasts it on television. AKA: This movie was also called “Freshman Fall”.
       Fun Fact: Kathleen Rowell, writer of She Cried No, also penned the teen drama favorite “The Outsiders”. 
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SPICE WORLD (1998)

Netflixers, rejoice… the Spice Girls will forever be around with just a touch of your remote.  Or at least until Sony decides to pull it from the queue.

I’ll admit something to you. I had never seen this movie. It just never happened.

I remember the Spice Girls, as we all do. As much as I downplayed their style, I secretly admired it and wished I could wad my Irish frizzy hair into kicky hornbuns. And secretly, I hummed those songs and stole my friend’s boyfriend’s copy of their first album and didn’t give it back until months and months later. But that’s another story for another blog (tentatively titled Things I Liked Born Out of Practical Jokes)

Here’s what I discovered from watching this movie. You don’t need a plot – just lots of ideas strung together, complete with the Spice Girls in different outfits in every scene.  This makes a difference in some movies. This was the one movie where I didn’t mind it.

 

Possibly because this movie was based on an idea and they just ran with it.  The movie told me so.

 

 

The only purpose I had for posting this picture is because it made Victoria Beckham look like even more of an alien than she already does.

Here’s what this movie truly excels at – showing us a disproportionately huge living area that’s bigger than my apartment — inside a double decker bus.

There’s a living room that comfortably sits every you know and possibly ever met….

Also a swing set and room for any size platform you’d want on your shoes.

Maybe on the buses you grew up with, they had one of those pesky “No horseplay” rules. Not for the Spice Girls. When designing the bus they stayed on the concept of horseplay and just built up from there.

There’s also a minor subplot about a documentary crew trying to find the essence of what makes the Spice Girls the Spice Girls. Frankly, he could have saved himself a lot of time and trouble just by watching ABBA: The Movie (those in the know can tell you that that had the exact same plot).

Unrelated, but the chairs are pretty awesome.

And lest you think the Spice Girls are too self involved, here they are rousing a teenage boy from a coma.

The other thing this movie has? Cameos. Spades of cameos from famous British people.

Like Bob Geldof!

And Elton John!

Stephen Fry! He condemns them to a lifetime of reality shows and non charting singles (strangely

Dr. House!

Jennifer Saunders!

Meatloaf!

NORM!!

The distinctive thing about the Spice Girls is not only their fierce girl power cry but they truly want equal rights for everyone.  So when they notice that their backup dancers aren’t wearing enough, they make a stand….

Remember kids. Speak out for what’s right. Sometimes The Man tries to fix it for you.

Sometimes.

That being said, I am fully onboard with the fashion but have minor qualms about this weird astronaut jacket that Scary Spice wears during rehearsals.

…not to mention the color vomited sheets she put on to do their weird WWII bootcamp class.

I’m calling this out though – women dressing and acting like children. Its creepy and I just don’t get it.

Maybe you’re asking yourself, “Hey Netflix subscriber! I’ve never seen this movie. You haven’t said what its about!”

Gentle movie watcher – know this when I say, it doesn’t matter. You will sit through 90 minutes of heavily made up mugging, women playing dress up and things like aliens showing up for their autograph and you will realize….

It doesn’t matter. Seriously.

And they have no problem taunting you with movies that did have actual plots.

In case you missed it…the Spice Girls were visited by aliens. They got an autograph and left.

Now back to our “story”…

SERIOUS FACE – we are ACTING…

Sometimes the movie makes a quick detour into another possible movie and then we get back to what we do best…

…which is pondering whatever question the movie gets ready to pose.

At that point in the movie, a man broke into their stately manor through the toilet. Maybe an homage to Trainspotting?

And Roger Moore plotted their demise. But will they make it to the big show in time?

Its iffy, especially with so much zaniness.

There was a bomb on the bus. It was kind of a high tension moment.

And their untalented friend who tags along, had a baby. They helped and it was a girl, ensuring that their brand of girl power extends among the generations. In case you’re wondering, the baby was not a famous baby cameo.

They make it to the show and sing “Spice Up Your Life”, which is ironic because THEY JUST DID.

Even more ironic…

We weren’t watching a movie, we were watching the brainstorming session between the Spice Girls’ manager, a big time Hollywood guy and a screenwriter. TWIST.

Sadly, very realistic to most pitch meetings.

We’re left with the Spice Girls peering into our souls and asking the important question of “Who’s really watching us? Who is truly entertained?” and “Will Ginger Spice ever wear actual pants?”

All in all, I totally recommend. I’ll warn you though…

The book is way better than the movie.

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PINOCCHIO’S REVENGE (1996)

For this week, I felt the need to dig deep in the hole that is Netflix and see what’s really at the bottom of the pit. While I could have gone further in title obscurity, I found gold in this title. Its sort of like being in love. Once you know, you just know.

You know that campfire story about the doll that murders people and just won’t leave your house? (It was also part of a Simpsons episode which was far better orchestrated) Insert a much loved and celebrated icon and you’ve got this movie (and yes, Simpsons did it much better).

A better story with more intriguing female characters.

Also, if you were hoping for the standard Pinocchio story about a wooden boy who becomes real with the help of flakey grasshoppers and a song about becoming an actor done by a hipster looking fox, then you’re not going to enjoy this.

 

We open with a murder mystery – the victim was a wooden doll buried in dirt.

We are also introduced to one of our main characters, the district attorney and a mother. We know she’s a mother because of the look of concern she always has.  We know she’s a district attorney because she wears suits and makes frantic phonecalls.

She has a daughter (hence fulfilling the mother title of her character) who is not popular and picked on by other kids. If I didn’t know better, I’d say that a creepy wooden doll is about to teach these girls important life lessons about accepting those that are different than you.

Mom literally brings her work home with her when she gives a important piece of crime evidence to her daughter for her birthday. And honestly, what kid wouldn’t fall in love with a creepy and heavy wooden doll?

Step aside, Teddy Ruxpin. Kids have got a new best friend to sing them to sleep at night.

Mom’s pretty stumped on this whole murderer case…

There’s one witness, and he ain’t talkin’…

So our intrepid district attorney takes detailed notes exhausting all options. Just kidding, she’s not trying at all.

So the innocent man dies for the crimes of a little wooden boy.  But in all fairness, you cannot try a puppet as an adult. The ACLU will come down fast and they’ll come down hard on you.

Any kid can fall under the influence of a bad friend. Again, no one pins the bad friend badge on a creepy wooden doll, so when the daughter starts to act strangely, Mom’s out of clues.  However if she thinks about it long enough, she may just use the insanity defense again.

Pinocchio just gives this face the whole time….

This one’s my favorite. It says, “You know there’s a nest of termites living inside me, right?”

Meanwhile, bully girls go after the daughter. Before they were pretty harmless – she handed out cards to her party and they were just thrown to the ground. Now she’s being thrown to the ground while holding a creepy wooden doll.  I’m not a scientist but I’m guessing this could have been avoided by not bringing your creepy wooden doll to school.

Through means not necessarily logical, Pinocchio does get some revenge by causing this girl to get hit by this bus….

…witnessed by two girls in the weirdest scream ever edited by Man.

We haven’t talked about Mom’s boyfriend – who somehow thought this movie would lead him to a recurring character on Friends.

“Could I be any more Chandler?”

 

So daughter retreats even further to her weird relationship with the creepy puppet and supports its career goal of becoming a real live boy.

It aims to kill again – this time aiming for that pesky meddling babysitter.

We enter a portion of the film that gives us the best character in it….

This mincy child psychologist who is completely ineffective and offers bad advice.

“Sometimes kids act through their toys. We call it the My Monster Syndrome.”

You can just tell that every minute away from his sweater vests is torture.

Pinocchio really is the best actor in this whole movie. Ordinarily you can’t put the term “wooden” and “actor” in the same breath and imply something good. Pinocchio proves you wrong.

Chandler Boyfriend knows what’s up…

…until Pinocchio kills him.

“Could I be killed in a more stupid way?

Sure, keep the doll kid. Its not like people are coming back from the grave.

Everything about this guy screams, “I’m not really a priest.”

The thing about these kind of movies is the parade of human stupidity. Do they get rid of the doll after suspecting it ill will? Kind of. If you really wanted to get rid of it, you would have put it in a chipper, set it on fire or whittled a clock out of him.

Look, I realize we live in an age of rampant victim blaming, but these people really were asking to get massacred by a puppet infused with the spirit of a dead seriel killer. Live and learn.

In closing, it should be noted that the story’s big conflict was preventing a little girl from letting Pinocchio become a real boy. If he had gotten his way, he would have least been able to be tried as one, but don’t let this DA represent him in court…

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FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION: STEEL (1997)

Today’s entry is sort of a bonus round. We hit 1000 likes on Facebook and we’ve now entered the big summer tentpole season, which if you’re a film lover like myself, means its the best three months you could ask for. This weekend X-Men: Days of Future Past opens, so I crawled into the bad movie archives to see what I could find that would match this kind of excitement level. And lo…a treasure fell in my lap.

Steel, which I just learned (thank you, Wikipedia) is based off a DC Comics title and stars Shaq. People criticize DC in the often heated DC vs Marvel debate, for not expanding the universe to include more characters and just not trying altogether.

According to this snippet from a LA Times reviewer, its a “…entertaining good vs evil movie”.  A review that vague HAS to mean something.

There was even a line of action figures that were released:

Watch the trailer – you can’t say that DC hasn’t tried to shake things up in the past.

They tried, people. They have tried. You don’t see Marvel stepping out of the box and doing these kinds of ballsy moves. Espescially heroes trying to make a long tired MC Hammer catchphrase work.

As a disclaimer, it should be noted this movie is criminally not available on Netflix Streaming. So I had to YouTube this experience. Your move, Netflix.

Here’s your synopsis.

Nothing ever bad’s going to happen to us, right?

Shaq is in the military and meets up with Judd Hirsch who makes high tech weapons for the military (I’m going to assume this movie exists in the Breakfast Club universe, where Bender got his act together and refocused his bitterness into government work).

“So we do a sequel to the Breakfast Club, except its at lunchtime.”

 There’s a weapons testing incident that goes wrong (spoiler: its Bender’s fault) which leaves Shaq’s best female friend in a wheelchair and Shaq with an axe to grind.

You have to hand it to Shaq. He was really trying here. Emoting is hard, people.

 Judd Hirsch is impressed.

“So I was watching Iron Man in the waiting room and I got an idea…”

 She really is the all star player in this movie. She spent the entire time staring at a computer screen, which is what I do all day. So she’s relateable.

Yep. I’m doing this RIGHT NOW.

They team up and automatically become a lower budget Batman and Oracle, somewhere in Los Angeles. 

Also, this movie would like to remind you that you have watched better superheroes do better things. Thank you.

Like a low budget Batman, they create what is likely the world’s worst superhero outfit.

Yes, that’s a hammer. Its also a gun. Take that, Batman.

Since you don’t let things like this just go wasted, they hit the town and break up a a mugging, where some criminals are using Judd Hirsch’s designs. Before he can make the connection that he’s not only a low rent Batman, but a lower rent Iron Man, Shaq goes to jail. Because…miscommunication. I think.

In the meantime, Judd’s busy. He’s making bank selling high tech stuff. I imagine John Bender from Breakfast Club going back to the Bender house on Christmas and telling his father to smoke up.

 When it comes down to it, he’s just very hollow inside.

Shaq’s still in prison though. Since he is a superhero in the sense that he depends on others and unbelievable amounts of coincidence, he breaks out and goes looking for our villain and a really big stupid final battle.

Its like Robocop but the machines are better actors (Heeeeeeyyyyoooo….)

 Shaq is a internationally known athlete. He does not run or jump or do anything more active than trudge around and light things on fire.  Granted, his suit is made of steel (Get it? Like the name?), but that’s got to be way too cumbersome.  Let me know when they change both the suit and the name to something like Aluminum.

 He’s 7’1″ walking around the dark streets of L.A. with a giant hammer. Chances are, he doesn’t really need a suit to be intimidating.

This might not have happened if he had a big awkward heavy suit making movement harder than it should be.

The main issue with Shaq’s costume is that it looks like he has a constant case of astigmatism going on.

Try as he might, he’s just not Batman. But despite the bare minimal requirements for being a superhero, he still defeats Judd Hirsch and all is right with the world.

After all, Batman never had a outdoor barbeque thrown in his honor. So points for Shaq.

For Your Consideration: BARB WIRE (1996)

 

 

Given that the summer movie season is upon us and that we’re getting a glut of superhero movies in that time, I thought it appropriate to look back at a deservedly forgotten comic book film Barb Wire, starring Pamela Anderson…

Sometimes I wonder when the discussion for bringing Wonder Woman to the big screen comes up, if there’s at least one executive who brings Barb Wire up as a reason to wait.

Don’t let opening stripper scene in water fool you – this movie is a straight up remake of Casablanca. If Humphrey Bogart had breasts and a penchant for corsets, we’d be calling it a ripoff.

In the event you haven’t seen this movie (or Casablanca), here’s the synopsis.

In the not too distant future, America is embroiled in the second world war – what it was about, apparently none of our business. What does matter is that there’s a new style of government called the American Congress and they like to dress like Nazis. Our story is set in Steel Harbor, a city that’s free yet, imprisoned with crime and home to our heroine, Barb. Barbara Karpinski if you happened to know her before the war, that is. She owns a nightclub, but acts as a bounty hunter during the day to pay the bills. Despite these two professions, she takes no sides and shows no emotions (which may or may not have been a acting limitation as opposed to a character choice).

And in true Casablanca form, a ex boyfriend wants her help to get out of town. Because we’ve all seen Casablanca, we know she does.

And lets face it. Humphrey Bogart had no business wearing anything figure hugging.

Lets just also talk about the night club where she does a stripper act under a torrent of water – which means that business hygiene standards of the future will have deteriorated dramatically between now and 2017

Nazi-chic is really big in the future. Then again, it’s incredibly slimming and great for the government official on the go.

Alternately, Pamela Anderson does change outfits in this movie. Its just she owns a lot of corsets. Black ones. At least she’s getting a lot of support, which I can’t emphasize enough – its critically important.

One common thing I find in a lot of these movies is that they’re mostly shot in darkness, either inside or outside. So shady interiors….

Or deep dark night….

Shady interiors….

….back to night…

Remember the time Tobias from Arrested Development decided to pursue a career as a leather daddy?

Not sure why I thought about that. Now back to the movie.

I’m not saying that Pam Anderson has had a lot of lip injections, I’m just saying she always looks like its a struggle to keep her lips closed over teeth….

Perhaps it would help if Pam was able to emote actual emotions while acting. Which may or may not be the definition of acting.

You’re wet and in a unhappy future with nothing but uncomfortable leather bustiers to wear. Emotions are not a priority. Which is why she makes this face in every scene.

“Hey Barb, the resistance is getting shut down by fake Nazis.”

“Barb, we’re splitting a pizza. Do you want to chip in?”

The weather may change, the hair gets styled, but you could set your watch to Pam Anderson’s acting face.

I’d be cheating everyone if I didn’t address this character:

A man who lives the life of a vagrant on the streets of Steel Harbor, surrounded by garbage and mysterious amounts of food. The abandoned ditch digger is his castle, the homeless gypsies his court, and the celebrated minds of society (aka Pamela Anderson) seek his council.

Therefore, he has been cleverly named Big Fatso.

This movie dares to go where Casablanca clearly was afraid to.

What’s Ron Howard’s brother doing in this movie? Does it matter?

What about this? Was this important to the story? Meh.

I’ll say this for the future – it may be bleak but at least there’s no water and ammo shortage.

Also, cows are still thriving to meet the demands of the leather industry. We can all sleep secure knowing that future has everything covered.