October 25, 2010

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Project: Episode 105 The Corpse Vanishes

I haven't updated in a few days, and I wish I could say I was busy. That, however, is not the case. No, I think I was avoiding this film on a subconscious level. The movie this weeks is episode 105: The Corpse Vanishes.

This movie is hard to get through. It's a Bela Lugosi film. Not one of the few good ones he had, but rather the really "meh" films he had to do after everyone only offered him horror pictures after Dracula. And this one is one of the worst. But before we get into that we cover another chapter of Radar Men from the Moon, which is always fun.

The movie its self is about a man who is killing brides on their wedding day with poison flowers and then steals their bodies (Hence "The Corpse Vanishes") and uses them to keep his wife young and beautiful. Released in 1942 ,this was the oldest movie MST3K ever covered. It's slow. Real slow. Slow even for season 1, where almost every movie was slow. We have a heroine in the form of a local newspaper reporter. Just imagine Lois Lane from all those old Superman cartoons from the 30's and that's pretty much this woman.

The riffing is pretty lackluster here, but not really any worse then any other season 1 episode.There were also a few Dracula impersonations which lost any funny after the first one. One good thing that seems to have been added in this episode is an in show awareness of the commercial breaks. At one point a host segment ends with Tom saying "And speaking of selling out." which then cuts to commercial. Later on Joel also does this in the theater when he says "And speaking of selling" and then we cut to commercial.

I didn't really like this episode much. It's not something that anyone that isn't a hardcore fan of the show should really try to watch. I'm giving this one a 2 out of 5.

Next time we will be watching Episode 106: The Crawling Hand. I'm actually looking forward to this one, it's been a long time since I've seen it and I've forgot almost everything about it. So it'll be like watching it for the first time.


October 19, 2010

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Project: Episode 104 Women of the Prehistoric Planet.

Today we look at fourth episode of MST3K, Women of the Prehistoric Planet.

Thing is this isn't episode 4, it's actually episode 13. The story goes as follows. This episode was MEANT to be episode 4, but for one reason or another it was pushed back and was actually the last episode shot and aired for season 1. Despite this the earlier 104 number was put on this episode officially. They even announce the winners of a write in contest that won't even happen till episode 110. Very confusing if you are watching these in the official order like we are.

Being the last episode of the season does help though. This one is more like a Season 2 episode then a Season One. While the host segments are still a little sloppy, but riffing in the theater is really good and some of the best in the season. It's also helped by the fact that this mid-sixties Sci-Fi, is slightly sexist and racist and cheesy as all get out and that makes the episode even better. The movie has some crazy Planet of the Apes like twist at the end which makes it even sillier. Actually, I think this movie predates Planet of the Apes. So they ripped them off. They should sue.

Anyway this one gets a 4 out 5. Probably the best episode of Season 1, hands down.

October 14, 2010

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Project: Episode 103 The Mad Monster

Last time I watched Episode 102: The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy. This episode is a lot better then first. The riffs come faster and far funnier then the first episode. This one is also helped by the fact that it has the first part "Radar Men From the Moon" as a short before the film. The movie is also a whole different kind of cheese then the first film, being a dubbed Mexican film. Also the "Host Segments", the name given to parts of the show where Joel and the Bots talk to the audience are far better in this one. I give this one a 3 out of 5 stars. It still has all the problems of Season 1 episodes, but it is not the worst from this era.

Now we move on to Episode 103: The Mad Monster

Gonna switch things up a little and actually put the review of the episode in the episode subject. Frankly the other way was stupid and I don't know why I started doing it that way. Anyway, this episode starts out again with a short from "Radar Men From The Moon." Which helps, but I think I'll get sick of these if they keep up every episode. The riffs come pretty fast in this one, but still lack the quality of jokes that would come later in the series. It's really just saying whatever comes to mind and if it's funny good, if not oh well. And while the riffs where coming at you fast, this movie was beyond boring. Nothing as cheesy or fun as The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy. This movie isn't so much bad, as it is slow as hell. Anyway they make the best of it, but maybe using a different movie would have been better.

I'm giving it a 3 out of 5.

Next time we will be watching Episode 104: Women of the Prehistoric Planet.

October 12, 2010

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Project: Episode 102 The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy

Last time I was about to watch the first national episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000, The Crawling Eye. This was the first in my attempt to watch every single episode of this cult TV show.

Now it's time to tell you what I thought of it. This episode is slow. Very slow in fact. There huge parts at the start of the movie with no riffing at all. So you're basically just watching the movie with three silent silhouettes in the corner, and when a joke does come it's far from funny. There a few good riffs here and there, but on the whole the episode falls far short. This wouldn't be so bad if the movie was entertaining, but it's not. It's boring and drags...and drags...and drags.

I'm giving it 2 out of 5.

This is not an episode you want to show someone that has never seen the show before. This is show that fans watch to say you've seen it and that's about it, because you love the show as a whole.

Now that is out of the way we move on the movie I'm about to watch now. Season 1/Episode 2: The Robot vs. The Aztec Mummy.

A lot of the same things I was worried about with the first episode hold true for this one as well, although I do think the crazy ass subject matter of this movie will save it a little.

Anyway I'm pushing play....WE GOT MOVIE SIGN!!

October 11, 2010

Mystery Science Theater 3000 Project: Episode 101 The Crawling Eye

Today I begin to under take a rather large and lofty task that is probably beyond my ability to finish. Nothing new then, but this one is a far different beast all together. Today I start my attempt to watch all 198 episodes of the cult TV series Mystery Science Theater 3000.

This is going to be hard task, mostly because I don't own the entire 198 episode run on DVD. But I'll deal with that when I get to it. I own most of Season 1 and so it shouldn't be a problem for awhile.

If you don't know what MST3K is, then I suggest looking it up. I could write it all out here, but I'm lazy. Meh. Anyway we start with the Season 1: Episode 1 The Crawling eyes.

I'm not looking forward to this really. Season 1 is tough to get through. The guys weren't in their groove yet and wouldn't be till about half way through Season 2. It is also doubly hard for me because I just don't care for Josh Weinstein as Tom Servo, or as Dr. Laurence "Larry" Erhardt. Lucky for me Kevin Murphy replaced Josh as the voice of Servo, and Frank Conniff came in as the lovable TV's Frank in Season 2.

I'm about to push play. I'll let you know what I thought before I watch episode Episode 2. Anywhere here we go:


October 5, 2010

According to Me: Top Ten Songs of the 90's

Most people consider the music they listened to in High School to be the best music. It's been happening since the 50's and wasn't any different in the 90's when I was in High School. The time when Grunge and Alternative music ruled the airwaves and no one knew who Justin or Britteny were still known for being on the Mickey Mouse Club, and Justin Bieber was still a broken condom pregnancy in his mother's belly. Ah...good times.

So today I step into the way back machine and look at the top ten songs from that era according to me.

10. "Bittersweet Symphony" -The Verve (1997)

I first heard this song, or rather saw this song, on MTV. You see kiddies there was a time when MTV actually played music. Part of the British Re-Invasion of the 90's, the song came off the The Verve's third album "Urban Hymns." The song peaked at number 12 on Billboard, and marked the bands only hit stateside. Sadly a legal battle with the Rolling stones over the fact that the band had sampled the Andrew Oldham Orchestra recording of their song "The Last Time." without permission, caused the band major problems. The resulting stress of the lawsuit, and losing almost all the money made from their biggest hit, saw the band break up in 1999. Only to reunite in 2007 and then break up again in 2009.

9. "Just A Girl" -No Doubt (1995)

Before Gwen Stefani was a "Holla Back Girl" she was "Just a Girl." You see what I did there? Anyway this was the first big hit for the band No Doubt. I first heard this on a local Alternative station that has since gone belly up and changed formats a few times. The song reached 38 on the Billboard charts. This song is often over shadowed by No Doubt's follow up song "Don't Speak." I also really like that song, but I decided to limit myself to one song per band on this list. In 2004 the band took a break and rumors began to circulate that band had broken up after Stefani began her solo career, but the band downplayed these rumors. In 2008 the band started work on a new album, but has yet to release it, but toured together in 2009.

8. "Basket Case" -Green Day (1994)

Some kids these days think that "American Idiot" was Green Day's first album. It's true, just ask around. Thing is it wasn't. What you are seeing now is the second coming of the band. The year was 1994. The album was Dookie, their third. The songs on this album are not the political statements that one who only knew the modern Green Day have grown to love. Instead we have songs about Drugs, panic disorders, and masturbation. Basketcase wasn't the biggest hit from the album, that honor falls to "When I Come Around.", but I still think this is one of thier best.

7. "Song 2" -Blur (1997)

I had been a fan of Blur even before I heard this song. Songs like "There's No Other Way", "Girls & Boys", and "Parklife." had all been favorites of mine. Song 2 however was far better then any of those, and most other Americans agreed. This song is just fun. With it's heavy riff. and "Woohoo!" chorus, it's very hard to not like. In 1999 Blur went on hiatus and frontman Damon Albarn went on to found the animted band Gorillaz. Since then the band has got back together from time to time to tour or record a song or two, but none has hit as big in the US as Song 2.

6. "Smells Like Teen Spirit" -Nirvana (1991)

Not putting this as number one is crime as serious as not putting "Come on Eileen" as number one on a list of greatest 80's songs. (Just to note. I loathe Come on Eileen.) But it's not my favorite, so there. This is my list after all. This is the song that is credited with starting the grunge movement. Really, so much has been said about this song that I would just be repeating at this point. Sadly Kurt Cobain killed himself in 1994, and we will never know what Nirvana could have done.

5. "Buddy Holly" -Weezer (1994)

"What's with these homies dissing my girl?" That is how Weezer's 1994 hit, Buddy Holly begins. Like a-Ha's "Take On Me" before it, one of the main draws for this song was the music video which found the band thrown right in the middle of an episode of "Happy Days." This was how I first heard this song on MTV (holds for gasps of shock). The song was so catchy that I went right and bought their self titled debut (Which would later be known as The Blue Album.) and found I identifed with their brand of Geek rock. Weezer have had a long and sucuessful career. Releasing their 7th album "Raditude" in 2009

4. "1979" -Smashing Pumpkins (1995)

I have a holy trinity when it comes to music and it goes like this. Oasis, Weezer, and then The Smashing Pumpkins. 1979 came off the massively huge in size and sales "Mellon and the Infinite Sadness." Seriously that album was everywhere in 95/96. You just couldn't get away from it. There are a ton a good songs off this thing, but my favorite was always 1979. In 1996 the bands drummer Jimmy Chamberlin and touring keyboardist Jonathan Melvoin both over dosed on heroin. Chamberlin survived, but Melvoin wasn't so lucky. The resulting fall out saw Chamberlin kicked out of the band and Corgan, Iha, and D'arcy to continue as a trio, but this only lasted a few years as Jimmy Chamberlin returned to the band in 1999, just to have D'arcy leave later in the year. She was replaced by former Hole bassist Melissa Auf der Maur. Despite all this the Pumpkins called it quits in 2000. In 2005 Corgan took out a add asking for all the members of the Pumpkins to reunite, but only Jimmy Chamberlin responded. Cogan moved ahead with new plans for the Pumpkins. Chamberlin then left the group again with only Corgan left out of the original members.

3. "Dragula" -Rob Zombie (1998)

The 1998 break up of White Zombie didn't slow it's lead singer Rob Zombie down at all, as he released this ode to Grandpa Munsters drag racing coffin later that year. The first single off, Rob's first solo album, the song was a huge hit and the surreal video got heavy rotation on MTV. I actually think that Rob's solo stuff is much better then what he did as part of White Zombie, but really there isn't that much difference between the two. Rob has kept busy directing a few really terrible movies, but still making good music as he released Hellbilly Deluxe 2 in 2010.

2. "Number One Crush-Remix" -Garbage (1996)

What happens when you remix a almost unknown B-Side, and then throw it on the soundtrack to a terrible movie? You get my number 2 best song of the 90's. I've gone on record as saying I believe this is the most romantic song I've ever heard, and even I think that's a little odd. Still I do. #1 Crush was originally a B-Side to Garbage's "Subhuman" single which was only released in the UK in 1995. The song was then remixed and placed on the truly horrible 1996 version of Romeo and Juliet. The remix was the first time many Americans heard the song and I actually do believe it is the better of the two. Garbage went on to have a lot success the rest of the decade, even doing the title track to the James Bond movie "The World Is Not Enough." After a short hiatus in 2005 and lead singer Manson staring the "Terminator: The Sarah Conner Chronicles" the band is hinting a new album in 2011. I have to admit that Garbage has come very close to taking The Smashing Pumpkin's place in my holy trinity for some years now.

1. "D'You Know What I Mean?" -Oasis (1997)

I just want to make this clear right now. If I hadn't limited myself to one song from each group, this whole top ten would have been nothing BUT Oasis' song. I-LOVE-OASIS...simple as that. I've stuck by this band through thick and thin, and even when most gave up on them with the release of 2000's "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants". But I have to pick one song, and that one song is my all time favorite song, 1997's "D'You Know What I Mean". Taking almost the same chords of their huge smash ballad "Wonderwall" and turning them on their ears. D'You Know What I Mean is a rocking force of nature. Off their third album "Be Here Now", the song reached number one in the UK, but failed to reach the heights of Wonderwall here in the states. Oasis have had several line up changes over the year and released seven studio albums, one live album, and three compilation albums. Sadly in 2009 Noel Gallagher left the band after a bad, but common, row with his brother and Oasis front man Liam. This ended Oasis, as Noel was the primary creative force in the group. Many a predicting a Oasis reunion sooner, rather then later.

Well that's it, my top ten. If you disagree then bugger off! Or better yet make your own top ten list and post it for me to read.

Until next time, see you on the front line.

October 4, 2010

G.I.Joe: The Movie Intro. The Greatest Joe thing ever?

Better then Action Team and Kung Fu grip? Duh...those are dolls, so yes. We are talking about the actual action figure Joes here. Ones that fought Terrorists, not bears and tigers.

I won't be giving you a history lesson on G.I.Joe today. If you're reading this corner of geekdom, then you should know what G.I.Joe is. What we will be talking about today is G.I.Joe the Movie. Not that steaming pile of crap that Paramount gave us in 2009. No, this is the steaming pile of crap that Sunbow/Marvel gave us in 1987. But not off the movie is bad. There is one silver lining, the intro...

I know it's hard to make out, but you can see that under G.I.Joe it says "A Real American Hero." This little tag line has been dropped since the live action movie came out. As have the Red, White, and Blue colors on the logo. A result, I'm sure of living in a world where America isn't thought of as highly as it once was. Sad really.

We open on what I can only assume is Fourth of July on Liberty Island. There are fireworks going off and Red, Blue, and Yellow(?) balloons are being released.

Of course Cobra shows up to ruin all the fun. I must add there isn't much plot here. Cobra wants to blow up the Statue of Liberty and G.I.Joe wants to stop them. That's all you get. This really isn't about story anyway, it's all about fighting and things blowing up. It's like a Micheal Bay movie, but good.

Anyway, it pretty much looks like the crap has hit the fan, as Cobra troopers attack chasing off all the good white middle class families with 2.5 kids.

Then Duke kills Major Bludd. Well maybe he didn't, but he doesn't show up in the movie that follows this. In fact I think this might be the last time we seen Major Bludd in animated form. Huh...maybe he did kill him. YO JOE!!!

G.I.Joe springs into action! Seems they've been waiting on Cobra and have lured them into a trap. I can just imagine Admiral Ackbar sitting on the bridge of Cobra's flying carrier yelling "It's a Trap!!!!"

Let's see if I can name the Joes! Ummmm...don't know. One of the Original 13 though, same with the 2nd guy. Then we have Barbecue, Recondo, Spirit, and that pansy Lifeline. I think Steeler might be in the background there too.

I'm actually a little surprised Cobra Commander is doing this himself. He just never seemed the type to go out and plant the bomb himself, while all his underlings sit on the ship. Gotta give him props on that. Don't see that ass clown Serpentor doing that do you? No. Serpentor, how I loathe thee.

Oddly I think this is proper scale here. The Statue of Liberty is a lot smaller then most people think.

Now Alpine fires his grappling hook at a Cobra Firebat and pulls himself onto it. Why didn't it pulls his arms right out of their sockets? Well I'm guessing cause it's a cartoon. He uses the same tactic to get away too, but this time it's a Trouble Bubble.

Shipwreck is awesome. That is all.

I can't believe Iceberg wore his winter gear to New York on the Fouth of July. I bet he smelled just wonderful after all of this. I can imagine everyone making excuses so they don't have to sit next to him in the Tomahawk on the way back to base. Course Barbecue got to wear all his Firefighting gear, so why not.

You can't see it, but that counter says 007. A nod to James Bond? Mayhaps.

And in classic action movie form, Duke uses the bad guys own weapon against them...

...by blowing up their flying carrier with the bomb. Oh and R.I.P. Admiral Ackbar.

And Cobra Commander sounds the retreat. You know, I just started wondering just how many time the line "Cobra Retreat" is said during this show. That would be a good project for one of you readers out there. So hop to it.

And everything is right with the world again! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Seriously though this thing made me feel patriotic at 7, and I'm not even sure I knew patriotism was. All I knew was that America kicked ass, and we could take on anyone...wish I still felt that way.

Sadly this was the last really decent thing Joe that happened Cartoon wise. The movie that followed this was awful, and the DIC series ("Got to get tough! Yo Joe!") was almost as bad. There were a series of Direct to DVD movies, and the short lived Sigma Six, but none of been able to hold a candle to the original show. If you want to see this I'd say look it up on YouTube. It's not worth suffering through the movie just to see this.

Anyway till next time, I'll see you on the front line.