Jun 18 2013
May 31 2013
I’ve actually seen most of this movie twice on cable before sitting down to watch the whole thing a few days ago. Wild Hogs is a 2007 comedy biker adventure film starring Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence & William H Macy as 4 biker friends in the city who go on a bike ride to get away from their lives. Also starring are Ray Liotta, Marisa Tomei, Jill Hennessey, Kevin Durand, Kyle Gass & a cameo by Peter Fonda. Directed by Walter Becker the film was made on a budget of $60 mil and made $253.6 mill at the box office.
Doug Madsen, Woody Stevens, Bobby Davis, and Dudley Frank are four middle-aged suburban men and best friends living in a Cincinnati area suburb who find themselves frustrated with the pace of daily life and lack of adventure. Doug is a dentist who has trouble relating to his son Billy, Dudley is a single computer programmer who is afraid to talk to women. Bobby is a henpecked plumber whose wife has made him return to work after having taken a year off to unsuccessfully write a book, and Woody is a rich lawyer married to a supermodel. They are also part of a recreational bikers club in the city but find it boring. Woody proposes that they dump the club suggests a motorcycle road trip to California to the others. Initially only Dudley jumps on board but slowly the other two get excited about the trip and make arrangements (Bobby lie about a conference) and they set off on their bikes.
Along the way they have several misadventures like Dudley lighting their tent on fire, encountering a gay highway patrol bike cop who seems to want to bond with all 4 of them and one really uncomfortable moment when the 4 of them are skinny dipping and a family with small kids also join them! After the father sees them naked the family panics and runs off. The Wild Hogs stop at a a roadside bar, where they meet the Del Fuego gang, headed by the tough biker Jack. Jack calls the Wild Hogs “posers” and has his gang take Dudley’s bike, forcing the men to leave with Dudley in a sidecar attached to Woody’s bike. The 4 friends ride a bit before Woody stops angered and pissed off and sneaks back to the bar, cuts the fuel lines of the other bikes and takes Dudley’s bike back. When the gang sees him leave with the bike, they try to follow only to find the bikes out of fuel and an accidentally dropped cigarette causes an explosion with the leaking fuel and the bar is blown to bits. Now Woody, who told the others that he got the bike back by threatening a lawsuit, is the only one who sees the explosion in his rearview mirror and is scared as he knows that he caused it. He makes the others skip on refueling at a gas station – which unknown to them is the last one for the next 200 miles and – they end up pushing empty heavy bikes, in the hot sun, along to the next town. As they reach the diner, they help themselves to water & cold beer to quench their tired selves and are initially mistaken for the Del Fuegos, who torment the townsfolk from time to time. The friends then explain who they are and the town folk.
As the gas station is closed for the local festival & despite Woody getting antsy, the 4 friends have to stay in the town and take part in the festival. Dudley soon falls in love with the diner owner, Maggie, and they kiss after dancing. Two members of the Del Fuegos see them there as they terrorize a resident. Bobby goes and humiliates the two thinking that the lawsuit will keep them from doing anything. The two bikers go back to Jack to report while the Wild Hogs are treated like heroes. The next morning a scared Woody convinces the others to leave and tell the truth to his friends but then the entire Del Fuego gang shows up. Jack threatens to wreak havoc on the town unless the Wild Hogs pay for the damage to the bar and takes over the diner, causing Dudley to go out and is captured while trying to defend Maggie’s diner. In order to get Dudley back the other three go and also get captured and are beaten but they refuse to lie down and keep trying to fight. Seeing this the townsfolk band together and stand up to the gang. Before a big fight can ensue, Jack’s father (Fonda) and founder of the gang rides in and berates his son. Blade berates Jack for letting four “posers” hold off an entire biker gang, questioning aloud just which side was the “posers,” and saying that the bar was merely an insurance scam and therefore he was glad that the Wild Hogs destroyed it. Blade tells the Del Fuegos to leave town, and ride the open road until they remember what riding is really about.
As the townsfolk & the Wild Hogs celebrate & cheer, Doug and Bobby’s wives arrive, and Doug reconciles with his son. Bobby’s wife orders him to return with her, but he refuses, finally standing up to her and convincing her to let him finish the ride. So on again the 4 guys rides to Los Angeles. During the end credits it is shown that the 4 got Extreme Makeover to give the Del Fuegos a new bar to call home. While most of the bike gang is ecstatic and grateful for their new home, Jack is shown only crying and not saying anything, most likely out of joy.
It’s silly & fun and I just can’t avoid a movie with Tim Allen & John Travolta in it, although the real star of the movie is William H Macy. I’ve never cared for Martin Lawrence. 7.5 outta 10!
May 21 2013
A man is sitting in a bar staring at his drink. After staring at it for half an hour without taking a sip, one of the bar regulars decides to have some fun with him. He picks up the man’s drink and knocks it back in one. The man starts crying. ‘Don’t take it like that,’ says the regular. ‘It was a joke. I’ll buy you another one.’ ‘It’s not just that,’ replies the man. ‘This day has been the worst one of my life. First, I oversleep and get into work late. My boss fires me and, when I leave the building, I find my car had been stolen. I get a cab home but leave my briefcase on the back seat with my wallet in it. Then, when I get home, I find my wife in bed with the gardener. After all that I come to this bar and then, when I’ve just made up my mind to end it all, you show up and drink my poison…’
A man walks into a bar and orders 20 pints of Guinness. He lines them up on the bar and announces that he’ll give £100 to the man who can drink all of them. Patrick sticks up his hand and says he’d like a go if the man can wait half an hour. Patrick then leaves the pub, comes back 30 minutes later and downs the 20 pints one after another. The man is impressed and hands over the money, ‘But tell me,’ he asks. ‘Where did you go to for that half an hour?’ ‘Ah, well,’ says Patrick. ‘Before I took your bet I popped to the pub next door to see if I could do it.’
A man walks into a Florida bar and finds they’re holding a contest. The bartender tells him the details: ‘First you have to drink three bottles of moonshine. Second, you go out back and pull a sore tooth out the mouth of my pet ’gator. And last, you have to go upstairs and have sex with Ma Jackson, the town’s oldest, ugliest prostitute. If you can do all that in one hour and stay conscious, you win a year’s supply of beer.’ ‘Sounds tough,’ says the man, ‘but I’ll give it a go.’ The man drinks the three bottles of moonshine then, completely plastered, staggers out back to find the ’gator. After half an hour of crashes and screaming, the man crawls back covered in bruises and cuts, ‘Okay,’ slurs the man. ‘Sho were ish the old broad wid the bad tooth?’
A man walks into a bar and says to the bartender, ‘I want you to give me 12-year scotch, and don’t try to fool me, because I can tell the difference.’ The bartender is skeptical and decides to try to trick the man with five-year scotch. The man takes a sip, scowls and says, ‘Bartender, this crap is five-year scotch. I told you I want 12-year scotch.’ The bartender tries once more with eight-year scotch. The man takes a sip, grimaces and says, ‘Bartender, I don’t want eight-year scotch. Give me 12-year scotch!’ Impressed, the bartender gets the 12-year scotch. The man takes a sip and sighs, ‘Ah, now that’s the real thing.’ A drunk has been watching this with great interest. He stumbles over, sets a glass down in front of the man, and says, ‘Hey, try this one.’ The man takes a sip and immediately spits it out again, ‘Yechhh! This stuff tastes like piss!’ The drunk says, ‘Yeah. Now how old am I?’
May 18 2013
The debut feature film of Genndy Tartakovsky, the creator of Cartoon Network series Samurai Jack, Dexter’s Laboratory and Star Wars : Clones Wars, is 2012′s Hotel Transylvania. The movie features the voices of Adam Sandler, Adam Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade and Cee Lo Green. Released on September 28, 2012, the film was met with mixed critical reception, while the general population received it very favorably. Despite mixed reviews, Hotel Transylvania set a new record for the highest-grossing September opening weekend ever, earning a total of $346 million on a budget of $85 million. The film was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film. A sequel, titled Hotel Transylvania 2, is scheduled to be released in theaters on September 25, 2015.
The story is that of family & friends, albeit with the monsters. Count Dracula has created a huge castle which also doubles as a massive 5 star hotel in Transylvania and protected it with a spooky forest & cemeteries hence hiding it from the human world. He does this to raise his daughter Mavis in relative safety and wants her to have nothing to do with the human population after the death of his wife Martha, who was killed when humans set their former house on fire. Since then Drac has played daddy with his baby watching as she grows. Every year on her birthday he invites all the monsters for a long weekend of relaxation & partying away from mankind and the monsters come to stay at the hotel which is completely human free and safe for monsters. This year it is special as Mavis turns 118 (equivalent to turning 18 for us humans I guess). So the guests arrive including Dracula’s closest friends Frankenstein & his wife Eunice, werewolf Wayne, his wife Wanda and their large litter of pups, Murray the Mummy & Griffin The Invincible Man. Drac’s best friends are ofcourse uncles & aunts to Mavis and they dote on her. Dracula let’s Mavis go out to a human village for 30 minutes as it is her big wish.
At the village she is “attacked” with fire by zombies dressed as humans and Mavis goes back home. Dracula has stages this to protect his daughter from staying away from humans as he fears that they will kill her just as they did his wife. He is happy that she isn’t interested anymore. As the evening progresses, a human backpacker Johnny comes to the castle thinking it is a hotel with a fancy dress theme going on. Dracula frantically disguises him as a and passes him off as Johnnystein, a distant cousin of Frank’s right arm. However Mavis & Johnny meet and they feel an attraction to each other. Dracula pretends that Johnny is here to help him plan the party and Johnny gets on well with the monsters once his initial fear of them dissipates. Dracula wants to get rid of Johnny but they bond in a friendly chase on flying tables and Dracula begins to respect him. He tells him the reason he hates humans is because the death of his wife at the hands of an angry mob shortly after Mavis was born, and is surprised at Johnny’s understanding and knowledge of the lore. Johnny tries to leave but Mavis finds him and they grow closer after he shows her her first sunrise, under the protection of a shade ofcourse. Johnny has to evade Quasimodo the cook who finds out that he is a human and Drac rescues him from being cooked but at the party when Mavis & Johnny kiss, Drac gets angry. Quasimodo drags himself to the party and reveals that Johnny is human.
Mavis is undeterred by her attraction and wants to be with Johnny, even though he is human. But Johnny rejects her out of respect for her father and leaves the hotel. Mavis tragically resolves to remain at Hotel Transylvania for the remainder of her life. Seeing his daughter losing her zest for life and after finding a gift that Marth left for her (a book about true love) Dracula enlists the help of Frank, Wayne, Griffin, and Murray to go get Johnny back. hey head to the airport and encounter a Monster Festival along the way, instead of being frightened by the real monsters appearing, they instead help Dracula by providing him shelter from the sunlight so he can get to the airport quickly only to see Johnny’s plane taking off. Dracula turns into a bat and chases the plan and let’s Johnny know about Mavis and asks him to come back. Dracula returns Johnny to Mavis, who confesses that their Zing was mutual and the two kiss, making Dracula realize his little girl is all grown up and can make her own decisions. The movie ends with a big party and the monsters rapping on stage.
Bit of silly fun and crazy stuff. The kind of animated film I like . I liked it a lot of 8 outta 10!
May 12 2013
This is one of those movies that just has to be seen by everyone. Unfortunately even though it is marked by an Academy Award–nominated and Golden Globe–winning performance by actress Felicity Huffman, the film only made $15 million (though on a $1 million budget). I found myself admiring everyone in this 2005 film and the way it was depicted. The script adds lots of humour to the story of a person about to go through a major change in their life and discovering that they are also a parent, albeit 17 year after the birth of the child. Produced by Huffman’s husband William H Macy (also a wonderful actor) Transamerica was directed by Duncan Tucker & co-written by the both of them and starring Huffman & Kevin Zegers with supporting roles by Graham Green, Fionnula Flanagan, Burt Young, Carrie Preston & Elizabeth Peña.
Huffman plays Sabrina ‘Bree’ Osbourne, a transsexual working in a Mexican restaurant in a Los Angeles suburb, who is about to under a vaginoplasty (to reassign her sexual organ from a male to female) when she gets a call from the son she never knew she had. Years ago while in college Sabrina was Stanley Schupak had a girlfriend and a sexual encounter has produced the son Toby. With his mother long dead Toby asks for Stanley to bail him out of a jail in NYC. Bree initially wants nothing to do with him but her therapist Margaret refuses to give her consent on the form for the operation unless Bree goes & sees him. So she does and finds out that Toby is a drug user and a male prostitute. His mother committed suicide, after which he was raised by his stepfather, whom he does not want to see again. Pretending to be a Christian missionary, Bree asks Toby to ride with her in a rented car back West and plans to drop him at his stepfather’s place. At the house in Kentucky, Bree finds out that Toby was sexually molested when young by his stepfather and hence she agrees to take him with her to Los Angeles, where he plans to get work in the movies.
Along the way they get to stay in a large house where a transsexual gathering is taking place. One evening when Bree has to urinate, Toby catches her reflection in the mirror and sees her penis but doesn’t say anything to her then. He is open-minded about it, but is angry that Bree had not told him. They meet a hitchhiker who steals their belongings and their car so Toby prostitutes himself to a truck driver for some money, which he tells Bree he made selling some of his drugs. hey get a ride with a kindly rancher Calvin Many Goats (Graham Greene) to Bree’s parents’ house in Phoenix, Arizona. There Bree reunites with her somewhat sympathetic younger sister Sydney, her conservative and self-centred mother Elizabeth & her Jewish father Murray. Flannagan who plays Bree’s mother is hystericaly funny as she wails about seeing her son as a woman now. However Elizabeth is excited to find out she has a grandson and is kind & generous to Toby, who still has no idea that he is Bree’s son. Elizabeth wants Toby to stay with them in their house but Toby, though he likes the luxury and kindness, hesitates because he does not like how disrespectful they are to Bree. That night he tries to seduce Bree and kisses her – and Bree blurts out the truth that she, as Stanley, is actually Toby’s father. Toby goes mad and hits Bree as she tries to apologize. He steals some money from the house and goes away during the night.
Bree returns to Los Angeles and has the surgery successfully but is sad and cries on the shoulders of Margaret as she has messed things up with Toby. He, has come to Los Angeles, dyes his hair blond and becomes an actor in gay pornographic films. A few months later, a happy Bree, who is waitressing at the same Mexican restaurant gets a visit from Toby and the two reconcile as they catch up, starting their relationship anew.
Brilliant acting by some of the cast. 9 outta 10!
May 2 2013
2 years after the first Mad Mission movie and a year after the first sequel, Mad Mission 3 : Our Man From Bond Street (in the dubbed English release; the Cantonese language version was called Aces Go Places 3). This time the movie was directed by Tsui Hark and co-produced by Karl Maka, Dean Shek & Raymond Wong Bak-Ming. Samuel Hui once again stars with Maka and Slyvia Chang with a supporting role by Peter Graves (Mission Impossible tv series) & Peter Kiel (Jaws from two James Bond movies). Sam’s love interest in this movie is played by Naomi Otsubo. This time the prime target of the satire is the James Bond series. Jade East
Sam (Sam Hui) is in Paris when he is sightseeing as a tourist. As he scans the area with a telescopic sight, a black leather clad babe sets up a rocket launcher behind him. As he swings around, the girl fires the rocket. He leaps out of the way at the last second, and then chases the girl on foot. As he is about to interogate her, a motorboat approaches them on the river and an Oddjob (from the James Bond movie Goldfinger) lookalike attacks him with a steel rimmed hat. Sam runs into the elevator leading to the top of the Effiel tower and finds Jaws awaiting him. Sam manages to evade both Oddjob & Jaws and jumps into the river but is captured by a submarine that looks like a shark. As he looks around he finds that he has been kidnapped by a British agent called James Seal (Jean Marchent) who wants to recover one of the stolen crown jewels, the Star of Fortune. James claims that he is sent by the Queen, who also shows up (a look alike, unknown to Sam) and further incentive is give to Sam in the shape of Jade East, a lovely assistant. Sam agrees meekly.
For some reason, the jewel is hidden at the headquarters of the Hong Kong police, meaning that Sam will have to steal the jewel without the knowledge of his best friend, Cody Jack. So Sam setups a dinner with him & Cody Jack and when Jade East shows up, Sam tells Cody to stall her for an hour or so while he hides behind a newspaper. Even though he and his wife, the fiery Superintendent Hot Tongue, have a new baby in their house, their tempestuous relationship produces as many fireworks as ever, with Cody ready to walk out. Fancing himself to be a Lothario, Cody sits with Jade, while Sam sets up decoy arms to hold the newspaper and goes and completes the heist – with some awesome moves. Initially, suspicions fall on Sam but Cody offers a solid alibi and the cops looks elsewhere. But Cody finds out by pure chance as to how Sam fooled him so he & Hot Tongue sets a new kind of lie detector test for Sam but he turns the tables on Cody by talking about how Cody was fawning all over Jade. Knowing what Sam says was true, Jade storms out and leaves Cody with the baby in their apartment for the night.
A second jewel is on display at a hall which is guarded heavily due to the other one being stolen. Hot Tongue is in charge of security and the cops are on the look out for Sam. Jade sends in several kids from a playschool as a distraction and suddenly several men in Santa Claus outfits also join the hall. Sam is among them and they stage the next heist using the kids as a distraction and steal the jewel. The thieves escape on bikes but Sam is caught by Cody Jack, who was late to his job and who fakes a breathing issue so Sam would approach him in concern. Sam is brought to a meeting with the heads of the police & military, along with Cody Jack & Hot Tongue and are introduced to Agent Tom Collins (Graves) who tells him about James Seal & the fake Queen. Sam & his friends join hands to get the jewels back by infiltrating the submarine and with cops taking the place of an Arab sheikh and his people who want to purchase the jewels from James. With help from Jade and the fake Queen, who has a change of heart, the 3 friends are successful. However James escapes and at an event to felicitate the 3 heroes, he kidnaps Cody’s & Hot Tongue’s baby and demands the return of the jewels of he will drop the baby from a high tower. After some tussling, James is defeated and the baby is saved by our heroes.
1986 saw the release of Mad Mission 4 : You Never Die Twice (Aces Go Places 4 in Hong Kong) directed by Ringo Lam, and starring Sam Hui and Karl Maka with Sylvia Chang (who looks much hotter here with longer hair) and Sally Yeh as the new love interest for Sam in his every changing list of leading ladies. This time the main setting is in New Zealand, where Sam is meeting a professor at a pub. However on the way, the professor is shot by suited men in cars. Sam manages to chase them out and call an ambulance but the professor dies in his arms. Later Sam goes to the research facility where the professor wanted him to go to. At the center Sam is the subject undergoing an experiment, using a special prism that, when stimulated by lasers, turns human beings into supermen. But before the experiment can be completed, the laboratory is attacked by the same men in suits, only with a lot more backup and a helicopter. The professor dies (of a bullet wound to his leg apparently) and our bumbling thief ends up with the glass pyramid in hand and escapes with the scientist’s clumsy daughter, Sally, in tow.
A superb chase follows with Sam on a speedboat and the helicopter in the air which gets destroyed when it crashes against a mountain. Sally had left and promised to meet Sam in Hong Kong. Once back in Hong Kong, Sam joins Codyjack in an ice hockey game, pitting the Hong Kong police vs Interpol (dressed like the away jerseys of the Boston Bruins & the Detroit Redwings respectively). Sam & Coy are ejected from the game after they help even the score but get into a big fight on the ice. As they are in the locker room, Sally joins them and right behind are the men in suits led by the big bald guy. A huge fight ensues and Cody leaves with the prism but gets no help from his chief. Back in his apartment, his son Junior & Hot Tongue are attacked by the men in suits and she is taken captive and they tell Cody that he is to bring the prism to their boss, a Chinese tycoon, at his hideout in New Zealand if he wants to see his wife alive again. With Sam & Junior in tow Cody heads to Hong Kong where they are greeted at the airport by Sally, who has fallen in love with Sam. After a brief altercation with Cody (where Sally proceeds to slam him against the floor), they go out to get to Sally’s car but dumb lothario wannabe Cody gets enticed by two Kiwi women to get into their car – surprise they are members of the tycoons gang. The ladies take Cody & Junior to the hideout while Sam & Sally chase.
Getting some weapons and a plane Sam & Sally make their way to the hideout only to be captured on the spot by the big bald guy. In the lab Cody is experimented upon and the lasers activate the prism and he is hit with the emissions, giving him superhuman strength. He awakens and smashes the lab, with no recollection of who he is or who his friends are. He even hits out at Sam & Hot Tongue but Sally trips him and he gets electrocuted & falls down seemingly dead. In grief Sam goes on a killing spree and tries to get the ladies & Junior to safety but Hot Tongue refuses to leave Cody’s corpse behind. As Sam tries to drag the body, it catches fire from the lab and Cody is shocked awake – and he is himself again! No super strength but the same bumbling baldy! With a happy reunion, the 3 friends take Junior & Sally with them and leave in the plane as the tycoon’s lab lays wasted and he himself is dead.
The series takes a turn for the worse after the 3rd movie and the fourth one isn’t as fun & exciting as the other 3. I’d give the 3rd movie a 7.5 outta 10 and the 4th movie just a 6 outta 10!
Apr 29 2013
I am a bad rocker. Although I was aware of this spoof band and the cult movie, I have never watched the movie This Is Spinal Tap till last night. As a lot of you will know, this is a 1984 mockumentary about a fictional English heavy metal band Spinal Tap and directed by Robb Reiner & produced by Karen Murphy. The movie satirizes the wild personal behavior and musical pretensions of hard rock and heavy metal musical bands, as well as the hagiographic tendencies of rock documentaries of the time. For a movie in which most of the dialogue by the 3 main actors – Christopher Guest, Michael McKean & Harry Shearer – ad libbed the dialogues, it’s a really funny movie. Several dozen hours of footage were filmed before Reiner edited it to the released movie. The three actors play their musical instruments and speak with mock English accents throughout the movie.
What I also didn’t know that Fran Dreschler & my 1980s Scifi crush June Chadwick (Lydia from the original V) also play supporting roles in this movie. Actors Paul Shaffer, Fred Willard, Ed Begley, Jr., Patrick Macnee, Anjelica Huston, Dana Carvey & Billy Crystal all make cameo appearances in the movie. In 2002, This Is Spinal Tap was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the Library of Congress and was selected for preservation by the United States National Film Registry. Reiner himself plays the director of the documentary, which focuses on a 1982 United States concert tour by the fictional British rock group to support their latest album Smell The Glove. We also have one-to-one or group interviews happening in between the scenes. The band was started by childhood friends, singer / guitarist David St. Hubbins and lead guitarist Nigel Tufnel, during the 1960s. They started a band and called themselves the Originals but changed it to The New Originals when they found out that there was another band with the same name. Later they settled on the name “The Thamesmen”, finding success with their skiffle/Rhythm and blues single “Gimme Some Money”. They changed their name again to “Spinal Tap” and enjoyed limited success with the flower power anthem “Listen to the Flower People”.
Soon they found their heavy metal sound and Derek Smalls joined them on bass, keyboardist Viv Savage (David Kaff) and a series of drummers, each of whom mysteriously died in odd circumstances, including spontaneous human combustion, a “bizarre gardening accident” and, in at least one case, choking to death on the vomit of person(s) unknown. The band members are shown to be excellent musicians & composers (some of the songs are really good, the actors play their own instruments and McKean sings very well) but are dimwitted and almost naive. Despite their success, the band find that some of their shows in the US are getting cancelled due to low ticket sales and they fall into a sales slumps as some of the major retailers refuse to display their album because of an offensive album cover. There is growing resentment shown towards the group’s manager Ian Faith (Tony Hendra) and things turn a bit more craxy when St. Hubbins controlling & interfering girlfriend Jeanine arrives and offers to co-manage the group. Tufnel gets angrier as Jeanine injects herself in band meetings and influencing decisions, while the band’s distributor, Polymer Records, opts to release Smell the Glove with an entirely black cover without consulting the band. A signing session sees no one turning up and a stage show which is supposed to have a Stonehenge megalith for the show during the song “Stonehenge” – but rushing it sees a tiny model displayed on stage, making them laughing stocks. he group accuses Faith of mismanagement, and when St. Hubbins suggests Jeanine should co-manage the group, Faith quits in disgust.
The band continues in smaller venues and and at a USAF base, Tufnel gets upset with malfunctioning equipment and storms off the stage. The band continues without him, adjusting their material to compensate. However at the last show Tufnel comes to tell them that Faith would like to arrange a new tour in Japan as they are hugely popular there. At the concert David beckons Nigel on to join them and he grabs his guitar and plays with them onstage. Tufnel rejoins the band and they hire Faith back as manager. Despite losing their drummer Mick Shrimpton (R.J. Parnell) as he inexplicably explodes onstage, the film ends with Spinal Tap playing a series of sold-out arena shows for enthusiastic fans on their Japanese tour.
Hilarious and mocking the big stage shows – malfunctioning cocoons and getting lost backstage – and the lifestyle. It’s something that all rockers have loved over the years. 8 outta 10!
Apr 27 2013
I love the 80s! The chicks with the crazy hair, the outlandish clothes, lots of make up and the great music and the weird movies. This one has it all – Earth Girls Are Easy is a 1988 musical comedy with some science fiction thrown in for effect and they don’t take themselves seriously at all. Directed by Julien Temple it stars Geena Davis, Jeff Goldblum, Michael McKean,Julie Brown, Charles Rocket, Jim Carrey and Damon Wayans and is based off a 1984 song by Julie Brown. And also the movie is a semi-dig by Julie Brown against the whole “valley girl” & “Valleyspeak” thing from the 80s & 90s, directed at semi-affluent and affluent middle-class and upper-middle class girls living in the early 1980s Los Angeles bedroom communities of San Fernando Valley.
Using a rather bad special effects section of a ridiculously colourful spaceship flying about in space we see our three furry friends Whiploc (Carrey), Zeebo (Wayans) & Mac (Goldblum) traveling around in space and when they see broadcasts for women in bikinis coming from earth they decided to head to our planet. Meanwhile valley girl manicurist Valarie, has just dumped her fiance Dr. Ted Gallagher after she caught him with another woman at their house. This just after Val had gone through a complete makeover to seduce him under the advice of her best friend Candy Pink at the beauty salon where they both work. Heartbroken she breaks a bunch of his stuff while going through a sad song. The next day Val is sunbathing next to her pool when the aliens spy her when their spaceship malfunctions due to an accident caused by Whiploc & Zeebo and it crashes in her pool. As Val investigates she bumps her head and the aliens take her in. When she comes to she is initially scared but soon befriends the furry aliens and she brings them inside her house.
Val calls her friend Woody (Michael McKean) to come and drain the pool so the aliens can work on their ship and get it flying again. Meanwhile she brings them into her home and though there is a language barrier at first, the aliens prove to be quick learners and absorb American culture and language by watching television. Later she takes them to Candy and they have the aliens shaved – they turn out to be human looking and attractive. Dressed in trendy clothes the girls take the 3 aliens to a happening nightclub where they attract many women with their good looks & long tongues – and Zeebo has a dance off with a top dancer as they both vie for the same babe. Mac, who is more intelligent had mastered English and talks with Val alone and sparks flies! Back home, the two find out that they are anatomically compatible and have sex. The next day the pool is drained and Zeebo and Wiploc are working on their ship when Woody stops by and offers to take them to the beach. They agree and after accidentally holding up a convenience store, Zeebo and Wiploc are soon driving down the LA Freeway the wrong way, in reverse, with the police in pursuit. Mac finds out his crew mates are in trouble and goes to help and gets arrested along with Woody in a case of mistaken identity. Valerie smashes the police vehicle in order to get arrested too so she can go with Mac.
Whiploc & Zeebo crash their car and the police take them to the hospital where Dr. Ted finds them. He was miffed at being chased out of the house the previous night, and examines them and is shocked to find out that they have two hearts each and is convinced that they are aliens. But Val & Mac sneek into the ER dressed as a doctor & a nurse and convince Ted that he is delusional. They then escape back to Valerie’s place where work continues on the space ship. Meanwhile Valerie and Dr. Gallagher reconcile and plan to go to Las Vegas to get married right away. A heartbroken Mac prepares to leave earth with Zeebo & Whiploc and as Valerie comes to say goodbye, Ted sees the spaceship and wants to alert the cops. While Valerie is struggling with her fiance to keep him from calling, she comes to the realization that it’s really Mac who she loves. She gets in the ship and off they head into space.
Funny, cheesy but a little fun and the ability to laugh at themselves. It makes me nostalgic for the 80s again. I first saw this movie bac in 1994 or so I’ll probably watch it again once in a while. 6.5 outta 10!
Apr 18 2013
This is my top11 list of favourite sitcoms of all time. I almost put Little Mosque On The Prairie in there and I guess King Of Queens has fallen out of the top 10 when I remembered Full House & Gimme A Break. Also nostalgia favourites like The Jeffersons & The Bill Cosby Show is not in this list because I haven’t seen any episodes in ages and I can’t remember much. I’m hoping to get a few more shows in the near future.
Apr 7 2013
As we start off the second season, Jake is on the trail of a group of bold daytime kidnappers; Leslie and Jake take steps to move on from each other as Rose tries to figure out the next steps after Mal’s heart attack. Mal is told by Rose in no uncertain terms that he has to take it much easier. Jake plays prisoner when he goes “inside” to find out the location of some stolen diamonds from a gang of incarcerated criminals; Mal finds out that Rose has been keeping a big secret from him; Tinny’s money-making scheme starts to take root. Gordon Pinsent, Alan Doyle & Mayko Nguyen guest star in this one. The Doyles are employed to help a comedian (Don McKellar) on the edge of a comeback find a dangerous stalker; Leslie defines the boundaries for the men in her life, including Jake; Allison reveals something to Jake that could be a game-changer.
It gets personal when the Doyles band together to protect someone they love from the cops and from a killer; Tinny gets in a little further with her new hobby and her new friends. She pulls in Des as her way to get some things done and the poor dude has such a big crush on her that he will stumble into anything for her. It’s matrimony – Doyle style – as Jake and Mal are tasked with finding the person responsible for sabotaging an upcoming wedding; Mal and Rose fix a bump in the road in their relationship as Jake and Allison hit a stride in theirs; Des comes to Tinny’s rescue but ends up exploding her plans in the process. When an old Doyle family friend accidentally goes missing at sea, the Doyles are hired by his daughter to find out what really happened. Turns out he fakes his own death. Oh and Jake is forced to bail out Christian and picks up another line of business and a pile of new debt.
Jake and Mal are called to check into some death threats that have been made to a respected psychiatrist; an old “friend” from the past shows up and makes an interesting proposition to the Doyles; after Leslie’s close call, Jake and Leslie find themselves struggling a little in their new romantic relationships. The Doyles reluctantly take on a case from dodgy Martin Poole (Nicholas Campbell) when he promises them a big payday; Jake and Allison encounter friction when their professional lives impose on their personal relationship; Jake gets an interesting job offer from an unlikely source. When Des finds himself in a very bizarre and compromising position, the Doyle clan works overtime to get him off the hook; Jake meets someone who has been complicating Allison’s life; Tinny and Des start coming to terms with their feelings for each other. Crime novelist Garrison Steele (Victor Garber) returns again to both hire and torment Jake to help him research a murder case; Jake and Leslie struggle to keep their mutual affection for each other in check; Allison receives some much-needed help from Jake.
Jake buys an expensive gift for Allison only to have it stolen by a thief; The Mayor finds himself in a compromising position and asks for Jake’s help and his silence; Mal has trouble telling a lie to his kids; Leslie thinks she’s being followed. The Doyles are hired by a real estate agent to investigate a series of strange occurrences at the site of her controversial housing development; Leslie uncovers some suspicious facts about the Mayor; the tension between Jake and the Mayor hits a high point; Allison makes Jake a serious proposition. When Tinny and Des are snatched from the safety of the Doyle home in broad daylight, Jake is forced to confront a dangerous man from his past (Paul Gross) to get them back; Leslie loses something else very precious to her; Jake makes a decision about his future with Allison.
Apr 2 2013
Here’s a huge blast from my past. Mad Mission (or Ace Go Places as it was known in Hong Kong) is a series of action-comedy movies that are parodies of the James Bond film series. The series began in 1982, with the first two films directed by Eric Tsang. Although a total of 5 movies were made with the same main cast and a further 6th with a new set of actors, it’s the first two that we shall be talking about here in this post. These are the two that I remember from my childhood in Kuwait and which my friends and I loved a lot; so much that we would try and reenact some of the scenes with dialogues (which are dubbed in English).
The first movie was called Aces Go Places or Mad Mission or Mad Mission 1: Diamondfinger (in the US) came out in 1982 directed by Eric Tsang, and starring Samuel Hui, Karl Maka & Sylvia Chang. A suave, smooth burglar Sam known as ‘King Kong’ steals a set of illegally purchased diamonds during a transaction being done in a large skyscraper – in a daring caper followed by ride his bike through the building stairways and taking it inside an elevator. However his associate was killed before he could divulge where he stashed the diamonds. The diamonds are also being tracked by a European criminal known as ‘White Gloves’, hired by the Chinese mafia who had setup the sale of the diamonds. Caught by the cops Sam tries to make up for his thieving ways by teaming up with an Cody Jack (called Albert ‘Baldy’ Au but named for famous tv detective Kojak), a bumbling police detective from the United States. Both work together to try to find the hiding place. Sam’s associate had left clues by having coordinates tattooed on the butts of two girls he had dated.
The two heroes are supervised by Superintendent Nancy Ho (called Hot Tongue in the English version), who has a temper. What follows is a mad & hilarious chase to find the two girls and get their rear ends photographed in order to get the full coordinates. The two heroes almost get killed by the father of one of the girls and his men. The walrus-like Don wants Sammy dead…or rapidly approaching rigor mortis. As Kodyjack and Hot Tongue befriend our five-finger discounter (hoping to trick him into revealing the whereabouts of the cut carbons), their lives all become endangered as elaborate plots and ambushes meet their every move. After one dangerous event when both of the guys gets hurt, they avoid getting in trouble with Hot Tongue by pretending that Cody Jack has the hots for her. On hearing this, the tomboyish Hot Tongue turns all weak-kneed and goes ga ga for the bald detective and they have a double date dinner with Hot Tongue’s sister joining them. As they finally find the diamonds and are able to fight off the villains.
In the sequel Mad Mission 2 or Aces Go Places 2 which came out in 1983 sees the return of our friends Sam, Cody Jack & Hot Tongue. The Hong Kong Mafia hire Black Glove also known as Filthy Harry (a Clint Eastwood lookalike dressed in a combination of Dirty Harry & The Man With No Name) to retrieve the diamonds from Sam & Cody Jack. Sam is attacked in his apartment by a huge robot and he fights it off by smashing his tv onto it’s head. He jumps out to the pool and takes off in his awesome bike chased by goons on bikes as well as in cars. And guess what – his bike turns into a water bike as soon as it hits the sea! However, a local gang lord who also wants the diamonds sends his rather cute & pretty employee Juliet (Sue Wang) to his new place, pretending to be running away from goons. Sam fights them off easily and falls for the pretty girl. She tricks him into helping her robbing a bank and he just manages to escape from chasing cops and heads straight to the wedding of Cody Jack & Hot Tongue. Later he asks the newly married couple of help against the gang lord – Cody Jack & Sam try to crash their office but in typical Cody Jack fashion he bumbles and they barely make it out with the help of Juliet.
However she double crosses them again, leading them to her ‘uncle’ who is in charge of a large bank/ jewellery vault and she robs them leaving Sam & Cody Jack in the lurch again. Sam & Cody Jack run from the chasing cops (not once did Cody think of flashing his badge at them) and though Sam escapes, Cody lands in the police station. Later our 3 heroes are given the go ahead to try and capture the mafia goons with support from the Hong Kong police. After a funny incident in which Cody finds Sam a date, Juliet reconciles with Sam and promises to be truthful with him. Sam makes Cody pretend that the girl is Cody’s date instead, which is seen & overheard by Big Wang and the snitch calls Hot Tongue, who proceeds to hit Cody with a baseball bat and the detective literally lands his face in a bowl of soup. Later Sam & Juliet attempt to get the warring couple back together at a Valentine’s day party in a club. When Hot Tongue is propositioned by a man in the club, a huge fight ensues with Sam, Cody Jack & Hot Tongue beating off a bunch of guys.
Later they set out on their mission; Cody Jack & Sam meet with the ganglord who sets bombs with timers on each of them and tells them to meet up with Filthy Harry in an enclosed barge. Inside the barge they are attacked by a huge robot – but this time Sam is prepared. He has his “magic box” which contains a set of smaller robots armed with missiles and lasers and they destroy the larger robot. After the come out they find that the ganglord has been captured and is killed by drowning. The duo then ride off to meet with Hot Tongue who awaits them in a special car fitted with gadgets and missiles and fight off Filthy Harry’s men and destroy them. Later Sam finds that the bomb strapped to him is defective and he removes it easily but Cody Jack is almost out of time. A deranged man claiming to be the FBI cuts the straps and it explodes, saving Cody Jack.
Silly, lots of fun, fast action kung-fu, gadgets & cool stuff and funny. Give it a watch. I give both movies an 8 outta 10!
Mar 26 2013
If you have seen the 2007 hit Knocked Up, you’d recognize the couple who play the lead in this movie (and not just the actors). This Is 40 was written, co-produced and directed by Judd Apatow, who also helmed Knocked Up and stars stars Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann, who played the supporting roles of Deb & Peter in the previous film. The film follows the lives of middle-aged married couple Pete and Debbie as they each turn 40, with their jobs and daughters adding stress to their relationship. Returning as their daughters are Maude Apatow & Iris Apatow who are now ages 13 & 8 respectively. Albert Brooks, Jason Segal, Megan Fox, John Lithgow & Chris O’Dowd also have supporting roles in this comedy.
The movie is a comedic look at the family and especially Peter & Debbie and the changes that happen as you turn 40. Debbie is not happy that Peter used a viagra before they had sex and makes him stop, angered at the fact that they are growing older. They spend a weekend celebrating her 40th birthday, doing things that she wants and also go on a wild weekend to a resort where they get high off of “special cookies”, and fantasize out loud about ways they would kill each other. After speaking to her friends Jason (Jason Segel) and Barb, Debbie decides to improve her marriage and family through exercise, and becoming more connected with their parents. She tries to reconnect with her estranged biological father and invites him out for lunch. Deb makes Peter dump his cupcake habit and tells him to stop giving Peter’s layabout dad Larry (Albert Brooks) money – his dad has another wife and young triplets – and although Pete goes to visit him, he is unsuccessful at giving him the news, and still agrees to give him money to support his lifestyle. Peter’s record label business is suffering and his latest act, veteran rocker Graham Parker, is not making enough sales despite heavy publicity and support from Green Day’s Billy Joel Armstrong. Debbie than finds out that she is pregnant.
Suspecting that Desi (Megan Fox) one of her employees is stealing from her boutique shop, Deb takes her out to a nightclub planning to confront her with her suspicions. Debbie and Desi meet several players from the Philadelphia Flyers hockey team at the club. Debbie awkwardly finds out that one of the players wants to hang out with her and possibly sleep with her. She is proud that he wants to have sex with her, but admits that she is married, has two kids, and is pregnant. Afterwards, Debbie drops Desi off at her house, and confronts her about the money, saying she’s been taking money to buy drugs. Desi reveals she is able to afford nice things because she is also an escort. Later, Debbie meets up with Jodi, who confesses that she stole the money to buy Oxycontin. Debbie fires her and leaves. Meanwhile, Pete and Debbie are having to deal with Sadie and Charlotte fighting all the time, which results in arguments between the family. There’s a whole little subplot about the two kids and watching Lost and the fights between the girls are funny. As this goes on Deb’s & Peter’s relationship starts going a bit sour.
On Pete’s 40th birthday party, he argues with his dad about the money he wants from them. Debbie argues with her dad about not spending too much time in her life, and how his is perfect. Oliver then explains that his life is not perfect, and how he has always cared about her and loved her. Later, Pete overhears Debbie talking about her pregnancy, and rides out of the house on his bicycle in anger. Larry & Deb go in search of him and find Pete getting knocked out in a fight with a car owner who crashed his door against Pete. Debbie and Larry take Pete to the hospital, where Larry apologizes for everything, and Debbie forgives him. Debbie and Pete talk later and Pete explains that he is actually thrilled about having a third baby, and that he doesn’t feel trapped, so the two reconcile. Sometime later, Pete and Debbie are watching a small concert with Ryan Adams performing. Debbie then suggests that Pete should sign him to his label and plan to talk to him as they finish watching the show.
The movie is a bit too long and goes aimlessly in some places. It’s not as funny where it should be and I feel the focus should have been more on the two of them with their daughters. It does offer some funny moments that will tickle your funny bone. But I don’t understand why a father would chose to sit in the toilet without locking the doors – Debbie walks in on him twice in the movie! 7 outta 10!