100 Days of Horror welcomes you to ... SATANFEST 2013

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"Y'all know me, know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish! Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow ya whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', and down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back the tourists, that'll put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant! I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing."

Thursday, January 27, 2011

All Apologies ...

Hello, Gentle Readers ...

I know in your hearts and minds, you feel abandoned by us, the noble staff of the "100 Days ..." movie blog. And by noble staff, I mean yours truly and no one else. Yes, it must seem like we disappeared, like your mom on a three-day meth-and-whiskey binge. Only to turn up weeks later, looking tired and disheveled and smelling like piss and ether, babbling half-hearted apologies between crying fits and promises that things will be better tomorrow or the next day - you just gotta let me crash man! Please!

It isn't really like that, y'all - I swear. The truth is ... well, the painful truth is that I am going through some real deep, life-changing, personal-ass shit.

I won't get too much into it here, but it's one of those things where it's all or nothing. It's change or be damned. And going through it is honestly robbing me of my capacity to do anything that isn't focused on rectifying my problems. And it also seems ridiculous for me to indulge in things that I enjoy, because as I wallow in my own self-misery I feel I should abstain from the things that bring me pleasure.

I spoke with my wife today and explained that to her, and she told me what I secretly knew - that I was being ridiculous, that of course I should do the blog, and that she loved the sci-fi theme far more than the horror theme.

So with a promise that we would watch and discuss the movies together, we shall once again embark on this noble mission ... to seek out new life and new distractions ... to boldly go where no other douchebag movie blog has gone before!

And other stuff n' junk.

So give us a day or two and we will return with ooey blooey to keep you glued to the interwebs. And a free pizza who whomever can tell me movie the above reference is from!

Thanks again for reading! We shall return momentarily!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

100 Days of Futureshock Day 6 - "Dune!"

What you are experiencing is real. Do not panic. You may feel a slight tingling sensation, but that is normal as your body grows accustomed to the change in gravimetric pressure. Do not panic ...

And so, once again we made a slight change to the list for yesterday's film. It was originally going to be a double bill of the two "Metropolis" movies - the one from the 1920s and the Anime one from 2002 - but I then realized the futility in attempting to watch two movies in one weekday night, take notes on them, and blog about it afterwards. And then I realized that I had already come to this realization when compiling the list and I could have sworn that I changed the entire list so that double bills were only scheduled on weekends. Perhaps this happened in a drug and alcohol-induced stupor, or perhaps I was just too lazy to finish that change. Regardless, that will be how it is from now on, so I will try and make adjustments accordingly.

So let it be written! So let it be done!

And now we come to the movie we watched instead - the movie it took a million years to finally bring to the big screen, only for it to die in a sea of disappointment. That's right - David Lynch's 1984 classic - "Dune!"

Thanks again for playing along! We luurve you all!

Dune (1984): Directed by David Lynch (as 'Alan Smithee'). Starring Kyle MacLaughlan, Max Von Sydow, Jurdgen Prochnow, Francesca Annis, Alicia Witt, Sean Young, Sting and Virginia Madsen.

The Skinny: In the 10,000th millennium, the entire known universe is addicted to a drug called "spice" that is also necessary for space travel. On the one and only planet where this drug is found (one guess as to the name of the planet), a messiah arises from a fallen family to lead the planet's indigenous peoples to freedom!

The Real Deal: No one should ever, ever blame David Lynch for this muddled message of a movie. At its core are fine performances and a compelling story that got raped and ravaged by the studios and the producers. So much so that Lynch has forever disowned the film and even released it under the shared Hollywood nom de plume for directors ashamed of their work, Alan Smithee.

That said, the movie is a bit of a mess.

For one, there are these retarded voice-overs that are supposed to be someone's private thoughts. Only we can hear them. In some places it feels necessary - in others, it's a major chuckle-worthy distraction. Then there's the massive gaps in the original story, characters that come and go and are never heard from again, and some often cheesy special effects.

And then there's Sting.

If I didn't believe differently, I'd swear Lynch was gay. Because Sting gets such a treatment in this movie - stepping nearly completely naked from a steam bath, much to Baron "I Like Little Boys, But Only To Look At, Never To Touch" Harkonnen's delight. Sting also disowned the movie, telling people he'd like to forget it even exists. But it does. And there he is, in some green weird looking Speedo with wings, with his rippling muscles glistening ....

See, goddamn ... I was nearly gay.

Is It Worth My Time: Hells yes. This movie rocks. If you just give in to it, don't expect too much, don't let yourself get bogged down with little things like plot, you'll likely find it an enjoyable experience. Yes, there is plenty to howl at - Thufir Howatt's eyebrows, for one thing - but there's also plenty of just plain old David Lynch weirdness to enjoy. Now, if you don't dig his weirdness, then by all means you're gonna have a problem with this movie. If, however, you have a taste for the bizarre and patience for multiple viewings (possibly of numerous different versions), you'll find a little something to enjoy. Maybe.

Best Scene Ever: No doubt, it's the final scenes where Kyle rides naked on the back of massive sand worms. Okay not naked, but yeah - sand worms. Yeah - it's that badass.

Quotable Stuff: "It is by will alone I set my mind in motion. It is by the juice of Sapho that thoughts acquire speed, the lips acquire stains. The stains become a warning. It is by will alone I set my mind in motion." - The Mentat Mantra, recited by Piter De Vries.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

100 Days of Futureshock Day 5 - "The Omega Man!"

Do not adjust your computer screen ... we control the horizontal and the vertical ...

And some other positions, too, on Sundays and my birthday!

And that's all I have.

Enjoy our review of "The Omega Man," if not the movie itself. Tonight is our first double feature, with "Metropolis!" Thanks again for reading!

The Omega Man: Directd by Boris Sagal. Starring Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Paul Koslo, Rosalind Cash and Eric Lanueville.

The Skinny:
In 1975, the Sino-Russian War escalates into germ warfare and a massive plague wipes out 200 million people, leaving only a bad-ass scientist and a hot black chick to either save or repopulate the goddamn world.

The Real Deal: This was the third film in professional badass Charlton Heston's sci-fi trifecta, along with "Planet of the Apes" and "Soylent Green." In each of these films, he essentially plays the same character - that is, he's Charlton "I'm The NR-fucking-A" Heston. Only this time, instead of battling apes or an oppressive government, it's a group of post-plague victims who call themselves "The Family," with albino skin, mirror shades and shimmery black robes. They shun all technology and kill anyone who doesn't bear "the marks," which in this case is a cool pair of Marilyn Manson contact lenses.

Heston manages to avoid the plague by jabbing himself with the antidote at the last minute, leaving everyone else to either drop dead or turn into a semi-zombie freak. So what does Heston do? He cruises the city streets in his red convertible Pussy Wagon, shooting Family members with his M76 and watching "Woodstock: The Movie" for the ten millionth time (in the theater, folks, because this is long before the age of home video). In between all thatm he laughs at corpses lying in the street and makes quips to himself that he finds quite amusing. At home, he sips top shelf liquor and chitchats with his bust of Caesar while taking sniper shots at Family members below.

In short, he's living the life every man wants. It's like "Grand Theft Auto," only it's fucking real and instead of some lowlife thug, we get to be Charlton Heston. There's just one vital thing I just don't understand. In the midst of all this macho, who does the man pick for his pretend companion? A fucking bust of Caesar. I don't know about the rest of you dudes out there living this vicarious fantasy, but if I were Heston, I'd have found me a convincing blow up doll or a mannequin - something to remind me of the female form. And potentially have private relations with that would be perfectly normal for a man to commit if he were to find himself alone in a massive city. I mean come on, right? Am I right? Yeah, I'm right you sickos.

Is It Worth My Time: That's hard to say. The film falls into that "Dystopian Future" category and has been remade twice - one we covered in a previous blog, and one we'll get to in a few weeks. This is definitely the worse of the three, and is probably something you should only watch is you a) dig Heston and his whole thing, b) you like douchy "message pictures" with ridiculously obvious social and religious undertones, or c) you love the cheesy science fiction films that the 70s managed to produce. I fall into the third category for the most part, although I have grown to appreciate Heston more in my later years and I do enjoy his ridiculous delivery and blatant manliness. It's a reflection of my own utter lack of manhood.

Best Scene Ever: It's hard to top the opening scenes of Heston in cruising mode, machine gun at his side, while we catch glimpses of post-apocalyptic Los Angeles. Dried corpses recline in tattered lawn chairs while stacks and money and gold bricks lie useless in the streets. It's so hard to top that much of the rest of the movie is kind of a bore, even when he does finally score with the hot black chick.

Quotable Stuff: "He is part of the dead. He has no place here. He has the stink of oil, maletrical circitry about him. He is obsolete!" - Crazy Cult Leader Mathias.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

100 Days of Futureshock Day 4 - "Minority Report!"

Late tonight, kiddies, but what can I say? Monday and Tuesday are busy, busy days for daddy, but that doesn't mean that he doesn't still love you and still wants to give you his sweet, sweet love.

By which of course, we mean his insight on science fiction movies.

On the slim chance anyone out there is syncing their movie list with ours, I regret to inform that we will be making an adjustment to tonight's selection.

It was originally a double bill of the two "War of the Worlds" movies, but I'm changing for two reasons. One, we don't yet have a copy of the original, but it is impending I promise. And the second is, that would give us two Steven Spielberg movies back to back, and that's just too much Spielberg for any man or woman to endure. Ever.

Instead, we will swap it with a film from Jan. 22, 1972's "The Omega Man." Enjoy our review of "Minority Report" below and thanks again for playing along!

Minority Report (2002): Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Tom Cruise, Samantha Morton, Colin Farrell, Max Von Sydow and Kathryn Morris.

The Skinny: In the year 2054, a special police unit called "Precog" has eliminated the act of murder in D.C. by using the special skills of three young people with the ability to see it before it happens. When the division's chief becomes a suspect, however, his investigation untangles a web of lies and death that threatens both the Precog project and his very life.

The Real Deal: It sounded like a match made in heaven - Hollywood's greatest (living) director teamed up with its greatest actor at long last! And they were right for a change - Tom Cruise is at his acting peak in "Minority Report," and Spielberg delivers a vision of the future that isn't too fucking far from right now.

There are a few problems with the movie, however, powerhouse talent aside. And while some of the plot holes feel large enough to navigate the Exxon-Valdez through, there's one particular thing that just leaps out at me screaming like a crackhead who just dropped his last pipe on the sidewalk.

And that thing is simply this: Tom Cruise's character is a junkie.

Now, in movie character terms (and even in movie career terms), this is not such a horrible thing. Many characters are drug addicts in the movies, and we still love and identify with them, and sometimes swear that their lives mirror our own so precisely that we start looking for cameras in the bathroom. But Tom Cruise is a junkie who can run, jump, climb and evade cops with fucking jet packs like an Olympic athlete. This is not a believable scenario to me in any stretch of the word. Now granted, the drug he's strung out on isn't technically heroin ("junkie" specifically refers to heroin users and not your run-of-the-mill stoner); in fact it's a completely made up drug called "neuroin," which sounds like "neurons" and "heroin" mixed together in a lethal cocktail whose effects can only be described as "totally fucking you up." Because when Cruise is chilling in his pad, inhaling his neuroin and watching videos of his dead son, he ain't jumping up the walls - he's blissed the fuck out. All I can guess is that this drug is so pure that it doesn't effect his superhuman ability to evade the specialized police force he used to manage, but it sure 'nuff looks like a good time.

The other thing that astounds me about the flick is the ending. If you've never seen it, then the following is a SPOILER and you should skip to the next section.

Like so many other Spielberg movies, the ending is as neat and tidy as an Asian student's dorm room. Everybody gets what they want, people are happy and suddenly this grim, desaturated, gun-metal-grey future ain't quite so bad. In two minutes time, the whole thing is like a Nicholas Sparks movie.

Now there are a few theories about that whole thing, one of which I just came across today. Now, at one point, the Gestapo with rocket packs finally catch up with Cruise and put him in their weird tubular prisons that keeps everyone sedated. In the words of the creepy caretaker dude, Gideon, "It's actually kind of a rush. They say you have visions. That your life flashes before your eyes. That all your dreams come true." Which is exactly what fucking happens at the end of the film! So, did Spielberg ruin his neo-noir/sci-fi masterpiece with a douchebag ending? Or did he pull the ultimate prank on us, by subtly telling us that Anderton (Cruise) is still stuck in his weird little fucking prison. It's absolutely crazy, man. When you think about it. Go on, think about it ... I got coffee ... see, crazy shit, right?!

If that's the case, then the movie moves up one notch from "excellent" to "near fucking brilliant." That, and the fact that the script is so sharply written that, if you pay close enough attention, Max Von Sydow tells you the entire plot of the film in the first ten minutes, and even later confesses to be the bad guy, although at that point, neither the character nor the audience have a fucking clue. That's good stuff.

Is It Worth My Time: Abso-fucking-lutely. It is an amazing film, even with the schmaltzy ending (see above for theories on that). All the actors are at the top of their game, and the movie is filled with the little visual things that Spielberg loves to use, like reflected overlapping images and his use of light to obscure and transition. It runs a little long and has more than a few implausible moments, but it also shines and surprises in ways that will astonish you. The break-out performance is from Samantha Morton as the Precog Agatha. Every fear, every horror to come is perfectly mapped out in her eyes and face. It's no wonder she's been nominated twice for the Academy Award.

Best Scene Ever: For action and suspense lovers, there's plenty of that. And if you're the type of dork who loves the techie stuff, oh holy shit is there plenty of that. And as an added bonus, there's also an incredible script bolstered by incredible performances. And the peak of it comes about the final third of the film, when Morton delivers a monologue about an alternate future where Cruise's son never disappeared (a major plot point, by the way - oops! Spoiler!). It brought me to utter tears, so hot and big that they dripped off my face and sizzled on my goddamn jeans. Any parent or hopeful parent would probably do the same.

Quotable Stuff: "Sean... He's on the beach now, a toe in the water. He's asking you to come in with him. He's been racing his mother up and down the sand. There's so much love in this house. He's ten years old. He's surrounded by animals. He wants to be a vet. You keep a rabbit for him, a bird and a fox. He's in high school. He likes to run, like his father. He runs the two-mile and the long relay. He's 23. He's at a university. He makes love to a pretty girl named Claire. He asks her to be his wife. He calls here and tells Lara, who cries. He still runs. Across the university and in the stadium, where John watches. Oh God, he's running so fast, just like his daddy. He sees his daddy. He wants to run to him. But he's only six years old, and he can't do it. And the other men are so fast. There was so much love in this house."

Monday, January 10, 2011

100 Days of Futureshock Day 3 - "The Box!"

Whew, I'm already exhausted by this goddamn challenge. I forgot how frustrating it was to try and do this damn thing while also managing to have a life and a job and a family. But I am chundering on ahead, damn it. I shall see this one through all the way, baby. ALL THE WAY!

So grab a decaf latte and check out out review of Richard Kelly's slowly paced but underrated "The Box."

The Box (2009): Directed by Richard Kelly. Starring Cameron Diaz, James Marsden and Frank Langella.

The Skinny: Based on an episode of "The Outer Limits," which in turn was based on aRichard Matheson story, whereupon a young couple receives a mysterious box from an even more mysterious stranger, their actions set in motion a Mobius Strip of intrigue that leads to the unraveling of their lives.

The Real Deal: Richard Kelly is an odd fucking bird. He came out of the box running with the brilliant and moving "Donnie Darko," which made a superstar out of one Mr. Jake Gyllenhall. Then he followed it up with another masterpiece that could be one of the most underrated science fiction movies of the last 20 years, "Southland Tales." (But more on that later.)

And then he smoked a lot of crack (presumably) and came up with this frustrating little number.

Problem is, the story behind "The Box" is relatively simple: your every action has some ramification, no matter how insignificant they appear. Yet Kelly mucks it all up by adding elements that seem to do nothing but frustrate the living hell out of you. You wind up spending time during the movie, thinking "Why does Cameron Diaz only have half a foot?" and "What happened to Frank Langella's face?" and "Why in hell would anyone cast that douchebag who played Cyclops in the first X-Men movie?" By focusing on those elements, which may or may not have anything to do with the movie (except that last bit), you wind up not paying attention to the rest of the damn thing. So by the end, you're all like, "Why is that kid locked in the bathroom?" and "Why does Cameron Diaz have a gun?" and "Why the fuck didn't they fire Cyclops before they got too deep into the production?"

Just like he did with the brilliant but equally frustrating "Southland Tales," Kelly tries to cram ten pounds of shit into what is roughly a three-pound bag. Unlike "Tales," however, I am not too sure that "The Box" will yield any great secrets with consecutive watchings. Hell, I've seen it twice and it put me to sleep both times. You can watch "Tales" a dozen times and walk away thinking something different each time. Try that with "The Box" and you'll put the makers of Ambien out of business.

Is It Worth My Time: Actually, yes. See it once, because it is filled with a certain intrigue that will keep you guessing, even if you don't really get the satisfaction of a neat little ending when it's all said and done. There is also a creeping, all-pervasive paranoia that permeates the movie (which, I believe, has something to do about the destruction of Mars. I ain't sure) that can give you the total willies. Also Kelly is a brilliant writer and has a certain visual style and pacing that at its best recalls some of Stanley Kubrick's finest moments. Just be prepared to a) suspend all disbelief and b) be frustrated by unanswered questions that likely won't be answered when you decide to watch it again. Just stay away from benzodiazepines when you do.

Best Scene Ever: The end moments, when all those bizarre elements that only so very slowly get explained to you as you go on, do deliver an emotionally taut conclusion that will set any parent's jaw on edge and have you looking warily across the sofa at the fucking animal you married, wondering if they would subject you to a similar fate. And you know they would, you evil bastard.

Quotable Stuff: "Your home is a box. Your car is a box on wheels. You drive to work in it. You drive home in it. You sit in your home, staring into a box. It erodes your soul, while the box that is your body inevitably withers... then dies. Where upon it is placed in the ultimate box, to slowly decompose."

Sunday, January 9, 2011

100 Days of Futureshock Day 2 - "Conquest of Space!"

S'up y'all?! All my peoples in the crowd, lemme see you dance!

And enough with the Britney Spears shite.

So far the first two films have gone off well, and the experience has been rewarding so far! I am enjoying the new format and I find that it gives me a chance to be more free with the language in general. Frankly, I've been reading a lot of articles at Cracked.com recently and their use of language - both naughty and nice - inspired me to say whatever the hell I want to say. I was afraid of certain words and avenues of speech before because I don't want to offend anyone, but I also find that if what you say is used in context - and is funny enough to warrant being said - then all bets are off, sucka. And if it does offend anyone, then thank god you can go the hell away and read about flowers or Jesus or whatever the hell it is you like. In the immortal words of Bruce Willis in Pulp Fiction, "Hey, fuck 'em if they can't take a joke, Scotty."

So now, onto today's production, 1955s "Conquest of Space." Later today we'll be checking out "The Box," directed by Richard Kelly of "Donnie Darko" fame. I hope you can play along! Thanks again for reading,and give us feedback on our new methods. And please feel free to share and re-share this link, always!

Conquest of Space (1955): Directed by Bryon Haskin. Starring Walker Brooke, Erin Fleming, Phil Foster and Mickey Shaughnessy.

The Skinny: A group of Army engineers that have been working on a top-secret project at an orbiting space station get the shock of their lives when they're told that they'll also be piloting said ship to the distant planet of Mars instead of the planned moon trip. Space madness and a series of unfortunate evens, however, may jeopardize their ability to make it back home.

The Real Deal: This is basically one of those WWII "Military Men on a Mission" movies that simply replaces any number of European Theater operations with outer space. They're even in the Army - not NASA, not the Navy, the Army! There's a lot of Average Joe chitchat where they bitch about the brass, the chow, and the grueling working conditions - most of it courtesy of comedian and character actor Phil Foster, better known as Frank De Fazio of "Laverne and Shirley." His Brooklyn accent hilariously turns "work" into "woik" and Earth into "Oith," and much of the rest of his dialogue consists of screaming and complaining out of the side of his mouth. As for the rest of the line-up, it is straight out of a million other combat scripts still lying around after the WWII trend dried up. There's the Regular Joe, the Italian, the funny Swarthy Guy (possibly Mexican, I wasn't sure), the brazen New Yorker and there's even an angry Irish Sergeant. I didn't fail to notice, however, there there wasn't a single black person among the all-male crew. Apparently, brothers are not welcome in outer space, even in a future so advanced that there is a Japanese crew member. Granted, he's from Hawaii and even gives a speech about his people's "horrible war" that he apologizes for and makes the argument that his people are small because they don't have enough to eat back on earth, but ... look, they were trying, huh? Give them poor dumb whiteys a break.

The movie, produced by sci-fi veteran George Pal ("When Worlds Collide"), is actually a reasonably accurate look at how the early days of space would soon unfold; albeit with dials and tubes and levers and gauges that are all so ridiculously analogue you wonder how we actually did manage to get to space less than a decade later. The special effects, however, were ridiculed in their day - and let's face it, they were a step above Ed Wood's paper plates as flying saucers. There also a few somewhat vaguely disguised homosexual references, particularly in the Irish guy's constant face-to-face offer for a "spot o' tea" with a lecherous grin on his shiny face. Shiny, I'm assuming, because all Irishmen are drunkards - even in outer space.

Is it Worth My Time: Frankly, yes. As my wife commented, this type of movie epitomizes one of the styles of 1950s science fiction movies - the other usually in the form of some kind of vaguely masked "Red Scare" menace. They even manage to get some of the science right, particularly in the anti-gravity scenes (some of which serve as comic relief in a movie that is already unintentionally hilarious). And whoever the hell that announcer at the beginning of the movie was ... that bastard is amazing. As he reads through the introductory paragraph, his voice rises in pitch and urgency until he's virtually screaming the title of the film in your goddamn pathetic face. He got me pumped up for what wound up to be a mediocre experience, but it's still worth a glance if you like movies from this era. Forget the laughable plot holes and the absolute cheese factor, like the scene where it actually snows on fucking Christmas. On Mars. I mean, come the hell on, dude.

Best Scene Ever: When the "telescope" goes out, requiring Frank De Fazio and Swarthy Guy to take an extravehicular walk to repair it, they find themselves in the path of a massive flaming asteroid. The ensuing escape is actually edge-of-your-seat close, even if the special effects aren't Michael Bay-worthy. Plus, when the Swarthy Dude dies in the wake of its passing, that explains how they're gonna provide extra rations for the Irish Guy, who conveniently snuck aboard after being denied service over his age. Nice fix, dudes.

Quotable Stuff: "Soldier?! A ghost you mean! A robot spinning around the earth every two hours on a tin donut!" Capt. Barney Merritt.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

100 Days of Futureshock Day 1 - "The Black Hole!"

Here it is, folks - our first movie critique of 2011, and our blog's new format. Please give us some feedback and tell us what you think! I'll dispense with further commentary. Rave on, Ravers!

The Black Hole (1979): Directed by Gary Nelson. Starring: Anthony Perkins, Maxmillian Schell, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Forrester, Yvette Mimieux, Roddy McDowell and Slim Pickens (both uncredited).

The Skinny: On the return leg of a deep-space mission in the year 2130, a group of scientists discover a long-missing vessel somehow maintaining orbit around the biggest goddamn black hole anyone has ever seen. As they investigate further, they are pulled into the machinations of a madman who has converted his entire crew into robots, and has plans to fly his decrepit-ass ship into the black hole.

The Real Deal: This movie was made in 1979, at a time when outer space was never more popular thanks to a silly little flick we like to call "Star Wars." Eager to capitalize on the trend, the Disney Company (what?! Disney wants more money? Surely you jest!) tucked in and made their first-ever film to feature both bad language and evisceration. Granted, the "bad language" was "damn" and "hell" and the evisceration was about as bloody as a wart removal, but hey! Progress! With a $20 million budget, it was also the most expensive project the studio that brought you "Herbie the Love Bug" and its various permutations had ever produced at the time (a righteous gamble, since it brought back $36 million, which when adjusted from 1979 dollars equals a fucking bucketload).

There's a lot to dissect about this film - and by dissect, I mean rip it to bloody shreds, cover said shreds in gasoline, and dance around the flames guzzling Everclear - but I'll leave a lot of that shit alone so's I can jump right to the meat of my criticism, which may just forever emasculate me and seal my fate as a dickless, geeky wonder.

Now, I'm not an ubernerd by any means of the word - and that's not to imply that there aren't a dozen boxes of comics and a shelf full of Spawn toys in the next room (because there are). No, I mean that I am usually not the guy who usually says things like, "In reality there's be no fireball when the Death Star explodes because there is no oxygen in the vacuum of space to fuel it." In fact, I'd usually kick that fucker's ass right out of the theater and into the street to be struck by the first bread truck that comes along. But in this movie, there is just one ridiculously obvious mistake that just about anyone should be capable of pointing out. And that is, you cannot fly into a black fucking hole. You can possibly orbit the hole's event horizon, which is the space surrounding the event that is basically a mathematical barrier between the pull of gravity and the "point of no return." But if you actually fly into the damn thing, science tells us you will be stretched into nothingness for an eternity. Your agony will never to cease as time itself becomes trapped within its irresistable pull. Kind of like when you get caught up in looking at tranny porn online for six hours. No, I ain't linking to that reference - look it up yourself, you pervs.

No, any asshole who has stumbled drunkenly across 30 goddamn seconds of "Deep Space Nine" at three o'clock in the morning after gorging on Four Loko all night could tell you that what they actually found was an unstable wormhole. When the ships enter the hole, they both emerge at different locations instead of being crushed or, as I previously mentioned, stretched into neurons for all time. As far as their final destinations are concerned, all I can say is ... WTF. At the end of this wretched mess of physics, when the ships both fly into the center of the swirling vortex, the bad guy merges with his evil robot and we see them lording over a seething, flaming pit of hell (complete with the tortured souls), while the good guys sail down a long-assed crystal cathedral to emerge somewhere in regular space and approaching a planet. There's also a semi-psychedelic episode of spinning faces and echoing voices but Christ, let's not get into that now. Let's just say that the writers knew about as much about rudimentary astro-physics as the native peoples of New Guinea, and leave it at that.

Is it Worth my Time: For a movie with some pretty cool looking effects (it was nominated for an Academy Award in that category) and some reasonably big-name - if not a little past-their-time - actors, it just fails to impact on any emotional level. It has that whole mise-en-sense feel, like it's technically the next (or in this case, final) episode of some shitty sci-fi series. That worked fine for "Star Wars," thanks to George Lucas' incredible script that gave us characters who were both instantly likable and mysterious at the same time. It also tries to capitalize on the lovable robot trend, but these garbage cans with jet packs cannot match the inherent cuteness of another, more popular garbage can with legs. And at NINETY EIGHT MINUTES, this fucker has the pacing of a state funeral, I expected to see that it was over two hours when I checked Wikipedia. Nope - ninety-eight minutes. That makes the movie itself a Black Hole, where time itself cannot escape and our agony is eternal. What was that tranny porn link again?

Best Scene Ever: The final moments, with the swirling and echoing and the craziness. And even though it's head-scratchingly annoying, the scene where Schell and his evil robot Max merge and stand on top of a mountain observing their own personal hell is pretty cool looking.

Quotable Stuff: "It's about time people learned about their failures and my successes!" Dr. Hans Reinhardt.

Monday, January 3, 2011

100 Days of Futureshock - The List!


Cosmic greetings this New Year, my minions! We're back with a brand new mission - to bring you our deep, deep insights into a new realm of moviedom - SCI FI!

Ooh, it's so deep, baby. You know you feel it.

So we bring to you the official "100 Days of Futureshock" blog! In this episode, we will track over 70 years worth of science fiction movies, from Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" to to Alfonso Cuaron's epic "Children of Men" and beyond.

The rules are a little different this time. First off, I will be watching the movie first and blogging afterwards instead of the other way around, which was stupid. Okay, it wasn't really stupid, because the goal of the "100 Days of Horror" challenge was to figure out what it was that attracted me to horror films. Now? Hell, now I'm just frigging bored and miss talking about movies. So now, instead of working towards a Halloween celebration of a "Halloween" double bill, we will instead end our Sci-Fi challenge with the mother of all modern sci-fi trilogies - "The Matrix Trilogy!"

Secondly ... well, that's it. The format will be a little different and I will include more in-depth commentary than before when I care to. Also, I'll include favorite scenes as well as memorable quotes and even a "Best Scene Ever" entry as well. Who knows, we'll see ...

So we'll keep the niceties to a dull roar this time around and just present you with the list to beat all lists! Finely crafted! Expertly honed! Lousy with mistakes and probably a few repeats!

Play along at home! Sync your Netflix and your Blockbuster Online accounts (does that still exist? I dunno)! And enjoy our bizarre take on film!

Jan. 8: The Black Hole (1979)
Jan. 9: Conquest of space (1955)
Jan. 10: The Box (2010)
Jan. 11: Minority Report (2002)
Jan. 12: War of the Worlds Double Bill
Jan. 13: Metropolis/Metropolis
Jan. 14: First Men on the Moon (1964)
Jan. 15: Dune (1984)
Jan. 16: Vanilla Sky (2001)
Jan. 17: Forbidden Planet (1956)
Jan. 18: Gog (1954)
Jan. 19: Westworld (1973)
Jan. 20: Buckaroo Banzai (1984)
Jan. 21: Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy (2005)
Jan. 22: The Omega Man (1971)
Jan. 23: From the Earth to the Moon (1958)
Jan. 24: I Robot (2004)
Jan. 25: Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957)
Jan. 26: Outland (1981)
Jan. 27: It Conquered the World (1956)
Jan. 28: Killers From Space (1954)
Jan. 29: Krull (1983)
Jan. 30: Last Woman on Earth (1960)
Jan. 31: Moon (2009)
Feb. 1: A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Feb. 2: The Fifth Element (1997)
Feb. 3: Things to Come (1936)
Feb. 4: District 9 (2009)
Feb. 5: Planet of the Apes/Planet of the Apes
Feb. 6: Star Wars (1977)
Feb. 7: Robot Monster (1953)
Feb. 8: K-Pax (2001)
Feb. 9: The Astounding She Monster (1957)
Feb. 10: Robocop (1987)
Feb. 11: The Beast with a Million Eyes (1955)
Feb. 12: Predator (1987)
Feb. 13: The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)
Feb. 14: The Wizard of Mars (1965)
Feb. 15: They Came From Beyond Space (1967)
Feb. 16: Trancers (1985)
Feb. 17: Warlords of Atlantis (1978)
Feb. 18: Zardoz (1973)
Feb. 19: Logan’s Run (1976)
Feb. 20: Donovan’s Brain (1953)
Feb. 21: I Am Legend (2007)
Feb. 22: Soylent Green (1973)
Feb. 23: 1984 (1984)
Feb. 24: Dark Star (1974)
Feb. 25: The Stepford Wives Double Bill (1975/2004)
Feb. 26: On The Beach (1958)
Feb. 27: The Abyss (1989)
Feb. 28: Terminator/Terminator 2 (1984/1991)
March 1: Avatar (2010)
March 2: Creation of the Humanoids (1962)
March 3: Brainstorm (1983)
March 4: Invaders From Mars (1986)
March 5: Alien/Aliens Double Bill (1979/1986)
March 6: The Running Man (1987)
March 7: Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind (1977)
March 8: THX-1138 (1971)
March 9: Night of the Comet (1984)
March 10: Mad Max Triple Feature
March 11: Total Recall (1990)
March 12: The Mole People (1956)
March 13: Equilibrium (2002)
March 14: 12 Monkeys (1995)
March 15: Southland Tales (2006)
March 16: The Day the Earth Stood Still Double Bill
March 17: Highlander
March 18: Dreamscape/Inception (1984/2010)
March 19: Fire Maidens from outer Space (1956)
March 20: Pitch Black/ Chronicles of Riddick
March 21: Blade Runner (1982)
March 22: Children of Men (2006)
March 23: War Gods of the Deep (1965)
March 24: Solaris (2002)
March 25: Demolition Man (1993)
March 26: The Day Mars Invaded Earth (1963)
March 27: Starman (1984)
March 28: A Scanner Darkly (2006)
March 29: Fantastic Voyage (1966)
March 20: Gattica (1997)
March 31: Brazil (1985)
April 1: The Man With the Xray Eyes (1963)
April 2: Silent Running (1972)
April 3: Them! (1954)
April 4: ExisTenZ (1999)
April 5: Altered States (1982)
April 6: Night of the Lepus (1972)
April 7: Godzilla Double Feature
April 8: One Million Years BC (1966)
April 9: Journey to the Center of the Earth Double Feature
April 10: Barbarella (1968)
April 11: Missile to the Moon (1958)
April 12: Escape from New York (1981)
April 13: 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
April 14: Sleeper (1973)
April 15: Men in Black I & 2
April 16: Flash Gordon (1980)
April 17: The Matrix Trilogy!!!