Review: Star Trek: The Motion Picture: The Directors Edition (1980/2001/G)

Oh my god you’re saying to yourself could actually be for once are we reviewing a Star Trek movie and we’re not bashing the hell out of Star Trek II. We pointed out time and time again in our other reviews that this review was finally coming and after all that we’re going to take you down the road and explain why this is our favorite Star Trek movie. OK let’s get one thing out-of-the-way first this is a review of the directors edition that came out in 2001. When we review this movie this is the version we review because director Robert wise himself has said this is his finished movie. The backstory is the film had such a tight window to make that early 1980 release date that they literally had to release the film unfinished more or less. The other thing we’re going to tell you is yes we chastise movies for god awful pacing so why does this movie which is the longest of all the Star Trek movies get a glowing review? The answer is simple the soundtrack by Jerry Goldsmith is what helps make this more of an event as if you’re witnessing and Orchestra performing on the film. Yes there are slow plotting scenes but the music and everything with the scenery and the actual being full rich views of space is what makes this film come alive. This is where Star Trek II  failed so miserably and turned itself into an action schlock submarine thriller with piss poor relation to source material. Star Trek isn’t about guns Star Trek is about exploring, this film is the closest they’ve ever gotten to re-creating the TV show only Star Trek V comes in as close second. If you’re only familiar with Star Trek the next generation films or the new Star Trek movies this is a hard watch for you because you want to action you want stuff in your face this is relaxing and a sense of awe and wonder. If you Champion yourself a real film buff then you need to see this movie or else you cannot call yourself a fan of Star Trek.

Star Trek: The Motion Picture the Directors Edition (Paramount Pictures/1980/2001)
On a scale of 1.0 to 5.9 it got a 5.9 out of 5.9

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Friday Special: Review: Silent Night Deadly Night (1984/R)

We’ve always had a interest in films that have generated controversy, we enjoy reviewing them to tell you once and for all what the overblown fuss is about. That said back in 1984 this slasher horror film caused a stir because of its Christmas / Santa Claus theme, we’re talking about Silent Night Deadly Night.  Long  before one note hacks like Eli Roth and James Wan ruined horror with torture porn, the horror genre was a low rent guilty pleasure kind of genre. Basically people back then went ape shit about this film because a boy witness a his family murder by a deranged psycho dressed as Santa Claus. Fast forward a few years and a head nun who an incompetent bitch runs an orphanage where boy is sent to, needless to say events there throw more fuel on the fire. From there we arrive in present day (1984) where the boy now grown at 18 is pushed over the edge and the killings begin. Honestly as a slasher film it works. The fact he’s dressed as Santa Claus is the only reason Jesus freaks most likely got up in arms over this film. We recommend this film as it shows what horror used to be and how a campy crappy story can work.

Silent Night Deadly Night Trailer (Tri Star Pictures/1984)
On a scale of 1.0 to 5.9 it got a 4.2 out of 5.9

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Review: Bad Santa (2003/R)

“I am an eating shitting drinking fucking Santa Claus” that sums up Billy Bob Thorton’s character Willie, in what we consider to be the almost perfect anti-Christmas movie, Christmas movie, Bad Santa. The plot is simple Willy along with his partner in crime Marcus play Santa Claus in malls during the holiday season. Come Christmas Eve they rob the joint blind and spend the next year with their loot and planning the next heist. This film shows how Willys getting tired of it all much like we are with our jobs in every day life. It also makes him a three dimensional character by showing his glaring flaws and how he wants to turn his life around but is still basically just a whino. The non-PC profanity laden script is a refreshing twist to the warm and fuzzy Christmas movie. Honestly the word fuck is heard about 200 times and we actually think that’s not enough. We’re also praising the final performance of John Ritter as this film was released shortly after his tragic passing in the fall of 2003. Ritter is the breakout character playing the beaten-down mall manager. Honestly we would’ve like to see him have more screen time but we know with his death reshoots were impossible. Yes this movie is over 10 years old but it’s already a timeless classic that never ages plus you don’t have to watch it at Christmas to enjoy it because  it’s one of those movies that’s just a really good story.

Bad Santa Trailer (Dimension Films/2003)
On a scale of 1.0 to 5.9 it got a 5.7 out of 5.9

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Review: Spaceballs (1987/PG)

Hey look we’re reviewing a movie from 1987 just like our slogan! When this film was first released they’re only three Star Wars movies and everyone thought well that was fun when return of the Jedi released in 1983. This was a good nature jab at a cultural touchstone of the early 80s. In fact while Star Wars is the overall parody target sci-fi as a whole gets a good-natured ribbing such as alien and Star Trek. In typical Mel Brooks The movie is well aware it’s a movie by constantly breaking the fourth wall which makes it feel like you’re in with the joke. Honestly we saw this movie 10 years before we saw Star Wars (what we were just bigger fans of Star Trek that’s all.) what is the all-star cast including Rick Moranis as dark helmet, and John candy as Mogg. That make this movie such a fun fun classic.

On a scale of 1.0 to 5.9 it got a 5.6 out of 5.9

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Friday Special: Fall/Winter Finales: How TV once again is driving everyone to DVRs

Long ago (the 70s) tv shows did 26 episodes a season that means mathematically every episode of the season would run twice in 52 week tv season. As the 80s and 90s came about that 26 dropped to 24 and now here in present day that 24 has dropped to 22. With 22 that means we have 4 less episodes a season and now huge content holes in the tv schedule. Over the past few years networks (both broadcast and cable) have been taking there shows and throwing the brakes on in December and keeping them locked away til March. Look we don’t watch a lot of current tv (primarily because we’re busy reviewing movies and going to theme parks) but we watch a shitload of classic tv shows and game shows on the digital sub channels. Let’s take The Jeffersons for example, there are 257 episodes over 11 years, because they did 26 a season. If they aired today they do 22 and run October to December and March to May, people wouldn’t watch part of the season because they wouldn’t know when they were coming back. This is why people are running to DVRs and Netflix, they are tired of idiotic show scheduling. Honestly it all goes back to the rise of serialized hourlong dramas which is what is wrong with all tv today. TV writers are all terrible hacks (as referenced by our other Friday special: 57 minuets past the hour) and can’t write one good hour of TV let alone 26. So they conned there way into only making 22 (or 13 if it’s cable.) Honestly the only show on TV right now that actually seems to be fighting the serial trend is iZombie (btw don’t think that’s immune to getting a Bad Writer Showcase profile) and the irony is, it will only have 19 episodes this season. Because we have these long breaks people just use there technology to create there own full seasons. Yet the networks don’t count DVR playback 4 or 5 months later so once again the networks stupidity of scheduling shoots themselves in the foot again!

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Review: National Lampoon’s Chistmas Vacation (1989/PG-13)

Sure 1989 might still seem too soon to label something a classic (hell our tagline is ‘its always 1987 at the movies’ so who are we to judge) but this is one movie that was an insyant classic when it was first released. As we all know the the orginal Vaction was pure comedy gold when it hit theaters in 1983 and took on the insanity and sheer bullshit of the cross country  summer vacation. This time Griswolds stay home and the vacation is more of a holiday season itself and we actually never make it christmas in the movie (it ends on Dec 24.)  We like this movie not only for Chevy Chase playing lovable trying is hardest everyman Clark Griswold, and also because Randy Quaid returns as everyones favorite Cousin Eddie. We credit this film for working on so many levels from the genius writer of the 80s John Hughes. This movie could be seen more as series of sketches that tie together as one unified movie, but its all the charaters that all have their one great line that makes is memorable, from the “Is your house on fire Clark?” of elderly aunt Bethany seeing the house decorated with a million twinkle lights (which unto itself is another funny set up scene.) To the melt down Clark has towards the end of the film with ends with the pefrect punchline “Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?” is just as funny now seeing, as it is ever single time we watch it. This movie is a comedy home run, and while some minor subplots are a little sitcom like they are few and far between.  This is the true defintion of instant classic, and is a holiday treat.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation Trailer (Warner Bros. Pictures/1989)
On a scale of 1.0 to 5.9 it got a 5.5 out of 5.9

Review: Captain EO at Epcot (1986-1994/2010-2015)

Usually when one of our favorite attractions at the theme parks goes away that’s it and it never comes back. However this is the only attraction that ever got a second run at Walt Disney World more specifically Epcot. So how can we summarize this film (yes we are fully aware it only runs 17 minutes but it’s still a movie) The easiest way is think of Thriller meets Star Wars, actually don’t just think it, believe it, because really it is Thriller meets Star Wars. It’s shooting production happened in 1986, Star Wars (actually Return of the Jedi) and Thriller came out only one year apart which other in 1983 and 1982 respectively. Yes the plot is cheesy and hackneyed they have to go to an alien planet to give the supreme leader “a gift.” The “alien characters” look like background people from the bar scene in the original Star Wars and honestly the gift is just excuse for Michael Jackson to sing and dance which is what were all there to see anyway. So why do we give this film such high marks? Honestly it was the pioneer of the 4-D effect shows that you see today plus with it being produced in 1986 there was no CGI in fact at one point you can see the handle that’s working one of the pockets but to us it makes it more real your brain is going “Oh my God something real! It’s not fake tacky CGI!” We’re very happy that this came back in 2010 we weren’t fans of honey I shrunk the audience, in fact we hated that attraction with a passion. We don’t want to see this go but we know eventually everything has to end but for something produced in the mid 80s the fact that it still holds up, and is still entertaining, is what makes this a winner in our book.

Captain EO Trailer (Walt Disney Productions/1986)

On a scale of 1.0 to 5.9 it got a 5.9 out of 5.9

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