Archive for the ‘80s’ Category

Happy Holidays – Labyrinth: Remind Me of the Babe

January 7, 2009

Tim: ..!!
Tim: OK I gotta get into my MOVIE COMMENTIN’ MINDSET
John: Is that like channeling spirits?
John: Like
John: you call upon the powers of MST3K?
Tim: I shoot myself in the head with an Evoker and a big red Tom Servo shows up before me.
Tim: ZIO!!!
Tim: ok GO
John: The Columbia TriStar logo is associated so closely with movies I loved in my childhood. :3
Tim: My gosh, I only think of that white horse when I don’t want to sneeze.
John: Ooh, this looks pretty good in high quality
John: This is a CGI Owel
John: Or owl
John: gaze upon it and know the power of technology
John: in 1985
Tim:Movies don’t have LOGOS anymore do they?
John: They’re always at the end
John: It’s onlyyyy forevaaaaaaaaaa
John: Bowie, you magnificent, creepy bastard.
Tim: Years before Frank Oz gave us STEPFUHD WIVES.
John: I didn’t get that until muuuuuuch later in life.
John: cuzithurtslikehell
John: Man
John: This song
John: Takes me all the way back
Tim: Monty Python Terry Jones?!
John: Yes.
Tim: Get. Out.
John: Nope!
John: :D
Tim: Henson DIRECTED this?!
John: YES
John: Think again, boy.


MEGA MAN 9 – For Everlasting Fun

September 23, 2008

In Ratatouille there’s a scene in which the grumpy old food critic Anton Ego takes a bite of Remy the rat’s titular dish and he recalls a memory of a time when he was small, wide-eyed and innocent. Everything was simpler, everything was fresh, the sun shined a little brighter, and mom was there to cook his favorite food. Anton’s bitter, jaded defenses, built over years of tasting the same bland junk over and over again, crumbled against the might of Remy’s refined technique and mastery over what is called a “peasant dish”, something boring, nothing special. He took what is common and plain, saw what worked, saw what didn’t, remixed it, kept it simple and ended up with something extraordinary, something even an ultragrump could not only appreciate but stack up next to the best dishes of the past.

This is exactly (well, maybe not exaaaactly) the situation Capcom and I are in. After years of tepid sequels and endless spin-offs the chefs at Capcom scanned their vast history, reworked their basic recipe and gave me, er, us the best Mega Man game since Mega Man 2, or Mega Man X. Playing Mega Man 9 flashes me back to those Saturday mornings full of Captain N, Super Mario Cereal and hot chocolate me mum made for me. Fueled by sugar and early morning sunlight – or better: dreary, gray rain! – I waged war against Dr. Wily and his creations for everlasting peace. 18 years later, I’m a little taller and really unshaven, but I’m the same Nintendo-loving kid stuck in arrested development. I rolled out of bed, downloaded MM9 on the Wii and turned the Wii-mote sideways to better resemble a NES pad. The opening title revealed old-school pixel art and 8-bit sound. It was Saturday morning again.

you now have mega man music in your head

BATMAN – Party Like It’s 1989

July 15, 2008

I can’t pinpoint the specific moment I became aware of the superhero Batman. Amidst the Captain Ns, Super Marios and Transformers of the muddled late 80s/early 90s culturescape I knew about the Batman comic books because my dad had a ton of them. I was semi-aware of the movie when I rented the Nintendo game. I also had Joker and Batman action figures, but I didn’t care about the flick, or any movies, until much later. It was toys and video games for me, and that’s the way it went for a while. I didn’t know about Batman‘s initial impact on pop culture at large, nor was I aware I was actually an important part of it.


The movie was only a very small part of the now-commonplace merchandising juggernaut, something Jack Nicholson took into account when he made his payment deal. Besides top billing (over the title character, Michael Keaton!) Nicholson got a large percentage of the royalties, raking in one of the biggest paydays for an actor in history. Considering the Joker’s climactic parade scene, where he throws millions of dollars to a rabid Gotham populace, to the tune of Prince’s “Trust”, it kind of makes you wonder. The Prince CD, Danny Elfman’s soundtrack, the action figures, the Batmobile and Batwing toys, all prominently displayed in their live-action late-80s glory for kids to nag their parents to buy. In the decade that followed, marketing and toy tie-ins was all Warner Bros. cared about when it came to their lucrative little whore of a Bat-franchise. Quality movies? Who wants those? But we’ll get to WB’s dark dealings in later articles. It’s not like Batman is the first or last cash cow then or now. I remember owning Aliens toys too and I didn’t see that movie until years later.

So it’s weird now, looking at Batman after the sequels, the reboot, the animated shows, the comic books … In Kevin Smith’s Evening With DVD, the director of Dogma and Jersey Girl recalls the time he mustered the ire of Tim Burton because of the finale of his Planet of the Apes remake. Smith jokingly accused Burton of cribbing the ending from a comic book he did. Burton’s alleged response was “Anybody that knows me knows that I would never read a comic book.”

“Which, to me,” Smith says, “explains fuckin’ Batman.”

and here we GO

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Whatever

May 22, 2008

I went into the new Indiana Jones with zero expectations and still came out disappointed. The Mummy is better, The Mummy Returns is better – and those are rip-offs! Murdering insects that crawl into the bad guy’s mouth? Check. A greedy dope of a man who tries to grab up as much treasure as he can when the temple’s falling apart? Yuh-huh. An adventuring bickering family jumping around jungles and trudging through temples? Oh yeah. How does Stephen Sommers have Steven Spielberg beat at his own game? Shit, even the names are similar. The dopey treasure-stealing man, played by Beowulf himself Ray Winstone, says near the end of the movie something to the effect of “What a stupid legend. A waste of my time.” Brother, you took the words right out of my mouth.

Of all the stories, of all the titles, of all the ideas George Lucas and Steven Spielberg could’ve used they decide on The Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls, a plodding yarn about ancient aliens with psychic powers and the Russians want their skulls or their spaceship and Area 51 shows up and the Ark makes a cameo and John Hurt is some crazy guy and Marion Ravenwood shows up somehow and Shia LeBeouf leads an army of monkeys as he swings through vines or whatever. Remember the Star Wars prequels? Okay, same fucking thing happened to Indiana Jones.


Grump Selects: Possession

August 28, 2007


It’s my pleasure to introduce Grump Selects, wherein Mora and I go on and on about the cream of the crop. Whether it’s a favorite movie, a video game, a comic or how we like our eggs done (over easy. if it’s scrambled it must be with cream cheese), it’s sure to be something that we both agree is utterly fantastic. It sorta goes against our credo – to nitpick and tear apart everything that blows – but that’s why they’re special. They’re gooood. We’ll still acknowledge the pockmarks but Selects will always be near and dear to us and, hopefully, to you too.

Our first Select is Possession, a movie so bonkers Mora had to share it with me by mailing the DVD just so I could see it. He wasn’t kidding. It is bonkers. It’s surreal. It’s HYPERBOLIC!! I don’t even know where to BEGIN!!!

Let’s start with Andrzej Zulawski, a Polish filmmaker (with an impossible first name) who’s had a MADDENING time making movies in his stupid censorship-crazed homeland. After a production of his was shut down by ASSHOLES in the government he fled to BERLIN OF ALL PLACES and wrote a movie while going through what was presumably a very messy divorce! Zulawski funnelled all of his anger and creative energy into the film, about a crumbling marriage and, perhaps, just maybe, if you’re sharp enough to pay attention to the FRINGES of the FRAME, the Cold War.

Entryways to... POSSESSION!

Released in 1981, Possession is the culmination of the frustrations of a NUT with a capital N. And a capital U and T too. MMM, CAPITAL LETTERS EVERYWHERE!!! This movie, starring Sam Neill (so young!) and Isabelle Adjani (a cute yet completely unhinged French actress) as the sparring spouses, takes everything to the extreme fucking edge. Seriously, if you think you know acting, think… again!! Dialogue isn’t delivered, it’s TIED to a BRICK and CHUCKED through a window. These two scream at the top of their lungs while throwing conniptions so violent you fear for the stability of their spines and their minds. If you think you know what OVER-THE-TOP is you don’t know a fucking thing. Hear me? A FUCKING THING.

…I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to yell.

Maybe this happens to all couples. :(


“It’s not a system. It’s a country.” – Live Free or Die Hard

July 15, 2007

Near the end of Live Free or Die Hard I noticed something peculiar. The baby-faced villain, played by Timothy Olphant, while talking of his master plan, says something about sending America “back to the Stone Age.” I pondered for a quick second, turned to a friend watching with me and asked “…Is this GoldenEye?”

He pondered for a second too, then turned to me. “Yeah… you’re right!”

Oh ho! Of course I am. |:3

Live Free or GOLDENEYE



July 4, 2007

If you told me back in the late 80s, playing with my metal diecast Starscream (heaven forbid you drop that bastard on your toe!), that I’d see him and his transforming brethren in a live-action motion picture, I’d call you a big stupid doo doo head. That’s impossible!

If you told me Michael Bay would make it and it would be good I’d call you a fucking idiot. That’s impossible.

Or IS it?!