Aisle of the Damned: 08/11/17- Because Lionsgate, That’s Why

More like Dork Tower, amIright?

Bryan and Kent saw the big-screen adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower and both were confused by the experience, though not as much by the film. Kent, meanwhile, has seen the artiest of arthouse fare, A Ghost Story. Does the experience haunt him?

Meanwhile, the boys take advantage of a slow news week to review the Spider-Man that could have been, had Sony not handed him over to Marvel, and he takes a severe turn towards the Herbert West.

All this and less on Aisle of the Damned!

Music:
The Aquabats- Stuck in a Movie
Viva Voce- The Center of the Universe

Aisle of the Damned: 03/22/17- Logan’s Heroes

This is the worst photoshop you will ever see.

We’re back after a medical hiatus to discuss the latest that Hollywood has dumped on us! Just kidding; March apparently doesn’t suck anymore as we have some pretty damn good movies to geek out about, including X-Men outlier Logan, giant monster movie Kong: Skull Island, indie horror wunderkind Get Out and the latest in the Matt Damon series, Matt Damon Goes to China.

We also discuss some new trailers, like Wonder Woman and Baby Driver, finally crap on the Oscars, talk about Joe Carnahan’s good decisions and Sony’s stupid-ass decisions and talk about Disney’s battle with their own history.

All this and less on Aisle of the Damned!

Music:
The Aquabats- Stuck in a Movie
Big T. Tyler– King Kong

Aisle of the Damned: 7/6/16- Social Networkland

They had it coming.

Kent and Bryan are limping through a summer of unrequested sequels and retreads. We discuss the way a lot of sequels have been failing at the box office and which films have bucked the trend. We also give our top entertainment picks for this month, discuss the implications of the Ultimate Batman v Superman cut and also the 180 that Warner Bros. has pulled on Justice League. Later, they talk The Conjuring 2, Finding Dory, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, Central Intelligence and the long expected follow-up, Independence Day: Resurgence.

Come and sequel, won’t you?

Music:
The Aquabats- Stuck in a Movie
The Lillingtons- Invasion of the Saucermen

Kent’s Movie Diary- You Should Really Just Relax

SiteMST3KMovie9/4/13- Calloo, callay! Shout Factory’s blu ray of Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie came out yesterday. FINALLY. The only MST3K product that can really be released in hi-def (since everything else was filmed on standard def video), I was hoping we’d get this for a long time and yes, it looks great. It is absolutely worth getting. The stuff that actually was filmed by Best Brains featuring the cast looks pretty pristine and while I wouldn’t want to actually buy a blu ray of This Island Earth that looks the way it does in the film, it’s perfect for the transfer. It looks like a slightly beat up, faded print, just like you’re watching a revival screening in a theater, so I don’t know what else you could possibly ask for. As much as I appreciate Rifftrax Live or Cinematic Titanic, this is the closest you will pretty much ever come to a live version of MST3K with the puppets. (And the season 5-7 cast.) Could the movie be better? Absolutely. It’s actually pretty amazing it came out as well as it did given how much they were interfered with. As it is, it’s consistently funny throughout, has a fantastic opening (“Look at that. Breach hull, all die. Even had it underlined.”) and it serves as a great primer for someone that has never seen the show before. I was one of the few people lucky enough to see it during it’s theatrical release and I can assure you that it absolutely slayed 16-year-old me.

The extras are one of the reasons this is worth an upgrade. You get an EPK from Grammercy about the “making of” (which is about the only thing they ever did to sell it) and a brand new “making of” featurette from Shout’s frequent collaborator for the TV sets, Ballyhoo. You get to hear the real poop about how working with the Universal executives was basically like having a red-assed baboon come into a room and tell you that you weren’t doing a good job of being a human. There’s also a little bit about This Island Earth, but the true gem of this is over twenty minutes of deleted or extended scenes, including extended riffing sequences (with some different quips, no less), an entire host segment that was cut involving a meteor shower and an alternate ending with “Uncle Scrotor.” This is definitely one of my must buys for the year. And it’s actually at a good price. Shout has done the film just as proud as the rest of the catalog titles that they are just crushing. Between the 80s horror films, the Corman titles and the genre films they are putting out, they’re sort of like the Reverse Criterion. Whereas Criterion releases tons of arthouse films but throw in a few fun genre films here and there, Shout releases a few arthouse pieces in addition to the plethora of b-movies they deservedly treat like genuine classics.

9/6/13- I finally got to sit down with Yocum again and he decided I needed to see JackSiteMouseRoared Arnold’s The Mouse That Roared, a Peter Sellers comedy from the ’50s where he shows how Eddie Murphy’s been chasing him his whole career (though it seems pretty obvious he’s completely given up when you look at his output over the last couple of decades. Pluto Nash did terrible things to that man.) Sellers plays three different roles in the film including the protagonist, the Prime Minister and the country’s Dutchess. It’s a damn good film that’s held up reasonably well. There’s some Cold War stuff inside that is more fragrantly cheesy than a block of Muenster, but most of it is so over-the-top that it still manages to land. And in the current climate of nigh-automatic interventionism with the US military, it could be remade with some minor tweaking to reflect current foreign policy with respect to the Middle East. (Though the tiny Western European mini-state with it’s Franco-British culture is a far cry from the countries we’re dealing with.) The thing is, politicians don’t tend to change over generations and the various absurdist applications of national alliances, economic prospects of foreign aid, diplomacy or a lack thereof and European government structure that attempts to balance democracy with tradition are all things that still seem to have just as much relevance today.

There’s a romance subplot that practically announces itself with semaphore flags, but still manages to seem to come out of nowhere. However, Jean Seberg is a knockout despite (or perhaps because of) her late-50s pixie haircut. And checking out her Wikipedia entry… wow. Didn’t see that coming. I had a little big of a nerd out when I saw William Hartnell was in it as well. For those who are unfamiliar with him, he’s the first Doctor from the BBC’s Doctor Who back when the show started in 1963. Back when the Doctor had more “Get off my lawn!” in him. Maybe they’ll finally get back to that with the new fella.

I’ve also been looking at some of Guillermo del Toro’s films again since I liked Pacific RimSiteHellboyII so much. I watched Hellboy a while back and the other night I finally rewatched Hellboy II: The Golden Army for the first time since the initial release in theaters. As much as I like the first film and as much as the lame dismissal of Agent Myers bugs me (yeah, the hand-picked successor to Dr. Broom just gets sent off to Antarctica) I have to say that Hellboy II is definitely the better film. (Oh yeah, and as cool as Doug Jones is, I missed David Hyde Pierce doing Abe’s voice.)  While it certainly has all the greatness of the comic, it manages to also somehow be pure, unfiltered del Toro in a manner that I remember matching up surprisingly as a lighter vision with the darkness of Pan’s Labyrinth coming out around the same time.

The move to a more “magical” storyline works surprisingly well and the performances are pretty great all around, even from Seth MacFarlane as Johann. What surprises me is that as much as they seem to be trying to set up Jeffrey Tambor’s Manning as the thorn in Hellboy’s side, it really seems to stem in the opposite direction. Tambor manages to make his character sympathetic because of how big a pain in the ass Hellboy has to be.

Movie Diary 7/26/13

AUTHOR’S NOTE: I’ve put a couple of these up on my tumblr already as we’ve stopped talking about older films on the podcast in a number of instances but I’d still like to talk about what I’ve been watching. I thought I’d also share them with AotD listeners/readers. You can find other installments as well as some of my other pursuits at http://kentholle.tumblr.com

7/26/13- I haven’t been updating this the way I’d hoped recently, but there’s a few reasons for this. Number one, I’ve had a weird schedule because I managed to pick up a temporary supervisor position at work. Secondly, I just had a crazy weekend that ended with me on a surgeon’s table. So that happened.

The result of this is that I finished a couple of books and spent a couple of days mainlining Mystery Science Theater 3000 (with a little Dick Van Dyke thrown in here and there.) When I’ve been laid up with this illness or that issue in the past, MST3K has always been my comfort food. I love that show so dearly and have seen nearly all of it’s 200 episodes. If you have not seen it before, I recommend pre-ordering the Vol. 28 set that Shout Factory will be doing soon as they will be including a bonus of one of the best episodes ever, Mitchell, starring Joe Don Baker as a doughy, alcoholic cop. The episode has been out of print since the early days of Rhino’s distribution of the show and I’m super excited not to have to pay out the nose for a used copy on bay. Not sure when it will go up, but keep your eyes peeled.

Anyway, I had overdone it a bit on Wednesday in regards to my recovery, so for Thursday I knew I had to take it easy. Fortunately, Thursdays this summer have been my day to get together with Yocum, my teacher friend who is as big a movie obsessive as I am. He’s shown me older films that I’ve managed to miss one way or another and I’m introducing him to some newer films since he doesn’t manage to get out as much. So while I’ve finally managed to see Forbidden Planet, Hey There It’s Yogi Bear and Cats Don’t Dance, I’ve shown him such varied fare as The Adventures of TinTin, Lilo and Stitch and Attack the Block. It’s something I’ve really begun to look forward to and I’ll be sad when it comes to an end in a few weeks. Maybe we’ll have to switch it to Sundays, but I know he’s got a lot to do with his wife (as it should be) so, like all good things, it’s most likely going to slowly grind to an end. (Insert “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina here.) Anyway, another thing I’ve enjoyed is that the last couple of weeks we’ve been joined by my friend Spencer from The Sticky Clutch, the cover band I sing for.

This week we managed to sneak in a double-feature despite Yocum having plenty of guests around the house. We started with Crack in the World, the feel-bad film of 1965. It’s the kind of disaster epic that Roland Emmerich had to have huffed deeply from as a child. Call it “The Day Before Tomorrow.” Essentially, a nuclear weapon is used to access the Earth’s molten core so it can be used as a source of limitless energy. But instead of peace, love and understanding, science once again unleashes death as the explosion results in a “crack in the world” that begins to go along a fault line and threatens to, against the protestations of such things as gravity and common sense, break the world in half. It’s a film that promises lots of fun images of destruction and mayhem and delivers mostly stock footage of volcanoes. And the ending… what the heck is going on with that ending? But it’s still got a cheesy sense of doom throughout that makes it worthwhile and the Olive FIlms’ transfer, especially considering just how much stock footage is involved, is phenomenal for a 60s effects film. It just plain looks gorgeous.

After that, I showed him one of my favorite films of last year, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. This one played better than I could have hoped. Even as I explained in my review at the time that Kingdom is the culmination of Anderson’s work to this point, incorporating so many of this common themes and fetishes, there are still a lot of things that make it unique among his filmography, or at least are comparable only with Fantastic Mr. Fox. The beautiful look of the film, despite all the usual Anderson touches that go along with the French New Wave look he adores, is (like Fox) so attuned to a golden/Autumnal color palate that it one of his best looking films, despite being made in super 16mm. And, aside from a reference to the kid getting a boner, I find it difficult to figure out why the movie got a PG-13. In many ways, it feels like it’s a fantastic children’s movie and honestly would have no problem showing this film to them, especially any over 10. It’s got an innocence that most of his other films do not. And there’s the change in soundtrack. Ironically it’s the only period movie he’s actually done, yet it’s the only one that does not feature 60s pop tunes, aside from the great Le Temps de l’Amour by Francoise Hardy. Everything else seems to be either classical or old Hank Williams tunes. (By the way, I love when they mirror the beginning Benjamin Britten piece in the end credits with Jared Gilman doing the same thing with all the instrumentation used by Alexandre Desplat.) Anyway, he ended up loving the film to the point that he went out and bought it today, which makes me giddy the way it always makes me giddy to introduce one of my favorite films to an appreciative audience. This is why Tarantino has his own movie theater. I’m also excited because in an ensuing discussion I found out that the only other Anderson film he’s seen is Bottle Rocket and the only Edgar Wright film he’s seen is Scott Pilgrim (which I also showed him) so practically the entire filmography of two of my favorite filmmakers is now wide open to show him. I don’t know if he’ll like the other films as well as he liked the two I’ve already shown him, but gads am I thrilled to find out. This is what being a movie geek is all about.

Now on the negative side, I’m getting a little sick of having to pay higher prices because I can’t just buy a blu ray by itself. Instead I have to buy it with “bonus discs” that are the exact same content in a poorer-quality format. I don’t need some DVD, OK? I will never, ever, ever watch it. And I don’t have sticky-fingered children digging in my collection, so that excuse isn’t going to fly with me. I shouldn’t be forced to bolster a sagging format. You might as well be saying, “In order to buy this movie you want on blu ray, you also must purchase it on VHS and laserdisc in case there are any other dead formats laying around.” I understand there’s a difference because the jump from blu to DVD is more subtle and you can use both in the same machine. But it’s not like when people were switching from records to CDs that you could buy the record by itself for less, but if you wanted to buy the CD you had to purchase both. I mean, I’m a vinyl lover and I probably wouldn’t even go for that. No wonder their numbers are going screwy.

And is anyone out there actually using Ultraviolet? Yeah, I didn’t think so. DIVX for the streaming age.