Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Rare Superhero Flix: Power Pack (TV Pilot)

I've found more obscure Comic Book Characters to talk about than Tank Girl.  Sadly, Lori Petty is not in this thing.  What is this thing?  It is Power Pack, the 1991 TV Pilot that went unsold.  Show of hands- who remembers Power Pack?  The Comic has a strong, but small fan-base.  The short version: they are young children (8 to 14 years old) with super powers.  Most notably, one of them is Franklin Richards, the son of Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman.  Depending on when the Comics are written, he is either vastly-powerful (some mental powers) or has no powers at all.  He's not in this.  I don't know why I brought that up, honestly.  I guess I just like to waste your time- kind of like this.  Anyhow, someone thought that this could be a show, which is why we are here today.  Thanks to YouTube, I can watch someone's VHS Copy of this obscure Superhero Pilot.  The Pilot doesn't tell us the whole Story, since I guess they were going to give us actual explanations for things in the main show.  Yeah, good call.  To find out what you may or may not have missed since this didn't become the next Blade: The Series, read on...
The film begins...IN SPA-ACE!  A nameless voice says that he gave his powers to some kids (not shown), but hopes that he/she/it didn't make a mistake.

In lieu of showing us anything related to this all-powerful being, they give us an overview of the kid's powers.  They include super-speed (with rainbow trail)...
The ability to shrink (which is used to retrieve a retainer down a drain), telekinesis (which is too boring to show) and...
Whatever the hell this is.  Something to do with making a ball of energy or starting fires with your mind.

Seriously, doesn't she look like Drew Barrymore in Firestarter?
With a third of the run-time gone now, let's get to what little plot this 27-minute Pilot has.  One of the boys goes to a 'Haunted House' with some of his new classmates.

Wait- this is The Magic Christmas Tree!
The trio find an amulet-like thing and take it.  Later the same day (I think), it starts to glow.  This leads to...
Zordon on a rampage!  Rangers- shit is getting real!!!
It wouldn't be a superhero Film/Pilot without a Dutch Angle.  That is all.
The Film builds up dramatically to...three of the kids putting the amulet back on the painting.  Why the unexplained ghost is trying to stop them from doing EXACTLY WHAT IT WANTS is anyone's guess.

The Pilot ends with the kids playing and the parents none the wiser about how they're super-powered kids nearly died.  The End.
That was...understandably not picked up.  The whole idea is underdeveloped and could really have used another Script Treatment.  Who is the cosmic being?  What is his purpose?  When did he meet this kid?  Why aren't we shown this?  Who is the Ghost?  Why is he so upset?  Why was Orson Welles so upset?  Anyhow, this feels like a lost opportunity.  Kids with super-powers- interesting.  Kids with superpowers battling an evil ghost- even more interesting.  The Pilot- not at all interesting.  I can accept that they changed things- like removing Franklin Richards and making the kids all related-, but they did make some mistakes.  One of the big things in the Comics is that they kids hide their powers from their Parents.  In this film, they just already know.  Oh, that might have been interesting!  In summary, this is interesting as a bit of TV curiosity, but that's about it.  If you liked the Comics, there is very little appeal.  It is not as goofy or fun as other failed Marvel Pilots- two of which I gave out for Project Terrible- like Generation X or The Trial of the Incredible Hulk.  It is rare and weird, but that's it.  Fun Fact: The Director is apparently the same guy who played Colossus/Juggernaut on X-Men: The Animated Series and looks kind of like this...
Up next, I begin Project Terrible with a classic bit of 80s trash.  If you can't get E.T., you can at least get Ronald McDonald.  Stay tuned...

Hilariously-Misleading Cover Art; In the Name of the King 3

Okay, you've got to be kidding me!

Uwe Boll's In the Name of the King 3 sucked.  It doesn't matter what Cover you give it...although this goofy-ass one helps!
Ha!  Ha ha ha ha ha!!!

Where was I?  Oh, yeah...this shit.

I love that even in full-plate armor (sans helmet), Purcell still looks like he is thinking about his Tax Return.  Acting!

Grapple Toons: Scooby Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery

As a fan of Wrestling and Cartoons, I am technically this film's demographic.  I'm not 12 years old, so I'm a bit older than who they actually made it for.  I'm a kid at heart- although, legally I am allowed to buy booze.  So, with that in mind, let's look at today's Film: Scooby-Doo! Wrestlemania Mystery.  I'll give the confusing grammar a pass (is there a colon that I missed?) since this is a film for Kids.  It's tough, but I'll do it.  Do I need to explain what Scooby-Doo is all about?  Oddly-unaging teens (are they Highlanders?) go places and solve mysteries.  The WWE, meanwhile, is a multi-media Company that produces Wrestling Television for several hours a week, not to mention the WWE Network's back-catalog of footage from all of their previous rivals like WCW, ECW and WCCW.  Considering the history of Scooby-Doo crossovers (including Adam West Batman, The Harlem Globetrotters, the Addams Family and The 3 Stooges), it is no shock to see them team up with WWE Superstars/Wrestlers.  The Story involves a monster, a plot to stop Wrestlemania and a man used as a raft.  That one's for you, Bob.  While I really liked the last Scooby-Doo show, I'm not going to inherently-like this.  To find out if this is worth your time, read on...
In the film's Cold Open, The Miz (ugh) is attacked by Kane (yea!) and later by a Ghost Bear (double yea!).  Oh and the Film takes place in WWE City...which is a thing.
Scooby-Doo and Shaggy play a WWE Video Game on...the Kinect?  It works properly, so that can't be!

Anyhow, they win a trip to WWE City for Wrestlemania because...they made Sin Cara break dance.  Sure.
They run into John Cena on the way, who helps them get their car out of a ditch.  Daphne falls for him, while Scooby and Shaggy...imagine themselves as body-builders posing with him.  No homo?
They see some action, which includes Sin Cara breaking the laws of gravity with his 16 foot horizontal leap, Brodus Clay smashing someone who may be Christian and The Big Show (sadly, not voiced) smashing John Cena with a Picnic Table.

Kudos to them for lamp-shading the joke by having Michael Cole ask where he got it from.
Things get hairy when the WWE Title Belt is stolen and found in the possession of Scooby-Doo.  If you ever wanted to see that Scene from Entrapment, but with a Cartoon Dog, you are...just plain messed up in the head.

Seriously, get help!!!
While they get Counseling, I will tell you that the Gang join forces with John Cena to help solve the mystery.  This leads to the greatest moment in Animation History (according to Bob, anyhow)...
Scooby-Doo and Shaggy riding an unconscious John Cena like a toboggan!

Yeah, that happens.  The movie pretty much peaks here.  Nothing can top this!
The Climax (which I won't completely SPOIL) is so great that the gals from Young Justice (Wonder Girl, Artemis, Zatanna and Batgirl) are glued to the screen.

I can only guess that the Show used the same Animation Studio behind the Film (they are both by Warner Bros) and they snuck this one for no good reason.  Kind of funny though.
The Ghost Bear attacks Wrestlemania!  Can the day be saved?  To find out, watch the Movie.  The End.
Scooby-dooby do....give this one a chance.  Honestly, I have a low bar for most Scooby-Doo Films.  As a kid, I was not a fan.  I was old enough for the Original show and 'Movies' (the longer Episodes with Guest-Stars like Laurel and Hardy) to be played alot as part of a revival.  The new stuff with Scrappy-Doo- need I say anymore?  I did like The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo, if only for Vincent Price being on it.  Even just as the Voice of a guy I had no familiarity with, Price was just plain great.  It probably helped that he was in The Great Mouse Detective too.  After that, I mostly haven't cared.  Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated has inspired me to give this stuff a second (or third chance).  This one is pretty goofy and inoffensive.  One thing it has going for it is the use of the WWE Characters and Names.  Honestly though, they could have done more with it.  Leaving room for a Sequel?  The Casting is a bit odd and speaks of how far in advance these things are made.  Brodus Clay is one of the B-Players, while he is currently fighting people in the WWE's Training Grounds called nXt.  Sin Cara (a Luchador who spoke no English) is now played by a different guy (Hunico) that actually does speak English.  If more is done between the two licenses, it would be interesting to see more Wrestlers like Randy Orton (to see if he's less boring Animated), Rey Mysterio, Mark Henry, Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar.  If you're a WWE Fan, there are some good jokes hidden in there- like calling Vince McMahon 'The Higher Power'-, while there are others that are missed- how was there not a Smackdown Hotel?  If you're a Scooby-Doo fan, it is definitely worth a look.  I'll leave you with the Producers' inside joke of plastering their name all over a plaque...
Next up, I review a bad TV Pilot about Superheroes.  It is more obscure than anything I gave out for Project Terrible, so that could be good or bad.  Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Indy Crap: Nosferatu vs Father Pipecock and Sister Funk

To quote Jason Alexander quoting Woody Allen quoting Groucho Marx, 'I would never join any Club that would have me as a Member.'  Today's film is...ugh Nosferatu vs. Father Pipecock and Sister Funk.  Do I even need to say anything about that?  I didn't think so.  This Film was given to me as a special Invite to review.  Much like Parties, it is always nice to be invited...even if you may not want to go.  I did 'go' in this case and lived to regret it.  There's no sense suffering with no reward, so I might as well try to review it.  The Film is brought to you by Tex Watt, although he didn't do all of the work.  As you may have inferred, alot of work was actually done about 100 years ago by a crazy Director who made a great Vampire Film.  Tex's contribution: 'hilarious' re-dubbing, new footage of him and some topless ladies and...well, casual Racism.  You'll see.  This is mostly Nosferatu, only with some new crap to pretty much ruin it.  To see the end result (or as much as I could stand), read on...
Mr. Watt here seems to really like the whole Grindhouse Revival.  He's very subtle about it though, he says sarcastically.

Just to be safe, assume that most of what I say here is done sarcastically...assuming you don't already.
Here's your second Warning Sign: an indication that the New Footage was made by our Director.  Joy.
So yeah, it's Nosferatu...just with terrible Re-Dubbing Shaolin Dolemite-style.  Laugh- laugh damn it!!!
Despite the film being over 90 minutes long (no, really), Watt indulges in alot of Tell, Don't Show.

So, to sum the Film up so far: Ruining a good Movie, not being funny and cutting lots of corners.
Watt's new footage is made up of ladies acting like Vampires (in what appears to be his Living Room) and something that I won't show...
The titular Father is played by Watt in *wait for it* black-face.  I will spare you the visual.

Besides, I think that my Site will end up on some sort of List if I do.  It's better off this way.
I will not waste any more of your time trying to explain this.  Instead, I'll leave you with the Film's best effect. The End.
No, just no.  Seriously, just no.  This Film...this Film is just awful.  It is rude, crude and not funny.  What was the point of this?  Really- I want to know!  Did the Director think that a Film Classic- which is Public Domain now- wasn't complete without dick jokes, fart jokes and black-face.  As a side-note, how did the Film made in the 1920s (when black-face was acceptable) not have it, but the Film made in 2011 (when it is not) does?  That is just...just wow.  For the record, I accepted it in Tropic Thunder, since there was context and it wasn't treated as something good.  Here- it is just played for alleged laughs.  There is nothing good here.  I would like to get Invites/Screeners in the Future, but I would also like them to not suck so bad.  I will leave you with Mr. Watt's Thanks Page that 'Credits' a ton of good Directors (like Peter Weir and John Landis)...that would not endorse this shit...
Up next, an Animated film that combines Wrestling and a talking Dog.  Since WCW didn't have Scooby-Doo win the World Title back in the day, I'll have to settle for this.  Stay tuned...

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Lazy Rip-Off Cover Art: Asteroid vs Earth

A post about The Asylum- that's new!

One of this Studio's New Releases is a film called *wait for it* Asteroid vs Earth.  Check out the Box Art/Poster...
Why am I getting Deja Vu?  Does The Asylum have a history of ripping-off other Films?  Surely not!

Just for fun, let's check out this Poster...
I guess there are only so many ways you can make an Asteroid hit the Earth, but...maybe a different angle?  Do Asteroids have to come from the same direction given the MILLIONS of directions that the seemingly-infinite void of Space offers?

Two other points:

1. Spoiler Alert on your Box Art?
2. 'The Classic Sci-Fi Thriller Returns' you say?  Do you mean conceptually?  Because the Syfy Channel has been making Disaster Films non-stop for years!

You should know this- they do air ALL of your Films after all.  Weird.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Boll-Shit: In the Name of the King 3

Mocking this Film is worth the risk of Uwe Boll threatening my health.  Today's film is In The Name of the King: The Last Mission, since...we needed another one of them.  Let's sum this series up so far, shall we?  We shall.  In the first Film, Boll actually gave a shit and made a big-budget flop.  It is an odd mix of being funny (mostly Matthew Lillard) and just generic as hell.  The second Film is an actual Sequel...kind of.  Much like how The Scorpion King 3 (the 2nd film is a crappy Prequel) shit all over the Original by 'adding to it,' In the Name of the King 2 is a Time-Travel Film with Dolph as...Jason Statham's son?  Oh and he's also somehow Burt Reynolds' grand-son.  No, really.  So that's where we are?  I tell you all of that...even though it doesn't matter.  Granted- they don't use the number in the Title, but I'm still supposed to treat this like a Sequel, right?  According to the prerequisite Making Of Featurette, Boll was not too happy with the results of the last film.  He 'learned his lesson' and got (in his words) 'a better Lead.'  He also made the rest of the Cast up of Bulgarian Actors, since they already sound European and don't have to fake Accents.  That's Uwe Boll logic for you.  The Story involves Dominic 'I was in Prison Break' Purcell as a Hired Gun who gets zapped to what may or may not be the Land from the previous Films via stupidity.  Can this new Hero save the day and do the name of the King?  To find out, read on...
Purcell is a Hitman (wrong Franchise!) who is doing- wait for it- one last job: the Kidnapping of two young Heiresses.

Yeah, my 'last job' would totally be setting up two kids to be killed.  Our hero!
Fate intervenes, however, as he decides to take one of the girls' necklace and hold it up next to his matching tattoo.   The result: he gets sucked through Time (or to another Dimension...maybe)!
He is very confused when he's suddenly in the Woods.  He's even more confused when a Dragon shows up!

Speaking of confusion...
Purcell never musters more than a 3 on the Emotional Scale of 1-10 (11 being a manic Nic Cage).  He's just confused, bewildered or just generally-bored.

On top of that, his Character is just plain inept.  I guess it's more realistic than 'I'm suddenly a great Knight,' but why make him a Professional Killer then.  It's like one person wrote the beginning (where's he's good) and someone else wrote an 'unlikely hero' rest of the Film.  Weird.
Speaking of weird, the token Romance Sub-Plot has no build-up and no real pay-off.  Writing is power.
Sparing you alot of details (as it is a fairly-new Film), I will tell you that we get the token Forest Battle as well.  While Purcell is now a better Hero (thanks to roughly two days of basic Sword Training), he's still kind of bad.
The action spills back to our Time/World and the Dragon comes along.  Well, it is the only interesting thing in the Movie, so it might as well.
Fun Fact: the Boss in our Time/World and the evil would-be King are played by the same Actor.  If you think that there's any overt reference to this or any pay-off, you don't know Uwe Boll Films.

It's also worth noting that there is a matching pair of ladies in the Fantasy Time/World (but older) to the real one, but also no pay-off to that.  Are we going to blame this patchwork Script on the Writer's Strike from 2008 as well?
I won't SPOIL the Ending, but you can probably guess what happens.  However, there are some amazingly-dumb things that you may or may not guess.

Rent/buy at your own risk/leisure.  The End.
Wow, this is lame.  It was a hard task, but Boll made a film that was more disappointing than the last In the Name of the King Film!  Congratulations?  The Positives: The Dragon looks neat and the Bulgarian Forest is pretty.  That's it.  To be fair, the Dragon is not all that special, but the Effects are nice enough.  Everything else is either dull, disappointing or just plain bad.  This whole movie is just a series of 'meh' moments that just keep going until the Credits roll.  Boll has made passable Films (The Final Storm,Farcry), truly awful Films (Postal, Blubberella) and ones that just showed how little he cared (In the Name of the King 2, Bloodrayne 3).  This is definitely the latter, although it has some awful moments in it too.  According to the Featurette, he's proud of his 'Message Films' like Assault on Wall Street (also with Purcell) and Fist of the Reich.  Good for you- just to stick to making those instead!  Look what your shitty Directing is doing to poor Dominic Purcell here!
Next up, a film I was specifically-invited to Review.  I would be lying if I was happy to get the Invite by the time the film was over!  Stay tuned...

Old-School TV: Tales of Tomorrow- The Dark Angel

With my original source of this nearly-forgotten TV Show tapped (49 cents well-spent), I've had to resort to a new source.  I only Rented it, but it did give me two Episodes worth...
Going into this Episode, I was hoping for something neat and interesting to lure me back in.  I think that this one certainly sufficed...
A man has a Police Officer arrive at his Door.  The man confesses to the Murder of his Wife and proceeds to tell the Officer (who doesn't actually take him in- so polite) the story...
Long ago, the local Doctor pays a Visit to check on his Wife.  It seems that she has made a miraculous recovery from some bruised less than a week.  Hmm...that's certainly odd.

She's not Wolverine, is she?
She finally breaks the news to her husband: she's a great form of life and can't live with him anymore.

I guess 'It's not you, it's me' hadn't been invented by 1951, because your explanation is just weird!
Is the Story too tense for you?  Need to relax?

Never fear, as this DVD comes complete with the Start, Middle and End Ads for Jacques Kreisler Watch Bands.  The only company to box their items shaped like A GUN!
Back to the Story as the now-ex-Wife is a Scientist and he tracks her down.  Thanks, convenient Exposition Tribune!
He finds her and tries to convince her to come back.  She's very much in the 'no' category here.
After she tells him that 'normal people' like him will be replaced, he does the only logical thing: he shoots her to death.

Want to see how TV Standards have changed?  They can't actually show her being shot, even if it was not going to have blood or anything.
Ready for the twist?  I know that you are.
Officer No Arrest is not actually a Cop!  That does actually explain alot, to be honest.
No, he is actually one of these 'advanced' people and he reveals that the Wife is not really dead (I guess they are bullet-proof like the guys in What Planet Are You From?)...but he will be!  The End.
That was an interesting one, that's for sure.  What I look for in Tales of Tomorrow Episodes is ones that stand on their own (like Frankenstein) or ones that tell a unique Story.  This one is certainly the latter.  I also like to look at these and think 'I wonder if they've ever been done again?'  Considering the fact that there has been about 2,004 Sci-Fi/Horror Anthology Shows since this one.  Feel free to leave a comment or something if it has.  The Episode is obviously-lacking when it comes to Special Effects.  If you're new to these, the Episodes are basically just Live Short Plays.  Can you imagine shooting The Twilight Zone or Masters of Horror on Live Television?  The balance for the shows is giving you enough interesting stuff without teasing you.  An Episode about people trapped in a building with some sort of Spirit- good.  An Episode about Godzilla attacking the City just out of view- not good.  While the Episode is lacking in any real explanation, it is still a neat Story.  If you can accept them for what they are, you can enjoy good Episodes like this.  Fans of Old School TV/Sci-Fi definitely need to track down Episodes like this one.  Plus, there's this totally-real gun case...

Up next, a tale about Aliens up to no good.  Can one Reporter find the Saucers and expose the truth?  Stay tuned...