Monday, July 31, 2017

Moon Over Miami: Meridian (1990)

I'd say about two years is long enough to wait.  Not counting a Screener Review (which, BTW, they only sent me Episode 1 of!), I haven't done Full Moon since September 2015.  To be fair, I've done ALOT of Full Moon in the past.  After getting a 'Here is 8 Movies- Enjoy' Set recently, I have one more to do- 1990's Meridian.  I don't know much about it, as it isn't a Full Moon Film that went on to have spin-offs and/or Sequels.  Somehow we are up to around 15 Puppet Master Films and even about 5 Killjoy Films.  In spite of that, this one is a one-and-done.  Why Bad Channels got to tie-in into another Film and this didn't is anyone's guess.  The Plot involves a strange painting, two ladies, a traveling Circus and evil(ish) twins.  It is all so very *yawn* exciting.  To find out how it all plays out, read on...
Somewhere in Italy, this totally-not-evil portal signals the arrival of some totally-not-evil people.
Somewhere else in Italy, a painting is discovered and given to our co-Heroine to uncover the real one behind it.  I'm sure it is not evil or anything.
The woman is able to visit her friend- Audrey from Twin Peaks- and they decide to a Show...
 Those same totally-not-evil people are in a Traveling Circus.  The friend is so impressed that she invites them over for dinner (in her friend's Castle FYI).

What could go wrong?
Oh right.

They are both drugged and taken against their will, our Heroine ending up with a more...hairy guy.
Now back in the Castle for good, 'Audrey' starts seeing visions again, the same ones that led to her being sent away years ago.

I'm sure that there's nothing to this, right?
She eventually is told the truth: her family is connected to the evil people.  She wasn't told this earlier, since she 'had to learn for herself.'  Well, at least nothing bad happened as a consequence!!!

Basically, the women in the family line are cursed to be drawn to the two men- one good and one evil.  The scary-looking one is actually the good one- twist!

Oh and the furry guy is the good side of the Circus' Leader (or something).
In the End, the Painting leads the friend to return and the pair save 'Audrey' from being sacrificed.  The Werewolf-looking one makes the final shot.

However, the Circus people must now return home...apparently...and that's it.  The End.
A lot of style, but little substance.  Meridian is clearly meant to look and feel like a Fairy Tale.  To a certain extent, it works.  The Film has a somewhat-otherworldly feel to it at times.  Other than that, it is mostly just a shallow and silly Film.  It has a faux air of importance, but nothing to justify it.  It looks nice most of the time, helped immensely by the Setting.  They shot the whole thing in Italy with a mix of Italian Actors- for the minor Roles- and American ones- for the important ones.  It creates a nice air of beauty as Italy is a damn beautiful place.  On top of that, the Music is nice and pretty.  It was nice enough to be re-used at least 4 times by Full Moon, in fact!  The only real drawback to the Italian setting is the awkward mix of English and Italian.  It will just sort of change mid-scene and at random.  On top of that, they also don't make the Geography of it all clear sometimes.  For example, the Priest that finds the painting that our Co-Heroine is working on later shows up as a Priest talking to 'Audrey.'  They make a big show of how her friend has to make the trip by train to see her at the Castle...but I guess the Church is close?  It is a nit pick, I admit.  All in all, Meridian is a nice-looking, but kind of empty Film that wants to seem important.  It is still far better than any Evil Bong or Gingerdead Man Film though, so points!  Speaking of, let's keep this Film nice and classy...
Next time, I return to Japan for some insanity.  I've been holding on to some stuff for a while, so maybe I should check it out.  Stay tuned...

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Twin Piqued: Part 9

After the insanity of last Week, can it return to normalcy?  Is that even a thing?
Important Moments
- BOB Cooper meets up with his henchmen (1/4 of The Hateful Eight!) & sends them to take out Dougie Cooper and The Warden.
- Dougie stares at a flag and, later, a socket.  Oh and we learn that he suddenly just appeared in 1997.
- Hawk, New Truman and Bobby (back on the Show!) meet with the latter's Mother, who says that Major Briggs predicted this.  A weird device leads to the revelation of 2 Coopers.
- The Las Vegas PD study the recent event with the Little Person Killer and Dougie Cooper.  They take a DNA Sample, but get distracted by the chance to arrest the former.
- The FBI looks at the body and confirms that it can't be Briggs, but it was the same age that he might have been when he was presumed dead.
- 'Shaggy' is back!  He is questioned by the FBI and tells a tale of meeting the Major in another Dimension.  Alright.
I think the most simple one to go with is Planning...
- Major Briggs planned 25 years ahead for the meeting.
- Major Briggs also made plans to elude BOB.  This dead guy is busy!
- BOB Cooper makes plans to kill Dougie- again.
- The LVPD makes plans to look into Dougie.
Weird Moment(s)
This one is certainly a harder one to do than last Week!

Runner-up: the random Scene of Andy and Lucy debating over a Chair to buy online.  Why?
The Winner: Jerry Horne imagining (or not) that his foot is talking to him.

I mean, how could it not?
Well, it is more in line with the rest of the Series so far.  We didn't get a forty-ish minute backstory the hell out of nowhere.  Instead, it was more of what I have come to expect.  A little Plot dripped in amongst a bunch of strange moments and Plot Threads that aren't touched at all for long stretches.  Remember that whole bit with the kid being hit by the Truck?  The Show hasn't touched it since that one bit in Episode 7 with Andy.  Instead of working the case, he's here for a comedy bit with Lucy.  We did finally get some more information on the whole bit with Matthew Lillard, someone we haven't seen since EPISODE 2!  The whole thing is still a bit vague, but we at least get some more information, even if it involves inter-dimensional travel.  There's clearly something going on with the whole Briggs-BOB Cooper angle.  We'll see how well Lynch can play it out given that one of the main players died nearly a Decade ago.  I do have to mention the Show's penchant for weird, seemingly-non-sequitur bits- especially in the Bar.  The last thing you see here isn't some big reveal or tease- it is two Women in a Bar complaining about their jobs.  Maybe this will lead somewhere, but maybe it won't.  I want to trust David Lynch on this stuff, but he makes it hard sometimes.  Speaking of trust, is it me or is this actually Stock Footage from the previous Season?
Next time, will we get more answers?  Will we get less random, nonsensical Scenes?  See you then...

Friday, July 28, 2017

Hulu Hoopz: The Handmaid's Tale- Episode 8

We're back in the present as the Show nears its Finale.  What will happen?
In the wake of finding out the big news from 2 Episodes back (as last week was all Flashback), Offred/June struggles with what to do next.
In the Flashbacks, we see how the Driver got initiated into the Order that eventually took over the United States.

Watching this Episode the same day as a Video about Wanted makes me see comparisons that I never expected to see!
In the Present, Offred is taken outside of the border lines to a strange place.  Who will see find there?
After all of that, Offred/June tries to renew her faith and desire to gain her freedom.  What will happen next?
A good Episode, even if some Plot Threads are still left dangling.  This one takes you back with a different view of the coup that turned America into Mike Pence's wet dream.  Instead of just seeing the people directly involved, we see someone on the peripheral to give us more perspective.  Yeah, the Commander is sad that his wife's book is now banned, but he still negotiated the terms of how Handmaids are raped AND worked on the language to make the wives more accepting.  What a swell fella!  You also see even more of the hypocrisy of those that 'saved the Nation' as they violate their own rules since 'they're only human.'  It's nice to see characters evolve like this.  At the start of the Show, these people were straight up misogynistic assholes.  Later on, it seemed more like they were just religious zealots.  Now it is more clear- they are religious zealots that are also misogynistic assholes!  All in all, the Episode definitely works and makes me want toe see where this is going.  Just to put the quality of the Show into context now, this is something else that 'The Commander' was in...
Next time, the Season Finale.  Will my questions be answered more clearly than American Gods?  See you then...

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Triple B Flix: Hard Hunted (1992)

Well, I've delayed this one long enough.  A while back, I took some time on one my days off from work to watch another Sidaris Film.  I'm getting closer to the end!  This is Hard Hunted, a 1992 Film whose Title seems like it would work better with the last Film.  This one is part of the 'Series within a Series' as it is one of three Films in which they battle Kane.  Sadly, it is still not the Wrestler.  The Plot involves the theft of a MacGuffin that Kane wants and everyone wants him not to have.  All of your favorite Characters are back!  I still don't remember most of their names, but they are here.  This one does a bit of an odd turn with one Character however.  I won't get into it just yet, but you'll see.  Is this more of the same or does something new happen?  To find out, read on...
So you remember how Pat Morita played 'Kane' last time.

Well, now he's this guy.  They just throw it out there and you have to accept it!
After the last Film, Kane is being watched by everyone.  When he steals a device that will help trigger a Nuke, they use their Agents to steal it.

To be super-subtle, a Talk Radio Host gives out not-so-subtle cues to the Agents.  Listen to the Radio, Kane!
Said Agent makes it to Arizona to meet with our Heroines...and is immediately shot to death when she gets there.

To be fair, she did wear that Squib Plate for no good reason!
So I guess Al Leong is back!  He's a new, not-dead bad guy who works for Kane.  Incidentally, the Villain brands all of his stuff (including that Jacket on the Film Logo).

Wait- did he produce the Film too?!?  That is his Logo and Film Adaptations of Missions are in-canon here.
So it becomes a multi-tiered battle for ownership of the MacGuffin.  Dona here is super-badass as she blows up a plane with a grenade, parachutes out to safety and...

...hits her head on a rock, instantly giving herself amnesia.  What in the what?!?
She hands up in the hands of The Guy Who Is In All of These, but he also tries to get more money than Kane will offer.

Oh and there's a Double Agent too.
There is one slight change here.  There are only THREE pointless Sex Scenes in the Film with our Leads.  Here's what makes it worse though...

That bottom one- that is with the Double Agent essentially Date Raping the amnesiac Dona!
She eventually gets her memories back, kills him with a Machete and eventually blows up Leong in his Helicopter.  If only it wasn't hanging on that wire!
To wrap things up, they let Kane get away AGAIN and their main Undercover Agent is still there.  See you in the Finale.  The End.
Mostly-forgettable, but still alright.  This one is okay.  It is just okay.  As I said before, the Plot really fits Do or Die better than Hard Hunted, so the Films really should have inverted Titles.  My best guess is that Sidaris came up with this Title too late and just 'had' to use it.  The basic Plot is fine, but just that- basic.  It is just a pretense for Action Scenes and Nudity- nothing more.  Now I have to address the odd things.  First- no Pat Morita.  I can't find anything on WHY he's not in this, but he did appear in 6 FILMS in 1992.  All I can figure is that he was done in one, but Sidaris didn't know it.  Instead of making this guy a new Villain who was perhaps Kane's Son, they just reshot one bit (the Agent giving Kane the necklace) to gaslight people into thinking he was always the Actor.  It is weird, but ultimately-meaningless.  Besides, I didn't have to hear about Pat Morita being 'excited' this time, so win-win.  Secondly, Dona's Arc.  It is just kind of weird to have her be a useless amnesiac for half of the Film.  I guess they make up for it by having her save the day.  It was just a weird choice for Sidaris to make.  Weird re-casting and use of an Actress aside, Hard Hunted is just alright.  It still doesn't quite know how to justify the Nudity.  For example, she's on the Radio...but needs to be topless in a hot tub?  Really?!?
Next time, I continue to dig through the random Films I've ended up with.  How about a Full Moon rarity for a change?  Stay tuned...

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Impossibly-Cool Cover Art: The Night of the Sharks

I feel like I should have seen this Movie by now.  Have I seen this Movie by now?

Who knows for sure?

In any event, Italy makes this look good!
 Flying Shark!  Giant Shark!  The Water is the sky!

I love it.

I didn't have to do much to the original, but here it is...

Does the Movie live up to it?

Quick Reviews: Sharknado- The 4th Awakens

Why couldn't Rifftrax do this one for me?!?  In any event, it is Shark Week and there's another one of these coming out, so...damn me to Hell...
After the 'Cliffhanger' Ending of the last Film, we get...a Parody Title Crawl and lazy Exposition.

Basically, this guy has made Pulse Weapon Towers that somehow instantly stop Tornados.  He also got The 'Hoff off of the Moon, rendering that Plot Point all the more silly.
Naturally, once Finn goes to Vegas (an 18 hour drive in 2 seconds)...a Sharknado happens.  How?

A Sand Storm hits the same Billionaire's Hotel that was full of Sharks.  The hurts!
Cue the same old crap.  'Celebrities' (like Susan Anton, Adrian Zmed and Brian Faustino) show up to die via Shark.

However, more Celebrities show up to just hang around, like Al Roker (since Matt Lauer learned his lesson), David Hasselhoff and...Gary Busey.
To up the ante, we get a series of new Sharknado variations.  I hope you enjoy names like Oilnados, Firenados and Bouldernados.

Yes, Bouldernados.  It is too bad someone already owns Stonados, huh?
If there was any doubt that this Series was just plain stupid, just watch this GIF.
No, I won't explain that one.  At all.

On the plus side, Gilbert Gottfried.  I'll take what I can get.  The End.
Dumb.  Stupid.  Pointless.  All of these are descriptions for this Film that feel appropriate.  I sat in front of my Computer (since I'd rather not announce that I'm watching it while it is happening) and must have flipped off my Screen at least 4x.  It isn't funny.  It isn't dramatic.  It is just dumb.  You 'jumped the Shark' even more than the last time.  Just a reminder- the last one had Sharks in Space!!!  This one also loves to make 'jokes' out of 'I referenced a Movie.'  You get The Wizard of Oz, The Terminator, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and others.  I could be watching Terminator: Genisys instead of this- what do I choose?!?  The whole thing is just plain dumb and I can't be bothered to say anymore.  If this is Comedy to you, be my guest.
An absolutely-silly train wreck.  For me, it was just nonsense that actually looks WORSE than the other ones did.  Skip.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Impossibly-Rare Cover Art: Jaws

I've done ALOT of Jaws Covers in the Past.  I've lost count (which is why I Tag them).

This one is special for a number of reasons though.

1st- it is a Teaser Poster.
2nd- it has to be quite rare.  I look for this stuff all the time and only found it this one time.
3rd- it is mysterious.

See for yourself...
What a neat one.

Given that I wasn't alive to see the hype for Jaws, I don't know if it is was super-common-knowledge that it was a Killer Shark Film.  I'd like to think that it wasn't, making this Teaser Poster all the more special.

For posterity, here is the original I found online...
I'm pretty sure that someone has kept this Canvas Poster in storage for way too long, hence the fold and dirt on it.

I consider it my honor to make it a bit nicer for you, the Internet.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Lost in Translation?: Alien 2- On Earth

With more news about the future of the Alien Franchise, let's look back at an alternate-language Poster for an Alien Film rip-off.

I've heard worse set-ups.
Honestly kind of effective.  It shows you so little...and so does the Movie.

It's not lying, I guess.

Oh and here's the untouched Version...
Yeah, I changed a few things.  I think we can all agree that they were for the better though.

Okay, maybe not the Rainbow Tint.  I just like that one.

Twin Piqued: Part 8

So here's an Episode where a lot happens...and almost nothing happens.  Enjoy.
Important Moment(s)
- BOB Cooper and Ray flee the Jail, only for the former's betrayal of the latter to backfire.  He's shot and, well, explain this for me, Wikipedia- "Ghostly men tear at his body, revealing a sac with BOB's face."
- For no clear reason, a performance by "The" Nine Inch Nails.  FYI- Trent Reznor has an Oscar (for Best Score for The Social Network) and David Lynch doesn't.
- We see a Flashback to 1945 where the Atomic Bomb is tested.  This leads to a long, silent bit with The Giant (aka ???????), the lady inside the Lodge and...well, stuff like this....
- In 1956, a bunch of crazy-ass stuff happens that is supposed to be the origin of BOB.  You're up again, Wikipedia:  "a creature hatches from an egg. A woodsman descends to the ground, then enters a radio station and kills the receptionist. Overpowering the disc jockey, he repeatedly broadcasts the words "This is the water and this is the well. Drink full and descend. The horse is the white of the eyes and dark within," rendering listeners unconscious. The creature enters an unconscious girl's room and climbs down her throat. The woodsman kills the disc jockey and leaves."
Make of that what you will.
Theme(s), I guess Rebirth.
- BOB Cooper is killed, but then reborn (somehow).
- Life is created and then reborn in 1956 (maybe).
Weird Moment(s)
Is it a cheat to say 'Everything after the first 10 minutes?'  Well, it isn't to me and it wins.
'The Giant' floats and apparently creates...
...Laura Palmer (apparently) and...
...sends her to Earth via a Dr. Seuss device and a magic Movie Screen.
So this sure was random.  A tiny bit of Plot with BOB Cooper and then forty-minutes of weird-ass stuff in the 1940s and '50s.  Hobo Ghosts, killer Woodsmen (who look like the Ghosts from We Are Still Here), a BOB bug, magic words that make people pass out and more.  What in the helling hell?!?  Clearly Lynch was inspired to use more stuff like he did from Eraserhead here.  Aside from the obvious questions, here is another- why are we getting a BOB Origin Story in the 38th Episode of the Series?  The whole thing is just plain bonkers.  Even the seemingly-prerequisite Musical Number takes place way early just to screw with you.  This is mostly the interesting kind of crazy, but does get a bit repetitive at one point.  So we see the Atom Bomb stuff and then we see Mr. ?????? wake up, walk to a Screen and then watch him watch it!  Don't be a dick, David.  If you like Lynch's experimental madness, this is for you.  If you don't, you'll be very lost and very confused.  Just another reminder: this is the only Oscar WINNER on Twin Peaks ever AFAIK)...
Next time, well, who knows at this point?  It could be Plot-driven or more of this insanity.  See you then...