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The MFF Podcast #9: Talking about the best cinematic jerks and horror films of 1995

April 27, 2015

Hello all. Mark here!

The MFF podcast is back and we are examining the 1995 cinematic landscape. We talk about the subpar horror films of 1995 and examine the jerkiness of all the cinematic jerks. No stoned is left unturned as we talk about Empire Records, Species, Demon Night, Tommy Boy and Candy Man’s bees.

rexm

Yuck. Dude was a massive jerk.

We also discuss Kurt Russell, rumors that aren’t rumors and somebody says “Keyser Soze was a three-toed sloth.” We also answer three fantastic listener questions.

1. What would be the most evenly matched female superhero vs. female super villain battle?

2. What is your favorite cinematic meal?

3. Why do people like Donnie Darko?

You can download the pod on Itunes or you can stream it on the Shark Dropper website.

If you get a chance please rate, review and share the pod! If you have any random cinematic questions please ask and we shall answer!

Planes, Trains and Chris Evans: Analyzing the similarities of Snowpiercer, Sunshine and Captain America

April 23, 2015

Hello all. Mark here.

It all started with the Chris Evans fire and ice films. Snowpiercer and Sunshine are two fantastic movies that feature something irregular. In Sunshine he helps reignite the sun but he freezes to death. In Snowpiercer he is living in a cold post-apocalyptic world yet he burns up in an explosion. These two deaths got me thinking about his other films affected by fire and ice.

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Chris Evans fantastic Four

Captain America frozen

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I started to look at his superhero/comic book/science fiction history and I started noticing more similarities. I compiled them together and churned out this cheeky post. I understand that some of these similarities stretch further than Reed Richards. However, they are worth noting and will make you sound more pretentious whilst talking about films (or prove you have lots of free time).

If you join Chris Evans on a train attack you will die

Chris Evans has lead two successful train attacks. In Captain America: The First Avenger he captured Dr. Arnin Zola but lost his best friend Bucky. In Snowpiercer he did better than imagined and got everybody killed. What do the train attacks have in common? They both take place in cold weather and his best friends die. Basically, the other people are red shirts waiting to get wiped out.

Jaime Bell snowpiercer

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There are also long term consequences of the attacks. In Captain America Bucky survives the mile long fall and becomes the Winter Soldier. Also, Zola gets captured and ends up integrating Hydra into the world. Many people die because of his train attacks.

Captain America train

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When Chris Evans saves the day he becomes an ice cube or freezes to death

In Captain America and Sunshine his heroics save millions but he finds himself entombed in an ice cube or freezing while close to the sun. He knowingly risks his life for the greater good and ends up really cold.

Sunshine Chris Evans freezing

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He has some pretty sweet shields

In Push he can create shields at the molecular level in order to deflect bullets and bad dialogue. His shield in Captain America is made of the impenetrable material Vibranium and can be used as a boomerang or sled if he is bored. The spaceship’s shield in Sunshine is so incredible it can block the sun’s rays and solar winds. These three shields are pretty amazing and totally not possible.

sunshine spaceship

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Something bad always happens aboard an aircraft

Fantastic Four – People go into space. People get bombed by gamma rays.

Sunshine – Only on a Chris Evans mission will you be attacked by a sun burnt Colonel Kurtz type villain.

Avengers – I could watch Captain America and Iron Man bicker all day (You are selfish! You are old!). They are polar opposites who team up to beat up a greater evil. However, flying  destruction was used as a plot device to bring the two characters together. The two had to fix a helicarrier engine in order to prevent death from above. How many poor folks were smooshed because team work had to be established?

Captain America: Captain America crashes an aircraft and becomes an ice cube.

Captain America 2: Winter Soldier: That dang train mission proved to be a pain in the butt.

plane crashing captain america 2

 

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The final boss is a red-faced/burnt man

In Captain America and Sunshine the main foes were Red Skull and a human third degree burn named Pinbacker. They are completely different but you get the point.

Sunshine pinbacker

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Incredible pieces of machinery get destroyed

The train in Snowpiercer was an incredible work of art. It was a 24/7 perpetual moving machine that stayed on the tracks no matter what. It got destroyed. The spacecraft in Sunshine was capable of transporting a crew to the sun while carrying a massive explosive payload.  It blew up. The aircraft in Captain America was so advanced in 1945 it would be advanced today. It crashed into a snowy abyss.

Snowpiercer train

 

He is really good at fighting goons in close quarters

If you’ve watched Captain America 2 and Snowpiercer you know that Evans can kick butt in tiny spots. Whether he is brawling in a train car or in an elevator he always manages to eek out a victory.

captain america elevator fight

Snowpiercer train fight

 

He overperforms against all odds

He did the impossible when he rallied the train folk to take out the goons and gun toting crew of the Snowpiercer. Also, in Captain America he was a tiny little fella who became a super soldier because he could outsmart and out heart anybody in the field. The dude is so inventive he makes the impossible possible.

Captain America flag

Cap getting flag

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He will use his body to save lives

He was willing to jump on a grenade to save troops in Captain America. In Snowpiercer he wrapped his arms around Yona in order for her to survive (and maybe be eaten by a polar bear). Dude is totally selfless and will hurt himself to save others.

Captain America grenade

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His films almost always involve some kind gamma, vita, ultraviolet rays. 

The dude has experienced a lot of rays in Captain America, Fantastic Four and Sunshine. 

Vita rays captain america

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There you have it! If there are any similarities I missed let me know!

Wolfcop: An Alcoholic Werewolf in Canada

April 23, 2015

Wolfcop movie poster

We gotta lay low because there is a guy running around without a face. like literally, you ripped off his face

face rip off wolfcop

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Wolfcop tells the age-old tale of an alcoholic police officer turned vigilante werewolf cop. This soon to be Canadian cult classic is a simple little thing that knows what it is and gives people what they want. What do people want? They want a cop to turn into a werewolf and battle shape shifting small town inhabitants. Wolfcop never takes itself seriously and even as faces are being ripped off the likability is evident.  It is 75 minutes of blood, beer and boobs. It isn’t a grimy Hobo With a Shotgun style shocker and it is far more enjoyable than the Machete films.

What is the plot? Basically, occult people choose the local town idiot and turn him into a werewolf via a blood ritual. They plan on using his blood during an eclipse but they messed with the wrong furry mother f***er. Tides are turned a whole lot of squishy practical effects break out. Did I mention the wolf loves beer?

Wolfcop beer

Werewolf purists might be furious that this Canadian film messes with every werewolf convention. However, if you went into Wolfcop looking for werewolf purism this is not the movie for you. Director Lowell Dean makes the proceedings so likable you can’t help but smile as the incredibly silly movie unfolds. Where else will you see a sidekick apologize for the werewolf blowing up a meth lab?

Wolfcop is a cheeky little thing that wears its niceness on it shoulders. I’m not saying this is a G-rated romp about a kindly werwolf cop. The film earns its R-rating and if you love gore you will love how the first transformation happens. Faces are ripped off, heads are decapitated and meth labs explode. There is a Cinemax style wolf/woman sex scene and you learn alien shapeshifters enjoy poking out eyeballs. If you are looking for a fun midnight movie this will not disappoint. There is just enough plot to make it work and the film is a brisk 78 minutes of Canadian goodness.

Sit back, relax and enjoy a bloody good time.

 

 

Inherent Vice: A Fantastic Crime Story That is Dazed and Confused

April 21, 2015

Inherent Vice banner

Inherent Vice can be appreciated as a breezy experience or studied as a work of art. The book adaptation lives and breathes on the screen in a way only Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master, Punch Drunk Love, There Will Be Blood) can create. I love that Anderson is the first person to adapt a Thomas Pynchon novel and you can see he is having fun with the material. IV plays like Big Lebowski met Chinatown and spawned a hybrid variation that is still very much Anderson.

Inherent Vice starts like any other noir/crime story. A beautiful woman named Shasta (Katherine Waterson) comes back into the life of our detective hero and he is sent into the shady underground of 1970s Los Angeles. From there it twists and turns like other crime stories but stands out because of Anderson’s direction and Joaquin Phoenix’s performance as Larry “Doc” Sportello. I love that our hero is an incredibly stoned yet capable man. He navigates the seedy world as the straight man and he is put through the wringer. He is shaggy, doped up and has sideburns a guy nicknamed “sideburns” would be jealous of. His laid back demeanor actually works for him because who would ever think a little stoned hippy would be any trouble?

Inherent Vice hair

As he works his way through corrupt cops, dirty dentists, drug addicts, angry children and weird cults it all becomes wonderfully muddled. I know a lot of people were confused by the film but I rolled with it. I loved watching Doc react to the world around him. When a massively side burned Joaquin Phoenix is the straight man in your film you know you are doing something right. Phoenix’s laid back charm allows Josh Brolin, Jena Malone and Benecio Del Toro to thrive. They are my favorite supporting characters amongst the many supporting characters. As always Anderson finds a way to makes characters three-dimensional in one scene. The initial description of Josh Brolin’s character Christian F. “Bigfoot” Bjornsen tells you everything you need to know about the guy.

Well Mornin’ Sam, like a bad luck planet in today’s horoscope, here’s the old hippie-hating mad dog himself in the flesh: Lieutenant Detective Christian F. “Bigfoot” Bjornsen. SAG member, John Wayne walk, flat top of Flintstone proportions and that evil, little shit-twinkle in his eye that says Civil Rights Violations.

Inherent Vice feels alive and that is rare nowadays. Anderson lets the train roll off the tracks and films the aftermath. Many of today’s films feel managed (think Marvel) or familiar (Sequels, prequels, remakes). I know Anderson is adopting a book but he is adapting a bonkers book. I watch so many films that instantly leave my brain when the final credits roll. Today, I found myself thinking about IV and laughing as I ran through the crazy moments. The performances are so strong and the world is so vivid I can still see most of the frames in my head. I want to watch it again in order to catch-all the sight gags I missed.

Inherent Vice is a fantastic film that will live long in my memory. If you watch it remember to sit back, relax and embrace the absurdity and humor.

 

 

 

 

The MFF Podcast #8: An exploration of 50 Shades of Grey and when saving the day goes wrong

April 20, 2015

Hello all. Mark here.

Episode 8 of the “new and noteworthy” (thank you Itunes) and Audible sponsored podcast is here!

MFF Pod

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In this episode we answer listener questions like “who wins in a fight? The Rock in Walking Tall or The Rock in The Rundown?” While answering the questions our wonderful host Lasavath accidentally comes up with a beautiful poem entitled “The Rock is hot for Sean William Scott.” From there we talk about 50 Shades of Grey and when saving the day goes wrong. It is a spirited discussion that showcases what MFF does best. We appreciate all aspects of cinema and explore the randomness that it has to offer.

Knock out

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You can download the podcast on Itunes or you can stream it on the Sharkdropper website.  If you have an Android phone check out the app called Onecast. It makes listening to pods even easier!

If you get a chance please rate, review and share the podcast! We appreciate your listenership and want to continue to build upon the randomness.

10 Questions about the Summer Blockbusters

April 19, 2015

Hello all. Mark here.

The summer season is upon us and I have many questions. It seems no matter how much money or talent is behind the camera there are always plot holes, reshoots and unanswered questions. I continue to watch the big budget summer fare because there is nothing better than experiencing a home run like Fast Five on the big screen. When a director and crew can balance mainstream appeal with lofty ideas it is a thing of magic. Last year Edge of Tomorrow and Interstellar knocked my socks off and proved to be amazing theatrical experiences.

The 2015 summer blockbuster trailers raised a lot of questions. The following post dares to ask the random questions so you don’t have to.

 

1. Is it just me or does the new Avengers movie have WAY too many characters? 

I trust Joss and I think he can juggle the characters. However, it seems like Marvel is throwing up 50 balls and expecting him to keep them all in the air. The original kept it relatively simple with one villain, several heroes and weird flying tremors. The sequel has Ultron, Vision, Scarlett Witch, Quicksilver, Falcon, Rhodey, Baron Strucker Ulysses Claw, Avengers, Nick Fury, Maria Hill, Loki and Heimdall. Good luck!

Avengers age of Ultron poster

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2. Who wins? The earthquake or The Rock

I know normal denizens will be wiped off the earth but you have to wonder how The Rock will do. I almost feel bad for the earthquake. The earthquake was being an earthquake and will most likely catch a Rock Bottom for its troubles.

San Andreas

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3. What happens if the Jurassic World dinosaur leaps a little to the right? 

I still can’t shake how poorly executed this sea beast enclosure is. What if the dinosaur leaps into the stands? How deep is the tank? Where are the ponchos? Why isn’t The Rock riding it? They will need much more than one shark to feed that thing. They can create dinosaurs from mosquito remains yet risk billions in lawsuits because of potential “Sea beast crushing.”

Jurassic World Sea beast

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4. Will Ant-Man’s small-scale property destruction be the next big thing? 

Ant-Man looks like a mess but I love the toy train destruction. Finally, something small gets wiped out. I’m hoping that Rudd and crew are able to pull this film off because I love the idea of something different in the Marvel universe.

toy train antman

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5. How do you become a Fury Road post-apocalyptic guitar player? 

I get that music is great for intimidation. However, did this guy try out for the job? Was there a Whiplash or Drumline style tryout period? What song is he playing?

Mad Max fury road guitar

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6. Is it just me or is the new Terminator poster trying to take your attention away from the word Genisys?

The new Terminator films looks like a hot mess. It hasn’t been aided by the title Genisys. I love the cast but it all looks so stock and unnecessary. Also, with the latest poster I feel like they are trying to hide the word “Genisys.”

terminator poster

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7. Is Tom Cruise human? 

The answer is “No.” He might be a Highlander. The dude hangs out on the side of a taking off plane and looks totally comfortable. What if a bird hit him? I can’t wait for the next Mission Impossible.

Tom Cruise hanging on plane Rogue

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8. Will Fantastic Four be clobbered before it gets released? 

Does the studio hate it? Was Josh Trank in over his head? Why all the reshoots? Can you really mess up a cool story inhabited with fantastic young actors? I loved Chronicle and I hope this film takes off so we don’t get the inevitable reboot.

FF4

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How will Pitch Perfect make the change from sleeper hit to expected blockbuster? 

It all started as a word of mouth sensation that blew up in theaters and exploded on DVD. How will the sequel hold up under the big time microscope? Will it adhere to the bigger is better sequel tropes? Will Fat Amy be less of a character and more of a force of nature? I really hope the sequel is good because I love the original.

Pitch Perfect 2

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Will Spy be more Bridesmaid/Get Smart than Tammy/The Heat?

I love Get Smart and Bridesmaids. The Heat and Tammy were soul crushing. I love Melissa McCarthy when she plays a three-dimensional character and not a loud version of herself (AKA Tammy).

Spy movie

 

John’s Horror Corner: The Voices (2014), a gory dark comedy with Ryan Reynolds as a likable schizophrenic whose cat urges him to kill people.

April 18, 2015

the-voices-teaser-poster

MY CALL:  Definitely not for everyone.  This film is sweet and funny, but it has its Texas Chainsaw moments, too.  It’s a cute little murderous movie.  MOVIES LIKE The VoicesMaybe American Psycho (2000), which is much smarter and more serious.

Ryan Reynolds (RIPD, Safe House, Green Lantern) seems to be supportive of indie and experimental films.  The Captive and Buried presented him with new challenges, and I suppose The Nines and Finder’s Fee presented some different styles to try to round him out as an actor.  His latest non-mainstream endeavor is The Voices, in which he plays the voices of his Scottish-accented cat Mr. Whiskers, his dog Bosco, a weird Bunny Monkey sock puppet, and a dying deer his character hits with a car.  It’s like a slasher-Psycho version of Eddie Murphy’s The Nutty Professor.

THE-VOICESb

The cat is menacing; the dog, warm-hearted. Like having a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, Bosco is everything good in Jerry whereas Mr. Whiskers exudes the evil from the darkest corners of Jerry’s psyche.

If that sounds a bit odd to you, your suspicions are correct.  This film is odd.  Were it not for my being a Ryan Reynolds fan, I’d probably have spent the first 20 minutes of this movie wondering if renting it was a mistake.  That said, the story does find its legs and gains some traction.  It doesn’t end up anywhere great, but it certainly turned out to be something interesting.  At the very least, it’s a story you have not seen told before (not like this anyway).

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Meet Jerry…sitting alone talking to a goldfish bowl in a Chinese restaurant.  Story of his life.

Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) is a sweet, likable factory worker with schizophrenia.  He tries to fit in and live a normal life, but his actions highlight his eccentricities, alerting everyone around him that something about him is weird.  As a product of not taking his medication, he comes home to a friendly talking dog and his cat, who verbally abuses him with a Scottish accent.

Jerry has a crush on Fiona (Gemma Arterton; Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Byzantium, Clash of the Titans) that turns from something pathetic into something awkward and then develops into something tragic…but the whole time we feel for Jerry.  Things gets worse when Lisa (Anna Kendrick; Pitch Perfect) goes out on a date with him.  Completely incompetent and thus facilitating his madness is Jerry’s psychiatrist (Jackie Weaver; Haunt, Stoker), who never takes appropriate action regarding Jerry’s treatment and medication.  Gemma Arterton, Anna Kendrick and Jackie Weaver all contribute decent performances.

THE VOICES

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The most interesting and eye-opening scene by far is when Jerry actually takes his medication and, to his horror, sees his sickly abject home and muted pets as they truly are.  The scene brings the story together and solidifies Jerry’s ensuing actions and our forgiveness for those actions.

thevoices0002

Yup.  That’s Gemma Arterton’s head.  And here he is feeding it cereal.  Her head keeps him company and asks if she can have a “friend” to keep her company.

This movie is nothing spectacular, but Reynolds does a fantastic job of presenting his murderous character through a sympathetic lens, begging reasonable forgiveness for even his most heinous acts.  He’s the killer you feel sorry for…you even want to see him happy even though you know it won’t happen, making this a very endearing psycho-killer film.  LOL

the_voices_movie_poster

 

Also, I’m not sure if this was just an authored scenario or a sleight of social commentary about our health care system, but it is only because the health care system (especially his psychiatrist) fail Jerry that he causes anyone harm.

The film closes with a weirdly funny musical number at the end featuring Reynoolds and the major cast during the credits.  Nice touch to wrap up the mania of this cute little murderous movie.  Definitely not for everyone.  This film is sweet and funny, but it has its Texas Chainsaw moments.

The-Voices

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