Sunday, November 30, 2014

Mystery Science Theater 3000

Or MST3K for those of you in a hurry...

Mystery Science Theater 3000, at once low-brow and witty, cynical and hilarious, is the main reason I first paid for cable.

"Welcome to the Satellite of Love, the orbiting home of legendary hosts Joel Robinson and Mike Nelson, along with their robotic companions: Crow T. Robot, Tom Servo and Gypsy. Join them in this cult favorite series as they embark on a journey of gut-busting riffs on the classic cinematic missteps of yesteryear." - Shout Factory MST3K page

Of the 197 television episodes broadcast from 1988 to 1999, I've seen 71 - some of the best 6,390 minutes of my life. Another 22 are in my my Netflix queue. Others pop up here and there from time to time. There are but a few episodes in which the source material was so execrable that even Gypsy, Tom Servo, Crow T. Robot, and Joel Robinson or Mike Nelson could not keep me glued to the tube (I'm talking to you, Episode 1009 - Hamlet!)

I've caught the few episodes of The Film Crew. These days the Cinematic Titanic and Rifftrax are pretty good too, though none feature the Satellite of Love.

This last Thursday I enjoyed much of the MST3K Turkey Day Marathon for the first time. I hope to never miss it again.

Have I ever forgiven Sci-Fi Channel (SyFy, puh-leeze!) for canceling MST3K? No. Will I ever? Nope, not never.

[UPDATE: Best Joel vs. Mike essay ever!]

Hey, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"

Might! Not! Suck!

There's plenty of press regarding the first trailer, released a mere 13 months before Star Wars: The Force Awakens actually arrives at your favorite movie house.  

I must admit I am skeptically, reservedly, cautiously optimistic.  It' nice to feel that way about the series again.

Even if you promised yourself you'd never watch another Stars Wars movie again as long as you lived, don't miss the Lego version of the trailer.

PS, Mr. Abrams, If I see any sign of Jar Jar Binks, anywhere but an epitaph on a tombstone that is, I am going to be very, very disappointed.  Oh, and if there are any Ewoks, they better have shaved, started wearing pants, and taken to toting blasters...

UPDATED: Not everyone is so sanguine. Star Wars "Expanded Universe" nerd-dom is freaking out like Wookies in a Holiday Special.

Friday, November 21, 2014

We're Back, Pitches!

I have guilty pleasures...

And a sequel to one of them, Pitch Perfect 2, is on the way to a theater near!

Four syllables, pitch pipers: Anna Kendrick

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Mr. Nobody

Is about everybody...

This 2009 science fiction fantasy by Jaco Van Dormael and starring the exquisitely talented Jared Leto evokes Sliding Doors and It's a Wonderful Life.  It's langorous pace and revisiting of the protagonist's life choices with variables changed again and again might distract the average moviegoer, but the patient and attentive viewer will be rewarded with a film that is thoughtful, kind, wistful, and sad.  Mr. Nobody is about memories, first love, second chances, third choices, regret, and satisfaction.

"As long as you don't choose everything remains possible." - Nemo Nobody

If only that were true.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

According to IO9

These are 30 Cult Movies That Absolutely Everybody Must See...

I've seen all but one*, two are on my list of favorite films, only three are horrible, and I've seen 17 more than once. Hmm, guess that makes me a cultist.

30) Zardoz >1

29) Tremors >1

28) The Warriors

27) Lost Boys >1

26) Born in Flames queued up*

25) Sharktopus horrible

24) Tales from the Hood

23) Death Race 2000 >1

22) The Hunger >1

21) Plan 9 from Outer Space horrible, 

20) Dark Star

19) Slither

18) Buckaroo Banzai

17) Time Bandits

16) Evil Dead 2

15) Night of the Living Dead

14) Brother from Another Planet

13) Cherry 2000

12) Altered States

11) Repo Man

10) Monty Python and the Holy Grail

9) They Live

8) Primer

7) Naked Lunch

6) The Man Who Fell To Earth

5) Re-Animator

4) Big Trouble in Little China

3) Eraserhead horrible

2) Donny Darko

1) Rocky Horror Picture Show 

*UPDATE: Watched Born In Flames (after a DVDNetflix Short Wait).  Not horrible.  There, I've seen the whole list...