9/25/08

Starring Jennifer Grey's Old Nose

Strictly Dirty Ballroom Dancing.Welcome, won't you?

Just as I had managed to make myself feel good about never having seen Dirty Dancing, in walks my wife, who looks at my newly-rented copy of the film and says "Oh, I loved that movie when I was a teenager." To clarify, my wife grew up behind the iron curtain, where apparently even the youth of Albania grew up with huge crushes on Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. I told her this was the first time I had ever seen it. She made fun of me.

I've seen it now, and here is the review, which should never be put into a corner.

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9/23/08

Can Somebody Put That Watermelon in the Corner?

Nobody puts that watermelon in a corner.Welcome, won't you?

Try as I might, I just can't understand why I've never seen Dirty Dancing. To be sure, I was never a teenage girl in the eighties, but never I've seen the Swayze/Grey teenage boy equivalent Red Dawn either. In fact, I seem to have missed the Swayze train entirely while I was growing up. Where was I?*

Anyway, the Rifftrax Presents commentary for Dirty Dancing, featuring Janet Varney and Cole Stratton, has been released. I'll watch and review it just as soon as I can find a video store that hasn't already rented out its copy.

--------------------------------------

*Judging by my fond memories of Family Ties, Back to the Future and Teen Wolf, I was probably on the Michael J. Fox train.

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9/22/08

My Big Fat American Apocalypse

The Statue of Liberty, buried up to the eyeballs in my hangnail.Welcome, won't you?

I had a hangnail the other day. I pulled out a pair of nail clippers and clipped it off. End of story.

In Roland Emmerich's version, however, my hangnail grows and grows until it fills all of Northern California with its bulk, suffocating innocent women and children until someone finally yanks it free from my finger. The resulting wound drowns everyone from the coast to the Rockies in blood. (Needless to say, I perish horribly.) Meanwhile, in New York, a timid teenager I've never met struggles to confess his true feelings to a girl he likes.

Which is not to say that global warming is as trivial as a hangnail. Far from it. It's just not going to annihilate the world as we know it in less than a week.

Anyway, my review of Emmerich's The Day After Tomorrow has been posted.

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9/19/08

Further Updates to the Rifftrax Cast List

I wonder what a 'Downdate' would be?Welcome, won't you?

Another Rifftrax Presents title (Dirty Dancing), another pair of brand-new guest riffers (Janet Varney and Cole Stratton) to break in. There's even less online information than usual for these two, but I've updated the Rifftrax Dramatis Personae page with as much as I could find and then some.

In other news, I've spent the week with a large project, alternately incurring and catching up on sleep debts. I seem to be mostly paid up now, so I'll get to the commentary for The Day After Tomorrow over the weekend and have a review up early next week.

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9/18/08

The Star Darkens Further

Um, Spoiler Alert!  Probably.Welcome, won't you?

The Darkstar website has new news again. This happens so infrequently that every time I mention them, I should probably take the time to preface my every Darkstar-related remark with a brief reminder of what Darkstar is. Consider that done. Anyway, Darkstar's basic construction is now 95% done, and negotations with prospective publishers appear to be progressing. Maybe we'll get it by Christmas after all.

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9/17/08

For Those of You Who Like Your Dancing Rolled in Grime

See if you can spot the mistake in this rare pre-correction Riff Martian poster.Welcome, won't you?

Dirty Dancing was a great movie, wasn't it? My favorite part is when Patrick and Jennifer battle the Foot Clan, and the fight spills into that dance club, and the DJ (played by a certain Mr. Van Winkle) starts shouting "Go ninja! Go ninja! Go!" And then...

Okay, I admit it. I've never seen Dirty Dancing. I'll turn in my bad movie street cred at the office.

Fortunately, I get to pick it up again after next Tuesday, September 23, 2008, when the Rifftrax Presents commentary comes out. It's riffed by Janet Varney and Cole Stratton, two actor/writer/comedians I've never heard of until now. Janet, Cole, just a word of warning. If the movie/Rifftrax combination doesn't turn out to be at least similar to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, I will be very disappointed.

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Brain, er, Legacy of Blood

This is quite literally the only image on the entire internet that has anything to do with this movie.Welcome, won't you?

J. Elvis dropped another announcement on the Cinematic Titanic Email Club yesterday while I was away from my email account. The next Cinematic Titanic title Legacy of Blood (imdb here) will release on October 9th, 2008. I'm guessing this is the last of the ones they've already recorded, but since he leads off the email with "Thought I’d drop you all a line before the CT crew assembles here in Los Angeles next week to shoot our next batch of three episodes (including our delicious holiday offering)", it looks like we (hopefully) won't have another long wait on our hands.

Also significant (for people in or around Illinois): further down in the email he tells us about another show they've set up at the Lakeshore Theater in Chicago on December 18, 19 and 20, 2008.

Here's the entirety of his missive, behind the cut:

Hi Everyone,

Thought I’d drop you all a line before the CT crew assembles here in Los Angeles next week to shoot our next batch of three episodes (including our delicious holiday offering). Stuff is happening, yes indeed. Stuff like:

OUR NEXT RELEASE!

Our 4th episode. “LEGACY OF BLOOD”, will be available OCTOBER 9th. Just in time for three weeks before Halloween, it’s a creepy tale of a creepy family (Menendez family creepy, not the Addams Family creepy/kooky blend) bent on surviving a week in a mansion to earn their evil father’s fortune. As you might guess, murder is a prominent plot driver here. None of this should bother you too much since we tend to talk a lot throughout the film…hope you don’t mind.

Check out the TRAILER.

And, for the record, you should buy our previous releases….and a shirt would look really nice on you too.

LIVE SHOWS

We’ve officially filled out our 2008 live show schedule with a three-night engagement at THE LAKESHORE THEATER in Chicago, December 18-20th

We’ll be performing a different movie each night – none of which have been released on DVD yet. Should be a whole lot of fun.

If St. Louis is more your kind of town, come see us live at the FAMILY ARENA, Nov. 1st. It’s such a big gig, there’s a TV Ad for it. Feel our thunder.

But wait! You say you’re going to be in Minneapolis on Oct. 25th? Well then our performance at the State Theatre sounds like it would be a perfect fit for your city-hopping, laughter-loving lifestyle.

You folks on the East Coast, hang in there, we’re gonna make it your way in 2009.

CT IN BAGDAD!

Thanks to SPC Joshua Hutcheson of the U.S. Army for setting up a screening of Doomsday Machine in a theater in one of Saddam Hussein's former palaces in the international zone in Bagdad. Here's an excerpt from his guest blog about it on our site

"It was a great environment. All the joke-cracking was just the audience’s way of loosening up, getting their funny bones limber for the hilarity to come. I’ve always loved the old MST episode watching parties because you knew that everybody got the jokes and there was a good vibe going on. Our love of esoteric comedy set us apart from most people and bonded us together, (which is why MST fans become such good friends). That same kind of connection happened again Wednesday night as around fifty or so soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and civilians settled in for laughs a plenty, while watching Cinematic Titanic’s Doomsday Machine, (my god what a movie!)

We laughed, we cried, we learned. Together."


Pretty cool, huh?

Best,
J. Elvis Weinstein

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9/16/08

RVOD034 Aqua Frolics

(1950s-ish, Short/Newsreel, b&w)

Riffers:

Mike Nelson, Bill Corbett, and Kevin Murphy

From the people that brought you Asphault Antics.

Rating: **1/2

In a nutshell:

Water exists, and things happen it.

Summary:

Kevin wants to sing us a little song about Drownsgiving.No lollygagging for this short. Without any sort of preamble, the narrator dives right into a list of water-related creatures, including performing seals, trained porpoises, a processed-shot turtle, and dozens of modestly swimsuited young women engaged in a gasp-inducing game of underwater basketball.

With no segue whatsoever, the short shifts abruptly to people eating a real turkey dinner at the bottom of a lagoon. This somehow leads to waterskiing stunts, water toboggan duels, and speedboats crashing into each other. Suddenly we’re watching bare-chested Mexicans leap from clifftops into the roaring surf. And then, without warning, it ends.

Thoughts:

I’m not sure what this short is for, or even what it’s about. It’s not quite weird enough to be considered “experimental”, though watching those divers munch on soggy turkey comes close. It’s not true-to-life enough to be considered “educational”. Sure, they included a fact or two, but aside from the head-twistingly strange dinner scene, they also included a startlingly dishonest shot of a "giant" sea turtle--an obvious special affect coupled with narration so sincere that it seems for all the world like they’re trying to convince the audience of this forty-foot behemoth’s existence.

There's nothing quite like waterlogged poultry for dinner.In fact, the first time I saw Aqua Frolics, I couldn’t seem to make out just what the hell anything in it had to do with anything else in it, or indeed, just what the hell the short en toto had to do with, well, anything. I was delirious with the West Nile Virus at the time, though, so, determined to give it a fair review, I decided to wait until I could watch it again with eyes unglazed by fever. Days later, I was in my right mind again. The second viewing was mostly the same, though slightly more uncomfortable, as the underwater scenes had me holding my breath a lot. It says something about a film when it’s more fun to watch while temporarily insane. And the something that it says is, “Huh?”

Mike, Bill and Kevin are on hand with their standard helping of mockery, though the way this film runs from topic to topic without any rhyme or reason, I’m thinking it must have been difficult to hit this moving target. When divers seat themselves that their underwater picnic table, Kevin calls it “Drownsgiving.” When the men smoke afterwards, Mike sings, “Smooooooke underwaaaaater...” When we meet the Mexican cliff divers, Bill shouts “Extreeeeeemmmmeeee Aqua Frolics!” They provide a pleasant counterpoint to the nonsense of the short, but ultimately Aqua Frolics goes little too fast while making too little sense.

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The Day After Tomorrow is Today

Global warming also caused the Cloverfield monster.Welcome, won't you?

Here's a title that lends itself to all kinds of date-related jokes, most of which are only marginally funny, so I will forbear. (Except for the one in the post title. Sorry about that one.) The Kevin/Bill commentary for the strident global, um, cooling action flick The Day After Tomorrow (from the makers of the equally environmentally conscious Independence Day) is available now. Pick it up.

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9/15/08

A Post Not Pertaining to Disturbingly Colored Fruit

Someone went to the 'Row of Faces' school of movie poster-making.  Just like most of his peers.Welcome, won't you?

I rely on spellcheck a little too much, I think, as I very nearly reviewed a non-existent film called The Curse of the Black Pear. I got it right eventually (I hope). Click here if you want to read my thoughts about Johnny Depp as the most eccentric and fascinating cinematic pirate in the history of film. There's a movie called Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl happening around him occasionally as well, but most of the time it's not worth mentioning. Funny Rifftrax, though.

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RP010 Dirty Dancing

(1987, Drama/Romance, color)

Riffers:

Janet Varney and Cole Stratton

It’s kind of sad if the “Time of Your Life” is a summer camp dance recital.

Rating: ***

In a nutshell:


A girl named Baby learns to dance and falls in love at a family summer camp.

Summary:

Strictly Dirty Ballroom Dancing.Frances “Baby” Houseman (Jennifer Grey) arrives at a Catskills resort with her father Dr. Houseman (Jerry Orbach), as well as her mother and sister. The place seems sort of like a summer camp crossed with a luxury cruise ship, in that there are cabins, nature, and a lot of boring group activities, but also lots of servants, gourmet food, and an age range that skews towards the middle aged and elderly. Her father is friends with the resort owner, so Baby naturally finds herself paired off with the resort owner’s insufferably smug nephew Neil more or less by default.

During one of the evening dances, she sees the resort’s dance instructors Johnny and Penny (Patrick Swayze and Cynthia Rhodes) twirling sleazily to the music. Afterwards, she wanders off towards the staff quarters and meets a random staff member with an armful of watermelons. She awkwardly carries one into a dimly lit hall filled with hip, flexible youngsters dancing dirtily. This goes on for some time, and eventually Johnny pulls her onto the dance floor to teach her a few moves.

Soon afterwards, Baby finds herself wandering the kitchens at night with Neil when she sees Penny sobbing to herself in a corner. She maneuvers Neil out of the kitchen and runs to get Johnny, who carries Penny to her room. The story unfolds that Penny is pregnant by an unscrupulous waiter named Robbie, who now refuses to take responsibility for the baby. Penny needs $250 to get an illegal abortion, but no one she knows has the money.

Baby feels bad for her, and borrows the money from her father without telling him what it’s for. She gives it to Penny, but there’s another problem. The only time they can get a backalley abortionist to come out for the operation is during a scheduled performance at nearby club. If she misses the performance, she’ll lose her job. At the urging of Penny and other staff members, Baby volunteers.

Baby spends the next third of the movie in a series of training montages as she gradually learns the steps of the dance while gradually falling in love with Johnny. The training montage ends with a sequence in the water, where Johnny teaches her to do a lift. She does it right a few times, but lacks the confidence to do it in a competent but lackluster performance at the club. Still, they feel satisfied that it went, if not well, at least well enough.

When they get back to the resort, they find Penny all bloody and in pain from the abortionist’s hack job on her uterus. Baby runs to get her father the doctor. He sends everyone away while he patches Penny up. Then he stalks back to his cabin without speaking to any of them, having figured out that this is what his money has paid for. He forbids Baby from seeing any of the staff ever again.

Wheeeeeee!Baby sneaks out afterwards anyway to visit Johnny and apologize for her father’s behavior. This leads to dancing, which leads to sex, which leads to series of furtive meetings where they discuss their different backgrounds and the future of their relationship. Eventually, Johnny refuses the advances of a rich, older woman out of love for Baby. The scorned woman accuses Johnny when her husband’s wallet is stolen the next day. Johnny was with Baby that night, but he won’t give her as his alibi because he doesn’t want to get her in trouble. Baby hears about it and confesses the affair in front of her father. So Johnny’s off the hook for the theft, but he gets fired anyway for sleeping with the boss’s friend’s daughter. Johnny expresses his gratitude to Baby and drives away.

During an abysmal musical number at the resort’s talent show the next day, Dr. Houseman learns that it was Robbie, not Johnny, who was responsible for Penny’s unfortunate condition. Johnny shows up despite having been banned to deliver the immortal (and nonsensical) “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” He and his hip staff friends clear the stage so that he and baby can repeat their dance number from the night club, only good this time, and with a lift at the end. Afterwards, Dr. Houseman apologizes to them both, while men and women of all ages clear away the tables and chairs to dance the night dirtily away.

Thoughts:

Before I start making fun of it, I have to admit that Dirty Dancing is a decently put-together movie. It’s filled with endearing characters, it’s well paced, and it ends happily. I can see why it’s considered a classic of its genre. That its genre generally involves young adults doing rock-stupid things in the name of “growing up” can perhaps be held against it, but that should not stop teenage females and people of similar temperament from having a good time. That said, I have a few points to raise:

I used to think of this movie as Red Dawn for girls, an assumption based on the way these two films share actors and a teenage target audience. Now that I’ve seen it, however, it seems far more accurate to call it the girly equivalent of The Karate Kid, a movie that convinced my younger self it was possible to go from a 98 pound weakling to a martial arts champion with a mere six weeks of yardwork-based after-school lessons. (Thankfully, none of Daniel-san’s training montages devolve into sex scenes.) If anything, Dirty Dancing out-Karate Kids Karate Kid in that Baby goes from a timid klutz to grace personified within a couple of weeks.

I'm pretty sure this is innuendo, but damned if I can figure out exactly what kind.Plot-wise, this movie is riddled with something Roger Ebert calls “Idiot Plot Syndrome”, i.e., containing plot-driving problems that wouldn’t exist if the characters weren’t idiots. Usually this involves a single phrase, which, if uttered by any of the important characters, would clear the air instantly. The important phrase in this case is “I’m not the father” (if you’re Johnny) or “Johnny’s not the father” (if you’re Baby). Seriously, if Johnny had made aborted child’s parentage clear during his first interaction with Dr. Houseman, well, Dr. Houseman would still be upset with Baby over being tricked into paying for an abortion, but there wouldn’t be all this rancor directed towards her boyfriend. When he inadvertently confesses at the end, even Robbie seems surprised that no one’s mentioned it yet.

Another bit that amuses me is the way Johnny gets mortally offended whenever someone assumes that he’s the father of Penny’s baby. I mean, just because he and Penny rub their genitalia all over each other during ordinarily chaste dance routines doesn’t mean they’re dating. How dare people jump to such a conclusion.

Another oddity is the double standard applied to sex and pregnancy. In this movie, everyone under a certain age sleeps around. Baby sleeps with Johnny. Robbie sleeps with Penny, rich older woman, and almost with Baby’s sister. The dirty dancing parties are just a single layer of fabric away from being orgies. According to Dirty Dancing, this is all perfectly normal, healthy behavior for the young and horny. But should someone happen to get pregnant... Gasp! Egad! Crikey! We should all pity poor, fallen Penny, who was stupid and naïve enough to let herself get knocked up. It’s as if no one knows or cares about the cause and effect relationship between intercourse and conception. Baby consummates with Johnny without any such consequences, so Dirty Dancing can be a fanciful tale about a young woman’s coming of age. If they’d banged at the wrong time of the month, however, it would have to have been a cautionary tale about a poor, stupid little girl’s path to sin.

Comedians and SF Sketchfest co-founders Janet Varney and Cole Stratton take the reins for this commentary, and for the first part of the film or so they seem a bit awkward and tentative. Maybe the dance and training montages inspired them, or maybe they just hit the point where they finally got comfortable, but as soon as the dirty dancing starts, they kick into gear with excellent timing and quality mockery. A few examples: When Johnny instructs baby to “feel the music,” Cole clarifies, “The officer needs you to point to the place on this doll where you felt the music”. After the slightly awkward dance club performance, Janet says, “That wasn’t half bad. It was more like 49% bad.” When Patrick Swayze song plays in the background of the tender goodbye scene, Janet says “Swayze can carry a tune like Baby can carry a watermelon.” During the painfully and deliberately bad talent show song, Cole says, “[It’s] like a nightmarish Pee Wee’s Playhouse episode.” The commentary starts slow, but it’s hilarious once it gets going.

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9/11/08

Saving the Middle Course for the End

Spidey needs his arms for swinging purposes, so in order to ride along, MJ has to have inhuman upper body strength.Welcome, won't you?

The review for Spider-Man 2 is finally up, and as I previously hinted, it is positive. Go on, feast your eyes on Alfred Molina's pallid splendor. You will not regret it.

Much.

In other news, I'm just over halfway through the commentary for Pirates of the Caribbean. (These nine-hour epics always take me at least two nights to view). Looks like it's shaping up to be another fantastic riff. Mike's gay dance instructor routine during the first swordfight had me on the floor. Expect a review early next week.

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9/10/08

The Week After This One...

Extreeeeeemmmme climate change!  Woooooo!...is when the Rifftrax Presents commentary for The Day After Tomorrow, featuring Kevin and Bill, will be released. Specifically, on September 16, 2008. Until then, hunker down in the snow and revile the thinly veiled political figure of your choice, maybe eat a soccer team or two to survive.

Oh, and welcome, won't you?

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RP009 The Day After Tomorrow

(2004, Drama/Political, color)

Riffers:

Bill Corbett and Kevin Murphy

Let me pull out my portable pulpit.

Rating: **1/2

In a nutshell:

Global warming freezes the world.

Summary:

On the bright side, it's a shorter hike to the torch now.Heroic paleoclimatologist Jack (Harrison Ford... er, Dennis Quaid) has been drilling for samples in the arctic when the ice shelf he’s on breaks up and floats away. Later, he lectures on how global warming will actually cause a new and abrupt ice age within the next few centuries while a broad caricature of a certain real-life politician (Bill calls him Chick Deney) curls his lip and sneers. Afterwards Jack meets a British climatologist (Ian Holm) who later calls to tell him about a sudden series of rather alarming drops in temperature...

You know what? None of this matters. Not all the pulpit-pounding speechification. Not all the worry-contorted faces staring at televisions and computer monitors. Not the prophetic comic relief homeless man, Jack’s clueless son Sam (Tobey Maguire... er, Jake Gyllenhaal), the Object of Sam’s Unrequited Affection (Natalie Portman... I mean Emily Rossum), and half-a-dozen other unremarkables all stranded in the public library while the new ice age crashes down on Manhattan with NASCAR-esque speed. Certainly not Jack’s Estranged Wife (Sela Ward) and her nameless juvenile cancer patient, cut adrift by the movie to float aimlessly off to one side in their own little subplot, wholly unconnected to anything or anyone else in the film.

Where was I? Oh, yes. The sudden annihilation of the entire Northern Hemisphere. It basically boils down to admittedly impressive weather-related special effects destroying famous landmarks while crowds of disaster movie redshirts stare gape-jawed Until It’s Too Late. Meanwhile, everyone with a name and more than twenty lines of dialog engages in even the most ill-advised of ventures with impunity. Ventures such as, say, leaping across a widening crevasse to obtain easily replaceable ice core samples, plunging underwater to use a payphone, and running outside in negative one hundred thousand degree weather to forage for food and medicine.

What's-Her-Name's about to be consumed by that enormous tidal wave!  If only I were Spider-Man!The movie’s greatest crime against common sense, however, comprises the final portion of the film, when Jack and his expendable friends hike through a raging blizzard from Washington, D.C. to Manhattan to rescue Sam. One expendable friend nearly dies of cold, while the other nobly sacrifices himself to the glass roof of a shopping mall so that the others might live. Jack drags his last hypothermic friend to Manhattan where he discovers that Sam and friends have survived by burning books for heat, as the copious amounts of wooden furniture lying around were apparently too valuable to use for this purpose.

Amazingly, though, the book/furniture thing is only the second stupidest thing about this situation. The stupidest thing, by far, is that by the time Jack gets to Manhattan, the storm has ended and temperatures have gone back up to “colder than normal, but still balmy”, just as he predicted they would. With the inclement weather past, the now-repentant (and now-president) Slick Zeney has sent helicopters to look for survivors, just like the Powers That Be always do after a natural disaster, making the entire third act unnecessary and the death of Expendable Friend completely pointless.

Thoughts:

A representative sample of this film can be seen when Sam makes a call from the library. Cell phone signals are down, the power is out, and there’s water right up to the second floor, but “ordinary pay phones get their power directly.” This is technically true, and since no one a) asks where they “get their power directly” from, b) wants to know how the large and delicate network of phone lines it uses to communicate could still be operational, or c) points out that any exposed power source, regardless of origin, will short out upon immersion in water, it works fine. Also unasked: how Sam is able to call his dad long distance with a single coin.

Damn you all to hell!  It's a madhouse!  A maaaaaaadhoooouuuuuse!Stepping back to view the movie as a whole, the “global warming will actually cause cooling in temperate climates” thing is actually a pretty well respected theory in climate change circles. This grain of technical truth most likely came from an expert consultant—a consultant who probably provided more details than that, but then director Roland Emmerich threw them all away and then increased the cooling trend’s speed and severity by about a million percent each. The resulting scenario turns out less plausible than just blaming it all on the wrath of God, Mr. Freeze, the White Witch, and/or a secret cabal of garden gnomes, but since it’s a goofy disaster film with no pretentions to realism, this didn’t bother me that much.

What does bother me is the movie’s smug and strident tone. Emmerich cannot be considered an icon of subtlety. For slack-jawed characters staring off screen, he out-Spielbergs Spielberg. For loud and wanton destruction, he out-Bays Bay. For gaping plot holes and junk science, he’s in a class all his own. He did all this in Independence Day too, and except for the unnecessary last act, The Day After Tomorrow compares favorably. I enjoyed the former because it let me switch off my brain and have fun. Unfortunately, the latter’s many, many heavy-handed speeches more or less explicitly instructed me to switch my brain back on and take it seriously, so I did.

Um, Roland (Can I call you Roland?), just a couple of points:

1) You do your own side a grave disservice by framing the global warming debate as “the environment vs. the economy”. They’re both important, but from a practical perspective, you have to go through the economy to get to the environment. Regardless of anything you say, John Q. Public isn’t going give you money to fight global warming until after his family is fed.

2) Why the self-righteous glorification of the Third World? Don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. I saw the way you slaughtered the horny Caucasians, spared the Hispanic janitor, and then stampeded Americans across the Rio Grande into Mexico. I noticed how you wiped out Europe and North America, but left the Southern Hemisphere untouched. You went out of your way to hold them up as “go green” paragons, despite the fact that their smoke-belching factories and clear-cutting of forests are directly responsible for a huge portion of our environmental woes. I’ll grant you that they’re directly responsible with our significant encouragement and financial assistance, but at the end, when even Mick Queney has learned a valuable lesson about global warming, I can’t help but notice that you’ve killed off everyone rich enough to do something about it.

Well Roland, there you go. You’ve made me think far too much about a horrible movie that makes light of a serious issue. I hope you’re happy.

It’s just Bill and Kevin for this commentary, and they’ve got plenty to work with. Kevin leads off with “So far, I’m liking this movie, but then again, I’m part penguin.” Later he notes the slo-mo tidal wave with, “Jello salads bear down on people faster than this.” After the sky fills with birds, rain, hail, and then snow, Bill says, “It will soon be raining elephants and anvils." When we see a Russian freighter parked in front of the library, Bill wants to know “How’d that ship make the turn at Washington Square?” Near the end, when President Tick Sheney apologizes to the world for his environmentally irresponsible governing practices, Bill sums up the entire film by calling it “red-hot liberal porn”. For all this, the Rifftrax/movie combination never quite engaged me. On the plus side, it never bored me either, putting it at or near the center of the Rifftrax Relative Quality Scale.

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9/9/08

Pirates of the Rifferbbean

Arrrr!...uh, that's meant to be pronounced Riffer-Bee-Ann, not Riffer-Bean.

I had meant to have the Spider-Man 2 review ready for you yesterday, but an unanticipated series of family emergencies will delay this until tomorrow at the earliest. In the meantime, sufficeth to say that the Rifftrax for the middle entry in the hombre-araña trilogy is the best of three excellent commentaries, and Mr. Fruhlinger is now my second favorite non-MST3K guest riffer.

Also, as you might have guessed from the title of this post and the picture accompanying it, the Rifftrax for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is now available. Pick it up here.

Oh, and welcome, won't you?

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9/5/08

The Humanoid Arachnid Curmudgeon

Why hasn't Bruce Campbell been in one of these yet?Welcome, won't you?

Have you ever seen Alfred Molina shirtless and asked yourself, "What would Josh Fruhlinger have to say about this?" (Me neither.) Fortunately, the release of the Spider-Man 2 Rifftrax (also featuring Kevin and Bill) has given us our best chance to find out the answer to this question. Grab it here.

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9/3/08

Riffers of the Caribbean

Why does Mike look like 'Sparrow: The Gay Blade'?Welcome, won't you?

Get ready for the thrill ride of the century. Literally in this case, as the film selected for next week's Rifftrax subject is, in fact, based on a ride. Tune in on September 9, 2008 to hear Mike, Kevin and Bill riff away at Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Alternate title: Pirates of the Caribbean: Before They Got All Esoteric and Confusing.

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9/2/08

Max Wins

I'm a quote whore!  Huzzah!Welcome, won't you?

Another missive from Max the Hero creator Mike Salva:

'Max the Hero' was screened at Dragon Con in Atlanta over the weekend - twice. It got lotsa larfs.

The cartoon won the fest award for 'Best Animated Comedy' and the award was presented to me by Brad Dourif.
Congratulations, Mike!

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