Hellboy (2004)

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Dark Comics’ Hellboy is set to return to the big screen this year with a new version of the movie featuring David Harbour in the titular role.  Because of that, I figured that it was time for me to see the Hellboy original film featuring Ron Perlman and directed by Guillermo del Toro.

I have never seen the first Hellboy (I believe seen pieces of Hellboy 2), so I found it on Netflix and set out to watch the Dark Horse property.

I found this to be a bit of a mixed bag.  I was not a huge fan of the first part of the movie, but I do believe it picked up dramatically as it continued.  The story was fairly complicated and difficult to follow and I disliked the main villain, Rasputin (Karel Roden).  However, Hellboy was unique and clever, with a wit that helped keep this movie engaging and fresh at all times.

Based on Mike Mignola’s work in the comics, Hellboy takes some time getting going, but the pay off is worthwhile.

I enjoyed the work of John Hurt as Prof. Trevor Bruttenholm, the man who rescued young Hellboy from the Nazis who intended on using the demon to turn the tides of World War II.  Hurt is warm and caring and provides a perfect counterbalance to the young “monster” he rescued and trained as a super hero against the world of the paranormal.

While this was not my most favorite film ever, I enjoyed more of it than I did not.  I expect the sequel will be better yet. It has helped make me more interested in the new version and that is part of the reason for this watch.


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Johnny Dangerously (1984)

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As I was doing some work today, I heard the “Weird Al” Yankovic song, This is the Life and I knew what I wanted to watch tonight.

You lousy cork-soakers. You have violated my farging rights. Dis somanumbatching country was founded so that the liberties of common patriotic citizens like me could not be taken away by a bunch of fargin iceholes… like yourselves.”  -Roman Troy Moronie (Richard Dimitri)

Johnny Dangerously starred Michael Keaton as the titular role and included such 1980s icons as Joe Piscopo, Marilu Henner and Peter Boyle.

Keaton’s Johnny Dangerously was in the mob, but he was beloved by most.  Since he was 12 years old, Johnny was the best at everything.  When he got a chance to make some money to help cover medical costs for his constantly ailing mother (Maureen Stapleton), Johnny couldn’t refuse the offer.

This movie has an amazing sense of humor.  The comedy here is top rate and makes me miss the days when spoof movies were more than just dick/poop/sex jokes.  I mean, there are sex jokes in Johnny Dangerously too, but there is way more here than just those.  The spoof on the gangster movie provides some rich material and this delivers.

The story is fast moving.  The characters are funny.  The actors involved look to be having a heck of a good time.

You shouldn’t hang me on a door. My father hung me on a door, once. ONCE” -Danny Vermin (Joe Piscopo)

The film is as quotable of a film as you will find.  The dialogue is quick and witty.

The charm of Michael Keaton as Johnny Dangerously is off the charts.  He is the main reason why this all works.  He holds this movie together with his bad boy smirk and the sparkle in his eyes.

Did you know you’re last name is an adverb?” -Lil (Marilu Henner)

I wish there were more spoof movies like this or Airplane, or The Naked Gun series.  There is an intelligence behind these films and are not just a mean-spirited film like many of the recent spoof movies are.  Johnny Dangerously is a heck of a good time.


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Child’s Play (1988)

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It is Oscars night, but I found a film to watch this afternoon was decidedly not an Oscar film. It was still quite an enjoyable experience.  I see that there is a remake of this film coming out in September of this year so it is time for me to finally see the film Child’s Play, with the slasher doll, Chuckie.

Right off the bat, there was Prince Humperdinck from The Princess Bride, Chris Sarandon as the lead detective.  I know he is the greatest tracker in the land, he can track a falcon on a cloudy day… but I did not know he was here to take on a doll.

Serial killer Charles Lee Ray (Brad Dourif) was being chased by Sarandon, whose character here is named Mike Norris.  After being gunned down in a toy store, Charles Lee transferred his consciousness into a nearby Good Guy doll, and thus Chuckie was born.

The doll wound up in the possession of Karen Barclay (Catherine Hicks) who gave it to her son Andy (Alex Vincent) for his birthday.  When terrible things begin to happen, Andy gets blamed for them and taken to a psychiatric hospital, leaving the living doll a chance to wander around dulling out retribution.

I have to say, I had just a little bit of trouble with the doll as the killer. While everything was sufficiently creepy and moody, I could not get it out of my head that he was a doll.  Just tear off is head.  Then, the head did come off and it did not stop Chuckie.  Ha, who knew?

I kept thinking that they needed to take a trip to the wood chipper.

Chuckie showed himself very resilient throughout the movie, taking on the much larger humans, but he was always more dangerous, in my mind, when he was messing with Alex.  I have a hard time buying that Detective Humperdinck couldn’t have just tore the doll apart.

The special effects were outstanding, especially for 1988 and the story was simple.  The whole transfer between bodies was weird and came from out of nowhere, but they did circle back around later to address why Charles Lee could do this.

The movie was a good time and I enjoyed watching it, despite my needing to suspend my disbelief more than usual.  I’m looking forward to the new version in Spetember.


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The Boggy Creek Monster: The Truth Behind the Legend (2016); The Bray Road Beast (2018)


Two documentaries from Amazon Prime for a snowy early Sunday afternoon.  I love the stories of Bigfoot and the other mysterious monsters that people believe they have seen and I tend to believe more than I disbelieve.  These two documentaries from the company Small Town Monsters can make you a believer if you let them.

First one I watched was about the Bray Road Beast, which was something that I had never heard of before. Interestingly enough, this is a wolf/werewolf type creature people claim to see in the Elkhorn, Wisconsin area. Originally seen in 1916, a rash of sighting in the 1980s and 1990s led to the investigation by newspaper reporter Linda Godfrey.  She discovered enough details to write a book on the monster, and she appears throughout the documentary.

There were all kind of possible solutions to the mystery of the Bray Road beast, including that of Satanism.  It is a fascinating watch, especially for some of the Wisconsin color shown from the locals.

The second documentary was Boggy Creek Monster: The Truth Behind the Legend.  The world was introduced to the Boggy Creek Monster from the independent film of 1972 called The Legend of Boggy Creek.  It is dubbed as a true story, and the film apparently feature several real life people from Fouke, Arkansas who had encounters with the monster.  This movie spends a good deal of its run time looking at the true story of the parts of that docudrama film from 1972.

The documentary features discussions with many of the local residents who have seen the monster and who were willing to share their stories.

Though mentioned, the film does not do much to encourage the idea that this is simply some more Bigfoot sighting, but sightings that were given its own monster a name.

Little is shown on either of the documentaries n the other side of the debate.  Nothing is shown to make one think that these eye witness reports were anything but honest people who saw something.  Yet there has been some suggestions, especially for the Boggy Creek Monster, that the recent sighting were hoaxes.

Both of these docs are fun to watch and to amaze at the possible mystery of what might be out there.  However how unlikely it may be, the fact that these legends keep popping up tells you that humans need something mysterious in their lives.



How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

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I’m not crying… you’re crying….

The second movie in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy goes deeper into some serious emotional moments that you do not see in too many animated movies.

When we return to Berk, we find that the Vikings and the dragons are living together in an almost Utopian society.  When they discover that the evil Drago Bloodfist (Djimon Hounsou) was coming with his dragon army, the community was sent into panic mode. Chief Stoick wanted to hide and batten down their land, but his son Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) wants to change the mind of Drago about the ways of the dragon.  Stubborn Hiccup takes Toothless and they fly off to try to talk sense to Drago.

However, on the way, Hiccup finds someone that he did not expect to find… his mother Valka (Cate Blanchett).  Valka had been rescuing dragons for the twenty years since she was believed to have been killed and the reunion with Hiccup is short and sweet, because the dangers of Drago is real and on the way.

This is a wonderful sequel to the original movie.  This film has some real deep, mature ideas and messages that you do not normally see in animated movies.  Another idea that you rarely see in animated movies is the passage of time.  It has been five years since the original movie and Hiccup has grown into a young man who is on the verge of being given the position of Chief of Berk.

The animation continues to be awe-inspiringly gorgeous.  Everything has been upped in this area from the first film, which was a beautifully animated masterpiece.  The scenes of Valka moving form dragon to dragon as they fly through the sky is visually stunning.  The set pieces are consistently as good as you are going to get.

There is tremendous action in these movies, creatively executed and wonderfully shot by returning director Dean DeBlois.  The voice cast continues its excellence from the first film, this time adding the alluring Cate Blanchett as the slightly crazed Valka and Kit Harrington as Eret, one of the dragon hunters working for Drago.

The only drawback was in a major SPOILER scene.  After a mind controlled Toothless attempts to kill Hiccup and, instead, kills Stoick, I found Hiccup’s forgiveness to be a tad too quick.  Sure they were best friends, but Toothless had killed his father.  Whether he was in control of the situation or not, you would think there should have been a bit more of a damage to their relationship.  When I first saw the movie, I felt that way and I felt the same tonight.  The trust between them should have been affected, even if it were just a scene more.  Maybe there was no time in the story to fit another scene because they did move quickly into the final battle, but I feel like this would have helped show that the friendship had faced a real stake.

I think this movie is just a step behind the first one, but not too much behind.  It dealt with some truly major life and death type themes and How I Trained Your Dragon 2 packed a real emotional wallop.

Bring on How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World!


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How To Train Your Dragon (2010)

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In just a week or two, the third film in the How to Train Your Dragon trilogy is scheduled to be released and the first word of mouth is extremely positive.  In order to get ready for The Hidden World (#3), I decided that I would re-watch the first two films.  Hard work, I know.

What a wonderful movie this is.

I remember when it first came out, this film was so surprising, so magical.  It took the well-known trope of a boy and his dog movie and upped the ante big time.  From dog to dragon.

Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) was unlike the other Vikings.  He was small, soft-hearted and lacked the killer instinct shown by the others, including his own father, Stoik the Vast (Gerard Butler).  Stoik, obsessed with the Viking war against the dragons, was embarrassed that his son was the local laughing stock.

When Hiccup luckily shoots down the rare and vilified night fury dragon, no one believes him.  When he goes to finish the injured dragon off, Hiccup realizes that he in not capable of killing the beast.  Instead, he goes about forming a friendship with him and helping to mend his injured tail.  Naming the dragon Toothless, Hiccup becomes close friends with the dragon and learns a lesson about the creatures.

The animation is stunning.  Absolutely spectacular.  The flying scenes with Hiccup on Toothless’s back is stuff of legend and the final battle with the giant dragon and the flames could not be rendered in a more perfect way.  This animation holds up to today’s standards and only makes me even more excited to see what the next film will look like.  Full of amazing color and creative designs, this movie is an epic mosaic of pigmentation.

The relationship between Hiccup and Toothless is front and center, but not the only relationship that is given time in this narrative.  Hiccup and his father have a fully understandable and relatable relationship and the sweet first love connection in the world of Vikings is shown between Hiccup and Astrid (America Ferrera).

The voice cast, led by the great work by Jay Baruchel and the others already mentioned, include such top line voices as Craig Ferguson, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Kristen Wiig and T.J Miller.

This first film starts the trilogy off on an epic journey and you wonder how they could possibly match the strength and emotionally powerful debut.  #2 is next.


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Abducted in Plain Sight (2017)

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I was on Twitter early this morning and I came across the following Tweet from Collider’s Jeff Sneider.

So I went to Netflix and put it into my queue because it sounded fascinating.  Then, of course, I got the call saying that we had yet another snow day from school, so I went back to Netflix to watch the doc.

What an unbelievable story.

In October 1974, a 12-year old girl named Jan Broberg was kidnapped by her next door neighbor and close family friend, Bob Berchtold… affectionately called “B” by all involved.  Berchtold had an unnatural connection to Jan and went about a series of shocking and disturbing machinations to possess the little girl.

What was even more shocking than what ‘B’ did was the reactions, responses of Jan’s parents, Mary Ann and Bob.  The manipulation and brainwashing of Jan was just the tip of the iceberg for Berchtold as he played with both Mary Ann and Bob in ways that made them both, practically, accessories to the kidnapping in a sad and dark manner.

Listening to the story in these people’s own words is amazing, thoroughly emotionally powerful, and it is difficult not to think of these people in such a negative light.  I will admit to yelling at the screen several times during the playing of the documentary because I just could not believe that anyone could be so taken in by a monster like ‘B.’

The story is unthinkable and the emotion is as high as it is going to get.  This provides an absolutely vital message to families everywhere about who they trust and that the signs that are showing must be seen and not ignored.  This was a story that did not have to have happened, but the weaknesses of these people were masterfully exploited by a manipulator with charm and apparent care.


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Frenzy (1972)

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This was the second to last Alfred Hitchcock film, a thriller focusing on the sexual predator known as the Necktie Murderer.  We see the dead body of a victim float to the side of the Thames River in London and the film is underway.

The woman is the ex-wife of Richard Blaney (Jon Finch), who becomes a suspect.  Richard hides out when the police start to look for him and the killer, Robert Rusk (Barry Foster), continues his killing.

I’m a bit torn by this film.  I usually love Hitchcock’s films and this has a positive connotation to it, having a good Rotten Tomatoes score and being overall well received.  However, I found this to be a mixed bag.

There were aspects of this that I enjoyed.  I liked the killer.  I thought the general story was well done.  There were some great moments of suspense, much like the classic Hitchcockian movies of the past.

There were a bunch of moments though that felt out of place.  Most of the humor missed, in my mind and it felt like that made the film’s suspense inconsistent.  The whole stuff with the police chief’s wife and her cooking was just ridiculous.  The ending was lacking as well.

Not sure how I feel about this film.  It was not as great as I thought it was going to be.


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Fargo (1996)

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This is a true story. The events depicted in this film took place in Minnesota in 1987. At the request of the survivors, the names have been changed. Out of respect for the dead, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.

Or….not so much.

Recently, the Top 10 Show had their Top 10 Movies in the Snow and I compiled my own list.  I put, at #10, Fargo, mainly because I enjoyed the FX TV show so much.  When I had first watched the movie, I was not a fan.  As I wrote the list, I thought to myself that I wish I had watched Fargo for my recent Binge involving second chances.

Them fate stepped in as, once again, the weather caused our school to be cancelled.  This gave me the opportunity to pull up Fargo on HBO for a second chance.

And I am not sure what I was watching the first time, because I LOVED this.

The Coen Brothers wrote and directed this story of a man who hired two criminals to kidnap his wife so he could extort money from his wealthy father-in-law.  And then all things went to hell.

I LOVE Marge!  Frances McDormand is iconic as the tenacious pregnant police chief investigating the triple homicide that lead her to the Twin Cities.

You betcha!

I laughed every time Marge said anything.  Just love this character.

William H. Macy is Jerry Lundegaard, who was the auto dealer who hired the criminals, played by Steve Buscemi and Peter Stormare, to kidnap his wife.  Jerry is one of the worst characters in this movie because he was such a false person.  Everyone else in this movie is exactly what they look to be.  Macy is great as the weaselly little grub.

Fargo is extremely funny and unbelievably dark.  You see a man shoving someone into a wood chipper.  I remember that scene when I first saw it and I was not a fan.  I do not know why because this time was so epic that I was laughing and loving the scene.  Maybe it just appealed to me more now than it did when I was younger, I don’t know, but I just loved this moment.

I also thought some of the scenes that were included that had nothing to do with anything were awesome.  Why did Marge meet for lunch with Mike (Steve Park)?  It had zero to do with the story.  It was just like an aside for the film to highlight these wonderful characters living in this oddball area.

Truly glad that I watched this one again.  It was at #10 on the Movies in the Snow list, but it would be WAY higher if I redid the list today.


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Friday Night Lights (2004)

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Word is that there is some kind of big game being played today.

I thought this was a good opportunity to fill a gap in my movie viewing history.  Friday Night Lights is considered one of the top, if not the top, football movie ever made and it is one that I have never seen.  So, finding it on Hulu, I decided to give it a chance.

I have always liked Lucas Black, from his early days on American Gothic to his turn as Pee Wee Reese in 42.  He has always been appealing with his quirky line delivery and his interesting accent.  To me, that allowed him to stand out from the pack and made him much more intriguing to watch.  So I was happy to see Black appear as QB Mike Winchell.

Friday Night Lights was the true story of a football team, The Permian Panthers, and their battle to reach the State Championship in the football-obsessed state of Texas.  When their star player Boobie Miles (Derek Luke) is injured in the opening game of the season, the team had to struggle to find its identity and avoid the insanity of expectations from the community of Odessa.

Each character had to face their own demons throughout the film.  Don Billingsley (Garrett Hedlund) had to face the over zealous attitude of his drunken father and Odessa football legend Charles (Tim McGraw).  You can’t help but feel the pain and embarrassment of young Don as his father yelled and belittled him constantly for his perceived slights.

The pressure upon Coach Gary Gaines (Billy Bob Thornton) was ridiculous, with overbearing community members sticking their noses into his job and making veiled threats as motivation.  This film shows the insane driving forces behind Texas football better than any film I have seen before.

The football scenes are tremendously shot by director Peter Berg, and they really help punctuate the struggles of each individual.

I can see why people like this.  I was full enthralled with the film and it made a great Super Bowl Sunday preshow.


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Wait Until Dark (1967)

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Holy crap.

Okay, I was watching the live edition of Movie Fights tonight and they were having a Movie fights Championship match between the challenger Greg Alba of the Reel Rejects and the reigning, defending Movie Fights Champion, Dan Murrell.  It was a great episode with two extremely spirited debaters.  One of the questions was “Most Underrated Movie of All-Time.”  I mean… how do you answer something like that?  Well, Dan Murrell mentioned a movie entitled Wait Until Dark, starring Audrey Hepburn, Alan Arkin, and Richard Crenna, and he made it sound really interesting.

So, after the Movie Fights was over (No Spoilers), I went to YouTube and rented a copy of the movie.  And…holy crap, did I love this movie.

Seriously, it was one of the best films I have seen in a long while.  I can’t believe that I hadn’t heard of it before tonight.

Audrey Hepburn, who was nominated for an Oscar for this film, played Susy Hendrix, a woman recently blinded who was trying to cope with her blindness.  Her husband, played by Efrem Zimbalist, Jr, wound up unwittingly with a doll that contained something that the psychotic killer, Roat (Alan Arkin), wanted back.  Roat enlisted a pair of criminals, Mike (Richard Crenna) and Carlino (Jack Weston), to help him reclaim this doll.  It meant trying to fool the blind woman in a complex and intricate manner.

This film is as tense and nerve-wracking as you are going to find.  I was on the edge of my seat through the entire film, and the finale was as great of a scene as you are going to find.

Susy Hendrix was nobody’s victim.  Despite her supposed weakness with her blindness, Susy was smart, quick-witted, brave, and yet vulnerable.  She was the most heroic of characters and I loved her completely.  The performance of Audrey Hepburn was off the charts and certainly deserved the Oscar nomination that it earned her.  She could have easily been shown as the victim of this movie, but she was able to see through the criminals’ lies and manipulations through her own brand of intelligence and resourcefulness.  I did not expect to see a female character this strong in a 1960s movie, but there she was.

Alan Arkin was unbelievably good as the evil Roat.  He was as compellingly wicked and menacing as could be.  Arkin was so great here that I had no idea what was going to happen and I was holding my breath as I hoped that Susy could make it through this problem.  Arkin was involved in a jump scare in this movie that scared the living crap out of me.  I literally yelled at the screen when it happened.  Dan Murrell had mentioned it in his argument on Movie Fights Live, but it still did not prepare me for how effective that jump scare was and how much I was actually shaken from it.

As a horror/thriller movie, this was fantastic.  The tension built throughout the film until the final moments, which was as amazing as you are ever going to see.  There may be a few plot holes here and there, but it is a 50+ year old film and it feels as relevant today as ever.  There are moments and scenes here that are obviously influential to other films of this genre moving forward.

Based on a 1966 play of the same name by Frederick Knott, Wait Until Dark has basically one set and all the drama and action takes place in this location.  Even though the below ground apartment is the only location, this film never felt boring or as if it needed more than what was there.  It felt like more than just a play on film (like Fences, a film starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis did).  It created superior suspense and kept me riveted the entire time.

Thanks for the recommendation, Dan.


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I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997)

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The last of the Second Chance/First Impression Binge this weekend before the football game is from the creators of Scream.  I Know What You Did Las Summer takes the tropes of the slasher movie and the kids in jeopardy and makes a movie that I saw once and did not remember much about.

I knew that Buffy the Vampire Slayer was in it (aka Sarah Michelle Geller) and her future husband Freddie Prinze, Jr.  I found it hard to see Sarah running from this fisherman with a hook character as I kept wanting her to turn to him as Buffy and kick his ass.  Unfortunately, that was not to be.

Four kids, out for a summer night of drinking and sex on the beach, wind up running down a man on their way home.  Instead of calling the police, they decide to dispose of the body and pretend like it never happened.

Of course, that kind of secret has a way of coming back, but not usually in the form of a psychotic fisherman looking for revenge.

There are some big old plot holes in the story and the fisherman sure seemed to be able to be anywhere in a flash of a second.  Plus, Barry (Ryan Phillippe), the football kid and boyfriend of Buffy, was a real dick.  As an entitled rich kid, you almost did not mind the fisherman chopping him up for chum.

The film is pretty fun at times watching these four pretty people suffer for their crime while hoping that, at least some of them, make it out alive.  It overcome most of the problems to give us a poor man’s Scream.

The biggest issue I had was “how did the killer get around, get those bodies out of there so quickly and efficiently, and still be in the right place at the right time?”  It was a major distraction and made the killer seem supernatural even though, spoilers, he wasn’t.

Still, it is not the worst film I have seen in the genre and it provided some dumb fun.


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Perfect Bid:The Contestant Who Knew Too Much (2018)

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This one is a bit of a palate cleanser.

I needed one after the first four movies in the Second Chance/First Impression Binge this weekend.  The Land of the Lost nearly broke me.  So I found this documentary on Amazon Prime from last year called Perfect Bid: The Contestant That Knew Too Much which focused on the man (or perhaps the man behind the man) who made a perfect, to the dollar, bid on The Price is Right.

Theodore Slauson was a teacher and he was a fan of the television game show The Price is Right.  So much so he started plotting out the prices of prizes shown on the show so that he would know how much something would cost.  It gave him a distinct advantage if he were ever to get on the stage.

He attended multiple tapings and, since the crowd is encouraged to yell out prices to help contestants, Theodore would become a bit of a known commodity.

Ironically, when Theodore made it to the stage himself, the Wheel round knocked him out of contention.

It wasn’t until years later that Theodore returned to help Terry Kniess, the contestant who bid the exact amount on the show’s Showcase Showdown.  Kniess has never admitted that he had any sort of help from Theodore for the bid.

However, most of the documentary focuses on Theodore and his years in the audience of the show.  We get interviews with Bob Barker, long time show producer Roger Dobkowitz, Drew Carey and others to help punctuate the moment, but the scandal of the perfect bid is really not the main aspect of the film.

In fact, it is downplayed as a scandal at all.  It just indicates that Theodore is excellent at his homework on the show, going as far as to show his chart of prize costs.  There is a bunch of clips from the game show revealing Theodore yelling out exact price numbers to other contestants.

This documentary is fine, but it does not feel to have much weight to it.  To define the perfect bid itself as a scandal is stretching somewhat.  It was an enjoyable watch, and I am grateful for the cleansing of the palate that I needed for the other bad films that I have been binging this weekend.


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Land of the Lost (2009)

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The Second Chance/First Impression Binge continue this morning with an adaptation of a late 1970s, early 1980s kid show from Sid and Marty Krofft called Land of the Lost.  The film starred Will Farrell.

I have seen parts of the film before and did not like it at all, so second chance certainly fits here.  I watched the Land of the Lost TV show as a youth and always enjoyed it.  Then, when it came out on DVD, I purchased the entire series as a lark.  It was nostalgia, but I discovered something surprising.  The TV series was way better than I remembered.  In fact, I would go on and say that Land of the Lost was one of the best science fiction series of all time, certainly ahead of its time.  Of course, the biggest issue it faced was the budget and having dinosaurs and other such looked cheap.  That lack of ability to create the proper look caused Land of the Lost to not be taken as seriously as it could have been.  However, go back and watch the show for the stories, they are outstanding.

Unfortunately, whoever made the movie did not have the same love of the show as I did because they made a travesty, taking some of the best parts of the show and warping it into something unrecognizable and downright insulting.

I am not a Will Farrell fan, but the first five minutes or so of the movie gave me some hope.  I enjoyed the weird interaction with Matt Lauer and saw potential in the way they were setting up the story.  Then, Will Farrell and his idiotic comedy took over and the film took a nose dive into T-Rex poop.

Anna Friel played Holly and Danny McBride played Will, taking both of those characters in a completely different direction than the show.  There was no connection between them and Rick Marshall (Farrell). The way they entered the Land of the Lost was silly and everything afterwards was inconsistent and just a waste of a great concept.

The movie lost the heart that the series had and never found anything even close to it.  It took the characters and settings of the show and warped them into an unrecognizable mess that was simple a name of a character.

This is the third out of four movies during this binge that is terrible and I may be rethinking the theme of Second Chance/First Impression Binge.


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Mars Attacks! (1996)

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Well, the snow has ended.

So the Winter Storm part of the weekend binge-a-thon is done too.  Now, we are just down to the Second Chance/First Impression Binge and this is the first second chance we have to offer.

Mars Attacks! was a comedy alien invasion spoof film from the mind of Tim Burton that came during the mid 90s and I disliked it quite a bit the first and only time that I saw it on VHS.  Finding it now on Amazon Prime, I decided that this would be the next installment in the binge.

And I did find it more entertaining than I did on the first viewing.

There are a ton of actors appearing in here and most of the big names do not last for too long.  There are a bunch of storylines that really make little to no sense.  It is just a fun movie where a bunch of little green jerks from Mars came to the planet earth and tried to take it over.

Jack Nicholson was the President of the United States (and a weird second role of a Vegas businessman that really had no reason).  Glenn Close was the vapid FLOTUS.  A group of actors (Michael J. Fox, Pierce Brosnan, Danny DeVito, Martin Short, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jack Black) are here basically to see how the Martians kill them.

The main heroes of the piece is Jim Brown, Tom Jones (playing himself), Lukas Haas and Sylvia Sidney.  Not exactly the group of names when matched up with the other actors in this movie.

That was probably the idea here and Mars Attacks! made these deaths funny a lot of the time.  The Martians themselves were fairly ridiculous too.

Certainly, one of the standout performances was Lisa Marie as “Martian Girl” who is able to infiltrate the White House with horny chief of staff Martin Short.  Her weird way of moving created the most memorable of all the characters involved.

While this is nothing unbelievable, I found it more entertaining this time around and the first film of this binge that is going to receive a positive review.  One out of three so far.

Getting out this afternoon for Glass.  Binge will continue later this weekend.


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