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Gone in 60 Seconds (1974)

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A tow truck driver decides to make a movie that teaches us a master class on how to boost cars. Someone knows way too much about stealing cars here.

So along the same vein as Miami ConnectionDeadbeat by Dawn, and The Room a guy who doesn't have any training or experience making movies uses his dubious personal funds to make his dream project - a movie. That's what H.B. Halecki did here. But he made a movie about what he knew - stealing cars. Ol' H.B. or Tobey by his friends, had a successful tow truck company which to me says he repossessed a lot of vehicles and so made a movie about breaking into cars and moving them without any one knowing. 

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Cannonball!

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Getting from here to there has never been so dangerous! Dom Delouse wouldn't have survived 30 feet from the start line.

So yeah, its a Cannonball run. That's about all it has in common with the Burt Reynolds classic. This isn't much of a laugh goofball screw fest. What we have here is something in between Deathrace 2000 and Cannonball Run. Its not really funny. Its not really that campy. But its not really a race movie either. Its like a little bit of everything. But wow does it have a lot of Hal Needham shenanigans that is missing from most Corman movies. Speaking of Corman, talk about a huge amount of cameos. Corman himself, Don Simpson, Martin Scorsese, Sly Stallone, Paul Bartel and Dick Miller! Wahhoo.

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Shakedown

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One tough cop and one tough public defender team up to take down the entire NYPD and one guy who owns a sex club and likes illegal street racing. The only thing standing in their way? More grenades.

Do not be mislead by the very positive reviews by the critics here. This has got a 70% on Rottentomatoes. That is absolutely insane. This movie stinks, in a good way, but it stinks and it stinks hard. I mean, what did they see that we didn't? Oh, well there's lots of commentary about racism and corruption within police departments at that time. Yeah we saw that. Well what about the conflict within Roland on choosing money or his passion? Yep saw that too. What about Richie's path to lead him to this point in life? Wait, you're arguing that this is a good movie because his girlfriend waxed her apartment floors and the dog flew out the window because it couldn't stop? THAT'S YOUR ARGUMENT?!?!? He lives in a movie theater because of slippery floors?!?!?

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Thrashin'

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Sure, its just West Side Story with skateboards but its....uh....hmmmm. I guess that's it.

What you've got here is your classic tale of boy wants to win skateboarding competition, boy meets his rival, boy meets girl, girl is rivals sister, boy and rival skateboard joust with bean bags in a burning drainage ditch, boy blames girl, boy beats rival in downhill skateboarding competition, rival and boy become brothers in law and America is united. That ol' joint, you know.

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200 M.P.H.

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When the only way to get revenge for your brother's death is to drive at 200 MPH, don't. Because apparently you don't need to, or can't, or it really wasn't anybody's fault except your brothers. I mean the list goes on and on.

So this is an Asylum movie, which we tend to steer very clear of because of the complete lack of writing that takes place and their usually horrible visuals. Well this makes no exception. The writing is incredibly terrible and the visuals are horrendous. What is hard to clarify is that somehow this one feels different from their other rubbish. There's really not any "boxes of dialogue" in the middle. There's no standing around with quick cuts between characters not really talking about anything but pretending their doing something important. 200 MPH is more just wandering between scenes that may or may not have anything to do with the plot but its too hard to tell because you're never really sure what the plot is exactly. 

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The Legend of Billie Jean

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Billie Jean leads a movement of oppressed 80's kids against.....adults? Because she wants that damn $608 and FAIR IS FAIR!

So once upon a hot summer in Corpus Christi, a 14 year old guy named Binx gets his sweet scooter trashed by some older d-bags. His older sister goes to the dad of said punk and demands he repay for the damages. Instead that guy tries to put her on a rape-repayment plan and gets shot by Binx. The kids bolt and become defacto Bonnie and Clyde figures of the day's youth. That's really more than you need to know about this film. I went in completely blind as to what it was and I am so glad that I did. Thanks alot Google for making us have to write up content each time that spoils the movie. Nice algorithm! I should revolt against the man too because fair IS fair.

Anyways, the old d-bags do bad things (usually rape) and get away with it in the 80's is a fairly common theme we come up against on this podcast. See TomboyThe Wraith, Savage Streets and so many others....I guess just pick any 80's film. Odds are you're gonna have elements of this. But what makes Billie Jean special is how much it veers away from the common tropes of this (for lack of a better word) genre. Instead of the lead going on a path of vengeance, our heroine (Helen Slater's Billie Jean) goes on the lamb and vicariously creates a cult of teenagers who've just had about a damn nuff of these adults being unfair, I guess. I literally have no idea what the cults goal is other than to worship and protect Billie Jean. All ol' BJ wants is the $608 her brother is owed for her scooter. But even that is murky as she exploits her situation to get a new scooter. I guess she just really loves riding on the back of a scooter in skimpy clothes with her younger brother who may or may not have blood in his noggin, definitely not enough that he should be driving that scooter!

The Legend of Billie Jean is another microcosm of 80's film. Its not that there's any one thing you can point to and say THAT is what makes this movie awesomely terrible. Its the entire piece. The theme, the soundtrack, the plot, its all dripped in 80's nacho cheese. The kind that gives you a stomach ache later but man does it taste good on the way down.

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Over the top action:2-star
Cheesy effects:0-star
Horrendous acting:2-star
Laugh-out-loud-ability:3-star
Ridiculous stunts:1-star
Gratuitous nudity:1-star
Memorable one-liners:2-star
Nonsensical Plot:4-star

Riffability:4-star

Overall Ratings:

Good Movie Quality: 4-star
Bad Movie Quality:7-star

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Gleaming the Cube

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Christian Slater is a skateboarding detective who will stop at nothing to solve the murder of his adopted brother, including using his dead bro's ex, complicity in manslaughter and traffic violations. Traffic violations!!!

So Brian (Christian Slater) is a teenage punk whose only outlet in life is some serious thrashing on his skateboard. When his brother gets fired from his video store job for looking into his boss's medical supply business invoices, he ends up accidentally murdered by a guy choking him with a towel. When THAT guy ends up accidentally murdered, Brian goes on a investigation with the power of his skateboarding. This sounds like its awesome and well....it is. BUTTTTT it takes so long to get going that you're gonna be pretty disappointed for the first 30 minutes. However, once that ball gets rolling - hold on to your trux because things get really awesome at the end.

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Volcano: Fire on the Mountain

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The 90's most Xtreme dude finds himself on an erupting ski slope. We're gonna shred some gnar over that volcano right? Well....no.

What we've got here is another Zombeavers. You want to talk about a great premise and setup for a fun disaster film that you won't ever forget? This is it. Dan Cortese in the late 90's on the slopes. A volcano surrounded by snow ready to blow. A deadbeat dad that doesn't care if his son is dead. A character named Stan in a volcano movie!!! Yet, Dan doesn't shred the slopes and jump over the volcano. The volcano and snow face off is vague and stupid. When the deadbeat dad gets his justs deserts its unclear if he even dies. And Stan does NOT ever chuck a man. Booooo....

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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

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Nic Cage plays Nick Cage and that's about all the trailer tells you about this. Its so much more than you think it is.

If ogres are like onions, UWOMT is the state fair winner of onions stuffed inside of the Earth's core. Even a hardcore Nic Cage fan (hello!) will have to watch this three or four times to peel away each layer of self awareness and subtle statements and meta, meta, meta. Its too deep to even get into without ruining it in a silly blog review. Yet, somehow it breaks all the rules of a layered film as its incredibly accessible to the masses. It shouldn't work as it has something for everyone including the film snobs and the casual popcorn eater and yet says directly in the dialogue that a movie such as that cannot work. Its like if Salvador Dali painted naked ladies holding American flags atop tanks that are shooting at Martian invaders.

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Lifeguard

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Ex-Surfer and shirtless hunk Rick struggles with whether to continue on doing the thing he's too old for but loves or to not have sex with the 17 year old. See what I did there? Welcome to the Baywatch Prequel.

I mean seriously, this is just Baywatch right or the other way around? The story follows Mitch, I mean Rick, who is now 32 and still a beach bum lifeguard. So he has to make a choice: enter the suit-and-tie world of schmucks or keep on guarding and facing ridicule from society. Along the way, he takes on a new trainee (Parker Stevenson - yup THAT Parker Stevenson) who is attending college in the fall (possibly law school?), gets himself into a school girl crush/statutory rape situation, hooks up with an ex who is way out of his league and loses a lifeguard decathlon because he's getting too old for this shit. All this while sprinkled with various lifeguard activities that will one day become plot lines for entire episodes of Baywatch

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Rage and Honor 2

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Kris and Preston find themselves having to work with Patrick Muldoon's hair to break up a diamond heist in Jakarta. Do they ever realize their unstated attraction? Does the US government see rewards for sending a high school teacher as a double agent? Can Richard Norton get his pants higher? No to all.

While Rage and Honor was a bit of a disappointment for its under utilized shenanigans, the sequel manages to go all in. Its not that they turned the amps to 11 because this feels like its own standalone piece that's unrelated in all ways to its predecessor. Tonally different and chock full of nanners, this is an absolute blast from start to finish. It starts with Cynthia Rothrock smashing her co-workers balls and ends with Patrick Muldoon falling off a crane in comedic fashion and never lets off the gas throughout.

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Rage and Honor

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Its a cornball karate team-up in a hunt for a video tape that can clear the name of an Aussie cop who has no reason for being there in the first place. Will they fall in love? Will they save the life of their friend? Can anyone explain Brian Thompson's hair? The answer is no to all.

So things are fairly typical for a DTV karate movie of this era. You've got your standard karate revenge plot. You've got a female/male will they/won't they standard. You've got shirtless dudes punching it out. The pacing is on key with an alarm that rings "karate fight" when its been about 15 minutes of actual plot development. And of course, there are whoosh sounds when ever anyone reaches for a cup of coffee.

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Gator

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Gator McClusky is back to punch dudes and kiss ladies. This time he's gotta bust his buddy Roy from the first movie. Oh that's not Roy? That's Jerry Reed? Huh.

So as discussed the primary problem with the first film, White Lightning, is its tonally all over the place. Its a goofy car chase movie. Its a murder revenge against a corrupt elected official. Its a sexy time in the swamp. Gator doesn't suffer from that. Thematically, its much more focused. Jerry Reed's Bama McCall is a bit of a goofy villain more in line with James Bond than a Michael Mann movie. You don't feel too icky about him. He's a low level crook running a protection racket and whooores. He's NOT Ned Beatty who is nuts and murders college kids for political dissent. He just likes doing the crimes. That's the level of villain you want for a goofy car chase movie, where the ladies love the handsome guy and cats go on burglaries.

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White Lightning

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Burt Reynolds faces off against Ned Beatty as the most frightening and real villain one can imagine. His method of vengeance? Crashing cars and banging ladies!

White Lightning is a cornerstone of what would happen for the rest of the 70's. Mostly Burt Reynolds in cars and doing his silly laugh. But really its influence goes so much farther than that. It sprinkles into trucking movies, Dirty Mary Crazy Larry, Walking Tall, and anything that involves cars and bayous moving forward. Some of that is Hal Needham's stunt work, some of it is Burt's charm, but really it seems like it was just the natural filmic direction that matched the post-Civil-Rights-Movement and late Vietnam war culture of America.

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Moonfall

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The moon is falling! Deploy Operation: Duck and Poo Yourself. Roland Emmerich takes us on another destroy Earth roller coaster, but does he capture the any of his past or is this just another Midway?

So the moon is a big space base and because of rogue nanobotic AI trying to destroy mankind, it sucks up all the moons power supply like a Tesla's battery going uphill and causes it to plummet towards Earth. So with what minimal resources can be mustered, a disgraced astronaut, the director of NASA and Art Bell's nephew must fly to the moon and punch that AI in the mouth! Seems legit. Lets move on.

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51st State

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Samuel L and Robert Carlyle team up in this drug/money caper/heist that looks like a Ritchie/Boyle knock-off/bandwagon romp/joint. We'll be leaving/running away now.

Uh......it sucks. I would love to say that this is an undiscovered gem that the critics harpooned because it was ahead of its time (much in the same manner as they treated Snatch) and that this will become your new favorite movie. I can't say that. The critics got it right. Its vapid, cloney and drivel.

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Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects

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An aged Charlie Bronson finds himself having to stop a sex-trafficking pimp by giving him a new diet and having a Borderlands boss fight set piece at the end. So its Tuesday!

What I don't enjoy about this film is that has no business existing. This is a perfect example of something that happens far too often in film. Its two movies.

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Alien Resurrection

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Horny scientists in space! Everything in this movie is gross sex! Everyone has messy pants including the aliens! Ever wanted to see a xenomorphs vagina? You can now! What a pitch...

Essentially, scientists want to cure disease and they think that making a human/xenomorph combo will give them the answers which has its own set of problems. BUT, instead they make some regular xenomorphs too and some Ripley abominations who tear apart a handful of scientists and Michael Wincott too early in the film. This results in the science vessel automatically crashing into the Earth at the speed of 176 million MPH causing an extinction level event and ushering in a nuclear holocaust. Thanks Ripley!

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Home Sweet Home Alone

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2 down on their luckers attempt to right the course of their financially destiny, but a young Joe Manchin stands in their way and he's serving up deadly coal for breakfast.

What Home Sweet Home Alone manages to do is cause empathy for struggling Americans in a way that MSNBC could never home to imagine. This whole time we only needed Max Mercer to unite the country and feel bad for those less fortunate. Its as if we were Ebenezer Scrooge and Max Mercer is all 3 Ghosts of Christmas who just repeatedly puts poor people in comas with billiard balls. "Take it away, spirit. I can endure no more" said I as little Max stabs Jeff in the heart with a three foot long icicle.

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Die Hard 2

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A traitorous group of ex-military hatch a plan to hijack an airport so that they can move a pilot from one plane to another. They only thing they didn't account for was John McClane. Oh, and other airports, radios, emergency vehicles, electrical tape, power lines, and the media. But mostly, John McClane!

I mean...why is this so highly rated? Its sitting at a 7.1 on IMDB as of this writing. That's only 1 star lower than the first one. This movie is seriously only 1 star worse, super fans? Its like at least 3! Why?

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