This week was a super fun SPOF as we discuss the Netflix original Castlevania series. As long time gamers this episode is less about the very brief but promising series and more about games. We also discuss prior and upcoming game to film adaptations and what can or (in most cases) didn't make them successful. There's little in the way of spoilers for this episode since there's little in the way of content (four episodes clocking 23 minutes a piece) so there's no need to have watched the series before listening to the episode.
While we're not exactly sure you could call it a classic this week's film is responsible for 7 sequels, Michael Winslow's career and countless Steve Guttenberg jokes. The premise of "Police Academy" is a flimsy one; the mayor of a major metropolitan area decides to open the police academy to recruits who are grossly unqualified...no doubt so hilarity could ensue. Much to our surprise this film does have a few laugh out loud moments despite all the 80's cheese and if you don't look too hard at all its faults comes away being an enjoyable experience. Given the number of 80's comedies that don't hold up so well in the modern era you could do a lot worse than take a nostalgia trip with this surprisingly diverse group of predictably schticky yet somehow oddly charming characters. There's not a lot of meat to serve up on a spoiler platter but we do talk about some of our favorite jokes in the film. If you want to preserve some of the more comedic moments it's probably best to come at the film fresh and give a listen afterwards.
Hey Streaming Pile of Flix listener, do you love the podcast but don't find it to be as soul crushing as you would like? Do you wish you could hear us argue about gentically modified foods or the ethics of stem cell research and the logistics of growing meat on plants? Then look no further than this week's episode as we discuss the Netflix original "Okja". The Mirando Corporation (a fictional corporation bearing no similarity to any existing evil, soulless, heartless or despicable company which produces genetically modified products) claims to have discovered a new species of "super pig" which grows to an enormous size and will soon be available for mass consumption. Before introducing this new and fantastic meat product to the world they send twelve "super pigs" to various corners of the Earth to be raised by indigenous people in the region. Enter Mija, a young and adorable South Korean girl who raises her best friend "Okja" to be the biggest and strongest of the "super pigs"...only to have Okja dramatically ripped from her loving home to be sent to slaughter. Mija travels to New York City in a desperate bid to rescue her pig and return Okja to her home. While we all generally agree this is a good film it is certainly not recommended for those who are sensitive to animal rights issues as it will ruin your day. Hell, it will probably ruin your day anyhow presuming you have a soul. We spoil this film in the same way this film will likely spoil your desire to have a steak so please check out the film first.
This week we discussed Eli Roth's directorial debut, "Cabin Fever". A group of requisite horny flesh sacks/stereotypical horror fodder make their way up to a remote cabin in the woods to drunkenly grope each other and generally debauch the pristine wilderness. Their fun is abruptly spoiled by a man carrying a flesh eating virus which then makes its way through the group of teens one by one. While basically an hour long set up to a shitty racist joke you could certainly find worse films on any one of the major streaming services. This is far from a recommendation however and if you haven't seen the film don't bother putting it on before listening to this episode.
This week we watched the "exciting" remake to the "classic" original "Kickboxer Vengeance". When his brother is killed in the ring by the brutal and ruthless Thai martial artist Tong Po, fighter Kurt Sloane vows revenge. Motivated by "Vengeance" Sloane finds the laziest trainer ever (who consequently failed in training his brother) in order to exact his retribution. With some decently coreographed fight scenes you could certainly pick a worse action film but there is literally nothing to distinguish this movie from a sea of other equally generic action fare. The good news is with almost no story to speak of it is virtually impossible for us to spoil the 90 minute training montage that is "Kickboxer Vengeance".
A first in the history of this podcast as we deliver a spoiler free episode in our discussion of Christopher Nolan's first film "Following". We loved the film but found it hard to discuss due to a complex story which is told out of sequence (though brilliantly executed). We did somehow still manage to spoil the Kevin Bacon TV series "The Following" as well as address some seriously poignant issues...like why there's never been a sequel to the now 27 year old game "Wing Commander". This may be the most off topic we've ever been but we had a great time seeing how far we could stray from the source material!
This week is our first attempt at a horror anthology discussion as we examine the film "Southbound", a collection of five different stories focused around a veritable highway of the damned. Each traveller faces their own personal version of hell with varying degrees of effectiveness and originality. In the end there are only a couple of true standout moments as a majority of the film dips into standard horror fare. The film is worth viewing particularly for the short entitled "The Accident" however the other stories will do little to excite a seasoned horror audience. While not truly offensive in it's mediocrity you may be better served by fast forwarding to "The Accident" and letting us spoil the rest as we pick apart the best and worst elements of the film.
Ever since the second Terminator film Hollywood has been trying to recapture the same emotion, imagination and ingenuity. While they've never even come close before surely including a "Social Media" spin on the Skynet program, Nu-Metal spelling of said program "Genisys" and an old Schwarzenegger Terminator absolutely must have created the perfect mix of ill-thought out marketing elements to make the film spectacular right? Beyond that I'm certain everyone who grew up with and loved the first two Terminator films always wanted a modern take where they "reboot" the whole timeline and essentially erase the history of the only decent films the franchise ever produced right? Lastly, it would absolutely have to star one of the leads from the superb 2016 summer hit "Suicide Squad" to be any good at all right? To think that somewhere and at some point before this atrocity was created executives sat and listened to a team pitch these abortions masquerading as ideas and decided to proceed with the production might give one an aneurysm. After watching this film however, you will wish that you had an aneurysm. The podcast may spoil the so-called "story" but the people responsible for the Terminator franchise are the real spoilers...
We're very excited this week to discuss another film directed by E.L Katz who was also responsible for the film we discussed on our very first episode (Cheap Thrills). "Small Crimes" follows a disgraced cop Joe Lannister (I know that's not his name but it's so much easier than saying Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) as he is released from prison after serving a six year sentence for attempted murder. Seemingly determined to go straight and reconcile with his young children Joe is quickly pulled back into the world he tried to leave behind. This film drops massive piles of emotional bricks on it's audience and it makes for one hell of an entertaining movie. We all highly recommend viewing the film before checking out this episode.
Based off the name of a Brett Easton Ellis book (and literally nothing else) our film this week is one that Robert Downey Jr. credits as the beginning of his spiral into drug addiction, "Less Than Zero". The film's only semblance of a protagonist Clay returns from his first semester of college to discover his best friend Julian has become a drug addict. Between the set up and the end we witness Clay relentlessly pursuing his former high school girlfriend and occasionally threatening Julian's drug dealer. Beyond that there is no other substance to this film. The characters are terrible people who are all self-interested, spoiled rich brats with literally no redeeming qualities. The entire film is basically one terrible plot device looped over a variety of SoCal settings. The most satisfying thing about this film is the fact that it eventually ends (I would say the music but you'd be better off putting on an 80's Pandora station and repeatedly whipping yourself in the legs with a yard stick). At least we had fun tearing yet another terrible film to shreds. Please save yourself the pain of watching this refuse and allow us to spoil it for you.