The original "Robocop" film was a brutal, fun, poignant action flick which touched on a number of moral, technological and socio-economic themes. Our film this week is the sequel "Robocop 3" which recaptures none of the magic though it retreads old ground thematically. Alex Murphy the titular "Robocop" must make a choice to serve the public or serve his brutal masters when evil, greedy, corporate megolomaniacs attempt to gentrify a run down section of Detroit. First, they must evict the current tenants by utilizing the most violent and ruthless means available to them. Will Robocop stand for justice? Or will he flail helplessly on the ground after a single jumpkick from a cyborg ninja? If you've heard the podcast then you immediately know the answer. If you haven't...then welcome to Streaming Pile of Flix where we spoil all of your wonderful childhood memories by discussing film sequels which should never have been made. Also movies...this one in particular.
Our unintentional 80's throwback streak continues this week with "Adventures in Babysitting". Alleged High School Senior Chris Parker has a hot date with her 30 year old boyfriend before he unexpectedly has to cancel (to chase some more high school tail). So when Chris is asked to babysit last minute for the Andersons she assumes it will be easy money. Things quickly take a turn for the worse as her dumb friend Brenda decides to run away from home and needs Chris to drive into the city to pick her up from the train station. It's nothing but a typical night of babysitting as the family is hijacked by a car thief, then during their escape steal a porno from the mafia, buy new tires from Thor and dangle an 8 year old out of a skyscraper. One of the few films in the 1980's featuring a ginger who isn't Anthony Michael Hall there are some moments that actually hold up...and others which remind you how terrible 80's films have the potential to be. Spoiler warning there is a musical number entitled "The Babysitter Blues" please avoid at all costs.
Our film this week is the 80's Corey and Corey classic "License to Drive". Sixteen year old Les Anderson is on the verge of vehicular autonomy when he moronically fails his driver's exam. Determined not to let a lack of legality stop him from having a night out with the girl of his dreams, he steals his grandfather's Cadillac and as often happens things go ridiculously awry. We were a little mixed on this one although the sentiment was mostly positive. Enjoyment of this film will hinge on how tolerant you are of the Coreys and perhaps 80's films and tropes in general. Enjoyment of this podcast however is guaranteed!**
**Guarantee valid only with sense of humor/tolerance of full spoilers.
After threatening each other for nearly an entire year someone finally picked an Adam Sandler film! Adam Sandler stars as a Cobbler (spoiler) who discovers he has in his posession a magic stitching machine which allows him to assume the identity of anyone; provided he has repaired their shoes with this device. Sandler then proceeds to rape his way into our hearts pretending to be everyone from Method Man (in order to rob white people...no seriously) to his father. Too little, too late something that resembles a central plot point is introduced and then the movie is over. On the one hand...there are worse Sandler movies out there...on the other hand none of those films ever obtain the distinct level of mediocrity displayed in this film. There are of course spoilers throughout but nothing can prepare you for an ending that manages to retroactively spoil 90 minutes of your life.
Our film this week is the much beloved 80's cult classic film "The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension". Buckaroo Banzai is a half Japanese astrophysicist/brain surgeon/rockstar/samurai who along with his team of trusty sidekicks the "Hong Kong Cavaliers" discovers the secret of interdimensional travel. His interdimensional excursion reveals a threat to the planet unlike any the Earth has faced before and it is up to Banzai and his team to unravel and halt an evil interdimensional plot. You may think that a film with such an incredible cast (Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd, John Lithgow, Peter Weller) would have to be decent based off its Hollywood pedigree and nostalgia factor alone. You may also assume that the plot is somewhat more coherent than the title or description would suggest. Prepare to be dissapointed as you enter a world of messy subplots, subpar acting and lame action sequences. Even as children of the 80's this film did little to encite any semblance of nostalgia or enjoyment. If for some reason you have believed the hype from die hard fans of this film and are biting your nails to see it...don't. Just listen to the podcast as we spoil every moment of this terrible, terrible film.
Testing the character limits on our hosting site, this week's film was a Netflix original "I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore". Ruth is an invisible doormat to the world around her until her house is broken into and some antique silverware is stolen. She befriends neighborhood weirdo Tony (after throwing a fistful of shit at him) and enlists his help to retrieve her stolen items. What ensues is a quest for justice, as comedic as it is violent. The directorial debut of Macon Blair, long time collaborator with director Jeremy Saulnier and star of the excellent films "Blue Ruin and "The Green Room" Blair turns out an amazing first effort! We loved it and we're almost positive you will as well so do us all a favor and watch the damn thing before you press play.
This week we tackle one of our most difficult film discussions yet "Mulholland Drive". Fresh faced and bound for Hollywood stardom Betty arrives in Los Angeles only to find a bloody, amnesiac woman has taken up residence in her aunt's apartment. Betty takes it upon herself to help the woman discover her true identity before things begin to dip into the surreal. It's truly amazing that we were for the most part able to follow this film as well as provide some additional insight into it's meaning. If you haven't seen the film or still don't understand it I might recommend checking out the podcast first as you may derive more from the film then you would from a blind viewing. David Lynch movies are tremendously difficult to spoil so while we do discuss key story elements it's all in service to interpreting this bizzare and ethereal experience.
Our film this week is "The Beaver" which, contrary to my first impression is NOT a horror film about a sentient vagina. Mel Gibson stars as Walter Black, the terribly depressed CEO of a failing toy company and all around pathetic sack of crap. While attempting to use slapstick to kill himself Walter's life is saved by a Beaver hand puppet who begins to take over Walter's life. The Beaver seems to be helping Walter put his life back in order but is he really there to help or are his motives more sinister? More importantly...who really cares? While certainly not the worst movie we've discussed The Beaver doesn't do much to get you invested in the story or it's characters. Aside from starring some incredibly talented actors the film is absolutely mediocre at best. As always, we completely spoil a film you've never heard of and aren't likely to watch.
Bonus Episode: We discuss another recently released film as we just happened to have seen it at the same time. Keanu Reeves returns as the titular assassin in what is arguably one of his best action roles since the original "Matrix" film. John Wick 2 expands the universe set forward in the first film which actually works to it's detriment as we enjoyed the mystique of the assassins guild. While this film feels mostly like a set-up for the third intallment of the series there are some wonderful moments in this competent and enjoyable action flick. This is a rare, mostly spoiler free episode where we focus primarily on some key action moments and the universe that is built around the guild and it's vatican-esque hieracrchy. If you haven't seen the film we do discuss a few elements of the story but this really is a film that relies on it's visual sequences more so than it's story.
We celebrate the holiday of overpriced greeting cards and flowers with the story of a boy and his love for a corpse. Hank Thompson is stranded on an island and on the brink of suicide when a corpse with magical flatulent powers washes ashore. The two simultaneously come to life as Hank teaches the corpse "Manny" about the beauty of life and love. Manny becomes Hank's salvation both literally and figuratively as Hank begins to discover the value of friendship...and erections in this surprisingly charming and well "endowed" cinematic fantasy. Despite the description this turned out to be both a sad and beautiful film which asks you to suspend your disbelief and engage the characters in unexpected ways. Full spoilers for the film follow.