The final part of this spectacular is far easier to comprehend if you watch all 6 episodes in one sitting, and maintain sobriety through the first 3 episodes. You will probably make just as much sense as we did during the final film.
Unfortunately, 2012 has been the years of delayed and limited content rather than a year of evolving techniques, as we had hoped it to be. Due to various life events with both of the Two Assholes, recording episodes has become increasingly difficult, even after we had figured out how we could accomplish it without being in the same physical location. This led to a lack of content, and the failure of some plans which we had previously developed.
However, we have both reaffirmed our commitment to this podcast (primarily because we just like doing it so damn much), and resolved to deliver far more content in 2013, including both podcast episodes and more Mystery Asshole Theatre episodes (including another lofty project, which we will discuss once we have confirmed further details). In order to start it off with a bang, however, we have to clear out the back catalogue, and provide you with the final two parts of the Star Wars spectacular. Hopefully, you will consider these episodes to have been worth the wait. I can't really say whether they should be or not, because the last two movies were kind of a blur. We hit the sauce pretty hard to make up for our sobriety through the first three films.
Gen had made me a wonderful dinner for my birthday so this week so she got the night off from The Road, my friend Mike G. will have the finals words. Which is kind of a shame since Gen suffered through three not so great movies and Mike gets to sit through a decent one.
A remake of Fist of Fury (which is a classic in itself starring Bruce Lee) Fist of Fury is the story of one man's revenge against the man who killed his master as well as making some revenge against the "horrible" people of Japan. Set in 1937, this film is usually regarded as one of Jet Li's finest martial arts films along with Once Upon a Time in China 1 & 2.
And like any good martial arts film, the plot is fairly straight forward with a small twist or two and high on action. The fight scenes were choreographed by Yuen Woo Ping and are the main reason he was hired on to The Matrix fight staff. The action is incredibly fast paced and plentyful. The sound effects are exagerated and not just punches and kicks either. At one point a character kicks a tree and you would have thought it was a redwood falling.
I han't seen the film in a few years but Fist of Legend lived up to my memory of it. This is the Jet Li I like to remember as opposed to a great majority of his North American work. Li moved fast and crisp and at the time there was only one other guy like that (Donnie Yen).
Fist of Legend is still a classic, just be in the right mind when you watch it. This is a kung fu movie. It is not Citizen Kane.
Mike's Quick Take
"Par for the course for your average kung fu movie... the romance was totally tacked on and kind of bizzare. The fight scenes were good but I was surprised at how long they went for."
Jean Claude Van Damme vs Cyborg Pirates... we think Explosion Count: None. Unless you count sparks as it explosions
After last week's review of Masters of the Universe, I turned my attention to Van Damme's Cyborg. For those of you who are unaware, Cannon Films was setting up to make a sequel to the He-Man film... and then couldn't afford the rights. Unfortunately the film company had already spent 2 million dollars on sets and costumes so they just wrote another movie over a weekend and cast Van Damme as the hero...
... wait a minute...
... 2 MILLION DOLLARS?
WHAT THE HELL WAS IT SPENT ON????
I had never seen Cyborg until we sat down to watch it. Honestly, I think I had caught the end of the film several times on TBS but never the whole thing and boy, I am so glad that I didn't. I watch a lot of bad movies and this one was so uninteresting, I barely know what it was about. There is a woman who's a cyborg, who holds the cure to some plague. Then we have Van Dmme is a "slinger" which is kind of like a gunslinger or ronin type guy. He initially helps the woman cyborg until he gets the crap kicked out of him by another cyborg called Fender. Apparently Fender killed Van Damme's pseudo family in flashbacks where Van Damme wore a horrible mullet wig.
And that's all I can really tell you. This movie lost my interest in about 15 minutes. It was obvious that a lot of the violence was cut for a rating so there wasn't even that to help sustain it. But here are kind of the notes I took whenever something remotely interesting happened.
- Noticed that most of the villains are named after guitars.
"My name is Fender and I rock! ... GET IT?"
- I'm not the biggest fan of Masters of the Universe but if the sets and costumes in this were honestly for a sequel, it really would have been a downgrade from the first one.
- Hey! There's the guy who played Conan on tv.
- Seriously that's a horrible wig.
"My Chris Gaines look"
- There's a scene where Van Damme is crucified by the bad guys and all I could think of was "Were they going to crucify fucking He-Man?"
The Gen Summation
"Even with ice creme this movie was terrible. And ice creme makes everything better!"
When I was a kid, I loved He-Man. More than Transformers, more than GI Joe, I loved He-Man. So when they announced a live action film starring Dolph Lundgren (fresh off of Rocky 4) and on paper, he fit the role perfectly.
Unfortunately the film wasn't written well.
Essentially, Skeletor takes over Castle Grayskull to get The Sorceress's power and to beat He-Man. He-Man and company escapes to Earth and lose their cosmic key. Mayhem ensues.
And by mayhem I mean He-Man fights some of Skeletor's troops, Monica Geller and Lt Tom Paris get caught up in the action which leads to a final showdown between Skeletor and He-Man.
As an artifact of the 80's it's got everything. it was a Cannon film, Dolph Lundgren, the hard ass principal from Back to the Future, lasers, a Drew Struzan poster. It also had a young Courtney Cox and the dude who played Paris on Voyager.
The problem is that the movie itself isn't very ... well... He-Man. Skeletor (played masterfully by Frank Langella)'s troops are basically Stormtroopers. Orko has been replaced by Gwildor and while Man At Arms and He-Man are similar to their cartoon counterparts but neither are actually in the movie a huge amount. A lot of Skeletor's standard back up goons aren't here, replaced with lesser characters.
And what's the deal with He-Man using a gun all of the time?
And this wasn't a cheap movie either, 22 million for a budget and a lot of quality sets and costumes. Some of the effects aren't so great, He-Man on the hover board for instance is pretty terrible. The ending also kind of rips off Jedi a little... and has time travel that doesn't make sense.
Overall, more fun than Delta Force.
It just doesn't feel a lot like He-Man.
Gen's review: "It was like... I'm going to be He-Man but have laser guns and stormtroopers" and then as the credits rolled "All of you people should be ashamed!" to the tv.
Chuck Fucking Norris vs Terrorists in Fashionable Scarves
Explosion Count: approx. 34
As part of our lead up to the recording and subsequent posting of our Expendables 2 episode, I'm taking one member of the cast each week and reviewing one of their films. This week I reviewed The Delta Force alone with my girlfriend Gen.
When I was a kid, Delta Force was fucking awesome. It's theme was only second to the theme from Star Wars in my head. And Chuck Norris had the best dirt bike ever!
Now time has lifted those rose coloured glasses have now been lifted and my view is a little more realistic.
The Gen Summation
"It's like they started to try and make a good movie then gave up and said fuck it, let's just blow shit up."
Can't really argue with my girlfriend. The Delta Force is about a squad of big time commandos who have been brought in due to a hickjacking. Terrorists from Beirut have taken a plane hostage and subsequently landed in their own country and taken all of the male hostages off, separating some military service men and possible Jews (including a Catholic priest who volunteers to be a hostage because he's a Jew just like Jesus was... I shit you not this was the explanation George Kennedy gives).
A good chunk of the film tries to be a serious hijacking drama.
It fails at this due to bad script and bad acting but it tries. Like the German stewardess who doesn't want to help seperate the possible Jewish passengers due to the fact that she is German and people just naturally associate German with the Nazis. To be fair, she's got a little bit of a point. Unfortunately, the poor actress that plays said stewardess is rather melodramatic.
And then somewhere around the middle of filming, someone remembered "Wait, we've got Lee Marvin and Chuck Norris in this thing" and they start blowing shit up.
Watching it as an adult I realized a few things.
This movie has a ton of lag time in between the crappy acting and Chuck Norris driving his awesome dirt bike around (the dirt bike did turn out to be pretty cool).
The other thing I discovered was how many celebs they crammed into bit parts. Shelly Winters, Joey Bishop, Bo Svenson.. okay so they're either older celebs or cult figures but still, I was really surprised at the amount of casting that was done.
Overall, not as good as I remembered.
Next week on The Road to The Expendables 2, Dolph!
Ok, so the delay on this one is seriously my bad. Between work and home being insanely busy, I had to contend with audio difficulties on this episode, as it was part of an experimental distance recording. This would have turned out fine if I had used a headset, rather than a microphone in my free hand (don't ask what the other was doing). On the upside, you can totally hear Brent clearly.
This episode was recorded some time ago, but is mostly speculative of things upcoming, so all of the things that we were looking forward to then are much closer now, which makes it far easier to handle waiting for them to finally arrive. So, without further ado, the latest episode of TATANS.
As an aside, if anyone has audio promos for podcasts, send them along, as we always have at least one break in the show to accommodate a plug. The Anime Roundtable used to get our advertising, but they've been dead in the water for some time, so their loss can be your gain!