Saturday, November 28, 2015

Team of Enemies

I don't get it!  How come I'm not profiling Tom Turk and Daffy?  Well, for one thing, it's not on the first five DVDs in my collection... kinduva shame.  I like that one.  But the upcoming election that's still A YEAR AWAY seems to be a hot topic for some reason, so Ballot Box Bunny will just have to do.
For some reason, I'm really forcing myself to review this one.  Of course, I suppose just about any Looney Tunes cartoon would seem like a letdown after Wabbit Twouble, and an improvement after Big House Bunny.  But it's typical Freleng for you.  Somehow the plots of his cartoons are more cartoon-y than the actual animation.  And, in terms of recycling familiar plot elements, he's a very conscientious storyteller indeed.  Unfortunately for the viewer, not always a good thing.  Also, it took me forever to come up with a decent banner headline... and it still sucks!  Sorry 'bout that.
As often happens when Bugs and Yosemite Sam go head to head, it's a battle of turf.  In Buccaneer Bunny, Sea-Goin' Sam tries burying a chest of treasure, but a few seconds after Sam dumps it into the hole in the ground, Bugs emerges from the hole, covered in bejeweled swag.  And yes, I use the word "bejeweled" in order to confuse Yahoo's internet spiders, and send people here thinking they're getting information on their favourite item-swapping video game.  It's the opposite of Candy Crush, as "Bejeweled" kicks you out right away if you're not a fast jewel swapper!
But I digress yet again.  This time, Sam's making a stump speech from a podium over Bugs' rabbit hole.  Bugs is actually going along with it... until we get to one particular campaign promise that Bugs simply cannot abide.  That's the part where Sam promises the people to get rid of every last rabbit.  Bugs spits out the carrot juice that he's drinking... more or less.  Sloppy lack of animation, guys, sloppy lack of animation.  But Freleng apparently took pity upon poor ol' Mel Blanc; they say that Mel was actually allergic to carrots, so whenever he would chew on one during recording sessions, he'd of course have to spit it out immediately.
And so, as with A Gruesome Twosome, it's time for "stragedy."  Fade to black, then fade back in on Sam's stump speech... kinda weird!  Bugs' offensive begins in earnest, starting with a one-rabbit marching band.  He does that a lot, doesn't he?  Same thing happened... okay, a similar thing happened in What's Cookin' Doc?, the Clampett classic where Bugs lobbies hard for an Oscar.... incidentally, it uses a huge chunk of Freleng's Hiawatha's Rabbit Hunt to make the case.  Freleng eventually won for Knighty Knight Bugs.  Love that one.  Bugs got a carrot, of course...
And so, with Bugs' instruments deflated by Sam's bullets, it's time to fight podium with podium.
...I'm out of time.  So, to just focus on the highlights, one of my favourite moments is where Sam copies Bugs' impression of Theodore Roosevelt, screaming "I speak LOUUUDDD!!! And I carry a BIGGER stick!"  That may be the highest note I've ever heard Mel B... I mean, Yosemite Sam, hit.  And once again, as with the last outing with Bugs and Sam, Bugs gets injured, so when Bugs pulls the baby prank on Sam, we're pulling for the angry housewives.  Ah, reminds me of that time those ladies were beating the crap out of a mugger with a Bible, and that one dude was laughing about it...
What else?  Sam uses some ants to sabotage a picnic that Bugs is trying to set up.  The ants are less orderly than the ones in Tom and Jerry, but they get the job done.  They make off with not just one, but TWO jars of mustard!  Bugs puts a stick of dynamite into a watermelon.  We see Sam gathering up all the food into a bag, and then he goes around the corner and... you know, I think I just don't like to admit that I like this one!  I'll give it three and a half stars, I guess.  Well, it's no Buccaneer Bunny, that's my only point.
Speaking of explosions, seems like all these gags end in an explosion!  The only time that Sam isn't blown up is with the cigar gag.  The guy that Sam gives a cigar to gets blowed up real good, comes to and says "Oh!  A wiseguy, eh?"  I thought I was watching a Stooge film there for a second.  Also, there's the old piano gag involving the song "Those Endearing Young Charms."  Boy, I tell you, there's nothing in this world more irritating than a guy you want to blow up with a piano who plays the song wrong.
Now, I hate to spoil the surprise ending... and it is a surprise, isn't it?  Of course, with the two main candidates constantly attacking each other, causing explosion after explosion, scaring the town half to death... a third party's bound to emerge as the winner.  One for Martin, two for Martin!... something like that.  Of course, politics being the blood sport that it is, Bugs decides to shoot himself in the head.  Yes, that's right, the loss of the election was just that devastating.  All those campaign donors disappointed, nowhere to turn... of course, Bugs misses and hits Sam instead.  God bless cartoon violence.

Good double bill with: ...what else?  Buccaneer Bunny... or maybe Bob Roberts for the feature.

***1/2
-so sayeth The Movie Jerk Hooligan

Auteur Watch - Manthia Diawara

Gesundheit.
Well, shame on me for being so flip, so facetious.  But I just absolutely hate these Ivory Tower eggheads, up in their ivory towers.  Ooh!  Except for that one in the first Never-Ending Story.  That's the only one that's okay.  Also, he's good friends with Danny Glover... okay, maybe not help-your-career good, but still good.  Why, they did a documentary together!  Called Conakry Express.  Available at Mubi, I guess.... apparently, Harry Belafonte is chopped liver.  Oh well. 
Well, I tell you what.  There's at least two things the IMDb doesn't have... 1) I don't believe they have Blood & Bullets, and 2) they don't have Maison Tropicale, which is French for topical anesthetic.  Still, I can't help but ask myself: if a documentary falls in the forest, does it make a sound?

Manthia Diawara's profile at Mubi

Happy Thanksgiving from The Hunger Games

In movie-type news, Jesse Eisenberg is lighting a small fire in the world of fiction.  He apparently wrote a piece for The New Yorker.  It's a fake movie review by a fake critic and, of course, all the critics and HATERS out there are jumping all over it, just nitpicking away.  Okay, okay, so he's not Steve Martin.  But that's the deal these days: if you're a celebrity, your stuff is totally allowed to be lame.  Take that band Train, for instance.  Now, if you're like me, you probably think that their songs "San Francisco" and "Hey Soul Sister" that you used to hear at the gym all the time are some of the worst pieces of slick crap that you've ever heard, but lemme tell you something... it took them at least ten years to get to that level.  Think Phil Collins post-Peter Gabriel Genesis.  He had to ease his way towards "No Jacket Required."  That took about ten years!  But he tried, Lord how he tried to keep the torch lit, long rambling songs that take one whole side of an album.  Also, I'm like Ice T that way... I needs me my Phil Collins.  But like Paul Simon sez, every generation throws a hero up the pop charts.  Unfortunately, it's a young man's game... used to be, anyway.
It's all for laying the groundwork for that Batman v. Superman movie.  Finally my dream's coming true of a comic book villain acting like "The Weekly Standard"'s Bill Kristol.  But that's a ways off, and we've got Hunger Games to feast on... incidentally, how can Ben Affleck be both Daredevil AND Batman?  Doing both DC and Marvel characters?  Isn't that a conflict of interest?
Anyways, as expected, the last installment of The Hunger Games is #1 at the box office once again... although, much like the final installment of the Matrix trilogy, returns are a bit down.  Nothing to be worried about, of course, and J. Law will still get $20 million for whatever she does next but... man, that's a disappointment.  But that's the American moviegoing public for you: fickle, fickle, fickle.  I mean, you go to all that trouble to give them a CGI rainbow at the end of the movie, you kill off Trinity and everything... and where's the frickin' gratitude?  In damn short supply, my friends...  in damn short supply.  But I look forward to Suzanne Collins' next series of books, where she makes another successful trilogy about the struggles of a young heroine to get royalty payments out of those greedy, greedy book publishers and movie executives.
In other jaded sophisticate news, Pixar's latest only made it to #2.  Well, that's what they get for going up against The Hunger Games, frankly.  I guess people could tell that it's not an alpha effort from the jaded people over at Pixar University.  For 2015, that was clearly Inside Out.
At #3, Stallone has clearly accepted his fate in life, and he's graduated to the role Burgess Meredith once played in the first Rocky movies.  He's now the Mickey, if you will.  The character's named Mickey, of course, out of respect to Mickey Rooney, who wanted to get that part pretty badly... but clearly he didn't do enough episodes of the original "Twilight Zone" show.  And what on Earth is wrong with Carl Weathers?  Was he just that busy, that he couldn't be bothered with appearing in this movie?  Did Adam Sandler jinx it somehow?
And finally, the Oscar buzz starts up with Brooklyn, one of them fancy period piece romances.  Now, I hate to be so shallow and superficial, but when I think of Brooklyn, I think... I forgot already!  Brain... not... working.  Anyway, I think grit and gangsters and fuhgeddaboutit.  This movie looks a little too slick and clean, and the title's too simple.  Also, there's something about Saoirse Ronan.  She's too other-worldly for my taste, but that's just me.  I completely understand if she doesn't want to become a permanent fixture in Wes Anderson's Rolling Stock Company, but she wasn't meant to play normal roles.  Now, Hanna, sure.  Or The Host about aliens... well, nah, forget that one.  Apparently it's not going to spawn another successful franchise.  But maybe I'm wrong, and hopefully we won't get a repeat of ... what's her name.  Miranda Frost... Rosamund Pike!  That's the one.  Why, she's one of the few Bond girls who could've used her real name in the movie.  Anyway, let's hope that Ronan and Brooklyn have more luck with the Oscar statuettes than Gone Girl and Pike did.  It's a period piece, so it won't be as hipster-centric, which the Oscar voting block likes.  Reminds me of a dream I had about a movie that was supposed to be a period piece.  The scene was in a restaurant.  Someone started talking on a cell phone, and everyone in the restaurant verbally scolded the guy.  Wherever I was, I smiled.  Now, normally, it's the kind of thing you'd cut out of a movie entirely, but all these damn SmartPhones just aren't normal.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Dept. of Wacky Wildlife

Wabbit Twouble is, of course, one of the unquestioned Bugs classics.  In the old VCR days, I spent what seemed like a great many hours rewinding the tape and listening to Elmer's conga car, just soaking in the Looney Tunes' Orchestra's rendition of a cartoon car's engine.  It's much too easy now!  Just point and click on a DVD track.  Where's all the time spent on the picture stopping, then going backwards and what not?  With all the needless vertical lines and otherwise crumpled picture?
In any event, I should probably recuse myself from this one entirely for these reasons... but I'll let an arbitrator worry about that should an impasse arise.  Meantime, this is actually a rather calm outing by Bob Clampett standards, if you consider such disasterpieces as A Gruesome Twosome or even The Old Grey Hare, where the animation is about as elastic as animation can get... all due respect to John Kricfalusi, of course.  He's our modern-day Bob Clampett equivalent, if only in his own mind.
But we start out innocently enough, after the "Crazy Credits" give way to the majestic landscape of the American Southwest, spoiled only by a makeshift bit of road.  Why, even the music calms down!  At least until... SPOILER ALERT... enter the noisy car of one Elmer J. Fudd, puncturing the stillness.  Note that the animators decided on painting the car exhaust dissipating "practically," rather than having the editors do a complicated cross-fade.  In order to do each puff of smoke dissipating, that would mean a cross-fade every six frames or so... Disney probably would've insisted on it, but not the rebels at Warner Bros.  Nowadays, it's all adjusting alpha levels in Adobe Flash, of course, but back then time and money was of the essence.  Quick and dirty is still the prevailing business model.  The car's right rear wheel stretches to the pervasive Conga beat that was taking American cinemas by storm during the '40s... if I recall correctly, even Popeye picked up on it at one point.  But, see, even Elmer's car seems restrained in comparison to Clampett's later work as the go-go 1940s rolled on.  Were he making this cartoon a couple years after 1941, it would've been all over the place.
Now, if you listen to the music of the car engine really carefully, you'll notice that the audio gets repeated a couple times.  When it first starts, if you listen to the 2nd beat of the 2nd group of four (9th group as well...), there's the sound of either a triangle or... yes, a cowbell.  Some kind of note piercing through the din in the key of F or so.  It gets repeated just before Elmer comes across the sign for Jellostone National Park... oh, I guess he's in Montana then, as opposed to the Southwest.  The mountainous terrain on the way there seemed a little Southwest-y to me, but I'm no expert.  I spend most of my time on the coasts, as it were.
...yeah, probably should've recused myself from this one.  And so, the ancient battle in animated cartoons begins anew, when Man ventures forth in Thoreau's footsteps to be at one with Nature... but Nature's not having any of that.  Not again.  Puts me in mind of that one Betty Boop cartoon where the noises of nature become more annoying than the din of the big city.  Bugs sees Elmer coming and lays a trap for him... well, not so much a trap, but Bugs seems to want Elmer close so he doesn't have to get too far out of bed to mess with him?  It's unusual.  In the Chuck Jones trilogy, Elmer's a blatant trespasser.
I just watched the special documentary on the DVD, and Leonard Maltin points out that Wabbit Twouble is actually his favourite Bugs and Elmer short because it's got everything: visual humor, funny sounds and music... and other stuff, I'm sure.  Anyway, Bugs ruins Elmer's tent, then Bugs ties Elmer's fingers together in some kind of an unholy knot.  That's the kind of gag you find funny when you first see it, but as the years roll on you turn into Tin Foil Hat Man over it, and if it ever does come up in conversation, but only because you bring it up, you launch right into "It's physically impossible.  I worked as a medic in the Gulf, and Lord knows I've seen fingers tied up in knots, but not like that.  It's impossible.  Physically impossible."  To which everyone else responds with "...so what ELSE is going on in the news?"  And so, Elmer puts a board over Bugs' rabbit hole and hammers it down to the tune of "Shave and a Haircut."  "That oughta hold him all right, heh heh heh..." says Elmer triumphantly, taking his short victory lap.  Bugs almost immediately undoes Elmer's handiwork, then imitates Elmer's line, growing fat in the process.  And yet, De Niro gets the Oscar.  Where's Bugs' statuette?  Where's his parade?  Well, there is that time Bob Dole talked about Bugs Bunny, shortly after he did that Pepsi commercial where he was watching Britney Spears on the TV and said "Easy..."  Alas, not everything's on the YouTubes.
But these animated cartoons can't be all action all the time.  You gotta have a slow part so people can catch their collective breaths.  And besides, as imparter of life lessons Bugs Bunny teaches us, just because we're stuck in a bubble doesn't mean we can't get into lots of trouble... no, wait, that was from the commercial for Bio-Dome.  No, Bugs teaches us that you can mess with a guy when he's sleeping, too!  Bugs does the old paint on glasses trick, combined with changing the time on Elmer's clock, to trick Elmer into thinking he slept for eight hours when in fact he slept for about fifteen seconds.  All the while mumbling something about "peace and re-waxation" in his sleep.  LOL.  For those who care about such details, one of the old Cartoon Network channels way back... maybe TNT... used the part where Elmer says "Mowning alweady!  How time fwies!" in commercials for Looney Tunes.
Next scene: Elmer has his sink at the ready, and he washes his face... you know, roughing it.  Real Paul Bunyan-type sh... stuff.  Elmer's got his face completely lathered, and he reaches for the towel.  Next next scene: the towel is hanging off of a branch, and Bugs is now holding the branch.  Elmer tries to follow the towel, and Bugs leads him off of a cliff.  Cue the Cartoon Physics.  Bugs throws the branch off the cliff, if only to demonstrate that gravity for everything else is still strongly in effect.  But unlike Wile E. Coyote, Elmer was not meant to plummet to his death, only to be reincarnated instantly in the next scene.  Elmer instead just gets a good scare, leaps, and ends up in Bugs' semi-loving arms, quivering from the fear.  "Somebody must've twicked me!" notes Elmer.  Bugs launches right into "You know, Doc, I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it was me that tricked ya."  Stinker, indeed!  I've always found that exchange puzzling, but that's just how na├»ve Elmer is, you see.  Usually he's able to figure that out on his own... anyway, it's shotgun time.
Now, screenwriters take note, because Bugs must be in real trouble this time.  Elmer packed in a lot of stuff on his little camping trip... including an already-lit fire, lol.  But we didn't see the shotgun at first, but now Elmer's got it, and a reason for using it as well.  WHEN SUDDENLY.... enter the bear.  Elmer quickly takes out a book and reads the section on grizzly bears.  Again, very restrained for Clampett.  The book advises on playing dead and, even though Elmer is still trembling quite a bit, the ploy works.  The bear takes one sniff of Elmer, says "P.U.!" and slowly retreats.  Enter Bugs growling like the bear, so Elmer goes back to playing dead.  "Funny situation, ain't it?" says Bugs as he f... messes with Elmer some more.  I'll spare you the play-by-play, but here's the genius moment: Elmer EVENTUALLY realizes that it's just tiny Bugs pretending to be a bear.  Bugs has his back turned to Elmer, who's reaching for the shotgun.  Elmer's only planning on clubbing Bugs with the gun this time.  Re-enter the bear.  Bugs gets scared and leaps out of the bear's way.  Elmer lets fly with the gun and... yup, hits the bear instead.  Genius.  (Jack Brown g... yeah, yeah.  What's so great about that anyway.)  And so, with no outdoors manual to guide him, Elmer politely puts down the bent shotgun, puts on his hat, and takes off running.  The bear gives chase, and nearly eats Elmer's head off... not once, not twice, but three times!  Ah, cartoon violence.
And then, a classic visual gag, to the tune of Rossini's "William Tell," no less.  A cartoon staple.  Elmer and the bear hide behind trees in the forest... but what happens when there's a gap in the forest?  Well, you pose anyway, of course!  I'm telling you, if this cartoon isn't in Heaven, I just don't wanna go.  That's all there is to it.  Heaven should at least be for cinephiles.  We're a visual species!  We can't help that.
And then, just as Nelson Muntz eventually became less of a bully as the The Simpsons seasons wore on, the bear ends up like a monkey on Elmer's back.  Elmer takes off running with the bear, and the bear's just enjoying the ride at that point.  At least, until a tree limb knocks him down.  That'd be a good YouTube compilation.  Someone should work on that!  Call it "The Most Awesome Montage of Guys in Films getting Knocked Down by a Tree Limb."  I think there was one in The Bank D... Richard.  That'll get you started.

EPILOGUE

And so, almost as quickly as his camp site was set up, Elmer the Fudd quickly breaks down his camp site, gets in his car and takes off.  But, much like Robert DeNiro's character in Heat, Elmer's not quite ready to leave... actually, there's no similarity there at all!  DeNiro's character went after Waingro after the phone call from Voight's character, whereas Elmer passed by the sign on his way out of the campgrounds... maybe that's open to interpretation or debate.  Would DeNiro have gone after Waingro anyway, even if he didn't know where he was?  The world just might never know... but we do know that even wussy old Elmer demands truth in advertising, and seeing that sign a second time, well... that broke the camel's back, that did.  Not as bad as he lost it in Elmer's Candid Camera or even The Wild Hare... but clearly Elmer's Candid Camera is where he lost it the worst.  But Wabbit Twouble's pretty good too!
Of course, Bugs is once again one step ahead of Elmer, even in this situation, for there's an angry Park Ranger standing by as Elmer defaces Jellostone's welcoming sign.  Immediate next scene: Elmer in jail.  "Well, anyway..." he starts.  Sorry, but I couldn't bring myself to spell 'well' as 'weww.'  Clearly I'm just one big letdown.  And so, Elmer informs the audience that, now that he's in his new prison garb, he's finally found peace and relaxation.  Of course, Bugs is once again one step ahead of Elmer, and... well, I guess I'll let you see that one for yourself.  I may have mentioned it already, but Wabbit Twouble just might be the Bugs Bunny short I take with me to that proverbial desert island made famous in funny papers, where extreme choices have to be made.  Seriously, though, if Wabbit Twouble isn't in Heaven, then clearly it's actually Hell in disguise, just like that one episode of the original "Twilight Zone" where a gambler kept winning all the games he played.  Boy!  Talk about Hell!

Good double bill with: ...what else?  Bugs and Fat Elmer in The Wacky Wabbit!

*****
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Auteur Watch - Bob Delegall

Kewl!  Just like Monty DeGraff, Bob Delegall has a French name, meaning "of the Gall."... something like that.  Sadly, he shook off this mortal coil some ten years ago, but his body of work shines on!  Just look at that IMDb Top 4 of his.  Pizza ManThe Presidio.  ......Secret Games 3?  Hmmm.... Well, one out of three ain't bad (Pizza Man).  Of course, regular readers of this web log will know that I have a certain fascination with Secret Games 3.  I'll take the IMDb's word that it's some of Delegall's best work, and probably some of the best work of Oscar-winning cinematographer Wally Pfister.  Well, on a film like that, they take, like, way more time to make sure the lighting's right.  Now it's all autofocus and what not; just let the camera do the heavy lifting, who cares.

Secret in their (Box Office) Receipts

Damn.  Just saw that Jennifer Lawrence's latest film is at #1, but I think my point here's still valid.  For one thing, they were showing Never Say Never Again this weekend.  I had to find out from the Maltin guide that it's basically a remake of Thunderball ... LIKE A DOG!!!!  LIKE A DIRTY ALLEY DOG!  But you see, with a film like Never Say Never Again, the making of the film and the people involved is a more interesting story than in the film itself.  For one thing, it's the only time that two sitting James Bonds went head to head... okay, since 1967, or whenever that On Her Majesty's Secret Service was.  As for 1983, we had Octopussy and NSNA in the same year!  Why do I get the feeling that Roger Moore wasn't too happy about that?
As for the screen capture I have here, well... another slight against Roger Moore.  Um... Live and Let Die was NOT SEAN CONNERY!!  But as of this moment, the typo still stands.  I guess the email guy over at Pretty Famous dot com's got the weekend off.  But some inaccuracies just must not stand, and I'm sure they'll hear from SOMEONE about this slight.
In other box office debut news, Seth Rogen's star has fallen a bit, at least compared to 2007.  I don't know what week Knocked Up came out, but Rogen picked probably the toughest weekend to open his latest on.
At #5, it's The Fault in Their Stars 2... I mean, Secret in Their Eyes.  Oh, it's an all-star Hollywood cast going for Oscar gold, don't kid yourselves, and it's another notch in writer/director/caterer Billy Ray's belt.  Don't worry, all is forgiven... and by all I mean Color of Night. (spoiler alert: black!)  Jane March still doesn't, of course, but screw her.  Anyway, not bad for a serious drama going against The Hunger Games, but I guess people wanted to see two Hollywood starlets like Julia Roberts and Nicole Kidman pitted against each other.  For me, however, it's no contest... Kidman's probably aging better.  And finally!  At #8 it's yet another serious drama that the Catholic Church probably won't like, but screw them.  They want to make Redd Foxx sit at the back of Heaven!  Sorry, watching too much YouTube again.  I think Martin Scorsese should try rereleasing The Last Temptation of Christ, but I guess it would've made more sense two years ago for its 25th anniversary.  Also, he's a good Catholic, so he wouldn't want to do that.  And so, it's time to turn on your heart light and go see Spotlight, a movie about how a ragtag team of intrepid reporters broke the story about the Catholic Church's child molestation scandal.
But to play Devil's Advocate here a little, I think I understand where these priests are coming from.  After all, you hear sometimes about inmates in federal prisons and what not getting a little rape crazy.  And besides!  There's nothing else to do in there!  And the Catholic priests are trapped in a prison of their own, sort of, but instead of metal bars, they're trapped by the word of God, so you try and test to see if the guards are watching.  You know, what you can get away with.  Test the rigidity and integrity of the system.  They'd try taking a pass at one of the nuns, but they're all old and they blab too much, and they get a little crazy sometimes with their rulers and various other instruments of torture.  And so, one of the priests looked at the choirboys and thought to himself, well, the Bible doesn't say anything about lying down with choriboys per se, right?  And besides, what are they doing here anyway?  They're just tourists.  I have to live here.  You're on my turf now, bitch!  And so, that which should not be named takes place, and God doesn't strike the offending priest dead right there on the spot, so the priest can't help but think to himself, "Well, God didn't do anything to me, so it can't be all bad!" ...I better stop right there.  Anyway, fast forward, and we've got about half the priesthood engaging in this unholy pastime.  It's the kind of thing that might make you want to become an Atheist... almost.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Groundskeeper Willie's Grandfather

Chuck Jones is one of the most celebrated of all the Looney Tunes directors, creator of Wile E. Coyote and what not.  He wasn't as out there as Bob Clampett, but Jones tried to get to Calmpett's style of lunacy every once in a while.  The example I always think of is in To Duck... or Not to Duck when that dog goes to catch Daffy before he hits the ground, and the dog's movements are very, very streaky... but in a neat way.  If Clampett did that scene, well... it'd be way more insane.
But one thing you can usually rely on in a Chuck Jones cartoon is a certain consistency in the story line.  My Bunny Lies Over the Sea strays from this consistency, which always used to nag at me, and now that I am sitting down to review this proper, I have to put this one in his short "Miss" column.
We start off, innocently enough, with Bugs once again as the travelling mole, not taking that left turn at Albuquerque.  It takes him to the damnedest of places.  In this outing, as you might be able to guess from the title, he ends up in Scotland.  Needles to say, there's an opening bout of culture shock, thereby informing the thinking of stand-up comedians for generations.  There's perhaps no better expression of this culture shock than by SNL alum Norm MacDonald, himself a Scotsman, calling his native culture "retarded" in the following YouTube video.
Bugs himself confuses a bagpiper with a "woman being attacked by a monster."  Bugs takes the bagpipe and destroys it, thereby saving the "lady."  The Scotsman protests.  Bugs gets confused and gets the Scotsman a barrel, because, well... a dude can't go around wearing a dress!  Soon after the Scotsman's Rage Volcano comes to an eruption point, the shotgun comes out.  The Scotsman fires a bullet at Bugs, then runs to retrieve it.  "It's been in the family for years," he tells the audience.  See, Scotsmen are... ah, skip it. 
Panic-stricken, Bugs dives back into his rabbit hole.  Now, I understand it's wrong to look for irony in cartoons, but the Scotsman stands over Bugs' rabbit hole and fires shot after shot after shot.  Didn't we just go through a whole belabored racist gag about how he... ah, skip it.  And so, it's disguise time, as is often the case when Bugs does battle with Elmer.  In this case, Bugs has disguised himself as an elder Scot, and admonishes the ACUTAL Scotsman for "firin' at me rabbits."  We now have a quasi-legal dispute on our hands.  The ACTUAL Scotsman decides that it can only be resolved via "games."  The game in question?  Golf.  Well, that ought to last for a whole eight minute cartoon!
Now, at some point, around when Bugs starts golfing, he no longer needs his outfit.  Soooo... did the Scotsman ever buy the disguise at all?  I guess I just need to re-watch this one over... please don't make me.
And so, we're treated to five minutes of various golf-related gags.  Personally, I think Bugs cheated a little, but whatever.  Now, future screenwriters might take a slight interest in how eighteen holes of golf are covered in a seven minute cartoon for the kiddy winkies... or not.  I'll spare you having to watch it yourself and tell you that four of the eighteen holes are covered, including first and last, of course.  The most time seems to be spent on the first hole, at one minute fourteen seconds, with the 16th hole coming in a close second at one minute one second. 
Well, I'll give screenwriter Mike Maltese a little credit: he sure knows his golf.  On the eighth hole, the Scotsman's ball is blocking the hole, so Bugs has to resort to shooting pool to get around it... spoiler alert.  As for Bugs having trouble with the ball, post-sand trap, well... I think Tiger Woods had a day like that once.  Enter the Auctioneer gag to get that score down.  Terrific.  I think there's a similar scene in Ron Shelton's Tin Cup!
And finally, the eighteenth hole.  The Scotsman gets a hole in one, and so does Bugs... but Bugs has to dig a little bit of a trench for his ball to get to it.  The Scotsman protests, and rightfully so, but Bugs convinces the Scotsman that his win was legitimate, which the Scotsman ultimately accepts.  "The weight of the evidence is against me," he sadly says, adding "BUT ya still can't beat me at me pipes!"  The Scotsman plays his pipes some more... then Bugs cheats at bagpipe playing just to rub it in.  What a sore winner.

Good double bill with: ...damn.  There was this other Looney Tunes where a bagpipe was beaten to submission... can't think of it! Can't think of it!!!

(...a few days later) Ducking the Devil!  Found it!  Personally, I prefer the bagpipe's death in that one, but that's just me.  If a cartoon bagpipe has to die... and it does... do it with a little style, for Gawd'z zake!  Jeez Louise.

**1/2
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Auteur Watch - Monty DeGraff

Our next Auteur is Monty DeGraff, which is actually French for "Monty.... of the Graff."  Seriously, though, I don't speak for many Americans personally, but our hearts and my heart goes out to the whole of France right now.  I mean, any terror group that's going to hit in a country at eight different places simultaneously, well... they deserve a fate worse than Death.  But I think George W. Bush already did that to Iraq, so let me say instead that this whole ISIS gang needs to be taken down quite a few pegs.  There's no score to settle in Paris, guys.  I'm sorry.
And I think Monty DeGraff agrees with me on this one.  I mean, he's probably a law and order kind of guy.... oh, he actually worked on the "Law & Order" show!  Well, there you go!  His day job is as a TV show editor in the supreme.  Well, he couldn't have picked a better time to start than at the beginning of TV's new Golden Age in 1989.  Yes, TV was no longer a dumping ground for the latest cheesy $#!t-com... I mean, sit-com.  Boy, what is wrong with me.  Well, I had my fragile personality stepped on a little too often in middle school, and all the kids who did it used the latest and greatest snappy comeback they heard on TV the other night to do it with.  So, that's a lesson for all you middle schoolers out there: watch more TV... or whatever's hot on the internet right now.  All my older friends would, and probably STILL, say, "Boy, I'd hate to be a kid in today's world, going to today's schools."  And not just for big stuff like mass shootings.  It's the little things, too!  Like this one kid who got to see Full Metal Jacket in the theaters.  He used that one line on me about stacking... um, excrement so high.  But he was smart enough to leave off that little extra bit about "You trying to squeeze in an inch on me somewhere, huh?"  Then I would've known he was just parroting a movie.
But that's not the point... I think I had one.  The point is, Monty and Stuart Baird go out drinking now.  A lot.  You may have heard of Baird.  He was an editor too... still is, in fact!  But at some point, he longed for more.  He thought to himself, hell, I can direct some of these turkeys too!  Tried it a couple times... went promptly back to the day job.  And so it was with DeGraff.  He's directed some of the finest, high-profile TV shows... directs ONE LITTLE EPISODE of something called "Soul Food"... and decides, back to the editing deck with me.  That's right... because, sure, now it seems like an obscure cable series, but at the time?  In the director's chair?  Totally serious.  Serious as a New York heart attack.  And he was one of the PRODUCERS of the show!  How tragic is that when even the producer half of your personality vetoes your director half?  Back to the day job.  Be thankful you have one!

Love the Holidays

Welp, my ten followers, that horrible, horrible time has come once again where I must downgrade this blog from my first love in life, to my second or third, as staying financially afloat has now become my first love.  As you can probably guess, I'm not being hired professionally in the field of movie reviewing, but it's a rather blue-collar career I used to dabble in, and I'm not as young as I once pretended to be, so I'm really going to be tired at the end of the day of metaphorically slinging hash.  Alas, that world that Kurt Vonnegut envisioned in his classic novel, "Player Piano" has come to pass and, rather than meeting in the middle of the bridge, the top one percent said to themselves, "Hey!  How do we get more robots?"  Also, how do we get bigger tax breaks.  Here's something depressing I saw: there's a series of ads on Yahoo! Mail featuring Jeff Goldblum shilling for apartments.  That's not so depressing,... but kinda.  No, the really depressing part is this one ad that said "Don't live at your job... live near your job.  Apartments dot com!"  Maybe China's not so crazy to have those dormitories with the suicide nets all around it.  Oh, they're coming to America soon enough.  Anyway, the point being is I probably won't put as much thought into my reviews as I once did... I've said that before, didn't I?  But I tell you darlings, when you get to that keyboard and start blogging away... what a rush, am I right?  No wonder I can't get to sleep at night anymore!
Anyways, on to this week's debuts.  Spectre and that Peanuts movie retain their positions from last week, but the forest wasn't so thick that a few new saplings couldn't get a little light.  From director Jessie Nelson comes this season's latest ode to Christmas; dysfunctional on the surface, but don't worry, there's the light of a happy ending at the end of the tunnel.  It's called Love the Coopers.  Now, Starbucks produced Jessie's last feature, I Am Sam, but I don't know about this current one.  All I know is that being in the Diane Keaton business has its perks.  Just ask Nancy Meyers!
At #5 is that movie about the Chilean mining disaster from a couple years ago.  It's called The 33 and... I dunno.  Somehow the poster for this movie doesn't seem to match the subject matter.  It looks more like the poster for Chicago, know what I mean?  Or maybe "Smash."  I mean, compare that to the poster for Matewan.  And there isn't even a cave-in in that one!  And finally, our last debut this week is a by-product of the Indian market opening up, if I may phrase it that way.  Probably shouldn't of... have.  Which reminds me.  I have to write up my review of Disney's Million Dollar Arm.  Gotta run!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Freddy & Marie

In recognition of the recent passing of Senator Fred Thompson, Turner Classic Movies aired Roger Donaldson's 1985 feature, Marie.  Now, Fred Thompson usually played the same gruff, no-nonsense character in each movie he appeared in, but Marie is the only time where he actually played himself, as attorney for embattled public servant Marie Ragghianti.  A personally and professionally satisfying role for him, as he got to take down the corrupt Democratic governor of Tennessee Ray Blanton.
For me, Donaldson's body of work is a bit uneven.  On the one hand, you've got rather solid dramas like Marie and Thirteen Days about the 1962 Cuban missile crisis (without the X-Men).  Then you've got Dante's Peak, which is nothing if not a camp classic, and you've got 1994's The Getaway, or Hollywood's quick response to Pulp Fiction... and then you've got Species 1.  I guess he was trying to outdo Paul Verhoeven on that one or something: how to combine Basic Instinct and Showgirls... but with a sci-fi twist?  Hmmm...
So clearly the '90s were a more expressive period for Donaldson, and during the '80s he was more inclined to just let the cameras roll and stay out of the actors' way, as with Marie.  Of course, I have a hard time accepting Jeff Daniels as a bad guy, and not just because of the Dumb and Dumber saga.  Then again, I didn't see all of Blood Work.  But arguably, here in Marie, his character's a more casual villain, at least at first.
But we do get a few of the more average days in Marie's life, and a glimpse back at the dark days when trachiotomy had a more, um... hands-on approach to it, as in, get your hands off this tube sticking out of my neck!  Good Lord.  There's a lot less tubing involved now.
As with all these older movies, my viewing companions had a slight case of Who's-That-Guy-itis.  In this case, it was a tall, blond actor fella who played a rape-crazy prisoner that got out early for cash... I forget who put up the money for that bad investment, but never mind.  Now, they never did figure out who the guy was, but I remembered him for his one crucial scene with Sigourney Weaver in Ghost Busters 1, and of course as the semi-villainous campaign manager in the Chris Farley 1996 comedy Black Sheep.  His name was Robert Paulson... I mean, his name is Timothy Carhart, and I think my viewing companions might have remembered him from an episode of Mad Men, but they binge-watched the entire series, and one episode doesn't stick out so good when you do that.  As for me, I couldn't help but watch the scene where Carhart's spying on that one game of tennis and... ah yes, a brief flash of Donaldson's '90s work yet to come.  It also informed his thinking when he directed the  music video for "Calabria."  If there's a skankier music video than that, I just don't want to know about it... WITHOUT RON JEREMY.  (Incidentally, text ENUR1 to 71777 for the ringtone!)

Good double bill with: ..well, for a Morgan Freeman '80s night, watch this and Brubaker.  Morgan's actor friends still give him sh... a tough time over that one!

***
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Sunday, November 08, 2015

A Day in the Life of Bugs Bunn-isovich... wow. Great Title, The Movie Hooligan!

This next Looney Tune is about Bugs versus a Russian-sounding bear, and I'm going to somehow resist the temptation to draw modern-day parallels between Obama and Putin; a better critic than I would be able to make the metaphorical comparison and make it stick.  But Big Top Bunny does feature another excellent commentary by Michael Barrier, who actually interviewed all these Looney Tunes guys!  However, this commentary seems to be more about Carl Stalling in general as opposed to this cartoon specifically, which might send the subliminal message that this isn't one of Bugs' classic outings.  And you'd be right, of course, but it still sticks in the back of the mind when you're at a photogenic Absolut party, talking about Bugs with a group of hipsters and douchebags, and the omega member of the group helpfully chimes in with "Didn't Bugs do battle with a Russian bear one time or two?"  Well, now you'll be able to answer with Big Top Bunny!  That is, unless his comment's worth ignoring completely.  I'm also assuming that Looney Tunes fans actually know the titles of the cartoons, of course.  Mostly for copyright reasons, Disney fans try to ignore specific Silly Symphony (TM) titles.
A generic commentary could equally be applied to Mel Blanc, but we'll save that for another time, as do the makers of this DVD collection.  I guess Mel's kid was busy or something.  Now, Mel could do anything and everything, mostly because of growing up in that great melting pot known as New York City... never mind.  I'm an idiot.  Wasn't Jack Benny out of New York for a while?  But, you see, that's how good Mel Blanc was.  He could do all accents, and make them sound like Yosemite Sam.  There was never much call for a Russian-type character, however, but even Looney Tunes filmmakers got tired of doing the same thing over and over.  Enter Bruno, the egotistical "Slobokian" acrobatic bear.  He doesn't need much of an introduction, apparently: all we get is one line, and then the phone rings!  Bruno's world is up-ended right out of the gate.  Bugs is invading Bruno's turf and, even though Bugs is normally the hero in these things, one can't help but feel some sympathy for Bruno.  In an alternate universe, Bruno is the Looney Tunes star, and Bugs is his Elmer, coming after him with a proverbial shotgun.
And so, the show begins at Colonel Korny's Circus... an homage to Fred Karno, perhaps?  And even though Bugs is the picture of humility, he arrives with his own set of props, including a labeled box for his rabbit hole, and in the circus-style font, no less!  Bruno has just been bumped to second fiddle, and the audience doesn't seem to notice.  Bruno has to take matters into his own paws immediately, and he takes a bow right in front of Bugs... damn, he's good.  Bugs tries to reason with Bruno, but somehow I think Bruno's playing the long game here, and he won't be satisfied until Bugs is gone from the circus, dead or alive.
Next scene: a rare instance where... sorry, SPOILER ALERT... Bugs gets injured.  Bugs always seems to get injured in these Bob McKimson affairs; I'm immediately put in mind of Gorilla My Dreams, and not just the weak finale... okay, maybe that's the only example.  Then, of course, there's Easter Yeggs where Bugs is put in danger, but... and I never thought I'd say this... oh, wait, I probably mentioned it once, but could one of you find it for me?... Elmer's head gets painted like an easter egg, and the bratty kid starts pounding him on the head with a hammer; even for cartoon violence, it's over the top in the wrong way.  Anyway, back to Boart... I mean, Bruno.  Bruno managed to sneak an anvil into their first feat of derring-do, and yet, Bruno's able to make a halo appear over his head.  Sure, he's guilty of injuring Bugs, but he's on a crusade to protect his turf, as small and petty a piece of turf it is, spending his free time locked in a tiny cage.  Go figure.  But this is not the time to go after the big boss, Colonel Korny... spoiler alert... does that count as a spoiler?  If this cartoon were being made today, sure, Bugs and Bruno would team up to get Korny. staging an American Hustle-type ruse to trick him.
...well, I don't want to spend forever on this one, so I'll try to tighten it up a bit.  Bruno uses other various ruses to trick Bugs, and they fail spectacularly.  The one worth noting is where Bruno falls into the orchestra, but they seem ready for him.  First, Bruno falls into the tuba, or whatever variant it is, I just don't care; trumpets kick ass.  Bruno then lands on a kettle drum, and the percussionist hits Bruno, and smiles afterwards.  Apparently, he's been waiting to do that for years.  Pay attention to that bit of percussion because... SPOILER ALERT... it happens a second time, but Bruno's way off camera!  That's one for the hipsters out there.  Me and the hipsters; as a group, the Hipsters probably don't want me, and I certainly don't want the Douchebags.  Of course, Douchebags probably don't care about the animated cartoonies for the tiddly winks; life's hard enough keeping up with the Wahlbergs as it is.
And so, the big finale where... sorry, had to double check it.  Bugs tricks Bruno again into a feat of such derring-do that... well, frankly, everyone loses, don't we?  Kind of like the arms race in the 1980s with Mother Russia.  But Bugs is no diplomat; he just wants to get rid of Bruno and stay with Colonel Korny's Circus as the main attraction forever and evermore, Amen.  And so, as with Stage Door Cartoon and that Fearless Freep one... wait, lemme check the DVD box; I know, I know, very analog of me... High Diving Hare, that's it!  It's RIGHT IN THE NAME... we complete the diving trilogy with the instant case, as Bugs and Bruno threaten to jump from increasingly higher heights into increasingly smaller containers of water... with a block of cement at the far end of the DRY part of the spectrum.  And you gotta hand it to Bruno... he dives, and reconstitutes himself.  Like Gen. Turgidson said, we all know how much guts them Russkies got.  Hell, look at all them Nazis killed off, they STILL wouldn't quit!  As for Slobokian Bruno, well... Bugs has got a big, Rube Goldberg-ish Colonel Korny all set up for him... and, unlike the theatrical release of Jackass 1, we get to actually SEE this one!  I said "theatrical" and not "Easter Egg Extra," incidentally, so no angry emails, please.  This culminates with Bruno getting shot out of a cannon, right out of the roof of the big tent.  Bugs says some cheesy line about ending this cartoon with a "bang."  Reminds me of the end of Easter Yeggs, but I suppose the ending of Big Top Bunny is slightly more tasteful.
Whew!  Got through that.  I feel so dirty reviewing these cartoons with awful ethnic stereotypes.  Coming up next, it's... hoh boy.

p.s.  Ooh!  Forgot one minor detail.  Just before Bugs swings out on the trapeze, he says, in response to Bruno's false promises of safety... that is, circus safety, Bugs says "DON'T YOU BELIEVE IT!!!"  I forget what this is a reference to, but that's Tom and Jerry's line!  But seeing as how they got an Oscar for a cartoon that Bugs did a few months earlier, it's fair to me.  Here's a link to it in backwards form... sheesh.

***
-so sayeth The Movie Hooligan

Auteur Watch - Sammy Davis Jr.

...the Candy Man?  Well, as someone once said, everybody wants to direct.  I think Richard Donner once complained about that... and he directed the Candy Man in something called Salt and Pepper... I $#!+ you not.  No wonder he gravitated to Lethal Weapon so much!  But even though everyone does want to direct, not everyone sticks with it, and Sammy's directorial ambitions seem to have been limited to television.  For some reason, he felt an affinity for directing awards shows, as the 2nd and 3rd Annual Black Achievement Awards seem to illustrate... let's see how many there were in total.  They stop at 15 for some reason.  Perhaps they morphed into, or got bought out by, the NAACP Image Awards or something... I'll just leave it at that.  The way my brain works, I can't help but think that Davis' appearance on "All in the Family" somehow led to his one episode of "Sanford," which doesn't seem to have been produced by Norman Lear.  "Sanford and Son" was, however, so I can't help but feel a small sense of smug vindication about that.  I guess that's why the second incarnation of Sanford didn't last... why did he have to kick his son out?  Same thing with "Archie Bunker's Place"... wait, that lasted four seasons?  Wow!  Must be where "Cheers" got their plot idea.
Anyway, Sammy directed, and appeared in, episode 5 of "Sanford," according to the IMDb.  Jim Drake is credited as co-director; apparently, he did all the heavy lifting for the two seasons of "Sanford."  The guy's a dynamo.  Among his other credits, the one season of the animated "Ed Grimley" and some of SCTV.  Human dynamo.

Spectr

Oh, sorry.  I was just going through some old emails, and I came across this one for "Flickr."  The subject line was something like "It's a Biggr, Wherevr, more Spectaculr Flickr."  And I'm all, like, whatevr.  And you should be too, damn it, because those spelling bees are hard.  And frustrating!  So much psychological damage on the CEOs of tomorrow.  Well, they're getting their revenge in oh so many ways.  Misspelling words is just a dollop of icing on one buffet cupcake to them.
Anyways, it's a boring old box office weekend.  If there's something new under the sun, it's not coming out of Hollywood, and it's probably ecological-disaster-related.  We've got James Bond at #1, and The Peanuts Movie at #2.  For me, Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown is the Peanuts movie, damn it... even though, true, the gang they're racing against, I don't think they were ever seen before or since in the actual comic strip in the paper.  Go figure.  I forget which Pixar-esque studio's responsible for The Peanuts Movie... I heard they did Rio and ... something else.  Did it say Ice Age in the commercial?  Will Scrat make a guest appearance in The Peanuts Movie anyhow?  God, I hope so.  Well, we'll see what happens come Oscar time.  They may not want to give another Oscar to Pixar, but they definitely don't want to give one to the Ice Age people.
As for James Bond, well... all I know is, every last detail will be debated.  And probably complained about.  Oh, it's not like the Sean Connery James Bond, or the Roger Moore James Bond.  And On Her Majesty's Secret Service is the best one of all 24 of them.  Now they're complaining that there's too much CGI in it!  Boy, I tell ya... it's tough being a computer graphics jock these days, always having to reinvent the wheel, having it never look good enough or real enough, or just not un-fake enough.  All I know is, if I ever took a fall through the floor and had to catch myself with my arms and my chest, well, I'd probably be too winded to climb up to safety.  That's why I'm not a secret agent; that and my poor grades in school.
Anyway, those are the two debuts this week.  Looking back on the data, there've been quite a few one week wonders!  Our Brand Is Crisis is already gone, something called Woodlawn and something called Captive are both gone already.  Oh, and that Bob Zemeckis pic, The Walk, is already gone.  Ouch.  Boy, audiences are so fickle.  DO YOU NOT WANT TO BE ENTERTAINED?!!!!  Do you not want to take that trip back to the '70s?  Well, yeah, but why do we have to spend all that time at the top of the Trade Towrs?

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Short Reviews - November 2015

Abar, The First Black Superman - ...OH MY GOD!  Dr. Kincade's actually Dr. BEN CARSON!!!!!!!!!!

The Buddy System - This seems like the kind of movie that Roger Ebert probably hated ... you know, kind of like Two of a Kind.

By the Sea - Good double bill with... Paradise.  Yes, I'm that old.

Catwoman - Warner Bros. just tweeted "We were Halle Berry's 'Knight in Shining Armor' until it ends... then we became the worst movie studio in history."

Deadpool - Yahoo! News tells me that this will be 'filthy, comical, hyper-violent fun.'  All I know is, Ryan Reynolds needs a hit... at the box office, that is.  Also, he doesn't seem to be having fun as a movie star.  I mean, he took everyone's advice in the Quantum Mechanics program at Harvard and became a movie star instead, because everyone always told him his whole life that he had movie star looks and what not... so now he's a movie star.  Now what, guys?  And why isn't it working out?  Why, Quantum Mechanics program at Harvard?  And don't tell me it's one of those unknowable things because electrons move too fast to be exactly pinpointed...

The Dead Pool - Dirty Harry's Class Struggle in Beverly Hills

5 Flights Up - ...oh, I LOVE that band! "Living in London," "Away From the Sun"... good times.  Good times, cold beers, great tunes.

Her - I wonder who feels more ripped off: Charlie Kaufman, or Strange Days?

In the Mouth of Madness - ...I'm sorry, I mean John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness.  Hey, John Carpenter.  John Landis called; he wants his font back. (opening credits)  Judging from the plot description, this must be Carpenter's revenge against Stephen King or something.

Kingsman: The Secret Service - ...sorry, I always do this.  We only previewed it tonight, so I can't comment on the film as a whole.  Also, I can't badmouth it too much, as it wasn't my pick... but here's my question.  Now, I love to see the bullies get a beating as much as anyone else.  My question is this.  If you're a bully, and you've just been... no, YOU and the five guys you're with, you've all just been beaten about nine-tenths of the way to death by an acquaintance of someone you're picking on... do you a) lay off that person for a long while, if not forever, or b) do you seek them out right away?  Well, in this movie, the answer is b).  I guess the job market's a little tougher out there than I thought!  Clearly I don't stand a chance.

Love the Coopers - Maybe on DVD... okay, maybe on cable in four months

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 - Just saw the trailer!  Well, enough of it.

My Brother The Pig - Let's hope he never meets Leon the Pig Farmer!  Oink oink oink...

Naked Fear - I know some directors like to work with unknowns, but... THE WHOLE CAST?!!!!!

The Night Before (2015) - First of all, there's only ONE The Night Before... what's the deal with Seth Rogen remaking all these '80s films?  Neighbors, this,...

Off Beat - Speaking of off beat, how about Judge Reinhold in this music video, at his wide-eyed, lovestruck best?  Now THAT'S off beat!

Il Piccolo Diavolo - ...boy!  And Walter Matthau thought working with Robin Williams was bad!

The Pirates of Penzance - Best musical from the 1950s... second only to Gypsy, of course

"Serial, Season One" on Pandora - ...boy!  That was quick.  Remember the good old days when you just used Pandora to play songs?  Pandora.  Because how quickly you go from just playing songs to producing TV shows matters.

Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone - ...oh, wait, it's just a Thompson Twins video.  Looks like the same place they filmed it, though!  I guess Spacehunter: Adventures in the Industrial District wasn't a cinematic enough title.  Plus, they didn't want to keep it a hundred and call it Spacehunter: We Blew the Whole Budget on the Costumes.

Spectre - I know it's a lot to ask, but can everyone give this good reviews?  I won't get to see it if it doesn't get good reviews...

Time Bandits - Time to start an online petition for a new Blu-Ray transfer ... 4K, 1080p, whatever.  Just get it done.

Yoga Hosers - ...I think the list of producers is longer than the cast!  How's that work?  Twice as long if you count all the "PGA"s after every producer's name now.  What's that all about?  I still don't get it.  ...oh, I know, it's probably part of that disastrous "Citizens United" decision.