This week, nuclear war meets teen comedy as we take on 1986’s ill-conceived THE MANHATTAN PROJECT, directed by Marshall Brickman. Christopher Collet stars as a high school genius who steals some plutonium from John Lithgow and uses it to create an atomic bomb for the science fair. Yes, you read all of that correctly, a film whose premise could rank as one the dumbest things we have encountered on this podcast–and also what makes it kind of charming. Too bad it’s so thematically inept and, well, bone-deep stupid, although Lithgow’s innate sexiness makes the proceedings somewhat more palatable. The man is an Adonis, plain and simple.
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This week, SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER!?! celebrates Valentine’s Day by taking on one of the least romantic romances ever filmed: 1986’s UNDER THE CHERRY MOON, directed by Prince. The pop icon followed up his smash hit PURPLE RAIN with a black-and-white homage to screwball comedies that plays like a giant middle finger to critics and fans alike. Those expecting musical performances should look elsewhere, as this movie is far more concerned with its unlikeable leads trading lame barbs. Naturally, co-host Luke loved it. He truly has no shame.
This week, we conclude our discussion on the 2020 summer movie season by taking on a film we still can’t believe got a theatrical release, no matter how small: INFAMOUS, directed by Joshua Caldwell and starring the one and only Bella Thorne. The noted thespian plays a fame-thirsty, white trash Floridian who hooks up with a local ex-con and goes on a crime spree across the U.S., adding as many followers to her Instagram as she does zeros to her bank account. But as the film bravely asks, at what cost? All of this is simply a jumping off point for co-hosts Luke and Steve to discuss their thoughts on OnlyFans, social media, and the limitless appeal of former Disney stars gone bad. They have never sounded older or crankier.
This week, we continue our look at 2020’s very strange summer movie season by tackling the first wide release of the summer–and it was a doozy. Hinges become untethered in the thriller UNHINGED, directed by Derrick Borte. Russell Crowe plays a mentally unstable incel who is no longer hinged due to a severe bout of road rage, and he is about to make the life of single mother a living hell. Dude only wanted a courtesy tap; now he is completely without hinges. Does this modern-day exploitation flick deliver the goods? Is a man strapped to a chair, set on fire, and used as a human shield? And what was the catering budget on this film, anyway? All will be addressed.
We are back! 2021 is a new year, and after taking a break due to Covid, we are ready to talk weird summer movies once more! This month, we are looking back at the very strange summer movie season of 2020 and kicking things off by tackling Christopher Nolan’s TENET. Yes, this movie is indeed confusing as hell, but is it any good? We attempt to get to the bottom of it all, leaving no inverted bullet unturned. We are still no closer to understanding anything. Thanks, Nolan.
This week, as the world goes to Hell in a handbasket, we return to a simpler time to tackle a guy who doesn’t seem all that bad nowadays: 1989’s FRIDAY THE 13TH PART VIII: JASON TAKES MANHATTAN, directed by Rob Hedden. Jason is back, and this time, he’s headed to the Big Apple–although it takes him 65 friggin’ minutes to get there, and he spends all of 45 seconds in Times Square. Mostly he’s on a cruise ship/oil rig carving up bland teenagers, one of whom has visions of him as a child, and honestly, none of it makes sense. This is simultaneously the most ambitious and pretentious entry in the series, which are two words we never thought we would associate with Jason Voorhees, although a dude does get his head punched off at one point, which is pretty cool.
Apparently we have become the Neveldine/Taylor podcast, as this week, we take on yet another entry in their storied filmography, 2009’s futuristic sci-fi action flick GAMER. A natural extension of a brand that prides itself on video game aesthetics, we now have a film in which video games have literally come to life, with wealthy gamers controlling lower-class “actors” to enact their deepest desires, namely violence and sex. Gerard Butler works himself into the proceedings, as does a shockingly buff Michael C. Hall, but what proves most surprising is how preachy and didactic everything is here. What happened to the offensive dude bros we know and love?
This week, check out our annual Oscar predictions episode, in which we try to help you win those 2020 office pools. We’ve got you covered on all of the major categories, with thoughts on not only what will win, but also what should win. And if history has taught us anything, you should probably listen to Luke–just don’t tell him we said that; his head is already too big.
Sequel month continues here at SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER!?! as we tackle 2009’s absolutely deranged action-comedy CRANK 2: HIGH VOLTAGE, directed by Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor. Jason Statham is back, and as the tagline helpfully explains, “He was dead…but he got better.” This time, some bad guys have stolen his strawberry tart–that’s heart to you neanderthals–and his artificial one is low on power, meaning he has to keep electrocuting himself to stay alive. And then Bai Ling shows up and scares everyone. Look, we admit that this film is about as politically incorrect as they come, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t an absolute blast. It even inspires a thoughtful discussion on Statham’s…uh…brown eye. Yeah, this movie had a terrible influence on us, our apologies in advance.
It’s sequel month here on SUMMER BLOCKBUSTER!?!, where we tackle sequels to films previously covered on this podcast. This week, we’re taking on 1995’s EXCESSIVE FORCE II: FORCE ON FORCE, directed by Jonathan Winfrey. We will just let the following IMDb synopsis do the heavy lifting for us: “Stacie Randall plays Harley, a Special Forces agent-turned-investigator, who arrives on the scene of an apparent mob hit to help the local police. In actuality, she’s hunting down Francis Lydell, her former C.O. and lover, who shot her in the head when she turned down his offer to become part of the freelance assassination squad he was forming. Ignoring the need for surgery to remove the bullet fragment which still causes her to have occasional bouts of disorientation, she continues her quest to bring down Lydell before he has the chance to kill a Mafia informant being held at the police station.” So, yeah, it’s glorious.