Mystery Science Theater 3000: Hobgoblins (1998)

Unusually good for a post-Joel/Frank/Trace episode.

Helped greatly by a movie both completely cr@ppy and perfectly ripe for mockery: interesting enough in an awful way to prevent sleep/boredom and allow enjoyment of pretty good riffing.

Highlights:
amazingly wonderful characters
funky dance party
plot depth

and paraphrased guest highlight:
“Club S.C.U.M.”
“Oh, please…call me Club S.”
“No, I would rather go back to calling you Club S.C.U.M., Club S.C.U.M.”

Grade: B-

Jon Stewart – Political/Social Commentator (And Comedian)

Ordinarily (that is, 99 times out of 100) I would agree with Jon Stewart and disagree with Chris Wallace.  Because I am, in fact, a moderate liberal in my general political/social outlook.

But for Stewart to call Wallace “insane” for correctly pointing out that Stewart makes CONSTANT mocking political/social commentaries, using humor, as a means of provoking change (see “Satire”) is just plain wrong.

Stewart is extremely intelligent, and so I can’t assume that Stewart doesn’t KNOW what he’s doing.  Therefore, the only other conclusion is that he’s lying when he pretends not to know. At least, I can’t think of another one.

Almost all of Stewart’s bits have a political/social context.  And he makes quite clear how he stands on each issue.  Why noone outside of the insane far-right has the guts to point this out at once sickens and amazes me.  I mean, you hate sheep, but you BAAAA in response to this guy? I know he’s really smart and it takes guts to potentially incur his wrath, but come on…let’s not be hypocrites or cowards, eh?  Isn’t that what we hate so much?

So, sorry Jon, but you’re a liar.  You KNOW your show is a liberal-slanted political/social commentary show, NOT a straight “comedy” show.  I mean, you’re not an idiot.  You’re actually VERY intelligent, and most of the time I agree with you, which makes it very difficult for me to point out the fact that you are, in reality, a liar.

Sorry.  But you’re a really GOOD, FUNNY liar!

At least, I’m 6.9 on all that.

Point of commentary: THINK FOR YOURSELF!  Anyone that gets ALL their “news” from ‘The Daily Show’/’The Colbert Report’ is just as ignorant as those that get ALL their “news” from Faux News.

-Puppy >.< Yip!

Scandal

Scandal (1982)

One decent Smith song, no decent Smyth songs.  But it’s short.

Grade: D

The Warrior (1984)

A poor man’s sellout Heart.  Although they did write the best one themselves. 

Re: the cover – Better than Herman Menderchuk.
(“Beat Of A Heart”)

Grade: C

In Search Of Lovecraft (2009)

Spoiler: They don’t find him.  Why not?  He’s dead, that’s why not.

An alarming trend: Movies-as-documentaries, to justify the sh1tty quality.

Consistently dull and tedious.  And pretentious.  Try ‘In The Mouth Of Madness’ instead.

1:19:19 – There’s logistically illogical blood on that thar face!
1:23:39 – Suggested rewrite: “Haikiba!”

Favorite Scene: Driving on a road, cut to view of Earth from space, back to driving on road.  Just to give us a better sense of where exactly they are.

Grade: F

Robert Plant

Pictures At Eleven (1982)

After listening to this several times, I could finally remember the songs that had the best hooky riffs: “Burning Down One Side” and “Fat Lip”.  But I still had no idea what they were about, nor did I care.

Grade: C-

The Principle Of Moments (1983)

It’s pretty pop atmosphere in contrast to his previous album’s hardish rock hooks.  But Plant isn’t the same without Page, and exactly one song on this album has more than atmospheric charm.
(“In The Mood”)

Grade: C

Shaken ‘N’ Stirred (1985)

The meaningless little ditty is “Little By Little”.  That’s the “good” song.

Grade: D-

Now And Zen (1988)

Nothing worthwhile except the single, which is hooky and hilarious.
(“Tall Cool One”)

Grade: D

Jimmy Page

Outrider (1988)

The lyrics: Dumb, and not even Robert Plant hippie-dumb.

The riffs: Old master reaches offhandedly into his bag of tricks and pulls out competence without even flexing his inspiration…both amazing and sad.

Best songs: The instrumentals.

Grade: D

Young Guns (1988)

Most of this is just cheap action/”drama” flick, all noise and commotion and trite “sentimentality”…adolescent instead of adult, which was perfect for me at the time it came out, but not so much now.  I used to hate when that happened…now I can generally see it coming.

But I enjoy this movie (somewhat) as a guilty pleasure.

Mainly because of Emilio Estevez as Billy the Kid: Smiling like an evil cherub, fresh-faced and harmless back-and-forth with cold-blooded and merciless, fearless and with lots of wisecracks at both ends that he finds hilarious even if noone else does.  And sometimes I do.

Quality admired in the real Billy: Loyalty.

Inspirational Quote: “Hey Peppin…Charlie Crawford ain’t with ya anymore.”

Grade: D+

Pupdate – 1/23/13

Regarding:
Inaccurate percentages in ‘Analysis Of “Goths – Analysis of a Subculture (By Puppy)”‘
‘Worshipping the Inevitable – Satire by Puppy’
‘Why The Ignorant Deny Beauty and Love’
‘Gore Film Afficionados – Analysis of a Subculture (By Puppy)’
‘Goths – Analysis of a Subculture (By Puppy)’

Some people feel intense sorrow, pain, depression and other “negative” emotions because it’s just how they are, others because they’ve experienced intense suffering of some sort.

How anyone (myself included) can in any way fault anyone like this for how they feel is, at this point, beyond me.  How you act can be faulted, but not how other people act TOWARDS you.

And feelings are never “wrong”, nor are they “right”…they simply are.  From positively perpetually happy to abysmally sad/depressed.

Apologies to anyone I offended by my snide, arrogant complete ignorance regarding this.

-Puppy

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog (2008)

How many different variations do Joss Whedon fans really need on Joss Whedon? 

Wittiness having flatlined at the same level for years, fairly amusing, kinda sweet, kinda sappy, kinda cliche, teen-angst “romantic”, eye-roll inducing and hard to take at times, mainstream enough for a normal person but made for a dork, dumb enough for everyone but made for a 21-35 year old demographic, that guy from ‘Firefly’…over and over and over again, in different settings.

This one’s got sh1tty songs, too!

Grade: D

The Hole (2009)

A great horror movie to watch if you don’t want to be scared. 

Somewhat creepy at a few points, but mostly just really silly.  Perhaps this is “family-friendly” horror?

More interesting holes: Black, Portable, Rebel Set.

Grade: F

1/28/13: Suggested propaganda quote: “A great horror movie…”.  Grade: F

Minority Report (2002)

Visually and thematically brilliant.

Intelligent, provocative, creepy, and well-written.

Cruise’s character functions with the precision and speed of a highly effective machine.  No surprise, since it’s Tom Cruise.  Although he does show one emotion very convincingly: Anger.

At one point there’s an act of timing that makes that one really impressive moment from ‘Ink’ watchable, without having to watch ‘Ink’.

Peter Stormare plays an intelligent weirdo.  Big surprise.  He plays him very well.  Bigger surprise.

Let me guess:  There are people today who don’t find this frightening, but rather a comforting hope for the (according to some of what I’ve read, very near) future.  After all, with continued technological and scientific advancement inherently comes continued human moral advancement.

Just have to work the kinks out.

One hour, 32 minutes: Behold, the on-your-knees worship of ultimate biological perfection.  The machine has not become the ultimate human being, the human being has become the ultimate machine.  Does it make any difference?

Dig the efficient, fully automated factory…human workers required: NONE!

One problem: The ending is too quick and too simplistic compared to the rest.

Inspirational Quote(s): “…I like you, so…”

Grade: A

3/29/17: “Specify.” The mistake made is completely out of character, given all the rest. It’s like Spock’s mishandle in ‘Balance Of Terror’.

“In other words, he…”
“And that, is impossible.”

FAIR USE: CRITICISM – A very good clip from a mediocre episode.

I wonder how many people are disappointed at the final target. A$$holes. Grade: A

Karate-Robo Zaborgar (2011)

Great, Japan.  You’ve made the stupidest movie in the history of the world.

I was going to explain in detail how AWFUL every single thing about this movie was until I realized I just couldn’t stop laughing.  For the first part.  During the second part I went back and forth between laughing, yawning, and checking how much time was left.

Inspirational Quote: “I don’t want to watch this.”

Grade: C-

The Theatre Bizarre (2011)

Quick setup into short movies.  The intro is decent and (more importantly) quick and the interludes/finale are well-made and, as advertised, both theatrical and bizarre.

First feature: Very silly.  GREAT relationship: He obviously is with her for her amazing conversational abilities (and she’s great in the sack).  She obviously is with him because she shares his deep spiritual/historical curiosity (and he’s great in the sack).

Second feature: Well-acted and fairly convincing.  Ah…L’Amour.

Third feature: Tom Savini directing…opening reaction: YAY!
Abusive husband deals with some very disturbing dreams.  Intelligent and creepy.  And gory, of course…Savini’s gotta flex the mastery he’s developed over the years.  Nay, decades.

Fourth feature: Ruminations on life and death.  Fairly interesting.

Fifth feature: Clever, creepy, gory, thought-provoking, and extremely disturbing.  The best.

Sixth feature: Sickeningly-sweet ruminations on inane breakup cliches and shallow, self-centered, self-absorbed scumbags.

It’s all quite gruesome and somewhat artsy, but if you can deal with (or prefer) that sort of thing, it’s pretty good overall.

Grade: B-