3.14.2017

Midnight Confessions Ep. 111: "Around The World IV: Japan and India"


For our 4th annual Around The World series we find our selves checking out sci-fi-fi and action flicks from all over the globe. We start in Japan with MESSAGE FROM SPACE (1978) and then to India for the fantastic SINGHAM (2011). Plus music by: Guns 'N' Roses, Lisa Stansfield, Ken-Ichiro Morioka and Ajay-Atul.




 




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2.26.2017

Midnight Confessions Ep. 110: "Blaxploitation Month '17 Part 2"


We finish off Blaxploitation month with two films that skewer the genre better than any others; I'M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA (1988) and BLACK DYNAMITE (2009).

Plus music by: Curtis Mayfield, The Delfonics, Isaac Hayes, Carl Douglas, and Funkadelic. 

Also, just like Anaconda Malt Liquor, this episode will give you wooooooooo!




 




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2.10.2017

Midnight Confessions Ep. 109: "Blaxploitation Month '17"


For our 3rd annual Blaxploitation month we're taking a look at two off-beat classics of the genre; THE CANDY TANGERINE MAN (1975) and BLACK BELT JONES (1974).

Music by: Donny Hathaway, Rufus, Dyke and the Blazers, Dennis Coffey and The Brothers Johnson. Solid!




 




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12.23.2016

Midnight Confessions Ep. 108: "Murder, incest, abortion and obscene phone calls...Merry Christmas!"


What better way to spread holiday cheer than with two Christmas classicks: SILENT NIGHT, BLOODY NIGHT (1972) and BLACK CHRISTMAS (1974). Happy Holidays from the MC crew!




 




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12.22.2016

The Midnight Confessions Movie Show #16: "The 2016 Christmas Special!"


Join Moronic Mark and yours truly as we talk over another clusterfuck of Christmas crap! Happy Holidays!






Hey, did you know we have a podcast? Because of course we do. Be sure to check out the Midnight Confessions Podcast...

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12.18.2016

"We Wish You a Turtles Christmas" (1994) [A ShitMas Post For Shit Movie Fest]





Another year, another ShitMas celebration here at Shit Movie Fest. I haven’t been the most festive person around this time of year for the past few years. I haven’t watched any Christmas movies that are meant to bring the joy and spirit of the holiday in my heart. I haven’t listened to Christmas music that will make me feel jolly. I’ve been watching holiday horror films that show us the dark side of Christmas to match the blackness of my heart. Bah humbug.

Speaking of “bah humbug”, I decided to torture myself this Christmas by watching the infamous “We Wish You a Turtle Christmas” special from 1994. Just when I thought the worst thing about Christmas was watching Alpha-5 and Zordon kidnap children to decorate the Command Center for the Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, I stand corrected after watching this shell-shocking Christmas special. Cheap looking costumes, terrible Christmas interpretations, and terrible direction and narrative - Santa is taking a giant dump on my Merry Christmas.

We Wish You a Turtle Christmas” begins with the Ninja Turtles singing about who they are and the ninja things they do. Or at least I think they’re singing since the giant Turtle mouths are either moving way too much to be in sync, or not moving at all. I guess the Ninja Turtles must have learned telekinesis since the last time I watched any of their adventures. Then after a minute of thrilling credits involving white lettering in front of a black screen, we’re treated to our first musical number.


The Turtles decide to welcome us with a rendition of “Deck the Halls”, reggae style. Right away, I start having suicidal thoughts. Even before the song, the Turtles are speaking with stereotypical New York accents. Joe Pesci and Robert DeNiro are offended by this portrayal of New Yorkers. Then the song starts and Leonardo is suddenly Jamaican! Bob Marley is rolling in his grave now. Speaking of the song, Leo wants to “deck the halls with pepperoni”.

What the fuck does that even mean??

During the song, Donatello asks Leo where his present is. Leo responds by not telling him. The Christmas Spirit, ladies and gentlemen! Leo ends the song by choking himself with his Christmas lights, which would have been my Christmas gift if Leo had actually succeeded in the act. Then again, it’s ShitMas.

After the first song ends, Raphael claims that their Christmas shopping is over. Thank God. That means this special is ov—- oh crap, they didn’t get Splinter a present. Eighteen more minutes of this, oh joy! The Turtles claim that stores close at 5pm, so they better hurry up and get Splinter something.

When in the actual fuck do any stores close at 5pm on Christmas Eve?? My brain hurts…

So to the tune of “Over the River and Through the Woods”, we get a “wonderful” rendition with the Turtles singing “Up Through the Sewers and to the Streets” with the Turtles’ mouths not moving at all. They’re Professor Xing my ass and I don’t like it. It leads right into another song that begins with street kids playing music on random objects. Then over and over and over and over and over and over again, the Turtles sing that they “Gotta Get a Gift for Splinter”.


You know, maybe if they started singing less and actually started shopping, I would be in less pain right now.

Anyway, Leo suggests a few gift ideas for Splinter:

  • A bowling ball.

  • Some ice skates.

  • Sweater and neck tie.

  • Go kart.

  • Earmuffs.

And my favorite bit - a set of golf clubs, to which Donatello claims Splinter isn’t athletic enough for those.

WHAT!!??

He’s a Ninja master and he’s NOT athletic enough??? FUCK YOU, DONNIE.

The Turtles finally make it to the surface, claiming there are only 2 hours left for shopping. Are you serious? How long did all that sewer travel and singing take? I can’t even. And when do the Turtles just start walking in the streets in broad daylight without people freaking out? Out of nowhere, Michelangelo decides that it’s time for some opera singing. I will say that this is honestly the best part of this terrible special, since the song and the singing is actually quite nice.



But you know what happens when something good happens in this special? The rest of the Turtles shit all over it. Mikey’s brothers hate the song and his singing! Yeah, because their terrible crap was better. Mikey is me and the rest of them are this current generation who believe that “Panda” song is quality musicianship. And I don’t know… maybe if they hate Mikey’s singing so much, they could just walk away from the song and actually do some shopping! Just a thought, I guess. 

The Turtles claim they only have an hour left to shop, which makes me question whether these Ninja Turtles actually understand how time works since the song was only 3 minutes. Anyway, we have a terrible montage of the Turtles buying Splinter gifts. This leads us to another song called “Wrap Rap”. 



Get it? This pun is so hilarious, it must have been written by a current writer for Saturday Night Live. Leo raps about wrapping gifts for like 2 minutes, which is 5 minutes longer than this song had any right being. Started from the sewers and now we here, yo. The Turtles wish each other good night, giving me hope that they’ll never wake back up.

Unfortunately, Christmas arrives and some furry creature greets them as the Turtles exchange presents. This creature does look and sound kind of familiar….


Oh my God, what have they done to Splinter?? He looks like a wet possum!


Splinter decides to sing about the “12 Days of Christmas”, and I start wishing I had 12 different weapons to end my life. What did they give this poor rat, by the way?

12 April O’ Neill autographs. (Because he’ll get a penny each for each one on eBay)

11 pairs of sneakers (Every rat needs a pair of Jordans)

10 yellow Yo-Yos (Is… Is that racist?)

9 narrow neck ties (Is Splinter going to a fancy dinner soon? WTF?)

8 chopsticks (Okay, that’s definitely racist)

7 silk kimonos (For when Splinter entertains a lady friend)

6 frisbees (I thought he wasn’t athletic?)

5 video games (I wish I was playing video games right now instead of writing about this)

4 manhole covers (Now that’s just fucking stupid)

3 skateboards (I love it when people buy things for themselves when buying for others)

2 comic books (Well they are expensive these days)

1 pizza with pepperoni (I hate this damn special)

I love that at one point, Splinter forgets the lyrics and just moves the show along. Even he’s sick of this Christmas special. Leo even comments about the song being the longest ever. Now it’s being self-aware. Too late to impress me with your meta ways, Turtle Christmas.

And why are there like 5 kids in the sewers with Splinter and the Turtles on Christmas Day anyway? Oh God, they watched “Alpha’s Magical Christmas” and decided kidnapping children was a Christmas tradition! NAMBLA had destroyed this commercial holiday for 90s children everywhere!

Splinter thanks the Turtles for the gifts, but reminds them that the holiday is about sharing and being with those you love. So Splinter pretty much negated the entire premise of this special, as well as reminding me that I don’t love myself for watching this piece of crap. They then sing “We Wish You a Turtle Christmas”, but I’m too busy drinking myself to a stupor to care by this point.


Look if you’ve seen “We Wish You a Turtle Christmas”, you know how terrible it is. It won’t bring you Christmas cheer. It’s a waste of 23 minutes. Terrible songs. Insulting New York stereotypes. The costumes are awful. It’s one of the worst Christmas specials ever. For those who hate those Michael Bay produced films, watching this will change your mind on those movies. Even the Shredder avoided appearing in this, which should tell you something right there. Avoid like the plague and burn this alongside your Yuletide log. ShitMas at its finest. Or worst, depending on how you look at it.

12.16.2016

Midnight Confessions Ep. 107 - "Santa's back in town...and he's pissed"


Tis the season for murder and mayhem. In this yule tide episode we take a look at the original SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT (1984) and the remake/reboot/homage/wtf-ever, SILENT NIGHT (2012). It's about to get jolly up in this bitch.




 




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11.30.2016

Midnight Confessions Ep. 106 - "MST3k: The Mike Years"


After 2 years we're finally getting to the 2nd half of our look at Mystery Science Theater 3000. Previously the MC crew picked their favorite Joel era episodes, this time around it's all about Mike J. Nelson. Episodes reviewed are ZOMBIE NIGHTMARE (season 6/Ep 604), THE FINAL SACRIFICE (season 9/Ep 910) and DEATHSTALKER AND THE WARRIORS FROM HELL (season 7/Ep 703). Plus music by Deep Purple, John Fogerty, Men Without Hats and The Kinks. 


Also: turn down your lights (where applicable).





 




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11.11.2016

Midnight Confessions Ep. 105: "Cheese from the Deep"


November is here and that is the time of the year when we celebrate terrible movies or "turkeys" if you may. We're kicking it off with 3 helpings of turkey; CREATURES FROM THE ABYSS aka PLANKTON (1994), ALIEN FROM THE DEEP (1989) and SPAWN OF THE SLITHIS (1978). Plus music by Primus, deadhorse, GWAR, AC/DC and Metallica.




 




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11.07.2016

Doctor Strange (2016)


Directed By: Scott Derrickson

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, Scott Adkins, Benjamin Bratt, Tilda Swinton

Genre: Action/Adventure/Science Fiction/Fantasy/Comic Books

Running Time: 115 Minutes


PLOT
Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is a great neurosurgeon who also happens to be so arrogant, he’s pushed away the people who care about him - including fellow doctor Christine Palmer (Rachel McAdams). While driving to a speaking event, Strange drives his car too fast and ends up crashing badly. While he survives, the nerve damage to his hands pretty much end his medical career. Learning about a paralyzed man (Benjamin Bratt) who somehow learned to walk through spiritual means, Strange goes to Nepal to seek the same hope. He meets up with The Ancient One (Tilda Swinton) and her loyal disciple, Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), to fix the nerve damage. Instead, Strange learns all about mysticism - changing time, bending reality, and conjuring spells in and out of the astral plane. He’s unknowingly thrusted into a serious battle between the light and dark worlds - facing The Ancient One’s former disciple Kaecilius (Mads Mikkelsen), who wants to conjure up the demonic Dormammu to take over Earth.

REVIEW
DOCTOR STRANGE is the 14th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, continuing Marvel’s story towards the looming threat of Thanos and INFINITY WAR. Doctor Strange is a character that I knew of and some of his rogues gallery, but not a character I ever read a comic for. I can’t say I was overly excited for this film, considering I pretty much knew nothing about the character - even though I knew he probably held one of the Infinity Stones. So color me surprised when DOCTOR STRANGE ended up being a really fun time, taking a pretty generic origin story and turning it on its head.

The visual effects in DOCTOR STRANGE have to be some of the best I’ve seen on film. Obviously inspired by Christopher Nolan’s INCEPTION, the trippy and psychedelic reality bending effects add a lot to the story and the characters involved. The action scenes would be pretty average and generic without the crazy set pieces, where the landscapes constantly evolves and changes into new set pieces within the fighting. The laws of physics have no place in DOCTOR STRANGE, adding to a visually stunning film that keeps you glued to the screen. Scott Derrickson does a great job directing the CGI and handling it well. The opening sequence and that Dormammu time-bending sequence were highlights of the film for me. Really clever stuff.

And while I mentioned that the story was fairly generic, the mystical themes rise it above other superhero film origins. Without the magic stuff, DOCTOR STRANGE would have been a wannabe IRON MAN. Or ANT-MAN. Or countless other superhero films that follow the same exact beats, making them less compelling with each iteration. Yes, we’ve seen the film’s hero go from a arrogant prick to a man who realizes he has more to offer in order to make good on the world. But the use of spiritualism and magic makes it feel a bit fresher, even if the story follows the same template. What also helps is that DOCTOR STRANGE allows our main character to evolve into his own individual character without having to resort to bringing in characters from previous Marvel films. Strange is allowed to grow into his own character without having to rely on recognizable characters, allowing him to carve his own place within this universe. It makes him feel important, as we know he’ll play a massive part in the Infinity War that’s coming up.

I will say that I think the villain issue is becoming a huge problem in these Marvel films. Kaecilius seems to have an interesting arc that’s dying to come out in the narrative, but he’s barely given any screen time. And he’s not given much to do but wave his hands around and open portals, or talk about Dormammu. It’s not much of a role, and he never poses much of a threat. I get that these films are to set up heroes for a greater arc, but you have to give them someone as interesting as they are. Luckily the end credits seem to be setting up something huge for the sequel, so maybe we’ll finally solve this villain deal for once.

The acting is pretty great here. Benedict Cumberbatch is perfect as Stephen Strange, carrying the film strongly on his shoulders with his humor, eagerness, and intelligence. I knew he wouldn’t disappoint. Chiwetel Ejiofor grounds the film as Mordo, bringing a quietness and strength that should lead to interesting things in future installments. Rachel McAdams is always a pleasant surprise, but she’s not given much to do as Christine. She has nice chemistry with Cumberbatch, but not much of a character. Maybe next time. Benedict Wong is great as Wong, playing against type as the stoic librarian. Mads Mikkelsen is great, but not given much as Kaecilius. And Tilda Swinton is fantastic as The Ancient One. I really liked the cast here, even if some needed more to do. But everyone was game and seemed to be having fun, which was great.

THE FINAL HOWL
DOCTOR STRANGE is a film I wasn’t excited for going in. But after it was done, I wanted to read back issues of the character to learn more about him and his world. Benedict Cumberbatch is perfect as Stephen Strange, as he carries a fairly generic story that’s elevated by a psychedelic and surreal world of mysticism that makes it stand out from other origin stories. The visual effects are top notch, especially during the action sequences. And the actors are game to take part of this magical world. The film still suffers from a villain problem, as Mads Mikkelsen is kind of wasted here. But other than that, DOCTOR STRANGE is one of the stronger films within the MCU.


SCORE
3.5 Howls Outta 4


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