action, adventure, comedy, movie, movie review

June 21st, 2017 Movie – The Rundown

the rundown

Folks, have you ever wanted to go out to the movies with your significant other but couldn’t agree on what movie to see? Well, allow me to introduce you to how my ex-wife and I used to solve this problem back when we were married. First, each of you pick  two movies that you want to see. If both of you pick the same movie then obviously, you go see that movie. However, if you both pick two different movies, then you look up the reviews for those movies on Rotten Tomatoes and whoever’s picks have the highest combined rating, then that person wins but the loser picks which of the two movies you go watch. If you are wondering why I am bringing this up, that is because the first time we did this, I wound up winning so we went to go see today’s movie, The Rundown.

The plot: A “retrieval expert” named Beck is in his car listening to a cooking show on the radio until his associate yells for him to come into the club. As his associate points out the man Beck is there to collect from, a professional quarterback named Knappmiller, Beck notices that he has his team’s offensive line with him. Beck goes down and tries talking to Knappmiller, telling him he needs his championship ring as collateral but Knappmiller throws some drinks in Beck’s face and tells him to leave. After heading to the restroom to clean up, Beck calls his boss, Billy Walker, and asks to do it another night as he doesn’t want to hurt the other football players but Billy demands he get the ring so Beck heads back out to the club and proceeds to beat down the other players before grabbing Knappmiller and taking the ring from him. As Billy heads out to his car, he is shot by a man with a bean bag, who then grabs the ring from him. Beck heads to Billy’s house, upset that he sent another retriever to steal from him and demands his money. Beck tells Billy he wants out, as he plans to open a restaurant, and Billy says he will give him one last job and if he complete is, he will walk out a free man and with the money for his restaurant. Billy hands Beck a folder and tells him to bring his son Travis back from a mining town in Brazil and his slate will be wiped clean. Beck heads down to the Amazon and is driven to the mining town by Declan, who explains the dangers in the area. In the town, Declan takes Beck to see Hatcher, the man who runs the town, and Beck asks Hatcher if he has seen Travis and Hatcher says he allowed him to do some excavating around the mine, then gets curious as to why Beck is there. Meanwhile, Travis is at the town’s bar, trying to flatter the bartender Mariana into letting her borrow her uncle’s boat so he can find a priceless artifact called El Gato do Diablo. Leaving Hatcher’s office, Beck borrows Declan’s jeep, telling Declan to head back to the airfield and get the plane ready to fly out. Beck heads to the bar and confronts Travis, who tries to resist when Beck says he is taking him back to his father, but Beck easily overpowers him. As they are about to leave, Hatcher and his men enter the bar and Hatcher tells Beck that Travis is staying, as he wants Travis to lead him to El Gato. Beck manages to beat several of Hatcher’s men and then get into the jeep with Travis and drive off but Travis, refusing to go back to his father, kicks the steering wheel and causes them to crash off a cliff.  After tumbling down the cliff and falling into a lake, Travis tries to get away but Beck captures him again and they start walking through the jungle. When Travis notices a rebel snare, he tricks Beck into triggering it and Beck finds himself dangling from a tree. Travis is able to grab the key that falls from Beck’s pocket and free himself from the handcuffs but as he taunts Beck, he accidentally triggers another snare and ends up hanging next to Beck. The two try to work together to free themselves but as they cling to a tree, a group of monkeys appear and attempt to hump them but are quickly chased off by the rebels. Beck and Travis are taken to the rebel camp and Travis speaks with the rebels and tricks them into thinking Beck is an assassin sent by Hatcher. The rebels release Beck so that they can fight him but Beck is able to mount a comeback and almost gets the upper hand. Suddenly, Mariana appears and stops the fight, revealing herself to be the rebel leader. That night, Mariana explains to Beck why she is leading the rebels to stop Hatcher’s exploitation of the workers and why she needs Travis to find El Gato. Suddenly, Hatcher’s men show up and attack the camp, killing most of the rebels and capturing the others but Beck, Travis, and Mariana manage to escape. As they travel down the river, Beck agrees to help Travis find El Gato so Mariana can sell it as long as she tells him how to get out of the jungle, though Travis isn’t happy about the deal. Travis leads them into the jungle towards a waterfall, which they swim under to find a hidden cave. Inside the cave, they find a series of booby traps but Travis is able to figure them out and grabs the statue before the roof collapses. As they make camp for the night, Mariana feeds Beck and Travis some Konlobos, which temporarily paralyzes them, and she thanks Travis for finding the statue, then tells Beck that he kept his word so she will keep hers and tells him how to get to the airfield. Beck and Travis recover from the paralysis in the morning, just in time to scare away some monkeys that had approached them, and make their way to the airfield. When they reach it, Beck is in a hurry to leave, as he doesn’t want to run into Hatcher or his men, but Declan says that Hatcher doesn’t care about them as he captured Mariana and took the statue from her earlier in the morning. Beck plans on going back to save Mariana but Travis says he will die if he goes in on his own and convinces Beck to let him help. Declan heads into town playing a set of bagpipes, which serves as a distraction as Beck and Travis make their way into town and start taking out Hatcher’s men. When Travis ends up pinned down by gunfire in a bus, Beck, who has avoided using guns before, finds himself forced to use guns to kill Hatcher’s men and save Travis. Hatcher tells his brother to take Mariana and the statue and head to the airfield but Travis crashes a car into them, saving Mariana and grabbing the statue. Beck finally beats the rest of Hatcher’s men, then shoots Hatcher’s gun out of his hand before he can shoot him but Travis uses the opportunity to disappear. As the town folk surround Hatcher, he yells that they would be nothing without him but he ends up being shot by them. Beck releases Mariana and they are surprised to see Travis has returned and hands the statue to Mariana to sell. Beck takes Travis back to L.A., and walks Travis into Billy’s house and asks if they are square. Billy says they are good and Beck tells him they should celebrate by having some Konlobos. After handing the fruit to Billy and his bodyguards, the three men fall victim to the paralysis and Beck frees Travis and they leave the house, with Travis jokingly messing with Beck the entire time.

The Rundown met with mostly positive reviews from the critics, holding a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “The Rundown doesn’t break any new ground, but it’s a smart, funny buddy action picture with terrific comic chemistry between Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Seann William Scott.” The film’s original title was called “Helldorado”, and then changed to “Welcome To The Jungle” before eventually changing to the final title, and references to the previous titles can be found throughout the film. The Arnold Schwazeneggar cameo had many people feeling like it was a metaphorical passing of the torch to the next generation of action stars. Despite the critical praise, the movie failed at the box office, earning $80.9 million off of a $85 million budget.

This is a great movie to watch. Dwayne Johnson (Beck) used his time in the WWE to create a great blend of action and comedy in the movie. Seann William Scott (Travis) tried to break out of the “Stifler” stereotype somewhat and the dynamic between him and Johnson was a good bit of adversarial camaraderie, while Rosario Dawson (Mariana) and Christopher Walken (Hatcher) both were fantastic as well. The story was a pretty interesting mix of treasure hunting and bounty hunting that worked very well together. The comedy aspects of the film were a little juvenile, or adult depending on how you look at it, but they did work as effective tension breakers to keep the movie from becoming too overly serious. The special effects were ok but the fight scenes were definitely well done, especially the fight between Dwayne Johnson and Ernie Reyes Jr. (of The Last Dragon and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fame). An entertaining movie that is worth watching any time you get the chance to watch it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

comedy, fantasy, horror, movie, movie review

June 18th, 2017 Movie – Rubber


Today’s movie is one of those movies where you honestly have to wonder how on Earth this thing got made. Now I was first told of this movie by several of my friends, who knew that I love B-movies and kept telling me about the movie involving a killer tire. Seriously, a killer tire? Well that obviously got my attention so I looked it up and sure enough, there was a movie where the killer was nothing but a tire. Now I have to admit, that is definitely an original concept. So I did what comes naturally in such a situation and bought this movie, which brings us to today’s movie, Rubber.

The plot: A bunch of chairs are set up out on a desert road while nearby, a man wearing a pair of glasses stands holding a bunch of binoculars. Suddenly, a car appears and proceeds to run over all of the chairs in the road before it stops and pops the trunk. A man Lt. Chad Ballard exits the trunk and begins talking to the camera about how some elements in movies, as well as in life itself, have no reason, then says this film is an homage to “No Reason”. As he gets in the car and drives away, the man with the binoculars begins handing them out to a group of spectators that were standing there, then tells them to turn around and enjoy before he rides off on his bike. The group of people use the binoculars to look in the direction he indicated and one of them says she sees a dump nearby. In the dump, a half buried tire suddenly begins moving all on it’s own, eventually managing to stand up right and start rolling through the desert. When the tire comes across a plastic bottle, it hesitantly touches it at first but then happily crushes it, then crushes a scorpion a little while later. When it comes across a glass bottle, the tire tries to crush it but it is unable too. The tire begins shaking violently and manages to shatter the bottle with some sort of psychokinetic power. The spectators starts commenting about what the tire did before telling one man who was videotaping the events that he should stop as it is considered piracy. Back in the desert, the tire uses it’s powers to shatter a can, then continues rolling across the desert until night falls and it lays down and apparently falls asleep. The next morning, the man in glasses shows up where the spectators had fallen asleep and, after rummaging through some of their things and stealing their money, he wakes them all up to continue watching the movie. Some of the spectators members start complaining about being hungry as they start watching the tire wake up. The tire heads to a puddle and appears to drink some of the water when it notices a rabbit nearby and uses it’s powers to kill it. When the tire reaches the highway, it notices a woman, Shelia, driving by in a car and it uses it’s powers to cause the car to stall. As Shelia tries to get her car started, the tire starts rolling towards her and is prepared to kill her when it is suddenly struck by a man in truck and knocked to the side of the road. With the tire’s attention distracted, Shelia is able to get her car started and head back down the road, flipping off the man in the truck as he is stopped for gas. Meanwhile, the tire rights itself and after killing a crow, it heads off down the highway, eventually reaching the gas station and killing the man in the truck by making his head explode. The tire continues down the highway until it comes to a small inn, where it sees Shelia’s car in the parking lot. Seeing an open door, the tire approaches it and sees Shelia undressing and getting in the shower. Out in the desert, the several members of the spectators start making sexual jokes and a pair of teenage girls start complaining about them talking during the movie. Back at the hotel, Shelia finishes her shower and, noticing the open door, quickly shuts it so the tire heads into the room next door, where it proceeds to start watching TV, while out in the desert, various members of the spectators start to go to sleep as well. That night, the man in the glasses receives a phone call from someone he refers to as “Master”, and he says that he will do what he is ordered in the morning and as he hangs up the phone, a turkey is seen to be in the room with him. The man opens up a suitcase, which is full of various blades and equipment, and proceeds to kill the turkey. The next morning, the man leaves and a maid asks if he would like her to clean his room and he tells her sure, before he gets on his bike and rides off. The man head out into the desert and yells out “Food” before dropping the cooked turkey onto the ground. A feeding frenzy occurs as all of the spectators, except for a man in a wheelchair, begin ripping apart the turkey and eating whatever they can grab. Back at the inn, the maid begins cleaning the room that the tire was in when she hears the shower running and sees the tire inside the tub. The maid grabs the tire and throws it out of the room, thinking some freaks brought it in there, but the tire gets up and rolls back into the room and shutting the door. The owner’s son sees this and tries to tell his dad what he saw but his dad doesn’t believe him and sends him to get a pizza. Back in it’s hotel room, the tire had killed the maid and is watching TV when it notices Shelia heading towards the pool and it follows her there and watches as she swims for a while and then leaves. Meanwhile, the owner’s son is on his way back with the pizza when he sees the dead crow and places some of the exploded meat onto the pizza. Meanwhile, the tire rolls into the pool and proceeds to sink to the bottom. Back in the desert, some members of the spectators start debating on if tires can sink or float when suddenly they all start complaining of pain in their stomachs. When one of them asks what is going on, the man in the wheelchair explains that they poisoned the turkey in the hopes that it would kill off all of the spectators so they wouldn’t have to finish the movie but he plans on continuing watching the show. Back at the inn, the boy returns and knocks on the door to the tire’s room when it suddenly opens and he sees the maid’s body. The police arrive as Shelia finishes eating and leaves the inn. The son shows his father and the Ballard the tire in the pool and his father yells at him for telling stories and then tells him to get the tire out of the pool. When the boy tries to convince them about the tire, the owner yells at him to leave, then throws the tire after him. Ballard proceeds to ask the owner a few questions when an alarm goes off and he says that they can stop as the poison has done it’s work. Gathering the paramedics and other officers over to him, Ballard proceeds to tell them to go home as the movie is over but they all react with confusion. Ballard tells them that none of this is real, then has one of the officers shoot him to reveal that it is merely blanks and fake blood. When they question him about the body, he tells them to check the bag but when they tell him it is still a corpse, Ballard looks confused. The man in glasses approaches and tells Ballard that one of the spectators survived and they have to go on, so Ballard apologizes to the other officers. He heads back to the owner to ask him some more questions but the tire rights itself and kills the owner, then rolls away. The tire rolls on and encounters the son, who tries to talk to it but it ignores him and rolls away and the son quickly tells Ballard and the other officers where he went. Meanwhile, the man in glasses brings up some various items of food to the man in the wheelchair, who ignores him and continues watching the movie and the man in glasses starts watching, then begins eating the food himself, falling victim to the poison intended for the spectator. The tire is chased by a police car but it kills the driver, then keeps rolling until it comes to a group of men that are burning a large mound of tires. 3 days later, the tire has gone on a rampage and killed dozens of people. The police find the tire hiding inside a house watching Nascar, after it has killed the family. Using Shelia to help them, the police set up a dummy and have her broadcast through a speaker to try and lure the tire out of the house. As Shelia and Ballard argue over what he she is supposed to say, they are surprised when the man in the wheelchair knocks on the door to the van and tells them the scene makes no sense. One of the other officers says they wouldn’t even be there if he had eaten the turkey and the spectator apologizes for that and asks that they try and speed things up. The tire eventually blow the head off the dummy but it doesn’t trigger the dynamite like it was supposed to. Ballard grabs a shotgun and heads inside to kill the tire himself, then throws the shredded tire at the spectator, saying “The end. Good-bye.” The spectator complains about the ending when he sees a tricycle rolling out of the house and tells them to come back as it’s not over yet. The spectator then tries reasoning with the tricycle, saying he isn’t an actor, but it blows him up, then heads off down the road. Shelia is dropped off at her car and as she prepares to leave, she sees the tricycle riding past her. As it makes it’s way though the city, other tires begin rising up and following after it

Rubber met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a 68% review on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “A clever premise gets plenty of comic blood and violence, but its hampered by some questionable storytelling techniques from director Quentin Dupieux.” In a bit of irony, one of the spectators was played by Daniel Quinn, who starred in a movie called Scanner Cop where he had psionic powers and could make people’s head’s explode, just like the tire. The movie had a limited release, making about $100k off of a $500k budget.

This is one of the most honest movies you will ever watch because they tell you at the beginning of the movie that it makes no sense. So as long as you are fully aware of that, this movie can be entertaining to watch in a “so good it’s bad” kind of way. The acting was ok for the most part, though I admit that Roxane Mesquida, Shelia, could have done a better job. The story was complete nonsense and never explained, which is exactly it was supposed to be. I did think it was funny when Ballard was half-heartedly interviewing the inn’s owner when his alarm went off and he basically was like “Quitting time. I am so out of here.” The special effects were pretty good, especially in regarding the remote control tire, as I guess that was probably harder than you would expect to try and hide the hardware inside an empty, rolling tire. This is not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination but it is worth a watch for the spectacle if nothing else.

Rating: 3 out of 5

comedy, drama, movie, movie review

June 17th, 2017 Movie – Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead

rosencrantz and guildenstern are dead

You ever what might be going on with the minor characters in a play? Well that is pretty much what happens with today’s movie. Back in 1967, Tom Stoppard wrote a play about two minor characters in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, where the focus is on them while the events of Hamlet play out in the background and only briefly come to the forefront. I remember watching this with some friends back when I lived in Texas and thought it was pretty funny. Years later, the DVD just happened to catch my eye while I was wandering through Best Buy and, recalling the fun I had watching it, I decided to buy it. So let’s get a little bit of culture into our day as I watch today’s movie, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead.

The plot: Two men, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, are riding along a desolate hillside when Rosencrantz stops and picks up a coin he sees on the ground. After dusting it off, he begins flipping it and it always seems to land on heads. Guildenstern moves closer and when Rosencrantz flips the coin again, he grabs it and examines the coin to make sure it isn’t a trick coin, then tosses it back to Rosencrantz, who says it lands on heads. When Guildenstern pulls out a coin of his own to flip, Rosencrantz makes a wager that it is heads and ends up winning several of Guildenstern’s coins this way. As they continue on their journey, Guildenstern wanders as to what it means that the coin keeps landing on heads (78 times at that point). After spouting various theories, he asks Rosencrantz what the first thing he remembers is but Rosencrantz can’t say. Guildenstern remembers being summoned and later Rosencrantz also recalls it, saying it was a royal summons. Suddenly, they hear a noise in the woods and come across a The Player and his travelling band of Tragedians. As The Player begins describing the various performances they can do, Guildenstern questions him about the obscene nature of his plays, wondering if that is really what people want. When Rosencrantz tosses a coin into the air, Guildenstern steps on it and makes a wager with The Player but the Player calls heads and Guildenstern leaves the stage in disgust. When Rosencrantz tosses a second coin to make another bet, they find The Player and the Tragedians have disappeared and Rosencrantz picks up the coin and comments on it being tails. Suddenly, they hear a moaning and find themselves transported to the castle in Elsinore, where they are covered by draperies as Hamlet chases Ophelia through the castle. After extricating themselves from the draperies, they find themselves approached by King Claudius and Queen Gertrude, who explain that they summoned the two men due to their friendship with Hamlet to see if they can figure out why Hamlet’s behavior has changed so much since the death of his father. After Claudius and Gertrude leave with their entourage, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern wonder exactly what they should do as they wander about the castle until the eventually come to a tennis court. After Rosencrantz starts playing around with some of the gaming equipment, he challenges Guildenstern to a game of “Questions”, where they can only respond by asking each other questions. After the game, Guildenstern notices the Tragedians arriving at the castle and as he goes to explore further, he overhears Claudius and Gertrude talking to Polonius, their Chief Counselor, about Hamlet. Later, they overhear Hamlet and Polonius talking and Guildenstern decides to prepare themselves to question Hamlet by pretending to be Hamlet and having Rosencrantz ask him questions. After some confusion, Rosencrantz begins asking questions and essentially recaps what has led up the events in Hamlet. The pair finally decide to see Hamlet, who greets his friends warmly but after talking briefly, asks if they were sent for and Guildenstern says that they were summoned to visit the castle. The pair have dinner with Hamlet and he later leaves with Polonius after hearing of the arrival of the Tragedians. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern discuss their conversation with Hamlet, which Guildenstern feels went well but Rosencrantz believes they were slaughtered, then they follow the sound of voices to find The Player giving an oration for Hamlet and Hamlet invites the Tragedians to stay the night and perform a play he wrote the next day. The next day, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern encounter the Player and the rest of the Tragedians in the bath house and speak with the Player a bit about Hamlet before the Tragedians leave. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern follow after them and eventually come upon them rehearsing their play (which is essentially Hamlet) by performing it for the servants. As they finish, the Player asks if Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are familiar with the play and when Rosencrantz asks what it is, the Player says it is a slaughterhouse, with 8 deaths all told. Guildenstern corrects him by saying 6 but the Player says 8, as two of the Tragedians, who bear a resemblance to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, hang themselves in the play’s finale. After another confusing conversation with the Player, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern encounter Claudius and Gertrude, who asks what they have learned about Hamlet. They observe Hamlet mourning at his father’s grave and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern mention the Tragedians and the play that they will be performing at Hamlet’s request. Afterwards, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are talking about death when Guildenstern overhears Hamlet and Ophelia talking. Later, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern come across the Tragedians doing a final run through of the play when they are interrupted by Hamlet and Ophelia, who burst through the door at the back of the stage. After Hamlet yells at Ophelia and storms off, Claudius and Polonius enter and while Polonius tends to Ophelia, Claudius mentions his plans to send Hamlet to England. The Tragedians finish their run through, as the Player explains the story to Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and when it is performed for the Royal Court, Claudius rises to his feet during the scene where the king’s brother poisons the king so that he can assume the throne, causing Hamlet to cry out in glee as his plan appears to have worked. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern observe Hamlet summoned to see Gertrude by Polonius and as they are walking away, they are approached by Claudius, who tells them that they will escort Hamlet to England, then gives them a letter to give to the King of England. After Claudius leaves, they hear talking and find Polonius listening in on Hamlet and Gertrude’s conversation. When they startle Polonius, Hamlet ends up stabbing him through the curtain, killing him but he does not see Rosencrantz and Guildenstern hiding at the edges of the curtain. The next thing they know, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are on the boat heading for England and as they discuss what they should do, they end up reading the letter that Claudius wrote and learn that he asks the King of England to have Hamlet killed. The two are unaware that Hamlet had overheard their reading of the letter and when they go to sleep, he secretly writes a different letter calling for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern to be put to death and switches it with the letter from Claudius. Later, the ship is attacked by pirates and Hamlet escapes onto the pirates’ ship while Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are surprised to find the Tragedians are on the ship as well. When the attack is over, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are trying to figure out what they should do now when they are approached by the Player, disguised as the King of England, and after talking with him, they hand him the letter. When the Player reads that they are to be put to death, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are confused and Guildenstern actually stabs the Player but it was with a stage knife. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are strung up and prepared to be hung and as the final events in Hamlet play out, foretold by the Tragedian’s play, the envoy announces that the king’s order was carried out and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. The scene cuts to the two ropes going taught as Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are hung, then the Tragedians pack up their cart and continue traveling through the woods.

Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a 64% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, almost every critic liked the original book but seemed torn in their opinion on if the movie was a good adaptation. Originally, Gary Oldman (Rosencrantz) and Tim Roth (Guildenstern) were cast in the opposite roles (Oldman playing Guildenstern and Roth playing Rosencrantz) but that was later changed to the final casting, while a running gag throughout the film is that people would constantly confuse the two men as to which person had which name, including the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern themselves. While the original play won a Tony award for Best Play, the movie did not fare as well and would only end up making $739,104 at the North American box office.

This is one of those movies I will put in whenever I need a laugh because it is such a fantastic, clever comedy. Gary Oldman was hilarious in this movie, showing some great timing in both his dialogue and his physical comedy while Tim Roth did a good job playing the straight-man for him, though he also had a couple of funny moments and lines as well. I also enjoyed Richard Dreyfuss, who was great as the Player and mixed some dark humor as well as a sense of omniscience into the character. The story was really good and liked how the movie focused on Rosencrantz and Guildenstern but when it would feature one of the main scenes of Hamlet, they would be relegated to the inconsequential side characters that they originally were. I also liked the various instances of Rosencrantz coming up with some of Newton’s scientific theories, such as gravity or conservation of motion, but not able to accurate demonstrate them. The camera work involved with the various scene changes was a little confusing at times but overall, there was very little to complain about with this movie. A great movie that is definitely worth watching and might even help give you a better appreciation for Shakespeare.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

comedy, movie, movie review, musical

June 9th, 2017 Movie – Rock ‘n’ Roll High School Forever

rock n roll high school forever

For every awesome movie, there will almost always be a sequel. And for every cult classic, there will be an ill-advised sequel. Now this is one of those movies that I remember seeing time and time again on Comedy Central years ago. I would always catch bits and pieces of it and wound up buying it on VHS just so I could watch the whole movie. When I bought Rock ‘n’ Roll High School, I remembered this movie and decided to get it on DVD so let’s see if it is as funny as I remember as I watch Rock ‘n’ Roll High School Forever.

The plot: At Ronald Reagan High School, the Board of Trustees and Principal McGree are meeting with the committee to discuss the school getting it’s accreditation back. Meanwhile, Jesse Davis, frontman and lead singer for a band called the Eradicator, organizes a large group of students to all flush the toilets at the same time, causing several of the pipes to burst from the water pressure. He then runs out into the hall, declaring it to be “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School Day”, and the majority of the students all begin to cause havoc in their classes and throughout the school. When McGree is unable to regain control of things, the Board of Trustees believe he is too soft for the job so they make plans to hire someone to help discipline the students. The next day, Jesse is riding on his skateboard through the hallway when he runs into Rita, a new substitute teacher, and becomes infatuated with her. During chemistry class, Jesse is going through the newspaper and finds an ad for a Frigidaire for sale and so he and the rest of the Eradicators (Jones, Mag, Namrock, and Stella) cut class and head to the house, where they pretend to worship the refrigerator. While they are gone, the students are introduced to Dr. Vader, the new vice principal in charge of discipline, who institutes a strict discipline system in the school. Later that day, Jones sets up an auto dialer to call the local radio station and nominate The Eradicators as the caller’s favorite band in order to win free tickets to a concert. That night, The Eradicators are playing the Honor Society’s dance at the school but Whitney, the snobbish student organizer for the dance, yells at them for not playing the songs she selected for the dance and tells them they won’t get payed if they don’t play what she selected before going back to her boyfriend Bob and their friends Donovan and Margaret. In retaliation, Jesse and Mag swallow some antacid tablets and green liquid in order to spray green foam on the crowd, which ends up causing a food fight to erupt. The band decides to leave but they are grabbed by Vader’s two henchmen and taken to Vader’s office. Vader tells them that their band will no longer be able to play any school function. To further torment them, Vader rearranges their schedules, with Stella being placed in a class with Whitney and Margaret while Jesse and Mag are assigned to third period lunch, where they meet a girl named Tabitha who is rumored to be the daughter of a witch. After lunch, Jesse passes by Rita’s music class and decides to head inside and watches as she is able to get the students interested in classical music by comparing it to a football game. Meanwhile, Mag is supposed to give a book report but instead, causes the teacher to have a breakdown when he fakes having a heart attack. That night, Dr. Vader decides to surround the school with an electric fence and security cameras, turning it into a giant detention hall. Meanwhile, Jesse, Mag, Jones, and Stella drive over to see Tabitha’s house only to have Tabitha and her mother attack them with brooms. As Jesse drives off, Mag manages to grab Tabitha’s broom from her but he goes back to return it the next day and after commenting that he likes their yard, she starts to become friendly with him. Later, Jesse and the others arrive at school and are greeted by Screamin Steve, who says they won the contest but Vader cuts the tickets in half and then has Screamin Steve kicked off campus while she gives Jesse and the other Eradicators detention for four days. Declaring war on Vader, Jesse tells the band that they need to play the prom, and they head to Eaglebauer’s office to enlist his help. Eaglebauer, whose business has suffered since Vader was employed, agrees to help them and says that auditions are being held for a prom band and that if they can get Vader out of the room, 3 of the 5 remaining judges will vote for them. Eaglebauer registers the Eradicators into the audition under a fake name while the Eradicators lay some traps and distractions in order to get Vader out of the room. Meanwhile, Eaglebauer shorts out the electric fence around the school and when Vader goes to check on it, she ends up tripping over some tripwire and injuring her neck. The Eradicators win the audition and Jesse thanks Rita, who was one of the judges, and asks her out on a date but she turns him down as she is a teacher. Later, Whitney and Bob go to see Vader and tell her about the Eradicators managing to play the prom and she gets enraged and tells them to meet her at the school that night. The next day, the Eradicators arrive at school and find the front door area covered in red paint, blood, and various meat products. As the enter the school, they are stopped by Vader’s goons and discover that there is more stuff in their lockers. Jesse knows that they are being framed but Vader gives them detention for the rest of the school year, orders them to clean up the mess outside, and tells them they will not play the prom. When Stella takes a break from cleaning the school, she sees Whitney and the others watching and laughing at them and learns that they were the ones that framed them. When she tells the others, everyone else is dejected and decides to just finish out school and leave but Jesse is upset that they want to give up. That night, Jesse is visited by the Spirit of Rock ‘n’ Roll and told that he has to play the prom in order to keep the school from becoming “uncool”. Jesse convinces the others to help them and they plan their revenge on Vader, as well as Whitney and her friends. During biology as they are dissecting frogs, Stella sneaks in some sushi and eats it in front of Whitney, pretending it is the frog she is dissecting, which causes Whitney to get sick and she ends up throwing up on a teacher while trying to reach the bathroom, which Jesse films. Donovan’s locker is filled with lingerie and he is filmed modeling it while Bob and Margaret are caught fooling around at a local makeout point, as their respective partners don’t seem interested in sex, and Jesse and Mag film them as the police bust them and they are forced to exit the car without their clothes. The night of the prom, Eaglebauer lures the band that was scheduled to play into an empty gym and traps them inside. Meanwhile, Vader’s goons are given a bottle of alcohol and they end up getting drunk while Jesse hires a male escort to distract Vader. The band then heads to the prom and gets set up but when Rita sees them, she worries about Vader catching them but Jesse assures her Vader won’t be a problem. As they start playing, Jesse sees Whitney and her clic show up and before they can do anything, Jesse plays the video of all of them on the monitor, causing the 4 “yuppettes” to fight among themselves. Meanwhile, Eaglebauer is videotaping Vader with the escort and when she sees him, she chases after him, enlisting Bob and Donovan to help her. Eaglebauer makes it to the prom and tries to pass the tape the Jesse and though Vader, Bob, and Donovan try to stop him, he manages to get it and puts it in the monitor, showing the class what she was doing. Enraged at being mocked, Vader gets in her car and proceeds to drive into the prom, crashing through the decorations and stage. When Vader goes after Rita, Jesse smashes her rear windshield and makes her chase after him, then leads her towards the school, where Jones, Mag, and Namrock have sprayed fire extinguisher foam along the corridor, and Vader ends up crashing into the school and causing it to explode. As the boys make it outside ok, Tabitha embraces Mag while Rita embraces Jesse and kisses him. As the school continues to burn, with Vader’s prosthetic hand being thrown from the explosion indicating that she died in the explosion, Mag approaches McGree and apologizes for what happened to the school but says it was Vader’s fault. McGree says they needed a new school anyways and Mag agrees, saying the plumbing was all screwed up.

This is a silly 90’s comedy that does have some good moments but honestly doesn’t hold up to the test of time. The acting was ok, with Mary Woronov honestly being the best actor in the cast, doing a great job as Dr. Vader and really over dramatizing her character to some great comedic effect. The story tried to copy the original movie but really didn’t capture the whole “Youth vs Adult” feel that the original movie had. Corey Feldman’s constant 4th wall breaks were also a little annoying. The comedy was very juvenile and honestly a little weak while the editing and pacing of the movie just felt out of sync and really hurt the flow of the movie. While it may be good for a few laughs, this is still a pale imitation and nor worth hunting down to watch.

Rating: 2 out of 5

comedy, movie, movie review, musical

June 8th, 2017 Movie – Rock ‘n’ Roll High School

rock n roll high school

YAY! I get to watch a Roger Corman film today and not just any film, but one of his more influential movies. Movies about high school tend to fall into two categories; either the usual teenage sex comedy or the teens rebelling against authority figures. Today’s movie is definitely the latter of those. Now there were a number of reasons why I watched this movie; it’s a Roger Corman movie, I like the Ramones, P.J. Soles. Those reasons are also why I bought today’s movie, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School.

The plot: At Vince Lombardi High School, the school board has grown tired of their students being considered the worst due to their disregard of education so they hire Evelyn Togar as the new principal after the last principal suffered a nervous breakdown from dealing with the students. Meanwhile, Riff Randall, the rebellious lead troublemaker at the school, has stolen the turn table from the music class and uses it to play The Ramones outside so the kids can have fun. Her friend Kate Rambeau patches the music into the schools PA system, causing all the kids to start dancing in the classes and hallways. Togar, accompanied by her two student minions (Fritz Hansel and Fritz Gretel), heads outside and cuts the power cord to the turn table. Togar then introduces herself to the students and sends them back to their class, while giving Riff and Kate detention for starting the ruckus. Tom Roberts, the captain of the football team, is wondering why he can’t seem to talk to girls and becomes infatuated with Riff after she dances by him in the hallway. Tom heads to the bathroom that serves as the office for Eaglebauer, a businessman that sells students test answers, hall passes, and fake ID’s. After Eaglebauer complains about his business being down since Togar started, Tom tells him he wants his help in getting a girl. Eaglebauer recommends Kate, who has a crush on Tom, saying that she would be perfect for him but Tom says he wants to hook up with Riff Randall and Eaglebauer says he will try to make it happen. Togar tries to figure out ways to keep the students in line and has Hansel and Gretel bring Mr. McGree, the music teacher, and Coach Steroid, the women’s gym teacher, to the science lab. While there, Togar tries showing them experiments she has done with lab mice to show the dangers of rock and roll music, especially The Ramones, to children. While Coach Steroid is gone, Riff switches out the tape that was playing for their exercises to one she made for McGree’s class, where she has written a song called “Rock ‘n’ Roll High School” that she hopes to give to The Ramones. Hansel and Gretel see the girls dancing and rush to report what is happening to Togar but by the time she gets there, the girls have switched the tape back and are doing their normal stretches. Later, Riff is talking about cutting class for three days so she can be first in line to buy tickets to The Ramones concert and asks Kate to help cover for her. Meanwhile, Kate goes to see Eaglebauer and asks him to help her get together with Tom and he happily accepts. Eagle takes Kate up to Lover’s Leap, where Tom is waiting for them and when Tom asks why Riff isn’t there, Eaglebauer tells him that Kate is there to help him practice for what to do with Riff. As Riff waits in line, she suddenly finds a woman had jumped in front of her and when she confronts her, the woman introduces herself as Angel Dust, the Ramones’ number 1 fan. As the two argue over who is the bigger fan, The Ramones arrive at the concert hall to the delight of the crowd and when the band’s manager sees Angel, he leads her inside with him and Angel smirks at Riff as she leaves. Riff manages to get tickets for the kids at school and hands them out to everyone, even giving one to MR. McGree, but Togar confiscates Riff adn Kate’s ticket due to Riff skipping class and Kate covering for her. Kate heads to Riff’s house to study and talk about Tom when Tom calls and invites Riff to listen to the concert in his van and agrees to find a date for Kate when Riff says ok. Kate gets upset with Riff but Riff says she wouldn’t hurt Kate and tells her that she will keep Eaglebauer occupied while Kate can spend time with Tom. As they are driving to meet Tom, they hear a contest for two free tickets to the concert and Riff calls in and wins them. When Riff calls Tom and makes up an excuse for not meeting him, Eaglebauer tells Tom to just crash the concert and see Riff. At the concert, the radio DJ, Screamin Steve Stevens, introduces Riff and Kate to the crowd and Riff calls out Togar, who hears her on the radio. Togar sends Hansel and Gretel to the concert to bring Riff and Kate back to the school, then calls all of the parents and tells them there will be a special assembly at the school the next day. Screamin Steve takes Riff and Kate backstage to meet the band but Angel prevents them from entering the dressing room and when the manager shows up, Riff and Kate reluctantly head back to their seats. As the Ramones start playing, Angel grabs Riff’s song from her and heads backstage but Riff and Kate follow her, along with Tom and Eaglebauer when they get there. Tom manages to overtake Angel, who had tripped over another concert goer, and recovers Riff’s song. Riff thanks him and heads back to the show while Kate stays to check on Tom. The two start talking and when he learns that she went to Eaglebauer to get with him, Tom decides to start over with Kate and get to know her. Riff manages to get the Ramones to dedicate a song to Kate and Tom and later, makes it backstage with them. She gives Joey Ramone her song and the Ramones say they will be in town one more day and if they like her song, they will drop by the school. The next day, Togar calls out Riff for turning the students against her and reveals to the students that she has collected all of their Ramones records and proceeds to burn them. The parents try to stop the kids but Riff throws a punch bowl at Togar while Kate and Tom put out the fire, then the students proceed to take over the school. When the Ramones show up at the school, Togar accuses them of being responsible for what is happening but they ignore and head inside the school. The Ramones tell Riff that they like her song and plan on putting it on their next album, then make her an honorary Ramone. Accompanied by the police, Togar calls out to Riff and tries to get the students to come out peacefully or else the police will storm the school. Kate makes a bomb in the chemistry lab and takes the plunger with her as the students all exit the building. Togar thinks she has won but the Ramones begin playing Riff’s song and while they play, Riff uses the plunger to blow up the school. Togar is shown suffering a nervous breakdown of her own as Screamin Steve Steven reports on the incident.

Rock ‘n’ Roll High School met with mostly praise from the critics, holding an 80% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, The majority of critics felt that the movies pacing and energy was a mirror to the musical styles of the Ramones themselves. Roger Corman originally wanted either Cheap Trick or Todd Rundgren to play the band in the movie but due to scheduling conflicts, they could not work the schedule so Paul Bartel, who played Mr. McGree, suggested the Ramones. The movie would become a cult classic and a sequel was filmed in 1991.

This is a great movie to watch, especially if you like the Ramones. The acting was great all around, with P.J. Soles (Riff), Mary Woronov (Togar), Dey Young (Kate), and Paul Bartel (McGree) doing great jobs in their roles. The story was great and did a good job of somewhat capturing the punk culture and showing how most parents didn’t just didn’t understand it. The romance angle between Kate and Tom was honestly not that interesting but for the most part, it didn’t really take away from the movie. There comedy in the movie was mostly a mixture of sight gags, which mixed very well in the scenes they were used in, and the music definitely fit in with the story they were telling. One of Corman’s best movies and well worth watching.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

action, comedy, movie, movie review, sci-fi

June 6th, 2017 Movie – Roboshark


Ahh, you got to love Sharknado Week on Syfy. That’s because every year you will get a couple of new Shark-themed movies debuting that week. Today’s movie is one that debuted a few years ago during the 3rd Sharknado movie. Now while most of the shark B-movies tend to try and be serious in either the sci-fi or horror aspects, this movie chose to play up the ridiculous aspect of the movie. Whether this was a good idea or not is up for you to decide as I watch today’s movie, Roboshark.

The plot: An alien spaceship is studying the solar system when it sends out a probe to get more data on Earth. The probe falls into the ocean, where it ends up being swallowed by a great white shark, and the probe fuses with the shark, turning it into a robotic shark. After the roboshark sinks a submarine, Admiral Black gets word of what happened and figures the roboshark is heading towards Seattle and makes plans to capture or destroy it there. In Seattle, Trish, the weather  for a local TV network, is getting ready to leave for the day when she sees a video on her daughter Melody’s phone about a shark that attacks and crashes a puddle jumper plane. Getting in the news van that is there to pick her up, she complains to her soundtech Louie and cameraman Eric about how she has been relegated to fluff pieces ever since she made a mistake on a story but when she sees the Navy setting up a camp in the park, she decides to ditch her assigned story and cover what is happening there. As they start to set up outside the park, their boss calls and Trish tries to explain what they are doing but he hangs up on them the second Trish says it could have something to do with the shark in the video. As Louie and Erik go to get some coffee across the street, Trish calls her husband Rick to complain about what happened but Rick, who works for Water and Sewer, is dealing with an issue with several of their pipes, which is due to Roboshark burrowing into the pipes to travel through the city. After hanging up with Rick, Trish sees the Navy retrieving some of the plane debris from the video and quickly gets some of it on video then heads the coffee shop to tell the others. Before she gets there, roboshark emerges from the pipes in the floor of the store, which causes an explosion, then kills the owner and a customer, who managed to upload video of roboshark via his GoPro, before disappearing back into the ground. After Trish is checked out by emergency workers, she tries to get Louie and Eric only to find that they have been reassigned to Veronica, the snobbish head reporter for their station. When Trish tries to explain what happened to the fire chief, he recognizes her as “the wacky weathergirl” and dismisses her statement. Rick calls Trish to check on her, having seen her on the TV, and tells her that whatever is in the pipes is heading to the sewage treatment plant and Trish gets in the news van and heads there, with Louie going with her. Rick calls the plant to warn them about something heading towards them but the manager dismisses his concerns, but then asks if there is any pressure buildup and is told there is. Suddenly, there is a rumbling in the pipes and the manager orders everyone out of there just as a sewage tank explodes and as the manager watches, roboshark appears and kills him. Trish and Louis arrive and start to get ready to report the story but are told by their boss to back off and wait for Veronica, who arrives shortly afterwards. Trish is dejected until she receives a text from Melody, showing her the video of roboshark from the GoPro and Trish calls Louie over to show her. Melody says she is going to meet up with Trish, despite Trish telling her to stay in school. Trish calls Rick to try and find out where roboshark is heading next but he can’t tell her as the Navy shows up and takes over the building, enlisting Rick to help them track roboshark. Back at the treatment plant, Melody shows up and, after learning that they were able to track roboshark through the water system, she uses social media to track water outages and tells them something is happening at the mall so they head there. At the mall, roboshark breaks through the floor, causing a panic, and the Navy shows up to try and kill it but they are killed instead. Trish, Louie, and Melody arrive at the mall and manage to get footage of roboshark killing some of the Navy men and quickly leave so they are not killed themselves. Trish tries to reach her boss so they can air the footage but when she is unable to reach him, she decides to have Melody and Louie help her put it online. The video becomes a viral hit, and the three keep trying to prove to people that it is not fake. Rick calls them and is upset that Trish has Melody with her but he ends up getting cut off by the Navy. Melody remote accesses Rick’s computer so they can listen in as Admiral Black explains what is going on. Suddenly, Black receives a phone call and is told to suspend his operations as Bill Glates is going to take over and try to communicate with roboshark. Rick is able to track where roboshark is headed and informs Bill Glates, but then notices that his remote has been remotely accessed. Rick calls Trish to confront her about this and learns that they are at the park where Bill Glates is attempting to communicate with roboshark and they get footage of roboshark killing Bill Glates. Back at Rick’s office, Black asks Rick where roboshark is heading next and Rick yells out that it is heading towards a high school, knowing that Trish and the others will be able to hear him. When they learn that the Navy isn’t going to evacuate the school, Melody uses Twitter to spread the word. When they get there, they manage to clear everyone out of the pool area just as roboshark appears in the pool, swallowing someone’s phone in the process. Melody discovers that roboshark has started following her on Twitter and sends it a DM to not hurt them, causing roboshark to spare a man that had been knocked into the pool. Roboshark then attempts to communicate with Melody and actually allows her to touch it when the Navy shows up and begins firing on roboshark, causing Trish, Melody, and Louie to take cover so they aren’t hit. Roboshark is apparently killed and Black orders divers sent into the pool to confirm the kill. Outside the school, Melody gets a message from roboshark that it is still alive and they send the message to Rick, who tries to warn Black. Back in the pool, roboshark comes back online and uses some hidden weapons to kill the divers before diving back into the pipes. Black asks Rick where it might be heading and he guesses that, due to the direction it had been travelling, it is heading for the Space Needle. Back at the school, Veronica and Eric arrive and Veronica, upset that Trish had scooped her on the story, tries to take the footage they shot but Melody threatens the tell her almost 1 million Twitter followers that Veronica stole the footage, as well as some other things that Veronica would rather keep private, and Veronica decides to leave them alone. Trish and the others head to the Space Needle and discover roboshark in an underground cover underneath the Space Needle trying to contact it’s mothership. Inside the Space Needle, Black plans on destroying roboshark but Rick, showing them the live footage of Melody communicating with roboshark, blackmails him into saving them first. The Navy drags Trish and the others out of the cavern and then begins firing on roboshark but it gets away and starts killing off the soldiers. When it reaches the surface, the Navy fires Sabot rounds to damage it but roboshark leaps into the air and knocks out the plane before crashing to the ground, while the wreckage of the plane crashes into the Space Needle, seriously damaging it. Seeing that roboshark is still alive, Black orders a nearby battleship to target the damaged section of the Space Needle in order to drop the top of the tower on roboshark, then tells Rick and Commander Xavier to leave as he plans to ride the needle down. Meanwhile, Veronica shows up and is still upset about being scooped so she grabs the camera from Eric and heads closer to get footage of roboshark but she ends up being killed as the Needle falls on roboshark, smashing him to pieces. As Rick rushes to them and embraces Trish and Melody, the Navy works on cleaning up all of the pieces of roboshark but as a woman walks her chihuahua, it’s eyes flash red just like roboshark’s had.

This is a rather silly and funny movie to watch. The acting was ok, with Alexis Petermen (Trish), Vanessa Grasse (Melody) and Isaac Haig (Louie) doing good jobs in their roles while Matt Rippy (Rick) and Nigel Barber (Black) were great with their over-dramatic portrayal of their characters. The plot was pretty silly and was a mashup of parodying some classic sci-fi and comedy movies, including Dr. Strangelove and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind , while also poking fun at people’s love for social media. I also thought it was funny that the movie kept making fun of itself, referencing the silly movies that would be on Syfy. The special effects were a little on the weak side but that actually helped as this movie was going more for comedy than scares. Not the best shark movie to debut on Syfy, but it is worth watching if you feel like some laughs.

Rating: 3 out of 5

adventure, comedy, movie, movie review, musical

June 2nd, 2017 Movie – Robin Hood: Men In Tights

robin hood men in tights

Ahh, it has been a while since I have watched a Mel Brooks movie for this blog. Come to think of it, it has been almost 3 years since I watched one. Well obviously that can only mean one thing; I need to get with it an buy some more Mel Brooks movies. Back in the day, Mel Brooks was pretty much the man you wanted to spoof your movies because they are always incredibly funny. Say what you will, but the man was a comic genius, and one of the few people to win all four major awards (Oscar, Emmy, Grammy, Tony). So lets have some laughs with one of his last movies, Robin Hood: Men In Tights.

The plot: Robin of Loxley has been captured during the Crusades and taken to Khalil Prison in Jerusalem. The prison guards question him as to the whereabouts of King Richard but when he refuses to answer, he is chained to a bench next to another prisoner, Asneeze. When Robin says it will take a great feat of strength to free themselves, Asneeze says that they now have a great strength of feet, and with Robin’s help, they are able to kick the bar free that holds their chains. The guard hears the commotion and questions them about it and they manage to convince him that Robin is going to reveal where the king is. When the guard leaves, Robin and Asneeze quickly free the other prisoners and they all escape out a nearby window. As they are standing on the coast, Robin thanks Asneeze and says he is in his debt and Asneeze asks that Robin find his son Ahchoo, who is an exchange student in England, and look after him. Robin agrees and after starting to make a long winded speech, which Asneeze interrupts and tells him he must leave, Robin begins swimming towards England. When he reaches England, Robin changes clothes and heads towards his family’s castle when he runs into Ahchoo being assaulted by some soldiers. Robin steps in and with Ahchoo’s help, he beats the soldiers and sends them running. Robin and Ahchoo head towards Loxley Castle, arriving there just as it is being repossessed for back taxes. Seeing his family’s blind servant Blinkin amid the debris, Robin questions him about what happened and learned that his entire family is dead. Suddenly, a young boy runs screaming towards them, being chased by the Sheriff of Rottingham and his men. When Rottingham learns who Robin is, he moves to confront him but his sword breaks at the hilt and Robin easily cuts part of the Rottingham’s saddle, causing Rottingham to slide underneath the horse, then Robin sends the horse off, with the Rottingham’s men following after it. Rottingham goes to the castle to see Prince John and tell him the news about Robin, which upsets Prince John. Prince John decides to go and see Latrine to see if she can predict his future but she tells him he is merely his cook. Latrine offers to whip up a potion that would make Robin unable to perform the simplest of tasks in exchange for his putting in a good word with Rottingham, as she is in love with him. Prince John refuses at first but quickly changes his mind and recommends they get Rottingham really drunk. Back in the forest, Robin, Ahchoo, and Blinkin come to a bridge guarded by a man named Little John. When Robin accepts his challenge to a fight, Ahchoo tries to talk him out of it, showing that the stream is not that big, but Robin insists it is the principle of the matter. As the two men fight, the repeatedly break their staffs in half and Robin eventually wins, then saves Little John from drowning in the puddle of water he fell into. Little John introduces them to Will Scarlet O’Hara, who is skilled with a pair of knives. Robin tells them that he plans to end Prince John and Rottingham’s reign of terror, then goes alone to a party that they are having at the castle. At the castle, Robin crashes the party, dropping a wild pig onto the table in front of Prince John. His actions attract the attention of Maid Marian and Robin starts to flirt with her, which angers Rottingham as he also has romantic intentions towards her. When Rottingham challenges Robin to a duel, Robin accepts but Rottingham quickly brings out his men to start fighting. When they get the upper hand after Robin accidentally drops a chandelier on his head, he is saved by the arrival of Ahchoo and the others. During the fight, Robin ducks under a table to avoid some arrows and finds Marian under there as well and the two are about to kiss when they are interrupted. Rottingham orders the door barred and has a horde of knights surround the room, trapping Robin and his men inside but Robin swings down from a rope and proceeds to knock down the knights like dominoes, then has Little John take care of the door and they quickly make their escape. Little John sent word to have the villages send their best men to join the cause and Robin tries to inspire them but ends up putting them to sleep so Ahchoo, mimicking Malcolm X, speaks to them and is able to get them inspired to fight. Robin begins training them to fight but is worried when they show no progress. Some time later, Robin and his Merry Men encounter Rabbi Tuckman, a purveyor of sacramental wine and mohel extraordinaire, who tries to convince the men to get a circumcision but when they find out what it entails, they quickly decline. When Robin asks if he will join them, Tuckman agrees and the Merry Men all cheer when he lets them have the wine. Back at the castle, Rottingham is meeting with Don Giovanni and his associates, Dirty Ezio and Filthy Luca, and they come up with a plan to lure Robin to the fair with an archery contest, where Don Giovanni says that Luca will win and after Robin loses, Ezio will kill Robin with his crossbow. As they laugh in celebration of their plan, Marian overhears them and leaves with her lady-in-waiting, Broomhilde, and they head off to Sherwood Forest to warn Robin. When they reach Robin’s camp, Marian warns Robin about the assassination plot and he agrees not to go until he hears about the archery contest. Robin and Marian go for a walk, where Robin serenades Marian, much to the amusement of the Merry Men, and the talk some, where Marian reveals to him that she is wearing a chastity belt but says the one intended for her will have the key to “unlock her virginity.” The next day, Robin disguises himself as an old man while Ahchoo, Blinkin, Little John, and Will Scarlet are disguised as women. Robin enters the archery contest and winds up in the finals against Filthy Luca. When Robin makes his shot, Rottingham calls him out and Robin reveals himself to the delight of the crowd. Filthy Luca takes his shot and splits Robin’s arrow in two, causing the crowd to turn against Robin as Robin stares in disbelief. Ahchoo and the others head to Robin’s side, where Robin quickly grabs the script and reveals that he gets another shot. Prince John and Rottingham pull out their own copies and confirm that Robin gets another shot and Rottingham quickly signals Ezio, who is up in the Royal Folio Depository, to take his shot but Blinkin miraculously plucks the crossbow bolt out of the air before it hits Robin, saying “I heard that coming a mile away.” Robin pulls out a Patriot Arrow and gets ready to take his shot but Luca uses his bow to hit Robin in the back of the knee, causing the arrow to fire straight up. As Little John knocks out Luca, the arrow comes down and, after passing underneath the stands (and making everyone inadvertently do the wave), it circles around the target before smashing through the bullseye. Robin is declared the winner but Rottingham quickly orders him to be arrested. Marian begs Rottingham to spare Robin, saying she will marry him if he lets Robin live. The Merry Men realize they are outnumbered and send word via fox to the villagers, then quickly change into their tights. As Prince John escorts Marian down for the ceremony, she is horrified to find that Rottingham has Robin set to be hanged if she changes her mind. The Abbot proceeds with the ceremony but when he asks Marian if she takes Rottingham as her husband, Ahchoo fires and arrow that severs the noose and she says no. The villagers arrive to help fight Rottingham’s men but Rottingham grabs Marian and takes her up to the tower. Inside, he prepares to ravish her but is stopped by her chastity belt. Robin shows up as Rottingham is trying to remove the belt and the two proceed to fight. During the fight, Rottingham uses a dagger to try and stab Robin but it ends up ripping his locket off. The locket breaks open on the ceiling, revealing a key, which falls into the lock of the chastity belt. Marian exclaims that this means he was always her one true love because it’s just the right size. Robin and Rottingham continue their fight and Robin wins, then accidentally impales Rottingham when Rottingham attempts to stab him in the back. As Rottingham lies dying on the floor, Latrine rushes in and says she has a magic pill that will save his life and Rottingham reluctantly accepts but after he is healed, he regrets his decision. Robin leads Marian back to the bed and, with her guiding his hand, prepares to unlock the chastity belt but Broomhilde bursts into the tower and yells at them to stop, saying they can’t do it until they are married. Robin and Marian quickly find Rabbi Tuckman to perform the ceremony but before he can finish, King Richard arrives and tells them to stop. Richard first addresses Prince John, telling him he is unfit to wear the crown and, due to his surrounding his given name with a foul stench, orders all the toilets in the name to be called Johns before ordering Prince John to be taken to the tower. Richard then thanks Robin for all that he has done and restores his family name, title, and lands before he knights him. When Tuckman asks why Richard doesn’t want Robin to marry Marian, Richard exclaims that he hasn’t kissed the bride yet, as it is his right, and proceeds to give Marian a deep kiss. Tuckman marries Robin and Marian and after they kiss in front of the crowd, Robin names Ahchoo the new sheriff of Rottingham and when the crowd reacts in shock at a black sheriff, Ahchoo tells them that it worked in Blazing Saddles. Robin and Marian head off to Locksley Hall and prepare to consummate their marriage but Robin says they key won’t turn, much to Marian’s displeasure, but Robin gets an idea and calls out for a locksmith.

Robin Hood: Men In Tights met with mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 48% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics that liked it praised Cary Elwes performance and thought it was a worthy entry into Brook’s repertoire while those that hated it felt like it was one of his worst entries. While the movie was mainly a spoof of Kevin Costner’s Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves, it also borrowed some elements from Disney’s Robin Hood as well as Errol Flynn’s The Adventures Of Robin Hood. The movie was a modest hit at the box office, earning $35.7 million off of a $20 million budget, but Mel Brooks has said that it is one of his two top selling DVD’s, with the other one being Spaceballs.

This is such a funny movie to watch and one of my favorite Mel Brook’s parodies. The acting was great, with Cary Elwes doing a good job as Robin while a debuting Dave Chappelle (Ahchoo) gave everyone a preview of the comedic timing he would later be known for. The story was good, with a great mixture of comedy and musical bits to make for some entertaining viewing. The spoofing of Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves was great, especially Cary Elwes calling out the lack of an accent in Kevin Costner’s portrayal, and I thought it was even funnier because Elwes was offered the part in Prince Of Thieves and turned it down. The comedy was a great mixture of slapstick and play on words and had me laughing almost the entire movie. Definitely one of Mel Brook’s greats and well worth watching if you ever need a laugh.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5