Wednesday, May 9, 2018

This Is Not Rifftrax's Last Star Wars Movie

Rifftrax has taken on several movie franchises with a little good-natured heckling like with the Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, or utter contempt like Twilight, the Star Wars prequels or Sharknado.

In the case of The Last Jedi, there may have been a little of both. While the movie is, deep down, the passing of the torch from Darth Vader, Luke and Leia to Rey, Finn and Kylo Ren, some people were surprised on the decisions the story made. It still did pretty good in the box office, though.

This also marks the ninth Star Wars movie the riffers have seen, with Solo coming something in the fall. That's more than Harry Potter.

The gang of Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett took aim at at lot of the movie, especially Kylo Ren's looks, Rose repeating the plot as the movie went on, Luke Skywalker being a hermit, Benicio De Toro's acting, and the fact that Star Wars movies seem to happen every month. They jam a lot of riffs into two and a half hours.

The story is Rey trying to get Luke off the island to help the Resistence. There's also Kylo and Rey "connecting" and almost joining together, a breakout character in Rose, Poe almost being Han Solo although his droid pal actually does more, and Leia making what would turn out to be her final performance (especially how she gets out of being blasted into space).

There are dozens of good riffs, but let's look at five:

The first meeting between Rey and Luke, where she gives him his Lightsaber..and he tosses it aside
His agent just called. He got the green light for Corvette Summer 2

Leia's blasted into space, but the Force saves her
I knew all that coke in my bloodstream would come in handy

Luke boards the Millennium Falcon for the first time in years
It's like a hobo snuck aboard Air Force One

Rey and Kylo "connect" and "touch" hands
In the Jedi religion, they're married now

The ghost of Yoda tells Luke "the greatest teacher, failure is"
If that were true, then why are these no better than the original prequels?

There's also riffs on Amazon Dash, Ex Machina, Monster Mash, Bismark, ND and Norman Spears Jr...and that's only the beginning.

As usual, it's at the Rifftrax website, along with a section for riffs of the other movies of the franchise.
Solo is coming up next, and it'll make sense one of them will take notes. They've already done the same to Ready Player One because they hated the book.

Of course, if they had the nerve, they'd also take on Infinity War and Avengers 4: Wait, Did We Lose Eleven  Billion Dollars Thanks To The Ending? We shall see.

Monday, April 30, 2018

Now We Can Talk About The 258 Million Dollar Infinity War

This post will discuss at great length the ending to the $258 million movie, Avengers Infinity War. If you haven't see it yet, why not?
So, a three second warning..




OK, how can we have a Spider-Man sequel if he was erased from existence thanks to the Infinity Gauntlet?
Same thing for Dr. Strange, Peter Quill, Drax, Groot, Mantis, Scarlet Witch, Vision, Bucky Barnes, Black Panther (after all the Oscar-worthy things he did???), Nick Fury, Maria Hill and Sam Wilson/Falcon?

Well, as the Doc says, this is part of the only sequence of events where they beat Thanos, out of several million he saw thanks to the Time Stone. No relying on a little girl who predicts the future through drawings here.

Two deaths will stick, Heimdal and Loki, while Gamora, who Thanos killed to get the Soul Stone, might be up in the air.

It's safe to say people are shocked beyond belief the bad guys win this time. Thanos gets the Infinity Stones, which no one has done before, snaps his fingers and kills half of the universe. That's his way of ending starvation and war because his own planet of Titan rejected the idea.

It's interesting, and stressful, to notice all the original Avengers are still here, along with Rocket Raccoon, War Machine and Nebula. Thing is, Rocket, Nebula and Iron Man are trapped on Titan while the rest are on Earth. How will they combine forces to undo the ending?
Also, what will Thanos do next, aside from smile about what he's done?

The original story says someone named Adam Warlock will rally the other heroes against Thanos, while an angry Nebula will try to steal it.
You will not see that in Avengers 4.
Warlock is being saved for Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 as the guy sent by the Sovereign to clobber the gang for several reasons.
As for Nebula, she could either get the Infinity Gauntlet to kill Thanos or undo everything, and not do either. Another possibility is giving up her life for Gamora in some way. Since Karen Gillan wants to get into directing and acting (just like Chris Evans), Nebula could perish in next year's movie.

So, what about the others?
There have been dozens of theories about how it can be all undone, including the original MCU Avengers giving up their lives to bring the others back.  It's quite possible they would trade their lives for Bucky, Spidey and everyone else. It would be a sad end, but maybe a necessary one to lead to Phase 4.
Only one snag: what if you need the Avengers plus those caught in Thanos' Erasing together? It would make sense to have everyone back just short of the third act for the final battle.
Let's not forget they'll also get Ant-Man, the Wasp, Hawkeye (remember him?), Valkyrie (now that we know she got away before Thanos smashed the Asgardian ship) and Captain Marvel, who has a big surprise for Thanos and everyone else.

The point is, Steve Rogers and Tony Stark will go. This will be their swan song. If they survive (especially Tony, since Pepper Potts will "convince" him to retire and try being Iron Husband/Dad for a while), that would be better. Still, be ready for anything.
Nebula could also perish to save Gamora, and that seems more likely.
After that, who knows? It's certain Black Panther and Spider-Man are coming back, along with all of the Guardians of the Galaxy. Thanos may be powerful, but no Infinity Gauntlet is strong enough to break a future Marvel movie calendar.
After that, maybe Scarlet Witch and Vision can head for the sunset while Sam and Bucky split the Captain America role. If Valkyrie also makes it, she can lead an all-heroine Avengers group by 2022 at least.

One more thing: seeing how some of the heroes died, dissolving into limbo, could that happen elsewhere?
Is it possible the events of Infinity War somehow affect Agents of SHIELD?
TV Line has suggested maybe the movie and the show are on the same timeline, and some agents, even Coulson, could die at the end of season five (which could also be the end).  It all depends on what will happen if they manage to break the time loop, and exactly where in time the agents land if they do.
UPDATE:  Adrian Pasdar, now General Glenn Gravi-Talbot, says the events of Thanos will leak into the show, according to TV Line. He hasn't seen the movie, which may or may not mean the Erasing will affect the agents.

It would be interesting to have a season that starts when Thanos gets the stones and his wish. Either Fitz or Simmons dissolve, while Coulson goes and maybe Elena, too. Heck, let's bring back Lance Hunter who says Bobbi Morse "dissolved".
Some new agents arrive, including the "evil spawn" Ruby and Werner after they claim they want to renounce HYDRA...and mean it. Maybe they remember the timeline that never was, and figure that changing their ways will be wise. There'll be pushback from HYDRA supporters as they take advantage of the chaos created by Thanos, but the kids hold firm in their new attitude. Ruby and Daisy become pals after all, while Werner gets his "revenge" against SHIELD by learning how to fight thanks to Mack.
Of course, everyone returns, and it would set up maybe a SHIELD spinoff or two with the new agents. If ABC won't do this, FX or Netflix should. Ten to 13 episodes should do it.

For now, we'll have to wait and see, while hoping that Deadpool 2 will ease our pain.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Rifftrax Wonders Where Westworld Went Wrong...Went Wrong....Went Wrong...

After mocking two episodes of Game of Thrones, the Rifftrax gang wondered which cable show they can attack next. It will take on the first episode of Stranger Things later this summer (after MST3K mocked the first two minutes last year).

Since season two of Westworld is coming next weekend, let's take a look on how Rifftrax looked at the first episode. The gang spend a lot of time on how the show compared to the movie, and slipped in a riff about Yul Brynner. Most of the riffs were mainly about how really rich guys went to Westworld to pretend to be outlaws and desperados and have sex with robots (which is the opposite of its VOD Dark Future), and how the people who built it think they're just making a Disneyland on steroids. Or as Kevin Murphy described the place, "Westworld, where insanely rich people want the same vacation as an eight-year-old boy from the '50's."...with sexy and violent results.

The opener has people enjoying the fake Western life complete with booze, guns and women, the staff dealing with glitches affecting the "hosts", and a girl named Dolores suddenly realizing her life isn't what she thought it was. Safe to say, when season two starts, the tables and worms will turn.

However, this blog is more about the riffs than the show, so, let's get to it:

The opening credits inspired some good riffs:

When can I hump a robot?
Ah, ha, Westworld
What's Westworld?

Tim Burton's Annie Oakley

Then the action begins...

Dolores is sitting nude on a stool, as Bernard talks to her
"Do you know where you are?"
Auditioning for a Weinstein film?

The staff enters a room where dozens of hosts are stored, and they're nude
Looks like the Rhythm Nation hit the skids

A chunky guy, later identified as an employee for Tires Plus, is excited he's looking for a dangerous gunman. His wife is not.
Why did I bring Ricky Gervais to the Wild West?

A poster is spotted with a guy named Larry Clause wanted for murder
Santa's evil half-brother. 

Dolores is upset her friend Teddy (also a host) has been shot.
"Teddy, No!"
You've got to uphold the Ruxpin name.

There's also riffs on Matt Lauer, Blade Runner, Deadwood, Philadelphia, Thomas the Tank Engine and John Ford.

We can't exactly prove it, but there's a chance Rifftrax mocked Westworld after Mike Nelson discovered he didn't like Ready Player One after he read it. Thus, he decided to riff on another technological oasis, a more disturbing one. RP1, though, will be next.

You can get the riff on HBO's Westworld opener at the Rifftrax website.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Rifftrax vs. Godmonster of Indian Flats, or Mutated Alf Goes West

There are some movies that make no sense, no matter how people try to justify it. The Wild, Wild World of Batwoman comes to mind, along with Bermuda Triangle. The Last Slumber Party and whatever that movie was where some mad scientist tries to drive a small town insane then burn it down to hide the evidence.

For the most part, the movies Rifftrax has targeted movies that make some sense, but not the ones just mentioned here.
Then there's Godmonster of Indian Flats, part Western and part mutant sheep movie set in a small Nevada town called "Comstock" in 1973.  A sheep farmer named Eddie wins 200 bucks in Reno then hitches a ride to the small town and gets robbed. He then meets a professor named Clements who gets him to a farm to sleep it off.

After having a weird dream about sheep, he wakes up to a mutated embryo. The doc tries to bring it to term, while linking it to a legend about a monster from the mines.
Eddie also hangs out with an almost-cute girl named Mariposa.

The movie then concentrates on the town and Mayor Silverdale, who is trying to keep some African-America guy named Barnstable from buying the town because the mayor thinks it'll ruin the heritage and old-fashioned way of life.

The mayor and the citizens go to great lengths to keep Barnstable from buying the town, mainly by framing him for shooting a dog and a guy with a weird haircut.

Once the monster is revealed, the mayor thinks it can get tourists to the town. They even rope the thing.

Then there's the ending. Mayor Silverdale makes crazy announcements, including the fact that Barnstable has bought the town and the monster's in a cage. This leads to a riot that makes no sense, while the Mayor makes even less sense. Finally, it climaxes with the monster exploding, and the sheep eating its remains. This seems to guarantee they'll be future Godmonsters to come, and that should bring in the tourists, right?

This movie is so bizarre, at least one website has tried to make sense of this. Crimes Against Cinema claims the movie is actually a response to race relations, corporate greed, nostalgia and incompetently-made monster costumes. Whether that's true is another matter.
It might remind people of Creeping Terror, especially how it approaches its small-town victims.Thankfully, it doesn't eat anyone.

OK, let's get to the riffs:

Eddie tries to convince a deputy he was just robbed
Deputy Dog in human form.

Sheriff Gordon tries to do his job from his office, which includes a closed circuit screen.
Ready Player One had more gunting than this guy.

Some weird woman spies on Eddie and Mariposa from a graveyard
Lydia Dietz, the middle-aged dowager years.

The fake funeral for the dog Barnstable didn't kill
Spuds MacKenzie will say a few words.

The Godmonster is leaking yellow smoke
When there's smoke, there's a barely functioning puppet.

The mayor gives an insane rant about him beating Barnstable or something
We have to restore some sanity here. Please fill your underpants with baked beans and run around yelling "I killed the Kaiser".

There's also riffs on Matt Lauer, Reno, Guy From Harlem, Al Pacino, video games, and the Ice Cream Bunny.

The movie is available on the Rifftrax website.
Also, the site will start selling episodes from season eleven later this month. Individual episodes are available at $7.97 for regular video or HD versions for $9.97. The whole season can be had for $99, which is the better bargain because you get all 14 episodes and the documentary that shows how MST3K returned.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Is Rifftrax Taking a Page From MST3K's Kickstarter Campaign?

Once again, Rifftrax has gotten more than enough funding for its annual live shows. It also broke a record, snagging just over 501 thousand dollars from more than 9400 backers.
The stretch goal rewards were a bit impressive, including riffs on Last Jedi, Ready Player One and the first episode of Stranger Things. They also gave out its first set of pins to rival the ones MST3K has been selling, a VOD of a movie that features the voice of Eric Roberts (which you can call "Uninvited II: Look Who's Talking Meow), a blu-ray of the Space Mutiny live show, and a new DVD of shorts.
Even the one dollar donors came out ahead by getting ten shorts, and an upcoming riff of Solo: A Star Wars Story for free. This should be interesting since no one knows how a movie about a young Han Solo will do come Memorial Day weekend.
Even with a 100 dollar pledge (which I made), backers got good value. It's too bad it'll be only two shows this year with Space Mutiny and Krull. It would have been nice to get another Halloween live show in there, but it's possible it could add a "best of" show again.
Besides, people will get a chance to hear alternative opinions about three blockbuster movies. The Avengers and Marvel should be grateful they won't be targets this year.

What's interesting is that the campaign isn't really over
People who contributed to the MST3K Kickstarter campaign two years ago got a chance to buy some of the rewards separately, including USB drives shaped like Servo and Crow, a special DVD set of season eleven, t-shirts, calendars and even a coffee table book.
It only makes sense that Rifftrax follow suit. Clicking to this link will send you to a BackerKit showing all the non-video rewards. They're all reasonably priced, too.
The pins are 12 bucks apiece, but the full set is 40 dollars. The Space Mutiny DVD is priced the same as the other DVDs in either form. People who just want the digital media in one package can do that, too.
In fact, that section has already raised a thousand bucks in the first day. If only the number of backers could be added so we can get closer to more people getting a free riff of Ready Player One. Oh, well...
The shorts should be available soon, but you can bet a lot of people just can't wait until the Last Jedi riff is available, It'll please those who liked the movie and those who felt betrayed by weird stuff by seeing Leia float in space and live, Rey and Kylo getting a bit too close, or Luke milking that....whatever it was.

Meanwhile, the MST3K season 11 DVD is coming in a month, but people can get it just after Easter if they order now at the website or Shout Factory. It'll include a documentary about how the show finally came back. Maybe once everyone can get it in three weeks we'll know when they'll start making season 12.