Saturday, December 24, 2022

Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Seasons Greetings and Happy Holidays and so forth and so on!

We're staying in the sort of spooky sort of holiday spirit with the 1990 Christmas classic(?) Edward Scissorhands! The first of a long line of collaborations between Tim Burton, Danny Elfman, and Johnny Depp (Helena Bonham Carter had not joined the gang yet) and also starring Winona Ryder and Matinee Manatees alum Dianne Wiest, Edward Scissorhands arguably cemented Burton's reputation and style for the rest of his career and became a standby for the kind of sad and somewhat spooky for a generation. But how long has it been since you actually sat down and watched it? The manatees discuss pressing issues like the propensity of neighborhood kids to hang out in derelict buildings, ideal utensils to have instead of fingers, and the sad neglected fate of Edgar Cookiefeet, the sad robot boy who could have been. Float along with us as we revisit this cult favorite, and a very merry any-holiday to you and yours.

Monday, November 28, 2022

The Mothman Prophecies (2002)

We're starting the holiday season early with the famously saccharine Christmas romance, The Mothman Prophecies! (alternate title: Mothman Saves Christmas)

Richard Gere plays a grumpy widower from the big city who doesn't want to do anything on Christmas but sit at home and play with his phone, but one day when his car breaks down in the idyllic rural town of Point Pleasant, his life gets turned upside down and he finds that he just doesn't want to leave! With a little meddling and a little magic from his mysterious guardian angel, Richard Gere begins to make friends and even find love with a pretty small-town cop who has a lot of Christmas cheer, considers abandoning the big city career that doesn't make him happy, and most importantly, learns that Christmas is about more than fancy parties and getting presents in: The Mothman Prophecies. (TW actually a parapsychological thriller. Kind of.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Leprechaun (1993)

We're revisiting some beloved Matinee Manatee alumni with Leprechaun, the 1993 comedy-horror starring Jennifer Aniston and Warwick Davis, our old friends from Office Space and Willow. Written and directed by Mark Jones, Leprechaun would go on to spawn seven sequels to date, so it must be doing something right, right? Float along with us to relive this bizarre little film and also get some free bonus content from the manatees, such as discussion on the proper handling of potentially rabid animals, learning fun new words like "numismatologist", and super valuable blood donation hacks you can try at home! (Do not try them at home.)

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Office Space (1999)

Just in time for being way too late for labor day, the Manatees are revisiting the 1999 Mike Judge classic Office Space, supposedly starring Ron Livingston and Jennifer Aniston but actually starring Gary Cole and Stephen Root, and also featuring Matinee Manatee alums Orlando Jones and Michale McShane! While it was a flop at release, Office Space quickly became a cult classic in large part due to its portrayal of middle American office culture at the turn of the millennium. But does it hold up? Float along with the manatees and find out! Personal anecdotes about office jobs and incessant comparisons to Fight Club ensue. The manatees share old guy advice on how to get away with slacking at work, why you should never dramatically quit when you can make them fire you, and why there is never a good way to ask a service worker out on a date while they're at work, and ask the tough questions, like: Is Milton real? Is this job actually bad or is it just the protagonist's personality? What does any of this have to do with Drew Carey? Answers to all these and more on the next exciting episode of Matinee Manatees! (Please note: description of episode as exciting is not intended to be legally binding)

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

Bloodsport (1988)

What can we say, we missed Mortal Kombat so much we decided to go after its dad: 1988's cult classic Bloodsport! Directed by Newt Arnold and starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bloodsport is about a guy who goes to Hong Kong and fights a bunch of people. Somehow, Forest Whitaker is there. That's about it, that's all you need. The manatees do a deep dive into the history and traditions underpinning competitive martial arts and jump-tackle the darkest secrets of the MMA underground, such as how shorts make you a better fighter, why you can't just stop after learning the Dim Mak, how the UFC is this movie's fault, and why Andre The Giant should have been in this movie. And, just because we know everyone's asking, yes, there is a lengthy segment on JCVD's underwear. Don't worry, we've got you covered. Unlike JCVD's butt. Ha-HA!

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Double Dragon (1994)

What do you get when you combine the setting from Escape From La, the costumes from Siegfried and Roy, the car from Back To The Future, the half locket from Annie, and the prosthetics from the Garbage Pail Kids? Why, Double Dragon, of course, the movie based on the game that had none of those things.

Directed by James Yukich and starring Robert Patrick, Mark Dacascos, and Scott Wolf, Double Dragon takes a game about two brothers with mullets working on their hot rod and beating up a town full of gangsters and turns it into a movie about two brothers in the future whose father was either a king or an archaeologist who need to steal half a medallion before the T-1000 does. Also, Alyssa Milano is there! The manatees do their best with this one and tackle the hard-hitting questions, such as: What should a remake look like? Are the games any good? Did they already make a plot hole in the opening crawl? What's the difference between an amulet and a medallion? And most importantly, where exactly is the line between so bad it's irredeemable and so bad it's good? Float along for the answers to these and more exciting questions with 1994's Double Dragon.

(Maybe you're better off just rewatching Ninja Turtles instead.)

Monday, May 23, 2022

Over The Top (1987)

New episode is up!

We're back in the weird 80's genre with 1987's Over The Top, directed by Menahem Golan and starring Sylvester Stallone and Robert Loggia. We both thought this was a movie about arm wrestling, but it's actually more like two separate movies, one about arm wrestling and one about an awkward father-son road trip. Also, the son's name is Mike Hawk, and if you think we couldn't possibly overdo a joke about that, you are very wrong. Float along with us as we tackle the serious questions like: Why was this movie made? Is this a different singer than the last one? How come this movie was made? Is Lincoln a serial killer? For what reason was this movie made? How do shipping companies work? To what end was this movie made? And so on! (We actually kind of loved this one.)

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Felix The Cat (1988)

New episode is up!

It's a patron request month! This month we're checking out 1988's Felix The Cat animated feature, aptly described to us as "an acid trip box office flop". If you haven't heard of it, that's probably because almost nobody saw it. But why? We've all heard of Felix The Cat, seen the clocks, might have won a stuffed animal at a carnival once or twice, so how come nobody saw the movie? Does it deserve more attention, or is it where it ought to be in the cultural consciousness? Who'd win in a fight between Felix and Micky? Did Sonic the Hedgehog copy this movie for his 2006 game's plot? If Felix and Garfield and Heathcliff formed a faction could they compete with the Looney Tunes and the Disney gang? We have no idea, this movie melted our brains. Float along with us?

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Batman and Robin (1997)

Welcome back Batmanatees! Anthony drags Sam across the finish line of their Batman journey with 1997's notorious Batman and Robin, directed by Joel Schumacher and starring Matinee Manatee alums Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chris O'Donnell, Michael Gough, and John Glover, and also newcomers George Clooney, Alicia Silverstone, and Uma Thurman! Wow, that's a lot of names, you may say. That sounds like kind of a mess, you may say. Interesting! Apparently there had been plans to continue Schumacher's Batman movies for several more installments, but the critical and audience reception of this one put those plans on hold and effectively ended the series. But, was that harsh reaction deserved? Pack your bat credit cards (never leave home without them), float along with us, and find out!

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Happy 2022 everybody! We're still on our 90's kick with 1991's legendary Terminator 2: Judgment Day, directed by James Cameron and starring Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Robert Patrick. Can you believe it took us this long to get to a Schwarzenegger movie? The second of what would eventually be six movies and a television show, Terminator 2 retells the timeless struggle between a guy with a robot skeleton and an angry jelly man and, arguably, tells this classic tale better than any movie before or since.

Ben rants about the bar exam and pitches Terminator franchise sequels that nobody's tried yet, Sam explores theme composition and the effect of seeing movies' legacies before the movies themselves, and both manatees tackle the important questions other podcasts haven't had the guts to, like: Are those laser planes also terminators? Should online reviews use mean, median, or mode? Are The Terminator and The Matrix in the same universe? Would Danny DeVito have been a good T-1000? (Yes, obviously.) Tune in to find out!