Posts Tagged ‘Tony Cox’
Tuesday, September 6th, 2022
July 24, 1992
MOM AND DAD SAVE THE WORLD is a comedy-sci-fi-fantasy thing apparently released pretty wide (but viewed very narrowly) on July 24, 1992. I saw this one when it came out on video and I remember kind of liking it for all its crazy sets and costumes and puppets and shit. Unfortunately, this time I found it extremely hard to sit through. It’s interesting that something could so clearly have so much work put into it and still turn out feeling like it’s barely a movie.
The cartoonish super villain who sets the plot in motion is played by Jon Lovitz, who we last saw in A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN. He’s the sleazy tyrannical ruler of the planet Spengo and his name is Emperor Todd Spengo. I don’t know why it’s funny for a character like that to be named Todd, but it is. It’s one of I believe two things that made me laugh in this movie. The other is a couple minutes in when Emperor Todd Spengo decides to postpone destroying Earth with his “Super Death Ray Laser” because through his telescope he spots the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen – Marge Nelson (Teri Garr, THE PLAYER) very awkwardly doing aerobics in an ugly sweatsuit. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Chris Matheson, Ed Gale, Ed Solomon, Eric Idle, Greg Beeman, Jacques Haitkin, Jeffrey Jones, Jerry Goldsmith, Jon Lovitz, Kathy Ireland, Teri Garr, Thalmus Rasulala, Tony Cox, Tony Gardner, Wallace Shawn
Posted in Comedy/Laffs, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 16 Comments »
Wednesday, February 2nd, 2022
And now in our journey through the films of Sam Raimi we have arrived at a difficult spot. We have come to the film that was at the time “the new Sam Raimi” but for a few years became “the last Sam Raimi?” I enjoyed OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL well enough when it came out in 2013 (here’s my review), even though a big commercial Disney movie that’s an unsolicited prequel to a famous story wasn’t high on the list of what I wanted to see from him. And it definitely wasn’t what I wanted to see him go out on.
Luckily he has now actually filmed his next movie, so a comeback is on deck. But isn’t it crazy that it’s been 9 years since the last Sam Raimi movie? To remind you of how long ago this was, it’s when FURIOUS 6 and MAN OF STEEL came out. It’s when they were on the first film of MCU Phase Two, IRON MAN THREE. We’re talking seven David Gordon Green movies ago (he was on PRINCE AVALANCHE, starring Paul Rudd, who was not yet Ant-Man). It’s when Franck Khalfoun’s remake of MANIAC came out, and Spike Lee’s remake of OLDBOY, and Ryuhei Kitamura’s WWE Films joint NO ONE LIVES. Remember those? No? You weren’t born yet? That’s what I’m saying – it’s been a while. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Abigail Spencer, Bob Murawski, Bruce Campbell, Danny Elfman, David Lindsay-Abaire, James Franco, Joey King, L. Frank Baum, Michelle Williams, Mila Kunis, Mitchell Kapner, Peter Deming, Rachel Weisz, Robert Stromberg, Sam Raimi, Tim Holmes, Tony Cox, Zach Braff
Posted in Family, Fantasy/Swords, Reviews | 46 Comments »
Monday, August 2nd, 2021
Before I start one of these retrospectives I research the movies that came out during that summer and put together a schedule. But in the course of doing 1991 I keep stumbling across movies that seem worthy of looking at that I missed because they were limited releases, TV movies or DTV and didn’t show up on any of the release date lists I looked at. So when I realized Adam Rifkin’s THE DARK BACKWARD played on one screen starting July 26, 1991 I thought I should backtrack a little to cover it.
For those not familiar with it, it’s a forcefully weird and uncomfortable comedy that was a favorite of mine in the ‘90s, one of those movies I rented on VHS and made a dub of to show to people who had never heard of it, which was most people. It was Rifkin’s first script ever, written at age 19 after moving to L.A. to try to become a director, made when he was in his mid 20s, and it’s a sense of humor and world view that admittedly appealed to me more when I was closer to that age. But it’s such a distinct and unadulterated vision I can’t help but still kinda love it. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Adam Rifkin, Anna Berger, Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton, Claudia Christian, Danny Dayton, David Silverman, James Caan, Judd Nelson, Lara Flynn Boyle, Rob Lowe, standup, Summer of 1991, Tony Cox, Tony Gardner, Wayne Newton
Posted in Comedy/Laffs, Reviews | 6 Comments »
Friday, December 21st, 2018
We’re mostly agreed these days that BAD SANTA is a timeless Christmas classic, right? I have friends and loved ones who it’s too mean for, and it got brutal critical reception at the time, done no favors by Miramax insisting on more ball punching and shit so the theatrical and “BADDER SANTA” cuts could fit some lowbrow comedy marketing strategy that must’ve worked for them on SCARY MOVIE or something. The superior director’s cut has been available for years now, and now I watch that and mourn the loss of one dumb joke from the theatrical ending:
But in any of its incarnations, BAD SANTA makes me laugh so much and channels so much of my most negative thoughts that it’s one of the few movies I can watch once a year without getting tired of it. Willie (Billy Bob Thornton, THE MAN WHO WASN’T THERE) is a funny asshole for the ages, a burnt out piece of shit full of self-loathing and even more full of loathing-others. His caustic wit and self-destructive behavior died for our sins, transforming humanity’s worst tendencies into wise ass Yuletide fuck yous both deserved and undeserved, but in a forum where no one can be hurt. He uses his asshole powers for good in his dealings with treacherous Marcus (who can dish it out too) or Bernie Mac’s quietly scheming “store dick.”
After so many viewings I sometimes find myself teary-eyed at Willie’s realization that Thurman (Brett Kelly, TRICK ‘R TREAT) cut himself while carving his weird Christmas gift, and at his attempt to return the favor before being gunned down by police. The smallness of the gesture to me makes it more authentic and in turn puts this jerk in line with more severe holiday transformations like Scrooge‘s or The Grinch’s. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Billy Bob Thornton, Brett Kelly, Christina Hendricks, Christmas, Christmas crime, Kathy Bates, Mark Waters, Octavia Spencer, Shauna Cross, Tony Cox
Posted in Comedy/Laffs, Reviews | 5 Comments »
Tuesday, February 27th, 2018
PENITENTIARY II (1982) is that thing we love where a director has been burning it up on the fringes and then they get a little more resources behind them and they really go for it. Still low budget and outside of the mainstream, but more professional than the first PENITENTIARY (1979) or the two other features writer-director Jamaa Fanaka made while still a student at UCLA. So he’s still hungry and crazy, but able to accomplish more. It’s one of the beautiful parts of life.
And you know this shit is gonna be good when there’s an opening scene and then a full credit sequence set to grimy DOLEMITE-esque blaxploitation funk and then a long STAR WARS style scroll explaining in more detail than necessary what’s going on.
The score is by Jack Wheaton, additional music by Marvin Gaye’s guitarist and musical director Gordon Banks. I tend to think that outside of the electro stuff like Zapp and “Atomic Dog,” funk no longer existed in the ’80s. Tell that to these opening credits, though: (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: boxing, Ernie Hudson, Glynn Turman, Jamaa Fanaka, Leon Isaac Kennedy, Malik Carter, Mr. T, Peggy Blow, prison, Rudy Ray Moore, Stan Kamber, Tony Cox
Posted in Action, Reviews, Sport | 4 Comments »
Wednesday, January 13th, 2016
“Elora, you don’t want me. Tell her. I’m short. Even for a Nelwyn.”
Like John McClane’ll tell ya, sometimes some shit happens and you just have to step up. For Willow Ufgood (Warwick Davis, RETURN OF THE JEDI, THE EWOK ADVENTURE) it’s when his kids find one of those abandoned river babies (we all know how that goes) and then it turns out to be the Chosen One prophesied to kill the evil Queen Bavmorda (Jean Marsh), so mean knights with packs of dog-like beasts are gonna keep attacking the village until they find her. Willow admits to the town that he has the baby they’re looking for, and he doesn’t argue when the wise wizard The High Aldwin (Billy Barty) appoints him to lead a party on a journey to give the baby back to the Daikini, the bigger people.
I say bigger because Willow’s village is all people under four feet tall. There are fighters among them, like Vohnkar (Phil Fondacaro, RETURN OF THE JEDI) or “Vohnkar Warrior” (Tony Cox, RETURN OF THE JEDI, CAPTAIN EO), but Willow isn’t one of them. A small man looked down upon even among the people of his size, he’s the underest of dogs. As a fledgling magician he screws up even his corny magic trick illusions, and now he finds himself going head to head with a real sorceress.
The first Daikini they find is Mad Martigan (Val Kilmer, BAD LIEUTENANT: PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS), a warrior imprisoned in a small cage who seems at first like a Jack Sparrowish rogue. When an army is headed their way and most of Willow’s party turns tail he has little choice but to free the man and convince him to help, like an action comedy set up. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Billy Barty, George Lucas, Joanne Whaley, Kevin Pollack, Lucas Minus Star Wars, Pat Roach, Patricia Hayes, Phil Fondacaro, Rick Overton, Robert Tessier, Ron Howard, Tony Cox, Val Kilmer, Warwick Davis
Posted in Fantasy/Swords, Reviews | 32 Comments »
Tuesday, January 12th, 2016
I mentioned in my LABYRINTH review that I thought Michael Jackson would’ve been a cool Goblin King. Sorry about that. I take it back. Mr. Bowie was uniquely suited for the character and I’m glad he got to hang out with all those puppets and implant himself in the creepy childhood memories of millions around the world.
And besides, Michael got his chance to get a little muppety, because the next Lucasfilm release was this 17 minute 3D film starring Jackson as “the infamous Captain EO,” leader of “a rag-tag band” of aliens and robots and crap sent on a dangerous space mission to deliver a gift to the Supreme Leader (Angelica Huston). EO gives his crew a speech about how everybody thinks they’re a bunch of fucking losers and if they don’t pull this mission off they’re gonna be “drummed out of the corps.” Which really makes you wonder how they got into the corps in the first place. What kind of boot camp can these weirdos make it through?
They seem to be kind of the Bad News Bears of space troopers. They’re bickering, cartoon-voiced goofballs who screw everything up and get yelled at by the Captain (except when they throw an egg at the hologram of Commander Bog [Dick Shawn, The Year Without a Santa Claus]), which makes him laugh).
The crew consists of a robot named Major Domo (voice of Gary DePew, producer of ANGEL 4: UNDERCOVER), another one named Minor Domo that attaches into the Major’s back, a furry two-headed monster named Idey (Debbie Lee Carrington, RETURN OF THE JEDI, HOWARD THE DUCK) and Odey (Cindy Sorenson, THE DARK BACKWARD), a green elephant-man named Hooter (Tony Cox, RETURN OF THE JEDI, SPACEBALLS, BAD SANTA) and a small furry guy with butterfly wings named Fuzzball (effects by Rick Baker, makeup man for the cantina scene in STAR WARS as well as Jackson’s Thriller video). All are small in stature, most are inept and cowardly. But EO leads them through a space battle, a crash-landing and a dark tunnel to the Supreme Leader, who turns out to be a grey and black Giger-esque biomechanical witch hanging from a web of cables and corrugated tubes. She is not happy to see them. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: 3D, Anjelica Huston, Disneyland, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, Lucas Minus Star Wars, Michael Jackson, Rick Baker, ride movies, Tony Cox, Vittorio Storaro
Posted in Musical, Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit | 20 Comments »
Monday, December 26th, 2005
Well I seen this picture a while back when it was in a theater. I remembered it was pretty good so I wanted to watch it again for Christmas. Because it’s about Christmas. It’s called Bad Santa. (I mentioned that above so you probaly know that already)
Well I watched it about a week too late so this review is not very timely. But since this review will still be here to read next christmas I feel this bad timing should not count against my 2005 New year’s Resolution, A Commitment To Excellence. If you disagree take it up with the magic new year baby.
Anyway what this BAD SANTA one is about is Billy Bob Thornton is a character called Willie, a self loathing alcoholic safecracker who every year gets a job as a department store Santa. His partner Marcus (Tony Cox from FRIDAY) is a dwarf who is his elf. Then after closing time on christmas eve Marcus will be disguised as a snowman decoration or something, he runs and turns the alarm off and they rob the place. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Bernie Mac, Billy Bob Thornton, Christmas, Christmas crime, Coen Brothers, John Ritter, Lauren Graham, Terry Zwigoff, Tony Cox
Posted in Comedy/Laffs, Crime, Reviews | 5 Comments »