Animal House review

“Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!”

The Scoop: 1978 R directed by John Landis and starring John Belushi, Tim Matheson, and Donald Sutherland

Tagline: It was the Deltas against the rules… the rules lost!

Summary Capsule: Delta House fights against the administration, fellow students, and oppression of parties everywhere.

Justin’s Rating: Spank-a-Doodle-Dandy

Justin’s Review: There are scenes in this movie that are certainly innovative and fascinating, and even more that draw attention to sheer crudity and a spirit of gross-out. The point where I nearly lost my lunch came in a “morning after” scene, where a college co-ed and her professor are milling around the house. The professor is Donald Sutherland, who parades around in nothing but a shirt and effectively moons the audience. That, my friends, shocked my hormones into a coma from which they still have not recovered.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Happy 20th birthday, Mutant Reviewers From Hell!

mutant

Some of you (maybe just a few!) might know that my writing career got started a long time before Massively, Bio Break, and WAAAGH! I, along with several friends, used to write movie reviews daily about cult films that would tickle our odd fancy.

So the story goes that back in 1997 when I was in my junior year of college, an internet friend named Kym and I were talking about our mutual love of strange movies and decided to start up one of those fancy “world wide web sites” that were all the rage. I registered for a free Geocities account (yes, Geocities!) and started cobbling together the site that would eventually be called Mutant Reviewers From Hell (MRFH).

It was dorky only in the way that ’90s websites could be: distracting backgrounds, animated gifs, MIDI jukebox, web counters, guestbooks, and the like. Yet it was also the spark of something special. Kym and I would post short and (hopefully) entertaining counterpoint reviews about the same movie, giving readers multiple perspectives on various flicks. At the time I was working at video rental stores (look those up in your history books, kids) and had an unlimited access to all sorts of crazy films.

Continue reading

American Ninja: Review

Justin’s Review: ninja1If you were to intentionally create the most stereotypically 80s action movie today, there’s no way you could top what’s already been done in American Ninja.

Largely responsible for the elevation of the ninja to near-mythical status, American Ninja is a hodge-podge of admittedly better 80s films, including The Karate Kid, James Bond, and probably anything to do with Chuck Norris.  Yet it pushes so hard the ninja aspect that instead of being mediocre today, it’s actually endured as a cheesy cult classic that features genuinely enjoyable (if ridiculous) action.

Continue reading

The Office: Season Two review

Office_Season_2As lackluster, short, and — let’s face it — nearly irrelevant as season one of The Office was, the decision to pick it up for a 22-episode second season was as surprising as it was fortuitous.  Maybe it was Steve Carrell’s charisma that convinced the network to do so, but good decision, boys!

I consider the first episode of the second season to be the “real” start to The Office.  A lot of work went into rethinking characters and getting into a comfortable groove, and the employees of Dunder Mifflin that we know and love today emerged as a true ensemble force here.  And looking over the episode list, I’m amazed at the sheer quality of hilarious stories that are packed into this season, which is why it propelled The Office into a “must watch” type of show.

Continue reading

The Office: Season One review

os11There’s a sort of hipster shibboleth that you’re supposed to claim that the two-season British original of The Office was, hands-down, the best.  Say that, and you’re in with all of the cool critics.  While it was sort of funny, I never warmed to it the way that I have since latched on to the American version, which I now consider one of my most favorite TV series of all time.

I guess I won’t be invited to their snooty parties.  That’s fine with me; I’d rather be hanging out with Jim, Dwight, Michael, Pam, and the rest anyway.

I’ve seen the entire nine-season run of The Office several times through now, as it’s one of my constant “comfort foods” in my TV time.  Sometimes I even listen to episodes in the car, because by now my brain can fill in the visuals.  The delightful mix of insanely awkward moments, sincere emotion, and hilarious corporate antics have always made me feel that I’d gladly get a job at Dunder Mifflin if it was with people like these.

So let’s go through the seasons, one at a time, and see the evolution of the characters, the company, and the show.

Continue reading