Monday, September 4, 2017

Fawlty (Dark) Towers

So they finally made the Dark Tower movie based on Stephen King's epic saga of dimension-jumping gunslingers, lobster people, billy-bumblers, and psychic kids. It fled across the desert, and the Vorpal Podcast followed.

While I'm a fan of Wizard and Glass and the DT graphic novels and the entire premise of the gunslinger, I read the first book back in about 1853 so I don't trust that I remember quite enough about the Gunslinger's early Saga to compare the new movie to all the actual novels. So we called in a Dark Tower Superfan and unofficial Stephen King expert Craig of Eld to help us out. He laid on us the Easter Eggs he found in this movie that should have fans who originally hated it for not being an absolute recreation of the books to reconsider what they were watching, because [SPOILER ALERT] it turns out it is actually a continuation of the Gunslinger storyline, and takes place after the last book! What what whaaaaat? Listen in and find out why!

So brighten up your Shine and load up your forty-five (Ex)caliber revolvers, its time to talk Gunslinger!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Atomic Blondes

New on the Vorpal Podcast: Atomic Suzy is joined by Comic Book Cory to breakdown this Fall-of-the-Berlin-Wall Spy movie (based on a Graphic Novel) and determine whether the 1980's-themed flick is worth its 99 Luftballoons. Pull out your walkman, light up a cigarette, and splice some microfilm because its time to review ATOMIC BLONDE!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

(War for the) Planet of the Apes

"Take your stinking paws off of me, you damn dirty ape!"

I frickin' love Planet of the Apes. Also love the sequel, Beneath the Planet of the Apes. The alien-ness of the world, the intelligent Apes who completely disbelieve in the possibility that humans were once intelligent (and their Orangutan scientists trying to hide any evidence of it), the weird rock buildings that look like anthills, the primitiveness of the technology, the delightful mystery of the "Forbidden Zone", and the general alpha badass-ness of Charlton Heston. All great stuff.

I even played a bit of the old rpg, "Terra Primate" by Eden Studios back in the day. It was an rpg where you could crash-land as an astronaught on future earth, and have exciting adventures as one of the few rare humans that could speak and think logically in a post-APE-pocalyptic society.

Eden Studios are the same folks who also published "All Flesh Must Be Eaten," one of the first, and still one of the best, Zombie Apocalypse RPGs.

But I digress, I'm here to talk about Apes. Planet of the Apes always had a John Carter of Mars vibe for me, with the strange world with alien denizens and super-power(s) granted to the protagonist because they are from a far off place (or time). In this case the "super power" was simply that Charlton Heston can speak and think logically in a world of super dumb humans, rather than leap tall buildings in a single bound like John Carter on Mars, but still it was pretty cool. Its the kind of super power you start to identify with when you're surfing through Twitter or shopping at Walmart.

Then came the sequels... which to put it frankly, are pure garbage.

Escape from the Planet of the Apes - An Austin Powers wanna-be movie where the main apes from the first film go back in time to the swingin' 70s and become celebrities in "modern-day" America. But then are murdered for some reason. Who cares.

Conquest of the Planet of the Apes -  A half-ass near-dystopian movie where they begin the process of utterly destroying any wonderment fans may have about how the Apes rose to power. Instead of a long mysterious process of evolution to replace humans who destroyed themselves (that the Statue of Liberty in the first film suggests), the Apes rose up against humans because racism(!). So I guess, the Apes destroyed the statue of liberty? Bah.

Battle for the Planet of the Apes - You're supposed to root for the Apes as they take over the planet, because humans are jerks I guess. Completely destroys any reason that the Apes in Charlton Heston's "future" (the original PotA) would be so against the thought of humans ever have been smart. If the Apes really rebelled and won against a bunch of butthole humans they'd have a holiday about it every year.

The movies then died off for a time, since the studios had squeezed every dime from fans of the subject by releasing worse and worse movies. But now they've rebooted it! And its somehow even MORE depressing!

Planet of the Apes (2001 Remake) - Marky Mark is an astronaught who does the time portal thing and lands in Ape-ville. Great costumes and special effects, but completely lacks the points of the original that make it so great. Future humans can still all speak, making Marky Mark's limited vocabulary just as useless as it is now. Plus the twist at the end is...Ape-raham Lincoln? Ugh. Still, I liked it better than the latest Trilogy.

Rise of, Dawn of, and War for the Planet of the Apes. More Apes vs. Humans uprising prequelness that I can barely give a crap about. Its like they're stretching out the painful over-explanation of how the Apes rose up, which is like the least interesting part of the whole genre.

But I watched them, because my co-hosts JC and Jillian on the latest episode of the Vorpal Podcast desperately wanted to talk about the latest movie, War for the Planet of the Apes. They're actually fans of these Attack of the Clones-worthy prequels. How?! Why?! It completely boggles the mind.

So if you feel like hearing me lament the lost promise of these movies (and mock co-host JC's evidently terrible taste in sci-fi), check out the latest Planet of the Apes episode of the Vorpal Podcast (with special guest-host Jillian). We slash our way through every single one of the Apes movies from 1968 on, and vehemently disagree on most everything about these latest Ape-stallments to the filmography.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Batman Movies

In a special extended edition of the Vorpal Podcast, Batman correspondent Paul of Gotham joins us in the studio to cover everything we all need to know about Batman in Cinema.

We light up the Bat-Signal for Michael Keaton Batman, Val Kilmer Batman, George Clooney Batman, Christian Bale Batman, Ben Batfleck Batman, and even the late Adam West Batman! Its an episode bat-freaks and DC fans do not want to miss!

Holy movie marathon, Batman!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Spiderman Homecoming

Hey there Spider-fans! Your favorite wall-crawler is back in a brand new adventure. This time our web-slinging hero is up against the nefarious Vulture, who's gun-running criminal empire threatens the entire eastern seaboard, not least of which contains Spidey's own neighborhood! So put on your webshooters and give a listen as Cory, JC, and Suzy discuss the web-headed antics of SPIDERMAN HOMECOMING! Excelsior!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Go Go Power Rangers

The Power Rangers: A show from the 90's where high school kids find magic belt buckles that enable them to turn into ninja warrior dinobot robo-pilots. Yes, it was a strange decade, the 90's, yet I still look back on it fondly. It was back when they still made low-budget live-action sci-fi shows, and not everything sci-fi or comedy on TV had to be done with bad animation. Instead stories could still be told through the medium of bad acting. Truly the halcyon days.


Power Rangers was a cross between Saved by the Bell and some Japanese Game Show that you accidentally stumble across after midnight while watching cable. Five very American hip kids with tight-rolled jeans, oversized cut-off sweatshirts and half-undone overalls would discuss some issue at school about bullies, and then a floating head would summon them to a giant spaceship and inform them that aliens were attacking, and then the kids would morph into a Japanese Action Monster Movie. You would then watch motorcycle helmet-wearing colorful ninjas fight guys in rubber suits somewhere in a California desert for the next twenty minutes. You wouldn't see the kids outside of their ninja fighting suits and helmets again until the credits were about to roll, and whenever they spoke the helmeted ninja would move his or her arms around really flamboyantly so the viewer could tell who was supposed to be speaking. It was fairly ridiculous yet pretty fun to watch back in the day.

So this year they released a Power Rangers reboot movie, and a couple of the folks who listen to the Vorpal Podcast asked us to review it so they could hear our take. Since it was only in theaters for about a week before it went to video (which ...should've been a warning I now realize), Suzy and I decided to just rent it and do a live podcast review it immediately after watching it. Its fair to say we both were ready to Morph into rock monsters and join Rita Repulsa by the time this movie finally finished.

I'm just going to go ahead and tell you, this movie did not have nearly enough Power Rangerin' in it. Plenty of teenager angst, but very little Mighty or Morphin at all. They also make it super clear this movie was heavily sponsored by Krispy Kreme. It was like Mac and Me, except without the cute little Coke-drinking alien who makes you want to keep watching.



Sunday, June 25, 2017

Transformers 5 - Written by No One

So just finished watching and recording a podcast review for TRANSFORMERS:THE LAST KNIGHT, and I am just going to say, this has to be the worst Michael Bay movie yet. I can't imagine how a giant-budget movie like this got green-lit, and I'm a guy that actually enjoyed Suicide Squad when I saw it in the theater.

Don't get me wrong, I don't automatically hate Michael Bay movies. I loved the first Transformers, and the second Turtles movie was pretty good too. But there is a storytelling and visual style that Michael Bay is known for, and that is usually ridiculously big explosions and effects (good) but silly or inconsistent plot writing and characters (not as good). Still, if you promise you'll show me Optimus Prime punching a giant bug-robot in the face, then I'll forgive a lot of plot holes and silliness. But this movie did not have enough robot fights or explosions to overcome the stupidity of the characters and plot and whatever the hell was supposed to be happening on screen. Not even close.

It turns out that forgiveness only goes so far. THE LAST KNIGHT far. If Michael Bay was for some reason secretly trying to actually torpedo the Transformers property, well then he couldn't have done a better job.