Archive for the ‘4 Stay Puft Marshmallow Men’ Category

Planet 51

It’s not often that you watch a cartoon that is just so cool that you don’t care about the sickly sweet kiddie friendly plot, or the message that the producers tried to shoehorn into it about how we’re all the same underneath the different colour skin and how we can all live together in peace and love and rainbows and puppies and all that other crap.  (There are “puppies” in this film, but they’re cool and we’ll get to them later)  Planet 51 manages all this, and it’s just great.

The film revolves around some kind of plot in which the human astronaut lands and becomes the alien.  Something that was done before in Monsters Inc.  But that’s all besides the point.  The point of Planet 51 is to be a complete mockery of “the Ameican Way of Life” in the fifties, and, all the cool big budget horror/sci-fi films that have happened since then.

There’s even a scene in which the citizen’s patrol are being instructed on how to deal with the Alien invasion through a series of instruction manuals, two of which were attacked by sea monsters and attack by a 50 foot woman.  Planet 51 is even better than Monsters Vs. Aliens. (and i loved that film more than I should probably ever admit).

Cartoons really have to overachieve to reach 5 on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man scale, and while Planet 51 often had me going all Keanu Reeve’s “whoa, that was cool!”  it never had me going “wow, that was fucking dodgy”.  There isn’t really a dodgiest moment, but rather dodgiest characters, and the award is shared.  Both characters are “puppies”.  There’s the alien dog from whichever alien movie had a dog infested with an alien (I think it was Alien 3 but feel free to correct me in the comments), complete with acidic urine and a tongue that was basically a face hugger.  The second dodgiest character was Rover, an unmanned probe that had the personality of a dog.  It was basically Wall-E, but with more personality.  The meeting of the two of them, complete with butt-sniffing had me falling off my chair.

Planet 51 got a gigantic 5 alien smileys.  It rocked.  I just wish I had’ve found it sooner so I would have more time to appreciate it.  As it is, I suspect that each time you watch it there are going to be additional alien movie cliches that you pick up.

The film’s script is alright.  In general, it’s not fantastic and is suitable for kiddies.  however, it does contain some real gems.  “Your daily dose of Chuck” is one of them, but the real winner in the most memorable quote is “The whole planet is full of alien life and you send back pictures of rocks.”  I’m sure this is what happened with the Mars Rover.  The sent the thing there to get interesting pictures of the rocks, so that’s what it sent back.

Normally, this is where I have final comments.  But there is something that needs to be added.  Planet 41 has the best use of “The Macarena” I’ve ever scene.  It starts playing when the aliens drop Chuck’s ipod and all of them fall to the ground holding their ears in agony (think Mars Attacks style, without the exploding heads) until someone shoots the device.   It’s even referred to as a “Heinous weapon” and if that wasn’t sufficient as a cruel sadistic device.  Stop the Madness indeed.

Planet 51 didn’t get nearly as much hype as it deserved, but fortunately, I managed to watch it before it descended into obscurity.  You should too.

Tank Girl

I’m always a little nervous when people suggest movies to review. I never know whether they think they are asking me to review a cool dodgy film, or whether I’ve pissed them off and they are inflicting another Shoot ‘Em Up on me.  Fortunately, I’d already seen Tank Girl, so I did have some idea of what I was getting into.

Now, the last time I saw Tank Girl I was young and foolish.  Now, I’m just as foolish, but it has been a number of years since I watched Tank Girl, and age dims memories.  I remembered the kangaroos, I remembered the comic book interludes, I even remembered the awesome broadway style hooker dance sequence to “Let’s Do It”.  What I didn’t remember was the proliferation of Australian accents.  Now, some accents are lyrical, sexy and gentle on the ears.  The Aussie twang is none of these.  There are worse sounds, like a vulture that arrived last at the animal carcass, but those aren’t present in Tank Girl.

Despite this, Tank Girl is watchable, especially because it includes Jet Girl, the subject of boyhood fantasies everywhere.  But, even cooler (depending on your definition of cool) is the sentient tank.  Since watching this I often imagine sitting in an armchair on the roof of my car while it blows up the people who piss me off in traffic.

It’s hard to find a moment in Tank Girl that isn’t dodgy.  From the mutant mangaroos to the kick-ass weapon that sucks the fluid from a body and turns it into potable water.  And yet, the dodginess tried to tread the line between completely over the top and genuine superhero/comic-book movie.  This should always have gone for over the top and the bits that weren’t dragged it down a little yielding a score of 4 on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man Index.  The dodgiest moment in Tank Girl was relatively easy to pick.  it had to go to the choreographed hookers dancing to “Let’s do it”  The  movie is worth owning just for this scene.

As I’ve mentioned before, there are a number of Australian accents which detract from the viewing experience.  however, if you can get past this the film presents an enjoyable, if disjointed, show.  And while it’s not going to be the first choice on most peoples list, it is worth a watch.  Tank Girl scores a respectable 3 Mutant Smileys.

On we go to the part that occasionally I really dread.  Picking a memorable quote in some movies is almost like finding a virgin at Mardi Gras.  There are plenty of lines that look like they might be suitable, but on closer examination you find that you’ve been duped.  Fortunately, Tank Girl has a line that perfectly sums up my feelings about poetry, especially that taught at school. “Look, if you want to torture me, spank me, lick me, do it. But if this poetry shit continues, shoot me now, please.”

Tank Girl is a pleasant diversion if you are a fan of mindles violence, skimpy outfits and can put up with the Australian twang.  Otherwise, you may want to skip it.

(<—-  Buy it here if you want to watch it, because no self-respecting video store would have a copy on it’s shelves.  I’ve got a copy, but then self respect doesn’t really have any part to play in my DVD collection)

Thank You For Smoking

Thank you for Smoking is directed by Jason Reitman, Ivan Reitman’s son. Now, coming from such a dodgy pedigree, you’d think aliens, ghosts and giant marshmallow men would be a standard fixture. There’s none of this, not even a lone ca-caw. There are, however, a lot of people talking. Normally, this would result in a snooze fest and not even register on the domodar ™. However, the great script coupled with some fantastic acting by Aaron Eckhart and William H Macy make it a shining beacon of dodginess in the low budget quagmire that it would otherwise be relegated to.

There isn’t really a plot in the standard guy has to save the world from evil kind of way. If anything, this is a guy having to inflict evil on the world and save it from the hands of the do-gooders. Nick Naylor is a smug bastard and in any other film he would be the bad guy, and quite a detestable one at that. Aaron Eckhart manages to make Nick a likeable character, to the extent that you feel for him when he gets screwed, in all senses of the word, by the journalist (Katie Holmes).

There’s a point where if the film stopped it would have really sucked. The protagonist (calling him a good guy would be a bit of a stretch) would have lost, and would have resulted in the film having a serious moral as opposed to promoting satire. Fortunately, Nick gets a chance to make things right, or at least inflict some kharmic retribution.

There are no big budget special effects, and yet, surprisingly, this one still rates a 4 on the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man scale. There are five moments that compete for the venerable title of dodgiest moment; 2 instructional type safety videos, 2 television talk shows and Bobby J Bliss walking through a metal detector. And the winner would have to be the opening sequence, featuring “Cancer Boy” (a sucky superhero name if ever there was one). This really sets up the film, and while the moments coming after are possibly more dodgy, they don’t have the same shock impact.

This has got to be the most light-hearted intense film I’ve ever watched. If you’re looking for something that makes you think, it’ll fit the bill. If you’re just looking for a few laughs, it will provide that too. The only thing it won’t be suitable for is if you’re looking for something that allows your brain to switch off while your eyes go “ooooh, pretty!”, you’ll have to watch an Ivan Reitman film for that.  As a result, Thank You For Smoking gets 4 Stay Puft Marshmallow Men of dodginess.

A film which consists almost entirely of people talking is always going to have a number of great quotations, especially when it has superb source material. It was incredibly difficult to pick the best lines out of the sheer number in the film, but I’ve managed to narrow it down to three, all of which tie for first place. “After watching footage of the Kent State shootings, Bobby Jay, then 17 signed up for the national guard so that he too could shoot college students, but, the national guard recruiter was out to lunch so Bobby J ended up shooting Panamanians instead.” This gives you all the knowledge you need to understand Bobby Jay’s motivations in life. The second one describes the way we all feel about politicians “I’d like him to feel immeasurable pain and humiliation.” “That’ll be tough, he’s already a senator.” Finally, and this one just made me laugh “Michael Jordan plays ball. Charles Manson kills people. I talk. Everyone has a talent.”

This gem of a film almost slipped under the radar with it’s lack of publicity and short time on the circuit. Fortunately for you, I caught it before it descended into obscurity. This one is a real thinking person’s dodgy film, but despite that, most of you should enjoy it.

(<— By through my affiliate link and help me fulfill my dream of no longer working with idiots.  It’ll help you weed out the stupid people in your life too)


Desperado is the epitome of Gun Porn.  All the essential elements are present. Something bad happens to the hero and he sets out for revenge. There is a startling revelation that the main villain is related to the hero. There is great eye candy in the form of Selma Hayek. And most of all, there are lots and lots of gunfights.

Where Desperado really excels is that the gunfights feature guitar cases and knives. At one point knives are brought to a gunfight and the only reason the knife wielding assassin loses is weight of numbers. The machine gun guitar cases and rocket launcher guitar case in the climactic fight scene are a nice touch, but, they probably should have been introduced sooner so we could get maximum enjoyment out of the surprise factor.

There are only two criticisms I can level at Desperado. The speaking parts are terrible. Antonio Banderas is really good at pulling off Dark and Moody, as long as he doesn’t try to talk about it, and Selma Hayek, well, the parts that you can understand through her accent, you wish you didn’t. The second is that the best gunfight happens much too early in the film. The first fight sequence, as described by Buscemi (the only worthwhile actor in the film) is live action cartoon. The second fight scene in the bar is better choreographed than a broadway musical, and unfortunately, after artistry like that, the only way is down. Perhaps Rodriguez should have started with the guitar case gunfight and ended with the massive bar shoot out.

I was tempted to give Desperado 5 Stay Puft Marshmallow Men, but after it shot it’s load way too early, the let down resulted in it only scoring a 4. The dodgiest moment definitely goes to the slow motion dance sequence, sorry, gun fight, that takes place around the bar. Banderas manages to shoot someone behind his back, twice, just in case you thought the first time was a fluke.

Unfortunately, the bad acting and early climax really hurts Desperado in the rewatchability rating. If I could stop the movie after the second bar fight (and I can, but I really have to rate the entire movie, not just the bits I can watch repeatedly) it would get a wild screaming 5. Instead, because you have to pretend that you care about the rest of the movie so as not to hurt its feelings, it gets a whimpering 3.

Perhaps, there would be a memorable quote if the thick spanish accents were understandable. So, Quentin Tarantino should get one by default. Which, he doesn’t. Just because you can understand what he says doesn’t mean it’s memorable enough to be repeated.

As far as gun porn goes, Desperado is one of the better ones.  It’s watchable and has enough pretty lights that brain function is not required.  If all you want a couple of hours entertainment, get a copy of Desperado.

<–Buy it here or armed gunmen will execute your goldfish (affiliate link)

Hot Fuzz

Having recently had Shoot ‘Em Up inflicted on me, I felt violated and dirty. And not the good chocolate-smeared-on-naked-body kind of dirty. No, I’m talking the kind of dirty that makes you need to take four showers with a wire brush. So, I decided to watch good Gun Porn and reached into the cabinet and pulled out Hot Fuzz, and got all warm and tingly.

The sole purpose of Hot Fuzz is to provide a reason for the concluding gun battle between Sergeant Angel and the NWA. But, unlike Shoot ‘Em Up the setup is executed perfectly. From From “You can’t be the Sheriff of London!” comment to Angel riding into town on a white horse with shotguns strapped to his back and bandoliers across his chest and the short interest sequence with fencing to the sword fight in the middle of the film climax. Hot Fuzz is proof that good writing can take one idea and make a film out of it.

However, Hot Fuzz does suffer from a bit of multiple personality disorder.  It moves jumps around from Serious Cop Film, to buddy cop film, to teen slasher flick, to buddy cop film, to British Humour,  to buddy cop film before finally settling on Gun Porn.  Which is just as well, the voices in my head were getting tired trying to keep up.  It may have been better had a single style been settled on earlier, but then the Gun Porn would not have been so highly anticipated, or so effective.

Despite the kick-ass climactic gun battle, Hot Fuzz only manages to get 4 Stay Puft Marshmallow Men.  This has more to do with Shaun of the Dead setting the bar so high than any failing on the part of Hot Fuzz.   Perhaps an extra gun fight or two may have resulted in an extra marshmallow man, but it may also have cost them points on the rewatchability rating.

Hot Fuzz also scores a respectable 4 Mutant Smileys.  It requires a little too much brainpower to keep up with the multiple personality disorder to watch as frequently as a brain death inducing film like Evolution.  But contains enough lighthearted moments and the best gunfight of all time to warrant multiple viewings.

The biggest problem with good British humour is that so much of it is situational.  As a result, there are very few lines that work out of context.  The repeated “The Greater Good” is memorable, but probably not the best quote, although the Gregorian way in which it was said was amusing.  However, the comment on Bad Boys 2 “But there is no way you can perpetrate that amount of carnage and mayhem and not incur a considerable amount of paperwork.” is why you don’t want to be a cop.  Villains don’t have paperwork.

If you like British Humour, buy Hot Fuzz.  If you like action comedy, buy Hot Fuzz, and, If you’re reading this, I’m surprised it doesn’t have a designated spot in your collection already.

<—- Here is the affiliate link to buy Hot Fuzz.  Buy it by clicking there and help me fund my addiction to Dodgy Movies.  They’re less expensive than crack and can be reused

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