Thursday, January 30, 2014

JFD197: Miracle Beach, Wildest Dreams, Gas Pump Girls

Strap it on. Doan and Sawyer from Kissing Contest join us to talk about three flicks that could only be enjoyed by sweet boys, pleasant fellows or hard ass men.

First, a California slacker played by Dean Cameron ("Rockula," "Summer School") finds a sexy genie, played by Ami Dolenz ("Ticks," "Demolition University") and uses his wishes to party and seduce modestly successful actresses of debatable attractiveness in 1992's "Miracle Beach."

Next,a different nerd finds a different sexy genie and uses his wishes to find true love in 1990's "Wildest Dreams." Directed by soft core sleaze-miester Chuck Vincent and starring X-rated ladies Veronica Hart and Tracey Adams.

Finally, a group of sexy teens take over their sick uncles' gas station in 1979's "Gas Pump Girls." Somehow, they manage to turn the place around, despite spending all their time dancing, singing and making sexual double entendres.

All this plus witty banter between friends, Nerd News, this week's DVD and blu-ray releases, speculation on who might be secret cops, complete confidentiality, The SweetMan, Mike Dikk ghoul secrets, The Memphis Maniac, Sean's grim adventures and so much more!


Direct Donloyd

Got a movie suggestion for the show, want to give your opinion on a movie we talked about or just want to tell us we suck? Drop us a line at JFDPodcast@gmail.com. Or leave us a voicemail: 347-746-JUNK (5865).

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

JFD196: Demon of the Lute, Basket Case 2, Zapped Again

Break out your swords, grab your Siamese twin and zap some girl's shirt off using your telekinetic powers because Junk Food Dinner #196 is here! And this week we feature the classic JFD lineup as our brother Mark Freado returns!

Up first, Mark bring us Demon of the Lute from 1983, a martial arts fantasy flick geared towards kids. This insane Shaw Brothers epic features tons of colorful badasses pulling off some of the craziest choreographed fight scenes ever committed to film.

Then, we revisit Frank Henenlotter's classic Basket Case series with the second entry Basket Case 2. Immediately following the events of the first film (although 8 years later in real life), Duane and his deformed, separated, murderous Siamese twin Belial are taken in my a deranged granny in her home of hideous freaks.

Finally, we take a look at another sequel to an early 80's cult hit that took years to get around to, Zapped Again from 1990. Once again, a geeky high school kid gets ahold of a magic potion that gives him the ability to telekineticly take girls' clothes off. As you can imagine, hijinx (and cameos by Linda Blair and Karen Black) ensue.

All this plus witty banter between friends, cyber bullying, Nerd News, this week's DVD and blu-ray releases, The Memphis Maniac, Sean's exotic culinary adventures and so much more!

LISTEN NOW:

MP3 Direct Donloyd

Got a movie suggestion for the show, want to give your opinion on a movie we talked about or just want to tell us we suck? Drop us a line at JFDPodcast@gmail.com. Or leave us a voicemail: 347-746-JUNK (5865).

Also, if you like the show, please take a minute and subscribe and/or comment on us on iTunes, Stitcher, Blubrry or Podfeed.net. We're able to t the high notes with your love and support.  


Friday, January 17, 2014

Sci Fi Ebruary II is inevitable

Sci Fi Ebruary II is upon us. And we say, "Engage."

It should be noted that this month will feature our 200th episode. Thanks for supporting us (and liking us on facebook and leaving us iTunes rating/reviews and sending us emails and voicemails*) for these past 200 shows. You dudes are the spring in our step!

JFD198: Robots theme

  • Futureworld (1976)
  • R.O.T.O.R. (1988)
  • Metropolis (2001)
JFD199: "Species" theme
  • Species (1995)
  • Species II (1998)
  • Species III (2004)
JFD200: "RoboCop" theme
  • Robocop 2 (1990)
  • Robocop 3 (1993)
  • Robocop (2014)
JFD201: Invisible Men theme
w/ guests Kyle and Tim (of Bloodbaths and Boomsticks)
  • The Invisible Dead (aka Dr. Orloff's Invisible Monster) (1970)
  • Invisible: The Chronicles of Benjamin Knight (1993)
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)

*Hint, hint.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

JFD195: Brainscan, Ghost in the Machine, The Net

Open up your Netscape browser, log on to IRC Chat and donloyd this episode at 28/kbps cuz we're going back to the Internet circa the early '90s, thanks to the magic of computers!

First up, Edward Furlong is a troubled teen obsessed with grunge and horror movies, who tries out the newest in virtual terror, only to discover the game is real in 1994's "Brainscan." The flick mixes '90s techno-nostalgia, Primus and Oscar-nominated talent (seriously).

Next, Rachel Talalay (Freddy's Dead, Tank Girl) directs another tale stolen straight out of Wes Craven's notebooks. A serial killer is killed during an electrical storm and, needless to say, his soul gets stuck in the internet in 1993's "Ghost in the Machine."

Finally, Sandra Bullock plays an introverted computer whiz who gets caught up in an internet conspiracy involving politics, AIDS and Dennis Miller in 1995's "The Net."

All this plus witty banter between friends, Kyle from Kentucky, "Bill From Iowa," Cyber-bullying, Parker's (still) got a cold, talky magical dickheads, VHS dreams and so much more!


Direct Donloyd Here

Got a movie suggestion for the show, want to give your opinion on a movie we talked about or just want to tell us we suck? Drop us a line at JFDPodcast@gmail.com. Or leave us a voicemail: 347-746-JUNK (5865).

Also, if you like the show, please take a minute and subscribe and/or comment on us on iTunes, Stitcher, Blubrry or Podfeed.net. It's a small world after all with your love and support.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Top 10 of 2013: Kevin

2013 was a strange year at the movies for me. Most of the Hollywood blockbusters that I saw were technically impressive but failed to get me too excited otherwise (Pacific Rim, Gravity). The indie/art house scene offered a few surprises (Her, Inside Llewyn Davis) but not a lot for fans of genre film making to latch onto. American Hustle, Dallas Buyer's Club and The Wolf of Wall Street are all well and good, I suppose, but I'm a cult movie fan, goddammit! I need something with a little more panache.  And to make matters worse, the horror genre didn't exactly have a banner year either, continuing on their never-ending quest to remake everything. Some were alright (Maniac), but most completely unnecessary (Evil Dead, Carrie). The films I liked the most this year seemed to be the most divisive among viewers. A lot of the movies on my list are love 'em or hate 'em kind of flicks. They're weird, confrontational, unconventional and certainly not for everyone. But for me, these where the ones that I had the most fun watching in 2013.

10. You're Next (D: Adam Wingard)
Ironically, one of the best horror movies of the year is technically from 2011. However, when You're Next finally landed in US cinemas in August of 2013, it was a welcome change of pace. Sure, it's not the most original plot (home invasion with twists you can see a mile away) but at least it's not a fucking remake. And you probably won't recognize any of the actors in it (except for maybe Re-Animator's Barbara Crampton). Nevertheless, Adam Wingard does a good job of creating tension and action and keeps the pace going throughout the film. And I'll be damned if the three animal-masked killers don't look cool as hell. Mix that with some good gore and some genuinely goofy moments and I thought it was probably the best straight horror film in theaters this year.

9. Mold! (D: Neil Meschino)
Chances are you probably didn't get a chance to see Mold! in the theater this year. Neither did I. And that's a shame because Mold! is exactly the kind of movie that is so much fun to see in a theater or drive-in environment, but because of it's size and budget will never get a wide release. Nevertheless, fans of old school low-budget horror and sci-fi should still have a lot of fun with this one on DVD. Director Neil Meschino is obviously a fan of the genre tropes he is paying homage to/parodying and there's tons of slimey practical effects and gore to keep fans of junk cinema entertained. As with any ulta-low budget movie, don't expect amazing acting or flawless photography, but I think Mold! makes up for it with plenty of cheesy insanity.

8. WNUF Halloween Special (D: Chris LaMartina)
 Since the success of The Blair Witch Project, the goal of any found footage horror film is to make you believe that what your are watching is real. However, most found footage films are clearly staged and the viewer never once has the illusion of watching actual amateur video of strange or horrific events. The WNUF Halloween Special not only succeeds in fooling the average viewer that what they are watching could be real but also taps into childhood Halloween nostalgia for those of us who grew up in the 1980's. Presented as an actual Halloween special that aired on a local TV station in 1987 and shows supernatural events happening live on air, the 'movie' features believable segments and impossibly authentic looking commercials and bumpers. Even after you learn that it was all manufactured, it's still a great tribute to 80's TV and one I will be watching annually around Halloween time.

7. The World's End (D: Edgar Wright)
2013 was the year of the apocalyptic movie. It seemed liked every month there was a new movie in theaters that took place during or after the end of the world. While that sounds great, most of them weren't worth the price of admission. There were even two end of the world buddy comedies this year, This is the End starring Seth Rogen and his posse and The World's End starring Simon Pegg and his posse. I opted to see This is the End in theaters, expected The World's End to be a stale retread of Shawn of the Dead. I made the wrong choice. The World's End is a brilliantly funny film about holding onto the past too long and the way friendships change over time. Not to mention it has some wonderfully culty sci-fi elements to boot.  Pair that with some great performances and cool special effects and you have a movie that is a lot of fun and instantly re-watchable.

6. Elysium (D: Neil Blomkamp)
As far as science fiction/action is concerned, Neil Blomkamp, in my opinion, is the #1 new director to keep up with. I thought District 9 was an exciting breath of fresh air to the increasingly stagnant world of sci-fi and I couldn't wait to see what he'd do next. While I don't think Elysium is as strong as District 9, I still think it is a very well made, well paced and original movie. The setting is futuristic but believable. You're able to root for Matt Damon as he tries to illegally break into Elysium, a private satellite planet where the rich live peaceful, disease-free lives while the poor toil away on Earth (although, I would have been interested in seeing Blomkamp's original choice of Eminem in the role). The action is plentiful and the pacing is quick. Cool special effects and another great (although very different from District 9) performance from Sharlto Copley made for an exciting watch on the big screen.

5. Bad Milo (D: Jacob Vaughan)
C'mon! How could a horror-comedy about an anxious suburbanite whose stress manifests itself in the form of a Frank Hennenlotter-esque monster puppet that lives in his ass and kills people get any more intriguing for a goofball like me? Oh, I don't know, how about having it star my favorite cast member of The State and all around hilarious dude Ken Marino! Needless to say, expectations were high going into Bad Milo, and it delivers on its promise of quirky, funny and highly entertaining comedy. The performances were good and the practical work on the Milo puppet was a welcomed  throwback to the ridiculous monster puppets of the video store era. I did think it was a bit light on the horror end and lacked a lot of the crazy over-the-top gore I had hoped for, but it certainly wasn't enough to keep me from thoroughly enjoying this delightfully goofy movie. I mean, just look at that fucking poster!

4. The Rambler (D: Calvin Reeder)
I went into The Rambler not knowing much about it. It was recommended to me by a friend and I just assumed it would be some kind of road movie or crime thriller. What I didn't expect was how weird and David Lynch-ian this movie would be... and for that matter, once the movie took these strange, disjointed turns, I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. Dermot Mulroney plays the titular rambler who after been released from prison, quickly becomes fed up with his cheating wife and shitty job and takes off hitchhiking across the country to work on his brother's farm. Fairly straight forward so far. But what he encounters on the road can only be described as surreal. Wacky characters who drift inexplicably in and out of the story, unconventional editing and a stylish atmosphere all add to the dream like qualities that truly make The Rambler's journey "a trip". Mulroney does a good job of playing the strong silent type, who embraces every strange twist and turn without a lot of commentary or emotion. I suggest viewers take Mulroney's lead and just sit back and take in the weirdness.

3. The Congress (D: Ari Folman)
Speaking of trippy flicks, The Congress was another film I saw without a lot of prior knowledge. All I knew is that it was directed by Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir) and that it mixed live-action and animation. The story centers around Robin Wright, who is playing herself, and is not sure whether or not to accept an offer from a major motion picture studio and her agent (Harvey Keitel) to have her image and personality scanned into a computer to be used however the studio wishes in the future. Then we travel 20 years into the future, where now that same movie studio and major corporations are now using chemicals to basically put the populace in never-ending customized acid trips. This part of the story is done through animation, and looks outstanding. The story is far fetched but believable at the same time. There are great performances by Wright and Keitel as well as Paul Giamatti and John Hamm (the latter only appears in animated form). As a fan of cult animation like Ralph Bakshi and Heavy Metal, I am so glad to see that there is still smart, adult-oriented, drug-friendly, 2D animation being made in 2013.

2. Spring Breakers (D: Harmony Korine)
Between Miley Cyrus's transformation into a drug using sex pot and Selena Gomez's turn as a bikini-clad partier in Spring Breakers, 2013 seemed to be the year of former Disney good girls going bad. I saw Spring Breakers in the theater in early 2013 and enjoyed it's colorful off kilter portrayal of a group of bored teenage girls who turn to crime to fund their spring break trip to Florida. However, it wasn't until subsequent viewings on blu-ray that I truly appreciated the film for how genuinely insane and beautiful it really is. James Franco is great as the wannabe gangster who shepherds the girls through their descent into the seedy crime world of the F-L-A. While I enjoyed Harmony Korine's writing on Kids, I wasn't a big fan of his post-Kids work, but I feel that Spring Breakers's silicious neon-coated world  is probably his best work to date and am excited to see what he churns out next.

1. Only God Forgives (D: Nicolas Winding Refn)
I was huge fan of Nicolas Winding Refn's previous film Drive, so when I found out his follow-up would feature the same star (Ryan Goslin) and the same composer (Cliff Martinez), I made a special trip out of town to see the film in theaters as soon as I could. While a lot of people disliked Drive for it's lack of dialogue and overt stylization, I latched right on to it and Only God Forgives ups the ante even higher with more style and even less dialogue. However, I feel the movie more than makes up for it with amazing atmosphere, over the top violence and an intriguing story about the sordid underbelly of Bangkok's crime world. Not to mention that Vithaya Pansringarm's performance of the stoic cop out for justice is one of the best I've seen in a while. I can totally understand how some may find Refn's penchant for style over substance off-putting, but for me, Only God Forgives was the most exciting thing I saw on the big screen in 2013. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Top 10 of 2013: Sean

10. (3-way tie) It's a Disaster

I wasn't aware of this low-budget, small-scale black comedy from first-time director Todd Berger until an "underseen movies of 2013" list on The Dissolve clued me into it. I'm glad it did, as the comedic premise (a couples' brunch in a quiet Los Angeles neighborhood devolves into a series of arguments, dissolving friendships and relationships in amusingly petty ways, while a significant disaster carries on outside the confines of their quaint house) is played with just the right balance of realism and the script finds unexpected ways to raise the stakes at the right times. David Cross in particular nails his character, and the movie often relies on him as the straight-man foil to more absurd characters. If Berger can continue to deliver inventive comedies like this, I'll be watching them.

10. (3-way tie) Room 237

It's not the theories presented in this movie that are of any interest to me. I've been a huge fan of Stanley Kubrick's 1980 masterpiece since I first saw it at a very young age, and my interest in the movie has never really wavered. I've seen it perhaps more than any other movie, and have always preferred it over King's original source novel. But I don't need some jackass telling me that a painting of a buffalo in the corner of one frame in one scene for one minute is proof that The Shining was entirely a commentary on the slaughter of the Native Americans, or that Danny's wearing of an Apollo-themed sweater is Kubrick's sly admission of guilt in faking the moon landings. I don't need some creepy sounding old armchair film professor / stoner telling me that in one angle, a book on a desk looks like it takes the form of an erection on a man standing near the desk. These aren't the reasons The Shining is an interesting movie to me. But what interests me about this documentary is just that the movie itself could have inspired so many people to dig so deeply into it, on these bizarre Quixotic quests to derive some kind of meaning where there isn't any. It's kind of fascinating and at times even impressive the kind of logical leaps are made in this film by the various presenters of their theories. On top of that, the music is pretty cool, and the editing is impressive; the entirety of the movie is recycled footage from The Shining, and it's synchronized with the music and narration in interesting and thoughtful ways.

10. (3-way tie) Escape From Tomorrow

I'd be lying if I didn't say that a large part of my enjoyment of this film is the story behind its creation. If instead this was filmed on a backlot somewhere with a completely convincing replica of Disneyland, or with CGI-trickery, or blue-screenery or whatever - I'm fairly certain this would not be on my list. But so what? The fact that it was made in such an audaciously guerrilla style is a part of reality, and has a real bearing of the enjoyment of the movie while you are watching it. Because it was filmed mostly on-location actually in the Disneyland and Disneyworld parks with no authorization, every scene is filled with an extra intensity and level of surrealism that would have been unattainable through any other means. You could call that a cheap gimmick, I suppose, but it's something wildly inventive that hadn't ever been attempted before, and the end result is actually far more cohesive and effective than I would have thought possible through these kind of filming tactics. It's not a movie that everyone will enjoy, but for its sheer uniqueness alone it should be seen by all.

9. Upstream Color

I hated this movie for the first half of watching it. Contrary to Primer, which I really enjoyed, I felt like the film was needlessly cruel, deliberately obtuse, and at times pointlessly artsy. At a certain point, things suddenly came into focus for me, like the big reveal of a magician's final act, and the movie started to click with me. By the end, I was already waiting for a chance to relive this frustrating but ultimately rewarding experience.

8. Crystal Fairy

Michael Cera's one of those guys who definitely got typecast very early in his career, to the point of turning off some of the public. This might be why he's been branching out lately into some pretty unusual underground fare - sometime between launching his own YouTube comedy channel (JASH, with Sarah Silverman, Reggie Watts, and Tim & Eric) and starring as a wheelchair-bound mentally handicapped man stuck in the Salton Sea in the black comedy short Gregory Go Boom, Cera found time to move to Chile for about six months with director Sebastián Silva to learn Spanish and eventually film Magic Magic, a thriller directed by Silva and starring Juno Temple. In the process of rehearsing for Magic Magic, Silva filmed on the side with Cera, his friend Gaby Hoffman, and three of Silva's brothers, to create Crystal Fairy, a largely improvised, Linklater-esque tale of a young and arrogant American's quest to obtain a psychoactive cactus and go on a drug-fueled bender. It's funny, weird, and sad in all the right ways, and really makes me want to check out what other movies are coming out of Chile these days.

7. A Band Called Death

Maybe it's just an artifact of mass nostalgia, but "Rediscovery Stories" seem to be big these days. Whether it's Best Worst Movie, or Searching For Sugarman, the Goblin reunion tour, or Massacre Video's discovery of Chester Turner, it seems as of late I've spent a lot of time enjoying stories of forgotten or neglected artists being appreciated in a new light years after the fact. In a way, even the whole VHS resurgence of 2013 was kind of a similar story. Of all these stories, though - the story of A BAND CALLED DEATH really is one of the more fascinating stories of rediscovery. If you enjoy punk rock music or even just rock music in general, there's a high probability you will really love the music of DEATH, despite the fact you probably hadn't heard of them (until recently). The fact that these recordings sat mostly unheard for decades is another reminder of the excitement we all have when we dig through the record bins or the videostore shelves.

6. The Wolf of Wall Street

I think the phrase I've heard from a few sources now is "tackles excess with excess", and that's a pretty good summation of what Scorsese's up to here. Great performances litter the movie, with Jonah Hill's an easy favorite, and the scale of the film is nearly operatic. Many memorable scenes are to be found across the 3-hour, 17-year span of the film, but perhaps the standout is the scene where DiCaprio and Jonah Hill mistakenly consume too many vintage Quaaludes before discovering the difficulties of walking. The movie's much funnier than I expected, but bitterly so, and a lot of the humor can turn really black if you consider the gravity of the actual situation, which I think Scorsese does pay appropriate respect to.

5. Only God Forgives

A weirdly hypnotic fever dream of a movie, like the most beautiful poem written in a language you've never heard of, Only God Forgives is bound to be one of the most divisive movies of the year. Extremely pedestrian symbolism collide with wonderfully expressionistic photography and gorgeous neon lighting, a really cool low-key score, and very surprising gore into something fairly Lynchian but also completely unique to Refn's sensibilities. If you're attached to literalism, forget this movie. But if you can tolerate a high level of surrealism and want to see Thai drug-lord bloodbaths, this is probably your jam.

4. Blue Is The Warmest Color

This film became somewhat notorious this year for the lengthy, explicitly photographed sex scenes featuring the two lead actresses. But the sensationalist nature of those scenes, while admirably daring and superbly shot, are almost a detractor to this film as they seem to have diverted some of the critical attention away from the core strength of this film, which is its fantastic capturing of the minute details of the ebbs and flows of a young romantic relationship. There's also some frank depiction of the kind of violent homophobia some youths still experience in southern France today. One of a few great films (along with Her and Spring Breakers) this year that really seem to directly reflect something about the human experience of living in 2013.

3. GLOW: The Story of the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling

This one really took me by surprise. What starts as a light-hearted look at a wacky subcultural footnote quickly turns into an expose of women being exploited and abused and then turns into a surprisingly emotional story of regret and heart-warming reunion. As someone who didn't really grow up watching GLOW at all, I never expected to become so engrossed in not only the hilariously campy pro-wrestling show and the sensation around it, but also the stories of these women who were drawn into such a weird underground arena.

2. Spring Breakers

One of the most youth-centric movies of 2013, Spring Breakers also ends up being one of the smartest. Similar to Blue In The Warmest Color in that the overt sexualization in the material has lead some to mischaracterize the filmmaker's intensions, and subsequently the quality of the film. It should be clear to any observer of Harmony Korine that Spring Breakers is clearly more an indictment of youth culture and general American sentiments of entitlement than a celebration of it. Spring Breakers is kind of like a bizarre funhouse mirror that Korine holds up to American culture, warping the edges of the picture but maintaining a core truth about the vapid self-centeredness of the post-Internet generation. James Franco is almost unrecognizable here as he continues his career path of alternating between the very best things and the very worst things, exhibiting complete commitment to a really odd character in one of the year's most surprising and entertaining transformations. Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson and Rachel Korine for their part all exhibit a similar fearlessness in their roles, which are all both more physically and emotionally demanding than you might expect given the premise. Benoît Debie provides the psychedlic dreamlike cinematography, much as he did for Gaspar Noe's Enter the Void and Irreversible, and the look of the film could not have been more perfectly realized. Perfectly fluid and surreal, an entire essay could be written on the visual style of the movie alone. Time will reveal this film to be a forgotten gem, even if audiences currently aren't ready to appreciate it.

1. Her

No surprises here, as Spike Jonze has yet to disappoint me, and Phoenix has really been on a tear lately. This was far and away my most anticipated movie of 2013, and the fact that it delivered for me so strongly renewed my interest in theatrical movie-going, which to be honest had been waning significantly this year, as I found more to watch via VOD/Streaming/cave-life. There are so many things to love about this movie, but one of the highlights is the way it builds very clearly and linearly off concerns I think we all have today about the ideas of information overload, gadget obsession, the loss of human connections in a social-networking obsessed culture, etc. It's also remarkable the way Spike is able to keep the focus of the movie so small and personal (echoed in the mostly-closeups cinematography) against a story that ultimately has some very large societal and cultural implications. As the focus is so small, Joaquin Phoenix's performance is critical to the film, as is Scarlett Johannson's - the fact that they are both so great in this didn't fully surprise me, but the fact that they recorded their dialogue months apart (Phoenix actually filmed the scenes with Samantha Morton on set, who was later replaced in the editing room) is really shocking given the apparent chemistry the characters have. The world-building here is so logically strong that we only need to see little hints of what is happening around Phoenix and his OS to get a pretty complete picture, and all of the design elements we do see like the computers, clothing, and urban planning feel completely natural and like elements of a fully realized universe. There are so many big themes tackled within the runtime of the picture, and for the most part they are addressed at such a pace that you don't get to fully resolve them in real-time - it leaves you with a lot to think about in the parking lot. Of all the movies I saw this year, Her felt most connected to humanity, and despite not being an alarmist anti-technology sci-fi movie, it is probably ultimately a call for humans to connect on a more personal level without the aid of technology. The fact that it's also so remarkably well executed in terms of performances, visual design, and storytelling made it an easy choice for my favorite of 2013.

Honorable mentions:
  • Leviathan
  • Blackfish
  • Magic Magic
  • Gravity
  • WNUF Halloween Special

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Top 10 of 2013: Parker

10. Much Ado About Nothing
I love that Joss Whedon made the third highest grossing movie of all time and followed it up by getting his drama nerd friends together and doing Shakespeare at his house. This film is full of Joss Whedon's usual bunch of actors from "Buffy" and "Angel" and "Firefly" and all that other stuff and it's very obvious watching it that these folks are all buddies and are having fun hanging out at Joss's house and playing make believe. Apparently, Joss and his crew get together and do Shakespeare for fun, even when they're not filming it (cue Kevin's drop of Homer screaming "NERDS!"). I don't get into a lot of Shakespeare (aside from "Hamlet" cuz it's metal as fuck), so the denser parts of this get understood at the rate of every other sentence for me, but the love and comedy and fun of this infect my blood like a happy Avian Flu.

9. The WNUF Halloween Special
Speaking of being infected with a happy disease! This is the VHS recording of an infamous 1987 event where a local tv news reporter went to a haunted house for a Halloween special and the ghosts turned out to be as real as a CM Punk promo. Or so the story goes. This brought me back to the days of recording cool tv shows on VHS, dressing up in a plastic smock with a Frankenstein on it for Halloween and being so afraid of creppy spoopy old houses. This is a must-watch for anyone who digs nostalgia, Halloween or really fun found footage movies.

8. Frances Ha
A few years ago, Noah Baumbach won me over by making "Greenberg," the kind of movie I like the most: a story about a mostly unlikable guy doing almost nothing. And here, he does a very similar thing, except the titular character, Frances (played by the wonderful Greta Gerwig), is much more likable, even though she's probably more of a loser (or at least less sure of who she is than Greenberg was.) We follow Frances as she moves from couch to couch in New York while dealing with her friends growing up, while she just stays the same. There's not much of a plot, but the honesty and realism (and Greta Gerwig) carry everything with an almost Linklater-esque flawlesslness. This movie would be much closer to my number one if not for the fact that it has a weird and abrupt happy ending. Imagine if Rocky had just lost his edge, got beaten to a pulp by Clubber Lang, lost his title and then the film smash cut to Rocky getting his belt back and living happily ever after. It's weird.

7. +1
We just talked about this on JFD194, so I won't say much. But this takes all of Frances Ha's themes about being young and watching your friends start to move forward into the future while you just stay where you are. Except in +1, it's a literal thing that happens because of a freak space storm.

6. Wrong Cops
You've got to watch this movie with your guts! THIS is where movies happen. In your guts. In your organs! AFRICA! You understand?

After sort of kind of liking "Rubber" and "Wrong," Mr. Oizo cracked me in the fucking face with this movie. I haven't laughed so hard at a movie in a long time. It's surreality at its best. This has been (unfairly) I think, compared to stuff like "Tim and Eric," but I think the difference is that Tim and Eric makes no sense on any level, but the characters and situations in "Wrong Cops" make perfect sense within the reality of the movie. And that's what makes it funny to me. A cop sells dead rats full of drugs to kids. And the cop thinks that's perfectly reasonable. And that's funny.

5. Behind the Candelabra
You ever want to see two men act like there's no fucking tomorrow? Well, Michael Douglas and Matt Damon do just that. And they tell the story of Liberace, who was once the most paid entertainer in the world, yet had to live his life pretending to be engaged to various ice skaters to hide the fact that he was gay. It's a hell of an important story, especially when you fast forward to today when director Steven Soderbergh couldn't get this film financed to be released theatrically because studios didn't think anyone would want to see a movie about gay dudes. The great performances and Soderbergh's always sharp direction make this a pretty essential viewing experience.

4. The Battery
"World War Z" spent 400 million dollars to be a movie where most people saw it and shrugged with indifference. But with a budget of $6,000, "The Battery" managed to become a benchmark in zombie cinema. This is easily the best zombie film since "Shaun of the Dead," "Dawn of the Dead" and "28 Days Later" revived the genre in the early 2000s.

The story is one of basic survival between two acquaintances stuck together, despite the fact that they have wildly different views on their post-apocalyptic situation. Gorehounds might be disappointed, but the characters feel very real and the creeping, inescapable dread of the situation really permeates and makes for a unique entry in a tired genre.

3. Her
A guy falls in love with his phone. The summary says "Science fiction," but it's basically the realest concept for a movie in the year 2013. The film also has very real performances, despite the fact that one of them is acting against a disembodied voice and the other is playing a telephone.

2. Before Midnight
I guess my year-end list is basically movies where people just talk to each other and nothing much happens. And the Godfather of the movies where people just talk and nothing much happens is Richard Linklater, so it's a no-brainer that his newest flick is so high on my list. The "Before" trilogy is my "Star Wars." I love these characters and I love their lives and I can watch these movies endlessly and never get bored and I'd always catch something new. I have a few little gripes with this movie, like the references to current day politics that date this otherwise very timeless-feeling series or the fact that Celine feels more like Julie Delpy's character in her "2 Days" movies than the Celine from the "Before" movies. But my biggest complaint is also this film's biggest strength: I am not happy while watching it. For most of the first half, I'm frustrated and can't wait for Jesse and Celine to get away from their stupid friends and dumb kids and spend some time alone together, like I'm used to seeing (in the previous two films). And once they finally do, it isn't the romance I was hoping to see. These people fight and fight and don't seem to want to be together as much as I want them to be together. I just want things to be the way they used to be. And it saddens and upsets me. And I guess that's also how these characters feel. And that's the point.

1. The Wolf of Wall Street
This movie, like all Martin Scorsese movies, is endless entertainment. I (and probably everyone) can find "Raging Bull" or "Casino" or "Goodfellas" on tv, halfway through it and I'll stop everything, cancel all plans and watch the rest of it. No matter what. No matter who's funeral was scheduled that day. And "Wolf of Wall Street" will no doubt fall into that category. It's also a pretty brilliant satire of Wall Street and everything that goes with it (greed, excess, debauchery, etc.) But the most important aspect of this film is that it's purposefully juxtaposing these creepy Wall Street guys that are seen as villainous leaches with the mafia guys from "Goodfellas" that are generally seen as roguish anti-heroes. It also makes a point to show that the bum-deal trades Jordan Belfort does on Wall Street are basically as legal and easy and profitable as Joe Pesci burying a rat in the desert in "Casino." The movie asks why we celebrate villains and why we don't want them to pay for their crimes if they seem to have had fun while committing them. Also, lots of dudes snort lots of drugs out of sex parts of lots of hookers in this. And that's awesome.

Friday, January 10, 2014

JFD194: The Rambler, Plus One, Escape From Tomorrow


A little known fact about New Year's: even though we're in January, technically 2013 isn't over until JFD194 gets released. So get ready to celebrate, because our 2013 Year in Review special has arrived. In addition to listing our top five favorite (and top one least favorite) movies of the year, we'll review three cult-y flicks from 2013!

The first new release we tackle on the show is The Rambler, a surreal crime/road flick that features a very surprising amount of head trauma for one movie. Dermot Mulroney plays the title character in this "psychotronic horror" film. It prominently features a mad scientist who can record dreams out of people's head and onto VHS, except when it causes their eyeballs to explode.

Next up, something inexplicable is happening at a wild teenage party in 2013's +1 (aka Plus One). Part of a definite wave of low-budget genre-blending movies, +1 has a unique and subtle approach to sci-fi.

Lastly, we head down to Walt Disney World with a family man on the verge of mental collapse in the surreal horror/comedy/weird movie Escape From Tomorrow! Filmed entirely without authorization at DisneyWorld and Disneyland, this movie generated significant attention on the festival circuit for its guerrilla filming techniques. But can the movie live up to the hype?

All this plus witty banter between friends, hobo Owen Wilson, the Sweetest Top 5 Alive, Parker's got a cold, Epcot on your head, VHS dreams and so much more!


Direct Donloyd Here

Got a movie suggestion for the show, want to give your opinion on a movie we talked about or just want to tell us we suck? Drop us a line at JFDPodcast@gmail.com. Or leave us a voicemail: 347-746-JUNK (5865).

Also, if you like the show, please take a minute and subscribe and/or comment on us on iTunes, Stitcher, Blubrry or Podfeed.net. It's a small world after all with your love and support.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Top 10 Movies of 2013: Jason Frisbie
(of Pool Party Radio)

I actually saw more than 10 films this year. Below is my summation of 10 of the most memorable:

10. Blue Jasmine:
Depending on how folks feel about creepy, neurotic perverts as directors, there’s a good chance that many people avoided Woody Allen’s latest effort on virtue of Allen himself. I get that. The moment I heard that there was possibly some creep working the line at the Oreo factory, I immediately threw away all 15 bags of Oreos I had stored and then I dusted my hands of the once excellent sandwich cookie. Seeing as I don’t particularly care about Allen’s messed up private life, I was able to enjoy Blue Jasmine and all the performances of the actors therein, even Andrew Dice Clay.

9. Star Trek Into Darkness:
I was originally going to pick The Great Gatsby as my #9, but I looked forward to that movie for almost two years, and it didn’t really deliver, even in Baz Luhrman’s usual over-the-top inanity. Yet, somehow, I’m totally okay replacing that crazy piece of work with the rebooted Star Trek sequel. I guess we’ll just chalk up this replacement to Benedict Cumberbatch being Kahn in the film.

8. Pain & Gain:
Typically, I don’t go for Michael Bay films, and not because I have any personal grudge against the guy. Sure, I could reject his films because he’s a misogynist creep who likely has done way worse stuff than Woody Allen, as far as directors’ personal lives go, but I instead judge the quality of his other films, like Transformers and Transformer Deuce. Michael Bay does not usually make good films, nor can many of his compiled images pass for any loose definition of a movie. But here we are, talking about his film Pain & Gain. It’s based on a true story about a kidnapping gone wrong in Miami, and Bay, or whoever was really in charge of everything, did a great job of showing the struggle for money to buy into the American Dream, and shows just how drab that materialism reveals itself to be. It’s expressive, engaging, and cohesive, which I would expect from people like the Coen Bros., but is easily comes off as impressive from Bay’s usual garbage.

7. Spring Breakers:
Something again about being in Florida and doing dirty shit to buy into the American Dream, but this time with jaded college girls and James Franco as a rap artist. It’s a bit too heavy with symbolism in parts, but a must-see for anyone who want to hear Franco creepily whisper “Spring breaaaaak” at eight different points over two hours.

6. The Place Beyond the Pines:
Ryan Gosling is a shifty carney that still comes off as attractive while pulling off a string of bank heists. Bradley Cooper is the unsexy cop who crosses his path. They both have kids who grow up to be miserable, totally unlikeable teenagers. This movie provides enough focus on each of the four characters to get its point across. Also, I kept misremembering the film title as “A Place Beyond the Valley of the Pines.”

5. This is the End:
It’s another Evan Goldberg & Seth Rogen film, and like their earlier film, Superbad, they take to Judd Apatow’s technique of not editing for time, but unlike Apatow’s films, This is the End remains funny when I think about it. There’s a weird dedication to the Rapture that at times feels a bit too serious, but often gets diffused by one of many, many, MANY dick jokes. Goldberg & Rogen obviously love dick jokes.

4. Mud:
This movie is about young kids growing up in rural areas and trying to fight for romanticism as their worlds turn to crap. It’s subdued and is kind of charming in how earnest the two pre-teen boys are in their efforts. Plus, Matthew McConaughey continues his phoenix-like rise of doing excellent work after years of being an aloof handsome lead in rom-coms, and Reese Witherspoon gives it her usual try that is not her in the film Election (She’s so good in Election, seriously go watch that for why she still gets a pass).

3. The World’s End:
The last of Edgar Wright’s Cornetto Trilogy, The World’s End capitalizes on best friends against seemingly endless hoards, just like in Sean of the Dead and Hot Fuzz. There’s a severe difference in the best friends’ relationship during this film and especially at the end from the previous two films. While the film doesn’t parody or pay homage to a particular film genre as obviously as the other aforementioned films do to zombie-horror and cop-action films respectively, the film doesn’t need those aspects to remain enjoyable.

2. 12 Years a Slave:
This film is a total bummer and all the white people, even Benedict Cumberbatch, in it turn out to be a total asshole (except for Brad Pitt, who was also and Executive Producer on the film), but holy Hell, is this film ever well done. Steve McQueen somehow discovered excellent visual language and pacing while also blending subtle sound work. I haven’t seen something so complete and take successful chances in any other film from the past few years. And even though it is so soul crushing, McQueen manages an uplifting ending. How is there an uplifting ending on a film based upon a book of horrific autobiographical events, also titled 12 Years a Slave? Again, McQueen is incredibly capable.

1. Pacific Rim: I think I’ve loved everything Guillermo del Toro has done, and Pacific Rim is no exception. Del Toro does his usual mind bending work of creating wholly believable and stylish abnormal experiences and makes them appear within reach of our own world. It is a great tribute to Kaiju films (even lending the name as a catch-all reference of large beasts in the film) and mecha films while seeming completely unique. The way the large mechs, also known as Jaegers, operate makes for great relationship dynamics, and everyone is so fun to watch- Idris Elba, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, and even Charlie Hunnam. My only complaint would be that Ron Perlman needed more screen time, but that’s my complaint for every film that features Ron Perlman. This film is some of the most fun I’ve had at the movies in a long time.


Jason "Razorman Frisman" Frisbie is the co-host of Pool Party Radio and has recently finished his apprenticeship to become @Sawfan667.

In the next week, JFD's Kevin, Sean and Parker (and maybe more Friends of JFD) will be posting their Top 10 Movies of 2013. Check 'em out!