Treasure Planet is one of those Disney movies that many people seem to have nostalgia for, despite practically nobody having actually seen it when it came out. This movie, along with the similarly action-oriented Atlantis: The Lost Empire, was made during a brief period where Disney was experimenting with epic, somewhat gritty animated adventure films involving male leads, as this was before they settled on the massive money-making potential of just slapping princesses all over everything and calling it a day.
It seems like we don't get very many straightforward fantasy adventure films in the mainstream any more. I suppose every once in a while there's an attempt at reviving the sword and sandal genre like with the Conan remake, or the occasional gritty re-interpretation of fairy tales like Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, but you'd be hard-pressed to come up with a fantasy movie that's actually an original concept and not adapted from some flavor-of-the-month young adult fiction series. However, as someone who grew up watching Hercules: the Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess, I do often enjoy more tongue-in-cheek fantasy when serious material is in short supply. Since Kitty stole my copy of Roger Corman's Deathstalker II (my personal favorite), I figured I'd give Your Highness a try as a substitute.
And you know, this movie got a bum rap, because I found it to actually be unequivocally “not that bad.”
Johnathan Xavier, intergalactic juvenile delinquent and wielder of the all-powerful Resurrection Suit, is stranded on 1950s Earth with his band of hooligans, but his mission of leather-jacketed mischief may be more than it seems. Shady music promoters, runaway rock-and-roll zombies, and lots of hokey special effects collide in this beautifully-shot ode to 1950s science-fiction movies, which also happens to have some singing and dancing. Basically, it's like Lost Skeleton of Cadavra, but with musical numbers.
In a strangely modern-day version of 1985, a group of horny, boozed-up college kids heads out for a camping trip, only to become the targets of a mysterious cult, an obsessive big-game hunter, an assortment of sex criminals, various backwoods freaks, and the titular Yeti. Despite the parade of slasher-movie cliches involved, the title should probably tip you off that this is no ordinary horror movie. In fact, Yeti: A (Gay) Love Story is a schlocky horror-comedy produced by Troma Entertainment for a reported budget of around two hundred bucks, but it contains surprising entertainment value beyond what might seem like a one-joke premise.
We truly have reached an interesting time when mildly popular internet memes are enough to inspire entire films. The ad depicted on the poster actually did run in Backwoods Home Magazine back in 1997 (Spoilers: It was a gag written by a staff member) and many years later was rediscovered as one of those mildly interesting bits of weirdness that floats around online imageboards. The suggestion of supernatural adventures lurking just outside the periphery of normal life was just mildly interesting enough to inspire writer/producer Derek Connolly and director Colin Trevorrow to create this movie, about a crew of journalists who track down the ad's mysterious author and try to determine whether he's completely mad, or a genuine mad scientist.
The Trip is a quintessentially British movie about very subtle topics. The movie was edited together from a quasi-mockumentary TV miniseries following British actors/comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, playing fictional versions of themselves, as they take a gastronomic tour of Northern England. Along with a peek at their five-star dining experiences, shot in classic BBC-documentary style, we observe the subtleties of the two men's friendship and professional competition, their differences and similarities as 40-something actors, and a whole lot of James Bond references. The Trip is seldom laugh-out-loud funny, but it's far more believable than most comedies, which gives it much more of a personal impact than you might expect from a “goofy road trip movie.”
If I asked you to name an African movie, you'd probably be hard-pressed to come up with anything that wasn't either The Lion King, District 13, or that 30-second trailer for Ghanaian Terminator vs. Predator. Though most people in the West aren't aware of it, the African country of Nigeria (with some help from Ghana) actually has an extremely prolific film industry - it ranks third in the world behind only India (Bollywood) and the US (Hollywood), and has come to be affectionately known as “Nollywood.” Nollywood Babylon gives us a brief tour of the country, explains how its unique style of filmmaking came to be almost by accident, and follows along with several directors and producers of today, providing a fascinating look at the unique culture of West Africa interpreted through a familiar art form.
Our tour through the Poe cycle for 2013 concludes with a movie in a castle, where Vincent Price misses his dead wife, Peter Lorre is always drunk, and Jack Nicholson makes a lot of goofy faces - but it's completely different from every other Poe movie, we swear! Find out how with this look at 1963's The Raven.
Produced and written by Alex "Philosophic_Al" Lane for TankedMatinee.com
Poe-Vember continues with a look over two of the most opulent and colorful of the Poe films, explaining how POV shots and fancy paintjobs can mess with your mind.
Produced and edited by Alex "Philosophic_Al" Lane for TankedMatinee.com
I have a confession to make. Although I am completely obsessed with movies, I DO have other hobbies, including sewing, armor-making, and other costume-creation arts. As such, I'll often find myself watching movies for the specific purpose of examining the character's outfits so I can attempt to replicate them later. This is one reason why I've been watching so damn many historical action movies lately, so I can look at the cool period outfits and get inspired. My choice to watch Hammer of the Gods was initially a "costume inspiration" movie, but by the end it was a great "being a badass manly Viking inspiration" movie as well, and even people who aren't interested in checking out new riveting patterns for their brigandine will definitely enjoy it.