BSD #14: ‘Serenity’

You knew Serenity would show up on the Blast Shields Down Film Review Society podcast at some point, and it finally did for episode 14. Hubie hosts as we fight a losing battle over who loved Firefly the most, whether this movie wrapped the series up well enough, and if Joss Whedon is as godly as his most strident fans attest. (At least one of us believes he was more hit-or-miss in his earlier career and less the whipping boy for the Hollywood machine than everyone claims.)

Captain Malcolm Reynolds (Nathan Fillion) and the crew of his Firefly-class smuggling ship, Serenity, discover that one of their passengers, a whispy barefoot lunatic (Summer Glau), is actually a government-programmed killing machine. When dumping River and her brother, Simon (Sean Maher), doesn’t work as well as planned, Mal and the gang resolve to survive long enough to find out what the Alliance is up to.

WARNING: Blast Shields Down movie reviews aim to misbehave, what with their naughty ‘guage, ‘furiatin’ opins, and shiny spoilers. Listener discretion would be advisable.

And if you’re listening (which imbues membership in the Film Society), join the discussion by contacting us:

We want to hear from you. If we like what you have to say, then your thoughts could show up in a future episode!

BSD Half-Show 1: ‘The Hunger Games’

Trying something new, the Blast Shields Down Film Review Society conducts an impromptu spoiler-free half episode on The Hunger Games. Not content to merely see each other at recordings, the Blasters went as a group to see Katniss and Kompany kill each other for glorious benefit future society and, amazingly, manage not to descend into our own bloodbath afterward.

Duncan read the books, Hubie and I have not, and Dajuan couldn’t make it and was sorely missed. We discuss:

  • Why The Hunger Games is destined to be the next major franchise (in spite of quality).
  • Whether Jennifer Lawrence works as a sixteen-year-old or not.
  • Shaky-cams.
  • The surprising lack of hunger or suspense — but mostly hunger — in The Hunger Games.

But, that’s not all! Hubie briefly lights on Being Human (UK), and we give a brief yea or nay to John Carter.

WARNING: Blast Shields Down film reviews are full of terrifying language and opinions that have not been obscured with cheap camera effects. Listener discretion is advised.

So, what do you think? Should we continue this for the summer movie season? And what about a name? BSD Escape Pod Edition? BSD Captain’s Yacht? BSD [something else because you’re more creative than us]? Let us know in the comments below.

BSD #13: ‘Memento’

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 flapping Polaroids
I avoided it because of hype, but Memento lives up to it.

For episode 13, Duncan hosts an Dajuan-less show as the Blast Shields Down Film Review Society gets down and dirty with Christopher Nolan’s Memento. Guy Pearce plays Leonard Shelby, a man who is searching for the man who raped and killed his wife. Just to gum up the film noir works, Leonard can’t produce long-term memories since her death, suffering from a form of amnesia that doctors refer to as Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates Disease. The film follows Leonard’s memory spurts from blackout to blackout backwards. Joe Pantoliano (The Matrix) and Carrie-Anne Moss (The Matrix) co-star, helping Leonard’s search … or are they?

It’s a mind-flayer of a movie, and it leads the Blasters to discuss amnesia as a plot device, revenge, how Chris Nolan is fixing American cinema, and whether Lenny has problems beyond anterograde amnesia. And, if we can teach you anything, why you should never attack a guy in the shower. Those reasons have nothing to do with the warning for every BSD episode:

WARNING: Blast Shields Down film reviews are full of naughty language, infuriating opinions, spoilers, and … Wait, did I mention there are spoilers? Listener discretion is advised.

And if you’re listening (which imbues membership in the Film Society), join the discussion by contacting us:

We want to hear from you, and if we like what you have to say, then your thoughts could show up in a future episode!

Fun Fact: Hubie broke a chair right before this show … and Dajuan missed it! (Pictures of the furniture carnage — or furnage — may or may not exist.)

BSD #12: ‘This is Spinal Tap’

My Rating: 9 out of 11 unplayed guitars
An ageless comedy about rockers facing the inevitability of aging

It didn’t quite make it to being Episode 11, but the Blast Shields Down Film Society rocks out to 1984’s This is Spinal Tap. I host the discussion as we delve into the band’s fictional history and our own brief flirtations with rock godliness. (Don’t worry, it’s not an hour of us talking about our bands.) Topics range from the sexy mystique of rockers, group dynamics, sexism vs. sexiness, and the state of music today when compared to this time capsule from the days of head-banging and stuffed spandex.

Rob Reiner directs and plays documentarian to David St. Hubbins, Nigel Tufnel, and Derek Smalls (Michael McKean, Christopher Guest, and Harry Shearer respectively) as Spinal Tap, a British metal band that has launched a U.S. tour in a last ditch effort at the rock and roll lifestyle. In the process, the band experiences setbacks including a controversial album cover, on stage mishaps, a controlling girlfriend, and spontaneously combusting drummers, leading to what could be their final breakup.

WARNING: Blast Shields Down film reviews are full of naughty language, infuriating opinions, terrible British accents, and spoilers. Listener discretion is advised because we intimidate listeners with the armadillos in our trousers.

And if you’re listening (which imbues membership in the Film Society), join the discussion by contacting us:

We want to hear from you, and if we like what you have to say, then your thoughts could show up in a future episode!

BSD #11: ‘Inside Man’

My Review: 3 4* out of 5 replaced slurs in a cop’s speech
A bit heavy-handed at times, but very compelling and incredibly funny
*See my note at the end why I’ve changed the score

Dajuan hosts Blast Shields Down Episode 11: Spike Lee’s Inside Man, starring Clive Owen, Denzel Washington, the Von Trapp dad and Duncan‘s true cinematic love, Jodie Foster. (This is only the beginning of our ribbing him about it. Jodie Foster’s been in a lot of films, you guys, and she keeps popping up in our picks.)

Clive Owen plays Dalton Russell, a bank robber who is explaining how he has pulled off the perfect bank robbery. NYPD Detective Keith Frazier, played by Denzel Washington, is determined not to let that happen. And Jodie Foster tries to cover up the real goal of the heist, documents that implicate the bank’s owner (Von Trapp, or Christopher Plummer) having stolen Jewish diamonds during the Holocaust. And, hey, look who else shows up:

  • Chiwetel Ejiofor (who you may remember from Episode 3: Children of Men)
  • Willem Dafoe
  • Spike Lee’s boxcart
  • And …

WARNING: Blast Shields Down film reviews are full of naughty language, infuriating opinions, and spoilers, all just waiting to be uncovered with the perfect plan … or by listening through the links below.

Continue reading BSD #11: ‘Inside Man’

BSD #10: ‘Ink’

My Rating: 3.5 beats out of 4
What if your high school production of Godspell knew kung fu?

It’s Episode 10 of Blast Shields Down, and Duncan tries to keep us in line while we discuss obscure indie film, Ink. Good and evil, in the forms of the Storytellers who bring good dreams and Incubi who truck in bad dreams, fight over the soul of a little girl who has been kidnapped by a mysterious wanderer named Ink.

Topics range from how more money may or may not have helped, whether bad dreams are bad, and how a single Craftsman toolbox can destroy the suspension of disbelief, no matter how many polyvinyl sheets you hang up.

WARNING: Blast Shields Down film reviews are nightmarishly full of naughty language, infuriating opinions, and spoilers. But we’re not evil … yet.

Continue reading BSD #10: ‘Ink’

BSD #9: ‘Orgazmo’

My Rating: 4 out of 5 Naked Mariachi
Who I think sound an awful lot like Depeche Mode

There’s no escape for you, listener! It’s Orgazmo! Prepare to meet your doom!

It’s only episode 9 of Blast Shields Down, and I decided to inflict one of my favorite movies on the Blasters, Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s 1997 triumph, Orgazmo. Of course, not everyone agreed with my appraisal (*cough* Chris Duncan *cough*).

Joe Young (Trey Parker), a Mormon on his mission in Hollywood, tries to share his love of Christ with porn producer Maxxx Orbison (Michael Dean Jacobs). Orbison instead converts Joe into Joe Hung and makes him the star of his latest film, Orgazmo, about a superhero who and fights crime and makes love to women across time and space with his Orgazmorator ray and trusty sidekick, Choda Boy (Dian Bachar). When Joe discovers Orbinson is using the profits to fund his own organized crime syndicate, he and Ben (a.k.a. Choda Boy) fight back using an actual Orgazmorator that Ben invented and some sweet ass kung fu.

Also starring: actual adult actors Ron Jeremy, Chasey Lain, Juli Ashton, Anna Kazuki, Ivu, Shayla LaVeaux, Jill Kelly, Miyu Natsuki, Mao Asami, Max Hardcore, Christi Lake, Jeanna Fine, Davia Ardell, Jacklyn Lick, Melissa Hill, Serenity, Melissa Monet, Warren Northwood, Barocca, and Nikita.

C’mon, boys! Let’s get real nasty! Spank your ass and get in there!

WARNING: Blast Shields Down film reviews are throbbing with naughty language, infuriating opinions and — in this episode — so many spoilers that we decided to ruin the endings to some other movies in case you didn’t believe us. (You saw Zombieland, right?)

Continue reading BSD #9: ‘Orgazmo’

BSD #8: ‘Ghost in the Shell’

My Rating: 4 exploded heads out of 4
I was a big fan of the Zapruder.

Dajuan, who has no Web presence as far as his wife knows, hosts our discussion of Ghost in the Shell, the other Japanese animated film* you’ve seen besides Akira. Major Kusanagi, a member of Section 9 with a mostly robotic body, pursues The Puppet Master, a criminal who no one has seen that can hack human beings. Meanwhile, we use our mostly human bodies to decide the difference between souls and ghosts (as they figure in this movie, not in your grandma’s attic). We also bounced around some suggestions for controlling New Japan’s basset hound infestation.

One fun game to play is to count every time the term “yin and yang” are mentioned, which reminds me …

WARNING: Blast Shields Down film reviews are chock full with suspense-ruining spoilers, naughty language, infuriating opinions and — in this episode — lots of audible cuts because we originally talked about this movie for over 2 hours. Special thanks to Duncan for whittling it all down to an hour.

*Does anybody call it “Japanimation” anymore? Is that racist now?

Continue reading BSD #8: ‘Ghost in the Shell’

BSD #7: ‘The Baxter’

My Rating for The Baxter: 2.5 3 parents cheering for the other guy out of 4
(Revised after Dajuan introduced the possibility that Cecille Mills wasn’t real)

And that man's name? Hubert Motley.

Hubie leads us through Michael Showalter’s The Baxter, which is basically The State in rom-com form, and his assuredly healthy fascination with Michelle Williams. Dajuan also comes clean about his wish for Jason Segel’s career to end disastrously and soon, but with no hard feelings for the man personally. And, my first penis joke comes right out of the gate at 1 minute, 31 seconds. That’s right: my first words of the episode. It’s a new record for Podcasts That Aren’t About Pornography and fitting since I had just turned 30, proving just how much I had grown up.

Hubie (1:25): And fresh from Carousel, identify and rise to meet the newly renewed Rick Snee …

Me (1:31): And then I slipped my big fat cock i–

Hubie (1:35): Okay.

In my defense? I was quoting the movie. That we were discussing, I’ll add.

This is what happens when we record without Chris Duncan, who set up the studio, and then napped off the flu on the couch.

WARNING: Blast Shields Down film reviews are plum full of suspense-ruining spoilers, naughty language, and infuriating opinions. Listener discretion is advised, especially if you’re Michelle Williams.

Continue reading BSD #7: ‘The Baxter’

BSD #6: ‘The Fall’

My rating for The Fall: 3 morphine pills out of 3 morphine pills
Three is all you need.

Duncan hosts Episode 6, in which the Blasters tackle The Fall from director Tarsem Singh. If you just asked, “Tarsem who?” you may know him from Immortals and The Cell.

Lee Pace (the Piemaker from Pushing Daises) plays a stuntman who broke his spine while making a movie back in the silent movie era. While recovering in a Los Angeles hospital, he meets Alexandra, a little girl who broke her arm while picking oranges. He begins telling her a story about a masked bandit and his band of fellow outlaws as they fight the evil governor who stole their lives. The charm of the movie, though, is that while he is telling the story, we actually see it through Alexandra’s eyes, including her misconceptions.

If you haven’t seen this movie, yet, I recommend doing so before listening because (a) it’s really good, and (b)

WARNING: Blast Shields Down film reviews are practically silly with suspense-ruining spoilers, naughty language, and infuriating opinions. Listener discretion is advised, though more fun if not used.

Continue reading BSD #6: ‘The Fall’