Hurleysgivingpocalyptageddon 2013: The Book of Eli

It’s time for this year’s rewatch. I don’t think I’ve seen this flick since it was in theaters, and I’ve really been itching to give it another go. If you haven’t seen this movie yet, I recommend that you do. If you don’t want it spoiled, stop reading now. Seriously, almost everything I’m going to discuss is the end of the movie.

There was a really cool triptych of posters that I wanted to post, but I'm too drunk/tired to stitch them together into one image. Google 'em, you'll know the ones I'm talking about.

There was a really cool triptych of posters that I wanted to post, but I’m too drunk/tired to stitch them together into one image. Google ’em, you’ll know the ones I’m talking about.

I really have trouble believing that he was completely blind the whole time. I did a little the first time I saw it, and after this rewatch… He’s just got to be able to see a little bit, at least. There are lot of little signs that he’s blind if you know what you’re looking for. Eli trips over things, sometimes you can tell that he’s feeling around with his foot before he steps, he bumps a table, shit like that. But he also walks straight up to the front doors of buildings, a couple of them in the middle of nowhere with no sound or other indicators. Does he just happen to look straight at the sign when he comes to the fork in the road? It just doesn’t completely add up for me. Maybe he can kind of see shapes or shadows or something. I don’t know.

That aside, I love the shit out of this movie. It’s a cool story, and it is beautifully shot. The big shootout scene in particular has some really awesome super long camera shots.

Highly recommended, whether you know he’s blind or not, it’s a damn good movie.

5 out of 5

Hurleysgivingpocalyptageddon 2013: Damnation Alley

This is a movie I’ve been waiting to watch for over a year now. I had fully intended to watch Damnation Alley last Thanksgiving, but at the last minute, I couldn’t find a copy. Luckily, I was able to get a copy this year.

Finally!

Finally!

This is your standard “it’s the end of the world, but we think there’s someplace safe on the other side of the country” plot, with giant scorpions, flesh eating cockroaches, and megastorms. The most notable thing about this movie is probably that it’s the only post-apocalyptic movie I can think of that actually starts with the apocalypse. Also notable, some pretty poor special effects. There are scenes where the radioactive skies look like they’re drawn in with colored pencils. That vehicle is hella awesome though.

Behold the Landmaster. 12 Wheels of awesome.

Behold the Landmaster. 12 Wheels of awesome.

There’s some pretty fun stuff in this flick, and while none of the acting stands out as particularly good, none of it is glaringly bad either. It was a solid 70s post-apocalyptic sci-fi flick. Everything I love about the genre.

3 out of 5

Hurleysgivingpocalyptageddon 2013: Deathsport

Somewhere along the line, I’d  heard that Deathsport was a pseudo-sequel to one of my favorite movies, Death Race 2000. I didn’t really find that to be the case.

They both star David Carradine, and feature vehicle based duels to the death, but that's it.

They both star David Carradine, and feature vehicle based duels to the death, but that’s about it.

I don’t know if it’s because I had just finished the amazing Double Dragon, or because I had pretty high expectations going in, but this flick did not thrill me. You’d think a movie about motorcycle duels, magic desert rangers, and dudes with crystal swords wouldn’t be boring, but somehow, Deathsport really is.

There are some pretty great stunts, a dancing naked lady (for no apparent reason), and about a million explosions (the only special effect they spent any amount of money on), all of which was cool. However, there was also a LOT of footage of motorcycles just driving around “chasing” each other. Lots and lots of that. With horrible sound effects. Lots. Just driving around. Another thing there’s a lot of? Really terrible dialogue.

While it has some cool moments, it was far from a good movie.

2 out of 5

Hurleysgivingpocalyptageddon: Double Dragon

Netflix has been throwing this out as a post-apocalyptic sci-fi option for some time, but I doubted that it really was. Until I saw that it took place in the far future of 2007, after the Big Quake.

This cover does not even remotely begin to portray the awesomeness of this movie.

This poster does not even remotely begin to portray the awesomeness of this movie.

Here’s a list of just a few of the amazingly awesome things in this movie:

  • After the quake, apparently the only jobs that b-list celebrities can get is to anchor the news. George Hamilton, Vanna White, and Andy Dick play themselves as the local news crew.
  • The Lee brothers, Marc Dacascos and Scott Wolf (who look nothing like brothers), have a station wagon with a flaming jet engine on the back. This jet engine seems to run on something that works a lot like the Mr. Fusion in Back to the Future.
  • There’s a street gang that has jackets covered in graffiti. They use them as near flawless urban camo.
  • The main bad guys henchmen have yin-yang signs painted in their hair. In their hair!
  • After one of the street gangs captures the ridiculously muscle suited bad guy, they torture him by tieing him up and feeding him nothing but spinach.
  • There’s a boat chase on a river of fire.
  • During a fight scene, one of the Lee brothers gets thrown into a bunch of arcade machines, including… Double Dragon.
  • It’s a great Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon connection.
  • The main bad guy is played by the T-1000, and he looks like this:
Hello, ladies.

Hello, ladies.

5 out of 5

I loved this movie. Loved it.

Hurleysgivingpocalyptageddon 2013: Oblivion

Each year, I like to watch one fairly recent movie. I missed Oblivion in the theater, and since then, I’ve actually avoided watching it. I really wanted it to be part of my holiday festivities. It features all sorts of sci-fi tropes that are all sorts of up my alley. (Spoiler alerts, I guess)

Desert wastelands, crazy scavenging wasteland wanderers, genetic memories, and intergalactic wars ahead!

Desert wastelands, crazy scavenging wasteland wanderers,  genetic memories, intergalactic wars, and a destroyed moon. Oh! Hells! Yes!

I had probably 90% of the “twist” called about 10 minutes into this flick. Seriously, flashbacks of memories that aren’t yours? You’re a clone, bro. Generic boss  that you only see on vid screens? That’s a computer program, bro. Sorry, bro, but your life is a lie.

On the plus side, you get to fly around in this nifty ship.

On the plus side, you get to fly around in this nifty ship.

Despite that predictability, and the huge coincidence that allows the plot to move into the third act, I really enjoyed this movie. Plus, Morgan Freeman. Morgan Freeman makes everything better.

4 out of 5

Hurleysgivingpocalyptageddon 2013: Predator

It’s Thanksgiving, and that means it’s time for HURLEYSGIVINGPOCALYPTAGEDDON!

If you’ve never joined me on this yearly expedition before, here’s a primer from a couple of years back. https://jasonahurley.wordpress.com/2011/11/24/happy-thanksgiving/

Every year starts with Predator, so I’ve already done half-ass reviews of it twice before. This year, I’ve decided to live tweet the movie, and just repost my tweets here. If you want the full Hurleysgivingpocalyptageddon experience, be sure to follow me on Twitter, and friend me on Facebook.

As always: 5 out of 5

Hurleysgivingpocalyptageddon 2012: The Blood of Heroes

I’ve been looking forward to watching this movie for a long time, and it did not disappoint.

Also starring Delroy Lindo, and a Vincent D’Onofrio so young, he still used his middle name.

I first heard about this movie from my buddy, Clint. Clint’s big into Amtgard (Click the link, it’s like the foam sword game they played in Role Models, but it’s far more involved, and pretty dang cool.). This is relevant, because at big Amtgard events, they actually play, Juggernaut, the game from this movie. They call it Jugging though. Seriously. Here’s the rules. So, as soon as he told me this, I went out and bought the movie. Then, I took it over to a party at a friend’s house. We never did watch it though, and I left it there, and forgot about for close to a year.

However, the coming of the glory of Hurleysgivingpocalyptageddon reminded me of my desire to see this flick. So, I went and got it from Josh and Tony’s house, and finally gave it a watch. The DVD I have has pretty terrible quality audio and video, but, as with the other future sport movie I watched today, it was well worth suffering through. The pacing of the movie was a little weird, and it kind of just meandered through it’s incredibly long second act, but damn was it fun. The matches are brutal, and everything that’s set up is paid off. This was a quality flick, and I kind of can’t wait to make it to an Amtgard event to watch a live game of Jugging.

4 out of 5

Hurleysgivingpocalytageddon 2012: The Postman

Well, we’ve made it to that point in the evening where I’m pretty sauced, and getting more tired by the minute. So this one’s gonna be short and sweet…

…unlike this movie, which was awesome, but entirely too fucking long.

I remember liking this movie a lot when it came out, and not understanding the hate that seemed to surround it. Honestly, I don’t think I’ve seen it since. So, nearly 15 years removed, I still like it a hell of a lot. However, it is three goddamn hours long. Which is pretty ridiculous. The movie has two first acts. What the hell?

Still and all, it’s a pretty good flick. Also, Kevin Costner is pretty much the man.

4 out of 5

Hurleysgivingpocalyptageddon 2012: Warrior of the Lost World

Remember a couple hours ago when I said that Solarbabies strung together a lot of classic post-apocalyptic sci-fi tropes in a pretty fun way? This movie is pretty much the opposite of that.

In classic 80s VHS fashion, nothing in the movie looks nearly as good as this box art.

I think the main problem this movie has is a lack of discernible plot. This stems from the fact that there’s no connecting tissue between the scenes. No one ever discusses why they’re going to the next place their going, or how they’ll get there, or why they’ve completely changed their costumes. They’re just there, and something ridiculous happens. It’s like someone said, “I’ve got some vaguely interesting action sequences, but that’s about it.” Then, someone else said, “Close enough. Let’s just call it a script and start shooting.”

The movie also suffers from some absolutely terrible sound effects, and some of the most lifelessly dubbed lines I’ve ever heard. The main character has almost no emotion in any of his dialogue, which I’m pretty sure is completely ADRed through the whole movie. This makes a little sense, because the movie was originally made and distributed in Italy, but The Rider (That’s all he’s ever called) is very obviously speaking English. Was the original soundtrack just not available anymore? Why the hell did they re-dub every single one of his lines?

The only redeeming thing in this movie is Donald Pleasence, who makes an appearance as the main bad guy wearing one of his old Blofeld outfits. I was shocked that he never pulled out a cat to start stroking menacingly.

Oh, there’s also a talking motorcycle with the most annoying voice ever.

Terrible, just terrible. Still pretty fun though.

2 out of 5

Hurleysgivingpocalyptageddon 2012: Solarbabies

Netflix Instant had a pretty rough, choppy transfer of this movie. The whole thing looked like that half-stop-motiony-slow-mo effect they used in 80s music videos. It was annoying, but I suffered through it for the sake of the greatest holiday of the year.

This foreign poster is way, WAY cooler than the American ones I found.

So… There’s a corporation that controls the world’s water supplies. They also run a series of orphanages, to indoctrinate future generations to take over the work of the “Protectorate”. Apparently, part of this indoctrination includes playing “skateball”, which is kind of like basketball, played with lacrosse sticks, while wearing roller skates. One of the skateball teams, the Solarbabies, finds a magical orb thing that seems to grant wishes. Of course, something bad happens, and the orb gets stolen.

Then, there’s this guy and his pet owl. Yeah, he skates too. He’s pretty much nine kinds of awesome.

After the kids escape from the orphanage (You didn’t think they were gonna stay, did you?) and go on a quest to find the stolen magical orb thinger. They’re trying to get the orb back, and the protectorate is trying to get them back. It’s a pretty standard and predictable plot, but it’s pretty well done. Also, there are some great visuals along the way. Once their travels start, they do a pretty classic run through of different crazy desert tribes. Every time they find a new place to stay, the Protectorate catches up with them, and they have to run again. At one point, they find the standard guys-that-make-armor-and-stuff-from-old-tires-tribe. These guys have taken the concept to 11 though, and their entire city seems to be made of tires. Seriously, there are thirty foot tall smoke stacks that are just giant stacks of tires. It’s crazy. This leads to the worst escape plan I’ve ever seen as each of the Solarbabies hide inside giant tractor tires, and roll themselves down a hill. They’re wearing roller skates the whole time, by the way.

I really enjoyed this one. It’s a great combination of all of the standard post-apocalyptic tropes I love, and the teen team action flicks that the late 80s seemed to be full of.

4 out of 5