Category: MasterChugs Theater

| Filed under MasterChugs Theater

MasterChugs Theater: ‘Scrooged’

A quick note: Sony pulling The Interview is a cowardly move and a strike against free speech.

Would Charles Dickens have written the movie Scrooge? No. Would he have written The Muppet Christmas Carol? Good lord no, and stab your eyes for even suggesting as such. Truth told, he probably would have written something like Scrooged, an 80s, greed-isn’t-good update of the Dickens classic. The wittiest satire of television since Network, Scrooged gives us Frank Cross, the “youngest president in the history of television,” a man who also happens to be the completely maniacal head of the IBC TV network. IBC’s holiday programming runs toward action flicks like The Night the Reindeer Died and cheesy variety shows like Bob Goulet’s Old-Fashioned Cajun Christmas. But Frank’s pièce de résistance is Scrooge, a live-from-around-the-world Christmas Eve special, featuring Buddy Hackett as the old skinflint, Mary Lou Retton as Tiny Tim, and a bevy of scantily clad, oh-so 80s Solid Gold Dancers.

“We’ll own Christmas,” Frank announces gleefully.

But will it own your heart? Hit the cut, true believers, to find out the answer to that question, along with why it’s the second of three traditional Christmas-time movies for me. Continue reading

| Filed under MasterChugs Theater

MasterChugs Theater: ‘Knights of Badassdom’

Picture this: San Diego Comic-Con, July 2011. Director Joe Lynch premieres a hilarious trailer for his upcoming LARP-horror comedy Knights of Badassdom starring Game of Thrones’ Tyrion Lannister, True Blood’s Jason Stackhouse, Firefly’s River Tam, Community’s Abed Nadir, Sports Night‘s Jeremy Goodwin, It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia‘s Liam McPoyle and Steve Zahn. It sounds like more than a geek fiction lover’s dream, but the dream of someone who loves comedy as well!

Then the movie sits. And it sits. And it sits some more. For over two years, the movie sits.

Maaaaaaybe it should sit around some more. Continue reading

| Filed under MasterChugs Theater

MasterChugs Theater: ‘The One I Love’

Charlie McDowell’s The One I Love (TOIL) is a difficult movie. Well, it’s not necessarily difficult because of its quality. The movie is a true pleasure to watch, which is all the more surprising given it’s McDowell’s debut directorial feature. No, it’s difficult because discussing it can so easily lead to spoiling the film.

Nonetheless, we’ll give it a try. Continue reading

| Filed under MasterChugs Theater

MasterChugs Theater: ‘In A World’

Voiceover is an integral part of the sale when it comes to commercials, movie trailers and television show announcements, and the more memorable the better. But did you ever notice that most of these announcements are made by men? In A World… evokes this notion with its title, a phrase made famous by the late, great voiceover artist Don LaFontaine. Continue reading

| Filed under MasterChugs Theater

MasterChugs Theater: ‘Cuban Fury’

Having made his name working alongside his pal Simon Pegg (mostly in projects directed by Edgar Wright), Nick Frost finally gets his own starring vehicle with Cuban Fury, a romantic comedy about a middle-aged English sad sack who takes up salsa dancing to win a woman’s heart.

Frost is a likable lead and an easy rooting interest, but his affability isn’t enough to give this silly-sweet feature the edge and dimension that would make it a memorable contribution to the subgenre epitomized by The Full Monty — comedies in which middle-aged, unassuming Brits discover their inner showman.

It’s good, just not Pegg-Frost-Wright good. Continue reading

| Filed under MasterChugs Theater

MasterChugs Theater: ‘Stitches’

Stick with me on this.

You might’ve noticed that we’ve been keen these past few weeks on running stories about clowns and how demonic they’ve been. We can’t help it, these type of stories fall into our modus operandi. Also, clowns are kind of creepy. So when I decide to take a peek at a movie involving a clown, I automatically get a little hesitant.

Stitches is an Irish horror comedy that I didn’t know what to expect from going in. I just knew it had a killer clown in it. All things considered, I went in with very low expectations. Luckily, I came out pleasantly surprised, because despite some pacing issues, Stitches turned out to be a pretty entertaining throwback to the cheesy slashers from a bygone era. Continue reading

| Filed under MasterChugs Theater

MasterChugs Theater: ‘Cheap Thrills’

If you desperately needed money, what would you be willing to do in order to get your hands on a lot of it quickly?

Living to its title, Cheap Thrills poses a version of this question, setting up a game in which a pair of wealthy sadists offer two hungry guys wads of cash in exchange for escalating acts of humiliation and violence. Provocative but not so extreme as to keep it out of mainstream theaters, the film has commercial potential and should also connect with arthouse admirers of such cruel auteurs as Lars von Trier and Michael Haneke. It’s definitely not for everyone, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good movie. Continue reading

| Filed under MasterChugs Theater

MasterChugs Theater: ‘Rigor Mortis’

In the 1980s, Hong Kong cinema came up with its own version of a comic monster movie. It was no Ghostbusters, but Mr. Vampire, mixing traditional Chinese folk tales of hopping vampires with action and humor, proved successful, spawning numerous sequels.

Ostensibly in homage, Rigor Mortis stars Chin Siu-Ho — who played one of the main characters in Mr. Vampire — as a defeated, despairing horror film actor, also named Chin Siu-Ho, who moves into a crumbling apartment complex with suicide on his agenda. But this relentlessly creepy film takes its horror straight and contains little comedy. Continue reading

| Filed under MasterChugs Theater

MasterChugs Theater: ‘Bad Johnson’

Just consider the premise of Bad Johnson: a compulsive womanizer ruins one too many relationships, and briefly wishes he could be free of his anatomical troublemaker. Next thing you know, his penis has detached itself. It’s taken human form and is running around the city with all the uncontrolled id one might anticipate.

Now imagine what can go wrong with a film like that. And woof, there are many things. So, to fight that, you cast hilarious comedian Nick Thune in a very key role in the movie. That should make sure things are a-ok, right?

Ehhhhhhhhh … Continue reading

| Filed under MasterChugs Theater

MasterChugs Theater: ‘A Band Called Death’

Ask the average person on the street to name the city that saw its walls shake with the birth of punk music and odds are they won’t answer “Detroit.” Ask them to name the band who first mashed the raw and the melodic together to create punk music before the term even existed, and they most assuredly won’t say “Death.” And we won’t even bother asking if anyone knew that the forefathers of punk were African American.

But thanks to the new revelatory and inspiring documentary A Band Called Death, the truth behind the band’s nearly simultaneous birth and death may yet find them their proper place in music history. Continue reading