02 March 2007

Really Quick N' Dirty Rifftrax Reviews

Zoogz was nice enough to let me post stuff on his blog so to test it out, I've decided to give brief reviews of all the Rifftraxs I've seen thus far:

"Roadhouse" w/ Mike Nelson -- A great start for Mike, he obviously has great affection for this film and the rifftrax crackles with energy as a result. A must-have.

"The Fifth Element" w/ Mike Nelson & Disembaudio -- I don't know where all the hate for Disembaudio in this trax came from, personally I liked it a lot and didn't find Disembaudio's comments annoying at all but oh well. Another winner.

"Star Trek V" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy -- Still my favorite trax so far, this one made Star Trek V an enjoyable experience for me and that's no easy feat. No surprise Kevin Murphy and Mike still work great together and it was great to see them in top form. Absolute must-have.

"Cocktail" w/ Mike Nelson. -- I might have given up on this one a little too soon, but I only listened to it once, hated the film and the Rifftrax didn't help. I usually listen to a trax twice before passing judgement. Oh well.

"xXx" w/ Mike Nelson. -- Another case of me hating the film, and more specifically its star, too much for me to enjoy the Rifftrax. It was okay, I guess.

"Crossroads" w/ Mike Nelson. -- This one had some laughs, not spectacular but solid and the movie was goofy enough to help me endure Britney Spears when she wasn't bouncing around in her panties.

"X-Men" w/ Mike Nelson and Bill Corbett. -- Readers of my MST6.7 series know I prefer Trace's Crow to Bill's but Bill's Crow can still bring the laughs for me at times. As for the rifftrax, I wanted to like this one, but the riffs just felt... forced a lot of the time and some of the humor just plain missed the mark for me. I did laugh at the MST3K ref near the beginning though.

"Top Gun" w/ Mike Nelson and Bill Corbett. -- For some reason, I didn't enjoy the teamup of Bill and Mike as much as Kevin and Mike, I just think the latter sound more natural together. I did enjoy this trax more than X-Men but overall, I found it a solid if unspectacular effort.

"Point Break" w/ Mike Nelson. -- Swayze plus Keanu plus Busey makes for some prime cheddar and Mike does a great job with this one. The movie is a little too long, especially the skydiving sequence but I still enjoyed it.

"Halloween" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy. -- I'm not a fan of horror films but man, Halloween did not age well at all and the guys gleefully tear the film apart. The opening scene with Mike pretending to be John Carpenter coming home from work was just priceless and I thoroughly enjoyed this track.

"The Matrix" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy. -- Well, I liked the film a lot and the rifftrax was decent too. Still, I probably like the film alone better if I had to choose but still, the rifftrax was fine.

"Star Wars: Episode I" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy. -- The first time I listened to the trax, I laughed my butt off but also felt anger and sadness for the mess the new trilogy turned out to be and how much potential was wasted there. Then I watched it again a couple months later and just laughed my butt off. Plus they had a reference to a game made by a guy who once worked for Lucasarts! Cool, huh? Well, it is to me. ;P

"The Grudge" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy. -- Another winner with Japanese jokes aplenty to boot. Those supposed death rattles always sounded like a forced burp to me too and while the "Lost" riffs went over my head (Haven't gotten around to watching it yet) I enjoyed this one a lot.

"LOTR: The Fellowship of the Ring" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy. -- Another case of liking the film too much to seperate the trax at times, despite owning the extended version as well. Still a good trax but I just plain like the film by itself more.

"Island of Dr. Moreau" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy. -- Didn't really like the film, the trax was good but the movie's a bitter pill to swallow when Marlon Brando isn't making a spectacle of himself. Too Apocolypse Now-ish which I also hated.

"Firewall" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy. Lots of good riffs here on Harrison and the cliched plot. The film is a bit slow paced for my liking but the trax is solid and worth repeat listens.

"Nestor The Christmas Donkey" w/ Mike Nelson. -- Oh man, this was depressing. Mike's riffs helped but it's unlikely I'll be watching this one again.

"Reign of Fire" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy. -- Another unpleasent dreary film but I liked the rifftrax for it more than Island of Dr. Moreau and while it may not be in my top five, it was good enough to be worth keeping.

"Daredevil" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett. -- This was just fantastic. All three were on their game and they really did a number on the film. I've been rewatching this one a lot lately.

"Battlefield Earth" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett. -- Unfortunately, I bailed on the film 40 minutes in or so and have yet to summon the courage to watch the rest of it so I can't fairly judge. I did like the laughtrack bit though.

"Star Trek VI" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett. -- This was fun, not as great as Star Trek V, IMHO, but still very good and well worth checking out.

"Over the Top" w/ Mike Nelson. -- This was great, nostalgic yet hilarious and Mike handled it really well. Loved the Stallone impressions too. I liked how Mike cracked up over 'The Smasher' and the whole rifftrax reminded me of Roadhouse, in the good way. One of my favorites. ;P

"Aeon Flux" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy. -- Some great riffs here in the first half but it drags a bit in the latter half. Overall, it was a lame Matrix-ish clone but the rifftrax does a decent job ribbing on the film and its Oscar Award Winning star.

"Wicker Man" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy. -- Well, I've only seen the film once so far but YIKES. The rifftrax was good as usual but the film was just horrible and for me, far more on the infuriating side than goofy. I may have to wait a couple of months before seeing it again to make a fair judgement but right now, it's not something I want to see again anytime soon.

"Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy. -- This was pretty funny, I liked Kevin's blatant ogling of the female Terminatrix even when Mike kept pointing out her homicidal flaws and Governor Arnold got his fair share of jabs too. I liked this one a lot.

"Star Wars: Episode II" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy -- Chad Vader had about ten lines maybe during the whole rifftrax so he wasn’t really a factor. Overall, it was good, some good riffs on the oh-so-lame dialogue and painfully obvious CGI. There was a bit of recycling jokes from the last Star Wars trax and the whole poking fun at goofy names bit is getting tired IMHO though it didn’t ruin the track for me. I do wonder if Mike will ever
try tackling a film from the original Star Wars trilogy someday...

"Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" w/ Mike Nelson & Neil Patrick Harris -- While the teamup of Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy will always be my favorite, Neil Patrick Harris did a pretty good job here and worked very well with Mike. The movie was creepy and bizarre as always but the rifftrax really helped make a pleasureable experience out of a film that was pretty much unwatchable to me before. I'd easily rank this among the upper tier of Rifftrax released so far.

"Casino Royale" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy -- Ah yes, the new Bond... Maybe this version of him is more faithful to the books but for me he wasn't nearly as fun and enjoyable as Pierce Bronson in "Goldeneye" and "Tomorrow Never Dies". When it comes to the movie version, I prefer entertainment to realism, though the Prince of Persia-esque chase sequence at the beginning was a nice touch. The rifftrax was pretty good for the majority of the movie with a few riffs (don't want to spoil them) making me laugh pretty hard. The last twenty- five minutes of the movie [Aw, Bond's in wuv!] or so dragged a bit for me but for the most part, the rifftrax was great.

"Eragon" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy -- The first time I saw this movie, I was unimpressed but Zoogz implored me to give it a second chance so I did and to my surprise, I found myself enjoying it a lot more the second time through. I dunno, maybe I was just in a bad mood or something the last time because there were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments in this trax besides the CGI cracks. I can admit when I'm wrong and I can honestly recommend this rifftrax now.

"Glitter" w/ Mike Nelson & Mary Jo Pehl -- Review pending...

"Predator" w/ Mike Nelson -- Oh man, this was great. It must've been tough to come up with riffs for the endless walking and no dialogue scenes but he pulled it off pretty well overall. Definately much better the 2nd time through if you find yourself getting caught up in the movie the first time. There were lots of great riffs, I really don't want to spoil the majority of them but as a Gary Larson fan, the 'cow tools' reference was very much appriciated. ;P

"Fantastic Four" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy -- I was a little surprised by this movie. Having avoided it in the theater and on DVD until now, I fully expected another disaster like 'Daredevil' but to my great surprise, it was actually half-decent, thanks in no small part to Michael Chiklis who I felt single-handedly saved this film from being unwatchable. The rifftrax for the film was great as Mike and Kevin slip into their usual awesome groove and pummel the film and it's characters mercilessly, especially Chris Evans. 'The Shield' references were also appriciated.

"Star Trek: Generations" w/ Mike Nelson & Kevin Murphy -- This film had the opposite effect on me as opposed to Eragon. Whereas my first review of this trax was positive, I checked it out again a couple of months ago and again today just to be sure and found it downright painful. The first fifteen minutes or so were amusing but once the film goes grim, it just seemed to drag on FOREVER and the quality of the rifftrax seemed to plunge with it into the murky depths to drown. There were a few gems, in regards to Data's one man show, Kevin Murphy absolutely NAILS the problem with the majority of the Star Trek TNG films with the line "You know, the Prime Directive of Star Trek should've been *NEVER DO COMEDY*. Unfortunately Mike and Kevin seemed far more comfortable with riffing TOS than TNG or maybe the film just sucked the energy out of them like it did me. I can’t really recommend this one anymore.

"300" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett. -- If you’ve read my previous review for ‘300’ http://www.nabiki.com/mst/zoogz/mst/blog/2007_03_01_archive.html then you already know my feelings about this film. Unfortunately, not even a rifftrax could save it for me. I just found the riffing kind of flat, too many repeated jokes on Sparta and the movie didn’t really lend itself well to Rifftraxing IMHO. Oh well.

"The Bourne Identity" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett. -- Ah, now this was a fun rifftrax. The first hour was among the best stuff they’ve ever done and had me laughing pretty consistently despite the film being rather bland and pedestrian taken by itself. Things slow down a bit, as does the film in the 2nd half, but overall, it was still very enjoyable and highly recommended.

"Independence Day" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett. -- This is my favorite of the three riffer Rifftraxs thus far. It was a pure joy from beginning to end for me with Mike, Kevin and Bill in top form. I can’t recommend this rifftrax enough, it was pure cheesy gold and probably my favorite trax next to Star Trek V. Highest recommendations.

"Star Wars Episode III" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett. -- And the trilogy concludes with a pretty good Rifftraxing. I definately enjoyed this one more than Episode II, though part of that I’m sure is the fact that Episode III is a better film overall IMHO. Recommended.

"Raiders of the Lost Ark" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett. -- Well, I loved the original film and the rifftrax very nicely compliments it without being annoying or interfering with the enjoyment. I liked the callback riffs to ‘Firewall’ and other Ford films as well as the playful mocking of the music and characters. Highly recommended.

"Spider-Man" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett. -- Now this movie I didn’t care for at all but I hoped Rifftrax could make it enjoyable. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way for me and I found watching this movie even with the Rifftrax to be more of a chore than anything. Plus there was a rather unpleasant and unfunny gag at the end with Kevin crying hysterically over Mike beating him up. I see where they were trying to go with it but honestly, it just plain sucked and ended an already mediocre rifftrax on a rather sour note. Here’s hoping the next trio rifftrax can ascend back up to the quality of 'Independence Day' or 'Raiders' next time.

"Next" w/ Mike & Bridget Nelson -- I was dreading seeing this movie after 'Wicker Man' but to my surprise, the movie wasn't unwatchably awful. Silly and full of CGI car crashes but not awful. The rifftrax was quite good as well, Bridget and Mike worked well together and the husband/wife dynamic was pleasant yet cute without being nauseating at all. Recommended.

"Transformers" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett -- Another movie I loathed with five times the bad comedy of Star Trek: Generations IMHO. Just to be clear, I'm not a fan of the cartoon either so this isn't a purist thing. But the worst part for me was I found this rifftrax painfully mediocre. I sensed a strong 'going through the motions' vibe to it and while there were a handful of funny riffs scattered about, I found the trax as a whole to be uninspired and cannot recommend it.

"Star Wars Holiday Special" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Wow. God bless the 70’s huh? I had never seen this special before now and I doubt anything I could say hasn’t been said before many times over. Without Rifftrax, this film probably would’ve killed me within the first 10 minutes of warbling wookie but thankfully Mike, Kevin and Bill delivered one of the best rifftrax treatments I’ve heard so far. It was obvious they were having a blast doing it too and they even made Bea Arthur’s singing bearable (though to be fair, despite it’s greater length, it still pales in comparison to the sheer horror of her rendition of ‘Do The Urkel’.) Having them riff old commercials was also a blast and something I hope they could do again someday if the opportunity present itself. As you’ve probably guessed by now, I absolutely LOVED this Rifftrax and it’s in my top five along with being my favorite of the Star Wars rifftraxs. Highest recommendations.

"Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Having enjoyed the first movie rifftrax, I went into this one with slightly lowered expectations since the Star Wars Ep. 2 rifftrax wasn’t nearly as funny to me as Ep. 1 and they repeated many of the same jokes. To my pleasant surprise though, this rifftrax was just as funny if not funnier than the original. The trio do a great job roasting this film to a nice golden brown and they sound like they’re having a blast doing it, which is always a plus. Highly recommended.

"Plan 9 From Outer Space" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- I originally got this movie with just Mike’s commentary track from Legend Films and I somewhat enjoyed it then but this do-over with all three riffers is a big improvement, especially with the final 15-20 minutes of the film which had a fair amount of dead spots in the original commentary. And while there was some riff repeats from that original commentary, it didn’t hamper my overall
enjoyment of the rifftrax. Recommended.

"Jurassic Park" w/ Mike Nelson & Weird Al Yankovic. -- Ah, finally! I’ve been waiting for Al to be a guest commentator for a while now and he didn’t disappoint. Both he and Mike do a great job of riffing this film and I pretty much enjoyed the trax from start to finish. Very highly

"Batman & Robin" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Folks, if you ever had the unfortunate... "pleasure" of watching this film, even on free TV with seemingly nothing else to watch... I recommend renting or buying Batman: The Animated Series on DVD and NEVER watch another live action Batman film again. I know Batman Begins supposedly saved the franchise but trust me, Batman TAS will always be better than live action. Always. That being said, this Rifftrax was a mixed bag. On one hand, it had some really funny riffs, all written by the fans. On the other, we had some rather large gaps near the end of the film and every second of the film not Rifftraxed is pure agony. Plus the riffing sounded rather stiff at times due to the script not being written by them. Still, the trax did end on a funny note and it’s worth checking out overall.

"The Matrix Reloaded" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Hmm, well the rifftrax for this was definitely good, but when the film doesn’t involve an action or Yuen Woo Ping wire sequence, (I refuse to besmirch the good name of chop socky with THIS film), it is just painfully dull. Don’t get me wrong, the rifftrax definitely helped a LOT but the film is still such a chore for me to watch regardless. I wish this was an MST3K episode so they could edit out the boring stuff. Seriously, I’ve played RPGs that were less pretentious and dull than this movie as a whole. To be fair, the rifftrax was funny and I probably will listen to it again in the future, but definitely not on a regular rotation.

"Beowulf" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Now this was a fun movie, and far more enjoyable than "300". Putting CGI characters instead of live ones in a CGI world for a seamless experience, who would’ve thought that would actually work! Sarcasm aside, this movie still has quite a bit of cheese and the riffers do a great job with it, making this one of the more enjoyable recent rifftraxs I’ve listened to. Highly recommended.

"Safety: Harm Hides at Home" Short w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- I've only watched a few of the shorts so far and found the majority of them to be okay but nothing to write home about really. This short, however, is quite good and goofy. Kinda like a 1970's Mr. B Natural only tamer. It's definately more than worth the 99 cents to get though.

"Spiderman 3" w/ Mike Nelson & James Lileks. -- James who? That was basically my reaction but okay, I liked Neil Patrick Harris and Weird Al with Mike so I gave James a chance. But once again, the movie was just a total bitch to get through and the rifftrax failed to make it bearable. Actually the rifftrax in general was kinda lifeless as well but that may be the fault of the movie more than anything. Needless to say, I won't be chomping at the bit to get the rifftrax for 'Spiderman 2'... ^_^;

"One Got Fat: Bicycle Safety" Short w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- This short was an odd mix of disturbing and goofy. It would almost be depressing if it weren't so frigging goofy. One by one kids fail to use common sense with their bicycles and get maimed but onward they trek, with their monkey masks and cheap wire tails towards their ultimate reward of lunch. As you might expect, this short is very riffable and while it's not quite as good as Safety: Harm Hides at Home, it's still worth checking out.

"Cloverfield" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- This was a tough one to judge. On the one hand, the rifftrax did a good job and had me laughing many times. The film however was not very pleasant for me at all. Imagine making a Godzilla movie and taking all the fun and cheesiness out of it. Then add some stomach churning camerawork, some blatant '9/11' imagery (which I'm surprised wasn't commented on by the riffers considering how they jumped all over X-Men for using the Holocaust as a plot point), and reduce 80% of the dialogue to 'Oh my god' and 'Dude', which got old VERY fast. Some people on the Rifftrax board seemed to think this movie was too good for Rifftrax to tackle, I couldn't disagree more, this film SUCKS. Still, the rifftrax was good and I can recommend it but if you've never seen the film, don't be surprised if it leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

"Star Trek New Frontiers: World Enough and Time" w/ Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Well, the fanfilm was surprisingly well done, but I found the rifftrax to be rather average, not bad but nothing special either.

"LOTR: The Two Towers" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Much like the last LOTR rifftrax, it was good but I kept losing myself in the movie. If you liked the Fellowship rifftrax, you'll like this one too.

"X-Files: Fight the Future" w/ Bill Corbett & Mary Jo Pehl. -- I've mentioned in the past that I wasn't a fan of Pearl Forrester but Mary Jo Pehl as herself did a great riffing this film with Bill Corbett. I've never been a fan of the X-Files but this trax made the movie a real hoot and I highly recommend it.

"Alien" w/ Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Okay, I know this movie is a horror classic and such, but I always prefered the sequel for its incredible adrenaline rush that still hold up over 20 years later. Thankfully Kevin and Bill do a great job riffing this film and I thoroughly enjoyed this rifftrax. I would go into more detail but I honestly don't want to spoil anything, very highly recommended.

"Drugs Are Like That" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- I really have to question the wisdom of producing an anti-drug short featuring two kids COKED OUT THE ASS. Seriously, these kids HAD to be on something as they struggle towards a coherent thought and barely mumble their way through some sort of bizarre analogy with Lego and drugs. Apparently, much like patriotism, drugs are everyone, everything, everywhere. They are the alpha. They are the omega. They are... like that. As for the Rifftrax, it’s pretty decent with the riffers being frequently bewildered with the short and quickly losing patience with the brain dead brats. Recommended.

"The Sixth Sense" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- I had a feeling I wouldn't enjoy this one but I took a chance anyway. I already knew the surprise twist so I suppose I can't judge the film fairly since I pretty much knew what was coming for the most part. The rifftrax was just sort of there for this one, nothing to write home about and rather dull to boot. Not recommended.

"Patriotism" Short w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- This was kinda weird, as apparently doing ANYTHING can be considered some form of patriotism and it doesn’t have to make much sense. Still pretty funny though. Recommended.

"Buying Food" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Yes, apparently people had to be told how to food shop back in the day too. What’s next, Centron? A short on how to scratch yourself? Actually, at this point, that wouldn’t surprise me. Anyway, this is another hilarious short that makes a excellent companion piece with ‘Cooking Terms’ as food is hastily bought, cruelly wasted, harshly judged and subjected to a staggering amount of superfluous investigation. Very highly recommended.

"The Trouble with Women" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Ever see that old episode of Family Guy where Mr. Weed shows Ms. Ironbox the work training film from the 1950s that was blatantly sexist? Well, that’s pretty much this film in a nutshell as it tells us that women are a huge pain in the ass to train on the job but it’s still YOUR responsibility to do so, so suck it up, man. As you might expect, the trio just go way over the top with this one mocking the attitudes and characters in the film “You probably left bra marks on the table!” and it makes for a short but very amusing Rifftrax. Highly recommended.

"It Must Be The Neighbors" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- For some reason, I keep thinking of the phrase ‘It Must Be The Pretzels!’ whenever I see the title. Anyway, this short features fugly neighbors bickering over who’s the least responsible for the possible influx of mosquitoes, rats and bugs due to their combined laziness. Naturally it’s up to their super kids to keep the peace by forming a mob and cleaning the fuck out of everything till their parents get their collective butts in gear. After all, without video games and cable TV to entertain them, what the hell else were kids gonna do back then? The riffing for this was pretty good and I was entertained. Recommended.

"Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- I hadn’t seen this since it opened in the theater and it’s still a pleasantly fun film to watch, though its running time is a little too long and it had a rather weak ending I thought. The rifftrax was a lot of fun too and makes a great companion piece for the film. Overall, a solid effort and recommended.

"The Day After Tomorrow" w/ Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Ah, global warming. Well, that about sums up my feelings on that subject so let’s move on to the movie. It sucks. Onwards then to the Rifftrax! The first time I listened to it, I was disappointed because it wasn’t the home run I was hoping for but upon a second listen, I found it to be solid and pretty decent overall.

"Iron Man" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Once again, this was a case of enjoying the film way too much to follow the Rifftrax at times. It’s definately the best film Marvel’s ever done (Spider-who?) Not to say the Rifftrax isn’t worth checking out, it is, but I highly recommend to watch the film by itself before doing so.

"The Happening" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Rifftrax... Rifftrax... Hot Dog... *click!*... Huh, out of ammo... oh well, back to the review then. Seriously though, ‘The Happening’ is PERFECT MSTing fodder, a thoroughly goofy film that takes itself WAY too seriously and utterly fails to terrify with its absurd premise of murderous trees and casual suicide while introducing us to some of the silliest characters to grace the silver screen in some time. Fans of my MST6.7 series may recall a parody of horror films I did once called ‘Money’ where global currency attempted to rise up against humanity. This film uses THE WIND. As you might expect, the Rifftrax for this film is FANTASTIC, keeping me entertained and laughing my ass off for pretty much the whole thing. Thankfully the film is barely 90 minutes long so the riffers don’t run out of energy and you can tell they’re having a LOT of fun riffing this film too. Highest possible recommendation.

(Oh, and one more thing about ‘The Happening’ DVD... when one sees an selection for a ‘gag reel’ on the DVD menu, one would assume it’s a montage of flubbed lines, mistakes and possible stunts gone wrong. However, upon selecting the ‘gag reel’, I was instead treated to minutes of the cast simply lounging around, playing guitar and generally doing NOTHING of amusement or interest. THEY COULDN’T EVEN GET THE FUCKING GAG REEL RIGHT! Or maybe... They Just Didn’t Care? ;P)

"Indiana... no, fuck that.

"Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- The fourth installment of the Indy saga is truly a worthy successor to the original trilogy, combining a great story with a beautiful soundtrack. But enough about Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis...

Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is NOT an Indiana Jones film. While I’ll give credit to Speilburg for making this film slightly more enjoyable than say, the new Star Wars trilogy, it still stinks on ice with so many blue screen effects, they should’ve just made the whole thing CGI like Beowulf and been done with it. And while the original trilogy may have had a moment or three that required suspension of disbelief, almost all the stunts done in this film are so ridiculously implausible as to be insulting. I mean, it’s hard enough trying to believe in alien crystal skulls with selective magnetism without having Old Man Indy not only survive a nuclear blast at ground zero, but be tossed around in a fridge in a manner that would break every bone in his body. And there’s plenty more stupidity where that came from. Two words: Greaser Monkeys. Anyway, the rifftrax for this was pretty good, not the home run of ‘The Happening’ but pretty good. The best parts were definitely during the action scenes and the constant ribbing of Harrison’s age. Though at times I was almost saddened by Kevin and Bill’s pitiful attempts to sing the Indy theme song during the lamer scenes in the film, of which there were plenty. Still recommended though.

"X-Men 2" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- I liked this film a lot more than Part 1 and it was truly unfortunate that Part 3 sucked as badly as it did which sadly lessened the emotional impact of Part 2 as a result. Still, as taken on its own, X-Men 2 is still pretty fun and enjoyable overall. The rifftrax, on the other hand, not so much. We got more ‘Cerebro/Magneto’ jokes which for me are just excruciatingly bad and annoying and the rifftrax as a whole was just boring. Not recommended.

"The Dark Knight" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- It’s nice to see the quality of the recent live action Batman films finally step up after the numerous cinematic disasters of Burton and Schumacher. They still can’t hold a candle to Batman: The Animated Series, IMHO, but at least they have genuine SUBSTANCE now, which I appreciate. Anyway, The Dark Knight is a very good film, Batman’s horrible voice notwithstanding, and just like ‘Iron Man’, this rifftrax is definitely best watched after watching the film by itself. As for the rifftrax itself, it was all right, nothing bad but nothing special. Mildly recommended.

"Star Wars Episode IV" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- ... I wanted to like this one, I really did. And maybe the fact that this movie has been the subject of countless spoofs over the last 30 years made it virtually impossible to be original yet still funny but this rifftrax was just... disappointing. There was barely a standout moment during the entire track, they completely missed out on a prime ‘Trumpy’ riff during the film and turned what was a funny one-shot riff with a fat X-Wing pilot's name and just repeated it endlessly to the point where it became as unfunny to me as ‘Cerebro/Magneto’. For now, I highly recommend sticking with ‘Spaceballs: The Movie’ for a genuinely funny spoof of 'Star Wars'.

"Reefer Madness Redux" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- I absolutely loved the original commentary Mike Nelson gave this film and still highly recommend it to this day. And perhaps the fact that I’ve listened to that track many many times influenced my judgment with this redux. Part of the problem is that the redux used a great majority of the same riffs from the original track only with Kevin and Bill now saying Mike’s lines and occasionally chuckling at each other which just seemed wrong to me, especially during the long walk down the hallway scene. Not to say there weren’t some new riffs, there were and a few of the additions to the original riffs were funny, such as Mike guessing what Bill would do once he was acquitted and the fact that Jimmy got away with his crime scott free. Also, I can understand why they would lose the colorization riffs but cutting the 'batshit insane' line? Come on, that was gold!

Anyway, I honestly just couldn’t enjoy this trax in the same way as the original. But maybe that’s just me. If you’ve never listened to the original commentary, or not listened to it as frequently as I have, you’ll probably enjoy the redux quite a bit. Mildly recommended.

"Jaws" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Much like the Raiders Rifftrax, this Rifftrax goes great with the original film, which is still an enjoyable classic and the Rifftrax also helped to liven up some of the more dull moments that films from the 1970s were seemingly forced to include by law. Also, there’s a nice surprise at the end of the trax, I don’t want to give it away but it was very enjoyable. Highly recommended.

"Playing Together" Short w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Now this was funny, I loved the riffs on public pools, ‘the stickman’ and the fact that the short completely lost focus by the end and the riffers were just dumbfounded. Highly recommended.

"How Much Affection" Short w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- This one wouldn’t have been out of place on an episode of MST3K and it was longer than the usual short, about 20 mins or so. This short has a woman freaking out about her hormones and getting a long ass lecture from the ghostly head of her mother before she attends the whitest party in the world. White and Nerdy doesn’t BEGIN to describe these milk toasts. The riffing was quite good on this. Highly recommended.

"Your Chance To Live" Short w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Ah yes, 1970s technology, truly a golden age except for cars apparently. The first half of this rifftrax was great, I was laughing pretty hard a few times but it slowed down considerably in the 2nd half. Still for 99 cents and 12 mins of your time, it’s worth checking out. Recommended.

"As You Like It" Short w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- This short kinda surprised me as beer seems an unusual subject to glorify for the supposedly Beaver Clean 50s where there was like five hundred shorts on posture and manners alone. Also, the budget for the short apparently ran dry halfway through as the 2nd half features only still shots with narration which took me back to the filmstrips I had to watch in first grade, only without the inevitable blurring, projector failure or the cassette tape providing the sound being slowly eaten alive. Still, the short was pretty funny and having the trio hoist a few at the end was cute. Highly recommended.

"Going Steady" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- This was yet another short on dating, this time asking if going steady is worth the hassle or not. Surprisingly, most opinions expressed in the short seem to lean toward the negative, even the parents of the middle aged kids. This Rifftrax was all right for the price, nothing special but not bad either. Recommended.

"Star Wars Episode V" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, Bill Corbett & Chad Vader. -- Ahh, now THAT’S more like it! After a shaky beginning with ‘Star Wars Episode IV’ IMHO, the trio kept the running gags to an acceptable minimum (two or three Porkins jokes tops, thank god.) and delivered an excellent rifftrax for this film that I thoroughly enjoyed. Too many highlights to list here and I don’t want to spoil them anyway. Chad Vader also had more lines in this rifftrax and he did a good job with them without getting in the way of the other riffers. Very highly recommended.

"You And Your Family" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- This brought back fond memories of the MST3K classic short ‘A Date With Your Family’. And while it’s only 7 mins long, it was pretty funny and I think worth checking out. Highly recommended.

"Twilight" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- This movie is fucking stupid. Honestly, that's pretty much the best way I felt I could sum up the film as a whole. Fucking. Stupid. And the Rifftrax? In a word: Brilliant. In more words: the writing highlights razor sharp wit and is very funny. It turned what was a vapid and shallow sack of shit into not only a watchable experience but an highly enjoyable one as well. While this may often be par for the course with Rifftrax, this trax truly speaks volumes of their talent and skill. Very highly recommended.

"Primary Safety: In the School Building" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Ahh, this was great. I remember having to watch films like this back in grade school. Of course we welcomed any chance to take a nap back then. Seriously though, this short was almost non-stop laughs as some poor kids is forced to pass judgment on his classmates for minor infractions to achieve the greater good of nurturing future generations of anal-retentive neurotics. Very highly recommended.

"Cooking Terms" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- I watched this short before ‘Buying Food’ and I have to say it’s one of my all time favorites. Poor little Margie is cruelly lectured by the narrator when she makes a mistake on her husband’s dinner/dessert and shamed into learning proper techniques like how to sheep, boil water and the all important soft ball lesson of cooking. Needless to say, the trio pummel this short mercilessly with hilariously scathing sarcasm, making this one of my favorite Rifftrax shorts. Very highly recommended.

"Casablanca" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Mike starts off this Rifftrax explaining that he, Kevin and Bill took on this classic film as a personal challenge to test their skills, which I can relate to and greatly respect considering some of the fanfics I’ve MSTed over the years. And how did they do? Pretty well actually. The riffs here are definitely more of the light and playful persuasion than the sarcastic and brutally funny humor they save for movies like ‘Twilight’. They did rely on random pop culture references a bit too much in some spots but I found it mostly forgivable considering the difficulty of riffing one of the greatest films of all time. In conclusion, this Rifftrax makes a nice companion piece to the film, just be sure to watch the film first if you’ve never seen it. Recommended.

"The Room" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- “Oh hi, Rifftrax fans!” Hoo boy... this film is pretty much a glorified softcore porn, elevated by a mind-bogglingly goofy script and starring a long haired Euro weirdo with an accent even more incomprehensible than Jean Claude Van Damme, Tommy Wiseau. Tommy is apparently aspiring to be Orsen Wells by also writing, directing and producing this film but he’s far closer to Ed Wood Jr., despite the lack of any crossdressing... that we’re aware of. The man simply exudes limburger with every line he utters. All three of them. Over and over and over again. “Oh, hi, repetition!”

Anyway, you would think this would make for a pretty funny Rifftrax. And yeah, for the most part, it does. They tend to riff on Tommy Wiseau a bit too much, not that it isn’t well deserved but it does get a bit tired after a while. Where I felt the Rifftrax really stumbled though was whenever they had to riff any sex scenes. I realize it can be difficult to riff on basically the same sex scene repeated about five or six times over the course of the film with little variation and that Mike Nelson is personally uncomfortable with scenes involving sex and nudity in them but their solution of having Disembaudio show up over and over with his friends and family being as loud and obnoxious as possible was frankly downright painful to listen to and I really hope they can come up with a less irritating solution next time they tackle scenes like that.

Overall though, I’m still recommending ‘The Room’ Rifftrax for the price and the movie as a whole but you might find yourself turning the volume down at times. Fair warning.

“Back to School with Joan Miller" w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Girls Gone Plaid! This is another short that would’ve worked well on MST3K as we’re forced to watch model after model smile through their pain as they parade their hot naked wrists for our pleasure while draped in endless variations of plaid, the epitome of high fashion... if you believe Joan Miller who couldn’t even be bothered to show up for this thing. The short runs twenty minutes and is generally repetitive but to their credit, the riffers do a pretty good job keeping things interesting and funny throughout. Recommended.

“The Bill of Rights in Action” w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- This is one of those shorts that asks a question and expects you to come up with an answer. In this case, does freedom of speech grant a Nazi the right to praise Hitler while standing in front of a Jewish temple? The short is pretty straight forward and not really all that goofy, and while the riffers do get some funny lines in, I found it an odd choice for a Rifftrax. Still, I did enjoy the jokes, so recommended, I guess.

“Shake Hands with Danger” w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- This short from the 70s is apparently still in use today and shows the dangers of being rock stupid on a construction site, with each work related accident being followed by an addictive little song that you’ll have stuck in your head for weeks afterwards. Trust me. It’s also cheesy as hell and the trio do a great job riffing it. Very Highly Recommended.

“The Tale of Moose Baby” w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Oh MAN... normally I’m not a fan of films involving animals but the first few minutes of this short had me laughing so hard, I thought I was going to pass out! That made it worth the 99 cents right there. The rest of the short wasn’t quite as gut-bustingly funny but still good overall with the editing jokes, constant ribbing of Moose Baby and the last minute or so had me giggling for another five minutes straight. Very Highly Recommended.

“Flying Stewardess” w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Wait, they used to have pull out BEDS in airplanes!? Bring them back! NOW! OK, OK, to business. This 1950 short basically tries to convince women how wonderful and fulfilling it is to be a stewardess instead of a dumb old pilot. And according to the short, most stewardesses get married within a mere THREE years so apply now, you lucky dames and be sure to brush up on your sailing and ping pong if you ever hope to land a man! Sarcasm aside, this 11 min short is nicely roasted by the trio. Recommended.

“Constance Bennett’s Daily Beauty Rituals” w/ Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy & Bill Corbett. -- Five minutes of watching a woman putting on makeup and taking a ba? Sure, why not? And who the hell names their child, Constance? Anyway, this woman is more than happy to lead us through her morning routine, but before you know it, it’s a quarter of eight and she’s dressed to serve her lord and master (her exact words) also known as her son. Yikes. While this short’s pretty short, the riffing is pretty damn funny for those five minutes and worth checking out for 99 cents, IMHO. Highly recommended.

Well, that's it for now. I guess I'll keep updating this post as the rifftraxs come. ;P


Megane 6.7



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Impressive reviews and fun to read. Thanks!

November 8, 2007 10:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as memory gets cheaper, the possibility of copying our memories onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's a fantasy that I dream about almost every day.

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February 2, 2010 2:46 PM  
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February 28, 2010 11:37 AM  
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March 2, 2010 11:38 PM  
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