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JPFmovies teams up with long time contributor Tom V to look at Roadhouse (1989) starring the late Patrick Swazey and Sam Elliot. In the words of Tom V it was a slow decent into sheer B movie hell.

Talk about jumping off the ledge!  After reviewing Rake, watching Roadhouse was worse than a trip to the dentist.  While looking at Roadhouse, Tom V mentioned something very interesting; that is, the film while enjoying some major acclaim from other critics went from an average B rated 80’s movie to a degeneration and waste of celluloid on an awe-inspiring scale.  They very notion of watching this movie sober is a cause of action for the intentional infliction of emotional distress.  The script, acting and other than a brief song from Conway Twitty, this moving end up with a zero-star rating.  Fortunately for Roadhouse Tango and Cash beat it out of every category at the Raspberry Awards where the film was nominated for (but did not win) five Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Picture, Worst Actor (Patrick Swayze), Worst Supporting Actor (Ben Gazzara), Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay. So, take comfort in the fact that only lounge in the frying pan and burned asunder in the fire.  Tom V wonders if the make-up director was receiving kickbacks from the hair spray industry.  Throughout the film the JPFmovies staff and Tom V was waiting for someone’s hair to shatter due to the excessive use of hair spray.

While performing their research, the JPFmovies research department was shocked by the number of Roadhouse fans and how vocal they were.  For instance, some idiot fan of Roadhouse wrote:

“If Dalton didn’t exist, we’d have to invent him, because we need him. I’m not a man given to hyperbole — in fact, you might say I’m the person least given to hyperbole in the history of the entire universe— but Road House is, without a doubt, the single greatest thing the human race has done from the creation of the world up until the present moment, and I include vaccines and the idea of the talking horse in that list.”

Why? Because of some moronic, simplistic quasi-Buddhist lines like “pain don’t hurt” and “no one wins a fight” that clearly came out of a fortune cookie.  God help us all if he was serious.

Forgive us for jumping in before telling you the reader about the film.  Roadhouse is about a bouncer—yes a bouncer—who is incredibly famous well famous in bouncer circles at least.  So famous in fact that when Dalton a/k/a Swazey strolls into his new place of employment (the “Double Deuce”) people do double takes, whisper and point at him like he was an all-star athlete or rock star.  Oh, did we forget to tell you that he also has a PhD., in philosophy from NYU?

Dalton is hired by the owner of a small dive in some jerk-water-berg Missouri town to clean up the place.  Apparently, the owner came into some money and wants to hire “the best” to turn the business around.  Okay so far that’s a not bad start.  Then it really goes bad the minute Dalton walks into the place.  The bar is nothing short of a chaotic melee along the lines of the most obnoxious WWF wrestling match.

After his initial assessment, Dalton makes some personnel changes only to find out that there is a totally hot doctor working at the emergency room as well as a cartoonish villain that controls this jerk water town as he continually profits off the backs of the average citizen. [21:05-26:35].

Well this can not stand according to the code of the righteous bouncer!  This villain must be stopped, and the hot doctor must be seduced.  Luckily for western civilization Dalton is up to the task!  The villain sees himself as the town’s father telling Dalton that “Christ, J.C. Penny is coming here because of me. Ask anybody, they’ll tell you the same thing!”  J.C. Penny!  Hold the phone this guy is a humanitarian how can someone so generous be so evil?  Our resident villain also employs a platoon of henchmen from a really fat guy who wears suspenders ostensibly to keep his pants up to some criminal that Dalton has to kill using his secret eagle claw technique to literally rip his throat out.  Moreover the fat guy gets taken out by a stuffed polar bear that Dalton pushes on him.

There is so much more to discuss—it would take pages upon pages to completely hammer this movie appropriately.  If you either need a good laugh about something so bad it becomes “good” or are forced to waste 2 hours of your life, then Roadhouse is the film for you.  Remember that at the Golden Raspberry Awards it was nominated in 5 categories but for Tango and Cash it would have swept the prestigious ceremony!

 
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Posted by on December 17, 2018 in Movie Reviews

 

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JPFmovies goes to the land down under for our next review: Rake (2010-2018)

Rake is about love, madness, addiction, and the law–in short, it is about modern life.  How can you go wrong with series premises like that?  You can’t!  Rake is an Australian television program.  It stars Richard Roxburgh as rake Cleaver Greene, a dazzling but self-destructive Sydney criminal law barrister, defending typically guilty clients.  Outside of the courtroom, Cleaver Greene is immature, reckless and self-destructive.  Inside of the courtroom, he is pretty much the same, but his reckless courtroom antics help his indefensible clients escape justice.  During his free time, Cleaver wastes away the hours at a local brothel with his favorite girl, Melissa Patridge, if that is her real name as well as doing a cornucopia of drugs from cocaine to booze to marijuana.  Although his trouble with the opposite sex is fairly evident, his gambling addiction is far worse and usually ends with him being beaten by Col Mancusi a petty criminal.

Due to his gambling, Cleaver faces his own day in court, as he pairs off against his rival, Harry, Sorry, David Potter (Matt Day). The pair not only fight over Cleaver’s tax records, but also Melissa. Cleaver relies on his ex-wife, Wendy Greene (Carline Brazier), for advice from time to time, which also leads to complications. Things get a little crazy, when they discover their son, Fuzz Greene (Keegan Joyce), is having a questionable affair.

 

Of course, Cleaver gets into relationship trouble of his own, when he slips up and winds up in bed with Barney’s wife, Scarlet (Danielle Cormack). Despite attempts to keep the affair secret, it eventually emerges and could potentially ruin things between Cleaver and Barney.  Rake also straddles the high/low cultural divide.  Cleaver frequently quotes Yeats, is a fan of Balzac, but remains distinctly Australian, with sayings like “Christ on a bike” or “Fuck me Sideways.” And in one Cleaver even tells a priest: “I could out-Nietzsche you at five paces.”

With his many flaws, and blunt, dismissive outlook, Cleaver Greene joins a long list of charismatic television anti-heroes likes Tony Soprano or Saul Goodman.

Although his morals are questionable, close friends and colleagues still rely on Cleaver. Underneath it all, he seems to generally try to do the right thing, although it usually ends badly.

Rake is definitely a hilarious show that is packed with plenty of drama and a tad bit emotion every once in a while. Throughout the entire first season, all of the performances were excellent and each of the characters, despite all of their flaws, are somewhat likable. Still, it is Richard Roxburgh, who leads the way and manages to keep everything funny, but realistic, inside and outside of the courtroom.

All of the supporting characters help to enhance the show significantly. Russell Dykstra and Matt Day do an excellent job helping to balance out Cleaver’s crazy antics. While the show is meant to be funny, it takes a fun approach to exposing some of the hypocrisies of society. Don’t be surprised, if you find yourself nodding in agreement, with some of the political statements in Rake.  All in all, the show is tremendously clever, sufficiently hilarious and definitely worth the watch.

If you have access to Netflix, watch the Australian version of the series the JPFmovies staff was uniform in its admiration for this original series.

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2018 in cheesy television, Movie Reviews

 

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A stain on the golden age of the 1980s: T.V.’s Tales of the Gold Monkey (1982-1983) and SJ weighs in on it too.

Welcome back to JPFmovies. Yeah, it’s been a while, but we’re back and ready to review.  The JPFmovies staff was going through the DVD collection and found a 1980’s series still in the cellophane called: Tales of the Gold Monkey (1982-1983).  It ran for one season and was lucky to get that.  It is such a cheap rip-off of the hit movie Raiders of the Lost Arc, it is laughable.  Tales of the Gold Monkey ran 22 episodes and unbelievably won a Prime Time Emmy for Outstanding Art Direction for a series.  And we say unbelievably because this is one of those “works of art” that is so bad it crosses the spectrum and becomes good even and if they’re lucky a cult classic.  One has to ask: what was the JPFmovies acquisition staff thinking when it invested in these DVDs?

Tales of the Gold Monkey was one of creator Donald P. Bellisario’s projects– the famed 1980s TV producer known for shows such as Battlestar Galactica, Magnum, P.I., Airwolf, and Quantum Leap.  How can someone who produced Magnum P.I. and Air Wolf turn out something as bad as Tales of the Gold Monkey?  Let’s stop pointing fingers and get down to business.

The show is set in 1938 in the South Pacific on an island called Bora Gora (a cheap rip-off of Bora Bora).  The main character supposedly is an ex-Flying Tigers pilot, but the Flying Tigers operated from 1941–1942—so I guess the show was three years early on that angle.  The creators couldn’t even get that right.  Then there is the main character, Jake Cutter (Stephen Collins) dressed as Indiana Jones who owns an air cargo delivery service, he flies a red and white Grumman Goose called Cutter’s Goose.  The side kick is an alcoholic mechanic named Corky (Jeff MacKay) and possibly is the most annoying side kick ever.  And of course, there’s the T.V. staple Jack Russell Terrier with one eye and an eye patch, who barks once for “no” and twice for “yes”—the dog even advises Jake on how to play poker.  Are you kidding me?

I have to tell you, we here at JPFmovies love to watch a pilot but this pilot was agonizing to get through the full hour and ½.  This flimsy cast of characters was so obviously stolen from numerous good movies like Casablanca, Indiana Jones and more.  To make matters worse these chumps are supposedly tied up in espionage, what is arguably the worst espionage plot we’ve ever seen, and on top of that they are on the hunt for a giant gold monkey.  The monkey they do find, however, is made of brass but in a scintillating ending the viewer discovers that there actually is a giant gold monkey; due to neglect, however, it is covered in vegetation and is hidden from the world.  Cheesy espionage plots, cardboard characters and what is obviously copyright infringement is what the rest of the episodes consist of.  As you can see from the clips, Tales of the Gold Monkey was spared a dog’s death because it was canceled after its first season.  We can only imagine the torture the viewer would have to go through to watch additional seasons of this lousy excuse for the golden age of 80s T.V.

SJ Bonus!  That’s right folks, long time consultant SJ had the opportunity to watch these gems with the JPFmovies staff and here were some of her thoughts:

“Oh my god how many times are we going to see that stock footage?”

“That is a guy in a monkey suit?”

“Someone should take that dog away from him.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“These women are stupid!”

“What is that guy waving his arm around for?”  Note. See Clip where guy gets bit by cobra.

“Is he wearing a plastic samurai battle helmet?  Oh my god I think he is!”

 
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Posted by on November 30, 2018 in cheesy television

 

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Some Funny Audio Posts ETC…

Listen to these Val.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2018 in Movie Reviews

 

Hello JPFmovie fans I know we are a little late in paying tribute to the late Elvis Presley 40th anniversary of his death on August 16, 1977. We wanted to wait until all of the gushing died down before we paid our respects to the King. We’re going to look at one of his lesser known films Roustabout (1964). Who knew you could make a musical about a carnival worker that actually turned out to be one of his bestselling albums?

On August 16th, 2017, people lined up to have their bags probed and prodded by security officers to get inside the barrier near the mansion for the annual vigil honoring the King, who died of a heart attack Aug. 16, 1977.  Elvis Presley is still one of the most revered entertainers even 40 years after his death.  Putting aside how he died, as a young man he had a remarkable career and only when the temptations often put in front of celebrities got the better of him did we lose one of the finest performers of all time.

 

Roustabout was Elvis’s 16th movie made in 1964 by Paramount pictures.  The film’s soundtrack was one of the King’s most successful reaching number one on the Billboard Album Chart.  Despite the soundtrack’s success, this film remains one of his lesser known productions.  Co-starring in the film is the legendary Barbara Stanwyck, who needs no introduction.  Stanwck’s long career spanned over 90 films and in 1944 the government listed her as the nation’s highest-paid woman, earning $400,000.  She received four Academy Award nominations and in 1982 was awarded an Honorary Academy Award for her contributions to the acting industry.  She was nominated five times for Emmy Awards, winning three of them, and she received four Golden Globe nominations, winning one. She received Life Achievement Awards from the American Film Institute, the Screen Actors Guild and the Los Angles Film Critics Association.

 

Legend has it Elvis made this movie so he could work with Stanwyck and, as is typical of many of his films, other cast members appeared in subsequent roles of the King’s future films including “Paradise, Hawaiian Style,” “Blue Hawaii,” “Girls! Girls! Girls!,” “It Happened At The World’s Fair,” “Viva Las Vegas,” (previously reviewed), “Kissin’ Cousins” and “Girl Happy.”  So, the film has a sort of a duality to it, its musical score reaching number one on the Billboard charts yet reviled by the critics as clichéd and formulaic– which is true.  But enough of that, let’s take a look at the movie.

As with many of the King’s movies the plot is relatively simple: Musician Charlie Rogers (Elvis Presley) is fired from a gig at a teahouse after brawling with several college. After a night in jail, Charlie hits the road on his Honda 305 Superhawk motorcycle. He spots Cathy Lean (Joan Freeman) driving with her father Joe (Leif Erickson) and their employer, Maggie Morgan (Barbara Stanwyck).  When Charlie tries to become friendly with Cathy, Joe forces him off the road and the bike is wrecked after crashing into a wooden fence.

 

Maggie offers him a place to stay and a job with her struggling traveling carnival while the bike is being repaired. Charlie becomes a “carnie,” a “roustabout.” Maggie recognizes his musical talents and promotes him to feature attraction.  His act soon draws large crowds.  Off stage, Charlie romances Cathy, which creates animosity with Joe.  After the two men repeatedly clash and Charlie is accused of holding back a customer’s lost wallet that Joe was accused of stealing, Charlie leaves to star in the much better financed show of rival carnival producer Harry Carver (Pat Buttram).

Once again, he is a great success. However, when Charlie learns that Maggie is facing bankruptcy, he returns to her carnival.  In the musical finale, he is happily reunited with Cathy.  In the carnival saved from bankruptcy.

 

When members of the JPFmovies crew visited Graceland, we went to the Elvis DVD gift shop and asked to purchase a copy of the DVD version of Roustabout.  Incredibly, the store did not carry the film.  We couldn’t believe our ears, here we are at the King’s headquarters and we couldn’t by a copy of his 16th movie, you’re killing me!  We made fun of that store manager for at least 20 minutes and asked if there were any other Elvis movies they didn’t have in stock.  He offered to order it for us and pay the shipping costs; however, we turn down this “generous” the offer of the Presley Empire knowing we could acquire the DVD from other sources probably at a much lower price.  What kind of operation focused on one performer does not carry all of his movies for sale?  Graceland is geared to making money, but when asked to purchase one of his films they didn’t have it?  Are you kidding?

Leaving all that aside, Roustabout remains one of the JPFmovie team’s best liked films, because it involves such a strange plot, a bad boy going good while working as a carnival worker?  Obviously, this film was not written by a brain trust, yet it is worthy of watching.  So, if you want to honor the King’s memory, Roustabout is a good choice to watch.

 

We still miss you Elvis and you are still the King.

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2017 in Movie Reviews

 

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JPFmovies looks at another Japanese T.V. Series Hanzawa Naoki (2013) A/K/A Stick it to the corporate man!

We here at JPFmovies had to follow “Scum” lawyers with another Japanese 10-episode series: Hanzawa Naoki where one of Japan’s most popular actors Masato Sakai, tells the tale of a salary man at a bank who tells “the man” where he stick it.  This show was the most-watched series in Japan with a 42.2 share of the audience, now that’s a lot of viewers.  Let’s both discuss the show as well as ponder why it was so popular.

There are really 2 story arcs.  First is the Osaka arc, where Hanzawa becomes Chief of Loans Division at the Osaka Nishi branch.  He is forced by his branch manager to make a bad 500 million yen loan based on “window dressing” (i.e. false financial statements) to a steel company. Shortly after making the loan, the steel company goes bankrupt and its president Mitsuru Higashida along with the 500 million yen disappears.  Of course, the branch manager shifts the blame to Hanzawa and orders him to recover the loan amount.  Little do we know that the branch manager and the president of the steel company are in it together.  Hanzawa finds out that the two are old classmates and begins investigating from there.  Fighting his own bank and the Japanese Bureau of Taxation, Hanzawa does recover the money and threatens to expose those involved through the media.  However, out of pity, Hanzawa instead leverages this knowledge into promotions for him and his buddies to the Bank’s headquarters in Tokyo.

Tokyo story arc.  Hanzawa is in charge of investigating a hotel that borrowed 20 billion yen from his Tokyo Chuo Bank.  Previously, the hotel suffered a loss of 12 billion yen and, with a Financial Services Agency audit coming up, the bank has exposure of about 150 billion yen should the hotel be labelled bankrupt.  Hanzawa discovers that Director Ohwada was working behind the scenes to provide the loan to the hotel despite substantial evidence showing that the hotel could not pay it back.  A friend of Hanzawa’s, who works at Tamiya Electric, discovers that Ohwada was also behind an indirect loan to Laffite, a fashion company owned by Ohwada’s wife.  Hanzawa puts this evidence against Ohwada in front of a board of directors meeting leading to the “demise” of Director Ohwada.  Seeking personal revenge for his father’s death, Hanzawa forced Ohwada to kneel down before him and apologize for his actions in front of all the board members despite his supervisor and the Chairman’s disapproval.  During the final scene, Chairman Nakanowatari is seen giving Ohwada a small demotion to board member while Hanzawa is “exiled” from the bank to Tokyo Central Securities.  Even though Hanzawa “won” the battles for his bank, he really lost by being put out to pasture.

While this is exciting stuff, why did this series get almost half of Japan’s entire television watching audience?  We here at JPFmovies had to do some digging and some thinking to come up with a plausible explanation.  Our theory is that Hanzawa literally doesn’t bow to authority, instead he stands his ground and even pushes back.  Apparently, the corporate culture in Japan is about 180 degrees from what we here in west experience.  The reason you don’t see westerners in Japanese companies isn’t because Japanese companies are racist: It’s because Japanese companies are crazy.  In addition to crazy overtime and devoting your entire existence to the company, you have to put up with jerks like Hanzawa’s bosses.

Japanese companies are very traditional and work on a hierarchy system.  Rank is not based on merit, but on seniority.  That’s why Japanese people tend to work at one company their entire life and most Japanese CEOs are over 60–you’re just not going to move up unless you stay there forever.  So, when Hanzawa tells his bosses where they can stick it (i.e. he is breaking the rules) every Japanese salaryman is jonesing to do the same thing—and there are a lot of Japanese salarymen.  Imagine each one cheering for our protagonist Hanzawa at every turn when he gets things done and shoves it in the face of his superiors.

As we noted earlier this series was arguably the highest rated series in Japanese history—and after looking watching the episodes again through the eye of a Japanese salary man, it is easy to see why.  Hanzawa does what probably every Japanese salary man wants to do (and has probably wanted to do for years) but the interesting twist at the end is when our hero both saves the bank and roots out corruption is exiled like any other failure, which, rumor has it leaves the door open for another 10-episode series.  If you are at all interested in Japanese business culture, a great story, and want to see somebody stand up to authority by getting the job done not curing what the consequences are, the show was tailor-made for you.  Or, if you simply want to watch a good Japanese drama the show was also tailor-made for you.  In either event, if you get a chance to watch it we recommended highly.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2017 in Movie Reviews

 
 
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