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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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Now for something completely different. JPFmovies is back after a long break to regroup and refocus on what quality entertainment may be out there as well as point out the crap—the original mission of JPFmovies. A foray in SCI-FI.

Here at JPFmovies we rarely look into SCI-FI—yes we have a bit of an institutional bias towards SCI-FI entertainment.  That said, due to SJ & EJ’s insistence on watching significant amounts of SCI-FI programming and of course the availability of Netflix binging, the JPFmovie writers and reviewers are now ready to competently review past and present SCI-FI franchises.

Here is what we are looking at.  Ascension—the Syfy miniseries that aired in 2014 about a generational spaceship modeled after the military Orion Project from the late 1950’s through the 1960’s.  As well as three of the major Star Trek spin-off TV series from the 1990’s (Deeps Space 9 and Voyager) until 2004 the fourth and last season of Star Trek Enterprise.  Why are we looking at the three Star Trek TV series you may ask?  In honor of the highly-anticipated Star Trek re-birth “Discovery” which is supposed to debut this year.

Where do we start?  Well according to SJ the choice is easy:  Deep Space 9 a/k/a DS-9.  Why?  Because it is the first one chronologically running from 1993 until 1999.

JPFmovies:  SJ what do you have to say about DS-9?

SJ:  It went places the other series didn’t.  It explored religion for instance but it was a little problematic that all the Bajoran’s had the same faith.

JPFmovies:  You also mentioned that the series was funny?

SJ: Yeah it was probably the funniest series.

JPFmovies:  Well how do you reconcile that statement with the fact that DS-9 dealt with some pretty dark themes like war and religion.

SJ: Well it had darker themes but also lightened up with episodes like “little green men,” “take me out to the hollo-suite” and “trials and tribblelations.”

JPFmovies:  Who was your favorite character on DS-9?

SJ:  Simple Dax.

JPFmovies:  You said that without hesitation.

SJ:  Yeah she is awesome.

JPFmovies:   What did you like most about DS-9?

SJ:  Ah . . . it’s hard to say.  I suppose it had sort of a diverse like episode topics going from fun to war to episodes about different cultures and romances with all of the characters.  Though I am not fan of that but some people like.

JPFmovies:  What did you like least about DS-9?

SJ:  Ah . . . it sort of there is only one religion for the Bajoran’s and it didn’t even have a name.

JPFmovies:  How would you describe the first two seasons of DS-9?

SJ: The first 2 seasons are O.K. but it definitely gets better with time.

JPFmovies:  How does it get better?

SJ:  Um the characters go more in-depth the plots get more interesting.  It goes from minor conflicts to major conflicts.

JPFmovies:  What do you say to the statement that they had to bring in a character (Warf) from Star Trek the Next Generation to keep the show’s ratings afloat?

SJ:  I think that Warf brought a lot to the show. I love Warf I can see how they needed someone that people were familiar with to keep the ratings afloat.

JPFmovies:  What do you have to say about DS-9’s original theme that it was supposed to be a western?

SJ:  I think it would have been hilarious, but it’s not super Star Trekkie—I mean Star Trek is not a western.

JPFmovies:  Reading things about the show now, how do you react to the statement that Dr. Bashir was for the series first 2 years almost removed?

SJ:  Yeah I could see that he was my least favorite character he was really annoying.  He really didn’t have much of a character they made him be more of a person with the Section 31 episodes.

JPFmovies: What was the deal with Captain Sisko’s evolution from a guy with a full head of hair to a bald man with a go-tee?

SJ:  How so?  I mean he shaved his head and grew a go-tee.

JPFmovies:  Well you have to admit that in a TV series that is pretty unusual.

SJ:  Yeah that is true but remember with the Next Generation and Riker’s beard it became a saying that a show got good when it “grew a beard.”

JPFmovies:  How do you respond to a 2007 interview with iF Magazine, where George Takei, who had played the character Hikaru Sulu in The Original Series, criticized DS-9 for being the polar opposite of Gene Roddenberry’s philosophy and vision of the future?

SJ:  I think that Gene Roddenberry’s vision of the future . . . well when DS-9 was made it was outdated by then.   When you look at the original series it’s not super great with feminism and that.

JPFmovies:  Where do you see the Star Trek franchise going in the future?

SJ:  Well I think it sort of veered away from what it was.  I hope that the new series is going to be more like DS-9 and TNG but I kind of doubt it.  Each series was different but had the Star Trek feeling and I think the newer movies have not had that really.

JPFmovies:  You’ve heard about the new series that is to be released this year “Discovery”?

SJ:  Yeah . . . you told me!

JPFmovies:  Where do you want to see that series go?

SJ:  Well I am not exactly sure what it is about . . . IDK I’d like it to be as progressive as DS-9 and Voyager were but not too close because it is then just a remake.

JPFmovies:  Why do you think it took 13 years to make another Star Trek series?

SJ:  I feel like it fell out popularity after Enterprise.  Um unfortunately I don’t know any Star Trek fans other than my family.  I hope there will be more Trekkies because of this new series.

JPFmovies:  Well thank you for your insights and we look forward to hearing your thoughts on our next look at Voyager.

SJ:  Thank you.

Well folks as you can see DS-9 was well received by many a SCI-FI fan.  As always we welcome your comments.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2017 in Movie Reviews

 

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Iris I & II and the spin-off Athena Goddess of War (2009-2013)

As many of you know, I recently reviewed the Korean series City Hunter and used it as an example of how Asian TV has far outpaced American “entertainment” churned out by the networks. Well here is the coup de grâce for this year: Iris I & II and the spin off Athena Goddess of War. We are going to take a look at all of these espionage themed shows and may even get the opinions of Emma and Sally since Athena Goddess of War has plenty of “Girl Power.”

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2013 in Movie Reviews

 

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