Greetings! Have you ever wondered if a movie's worth blowing the money on to see at the theater or what to add next to your NetFlix queue? Then you've come to the right place! Enjoy!

"Re-Animator" Review

It's October which means Halloween which means the missus wants to watch scary movies because Halloween. While scrolling through Netflix, we decided to revisit this cheesy "classic" from 1985, Re-Animator, whose trailer pretty much spells out the entire plot and shows half of the money shots:

Missing here are the other memorable parts: Barbara Crampton's boobs, which actually only present their joy globeness twice, but hey when you're 18 years old when the movie came out, boobs.

It's schlocky and cheesy and more Evil Dead II than SCARY scary, but it's some fun in the good parts (makeup effects, boobs; they spend the money properly) which almost makes up for the long patches of dull bad acting.

Fun Fact: Creepy Jeffrey Combs would go on to play nine(!) different characters on various Star Trek series (most notably the Andorian Commander Shran on Enterprise).

Score: 5/10. Catch it on cable.

"With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story" Review

If there's one man who is synonymous with "comic books" to both readers and civilians alike, it's Stan Lee, the subject of With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story. With a gusto that shows no sign of flagging at age 91(!!), he has been a tireless figurehead for comics as creator of a pantheon of heros for Marvel including Spider-Man, the X-Men, Hulk, Iron Man, Thor, Fantastic Four and more.

This documentary provides a tidy overview of the man and he's career, though it makes the usual documentary stumbles like forgetting to tell us when he was born (1922) despite explaining his real name was Stanley Martin Lieber and he converted his first name into its popularly-known form because he thought he'd only be writing funny books for a while before becoming a Serious Writer.

In addition to the copious amounts of archival footage, photos and testimonials, a good bit of time is spent on his personal life with his sassy English wife of 68 years (that's years married, not old!) and their only surviving daughter. She's a pip.

While hardcore comic nerds may know all this stuff already or quibble about Jack Kirby deserving more attention - I think he's properly represented in this context - With Great Power: The Stan Lee Story is a breezy profile of one of the most prolific and influential voices in 20th Century American (and global) culture. Nuff said!

Score: 7/10. Catch it on cable. (Viewed on Netflix)

"Bad Grandpa" Uncut Edition Review

I've never been interested in Johnny Knoxville and his series of Jackass show and movies, but Bad Grandpa (technically Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa) looked like a cross between Borat and Candid Camera; a scripted story linking a series of public pranks played off as a documentary of sorts. I was right and the results are actually sort of sweet, if watching an old man get his junk stuck in a gas station vending machine while attempting to have sex with it or an 8-year-old boy participating in a Honey Boo-Boo caliber beauty contest in drag is your idea of sweet. (I may be weird here.)

Knoxville, buried under Oscar-nominated makeup is Irving Zisman, a Nebraska widower whose daughter is going to jail leaving her son Billy (Jackson Nicoll) alone. The boy's lowlife father in North Carolina agrees to take the kid (for the welfare money he'd get), so it's road trip time as the dirty old man and freakishly precocious kid  find an escalating series of highjinks along the way.

Using a series of hidden camera bits and some stuff that's probably more scripted than they'd care to admit, the movie meanders from bit to bit with generally humorous to downright hilarious and occasionally terrifying effect. (Set pieces in a black strip club on ladies night and in a bar full of bikers veer close to "someone's gonna get killed here before anyone can explain it's a movie" terrain.)

Even though much of it is supposed to be "shocking" low-brow gross-out humor, the presence of Nicoll acts as a brake on what were probably even worse impulses the crew may've had, which may make it a tad safe (as far as a movie with prosthetic testicles danging down a foot can be safe) but still satisfies. The ace in the hole is Nicoll who has some man-on-the-street interactions where even if he was being fed lines via earwig, he still sells the bits hard. (I wondered if he was someone like Andy Milkonis who looked 14, but was 29; no the kid's actually that young.)

Someone "bad" has become a all-purpose prefix that indicates misbehaving main characters beginning with Bad Santa leading to Bad Teacher and some Bad Judge TV that's on know from what I've heard, so I suppose Bad Grandpa falls in line. But overall, it's not bad at all.

Score: 6/10. Catch it on cable.

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