Episode 65: The Emoji Movie (2017)

Hello, listeners! Smiley-face, pray-hands, smiley-face-with-cat-ears . . . wow, this is harder than I thought. How come so many people are into these emoji things? They take forever! Yes, in this new episode of the back-alley fight we’re calling “You Can’t Make Me, You Can’t Make Me,” I inflict the animated colonoscopy that is “The Emoji Movie” on poor, unsuspecting Mike.  Yeesh.  This may have been cruel, even for me.  Yes, this is another movie in the vein of “Toy Story,” “Wreck-it Ralph” or “Inside Out” which involves the disturbing trope about “things you didn’t know were actually sentient.” Apparently there’s an entire world in each of our smart phones; you know those little pictures you send when you don’t feel that dumb old “words” will do the job? They’re actually self-aware creatures, forced into servitude by the all-powerful phone users . . . huh.  This is starting to sound like “Tron.” Well, is it like Tron? Is Mike still speaking to me? Come, find out! Heart, cat-head, bandicoot.

Episode 64: Pixels (2015)

Welcome back to “Max, Mike; Movies”, and here we are slap-bang in the middle of the mind-mangling fray we call “You Can’t Make Me, You Can’t Make Me,” where Mike and I are facing off against one another.  Not with bullets or blades but with the weapons we know best: bad movies.  In this series, we’re choosing the worst movies we can find and forcing each other to watch them.  This week, Mike strikes back at my “Mazes and Monsters” stab with a savage riposte called “Pixels,” one of the most Adam Sandler-y of the Adam Sandler oeuvre.  This movie is based on a two and a half minute short with the simple premise of an alien invasion/attack.  However, for some reason, the aliens are manifesting as avatars from classic video games, such as Pacman and Space Invaders.  Two and a half minutes, and you know what? It works.  As a short. As one hundred and six minutes of movie? Starring (of course) Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage (oh man, Mr. Dinklage, please forgive me for in any way reminding people that you were stuck in this film.  I hope the paycheck covered your children’s’ college tuition.  And grad school), this movie follows the “Ready Player One” model as a fantasy for those who grew up in the eighties.  Hi, guys! Remember all those hours you wasted in the video arcade playing Centipede? Turns out it wasn’t a waste of time! Those “skills” are the very thing humanity will need to fight off an alien invasion! See, it’s a GOOD thing you never went outside!
Hoo boy.  So, this film makes me question if there is truly any good in humanity.  Um, I mean, come listen and see if I liked it or something.  Oh dear, was that a spoiler?

Episode 63: Mazes and Monsters (1982)

You find yourself in a dark forest at the border of the fabled kingdom of “Max, Mike; Movies!” The supremely evil yet disturbingly handsome necromancer SauruMax has cast the terrible ninth-level curse of “You Can’t Make Me, You Can’t Make Me” on the half-gnome, half-smurf Mikey the Pantsless, forcing the poor creature to endure the torments of yet another terrible movie.   Will you embark on an epic quest to help the tragic yet flatulent Mikey? Will you endure the agony with him? Will you remember to loot the bodies? Will you cast Magic Missile at the darkness?
Yes, this week I subject my unfortunate colleague to a gorge-risingly dull piece of tripe, based on the “Let’s Take Advantage of Parents’ Fears About Dungeons and Dragons” novel by Rona Jaffe and starring a bunch of nobodies, with one or two notable exceptions.  One of them is this kid named Tom Franks or something; seems like he might actually make something of himself, once he scours the stench of this stinkfest off himself.  For a movie that’s supposed to terrify parents, it seems more interested in slowly boring its audience to death.  Well, that’s one way to earn experience points, I guess.  It’s got all the elements of D&D: clueless eighties parents, no real concept of how role-playing games work, and hats. Lots of hats.  Hearken unto us and see if this movie captures the essence of D&D or if it just captures the essence of a TV movie that should be avoided at all costs.  Roll for initiative!

Episode 62: Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008)

Ding! And we’re here for another bone-cracking, skull-crushing, eye-gouging (self-inflicted, most likely) round of “You Can’t Make Me, You Can’t Make Me” here at “Max, Mike; Movies!” This week’s chosen cinematic rusty knife has been chosen by Mike and shoved into my intestines for my watching agony. I mean pleasure . . . no, no I don’t.  This week, Mike’s chosen “poker hand” is the 2008 musical “Repo! The Genetic Opera.” This movie . . . how does one describe it? Well, how does one describe your average slag heap? We have an . . . unusual cast: Paul Sorvino, who was actually trained as opera singer (a LONG time ago), Anthony Stewart Head (Giles, from “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”), Alexa PenaVega (from the “Spy Kids” movies), Paris Hilton . . . no, that’s not a typo, and Sarah Freakin’ Brightman.  Sarah Brightman. Acclaimed Broadway star, major voice from the original cast of “Phantom of the Opera”, is in a movie with Paris Hilton. Because when you think “Sarah Brightman,” you immediately think “Paris Hilton” in the same breath.  Those two go together like fine champagne and the Wankel Rotary Engine. Somehow they got her in this movie.  I can only hope that they released her family unharmed afterwards.
The plot? Picture s-f writer Larry Niven’s “organlegging” storylines but make it legal, throw in a predatory payment plan, guys in hazmat suits based on fetish bondage gear who “repossess” organs, and fifty-eight, count ‘em, fifty-eight songs.  There’s a bunch of other plot, too.  Is it engaging? Did I end up caring about the plot, the characters, the songs or the sets? Or did I just care about someday getting my hands around Mike’s throat? Tune in, turn on and find out.

Episode 61: Showgirls (1995)

Please make sure your safety harness is tightly secured and that your eye and ear protection is firmly in place, ‘cause in this week’s “You Can’t Make Me, You Can’t Make Me”, we’re taking on one of the most hated movies of the last quarter century: “Showgirls.”  Starring “Saved By the Bell” alumna Elizabeth Berkley as a dancer/stripper (I’ll let that description sink in for a moment), this Razzie-sweeping tower of dreck was my choice for Mike’s delectation and detestation. Mike, whether he realized it or not, took it easy on me with “Sherlock Gnomes.” This week, I show him what mistake that was.  Directed by Paul “Basic Instinct” Verhoeven, this movie continues his ongoing themes of respect and empowerment for women andbwahHAHAHAHAHAHAH! I’m sorry, I couldn’t even type that with a straight face.  Again, as per the rules settled on by the International Society of Uniform Cinematic Knowledge (iSUCK), only Mike had to experience the sheer power of “Showgirls.” And when I say “experience the sheer power,” I mean it in the sense of sitting down in a pool of water with a live multi-megawatt power cable.  I merely stood back, wearing my smoked glasses, watched the sparks and listened to the screams.  Join us now, and enjoy Mike’s screams along with me.

Episode 60: Sherlock Gnomes (2018)

Hang on to your hats and your lunches, most respected listeners! We’re starting up a brand-new series this week on “Max, Mike: Movies.” For the last few weeks, we’ve been watching some pretty swell movies, really fine examples of cinema.  Well that. Ends. Now.  We’re starting a new series, appropriately titled “You Can’t Make Me, You Can’t Make Me!” wherein Mike and I challenge each other (and when I say “challenge,” I mean “torture and abuse”) by playing a sort of Bad Movie Poker.  We take turns choosing the worst pieces of cinematic dreck we can find and forcing the other person (and ONLY the other person) to watch them.  We will then compare every two weeks and see who had the “best” hand, “best” meaning “came closest to causing the other person to claw their own eyes out.” Now as you’ve guessed, this is no easy task.  The two of us are certainly no strangers to bad movies (remember “In Search of D&D”?) so we’ve really had to pull on the hazmat suits and slog our way through Hollywood’s toxic waste dumps to bring you the most steaming radioactive slagheaps every to be projected on a screen.  This week, Mike makes the opening salvo by launching an animated crapburger of a sequel that NO ONE demanded, “Sherlock Gnomes,” the follow-up to “Gnomeo and Juliet.” Yes, these are movies about sentient garden gnomes, based entirely on their bad-pun titles.  Want to see how badly I’m bleeding after being subjected to this celluloid root canal? Join us . . .  if you dare.

Episode 59: Trailers 2: The Return of the Revenge of the Electric Boogaloo in Space: A New Hope

Hello, trailer fans! You thought we forgot, didn’t you? DIDN’T YOU? Well, we didn’t, so who’s the caramel-covered aardvark now, hmm? Yes, before we start our next series we’ve got a little drain cleanser.  I mean, palate cleanser: the long-awaited follow-up to our Trailer Trash episode.  We talked about the trailers; well, now we’ve actually seen the movies! Us? See movies? Wow, we really live out there on the edge, don’t we? Well, tune in and see what we thought of the movies and how well the trailers managed our expectations.  And help yourself to some caramel-covered aardvark.  Mmmmm, tasty.

Episode 58: Empire of the Sun (1987)

Wot wot, old top! Blimey, ‘tis time for another spot of the old “I Keep Meaning to Watch That,” dontcherknow.  Now, everyone join in for a rousing chorus of “God Save the Queen,” there’s good chaps!

Right, I’ll stop now.  I don’t even know why I did that.  Bit silly, really.  It’s not like this movie was made by an English fellow.  No.  It’s made by the very American Mr. Steven Spielberg and it was my choice this week.  Why? Because while I’ve seen quite a few of Spielberg’s motion picture talkies, I’d never seen this one and dadgummit, I wanted to.  So we did.  Based on the semi-autobiographical novel by J.G. Ballard, it stars a 12-year-old Batman.  Sorry, I mean a 12-year-old Christian Bale, as well as a fully-grown John Malkovich and an equally adult Miranda Richardson and tells the story of a young upper-class English boy who has been growing up in Shanghai during the prelude to WWII and suddenly finds his world turned upside down when the Japanese invade China.  The boy is sent to a Japanese internment camp where he has to grow up fast and learn an entirely new way the world works.  Is this one of Mr. Spielberg’s better efforts? Buy us a pint, guv, and we’ll suss it right out . . . OW! Ok, ok, sorry Mike, I’ll stop.

Special Announcement! Max, Mike . . . and You!

                Have you ever wanted a chance to almost kind of be a tiny bit famous? Do YOU have OPINIONS on movies? Is yours a voice that needs to be heard? Well, here’s your chance! Max and Mike want YOU to be our first ever extra-juicy special-est guest ever on Max, Mike; Movies! All you need to do is tell us, in 25 words or less, why YOU should be that host. We will require you to join us on a Skype call, be flexible when it comes to scheduling for the session, be ready to talk and it will be YOU that choses the movie! It can be a movie you’d love to help us rip apart, or a movie that you think deserves more attention. Is there a movie you want to change people’s minds about? That’d work, too! So email us your 25 words or less to US at maxmikemoves dot (com). Max and Mike will choose a winner from all entries. Deadline for entries will be September 1st, 2019. So hurry!

Episode 57: The Godfather (1972)

Our respected listeners: thank you for inviting us to your audio device on this, the day of your daughter’s wedding.  And I hope that your first podcast will be a masculine podcast.  Always remember: leave the gun, take the cannoli.  And the podcast.  Yes friends, this week in “I Keep Meaning to Watch That”, Mike finally gets to watch the American classic “The Godfather.” How did he get me to watch this movie? He made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. What was this offer? “Hey, Max, we’re watching ‘The Godfather’ next week.” You can see I had no choice.  Featuring brilliant performances (hey, remember when Al Pacino could be subtle?), an amazing script, and heaps of Oscars, this movie has been a part of our culture for over 40 years. But how does someone who has absorbed the movie through popular culture but never actually seen it react, once he does see it? Tune in and find out.