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.