Hilarious Interview: Hell Baby!

by Mark Ramsey
Published September 8th, 2013

It’s straight from Hell to a DVD or VOD near you – it’s Hell Baby, the new horror/comedy from two of the guys behind the classic Reno 911, Tom Lennon and Ben Garant.

What happens when you take the premise behind Rosemary’s Baby and add a slew of very funny people? That’s what I asked Tom and Ben in this hilarious conversation. Listen in!

An expectant couple who moves into the most haunted house in New Orleans call upon the services of the Vatican’s elite exorcism team to save them from a demonic baby!

Come to think of it, even that premise sounds funny.

Listen and enjoy! Tom and Ben are two of the funniest guys in Hollywood.

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The Wolverine

by Mark Ramsey
Published August 1st, 2013

It has been a while since a movie where every actor spends the whole movie trying to kill every other actor, but only after delivering an incredibly long soliloquy which, under any other circumstance, would offer the intended victim time not only to escape, but to escape to Starbucks for a Venti Caramel Latte, a scone, and a leisurely read of the Sunday New York Times.

And if you thought that sentence was long, wait until someone is about to kill you in The Wolverine.

We begin at the close of WWII in Nagasaki about two inches from nuclear ground zero. Fortunately, the Wolverine can’t be stopped by a nuclear blast unless the blast takes out every international box office first.

“I’m blast-proof,” says Wolverine, “much like the ongoing cultural relevance of Jenny McCarthy, who sticks to the limelight like a piece of Charmin to my shoe.”

Watch your dreams, Wolverine!

He’s prone to nightmares embedded in other nightmares. And no, I am not only referring to X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

Every time he sleeps, Wolverine dreams of a foreboding message from the late Famke Janssen.

“Famke, why do you come to me with so many facial lines removed by CG?”

“I’m auditioning for PIXAR.”

Cut to: Tokyo! There, the Wolverine is disguised as the star of Les Miserables, with scruffy hair, full beard, and an uncanny numbness to the sanctimonious histrionics of Anne Hathaway. Here, the only thing made of the indestructible metal Adamantium is the refrigerator box he calls home.

Fortunately, two old Japanese ladies are schooled in the quirky Wolverine haircut and facial trim. Because one needs to be cleaned up good before meeting his host’s supermodel oncologist.

“If you were as sick as I am,” said the old Japanese man propped up on a bed of hydraulic pistons, “your oncologist would be a supermodel too – in a school-girl costume with braids and in need of a spanking!” And with that, he programmed his sleep number into his hydraulic piston bed and settled in for a needle-nosed nap.

You know you’re in the presence of Ninjas when guys in black do somersaults not because they need to, but just because they can. For this movie, Wolverine needs a sidekick, ideally a young Japanese Ninja-type girl with eyes so far apart she refers to her good side as “the one with the eye.”

Now keep that eye on the oncologist, because her long tongue can stick a spider down your throat to surround your heart and sap your supernatural abilities! “Normally it takes a live performance from CeeLo Green to do that!” exclaims Wolverine.

Cue the beginning of a story with no end:

“When I was 5….”

Uh oh, here it comes. Time for me to fly cross-country for a few hours. I’ll be back before you wrap it up.

With a Venti Caramel Latte and a scone.

“Did you know I studied biology in college….”

Uh oh, here comes another one. I know Wolverine is eternal, but the rest of us are spinning around on this blue dot for only a short time and we’d like to spend a few moments with our families before we go.

Ah, Wolverine! What woman doesn’t love a man whose fists have built-in landscaping tools, and who knows every tune in the Rodgers & Hammerstein songbook?!

Cut to: Samurai Robot!

Because every cinematic extravaganza can be improved by robots. Just ask anyone who has played opposite Jennifer Aniston.

Lo and behold, the supermodel oncologist is also a super-villain oncologist – she’ll kill you if the long delay in her waiting room doesn’t do it first. They call her “Viper” because she sheds one peculiar facial mole to reveal another peculiar facial mole.

“I am immune to the toxin that is man,” she says, “but I’ll watch every episode of the toxin that is The Real Housewives of Orange County.”

The final sequence is so over-the-top your eyes will be rolling out of your head, through the exit, and into the back alley where they will share a smoke, pack hobo bags, hop a train, learn the harmonica, and climb into an ASPCA cage with Sarah McLaughlin.

The Wolverine wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible either.

Now let me go spring my eyes from that cage.

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Pacific Rim

by Mark Ramsey
Published July 16th, 2013

Even Guillermo del Toro gets the occasional Rim job. But does he have to share it with the rest of the audience?

It seems that alien life is entering Earth through a crack between tectonic plates deep in the Pacific. Or was it the crack between the plates in the heads of the folks giving Pacific Rim an A- Cinemascore rating despite being unable to spell “A-”?

Maybe it was through the crack in my ass, because this movie stinks.

Alien monsters battling giant robots! What imagination! Mashing up the giant monster genre with the giant robot genre! Add some LEGOs and the Six Million Dollar Man and you have perfectly captured my childhood toy drawer!

So the world goes about building walls around every coast to keep out the monsters. Boom! The monster goes through the wall on the first try. Nice planning, world! This is the same world that gave us “Gangnam Style,” isn’t it?

The giant robots are operated by two pilots who lock minds in a neural bridge, which I appreciate since at least something neural is happening in this movie. The pilots must synchronize their movements like a dance where one pilot massages the Pacific Rim of the other. And they use giant pedals to move the robot’s feet because pedals are inherently more reliable than computers – just ask the Professor on Gilligan’s Island.

All that mime makes their giant robot, the “Jaeger” work. And a couple of shots of Jägermeister don’t hurt either, especially in those delicate explorations of each others’ Pacific Rim.

There’s a rule in Hollywood that every giant robot must look like a Transformer and gesticulate like Pop Amazon Jessie J because, as every engineer knows, nothing’s more stable than an oversized behemoth on a couple of lumbering mechanical legs. That’s why cars are built with legs rather than wheels, after all!

Come on now, Hollywood Imagineers. Are giant man-like robots really the best way to kill monsters? Is literally punching a monster in the nose really the best we can do?

“Forget the Nukes! Just build a giant slab of metal that can throw a good right hook! And can we get it with Pandora built into the dashboard?”

Hey who are these actors? And why are they less famous than the stars of Sharknado?

Oops, I spoke too soon. There’s Ron Perlman, the Steven Seagal of summer blockbusters, whose introduction brings virtually the only laugh in this movie, despite the fact that the rest of it is so very laughable.

These giant monsters are so big they evidently need two brains because one brain just isn’t enough – ironically also true of the audience and the filmmakers.

Look out! One monster spits acid! Yikes, these monsters are adapting! Today it spits acid, tomorrow it will spit one-liners on Joan Rivers’ Fashion Police on E! Monsters everywhere! Some in black leather and chiffon!

As I watched Pacific Rim I could literally feel myself shedding IQ points the way Kate Hudson sheds a big lunch in the bathroom of the Beverly Hills Hotel. Yes, this movie is making me even dumber, hard as that may be to do.

Sure, you can check your brain at the door, but for Pacific Rim do you have to check both of them?

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World War Z

by Mark Ramsey
Published July 6th, 2013

When I say “loving middle-aged dad” and “scientist,” who doesn’t think of Brad Pitt?

“I’ve raised my six-pack from a tiny four-pack,” said Brad. “Now I’m just happy for a role that doesn’t require me or a variety of international female co-stars to shave.”

Something has infected the entire world, and only Brad Pitt can save it!

Help, Earth’s survival requires a sexy smile and a way with complicated women!

It’s a bad scene. One bite and you lose your mind in several seconds, something MTV’s Teen Mom could only accomplish only after several seasons.

You’re dead! But it’s not all bad news. Your skin, tissues, bones and body parts degrade such that you stand like a hideous, broken down beast, but a beast with the agility and speed of an African gazelle!

“I didn’t know dead things could run so fast,” said Brad, “although that explains why Val Kilmer’s career is always a runner-up in the LA Marathon.”

Chaos breaks out! But on the positive side, kids are finally more active and less likely to eat too much sugar.

“I’m scared,” says one of Brad’s kids.

“Now you know how daddy feels when mommy travels to orphanages in East Africa,” says Brad.

Words and dialogue are rapidly replaced by growling and shrieking because, coincidentally, growling and shrieking are more appealing than English in international movie markets. “Believe me, if we could remake Terms of Endearment with zombies, we would,” said a Paramount spokesperson, growling and shrieking on condition of anonymity.

Brad’s job is to track down the source of the infection, because only then can he divine a cure, assuming that the sheer existence of dreamily rugged good looks is not cure enough.

Fortunately, Brad knows how to pilot a plane, and he flies off to Israel – the only safe city because it’s surrounded by walls. Then again, so was Jurassic Park, so you can see how this one ends up.

“These zombies give all new meaning to the term ‘Wailing Wall,’” said Brad to a bevy of international female background actors who were busy feeding him grapes and fanning him with leafy branches.

“I can only assume that Clooney has already turned,” noted one incredulous bystander.

So Brad escapes from this fix via an international flight on Belarus Airlines.

Belarus Airlines?

Why does Belarus need an airline? To transport donkeys and wood carts from one place to another? So mail order brides can have jobs as flight attendants?

Time to take off! Everybody stick your feet through the holes in the floor and run! Yabba-dabba-doo!

But you can’t escape zombies on a plane – they’re the ones reading the Skymall catalogues.

We’re going down, we’re going down!

One thing leads to another and Brad gets a scratch in the crash.

Well okay, he also gets a piece of the plane stuck through his side, but in Belarus they call that a “souvenir.”

Fortunately, the plane crashes just outside the office of the World Health Organization, where the sign on the door reads “Doing Great Work – Right Up Until Recently.”

There, Brad must solve the infectious puzzle while trying to be very quiet, since the zombies are attracted to noise, just like Justin Bieber fans.

With a finale that is about as eye-rollingly absurd as anything in any Summer movie, World War Z is better than a kick in the head.

Especially if the Lone Ranger’s horse is doing the kicking.

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Iron Man 3

by Mark Ramsey
Published May 5th, 2013

“Oh, let’s just call it Iron Man 3,” said the Disney corporation, which has never seen a roman numeral they don’t like. “Besides, Star Trek Into Darkness is already taken.”

“What about calling it What’s Sherlock Holmes doing with that lighting fixture in his chest?” asked a Marvel exec.

“Nah, that would suggest that Robert Downey’s characterization of Tony Stark and Sherlock Holmes are identical, and that’s a secret we need to keep to ourselves and everyone else but Robert and his agent.”

“Gotcha.”

And so was born Iron Man 3, featuring the further exploits of the only superhero who is not dishwasher-safe.

Iron Man 3 has three times the one-liners of the original. It’s a Comedy Central special of cinematic proportions. If CG stands for Comedy-G, then Iron Man 3 is exhibit A! If Tony Stark ever gets tired of saving the Earth, there’s a Vegas lounge with his name on it.

Did you know Iron Man 3 is the only place you’ll find Gwyneth Paltrow outside a Miramax retrospective? Well it is! And there’s Gwyneth! Boasting an impossibly flat bare belly which, if weaponized, could easily command all box office receipts of the 1990′s! Look out, Winona Ryder, you’re in the bullseye!

We begin by blowing up Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood.

What? This must have killed dozens of famous cement hand- and footprints! The stars on the walk of fame have been reduced to the rubble on the walk of fame, which describes most of their careers perfectly – I’m talking to YOU, Gary Busey and Tom Sizemore!

It’s Iron Man against a terrorist called “The Mandarin.”

The Mandarin? I thought that was a little tiny orange. And here it turned out to be a great big cheese!

The Mandarin’s broadcasts have the power to replace your regular scheduled TV programming! Just like a high speed chase on the San Diego freeway!

Who is this Terrorist? How will we find him? Well, personally, I would start with Ben Kingsley’s IMDB profile.

Hollywood has to be so careful nowadays to cast terrorists who won’t offend lucrative foreign movie markets. That’s why Ben Kingsley is the terrorist, because who’s he gonna offend? Other than the cast of Bloodrayne, the ambiguously British, or anyone who looks like F. Murray Abraham?

Meanwhile, Iron Man meets an old nemesis, a dude who projects a 3D image of his own brain and then starts walking around in it. If you’re like most of this audience, you can do that and never bump into ANYTHING!

So we’ve gotten to the point in this franchise where you don’t put on the Iron Man suit, its bits and pieces just fly to wherever you are and auto-assemble around your body like its a stripper around a pole.

So Iron Man flies off to get the bad guy, but first, it’s off to Tennessee, where Tony Stark befriends a bullied kid…..

NO, I’m not kidding! What is this, Iron Dr. Phil?

Hey, The President’s hanging from a thread on an oil drilling platform, but let’s make sure the Tennessee kid can go to the bathroom by himself!

By the end we have established that Iron Man’s journey to self-discovery has ended. Which is Hollywood-speak for “Here comes Iron Man 4!”

All in all, Iron Man 3 is a good time. Just make sure you’re ready to heckle the Tony Stark Comedy Hour.

He’s here all week!

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“This is where we would kiss if I was attracted to girls”