Tank Girl, Bronies & Class Of 1999 Movie Reviews

Here are three quickies for three shitty movies. I wasted enough time watching them so I don’t want to spend much time writing about them. Here we go!

Tank Girl (1995)

Directed by Rachel Talalay

Based on Tank Girl comic by Alan Martin & Jamie Hewlett

Starring: Lori Petty, Ice-T, Naomi Watts, Malcolm McDowell, Iggy Pop, Scott Coffey, James Hong, Don Harvey, Jeff Kober, Reg E Cathey

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Tank Girl is set in a drought-ravaged Australia, years after a catastrophic impact event. It follows the antihero Tank Girl (Petty) as she, Jet Girl (Watts), and genetically modified supersoldiers called the Rippers fight “Water & Power”, an oppressive corporation led by Kesslee (McDowell).

My Opinion:

I recently read a collection of early Tank Girl comics (which I reviewed yesterday HERE) so figured I better finally watch the movie adaptation afterwards despite it being pretty widely trashed. While reading Tank Girl, I kept thinking “how could this actually work as a movie?”. The answer, of course, is that this movie doesn’t work. What a mess…

I’ll start with some positives: I didn’t mind Lori Petty as Tank Girl and thought she had the right look & attitude. I’ll try to ignore the fact that she’s not at all Australian! I didn’t love her as Tank Girl (I’m sure someone else might have been better although I’m not sure who) but I didn’t hate her. She seemed to have fun with the role, anyway. Tank Girl is an awesome character and I think that does come through in the movie even though they don’t quite capture her spirit. And, um… Another positive?? Let’s see… The soundtrack is pretty good! Although I would’ve liked much more punk plus they should’ve tried to use bands mentioned in the comic (but a “score by Ennio Morricone” actually wouldn’t have worked even if the comic liked to credit him with its score). 😉

In the comic, there wasn’t much of a storyline. Tank Girl was daft (and usually drunk) and the whole thing was crazy & all over the place. I liked that. I’ve only read the earliest of the Tank Girl comics so don’t know how many I missed or if there’s actually a similar story to the one in the movie at some point but I didn’t think it worked. The story & the script sucked. Malcolm McDowell was a pretty crap villain and… Naomi Watts was in this?! I didn’t know that beforehand – she must be embarrassed now.

I wondered how they’d deal with Tank Girl’s boyfriend being a kangaroo and, although the movie doesn’t really manage to pull it off, I’m not sure how you ever could portray that in a film without it looking cheesy as hell. I like this bit of trivia at IMDB:

“MGM insisted on cutting a scene of Tank Girl and her kangaroo boyfriend Booga reclining after sex, despite spending $5,000 on a prosthetic penis for Booga.”

I don’t know what else to say about this movie. It just didn’t work but, to be fair, I think it’s a very hard comic to adapt. I do wonder if it would work nowadays with the right director since comic book movies have gotten a lot better and “darker”. I’d like to see a violent, R-rated version. Like Dredd but with a sense of humor? I don’t know – it still probably wouldn’t work but I did read that this movie was very heavily cut & that the director, Rachel Talalay, had no control over that so I suppose that didn’t help. I’m giving it a higher rating than I think it deserves because I really like the character of Tank Girl and, at the very least, I don’t think the movie tainted the character. But I’d like to see that fake kangaroo penis.

My Rating: 5/10

Class Of 1999 (1989)

Directed by Mark L Lester

Starring: Bradley Gregg, Traci Lind, Malcolm McDowell, Stacy Keach, Patrick Kilpatrick, Pam Grier, John P Ryan, Darren E Burrows, Joshua John Miller, Sean Sullivan

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Robot teachers have been secretly placed in the schools where the students have run riot. The teachers do a good job of controlling the unruly youngsters, until they go too far and some students get suspicious.

My Opinion:

On paper (or on a screen since that’s how we read everything now), this movie sounds awesome. To me, at least. The synopsis (killer robot teachers in a high school!), the cool poster & the fact that it’s from the 1980s had me all excited to watch this movie that I’d somehow never even heard of. Well, damn – it’s not good. What a disappointment! I was hoping it would at least be a low budget sci-fi cult classic type of thing like Hardware or something (yes! I got yet another Hardware mention into a post!). I didn’t hate it but it’s not very good despite having so much potential to be something I’d like.


One thing I always love about watching movies from this time period is seeing familiar faces from my favorite era and Class Of 1999 has lots of these. Look – a Tank Girl connection with Malcolm McDowell! He plays the school’s principal in this – I think Hollywood had him on speed dial for these types of movies back then. The movie’s hero (Bradley Gregg – a teenage delinquent who’s actually a “good guy”) is in two of my favorite movies: he’s Eyeball Chambers in Stand By Me and also the character whose death topped My Top Ten Nightmare On Elm Street Deaths in Dream Warriors!!!

The robot teachers are played by Patrick Kilpatrick, John P Ryan & Pam Grier (with dodgy-looking fake robot boobs). Stacy Keach is the main baddie in charge of the robots and for some reason seductively eats a banana? I immediately recognized Sean Sullivan as the drunk one who Garth doesn’t want spewing in the Mirth Mobile in Wayne’s World. Finally, Bradley Gregg’s sweet little delinquent brother is played by Joshua John Miller(!), who (whom?) I know very well from lots of 80’s movies & TV shows including my favorite episode of Highway To Heaven. Haha! Highway To Heaven!! I was such a nerd. I just looked him up & he co-wrote the screenplay for The Final Girls. What?! I should really try to watch that…


To be honest, I’m not sure what actually made this movie so bad. Yes, the acting is pretty rubbish and the special effects look dodgy and the script isn’t the greatest but I still can’t help but look at these images and the overall plot & cast and think that this is exactly my type of movie. I think it didn’t help that, when it started and we saw the exaggerated “futuristic 1999 punk kids”, it reminded me of the teenagers in Class Of Nuke ‘Em High. I’m pretty damn sure that no movie ever wants to make you immediately think of a Troma film.


Also, I watched this and the Bronies documentary very late one night as they were both about to disappear from Netflix. I kept falling asleep through both of them so I may have not fully given this movie a chance. Okay – I think I’m now trying to talk myself into liking Class Of 1999 for some reason?? It’s an okay film but extremely dated and would only possibly be appreciated by someone my age who likes this sort of thing. I’m glad I watched it but I’m not too bothered that it has disappeared from Netflix. I’m sure I’d have appreciated it more if I’d seen it when I was 15 or so. Has anyone seen the director’s previous film, Class Of 1984, which sounds like the exact same movie minus the robots? It has a higher IMDB rating. Hmm… I’ll watch that too if it shows up on Netflix!

My Rating: 5.5/10

Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony (2012)

Directed by Laurent Malaquais

Produced by Anglie Brown, Morgan Peterson, Michael Brockhoff, Tara Strong, Lauren Faust & John de Lancie

Starring: A bunch of bronies!

Plot Synopsis: (via Wikipedia)
Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony (formerly titled BronyCon: The Documentary) is a 2012 documentary film centering on bronies, the adult fans of the 2010 animated television series, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.

My Opinion:

I said I didn’t want to waste much time talking about these movies but I did blather on a bit in my other two reviews. Well, this one will truly be short as there’s not much to say. I find the “Bronies” thing sort of fascinating as I still don’t understand why a bunch of grown men have supposedly latched onto My Little Pony but this documentary doesn’t really explore the “why” at all. It’s just not a very good or in-depth documentary and was quite boring considering its odd topic.

I actually don’t remember if the above guy was in the documentary but this is one of many photos that come up if you Google “Bronies” (I don’t think the guys I used in the photo at the very top were in it). You’d think I’d remember if he was but I can barely remember a thing about this now. That’s the problem – the documentary failed to make a bizarre topic at all interesting. I do, however, remember the below guy as I kept thinking he looked like Corey Feldman.

I’d say that you’d probably only want to watch this documentary if you’re a fan of My Little Pony. I actually found the bits with the voice actors (Tara Strong and, oh my god – Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation, John de Lancie!) & the creator of the Friendship Is Magic series (Lauren Faust) more interesting than the interviews with the fans of the show.

Not surprisingly, one of the Bronies talked a little bit of the bullying he’d had to endure thanks to being a fan of the show (if I remember correctly, he had a gun pulled on him? God bless America!). That kind of thing always pisses me off because, although it may seem strange to a lot of us, these guys aren’t exactly hurting anyone by liking My Little Pony. I guess it was a little disappointing that the psychological aspect of what exactly it is about this show that has apparently drawn some grown men to it wasn’t explored but, hey, this was someone’s project and they did a decent enough job gathering together fans & those involved with the show. I’m sure it didn’t have a huge budget… I’d be interested to know what My Little Pony fans thought of it but I must admit that I don’t personally know any adult fans (although I did love old school My Little Pony as a young girl!).


This is the one I had!!!

My Rating: 5/10

I figured I should end this post with something from the Tank Girl soundtrack, which had potential but could’ve been much better overall. This is one of my two favorites from the soundtrack (I’ll post the other for Music Video Friday this week): Richard Hell And The Voidoids – Blank Generation:

Advertisements

Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap

20130316-124211 AM.jpg
I’m a 30-something & the 80s are my era. I’m now one of these old people who hears current music on the radio & goes “What is this SHIT? This isn’t music!”. Especially with current rap (I mean…. Lil Wayne… What’s THAT all about?!). Then I remember my Grandma saying the exact same thing years ago when hearing Run-DMC on the radio & I think “Crap. I’m old. Because Run-DMC were GOOD. Maybe Lil Wayne is good too but I’m just old & not with the times?!” Someone please tell me that I’m not old & just have good taste… 😉

20130316-124327 AM.jpg
I’ll start this review by saying that I have VERY little knowledge about rap. I like various types of music – it depends on each individual song – but the majority of what I like has always been rock & indie, especially the more classic rock of the 60s, 70s & a bit of the 80s. Favorites are things like Iron Maiden, Radiohead, Jimi Hendrix, David Bowie, The Beatles, anything with David Byrne singing… I could go on & on. When I do like current music I’ve realized that it’s usually when it sounds like my favorite OLD music (The Black Keys, Tame Impala, Wolfmother). So this review is coming from a girl who wouldn’t exactly consider rap to be her favorite genre. Okay – I’ll stop blathering on about the music I like & get on with this review now!

20130316-124540 AM.jpg
Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap was directed by Ice-T and co-directed by Andy Baybutt. It focuses on the skill involved in creating & performing rap verses. I think this documentary is really aimed more at the true rap fans – it didn’t give me the in-depth history of rap that I was hoping for since it’s something I don’t know a lot about. It’s not a documentary about the older music that influenced rap artists in the first place & how rap music came about (other than each of the rap artists in the documentary talking about OTHER rap artists who had influenced them). What about mentioning all the great original songs sampled in rap? None of this is the fault of the documentary, though – it’s not about the “history” of rap, it’s about the “art” of rap as the title states. I’d just not really read a synopsis beforehand.

20130316-124718 AM.jpg
It’s worth the watch just for the fact that they managed to get A LOT of famous rappers together for it. I’d at least heard of maybe half of them even if I don’t really know their stuff – the hubby did get annoyed at how I kept going “who’s that??”. Grandmaster Caz is the one featured the most in the documentary as Ice-T puts him on the spot & gives him 20 minutes to write & perform a rap based on the Art Of Rap documentary. This requires weed!

20130316-125231 AM.jpg
Actually, I think it’s worth mentioning all of the rappers featured in the documentary – here’s the full alphabetical list from IMDB of those involved:

Bun B
B-Real
Afrika Bambaataa
Busy Bee
Joe Budden
Grandmaster Caz
Common
Anthony ‘Treach’ Criss
Ice Cube
Chuck D.
Royce Da 59
Dana Dane
Mos Def
Snoop Dogg
Dr. Dre
Eminem
Lord Finesse
Doug E. Fresh
Ice-T
Lord Jamar
Cheryl ‘Salt’ James
Big Daddy Kane
Ras Kass
Kool Keith
KRS-One
MC Lyte
Marley Marl
Darryl McDaniels
Melle Mel
Nas
DJ Premier
Q-Tip
Raekwon
Rakim
Redman
Puerto Rico
Joseph Simmons
Immortal Technique
WC
Kanye West
Chino XL
Xzibit

20130316-125458 AM.jpg
I’d recommend this documentary to anyone who has enough of an interest in rap music and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who sees rap as a true art form & would be impressed at all the on-the-spot rapping Ice-T asks each of them to do. I’m sure there’s a lot of skill involved in doing that – I know I sure as hell couldn’t do it! If you have little or no interest in rap in the first place, though, it’s unlikely you’d find this documentary very interesting or suddenly have a profound understanding of and love for rap after seeing this.

My Rating: 6.5/10

Seems to make sense to include some music at the end of this review so here are some of my rap favorites:

KRS-One – Sound Of Da Police

Run-DMC – It’s Tricky

Public Enemy – Don’t Believe The Hype

A Tribe Called Quest – Can I Kick It?

Grandmaster Flash – The Message (my favorite by far – never leaves my iPod)

To be taken seriously, I’ve resisted the urge to include Digital Underground – The Humpty Dance…. Oh screw it – here it is! :-p

And, finally, an old clip that I still find hilarious 🙂

No, wait! I have to end this with The Wedding Singer’s rapping granny. Love her! 😉