Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe

For this week’s entry we watched Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe, a lesser known gem of a movie starring former wrestler/ governor of Minnesota Jesse Ventura. The movie follows our titular hero Abraxas, a space cop out hunting down his former partner gone rogue named Secundus. Secundus is on a mission to impregnate a woman on Earth (and this is where it gets weird) using his glowing palm and then after the child is born he will extract the “Anti life equation” from the child and with it’s power rule the universe. Does that sound bat shit crazy to you? Well it is, it really is.

The movie is just a hodgepodge of WTF moments wrapped up into a semi coherent film. Where the movie really shines though is the over the top action scene where a TON of civilians are harmed FOR NO REASON. From pistol whipping an elderly woman to punching a man off a motorcycle this movie has no qualms about hurting passerby.

The movie also leaves us with many unanswered questions such as:

– Why does NO ONE question the timeline of this child’s birth? The mom goes from not pregnant at all to having a kid in the course of 15 minutes

– Why does the police officer have an uzi? That’s clearly not standard issue

– How did Jim Belushi get to be principal when the thought of actually talking to bullies that torture a mute kid is foreign to him? Also how is Jim Belushi the second billed star when he is only in a single 2 minute scene?

– Finally, who thought the scene where a shirtless Abraxas reads a story to a young boy while in bed was appropriate? It’s possibly one of the cringiest moments I’ve ever scene

This film really is a seeing is believing type of experience so do yourself a favor and scrounge up a copy.

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This month we’re going to be watching movies with stars that aren’t normally actors. It’ll be a month of athletes and musicians trying their hand (and failing) at being movie stars. We could think of no better film to start this month off with than the super hero film Steel starring Shaquille O’Neal.

The movie has Shaq as John Henry Irons an ex military weapons specialist who finds out the technology he helped create is making it’s way onto the streets and is being used for crime. John decides to stop this crime by becoming Steel the armored super hero. All of this sounds pretty awesome until you realize that the villain is the rebellious teen from The Breakfast Club and that his super powered hammer is really only a glorified gun. Not once does he hit something with that hammer.

That aside Steel is an enjoyable ride, though not in the way it’s creators intended, and was a fun watch for us. It had some comical villain deaths, a dog Alex actually liked, and prompted “Grandma’s Souffle!” to be a thing for which we’re all grateful.

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The Boss Baby

So after a brief hiatus we’re back wrapping up the worst of 2017 with The Boss Baby. The movie itself is not the worst thing we’ve watched but DAMN is it a generic movie. The plot, dialogue, and character development are very by the books and we found ourselves predicting what was going to happen almost word for word at times. That being said we do have a few questions, such as:

– What kind of corporation creates a new kind of puppy, complete with it’s own release day?

-If the other babies the “Boss baby” worked with were dumb normal babies why did he work with them?

– We know our narrator has an overactive imagination, is the whole movie possibly one big imaginary day dream?

We wrap up the year with this dud of a film but can’t wait to show you what we have planned for 2018. Lots of new content is on it’s way in the coming year as well as some movies we held off on reviewing to save for a special occasion (Looking at you episode 100). To all the fans, listeners, and people that just put up with us on a weekly basis thanks for supporting At Least You Tried…

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The Great Wall

This week on At Least You Tried we continue our month of the worst of 2017 with “The Great Wall“, proof that even when you have a giant beautiful real life structure to use people will still flock to CG graphics.

The movie follows William (played by Matt Damon) who is a mercenary that helps out the Chinese army protect the great wall again werewolf/ lizard creatures called the Tao Tei that are mercilessly attacking it. However, despite the army appearing to be highly capable warriors….. dear god are they dumb.

Whether it’s loosing 9/10 of their forces in hot air balloon accidents or bungee jumping into groups of hungry monsters, this army makes some really dumb mistakes.

While the movie isn’t the most plot driven movie we’ve watched, it surprisingly was a pretty fun film to watch even if most of that enjoyment was just us mocking the film. The action scenes are well choreographed and according to Alex the nunchuck drumming was “Lit”. This is actually one of the few movies we’ve watched that (If you’re in the right mindset) I suggest you check out.

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The Emoji Movie

So it’s that time of the year again. 2017 is winding down and like a hurricane of shit and disappointment this year has left many awful movies in it’s wake. We plan on spending December to highlight the worst offenders of the year but can think of no movie that better shows how low the bar can be lowered than The Emoji Movie.

Many movies out there today sneak in product placement or clever substitutions to make a little extra money. Often times this is a subtle thing and can go unnoticed by the average movie goer. The Emoji Movie lacks any subtlety. It’s going to put as much product placement and blatant advertisements as it can fit into it’s movie and it’s going to beat you over the head with it. Facebook, twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Candy Crush… if it’s popular and on your phone you can bet that it finds it’s way into this movie.

Our movies follows a loose plot about an emoji named Gene that doesn’t fit into emoji society because he has multiple emotions. The other emojis don’t take kindly to this kind of free thinking and send anti virus robots after Gene hoping to exterminate him because he’s clearly a malfunction. The rest of the movie is more less small vignettes of Gene and his emoji friends experiencing each of the above mentioned apps as the robots chase him down.

Never have I ever felt so strongly that a movie was trying to sell me something. It was completely groan inducing and straight up broke Alex at one point. He’s held firm to his belief that Killer Klowns from Outer Space is the worst thing we’ve ever watched. This movie has changed that opinion.

December is going to be a rough month of movies. We are going to watch some real trash and we may not come out of this unscathed but if you’re brave and can stand watching morally reprehensible films we encourage you to join us. Misery loves company.

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Stephen King month concludes with this week’s movie Firestarter!  It’s kind of like if Stephen created the Xmen but instead just gave each character vague powers to suite the plot.

Our story follow Andy McGee, a man who gained psychic powers after a government funded experiment. He can force other people to do or see whatever he wants….and he can control payphones to spit out quarters for some reason. Andy and his wife after leaving the experiment have a child, a little girl named Charlie (A young Drew Barrymore) who is our titular fire starter. As the name would suggest Charlie can start fires with her mind whenever she gets angry or frustrated but she has little control over her powers and the government isn’t too happy about that.

The plot is more or less a game of cat and mouse with Andy and Charlie running from the government agents and a native american assassin name Rainbird  who wants to kill Charlie to absorb her powers in the next life (?)

The movie suffers from the same problem a lot Stephen King movies do with a ton of expositional scenes that don’t really answer the questions you have. However what makes the film so much fun is the last five to ten minutes where Charlie loses all control and just torches the government facility. It really is a thing of beauty complete with Drew Barrymore shooting Hadouken blasts at agents and helicopters.

While I can’t say I whole heartedly suggest you watch the movie in full, give our episode a listen and I’ll include a link to the epic final scene for your viewing pleasure.

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Cat’s Eye

This week we continued our month of Stephen King movies with one of his weirder anthology movies: Cat’s Eye. Three short horror(?) vignettes that are all loosely tied together by the worlds best cat actor.

Our first episode is “Quitters Inc” which follows James Woods as a cigarette addict who undergoes a radical new addiction program in hopes of quitting smoking…If only he had read the fine print.

Next up is “The Ledge” where a gambler catches his wife’s lover and puts him through a deadly game, forcing him to walk a ledge stories above the pavement. This story contains the most vicious pigeon you will ever seen as well as the most satisfying pigeon punt.

Last segment is “The General” where our titular cat come’s across a young Drew Barrymore‘s house which just so happens to be infested by a tiny goblin like creature in a jester’s hat. This is the craziest of the segments and involves the cat trying to defend the little girl in a fight to the death with the goblin. It culminates with the cat becoming the world’s cutest DJ and literally shredding the goblin in a fan…It’s quite the scene.

This movie is possibly the most fun we’ve had recently and by far our best cat based banter.  If that’s not enough stick around for one of the catchiest movie theme songs you’ve ever heard.

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The Mangler

So there a few constants in the world: Death, Taxes, and that Jonathan and Alex will always disagree on the movies we review….. until today. Today we watched Stephen King’s “The Mangler” and we both agree, this movie is trash.

Robert Englund owns an industrial dry cleaning plant where the town’s elite sacrifice their children to a demon that inhabits the plant’s dry cleaning machine. The machine isn’t picky though and when it’s not being fed virgins it will lash out and workers and anyone foolish enough to put their hands too close to the press (and that’s A LOT of people). Ted Levine plays a detective with a demonologist brother in law that is set to prove the machine is possessed (NOT HAUNTED! There’s a difference!) and stop it’s bloodlust.

So yeah Buffalo Bill is trying to keep Freddy Krueger from murdering virgins…

The movie is pushing towards 2 hours long and is mostly filler. In contrast our episode is only 50 minutes long and includes puns. Make the right decision.

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