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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Silver Bullet

If you enjoy bad Gary Busey impressions then this is the episode for you. This week we decided to watch the iconic(?) Stephen King adaptation Silver Bullet in which an evil train…. I mean a local psychopath….. no wait a werewolf attacks a small Maine town.

This movie comes complete with all the Stephen King tropes so PLEASE do not play the Stephen King drinking game while watching because you will most definitely die. Normal tropes aside this movie does include some wonderful scenes including:

  • A motorcycle/ wheelchair hybrid built for a child
  • A werewolf that wields a baseball bat as a weapon on not one but two occasions
  • Gary Busey as an alcoholic uncle (Shocking we know)
  • An awesome shot of a werewolf getting an eye pierced by a firework

This is just the tip of the Stephen King campy iceberg so stick with us the rest of the month as we highlight some of the biggest duds he’s put out over the years

Also please stick around after the episode because we’re premiering a new song by friend of the show Ray Tango titled “Stranger Flings” which we’re sure you’ll enjoy.

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Top 5 Evil Plans

If you fail to plan you plan to fail. A great villain can make a movie memorable and what is a great villain without an over the top evil plan? This week Jonathan and Lance got together (secretly at work….shhh) to record their picks for the top 5 evil plans in movies and games.

To make this list the plans didn’t necessarily have to be successful, only memorable and creative. We also let off anti heroes because they’re sure to get their own list some time in the future.

The episode was fun to make and an interesting conversation to have. We hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed creating  it. Would you kindly give it a listen?

Jonathan’s List

5) John Kramer/ Jigsaw from Saw
4) Conal Cochran from Halloween 3: Season of the witch
3) Adrian Veidt/ Ozymandias from Watchmen
2) Frank Fontaine from Bioshock
1) Woo-Jin Lee from Oldboy

Lance’s List

5) Arcturus Mengsk from Starcraft
4) Syndrome from The Incredibles
3) John Doe from Se7en
2) Handsome Jack from Borderlands 2
1) Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars

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Dracula 3000

Rounding out this Halloween season we watched our final “horror” movie set in space, Dracula 3000. It’s…. Dracula in space!

This movie has it all, it’s got: Vampire Coolio, a co captain that is randomly discovered to be a robot and then a sex bot, and most importantly an old timey Dracula in a futuristic space environment. Now you may be misled by the cover to think that our vampire may be some type of hybrid high tech vampire with wires coming out of it’s face…. yeah it’s none of those. We instead get a Dracula straight of the original vampire tradition, complete with poofy cape and shirt frills.

The movie ends in spectacular fashion. Does the team survive the vampire attack? What becomes of Dracula? Seriously do yourself a favor and watch this movie. It may just be the most fun bad film we’ve watched.

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Hellraiser: Bloodline

Continuing our month of Horror movies (specifically those set in space that have no reason to be there) we watched Hellraiser: Bloodline. This movie is unique in that it follows the bloodline of the original maker of the Hellraiser puzzle box with segments focusing on him and two of his descendants.  It’s got everything you’d want in a Hellraiser sequel: plenty of gore, a slutty immortal demon, and a young Adam Scott.

While the movie isn’t the worst of the Hellraiser sequels  this film marks the beginning of the end. It’s the last one to be theatrically released and also the last one chronologically. The film is a departure from the themes and rules of the first films. You no longer need to actually be the one to open the puzzle box for Pinhead and the cenobites to kill you. The cenobites are not as neutral morally as they have been in previous movies, Pinhead at one point has no qualms about taking a little boy and woman as bait in order to lure the man they’re after.  Also if you are a victim of Pinhead you stand a good chance of becoming a cenobite yourself which is also something new to the series.

While it’s only about 80 minutes long this movie feels much longer and drags in some parts. That being said this film also created one of the most heated discussions we’ve ever had regarding if this movie “Technically” falls into the horror trope of the lone black man in the movie dying first. You’ll just have to tune in and give us your two cents on that one.

All in all the movie is underwhelming in terms of plot. It gives you A TON of backstory but it all doesn’t really relate too much to the main story taking place in space. However, you don’t come to a Hellraiser film looking for plot. You watch these movies for the over the top gore and it has plenty of that to be sure.


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All Superheroes Must Die (Vs)

So this week we take a quick break from our Halloween line up to watch a little indie flick suggested by Ginger Alex…. a mistake we all grew to regret. This film is titled “All Superheroes Must Die” or “Vs” depending on which version you watch. Think Saw meets Kickass and you can kind of get the plot of this movie.

A super villain named Ricksaw (No joke) is fed up with constantly having his evil plans thwarted by the super heroes of the city so he captures them and drugs them with a virus that takes away their powers. He then puts our heroes through a game where they have to follow his rules or civilians are blown up with explosives.

The plot sounds cool enough but that’s about where the fun stops. The execution of this movie is interesting enough (in that we’re watching someone’s passion project) but it is riddled with plot holes and repetitive sequences. We’re left with questions like:

After the heroes figure out Ricksaw has NO intention of playing fair, why do they bother to continue playing? Why not just leave?

How in the hell did Ricksaw even capture the heroes in the first place?

What is Cutthroats power even supposed to be? Something knife related? If that’s the case how do you randomly figure out you have that power?

All Superheroes Must Die suffers from the same problem that plagued “Would you rather?” in that is has an awesome premise but the payoff is really underwhelming. Each round of the game is more or less the same predicament. Shoot yourself to win, shoot your friend, civilians blow up, etc.

The movie has a few actors in it that you would know from their other roles, Ricksaw being the man who played Dexter’s dad in Dexter. Manpower is played by one of the McPoyle brothers from It’s Always Sunny and our hero Cutthroat also played Havoc in the new Xmen movies.

It’s not a movie that I can wholeheartedly recommend but if you have just under 80 minutes to kill and feel like punishing yourself feel free to give “All Superheroes Must Die” a watch.

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Leprechaun 4: In Space

This week on At Least You Tried we start the Halloween season off with a bang(?) by watching Leprechaun 4: In Space! Truth be told after seeing how off the wall Jason X was last year we couldn’t resist seeing another horror icon terrorize people in outer space. This movie did not disappoint.

Do you like leprechauns wielding light sabers? How about space princesses that give you a kiss of death by taking their top off? Are cyborgs marines that go from “Full metal jacket” to a drag show song and dance number your thing? If you answered yes to any of these you’re in luck because it’s got all three and SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED LEPRECHAUNS (Yeah you read that right)

So take a seat, turn the lights down low, and crank that spoop meter up to 11 as we enjoy the horror movie schlockfest that is Leprechaun 4: In Space!

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