Monday, September 27, 2010

Buddha Man!

Buddha Man Hijacks the Blog!

Yes, it is I, Buddha Man! I am tired of reviewing only one movie per posting! Now I will give you the quick lowdown on several flicks all at once! Don't expect all that "Let's Get Some Candy in Our Eyes" stuff either. Machete may not text, but Buddha Man doesn't shtick.

The following movies rate a smile from me.

Paper Man (20th Century Fox/TV, 1971) - Four college students led by Dean Stockwell get together for some credit card fraud when one of them receives a card in the mail under a different name. Some punch card whiz bangery later, that name has a fictitious identity in the university mainframe. Shortly after, as the credit card charges build up and are erased, the computer system, which is integrated into all of the electrical and mechanical systems in the building, apparently develops its own ideas and starts working to bump off the students.

Dean Stockwell realizes he left out a "Goto" on line 10,030.
Some clever twists and a creepy robotic medical dummy figure in to this fairly interesting TV movie (that also played a few theaters, hence the Fox logo on front). Found on a bargain DVD along with another TV movie starring Stockwell, this also stars Stefanie Powers, James Stacy, and James Olsen.

The Fiction Makers (ITV, 1967) - Roger Moore stars as the Saint in this very entertaining feature cobbled together from a two part episode of the long running TV series. After attending the newest superspy "Charles Lake" movie with the film's female lead, Simon Templar is called in to a meeting with reclusive author Amos Kline, creator of the Charles Lake books. Simon is delighted when Amos turns out to be cute-as-a-bug Sylvia Syms. He's less delighted when a band of nutters who style themselves after Charles Lake's archenemy group S.W.O.R.D. and their diabolical leader Warlock kidnap them to press the inventive Kline into planning the perfect heist from the impregnable Hermetico, Inc.

The buzzing of that damn fluorescent halo was going to drive him mad.
What makes this so much fun is that the whole thing is a send up of James Bond (more the books, only a little of the movies, but still...) six years before Roger Moore took over the role. Highly recommended, also starring Nicholas Smith (Mr. Rumboldt himself!) and Philip Locke (Vargas from Thunderball!)

Bug (Curb Entertainment, 2001) - Featuring a large cast of familiar faces, this indie flick is a long connected chain of events crossing several familiar faces (including John Carroll Lynch, Jamie Kennedy, Sarah Paulson, Brian Cox, and Ed Begley Jr.).

It gets going when a kid stomps on a bug. Lynch stops his car in the middle of the street and gets out to admonish the kid about the sanctity of life; this gets him a parking ticket, which leads into the next little piece of the story and eventually forms a long string of cause and effect vignettes. Very clever scripting and direction and a solid cast put this over and make it well worth a look. Also with Alexis Cruz.

I mostly frown at the flicks below, but you may feel differently.

Star Trek: Nemesis (Paramount, 2002) - Leading up to its release, this flick seemed to have everything going for it - the whole cast was returning, it was one of the even numbered sequels, the script was by Oscar nominated Trekker John Logan, and they were bring in new director Stuart Baird to orchestrate it all to glory.

Villain Shinzon is pissed he has to wear Pinhead's hand-me-downs from Hellraiser.
So what happened? Well, lots, in my humble opinion: they gave too much preproduction input to Patrick Stewart and Brent Spiner, so the movie is very Picard and Data heavy; Logan may know his Star Trek lore, but did he think we'd not notice that he lifted whole scenes and plot points from earlier Trek movies (Data's climactic actions (Star Trek II) - Riker giving secondary baddie Ron Perlman the boot (Star Trek III)?); NEVER make your main baddie a clone of the lead actor - either your lead will play both parts and turn the movie into a giant wank for himself or they'll cast a different actor as the clone (as they did here) and we'll never buy that these are the same guy (as we don't here); oh, and they did let one actor play two roles, too, (Spiner as Data and brother android B-4) and sure enough, long and tedious Spiner wanking moments ensue; director Baird was apparently quite the jackwagon on set, and the contempt comes through into the movie; the idea of making the Romulans' neighbors the Remans look like vampires from Blade doesn't work at all; and finally, the producers and Baird somehow tied every good bit to a clunker bit- Riker/Troi wedding - good/Data singing at the wedding - bad. Wesley Crusher cameo - good/Having all of Wesley's dialogue on the cutting room floor - bad. Setting up the plot with a mystery on a sun baked, washed out planet - good/The solution being another android brother for Data played by Spiner and turning the scene into a dune buggy race - bad. It has enough moments to warrant a look for completist fans, all others might want to skip right to J.J. Abrams's reboot from 2009.

Mother, Jugs, & Speed (20th Century Fox, 1976) - The late great Tom Mankiewicz wrote and produced this "dramedy" (a word I'll use as often as it's warranted) about a privately run ambulance company and their misadventures. On the positive side, it's got a fun cast, including Bill Cosby, Raquel Welch, Larry Hagman, Bruce Davison, Allen Garfield, LQ Jones, Dick Butkus, Severn Darden, Bill Henderson, Toni Basil (as a junkie - !), and Ric Carrott (wonder if he ever worked with Fred Asparagus?), and it has some clever and funny moments, but to me, the movie bogs down when it gets serious, which is often. Also, third lead Harvey Keitel is as miscast as miscast can be as a romantic lead shmoozing with Welch.

lliB ybsoC sevird dna ecurB nosivaD rehtar yllacinori sedir nugtohs.
I understand Mankiewicz was going for humor on the dark side, but an awful lot of people get shot in this movie. My folks loved it back in the day, maybe I brought the wrong expectations to it. If you like the cast, give it a try. Me, I think the funniest thing about the whole deal is that they tried this as a TV pilot a couple of years after the movie came out, but had to change the title to Mother, Juggs, and Speed, making the female lead a woman named Jennifer "Juggs" Juggston so no one would think they were crassly referring to her bosom. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.

That is all for now, thank you for attending my words. And remember, if you lived in this blog, you'd be home now.


  1. Cosby with a beard: count me in. I'm kinda fond of this flick even though it's quite flawed.

  2. My mom took me to see Mother, Jugs, and Speed when it came out. I was nine. I loved it then, though it took me until a few years after to understand the necrophilia bit.

    Also--"jackwagon"! Haw haw haw!