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To the '90s and Beyond! Film Podcast
25 minutes | Jun 16, 2021
Mortal Kombat: Devastation | Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge (2020)
In this episode, Vince looks at the ill-fated attempts to release the third film in the original Mortal Kombat film franchise from the 1990s, followed by an in-depth look at the 2020 animated feature, Mortal Kombat Legends: Scorpion’s Revenge, an ultraviolent origin story to one of the game’s most popular characters. This one features a man named Hanzo Hasashi, a ninja of a sort who vows revenge as an undead warrior on Sub-Zero and the Lin Kuei, who wiped out Hanzo’s people, the Shirai Ryu, including his young son. Hanzo rises from the eternally torturous underworld known as NetherRealm as Scorpion, resurrected with wraith-like demonic powers bestowed by the dark sorcerer Quan-Chi, in exchange for his loyalty, the theft of a mystical key that will free the Elder God known as Shinnok, and representation in the once-in-a-generation tournament run by the evil Shang Tsung.
33 minutes | May 18, 2021
Mortal Kombat: Annihilation (1997) | John R. Leonetti
In this sequel to 1995’s Mortal Kombat, portals between Outworld and Earth are illegally opened by Outworld’s emperor Shao Kahn, who has decided the rules of “Mortal Kombat” need not apply to him. This leaves the world’s mightiest fighters only six days to vanquish this new threat and close the portals or lose Earthrealm to the powers of evil. They return to Outworld to fight for humanity’s fate.
18 minutes | May 5, 2021
Mortal Kombat: The Journey Begins (1995) | Joseph Francis
Mortal Kombat: The Journey begins was a direct-to-video animated video released in conjunction with the release of Mortal Kombat in theaters in 1995. It purports to be a sequel to the live-action film. For the story, producer Larry Kasanoff employed the services of his screenwriter for the live-action film, Kevin Droney. In Droney’s script, we learn that “Mortal Kombat” is a tournament where warriors from Earth and warriors from the alternate dimension of Outworld compete for domination. Three warriors from Earth are chosen by Raiden, the God of Thunder: Liu Kang, a monk who hails from the Order of Light Temple, Lieutenant Sonya Blade, a United States Special Forces officer, and Johnny Cage, a major Hollywood action star with actual martial arts skill. Their mission is to travel by boat to a mysterious island to fight the reigning champion of the “Mortal Kombat” tournament for five centuries, a half-humanoid/half-dragon named Goro. However, to get there, they must first get through evil sorcerer Shang Tsung’s minions, SubZero and Scorpio, as well as a horde of Nomads (aka Tarkatan warriors) protecting Goro. Along the way, Raiden describes the scenario and the backgrounds of the foes they are about to face for the benefit of those unfamiliar with the game.
33 minutes | May 1, 2021
Mortal Kombat (1995) | Paul W.S. Anderson
The debut episode of “To the 90s and Beyond” podcast! In the film, there is a gathering of Earth’s top fighters every generation to compete for the fate of the planet to keep the evil forces from Outworld from gaining dominion. It seems that if Outworld’s fighters defeat Earth in one more tournament, Earth will be theirs. The current generation’s elite are rounded up, including monk fighter Liu Kang (Robin Shou), Hollywood action hero Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby), and military operative Sonya Blade (Bridgette Wilson), to join forces with Earth’s defending thunder god Rayden (Christopher Lambert) in fighting to the death against the outlandish, deadly creatures from the planet of darkness, headed by the evil sorcerer Shang Tsung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa). Paul W.S. Anderson directs.
5 minutes | Apr 15, 2021
Out with the new, in with the old…
Vince thanks listeners for their feedback regarding the future of the show and briefly lays out the format change going from henceforth, including what the new title will be.
4 minutes | Apr 5, 2021
Feedback request from listeners
This is not a review, but a request for feedback from Vince on the future format of the show due to the lack of availability of new movies. Please write to Vince @ firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know if you’d like the show to remain as it is, or if you’d like to hear something different that covers a particular genre or era of films of the past.
27 minutes | Mar 22, 2021
Zack Snyder’s Justice League (2021)
The much-demanded and long-awaited release of Zack Snyder’s vision for what was meant to be his 2017 film Justice League. As with the 2017 version, the story follows the events of Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Superman is dead, leaving a vacuum as Earth’s protector. A hulking alien from the planet Apokolips named Steppenwolf comes to Earth to retrieve the three hidden Motherboxes, cubelike artifacts with mysterious, powerful energy, enough to destroy planets when combined. Batman can’t take on such a force alone, rounding up a team of superpowered beings from Earth to stop impending doom -the goddess-like Amazon Wonder Woman, the god-like Atlantean king Aquaman, the turbo-speed demon Flash, and the cybernetic wizard Cyborg. And yet, they will still need the power of Superman somehow.
20 minutes | Mar 7, 2021
Coming 2 America (2021) | Craig Brewer
Coming 2 America is the much-belated sequel to one of Eddie Murphy’s most popular of starring vehicles, 1988’s Coming to America. Murphy returns to his role as Akeem Joffer, an obscenely wealthy prince of the fictional African kingdom of Zamunda, living in bliss with his wife, Lisa (Shari Headley), and their three daughters. With his father ailing (James Earl Jones), Akeem is set to become the king, but this will leave Zamunda, which has only been ruled by men, with no male heir. General Izzi (Wesley Snipes), the warmongering leader of the neighboring country, Nexdoria, has come around to intimidate his way into a marriage between his son and Akeem”s eldest daughter, Meeka (KiKi Layne). However, Akeem is soon informed that he may have had an illegitimate son when he was sowing his wild oats in America thirty years prior. Akeem and his right-hand man Semmi (Arsenio Hall) return to Queens, New York to find the 31-year-old son and heir he didn’t know he had, the street-wise ticket scalper Lavelle Junson (Jermaine Fowler). Akeem flies out Lavelle and his mother Mary (Leslie Jones) to Zamunda to receive his training and perform tests of courage before he can be the prince.
12 minutes | Mar 1, 2021
Tom & Jerry (2021) | Tim Story
Set in New York City, Chloe Grace Moretz stars as Kayla, a street-wise con artist who steals the resume of a highly qualified applicant and lands a temp position with the upscale Royal Gate Hotel. Through a series of mishaps, Jerry the mouse ends up taking unofficial residence in the five-star establishment while Kayla hires Tom the cat to be the exterminator that will preserve the immaculate reputation of the hotel, especially as they are set to host the “Wedding of the Century” between a couple of social media celebrities. Meanwhile, Kayla’s rival within the hotel, Terrance (Michael Pena), is out to make sure she fails before she gets the advancement he’s been sucking up for years to attain. Unfortunately, with a mouse, a couple of cats, a bulldog, and some elephants roaming around, trying to keep calamity from ensuing is going to be a near-impossible task for all of them.
19 minutes | Feb 17, 2021
Promising Young Woman (2020) | Emerald Fennell
Cassie Thomas (Carey Mulligan) lives with her parents in Ohio while working in a dead-end job at thirty years old, a barista in a small coffee shop. Her parents have been encouraging her to get on with her life in ways that aren’t even subtle. Their latest birthday gift: a suitcase. Cassie spends her evenings at the local watering holes to the point where she’s in an obvious stupor. Inevitably, someone will offer to do the right thing and give her a ride home. However, temptation gets the better of them and they’ll tell the cab driver to take her to their home instead. There, they reveal themselves as not so good and she’ll reveal herself to be not so drunk, shaming them for essentially trying to rape a woman who is too intoxicated to truly give consent. At work, Cassie has a run-in with Ryan Cooper (Bo Burnham), a former colleague from medical school now working as a pediatrician. Here we pick up clues learning about how she was once on a fast-track to becoming a doctor, but she dropped out for mysterious reasons involving her best friend Nina Fisher, the victim of a sexual assault that never got justice – until Cassie made it her mission to stop predators in their tracks. Ryan seems different, cracking through Cassie’s tough exterior, offering a bright future. However, when she learns that the person most responsible for Nina’s rape is nearby and about to get married, she has to decide which path she should go down, the path of promise or the path of vengeance on everyone who done them wrong, including the seemingly indifferent school educators and lawyers who downplayed the allegations. Emerald Fennell writes and directs.
19 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
The Little Things (2021) | John Lee Hancock
Set in 1990, Joe ‘Deke’ Deacon (Denzel Washington) is a burnt-out deputy from Kern County, CA, who left working the spotlight of high-profile cases five years ago for quieter pastures, sacrificing the spotlight and his family in the process. Rami Malek is Jim Baxter, a hotshot homicide detective for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department on top of the case to catch a serial killer brutally slaughtering young women. Deke has a knack for visualizing crime scenes and cracking cases by observing ‘the little things’ – the seemingly unimportant clues that lead a serial killer to be caught. However, his reputation of following his own guidelines rather than the law has earned him a reputation, especially as events of his past have haunted him to ruin. Deke travels to LA to deliver evidence for a case from Bakersfield but finds himself drawn into doing additional legwork off the clock because of the similarities between the current murders and one he had been working on back when he was last in Los Angeles that precipitated his exile. The arrogant Baxter initially dismisses Deacon as a loose cannon distraction, but eventually finds there’s a method to his madness that could be an asset to cracking the case. Their clues eventually lead to appliance deliverer Albert Sparma (Jared Leto), though they aren’t quite sure if he did the deeds or if he’s merely drawn close to the case because he is a fanatic for serial-killer crimes and intrigued at being thought of as a suspect. However, the demons that plague Deke seem to be infecting Baxter as he too begins to obsess about the case. John Lee Hancock writes and directs.
18 minutes | Jan 21, 2021
The Hunt (2020) | Craig Zobel
The Hunt is a violent satire in which liberals kidnap and hunt down “deplorables”, aka Trump supporters. These deplorables wake up in an undisclosed rural area gagged online bloggers and internet trolls claimed to expose online as “Manorgate,” but are left with keys, tools, and weapons to potentially defend themselves and get free. The private jet-flying, caviar-consuming liberal elites hunting them down like giving them a sporting chance, though the odds are heavily stacked against them. However, one of the captives is able to give the hunters a run for their money. Betty Gilpin, Hilary Swank, Wayne Duvall, Ike Barinholtz, Emma Roberts, Ethan Suplee appear in this film written by Nick Cuse and Damon Lindelof, directed by Craig Zobel.
18 minutes | Jan 12, 2021
Soul (2020) | Pete Docter & Kemp Powers
Jamie Foxx voices Joe Gardner, a middle-aged music teacher at a New York public middle school, frustrated by his lack of success toward becoming a professional jazz club musician. He’s offered full-time status with the school when another door of opportunity opens. A former student mentions that a legendary jazz saxophonist named Dorothea Williams is auditioning for a new pianist in her jazz ensemble. Nailing the audition, Joe is exuberant, failing to notice an open manhole before falling into it. He next finds himself disassociated with his body in an afterlife existence, a soul waiting for its final destination (dubbed “The Great Beyond”). With dreams unfulfilled, Joe desperately wants his life back, escaping his fate by posing as a mentor for new souls in a pre-life training area called “The Great Before.” Joe’s assignment is to direct a soul called 22 to find her spark that will keep her happy and productive before assuming her role in the living world. However, 22 is a special case, spending eons avoiding the process under other mentors (even Mother Teresa lost her cool with her). When Terry, the accountant for souls, notices one is missing, she pursues Joe after he escapes back to Earth to regain his life.
19 minutes | Jan 2, 2021
Wonder Woman 1984 (2020)
The prolonged armed raid of the shopping mal reveals a jewelry store used as a front to fence valuable but stolen ancient artifacts brought to the Smithsonian for Diana (Gal Gadot) and her team to identify. That’s where we meet the newly hired Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), a mousy gem specialist with self-esteem issues, particularly around the self-confident and beautiful Diana Prince. In particular, one stands out, a phallic piece identified as the Dreamstone, a crystal of myth once believed throughout ancient history to grant wishes. Cavalierly, Barbara makes her wish to be like Diana, though not knowing that also means like Wonder Woman as a by-product. Diana makes her wish for Steve Trevor to be back in her life to continue the life they never got to spend together. Overnight, Barbara’s confidence begins to grow, and the men take note of her beauty while she begins to grow in strength and agility. At the same time, Diana is approached by a mysterious strange claiming to be Steve Trevor (Chris Pine). He doesn’t look like him, but after a few words that only Steve might know, she sees the character with Chris Pine’s face and voice henceforth. (This aspect will require audiences not to think too hard about an innocent man whose body will be used nonconsensually indefinitely for Diana to romance, while also having no family or friends in his life to notice he’s completely changed). Villainy soon enters the scene when Max Lord (Pedro Pascal), a TV infomercial conman who has headed the financially failing oil company called Black Gold Cooperative, enters the scene. Lord discovers they have the Dreamstone, and he’s desperate enough to give it a try, using his charm on Barbara to get his hands on the piece and make his wish – which is to have the stone’s powers. The physical stone disintegrates, and now Max has the power to grant anyone a wish – a power he uses in exchanges for the wealth, power, and fame of others who deal with him directly. However, what the wish makers don’t know is that there is a catch. Gaining the thing they desire most means losing the thing of most value they already possess. In Barbara’s case, it is her kindness. In Max’s case, it is a good father. And in Diana’s case, it is the superpowers she needs to save the world. Patty Jenkins directs.
18 minutes | Sep 7, 2020
Bill & Ted Face the Music (2020) | Dean Parisot
The story involves the Bill (Alex Winter) & Ted (Keanu Reeves), now married with one child each, suffering a mid-life crisis, realizing that they never united humankind through their music as foretold. In fact, contrary to the end montage of Bogus Journey depicting their success, Face the Music shows the duo jaded after a career where they are more laughing-stock than the most popular band on Earth. The pressure to fulfill their destiny finds their marriage on the rocks, seeking couples therapy, but one where both couples are involved simultaneously; the duo’s inability to separate their codependency is one of the issues. Someone from the future tells them they need to write the song within the next 77 minutes to achieve global peace and harmony, or the universe will come apart in a cataclysmic event called the Unraveling. Their plan: use the phone booth time machine to travel forward in time to steal the song from their future selves. Dean Parisot directs this third entry in the Bill & Ted series.
12 minutes | Aug 26, 2020
The One and Only Ivan (2020) | Thea Sharrock
The story centers around Ivan, a silverback gorilla who lives in a cage as the star of a struggling animal show at a suburban shopping center called the Big Top Mall & Video Arcade at Exit 8. Ivan’s main schtick is to roar and look intimidating, but behind the scenes, he is a thoughtful and sensitive soul. Other talented animals under the care of beleaguered ringleader Mack include a baseball-playing chicken, a sassy poodle, a bunny, a seal, a parrot, and an elderly elephant named Stella, plus a stray mutt called Bob. Ivan befriends the young daughter of the mall cleaner who hands him supplies to draw, and it becomes something he takes an interest in doing, which has Mack seeing dollar signs to save his floundering circus attraction. An adorable baby elephant named Ruby arrives to become the latest attraction, under the tutelage and loving guidance of Stella. The drawing and painting, plus Ruby’s arrival, trigger Ivan’s memories of his childhood of freedom in the wild with his family, and Stella doesn’t want Ruby to live a sheltered life as she has had. Ivan plans to break free and deliver Ruby to a life of freedom. Featuring Bryan Cranston, Ariana Greenblatt, Ramon Rodriguez, Owain Arthur as live actors. Voice work by Sam Rockwell, Danny DeVito, Brooklynn Prince, Angelina Jolie, Chaka Khan, Ron Funches, Helen Mirren.
15 minutes | Jun 17, 2020
Queen & Slim (2019) | Melina Matsoukas
In this potent and socially relevant dramatic thriller, Queen (Jodie Turner-Smith) is a jaded criminal defense attorney and Slim a devoutly Christian retail clerk Slim (Daniel Kaluuya). They’re on a Tinder date in a Cleveland diner. On the way to drop off Queen, Slim gets pulled over by a pushy cop (Sturgill Simpson), then things escalate into an intense altercation that results in Slim killing the cop in self-defense. From then on, the two become fugitives, relying on whatever help they can on the down-low to avoid being caught and find their way to Cuba. Lena Waithe scripts from an idea by James Frey. Melina Matsoukas directs.
14 minutes | Apr 16, 2020
Bad Boys for Life (2020) | Adil and Bilall
In this third entry in the long-gestating franchise, Mike Lowery (Will Smith) gets gunned down by up-and-coming Miami crime kingpin Armando Armas (Jacob Scipio) who pops a few rounds into the cop at the direction of his ruthless mother Isabel (Kate del Castillo), getting revenge on all of those cops and lawyers who took down her drug-lord husband years before. Due to Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) making a pact with God to hang up the “bad boys” life if Mike pulls through, he refuses to join forces with his longtime partner on exacting revenge on Armando. To help supplement the cover, loose-cannon Mike teams up with the by-the-book ‘AMMO’ division of the force, a group of young guns with high-tech weapons. Of course, when tragedy strikes once again, Marcus gets off of his recliner for one more chance at the guts and glory of the “bad boys.”
12 minutes | Mar 7, 2020
Onward (2020) | Dan Scanlon
In this Pixar film, two teenage elf brothers in a town called New Mushroomton go on a quest that requires them to tap into the long-forgotten magic in the world to have one more day with the father who passed away before his youngest was born. The father left behind a gift for them to have when they both reached the age of sixteen, a wizard’s staff and an ultra-rare Phoenix Gem they can use to bring him back to life, but only for one day. The spell is cast, but the process gets interrupted halfway, leaving only dad’s animated legs to get to know. If they want to talk to him or give him so much as a hug, they’ll have to find another Phoenix Gem before the spell runs out. Voice work by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt. Directed by Dan Scanlon.
13 minutes | Feb 27, 2020
Parasite (2019) | Bong Joon-ho
Song Kang-ho plays Kim Ki-taek, the father in the poor family that has no breadwinners due to the lack of good-paying jobs (the latest gig finds them folding pizza boxes). Poverty has become so pervasive that the family works overtime to find ways to not spend money, hijacking wifi from neighbors and resorting to forgery to gain credentials from schools they couldn’t even dream to be able to afford. They even leave the window open as the bug exterminator draws near to get “free fumigation”, inundating their basement apartment (and boxes meant to carry pizzas) with unhealthy chemicals. Things take a turn for the better when Ki-taek’s son, Ki-woo, gets a temporary job replacing a good friend as the tutor for Da-hye, a teenage daughter of a well-to-do family. In their palatial home, Ki-woo woos the young woman who develops a crush on him, just like she did the prior tutor, and convinces the naive mother that he has the skills necessary for the job. When Ki-woo learns that the young son in the rich family, Da-song, needs an art tutor, he brings in his sister for the job, pretending to be Ki-woo’s old college friend, then his dad, then his mother. But their taste of the high life makes it a place they want to stay for good.
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