Movie

Wonder Woman 1984 – Part 2

This week Danielle brings the conclusion of the 2020 film Wonder Woman 1984. When we last left our heroes they had just returned from a magical invisible jet flight to Egypt and had determined the best course of action was to either get everyone to unwish their wishes, or to kill Maxwell Lord, who had wished himself to become the magic citrine, lest we forget. Speaking of Max, he’s slowly unraveling mentally and physically, and finagles meeting with the President where he declares he’s a sovereign nation unto himself. Also, the President lets slip that they have a magic satellite thing that has a beam which will override the screen of any device the beam touches. And if you think the term “touches” is used there figuratively, boy would this magic wishing-citrine-now-human like to have words with you. While Diana as Wonder Woman shows up to stop Max, Barbara is there to foil her plans because she is also power hungry and won’t give up her wish-granted superhuman powers. Wonder Woman is defeated because her powers are waning due to her own wish to have her beau Steve back, who now inhabits the body of another man whom they have no regard for, and which is still totally not okay. While Max and Barbara fly to the satellite control island, Diana lets Steve go and renounces her wish (finally) and then lassos a jet plane to get her home. She also lassos lightening to travel, but this is a concept so astoundingly dumb that Sam refuses to acknowledge it’s a thing. Anyway, after Diana grabs some magic armor of a long dead (but not really dead because comic books) Amazonian warrior, she chases after Max and Barbara for a showdown on Satellite Control Island. Max has been broadcasting to the entire wold enticing them to wish using the magic of him touching them through a satellite beam video feed (seriously, how the wishes work in this movie is something beyond mortal comprehension). Chaos engulfs the Earth as wishes are granted willy-nilly, but before Diana can get to Max she must first fight Barbara, who has been transformed into a cheetah woman via the magic of the script says so. If you think their showdown is intense, wait until you hear how Diana defeats Max: Via the superpower of a very compelling, moralizing speech.

Wonder Woman 1984 – Part 1

This week Danielle brings the superhero craziness with the 2020 film Wonder Woman 1984. If you didn’t see the first Wonder Woman film, don’t worry, neither did Sam, and Danielle barely remembers it, so no context needed! Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) is your average working 80s girl, only she’s really an immortal Amazonian from Themyscira who is still pining for Steve (Chris Pine), the love of her life and a pilot who died in World War 1. When a botched robbery brings a mysterious citrine in to the Smithsonian where Diana works with her mousy new friend Barbara Minerva (Kristen Wiig), things start to go awry. While holding the stone, both Diana and Barbara make wishes in their heads and then a magic wind blows, foreshadowing the granting of their wishes. Barbara wished to be strong and beautiful like Diana, but Diana’s wish is a surprise for later. That’s when Maxwell Lord (Pedro Pascal) rolls in, he’s the head of an oil company/Ponzi scheme who has just made a large donation to the museum, which seems to grant him carte blanche to just touch evidence, like the citrine, in an FBI investigation. He invites them all to a gala that night in his honor and Barbara is instantly taken with him and agrees while Diana declines. That night at the gala, Diana is now suspicious of Max and shows up anyway, and is immediately sexually harassed by every guy in there, since all men in this world are completely terrible. She brushes them off, but then one of them says a phrase that Steve once said to her, and Diana realizes her wish came true: Steve is back! Only, Steve is not himself, his consciousness has been shoved into the body of another man. What happened to the mind of the man whose body this was originally? Who cares, certainly not our supposed “heroes” Diana and Steve, who immediately drop everything to go have sex in that poor, possessed man’s home with his unable-to-consent body. Meanwhile, Max Lord (seriously, that name) has initiated a make-out session with Barbara in order to steal the citrine. With the citrine safely in his castle/home, Max does something absolutely bonkers and wishes to become the wishing stone. It might be reasonable to take a moment here to discuss the rules of the magic citrine, but the rules for this wishing stone are so arbitrary and crazy you’re just going to have to listen to all our rants to get it, there’s too much to include here. Maxwell then starts coercing others into wishing things that benefit him while touching him, and then also taking something from them in exchange for the “wish”, and if that’s confusing, get used to it. Anyway, Max jets off to Egypt while Diana and Steve, now back on the case, follow him in the dumbest way imaginable. This movie is so long, and chock-a-block full of nonsense, that Danielle has to end it there before Sam gets so angry at the inconsistent wishing rules and dumb Wonder Woman lasso tricks that he quits the podcast entirely.

The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines

This week Sam shares the made for TV sequel, the 2006 movie The Librarian: Return to King Solomon’s Mines. After two very hefty media pieces (and even more hefty episodes) Sam thought a short, fluffy, made for TV movie would make a nice, easy episode, but we can all see how well that worked out for him. We catch up with Flynn (Noah Wyle), the titular librarian with 22 higher education degrees, out in Utah recovering a clairvoyant crystal skull from some truly incompetent artifact rustlers. While Flynn succeeds in this supposedly world-saving quest, Judson (magical Bob Newhart) is less than impressed with his recklessness. But there’s no time for skulls, as Flynn is off to a surprise birthday party thrown for him by his mother, who’s still trying to hook him up with random women, in this case a cousin. What happened to Nicole, the love interest from the previous movie? While The Librarian never provides an answer, Danielle and Sam cook up a theory involving her being removed from time by the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which unbelievably somehow makes sense in context. On his way home, Flynn discovers his apartment has been ransacked by an evil dude looking for a scroll that was mailed to Flynn from Egypt. The evil guy manages to find the scroll and vamoose after leaving Flynn unconscious. After Judson revives him, he explains to Flynn that what was stolen was a map to King Solon’s Mines which contain his most magical and powerful artifacts. Luckily, to read the map you need a legend that’s safely hidden in Morocco. Instead of leaving it in safety, Flynn is tasked with recovering the legend first and, ideally, the map as well. So having learned nothing from the mistakes of the first film, Flynn jets off to meet up with a sexy archeologist who has even more degrees than he does, somehow. Together, they hope to recover the map, and the legend, and maybe just take a quick peek inside King Solomon’s Mines despite Judson’s clear instructions not to. Meanwhile, Sam hopes to be able to explain how this story has kept Flynn just as brainy, but also made him into way more of a moron somehow. Bottom line: we really miss Nicole.

Robot Jox

To kick-off the new year Sam brings the 1990 Stuart Gordon mech fighting film Robot Jox! Welcome to the distant future, post World War III, where war has been outlawed, somehow. Instead, the world has decided the more sensible way to settle international disputes is via single combat in mechs. While undoubtedly cool as heck, Sam has several issues with the concept on a practical level. The capitalist Market is locked in a perpetual battle with the communist Confederation. The latest battle is for control of Alaska, but when an errant rocket fist leads to the accidental death of hundreds of spectators (why are there spectators?!), Achilles, the hero of the Market, hangs up his robot gloves and retires. This makes room for the genetically engineered super soldiers to step-up to the fight, but there’s only one problem: Achilles has the hots for one of them by the name of Athena. This leads to the most pressing question about this movie: Is it clever satire, or just another sexist 80’s flick? We may not have an answer to that, but we do know this movie has kick-butt robot fights, so that’s worth something for sure. So join us for some good ol’ fashioned, Cold War 80’s action!

Book Reshorts: Partial Recall 4: More Forgetting

This week Danielle gets her revenge on Sam by asking him to recap the previous Winter Bizarre episode Snowmageddon. Listen as Sam remembers a series of non-snow related disasters, but literally nothing else that happens in this SyFy movie. While his recall fails, Sam does take the opportunity to accidentally make Snowmageddon a better movie by misremembering events as being more exciting than they actually were. Is his half-remembered version better than the original? You decide!

Book Reshorts: Partial Recall 3: Revenge of Forgetting

Partial Recall is back! This week Sam challenges Danielle to recap the recent Spook Retorts episode about the movie Wolves. While Danielle does admirably well on the start of the plot, when it comes to the character names, especially the “Three C’s” she just can’t seem to get it right. So join us for this not-too-distant trip back into our catalogue!

The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star

For part two of this year’s Winter Bizarre Danielle brings the third installment of the Netflix film series with The Princess Switch 3: Romancing the Star. Margaret is the queen of the small European country of Montenaro who happens to have two identical doppelgängers: Former Chicago baker now princess Stacy and Fiona, her cousin and former kidnapper of Stacy. Montenaro is hosting an international Christmas festival (which is, apparently, a thing) and the Vatican has loaned them the Star of Peace, a relic belonging to St. Nicholas. Due to security that can charitably be described as “utter clown shoes” the star is immediately stolen. Under the threat of excommunication, Margaret commutes her felonious cousin’s sentence so she can tap her criminal network to track down the star. Fiona puts her large network of one person to work and identifies that the star is being held by a nefarious hotelier. Instead of informing Interpol—who are investigating—of this development, Marget, Fiona, and Stacy plan a comically amateur heist that involves flirtation, sexy laser dancing, and, of course, lots of switching. The consequences for failure are almost certainly death at the hands of the villainous hotelier, which Sam thinks is a fair bit worse than excommunication for not heisting the star back. Throughout all of this, Sam has serious questions on the state of the Montenaro monarchy, which seems rife with nepotism, incompetence, and princess switching. Despite that, Danielle and Sam come up with a pretty good pitch for The Princess Switch 4, so Netflix, if you’re listening, call us!

Christmas Bounty

Sam kicks-off this year’s Winter Bizarre with 2013 ABC Family/WWE made for TV movie Christmas Bounty. Tory Bell is an average private elementary school teacher living in Manhattan and dating a handsome, wealthy man named James. All this changes when she gets a mysterious phone call from a gangster threatening her for putting him in jail years ago. So Tory bails on her boyfriend to return to New Jersey to seek the help of her family, all of whom are bounty hunters, to bring this gangster back to justice. This includes working with her ex-bounty hunter partner and former boyfriend Mikey Muscles (a.k.a. Beefcake). Somehow, this family of professional bounty hunters cook up the dumbest plan, which involves finding someone named Big Donna at a mall and putting a brick-sized GPS tracker in her purse. Against all reason, this works and they find the gangster in the only location this movie seems to have paid for: A dingy warehouse. Through a series of circumstance too contrived to relate, James shows up in this warehouse, and Tory scrambles to hide her bounty hunter past from him, for some reason. Eventually, after a shootout at a Christmas tree lot (yes, really) James is kidnapped and Tory must risk crashing a mob wedding to save him. Also, this whole time Mikey Muscles has been pursing Tory, never having gotten over her, even though she’s dating what is possibly the best man in the world. It’s no spoiler to say Tory returns to her small-town roots and boyfriend, though what is a surprise is that she does this in just the worst way imaginable. James, we’re sorry, you’re a prince and you deserve better.

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Book Reshorts: The Thankening II: Return of the Thankers

It’s that time of year again where Danielle and Sam share the media and tropes they are thankful for. This year Sam has a special gift for the world: The word “thanker”. You’re welcome, world.

Book Reshorts: But What Do They Think?

As they gear up for the holidays and their annual Winter Bizarre, Danielle and Sam are dropping some shorts so they don’t explode from being too busy. So enjoy as Sam puts Danielle through the horrors of a new game show he calls “We know your thoughts, but what do they think?” Which, aside from being just super catchy title, Danielle finds less challenge in the game itself and more in just remembering any of the titles for the media they’ve done on this show.