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TV Episode Reviews & Recaps
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Blood Splattered Cinema
Hosted by: Horror Guru
The Horror Guru reviews the bloodiest, wildest, and weirdest horror that cinema has to offer!
Cartoon Palooza
Hosted by: Joey Tedesco
A satirical review show where a guy from Jersey watches and criticizes cartoons, including everything from comic books to animated movies. Whatever it is, Joey will either tell you to run out and see it... or fughetabouit!
The Count Jackula Show
Hosted by: Count Jackula
There are vampires, and there are men from outer space, but there is only one vampire from outer space! Join Count Jackula from the Planet Drakula as he explains the ins and outs of horror, from the mythic to the modern. Blood, off-color humor, and an obsession with Elvira are in store for you!
The Examined Life (of Gaming)
Hosted by: Roland Thompson
Just when video games were getting good, the late '90s and early '00s came along. The Examined Life (of Gaming) dares to delve into the good, the bad, and the value-priced games of this dark period, and sometimes we find something worth playing!
The Film Renegado
Hosted by: Film Renegado
Coming to you from south of the border, it's the Film Renegado! A civil engineer with a cinephile complex, the Film Renegado uses movies made in Mexico or by Mexican directors to share bits from his country's culture, past and present. You will both learn and be entertained! How cool is that?
Friday Night Fright Flicks
Hosted by: Count Jackula & Horror Guru
Welcome, fright knights, to Friday Night Fright Flicks! Join your hosts Count Jackula and the Horror Guru as they stumble their way through current horror releases, letting you know which ones are worth the price of admission.
Good Bad Flicks
Hosted by: Cecil Trachenburg
Good Bad Flicks is a show not only dedicated to rare movies, but also forgotten classics and misunderstood box office bombs. Your host Cecil takes you through each movie, discussing the promotional materials, and taking a look at what went on behind the scenes. With a healthy dose of Irish sarcasm, he throws a few jabs at even his most cherished favorites.
The Graphic Novel Picture Show
Hosted by: Sybil Pandemic
Your host Solkir presents The Graphic Novel Picture Show, a retrospective of the history of comic book movies!
The Movie Skewer
Hosted by: Team Agony Booth
From the makers of the Agony Booth™ comes The Movie Skewer, where terrible movies are roasted over an open flame for your enjoyment. Watch the very first online review/recap series that’s too much for one host to handle!
Mr. Mendo's Hack Attack
Hosted by: Michael A. Novelli
Need a healthy dose of cynicism from a guy whose face you can barely see? Then Mr. Mendo’s your man! Whether a movie suffers from Hype Backlash, Intellectual Dishonesty, or is just Complete Shit, Mr. Mendo is there. Mr. Mendo wasn‘t raised in this country, so he takes nothing for granted: if something ain‘t right, he’ll nose it out. So join him as he takes on Oscar winners and legendary flops alike in front of a blanket suspended between his couch and recliner!
Stuff You Like
Hosted by: Sursum Ursa
Stuff You Like is an original show where redhead Sursum Ursa waxes enthusiastic about movies, TV shows, and anything else that comes to mind! Expect singing, snarky subtitles, random pictures she finds on the internet, and lots of fangirling!
Terror Obscura
Hosted by: Fear Fan
Terror Obscura is a show dedicated to exploring the best and worst horror films ever made. While some shows are content to just mock bad films, this one isn't afraid to take even the most sacred of cows to the slaughterhouse. If you like horror, humor, or if you're just looking to find some titles you might want to rent, Terror Obscura is the show for you!
Tom's Retrophilia
Hosted by: Thomas Stockel
Is he a connoisseur of vintage media, or just a bitter old man trapped in the past?  Either way, tune in and watch Tom take a look at the movies and television shows from a time when he was actually in the target audience!
The Unusual Suspect
Hosted by: Unusual Suspect
The Unusual Suspect reviews popular movies, and tears 'em apart! They may be good, but no movie is perfect, and there's always things you may have overlooked and hadn't thought about. So join the Suspect as he exploits and ridicules the films you know and love. Just don't kill him for it!
What We Had to Watch
Hosted by: Il Neige
Il Neige is a smart-ass with a love-hate relationship with movies from the new millennium. Sure, reviews can be fun or cathartic, but there's also the risk of the occasional Twi-hard invasion or fireball to the face! ...That's how these things usually go, right? So join Il Neige as he braves the cinematic dangers that lie just beyond the fourth wall to critique the best and worst of 21st century filmmaking!
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the agony booth
Movie Review
Salt (2010)
Salt (2010)

Salt (2010) is Philip Noyce’s attempt at a female James Bond (or maybe Jason Bourne), and while it does try, with plenty of convoluted conspiracies and assassination attempts and slick action to hold it all together, it still comes up short.

Originally, the script (by Equilibrium and Ultraviolet director Kurt Wimmer) was about a spy named Edwin A. Salt, and Tom Cruise was briefly interested in the role, until he decided the story was too similar to the Mission: Impossible sequel he was about to make. Angelina Jolie eventually became interested in the part, and soon the main character was gender-swapped to CIA agent Evelyn Salt.

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The movie begins with Salt imprisoned in a North Korean prison camp, presumably for being a spy, but your guess is as good as mine. She takes quite a beating at the hands of her captors, until some U.S. agents led by her boss Ted Winter (Liev Schreiber) fly over and do a prisoner exchange to rescue her. Since this rescue mission goes against protocols, she questions why they expended this much effort to save her. It turns out she owes her freedom to her boyfriend, who started lots of petitions to get her released. Petitions motivating the government? Already it’s unrealistic.

Skip ahead a few years and the two are now happily married; she’s a spy and he’s an arachnologist (i.e., he studies spiders). One of these jobs sounds potentially dangerous and extremely stressful, and the other one is espionage. Conveniently, it’s their anniversary, and the two talk about romantic dinner plans that will most certainly happen, after which Salt heads to work, because what could go wrong?

At her desk, Salt is shown doing important tasks like teaching herself how to properly fold napkins. Her boss Winter informs her that a Russian defector has been captured, and it’s her duty to interrogate him.

Salt complies and enters the interrogation room. The Russian tells a story about spies and orphans in which he suggests that Salt is a sleeper agent sent to America as a child in order to assassinate the Russian president on his upcoming visit—a day known as “Day X”. All the characters ignore how incredibly situational this plan is, and the questioning ends. Turns out the defector wasn’t bluffing, and as soon as he’s inside an elevator, he murders the two agents escorting him.

Salt remains in the interrogation room while the agents consider what to do with her, as they now suspect her of being a double agent for the Russians. After they become alerted to the defector’s actions, the agents respond by attempting to detain Salt with excessive force.

Salt takes advantage of her extensive training to outsmart and out-skill her assailants by using her surroundings cleverly. This includes a bit where she covers up a security camera with her panties and MacGyvers a fire extinguisher into a missile launcher. She eventually escapes and makes her way to a hotel, where she pops out her colored contacts and dyes her hair jet black and plots her next move.

In the hunt for Salt, Winter is joined by Agent Peabody (Chiwetel Ejiofor) who’s convinced she really is a sleeper agent, because she grew up an orphan in Russia. Meanwhile, Salt stakes out the location where the Russian president will be making a speech. She sets off a bomb underneath where he’s speaking and appears to succeed in killing him, confirming she really is a sleeper agent.

She gets captured, but soon escapes again, and meets up with other sleeper agents. We see flashback sequences that reveal the brainwashing she received in Russia as a child. Her next mission is to infiltrate the White House, and to do this, she puts on her strangest disguise yet: she becomes a male NATO liaison who looks like a diminutive version of a young Elvis.

Spoilers follow...

Another sleeper agent carries out a suicide bombing inside the White House, so the president is hustled into an underground bunker along with his staff. Here, Winter reveals that he, too, is a Russian sleeper agent. He slaughters a whole bunch of people, incapacitates the president, and begins aiming nuclear missiles at Iran and Saudi Arabia. Apparently, the end goal is to get the entire Muslim world enraged at the United States, but I don’t think we need much help in that department.

Winter then sees a news report revealing that the Russian president was never assassinated; Salt used the venom from one of her husband’s spiders (yes, really) to induce paralysis in him. Unfortunately, Winter realizes too late that Salt overcame her brainwashing a long time ago. Salt stops the missiles and kills Winter, and the movie ends with Peabody letting her get away (by jumping out of a helicopter!).

End spoilers!

The movie goes to great lengths to obscure who Salt is working for and which side she’s on, almost to the point of absurdity. It feels like we get a new piece of evidence every other scene that shifts her allegiances and rewrites her backstory. By the end of the film, it’s doubtful even the screenwriter knows who the hell Salt is.

Despite a few early surprises, the movie becomes downright formulaic: Salt goes on the run. Salt does cool spy things. Salt gets captured. Before the scene can even end, Salt has miraculously escaped again. Repeat until the movie ends. For a story built on unexpected twists, this monotony doesn’t work well, and instead builds her up to be one of those invincible action heroes who can do anything and always come out on top, no matter what.

Salt’s generic plot is another of its weaker aspects. It’s a cookie-cutter “Russians are the bad guys” story, and before you’ve even seen it, it already seems vaguely familiar. The Cold War ended in the ‘90s, and yet in the world of Salt, relations between the two countries don’t appear to have changed much. This could possibly be an homage to old Cold War spy films, but it’s doubtful that was the intention.

Eventually, things do pick up a bit, and the film becomes less of a game of tag and more of a spy movie. Unfortunately, these scenes don’t last long, and they lead to a senseless whirlwind of plot twists, each trying to one-up the last. To rub salt (hah!) in the wound, most of the twists unravel into something meaningless, or something that had long since become apparent.

For raw action scenes alone, Salt isn’t bad. It doesn’t skip a beat jumping from one action-packed moment to another, and the only real downside is the aforementioned sense that the danger is manufactured and shallow. Crazy scenes are where Salt really shines; Jolie jumping from the back of one semi truck to another makes for good, simple fun, but whether or not it’s actually a believable course of action is another story.

At the end, nothing really feels like it gets resolved, and everything appears to have doubled back to the starting point. This ending seems to have been primarily made with a sequel in mind. Well, with the Cold War theme, you can’t really go wrong with a movie title like Salt II.

Overall, this is another action movie undermined by unrealistic character motivations and incredibly far-fetched schemes. And after everything that happens, the movie doesn’t end on the expected bang, but fizzles out into disappointment. Salt ultimately amounts to an insignificant action thriller that only really succeeds in leaving the viewer wanting more substance. The plot might have been interesting, but most of the good parts are overshadowed by its apparent need to obfuscate important information, and vain attempts to shock the viewer with its rollercoaster plot twists.

The movie also suffers from a pacing problem; most of its already short 90-minute runtime feels like the introductory act. The whole thing comes off like a highlight reel of action set pieces until we’re well into the final stretch of the movie. If you’re looking for mindless fun, Salt might fit the bill, but the Bond and Bourne movies do mindless fun way better than this.

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