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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

The Cast of Characters:
Val Kilmer as Batman/Bruce WayneBatman/Bruce Wayne (Val Kilmer). Gotham's somnambulistic Dark Knight. So traumatized was Bruce after his parents' death, that he created a bat-like persona to fight criminals. The film's pop psychology would have us believe that he's mentally incapable of living a normal life until he hangs up his cape to get laid. Seriously!
Chris O'Donnell as Robin/Dick GraysonRobin/Dick Grayson (Chris O'Donnell). The 25 year old "Boy" Wonder, who despite being old enough to know better, churns out more teenage clichés than a Saved by the Bell marathon. Consumed with rage, Dick has vowed to take bloody revenge on the guy who murdered his family. Even though they were pretty much asking for it.
Tommy Lee Jones as Two Face/Harvey DentTwo Face/Harvey Dent (Tommy Lee Jones). A supposedly violent criminal whose garish wardrobe and vaudevillian prancing make him about as threatening and imposing as Jake Shears. Admittedly, he does actually kill a few people, including Robin's family, but these deaths are generally an indirect consequence of his own incompetence.
Jim Carrey as The Riddler/Edward NygmaThe Riddler/Edward Nygma (Jim Carrey). A geeky, awkward research scientist turned flamboyant, rubber-faced idiot. Nygma invents a machine that absorbs neural energy, somehow making him smarter. Side effects of this procedure include insanity, effeminate swaggering, and dressing like a complete fucktard. His pseudo-sexual obsession with Bruce Wayne compels him to leave brain teasers for Bruce every now and then. Terrifying!
Nicole Kidman as Doctor Chase MeridianDoctor Chase Meridian (Nicole Kidman). The least convincing criminal psychologist ever. Accordingly, uses a lot of ill-conceived technical jargon. Also a cynical sexual predator, as well as a conniving opportunist. A strong, assertive, independent, intellectual woman... in a negligee.
Michael Gough as Alfred PennyworthAlfred Pennyworth (Michael Gough). Bruce Wayne's long suffering butler. Spends the entire film making the best out of being surrounded by complete dickheads. Will let you into the Batcave if you just happen to masquerade as a trick-or-treating eight year old... or Kim Basinger.

Well, it had to happen, didn't it? The wonderful Agony Booth recap of Batman & Robin has been tempting me for quite a long time. For years, I've heard its siren call, daring me, compelling me to recap Joel Schumacher's previous, neon-saturated opus, Batman Forever.

Interestingly, some Batman fans actually prefer the universally reviled Batman & Robin to its predecessor. Batman & Robin, for all its faults, at least wears its stupidity on its sleeve. Batman Forever manages to cobble together just enough character depth to make a case for itself as a serious film.

Not that the writing is particularly well-executed or informed. On the bonus disc, when uber-hack Akiva Goldsman bleats on about how he was brought onboard to imbue the characters with more pathos and angst, I want to beat his chubby, beady-eyed face in. I'm no Paul Schrader, but if I wanted to convey pathos and angst in a character, I'd write a line slightly more sophisticated than "It's the car right? Chicks love the car."

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But I'm getting ahead of myself. Allow me to place this gaudy debacle in its proper context. In 1989, Tim Burton's Batman raised the bar for the Hollywood blockbuster. Despite its inadequacies, it lent legitimacy to the superhero sub-genre, and arguably became the quintessential action film for a generation.

The casting of Michael Keaton in the titular role had a lot of people worried, but his portrayal of an obsessed, neurotic Bruce Wayne/Batman won acclaim from critics and fans alike. Indeed, in the eyes of many fans (myself included), Keaton will always be Batman in the same way that Christopher Reeve will always be Superman.

Cut to 1992 and the inevitable sequel, Batman Returns. Given creative carte blanche by Warner Brothers, Tim Burton delivered a dark, expressionistic superhero fairytale, where morality was all in shades of gray, and atmosphere and theme took precedent over a coherent narrative.

Critics and audiences were strongly divided on the film. The dark tone, violence, and shamelessly suggestive dialogue were a shock to parents, who thought they were taking their kids to a fun comic book action romp. The fast food companies felt equally misled, and were extremely unhappy about their burgers and fries being associated with Burton's macabre fantasy. (It's always amazing when companies that perpetuate childhood obesity and heart disease try to take the moral high road.)

As a result, Tim Burton parted ways with the Batman franchise. Michael Keaton dragged his feet a little, and even went as far as attending costume fittings for Batman Forever, but eventually, he too jumped ship (whether it was over the script, or the nipples on the Batsuit is anyone's guess).

After Keaton's departure, Val Kilmer signed up days later to play Batman, without having read the script, or even knowing who the new director was. Whoops!

The consensus at the time was that a few changes to the Batman franchise were in order. Studio execs were calling for the films to take a lighter and more family-friendly tone. So, of course, they hired an openly gay former costume designer with a résumé of violent political thrillers and coming of age vampire comedies.

Presumably, the studio wanted a director who was "hip" and "down with the kidz", so the 56 year old Joel Schumacher was the only logical choice.

When he was first approached for the gig, Schumacher proposed an adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel Batman: Year One. Warner Bros nixed the idea, for reasons unknown. Ultimately, this was probably a good thing; who knows what sort of gaudy stupidity Schumacher would have injected into Miller's iconic Batman origin story?

To make matters worse, when the director delivered his marginally darker rough cut of Batman Forever, the studio completely recut the film to shreds, leaving plot threads hanging and scenes placed woefully out of context. (Of course, when I say "darker", I'm speaking thematically; the neon was still there.)

But I've contextualized enough! Crack open a can of whatever's your poison, and join me as I recap Batman Forever.

The Warner Brothers logo gets some broody string and horn business, courtesy of Elliot Goldenthal's new score. With a slight whoosh, the WB logo morphs into the iconic Bat symbol. I could make a point about franchise mentality and branding here, but I'm not that jaded, and the thirteen year old in me will always find this vaguely cool.

Plain white text (in a typeface that I will forever know as the "Batman Forever Font", though I'm sure it has another name) tells us that this is a Tim Burton production. Hmm.

I'm not entirely sure what Mr. Burton did during the production of this film, other than show up for a meeting or two, say "whatever", and swagger home with a wheelbarrow of cash. I assume that people in Hollywood get wheelbarrows full of cash just for showing up for things.

A second legend tells us that this is "a Joel Schumacher Film", and just in case you need a definition of the term, the next sequence of images will sum it up quite neatly.

Caption contributed by Dan
In 1995, I had no idea how ominous this innocent little sentence would become. It's a bit like watching little Damien Thorne take his first steps.

Multicolored credits zoom pretentiously across the screen, accompanied by equally pretentious whooshes and (for reasons I can't possibly fathom) engine noises. The names of the principal cast whiz by from all different directions, and this assault on our senses is punctuated by the bat emblem cartwheeling into the frame once more. The glowing word "FOREVER" scrolls across the logo, and then it whooshes into the foreground in a flash of greenish-white light.

Cut to Val Kilmer doing his version of the "suiting up" sequence that's become the trademark of the Batman film franchise. It would be cynical (and probably homophobic) of me to accuse Joel Schumacher of disorienting us with zoomy, flashy things and then slapping us in the face, so to speak, with homoeroticism. However, the shot of Batman's enormous codpiece, which flashes by so quickly it could have been spliced in by Tyler Durden, does make me do some serious head scratching.

Caption contributed by Dan
Nobody knows they saw it, but they all did.

The funny thing about this sequence is that Batman doesn't seem to actually be putting on the Bat armor. He seems to be merely executing a string of half-turns and poses. If the camera were to pull back a little, it would probably reveal he's doing some kind of minimalistic Batusi.

A door slides open and reveals the Batcave. Our hero ascends a flight of steps to where the new Giger-Lite Batmobile rises on a rotating pedestal. Batman stands dutifully next to the monstrous vehicle, and strikes his very best superhero pose.

Until very recently, I always thought we were sharing Alfred's point of view here, and therefore neatly avoiding a nasty crack in the fourth wall. It was only while recapping this that I realized Alfred is actually standing behind Batman.

So... Bruce is just striking poses at nobody in particular, huh? Perhaps there's a mirror just out of shot. Sure, that's a tad narcissistic, but since I do the exact same thing in my Batsuit every night, I can't really blame him.

And it has to be said that if Kilmer brings nothing else to the role (and he doesn't), he does cut a fine figure in the suit. Even this jaded cynic has to admit he actually looks pretty badass in this shot. Any traces of credibility, however, are about to be brutally murdered at the hands of Akiva Goldsman.

Alfred enquires as to whether his master would like a sandwich to take with him, eliciting the "hilarious" response of "I'll get drive thru." It's worth noting that Batman is still not facing Alfred at this point, which is either a glaring continuity gaffe, or Bruce is just incredibly rude.

Not only does the line "I'll get drive thru" make me literally cringe every time I hear it, but it irks me that, like its unborn little brother, the equally aberrant "This is why Superman works alone", this one-liner was used in every single trailer and TV and radio spot associated with the film. Why Warner Brothers would air this piece of dirty laundry in public, let alone use it to sell the film, I'll never know. It's the film trailer equivalent of meeting your new girlfriend's parents for the first time, and trying to impress them by wearing a casual jacket made out of copies of Hustler.

But Batman doesn't have all night to trade beautifully crafted one-liners with Alfred. So with a burst of inexplicable pink flame, the Batmobile is roaring down the tunnel that connects the Batcave to the streets of Gotham City.

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