The Blockbuster Chick
Hosted by: Suzie McGinney
Deep in the heart of a quiet town in Scotland, the Blockbuster Chick dwells. Her purpose? To tackle the big name box office hits that should've never been green-lit in the first place—The movies that get a huge build-up, only to fall flat on opening weekend. Come watch as an adventurous Scottish lassie reviews them all (give or take a few)!
Blood Splattered Cinema
Hosted by: Horror Guru
The Horror Guru reviews the bloodiest, wildest, and weirdest horror that cinema has to offer!
The Bunny Perspective!
Hosted by: Phil Buni
Media reviews and analysis by a pot smoking, puppet bunny. Do you like weird-but-great underground films? Hate Glee, Gigli, and other Hollywood garbage? The Bunny Perspective offers a blend of humorously angry negative reviews, and honest praise of underground movies and TV. We talk about films, TV, anime, and animation. We are the Cult of the Bunny, and you too can be a Cultist. #CultoftheBunny
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 Cheap-Arse Film Review
Hosted by: Liam Barrett
It's the Cheap-Arse Film Review, where a young(ish) man finds out if it's possible to live the life of a cinephile super-nerd on the strictest budget possible. Inspired by growing up in the wilds of Essex, England (that's only partially a joke, by the way) and the current harsh economic times, Liam only reviews DVD that can be purchased for £1.00p or less!
The Cinema Slob
Hosted by: Cinema Slob
The Cinema Slob is here to defend the movies that everyone else seems to hate, for some reason. His reviews of underappreciated and misunderstood classics of modern cinema will surely entertain and maybe even change a few minds.
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 DVD Shelf
Hosted by: David Rose
Life is short, so skip the bad movies and let your host David Rose reveal, review, and recommend the ones you should have on your own DVD shelf. The DVD Shelf is a film-lover's safe haven to bask in the warm glow of cult favorites, over-looked cinematic gems, rediscovered classics, and downright fun flicks on both DVD and Blu-ray.
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: Solkir
Your host Solkir presents The Graphic Novel Picture Show, a retrospective of the history of comic book movies!
Joshua the Anarchist
Hosted by: Joshua Bell
Charged with the crime of liking Batman & Robin, Joshua the Anarchist has been declared insane and committed to Arkham Asylum. Locked away in a padded cell, he'll endure movie after movie as doctors attempt to "treat" him. He may not have gone in a madman, but he soon will be.
Minority Report Reviews
Hosted by: Tom Marriott
Minority Report Reviews is where often slated or just plain forgotten films and TV shows come for an ego boost. Focusing primarily on unloved sequels, your host Tom Marriott takes questions from the general public to showcase the positives in these films. Love it or hate it, this is the show where you can have your say and see a guilty pleasure defended by the host with the most... strange tastes.
Movie Dorkness
Hosted by: Sofie Liv
It's the show formerly known as Red Suitcase Adventues! Join Sofie Liv, a nice Dane (who may not be as negative as everyone else!) as she dissects pop culture phenomena to explore both the good and bad in popular films.
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!
Mystery Madness
Hosted by: Full of Questions
Mysteries are awesome! And who's better suited to examine the wonderful, the terrible, and the adequate of the movie mystery genre than a teenager with nerdy glasses and substandard editing software? ...Many people, probably, but enjoy the show anyway!
The Oldschoo' Review
Hosted by: Johnny Oldschool
Johnny eats disgusting food, he reviews bad movies, and he's usually drunk. Bacon lovers everywhere agree that The Old Schoo' Review is the worst thing to happen to the internet since flash-based websites.
PGSM Summaries
Hosted by: Nycea
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (PGSM for short) is a hilarious live-action retelling of the Sailor Moon story. On this show, your host Nycea summarizes and riffs on this gloriously bad series—one episode at a time.
The Porn Critic
Hosted by: Porn Critic
Comedy reviews of the worst and most bizarre adult films available, by a character called the Porn Critic, who tends to focus on the acting bits rather than the actual sex! Who knew continuity errors and bad dialogue could lead to chronic flaccidity?
Reel vs. Reel
Hosted by: Animated Heroine
Animation isn't just for kids; it's also for adults who never learned how to grow up. In Reel vs. Reel, the Animated Heroine looks at two similar animated films to see which one comes out on top and why. Her love for good animated films is only matched by her cynicism towards the bad ones.
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!
the agony booth

The NeverEnding Story III: Escape from Fantasia
1994
Posted on: Jul 13, 2008.
The NeverEnding Story III: Escape from Fantasia (1994)
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
The Cast of Characters:
Bastian Balthazar Bux (Jason James Richter). The main character of the story, which would technically make him the hero, but as we'll see, not only is he entirely unheroic, but he's seemingly incapable of acting when no killer whales are around.
Nicole (Melody Kay). Bastian's new stepsister, however little she may like it. Sullen and bitchy, but redeemingly cute. Her hobbies include stealing necklaces and watching MTV with no facial expressions at all.
Bastian's Dad (Kevin McNulty). Supposedly named "Barney". Can't decide if he remembers anything about Fantasia from the previous film or not. Doesn't get anywhere near as much screen time as...
Jane (Tracey Ellis). Bastian's new step-mom. Focuses so desperately on getting Bastian to like her that she ignores all the ample evidence of supernatural hijinks happening around her.
The Childlike Empress (Julie Cox). No longer childlike, nor much of an empress.
Old Man of the Wandering Mountain/Mr. Koreander (Freddie Jones). In the former capacity, stands around waiting for things to happen. In the latter, sits around causing things to happen. Possibly the best make-up effects seen since Live and Let Die.
Slip (Jack Black). One of Jack Black's earliest and (mercifully) most forgotten roles. Supposedly the villain, but sloppy writing and haphazard plotting make him more of a mild nuisance. His entire performance suggests he wants to finish this film as quickly as possible, so he can get back to his band.

[Editor's Note: If you haven't seen the previous two movies in the NeverEnding Story series, never fear! You can read all about them in the Agonizer, where I posted mini-recaps of The NeverEnding Story (1984) and The NeverEnding Story II: The Next Chapter (1990), which should give you all the background you need about Bastian, Fantasia, the Childlike Empress, and what the hell an AURYN is. Also, a big thanks goes out to Jason Sartin for proofreading and editing this recap! —Albert]

The article continues after this advertisement...

Greetings, fellow citizens and anonymous webrats alike! My name is Michael, but you can call me Mendo, and if I may, I'd like to be your host for a recap of what is hands-down the most depressingly inept family film of the 1990s. I would say "of all time", but simply knowing that there's a film bearing the name "Santa Claus Conquers the Martians" prevents me from fully engaging my well-practiced hyperbole skills.

A few of you may remember me from the Battlefield Earth Mega Recap. As you can imagine, participating in a recap for this site after several years of fanhood was like a dream come true. But even more than that, it had a profound effect on my life as a whole, and it even led me to the girl of my dreams. But, as Michael Ende often said, that's another story, and shall be told another time.

A few years back, I was thumbing through a glossy entertainment publication, which had a cover story about "The Worst Movie Characters Ever!" Supposedly, it was a detailed list of "those characters so awful their very presence destroys a film." I for one didn't put much stock in this article; a list of worst-ever characters that doesn't include Jessica Stein was not made by thinking people.

But there was a small sidebar about today's hottest stars, and the embarrassing first films they appeared in. Again, I can't say I agreed with most of their choices, but the one that stood out the most was Jack Black, for The NeverEnding Story III.

This immediately reminded me of watching previews for NeverEnding Story III when I was about 8 or 9 years old. I had two thoughts upon recalling these previews. One was, "Oh my God, Jack Black was in that?" The second was, "I knew it was going to suck!"

Yes, even at that tender age, when I still considered The Jetsons Meet the Flintstones a cinematic gem to rival anything in the Scorsese canon, I just knew this movie was going to blow. Just from the previews, I could tell it was completely unlike the two movies that came before it, and the people involved were either entirely ignorant of what made those films successful, or they knew that the third movie in a series is required by law to suck, and were perfectly content to make, well, the Battlefield Earth of family films. Even back then, I could tell they didn't have smart children in mind when they made this movie.

Now, I'm not going to lie to you: I was never a huge fan of the NeverEnding Story films. I only ever had a passing interest in them, and really just the second one, on account of it having that Bugs Bunny cartoon before it, and on occasion I'd feel stupid for just watching that.

The first film, in yet another Battlefield Earth parallel, only covered half of the source novel. This is one of the reasons the author, Michael Ende, sued to have his name taken out of the credits. He was only half-successful—his name was taken out of the opening credits, but not the closing credits. Go figure.

The second film, according to most people in the know, was vaguely similar in plotting to the second half of the novel, but it was mostly just a new story. I have a feeling Ende wasn't too fond of that movie, either.

Regardless, it appears the previous two films made just enough money to justify a third. Unfortunately, with the first two NeverEnding Story movies having exhausted the original novel's material completely, the filmmakers must have felt they had free reign to come up with a completely new story. So did screenwriter Jeff Lieberman come up with something creative and original? No, that would have required effort. Instead, he just knocked off the Power Rangers.

Yes. Power Rangers.

Don't believe me? The plot is as follows: The bad guys steal a magic artifact, which causes massive mayhem involving people in latex puppet suits. They use magic to make children act mean to each other, and it's up to a group of other kids to save the day through the power of friendship. Throw in a wise mystic who gives them magical powers, then spends the rest of the time sitting on his ass and watching bad things happen, and the analogy becomes even more nauseatingly complete.

Only two things save this film from being a total rip-off of Power Rangers: One, a subplot where the lead character's dad gets remarried, and two, all the latex puppet suits were created by the Jim Henson Creature Shop. Unfortunately, this only makes the movie a rip-off of other, much better Henson Creature Shop productions, most notably the ABC series Dinosaurs. But it gets even worse than that.

To wit: The Atreyu character does not return for this film.

I know. Even in the source novel (of which I'm something of a fan) that warrior kid was the only thing that really held everything together. I grew up thinking he was the coolest dude ever, and I didn't even like these movies. Why they thought anyone would stand for a NeverEnding Story movie without Atreyu fails just about any common sense test I can think of. I mean, it's not as if they had the excuse of the actor not coming back. After all, they replaced the entire cast since the second film (and even the second film only kept on one actor from the original movie).

Knowing all this, you may ask, who would get involved with this project? The star, as this film never ever ever wants you to forget, is Free Willy's Jason James Richter. Clearly, Richter had a worse agent than the guy who played Mowgli in Disney's live action Jungle Book. He probably thought this would get him out of making whale movies for the rest of his life, but he was sadly mistaken. Sadly, sadly mistaken.

Most of the other actors had been, or would go onto, spending years doing one-shot guest appearances on various TV shows. For some, this movie is tragically their one and only chance at film immortality.

The man they got to direct? Peter MacDonald. At first this might strike you as odd, given the illustrious career he's had. Over the years, in his alternating capacities as a cameraman and second unit director, MacDonald has been involved with some of the most popular movies of all time, including 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Empire Strikes Back, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Batman, Superman I and II, the Harry Potter movies, and... Tango and Cash? Oh well, they can't all be winners.

How could someone so accomplished give us this piece of shit? Sadly, one of the drawbacks to having such a long career is one inevitably makes a lot of bad movies, too. If crew people were counted, Peter MacDonald would be a four-time Repeat Offender here at Agony Booth, because he served as a second unit director on Eragon and Batman & Robin, as well as a cameraman on Zardoz. (And if that's not enough for you, there are three genuine Repeat Offenders in this film.)

How could MacDonald, a second unit director for the Harry Potter films, be so bad at fantasy? I can't bring myself to blame him. The man obviously has talent. So I did some snooping, and learned that there were a total of five production companies involved in this movie. What's that they say about too many cooks, again?

And as if all this weren't red flaggy enough, this film was made in 1994, but held from American theaters for two years! That's right, even though the first one was a worldwide hit, and the second one made enough money to warrant a third, even the suits knew NeverEnding Story III wouldn't have a chance in hell at the box office. I'm sure at one point they contemplated burying all the negatives in the desert along with those Atari E.T. cartridges. But by 1996, they must have realized the competition wasn't going to get any weaker, so they released their flop and took it like men.

Being the fair person that I am, I usually try to include snippets of interviews from the guilty parties whenever I'm engaged in movie criticism. But, as if made privy to my intentions, our good friends at the internet seem to have obliterated all advanced press materials from this film's premiere. Seriously, I could not find a single interview given for this film, and as many big name people who are connected to it, that completely boggles the mind.

There isn't even a director's commentary on the DVD. Granted, with the way this film sunk, I doubt many people actually saw it, so MacDonald defending himself isn't really necessary in the cosmic sense. Still, it would have been nice if he cared enough to do it.

So, basically, between no real impact on the world at large, and nothing left of it in the media except barbed criticisms on the internet, and scholarly records of said barbs, this film could very easily not exist. And that goes double for the actual script.

Before I get started, though, there's a bit of Video Box Idiocy I wanted to point out. Wow, we haven't had an installment of that in a while! So here's what I found on the DVD cover:

With great music by some of your favorite rockers, this awesome fantasy-adventure celebrates the joy of reading and the magic books create within our imaginations!

Okay, skipping all that obvious Disney Channel-style marketing pap, I'd like to unveil what I'm calling The Empire Records Rule. This states that any movie that isn't Empire Records that uses its soundtrack as its main selling point is, officially, a piece of shit. And yes, I'm aware of the previews for Clerks, and how they hyped the soundtrack, but because society has since learned how good the movie is, they no longer market it that way, so it doesn't count.

But enough of my endless stalling! Join me as I plunge into the abyss, before we all regain our collective senses and go watch a good movie instead. If you make it all the way through, I'll even reveal a shocking twist!

Latest Comments

Top Trackbacks (Pages linking to this recap)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwik
i/pmwiki.php/Main/Neveren
dingStory?from=Main.TheNe
...
(1541 hits)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwik
i/pmwiki.php/Horrible/Fil
m
(895 hits)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwik
i/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheNeve
rendingStory
(664 hits)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwik
i/pmwiki.php/Main/Neveren
dingStory
(635 hits)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwik
i/pmwiki.php/YMMV/TheNeve
rendingStory?from=YMMV.Ne
...
(317 hits)
http://tvtropes.org/pmwik
i/pmwiki.php/Quotes/TooDu
mbToLive
(100 hits)

Popular Right Now

Posted Apr 22, 2014 by Cecil Trachenburg
 
Posted Apr 21, 2014 by Staff Writer
 
Posted Apr 15, 2014 by Joshua Bell
 
 
Posted Apr 10, 2014 by Nycea
 
 
Posted Apr 9, 2014 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
 
Posted Apr 19, 2014 by Michael A. Novelli
 
 
Posted Apr 16, 2014 by Ivan K
 
 
Posted Apr 14, 2014 by Steven Patsel
 
Posted Apr 7, 2014 by Staff Writer
 
Posted Apr 21, 2014 by Sofie Liv
 
Posted Apr 11, 2014 by Solkir
 
Posted Apr 8, 2014 by Cecil Trachenburg
 
Posted Apr 19, 2014 by Film Renegado
Sitemap
About the Site:
Archives:
Other Content:
Series Pages:
Feeds (RSS):
Video Shows:
Support the Site:
On Other Sites:
Top #tags:
Our Partners:

All articles posted to the agony booth are the sole property of the author(s). Please do not copy/reproduce entire articles without permission. Screencaps from movies and TV shows are used for non-profit, fair use purposes of parody and commentary. Star Trek and all related images and trademarks are the property of CBS Studios, Inc.

Reviewer icon artwork provided by Tai Porto, Aaron “McKnackus” Rivera, and Magdalen O’Reilly.