Guest Podcast: Film Yarn - Hunger Games/Battle Royale.

Hey, I was guesting on a new podcast (and by new, I mean one I hadn't been on before)! It's the Film Yarn podcast with Fredo. We were talking Hunger Games. Backstory is that he posted on Twitter that he thought the Shaky Cam was even worse than the Bourne films. I strongly disagreed, and he asked me to come on his show and debate. What I didn't realize was that he was just trying to wrangle me in to discuss a comparison between Hunger Games and Battle Royale... a big thing with me. We have a great discussion, despite a few minor audio issues (that unfortunately weren't edited out). But hopefully it's not too distracting.

Anyway, if you're interested, I come in a little ways into the show. You can either subscribe to the show via iTunes or check it out here.



50/50 Review #11: Three Amigos!

I'd seen chunks of this movie before as a child. Parts came back to me as I watched it again (the "my little buttercup" bar scene, for instance). But on the whole, it was a new experience, which is why I included it here. Though you might be asking yourself "hey, wasn't the last movie of this month supposed to be Godzilla vs. Smog Monster?" You would be correct. However, due to the movie not existing... anywhere... I had to switch it out. Thus, Three Amigos.

For those unacquainted, the film is about three out-of-work actors named Lucky Day (Steve Martin), Dusty Bottoms (Chevy Chase), and Ned Nederlander (Martin Short). They're hired to go to a small Mexican town to defeat the evil El Guapo (Alfonso Arau). But, of course, they don't realize the situation is real until it's too late.

(I know this one came out first, but bear with me...) The plot is essentially the same as My Name Is Bruce, but despite my love of Bruce Campbell, this one is the far superior film. Don't get me wrong, it's not perfect. There are things that feel out of place (talking and/or singing animals and a couple other fantasy elements--though the singing bush sequence is still hilarious, so I let that one slide). And the Germans thing goes nowhere and is never really explained. But the film is still pretty damn good.

What is there to say? The trio of Martin, Chase, and Short is fantastic. The humor is spot on, and almost all the jokes work great. I was laughing out loud in the first couple minutes with the singing. Speaking of, the music was nice and catchy, and some of them made for some outstanding scenes (particularly, again, the "my little buttercup" scene). It's apparently a movie that a lot of people didn't like, however (including, if I'm not mistaken, Roger Ebert). But those people are just weird. I thought it was really funny, quirky, smart, and an all-around good time.

A Keanu 'Whoa'

(P.S. That wraps up Nolahn's Month! That was one heck of a fun month. I've already bought my first movie of the 50/50 from this month, and hope to some day own another. Anyway, next month we get a little more "serious" and classic with Dan Heaton's Month... whose first movie is taking me all the way back to 1931 and giving me my second Charlie Chaplin film. Let's do this!)


V.G. Movies #11: Wing Commander.

[Welcome back to the Evolution of Video Game Movies series. Every week, I will be moving forward through time, starting with the earliest and ending with the most recent of video game movies. I will be detailing the histories of the games and how the films came about, and both my and fan reaction to the adaptations. Practically all of my background information is either common knowledge or from Wikipedia. So without further ado, let's move on to the next film on the list.]


In 1990, the company Origin Systems and creator Chris Roberts released a PC space simulation game called Wing Commander, meant to be like World War II... in space. The film is different than other games of its type, supposedly bringing more into the style of, say, Star Wars.

The game is set in the year 2654 with the Terran Confederation facing off against the Kilrathi, a feline race of creatures. You take control of an unnamed pilot with blue hair (later named Blair as a joke, since his nickname had been bluehair) flying as part of the Tiger's Claw. Two add-ons were eventually, well, added. They were called The Secret Missions and (wait for it) The Secret Missions 2. These added missions to the game. Bet you didn't see THAT coming. The first sequel came out in 1991 and continued the story, then another few sequels released over the next few years.

Of course, the games were relatively popular, meaning a film was on the way. However, not only was this the first video game movie based on a computer game (as opposed to an arcade or console game), but it was also directed by game creator Chris Roberts. Yeah, I'll just skip to the part where it's in the Top 10 worst video game movies of all time, and Chris Roberts never directed another movie again (though he has produced some films, such as The Punisher, The Jacket, and Lord of War. I'll let that sink in). Even worse, to the dismay of fans, the film actually inspired changes in later game installments... for some reason.

Oh, and I actually saw this thing in theater. Do I remember it? Not at all. So I think it's about time I give it a rewatch over a decade later and let you know what I think.


No, I've never played the game. Actually, I'm not a big fan of computer-based gaming. The controls always throw me off. I prefer consoles or handhelds. But the idea behind the game is simple enough... right? Lt. Blair (Freddie Prinze Jr.) and his best friend, Lt. Todd 'Maniac' Marshall (Matthew Lillard) are brought in to deliver a message to the Tiger Claw about a Kilrathi attack. Joining their new wing commander, Lt. Cdr. 'Angel' Devereaux (Saffron Burrows), they must do what it takes to stop the Kilrathi plot.

Or at least, I think that's what the plot is. I'm still not 100% sure. The movie made little sense to me, plot wise. Nobody's actions make sense. Nothing that happens is really every explained, or at least explained well. It just feels like a sequence of events surrounding a plot that hasn't been fleshed out. As such, everything is just so... boring.

It doesn't help that the characters suck and the actors are sleeping their way through the film, either. Only Saffron Burrows and Matthew Lillard seem to have any personality, and Burrows is pretty unbearable. You can have a hardass character, but when it's a good guy, you have to give them at least a smidge of heart or likability, to which she has none. Lillard plays really the only decent and interesting character in the film, and really the only character that faces any sort of extreme hardship and have any kind of change. And his relationship with the character of Rosie is fun, leading to the only good/suspenseful scene in the movie a little over halfway in.

Aesthetically, the movie looks like crap, as well. The costumes for the human characters are generally ridiculous--any of them (the pilot suits, the space suits, the soldier uniforms, etc.). Whenever you do see the Kilrathi, which isn't very often, they look just plain stupid (which is probably why you don't see them very often). The visual effects are lame, too. From the jets to the blasts, everything looks fake and cheap. Not even outer space itself looks good.

Even the action is dull. There is almost no suspense or thrill in the battles. The fights are lacking in scale, visuals, style... you name it. For a movie based on a game that is centered around Star Wars-esque space battles, this is not a good thing. And this is all particularly sad considering this came out the same year as Phantom Menace.

The film isn't painful or really all that insulting (or maybe it is for fans of the game). I just found that its worst issue was its dullness. Bad casting, acting, writing, visuals, etc., didn't help, either. I think the idea of this film could work, and perhaps it would have with a more skilled director and a slightly better script. But as it is, it's just not all that interesting of a movie. Let me say this again: Matthew Lillard is the best part of this movie. I think that pretty much says enough.

Feed Me, Seymour!


The Vlog: Season 4, Episode 12 (The Finale - Part 2: The Consequences) + Bloopers.

Here it is, folks! It's the epic Season 4 finale of The Vlog! How does everything go down? Who is going to die? Watch to find out! And then give me your thoughts on everything in the comments below.

Once you've finished with that, check out some fun bloopers below. It's funny, since it's almost like a sequel to the last set of bloopers from Season 3. And these bloopers turned out kind of meta, just like the season:


The Demented Podcast #36 - Ballsy.

For this episode, we're joined by Stevee of Cinematic Paradox. She's on to discuss psychological thrillers The Grifters and Hard Candy. We have some fun discussions before moving on to The Tower. Will this girl from the land close to the land down under make it to the top? Or will she get too... psyched out? Listen to find out!

Current Leaderboard
1) Jandy - 107 Points
2) Nikhat - 96 Points
3) Lindsay - 91 Points
4) Joanna - 83 Points
4) Jessica - FAIL

Current/Previous Battle Royale Champions

(BR3) Dan Heaton - 176 Points
(BR2) Dylan Fields - 114 Points
(BR1) Rachel Thuro - 171 Points

You can listen to this episode on the player below or by subscribing through iTunes.

That being said, enjoy! Thanks goes out to Kevin MacLeod's Incompetech website for great, royalty-free music. And thanks to Google for helping me find a website that will give me free video game audio samples.


I'm going to forewarn you--this review is going to have some book comparisons. I'll try my best to separate it and also comment on it as a film, but there will be plenty of "in the book..." kind of comments. The story takes place in a post-apocalyptic future where America has been renamed Panem, a place made up of 12 districts. Every year, two people between the ages of 12-18 are chosen to perform in a Battle Royale-esque tournament where only one comes out alive. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) volunteers after her sister, Prim (Willow Shields), is chosen. She leaves her family and friends--including best friend Gale (Liam Hemsworth)--behind to join Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) in the Games. They're mentored by Haymitch (Woody Harrelson), a former winner from their district. And after some training, the games begin. The film also stars Stanley Tucci as Caesar Flickerman, who is basically the Ryan Seacrest of the world; Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket, a flamboyant woman who works with Katniss and Peeta; Lenny Kravitz as Cinna, Katniss and Peeta's fashion designer; Toby Jones as Claudius, an announcer for the games; Wes Bentley as Seneca Crane, who designs and runs the games; and Donald Sutherland as President Snow... the President.


I read beforehand that there were a few big scenes missing. But honestly... I really can't recall anything all that important. Off the top of my head, I know Haymitch's original book entrance isn't there, the obsession with the Capitol food is gone, Katniss gets the Mockingjay pin in a different way, any of the Avox stuff is gone, Katniss' makeover team is pretty much background fodder, the games seem to last only a few nights instead of two weeks, Katniss doesn't drug Peeta before going to the Cornucopia, and a lot of the biggest injuries by the end (Katniss' ear, Peeta's lost leg) aren't there. In fact, the entire ending is much quicker than in the book, and it's slightly different from the book, as well; Peeta and Gale aren't really pissed at Katniss, the hospital stuff is gone, etc. But honestly, none of that really matters to me, especially in the grand scheme of things.

The only adaptation problem I had, actually, was the very short amount of time given to build the relationship between Katniss and Rue before her death. I mean, she's sprinkled throughout, but they only actually interact for maybe about five minutes before the sequence. For such an emotional section of the book, it was slightly rushed. However, I know the film was already almost 2.5 hours, so it's not like they could have built it up too much. And they did a pretty fine job in the time they were given, considering I actually felt a little emotional when the time came, and it's difficult to make me emotional with movies.

What I did love, though, was the fact that they added a lot of behind-the-scenes stuff that wasn't in the books. It made a lot of things make more sense, actually. Seneca was given a much bigger role (from almost non-existent in the book to one of the main characters in the film). I really liked seeing how he ran the games and what the control room looked like, etc. And his interactions with Snow, who also has an extended role in the film, gave us a sneak peak at our primary villain that you really don't get to see until the second book. I also liked seeing how it worked with Haymitch getting donations for the parachute objects. That part never made much sense to me in the book, so I like that they at least expanded on that a little in the film. And, of course, Caesar was given an expanded role, as well. He has two scenes in the book (the interviews before and after the games), but here is given much more. He interviews Seneca, he acts as a commentator during the games (which you actually get to see people watching, too--another nice addition). You get to see a number of things you don't really learn about until the second book.


I think director Gary Ross had a big job to do with this film, and he conveyed it rather well. Some have complained about the pacing being too slow, but it didn't bother me any. Having read the books, I can tell you that the film's pacing is actually much faster, especially after the games start. I know you can still argue "but I didn't read the books." Well... that is true. But I think that's just how the story goes. Either you like it or it's not for you.

The acting was fantastic. Jennifer Lawrence continues to impress, and Josh Hutcherson was able to keep up just fine. As others have stated, Woody Harrelson and Elizabeth Banks give some good comic relief (especially when they interact with each other), Lenny Kravitz is a great Cinna, and Stanley Tucci really shines as Caesar. I don't think there's a short end of the stick anywhere in this bunch. I know others have complained about the chemistry between Katniss and Gale (and/or Jennifer Lawrence and Liam Hemsworth)--but I'll be honest, I felt the same way during the books, too. Actually, showing his reactions to things added more emotion to him than he had in this first book.

Let's talk about some visuals. The CGI isn't terrible; it's not the best out there, but it's better than average. If it was used frequently, it was hard to tell. All I really noticed was anything with fire and some creature effects. They were good enough not to be distracting; we'll put it that way. I felt the shaky cam aspect to the action wasn't as big of a detriment as I was expecting it to be. It wasn't terribly overused, and you could still see enough of the violence for it to be worthwhile.

And speaking of the violence, I was actually a fan of the fact that they often had silence over it. In fact, there really isn't much of a score here. A lot of the movie is quiet or muted. The score is good when it plays, but there was a surprising amount of silence for such a major, action-y film like this. I think it was a rather artsy kind of move.


Overall, the film works both as an adaptation and on its own. In fact, I think it makes a pretty dang fine adaptation, even to the point where I like aspects of the film and wish they were in the book (though they couldn't be, since the book is from Katniss' perspective). I like that the film took its time, set up the world and the characters in the first hour, and then spent time at the games and didn't rush too much. I wish they would have spent a little more time with Rue, but they had to cut corners somewhere, I suppose. It was handled very well, and if they do the next two anything at all like this one, count me in.

Rating System.
Royale With Cheese


50/50 Review #10: Big Trouble In Little China.

How have I never seen this movie before now? Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) is a truck driver who, after going to the airport with his friend Wang (Dennis Dun), ends up in a war with Lo Pan (James Hong)--and immortal sorcerer who must marry a green-eyed woman in order to regain his youth and strength. So along with lawyer Gracie Law (Kim Cattrall) and peasant magician Egg Shen (Victor Wong), Jack must do what it takes to survive... and get his truck back.

There is almost no point to making a criticism about this movie. It's so insane and bad and brilliant and awesome that you'll either love it or hate it. The best comparison I can actually make is that it reminded me a lot of Army of Darkness. Now, before you raise your eyebrows at me, let me explain. The acting is anywhere between silly to over-the-top. The visuals are bizarre and cheesy (but simultaneously brilliant). You can never tell what's going to happen in the next scene, action or otherwise. You have a lead character who is an average guy, yet a total wisecracking badass who gets sucked into a world even he thinks is freakin' ridiculous, but he never lets it get to him; instead, he rolls with it and does things his own way. If magic won't open a door... forget it--just shoot or stab the thing down. He'll kiss a girl then toss her aside, because that's how he rolls, baby.

The tone is a strange one. It's like the movie is simultaneously taking itself seriously yet acting like a parody. It knows exactly what it is, and knows you know, so it goes the opposite direction just to keep you on your toes. Point is, there seemed to be scenes that knew the film was just out of its mind, but then it would give you another scene that pulled it back just a little. I don't know how to explain it. And this isn't a negative--just an observation. Again, it's like going back to the Army of Darkness comparison. You have all of these actors being overly dramatic and serious, but in the most ridiculous of situations.

The only negative I actually have is the journalist character. She was awfully pointless in the grand scheme of things. Her character did absolutely nothing or add anything. Maybe a joke here or there, but she was such a late addition to the story and almost a non-presence that it just felt like she was forced into the story after production of the film had already begun.

Anyway, while it did take me a while to get a handle on what I was experiencing, I eventually gave in to the craziness of it all. This is a film I would have loved as a child, and it's a bit bittersweet that I'm only now seeing it for the first time. Bitter in that I haven't gotten to see it more, but sweet in that I can now appreciate it in ways I might not have with the nostalgic attachment I would have otherwise had. If you haven't seen this movie, and you like crazy, over-the-top action/adventure/fantasy flicks with cool, fun characters and great lines... this is one you need to check out.

Rating System.
Royale With Cheese


V.G. Movies #10: Pokemon: The First Movie - Mewtwo Strikes Back.

[Welcome back to the Evolution of Video Game Movies series. Every week, I will be moving forward through time, starting with the earliest and ending with the most recent of video game movies. I will be detailing the histories of the games and how the films came about, and both my and fan reaction to the adaptations. Practically all of my background information is either common knowledge or from Wikipedia. So without further ado, let's move on to the next film on the list.]


(Bear with me on this one.)

Way back in 1965, a man named Satoshi Tajiri was born. As a child, he was a big fan of insect collecting--to the point all the other kids called him Dr. Bug and he almost became an entomologist. As a teenager, though, his interests shifted to video games, primarily arcade games. And at the age of 17, he began to write and produce a fan magazine (wherein it was hand-written and stapled together) called Game Freak.

One day, a man named Ken Sugimori saw this magazine in a store and decided to get a little more involved. But as more people became involved, they began to notice games were lacking in quality (as I stated earlier on in this series). Tajiri wanted to make his own game. Taking the magazine title, he created the Game Freak video game company in 1989. And after the Nintendo Game Boy came out, Tajiri got an idea. This idea took his childhood love of insect collecting to a new level. This game was called Pocket Monsters... or Pokemon. And because Tajiri had actually helped work on another hit, The Legend of Zelda, Nintendo considered this new idea of his.

However, Game Freak almost went bankrupt trying to create the first couple games--the Red and Green versions. The games took six years to produce, with Ken Sugimori drawing the original 151, and they had to invest in another company--Creatures Inc.--in order to survive. But by the time the games were released, most media felt the Game Boy was a dying system and didn't pay Pokemon much attention. The games were not expected to do well whatsoever.

But then something interesting happened. Rumors ran rampant about a secret Pokemon named Mew which could be collected by exploiting programming errors in the game, which in turn increased interest. Funnily enough, Tajiri included Mew to promote trading and interaction, but the company itself had not known of the creature's existence. And as the games became a success, the slowly failing Nintendo company began to once again succeed. With the success of the games, the next version was developed--Pokemon Blue. And when the game was translated to come overseas in 1998, Blue was split into what Americans know as the original Red and Blue versions, with the Japanese Red and Green having never left Japan.

The concept of the game is simple: You are a Pokemon trainer on your first day, but you wake up late. There are only three starter Pokemon left to choose from: Bulbasaur, Squirtle, and Charmander. And whichever one you take, your rival (named either Gary or Red) takes the exact opposite to make things more difficult for you every time you battle him in the game. You begin on your adventure to collect all 150 known Pokemon (151 if you include Mew), which you can only get if you trade between the partnered game. While you're doing this, you're traveling from town to town, fighting in gym battles, getting badges, and trying to become the best trainer you can be--as well as stopping a crime syndicate called Team Rocket.

Soon, a kid's anime series was released, which followed trainer Ash Ketchum. He woke up late, as in the game, but the only Pokemon left is a cantankerous little Pikachu who refuses to stay in his pokeball (the object that carries and/or captures the creatures). Eventually, Ash befriends gym leaders Misty and Brock, who leave with him on his adventure. They're constantly faced with attempts from Team Rocket members Jesse, James, and Meowth to steal away Pikachu. Not longer after, the game company released Pokemon Yellow, which was a version that more closely followed the show (starting you off with Pikachu, having Jesse and James, etc.).

In November of 1999, a movie was released in America (though over a year prior in Japan) based on the anime show. It featured the most powerful Pokemon of the original games, Mewtwo, and--yes--the secret Pokemon, Mew. Pokemon was at the height of its success when the film came out, and it was a box office hit. Unfortunately, despite its monetary success, it received negative reviews, and most critics (and game fans) said it was purely for little kids only.


I was a HUGE Pokemon fan as a kid. I was definitely in its target audience when it was popular. I loved the original games. I bought Yellow with a special Pokemon-themed Game Boy Color when it came out. I have hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of the playing cards. I watched the original TV show, and even owned episodes on VHS. I had some toys, collectables, CD albums, etc. I can do a pretty spot on impression of the Jigglypuff song (as well as a Pikachu impression). I, at one point, had all 151 original Pokemon memorized in numerical order. And I did see this film in theater on opening night (and eventually owned it on VHS). But I'll be honest--I haven't seen it since I was a kid. I remember details from it, but that's about it. So... let's go into this now and see how it fares with me as an adult.


Out of all the films I've had to watch for any series that I do, I've never had as hard of a time tracking down a movie as this. I did say I own it on VHS, but I don't have a functioning VCR. But this film is not available through any rental capacity for some reason, nor could I even find it on YouTube. In fact, I had to watch it through a fan-sub of the original Japanese version online. Anyway, that didn't really help or hurt it any, so that doesn't matter.

The film starts out as some scientists successfully made an enhanced clone of Mew that they call Mewtwo. Mewtwo questions his identity and purpose before killing all of them, getting taken in by Team Rocket, and then destroying them before heading off on his own. We then meet up later with Ash, Misty, and Brock having lunch and battling Pokemon when they get an invitation to meet the strongest Pokemon trainer in the world. Of course, when they eventually get there with some of the others who were invited, they discover its really Mewtwo. He wants to clone all the Pokemon and... rule the world or something with his (wait for it) clone army.

There are some upsides and downsides with this movie. First, the animation has moments that are really good. Nothing awe-inspiring, but really good, nonetheless. Mew, also, is a fun and fantastic little creature. They portrayed it well as playful and innocent, but dangerous if provoked. Mewtwo himself is a very menacing villain, and you know he's not one to mess with. He will straight kill you. Unfortunately, those are all pretty much the only upsides.

The downside of this film basically stems from the film attempting to be more than it should have. I guess perhaps it was too ambitious (but only in themes). For being based a light, cheesy cartoon, the movie is incredibly dark. The first ten minutes alone have numerous people murdered, as well as a number of crime committed. And there are implied deaths not too long after that are just swept over. There is the dark themes of identity and purpose of life through cloning, as well. And these themes are really all the film has going for it, as it doesn't try to do much else except be basically a morality story.

And the movie fails because it is not consistent with these themes, nor do the words or actions of almost any character make a lick of sense. Let me give you some examples, starting with the words/actions. Near the beginning, when all the invited trainers are trying to get to the island, there is a terrible hurricane (described as one of the worst they'd ever seen). The ferry was shut down and crossing was not allowed due to danger of life (both self and Pokemon). So what happens? Every trainer there immediately calls out their Pokemon to help them cross through the hurricane. Ash, Misty, and Brock can't cross because, as they state, they have no Pokemon that can swim. So this is when Team Rocket shows up in a rickety old row boat dressed as vikings and invite them on. Yes... this is your SAFEST option, right? Of course it is! So they go with it. Eventually, the hurricane topples them over. What saves them? Oh, you know, their Pokemon that can swim (which they said they didn't have--which boggles the mind to begin with considering Misty was a gym leader that specialized in water Pokemon). Anyway, it's things like that.

But then there is how the themes fail. Mewtwo figures his purpose is to make his army of clones and fight all the originals, right? So the big lesson that everybody ends up learning from this is... everybody's life is valuable and fighting is bad/wrong. Um... excuse me? You realize that the entire premise behind Pokemon is fighting, right? That's what Pokemon trainers do. They battle and collect Pokemon and experience. Without battling, the entire concept is lost. In short, the entire message of this film goes against everything Pokemon is. And after Mewtwo realizes that fighting is wrong, he takes his clones and flies off with them, never to be seen again (at least... until the direct-to-video sequel Mewtwo Returns. But don't worry. I'm not reviewing that one).

So while there are some positives to the film, it ultimately fails. It tries to be dark (I'm assuming for the adult fans), but it messes up its themes so that they can't enjoy it. And although there are some fun Pokemon battles and everything looks cool, the darkness of the story can be a bit off-putting to little kids, as it's not as child-friendly and cheerful as the show. So it's almost a film that tried to appeal to everyone but ended up appealing to very few. Don't get me wrong--I certainly do not think it is a poorly put together film (like I said, it looks nice, and there is some fan service (not that kind!)), or really even a terrible film. It just had the potential to be so much better than it was. It strove for greatness but really fell short.

Feed Me, Seymour!


The Vlog: Season 4, Episode 11 (The Finale - Part 1: The Truth).

Welcome one and all the Part 1 of the 2-part season finale! This episode begins giving some answers... to questions you might not have been sure you even had! There are connections to both seasons 2 and 3 here, filling in some heretofore unexplained plot elements (for instance, "how did Kai get suddenly turned back into a human from being a hamster in Season 2?"). And, of course, its biggest connection is to the two episodes last season (Rachel's Version and Jess' Version). We previously were unsure who was right and who was wrong... but now... we have The Truth. As well as the outcome of the fight from last year's finale.

Enjoy and let me know what y'all think in the comments!

(P.S. That character death I mentioned in the promo? Yeah, it's not in this episode. But there are some twists!)


50/50 Review #9: Gymkata.

Have you ever thought to yourself: "Man, if only there were a movie that combined gymnastics, karate, ninjas, a dangerous game that makes no sense, government interference in other countries, and a hot Asian princess"? Then do I have a movie for you! Gymkata is about an Olympic-bound gymnast named Jonathan Cabot (Kurt Thomas). The government want to put a "star wars" satellite station in the country of Parmistan, but in order to do so, somebody must win "the game" which allows them one request. They call on Cabot, whose father was formerly an operative with them, to use his skills to win the game. They even bring in the princess of the country, Rubali (Tetchie Agbayani), to help train him. But it's not that easy. Zamir (Richard Norton), the right-hand of the Kahn (Buck Kartalian), wants an uprising, and refuses anyone else to win the game... for some reason.

The story makes absolutely no sense. Even watching it, I had no idea why they had chosen Cabot to go to this country and play in this game. And that brings up the game, which also makes no sense. The rules are never clear. And apparently no "outsider" has ever won the game. How can they? The army of ninjas goes out to kill them every time and won't let them get very far. Granted, this could be part of the uprising, though the king guy is a moron who could sentence Zamir to death or something... nope. Not even when Zamir attacks him and attempts to kill the contestants right in front of him, clearly defying him. Even then, he's like "I trust him completely."

The bad guys are total idiots, as well. They shoot one guy with arrows, and its clear they have more. Yet when they go after Cabot, who is WIDE OPEN AND IN CLEAR SHOT, they just chop the rope (when he's almost to the other side) or set a rope on fire (when he's almost to the top of the cliff). And then a handful of these revolutionary ninjas are taken down in one hit by an old man. Most incompetent villains ever.

Not even the filmmaking is any good. There are clear edits in the middle of the action (which I'll get to next), making things choppy. There's a moment when a character is strangled to death, but the camera stays on him a little too long, because for about a half second, you see the actor start to move again. It's clear the director had no idea how to handle a camera, nor did he think ahead on how he would edit his scenes together. The action itself is godawful. The mixture of gymnastics and karate is painfully cheesy. And it's clear that he never hits a single person. Hell, there's one time where his foot doesn't even come close to a guy, yet the guy still falls over. I swear, there was even a moment where Cabot is sitting flat on the ground, and his legs shoot almost straight up in an impossible angle from how he had his body; it had to be fake legs.

Nothing about this movie was any good. The directing was awful. The camera work was amateurish. The acting was painful. There is no character development of any kind. The action was just plain stupid. The story made absolutely no sense. The people of this country were confusing--they had foreign names but were a bunch of white people, with only a few that weren't (I mean, the king was an old white dude, but had a hot Filipino daughter). The king himself was goofy and useless, like some crazy billionaire decided to make his own country, but was really incompetent at it. The revolution of Zamir made little sense, too. Gymkata is a terrible film in every regard. And every single second of it was freakin' awesome.

A Hot Mess

(P.S. Seriously... if you like so-bad-they're-good movies, you need to see this immediately.)


The Vlog: Season 4 Finale Promo.

As promised, here is the Season 4 Finale Promo trailer thing. It's only about a minute long, because there wasn't much footage I was willing to show ahead of time (even here, there are only about 4 clips). And I put this together for you after having a tooth pulled. The things I do for y'all. Anywho, enjoy! Let me hear what you think in the comments!


V.G. Movies #9: Mortal Kombat: Annihilation.

[Welcome back to the Evolution of Video Game Movies series. Every week, I will be moving forward through time, starting with the earliest and ending with the most recent of video game movies. I will be detailing the histories of the games and how the films came about, and both my and fan reaction to the adaptations. Practically all of my background information is either common knowledge or from Wikipedia. So without further ado, let's move on to the next film on the list.]


Last week, I discussed the background leading up to the first Mortal Kombat film, including the origins of the game. That film followed mainly the first game with a couple things taken from the second (such as the character of Kitana). But the film that followed took heavily from the third.

Now, Mortal Kombat 3 is famous for a few things. First and foremost, as I stated last week, it spawned a couple other games that were basically enhancements of itself (similar to Street Fighter II). But what these games, in any incarnation, have in common is that they include a plethora new characters.

The game's story is a good one--overlord Shao Kahn plans to revive Queen Sindel (Kitana's mother) in the human realm so that he can cross over into it and, thus, begin merging the realm with Outworld as a kind of loop hole in the rules of the Mortal Kombat tournament system. Because of his actions, the majority of the people of Earth are destroyed, with the exception of a select few. Shao Kahn sends his extermination squads out to take care of those remainders. Also, Raiden--who cannot use his powers in Outworld--begins to lose his powers due to the merging.

There are new characters, ideas, and subplots galore, as well. There is an added cybernetics subplot that gives Sonya's partner Jax some mechanical arms. It also is used to turn deadly ninja warriors into robots, including Smoke, Cyrax, and Sektor. We are introduced to Sub-Zero's younger brother, who is out to gain revenge on Shao Kahn; two dying species at war with each other, one of each being in Shao Kahn's army (Sheeva and Motaro); and many other characters with their own stories, like Stryker, Kabal, Nightwolf, Mileena, Jade, etc. One of the biggest surprises here is that Johnny Cage is actually killed and is not a playable character.

The reception of the game was decent and the game was a hit. Its biggest criticism was that it took away too many of the main and popular characters and replaced them with a ton of new ones. I find that particularly interesting considering what happened in the film adaptation...


When adapting something from a source material (say, a video game) that has a big fan base, your film tends to end up in one of these categories: 1) It ignores the game but still turns out kinda decent (Resident Evil); 2) It takes the spirit of the game, still ignoring some of it, but putting in some fan service here and there and it turns out pretty good (Mortal Kombat, Silent Hill); 3) It attempts total fan service, making fans happy but alienating a mainstream audience (FF7: Advent Children); or 4) It ignores the game and turns out terrible (majority). I can say that this is one of the few game-based films out there where the film is total fan service, yet it upset fans and mainstream audiences alike. It's that bad.

The film picks up where the first left off. Liu Kang (Robin Shou), Raiden (James Remar), Sonya (Sandra Hess), Johnny Cage (Chris Conrad), and Kitana (Talisa Soto) have just won Mortal Kombat and are expecting some peace. However, Shao Kahn (Brian Thompson) appears and begins to take over the earth realm by attempting to merge it with Outworld. At his side is Kitana's mother, Sindel (Musetta Vander), who had died years prior. The gang must figure out a way to prepare themselves and find a way to stop Shao Kahn before its too late and his extermination squads destroy mankind completely. You will also see the likes of Sheeva, Motaro, Jax, Jade, Nightwolf, Ermac, Cyrax, Sub-Zero, Scorpion, Smoke, Rain, Baraka, and Mileena through the course of the film (as well as mentions of Stryker and Kabal)... whether it makes sense or not.

Mistake #1: Recasting every character except Liu Kang and Kitana. I guess if you're going to recast Christopher Lambert, the best option would be the almost identical James Remar, but his acting was atrocious in the film. But then again, everybody's acting in this film was atrocious. Still, you lost the bulk of your cast. The wise-cracking Johnny Cage is killed off in the first few minutes of the film... and although canonical with the game it's adapting, it was a poor choice. His character is basically replaced with the wise-cracking Jax, who makes very similar jokes as Cage did.

Mistake #2: The story--whatever there is of one--makes no sense. There really is no story here, to be perfectly honest. Shao Kahn shows up, but his character is quickly undermined by the fact his all-powerful father is involved. But by the end, it seems his father really isn't controlling things. But then again, he is. It makes no sense. Anyway, Shao Kahn wants to take over earth realm... why? They never say. He just does. Kitana is the key to everything, and everybody says so. But then she's not, so... yeah. Everybody has to split up to... no real reason. Liu Kang has to find Nightwolf to learn a skill (animality--an actually cool way to bring that into the film) to defeat Shao Kahn. And I assume Raiden drops off Sonya to pick up Jax. But why split up? Why not just go on one mission at a time and save yourselves some trouble? It doesn't matter anyway, as the animality is pretty freakin' useless, and Jax comes in handy twice--though one of those times doesn't count because it was while he was being rescued, so Sonya wouldn't have needed saving had she not been there in the first place to rescue him.

Mistake #3: The excess characters and their misuse just drags the film down. Some make sense: Sub-Zero's brother explains (before he disappears never to be seen again) that Smoke was reprogrammed to go after Liu and the others to stop them (though never explained how Smoke came into being or why he was after Sub-Zero's bro to begin with). Others like Rain or Ermac--hell, even Sheeva and Motaro--make sense because they're just a part of the army. But then there's a totally random re-appearance of Scorpion (who now has 2 stingers), despite his death in the previous film. Mileena shows up for absolutely no reason, fights for maybe one minute, and is never given a name. Baraka is just some monster that guards the cages. Again, at least half of these characters aren't called by name, some of them only appear momentarily and disappear just as fast, and almost all of them die stupidly. The inclusion of all of these characters left no room for further exploration of story or character development or themes. This leads to...

Mistake #4: No exploration of story, character, or themes. It sets up an interesting bundle of ideas with cybernetics versus raw human nature and potential. Whether that's Jax and his cybernetic arms vs his regular arms (which is kind of explored), or the idea of building killing machines like Cyrax when you could train yourself to bring out your animal instincts, like with Nightwolf or Liu Kang. But the cybernetics stuff is barely a sidenote, the animality stuff is worthless, and even the original themes of fighters with or without souls that the game itself explores is nonexistent.

Mistake #5: Visually, this movie blows. There is an infinite amount of green screen that looks terrible. The CGI is just as bad as the first film, and the director, for some reason, felt the need to include a couple CGI monsters here and there. And, yes, the animality moment is painful. I even knew that at 11 or 12 or however old I was when this film came out. But even when the film goes more natural, it doesn't work. The animatronics and whatnot was better with Goro in the first film and just looks really rough in this one (with Sheeva or Motaro, specifically).

If I could give this film anything, it's that there may be a fight or two that are decent. Some of the fighting choreography is alright, though even most of that is incompetent (what was with the Raiden dancing fight? It looked like it came right out of the "Total Eclipse of the Heart" music video). The film isn't super painful or anything. It is certainly bad, and it did hurt to sit through at times. But I've definitely seen worse films. This could easily be one to sit with friends and make fun of. I do want to ask this, though: Why the hell are there 11 minutes of credits at the end? I remember the credits being long when I was a kid, but this is ridiculous. There are no scenes inter-playing with the credits or anything. It's just credits. For 11 minutes. Seriously... even the ending credits are incompetent at their job in this film. That's just sad.

The Zed Word


The Vlog: Season 4, Episode 10 (The Return).

I apologize for this being almost a day late, but I got it in on time. I've just had a really busy weekend. Anyway, this is the final "regular" episode of the season. The next 2 episodes are actually a 2-part Season Finale (which I'll be attempting to put out a promo for in the near future). But as for now, here is this episode. Enjoy, and let me know what y'all think in the comments!


The Demented Podcast #35 - The Lost Episode.

Due to technical difficulties, we lost the majority of this episode. I was able to get in the last 13 minutes of the show, which is the majority of Round Two in The Tower through to the end, but we lost everything else. So for the first 13 minutes, I summarize the introduction of our guest, Nikhat of Being Norma Jeane; our thoughts on the films (Roxanne and I'm A Cyborg But That's OK); and the beginning of The Tower. Then I give you actual audio from the show. I know it's a short show, but I hope you enjoy what you've gotten anyway. And it'll give you some time to get in more feedback for previous episodes (as well as this one, if you'd like).

Current Leadboard
1) Jandy - 107 Points
2) Lindsey - 91 Points
3) Joanna - 83 Points
4) Jessica - FAIL

Current/Previous Battle Royale Champions

(BR3) Dan Heaton - 176 Points
(BR2) Dylan Fields - 114 Points
(BR1) Rachel Thuro - 171 Points

You can listen to this episode on the player below or by subscribing through iTunes.

That being said, enjoy! Thanks goes out to Kevin MacLeod's Incompetech website for great, royalty-free music. And thanks to Google for helping me find a website that will give me free video game audio samples.


50/50 Review #8: Ruthless People.

I knew nothing about this film until soon before watching it. I must say, I did go into it with some intrigue. It has a pretty fantastic premise. Sam Stone (Danny DeVito) is a business tycoon who wants to kill his wife, Barbara (Bette Midler), in order to get her share of the inheritance. But he quickly finds that she has been kidnapped by married couple Ken (Judge Reinhold) and Sandy (Helen Slater), who want revenge for Sam stealing Sandy's idea. Unfortunately, Sam's mistress Carol (Anita Morris) doesn't think much of Sam's plan, so hires the inept Earl (Bill Pullman) to gain proof of murder, but ends up falling into a mess of miscommunication and mistakes.

It's a movie with a lot of potential. Let's start with the story. Directed by the guys who gave us Naked Gun and Airplane!, there was a big chance of some quirky humor. And it was there--but it was more amusing than laugh-out-loud funny. It never really took itself beyond its premise. Granted, it's a pretty good premise, but it could have been more than just that. There is a serial killer subplot that is woven into the plot, but it's not very strongly developed.

The cast had some strong potential, too. And I think we get it here. DeVito does what he does best--a slimeball. You can't help but root for Reinhold and Slater as the likeable couple. Bette Midler was great, too. She starts off kind of annoying, but there's a turning point later in the film where she comes around and gives some good comedy. I was surprised to learn that this was Bill Pullman's first film (and even moreso that Spaceballs, arguably his finest film, is only his second). His character is a bit wasted, though, always giving more attention to Anita Morris in their scenes, who is probably the weakest part of the film.

I know this is probably sounding like a pretty negative review. I honestly don't mean it to. Like I said, the best word to describe it is amusing. The actors do fine, and there's nothing inherently wrong with the film. The one-note joke is stretched pretty thin by the end, since that's the only thing the film attempts to have going for it. But, as I said, it's a good joke and makes for an entertaining 90 minutes.

I Am McLovin!

(P.S. Forgot to mention, it has a fun and unique opening title sequence, too. Just thought I'd throw that in there, as well.)



I know I'm a bit late to the game here, but it just came to my town this weekend. And I was a little put off--I guess they forgot to turn the sound on, because like... nobody in the movie was talking. (jay kay.) I really didn't now what to expect from this film outside its premise and the fact it won the big awards in the Oscars. But did it deserve them? The Artist "tells" us the story of George (Jean Dujardin), a silent film star who typically works under director Al Zimmer (John Goodman). But when talkies start being introduced to Hollywood, Zimmer goes with the flow, leaving a skeptical George behind. As George falls to the wayside, a pretty young actress named Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) begins to rise to stardom, and both George and Peppy's paths often cross, mostly thanks to a fateful meeting at the beginning of the film.

I've seen one and a half silent films prior to this (Nosferatu and The Great Dictator--which is the half). I am no big know-it-all when it comes to the style (and I wasn't particularly a huge fan of Nosferatu). As this film starts and you see an audience watching one of George's silent films, I was nervous. I was already bored and couldn't get into it. That lasted about five minutes. When Peppy is introduced during the press bits after the film ends, the film suddenly grabbed me and slowly started reeling me in. And it didn't take very long for it to hook me completely after that.

Everything about this film is masterful. However, I have to give it up to the directing first and foremost, as there were some truly brilliant moments in this film. I can't even begin to name them, as there are far too many. I mean, the mimic-dance, the jacket scene, the juxtapositions between George and Peppy, the camera angles and perfect shots, anything with the dog, the ending--the list just goes on and on. Similarly, the writing is outstanding. I understand now how a silent film is nominated for best screenplay. The play on words this film uses ("Why won't you talk!"), the jokes, the unexpected responses. It's all fantastic, and the director's vision really took it all and gave it to us perfectly.

I could go on and on about the actors, too. Berenice Bejo is gorgeous. Jean Dujardin is charming, debonair, and--at times--heartbreaking. His relationship with James Cromwell is outstanding, and a particular scene later on in the film between them really pulled at the heartstrings. The true star of this film, though, was the dog. Not only was he the cutest dog ever, but they trained him brilliantly. And his love for his master/best friend George was intoxicating. You can't help but smile.

I'm not even going to bother talking about the award-winning musical score, which fits practically every scene perfectly. But then, on top of everything else I've mentioned, is a meta quality that surrounds the entire film. I loved this film, I really did. It has everything: charm, wit, class, comedy, sadness, romance, sword fights (kinda), and even some tap dancing. An outstanding film, and it easily pushed its way into my Top 5 of last year.

Rating System.
Royale With Cheese


V.G. Movies #8: Mortal Kombat.

[Welcome back to the Evolution of Video Game Movies series. Every week, I will be moving forward through time, starting with the earliest and ending with the most recent of video game movies. I will be detailing the histories of the games and how the films came about, and both my and fan reaction to the adaptations. Practically all of my background information is either common knowledge or from Wikipedia. So without further ado, let's move on to the next film on the list.]


In 1991, four men began development on an action game originally meant to star Jean-Claude Van Damme. But that fell through. They continued with development, but then had trouble even coming up with a title. Somebody suggested the word 'combat', and as a joke, another changed the C to a K. Soon, Mortal Kombat was born. But one of the early things to separate this game from others was the fact that instead of giving digitized characters, production company Midway came up with a motion capture system so that the fighters would be more lifelike.

The basic story of the games is that there are Elder Gods who have created multiple realms. If any particular realm wanted to conquer another realm, they must first defeat that realm in ten consecutive Mortal Kombat tournaments. One realm, Outworld, has already defeated Earth Realm nine times, and it's time for the tenth tournament. The thunder god Raiden helps form a team of fighters to stop Outworld's Shang Tsung from winning, headed by a monk named Liu Kang. Also on tap are Special Forces agent Sonya Blade, out to take down a killer named Kano. Then there was Hollywood action star Johnny Cage, and finally ninja warriors Scorpion and Sub-Zero. The game included a sub-boss with the four-armed goliath, Goro, and a secret enemy, Reptile.

The game was originally released to arcades in August 1992, with its sequel hitting arcades the following year. The third came out in 95, and over the next couple years, it received a few enhancements, gaining new characters--similar to what happened with Street Fighter II. In 1994, a techno group called The Immortals released a music album based on the first game. The main theme, Techno Syndrome, was taken and used (with some alterations) the following year as the main theme of the film. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

The game was considered one of the most controversial games ever made, and it even won most controversial game of 1993. The game gained such notoriety, it found itself in government hearings and, soon, was almost single-handedly responsible for creating the ESRB--the company which gives ratings to video games (like the MPAA for films).

Such brilliant publicity could not go unnoticed. In 1995, a then-unknown director named Paul W.S. Anderson created a live-action version. While the film did take almost all of its story and characters from the first game, there were a few things here and there taken from the second game in the series. It was a mixed bag for critics, but was well received by fans. It was popular enough to spend three weeks in the #1 spot, and then gain a sequel (I'll get to that next week). And it's still today considered one of the better video game adaptations. So let's see how it fares.


I saw this film in theater, maybe even a couple times, and I owned it on VHS. And of all the films on this list, this was probably the one I watched most recently prior to the start of this project. The plot of the film is pretty identical to that of the first game. Liu Kang (Robin Shou) is out to gain vengeance on evil sorcerer Shang Tsung (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) for killing his little brother in the previous tournament. Lord Rayden (Christopher Lambert) is out to protect him and the others who are coerced into joining--movie star Johnny Cage (Linden Ashby) and special agent Sonya Blade (Bridget Wilson), who is after a criminal named Kano (Trevor Goddard). But Shang Tsung isn't alone. He has two warriors under his command: Sub-Zero (Francois Petit) and Scorpion (Chris Casamassa). It will take everything the good guys have to stay alive, which is why Princess Kitana (Talisa Soto) helps when she can.

The acting isn't anything special. It's not good or bad. Christopher Lambert is fun as Rayden, though, and he really hams it up--as does Cary Tagawa as Shang Tsung ("YOU... will be next!" "Your. Soul. Is. Mine!" "NEVER!"). But I did want to mention the guy who plays Kano. Did you know that the game makers were so impressed with Trevor Goddard's portrayal that they actually changed Kano in the games to make him Australian? Bet that was the first time a film adaptation has actually been so good it's changed the games (and probably the only time).

If this film suffers anywhere, it's in the visual effects department. Goro is alright, and they do make the four arms look decent. But there are other times he just looks silly. The real problems, though, come in with the CGI--particularly Reptile. There are numerous moments throughout the film where the group is being followed by a creature version of Reptile, and it's some of the most painfully bad CGI I've ever seen. I mean, this was so bad that my 9-year-old self knew it was bad even for its time.

But it makes up for practically everything with its action. It's not sparse with it, and it's a lot of fun. The dining hall fight. Johnny Cage vs. Scorpion (ties for best fight in the film). The other best fight is Liu Kang vs. Reptile. Despite just random leaping around for no reason, it has some great moments, all culminating in an epic bicycle kick. And the climax fight between Liu Kang and Shang Tsung is fantastic, if only for the final seconds that build up to the fireball.

This movie has everything you would want from a Mortal Kombat film, at least one from the mid-90s. The action is a lot of fun. The characters are good portrayals. Granted, fan favorites Sub-Zero and Scorpion (though mostly Sub-Zero) are given small roles. It's cheesy, yeah, but it totally works. Overall, There's good humor, good action, and one of the best damn movie themes ever made. Those were $500 sunglasses, asshole!

A Keanu 'Whoa'


The Vlog: Season 4, Episode 9 (Story Time #4 - A Vlog Renewed).

This is one of those episodes that makes me nervous. It's very choppy when I'm putting it together and takes a lot of time and editing to get right. Of course, the last time I felt this way, it turned out to be one of y'all's favorite episodes of last season. So let's hope something similar happens here. It's more than just a 'recap of the whole series' episode, as it does have a bigger purpose in existing. So I hope everyone enjoys. Let me know what y'all think!


MonthWatch - February 2012.

[I'm going to keep a monthly tally of the movies I've both watched for the first time and as re-watches. I think it'll be interesting to see what all I've watched at the end of the year and how many. That being said, let's do it. Here's the next month.]


Chronicle -
Loved it.

Drive - Better the second time, but I still feel it's one of the most overrated films of 2011.
How To Train Your Dragon - It's just so fun.
The Shining - One of my two favorite Kubrick's.
The Island - Reel Insight podcast put me in the mood for this a while back.
Pitch Black - Love this movie, and I needed a little Riddick.
Clerks II - Hilarious. I might have a controversial opinion, but I like it even more than the original.
Cellular - I forgot just how many big names were in this flick.
Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie - Eastman... he comes from the east... to fight the Amazing RANDO!
The Hurt Locker - This only kinda counts since I fell asleep at one point due to lateness, but I was in the mood to check it out again.
Daybreakers - Doesn't quite hold up as much the second time.
Beetlejuice - Daaay oh. Me say daayyy oh. Daylight come and me want go home.
The Eye (original) - For DemPod. Didn't hold up the second time, either. But has an amazing elevator sequence.
The Princess Bride - One of the greatest movies ever made, I think.
Alien - For LAMBcast. Good stuff.
Double Dragon - For V.G. Movies series. Bad stuff.
Aliens - LAMBcast. Best damn Blu-Ray conversion I've ever seen.
Alien 3 - I'll save my thoughts for LAMBcast.
Alien Resurrection - LAMBcast. Poor Joss Whedon.
Street Fighter - For V.G. Movies series. Of course!
I'm A Cyborg, But That's OK - For DemPod. I adore this film.

In Time - Not awful, but could have been better.
All That Jazz - For DemPod. Who the hell gave Darren Aronofsky a time machine?
Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture - For V.G. Movies series. Blah.
Videodrome - For 50/50. Stomach vagina (since I forgot to mention it in the review).
Columbiana - Forgettable.
Gantz: Perfect Answer - I saw the first one last year... this one isn't as good.
Grave Encounters - Jason overhyped it a bit, but it's pretty good.
Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie - For V.G. Movies series. The only Street Fighter movie thus far you should watch.
Naked - For 50/50. Fantastic.
The Fog - For DemPod. Not so much.
Anonymous - For MILF. Outright painful.
Dirty Girl - Quirky and good, but could have been a wee bit better.
Take Shelter - For MILF. A bit slow, but great performances.
Waiting For Superman - They showed us this at work. Pretty interesting stuff.
The Red Shoes - For 50/50. No thanks.
Martha Marcy May Marlene - For MILF. I really liked it.
Tower Heist - I chuckled once or twice. It's decent, but nothing super fantastic.
Black Orpheus - For 50/50. The myth stuff was cool, but it was too focused on Carnival.


Theatrical - 1
Re-Watch - 44
First Time - 41
TOTAL - 86


The Demented Podcast #34 - Boo!

Note: My apologies for lateness (and/or if you were trying to listen to the previous episode, as well). Podomatic was giving me bandwidth problems, not allowing me to update. But that's all fixed now, so... enjoy!


This week Steve and I were joined by Lindsay Street of French Toast Sunday. She was here to talk about some ghost movies, mainly the original versions of both The Fog and The Eye. And after the campfire talk, we move on in to The Tower. Will Lindsay see the light at the end and dominate, or will her failure forever haunt the Tower's walls? (Ghost puns!)

Current Leadboard
1) Jandy - 107 Points
2) Joanna - 83 Points
3) Jessica - FAIL

Current/Previous Battle Royale Champions

(BR3) Dan Heaton - 176 Points
(BR2) Dylan Fields - 114 Points
(BR1) Rachel Thuro - 171 Points

You can listen to this episode on the player below or by subscribing through iTunes.

That being said, enjoy! Thanks goes out to Kevin MacLeod's Incompetech website for great, royalty-free music. And thanks to Google for helping me find a website that will give me free video game audio samples.