Movies · Review

Turbo Kid, a review

Anyone who knows me knows I have an enormous appetite for 80’s movies/music/aesthetic and, although I cannot explain this love fully, it has inspired and guided many of my own artistic aspirations.  The journey to this movie started with music: I was looking for something new to listen to on my Pandora station and came across Timecop1983 in all it’s space-ephemera-synthwave-goodness.  As I was listening and jotting down other bands to check out later Le Matos- Chronicles of the Wastelands/Turbo Kid Original Motion Picture Soundtrack came up and I dropped my pen–original motion picture soundtrack meant that there might be a movie connected to this music I was now obsessed with. To the internet I went! And lo and behold, there is a movie called Turbo Kid–AND it’s on Netflix!

Turbo Kid (2015, Canada / New Zealand).  Half mask, half Emma; glove replaced with sword

So two lunch breaks later and I have consumed this movie entirely, and enjoyed it thoroughly–now, I will admit, it is nothing spectacularly clever or new in the genre of post apocalyptic survival movies but I don’t think it needs to be. The plot of lone wolf type just trying to get by in a ravaged world, who eventually makes contact with another human, and eventually defeats a sadistic war lord is pretty simple to the point of cliche (Mad Max, The Road Warrior, Escape from New York, The Quiet Earth) But this movie does two things that make the simple plot work and make an enjoyable film.

First, The Kid is just that–a kid who has used toys to help comfort him as he survives.  There is just something more compelling about a kid trying to survive during desperate times than an adult, and while this Kid is around 17 you find out through the course of the movie why he’s on his own and that he has been since he was very small. Also having the character be a kid means in addition to over throwing the evil warlord trope there are also opportunities for the kid to grow up through events in the story which adds a layer to the simple story. While mostly this movie is ridiculous there are some poignant moments between The Kid and Apple (a rather strange girl who shows up and demands they are friends) as their relationship evolves.

10 movies to watch since you love movies so much

The second thing this movie does that only enhances the tropes used is that it is juuuuust this side of over the top.  Frankly, the gore is ridiculous.  You literally watch a man’s intestines pulled out of his stomach by a henchman on a bicycle contraption–it sounds gross but really, I just laughed.  There are also blown up torso’s that land on other characters during the final battle that just…I had to pause the movie to take that in. I appreciate this ridiculousness because it allows the film to sort of laugh at itself and not take itself too seriously.

Munro Chambers - Turbo kid                              …

In all, it is a nice homage to a very strange vein of movies from the 80’s and 90’s and definitely benefits from ‘less is more’. I’m not sure if this movie is for anyone who doesn’t already like these kinds of movies but if you do it is worth checking out.

Inspiration · Movies · Personal Opinion

456: fearless weirdos

So this post may be a slightly self indulgent opinion post–but maybe not.

Some Background:

I have a half hour commute and most of the time that is spent doing what I call ‘head writing”–writing out scenes in my head. Some mornings, however, are rough, and on such mornings my mind tends to wander and ramble about things I enjoy: music, television, books etc instead of intense creativity. This rambling of the mind coupled with my deep rooted need to analyze EVERYTHING I tend to try to pinpoint what acutely specific reason causes me to like or dislike something.


Some More Background:

Having recently purchased a new vehicle with a spiffy sound system and an AUX input, Toddler and I have been jamming out to Styx, Journey, Led Zeppelin, and best of all Queen. Freddie Mercury’s wide range, poetic lyricism as well as witty ‘middle fingers to the establishment’ really just jive with me–and really the guitar riffs are just awesome all around! That coupled with several different articles about Freddie Mercury and Queen popping up on my social media pages has made me think the universe wants me to think on this a bit: Why does Queen speak to me so much as music and more broadly what is it about 80’s adventure/sci-fi/action movies that appeal to me so much?

This article really helped the epiphany come to fruition. It talks about Queen’s connection to some strange and ‘weird in that 80’s sort of way’ science fiction movies and ends with a wonderful quote.

“As Freddie showed us, it takes a handful of fearless weirdos to keep things moving forward.”

Suddenly it all made sense: 80’s movies never felt the need to explain the weirdness (for the most part) they just were what they were–quirky, odd, dark, strange adventures. To me most of the movies today that even come close in strangeness feel the need to give so much exposition and backstory as to why things are weird. I get it, times change and people want to understand the villains not just watch them cackle and wear terrible prosthetic makeup and outlandish skull armor (Here’s lookin’ at you Skeletor!). I love that these films from the 80’s were fearless in their strangeness. Watching these movies growing up and listening to these artists (Oh, to have heard a duet between Bjork and Mr. Mercury!) let me know in a subtle subconscious sort of way that I should be fearless in my own weirdness and never feel the need to explain why–to be myself no matter what anyone said.


I was very young in the 80’s itself so I did not really get much of this till late 90’s when I was old enough to be aware of differences in culture through decades and I understand there were a lot of terrible about that decade–AIDS epidemics, recessions,  terrible drug wars, rock bottom economy to say the least. I am, however, glad there were these pockets of fearless weirdos to show that there was light at the end of the tunnel.


Movies · Prattling

13: review time!

Ok, it’s official–I have in fact seen the new Star Wars movie.

Here is my down and dirty review. By the way–SPOILERS (d’uh)

Overall: I enjoyed the movie. It is always a gamble starting a movie after the toddler goes to bed as I usually fall asleep at the midpoint only to wake up at the climactic battle scene–it can be quite confusing. The Force Awakens, however, held my interest the entire time and the two hours virtually flew by. That is always a plus. I liked the humor. And the visual effects actually worked with the story instead of distracting from it

Writing: It is always hard to decipher exactly what is the actor’s fault, the director’s fault, writer’s fault or sloppy editing as far as weak points of a movie. While I enjoyed this movie, overall, I felt that the writing and the editing were a bit choppy for a movie that wanted so much to pay homage to the original trilogy. I understand that the writer’s were trying to build suspense and mystery about what happened to make Kylo Ren become evil but it felt lacking. Yes, I never expected for Han and Leia to have a perfect ‘happily ever after’ but I need a little more to go on as to why they split.  Likewise, I needed a little more backstory on Finn and why the brainwashing didn’t work on him. I am hoping the lack of these story bits has to do with choppy editing than bad writing. I’m a writer and want to give the benefit of the doubt.

I get that they were paying homage to the original films but the ‘killing the old guy off in the first film of the trilogy’ bit is getting a little old.  I wish I could turn my brain off to patterns and pacing like that because I feel like I would enjoy more movies.

SNOKE?! What sort of name is that?! I spent half the moving hearing ‘smoke’ and ‘snope’…..Terrible, TERRIBLE name!

Characters: I like Rey. I’m glad we have a good female protagonist in a science fiction movie! More more, I say! I like the relationship between her and Finn–very ‘what the crap have we gotten into, oh well let’s figure it out!’. I also like the relationship between Poe Dameron and Finn–hooray for having a pilot that actually has a character! (I always wanted to know more about the pilots in the original trilogy!). Han was himself. Leia was herself and Luke will be interesting to see in the next movie. I haven’t made up my mind about Kylo Ren….superficially it’s hard to believe he’s related to Han and Leia with jet black hair and pasty skin, but we will see. I enjoyed he and Hux trying to ‘outbad’ each other for Snoke (still a terrible name!)


So that’s about it–my visceral gut reaction to the movie.

Can’t wait for Rogue One to come out! Woohoo!

Hehehehe! This made me laugh so hard! 



48: non traditional Christmas movies

It is that time of year–the weather is crisp, family is out on Christmas break, presents are under the tree. Everyone is in the Christmas spirit so… Time to watch Lethal Weapon!

Wait, what?! You ask. 

That’s not a very cheerful holiday movie! 

But it is. In a non traditional sense. Let me explain. 

Martin Riggs is not a holiday kind of guy–he is the definition of someone who would hate the holidays. His wife is dead, he lives in a dump of a trailer and he is clearly suicidal (as evidenced by the first few scenes we see him in as a cop) and just a mess. 

Murtaugh on the other hand is the epitome of a family man down to the sassy teenage daughter. He has everything, it seems until his life is touched slightly by the dark side with the death of an army buddy’s daughter. 

Throw them together and while they grumpily work out their differences as cops and people we have a wonderful Christmas story. Not the surface story of catching the girl’s murderer and taking down a major drug operation. That’s the good ol’ fashioned buddy cop movie. 

Instead look deeper at the story of a broken man learning to have a family through interactions with his partners kids and wife. To slowly be drawn back from the edge we see him see expertly perched and reengaged with life! Watch the whole quadrilogy and you get an even better sense of this renewal. 

See, told you it was about Christmas: family, life, renewal, kicking major ass for knocking down your partners Christmas tree. Bonus points for all the Mel Gibson crazy eyes!  

Nothing says Christmas like these two!
Inspiration · Movies · Prattling

51: Doctor Jones

This topic isn’t directly related to any of my current projects but in an effort to tell my full story I like to think on why I like certain genres or subjects and so I look to the past. Kind of like an archaeologist unearthing clues to my creative culture–see what I did there, haha! 

Now, I know everyone loves Doctor Jones (if you don’t please don’t speak to me!) and they all love him and his stories for different reasons. These reasons are mine and mine alone and I am not trying to make you like him for my reasons! 

I love adventures. Books, movies, and plays are all about escapes for me, not going to lie. Adventures take good people and put them in exaggerated fantastical situations where you watch them struggle with the dilemmas and ultimately triumph over evil of some form or another. (Most of the time with an epic fight of some kind!) That is so much more exciting than school, or the part time job or the grocery list. The biggest attraction to Indiana Jones in this context is that he gives a hint of reality–he is a quirky odd professor, like ones we’ve all had in college at some point, who just happens to go the extra distance to get the artifact. I love this Everyman quality about him. 

He is attractive with out being a pretty boy. Witty. Brave. Charming–but his charm sometimes fails!  And will take a punch! Or several! Again it shows he’s a real guy. 

I don’t remember exactly when as a kid I first watched Indiana Jones but I do remember in 7th grade studying archeologists in our career class because I wanted to be like Indy only to be bitterly disappointed that the reality is you spend your life sifting through dirt for tiny shards of pottery*. 

His passion for his science is something else that has always drawn me in. The adventures happened because of the history and research not the other way around and I enjoy that. Let’s celebrate brains not brawn! 

Now I know this isn’t a great in depth analysis of Indiana Jones movies–I don’t want that. (I’ll just end up on my soapbox about the terrible fourth movie and no one wants that!) I like Indiana Jones because he is open to interpretation, a little. 

Why do you like Indiana Jones? 

*I know archaeology is more than that but to my fragile melodramatic middle school mind it was that terrible and boring.