Deposing Bib Fortuna… with LEGO

Remember Bib Fortuna, Jabba the Hutt’s oily Twi’lek consigliere with the tentacles coming out of his head?  Thanks to the power of imagination and LEGOs, you can now roleplay his downfall!

Like any self-respecting man-child, I’d been lusting after set #75326, Boba Fett’s Throne Room, for some time.  To me, it’s Jabba the Hutt’s iconic throne room, just without the lovably disgusting, sluggish crime lord.

Unfortunately, this bad boy MSRPs for a whopping $100.  Fortunately, my brother found it at Costco in an example of mercantile serendipity—he didn’t even know I wanted it—for $60.  Finding any new LEGO set for 40% off is like, well, finding forty bucks on the ground—it doesn’t really happen.

I finally got around to building this bad boy over the weekend, and it was a pretty fun build.  It wasn’t as deeply satisfying as some other sets I’ve done, but it also didn’t become tedious.  All in all, it was pretty fun to put together, and I love the variety of mini-figures—especially the porcine Gamorrean Guard and the aquatic Quarren.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Ponty’s Top Ten Worst Films: #4: House on Cemetery Hill (2019)

You can tell we’re really getting into the dregs; Ponty’s review this week is devastating.

As he notes below, it’s no fun going after an indie flick with a low budget.  But there are plenty of low budget filmmakers that get it right, or at least grow as they hone their craft.  Every major director started out doing tiny films on a shoestring.

But sometimes there’s an effort so bad, even the lack of a budget isn’t a valid excuse.  Bad writing, bad acting, bad editing—these can kill a film faster than anything else.  All the quid in the world can’t save a film with this dark triad.

With that, here is Ponty’s review of 2019’s House on Cemetery Hill:

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Portly’s Top Ten Worst Films: #5: Color Out of Space (2019)

We’re really getting into the dregs with these worst movies.  This point is where it starts getting hard for me, too—it’s easy to write about any movie, but having to think about the worst ones is surprisingly difficult.

As I had to travel out of town this weekend for a late family member’s memorial service, I decided to use the tactic to which all bloggers must, at times, resort:  reusing an older post.

The film is legitimately bad, and I really would place it on this list.  So, why not kill two birds with one bad film?

Last June, my blogger buddy photog over at Orion’s Cold Fire and I both published reviews of 2019’s The Color Out of Space simultaneously (you can read his screed against this cinematic butchering of the the Lovecraft story here:

He’d written a brief blog post comparing Nicolas Cage to William Shatner.  In it, he announced that Nicolas Cage starred in an adaptation of an H.P. Lovecraft story, “The Colour Out of Space.”

Naturally, I immediately went to RedBox and (with a coupon code, of course) and rented The Color Out of Space on-demand.  As a fan of Lovecraft’s weird tales and Nicolas Cage’s weird acting, I had to see this film.

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Ponty’s Top Ten Worst Films: #5: Jungle Cruise (2021)

We’re cruising right along into the second half of the long countdown of worst films.  The ball is back in Ponty’s court, and he’s picked a real doozy to mark the halfway point.

Is there anything wokery hasn’t poisoned with its foolishness?  Apparently, Ponty’s pick for #5, 2021’s Jungle Cruise, suggests not.  A movie based on a theme park ride worked before for Disney, but that was a bit of a fluke; taking an even more obscure ride, then adding in loads of anachronistic presentism, was hoping for too much, even for The Mouse.

One of our regular readers and commenters, Alys Williams, is always wanting me to review flicks with bonnets and Biedermeier, but even those films are jumping on the identity bandwagon.  I have no problem with black people in movies—I mean, who doesn’t love Blade (1998)?—but a black English queen is too much.  Why?  Because it’s not historically accurate!

Sure, historical fiction can embellish some details here and there, but we’re really straining suspension of disbelief when a Nigerian portrays a Viking.  Imagine casting Chris Hemsworth as an African Pygmy—he’d stick out like a sore giant.

But I digress.  On with Ponty’s hilarious review of 2021’s Jungle Cruise:

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Lazy Sunday CXLIX: More Movies, Part XVII: Movie Reviews, Part XVII

We’re back at the movies again this Lazy Sunday with an interesting trio:  a Christmas-themed horror flick; a 1970s exploitation film; and a Spanish-language historical drama.  Guess which I enjoyed the best—the answer may surprise you!

Happy Sunday!


Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

Audre’s Worst Horror Movie

As Ponty and I have been rolling through our worst films, we encouraged Audre Myers to submit a review or two for the worst films.  In true Audrean fashion, she slammed out this hilarious, insightful review in no time.

That put me in an extremely mild quandary—when to publish this gem?  Ponty and I are about halfway through our back-and-forth countdown, but it’ll take us at least another eight weeks to finish the series.  I thought briefly about holding off and publishing Audre’s pick for Worst Horror Movie as a surprise for loyal readers.

But how can I withhold Audre’s comedic genius for that long?  More practically, I worried I might lose the e-mail thread—ha!  So I decided to publish Audre’s post now. Think of it as a halfway point reward.

I won’t reveal the title of Audre’s pick yet.  You’ll have to read on to see her choice (and, if you still want to after reading her review, to watch the film—she provides a link to the full thing on YouTube!):

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Monday Morning Movie Review: Portly’s Top Ten Worst Films: #6: Demon Wind (1990)

We’ve had some real stinkers on this long countdown of terrible films, but this week’s selection really blows:  1990’s Demon Wind.

Demon Wind is another Shudder find (thanks again, Audre).  One reason I love the service is that it is unapologetic about its commitment to preserving and propagating horror films:  the good, the bad, the enigmatic.  In this case, they’re also preserving some real garbage.  But one port’s garbage is another’s cult classic, though I doubt Demon Wind has risen to that status.

The flick is essentially a slasher, with the usual cast of obnoxious teens going to the country on some dubious errand.  The main character, Cory, is heading to the abandoned family farm with his girlfriend Elaine and a motley crew of annoying friends.  There are all the tropes of the slasher genre:  a grizzled old man warns them away from the farm; the kids are picked off one by one; and there’s the typical 80s meathead, Dell, who is so unreasonably combative, you’re kind of glad when he dies.

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Lazy Sunday CXLVIII: More Movies, Part XVI: Movie Reviews, Part XVI

After weeks of reblogging posts about my friends, both real-life and virtual, I’ve decided to go back to another well-trod road for Lazy Sunday posts:  my many, many reviews.

Readers might ask why I title these “More Movies, Part [Insert Roman Numeral Here]: Movie Review, Part [Insert Same Roman Numeral Here]”—or, more likely, you didn’t notice until just now.  Either way, I have to offer an explanation:

When I originally started reblogging movie reviews on Sundays, I thought I might end up featuring other posts related to films that were not movie reviews.  Then I realized that pretty much the only times I write about flicks is in the context of movie reviews.

So, maybe one day I’ll do a Lazy Sunday with my rare, non-review movie posts (like this one).  For today, though, I’m just going to pick up where I left off with “Lazy Sunday CLI – More Movies, Part XV – Movies Reviews, Part XV“:

Well, there you go—back to the movies!

Happy Sunday!


Other Lazy Sunday Installments:

SubscribeStar Saturday: The TJC Spring Jam II Review

Today’s post is a SubscribeStar Saturday exclusive.  To read the full post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.

The second TJC Spring Jam was a little over a week ago, and in the spirit of the original TJC Spring Jam, I’m offering up a rundown of how things went.

To put it briefly—and for those of you that want the essence of the article for free without paying $1 for it—it went quite well.  Instead of treating it as a big concert with a couple of opening acts, I decided to take a different approach:  highlighting my private music students.

As such, I presented it as “The TJC Spring Jam and Recital,” but really emphasized the “recital” portion.  My buddy John and I did play a few tunes, but even then I tried to incorporate students, and the whole event was much shorter than the first Jam and the two Spooktaculars.

To read the rest of this post, subscribe to my SubscribeStar page for $1 a month or more.