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Misfit Garage (2014)
"Another Richard Rawlings Production..."
And that's just fine in my book. There is no way the premise of this show is anything but just some idea that Richard had to keep the glory of Fast n Loud on it's new market as the show moves into a higher bracket of car build, but still keep touch with that initial work that Gas Monkey started with but generally don't go near (or show at least) now.
1. Thomas & Richard have known each other for years, if there is a car wheeler & dealer that Richard can trust to make good deals, it's Thomas (he wouldn't ask Dennis, he's already a millionaire & would just look for Holy Grail cars). 2. Tom & Jordan know their way around a car inside & out and Jordan always showed himself to be a conscientious employee on Fast n Loud putting in the long hours to bring a build home. 3. Tom was ridiculously popular with the viewers. How to utilize that? Give him his own show & let him shine. 3. Tom & Jordan (or Scott) don't have the bearded wonders hipster cred. 4. The format with Sue is exactly the same. 5. Richard is always coming around to see his "tenants", he does this because he's the puppetmaster pulling the strings.
If you make comparisons with Fast n Loud & expecting the same, you're making a mistake & will be disappointed. If you're taking it as a spin-off / extension from Fast n Loud that's entertaining in its own right & does all those things that Gas Monkey used to do, you'll love Misfit Garage. The guys put their heart & soul into each build, Thomas brings the market nous & it seems to be working for them, plus they have the naivety of Soup Bone to keep you amused, he's the Fire Up Garage version of the shop cat.
Very entertaining & recommended viewing.
Fast n' Loud (2012)
It's Entertainment, nothing more or less
For all the haggling and worrying about money etc, Richard apparently receives $50k per episode from Discovery and if celebritynetworth is even remotely accurate, he's also worth about $15m, so he's scarcely on the breadline.
So to retain the Discovery contract, he needs to keep the viewer entertained and that doesn't happen by looking at the intimate aspects of a car build and the shop usually farms out work that they can't do anyway. So you don't watch the show to take notes as to what to do for your own '67 Fastback restoration job, no you watch the show to see the interaction between the people and be entertained. Christie & Sue are the real stars of the show. Christie never takes a backward step in front of the boss and Sue is just hilarious, "why you always bring me junk?"
You get the usual formulaic car show things, ie., check out the car, detract its worth, haggle on the price etc but the episodes zip along at a good pace and sometimes throw in some very clever spins (such as the Smokey & the Bandit episode) and the few cameo's the show has along the way.
Richard is actually quite an astute businessman though & the show has followed the growth of Gas Monkey from a rented space at Phipps Automotive to his own premises, to opening his own restaurant & then taking Tom Smith, his most engaging employee/star (outside of Aaron), "firing" him, and hey, look, Richard's producing a show called "Misfit Garage" about Tom & Jordan's rival set up, "Fired Up Garage", who, surprise surprise, are renting the space at Phipps' once more....
Richard's no dummy and as long as he keeps me entertained with whatever show he has, I'll keep watching and laughing.
If you want a serious car show, I'm sure they exist somewhere but this isn't it.
Now, where's my beer assistant?
Counting Cars (2012)
Cars are just the Vehicle....
The cars just provide the vehicle so to speak to show you the main people that work at Counts Customs; with nearly always 2 cars / bikes per episode plus the Danny's pulling over people to ask about their cars & the shenanigans of Mike & Roli, all packed into just 20+ minutes, there's not much time to show you the build, just the receipt of the car/bike needing the improvement, the haggle on price and the delivery.
Whether it's all set up or not, Counting Cars shows Danny's real appreciation of the automobile, if Joe Public when pulled over "randomly" to talk but refuses to sell Danny their car, the excitement Danny shows that he got to talk about "Car X" with them does seem genuine.
Throw in the odd celebrity like Cassandra Peterson or Rob Zombie and you've an interesting show. But I'd love to see Elon Musk walk in with a job for them, lol.
The only off-putting part is the disdain Danny shows for Mike which is, I hope, really just put on for the show because Mike is an outstanding airbrush artist. Or if Mike is really such a goofball, then fair enough, but he'd still be my go-to guy for anything requiring customized airbrush artwork.
Finally, the show does portray Danny as a real pushover when it comes to people who have served in the military or are creating a memorial of some sort; in those instances, he doesn't deliver a car/bike, he delivers a dream. And in those moments, the shows succeeds and brings it into line with something like the UK show, Car SOS.
Hope Season 5 gets the go ahead.
Vegas Rat Rods (2014)
I hope Steve's insurance is up to scratch because the show portrays a custom rat rod shop that is a complete Occupational Heath & Safety nightmare. How someone has not lost a finger, toe or eye, I've no idea.
But perhaps that part of the idea, the notion of customizing the cars to give them the Mad Max / steampunk / post-apocalyptic feel of a rat rod also requires a certain level of commensurate potential disaster in the shop as well.
The show itself is entertaining, focusing on just one car per episode and also being about 40+ minutes per episode allows a lot of interaction with the staff & shows what happens on the build & how they get their parts etc. However, OH&S issues aside, the crew at Welderup seem to take great pride in building a safe to drive rat rod.
You watch a show like this, not to be inspired to build a rat rod in your kitchen, but to be entertained with people that are not boring & cars that are not being (although if you're a hot rod purist, you may be horrified). And on this level, Vegas Rat Rods succeeds.
Are rat rods just a phase or here to stay? No idea, but Steve Darnell does rightly call himself the Picasso of the car world, so if you want a Picasso for your car, Steve Darnell's your man, if you want a pre-Raphelite, go see Danny Koker at Counts Customs ("Counting Cars", an interesting show in its own right).
Though I'm waiting for the day when they customize a Telsa Model S, now that would be a challenge....
Z Nation (2014)
Having heard about this series and the rapid fire nature of the show, I was keen to give it a go. The first episode of "Puppies & Kittens" was an intriguing title and I was curious enough after the first episode to have a look at episode two, at the conclusion to which I was hooked, it's simply hilarious and everything you want in a zombie series.
Not sure why people are voting this with a "1" and making comparisons to The Walking Dead; one is a tedious snoozefest of character exploration and motivation which takes a season per character to develop (though TWD is not quite like that but the Z's in TWD are largely circumstantial now having been reduced to mere extras as it's human versus human), the other is simply a lot of fun & that's what Z Nation is, a lot of fun.
The characters are all likable (except for "the cure" & even he's funny with his gallows humour), there's no one you want to particularly die so as to remove their continual angst ridden baggage from the pre-Z world that no longer exists (grow up, this is the Zombie Apocalypse, no one cares about if you had enough steaks in the freezer before the world went to hell in a handbasket), no, the cast all keep you laughing in one way shape or form and they're not merely extras, they all have a role to play. Plus the guest stars are also great (especially Bill Moseley's role).
If this is what the Zombie Apocalypse is going to be like, make sure you've got plenty of ammo & Jim Beam stashed away because it will be funny.
The Humanity of Captain Jack
is what really makes this series. I've watched it a couple of times now, stories are largely good fun, but the self-sacrificing humanity of the deathless man that is Captain Jack is quite heartbreaking at times and so often, it's his own heart that breaks, but something keeps him going (and the series for that matter).
For what was a spin-off then from Dr Who, by focusing on the characters and not the events, it quickly established its own feet as something different and very worthwhile.
The cast is largely fine, each role is stereotypical in a "secret organization", the geek, the streetwise one, the IT guru, the "everyday" police one that we can all identify with, it's just Jack that is out of the ordinary and John Barrowman plays the role perfectly.
Love the show, recommended viewing.
Double the Fist (2004)
There are shows in the world that are unique to their country of origin. You watch "Yes Minister" & know that's uniquely English. You watch "Friends" & know that it's uniquely American.
"Double The Fist" is not only uniquely Australian, it's just simply UNIQUE with some of the most off-the-wall humour ever made. Made on an embarrassingly small budget, everything about the show works in the way intended. Each episode follows a basic guideline of the crew having thought of something completely absurd, then The Womp, Rodd Foxx, Tina T & Mephisto interact even more absurdly (& usually violently) with the idea (with Steve Foxx commentating along the way) until most things are destroyed in random acts of violence while earning "Fist".
The show quite rightly won the 2004 AFI award for Best Comedy Series. Here's hoping Series 2 can maintain the impetus generated 3 years ago.
Highly recommended if you don't mind cheap production & absurdity mixed into a very unique blend.
One take, one vote
This entire move must have taken about 90 minutes to shoot, everything shot in one take & voice overs making up the off-screen fill in for the cut scenes.
Mis-cast cast, mis-scripted, mis-shot, mis-edited, mis-directed. 90+ minutes of my life missed that I will never get back.
Just missed really.
I have however found one feature about the movie that although it doesn't work, has merit. All the extras do a great job of being miserable.
Great video game though, so well worth getting the special unrated edition with the game if you don't already have Bloodrayne 2 :D
One of the greatest
B Grade movies of all time!!!! A whole list of freaks as long as your arm enter & leave as the heroes journey from point A to point F with rapid fire stopovers at points B, C, D & E, but it's all in good fun. Brainless without being brain-numbing, which explains why I must have seen this movie about 10 times & never been bored.
I wonder if you could turn this movie into a drinking game?? Say every time something stupid happened, though you'd be drunk within 15 minutes of the movie starting!!!! Still, many careers are started in B Grade classics like this. For example, this was an early role for the athletic Sandahl Bergman who played She. Bergman went on to have quite a respectable career as an actress. Alas, her sidekick, (the pretty Quin Kessler) & the love interest (David Goss) soon faded from public view along with their aspirations to conquer Hollywood's silverscreen (I wonder what did happen to them??) When a film-maker realises that they have no money, a silly script & a cast of actors who's only claim to being an actor is that they have paid their union dues but they are still determined to have a good time making a movie, you end up with She.
Final word of warning, if your friends are in anyway discerning about their movies & insist on A Grade releases only, then they may hate you forever if you make them watch this.
Not enough of what people really want!!!!
First and foremost, Alexander was a soldier. Indeed one of the best that history will ever know. Oliver Stone seems to have forgotten that.
What was it that made "Gladiator", the first of these historical resurrection movies such a success?? The BATTLES!!!!! It starts with the battle in Germania and then, every 15 minutes or so after that, Maximus is in the arena chopping off heads. It kept everything moving along nicely.
It took 45 minutes of absolute boredom in Alexander to get to the first battle & that was Gaugamela!!! Straight to the main course, no appetisers in the siege of Tyre or the battles at Issus or Granicus, each battle which was both important and different from the rest in all aspects (besides the outcome, Alexander always won). Rather than the tedium of showing Philip II as a carousing alcoholic (well played by Val Kilmer though), it was Philip who trained the Macedonian army to be what it was, that would have made much better cinema. Darius' part was reduced to a mere cameo, yet he was the main antagonist (on the surface at any rate) for Alexander!!!! There was too many attempts at showing some sort of "divine destiny" of Alexander and not enough showing what Alexander was remembered as "The Great" for, for being the truly great battlefield general he was.
I still can't believe I walked out of the cinema thinking "This was about as good as Troy, and that's not saying much." I can only hope that if Steven Pressfield's excellent "Gates Of Fire" is to be turned into a movie as has been mooted many times, that the producers learn the lessons from Alexander (& Troy) and concentrate on what really matters in history, the battles, how they were fought and who won.