The “Police Academy” Collection [Blu-Ray]

I have a long history with the “Police Academy” movie series, as well as a lot of nostalgia attached to it. As a child who was attached to the television, I spent many a day watching the adventures of Mahoney and the Police Academy on WPIX Channel 11 here in New York. I often watched two to six on television and almost always had a blast with it. I was able to see “City Under Siege” in theaters, and stuck with it right through the end where it became a TV show, cartoon, comic series, and then an inevitable pop culture running joke. It’s a very of its time movie series that would be impossible to duplicate today, and that’s why I love it so much. Shout Factory releases a new edition of this series that is stuffed with bells and whistles, but leaves much to be desired.

I plan to review the full movie series in the future.

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Bad CGI Gator (2023)

See here’s my problem with “Bad CGI Gator.” It’s not that it takes a short coming and tries to turn it in to some kind of schlocky B movie element. It’s that the movie is only fifty eight minutes and it’s called “Bad CGI Gator.” And said Bad CGI Gator doesn’t make an appearance until at least seventeen minutes in to the movie. If you have only sixty minutes to work with, and your movie is called “Bad CGI Gator,” and you’re promising a Bad CGI Gator, I would think one would try to plaster the titular Bad CGI Gator on every frame as much as humanly possible.

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Ranking the “Scary Movie” Series from Best to Worst

By the end of the 1990’s, the big slasher movie boom had all but run out of steam, allowing the sub-genre to be ripe for spoofing. In came the Wayans family, all of whom had had previous experience with spoofs in the eighties with their classic “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka!” Keenan Ivory Wayans took the lead directing “Scary Movie” for Dimension Films, which not only goofed on many of the films released during that period, but had a good time with it, too.

While “Scary Movie” promised “no sequels,” we did get them because—it’s Hollywood, after all. We received about four sequels to be exact, and they all arrived with very diminishing returns. Sadly, the more the movies went on, the worse they became, so it’s ironic that the series gets worse in order of the films’ release.

Here’s my ranking of the series from best to worst.

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The Best Animated Movie Satire I’ve Ever Seen

Part of what made the Looney Tunes and Warner Bros. dynasty so great beyond its characters, was its limitless ability to mock and satirize Hollywood. At a time where Hollywood was adored and enamored by so many, Warner Bros. actually did a great job of taking the piss out of people like Humphrey Bogart and Clark Gable. In 1993, Fox Studios and Warner brought back the formula that they’d abandoned for decades with “The Animaniacs.” While the show was primarily a series filled with segments primarily aimed toward children, some of the segments brought back a lot of the classic Warner Bros. traditions, including satirizing modern Hollywood.

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Viva (2007)

Will screen on August 27th at the Los Feliz 3 theater in Los Angeles, California as part of the American Cinematheque’s new ETHERIA screening series. More information about the screening can be found on the American Cinematheque’s official website.

Your mileage with “Viva” may vary depending on how much you’re willing to play along with the film’s very subtle satire. About twenty minutes in to the movie is when I finally caught on to the gag, as “Viva” is as much a satire of sixties sexual dynamics as it is a tribute to the aesthetic of the sixties and seventies. “Viva” is a film in the tradition of Andy Warhol, and Russ Meyer, and exploitation gems like “Maid in Sweden” and “Score” where people open up (literally and figuratively) to sex and sexual exploration.

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Scare Package (2019) [Blu-Ray]

I guess you could classify “Scare Package” as a horror movie, and yes even a horror comedy. But if my arm were twisted I’d be more comfortable just classifying it as a comedy. “Scare Package” is that movie that has a great time breaking down horror tropes and satirizing the clichés we’ve seen in various horror movies, but never actually includes any kind of scary content. Every single segment in this anthology is played with a tongue in cheek, and it’s a shame since a movie with this concept has a chance to re-imagine horror tropes.

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Transylvania 6-5000 (1985)

Director Rudy De Luca amassed a career working with and writing for Mel Brooks, so it’s likely intentional that “Transylvania 6-5000” feels like an attempted companion piece to “Young Frankenstein.” It seems to aspire to do so more times than the viewer would like. “Transylvania 6-5000” feels like a pseudo or spiritual sequel to “Young Frankenstein” which is a good element in some instances and works to its detriment in other instances.

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Lake Michigan Monster (2019) [Fantasia Festival 2019]

Some indie films are like inside jokes that you almost have to have some knowledge about to get. I get “Lake Michigan Monster.” I do. It has the best of intentions, it’s a home grown bare bones budgeted action monster movie, and it pays tribute to Michigan the best that it can. But in the end I was happier that “Lake Michigan Monster” was barely eighty minutes in length than I was watching the movie altogether.

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