Making the Grade Episode 1 – Steele Justice

makingthegrade003As a children of the 1980s, my buddy Jon and I have far too much useless pop culture in our head. In an attempt to let some of it out, we’ve started a podcast called Making the Grade where we’ll discuss all the things that shaped who we are today. We’ll tackle topics like horror movies, video games, discovering music, discovering girls, mix tapes, and movies so bad they’re good.

That leads us to our very first episode, the 1987 cheese-tacular Steele Justice, starring Sensei Kreese (Martin Kove) and a boatload of B-C- and D-movie actors that are probably still too good for this movie. The producers threw in pretty much every 80s action movie stereotype – terrible one-liners, supercheese Frank Stallone-esque anthem, emotionally stunted lead character who cares for a pet snake, a spandex-clad music video, cocaine, uzis, beach workout montage with pink sweater and a mop handle, uncomfortable sexual tension between Steele and his best friend’s teenage daughter – it’s a veritable stew of batshit crazy and it fails spectacularly.

Jon and I could talk about this movie for weeks, if not months straight. Each scene is a perfectly realized helping of insanity, served with a sweaty (literally) side of Martin Kove. The original 35mm print of this needs to be preserved in the Smithsonian. But what did Jon and I really think? Does Steele Justice make the grade? Listen and find out!

Bob(cast)’s Yer Uncle

About two weeks back I had a conversation with a friend of mine back in Boston, the elusive rapscallion known as Bob Danger. It went something like this:

BD: “Hey Pete, I came up with an idea and was wondering if you would -”

Me: “I’m in.”

It may or may not have happened exactly that way. Regardless, this Monday we proudly introduced the world to episode 1 of The Bobcast, our shiny new weekly podcast discussion of movies, pop culture and whatever topics that happen to strike our fancy. And we do like our fancies struck.

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Kneeballers – A Documentary

How far would you go to see your dream come true, even in the face of overwhelming public indifference? Such is the conflict facing Sal DiNuccio and Sven Hjornsen in the soon-to-be-released documentary, ‘Kneeballers,’ the trailer for which is featured here. ‘Kneeballers’ chronicles the attempt of these two dedicated and passionate individuals to elevate a little-known and little cared about sport to national prominence.

With the dogged determination of ‘American Movie”s Mark Borchardt and about as much self-awareness, ‘Kneeballers” protagonists will raise deluded self-assurance and sheer stupidity to new heights. Coming Spring 2011.

A Wiseau Man Once Said…

‘You’re tearing me apart, Lisa!”

It’s the money line in a movie full of money lines, and for all the wrong reasons. I’m speaking, of course, about ‘The Room’ the fascinatingly, jaw-droppingly, so-bad-its-mind-altering movie written, directed, co-produced and starring that magician of cinematography, Tommy Wiseau. I spent a rainy Friday night (April 16th) at the Coolidge Corner Theater in Brookline, MA witnessing ‘The Room’ for a second time, but for the first time in the presence of the man himself, Mr. Wiseau, who along with co-star Greg Sestero, helped bring the experience of this cult phenomenon to the Boston masses.

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Don’t You (Forget About Me)

My friend Jon gave me a call this past week to talk about the death of actor Corey Haim. Growing up when we did, movies like ‘The Lost Boys’ and ‘License to Drive’ were rites of passage for us and Haim was our age, so despite his personal troubles, it felt odd to talk about him in the past tense.

I’m not going to pretend that I could mine any deeper insight into the cautionary tale of young actors gone awry that can’t be found in the countless number of articles and posts written in the wake of Haim’s death. But as we talked, Jon and my conversation turned from Haim to the John Hughes tribute during the Oscars, which featured such 80s Hughes staples like Molly Ringwald, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Matthew Broderick and even Macauley Culkin. We found ourselves winding down another path as we acknowledged the effect movies like ‘The Breakfast Club’ had on our teenage years. And we wondered, could movies like ‘TBC’ (as it will heretofore be called), ‘Pretty In Pink’ and ‘Some Kind of Wonderful’ be made in 2010? And more, do subsequent generations have their own ‘Sixteen Candles’ that hold the same place in their psyche as those iconic 80s movies hold in ours?

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