On this special edition of the show, we welcomed J-Man and Boss Ross from *The Double Turn podcast for a no holds barred look at Lethal Weapon 4.

Lethal Weapon 4 is the finale to a beloved action franchise that began over a decade earlier. What started with Danny Glover's Roger Murtaugh opining that he was "too old for this shit" ended—well—with both he and his partner in fact being too old for it.

This is not a terrible movie, but it does embody many of the problematic elements that plague sequels, especially ones belonging to series that have grown too long in the tooth. It's overstuffed—heavy on sub-plots and inconsequential scenes—and lacks the narrative punch that defined the first two entries.

That is more than likely due to its script issues and truncated production schedule. Lethal Weapon 4 was shot, cut and distributed to theaters in just six months. For an action film of this scale, that is unheard of. This rushed production was made even more difficult by constant tinkering to the script. 

The film's lead writer, Channing Gibson, claimed he did more rewrites for this than any other project he ever worked on. From the sound of it, it was messy.

It is also far more expensive than its predecessors. Lethal Weapon 4's bloated plot led to an equally bloated budget. It cost roughly $140 million to produce, more than the first three combined. That fact, coupled with it receiving the worst reviews of the series (just 53% on Rotten Tomatoes with a Metacritic of 37), made it an interesting case study.

Despite all of this, and as I noted earlier, this is not that bad of a movie. It has a few incredible set pieces—in particular, a high-speed chase down a crowded Los Angeles freeway. Better yet, it was the American coming out party for martial arts icon Jet Li. His turn as Wah Sing Ku is worth the price of admission on its own. 

So sit back, sip a couple Civilized Brut IPAs from Founder's Brewing Co., and enjoy the stylings of cinema's oddest comedy duo (Chris Rock and Joe Pesci)! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla, are fighting off Father Time, as well as the Chinese Triad!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – To kickstart this podcast Royal Rumble, we break down what is arguably the low point of the Lethal Weapon series—covering its myriad of issues, the best action scene of the film, where it ranks in the franchise, and more. (00:00)
  • Reunited and It Feels So Good – The guys from The Double Turn take on Chumpzilla and Capt. Cash in a "Tornado Tag" trivia challenge. The rules are simple: They must identify an unnamed film and which Lethal Weapon co-stars appeared in it. Who will be crowned king of the podcast ring? (1:12:14)
  • Recommendations – Plenty of awesome recommendations are shared this week. And next up: We welcome back the incomparable Mayor McCheese for a pod of epic, face-swapping proportions. It's Face/Off! (1:26:15)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the potential for a Lethal Weapon 5 and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotify, Acast, and TuneIn!

*The Double Turn is a podcast centered on pro wrestling. These guys know their stuff and have an incredible passion for the business. If you are at all of fan of WWE, AEW, etc., give them a listen. Their show is available on most podcast providers.

More Episodes

The Ghost and the Darkness – Oh, Here They Come…They’re Man-Eaters

May 15, 2020

The Ghost and the Darkness is an account of the Tsavo man-eaters—a pair of lions who terrorized a Kenyan-Ugandan railway construction camp from March to December of 1898. The history of the British presence in that region is complicated; and it is one, we will not touch on here. The movie barely does either.

Despite that, its issues lie elsewhere. From poor Irish accents to Michael Douglas hamming it up as big-game hunter Charles Remington, The Ghost and the Darkness doesn't quite know what it wants to be. Is it a historical drama? An animal attack-infused thriller? Or, more simply, some sort of bizarre piece of Michael Douglas performance art that is meant to boggle the mind?

Point of fact, it's all three. Those elements don't necessarily mesh well together. It's a shame, really, because this historical tale of killer cats run amok seems ripe for big screen adaptation. And there are things here that do work well. It's wonderfully shot, used real-life lions, and does a more than adequate job of transporting you to 1890s Africa.

At the end of the day, unfortunately, the 30 minutes of Douglas mugging for the lens kill the picture—just as John Henry Patterson (Val Kilmer) did his feline foes.

But that absurd turn is also why you need to see it. So sit back, tap a couple of Fear. Movie. Lions Double IPAs from Stone Brewing Co., and try your best to avoid the malaria slaughter hospital! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla, are torching the brush to lure out the fearsome beasts.

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – How do you effectively romanticize colonialism? Well, you attempt to make "Jaws with paws." (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions and the Reality Wasn't Real Enough Challenge – After fielding a few more questions from Capt. Cash, he challenges us to identify which elements of historical dramas were embellished to make the movie seem more realistic. (48:01)
  • Recommendations – A couple of Kilmer-centric recommendations are joined by an animated favorite. And next up: It's a podcast Royal Rumble! The boys from The Double Turn join us to break down Lethal Weapon 4! (1:21:58)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the true story behind the lions and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbeanSpotify, Acast, and TuneIn!

The Adventures of Pluto Nash – Lost in Space

May 7, 2020

The Adventures of Pluto Nash is the epitome of how this podcast came to be. For starters, it is just a terrible film. Critics agreed. With 90 reviews, it sits at just 4% on Rotten Tomatoes; users responded slightly more favorably with 19%. It also stars Eddie Murphy, who at one time was one of the biggest stars on this planet or any other.

Despite the bad word of mouth, though, even awful movies inexplicably make money sometimes. Norbit and Daddy Day Care—also in the Eddie Murphy dreck hall of fame—each grossed over $150 million.

Pluto Nash's fate wasn't so kind. It tanked. On a ballooned budget of around $160 million, it grossed under $10 million total (the actual figure is just over $7), making it one of the largest bombs in box office history. At the time of its release, it held the crown. That loss was a catastrophic one. It resulted in massive layoffs at Castle Rock, the movie's co-distributor, and landed director Ron Underwood in big screen jail.

Money aside, Pluto Nash, quite frankly, is the antithesis of funny. Between the off-putting ogling of Nash's android companion Bruno (Randy Quaid) and Murphy's disinterested turn, it's sort of astounding it was ever brought off the shelf it had collected dust on for years. And with ideas and visuals as lazy as its comedic execution, one can't help but wonder why they continued to pour money into it.

If reports are to be believed, Pluto Nash was so disastrous that the studio had to pony up tens of millions of dollars for reshoots. They even hired Oscar-winning editor Alan Heim to polish them. Heim, dissatisfied with what he saw, determined there wasn't enough of the three-hour work print that was even usable. Thus, more reshoots ensued—a desperate dance to redeem the irredeemable.

Folks, it's hard to recommend you even watch this thing. There is just nothing to celebrate about it.

But, hey, that's part of the fun. So sit back, chug—literally chug—a few Voodoo Ranger Starship IPAs from New Belgium Brewing Co., and boogie to some lunar beats with Bruno and Babette! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash (aka Rex Crater), and Chumpzilla, are doing our damndest not to just lie down and die in the middle of a moon crater.

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – In an explosive first round KO, Pluto Nash wrenched the Shit Movie Championship away from Cutthroat Island. We explain why. (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions and the Moon Beach Trivia Challenge – First, Chumpzilla challenges us to Pluto Nash/Eddie Murphy-themed trivia. And then, with what's left of our resolve, we tackle whether or not this movie could've been salvaged. (53:25)
  • Recommendations – Time is a construct. While you ponder that and other mysteries of quarantine life, enjoy our recommendations for the week. And next up: It's Kilmer time, as we hunt down The Ghost and the Darkness! (1:11:30)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram (new and shiny!) to check out all the interesting factoids—Murphy's bizarre desire to rescue this project and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbean, and Spotify!

Dante’s Peak – “Handsome” Harry vs the Volcano

April 30, 2020

Dante's Peak is paint-by-numbers disaster cinema. You take the everyman hero—in this case, vulcanologist Harry Dalton, whose played with a steely intensity by Pierce Brosnan—and you place him in a scenario where the odds of survival are long. Those odds aren't helped by those unwilling to believe that there is, in fact, trouble brewing. It's bubbling just beneath the surface at the base of the town's iconic landmark.

Dalton—like Chief Brody before him—can yell until he's blue in the face. The higher ups are content to ride out the storm atop of wave of willful ignorance. Their wakeup call: a fiery hail storm of ash and rock. His lone supporter—even his geologic team finds him to be overly anxious—is the town's Mayor, Rachel Wando (Linda Hamilton). They battle the clock and the poor judgement of their peers to evacuate the town before it's too late.

In that sense, there's a lot that can seem familiar about its run-of-the-mill plot. And the first 50, or so, minutes is probably why the film received less than favorable reviews upon its release. And, honestly, why it isn't all that good of a movie.

What does work about Dante's Peak is its effects. A mixture of practical and digital—highly detailed miniatures overlaid with CGI—they hold up quite well for a movie made in 1997. You actually believe your witnessing a town succumb to the wrath of Mother Nature.

And once that destruction begins, there's only one thing left to do: enjoy it. So sit back, hammer open a Pompeii IPA from Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. with a stray chunk of volcanic rock, and start up Grandma Ruth's death boat! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, Chumpzilla, and special guest Mayor McCheese are making the questionable decision to gas our truck directly through some hot lava! We'll make it, though, with sheer will if need be!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – We take a trip to the sleepy, rural town of Dante's Peak to examine how a long dormant volcano erupted, leaving disaster in its wake. (00:00)
  • Interesting Facts and the "Hey ... Haven't I Seen This Before?" Movie Game – After a few interesting facts about the film, I challenge them to match movies to their overtly derivative pairs—i.e. Dante's Peak to Volcano or Armageddon to Deep Impact. (1:07:41)
  • Recommendations – Being indoors is better than having a pyroclastic cloud chase you toward an abandoned mine, but if you do find yourself stuck in an abandoned mine, we offer some suggestions to help you pass the time. And next up: either The Adventures of Pluto Nash or a film of your, the listeners, choosing! (1:18:34)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook to check out all the interesting factoids—Russia's personal acid lake and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbean, and Spotify!

Onward – Beers, Tears, and Bro Hugs

April 18, 2020

Onward—Pixar's latest animated feature—is yet another fine example of the exemplary work done by the now legendary animation studio. It is a heartfelt tale of two brothers struggling to find themselves and all the while yearning for a relationship with the father taken from them too soon.

It is also, unfortunately, a flop. As is the theme of our past few episodes, Onward entered into the ruinous box office landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic. This led it to boast one of Pixar's lowest openings to-date—just $45 million domestically.

The sting of that disappointment—a direct consequence of the not-so serendipitous timing—and a truncated run in theaters, bred something exciting: a prompt appearance on Disney+. Kids and families, who could no longer venture to the movies to see it, could now stream it in the comfort of their own home. And it is a movie that deserves an audience.

Though not Pixar's best—which would be a high bar to clear for any flick—Onward packs real emotional punch, and, as always, is a lovingly crafted journey that can appeal to both parents and their children. That is a Pixar hallmark. And in this distressing time, it is the kind of art we need.

With that in mind, it is time to cast some spells! So sit back, enchant your tastebuds with a Sugar Plum Fairy from Alphabet City Brewing Co., and exercise those magic muscles! I, Bing Bong the Brave (the Thunderous Wizard – @WriterTLK), Capt. Cash the Confident, and Chumpzilla the Cantankerous are on a legendary quest to unearth the all-powerful Phoenix Gem!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – After discussing the movie in-depth, we all came to the same conclusion: Pixar is exceptional at making us cry.  (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions and the Glory of the Pixar Tearjerker – We assess what worked/didn't work about the world of Onward, and we share which Pixar moments annihilated us most emotionally. (39:50)
  • The Alternative Movie Title Challenge – In Japan and China, Onward is One Half Magic. Capt. Cash challenges us to identify the movies that alternate titles belong to and what country dubbed them such. (1:04:34)
  • Recommendations – As we all continue to cope with the quarantine, we offer some picks to keep you entertained. Next, it's 90s nostalgia theater with Dante's Peak! (1:22:45)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook to check out all the interesting factoids—#ButtMullet and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbean, and Spotify!

Birds of Prey – A Fantabulous Movie that No One Saw

April 9, 2020

Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is a film that never should've ended up on this podcast. Centering on the immensely popular character at the end of its title, introducing a host of other DC characters to the big screen, and following up the box office hit that was Suicide Squad, it should've been a no-brainer. Somehow, it wasn't

Suicide Squad amassed over $746 million at the box office, despite an abysmal 27% on Rotten Tomatoes. Its mediocrity may have turned off audiences, but to the degree that Birds of Prey suffered that seems unlikely. Birds of Prey's $201+ million is heartbreaking.

In the eyes of both critics (78%) and fans (78% compared to 59% for Suicide Squad), this should've done better. Our podcast, for the most part, agrees. 

Birds of Prey is a tremendous showcase for Harley and does all the things that Suicide Squad failed to. Turns out, viewing a film through the lens of a mad woman is a hell of a lot of fun. In saying that, though, the titular Birds do not get shortchanged. They're a unique assemblage of badass women, who all stand on their own and have tremendous chemistry.

Should this be their only onscreen adventure, we'd all be poorer for it. To paraphrase Capt. Cash, Birds of Prey is a glitter-bomb, sucker punch to the taint, and you should definitely watch it!

So sit back, spike open a New Wave Radical Blond Ale from Pontoon Brewing, and strap on your rollerskates! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla are storming Gotham Police Department with baseball bats and egg sandwiches in hand!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – The Anatomy of a Flop: We break down why this movie failed to generate the buzz it should've.  (00:00)
  • Lingering Questions and Harleen Quinzel's Madhouse Trivia Challenge – After answering some of Chumpzilla's lingering questions, he challenges us to trivia that is DC comics and film-themed. (53:32)
  • Where We're at in Quarantine Life and Recommendations – We say this every week, but stay safe, stay indoors, and make the most out of your quarantine. Don't let it drive you too crazy like it has us in the stories we share. Next week, we're going on a quest with Pixar's Onward! (1:14:56)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook to check out all the interesting factoids—the origins of Harley Quinn and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbean, and Spotify!

Bloodshot – Unfinished Business at the Box Office

April 2, 2020

Bloodshot, which is based on a Valiant comic book of the same name, centers around Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel). Garrison is a deceased soldier whose body is donated to—or stolen for the purposes of—science. He is then augmented—infused with nanite technology that can heal him of injuries and empower him beyond natural limits.

Dr. Emil Harding (Guy Pearce), who saved him and equipped him with this hardware, is using Garrison, or Bloodshot, as an ends to a means. And as the trailer alludes to a little too heavily, Harding may not be all that trustworthy.

The conceit, though not entirely unique, is a fun one. Garrison is a weapon, and the best parts of the movie are when we get to see that weapon being deployed. And similar to most Diesel vehicles, Bloodshot is also a platform for his unique, gravelly, and brooding onscreen presence.

Bloodshot never attempts to reinvent the wheel. In a crowded landscape of superheroes, that could be construed as a negative. Yet it does give us a hefty amount of its titular character kicking ass and taking names; it does so through innovative action set pieces that provide more than enough bang for the buck.

Unfortunately, its premiere was a dud; and like the fate of many other films over the course of the next few months, it was a victim of a circumstance beyond its control. The COVID-19 pandemic limited its theatrical run to just that opening weekend and a couple days thereafter. Though it wasn't tracking well to begin with and grossed just over $29 million worldwide in that frame, its still a bummer for all of those involved. Soft opening or not, a film's main source of revenue comes from its theatrical receipts.

With a budget somewhere in the $40-45 million range, it's not out of the realm of possibility that this movie could've broken even at some point, maybe even earning it a sequel. Its proceeds are only one casualty of its box office stumbles. Any aspirations there may have been for a small scale Valiant universe of films are probably terminated, as well. If one of their most popular characters can't generate interest, why would others?

In any event, at least we got this one; and it is big, brash, dumb fun. So sit back, fill a frosted mug with a Brew Free or Die Blood Orange IPA from 21st Amendment Brewery, and reminisce about some fond memories—preferably ones that don't incite your thirst for revenge! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla are getting some much needed upgrades to take down smarmy Guy Pearce's cabal of augmented super soldiers!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – Does Bloodshot ever amount to more than an also-ran entry into the packed field of superhero cinema?  (00:00)
  • Name that Vin Diesel Character – Based on the descriptions I provide, Capt. Cash and Chumpzilla attempt to identify different characters from Vin Diesel's filmography. ()
  • Recommendations – The lockdown continues, so find a local organization to contribute to if you can, and then enjoy our recommendations. Next up, we continue our series of quarantine specials (i.e. films that were released early on-demand because of the ongoing crisis) with Birds of Prey! ()

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook to check out all the interesting factoids—the niche comic book characters we'd like brought to the big screen and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbean, and Spotify!

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer – A Giant Fart Cloud of Disappointment

March 27, 2020

Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was released on the cusp of what would become the superhero movie boom. A sequel to 2005's Fantastic Four—which was even more critically panned than this one—Silver Surfer premiered just a year prior to 2008's The Dark Knight and Iron Man, the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Even without the rising benchmarks or a more crowded field, Silver Surfer does little to distinguish itself; and it is only marginally better than the 2005 film. The action is mundane, the characters are bland, and it makes mincemeat of beloved villains from the team's lore—those being Dr. Doom and Galactus. Even the celestial being whose rise the title refers to is shortchanged.

Sure, it may have been ambitious in its scope, intertwining several of the key storylines from the Fantastic Four comics, but it didn't execute them on any level. As a kid who grew up reading the adventures of the Silver Surfer, Chumpzilla was not pleased. Capt. Cash was equally displeasured about its treatment of Doom (If you've heard the Corman pod, you know why).

To be fair, its shortcomings are rooted in that prior film. When that failed to grasp the audiences attention, Silver Surfer naturally had massive pressure upon its shoulders. Spoiler: It couldn't bear the load. Running just an hour and 31 minutes, it never amounts to more than a half-baked, overstuffed mess of a movie. And in earning over $30 million less than 2005's (just over $300 million total), it ultimately tanked the franchise.

But, hey, it can always be worse—*cough* Fant4stic. So sit back, clobber a couple Blueberry Maple Pancake Ales from Ellicottville Brewing Co., and get down on the good foot with Mr. Fantastic! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla are hopping aboard our cosmic surfboards to take down the heralded fart cloud of doom!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – Oh, the poor first family of Marvel. This, like the other three films, was a not-so fantastic entry.  (00:00)
  • Fantastic Four-centric Questions and a Drinking Game Inspired by the Movie – Since we're all stuck indoors, you may as well Skype some friends and drink while watching this incredibly mediocre movie. (48:13)
  • Recommendations – Again, employ sound social distancing strategies, stay safe, and enjoy each of this week's picks. Next up, we begin our series of quarantine specials (i.e. films that were released early because of the ongoing crisis) with Bloodshot! (1:36:05)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook to check out all the interesting factoids—how The Incredibles handcuffed this movie's predecessor and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbean, and Spotify!

Speed 2 – Just Crash Already

March 19, 2020

Speed 2: Cruise Control is an exemplar of an awful sequel. Is it bigger? Sure. Did it cost more? Most definitely. Is it more entertaining? Not even close.

The origins of its issues can be tracked back to two words: contractually obligated. Jan de Bont, renowned cinematographer and director of the original Speed, was tied to the sequel. He had no choice.

The stars of the first film—Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves—however, were not. You will be shocked to hear that after reading the script, Reeves could not be swayed to do it—even with $10+ million dollars waving in front of his face. Bullock relented, but only because she had her eyes on a passion project (Hope Floats), which she could parlay a large payday into.

Losing your central character is not exactly a deal breaker, but it is a troubling sign. For a moment, imagine the Karate Kid Part II without Ralph Macchio as Daniel LaRusso or Terminator 2 without Arnold as the T-800. All the goodwill and familiarity they'd developed with the audience had to be rebuilt.

Suffice to say, it handcuffs the movie. It does not cripple it, though. What ultimately sinks Speed 2 is its, well, lack of speed. A cruise ship, traveling thousands of miles over the space of days, lacks the frenetic energy of a bus on the highway. There is never a sense of urgency in this movie. It's plodding pace and refusal to find a natural crescendo don't help that.

For all of the money thrown into this one—$110 million, compared to just $30 million for its predecessor—there is almost no bang for the buck. 

If you love Speed, you won't love this. But, hey, we've all got plenty of time on our hands. So sit back, pound four to five Goin' Coastal IPAs from SweetWater Brewery, and strap on a LifeVest. I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla are taking to the seas to foil the plot of the Willem Dafoenavirus!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – We hated this movie, and we do not hesitate to tell you why.  (00:00)
  • Interesting Facts and "Pop Quiz, Hotshot" Speed 2 Trivia Challenge – After going through the last of his facts, Chumpzilla challenges us to a host of Speed-related questions, ranging from odd casting what-ifs to the cost of renting a cruise liner. (1:08:31)
  • Recommendations –  Stay indoors, stay safe, and enjoy each of this week's picks. Next up: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer! Oh, and we may have a new challenger to the Shit Movie Championship Belt! (1:19:44)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook to check out all the interesting factoids—the hurricane that did the ship's job and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbean, and Spotify!

Escape from L.A. – Tsunamis, Hang-Gliders, and a Whole Lot of Bad CGI

March 12, 2020

The 1990s were not kind to the legendary John Carpenter. Case-in-point: 1996's Escape from L.A.—the long-gestating sequel to Carpenter's 1981 cult classic Escape from New YorkL.A., like its predecessor, paints a grisly picture of future America. Los Angeles, which had devolved into a wasteland rife with crime, has been separated from the rest of the United States because of a massive earthquake.

Marooned on its own, it would be turned into a penal colony for all those deported for violating the harsh laws of America's oppressive theocratic regime. Its basis is not devoid of interesting ideas or even predictive social relevance. It's the execution of those ideas that is lacking.

L.A. is everything a sequel is meant to be. Its scope is grander, its budget is bigger, and it is not shy about capitalizing on the nostalgia held by fans of the franchise. Those things, though, are to its detriment.

For a film that cost $50 million dollars to produce—nearly 10 times more than New York's $6 million—you'd be hard pressed to identify where that money went. L.A. is rife with poorly designed visual effects—often so hokey that they take you out of the experience—and its central narrative doesn't just tread on the familiar, it trounces it. In nearly every way, L.A. is the same movie as New York.

In knowing that, its hard to ignore how it fails to live up to its vastly superior prequel in an meaningful way. It never does enough to set itself apart, either.

Its failure financially—earning just over $25 million on that ballooned cost—is certainly disappointing, but that pales in comparison to the sting of it wasting the opportunity to ingratiate the incredible character of Snake Plissken to a new generation. 

But, hey, it's surprising enough that it even got made in the first place. So sit back, hang ten with a Surfari IPA from Pizza Port Brewing Co., and dust off those eye-patches. I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla are launching half-court shots and catching sick post-apocalyptic tsunami waves!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction/Plot Breakdown – Before covering the laughably derivative plot to this film, we discuss how it landed on the pod in the first place.  (00:00)
  • Interesting Facts and Name the Movie to Feature this Song – After talking about some notable facts, we dive into a brand new challenge! I task Capt. Cash and Chumpzilla with naming the movie that a song was either prominently featured in or specifically written for. This was a legitimate thing in the 80s/90s, and this film was no exception, as it features the White Zombie track The One. (52:29)
  • Recommendations and the "Shit Movie Championship" Showdown – We offer our picks for the week. Then, we have our first official "Shit Movie Championship" showdown, pitting Cutthroat Island against Battlefield Earth. Who will emerge as the pod's grand champion of awful cinema? Next up: Speed 2: Cruise Control! (1:11:49)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook to check out all the interesting factoids—the CGI gaffes and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbean, and Spotify!