Archive for August, 2009

Favorite Underappreciated Fictional Characters – The Basketcase

Welcome to the first edition of “Favorite Underappreciated Fictional Characters.” In this series, Gord and I will discuss fictional characters we loved in the 80s and 90s who, for whatever reason, didn’t get the cred they deserved for being awesome. Sometimes they were too obscure for the public eye, sometimes they were simply overshadowed by a fellow character, etc. Here at, we are happy and proud to give them the praise they deserve. This week, we have…


The recent loss of writer/director John Hughes was rough for me. The amount of amazing characters he created is staggering, but if you asked me which my all-time favorite was I wouldn’t hesitate in naming The Breakfast Club’s “Basketcase” member Allison Reynolds (Ally Sheedy) above everyone else, including Ferris Beuller and Clark Griswold.

Can a member of the Breakfast Club be underappreciated? Your goddam right she can. 10 bucks says you didn’t even know her name was “Allison Reynolds.” Vernon and the other 4 kids grab so much more attention, and for good reason: Allison says all of one word the first half of the movie. But see, that’s what I love about her! She quietly sits there, listening and plotting, waiting for the right moment to open up and start manipulating the rest of the group. Stuck getting sodas with Andrew, she acts out to make him feel uncomfortable and calls him out on being fulla shit. Brian must have felt great later on, knowing this quiet chick stole his wallet just to get his personal info, then brag about it. And of course, the coup de grace, her total fucking pwnage of Claire in the round circle. And she did all this because she was bored on a Saturday!

As far as the end is concerned, and Allison’s preppie transformation, I ignore that. Who doesn’t? Everyone knows once the round circle discussion is over the movie starts becoming astronomically absurd (Andrew breaking a glass door by shouting we can accept, but Bender kissing Claire? NO FUCKING WAY!). Besides, we all know that Andrew’s sporto friends will still make fun of her, he’ll dump her, she’ll take her revenge, then go back to wearing black and listening to Joy Division (probably).

Allison, I salute you.

Battle Mode: Cereal Mascots

Ah, Tony. One of the most beloved–and misunderstood–cereal mascots of all time. Most people would be quick to put their money on Tony winning this one because after all, he’s the best at all sports, right? Wrong. Go onto youtube and watch those commercials again. Tony typically finds a kid who sucks at sports, accepts a challenge on their behalf (seriously Tony, shut the fuck up!), gives them his cereal and then gets an assist on whatever it is the schmuck kid wins. The key word in the last sentence is “assist.” Tony never wins shit!

Sugar Bear, on the other hand, will beat the shit out of any creature on gods green earth–while high.


Let’s get right to the point, shall we? The big question in this one is whether or not Frankenberry is strong enough to handle all the tricks the Cap’n has stored under his hat (sometimes literally). Frankenberry is a pretty thick guy–however in past commercials it is always shown that he has the courage of a squirrel. Frankenberry also loses points for losing his lifelong battle with his arch-rival Count Chocula (you don’t see Frankenberry for sale anymore, do you?). Not to mention, and let’s be honest here, pink isn’t exactly a masculine color.

Cap’n Crunch, meanwhile, has been around for over forty years foiling Soggies, Pirates, bad times, and whatever other antagonists come his way. He’s bound to know a trick or two to defeat Frankenberry, like hitting him in the teeth with an anchor, for example.


Holy fuck, it’s just mean to pair these two up against eachother. A full-blown addict vs a recovering addict. Here’s how I see it playing out…

Rabbit asks Sonny to get him some Trix. Sonny politely declines, telling Rabbit that he’s trying to stay off cereal. Rabbit promises Cocoa Puffs for Sonny if he could score some Trix for him, Sonny again refuses, angrier than before. Rabbit persists, eventually causing Sonny to cave, as usual. Sonny goes Cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, manically bounces around town for a few hours, and crashes hard in an alley somewhere. At no point does Sonny remember to score Trix for Rabbit.

Sonny wakes up hungover, hangs his head, and checks back into rehab. When he leaves rehab and goes back to his apartment (nest?) he finds Rabbit waiting for him, and Rabbit is none too happy. When Sonny can’t produce the Trix, Rabbit breaks his leg. Rabbit tells Sonny he’s got 24 hours to make good on the deal or else the next beating will be worse. Sonny contacts some old friends, looking for Trix, but is unsuccessful–because as we all know: Trix are for kids. With an hour to go before his deadline, Sonny panicks and grabs a Malt-o-Meal knockoff, hoping Rabbit wont notice once it’s in the bowl.

Now, I’m a fan of Malt-o-Meal. In general, the difference between them and the big wigs is minimal. Rabbit, on the other hand, doesn’t fuck around when it comes to Trix.

Sonny is found later that afternoon on the sidewalk, a victim of an apparent slip-and-fall off a roof.


Now we’re getting into the supernatural (as if murderous, talking, cartoon mascots weren’t enough). The leprechaun vs the vampire. Count Chocula could potentially take everyone on this list, what with being impervious to violence, the ability to turn into a bat, heightened strength and sesnses, whatever it is you believe a vampire does. Technically he should have no problem with a little shrimp like Lucky, right?

Wrong! This fight is practically a fucking no-contest! Lucky is a magical leprechaun! If Chocula goes after him, all Lucky has to do is conjure up a yellow sun to burn up his vampire ass, am I right?

Disagree? How do you think Lucky came up with THIS CEREAL? Because he annihilated Count Chocula and stole his legacy, that’s why.


Becoming a “Social Media Expert” in minutes

I am a social media guru. You can be one too in just three easy steps.

Step One:
Create a website/blog using WordPress. (

Step Two:
Configure a Twitterfeed to post updates based on the blog’s RSS feed. (

Step Three:
Use Facebook’s Twitter application to automatically post your Twitter updates on Facebook. (

That’s it.

When posting this short post on, a link to it is simulataneously posted on Twitter and Facebook. Pretty cool, eh?

By the way, Kev & I will be back tomorrow for this week’s episode of the 300 Bucks Damage podcast, spotlighting our favorite cartoons from the 1980s and 1990s.

8 Foreign Movies you Shouldn’t be Afraid of

And no, the Red Balloon doesn’t count. Neither does Trainspotting.

Of course, I’m talking about movies with–gasp!–subtitles. I know, I know, “I wanna watch a movie, not read!” I had the same fear when I was younger. If you’ve moved on past such absurd notions in your life, congratulations. If not, let me ask you this: if you’re watching the scene in The Goonies where Mouth is speaking Spanish to Rosalita, do you hit fast forward? Go for a snack? Throw the remote at the TV in frustration? No, you don’t. So if you can look past the subtitles to enjoy that scene, trust me, you can enjoy these movies.

Again, this is all simply my opinion, but if you wanna check rottentomatoes, go ahead. They back me up.

Run Lola Run (Germany, 1998) — Suspense — 1 hour, 20 minutes.
imdb Summary: A young woman in Germany has twenty minutes to find and bring 100,000 Deutschmarks to her boyfriend before he robs a supermarket.
Why you should see it: This was the first awesome foreign movie I ever saw, and the same probably goes for a lot of people within my generation (x/y). In fact, there’s a very good chance you’ve seen this. If not, you’re probably wondering how one can stretch a 20 minute plot into 80 minutes of film. Well, if you watch it you’ll find out–and because it’s like nothing you’ve ever seen, your mind will probably be blown. This movie pays close attention to the little things that go unnoticed, but can have a huge impact on our lives. Not to mention the iconic soundtrack will be stamped on your memory forever.

Oldboy (Korea, 2003) — Revenge, Cult — 2 hours.
imdb Summary: After being kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in 5 days.
Why you should see it: It’s certainly one of the more original revenge movies you’ll ever see, and it includes bags full of twists, turns, and other fucked up shit you’ve never seen before. Spielberg has been rumored to direct an American remake of it starring Will Smith, and that’s guaranteed to come nowhere near the awesomeness of the original. I don’t want to spoil anything, so let’s just say things happen in Oldboy that wholesome Will Smith will go nowhere near, and the movie will suffer because of it.

Inside (France, 2007) — Horror — 1 hour, 23 minutes.
imdb Summary: Four months after the death of her husband, a woman on the brink of motherhood is tormented in her home by a strange woman who wants her unborn baby.
Why you should see it: Because horror movies bore the shit out of me, yet this one I’m head over heels in love with. To put it plainly: this movie is SERIOUSLY FUCKED UP. If it made me squirm in my seat, it will very likely do at least the same for you. What the imdb summary doesn’t tell you is that the strange woman who wants this unborn baby plans to get it by cutting it out of the other woman with a pair of scissors. I fucking love this movie.

JCVD (Belgium, 2008) — Comedy/Drama — 1 hour, 37 minutes.
my Summary: The washed up Jean Claude Van Damme, playing himself, returns home to Brussels and becomes the prime suspect in a bank robbery.
Why you should see it: You don’t have to be a Jean Claude Van Damme fan to appreciate the self deprecating comedic elements of this movie or the heart-felt monologue near its climax–but if you are a Van Damme fan, or have ever been one, it would be hard for you not to think this movie is awesome.

The Dinner Game (France, 1998) — Comedy — 1 hour, 20 minutes.
imdb Summary: Each week, Pierre and his friends organize what is called as “un diner de cons” (“dinner of idiots”). Everyone brings the dumbest guy he could find as a guest. Pierre thinks his champ -Francois Pignon- will steal the show.
Why you should see it: BECAUSE IT’S FUCKING FUNNY AS SHIT. That should be enough. Jaques Villeret (the idiot) is particularly phenomenal. I’m actually quite excited for the supposed American remake starring Paul Rudd and Steve Carell–perfect actors for this movie.

The Tunnel (Germany, 2001) — Suspense – 2 hours, 47 minutes.
my Summary: In 1961 Germany, a group of people in West Berlin dig a tunnel under the newly erected Berlin Wall to rescue friends and relatives in Communist East Berlin.
Why you should see it: Because if you’re a member of my generation, all you really remember of the Berlin Wall was that it fell when you were a kid. You don’t quite realize how fucking crazy the whole thing was when it was originally built. This movie is basically a “Best-of real life Berlin Wall escape attempts” jammed into 150 minutes. You will shake your head at what people went through not that long ago. The dramatization of the Peter Fechter incident is particularly gripping.

Life is Beautiful (Italy, 1997) — Comedy/Tragedy — 1 hour, 56 minutes.
imdb Summary: A Jewish man has a wonderful romance with the help of his humor, but must use that same quality to protect his son in a Nazi death camp.
Why you should see it: Besides all the deserved award nods/wins, this is a must-see because its a Holocaust movie that doesn’t turn its back on the horrors of concentration camps and still makes you laugh–and after all the laughter it’s still so fucking depressing that I can only watch it every few years. This movie is truly remarkable.

Europa, Europa (Germany, 1990) — Suspense — 1 hour, 52 minutes.
imdb Summary: A boy in Nazi Germany, trying to conceal that he is Jewish, joins the Hitler Youth.
Why you should see it: Because it’s probably the craziest true story you’ll ever encounter. It’s nuts to call a Jewish kid in Nazi Germany lucky, but shit man… if you ever want to be in the wrong place at the right time, follow this guy. It also includes one of my favorite movie scenes–and a great example of a Catch 22–where boatloads of Jews are passing eachother on a river in Poland, one side fleeing an invading Germany, the other side fleeing an invading Soviet Union.

That’s enough to add to a Netflix queue for now, I think. As for the highly acclaimed Soviet “Come and See” I mentioned a few weeks back, it was good. If you need another reason to call the Nazis sick evil fucks, then it’s for you.

I’m welcome to any suggestions! Leave any you may have in the comments section!

“I’ll put money on it!” – Ham City Kev

During this week’s show, Kev argued that Back to the Future Part 3 was shot prior to Back to the Future Part 2. The following audio clip from the DVD commentary clears up the controversy.


NOTE: Kev was wrong. Gord was right.

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