When the fine, funny people at RiffTrax decided to take their special brand of snark to theaters across the country we knew two things:
- They were clearly both very smart and very lazy for doing so via satellite instead of actually, you know, driving around.
- It was going to be insanely, amazingly awesome.
The first show, August 20, 2009, was “Plan Nine from Outer Space” and this was followed up regularly with a small herd of super-cheese staples including “Reefer Madness”, “Manos: The Hands of Fate” and the modern, solar-powered classic, “Birdemic“. To do bigger movies, they’d need more money. Being that special combination of smart/lazy/awesome they left that part up to us. A hugely successful KickStarter campaign gave us an amazing evening with “Starship Troopers“.
So, after another successful KickStarter and nearly five years from that first show, they brought us Roland Emmerich’s 1998 character assassination of “Godzilla”. In it he accused the Big “G” of being an asexual, hermaphroditic, tunnel-crawling, no-fire-breathing, Jay Leno-looking mutated iguana. It got what it deserved and it was hilarious.
Broadcast by Fathom Events to hundreds of theaters across North America (the good America) the shows bring together thousands of fans and and some high-quality father/son time. I’ve seen “Guardians of the Galaxy“, but this – Roland-freakin’-Emmerich’s Godzilla – is still the most fun I’ve had in a theater all year.
Model: Ouya (sku: 8042042)
I’ve waited to do this review. Having funded the system during the original KickStarter campaign, I’ve had it for quite some time. Truth be told the system, as originally delivered, was more than a little rough around the edges and the games available less than impressive. I decided to allow some time for the software (and a few minor hardware) issues to be settled before forming my opinion.
We’re huge RiffTrax fans here and when they did their first KickStarter campaign back in February we backed them. Backed them hard! They were trying to earn enough to Riff “Twilight”. Apparently, since the movie is still busy printing money like Guttenberg on Meth, there isn’t enough for that. So they did “Starship Troopers” instead.
Broadcast by Fathom Events to hundreds of theaters (and, for the first time, Canada) this is the fifth live RiffTrax event and the first using a major studio film. The prior events, “Plan Nine from Outer Space”, “Manos: The Hands of Fate”. “Reefer Madness” and the modern turkey classic, “Birdemic”, were some of the best times we’ve had in a theater and this one didn’t disappoint.
“Starship Troopers” is actually a decent film on its own. Campy, clichéd and over-the-top, but also fun, well-paced and visually impressive. I prefer it when the guys riff truly terrible films so I can’t say this was my favorite live event. It was still worlds better than any of the comedies I’ve seen this year.
RiffTrax never disappoints!
Almost a year ago I gave some strangers $100 of my money. They promised me that within a year they would give me a small box that would change my life. (Making it completely different from, but reminiscent of, the puzzle box that releases sadistic demons in HellRaiser.)
The box would allow me to play Android games in full 1080p on my giant TV. It would give me a high-end wireless controller just as good as my other consoles. It would use a Tegra 3, turn on almost instantly and feature XMBC thus giving my current go-to media player, the beloved PS3, a run for its money (or at least a chance to rest). It would be completely open and you could try anything you like before you buy it.
I can’t stress enough: this was a big risk. There was no guarantee that I would ever get this box. But me and 60,000 other people gave them our money anyway, crossed our fingers, hid from our suspicious spouses and hoped.
It seems like forever ago but the Ouya is real. The thing, the actual damn thing, will start shipping to people like me – better than that to people that are actually me! – in three short days. It just struck me a few minutes ago how God Damn cool that is.