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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I've Been Going About This All Wrong

Sometimes it takes the actions of another person to put things into perspective. Case in point, a good friend of mine started a blog of her own yesterday. The last sentence of her introduction is as follows, "Right now, I'm just hoping to write".

That's the point of a blog, to write for the sake of writing when you have something to write about at your own pace. No one dictates that you have to write something at a particular time. Unless you're a professional blogger and companies have deadlines set for you. But that's not the case for me. That's not my job. I'm just an ordinary guy.

I've been far too harsh on myself for not keeping up with the MST recaps, or podcast episodes or other such content. And really, I don't understand why. No one's been breathing down my neck about it or critisizing me for not being on any sort of set and structured schedule. I don't think I'd know what a set and structured schedule would look like even if it bit me.

From here on it, I'm doing things at my own pace. Random blog posts; whenever they spring to mind. MST Recaps; when I have the time to do so. New podcast episodes; they'll surface when I have stuff to talk about  and have the time to sit and record it.

I'll write when I want to, when I'm able, when I have something to talk about. And hopefully, I'll keep up with it this time.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

MST Tuesday - " Moon Zero Two"

Hello and welcome to another edition of MST Tuesday. This week, we're taking a look at "Moon Zero Two", an episode from Season 1. Why do I mention the fact it's Season 1? Well, the fact that we have Josh "J. Elvis" Weinstein, the original voice and puppeteer of Tom Servo, on the show! And he plays Dr. Laurence Erhardt, Dr. Forrester's original assistant. So, welcome to the blog, J. Elvis!  We've got Blog Post Sign!

Host Segment #1

Joel is on the bridge of the Satellite of Love with Crow and Tom Servo and briefly explains the premise of the show before going to commercial. He asks those of us watching to think of him if we go to get a snack so he can eat vicariously through us. And with that, we have Commercial Sign.

Invention Exchange

Joel introduces the concept of drive-by food, a much faster process than drive-thru because the food is teleported directly into your stomach!

The Mads have Mouth-To-Mouth Celebrity Toothpaste, toothpaste dispensers with doll heads that appear to vomit toothpaste onto your toothbrush. Selected models include Mr. Creosote from "Monty Python and the Meaning of Life" and Linda Blair from "The Exorcist".

I think Joel wins this one no contest. Quick food delivery is always a plus. Also, who wants to equate vomiting with brushing one's teeth? Yuck!

And now... we're got Movie Sign!

Movie Segment #1

The film begins with an animated title sequence that features an American astronaut and a Russian astronaut both landing on the moon, feuding with each other, discovering a civilization that has been built on the moon and exploring the city they find there. Tom Servo wonders if the whole film is like this. Crow hopes not because he doesn't think he could take two hours of the theme song playing. Joel seems to dig it though and actually dances around the theatre a bit during the credits.

After the credits, we're into live action as we pull back from a reflection of the moon to an interior of a spaceship. A member of the crew goes on a space walk to retrieve a satellite they spot floating adrift in space near their ship. The satellite is compared to, amongst other things, a space Garden Weasel or a space ice machine. Tom Servo thinks the crew member's equipment resembles the Nintendo Power Glove, and I'm not disagreeing with him.

The crew member returns to the ship and heads back to the control console while some jazzy music plays in the background. The 2nd member of the crew looks over at his colleague as he returns and Crow asks, "Why don't we talk anymore?" And I agree, why the Hell hasn't anyone said anything yet? Counting the opening credit sequence, we're almost 7 minutes into the movie now and there hasn't been a single word of spoken on-screen dialogue yet.

Not long after that, my prayers are answered... I guess, as the ship Moon Zero Two contacts Moon Control for landing instructions. Riveting. We're treated to a brief instrumental reprise of the theme song and then we get an ad break.

Movie Segment #2

The captain of the Moon Express approaches the men from Moon Zero Two and complains that their landing made his ship's landing two minutes late. He is then told off by another crew member and the Moon Zero Two crew instruct that the satellite they picked up be taken to the scrap yard.

Back in the locker room, Captain Bill Kemp of the Moon Zero Two is being told by another crew member that personnel has been talking about getting him back into the corporation. Captain Kemp expresses no interest in the idea of being a mere passenger pilot.

A woman enters the locker room catching Kemp as he's leaving the shower. He says that she is looking for Captain Kemp, but he doesn't identify himself and yells at her to leave which she eventually does.

Captain Kemp's colleague walks into the locker room and sees a maintenance man making an update to a memorial plaque for those who had given their lives to make the moon habitable. Captain Kemp thinks the memorial would be better placed outside of the crew's locker room, but the maintenance man says it might distress customers. Captain Kemp asks his colleague about the money they got for the satellite and takes his cut.

Sudden cut to footage of a Western, and we see it's an in-flight movie. Captain Kemp enters the transport and is escorted to a seat up front where he once again encounters the woman from the locker room. She seems confused as to why he denied being Captain Kemp, but Kemp simply replies he finds himself to be at a disadvantage when he's not wearing clothes. Upon getting her first view of the surface of the moon, the woman proclaims the landscape to be bleak. I feel the same way about this movie.

Upon arriving at a transport station, Kemp gives the woman a tour of various lunar landmarks by looking at them through windows. And I am so bored by this episode so far. Joel and the Bots exit the theatre and I don't blame them one bit.

Host Segment #2

Joel and the Bots put on a play about the first moon landing. It's a lot more entertaining than the movie thus far.

Movie Segment #3

Back from break and we get a dance number. Sure, why not. Captain Kemp enters the Moon Bar and joins his colleague who is already there. While at the bar, Kemp is approach by a man who tells him that a Mr. Hubbard wants to see him.

We cut to Hubbard's lair where a bunch of vapid looking models are playing Moonopoly. Joel and the Bots rightfully boo the stupid joke. Kemp arrives and Hubbard tells Kemp he has a job for him, find a jewel-encrusted asteroid and intentionally crash it into the moon. Kemp is unwilling to to cooperate with the plan citing the illegality of such an action. Hubbard says if Kemp can make it look like an accident, there should be no problem. And then we get an ad break

Movie Segment #4

Back from break and Kemp is getting ready for the mission Hubbard assigned him. One of the attendants asks what it is but his engineer - despite not knowing what the plan truly is - is quick to stop him from revealing any information citing rules from a handbook or something. Hubbard appears and two of his henchmen go along with Kemp to make sure all goes according to plan.

Moon Zero Two takes off and one of Hubbard's henchmen plots the course for the asteroid and tells Kemp the details of their plan to make the asteroid crash into the far side of the moon.

Back at the station, a rowdy group makes their way into the Moon Bar where everything is Wild West themed now and we got another pointless dance number. Though, honestly, every scene is the movie has seemed pretty pointless to me thus far.

The woman Kemp was talking to earlier enters the bar and asks a couple of men if they knew her brother and if he was with the convoy they arrived with. They tell her they hadn't heard from her brother in months and cite the reason as a damaged communication satellite on the far side of the moon. Joel and the Bots then excuse themselves from the theatre and we get and ad break.

Host Segment #3

Going off the awful Moonopoly joke in the movie, Joel and the Bots speculate about what games of the future will be like. Some examples include Moontendo presents Super Lunar Mario Brothers, Parcheesi becomes GreenCheesi, Chutes & Ladders will be replaced by Vacuum Tubes and Mouse Trap will no longer exist because all the mice will be in laboratories for scientific research.

Joel finishes things off by making the Bots into his own personal version of Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots and we get Movie Sign.

Movie Segment #5

Moon Zero Two comes into contact with the giant bejeweled asteroid and begin placing the equipment on it. Crow: "In space, no one can hear you yawn".  And is he ever right. This is easily the most boring episode of MST3K I've ever seen. Not quite halfway through the episode yet and I'm not sure if I can hold on until the end.

Hubbard's men return to the ship and Kemp stays on the asteroid a little longer to make sure all the engines fire off accordingly. Everything goes according to plan. Yay, I think.

Back to the bar on the moon and the dancers are dressed like chickens or something. But who cares about that, here comes Kemp to get a drink after a job well done. The woman is still waiting for her brother and is glad to see Kemp has returned. She asks if Kemp could take her over to Far Side since she's eager to see if her brother has found something on his mining claim. Kemp says he could probably help her out, but one of Hubbard's men had been eavesdropping and confronts Kemp at the bar. The henchman tells Kemp not to help the woman out, but Kemp says he is a pilot for hire. A fight breaks out and Kemp turns off the artificial gravity sending everything into slow motion. It's incredibly goofy, and not in a good way.

Movie Segment #6

Suddenly, we're back on Moon Zero Two and the woman has joined Kemp and his engineer. I guess their en route to Far Side now. Upon arriving, Kemp rents a Moon Bug and they attempt to make their way to the claim. Exposition is traded as they drive on.  My attention span is running low. We get an ad break.

Movie Segment #7

They finally arrive at the claim site and find it deserted. A spacesuited figure is spotted in the distance, but it turns out to be a dead body. Guess she won't be reunited with her brother after all.

They board the Moon Bug and are preparing to leave when Kemp spots some figures moving around outside the claim site. Kemp asks them to identify themselves, but in response the mysterious forms open fire on the Moon Bug.

Kemp and the woman escape from the Moon Bug and Kemp dispatches his would-be assailants. They commandeer the Moon Dozer from the claim site and now begin to race against time in order to get back to the base where they intially landed.

Host Segment #4

Crow and Tom Servo fight over which woman in the movie is more attractive. Joel says if they're going to fight, they'll do it in zero gravity just like in the movie. This segment is slightly more entertaining than the slo mo segment in the actual movie.

Movie Segment #8

Morning is beginning to break and as such the temperature on the moon is climbing. Power is at a premium so Kemp is unable to use any of the cooling systems on the Moon Dozer. As they approach the last few miles, Kemp worries that they may need to walk the last few miles and doubts the power in their moon suits would be enough to sustain them. The cabin pressure drops suddenly and Kemp and the woman put their moon suits back on and exit just before the Dozer explodes.

Kemp finally returns to the base and ends up forcing a confession out of the man who sells the supplies at the base implicating him in the murder. Kemp puts two and two together and figures out Hubbard was behind everything and wanted to get the claim cleared before crashing the asteroid into that location. Hubbard reveals himself and one of his henchmen shoots the woman from the beaureu of investigation before she can arrest him. Kemp says he's no longer willing to help Hubbard but after threatening to kill the lady he'd been assisting, Kemp quickly changes his tune.

Movie Segment #9

Oh, thank God, final movie segment. Kemp and the henchmen are on the asteroid once again making calculations for the descent. After dispatching one of Hubbard's henchmen from the ship and flying away a bit, Kemp sets off an engine on the asteroid and flees leaving Hubbard and one of his other henchmen trapped as the it makes its approach. The heroes return to Moon City and I've never been more glad to see an episode of this show come to an end.

Host Segment #5

It's time for the Movie Review Game. The Bots have to name a good thing and a bad thing about this movie, and they get a RAM chip if they do so.  I'd say the good thing would be it wasn't longer than it was, and the bad thing is the fact it exists.

Joel reads a letter and the Mads remind them to share the address for the Info Club. Dr. Forrester tells Dr. Erhardt that his hair makes him look like the mascot for Bob's Big Boy and instructs him to file something. Dr. Forrester pushes the button ending the episode and sending us to the credits.

Well... that sucked. I wanted to give up on this episode so many times. The film itself was plodding and dull which, as a result, didn't lead to a lot of great riffs in my mind. The saving graces were the Moon Landing Salute and Games in the Future host segments. 2 out of 5 stars.

I hope whatever I'm recapping for next week is more interesting than this episode was. So until next time; Push the Publish button, me!