A Movie A Day #254: Mr. Destiny (1990, directed by James Orr)

When did your life first start to go downhill?

Larry Burrows (James Beluhsi) is convinced that, if he had not struck out while playing in the state high school baseball championship when he was 15, his life would have turned out so much differently.  He would be a success, instead of a mid-level executive with money problems, a dissatisfied wife, Ellen (Linda Hamilton), and a weird best friend (Jon Lovitz, of course).  On Larry’s 35th birthday, Michael Caine shows up as Larry’s guardian angel and, before you can say “George Bailey,” Larry is transported to an alternate timeline where he won that baseball game and got everything that he wanted.  Now, Larry has a big home, a sexy wife (Rene Russo), and a sexy mistress (Courtney Cox).  But he doesn’t have Ellen and Larry realizes that this all he ever wanted in the first place.

1990 was a busy year for Jim Belushi, starring in both this and Taking Care of Business.  Of the two films, Mr. Destiny is marginally better.   The story itself is predictable and the film makes a big mistake by trying to get dramatic during the final act.  (Everyone knows that Larry’s rival at the compamy is sleazy because he is played by Hart Bochner and everyone remembers Die Hard.  There was no need to turn him into a murderer, even if it was in a parallel universe.)   However, Michael Caine has the ability to make even the worst dialogue sound good.  Belushi is relatively restrained and any film that features Rene Russo, Courtney Cox, and Linda Hamilton can’t be all bad.   Mr. Destiny is forgettable but inoffensively entertaining.

Horror on the Lens: Children of the Corn (dir by Fritz Kiersch)


Today’s horror on the lens is the 1984 film that TSL editor-in-chief Arleigh Sandoc has called the worst Stephen King adaptation of all time.  For the record, I tend to agree with that judgment but, for some reason, a lot of people seem to like Children of the Corn.

And I will admit — the kids are creepy.  Especially that little Isaac guy with the shrill voice.  Whenever Isaac starts screaming, “MALACHI!!!!,” — well, it’s like nails on a chalkboard, to be honest.

Anyway, in case you’d forgotten, this is the movie where all the little kids hang out in a cornfield and kill adults.  It attempts to say something about religion but I’m not sure what it’s trying to say.  It’s all kind of silly but, as I said, some people seem to like it.

(Personally, I prefer that old episode of South Park where they keep declaring shenanigans on the carnival, all the cows jump off a cliff, and the visiting yankee tourists end up getting devoured by rats in jail.)

In order to help you decide for yourself whether or not this is a decent film, here is Stephen King’s Children of the Corn!  Enjoy it while you can because you just know that YouTube is going to eventually yank it down for copyright reasons.

What Lisa and the Snarkalecs Watched Last Night #102: Bermuda Tentacles (dir by Nick Lyon)

Last night, the Snarkalecs and I turned over to SyFy so we could watch and live tweet the latest offering from the Asylum, Bermuda Tentacles!

Why Were We Watching It?

Because it was the first SyFy original film of 2014, that’s why!  Seriously, yesterday should have been a freaking national holiday.  (Sad to say but rumor has it that the SyFy network may be looking to phase out original films — like Bermuda Tentacles — in order to devote more time to episodic television.  I sincerely hope that the network will reconsider that plan.)

What Was It About?

The President (John Savage) has gone missing in the Bermuda Triangle.  It’s up to rebellious Chief Petty Officer Trip Oliver (Trevor Donavon) to save him!  But while Trip and his crew float around under the sea in a submarine, gigantic CGI tentacles attack Admiral Linda Hamilton and the entire U.S. Navy.  Could the two events be related?

What Worked?

What do I always say about Asylum films?  It all worked.  Asylum films are the epitome of low-budget fun and that was certainly the case here.  To be honest, those who criticize a film like Bermuda Tentacles are missing the point.

Asylum films are designed to be watched by large groups of snarky individuals.  That’s why I always look forward to watching them with the Snarkalecs.  And I have to say that we, as a group, were on fire last night!  We were all in full snark mood and it was a wonderful thing to behold.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get #BermudaTentacles trending, largely because there were thousands of tweens tweeting about fucking Ashton Irwin at the same time we were tweeting about the movie.   But still, it was a good effort and everyone should be proud.

One thing that the Snarkalecs seemed to especially appreciate about Bermuda Tentacles was just how long, by Oval Office standards, the President’s hair was.

Thank you, John Savage, for not getting a haircut!

What Did Not Work?

I have to admit that, unlike TSL editor-in-chief Arleigh Sandoc, I’m hardly an expert as far as military history or ranks are concerned.  However, it was obvious, even to me, that the Navy in Bermuda Tentacles didn’t appear to follow any sort of real-world protocol.  Quite a few people on twitter doubted that an admiral would be on a destroyer and some had issues with a scene where the President referred to Oliver as being a “soldier” as opposed to being a “sailor.”  This really wasn’t a big deal to me because, quite frankly, I hardly expect Asylum films to be documentaries.  However, judging from some of the comments on twitter, it was a big deal to quite a few people who had actually served in the Navy.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

I had a harder time than usual relating to the characters in Bermuda Tentacles, largely because they were all career military whereas I majored in art history.  I was happy to see that the Admiral was a woman and that none of the men in her command had any problems with taking orders from her.  I would hope that, if I was an admiral, I would be just as effective.

Lessons Learned

There’s nothing quite as uniquely fun as watching a SyFy film with the Snarkalecs.  I’m already excited for the SyFy premiere of Big Ass Spider next Saturday.