Hops and Box Office Flops

Hops and Box Office Flops

A film podcast dedicated to the underdogs — the disasters, the bombs, the much maligned! So sit back, grab a beer, and enjoy!

Episodes

May 13, 2022 76 min

The Sorcerer's Apprentice is an ode to Disney's 1940 film Fantasia.

Born from an idea Nicolas Cage had, it builds an entire mythos from that brief section of the aforementioned film.

Balthazar Blake, Cage, is a sorcerer searching for the rightful heir to Merlin—his former master.

He was given a ring by the legendary wizard as he lie dying. That ring will signal the chosen one, who happens to be a bumbling nerd, Dave (played...

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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is an absolute joy bomb for fans of Nicolas Cage. Playing a fictionalized version of himself, Cage delivers a top-tier performance. It should remind everyone that, to summarize his character in the film, he never really went anywhere.

This is as thoughtful and well written an ode to the long, winding career of Cage could be. He's able to channel his younger self; dive headfirst into the n...

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April 29, 2022 76 min

Mandy is an absolutely bonkers, psychedelic acid trip loaded with blood, violence, and raw nerve.

It's a tragic film—one where a man witnesses his beloved be burned alive by a religious cult. This action, of course, leaves him no other option than revenge. The brutality, though visually striking, is only a small portion of the movie's brilliance.

Directed by Panos Cosmatos—son of famed director George P. Cosmatos—Mandy deli...

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Willy's Wonderland is delightful schlock.

An unabashed Five Nights at Freddy's ripoff, it stars Nicolas Cage as the Janitor—the silent protagonist who is stuck cleaning Willy's Wonderland to pay off a debt. It should come as no surprise that the titular establishment is not on the level.

In fact, its troupe of animatronic mascots are actually reanimated serial killers who committed ritualistic suicide before the authori...

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Black Friday is like if someone took Dawn of the Dead, Army of Darkness, and The Mist, threw them all in a blender, but somehow removed any of the ingredients that made those films so memorable.

Biting social criticism? Well, it is there; it just doesn't work. Humor and over the top, practical gore? Both are in far too short supply. Dramatic tension? Sorry, there are no real scares to speak of.

This one, folks, is dead on arriv...

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April 1, 2022 61 min

Annihilation is based upon a 2014 novel of the same name. And it is director Alex Garland's follow up to his highly acclaimed directorial debut Ex Machina.

Like that title, Annihilation is much more than the sum of its parts. Certainly, it is a Sci-Fi film where a team of women head into the unknown, the Shimmer as its called, to identify the source of the invading entity. But that is just the surface.

Annihilation is also abou...

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Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is the seventh live-action iteration of the storied video game franchise. Sadly, like its predecessors, it fails to live up to the legacy of the series.

Yes, folks, Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City is yet another uninspired video game adaptation. But unlike the Paul W.S. Anderson saga, this at least sticks close to the source material.

Raccoon City is a reboot, carrying no connection t...

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March 11, 2022 70 min

The Happening is a cinematic travesty. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, it has zero in common with some of his finer work. For one thing, it lacks even the hint of a twist—a hallmark of his better movies.

It's also painfully stupid. Boasting Mark Wahlberg as high school science teacher Elliot Moore. Yes, you read that right; he's a science teacher. The Happening is little more than a premise. What happened if the trees star...

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Showdown in Little Tokyo is indisputably a bad movie, but that doesn't mean it isn't a heck of a lot of fun.

Starring Dolph Lundgren as Sgt. Chris Kenner and Brandon Lee as his partner Johnny Murata, it desperately wants to be Lethal Weapon. Unfortunately, it lacks the wit, charm, and overall directing acumen that film had.

Instead, this is a low budget 90s flick with a seedy aesthetic that rises above its mediocre qualit...

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February 25, 2022 87 min

Double Team is an ill conceived 1997 action film that attempts to capitalize on the waning star power of Jean-Claude Van Damme and Dennis Rodman. Though each had experienced much success in their respective careers, this came far after each of their sell by dates.

For Van Damme, who stars as Jack Quinn, a series of misses and a well known issue with drugs took their toll. The latter can be said for Rodman, as well. His partying ha...

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Firestorm, which is essentially Die Hard set amidst a forest fire, is as bad as you'd expect a movie that stars an ex-NFL player to be.

That said, it's still dumb fun, and it is anchored by another deliciously evil turn from William Forsythe. He plays Shaye—an escaped convict who engineered the fire, so he could reclaim his stashed millions.

Unfortunately for him, these are Jesse Graves' woods! Jesse, played as varyin...

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February 11, 2022 64 min

Stone Cold is a perfect piece of 90s cinema. It's hyper-masculine, nonsensical schlock; and it is glorious.

Starring Brian Bosworth—a stud linebacker from Oklahoma University whose injuries derailed his NFL career—Stone Cold chronicles one man's struggle to bring a gang of degenerate bikers to justice. Yes, it is as awesome as it sounds. And it's just entertaining enough that one wonders why Bosworth didn't become ...

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February 4, 2022 77 min

Kill the Irishman chronicles the life and turbulent times of Danny Greene, a tough Irishman who gets involved with the Cleveland mafia.

As far as gangster flicks go, it's not half-bad; but that also means it's generally half-good. That's because it's a relatively unfocused look at a rather complicated and violent life. It honestly feels like there's a good 30 minutes of connective tissue missing from the movie.

...

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January 28, 2022 84 min

Striking Distance is a fairly stereotypical 90s cop movie, but with a twist: Bruce Willis' hairline! From scene to scene it shifts dramatically.

Balding Bruce, which we must assume is the Bruce from the original shooting, transforms into toupee Bruce multiple times throughout the movie—sometimes from one cut to the next. It's astounding.

The wig—despite its omnipresence—is not the hook of the film, though. Striking Dista...

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January 21, 2022 65 min

Road House is everything an action movie should be. Its premise is over the top, its plot is utterly nonsensical, and none of the people involved seem to be aware of it.

Starring Patrick Swayze, who was fresh off of Dirty Dancing, Road House presents the all too relatable plot of: What if you're a doorman in a small town run by a vengeful crook? Well, if you're Dalton (Swayze), you beat the snot out of a lot of people whil...

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Deadbeat at Dawn is essentially a student film. Jim Van Bebber, Chumpzilla's childhood neighbor, dropped out of college and used his student loans to fund it. It's unapologetic exploitation cinema from the warped mind of Van Bebber, and it is glorious.

It's violent, obscene, odd, overwritten, and surprisingly boasts action scenes that outshine crap we've done on the pod from far more expensive movies. It's sort...

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The Matrix Resurrections ushers us back into the false and hollow reality that is the Matrix. It's been 18 years since we've entered the virtual dystopia. And the last time we were thrust into its oppressive confines, the results were less than stellar.

1999's original two sequels sort of divided general audiences. The visuals and exceptional stunts were still there, but the message was lost in translation.

As for Th...

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End of Days was Arnold Schwarzenegger's triumphant return to the big screen after a two-year hiatus. Suffice to say, it was an odd choice of comebacks.

End of Days centers around Satan's quest to bring about, well, the end of days by consummating his relationship with the woman destined to be the mother of his child.

It certainly has action scenes, but it's more religious horror than anything else—unfamiliar fare for ...

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December 24, 2021 73 min

8-Bit Christmas chronicles a boy's quest to get a Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) for Christmas in 1988. That plot evokes memories of both A Christmas Story—which it clearly pays homage to—and How I Met Your Mother—a show also starring one Neil Patrick Harris.

As a more modern take on the familiar tale of a child's quest to attain what his parents are reluctant to get, 8-Bit Christmas doesn't feel entirely fresh; b...

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December 17, 2021 64 min

Out Cold is like someone spliced Caddyshack and Mallrats. In principle, that sounds awesome, right?

Well, unfortunately, that's more in terms of concept—a group of shiftless park rats bumming around their place of work—and the presence of a London brother. In Out Cold, it's Jason, rather than Jeremy.

I guess there's slightly more to it. They do have to save their fledgling ski resort from an evil corporate stooge, Joh...

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