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 17, 2024 55 mins

Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins is based on The Destroyer series of pulp novels. Clearly inspired by James Bond, the character takes an American spin on the cloak and dagger antics of black ops.

Unlike Agent 007, though, Remo Williams—at least in his big screen incarnation—is not the most compelling character. And by modern sensibilities, it doesn't help that his trainer—an elderly Korean marital arts master named Chiun—is an a...

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Sahara was meant to be the next big adventure franchise—an Indiana Jones for a new era. Its main character—Dirk Pitt played by Matthew McConaughey—was the lead in a series of novels by Clive Cussler.

The material was there to be mined, but the audience was not. Despite its inspiration, Sahara could not match the popularity of the novels.

Grossing just $119 million worldwide, it took quite the hit at the box office, especially since...

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April 26, 2024 70 mins

Speed Racer, based on a popular Japanese Manga and cartoon from the 1960s, is a CGI explosion of high speed hijinks.

Directed by Lilly and Lana Wachowski, it embodies much of what made the series so beloved. That works to its benefit and detriment. For those unfamiliar with Speed Racer's inspiration, there is a barrier to entry. Essentially, this is an eccentric film based on an eccentric property.

And the sheer amount of colors an...

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April 19, 2024 90 mins

Alita: Battle Angel, based on a popular Manga series, is a cyberpunk action film from Robert Rodriguez.

Full of CGI and over the top fisticuffs, Alita: Battle Angel is quite often visually dazzling. It truly feels like an anime come to life. Where it fails is its storytelling.

The titular Alita is not a particularly compelling character, and her romance with Hugo is even less interesting. Such a shortcoming generally doesn't matter...

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GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra is a somewhat successful live-action adaptation of the beloved GI Joe cartoon and toy line. It's a big, loud, dumb, and, at times, very fun action film.

Most of the adjectives above will come as no surprise for fans of Stephen Sommers–he of The Mummy and The Mummy Returns fame.

The DNA of what made those films such enjoyable adventure romps is here. Unfortunately, so is his penchant to go too far over the ...

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March 29, 2024 65 mins

The Last Airbender—the 2010 version written, produced, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan—is an affront to cinema. Yes, it is that bad; and no, it is not worth wasting more brain power writing about.

Now, sit back, douse the Fire Nation's flames with a Tropic Force IPA from Voodoo Ranger, and practice that water bending! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Bling Blake, and Chumpzilla are riding our magical sky bison like it's a ...

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Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom is the abandoned child of a now-defunct cinematic universe. Pushed multiple times and released far after James Gunn's announcement of his new DCU, the writing was on the wall, or in the sand, for the King of Atlantis' fate. And, yet, the studio still felt they needed to tinker with it to death.

The fingerprints of studio meddling are all over Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom. The editing is slap dash, and t...

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March 8, 2024 76 mins

Madame Web is Sony's latest vapid entry in their ever burgeoning catalogue of films centering around the villains of Spider-Man.

And, yes, like Morbius, that hero is nowhere to be seen. In fact, since the film largely takes place in 2003, he hasn't even been born yet.

Our heroine here is Cassandra Webb, an EMT born with powers she has yet to realize she's been given. The how and the why of that truly need to be seen to be believed.

...

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Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania was the bite-sized hero's attempt to elevate the stakes of his solo outings. With Kang—the MCU's big bad in waiting—as the film's central villain, it was meant to serve as a narrative intro for the next Avengers team up.

Alas, that appears like it is not to be. Even before Jonathan Majors, the actor portraying Kang, ran afoul with the law, Quantumania's poor reviews and lagging box office flashed w...

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February 23, 2024 95 mins

The Flash, despite the character's powers, took forever to speed its way to the big screen. Originally announced as part of DC's film slate in 2014, it would be nine long years before it was finally released.

During that time, numerous directors and writers were attached and then detached from the project. Ultimately, amid numerous legal troubles, Ezra Miller would return to star and IT's Andy Muschietti would direct.

Based loosel...

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February 16, 2024 75 mins

Blue Beetle is the type of superhero film that seems to be in increasingly rare supply these days. It places character firmly over spectacle, and in doing so, gives us one of the most heartfelt comic book films of recent memory.

If you're not familiar with the character, Blue Beetle is sort of extraterrestrial Ironman. The character, Jaime Reyes, is human, but the tech, Khaji Da, is alien. The two form a symbiosis, one where the su...

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February 9, 2024 67 mins

Half Past Dead is the last feature film with Steven Seagal as the main star to earn a theatrical release. If one were to track what came after, that would come as no surprise.

In his thankfully short-lived action cinema prime, Seagal was serviceable. Light on charm, looks, and acting acumen, his unique brand of punishment was entertaining enough. But, as the years and the pounds piled on, the sheen wore off. Dramatically.

Half Past...

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February 2, 2024 73 mins

Expend4bles is the epitome of milking an idea dry. It's lazy, visually a mess, and its narrative is almost completely nonsensical.

Worse, like the third entry in the series, Expend4bles doesn't seem to grasp what made people interested in its concept in the first place. We lose even more of the action stars we all love and replace them with even less interesting people. Sure, this one returns the R rating, but the blood and carnage...

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January 19, 2024 55 mins

Written and directed by Taran Killam, Killing Gunther is a mockumentary centering on a group of incompetent assassins who assemble to take down the world's best hitman.

It is a wonderfully comedic and weird film that was unfortunately slept on by both critics and viewers. Grossing less than $200,000, Killing Gunther never found much of an audience. But it should have.

Its cast of eclectic characters do more than enough to buoy the ...

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January 12, 2024 78 mins

Hollywood Homicide is a delightful mismatched buddy cop comedy. Unfortunately, everyone hated it, including its star—Harrison Ford.

Written and directed by Ron Shelton, of Bull Durham and Tin Cup fame, Hollywood Homicide channels the real life exploits of one-time Los Angeles policeman Robert Souza.

Judging by some of the movie's subplots, reality is indeed stranger than fiction. Speaking of those weaving narrative points, the abun...

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Die Hard and Lethal Weapon are two of the great 80s action movie. That much is indisputable. But they are also both set during the Christmas season.

On this podcast, we debate which is the better Christmas movie. 

So, sit back, revel in the holiday spirit with either a Merry Monkey from Victory Brewing or an Abita Christmas Ale, and don't think you're too old for this shit! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Bling Blake, and a ...

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December 15, 2023 53 mins

Just Friends is a charming little comedy starring Ryan Reynolds before he ascended into super stardom.

As Chris Brander, Reynolds plays a heavy-set high schooler whose love for his best friend Jamie Palamino (Amy Smart) is unrequited.

Flash forward 10 years and Brander is now fit and successful. He begrudgingly returns to his hometown in New Jersey and takes one last shot with his longtime crush.

Hijinks and hilarity ensue. Not we...

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December 8, 2023 51 mins

Palm Springs is a cinematic gem that went under the radar in 2020. Released at the height of the pandemic, it's an uproariously funny time loop movie, centering on a man stuck at a miserable wedding.

When said man, Niles played by Andy Sandberg, mistakenly drags a fellow guest into the unending cycle, the real fun begins.

Like Groundhog Day, Palm Springs is very much about our lead characters—the aforementioned Niles and Sarah play...

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So I Married an Axe Murderer came hot off the heels of the mega hit Wayne's World. Unfortunately for Mike Myers, it could not replicate the famous skit's success.

Banking just north of $11 million, So I Married and Axe Murderer was a box office bomb. But any child of the 90s will tell you that it's still a damn good time.

This is peak Myers, a time when his oddball characters were still funny. It's also his attempt to play the gene...

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November 17, 2023 54 mins

Summer Catch came at the peak of Freddie Prinze, Jr. mania. He was sort of the king of sub-par romantic comedies in the mid-2000s, and like the rest of his films, this one, too, is mediocre.

Full of cringeworthy schmaltz and baseball scenes that strain credibility, Summer Catch is exactly what one would expect from a genre that feasts on the contrived.

It's got the local boy (Prinze, Jr.) trying to make it after experiencing a down...

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