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MST3K: Cinematic Titanic

Discussion in 'DVD' started by dberthia, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. dberthia

    dberthia Stunt Coordinator

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    Has anyone taken a look at the first DVD from Cinematic Titanic? It features a lot of the original MST3K'ers, including Joel Hodgson. The preview of The Oozing Skull looks good. Anybody have any thoughts on this?
     
  2. Blu

    Blu Screenwriter

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    Just ordered!
    I'm in for anything MST3K like!!!!
     
  3. Peter M Fitzgerald

    Peter M Fitzgerald Screenwriter

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    I took the plunge, and ordered the DVD, which arrived in the mail yesterday (in a postmarked/sealed little white DVD sleeve; no DVD case or other packaging, though the disc itself has artwork on it, identical to the art on the disc's menu), and I watched it last night.

    While not (in my opinion) quite the equal of the greatest/funniest episodes of MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000, it nonetheless plays like a good, solid Season 4 (Joel Hodgson/Comedy Central) episode of the series, minus the robots and set-based skits. After a simple CINEMATIC TITANIC opening credits sequence (clips of the film with film leader "countdown" graphics, accompanied by cool instrumental theme music), it goes straight into the film (rather abruptly, in fact-- which is a little jarring --in comparison to MST3K and the FILM CREW discs), with the superimposed railings/platforms and chairs, as seen in the online trailer. The riffing is fast, abundent, and reasonably inspired.

    The cast (Joel Hodgson, Trace Beaulieu, Frank Conniff, Josh Weinstein and Mary Jo Pehl, who all are also the writers/producers) aren't formerly introduced, and are basically playing themselves, using their real names. Unlike MST3K and THE FILM CREW, they aren't "forced" by anyone to watch the bad movie, they just immediately show up and crack wise. Every non-film element of the entire program is in silhouette. Instead of traditional MST3K-style skits, occasionally they pause/freeze the film a few times and do a brief comedy bit, still interacting with the film (i.e. Trace Beaulieu gets into a cherry-picker and pantomimes a touch-up of the makeup on one of the film's actresses in a close-up shot).

    For those who've seen photos/talk of Trace B's creation of a "Time Tube" prop for the show, on the CINEMATIC TITANIC website/blog, it appears (unannounced, and in silhouette) at the end, lowered down from above, after four of the five riffers have left the stage. Its function isn't quite clear (I think Joel uses it as a time clock, "punching out" at the end of the show, but who knows?). I only make mention this, in case fans think it might be used as the equivalent of MST3K's "Satellite of Love" model, or the corridor of doors 1-6 (leading to/from the movie) from the old show. Of course, THE OOZING SKULL is the "pilot episode" for this endeavor, so maybe there are more elaborate plans for this prop in the future.

    The film itself, which is actually a retitling of Al Adamson's drive-in cheapie, BRAIN OF BLOOD (1972, retitled as THE OOZING SKULL so as to differentiate it from other DVD releases of the film), is perfect fodder for this treatment, and could easily have been an episode of MST3K in the 1990s. There's a scene or two that is (amateurishly) gorier than what was normally shown on MST3K (brain surgery is the major plot point), but there was no nudity/profanity present, and the riffing likewise was free of profanity (but features plenty of innuendo), so it's reasonably safe for most younger viewers. The running time is under 90 minutes; I don't know if any film footage was cut from this release. If so, it's minimal. The film is licensed by its owners for use by CINEMATIC TITANIC, rather than being a public domain flick.

    The single-sided DVD contains no special features, just "Play" and "Chapter Selection". The regular, un-riffed version of the movie isn't present on the disc. It looks to be an authored DVD, rather than a DVD-R.

    All in all, I enjoyed it, and would recommend it to fans of MST3K. It's on par with the better FILM CREW discs, perhaps even a bit funnier, overall. With shipping included, the disc cost me about $16. Money well spent. CINEMATIC TITANIC is creator-owned, so hopefully this release will be successful and the project will continue.
     
  4. dberthia

    dberthia Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the great writeup, Peter! I'm going to order a copy. It's obvious all of the ex-MST3K'ers want to resurrect MST3K in some form, so you think they'd all just get together and make it happen officially. The brand MST3K would have more impact and be easier to sell as opposed to being splintered into The Film Crew and Cinematic Titanic. As I understand it, Jim Fallon owns the MST3K rights, so it would seem to make sense to get the 3 parties together to hammer something out.
     
  5. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    As one of those fans who significantly prefers Hodgson's laid back style to Mike Nelson (although I enjoy Mike also), this is the best news I've seen in a long time [​IMG] Ordered a few copies, here's hoping this goes on!!

    One other thing: the inclusion of J. Elvis Weinstein, who I believe played "Dr. Airhart" in the KTMA season, is a great freaking touch. Having both him and Frank on the set is genious [​IMG]
     
  6. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?

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    i like mike's mst3k.
    i LOVED joel's ms3tk.

    i'll buy this.

    how did fallon get the mst3k name.
    didnt joel create that show.
     
  7. Don Solosan

    Don Solosan Supporting Actor

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    There's something disturbing to me about people STANDING while watching a movie. Other than that, I thought it was pretty good. I hope they do more. Then maybe they can afford two more chairs...
     
  8. Mike*Sch

    Mike*Sch Stunt Coordinator

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    Did the various parties have a falling out or something? I have to say I prefer Mike to Joel. Also, Kevin Murphy went to my high school. So for those reasons, I guess I'm more interested in the RiffTrax stuff. But I'd love to see them all get together again.
     
  9. Jay Pennington

    Jay Pennington Screenwriter

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    They created it together. When Joel left, that left Mallon with the keys.
     
  10. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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    Huge MST3K fan. Joel is my fav, but Mike is awesomely funny.

    Anyway, CT looks like the most promising thing these guys have done in years. I'm much more excited about it than I was with Rifftrax. I haven't gotten a single RT yet, although I did specifically buy a few movies that have them for that purpose. I'm just broke all the time.
     
  11. Robert James Clark

    Robert James Clark Second Unit

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    Count me as one who much prefers Mike over Joel,but I'll still grab this.

    Some of the Film Crew stuff is very funny. Never tried the Riff Trak versions.
     
  12. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Screenwriter

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    There are a couple of downloadable Rifftrax shorts that are worth it-- the Santa Claus one is absolutely hilarious. You download a DivX file and the track is imbedded in it. I tried the "Star Wars Holiday Special" one over Xmas on my iBook and it was very funny.

    Am going to give this a shot though I too find Mike funnier.
     
  13. dberthia

    dberthia Stunt Coordinator

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    Well, I ordered and watched The Oozing Skull. I'll echo Peter's review above. I thought it was well done, and seemed to have more of an MST3K "feel" than The Film Crew. I'll probably continue to support CT over TFC in the future. For me, CT provided more laugh out loud moments and has more potential to expand the format a bit.
     
  14. soop.spoon

    soop.spoon Supporting Actor

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    I like them both, but I give the edge to The Film Crew because of one Bill Corbett. He is, by far, my favorite "riffer".

    Wild Women Of Wongo is, to me, as funny as any MST3K episode.
     
  15. Robert Floto

    Robert Floto Supporting Actor

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    I'm a huge MST3K fan, and a pretty big fan of RiffTrax so I'm sure I'll be ordering The Oozing Skull soon. But The Film Crew...? I'm unfamiliar with this. Can someone elaborate?
     
  16. dberthia

    dberthia Stunt Coordinator

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    The Film Crew is Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett. The setup is that they've been hired by a big-wig to provide "commentary tracks" to bad movies. The shows are distributed on DVD.

    The Film Crew Online
     
  17. Robert Floto

    Robert Floto Supporting Actor

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    Thanks, Dave. Sounds fun, but I think that in regards to Mike, Kevin and Bill I'll just stick with Rifftrax. There seems to be a better selection of films.
     
  18. Radioman970

    Radioman970 Lead Actor

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    Well, give em time. CT is just starting out. I think it'll be a huge hit eventually. ('scuse me for buttin in.. [​IMG] )
     
  19. Mark Cappelletty

    Mark Cappelletty Screenwriter

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    Film Crew might be dead already. There were only four films spoofed and it took something like 2 years for them to get a distribution deal. It's pre-Rifftrax and was shot when the four all still lived in Minneapolis. I got them all for about $11 each at DD.
     
  20. Michael Elliott

    Michael Elliott Lead Actor

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    Are the movies available without the commentary track?
     

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