59 episodes

Hops and Box Office Flops is a film podcast dedicated to the underdogs — the disasters, the bombs, the much maligned! So sit back, grab a beer, and enjoy!

Hops and Box Office Flops Revenge of the Fans

    • Film Reviews
    • 5.0, 12 Ratings

Hops and Box Office Flops is a film podcast dedicated to the underdogs — the disasters, the bombs, the much maligned! So sit back, grab a beer, and enjoy!

    Face/Off – Whee! What a Predicament!

    Face/Off – Whee! What a Predicament!

    Face/Off is bonkers. Plain and simple. It is two actors—in the relative prime of their careers—making the zaniest choices imaginable, and having a damn good time doing it.
    For that reason—despite how dated its script and characters feel—it remains a tremendous watch. It's a literal game of actor's oneupmanship. Both Travolta and Cage, playing the same character, relish the freedom of Castor Troy. He has no rules; there are no shackles when they are in that space.
    It also doesn't hurt that John Woo, the movie's director, knows how to cut an incredible action scene. And he does so in Face/Off with regularity.
    Woo's style, like the acting, is over the top in all the right ways. There's no shortage of jumping, spinning, slow-motion doves, and explosions. Is any of it realistic? Not in the slightest. But it is a hallmark of why he became one of Asia's most celebrated action auteurs.
    Thus, combining Woo's bullet ballet with Cage and Travolta's hammy performances was a stroke of cinematic genius. Critics and audiences agreed. A rarity for this show, Face/Off was a legitimate hit. It raked in $245.7 million on a budget of just $80 million; and it received glowing praise—92% on Rotten Tomatoes with 86 reviews.
    That marriage, as insane and silly as it can come across, will never not be entertaining. So sit back, pour each of your personalities a Two Hearted IPA from Bell's Brewing, and strap on your magnetic super boots! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla, are fighting our way through an absurd amount of indoor birds to take down a notorious criminal!
    This Week’s Segments:
    Introduction/Plot Breakdown – With little regard for human life or reloading, we dive head first into the anarchy of this film. (00:00)
    Cage, Travolta, or Wizard, You Made that Shit Up –  I challenge Capt. Cash, Chumpzilla, and Mrs. McChees to identify which one of these legendary actors starred in the referenced obscure b-movie. (1:12:41)
    Recommendations – Hang in there, folks. And staying safe is easy with these recommendations. Next up on Summer Rage with Nicolas Cage: Vampire's Kiss! (1:19:40)
    And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—Cage's weak stomach and more—from this week’s episode!
    You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, Acast, TuneIn, and iHeartRadio!

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Lethal Weapon 4 – Guilty of Sequelitis

    Lethal Weapon 4 – Guilty of Sequelitis

    On this special edition of the show, we welcomed J-Man and Boss Ross from *The Double Turn podcast for a no holds barred look at Lethal Weapon 4.
    Lethal Weapon 4 is the finale to a beloved action franchise that began over a decade earlier. What started with Danny Glover's Roger Murtaugh opining that he was "too old for this shit" ended—well—with both he and his partner in fact being too old for it.
    This is not a terrible movie, but it does embody many of the problematic elements that plague sequels, especially ones belonging to series that have grown too long in the tooth. It's overstuffed—heavy on sub-plots and inconsequential scenes—and lacks the narrative punch that defined the first two entries.
    That is more than likely due to its script issues and truncated production schedule. Lethal Weapon 4 was shot, cut and distributed to theaters in just six months. For an action film of this scale, that is unheard of. This rushed production was made even more difficult by constant tinkering to the script. 
    The film's lead writer, Channing Gibson, claimed he did more rewrites for this than any other project he ever worked on. From the sound of it, it was messy.
    It is also far more expensive than its predecessors. Lethal Weapon 4's bloated plot led to an equally bloated budget. It cost roughly $140 million to produce, more than the first three combined. That fact, coupled with it receiving the worst reviews of the series (just 53% on Rotten Tomatoes with a Metacritic of 37), made it an interesting case study.
    Despite all of this, and as I noted earlier, this is not that bad of a movie. It has a few incredible set pieces—in particular, a high-speed chase down a crowded Los Angeles freeway. Better yet, it was the American coming out party for martial arts icon Jet Li. His turn as Wah Sing Ku is worth the price of admission on its own. 
    So sit back, sip a couple Civilized Brut IPAs from Founder's Brewing Co., and enjoy the stylings of cinema's oddest comedy duo (Chris Rock and Joe Pesci)! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla, are fighting off Father Time, as well as the Chinese Triad!
    This Week’s Segments:
    Introduction/Plot Breakdown – To kickstart this podcast Royal Rumble, we break down what is arguably the low point of the Lethal Weapon series—covering its myriad of issues, the best action scene of the film, where it ranks in the franchise, and more. (00:00)
    Reunited and It Feels So Good – The guys from The Double Turn take on Chumpzilla and Capt. Cash in a "Tornado Tag" trivia challenge. The rules are simple: They must identify an unnamed film and which Lethal Weapon co-stars appeared in it. Who will be crowned king of the podcast ring? (1:12:14)
    Recommendations – Plenty of awesome recommendations are shared this week. And next up: We welcome back the incomparable Mayor McCheese for a pod of epic, face-swapping proportions. It's Face/Off! (1:26:15)
    And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the potential for a Lethal Weapon 5 and more—from this week’s episode!
    You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, Acast, and TuneIn!
    *The Double Turn is a podcast centered on pro wrestling. These guys know their stuff and have an incredible passion for the business. If you are at all of fan of WWE, AEW, etc., give them a listen. Their show is available on most podcast providers.

    • 1 hr 43 min
    The Ghost and the Darkness – Oh, Here They Come...They're Man-Eaters

    The Ghost and the Darkness – Oh, Here They Come...They're Man-Eaters

    The Ghost and the Darkness is an account of the Tsavo man-eaters—a pair of lions who terrorized a Kenyan-Ugandan railway construction camp from March to December of 1898. The history of the British presence in that region is complicated; and it is one, we will not touch on here. The movie barely does either.
    Despite that, its issues lie elsewhere. From poor Irish accents to Michael Douglas hamming it up as big-game hunter Charles Remington, The Ghost and the Darkness doesn't quite know what it wants to be. Is it a historical drama? An animal attack-infused thriller? Or, more simply, some sort of bizarre piece of Michael Douglas performance art that is meant to boggle the mind?
    Point of fact, it's all three. Those elements don't necessarily mesh well together. It's a shame, really, because this historical tale of killer cats run amok seems ripe for big screen adaptation. And there are things here that do work well. It's wonderfully shot, used real-life lions, and does a more than adequate job of transporting you to 1890s Africa.
    At the end of the day, unfortunately, the 30 minutes of Douglas mugging for the lens kill the picture—just as John Henry Patterson (Val Kilmer) did his feline foes.
    But that absurd turn is also why you need to see it. So sit back, tap a couple of Fear. Movie. Lions Double IPAs from Stone Brewing Co., and try your best to avoid the malaria slaughter hospital! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, and Chumpzilla, are torching the brush to lure out the fearsome beasts.
    This Week’s Segments:
    Introduction/Plot Breakdown – How do you effectively romanticize colonialism? Well, you attempt to make "Jaws with paws." (00:00)
    Lingering Questions and the Reality Wasn't Real Enough Challenge – After fielding a few more questions from Capt. Cash, he challenges us to identify which elements of historical dramas were embellished to make the movie seem more realistic. (48:01)
    Recommendations – A couple of Kilmer-centric recommendations are joined by an animated favorite. And next up: It's a podcast Royal Rumble! The boys from The Double Turn join us to break down Lethal Weapon 4! (1:21:58)
    And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram to check out all the interesting factoids—the true story behind the lions and more—from this week’s episode!
    You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Podbean, Spotify, Acast, and TuneIn!

    • 1 hr 30 min
    The Adventures of Pluto Nash – Lost in Space

    The Adventures of Pluto Nash – Lost in Space

    The Adventures of Pluto Nash is the epitome of how this podcast came to be. For starters, it is just a terrible film. Critics agreed. With 90 reviews, it sits at just 4% on Rotten Tomatoes; users responded slightly more favorably with 19%. It also stars Eddie Murphy, who at one time was one of the biggest stars on this planet or any other.
    Despite the bad word of mouth, though, even awful movies inexplicably make money sometimes. Norbit and Daddy Day Care—also in the Eddie Murphy dreck hall of fame—each grossed over $150 million.
    Pluto Nash's fate wasn't so kind. It tanked. On a ballooned budget of around $160 million, it grossed under $10 million total (the actual figure is just over $7), making it one of the largest bombs in box office history. At the time of its release, it held the crown. That loss was a catastrophic one. It resulted in massive layoffs at Castle Rock, the movie's co-distributor, and landed director Ron Underwood in big screen jail.
    Money aside, Pluto Nash, quite frankly, is the antithesis of funny. Between the off-putting ogling of Nash's android companion Bruno (Randy Quaid) and Murphy's disinterested turn, it's sort of astounding it was ever brought off the shelf it had collected dust on for years. And with ideas and visuals as lazy as its comedic execution, one can't help but wonder why they continued to pour money into it.
    If reports are to be believed, Pluto Nash was so disastrous that the studio had to pony up tens of millions of dollars for reshoots. They even hired Oscar-winning editor Alan Heim to polish them. Heim, dissatisfied with what he saw, determined there wasn't enough of the three-hour work print that was even usable. Thus, more reshoots ensued—a desperate dance to redeem the irredeemable.
    Folks, it's hard to recommend you even watch this thing. There is just nothing to celebrate about it.
    But, hey, that's part of the fun. So sit back, chug—literally chug—a few Voodoo Ranger Starship IPAs from New Belgium Brewing Co., and boogie to some lunar beats with Bruno and Babette! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash (aka Rex Crater), and Chumpzilla, are doing our damndest not to just lie down and die in the middle of a moon crater.
    This Week’s Segments:
    Introduction/Plot Breakdown – In an explosive first round KO, Pluto Nash wrenched the Shit Movie Championship away from Cutthroat Island. We explain why. (00:00)
    Lingering Questions and the Moon Beach Trivia Challenge – First, Chumpzilla challenges us to Pluto Nash/Eddie Murphy-themed trivia. And then, with what's left of our resolve, we tackle whether or not this movie could've been salvaged. (53:25)
    Recommendations – Time is a construct. While you ponder that and other mysteries of quarantine life, enjoy our recommendations for the week. And next up: It's Kilmer time, as we hunt down The Ghost and the Darkness! (1:11:30)
    And, as always, hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram (new and shiny!) to check out all the interesting factoids—Murphy's bizarre desire to rescue this project and more—from this week’s episode!
    You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Podbean, and Spotify!

    • 1 hr 21 min
    Dante's Peak – "Handsome" Harry vs the Volcano

    Dante's Peak – "Handsome" Harry vs the Volcano

    Dante's Peak is paint-by-numbers disaster cinema. You take the everyman hero—in this case, vulcanologist Harry Dalton, whose played with a steely intensity by Pierce Brosnan—and you place him in a scenario where the odds of survival are long. Those odds aren't helped by those unwilling to believe that there is, in fact, trouble brewing. It's bubbling just beneath the surface at the base of the town's iconic landmark.
    Dalton—like Chief Brody before him—can yell until he's blue in the face. The higher ups are content to ride out the storm atop of wave of willful ignorance. Their wakeup call: a fiery hail storm of ash and rock. His lone supporter—even his geologic team finds him to be overly anxious—is the town's Mayor, Rachel Wando (Linda Hamilton). They battle the clock and the poor judgement of their peers to evacuate the town before it's too late.
    In that sense, there's a lot that can seem familiar about its run-of-the-mill plot. And the first 50, or so, minutes is probably why the film received less than favorable reviews upon its release. And, honestly, why it isn't all that good of a movie.
    What does work about Dante's Peak is its effects. A mixture of practical and digital—highly detailed miniatures overlaid with CGI—they hold up quite well for a movie made in 1997. You actually believe your witnessing a town succumb to the wrath of Mother Nature.
    And once that destruction begins, there's only one thing left to do: enjoy it. So sit back, hammer open a Pompeii IPA from Toppling Goliath Brewing Co. with a stray chunk of volcanic rock, and start up Grandma Ruth's death boat! I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt. Cash, Chumpzilla, and special guest Mayor McCheese are making the questionable decision to gas our truck directly through some hot lava! We'll make it, though, with sheer will if need be!
    This Week’s Segments:
    Introduction/Plot Breakdown – We take a trip to the sleepy, rural town of Dante's Peak to examine how a long dormant volcano erupted, leaving disaster in its wake. (00:00)
    Interesting Facts and the "Hey ... Haven't I Seen This Before?" Movie Game – After a few interesting facts about the film, I challenge them to match movies to their overtly derivative pairs—i.e. Dante's Peak to Volcano or Armageddon to Deep Impact. (1:07:41)
    Recommendations – Being indoors is better than having a pyroclastic cloud chase you toward an abandoned mine, but if you do find yourself stuck in an abandoned mine, we offer some suggestions to help you pass the time. And next up: either The Adventures of Pluto Nash or a film of your, the listeners, choosing! (1:18:34)
    And, as always, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook to check out all the interesting factoids—Russia's personal acid lake and more—from this week’s episode!
    You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Podbean, and Spotify!

    • 1 hr 27 min
    Onward – Beers, Tears, and Bro Hugs

    Onward – Beers, Tears, and Bro Hugs

    Onward—Pixar's latest animated feature—is yet another fine example of the exemplary work done by the now legendary animation studio. It is a heartfelt tale of two brothers struggling to find themselves and all the while yearning for a relationship with the father taken from them too soon.
    It is also, unfortunately, a flop. As is the theme of our past few episodes, Onward entered into the ruinous box office landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic. This led it to boast one of Pixar's lowest openings to-date—just $45 million domestically.
    The sting of that disappointment—a direct consequence of the not-so serendipitous timing—and a truncated run in theaters, bred something exciting: a prompt appearance on Disney+. Kids and families, who could no longer venture to the movies to see it, could now stream it in the comfort of their own home. And it is a movie that deserves an audience.
    Though not Pixar's best—which would be a high bar to clear for any flick—Onward packs real emotional punch, and, as always, is a lovingly crafted journey that can appeal to both parents and their children. That is a Pixar hallmark. And in this distressing time, it is the kind of art we need.
    With that in mind, it is time to cast some spells! So sit back, enchant your tastebuds with a Sugar Plum Fairy from Alphabet City Brewing Co., and exercise those magic muscles! I, Bing Bong the Brave (the Thunderous Wizard – @WriterTLK), Capt. Cash the Confident, and Chumpzilla the Cantankerous are on a legendary quest to unearth the all-powerful Phoenix Gem!
    This Week’s Segments:
    Introduction/Plot Breakdown – After discussing the movie in-depth, we all came to the same conclusion: Pixar is exceptional at making us cry.  (00:00)
    Lingering Questions and the Glory of the Pixar Tearjerker – We assess what worked/didn't work about the world of Onward, and we share which Pixar moments annihilated us most emotionally. (39:50)
    The Alternative Movie Title Challenge – In Japan and China, Onward is One Half Magic. Capt. Cash challenges us to identify the movies that alternate titles belong to and what country dubbed them such. (1:04:34)
    Recommendations – As we all continue to cope with the quarantine, we offer some picks to keep you entertained. Next, it's 90s nostalgia theater with Dante's Peak! (1:22:45)
    And, as always, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook to check out all the interesting factoids—#ButtMullet and more—from this week’s episode!
    You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Stitcher, Podbean, and Spotify!

    • 1 hr 33 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

Ghost Hammer ,

Great stuff!

These guys know their stuff about crap movies. This is a must listen for those who love and appreciate garbage as much as these dudes do. Crack open a beer and give it a listen!

officepolitics ,

Fantastic podcast!

Love the insights and geeky references. You can tell these guys love what they're doing. The banter between them is excellent and they have great chemistry.

Funny, sharp, and done with care. If you love pop culture and so-good-they're-bad movies this is your podcast.

regalczm ,

Hilariously engaging!

Hilarious! I wouldn’t consider myself a big movie buff, but I find the commentary and the banter so amusing and engaging! There are some seriously bad movies out there and it is so much fun to dive deep into the muck.

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