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Greetings, Pests and Pesticides!
This week I've pulled a couple of officially licensed toys out of the collection here to pay tribute to a couple of movies I love, Ghostbusters and Starship Troopers. Ghostbusters is a comedy classic, and reports have circulated the last couple of years that a new sequel is in development. Just as many reports have circulated that Bill Murray doesn't want to do it, and that it won't go without Murray. I can't say if that's a good thing or not. Ghostbusters II was less than a masterpiece. But the concept is simply too wonderful not to revive in some form.
The 1/6th scale Ghostbusters Ray figure here is one of a limited edition set that was made by Mattel a couple years back, and sold only through their web-site. They made a whole set, but the budget here precluded my getting more than one. Still, the wonderful little ghost-trap and proton pack are the real attractions, and they were identical on every figure, so in a sense, get one, get them all.
When I first saw director Paul Verhoeven's Starship Troopers, I was a bit mystified by it, and very disappointed it didn't included the powered armor than had been a highlight of the book, and that I'd been waiting to see in a movie since I read it back in the 60s. I didn't come away hating it, but I wasn't sure if I liked it either. But it had it's moments, the bugs looked great, and to my mind Doogie Howser M.D. marching around in a pseudo S.S. uniform was just awesome.
But a year or two back I happened to pick up the DVD in the bargain bin, just for the bonus material, and watched it again. To my surprise, I loved it. It's a brilliantly subversive film that parodies Heinlein's border-line fascism basically by playing it straight (and just a little over the top). Essentially, it's an old-time propaganda movie created by a fascist state we're supposed to be horrified. Basically, if you watch carefully, you'll see the the whole war is based on a tissue of lies, and that there clearly other agendas at work. In many ways, it would have been considered a brilliant parody of the second invasion of Iraq, except it happened first.
Yes, I still miss the powered armor, but you can get your temporary fix by rewatching the power-loader battle with the alien queen in Aliens.
So, it works on two levels, as a straight-forward, gung-ho, kick-butt action movie, and as political satire, and it does both very, very well. I've watched it again since, and there's something new to think about every time. Or don't think. Just turn off your brain, sit back, and enjoy the explosions and carnage. It's the movie for all occasions!
This Galoob movie-tie-in soldier-bug toy is a fortunate thrift-store find. I think I paid $2 for him. They're going for $10-25 loose on eBay, and over twice that in the box. He's not really in scale with the Minions figures (he should probably be about twice as big) but he's still a big, impressive toy, and love the "chomp-chomp-chomp" sound effect it makes when you close his jaws on something!
There's also a new Starship Troopers movie in the works, possibly for 2014, though it's a long way from a sure thing. I don't know if it will be any good, but by all reports, it will at least have powered armor this time.
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Deputy "Mustang" Sawtell knows there's something wrong with the scene when he responds to a prowler call at the Aquarama aquarium and underwater-show, and finds a dead mermaid laying on the shore of the Mermaid Grotto. But he's dismissed from the case by a treacherous superior officer, who bungles the investigation and rules her death an accident.
So when Sheriff "Big" Bass asks him to take a secretive, off-duty, second look at the case, he's eager to please despite the danger.
But there are deep secrets, cut-throat business, old-flames, and hidden agendas waiting for him, and before Mustang knows which way the tide is running, he'll be in hot water -- face-to-face with a killer!
Welcome to Panorama Beach, Florida, 1967, where the sand is white as sugar, the attractions are larger-than-life, and the money is all dirty and rolling in like a storm tide! Deputy "Mustang" Sawtell is the new badge in town, and he just wants to do the right thing.
But he's fallen under the wing of his dangerous and morally compromised boss, Sherriff "Big" Bass, who calls himself "the best devil money can buy." Big Bass will tell you that he may be a little bad, but anybody who replaces him will be even worse. Mustang would really like to believe that -- because otherwise, this good-old-boy may have just booked himself on a rocket-ride to hell!
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See you guys back here next week!
- Mystery Minion Master Steve