Movies I Slept Through – Stroker Ace

“Stroker Ace” is a 1980’s ode to fried chicken, topless dudes and the ultra smooth taste of Winston cigarettes.

[Reason #1 for Burt Reynolds month: Burt Reynolds supposedly turned down a role in “Terms of Endearment”(one that Jack Nicholson won an OSCAR for) to play Stroker Ace.]

Stroker Ace(Burt Reynolds) is the bad boy of the NASCAR circuit. He says and does whatever he wants and wins with almost as much ease, when he has a car that can keep up with him. The only problem is his abrasiveness keeps sponsors away. Stroker’s  pit chief Lugs(Jim Nabors) does what he can to hold things together, but it just isn’t working anymore.

Stroker has no choice but to sign with Clyde Torkle(Ned Beatty) the owner of The Chicken Pit chain of fried chicken restaurants. Mostly through being an idiot, he signs the enormous contract without reading it. Hilarity supposedly ensues when Stroker realizes there were unexpected clauses. He’s forced to do ribbon cutting ceremonies and other brilliantly funny things like wear a chicken suit. Ha. Ha. Classic comedy.

Burt Reynolds is playing his “I’m Burt F’N Reynolds” character that developed after he discovered he could make movies where he plays himself and people will still see them because he’s Burt F’N Reynolds. If you’re down with Burt being Burt, then you’ll be fine with his performance here. Jim Nabors reprises his role as “the guy who’s never been laid” and sings to cement his status as “that guy who people think are really goofy but has a nice singin’ voice.”(Ok… no more “made up names for things” in this review…)

“Stroker Ace”  is really weird when it comes down to it.  Most of the attempts at comedy aren’t successful, but there’s plenty of unintentional comedy and WTF moments. Including seeing how many men in the 1970s/80s didn’t wear shirts and a scene where I’m 95% sure Burt Reynolds rapes the female lead. It does, however, have it’s own theme song written by Charlie Daniels.[Legit Note: Theme songs for crappy movies need to make a come back] Also, keep an eye out for cameos from confederate flags and the “Mistress of the Dark”(I didn’t make that one up) Elvira.

“Stroker Ace” isn’t a groundbreaking piece of cinema. Hell, it isn’t even a decent piece of cinema, but it is the perfect movie to put on for a lazy Saturday and Nap During.

Movies I Slept Through – Side Out

“Side Out” was born in the 90’s, but is the bastard child of the 80’s.

You're a slow motion, shirtless montage away from happiness.

“Side Out” stars(if you can call it that) C. Thomas Howell as Monroe Clark, a Wisconsinian? Wisconsinite? Wi… dude from Wisconsin who is spending the summer working for his uncle’s law firm. His uncle, played by Terry  Kiser, gives him the soul crushing yet lawyer pleasing task of serving eviction notices.

Monroe’s best friend Wiley(Christopher Rydell), who’s a guy that conned him into getting into his car at the airport. (It’s funny how in movies the guy who lures you into his car becomes your crazy sidekick, but in real life he just locks the doors until you pay him $75 for a 15 minute ride.) introduces him to the new, super rad sport of Beach Volleyball.

Monroe is quickly caught up in the fast paced world of underground beach volleyball where the women are loose and the neon shorts are mandatory. Monroe also realizes one of the men he’s tasked with evicting is none other that the original “king of the beach” himself, Zack Barnes(Peter Horton).

Zack eventually agrees to coach Monroe and Wiley, but when Wiley gets injured(a la the ringer in that episode of Saved by the Bell at the beach resort) Zack decides to team up with Monroe to compete in the Jose Cuervo Classic(which I’m guessing is the biggest tournament this side of the Olympics).

Oh, Monroe also meets a cocktail waitress named Samantha, who’s played by Courtney Thorne-Smith at the height of her ultimate California girl stage. Things with her play out exactly as expected. Actually, everything in this movie plays exactly as expected.

The beauty of “Side Out” isn’t in the acting or directing or plot. It’s in how terrible the early nineties were. There’s an actual neon fashion show taking place during one scene. Who needs all those nasty pastels when you can burn out someone’s eyes with neon? “Side Out” has more homoerotic beach scenes than Rocky III and more shirtless montages than Rocky IV. It truly is a thing of beauty.

There’s no point in staying awake for much of this movie, but if you were to sleep through the whole thing you wouldn’t understand why the two guys they’re facing at the end have such harsh things to say like, “You’re gonna wish you never showed up.” and, “Take that.”

“Side Out” gets a Nap During. The neon and seriousness with which they approach beach volleyball won’t allow your body to sleep throughout.

Movies I Slept Through – Legendary

“Legendary” would be great if it was the only movie that ever existed.

Cal Chetney(Devon Graye) is picked  on at school. He’s a bit of an outcast and only has one friend. So he make plans to get revenge on his tormentors… wait, no, that’s not right. He follows in the footsteps of father(dead man) and brother(John Cena) by joining his high school wrestling team.(Ugh)

Cal’s father and brother were both… legendary… wrestlers. Cal is far from it. He would ask his brother for help, but he hasn’t seen him much since his father passed away. So, he tracks his brother down and asks him for help. (That was easy enough.) His brother eventually agrees to take him on, but they hide it from their mother because that’s where the real rift exists.

Danny “I killed a Predator and so can you” Glover is the best part of the movie as the wise black mentor; only because he uses the word “whom” correctly, which is more than you expect from anyone in a WWE Studios movie.

The wrestling in the movie seems pretty legitimate, but, as with the other WWE Studios movies I’ve seen(“The Chaperone“; “Knucklehead“), there is absolutely nothing new in “Legendary”. It’s a bunch of middle of the road melodrama and there’s no real reason you should find yourself watching it.

“Legendary” is a lot like high school wrestling, it doesn’t do anything specific to offend you(aside from the spandex), but you still don’t want to spend two hours watching it. “Legenday” gets a Nap During.