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Posted in American Values, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 9, 2010 by thenexman

JV and I scribbled down a little list of our favorite Teamwork movies. What is teamwork? “the combined action of a group of people, esp. when effective and efficient.” But beyond that, it’s emotion, love, power, passion, scribbled plans, montages, shotguns, winks and high fives. It’s everything you want in a movie… and by you I mean Jon Velazco and myself. This is our list. I’m not saying it’s the right list, but it is the best one. These are also in no particular order, because teamwork is about the group.

Swiss Family Robinson (1960)-
Family teamwork.  Treehouse.  Hot older mom, hotter seafaring grandaughter.  War against pirates, likable Disney family of characters, and a soundtrack that leaves you gasping for breath.  Biggest selling point- Duke and Turk, the two orphaned great danes left to take care of the family after the ship’s captain, their owner, dies in a storm.  Nay, biggest selling point-monkey butlers. – JV

Dawn of the Dead (2004).
Home Alone
-type mall shenanigans, impending outside threat that makes you want to wear under armour, Ving Rhames with an effing shotgun. No one who goes off alone comes back and everyone moves in packs. They build not one but TWO mobile urban zombie assault vehicles out of school buses and use 5 gallon propane tanks as malahoff cocktails. Unfortunately for Mekei Peiffer, he doesn’t abide by the rules of teamwork and what does he get? A zombie demon baby and a dead wife. That’s what happens. The heat factor’s not too shabby either resting at a solid 7 with that redhead, promiscuous blonde chick and then the lead blonde chick. Plus one of them is a nurse and you know what that means. – MC

Harry Potter 5-The Order of the Phoenix
This one is tough as I have 6, almost 7, movies to choose from but bare with me- Dumbledore’s Army, the DA.  It’s the kind of club I always wanted to start but never could due to my Mugglenessnicity.
The scene on the bridge before they fly to London on the nargles is the best.  Neville calls Harry out and puts him in his place.  ”Just because your parents are dead and you got a cool scar doesn’t mean you can get away with doing all the adventurous shit.”
Despite the reappearance of Cho Chang and her asian persuasions this is the movie that displays the greatest amount of teamwork.  Duels, bands of aurors and bad guys.  Scary stuff which gives me a bloody nose and a boner! – JV

The Sandlot (1993)

I mean let’s get serious. Summer, 1962. America. Karen Allen as your mom. Not only do you have spend your days battling an epic beast in a war of attrition, you also also have time to go to a pool and watch your friend make out the smokeshow lifeguard. The teamwork in this movie is all-encompassing: Erector sets, vaccuum devices, bungie jumps, PF Flyers, complete 9 on 9 baseball, TREEHOUSE, and lots and lots of looking at in the camera and going “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!”
Subpoint – they all chewed the RedMan which means they’re going to be grizzled at shit one day*
* This prior to the 1964 Surgeon General’s report of smoking and tobacco which made it bad for you.
And, to reiterate, WENDY PEFFERCORN. – MC

And I’m not talking about the Lysse family TNT late night edition of this movie.  I’m talking 1990 VHS edition, watching with my parents after we just got done watching Patriot missiles shoot down Saddam’s Scud missiles on the CNN.  Dude that was an awesome time, I wish I wasn’t 7 back then.
This is the greatest movie ever made about under the ground monsters.  The Kevin Bacon and The Fred Ward as Valentine and Earl.  Battling monsters that feel the vibrations when you walk.  Holy crap I’ve soiled myself.  Throw in the Queen of Country and the dad from Family Ties as survivalists (something I can relate to, like I don’t own 180 days worth of boxed meals in a fallout shelter in my house.)
Their last, desperate, attempt to head for the rocks in an earth mover is emotional.
I’ve always thought about having a winner take all battle royale of early 90s monsters.  Basically Tremors’ worms vs Jurassic Park’s raptors.  It’s an interesting thought and probably a SyFy made for TV show in the making. – JV
Firefly + Serenity (2002/2005)
While not strictly a movie, I’d like to cast my vote for this because nothing is more hardass than a war vet. Now, take that war vet, make him angry, give him some money to buy a cargo ship and add in a ragtag group of miscreants and we’ve got the perfect formula for teamwork. I know it’s in the “future,” but the character of Mal is American as shit. I’ll take Zoe at my back with a space shotgun any day. Let’s see, our teamwork factor is pretty much firing on all cylinders:
We’ve got a grizzled leader, hardass second in command, a doctor, a hardass preacher, comedic relief pilot, even more hardass “volatile” heavy weapons guy, Smokeshow high class hooker, smokeshow hottie mechanic, and an emo chick with super powers. They not only fight an oppressive socialist government, but they also fight space-hill people called Reavers by using dead bodyparts and blood to disguise their ship. Included in this series is a duel with swords, a hover craft chase, a train heist, Mal fixing his own ship like a champ with hardly any oxygen, a drug raid on a government hospital, sceezy bar fights, and saving a house of hookers in the wild west. (Did I mention the heat factor in this show is like a Space 10, which is higher than a ten because there’s no gravity). – MC

Sound of Music
Act like I didn’t watch this last Saturday night.  Act like I didn’t sing along. This isn’t your normal teamwork, this is a family affair.  Christopher Plummer, nuns, on the run, careless mischief, learning how to play music and make clothes from curtains.  I tear up just thinking about Liesl and Rolph, that Nazi asshole.
This movie defines teamwork, from the nuns at the abbie to the Von Trapp children.  How else could you perform a seven character puppet show about a Lonely Goatherd?
Then there’s the juxtaposition of Maria versus the Baroness.  Which one would you do?  I’d go with the Baroness because she smokes. I’d watch this movie more, but by halfway through and I’m outside singing Austrian folk songs on my street for quarters and half drank beers. – JV

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001, 2002, 2003)
“But Mike, it’s three movies.” False. It’s one epic work divided in to three digestible thirds in order for your Lemba-starved non-Elvin brain to properly absorb the epicness of the awesomeness. Never in a 12 hour span (because yes, I’ve watched the three extended additions in one sitting) have I encountered so much sword wielding, wizard staffing, leather wrapping, goblet toasting, shield surfing, orc mischiefing, decapitating, non-shaving, animal riding, ass-kickery in any other movie.
Though the original Fellowship breaks at the end of film 1, the teamwork continues through varied relationships and situations, large and small.
The teamwork scenarios are nearly countless, but the topics include –
-Hardass ancient alliances
-Old man wisdom
-Inter-species fellowship
-Inter-species consummation
-Pulling dangling characters up a ledge.
-Staunch negotiations
-Coming out of retirement
-Personal sacrifices
-Drinking games
The entire movie is based on Elvin prophecy fulfillment, which I’m totally ok with. Scratch that, which I live by. I don’t care what the “history” books told you, this is actually how modern day Europe was formed.
The heat factor, while not abundant, maintains a strong 7 rating with its three female reps: Two smokeshow Elves (Galadriel and Arwyn) and a saucy Middle Earth wench by the name of Eowyn.
Don’t even try to debate me how much the Mt. Doom scene between Frodo and Sam rivals Sean Astin’s performance in Rudy. On top of that, every sword in this movie is like 54 inches long. So, barring the existence of a sword machine gun, these are pretty much the coolest weapons on the planet.
If I have one complaint, it’s the lack of metal on the soundtrack. Don’t get me wrong, I shower/workout/shave/make out/ and poop to the current soundtrack, but there are parts, particularly with the Nazgul, that I need the thunderous crunch of an open E-flat and quoting scripture. Eomer (Karl Urban), the head warrior of Rohan, might as well have an Ibanez strapped to his back with that metal hair of his. I like to imagine he plays in a melodic metal band in the off-season called the Rohirrim. I pre-ordered it on iTunes 7 years ago, just in case. – MC

Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Tom Sizemore, Tom Hanks, and Captain Malcolm Reynolds from the before mentioned Firefly awesomeness.
This movie is epic and the basis of a video game franchise that is ALSO based in teamwork and awesomeness.
The first 30 minutes make me want to throw up because I wish I was as badass as any if those true Americans.
No Private Reiben it doesn’t make sense to send eight men to save one man. But it is your duty so you JUST. EFFING. DO. IT.
Vin Diesel’s untimely death to save French people is questionable (as is Frances current retirement age) but I won’t let that stop me from screaming cuss words at the television every viewing.
I like to eat my Sizemore/Hanks/America The Beautiful salad sprinkled with a lot of BARRY PEPPER. – JV

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles I & II (1990/1991)
The ultimate expression in reptilian camaraderie. Every single problem is dominated by a four-shelled attack, complete with an arsenal of 20th century quips and quotes. Skateboards? Check. Diversified weapons? Check. Rodent father figure who shakes his head at the buffoonery of youth? CHECK. Not to mention pizza. God help me, the pizza. The early 90’s were all about pizza. And lots of it. (we’ll do a more thorough introspection into this slice of American culture in another article).
Each brought a talent and a personality. Leonardo leads, Donatello does machines. Raphael is cool but crude (give me a break). Michaelangelo is a party dude.This IS the definition of teamwork. Too many foot soldiers? Spin Michaelangelo on the ground like a helicopter. Got a circle of foot soldiers? Use Donnie’s staff as a pivot and proceed to kick outward. Need a plot device? Stir up Raph’s abandonment issues and let him get caught by shredder.
Speaking of shredder, how badass is the fight on the roof at the end of the first one? Or the reincarnation of SUPER SHREDDER after he takes a TGRI-bomb (“shooters!”) and Samson-esquely PULLS DOWN AN ENTIRE WAREHOUSE. But not before the turtles fight inside a night club backed by the musical stylings of Vanilla Ice. It’s cinema magic.
Master Splinter serves as the wise old sage who “practice in his cage for four owa,” and subsequently went on to adopt four 15 year olds and teach them martial arts. Much like that deadbeat uncle you had to spend a weekend with, Splinter makes them clean, only feeds them pizza, doesn’t shower, laments of his past while sitting on the roof and tries to band-aid it all together with a life lesson, but it worked.  Defax audits aside, we have a group of hormone-laced teens who live in a sewer, wear trench coats and fedoras and slip $20 bills through the street grate to get food. Not only could this serve as the plot to the Precious sequel, but it also set the stage for the highest concentration of Halloween costumes this side of the technodrome. Deny that you saw at least one turtle this past Halloween.
While initially resistant, the turtles learned to include others as well. In the first movie, we had resident hockey enthusiast Casey Jones, who was probably just some vagabond with anger issues over getting runner-up for the first season of The Real World. In the second movie, Keno offers his services as pizza boy turned animé ass-kicker and eventually gets the turtles out of bind.
And how about the heat factor in Secret of the Ooze with Paige Turco as April #2? The 8 year old me nearly jumped out of my Ocean Pacific shorts.
Let’s sum up the teamwork factors:
-Synchronized dance fighting
-Cohesive uniforms with a reliance on primary colors for “subtext.”
-Martial Arts skill building with household chores
-A news hottie ally.
-A hot-headed ex-semi-pro athlete who drives a van
-An endless supply of marginally coordinated enemies
-An arch nemesis who dresses like a background dancer on the Rhythm Nation Tour
-The non-lethal use of extremely lethal weapons.
-Gang fights in hideouts made of oil drums
-And the necessary freeze frame fade to credits.
Not only do I still own them on VHS, but I can also still sing the Pizza Hut “I Play Right Field” commercial that plays at the beginning of the tape. But we’ll have to wait for a few minutes, I forgot to rewind it… Hang on… – MC

3 Ninjas (1992)
Rock-y loves E-mi-ly!  Rock-y loves E-mi-ly!”?
That’s right kids, 3 Ninjas, the best of the kid ninja early 90’s supersonic genre.  Better than ninjas kicking back, better than surf ninjas, better than Leslie Nielsen, and definitely better than future telling Gameboy.
Teamwork and its themes run deep in this movie.  From the opening scene of the three heroes battling Grandpa for practice to the climactic battle on the ship.  These three pint sized ninjas have to clean up the mess the FBI can’t handle.  The mess is of course the stoners driving around in the rape van and their crime lord boss.
I love it when bad guys are so inept at being bad that they make you laugh.  The three stoners from 3 Ninjas are probably the retarded offspring of Home Alone’s Marv and Harry.
I will pay anybody a solid gold egg if you can tell me you watched this movie and didn’t immediately go practice ninja stuff in the back yard.
Awesome things about this movie-
clothes-90’s fashion icons
bad guys-greasy haired boss and hysterical minions
story-robust and beautiful
nicknames-creative, but not too creative
grandpa-asian as shit
And finally, there are certain things you will always remember throughout your life.  Things you just know and accept as fact that guide you throughout your life’s journey.  Of course I’m talking about how it is impossible to have a sword/kitanna battle in a ship’s hallway.  YOU CAN’T GET THE SWORD OUT OF THE HILT!