Friday, June 12, 2015

Junesploitation Day 12: Troma!

Let's make some art!

64 comments:

  1. Trey Parker's CANNIBAL! THE MUSICAL (1993, 97 min.) on Netflix Instant for the first time.

    I'm not a Troma fan, but luckily this musical tale of the first man convicted in the US for cannibalism doesn't have much of their imprint besides distribution. The sensibilities and sweetness-hidden-under-pretend-bravado of baby-faced future "South Park" creators Trey Parker (starring, directing, co-writing both the script and the songs and co-producing) and Matt Stone (playing essentially a proto version of Kenny) don't keep the movie from dragging toward the end, but that's why they saved the best musical number last ('Hang the bastard, hang him high'). The vulgar and gory beats in "Cannibal! The Musical" fade into the background of what is essentially an early 90's filmed community theater version of an episode of "Community" in the 2000's. Patrick has often mentioned that "South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut" is the best movie musical of the past 20 years, and no other Broadway hit in recent years has had a more lasting legacy than "The Book of Mormon." Both of them can trace their mainstream success to this humble little movie that shows, in just one two-second shot, why I don't plan to visit Wyoming anytime soon. :-)

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  2. Troma's War (1988)

    If you punch a punky black girl in the mouth, she'll spit out four clean teeth. If you try hard enough, you can pull out someone's tongue out of their mouth. I didn't things would get so political. Shit's real out there on that island jungle place. One dude was giving out AIDS to people. Don't worry, after he rapes her she shoots him in the dick and then says "hey mr. AIDS." There's a manpig, sort of. And one of the guys collects ears. There's a lot going on in this movie. None of it makes any sense but this is Troma. We're not here for the sense...we're here for the AIDS.

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  3. Surf Nazis Must Die (1987)

    I’ll make this short, this was the bottom for on whats been an otherwise overall pretty good Junesploitation so far. While I know there are some fans of Troma (heck even I liked some moments from Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead) this movie looks very amateurish with a plot that makes no sense. If your gonna go with an idea that is as out there as Surf Nazis then have them really commit to it, they should be telling them something horribly racist yet surf related like “Come ride the white wave” and have some surfer/nazi outfits being worn as they take over the beach. Basically what I am saying is you have a fun concept which they end up doing next to nothing with. Also why do they film so many scenes as long shots- especially when the scene is a dialogue scene. I know these movies are low budget but aren’t close ups easier to film? I would give you a plot rundown but honestly I don’t know what I could say, try some different Troma folks this one isn’t worth it.

    8 Word Review (In Preparation for SMM)

    “Lone Positive: Surf Nazis got one awesome sharkvan”

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  4. A Liar's Autobiography (2012)

    A Liar's Autobiography is an animated adaptation of the autobiography of Monty Python's Graham Chapman.

    Based on last year's experience I decided to take advantage of the loose rules of Junesploitation and watch a movie that has something to do with Troma, rather than a Troma movie. A Liar's Autobiography features Lloyd Kaufman in the cast. No, honest, it does, have a look at the cast list if you dont believe me. Go on. Keep looking. lower, lower, There. See, Lloyd Kaufman as Uncle Lloyd. TROMA!

    Sigh, my 50 words are up. Watch it. Its good.

    FoolMeOncesploitation!

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  5. Actium Maximus : War Of The Alien Dinosaurs (2005) Dir. Mark Hicks.

    Believe it or not but I'm not really a fan of Troma besides some of the gems they have distributed and a handful of their classics. So, I decided to just pick the first one I came across that had the lowest rating because, might as well!

    I actually kind-of enjoyed this. It's awful. Terrible effects, non-existing acting and a nonsensical story. What I got was really bad Harryhausen with a dash of "The Purge" meets "Star Wars" meets tons of green screen all with Alien Dinosaurs. One IMDB user wrote "Best Sci-Fi Thriller since "Dark Crystal!!!"...and meant it.

    I couldn't even begin to tell you the plot but I did get some "Dark Crystal" shit going on so maybe he's onto something :)

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  6. Class of Nuke 'Em High (1986) - First viewing

    I've come to the conclusion that I like the idea of Troma much more than their movies. I love the fact that these guys make the movies they want to make and put their heart into them, and the fact that they have devoted fans. I'm just not one of them. I've seen The Toxic Avenger years ago, I tried watching Poultrygeist on Zombies day but bailed after 10-15 minutes and now watched Class of Nuke 'Em High. I think I'm done.

    Nuke 'Em High was definitely the best one of the movies I mentioned and it had some fun moments, but overall I'm just not enjoying the Troma style. I think I'll take my cue from Brad if there's a Troma day during next year's Junesploitation.

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  7. The Toxic Avenger (1984) (First Time Viewing): Watched my first Troma movie last Junesploitation with Tromeo and Juliet. Didn’t really dig it. Watched my second Troma movie this year with The Toxic Avenger. Dug it slightly more. Got a few laughs and enjoyed the over the top gore, but after about 45 minutes I got my fill and was just waiting for this one to end. I’ll keep giving Troma a chance each Junesploitation as long as it is a category.

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    1. Matt, this was my 1st Troma movie and my experience was very similar to yours. I watched it on Netflix which has a bonus scene before the movie proper where Llyod Kaufman interviews a now down on his luck Toxie. I enjoyed this segment maybe a little more than the movie itself which is definitely a little too long.
      I appreciate what they are going for but it doesn't always click with me.

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  8. SGT. KABUKIMAN NYPD (1991)

    A cop gets magically-ambiguous kabuki-related super-powers. The story goes that financiers wanted Lloyd Kaufman to deliver a mainstream, family-friendly movie, but Lloyd just couldn’t temper the Troma sex n’ violence. The result is a movie that fits neither category. Still, it’s fun, with some over-the-top set pieces and a great farcical central performance by Rick Gianasi. Have the creators of Big Hero 6 ever admitted Sgt. Kabukiman’s influence on their movie?

    Accompanying short film: Episode 1 of TOXIC CRUSADERS (1991). This dreadful TV ‘toon was an attempt to apply the TMNT formula to the Toxic Avenger. Annoying and sloppily made, it’ll make you long for the quiet, reserved subtlety of Rocksteady and Bebop.

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  9. Dangit, this is the second time I've got the order wrong, and this time I polluted my brain with Possession a day earlier than I needed to. I just checked my list against the official Junesploitation list and there was another day I had out of order, but hopefully I've got it all correct now. I'll post tomorrow both here and in Video Nasties. Sorry! Happy Junesploitation everyone!

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    1. You be kind to "Possession" now, you hear me? That's a favorite of mine. ;-)

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    2. Don't worry, I loved it, it was just a bit traumatizing :b

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  10. Cannibal! The Musical (1993)

    The title pretty much says it all here. While this wasn't actually produced by Troma, it was distributed by them and it fits pretty snugly into their catalog. Trey Parker and Matt Stone (pre-South Park) take on the legend of notorious American cannibal Alferd (not a typo) Packer by turning it into a goofy, gory musical comedy.

    The songs are catchy and funny, and while it's all very amateurish (they were in college at the time) it's still a lot of fun if you're on their wavelength. Also of note is the drunken commentary track on the DVD, which is just as obnoxious-but-funny as you would expect.

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  11. Class of Nuke 'Em High (1986) First viewing:

    This was my third experience with a Troma movie, and my favourite thus far. (Toxic Avenger and Tromeo & Juliet from last year's Junesploitation). I'm actually quite excited to watch the sequel, so I must be warming up to Troma. Or maybe it was that green water I just drank.

    Meh. Either way, ima stick with it until I don't.

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  12. Go To Hell (1999)

    Cardinal assassination, former wrestling manager turned tabloid sleaze reporter, demons stealing souls, the main character named in tribute to Dario Argento.
    Its the kind of goofy mish-mash that Troma is famous for. I loved watching Rock n Roll Ray play dual roles of twin brothers that are far from identical.
    The plot gets a little scatterbrained but is pretty enjoyable

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  13. Patrick's recommendation so if it was bad I could blame him :)
    Terror firmer
    I enjoyed it, I should of read all of the review first as there was lots of cameos I would of liked to of picked out, its a crowd film would be my advice but that probably goes for most Troma titles,
    Tomorrow I feel is mine and Gabby's day, were claiming it, Video Nasties day :)

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  14. Sgt. Kabukiman N.Y.P.D. (1990)

    I was onboard with the cartoonish parody of this film for the first 30 minutes. After that, to quote Matt Sollenberberger's Toxic Avenger comment above, "I got my fill and was just waiting for this one to end." The gags are pretty funny, but they definitely wore me out and just became background noise.

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  15. Poultrygeist (2006)
    So this is my first Troma film. Yeah.
    I hated it. This is my first Junesploitation flick that I wanted to turn off. I didn't--I chose poorly. Are all the films from Troma this racist, homophobic, misogynistic, etc.? I get that they're trying to offend everyone. If the movie had been well made or even funny, maybe that would have worked, but it just comes off as a film that hates the audience. It's a machine that generates antipathy. Count me out, folks.

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    1. You picked a real shitty one. Anytime you see "Ron Jeremy" in the cast, RUN, He's the kiss of death. To answer your question though - Most of them, in some capacity. Try Toxic Avenger if you feel like it. If you don't like that, you won't like any of them. The one I watched isn't any of those things but it's also almost unwatchable; but I think that's great!

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    2. After re-reading my post I hope I didn't come across as rude. When I wrote "you picked a real shitty one" the inflection was meant to be "damn, yeah, that was a rough one for your first Troma flick".

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    3. It seems like you have to grow up with Troma to appreciate it. Show me these movies when I was 12 and I would be like FUCK YEAH!

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    4. No worries, Chaybee, it didn't come off as rude at all. Trust me, I'm Canadian, we're genetically hardwired to detect rudeness at a hundred clicks.

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    5. So are you gonna give Toxic Avenger a shot?


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    6. Yeah, what the hell, why not. Then I'll check out Terror Firmer. I think when it comes to Troma, I'll need people to actually recommend titles instead of just picking blindly.

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    7. Fair enough. Just have fun. It's Junesploitation for a reason!

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    8. Just watched it. It's now on my list of party movies.

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  16. The Toxic Avenger (1984)

    Yeah, I struggled with this too. Some OK jokes, and I'm glad I gave it a go, but I won't be rushing back to the well. I nearly turned it off after the kid-on-a-bike scene but, to be fair, the second half is more watchable.

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  17. Replies
    1. The reception on this is very odd. Troma is synonymous with exploitation. When I was a kid we would watch Toxic Avenger all of the time and it didn't phase us. This may speak to the fact that Troma has not reached the youth of the newer generations as it did when it was fresh. Interesting.

      Bring back Peplum!

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    2. As a longtime Troma fan this saddens me, but hey...that's why there's free spaces (and pretty much every other category, because Troma's done it all)!

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    3. This also leads me to thinking what are the exploitation films of this generation? Especially growing up in a totally different climate with a different kind of filmmaking going on. Huh. Anyway, this isn't the forum for that discussion but if any of the F This Movie writers ever feel like touching on that, it would be an interesting read.

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    4. "...what are the exploitation films of this generation?" Maybe all the found footage horror films coming out.

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    5. I feel like everyone punched Patrick's puppy.

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    6. Although my particular pick this year wasn't that great, I would totally be onboard with still participating in another Troma Day next Junesploitation. They aren't Oscar winners, but they are a big part of the overall culture of movies, and I'm glad I can now understand and be a part of discussions about Troma movies.

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    7. Did you retire Italian Horror when you struggled to "get" it? No you kept an open mind and eventually it really paid off. I know I speak for other F Heads when I say I want to keep an open mind on Troma and wouldn't mind it being a category in the future. Especially after reading amazingly impassioned reviews like your one on Terror Firmer. Don't be discouraged.

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    8. Agreed. I could care less when "insert category" pops up cause guess what? I dig a bit and find an interesting flick to watch that's relevant. Like I have said before - any topic is relevant and anyone can find a film to match.
      It's Junesploitation, c'mon.

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    9. I didn't like the film I saw today--okay, perhaps that's putting it mildly--but at least I saw something I would have never looked at otherwise. I'm always checking out new things that I'm not drawn to naturally because of this site, and I love that. Troma's not my thing, but it will be for somebody who just doesn't know it yet, and it would be unfortunate if they didn't have the F This Movie nudge, especially when there are folks here who are obviously passionate about it.

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    10. Eli. you killed Troma. YOU KILLED TROMA!! Thank you :)

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    11. Well, I was hoping to participate more in the community. Doing really well so far with my positivity, right? Right? *nervous laughter, moves back into the shadows*

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    12. No worries, I see what your saying. Just remember you're participating in "Junesploitation" which are Exploitation flicks; some of which will be offensive by definition. It's all about sharing and having a good time!

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    13. "What are the exploitation films of this generation?" In my opinion, all movies, made by The Asylum are our today's exploitation movies!! Today these flicks are digital crap, but in maybe 10, 20, or even 30 years they'll be the hippest cult trash in the world!!!

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    14. I think the reason Troma doesn't gel with me for exploitation is that they are trying to be funny and make "so bad they're good" movies. I don't find their jokes particularly funny and intentionally making a bad movie is very really effective.

      However, I think Troma is a good category but maybe from a "Origins in Troma" perspective. So you can watch a Troma movie or any movie by/featuring someone who got their start in Troma, i.e. Gunn or Roth etc.

      Just an idea.

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    15. I'm on board for that decision. Also, there are many categories where people can still watch a Troma movie if they want to.

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  18. Return to the Class of Nuke 'Em High Volume 1 (2013)

    I've tried plenty of Troma movies in the past, but this is one of the few I actually like. (The rest I at best tolerate its existence or at worst find it miserable to watch...) To be honest, if it weren't for the wonderful piece written by P Bromley and the accompanying podcast from this site, I don't think I would have enjoyed this as much as I do.

    What I'm saying is: I'm sorry we kicked your dog, Patrick.

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    1. Okay I need to stop writing these over breakfast. I mean Return to Nuke 'Em High Volume 1 of course...

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    2. One of the good ones, Gil!

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    3. Thanks, Gil! I appreciate you saying that.

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  19. Mad Dog Morgan (1976)
    Well, it seems much has occurred while I was watching Mad Dog Morgan. Yikes. Anyhow, this movie was distributed on dvd through Troma, and it had sat unwatched in my collection for some time. I figured Troma Day would be an okay time to check it out. Uncle Lloyd and Debbie Richonne even "introduce" the film. This is an infamous film in Dennis Hopper's filmography. They kinda banned him from ever setting foot in Australia again after he was finished shooting. Of course, this film is about the just as infamous outlaw. Dennis Hopper supposedly pulled an Oliver Reed all during filming, and he pulls hhostile off pretty well nonetheless. What really stood out for me were, and I will paraphrase Calvin Candice here, the assortment of exceptional false beards for Mr. Hopper to wear. They're glorious. The dvd was panned and scanned so I'm looking forward to one day watching this film again when it is presented in his proper ratio. This film, in case anyone is unaware, was directed by Phillipe Mora, director of The Beast Within and podcast favorite, Howling II: Your Sister Is A Werewolf.

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    1. In case anyone else will see the rest of Troma Day through, I will definitely endeavor to watch something more traditionally and officially Troma before the night is out. I'm a casual Troma fan. Discovered Troma in my youth, just like any other red blooded American teen with Cinemax and an unpoliced video membership. I discovered The Toxic Avenger and Class of Nuke Em High at the best, iimpressionable time. Ah, those years. The trashy memories.

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    2. I just noticed my auto correct has been playing games with me a little. Apologies.

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  20. The Toxic Avenger (1984)

    This was my first Troma film, and oh boy was I IN from the very beginning when the logo came on screen. It was really working for me, I was just on the same wavelength as the movie and I loved it. I couldn't believe what I was seeing (in a good way) and it just kept escalating. The scene in the Mexican restaurant has some of my favorite moments and kills I've ever seen. Regardless of the future of Troma Day, I'm super happy it was here this year so I could be exposed to this movie.

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    1. I am with you James! Nice to see you enjoying Junesploitation :)

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  21. Toxic Avenger: Even though I didn't get to see this at the BFI today, I still managed to check this out. I was so in the mood for this! I really enjoy the crazy universe it is set in and found it really fun.

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    1. Dear Diary, today a Gabby Ferro post made me really happy.

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  22. Boom, Troma lovers! ...and that's coming from a non Troma fan but one who understands the importance.

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  23. No, I am not a huge fan of Troma (hence me sitting today out), but I know many who are, and agree that having Troma day may bring some fans into the fold that would otherwise not take a chance on them.

    This is in no way a bad thing. I see it like this: I may not dig Troma, but knowing that they make others (like Patrick Fucking Bromley) happy in the same way that my favorite movies make *me* happy is MORE than enough to prove their validity.

    These flicks get it done for a lot of people. Not every movie (or kind of movie) is going to be for everyone. But Troma movies make certain people -- wonderful people that I have come to think of as friends, and SPECIFICALLY because of this site -- giddy with joy. It would be a shame to remove that from Junesploitation simply because some of us aren't feeling Troma's vibe.

    There can never, ever be enough things in this world that bring people joy, especially since it seems like there's always more than enough that causes pain. Knowing that Troma Day thrills even one person certainly justifies its existence...and then some.

    (apologies for such a long post)

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  24. Surf Nazis Must Die (1987) (first time viewing)

    I hate to say anything after some of the comments above, but I picked one that just didn't work for me either. I'm a Troma fan that grew up with these movies as well, but I tried a new to me one and I just didn't care for it. Better luck next time. I did love Gail Neely as Mama in this one though. She was a highlight that really kicked up the last bit of the movie when she went on her rampage.

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  25. Return to Nuke 'Em High Vol. 1 (2013, dir. Lloyd Kaufman)

    I've been trying to watch mostly movies I haven't yet seen, but because I've seen most of the major Troma movies a number of times I went with one that I've seen the least (because it's the newest). I've reviewed and podcasted on this one, so everyone knows I think it's a lot of fun. I'm anxious for Part 2 to come out.

    I hope no one took my comment about retiring Troma day from future Junesploitations as a case of me taking my ball and going home. It just seems like the overwhelming majority aren't into Troma here, so there's no point in asking everyone to watch movies that they're not going to enjoy at all. I do appreciate the comments from everyone, though - even those of you who don't dig on Troma but advocate being exposed to new stuff. It's very cool of you all.

    And hey -- at least I took Full Moon day off the calendar this year.

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    1. Taking Full Moon off the cal? I don't think your sponsors are going to appreciate that.

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  26. Ferocious Female Freedom Fighters (1982, dir. Jopi Burnama)

    Nobody does exploitation quite like Indonesia does it. Used loopholesploitation to watch the un-overdubbed version of this forced female-wrestling flick that comes on the DVD of Troma's What's Up Tiger Lily treatment of the original version. Very old school; America was making movies like this in the '50s. The heroine kills a cobra in her bathtub, there's some mud-wrestling, spots where they're clearly using dummies instead of stuntmen, a secretary in drag, and most importantly, Barry Prima does a flying kick from offscreen whilst yelling "Surprise!" It's shameful that there's an imdb listing for the Tromatized version but not the Sinceretized version. Trailer. Don't let the philistines keep you down, Patrick!

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  27. Cannibal! The Musical (1993)

    It really feels like it was made by someone in his 20's just out of college, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Although not all jokes hit (most didn't), the ones that did literally made me laugh out loud (watching the movie all alone). I liked most of the songs, but none of them really stood out to me.

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