So in posts over the past month I have been going on and on about the newest Rifftrax Batman and Robin and Jurassic park.

Since I have now seen both of them I thought I would give you my opinion on them. Let’s start with Batman and Robin:

The worst film EVER

Since Rifftrax began, the fans have been requesting that Mike and the guys do Batman and Robin.

There is a lot of fan hate directed towards this movie. After all, this was the film that killed the Batman movie franchise (Until Christopher Nolan stepped in with Batman Begins). Everything about the movie stank. And as the rumor goes, it stank so bad that Mike and the boys at Rifftrax didn’t want to sit through this turd enough times to write a script.

Then some fans on the Rifftrax Forum got together and started a site called Riffraff Theater. The idea is that a bunch of fans write riffs on a movie and submit them to Riffrafftheater. They compile everyone’s scripts together and weed out the bad jokes. Then they make their own fan Rifftrax from a master script.

Arnold cooling it

Riffraff Theater did one for Harry Potter that went pretty well. You can read my thoughts on it Here. Evidently Mike and the guys at Rifftrax were impressed enough by the project that they offered to make a Rifftrax out of a fan written script. The fans would write it. Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett would perform the script as written without alteration. The movie chosen was Batman and Robin. (This way Mike and the guys would only have to watch it once, lucky devils.)

This was quite a revolutionary concept. Fan fiction has been going on for years, expecially with the help of the internet. But when had fans ever been given the chance to have their work performed by the actual actors they are trying to emulate? This is the first time I have ever heard of it happening and that is a pretty exciting thing.

Well the process was long and ardurous. I didn’t hear about it until it was too late for me to contribute (Maybe next time). But in the end, the guys at Riffrafftheater received over 40 scripts.

How was the end result?

It starts out strong. The jokes come fast and furious and it is really funny. The film is so awful that the opportunity for gags is plentiful. Rifftrax has some funny fans.

Then about halfway through the movie things started to slow down. There were long gaps between jokes and near the end tons of scenes begging to be mocked were left alone. Mike and the guys kept to their word and did not alter the script. Evidently the movie was so hard to get through that many of the fans sent in incomplete scripts.

Boy I don’t blame them. I remember how much I hated Batman and Robin when it came out. It is so dreadfully bad that it is painful to watch. Watching it with the Rifftrax made it worth it though. I would recommend the trax to anyone wanting to see the film torn apart.

I hope that it is enough of a success that Rifftrax does more fan written trax in the future. Hopefully it will be with movies more fun to write for.

Now on to Jurassic Park with my hero Weird Al Yankovic

Heaven

When they announced this I died. Read about it Here. Such a combination of coolness has never come together before. I was a puddle of geeky goo.

Mike Nelson and Weird Al

So how did it go?

Weird Al is a natural at this. His manic edged voice works as a perfect counterpoint to Mike Nelsons laid back style. The jokes come fast and hard. It was nearly as funny as I hoped it would be. If only Al had done more of his trademark screaming, it would have been perfect.

Weird Al and Mike Nelson

You would think that it would be hard to riff Jurassic Park because it is a pretty good movie. The sequels stank, but the first one is a worthy film. But there is plenty of material for Mike and Al to work with. They don’t make fun of the quality of the acting or the script very much. The humor is much more observational. See the clip below to get an idea.

Like the Rifftrax for Lord of the Rings or The Matrix, it was another way for me to enjoy the film. I laughed the whole way through and I didn’t hate the movie. In fact, I prefer the Rifftrax of good movies over the Rifftrax of bad films like Batman and Robin.

It is rumored that Al is keen to do more. I hope so. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.

On a side note, between Batman and Robin and Jurassic Park, Rifftrax came out with a short film Riff called Act Your Age. It is one of those educational shorts from the 50’s and man is it fertile ground for that MST3K brand of humor.

Act Your Age

Mike, Kevin, and Bill take the short on and it really made me nostalgic for those Mystery Science Theater shorts of yesteryear. It is Hilarious.

When I made my Jurassic Part Rifftrax DVD I put the Short at the beginning of the movie and it is actually funnier than the movie riff.

So if you are curious to see what Rifftrax is all about, this short is not a bad place to start. For .99 cents how can you go wrong?

Here is a link to the unriffed short

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