Friday, December 16, 2011

Worth Mentioning - Duncan Jax Has No Complaints

We watch several movies a week. Every Friday, we'll talk a little about some of the movies we watched that we felt were Worth Mentioning.

This week, Cody welcomes back Duncan Jax and is warned about the dangers of television.


Back in July, the Bad Netflix Crew bettered my world by introducing me to the film The Order of the Black Eagle, an awesome action movie featuring secret agent extraordinaire Duncan Jax and his tank-driving baboon Boon. At the time, I noticed that there was another Duncan Jax adventure, Unmasking the Idol, and this week I finally got around to watching it.

There is some confusion online over which of the Duncan Jax movies came first. Some places list Unmasking the Idol as being released in 1988, making it the sequel to 1987's Order of the Black Eagle. Other sites have it listed as Black Eagle's predecessor, released in 1986. After watching Idol and seeing the credit "Introducing Boon the Baboon", it seems that this was indeed the first movie and I have watched them in reverse order.

Luckily, it doesn't really matter which Jax movie you watch first.

Unmasking the Idol plays up an aspect of Jax's character that wasn't so prevalent in Black Eagle, the fact that in addition to being a superspy, he's also a highly trained ninja. But the elements copied from James Bond are also in this one, as the movie kicks off with a bit of action that's followed by a title sequence featuring a song that sounds like a hybrid of Tom Jones and Isaac Hayes. After the title sequence ends, we see Jax remove his ninja outfit to reveal a tuxedo underneath. He walks into a casino, introduces himself as "Jax, Duncan Jax," and at the roulette table he splits his bet on 00 and 7.

This time, our heroic ninja-spy with a predilection for hot air balloons and Boon, the most intelligent primate in the world, are sent on a mission is to infiltrate Devil's Crown island, the most heavily guarded fortress in the world. There, he's meant to steal tons of gold before a hostile organization - supported by a man called Goldtooth, who killed Jax's parents - can use it to buy nuclear warheads for a submarine and start World War III.

While I ultimately enjoyed its sequel more, Unmasking the Idol is a whole lot of nonsensical fun and the last 35 minutes is nonstop action, with Jax and his team raiding Devil's Crown and facing its legion of soldiers, ninjas, crocodiles, and pool of piranhas. Boon may not drive a tank this time, but he knows enough martial arts to be able to handle himself in combat.

It's a shame that only two of these movies were ever made, they play like live action '80s cartoons and deserve to be much more popular than they are.


A goofy sci-fi comedy, The Twonky tells the story of a man with a problem that millions of people can relate to: he finds that his new television is taking over his life.

His T.V. does it in a different way than most, though. This thing can walk around the house and zap out beams to perform tasks. Some of its quirks may seem pleasant - it can light the man's pipe for him, protects him from harm, produces money, does housework - but this doesn't make up for the fact that it restricts his actions, will only let him listen to certain music and read certain books, and even has the capability of mind control. The man and his best friend endeavor to get rid of the machine by any means necessary, but this proves be quite complicated.

This film is very amusing, features some entertaining performances, and is a breezy watch at just 69 minutes long. It could be seen as a not-so-subtle comment on the dangers of spending too much time sitting in front of a screen. I think my computer may in fact be a twonky.

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