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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Movie Review - Krull (1983)

You must see “Krull” (1983), it is an adventure mixed sci-fi fantasy; a cool combo to have. The era seems to be medieval times but takes place on the planet Krull.

The story is as follows; Prince Colwyn of one kingdom is set to marry Princess Lyssa of another in hopes of becoming allies instead of being rivals and band together to fight the evil that has taken their planet captive. The Beast and his army of darkness take cover in a mountain like castle dubbed ‘the black fortress’. It is capable of teleporting to another location every sundown. On the day of the wedding, the beast sends in his goons to disrupt the proceedings killing off the magistrate and the guests. Princess Lyssa is captured and taken back to the black fortress. It is now up to Prince Colwyn to rescue her and kill the evil beast. He embarks on a journey meeting up with a wise man, a novice magician, a band of escaped prisoners and a seer. Together they track down the fortress and take hold. Well, obviously he is victorious -- kills the beast and rescues the Princess but the story is about how he gets there. It is a tale of magic and wonder as well as a journey of self discovery for the Prince.

The film has decent effects for the time. The storyline might be considered cliché but it was done well. I really liked the way it was shot and the camera work was good. The acting was alright. No one really stood out. There is a young Liam Neeson, Todd Carty and few other actors who have made a decent career since this movie release. One thing I did notice which was somewhat annoying (because it was too obvious). If you listen to the musical score, you will notice that it sounds too much like the same style from Star Trek II +, compliments of James Horner.

I really liked this movie. It really kept my attention. It was like Lord of Rings with elements of King Arthur’s story, mixed with a little Star Wars. Throw all that together and add the fun and adventure of Indiana Jones; fantastic. I would recommend viewing this movie and rate it 8/10. Good solid all around decent effort.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Movie Review - Radioactive Dreams (1985)

Got an interesting one for you, not entirely the best but I think it holds a deeper meaning. I should mention that sometimes movies that are made in the 80’s should stay in the 80’s. What I am referring to is the post apocalyptic flick “Radioactive Dreams” (1985).

The story opens with an atomic bomb dropping and two older men grab their sons and take them within a cave entrance. Then we see the son’s grown up; Philip Hammer and Marlowe Chandler. They are about to break out of their underground bomb shelter where they had been living there for about 15 years. They are surprised and in awe over their new surroundings but soon adapt. The boys are very simple in nature and highly influenced by detective fiction. They soon encounter a woman survivor; Miles Archer and pick her up. Miles accidentally drops her keys in the car but later runs away. The boys must try to track her down to give them back to her but find very quickly that everyone else is after them to get the keys. They encounter various mutated freaky individuals and punky bikers. It’s later revealed that the keys will activate the only remaining nuclear missiles. So, it’s up to the boys to save the world.

The movie stars a young John Stockwell and Michael Dudikoff. The acting was on the poor side. I felt like I was watching a high school production. I didn’t like how eccentric the boys were to the point of annoyance but could be considered ‘over acting’. There are definitely problems with the script as it didn’t seem to flow right. The plot was terrible, lots of holes. Just sloppy fun.

This flick definitely screams 80's with its cheesiness, musical soundtrack and of course costume design. There are a lot of influences from the 80’s, 40’s and 50’s. Almost like “Grease” but 80’s style. For example; the final scene ended with a musical number. I’m really not sure about this movie at all. I’m thinking maybe I should watch it again?

For now, I’ll rate it 5.5/10.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Movie Review - Screamers 2: The Hunting (2009)

A die hard SCIFI fan would have to sit through this movie. What I’m referring to is “Screamers 2: The Hunting” (2009). Now, I really enjoyed the original “Screamers” (1995) movie and thought I would give the sequel a try. Oh, Oh… my mistake. I mean it wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t good. Okay maybe it was terrible. It’s too bad that we wait years for a follow up. The movie was not even released at the theatre but rather ‘direct to DVD’ and you just know there is nothing good that comes from those. The original movie was based on a novel “Second Variety” by Philip K. Dick. I just love the movies that are based on his works.

The movie in no way picks up from the original but it does takes place on the same planet Sirius 6B. It follows a crew of rescue military personnel sent from earth to investigate an SOS distress signal. They land and are greeted with attacks from a small faction of survivors and ground screamers. The crew later meets up with Guy - the leader of the survivors and takes cover in an underground military bunker. The real problems start when some captured facsimile human screamers are accidentally released and the bunker is compromised by a horde of screamers. With the very little survivors left they make their way to an abandoned station searching for power modules for the ship and meet up with the doctor responsible for making screamers. By this time there are more screamers on the way and in just a few short hours the planet will be bombed with meteors. So, needless to say only two escape back to the ship (Victoria and Guy) and embark for the voyage home in stasis. 2 months later, Victoria is pregnant and with a screamer child who is Guy’s. The ending is what really ruined any creditability that the film had up to that point.

The storyline was weak, the script was terrible. At times it seemed like it was predictable. With this movie, I pretty much knew that Guy was a screamer. The acting was okay. The effects were not bad but at times I found it a little cheesy. The film is just all around awkward that is not worthy to be viewed again. I would rate this 4/10 and note that I wish it was better. I do recommend watching the original. It is definitely a classic.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Movie Review - The Terminal Man (1974)

I just viewed “The Terminal Man” (1974) thinking it was scifi. Yeah, I was a little off. It wasn’t too bad. I mean, you have to keep in mind the year in which it was made in. The book of the same name was published in 1972 by Michael Crichton.

The story involves a man; Harry Benson, who is involved in an accident and receives some sort of head trauma. He is never the same. Harry now suffers from seizures which make him go into a fit of rage and become very violent. Recently he has been locked up for his crimes but released to a doctor for treatment. He has been chosen to be the first in an experiment in which they will implant computer sensory devices in his head. This is to help control the fits he has. His brain soon learns to overcome the electronic suppression and provides him with small windows of madness in which he escapes and kills again.

Too many things have gone bad when computers are integrated with the human psyche.

I had to keep watching to see where this was going. It was very slow in setting up but once it got going it kept my attention.

The acting wasn’t too bad, could always be better. It was an interesting concept but the movie played out just a little too weak for my liking. Maybe it’s just me but, I would not recommend seeing this little jem. I rate this film 4.5/10.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Movie Review - The Philadelphia Experiment (1984)

The one thing about time travel movies is that it is filled with flaws. I’m sure you will be thinking the same thing when you watch “The Philadelphia Experiment” (1984). It is supposedly based on actual events which have been highly criticized as a hoax.

The story unfolds in the year 1943 and involves a couple of naval serviceman; Jim Parker and David Herdeg. They are about to embark on a maiden voyage aboard a destroyer battleship which has an untested cloaking system. They are to remain invisible from radar but get more than they bargained for. The ship disappears from present time and while in a panic the two go overboard only to land on an airbase in future 1984. A rip in space time has occurred and is shown with a funnel type hole opening in the sky followed by lighting storms. They are intercepted by the military police. In a race against time -literally they must search out the truth and stop the storms while finding away back. The love interest Alison Hayes is set on helping them but ends up falling for David. In the meantime Jim Parker has developed symptoms of time lag and soon disappears. I really want to leave it at that as so I don’t spoil it.

The acting was decent, no one really stood out but they didn’t suck. The main character David Herdeg played by a Michael Pare reminded me so much of Brendan Fraser (The Mummy). His mannerisms and the way he spoke. In fact if they do a remake, he would be perfect. The special effects were alright along with set and scenes.

I really enjoyed this movie. It was a good mix of action, adventure, science and even love. It held a certain nostalgia being that it takes place in 1984. It makes me think about the culture shock that one would feel if being dropped 40 years into the future. Moreover, it is likely what our grandparents might be thinking about with the ideas of how things have progressed. I do recommend viewing this and rate it a 7.5/10.

Movie Review - A Boy and His Dog (1975)

Got to love post apocalyptic films, it shows us a picture of what our world would be like should the bombs fall. This type of sub genre of science fiction is more real because it is what we fear. So if you mix it up with humour, it tends to be a lot better to watch. What I mean is contained within “A Boy and His Dog (1975).

The story picks up some years after world war IV. In a war torn desert wasteland roaming, we find a boy (Vic) and his dog (Blood). They are survivors trying to live in a world uncivilized and over run by savages. Vic can telepathically speak with his dog and they help each other navigate through the desert. Vic is nomadic in nature. There is purpose besides just living, search out for the rare female and have his way with her. This seems to be a priority at times above eating, having shelter or staying away from trouble. Things get out of hand when he decides to protect his female prize (Quilla June) from a clan of marauders who want to rape her. The two appear to fall for each other but she soon disappears on him. He is later lured below the surface to look for her and is surprised to stumble upon a community of extremist Christians living there in robotic harmony. He is captured and conned into assisting 35 brides with getting pregnant but later meets up with Quilla June and she pleas for help to leave the compound. I don’t want to spoil it further but you certainly will enjoy this tale for the hopeless chase for sex.

This movie stars a young Don Johnson, his actor was decent. The story is a bit weak and there was a lack of visuals. Although, great characterization and dialogue. The telepathic dog is most entertaining. The boy and his dog seem to play off each other like a comedy duo or a married couple. This film was not produced as mainstream but rather as an independent. As such, it has developed a bit of a cult status. I thought for what is well done but not worthy of a high rating. I recommend watching it but rate it 6.5/10

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Movie Review - Futureworld (1976)

Going SCIFI on you now and have a little ‘jem’ called "Futureworld" (1976). It is actually a sequel of "Westworld" (1973). The movie does draw on the success of the original film (directed by Michael Crichton) and develops a story from it. In fact this franchise even spawned a series (1980).

Delos Entertainment has re opened their theme park. You may play out a character in a fantasy world (medieval, roman or even the old west); filled with robotic AI characters controlled to make their guest’s stay enjoyable and believable. It is now safer than ever and their systems are now under control. In an attempt to show the world of their efforts, they invite numerous government officials and people of great importance that they think will give good reviews and attract further business. On the guest list is two reporters; Chuck Browning (played by Peter Fonda) and Tracy Ballard (played by Blythe Danner). Things are still not what they seem and it's up to the two reporters to uncover and expose the truth. I won’t give too much of the story as I don’t want to spoil it for you all.

The acting was alright; nothing special. Some pretty decent special effects for the time but with simple set designs. I thought for a sequel it did stand on its own. It would likely make a bit more sense if you watch the original just as a back story. It definitely was interesting enough to keep my attention. I kept thinking to my self “Now what is Delos up to now”?

Actor Yul Brynner who plays a gunslinger was the star of the original “Westworld” but for some reason they seem to use him in some filler scenes. It was laughable and I think it was purely to draw viewers to the fact that he would be in the sequel. So, besides that, I can’t really say I didn’t like it. A good solid movie worthy of viewing, I rate it 7.5/10