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New Alcatraz More at IMDbPro »

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18 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Do you need planning permission in Antarctica?

Author: Neonsamurai from London, England
14 November 2003

If I was going to build a maximum-security prison I'd build it in Slough, that way the convicts would be safer inside the jail and not try to escape.

But does the American government ever listen to me? No they don't and shame on them! I've emailed George Bush at least a dozen times with my plans for a coal powered time machine and get NO response. If you're reading this George, when I've got it working I'm going back in time and punching a few extra holes in Al Gores cards! I know he'd listen!

But I digress. Anyway you shouldn't build a maximum-security prison in Antarctica because everybody knows there are snakes trapped under the ice there that are 100ft long. But the American government ignores common sense and does it anyway. When will they learn? I mean I saw the plan that they came up with in Deep Impact to stop the comet (which was laughable) and their attempt to capture the Predator in Predator 2 was weak at best, so who comes up with these ideas?

Anyway things go wrong, which I could have told them was going to happen, and a giant snake (surprise, surprise) starts eating people. Luckily Dean Cain shows up. At this point I was pretty sure that everyone was doomed, but plucky Dean and his wife manage to outsmart the snake and save everybody. Well, maybe not everybody. Actually it's just themselves, but the other people were criminals so they deserved death.

So my embiggened marking systems records Boa (as it is called in the UK) as having achieved 7 Gi-ants (which is a combination of two words giant and ants. Gi-ants. Clever eh?) which is a universally acknowledged as being good. The name is accurate and there are some reasonable costumes.

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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

It was alright....

Author: cyberent from United States
21 January 2006

Anybody who sees this film expecting the second coming of Citizen Kane is fooling themselves. Folks, it's just a movie meant to entertain us. And in that sense, I think it did a fine job. Sure there were holes in the plot and some mediocre CG effects, but overall it didn't do too badly in my book. My main gripes were in the opening scene. So if I'm flying a giant cargo plane and it starts making funny noises, I'm certainly not going to open up the crates. And that CG snake is pretty badly done. Why a snake? A monkey would have been more convincing, and most importantly, monkeys make us laugh! I was impressed with the set design though. Very effective use of set design to give us the sense of claustrophobia. The main control room was quite a contrast to the rest of the cold blocky hallways. Overall, not a bad job, especially from the typical giant snake movie. Faced between Anaconda or Boa at the video stores, I'd take Boa in a heartbeat.

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5 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The best s**t movie in the world

Author: Franstud98 from Norwich, England
9 December 2004

This movie is non-stop B quality action. One of the least likely plots in the world, some of the most unrealistic special effects ever and a script that probably doesn't exist, I think the director realized the caliber of acting talent he had at his disposal and let them adlib the lot. Best bits are when the security guard acts like he has had no gun training as he fires his shotgun aimlessly (good pun). Also when dean cains missus runs off and he shouts her name about 7 times in a row. JESSICA, JESSICA JESSICA. I do love this film, but only cos its really bad. Dean Cain to play bond!!!!! Oh and the ending is ridiculous!!!!! Cold blooded snake that isn't bothered it's in antarctic conditions!!!!! Likely.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

For a b-movie, it is not that bad.

Author: sketchy (j6524@hotmail.com) from pembroke, massachusetts.
10 March 2003

Although this movie had very poor special effects, the acting, script and action was not that bad, and the movie did have a good low-budget feel to it. Fans of snake flicks might want to rent this. So, overall, this was a watchable film that is hammered by bad special effects. I guess I can recommend it.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Solid Ten ... for predictability

3/10
Author: Bob Hu from Sydney, Australia
3 November 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

New Alcatraz would have gotten a 4/10 from me if it weren't for the fact that I nearly stopped watching it partway through due to predictability. The director and writer seem to have learned their trade by reading "Starter's guide: Make your own survival horror!".

Only three characters survive the movie. One of them survived because the plane needed a pilot. The other two survived because they were married to each other. The hero is killed off at the last moment in order to conform to the expectations of the genre. Altogether throughly unconvincing.

The only remotely realistic character in the entire movie is Yuri Brescov, played by Mark Sheppard (who actually plays the role quite well). The two paleontologists are not particularly sympathetic characters, in fact, the only thing they have going for them is the fact that they closely resemble Antonio Banderas and Katie Holmes respectively.

With the exception of Yuri, who was a beacon of courage, competence, common sense and honour, the other characters failed to put up even a reasonable level of effort into ensuring their own survival, despite being completely aware of the nature and deadliness of the threat they faced. Mind boggling incompetence seems to occur in every scene. One particularly strange event is when the soldier McCarthy is killed and the major seems to immediately forget about his existence, not even acknowledging his death, despite being in constant radio contact with him for several minutes leading up to his death.

Another failure is the inconsistency of the characters. Two examples come to mind, the first is Sergeant Quinn, who has been extremely worried about the snake and the survival of himself and his men and even refused to leave the command station until given a direct order by the warden is told by the scientists that the vibrations produced by the carts they are riding would attract the snake and they should proceed on foot. At this point he suddenly decides that he can't be bothered to walk and continues on in the cart. The other example would be Yuri, who is extremely calm, clearheaded and courageous throughout the rest of the movie suddenly freezes in the middle of a scene, which again is totally out of character.

One of the biggest oversights is the potential for psychological tension between the prisoners and the 'good guys' during the escape, which seems to have been completely ignored. The inmates of the highest security prison in the world are actually fairly decent people. I am incapable of giving any comment on this.

The real failing of the movie is that it is neither character driven nor plot driven. This removes all the believability in the story and prevents the audience from becoming involved in the film. With a good writer this could have been a great film. Three out of Ten.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Do not rent this movie

1/10
Author: Marx-Michael from Malaysia
14 August 2005

1. There is no way in the world a maximum security prison to have only 13 personal including the engineers. No cook. No Janitor. Only the guards, the warden and the engineers.

2. There is no way for an 80 feet's Boa to travel as fast as a F1 racing car on an empty hallway.

3. There is no way for an airplane to reach certain destination without confirmation from the destination source.

4. There is no way for an airplane to come to an isolate place where's the pilot himself have to fill the fuel them self. Refer to no:01.

5. There is no way for the wife of the star to survive while the others which were trained arm personal, deadliest terrorists in the world died in an instants.

6. There is no way for a snake / BOA to "eat" thru a 2 feet thick wall which suppose to take weeks for humans to drills thru with sophisticated drills.

7. There is no way for a Snake to "eat" thru a military airplane which suppose to withstand thousands pounds of pressure.

8. There is no way this movie suppose to be made.

9. Do not rent / see / but this movie

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Had Potential

3/10
Author: Uriah43 from Amarillo, Texas
13 January 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Somewhere on the frozen ground of Antarctica a high-level security prison is being built which will eventually contain the worst criminals in the world. Unfortunately, because the construction is behind schedule the warden, "Fred Riley" (Craig Wasson) orders his engineers to drill into a hollow rock formation before necessary tests can be made to ensure the safety of the procedure. Sure enough, a gas pocket is hit which causes an explosion that results in some damage to the facility. What they don't realize is that the real problem is yet to be faced because the hole created by the explosion has released a giant boa constrictor which is extremely hungry from his million-year hibernation—and the only available food source is the people within the prison. Now rather than reveal any more of this movie I will just say that it had a pretty good premise to build upon. Regrettably, this film lacked anything substantive. The suspense was weak, the acting was uneven and the plot was much too simplistic. I especially thought the casting of a female IRA terrorist named "Patricia O'Boyle" (played by Amandah Reyne) was totally laughable and practically ruined the entire film all by itself. In short, this movie had potential but the director (Phillip J. Roth) failed to capitalize on it. I have rated it accordingly. Below average.

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Good Monster Movie

8/10
Author: coolguyelijahsavestheworld from United States
15 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Whoever came up with this idea definitely had a good imagination. The co-writer and director of this movie, Phillip Roth, has been known to do his giant creature movies on the Sci-Fi channel. He has over 80 producing credits in the last 15 years, and some notable Sci-Fi channel names are: Python, Python 2, Boa vs. Python, Lake Placid 2, Bats: Human Harvest, Lake Placid 3, and Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines. There are many more, but I think I got my point down. Phillip Roth has been doing monster movies for almost 20 years. But this one nails a pretty good example of what others lacked. Main idea: a giant snake is running loose in a big prison in Antarctica. All those monster movies I listed up there don't really have an unsuspected setting. Python takes place in a regular town, Lake Placid 2 is in Lake Placid (I think?), and Wrong Turn 5, I mean come on, are the hillbillies going to move? The acting in this movie is OK, special effects could use some work on, but the script is what makes this movie a pretty good monster movie. It can be suspenseful, and you want to see the characters get out. Overall, this movie isn't going to win an academy award, but if you want to see a pretty decent monster movie, check this one out.

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Perhaps I am easier to please...

7/10
Author: dj_oldfield-3 from United States
17 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie met all of my expectations. While it is certainly not something that I would have gone to a movie theater to see, I believe that it offers an enjoyable use of a couple hours.

Since pretty much everyone before me has been ragging on it, I suppose I should say my piece.

1. Dean Cain, while not in the Brad Pitt/Morgan Freeman category of actors, does offer a pretty solid character in most of his roles and this (in my view) is no exception. I think that his mannerisms were pretty natural considering he may as well have been sharing a row-boat with badger for how safe he was.

2. A lot of people felt that the snake was poorly done, and perhaps they had higher definition on their TVs (which wouldn't surprise me). The scenes with this snake are very short and not very frequent. As far as problems, I would say that the biggest one is that somehow the scenes made the snake look smaller then it was suppose to be (comparing them against the size of the hole it made in a wall). The snake looked to me to be about three or four feet wide, and the hole in the wall was at least six feet in diameter (probebly more like eight).

Sub Note: The movie indicates that this snake makes a tunnel through ice that is roughly wide enough for two grown men to walk through side by side, and is about 30 paces long. My imagination cannot accept that as a possibility (even a drill would take a very long time to force through that much ice), and that did kind of weaken the plot for me.

3. Pretty much all of these characters are undeveloped. I am guessing that this became apparent to the director at some point, because there are poorly timed arguments between the two co-stars which were (in my view) an unsuccessful attempt at giving them substance beyond the monster experience.

When I am going to watch a movie about a giant snake, I am basically more concerned with his eating habits then the character development. I suppose this is a large part of the reason that I enjoyed this movie, and a large part of the reason that it achieved a 7/10 from me.

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not the best thriller

2/10
Author: spd916 from United States
27 December 2005

The movie is best described as any typical poorly produced horror type movie where the characters will do the stupidest things to get themselves killed for no reason (eg.-walking into places knowing that you'll be killed or not taking anyones obvious warnings). The acting itself was not bad but the movie doesn't make much sense as to how a giant snake can move around the prison but can't really be seen until at least the last 45 minutes of the film. Some scenes were just written poorly. for example, dean cain promises a prisoner her safety when she was freaking out about the snake eating her and 5 minutes later, all he did was shoot her (but not the snake) so she wouldn't have to deal with the pain of being eaten... I guess that's still keeping his word. I'm no animal expert but this snake goes around this prison eating a bunch of people...don't snakes eat and then go hide and sleep it off since they're most vulnerable when they are full?? I don't think it's even worth the time watching this film. if dean cain would show some skin, perhaps it's still worth the rental.

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