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A good movie that would make a great TV series
I was expecting a B movie, but this is great time-travel science fiction! Scientists working with a particle accelerator accidentally create a window into the past. The government wants to use it. They send a team into the past to try to stop a terrorist attack from ever happening.
The science was done fairly well with an explanation for the time travel, but pushed the limits of believability with a computer program that can supposedly predict alternate futures given particular changes in the past.
The depiction of the past was done accurately, and probably cost a lot to do. Maybe the budget for this aspect is what made the prospective TV series fail? The action was great, the first few minutes grabbing the attention and setting up what followed.
The characters were believable and I wanted to get to know them better.
It's too bad the TV series never happened. I would have loved it.
The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)
Would have been better with less swearing
Pretty well the first lines spoken in the movie are so vile with profanities that I almost turned off the DVD right then. I didn't have much hope that the rest of the movie was going to have any intelligent dialogue. I persevered, though, and generally enjoyed the story.
The characters are believable, the storyline interesting, the cinematography average, the performances are good, but the dialogue is annoyingly mostly swearing.
I'm not against swearing in general and am open minded about it (I swear all the time). Swearing has its place for emphasis and can fit in with a story and character occasionally. When a script is this full of swearing, though, it is just too much. I guess the writers figured that they would lose the interest of some of the audience if they didn't have obscenities yelled every other line. To me, it just seemed pointlessly crass and over-the-top.
If the language had been toned down to more normal/real/average levels, I would have rated this movie much higher.
Absolute Zero (2006)
No valid science
I watched this movie prepared to see some incorrect science for the sake of entertainment, but what I saw was NO correct science. Well, except for the part where absolute zero is -273 Celsius. That's the only thing they did get right.
The fact that almost all the characters repeatedly say, "Science is never wrong", when the science in this movie is always wrong, must be a joke the writers played on the producers.
The whole premise of this movie is that the Earth's magnetic field rotates 90 degrees in less than 5 hours, and this causes everything at the equator to cool down to -273 Celsius (absolute zero). That makes as much scientific sense as your dog freezing solid because he turned around counter-clockwise before lying down, instead of clockwise.
The "scientists" in the movie even did a small-scale demonstration of this (before the disaster), by artificially rotating the magnetic field of a room full of plants. The whole room and the plants in it reached -273 Celsius. Rubbish.
All the other science in this movie that follows and supports this idea is either flawed, or outright wrong. They even got wrong the conversion of temperatures between Celsius and Fahrenheit on the status display they kept showing.
Not only is the science wrong in this movie, but there is a lack of internal consistency in the movie. For example, it's -170 Celsius outside, but people in a glass-walled building are wearing summer clothes and are not cold. It was previously established that a blast of cold air from the sky will freeze solid everything in an area, but a similar blast only freezes a vehicle and its driver, but not the little girl standing a few metres from the blast. The people in bikinis around a Miami pool don't notice anything wrong until it starts snowing, despite a temperature drop of 30 Celsius before the snow started falling.
The characters are all clichés, and even taking that into account, they sometimes do things that don't make common sense.
Yeah, I watched the movie for it's entertainment value. For the disaster. I'm used to suspending disbelief, and going with the flow of a movie in order to enjoy it. When a movie lacks internal consistency and basic common sense, that's just too much BAD for me.
Future Hunters (1986)
Poor quality farce
If this movie was meant to be anything but a farce, it failed miserably.
If it WAS meant to be a farce, it was a very poor quality, and a not funny farce.
Internal logic is lacking. Events happen without any indication of how the characters arrived at conclusions/decisions/actions.
Genres & sequence:
- Starting with a Road Warrior type of sequence in 2025.
- Character time travels to 1986, then promptly dies after telling a local young couple that a spear head he brought is special (it had pierced the body of the once called "Christ").
- Couple is inexplicably chased by Nazis who somehow know that the spearhead is in their possession.
- Couple travel to Hong Kong in search of a "professor".
- Couple and Kung-Fu taxi driver encounter and fight a Kung-Fu Master who doesn't like their visiting the "Silver Fox Pagoda".
- Couple find "professor" who is captured by Nazis, and professor dies while couple miraculously escapes the Nazis twice.
- Everyone ends up on a "small" island off the coast of Hong Kong.
- Small island off the coast of Hong Kong is inhabited by lost tribes of: Mogols, Little People, and Amazon Women. Couple & Nazis interact with them positively and negatively.
- Couple wins the right from the Amazon Women to retrieve the spear shaft that the spearhead belongs to.
- Spear shaft and spearhead are joined.
- End of movie without anything following the joining the spear.
Alien Seed (1989)
Just plain awful.
The story would have been sort of interesting, but how it's played out in the movie is terrible.
The characters were badly written & played. The acting was so bad that even I noticed it, and I don't usually.
There were flash-back/flash-forward/dream scenes that did not make any sense, and did not contribute to the movie. I think that they were a crude & poor attempt to make the movie artistic.
There were inconsistencies in the various scenes (like a handgun magically turning into a fully automatic machine gun between takes).
There were story-line improbabilities and inconsistencies. Who leaves a vehicle running with a machine gun in the passenger seat?
The nudity was completely unnecessary for the story, but otherwise enjoyed :-)
The District (2000)
Interesting show, but will it survive now?
I have been a big fan of "The District". It may not be as hard-hitting as other cop shows, but that is one of the things I like about it. It has an interesting balance between policy and personality. The characters are interesting and likable. I look forward to seeing the characters each week.
With the death of Lynne Thigpen (Ella Farmer), I wonder if the show can survive? Her character was a big part of why I liked the show.
She will be missed.
Highlander: Endgame (2000)
OK movie, but could have been better. Only minor spoils.
I liked the movie, and I certainly think it is much better than the previous 3 movies, but not as good as the TV series was.
I would not recommend this movie to people who had not watched the TV series. This movie contains characters from the TV series who are not explained in the movie. Also, this movie conforms to the Highlander universe as shown in the TV series, which is a good thing, considering that the first 3 Highlander movies had so many inconsistencies. To someone who had not seen the TV series, this movie would be confusing.
Adrian Paul shows off his fighting skills very well in the fight with the chinese master. Since this actor had great skill also, we had a very good view of the fight. Unfortunately, almost all of Paul's other fight scenes were with much less skilled actors/stuntmen, so the filming and editing had to make up for this with closeups that make things look more confusing and faster than they really are.
That is a pet peeve of mine in movies. Make up for the lack of skill or special effects by filming too close up, and editing it too look like events are more complicated and confusing than they really are. Gladiator was one of the worst in this respect.
The final fight scene is the only one, really, where we get to see the head villan in action. The actor is clearly not very good at swordplay, so the best moves are when you can't see his face (thus a stuntman). Even then, you find it hard to believe that the character (Kell), had the skill to defeat so many Immortals before. We know that Duncan is a much better swordsman, but it doesn't appear that way in the fight.
I know that it was important to show that Connor was more experienced and world-weary than Duncan, but I think that Duncan appeared to be more juvenile, young, and head-strong than he did in the TV series.
The editing of this movie left me feeling a bit disoriented. The flashbacks were important, as they were in the TV series, but in the movie, they seemed to break up the flow of the story too much. I think that the positioning of each flashback in the movie was a little too late. Things would have been much more clear to the audience if each flashback had occurred earlier in the movie.
Somehow, Adrian Paul did not appear to have as much "presence" in this movie as he did in the TV series. Since he IS a good actor, I must conclude that the editing reduced the impact of his performance.