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Z Nation (2014)
Having heard about this series and the rapid fire nature of the show, I was keen to give it a go. The first episode of "Puppies & Kittens" was an intriguing title and I was curious enough after the first episode to have a look at episode two, at the conclusion to which I was hooked, it's simply hilarious and everything you want in a zombie series.
Not sure why people are voting this with a "1" and making comparisons to The Walking Dead; one is a tedious snoozefest of character exploration and motivation which takes a season per character to develop (though TWD is not quite like that but the Z's in TWD are largely circumstantial now having been reduced to mere extras as it's human versus human), the other is simply a lot of fun & that's what Z Nation is, a lot of fun.
The characters are all likable (except for "the cure" & even he's funny with his gallows humour), there's no one you want to particularly die so as to remove their continual angst ridden baggage from the pre-Z world that no longer exists (grow up, this is the Zombie Apocalypse, no one cares about if you had enough steaks in the freezer before the world went to hell in a handbasket), no, the cast all keep you laughing in one way shape or form and they're not merely extras, they all have a role to play. Plus the guest stars are also great (especially Bill Moseley's role).
If this is what the Zombie Apocalypse is going to be like, make sure you've got plenty of ammo & Jim Beam stashed away because it will be funny.
The Humanity of Captain Jack
is what really makes this series. I've watched it a couple of times now, stories are largely good fun, but the self-sacrificing humanity of the deathless man that is Captain Jack is quite heartbreaking at times and so often, it's his own heart that breaks, but something keeps him going (and the series for that matter).
For what was a spin-off then from Dr Who, by focusing on the characters and not the events, it quickly established its own feet as something different and very worthwhile.
The cast is largely fine, each role is stereotypical in a "secret organization", the geek, the streetwise one, the IT guru, the "everyday" police one that we can all identify with, it's just Jack that is out of the ordinary and John Barrowman plays the role perfectly.
Love the show, recommended viewing.
Double the Fist (2004)
There are shows in the world that are unique to their country of origin. You watch "Yes Minister" & know that's uniquely English. You watch "Friends" & know that it's uniquely American.
"Double The Fist" is not only uniquely Australian, it's just simply UNIQUE with some of the most off-the-wall humour ever made. Made on an embarrassingly small budget, everything about the show works in the way intended. Each episode follows a basic guideline of the crew having thought of something completely absurd, then The Womp, Rodd Foxx, Tina T & Mephisto interact even more absurdly (& usually violently) with the idea (with Steve Foxx commentating along the way) until most things are destroyed in random acts of violence while earning "Fist".
The show quite rightly won the 2004 AFI award for Best Comedy Series. Here's hoping Series 2 can maintain the impetus generated 3 years ago.
Highly recommended if you don't mind cheap production & absurdity mixed into a very unique blend.
One take, one vote
This entire move must have taken about 90 minutes to shoot, everything shot in one take & voice overs making up the off-screen fill in for the cut scenes.
Mis-cast cast, mis-scripted, mis-shot, mis-edited, mis-directed. 90+ minutes of my life missed that I will never get back.
Just missed really.
I have however found one feature about the movie that although it doesn't work, has merit. All the extras do a great job of being miserable.
Great video game though, so well worth getting the special unrated edition with the game if you don't already have Bloodrayne 2 :D
One of the greatest
B Grade movies of all time!!!! A whole list of freaks as long as your arm enter & leave as the heroes journey from point A to point F with rapid fire stopovers at points B, C, D & E, but it's all in good fun. Brainless without being brain-numbing, which explains why I must have seen this movie about 10 times & never been bored.
I wonder if you could turn this movie into a drinking game?? Say every time something stupid happened, though you'd be drunk within 15 minutes of the movie starting!!!! Still, many careers are started in B Grade classics like this. For example, this was an early role for the athletic Sandahl Bergman who played She. Bergman went on to have quite a respectable career as an actress. Alas, her sidekick, (the pretty Quin Kessler) & the love interest (David Goss) soon faded from public view along with their aspirations to conquer Hollywood's silverscreen (I wonder what did happen to them??) When a film-maker realises that they have no money, a silly script & a cast of actors who's only claim to being an actor is that they have paid their union dues but they are still determined to have a good time making a movie, you end up with She.
Final word of warning, if your friends are in anyway discerning about their movies & insist on A Grade releases only, then they may hate you forever if you make them watch this.
Not enough of what people really want!!!!
First and foremost, Alexander was a soldier. Indeed one of the best that history will ever know. Oliver Stone seems to have forgotten that.
What was it that made "Gladiator", the first of these historical resurrection movies such a success?? The BATTLES!!!!! It starts with the battle in Germania and then, every 15 minutes or so after that, Maximus is in the arena chopping off heads. It kept everything moving along nicely.
It took 45 minutes of absolute boredom in Alexander to get to the first battle & that was Gaugamela!!! Straight to the main course, no appetisers in the siege of Tyre or the battles at Issus or Granicus, each battle which was both important and different from the rest in all aspects (besides the outcome, Alexander always won). Rather than the tedium of showing Philip II as a carousing alcoholic (well played by Val Kilmer though), it was Philip who trained the Macedonian army to be what it was, that would have made much better cinema. Darius' part was reduced to a mere cameo, yet he was the main antagonist (on the surface at any rate) for Alexander!!!! There was too many attempts at showing some sort of "divine destiny" of Alexander and not enough showing what Alexander was remembered as "The Great" for, for being the truly great battlefield general he was.
I still can't believe I walked out of the cinema thinking "This was about as good as Troy, and that's not saying much." I can only hope that if Steven Pressfield's excellent "Gates Of Fire" is to be turned into a movie as has been mooted many times, that the producers learn the lessons from Alexander (& Troy) and concentrate on what really matters in history, the battles, how they were fought and who won.
and for me to say that when I love B movies is a harsh condemnation.
I only borrowed it on video because the cover in my country had Blackie Lawless from WASP on it. Even his 20 second cameo (of WASP, so he was with his then com padres) was not enough to salvage this dog of a movie or for me to give this movie anything but a 1.
You would think they'd actually have a cult winner on their hands though, (well, a cult winner if you thought something like "Hawk The Slayer" was a cult winner, hehe). Geeky guy lead who actually something of a fitness fanatic, gorgeous yet vacuous female lead and genre-standard baddie, how could you go wrong??
You can't judge a book by its cover, neither can you a video it would seem. Avoid, like the plague.....
The Doom Generation (1995)
One Viewing Is Not Enough, but Probably Too Many
It's the sort of movie that you think, "Christ, why did I just watch that??" And that is if you managed to make it all the way through. So you look at the song credits and think to yourself that you'll give it another go.
After about the 4th viewing, you declare it to be one of the weirdest movies of the 90's. However you also declare that you have now wasted about 6 hours of your life watching this movie that you can never ever get back.
And ultimately, there is something better you could have done with that 6 hours.
Still, great soundtrack though, hmmm, where's my video rental card again???
Ercole e la regina di Lidia (1959)
Lots of fun
I grew up watching this stuff as a Saturday afternoon matinee 30 years ago & now, it's still as much fun to watch.
Hercules, now married to Ioli, is returning to Thebes to help sort out a dispute over who has the rights to the throne of Thebes. Along the way, Hercules loses his memory & is seduced by the evil Amphale who goes through husbands like Elizabeth Taylor, however, Amphale is something of a black widow & uses a few Egyptians to preserve her ex-husbands in the family crypt.
However, one look at the rugged carved from granite Steve Reeves & all her black widow tendencies fly out the window, but she still wants him for good.
Of course it all ends up in a good ruckus with sword fights, chariot duels, Hercules throwing tables & coffins at rushing troops, 2 insane brothers with a hatred for each other (& their father) & inevitably the faithful sidekick who chimes in with a few vital day-saving moments.
Clint Eastwood may have been the king of the Spaghetti Western, but Steve Reeves was the king of the Spaghetti Swords & Sandals. So if that's your cup of tea, I recommend this movie as an excellent addition to your collection.
Big Wednesday (1978)
I first saw this film in 1978, my father took me to see it with my brothers at the drive-in as a double feature with "Every Which Way But Loose." It's a movie that I have never forgotten. It combines brilliantly heart gripping surfing action, heart wrenching emotions, and heart uplifting humour, all set against the back-drop of the Vietnam War, teenagers growing up, the wisdom of elders (Bear) and of course, the surfing.
I've never surfed a minute of my entire life (although whenever I watch this, I feel like I should), so don't think of this as a "surf movie". It simply is an excellent piece of cinematic history that you will feel you missed on if you never see it.
Recommended with 2 thumbs way way way up.