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The spaceships Argos commanded by Captain Mark Markary (Barry Sullivan)
and her sister Galliot commanded by Captain Sallas (Massimo Righi)
travel to the mysterious planet Aura to investigate a strange
transmission of a distress signal. The spaceships are protected by the
meteor rejector instrument but on the arrival, the gravity increases
and the automatic controls go haywire and the Galliot crashes on the
surface of Aura. Then the crew-members in Argos go crazy and attack
each other in a first moment. Soon Captain Mark finds that most of the
crew from Argos is dead after fighting against each other. When the
dead members resurrect, Captain Mark, communications officer Sanya
(Norma Bengell) and engineer Wess (Ángel Aranda) discover that parasite
bodiless aliens have entrapped them with the transmission expecting to
flee from their dying world. What will be their attitude?
"Terrore nello spazio", a.k.a. "Planet of the Vampires", despite the low- budget, is an original, stylish and with a surprising plot point. The conclusion shows a great surprise to the viewer. This movie was certainly the major influence to at least Ridley Scott's "Alien" and "Prometheus" that have similar storyline. It was said that the set was a Tower of Babel, with international cast using their own native language (Barry Sullivan, English; Norma Bengell, Portuguese; Ángel Aranda, Spanish; and Evi Marandi, English). My vote is seven.
Title (Brazil): "O Planeta dos Vampiros" ("The Planet of the Vampires")
In Illinois, the upper-middle-class family Jarrett is living a trauma
in their lives, with the loss of their beloved son Buck followed by the
attempt of suicide of his younger brother Conrad (Timothy Hutton).
Conrad's father Calvin (Donald Sutherland) is a good man of few words
and his mother Beth (Mary Tyler Moore) is a cold-hearted woman that
loved Buck and has always been bitter and never supported Conrad, who
is under therapy with Dr. Berger (Judd Hirsch). The greatest concern of
Beth is to live her perfect life, denying affection to her son. Conrad
blames himself for the death of his brother since they were sailing in
a bad weather and when one string jammed in the block, he was not able
to release it, capsizing the boat. Conrad has difficulties to
reestablish his relationship with his friend and quits the swimming
team of his school.
When Conrad meets Karen (Dinah Manoff), who was interned with him in the same psychiatric clinic also for attempt suicide, he feels better. And when he dates the gorgeous student from the choir Jeannine (Elizabeth McGovern), he begins to see the world with other eyes. But his problem of relationship with his mother associated to the death of Karen, who committed suicide, brings him back to the rock bottom and he runs to meet Dr. Berger. Will the psychiatrist succeed in helping Conrad?
"Ordinary People" is a powerful and heartbreaking drama, one of the best American dramas from the 80's. This film is also a milestone in the career of Robert Redford since it is his directorial debut. "Ordinary People" has top-notch direction and performances; the screenplay is very well-written with powerful lines. The timeless story is well-resolved with the realistic decision of the shattered Jarrett family. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Gente Como a Gente" ("People Like Us")
During the Christmas party in her apartment, Joyce Stone (Valérie
Valois) welcomes the stepbrothers Helena Monet (Liliana Komorowska) and
Alex Monet (Steve Parrish), who is her boyfriend. Alex's best friend
asks him to demonstrate his abilities of scanner and during his
demonstration, Alex is distracted by a guest and accidentally kills his
friend. Alex is considered non-guilty but decides to travel to a
monastery in Thailand to learn to control his powers.
Two years later, Joyce and Helena are attacked by a gang in an alley and Helena activates her ability of scanner to save them. She has a severe migraine associated to the sound of voices and her stepfather Elton Monet (Colin Fox) shows an experimental EPH-3 patch that he is developing in his company to be used in scanners. Helena offers to be the guinea pig, but he does not accept the offer since he is still studying the side effects. During the night, Helena opens his wallet and secretly uses the EPH-3. Immediately her migraine disappears and she feels good; however her personality changes to an evil person. She humiliates her boss Mark Dragon (Peter Wright), who is the owner of the TV network where she works, and later she destroys him to assume the control of the television; she kills Elton to assume the control of his company and research; she kills Dr. Baumann (Harry Hill), who conducted painful experiments on her when she was a teenager. Meanwhile Alex's lawyer and friend Michael (Daniel Pilon) travels to Thailand to warn Alex about the changes in Helena but he is murdered by a scanner sent by Helena to follow him. The Monk (Sith Sekae) gives a final training to Alex and he returns home. Will Alex succeed to control Helena?
"Scanners III: The Takeover" is not a bad movie as indicated in the IMDb Users Rating; actually it is a good sequel of Scanners. The plot is well constructed through a tight screenplay; the story has a great villain; the acting is reasonable for a movie directly released on video. The transformation of a sweet woman into a powerful villain is a great idea and there is also humor, like when the gang is thrown into the garbage truck or her boss dancing in the restaurant; or Alex waking up and walking in the morgue. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "Scanners III - O Duelo Final ("Scanners III: The Final Duel")
When Rumpelstiltskin (Casper Van Dien) kills the king of Once Upon a
Time kingdom, he proposes Snow White (Lauren Parkinson) to open the
portal through the Magic Mirror to the real world; otherwise he would
kill her. Snow White does not accept the deal and tries to kill him,
but they are sucked by the mirror and vanish. The princesses Cinderella
(Milynn Sarley), Sleeping Beauty (Marah Fairclough) and Rapunzel
(Rileah Vanderbilt) ask to the Magic Mirror where Snow White is;
however, The Wolf (Kimo Leopoldo) has captured Red (Elizabeth Peterson
) and throws her through the Magic Mirror that breaks, sucking her, The
Wolf and the princesses to the modern world. Red chases The Wolf
through Los Angeles with a piece of the mirror pierced in her shoulder
while Snow White rescues the princesses in a car. Soon they learn that
Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin arrived a long time ago and
Rumpelstiltskin is now the major of Los Angeles. Further, their only
chance to return to Once Upon the Time is retrieving the piece of the
mirror from Red. But first they need to destroy Rumpelstiltskin and his
"Avengers Grimm" is a fantasy adventure with a great premise wasted by the lack of talent. The acting of the heroins is terrible highlighting Snow White and the blonde Sleeping Beauty; the screenplay and lines are ridiculous; the special effects are poor; and the fighting choreography and battle scenes are incredibly awful. Lou "Hulk" Ferrigno has a minor participation and it is always good to see this actor. It is very funny to see the blonde Sleeping Beauty breaking the piece of glass that would be their only chance to return to their world and her reaction. My vote is three.
Title (Brazil): "Avengers Grimm"
Paul Conway (Matthew Labyorteaux) and his mother Jeannie Conway (Anne
Twomey) travel to a new town where Paul will join the local university
invited by Dr. Johanson (Russ Marin). They bring the robot BB that was
developed by Paul, who is a genius in robotic. Paul befriends the
paperboy Tom Toomey (Michael Sharrett) and has a crush on his next door
neighbor Samantha Pringle (Kristy Swanson), whose abusive alcoholic
father Harry Pringle (Richard Marcus) frequently hurts her. One day,
Paul, Sam, Tom and BB are playing basketball and the ball fall in the
field of their paranoid grumpy neighbor Elvira Parker (Anne Ramsey)
that does not give it back to the teenagers. In Halloween, Tom
convinces Paul to let BB open the padlock of the entrance to her house.
However, there is an alarm system and Elvira blows up BB with her
shotgun. Then Harry pushes her daughter down the stairs and the doctors
let her brain-dead connected to the life support. However Paul
convinces Tom to go to the hospital to rescue Sam and then he implants
BB's chip into her brain resurrecting Samantha. But will she come back
to life normal?
"Deadly Friend" is an underrated cult movie from the 80's directed by Wes Craven in the beginning of his successful career. The story of friendship begins as a drama, with Samantha receiving bad treatment from he abusive father, and sci-fi with BB, maybe with one of the first artificial intelligences of the cinema. When Samantha becomes a zombie- robot, the plot becomes terror, but without gore, in the style of Franklenstein. Kristy Swanson is gorgeous and has a great chemistry with Matthew Labyorteaux. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "A Maldição de Samantha" ("The Samantha's Course")
Jay Height (Maika Monroe) dates Hugh (Jake Weary) and they have casual
sex on the backseat of his car. Then he abducts her and tells that he
has passed a curse through the intercourse to her and shows a walker
coming toward them. He warns that she must pass the curse to another
man; otherwise she will be hunted down by the walker. Further, the
walker changes form and may look like someone she loves. If it kills
her, he will be followed again. Jay shares the secret with her sister
Kelly Height (Lili Sepe) and her friends Yara (Olivia Luccardi), Paul
(Keir Gilchrist) and Greg Hannigan (Daniel Zovatto). Soon Jay learns
that Hugh has told the truth and her sister and friends try to help
her. Will she succeed to escape from the supernatural being?
"It Follows" is one of the most overrated horror movies that have been recently released. This time, the curse is neither a videotape ("Ringu" 1998) nor a phone call ("Chakushin ari" 2003), but sex. Therefore, there is no originality in the storyline. The lead actress has bad acting and accent and her promiscuous character does not help, taking the usual stupid decisions. It is difficult to understand the hype around this average horror film to manipulate certain type of viewer. My vote is five.
Title (Brazil): "Corrente do Mal" ("Chain of Evil")
Jack, Sam, Daniel and Teal'c visit a desert planet with skyscrapers and
buildings but no living soul. Out of the blue, they are attacked by
giant bugs and Teal'c is stung by one insect. The SG-1 needs to flee
back home when a swarm of bugs fly toward them. Dr. Janet Fraiser
examines Teal'c's infection and realizes that the virus left by the bug
is killing Teal'c and his symbiotic is not healing him. Further, in his
blood there is also a different DNA. Sam suggests to General Hammond to
summon the prominent Dr. Timothy Harlow, who is an authority in DNA
research. Soon Colonel Harry Maybourne comes to the SGC to take Teal'c
with him. Hammond does not succeed to contact the President to overrule
the order and Maybourne and his men take Teal'c in a van. However,
Teal'c manages to escape and hides in an old building where the girl
Ally helps him. Meanwhile the SG-1 returns to the planet to capture one
bug alive for research and discovers what has happened to the
inhabitants of the planet that were covered by a cocoon and transformed
into several bugs. When Ally meets Teal'c against, he is covered by a
cocoon. Will Teal'c be transformed into bugs too?
"Bane" is a good episode of Stargate SG-1, where the strong Teal'c is affected by an alien bug. The story is engaging and the detestable Maybourne has an important participation with his arrogant attitude. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Bane"
A couple of days before his wedding with Laura Garrety (Cameron Diaz),
Kyle Fisher (Jon Favreau) travels to Las Vegas for a bachelor party
with his friends Charles Moore (Leland Orser), Robert Boyd (Christian
Slater), Michael Berkow (Jeremy Piven) and his brother Adam Berkow
(Daniel Stern) in his minivan. They go to an apartment in the hotel and
get crazy drinking booze and using cocaine. When the stripper Tina
(Carla Scott, a.k.a. Kobe Tai) comes to their room, she teases the
friends and Michael goes with her to the bathroom to have sex. The
prostitute hits the hanger for towel with her nape and she dies. The
group panics, but Boyd convinces his friends to bury the woman in the
desert. However one security guard comes to the room because of the
noise and he glances at the dead body. He wants to call the police and
Boyd stabs him to death. Then they clean the room and bury the bodies
in the desert.
They return home and Adam freaks out with the situation, causing an accident with his wife Lois Berkow (Jeanne Tripplehorn) and children. Meanwhile Laura organizes the wedding party and during the rehearsal, Michael and Adam have a serious argument and Michael decides to hit the minivan of his brother. Adam tries to protect his minivan and is accidentally murdered by his brother. Soon Lois finds a note written by Adam and presses the group to know what happened in Vegas. What will happen to them?
"Very Bad Things" is one of the darkest comedies ever. The storyline of a group of friends that accidentally kills a woman is not original and has been used many times (for example, the 1997 low-budget "Stag"). However, "Very Bad Things" by Peter Berg has improved the story and is little gem of black humor. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "Uma Loucura de Casamento" ("A Crazzy Wedding")
The Twelve Chairs Years after the Russian Revolution in 1917, the
former aristocrat Ippolit Matveevich Vorobyaninov (Ron Moody) is
informed by his terminal mother-in- law that she has hidden her jewels
in a the upholstery of chair from a set of twelve chairs. The Orthodox
Father Fyodor (Dom DeLuise) also hears and leaves the Church to seek
out the treasure. Vorobyaninov travels to his old house and meets his
former servant Tikon (Mel Brooks) that adores him. He learns that the
chairs had been expropriated by the new government and sent to another
place. However the con artist Ostap Bender (Frank Langella) convinces
Vorobyaninov to be his partner. They travel to Moscow where Ostap
succeeds in luring Father Fyodor, telling that the chairs belong to the
Engineer Bruns (David Lander), who has very similar chairs and lives
with his wife in Siberia. Will Vorobyaninov and Ostap find the twelve
"The Twelve Chairs" is a typical Mel Brooks' comedy with the usual type of humor with a satire to the Russian Revolution. This comedy is also the debut of Frank Langella in the cinema. Fans of Mel Brooks will certainly like it, but who is not his fan may not find this comedy entertaining. My vote is six.
Title (Brazil): "Banzé na Rússia" ("Mess in Russia")
In the 50's, the eight year-old Seth Dove (Jeremy Cooper) uses to play
prank with his friends Kim (Evan Hall) and Eben (Codie Lucas Wilbee) in
the rural area of the United States. Seth lives with his father Luke
Dove (Duncan Fraser), who runs a gas station and a junkyard in the
middle of nowhere, and with his dysfunctional mother Ruth Dove (Sheila
Moore), who misses her son Cameron Dove (Viggo Mortensen) that fought
in the Pacific. One day, Luke is reading a vampire pulp and Seth asks
his father about vampires. When Seth has to apologize for a prank to
his neighbor, the widow Dolphin Blue (Lindsay Duncan), he believes she
is a vampire. Eben is found murdered and Sheriff Ticker (Robert Koons)
and his Deputy (David Bloom) blame Luke that has record of molestation.
Luke does not bear the accusation and commits suicide while Seth
believes Dolphin killed Eben. Cameron returns and soon he has a love
affair with Dolphin while his little brother tries to discourage his
brother to meet her. Kim is abducted by a group of youths in a black
Cadillac and Seth witnesses the kidnapping. Soon Kim's body is found in
a barn but Seth does not tell the Sheriff. When Dolphin asks for a ride
to the driver of the Cadillac, Seth does not warn her. What will happen
"The Reflecting Skin" is an unknown little gem by Philip Ridley, with one of the darkest and weirdest stories of cinema. The disturbing plot is very well constructed and uses the innocence of a wicked eight year- old boy and how he fantasizes his interpretation of reality. All the characters are non-likable and vicious, from the children and families to the Sheriff and his Deputy. The cinematography is also very beautiful in the rural landscape with bright colors. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "O Reflexo do Mal" ("The Reflection of Evil")
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