Reviews written by registered user
|65 reviews in total|
Good grief this is bad....
Standard Cold War paranoia (Martin Landau suitable wasted here in a 'if I have to talk to the Russians then its not worth saving the planet kind of role) mixes with LOUSY special effects even for 1979.
Throw in some ropey acting, an impressive all star cast that would rather be somewhere else but needed the cash to pay off an urgent gas bill or something and some truly dreadful set design and you have the final nail in the coffin of the 1970's disaster movie genre.
The avalanche was poorly done, too much stock footage was used and the New York collision sequence was unfortunate, particularly with the meteorite fragment going right through the upper part of the World Trade Centre (and its subsequent collapse in flames) being an uncomfortable parallel of tragic future events - this was shown on the BBC two days after the second anniversary of that tragedy by the way....
If they had refined the script and maybe sorted out some better money on the special effects then this could have been good, as it stands however it makes the woeful but similar Deep Impact of some twenty years later look like Shakespeare....
Well this was a surprise....
I had heard dreadful reviews about this, indeed it was difficult to find anyone who had seen it and liked it but I digress.....
I have always been an Arnie fan but missed this one until I picked it up cheap on DVD - I was pleasantly surprised by the film, not at all what I was expecting.
Some good set pieces are matched up to a quite well thought out script (although a little silly in places including the no relevance to the plot whatsoever sex scene) as Arnie basically fights big Mr Evil himself in the form of the brilliant Gabriel Byrne whilst protecting the young girl branded to become the devil's wife.
We will overlook the obvious plot holes (girl destined to be Satan's missus being raised by Devil Worshippers yet she hasn't been raised as one herself - Huh? and what happens if she was infertile or something?) and point out the excellent performances by Arnie and also Gabriel Byrne who steals every scene he is in - the scene with his 'sales pitch' between him and Arnie being particularly memorable.
Some decent special effects and some surprises along the way with the girl being pursued by the good (?) guys (the Vatican's very own hit squad no less) as well as the bad guys leads to a necessarily spectacular climax with an ending that even had me feeling a little dampness in the eye - just one question - what does she do now?
Leave your pre-conceptions about Arnie films at the door and just watch it - you will be surprised.
Here is a confession - I like this film!
OK we are not into major scares here and the mass gore is pretty much dispensed with in the first ten minutes but as a suspense film this holds its own pretty well.
Notable mentions to the two leading ladies (characters of Katie and Epps) and to the special effects guys for the brilliant work on the Antonio Graza both in mint and later wrecked condition. It was nice to discover that they actually built a massive model of the ship (then wrecked/aged it) and also the massive realistic sets and not resorted to wall to wall CGI (Mr Lucas please take note)
The massive flashback sequence that Katie guides Epps through does jar a bit but is necessary although there are still a few areas that I felt needed explaining (see special features on DVD and much will be revealed).
Admittedly the supporting cast do go through the motions a bit as they are lined up for their inevitable demise, Gabriel Byrne as some good lines but is ultimately wasted as the Captain of the salvage tug and a number of plot holes do manifest themselves here and there (where are the bodies? 800 plus people is a lot, there should have been someone there from the original passengers and crew other than Katie surely?)
Some say this film is awful - I say think again, this is good, Ok not brilliant but good leave the brain at the door entertainment. And for the first time in years I did not see the plot revelation at the end of the flashback sequence coming at all - a pleasant surprise!
Lowell Cannon and Jim Thomas - Herein I name and shame the writers
responsible for what must be one of the most awful pieces of Science
film writing I have ever had the misfortune to witness.
Don't get me wrong, I love Sci-Fi but this was bad in all the wrong ways!
A superb cast trying to do Apollo 13 with 2001 and failing miserably. Yes the special effects in space where good, the gigantic alien sand Hoover or whatever it was supposed to be at the beginning on Mars was however simply laughable.
Conveniently forgetting basic principles of physics (there is a thin atmosphere on Mars guys and your tent has got a lot of holes in it!!) this diatribe of codswallop wasted a perfectly good cast on a badly written story with an ending that simply defied belief.
An excellent (as ever) Ennio Morricone soundtrack was also wasted on this film whilst Gary Sinise looked like he was stoned out of his mind for most of the proceedings - he must have been to agree to do this rubbish!
Oh yes, the planets where orbiting the sun the wrong way around as well!
In a word - avoid!!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A misunderstood and often unfairly condemned entry in the Mad Max
CAUTION! SPOILERS AHEAD!
In the beginning was the era of the White Line nightmare, the collapse of civilisation as a few struggled to keep law and order against the rising tide of anarchy. That was Mad Max the original movie.
Then came Mad Max 2 (The Road Warrior) and the story moved on, the struggle to survive after the collapse that had begun in the era of the first film.
Beyond Thunderdome attempts to bring the saga full circle as some resemblance of civilisation and organisation begins to rise from the ashes and the cities become populated once again, hopefully setting the scene for the battles and action in the forthcoming Fury Road.
Thunderdome does suffer from a slight 'Hollywoodisation' and many will recognise a few elements straight out of the action movie handbook probably at the insistence of the studio.
However the spirit of Mad Max is still there, the struggle to survive against the odds in the ever changing world. Many have bemoaned the lack of decent car chases in the same way as the previous two films, which is understandable, however it must be remembered that this is fifteen years after the fall of civilisation and oil is non-existent practically.
A chase between a train (we will skip over the nicely maintained track myster!) and various bespoke vehicles is a bit of a rehash of the excellent chase from Road Warrior but fills the bill. It does appear a little stilted and short though as though there was meant to be more of it but we will probably never know.
Annoyingly Brian May who did the amazing soundtrack for the first two Max films was passed over here in favour of Maurice Jarre (Studio insistence?) However he still manages a good soundtrack here (sadly missing several key sections on the CD of the music). Tina Turner does the contractual obligation of most films post 1985 by providing opening and closing songs.
Overall the performances are good as usual from Mel Gibson as our slightly reluctant hero. Tina Turner lords it up for all she can get as Auntie, the leader of Bartertown with the usual supporting cast of henchmen and loonies in weird outfits driving even weirder machines!
Of the supporting characters, Helen Buday was excellent as the young warrior princess Savannah Nix which makes it a shame she has not done more film work, Robert Grubb as Pigkiller was a character I felt needed more explanation and development whilst Bruce Spence is back as a similar (although apparently different!) character to his Gyrocaptain from The Road Warrior.
Nothing however compares with the quite simply stunning closing sequence with the ruins of Sydney (Harbour Bridge, Opera House, etc) that was achieved with amazing accuracy using real models - who needs CGI?
This and the other Mad Max films do deserve decent DVD releases though with load of extras, the full soundtrack and deleted scenes I feel if they are to bring any justice to them. Hopefully with the new Fury Road on the way, someone at Warner Bros DVD Dept might take the hint?
So with Savannah closing with her 'tell' we see Max set off into the wasteland sunset hopefully to return in Mad Max 4 - Fury Road.
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