Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Not exactly scary, but creepy in places
The second diversion from the series' main storyline (if storyline's not too strong a word, which it is) following 'Paranormal Activity: Tokyo Nights' is more of the same, but as always there are a few creepy moments here and there. Despite relying far too much on exposition that thuds gracelessly onto the screen, writer/director Christopher Landon understands the effectiveness of the dark corners of the frame.
There's something bothersome about the shift from big posh houses to street crime and gangbangers in order to lure in the Latino audience, but despite the change in setting there's not much in the way of innovation here. It's a bit dull, there's no way the camera would stay on through half the stuff that happens, there's no way that half the characters would let themselves be filmed like this (particularly towards the end) - but there's not much point in complaining this far down the line.
Disneyland: I-Man (1986)
It's silly but pretty enjoyable
A dumb but fun TV movie with Scott Bakula as a cabbie who gets caught in an explosion when a NASA truck carrying mysterious gas from another galaxy crashes while driving through the suburbs (yup). When he wakes up in hospital Bakula discovers that he's now indestructible and agrees to help the government capture villainous plotter and future 'Quantum Leap' guest star John Anderson before he blows up the Golden Gate Bridge.
The movie is pretty ordinary and doesn't live up to its outlandish premise, but there are some funny moments here and there, and some classic '80s stunts including old favourites like dangling from a moving vehicle and hanging off a helicopter. Bakula's fun in a role just a few years away from his big breakthrough and he's the reason I watched this many years ago.
I love me some horror anthologies, and this one's... all right.
The final segment, 'Lover's Vow' is by far the best, with a friend of James Remar's getting attacked and killed by a creature that spares Remar's life on the condition that he never disclose what happened or describe the creature to anyone. Good stuff.
We also have 'Lot 249', which doesn't go anywhere unexpected, although the ending's pretty neat; and 'Cat from Hell', which is dull apart from one bizarre scene in which a cat forces itself down a hit-man's throat. There'a also a framing device with Deborah Harry imprisoning a young boy who reads her the various stories.
Hit and miss, then, but on the whole - perfectly adequate.
The Brady Bunch Movie (1995)
A decent riff on the TV series
Being British I was never exposed to 'The Brady Bunch' growing up so this movie is the only taste I've had of it other than a few clips and a vague awareness of the thing. And it's not bad at all, although possibly it would be sacrilegious to anyone who loves the original series.
The set-up here is that despite the rest of the world moving into the '90s, the Bradys are still stuck in their '70s sitcom world. It's a funny idea and it yields quite a few genuine laughs (Michael McKean hoovers up most of the best bits) while riffing on the plots and conventions of sitcoms (a date with two guys at the same time; the house coming under threat). It's affectionate rather than condescending, and it's all very jolly and enjoyable.
Does not compute
A boring SF stiff written and directed by Michael Crichton, with Tom Selleck as a cop who hunts down rogue robots. Given that the central premise of the movie revolves around these mechanical characters you might think that they were something special, but these are the saddest looking robots you'll ever see. One near the beginning of the movie looks like a cat carrier, and there's also a forensics robot that looks like a vacuum cleaner.
Anyway, the villain sabotages these boxy machines so they go mad, and Selleck and his partner have to put a stop to his dull plan. The movie plods along at a pace slower than a broken down Roomba and it all looks pretty crummy to boot.
Tintin et le lac aux requins (1972)
A crummy Tintin movie
This lousy animated feature utterly fails to capture the spirit of Herge's books. The sluggish and dull story sees Tintin and Captain Haddock running into art thieves while visiting Professor Calculus, and so begins a plot with no twists or surprises.
The identity of the villain is obvious from the moment he appears in a chair with only his arms visible, the actor voicing Haddock sounds like Stephen Hawking's computer, the animation is below par (especially the backgrounds), the scale is limited and the score is irritating.
It is, to be precise, rubbish. Tintin later appeared in animated form in a TV series that was inessential but far superior to this effort (or lack thereof).
My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988)
Sort of okay
A tacky but mildly enjoyable comedy in which alien Kim Basinger lands on Earth with her one-eyed handbag to reverse a death ray unwittingly sent towards her planet by astronomer Dan Aykroyd, and yes, the plot is nonsense. Aykroyd falls for Basinger despite the fact that she has nowhere to live, has an American accent but claims to be from Holland, and acts like a mental patient. Then again, if Basinger wanted to bed down with you three hours after you'd met, would you argue?
Anyway, after some 'Splash' type antics the film becomes pretty lame, with Basinger drinking battery acid and the dog stealing the show. The two leads and Jon Lovitz are more fun than the script deserves, but it manages to be pretty watchable despite being, essentially, a load of rubbish.
L.A. Takedown (1989)
Worth watching for the curiosity value
Essentially a dry run for 'Heat', a modern classic that I find pretty dull; but even at half the length 'L.A. Takedown' is twice as boring. There isn't much time to set up the characters, so Scott Plank (tee hee) and Alex McArthur aren't too convincing as the cop and the crook, respectively, and there isn't much tension between them.
This isn't the film's fault, but I couldn't help comparing it to 'Heat' and ticking off which characters were played by other actors in the superior version. Plank and McArthur in this one, Pacino and DeNiro in the redo - you can't really compete with that, can you? The famous shootout and confrontation scenes are present and correct but pack nothing like the same punch. It's a footnote of a movie.
The Puppet Masters (1994)
'The Puppet Masters' is terrible, but I'll preface this review by saying that you should read screenwriter Terry Rossio's piece 'Building the Bomb' on his Wordplayer site, which details how a well-intentioned adaptation of Robert Heinlein's book went completely wrong and we ended up with this thing.
It's a rip-off of 'Invasion of the Body Snatchers', basically, with a bit of 'Aliens' thrown in at the end. It's dumb and it's predictable, with Julie Warner sussing out who's possessed and who isn't by seeing whether or not they look down her top, and then the plot leaps forward with scant explanation for how the scientists know what they know in order to defeat the creatures.
Wooden performances, a dull pace and iffy effects, particularly in the blue screen department in the not-very-exciting finale, make this a bit of a chore to watch.
Could have been tighter
A well made and low key B-movie in which a hospital is trapped in a forcefield while two aliens search for their escaped prisoner. It's probably most notable for the plot provided by Robert Holmes, who later cannibalised it for the far superior 'Doctor Who' story 'Spearhead from Space', which introduced Jon Pertwee's third Doctor.
Anyway, back to 'Invasion'. While it's solid and has some effective moments (like the doctor driving his car straight into the invisible forcefield and smashing through the windscreen) the movie is also humourless and slow moving, which is a shame as with a few nips and tucks it would have been much improved. Valerie Gearon's pretty sexy, though, so it's not all bad.