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870 reviews in total 
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Replikator (1994)
Trying too hard, 21 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie tries to be an edgy Cyber-punk movie about the dangers of technology. It has too much stuff going on, where you just can't follow the plot.

So you have a situation where they've developed Star Trek style Replicators and someone wants to make organic material out of it. Two companies race to the goal, and during the course of some sabotage, one of the designers is copied, but his copy is evil. Because copies are always evil in movies like this.

The dialog is clunky, and there's an outsized role for Ned Beatty, probably because he was the only actor involved anyone has heard of in mainstream movies. That and the girl playing the mannish VR stripper. Not sure why her character was even in there, other than when she was younger, she was big in blue films.

I think another two or three rewrites by people who knew what they were doing could have made this a better movie. And it did have some interesting concepts of what a horrible time 2014 is going to be.

Cool Air (2006) (V)
A Lovecraft Story that didn't need to be adapted, 21 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Lovecraft's original story is only about nine pages.

This movie pads it out into a hour and half of boredom, unnecessary characters and a gender switch of the protagonist. (Lovecraft had almost no female characters in his stories.)

It looks like everyone involved in this film was related, and it kind of looks like one of those awful fan films you see on YouTube without the good CGI.

Of course, the movie is made a bit worse by the fact that we know now that "Science doesn't work like that", and they try to add a supernatural element that Lovecraft didn't bother with. (Supernatural elements and C'Thulhu being in his future.) We also see creepy scenes of a narrator hitting on an an autistic girl.

The dialog is just dreadful when they try to add onto Lovecraft's original narrative.

Tom Selleck in Filipino exploitation theater, 21 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So a production company in the Philippines decides to cash in on the Exorcist craze, and makes a movie about witches and stuff.

So an American Art dealer finds a picture of a 16th century witch burning where the head witch looks like his wife, and the other witches look like other women he runs into. And after some whacky encounters his wife is possessed by the witch who wants to kill him because his ancestor burned them. Or something.

This movie is made on the cheap and the best thing I can say is that Selleck is swinging for the fences in his acting. The rest of the cast, American and Filipino alike, seem like they are waiting for their checks to clear. "Oh, I'm topless in this scene? Do I get paid extra for that?"

3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Once again, a DCAU success, 8 August 2016

Memo to Warner Brothers and DC.

Fire everyone involved in your live action movies for the DC universe, and hire the people who write and run the animated division to write the scripts.

Once again, Kevin Conroy returns as Batman and Mark Hamill as the Joker. This is a much more adult story than Batman the Animated Series, but Hamill is at the top of his game, playing the Joker as this mixture of brilliance and madness.

The animation is gorgeous.

I'm taking one point off for the musical number. Other than that, it was pretty good.

Alienator (1990)
Hammy cheese sci-fi, 7 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is awful.

So we have this alien society that is about to execute a rebel, even though they all speak colloquial American English, they can't understand humans when they land on Earth.

The scenes on the space station starring a drunken Jan Michael Vincent are actually pretty interesting, but the movie goes down hill when the alien escapee arrives on Earth, and is followed by a truly ridiculous looking female cyborg.

The acting and dialog are terrible, and we don't get any idea of whom we are supposed to be cheering for.

The beginning of the Trilogy that you never heard of, 3 August 2016

this is the first of three movies about Paula the Ape Woman, who probably barely merited one.

This one stars John Carradine, as a mad scientist who uses glands to change a gorilla into a human woman.

The movie also contains a lot of footage of big cat acts from the 1940's that would never be allowed today because of the abuse to the animals involved. Animals were definitely harmed in the making of this film.

When the Mad Scientist kills more people than the Monster, then you probably have a weak monster. Carradine has some great scenery chewing moments, but Aquanetta is just scenery... no dialog and no depth to her character.

Holmes phones it in!, 2 August 2016

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Spoilers if you haven't read the novel or seen one of the 20 or so better adaptations of the story.

Probably one of the poorer adaptations of Arthur Conan Doyle's novel, this one has Matt Frewer (a good actor) as Holmes who is absent for most of the movie. While this is close to the original story (which is mostly told from the view of Dr. Watson) Holmes is more absent from this adaptation than he normally is. This one is written in a way where Watson probably would have figured it out for himself given another ten minutes.

I can't give this one a good review, and I love a lot of the quirkier Holmes adaptations... even the one where Watson is a Chinese woman for some reason.

8 out of 21 people found the following review useful:
Mixed feeling about a pretty good movie, 26 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Or maybe I'm just not the wide-eyed teenager I was when saw Star Wars (I refuse to call it "A New Hope") in 1977.

J.J. Abrams has produced a pretty good story here, but much like his Star Trek movie, I don't think he fully grasps the source material. For Instance, when the Death Star Mark III blows up "The Republic", what were they blowing up, exactly? Coruscant from the prequel films? (Other outside material indicates it's another planet) Who is the First Order, and why do they seem to have updated versions of all the Empire's Stuff? It seems like 30 years have passed since "Return of the Jedi", but things seem pretty much the same.

And then there is Luke Skywalker, who doesn't show up until the last 30 second of the film and looks like a homeless person.

Now I'm going to talk about the whole scene where (SPOILERS) Han Solo is killed by his son, Ren. It's very derivative, of when Obi-Wan is killed In Star Wars of Qua-gon is killed in "Phantom Menace". That and apparently there are no safety-rails in the Star Wars universe. So we have someone else dropping thousands of feet after being wounded with a light-saber.

I do like the fact this film had a strong female protagonist, a conflicted anti-hero. I like the fact that when a planet is destroyed, we actually get to see the horrified people on it. (Something that was missing from Star Wars, and emphasized the true horror of the weapon).

I like the fact the battle scenes looked like they involved real actors in real costumes, and not some CGI'd cloned troopers versus robots. It felt more REAL to me, especially when you see the ground littered with casualties, just like you'd have in a real war.

I like the First Order. It seems truly evil in a way the Sith and Empire were not in the earlier films. (They kidnap and brainwash babies to be Stormtroopers). I also like the star ship effects. I like that the desert planet appears to have suffered severe consequences of the War.

IN short, it was a great movie, but it raised more questions than it answered about a universe that is very familiar to its fans.

B movies can be fun, 20 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie is a mish-mash of B-movie elements. You have time travel, you have cyborgs, you have Denise Crosby Side-Boob.

So the plot is a mad scientist intends to travel back in time and use his advanced technology to remake the Roman Empire in his own image. He uses time traveling cyborg John Doe, who rebels against his programming and finds Denise Crosby to enlist her help. They are joined by a bad Indiana Jones knockoff and a worse Kung Fu knockoff.

But as the sum of its parts, it's kind of a fun movie to watch. Considering they had no budget and few good actors, they kind of did okay with it. Enjoy it for what it is, B-movie 1980's cheese.

2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
Film Noir meets monster movie, 19 December 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is an interesting film where they took a film noir plot and transplanted it (pun intended) into a monster movie.

So a nice guy from a small town goes looking for his sister who has been tricked into a 'white slavery' ring (They never do outright say, "Prostitution" because Hayes Board and stuff) and ends up getting framed for the murder of a gangster by rival gangsters.

The hilarity begins when Mad Scientist George Zucco transplants the nice guy's brain into the body of a gorilla, because that never goes badly in these kinds of movies. The movie then proceeds as the gangster's henchmen are slowly picked off by the Gorilla, which has mysteriously acquired stealth ninja skills in addition to being, you know, a gorilla.

Kudos to the guy in the monkey suit, as he pulls off his scenes with a bit of pathos, like when he encounters his old dog who knows its him. This movie has a lot of really nice touches like that, but it's mostly just fun cheese.

I also think it is interesting as a snapshot of how society was back then, not being able to talk frankly about sex but lots of smoking scenes.

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