Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
Enterprise: Dead Stop (2002)
Pure sci-fi glory. Superb episode!
Now this is more like it!
After the major canon faux pas of Carbon Creek it's great to see a return to some pure sci-fi.
The great thing about this episode is that it is completely self contained. No big story arcs running through it and no dangerous and disrespectful shoehorning in of races like Ferengi or Romulan that hadn't even been discovered by TOS crew as seen in previous episodes of Enterprise.
A very creepy vibe throughout as it is set on an unmanned and automated alien space station, the best part being that it is left open to speculation as to just who built it creating some great mystery.
This is pure Star Trek and pure sci-fi glory diving headfirst in to new territory and no relying on old gags.
Enterprise: Carbon Creek (2002)
By 2002 they should have known not to mess with canon
I was apprehensive about this episode as the story of three Vulcans crash landing on Earth in the 1950's was too much f*&%^&g with Canon for my liking and pretty much made the epic events of the film 'First Contact' seem obsolete.
In actuality the episode is quite enjoyable and it's actually rather cool to see the situations the Vulcans get in but I'm afraid Berman and Braga pushed it too far by suggesting one of them stayed on Earth for the next hundred years amongst the humans.
Another slap is that they gave the episode the perfect opportunity to rectify the situation by suggesting T'Pol told a made up story to affectionately fool Archer and Trip but they went and ruined it by showing concrete proof that it did in fact happen.
A well made episode it may be but screwing with canon this way is the kind of dangerous and arrogant writing that makes hardcore fans give up and by 2002 they really should have know how rabidly picky Star Trek fans were about their franchise and this was probably the start of the show's gradual drift from popularity.
Double Dragon (1994)
Zero quality in any area
I'm going to start by saying that there has only ever been one great video game to move adaptation and that was the terrific Mortal Kombat and that should give you an idea of what direction I'm going in with this review.
I'm not your average movie goer, I am first and for-most a retro gamer and in the 80's and 90's I lived and breathed computer and video games with Double Dragon being one of my all time favourite games. It's now 2014 and for 20 years I have avoided seeing this film. I deliberately dodged it when it came out because I just knew in my heart of hearts that not only would it have nothing to do with the game but it would be watered down kids action with bad acting all round.
Well guess what, I was right!
Double Dragon: the Movie is atrocious!!! Seriously, it really is that bad. Now I'm a big fan of low budget post apocalyptic action films from the 90's but even then Double Dragon takes the biscuit for just sheer lack of quality on all counts.
The film features I think THE worst acting I think I have ever seen. the delivery of the cringe worthy lines is so bad it makes King Of The Kickboxers look like an Oscar winner, but then those kind of films are backed up with a quaint charm and great fight scenes, Double Dragon has absolutely none of that whatsoever and is a magnificent turd from start to finish.
I'm convinced that video game adaptations were simply cash makers given to first time or music video directors to dip their toe in the film world because the name would generate at least a bit of revenue and it really didn't matter whether the actual film was good or not.
As for the game well, it had a pretty thin story I'll admit, but there was no reason why they couldn't have taken that thin story and built on it instead of making up this mystical nonsense and almost completely changing everything which just p*****d off fans of the game who should have been the films main target instead of the simpering under 10 year old's that it was aimed at.
I will be fair, there are one or two positive points in the film but they are extremely trivial. One is the matte paintings used for wide shots of the earthquake ravaged city, they are quite nice and add a bit of atmosphere. Two is Mark Dacascos, he is a fine martial artist and a decent actor but even he struggles in this film. Third and finally is Robert Patrick who genuinely looks like he's having some fun. When he accepted this role Mr Patrick was either desperate for work or he is the absolute King and master of not giving a f**k and I suspect it is the latter because he seems to take a lot of glee in hamming it up and ham it up he does, but with a bit of a wink.
Another small point I'd like to make in the interest of fairness is that if you were young and saw this film when it came out then I can totally understand the nostalgia value attached to it and how that can make any film seem so much more enjoyable but being such a huge fan of the game I was never going to have that even if I saw it in 1994 so this review is completely objective.
That's about it! I don't think I've ever given any film a 1 before but Double Dragon truly deserves it. A great, steaming pile of utter s**t that bears practically zero resemblance to the great game on which it is based and is an absolutely terrible example of film making in itself.
Stands head and shoulders over most of it's genre.
OK so this film is about as far from the DooM game as you can get which is a shame because there is much in the game that could be translated to film with a bit of padding.
So is it a bad film? Absolutely not! In fact DooM: The Film stands head and shoulders above other movies of this genre. It is a slick, well made, well produced action sci-fi film with some genuinely claustrophobic moments and one or two likable characters.
OK it's pretty much an Aliens rip-off but in saying that it's done extremely well and should be commended for quality rather than originality. t's sort of in the same league as Demolition man but without the big Star but it has all the trimmings present, tough (and humorously sleazy) marines, moody lighting, great sets and some excellent monsters.
There's also some really nice sci-fi ideas that are thrown in t the mix as well with things like the Ark and the Nanowall and that's the stuff I like to see in films such as this.
Now I'm not some weekend warrior when it comes to games. I lived and breathed computer & video games in the 80's & 90's and Doom was no exception but I guess I went in to this film knowing that things would probably be changed but what I didn't expect was a very decent and highly re-watchable sci-fi film.
To be fair the film probably would have done a bit better ad gotten less hate had it been renamed and was released as a stand alone sci-fi film but then again the excellent first person bit of the film wouldn't have made much sense. It was never going to win any awards but it is what t is and it's good at it.
Don't listen to little fat angry gamers, DooM is a solid action sci-fi that is great to dig out if you're in the mood for such a film and has plenty to satisfy fans of this genre.
Brilliant and dark adaptation. If this offends your faith you need a word with yourself!
First off let me say I am agnostic. I sway firmly on the side of science, logic and technology because that is simply what has been proved to be real to me but as a species who have barely left the surface of the planet no-one, and I mean no-one can know absolutely there is no divine force out there so to me, absolutes are just not logical.
I was stunned at reading just how much hate this film has got from religious types and even more stunned at the ignorance from each faith towards each other. Yes, even I who has had no religious inklings past Sunday school when I was a boy know that Noah is featured in The Christian, Jewish and Islamic faiths but seemingly people from these walks don't even bother to find that out.
The film itself I found to be glorious. It is an adaptation yes but what do you expect? It's a Hollywood film after all, not a religious documentary and if you are a person of faith who expected a pin point accurate depiction of he tale of Noah and spat the dummy when you saw this then you are a prick plain and simple.
It took a while for me to get in to the film I'll admit but once there I was pretty captivated. A tremendous cast plays out a very unpredictable story. This is the beauty of an adaptation, even though we all know what happens in the Noah story there were times where I was honestly on the edge of my seat because I didn't quite know what was going to happen next and surely that is far better than just re-treading old ground. The film looks amazing with lush landscapes that look otherworldly and that added a great deal to the atmosphere because it didn't feel like it was set on Earth and I liked it. My only issue is with the CGI which, for 2014 is very sub par, particularly in how the Watchers move but it doesn't take away from the story.
Let's be frank, the tale of Noah is a fine children's story but it is a tired old yarn that if done super accurately would maybe fill 40 minutes of screen time if that and there would be no twists and turns anywhere and would probably consist of half of that with everyone saying how great God is.
This adaptation was dark and gritty but also very surreal as well. Everyone had a different accent in the film,but the fact that this could have EASILY been a sci-fi fantasy film set in another dimension is a very welcome feature. The very fact that God is always refereed to as 'The Creator' really gave me much more of a chill and sense of a super powerful being than any argument that I've heard in favour of faiths.
a fun thing it reminded me of was the PC game Black & White here you play a god to a whole worlds that was nice.
I knew I was in for something different when I heard that Darren Aronofsky was at the helm and I wasn't disappointed.
Seriously, if you are religious then that is fine, really! God/Allah/Jehovah be with you and all that but this taking offence at the slightest thing to do with faith is really why the world has such a dim view of religion these days. The film did not portray Noah as an evil man but just a man and if you are that upset over a few changes to a story that is in a film designed for entertainment then you really need to prioritise your life better.
Top marks for a film that is entertaining, disturbing captivating and unnerving.
American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt (1989)
Less military & better fight scenes. A proper martial arts film!
American Ninja 3 is almost universally hated by fans of the first two films, probably because Michael Dudikoff does not reprise his role as Joe Armstrong and 'new blood' was cast instead. Perhaps it failed because it dared to carry the American Ninja name instead of trying to be a stand alone film. Then again maybe people only watched it because of the name!
In any case, American Ninja 3 is my favourite of the series, mainly because it drops the military fetish of the previous films in favour of pure martial arts action. The acting is neither above nor below the first two films and shouldn't be a factor in this genre anyway. Where American Ninja 3 excels is the action. The fight scenes are so much better choreographed than the clumsy action of the first two films. David Bradley is obviously a real martial artist and this casting makes a tremendous difference to the choreography. Gone are the simple throws and tight camera work tailored to mask Dudikoff's lack of martial skill and now we have lots of fast wide angle fights with flashy kicks and some meaty sound effects. The 80's style and fashions of the film only help to make me smile and of course the fantastic Steve James (the real star of the show) makes a welcome return.
I guess it's all down to taste. I was brought up on Eastern Martial arts films with fine choreography from an early ages so when the American market started their attempts in the 80's the fights just weren't up to scratch for me and the first two films were a disappointment in that area as well as being more A-Team than Ninja.
American Ninja 3 addresses these points and gets the focus of the film (the fights) right and that's all anyone can ask for in this genre, because if you are looking for moving acting or tremendous plots you are looking in the wrong genre.
Not a patch on Hong Kong films but s solid martial arts film in it's own right!
American Shaolin (1991)
Entertaining but no patch on the previous films
Having been a great fan of the No retreat No Surrender films and King Of The Kickboxers since I was a boy in the 80's I had never got around to seeing this sequel to the series.
As a direct sequel to King Of The Kickboxers first off I must say that its not as good, no where near it in fact. The acting is atrocious but in these kind of films that is perfectly acceptable although the fight's are almost no-where to be seen. After the opening fight almost an hour passes with no action whatsoever. The ones that do crop up are well choreographed but lack the intensity of any of the previous films fight scenes due to some slow movements and very tight close camera-work.
It's an engaging film though, most likely because it is a complete rip off of Bruce Lee's Kung Fu starring David Carradine. A few monks talking with American accents sort of spoil the feel and the main character is pretty unlikable and a bit arrogant.It's an entertaining film in itself though and worth a watch if you are a fan of the series.
A few more regular fights and more imaginative choreography and it would have been great but as it stands it's not a patch on King of the Kickoxers.
Turtles Forever (2009)
Probably the best turtles film so far but inaccurate portrayals of the 80's team.
Having never even heard of this film until now (mid 2014) I took a chance and gave it a whirl. What I found was a highly enjoyable film that is obviously made for fans.
The plot is actually very, very good and ties in well with the concept of dimensions heavily used in the 80's series the action moves along smoothly although the screenplay will not win any awards.
Special mention must go to the re-creation of the 80's style animation which I have to say is scarily accurate and a joy to watch again!
The only two downside to this film is that the original voice actors of the 80's cartoon not be involved because of union disputes (and the sad passing away of James Avery (Uncle Phil/Shredder) means it can never be re-dubbed!) The second downer in the film is that the 80's turtles were portrayed far too goofily. It was a goof show yes,but having rewatched it recently I can honestly say that it was never as daft as is portrayed in Turtles Forever. Not disrespectful as they do have their great moments but there is just one too many obvious and unnecessary jibes.
To end of a positive note another special mention must go to the animation and portrayal of turtles Prime. The are absolutely BAD-ASS and although no real violence was shown they had the attitude and I'll be honest....I wouldn't hate seeing a whole series done in that fashion with maybe a bit more gore and adult themes because lets face it, the child fans of the 80's like me are all grown up now and the comic on which turtles prime was based was much more violent and gritty.
I enjoyed the computer animated TMNT film but I'd say this is a better film for the fans overall and is a hidden gem that really needs more advertising.
if you can look by the borderline rude treatment and inaccurate portrayal of the 80's turtles then you will enjoy it greatly!
Highly innovative show that lost it's spirit in later seasons.
After discovering this series again I made it my mission to revisit the glorious sci-fi adventure that I remembered from when I was a teenager. I only saw the first season and a half when it first aired so I was curious as to how the show would develop as well as how well it stands the test of time.
I'm afraid I'll have to break this review into two parts which is Seasons 1-3 and post season 3.
The acting is all round very good. Jerry O' Connell makes a likable lead although his characters boy genius skills don't seem to be used much. Sabrina Lloyd is fine as cute eye candy but there are episodes where the girl really does show she is not a pretty face by turning i some very convincing alter ego performances that you would swear are different people. Cleavant Derreks' 'Crying Man' is a wonderful character who is both likable and fun to watch. He's not comic relief by any means but you do smile when he is in action.The wonderful John Rhys-Davis shines as usual as Professor Arturo. It's hard to go wrong with Rhys Davis, he is a superb actor and thoroughly convincing in everything he does. My only gripe is that I didn't really like the character he was playing. The arrogant hot headed, sometimes spiteful and jealous Arturo just isn't a character that you grow to love although he is at heart a good person and this shows but I would much rather he'd have been a gentle and kind fatherly figure (maybe more like Brian Blessed's Professor Atticus) rather than the bad tempered oaf that he is written as. Either way Rhys Davis plays the role amazingly and it's great to see he is handy in a fight!
Season 1 is by far the strongest! Some innovative ideas and scenarios coupled with some easy to understand but still very interesting science.
The seasons do deteriorate as they progress but seasons 2 and 3 still have some very good ideas and are most certainly worth watching.
Unfortunately after this the show takes, I wouldn't say a nosedive but a less intelligent approach. Gone are the gentle thinking episodes of exploration and in comes bang, bang no-think action which all but drains the essence of the show.
They are certainly not bad seasons but with the thinking gone and one by one the cast members disappearing then it's hard to say that the show really has held on to it's true spirit.
There are other annoyances though. More than one reference is made to America the great and the most powerful country in the world (not great for an internationally aired show) and some of the stereotypes and treatment of these for me bordered on the xenophobic. The writers must really love their stars and stripes and it's easy to see why John Rhys-Davis, a proud Welshman playing an Englishman would have maybe felt uncomfortable, especially as his character is the butt of most of the jokes in the show.
Sliders was and still is a really innovative and original take on the sci-fi adventure. The show's premise was intelligent not only in concept but the fact that locations and characters could be re-used and perfectly tie in with the story.
The first season alone is worth checking out and beyond that there is still much to enjoy, just be prepared for changes later on.
Street Fighter (1994)
Money making garbage which didn't care whether it was a good film or not.
This would be the best word to describe this train wreck of a film. As a boy I was a huge video game player and I adored the fighting genre. Double Dragon, Final Fight, Golden Axe and then came Street Fighter II and blew everybody's socks off so it was only a matter of time before a film version was made but I don't think anyone expected it to be this bad.
Just to clear things up, I adore low budget 80's and 90's action/martial arts films. They have a quality that is so pathetic and funny yet is backed up with tremendous action and fight sequences and the reason they are like this is because they are trying to be serious. Street Fighter has none of this charm! The film was not made to be good, it was not made to stand the test of time or reach for any awards or even please fans, it was simply a quick cash making effort with the name of an immensely popular game.
For a start the film looks dreadful! A scattered assortment of tents, boxes and scabby buildings make up the wobbly sets giving the whole film a cheap and grubby look that just doesn't work at all. Seriously, King Of The Kickboxers probably had a fraction of the budget of this film and looks 10 times better with genuine Thai locations and vastly superior fights. The costumes all look like they were made the night before by the cast's mothers and aside from all looking far too new, they don't fit very well and would be better suited to a high school pantomime.
The script is laughable, chock full of crap one liners, crowbarred in to attempt to get the 8 year old's in the audience to laugh and probably failing miserably. Then comes the changes, the many changes! Street Fighter II should have been what the game was, an Enter The Dragon style tournament which, while not being original in any way, would have more than kept the feel of the game rather than the crappy dictator style story. Ryu is now an American, Guile is now Belgian, Sagat is Native American Honda is Hawaiian, Dhalsim a Doctor....OK the last one wasn't so bad and I sort of liked the crossing of Guile's friend Charlie with Blanka but it was handled in such a shallow, Batman & Robin sort of way that all credibility was taken out. Vega does look pretty accurate I will admit but doesn't actually do much.
The fight scenes are few and child friendly (e.g. short, boring and fast cut!) I was shocked to learn that the action was choreographed by the great Benny "The Jet" Urquidez. A superb martial artist and star of many Hong Kong martial arts films and names including Jackie Chan, but I have s suspicion that the studio told him to calm it all down.
It's really hard to like Street Fighter, even as a bit of fun because it's such a poorly tacked together piece of filmmaking that simply doesn't care about whether it is a quality product or not.
The wonderful Raul Julia does what he can with the horrible script and actually looks like he is having fun with it. Kylie Minogue looks very hot in a uniform and she's always a joy to watch but that's honestly the best things I can say about the film.
If you haven't seen it, then watch it and see for yourself and then watch the infinitely superior Mortal Kombat film which not only manages to be a reasonably faithful conversion of the game but is a great looking action film in it's own right with really some decent fight choreography and special effects (for the time!)
If you really crave Street Fighter II specific action on screen then I highly recommend the superb Street Fighter II anime film which pulls no punches and is almost infinitely superior to this garbage in every way including fight scenes, story and accuracy.