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The Jar (1984)
Below the bottom of the Barrel
19 March 2002
I rented this back in the 1980's, and the bad taste still lingers. Not one redeeming quality. Not worth watching, even for the thrill of a "fun" bad movie.

Let's drop the subject right here...
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Santa says "Mindless fun"
19 March 2002
I'm a professional Santa Clause, so i guess I found a perverse pleasure in this flick.

A boy, whose witnesses his parent's murder by a guy in a Santa suit, grows up to be a worker in a department store. When the store's Santa gets drunk on the job, the boy is drafted against his wishes into playing Santa. Let the mayhem begin!

The set up is so transparent, you're just waiting to see the guy blow a gasket. The cheesy FX add to the general goofiness.

Sit back, have a few beers, put your brain on hold, and enjoy!
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Blake's 7 (1978–1981)
Bad Effects, Great Series
19 March 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Sci Fi shows today are chuck full of special effects, and short on script. This show was just the opposite.

Blake, a political prisoner in a future ruled by an evil Federation, is being transfered to a prison world with a shipload of other criminals. The shuttle find a derelict space ship en route, and stops to investigate. The guards who go on board, are killed.

The remaining guards send a few "expendable" prisoners into the ship. But they figure out the way to disarm the security system, and take over the ship.

So now Blake and a half dozen petty crooks are in charge of an alien vessel that is the most powerful ship the Federation has ever seen. The Federation wants the ship, and the crew doesn't trust one another.

The amazing thing about this show was it's revolving cast of semi - regulars. Characters you came to love would die, or disappear . Sometime heroicly, sometime tragically, and usually unexpectedly. I was constantly wondering who would survive. You never knew.

The bottom line is that the characters and stories were compelling and complex. Sure the effects were bargain basement, (a notch below Dr. Who), but the stories, for the most part, were first rate.

I won't spoil the ending, but suffice it to say that it was something I've never seen before of since. I wish someone would remake it using todays special effects, and most of yesterdays scripts.

If you love Science Fiction, rent the series. Give it a few episodes to grow on you.
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Earth: Final Conflict (1997–2002)
A sorry excuse for a series
16 March 2002
If Gene Roddenberry wasn't already dead, it would kill him to see his name on this series. Everyone agrees the first season was good, and showed a lot of promise. But the death of the main character, Boone, was the end of the series as far as creativity is concerned.

I seriously doubt anyone still connected with the writing of the show have a clue what they're doing, or what science fiction is. The entire premise of the show has been ripped out, and replaced with new evil aliens that are so laughable you can't suspend your disbelief for even a second.

This series should have died about 3 seasons back. Hopefully this will be it's last. (March / 2002)
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Are my comments needed?
15 March 2002
We all agree this was probably the best crime series ever made, despite NBC's reluctance to support and promote it. This was TV acting, scripting, and directing at it's best.

What the public could not accept, was that the stories did not have neat endings. Life, and crime stories are messy. The show reflected that. And I'm grateful for it's honesty.

On the other hand, I'm grateful they allowed the show to have a movie that ended several major story lines. At the end of it all, we needed closure, even it some of the endings weren't "happy endings". That in itself showed the quality - the truth of this show.

Fiction can be truthful, and "real". This was the best example . And NBC should hang it's head in shame for the way it treated it. I'm glad that "Munch" still lives on Law & Order SVU, but it's a shadow of a great character in a great show.

On TV you take what you get.
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Suddenly I'm 9 years old again!
15 March 2002
Just hearing the title sends me tumbling back in time to age 9, sitting in front of my old black and white TV watching "Creature Features" on channel 5 in New York City.

In retrospect, it may have had poor special effects, but who cares? This was the type of sci-fi kids my age lived for. It can't compare to modern monsters, but creeping around in the ships air vents, this monster did just find. As a child, it scared me to death, exposed zipper and all.

Yes, "Alien" is based on this film, and also an Italian Sci Fi flick called "Planet of Vampires" or "Vampire Planet". (In that flick, a ship answers a distress call from a derelict ship, and finds an oversized alien skeleton slumped over the controls).

Get a copy, turn out the lights, and remember what it was like to be a little kid scared of cardboard sets and rubber monsters!
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A Real waste of Time
4 March 2002
This is obviously a vanity project by some people who thought they were rock stars, movie stars, and film makers all in one.

They are not.

This is what I call a "Fast Forward Film". To pad out the time, the "actors" take long walks where nothing happens. Or there are long establishing shots where nothing happens. So if you put your VCR on fast forward, you can watch most of it without missing the story.

The highlight was the "hero" being attached by demons. One was a starfish with an eyeball in the center. I think it was made of play dough.

You may still find this on the bottom rack of some second rate video store. Do yourself a favor and leave it there.
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The Stupids (1996)
Stupid is as stupid does.
17 February 2002
I saw this on TV, premiering at 2:00 AM. So The local TV station was using it as filler cause they couldn't sell enough infomercials. That sums it up.

I have to have at least four lines for the IMDB to process this review. But I can't think of anything else to say about this film.

Oh yes - don't waste your time.
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Braindead (1992)
Another point.
17 February 2002
The first review pretty much sums it up, except to point out it's a horror film done in a cartoon type of style. Lots of comedy.

By the time you get to the lawn mover scene, your jaw kinda drops open and you say to yourself "He's not going to do that..."

And of course, he does.

Don't let your mom see this, especially if you live at home. I highly recommend this film too.
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Solar Crisis (1990)
The problem is...
17 February 2002
Here's the set up. Earth is going to be half fried by a giant flare the sun is getting ready to shoot off. A ship is sent to drop a bomb on the sun to make the flare go off away from Earth.

Not a bad premise, and the film has a lot going for it. But...

The problem is with a subplot. Half the population is in danger of being fried to death, and someone on Earth wants the mission to fail.

Why?

Otherwise there are great special effects, a few tense scenes with real conflict. If they had edited out that sub plot, it would be a much better film.

Still recommended for science fiction / space buffs. Worth a look.
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I Love this film!
17 February 2002
Rarely does a movie have the confidence to strick out in a unique direction with the knowledge that the audience will catch on, catch up, and beg for more.

Though this wasn't a big money maker in the theaters, it has achieved cult status and big bucks in video rentals ever since.

Is it the cast? This film is crammed with familiar faces that would command more money than a film budget nowadays would allow. Is it the cast, filled with a neat plot, cool dialog, and lots of memorable, funny bits? Or is it that there's a certain weirdness that I haven't seen duplicated in any other film.

Yes, yes, and yes.

Rent this if you like any of the cast member, science fiction, aliens, comic books, Heros, Orson Wells, New Jersey, or just want to put your brain on hold for a while and have a fun time.

"Remember, no matter where you go, there you are" - Buckaroo Banzai
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Worthless
17 February 2002
Another film I had the misfortune to pay money to see. Major over acting on the part of Alan Bates, Faye Dunaway, and Faye Dunaway's eyebrows. You also get to see two women, naked from the waste up, whipping each other.

Mrs. Dunaway, you should have known better.
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Mars Needs Women (1967 TV Movie)
Really Lame
17 February 2002
Sometimes bad movies are just bad. Not campy. Not funny bad. Just awful. This is #1 with a bullet.

This is what I call a "Fast Forward Film", meaning you can put your VCR on fast forward for extended periods, and not miss anything important. Actually there isn't anything important or interesting in this entire flick. There's about five minutes of story, so to pad things out, someone will walk into a room, and then walk around the room, then pour themselves a drink, then walk around the room again, just to kill time.

If I can convince even one of you not to waste your time with this film, I can die a happy man.
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Now and Again (1999–2000)
This series HAD a great future
16 February 2002
Warning: Spoilers
This Series HAD a great future, except for one thing. It was on CBS. CBS does not know how to nurture Sci - Fi and horror, as evidenced by the demise of "American Gothic", "Wolf Lake" and "Space Rangers" - though Space Rangers was garbage that deserved to die.

The idea was odd, but cool. An ordinary man (Wiseman) tumbles to his death at a New York subway station. To the world, he is dead.

But his body is recovered by a top secret goverment agency that saves his brain, and transplants it into an artificially created human body. He is now much stronger, and much younger that his formal self.

Problem #1. If he tells anyone who he really is, the person he tells will be killed in the name of secrecy.

Problem #2. He's still deeply in love with his wife, and his teenage daughter.

The show was a bit schizophrenic. Half of each episode dealt with the wife and child coping with life in suburbia as a widow. The rest dealt with Wiseman learning about his new superhuman abilities, and the special missions the agency kept sending him on.

Wiseman managed to work his way back into his wife's life without revealing his true identity. But you knew eventually he had to.

This sounds like a spoiler, but it isn't. The last episode was a cliffhanger that left everything hanging when the series wasn't renewed. He finally told his wife.

Will they both live or die? Or did she really belive him?

Sadly, we'll never know.
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Will they ever learn...
16 February 2002
Warning: Spoilers
I have a problem with most so called science fiction films out of Hollywood. The Script writers don't know science fiction. And they belive a few good effects will save the ending of a script that's weak at best.

I can't blame the actors. They do their best with what's available. And to be fair, the first part of the film, before the rescue ship gets to Mars,is okay.

The ending though, is a simplistic mess. I solved tougher mysteries in my Kindergarten class.

It's not a spoiler to reveal that part of the "mystery" involves the "Face on Mars". You've probably seen it a million time. It's a pile of sand or rocks that looks like a human face. It was sighted on Mars sometime in the 1990's, and was touted by tabloids as absolute proof of intelligent life on Mars.

Only problem is the "face" is almost completely gone. The wind storms on Mars eroded it away. But here it is in the film, all nice and shiny, and filled with alien energy.

Okay, maybe that's nit picking. But imagine the screenwriters thinking to themselves "Wow, what if alien leave a message for humanity on a nearby planet? Cool Eh?"

Well, Yah, when it was done in "2001" back in the 60's.

I guarantee you will come away from this film feeling you've wasted a chunk of time. Unless you're in grade school. It's at that level.
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Rent the Original One
16 February 2002
Warning: Spoilers
Tim Burton is a favorite director of mine. So I went into this film expecting great things. I have to give this version points for make up and set design. But what it really needed was a better script, and an ending that makes sense.

Minor spoiler ahead.

Don't rent this expecting even a close copy of the original movie - no Dr. Zaus, no Statue of Liberty ending. And yes, there are a few jumps in logic. I'm still trying to figure how the burnt out remain of a space ship magically turn into a plasma cannon. Or how a tiny one man spaceship can travel from beyond Jupiter to Earth in about 30 seconds.

Oh yes, Charlton Heston as an ape who fears human weapons. Ho Hum.

And the ending? Don't get me started. My guess is the screenwriter wanted something as dramatic as the Statue of Liberty ending, but couldn't because it's clear from the start that this isn't Earth. So the ending doesn't make any sense. It's almost laughable.

Tim Burton said in an interview that there will be no sequel. I hope he sticks to his word.

My advise, rent the original and the sequels. They're much more fun.
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Nowhere Man (1995–1996)
WAS One of the best series on TV
16 February 2002
This series sticks out as one of the best sci - fi mystery series ever aired. Unfortunately it aired on the UPN network during it's early years, and died in the ratings.

Not since THE PRISONER has a series left me saying "What the F..." every time I saw it. Imagine a world where you're identity, career, family, and finances disappear in the time it takes to go to the bathroom. Then imagine there's no one in the world you can never truly trust. (Especially if they smoked cigars).

Part of the story revolved around a photograph Thomas veil took as a war photographer. The picture of 4 men, executed by hanging, was about to be displayed to the public as part of Veil's first major photo exhibit. The photo had a lot of hidden meaning. It's origins weren't ever what Veil thought they were - Even though he took the photo himself. (Or did he?)

The pilot movie was directed by Tobe Hooper, and was considered by many reviewers to be a minor classic.

The series had an ending of sorts - Which I won't reveal that made some sense. But all in all the series could have lasted longer than the one season it ran. I, for one, miss it.
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