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Star Trek: Discovery (2017)
Finally a Star Trek that doesn't tell simple repetitive stories.
Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, and Star Trek: Enterprise told a lot of weak stories and many of them were the same only slightly altered. How many times did we get a story where the entire story never happened because of some clever time travel nonsense? Boring! At least Deep Space Nine had a slightly serialized story and the Dominion War showed how good Star Trek could be. Bold story telling. Big ideas. Real drama.
Well look no further because Star Trek: Discovery is telling a big story, highly imperfect characters, high drama, great visuals and sets, and a story that slowly and beautifully unfolds. No it is not perfect. But it is very great.
I think the best part is that we're seeing characters that are not so perfect, that are willing to bend or break the rules like Kirk and Spock did, and do what is necessary to go from A to B.
Night of Something Strange (2016)
This is just bad.
*** May contain spoilers ***
Okay first off, gore is not bad but using gore to cover up your film's deficiencies is bad. From the initial sex scene in the morgue to the many scenes of zombies dripping blood the director seemed to always use gore to cover up plot holes or a lack of a budget.
Second, the dialog isn't up there with "satire" or "this movie makes a farce of" kind of thing. The dialog is bad. It's stilted and ridiculous most of the time. Lines that are intended to sound cool are just terrible. Oh and folks get the mics in the right positions next time cause when you hear the echos from the actors that just makes it sound unprofessional.
Third, there are weirdly stupid scenes and lots of them coupled with mistakes. The initial rape scene between the janitor and the girlfriend or wife was graphic but then when the camera goes back on him overalls were up and there was clearly no zipper down there. When the male hero is saved from the janitor zombie later on blood gushes over him but when he gets up a few moments later there's none. I could go on but they only get weirder and most stupid.
Let me just say that this movie stops being entertaining very early on. It is a chore to watch this to write a review.
Finally, I know this is a "B" movie but being a "B" movie is no reason for producing garbage.
Lazy film making
This movie starts out with a great premise. You have a town where everyone except one guy disappeared in 1940. Well decades later a group of historians or whatever they are get information on it and retrace the steps of the townsfolk for the purposes of getting material to write a book. We aren't even told really who these people are. What are their skills or credentials?
You are going to be given scenes of pseudo psycho babble "evaluations" one character does on the others which are never actually explained. Why does he do this? Dunno and by the end of the movie you won't care.
This is a movie about the descent into madness caused by some external force that from what I can tell is never, ever explained. I mean this is so disappointing and frankly, this is lazy film making and shoddy story telling.
Yes some of these artsy oriented film makers think this is solid work. It's not. This is lazy story telling. Why? Because in good story telling you have to come up with something that explains the central mystery. You have to take the reader or viewer from A to B and have it make sense. There are lots of ways to do this. Yellowbrickroad does none of this.
Instead we have characters descend into madness. For example the first initial kill scene is stupid. One male character attacks a female character after she takes the vintage hat he found and was wearing. I sat there wondering why that scene didn't end up on the cutting room floor. After that the characters have the full on breakdown of the group and it makes no sense whatsoever.
Yes, there's this mysterious music they are hearing and for effect the director cranks the volume from time to time to apparently shock you. Trust me. This fails miserably. In fact, all I did was turn down the volume when the music was cranked up.
Now don't get me wrong. Sometimes I'm OK with a good open ended ending. Sometimes mystery is satisfying. In Yellowbrickroad that's not the case. The ending looks tacked on. Here's the spoiler so quit reading. The main character is struggling at the end crawling on the ground and then voila he's back in the town in the movie theater. He sits down to watch the movie of their adventure or whatever it was. We get a flash of the dead all around him and then some pictures on the screen and he, oh my god, yes he screams.
Here are somethings any film maker reviewing this needs to keep in mind so as to not repeat the mistakes of this movie.
1. crisp clean clear images and film quality 2. proper microphone use 3. don't wash out the color when editing 4. don't use annoying sound effects to try to tell a story 5. explain your mystery with a logical or some kind of understandable conclusion
I gave this movie a rating of 1 for awful because it is. This is a bad movie.
Terror Nation (2010)
So bad I couldn't finish watching!
I got a chance to see this movie and full disclosure I really enjoy British horror and science fiction. I can't tell you in how many places this movie goes wrong in the first 25 minutes.
Regardless of the budget I have expectations. First off, the acting is just stilted and grossly amateur. Scenes came off as if these guys were reading their lines off cue cards. Second, there was a ridiculous amount of violence that made no sense. It had no bearing on the story. It was just thrown in it seemed. Third, we had sex scenes tossed in without purpose. I'm not giving any part of the story here either because I couldn't detect any coherent story!
Fourth was the background music. I just couldn't figure out how the music was supposed to add to the scenes they filmed. It was just silly.
What I saw was a tiresome and amateur attempt at movie making. I gave it a rating of 3 out of 10 because I've actually seen worse.