Archive for the ‘Science Fiction and Space Shit’ Category

Grindhouse

Tuesday, April 10th, 2007

PLANET TERROR and DEATH PROOF

PREAMBLE

Here in the US these two movies were designed and released as a double feature with trailers for fictional movies in between. They were released under one unifying name that starts with a ‘G’ that is a word used to describe the shitty theaters that used to churn out sleazy horror, sexploitation, kung fu and blaxploitation movies back in the day.

I am not going to be using the g-word in this review, because I am sick and fucking tired of hearing it. It’s a perfectly legitimate title for this concept, but here is the problem. Mr. Tarantino is a huge fan and expert on these types of movies, he is the human IMDb judging from some of those interviews. So I don’t mind seeing him talk about it in every article about KILL BILL VOLUME 1 and then KILL BILL VOLUME 2 and then when they announced this g-word movie, and then while he was filming it and now to promote its release. Tarantino can use the g-word all he wants, he has earned it. So I don’t mind him and the trailers for his movie trying to explain to the kids what the g-word means. (read the rest of this shit…)

District B13

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

(originally BANLIEUE 13)

I’m way behind on this movie. I remember a couple years ago I went to see some movie at the film festival here, and this one was just getting out on the same screen. I saw some people I knew coming out and I asked them how it was. They said it was ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK except in France, and with some weird martial art where they run up walls and shit. I knew it was a Luc Besson joint so I thought wait a minute, is this related to that YAMAKASI movie I saw? The art of climbing and flipping?

Now it’s years later and the movie has long since played American theaters and DVD players in a dubbed version called DISTRICT B13. The advertising campaign has tried to convince us we know what the word “parkour” means. Another practicioner of the art has battled (and lost) the new, badass James Bond. Now it’s old news, the excitement has worn off, so I saw it now. That’s just how I roll. (read the rest of this shit…)

Leprechaun, Leprechaun 4: In Space, Leprechaun in the Hood, Leprechaun Back 2 Tha Hood

Monday, March 19th, 2007

I don’t know why, but I never saw a LEPRECHAUN picture before. You guys know I got a taste for straight to video trash, as well as little bastard killers. Nobody is as good as Chucky, but I had fun writing about THE GINGERDEAD MAN. Plus, the Leprechaun made it into space 4 years before Jason did, and I loved JASON X. (HELLRAISER won the space race, after false starts from HALLOWEEN, give credit where credit is due. But Leprechaun was there second.)

More importantly, it was St. Patrick’s Day, and I’m not Irish, and I can’t drink, so what the fuck else am I supposed to do on St. Patrick’s Day besides watch some Leprechaun pictures. (read the rest of this shit…)

The Holy Mountain

Friday, February 16th, 2007

PLOT SUMMARY: When a dwarf with no hands or feet and some little kids try to stone a naked dude they found passed out, pissing himself with his face covered in flies, the naked dude and the little guy smoke a joint, hug and become fast friends. So they go into town, where tourists laugh and take pictures of the troops executing school children, and they watch the frogs and chameleons re-enact the conquest of Mexico in a model city. Also the naked dude looks like Jesus and these guys drug him and make a cast of him and he wakes up surrounded by hundreds of duplicates of himself so he screams and smashes them but takes one and carries it around for a while and later he eats its face off and ties it to a bunch of helium balloons and sets it free. He hangs out with 12 hookers in matching see-through black outfits. One of them is an old lady, one is a little girl and they also have a chimpanzee. Some people might call it 13 hookers I guess, but I’m old fashioned so I’m gonna assume the chimpanzee is just an associate and not a professional. (read the rest of this shit…)

Children of Men

Sunday, December 31st, 2006

There was a time a couple years ago when it seemed like every day the headlines were just trying to out-crazy the day before. Planes falling out of the sky, anthrax in the mail, snipers on the loose, hurricanes, that lady releasing doves for each charge Michael Jackson was acquitted of… you wouldn’t have been surprised to get the morning paper and read that killer bees had swarmed Congress, rabid baboons were loose on the Space Shuttle and the Olsen twins had torched themselves outside of the “Today Show” window to protest censorship of rap music and video games. There are no baboons in CHILDREN OF MEN (there is a deer walking through a building, come to think of it) but this is a movie that perfectly captures that knot in your stomach, that feeling of madness, where the world has gone so crazy you keep bouncing between complete desensitized detachment and wanting to cry at the slightest provocation.

Technically this is a sci-fi movie, but it doesn’t feel like it. It feels so fuckin real. Most dystopia movies are stylized in some way to make them look cool. This one goes for reality. The only futuristic technology you see is for mundane things like video games and animated bus ads. It looks great (like all of director Alfonso Cuaron’s movies) but not like a beautiful painting, more like a good documentary, and mostly shot handheld. There are 4 or 5 classic sequences here that I have no idea how they could’ve possibly been done. Like, there’s a scene where Clive Owen, the hero, runs through a war zone surrounded by total fuckin mayhem. In what appears to be one continuous handheld shot he runs between buildings, up stairs, through hallways evading hundreds of gunshots, seeing tanks blow up buildings, having emotional moments with other characters. And not a moment of it looked artificial to me. The only thing in the whole movie that struck me as a special effect was, of all things, a baby. And that was a good special effect. But the rest looked like reality. (read the rest of this shit…)

Attack Force

Thursday, December 14th, 2006

ATTACK FORCE is Steven Seagal’s latest, where he takes on a bunch of sexy people given super powers by an experimental military drug. But until recently it was listed on IMDb as HARVESTER, where he takes on a bunch of aliens. After I savaged the last one, SHADOW MAN, I got a nice email from Seagal’s co-writer Joe Halpin, who I found very humble and down to earth. Having his ear for a minute I didn’t want to be rude and bury him in an avalanche of questions, but I couldn’t resist asking if this HARVESTER movie would really end up being about aliens, or if they would chicken out like they did with the “biological mutants” that ended up not being in SUBMERGED.

His answer: “Who knows.” He explained that they had shot it both ways. It could be about aliens, it could be about European mobsters, the studio and Seagal would have to come to an agreement in post-production. This of course brings up alot more questions (the main one being “Shouldn’t you decide on the premise before shooting the movie?”) but it also gives a huge amount of insight into how Seagal’s DTV movies end up the way they do. I mean, if they don’t even know who he’s fighting until after they’re done, no wonder they end up with these weird overdubbed lines, randomly dropped story threads, etc. (read the rest of this shit…)

AVP: Alien vs. Predator

Monday, September 25th, 2006

Judging by this title, we are dealing with a story about 1 (one) Alien facing off against 1 (one) Predator. Maybe the Alien dripped acid blood on the Predator’s invisibility machine, so they start getting up in each other’s face or something. It is hard to predict what would cause them to fight, but it is easy to predict the outcome. The Alien wins because the Alien is hands down cooler than the Predator. Sorry Predators, just tellin it like it is. Of course, the title could also mean the actual movie ALIEN is facing off against the movie PREDATOR. In that case ALIEN will be defeating PREDATOR for tension, atmosphere, originality, and artistic legitimacy, while being roundly defeated in the oneliner and gun size departments.

But the title ALIEN VS. PREDATOR is misleading. It is actually MODERN DAY HUMANS + SOME CGI ALIENS AND TEENAGE PREDATORS. It turns out that the ancient Predators built a pyramid in what is now Antarctica and it’s still there under the ice. Once every 100 years exactly, a Predator ship comes down, sets loose some Alien eggs and has their Predator boys fight the Aliens as a rite of passage. Maybe they are from the south of Predator planet and this is their equivalent of deer hunting. Or Texas football. (read the rest of this shit…)

Wanna See Vern’s MAN-THING? Er, His Review, I Mean…

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

 Hi, everyone. “Moriarty” here with some Rumblings From The Lab…

Wait… Brett Leonard made a bad film? THAT’S UN-POSSIBLE!!

Dear Harry-Thing,

I happened to see this movie MAN-THING and I figured it was my duty to notify you boys. The cover says it’s Marvel Comics and “from the producer of SPIDER-MAN, DAREDEVIL, X-MEN and BLADE.” Funny, no mention of ELEKTRA or DAREDEVIL. You remember that one, where Ben Affleck was the blind sadomasochistic biker version of Spiderman, and Colin Farrell kept trying to kill him by flicking peanuts and paperclips and shit at him? I was thinking maybe I dreamed that movie but my sources assure me that it was an actual, theatrically released movie starring popular Hollywood actors. (read the rest of this shit…)

Escape from New York vs. Escape from L.A.

Thursday, September 7th, 2006

Recently some joker spread a phony story on the internet about how Kurt Russell had tricked Paramount into greenlighting ESCAPE FROM EARTH, a third Snake Plissken movie, as part of a three picture deal. I knew it was too good to be true, but I also know that Russell always says Snake is his favorite character he’s ever played, and he clearly loves working with John Carpenter. Carpenter could use a return to the big screen, and I wouldn’t be surprised if after Tarantino’s DEATH PROOF comes out next year (starring Kurt Russell as a killer stuntman and scored by Carpenter) there is a rise in popularity and nostalgia for the classic Kurt Russell badass roles. I think it would actually be smart to make a new Plissken movie right now as long as it wasn’t a huge budget and it wasn’t a rehash of the other two. So, their loss I guess. And the world’s.

Of course, reading this horse shit got ME nostalgic for the old John Carpenter badass movies, so I watched THEY LIVE again, because that’s my favorite (sorry Kurt). And then I did something I never did before, I watched ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and ESCAPE FROM L.A. in a row, to get a better comparison. It’s sort of like one of those puzzles where there’s two similar drawings and you have to pick out what’s different. Hey, wait a minute, that baseball player is holding an ear of corn instead of a bat and shit like that. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a doctor’s office, but they have Highlights there sometimes. (read the rest of this shit…)

Predator 2

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

After watching PREDATOR for the first time since the ’80s and realizing that it’s actually a good movie, I decided to watch PREDATOR 2. I never seen this one before and I knew the reputation wasn’t too good. More ominous, instead of John McDIEHARDTiernan the director is Stephen LOST IN SPACE Hopkins. Not lookin good.

But damn if the opening isn’t a scorcher. It starts out with the familiar Predator POV heat vision in the jungle… but as it pans across you realize it’s not the jungle – it’s the outskirts of Los Angeles. THE URBAN JUNGLE! In the futuristic year of 1997. (Think about it: a Predator is loose in Los Angeles at the same time Snake Plissken is looking for the president in New York. Meanwhile, the Spice Girls are topping the charts and TITANIC is breaking box office records.) (read the rest of this shit…)