Saturday, November 13, 2010

Instant Asylum Trash: The Day The Earth Stopped

It's weird to consider that The Asylum has apparently only gotten threatened with a lawsuit on a few occasions.  Considering the titles of such films as Street Racer or Alien vs. Hunter, it's astounding.  In 2008, they decided to get some bang for their buck by copying a movie made fifty years ago.  Oh right, it had a CG-filled remake too.  As far as that film, it's good, but not great.  A lot of the CG is kind of just there to be showy and the updates don't add a whole lot.  On the plus side, John Cleese plays a rare, dramatic role.  I suppose I should talk about this movie.  Well, it stars C. Thomas Howell and was also directed by him.  That's all I really need to say, right?  Get out your burrowing lasers for my review of...
The film begins with some soldiers hanging out and kind of just being dicks.  I guess we're supposed to get to know the characters, huh?  The 'excitement' is broken up by some mysterious energy signatures crashing into the Earth.  The guys get into their military-issued SUVs- why not- and go investigating.  The source is a pair of naked people that crashed out there and are wandering around.  Let's go right into ripping off a film- Lifeforce.  Thanks for making one of them a dude, movie.  After a chase, the pair end up in the clutches of the military.  Right after that, the thought of waterboarding these guys is interrupted by the arrival of giant robots in the middle of all the major cities on Earth.  Wow, cool!  What do they do?  If you guessed, 'stand there and do nothing,' you would be right.  By the way, I would just love to see the meeting the company had with their FX guy.
"I can make your giant robots, but I'll need another $10 million to make them do stuff," the guy said.
"$10 million, huh?  You can't do it for any less?"
"Nope.  $10 million," he says sharply.
"Oh, I see," The Asylum owner says, "So standing around works for us."
The government doesn't take too kindly to the invaders and begins to question the alien humanoids.  Of course, they make them put some damn clothes on first.  The female one does most of the talking, since she's apparently the lead.  She explains that the Earth will be destroyed in one day by the robots.  They're going to fire a series of lasers into the Earth's core and stop our rotation, hence the title.  The lady takes a shine to the guard (Howell) and begins to read his mind.  Points off for a line saying that the woman 'looks like Angelina Jolie' though.  I would have gone with 'Carmen Electra's even-sluttier cousin' myself.  She bonds with Howell, who agrees to let her go in order to let her achieve her goal and save the Earth.  That goal: see proof that the Earth deserves to be saved.  As a bonus, an angel gets his wings every time she does that too.  Seriously, this is a real plot point in this film!  Howell escapes with her and they drive around the same Los Angeles locations that you would later see in Transmorphers 2.  Lazy much?  Oh yeah, they get carjacked and go to a Church.  Let's just pretend that any of this is interesting and/or relevant.
After a lot of filler, we get some actual action.  Okay- I lied.  Some guys fire a gun at one of the robots and it zaps them.  They do drop a nuclear bomb on one, but it doesn't work.  Any other bright ideas, Einstein?!?  Our heroes wander around for a bit and stumble across a man and his wife, who is about to go into labor.  Hey look- it's Judd Nelson!  Way to finally appear in the movie at the hour mark, especially given that you have second Above-the-Title Billing!  They go into a garage and deliver the child, but the woman dies.  Our heroine uses her magic/alien powers to bring her back to life though, thanks, some lights being put on High in the background.  She agrees to save the Earth, but just needs to get back to her ship/giant robot book end.  She gets shot, however, and taken back to the base.  After a soulful scene shot in silhouette, the gruff commander gets on board and helps them escape...again.  This leads to a climactic scene where the pair drive in their SUV & argue with the other man on his phone...while he's about six feet behind them in his car.  He shoots Howell when he tries to leave, which the other man does nothing to stop.  Thanks for the help!  The giant robot nonchalantly shoots him and the day is saved.  I guess Howell lives too or something.  The End.
This movie sucks balls!  The plot is stupid and mostly rips off the actual film.  You guys usually put in one or two elements from the film and then just make the rest of the shit up.  What inspired the change?  The special effects that you actually get are decent, but that's about it.  No giant robot action, no military assaults and nothing to speak of in general.  So much of this film is dreary and, more importantly, insistent.  Like the worst Ed Wood films, it really thinks that it has a lot to say.  News Flash: you don't!  Having the government talk about collateral damage is okay, but really forced.  That brings up the biggest point: the characters are all cardboard cut-outs!  They have no real personality to them other than what was assigned to them in the script.  It's called acting- look it up!  I wish that there was more to say about this movie, but there isn't.  Did you not notice me doing a 'bit' in the first paragraph?  Fun fact: the following screenshot was not made by me, but totally fits in with what I would have done.  Thanks, internet.
Next up, we begin a look at some Old-School Forgotten Sequels.  First up, the sequel to an animated abomination that sullies the name of a famous book series- now with constant singing.  Stay tuned...

1 comment:

  1. Fail. You would have had to tie me to the chair man. I'm sure you are on the same quest as I am to find that one hidden gem in all of the muck, but how shiny is a shit-covered gem?