Saturday, January 14, 2012

Moon Over Miami: Josh Kirby, Time Warrior- Planet of the Dino-Knights

Full Moon- for kids!  This 1995 film is part one of a six-part serial attempting to make Full Moon films for a younger audience.  This is the same company that would make the Evil Bong trilogy years later, mind you.  This is the same company that only a few years earlier had a movie where Puppets killed Nazis.  This is the same company that had two films of the same Puppets fighting demons from another dimension.  This is the same company that...well, you get the idea.  On the plus side, this is one of the few things in the Full Moon Videozone that actually came to be.  Sorry, Puppet Wars- you don't exist.  So what is this film series about? It's about an old man who travels through time and teams up with a warrior woman and a kid to stop an evil time-traveler.  Yeah, it's Doctor Who.  There's a story arc called 'The Key To Time,' which is basically the same story.  Don't believe me?  See for yourself.  Plagiarism of a nearly 20 year-old story aside, this could still be good.To see if this attempt at an all-ages tale can work, read on...
Full Moon insults the audience right off the bat by explaining the entire plot- and showing clips of what you will see later- in the first five minutes.  It then proceeds to show you...well, the plot.  Is that more insulting to kids or to me?
Basically, some good scientist split this Deus Ex Machina into 6 parts and sent them to different parts of time and space.  He takes this kid along for the ride as they chase the evil guy in his Time Travel Robot Suit.  No, really.
The first planet they go to is basically the plot of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves...but with dinosaurs.  They were given to him by the evil scientist.  Um, how?
This is a warrior woman from another time.  How did she get there?  Um...I don't know.  Oh yeah, she's also Leela, a Doctor Who companion.
This is the evil villain.  He's...pretending to be a Wizard.  I guess if you can make Dinosaurs appear with your single-person time-travel device, you must be.
He's definitely not Prince John.  Not in the slightest.  Moving on...
Is this sub-plot involving a redhead forced to marry Not Prince John being jealous of him now wanting to marry Not Leela important?  No, not really.
The movie actually ends without the real climax.  Instead, Josh Kirby finds another 'dragon' to battle the T-Rex held by Not Prince John.  Here's the problem: his Dinosaur is not a carnivore.  Also... changes color.  See you in the next Chapter...assuming I ever bother.  The *kind of* End.
Even for kids, this is a bit lame.  The whole thing feels both too big and too little.  They have a simple enough premise, but the idea of having multiple planets and such is something they clearly can't handle.  Considering that the second chapter is a rip-off of Wizards and/or The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, that's pretty clear.  It's too little because the plot breaks down to something really generic: go here, find that.  The characters are not nuanced in the slightest.  Our hero is just some kid whose body apparently kills watches.  Yeah, I'm sure that's going to be important in Part 6, but it's just so silly in Part 1.  Furthermore, the series plays real fast-and-loose with admittedly-vague conceptions of how time-travel works.  Why doesn't Kirby just go back home?  Well, that's because the evil scientist showing up rewrote time and now the whole city is overrun with lava.  No, really.  Who raises a kid in New Pompeii anyhow?  More importantly, a good chunk of this movie is filler, not even counting the five minute opening showing us stuff that we're already going to see.  It's possible that the other parts are better, but I'm not holding out much hope.  If you want to see something cheesy and totally unique for Full Moon though, this definitely qualifies.  I'll leave you with this 'all-ages' scene- someone peeping on Not Leela in the bath...
Up next, more Strange Killers.  First up, a movie so bad that I gave up after five minutes- see why!  Stay tuned...

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