Sunday, August 18, 2013

Moon Over Miami: Josh Kirby...Time Warrior!- The Human Pets

Seriously, this was not worth the wait.  To be fair, I didn't intend to wait so long between reviewing Part 1 and 2 of the Josh Kirby...Time Warrior! story.  The biggest problem: Short Wait.  In my experience, that is a really, really misleading statement when it comes to a certain movie rental service.  I've had films on Short Wait- like The Curse/Curse 2, Pterodactyl Woman from Beverly Hills and Storm of the Dead- in my Queue for over a year!  Define 'short' for me again.  Regardless, I got Part 2- on a delayed arrival, mind you- and now I'm here to review it.  The premise: Josh Kirby gets stuck with Doctor Who trying to find the Keys of Time.  They don't call him Doctor Who or the objects the Keys of Time, but they pretty much are.  This Direct-to-Video Serial is a pretty blatant knock-off of the premise, but does do some unique things.  It takes on a premise a la shows like Sliders where he ends up in different times, each with some unique wrinkle.  In the first film, it was a Medieaval time, only with Dinosaurs.  This time, it's Wizards.  It's not *exactly* the same, but it's close enough.  The film is also notable for continuing from the cliffhanger at the end of Part 1.  Rather than giving you a proper ending, the first film just kind of stopped with almost nothing resolved.  Does this film do a better job or just tease you again?  To find out, read on...
To recap, Kirby and company end up in a world ruled by this Prince John analog and his Dragon (read: Dinosaur).  He's ready to kill the Leela analog for refusing to marry him.
Kirby lets the hero of the story battle his brother on a Dinosaur of his own.  He has a T-Rex, so I don't see how you win.  Dig that claymation.
Naturally, our heroes win, making this random gaggle of characters happy.

Before they can leave, they're attacked by the villain.  He zaps their time-travel device and they end up...
In a world run by freaky giants.  They get put in the 'kid's' room and meet up with some other characters.

It feels a lot like the classic Twilight Zone Episode 'Five Characters in Search of An Exit'- hard to imagine another rip-off in this one.
 Can Kirby and company get the disparate people- including a Viking, Cowboy and a German WWII Pilot- to work together to escape their captiviity?

Come to think of it, it's a bit like Attack of the Puppet People too.  The list grows...
In a random flashback (for no good reason), Kirby tells the warrior girl about how this girl in School wouldn't talk to him.  That girl- Charisma Carpenter.

The reason for this: the girl is an alien and doesn't feel like she fits in.  No, really.
The group does indeed work together and manages to get to their respective vehicles.  Naturally, the WWII Airplane still works- even after being sucked through time- and the excess characters go their own way.
Unfortunately, the bad guy did some sort of trick to the group's mascot- whose name I won't bother to remember- and makes it help him.  Our heroes get lost in the sort-of Time Tunnel and Kirby falls out.
The 'On the Next Episode' Teaser shows him in a Babes in Toyland knock-off.  I'm sure looking forward to that.  What do you think, Human Chapstick?  The End.
Wow, this is kind of lame.  The story is...well, it's not bad if you don't know what they're ripping off.  Given the age group that it's aiming for- hint: it's not an adult-, that's not bad.  The problems are many if you're not as forgiving.  The acting- nothing special.  The effects- pretty silly.  The story- nothing special.  Even excluding the unoriginal ideas, there's not a lot of tension.  It's basically 'Will they beat the bad guy,' 'Will they work together' and 'Will they escape.'  If you don't know the answer to any of these, then you have problems!  There's a bit of humor, but it's pretty lacking.  They do put some decent amount of work into the alien make-up and overall look.  That said, I don't really see them as villains.  The story needed some sort of antagonistic element, especially given that the series' villain is pretty much non-existent for 80% of the film.  Instead, the group just has a marginally-difficult escape to make, which they do pretty easily.  As a substitute Doctor Who, our hero is pretty dull.  Kirby gets a little more character here- as he tries to learn to fight-, but there's still a lot more work to do.  This is a pretty dull link in the story, but I'm going to give it at least one more try.  Oh and remember, there can be only one!
Next up, a film about a Highlander escaping a jail run by Stuart Gordon.  If Jeffrey Combs somehow shows up as the Warden, I'm sold!  Stay tuned...

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