Thursday, June 30, 2016

New Flix: Arrowhead (2016)

After two disappointing Sci-Fi Films in a row, can this one end the streak?  Let's find out...
At the Prison from The Running Man, our Hero escapes (at the cost of a limb).  Where to next?

He is sent to a strange Planet to work with the Arrowhead (roll credits) ship in an experiment.
Life on the Planet is...confusing.  There's some other guy, but he dies (after a Scene is cut).  There's lots of wandering...again.
He meets a lady in some Pod and works with her to try to figure things out.  Try not to look *too much* like Prometheus...
There's a whole Plot involving some sort of Virus on the Planet as well.  Where does it go?
Can our hero survive on this strange world?  Will the robot from Destiny help him?

To find out, watch the Film.
An A for effort, but a D for Delivery.  This one was apparently a 'labor of love' for those involved.  It started out as a Short Film in 2012 and eventually became a full one in 2016.  The end result: a muddled Film that isn't as interesting it thinks.  Arrowhead has alot of Plot.  Arrowhead has some interesting visuals and Effects.  The big problem is that it just isn't that interesting.  A couple of key Scenes were apparently cut for time/pacing.  The end result is that some important information is just plain missing, making the confusing Story even more obtuse.  Arrowhead seemed like it was trying hard.  I guess I prefer this kind of failure to the one where people make some crappy Zombie Film for $200 and you're supposed to love it.  It fails while trying to be interesting and complicated.  Good for you- I guess.  Here's a CG bug for no reason...
Solid intentions, but a pretty so-so execution.  I can't fault them for trying, I guess...

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New Flix: Cyborg X (2016)

Will this Sci-Fi/Action Film redeem the last one?  Will it at least be interesting?  Let's see...
In the not-too-distant future (next Sunday A.D.), we made Robots and Cyborgs.  Bad idea.
They kind of killed most of us, leading to a Mad Max-inspired wasteland.  Doesn't it always?
One man is the key (isn't it always?) to putting a stop to these Cyborg and Drones.  He's not friendly.
These guys have machine gun hands- taking that Neil Young lyric to hear too literally.  Insert Bane joke here.
Can our motley crew of Soldiers and Outlaws stop the threat before it is too late?
Or is the Earth just doomed to always turn into a robot wasteland?  To find out, watch the Film.
Somewhere between Classic and Syfy trash, this movie lies.  It isn't really bad.  It isn't really good.  It is a decently-Acted tale with some low-budget Effects and explosions.  The Story isn't really all that great.  We made Robots, someone made them evil and then all hell went wrong.  It is pretty standard stuff.  At least this tale of Robots didn't involve Time-Travel, I guess.  Killer Cyborgs and Drones are nothing new.  In fact, one of the Stars here- Danny Trejo- was already in a Film about killer Drones.  Probably more than one, to be honest, but only one that I've seen.  This is all just an excuse for a bunch of shooting, explosions and...even more shooting.  They expend more fake bullets in this thing that most people do in a Call of Duty Deathmatch!  All of the stuff most of us don't like- CG Blood, for example- is unfortunately here.  Likewise, they use Cyborgs as what seems to be a money-saving tool.  Regardless, they are freaky-looking Cyborgs, so I'm not complaining *that* much.  With so little originality here, I don't give them points for it in this regard.  All in all, the Film has alot of little problems that eventually add up.  This is a fun enough rental, but never really achieves anything great.  On the plus side, shotgun-wielding Danny Trejo.
Basic stuff to watch and enjoy.  Beyond that, there's nothing new here at all.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Almost Heroes: Powell (Q: The Winged Serpent)

Another week and another guy who just narrowly misses the cut!

In Q: The Winged Serpent, we get David Carradine teaming up with Michael Moriarty to stop Quetzalcoatl in New York City.  He's not alone though...

This is Powell- his Partner.  He's not John Shaft.
He works the case, being an actually-good Detective and not a drunk.  Naturally...
He goes up on a Roof with an Cop dressed like a Mime (in an Amadeus shirt!) and...
...gets killed by the Monster.  Oh well.
After that, Carradine and Moriarty actually save the day.  So close!

At least he got killed on-screen (unlike Billy from Predator).

Next time, a man loses his top spot due to rewrites (allegedly).  See you then...

Monday, June 27, 2016

New Flix: Robot World (2015)

In Space, nobody can hear you yawn.  Let's see if I can stay awake for this whole thing...
In the future, we come up with a plan to travel through Space via two docking stations.  NASA's budget was clearly blown, so they had to resort to basic Animation to explain it.
This is the first man to make the journey, teleporting from one ship to another, the latter of which is docking the other Planet.
When his vehicle is seemingly-shot down, he...wanders around.
He wanders some more, seeing stuff vaguely in the distance.  Thrilling!
Eventually, his nature hike leads him to some Robots, one of whom becomes his companion (for some reason)...
As his slow hike around this new World continues, will he survive the deadly robots and learn the truth?  To find out, watch the Film (I guess).
A whole new- and boring- World.  Look- I get it.  This isn't Aliens.  This isn't Avatar.  This isn't even Aliens vs. Avatars (look it up).  This is someone making a Film for not much money.  That said, it still isn't an interesting Film.  As I've said many times, the Budget is only one aspect of the Movie to focus on.  For this one, they actually get some decent-looking CG.  It is used pretty sparingly over all and has some cheats involved (dark lighting, for one).  So you can't make super-cool-looking Robots- fine.  The problem; you didn't write an interesting Script.  You have one guy wandering around and sometimes Robots show up.  That's pretty much it.  For a place 'called' Robot World, there are only like 4 of them!  The Movie has a decent beginning and a decent Ending (although it needs explanation I can't bring you here), but everything else is so dull.  I'm not a 'Hater,' but this Movie was not good.  Somewhere between an interesting Film with Robots and a Tourism Documentary, there is Robot World.  Don't be fooled by the cool Robot on some of the Covers.  Don't be fooled by the Title.  This is just about as enthralling as, well, a robot dog fart...
Considering I had never heard of the Film, I didn't exactly expect much.  Even still, I wanted something more than a slow Tour of some fields in England.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

VHS For the Win: Cataclysm

For a very underwhelming Film, it sure has a kick-ass VHS Cover!
To be fair, the Film is about Nazis (well, one), has a stabbing or two and can be a bit bloody.

Since it is somewhat accurate (although much more interesting), it isn't quite Impossibly-Cool Cover Art.

They did manage to slap the alternate Title- The Nightmare Never Ends- on there in a way though.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Rare Flix: The Beasts Are On The Streets (1978)

Okay, who put PCP in the water this time?!?  Today's Film is The Beasts Are On The Streets, a 1978 TV Movie about Animals on the loose.  That must be a common problem with as many of these Films as there are!  On the plus side, they don't shoot a Jaguar in this one.  The Film tells the tale of an accident that frees the Animals at a nearby Park.  Note to everyone: don't build your Animal Park next to the L.A. Freeway!  It also must be a good idea to section off your Animals better.  This one is apparently quite hard to find- unless you know which corner of the Internet to look.  It is that same corner where you find stuff like Whatever Happened to Rosemary's Baby? or that awful Clerks TV Pilot.  Interesting Cast Notes include alumni from Blazing Saddles and a future 80s TV Star.  Can the Animals be brought back without harm?  Can the local populace survive?  Can the B-Plot of our lovelorn couple come to a happy ending?  To find out, read on...
The TV Station want you to know that no Animals were harmed, yo!  Of course, that's not *quite* what they say, is it?
In California, an outdoor Animal Park is letting people see Animals up close.  Their Tour Guide: The other guy from Miami Vice!
On the adjacent Highway (who allowed this?!?), some Hunters are being dicks.  Weren't you Slim Pickens' sidekick?
Their asshole actions (and the Driver's nearsightedness) leads to him crashing into the fence, thus freeing the Animals!
You gotta love the fact that the Llamas, Zebras and Camels were all in the same open area!
The people are now stuck in their Cars with all of the Animals wandering around  This guy decides to look around for help and this happens...
It is important to remember that thing at the beginning when Scenes like this happen...
As night falls, many Animals are still loose.  Asshole Hunter forces his oddly-old-looking Teenager to help him go hunt...and shoot him...after his friend died.
Since this is a TV Movie, everything ends well.  Nearly all of the Animals are returned safely and only a few people got mauled.

Oh and our forgettable Leads end up together.  Hurray!
Much less insane than its Italian 'counterpart.'  This Film is all about people and Animals.  In this case, it is all about how we are scared of them, but maybe...should.  I think the message was that we shouldn't be, but pretty much 90% of the Film disputes that.  The Characters even tell people to be scared of, be careful around them.  They're right and all, know,..consistency.  Later in the Film, we get the Subplot of the Lioness looking for her cub, which is actually quite nice.  Why the Lioness knocks over a bunch of bird cages in the process is anyone's guess.  So obviously the big difference between this and Wild Beasts is the body count.  That one was much more of a Horror/Slasher Film, whereas this one is more of a vague Thriller.  No Dancing Zombies though.  The whole thing is constantly stuttered by a Subplot involving the Park Ranger, a Doctor and her Daughter.  They mildly-fight all the time and he plans to leave for Africa at the end of the week.  She does too...but just didn't tell him, since he never bothered to ask.  Oh well- they end up together.  Ultimately, this is a pretty fun Film, but its Plot never quite reaches its potential.  It did feature people trying to paddle boat away from a Bear though, so 6 Stars!  It also features one of the few times you get to see the Animal Trainer on-screen in one of these things...
Next up, more random stuff to keep me busy.  It is either review Films or go people hunting again.  Stay tuned...

Friday, June 24, 2016

New Flix: Electra Woman and Dyna Girl (2016)

By the power of YouTube!  With so much focus on the Internet, why not relaunch a 1970s TV Show that way?
Electra Woman and Dyna Girl are Superheroes!  The only problem...
There are no Villains.  As such, they are basically just Mascots and Celebrities.
After a crime stopping goes viral, our Heroes get new Management.  You can trust this guy, right?
With no tech and new style, can the heroic duo become relevant again?
...or will they just turn into Kardashians (the worst kind of fate)?
When a Villain appears to start the 3rd Act, they just may have their chance to be Heroes.  To find out, watch the Film/Show.
Silly and fun stuff.  This update of the cult TV Show doesn't try to be a big, serious Film/Show.  It is just the adventures of 2 ladies that want to do good, become famous and don't quite handle it too well.  The whole thing is chock full of jokes, sight gags and deadpan humor.  The basic Story is played straight, but is filled to the brim with silly moments.  Superheroes as tabloid material.  Superheroes handling fame.  Superheroes dealing with wacky gadgets.  Towards the end, it even gets pretty Meta.  The big thing is the relationship between the 2 Heroes, which has a nice, natural feel.  The pair feel like they really have been doing this together for a long time.  This is important for later as the Plot develops and the stakes get raised.  If you don't buy into them as a duo, the whole thing falls a little flat.  The Plot doesn't have a whole lot going on if you really get down to it.  Bear in mind that this was made as an 8-Episode Show for YouTube and then compiled together as Feature Length though.  It is still quite fun and manages to update things in a pretty natural way.  With all the focus on internet hatred for the new Ghostbusters (before 99.8% have seen it), let's all just watch stuff like this and chill out...
Fun stuff that doesn't try to be The Avengers or Batman v Superman.  If you can enjoy the silliness, it can be quite fun.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Almost Heroes: Dillon and Billy (Predator)

The Silver Medal of Films.

In this Segment, we look at people who were *nearly* the Stars/Protagonists of their Films.  Somewhere between Leads and Poor Bastards of Cinema lie these people.

They aren't losers- they just didn't quite get it done.

In the inaugural Edition, let's look at Predator.  Everyone remembers Dutch (and some guy who didn't have time to bleed), but what about Dillon and Billy?

Dillon is Dutch's buddy/black friend.
Billy is the big, scary Indian of the group.
Both of them have bad-ass moments, killing some Soldiers and facing the mysterious, alien threat.

Ultimately, they both die when they try to stop the creature, while Dutch gets the glory (short-term).
To put some salt in the wound, Billy even dies off-camera!
Are they really Heroes?  Of course!

Are they Heroes of Predator though?  Sadly, no.  Arnold doesn't share the glory...unless it is with Hispanic Ladies.

Got any suggestions for Almost Heroes?  Shoot me a line!