Monthly Archives: June 2012

Indiana Brolin and the Temple of Boone

Adventure films are sometimes the most fun to watch. Who out there hasn’t wanted to go on a treasure hunt with Indiana Jones, or follow the map from The Goonies? This week’s film is a fun little number from 2008 called Lost City Raiders. If you think that sounds like some ancient Mayan civilization with their own professional sports team, then you’d be wrong. Though that is what I think of first as well.

Nope, this story is about the earth in year 2048. Apparently after the polar ice caps melted an event known as “the Rising” occurred in which the water levels on the entire planet rose. I learned all this in the intro narrated by James Brolin. There are cool shots of major cities mostly under water. The Eiffel Tower looks like a giant buoy out at sea. The Hollywood Sign is right above water level in LA…and that’s where our story really begins.

Once James is done narrating, he starts in on the “acting.” He has a nice little operation going where he stays on a boat reminiscing about the good old days before the Rising, while one son named Jack (Ian Somerhalder) tomb raids the flooded cities below, and the other, less attractive son named Thomas does that handyman work on the boat. If this was an episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, I’d refer to that as “Charlie-work.” Apparently, if you are hot, you get to swim around, and the plain people get to do the work.

Side Note #1:  I was first introduced to Ian Somerhalder via Boone from the greatest TV show ever: Lost. I hated Boone. He was sort of a hot-tempered annoying boy scout type character, and I was totally cool with this exit from the show.  These days, Somerhalder can be seen on Vampire Diaries where he plays bad-boy, Damon. I’ve caught the odd episode of Vampire Diaries, and he’s pretty cool on it. He’s also easy on the eyes, so that’s helpful.  Back to the review, folks:

Jack is the reckless one. He stays underwater too long while recovering what I think is a Batman #1, and almost gets eaten by a shark. Thomas is the responsible one. He wears glasses and a shirt that buttons all the way up. I wanted to mention that since the filmmakers have taken such pains to show us how different the guys are.

Okay, I was wrong. Crap. It wasn’t a Batman #1. It’s some ancient text something or other.  The ancient text goes on about some scepter that’s possibly located in one of the underwater buildings near the New Vatican. However…there’s some secret conspiracy or something, and the Church wants the search of that building to be a secret squirrel affair. Brolin and sons plan their raid.

James Brolin seems kind of asleep during this movie. I’m not getting much other than line readings. Maybe that’s just how he is–flat. I’m not sure. But I keep yawning as soon as he starts opening his mouth. You want to hear something funny though? Listen to James Brolin speak Latin.

Thomas the Responsible stays on board the boat to monitor radar. Jack and Brolin dive to the mystery building which looks like it was stolen from Tomb Raider II: The Cradle of Life. There are lots of little traps and secret riddles protecting this mysterious scepter that everyone’s after. Well, I’m told everyone’s after it. So far, not many takers.  Brolin and Jack escape the traps and make it out with the scepter—but only by the skin of their teeth.

Oh wait! Spoke too soon. A mystery guy with a British accent (so he’s a villain) has his eye on the S.S. Minnow and it’s crew. He informs his minion to “not let that boat out of sight.” Mwha ha ha….

Question: Why oh why does the Vatican have buildings full of traps and riddles?

Spoke too soon on that scepter too. It turns out Brolin only retrieved the scepter case. No scepter inside. You know what? At this point, I’d tell Cardinal Richlieu to go fetch the scepter himself. I mean, what does it even do? No one will explain it’s point other than we have to find it!!!  We are now referring to the scepter as the Scepter of MacGuffin. Any problems with that, see the management.

Back to Brolin and sons. They are at the local greasy spoon, enjoying a meal when their waitress suddenly forces herself into their business, and asks them to take her on as crew. A drunken sea captain at a nearby table (if he’d say “yarr” a couple times, he’d be that guy on The Simpsons) tells a tale about how the waitress is bad luck on boats. She’s also probably going to lose her tip if she stands around any longer.

New character introductions: We cut away to some chick in a bikini, so she’s obviously a scientist. Her name is Giovanna, and she was working on some kind of ground radar theory whilst in her bathing costume.  She’s approached by a lady in business attire and then taken to see some dude played by Ben Cross. He’s got a British accent! I bet he’s the villainous voice we heard earlier! Boom!

Ben Cross was in Chariots of Fire which is a classic film and so we should probably feel respectful to him. The last thing I saw Mr. Cross in was Hulu reruns of the remake of Dark Shadows. If you want a good chuckle, definitely watch that.

I’d like to interrupt myself at this point to mention that I feel Mr. Brolin might have called in his performance. Yes, the rest of the cast is so-so, but you don’t see Ben Cross lamenting his poor film choice. He’s probably just happy for the work. In fact, he seems to snack on the scenery every time he gets the chance. I wonder if he’s friends with Julian Sands. Hmmm… My reason for calling out James Brolin is because just the other day I watched a rerun of Psych with him in a guest-starring role. He was pretty darn fun in that episode. So that’s how I know this isn’t just a case of bad acting—it’s a case of lazy acting

Back to Giovanna and Ben Cross’s character whose name I haven’t properly caught.  He’s invited her to his office so they can discuss the fact that the water is still rising. Ben wants to fund Giovanna’s seismology/geography research. All he wants in return is her soul.  No, just kidding. He wants her to assist in finding artifacts that could be used to stop the Rising. Sure he does…

Just like in Tom Raider and Tomb Raider II, we have competitive salvage jobs going on. Giovanna is with all the high tech folks, and Jack is going old school. (BTW, the two used to have a thing) Once again Brolin and boys are searching some ancient building in search for the Scepter of MacGuffin. First, we have to find the tomb of a Templar knight. If this was the tomb of Sir Richard, we’d have rats, fire, and Indiana Jones. But alas, this isn’t that tomb. This tomb just has some junk and a scroll.

Jack and Thomas crash the Vatican and deliver the scroll. And we finally learn about the  Scepter of MacGuffin. So here’s the story. Moses had the scepter. It originally belonged to an Egyptian god, and it had the power to raise/lower water levels. So let me get this straight. The Roman Catholic Vatican gang are looking for an artifact that belonged to another god. You’d think they’d be out to destroy it or maybe wouldn’t even believe in such a thing? But no! Go figure. Anyhoo, now the MacGuffin is with Richard the Lionhearted The problem is that bits of Richard are buried in three different places. Time for another quest!!!

Let’s review a little here.  Aside from Lazyboy Brolin, the acting is okay. Somerhalder and Cross are cool. The Giovanna chick plays her part well and the Waitress is pretty cool except for the fact that I think her voice  has been dubbed. I was about halfway through the movie before I realized that the filmmakers have dubbed a lot of folks in the movie.  People’s voices aren’t quite working with their faces/mouths.

My favorite character in the movie is the Vatican dude who can not only sight read the ancient text on all the artifacts that come his way, but he also knows all information right as it happens. He’s like a ninja showing up at opportune moments to add extra tidbits of useful info to our heroes. However, he does come across a little bit of a Nancy Know-It-All. I half wonder if the other priests sometimes wish he’d shut his trap. Also, are there only like a dozen or so priests at the New Vatican? And where’s the Pope? It seems to me that something as important as the Scepter of Another God (new name) or whatever might need to involve him. Of course, since we are having to appeal to a different god, then maybe it’s good for him to have some plausible deniability. Hmm…

Lost City Raiders tries to be some kind of adventure film, and there’s a little adventure. There’s also a lot of “huh?” and a little bit of “seriously?” in the movie. It’s eh…enjoyable if you go in knowing it’s not going to be a super awesome kind of film. But for an hour and a half, I was very entertained. The movie is part Tomb Raider, part Waterworld, and part something else–Fifth Element maybe? I don’t know. If you have any guesses, I’d love to hear, because this is the zaniest plot I’ve ever seen. It’s just hard to believe that the thing to save the world is some ancient yet very futuristic looking tech set on certain tectonic points around the globe that can only be automated using an ancient scepter created by an Egyptian god.

Makes no sense, but whatever, it seems to work for this movie. Willing suspension of disbelief…willing suspension of disbelief. I can do this, and so can you.

Final Side Note:  What is with the BAD music on dvd menu screens?  I know Lost City Raiders is a Made-for-TV movie, but seriously! The lyrics to the song are:  closer to heaven / not so far away from how it could be….here we are / both at first knowing that the stars won’t shine the way they used to be.  Huh??? That makes no sense, and the tune is like the kind that plays at the end of independent PSA’s. I expect to see rich prom kids donating their clothes to poor kids so they can enjoy the prom, and the rich prom kids then do do community service. IT’s just that bad. I’ve let it replay about 20 times now, and 3 days after watching this movie, the song is still in my head.


The Wonder Woman Movie

Like most people, I had an imaginary friend when I was little. Her name was Wonder Woman. We had many adventures together fighting crime in my backyard or down the street with the neighbor kids.

 Wonder Woman was awesome. She held her own against Superman, Batman, and all the other dudes who worked within the Hall of Justice on Super Friends. She flew an invisible jet. She had good hair, and wore insane red boots. Thanks to my 80s childhood, I got to watch WW in two different formats: animated on Super Friends and then the live-action form of Lynda Carter on Wonder Woman.  I used to spin and spin hoping to activate my own super powers. Instead, I activated some dizziness.

So you would think that when I read in this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly that a Wonder Woman movie had finally been greenlit, I’d be doing the Dance of Joy. That’s not the case. Instead, I was filled with nothing but dread.

I’ve seen what Hollywood has done to any female superhero/comic book character who gets her own movie. They ruin her. Let’s look at a few examples:

  1.  Super Girl:  This is the end-all, be-all horrible movie for female superheroes. I remember seeing this when I was a kid and having high hopes. I also remember being disappointed. Helen Slater plays the titular character, and she tries. She really does. But the story played out too much, and it just was BAD.  Peter O’Toole and Faye Dunaway couldn’t help this stinker. I’d really just love to banish the whole film to the Phantom Zone. I think that would help.

    Supergirl hanging out at Popeyes

  2.  Elektra:  This movie was a spin-off from Dare Devil starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner. DD did very well in theaters, and folks really liked Garner. She was on Alias at the time where she was happily working as a kick-ass spy with an endless supply of wigs and disguises. The movie was supposed to be an origin story for her Elektra character that we met in DD. The movie came across as really flat, and I’ll mention here that I’ve never been able to watch it all the way through.
  3.  Catwoman: Oh Halle Berry! Catwoman was just awful. Horrible! Bad, bad bad. [*using my water gun* Bad kitty!!]

Now, if a female superhero is part of an ensemble, it’s a whole different scenario:

  1.  Black Widow: The only chick in The Avengers movie this summer (well, the only superhero chick) and she holds her own just fine. She also kicked some ass in Iron Man 2.
  2.  Rogue/Jean Grey/Mystique/Storm:  The X-Menmovies were fun, and even though I really only had eyes for Wolverine, the aforementioned characters were noticed. My favorite is Rogue even though by the third movie, she’s a bit of a whiner.
  3.  Catwoman: What, again? Yes, only this is Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns. She was insanein this movie. Awesome.

    Michelle Pfeiffer in Batman Returns

I’m not sure why it works out only when the lady is part of an ensemble cast, but based on the evidence, that’s what we’ve got.

A number of months ago, there was talk of a Wonder Woman tv series. It would be the long-awaited return to the small screen. I think a pilot was shot, there were some promo pics of our heroine. The photos were of some chick in a Wonder Woman costume. She had the hair, and she had the outfit. Yay-rah. But she didn’t stand out as WW.  She just looked like a chick in a costume. I quietly celebrated when the plug was pulled on that one. It just felt wrong.

I’ve read a number of times that Joss Whedon had been very interested in doing a WW movie or tv project. I was all on board for his rendition. So far he hasn’t let me down.  However, for some reason or another, he’s not our man for the proposed WW project. Nope. Instead, we have Michael Goldenberg writing the movie. He was co-writer for last summer’s The Green Lantern. Man…oh man. That movie was, in my opinion, not very good. I remember enjoying it while watching, but I wasn’t blown away. I was kind of bored. I even (and this is a huge insult as far as I’m concerned) forgot I saw it about a week after I saw it.  So I worry.

I hear word that the DC Comics folks are working on a possible Justice League flick. They’ve seen the success of the Marvel characters, and now they want to try it out with their own folks. That’s cool.  And like the Marvel folks, they probably want to set up individual movies first to get the public interested. Man of Steel with Henry Cavill will be out next summer. We’ve already seen The Green Lantern, and I’m very interested to see if DC tries to work Batman into the mix. They can’t leave him out, can they?

It makes sense that DC wants to do a Wonder Woman flick at this time. I’m just so worried that if this film falls into the same spot as the previous solo heroine films, a childhood icon will be forever tainted. I’d almost rather no movie be made. If a WW movie was done right, however, I would be first in line for tickets. Maybe Joss Whedon can write one just for me?

Waiter! There’s a Dragon in my Movie!

So, I’ve just finished watching Season 1 of Game of Thrones. I’m a late-comer to the series, and I’ve really been digging it so far. Being in a medieval fantasy mood, I decided that this week’s film would be a delightful adventure called Beyond Sherwood Forest. This movie presents a more fantasy genre spin on the Robin Hood story. Sanctuary’s Robin Dunne stars as…..Robin, and the impeccable Julian Sands plays what he usually plays–a villain. Let’s get started.

Everyone knows the Robin Hood story right? A guy runs around the forest wearing a Robin Hood outfit. He steals from the rich to give to the poor. He causes a ruckus with the Sheriff of Nottingham and makes trouble for the vile Prince John. His band of merry men join him in all this, and his true love Maid Marian assists when she can. So now that we’re all on the same page….

The film opens with a dragon sighting. Hold it! A what?!!! That’s right, it’s a dragon! I don’t quite recall that from the stories, but okay, sure. A dragon. Apparently this does go way beyond Sherwood Forest. (har har)

Three men are on horseback. They are tracking the dragon which they’ve shot with an arrow. Julian Sands is in this trio, so I know someone’s probably going to be double-crossed. It’s what he does in movies–except for Arachnophobia. In that movie, the spiders double-crossed him. *shudder* First guy attacks the dragon head-on. Stupid man… The dragon swipes at him and down on the ground he goes. So off go 2nd Man and Julian Sands on the trail of the dragon. When they find it, she’s a naked lady with an arrow sticking out of her. Also, she has healing powers. Julian kills 2nd man. A very young Robin sees the whole bloody deed, and then runs from Mr. Sands–as I would too.

As they go deeper into the forest, they both find some odd portal showing another world. It’s a blacklight world that looks kind of chilly. Maybe it’s some sort of new age rave going on in there.  Now, I’ve recapped all that because honestly, there’s no other way to explain where we are and how we got there. And where are we?

We are here: Robin Dunne and his beardy self sleeping in the woods. He wakes up like people in movies always do–immediately wide awake and alert.  Marian is now in Sarah Connor mode. She’s wearing some pants, and she’s practicing her fighting skills. And we are formally introduced to Robin’s merry men. Next we meet Prince John. We know he’s an evil prince because his face is covered in acne, and he’s got crazy eyes. Last, but not least, the new, new Sheriff of Nottingham: Julian Sands. You saw it coming, people!

Fun fact: Robin claims to know every leaf in the forest like the back of his hand. That’s a lot of leaves.

So all this time while we’ve been waiting for Robin to grow up and grow a beard, the Sheriff has been holding the dragon lady captive. He has some sort of power over and and sends her out like an awesome winged monkey so she can do his dirty work for him.  [Side note: After almost every close up in which Sands emits some villainous line, the shot lingers on him for a few seconds. That’s just enough time for viewers to insert their own “mwah ha ha…” It’s a totally interactive movie!]

Dragon attack on the town!!!! It’s about time. We’ve had this dragon the whole movie s o far, and all it’s really done is turn into a lady. It’s a pretty good action scene. The gang fights the dragon as best they can, but it escapes. Off we go to the Dark Woods to find the Keeper of the Trees who knows the answers to the dragon problem.  This is a job for Little John, Robin, and Will Scarlet. No girls allowed. Our He-Man Woman Hater’s Club stands before the glowing blue portal that leads into the ominously named Dark Woods. Will delivers the token obvious line of the movie: “Those are the Dark Woods, then?”

And this, ladies and gentlemen, is where our movie suddenly grinds to a halt. It seems there are 2 stories here. One is Robin Hood. The other I’m calling The Misadventures of Dragon Lady: Who Left the Dark Woods When She Shouldn’t Have and Couldn’t Return When She Wanted To.” Too long a title?

We literally have to stop things so Robin can find some glowing pink berries that only grow in the Dark Woods and are the only thing that can solve this dragon problem.  It’s like Robin Hood left the movie, dealt with the dragon backstory and side-quest, and then showed back up. However, once he’s back, and rejoins all the action, the movie kicks back into gear and is fun, fun, fun all the way to the end. Though I’ve been nit-picking a bit, I’ve actually enjoyed parts of this movie.  Sure there are some crazy things in the movie (dragons, portals, wacky bald dudes), but it’s an interesting spin on an old tale. However, that said, it seems to me that the very thing that was supposed to enhance the story of Robin Hood, hinders it. I imagine the folks who thought up this movie having a conversation like this:

Fred: Man, I wonder if there’s a way we could make Robin Hood into a sci-fi story.

Bob: You know what’s cool? Dragons. Dragons are cool.

Fred: Dragons are freakin’ awesome dude!

Bob: What if there was a dragon, and Robin Hood had to fight it?

Fred: Oh! And what if it came from another dimension?

Bob: Dude! There’d be some badass portal…

Together: …in Sherwood Forest!

I’ll tell you what’s more interesting than the boring B-story though: Robin Dunne’s hair. I guess so that his beard doesn’t overwhelm his entire head, he’s let his hair get kind of poofy. Maybe he’s just putting on extra fur for the winter. Maybe he’s been living rough in the woods all these years, and it’s hard to find a good barber in Sherwood Forest. Don’t get me wrong, I like Robin Dunne. He’s totally cool on Sanctuary, and I hope to catch him in more things, but it’s hard to believe he’s been living in the woods. I know what I look like after just 24 hours of camping. There’s no way he’s that pretty after years of sleeping in the leaves. No way…

Final Thoughts

Quite recently, I was discussing the phrase “out of no where” with a buddy of mine. He pointed out that nothing comes from out of nowhere. Something always comes from somewhere. I’m using his views to summarize my thoughts on this movie. That dragon plot element came from out of nowhere. The mistake was in explaining the somewhere to us. There was no need. Look people, most folks aren’t too stupid. You don’t have to explain every little thing. Those of us who religiously watched Lost or more recently Prometheus are used to not knowing many–if any–answers to our questions. If there’s a dragon, then it’s there, and that’s okay. Because as everyone knows,dragons are freakin’ awesome!

Making a List…

I’ve been looking over my short-list of movies to include in this blog. Most of them are either science fiction or disaster films.  It was suggested to me earlier today that I try watching Jersey Shore Shark Attack.  I’m not sure what circle of Hell I’d need to be in to watch that movie. (Wait, I know. The circle before you get to the worst one of all: the circle in which you watch the Twilight movies back to back.)  Rain check on that one…for now.

But yeah, it’s really hard to find those meh movies that aren’t in the sci-fi/fantasy or disaster (or both) genre. I think I’ve got one fairy tale locked in, but doesn’t that fall into fantasy?  And why do the terrible movies find their way into that genre? I LOVE sci-fi/fantasy, and I’m up for any end of the world/post-apocalyptic tale you can toss my way.  Maybe it’s because the genres are so open to interpretation. I’m just not sure.

I’ve got it! I’ll toss a Lifetime movie or two. That ought to balance things out!  And a Family Channel family film! I can’t wait until Christmas! There will be so many, I’ll have a hard time picking just one! Mwah ha ha……..

Red Faction: Lacking Action

Gather close young cadets, for tonight I tell you the tale of Red Faction: Origins starring the elusive Robert Patrick. Considering the popular video game series, this movie attempts to do what few movies based on a video game have done before–not entirely suck. Does it succeed? I honestly don’t know. I think it tried.

***And just a quick word to the wise. I’ve written this review in a recap type of format. While I don’t give away the whole movie, I do share a lot. I really don’t think any harm is done, but if you don’t want to know chunks of plot, then by all means, go back to whatever flash game you were playing and get off my lawn!!!***

I knew right off the bat that I was in for a challenge. Let’s begin with the menu screen music. While choosing my Play/Scene Selection options, I was entertained by a musical overture that sounded like a cross between a jaunty adventure tune and some fictional country’s anthem. Possibly one of those fictional eastern European countries housing villains from La Femme Nikita or Alias. Just saying…

Onwards to our feature presentation!  The movie opens with a voice-over from some news/propaganda airing on about 20 TVs in some kind of post-apocalyptic bar where the guy gives a delightful backstory into the Red Faction resistance movement for independence on Mars. The movement was led by Alec Mason (played by Robert Patrick). Under his leadership, the RF’s teamed up with Marauders who, after obtaining victory, allegedly double-crossed the RF’s and killed Mason’s wife and daughter. Bummer. And wouldn’t you know it? Not even 1 minute into the film and our jaunty anthem tune starts right up! It’s going to be in my head for days…

So this whole time Mason has been sitting at a bar doing the whole stoic depressed fallen hero thing. The guy next to him recognizes him and buys him a beer. It’s not a whole beer, mind you. Maybe beer is a valuable commodity on Mars, because it’s like a third of a beer. Mason takes a look at it, and then pours it out. I’d pour out a third of a beer too. What if the bartender was cheap and lazy and handed me someone else’s unfinished drink?  No sir!

And like the awesome Terminator Robert Patrick is, he starts kicking ass and taking names. Only he’s not really a Terminator, so this doesn’t work out so well in his favor. And in steps young Lt. Jake Mason (Brian J. Smith) who has to stop the fight–then arrest his own father for disturbing the peace. Awkward…

Anyhoo, there’s some chatter in some scenes after that. Character intros and stuff that are kind of bland so the scenes are really pointless. I guess we should take this time to introduce the token chick: Tess. She’s a bit jumpy and seems to be insecure with the fact that she’s Earth-born. Must involve the backstory. I’ll go with it. BTW, I’m thinking Tess is supposed to be our comic relief. I’m very concerned.

So, our young Jake’s team of soldiers are off to investigate some long-lost technology, and they take Tess along because she’s some sort of expert in…technology.  My favorite thing about the shuttle they are in is that the pilot obviously graduated from the Movie Mercenary Pilot Flight School. He’s totally got a scruffy, Russian Ushanka on his head and has half a cigarette hanging from his mouth. Nothing phases this guy. The ship loses power and plummets towards the ground. He doesn’t bat an eyelash. He just does his thing and maintains his cigarette. He’s my favorite character so far.

So on this technology expedition, our group of soldiers encounter the remains of a massacre. Many Marauders lie slain all about the set, and these folks in white suits (White Faction??) seem to be responsible. Jake finds himself facing off with one of these rogue agents. When the mask comes off, he realizes it’s his long lost sister Lyra–whom everyone thought dead.  How convenient! And the new problem is that everyone still thinks that–except Jake who had witnessed his mother being killed by soldiers in white and had seen his sister taken.

Okay..skipping around a bit. I don’t want to recap 100% of the movie or give away the whole plot. Ha ha. Jake goes on his own kind of vision quest and is accosted by some rough but jolly Mauraders. We know the head JM guy (I’m gonna call him Jolly Marauder) is a totally good guy because he has a Scottish accent, wears a cape, and carries a cool bo staff. We know where we stand with this one.

So off we go to some town so Jake can meet some guy who knows things. And I swear some homeless dude was adjusting his fake leg and another dude just ran by and snatched it! Obviously this town is a hive of scum and villainy and folk music. Oh good, Tess showed up.

Skipping ahead to Jake finding his sister. He’s infiltrated the White Faction’s secret hideout, and OMG!!! Gareth David-Lloyd is in this movie! He played the beloved Ianto Jones on Torchwood. I love this guy!  Moving on..The head honcho of the WF is easy to spot. He wears an eyepatch and speaks with the low, gruff whisper of Duane Benzie from Spaced. If you’ve never seen that show, then shame on you! Seriously, put it on your queue! Hulu is streaming it for free! There’s no excuse.

So Jake and Tess are caught. Jake confronts his sister who’s totally brainwashed by Duane Benzie and his crew. Also, out of nowhere, the Jolly Marauders show up to help our friends escape. Tess is shot and there was much rejoicing (yay…). Question: All these WF folks walk around in nice, clean white uniform jackets. Like dinner jackets for the military or something. How do they keep them so clean and white on a red, dusty planet like Mars? They must go through the bleach!

I honestly have no idea where the plot is leading us. I’m not sure if anyone knows. Tess is still alive but they keep teasing us that she might die. Robert Patrick has finally remembered he’s still in the movie, and has shown up on the set. Apparently everyone was on the call sheet that day. The chick who leads the Marauders is there, Jake’s dad, leaders of the RF, etc. Anyone not wearing a dinner jacket has been invited to a super secret meeting. Apparently we are at war with the White Faction. But I’m not sure why.

I don’t want to spoil the rest of the movie for you or the ending. So let’s just go over some pros/cons, shall we?

Effects: Pretty darn good for a TV movie. This movie had a budget, and the effects crew knew how to use it. Kudos!

Acting: Ehhhh……I don’t know if it’s the material or the actors. The two main did just fine as far as I’m concerned. The chick who played Tess got on my nerves. I felt she was too plucky. Maybe it’s not the actress’s fault. After all, she was responsible for having to deliver such eye-rolling lines as “Don’t get yourself killed.”  There’s really not much one can do with that kind of dialogue. Which brings me to the next point….

Writing/Story:  My brother had Red Faction and Red Faction 2. What I do remember from those is that games involve a lot of shooting and fighting and action. In this movie, there are a few scuffles and a couple rounds of fisticuffs. That’s it. There are a couple explosions, but nothing truly exciting. It was more of a talky drama. I’m so lost on the backstory of this whole thing, and people keep referencing it. And honestly, since I didn’t get what we were all fighting for, I just didn’t care  Also, there were just some really bad lines: “I will not run from my destiny!” “I will kill someone you hate with this.”  And the one I’m declaring winner:

“We are all Martians.”  Aren’t we all? Maybe…

Opening Credits…

I love movies. If you know me, you know that already. Most people have a knack for sports info or the history of political regimes. Me? Movies. I even have a special award for “bestest film knowledge.” Thanks Kevin!

My Netflix queue is normally between 350-400 items long. Some of these are tv shows, but a majority are movies.  If you are or have been a customer of Netflix/Blockbuster, you will know that movies you’ve never heard of appear in suggestions or genre searches. Sometimes, I actually select these. Some of them turn out to be insanely cool films. (I’m looking at you, Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang).  But on occasion, I end up with a definite turkey.  I’ve lost count of the number of movies I’ve started that I couldn’t finish because they were so stupid or because I’d rather clean than have to sit through the lack of plot/character development/budget for quality effects.  Seriously…

So, a thought occurred to me the other night that I could use my powers for good, and be a beacon of warning to the masses. I’ll venture alone to the turkey shoot and call out the truly misguided productions that someone actually green-lit.  I’ll watch these movies so you don’t have to.  I’ll even toss in the odd spoiler or two just to keep things interesting.

How does one determine a bad film?  You just kind of know (sort of like how you know that container of leftovers should never be opened but instead just thrown away).  Has it aired on Syfy ever? Then, it’s probably not Oscar-worthy.  If this movie played in a theater near me, would I be too embarrassed to suggest it to my friends?  Yes, yes, and yes. Prime examples of that last question include Ultraviolet and King Arthur.  I’m not 100% sure as to how I’ll pick my movies, but I’ll know them when I see them. And if you’d like to make some suggestions, I’ll take them under advisement.

Here are my blog rules thus far:

  1. I must post a review or topic of discussion at least once a week. This is a rule for me. Because if I go off schedule, I’ll stay off schedule.
  2. The movie must have a rating of 3 stars or fewer on Netflix.
  3. The movie must feature at least 1 Canadian.  Ha, I’m just joking there. But have you noticed how many bad movies have Canadians in them or are filmed in Canada? It’s like a rule or something.

So that’s all I have for this first go-round. I’ve already picked out my first review.  What’s the movie? You’ll have to tune in and see.