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December 31st, 2016 Movie – Anatomy Of A Psycho

anatomy-of-a-psycho

Another successful Pre-New Years in the bag and a lot of fun was had. Now to get ready for the end of the year and some more fun with friends tonight. However, first I have to get through today’s movie. Now today I am watching a movie from the Pure Terror collection, yet another box set of movies from Mills Creek Entertainment. Now these sets have not always been the best of viewing pleasures for me but we can always give them another chance, and another, and several hundred more when it is all said and done with. For now though, I need to focus on the matter at hand, which is the review today’s movie, Anatomy Of A Psycho.

The plot: When his brother Duke is sentenced to death for murder, Chet goes to the prison to pick up his brother’s belongings. As he returns home, he is confronted by three men, and one of them taunts Chet about Duke being a murderer and after Chet attacks him, the man cuts Chet with a broken bottle and the three men run off. Chet returns home and his sister tends to his injury but they wind up arguing about Chet’s going to see Duke and Chet ends up walking out. Meanwhile, Mickey, the son of the man who testified against Duke, argues with his dad about his testimony and then says he doesn’t want to live in the town anymore. Chet goes to his friend’s house, where he proceeds to start drinking, and when he hears a news report that the execution will proceed on time, he starts to go on a rampage and begins tearing up the house before his friends knock him out. The next day, Chet has his friends help him grab the district attorney’s son and Chet proceeds to beat him up before they run off when they hear someone coming. Meanwhile, Mickey talks to Patty between class, and she asks if he is ashamed of her since her brother was a convicted killer but Mickey assures her that he loves her. That night, Chet goes to see his girlfriend Sandy, who tells him that she is breaking up with him but he kisses her and drags her around the back of her trailer. The next day Patty tries talking to Chet about getting back into school instead of following in Duke’s footsteps of being a hoodlum but Chet yells at her, calling her a hypocrite for letting Duke take care of her but questioning Chet for doing the same. At Moe’s house, Chet and the others are talking about their attack making the front page when Mickey shows up to talk to Chet. Mickey invites Chet to a party, but Chet refuses to go if his friends aren’t invited and Mickey, who gets mad at Moe for remarking about Patty, leaves just as Lt. Mac shows up. Mac is wearing one of the masks that Chet and the others used when they beat the D.A.’s son and questions Chet and the others but since he can’t prove they did it, ends up leaving. Mickey and Patty go to Mickey’s house so he can introduce Patty to his dad, who is friendly to Patty at first until he learns who she is and though he questions Mickey about it, he lets him do what he wants. At the party, Mickey tells Patty about his dad being the witness to Duke’s crime and when she says she understands what he did, Mickey asks her to marry him and she agrees. Meanwhile, Chet shows up to the party and wanders around but when he sees Sandy there with Arthur, the host of the party, he waits until she is alone to try and talk to her and they start making out. Arthur catches them and tries fighting with Chet but ends up smashing into a mirror and cutting his face. Arthur runs from the room with Sandy chasing after him and Chet lights a cigarette and then, after moving a trashcan next to some curtains, throws the cigarette away, which starts a fire and burns the house down. Later that night, Mac questions Chet about the party and warns him to not let the hate consume him but Chet tells him to mind his own business. Chet returns to Moe’s house and gets a gun, then tells Bobby, one of the younger gang members, to stay away from him. Mickey shows up and tells Chet about his father, and Chet snaps and attacks Mickey but Mickey knocks him down. Moe happily confronts Mickey and the two start fighting but as Mickey grabs a knife to defend himself, Moe charges at him and Mickey accidentally stabs Moe. Realizing what had happened, Mickey panics and runs out of the shack. Chet approaches Moe, who begs Chet to get a doctor, but instead Chet pushes the knife even further into Moe, killing him, then grabs Bobby and tells him not to say anything about what Chet did. Mickey is arrested and charged with Moe’s murder and during the trial, Bobby and Chet both lie about what happened when Moe died, while Patty and Mac’s testimony is twisted to make Mickey guilty and the Jury finds him guilty. After the trial, Mac confronts Chet at Moe’s old house and says that he knows Chet lied and that he will be keeping an eye on him. The next day, Mac takes Patty to see Mickey and afterwards, they go to see Chet. Mac plans on going in alone but Patty tells him to let her talk to him first. Patty goes inside and talks with Chet and Bobby but Chet yells at her to leave. Mickey’s father shows up and confront’s Chet and starts attacking him and Patty goes to get Mac to break up the fight and get Mickey’s father out of there. While they are outside, Bobby tells Chet to admit that he killed Moe but when he refuses, Bobby goes outside and admits to Mac that Chet killed Moe. Chet goes running outside and runs around the back of the house and Mac goes after him, after promising Patty he won’t hurt him. Mac catches up to Chet as he is climbing up a electrical tower and convinces Chet that he won’t hurt him and to climb down and when he does, Chet collapses into Mac’s arms and asks Mac to help him.

This was a very bad and very boring movie. The acting was totally bland and so uninspired, that it was kind of a chore to pay attention to the movie. The plot sounded like it could have been interesting but the bad performances did it a lot of harm and did nothing to help move the story or get the audience involved in it. There wasn’t much in the way of action or special effects and even the little bit of drama that was in the movie couldn’t keep this from being a snooze fest. Not a great start for this collection of movies.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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December 30th, 2016 Movie -Alien Hunter

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The year is coming to a close and for me, and my friends, this is really the beginning of the end of the year. See, today is my annual Pre-New Years Party so I need to crank out today’s movie review and finish cleaning house for that. So continuing the reviews of multitude of movies that were picked up over Christmas, this one comes from a collection of movies starring James Spader that my friend Mark gave me. Now I recall seeing this movie once on TV years ago but don’t really remember much about it. So let’s see exactly what it is I am getting into with today’s movie, Alien Hunter.

The plot: In 1947 New Mexico, a ham radio operator is talking with a fellow radio operator when he gets a strange signal coming from Roswell and decides to check it out. When he gets to where the signal seems to be coming from, his dog starts barking and a bright light engulfs them. In present day Antarctica, a research team discovers an unidentified mass via satellite imaging and the decision is made to dig it up. At the University of California in Berkley, Julian Rome, a cryptology professor, is teaching a class and afterwards, called in to his department head, Dr. John Bachman. The department head tells him about the expedition and hands him a disk containing the strange signal that is coming from the object. Julian studies the signal and convinces John to let him head down to Antarctica to see the object in person and John reluctantly agrees, but warns Julian not to embarrass the school due to his former involvement with SETI. Meanwhile, the signal is picked up by the Falkland Islands and is sent to a station in Arizona for study, who forward it to NASA when they can’t figure out what it is. Back in Antarctica, Julian manages to make it to the research station and is happy to see a friend of his, Dr. Alexi Gierach, but shocked to learn that his ex, Dr. Kate Bercher, is in charge of the place. Alexi shows him the object, which is still encased in ice but thought the temperature in the room is well below freezing, the ice is somehow still melting. Julian touches the ice and experiences flashes of moments of his life before he pulls away and sees Kate, who shows him to his quarters. That night, Julian has a strange dream, seeing images of deep space, before he is woken up and brought to the corn fields, where he sees Kate and some of the other team members working on genetically modified corn field, which they are testing to see if they can grow everywhere. Meanwhile, two government officials are talking about Julian’s past, and how he was working on his doctorate at Stanford when he was caught having an affair with one of his students, who happened to be Kate. Later they talk about the signals coming from the object match the signals received in 1947 and one of them realizes that Julian might be able to figure out what is going on and asks that John be brought in. Back in Antarctica, Julian is introduced to some of the other team members and one of them, Dr. Michael Straub, mocks him for his work with SETI. When a glacier shift causes the base to shake, one of the supports for the object comes loose and part of it crashes to the ground, where the ice breaks and reveals a strange pod-like object. Everyone heads for where the object is being held and they discover that the object is putting out a strong static field that violently knocks people away from the object. One of the team members notices what looks like a seal along the edge of the object and believes it can be opened. A discussion is held and Julian believes the object is extra terrestrial, as does Alexi, and says they should study it more before trying to do anything but Michael belittles Julian and orders the team to get the pod open. They manage to short out the field surrounding the object and some of them start working on opening the pod, while Kate, Michael, Alexi, and some others wait behind the control room. Kate starts having second thoughts on what they are doing but Michael scoffs and says she is only doubting him because of Julian, and heads out to work in the corn field, claiming that is where the real work is. Meanwhile, Julian is working on figuring out the signal, discovering that there are two separate signals. He believes one of the signals is merely a location beacon, similar to a distress buoy, and is working on figuring out the second one when Nyla, one of the assistants, gives him an idea on figuring it out. He deciphers the message and is shocked to learn that it says “Do Not Open”, then races down the corridor with Nyla to warn them to stop. They get there just as the pod is opened, resulting in an explosion, causing the station generators to go offline and they are forced to use the station’s back-up batteries. As they get a count on the injured, they manage to look inside the pod and find a cocoon like object inside. One of the team pokes the cocoon with a broken broom handle, causing a strange gas to exit as the cocoon evaporates and reveals an alien body inside. Michael shows up, demanding to know what is going on, just as 4 of the team members, including Nyla, suddenly begin to dissolve from the inside out. Back in Washington, Bachman is told what is happening and that the contingency plan for this event is a nuclear strike so a Russian sub is contacted and moved to within firing range of the station. Back at the station, the surviving members of the team (Julian, Kate, Alexi, Michael, Shelly, Grisham, and the pilot)  are trying to figure out what happened and how they are still alive and they figure they might all be infected but that it might be moving slower through them for some reason. Julian notices through the monitors that the alien has left the pod, so they split into teams, with Michael and Kate going to turn off unnecessary areas of the base to conserve power while the others look for the alien. Julian manages to find the alien and attempts to speak with it but the pilot sees the alien and, thinking it is attacking Julian, shoots it and it ends up dissolving as it dies. The station gets a signal from Washington and John starts talking with Julian. When Julian tells them that the pod was opened and 4 of the team died from the infection, the Secretary of Defense says that they can’t be allowed to leave and orders the nuclear strike, and John reluctantly tells them the news. Michael refuses to believe they are infected and wants to leave while they have a chance but Julian says that if they leave, they could spread the plague across the entire planet and kill everyone. When Michael starts to panic and demand to leave, Julian knocks him out, then goes with Kate to reprogram the exit hatches so they can’t leave. While they are gone, Michael speaks with the pilot, who also thinks they should try to leave, and tells him there is another way out. They try to grab the gun from Grisham, with Michael stabbing him in the throat with a fork, and Alexi and Kate are injured by stray bullets during the scuffle. The two men try escaping through the corn fields but the pilot notices that the corn is withering and realizes that they are infected and refuses to leave. Michael wants to keep going and when the pilot tries to stop him, he shoots him, then tries shooting Julian as well. Michael makes his way up through the irrigation tunnels and manages to make it outside, with Julian following, but when they are outside, they find the station encases in a strange energy field cause by a hovering alien ship. Julian tells Michael to stay calm and move/breathe slowly but Michael panics and ends up being killed by electrical surges from the field. Julian quickly heads back down to get the others and leads them outside, telling them to not panic and move slowly towards the center of the field, where they end up being taken aboard the ship just before the missiles blow up the station. As part of the cover-up, the government releases a story that the explosion at the station was caused by the meltdown of an experimental nuclear reactor, which killed everyone in the station while the alien ship is shown to be leaving the solar system.

I know it will be practically impossible at this point, but just once I would like to watch a movie and have it be entirely original. This movie was ok at best but honestly, a little boring. James Spader was decent but this was not one of his better performances. I did think it was interesting to find Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis in the movie but he didn’t really have much of a part in the movie. The basic plot was interesting but the competing elements of the alien virus and the actual alien were a little at odds at times. The movies title was also very misleading, as they group was “hunting” the alien for all of about 10 minutes. The main focus was the infection, which felt like something from The Andromeda Strain or The Alpha Incident. The special effects were pretty bad to be honest and even for a low budget movie, looked really cheap at times. There are several Sci-Fi movies out there involving alien infections that you should probably watch before this one.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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December 29th, 2016 Movie – Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

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Now this should be a fun episode to watch. I remember watching Alfred Hitchcock Presents every now and then on Nick At Night years ago but I did not watch it every single night or see every episode. So in preparing for today’s movie/episode, I decided to do a little research on it. Apparently, this particular episode never aired on NBC during the show’s initial run because the finale was deemed too gruesome by Revlon, who sponsored the show. However, since the show’s initial run, it has become the most widely distributed episode of the series. After reading all this, I guess I should see if all the hype is deserving as I watch today’s movie/episode, Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.

The plot: At a carnival, Sadini, a stage magician working there, steps out of his trailer to smoke a cigarette when he notices a young man passed out on the ground next to the hot dog vendor. Sadini tries to rouse the kid but when he is unable to do so, he gets Milt, the hot dog vendor, to help him carry the kid to his trailer. As Milt leaves, Sadini’s wife Irene enters and, seeing the man on the couch, begins to argue with Sadini about what to do with him. When the man wakes up, he thinks Irene is an Angel and Sadini, due to his appearance, is the devil. As Sadini and Irene talks to him, the man says his name is Hugo and he ran away from a home and Sadini decides to keep Hugo around. Some time later, Hugo is wandering around the carnival and catches Irene in a lover’s embrace with George Morris, the high-wire artist, and when Irene leaves to go take part in her act, George and Hugo go to watch it. For the act’s finale, Hugo gets upset when he sees Sadini using a giant power saw to cut Irene in half but George tries to calm him down by telling him it is an act, pointing out that she is still smiling. As Sadini uses his wand to “put Irene back together”, Hugo smiles when Irene steps out of the box unharmed. Later, Irene is complaining to George about Sadini and George suggests they run off together but Irene says they don’t have a penny to their name. Catching Hugo outside their trailer, Irene decides to use Hugo to get rid of Sadini, taking advantage of his fixation on her and his simple mind to make him believe Sadini was using real magic to keep her against her will but if Hugo were to kill Sadini, he would inherit the wand and the magic. That night, Hugo is sitting in the trailer when Sadini enters and after talking with Sadini for a few minutes, Hugo grabs a knife off the table and kills him. Suddenly, he hears a knock on the door and when he opens it, he finds a drunken George there. George tells Hugo he knows Irene’s plan and that she plans to betray Hugo and have him take the blame for the murder. George warns Hugo to stay out of it but then passes out and Hugo leaves him there, then heads to George’s trailer. Irene is woken up by Hugo, who tells her he has the wand and the magic now and will be even greater than Sadini. When she hears that he killed Hugo and left George in the trailer, Irene gets worried and tries to leave but trips and hits her head on the corner of a trunk, knocking her unconscious. Hugo picks up Irene and takes her to the tent and places her inside the box. As she starts to come too, Hugo starts up the saw and begins using it on the box and while Irene starts screaming, Hugo yells out “Smile, Irene! Smile! Smile!” as the screen fades out. In his closing monologue, Hitchcock explains, “I don’t quite know how to put this, however, I must tell you the truth. The saw worked excellently, but the wand didn’t. Hugo was terribly upset, and Irene was beside herself. As for the police, they misunderstood the whole thing and arrested Hugo for murder.”

Now this is exactly what I expected to get out of an Alfred Hitchcock episode and it was a fantastic episode to watch. The acting was really good, with Brandon De Wilde doing a great job as the simple minded and gullible Hugo and Diana Dors doing equally good as the scheming Irene. The story was exactly what you would want for a 30 minute TV show, keeping things basic and simple but using a lot of suspense to keep things from being boring. I have seen full length movies with the plot of a woman trying to kill her husband so she can run off with her lover do a much worse job than what Hitchcock accomplished in just a little over 20 minutes. The suspense and drama were top notch and truly fitting with Hitchcock’s standard motif and the way the screen faded to black as Hugo was yelling out for Irene to smile is a little disturbing even by today’s standards. The closing monologue was a great example of Hitchcock’s dark sense of humor, especially the joke about Irene being beside herself because the wand didn’t work. A great episode to watch that really showcases some of Hitchcock’s genius.

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5

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December 28th, 2016 Movie – Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Cheney Vase

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Man, talk about a disappointment. I bought two more of the Mill Creek box sets because I knew that those would be the best chance of getting a lot of new movies to help in the grand scheme. One of the sets that I bought is the Legends Of Horror collection, and I was pretty happy about it because I noticed to two of the movies listed were by Alfred Hitchcock. Now I love Hitchcock movies so I thought that they might have put two of his lesser known movies on here but alas, the joke would be on me. What I got was instead, two episodes of the show Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Oh well, I will deal with the disappointment and go ahead and watch today’s “movie”, Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Cheney Vase.

The plot: Lyle Endicott is in the office of Herbert Koether, his boss and the head curator at the Manhattan Art Museum, but despite his best arguments, Lyle ends up being fired. As he is leaving the museum, he runs into Martha Cheney, one of the museum’s patrons who happens to be confined to a wheelchair. After the two talk for a few minutes, Herbert comes out and, after dismissing Lyle, speaks with Martha alone, telling her that he is leaving for the coast and tries to convince her to sell the Cheney vase, which her father left her. Martha refuses, saying she plans on keeping it until she dies, and the two continue talking, unaware that Lyle is listening to their conversation. Later, Lyle is talking to his girlfriend Pamela Waring, who is also Herbert’s secretary, and has her write up a fake letter of recommendation, which he takes to Martha as a way to get into her life. When he goes to see Martha, she initially refuses, but Lyle manages to convince her to let him stay on. As Martha heads upstairs, she hands Lyle some mail to put up and he notices a letter from another broker asking to buy the vase from her and he realizes that he can make some money off of it. After some time living in the house, Lyle promotes some instances that cause Martha to question Bella, her long standing maid and Bella decides to leave, after which Martha apologizes for what Lyle witnessed. Lyle asks Martha about the vase but she gets very quiet and refuses to talk about it. Some time later, Martha is talking with Lyle and says she doesn’t care for the new maid, Ruby Boyenton, and wonders when Bella will return from vacation but Lyle tells her that Bella had written her saying she won’t be back. Pamela is not to happy about what Lyle is doing but Lyle convinces her that the money he can get from the vase is worth the risk. Back at Martha’s house, Martha asks Ruby to get a note out, saying that Lyle keeps her trapped there and won’t let her leave but Ruby gives the note to Lyle, who confronts Martha about it. Lyle finally sees where the vase is kept, but lies to Pamela and says that it is being held in a safe deposit box. When Lyle returns to Pamela’s apartment, she confronts him about his lies, as he had used the museum’s address for his passport information and he admits he lied because her morality was becoming a problem. Suddenly, Herbert calls and tells Pamela he will be back in 6 hours and Pamela tells him to head to Martha’s house but Lyle quickly hangs up the phone and slaps her. Realizing he is short on time, Lyle heads to Martha’s house to get the vase, only to find Martha has made several copies of the vase and mocks him by saying she is an mad old woman and doesn’t remember which one is the real vase.

I will be honest, this wasn’t quite what I expected but it was still entertaining. The acting was pretty good, with Darren McGavin (Lyle) and Patricia Collinge (Martha) doing a good job with their respective roles. The story was interesting, and I liked the ending but I was a little surprised because there really wasn’t much in the way of “terror” in this episode. This definitely felt more like a crime drama more than anything else but I feel like there could have been better episodes that they could have used. There was a decent attempt to build up some suspense but they could only do so much with 25 minutes. A decent half hour but I think it could have been better.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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December 27th, 2016 Movie – The 27th Day

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Ahhh, Cold War era sci-fi movies are always interesting to watch. I mean, you have all the basic elements of a sci-fi movie, with aliens or monsters or futuristic technology, but you get the nice “free world vs evil communism” plot line to go with it. Now I honestly never heard of today’s movie before today. It is simply one of several movies that are in a Vintage Sci-Fi collection I got for Christmas. Now to see just how good of a movie The 27th Day really is.

The plot: Englishwoman Evelyn “Eve” Wingate is coming back onto the beach after a swim and talks with her friend, who is painting his interpretation of the coastline. As she prepares to go for a walk, she is approached by a figure, who asks her to come with him, and as she shrinks back in fear, a strange light envelops her. In Los Angeles, a reporter named Jonathan Clark is typing a story when he is also approached by the strange figure and asked to come with him. The figure also grabs a Chinese villager named Su Tan, whose village was being attacked by Chinese soldiers, a German physicist named Professor Klaus Bechner, who was preparing for a trip to America, and a Soviet soldier named Ivan Godofsky. The 5 people find themselves on board an alien ship and wondering how they got there when they are approached by an alien, who says to refer to him as The Alien. The Alien explains that they will be returned to Earth unharmed and as if no time has passed, but they were chosen to act as representatives of Earth. The Alien explains that humanity, as it now stands, has the power to destroy itself, but will also destroy the Earth as well, and The Alien’s race cannot permit that. He says that his planet will be destroyed in 35 days and his people hope to relocate to the Earth, but they do not believe in invasion. He then gives each of the a container with three capsules inside, saying that the capsules have the power to wipe out all of mankind, and only humans will be harmed, leaving everything else intact. Only the 5 of them can open their specific containers but once opened, anyone can use the weapons, which will be active for 27 days. If the 27th day has passed, or the person dies, then the weapons will become inert and humanity will be spared, while The Alien’s race will die and after explaining everything, The Alien sends the humans back to Earth, with Eve asking Jonathan his last name and where he lives before they leave. Eve comes too at the beach and, finding the container in her hand, she quickly rushes to a nearby cliff and throws it into the sea. Su Tan is returned to the wreckage of her village and she heads back inside her house and, after saying a quick prayer to Budha, proceeds to commit suicide. Eve calls Jonathan and tells him that she is flying out to Los Angeles, despite his protests that she stay where she is. Later, as Jonathan is getting coffee, The Alien commandeers radio and television broadcasts around the world and announces to the world about the 5 people and the weapons they possess. Jonathan quickly leaves the diner and goes into hiding, then picks up Eve when she arrives at the airport. Klaus is struck by a car as he is crossing the street and taken to a nearby hospital. After the doctor examines him, he tells a waiting scientist that Klaus won’t be able to talk for a few days and the scientist tries to figure out the container Klaus was carrying. In Russia, Ivan is captured while trying to escape his superiors and brought before a general, who begins questioning him about the container. Ivan only gives vague answers concerning the container and the general dismisses him, but orders a subordinate to begin interrogating him. Jonathan and Eve hide out at a race track that isn’t in use, getting news from a radio as to what is going on. Klaus is questioned about The Alien and the box but he tells the authorities that he doesn’t believe that The Alien actually intended harm to the human race. Two Soviet agents attempt to kidnap Klaus and the container but they are shot and killed by the agents protecting Klaus. When the report comes out on the attempt on Klaus’s life, as well as a report of someone looking like Jonathan being killed by a mob, Jonathan decides to turn himself in to the government. Meanwhile, Ivan had gone into shock through the interrogation methods so the general chooses to give him sodium pentothal to coax Ivan into telling him the truth about the container. When the Soviets spread word that the know how the weapons work, Jonathan, Eve, and Klaus are brought to the Pentagon to answer some questions and they admit the truth about them. Klaus wants to study the pills, believing that there was something that the Alien had said that indicated they could be used to help mankind instead of destroying it, but the officials refuse and decide to test one of them in an isolated part of the ocean. Meanwhile, the Soviet general tells his council that he is issuing a demand for the withdraw of all United States military forces from Europe or else he will use the capsules to kill everyone in North America. When they get the ultimatum, the generals, along with Jonathan, Eve, and Klaus, are told that the military has decided to make a test to see if the weapons work and Dr. Newhouse reveals that he gave himself a lethal dose of radiation, so that he could be used as a test subject. The group head out to sea, where the conduct the test and Newhouse is disintegrated, while the animals on the raft with him where left unharmed. As the US troops begin their withdraw, Jonathan and Klaus believe that the Soviets will use the weapon at the last second to attack North America and then take it over when there is nobody to defend it. Klaus asks to study his remaining capsules, and when he finds a mathematical equation on the capsules, he asks to see Jonathan’s so that he can have the complete equation. In the Soviet Union, the general receives word that his men are in position and starts reading out the coordinates in North America but Ivan, coming out of his stupor, rushes him and knocks the container out of his hands, where it falls to the street below, but is shot in the process. The general yells at his men and says to keep Ivan alive while he goes to the street to retrieve the pills. Back on the ship, Klaus deciphers the message and begins using the 5 pills in the room, as the others hear him and try to stop him. When he finishes, he opens the door and Jonathan asks him where the pills are and Klaus says he used them to save the world. At the same time, the Soviet general reaches the street and grabs the pills but a high pitched sound causes him intense pain before killing him. Radio reports come in from around the world that a high pitched sound wave has blanketed the Earth and killed anyone that was a known enemy of human freedom. Klaus explains that the Alien had said the pills contained the power of life and death, meaning they could be used to save mankind. With Earth in a new time of world peace, radio messages are sent out to the Alien’s race, inviting them to live on Earth in peace with mankind and The Alien accepts, saying the pills were a test to judge the character of mankind and that there are thousands of planets waiting to welcome the Earth.

I have to admit that this is actually a pretty good movie and definitely one that makes you think after watching it. The acting was pretty good, with the Gene Berry (Jonathan), Valerie French (Eve), and George Voskovec (Klaus) doing a good job in their roles. The plot was pretty good, with the story of 5 different people being given weapons capable of destroying all of mankind and what they do with it. I also liked the varying actions that the people took with the weapons; with Jonathan and Ivan choosing to keep them from being used, Klaus wanting to study them, while Eve and Su Tan chose to remove the temptation to use the weapon, Eve by throwing her container in the sea and Su Tan by killing herself and rendering the weapon useless. The Cold War effect on the movie was also well utilized, with the Soviet and US forces both rushing to find the weapons when they learn about them, and trying to figure out how to use them when they do. There really wasn’t much in the way of special effects as this movie relied more on suspense and drama to really move the plot along. The best thing about this movie is the fact that it makes the audience wonder what they would do if they were placed in such a situation. A really good movie that is worth watching.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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December 26th, 2016 Movie – 12 To The Moon

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So I wound up getting a lot of DVD’s as presents this year, some of them from friends and family and some of them as gifts to myself using gift cards. Now to be honest, I have been doing my best to cut back on the number of DVD’s I have been buying, which is kind of hard to do to be honest. However, there is a specific goal that some of my friends and I have and to do that, I needed to own a lot more movies than I did at the time. Thus, movies, movies, and more movies were bought which brings us to today’s movie, 12 To The Moon.

The plot: The Secretary General of the International Space Order is speaking to the world via live international broadcast and telling them about the mission to claim the moon as international territory. As he announces the 12 members of the team, led by Capt. John Anderson, they are shown making their way through security towards the elevator that will take them to the rocket ship. After a rough ride out of the atmosphere, the crew are able to leave their seats and the two medical doctors begin checking on the team, while everyone starts discussing their chances of returning to the Earth. As they continue heading for the moon, the ship is buffeted by a meteor shower, then passes through a magnetic field before they finally make it to the moon. After landing on the moon’s surface, they start to explore the surface when they are bombarded by small meteors, but their magnetic deflectors keep them from getting hurt. After planting the International Space Order’s flag on the moon’s surface, the team begins to explore the moon’s surface but find themselves constantly bombarded by falling rocks as more meteors strike the surface. Two members of the team, Dr. Sigrid Bomark and Dr. Selim Hamid, are sent off to see if they can find any evidence of air. The two end up exploring a cave, where they find some strange plants that combust when picked, and Selim realizes that there is air inside so they take off their helmets and share a kiss before continuing further in the cave, unaware that a strange force appears and seals the cavern behind them. Outside, the crew are looking through the mineral samples and find a strange rock which fascinates them, but Dr. Asmara Markonen is wary of it and calls it evil. Using an explosive on a nearby rock face to try and find more stones, the explosion causes a liquid to start pouring from the rocks. Dr. Feodor Orloff goes to examine the liquid but when he touches it, he cries out in pain as it burns his hands and he is quickly treated and taken back to the ship by Dr. Hideko Murata. When they realize that Sigrid and Selim have not returned, John decides they should go look for them as their oxygen supply will soon run out. Following their footprints, they come to the cave and find their helmets but are unable to go further due to the wall of ice at the back of the cave. As they are leaving, Dr. William Rochester steps into some quicksand and despite their efforts to save him, sinks from view in the sand. Heading back to the ship, they are forced to put off any further search for the missing members as the temperature has become too cold. Dr. David Ruskin is finishes dictating his report on William’s death and talks with Asmara for a few minutes before John has everyone report to the main deck. When they all arrive, John tells them that they have lost contact with Earth and as they try to reestablish contact, strange symbols begin appearing on the monitor. Hideko attempts to translate and says it is a warning for them to leave the moon alone and to leave. The message says that they are keeping Selim and Sigrid, so they can observe the emotion called love, and also demands that they leave the cats behind, as they have a bizarre fascination with the animals. After Dr. Erich Heinrich suffers a mild heart attack, John realizes that they don’t have much choice if they want to live so they place the cats in the cave and leave, with an unseen presence taking the cage after they leave. As the rocket takes off for Earth, they are able to establish contact with Earth briefly before they end up losing contact again. Suddenly, a dog on board starts barking and John and David head down and discover the strange rock has begun to catch fire so they quickly work to put it out, then through the rock into a vacuum chamber, so that it will not be able to catch fire anymore. After passing through another meteor shower, they get close to Earth but discover that the Earth is in the midst of massive freezing, with all contact from North America being lost while the other world leaders try to come up with a solution. With their own engines threatening to fail, the team decides to come up with their own way to stop the big freeze. Feodor and the others come up with the plan of fashioning an atomic bomb and using the space taxi to transport it to a volcano and dropping it inside, causing an eruption that will heat the atmosphere and stop the big freeze. However, the chances of those piloting the taxi surviving are slim so he suggests drawing lots to see who will go. John gives the ok for the bomb, and they work to build it but as it is being finished, Dr. Etienne Martel disconnects the bomb so it won’t work. Feodor catches him and Etienne tries to convince him to let him continue, as their biggest rivals would be dead and they could rule the west but Feodor refuses, saying he is a human being, not a murderer. Etienne attacks him and Feodor calls out for help, and John shows up and stops Etienne from killing them. With Etienne restrained, the remaining members draw lots and Erich and David are the ones to pilot the taxi. They set off and successfully deliver the bomb but the explosion is not big enough and they are caught in the freeze effect. As they begin to crash, Erich pilots them towards the volcano and the crash into it but there is still no effect. As the remaining crew watch helplessly, the freeze effect reaches the rocket and as it becomes engulfed in ice, they all huddle together for warmth. Suddenly, the alien symbols appear on the monitor and Hideko begins to translate. The alien writing says that now they know the power the possess, but the Aliens also learned of the power of human spirit and self sacrifice, as well as love from Selim and Sidrig, so they are freeing humanity from the suspended animation they placed it in and say that next time they come to the moon, they will be more welcome. As the ship starts to thaw, they are contacted by the Earth, and the Secretary General starts to tell them about what happened over the last few hours.

I love watching classic sci-fi movies because it is always fun to see if they can still hold up watching them down the road. Today’s movie is one that does not really hold up. The acting was ok but because they had so many characters to try and focus on, that for the most part, they would only have one or two scenes, maybe 2 minutes tops, to try and create any sort of character development, which meant they all felt kinda of lame. The story was ok but some of the random plot points, like Etienne suddenly going homicidal, were never explained and then completely ignored afterwards. The special effects were kind of laughable and there were several goof in the movie that just made this funny to watch. Not a great sci-fi movie but kind of funny to watch at least once.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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December 25th, 2016 Movie – Resident Evil: Retribution

resident-evil-retribution

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Festivus, or whatever holiday you happen to celebrate. Hopefully everyone is having or did have a great day with family or friends. Well, today I will be finishing up the Resident Evil series with the latest movie available on DVD, with the newest one in the series due in theaters next month. Down the road, the only question there will be is whether or not I will see the last movie in theaters but for now, the question is how well do I like today’s movie, Resident Evil: Retribution.

The plot: Picking up where the last movie ended, the Arcadia is attacked by a fleet of aircraft, led by a mind controlled Jill Valentine, with the survivors either being killed or captured and Alice is flung from the deck of the ship by an explosion, while Claire, Chris, and K-Mart’s fates are left unknown. When Alice regains consciousness, she finds herself married to a man named Todd (who looks like Carlos Olivera) and they have a daughter named Becky. Choosing to believe that everything had been a dream, Alice quickly accepts the new reality and her family when suddenly, zombies attack and kill Todd. Alice grabs Becky and they escape the house, where they find the entire neighborhood in chaos. As they start to run, they are almost run over by a woman, who tells them to get in and they drive off but when the car is struck by a bus, Alice and Becky leave the car and continue running. Taking shelter inside a house, Alice hides Becky and manages to kill a zombie that followed them but when she turns around, she sees a zombie Todd standing there and he suddenly attacks her. Alice suddenly wakes up inside an Umbrella testing facility, where Jill Valentine repeatedly questions and tortures her. Some time later, the main computer is shut down, allowing Alice to escape her cell and make it outside before the system reboots and she is killed by the laser grid. Outside, she is shocked to find herself in Tokyo and uses a bike chain lock to smash a police cars window and grab the gun from inside. Suddenly, she hears a voice saying to begin Tokyo simulation and people suddenly appear as Alice witnesses the zombie infection hitting Tokyo. When the zombies start chasing after her, Alice runs into a new corridor and kills some of the zombies but finding herself about to be overwhelmed, she rushes to a door at the back of the corridor and makes it inside before it closes. Alice finds herself inside a control room, where everyone inside has been killed. As a weapons panel opens up, Alice starts to arm herself when a woman approaches her. The two briefly fight before they end up at a standoff and the woman starts to introduce herself but Alice stops her, saying she knows that she is Ada Wong, an Umbrella Corp agent from Tokyo who works for Albert Wesker. Wesker suddenly appears on a communication screen and starts talking to Alice, saying that humanity faces extinction and that they have to work together to save it. Wesker tells Alice that she is in Umbrella Prime, the testing facility where they used clones to show simulated zombie outbreaks to countries in order to sell the weapon. The base is located in an old Russian naval yard and Wesker says he has hired a team to help them escape to the surface. On the surface, the team is led by Leon S. Kennedy and contains Luther West, Alice’s ally that survived the prison in Los Angeles. Wesker explains that the Red Queen has taken control of Umbrella and is sending Jill Valentine and her team after her and says she has to escape before he is kicked out of the computer system and the Red Queen appears on the screen, telling Alice and Ada to stay where they are but when they choose to leave, says they will all die there. Alice and Ada enter the New York testing room, where the Red Queen sends two of the giant Axemen to kill them but they manage to evade the monsters then kill them by blowing up a taxi that their axes got stuck in. The two make their way to the Suburbia test site and enter one of the houses, where Alice sees a clone of herself that was used in the simulation. After killing a zombie cop, Alice encounters Becky, who believes Alice is her mom from the simulation. Ada explains about the clones and how they are essentially grown to be used for simulations but Alice decides to take Becky with them. As they go to leave the house, they encounter Jill and her security team, which also includes clones of Rain Ocampo, James “One” Shade, and Carlos Olivera, which forces Alice to tell Becky that it is not her father. Alice and Ada begin shooting at the security team and before they are overwhelmed, Ada gives Alice a pair of glasses that will help them find the exit, telling her to escape while she holds the team off before making her own escape. As they head into the subway tunnels connecting to the Moscow area, and encounter the clone of Rain, who was driving the car that Becky and her mom was in. Becky tells Alice that she is a friend and, as they hear explosions nearby, Alice gives the clone one of her guns and has her watch Becky while she goes to investigate. Meanwhile, the extraction team is making their way through the Moscow simulation area when they come under attack by zombie soldiers, who begin shooting at them. One of the team is killed with a chainsaw but the others manage to escape only to encounter a giant Licker, which kills the team’s computer expert. As the Licker moves to attack the rest of the team, Alice hits it with a car and rescues the surviving members; Leon, Luther, and Barry. As they make their escape, they are forced to deal with more of the zombies as well as the Licker but Alice manages to drive the car back into the subway tunnel, knocking out several support columns during the crash which buries the Licker in a cave in. Reconnecting with Becky and Rain, Alice uses her glasses to lead the group to the submarine pens but when they reach the elevator, the Red Queen cuts the power to the area. As Leon, Luther, and Alice work on getting the power restored, the giant Licker shows up, injuring Barry and killing the Rain clone while grabbing Becky and dragging her up the elevator shaft. Alice moves to go after it and Leon argues against it but decides to stand aside and let her go. Suddenly, they are attacked by Jill and the security team and Luther is shot in the arm but tells Alice to keep going while he, Leon, and Barry hold off the security team. Alice climbs up the shaft to the level the Licker took Beck and after finding them, manages to kill the Licker, then frees Becky from the pod she was trapped in, as well as grabbing the explosives from Leon’s team member that the Licker had killed earlier. As they make their way back to the others, the pass through a room filled with various clones and when she sees all of the clones of Alice, Becky asks if Alice is her real mommy and Alice says she is now, then sets the explosives just as the Licker returns, then uses Ada’s grappling gun to escape the explosion, which kills the Licker and destroys the clones. Back in the sub pen, Barry tells Leon and Luther to head for the elevator while he holds off the security team and manages to kill the clone of Shade before he is killed. When the explosives the team planted earlier explode, water comes flooding into killing the security team, including the clone of Carlos, while Luther and Leon make it out on the elevator, meeting up with Alice and Becky as they head up the shaft. Reaching the surface, they get into the snowmobile and head for their rendezvous when they are knocked over by a surfacing sub, containing Jill, a captive Ada, and the evil Rain clone, who injects herself with the Las Plagas parasite which gives her super strength and renders her practically immortal. As Alice and Jill begin to fight, Leon and Luther take on Rain but she easily overpowers them and manages to kill Luther by punching him in the chest hard enough to stop his heart. Jill manages to overpower Alice and receives orders from the Red Queen to kill her but Alice manages to rip of the spider robot and destroy it, freeing Jill from the Red Queen’s control. As Rain goes to kill Leon, Alice shoots her and starts to fight her but realizing she is outmatched, she shoots the ice under Rain’s feet, sending her plunging into the water, where the zombies escaping from the lab are seen swimming up and the quickly grab Rain and kill her. Alice passes out as the helicopter arrives but comes too while on board to find Becky sitting next to her and Jill approaching and the two friends are glad to see each other. Reaching the White House, Alice is lead into the Oval Office where she finds Wesker sitting behind the desk. Wesker quickly injects her with the T-virus, explaining that he needed her full powers to help the last remaining humans survive, then takes Alice, Leon, Jill, and Ada outside, where they see a heavily fortified wall around the White House, with Umbrella Corp and military troops working together to guard it as a horde of infected and mutated creatures come bearing down on the stronghold.

While Resident Evil: Retribution did meet with negative reviews from the critics, it did have the highest rating out of all of the sequels, with it’s 31% rating on Rotten Tomatoes being just 3% off from the original movie. The critical consensus on the site is that, “Resident Evil: Retribution offers everything one might reasonably expect from the fifth installment in a heavily action-dependent franchise — which means very little beyond stylishly hollow CGI-enhanced set pieces.” Aside from using several influences from the 4th and 5th video games in the series, such as the Las Pargas parasite and Alice and Ada’s first meeting, the film was also influenced by several science fiction movies, while the fight scenes were influenced with Asian martial arts films, especially Thai movies. The movie would be a box office hit, earning $240.2 million off of a $65 million budget.

As far as an open ended finale, this would have been pretty good but as yet another in a series, it’s only decent. The acting was ok, with Milla Jovovich doing a good job as the serious Alice but also as the suburban clone version of herself, but, with the exception of Boris Kodjoe (Luther), I was honestly disappointed with most of the people that had come back to reprise roles in this movie, especially Michelle Rodriguez. The story was interesting, mixing elements of a prison break into the typical zombie movie. The special effects were actually pretty good in this movie, a lot better than some of the previous entries and even the times that they slowed things down to help exaggerate the 3D elements really weren’t that bad. A fun movie to watch that actually makes you interested in what they will do for a finale.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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