action, adventure, comic book, fantasy, movie, movie review, sci-fi

June 8th, 2018 Movie – X2: X-Men United

x2-xmen united

When you have a smash hit on your hands, it is usually a good idea to go ahead and strike while the iron is hot with regards to movie sequels. That was definitely the case for today’s movie. When I first heard that the plot was being based in part on the graphic novel “God Loves, Man Kills”, I was immediately on board because that was one of the more powerful one-shot stories that I read as a kid. Then I started to worry and wondered if they would be able to do the story justice, or if it would be completely butchered. In the end, there was only one way to figure it out and that was to go see it. Now to find out whether my fears were justified with today’s movie, X2: X-Men United.

The plot: During a tour of the White House, the mutant Nightcrawler teleports away from the group and makes his way towards the Oval Office, taking out secret service guards along the way. He eventually manages to reach the President and prepares to stab him when one of the agents manages to fire a shot and wound his arm, causing him to drop the knife and teleport away. Meanwhile, Wolverine makes his way to an abandoned military base at Alkali Lake in Alberta, Canada, hoping to find something there that will help him remember the missing pieces of his past but he has no luck. Elsewhere, Jean Grey, Cyclops, and Storm are taking some of the students from the school to a field trip at the New York Science Museum. During the trip, Jean starts having trouble with her telepathy, hearing thoughts from everyone in the building, as well as thoughts from the Secret Service in the White House. Cyclops questions her about and she admits that she has been losing control of both her telepathy and telekinesis and doesn’t know what’s going on. Meanwhile, Rogue, Bobby Drake, and John Allerdyce (Pyro) are hanging out in the food court when two guys ask Pyro for a light, as he is messing around with his lighter. Pyro refuses but the guy grabs the lighter and lights a cigarette and when he asks Pyro what he is going to do about it, Pyro causes the cigarette to flare up, catching the guy’s arm on fire. As the guy flails around, Pyro simply laughs and Bobby is forced to use his power to put out the fire. Suddenly, everyone in the museum freezes as Professor Xavier uses his powers to stop them so he can chastise Pyro but when they notice the report about the attack on the White House, they all quickly leave. At the White House, Colonel William Stryker meets with the President and they are joined by Senator Robert Kelly, who is actually Mystique in disguise. Stryker wants the President to authorize a special op to take out Xavier’s school, claiming that it is a mutant training center due to information he obtained from interrogating Magneto. Kelly argues that it is a school but when Stryker shows a picture of a plane seen leaving the school, the President agrees, but warns Stryker only to detain and question but do not kill any kids, as he doesn’t want a picture of that to appear on the news. As Stryker leaves the Oval Office, Kelly chases after him and asks to arrange a visit to question Magneto but Stryker refuses, causing Kelly to question Stryker’s zeal for waging a war against mutants. Some time later, Stryker pays another visit to Magneto, using a special serum applied to a wound on his neck to render him passive and unable to refuse to answer any questions he is asked. At the mansion, Cyclops, Jean, Storm, and Xavier are discussing the ramifications of the attack on the President and Xavier asks Jean and Storm to capture the mutant and bring him back to the mansion. At the same time, Logan returns to the mansion, where Rogue greets him and introduces him to Bobby, her boyfriend. Storm and Jean then talk with Logan, asking him to keep a watch on the mansion while they go to find the mutant. Logan heads down to see Xavier, who is using Cerebro to try and locate the mutant that attacked the President. When he is finished, Logan asks Xavier to read his mind again but Xavier says it won’t help and that sometimes, the mind simply must remember things on it’s own, but promises to talk with him more about the matter when he and Cyclops return. Back in D.C., Mystique changes into Stryker’s aide, Yuriko, and makes his way into Stryker’s office, where she locates the information on Magneto’s prison and guard detail. While she prints up the information, she notices a folder marked Cerebro and when she opens it, she finds Stryker has details on the device, as well as plans for alterations. Before she can do anything further, the real Yuriko enters the room and Mystique quickly changes into a janitor and leaves. Jean and Storm locate Nightcrawler in a church in Boston, where they learn that he is teleporter, explaining Xavier’s difficulty tracking him. After subduing talking with him, they learn that he has no recollection of attacking the President and when Jean wants to take him back to the mansion to further treat his injury, they notice the circular mark on his neck. Meanwhile, Xavier and Cyclops head to Magneto’s prison and while Cyclops stays back with the guards, Xavier goes on alone into the cell, where he notices the bruising on Magneto’s face. When he questions him about it, Magneto tells him that he has had frequent visits by Stryker. Xavier remembers him, as his son Jason was a former student at the school, but he couldn’t help Jason the way that Stryker wanted him too. When Magneto questions Xavier about Logan, mocking Xavier’s reluctance to pry into his mind for fear of losing another of his precious X-Men, Xavier asks Magneto what he told Stryker and Magneto says everything. As gas begins to fill the chamber, Magneto tells Xavier that he should have killed him when he had the chance and Xavier turns and yells out for Cyclops. In the guard’s area, Yuriko appears and attempts to tranquilize Cyclops but he blasts her with his eye beam, then fights off the guards. He heads to the door to free Xavier but Yuriko recovers and quickly knocks him out as Xavier slumps to the ground. Back at the mansion, Wolverine wakes up from a nightmare regarding his past and finds Bobby in the kitchen eating some ice cream. As the two talk, Stryker’s team begins infiltrating the mansion and starts tranquilizing the students. Wolverine hears something and goes to check it out, returning in time to save Bobby from being attacked by one of Stryker’s men. One of the students, Shadowcat, sees the men and is able to phase through her bed and escape from them. Another student, Siryn, wakes up and begins screaming when she sees the men, alerting the rest of the students to the danger before she is knocked out. Colossus heads to her room, changing to his steel form, and knocks out the men attempting to capture Siryn, then leads some of the other students to safety. Wolverine kills the man he is fighting with, then starts killing some of the other soldiers, rescuing another student and giving him to Colossus to take out of there with the other students. Bobby goes looking for Rogue, getting Pyro to help him and when they find her, they attempt to escape from the soldiers, eventually being rescued by Wolverine. Wolverine leads them to another escape passage and closes it behind them, then goes to face the soldiers only to be confronted by Stryker, who remarks that it has been 15 years since he last saw Wolverine. As Stryker continues to talk to Wolverine, an ice wall suddenly separates them and Wolverine turns to see Rogue and Bobby had returned. Rogue pleads with him to come with them and Wolverine reluctantly does so, taking Cyclops’s car to make their escape. As they drive off, Rogue asks where they are going and when Wolverine says they are heading to Boston, as that is where Jean and Storm are, Bobby says his parents live there and Wolverine decides to head there to hide. Back in the mansion, Stryker is told that most of the mutants escaped but they managed to capture 6 of them, as his men work on breaking into Cerebro’s chamber. Elsewhere, Mystique, disguised as a hooker, picks up one of the guards in Magneto’s prison and after giving him a laced drink, injects some iron directly into his bloodstream. At Stryker’s facility, Xavier regains consciousness to find Styker watching him. When Stryker tries talking to him about his son, Stryker tells Xavier that after he returned from Xavier’s school, he started placing images into the heads of him and his wife and his wife eventually took a power drill and committed suicide by trying to drill the images out. Xavier realizes that Styker arranged the attack on the President and Stryker says that he has plans for Xavier to help him in dealing with the mutant problem, leaving Xavier there with his son, Jason, who begins using his powers to weaken Xavier’s willpower. In Boston, Bobby lets everyone into his parent’s house and he heads to his parent’s room to get some clothes for Rogue. After she changes, they kiss briefly and when it doesn’t have a bad effect on Bobby, they kiss even more but Rogue starts absorbing too much of Bobby’s energy and she quickly apologizes. Meanwhile, Wolverine tries using the communicator he found in Cyclops’s car to get in touch with Jean when Bobby’s family returns home and Bobby quickly comes downstairs to talk with them. In Magneto’s prison, the guard Mystique drugged goes to bring Magneto his food but Magneto, sensing the additional iron in the guard, rips it from his body, killing the guard. Fashioning the iron into ball bearings, Magneto uses them to destroy his cell and kill the other guards while making his escape. In Boston, Bobby’s parents are having a hard time coming to grips with Bobby telling them he is a mutant and his brother Ronny runs off and secretly calls the police. In the Blackbird, Storm and Jean can’t make contact with anyone at the mansion and eventually manage to contact Wolverine, who tells them where they are and tells them to hurry as the police show up. Wolverine heads outside to speak with the cops and ends up getting shot in the head. As the police tell Rogue, Bobby, and Pyro to get on  the ground, Rogue and Bobby comply but Pyro decides to attack the cops. When he sets one of the police cars on fire and refuses to stop, Rogue uses her powers to absorb his and put the fires out, just as Jean and Storm arrive. Wolverine recovers from the bullet and leads the kids onto the jet, with Bobby taking one last look at his family before boarding, and they quickly leave. Back in Stryker’s base, Jason continues using his powers and eventually manages to overcome Xavier’s will, tricking him into thinking he is a little girl and Xavier leads her away towards Cerebro. Back on the jet, Storm alerts everyone that two fighter jets are approaching them, just as the jets order them to follow them to a nearby air force base. When they don’t respond, the two jets fall back and move to fire on them so Storm uses her powers to summon some funnel clouds. The twisters manage to destroy the planes but not before one of the pilots is able to fire two missiles at them. Jean is able to stop one of them but the second one hits them, opening a hole in the tail section and causing them to plummet to the ground. Rogue, whose harness wasn’t fastened properly, gets sucked out of the hole but she is rescued by Nightcrawler. As the plane drops to the ground, it suddenly repairs itself before coming to a stop, and the surprised X-Men see Magneto and Mystique below them. That night, Jean, Storm, and Wolverine speak with Magneto and Mystique, who tells them about Styker and his plans. Informing them that with Cerebro and Xavier, Stryker could manage to get Xavier to kill every mutant on Earth, then comments about how Stryker was the one that bonded the adamantium to Wolverine. When they ask why he helped them, Magneto tells them that Mystique downloaded the plans for the base but not it’s location and he believes one of them does, looking up to indicate Nightcrawler, who had been snooping on their conversation. Jean uses her telepathy to learn that Stryker’s base is at Alkali Lake and when Logan says he didn’t see anything there, she says it is underneath the lake. With final repairs still taking several hours to complete, the group prepare to make camp for the night and Wolverine talks with Jean for a bit, bringing up the tension between them. Jean tells him that girls want someone that is willing to stick around, not just leave whenever they feel like it and Wolverine says he could find a reason to stay before kissing her but Jean asks him to stop and not to make her choose between Cyclops and him. Later that night, Jean goes to Wolverine’s tent and starts kissing him but as he moves his hands up her shirt, he feels three scars on her chest and realizes it is Mystique, who taunts him by changing into Storm, Rogue, and back into Jean before turning into Stryker and asking him what he really wants. The next day, they fly to Alkali Lake and Magneto and Mystique tease Rogue about her hair, prompting Bobby to lead Rogue away from them before she tries anything. Magneto then speaks with Pyro some and begins to bond with him, as Pyro has been feeling stifled with having to keep his powers hidden all the time. Back in their base, Stryker is told that the machine is finished and one of his soldiers asks why he is keeping the children there and Stryker tells him it is to see if his machine works. Outside the base, Storm and the others are discussing the best way to enter the base and stop Styker. Wolverine says he should go, as he feels Stryker would want to keep him alive, but Magneto says Wolverine won’t be able to manage the controls for the spillway. Mystique, disguised as Wolverine, goes instead and is let inside but when Stryker gets a closer look at him, he realizes this Wolverine is a fake and orders his men to shoot him. Mystique manages to get away and lock herself into the control room, opening the spillway so that Magneto and the others can enter. Realizing that time is running out, Stryker and Yuriko head to the Cerebro room, where he orders Jason to tell the mesmerized Xavier to start searching for all of the mutants all over the world, knowing that if Xavier focuses hard enough on them, he will inadvertently kill them all. When Magneto and the X-Men join Mystique in the control room, they start discussing plans and Wolveirne notices a monitor showing Styker and Yuriko trying to escape and he secretly goes off after him. Meanwhile, Storm notices the monitor showing the children and asks Nightcrawler to help her rescue them but is worried about leaving Jean and Wolverine with Magneto. When she asks where Wolverine is, Jean looks and sees his communicator lying on the table and says disappointedly that he is gone. Storm and Nightcrawler reach the children and Nightcrawler begins teleporting down to their cell to rescue them. Meanwhile, Jean, Magneto, and Mystique head towards the Cerebro chamber but when Jean senses the mesmerized Cyclops about to attack them, she telekineticaly shoves Magneto and Mystique to safety, then yells at them to keep going while she deals with Cyclops. After knocking him down to a lower level, Jean goes looking for him only for Cyclops to try and blast her again. Jean uses her powers to block his blast and, with a sudden surge of power (and a flash of fire in her eyes) she causes a massive feedback wave, knocking both of them back but also damaging the dam. As Jean lays dazed on the floor, Cyclops approaches her but as she readies to defend herself again, he says he is ok and apologizes for attacking her. The two embrace and Cyclops helps her to his feet but Jean suddenly says that something is wrong. Meanwhile, Stryker and Yuriko are making their way out of the base when Stryker feels water dripping from the ceiling and looking up, he notices cracks in the foundation. Heading to a bank of panels, he checks the readings and yells out as he realizes his plans might come to naught. Wolverine reaches the chamber where the adamantium was bonded to him and he starts having flashback of the experience. As shakes off the memories, Stryker appears and starts talking to him before exiting the room, leaving Yuriko there to handle Wolverine. Wolverine tries to go past her but she attacks him, revealing that she also had adamantium bonded to her and a healing factor. As the two keep fighting, Yuriko appears to get the upper hand and is about to kill him but Wolverine grabs an injection gun for the liquid adamantium and stabs her with it, injecting her body full of the liquid metal and sending her sinking to the bottom of the tank. Back on the jet, Pyro gets tired of waiting around and decides to head into the base to see what is happening, taunting Rogue and Bobby for always doing what they are told. Outside the Cerebro chamber, Magneto pulls the pins for the grenades that all of the soldiers are carrying, killing all of them, then approaches the door. Inside, Jason has Xavier concentrate on finding all of the mutants causing all of the mutants on Earth to start writhing in pain. Magneto, protected from the psychic attack by his helmet, uses his powers to open the door, disrupting power to Cerebro. He then heads inside and decides to change the pattern of the Cerebro plating, so that it will kill all of the humans, instead of the mutants. Mystique, who has recovered from the attack, changes into Stryker and tells Jason to kill all of the human instead. Outside, Stryker attempts to get away on his helicopter but he is stopped by Logan, who stabs him and asks about his past. Stryker tells him he volunteered for the project and if he remembered all of the things they had done, he would consider not knowing them a blessing. Suddenly, they hear a siren going off and Stryker tells him the dam is about to burst and the whole base will be flooded. He offers to tell Wolverine everything if he helps him get out of here but Wolverine chains Stryker to the landing gear then heads back to save his friends. As Stryker works on getting free of his bonds, he is suddenly struck by Xavier’s psychic attack and he starts writhing in pain. Outside the Cerebro chamber, Storm, Nightcrawler, and the students are joined by Jean and Cyclops, and Jean explains what is going on. Realizing they can’t open the door without killing Xavier, Storm asks Nightcrawler to teleport her inside the chamber. Nightcrawler does so and they are confronted by Jason, sending them the same illusion of the little girl he is using on Xavier, but Storm doesn’t fall for his deceptions and when she can’t make contact with Xavier, she uses her powers to lower the temperature in the room. Outside, Magneto and Mystique reach Stryker’s helicopter, with Magneto forcefully removing Stryker from the landing gear, and as they go to leave, they see Pyro outside watching them and they take him with them. Back in the Cerebro chamber, Storm’s efforts are rewarded as Jason looses his hold on Xavier, who is able to stop Cerebro, just as the dam starts to break and the base floods. Nightcrawler teleports Storm and Xavier to safety before the debris crushes them and they all head towards the exit to leave the spillway but they are stopped when Logan seals the doors just as the spillway floods and he leads them outside. Logan leads them outside to where the helicopter was only to find it missing but suddenly, the Blackbird appears, as Bobby and Rogue attempted to fly it to them. Everyone heads for the Blackbird but before he goes there, Wolverine discovers Striker trapped against some rocks where Magneto left him. Stryker asks Wolverine if he will find the answers he seeks with them and Wolverine says he will take his chances with them and walks away, as Stryker yells out that one day, someone will finish what he started. On board the plane, Xavier tells Cyclops that they have to head to Washington, as he fears this isn’t over yet. As they attempt to leave, Storm asks where Pyro is and Jean is able to tell that he is with Magneto. As the plane isn’t able to start, Jean senses that the dam has broke and she quietly walks off the plane. Wishing to keep her loved ones safe, she closes the loading ramp and and prevents Nightcrawler from teleporting to save her. She then telekineticaly lifts the plane into air while holding back the wave of water from crushing them. Speaking telepathically through Xavier, she tells them that this is the only way and wishes them goodbye. With her body surrounded by a glowing flame, she easily lifts the plane to safety and sends them flying, then allows the wave to crash down around her, as Cyclops cries out in grief over her death. In D.C., the President is preparing to give a live broadcast to discuss the phenomenon that affected the world when the power fluctuates and he notices everyone but him is frozen. As a storm suddenly occurs outside, darkening the room, a bolt of lightning reveals Xavier and the X-Men in the room. Xavier addresses the President and has Rogue hand him files that Shadowcat retrieved from Stryker’s office, revealing he was behind the attack on the President. Xavier explains that there are people, both human and mutant, that want feel that a war is coming between the two species but the President has been presented an opportunity to try and work towards peace instead, which is what they want as well. Another bolt of lightning occurs and Xavier and everyone is gone, and the President is left with the folder to prove that he didn’t imagine what happened. Back at the mansion, Xavier, Cyclops, and Wolverine are discussing Jean and as Cyclops and Wolverine leave so Xavier can teach his class, Wolverine tells Cyclops that Jean made a choice and choose him (Cyclops). In the class room, Xavier is about to address the children when he suddenly looks away for a minute before getting a smile on his face and turning back to the children, while in Alkali Lake, the flaming outline of a phoenix can be seen moving underneath the water.

X2: X-Men United met with high praise from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 85% on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Tightly scripted, solidly acted, and impressively ambitious, X2: X-Men United is bigger and better than its predecessor — and a benchmark for comic sequels in general.” The Sentinels, the mutant hunter/killer robots from the comics, were initially supposed to be used in this movie but due to budgeting and rewrites, they ended up being scrapped. They would make a somewhat brief appearance in X-Men: The Last Stand, though they weren’t referenced by name, and would be a central plot line for X-Men: Days Of Future Past. The movie was a hit at the box office, earning $407.7 million off of a $125 million budget and set up way for a sequel.

This was a really good movie and definitely showed some improvement from the first one. The acting was pretty good, with all of the returning character doing good jobs in their roles. I thought that Brian Cox was great as Stryker and Kelly Hu was decent as Yuriko (Lady Deathstrike) but I really wish they could have given her at least a little bit of character instead of making her nothing more than a robotic slave. The story was great, sticking fairly close to the graphic novel, but with some changes necessitated by the previous movie, as well as a little creative licensing. The minor change of making Stryker a black ops colonel, as opposed to a religious figurehead like he was in the comic, actually played out better in the movie and I liked how they made Magneto even more ruthless in this, as instead of simply leaving with Xavier and the X-Men like in the comic, he chose to alter Stryker’s plans in an attempt to kill all of the humans on Earth, which is a rather twisted sense of irony in that Magneto, a survivor of the Holocaust, would actively attempt to cause widespread genocide. I also liked how they dealt with Jean and her powers, slowly giving hints to the phoenix persona beginning to emerge by showing glimpses of fire in her eyes as she uses her powers. The special effects were really good throughout the whole move, especially during the jet chase scene amidst all of the funnel clouds as that was an incredible bit of artistic work. All in all, this is a great comic book movie and definitely something worth watching whenever it comes on.

Rating 4 1/2 out of 5

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action, fantasy, horror, Maneater series, movie, movie review

June 6th, 2018 Movie – Wyvern

wyvern

You know, as I get closer to the end of the alphabet I realize that I will also be getting to the end of several series of movies. Take today’s movie for instance. Not only is it the last movie for the letter “W”, but it is also the last movie in the Maneater franchise. Now I didn’t get a chance to watch this movie on TV when it aired, only watching it when I bought it on DVD with some other movies from the Maneater series. Still, this is one of those movies that I knew I would enjoy so let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Wyvern.

The plot: In Northern Alaska, a melting glacier uncovers a frozen wyvern, which wakes up from it’s frozen slumber and attacks a fisherman, drawn by the smell of his blood when he cuts his hand. In the nearby small town of Beaver Mills, Vinyl Hampton, the local radio DJ, is talking about the upcoming end to the midnight sun, as the town has had almost 24 hours of sunlight for the past 80 days. At the local diner, Jake is working on fixing the steps but keeps having to stop due to his hand being injured. The town doctor, David, walks by and says he is lucky to walk away from the wreck he was in with just the messed up hand and ankle and asks Jake to let him take a look at it but Jake refuses. The diner’s owner, Claire, brings a coffee out for Jake but David grabs it and invites her to go to a conference with him but Claire refuses. When David leaves, Jake comments about David’s persistence and speaks with Claire for a bit before she invites him inside to get some food. Meanwhile, Colonel Travis Sherman is calling out for his dog when a moose head suddenly drops into his hot tub. Meanwhile, Jake finishes working on the diner and heads back to his trailer to find David waiting for him. He reluctantly invites him in to let him look at his hand and after looking at it, David says his wrist is dislocated. Jake then asks the real reason David is there and David comments about how he noticed how Jake looks at Claire, and vice versa, and he doesn’t wan’t Claire hurt when Jake drives out of there after getting his insurance money. David leaves and heads back to town but stops along the way to use the restroom when he is attacked by the wyvern and carried off. Early the next morning, Jake wakes up from a nightmare about his wreck and heads into town, waiting on the diner steps for Claire to arrive and open up and he is soon joined by Chief Dawson. Meanwhile, a local resident named Hass is out hunting when he sees the wyvern and shoots at it when it flies down towards him. Hearing the shots, Dawson goes to check it out, thinking it is just some people letting off steam early, and invites Jake to go with him. They soon find Hass and question what he was doing but Hass is in shock, simply mumbling about a flying monster. As Jake and Dawson put Hass in Dawson’s truck, they notice David’s arm lying in the grass but see no sign of the rest of him. They take Hass back into town, calling Deputy Barnes to call a town meeting at the diner. When Jake, Dawson, and Hass get to town Dawson tells the towns folk about David being missing and badly hurt, not telling them they think he is dead, but when Barnes shows up with the arm, Claire and some of the others get upset. When asked about the festival that day, Dawson says that it can still happen, though Jake says it is a bad idea, then heads out to answer a call he received. Meanwhile, the Colonel spots the wyvern flying over his house and heads to town to try and warn people. He talks to Barnes and his friend Farley but both of them don’t believe him and when he tries to tell Hampton to make an emergency broadcast but she says she can’t without authorization or visual proof of something happening. Meanwhile, Dawson goes to the resident’s house that called the sheriff’s office only to find both of the residents, as well as their caged minks, dead and he ends up knocking himself unconscious. When he comes too, he radios Barnes to shut down the festival on his authority. Back in town, Hampton sees the wyvern land outside the station and attempts to make an emergency broadcast but it knocks out the power to the station. In the town square, Barnes is telling everyone to go home when she is attacked and killed by the wyvern, sending everyone into a panic. In the diner, Jake, Claire, Hass, and Edna hear the commotion just as the wyvern approaches the diner and tries to get inside, forcing them all to take cover. When it leaves, Hampton and Farley head inside the diner and after making sure everyone is ok, they try to figure out what the creature is. Edna thinks it is the beast from Revelations but Hass, coming out of his shock, says it is a wyvern from Norse mythology. Trying to come up with a plan, Jake and Claire decide to go try to find Dawson, telling Hampton and Hass to try and get a hold of the state troopers on the CB. As they are driving to where Dawson was going, they see the wyvern fly overhead and land nearby and Jake decides to head out to see where it is heading. Meanwhile, the Colonel decides to head out to get the authorities on his own but as he drives down the highway, he sees the road blocked with wrecked vehicles and realizes the wyvern is not going to let them leave. Back in town, Dawson arrives and sees the carnage from the festival and is in shock at what happened. Hass and the others see him and yell for him to get in the diner, just as the wyvern returns and ends up grabbing Dawson and flying off with him. Back in the woods, Jake goes as far as he can in his truck, then heads out on foot, leaving Claire in the truck. After he leaves, the wyvern appears and rips off the door to try to get to Claire but she shoots it and manages to escape.  Jake manages to spot the wyvern’s nest but when he hears the shots, he heads back and finds Claire hiding in the trees. The Colonel pulls up and tells them about the highway and says that the wyvern is keeping them there as it’s food supply so they head back to town. When they reach town, they head into the diner and try to think of a new plan. Hampton says that she might be able to jury rig a long range antennae but since hers is trashed, she would need the one from a nearby store to use. Jake and Hampton head out, stopping by Dawson’s truck to get his weapons from the back, and then they head to the store. As they are inside, the wyvern lands on the roof and grabs some of the wires before flying off and after it leaves, Jake goes to get the antennae, managing to get it unscrewed and throwing it to Hampton before the wyvern returns, and they manage to get back to the diner. With the jury rigged antennae, Hampton and Jake tries to reach the state authorities and manage to contact someone but there signal keeps cutting in and out and they aren’t sure if they managed to get their call for help through. Jake, Colonel, Hass, and Farley head out and get some gas from the trucks outside, as well as some other supplies, but the wyvern returns and slashes Farley in the stomach with it’s tail. Back at the nest, David is shown to be alive and after fixing a tourniquet around his severed arm, he looks inside the nest and sees three eggs inside, just before the wyvern returns and grabs him. The wyvern returns to town and drops David on the ground, then lands on the roof of the diner and waits. Jake and the others realize it is using David as bait but Jake can’t just leave David out there. He goes out to save him, with Colonel and Hass covering him. Jake grabs David and starts making his way back and Farley, thinking that he won’t make it, decides to run out to distract the wyvern and ends up being killed. As they all recover and rest, David comes too and tells them about the eggs in the nest before he dies from his wounds. Jake, Hass, Colonel, Hampton, and Claire head out to the nest and, seeing a generator nearby, come up with a plan to electrify the nest in order to kill the wyvern and the eggs. As they head out, Hass ends up being killed by the wyvern but Jake and Hampton get the generator set up and shock the wyvern but it only chases it off. The Colonel shoots two of the eggs but Jake stops him from shooting the third, saying they need it as bait. Heading off with the egg, they come across some  more wrecked and abandoned cars, including a new semi, which happened to be Jake’s replacement truck. Coming up with a new plan, Jake grabs the GPS from David’s car and has the egg strapped into his truck, then drives off, luring the wyvern into following him. As the wyvern starts attacking the truck, Jake steers it towards a cliff and jumps out before it goes over the edge, Pinning the wyvern underneath it as it crashes, then explodes on the rocks below. Jake returns to town to tell everyone it is over and when Hampton asks about the rig, he says he doesn’t need it anymore as he has grown to like it in Beaver Mills, hugging Claire as they all head back inside the diner.

This is one of those no frills, killer animal movies where you know exactly what you are going to get out of it, and enjoy every second of it. This movie was a lot better than I honestly thought it was going to be. The acting was good, with Nick Chinlund and Erin Karpluk doing a good job as Jake and Claire respectively. I also liked Don S. Davis (Colonel) and Barry Corbin (Hass), as they had some great lines throughout the movie. The story was good and I liked that they used a wyvern instead of just calling it a dragon, like most people would probably have done. I also liked that they showcased the creatures intelligence with the scene of it using David as bait to try and lure the others out of the diner. The wyvern’s design was pretty good and I liked the over all special effects in the movie, though there were a few times where they did look a little weak. Still, definitely an enjoyable movie for any sci-fi/horror fan, especially if you are a fan of the Maneater series like me.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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action, adventure, animation, comic book, fantasy, movie, movie review

June 3rd, 2018 Movie – Wonder Woman (2009

wonder woman 2009

Man, why can’t DC make their live action movies as good as their animated ones. I know it is a pipe dream but it would still be nice. Anyways, in 2005, DC started a line of animated movies, separate from the earlier movies that were all related to the animated cartoons started by Bruce Timm. Today’s movie was the 4th one in the series and the first animated movie to really focus on the female member of DC’s leading trio. So, let’s see how good of a job that they did with today’s movie, Wonder Woman (2009).

The plot: In Ancient Greece, Queen Hippolyta leads the Amazons against the forces of Ares, God of War. As Hippolyta faces off against Ares on her own, Artemis and Persephone help keep Artemis’s sister Alexa safe, as she is more of a scholar than a warrior, but Persephone loses an eye in the process. Hippolyta continues to fight Ares but knowing that he only grows stronger as the fighting continues, she changes targets and goes after Thrax, the demigod son of Ares and Hippolyta, who is leading his father’s army. Hippolyta decapitates Thrax and when Ares tries to attack her, she gets the upper hand and is prepared to kill him as well. Suddenly, Zeus appears and tells her to spare Ares life and Hippolyta refuses at first but Hera then appears and calms Hippolyta down. She has Ares bound in bracers that disconnect him from his ability to feed off the aura of violence and death that gives him strength. She then offers Hippolyta the island of Themyscira for her and the Amazons to live in peace forever, as guards of Ares prison. As time passes, Hippolyta, feeling the loss of her child, molds one out of clay on the beach and holds it up to the Gods, where a bolt of life strikes it and brings it to life. Years pass and the baby has grown into a woman named Diana, who questions why they are always training when they never fight in any wars. Hippolyta leads her to the prison, and shows her Ares, still bound in chains, and tells her that they must always be vigilant to prevent him from escaping, as mankind has no doubt continued it’s warring ways. In the outside world, USAF Colonel Steve Trevor is on a mission with two other pilots when they are attacked by 6 enemy planes. As the planes fight in the air, all 6 enemy planes are killed but both of Steve’s wingmen are killed and Steve’s plane is damaged causing him to fall towards the sea. Suddenly, Steve sees the Themyscira before him, as someone had punched the mirror that allows it to interact with the real world, and he manages to crash his plane in a lake on the island. After swimming to shore, Steve comes across some Amazons bathing by a waterfall but he is soon attacked by Artemis and some other Amazons before eventually being captured by Diana. Steve is brought before Hippolyta, who uses the lasso of truth to determine how much he knows about Themyscira. Realizing that neither he, nor his government, knows anything about them, Hippolyta decides to send him back to his world. Diana offers to escort him but Hippolyta tells her she doesn’t have the experience necessary for such an undertaking and says they will hold a tournament to determine a worthy emissary. When Diana continues to argue that she will never gain experience if her mother keeps her from doing anything, Persephone suggest she help her guard Ares and Hippolyta agrees with her. As the Amazons prepare for the tournament, Alexa goes to prison and offers to take Diana’s place, telling Diana to keep her identity hidden underneath her warrior’s helmet. As the tournament commences, Persephone express displeasure in Diana shirking her duty and as Alexa tries to console her, Persephone stabs her in the back. As Alexa falls to the floor and lays dying, she sees Persephone open the cell and kiss Ares, who says he has been seducing her for 100 years, then finishes off Alexa. Back at the tournament, Diana ends up winning and when she approaches her mother, she takes off her helmet and Hippolyta says she will make them proud. Suddenly, a guard informs Artemis of Alexa’s death and as Artemis, Hippolyta, Diana, and some other Amazons head there, they find Ares and Persephone have both fled. Diana weeps over her friend’s body and Hippolyta says that she now has a second task to accomplish in man’s world. Diana dons the armor and lasso of truth and flies off with Steve in her invisible jet and takes Steve to New York. When they arrive in New York, Diana is amazed by some of the sights she sees, especially the sight of children playing, but is also upset at how women are treated as inferior to men. Steve tries to get her to focus on the mission of finding Ares, while continuously flirting with her, and notices an uptick in violent crimes all over the world. Setting the computer to hunt for a pattern in the events, Steve takes Diana to a bar for some drinks, attempting to get her drunk, but she easily out drinks him, then storms out of the bar. When Steve tries to follow, Diana yells at him for proving that her mother was right and showing her the worst out of men, just as a group of muggers appear and try to mug them. Diana easily defeats the muggers and when another figure approaches, Steve tries to take it on only to be knocked aside as it is a servant of Ares from the underworld. Diana starts battling the creature and manages to get the upper hand but it kills itself before it can be forced to talk. Steve searches among the ashes and finds an disk with a symbol on it and Diana recognizes it as the sign of Tartarus. They fly to a mountain in Greece and discover a rebel group that Diana says is the modern incarnation of the Cult of Ares. Working together, they dispatch the guards and head inside the temple, where they find Ares preparing to sacrifice one of the cult members in order to open the gates to Tartarus. Diana tells Steve they have to stop Ares and goes to stop him but Ares casts a spell to bring the two giant harpy statues to life to attack them. Diana manages to kill one of them but the second one grabs her before she can kill Ares and flies off with her. Faced with the choice of saving Diana or stopping Ares, Steve decides to save Diana, managing to get on top of the harpy and throwing a grenade in it’s mouth, then rescuing Diana when it falls. Meanwhile, Ares makes the sacrifice and opens the gate and heads into the underworld with Persephone while Steve flies Diana to get treated for her injuries. In Tartarus, Hades leaves Persephone with Cerberus while he goes to see Hades alone and is shocked to find that Hades has made Thrax his slave but Hades agrees to free Ares from his bonds. At the hospital, Diana regains consciousness and when she learns that Steve chose to save her over stopping Ares, she slaps him and says she was prepared to die for her cause. When she accuses Steve of being willing to accomplish the mission if she was a man instead of a “damsel in distress”, Steve yells at her, saying that the Amazons aren’t perfect either, as he feels separating themselves from humanity was cowardly, and he saved her because he cared for her. The two get closer and seem about to kiss but Diana slaps him again and says they have work to do. In Washington D.C., Ares assembles his army and prepares to wage a war that will cause all of humanity to be slaughtered and allow him to challenge the Gods of Olympus, then sends them after the national guard, who have assembled to stop them. Diana and Steve arrive and begin working on stopping Ares army from destorying D.C. but Diana ends up being captured. Ares moves to behead her, much like Hippolyta beheaded his son but an arrow suddenly knocks the sword from his hand and he turns to find that the Amazons have left Themyscira and come to help Diana stop Ares. As Ares forces move to fight the Amazons, Diana frees herself and continues fighting Ares, getting the upper hand. Meanwhile, the President, feeling the influence of Ares in D.C. says that someone has to pay for this attack and when his intelligence agencies tell him of Themyscira appearing out of nowhere, he orders a nuclear missile to be fired at it. As Diana asks Ares how he will be able to challenge the Gods when he can’t beat her, he tells her of the nuclear missile and how it’s destructive power is like 1000 wars, allowing him to increase his size and strength. Steve sees the missile flying off and gets into Diana’s invisible jet and takes off after it, managing to shoot it down before it destroys Themyscira. As Ares continues to batter Diana, he uses his new found power to summon the spirits of the dead Amazons and sends them to fight the Amazon army, and as each Amazon falls, it rejoins the battle and fights against the remaining Amazons. Artemis ends up fighting against her dead sister Alexa, who continuous says a phrase to her. Realizing that Alexa wants her to say it, Artemis does so and the phrase is revealed to be a spell that removes Ares’s unnatural control over the Amazons. The dead Amazons move to attack Ares but he uses his powers to destroy the dead Amazons. Meanwhile, Hippolyta ends up fighting against Persephone and as Hippolyta kills her and says she betrayed the Amazons, Persephone said Hippolyta betrayed them by denying them the right to have a family or children. Diana and Ares continue fighting and Diana finally defeats him by using the Lasso of Truth to grab Ares and pull him into the path of a bolt of lightning he summoned, then cutting off his head. As Steve lands the plane and approaches Diana, the two embrace and kiss, while the Amazons cheer both them and their victory over Ares army. The Amazons return to Themyscira and Hippolyta comments on Artemis’s attempt at reading a book. She then notes Diana sitting sadly on a bench and, realizing that she misses Steve, hands her back the armor and lasso and tells Diana that she has a new mission, to reopen the lines of communication between man and woman. Diana returns to New York to be with Steve but when they see the super villain Cheetah robbing a bank, Diana quickly changes clothes to stop her, as the newly christened super hero Wonder Woman.

This was a pretty good movie and one of their better examples of their early movies. The voice acting was pretty good, with Keri Russell and Nathan Fillion doing a good job as Diana and Steve respectively. I also thought that Alfred Molina did a great job as Ares, putting a lot of emphasis into making him feel like he was truly evil. The plot was good, though it really was nothing more than an origin story for the most part. I did like how they showed how some of the Amazons, personified in Persephone, might have questioned being forever isolated from the rest of the world and, while not saying they wanted all of the physical things, did wish for a normal life and the chance to have a family as opposed to always training for battle like they do. I also thought they made a decent attempt at not making Diana more sexual but then they had to go and through in the scene with her putting on her uniform and you get the one bit where it is nothing more than a “Hey, check out my boobs” moment and it just shot that all to hell. I thought the animation was pretty good and the colors and shading done during the carious scenes, with the battle scenes and the scenes in Tartarus appearing darker to make it fit the dark mood in the scenes. A good animated movie and a good entry into DC’s library of animated works.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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adventure, animation, fantasy, movie, movie review

June 2nd, 2018 Movie – Wizards

wizards

Now this is how a Saturday morning should be spent, watching cartoons. Back in the early days of the internet, when chat room and forums ruled the data highway, numerous people would sign on with the screen name of Necron 99, or some variation of it. I was always curious about it but not enough to really inquire as to why they chose that name. Then I went through a stage where I would hit up Blockbuster or Hollywood video and rent some cult classic movies and one day I ended up renting today’s movie. I had seen some of the director’s previous movies, most recently Cool World, and figured I would enjoy this one as well. Needless to say, I did and when I decided to go on an animated movie buying spree a few years ago, I made sure that this was one of them. So let’s sit back and enjoy today’s movie, Wizards.

The plot: The Earth was devastated by nuclear war, initially started by 5 terrorists, and it took 2 million years before the radioactive clouds dispersed enough for sunlight to reach the planet’s surface. Only a handful of humans managed to survive unchanged but most had been mutated by the radiation and roam the wastelands known as Scortch, unable to regain their lost humanity. In the good lands of Montagar, the true ancestors of mankind, Fairies, Elves, and Dwarves, return to the surface and begin celebrating a new age of peace. As 3000 years pass, Delia, the queen of the fairies, is at a celebration when suddenly dark clouds begin forming in the sky. Delia, seemingly in a trance, leaves the celebration and heads to her house on a high hill and after a while, the rest of the fairies seem drawn towards the house as well. One of the elves ventures inside to discover that Delia had given birth to twin magic users, which were polar opposites of each other; Avatar, who was kind hearted and used his magic to entertain his mother, and Blackwolf, who never went to see his mother and instead used his magic to change and torture small animals. As the years pass, Delia eventually died and Blackwolf was excited as he felt that he would now be able to rule Montagar. Hearing this, Avatar confronted Blackwolf and the two brothers fought, with Avatar’s grief fueling his magic enough for him to overpower Blackwolf. Blackwolf vowed vengeance, saying that he would make this a planet where mutants rule, and retreated to Scorch, eventually becoming it’s ruler. Years pass, and Blackwolf feels the time is right to strike and sends out 3 assassins to kill several targets in Montagar that teach or believe in magic. As one of the assassins, a robot named Necron 99, heads further into Montagar, he encounters two sentries and kills one of them but the second one, Weehawk, manages to briefly get away when he kills Necron 99’s mount. Weehawk’s mount also dies, overcome with exhaustion, and as he mourns it, Necron 99 attempts to sneak up on him but he steps on a branch and Weehawk attacks him, with both of them stumbling over a cliff and into the waters below. Elsewhere, Avatar is with the president and his daughter Elinore, whom Avatar is tutoring into becoming a full fledged fairy. The president is worried that they have heard no word form their sentries but Avatar is not overly concerned and considers arming his troops with science and technology. However, Avatar reminds him that they have been outlawed in Montagar for centuries and they have had peace in the region ever since. Avatar then continues his history lessons with Elinore, telling her of how after losing the initial battle, Blackwolf assembled an army in Scorch and sent them to attack Montagar several times over the last 5000 years, but each time his armies would get bored or lose focus and end up retreating back to Scorch. Recently, he has learned that Blackwolf has been sending his forces to excavate items from the ruins of the Pre-Holocaust era and he sent some elf spies to find out what he has found. The president is upset that he sent out the spies on nothing more than a hunch but before he can say anything further, Necron 99, who had scaled up the castle tower, kills him. Avatar uses his magic to deactivate Necron 99 and a grieving Elinore attacks the robot’s body while Weehawk enters and apologizes to Avatar for failing him and the president. Back in Scorch, Blackwolf is told that Necron 99’s signal light had gone out and Blackwolf believe that he has succeeded in his mission and believes the time is right to strike. Blackwolf orders his forces to assemble in the courtyard and he shows them the secret weapon to help them succeed in their battle, a movie projector and reels of Nazi propaganda and war footage that he uses to motivate them. As Blackwolf’s army march on Montagar, the elves and fairies make ready to defend the lands when suddenly, Blackwolf uses his magic to send the images from the Nazi war films onto the battlefield, demoralizing the elvish forces and allowing his army to march through and slaughter the opposing forces. Back in the tower, Avatar uses brain reading to learn about the projector and decides to go after it, reluctantly allowing Elinore to go with him. He sends Elinore and Weehawk to make preparations for their journey while he works on reprogramming Necron 99, whom he renames as Peace, as he is linked to the machine and will be able to guide them to it. Back in Scorch, Blackwolf speaks with his bride, getting upset with her that she doesn’t want to rule the world, only Scorch, and tells his troops guarding her that if she gives birth to a daughter, to kill it, as he only wants a son. Meanwhile, Avatar, Elinore, Weehawk, and Peace are making their way towards Scorch when they enter the kingdom of the mountain fairies. The fairies begin playing tricks on the group and during the commotion, Peace wanders away and encounters Blackwolf other two assassins, who are there to stop them. Avatar gets tired of the pranks and begins to use his magic against the fairies when they stop and invite Avatar, Elinore, and Weehawk to a feast. The king’s son Sean asks why they are there but before they can respond, shots suddenly ring out and Sean is killed. Weehawk believes Peace is the shooter and wants to go after him but Avatar stops him and says they have to rescue Elinore, who was taken captive by the fairies. Entering the mountain lair, Weehawk falls into a pit and tells Avatar to continue without him. Weehak then finds himself facing a strange monster and is almost killed but Peace, injured from killing the other assassins, rescues him. Peace then almost falls into a ravine but Weehawk saves him, then both of them collapse onto the ground. Meanwhile, a mob of fairies want the king to execute Elinore, blaming her for bringing men and death to their realm. Elinore uses some of her fledgling magic to try to force the fairies to release her but it only seems to make things worse. Avatar enters the chamber and approaches the king, saying he will not defends himself but will defend Elinore if she is threatened. Avatar explains their reason for being there when suddenly, an image of Blackwolf appears and contradicts him. One of the fairies shoots an arrow at Blackwolf and hits Avatar instead and the king says that Avatar was true to his word, when he chose not to retaliate for being shot by the arrow. He says that he will neither help nor hinder their efforts and transports them out of his lair, onto a snow covered mountain. Avatar and Elinore, believing Peace and Weehawk are dead, make their way down the mountain only for Avatar to find that they have been walking in circles. Hearing riders approaching, they move to defend themselves only to find that the riders were Peace and Weehawk, who were searching for them. After resting, and Avatar consulting with Peace on the best way into Scorch, they continue on their quest but end up ambushed by a patrol of elves. Their leader recognizes Avatar and brings them into their camp, hoping to get Avatar to help them attack Scorch and defeat Blackwolf but Avatar refuses, feeling the elves using guns goes against everything they stand for. As night falls, Elinore goes to check on Peace, who is sitting by himself when they are attacked by one of Blackwolf’s demons. Avatar and Weehawk wake from their sleep and Avatar dispels the demon, but the resulting explosion knocks him down the mountain. As Elinore, Peace, and Weehawk go to check on him, they see a tank approaching them. Peace begins firing at it but as he moves forward to fire into the tank’s cabin, Elinore suddenly throws her sword into his back, killing him while Weehawk is knocked down by one of Blackhawk’s flying creatures. As Avatar and Weehawk react in confusion, Elinore quickly jumps into the tank and rides off into Scorch. Elinore’s betrayal breaks Avatar’s heart, reducing him to a mumbling man who uses his magic to try and make Scorch beautiful, while Weehawk forces him to try and continue. Making their way into the main city, they encounter one of Blackwolf’s generals and Blackwolf’s lizard servant outside a bar and Weehawk kills the general, as well as two creatures, but ends up being slashed in the arm by the lizard, who then runs off to the castle. Avatar seems to come to his senses and apologizes to Weehawk and the two make their way into the castle. Elsewhere, the Elven armies approach the castle and Blackwolf’s forces move forward to intercept them. As the fighting commences, the Blackwolf starts the projector and the elves begin to get demoralized by the footage of the Nazi battles and begin to get slaughtered. In the castle, Avatar and Weehawk sneak into the throne room and Avatar tells Weehawk to destroy the projector, while he battles his brother, not caring if he lives or dies after Elinore’s betrayal. As Weehawk makes his way through the castle, he spots an imprisoned Elinore and moves to kill her, despite her protests of innocence. Weehawk is stopped when Blackwolf’s queen yells out at him, citing that the killing must stop, and as she flees with her daughter, Elinore explains that she was possessed by Blackwolf when she touched Peace and Weehawk realizes that they have to tell Avatar. In the throne room, Avatar approaches his brother and Blackwolf demands he surrender, saying that he can’t beat him and the war is over. Avatar says he wants to show him a trick, then pulls out a gun and proceeds to shoot Blackwolf, killing him. With Blackwolf’s death, the castle begins to fall apart and Weehawk and Elinore arrive and tell Avatar the truth and the three make their way out of the castle. On the battlefield, Blackwolf’s forces stop in their tracks, with some disappearing and others returning to hell. The elves kill the few remaining mutants that continue fighting before declaring the war over. As the elves celebrate, Avatar, Elinore, and Weehawk make their way back to Montagar but before they get there, Elinore tells Weehawk that he will be returning alone, to rule as the new king, while she and Avatar have plans to get married and start their own kingdom somewhere.

Wizards met with mixed reactions from the critics, holding a 61% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Its central metaphor is a bit too on the nose, but Wizards is an otherwise psychedelic, freaky trip into an alternate version of our world.” The scene with the guard crying out “They killed Fritz” was a reference to Robert Crumb’s Fritz the Cat, whom Crumb killed off in his comic series. Director Ralph Bakshi also directed the animated adaptation of Fritz The Cat and he decided to name the character Fritz just so he could scream out “They killed Fritz”. The movie was a success at the box office, earning $9 million off of a $2 million budget and would go on to become a cult classic of animated movies.

This is a great movie and definitely deserves it’s cult classic status. The voice acting was pretty good, with Bob Holt (Avatar), Jesse Welles (Elinore), and Steve Gravers (Blackwolf) doing good jobs in their roles. The story was really good and honestly did do a decent job of showcasing a good vs evil scenario, while also showing some of the psychological effects war can have on people. I will admit that I was a little unsure of the use of swastikas all over Blackwolf’s castle but you have to admit that there really isn’t a symbol that has been associated with evil more so than the Nazi swastika. That being said, I do think that the scene early on where Larry the lizard was eating a hanging body and as he is ripping it apart, the body turns and a Star of David was on it’s back was a bit much and could be viewed as anti-semitic. The animation was pretty good for the most part, though I am still a little undecided on the whole “shadow person” animation technique. There was one part where Larry was transparent for some reason that just looked odd but aside from that, the colors and movements were pretty tight. Definitely something that is worth giving a watch, and you can judge for yourself if it is worthy of being called a cult classic.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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action, adventure, fantasy, movie, movie review

May 31st, 2018 Movie – Willow

willowSo here’s the deal about today’s movie. I never saw this in theaters and honestly, had no real desire to go see it. However, I do remember an arcade game for the movie and playing it at Putt-Putt every now and then. Then there was the Nintendo game, which was a little fun but also had some annoying moments to it, and I finally decided to go ahead and rent it one day. Yes, video games compelled me to watch a movie, instead of the other way around. So let’s have a little fun and go back with today’s movie, Willow.

The plot: When a young baby girl with a special birthmark is born in a dungeon, the mother pleads with the midwife to smuggle her baby out of there or else the sorceress Queen Bavmorda will kill her. The midwife agrees and smuggles the baby out of there in a basket of laundry but when Bavmorda learns the baby is missing, she kills the mother and then sends her hounds after the midwife. Hearing the hounds approaching, the midwife places the baby in a makeshift raft and sends it floating downstream on the river before the hounds attack and kill her. The raft ends up coming to a stop near the home of Willow Ufgood, a Nelwyn (dwarf), who doesn’t want to have anything to do with the baby but his wife Kaiya and children fall in love with the baby and take it back to their home and after being forced to hold the baby, Willow reluctantly agrees to let Kaiya take care of the baby, growing to care for it as well. The next day, Willow and the kids head to the town festival, where Willow hopes to become the new apprentice to the High Aldwin. When the High Aldwin appears, he asks the three contenders to choose which finger has the power to rule the world. The first two choose incorrectly and Willow hesitates before making his choice but he is also wrong. Suddenly, a Nockmarr hound appears in the village, terrorizing everyone before it attacks an empty cradle. Nelwyn warriors manage to kill the hound and when they figure that it was after a baby, Willow rushes home to check on Kaiya and the baby. Reluctantly, Willow takes the baby to the high council, where the High Aldwin determines that the baby has a prophecy about her and must be taken to the Daikini crossroads. After speaking quietly with Willow, the High Aldwin says that Willow is in charge of the baby’s care, then asks for volunteers to go with him. Willow’s friend Meegosh volunteers as does Vohnkar, the village’s strongest warrior, but Burglekutt, a powerful villager that constantly bullies and belittles Willow, refuses to allow Vohnkar to go, until the High Aldwin says that Burglekutt must also go. The Nelwyn’s set out for the crossroads, avoiding Nockmarr soldiers when they learn that they are searching for them. The eventually reach the crossroads but see no sigsn of any Daikinis, except for Madmartigan, who is locked inside a prisoner’s cage. Burglekutt wants to free Madmartigan and give the baby to him but Willow refuses so Burglekutt leaves Willow and Meegosh there on their own while he leads the other Nelwyns back to their village. When an army approaches, led by Airk Thaughbaer, Willow tries to get them to take the baby but Airk refuses, as they are on their way to battle Bavmorda’s forces. Madmartigan, who is a former comrade in arms with Airk, tries to convince him to release him and let him help fight but Airk refuses, saying he is still loyal to his city while Madmartigan is loyal to nobody but himself. After Airk’s army leaves, Meegosh frees Madmartigan and Willow reluctantly hands the baby over to him. As Meegosh and Willow make their way home, they see the baby being carried off by some brownies and when they give chase, they end up captured. The brownies take Willow and Meegosh to the Fairy Queen Cherlindrea, who tells Willow that the baby’s name is Elora Danan and she is the future queen of Tir Asleen. She tasks Willow with taking the baby to see Fin Raziel, a sorceress, and help keep Elora safe so she can fulfill her destiny of bringing Bavmorda down. Willow sends Meegosh back to their village and then heads off, with two Brownies, Franjean and Rool, to help guide him to Fin Razael. The eventually stop at an inn, where they run into Madmartigan, who is dressing as a woman to avoid being attacked by a jealous husband, Lug. Suddenly, Sorsha, Bavmorda’s daughter, and Nockmarr troops arrive at the inn and begin searching the babies there. When Sorsha goes to examine Elora, Madmartigan shoves her away but she quickly reveals that he is a man. Discovering Madmartigan is a man, Lug attacks the soldiers in an attempt to get to Madmartigan and Madmartigan quickly escape on a horse and cart, with Willow jumping on board as well. Sorsha’s soldiers chase after them and Madmartigan fends them off before they are able to hide from the rest of Sorsha’s forces. As Madmartigan leaves, Willow follows after him to try and convince him to help them get safely to the lake and Madmartigan, having grown fond of Elora, agrees. They reach the lake and Willow finds a boat to take him and Elora to the island where Razael has been exiled and Madmartigan says his goodbyes to them. When Willow reaches the island, he finds that Razael has been changed into possum by Bavmorda’s spells and she asks Willow to help change her back. When they return to the mainland, they find that Madmartigan has been captured and forced to show Sorsha and her men where Willow is. Willow and Razael are captured and taken with Madmartigan to rendezvous with Kael’s troops on a snow covered mountain. As night falls, Razael tells Willow to try and change her back to human but he only manages to change her into a raven. Franjean and Rool show up and work on freeing Willow and Madmartigan and when Madmartigan tries to do it himself, Franjean hits Madmaritgan with the Dust of Broken Hearts. They eventually free Willow and Madmartigan and they go to find Elora but when Madmartigan goes to try and grab Elora from Sorsha’s tent, he ends up falling in love with Sorsha. Madmartigan approaches her, reciting poetry when she threatens him with a knife. Kael captures Willow as he tries to escape with Elora and Sorsha believes Madmartigan was simply saying things to distract her but Madmartigan grabs a sword and cuts the tent support, then kisses Sorsha before the tent collapses. Willow and Madmartigan escape the tent and then use a shield to slide down the mountain, reaching a village near the base. As Kael and his troops approach, they are given shelter by one of the villagers only to discover Airk and some of his men hiding there, as the most of his army was slaughtered by Bavmorda’s troops. As Kael takes some of his men to search elsewhere, Sorsha searches the house and discovers the hidden basement only to be captured by Madmartigan, who forces her troops to back off. Willow and Madmartigan take Sorsha with them as they head to Tir Asleen, and Airk and his men kill the rest of Sorsha’s forces. During the journey, Madmartigan and Sorsha discuss what happened the night before and Sorsha is angered when Madmartigan says it was merely fairy dust that made him say those things. She struggles with him and manages to get away and Madmartigan tries chasing after and recapturing her but as Razael warns that Kael is coming, he is forced to keep going with Willow, though he does look back at her while she does the same before they go their separate ways. Willow and Madmartigan reach Tir Asleen only to discover that the castle’s residents have been cursed by Bavmorda and turned to stone, while the castle itself has become infested with trolls. Madmartigan is upset at first but then quickly works on arming himself and setting up some defenses to fend off Kael and his men. As Willow goes to hide Elora, he is attacked by a troll and uses the wand on it, which cause it to change form and Willow quickly kicks it into the water below the tower. Kael’s forces break into the castle and Madmartigan starts to attack them when they suddenly turn and leave the castle, and Madmartigan turns to find the troll had changed into an Eborsisk, a giant, two-headed, fire breathing creature, and he quickly runs as well but then heads back inside when Kael tries to have his men attack him. As Madmartigan starts fending off Kael’s men, Sorsha watches him and starts to realize she is attracted to him. Willow comes under attack by some more trolls and he manages to deal with one, and Madmartigan helps him with the second one. Madmartigan then hands Willow a short sword before jumping onto one of the Eborsisk’s heads and plunging his sword into it’s neck. As he recovers on the ground, Sorsha approaches and helps him to his feet, then kisses him while the Eborsisk’s head explodes, killing the creature. Some of Kael’s men discover Elore but Willow manages to kill them, only to be knocked down by Kael. As Airk and the rest of his army arrive, Kael rides off with Elora, noting that Sorsha is fighting alongside Madmartigan as he does, and takes Elora to Nockmarr castle. After checking on Willow, Madmartigan, Sorsha, and Willow chase after him, joined by Airk and his men, and they prepare to lay siege to the castle. Kael presents Elora to Bavmorda and tells her of Sorsha’s betrayal and Bavmorda angrily tells her wisemen to prepare for the ritual. She approaches the castle ramparts and looks down on the army and starts laughing. Razael, who had been turned into a goat by Willow in Tir Asleen, quickly shoves Willow into a tent and tells him to use the wand to cast a protection spell on him. When Madmartigan calls out that they want Elora, Bavmorda tells them they aren’t an army but merely pigs, changing the men into pigs, including Franjean and Rool. When Sorsha begs her mother to stop, Bavmorda changes her into a pig as well. When Willow looks out the tent and sees everyone turned into pigs, he begins to despair but Razael says there is still hope and tells him to try and turn her back to human again. Willow tries, changing her into several animals before finally changing her back to human and after recovering for a bit, Razael tells Willow to start letting the pigs into the tent so she can change them back. As Bavmorda and her council begin the ritual to banish Elora’s spirit, Willow, Madmartigan, Sorsha, Razael, and Airk discuss their plans to try and rescue Elora and Willow comes up with a plan. In the morning, Willow and Razael approach the castle and call out for them to surrender Elora. Kael laughs at the request and sends his men to kill them but as the men approach, Willow gives a signal and Madmartigan and the other soldiers, who had been hiding in holes dug inside the tents, burst from hiding and charge the soldiers and the castle. As the fighting commences, Sorsha leads Willow and Razael up to Bavmorda’s tower to rescue Elora. Bavmorda sends her council to stop them but Sorsha easily deals with them but when she goes to grab Elora, Bavmorda uses her magic to send her flying towards a spiked gate. Razael stops Sorsha and Bavmorda drops her, then turns her attention to Razael and the two sorceresses begin battling. During the fight, Willow enters the room and attempts to grab Elora but a stray blast from Cherlindrea’s wand causes a table to come to life and attack him. Outside, the battle continues raging and Kael fights with Airk, stabbing him. Madmartigan sees his friend fall and goes after Kael eventually managing to impale him with his own sword. Back in the tower, Bavmorda manages to overpower Razael and then stops Willow from escaping with Elora. As Bavmorda demands Willow place Elora on the sacrificial altar, Willow refuses and uses his “disappearing pig” trick to make it seem like he sent Elora to another dimension. An enraged Bavmorda goes to attack Willow but accidentally knocks over the blood on the altar and a bolt of lighting strikes Cherlindrea’s wand, which she was holding, completing the ritual and banishing Bavmorda’s spirit instead of Elora’s. In the restored Tir Asleen, Razael gives Willow a spellbook, telling him he is on his way to becoming a great sorcerer, and Madmartigan and Sorsha, who are staying there as Elora’s guardians, say their goodbyes to him as he heads home. When he returns to his village, he is greeted by a cheering crowd and watch in amazement as he changes an apple into a bird, which poops on Burglekutt, before Willow sees Kaiya and his family and rushes forward to embrace them.

Willow met with mixed results from the critics, holding a 53% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Good production value and decent special effects, but the story is too insipid and slowly paced.” The movie was a modest success at the box office, earning $57.3 million off of a $35 million budget. With the box office receipts less than expected, George Lucas chose to continue Willow’s story in books rather than movie sequels, and co-wrote them with Chris Claremont, of X-Men comics fame. Recently, Director Ron Howard and Val Kilmer have both stated that there have been talks of a Willow sequel being considered.

This is still a pretty entertaining movie to watch, though it does have it’s flaws. The acting was pretty good for most of the characters. I thought Warwick Davis (Willow) and Val Kilmer (Madmartigan) had some great chemistry on the screen. I also liked Jean Marsh (Bavmorda) and Patricia Hayes (Razael) and thought that Kevin Pollak (Rool) and Rick Overton (Franjean) were absolutely hilarious but Joanne Whalley (Sorsha) was kind of bland while Pat Roach (Kael) was honestly to over the top, with his almost always yelling out commands. The story was really good and definitely showcased George Lucas’s ability for creating a unique universe. The special effects were pretty good for the most part except for one or two instances. Mainly the scene where the trolls were crawling along the buildings, as the looked really fake, and the scene where the table came to life and attacked Willow, as it just didn’t seem to synch perfectly with the background. Those aside, this is still a fun fantasy movie that is worth giving another watch.

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

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adventure, fantasy, movie, movie review, romance

May 26th, 2018 Movie – When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth

when dinosaurs ruled the earth

Ahh, it’s been a while since I had the pleasure of watching an old school dinosaur movie, well for the purpose of this blog at least. I say a while but in reality, it’s only been a month. Anyways, I remember catching portions of this movie on cable every now and then back in the day but never really had a chance to watch the whole movie. Then, a few years ago, I went on a dino-movie buying binge and decided to pick this up to add to my collection. So let’s see how good of a purchase I made with today’s movie, When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth.

The plot: In prehistoric times, a mountain dwelling tribe of cavemen are preparing to sacrifice three women with blonde hair to their sun god. As the sun starts to rise, one of the women attempts to escape but the guards grab her and as she struggles with them, she ends up falling off the cliff with one of the guards, where they both die on the rocks below. As the tribal leader, Kingsor, orders the sacrifice to continue, the wind suddenly picks up, forcing all of the tribe to the ground, while the sun seems to bellow out clouds of gas. One of the women, Sanna, decides to try and escape and ends up falling into the ocean, where she starts to swim away into the rough seas. Sanna is eventually rescued by Tara and some other cavemen from a beach dwelling tribe, who were out fishing on their raft, but the rescue is observed by Kane, who had fallen off the cliff during the windstorm but managed to find footing on a small ledge. Back on the mountaintop. Kingsor heads to the area where they keep all of the tribe members with blonde hair and picks out some more people to sacrifice, as the sky has suddenly grown darker, when Kane returns and tells him about Sanna being rescued. Meanwhile, the raft returns to the seaside village, where other members of the tribe have captured a plesiosaur. Tara calls out to the village and brings Sanna to the shore. As the tribe’s leader comes to examine Sanna, a commotion occurs as the plesiosaur breaks free from it’s restraints and pins a young boy underneath it’s limb. Tara and the other men quickly work to free the boy, then try to fend off the plesiosaur, moving small rafts with fires in front of it to chase it off. When the plesiosaur continues to move towards the village, Tara cuts open the large container they store animal oil in, and lures the creature towards it. When it steps in the pool of oil, Tara calls out for another caveman to throw a torch at it and the plesiosaur catches fires and dies. Later that night, the tribe celebrates with a feast and Ayak, a female member of the tribe, attempts to dance and seduce Tara but his attention is focused on Sanna, who is building herself a house on the beach. Tara grabs some meat and drink and takes them to Sanna and the two talk briefly before Ayak interrupts them, and Tara leaves with Ayak following. The next day, Tara wakes up Sanna and gives her some fish to eat, then heads out with some of the other men onto the raft. Meanwhile, Kingsor gathers the men of his tribe and they prepare to head out to find Sanna so they can sacrifice her. As they are marching, they see the sun acting weird and quickly begin praying to it as the sun seems to disappear, then reappear even brighter than before. Back on the beach, the sea tribe see the same phenomenon and Ayak, believes Sanna is responsible. Heading into Sanna’s house, Ayak finds Tara’s knife and necklace and, grabbing them, heads out and confronts Sanna as she stands in the surf. Sanna declares her innocence but Ayak attacks her and the two fight until Ammon, the tribe’s leader, breaks up the fight. Khaku questions Sanna and when she tells him Tara gave the items to her, Khaku orders Ayak to return them, chastising Ayak when she throws them to the ground. As Sanna returns to her home, Kingsor and his men arrive and start asking about Sanna. Sanna sees them and quickly leaves through the back of her home, making her way across the sand dunes to safety. Back in the village, Ayak tells Kingsor where Sanna is and Kingsor sends Kane to check, who tells him that Sanna is gone, and Kingsor orders his men to chase after her. Making her way to a small wooded area, Sanna hides in a tree as Kane and his men search for her. A python starts to move across her but she stays still and it eventually drops to the ground, where it ends up killing one of the men. Kane and the other men see a nearby cave and think Sanna might be hiding there but the find a triceratops there instead, which kills the two men and injures Kane. Back at the village, Tara and the others return with their catch and when he learns that Sanna is missing, he takes some men to go looking for her. They soon find Kane and help him and as one of the men, Khaku, checks on the other men by the cave, he is attacked by the triceratops. Tara and the other men distract the triceratops, allowing Tara to pull Khaku to safety, but he dies from his wounds, and when the triceratops chases after him, Tara lures it to the edge of the nearby cliff, where it falls over the edge. Tara and the men return to the village, where a funeral is held for Khaku, and afterwards Kingsor blames Sanna for Khaku’s death and incites the tribe into a frenzy, causing several of the women to burn down Sanna’s house, though Tara tries to stop them. Back in the jungle, Sanna hides as a large reptile moves through the jungle and ends up caught in a carnivorous plant but she is able to get away, cutting off part of her hair to escape. Tara, who had left the village during the frenzy, goes looking for Sanna again and finds her tracks where she had left the tree. Heading in the direction she went, he soon finds the portion of her hair that she cut next to the dead plant and believes that she is dead. Meanwhile, Sanna continues moving as a storm picks up and she takes shelter in a dinosaur egg that had broken open, as another egg starts to hatch nearby. Back in the village, Kane returns with Sanna’s hair and tells Kingsor and Ammon that Sanna is dead and Kingsor makes plans to return to his tribe, leaving Kane there to heal until he is able to return. The next day, Sanna is woken up by the mother dinosaur returning and, seeing Sanna emerging from the egg, mistakes it for one of it’s offspring and pushes the deer carcass it had brought towards her. As the days pass, Sanna ends up befriending the baby dinosaur that had hatched, playing games with it and attempting to domesticate it. One day, Sanna hears Tara and Kane yelling, as the mother dinosaur is attacking them, but Sanna calls out to the dinosaur, causing it to turn back and allowing the two men to escape. Tara and Kane make their way to the mountain village, where they are welcomed by Kingsor and the tribe. As Tara looks around, he sees the area where the members with blonde hair are kept and he spots one woman trying to use tar to hide her child’s blonde hair chooses to keep her secret. Tara then heads out to get some water before returning to his village but is attacked and carried off by a pterodactyl. When it drops him in it’s nest, Tara continues fighting it, managing to tear one of it’s wings before stabbing it in the chest. As he makes his way back to the village, he sees Sanna being chased by a dinosaur and goes to help her, only to find that Sanna has domesticated it, as it listens to her commands and as they leave, they are spotted by another caveman, who quickly runs back to tell Kingsor. Sanna leads Tara to her home, where they end up having sex, and the next day, Tara makes plans to return to his tribe but will keep the fact that Sanna is alive a secret. When he returns to his tribe, he finds Kingsor and his men there and they accuse him of knowing where Sanna is. Tara feigns ignorance but the man who spotted them tells him what he saw and Kingsor orders Tara to be executed. Ammon pleads with Tara to tell them where Sanna is but he refuses and he ends up tied to a raft, which is set on fire, and sent out into the sea. A plesiosaur attacks the raft and when no sign of Tara is seen in the water, the people all believe he has died, but Tara survived the attack and swims off to return to Sanna. He eventually reaches Tara’s valley, where she finds him and tends to his wounds, but as she is cooking some fish, Kingsor and his men see the smoke from their fire and give chase. Sanna leads Tara out of the valley through the lake and are chased by Kingsor and his men, as well as members of Tara’s tribe. The make their way through the mountains, trying their best to avoid their pursuers, but find their way blocked by two dinosaurs fighting and as they try to go around them, they are spotted by Kane. Sanna and Tara continue running but are eventually cornered by the hunting party and grabbed but before they can carry them off, the mother dinosaur appears and attacks the group, then carries off Sanna in it’s mouth. Tara is taken back to the sea village, where Kingsor orders him to be set on fire again but before the execution can commence, one of the women, Ulido, comments on the ocean water having receded. As some men head out to examine the ground uncovered by the water, giant crabs emerge and start attacking the men. As Tara watches, he notices a giant wave approaching the shore and everyone starts panicking about the oncoming wave. Sanna returns to the village and frees Tara, and they head towards one of the rafts, accompanied by Kane and Ulido. Ayak calls out for Tara and runs towards him but ends up falling into some quicksand and quickly sinks from view. Kingsor walks out into the surf and attempts to placate the ocean, then spies Sanna and tries to kill her but Tara stops him and they quickly paddle out into the water, as the tidal wave washes ashore and kills Kingsor, Ammon, and most of the other villagers. The raft that the Sanna, Tara, Kane, and Ulido is on is picked up by the water and ends up being carried up to the mountain and as the waters recede, they carefully step onto the ground. Tara points to the sky, where they see a lunar eclipse for the first time, and they all drop to their knees and watch as the sky grows dark, then becomes light again, and they then get to their feet to survey the damage done to the land as the moon now orbits the Earth.

Hammer films has always been an interesting brand as they mainly were known for remaking classic horror movies to reintroduce the characters to audiences for the first time in color. That being said, this was actually a decent movie, though I will admit it was a bit boring. The acting was ok, with Victoria Vetri and Robin Hawdon doing a good job as Sanna and Tara respectively. The story was pretty interesting and I thought the cavemen worshiping and sacrificing to the sun, and how they were frightened and confused by the lunar eclipse and the formation of the moon, was a nice bit of storytelling. However, I did think that they tried to mimic One Million Years B.C., which coincidentally was also made by Hammer Films, a bit too much, especially the whole male from one tribe falling in love with a female from another tribe. The stop motion animation with the dinosaurs was pretty decent and I liked several of the designs. It also looked like the stole a quick clip from the 60’s remake of The Lost World to use, which was the quick scene of the two dinosaurs (actually a monitor lizard and an alligator in makeup) fighting. I did like the effects with the tidal wave and the scene with the beach and the crabs, as I felt it was very well executed. A pretty decent dinosaur movie if you feel like giving it a try.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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adventure, fantasy, movie, movie review, sci-fi

May 1st, 2018 Movie – War-Gods Of The Deep

war-gods of the deep

I wonder if Edgar Allan Poe had any idea just how influential his writings would become to future generations. I mean, how many movies have been released that are based or inspired by one of his poems or short stories. However many there are, today’s movie can be added to that list. Now I will admit that I never heard of the poem that this movie is loosely based on but that isn’t too surprising as he has a fair amount of work that I have never heard of. So let’s see just what kind of a movie we have as I watch War-Gods Of The Deep.

The plot: When the body of a lawyer washes up on the shore of Cornwall, England, Ben Harris, an American mining engineer, decides to head to the nearby hotel to speak with Jill Tregellis, whom the lawyer was working for. When he reaches the hotel, he finds the hotel suffering from a black out and the doorman escorts him to the library where Jill is. As he opens the door, Ben catches a rooster that flies up towards him and Jill explains the rooster is Herbert, then introduces Ben to an eccentric artist named Harold Tufnell-Jones, who is on top of a bookcase. After Ben helps Harold down, he asks Jill about her lawyer and she says he is in the study across the hall. When they head there, they hear a commotion from inside the room and Ben tells Jill to go back to the library while he heads inside. Ben finds the room ransacked and as he looks around, he is attacked by a gillman, who throws some items at him before disappearing through a secret passage in the wall. Jill and Harold enter the room just as the lights come on and when Jill asks where her lawyer is, Ben tells her he found his body on the beach. After questioning Jill about who would want to hurt the lawyer, Ben decides to stay the night and sleep on the couch in the study in case whatever was there decides to come back. Later that night, Jill enters the room to check on Ben when she is grabbed by the gillman and taken through the secret passage. Roused by the commotion, Ben looks around before he hears someone approaching and accidentally attacks Harold when he enters the room. Finding some seaweed near the fireplace, Ben explains what happened and tries locating the secret door when Herbert manages to push the button to open it. Ben, Harold, and Herbert head down the secret passage and come to a swirling pool of water, which Harold accidentally knocks them into. After being sucked down into the water, they find themselves in an underwater city and start exploring. The see a group of men chain another man to a pillar, then leave as the room starts to fill with water. Ben goes to try and free the man but the man tells them to leave before they drown with him. Continuing into the city, Ben and Harold are confronted by a man and Ben grabs him and asks where Jill is before knocking the man out. As a sudden tremor rocks the city, Ben and Harold are confronted by The Captain, who leads them to a window to show them the city in the sea. He points out the nearby volcano, and says that the tremors have been getting stronger and could be signaling the end of the city but doesn’t know when it will occur; a year, a month, perhaps even a week. Harold starts babbling and says that Ben could help stop the volcano and the Captain has them taken to the library so they can figure out a plan. Once they are alone, Ben asks Harold what he was thinking and Harold explains that he was trying to stall for time, as the Captain doesn’t know that Ben can’t help him. One of the Captain’s crew, Dan, enters the room and tells them that he can help them escape from there and says he wants them to convince the authorities to grant him a full pardon for his smuggling crimes. Suddenly, the Captain enters the room with some more of his men and they take Dan prisoner. The Captain explains that the gas that they breathe that allows them to survive down there for so long has altered there bodies, which would cause them to age quickly and die if they were exposed to sunlight, then orders Dan to be executed by taking him to the surface to see for himself. The Captain then has Dan and Harold blindfolded and leads them to the room where Jill is being kept so they can see she is still alive. After speaking with her, they are joined by another man, Reverend Jonathan Ives, who says he has been down there for several decades. The Captain then takes Ben and Harold from the room but Harold was able to count the steps they took and the two find their way back to Jill. Once they reach her, they try to get Jonathan to tell them of a way out of there but before they can leave, they are captured by The Captain and his men. The Captain says that he will let the gillman decide their fate and explains that the gillmen want to sacrifice them to the volcano, thinking it might appease it and stop the tremors. Ben and Harold are taken from the room and told that guards will be posted outside to keep them from escaping. As Ben and Harold try to figure out their next move, Jill and Jonathan enter the room, having knocked out the guard. Jonathan explains that they have to whisper, as there are listening tubes in the walls that allow the Captain and his men to hear them, and tells them that he knows the way out but the land passage is currently underwater so the only way they can make it out in time is to use the breathing helmets and walk across the ocean floor to the tunnel. Jonathan heads to the Captain’s room and sounds the bells, signalling Ben and the others to head out but as they enter the room, Jill notices a picture on the wall of the Captain’s dead wife and realizes she looks just like her, explaining the Captain’s obsession with Jill. As Ben, Jill, and Harold don the suits and head out onto the ocean floor, the Captain and his men follow after them, signalling the gillmen to help stop them. After struggling with the gillmen and avoiding the crossbows from the Captain’s men, they reach the tunnel and Ben goes looking for the passage to the surface, while Harold and Jill chase after Herbert, who had escaped from Harold’s suit. When a sudden tremor rocks the cavern, Jill and Harold find themselves trapped, just as the Captain and his surviving men arrive and attempt to kill Ben. Ben is able to knock out the men while a tremor cause part of the statues to fall onto the Captain, trapping them. Ben manages to free Jill and HArold but the tremors have blocked the passageway to the surface so they quickly don the suits and make their way to the surface along the sea bed. The gillmen attack Ben and the others but they manage to kill them with the underwater crossbows and make it to the surface. Meanwhile, as the tremors increase and lava begins to enter the chamber, some falling debris breaks the statue enough for the Captain to escape. e finds the passage to the surface cleared and he makes his way up towards the surface only to have the sunlight quickly age him and he collapses and dies at the chamber’s entrance. Ben, Jill, and Harold watch from the surface as the volcano erupts, destroying the underwater city for good.

You know, a lot of adventure/fantasy style movies came out in the late 50’s/early 60’s and no matter the plot, they all had the same basic feel to them. Today’s movie is no different, a decent movie but honestly lacked that true original feel to it that would make it stand out from the others. The acting was ok, with Vincent Price playing his usual stoic persona, while David Tomlinson was really funny in his bizarre antics as Harold. Unfortunately, I thought Tab Hunter (Ben) and Susan Hart (Jill) both seemed too bland to really garner any sympathies from the audience. The story was pretty interesting but there were elements that seemed to play out in a lot of other movies, such as the volcano playing a integral role in the movie’s climax like in Atragon or Journey To The Center Of The Earth. The special effects were ok while the costume designs for the gillmen, as well as the diving helmets, were actually pretty good. A good movie but nothing especially noteworthy about it.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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