horror, movie, movie review, sci-fi

June 23rd, 2017 Movie – Sabretooth

sabertooth

Well, we have come to my second favorite letter that movies start with, the letter “S”. There are two reasons why this is one of my favorite letters, which we will get to later, but if there is a third reason, it would probably be Sci-Fi/Syfy original movies. Today’s movie happens to be one of those movies and is actually one of the first of those types of movies that I purchased. I remembered watching this movie years ago and was amazed to see John Rhys-Davies in it. So let’s have some fun with today’s movie, Sabretooth.

The plot: At a genetics lab called Science Frontiers, a janitor is working on cleaning up the labs late at night when he realizes that the cage inside the room did not close and he is killed by the animal inside. The next day, Casey Ballenger, assisted by her ex-boyfriend Trent Parks, is leading a group of junior guides (Leon Tingle, Lola Rodriguez, and Jason) on a training excursion in the woods. At the same time, a flatbed truck is carrying the animal from the lab to another location and as he stops for gas, the driver gets a call from Catherine Viciy, the scientist that cloned the animal, who is impatient for him to arrive with the animal. That night, the driver dozes off behind the wheel and ends up wrecking the truck and the container carrying the animal falls off the truck and breaks open. When the driver goes to check the container, he finds it empty and, hearing growling coming from the woods, runs back to the truck but the animal attacks it and kills him. At a mountain home, Anthony Bricklin, a wealthy businessman, is watching video Catherine is showing him of a baby sabretooth tiger that she had clones and when she says it is full grown, he is in shock as she had earlier said that it would take 6 months. Catherine tells him that her growth accelerator works and that they can use it to quickly grow new organs for people and Bricklin imagines the money he will be able to make. They are soon joined by Kara Harmon, who is there to study the sabretooth but since it hasn’t shown up yet, Catherine and Bricklin decide to see if they can find the driver, believing he might have stopped for something to eat. At the same time, the sabretooth attacks and kills a couple just outside of their home. The next morning, Bricklin and Catherine drive past the wreck and Bricklin worries that the authorities might have found the animal but Catherine says that the place would be crawling with reporters if they had. Trying to figure out what to do, Bricklin decides to call in Bob Thatcher to track the animal, though Catherine is reluctant to do so. Bricklin calls Thatcher and lies about what kind of animal he is hunting but tells him they need it taken alive. Meanwhile, Casey and the others are still hiking along the mountain when Leon starts goofing off and almost falls off of a cliff. Trent and the others manage to pull him back up but they don’t notice the sabretooth watching them at the bottom of the cliff. Thatcher leads Bricklin, Catherine, and Kara in hunting the sabretooth and as he finds the sabretooth’s trail, he starts doubting Catherine’s story about the animal. They come to the home of the couple that was attacked and Thatcher and Bricklin head inside and find the remains of the man. Thatcher tells Catherine to use his satellite phone to call the police but Catherine takes the phone and tosses it into the woods. As she is about to head back, her foot is grabbed by the girl, who is severely mauled and begging for help but Catherine quickly shakes her leg free from the girl’s grasp and heads back to the house. When Thatcher asks about the police, Catherine tells him the phone is gone and must have fallen out on the trail somewhere. That night, Casey and the others are passing around a bottle of tequila and playing truth or dare when Casey decides to go to sleep and Trent and Lola go for a walk. Meanwhile, Thatcher and the others have made their own camp and Thatcher decides to see if he can pick up the sabretooth’s trail. Kara and Catherine argue over whether they should tell Thatcher the truth about the animal when Kara is attacked by the sabretooth and dragged off. Meanwhile, Trent and Lola stop to sit down and Lola kisses Trent, then takes off her shirt and tells him to catch her. As she is running through the woods, she sees the sabretooth feeding on Kara and screams and runs away from it. Trent finds her and she tells him what she saw but he thinks she is overreacting and she heads back to the camp still frightened. When she gets there, Casey asks Trent what he did and he says she saw an animal and freaked out. In the morning, Casey is trying to get Lola to describe what she saw but thinks she might have overestimated the size of it. As they continue hiking, they come across a cave and Leon and Casey decide to look inside while Jason lays down outside and Trent and Lola head off on their own. Inside the cave, Leon and Casey find some cave drawings on the walls of the cave but as they are leaving, they find a mountain lion at the entrance to the cave. Leon manages to scare it off with the torch he was carrying and they head outside to see Jason had hidden on some rocks when the mountain lion ran out of the cave. Meanwhile, Lola tries to kiss Trent again but Trent turns his head, as he still has feelings for Casey, and the two head back to rejoin the others. Thatcher picks up the guides’ trail and notices the sabretooth is following them so he plans on following the guides to warn them. That night, Jason leaves the camp to use the restroom but is attacked and killed by the sabretooth. Casey and the others hear his screams but realize they won’t be able to find him in the dark and so they build up the fire and keep watch. In the morning, they split up to go look for Jason, with Casey and Leon going one way while Trent and Lola go another with plans to meet back in 20 minutes. Casey and Leon find the toilet paper Jason had but encounter Thatcher, who tells them Jason is dead and has them lead him back to their camp. Trent and Lola encounter the sabretooth and they try to run for it but the sabretooth kills Lola. Trent makes it back to camp and tells the others what he saw and Thatcher tells them to head to a nearby mine and hide while he goes and kills it. Thatcher gets the animal in his sights but before he can shoot it, Catherine tries shooting it with a tranquilizer and misses, scaring the sabretooth off. As they argue about what to do with the sabretooth, the sabretooth returns and attacks them, killing Brinklin. The sabretooth then heads to the mine and Casey and Trent try hiding inside while Leon tries fending off the sabretooth with a pair of knives but the sabretooth kills him. Managing to find a narrow crevice to hide in, Casey sees an opening at the top and is able to climb out but Trent is too big to fit. Thatcher and Catherine reach the mine and Casey sees them and gets Thatcher to help her rescue Trent. Thatcher loads up a tranquilizer but can’t fit inside the opening to use it so he hands it to Casey, who manages to use it on the sabretooth. When the sabretooth goes down, Trent is able to escape and Thatcher tells Catherine to take Trent and Casey down to the lake while he deals with the sabretooth. As the sabretooth emerges from the mine, Thatcher tries to shoot it only to discover that Catherine had taken the bullets out of his rifle. Thatcher manages to escape but his foot is caught in a trap and injured. Casey and Trent head back to help him and Thatcher hands Trent his knife and tells him to cut a few saplings down to use as spears, then they head off to find Catherine. They soon find her at the edge of the cliff and Catherine says they are trapped. When Thatcher says he still plans on killing it, Catherine pulls out the revolver she stole from him and threatens to use it. Trent manages to knock it out of her hand but not before she fires a shot and hits him in the shoulder. When the sabretooth appears, Catherine tries to get it to run but it attacks and kills her instead. Trent, Casey, and Thatcher climb onto some rocks and use their make-shift spears to fend off the sabretooth and eventually, Thatcher is able to kill it by jabbing it in the stomach with the spear when it leaps at him. As they make sure they are ok, Casey and Trent start kissing and Thatcher jokes about not minding him as they stop and help each other to get down from the mountain.

This was a fairly decent movie but a little boring at times. The acting was good, with David Keith (Thatcher), Jenna Gering (Casey), and Josh Holloway (Trent) doing good jobs in their roles. John Rhys-Davies (Brinklin) and Vanessa Angel (Catherine) were some surprising known names and I thought it added a bit to the movie but they were not entirely necessary. The story was pretty interesting, with the scientist cloning a dead animal and then doing whatever she can to keep it alive. The addition of the guides being stalked was pretty good but the whole romance side story just felt stupid and really a waste. The special effects were on the low end, as the sabretooth looked pretty blocky and off when it was interacting with the actors. Syfy original movies have come a long way since this movie but this can still be a fun movie to watch.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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adventure, horror, kaiju movie, movie, movie review, sci-fi

June 13th, 2017 Movie – Rodan

rodanFor me, there is no better way to start the day than by watching a Toho kaiju movie. Now today’s movie was always one of my favorite Toho monster movies as a kid. Like many kids, I was a bit of a dinosaur nut and here was this movie about a giant Pteranodon attacking a city. Of course, being a Toho monster meant that Rodan would find it’s way into the Godzilla series, which gave me even more chances to see him. So let’s go ahead and watch Toho’s resident high flyer in action as I watch today’s movie, Rodan.

The plot: In the mining town of Kitamatsu, the miners are preparing for the morning shift in the mine when a fight breaks out between two workers, Goro and Yoshizo, but it is quickly broken up and the men head down into the shaft. A short time later, a call comes in to the headquarters that part of the mine has flooded and Shigeru Kawamura, one of the mine’s safety engineers, quickly heads to the mine to investigate. When Shigeru gets down to where the workers are, he learns that Goro and Yoshizo are missing so he leads a group down to try and find them as well as figure out where the water came from. The group eventually come across the body of Yoshizo and quickly take him back to the surface and take him to the doctor’s office, where the doctor says he was killed by a sharp object. Some of the men believe Goro killed Yoshizo, as he has not been seen since the flood, but Shigeru tells them not to jump to conclusions until the police have finished investigating. As they leave the doctor’s office, Shigeru sees his fiance Kiyo waiting for him and she asks if the rumors about Goro, her brother, are true but he tells her to have faith in Goro. Later, two workers and a police officer are standing at the water’s edge of the tunnel to see if Goro comes out when they hear a splash in the water. Heading into the water to investigate, they hear a strange noise followed by more splashing when suddenly, the worker in front starts screaming as he is dragged underwater. The police officer fires his pistol at their attacker but he too is dragged under and killed, while the second worker is killed while trying to to radio for help. After the bodies have been recovered, the doctors say that the men were killed by the same weapon that killed Yoshizo but they have no idea what could have done it. That night, Shigeru is trying to comfort Kiyo after Yoshizo’s wife yells at her for Yoshizo’s death when they are attacked by a giant insect. They quickly run and Shigeru calls for help and when the police get there, they see the creature and start firing at it but their bullets seem to have no effect as the insect charges at them. With more officers and people coming to help, they soon track the insect to the top of a hill but it manages to kill two police officers before making it’s way back to the mine. Heading into the mine, the police bring some machine guns to use on the insect but even the machine guns have no effect so they are forced to retreat back towards the surface. Shigeru releases the mine cart and crashes it into the insect, killing it, but as they are moving the debris from the crash, a second insect appears. The police begin firing at it but it has no effect when a cave in suddenly occurs, killing the insect and trapping Shigeru inside the mine. Dr. Kashiwagi examine the body of the insect and say it looks like a giant prehistoric dragonfly larvae called Meganulon. Suddenly, a tremor occurs and they learn an earthquake occurred somewhere between the mine and the nearby volcano, Mt. Aso. As the scientist go to examine the site of the earthquake, they see Shigeru stumbling around in the newly formed crater. Taking Shigeru back to the village, they find that he is in a state of shock, causing him to become mute and giving him temporary amnesia. As Kiyo cares for Shigeru, Kashiwagi and the other doctors try to work with him in regaining his memory but to no avail. Meanwhile, a JSDF plane reports to it’s base about an unknown object traveling through the air at supersonic speeds. The pilot is ordered to investigate but as he gets close, the object suddenly reverses course and destroys the plane with a supersonic attack. As the JSDF examines the wreckage and pilot’s remains, they learn of another plane being attacked by the object. As reports come in of the object flying over the area, from Beijing to Manila, the news reports feel like it is impossible for the object to be in different places so close apart and theorize that there are two of them. A Honeymooning couple heads to Mt. Aso to take some pictures when they are attacked by the flying object. As the police examine the items left behind, they develop the pictures from their camera and see a strange wing in one of the frames. Izeki, a newspaper reporter, takes the picture to Kashiwagi to look at, and he and his assistants say it resembles the wing of a Pteranodon. Meanwhile, Kiyo shows Shigeru some bird eggs that are starting to hatch and he regains his memory of what happened inside the cave. Speaking with Kashiwagi, Shigeru tells them that he saw a giant egg hatch and a giant baby Pteranodon was eating the Meganulon that were inside the chamber before flying off. Shigeru leads Kashigawi and some other men to the chamber where the egg was and they find a piece of the egg shell but are forced to run when another cave in occurs. After examining the shell fragment, Kashiwagi is able to estimate how large the egg was theorizes that nuclear testing possibly lead to the giant size and wakening of the creature, which they are calling Rodan. Heading towards Mt. Aso, the group see Rodan appear at the base of the volcano and the police chief sends one of his men to report what is going on but Rodan takes off and uses it’s sonic boom to destroy the jeep. the JSDF mobilizes some planes to attack Rodan but their weapons have no effect and it heads towards Fukuoka. Landing in the city, Rodan begins destroying the city and the JSDF mobilizes tanks and rocket launchers to combat the giant monster but to no avail. As Rodan uses it’s wings to generate powerful gusts of wind that destroy buildings and push the JSDF vehicles away, a second Rodan appears and begins flying over the city before both Rodans leave the city and head back to Mt. Aso. Using a helicopter to examine Mt. Aso and finding the Rodans’ nest, the JSDF plan on bombing the mountain and causing a cave-in that will trap the monsters inside the mountain. One of the geologists says that their plan will cause Mt. Aso to erupt and the commander says that will work to their advantage, believing the lava will kill the monsters. The JSDF evacuate the area, then begin firing at the volcano in an attempt to bury the monsters. The Rodan’s are able to escape but when the Mt. Aso proceeds to erupt, one of the Rodans is overcome by the fumes and ends up falling to the ground, where it is set on fire by the lava. As Shigeru, Kiyo, Kashiwagi, and the others watch, the second Rodan descends to the ground and lands near it’s dying mate, then catches on fire as well and the assembled people watch as both monsters are consumed by fire and die.

Rodan met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics seemed to enjoy the movie but did feel the plot was a bit tedious. This was the first Toho kaiju movie to be filmed in color, though Toho’s first color film was released earlier in the year. Like many other of Toho’s kaiju movies, Rodan found a large audience outside of Japan, especially in the US, though there were changes made just like the other kaiju movies that were shown in the US.

This was always my favorite non-Godzilla Showa era kaiju movie. The acting was pretty good, with a good mix of drama in the early going followed by the usual panic/antics that occur during a kaiju movie. The plot was decent, though it was a bit disappointing because Rodan didn’t really show up until almost 2/3 of the way through the movie, while the first 30 minutes was focused on the Meganulon. The Rodan suit was actually pretty incredible and it is a shame that this suit wasn’t used in the Godzilla series, where we wound up with a googly eyed monster in the later films. A fun movie to watch and enjoy, even if you are not a kaiju fan.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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June 12th, 2017 Movie – Rocky Jones, Space Ranger: Menace From Outer Space

rocky jones menace from outer space

I hope this is the last one of these Rocky Jones movies in these box sets I own. I honestly don’t know If i can stand to see another movie made up from old TV episodes. Anyways, I got lucky in regards to this movie because it is on the same disk as yesterday’s movie, so I didn’t have to waste time hunting down which disk it is on. Now some of you may be wondering why these last two movies are titled “Rocky Jones, Space Ranger” while the previous movies from the series were not. Well, that is how they were listed on the box set so that is how they were listed in my list. But enough rambling, time to get on with today’s movie, Rocky Jones, Space Ranger: Menace From Outer Space.

The plot: On Earth, Professor Newton is observing a meteor that is approaching Earth when Vena Ray and Bobby show up at the observatory. When they view it on the video screen, Newton grows suspicious as he hears a humming noise coming from the meteor and after taking a closer look with the telescope, he realizes it is a rocket. Newton contacts Secretary Drake and informs him of the rocket’s approach and when it crashes close to the observatory, Newton heads out to see if he can find any clues to the rocket’s origins and says he will report back. Drake contacts Rocky Jones, who is out on patrol, and has him return to Earth but as Rocky and Winky head back, they see another Rocket flying by. Meeting at Space Rangers Headquarters, Newton explains to everyone that the rocket was comprised of crystal and Vena says that tracking the rocket’s path indicated that it came from Fornax, one of Jupiter’s moons. Rocky and Winky plan to fly to Fornax to investigate. Secretary Drake gets a hold of the Tibet Observatory and tells them not to say anything about a rocket, only that a meteor had hit, but one of the Rangers, Griff, plans to find a way to make a profit off of what is on Fornax and knocks out his companion before leaving to deal with Rocky. Back At Headquarters, Rocky has his rocket prepared to make the trip to Fornax but as they blast off, the thrust causes them to black out and they almost crash but Rocky is able to regain consciousness and right the rocket. Continuing on their journey, Vena notices another rocket nearby but when they try to contact them, the other rocket doesn’t answer. Realizing that it is probably Griff, Rocky manages to maneuver behind him and fires a rocket into Griff’s rocket’s exhaust, crippling the rocket and allowing Rocky and his crew to continue on their journey but the move has cost them a lot of fuel. Explaining the fuel situation to everyone, Rocky lists their choices and everyone chooses to press on so they continue towards Fornax but as they attempt to land, the moon’s heavier gravitational pull causes them to use up the last of their fuel to prevent their crashing onto the surface. After making sure the atmosphere is ok to breathe, they head to a nearby pyramid, where they are greeted by Zoravak, the ruler of Fornax. As Rocky and the others greet him, they are surprised to find Professor Cardos there and he explains that he crashed there 8 years ago. As they all speak with Zoravak and Cardos, Rocky pulls Newton aside and questions him about Cardos and Newton admits that there were rumors of a murder before he disappeared. Newton, Vena, and Bobby head inside the pyramid while Rocky and Winky stay behind to check out the ship but secretly, they use their view screen to observe them all. Everything seems ok but when Zoravak and Cardos leave the group, Rocky and Winky overhear them arguing about another plan. Cardos has apparently been lying to Zoravak about the Earth and wants to attack and conquer it but Zoravak, having met with Rocky and the others, is doubting the truth of Cardos’ claims. When the two men enter a room that the viewscreen can’t penetrate properly, Rocky and Winky sneak in and learn what Cardos’ plans are. They try to sneak away and tell Zoravak the truth but they are captured. Bobby pleads with Zoravak that they are not enemies and Zoravak decides the only way to learn the truth is to travel to Earth with Rocky and Winky, while Newton, Vena, and Bobby will remain behind as hostages. Rocky agrees and working with the Fornax engineers, they are able to convert their fuel source to work with the rockets. Rocky takes the rocket for a test drive and the rocket takes off perfectly but due to equipment failure, he is unable to communicate with them until he lands. After the ship is repaired, Rocky, Winky, and Zoravak head to Earth but before they leave, Rocky warns Newton to keep an eye on Cardos. Meanwhile, Griff ends up close to Ophecius and contacts Darganto, who brings his ship down and allows Griff to meet with Cleolanta. After Griff explains the situation, Darganto believes they can lay a claim on Fornax before the United Worlds, then use their missiles to attack Earth and force their surrender. Back on Fornax, Cardos makes plans to overthrow Zoravak’s wife, Vonsoon, and continue attacking the Earth but he is overheard by Bobby and Zoroavak’s daughter Volaca, and they tell Vonsoon and the others. Vonsoon heads to the lab and has Cardos arrested but as they leave the lab, they see the Orphecian rocket land and demands that they surrender. When they arrive on the planet, Darganto and Griff work with Cardos and prepare to fire more missiles at the Earth, this time armed with warheads, and take the crystals to be used to improve the Orphecian rockets. On Earth, Rocky and the others get word of a rocket heading towards them and Rocky, Winky, and Zoravak head out and destroy the rocket, then head back to Fornax. Meanwhile, Bobby and Volaca manage to sneak out and make contact with Rocky and tell him what is going on. Rocky has Bobby try to learn what he can and report back to him but Bobby is captured so Volaca ends up telling him instead. Using what Volaca told him, Rocky is able to surprise Darganto, Griff, and Cardos and take them prisoner, where they will be subjected to the respective authorities for their crimes. As Rocky and the others prepare to leave Fornax, Bobby says goodbye to Volaca and Zoravak tells Bobby to let Rocky know that if they ever need help, he will be happy to help them.

Ok, this was probably the best “movie” out of the bunch regarding this series. The acting was ok for the most part and even though I thought he was annoying in every other movie, Bobby (played by Robert Lyden) was actually not that bad in this one and wound up being a rather integral part to the climax. The story was pretty good, adding a lot of drama into the mixture of the struggle over Fornax and it’s fate in the galaxy. The special effects were the same as all the others, which look pretty cheap and laughable now. I am still not a real fan of the series but at least this one was worth watching.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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adventure, movie, movie review, sci-fi, tv episodes

June 11th, 2017 Movie – Rocky Jones Space Ranger: Crash Of The Moons

rocky jones crash of the moons

Once again, we have a couple of episodes from an old TV show that have been turned into a movie. I’m sorry, but there are times where I fell like Hollywood studios just try to do anything in order to make some money without having to do anything original. Now I have a couple of movies that were taken from episodes of the Rocky Jones, Space Ranger TV show from another box set and they have been laughable bad, but not necessarily in a good way. Let’s see how this one goes as I watch today’s movie, Rocky Jones, Space Ranger: Crash Of The Moons.

The plot: On the planet Ophecius, Secretary Drake from the Office of Space Affairs, Rocky Jones, and his co-pilot Winky are meeting with Queen Cleolanta to try and convince her to join the United Worlds but Cleolanta refuses to join and threatens to destroy their ships if they don’t leave her planet. As they head back to Space Station OW9, they receive a surprise call from their navigator Vena Ray, as well as their friends Professor Newton and Bobby, who are on the space station. Newton explains that the gypsy moons Negato and Posita,  a pair of free roaming satellites connected by an atmosphere chain, will be passing by the area, and since the space station will fall between the two moons as they pass, they plan to use the event to communicate with their friends on one of the moons. Rocky quickly signs off and heads into the navigation room with Secretary Drake, where he tells Drake that the space station will be destroyed when it passes through the atmosphere, as it was never designed to operate inside an atmosphere. Rocky contacts the space station and tells them to recall the transport rocket that had just left so they can evacuate but they have no luck. Meanwhile, on Posita, the leader Bavarro and his wife Potonda are concerned about their newborn son, as he seems to be frightened for some reason but they can’t figure out why. Meanwhile, Rocky and Winky pilot their ship towards the station, hoping to make it there in time to evacuate everyone. As the moons pass by, the space station is buffeted by the atmosphere, but Rocky arrives and, after having them drop the magnetic shields, docks his ship in one of the landing berths and then has Winky fire the rockets, pushing the station out of the atmosphere. Rejoining their friends on the station, Rocky and Winky meet with Professor Newton, who is working on trying to plot a course the gypsy moons will take, worrying that they might end up crashing into a planet or something and causing mass damage. As they head to the gypsy moons, Newton discovers that the moons course will cause Posita to collide with Ophecius. When they reach Posita, Rocky contacts their friends Bavarro and informs them of the bad news. Bavarro is upset over the news and declares that his moon will not be destroyed but Rocky says there is nothing to be done. They then make plans for Bavarro and Secretary Drake to head to Negato and arrange for the people of Posita to be evacuated to Negato, while Newton, Vena, and Bobby stay on Posita to try and help out. Rocky and Winky head off towards Ophecius in the hopes that Cleolanta will listen to their warnings and evacuate their people. Failing that, the hope to reach the Ophecian underground, who want to join the United Worlds. Trinka, the wife of Atlasan, one of Cleolanta’s soldiers, has a secret space phone and hears Rocky’s warning and tries to tell Atlasan to listen to Rocky but he refuses and arrests her as a traitor. Atlasan takes Trinka to Cleolanta, who questions her about the underground but Trinka says she is not a traitor and she must listen to Rocky Jones. When Cleolanta orders Atlasan to fire on Rocky’s ship as he attempts to land, Trinka grabs his gun and threatens to kill Cleolanta unless they allow Rocky to land. Rocky and Winky land safely and manage to surprise Cleolanta’s guards, then force them to lead them to Cleolanta. Rocky tries to explain to Cleolanta the danger her world faces and tells her the United Worlds will help her find a new world to evacuate to but instead, Cleolanta tricks Rocky and Winky and uses sleeping gas to render them unconscious. After Cleolanta’s lieutenants confirm what Rocky was saying, Atlasan says that they can fire missiles at Posita that, even if they don’t destroy the moon, should be able to knock it off course and spare Ophecius. Cleolanta agrees to the plan but instead of allowing Posita time to evacuate, she orders Atlasan to destroy the moon further away from Ophecius, citing self preservation as a reason. Atlasan heads to the prison room that Trinka is being kept and tells her what he is doing but after he leaves, she goes and frees Rocky and Winky. After dealing with the guards, Rocky and Winky take Trinka with them to intercept Atlasan and Cleolanta. As they head towards Posita, Rocky tries contacting the moon and warning them but as he speaks with Bobby, they are cut off as Atlasan begins firing missiles at the planet. Rocky fires a missile to cripple Atlasan’s ship then contact him and threaten to destroy the ship if he doesn’t stop. Trinka pleads with Atlasan to stop firing and Atlasan succeeds in subduing Cleolanta and radios Rocky and Trinka that no more missiles will be fired. Rocky and the others land on Posita and after making sure everyone is ok, they tow Atlasan’s ship to the surface. On Posita, Cleolanta argues with Secretary Drake about the fate of Ophecius and Rocky says that he will travel with Atlasan and Cleolanta and fire the missiles at Posita once it is fully evacuated to see if they can save Ophecius but ships should be on standby to evacuate Ophecius if it fails. Cleolanta agrees but when the missiles fail to deviate Posita’s course and they have to evacuate Ophecius, Cleolanta feels like this is a trick to get rid of the Ophecian people. Rocky and Atlasan pilot the ship to Ophecius and Cleolanta demands to exit the ship first in order to speak with her people. When she leaves the ship, a group of soldiers rush the ladder and try to commandeer the ship but Trinka is able to calm the group down. After they receive word from Vena and Secretary Drake, the evacuation proceeds but Cleolanta refuses to leave Ophecius, choosing to die with her planet, but Atlasan picks her up and carries her onto Rocky’s ship. As they watch Posita and Ophecius, Cleolanta is upset at the loss of her planet but after hearing Bavarro talk about the people being what makes a country, she apologizes to Rocky for her actions.

Nope, this movie has not changed my opinion of the TV show because this movie is so predictable and boring just like the others. The acting was ok, though incredible stiff and wooden most of the time. The only good thing is that there were not a lot of scenes involving Bobby, so I didn’t have to deal with his annoying little self. The story was actually decent and I feel like it is something that has been used in other sci-fi media, in some form or another. The special effects were a lot of the usual stock footage and cheap blue screen effort that you would expect to see. If you were a fan of the TV show, I could see wanting to watch this but otherwise, I would avoid it.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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June 10th, 2017 Movie – Rocket Attack U.S.A.

rocket attack usa

Once again, Cold War tensions find themselves manifesting into a movie. I understand that this was a pretty big concern in the 50’s but to be honest, that overall theme got to be very boring real fast. Today’s movie is no exception and if it wasn’t for the fact that it is part of the Sci-Fi Invasion box set, I probably would never consider buying it. So let’s see how good or bad of a movie I have her as I watch Rocket Attack U.S.A.

The plot: In 1957, the Soviet Union successfully placed a man-made satellite into orbit above the Earth, changing the course of modern warfare. Concerned that the satellite could be used to gather intelligence on the US in order to plan an ICBM attack, the CIA sends John Manston to Moscow to confirm if the satellites are being used for espionage purposes or if it is simply propaganda material. Manston boards a civilian plane to fly into Russia and the pilot lands as close to Moscow as he is comfortable with and Manston is forced to make his own way to Moscow, a journey which will take several weeks. In Moscow, things seem peaceful but there is concern that the military might stage a coup and take over the government, which worries the citizens. Manston finally makes it to Moscow and heads towards a cafe to meet with his contact, a woman named Tanya. While watching the entertainment at the cafe, consisting of a belly dancer and a fire swallower, Manston is able to pass notes to Tanya, who is working as a waitress at the cafe. Later that night, Manston heads to Tanya’s apartment and after they verify both of their identities, Manston says he will have to stay at her place while he gathers his intel and Tanya is worried but agrees to let him stay. Back in the US, the military and aircraft industry are hard at work to develop their own ICBM as a means to discourage a possible attack from the Soviets but their progress is hindered as they try to develop a nosecone that can withstand the heat of reentry. Back in Moscow, Tanya relays to Manston that the military plans on forcing a vote to go ahead and attack the US as soon as their missile is ready and before the US is able to retaliate. During the meeting, the marshall tells the assembled group his plan to attack New York City, as it’s destruction would make the US easier to control for themselves. They get word of this to the US, who continues to try and complete work on their own rocket. That night, after Tanya “entertains” a Russian minister, she lets Manston out of the closet he was hiding in and tells him that the minister is going to look at missile sites and invited her to accompany him. As they look at the passed out general, Manston comments on how he wishes that she didn’t have to do what she does and after admitting his feelings for her, the two embrace and kiss. In the US, their latest missile test ends up exploding mid flight and though the engineer says that they have a successful rocket and it was just bad luck, the general in charge says that the failure has made it harder to secure more funding for additional tests. Meanwhile, Manston is waiting in Tanya’s apartment when someone knocks on the door and slips a note underneath it. Manston quickly grabs the man and asks what he is doing there and the man says he is a friend of Tanya. He claims that Tanya has run away from the minister and is hiding in Lenningrad and will take him to her. Manston doesn’t trust him at first but the man produces his ID, saying he is part of British Intelligence, and Manston agrees to go with him. Meanwhile, the Soviet Marshall tells the assembled parliament members that with the US test failure, they now have the perfect time to strike against the US. The British Intelligence operative takes Tanya to meet with Manston, then hands her a package to give him before going his separate way, as Manston wants to finish the mission on his own. Tanya meets Manston and hands him the package but refuses to leave, telling Manston he will need her help in locating the base. Meanwhile, the British Intelligence agent is captured and taken to the base, where the base commander doesn’t believe he is alone and increases the guards’ patrols. As Manston and Tanya reach the base, they try to sneak around to the back but are spotted by a guard, who fires at them. Tanya is hit and tells Manston to go on, then shoots the guards as he tries to go after Manston before she dies. Manston reaches the base and sets the bomb he was carrying onto the rocket but is spotted by the guards and is forced to shoot his way out. Meanwhile, the bomb is discovered and removed from the rocket, with a soldier carrying it off to detonate harmlessly away from the base. As Manston heads back to Tanya, he hears the explosion and thinks they have won but he ends up being gunned down by a soldier. In the US, a radio newscaster is going over the news stories and talks about how the Kremlin is planning to negotiate over the issues that they disagree with the US on. However, the Kremlin actually orders their missile to be fired at New York and though the US tries to destroy it, and retaliate against Moscow, both efforts fail and New York is destroyed. As the news reports comments on the death toll and wreckage, the story ends with the news caster saying that this can’t be how things end.

I don’t think I have ever watched a more boring movie before. I mean, I actually fell asleep while I was watching this. The acting was boring and unemotional that it felt like a bunch or robots were reading the script. The story was basically a giant “what if” on the biggest fear that was occurring during this time period after the U.S.S.R. launched Sputnik into space. There weren’t really any special effects as they used a lot of stock footage and commenting on things off screen to try and move this movie through it’s sluggish pace. Honestly, the only reason you should watch this movie is to watch it spoofed on MST3K.

Rating: 1/2 out of 5

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movie, movie review, sci-fi

June 7th, 2017 Movie – Robot Monster

robot monster

There are times where I do love my movie shopping list that I made based on a YouTube video, which you can watch here if you want, because it gives me such gems as today’s movie. Let’s face it, how many monster movies are out there where the monster is a guy in a gorilla costume with a diver’s helmet on his head. Naturally, a movie this cheaply done is something that I just had to buy so that is exactly what I did. Let’s see just how bad of a decision I might have made as I watch Robot Monster.

The plot: Johnny and his little sister Carla are playing in the hills when they come across two archaeologists, the Professor (George) and his assistant Roy, who are examining rocks in a nearby cave. As George and Roy talk to the two children, Johnny and Carla’s mother Martha and sister Alice come get the children, saying that they were supposed to take a nap after their picnic lunch. When Johnny wakes up from his nap, he heads back to the cave and finds George and Roy have left when a sudden lightning storm renders him unconscious, while elsewhere in the world, giant monsters kill each other and explosions occur. When Johnny regains consciousness, he finds some equipment near the mouth of the cave and some flashing lights coming from inside, which causes Johnny to hide. Johnny sees a giant alien called Ro-Man approach the equipment and use it to contact his leader, the Great Guidance. Ro-Man explains how he wiped out all of humanity from the Earth, allowing it ready to be colonized by his people, but the Great Guidance tells him that 8 humans are still alive and Ro-Man says he will find and kill them. When Ro-Man heads back inside the cave, Johnny returns to his home, which is the remains of a house, where he lives with his Martha, Alice, Carla, and George (who apparently married Johnny’s mother). George and Martha chastise Johnny for leaving the house, saying the wires that surround the structure are the only thing that keeps Ro-Man from finding and killing them. Suddenly, their view screen activates and Ro-Man speaks with them, saying that they are the last 5 humans on Earth. Hearing this, Alice gets upset when she believes that Roy is dead, while Ro-Man taunts them with images of how the other humans were killed before vowing to kill them as well. Meanwhile, Roy is actually at the cave and sees Ro-Man speaking to the Great Guidance, questioning if there really are 8 humans, as he only saw 5. Roy returns to the house, where everyone is happy to see him alive, and he explains that he was at the cave and figured out how they managed to survive. George had managed to make a cure for all diseases and he tested it on his family, Roy, and two other men and Roy tells them that they are the only people left. Roy tells them that the other two men are taking vials of the serum to the Space Platform, which had been spared from Ro-Man’s attack, and George says that they have to warn them as Ro-Man could find them when they launch. Alice and Roy work on fixing the view screen so they can communicate with the other survivors but are too late, as Ro-Man appears on the screen and shows them the rocket and Space Platform being destroyed, leaving the 6 of them the last survivors. Trying to figure out a way to beat Ro-Man, Alice and Roy fix the view screen and George uses it to contact Ro-Man. George tries to appeal to Ro-Man’s sympathies and spare them but Ro-Man refuses at first, then asks Alice to meet with him at some ruins, as he says he will talk with her alone. After ending the communication, George and Roy refuse to let Alice leave to meet with Ro-Man but while they are arguing, Johnny sneaks out and heads to the ruins himself. When he gets there, Ro-Man is surprised to see him and Johnny explains that Alice isn’t coming, then asks why Ro-Man hates them. Ro-Man explains that humans were getting too intelligent and his people couldn’t take the chance of humanity attacking them so they decided to attack first. Ro-Man attempts to use his calcinator ray on Johnny but it has no effect on him. When Johnny unwittingly explains about the serum, Ro-Man says he will calibrate the ray to take the serum into effect and Johnny, realizing his mistake, rushes off to warn the others. Roy and Alice head to the ruins to look for Johnny but are forced to hide when they see Ro-Man approaching them and as they are hiding, they end up kissing. Meanwhile, Johnny makes his way back home and apologizes for telling Ro-Man about the serum. When Alice and Roy return, they tell George that they want to get married and ask that George perform the ceremony and George happily agrees. Back at the cave, Ro-Man reports to the Great Guidance on the human’s immunity to the calcinator ray and the Great Guidance says to use physical force if necessary in order to kill the remaining humans. Back at the house, George marries Alice and Roy but as they joke about where to go for their honeymoon, Carla leaves to go pick some flowers for Alice. Carla leaves the house to give Alice the flowers but as she heads back home, Ro-Man catches and kills her, then reports back to the Great Guidance on her death. Ro-Man attempts to convince the Great Guidance to allow Alice to leave, as he has developed some feelings for her but the Great Guidance tells him to kill all the humans. Ro-Man sets out and finds Alice and Roy, who are kissing in a field, and attacks Roy, eventually pushing him off of a cliff, before grabbing Alice and carrying her back to his cave. George and Martha go looking for Carla and after finding her body, bury it and after they finish, Roy appears and tells them what happened to Alice before he dies. Johnny comes up with a plan to lure Ro-Man out of the cave so they can free Alice and they contact Ro-Man and tell him that they want a quick death and where to find them. In the cave, the Great Guidance orders Ro-Man to kill Alice but Ro-Man refuses. Johnny calls out Ro-Man and Ro-Man goes to kill him, allowing George and Martha to free Alice. As Ro-Man strangles Johnny, the Great Guidance kills Ro-Man, then summons dinosaurs and earthquakes to kill off the last of the humans. Suddenly, Johnny is woken up by Roy, and it is revealed that the whole thing was a dream Johnny had when he was knocked unconscious. Martha and Alice invite Roy and George to have dinner with them and they accept but as they leave the cave, the spectral image of Ro-Man appears to come out of the cave and seems to head out after them.

Robot Monster was pretty much panned by the critics, holding a 31% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the majority of the critics all seem to believe this is a bad movie but several said it was entertaining because of it being so bad. The film was almost entirely shot at Bronson Canyon in California, though the scenes involving the dinosaurs and giant reptiles were taken from One Million B.C. (1940) and Lost Continent. The movie made $1 million off of a $16,000-$50,000 budget, but due to the negative reaction it received, director Phil Tucker attempted suicide but failed.

Man, this is one ridiculous movie but it can be fun to watch. The acting is honestly nothing special, with nobody really standing out, though Gregory Moffett’s (Johnny) interaction with Ro-Man was pretty funny at times. The story was honestly a little weak. I  mean, I did like the dream aspect, as unoriginal as it might be, but the actual events within the dream just seemed weak. The special effects were laughably bad but that is what makes this movie fun to watch. Not a great movie by any stretch of the imagination but it can be fun to watch.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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action, comedy, movie, movie review, sci-fi

June 6th, 2017 Movie – Roboshark

roboshark

Ahh, you got to love Sharknado Week on Syfy. That’s because every year you will get a couple of new Shark-themed movies debuting that week. Today’s movie is one that debuted a few years ago during the 3rd Sharknado movie. Now while most of the shark B-movies tend to try and be serious in either the sci-fi or horror aspects, this movie chose to play up the ridiculous aspect of the movie. Whether this was a good idea or not is up for you to decide as I watch today’s movie, Roboshark.

The plot: An alien spaceship is studying the solar system when it sends out a probe to get more data on Earth. The probe falls into the ocean, where it ends up being swallowed by a great white shark, and the probe fuses with the shark, turning it into a robotic shark. After the roboshark sinks a submarine, Admiral Black gets word of what happened and figures the roboshark is heading towards Seattle and makes plans to capture or destroy it there. In Seattle, Trish, the weather  for a local TV network, is getting ready to leave for the day when she sees a video on her daughter Melody’s phone about a shark that attacks and crashes a puddle jumper plane. Getting in the news van that is there to pick her up, she complains to her soundtech Louie and cameraman Eric about how she has been relegated to fluff pieces ever since she made a mistake on a story but when she sees the Navy setting up a camp in the park, she decides to ditch her assigned story and cover what is happening there. As they start to set up outside the park, their boss calls and Trish tries to explain what they are doing but he hangs up on them the second Trish says it could have something to do with the shark in the video. As Louie and Erik go to get some coffee across the street, Trish calls her husband Rick to complain about what happened but Rick, who works for Water and Sewer, is dealing with an issue with several of their pipes, which is due to Roboshark burrowing into the pipes to travel through the city. After hanging up with Rick, Trish sees the Navy retrieving some of the plane debris from the video and quickly gets some of it on video then heads the coffee shop to tell the others. Before she gets there, roboshark emerges from the pipes in the floor of the store, which causes an explosion, then kills the owner and a customer, who managed to upload video of roboshark via his GoPro, before disappearing back into the ground. After Trish is checked out by emergency workers, she tries to get Louie and Eric only to find that they have been reassigned to Veronica, the snobbish head reporter for their station. When Trish tries to explain what happened to the fire chief, he recognizes her as “the wacky weathergirl” and dismisses her statement. Rick calls Trish to check on her, having seen her on the TV, and tells her that whatever is in the pipes is heading to the sewage treatment plant and Trish gets in the news van and heads there, with Louie going with her. Rick calls the plant to warn them about something heading towards them but the manager dismisses his concerns, but then asks if there is any pressure buildup and is told there is. Suddenly, there is a rumbling in the pipes and the manager orders everyone out of there just as a sewage tank explodes and as the manager watches, roboshark appears and kills him. Trish and Louis arrive and start to get ready to report the story but are told by their boss to back off and wait for Veronica, who arrives shortly afterwards. Trish is dejected until she receives a text from Melody, showing her the video of roboshark from the GoPro and Trish calls Louie over to show her. Melody says she is going to meet up with Trish, despite Trish telling her to stay in school. Trish calls Rick to try and find out where roboshark is heading next but he can’t tell her as the Navy shows up and takes over the building, enlisting Rick to help them track roboshark. Back at the treatment plant, Melody shows up and, after learning that they were able to track roboshark through the water system, she uses social media to track water outages and tells them something is happening at the mall so they head there. At the mall, roboshark breaks through the floor, causing a panic, and the Navy shows up to try and kill it but they are killed instead. Trish, Louie, and Melody arrive at the mall and manage to get footage of roboshark killing some of the Navy men and quickly leave so they are not killed themselves. Trish tries to reach her boss so they can air the footage but when she is unable to reach him, she decides to have Melody and Louie help her put it online. The video becomes a viral hit, and the three keep trying to prove to people that it is not fake. Rick calls them and is upset that Trish has Melody with her but he ends up getting cut off by the Navy. Melody remote accesses Rick’s computer so they can listen in as Admiral Black explains what is going on. Suddenly, Black receives a phone call and is told to suspend his operations as Bill Glates is going to take over and try to communicate with roboshark. Rick is able to track where roboshark is headed and informs Bill Glates, but then notices that his remote has been remotely accessed. Rick calls Trish to confront her about this and learns that they are at the park where Bill Glates is attempting to communicate with roboshark and they get footage of roboshark killing Bill Glates. Back at Rick’s office, Black asks Rick where roboshark is heading next and Rick yells out that it is heading towards a high school, knowing that Trish and the others will be able to hear him. When they learn that the Navy isn’t going to evacuate the school, Melody uses Twitter to spread the word. When they get there, they manage to clear everyone out of the pool area just as roboshark appears in the pool, swallowing someone’s phone in the process. Melody discovers that roboshark has started following her on Twitter and sends it a DM to not hurt them, causing roboshark to spare a man that had been knocked into the pool. Roboshark then attempts to communicate with Melody and actually allows her to touch it when the Navy shows up and begins firing on roboshark, causing Trish, Melody, and Louie to take cover so they aren’t hit. Roboshark is apparently killed and Black orders divers sent into the pool to confirm the kill. Outside the school, Melody gets a message from roboshark that it is still alive and they send the message to Rick, who tries to warn Black. Back in the pool, roboshark comes back online and uses some hidden weapons to kill the divers before diving back into the pipes. Black asks Rick where it might be heading and he guesses that, due to the direction it had been travelling, it is heading for the Space Needle. Back at the school, Veronica and Eric arrive and Veronica, upset that Trish had scooped her on the story, tries to take the footage they shot but Melody threatens the tell her almost 1 million Twitter followers that Veronica stole the footage, as well as some other things that Veronica would rather keep private, and Veronica decides to leave them alone. Trish and the others head to the Space Needle and discover roboshark in an underground cover underneath the Space Needle trying to contact it’s mothership. Inside the Space Needle, Black plans on destroying roboshark but Rick, showing them the live footage of Melody communicating with roboshark, blackmails him into saving them first. The Navy drags Trish and the others out of the cavern and then begins firing on roboshark but it gets away and starts killing off the soldiers. When it reaches the surface, the Navy fires Sabot rounds to damage it but roboshark leaps into the air and knocks out the plane before crashing to the ground, while the wreckage of the plane crashes into the Space Needle, seriously damaging it. Seeing that roboshark is still alive, Black orders a nearby battleship to target the damaged section of the Space Needle in order to drop the top of the tower on roboshark, then tells Rick and Commander Xavier to leave as he plans to ride the needle down. Meanwhile, Veronica shows up and is still upset about being scooped so she grabs the camera from Eric and heads closer to get footage of roboshark but she ends up being killed as the Needle falls on roboshark, smashing him to pieces. As Rick rushes to them and embraces Trish and Melody, the Navy works on cleaning up all of the pieces of roboshark but as a woman walks her chihuahua, it’s eyes flash red just like roboshark’s had.

This is a rather silly and funny movie to watch. The acting was ok, with Alexis Petermen (Trish), Vanessa Grasse (Melody) and Isaac Haig (Louie) doing good jobs in their roles while Matt Rippy (Rick) and Nigel Barber (Black) were great with their over-dramatic portrayal of their characters. The plot was pretty silly and was a mashup of parodying some classic sci-fi and comedy movies, including Dr. Strangelove and Close Encounters Of The Third Kind , while also poking fun at people’s love for social media. I also thought it was funny that the movie kept making fun of itself, referencing the silly movies that would be on Syfy. The special effects were a little on the weak side but that actually helped as this movie was going more for comedy than scares. Not the best shark movie to debut on Syfy, but it is worth watching if you feel like some laughs.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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