action, adventure, movie, movie review, sci-fi

December 13th, 2017 Movie – Superman IV: The Quest For Peace

superman 4

We have come to the last movie in the original series and boy, what a way to go out. Now I admit that I did have a chance to see this movie in theaters when it came out. However, when I was presented with the choice of a 4th movie in a franchise, I decided to go watch Jaws: The Revenge instead, and I honestly don’t feel the slightest regret in my choice. Well, I might as well get this over with and watch today’s movie, Superman IV: The Quest For Peace.

The plot: On a Soviet space station orbiting the Earth, a cosmonaut is singing while doing maintenance on the outside of the station while his fellow cosmonauts joke with him about is singing. Suddenly, some space debris hits the station, causing the station to spin while knocking the cosmonaut off the station and sending him into space. Superman shows up and stabilizes the station, then retries the floating cosmonaut and takes him back to the station and helps him inside before flying back down to Earth. In Smallville, Clark is wandering around his family’s farm getting ready to sell it as his mom , Martha Kent, had recently died. Heading into the barn, he sees his old spaceship and sees a glowing crystal and hears his birth mother Lara’s voice, telling him that it is an energy module and it’s power can only be used once. After Clark grabs the crystal, the spaceship dissolves just as Mr. Hornsby, the real estate agent, shows up. Clark meets with him but tells him he refuses to sell the farm to a developer, as he wants to sell it to someone who wants to have a farm. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor is working at a prison rock quarry when his nephew Lenny shows up and helps him escape. Back in Metropolis, Clark heads down to the subway but just misses the train that Lois is on. As the train heads down the track, the engineer suffers a heart attack, causing the train to go out of control, and Clark, hearing the trouble, quickly changes into Superman and stops the train, saving everyone aboard. When Clark arrives at the Daily Planet, he learns that the Planet has been taken over by David Warfield, a tabloid tycoon, and his daughter Lacy. During the course of the day as David starts making his changes to the Planet, they see a televised speech from the President, saying that he was going to be increasing the country’s nuclear arsenal in response to Soviet’s activities. When a classroom hears the speech, the teacher suggests writing to their congressman to tell them how they feel but one kid, Jeremy, writes a letter to Superman instead. Elsewhere, Luthor and Lenny head to the Metropolis museum and steal a strand of Superman’s hair that he had donated. After grabbing it, Luthor tells Lenny that he plans on using it to make a being that is stronger than Superman. Back at the Daily Planet, Lacy has taken a liking to Clark and attempts to seduce him and convinces him to help her with some stories about various clubs in the city. Lois interrupts them and brings the letter Jeremy wrote to Superman and gives it to Clark to read. Lacy gets excited about the idea of using the kids letter to boost their circulation, and David brings Jeremy to Metropolis to show him around the city while printing a front page story about Superman saying “Drop Dead” to the kid. After seeing the headline, Superman heads to the Fortress of Solitude to consult with the Kryptonian Elders about the situation, and they tell him to not interfere and he can always go to a new world where there are no wars. After Clark returns to Metropolis, Lois meets him at his apartment, as they were supposed to go to a press dinner together, and he reveals that he is Superman to her again. They fly off for a while and after returning to his apartment, he discusses Jeremy’s letter with her before wiping her memory again. The next day, Jimmy Olsen is taking pictures of Jeremy around the city when Superman shows up and they head to the U.N., joined by Lois and Lacy along the way. Inside, Superman speaks to the delegates and tells them he plans on ridding the world of every nuclear weapon, receiving a standing ovation from the crowd. As Superman collects the various nuclear weapons and throws them into the sun, Luthor meets with an American and Soviet general and makes plans to attach his device onto one of their missiles so that when it is thrown into the sun, it will create a being that will kill Superman and allow them to renew their arms race. The generals agree and once the missile is thrown into the sun, the Nuclear Man is born and flies back to Earth. Arriving at Luthor’s hideout, Nuclear Man starts to turn on Luthor but Luthor has him walk out of the sunlight, causing the Nuclear Man to depower and Luthor tells Lenny that he derives his strength from the sun and that the lack of sunlight is his only weakness. Meanwhile, Lacy is still having Clark join her at various clubs and while they are working out in her gym, she says they should tag along with Lois while she interviews Superman and make it a double date. Clark arrives at Lacy’s apartment and constantly manufactures situations to disappear so that he can change into Superman and vice versa. Suddenly, Clark hears a piercing noise and sees Luthor appear on a view screen downtown, telling Superman that only he can hear or see him and tells him that he has a bomb placed on a nearby building. Superman leaves Lacy’s apartment, and flies to the building to find Luthor and Lenny waiting for him. Luthor then introduces Superman to the Nuclear Man, telling Superman that after Nuclear Man kills him, he plans to use Nuclear Man to help restart the arms race, where he will make millions. The Nuclear Man and Superman start to battle across the world, with the Nuclear Man causing several disasters during the course of their fight. When the Nuclear Man grabs the Statue of Liberty and drops it from the sky, Superman grabs it and flies it back to Liberty Island, but Nuclear Man scratches him and infects Superman with radiation sickness. As the weakened Superman falls to the ground, Nuclear Man kicks him into the sky, while Superman’s cape falls to the ground. Later, David makes Lacy the new publisher of the Daily Planet and shows her Superman’s cape, which he had bought from the person that grabbed it, laying on her desk. Lois enters the office upset over the paper’s headline, “Superman Dead?” and quits, then grabs the cape off of Lacy’s desk. Lacy apologizes to Lois, saying she knew nothing about it, and asks if Lois has heard from Clark, as he hasn’t called in and she is worried about him. Lois heads to Clark’s apartment and breaks in to find Clark still sick from the radiation sickness, though he passes it off as the flu. Lois talks with Clark about her feelings towards Superman and leaves Superman’s cape with him. After she leaves, Clark takes the energy module and uses it to heal himself. Meanwhile, the Nuclear Man sees a picture of Lacy and becomes attracted to her so he flies off to grab her but finds Superman standing in front of the Daily Planet. When Superman refuses to tell him where Lacy is, Nuclear Man begins attacking the nearby people until Superman relents and agrees to take him to her. Superman manages to trick Nuclear Man into an elevator, where he loses his powers, then grabs the elevator and takes it up to the moon. As Superman leaves, a crack in the elevator door allows sunlight in, powering up Nuclear Man and he renews his attack on Superman, eventually pounding him down into the ground on the moon. Nuclear Man then flies back to Metropolis, grabs Lacy, and flies off with her. Superman digs himself out of the moon’s surface, then pushes the moon in front of the sun to cause an eclipse, then rescues Lacy from the depowered Nuclear Man. Superman then grabs Nuclear Man and drops him into a nuclear reactor, causing the reactor to power up to super levels. Later, Perry White gets a loan from the banks to buy the majority shares of the Daily Planet, forcing David out as owner. Later, Superman gives a speech in front of the U.N., saying that he could not be the one to stop the wars on Earth and that they needed to make sure to do that themselves. Superman then captures Luthor and Lenny, placing Lenny in a boys home while taking Luthor back to prison before flying off to new adventures.

Superman IV: The Quest For Peace was completely panned by the critics, holding a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “The Superman series bottoms out here: the action is boring, the special effects look cheaper, and none of the actors appear interested in where the plot’s going.” The failure of this movie at the box office caused The Cannon Group Inc., who had produced the movie, to put their plans for a Spider-Man movie on hold. Technically, the movie was a box office success, as it earned $36.7 million off of a $17 million budget, but it was considered a critical and commercial failure and it would be almost 20 years before another Superman movie would hit the big screen.

Good lord, this movie was terrible. I honestly feel bad for DC comics to have to be associated with this one. The acting was ok but honestly, several of the actors just didn’t seem to have their hearts into this one. The story was a mess and felt like they just kind of threw a bunch of ideas together and see what sticks. The special effects were really the worst aspect of this movie. I know this movie suffered from a lack of budget compared to the other movies but there was still issues with these. The green screen effects, even something as benign as Superman flying around, were simply awful. I also still didn’t like the additional powers that Superman was given, such as telekinesis and special eye beams that were able to restore the Great Wall of China after Nuclear Man destoryed parts of it. Anyways, this is one of those movies that always winds up on a “Worst Movie Ever” lists and definitely earns it’s place there.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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December 12th, 2017 Movie – Superman III

superman 3

Continuing with the exploits of the Last Son of Krypton, we come to today’s somewhat infamous entry into the franchise. Now this is a movie that honestly left a lasting memory in me back when I was a kid, mainly because one scene really creeped me out. To date, this has been the only Superman movie I have seen in theaters, not that I haven’t had opportunities to see any of the more recent movies in theaters. Anyways, let’s get on with today’s movie, Superman III.

The plot: Gus Gorman, a chronically unemployed man, is at the unemployment office and learns that his benefits have run out after his being out of work for 36 months. When he asks a man in line for a light, he sees an ad for a computer programming school and decides to enroll, where he discovers he has a knack for computer programming. Meanwhile, Clark Kent arrives at the Daily Planet and as he speaks with Perry about going to his high school reunion and doing a story on it, he learns that Lois is going to Bermuda for a story. Meanwhile, after finishing the programming school, Gus gets employment at Webscoe but when he is disappointed in all of the taxes that are taken out of his paycheck, he decides to embezzle from the company by rerouting the fractions of cents from all transactions into his account. Elsewhere, Clark is on a bus to Smallville with Jimmy Olsen when the bus is stopped due to a nearby fire at a chemical plant. As Jimmy sneaks in to take pictures of what is going on, Clark changes into Superman and asks the fire fighters how he can help. After rescuing some workers from the roof, Superman heads inside to ensure everyone is out and finds one man staying behind to look after the canisters of Beltric acid, saying if they heat up they will release an acidic cloud that could eat through anything. As the fire continues to rage, Superman rescues Jimmy, who had broken his leg when the ladder he was on broke. When the water runs out from the fire trucks, Superman heads to a nearby lake, freezes it, then carries it back to the fire, where the heat from the fire melts the ice and turns it into rain, which puts out the fires. At the reunion, Clark sees his high school crush Lana Lang and goes to talk with her, and she takes him out to the dance floor to avoid dealing with her drunken ex-boyfriend Brad Wilson. Clark stays in Smallville for a few more days, continuing to hang out with Lana and her son Ricky. Meanwhile, Gus’ actions are discovered by company owner Ross Webster, who blackmails Gus into helping him destroy the coffee crops in Colombia, as the Colombian government refuses to do business with him in his bid to control the coffee market. Ross and his sister Vera want Gus to use the Vulcan weather satellite to create a storm that will take out the crops and when Gus suggests they access Vulcan through a low level computer so it won’t be traced back to them, Ross sends him to Smallville, where a Webscoe subsidiary Wheatking is based. When Gus gets there, he convinces Brad, who is the night security guard, to let him in by bribing him with liquor. After Brad passes out drunk, Gus heads to the main computer room and after a couple of attempts, accesses the Vulcan satellite and has it create a hurricane to attack Columbia. Ross, Vera, and Lorelei Ambrosia, Ross’s psychic nutritionist, see the news about the hurricane and Ross starts celebrating but Gus shows up and tells him that Superman had stopped the hurricane and saved Colombia. Ross is upset that Superman might interfere with his oil plan but Lorelei mentions Kryptonite and he comes up with a plan. Ross has Gus use the Vulcan satellite to analyze the remains of Krypton so he can discover what Kryptonite is made of so that their labs can manufacture some to use against Superman. When Gus analyzes Krypton, he finds one of the elements is an unknown substance so he substitutes tar as the substance in the report. Superman agrees to show up at Ricky’s birthday party but the town of Smallville decides to hold a festival in his honor. During the festival, Gus, disguised as an Army officer, shows up and awards Superman for saving the town from the chemical fire and hands him the synthetic Kryptonite but Superman suffers no effects from it. Later, at Lana’s house, Superman starts acting strangely, choosing to flirt with Lana and delaying going to help with a traffic accident. Superman then straightens out the Leaning Tower of Pisa and blows out the Olympic Flame, causing the nations of the world to censure his actions. With Superman no longer being complete good guy, Ross feels that he will no longer be a hindrance to his plan. Ross has Gus order all of the oil pumps to start working and reroute all of the oil tankers to a spot in the middle of the ocean. Gus refuses at first unless Ross agrees to build him a supercomputer based on his own designs. When Ross agrees to build it, Gus uses the computers to do as Ross asks but one of the tankers refuses to follow the new orders. Realizing this, Ross has Lorelei seduce Superman and convince him to turn the tanker around but when he stops the tanker from continuing towards Metropolis, he ends up causing an oil spill. Meanwhile, Lana gets tired of dealing with Brad and realizing she needs a change, decides to move to Metropolis with Ricky. When they get into town, they see Superman getting drunk at a bar and causing a commotion and Ricky pleads with Superman to go back to being a hero as he flies off. Superman ends up heading to a junkyard and screaming in frustration, scaring off the workers. Suddenly, Superman separates into his good self, in the form of Clark, and his current evil self. The two personas begin fighting in the junkyard, with Clark eventually winning as he strangles the evil self until it disappears. Clark then changes into Superman and flies off towards the ocean, where he returns the oil to the tanker and repairs it. Superman than heads to Lorelei’s apartment, where he sees a video message from Vera inviting him to come get them. Superman flies to Glen Canyon, where Ross had the super computer built, but comes under fire from the computer’s defenses. As Superman heads inside the cave where the computer is, the computer analyzes him and is able to create a Kryptonite beam to use against him. Not wanting to be known as the man who killed Superman, Gus manages to cut the power to the computer but the computer becomes self aware and begins absorbing power from the nearby power lines to continue attacking Superman. Gus uses a fire axe to disable the beam projector but the computer blasts him away, knocking him unconscious. Superman recovers and flies away while Ross, Lorelei, and Vera try to escape the computer but Vera is captured and transformed into a cyborg. Vera attacks Loelei and Ross when Superman returns, carrying a container of Butric acid, and saves them. The computer doesn’t register the acid as a threat as it attacks Superman but as it drags Superman inside it’s core to try and turn him into a cyborg, the heat from the super computer heats up the acid and it ends up destroying the computer. Superman frees Gus and takes him out of there to a nearby coal plant. Superman grabs a piece of coal and crushes it into a diamond, then tells the workers that Gus would be a good hire but Gus opts not to work there and decides to walk to the nearest bus stop. In Metropolis, Clark heads to Lana’s apartment, telling her Superman can’t meet her for dinner but asks if she would like to go to dinner with him instead, to which Lana happily agrees. Clark then gives Lana the new diamond ring, which he had made to replace the one she was forced to pawn, when Brad shows up, having followed Lana to Metropolis. Brad attacks Clark in a drunken, jealous rage but Clark is able to dodge him and Brad ends up falling onto a room service cart and rolling into the elevator. The next day, Perry is congratulating Lois on the story she wrote while on vacation and as Lois is talking with Clark about his story and offers to take him to lunch, Clark tells her he is going to lunch with Perry’s new secretary, Lana. Later, Superman flies back to Pisa and restores the Leaning Tower back to it’s original position then flies off to orbit the Earth to look for new adventures.

Superman III was panned by most of the critics, holding a 26% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “When not overusing sight gags, slapstick, and Richard Pryor, Superman III resorts to plot points rehashed from the previous Superman flicks.” Both Christopher Reeve and Margot Kidder expressed their disgust over the firing of Richard Donner, with Reeves considering not returning for the movie, but he was eventually convinced to return when he was offered the ability to make some rewrites to the script while Kidder’s role was reduced to only a few minutes of screen time. Despite the bad reviews, the movie was a mild hit at the box office, earning $80.2 million off of a $39 million budget.

I am 50/50 on my feelings towards this movie. On the one hand, there are a couple of good scenes that are in this movie but overall, it’s kind of a let down. The acting was ok, with Christopher Reeve (Clark), Annette O’Toole (Lana) and Richard Pryor (Gus) doing great jobs in their roles. The story was a bit of a mess, and I think part of that was that they tried to put too much slap stick elements in it in an attempt to lighten the mood some, but it hurt the overall story. That being said, there were some good elements in this movie. The synthetic Kryptonite angle, which mimicked aspects of Red and Black Kryptonite, and the fight between Superman’s good and evil personas was definitely the best part of the movie. Meanwhile, the scene where Vera was turned into a cyborg is still a little unnerving but I felt like childlike memories might have made it more vivid than it really was. The special effects actually seemed better than in the second one but there were a few aspects that could have been better. All in all, it has a bit of a bad rep but this can be entertaining to watch.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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December 11th, 2017 Movie – Superman II

superman 2

As successful as Superman was, I don’t think there was any doubt that a sequel would be made. The funny thing is, the sequel was actually being filmed at the same time as the first movie but was put on hold before it was finished, as the studio wanted to get the first movie finished and see how it did before they completed work on the sequel. Now I don’t remember if I saw this in theaters but I do remember watching it on TV with my dad years ago and the kid in me thought it was awesome to see Superman fighting some other Kryptonians who were just as strong as him. So let’s see if this feeling still holds up with today’s movie, Superman II.

The plot: On Krypton, General Zod, Ursa, and Non break into a facility, killing the guard and breaking one of the crystals inside, but they are quickly captured, where a trial is held and they are banished to the Phantom Zone. Years later, Clark Kent arrives at the Daily Planet only to learn that a terrorist group has taken hostages at the Eiffel Tower and threaten to blow up Paris with a hydrogen bomb if their demands aren’t met. When he learns that Lois Lane has been sent there to cover the story, Clark quickly leaves the building before changing into Superman and flies off towards Paris. In Paris, Lois arrives at the Eiffel Tower but when she hears about the bomb, she sneaks into the Eiffel Tower and climbs underneath one of the elevators so she can get closer to the terrorists for a better story but her purse strap gets snagged on one of the struts, trapping her underneath. The terrorists release the hostages and send them down in one of the elevators while sending the bomb up on one of the others, which happens to be the one Lois is trapped underneath. When the terrorists leave the elevator, the police detonate explosives the placed in the junction box, sending the elevator crashing down but accidentally causing the bomb to be activated. Superman arrives in Paris and quickly flies down and stops the elevator from crashing, rescuing Lois, then flies the elevator car up into space to let it explode safely. When the bomb explodes, it sends shockwaves out that knock Superman back but he quickly recovers and flies back to Earth. However, the shockwaves also strike the Phantom Zone prism as it flies by Earth, freeing Zod, Ursa, and Non. The three Kryptonian fly to the moon, where they proceed to attack and kill three astronauts before flying down to Earth. Meanwhile, Lex Luthor and his henchman Otis, make plans to break out of prison, with Eve Teschmacher’s help by piloting a hot air balloon, but Otis’ weight is too much for the balloon so Luthor kicks the ladder off, leaving Otis behind as he and Teschmacher fly off. Clark and Lois are sent on assignment to Niagara Falls, posing as newlyweds to expose a honeymoon scam. While they are walking by the falls, Lois starts to get suspicious about Clark when Superman shows up to save a boy who fell off the railing and Clark is nowhere to be seen. At the same time, Luthor and Teschmacher head north and eventually reach the Fortress of Solitude, where Luthor learns of the existence of Zod, Ursa, and Non. Learning that there was a chance the three could escape the Phantom Zone, Luthor realizes that the strange alpha waves he had been detecting were the criminals and makes plans to contact them. Back at Niagara Falls, Lois voices her suspicions to Clark about his being Superman and decides to jump in the falls to prove her theory. As she makes her way down the river, Clark rushes along the bank and tries to save Lois without revealing his secret identity, eventually using his heat vision to sever a tree branch for her to use to stay afloat before she is able to get to shore. As she is chastising herself back in their hotel room, Lois asks Clark to hand her a brush and as he moves towards her, he trips over a bear-skin rug and his hand falls into the nearby fire. When Lois checks his hand and realizes it is unharmed, Clark finally comes clean and Lois says that he probably did so subconsciously. Realizing that they need to talk, especially after Lois says that she loves him, so he takes her to the Fortress of Solitude so he can explain everything. Meanwhile, Zod, Ursa, and Non arrive in the small town of East Houston, Idaho and quickly take over the town. When the military arrives to deal with them, the three Kryptonians easily defeat the military and then head to Washington to force the President to surrender. Back in the Fortress, Superman speaks with the image of his mother and learns there is a way to remove his powers and make him mortal, so he can live his life with Lois, but she cautions him that the process is irreversible. Clark agrees to go with it and enters a chamber that is filled with red solar radiation, removing his powers from him. Lois is shocked that he gave up his powers for her as the two end up sleeping together before making the journey back to Metropolis. When they stop at a diner to eat, Clark gets into a fight with a man harassing Lois and ends up getting beat up. As Lois helps him to his feet and tends to him, they see a televised broadcast of the President surrendering to Zod before pleading for Superman to help them. As Zod comes on camera and calls out Superman, Clark realizes the danger that he has placed on the Earth by surrendering his powers and decides to head back to the Fortress to see if there is anyway to get them back. Making his way up North, he finds the Fortress apparently destroyed by the process that removed his powers and calls out to his father, only to notice the green crystal that built the Fortress glowing on the ground. Meanwhile, Luthor arrives at the White House and informs Zod that Superman is the son of Jor-El, which angers Zod and the three Kryptonians head to Metropolis and attack the Daily Planet to draw him out. As they threaten Lois and Perry, Superman, having regained his powers, appears outside and draws the three villains outside to fight. The three Kryptonians battle with Superman throughout the city, and Zod takes advantage of Superman’s weakness by constantly attacking the people in the city. Realizing the battle couldn’t continue without hurting someone, Superman flies away, drawing reproach from the crowd below. Zod returns to the Daily Planet to declare his victory and tells Non to kill Luthor but Luthor says he knows where Superman is going and so Zod tells Non to stop and they take Luthor and Lois to follow after Superman. When they arrive at the Fortress, they renew their attack on Superman, who manages to use several tricks in order to grab Zod but Non and Ursa grab Lois and threaten to rip her in half unless Superman releases Zod. Superman reluctantly does so and Luthor approaches the group, only for Zod to say that he has outlived his usefulness. Luthor approaches Superman to ask for his help and Superman tells him to get the Kryptonian into the chamber so they can steal their powers. Luthor immediately warns Zod of the trap and Zod forces Superman to go into the chamber and then tells Luthor to activate the chamber. The room is bathed in light and when Superman exits the chamber, Zod orders Superman to kneel before him and swear fealty to him. Superman kneels but when he grabs Zod’s hand, Superman easily crushes it before picking him up and tossing him into a wall, where Zod falls into a crevice. Non tries to attack Superman but when he tries to fly, he fails and falls into another crevice while Lois knocks Ursa into a third crevice. Luthor realizes that Superman had switched things so that he was protected in the chamber while Zod and the others were exposed outside and Superman admits he knew that Luthor would try to double cross him which is why he didn’t tell him the truth. Superman flies Lois back home, and supposedly takes Luthor back to prison, and the next day, Clark goes to talk with Lois at work. Lois admits how hard it is knowing that he will always be flying off to save people and she can’t react any differently to him at work or outside without accidentally revealing who he is or how she feels about him. Clark kisses her and uses the kiss to wipe her memory of the last few days so that she doesn’t remember that he is Superman. Clark then leaves to go get Lois a hamburger and ends up running into the man who beat him up, where he easily beats the man this time. Superman then flies an American flag back to the top of the White House, apologizing to the President for being late and promising he will be there they next time they need help, then flies off to orbit the Earth.

Superman II met with high praise from the critics, holding an 87% certified fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “The humor occasionally stumbles into slapstick territory, and the special effects are dated, but Superman II meets, if not exceeds, the standard set by its predecessor.” The movie was about 75% filmed at the same time that Superman was filmed but when the studio went to finish the movie, director Richard Donner was no longer directing it as he was fired over disagreements with the studio. However, there were roughly 24 minutes of unused footage that Donner shot which were incorporated into an alternate DVD release titled the Richard Donner cut. While not as successful as it’s predecessor, the movie was still a box office success, earning $190.4 million off of a $50 million budget.

Ok, child me kind of died a little inside because this didn’t really hold up over time. Still, it wasn’t that bad of a movie. The acting was good, with Christopher Reeve (Clark), Margot Kidder (Lois), and Gene Hackman (Luthor) doing great jobs reprising their roles. I also liked Terrence Stamp (Zod) and Sarah Douglas (Ursa) but my favorite was Jack O’Halloran (Non), as his child-like innocence mixed with the Kryptonian powers made for some great, and sometimes funny, scenes. The story was pretty good though, as I haven’t seen the Donner cut, I am curious to see how the two versions compare and differ. However, one thing I didn’t like is the additional powers they seemed to give Zod and the others, such as the finger beams or the somewhat telekinetic powers they had. Also, and I apologize if this upsets anyone, but what was up with the stupid expanding chest shield thing that Superman threw at Non? The special effects honestly didn’t stand up to the test of time, as they truly look dated when watching it now. Still, this is a fun movie to watch and honestly better than some of the more recent efforts.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

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December 9th, 2017 Movie – Supercroc

supercroc

What a fun time yesterday was. It’s not often that we get a nice little snow storm in Atlanta, and wake up to find it is still going on. This just makes it the perfect weather to watch a movie from my favorite company, The Asylum. Now today’s movie is one that I first saw on Syfy years ago while I was doing some random channel surfing. I then ended up buying it on DVD during the Great Blockbuster Binge. So let’s kick back and enjoy today’s movie, Supercroc.

The plot: In the Los Padres National Forest outside of Los Angeles, four soldiers are on an assignment to locate an abject that was detected in the forest. While they are walking through the woods, Pvt. Celia Perez and Pvt. Jackson are discussing their upcoming wedding and how one of them will have to transfer to another unit after they get married. When they reach a lake, the group splits up, with Perez and Jackson heading in one direction while Pvt. Forney and Major Falk head off along the lake shore. Forney is killed by a giant crocodile, with Falk being killed shortly afterwards. Perez and Jackson look for their teammates briefly before they decide to leave when they stumble upon a cluster of large eggs. Perez tries to radio their command on the situation when she hears the mother growling close by and tells Jackson to run. Back at command, General McFadden is arguing with his staff about what is happening while Dr. Leah Perrot tells him to get his men out of there, as they are not able to handle what they are facing. Back in the forest, Jackson is killed by the crocodile but Perez manages to climb a tree and escape as the crocodile passes underneath before heading back into the lake. Perez contacts command to tell them what happened and about the eggs and a helicopter drops off a second team, led by Capt. Joe Lynch, to rescue Perez and recover the bodies of the fallen soldiers. Lynch and his team eventually locate Perez but when he asks her about the bodies, she tells him there aren’t any. Lynch wants to head to the lake to check for himself but before they can leave, they are attacked by the crocodile and Lynch’s men are killed while he and Perez manage to escape. Meanwhile, a team sent in by Perrot arrives at the nest site and proceeds to grab some of the eggs to bring back for study, then destroy the remaining eggs. Meanwhile, Perez and Lynch try to reach the evac helicopter but the crocodile, attracted by the noise, gets there and destroys it. Perez and Lynch try to make their way out of the forest and reach the nest site and discover that it has been destroyed. Back at command, Perrot tells McFadden what she knows about the creature, and they make plans to evacuate the National park before hitting it with an air strike. Perez and Lynch arrive just as the evacuation is leaving and are forced to take cover as the air strike hits the crocodile but it survives the attack and makes it’s way out of the park, going after it’s surviving eggs. Back at Command, Perrot and McFadden go over possibilities to handle the crocodile and keep it out of Los Angeles. Perrot suggest using a chemical attack to kill it, and McFadden reluctantly agrees and orders the outskirts of Los Angeles to be evacuated. The attack strikes the crocodile and seemingly works so Perrot leaves Command and radios her team to prepare to move the eggs. Meanwhile, Perez and Lynch are picked up and flown to Command, where they inform McFadden about the destroyed nest and McFadden realizes Perrot had people go take some of the eggs and orders his men to go to her lab and retrieve them so they can lure the crocodile away from Los Angeles. The crocodile recovers and from the chemical attack and continues towards Los Angeles, killing Perrot as she makes her way towards her lab. McFadden decides to use the eggs as bait to attack the crocodile and Perez and Lynch head out to the trap and build a bomb to attack the crocodile’s underbelly, where it is most vulnerable. They succeed in blowing up the crocodile, and McFadden has the eggs destroyed. Perez and Lynch head out, with them each offering to buy the other a drink, but as they pass by a dumpster, where a hidden egg is starting to hatch.

An early Asylum movie that was honestly a confusing mess of a movie. The acting was ok but nobody really stood out in this movie. The story was actually confusing, with the flipping between what was going on with the crocodile and the Command center not helping clear things up at time. The special effects were actually pretty bad this go around, which is actually to be expected as this was an early movie of theirs and they have since perfected their craft. Not their best movie, which is kind of a disappointment considering the number of their movies that I enjoy.

Rating: 2 out of 5

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December 7th, 2017 Movie – Super Shark

super shark

It’s about time I got to my favorite type of movies. Now today’s movie is one of a batch of sci-fi B-movies that John Schneider made in 2011-2012. I had found out about these movies through various web sites and knew I had to buy them. Today’s movie has an even funnier memory for me as it was shown during the Friday Night Sci-Fi Drive-In panel at DragonCon a couple of years ago, which was super fun watching. After all, what could be more fun than a giant shark going on a killing spree. So it’s time for me to have some fun with today’s movie, Super Shark.

The plot: Out on the deep water oil rig Nautilus, two workers are complaining about things falling apart around the place when the radio suddenly bursts into static. On the ocean’s floor, a chasm suddenly opens up where they are drilling and a gigantic shark emerges and quickly attacks and sinks the Nautilus. The next day, Roger Wade, the head of Traymore Industries that owned the Nautilus, is interviewed about the incident and he says the rig was destroyed by a quake, as seismic activity was detected in the area, and that there would be little damage to the ecosystem. On the beach, head lifeguard Tyler is handing out assignments to Cali and Greg and after Greg heads out, Cali comments to Tyler how he is her type. Meanwhile, Rick and a friend are diving out by the reef while Rick’s girlfriend Jill is sunbathing on their boat. When Jill sees a giant shark fin circling them, she tries contacting Rick only to get static on the radio. She then spots blood in the water, from where Rick was killed, just before the shark leaps out and slams into the boat, sinking it. Dr. Catherine “Cat” Carmichael hires a local skipper named Chuck to take her out to the edge of the quarantine zone around the Nautilus. When they get there, Cat is surprised to see there is no sign of any oil in the water and she collects a water sample before telling Chuck they can head back. Cat then heads out to see Roger and ask him some questions but he is too busy to really talk so she agrees to meet him for drinks later that night. Cat then heads to the hospital to see the lone survivor of the wreck, who admits they were pumping chemicals down the shaft to help break up some hard rock that they encountered. He then tells her that a giant shark was what sunk the rig but when she appears skeptical and asks if he is sure, he laughs and says he made it up before leaving. Out in the ocean, a Navy sub is heading towards port when they encounter the shark and attempt to shoot it with torpedoes but the torpedoes miss and the shark ends up destroying the sub. Later, a plane is sent out to try and find the sub and finds no sign of it but does see the shark. Cat heads out to Roger’s house and confronts him about the chemical agent he used in his drilling, saying that it most likely caused the platform’s collapse. When she leaves, Roger contacts his lawyer and tells him what Cat had said and that she was right but his lawyer tells him to deny everything and see if he can find a chink in her armor. Elsewhere, Cali and Tyler head to a bar for an early birthday celebration for Cali and invite Greg to come. As they are drinking, local radio DJ Dynamite Stevens is holding a bikini contest and Cali decides to enter to attract Greg. As she is on stage, Greg admits to Tyler that he is interested in her and kisses her and when Cali sees this, she quickly runs off the stage. When Tyler goes looking for her to apologize for what happened, they are both attacked and killed by the shark. Cat hires Chuck to go out looking for fish but see no sign of anything in the water. Chuck gets on the radio to a friend to see if he is having any luck while Cat heads out on deck but he gets interference. Suddenly, Cat sees the shark circling them and calls Chuck out to see it, then tells him to turn off the radio. When Chuck does so, the shark swims away and Cat speculates that it is attracted to radio waves while emitting it’s own radio waves, which is what caused the interference. Meanwhile, Greg is killed by the shark when he goes looking for Tyler and Cali and some time later, the shark kills the photographer and the bikini contest winner and runner up while they are doing a photo shoot. Some time later, Cat goes back to Roger’s house and Roger, having found out that she was fired from her job, offers her a bribe to walk away, saying he wasn’t at fault. Catherine admits that he wasn’t responsible for destroying the rig, the giant shark he released was, and she takes the money and leaves. Cat heads to the bar and proceeds to get drunk when Chuck finds her and takes her out of there. When she wakes up, Chuck asks her about the money and she admits about the bribe and being fired. Chuck tells her that the National Guard has been called in to deal with the shark and they head out to the beach to inform them about the radio waves affect on the shark. While they are speaking with Captain Jackson, the shark shows up and begins attacking the soldiers on the beach. The soldiers eventually force it back into the water by use of flamethrowers but when Jackson orders an air strike to take out the shark, they are surprised to see that the shark can jump out of the water high enough to take out the planes. Cat and Chuck attend a meeting with the military to figure out how to kill the shark. Cat tells them that the sharks hide is too thick for normal weapons so their best bet is to destroy it from the inside. She also tells them about the shark either being attracted or angered by radio waves so they can use them to lure the shark to them. The military comes up with a plan to use a prototype tank to attack the shark and use a radio and large speakers to lure the shark to the beach. The shark is able to out maneuver the tank and destroy it and when Jackson tries to use the C4 charges attached to the radio but it fails to detonate, he orders his men to fall back. Cat grabs the radio and lures the shark towards some rocks, where it gets trapped while trying to reach her. With the shark trapped, Cat is able to throw the radio in it’s mouth then detonate it, killing the shark. When a gore covered Cat emerges from the rocks, Chuck rushes out to greet her and they walk off together. Meanwhile, Traymore Industries is given a steep fine for their use of chemicals in the water and Roger is interviewed, where he says they will accept the fine and continue to work towards drilling for more oil.

This is a ridiculous, yet fun movie to watch. The acting was good for the most part, with John Schneider (Roger), Sarah Lieving (Cat), and Tim Abell (Chuck) all did good jobs in their roles. I did think it was funny that they had Jimmie JJ Walker playing a character called Dynamite Stevens, just as an excuse to have him say his famed catchphrase over and over again. The story was ok, doing a decent job of explaining how the shark came about but only marginally handled the whole radio waves aspect of the movie. The special effects were laughably bad, especially the scenes that featured a close up of the shark killing someone on land. Meanwhile, the whole walking tank bit was absolutely ridiculous and still has me laughing every time I see it. So if you want some laughs on the utterly ridiculous side, then this movie is definitely worth watching.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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horror, movie, movie review, mystery, sci-fi

November 29th, 2017 Movie – Strange Invaders

strange invaders

Ahh, the fun times of watching sci-fi movies. When it comes to the classic sci-fi movies, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers will always be considered one of the perennial classics. It has been remade several times but it has also been to inspiration for dozens of movies as well, including today’s movie. Now I feel like I had seen this movie at some point when I was a kid but I honestly can’t remember. Now let’s see if I can jog those memories as I watch today’s movie, Strange Invaders.

The plot: In Centerville, Illinois in 1958, a teenage couple park their car near some train tracks and begin making out, not noticing the large alien ship overhead. The ship releases a flying saucer, which lands and humanoid figures disembark and head into town. After making out for a while, the couple heads back into town, with the guy dropping off his girlfriend before heading home himself. At their respective homes, they find the places seemingly empty but as the guy tries to call the police, he is attacked by something. 25 years later, at Columbia University, Professor Charles Bigelow and his girlfriend just arrive at their apartment when they are surprised by the appearance of his ex-wife Margaret. Margaret tells Charles that her mother died and she has to go to Centerville for the funeral and asks that he look after their daughter Elizabeth while she is gone. Getting worried after not hearing from Margaret in a couple of days, Charles takes Elizabeth to his mother’s house, then heads to Centerville to try and find out what happened to Margaret. When he arrives in town, Charles checks into a hotel and speaks with the manager about Margaret but the manager claims not to know anyone by that name or her family. After getting a cabin, Charles leaves his dog Louie inside while he goes looking around but none of the people seem to know Margaret or her family. While he is gone, the hotel manager approaches the cabin and stares at Louie, who starts growling before suddenly howling in terror. Charles hears the howls and heads back to find Louie has vanished and he checks out and starts looking for him. When his car breaks down, Charles heads to a diner to wait while the mechanic fixes it but when he asks the people in the diner if they saw Louie, they all get up and leave. Charles gets nervous when he sees a crowd of townsfolk standing by his car staring at him and when he hears the sound of breaking glass, he turns his head for a second only to find that the townspeople have vanished when he looks back. Suddenly, a bolt of electricity strikes his car, causing it to explode, and Charles climbs out the back window and finds a car he can take. As he is driving away, he sees an alien figure on the street, which zaps the car as he drives away. Charles continues driving as far as he can before the car falls apart, and he is picked up by the police. The next day, two aliens, disguised as humans, make their way to New York City and check into a hotel. One of the alien orders room service but as he waits, he ends up tearing off his human face, scaring the maid who had entered the room and he quickly attacks her. Meanwhile, Charles makes it back to New York only to find his apartment has been trashed. Charles calls his mother to check in on Elizabeth, then heads over to see his friend and department head Professor Hollister. Charles tells him what happened and Hollister doesn’t quite believe him but doesn’t think Charles is crazy either. He gives Charles the phone number for a government agency that handles UFO sightings and he calls them and arranges a meeting. When he gets there, Mrs. Benjamin, the woman in charge, shows him some renderings of typical aliens that people see but Charles gets annoyed that she isn’t taking him seriously and leaves. As he buys a newspaper, he notices a tabloid with a picture of the alien he saw and quickly buys it. Charles heads over to the National Informer and speaks with Betty Walker, the reporter who wrote the article, and she admits that the photo was a photo from an old article and she had made up the story and he leaves. Betty heads to her own apartment but as she is relaxing at home, she hears a knock at her door. When she opens it, an Avon woman is there attempting to sell her stuff but Betty refuses and shuts the door. Hearing a thud from behind the door, Betty opens it again to find the woman had collapsed and asks to use the restroom and Betty lets her in. As Betty is mixing a drink in her blender, her landlord Earl startles her and she tells him about the woman in the bathroom. Earl goes to check and is zapped by the psychic lightning and when Betty goes to see what happened, she finds Earl’s body but no sign of the woman. Betty calls the cops but when they get there, Earl’s body has disappeared. Betty returns to her office to try and make sense of what happened and Charles shows up, offering to buy her a drink. The two go out and end up back at Charles’ place, where they start to make out when they are interrupted by Margaret showing up. Betty gets upset and leaves, despite Charles trying to explain things to her, and Margaret asks Charles where Elizabeth is and he tells her she is at his mother’s house and Margaret starts to explain what is going on. Meanwhile, Betty leaves Charles’ apartment building but notices some strange people watching her from a park across the street. When the woman appears, Betty rushes back inside the building, with the woman following, and heads to the elevator. Getting on the elevator, Betty thinks she is safe for the moment but the woman uses her powers to stop the elevator and bring it back down to the lobby. Unable to stop the elevator, Betty pulls a gun out of her purse and when the woman opens the doors, Betty shoots her, revealing the woman to have green blood. Betty heads up to Charles apartment and tells him what happened and Margaret asks him if there is another way out of the building. Charles says the staircase and Margaret tells them to run and she will hold them off. Charles and Betty head out the window and begin climbing down the fire escape, just as the two men enter his room. As the run from the building, a cab pulls up and Benjamin yells at them to get in and they drive off. Benjamin chastises the two of them, explaining that they had an agreement with the aliens and Betty’s article and Charles’ antics had stirred things up. Meanwhile, three aliens break into Charles’ mother’s house and kidnap Elizabeth while she is sleeping and when Charles, Betty, and Benjamin get there and find out, Charles and Betty quickly leave. Benjamin orders the airports and bridges to be locked down but dismisses the trains, which is how Charles and Betty get out of the city. As they head to Centerville, Betty suggests making a detour to see Willie Collins, the man who took the photograph of the aliens. When they get to the hospital Willie is at, Willie tells them about how he had been on a trip with his family when they stopped in Centerville. That night he saw his family transformed into strange, glowing blue orbs, and had managed to kill one of the aliens but was committed when nobody would believe his story. Charles and Betty go to leave and find that Willie snuck out of the hospital and plans to go with them. As they get close to Centerville, they find the road blocked by police and government agents. Benjamin approaches their car and says that it will all be over in an hour, as the aliens will be leaving then, but Charles pulls out a gun and holds Benjamin hostage so they can get through the roadblock. After making it to the outskirts of town, Charles and Betty head forward on foot while Willie heads back. They make their way into town and see Margaret arguing with the alien leader about leaving Elizabeth there but the leader refuses. Charles and Betty try to get Elizabeth to sneak out the window but they end up being captured. As all of the aliens gather together, the receive a communication from their home world, congratulating them on the data they collected and they are especially surprised with Elizabeth and are interested to test her. As Charles distracts the guards, Betty attempts to leave with Elizabeth but as they try to run out of town, the encounter Willie, who saves them before the leader blasts them with lightning. The leader then transforms Willie and Betty into the blue orbs before taking Elizabeth with him and the aliens all remove their human disguises, except for the leader and Margaret, and head into the ship. As the ship is about to leave, Elizabeth and Charles plead with Margaret to let them go and Margaret ends up attacking their guards. When she is restrained, Margaret tells Elizabeth to use her powers and Elizabeth is able to blast the door, stalling it from opening long enough for them to escape. As the ship leaves, it sends a blast into the church and all of the orbs emerge from the church and start transforming back into the people that the aliens captured. The original townspeople have not changed at all in the last 25 years, as Benjamin and her agents arrive to help them adjust to what has happened. Willie is reunited with his family, who are surprised to find how old he has gotten, while Charles and Elizabeth find Betty in a tree and after helping her down, the two kiss and then leave town with Elizabeth, finding Louie on the way.

Strange Invaders met with positive reviews from the critics, holding a 63% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, the critics seemed to like the script but felt it was too predictable. The financing was split between two companies; Orion Pictures, who had the rights to distribute the film to North America, and England’s EMI films, who had the rights to distribute to the rest of the world. The movie was a box office bomb, earning just over $1.3 million off of a $5.5 million budget.

This was a decent movie, but definitely could have been better. The acting was ok, with Paul Le Mat (Charles) and Nancy Allen (Betty) doing a decent job in their roles and I liked Michael Lerner (Willie) but thought that Diana Scarwid (Margaret) was a little weak and too wooden in her role. The story was pretty good but I felt like it did feel a bit inconsistent at some points. The parts with the Benjamin and her agency honestly felt like they were thrown in but in actuality, they had been toned down as the financial backers toned down that scope of the movie. The special effects were a lot of flash but didn’t really have a lot of substance to them. All in all, it was a fairly average movie that didn’t quite live up to it’s potential.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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action, crime, movie, movie review, sci-fi

November 26th, 2017 Movie – Steel (1997)

steel 1997

Sometimes, you have to ask yourself exactly how a movie gets made. Of course, that also begs the question on how I find myself owning those same movies. Now I would actually say that this is the how I wound up owning today’s movie but that would be a lie, as I had actually sought this out and bought it on purpose. The reason for that is simple, my friends and I were discussing bad movies and this one came up and I, being in a bit of a superhero mood, I decided to buy it. So lets have some fun with today’s movie, Steel (1997).

The plot: John Henry Irons, along with his partner Susan “Sparky” Sparks, designs and tests weapons for the U.S. Military. After conducting a test on a new laser rifle, which easily disables a tank, Irons and Sparky are checking over the results on the rifle’s performance. Meanwhile, Lt. Nathaniel Burke is secretly talking with Senator Nolan, who is observing the tests, and tells her he has been making some of his own modifications to the weapons to make them even more powerful. The team heads to the next testing site, consisting of an abandoned village, where the plan on using a sonic cannon to take down a wall. Burke asks to fire the cannon and pushes the power setting to it’s maximum. Irons notices this and tries to stop him but Burke fires the weapon, taking out the building he was aiming for but the sonic blast bounces back and strikes the building they are in, causing part of the roof to collapse. At a military tribunal, Irons testifies that Burke caused the accident which killed Nolan and paralyzed Sparky. Burke is dismissed from the military and blames Irons for ruining his career. Afterwards, Colonel David wants to get back to work designing weapons but Irons resigns his commission, upset that his weapons injured Sparky. After going to the hospital to check on Sparky and giving her his address, Irons heads back home to Los Angeles to live with his younger brother Martin and his Grandma Odessa, unaware that Burke heads there as well. Burke goes to an arcade manager named Big Willy Daniels, who is known to sell weapons to gangs on the side, and offers a proposition for Daniels to loan him the seed money to start producing weapons and he will get half the profits from the sales. Burke builds his first prototype and has a worker demonstrate it for Daniels and the gun shorts out, causing a horrible burn to the kid’s face but Daniels is impressed by the damage the weapon had caused and tells Burke to keep working on them. Burke kills off Daniels’ assistant Duvray, who was critical of Burke, but spares Daniels’ bodyguard Singer and convinces him to work with him. Singer organizes a test of his weapons by helping a gang rob a bank, using the new weapons to easily break into the building and the vault. Irons and Martin are riding to a town meeting with Irons’ friend Norma, who is a police officer, when she is alerted to the bank robbery and heads off to go handle the call. When they arrive there, Irons is shocked to find his weapons are being used to commit the crime and he is forced to rescue Norma when her car is flipped over and catches fire while she tries to stop the robbers. When Irons sees a straggler, Cutter, trying to escape, he chases after him and eventually catches up to the kid and asks him where he got the weapons but he is shot by Slats, the leader of the gang, and the two crooks escape. The next day, Irons contacts David to find out how his weapons got into the hands of a street gang but David tells him that all of his weapons are accounted for. Irons then asks Martin about the gang and heads to their hangout to question them about where they got the weapons but Slats refuses to answer his questions. After Irons leaves, Slats calls Burke to tell him about Irons visit and Burke tells him to keep Cutter out of site but after he hangs up, Burke tells Singer to kill Cutter as an example to the others. Irons tries contacting Sparky and finds out that she has transferred to another V.A. hospital. After going to visit her, and finding her wallowing in self pity over being paralyzed, Irons takes her out of the V.A. to help him. Heading back to L.A., Irons takes Sparky to his Uncle Joe’s junk yard, where he has a workstation set up, and he convinces her to help him build weapons to take out the weapons being used by the gangs. Meanwhile, Martin gets a job at the arcade, where Burke takes over his training. With Sparky and Joe’s help, Irons fashions himself a suit of armor, while Sparks and Jo make him a weapon, shaped like a sledgehammer. Irons goes for a test run on his new weapon and armor, stopping a mugging and a gang shootout without any problems. The gang members all run away but when the cops show up, due to the gunfire, they attempt to arrest Irons. Irons manages to get away, though part of his armor falls off and his grappling cable breaks in the process, and safely makes it back to their hideout in the junkyard. The next day, Martin is talking about Steel, what the media is dubbing the costumed Irons, when Burke talks to him about it, then meets up with Slats and tells him to keep an eye out for the man of steel. As Steel and Joe head out on patrol, Singer, Slats, and some more of Slats’ gang head out and attempt to rob the Federal Reserve, while Burke films what they do so he can use it to sell the weapons on the internet. Steel shows up to try and stop the robbery and Burke, watching the film, notices him talking to someone and wonders who it is. Steel’s weapons have no effect on the crooks armored vehicle, as the armor is the same as his, and he is knocked back by a blast from the sonic cannon. When the police arrive and attempt to arrest Steel, Slats takes out the police helicopter and Steel is forced to save the police officer before the debris falls on him while Singer and the gang make their escape. Steel is forced to run as well as the cops chase him but he is able to get away and drive his motorcycle into Joe’s modified truck. Later, Sparky is tending to Irons’ injuries and chastising Joe for pushing him too hard. Meanwhile, Burke has the footage of the robbery sent out to the TV stations, prompting various criminal organizations to find out how to get the weapons, and then calls the police with an anonymous tip on where to find Steel. Irons returns home and is questioned by his Odessa on whether or not he is Steel when the SWAT team burst into the home and arrest Irons, finding one of Burke’s prototype weapons in his basement. Irons is placed in a line up and the detective in charge asks the people that Steel had helped after the mugging if they recognize him but, feeling like Steel was doing good work, say they don’t recognize him, nor does the police officer that he rescued. Irons is kept in holding for questioning but Sparky and Joe get the D.A’s signature and voice pattern so that Sparky can call and get Irons released. That night, Steel and Joe go looking for the site of where the auction is taking place and Sparky is standing by to call David to arrest them all but Burke’s men show up and capture her. Losing contact with Sparky, Steel and Joe continue to head out and locate the site of the auction and Steel makes his way inside, telling Joe to try getting a hold of Sparky but if that fails, contact David and tell him where to go. Steel heads inside but is soon captured by Burke’s men, who threaten to kill Sparky if he doesn’t surrender. Burke then makes his sales pitch, killing Daniels and turning on Slat in the process but Steel taunts him about having more firepower in his hammer than Burke has in his weapons. Burke falls for the taunts and activates the hammers electro-magnet, sending the hammer back to Steel, while Sparky reveals that she added some weapons to her wheelchair and begins attacking Burke’s men. Steel tells Sparky to get out of there and he goes after Burke, who shows that he has Martin as another hostage and as Steel saves Martin, they find themselves locked in a tool shed, with Singer throwing a grenade inside. With no way out, Martin points to a hole in the roof and tells steel to throw it, to which Steel says he never makes those shots, but manages to get the grenade through the hole, then protects Martin from debris while Singer is killed in the explosion. Burke unveils his latest weapon and attempts to use it on Steel but the blast ricochets off of Steels armor and strikes Burke, launching him back into the warehouse where falling debris falls on him and kills him while steel drives the armored vehicle out of the warehouse so they can get away. David and his soldiers arrest all of the criminal organizations and the next day attempts to contact Irons and convince him to come back to work for him but Irons refuses. Later, Irons, Joe, Sparky, and Martin go to Odessa’s home, which she has converted to a restaurant, and Sparky reveals one last modification to her wheelchair; one that allows her to stand upright, as Irons hugs her.

Steel (1997) was heavily panned by the critics, holding a 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Steel is a badly-acted movie that indulges not only in superhero cliches, but also the sappy TV-movie-of-the-week ones.” Shaquille O’Neal had to do his own stunts for the movie, as the director was unable to find a stunt double tall enough to fill in for O’Neal. The movie was a box office bomb, only earning $1.7 million off of a $16 million budget.

This is an absolutely horrible movie for a lot of reasons. Shaquille O’Neal was ok playing Irons, while Judd Nelson made a great bad guy in Burke. I also thought it was funny to have Richard Roundtree as Uncle Joe, with that comment about him liking the hammer’s shaft being really funny. The story was interesting in the fact that the character Steel was a member of the Superman family but they decided to make no reference or mention of Superman at all for this movie (although Shaq’s Superman tattoo was visible in several scenes). Aside from that, the character’s origin was very close to the origin of the character in the comics, with some slight differences obviously. I also liked that they worked in the whole Shaq being bad at free throws bit into the movie, but their making it a pivotal moment was a little much. The special effects were average to be honest and could have been a lot better but I have seen worse. This is not a good movie but can be funny in the “so bad, it’s good” style, or just torture if you want to show it to someone you hate.

Rating: 1 1/2 out of 5

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