action, movie, movie review, sci-fi

March 12th, 2018 Movie – Transmorphers: Fall Of Man

transmorphers-fall of man

So here is an interesting premise. A sequel to a major blockbuster translates to a prequel to the corresponding mockbuster. What, you don’t think that makes sense? Well that is exactly what happened regarding today’s movie. With Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen coming out in theaters, The Asylum decided to make another mockbuster of the series. However, they decided to make it a prequel to show the initial invasion, as the first movie pretty much had an ending that didn’t leave room for a sequel. So let’s see what kind of a movie I have on my hands with today’s movie, Transmorphers: Fall Of Man.

The plot: A diplomat’s daughter is driving her car erratically and arguing on the phone with her now ex-boyfriend when she is pulled over in a small town by Officer Hadley Ryan, who gives her a warning about driving while on the phone. As the woman drives away, she finishes arguing with her ex and puts the phone down on the passenger seat but the phone suddenly changes into a robot and attacks and kills her. At Edwards Air Force Base, two NSA agents are discussing a report and when told it is verified, one of them asks the other to get Dr. Jo Summers; who at that time is getting coffee but when she sees the newspaper story of a the diplomat’s daughter’s death, quickly leaves the shop. Back in the small town, Mayor Ethan Holt arrives at the autopsy and speaks with Hadley about the girl, who tells him that she wasn’t shot but neither he nor the medical examiner can explain the wound in her head. The next morning, Madison Ryan returns home from work and finds her TV is on the fritz so she calls the satellite company to send someone to fix their dish and is surprised to find it is her ex-boyfriend Jake Van Ryberg, a military vet that had recently returned from active duty. Jake goes to check the satellite dish when he hears a strange sound and sees it moving on it’s own before it changes into a robot. Jake quickly grabs a gun and when Madison asks what is going on, he runs back to the house, inadvertently knocking her down, and tells her to get get “Nanna” out of there and call the police, then goes back outside to look for the robot. Meanwhile, Jo approaches Hadley, saying she is from Homeland Security, and asks him some questions about the girl’s death when they are approached by the two NSA agents, who tell Jo that she has to come with them while Hadley gets a call about his niece, Madison. In their car, the two NSA agents start questioning Jo, who tells them she noticed a strange signal and something from Earth communicating back with it. Meanwhile, Hadley pulls up to where Madison and Jake are and, after asking Jake to hand him his gun, asks them what is going on. When Jake tells him about the satellite dish changing into a robot and Madison confirms that the dish is missing, Hadley tells them to get in the car and drives off but is forced to take a detour to investigate a murder. Arriving at the scene, he sees the victim has the same wound as the girl and a witness tells him that the car pushed the body out of the car and then drove away on it’s own. Hadley heads back to the coroner’s office to get the cell phone from the girl’s accident and the medical examiner tells him that the Feds were there looking for it but it is missing. Deciding to search the office, Hadley finds the phone and goes to leave when they are attacked by the SUV. Hadley gives chase and tries to arrest the driver, not realizing there isn’t one, but when the satellite dish robot shows up, he quickly gets back in the car and leaves, with the SUV giving chase again. They attempt to lose the SUV but when they find themselves boxed in, the SUV changes into a robot and attacks them but they are saved when a military helicopter attacks the robot while the female NSA agent pulls up and tells them to get in the car. The agent takes them to Edwards Air Force Base, where the senior agent introduces them to Jo, then explains what they know and that Jake was brought there because of his experience with UAV’s. The agents learn that more robots are appearing all over the world, primarily in cities with military bases, when suddenly, the SUV robot arrives and begins attacking the base, killing everyone in sight. Jake theorizes that the robots are probing their defenses and comes up with a plan to shut down the robot by jamming the signal controlling it. With Madison providing a distraction, Jake and Jo head towards the control tower and grab the equipment to jam the signal while Hadley gets into a helicopter so he can destroy the robot. Madison manages to distract the robot, almost getting killed by an explosion in the process, but she bought enough time for Jo and Jake to jam the signal but Hadley’s helicopter was damaged while fighting the robot so he radios Jake to take care of Madison, then sacrifices himself by crashing into the robot, destroying both it and himself. With the threat seemingly over, everyone moves on with their lives and Jake and Madison end up getting together, unaware that thousands of cubes are floating through space heading right towards Earth. The next day, Jake and Madison are woken by the sounds of explosions and head outside to see dozens of objects falling from the sky. Jake heads back inside his home to grab a gun, then heads back outside to Madison and they leave, just as a robot lands nearby. Jo pulls up and they get in her SUV and drive off, with a flying robot chasing after them. Jake is able to destroy the robot, getting wounded in the process, but they end up getting into a wreck and Jo’s leg is injured. They are picked up by Mayor Holt, who takes them to a refugee camp he established out in the desert after the robots took over the city. When they get word of the robots doing something to the water, Jake decides to lead a team to the aqueducts to stop them. Jake, Madison, Jo, Holt, and two others grab all the dynamite available and head out but two of their group are killed along the way. The meet up with a surviving member of a special forces team, who explains that he was on the way with his team to destroy the terraforming machine nearby, explaining that the robots are changing the entire planet to suit their needs. Deciding to change their mission, Jake and the others follow the soldier to the terraforming plant, with the soldier dying to provide a distraction to get them inside, while Holt is killed as well. Jack sets the explosives and tells Madison and Jo to run, then follows them outside only to come across several robots approaching him. When the explosion occurs, Madison cries thinking Jake died but he appears through the smoke and the two embrace and kiss. Afterwards, Jake, the new leader of the human resistance in the area, sends out a message to any other survivors telling them they lost the battle but the war isn’t over and they should join him.

Weak story aside, this is a much better movie than the first one. The acting was ok, with Bruce Boxleitner (Hadley), Shane Van Dyke (Jake) and Alana DiMaria (Madison) all doing good jobs in their roles. The story was admittedly a little weak but they did a good job if incorporating some of the story from the first movie into this one. I did like the set up that Jake’s last name was Van Ryberg, the same last name as Eliza Swenson’s character from the original movie, indicating that she is a descendant of Jake. The special effects were still not the best but definitely better than the original movie, though there were a few times that they reused the same scenes that could have been done better. It’s not the greatest cinematic movie of all time but it did show the improvements that The Asylum has made over the years and indicates how they will only get better.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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action, adventure, movie, movie review, The Asylum

February 25th, 2018 Movie – Titanic II

titanic 2

As has become a recurring theme over the years, I have some of my friends to thank for today’s movie. I know it may come as a shock to most of you, but I really do enjoy the cheesy low budget B-movies, primarily of the sci-fi variety. To try and get my friends to enjoy them as much as I do, I have movie nights where I show numerous of these movies during the night. One such night several years ago, as we were about to watch one such movie, one of the trailers before the movie featured today’s movie. My three friends who were there at the time, Charles, Emily, and Kathy, asked me if I had it, then begin pressuring me to buy it when they learned that I didn’t own it. Needless to say, I ended up succumbing to the pressure and buying it on Amazon (it was only $9) but said that they had to watch it with me when it came in, which they agreed to. So the movie arrived, they came over to watch it, and fun was had by all. So now let’s see if history can repeat itself as I watch today’s movie, Titanic II.

The plot: Off the coast of the Helheim Glacier in Greenland, a man is surfing along the waves caused by pieces of the glacier falling into the ocean. Suddenly, a massive piece of the glacier breaks off, creating a massive wave to form that quickly knocks him off his board and drowns him. United States Coast Guard Captain James Maine receives a call from N.O.A.A. about the situation at the glacier and he contacts his regular pilot, Elliot Snipes, and has him fly him out there to investigate. Meanwhile, James’ daughter Amy and her friend Kelly Wade are in New York City waiting on James to see them off as they get ready to board the SS Titanic II, a new luxury cruise liner built by wealthy businessman Hayden Walsh. As they watch Hayden arrive, escorted by several models, Kelly questions Amy over her feelings for him, as they used to date, but Amy swears she is over him. As Kelly goes ahead and boards, Amy receives a call from James, telling her he can’t be there and telling her he doesn’t want her on the ship but she tells him everything will be fine. Amy boards the ship and runs into Hayden, where they have a brief and somewhat awkward conversation, before she heads to the infirmary where she and Kelly are working. On deck, Hayden is giving a speech to the assembled crowd and introduces Captain Howard before the ship begins it’s maiden voyage, sailing the same route the original RMS Titanic took, only in reverse. In Greenland, James reaches N.O.A.A.’s research site and is met by Dr. Kim Patterson. Kim explains that she requested his presence because of his reputation and she knew he would give her the benefit of the doubt when she explains what is happening. She tells him that the wave from the iceberg that broke off the glacier the day before had reached all the way to Canada and says that their is a chance an even bigger piece would break off soon, which could send a tsunami across the entire Atlantic Ocean. To illustrate her point, Kim takes James out to show him where the iceberg broke off and explains that global warming is making the ice melt at a faster pace than normal. Back on the ship, Hayden and Amy meet up on the deck and discuss the 6 months since the last spoke and what led to their breakup. Meanwhile, Captain Howard is overseeing the ship’s progress and one of his officers worries about being able to maneuver quick enough should they encounter ice as they near Greenland but Howard assures him that the ship is more capable than it’s predecessor. Back on the glacier, a sudden tremor occurs and cracks begin forming along the glacier. James and Kim manage to get on James’ helicopter but Kim’s team ends up falling in the cracks as the glacier breaks apart and falls into the ocean. James radios his base and speaks with Admiral Hadley and warns him of the approaching tsunami caused by the iceberg falling into the ocean. When Kim warns him about ice being a danger to ships at sea, James contacts Hadley again and has him place a warning out to ships at sea and alert the Navy to send someone to the Titanic II, as he feels it will be in danger. On board the ship, the radio operator receives the tsunami alert and tells Howard about it, who orders all passengers to be escorted to the lower decks as a precaution. After the infirmary is contacted about the situation, Amy heads to a ballroom to help just as Hayden is being informed of the situation. Hayden heads to the bridge, arguing with James over the radio that the ship can handle any ice that comes their way but James tells him that the tsunami is traveling at 800 mph and any ice moving with it will tear the ship apart. James tells Howard to move the ship south as quickly as he can but warns that the wave will reach them in 15 minutes or less. A Navy sub is traveling towards the Titanic II but encounters some icebergs under the water and ends up being destroyed when an iceberg collides with it. Back on the Titanic II, Hayden tells Howard to push the engines to 50 knots and Hayden’s second in command tells him that the engines haven’t been tested and might seize up but Howard says to go ahead and push them. James attempts to contact Amy but when she doesn’t answer, he leaves her a message telling her not to go to the lower decks and to stay in the center of the ship but if it starts taking on water, to get to the lifeboats. Snipes tells James that they are running low on fuel and they head to a Canadian Coast Guard Station to refuel. Back on the ship, one of the engines seize up as the wave approaches, sending a massive iceberg heading towards them. Captain Howard sounds the alarm as the iceberg and wave strike the ship, tearing a hole in the starboard side. As they assess the damage, they learn that all of the life boats on the starboard side were crushed by the wave’s pressure and the ship, having never been designed to withstand an impact from the side, is taking on too much water and will sink in 2-3 hours. Howard orders an evacuation and Hayden’s bodyguard ushers Hayden towards his private helicopter, rushing past Amy, who is on the deck tending to an injured passenger. When he reaches the helipad, Hayden tells his bodyguard to forget protocol and get as many injured people onto the helicopter and get them to safety first, then heads back towards the ship. Meanwhile, Kim tells James that according to the data she is receiving from N.O.A.A., tremors are still rocking the glacier and it has the chance of sending another tsunami that will dwarf the previous one. Hayden contacts Admiral Hadley and relays the information saying they need to get as many planes and helicopters into the air to get the people on the Titanic II off of the ship. However Kim receives an report that the entire front part of the glacier has fallen into the ocean and the wave is heading outward. Back on the Titanic II, evacuation procedures are commencing and after helping the injured passenger to the elevator, Amy goes to find Kelly and Hayden, who shows up to help get a fallen passenger off of her, goes with her. They find her in the infirmary pinned under a medical cabinet and bleeding from a laceration and Amy quickly makes a makeshift bandage to keep the wound sealed and they make their way to the life boats. Choosing to arrange for a mid-air refueling, James contacts the Titanic II and tells Howard not to put the lifeboats in the water as they will be deathtraps when this second wave hits. Before Howard can respond, the turbine room explodes, killing him and trapping Amy, Hayden, and Kelly in the elevator. In the helicopter, the refueling is commencing but Snipes sees the wave approaching and they disconnect and quickly fly over the wave but the refueling plane is struck by the wave and destroyed. James manages to get in touch with Amy, who tells him where they are, and he warns them about the second wave and says not to get in the lifeboat. James asks Hayden if he has any dive gear on the ship and when Hayden says they do, James says to head there and get the diving gear on so they have a better chance of staying alive. Hayden, Amy, and Kelly manage to get out of the elevator and climb up the shaft to the next floor. Making their way to the dive chamber, they find the door jammed and Hayden uses a fire axe to pry the door open and Amy tries to squeeze through but she gets stuck and as Kelly goes to push her free, the door slams closed as she does, crushing Kelly. Hayden makes it through the door and tells Amy they have to keep moving and they make their way to the dive chamber. Before they enter, they hear someone calling for help and attempt to rescue him but are unable to get the door open and the man suffocates to death from the smoke in the room. Amy and Hayden return to the dive chamber to find that there is only one tank and wet suit left so Hayden has Amy put it on. Seeing debris falling around them in the room, Hayden and Amy get into the dive locker just as the wave hits the ship, flipping it upside down while destroying all of the life rafts that had launched. Amy and Hayden find themselves trapped in the locker and with the water rising fast, Hayden makes sure that Amy has the tank on, turning on the emergency signal on the harness as he does, and tells her if they are rescued soon enough, he can be revived and Amy kisses him before they are completely submerged, then cries as Hayden drowns in front of her. James, Kim, and Snipes arrive at the site and, getting the signal from Kim’s vest, James dons some scuba gear and, after handing Kim some rope for him to use as a guide rope back, jumps into the water and makes his way to the ship. After he jumps, Snipes realizes they are almost out of fuel and has Kim throw a life raft into the water and jump for it, then crashes the helicopter away from the raft so it won’t be damaged. James makes his way to the dive chamber and frees Amy, who grabs Hayden’s body and they make their way to the surface. Kim helps them aboard the raft and Amy attempts to revive Hayden but to no avail as rescue helicopters arrive to pick them up, making Amy and the people that left in Hayden’s helicopter the only survivors.

Just to clarify, I can respect Titanic for the film it is but personally, I hate it. That being said, this wasn’t that bad of a movie but it also wasn’t something that had me on the edge of my seat in suspense. Sadly, this was kind of an average film at best. The acting was decent, with Bruce Davison (James), Brooke Burns (Kim) and Shane Van Dyke (Hayden) doing decent jobs in their roles but I felt like Marie Westbrook (Amy) couldn’t quite get her character down right. The story was interesting and based on a bit of truth, as an Australian billionaire named Clive Palmer had plans to build a Titanic 2 but financial difficulties and other issues have currently put the project on hold. A second replica Titanic 2 is being built in China but that ship is not intended for travel but rather to serve as a docked museum. The special effects weren’t too bad, though some of the shots with the waves destroying the sub, plane, and life boats were a little on the cheesy side. It’s a good movie to watch and laugh at with friends, but that is about the only redeeming feature.

Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

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