action, horror, movie, movie review, thriller

Flashback Review: April 18th, 2014 Movie – Beneath Loch Ness

beneath loch ness

Ahh, I do love a good cryptid movie; cryptid as in creatures that are rumored to exist without proof. Now I own this movie due to a slight mix up in movie titles. I was actually looking for a different movie and got this one by mistake. But, it’s all good and I had no problem keeping this movie and enjoying another monster movie. So let’s enjoy my mistake with Beneath Loch Ness.

The plot: On a diving expedition in Loch Ness, team leader Gus and his assistant Julie make a discovery and radio the rest of the team, Jake and Rob, who are on the surface. As they make plans to head back to the surface, a sudden earthquake occurs and Gus ends up falling into the fissure that opened up. Julie manages to make it back to the surface as the Coast Guard is called in to help try and find Gus’s body but they have no luck, nor do they see the thing that came out of the fissure. In the U.S., Expedition Channel owner Mason is talking with Elizabeth Powell, one of his producers, about Gus’s death and the expedition and Elizabeth explains that Gus had a theory and was actually onto something before he died. She manages to pitch an idea to use Gus’s death to help them set up a show and Mason agrees to let her do it and tells her to get Case Howell, Gus’s protege, to lead the team. Elizabeth reluctantly calls Case, who is on a dig in Afghanistan, and tells him they need him in Scotland, letting him know about Gus’s death. Case arrives in Scotland and is met by Julie and Ron, who tell him that there is a memorial service for Gus that day as they haven’t found his body yet. When he arrives at their base camp, Jake and Ron argue with Case, saying that he should have been there to help Gus, but Julie interrupts them and tells Case they will be packed up and out of there in the morning. Case is shocked and asks if they are giving up and says he wants to finish Gus’s work and says he will leave the choice up to them on if they stay or not. After the memorial service, Case and the others are drinking at a bar when they are approached by a local named Andrea, who runs a web site dedicated to Loch Ness and Nessie. She tries to ask them for any information they might have that they can put on their face But Case abruptly leaves and Julie says they are still coming to grips with Gus’s death. The next day, Case is going over the data from the sensors with Ron and Julie, with Jake giving Case a hard time. Meanwhile, one of Andrea’s friends jumps onto a tour boat while Andrea and two others prepare to take a fake Nessie out to tease the tourists. As the man in the boat watches, he sees something swim underneath the glass bottom boat as he films it and after it swims past, he calls Andrea and tells them they did a great job but Andrea says they didn’t do anything, as something had attacked their float and destroyed it, and one of their kids are missing. A short while later, the kids body is seen floating underneath the tour boat. Meanwhile, Jake and Julie had dived down to where Gus was last seen and as they are placing sensors, they discover some large fossilized eggs. Suddenly, Ron and Jake detect a large creature heading towards them and as it passes overheard, Julie gets knocked away in it’s wake and Jake’s air hose starts leaking due to it’s being damaged by some falling rocks. After it makes another pass, Jake is able to locate Julie and they both make it back to the surface. Heading back to their base camp, they go over the data and video they were able to get but didn’t get any clear pictures of the creature. As they head into town for the night, they see a commotion on the dock and later learn about the boy’s death. Case heads to the hospital and runs into Andrea and her friends and offers them his condolences. When he asks for any information they might have, Andrea tells him to piss off but her friends give him the tape they shot. As Case and the others head to their base camp to go over the tape, some fishermen are out on the loch doing some “boom fishing” when they are attacked by the creature. Ron is able to clean up the video and Case calls Elizabeth to tell her what they found only to learn that she is on her way to Scotland. Case picks Elizabeth up and takes her back to the base camp, where they show her what they have but Elizabeth says it isn’t enough. When she wants to use Gus’s death for a show, Case and her argue about it, where it is revealed that they used to be married, and Case manages to convince her not to pull the plug on their expedition. Case tries to get the local constable to close the loch but he refuses, saying that Andrea and her friends admitted to trying to pull off a hoax and he wasn’t going to do anything to harm their tourist season. As they go to leave, a local named Blay tells them he can help and Elizabeth dismisses him but Case and Julie pay Blay a visit, and learn that he had seen the creature years ago when he was boom fishing with his son, who ended up being killed by the creature. As Case and the others continue looking for evidence, they find the wreckage of Blay’s boat and are able to confirm his record of events. The next day, the constable holds a press conference and says that they have the remains of a creature which they believe is responsible for the boy’s death but as he shows the remains to the assembled group, Blay says that it is too small and not the creature that killed his son. As the constable has everyone leave, Case tells him that Blay is right and the creature he has is too small to be what they were tracking but the constable dismisses them. Later that night, Case, Julie, and Elizabeth break into the morgue so Julie can examine the creature and discovers a giant bite in it’s side, which the constable had made sure not to show the crowd earlier. When they return to their camp, they find Blay waiting for them and tell him they know that what the constable has is not the creature they were tracking. Suddenly, they see some campers nearby lighting off fireworks and heading into the water and Case, Elizabeth, Blay, and Julie head out to get them out of the water. As they try to warn the people, Case and Elizabeth’s boat is destroyed by the creature, who rears up and eats the swimmers while Case and Elizabeth are picked up by Blay and Julie. When they return to the shore, Case argues with the constable about his refusal to close the loch and blames him for the people’s deaths and so the constable arrests Case. As the constable makes plans to use depth charges to kill the creature, Blay decides to take matters into his own hands and convinces Jake to give him a dive suit so he can go after the creature. Case is released from jail and heads back to camp but when he learns about Blay, he decides to head down after him. Case locates Blay, who has laid a trap in the flute that leads to the ocean and refuses to leave until he kills Nessie. As the depth charges drive the creature towards them, Case tells Julie and the other to get them to call off the Coast Guard but they don’t listen and the depth charges continue and as Nessie breaks through Blay’s net, a depth charge ends up causing a cave in that seals Case and Blay inside the flute with them, severing their radio contact with the others. As Case and Blay search for a way out, they discover a fresh nest of eggs that the creature had laid. Blay starts destroying the eggs, which causes the creature to revive and attack him. Blay drops a mine into the nest and activates it, destroying the nest, himself, and the creature. Case is knocked unconscious by the blast and the current carries him out to the ocean, where a biker finds him on the beach. Case rejoins the others, who thought he was dead, and as he hands Julie and Ron his backpack, which contains one of the creature’s eggs, Case talks with Elizabeth and they try to work out new relationship between them.

This was a decent movie for the most part but it had it’s flaws. The acting was ok, with Brian Wimmer and Lysette Anthony doing a good job as Case and Elizabeth respectively and the chemistry between them actually worked with their characters. I also liked Patrick Bergin as Blay, and while they were somewhat major characters, the three assistants had no real character depth to them, except for Jake starting off as just being an asshole towards Case. The story was honestly kind of boring and felt like they tried going one way with it but when it didn’t seem to go they way they wanted they tried to change things midstream. The special effects were honestly a little weak at times, including one time where they had used green screen to have Elizabeth at a train station. Seriously, why couldn’t they just have her at a train station is a mystery to me but it just looked completely out of place. The monster actually looked fairly decent, giving it a more flattened, shovel-like head instead of the more typical elongated head that you see in most Nessie movies. A decent time killer of a B-movie but I had hoped for something better.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Standard
comedy, movie, movie review, romance, sci-fi

May 18th, 2018 Movie – Weird Science

weird science

You know, was there anyone more powerful in Hollywood in the 80’s than John Hughes. I mean, this man made some of the most iconic movies to exist in pop culture in the span of a decade.I honestly don’t know anybody that hasn’t seen at least one of his movies over the years, or referenced one of them. Today’s movie has always been one of those movies that I found entertaining. I think the fact that it seemed to almost always be on TV at one point or another probably helped with that. So let’s have some laughs with today’s movie, Weird Science.

The plot: Nerdy social outcasts Gary Wallace and Wyatt Donnelly are standing outside the gym watching the girls participating in their gymnastics class. As they fantasize about what they would like to do, including with Deb and Hilly, their boyfriends Ian and Max sneak up behind Gary and Wyatt and quickly pull down their gym shorts, then yell out to the girls, leaving Gary and Wyatt exposed in their underwear to them. Later, Gary goes to spend the night at Wyatt’s house and is upset to learn that while Wyatt’s parents are gone, his brother Chet is coming home from military school for the weekend to look after the house and Wyatt while they are gone. That night, as they are watching Frankenstein, Gary comes up with the idea to use Wyatt’s computer to make a female simulation so they can try and practice talking with girls. As they get more involved in their project, they end up hacking into a military computer to boost their simulation’s abilities, then hook the computer up to a doll as a body for the program. AS they are doing this, strange red strom clouds appear over the house and as lightning hits the house and cause complete chaos in the town, they end up creating a real woman from their experiment. After taking a shower with Gary and Wyatt, who both keep their pants on, the woman says she wants to go out and so they head out, with the woman magically changing their clothes as they exit the room. As they are driving downtown in her pink convertible, the woman says that since they created her, they should give her a name and Gary suggests Lisa. Arriving at a bar, Lisa produces ID’s for the boys so they can get in and they proceed to mingle. Gary and Wyatt are uncomfortable at first but soon loosen up, with Gary proceeding to get drunk during the night. On the way home, Wyatt ends up driving and Lisa asks him what he is going to tell Chet about her but Wyatt says he hasn’t thought of it. When they get back to Wyatt’s house, Wyatt runs into Chet, who proceeds to pick on Wyatt and Gary, and demand money to buy his silence, before he goes to bed. After putting Gary to bed, Wyatt heads back down to sneak Lisa inside and she talks to him for a little bit, and works on teaching him how to kiss, and though she doesn’t like it, she agrees to stay hidden from Chet. The next morning, Gary and Wyatt think that everything was a dream until they hear Lisa calling them down for breakfast and Wyatt is shown to be wearing Lisa’s clothes from when she first appeared. They head to the mall with Lisa and while they are waiting for her as she shops, Ian and Max dump an Icee on them. As the two bullies laugh at their prank, Deb and Hilly consider breaking up with them but decide to forgive them, as they didn’t want to be social pariahs. As they are leaving, Ian and Max see Lisa going up the escalator in the opposite direction and quickly leave their girlfriends behind to chase after her. When they catch up to her, they try talking to her but are shocked to find that she is with Gary and Wyatt. As they are leaving, Lisa says that there is a party at Wyatt’s house and she tells them to spread the word and they drive off, leaving a stunned Ian and Max staring after them. At Wyatt’s house, Wyatt is asking Lisa why she is throwing a party and she tells him that they wanted to be popular and have fun and they needed to loosen up. Lisa then goes to pick up Gary and meets his parents, who get upset and angry at what she tells them about Gary and threaten to call the cops but she uses her powers to make his dad forget about Gary and they leave. As Lisa finishes setting up, Gary and Wyatt admit that they have no friends but Lisa opens the door and they see the whole school there for the party. As the party goes on, Ian and Max show up with Deb and Hilly and as Ian and Max go to the bar, then try to hit on Lisa, Deb and Hilly wander around the house. The end up at the bathroom where Gary and Wyatt were hiding and they end up talking briefly before the girls leave. Deb and Hilly run into Lisa, who asks if they met Gary and Wyatt and tells them they should shower with them. Meanwhile, Ian and Max apologize to Gary and Wyatt in the hopes they will set them up with Lisa and Gary and Wyatt tell them about creating her. Ian and Max convince Gary and Wyatt to try and make them a woman of their own and they proceed to do it, causing chaos to occur at the party. When Lisa appears in the doorway, she chastises Gary and Wyatt, then reminds them that they didn’t hook up a doll to the computer, just as a ballistic missile comes up from the ground and into the house. Wyatt’s grandparents show up to pay a surprise visit to Wyatt and they start yelling at all of the kids to get out when Lisa confronts them and puts them in suspended animation. When Wyatt and Gary find out, they start freaking out and Lisa decides to cause a situation to give them a confidence boost. Suddenly, a gang of mutant bikers crash the party and begin terrorizing all of the guests. Ian and Max decide to run and hide, leaving Deb and Hilly to find for themselves. When the bikers grab Deb and Hilly and¬†confront Gary and Wyatt, Gary and Wyatt stand up to the bikers and manage to make them leave. Afterwards, Deb and Hilly talk with Gary and Wyatt respectively and the girls end up falling for the two guys. The next morning, Chet returns from his hunting trip and when he sees the disaster the house has become, he confronts Gary and Wyatt over what happened. When he continually mocks Wyatt, Lisa stops him and tells the boys to take the girls home while she deals with Chet. Wyatt takes Hilly home and kisses her and as she walks to her door, he tells her he loves her, just as the lawn sprinklers come on. Meanwhile, Gary avoids getting a speeding ticket as he takes Deb home and when they get there, he tries explaining that the car, clothes, and everything isn’t really him but she tells him that she wants to know the real him and they kiss. When they return to Wyatt’s home, they find Chet had been turned into a talking piece of crap and Chet apologizes for how he treated Wyatt in the past. When Wyatt and Gary go see Lisa, she assures them that Chet will be back to normal in half an hour. They guys then tell Lisa that they have girlfriends now and don’t need her and she tells them she is happy for them and disappears in a cloud of smoke. Once she is gone, the house, and Chet, are returned back to normal, just as Wyatt’s parents return. The next day in school, Lisa is shown to be the new gym teacher and as all of the guys faint, she winks at the camera.

Weird Science met with mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 54% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “Hardly in the same league as John Hughes’ other teen movies, the resolutely goofy Weird Science nonetheless gets some laughs via its ridiculous premise and enjoyable performances.” During the movie, Gary, played by Anthony Michael Hall, mentions having a girlfriend in Canada, a line Hall used earlier in the year in another John Hughes movie,¬†The Breakfast Club. The movie was a box office success, earning $38.9 million off of a $7.5 million budget, and has spawned a television series in the mid 90’s, while a remake has been in the works since 2013.

This is still a ridiculous movie that is pretty entertaining. The acting was pretty good, with Anthony Michael Hall (Gary) and Ilam Mitchell-Smith (Wyatt) doing good jobs in their roles. Kelly LeBrock was great as Lisa, but I honestly thought that Suzanne Snyder and Judie Aronson were kind of boring as Deb and Hilly. The story was a great mix of teenage drama with some science fiction added to it. I thought the nod to “Frankenstein” was a great way to introduce Lisa, who went from being their “ideal” woman to helping them actually gain the confidence to get a real girlfriend. The special effects were good but most of the story was carried by the drama and comedy aspects of the movie. It’s a fun movie to watch when you just want to have some laughs.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Standard