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Movie Review

Avatar (2009)

After reading all the hate reviews surrounding this movie, I’ve really come to pity the Millennials and their successors, These generations have become so jaded to life, while never having any actual exposure to an environmental revolution other than what they’ve been indoctrinated to believe, are now so tainted that they can’t simply enjoy a new experience like Avatar. Every character is shallow unless they constantly preach an agenda-driven mantra of extreme global cooling/warming man-made destruction, trans-bisexual anti-homogeneous gender nullification or some other left-wing dribble involving renewable energy, a meat-free diet or that somehow one race’s life matters more than another because of the indignities they suffered centuries ago. Now, you have to deny that 4k eyecandy graphics are BORING to fit in with the new generation of beatniks and that CGI is killing the movie industry, even though all those that insist on it would never sit down and watch a standard definition B&W film from the 1950s, even if their life depended on it.

Creating a self-sustaining universe is something ever so difficult. Only a few (Tolkien, Lucas, Roddenberry & Stan Lee come immediately to mind) have been able to pull it off with success. The DETAIL that you need to weave is so intense that only a few Masters have been able to pull it off and have their legacy extend beyond a single work. The world of Avatar could easily be included into that mix. Just watching how the unique creatures breathed, their interactions with the surrounding environment and how life on that planet communed with itself was enough to make me want for more. Yes, the graphics today in 2021 might not be that impressive, but for something a decade old, they truly were breathtaking. Of course, this is coming from a person who grew up during the Beta-Max – VHS war, in an era when your home phone broke, you had to get to the Ma Bell Telephone Store to get a replacement (because you only rented your home phone from the utility) and where 4-bit video game graphics were groundbreaking.

There are 2 aspects of graphics that are the most difficult to program: running water and the human hand. These are the two things that the industry grades the most difficult and expects to expose the weakness of substandard work. Both of these are flawlessly done in the film and come off as exceptionally lifelike. After that, everything else is gravy and is believable to the standard eye. The amount of background activity is breathtaking and if you happen to look beyond the main protagonists on the screen, you can get lost with the environmental interaction. Unfortunately, most people won’t be able to see the forest from the trees and never enjoy the graphical ballet going on in the background.

While those less-versed might not see it, Avatar is a modern version of the American Western; where the white-male protagonist is adopted by the native tribe and instructed in their ways of life and existence. It has been done time and time again (Bianco Apache, The Savage, Little Big Man, The Light in the Forest), and this film follows the doctrine to the letter. Avatar is nothing more than a new-age telling of the same old story of Empire vs. Indigenous people on a planetary scale, albeit with better graphics and new age technology. Yes, it’s not a new tale. But honestly, after millennia after millennia of humans telling stories, how many original tales are still untold? Besides that, everything else about the film is almost perfect. The cinematography, the editing, the graphics and even the dialog fits the movie like a glove. If you weren’t impressed, then go take a peek at Cool World or Who Framed Roger Rabbit and see how far we’ve come in just a few short decades. While not the perfect film, it definitely entertains and leaves the viewer wanting for more. Highly recommended with an 8 out of 10 score.

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Movie Review

Waiting… (2005)

Growing up as a Gen X’er, our cinematic comedic heroes were average Joes and Jills who found a way to overcome and succeed when a serious crisis appeared. Movies like Revenge of the Nerds (1984), Police Academy (1984) or Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) all put ordinary people into extraordinary situations and they all found enough tenacity down deep to somehow succeed. These communicated a message of hope that everyone could achieve if they just tried hard enough. However, Millennial movies of the same caliber don’t seem to consider this an important facet of their make-up.

The movie that most people point out for being comedic gold would be Clerks (1994). However, instead of the characters overcoming adversity, these mundane people, performing mundane tasks and mailing in their performance while doing them, are celebrated because they mouth off to customers or flip them the figurative bird behind their backs whenever possible. Be that as it may, it perfectly sums up a generation that turned passive aggressiveness into an artform. Nevertheless, unless you worked retail, which seemed to be the largest connector to the intended audience, there really wasn’t much there besides long-winded diatribes as the simple people waxed philosophic all the while blowing off their responsibilities to have some “me time.”

A decade later, here comes Waiting… to follow almost the same formula. Instead of a Convenience Store or a Movie Rental Shop, we are focused on an average chain diner like Applebee’s or Bennigan’s (man, they had a great beers of the world menu) and once again we have mundane people, performing mundane tasks all while mailing in their performance as they flip off the customers without ever being confrontational (all except for one occasion). The difference here is in how the mishandling of food items, along with the addition of extra ingredients, is the main way that these employees strike a blow for justice and stand up for themselves. Nevertheless, that wasn’t the only negative to turn my stomach.

Constantly throughout the film, pedophilia and statutory rape are celebrated as time and time again multiple adults circle under-18 teenage girls, both customers and employees, like vultures just waiting for an opportunity to pounce. Weren’t Millennials supposed to be the enlightened ones? Of course, my generation also had films with their pedophilic subtext – Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Grease (1979) – but we also had to suffer through two decades of lectures because of it. Unfortunately, twenty years later Hollywood still was going back to the same old well and still hadn’t learned, even though they were the ones lecturing all of us, how we needed to become better people and turn away from the culture of rape.

But that wasn’t the only big crime turned into entertainment that the film elevates on a pedestal. We are also treated to “The Game” where the restaurant staff are turned into sex offenders as they flash their junk at every possible turn (of course not on screen because that would offend the censors – well, at least none of the male genitalia makes an appearance) to score street cred and get the opportunity to physically assault their victims by literally kicking them in the ass as punishment. If only the Three Stooges had thought of this, their careers would have been so much more successful.

The only real positive that I could gather from the film was the performance of Chi McBride as he portrayed a Dish-Washing Buddha who only looked to help shepherd his fellow employees along the path of life and find the answers to their problems. Ryan Reynolds, David Koechner and Luis Guzman turn the creep factor up to 11 as they pant and droll over very young girls – in some cases half their age – and most of the female leads are either guttural and foul-mouthed beasts or meek mice looking to be taken advantage of. In neither case, could you consider any of their performances to be idyllic or a role model for others to follow.

All in all, I found very little to be exemplary about in this “so called” modern classic. Unless you are a pre-teen boy who gets off on dick jokes, a person who celebrates passive aggressiveness or someone who worked in the restaurant industry and hated every minute of it, I doubt you’ll find much enjoyment in this piece. The only real lessons you can learn is to either never eat out or never piss off the people who handle your food. Besides that, leave this mess sitting under the heat lamps and stay home for dinner. This catastrophe in the kitchen gets a 4 out of 10.

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Movie Review

Star Slammer (1986)

To begin with, this film is an excellent example of 80s Cheese and portrays everything of that decade in a single glance: Big Hair, Gratuitous Unnecessary Nudity, Hot Women and a divergence from the standard Hollywood formula. Trying to meld the aura of Barbarella and the context of Star Wars, this was just another one of the low-budget space films looking to cash in on the interest that Close Encounters and Star Wars created.

Believe it or not, this would have been a valid property to redo during the 4-year stint of Hollywood’s attempt to whitewash the #metoo scandal, as most of the characters in this film were strong female leads with little to no manly men looking to steal the show. Unfortunately, the short-sightedness of the industry only gave us sub-par recreations of Ghostbusters or Ocean’s 11, along with numerous exquisite female failures, before Hollywood stopped the madness of trying to recreate women in man’s image.

Star Slammer (AKA Prison Ship… AKA The Adventures of Taura) is a decent film that, with the proper dialog tweaks and a change of cast into the high-dollar range, could have been something of note. The movie doesn’t suck in its current incarnation, just that it could have been extraordinary if done with a budget above the $200,000 range. One should note the number of overly-attractive C-Grade actresses that appear in this film that never did make the grade and break through to A-Grade Hollywood works.

One should mention the use of stock footage that appears in the film. For those astute, you are sure to notice footage from Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Battle Beyond the Stars (some even claim the original Battlestar Galactica footage made an appearance but I didn’t personally see any of that in my first viewing) for their Earth City footage along with the space battles near the end of the film. This was just another handicap for the film and could have been erased if proper financing could have been secured.

All in all, Star Slammer is a worthy rainy Saturday Afternoon endeavor (albeit with the couple of extra topless breast-shots scattered throughout the film) to help you relive your childhood. It won’t win any awards, nor break any cinema ground, but it will keep you entertained for the 1.75 hours of film-time it garners. Have a few cocktails before your viewing and I’m sure you will enjoy your time spent.

If you would like to watch this movie for free… Here is the link… https://youtu.be/bXwyAnvdEqU . Get it while it is available, before big internet closes down all the free avenues for your viewing pleasure…

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Movie Review

Ghostbusters (2016)

At the height of the #Metoo movement, Hollywood came riding in on its white stallion to save the Damsels in Distress (Liberal Actresses who sell themselves like whores for movie parts) from the evil Meanie, who also just happened to be Hollywood (funny how that worked out) and decided to gut every franchise that they could and retool it for female leads in a hope to quell the decades-old status quo and somehow wipe the slate clean before everyone put the mental pieces together of what was really going on. Ghostbusters was one of those movies.

For over a decade there was talk about a third movie starring the original cast, even adapting the Video Game that was released in 2009 for the silver screen all to no avail. Mostly this was because Bill Murray refused to replay his part for whatever reasons, but then Harold Ramis died in 2014 and any further thought simply evaporated. This of course left the Ghostbusters Franchise ripe for the picking. However, this just couldn’t be a standard reboot. Wrongs needed to be righted and messages needed to be sent to let the world know that GRRL-Power is superstrong. Therefore, Ghostbusters was turned into a 2-hour marathon of kicking the male gender in the neither-region while trying to convince the audience that anything men can do, women can do better.

Most of the male supporting cast are EXTREMELY feminine (of course never implying that they would be homosexuals because that would be insulting to the homosexuals) who scream, cry and/or are extraordinarily vapid without any possible intelligent thoughts. References to de-balling men are spread throughout the film – including the “Nutcracker” in the ending credits and shooting the big bad ghostie in the family jewels with the proton pack electron streams – and the only “Man” in the movie is the evil psychotic genius determined to end the world because he’s been bullied (another recurrent theme message throughout the movie) his entire life.

Of course, since this movie carried the Ghostbusters title, there had to be some nods to the franchise. Curiously, the actor who created the largest roadblock to a sequel got the most screen time in this film (Murray). Every actor from the original, who was still alive, made at least a brief appearance, sans Rick Moranis (I guess nobody needed their taxes done in this film), however if you skipped the in-credits cameos you might have missed some of them. Even Slimer and Stay Puft get some screen time, however, even the Marshmallow Man gets it in the goodies in the end. Gotta keep up the motif, you know.

Besides all that, the plot is pretty predictable, the characters are pretty shallow and no real boundaries are broken. The female black character is the only non-scientist in the group, is the muscle when needed and keeps the white characters informed on the down-low of the “real” city life. For the rest of the crew, instead of three distinct personalities like we had in the first two films, we have a pair of Egons and a Ray/Egon-like character. The Annie Potts replacement (Chris Helmsworth) is her antithesis and is nothing more than beefcake eyecandy for the crew. The CGI effects, which were supposed to be the lifesaver of the film, are moving at such a high rate of speed that you only really see blue and green blurs; completely opposite of what we enjoyed in 1984. The nods to the franchise are nothing more than pandering and some of the cameos would be unrecognizable to those not familiar to how the actors have aged. The film did rate a #1 ranking for the week it was released, however that was because it was the only new film released that week and was achieved through some superior back-room maneuvering and compromise by Sony Pictures and the rest of the Hollywood Film Elite.

Needless to say, Ghostbusters for the new millennium was an extreme franchise disappointment, probably only equaled by the 1998 version of Godzilla (strangely enough, also released by Tri-Star/Sony Pictures). Like that version, if they had made the movie and had it stand on its own credentials, instead of looking to cash-in and ride the coattails of works previously released, it would have been an above average film. Nevertheless, since Hollywood opted for the “easy way,” they lose points for the endeavor. Unless you are a female looking for some gender foundation-strengthening, stick with the original. This gets a 5 out of 10 rating. Don’t answer the call, let it go to voicemail.

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Movie Review

Angels in the Outfield (1994)

Let me start off by saying that if you enjoy feel-good movies featuring young children overcoming adversity, you will enjoy this movie. You can stop reading now and go watch the flick and have a great time. However, if you are looking for more than that, you probably will be disappointed with this remake. Disney had a tall order, bringing back a classic after forty years, and really needed to bring their A-Game if they hoped to even come close to what the 1951 version brought to the plate. Unfortunately, they were unsuccessful in their attempt.

In reading the credits, you would expect there to be some contention for the title. Glover, Danza, Lloyd and a young McConaughey should be enough star power to carry the film. Then you bring in quality support off the bench with Ben Johnson, Brenda Fricker and Jay Sanders, along with the comic relief out of the bullpen provided by Taylor Negron and Neal McDonough, and that should seal the deal. Finally, you double up on the cuteness factor and headline two orphans instead of just one little girl and finish it off with modern cinematic advancements (color film and CGI effects) and the odds of failing in the clutch should be non-existent. Nevertheless, somehow with everything going for it this version chokes at the plate and only hits a weak fly ball to centerfield compared to its predecessor.

Changing the team from the Pirates to the Angels was not a good move and put the film immediately in a hole at the plate. Yes, I understand why it was done – ease of shooting the film locally in L.A., promote the home-town Hollywood team, the Pirates were actually a team in recent playoff contention for the first time in 15 years and the irony of having real angels share the field with the baseball Angels – but it only added confusion to the plot when characters were trying to make sense of the situation because they weren’t sure what variety of Angels the people were referencing.

The attempt of Danny Glover filling the cleats of Paul Douglas leaves much to be desired. Glover is more of a shouter and flailer and really doesn’t honestly present a physical threat, even when he throws a punch. However, Douglas was a very imposing person and looked like he could wade into a bench-clearing brawl and still come out on the better end of the battle. Moreover, how the character was handled was also more convincing in Douglas’ favor. The way that Clarence Brown (director of 1951 version) wrangled the sensitive aspect of ‘Guffy’ McGovern’s constant swearing without offending the audience was absolutely brilliant and offered a realistic answer to a delicate problem. Disney just made the problem evaporate. Guffy’s actual interaction with the Head Angel also offered more depth than having Glover’s character of Knox constantly relying only on his young mascot for interpretations. Finally, the interaction with his veteran starter never really is explored like it is in the original piece and, since there is no direct Angel / Manager interaction, there is no way that Glover should have left him in for as long as he did in the final game (Glover’s character never personally learned that the pitcher was going to die in the next few months) .

The erasure of Janet Leigh’s character and any love interest also subtracts from the overall formula. Jennifer Paige was almost as responsible for the transmutation of Guffy from a unbearable, raging hate-monster to that of a normal human being as the Angels and their restrictions on his violent anti-social behaviors. Her removal from the cast changed the entire feel of the film from that of a romantic comedy with a sports background to nothing more than a feel-good slapstick farce.

Finally, the comparison of manager’s antagonist of Wynn vs. Sanders is equal to that of a Major League Veteran vs. September call-up Rookie. Wynn was the Disney go-to guy when they needed a celluloid villain and he always brought a level of bad guy who was both hated and make you feel sympathetic for him at the same time. The level of antagonization that Wynn brought, both in person and in his position within the sports media, towards Guffy was monumental. Sanders’ persona was nothing more than slightly irritating and played little to no part to the plot or outcome of the story.

All in all, the remake pales in comparison to the source material and doesn’t do it justice in the least. The movie is shallow, goes for the cheap laugh and relies on CGI and an overload of star power to wow the audience with an illusion. There are plot holes aplenty and the emotional or religious connection is never fully realized. As I said in the opening paragraph, if you just want a feel-good flick, this one will be for you. If you truly want to see movie magic, look for the 1951 original instead. This version gets a 6 out of 10.

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Movie Review

The Swarm (1978)

Before we had Murder Hornets…We had THE SWARM!!!!

In the 70s, this was one of the media’s tools to terrify the populace. Unbelievably as it may seem, when released this movie scared the pants off of America in the same way that Jaws did when it made it to the theaters. The Killer Bee swarms in South America, created in cross-breeding African and Western Honeybees, of course had to share the stage with the other big threats of the day: The Upcoming Global Ice Age and Nuclear Power Plant disasters, both of which also made minor appearances in this film. Nevertheless, the fashionable fear in 1978 was bees and Hollywood was there to make sure YOU got the message that Man was bad and Nature would soon kick his ass.

That asides, the movie in itself now is laughable, no better than the Global Warming Fear Films that the SyFy channel (AKA NBC) churns out today. The movie passes well beyond the level of believable when train passenger cars explode as they roll down a hill, the nuclear plant explodes like an atomic bomb killing 36 thousand people or when the military decides to burn Houston like Sherman did Atlanta, even though the bee swarms are not inside buildings or cars. The over-the-top fiction that even 2 stings from these bees will kill you, even though Science (oh, doesn’t the Left like to laud that term up on a pedestal when it suits their agenda) knew at the time that the level of toxin in this new strain of bee was no more lethal than that of the average Honeybee. Rather, it was their aggressiveness in tracking threats and ruthlessness of their attack, compared to normal bees, that was the true fact of concern.

The movie does bring a grade A cast to the table and most of the performances are respectable, although I did find the fact that Michael Caine liked to explode and shout through scenes rather disconcerting and over-dramatic. There are plenty of other situations that make no sense, like Henry Fonda’s character using himself for a guinea pig when he’s the only one who can work on a serum, when military personnel, who are full-suited in insect-protective gear, are flailing and running from the bees or Michael Caine breaking out a pane of glass to gain entry to a locked building, when people were already inside who could have opened the door, when the bees were attacking the town (and now had easy access to all the people in the building via the broken glass). Unlike the other disaster films of that decade, The Swarm doesn’t even come close to being a serious threat and is little more than an inconvenient buzzing in the ear of the audience. It gets a 5 out of 10 final score.

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Movie Review

Death Car on the Freeway (1979)

Everybody loves a good car wreck. Seriously, that’s why NASCAR became what it has become with fans tuning in week in and week out waiting for the “Big One” to happen. Why do you think the two most popular tracks (Daytona and Talladega) are the 4 most-watched races every year. Then who hasn’t sat in an hour-long traffic jam because of rubber-necking; people looking for an opportunity to see blood on the highways. “Death Car on the Freeway” tries to capitalize on that to hook you in then hopes you stick around for the important life message.

The movie is a thinly-veiled indoctrination attempt to teach the world that women can be strong, independent and leaders of industry. That motif is batted around constantly as the lead newswoman questions if she can make it on her own and struggles to make a name for herself free from the help of her rather clingy and insecure husband. However, the film spends more time trying to de-testosterone men than to empower women as it looks to even the playing field. Moreover, it puts our leading lady, who weighs in at maybe 100lbs soaking wet, into numerous dangerous situations without any form of back-up or protection and only by the sheer willpower of the goddess walks through the valley of darkness reemerging unscathed at the end. Honestly, if the men in this movie were as evil as the filmmakers made them seem,  Jan would have ended up as a victim, instead of the reporter, on the 6 o’clock news.

The bright point to the movie is that scattered throughout the indoctrination are some rather nifty car stunts and skilled speed driving on the newly developed LA freeway system of the CHiP’s era. Hal Needham (Smokey and the Bandit, Hooper) directs, and plays a bit part as a driving instructor, some decent action shots. Seriously, pulling off the gags that they did with the Dodge Van were impressive, having personally driven a ’77 version and knowing the physical limitations of the vehicle. The highway crashes are intricately reminiscent of those 70s CHiP’s shows, but you need to pay attention to what’s going on in the background as the surrounding vehicles play an important part in the dance

The cast has some quality names, with Peter Graves, Frank Gorshin and George Hamilton leading the pack. Needham also brings along some of his faithful (past or future) with Alfie Wise (Hooper) and Tara Buckman (Who? She was the girl in the purple body suit in Cannonball Run. Oh Yes! She was HOT in that!). Then with Abe Vigoda, Barbara Rush and Dinah Shore playing fill-in roles, you have yourself a decent quality cast.

Unfortunately, Shelley Hack lives up to her namesake and just doesn’t pull off the strong female lead that this movie demands. Her waif-life stature doesn’t inspire confidence that she could handle the situations she purposely puts herself into unlike if the lead was being played by a woman like Pam Grier, Lynda Carter, Linda Gray or Adrienne Barbeau. Although none of these ladies are Chuck Norris, you at least would think they could defend themselves admirably in a one-on-one situation instead of flinching every time a twig breaks (or a mousetrap snaps). 

All in all, Death Car (shouldn’t that be Death Van?) is a decent experience. Although the beat-it-over-your-head feminism was fresh and new in 1979, after 40 years of constant #metoo hypocrisy it gets rather stale. You don’t get to play Lady Godiva to promote your latest project then complain how nobody takes you seriously beyond that of being a sex object.

Unfortunately, the Left still hasn’t figured it out; you can’t expect equality when you still want to be placed up on a pedestal or protected like an endangered animal. Every woman thinks she should be a CEO of a multi-billion-dollar company, but none think they should also grab a shovel and help dig that ditch. That has been the Achilles’ heel of the movement from the beginning. So if you can stomach the rhetoric, pop some corn and enjoy the show. It gets a 6 out of 10.

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Movie Review

Ready Player One (2018)

A few years ago, I happened upon the audiobook of an unknown author named Ernest Cline. He had this dystopian novel about how an internet game had become a way of life and the contest that became a quest for all of mankind. The kicker was that because of an obsession of the “Creator,” society had re-embraced everything of the 1980s from its tv shows, video games, music and even their wacky fashions. Personally, being a child of the 80s, this was just as much a welcome walk down memory lane that playing GTA: Vice City had been the first time I powered up my PS2 with the game DVD inside. I screamed thru the book and finished it one single driving period across 3 states and then started over to listen to it again the next day. This book quickly became one of my newest favorites and jumped up to become one of my top 5 books of all time.

Fast forward to 2018 and I read on the Interweb that someone had decided to translate my newest favorite book to the silver screen. I honestly felt the same way I had back in my childhood happily unwrapping the best Christmas gift I ever received; My Atari 2600 on December 25th, 1977. Then to put a cherry on the top, I find out that Steven fricking Spielberg will be behind the project. Only George Lucas or John Hughes could even come close to matching Spielberg for his overall influence for the era and for having their finger on the pulse of a generation. No doubt about it, this movie was going to be EPIC! I couldn’t wait. This might be the movie to finally get me back into a theater in almost 2 decades.

My attitude started to waver when I saw the first trailer for the film. While everyone was going ga-ga over seeing the Batmobile (even though it was the Batmobile from the 60s) and the A-Team van, along with many other well-known 80s vehicles prepping for the all-out race, I started scratching my head and questioning what I was seeing. Yes, this looked like it would be awesome with so many icons immediately seen, but what was I seeing? This wasn’t in the book anywhere, so how were they going to tie this in? Well, that was the point where I decided I’d better wait for the DVD to come out and boy was I glad I did.

Almost NOTHING from this movie matched the novel. Take out the character’s names and any reference to the Oasis and I doubt 99 out of 100 viewers would have associated this with RPO. The story starts out in the wrong city, has the characters meet up IRL way before they do in the book, NONE of the challenges are the same and even the fact that the keys allowed you access to a second level of challenges, instead of being a means to the end, were removed from the story completely. How Wade wins the quarter, how and where the main characters fight the final battle and even the fact that not all the main characters live up to the battle, or through it, are misconstrued or completely rewritten. Moreover, most of the epic vehicles that we saw in the preview trailer never made an appearance in the race. Obviously the movie ran into licensing issues and most of the non-Spielberg properties were cut from the film completely.

However, the biggest sin is the complete loss of the vibe of the era that the book radiated. The biggest point for the book was a walk down memory lane while you read it. Every game, song, movie and tv show that were mentioned brought back individual memories of actually sitting down with a bowl of popcorn and watching them for the first time yourself, the emotions the music gave when you danced to songs at the school dance or the victory you felt bringing the Holy Grail back to the Golden Castle with Rhindle hot on your tail. If you take out a couple of songs from RPO’s soundtrack, and the Delorean from “Back to the Future,” it’s just another generic SF adventure, and not a very good one at that.

Honestly, Spielberg has sucked every last drop of life from this property and left its dried husk to blow away in the desert wind. I can’t think of any way that he could have made this movie worse, in any possible aspect. Even the special effects are more or less blah and do nothing to get the juices flowing. None of the actors seem really invested in their parts, the dialog is weak and has nothing really to do with the “real”story, the “expert” Gunters know almost nothing about Halliday or the media of the era and even the wrong character ends up indentured by IOI for the wrong reason. Personally I think the 1.5 stars is too generous of a rating, but I can’t go any lower with a clear conscious.

If you never read the book, obviously like most of the people who gave this movie gracious scores, I’m sure you’ll find it at least a mind diversion from everyday life. All others need to stay away and rewatch a copy of Monty Python and the Holy Grail or War Games instead.

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Movie Review

Star Quest (A.K.A Terminal Voyage) (1994)

To begin with, ignore the fact that this movie has been released under two different titles. Most cinephiles know that that point alone usually means the movie is scraping the bottom of the barrel. Whether if you know this film as Star Quest or Terminal Voyage means very little. Neither one really sums up the real feel of the movie.

While not a super low-cost release (it was nominated for a Saturn Award in 1994), you can tell that the budget was somewhat limited. The main ship, along with the two single-pilot fighters used during one of the VR sequences, were spacecraft from the 1980 cult-classic Battle Beyond the Stars (A space version of Akira Kurosawa’s classic Seven Samurai (1954)).

After you get past that hurdle, the rest of the film holds up effect-wise until the ending scene, which was just graphically horrible. While trying to not give too much away, the simple way of looking at this movie is as it being a retelling of Alien (1979) without having a creature running amok throughout the ship. The cast is solid one, albeit they are only High-B grade quality, There are some unfortunate 90s stereotypes (the Asian Woman is a drug fiend, the Black Commander is mentally weak and unfit for command, the Frenchman is focused on food, the Russian is only thinks with a military mentality etc.) but the introduction of Virtual Reality as a form of entertainment is a bit forward-thinking for the time.

All in all, it isn’t that Star Quest / Terminal Voyage does anything terrible wrong. Simply put, it just doesn’t do anything novel or fresh. Even the plot twist at the end has been done many times before. It’s a nice 80 minute distraction and nothing more.

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History Philosophy

Over the Cliff

Warnings are going out on the Web with the expected lunacy from the left as they re-seize power in the next few days. Suddenly people are being woke from the bewilderment of what did we do and reality is starting to peek it’s head over the horizon. The OMG crowd is again warning that if we don’t watch out, we’ll be driving the country off the cliff. Unfortunately, what most people don’t realize is that we’ve already gone over the cliff… why do you think that things are WOOSHING by now at such a ridiculous speed??? We’re in freefall headed for the bottom.

The National Debt is a fiat currency is at $27 Trillion and climbing (it was $3 Trillion in 2001), the stock market is an over-inflated bubble with nothing supporting it and all productively has been curtailed all in the name of a manufactured cold virus with a less than 1% fatality rate.

The fallacy that the 2nd amendment is intact is nothing more than a smokescreen. When written, the militia (which was not an organized military organization, but defined as every living male between the age of 15 and 50) had the same firepower that the military did. Now, as the idea of competing with a militarized police force or even the military in itself is a joke. You don’t go up against automatic rifles, M-60s, grenade launchers, armored cars (and that’s just the police) with semi-automatic handguns or rifles. That fight lasts five minutes, if that. Worrying about “will they ban this gun, or that one” is a distraction. The intention of the 2nd was that I have the ability, as a citizen, to overthrow a tyranny. That being said, what the military has, I should be allowed to have. If I can afford an M1A2 Abrams, I should be allowed to park one in my driveway. Extreme? Yes. But this was what the Founding Fathers intended, they just couldn’t imaging how the technology of warfare could expand 200 years down the line or perhaps they would have spelled things out in a more detailed manner.

The 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th amendments of the Constitution were and are quietly erased by the Patriot Act. Individuals are exposed to Secret Courts were proceedings are kept from the public, can be held indefinitely, without council or trail for any length of time, all in the name of National Security.

All five aspects of the 1st Amendment have been undermined and eliminated. Congress hides from constituents looking to redress grievances and refuses to see them because they disagree with the establishment mantra. The Free Press has been converted into a one-party propaganda machine allowed to run unchecked by decency, honor or law. Time and time again through their false narratives, they have created a combative situation by lying about facts and then report on the inevitable bloodshed; downplaying it when it furthers their agenda or blowing it out of proportion when it doesn’t. The Right of Assembly is currently suspended in many jurisdictions all for “the greater good” of the community. The creation of “Hate Speech” and Political Correctness has limited the people in their ability to express their beliefs or criticize those protected classes of citizens and now private industry has done what the Government was unable; to silence the speech of people who disagree with the party in power.

Education of our youth has been twisted into indoctrination where graduating students can’t read or write, but are well versed in putting condoms on cucumbers and the art of protest. When our children aren’t having the Counter-Culture of the 60s being glorified by the Left, they are using them as Human Shields to protect their causes against criticism from rational debate. The Government has been allowed to tell citizens that they MUST purchase a product from private entities, all of which are agents of the government, all with a minimal whimper from the people.

I guess though that final straw has finally happened…a Twitter account was banned. So, to all you recently woke I say; fasten your seatbelt and get into crash position. There isn’t anything else that can be done until this ride comes to a full and complete stop. However, for those arriving at the last second and finally noticing the already-happening chaos around us, I just have to say…