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Bud Brewster
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Joined: 14 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2023 11:02 am    Post subject: FEATURED THREADS for 1-23-24 Reply with quote

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All Sci-Fi The Spike continues to share his impressive reviews with us,

Today we’re treated to a comment on a movie about a group of kidnapped people who end up on a planet where really ugly aliens hunt them for sport.

Then there’s yarn about a lady scientists who is impregnated by an alien, turning her into a murderous momma.

And finally we have a film about a world with wonderful robots — one of which is accused of murder, so it needs help from police detective Will Smith.

Whatcha wanna bet I can think of something interesting to reply to all three threads in 15 minutes flat. Time me. GO! Very Happy


Predators (2010)

They can hear you. Smell you. They see you.

Predators is directed by Nimród Antal, and stars Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Laurence Fishburne, Oleg Taktarov & Danny Trejo. It's co-produced out of 20th Century Fox by Robert Rodriguez, John Davis & Elizabeth Avellan, with writing credits going to Michael Finch, Alex Litvak and Jim & John Thomas. It's shot on location in the Hawaiian jungle with Gyula Pados on cinematography, while John Debney reworks Alan Silvestri's score from the 1987 film Predator.

The plot sees eight former members of Earth-mercenaries, soldiers, criminals, and a doctor — all literally dropped into a jungle on an alien planet. Why or how they got there is not known, but pretty soon it is apparent they must work together,, for they are being hunted by an unseen enemy.

Hunted, it seems, for sport.

In 1987 John McTierrnan gave the movie world Predator, a ballsy Vietnam allegory that pitted Arnold Schwarzenegger — and a host of other considerably sized beefcakes — against one bad-ass mandible-wearing alien hunter.

Since then the franchise has steadily gotten worse {though Danny Glover's sequel is far from a disaster}, reaching a crushingly bad nadir with Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem in 2007.

Enter Robert Rodriguez who in the mid 90s had done a treatment for a Predator sequel with Schwarzenegger in mind to return. However, it didn't happen and it's only now, with the franchise at rock bottom, that his script has been reworked and funded to give us Predators, the sequel to McTiernan's 87 ball buster.

The set up is a little different, but in truth the formula is exactly the same as the original movie. Macho guys and a girl in the jungle are being hunted by something very bad.

Alpha male though is not going to take it lying down. Cue deaths, explosions and much macho posturing. Here in lies the main problem with Antal' s movie — it's ticking off the same boxes and "homaging" for all it's worth, which is fine since it's hugely entertaining in that Saturday night popcorn way.

But there's little to no braveness in the writing. Sure there's some bonuses in the form of alien pets, a predator feud arc, and a bonkers midsection with the introduction of another character. But as the carnage unfolds, the plot doesn't go anywhere other than where we expect it to go. While there's a huge character misstep in the final third that is more laughable than being the twister it's meant to be.

However, if taken purely as a piece of salted popcorn, the film delivers enough thrills and excitement to warrant the viewing. The action comes thick and fast. From the breathtaking opening as we are literally dropped into the jungle with Adrien Brody, to the inevitable face off for the finale, we have been treated to stabs, chops, thrusts, dismemberment's, beheadings and everyone's personal fave; spine ripping.

All this and there's barely any blood spilt, lest the green kind counts of course.

While the new-look predators are awesome, meaner in tone, with new armour and devoid of the pointless characterization that others in the franchise have tried to give them-hello people, these are unremitting killers. Lets leave them like that, eh? And while it lacks the dark humour of McTiernan's movie, it does have a wry sense of knowing, normally with the portrayal of Royce by Brody.

Brody is just fine, it's a performance that shows that should he ever want to make the easy money available in action/adventure type movies, he would do well. Then he will have no problem getting work. He's buffed up, given himself a gruffer voice and more than shows a capable hand at punching, firing, and sticking the tongue firmly in cheek.

The others, unsurprisingly, are walking cliches, with some obviously only there to be slotted more quickly than others. The fun is waiting to see who gets it first/next and etc. It has to be said, though, that Topher Grace is not only annoying here, he's also very miscast. But in fairness he's not exactly helped by the writing of his character either.

Not great, but hugely enjoyable popcorn fodder. A sequel would be welcome, but with Rodriguez directing and a new face on the writing panel. 7/10


Inseminoid (1981)


Inseminoid Devoid.

Inseminoid (AKA: Horror Planet) is directed by Norman J. Warren and written by Nick and Gloria Maley. It stars Judy Geeson, Robin Clarke, Jennifer Ashley and Stephanie Beacham. Music is by John Scott and cinematography by John Metcalfe.

A crew of space scientists come under attack after an alien creature impregnates one of the team, causing her maternal instincts to turn her into a homicidal maniac.

The makers denied it is a cheap knock-off of Ridley Scott's Alien, and in their defence, 20th Century Fox supremo's viewed Inseminoid and had absolutely no problem with it. So? Is it a tacky cash in? Well, judge for yourself, but ultimately it's films like this that make you treasure Alien even more, regardless of budget differences.

Inseminoid (great title, at least) is hysterically bad. It doesn't make any sense (seriously, the screenplay must have been written in 5 minutes). Its cheapness is "not" endearing and the acting is appalling. Add in some awful effects work, costuming care of the decade that time forgot, and the over-powering sense of sleaze for gore's sake, and you got one bad movie on your hands.

Is it mindless fun? Well, it is funny!

When actors like Brit babes Geeson and Beacham take it seriously — the former really throwing herself into the crazed mommy role — then it's hard not to laugh, even more so when the alien glove puppets show up.

To be fair to Beacham, she came out and said she did it purely for the money, but the honorable thing to do would have been to wave her fee and distribute it back to the paying punters at the box offices who had to suffer this tripe.

Alien rape, murder, bedlam, and cannibalism — it shouldn't be funny, but it is. 2/10


I, Robot (2004)

I, Robot (2004), holding it's own in the genre pantheon?

I, Robot has a fan base that I'm glad to say has kept this film from drifting down into the depths of bad blockbuster sci-fi ratingville.

I remember upon the film's release that many people were wary of the idea that Will Smith could carry the film. The concerns from Isaac Asimov's fans was about a sacrilegious take on his legacy.

The truth is is that I, Robot is an amalgamation of sci-fi ideas, from the initial concept by Asimov, to the novel of the same name from Eando Binder, it's a mix that ultimately gives us a cop versus sci-fi conspiracy picture, one that is sure as hell entertaining if taken on popcorn terms.

Having just watched this again for the first time in a year or so, I found that it still hits the mark as a real tidy genre piece with a solid heart beat to keep it thought provoking.

A futuristic mystery is smartly realized by Alex Proyas' directing in the manner befitting the subject, and of course Will Smith handles the entertaining action lead role with much ease. However, the main triumph (outside of the story) is Alan Tudyk as our computer generated protagonist, Sonny. The voice and humanist movements are brilliantly brought to life by him, and it's a real pleasure to observe.

Great visuals (Oscar nominated), top story, kinetic action, better than average acting (though Bridget Moynahan struggles to convince as a boffin at times), and we get a perfect nights entertainment for someone looking for a rental that safely delivers what it says on the robotic shaped tin. 7.5/10

Is there no man on Earth who has the wisdom and innocence of a child?
~ The Space Children (1958)
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