October 29, 2014 § Leave a comment
On yeah, I’m reviewing a Sharknado sequel although that’s what I would have said if I don’t know the full package a couple of months ago. To be specific, I myself don’t mind so-bad-its-good movies that’s done in an intentional sense as long as it also comes off as an affectionate parody. However, when it comes to The Asylum, I am not sure if they know how to handle sending up themselves by heart. Yeah, I do know the company doesn’t give a damn about making bad movies but making bad movies that makes fun of itself? I do not know. There’s also the point where it might fall to the “recycled premise” trope and I’ve seen a few sequels that went to that direction.
So in essence, I don’t mind movies like Snakes on a Plane and The Amazing Bulk but do mind crap like Taintlight and The Hangover Part II. Also, isn’t Sharknado itself an send-up of the monster genre? It felt like it why bother making a sequel that’s a parody of the first movie that itself is a parody? Uh, I think I don’t want to talk about the body of work of one Anthony C. Ferrante at this time. I am not angry with the guy or anything, it’s just that if it’s either this movie or whatever else crap I could think of. And I thought of a back-up idea that I dread to look at sooner or later, it might more than later and I will keep that a secret but other than that, it’s better to review this movie than that one. Much, much better.
On to the movie we see still-divorced couples Fin (Ian Ziering) and April (Tara Reid). It’s at this point that Fin is a national hero (which makes sense) and April is a renowned bestseller (which doesn’t make sense but then again, so was Snooki being the same). As Fin noticed something on the wing, Sharknado starts up again alerting the passengers with April’s hand being bitten off, Wil Wheaton becoming a victim and Robert Hays reprising his role as Ted Striker (I think!) only to get sucked out with another pilot so it leaves Fin being a hero again and land the plane in New York. Oh, and Kelly Osbourne is a flight attendant because… just because.
Following the over-the-top credits (with a catchy theme), we meet up with Fin’s sister Ellen (Kuri Wuhrer) and her husband Martin (Mark McGrath) with their two kids Mora (Courtney Baxter) and Vaughn (Dante Palminteri) in New York. As Martin and Vaughn decide to go to baseball stadium, Ellen and Mora is having girl’s day out with Ellen’s friends Polly (Pepa of Salt ‘n’ Pepa fame) and Chrissie (Tiffany Shepis) by going to the Statue of Liberty. There, Ellen got a call from Fin about the oncoming event and get this, Ellen thinks the first place to hit is the baseball stadium… and is correct about the assumption. How does she know that is a good question but keep in mind, this is the same movie where Andy Dick played a police officer.
As Fin leaves April in the hospital (with Billy Ray Cyrus as an doctor), Martin and Vaughn is having their good ol’ baseball time with Skye (Vivica A. Fox) and Bryan (Judah Friedlander). As Bryan decides to get snacks, he bumped into an former baseball player that’s played by Richard Kind. As the player gives a flashback baseball story, Fin is having a sweet Taxi driving time with Ben (Judd Hirsch) and I could think of Taxi jokes but I never seen the show. Also, no Independence Day references to both Judd and Vivica since I already mention the movie a couple of weeks ago so don’t want to come off repetitive in this case.
Fin appears in the Baseball stadium and got a kiss from Skye but isn’t Skye and Bryan a couple in this? Uh screw it, Fin then alerts his brother-in-law and others about the Sharknado thing that’s coming their way and well, it happened and with Richard Kind hitting one Shark with a baseball bat. Did he survive after that? I dunno but he’s never seen again. The characters end up on a train and nothing much so back to Ellen and friends as well, the Sharknado hits there as well killing Chrissie in the process. Meanwhile, April is trying to escape from the hospital for no reason. Maybe she hates the doctor or something.
Back on the train and there’s flood with sharks coming their way so what are they gonna do? Well, survive of course but it killed Bryan in the process. Meanwhile in an Subway station, we see Perez Hilton rant on the train time while we also get the most meta-fueled gag I’ve seen in the whole movie. It’s probably best that I’ll show you the joke and ruin it by explaining it so brace yourself for this following image.
The others escaped while Fin’s ass has been bitten by a mini-shark but he’s fine and oh boy, Judd Hirsch reappeared so it’s them going to Times Square to get weapons (and with Fin meeting up with his friend Vinny who’s played by Biz Markie). As for Ellen, Mora and Polly, they are still escaping the Sharknado (and a rolling Statue of Liberty’s head) so nothing much there. Back at the hospital and April is still escaping from that place… I don’t know what’s taking so long of course. Uh, Fin and the others are back in the taxi but the vehicle is sinking so what to do? Well, they get to the other vehicle and survive except Ben who died long enough for the lead singer of Sugar Ray to drop a “jumping the shark” reference… Joy.
They end up in the hotel and it only leaves Fin and Skye to eliminate an tornado by using a slingshot and makeshift bombs. It didn’t work and sharks are dropping like flies killing people including Polly. Oh yeah, Ellen and Mora made it to the hotel so what about April? Well, she finally escaped and with her driving a fire truck. So all of them reunited and gone to Empire State Building. There, Fin meets a mayor of New York (which is Robert Klein playing himself as the mayor so uh, The Postman reference to Tom Petty as the mayor?). But anyway, Fin has got his signature weapon and decides to make a big heroic speech enough for the survivors to get their own weapons and kick some shark ass… or fins… or whatever.
Fin and Skye has gone to the top of the building to avert three tornadoes become one by using a Freon to detonate while it being connected to the building’s lighting rod. Oh, and April appears with her weapon of choice. The plan succeed but it leaves Fin and Skye being caught in a tornado with a Shark killing Skye in the process and many civilians below killing one dropping shark after another. Fin survives and reunites with April while a shark is dropped near them with April’s severed hand in the mouth so Fin takes the ring off the hand and repropose to her. She said yes and the movie ends with fireworks, cheers and Matt Lauer and Al Roker surviving with stabbing the shark live on television.
Okay, I am conflicted by this. I can’t lie when I say that I did enjoy the movie but it has its problems. I mean, some of the celebrity cameos are not necessary and felt uninterested. I didn’t even mention Kurt Angle as a fire chief until now so yeah. The plot is basically similar to the last movie and with Ian and Tara caught in the same situation. Speaking of which, the plot is also all over the place. It jumps one main character after another and I am trying my best to give a probable plotline in this review. It’s bad enough that the first movie has a better story than this one since it’s straight forward and doesn’t come off as a jumbled mess.
Honestly, it’s not as good as the predecessor but it doesn’t suck at the same time. I can take the self-parody sense as long as its done perfectly like Gremlins II: The Next Batch and not come off as anti-humorous “get it” approach like whatever crap Tim and Eric has been doing lately. I hope the third movie is nothing like this and I really do but I think that’s not gonna happen. So really, do check it out and try not to get confused by it or something. This ends my month of random Asylum movies with this one being a kind of cheating pick but do need something uh, Halloween related?!? I don’t know but thank goodness this ended… and now I have to go back to that RoboCop remake so yeah.
October 25, 2014 § 3 Comments
After three movies of nothing but volcanoes, an asteroid and Colin Firth getting into a couple of bar brawls, I bet it’s a good time to look at some lower budget superhero movie that capitalizes on Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise and oh boy, is this really a good time. Captain Battle: Legacy War is another TomCat mockbuster like Metal Man and The Amazing Bulk but this time, it’s a different kind of superhero movie from the company since this one is actually based on a golden age character that itself is a knockoff of Captain America rather than being “original”.
This one is directed by David Palmieri who has few direct-to-DVD stuff which includes Disaster Wars: Earthquake vs Tsunami. I don’t know how one disastrous event is battling against another but I gonna admit, it’s an interestingly funny title. Also, he directed Snake Club: Revenge of the Snake Woman which is funny since there’s two uses of the word “Snake” in the title. Maybe they got the title after finding out that the word “Manos” in Manos, The Hands of Fate is spanish for well… Hands.
The movie begins with Jonathan Battle (Tom Newth) who’s on the car chase shootout with some nazi skinheads but got involved with really-fake explosions and died. Meanwhile in Northern Iraq, his son Sam (Cuyle Carvin) got shot by random Iraqi soldiers and is facing death but thanks to the serum created by his friend Brandon Storm (Andrew J McGuinness), he not only survives but has gained strength. Cut to three months later and Sam is back home while having a surprise visit from Brandon. They went to some hotel room and talked about the serum before Brandon’s sister Jane (Marlene Mc’Cohen) appears and after meeting Sam, the movie suddenly cuts to skinheads enjoying their time at a stripper bar with a montage. Ha, unexpected transition.
The skinheads kidnapped one of the strippers (even using a gun in the bar which reminds me, where the fuck are the bodyguards and anybody’s who not an nazi with their own weapons?) and use her along with other kidnapped girls as possible experiments. While Sam is taking Jane home, Brandon also got kidnapped and is held at their base of operations as well. Sam and Jane is figuring out what happened while Jane mentioned that Jonathan’s accidental death is actually murder and they meet up with Jonathan’s friend Steve Kelly (Pete Punito) who tells what has been happening. And then, the lead villain a finally ppeared and well, let me just show you the villain.
The villain is of course The Necromancer (Jenny Allford) and she wanted Brandon to work on serum that’s enough to bring upon the fourth reich. After a long talk, Steve gives Sam his father’s stuff including the uniform and then both Sam and Jane encountered some nazis which results into Jane getting kidnapped and Sam interrogating one of them who’s left behind before… he lets him go. Wait, a hero lets one of the villains go instead of punching him or take him to a police station. That’s what just happened in this movie. Back to the nazis hideout and The Necromancer revived Heinrich Himmer (Todd James Jackson) thanks to the serum and for a decades-long resurrection, he look like a poor man’s excuse for The Red Skull.
Sam finally dons the identity of Captain Battle which is a good costume but his identity is sort-of given away since the “mask” he’s wearing is just an eyepatch. There are fights with him against the Nazis and with only two random police officers involved (one of them looking like a pornstache police officer that just came out of Miami Vice costume party). A couple of Nazis got hit by kidnapped females, Himmler got killed again by Battle and The Necromancer got away leaving the movie open-ended with a sequel that to this date, hasn’t been made.
Well, this movie is indeed bad but unlike the previous three, it’s also enjoyable. The acting is average, the action is cheesy and the plot is similar to 1979 Captain America movie but at least it doesn’t come off boring. I honestly do say that I hope a sequel for this is made but doubt that’s gonna happen. I may be wrong about my previous dislikes on superhero rip-offs but who knows? There are few others along the way. Now the month is nearly done so you know what? Next time I’m reviewing Sharknado II: The Second One and hope this month ends in a good note.
October 19, 2014 § Leave a comment
This is gonna be a first for me since I am reviewing an Asylum film made in the time when it was trying to be a legit independent film company instead of the go-to place for mockbusters and cheesy monster flicks and yes, that’s how the company starts. From 1997 through 2005, The Asylum was making movies that are obscure by today’s standards like The Source to movies that have small cult following like Jane White Is Sick And Twisted. It was a different time and in all honestly, I only seen a few by the company that’s released at that time but dammit, this is hard to find (well, in my area) that I have to review the movie that I got from the interwebs.
While this one is actually made by Sunlight Productions, it’s actually distributed by The Asylum and is listed as that on Wikipedia. And really, Fourplay (also known as Londonium) is definitely the oddest example to exist in the ever-growing list of the company’s films since not only is it directed by Mike Binder who’s still getting acclaimed works with The Upside of Anger and Reign Over Me but it stars Colin Firth who at that time also starred in Bridget Jones’s Diary. Yes, I’m reviewing an Asylum movie starring Mr Darcy himself (sort of but let’s just play along with that). And to top it off, Stephen Fry is also in this movie and that adds the mix to the strangest example that I brought up. It’s like having Adrian Brody cast in the same movie as Lindsay Lohan and Rob Schneider which sounds like a joke but oh shit, that casting choice is for real.
The movie follows american screenwriter Ben Greene (Mike Binder) who resides in London to write scripts for a sitcom starring Carly (Mariel Hemingway). While there, he befriends Carly’s husband and show’s producer Allen (Colin Firth) and has a relationship with show’s make-up artist Fiona (Irène Jacobs) before he got married. And then, Ben and Carly starts having an affair which results into planning for Allen to hook up with Fiona in a hotel room. Hijinks ensue… and it’s not much the kind of hijinks we are hoping for.
Their affairs exposed and leads to Allen and Fiona getting married while Ben and Carly are having their happy lives, at first. You see, Allen and Fiona are having marital issues which leads to them seeing Nigel Steele (Stephen Fry) while Ben and Carly are facing their relationship issues while setting up a play that angered critics who attended there. Allen and Fiona are having their happy life by leaving to Rome after Fiona’s novel Londonium is a bestseller. Ben however lost Carly to David (Christopher Lawford), an agent who meets with actors never appeared in the movie like Freddie Prinze Jr. and Johnny Depp.
This movie is truly a trainwreck that is almost unwatchable. While I don’t mind romantic comedies, this one is so bad that it makes Twilight a better love story. Yeah, I said it. Edward and Bella’s adventures is a better love story than this movie instead of the other way around. And since I brought up actors phoning it in on my last review, this one however is less of doing it for a paycheck and more of doing it as quick as possible so they could do better stuff after this. Sadly, this movie is the Movie 43 of romantic comedies.
However, there is few good parts in this movie. Very few good parts. One of which is scenes involving Stephen Fry but at the same time, I don’t know if he likes to act as a therapist who’s about to go on some sort of crisis or that he doesn’t reall enjoy being in this movie. I don’t know, I like Stephen so it depends (plus I brought up the “doing it as quick as possible” part earlier so it could really be that). Another good part is these following words that’s more strange than Colin Firth starring in a film by The Asylum and that is… Colin Firth doing an outdoor bar brawl. Yeah, I’m watching a movie where Colin goes outside the pub and throws some knuckle sandwiches to his buddies. I can’t make this shit up.
Besides those, there’s a couple more but I won’t mention it anyway. While Mike is known to make couple of works that echoes the films of Woody Allen, this one is no Manhattan. However, it may be his Anything Else. Uh, this movie is so mind-boggling that I think I’m starting to regret this theme month’s idea. Hmm, maybe I should look into a mockbuster made by a different company instead… it has been a while since I look into a TomCat superhero genre so maybe that might cheer me up.
October 12, 2014 § Leave a comment
Continuing my month of uh, Random Asylum movies! Yeah, let’s go with that. I’m looking at another “vs” movie but this time it involves a rock and our beloved planet. Now I don’t mind Impact Event genre really but at the same time, it’s a genre that’s as unoriginal as romantic comedies. You get a giant rock heading to Earth so it’s a matter of time before scientists or the government finds ways to destroy it before it destroys us. Now the only exceptions really is Melancholia and Seeking A Friend for the End of the World amongst few others but even that, it’s a predictable piece and we all know how it ends – by having two surfer dudes being interviewed by a porn actress live on television.
And given that, I already said enough about Christopher Douglas Olen Rey back on my review of The Almighty Thor so let’s see who else is talked about? Okay, Adam Lipsius who’s the screenwriter of the piece. Uh, he’s currently producing a movie called Star Raiders: The Adventures of Saber Raine. I don’t know what that one is about but the title is interesting. Yeah, talking about people involved the work before reviewing the work itself is hard sometimes so fuck it, let’s get to the movie and see if anything new is developed here.
The movie primary focuses on Chase Seward (Jason Brooks) who meets up with Marissa Knox (Tia Carrere) in the bar thanks to Chase’s friend Rudy (Wade F. Wilson). However, an intern known as Evan (Charles Byun) discovered an asteroid heading to Earth so he calls his boss and boom, NSA agents appear which proves one thing – they had been watching us all along. The agents also encountered Marissa who’s a physicist and Chase who’s a lieutenant commander of a naval submarine as headed by Captain Rogers (Tim Russ).
Meanwhile, Evan has been aided by General Masterson (Robert Davi) and Evan has a good plan to save the planet… by moving it away from the asteroid’s direction. You see, Chase, Marissa and even Rudy has to set nukes within the pacific that causes worldwide earthquakes that moves the planet away from the asteroid. And the plan worked so much that I had to wonder why nobody in other movies thought of it – oh right, I am reviewing an Asylum film so it’s the kind of material avoided by Neil DeGrass Tyson and Bill Nye The Science Guy.
And with stuff like Hong Kong getting destroyed by a small fragment of the asteroid, Chase and Marissa becoming a couple and Rudy giving us the most believable sacrifice (despite crappy effects involvement), Earth is saved as usual so yeah, this is really coming a mile away. It’s really a “been there, done that” kind of story and there is minor new elements involved but is easily forgettable. The acting ranges from doing the paycheck to doing it for fun or no reason and it’s clear to see why Tia, Robert and Tim is acting uninterested. It’s sad that Tia’s heydays as a 90s sex symbol is long gone but she shouldn’t stood low to these kind of movies (maybe Kull The Conqueror killed her potential more successful career or something). I could say the same for Robert and he is trying but given on what people say about his appearance in The Expendables III, he probably didn’t try enough. As for Tim on the other hand… yeah, I got nothing.
There is however two positive characters to say about it – one is that Evan is one of the most believable characters in the movie and he did develop a bit beyond his science physics since he start off rocking to his own music. Sadly, he died midway through by saving Masterson’s life. Another interesting character is Rudy who’s a gay marine that goes out of his way to sacrifice his own life by falling to St Paine volcano with two nukes. If the world knew about his actions, he would probably get a statue made in his hometown for that but sadly, they probably only gonna follow events involving a worldwide earthquake and Hong Kong being destroyed. Well, at least he is never forgotten by his boyfriend, his mother and few friends that he knew including Chase and Marissa so uh, that’s at least something!
So I’m done two movies coming out this year that’s not much worth watching so I dunno, maybe I should look into an old movie released by the company. And no, it’s not Vampires vs Zombies because I don’t have that (and I think two “vs” films is enough to review so don’t need another one). This is gonna get interesting so stay tuned.
October 5, 2014 § Leave a comment
Well, I can’t think of anything Halloween related this month so I might as well look at bunch of movies by The Asylum that’s not part of the horror genre but falls in various places. Which reminds me, does Sharknado II: The Second One count as a horror film? I don’t know but for now, let me look at Airplane vs Volcano which surprisingly is one of the two movies released this year which has the “vs” in the title but with nothing to do with Megashark or any related monster at all. What’s the other one? I’ll get to it next week so for now, let’s just dig into Superman V Volcano: Dawn Of Airplane Justice.
Now I would go to the part about talking about James and Jon Kondelik, the directors and writers involved in this and but I decide to change it up a little and get to the movie straight away. Besides, I haven’t seen any of their other works before this so moving on. The movie focuses on the passengers aboard Flight 7389 and one of them is Rick Pierce (Dean Cain). As the plane traveled within Kulula Rock which suddenly has small islands emerging that contains volcanoes, the pilots got killed by small volcanic rocks flying straight to the cockpit so Rick who has not much flying experience decide to take over. Also, one of the pilots switch the autopilot prior to his demise and for the rest of the movie, the plane literally goes around the loop.
While Dean spends the remainder of the whole movie just sitting in the pilot’s seat trying to fly the plane, we meet up with few other passengers including Landon (Matt Mercer) who knows about the volcano nature and tries to contact within the non-volcanic areas within wi-fi connection on his laptop, Jim (Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs) who’s pretty an alright US Air Marshall and Carlos (David Vega) who is basically the “Craig Toomey” of this piece. Yeah, we got a hilarious bad villain in this movie and just to note, I got a good nickname for him – Metrosexual Charlie Day – because really, look at him, he looks so much like Charlie Day.
So as Rick along with its stewardess Rita (Tamara Goodwin) tries to find its way for the plane to escape ground zero, there is indeed characters beyond the area. There, we meet Lisa (Robin Givens) as she goes to Niihau Joint Task Force Operation Center and warns Colonel Ryker (Mike Jerome Putnam) about the upcoming danger. Ryker acts like a G-Rated copy of Gunner Sergeant Hartman from Full Metal Jacket so much that he’s really a loud speaking fella throughout the movie. So while Ryker is skeptic on this, there is of course the base’s specialist Neil (Morgan West) who helps control the situation while he later found contact with Landon on the plane. Meanwhile, a shore beach in Hawaii got bombarded by speeding volcano ash killing its innocent civilians and with Robin giving the dumbest line I ever heard in an Asylum movie to date.
Yeah, I was never kidding about that line at all. Back to Flight 7389 and as Rita press the wrong switch to make the plane lose most of its fuel instead of deactivate the autopilot program, Metrosexual Charlie Day decides to give a funny-but-bad villain speech that briefly works because Jim is quick enough to detain him to the toilet. And then a volcano fireball hits one of the engines and brace yourself for what I’m gonna say next. We have this guy Frank (Anthony Marks) who is a fiancée that decides to go outside of the plane and save other passengers by unclog the rock off the engine while being tied with a bunch of airplane seatbelts. And the thing about it is that the plan worked… that is until an other engine got hit by a rock, one of the belt buckles got loose and Frank got sucked into the engine. Other than that, good plan.
Speaking of volcano fireballs, a bunch of them hits the operation center with Lisa and Neil involved in the attack. They survived and did the similar stand-up pose style you’ve seen in Michael Bay’s Bad Boys. No really, that happened. Neil then decides to send a rescue plane (without colonel’s permission) and attempts to rescue few passengers in the cargo hold. They failed and the pilots died with those few passengers. It also led to Neil got in trouble but with the help of Landon’s connection which has other passengers making their “final” passages, the colonel has a change of heart and decides to save the remaining passengers. He then joins other soldiers on multiple fighter jets (and one more rescue plane) to do exactly that while defeating the big bad of this movie.
Speaking of big bad, we forgot about Metrosexual Charlie Day as he manages to escape the toilet, shoots Jim in cold blood and gone to the sea with a raft he took from Jim in the plane. He survives but only for like five minutes or less before the ocean boils up and flames on. Jim also died but slowly and in a sad way. Oh well, let’s back to fighter jets doing one thing they’re been doing – re-enacting the final flight battle from Independence Day! I was never kidding about the line delivery and the Bayesque pose so you think I was kidding about this? No, the last act is really lifted off from an Roland Emmerich movie and it’s so blatant that Dean Cain went from Robert Hays in Airplane! to Randy Quaid in ID4 as he has his family photo put on the flight instruments deck.
The plane is breaking apart and few more passengers flown to their deaths but rescue has arrived and takes the remaining survivors but with the exception of Rick as he got attacked by a mini rock flown at him and one of the soldiers informed him to fly straight to the center of the volcano since they put explosives that could uh, kill the volcano! Okay, I’m no Volcano expert either so for now, I’ll go with that. And he died while many lived for another day. Also, we see a news footage in the movie that’s essentially a reference to another Asylum movie about volcano, Apocalypse Pompeii. I thought it was a mistake at first but upon looking on it… yeah, Apocalypse Pompeii is its sidequel.
Overall, the movie is really, really dumb. It’s cheesy, unrealistic at times and hilariously bad. It’s really sad that Dean Cain took this role as a “pilot” who does nothing but fly the plane to survive. I swear that the directors shoot the majority of scenes involving him in the cockpit for a single day, that’s how weak it is. All other performances is bad but with the exception of Lawrence who’s pretty the only likeable character here, Mike for his over-the-top performance as the loud-toned colonel and David for being a cartoony villain.
The story is really an hour and a half of a plane going around the circles that’s filled with volcano eruptions with few things thrown in including a piece taken from an 1996 alien invasion movie. If anything, this movie is best watched once and then be forgotten afterwards. Really, this is a bland disaster movie and nothing more. Now I have to look at the other movie and see it’s either a step up from this or not so until then.