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Battlestar Galactica

Why did they call it Battlestar Galactica?
I've now watched the entire miniseries and I have very mixed feelings about it. It's well made, but it's not Battlestar Galactica.

I would think that the whole reason for making a new Battlestar Galactica project would be because there are still so many fans of the original, but if that's the case, why throw out virtually everything that the fans loved about the show? Why didn't the producers of this miniseries just make a completely new show with a similar theme? Why did they have to take a beloved show (even if it was campy) and thumb their noses at the fans? I find it offensive that for years, Richard Hatch tried to stir up interest in a Battlestar Galactica revival and he was basically told by the copyright holders to get lost. Fans loved what he did with his trailer (I haven't seen it myself) and were eager to see the original story continued. When it was decided that a new miniseries would be made, Hatch and the wishes of the fans were completely ignored so that Moore could make the show the way HE wanted. I expected that the special effects and writing would be updated to please audiences of today, but that didn't require that they completely trash the original's story. This miniseries could still have been a continuation of the original, but with a more serious tone.

As for the miniseries itself, while it was well made, it was much too slow. Almost an hour passes before anything actually happens. Many subplots are thrown in that have no real bearing on the story. I'm not one of those people who has to have an action scene every few minutes, but in a miniseries about a war between humans and cylons, you'd think that there would be some scenes of the war. In the space of the four hours, the colonies are wiped out (mostly offscreen), the Galactica re-supplies at a space station, hooks up with some survivors and jumps out of the war zone to make a run for it. All this should have happened in the first part, leaving time for some truly epic space battles in the conclusion. Instead, individual character plots are dragged out to soap opera length, and long stretches of time pass without anything of note happening. It's as if the writer wrote the script for a two hour movie and when informed that it would be a four hour miniseries, he decided to pad the existing plot rather than add more story.

The special effects are well done, but the shaky camera work never lets you get a good look at most of them. The space battles are mostly shot in closeup and with the scene switching so often that you can't follow what's happening.

As for the characters, they're about average for a TV movie. Almost every one has some secret or character flaw, making this seem even more like a soap opera. Starbuck in particular is a first class jerk. The original Starbuck was a likable character, this one is not. I found myself hating the scenes she was in, not because the character is different from the original, but because I couldn't help wondering what incredibly stupid thing she was going to do next.

I also have to mention the ideas ripped off from other sources. The whole "Who is human and who isn't?" idea has been used numerous times before from Invasion of the Body Snatchers to The Terminator. It's a cliche that has gotten old. Then there's the subplot about Number 6 having put a chip in Baltar's brain so that she can continue to monitor him and appear to him, which was lifted directly out of Farscape. I didn't like it there and I don't like it here. Finally, there's the twist in the last few seconds that reveals that a major character isn't what they appear to be, ending the show on even more of a cliffhanger.

Supposedly, the makers of this miniseries hope it will lead to a new weekly series. I doubt that will happen, or if it does, that the series will last much longer than the original. I predict that this miniseries will go the way of the Lost in Space movie: In a few years, it will be forgotten while the original will still be popular. The truly sad part is that now that we have this version, there is virtually no chance that a real continuation of Battlestar Galactica will be made.

Voodoo Tailz

I haven't laughed so hard in a long time!
After reading the one comment for this film, which was a glowing recommendation, I have to wonder which member of the production team posted it, because no normal viewer would have written such a positive review.

Where do I begin? The plot, such as it is, has a group of girls going to New Orleans during Mardi Gras and then being kidnapped one by one by a voodoo cult. There are no special effects to speak of unless you count all the flashes of random scenes done in shaky black & white and repeated endlessly. The 'actors' in this film consist of a bunch of amateurs who deliver their lines as if reading them off cue-cards. I've seen more warmth and feeling in commercials. The only person who displayed any hint of acting ability at all was the black detective (I missed the actor's name). The rest rarely rise above the level you'd expect to find in an X-rated video. In fact, this movie strongly resembles a typical adult film, only without sex or much nudity.

Long sequences of this 'movie' (it was only 70 minutes) are devoted to the girls changing clothes, the girls dancing in their room, the girls walking the streets, the girls going up and down stairs, nature footage that looks like it came from a documentary, and endlessly repeating shots of things that have nothing to do with the current scene, all set to profanity-laden rap music in an obvious attempt to pad the running time out to something approaching movie-length.

Most of the rest of the scenes are ridiculous. Upon hearing a noise at night, one of the girls goes out alone in her underwear to investigate. When setting out to rescue their friends, which is supposed to involve a trek through the swamp, they don't even bother to change out of their high heels. They first have to go to the local cemetery which is apparently located out in the middle of nowhere since there are endless shots of them walking through the country. When they finally encounter the voodoo cult, it consists of three guys wearing robes who perform their rituals in a run-down shack. Said rituals involve taking off some of the girls' clothes and randomly smearing them with blood.

I can honestly say that the most entertaining portion of this film was the short behind the scenes section during the end credits. At least they looked like they were having fun. While I'm sure everyone involved probably thought they were doing a good job, they should have watched some real horror movies as research, rather than just copying the style of movies you might see on the Playboy channel.

Shadow Realm

This isn't a movie, it's two episodes of Night Visions
The Sci-Fi Channel promoted this as an original movie, however, except for the titles and end credits, they had absolutely nothing to do with its creation. All they did was take two unaired episodes of the short-lived Fox anthology series Night Visions, remove the intro's and commentary by Henry Rollins and put their name on it.

As for the content of this 'movie', it contains 4 separate stories (each Night Visions episode contained 2 stories), the first 3 of which I thought were quite good, while the last was merely ok. They are;

Patterns - Stars Malcolm McDowell as a patient who is obsessed with performing various gestures and patterns which he believes will cause something terrible to happen if he stops.

The Maze - Thora Birch finds her way through a hedge maze on a college campus only to discover the world changed when she emerges from the other side.

Harmony - A stranger arrives in a small town that seems to fear music.

Voices - A woman who works in a court gains the ability to hear the thoughts of one of the men involved in a trial.

Not a bad selection of stories, but I would have preferred them to just air Night Visions rather than trying to pretend they created this movie, which didn't fool anyone. If you get the chance, watch the Night Visions episodes instead.

Night Visions

I really liked this show and now I hate the Sci-Fi Channel
I knew when Fox started airing this show that they'd already decided not to make any more episodes of it, but I figured they'd at least air the ones they had and I could tape them. I missed one and then Sept. 11th happened before they could air the last three. When the schedule finally returned to normal, Night Visions was nowhere to be found. I kept hoping that they'd finally air them eventually and then I heard the Sci-Fi Channel had picked it up.

I happily started checking the schedule each week to see if it was an episode I needed and finally the one I missed was going to be on. It wasn't, they played repeats of The Dead Zone instead. I figured that they'd play them eventually, even if it was in a lousy timeslot. Now they've done something so low, I have trouble expressing how angry I am.

Tonight SFC aired a supposedly original 'movie' called Shadow Realm. I then discovered that this was nothing more than 2 episodes of Night Visions with the original titles and intros removed and SFC's name plastered on it.

This is a bald-faced *LIE*. SFC had absolutely nothing to do with this 'movie' other than hacking up the episodes and slapping their name on it! I consider this outright theft. They'd probably argue that since they bought the rights to it, they can claim it to be an original, but how many people would accept it if I were to buy the Mona Lisa and proclaim it to be my original work? No, I'm not comparing Night Visions to a priceless work of art, but the principle is the same and it deserves to be seen the way the creators intended.

Because of this, you can be sure that you will never see those two episodes (Patterns/Maze, Harmony/Voices) in their unedited form, because that would show the SFC to be the liars they are. That's not just an opinion, it's a fact. They lied about creating this 'movie'.

I hope that the IMDB approves this comment because I think it's important for fans of this show to be aware of just how low the SFC really is.

Firestarter 2: Rekindled

Not bad, but has some problems.
First of all, other than the character of Charlie and some flashbacks that are somewhat similar to the original, this movie pretty much throws out the entire first film. This isn't so much a sequel as someone else's idea of how the story should have gone.

***Spoilers Galore***

It starts with a dream about how soldiers killed Charlie's mother while they were fleeing a cabin in the woods rather than her father finding her dead at home. Rainbird isn't an assassin, he's apparently the one in control of all the experiments. He wasn't roasted and blown across a barn, he was just set on fire, which he survived, after killing Charlie's father in a test chamber. There's no mention of her parents having any powers or of her having gone to the newspapers.

The movie is also filled with gaping plot holes. She hates Rainbird, but waits until the last 15 minutes to do anything despite having MANY opportunities to kill him. She wants to stop Rainbird and the children from hurting people, but as soon as she gets mad enough to use her powers, she burns down half the town and sets at least one innocent bystander on fire before turning her attention to Rainbird. What happens to the children? Does she help them get away? No, she leaves them to be reclaimed by the same evil corporation that created them. Dennis Hopper's character could see the future, but said that he couldn't change it. Maybe if he'd told Charlie that he was taking her to Rainbird, she wouldn't have gone with him and that would have changed things. What happened to the FBI investigation? And are we actually supposed to believe that the same people who are eliminating all the survivors of the original experiment, survivors who just want to be left alone, are going to leave public records and videos of the test? Not to mention the doctor's personal records and a film showing the farmhouse massacre?

The biggest problem with this movie is that Charlie could have ended it anytime she wanted to, but she spends most of the last 2 hours (or however long it is after the commercials) running away. Imagine watching a killer limping along with a knife in his hand, while the gun-toting heroine just runs away from him. After about the first 30 minutes, you want to yell "Shoot the guy already!" Charlie only seems to be willing to use her powers to make distractions or open doors but as she's faced with a life-threatening situation, her solution is to run away.

It wasn't as bad as some made for TV movies, but I think it would have been much better if it had been more faithful to the original story, and if it hadn't had Charlie spend the entire movie running away. I also think they should have left out Dennis Hopper's character altogether. His only purpose in the movie was to give the writers an easy way to make sure Charlie shows up at the right location at the right time. He didn't add anything to the story and only serves to show the lack of imagination on the part of the writers.

It was well made, and Marguerite Moreau is very attractive, but the script was very weak.

The Fantastic Four

This movie was never intended to be seen.
While reading some of the comments here, I came to the conclusion that perhaps nobody knew the origin of this film, but then I saw that one user HAD posted an explanation. Even so, the people that posted after him still don't seem to be aware of the fact that this movie was intentionally made on the lowest budget they could manage and still turn out a film that qualified as a superhero movie. Roger Corman had the rights to the Fantastic Four, but they were set to expire if he didn't use them to make a movie by a certain date. He wanted to retain the rights, so he made the cheapest movie he could get away with, never intending to ever release it.

As far as I know, Marvel didn't have anything to do with the film not being released nor did the studio decide that it wasn't good enough. Roger Corman made the movie, said "See I used the rights, they still belong to me." and then tossed the film into the vault. I'm told that the actors believed they were making a real movie, but pretty much nobody else did. That's why there was so little effort put into making the special effects, because nobody cared how bad they looked.

It looks cheap and cheesy because nobody connected with the film thought that anyone would ever see it, outside of maybe a few of Marvel's lawyers to prove that he'd made a Fantastic Four movie.

Exit to Eden

Had potential, but the finished movie sucks.
It seems that many of the users on here aren't aware that Exit To Eden didn't start out as a comedy. The *ONLY* reason the incredibly stupid scenes with Rosie O'Donnell & Dan Aykroyd are in this movie at all is because the studio and/or the director felt that a serious drama involving S&M would make some people uncomfortable. So they figured people would only watch it if they included a couple buffoons to make fun of all the 'sick' people and activities in the movie so that the audience could feel ok laughing at them.

Maybe one day, the studio will take all the erotic footage they cut out prior to its release and replace all the idiotic scenes with O'Donnell & Aykroyd and release the drama they should have made in the first place.


What a ridiculous piece of crap!
This has to be one of the stupidest movies I've ever had the displeasure of watching. Has anyone connected with this movie ever even seen a computer? The entire movie gave me the impression that it was written by people who had never even heard of computers before and wrote the script based on what other people described to them. They seem to think that showing some flashy computer graphics and throwing in some techno-babble can cover up the fact that not one single part of this movie was in any way connected to reality.

I've read the other comments here that say it shouldn't be taken too seriously since it was just a movie. Ok, then why did the characters even have to type? Why didn't all their computers have perfect voice-recognition? Or maybe even a direct neural interface, so they could just THINK what they wanted the computers to do. And why didn't they have free-floating, 3D holographic displays? After all, it was just a movie, right?

This movie was (supposedly) based in the real world. Maybe if it had been set on another planet, or in an alternate universe, I could have accepted it, but not when it's supposed to be set in this one. Would anyone accept an otherwise normal movie where everyone could lift cars with one hand? Or a drama where everyone in the world could fly? Of course not, but they'll happily accept silly garbage like this film.

So Weird

A good show gone downhill.
When So Weird first started on the Disney Channel, I was afraid that it would be like most everything else they air; silly storylines, bad special effects, no real sense of suspense or drama and aimed at little kids. I was pleasantly surprised when I watched the pilot episode. The show was well written and was taken very seriously. Scenes like the one in which Fiona comes face to face with a ghost, or where the ghost looks out at her from a photo on her computer screen were very well done and even managed to give me a slight case of the creeps.

The show continued to turn out some excellent episodes, with the best being (in my opinion) Angel, Rebecca, Lost, Medium, Mutiny, Banshee, Strange Geometry and Twin. There were a few silly episodes, Simplicity, Boo, Troll and Shelter, but even those were fairly well done.

Then for the third season, they replaced Cara DeLizia as Fiona with Alexz Johnson as Annie Thelan, switched to a different co-production company and apparently hired a bunch of grade-schoolers to be the new writers. None of the third season episodes have any suspense or drama at all and you can see every plot twist coming from a mile away.

Where Fiona used to search out the supernatural, Annie just kind of blunders into it week after week. In an incredibly weak attempt to keep the character of Fiona active on the show, Annie has to e-mail her for advice about every single problem she encounters. Of course you never see her, they just use her name.

The first episode of the third season had Fiona in it to explain why she was leaving and to hand the show off to Annie. After that, it just went downhill fast. The first episode with Annie as the star, Talking Board, had me groaning at how incredibly bad it was. Since then, the third season has produced maybe three decent episodes, Voodoo (which went way overboard with the special effects), Exit 13 and Still Life. The rest of the episodes are everything I feared the show would be when I first heard about it. It's as if they suddenly told the writers "Make every story so simple that even a 5 year old can understand it." While watching the episode Grave Mistake, anyone over the age of 8 will figure out the twist in the first five minutes and spend the rest of the episode wondering how the characters in the show can be so dumb as to not get it.

Disney had a good thing going in the first two seasons of So Weird, but they ruined it. I feel the show could have survived the cast change and I have nothing against Alexz Johnson, but as it is, the third season just plain stinks.

From the Dead of Night

Good, but senseless changes from the novel...
I haven't seen this movie in quite some time, but I seem to recall that when I watched it, I couldn't find any mention of the fact that it was based on the book Walkers by Gary Brandner, author of The Howling novels.

The movie itself wasn't bad, but it bothered me that they felt the need to make the character of Joanna a fashion designer living in (if I remember correctly) a loft, instead of an employee of a magazine living in a small house as she was in the book. I guest the makers of this film felt that an average person wasn't glamorous enough to be the main character. Where-as the Joanna in the book comes across as the kind of person you might actually know, the Joanna of the film seems more like she stepped out of a typical prime time soap opera like the recently cancelled Titans.

Of course the changes don't end there. For some reason the filmmakers also decided to change the names of all the major characters. Peter Landau becomes Peter Langford, Glen Early becomes Glen Eastman, Dr. Warren Hovde becomes Dr. Walter Hovde. I forget what Joanna's last name was in the movie, but they probably changed that too.

If I hadn't read the book first, none of these things would matter to me, but since I did, I couldn't help wondering why they felt they needed to make so many changes to what was already a fine story.

Red Planet

Started out good and then petered out.
My biggest problems with Red Planet were that the plot didn't go anywhere, it was full of cliches and had huge plot holes.

*Spoilers Ahead*

Why does every space film have to have the ship suffer a crippling accident at the last moment? Why do they have to have a Robot that was provided by the military, and which is just waiting for the chance to go berserk? Why do they discover they can breathe on Mars at the last possible second? Who do characters have to die for no apparent reason? Why is there always one coward ready to sacrifice the others to save his own skin? Why is there conveniently located old hardware that has exactly what they need?

I liked the first few scenes on the planet where they wonder what happened to the algae and the habitat, but after that, the movie just sort of lost focus. I was hoping that there would be some amazing revelation that would explain it all, unfortunately, all you get are some bugs, which are just a sub-plot introduced while the survivors are running from the stupid killer robot.

Plot holes; How did they plan to get back to the ship anyway? The part they jettisoned didn't look like it had any engines on it. Where did the bugs come from? If they were already on Mars, what did they live on? Why are there hatches all over the main ship that open directly into space with conveniently placed restraining harnesses nearby? Is that so if the crew gives a disappointing performance you can flush them into space at moment's notice?

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