metalrage666

IMDb member since January 2012
    Lifetime Total
    150+
    Lifetime Plot
    10+
    Lifetime Trivia
    25+
    Poll Taker
    10x
    IMDb Member
    8 years

Reviews

Bolt
(2008)

It was ok. Decent animation, Ok story.
I never saw Bolt at the cinema and at the rate they're churning out these animated movies there's no way you pay to see them all, so I generally wait for these to be shown on TV. On watching Bolt, I felt that this was very similar to most modern animated movies of the last 20-25 years, the story is ok, the humour at times feels forced and cliched, but almost none of these movies are timeless, no matter how many Hollywood A-listers they rope in to do the voces. I admit that Bolt did hold my interest right up to the end, so that's a win for me and I did like the idea of The Truman Show-esque feel where Bolt really believes he has superpowers and is not just the star of an action series and the whole Lassie Come Home middle section where Bolt is separated from his "human" and traverses the country to get back to Penny has funny parts but it's not Toy Story or Monsters Inc funny. It's easy to see why kids would love this and would want a Bolt of their own, I mean seriously, who doesn't love a cute dog and who wouldn't want to see a loyal pet reunited with its owner? The pigeons were the funniest characters in this. With them only having bit-roles, similar to the Penguins from Madagascar, they didn't become boring. Overall I'm glad I didn't pay to see this, but it's worth seeing. P.S, please don't put your hamsters in those ridiculous plastic balls as seen in this movie, it's unnatural and it terrifies them.

Black Panther
(2018)

Yes it was overrated, but still highly entertaining.
I can't fully accept all the negativity over this movie, nor the abundance of one star reviews that all pretty much state the same cliched reasons, no story, poor special effects. I didn't have an issue with either, the story was fine to me and the effects were great, I'm not sure what movie or what version a lot of these one star votes were watching, but it seems that the hatred is just clutching at straws. As is the other bugbear some have with the soundtrack, I mean really?

I do feel that Black Panther was overrated and unnecessarily hyped but given the cast, the environment it's set in and the current political climate, particularly in the U.S, it was always going to be a vehicle for various agendas, so it was never going to be received as just another Marvel movie. Much in the same way that the O.J Simpson trial was never just another trial. However I easily looked past all that and just enjoyed the movie. I expected mostly black actors, it is set primarily in Africa as he is an African superhero, but according to some, they liked him better in Civil War rather than this. I guess that it's easier on the eye seeing a black actor surrounded by white people than the alternative in Black Panther. As for the humour, I wasn't aware that every Marvel movie had to be a laugh riot. They attempted that with Thor Ragnarok and people hated it, there was less humour in this and yet, people still hated it, so you're damned if you do and equally damned if you don't. There was enough humour in this to generate a few laughs in the cinema, so again, what version were a lot of these people watching? The car chase scene through the streets of Korea was great as well as entertaining and funny in parts, so I can't help but feel that people are voting this down for nitpicking reasons as opposed to their real reason, which ultimately wouldn't be allowed on IMDB.

The one thing I do agree with is the lack of any real villain but it doesn't automatically make the movie boring, it fits in nicely with the rest of the MCU. Lets stop listening to overhyped and politically charged reviews, lower our expectations back to normal levels and enjoy these movies for what they are.

The Toy Box
(2017)

Decent premise, abysmal show
The Toy Box is basically a miniature Shark Tank, and as much as I hate that show, I hate this even more. Ultimately, we have an inventor who comes onto the show to pitch their idea for a new toy line. The toys can either be action figures, interactive toys, board games etc, however they have to be innovative and reinvented in order to make it past 2 sets of judges. Firstly they have to get past the host who's equally useless as he is irritating. Why he's even there is anyone's guess. What's most annoying about this is that the 2nd set of judges turn out to be 4 precocious brats all pretending to be experts on what makes a new toy worth playing with or spending any money on. The idea itself is fine, but kids being kids, they generally don't have a filter on what they say and having tact is not usually a strong suit, so asking an adult who may have spent thousands of dollars and years of their life in developing a toy " Did you put any thought into this?" doesn't come across as funny or cute, it's downright insulting. I get that it's kids who are the target audience for these new products but their method of critiquing is unnecessary. The show could be more successful if it was overhauled and focused more on the inventions and less on kids trying to be adults.

Circle
(2015)

A round table version of Survivor.
50 people wake up in a strange room standing in 2 concentric circles around a central dome. Any attempt to move off their own circle or touch another person near them results in a large buzzing sound, indicating that any such movement is not allowed. After the group realises that they can't move a loud pulsating tone is heard and the dome emits some kind of electric charge killing one person randomly. The same thing happens roughly every 2 minutes, until the survivors begin to realise that they can vote for who they want eliminated next. Apparently each person is only able to see their own vote. Several attempts are made to circumvent the voting method but the system manages to correct itself by killing 2 people to overcome any stalemate or by killing the person who came up with the idea. They also work out that you are not able to vote for yourself, but you can sacrifice yourself if you step off your circle.

As the process continues, human nature begins to slowly take over as people begin to vote for who they consider elderly, those who have led morally questionable lives or those who have biased or socially objectionable values or opinions, such as racism and various prejudices. As the group is slowly whittled away alliances are formed in order to hold on to a few more precious minutes of life as they try to figure out where they are and why. Several people also seem to know each other via various means.

After some people vaguely remember being abducted while trying to flee the city, they deduce that the whole thing is alien inspired and controlled, and the why, seems to boil down to a test in how humans think and regard life. Other remaining people regard this as some kind of end of days rapture. The remaining small group decide that either a young girl or a pregnant mother should be the last survivors, however as it comes down to the final 3, the girl steps off her circle and commits suicide, leaving only one guy and the pregnant mother. The guy suddenly changes his mind. He votes for the mother and she is killed, however a stalemate is created between him and the unborn baby, who's still considered a living participant. The final result is not revealed until the guy wakes up in the concreted L.A river. He sees several large circular spaceships hovering over parts of the city and he walks up to a small group of people watching the ships and it ends.

Overall this wasn't too bad, considering that this all takes place in one room and it's mainly people talking, justifying their own reasons as to why certain people should live while others should die. Killing off the elderly, those who don't have families or those of questionable views. It's interesting to see people's viewpoints which are nearly all biased depending on their own background or upbringing. However the main sticking point with me, is that none of this is really explained. If this is some kind of alien experiment into human nature, then the process seems counterproductive to the results. Killing 49 people, one every 2 minutes based on their own unique views of who "deserves it more" is excessive and a waste of resources. They'd get the same results if they just tuned into any ridiculous episode of Survivor or TV courtroom drama, the winner is generally always the most ruthless, most cunning and who can present the best argument, not the most deserving. So after expending a great deal of time and energy on this experiment, the results and the ending are somewhat ambiguous, other than desperate people can't be trusted. It's an ok film, but needed some fine tuning to wrap up the plot properly.

In the Tall Grass
(2019)

This is what happens when you don't mow the lawn.
A brother and sister, Becky and Cal are travelling to San Diego to meet a couple interested in adopting Becky's unborn child. Feeling a bit car-sick, they stop alongside a field of tall grass opposite an abandoned church. Soon after they stop they hear a young boy, Tobin, calling for help as he and his family are lost in the grass. Venturing in, Becky and Cal quickly become disoriented and lose sight of each other. After a while both become more and more separated as the field seems to distort time and distance. A while later Becky's partner, Travis is following them in his car and once he spots the car belonging to Cal parked in front of the church, along with several other abandoned cars, he pulls over and he walks in. Travis also finds that the field distorts time as he tries to keep the sun in front of him, but suddenly finds it behind him, indicating that he's lost as well. Travis meets up with Tobin and not long after stumbles across Becky and Cal. Travis tells them that they've been missing for 2 months, but only a few hours from their perspective. Travis puts Tobin on his shoulders so they can try and see a way out and they make for another abandoned building that was spotted. Along the way they come across Tobin's father, Ross. Ross lures them to a stone monolith covered in strange pictographs half buried in a clearing and pressures the others into making contact with it so they can "understand" the grass and why they're all here. Natalie, Ross' wife shows up and tells them not to listen to Ross and informs them she found Becky's desiccated corpse. Ross kills Natalie by crushing her skull and the others race to the building they saw earlier which turns out to be an abandoned bowling alley. From the roof they can see they're not too far from the road. Ross breaks in and once they all run off into the grass they become lost again. The next day, an earlier version of Ross, Natalie and Tobin turn up at the church and hear Travis calling out. They then enter the grass and it's clear that everybody is in some kind of time loop. Travis realises the only way to break the loop is to touch the monolith. Once he does he locates Tobin and leads him out of the grass and into the church with instructions to keep the next newly arrived versions of Becky and Cal from entering the grass. Tobin succeeds and this version of Becky changes her mind about her baby and decides to keep it. Travis then dies on his own amidst a number of other bodies in various stages of decay.

This isn't a great film or anything particularly new but it's interesting enough to keep you watching right up to the end. The only real issue I have with this is that there doesn't appear to be any real explanation for why any of this is happening. I thought that once we ended up inside the old church, it may reveal some answers but no. We don't learn if the monolith is alien origin or a left over relic from ancient indigenous tribes. It clearly has powers but again it's not really revealed as to what they are or their purpose, so for me it was kind of a let down. It's not a bad story, I just wished it was a bit more polished and not with a "left to your own imagination" type of ending.

Redcon-1
(2018)

Not too bad, just don't expect fireworks.
A viral outbreak in the U.K starts turning people into zombies. The difference is that these zombies are not just the "need brains" type, they have somehow retained some of their intelligence and are able to fight, use weapons and form groups. As time goes on they seem to be increasing in intelligence A combined team of U.S and U.K special forces are sent into the quarantine zone to locate a Dr Raynes in the hope of using what he knows to find a cure. There are apparently 4 locations that he could be in and they have 72 hours to extract him before they sanitize the area. After they locate Raynes by accident and get him to the extraction point with what remains of the team, he is killed by the rescue team and documents outlining his research are handed over. It seems that rescue was never part of the plan and they needed the doctor located and killed to tie up loose ends. The general in charge wanted the research to continue so it can be weaponised despite his own young son falling victim to the virus and becoming a zombie. Dr Raynes was apparently experimenting on prisoners where the outbreak first occurred and patient zero was the only one who was a carrier without being infected. The special forces team end up rescuing a young girl while in the quarantine zone and it turns out she is the daughter of patient zero and despite being bitten several times she's never become infected. With the remaining special forces team considered expendable, it's a race against the clock that they save her in the hope they can synthesize a cure from her blood.

It's not a bad movie but it's also not great. The team shows very little expertise or capability in handling stressful situations and they spend more time fighting each other and wasting time than just getting on with their objective. After we learn that the zombies are able to think and organise is almost no longer becomes a zombie film and just turns into another guerilla war movie as the remnants of the team fight their way to safety through intelligent zombies and localised street gangs; and there was very little difference between the two. It's easy to see that Redcon1 borrows heavily from the 28 Days Later/Resident Evil franchises and even has elements of Doomsday laced throughout but it doesn't quite come together well enough to strive for its own identity. There's plenty of action but it seems disjointed and quite boring in parts, particularly when they start fighting with each other for the tenth time. I really can't accept a crack team of professionals acting this way under these circumstances, so it ends up being unnecessary and a bit of a wasted opportunity.

Eli
(2019)

Decent start, lame ending.
Movie about a bubble-boy suffering from a rare disorder that causes his skin to blister when exposed to the outdoors. Eli's parents decide to take him to a secluded medical facility as a last ditch effort to cure his condition. Turns out the facility is so-called "clean house" with recycled air and an airlock for a front door and is specifically designed for people with this condition. Eli undergoes a couple of treatments and begins seeing apparitions. They gradually become violent dragging him around the house and trying to remove him to the outside. We learn that Eli is not actually sick and his affliction is the result of a pact his mother made with the devil and his last administered treatment is supposed to be as a sacrifice. The nurses are actually nuns who have done this before and after Eli realises his powers he kills them all, including his human father and he escapes with his mother to meet Satan, his real father. Overall it's not entirely bad, a bit silly for my taste and there's a lot wrong with it, in particular the set up of the safe house and the whole son of Satan nonsense. Definitely not a must see, but ok for a slow TV night.

The Masked Singer Australia
(2019)

Meh, yet another overblown snoozefest.
Apparently 1 in 20 or 25 Australians are tuning in to this garbage to watch a bunch of has-beens, never-were's, and C- lister celebrities sing songs in outlandish costumes and drop hints on who they might be. Apparently if they lose some kind of sing-off then they're unmasked to thunderous fake applause, overly dramatic surprised faces and the cliched "Oh my gawd" to just about everything that happens. This is free-to-air tv at it's lowest and of course along with staged reality, cooking and home renovation shows this only appeals to the lowest common denominator, which sadly seems to be well over half the country. We're living in a golden age of mediocrity and lowered expectations and it's only going to get worse. I'd rather see 2 seagulls fighting over a dead crab than watch this poor excuse for entertainment.

Kazaam
(1996)

Couldn't even make it all the way
Despite all the negative reviews and the many obvious and facetious 10/10 reviews, I decided to give this a go one day when it was on tv and after about 30 minutes or so, I still had no idea what I was watching. This was made in the 90s and that's where this should've stayed.

Apparently a genie bottle is knocked against a portable stereo, breaks open and Kazaam decides to transfer himself into this stereo.

A little later a smart-mouthed allegedly "troubled" teen, Max, is being chased through an abandoned building by backwards cap-wearing teens. He falls through an upper floor and onto the stereo releasing Kazaam. Shaq pops out, starts rapping terribly for some reason and continually pesters Max about taking his wishes.

Kazaam and our little smart-mouth, (because the world can't get enough movies with back-chatting brats), set about locating and reuniting with his real father. I got so far as Kazaam following Max to a nightclub. Kazaam with his genie stereo strapped around his waist starts rapping along with the obligatory half-naked black women, all lazily rapping and repeatedly pointing at the audience. Again it's the 90s. Max's father is an unscrupulous music producer or some such and wants nothing to do with his son. The nightclub owner somehow realises Kazaam is a rapping genie and wants to sign him, and therefore control him. The next morning, Kazaam ends up in Max's bedroom singing off key in a one man personal shower with an oversized loofah and at that moment I called it quits.

Who the hell writes and funds this junk? It's clear that most people will debase themselves when the right amount of money is offered, whether they actually need it or not and Shaq is no exception. He can't act, never could, but there was no shortage of studios throwing money at him to put him in bad movies and act like an idiot. Don't waste your time.

The Wall
(2017)

It's as if America has never fought a war before.
As I sat watching this all I could think of is that this movie wants us to believe that U.S soldiers are untrained and have no idea what they're doing. After being sent to investigate the situation at the construction of a new pipeline, 2 soldiers, a sniper and spotter, have found that all the contractors have been killed, along with their armed escort and also an armed back-up crew sent to investigate earlier; all have been apparently shot in the head by an enemy sniper. After waiting in the sun and dust for 20 hours, and after some typical low-brow, swear-filled banter, It's established that the sniper has struck from behind a nearby ramshackle brick wall and is now long gone. Staff Sergeant Matthews decides he's had enough of waiting and goes to survey the dead before calling it in. He ends up getting shot, so Sergeant Isaac panics for some reason & races down to check on him before he's also shot. Isaac makes it over the nearby wall after being shot in the knee. After this, Isaac tries to call for extraction and speaks to what he believes is an officer, but after getting weird requests that aren't protocol and hearing an accent, he works out he's talking to the enemy sniper. The rest of the movie is a cat-and-mouse game of wits as Isaac and the Iraqi sniper try to outdo each other. It ends with the sniper calling in helicopters for extraction before shooting them down as well.

I really couldn't believe what I was watching. After 20 hours spent surveying the area believing the enemy was somewhere they never were, 2 allegedly trained soldiers somehow missed the nearby outbuildings, the large construction vehicles and a huge pile of garbage; any number of possible (and more comfortable) locations for a sniper to operate from. In 20 hours, neither one of them radioed back with an update or to advise that U.S soldiers and civilian contractors are all dead. The Iraqi sniper must be the best and most accurate one in history as he can take out several people with head shots, even people sitting in cars before anyone managed to take cover. Apparently he can also shoot and disable a radio antenna and put a hole in a water bottle with pin-point accuracy over hundreds of yards distance. I'm unsure how a high powered weapon is able to take out a knee joint but the same weapon only puts a small hole in a plastic water bottle. I also can't accept that an Iraqi marksman can successfully bring down 2 army helicopters, in flight, without giving away his position and drawing fire on himself.

The ending has the sniper falsely responding to urgent calls to the downed helicopters and making a plea for further help. So we're led to believe that the U.S army is at the mercy of one insurgent sitting in a garbage heap, single-handedly hampering the rebuilding effort and killing all who respond. He must be a robot as he doesn't seem to eat, sleep or take a break to relieve himself. If it wasn't so ridiculous it could have been a great movie. i heard that the ending was re-shot as the happy ending rescue of our "heroes" was scrapped in favour of the ongoing attempts of American soldiers walking into the same ambush and failing. In my opinion, if helicopters can dust off under fire with wounded soldiers in Vietnam, then they can do it in Iraq, this movie is garbage.

Storage Wars
(2010)

Don't go inside, don't open any boxes, don't bathe or use common sense.
Take several uneducated and uncivilised misfits and scripted drama mixed together with the lure of fast cash on what would be largely considered as junk that even the owners couldn't be bothered paying for and you get Storage Wars.

Set primarily in California, we follow these socially inept malcontents from storage locker to storage locker at various Californian facilities. Before they "go inside you need to know the rules", yells the auctioneer - "We'll give you five minutes to look. You can't go inside, you can't open any boxes and whoever has the most money in their pocket can win it. Are you ready??" and of course everyone there, from our eclectic cast to the studio extras making up the remainder of the crowd all yells, "YEEAAAAHHH!!" and we're off.

Our cast try to either feign interest or disinterest to throw off other buyers and it's then a game of trying to "run up" an opposing bidder so they spend more money than necessary. Some buyers have deliberately annoying habits such as Dave Hester and his "Yuuuup" catch-cry everytime he places a bid and he runs down everybody around him. Winners then give us this running tally of what they think this stuff is all worth with comments like "that's a $20 bill there, that's a $75 bill there" and so on. There always seems to be this one unique item located in a hidden area that they have no idea of what it is or what it does yet there's always some nearby expert where they can take this item to give them the low-down on it's history, usage and value.

So yes, it's all fake. It's also dumb and quite irritating once these idiots start bickering over who is the more intelligent at picking which locker to bid on and how much they should logically part with to own it and still try to make a profit on what potentially is inside. There's no science to any of this, neither is it a form of art. It's a gamble pure and simple. Yes you may be able to make assumptions based on what you can see that's not boxed but it's still only a guess. Some of the cast own shops so they buy in order to resell, others are collectors, but few of them seem to have much of an idea on what anything is. I've watched enough episodes to realise that almost none of these neanderthals have any idea on what movie or pop culture stuff or "nerd-stuff" as they call it, can actually be worth. Why is it always a shock to find signed comic books or still packaged action figures worth hundreds or even thousands?

I used to tune in to see what they would find, but the staged antics and moronic behaviour only results in a decreased brain function. I believe that the whole show is a vehicle for showcase the various "expert" professions around California as half of every episode is dedicated to the explanation and subsequent valuing of these surprise finds. Whether or not these items as well as the rest of the goods are actually worth what they say, but just like cocaine, the show is addictive just not in a good way.

Edge of Tomorrow
(2014)

Edge of boredom
I normally like action sci-fi movies, even when they make very little sense, but I absolutely hated everything about this. Very few movies these days, if any, manage to have a completely likeable cast, but it seems there's no shortage of movies where you end up hating every character in it, so much so that you don't care what anybody does, what they say or whether they live or die.

In a nutshell, Tom Cruise is part of a media relations team covering the war in Europe against squid like aliens called mimics. He's not a combat soldier and when he's ordered to go along as correspondent to cover the allied retaliation invasion, he refuses. He tries to blackmail the general in charge of the whole operation, is arrested, demoted to private and sent in as an army grunt. The operation is a dismal failure, Cruise is killed by an alpha mimic and gains the ability to reset time where he ends up living the same day over and over, apparently getting a little better each time until he's a highly skilled combat veteran trying different tactics to win a war, no one seems capable of winning. Sounds good, but I can assure you it's not. It's tedious, annoying, boring and the whole movie is just one huge plot hole from start to finish. If I'm going to watch a Groundhog Day style of movie, where so many scenes are repeated, the least you can do is make it interesting. If I'm sitting there wondering when it's going to end, then it fails on all counts.

If Major Tom Cruise was the media face of the war why doesn't anyone seem to recognise him? Why is a U.S major transferred under orders to be taking orders from a U.K general? (seemingly the ONLY general in charge of the whole show). To avoid fighting at all, why doesn't the demoted Cruise demand a court martial in order to avoid combat for which he's not trained? If this is set in the near future, why is the army still using outdated WWII invasion tactics against a far superior force? If Cruise is killed on the same day or day after he's posted to his new team, even if this day is repeated for months, how does he manage to intimately learn everything about his team who instantly hate him anyway? Why does he insist on trying to be friends with Emily Blunt's character who also openly despises him and doesn't think twice about killing him in order to reset the timeline to start the day over from scratch? Why do they bother equipping an overwhelmed ground force with cumbersome mech suits, when you can just call in multiple air strikes or navy fired missiles from offshore before sending in humans at all? If any of this were even remotely possible, reliving a day of intense combat over and over, where everybody hates you and you repeatedly die horribly would literally send any person insane. Also at the end when the timeline has corrected itself and Private Cruise is back to being Major Cruise, no Sergeant, regardless of her accomplishments or decorations would greet a Major with "who are you, what do you want"? Without so much as a salute.

I can accept stretches in reality when the movie has been set up that way, but when a movie like this attempts to ground itself in reality by news broadcasts, interviews and clips of real people only to then completely deviate from all common sense or continuity, the distraction overwhelms enjoyment. I can't accept the reviews giving this 9s or 10s and tags of "best sci-fi ever" etc when there's just far too much stupidity in it. I don't expect too many thumbs up for this as there's a never ending love of mediocrity but if I could give this zero stars, I would.

The Road to El Dorado
(2000)

Instantly forgettable
I couldn't help thinking that as I sat through this and it's all to do with the story; it just falls flat. The animation is fine, it's colourful, vibrant and there's a lot going on, but the characters simply aren't engaging or memorable to endear this to many people. It's no wonder this was a box office flop. Movies like Toy Story had instantly lovable characters and they're still making toys almost 25 years later; (the sequels of course helped), but I don't think The Road to El Dorado would have improved with multiple sequels or an enduring line of toys. I also felt that there's no real antagonist in this, the high priest is simply not menacing enough (despite his love of human sacrifice) and neither is the Spanish conquistador. The scene with the jade panther statue controlled by the priest can perhaps scare little kids but older audiences will find it a but ho-hum, seen it all before kind of thing. The anthropomorphic animal characters as the comic relief are too easily overshadowed as everyone in this is acting as the comic relief, so no one stands out as a memorable character. There's a reason why Timon and Pumbaa from Lion King are engaging as comic relief and are loved characters. There's a reason why Iago from Aladdin is funny and remembered. They've tried in vain to capture this same feeling with the horse and armadillo but have failed dismally. The songs, despite being sung by Elton John are just as lifeless as the characters. I don't need to rewatch Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Lion King, Toy Story, Frozen etc to remember the songs. Name one song from this just off the top of your head. It's true that this isn't really for kids and yes there's a message, but like every other animated movie, kids won't get the message and won't even care, tweens and older adults will get the message but equally won't care, so what's the point? I put this movie in the same league as The Emperor's New Groove, Atlantis The Lost Empire or Pocahontas etc, they're interesting and fun while they last but not memorable. This certainly isn't the "best animated movie ever", I can hear lowered expectations talking whenever people say that, given the amount of top quality animated movies to choose from, but if you enjoy this then to each their own.

Ice
(1998)

With movies like this, an ice age is the least of our worries.
A predictable plot, laughable special effects, very questionable science and no discernible acting make for a very unenjoyable experience. How this rates as a 5.1 defies belief.

A solitary scientist, Dr Kistler, (yep it's one of those movies), is the only one on Earth who's apparently able to piece together all the signs and and predict that unless we evacuate the northern hemisphere and make long term preparations along the equator, most of the world is doomed. Naturally there's a handful of his colleagues who thinks he's nuts but he manages to convince the president to follow his lead and Guam is the location chosen to relocate the U.S government and key personnel. God only knows what every other scientist in pretty much every other country is doing with this same info, (not collaborating apparently), but why let any kind of reality get in the way of the mediocre drama unfolding in front of us?

We start with the sun getting an increase in sun spots, and the pseudo science says that a darker sun means a colder Earth and in literally a day, we go from scorching hot days in L.A, to being snowed in and people freezing to death. Even for science fiction, that's some incredibly fast weather. We do get approximately 5 seconds of footage on a news broadcast showing Paris, Rome and London being in blizzard conditions, so the cursory acknowledgement of a world outside the U.S is refreshing.

Meanwhile we have a motley collection of secondary stories featuring an assortment of argumentative deadbeats that all eventually intertwine as they make their way to the coast in a snowcat where Dr Kistler is expecting to be picked up by military ship and taken to Guam. He lies to his travelling companions about them being able to accompany him aboard ship when in reality it's only for him, but when he's killed, it's basically rendered moot.

Among our rag-tag bunch of forgettable idiots, is LAPD officer Drake, his girlfriend, the ex-wife, her new lover Greg and son Max. Joining the group is petty criminal, Kelvin, that drake arrested and then released when the city was largely abandoned. Most of them end up making it to the now frozen coast where it's a submarine that eventually turns up to transport them to warmer waters.

The whole movie from start to finish is just a ridiculous haphazard mess that generally makes no sense, follows no real plot and has no redeemable qualities. Even if we were to abandon the fact that a sudden second ice age lasting 10-30 years is a distinct impossibility, the actions of nearly all concerned simply have no credibility. When Drake turns up at his ex's for his son, they initially decide to stay in their house as it's comfortable. They never think about what happens when the food runs out, the power goes off or if the house is buried under tons of snow. It's supposed to be 80-100 Fahrenheit below zero in the Northern States, Canada too I expect, and the south is expected anywhere at 10-20 below, which isn't an automatic death sentence if you dress properly and that brings me to a sore point in most of this debacle. Several people are outside for extended periods of time and they have no protective headgear, no scarves, no goggles and they're perfectly fine. One woman they come across is wearing a summer hat for Gods-sake. At some point our troupe ends up at the California Mutual Bank for repairs to the snowcat and some rest. They start a fire, burn wads of cash for warmth and find there's a couple already there trying to stay out of the cold. The man says that they'd been there for hours and it never occurred to them to burn the money. Are you kidding me?! These people are in a building full of wooden furniture. As they're all sitting around the money fire, they are literally resting against large wooden tables and it's the money that they burn? FFS, firstly wads of paper don't provide long term heat in sub-freezing conditions, secondly they'd all be suffocating on ash with a paper bonfire in an enclosed room. Whomever writes this crap has never been cold, lit a fire or been camping in their life. Burn desks, shelves, drawers, fittings, anything to keep yourselves alive and warm. The money could be used as padding in their clothes.

It's this type of stupidity, plus the constant energy zapping racial bickering between alleged racist Drake and self-righteous felon Kelvin that stopped this from being entertaining in any way. In a final act of annoyance when Drake is shot and left behind in the defunct snowcat, Kelvin and Greg leave the submarine, in defiance of captains orders, to rescue him and he allows it! I'm sorry but I can't accept that a military captain would not only let people leave but also wait around for their return for the sake of one man. Honestly if you give this nonsense of a disaster movie a wide berth, you'll be doing yourselves a huge favour.

Black Lightning
(2017)

Not the greatest show, but it's 1000 times better than Supergirl.
Black Lightning isn't the greatest or the most interesting of the superhero genre shows doing the rounds at the moment, but it has it's moments and season one piqued my curiosity enough to keep me watching.

As for the story lines, it's typical comic book fodder mixed with modern day human rights, civil rights and social injustice narratives that seems to plague any tv show putting women or black actors as the main driving force; something that Marvel also has, but they succeed in not letting the racial or equality issues overshadow the story. Black Lightning would do far better if they kept the show simple, focus on the action and leave the constant civil rights quotes on the cutting room floor.

I also feel there is some serious miscasting in the lead actor that's letting this down. Cress Williams seems older than what he really is, he's slow, cumbersome and the suit does nothing for him. He's not even in decent shape. Quite frankly he needs to lose some weight, get some agility, have a shave and provide some action that this series sorely needs. I don't see an issue with James Remar as Gambi or with Nafessa Williams as Thunder, I think they're both written and acted decently, plus Thunder in her suit isn't too bad on the eye either. However, having 2 well known people fighting crime and their only disguise is a funky pair of goggles is pretty stupid and while you can overlook such things in comics, it doesn't always translate well on screen.

One thing I find really annoying is almost every white character being portrayed as a bigoted redneck or white supremacist, whether it's a heavy handed white cop pulling over a suspected felon or laying the boot in on a handcuffed suspect because they're black, to prejudiced talk from random white people interviewed in the street. Pretty much all the crooked scientists and government agents experimenting on black kids are white as are the detectives who are illegally planting evidence. While it does happen, it's unnecessary in a show like this and just drags it down to a level where it stops being entertaining escapism and more about furthering a political agenda and the result is people can end up switching off. It's a superhero show, not a documentary on Dr King or Malcolm X. I've just started on season 2 and unless it steps up, delivers more action and less guilt laced rhetoric, then I'm tapping out on this too.

Day of the Dead: Bloodline
(2017)

Movie's like this make you wish for a real zombie plague
This problem with Bloodline is the same as about 80-90% of the zombie films ever made, they're ridiculous and full of idiots. You simply have no care for anything they do, say or whether they get killed or not.

Apparently this is a loose remake of Romero's Day of the Dead and while I readily put that installment in the realms of the equally idiotic zombie films., it's still a hell of a lot better than this directionless mess. I thought that if you're going to rip off an earlier movie as your source material, the least you can do is improve upon it, not make it worse.

Movie starts with a young med student, Zoe, attacked by Max, an unstable patient who tries to rape her. A body that had been recently brought into the morgue springs to life and attacks him allowing Zoe to escape and warn the others. It's too late though as the city is quickly besieged with zombies.

We fast forward to five years later and the world is overrun and Zoe is sent to a military bunker where she works with other medical personel to try and find a cure for the plague.

A young patient develops bacterial pneumonia and if they don't get a resupply of medication, it'll spread through the whole base and kill everyone. The lieutenant, who's somehow in charge of all this, is reluctant to send out a team as all nearby towns have been picked dry and the proposed destination for the needed supplies is a day away. After bickering back and forth about whether or not is worth going, it's finally agreed to send a team in 2 humvees.

They wind up at the medical facility where Zoe did her training when the world started doing the zombie shuffle and while retrieving some extra meds and some old personal effects she's attacked by zombie Max. The noise attracts other zombies and they barely make it out of there. We find that Max has managed to hitch a ride underneath one of the humvees as after all this time, he's still lusting after Zoe?? Yeah it took me a while to digest that little chestnut too.

It seems that Max is only partially a zombie so it's determined that a serum can be synthesized from his blood to prevent people becoming zombies if they're bitten or those who have been bitten and not died, not to actually cure the already dead & turned. Needless to say it all ends up pear shaped as Max has retained a certain level of intelligence and his actions get most people killed and the base almost wiped out when more people are bitten and the outside zombies are let in.

The movie ends with the serum proving viable, the infected and the zombie invaders being killed off and a message being sent out to anyone who's still listening that they have a vaccine.

You would think that a premise like this would be impossible to get wrong, but just like it's predecessor of the 80s, this is just a boring, haphazard and cringeworthy mess that suffers from bad acting, bad direction, bad dialogue, bad effects and forgettable characters. The whole idea of a love-starved half-zombie stalker like Max is too stupid for words and why he'd still be lurking in the same building five years later makes no sense whatsoever. Why is the bunker, housing what could be the last humans, only protected by a flimsy chain link fence and a padlock? Get enough weight behind it and the whole thing topples over. Why they chose a disease like pneumonia to send everybody into a tail spin of panic when the patient can simply be isolated and not wipe out the entire base like Typhoid Mary is clear that no one bothered to do any real research on contagious diseases at all. Why we have yet another zombie movie where everybody just yells at one another, acts like a moron in every situation and feels the need to talk loudly when silence is required just makes me wonder if there'll ever be another zombie movie that's actually worth watching.

Contact
(1997)

A 2 hour build up to nothing
I first saw this when it was in cinemas in 97 and as I recall, I hated it. I recently caught this again on TV 22 years later and unfortunately, not much has changed. I thought that maybe I would have a different opinion after all this time but all the feelings of negativity came flooding back to me, the annoying characters, the contradictions, the religion versus science talk and incredulity of all involved just reignited the dread I had for this movie through and through.

Jodie Foster is working for SETI at the VLA in New Mexico and is trying to secure funding. A last ditch effort is successful due to an eccentric, reclusive billionaire industrialist. Fast forward 4 years and the program is again facing foreclosure as the president's science advisor considers the project a waste of money. At this time a signal is received from the Vega system and interest is renewed. The first signal is a series of prime numbers at regular intervals indicating that the signal is of intelligent origin. SETI consults with an observatory in Australia to confirm the authenticity of the signal and to continue recording. Naturally this upsets the U.S government as consulting with other agencies is a breach of "national paranoid security" (despite being allies), and the fact that the signal is meant for Earth and not a single nation is irrelevant so having heavily armed soldiers hanging around a civilian installation is supposed to do what exactly? Other than freak out already nervous civilian scientists, not much at all apparently.

A second signal is then received, this time it's a recording of Hitler opening the Olympic Games in Berlin. The fact that this was the first recording strong enough to escape Earths atmosphere is lost on these idiots and the idea that the signal is potentially from alien Nazi sympathisers becomes the main focus.

Embedded in the recording is thousands of pages of mathematical formulae and code. Annoyingly the U.S government is clearly not interested in sharing the information and as a result no one is able to decipher it with the exception of one eccentric, reclusive billionaire. In addition to the the code are schematics for building some kind of machine. Without knowing what it does or what it all means, the dumb government questions of "what does it do" and "what does it all mean" to scientists that haven't been given the opportunity to properly examine all the info or collaborate with international experts is irritating in the extreme.

So without knowing what it does and despite the voices of impending doom and gloom about possible Trojan horses and doomsday weapons, the machine is built anyway to the tune of almost a trillion dollars. Unfortunately it's all for naught as the whole operation is brought undone by a single religious nutcase turned suicide terrorist. Really? At perhaps the most secure facility on Earth a well televised zealot manages to pretend that he works there, get past security with home made explosives strapped to himself, get all the way to the entry gantry and blow the whole thing to hell. Normally, that, they say, would be that, but wait, what's this! In addition to a free set of steak knives, there's another secret facility all built and ready to go in Hokkaido Japan, and no one seems to question this?

So having one scientist talk to another in Australia is a breach of national security, but the building of a secret facility in the land of a former enemy, well that's OK as long as it suits our objective. So naturally Jodie Foster is the prime candidate to go, even though she was not eligible before given her lack of faith and we cannot have this atheist heathen as a representative of Earth, but it's alright now because, reasons!

From Foster's perspective once the pod is released into the machine, she ends up hurtling through vortexes and worm holes reminiscent of Star Gate or 2001 and ends up either in an alternate reality or virtual world similar to a beach she frequented on Earth and is approached by an alien that takes on the form of her deceased father. In the end, despite all the effort that went in to making the trip possible from deciphering the messages, getting around inevitable endless government red tape, the cost and the logistics of bringing it all together, the underlying message is that this is only the first step, we are not ready to know any more than that and we are all supposed to get along if we're to join any kind of intergalactic community.

From the perspective of observers, nothing happened and it was nothing but a big white elephant all perpetrated by none other than a reclusive eccentric billionaire. Foster's story is not believed, none of the recording devices worked and a senate committee is incredulous that they are supposed to take the story on faith, the very same thing they crucified her for not having earlier when they were first recruiting for test pilots.

How on Earth this was nominated for any awards and how it actually won any is beyond me. I hated everything about this. I never understood why we bother with things like SETI or even the voyager space program as in the event we ever do come into contact with anything, our first response seems to blow it out of existence before they destroy America and who cares with the rest of the planet. From what I know of the book, there appeared to be more international involvement and collaboration, which for me would have made more sense and made the movie more interesting. The Hollywoodening of movies that insist on eliminating the existence of other people beyond the U.S borders is tiresome and outmoded even for 1997. The excessive use of real life personalities playing themselves might have been relevant at that time, but doesn't give the movie any longevity and just distracts from the story. I might see this for a third time in 2041, if I'm still alive by then and if I like it, I'll know senility has set in.

Rostered On
(2016)

Not hilarious but it is fairly accurate
Rostered On is not a hilariously funny show, but it is entertaining and scarily accurate on the horrors faced by retail workers on a daily basis. Set in the fictitious Australian electronics store of Electroworld, this show is a low-brow comedy centered around the mundane life of retail workers dealing with sycophantic managers and supervisors, inconsistent rules, rude, clueless and abusive customers, pointless team meetings and bitchy co-workers. Anyone who works in retail will see the show as their reality and anyone else will see it as a not so subtle attempt to make the average customer see that perhaps they're not "always right" after all. Rostered On has it's stereotypical mix of staff ranging from company focused managers, fake friendly counter staff, the sleazy guy, the apathetic, the overbearing security etc. On the flipside there's the bevvy of annoying customers who want to return products they don't know how to use, but it's everybody else's fault except theirs, indecisive customers, those who have no idea on closing times and those who just love to ask the dumb and time wasting "do you work here" questions to those in uniforms and wearing lanyards. That's the show in its entirety; an average show with average, often cringe worthy humour. It's worth a look but don't expect belly laughs.

It's also probably worth noting that the excessive downvoting given to nearly every review on this show are perhaps from the very customers depicted.

Thunderbirds
(2004)

A wasted opportunity
I never bothered to see this when it hit the cinemas as most live-action renditions of shows that were animated, or in the case of Thunderbirds, marionettes, tend to sully the memory of why we loved the show in the first place,. After seeing this on TV one evening, it appears that my boycott was justified as this movie just insults the original series.

There's no need to really go into the story here, seeing as there isn't much of one anyway, however this movie just misses the point of why the original series had such a huge fanbase. While Thunderbirds was always aimed mainly at children, turning the movie into a slap-stick kidsfest was never the way to go with this. I guess there may have been an idea to recreate the financial success of The Flintstones from 10 years earlier, despite the negative reviews.

Anyway, all of the adult Tracy family members are trapped up on the Thunderbird 5 space station, so it's left up to 3 annoying kids, (a teenage Alan Tracy, Tin-Tin and Brains' son Fermat) to save the day from psychic criminal, Hood and his 2 henchmen who take over Tracy island in an attempt to rob the worlds banks. Alan is little more than a hot-head always trying to always prove himself, Fermat is an annoying hypochondriac and Tin-Tin is a precocious smartmouth. Every fight sequence was badly choreographed and reminiscent of the 60's Batman TV series. In place of the "kapow" and "biff" words on screen, they used irritating zings and zoink noises whenever someone took a hit. The bad guys are almost always overpowered with minimal effort and it becomes clear why this movie bombed at the box office and why Gerry Anderson was vocal in condemning this movie and everything it stood for.

With the exception of Thunderbird 4 and Lady Penelope's FAB-1 Rolls Royce, all the vehicles got a sleek makeover but they still retained their main characteristics. Thunderbird 4 looked like a badly designed Capsela toy. The less said about FAB-1, Lady Penelope and Parker, the better. In any case, I don't get why they decided to play it safe and go for the live action when this could have easily been done with marionettes and fans would have applauded the faithfulness to the original source material. Team America was released in the same year and while it may have been a logistical nightmare to get everything the way they wanted, it still worked. I also can't understand why accomplished actors like Bill Paxton and Ben Kingsley would ever waste their time and perhaps even their careers in this garbage. Kids who have never seen the original series won't know what they're missing and won't care about the deviations, but fans, derisively called purists, will hate this and deservedly so

Alien Abduction: Incident in Lake County
(1998)

Nothing but a junk film
I caught this on late night TV and knowing nothing about it, I decided to give it a go and watch it all the way through; but I shouldn't have bothered as this whole movie is pure garbage.

Passing itself off as found footage and therefore an alleged true account of what really happened to this family and put on TV is perhaps the first clue in realising that this is all staged. Those who are in the know, will also realise that this is a remake of a much earlier film. I guess the only thing this and its predecessor has going for it is that it predates the Blair Witch Project which is largely, (at least commercially) responsible for starting the now annoying plethora of found footage nonsense.

In this case, we have a family gathering for Thanksgiving dinner. There's the usual cheesy dialogue that's supposed to represent real family banter, one of the younger brothers who wants to film everything and generally irritate everyone at the same time, the alcoholic mother who perpetually has a drink in her hand, along with the usual prejudice when one of the sisters invites an African American man to dinner as her date. Not long into the movie the house is plunged into darkness and on suspecting a mere blown fuse, 3 brothers including the cameraman (as he has a light), go to investigate the fuse box. On getting there they find that it hasn't merely blown but looks exploded and melted. At a neighbouring farm the brothers see flashing lights and find that a power transformer is damaged and sparking. Near to this they see what appears to be a landed U.F.O and 2 strange figures walking around. One figure uses some kind of red laser on a dead cow and with the 3 bothers seemingly incapable of remaining still, quiet and whispering, they are spotted and the 2 figures/aliens start coming after them. One of the brothers is shot in the hand with a red laser. Upon returning to the house, the brothers are all panicked and not making sense, generally scaring the others, and even with the burnt hand, no one in the house believes anything they are saying. The brothers break out the guns and start securing the house, even though the rest of the family think they're just playing a prank. However as this is found footage and of course no matter what's happening, there's always one who seemingly won't put down a camera, he plays back the tape and then they all start to believe there's something to the story. At this point a high pitched squeal incapacitates everyone except the young girl.

After this they make the plan to leave and head for the truck, but find that the engine is dead and the battery is all melted. They then hatch some cockamamie plan to switch out the battery with another which will waste time instead of just either making a run for it to the nearby road or simply trying another car.

On heading back to the house they hear noises upstairs and realise that one of the aliens has gotten in so they go to confront the intruder. The youngest brother goes to his room to change his pants and comes face to face with an alien who puts him in some kind of trance and checks out his camera. The alien leaves but is then barricaded in a nearby room. He uses his red laser to try and get out and gets shot through the door by one of the brothers. They open the door and see an alien lying prostrate on the floor. The footage is sketchy at best as no one wants to move out of the way in order to get a good shot of it

After all this the 2 older brothers head back out to the truck to try and get it started. An orb makes its way into the house and puts one of the sisters into a coma. The family hear gunshots outside yet are reluctant to open the door to check it out. The "dead" alien that was left upstairs is discovered missing. Matthew, the African American boyfriend advises that his car is just outside and he will go for help. which begs the question of why they didn't check out his car when they all went outside the first time. He's never heard from again. The remaining family then venture outside where they see no signs of Matthew or the 2 older brothers. They only find their badly damaged shotguns and see glowing red lights indicating the aliens approaching. Again they all run back into the house. The camera is left on a bench facing the room and they decide to wait it out. The girl who was in a coma is now deceased and the only thing left to do is to have a meal??! So they sit around the dining table and start picking at the food. The young girl leaves the room, presumably to let the aliens in. They enter, put everyone who's left in a trance and they calmly follow the aliens out of the house never to be seen again. One of the aliens spots the camera on the bench and with a Jedi like wave of his hand, disables the camera and the saga ends.

Throughout the movie we have experts such as a police sheriff, psychologist, film makers etc, cutting in who give their opinions on what's happening in the reviewed found footage, thereby cementing this as a real life abduction caught on film and not faked. The fact is, it is faked, as was the original film that this is based on and it has been faked badly. This is not scary or creepy, it's not well done, it's not amazing, but I agree that it does have good ideas, they've just been done very badly. I simply can't accept all the 10/10 reviews on this as the family spent almost the entire time bickering and wasting time instead of just doing what they all wanted to do and that is LEAVING! If you finally agree that you're being besieged by aliens, with one of them actually being shot in your house, family members disappearing and then culminating in a family member dying, the last thing you would do is sit around and eat. You'd just make a run for it. Sitting around and waiting for them to break through a window wouldn't be an option, especially as they never bothered to try and board up any windows. The aliens have the power of space flight, lasers and mind control, but need to help of a young girl to open the front door as a wooden house and glass somehow stymies advanced beings. You don't need to look for flaws in this film as they are glaring and obvious. It's true that panicked people can end up doing some strange things and act out of character, but arguing that you need to leave only to end up staying for no good reason is not a reaction of alleged real life people. This film is garbage plain and simple and while no found footage movie has yet ever managed to convince me of its alleged validity, there are better ones out there than this.

The Spy Next Door
(2010)

Painful to watch
Unfortunately I'm watching this drivel as I'm writing this review. I thought it best to get this out now while I can still manage to keep the bile down and not be sick all over the living room.

Jackie Chan must be desperate for work or something as I can't understand why someone so established as him would sign on to star in this directionless mess. In a movie that also has the "talents" of Billy Ray Cyrus and George Lopez, there was no way that this was ever going to be good and despite being labelled a kids movie and a comedy, I wasn't able to even crack a smile and I reject the idea that this movie is suitable for kids. It rips off so many other movies that have been done better and the former action star or tough guy turned comedian is just no longer funny. It didn't work for Vin Diesel, The Rock, Antonio Banderas, Kurt Russel, a whole host of others and it doesn't work for Jackie Chan.

Jackie is a Chinese intelligence agent working with the CIA who's planning on retiring after his latest mission. He befriends Gillian, his neighbour who's a single mother with three kids and when she has to go away to visit her father he offers to take care of the kids. All 3 kids hate him for some reason, they're all smart mouthed brats who have never been taught any manners and they set about making his life hell as he tries his best to look after them. I'm not sure why, but kids setting a trap where an adult is covered in garbage is supposed to be funny. Personally I think it just conveys the wrong message to kids that this type of thing is OK to do. So despite their efforts to send him screaming from their lives, Jackie uses his CIA technology to thwart their plans to lock him out of his own house and sneak things past him and they gradually start to respect him.

Meanwhile one of the kids downloads a file from Jackie's computer thinking that it's music or a game or something. but instead it's a file leaked from a Russian Terrorist organisation that has developed a bacteria that eats oil. This kid is supposed to be tech genius and considers advanced chemistry as light reading, but can't distinguish a coded file from an mpeg for some reason.

The head terrorist, who's just escaped from prison is made aware of the download and he sends his goons to Jackie's house to get it back. Naturally there's a well choreographed fight sequence with the typical Jackie Chan trick moves and throughout the movie after more fights, Jackie finally reveals to the kids that he's a spy after having a dangerous encounter at a Chinese restaurant. Jackie & co hide out at a hotel for safety, he calls Gillian who heads back to collect her kids and tells Jackie to hit the road and basically leave her alone.

The bungling Russian terrorists show up again for a final showdown and just like every other time, highly trained and determined terrorists are easily overpowered by one man, 3 kids and their frightened mother. The CIA shows up at the last minute to arrest them all, Jackie and Gillian get married as the kids reveal that they now love him and want him as their new daddy and we then have the obligatory post credits montage of bloopers and failed stunts.

As mentioned previously, this is just painful to watch, it isn't funny and I certainly wouldn't let my kids watch it. I know that this is marketed as a kids movie and that it's supposed to be stupid and slapstick, it not really meant to make sense, (there isn't much of a story anyway), and it's just lighthearted throwaway entertainment; but in today's world where bullying is a growing problem and the lines of discipline versus child abuse are more blurry than ever, I don't think we need any more movies marketed to children where kids are abusing their parents, abusing their carers and coming up with schemes that may appear funny on film but can be dangerous if put into practice. The Russian terrorists in this all sound like Boris & Natasha caricatures straight out of a Rocky and Bullwinkle episode. Using bad and unfunny stereotyped accents is just no longer appropriate, even for a comedy, nor is using the same tired techniques that appear in every alleged family friendly movie. You or your children won't be missing anything if you decide to not watch this poor excuse for a comedy/family film.

Bromans
(2017)

Nothing more than an insult to Rome
That's all I feel whenever I managed to catch an episode of this stupid show, it was little more than an insult to ancient Rome, their culture and everything that ancient Romans had to endure to just get through a single day.

Bromans is a show where 8 couples are transported back in time to live as Romans lived; the guys as gladiators and their girlfriends as dutiful handmaidens and servants to their fighting men. It's a great concept very poorly executed and labelled as reality TV. All 16 contestants don't appear to have a single brain cell among them and whether or not it's staged for the cameras, none of them seem to have any knowledge of Rome and all they know of Caesar is a salad. I'm sure that most, if not all of these contestants, wouldn't be able to even locate Rome on a map. After every challenge, characters playing a Dominus and a Doctore, meet with the Emperor to discuss which contestant is to be banished. Once they are banished they are stripped of their toga and they leave.

In the first episode we're introduced to the would be gladiators and they are advised that as gladiators, they are now considered slaves and they are to act as such, so they are stripped naked and marched into a small coliseum, there they are shackled and made to stand there while their women are brought in wearing gold bikinis to laugh at them before they are given their first test; to find bundles of clothing buried in the ground and clothe their men. Apparently viewers were horrified when one girl ends up with a few scratches from wrestling with another girl when a bag of clothes is found. I still can't work out what we're supposed to be shocked about, if getting scratched was the worst thing a Roman ever faced, it would never have become a world power.

Over the next few weeks we are then subjected to these low-foreheaded tattooed British idiots as they are put through challenge after challenge while the women get to laze around largely doing nothing except bitch and whinge whenever they have to do what Roman women used to do, like wash clothes and crush grapes and be subservient to men. Ironically if any of these women acted and spoke like these tramps do during Roman times, they'd think twice before ever opening their mouths again. The so called gladiators seem to excel in 2 things, making excuses on why they lost a challenge and hurling insults at one another.

However I can look past all the stupidity and faux gladiatorial matches, I can even look past all the half-witted attempts to showcase what actual Roman life was like, but what really got to me was that none of these idiots seemed to take anything seriously. If any of these "heroes" ever went up against actual real life gladiators, none of them would last 60 seconds. The Doctore would never have tolerated the griping and bitchiness and the constant dismal failure of people he was trying in vain to train. For these contestants it was just one long joke, even during the challenges. You would think that pulling a bunch of rejects off the streets of London and throwing them back into life 2000 years ago would be an opportunity to actually give them an insight into life at that time, but when the whole process is nothing more than an excuse to just not go to work for a few weeks and act like it's one huge bro-fest at the local pub, the supposed entertainment starts to wear a little thin and you long for them to bring on the lions, the charioteers, or anything else that would give these sods a quick and painful death. It's not surprising that the series was cancelled after only one season, with testosterone constantly running rampant and foul mouthed "ladies" clawing at each other and the equally brain-dead public largely having a more romantic view of Rome, it was a forgone conclusion that this series would be dead quicker than a Christian in the time of Nero. Lets hope this show never gets a revival.

The Hills Have Eyes
(2006)

The hills may have eyes, but sadly, no brains & no purpose
This boring and cliched remake, or re-imagining or whatever they class them as these days, is nothing more than a shameless cash-grab, filled with gore for the sake of gore. Seemingly there is no originality in movie making any more and the only way to get people to watch is to fill it with any and all manner of atrocities and label it as entertainment.

The Hills have Eyes is yet another in a long line of unnecessary movies that try to convince the world that the U.S is full of inbred and radiation affected cannibals and murderers preying on countless hapless tourists and somehow successfully managing to get away with it for generations. While the 1977 version was done at a time when a story such as this was more intriguing, without the copious amounts of gore, this updated version just comes off as stupid and predictable.

Apparently from the the end of the second world war and the early 60's, there were hundreds of nuclear tests complete with the obligatory government denial about genetic defects caused by the fallout. As the movie starts we get historical footage of nuclear tests done in the pacific (nowhere near New Mexico) as well as desert tests with mock towns etc. Spliced in with this footage are random shots of deformed babies in jars and mutated limbs and you can tell that there'd be more than a few people who'd think all this is real, just like the alleged based on true event stories like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or House of 1000 Corpses and dozens of movies like them.

Movie starts with a scientific team collecting samples in an irradiated area for testing purposes and they are all killed off by an unknown, abnormally strong killer using a pick-axe. We are then introduced to the group of unsuspecting victims, a family and their 2 dogs who stop at a, (now wait for it), a gas station! Just in case you didn't see that coming; and who is it who greets them? That's right, it's the unkempt and rather odd acting attendant. Do we have mobile phone coverage? Anyone care to take a guess? Of course we don't. One of them actually mentions that there's cell coverage over 97% of the country and they're in the remaining 3%. It's amazing how often that happens.

What comes next so obvious a blind person can see it coming. Family has no idea where they really are or where they're going, the "helpful" attendant tells them about a shortcut, so of course they decide to take it and not stay on the nice sealed road, tires blow out due to a hidden spike trap, both men go off in different directions, ones finds a massive impact crater with multiple abandoned vehicles indicating that an unusual amount of people have all disappeared in the same area and no one in authority has bothered to really look for them, the other guy ends up back at the gas station and finds newspaper clippings about mysterious disappearances despite all the cars, caravans, boats etc being in the open and easily visible from the air.

The family ends up being attacked, several members are tortured and killed, the baby is kidnapped and the remainder of the movie is a random assortment of violent acts perpetrated by both sides as the remaining family members tries to stay alive long enough to get away in relatively one piece.

Overall, I just can't see why a movie like this even needs to be made or re-imagined and in my opinion, while this updated version isn't a direct scene by scene duplicate, there is nothing here that really ads to or compliments the source material. It's the same as some faceless DJ running an old pop song through a computer and "creating" a soulless dance track; you didn't do anything except suck the guts out of it. If this were an original movie, albeit based on a derivative idea, it'd probably be worse. For some reason the abandoned nuclear testing town still full of mannequin residents, cars, indoor furniture and fixtures has amazingly been hooked up to a generator so they can watch TV. While these towns were designed to simulate the real thing, having TV's that not only work, yet can also receive broadcasts sends an already unbelievable premise hurtling into absurdity.

We're being led to believe that genetically mutated and misshapen cannibals who can barely string 2 words together, can set elaborate traps, evade detection for decades, can conceive children or look after abducted children, construct working generators and working appliances all while subsisting on nothing more than human bodies. Not only is it impossible, it doesn't even work as a piece of fiction. I can see more believability in the existence of Superman, seeing as he was at least alien, than I can in radiation from nuclear testing creating a family of stunted and yet super-intelligent freaks. I get that all artistic work is inspired from something else and is therefore derivative of what came before, but I hate it when there is practically no creative input into ripping off a story that's already been done and done better and then accepting kudos for making it worse. I guess this version will appeal to fans of gore and sadly not much else.

Cop Out
(2010)

A total waste of time
Having never seen this movie or read anything about it, I thought I'd give it a shot and basically I shouldn't have bothered. Unfortunately there was nothing really else on TV at the time so instead of streaming something, I chose to watch Cop Out. The show is on while I'm writing this review as I wanted to maintain the feeling of dread that this stupidity is giving me and hopefully get those of you who haven't seen it, the opportunity to just steer clear.

2 detectives, Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan are on the hunt for a rare and valuable baseball card that was stolen when it was about to sold to a sports dealer to help pay for the wedding of Willis' daughter. 2 hapless thieves end up tasing Willis from behind while Morgan is arguing on the phone outside oblivious to the goings on. The sports memorabilia store is plundered along with the rare card. They manage to track down one of the thieves who gives them the location of the person who supplies them with drugs in exchange for stolen high end sports merchandise. The drug lord is happy to give back the card on the proviso that the detectives spend their time tracking down his car, which he loves and has been stolen. All of this as well as the ensuing unrealistic situations are supposed to be funny.

The rest of what's going on doesn't seem to make much sense to me at all, probably as this is allegedly a comedy and I never smiled once, let alone did any laughing. Imagine someone trying to sing a song while jumping up and down and you'll get the idea of just how frustrating this is to watch. There's a lot of screaming, a lot of nonsense talk, lots of arguing, swearing and bitching about god knows what and not much else. The scene where they comes across one of the card thieves, Seann William Scott, breaking into a house is so utterly ridiculous I can't imagine the calibre of person who'd find any of it funny in the slightest. Willis and Morgan are about to go and arrest Scott when a mother and son suddenly arrive at the house at the same time. The mother is incapable of speaking below a shout and everything she says is laced with swearing and tough talking abuse. Rather than let the police handle it, she pulls a gun from her purse and just wants to shoot the guy as she doesn't want her hardwood floors, decorated walls or furniture damaged. The fact that no U.S cop alive would tolerate any of this crap and put her in handcuffs on the spot notwithstanding, I guess shooting the guy and letting him bleed all over everything is somehow better than a scuffed floor? Where is the comedy here?

Morgan's predilection to turn half his dialogue into a string of various movie quotes isn't funny and neither is Willis as he remains the stony-faced straight man throughout. Scott is more annoying in this film than in any other film I've seen him in, (and that's saying a lot), so much so that in every scene I wished someone would just punch him in the face. In any case, the drug dealer ends up shot, they search the body for the card, it's revealed that a bullet went right through the card rendering it useless, somebody else pays for the wedding and I wish that I had watched anything else other than this. Kevin Smith should leave the world of acting and movie making to the experts and get a job as one of those sign spinners on excessively rainy days.

Scary Movie 5
(2013)

Unfunny and Unnecessary
The stupidity of movie goers never ceases to amaze me. The fact that this drivel made almost 4 times it's overall budget of 20 million is testament to just how many people are prepared to sit through garbage that tries in vain to pass itself off as comedy. I caught this last offering on TV one night, so thank God I've never spent a penny on seeing any of these at a cinema, but after 5 movies & 13 years later, I don't think I've ever cracked a smile at any part of this franchise that I've managed to see. The obvious and often infantile humour just seems to be getting worse with each subsequent travesty and yet as long as nonsense like this still manages to rake in a profit, we can almost guarantee a never ending run of sequels. We know they'll never run out of movies to do parodies of, right? In this installment, we're can see renderings of recent Planet of the Apes, Paranormal Activity. Mama, Cabin in the Woods, Evil Dead and I think there's also a segment to Fifty Shades of Grey. Why they threw that in there is anyone's guess, but then again, why they felt this needed to be made at all is actually more of a mystery. If you've seen any part of the previous 4 movies then you'll just get more lame and unfunny sight gags, toilet humour, sexual double entendre and hackneyed slapstick, so you may as well throw any and all expectations of getting a laugh, (even a cheap one), out the window Personally I've never found parody comedies to be funny as it doesn't require any talent when ALL of your source material is somebody else's work. For me, these movies would have been funnier had they only used elements of pop culture, instead of relying on celebrity cameos or a character constantly being confused and eye-rolling in nearly every scene. Hopefully the negative reaction to #5 will mean that there won't be a #6 unless they decide to reboot the series, (rebooting seems to be the rage these days) but knowing the way the movie world tends to work, there's enough idiotic fans of this so-called humour to keep it going, regardless if it makes a profit or not, so there's something we can all look forward to.

See all reviews