Posts tagged “Adventure

Cowboys & Aliens / The Dentist: Part 2

Cowboys & Aliens  -  Front Blu-ray Cover  -  UK ReleaseFrom the director of “Iron Man”, comes an action-packed, sci-fi adventure starring Daniel Craig (“Quantum of Solace”, “The Golden Compass”), Harrison Ford (“Morning Glory”, “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull”) and Olivia Wilde (“Tron Legacy”) as the only posse who can save the world from alien invasion.  With cutting edge special effects and one-of-a-kind story, “Cowboys & Aliens” is a showdown you won’t want to miss!

2011  –  Certificate 12  –  American Film
Rating Details: Frequent moderate action violence and scenes of intense threat
7.0 out of 10

Isn’t it funny when you spill food down your front?  Yes it’s really, really, hilariously funny, especially when it happens loads of times.  Last week I spent another 90 minutes at the dentist, having various things pushed inside my sore tooth, although I have to say it isn’t hurting nearly as badly now as it had been. Unfortunately its new best friend, (who we’ll call sore wisdom tooth), has taken over the role of Mouth Tormentor.  It’s not exactly painful in the normal sense, although there is an ongoing, uncomfortable feeling that I suspect is slowly getting worse with time.  Poking and prodding it causes no undue effects either.  However, I’m finding it very hard to open my mouth more than’s required to speak or drink cider; (or other beverages).  If I try to open it anymore it hurts, a lot.  I’m on antibiotics (and this is the only time I can recall ever taking any), but they don’t seem to be making the slightest difference.  Not only is this pissing me off, but trying to eat anything other than tiny amounts of flat-shaped food in one go, invariably results in some of it ending up all over whatever I’m wearing.  Given that my washing machine’s dryer still isn’t working, I can only conclude that there’s some sort of conspiracy going on between washing powder manufactures and aliens keen to discover how long it takes to make someone go mental.  I’m seeing the dentist again tomorrow, so I’ll ask her what she thinks about my theory.  This film’s got aliens in it, but there’s not a lot of washing powder around; although a bar of soap does make a brief appearance.

It’s got Indiana Jones, James Bond and aliens; and cowboys.  Steven Spielberg’s special effects people did the em, special effects, too.  How can it not be great?  I often ask myself the same about the England football team.  This is another case of the sum of the parts being greater than the whole.  I really wanted this to be a great movie too.  Daniel Craig spends a lot of time standing about looking mean and moody and the rest of it wondering about like he’s spent way too long watching Yul Brynner in “Westworld”.  I guess he was just a bit pissed off because they took his nice car way and gave him a horse instead. Meanwhile, Harrison Ford spends most of the film being grumpy and surprised by what’s going on. Welcome to real life Hans.  Other than an underperforming script and an entirely superfluous ‘annoying young kid’ character, this film get’s most things more or less right.  It’s nice to see a film that’s not Scary Nightmare Potter Weapon 9 or something too.  It’s just a shame it all felt a bit soulless.  On the positive side, James and Indiana manage to move cowboy – native American relations on quite a bit, although there is a certain irony in them needing the latter’s help to sort out an alien invader that’s trying to wipe them all out with its superior technology.

The soundtrack provides a satisfactory but underwhelming noise to accompanying things.  The pseudo-western sound just didn’t work for me.

The trailer’s okay.  It doesn’t give a lot away and makes out the film’s more of a horror than it really is.

Recommended for cowboys, Indians (of the native American kind), aliens (nasty and otherwise) and parents with annoying offspring.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.  However, a number of aliens do get rather splattered, which includes their heads.

Top badass moment?  A device that looks like it fell off a passing Borg or Transformer gets attached to James Bond’s wrist and he manages to shoot down an alien aircraft of some sort with it, even though he has no idea what it’s for or how to use it.  When I first went 10 pin bowling I got a strike with my very first go.  That was badass too.

Cowboys & Aliens at IMDB (6.1 / 10)
Cowboys & Aliens at Wikipedia
Cowboys & Aliens at Roger Ebert (3.0 / 5)
Cowboys & Aliens trailer at YouTube

Gwendoline / Changing Evolution

Gwendoline  -  Front DVD Cover  -  UK ReleaseFrom acclaimed master of erotica Just Jaeckin (“Emmanuelle” “Story of O” “Lady Chatterley’s Lover) comes “Gwendoline”, one of the most sought-after ‘guilty pleasure’ movies of all time!  Filled to the brim with enough female flesh and fetishistic imagery to satisfy the most demanding of voyeurs, this is one cult fantasy film you definitely won’t want to miss!  Follow the adventures of the sweet and innocent Gwendoline (Tawny Kitaen of “Bachelor Party” and those legendary Whitesnake videos) in which she travels as a stowaway to the Far East with her sexy friend Beth (played by French actress and model Zabou) on a mission to track down her father, who has mysteriously disappeared whilst on a mission to find a mythical butterfly.  Rescued from a group of lecherous seamen by the hunky adventurer Willard (actor and male model Brent Huff), Gwendoline persuades him to make up their trio and embark on a daring journey to the land of the Yek Yeik, a country ruled by a diabolical dominant Amazon queen and an army of female fetish-clad Amazonian warriors!  There, Gwendoline must defeat the evil queen and prevent Willard from being forced to spawn a new race of female warriors – or face certain death.  Gwendoline is a bizarre adventure like no other, freely adapted from John Willie’s acclaimed erotic comic strip, which fans will be talking about for years to come.

1984  –  Certificate: 18  –  French Film
Rating Details:  Strong violence
7.5 out of 10

Right now I’m sitting here drinking a bottle of Batemans Victory Ale; (6% and Vegan Society approved), thinking how great the summer is.  I know, every year the weather’s a bit of a disappointment, but somehow it’s still loads better than the winter.  However crappy the weather is, it’s still always a lot lighter in the summer than the rest of the year.  In the summer, the sun goes down to the right of that tree over ‘here’.  In the winter, it goes down behind the tree over there; (trying to hide its embarrassment, no doubt).  It’s 8:42 pm right now, warm and light enough to sit and read in my lounge without a light or coat on.  In the winter at this time it would be freezing cold, dark and depressing dank outside.  If I ever own a time machine, I’m going to go way, way back, to the point where humans (or whatever we were then), evolved away from hibernating during the winter.  Out will come a very sharp pair of secateurs and whatever genetically mutated freak of nature caused us to stay awake all year, is going to find itself well and truly snipped away from the evolutionary tree.  Bastard!  This film is about natural history too.

I thought this was one of those nature documentaries, where we’d follow an intrepid explorer searching for new species of something, in this case a butterfly.  So you can imagine my surprise when I was confronted with a chisel-jawed anti-hero, two beautiful woman who’s tops fell off slightly more often than was strictly necessary, a lot of bald chicks in leather bikinis, a lost tribe of women and a quite imaginative torture chamber.  Then again, I’ve never been on as expedition to search for anything, so perhaps Sir David Attenborough runs into things like this all the time.  I guess that would explain why nature documentaries are so popular.  Nevertheless, it is a film all about a hunt for a butterfly and without wanting to spoil the ending, it looks a lot like a blacker and larger version of a Swallowtail.  Normally I’m not exactly inspired by trashy films like this.  It’s certainly another of those vegan-unfriendly, birds-in-leather with whips films.  However, this one’s funny enough (both intentionally and unintentionally), well-made enough, epic enough and silly enough, to provide a highly entertaining and fun watch.  It looks really good and the acting is pretty spirited too.  Brent Huff at the hero Willard is a hoot and Tawny Kitaen, (who goes from innocent convent-educated girl to kick-ass, gladiatorial warrior in less than 100 minutes), looks… good.  The movie starts with an establishing shot in a busy, crowded, claustrophobic market near a harbour; I think it’s meant to be in China.  In the first three minutes we see someone nearly get run down and his cart of fruit tipped over, a fight break out, a theft of goods from the quayside with some associated shooting as the crew attempt to stop the getaway lorry, a group breaking into storage boxes, someone stealing food and someone else having a trolley taken from him; whilst two mounted police look on magnanimously, clearly on the lookout for some real crime under their noses.  That pretty well sums this movie up, as does the “Barbarella meets Indiana Jones” line on the DVD’s cover art.  It’s interesting that the BBFC’s “insight” (that’s what we call the rating details), now just says “strong violence”.  When it was first released it had 194 seconds cut out of it to enable it to get a cinema release in the UK; whilst America suffered from a version 16 minutes shorter.  Clearly, chariots pulled by semi-naked woman have lost their impact in the 21st Century.

In a B movie kind of way, this film has quite a decent soundtrack.  There’s not a lot else I can say about it really.

Recommended for naturalists, lepidopterists, heroes and anyone with a convent-based education.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  Willard first appears in the film by crashing through a window.  He then takes a few moments to adjust his hat and smile, before dispatching all the bad guys with a display of high quality, hand-to-hand combat and rescuing two women from human traffickers.  That’s badass.  I’ll never be that cool.  :-(

Gwendoline at IMDB (5.0 / 10)

Gwendoline at Wikipedia

Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers / Fruit Salad

Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers  -  Front DVD Cover  -  UK ReleaseIt’s a swashbuckling pirate adventure when Tom sets sail as a lowly cabin cat for the biggest, baddest pirate on the high seas: the infamous Captain Red.  Tired of swabbing the deck all day, Tom thinks his luck has changed when a mysterious bottle containing a treasure map washes on board.  Tom’s dream of finding the treasure for himself is ruined when he discovers the bottle also contains stowaway mouse Jerry.  Poor little Jerry has been guarding the treasure map and now has a greedy cat on his paws.  Will Jerry be forced to walk the plank?  Will Tom make it to the deserted island first?  The race is on and Tom and Jerry must work together to get past coconut-throwing monkeys and a giant slimy octopus, then outsmart the pirates to find the buried treasure!

2006  –  Certificate: U  –  American Film
Rating Details:  No material likely to offend or harm
5.0 out of 10

From time to time throughout my life I’ve eaten fruit salad, which often came out of a tin.  At its worst, tinned fruit salad is a euphemism for an unpalatable assortment consisting of squidgy bits of cheap apple, cubes of gritty pear and a few other, unrecognisable lumps, floating about in a sugary gunk.  If you were lucky you’d get the single, half cherry that was always immersed in this slime, or a random fragment of what the ingredients list claimed to be peach.  Certainly it never looked like the picture on the tin, which normally manifested itself as a lush, green jungle of exotic fruit trees.  Now, I really like oranges, a lot.  In fact, if I could find a woman who wanted to dress up as an orange in bed, I’d marry her tomorrow; even a satsuma or a clementine would do, I’m not fussy.  Despite the half cherry normally attracting everyone’s attention and desire, it was the occasional bit of mandarin that really sailed my boat. Absent from all but the ‘better quality’ tins, I used to desperately search for these elusive segments.  Although frequently disappointed, I never lost the urge to keep on searching, like some sort of hardened gold miner, panning the streams in an arid wasteland for that one strike that would change his life.  Now I’m an adult I have the luxury of being able to buy whole tins of fruit, containing nothing but mandarin segments in their own juice.  I buy about six a month, just to quench my perverted desires.  As Harold Macmillan said, I’ve “never had it so good.” This is a movie about searching for treasure too.

I’ve tried to work out why this isn’t one of my favourite Tom & Jerry Films.  On the surface it seems fine; they don’t talk, there’s plenty of brutality, it looks right and the music and effects sound like they’re supposed to.  Then it dawned on me; despite all the violence, most of it consists of Tom and Jerry crashing into things or being squashed.  Where’s Tom being blown up in an oven, turned inside out, or sliced up into lots of bits after being sucked into a jet engine, etc?  There’re only so many times you can watch them running into things or being thrown against something hard; the variety of animal cruelty on show is sadly lacking.  When the rating details say “no material likely to offend or harm” then you know there’s going to be a problem.  For Tom & Jerry I want them to say, “very strong bloody violence, strong torture and sadism theme featuring animals cruelty”.  The pirates and their parrots are a bit crappy too, although the skull is pretty cool and the treasure hunt part of the film does make up for its somewhat generic first section.  Oh, and the overview above isn’t accurate; Jerry’s already on the boat; he doesn’t arrive in the bottle at all!  Did the person who wrote it even bother to watch the film?

The music is pretty authentic classic Tom & Jerry.  Job done.

Recommend for pirates and parrots; and skulls that can talk like Luke Skywalker with a Spanish accent, although there’s probably not many of them about.

No chainsaws or decapitations, but one cat, (Tom of course).  And I guess there’s a good chance the skull was the result of a decapitation.

Top badass moment? Tom gets so much shit from everyone, it’s unreal; the pirates, Jerry, Spike.  In return, he really doesn’t do that much and it’s not like he wasn’t provoked.  If it ended up in court I bet he’d only get a suspended sentence, given all the mitigating circumstances.  For one brief moment he gets rewarded by the Red Pirate for giving him the treasure map.  In fact this scene feels really out of place, it’s so unusual.  When your life’s an endless round of crap, bad luck and failure, any moment of happiness is badass.  And has anyone noticed just how fit he is?  At one point, he rows a boat with five pirates in it (plus a mouse and a parrot) for what looks like hours and hours through a storm and then still manages to escape.

Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers at IMDB (6.5 / 10)

Tom and Jerry: Shiver Me Whiskers at Wikipedia

Close Encounters of the Third Kind: 3.5 Stars

Close Encounters of the Third Kind  -  Front Blu-ray Cover (UK)Steven Spielberg’s classic film is back now on this never-before-released Ultimate Edition Blu-ray Disc, which includes all three versions of the sci-fi blockbuster.  Richard Dreyfuss stars as cable worker Roy Neary, who along with several other stunned bystanders experience a close encounter of the first kind – witnessing UFOs soaring across the sky.  After this life-changing event, the inexplicable vision of a strange, mountain-like formation haunts him. He becomes obsessed with discovering what it represents, much to the dismay of his wife and family.  Meanwhile, bizarre occurrences are happening around the world.  Government agents have close encounters of the second kind – discovering physical evidence of extraterrestrial visitors in the form of a lost fighter aircraft from World War II and a stranded military ship that disappeared decades earlier only to suddenly reappear in unusual places.  Roy continues to chase his vision to a remote area where he and the agents follow the clues that have drawn them to reach a site where they will have a close encounter of the third kind – contact.

1977  –  Certificate: PG  –  USA
Rating Details:  Mild language and scary scenes

In a departure from my normal viewing habits, I decided to take a look at some promotional films this week.  Quite randomly, I thought I’d start with this rather overlong ‘advert’ for the Devils Tower National Monument.  Looming more than 1,200’ above Wyoming’s eastern plains and the Belle Fourche River, it’s a one-of-a-kind natural wonder.  Northern Plains tribes have worshipped near this remarkable, geological formation for thousands of years.  Fur trappers, explorers and settlers alike were awed by the tower’s majesty.  In 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt established Devils Tower as America’s first National Monument.  Certainly it’s an amazing feature; I’d love to visit it one day.  However, what really gobsmacked me what that this was the site of Earth’s very first contact with aliens.  How the Hell did I miss that?  Possibly the most important thing to happen in my lifetime and I knew absolutely nothing about it!  This promo, which to be honest is more of a documentary than anything else, describes the actual meeting and there’s even film of the aliens in it too, as well as a load of scientists and other people.  Apparently some French guy called Steven Spielberg, who worked for an electricity company and used to be a shark fisherman, first made contact with them when his young son ran away one night.  In fact he was nearly run over by a flying saucer.  What’s especially interesting is that the aliens’ culture appears to be almost entirely based on the music of the Electric Light Orchestra; even the design of its flying saucers is based on the cover of ELO’s most successful album, “Out of the Blue”; a strangely apt title under the circumstances.  Incredible!  What isn’t made clear is what the aliens actually came here for, other than to give us a load of stuff they nicked during the Second World War; maybe an alien child took it and his/her/its mother send him/her/it back to return it, I’m not sure.  The only thing they seemed to introduce us to is the concept of ‘sonic branding’, something that Intel has been using ever since.  I have to admit I’m still having difficulty coming to terms with all this.  I’ve tried Googling “aliens”, but there’re 133 million pages of stuff about them.  Totally mind-blowing.

Unfortunately, despite the game-changing news it contains, this promo/documentary itself isn’t that great.  A lot of things aren’t explained very well.  I wanted to know about the aliens, not the personal relationships of the people involved.  The film of the spaceships does look excellent on Blu-ray, although their grasp of music, based as it is on ELO, isn’t exactly going to set the charts alight, or burn-up any dance-floors anytime soon.  Their song really could do with a good remix.  The same goes for this film.  I imagine if they’d got someone in who knew what they were doing, it would have been a lot shorter, more to the point and made it far clearer what the aliens wanted.  I guess it was just put together by some local film company; a tourist board would hardly be in a position to hire a top Hollywood director.  Come to think of it, as a fan of cinema I’m surprised no one has tried to make a movie about this event.  It would make an awesome film.

Recommended for idiots like me that missed this bit of news back in 1977.  I guess I was too busy with punk to notice.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.  Though I imagine there were a load of ray guns and stuff on the spaceship and who knows, maybe some aliens pets too.

Top badass moment?  Aliens landing on Earth for real?  What do you think?

Close Encounters of the Third Kind at IMDB (7.8/10)

Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars: 3.0 Stars

Tom and Jerry: Blast Off  To Mars  -  Front DVD Cover (UK)Once content to duel it out here on Earth, the eternally scrappy Tom and Jerry now boldly go where no cat and mouse have gone before, when they get trapped on a spaceship bound for Mars.  After their mistaken mission goes hilariously out of control, the tables are turned on Tom when, thinking him a giant outer space monster, the Martians attack!  But what really bristles the cat’s whiskers is Jerry being hailed as the Martians’ long-long supreme leader!  Will the duelling duo put their differences aside long enough to save Earth from invasion?  They may need all of Tom’s nine lives to succeed in this extraterrestrially funny adventure.

2005  –  Certificate: U  –  USA
Rating Details: Mild violence

In the first four and a half minutes, (which includes all the opening credits too), Tom has an ironing board smash down on his head, has his head ironed, sets fire to his feet, falls into a food mixer, falls into a liquidiser, gets his head jammed in a toaster and toasted, gets trapped in a dish washer and its associated plumbing, smashes his head into a sink, gets sucked through an aircraft’s jet engine and falls 1,000s of feet though the air onto the ground.  I guess that’s the “mild violence” I was warned about.  Lucky it’s not a real cat.

I like Tom and Jerry.  In fact they’re my favourite cartoon characters of all time.  The first part of this film is great, as Tom’s attempts to catch Jerry totally trash a house.  Sadly, when we meet a few folk (and aliens) and they start to speak, it all slows down and loses it a bit.  I don’t know, but people really shouldn’t talk in Tom and Jerry cartoons; in fact we should hardly see them at all.  A few screams and such like are okay, but when they start to have conversations then that’s just wrong.  Then again, I’m probably not the demographic that this film is aimed at.  If you’re eight years old you probably don’t care about the mythology of Tom and Jerry, you just want to see ‘funny stuff’.  Having said that, the big reference to “2001: A Space Odyssey” and the fact that the President looks and sound an awful lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger, are likely to appeal to the more ‘mature’ viewer.  The bad guy’s use of a vacuum cleaner as its weapon of choice is somewhat surreal too.  What was the originator of that idea on?  It’s far from classic Tom and Jerry, but it’s still quite entertaining.  The sound is surprisingly good, if a little unsubtle at times and the music excellent.  At its best, this film could almost have been made in the 40s, but all too often it falls into more stereotypical Saturday morning cartoon land and dilutes its best down.  And how come Tom and Jerry didn’t need spacesuits on Mars, but the astronauts from Earth did?  (Okay, maybe I’m overanalysing things a bit now.)

Recommended for the Tom and Jerry hardcore; and little kids.

1 cat (Tom of course), no chainsaws or decapitations.  However, a number of heads (mostly Tom’s) do get flattered, burnt, crushed or ‘deflated’.

Top badass moment?  I’m told following your dreams in life is important, regardless of the consequences.  So I guess Tom smashing up what looked like a really nice house, with a lot of unusual African artefacts it, in an attempt to catch Jerry, is badass then.  Jerry’s such a tease and you just know he’s not the one who’s going to get blamed for the mess either; there’re words for individuals like that and they’re not nice words.

Tom and Jerry: Blast Off to Mars at IMDB (5.4/10)

The Road: 5.0 Stars

The Road  -  Front Blu-ray Cover (UK)Academy Award® nominee Viggo Mortensen leads an all-star cast including Guy Pearce, Academy Award® winners Robert Duvall and Charlize Theron and an incredible debut performance from Kodi Smit-McPhee.  “The Road” is a thrilling and deeply moving tale of survival as a father and his young son journey across a barren, post apocalyptic America.   Respectfully adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s hallowed novel, “The Road” boldly imagines a future in which men are pushed to the worst and the best that they are capable of; a future in which a father and his son are sustained by love.

2009  –  Certificate: 15  –  USA
Infrequent strong violence, language and gory images

It’s Sunday evening.  Monday is Christmas Eve.  Unlike most of my colleagues at work and indeed most other people everywhere else around these parts, I’ll be at my desk tomorrow, protecting the planet so the rest of you can enjoy the festive season, secure in the knowledge that the Earth is in safe hands.  Scanning the skyline for environmental Armageddon and other unpleasant circumstances, I’ll be poised, like a coiled snake, ready to pounce at a moment’s notice, should someone send in an e-mail for any reason that’s needs answering.  I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but when I’m at work I really do feel like I’m one of the Avengers or part of the Justice League.  This movie features a hero too.

The trailer is really quite deceptive (and actually not very good), as it seems to suggest this is some sort of action film.  It does have moments, but overwhelmingly it’s slow, quiet and thoughtful, with most of the action involving hiding rather than fighting.  I have to admit to having a soft spot for post apocalyptic movies; I think they probably reflect my life in some ways.  However, this is possibly the best film I’ve seen for the first time this year.  It has few weaknesses.  It’s heartbreakingly sad.  As you watch an ordinary, decent guy trying to protect his wife and young son from everyone and everything, the hopelessness it presents will pretty well jump out of the screen, sit down and embrace you; eww, gross.  With so many superheroes and action-heroes routinely overcoming impossible odds in films, it’s easy to forget that most of us aren’t actually like that and there’s a limit to what we can do.  Seeing The Man (none of the characters’ names are ever given) slowly give up more and more of himself and his humanity is depressing beyond words and what few happy moments there are (and “happy” has to be taken to mean better relative to everything else), are quickly crushed.  The scene with the wallet and wedding ring is a real killer and the ending will make you want to cry; it did me. The scene when they catch up with the guy who’s stolen their belongings is pretty shattering too.  The photography is great.  I watched it on a Blu-ray disc and really gets across the whole look and feel of the landscape; everything dead, everything smashed up, looted, burnt out, destroyed, colourless.  The whole time it’s damp, cold and miserable, the sun hardly shines and it rains, a lot.  (Actually that’s not unlike the view from my lounge window recently, what with the weather and all the fly-tipping around the rubbish bins.)  The acting is top draw stuff too.  The two main characters spend most of their time sleeping, looking for food, trying to keep warm and walking.  This doesn’t sound very interesting, but the script is so good that you’ll want to celebrate whenever they get a bit of luck.  The only thing that lets it down slightly is the ending, which has a rather big “why didn’t they” moment.  I actually wanted to get something to eat whilst I was watching it, but I felt so bad for the characters that I didn’t;  I needed to empathise with their hunger, (although I did draw the line at soaking myself in the shower, opening all the windows and rolling around in the dirt outside in the dark).  This is a bleak movie; it offers a few moments of hope, but it’s overwhelmingly a wrist-slasher.  It’s also a must-see film.  I’m going to buy the book it’s based on.

Recommend for anyone with emotions. Probably not a great film for Christmas Day viewing; or Lieutenant Commander Data.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  Like Batman, he’s not perfect and he doesn’t have any superpowers, but The Man’s single-minded devotion to protecting his son is pure Badass.  Yes, that’s badass with a capital B.

The Road at IMDB (7.3/10)

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie: 3.0 Stars

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie  -  Front DVD CoverWatching the Power Rangers is a bit like standing on a bridge over a motorway and watching the traffic, secretly hoping you’ll see a crash.  You know you shouldn’t do it, you know you don’t really want anything to happen and you know it’s going to be really horribly if it does; yet you stand there, staring at the road, as the cars, vans and lorries pass under you.  The sad truth is, the Power Rangers are awful in just about every way that science has so far come up with to measure awfulness.  They’re so nauseatingly wholesome; I can’t express in words the desperate, primeval need I have to see one of them, just once, swear, or something, anything.  They’re so cheery, positive and supportive of one another, in the worst sort of way that only Americans can truly articulate.  And why, in such a closely knit group of teenage friends that seem to basically hang out together 24/7, is there less sexual chemistry between them than you find in a row of teddy bears on a supermarket shelf?  (The ‘relationship’ between Kimberly and Tommy doesn’t count; that’s just embarrassing.)  If there’s a porn parody of the Power Rangers, it’s probably got a U Certificate.  (Okay I just checked and yes they do exist).  And in a series that’s featured more than its fair share of Yellow and Pink Power Ranger babes, why have they never managed to put any of them in something truly figure-hugging?  A hugely wasted marketing opportunity if you ask me.  However, I’m nothing if not balanced in my world view.  So in an effort to see both sides of the story, I probably should collate the evidence for the defence, however pitiful that might be.  So what do we have here?  Well, as superheroes they don’t do a bad job; as of today they’ve been consistently on TV in one form or another for 19 years.  It has to be said that they’ve probably saved the world more times than Batman or Superman, so for that alone we probably do owe them our thanks.  That long, overarching story-arc does give them considerable gravitas too.  And in the world of superhero franchises, which is ruled by a duopoly of DC Comics and Marvel, the Power Rangers are very much the Liberal Democrats.  And let’s be quite honest here, who hasn’t moved their arm quickly through the air and made that “swoosh” noise that only the Power Rangers can truly make their own?  Going on, admit it, you have haven’t you?  And who doesn’t think it would be at least just a little bit cool to be able to fly a Zord or (even better) a Megazord?  And finally, who hasn’t ever had a crush on one of them at some point?  For the lads, the Pink Ranger has always seemed to be the focus of this, er, respect.  In this case, tiny ex-gymnast Amy Jo Johnson; I doubt anyone in the history of superheroes has ever looked less likely to win in a fist fight than she does.

1995  –  Certificate: PG
Rating Details:  Language: infrequent, very mild. Sex/nudity: none. Violence: some, fantasy. Other: none.

Oh, the film itself?  Well it’s pants of course, from the sky-diving start to the fireworks finale; but them being so nice and everything, I just can’t bring myself to hate it, even though that’s what it deserves.  It has got a bikini-warrior babe in it.  I saw this film when it was first released at the cinema.  I saw it with someone called Tracy, who I think fancied me a bit; (look, it was a long time ago okay).  So I do have a bit of a soft spot for it.  And I bought the CD single of the soundtrack too.   I also have to admit here that I’ve recently purchased Season 1 of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, with a view to buying all of them in the end, right up to next year’s Power Ranger Megaforce and beyond.  Fact is, the Power Rangers may well be my most guilty secret.  Blimey, I could write so much about this!

Recommended for grown-ups who’d rather not grow up anymore, (a bit like some sort of breakfast cereal, but I can’t remember which one now).

No cats, decapitations or chainsaws.  (Wow, big surprise there…)

Top badass moment?  Ninja Megazord, power up!  Ninja Falcon Megazord! It’s morphin’ time!  Sabre-toothed tiger!  Etc!  Taking time out to say stuff like that really, really fast in the middle of a fight, is definitely badass.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie at IMDB (4.3/10)

Ferocious Planet: 2.5 Stars

Ferocious Planet  -  Front DVD coverI got my car serviced today.  I had it done at Halfords.  After six years of shoddy, sub-standard work and customer service from those fuck-wits at the local Ford dealership, I’d had enough of them.  I must say, I did enjoy Ford ringing me up a few weeks ago to remind me that the service was due and to be able to thank them and say I was taking it to Halfords from now on and why.  Ford, I bet it’s one, scared multinational that’s probably in the market for some new underwear, now it’s attracted my wrath!  Halfords were much nicer, it actually felt as if they wanted me as a customer.  And I don’t know what they did to my car, but it feels so much nicer to drive now; they even gave it a good clean inside and out.  I realise that all this has absolutely no connection whatsoever to this movie, but sometimes these things have to be said.

2011  –  Certificate: Not Rated  –  USA

Even been dropped in the shit by someone and then had a really crap day as a result?  Ever had one of those days where absolutely everything you try goes wrong?  Well, welcome to “Ferocious Planet”, a Syfy Original Movie.  (I love how there’s a big sticker on the cover stating the latter, as if it’s actually going to encourage anyone to buy to it.  Using the same logic, I think I’ll get a massive, “stupid, fat, old bloke” sticker for myself and see if that attracts anyone to me.)  This movie has a great concept.  But OMG, its characters were straight out of rent a cliché.  In fact they were so bad, you wouldn’t even be able to dispose of them via Freecycle.  In fact they’d probably be labelled as Special Waste and you’d need a licence even to dump them somewhere legally.  It’s a shame the Olympics don’t include an event for “people that can act the most illogically in a dire situation”.  In a film dealing with the existence of “billions of parallel universes”, it’s ironic that the paper-thin characters could barely manage a single dimension between them.  A sociopathic disinterest in the fate of the other members of their group who were slowly being killed off and the ‘magic’ of a severe injury that five minutes later seem to have no effect on its sufferer, just added to the realism.  You may wish to consider how big a space 50 gallons of water needs too.  Now at this point I have to fess up that I’ve never actually been transported to a parallel dimension, accidentally or otherwise; I’ve had a few bad hangovers and felt like I’d been to one, but I guess that’s not quite the same thing.  Having said that, I think if I was I’d be mainly concerned with trying to get the machine that bought me there fixed, so I could get back home before the short window of opportunity to do so closed; especially if I’d already seen the very scary and deadly monster outside the room and what it could do.  I’d not think it was sensible to go ‘exploring’ if I was meant to be a highly intelligent person and I’d seen the monster outside with the huge teeth that had already ripped one of my colleagues in two right outside the door, (however annoying and unhelpful that person might have been).  The fact that the place looked exactly like a forestry plantation in Ireland would also probably put me off doing this a bit too; but that’s not a co-incidence, because that’s exactly what it was and probably explains why one of the characters got a stronger and stronger Irish accent as the film progressed.  It may have meant to have been an alien planet in a parallel universe, but it sure had some nice ivy, ferns and brambles growing on it.  But it’s not all bad.  If you watch it expecting to see a modern-day B-movie, then you’ll probably enjoy it.  And if you get a kick out of watching other people have a ‘really bad day’ then you’ll love it.  And as I said, the concept is great and it was strangely compelling viewing, waiting for them to do the next stupid thing and suffer the consequences.  A special “Tell It Like It Is Award” ought to go to Colonel Sam Synn’s too, for his wonderfully understated “Crap” as he faced the millionth problem of the afternoon; he really wasn’t having a good day.

Recommended for viewing when you’ve had a bad day, but you want to see just how much worse it could have been.

No cats and no decapitations.

Top badass moment?  In a film filled with idiots, genuine badass moments were hard to come by.  However, Dr Karen Fast gets to deliver the best line, “Don’t, poke, the alien.”  This is good advice at any time and good advice is often badass. 

Ferocious Planet at IMDB (4.3)