Posts tagged “Experiment

The Philadelphia Experiment 2 / Marks & Spencer


The Philadelphia Experiment 2  -  Front DVD Cover  -  US ReleaseIn the hit sci-fi thriller “The Philadelphia Experiment” the sole survivor of a wartime experiment is catapulted 41 years into the future and must race to save the world as we know it.  It’s now 10 years later, 1993.  David Herdeg (Brad Johnson), the surviving hero, has built a life for himself and his young son that’s unravelling fast.  The U.S. military is conducting another Experiment, one that not only alters Herdeg’s DNA makeup, but also threatens the fabric of the entire universe.  The Experiment’s goal is to transport a Stealth Fighter back to 1943 to use as the ultimate war machine, but its effect hurls Herdeg into another time warp, still 1993, but a 1993 where Germany has won the war.  Can Herdeg win the race against time and save his son and the world from a terrible future?  Or will the future be a twisted reality distorted by the Philadelphia Experiment?

1993  –  Certificate: PG-13  –  American Film
Rating Details: Military violence
6.0 out of 10

Who actually shops in Marks and Spencer, unless they want a new bra or a pair of socks?  It’s like a John Lewis, except with all the interesting stuff removed.  For a start, it only sells a limited range of household things, none of which anyone would need; unless you feel owning a big, weirdly shaped glass jar full of ‘interestingly’ coloured marbles is essential.  Or a pastel coloured cushion with tassels on it rates as highly for you as food, shelter and safety.  Then there’s the Food Hall.  These huge caverns are full of food nobody really buys.  True, it’s all very nice and tasty looking, but it’s also all eye-wateringly expensive, pre-pealed, pre-prepared, over-packaged and marketed as over-valued ‘superfood’.  I don’t know why M&S doesn’t just take that find step and pre-digest it for you too and sell that instead.  In fact, just send it your money and save yourself from even having to bothering to do the shopping in the first place. The branch I went to, near Southampton, has its entrance 5m from a huge Sainsbury; why does an M&S Food Hall even exist there?  A small, plastic bowl-like container full of cherry tomatoes on the vine, asparagus tips and rocket, costs about a million pounds.  (Whatever happened to lumps of cucumber, lettuce and grated carrot?)  At the sort of prices it charges, I’d expect the rocket to be a fully functioning space shuttle, complete with crew.  Just before Christmas I won £500 of Marks and Spencer vouchers in a competition.  Unable to use them online, (and what’s the point of vouchers these days you can’t use online), I finally plucked up courage last week to go into an M&S store and use them.  It was a scary experience.  I had no idea how to behave.  I was convinced I’d get arrested for breaking some sort of social code of conduct, only known to people who have large jars of marbles in their bathrooms.  I was served by four people all at the same time, who insisted on wrapping everything up in millions of layers of paper to ‘protect’ it.  Do I look that clumsy?  What did they think I was going to do with it all?  I’m now the proud owner of the most expense set of pans it sells, two kitchen knives that actually cut, some glasses that match one another and a set of chopping boards that aren’t home to most of the world’s infectious diseases.  (And being the system-smashing rebel I am, I’m presently using the blue one that’s got the fish symbol on it, even though I don’t ever eat fish.)  I’ve also spent the last week or so living on strawberries, cherries, nectarines and ‘speciality’ apples.  My body thinks it’s been irrigated with bleach, such is the purity of my insides now.  I did manage to find some packets of pasta hiding away in the corner of the store, but the rice defied my best efforts to locate it anywhere.  This film is about someone who finds himself somewhere he’s not used to being.

The Philadelphia Experiment was an interesting, if horrendously dated-looking film that came out in 1984.  Nine years later we got the sequel.  In many ways this is a better film, although it still manages to look terrible dated.  It’s portrayal of an America 50 years after the Nazis won World War Two is really quite nicely presented. Very Orwellian.  I was interested to see that the concrete HQ ‘bunker’ that features in the film looks a lot like many of the new stations on the Jubilee Line in London.  The sight of a Nighthawk ‘stealth fighter’ decked out in swastikas makes a suitably big impression on the senses.  A few elements in the film reminded me of The Terminator too.  All the father-son-baseball nonsense at the beginning was a bit nauseating, but once we got past this it was a decent enough movie. Gerrit Graham puts in a good show as the slightly mad Dr. William Mailer.  Sadly, the sum of its parts is not up to its individual elements; it feels like a film that ought to be better than it actually is.

The soundtrack is a decent effort, with a mixture of what you’d expect, along with a bit of cowboy music and some suitably overwrought Richard Wagner.

Recommended for Nazis, slightly mad scientists, pilots and baseball fans.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Top badass moment?  David kills Mailer’s father, which results in some time-based shenanigans and Mailer disappearing, thus solving a number of tricky challenges.  I often do something quite similar myself, which makes it badass.  I can never understand why people have to complicate life so much.  If you don’t like something, just go back in time and try again.  It’s not rocket science.

The Philadelphia Experiment at IMDB (4.4 / 10)

The Philadelphia Experiment at Wikipedia

The Philadelphia Experiment at YouTube

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Little Deaths / Margaret Thatcher


Little Deaths  -  Front DVD Cover (US Release)Welcome to the terrifying world of “Little Deaths”, where everyday people are thrust into nightmares that push the limits of sensuality and violence beyond the breaking point.  From a young homeless woman sucked into a whirlpool of cruelty by a wealthy couple, to a call girl used as a tool in a diabolical medical scheme and a domineering woman with a very unusual phobia, no one escapes unscathed and most don’t make it out alive.  Featuring a mesmerizing soundtrack and unpredictable twists and turns, this stylish, groundbreaking vision of terror has been hailed as “one of the most unique and challenging horror anthologies in quite some time” (FEARnet).

2011  –  Certificate: Unrated  –  British Film
8.5 out of 10

Margaret Thatcher has died.  The human personification of Marmite; you either love her or hate her.  An old woman of 87, suffering from senile dementia and living in a nursing home, (well okay, in the Ritz Hotel in London), has gone to a better place.  Well better that is, until she starts ‘sorting things out’ there.  I’ve watched loads of movies where the dead do (or try to) come back to life, with varying results; right about now I expect that a line of refugees from Heaven or Hell (depending on your point of view) to be winding its way back to Earth, resulting in a humanitarian crises that will make Syria look like Platform 5 at Reading Station after a train’s been cancelled.  The amount of shit written about her everywhere in the past few days has been quite overpowering; I’d forgotten just what a hated witch she was (and still is).  She’s getting a better press in Argentina than here!  I guess it’s easier to be rude about someone once they’ve died; it not like she’s going to get up out of her bed and twat anyone with her handbag.  You’re all tough guys now, aren’t you?  I can’t understand why anyone had a problem with her selling all the stuff we already owned back to us; sounds like a great business model to me.  I certainly enjoyed myself as one of the 3,500,000 unemployed in the 1980s, along with my time on that Government training programme that suddenly got cancelled one day; I wasn’t able to afford to buy those lovely oranges from the greengrocers on the hill in Rayners Lane after that.  And who can forget her services to vegan-kind, in her earlier guise as The Milk Snatcher?  Smashing the Unions, fighting General Galtieri and dealing with a party full of Tories would have been easy after dealing with the UK’s dairy industry.  I hate how people always dwell on the negative things she did.  She won three general elections for goodness sake; the only other person to do that recently was Tony Blair and everyone loves him.  Northerners, they’ve got such a blinked view of life; they can only see as far as the end of the mine shaft they’re working in, never the big picture.  Other than in Preston, where I think I still owe about £25 in Poll Tax, I can now freely explore the former council estates of Britain, safe in the knowledge that I’m surrounded by good, lower-middle-class owner-occupiers working in IT, breathing in air that’s free of heavy-industry pollutants or coal smog, knowing that thanks to Right to Buy and the resulting shortage of public housing and the artificially inflated cost of houses, I’ll be stuck in privately rented accommodation forever; until that is, I need to be moved to a nursing home like the Ritz.  Thank you Maggie, I’ll miss you.  You were great in “The Iron Lady” too; an excellent horror film that you really did look a lot like Meryl Streep in.  Anyway, I’m looking forward to playing my “In Memoriam: Margaret Thatcher” CD from Chumbawamba that got delivered yesterday.  I ordered it on 3rd March 2009, so it’s about time it arrived.  This is a horror film too.

Actually it’s a horror anthology.  I don’t normally like these but this one was actually really good.  Three stories.  The first stars a guy who looks scarily like George Osborne acting like Iain Duncan Smith, demonstrating the Government’s latest policy to deal with ‘welfare scroungers’.  The second features a bucket of semen; it’s been a while since I came across one of those.  And the final one’s about guy in a dog mask with a dominant girlfriend who’s terrified of dogs.  All pretty grim stuff.  Maggie was right, there really isn’t any such thing as society.  They’re all pretty pervy though.

The music varies between the three films, but is generally fine, if a bit forgettable.  However, the final one ends with a section that’s top stuff; brilliant.

No cats, chainsaws or decapitations.

Recommended for Government ministers, vivisectionists, homeless people, Nazis, prostitutes, drug-addicts and animal lovers.  You will find yourself in at least one of these films.

Top badass moment?  When you’ve just been done over by a George Osborne look-alike and his wife, it’s good to know that you and your mates will still get the last laugh.  Another Government policy to deal with spending on welfare goes wrong…

Little Deaths at IMDB (4.6 / 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)