Monday, December 27, 2010

Star Trek IV - The Voyage Home (1986)

Star Trek IV is considered by some the last episode of the so-called "Star Trek Trilogy". The trilogy consists of the movies II, III and IV, which are linked plotwise. In order to know what the beginning is all about, you should watch parts II and III first.

The film is directed and partly written by Leonard Nimoy, better known as Mr. Spock. He also directed the earlier Star Trek movie.

It's entertaining, I give it that. We get a very unlikely but interesting plot. An alien probe has come to Earth, communicating only with the songs of the extinct-in-the-23rd-century humpback whales. The signals the probe sends are so powerful that they're ionizing the atmosphere and threatening all life on Earth. Kirk must go back in time to get some whales.

The time travel sequence feels pretentious.

Well, end up in the 1980's, it seems, and this is the best part of the movie. Although it's the ancient alien-in-a-foreign-land scenario, with very basic jokes, it has a lot of entertainment value.  Kirk and his crew all try to act like 1980's people and go through all sorts of troubles before eventually getting back to 23rd century.

Kirk & Spock seach an 80s San Fran for humpback whales... They should've just beamed up a KFC.

Kirk thinks spock did a little too much LDS in his Berkeley years.

Then it basically just ends. The ending seems elongated and still it doesn't have any content. You just get some whale singing and some boring, predictable stuff happening very slowly. And while it lasts you'll begin to feel that's all there's going to be to it. And that's how it is. The interesting questions left at that moment, like "who sent the probe", or "what the fuck were the whales talking about", are all left unanswered. It's one of the most disappointing endings I've ever seen on film.

PROTIP: You can skip over this part.
It feels like the whole movie is there just to preach it's environmentalist message, yet it fails at that too. Isn't it nice to think that we can always go back in time to get some animals, if we start to miss them suddenly? Why are the humans blamed for their environmental destruction, while the aliens who send the probe almost manage to destroy the whole earth in a matter of hours with their excessive use of energy for communications?

OK. It's just a movie. Just quite stupid that's all.

I give it two stars.

Here's the imdb link and a trailer:

imdb link

Starcrash (1979)

Starcrash. Wow. Now this is a classic, at least in my books!

Directed by Luigi Cozzi under the pseudonym Lewis Coates, this low-budget italian gem from 1979 really hits the spot!

Screened two years after the first Star Wars movie, the film obviously tried to tap into Star Wars' success. Some things are straight rip-offs, like the overly polite robot companion. But this is entertainment at a different level than Star Wars is. This is pure cheese!

A spacecraft that looks like a moth shoots lasers at a giant robot's tits.

The plot: there's the good guys and there's some bad guys, and the good guys must kick the bad guys' ass. I don't really remember anything about the plot, but it's really not that important.

Instead the film is full of classic moments. You get a lot of stupid outfits, a lot of cleavage, you get the Hoff, you get starships shooting torpedoes that have soldiers inside them, a lot of crappy effects, a lot of colors and psychedelia, a robot with big tits, and much more!

Many times I found myself thinking "I didn't see that coming".

A torpedo comes through the window. Is it going to blow?
Wrong. Two soldiers jump out and start blasting lasers around.

The cast is quite interesting. As the protagonist you've got Marjoe Gortner. Now he's got an interesting history. He was a child preacher in the 1950s, and continued preaching as an adult, but just for the money. In the early 1970s he started to have a bad conscience about the business and in secrecy he made a backstage documentary about how he made business out of people's faith.

"You keep the Faith - Marjoe keeps the money - Catch his act!"

I have no idea what he's doing there.
I recommend the documentary for anyone that's in any way interested in the preaching business.

But who cares about Marjoe when you've got the Hoff?

The Hoff with Caroline Munro.

Then of course you have the scantily clad women, lots of them. The Bond girl Caroline Munro ends up being the real lead actor of this movie, getting most of the screen time.

Women always have comfier space suits in these movies.

The scenes look cheap but often look good too.

This movie is great fun! I give it 4 stars, a cheese factor bonus and a cleavage bonus!
Highly recommended for any sci-fi or B-movie fans!

Here's the trailer and an imdb link for you:

imdb link

EDIT: Just found this funny tribute to Starcrash at io9.

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Well, here it is. The 2010 sequel to the 2008 sci-fi action blockbuster starring Robert Downer Jr., Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke.

Mickey Rourke is BADASS!

It's a no-brainer. A lot of over-the-top action. A lot of jokes that don't make you laugh. I didn't even smile once during the whole movie. Some of the humor goes even to the border of being embarrassing. But it's still a quite entertaining movie. The actors do a quite good job and the action is exhilarating.

What did you expect from a Formula 1 race in an Iron Man movie?

The story is VERY stupid. Iron Man drives F1, gets drunk, throws a party and in the stupidest scene he finds a new element from a very unlikely place... After which he builds some sort of high-energy laser, points it at some triangle, and the triangle turns into the newly-found element.

Forming chemical elements unknown to modern science is sweaty work.

I give it 3 stars. It's OK entertainment, but don't expect anything deep from this one.

imdb link

Sunday, December 26, 2010

First post

This blog is about sci-fi movies. But it's not going to be your average blog.
There's going to be blood. Tits. A lot of B-movies, some stinkies. But a lot of good ones too.

I'm going to review them according to my own taste.

Criticism is welcome anyway, please comment!