Thursday, October 29, 2015

Robinson Crusoe on Mars (1964)

I watched Robinson Crusoe on Mars because someone told it is 60's version of The Martian (2015). First half could be seen as such. I don't know what was scientific understanding of Mars at the time. If you study history of science you will learn science has got it wrong many times. First half could follow scientific understanding of the time but I doubt it because last half certainly doesn't.

First half is about astronaut surviving on Mars with monkey after crash landing. He has limited supply of air and water. When he is running out of them he finds new sources of both.First minutes feel scientifically accurate but accuracy goes down each moment. Soon he is walking on Mars without spacesuit and takes oxygen only every now and then.

At halfway point astronaut finds his Friday who is slave of advanced race. This point also introduces flying saucers and bombardments. Flying saucers bombard Mars when they search for Friday who escaped them. Movie turns into astronaut and Friday running from flying saucers. Then astronaut is saved. It comes out of the blue. Spaceship just lands and movie ends.

This left dozens of question open. Why flying saucers didn't attack space ship? Flying saucers had advanced weaponry and space ship had nothing. Flying Saucers were much more advanced than anything on Earth. Why they stayed on Mars and not attacked Earth? Why the astronaut was only earthling to see them? There were other astronauts orbiting Mars.What happens to Friday? Does he go to Earth or stay on Mars?

I don't need my science fiction movies to explain everything but I like to have explanations on big issues. Flying saucers were shown as threat but as soon as spaceship lands they are gone. There were few other too convenient things too but this was biggest problem. I would have liked this more without Friday and flying saucers. Just like The Martian.

Monday, October 26, 2015

The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961) & Red Zone Cuba (1966)

I think I can combine these two Coleman Francis movies. Those who say Ed Wood makes worst movies have not seen any Coleman Francis' movies. Manos - The Hands of Faith (1966) is said to be worst movie ever made but at least it was weird. These two are just painfully boring.

The Beast of Yucca Flats is less worse of these two for two reasons. I can't call it better. It is shorter and has narrator. Both movies have reading lines from paper level acting, terrible editing and senseless story. Shorter length is big deal and narrator helps to follow the story.

I had to rewind few times with Red Zone Cuba because I thought I had missed something. It is hard to concentrate on Coleman Francis' movie and you think you missed something because what is happening on screen doesn't make sense with what just happened. Each time I had not missed anything. Story just didn't make any sense.

This was worst with Red Zone Cuba when men went into bar, ordered something and next moment they were choking bartender. There was no reason for choking but it happened. Editing or acting didn't give any reason for choking. Music was only thing indicating how characters feel or how we should feel. It is quite disorienting when music and acting were so disconnected.

The Beast of Yucca Flats is science fiction story of scientist who is turned into monster by atom bomb. This might sound lot like Marvel's Hulk who appeared into comics 1962 but Hulk is not inspired by this. Hulk smashs. The Beast of Yucca Flats chokes. Coleman Francis seems to have fetish for choking. As he does with shooting people from helicopter or aeroplane.

Red Zone Cuba's story is bit weirder and I honestly couldn't understand all of it. Guy escapes from prison. He meets two ex-convict who want to start honest new life. Then they end up to Cuba on Bay of the Pigs Invasion. Cubans capture them. They escape from prison camp. They start to kill random people. They stop killing because they don't want cops after them. Cops find them anyway.

It was hard to follow without narrator. Not that narrator in The Beast of Yucca Flats was any good. Narrator just told what film makers wanted us to know. Nothing else did. Red Zone Cuba is worst film I have seen. Opening is bad but it is nothing compared to what will come. Bad editing, bad acting and bad story. Red Zone Cuba got it all. What makes it worst movie is because is it so boring. Scenes seem to last forever and characters are uninteresting.Things just happen and you don't care. You just hope it is over.

Coleman Francis has made third movie The Skydivers (1963). I was curious enough to put it on but not curious enough to concentrate on it. After few minutes I realized it is not worth the effort but I let it run on background while doing something else. It has everything you can expect from Coleman Francis movie including bad acting, bad editing and shooting people from aeroplane.

It is not Red Zone Cuba level bad but I can't say anything good about it except skydiving scenes looked somewhat professional.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Continuum 4th season

If video is not shown, you can watch it here.

I had to make video review of fourth and last season of Continuum. I have already done video reviews of all previous seasons. You can find them from: Continuum: First SeasonContinuum: Second Season and Continuum: Third Season.

Fourth season concludes Continuum stories. Check the video to know what I thought about it.

If you liked the video you can find more videos from here.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Lucy (2014)

I wouldn't have believed best thing in Luc Besson movie starring Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman is length. With Lucy this is the case. Movie is based on myth you use only 10 % of your brains. Luc Besson may have seen Lawnmower Man (1992) and inspired to make this afterwards. How ever he didn't inspired to make complete movie. This feels more like work in progress than final product.

When I watch science fiction movie I expect some level of realism. Movie can have unrealistic things in it. But country where killing is not illegal or big thing is not what I expect to see if it is not a theme of the movie in any way. Movie starts in Asian country where gangsters kill people like it is not a big thing.

One character is killed at the front door of expensive hotel. More people are killed inside hotel room. Hotel room looks like site of massacre. When Lucy escapes the gangsters she kills taxi driver out in open just for reason he doesn't speak English. Then she goes to hospital when she kills patient and ask doctors to operate on her.

Lucy is blackmailed to become drug smuggler. Drug package get broken inside her. This gives her more use of her brains and she gains supernatural powers. Lucy's development follows Lawnmower Man's development quite close. Lucy feels like Lawnmower Man with different premise and modern effects.

Lucy don't stay consistent. Movie throws us different things all the time. Lucy should be extra smart but she left gangsters alive so they can be there at the end of the movie. She had no problem killing a taxi driver but she don't kill gangsters who wants to kill her.

I have not gone into Lucy's superpowers because they make no sense. Why using more of your brain gives you telekinesis and let you see radio waves? Why getting 100% use of your brain lets you leave your body and live in internet? Almost same happened in Lawnmower Man.

This movie is only 90 minutes long. It is such a mess shorter length is really good thing. Anything can happen because nothing makes sense. There are no stakes because anything can happen. Movie tries to be cool. It doesn't work at all if you didn't think it is cool. It is hard to see it as cool when everything made so little sense.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (2010)

I had to watch Tucker and Dale vs. Evil after I heard second recommendation. This time it was listed along with Moon and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. Both movies are among my favorites of this decade. Tucker and Dale vs. Evil is not but it is still worth seeing.

Movie is parody of movies where college kids go to woods and are attacked by local hilly billies. This time the hilly billies are the good guys. Tucker has bought cabin in the woods and is there to fix it with his friend Dale. Group of college kids camp at nearby lake. Misunderstandings and horror story by fire makes college kids think Tucker and Dale are after them.

This results accidental deaths which mix splatter to slapstick. Movie is always at the brink of not working. It is 90 minute movie. The joke almost don't last as long. They have to change style bit for ending. Movie would have worked better ten of fifteen minutes shorter but then it would have missed magic 90 minutes mark more.

Movie lacks interesting characters. Tucker and Dale have personalities but most of collage kids don't have personalities of their own. Movie works only on humor from misunderstandings and innovative ways people accidentally die. This is barely enough for length of the movie. But the movie works. You may need to know the genre to enjoy the movie.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Martian (2015)

The Martian is a movie have been waiting for long time. Big budget hard science fiction movie which stays scientifically accurate through out the movie.  Interstellar (2014) was sold us as such but ending was anything but scientifically accurate. Trailer made the movie look more like action movie. I think it almost has more action than the movie itself.

Posters told this movie was from director of Alien and Blade Runner. That was good sign because both movies are high on my favorite movies list. Blade Runner being first on the list. Ridley Scott has made big movies since but nothing has surpassed those two. This won't do that either but on my list this his best movie since Blade Runner.

Story itself is quite simple. Mars mission has to be evacuated due storm but one man is left behind. He has to survive on Mars until he can be saved from the planet. Problem is he doesn't have enough supplies. This is premise for movie where most scientifically inaccurate thing is the storm at the beginning and how hard it is to make water on Mars.  Making water on Mars is easier than movie lets us believe.

Movie don't have romance or villain. Closest thing to villain is planet Mars which just is hostile to any life. Movie is based on web novel which was published in little parts and corrected if there were any scientifically inaccurate things. Water and storm were only thing left to novel and out of those water was left because no one knew better at the time. Storm was left because story needed the reason the astronaut to be left on Mars.

Premise and film length may make this sound like boring movie. I felt like it too before the movie but everything worked better than I expected. I hope this does well in box office and we see more movies like this.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 2

If video is not shown, you can watch it here.

I am back to making videos. I won't make this weekly thing. I try to make one or two videos a week to keep my YouTube channel alive. Blog posts are still more popular than videos but I hope videos catch up when I become better.

You can think this as season two of my videos. What is better way to start second season than review second season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. I reviewed first season here. It was video review so I had excuse to make this video review too.

If you liked the video you can find more videos from here.

Monday, October 5, 2015

2010 (1984)

2010 is sequel to 2001: A Space Odyssey. This is movie's biggest problem. 2001 was weird masterpiece. 2010 is much more like normal movie. It is hard science fiction movie with little weirdness of 2001. Movie is based on Arthur C Clarke's novel. Story is interesting but it lacks genius of Stanley Kubrick. I like 2010 but I have problem with it being sequel to 2001.

Movie feels bit weird watching it 2015. When it was made Soviet Union was still strong and looked like it will still be there 2010. That didn't happen. Movie tells collaborative space flight of Soviet Union and USA. If you replace Soviet Union with Russia that has happened. When movie was made space flight like that didn't look realistic.

World is brink of nuclear war which reflects to the space flight. Space flight is collaborative mission to 2001's space ship. Soviet Union can make it in time but they don't know enough of 2001's space ship. USA knows but they can't make it in time. This forces both sides to work together. Crew can work together but situation in Earth makes thing problematic.

2010 is hard science fiction movie. It stays realistic through out the movie if you don't count monoliths and what they do. Movie explains many mysteries of 2001. Some may find this taking away the greatness of 2001. Explaining suits tone of this movie.

2010 is good example of hard science fiction movie. You don't need close calls if you have interesting story and good characters. Movie has good message even today. It is kind of shame it is 2001 sequel and not standalone movie. It is too good to be just a sequel to masterpiece like 2001.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Core (2004)

The Core is one of those science fiction disaster movies which get science terrible wrong. This time disaster is earth's core stopping. While movie gets some scientific concepts right most is terrible wrong. Lately Hollywood has started to listen real scientists but this was done before that.

The Core is quite generic and forgettable. There are no characters you will remember after the movie is over. Narcissistic scientist is only one with any personality and even he is one dimensional and his character arc is predictable. Predictability is big problem  Hilary Swank's character does couple unpredictable things but that is about it.  Those unpredictable things almost make her character interesting but nothing comes out of that.

I always wonder why science fiction disaster movies want to look hard science fiction movies. Why not have science right if you want to look scientific and realistic? Even if you don't catch scientific mistakes too many close calls eat realism. The Core start to feel like slasher when characters start to die one by one. They either sacrifice themselves to help others or die when crew gets into problems.

I understand they are doing something dangerous but it is so consistent it don't feel realistic. When they have any problems you can be almost sure someone dies. It would have been a twist is everyone survived at least one problematic situation. I am not counting ending because two characters we have followed through out the movie can't die. The Core won't take changes like that.

If you really have to watch science fiction disaster movie you can make worse choice than The Core. If you don't think too much it is well made movie and there are not major flaws. Science is off the mark but otherwise there are no major flaws.