Category Archives: Movie Reviews

Movie Review – Isle Of The Dead

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Isle Of The Dead (2016)

Director: Nick Lyon
Writers: Jacob Cooney (screenplay), Brandon Trenz (screenplay)
Stars: Joey Lawrence, Maryse Mizanin, Todd Cattell

Plot: A military squad is sent to a deserted island in the Pacific Ocean in order to secure top secret records involving a zombie epidemic that wiped out the large scientific team experimenting with various test chemicals and toxins which leads to the team battling not only zombies, but the lone surviving scientist who has plans for the future of the human race.

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Tagline: They’re more than dead!
My Tagline: Hmmmm…

Review: I love a good zombie flick as much as the next person. With some actors like Joey Lawrence (Blossom), (Brotherly Love), one would expect the acting performance to be a lot better. although there are some scenes in here which bend the norm of all zombie flicks (such as the Z Vs Z Fight Scene), this film did not reach the expectations that it could have done.

To be frank, the film reminded me of much of the game play on Dead Island series.

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Make Up effects were good, which is saying something. The acting could have been a lot better. But overall, a film I may watch again.

IMDB Rating: 5.3
My Rating: 6.5

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Movie Review – 5th Passenger

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5th Passenger (2018)

Director: Scotty Baker
Writers: Scotty Baker, Morgan Lariah | 1 more credit »
Stars: Doug Jones, Marina Sirtis, Mindy Robinson, Tim Russ, Armin Shimerman, Doug Jones, Hana Hatae, Morgan Lariah

Storyline: The year: 2151. In the aftermath of an oppressive class war, Miller, a pregnant officer aboard an escape pod must struggle to survive with her remaining crew when a mysterious and vicious life form attacks, determined to become the dominant species.

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Review: For anyone familiar with the Star Trek Universe, you will notice a lot of names in this film, like Marina Sirtis (Star Trek TNG), Tim Russ (Star Trek Voyager), Armin Shimerma (DS9).

While it does seem that half of the Star Trek Alumni banded together in yet another sci-fi film not related to Star Trek, the idea behind this film was simple enough to band together some great talent in a movie that was below grade.

The storyline is simple and has been done a few times before. A pregnant crew member is found on an escape pod and through VR Memory Clips, we see what happened to the rest of her crew, or at least, what you think happened to the crew. In the recount of her mind, each member of the crew is systematically killed off one by one by a bad version of a CGI spider.

But, was the crew really killed off by an alien spider, or is the mind of Eve Miller more diabolical than one can expect?

That, folks, is something you got to find out for yourself.

This film was obviously a low budget, but despite that, there were some good performances from the former Star Trek gang.

IMDB Rating: 3.4
My Rating: 6

Movie Review – Clawed

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Director: Steve Taylor
Writers: Steve Taylor, Rahul Chatterjee
Stars: Wade Sullivan, Cynthia Calvert, Felissa Rose

Storyline
A geology field trip into the remote Bear Claw wilderness area turns into a nightmare for a group of college students as they find themselves prey to a viscous man-beast the locals call The Shadow of Death.

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Review: Nothing to see here. Literally, there is nothing to see here in this film. Normally I will give a low/no budget film the benefit of the doubt and will try to watch to the very end. But this film I could only get as far as 15 minutes then turned it off, it was that bad. 9 minutes in before the opening credits start to roll. Before this, a podcaster with a clock ticking so loud to the point it was distracting. The effects were horrid and the acting was very one dimensional.

There is a reason why the full movie is up on YouTube.

IMDB Rating: 4.5
My Rating: Minus 10.

Movie Review – Tomb Invader (2018 TV Movie)

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Tomb Invader (2018 TV Movie)

Stars: Gina Vitori, Andrew J Katers, Samantha Bowling, Evan Sloan, Shawn McConnell, Lindsay Sawyer, Val Victa, Jordan Williams, Kate Watson, John Wusah, Tammy Klein.  Written by: Nick Zephyrin
Directed by: James H. Thomas

Tagline: Archaeology just got badass!

Plot: Archaeologist, Alabama Channing, is recruited by a mysterious billionaire to help find an ancient Chinese relic. The same treasure that her mother was in search of before she went missing.

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Review: This movie has terrible acting and of course rips off movies such as Tomb Raider, Indiana Jones, and several others. There is really not much I can say that is positive about this film. Clearly low budget, SPX were not all that great, and characters were very two dimensional. While the idea itself was good, it failed to deliver any real surprises. If you are expecting a film as good as “Tomb Raider”, then think again.

IMDB Rating: 2.3
My Rating: 1.

Movie Review – Get Out (2017)

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Get Out (2017)

A young African-American visits his white girlfriend’s parents for the weekend, where his simmering uneasiness about their reception of him eventually reaches a boiling point.

Director: Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele
Stars: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley WhitfordLil Rel Howery.

Plot: Chris and his girlfriend Rose go upstate to visit her parents for the weekend. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.

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Review: Sometimes I get to watch a movie that is sinister right from the start, and this film makes no difference.

Tagline: Just because you’re invited, doesn’t mean you’re welcome.
My Tagline: Guess who’se for dinner!

Get Out is the story of a young interracial couple, Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya) and Rose Armitage (Allison Williams), meeting her parents for the first time. By all counts, her parents have no idea that Chris is black. They appear to be friendly and progressive, if not awkward, but everything at their upstate house is not what it seems.

Done in a style that I would put in “true Hitchcock”, Jordan Peele wrote and directed this horror/thriller flick. While Jordan is no stranger to world of film (49 credits as an actor, going back to 2006), this was his first shot at directing a feature film. I will say that his directing debut certainly made the grade.

Imagine this: You go with your girlfriend to meet the folks at their country house. Soon after you arrive, you think you are seeing ghosts, but you are not. People brush off your instincts, and leave you wondering if you are going insane. You know you got to get out of the house and head back to the city, but you cannot leave. Everyone has it in for you, and are “bidding” on your body in a family game of “bingo”. Your girlfriend is the only way out of the madhouse, but then you discover that she is in on the scheme too.

What scheme does Rose and the rest of the Armitage family have in mind for Chris Washington?

That folks, I am not saying. You just need to watch this film for yourself and see the thriller unfold.

IMDB Rating: 7.7
My Rating: 9

Movie Review – ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction

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ZMD: Zombies of Mass Destruction

ZMD is a movie starring Janette Armand, Doug Fahl, and Cooper Hopkins. Life is wonderful for the people in the quiet, island town of Port Gamble….until a zombie virus outbreak!

Director: Kevin Hamedani
Writers: Ramon Isao, Kevin Hamedani
Stars: Janette Armand, Doug Fahl, Cooper Hopkins

Storyline: Life is wonderful for the people in the quiet, island town of Port Gamble….until a zombie virus outbreak!

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My Review: After seeing this somewhere on Facebook, I thought that this was one movie I wanted to watch. Only because it had Russell Hodgkinson (Z Nation) as one of the main roles.

Being a writer of horror, my viewing pleasure often gravitates towards films in the horror genre. Sometimes those films I watch are good, and other times… well… those should be be left on the cutting room floor…. And this film is another example where it should have been left in the editing room …. until the end of time….

In all honesty, and to be brief, this movie was a waste of time, a waste of talent and a waste of budget. For the reported $500K it cost to produce this film, the end result could have (and should have) been a lot better. No offense to the director and writer, but they could have used that half-mill to produce a feature film of substance and quality.

The only redeeming points about this film was the acting ability of Janette Armand and Russell Hodgkinson.

The only other movie that seemed to be similar was the 2003 Aussie film, Undead. If you want a move that will put you to sleep, then go ahead and watch this snoozefest. If you want to watch a film that is similar and much better, then go watch Undead (2003). At least that film was more entertaining.

IMDB Rating: 5.1
My Rating: 3

Movie Review – The Jurassic Games (2018)

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It is not often that I will review a movie, and maybe I need to as we tend to watch a lot of recent release movies.

SYNOPSIS

In the near future, 10 death row convicts are forced to compete in a virtual reality game that pits them against dinosaurs and each other.

REVIEW

What do you get when you jump on the bandwagon of the upcoming Jurassic World, mashed with Hunger Games and add a whole lot of The Running Man for good measure? That’s right, you get “The Jurassic Games“!

Simple storyline for this movie. 10 people on death row get the chance to fight for their freedom in a prehistoric Virtual Reality, against not only Dinosaurs but against each other. But in this “game show”, there are rules they need to follow, and only 1 is allowed to survive this new form of “Reality TV”.

When I first saw the ratings for this, I wondered if I was in store for another rip-off crap piece of junk movie. I will say I was pleasantly surprised 🙂

If you watch this movie (and I recommend that you do), there were some really good scenes that you have to watch  out for, and one that caught my interest in particular. Such as the Martial Arts Contract Killer Ren Saizo (played by Tiger Sheu) when he is trapped in a room in the Maze, along with 3 Raptors. His fighting style was good enough to hold off the lovable Raptors for a few good moments before.. well, you all know the odds of defeating a Raptor is you are unarmed 😉

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The second scene I found was really good is towards the end when the 2 remaining contestants had to survive against 3 T-Rex’s in the desert. Not giving that Spoiler Ending away 🙂

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Overall, the acting was not that bad, but then again, not the absolute best either. While there were a couple of characters who were likable, there were some that I didn’t care that much for.

The CGI effects were passable enough, unlike some other low budget films that we have watched in the past few months.

Even though the writers of this film ripped of a number of other films, I will say that the plot, acting and SPX were good enough to sit right through to see how it ended.

IMDB Rating: 3.8
Acting: 6
CGI: 7
My Overall Rating: 6.5

Movie Review – The Last Jedi

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When I saw the trailer for TLJ, I had very high expectations for this movie. What I expected was some awesome lightsaber duels, the identity of Snoke revealed, and some kick-ass scenes.

What I saw was 2+ hours of my life that I will never get back. The SW films, up to now, has been great. Even TFA had it’s moments. But this?

SPOILERS FOLLOW

Let’s start with the basic plot. Cruiser is low on fuel, and cruising just out of range of the Super Destroyers Blast Cannons to do major damage. This takes up a good part of the movie, which could have been condensed down to 5 minutes.

Poe taking on a Star Destroyer by himself in his fighter. Unlikely.

General Leah – There’s a scene where she gets blasted into space, and moments later uses the force to glide back to the ship.. No offense to the late Carrie Fisher, who was a great actress in her own right, but that scene did not make sense on any level. She wasn’t a Jedi Master, and being able to survive in space for as long as she was, defies everything that Jedi or Sith could pull off! Maybe they “borrowed” some ideas from the DCU to give her a moment of being Supergirl.

The opening scene, where Rey hands Luke the lightsaber. Two years we waited for this moment. The expectations we must have all had, to see where this was going to lead.. And what happened? Luke tosses the lightsaber away. WTF!!!!! Two years of waiting for this moment just for that?

Chewie – Scenes with Chewie were great to see, although we did not get to see him in much action whatsoever. A waste of great screen time for a lovable favorite.

Snoke – This character is supposedly a Sith Lord. More powerful than Palpatine. What I expected was a confrontation between him and Luke. Instead, what we see is Rey and Kylo Ren in his throne room, and in what has to be the most unmemorable death scene of a villain in cinematic history, he merely gets sliced in half by Kylo. (Mind you, a moment later Snoke boasts that he knows everything that Kylo was thinking. Yet, he didn’t know that Kylo was about to kill him??? PALEASE!)

After Snoke is wasted, Rey and Kylo go up against Snoke’s guards, who are nothing more than Samurai Ninjas. That scene reminded me heavily of something I have seen in Chinese New Year parades. I was just waiting for a 50 ft dragon to make an appearance in that scene. 🙂

The Porgs? Great for merchandise, but despite the rumors of how “vicious” they can be, they are nothing more than Disney product placement. Very poorly done on the part of Disney.

Yoda makes an appearance. The CGI was poor at best. One would think that with all our modern technology, the CGI would have been so much better. But no. Then, in a new move, Yoda’s Force Ghost manipulates the atmosphere to make lightning burn down the ancient Jedi Tree. (Jedi Tree? Seriously???) Perhaps they got the idea for that from the movie, Avatar?

Then there’s the ending scene where Luke faces Kylo. Luke performs a few Neo (Matrix) maneuvers, then we find out that it isn’t Luke at all, but his Force Projection! HUH! So Luke, (having abandoned the ways the force), can project an image of himself across galaxies, then we see him at the Island where he sees the twin suns (Tattooine) and then dies.

WOW! Worst death scene of a Jedi ever… Even Mace had a better ending scene than this!

General Hux – This idiot reminds me of a Hitler wanna-be, but has no clue how to command his own military and is often incompetent in the smallest orders Snoke gives him. An idiot through and through.

The plot was a mess. Disney really pulled out all stops to make this film even more unbelievable with the tripe this film was.

It is obvious Rian has never watched a Star Wars movie in his life.

Although it was great to see old favorites in the film, such as 3PO, R2, Chewie. They served no real plot purpose other than screen time to remain in the series. R2’s cameo moment was also uneventful.

SPX was average. Overall, this movie was poorly written, with no real purpose. It definitely was not worth waiting 2 years that I (and many fans) had hoped for.

With Luke dead, Snoke dead, that leaves nothing for the next installment in the series. Which is sad indeed.

With Kylo and Rey both without masters to teach them, where do they go from here?

Too many questions left unanswered in this. Who was Snoke? Who were Reys parents? If Snoke was “so powerful”, why was he so easily killed off? WTF was with Luke “fading into the sunset” at the end?

I think we all know what will happen in the final installment. Kylo will turn back to the Light, and the saga will be complete.

I give this movie a 1 out of 10. That 1 being for the Crystal Foxes. Otherwise, don’t waste your time watching this.

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