Geostorm So Bad Its Good

Sometimes I am in the mood for another ridiculous disaster film. “Geostorm” certainly qualifies. This is a disaster of a disaster film. It managed to get shelved by the studio for three years after production, probably because they correctly assumed it would bomb. And yes, it has bombed domestically. Having received the rare zero star review from Rex Reed, only time will tell if the film’s international cast and left wing ideological perspective will generate a better reception abroad.

Directed by the writer-producer of “Independence Day” and “The Day After Tomorrow,” it is about a future where weather satellites have become necessary due to man-made bad weather. Unfortunately, the satellites begin to malfunction, resulting in parts of the Middle East freeing, tsunamis in Brazil, China burning, etc.. Only Gerard Butler and his less charismatic brother Jim Sturgess can prevent a “geostorm,” the mother of all storms. This film is basically like Independence Day but without the aliens, crossed with the classic disaster film like Airport or Earthquake. The directing has a great style because it is so obviously hokey and tongue in cheek that it plays like a 1950’s sci-fi B movie.

The timing of this film’s release is interesting when you consider all of the natural disasters which hit the US this year. The (idea in the movie) that global warming is causing this is hokey and irritating, but once you get past that you realize the film implicates the deep state in harmful weather modification.

The movie begins as left-wing propaganda about global warming, complete with little girl leftist voiceover. A bunch of BS about how the global community has to get together to save the world occurs. Then it  turns into hidden propaganda about the deep state trying to destroy the world through weather modification in order for financial gain. Andy Garcia (who saves the world of course) is the President, and Ed Harris (deep state) is Secretary of state. Both act well. In the 90s there were films with great casts like this, but we don’t get to see an ensemble like this as often anymore.

By the end of the film, we have seen every kind of disaster one could think of, and it all makes about as much sense as “Highland er 2: The Quickening.” There are annoying parts such as the obligatory promise the daughter you will return from outer space BS. Yet the film redeems itself with its stellar cast, awesome special effects, hokey national security “we need to warn the president” type fun, and funny sense of humor. There is also the stereotypical multinational and multiethnic space crew thing, including a female character named Fassbender, who we can only imagine is a Hollywood inside joke.

 

Though this movie actually may have been better had aliens saved the earth, I still enjoyed the film as a guilty pleasure and absurd escapism. It’s not good, but I’ve seen a lot worse. If you want to see a silly but fun disaster movie, I recommend “Geostorm.”

Thoughts on Close Encounters

They have for some reason rereleased the Steven Spielberg classic Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind theatrically. It is competing against such other classics as Nut Job 2. Rather than doing a traditional review, I am going to bring up some questions which came to mind while watching this on the big screen 40 years after the original release.

  1. The first thing which is striking about this film by today’s standards is the extent to which Spielberg trashes the middle class traditional family. The husband is being accosted by his spoiled brat kids, who will not compromise with him regarding family outings and such. The kids and wife are always bugging and nagging him about little things and don’t allow Dreyfuss to realize his full potential as a human being.
  2. The husband leaves the wife (Terri Garr) for Melina Dillon, whose child he saves. He does this to feel like a man and to be a hero. Does Spielberg feel that men should leave their wives in pursuit of adventure and for a higher purpose? The way Dreyfuss leaves with the aliens is not unlike how Jesus’s Apostles were called upon and left everything behind, including their wives and children.
  3. Which brings us to the next point, why was Dreyfuss chosen by the aliens as the sole human to be allowed entry to the spacecraft? The aliens swarm around him in with his arms extended wide (in a messianic fashion). Is Spielberg saying that Dreyfuss becomes the messiah as the aliens decided to share advanced technology or thought with him. Am thinking this has to do something with the telekinesis he has in terms of having been sent the idea to meet the aliens at Devil’s Canyon. Perhaps telekinesis would allow the aliens to speed up the communication with humans to a great extent.
  4. An interesting side-note is that the only other character the aliens choose to interact with in the film is the French scientist played by Trauffaut, a great French director. He does the hand signs that correlate to the notes. Why did the aliens choose him to speak to? Because of his intellectual curiosity??
  5. At the press conference the older cowboy dude discredits the UFO siting by bringing up his Bigfoot experience. Was this guy a nut, genuine, or a government spook who was planted at the news conference in order to discredit the eyewitnesses? Does Spielberg believe in Bigfoot? Poltergeist, A.I., and Close Encounters were the only screenplays he actually wrote by the way. So he was into far out stuff.
  6. The cow mutilations in the film. What’s up with that? The one dude with the glasses does get gassed by the black helicopter. However, the other people take their masks off when they are by the military. Were the cows gassed or precision slayed like in real life? Was the government testing the cows for radiation?
  7. Also , the aliens in the film do have the tall skinny ones, and then the short stubby ones , like in Whitley Strieber’s Communion. Does Spielberg believe this is what aliens really look like and that aliens exist?
  8. Spielberg has been quoted as saying that NASA originally sent him a 20 page letter telling him to not make the film. That making this film would be too dangerous for the general public. What’s up with that???

Alien 3 : Underrated

“Alien: Covenant” inspired me to re-watch the third and fourth “Alien” films. “Alien Resurrection,” the fourth one, did nothing for me but I really love “Alien 3.” As a stand-alone film, it is one of the most frightening and despairing films I have ever seen. The first film by the great director David Fincher (“Seven,” “Fight Club”), it finds Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) crashed into a prison planet, with her friends Newt and Hicks (from “Aliens”) dead. There was an egg on her ship, and now the Alien is haunting the prison planet. Can she stop the alien and save humanity? Is this the bleakest film ever made? I’d vote for the most underrated.

The script’s decision to make vile prisoners protagonists caused much audience derision, but it makes for a fascinating film. Also interesting is the film’s cinematography and production design, which create images that will singe their way into your brain. The music by Elliot Goldenthal is highly memorable and marked his big break as a composer of blockbusters. Finally, Groin Hall of Famer Charles Dance gives a great performance as Clemons, as does Charles S. Dutton as the most complex of the convicts. Whether you’re watching the Theatrical Cut or the extended, more coherent 2003 Assembly Cut, “Alien 3” is a powerful, ambitious film that is far better than it is given credit for. David Fincher, take another look at your film: it’s great! (He disowned it.) Much better than “Gone Girl”!

Guardians is a Hoot

I assumed I would never like a movie with a talking raccoon, but “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is a blast. The secret, I think, is in the casting. I am not a big fan of Chris Pratt, but he is perfect as Starlord in both films. Zoe Saldana is also good, but the show is continually stolen by Bradley Cooper as a foul-mouthed talking raccoon. Throw in Dave Bautista and Vin Diesel as the voice of Baby Groot and you have a cast of outcast heroes worth cheering.

I liked this film better than the first because of the cast being so much fun to watch. Not only do we get Sylvester Stallone and (in a memorable role) Kurt Russell, but Michael Rooker gets to be the hero. The 3-D, surprisingly, is very good, and the film never seems stuck in Marvel Movie Formula. In short, the film is a hoot and will probably make a gazillion dollars. And, yes, Stan Lee and Howard T. Duck make brief appearances.

Sci-Fi Roundup

This movie is not the Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence jail comedy. Its about a crew fighting a killer amoeba. Although the overall quality of films the last five or ten years has spiked downward, sci-fi has spiked upward in quality with some wonderful films that haven’t gotten the attention they deserve. The current film “Life,” for example, is a very interesting “Alien” knockoff about what would happen if we discovered alien life on Mars. The answer: nothing good. We think we’re getting “E.T.” and instead we’re getting something worse than The Thing. This film has interesting characters, some believable science, and is a tremendously inspired production. The director uses long, painstakingly crafted sequences to draw us in and (hopefully) make us forget we’re watching a movie. The performances of Jake Gylllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, and Ryan Reynolds draw us in, and, although the film is similar to “Alien,” it scares us.

The new film “Phoenix Forgotten,” produced by Ridley Scott, is a found-footage film in the style of “The Blair Witch Project” about the Phoenix Lights UFO incident from 1997. A group of teens witness the event and decide to investigate further and film what they find. Bad idea. It turns out that the incident is much more sinister in nature than they thought. Will they survive? Maybe not, but their quest proves somewhat compelling as all of us are curious about UFO’s. The film is well-made, acted, and scored and delivers some terror on a low budget. It’s not great, but you could do worse.

Ghost in the Shell is Deep

I thought I knew what to expect from “Ghost in the Shell.” I assumed it would have great visuals and a mindless plot. I was right about the visuals. Although the futuristic city portrayed in the film looks a little too close to “Blade Runner,” overall the film is convincing and occasionally mind-blowing in terms of its visual impact. The surprise about the new film is that director Rupert Sanders has a story to tell, and tells it well. What would it be like to be an android (or, actually, a cyborg) with no body to call your own and memories you can’t trust? This film tells you.

I was very impressed with the cast that this film put together. It is true that Scarlett Johannson is rather miscast as the heroine, but this is only because her character is supposed to be Asian. She should have asked for rewrites to tailor the part more to her. However, “Beat” Takeshi Kitano (the Japanese action star), Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt are excellent in their roles.

The film is getting a lot of flack for supposedly “whitewashing” Japanese material. On the contrary, the film is very respectful to the magna and anime series, and to such a degree that I’m rather stunned. The scenes where the protagonist discovers the truth about herself are rather affecting. This film succeeds in capturing the essence of the film series, and I would not mind a sequel to this film. If you like science fiction and especially if you like anime, check it out! – CoolAC

Plan 9 From Underworld

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The “Underworld” series is really something. It has great action and special FX and terrible scripts. The new installment, “Underworld: Blood Wars,” finds the heroine played by Kate Beckinsale once again in the middle of the war between vampires and Lycans, or werewolves. Her character is really hot and apparently cannot be killed and is a Death Dealer. Charles Dance (from “The Golden Child” and “Alien 3”) is also in the movie as the heroine’s (I think)grandfather, and he hams it up in fine Christopher Lee fashion. He’s a great actor and has helped save many a genre film. However, most of the acting and literally the entire script is bad. All this business about Lycans and Death Dealers is beyond me to explain, but what’s good about this movie and the series is the action and set design. I did feel like I was in another world, albeit a world without character development.

To say this film is ridiculous is a grave understatement; there is so much sneering and so many double-crosses that the film becomes a parody of itself. Beckinsale doesn’t act; she just poses. Many of the actors appear to be posing for a Calvin Klein commercial, in fact. And yet despite all this, I LIKED this flick. It’s like a Hammer film crossed with Clive Barker’s “Nightbreed” on crack. It aims for a sort of “Empire Strikes Back” kind of feeling, and it doesn’t totally fail. It earns its R rating with massive bloodshed and lots of sexual innuendo. And it doesn’t seem TOO much like a video game. The series also beat “Twilight” and “The Daybreakers” to the screen, so it was passably original. If the scripts had ever been any good, this could’ve been the greatest horror series ever. As it is, it is one of my leading guilty pleasure. You have to put your brain on hold, but if you do, “Underworld: Blood Wars” is good fun. I would compare it to the 90s sci-fi epic “Waterworld” in that regard.

Blade Runner 2049 Looks Sharp

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Finally, a sequel that I want to see: “Blade Runner 2049” looks awesome! The new teaser trailer features Vangelis’ music (although he’s not scoring the film) and a violent standoff between Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford in a dusty, environmentally devastated future.

Here are some reasons why the film will be good: Ryan Gosling, Harrison Ford, and Jared Leto are terrific actors who could potentially save even a disappointing film. 2. Denis Villeneuve is a very good director who cares about his work, as evidenced by “Arrival” and “Sicario.” 3. Hampton Fancher, screenwriter of the original film, wrote this one, and Ridley Scott is producing. 4. The trailer indicates that this will recapture the noir feel of the original film and surely NOT be a soulless special FX spectacle.

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On the other hand, here’s why the film might suck: 1. Jared Leto’s films are widely variable in quality, from the greatness of “Dallas Buyers’ Club” to the formula dreck of “Suicide Squad.” 2. David Webb Peoples, the OTHER writer of the first film, is not back for this. 3. Harrison Ford’s recent “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” sequels have not been that great.

Of course, the big question is: How are they going to explain bringing Ford back? He was supposed to be a replicant with a 3-year life span, according to the Director’s Cut. Also, Ford reportedly didn’t like the first movie, so why is he doing this one?

Despite these issues, I’d much rather see this movie than “XXX 3,” “John Wick 2,” and “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” combined. This is a sequel to a classic that just might match or exceed the original film. “Blade Runner 2049” looks like a winner that would make Philip K. Dick proud!

-CoolAC

Rise of the Sexbots – Final Chapters Outline

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Scene 8 
 
Variety Club 
 
The captured skaters forced to undergo transformative surgery. As they are tied to 
schoolroom chairs and forced to watch a promo video about their 
transformations, labor and the sexbotsVier is about to be forcefully 
transmutated. 
 
The camera that the SKATERS hid in the working mine area proves to the SKATERS 
that Vier is alive. The WORKER MUTANTS tear apart the camera. The BIKERS 
who are armed with metal bars, fire axes, and junk go to face off with the 
MUTANTS. 
 
Nearly all of the Will of the People are killed off by mutants. TRISH, GOOGAMOOGA 
and KANGAZOO hide in some rubble. They radio back to the gas station base. 
 
 
Scene 9 
 
Peter Panic 
 
The plan the SKATERS come up with is conveyed over the radio. The SKATERS at  
base set up a van as a SONIC DESTRUCTION Unit. Loudspeakers blaring NO 
GOD ONLY PAIN, flanked on both sides by columns of SKATERS with light 
bombs and pistols, it gets to the gate of the Echelon Agency building.  
 
There’s no one guarding the gate. KANGAZOO and GOOGAMOOGA interrogate a 
BIKER for the access code to open the front. When the van crashes through 
into the foyer of the Echelon/bot.gov building, Vier recognizes the music. 
 
The noise disables the MUTANT workers and the BIKERS. The SKATERS get away 
with Vier in the van. When the music is out of earshot, both the MUTANTS 
and the BIKERS join together to crash through the gates of the work area and 
kill the lizards. 
 
Scene 10  
 
The TOP BRASS of the LIZARDS enter into escape space vessels. The ENGINEER 
LIZARDS try to hide with the sexbots. The MUTANTS tear through the 
kennels and fight the LIZARDS. 
 
The LIZARDS crank up the poplaver music. But it doesn’t effect the Will of the 
People BIKERS. The BIKERS fight the remaining LIZARDS fiercely. A sprinkler 
 system breaks out and floods the flames that cause the sexbots to malfunction. 
On a global scale the mutants plan revenge with their international allies from 
space. The SKATERS return to loot the Echelon facility for tetras and sexbots
They look for surviving BIKERS to bring to their folds. 
 
 
 

NYE: Night of the Comet?

 

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People are talking about a “large” comet that is supposedly visible to the naked eye and will be passing on NYE. This is supposed to go down while partyers are out in the streets, waiting for the ball to drop. Some website forums are spelling doom for society and talking about elites taking to underground bunkers in anticipation of the comet slamming into Earth.

This all very closely resembles the plot of the classic 80s camp sci-fi classic Night of the Comet. 80s camp films have a lot of social criticisms embedded in them, which are poignant, and often overlooked. In that film, those who follow the crowd (and stand in the streets watching the comet) are turned into a pile of red dust. Only their sneakers and clothes remain. Just like holiday shoppers -even the survivors in the film would mostly rather go fashion shopping than worry about more practical type things. Meanwhile scientists are living in underground bunkers, aiming to harvest the dumb blondes’ organs. And zombie police are out to bust anyone for anything ( just like in real life) – and to eat them.

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Night of the Comet and movies like Omega Doom are said by some to be warnings from the elite about events that only insiders know about. Night of the Comet was likely one such piece of multi-dimensional propaganda. It was intended to warn those willing to look past the surface of the film and to look into the hidden message of the film: that excessive mass-culture consumerism and herd mentality will lead to certain calamity.

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