A top temporal agent, he beams into a remote town in the middle of the American desert with a mission that will affect the future. However, a hit-team lead by Tim Trancers Thomerson is out to stop him. Grieco's only help - his ex-partner (Mark Hamill - how the mighty have fallen!) and Cynthia Geary (Northern Exposure's blonde bimbo, now a shotgun-toting cowgirl).
This is the pilot episode of a more mature version of the show Sliders - it concerns cross-dimensional travel to alternate Earths. The second dimension featured here is one where all oils have been consumed by a bacterium designed to clean up an oil spill. As a result, petroleum/gasoline and plastic no longer exist.
Jason, a hero of Ancient Greece, has to fulfil a quest - retrieve the Golden Fleece. He recruits a team of the finest athletes, and since his ship is named The Argo then they are called the Argonauts. However, among his crew is the son of his enemy, a wicked King who killed Jason's family.
As the quest proceeds the Argonauts encounter all manner of mythical beasts, played by Harryhausen's masterful creations. These include
Dirk Benedict, on the other hand, went on to star in The A-Team and was last seen in Official Denial . Here he is excellent as the Han Solo-style cigar-smoking gambler, Starbuck. This reviewer's favourite scene is when the 2 women Starbuck had seduced meet face-to-face - and just as they start to cat-fight over him, he ditches them both in favour of a poker game!
The story is quite simple. In a distant part of the galaxy there are 12 human colonies, at war with robotic enemies called Cylons. The Cylons launch a sneak attack that destroys most of the Colonial fleet and their worlds. The Colonials load their surviving population into a ragtag fleet of space vessels. Led by their only surviving warship, the Battlestar Galactica,
Kirk, unaware that he is being hunted by an adversary he had long since forgotten about, is training a new crew for the Enterprise. Kirsty Alley plays Lieutenant Saavik, later played by Robin Curtis in ST III: Search for Spock and replaced by Kim Cattrall 's character Valeria in ST VI: Undiscovered Country.
Cruise is excellent, if slightly OTT, as the monstrous Louis. However, the real monster is one that he creates. Kristen Dunst is excellent as Claudia the child-vampire. She conveys both the innocence and selfishness of childhood and the wisdom of her many years.
Louis and Claudia travel to Paris, where they meet a vampiric Antonio Banderas, who actually seems several inches shorter than Pitt. His sidekick is a mime who can walk up walls (and whose cloak is equally unaffected by gravity). They run a theatre, and live in the catacombs beneath the city. However, there is danger for Claudia ...
This is based on the works of Anne Rice , written back when vampires were seductive as opposed to Heavy-Metal roadie types. However, some of the things she invented for her novel appear to have entered mainstream vampire mythology. For instance, to become a vampire Louis had to drink the blood of his sire, Lestat. Also, the cliche of the tortured vampire with a soul that is so successful for Angel Chronicles ...
Anne Parillaud plays a French vampire who goes gangster-hunting in Chicago. Anthony LaPaglia is a cop sent undercover by Angela Bassett to spy on mobsters Robert Loggia ( Lifepod ) and Chaz Palminteri (Usual Suspects).
Parillaud was incredible in La Femme Nikita, and has never risen to that level again. She does do full-frontal nudity in this (hey, she is French) but her presence adds very little to the film overall. She's not sexy, and her accent is just plain irritating; so why make her do a voice-over???
A much better film about teen sexuality is Risky Business ... the perfect woman in that film is Rebecca De Mornay , and the geek (Tom Cruise) gets off with her as soon as he meets her.
The world's machinery is taken over by a mysterious force (a UFO, according to the tag at the end of the film) and start to kill their human users. Emilio Estevez ( ) and a bunch of others are trapped at a motorway service station surrounded by killer HGVs. Familiar faces include Pat Hingle as Estevez' corrupt boss and Yeardly Smith as a young bride on her honeymoon.
The soundtrack is by AC/DC, produced by Robert Mutt Lange - currently married to rock princess Shania Twain !
Scripts were drafted by William Wisher (who previously wrote Terminator 2 ) and Hollywood uber-hack Steven E De Souza. And the script is the real problem. The film has other flaws - plenty of them; the fusion of comic and film just does not work. But half-way through, just as the Angel Gang make a gratuitous five-second appearance, the film completely loses its way. The climax has so many cliches it makes Lethal Weapon films look original!
Danny Cannon is a self-proclaimed Dredd fan, and actually had some Dredd artwork (a fan-fic poster of the Dredd movie with Harrison Ford in the lead role) published in 2000AD in the late 1980s. His prior film credits included The Young Americans, a so-so Harvey Keitel thriller. Since then, all he's done is the atrocious I Still Know What You Did Last Summer . Enough said.
Diane Lane was most probably cast as Judge Barbara Hershey because she resembles the actress the character was based on back in 1980. Also, she is quite short, which makes her the perfect choice to star opposite Stallone. She has appeared topless in two previous films (including Knight Moves with her then husband, Highlander star Christopher Lambert), and seems to have had breast implants before she did Murder at 1600. However, her nipples are nowhere in evidence here. Sure, it would have disenchanted the hard-core Dredd audience, but can we pretend the REST of the film DIDN'T?
The film starts with the theme man's inner beast - Thewlis and two comrades are adrift in a dingy, and fight to the death over the remaining supplies. Rescued by Kilmer, passing on a supply vessel, he is taken to Moreau's island and introduced to the menagerie. One of Moreau's creations is a smaller version of himself, and in a scene that obviously inspired the Mini-Me character in The Spy Who Shagged Me they perform a piano duet! Talk about self-parody!!!
Moreau's motivation is to find a way to genetically remove man's inner beast - the animal instinct in the human psyche. If he can remove it from animals and make them more human than the humans, then all humanity's negative side can be removed. In other words, pretty much what the (mad) scientists wanted to do to the Terminal Man reviewed above. However, Moreau backs up his peaceful intent with electroshock treatment for violent rebels. Yes, peace and love are all well and good, but if they don't work then electrocute the bastards into submission!
This was the first screen appearance of Cameron Diaz - who skipped from model to major Hollywood actress by landing the female lead!
The villain is Peter Greene, who looks familiar because he played bad guys in Under Siege 2, Pulp Fiction, The Usual Suspects and Blue Streak.
The comedy sidekick is Richard Jeni, best known for his Seinfeld-type sitcom Platypus Man.
This is the one example of a Comic-book adaption that actually works. The main character, indeed the whole premise, was softened and the resulting movie is a CGI/live-action cartoon. But the script is competent, the acting fine and the CGI SPFX ground-breaking. Not exactly convincing, but the film's so OTT it's not supposed to be realistic!
Gray is the wife of a man who suffers Close Encounters type flashbacks, ever since he was abducted by aliens. Benedict is an overzealous US military officer assigned to hunt down a Grey alien, the pilot of a crashed starship.
The extremely poor 1993 CGI SPFX are blatant, as is the alien makeup. It is worth noting that this effort was made the same year as X-Files Season One, but apparently on a much lower budget.
The REALLY scary thing about this flick? Apparently there are two more sequels to this one!
Avon Calling - Paul Darrow looks 20 years older, 20lb heavier - my god, it makes this reviewer sick to think that Blake's 7 could have run for so much longer than it did.
Vampiric slayings have occurred in the realm of the immoral and decadent Count Karnstein, descendant of the infamous Camilla/MirCalla. Vile's nubile twin nieces come to town just as things begin to get interesting ...
The only guys who can save the world are a group of bumbling ex-scientists played by Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd and Harold Ramis. Fired by their University they set up business ghost-busting. They hire Annie Potts (The Hot One) as their secretary and Ernie Hudson (Oz) as the token black guy, and rent themselves out as freelance exorcists.
A US satellite, codename Scoop, returns to Earth near a small town in Texas. Scientists discover the entire town dead, their blood clotted instantly on contact with an airborne organism brought back from outer space. They take the satellite, and the only two survivors (a baby and a crazy old man) back to a secret lab, codename Wildfire, where they try to find a cure before the organism destroys all human life on earth.
The experimental 1970s split-screen method (last used in Jackie Brown by Quentin Tarantino ) appears twice. It certainly makes far more convincing that the elevator conversation in Blue Ice, where Caine and Hoskins talk for 5 minutes on a 3-storey elevator!
This is a wonderful look at early 1970s SF - the kind of pre-Star Wars Hard SF (okay, Crichton is not Arthur C. Clarke but you know what I mean) that is hardly ever seen these days. The only real equivalent to this film would be Outbreak, where Dustin Hoffman and Rene Russo struggle to save a town in California from the Ebola virus.
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