ORBzine Movie Reviews June 2002


Star Trek: The Motion Picture

This was released in 1979, made to cash in on the SciFi revival spawned by Star Wars . As Trek goes it is THE Motion Picture - it has a somewhat epic feel to it. In some ways that makes it seem dated. The TV series and the later movies were cheesy fun - this film takes itself very seriously indeed. However, one does indeed get the feeling of Boldly going where no man has gone before.

A mysterious gigantic cloud is approaching Earth, and destroying anything that gets in its way. The Federation sends Admiral Kirk and his old crew on the Enterprise. None of the others have been promoted or otherwise changed jobs, except for Spock - who resigned from the Federation.

  • Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan
  • Star Trek III: Search For Spock
  • Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  • Star Trek V: Final Frontier
  • Star Trek VI: The Unknown Country
  • Star Trek: Generations
  • Star Trek: First Contact
  • Star Trek: Nemesis
  • Search This Site
  • Ghostbusters 2

    This was produced six years after the original, and is basically a lacklustre retread of the first film. Sigorney Weaver has split up with Peter Venkman [Bill Murray]. She has a young child, and by some strange co-incidence her child is chosen for possession by an evil ghost. Luckily, the Ghostbusters can help. Though not legally, since they were sued into retirement after the climax of the first film.

    Rick Moranis [ Honey, I Shrunk The Kids ] returns as the same nerdy loser as last time. However, he is no longer an accountant - he is a lawyer! This comes in useful [well, not exactly] when the Ghostbusters are in court in front of Judge Harris Yulin [ Buffy The Vampire Slayer ], who somehow does not believe in Ghosts. I wonder how he rationalised Mr Stay-Puff!

    Annie Potts is back as the Ghostbusters' secretary, while Peter McNichol [ Dragonslayer, Dracula: Dead & Loving it ] pops up as a Renfield type coerced into helping the villain.

    Not only does the film attempt to more or less retreat the plot of the original, it even tries to outdo the climax of the first film. Instead of the Stay-Puff Marshmallow man we get the Statue of Liberty walking about! Thankfully there are only a handful of people in the crowd scenes, or someone might get crushed!

  • Ghostbusters
  • Search This Site
  • Netforce

    This is adapted from story outlines originated by Tom Clancy . It is set some time in the near future, where the World Wide Web has become a series of Virtual Reality chat-rooms.

    A Bill Gates type tychoon [Judge Reinhold] plots to take over the Internet. To that end he breaks a gang of violent criminals out of prison.

    The Internet is apparently ruled by the US President [Brian Dennehy - Gorky Park] and policed by the FBI's Net Force, led by Scott Bakula [ Enterprise ]. He finds an unlikely ally in the Asian gangster now head of the Sicilian-American Mafia [Cary-Hiro Taganawa - Rising Sun]. Chelsea Field plays his reporter wife, and Kris Kristopherson [ Blade ] is his mentor.

    This is a mediocre made-for-TV action film. Bakula is slightly less self-richeous and irritating than usual.

  • Search This Site
  • Universal Soldier: The Return

    The film starts with Luc Deveraux [Jean-Claude Van Damme - Timecop ] and a female sidekick being menaced by a gang of black-clad goons, including several females. It turns out that the Universal Soldier programme has been reactivated. The new Unisols are stronger and faster, and run by a central AI named Seth. Unfortunately the Pentagon decides to cancel the project. Even more unfortunate, in a homage to 2001: A Space Odyssey the AI discovers what is going on. Seth takes over the complex and sets his Unisols on the rampage. He then contacts his designer, a blue-haired hacker stereotype, and downloads himself into an android body [Michael Jai White - Spawn ].

    This is the fourth film in the franchise unintentionally started by Devlin & Emmerich . The only reference to the original is a flashback near the start. Deveraux is now a widower, with a ten-year-old daughter.

    The direction is ham-fisted - for example, someone decided to play a Heavy Metal tune ever time there is a shootout.

  • Universal Soldier
  • Universal Soldier 2
  • Universal Soldier 3
  • Search This Site
  • Howard: A New Breed Of Hero

    In many ways this is a typical Lucasfilm effort from 1986, produced by George Lucas and directed by William Hyuck . It was apparently based on a Marvel comic named Howard the Duck, but let's not pass the blame.

    Howard is a sentient duck living on a distant planet. He is sucked to Earth by a subspace tractor beam, operated by scientist Jeffrey Jones [ Sleepy Hollow ], and ends up living in the USA with guitar-playing babe Lea Thompson .

    Howard wants to get home to his own world. The only way to do that is by using the same subspace tractor-beam that sucked him to Earth. However, Howard was not the only alien visitor to arrive ...

  • Search This Site