ORBzine - September 2006 Movie Reviews


Snakes on a Plane

Snakes on a Plane This is the Internet-hyped Samuel L Jackson film that has been much-awaited by trashy movie fans everywhere. In fact, the Producers had to shoot extra scenes to increase the gore quotient enough for it to get a sex-and-violence rating! They were worried that it was too tame to live up to the fans' expectations. Truth is, they were kinda right.

A man witnesses a violent murder in Hawaii. Luckily FBI Special Agent Neil Flynn [Samuel L Jackson] arrives in time to protect him. However, the witness must now board the next plane to Los Angeles, so he can testify against the killer.

The plane only has a handful of passengers, but they're the standard bunch of cliched 2-dimensional characters. Head stewardess is Julianne Margulies , who turned down a million dollar offer for the lead role in Anaconda . Of course, she also turned down 27 million for an extra season of E.R., so she probably didn't need the money badly enough. Still, it's ironic that she ended up in a snake-fest anyway.

The snakes themselves don't make an appearance until about 25 minutes in. This is the start of the second act, the main body of the film - but it does seem like they take a long time to appear. However, once they get loose they do what comes naturally, which is bad news for the mile-high club.

Of course, Flynn is on hand to save the day. The snakes are mostly CGI - but they're a lot more lifelike than the one in Anaconda , so it's not a bad show at all.

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  • Batman Begins

    Batman Begins Christopher Nolan agreed to re-imagine the Batman franchise the same way Bryan Singer re-invented Superman . However, this is not a sequel to the other Batman films - it is a new start, with a fresh origin for the protagonist.

    Bruce Wayne [ ] is a billionaire with a grudge against the world. He is recruited by Rand Al-Thor [Liam Neeson - Phantom Menace ], who unfortunately turns out to have a suspect agenda.

    Back in Gotham, assistant DA Katie Holmes is on that trail of the city's godfather. Unfortunately, he's receiving help from dodgy psychiatrist Jonathan Crane [Cillian Murphy - Redeye].

    Wayne must tie up the loose ends of his parents' business, now in the hands of greedy bureaucrats, and his love life - with the idealistic Ms Holmes.

    He must also singlehandedly take on the mobsters. Luckily, Alfred the butler [Michael Caine] and Morgan Freeman [ Shawshank Redemption ] lend a hand - plus advice from the former and hi-tech kit from the other. Unfortunately, the villainous Dr Crane controls all the psychos in Arkham Asylum!

  • Batman
  • Batman Returns
  • Batman Forever
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  • House of Wax

    House of Wax Elisha Cuthbert and Paris Hilton go on a camping trip with their boyfriends. Unfortunately, like as in all these films [eg Wolf Creek, Wrong Turn ] they run into murderous rednecks.

    This is pretty much your standard teen-slasher film, with nothing much to set it apart from the rest of the genre. The exceptions are the female stars (every such film uses different scream queens) and the killer's Modus Operandi - he adds his victims to his waxwork exhibits!

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  • Max Q: Emergency Landing

    Max Q: Emergency Landing This is a low-budget Jerry Bruckheimer production. He's famous for funding mega-budget efforts like Armageddon , but this is so cheap that people don't have weightlessness while in orbit!

    Movie Director Bill Pullman ( Independance Day ) is hired to film aboard a NASA space shuttle mission. Unfortunately, there's a mishap and the crew have to repair the shuttle before they can make an emergency landing.

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  • Explorers

    explorers This is a Goonies -type big-budget kids adventure romp from the mid-1980s. It flopped at the cinema, and went straight to video in the UK, but is quite watchable.

    Pre-teen boys River Phoenix ( Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade ) and Ethan Hawke ( Gattacca ) build a functioning spaceship.

    James Cromwell ( ST: First Contact ) plays one of the boys' fathers, while Robert Picardo ( ST: Voyager ) is in make-up as an alien.

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  • The Glow

    The Glow Portia DeRossi and Dean Cain ( Lois and Clark ) move into their dream appartment in NYC. Their neighbours are a bunch of well-preserved OAPs (including Grace Zabriskie ) - like in Cocoon .

    DeRossi has a growing sense of uneasiness. This movie resembles Rosemary's Baby in so many ways, there's no real suspense. But director Craig R. Baxley , best known for b-movie action flicks, does a good job.

    Kari Matchett pops up as Cain's jogging buddy.

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  • League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse

    League of Gentlemen's Apocalypse All is going well for the writing team known as the League of Gentlemen. However, their most famous characters, the grotesque inhabitants of Royston Vasey, have somehow invaded reality ...

    Royston Vasey is being destroyed by a fiery apocalypse. Hillary Briss, the Demon Butcher, teams up with Herr Lipp and Geoff the fat git. Together they must convince the writers to create a new TV series. Unfortunately, the writers are now working on a movie set in 1690. Villainous Jacobite David Warner ( Time Bandits, ST5, ST6 ) wants to kill Good King Billy, but once he realises there are other universes out there ...

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