ORBzine - 1999.07 Television Movie Review

Reviews - Movies on Television

Last Starfighter

The Last Starfighter

This is a better-than-average post-ANH SF adventure. An American teenager plays a new video-arcade flight simulator called Starfighter. His score is the best ever, and he is recruited by the machine's owner - an alien called Centauri. The alien selects Starfighters, expert pilots for the Stellar League's defence forces.

This is one of the first films to use CGI instead of models, and the effects are surprisingly good considering this movie was made 10 years before B5!

Dan O'Herlihy [ Halloween 3, Robocop ] dons alien makeup as the hero's navigator and sidekick.

Believe it or not, Marc Alaimo [ DS9 's Gul Dukat] pops up as a hitchhiker!

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  • 2001

    2001 - A Space Odyssey

    This allows us another glimpse at the genius of Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick .

    The first section features a group of ape-men in a desert, clustered around a black monolith. One of them discovers the use of the blunt object - the most basic tool, and thus the first step towards modern technology. Like spaceships ...

    The second segment is about the discovery of a similar monolith. On the moon!

    The third and final section is about 2 astronauts en route to Jupiter. Unfortunately, the ship's AI, H.A.L. [please note, the letters are only one away from I.B.M.] seems to be a little ... psychotic?

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  • 2001

    The Land That Time Forgot

    gets a visit from Doug McClure in one of his 4 1970s SF efforts. When Star Wars 4: A New Hope arrived on the scene poor Doug left it, but his work is always a refreshing blast from the past.

    Doug plays a yank aboard a British ship during WW1. The ship gets torpedoed by a german sub, and the crew and passengers [including Susan Penhaligan as token babe] get taken aboard the sub. There are hijackings and counter-hijackings, and eventually they find themselves off the shore of a lost continent. They go ashore to get supplies, and discover ... dinosaurs!

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  • Hackers


    This is a 1995 offering that, like Sandra Bullock's The Net , exploited the boom growth of the Internet. Johnny Lee Miller [ Lock, Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels] plays a computer nerd who moves to NYC and falls in with a crowd of fellow Hackers. Although the character is American, the actor's English accent comes through.

    Angelina Jolie , now Miller's ex-wife, is one of the most beautiful women in the entire world. IMHO, of course.

    The villain of the piece is Fisher Stevens [ Short Circuit, Early Edition ], cool as ever.

    A noticeable supporting face is Matthew Lillard, who later turned up in Scream and is now in the Wing Commander film as the young Maniac.

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  • TMNT 2

    TMNT 2: Secret of the Ooze

    This gives the evil Shredder a rematch against those darn pesky turtles. The ooze belongs to scientist David Warner [ Time After Time ], who's had a change of heart [not to mention species!] after torturing Picard [in Star Trek: TNG ] and is now one of the good guys. Warner destroys the ooze so it cannot be mis-used, but Shredder captures Warner and the last cannister of ooze.

    Not to worry, thought - reptiles to the rescue! Casy Jones is nowhere to be seen, and April O'Neill is now Paige Turco [ American Gothic].

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  • Vampire in Brooklyn

    A Vampire in Brooklyn

    Eddie Murphy, Prince of Darkness, tries to seduce Angela Bassett . This is a rather average Vampire film, raised above the likes of Innocent Blood by a budget, great cast and the little Eddie Murphy touches.

    Unusually for Murphy, this time his character is dark and even villainous, especially towards the end of the film. As Max the vampire, Murphy is his always-likeable self. However, he carries off Max's negative side as well.

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  • Plymouth

    Plymouth is the name of a mining village on the moon. Dale Midkiff [ Time Trax ] is actually pretty good in this. First time for everything.

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