Monday, June 27, 2011


Another failed cyber punk movie. Bummer. At least its a lot more entertaining and unique compared to "Freejack". This movie follows a man, Johnny Mnemonic, that has a storage chip implanted in his head. The world is ruled by large evil corporations and they are out to get Johnny and dominate the planet. The package in his head is too large and he must deliver it before it kills him. Yeah crazy, I know.

This film was a huge failure in all aspects. It was not a hit in theaters and it was a disappointment to the hardcore cyber punk fans. I never read the short story by William Gibson, but I am familiar with some of his work and his style. I know for a fact that the film wasn't true to the source material and that the studio re-cut it and made it more "movie-goer" friendly. Such a shame that this happened to so many movies. We may actually have some decent movies on our hands if the studio's allowed more artistic freedom. Sadly, "Johnny Mnemonic" is a casualty of dictatorship movie studios and we are left with a horrible, yet very entertaining movie. Chop this up in the "so bad it's good" category.

*2 Lance Approvals*

Sunday, June 26, 2011


"Strange Days" is a strange film indeed. An excellent director, great actors, great everything really - but for some reason, it misses the mark just slightly. Still a very enjoyable science fiction movie none the less. The story follows an ex cop, now street hustler, involved in a police conspiracy while obsessing over an ex lover. He deals data discs which you upload to your head for recorded past memories and emotions. He eventually gets his hands on a data disc that witnesses a brutal crime. With the help of his friend and some other odd characters he tries to solve the mystery behind this horrible act.

Biggelow ("Near Dark", "Point Break", "The Hurt Locker") directs this film and although it is not one of her best, it is still a fine film. The problem for me is the casting. Fiennes, Bassett, and Lewis are all great actors, but they don't fit the parts. Fiennes does well with what he is given, but this isn't the kind of part you imagine Ralph Fiennes playing. Lewis is drugged out like always, but doesn't really strike me as the perfect woman every man dreams of. Bassett is probably the most realistic casting along with Sizemore, but the futuristic world they live in somehow make it seem a little less believable to me. Regardless, a great millennium film with great actors and great filming done by the movie crew.

*3 Lance Approvals*

Saturday, June 25, 2011


This may not be considered a science fiction classic, but it has a decent following and seems to be getting some remembrance these days. A lone crew member watching a nature reserve goes renegade and enters space by himself after the rest of the crew is ordered home. He is ordered to destroy what he holds dear but he escapes with the nature reserve and 2 robots into deep space. Here he must learn to live alone and take care of the last bit of true nature our world has.

"Silent Running" is the one of the earliest sci-fi movies that looked this good. Besides "2001: A Space Odyssey", not many films had special effects to this nature. Everything looks real and was well done. That being said, it has it's slow moments and rightfully slow. A man stranded in outer space by himself can only be interesting for so long. Bruce Dern does an excellent job and besides the recent "Moon", it is one of the better movies about isolation in outer space I can think of off the top of my head. It also has a great environmental message without being too preachy. Even though it's from the early 70s, it still holds up today with its decent special effects and its message that rings more true today than ever before.

*3 Lance Approvals*

Friday, June 24, 2011


This phrase is used often on this blog, but they just don't make them like this anymore. In no way shape or form would this film be acceptable today, yet it is strangely compelling and interesting for a low budget gory sci-fi fantasy movie. "Mindwarp" follows a woman who rebels against the system and decides to live outside the fantasy everyone has been living through technology. This rebellion has consequences though and she soon finds herself banished to a desolate world. Is this reality? Or is this the fake virtual world?

Fangoria Films creating a gory movie, who would have thought? I do like that they went a sci-fi fantasy route though, instead of just straight horror, although there is a tinge of horror in this movie. Really where to begin? Bruce Campbell is awesome as the hero, but I'm not sure I like all the plot twists and character changes. The unknown lead female does a decent job and Angus Scrimm is creepy as ever, but on a whole different level. He plays the iconic "Tall Man" in the Phantasm movies, a menacing giant figure, but here he plays a creepy incestuous evil king. And for the obvious low budget, some things do look really cool. A lot of it is covered up by the dark sets, but the space station settings are decent and the monsters are pretty cool, kind of reminded me of "The Beastmaster" for some reason.

*3 Lance Approvals*

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


"Turkey Shoot" aka "Escape 2000" wasn't breaking any new grounds, even in the 80s. The formula has been done. In the not so distant future, the world is ruled by a dictatorship. If you don't conform to the rules, measures are taken. In this film, the measures taken are basically being sent to a giant concentration camp where non-conformists are tortured and abused. A group of escapees play the game by trying to escape but our hunted by the leaders of this camp.

Like I mentioned above, this is not the most original film. But for what it is - it actually does a pretty decent job. It's Australian, and one thing I've noticed from doing this blog is that Australian movies are weird. This is the director of "Dead End Drive-In" which is a really weird movie in it's own right. Things don't really make sense, like one of the hunters of the escapees being some werewolf man, but for some reason it works. This movie is very low budget, yet the effects are cool and the stunt work is top notch. The dialogue isn't anything to write home about, but the unknown actors do a decent job with what they are working with. Once again, you won't find anything challenging about this film, but if you want to watch an exciting cult sci-fi action flick, this might be for you.

*2 and 1/2 Lance Approvals*

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I'm a big fan of the cyber punk genre, but this movie really dropped the ball. What really amazes me is that a lot of time, money, and effort was put into this piece of garbage. Its hard for me to give a good plot description because really, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense and I wasn't paying attention. But from what I gathered, in the future, bounty hunters transport people from the past. The "freejack" from the past is none other than Emelio Estevez himself and the mind of an evil billionaire will be transfered into his body.

This film has a pretty stellar cast. Anthony Hopkins, Rene Russo, Mick Jagger, Emelio Estevez and a plethora of other recognizable faces. Sadly, they don't do anything with them because the script is horrible. The special effects are decent and well done, but not imaginative in the least. I'm trying to think of something redeeming about this movie, but there just isn't anything. This, along with some other horrible sci-fi movies killed the cyber punk scene in the 90s. So I won't cut "Freejack" any slack. This movie sucks. BIG TIME.

*1 Lance Approval*

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


What to say about "D.A.R.Y.L"? It's cheesy. It's dated. It's a lesser known children's movie. But for some reason it has staying power. This movie tells the simple tale of a boy who is really a machine. But the film explores more human aspects, such as why he is alive? Can he feel? Can he be a regular boy? He is taken in by a normal family, but his creators are out to get him.

Daryl is played by the kid from "The Neverending Story" and there are some other recognizable faces. Some of the acting is cheesy, but for a kids movie, it kept my attention. Kids films of today could really learn something from a thought provoking film like this. This movie is very 80s, this review could be posted during 80's month, thats how much it fits into the decade. Although it may seem dated, I'd say its worth checking out for almost any audience.

*3 Lance Approvals*