I'm still giving Tornado a D.
I know it's a shlocky made for TV movie.
But it took itself way too seriously.
The young couple was cute, perky and sooo country.
They didn't take their clothing off, so of course, they survived.
But where's the fun in that?
And all the warnings about global warming?
If you're going to do a doomsday movie, at least make it over the top.
I get that it was a made for TV movie (which is really the ONLY reason all those terrible fades and cuts were acceptable), but that's really all they could do?
NO real drama.
NO charisma between the leads.
Although, it did have Ernie Hudson (of Ghostbuster fame).
Not really an A lister. Maybe a B lister with A lister face recognition.
But still something.
Almost worth watching just to see him salvage the movie.
Wednesday, April 22
I'm still giving Tornado a D.
46 minutes into Tornado, and not a single funnel in sight.
Unless you count the video the main characters watched.
Yep, a video within a video is the closest we've come to seeing a tornado.
Sure, the opening scene had a family running for cover.
But they didn't show a darn thing.
Might as well have been aliens landing that made the house shake and fall apart.
Opening scene scariness:
Tornado: 0, Twister: 1
Tuesday, April 21
Ok, so that's not really a fair title.
I've only really seen 2 fire-based disaster movies.
The Towering Inferno, and Backdraft.
The Towering Inferno was the far superior film, but Backdraft was enjoyable.
Partially because of the AWESOME late 1980s/early 1990's outfits.
Please do not let jeweled jackets and shoulder pads come back.
They make movies funny, but do not make real people look cute.
Anyway, Backdraft follows a family of firefighters in Chicago.
Lots of chest-thumping male bonding, but still kind of endearing.
The two grown up brothers (Kurt Russell and one of the Baldwins..the not cute one) are both scarred by the death of their father.
Kurt acts out by being risky and overly heroic.
The unattractive Baldwin tries to run from his past, only to return and embrace that firefighting is in his blood.
There's a minor love story going on, and the movie also follows a series of mysterious arson cases.
The arson investigator is a firefighter played by Robert De Niro.
So, some things I've learned:
1. Ron Howard can save almost any movie. Even a movie that relies upon the 'acting' skills of William Baldwin and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
2. Robert De Niro plays grumpy but dedicated characters really well.
3. Backdrafts are really scary.
4. Plot is almost superfluous when you have lots of cool fire scenes. Which is probably good, given that the plot in this movie is almost superfluous anyway.
Overall, I liked the fire scenes. I also really liked that the (dead) burn victims are somehow not very scary. The one firefighter who is badly injured is just shown all wrapped in bandages. I really really appreciated that they didn't go for shock value.
Also, no kids died. So I was pleased.
Wednesday, April 15
I'm on a Jules Verne kick.
Not sure why since the last few adaptations have been horrendous.
So far, this one is better.
Still have a few giant animals (maybe I need to re-read the book?), but better.
Although, it's definitely showing it's age.
Apparently the womenfolk are only good for adding 'homey touches' to the cave, while the men do real work.
Oh, and fainting.
I wish the huge turkey (chicken? some type of fowl?) had killed the hysterical female character. At least her aunt had enough sense to attack the thing instead of screaming like a ninny.
Saturday, April 11
I think I need to give up on the Jules Verne adaptations.
The only half-decent one I've seen recently involved Brendan Fraser.
That should tell you something about the quality of the movie.
Actually, that's unfair.
I did kind of enjoy the movie.
It was a new adaptation of Journey to the Center of the Earth.
Shlocky, but fun.
Anyway, I digress.
The movie I'm watching now, is supposed to be The Mysterious Island.
This is not a retelling of the book written by Jules Verne.
It's more like a movie that includes some characters and settings that kind of resembles something written by Jules Verne.
It's like that new zombie Pride and Prejudice book. They had to include Jane Austen in the authorship because she created the characters.
Similar situation here. Except replace zombies and Jane Austen with strangely large animals and Jules Verne.
In fact, it really has nothing to do with the book by Jules Verne.
The book did NOT have large rodents.
In fact, it did not have abnormally large animals of any sort.
It also did not have pirates.
Or a weird love story.
Poor Captain Nemo. He would be so ashamed.
Friday, April 10
I've discovered a new rule thanks to watching Mysterious Island:
Don't ever say "what if the rumors about this scary/creepy/strange island are true." If there are rumors, they are definitely true and you are definitely going to die.
And, some things I've learned:
1. Confederate prison camps were staffed by hot, skimpily dressed women (like Fiona from that spy television show Burn Notice).
Seriously. Was there really that much cleavage on display??
2. Holy crap. Movie makers have no shame. They will actually have a hapless human get eaten headfirst by a HUGE praying mantis. Like T-Rex sized.
3. Rather famous actors will do anything when they're between jobs. Even Patrick Stewart.
Soon to be famous actors make movies that will later shame them, like Kyle MacLachlan (Sex & the City, Desp. Housewives).
4. A balloon coming from America can get all the way to the South Pacific with little food, water and a gaggle of people.
5. Really huge rodents have bred...they can now be found in both The Princess Bride and The Mysterious Island.
6. The Mysterious Island is the most derivative movie ever made. In fact, it may be the most egregious example of pure-plot stealing that I've ever seen. Especially for a movie based on a book. Despite a totally unique original storyline, so far we have:
1. Really large rodents (Princess Bride)--see above
2. Pirates looking for a cursed island (every Pirate movie)
3. Pirates attack (Swiss Family Robinson..the movie, not the book)
4. Large snakes (Anaconda)
5. Compound with an electrified fence (Jurassic Park)
6. Small people, big ants (Honey I Shrunk the Kids)
Wednesday, April 8
I'm still convinced Poseidon is not nearly as bad as everyone thinks:
1. Really a pretty decent cast. Josh Lucas, Kurt Russel, and Richard Dreyfuss.
Although I think I have a weak-spot when it comes to Richard Dreyfuss.
Just because of Jaws.
2. The budget on this was HUGE. In disaster movies you have two options: go big, or go kind of silly. However you feel about the possibility (or lack thereof) of a ship being turned upside down by a rogue wave, the effects weren't bad.
3. The annoying hysterical female character died. You know how I feel about hysterical women.
4. The kid survives. You also know how I feel about killing children.
5. Everyone takes the movie WAY TOO SERIOUSLY. Again, the premise is that a huge rouge wave totally capsizes a cruise ship. Then a bunch of people have to escape by climbing out the 'bottom' of the ship.
What part of this plot screams serious drama?
Tuesday, April 7
When Poseidon came out, it was pretty roundly panned.
I think I gave into peer pressure.
I watched it, and said things like "Ugh. It's just not as good as the original."
And maybe it isn't. Which is why I'm watching them both pretty much back to back.
When I just re-watched the remake, it really wasn't that bad.
More to come..