RSS

Tag Archives: movies

JPFmovies’ next foray into the Sci-Fi world: Star Trek Enterprise (2001-2005). Almost everyone complained about it but we didn’t think it was bad.

The creation of Netflix, probably the greatest innovation for movie and T.V. fans since the introduction of HBO and similar channels, has given people like us at JPFmovies the ability to “binge” watch movies/T.V. series.  Well, we went on an Enterprise “binge” in “the blind” so to speak—not having followed any of the trials, tribulations and fan/producer politics.  If you look through our reviews over the years you will find very few T.V. series, much less American produced television.  In other words, we were not influenced by all the political machinations surrounding the three previous Star Trek series beginning in the 1980s and running though the late 1990s or by the opinions of their fans and producers.  So when we went on our Enterprise “binge” it was really with a fresh eye.  And you know what?  We thought it was a decent show (except for the theme song).

That said, when we searched the Internet for information about Enterprise, almost all the content we saw was invariably negative.  Enterprise was blamed for the end of the Star Trek franchise that had been running since the 1980s.  Fans blamed the show’s lack of continuity and rather thin plot while producers Berman and Braga argued it was some sort of “franchise fatigue”—a position we here at JPFmovies find self-serving, trying to avoid taking responsibility for the show’s short run.

 

So when we watched the show with a fresh eye, JPFmovies thought the show didn’t deserve all the criticism it received and should have been given some more seasons to let the show get some more traction.  Those of us at JPFmovies thought that T’Pol (the ever present Vulcan) was an interesting change of pace from the traditional steely-eyed monotoned alien who spouted nothing but “logic.”  As a Vulcan, she walked the line between Vulcans repressing their emotions and having them.  Frankly I didn’t mind seeing some emotions underneath the typical Vulcan surface.  We also read a lot of complaints that the actress playing T’Pol could not act and was there only for her eye candy appeal.  To deny she was eye candy would be foolish, but she also did a good job playing a full time female Vulcan.  In fact, a JPFmovie consultant found an interview with her where she herself said that you need more than eye candy to make a Trek series—you also needed decent stories.  So she was aware of the limits that she could provide as a model.

We also found Enterprise a nice change of pace in that the Capitan was not an all knowing, never making any mistakes character, i.e. larger than life.  Scott Bakula, as Capitan Archer, screws up all the time—as he should, because Enterprise was humanity’s first venture into space beyond our system.  Picard, Sisko, and Janeway always made the right calls—never faltering.  Archer was constantly screwing up, as the Vulcan delegation on earth was quick to point out.  A human out there in space interacting with aliens (hostile or not) is going to make mistakes—and lots of them.   There was also the ship’s doctor, Phlox, an alien who proved quite interesting—a “Denoublan” who used odd creatures in the course of his medical treatments and had three wives who each had three husbands.  He was always a great one to watch.  Then too, Jeffrey Combs, who played many roles on DS9, was great as Commander Shram—the head of an alien race called the Andorians.

 

To keep this review at a readable length, the last thing we will comment on was Enterprise itself.  The ship, unlike Voyager, TNG’s Enterprise, and DS9’s invulnerable space-station, was fragile—prone to damage and breaking.  The ship never had shields or phasors (until several episodes in).  Much more often than not, Enterprise was no match for many of the alien ships that it encountered.  Again, something that one should expect when humans first begin to explore space outside of our solar system.

 

We read an article on Syfy’s site which also brought up some good points as to why Enterprise didn’t go the distance: The Internet!  TNG, DS9 and Voyager were essentially all pre-Internet boom shows, while Enterprise was subject to hypercritical analysis, which was like a cloud of noise that had a profound impact on the ability of others to just enjoy Enterprise, and also created the perception that the show was more reviled than it actually was.  Another interesting fact we didn’t know about Enterprise that sprang from the Internet was that it was unsurprisingly, one of the most pirated shows from 2001–2005 on sites like the Pirate Bay—so many viewers would not be reflected in the ratings.  Two ideas that JPFmovies put some serious stock in.

 

Despite all the “bad press” Enterprise was subjected to, it seems that the show is having a renaissance, many people are going to back to watch the show streaming on such outlets as Netflix, and the “bad press” is starting to be replaced with more positive posts—a long overdue interpretation of the series.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 20, 2017 in Movie Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

SJ talks about why The Beast of Yucca Flats is one of the worst movies ever made.

What makes this the one of the worst MST3k movies is the random narration of disjointed events ranging from flags on the moon to a women’s purse.  There was no connection between any of the scenes.  The characters were thin as they had neither acted or a story and hardly any dialogue—it was all narration and grunts.

Half of the movie was spent watching cars drive on dusty roads in the desert this even went so far as to have a long flying scene with some idiot shooting out the window at an innocent man.  Then he jumped out of the plane to hunt him down and finish the job.

The director of The Beast of Yucca Flats also created Red Zone Cuba an equally bad movie which will be reviewed soon.

The MS3k crew as usual made the movie bearable.  Crow T. Robot was funny as he pestered Mike Nelson (a Wisconsin Native) about lunch time continually asking him if it was 11:30.

SJ’s advice is simple: DON’T WATCH THIS MOVIE WITHOUT THE MST3K PEOPLE TO MAKE IT TOLERABLE.  BE WARNED!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on November 14, 2013 in Movie Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

There was supposed to be a Tony Scott tribute here at JPFmovies but . . .

Dr. H. and I were supposed to do a tribute to the legendary Tony Scott over the weekend.  Alas, because Dr. H never dropped by, the tribute will have to wait.  So until he he decides to grace us with his presence, we will have to movie forward with a look at some other films until we get Dr. H on the same track.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on August 28, 2012 in Movie Reviews

 

Tags: , , , ,

Elizabeth Olsen in “Silent House” (2012): Keep Quit If You Are Asked to Watch It.

This was one of those rare movies that is so bad I don’t even know where to begin.  It’s the acting, it’s the writing and it’s directing that makes this movie the blemish on mankind that it is. The story, at times, makes no sense, nor do the actions of the main character, Sarah (Elizabeth Olsen of the Olsen twin’s fame).  The fact that someone approved the making of this movie, and that people actually got money to make it, is an outrage surpassing the 2008 financial bailout.

Taking its elements from a 2010 Uruguayan film, The Silent House story is pretty basic – which makes sense for a movie with only a few characters and an especially limited scale.  We are forced to follow leading-lady Sarah (Olsen) through “a tense,” and at times “horrifying,” ordeal: Sarah, along with her father, John (Adam Trese), and Uncle, Peter (Eric Sheffer Stevens), is in the process of fixing up the family’s dilapidated vacation home, in an effort to make the property more attractive when they attempt to sell it.  Sarah begins to hear mysterious noises in the upstairs portion of the house, and when she and her dad attempt to investigate the sounds, it quickly becomes clear that they are not alone – nor are they safe.  Whether or not the alleged “true event” inspiration of the film ever actually occurred remains unsubstantiated (and was a point of contention among fans of the 2010 Uruguayan film); however, “based on true events” or not, the fundamental storyline is inadequate within the confines of the 88 minute timeframe.

 

The only interesting part of this is movie is that film was shot in “real time.”  Due to this unique nature of the film’s presentation they had to use as a single take methodology, the production crew ran into several technical issues while filming, mainly surrounding lighting issues and mobility around the house.  Since the movie was filmed in 12-15 minute takes, there were several occurrences where entire sequences had to be thrown out and re-done repeatedly due to lighting problems or missed cues.  It also created a Blair Witch Project type of effect where the camera was bouncing up and down and twisting in all directions—it was like being on a bad roller coaster.

To be frank, I cannot write any more about this movie because it was so bad I had to turn it off.  As I have mentioned before, my threshold for bad movie pain the legendary, this film, however, was the Chinese water board torture of movie watching.  Its plot is thin, its acting is wretched and the writing seems like it was created by 100 monkeys chained to typewriters.  Remain silent if you are asked to watch this movie and exit as quickly as possible.  

 

 

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Movie Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

By Request: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension! (1984)

An old chum of mine recently left me a comment asking why, as a co-connoisseur of the inane, hadn’t The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension! been reviewed.  Answer, I don’t know.  So here you go MF this one is for you.

People have a love-hate relationship with this film.  Many, especially younger people, believe it is (at best) a cheap sci-fi want-to-be made by idiots for idiots.  Others look at The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension! and see it as brilliant because it is at once a spoof of 50’s era science fiction and a celebration of all sci-fi in general.  The film is a cross between the action/adventure and science-fiction movie genres, and also includes elements of comedy, satire, and cheap, cheap romance.  Well a movie can’t be all things to all people and anyone who knows anything about movies would have seen this film and known it was destined for the controversial cult classic list.  If you like sci-fi and don’t take yourself too seriously to laugh at the genre sometimes, then you will probably like Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!

Let’s take a look at the cast.  Buckaroo Banzai was directed and produced by W. D. Richter (writer of Brubaker and Big Trouble in Little China (excellent movie)) and has a pretty impressive supporting cast including John Lithgow as Dr. Emilio Lizardo/Lord John Whorfin, Ellen Barkin as Penny Priddy, Christopher Lloyd as John Bigbooté, Peter Weller as Buckaroo Banzi and Jeff Goldblum as New Jersey.  For a low budget sci-fi that is a pretty impressive cast—remember that Lloyd would go on to co-star in Back to the Future the next year–one of the biggest box office hits in history. 

Ok so far we have a film that is going to be a spoof and a strong cast. There is only one thing left, the story.  The story is where the film loses its appeal to the great unwashed philistines who unfortunately comprise a vast percentage of the movie going audience.  I will concede that the film’s plot has many twists, turns and stops but anyone who does not have a serious case of ADD should be able to follow it.

Now to try to sum it up.  The film opens with Banzai is preparing to test run a heavily modified Ford E-Series van powered by a jet engine capable of exceeding Mach 1.  The car is also equipped with an “oscillation overthruster,” that looks just like a flux capacitor and that Banzai and his comrades, the Hong Kong Cavaliers, hope will allow the truck to drive through solid matter.  The test is a success; Banzai drives the Jet Car directly through a mountain and emerges on the other side, but finds that an alien organism has attached itself to the “car.”

Learning of Banzai’s success, mad scientist Dr. Emilio Lizardo breaks out of the mental hospital for the criminally insane, where he has been a resident for 50 years.  A black and white flashback shows Dr. Hikita (Robert Ito) (Banzai’s mentor) present at a failed overthruster experiment of Lizardo’s in 1938, trapping Lizardo briefly in the 8th dimension where his mind is taken over by Lord John Whorfin.

Whorfin is the leader of the Red Lectroids, a race of alien reptiles who waged an expansionist campaign against Planet 10.  After being defeated by the peace-loving Black Lectroids, Whorfin and his group were banished into the void of the 8th dimension.  Kind of like the villains in Super Man II but with no mirror.  Lizardo’s failed experiment accidentally released Whorfin, and he soon brings many of the Red Lectroids to Earth in an incident that was accurately reported in 1938 by Orson Welles in his radio broadcast The War of the Worlds, only to be retracted as fiction.

The Red Lectroids are incognito as owners and employees of a defense firm named Yoyodyne Propulsion Systems.  The Reds have been building a large spacecraft in the guise of a US Air Force program, the Truncheon bomber.  They intend to rescue any remaining 8th dimension exiles and then try to take over Planet 10 again.  Whorfin plans to steal the overthruster because they can’t make one of their own.  Banzai’s team finds out about what really is going on at Yoyodyne and hacks into their computer only to discover that everyone there has the first name John. At first they believe it’s a joke, but then they notice all the Yoyodyne employees applied for Social Security cards on November 1, 1938 and all in the same town, Grover’s Mill, New Jersey.

In the meantime, a Black Lectroid spacecraft orbiting Earth contacts Banzai, giving him an electric shock that enables him to see through Lectroids’ camouflage (kind of like in Predator they change their image—the Black Lectroids appear to be Rastafarian Jamaicans, while Red Lectroids are Caucasians.)  The ship also sends a “thermo-pod” to Earth, with a holographic message from the Black Lectroids’ leader, John Emdall, that gives an ultimatum: stop Whorfin and his army or the Black Lectroids will protect themselves by staging a fake nuclear attack, causing World War III.

With help from the Hong Kong Cavaliers, a collection of civilian volunteers named “The Blue Blaze Irregulars,” and a young woman named Penny Priddy (Ellen Barkin) (a long-lost twin sister of Buckaroo’s late wife), Buckaroo succeeds in his mission, destroying the Red Lectroids and saving Earth.

Whew, that was not the easiest summary to write.  The talented cast each play their roles well and the film overall is low budget and looks it.  The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension!, with its low-budget look and cheesy special effects, fits with its theme of a spoof of 1950’s era science fiction films and all things sci-fi in general.  If you can’t laugh at sci-fi don’t bother with this movie you would probably take it personally.  Where do I stand on this movie?  Well I like it, but I don’t think it is the end all be all of cult movies.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Movie Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Turk 182 Was Number 96!

Last night we posted a review of the 1985 classic Turk 182–our 96th review. We are almost at 100 folks. Also the rumors of my co-founder “DT” who went underground shortly after starting the sight resurfacing are true. She has will be providing a review by the end of the week. We at JPFmovies are very excited to the review and her return to the front lines of movie reviewing.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 17, 2011 in Movie Reviews

 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: