Saturday, November 22, 2008

Another Night At The Movies

So, I decided to do another b-movie review night, just for fun. Again, these reviews are really just for fun. I try to be informative, but B-movies are an acquired taste, and what I like isn't always going to be what you like. So, if you're thinking about seeing any of these movies, remember to take these reviews with a grain of salt. It's not dogma; it's just my opinion.

Now, for anyone who's too lazy to read through the whole thing, I'm going to start using a numbered rating system to sum-up my reviews. So, if you want to cut to the chase, just skip down to the rating at the end. The 0-5 scale works as follows:

5 = Awesome! I'm buying the dvd, baby!
4 = Really good. I'd see it again.
3 = Not bad. Worth watching at least once.
2 = Pretty weak. Not worth watching unless you're stoned.
1 = Awful. Don't even consider watching it.
0 = Burn it! For the love of god, burn it!

So, let's get to it then.

100 Million B.C.
The first movie I was going to watch was 100 Million B.C., but I have no review for it. The reason: I didn't watch the whole thing. I physically couldn't. The awful effects, bad writing and acting were survivable for a while, but once the T-rex super-jumped into the air and destroyed the helicopter in a fiery explosion, I just couldn't take it anymore.

Preemptive 0/5

Lost City Raiders:

Now, I know from experience that coming up with a good name for a new project can be difficult, so I really should be forgiving here, but... come on. Lost City Raiders? Gee, I wonder what it's about. Get it together, guys. You're not Snakes on a Plane (thank God for that). You can really do better.

Anyway, this movie is based on the premise that global warming continues unfettered and spirals out of control, until the world as we know it is all but gone. In 2048, some undersea explorers are on a mission to salvage what's left of their civilization from under the depths, hoping they can find a way to stop the rising ocean and save what's left of humanity. At the very least, I can say this is a movie that came out at the right time.


Only ten minutes in, I'm starting to really like this concept. It's like Waterworld meets Indiana Jones, but without the rugged hero. (I kid, Ian Somerhalder. I kid)

I thought most of the movie was fairly well written. Not Emmy material or anything, but par for the course. What impressed me was that it incorporated an interesting combination of geologic science with Catholic dogma. I get the feeling it was less than historically accurate, but it at least made for a good story, which I think is the more important goal.

The only part that really had me scratching my head was the ending. Aside from having a couple serious logical flaws, it was just way too corny, even by B-movie standards.


Not fantastic, but no glaring issues I could see, either. The overall performance of the cast was, in a word, good enough.

...Well, okay, in two words.

Special Effects:

I think we all know that the people behind Sci-fi Originals aren't exactly swimming in cash, so it's unlikely this thing had a very good budget. That said, though, I thought they did a nice job with what they had. The set pieces were pretty nicely built, and the (sparsely used) cgi blended well with the live-action footage.

Editing/Production Value:

Well, the first thing that jumped out at me is that whoever edited this has a serious hard-on for slow motion shots. During the action sequences, slo-mo gets used and abused, usually at inappropriate places that add nothing to the scene. That and a few of the usual overdubbing issues kind of took me out of the experience at some points.

Final Thoughts:

Lost City Raiders is not a masterpiece. Were I in the shoes of the writer/director, there are a lot of things I would've done differently. But, that's not important. In my mind, the important thing is the answer to the following question:

Am I glad I watched it?

Short answer: Yes.
Long answer: The fairly unique premise for the story kept me interested throughout, and while I was somewhat disappointed by the ending, I definitely didn't see it coming. I wouldn't rush out to Blockbuster to see it again, but if you haven't seen it yet, and you happen to see that hopelessly awkward title in the TV Guide, I suggest you check it out. It's probably not good enough to warrant skipping the new episode of Eleventh Hour, but if there's nothing else on, it's definitely worth a watch.

Final Score: 3/5

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