DVD Reviews 

1991 – Terminator 2: Judgement Day

by Alan Rapp on July 4, 2016

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Terminator 2: Judgement Day
  • IMDb: link

Terminator 2: Judgement DayThere may be debate over which movie is the worst of the Terminator franchise, but there is far more consensus as to which film is the best of the series. On or around this date 25 years ago Terminator 2: Judgement Day opened in theaters. Set roughly one decade after The Terminator, in the sequel not one but two Terminators will be sent back in time.

Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises his role as the futuristic killing machine, this time sent back to protect the future leader of the resistance John Connor (Edward Furlong) and his mother Sarah (Linda Hamilton) from Skynet‘s liquid-metal T-1000 (Robert Patrick) capable of altering its form.

After rescuing his mother from a mental institution, John, Sarah, and the Terminator attempt to stay one-step ahead of the advanced killing machine on their heels and make a desperate attempt to change the future by targeting one of Skynet’s key creators (Joe Morton).

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1996 – Independence Day

by Alan Rapp on July 4, 2016

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Independence Day
  • IMDb: link

Independence DayOn our around this day 20 years ago Independence Day opened in theaters. Along with kicking off director Roland Emmerich‘s long-running fascination with disaster porn (and its diminishing returns), Independence Day raised the stakes for summer blockbusters.

When a series of giant alien spaceships begin hovering over major cities the world’s populace is unsure of what to make of things. While some celebrate the coming of alien life, one scientist (Jeff Goldblum) is concerned with transmissions between the ships which he discovers are a countdown clock to a coordinated attack. The world as as we knew it was over.

With the help of the scientist’s grumbling father (Judd Hirsch), a cocky pilot (Will Smith), and a ragtag fleet put together by the President of the United States (Bill Pullman), July 4th would mark the day where the Earth fought back and won its freedom.

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10 Cloverfield Lane

by Alan Rapp on June 29, 2016

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: 10 Cloverfield Lane
  • IMDb: link

10 Cloverfield LaneI had very mixed reactions to 2008’s shaky-cam monster movie Cloverfield which kept me from seeing this sequel of sorts in theaters. Only tangentially connected to the first film, 10 Cloverfield Lane is an old school psychological thriller which begins when Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is run off the road one night and wakes up chained to a mattress in an underground bunker with a pair of strange men (John Goodman and John Gallagher Jr.).

When the owner of the bunker (Goodman) explains that the world is under attack from aliens, which he saved her from, Michelle can offer only skepticism and struggle to escape. However, as events unfold and she gleans the truth of what happened to the outside world and her captor, the story will take several interesting turns. The first-third of the film plays out like a classic Twilight Zone episode with Michelle struggling to escape only to discover that everything which Howard has told her is true. Although the middle of the film drags at times, tension ramps up in the final act with another discovery by Michelle which once again will alter the status quo.

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The 5th Wave

by Alan Rapp on June 26, 2016

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: The 5th Wave
  • IMDb: link

The 5th WaveBased on the young adult novel of the same name, The 5th Wave feels like a mashup of Zombieland (minus the humor) and I Am Number Four. Set in a post-apocalyptic Earth, the movie centers around high school student Cassie Sullivan (Chloë Grace Moretz) whose world is turned upside down when aliens show up to attack the planet with a series of waves, each more devastating than the last. Through an extended flashback, we learn of the previous four waves (including environmental and biological warfare).

A little too much young adult drama and too little science fiction, the script is mainly an excuse for Moretz to look frightened. With a set-up more appropriate to a television movie, the script includes an extended B-story concerning the remaining human children (including Cassie’s baby brother) being turned into a child army by the United States Army. There’s also the age-appropriate fashion model (Alex Roe) who saves Cassie’s life, while harboring a big secret, and a late twist that’s fairly easy to see coming.

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Candy

by Alan Rapp on June 24, 2016

in DVD Reviews 

  • Title: Candy
  • IMDb: link

CandyAdapted from Terry Southern‘s novel (itself an adaptation of Voltaire’s Candide), the 1968 psychedellic romp features an alluring but naive young woman from outer space (Ewa Aulin) whose wanderings lead her into sexually-charged situations.

Featuring a who’s who of appearances from Marlon Brando to Ringo Starr, Candy’s journey will lead her to come into contact with a wide variety of odd characters before deciding to return back where she came from. The script is rather one-note, as is the performance of its leading lady and most of her co-stars, and the cult film is more of a curiosity than anything else after all these years.

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