Shitty Movie Sundays: The Last Sentinel (2007)

Here’s some bottom of the barrel sci-fi, folks — slow-cooked to perfection and braised in poor CGI, limited locations, convoluted backstory, wooden performances, and lots of ridiculous gunfights.

From writer/director Jesse V. Johnson comes post-apocalyptic extravaganza The Last Sentinel. It’s the future! Who knows when? After crime and general nonconformity swept the United States, police officers were replaced with genetically engineered drone soldiers — living men stripped of reason and emotion, useful only as black-clad hammers in search of criminal nails. The drones eventually decided that taking over from the humans would be the best way forward, and destroyed most of human civilization. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: The Last Sentinel (2007)”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Ghost Rider

Half-baked idea: A remake of Apocalypse Now with Nicolas Cage starring in four of the most prominent roles. De-aged, he plays Captain Willard, dancing and twirling, drunk on expensive cognac in Saigon while waiting for a mission and hurting himself. As in the original, it would be an improvisational tour de force, perhaps ending in something more outrageous than a shattered mirror and a bloody hand. Either way, he’d be naked.

Later, Cage appears as Colonel Kilgore. “I love the smell of napalm in the morning. BOOYAH!! Let’s do this!” Then he hops onto a surfboard and paddles out into the glorious six-foot swirls, mortar and artillery shells fountaining the sea around him.

At Kurtz’s compound, a long-haired, bedraggled Cage comes out from behind the menacing gathering of Montagnard fighters, cameras hanging from his chest, guiding Willard and company in to dock, haranguing them with tales of Colonel Kurtz’s god-like prowess.

Finally, of course, is Cage as the crazy Kurtz himself, a study in pre-explosive tension, conflating poetry and dime-store philosophy in a hopeless attempt to reconcile his conscience with the things he has done. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Ghost Rider”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Next

Next movie posterThank goodness for Nicolas Cage. He could have been like so many other best actor Oscar-winners and gone on to a lifetime of prestige roles and special appearances, but Cage decided to zig instead of zag. He’s a prolific worker, but a casual movie fan can be forgiven should they be unable to name anything he’s been in for the past ten years. He has fully, and without reservation it seems, given his life over to shitty movies. Just this year he has starred in a film about a former government assassin who runs a fleabag hotel in South America, another film about zoo animals running loose on a cargo ship, a neo-noir thriller, a drug wars action flick, an H.P. Lovecraft adaptation, and a second neo-noir thriller. Six movies! And not one of them has been good enough to advertise during sporting events or primetime TV. But, I bet they’re all entertaining flicks.

This review steps back in time a little bit, to the tail end of Cage’s time as an A-lister.

From 2007, Next stars Cage as Cris Johnson, a smalltime Las Vegas stage magician who happens to have a real psychic talent. Johnson is able to see two minutes into his future and make decisions based off of those visions. It’s a pretty useful talent to have in a shitty magic act, and also makes him a buttload of cash at the blackjack tables. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Next”

Shitty Movie Sundays: Bone Dry

We all have egos, right? There’s no use in pretending that we don’t. Personal and professional relationships can be thought of as a constant battle between our egos and our desire for successful interactions. In other words, not being a dick is learned behavior. I thought of this at the end of Bone Dry, a neo-noir flick released in 2007. That’s because right after the final shot of the film, the credits begin, and they read, “A Brett A. Hart Vision.” Oh, please. Continue readingShitty Movie Sundays: Bone Dry”

October Horrorshow: Alien vs. Predator: Requiem

In the canon of the Alien franchise, it’s always been assumed that if the aliens made their way to civilization, they would be an unstoppable force, toppling everything we’ve built. Such was the case among the small pocket of colonists in Aliens. But that film took place in the future, far away in time and place from contemporary earth. The first Alien vs. Predator film took place in modern times, but writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson went to some lengths to ensure there was no plausible chance the aliens could threaten civilization, placing the action in his film on a remote Antarctic island under 2,000 feet of ice. Why such reluctance to show aliens tearing up Times Square, say, or climbing the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge? Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Alien vs. Predator: Requiem”

October Horrorshow: Trick ‘r Treat, or, Charlie Brown’s an Asshole!

Despite its association with horror, few horror movies are Halloween themed. This might be a good thing, or it might be a missed opportunity. I don’t know. What I do know is that in seven years of doing the Horrorshow, comprising over 150 reviews, only the six movies from the Halloween franchise that I’ve reviewed so far have taken place during the annual celebration of all things morbid. So, today’s film is a nice change of pace, and an acknowledgment of a time of year that so many of us enjoy. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Trick ‘r Treat, or, Charlie Brown’s an Asshole!”

October Horrorshow: Hannibal Rising

Some movies just don’t need to be made. Did we really need a reboot of the Spider-Man franchise this past year? Or another Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake so soon after the last one? Do we need any of the reboots, remakes, sequels, rethinkings, reimaginings, spinoffs, etc., that we get every year? Of course not. But as long as we keep paying to see them, Hollywood will keep making them.

Case in point, Hannibal Rising, from 2007. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: Hannibal Rising”

October Horrorshow: The Orphanage

I love the American movie business sometimes. If there’s a trailer where cast members have no dialogue other than shouting someone’s name, it’s a dead giveaway the film has subtitles. Can’t show any in the trailer, because movie companies think we’re stupid.

I have to be honest. Sometimes when watching films, it feels as if there is nothing new happening onscreen. Action films, drama, thillers, sci-fi, horror, etc. It can all take on a distinct sheen of sameness. Take ghost films. I’ve seen more than a few of them, and if the plot involves a wife, husband, and a child or children, then there are a few things a viewer can expect. First, the child will all of a sudden have a couple of ‘imaginary’ friends to play with. This causes looks of concern from the parents, but little more. Of course, out here on the other side of the screen, we know the little tyke’s imagination hasn’t just been running wild. Rather, they’ve been seeing ghosts. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: The Orphanage”

October Horrorshow: [•REC]

October is upon us. Aliens are invading, wolfmen howl at the moon, vampires avoid mirrors, and the walls are bleeding. It’s the month of Halloween, which means it’s time for the October Horrorshow, a whole month of horror film reviews on Missile Test. The good, the bad, and the putrid will all be represented in these pages. It doesn’t matter, as long as there’s blood. Continue readingOctober Horrorshow: [•REC]”