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Anthony Lawrie 11 months ago

Couldn't agree more regarding your Star Trek Into Darkness review. Nice to know someone agrees with me! Cheers.

About Phil

Favorite Movies:
Predator, Aliens, The Crow, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Beetlejuice, RoboCop, Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, Ghostbusters, Blade Runner, Ed Wood, Batman Returns, The Addams Family, Vamp, Big Trouble in Little China, Batman, Legend, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, Labyrinth, Predator 2, Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi, Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith 3D, Alien3, Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones 3D, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, The Terminator, The Crow: City of Angels, Sleepy Hollow, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Haunted Honeymoon, The Goonies, To Be or Not to Be (1983), The Naked Gun - From the Files of Police Squad!, Near Dark, Dracula, Interview with the Vampire, Stir Crazy, The Untouchables, The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear, The Blues Brothers, Spaceballs, Hellboy II: The Golden Army (Hellboy 2), The Muppet Christmas Carol, Ghostbusters 2, Underworld: The Rise of the Lycans, Air America, Tommy Boy, Mystery Men, Star Trek VI - The Undiscovered Country, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut, Major League, Muppet Treasure Island, The 'Burbs, AVP - Alien Vs. Predator, The Cable Guy, Since You've Been Gone, School of Rock, BASEketball, The Love Bug, Treasure Island, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Blackbeard's Ghost
Favorite Actors:
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lance Henriksen, Tim Curry, Gene Wilder, Bela Lugosi, Robert Newton, Dan Aykroyd, Mel Brooks, Olivia de Havilland, Peter Cushing, Errol Flynn, Vincent Price, Rik Mayall, Alan Rickman, Charles Durning, Steve Martin, Chris Farley, Christopher Lee, Christina Ricci, Bill Murray, Kevin James, Jeff Goldblum, Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Bill Paxton, George Wyner, Charlie Sheen, Leslie Nielsen, David Spade, Christopher Lloyd, David Tomlinson, Steve Carell, Jerry Stiller, Chevy Chase, Jon Lovitz
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Barbarian Queen II: The Empress Strikes Back

Barbarian Queen II: The Empress Strikes Back

2 hours ago via Flixster

Not too sure what the title means here, there was no Empress in the first film and the plot doesn't relate in any way to the first film either. Characters are also different to the original film despite starring Lana Clarkson in both.

What we have here is a slight play on Robin Hood. A king is killed in battle so his unruly son claims the throne for himself including the magical scepter which is the source of the kingdoms power. The kings daughter (Clarkson) protests this naturally and is marked for execution to get rid of her...naturally. She escapes, joins up with some other female rebel warriors (just like that) and they all band together to win the kingdom back hurrah!

Now I hope your not expecting too much here, you know what this will entail, much like the previous film and all the 'Deathstalker' films. Plenty of tits and ass, skimpy outfits, females killing poorly skilled swordsmen, Clarkson on the rack again topless and errr more poorly skilled baddie swordsmen trying to rape big breasted women (happens a lot in these films).

Pretty much exactly the same as the first film, there's a good rescue scene from the gallows which is similar to the sequence in 'The Adventures of Robin Hood' with Errol Flynn. There is a nice sadistic little girl Princess who is heir to the throne (if Clarkson's character is gotten rid of, the whole point of the film) whom I liked, her spoilt bratty ways are fun to watch as all around her cower.

Just like the first film the finale is way better than the rest with a semi decent sword battle within the castle. Costumes are quite nice in this film it must be said, a kind of Crusades thing going on with the good guys whilst the sets look suspiciously like sets used before, oh well. The lead male hero in this looks the part too, he actually looks like he could be in a proper film, the same can't be said about the cliched blonde lead Clarkson.

Well by now you will know if you like these films or not, a guilty pleasure possibly, just for a laugh and some naked girlies perhaps. Not as good as 'Deathstalker' though.

Barbarian Queen (Queen of the Naked Steel)

Barbarian Queen (Queen of the Naked Steel)

2 hours ago via Flixster

Along the same lines as the 'Deathstalker' franchise, no surprise seeing as its another Corman production. Again you must check out the poster for this film, so so very sexy and awesome yet as usual nothing like the actual movie, such a shame.

Set in the Roman era apparently, never noticed myself, the plot revolves around a small band of female warriors and their Queen trying to save the Queens sister from nasty Romans. Nothing really happens for the entire film to be brutally honest and its really rather dull.

Of course there are the obligatory topless scenes for many female characters and some soft porn sexy moments which will keep any hot blooded male interested, but not for long. The finale is pretty good with a semi decent fight sequence within a semi decent set. All the sword fighting is pretty hokey looking but its fun to watch all the extras pretend to be proper swordsmen/women.

End of the day I watched this because of the cool film title. Yep I'm a perv, but for what other reason would any male watch this? certainly not for the epic historic story line or quality acting oh no. Its Corman and its all about big breasted blonde women in skimpy outfits with swords killing men, expect nothing less.

Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann

Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann

17 hours ago via Flixster

How about that for a movie title then huh sounds like a children's weekday TV series on BBC1 or some cheesy children's adventure book. Looking at the movie poster really concrete's that theory, it looks like some hammy children's adventure book cover, like those old 'Choose Your Own Adventure' books, remember those? I half expected this to be an adaptation of a children's book but surprisingly it isn't...but the whole premise predates the 'Back the the Future' franchise which makes you think.

So basically a young Fred Ward plays the protagonist 'Lyle Swann', also known as the Timerider...kinda. During the Baja 1000 cross-country bike race he goes off course and ends up riding into a scientific experiment that has been set up to...errm send things back in time. Without knowing what's happened to himself Swann is now biking around the wild west of 1877 and naturally stumbles into all manner of problems with hilarious results. Well not really but you can guess the type of childish stuff that's gonna happen here right.

Without trying to sound too predictable myself, this movie could easily be a spin-off of sorts to the third 'Back to the Future' movie, watching this really made me wonder if Zemeckis took a bigass leaf out of its book. The start of the movie virtually shows us nothing more than the title character riding through the barren Mexican desert on his bike, literately that for around 20 minutes! oh and a touch of plot revolving around white coats and and their unprotected unguarded science experiment. Seriously they are conducting this major experiment in the desert yet there's no one there to safeguard it or keep people or roaming animals out the way.

Once in the wild west of Mexico Swann comes across all the things you'd predict he would such as bandits, outlaws, a lovely lady, priests and terrified locals. It is reasonably amusing how Ward's character doesn't know he's gone back in time, there are some nice moments based on that idea but most of what happens you can see coming a mile off like the locals thinking he's a demon from hell, Swann falling for the pretty female, the bad guys wanting his bike etc...I can't really complain about the cliched plot line because the film was made in 82 and back then this wasn't cliched or predictable, ditto the situations Swann gets into, nothing original or particularly exciting but back in the day it would have been different.

I did like the twist ending surrounding his great great grandmother and father, bit of a time paradox thinker which shows that had Swann never gone back in time he would have never existed. There are some loop holes though like the fact his dirt bike get left behind, it gets destroyed but its still back in wouldn't that alter history somewhat? Then there's the usual old silliness of all the outlaws shooting at Swann on his bike yet failing to hit him every time. I also liked the bit of dialog from Peter Coyote (the grizzled baddie) saying had the south (Dixie) had the bike they would have won the civil war...not too sure how a dirt bike would have won them the war to be honest. Funny how the bad outlaws in this movie are from the south, because anyone from the south at that time was obviously bad.

Another thing I noticed towards the end of the movie which made me sit upright was the death of Coyote's villain (spoiler alert). In one sequence this baddie is suppose to get killed by a chopper tail rotor which is rescuing Swann. Now you see his final moment with a close up of his face, then it cuts away to screaming, but seconds later you see the character alive and well whilst you still hear his screaming in what appears to be a huge editing blunder. Either that or I'm simply mistaken which I really don't think I am because hey...its me.

Yep I'm sure there are some folk out there remember this and will be outraged at the fact I'm saying its a dull bland boring ride. Unfortunately its just that...its just really unexciting without much genuine action to keep your attention. Ward is stoic as ever and Coyote hams it up nicely with plenty of snarling alongside a western drawl, but watching some dude bounce around on his dirt bike like Evel Knievel whilst slack jawed yokels attempt to shoot him gets mighty lame mighty fast. The story only becomes really interesting right at the very end with the nice time paradox twist, up to that point its no way as cool as the movies poster makes it out to be.

Howard the Duck

Howard the Duck

2 days ago via Flixster

Back in 1973 Howard the Duck was created and began life as a secondary character for the Man-Thing comic, a kind of grown-up adult version of Daffy Duck visually. Now I know nothing about the comicbook lore of Howard, absolutely zero, all I know of is the film which I am going to review for you. Although after a bit of homework it does appear that Howard has some of the most outrageous zany and bizarre comicbook roots I've come across with many many crossovers, masses of villains with silly names and a highly convoluted story line.

Now this was the first major Marvel movie adaptation of one of their characters and unfortunately it was a big flop. I've always been a bit of a fan of the movie since childhood but admittedly on a rewatch I can see how bad it places. The main sticky issue is the many various plot holes throughout and the fact its also been slapped together in a rather childish manner. Howard is apparently sucked from his home planet to Earth via this big ass laser beam thingy which is being worked on by white coats back on Earth. The first few big errors and questions being how in the hell does Howard survive flying through space and wouldn't this take rather a long time...crossing the universe. Plus how does he survive entry through Earth's atmosphere and that nasty landing? and why was he the only duck to be sucked up?

One thing that always bugged me was why Howard's planet was basically exactly the same to Earth accept ducks were the dominant species. The premise is fine just as it is with the Planet of the Apes franchise but why would their civilisation be exactly the same as ours with currency, store names, famous people etc...As far as I'm aware Howard's planet is just far off in the universe, another galaxy far far away, its not in an alternate dimension where this type of stuff would/might happen, so that whole aspect felt really stupid to me, just a few lame visual gag opportunities.

Now this laser is suppose to be measuring the density of gases around Alpha Centauri? why? Is that all it does cos I always thought it was some kind of space bridge for travelling across the universe...or whatever. Twas a huge piece of kit and it isn't really explained why it was built and for what purpose. The scientist characters mention the laser was taken over by an unknown force yet we never find out what, I presume the space demons did it. We do also get some back story for the space demons but its vague to say the least, they were banished to the 'Nexus of Sominus' by persons unknown, this is an area beyond the planets soooo...beyond the known universe? and what exactly do they wanna do with Earth?

You see this film is kinda a mixed bag really, you look at the poster for the movie and its visually striking, looks really cool. Its a really neat design idea with the fat smoking cigar and this tells you outright this isn't exactly a kids flick. And its not...this is not a kids flick in any sense which I like, I love that about it, they tried to stick to the comicbook source material which you know they wouldn't do today. Howard the Duck was always a grown-up comicbook character, a bit like TMNT in that aspect and this film does do a reasonable job in sticking to that although they jettisoned the dark satire and swearing. Its not hardcore material by any means but the film is quite dark, there are some edgy moments...some soft sexual moments, a hint of bestiality! and of course the infamous duck tit sequence including duck magazine porn.

So the movie generally is relatively dark and moody which is a plus point but its clearly more of a special effects extravaganza over plot. It might not look it now but back in the day it was, the effects were there to try and lure in the recently acquired Star Wars fanbase...which it did. I do have to give kudos to the effects though, in particular the duck costume in the film which utilised an animatronic suit and actually looks pretty good to this day. Put it this way the 86 suit looks way better than the recent CGI version we see in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'. The makeup on Jeff Jones was also really well done and looked pretty intimidating and spooky truth be told, he looked like a demonic John Carpenter. Add to this the amazing Phil Tippet creation using stop motion which still looks awesome and again quite scary, easily the highlight of the whole movie...and some really nice glowing flashy lighting bolt type effects throughout which are just as good as what you see in 'Ghostbusters' (mostly).

Again I gotta question the dark overlord creature though, it looks like an insectoid type creature yet it can generate and expel massive charges of electric-esque energy bolts from it eyes, tail and claws/fingers (depending on form). I know it doesn't matter but it just doesn't look like a creature like that could do such a thing really, also how come it needs a human body to gestate in? how did it get inside 'Dr Jennings' body? how did it get out? how did it fit in there? When the other overlords come through the laser portal thingy they appear fully formed or grown they transform into some kind of energy or spirit when entering Earth's atmosphere which enables them to enter a human body?? Surely Jennings would have been killed after it had left his body down to the amount of abuse he suffered...I don't get it.

In general there are many many mistakes everywhere with this movie, some tiny and some not so. Like the fact Leah Thompson's character goes to Tim Robbin's character for help because they are good friends and she thought he was a scientist but he turns out to be a lab assistant...but wouldn't she know that already? Its also so stupid that no one seems to think a talking duck is weird because no one ever calls the police or army or whoever when they see Howard. They just laugh or abuse him or even treat him like a regular person despite the fact he's a talking duck....errr K.

Gotta be honest Leah does make up for a lot of the crapola in the film, she is truly lovely and has totally rebooted my crush. Leah (like 'The Goonies' and Kerri Green) did bewitch my fragile little mind when I was young and its happened again! the rest of her girly band aren't too bad either! Jones is also great fun and really does the whole body snatcher thing pretty well methinks, love his body movements when he throws out his powerful energy bolts. Robbin's...errrrrr lets not go there, he's the simple minded sidekick that attempts to offer comedic relief with immature slapstick, oh and he wears glasses because he's a nerd cliche.

Yes the film is chock full of nonsensical plot holes and errors which stand out like a duck at a giraffes only party. I think if you can overlook that and try and enjoy the film as a very loose fantasy with some fun performances from Leah and Jones alongside a reasonably heroic score then there is joy to be had here. I know there is a shit tonne of bad dialog, puns, innuendos and gags which really come across as infantile at times but the semi-crass twisted warped and perverse sense of humour and visuals that spring up here and there are quite fun.

Visually its a product of its time, you can tell its an 80's Lucasfilm production (just like those Ewok movies) and I kinda like that. Definitely not as cool as I remember it being but I still enjoyed some of it, its very uneven but the idea is quirky and fresh...well Howard is. Here's hoping for a solid reboot which remains faithful to the comicbook source.

The Inbetweeners

The Inbetweeners

5 days ago via Flixster

So back in 2008 the UK was introduced to yet another foul-mouthed rude and disgusting comedy show...and it was more British brilliance. Easily the most semi offensive, filthy and sexually profanity ridden show to hit our screens since Bottom, and that was tame in comparison. The whole premise is basically centred around childish immature toilet humour, typical boyish low brow school smut that most every British male can relate to because they probably grew up doing and saying the same things.

The TV show revolved around four young boys struggling through their school years which included various stereotypical themes which, again, many will relate too. The most common of these was the attempt and failure of many many sexual encounters with girls from their school or where ever, these sexual escapades made up the bulk of the shows plots. Yes it sounds like a wholly cliched and unoriginal but that doesn't deter us Brits when it comes to embarrassing sexual innuendos and smut.

This movie carries on from where the TV show left off after the final third series which we all thought had finished for good. The lads are still mates and they're off on their holidays to sunny Malia, Crete, Greece. That is basically the plot right there, you don't really need to know anything about the TV show or what happened, you can quite easily watch this on its own and get the drift perfectly. There might be the odd moment which you might not get if you haven't watched the TV show but generally you should be fine.

If ever there was a bad advert on a mass scale for Brits abroad then this has gotta be high on the list. I'm not referring to all Brits of course but mainly the younger binge drinking generation that we all know and loathe these days. Yep its the stereotypical vision of modern day British youths abroad getting blind drunk, having or hunting for guilt free animalistic sex, drugs, vomit, feces and lots of football shirts. Its exactly what you'd expect as a British viewer which is both hilarious at times and utterly shameful at others, we all know what goes down in these types of places, amazed it wasn't filmed in Magaluf (probably too extreme).

Whilst the TV show seems anarchic and unpredictable this film really feels like a let down in my eyes. Gone are the fresh wild obnoxious antics...instead replaced with every known cliche from the book of cliches, besides that we saw all this before with 'Kevin and Perry Go Large'. The one that has been implanted into this story is emotion and some solid character development. The guys do seems to grow as we see them fall out, make up and meet the girls of their dreams...naturally not being the type of girls they expected. Although again its kinda obvious, 'Jay' gets a tubby bird and starts to show signs of maturing, 'Will' get a hot blonde, 'Simon' finally moves on from 'Carly' with a brunette and 'Neil' finds a slightly ditzy girl the same height as himself.

Generally I found this movie kinda depressing actually, there is tonnes of negativity with the guys trying to find girls, trying to be popular and trying to fit in. There are of course the highs but I found there to be more lows really, lows and lots of cringeworthy behaviour which somehow didn't seem as funny as the TV show. Most of the laughs tend to be the most obvious and over used cliches such as the shitty hotel, aging desperate women dressed in unflattering attire, too much booze with obligatory vomiting, hot babes, buff jocks and the old gag of the rude doodle burnt into burnt into your back. I guess the old school location of...errr their school works the best, prime example being the fantastic small sequence with Greg Davies as 'Mr Gilbert' the Headmaster giving a rousing speech at the start. Its reasonable fun in places but on the whole it can't live up to the original show despite the usual good performances from the main cast.

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Intel Hollywood Star Program (July 2012 - December 2012)
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