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since 20/05/2004


Baby Geniuses (DVD) 10/07/2009

Stop Throwing your Toys out the Pram

Baby Geniuses (DVD) 67. Baby Geniuses (1999) There has been a great deal of hatred thrown at this movie. People claiming it the worst ever made, and ready to divorce their wife for renting it. In contrast to my last review I was expecting this to be a truly awful experience, especially as someone who has yet to find babies cute. So I was as surprised as anyone that Baby Geniuses isn’t all that bad. I can’t see what all the fuss is about. In many ways it’s just another middle of the road, goofy and unoriginal family film. Although by virtue of it’s bizarre subject matter alone it was more engaging than many of it’s contemporaries. Elena Kinder (Kathleen Turner) is the CEO of BabyCo, the biggest producer of baby products in the world. Working with Dr Heep (Christopher Lloyd) they have a theory that baby talk is actually a language that can be decoded. Also that babies have within them a gene containing knowledge and secrets of the human race passed down through generations. They are in fact geniuses, but lose the ability to tap that gene when they grow older. Kinder conducts illegal experiments on a group of babies in confinement, harnessing their abilities through the ‘Kinder Method’. One baby is called Sly, who was separated from his twin Wit at birth. Wit was adopted by Robin (Kim Cattrall), whose husband (Peter MacNicol) is also studying to understand baby talk. When Sly escapes from the lab everything gets turned upside down. From the get-go Baby Geniuses lays it’s cards on the ...

Abraxas: Guardian of the Universe 08/07/2009

Save Yourself

Abraxas: Guardian of the Universe 68. Abraxas: Guardian of the Universe (1991) [film only review] Considering I’m watching films from a list of the most disliked ones of all time, what I’m about to say might seem a little odd. I think I went in with too high expectations. For a start, how about that title? Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe. It’s just begging for an exclamation mark. It has the wow factor. I’m thinking epic space battles, swift justice served upon brutal intergalactic criminals, exotic other worldly destinations, advanced technology. Next we have that tobacco chewing, sexual tyrannosaurus, former Mayor and State Governor, of Predator fame himself, Jesse ‘The Body’ Ventura. He gets to face off against Danish muscleman Sven-Ole Thorsen, who has played a multitude of tough guys in movies like The Running Man and a memorable role as security guard, La Fours, in Mallrats. Speaking of comedy there’s even a small role for funny man James Belushi. What do I get? A balding middle –aged robot with a ponytail, and a lumberjack running around a snowy Canadian backwater, trying to blow each other up in the woods and fighting over a mute kid. A far cry from any of my hopes. The film got me involved from the start. Sadly this was to rewind the first line of dialogue twice, as I could hardly hear what was being said. The audio quality (for whatever reason) is very poor. After turning up the sound I was met by a great deal of pointless narration and half explained occurrences. Ventura plays ...

Carry On Emmannuelle (DVD) 17/06/2009

Oh Dear, What Can the Matter Be?

Carry On Emmannuelle (DVD) 69. Carry on Emmannuelle (1978) I won’t pretend to be the biggest fan of the Carry On films, but due to the number of times most were repeated on television throughout the eighties, I must have seen the bulk of the series’ 31 films. For me, their strengths came from the self aware and bawdy atmosphere, the word play of puns and mild double entendres, sending up conservative suburban Britain, and the sense of familiarity. The continual theme of sexual innuendo made them a little risqué in the sixties, but come the seventies something changed. With a more permissive society came sex comedies like the Confessions series; the first being Confessions of a Window Cleaner in 1974. Boasting more breasts and cruder humour, they made the Carry Ons look tame. Not a problem when catering for a different audience, although the regular producers, writers and actors for the Carry Ons were changing too. Hardly surprising after so many years, but the result seemed to make the films look and sound cheaper. Perhaps trying to compete with their new rivals. Just looking at the four titles preceding Emmanuelle you have Carry On… Girls, Dick, Behind, and England. While England sounds the tamest, many consider it the worst of all for its lack of wit and increased reliance on nudity. I would say Emmannuelle is even worse and hardly feels like a traditional Carry On at all. The basic premise is a parody of the erotic French film Emmanuelle. Kenneth Williams plays French Ambassador Emile Prevert, ...

Primal Species (DVD) 08/05/2009

Roger Corman Ate My Baby

Primal Species (DVD) 70. Primal Species (1996) First of all, let’s get the subject of deceptive marketing out in the open. A quick show of hands should illustrate the point. How many of you would watch a film called Primal Species? And how many would watch a film called Carnosaur 3? Exactly the reason they opted for the former title. Sadly they only thought far enough ahead to change the title of the movie and not the content. Despite that deception, Carnosaur 3: Primal Species has managed to restore my faith of the bottom 100’s ability to throw up unexpectedly amusing films. Right from the blurb on the back of the box I knew this would be a hoot. “Terrorists thought they had stolen a cargo of uranium, but find it’s a man-eating species presumed extinct.” Schoolboy error that one, but the look on their faces as they were torn limb from limb was priceless. Having recently watched Alone in the Dark I was quite struck by the similarities between these two films. It is more the sequence of events than the actual plot, as both movies go through the motions of letting loose some horrific beasties, discovering their abilities and origins, then dropping some quasi-military force in to wipe them out. We see here an earlier version of the instant intelligence kit for women. The expert on Carnosaurs, Dr Hodges (Janet Gunn), is a bold blonde with glasses, pinned up hair, and a suit jacket with shoulder pads to be reckoned with. You know that before the end of the movie she’ll lose the jacket and ...

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