Archive for the Sci-Fi/Fantasy Category

Suicide Squad

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 15, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

In the aftermath of Superman’s death, intelligence officer Amanda Waller assembles Task Force X, a team of dangerous criminals imprisoned at Belle Reve Prison consisting of elite hitman Deadshot, former psychiatrist Harley Quinn, pyrokinetic ex-gangster El Diablo, opportunistic thief Captain Boomerang, genetic mutation Killer Croc, and specialized assassin Slipknot. They are placed under command of Colonel Rick Flag to be used as disposable assets in high-risk missions for the United States government. Each member has a nano bomb implanted in their neck, designed to detonate should any member rebel or try to escape.

One of Waller’s intended recruits is Flag’s girlfriend Dr. June Moone, an archaeologist possessed by a witch-goddess known as the “Enchantress”. Enchantress quickly turns on Waller, deciding to eradicate humankind with a mystical weapon for imprisoning her. She besieges Midway City by transforming its populace into a horde of monsters, and summons her brother Incubus to assist her. Waller then deploys the squad to extract a high-profile mark from Midway, which is reported to be under a terrorist attack.

Harley’s homicidal lover, the Joker, finds out about her predicament and tortures Belle Reve Security Officer Griggs into leading him to the facility where the nano bombs are made. There, he blackmails Dr. Van Criss into disabling Harley’s bomb. On approach, the squad’s helicopter is shot down, forcing them to proceed on foot to their target. Boomerang inaccurately convinces Slipknot that the bombs are a ruse to keep them in check; Slipknot attempts to escape and Flag kills him via his nano bomb, while the squad is attacked by Enchantress’ minions. They eventually manage to fight their way through to a safe room, where they learn that their mark is Waller herself, who is attempting to cover up her involvement in Enchantress’ siege.

The squad escorts Waller to a rooftop for extraction, but the arriving helicopter has been hijacked by the Joker and his men, who open fire on the squad while Harley climbs aboard upon Dr. Van Criss disarming the bomb. However, Waller’s men shoot down the helicopter, and Harley falls out while the Joker is presumed dead, after which Harley rejoins the squad. Alerted to Waller’s whereabouts, Enchantress’ minions arrive and kidnap her. Deadshot finds Waller’s confidential files and learns the truth about Enchantress. Flag is then forced to confess the truth, causing the squad members to abandon him. With Waller compromised, Flag relieves the squad of the mission, but chooses to continue. Realizing they have an opportunity to prove themselves, they soon rejoin him and locate Enchantress at a partially-flooded subway station. Killer Croc and a group of Navy SEALs, led by Lieutenant GQ Edwards, go underwater to plant a bomb underneath Incubus. El Diablo embraces his abilities and manages to distract Incubus long enough for the bomb to detonate underneath, killing them both as well as Edwards.

The remaining squad members battle Enchantress together, but are ultimately defeated. Enchantress offers to fulfill their deepest desires in exchange for their allegiance, and Harley feigns interest in order to get close enough to cut out Enchantress’ heart. Killer Croc then throws explosives into Enchantress’ weapon and Deadshot shoots them, destroying the device. Flag takes Enchantress’ heart and crushes it, finally freeing June from the curse. Waller, still alive, emerges, and the squad members are returned to Belle Reve with ten years off their sentences. All but Captain Boomerang are allowed special privileges. The Joker, alive and unscathed, breaks into the penitentiary and rescues Harley. In a mid-credits scene, Waller meets with Bruce Wayne, who agrees to protect her from the backlash against her role in Enchantress’ rampage in exchange for access to the government’s files on the expanding metahuman community.

REVIEW:

With all the superhero movies out there today, shouldn’t we start having some that put the spotlight on the supervillains? That is what the idea behind Suicide Squad is, I believe. No matter what side of the fence you are on regarding this film, you can’t deny that it brought some new characters to the big screen. Regardless of that fact, though, one must wonder if this worth the time to watch or would it be better to just find clips on Youtube.

What is this about?

In this thrill-packed visit to the dark side of the DC Comics universe, a covert government organization drafts a team of jailed supervillains to carry out black ops missions in return for clemency.

What did I like?

Harley. A lot of people don’t know or don’t realize that Harley is actually a pretty young character. She was created originally for Batman: The Animated Series and gained so much popularity that she was written into the actual comics. Now you see her almost as much as you see major Batman adversaries such as Joker, Penguin, Riddler, etc. When I saw that Margot Robbie was set to play her and saw her costume, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. At least we got the easter egg with her in the jester outfit, though. Also, Robbie is doing her best to keep the Jersey accent that Harley is known for, and I can appreciate that. Now, the chemical bath thing, I’m not so sure about, but I can let that slide.

No longer in the Arrowverse. I think it was in season 1 or 2 of Arrow that audiences were given a fairly decent take on Floyd Lawton, otherwise known as Deadshot. Just as we were starting to get used to the guy, they kill him! Turns out that was so they could have him for this film. Truth be told, I like Will Smith’s version better, as a person. As the character, I would go with the guy from the tv show. Still, Smith stepped out of his comfort zone a bit and played a villain, and he deserves kudos for that (and not dragging his no-talent son into this with him).

Amanda Waller. This is the second time Amanda Waller has been portrayed on the big-screen. Third if you count that chick that play her on Arrow. In Green Lantern, she was played by Angela Bassett, but I didn’t get the villainous vibe from her there. In this film, Viola Davis plays her and it very much feels like she would shoot you in the face as well as shake your hand. The duplicitous nature of this character is what makes her so interesting and I am very glad they really played it up in this film. Hopefully we’ll get more of her in future DC films.

What didn’t I like?

Killer Croc. I’m not the biggest fan of Killer Croc. The only time his character has really impressed me is in the first Arkham Asylum game where he chases you through the sewers. I know its just a game, but that was some terrifying stuff when I went through it the first time. The main reason I don’t like this Croc has to do with his design. I’ve always preferred him to be more of a giant reptile type creature, rather a normal size dude with bad skin. They could’ve at least done something about making him more of a threat height wise.

Cholo. The whole film has this L.A. gangster vibe that I wasn’t feeling. A couple of characters can fit that mold, such as El Diablo, but everyone didn’t need to be tatted up throwing around gang signs and whatnot. The Joker is the worst culprit! I know this is Jared Leto’s interpretation of the Joker. More power to him! The whole tatted up, slicked back hair, and the silver grill…nuh uh! These things are not the Joker! That’s some cholo mess right there!

Just put the mask on! Once again we have a case of a major star cast as a character who wears a mask 99% of the time, but refuses to wear it except for a couple of scenes. Smith’s excuse in the film is that “people die when I wear it.” This is coming from an assassin! WTF?!? Put the damn mask on and be Deadshot, or find another role! I’m so tired of these diva actors who are “too good” to wear a mask because they think we won’t see their face!

Final thought on Suicide Squad? I didn’t expect to like this, to be honest with you. I had heard bad things when it was released this summer and, coupled with my busy schedule, just didn’t bother going to see it back then. Finally getting a chance to watch it tonight and I have to say that I enjoyed myself. If those reshoots they did were to add some action and comedy in, then I’m all for it. Had this film been another ultra-serious, brooding, dark film like everything else DC has put out, im likely to have jumped off a bridge! With that said, do I recommend this? Believe it or not, yes I do. This isn’t a cinematic masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination, but it worth a watch.

4 out of 5 stars

Armageddon

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 14, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

As a massive asteroid hurtles toward Earth, NASA’s head honcho hatches a plan to split the deadly rock in two before it annihilates the entire planet, calling on the world’s finest oil driller to head up the mission.

What people are saying:

“Just when you think you’ve had it with this movie, there comes a farcical, rock ‘n’ roll sort of comedy sequence, or a hilariously goofy line.” 3 stars

“Yes, it’s big. It’s stupid. It’s also completely kick butt. A true adventure film, Armageddon takes you by the throat and won’t let go. For as silly as the script seems, I dare you not to be on the edge of your seat during the tense moments or touched by the admittedly sappy sentimentalism later in the flick. There are too many moments here that are full of sheer joy not to watch this again.” 5 stars

“Now I love movies, I really enjoy action movies, but this….Oh my! This IS one of the worst movies of all times. Mindbogglingly dumb, full of cliches and a meaningless ending. Why so many people adore this waste of time and money, I’ll never understand.
A typical Bay-affair. Still waiting for him to just release a movie with 90 minutes of just explosions!” 1/2 star

“Yeah, gotta go with five stars for this one. Yes, it unashamedly goes for the heartstrings, yes the song is cornball, and yes, it’s full of cliches and REALLY bad science. It’s also action-packed, full of humor, loads of fun, and if you don’t cry at the end, you’re probably not human. This one and Twister are my two favorite cornball ‘disaster’ movies.” 5 stars

“NASA decides to recruit and train a courageous group of drillers to save Earth from a large asteroid. A List movie stars-Bruce Willis, Liv Tyler, Ben Affleck, Billy Bob Thornton, Steve Buscemi, Owen Wilson, and a great movie soundtrack “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith. Despite the movie having a very serious plot, some characters provide comic relief including Rockhound, Bear, Lev Andropov, and Oscar Choi. One subplot is the conflict between Harry, Harry’s daughter Grace, and AJ (Grace’s boyfriend) which eventually gets resolved. This movie has great footage of NASA’s spacesuits, equipment, rigorous training facilities/program, control center, and space shuttles. It also has superb special effects of the smaller asteroids striking Earth, the team traveling through space to land on the asteroid, and the team on the asteroid. Once arriving in space, the team appears jinxed facing one unexpected challenge or tragedy after the next leading to the courageous climax of the movie that will make viewers cry. This movie has a strong plot and subplot, excellent character choices, is well written to touch the heart and emotions of viewers, and has amazing special effects making you feel like you are there with the team. Most people would not have enough courage to do what this team did in outer space to save Earth.” 5 stars

X-Men: Apocalypse

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT (spoiler alert!!!):

En Sabah Nur, a powerful mutant believed to be the first of his kind, rules ancient Egypt until he is betrayed by his worshippers, who entomb him alive. His four lieutenants die preserving him. Awakening in 1983, he believes humanity has lost its way without his presence. Aiming to destroy and remake the world, he recruits Cairo pickpocket Ororo Munroe, who can control the weather, and upgrades her power.

In East Berlin, shape-shifting mutant Raven investigates an underground fight club and discovers mutant champion Angel, who possesses a pair of large feathered wings on his back, and Kurt Wagner, who can teleport. Raven rescues Kurt and employs the services of black marketeer Caliban to transport him to America. En Sabah Nur recruits Caliban’s enforcer, Psylocke, who leads him to Angel. En Sabah Nur enhances both their powers, transforming Angel’s wings into metal.

Alex Summers discovers that his younger brother Scott is manifesting a mutation for shooting optic beams. Alex takes Scott to Professor Charles Xavier’s educational institute in Westchester County, New York, hoping that Xavier and Hank McCoy will teach him to control his abilities. Scott meets the telepathic and telekinetic Jean Grey, and the two develop an attraction. Raven brings Kurt to the institute. En Sabah Nur’s powers cause disturbances around the world, leading Xavier and Alex to consult with CIA agent Moira MacTaggert, who has been researching the legend of Nur.

In Communist Poland, the metal-controlling mutant Erik Lehnsherr lives with his wife and their young daughter, Nina. He uses his powers to save a coworker, prompting the militia to capture him. When they murder Erik’s family, he retaliates by executing them. En Sabah Nur later approaches the devastated Erik and takes him to Auschwitz, where Erik’s power first manifested. Erik destroys the camp and joins him.

En Sabah Nur remotely accesses Cerebro, a brainwave-amplifying device Xavier uses to locate mutants. Through it, he forces the telepathic Xavier to make the global superpowers launch their entire nuclear arsenals into space to prevent interference with En Sabah Nur’s plan. He and his new lieutenants arrive at the mansion and kidnap Xavier. Attempting to stop them, Alex accidentally causes an explosion that destroys the mansion. Peter Maximoff, having learned that he is Erik’s son and hoping that Xavier can help to find him, arrives just in time; he uses his super-speed to evacuate the students before the explosion destroys the building, but Alex is presumed dead. Colonel William Stryker’s forces subsequently capture Hank, Raven, Peter, and Moira, and take them to a military facility for interrogation. Scott, Jean and Kurt follow covertly, and liberate their comrades using Stryker’s mind-controlled and brainwashed experiment Weapon X, whose memories Jean partially restores.

At En Sabah Nur’s behest, Erik uses his powers to control the Earth’s magnetic poles, causing death and destruction across the planet. En Sabah Nur plans to transfer his consciousness into Xavier’s body, and use Xavier’s power to enslave every person on earth. Xavier secretly sends a telepathic distress call to Jean, and the others travel to Cairo to battle Apocalypse (En Sabah Nur) and his horsemen. They rescue Xavier, but he loses his hair as the process nears completion. Angel is defeated and incapacitated in the battle. Erik and Ororo are persuaded to turn on En Sabah Nur and, with the help of Scott, they keep him occupied physically while Xavier fights him telepathically in the astral plane. Finally, Xavier encourages Jean to unleash the full extent of her powers, incinerating En Sabah Nur, killing him for good. In the ensuing chaos, Psylocke flees.

Xavier and Moira rekindle their relationship. Erik and Jean help reconstruct the school, but Erik refuses Xavier’s offer to stay and help teach. Peter decides not to tell Erik yet that he is Erik’s son. Hank and Raven train new X-Men recruits Scott, Jean, Ororo, Kurt and Peter.

In a post-credits scene, men in suits visit the Weapon X facility to retrieve data on Stryker’s mutant research, including an X-ray and a blood sample marked “Weapon X”, on behalf of the Essex Corporation.

REVIEW:

Bryan Singer is the man who brought the X-Men to the big screen way back in 2000 and many give him credit for jump starting the superhero movie boom (though I’m sure Blade has a solid case). Now that he’s back, expectations are high for X-Men: Apocalypse. Does this film live up to those lofty expectations? Let’s find out!

What is this about?

Bearing the ominous moniker of Apocalypse, a legendary mutant comes to life after thousands of years and resolves to impose an oppressive new world order. With humanity’s fate at stake, the X-Men team prepares for an all-or-nothing showdown.

What did I like?

80s. As a child of the 80s, of course I’m going to be a little partial to films that are set in that era. The fashions, the music, even a marquee featuring Return of the Jedi and characters talking about Empire Strikes Back (with a slight jab at X-Men: The Last Stand). This could have very well been set in modern day, but I don’t it would have worked as well. Same goes for if it was set in the near future.

Be gentle, it’s my first time. We’ve seen Professor X, Magneto, Beast, Mystique, etc. on-screen plenty of times, but this is the first time for the likes of Psylocke, Archangel, Apocalypse, etc. There are literally hundreds of X-Men, we don’t need to keep seeing the same handful. Now, its up for debate about whether these characters were any good, but hey, give them time and we’ll see what they can do.

Foreshadowing. There is a scene where Professor Xavier is fighting Apocalypse on the astral plane and he calls in Jean Grey, a telekinetic in her own right, for reinforcements. When she engages in the battle we are treated to her full power and the energy around her is shaped like a bird…a phoenix, it would see. If this is foreshadowing for a future film based on the Dark Phoenix saga, I’m all for it (hopefully they’ll do it right, this time). If not, then it was just a nice visual easter egg.

What didn’t I like?

Loss of power. My first introduction to Apocalypse was in the 90s X-Men animated series, where he was portrayed as a true being of unspeakable power. Since then, from what I’ve read in the comics, he’s only gotten more powerful. While he does have a fair amount of power, I never felt like he was nigh unstoppable. Basically, he was just a step above Magneto. This is a guy that was supposedly there at the very beginning and his power theoretically grows every year, so why does he feel so unintimidating? Maybe it is the Ivan Ooze look they gave him?

Phoning it in. To be honest, I’ve never been a fan of the way Mystique has been portrayed on film. Don’t get me wrong, a half naked Rebecca Romijn or Jennifer Lawrence is perfectly fine, but the paint and scales, not so much. With Lawrence, she just looks like she’s wearing blue grease paint and doesn’t seem comfortable in the role. Also, it seems as if the bigger her star has become, the less interested she has been in playing this role. Many other critics and reviewers have said it, but she looks like she is just in this for the paycheck and to honor her contract. There is no enthusiasm or life in her performance. If we get another film with this universe, she either needs to step it up or the directors need to find someone else who gives a damn!

Too soon? I know we’re like 9 movies into the X-Men franchise, but it was recently rebooted with X-Men: First Class. This brings me to question whether it is too soon to bring in a major foe such as Apocalypse in, at least without more of a buildup. The average movie goer knows little to nothing about Apocalypse, and that’s if they took a few minutes to read some Wikipedia articles on him. I don’t know. I guess part of me is just wishes they would have gone with another adversary like the Hellfire Club or the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants while the seeds were planted for a big Apocalypse entrance. Instead we get a story involving a villain that we have no connection to, other than a quick backstory at the beginning of the film.

Final verdict on X-Men: Apocalypse? Well, it gave us an X-Men story that wasn’t reliant on Wolverine, so there is that. The new versions of Jean, Cyclops, Storm, Nightcrawler, etc. aren’t given anything to really endear themselves to the audience or make us forget Halle Berry, Famke Jensen, James Marsden, etc. The action is engaging and the effects are what you have come to expect from this franchise. So, do I recommend it? Yes, but this is not the best film in the franchise, so keep that in mind. Still, it is worth watching once or twice, so there you go.

4 out of 5 stars

The Huntsman: Winter’s War

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Freya the Ice Queen (Emily Blunt) brings her sister Ravenna (Charlize Theron) back to life, and the powerful evil siblings plan to conquer the Enchanted Forest. Only the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and his secret lover Sara (Jessica Chastain) can stop them in this sequel continuing the inventive twist on the Snow White fable.

What people are saying:

The Huntsman: Winter’s War is visually arresting and boasts a stellar cast, but neither are enough to recommend this entirely unnecessary sequel” 2.5 stars

“When people gripe about Hollywood’s reliance on sequels and cheap franchise cash-ins, this is the kind of movie they mean: no Grimm’s Fairy Tale, but a grim tale nonetheless.” 2 stars

“Visually beautiful with all kinds of now-typical fantasy action, “The Huntsman” is that pretty but dumb date we all wanted, but knew wouldn’t be good for very long. I enjoyed it for what it was, and truly the visual effects are stunning and creative, but the plot was paper-thin (even as the writers tried to contrive a complicated story by pushing a lot of plot lines in quick sequence).” 3 stars

“If you can get past Chris Hemsworths terrible Scottish accent this is a lot better than the Snow White film. I suspect that’s mainly down to the lack of the abysmal Kristen Stewart. This is quite fun and pretty to look at (I’m including Mr Hemsworth in that), and Sheridan Smith, Nick Frost and Rob Bryden add some much needed comedy element! ” 3 stars

“The Huntsman: Winter’s War is an unnecessary sequel that wastes its talented cast. Why did these actors do this movie? They are all better than this. Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain are only in this for the paycheck. Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron overdo it as the villains. Thankfully, Theron camps it up with her performance, making her performance the most fun to watch. Unfortunately, there isn’t any emotional attachment to these characters. You just don’t care about them. The plot is generic and boring. The script is terrible. They try to do humor in this film, and it fails miserably. The action is fine, but it just isn’t exciting. Overall, there really isn’t any point to this movie. These excellent actors are trapped in a movie with a lazy script and dull action.” 1 1/2 stars

*batteries not included

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , on February 18, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy are among the impoverished residents of a slum tenement threatened with demolition by evil land developers. Only a miracle can save Cronyn, Tandy, and their friends — and that miracle manifests itself in the form of a “family” of extraterrestrial flying saucers, who need the electricity provided by the tenement to survive. The grateful humanized spaceships repay their earthbound hosts by doing battle with the villains’ henchmen. When the building is engulfed in flames, all seems lost, but the aliens have a few more tricks up their metallic sleeves.

What people are saying:

“A cute movie but seems a bit underdeveloped. Never really explains where or how the robots come about. What was with the villain? It seemed the movie couldnt decide whether he was bad or good and never really went anywhere with his character except flip flopping. I thought the old lady was delightful and well acted. I also really did enjoy the robots. A heart warming story about friendship and the underdogs coming together.” 3 1/2 stars

“This has always been one of my favorite “silly” Sci-Fi movies. Thoroughly entertaining with a a great cast. The natural closeness of real life partners Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy can be seen felt throughout the whole movie. Funny and sweet with a pleasing end that leaves you feeling good. It’s has a wonderful sound track with great music. A great family movie. Get out the popcorn, turn out the lists cuddle up and enjoy.” 5 stars

“*batteries not included has left a legacy that embodies good-spirited movie magic. It’s an endlessly lovable movie, built around a simple premise that becomes fantastical and serves to only reinforce core human values. It’s very well made, enjoying direction that underscores its qualities and performances that accentuate its humanity.” 4 stars

“This movie was great, back in 1987, but now watching it in 2012; it just didn’t make the cut. It was really slow, way too long, and the special effects and way under par, even for 1987. It will always hold a special place in my heart as a good, memorable movie(as a 7 year old boy), but I wouldn’t recommend this movie to any adults, or children over 10. ” 2 stars

“This movie is a family cult classic in our household. I can’t even tell you how many times we have seen it. My oldest child is now 20 and she still will come in with it for us all to watch. It is such an endearing story and everyone seems to care so much for all the characters. To me it is a nice break in the string of raunchy, crude, disconnected movies that movie critics want you to “get in tune with”. This movie reminds us that we don’t have to have sex, gore, or provocative thinking to get true entertainment. Sit back and enjoy this movie and I assure you that you will be reminded what really matters.” 5 stars

The Divergent Series: Insurgent

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

With war rumbling, Beatrice Prior looks for allies and answers in the second installment of the film series based on Veronica Roth’s popular science-fiction novels. “Tris” will have to be fast, though, because the Erudite leader is in hot pursuit.

What people are saying:

“Insurgent, the sequel to Divergent,  is far too long for the minimal plot it encapsulates, features little in the way of meaningful character development, and is riddled with instances of poorly conceived, contrived developments.” 3 stars

“It’s all a bit of an unengaging muddle, covered over with concrete grunge, clean white labs, and stagy special effects. ” 1 star

“I felt like I was watching a movie that was based on something totally different than the book. They changed so many things it might has well have been a completely original screenplay. I didn’t hate it but I just wish they’d stayed truer to the book. What’s the point in making a movie based on a novel and completely change it? Disappointing to say the least. ” 2 stars

“Very much enjoyed this film! The cinematography & editing was beautifully well done & the action sequences were cool! The acting performances from Shai Woodley & Kate Winslet were exceptionally brilliant!” 3 1/2 stars

“This film is the second and the flimsiest in the series and it’s a disappointment. The plot is preposterous and absurd and doesn’t make a whole lot so sense, and they think or don’t care that we would notice. I would have preferred Theo James in the lead; his story is so much more interesting than Woodley. The only reason for this movie being made was to string us along until the next film.” 2 stars

Small Soldiers

Posted in Action/Adventure, Animation, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2017 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The Commando Elite are toy action figures programmed to annihilate another toy group, the Gorgonites. But before the Elite have been tested, the son of a toy store owner opens them, causing the Elite to attack the children playing with them.

What people are saying:

“…this smells like a script slapped together around a toy-product launch.” 2 stars

“This film broke new ground in movie puppetry and special effects when it was made in 1998 and continues to influence directors working with practical effects. Equal parts cautionary tale and comedy, with a little bit of brilliance thrown in for good measure. Add in an all-star cast and an intelligently written script and you have one of the 90’s best movies.” 5 stars

“Too disturbing to really be a kid film, Small Soldier brings back childhood memory thanks to the Toy Story like storyline with an adult twist.” 3 stars

“After watching this, I am firmly convinced that somebody HIGH on drugs decided to write a screenplay combining war, science fiction, and Toy Story. Then somebody out of their mind said “This sounds like a GREAT idea! Let’s make this movie!”. This movie is indescribably weird. One of the bright spots in this movie is Tommy Lee Jones, who did a really good job with his military role.” 3 stars

“Another underrated gem in a career full of them by ever under-appreciated master filmmaker Joe Dante, he of Gremlins, Innerspace, The Burbs and Explorers to name but a few, in fact this is a sort of spiritual sequel to Gremlins, only with military microchipped toys terrorizing a small town instead. It’s frequently inventive, loads of fun and has great effects plus the sly, lightly subversive and biting edge that Dante brings to his movies (this is a hugely anti military/anti-corporation movie that even rips into it’s own Burger King promoted merchandising, biting the hand that feeds it as it were) It’s also surprisingly violent and gleefully anarchic. A great film!” 4 1/2 stars