Saturday morning Flashback -Ark 2

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On this show pollution caused great problems for our planet. By the 25th century only a handful of scientists are still around. They have created this vehicle/storage unit for scientific knowledge called Ark 2 and they ride around looking to survivors and try to bring a new future to mankind. The crew consists of commander Jonah, second in command Ruth, teenager Samuel and chimp Adam. They normally run in some kind of trouble, then Jonah whips out his backpack and they wrap up the problems  and leave some kind of hope wherever they’ve been. They also had a smaller four wheeled vehicle the Roamer that they would pull out of the Ark 2 on occasions as well. Only 15 episodes were made of this half hour series in late 1976. However CBS kept  repeating those episodes until late summer of 1979. I wasn’t a regular watcher of this although I do remember seeing episodes years apart due to those repeats and was surprised when I found out years later that it was only 15 episodes. I’d almost forgotten about this show all together until I bought some old Starlog magazines like 14 years ago and saw an article on it from back in 1976. I bought the set some years back on DVD and finally got to see all of them. It’s a kid’s show so the action and any science are very limited. The vehicle is likely the real star of the show and it’s pretty to cool watch rolling across the countryside. Like other Filmation shows they borrowed sound effects form the original Star Trek series. It’s a decent enough light kind of show. Eventually I’ll review some specific episodes of this show on this feature.

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Hellboy 2:The Golden Army

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Come on Abe, it’s not like he’s going to power up an ancient robotic army of unstoppable power.
2008
Our favorite red, cat lovin’, cigar smokin’, grumpy occult fightin’ demon type is back. So are his friends the fishy Abe Sapien and fire producing Liz plus their work supervisor the no so wonderful Manning. This time some pasty skinned, platinum haired siblings are in conflict over whether or not to revive an army of mechanical hooligans. The brother Nuada kills his pappy and plans to take over, but his sister Nuala runs off with the last piece of the crown-oh, man you knew it couldn’t be that easy. I guess I need to mention that these two freaks are leaked and can read each others thoughts to an extent and feel each others pain. Hellboy and the others run into a house full of these nasty little critters that kill the human agents, but our the super powered types live and wipe out the creatures-oh, yeah it pays to have powers. Somewhere around this time Hellboy and the others get a new boss type who looks like a walking, talking tea kettle. Hellboy fights this giant plant creature because … oh wait it’s a grumpy red demon fighting a huge plant monster so who really cares about plot at this point? Of course Hellboy wins this round. Our heroes also go to a market area where surprise, surprise Hellboy gets in another fight with a beastie looking fella. They also run into Princess Nuala who … A-takes up with Hellboy and his gang for help. B-causes Abe to fall in love with her. C-gives me the willies with her crazy eyes. Nuada works out swinging his weapons all over the place so let’s get this movie going so we can wrap it up. Hellboy gets a spear point lodged in his chest, but this weird as all get out being saves hep while telling Liz “you know he will eventually destroy the world and be no darn good for you”, but Liz doesn’t care because she loves him and is pregnant with his kid(s). Hellboy is saved as they are on fight Prince sourpuss. He gets the last piece needed to revive the golden army-oh poop. There’s a big ole CGI and the army is halted. The the prince and big red have it out. Good thing Hellboy has a big hand or he’d be done for, but he pulls this one. Hey, look out that naughty prince is playing dirty an oh no the princess killed herself to stop her brother. Sorry, about that one Abe. The sort of heroes leave, they tell Manning to kiss their get some other workers and walk off. Roll the credits.

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A veggie is smashing up the city!

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You can trust me, I’m not a power crazed wacko or anything.

The negatives-Hellboy comic purists are possibly going to dislike this one more than the first one because it’s takes some liberties with the personalities of the characters.

The positives-The film looks great and the plot is strong. I like that we get to know more about Liz and Abe this time around. In the comics Hellboy is a bit more reserved, but in the films he comes across as a combination of The Thing from the Fantastic Four and other Ron Pearlman himself. I find that this combination works for these movies. Shock of shocks I like this film better than the first one-stronger plot, better pacing and I felt more comfortable with the main characters. I actually liked the whole cast in this one. Luke Goss as the prince was a particular standout. I went in hating him, but then thought he was more misguided (or looney) than just being flat out evil. I think of this film as more of a fantasy movie than a typical superhero film, but whatever it’s entertaining and for my money it’s gotten better each time I’ve seen it.

I actually watch this film every year around Thanksgiving because I bought it on DVD for $2 at Wal-mart on Black Friday in 2009.

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I’m the star, I don’t have to wear a shirt.

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Just your run of the mill, weird looking on the run princess.

Critters 2-The main course

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The most 80’s looking intergalatic  bounty hunters ever!

1988

Here’s a turkey for you to feast on. This film does take place around a holiday, but it’s Easter rather than Thanksgiving. I know that if I found weird looking eggs that I would color them and try to pass them as Easter eggs. Actually no I wouldn’t, but some silly small town types do just that in this film. They might call it a plot device, but I would refer to it as stupid. Meanwhile out in space the bounty hunters from the first film along with former town drunk Charlie are told that there are more Crites (those nasty Critters) left on Earth. So they make a U-turn and head their space craft back to our little ole planet. The new Sheriff dresses as an Easter Bunny, but is attacked by the recently hatched Crites. He gets his man parts bitten and goes crashing through the window of the Church during Easter Sunday services. Yeah that won’t have a lasting impression on any small children in attendance. The kid that survived the first Crites attack tries to convince everyone else what is going on. They don’t believe him. The bounty hunters show up with one of them changing into a nudie woman and later a nerdy guy and eventually gets killed. That last part might have needed a spoiler alert, but most of you probably gave up watching the film and caring before that point. Eventually the town and the bounty hunters unite to fight these second rate Gremlins. Their plan to lure the Crites into the diner with burgers and blow them up fails as the Crites roll away from the flaming explosion as a big ball of chomping death, however it did likely make the air smell like a big cookout. Then Charlie devices a brilliant well though out solution – that’s right he crashes his ship into the Critter ball and kills them kablooie! Charlie however survives whether we like it or not. The other  alien is picked up by another ship or maybe it’s a space taxi and he’ll have a big bill when he gets back to his planet. The main characters talk some more yack, yack, yack and the main teens kiss-smoooooooooch. This film lost money so it’s a good thing as now they won’t make a sequel unless they discover the straight to video market-oh crap I think they went that route. Roll the credits.

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I paid money to see puppet eating salad?

The negatives-The first film was like an update of a 50’s alien invasion film and this one tries to capture that feel as well, but this one feels far more forced. Despite having more action the second half of the film is hard to make it through. It’s hard to root for characters when they are not all that likable.

The positives-It gives you a horror film to watch for at Easter. I think they’d tried to catch the feel of the previous film and at times they do, but at times it just feels like not enough is going on.

I saw this when it first came out in 1988 and I kind of liked it then, but now I just think it falls short.

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There’s goes Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail..to meet his doom.

Upcoming junk and stuff

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Happy Thanksgiving! For about the last six years the evening before Thanksgiving at my house we eat a dinner of the above items. Peanuts fans will recognize it as the foods Snoopy served on the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and we eat this while we watch that special. I hope to have a Critters 2 review out some time today as I did watch it yesterday and then Hellboy 2 on Friday. Robin’s Holy exclamations will happen Sunday and hopefully Dr. Smith will finally return next week. One of the reasons I started this blog was to help urge myself to watch more of the films I have never seen that are laying around my house. I have not done as much of that recently so next week I’ll aim to get at least two reviews of films I’ve never seen up on the blog. Last year I started a segment called Saturday morning flashback and I reviewed a few episodes of the Star Trek cartoon. I hope to bring that segment back soon and it may be reviews of specific episodes of old Saturday morning shows or it may be my memories or general overviews of some of those cartoons or shows. Whatever the case since Saturday morning cartoons are now a thing of the past I hope to get that segment going soon and hopefully be consistent enough to keep it going. I hope to include sci-fi, super hero, fantasy and action cartoons and live action shows from the 60’s through the 80’s in this feature.

Take care!

Creepshow 2

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Need a trim, buddy?

1987

Let’s see this says “Creep, show review for you too “. Oh, no wait it actually says  “Creepshow 2 review for you”. This is an anthology which is something like fancy speak for a bunch of short stories. This film is framed by a cartoon that starts with some ruffians being mean to some smaller kid. Eventually we get into the first live action story. It focuses on a wooden indian. There’s this thug who loves his hair “oh, look at me, I’m like a male Rapunzel maybe I should call myself guypunzel”. He and his buds are mean to these old people that own this shop. The wooden indian comes to life and the wooden indian is less wooden than the other actors. He gives the hooligans what they deserve. The next story involves some teens that go out to the lake to act out and act cool-good luck with that last part. Everything goes perfectly for them .. yeah right this is the 80’s and teens in horror films are doomed. A tar puddle starts killing the teens off one and a time. What a bunch of weak victims – most teens in the 80’s get killed by a psycho with a weapon or a dream travelling perv not a patch of goop. Well a couple of the teens survive on a raft and are waiting to try to swim back to shore. The last guy gets to shore, but turns to taunt the monster and gets a bad penalty for doing that. The last segment starts with a former Bond girl cheating on her husband. She tries to hurry home so she doesn’t get caught. Then wham bam no thank you, cheating ma’am she runs over a hitchhiker. No one saw so she leaves. Then she sees the dead hitchhiker several times with a sign that says “you’re a stinky driver, lady” oh I think it actually said  “Thanks for the ride, lady”. He spooks her and eventually of course she dies in an odd way. That’s what you get for being in Moonraker, lady. Back to the cartoon with the kid and the bullies. The former victim lures the others into a trap and kills them with giant flesh eating plants. Then the film ends with the Creep host guy tossing his comics out onto the road which probably gives us an idea of how good they are. Roll the credits.

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I’m covered in a bunch of ooky stuff.

The negatives-At 92 minutes this film felt a little short and actually it was originally supposed to have two more segments but the lack of budget caused those to be scrapped. The film falls short of the first film.

The positives-I have a soft spot for anthologies so I may like this film better than most people. The indian segment is definitely my favorite. I think is a decent film overall and I try to watch it once a year. For some reason I associate it with summer and normally watch it late in the summer. They used to show this a lot on weekends on TV in the early 90’s and I came to like it back then.

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I’ve had better days.

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Aieee there be monsters here!

 

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No this doesn’t mean I need to go do a number two .. at least not yet. However a notice popped up on my blog today to inform me that it is the anniversary of when I started this blog. I know that it was two years ago. To everyone who has been reading my blog I thank you for putting up with my poorly written hooey and corny humor. To celebrate the event I’m planning or cranking out some reviews of some second films in series. I’ll aim to review Hellboy 2, Critters 2 and Creepshow 2 this week.

1980’s arcade games Spyhunter and Spyhunter 2

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1983

Between 1982 and 1985 I would to the bowling alley with my dad. While he did his bowling league thing he gave me a few bucks and I had a few hours to kill and had to decide whether to spend the money on comics, video games or food. Normally video games won out as there was an arcade in the strip mall and the bowling alley had six or seven games as well. The first time I saw Spy Hunter the bowling alley actually had it before the arcade. It was a stand up machine at the less crowded end of the bowling alley. I had recently been on a Turbo kick so I alright with a new driving game. The Peter Gunn theme came on and that was a good start. Wait, I have weapons and I can battle these bad guy cars? Whoaa this is like James Bond only I don’t have to put up with Roger Moore’s smirking face. This was one of the few games where I had to wait in a line at the bowling alley to play it.  When it finally came to the arcade it was a sit down version. Sitting down playing that in the dark and loud arcade was a fantastic experience and not’s like the game needed a lot to elevate it, but it got even better that way. I actually got better at this game the more I played it as well, that didn’t always happen with every game. When I have played it again in recent years I feel like even though the graphics are on it’s time the game has remained very playable and fun.

 

 

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1987

I actually never played or even saw Spyhunter 2 when it was released and I understand it only received a limited release anyways. I have played it recently as I was excited to see if it lived up to the original. Instead of the flat overhead look of the first it has a semi 3D look kind of like Turbo. Even though it was made in 1987 the roads don’t look of scroll as well as something Pole Position which was made several years earlier. Actually the car doesn’t handle as well as that game either. The car movements are slightly clunky. A simple move to one side looks like you are fishtailing on an icy road. I like the two drivers at once feature. Overall it’s not nearly as fun as the first game. I lost interest in the game pretty quickly, but not every video game sequel was MS. Pac-Man or Donkey Kong Jr.

Galaxy Quest

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1999

These people were on this sci-fi show years and now their careers have dried up except for appearing at conventions. Whew, glad this is just a film and something like this never happens in real life. The dude that plays the captain is an arrogant self-promoting  type who isn’t well liked by by the rest of the cast-so this certainly based on any star of any well know sci-fi show…or is it? There is also a female officer who just repeats what the computer says, the British actor who play the alien science officer but doesn’t like it, the somewhat backwards engineering chief and the once child prodigy navigator who is now a grown man. Plus a guy who once appeared briefly before killed in an episode takes up with them. The Captain is approached by what he thinks are fans wanting to hire him for an appearance. He goes with them and only upon leaving does he find out that this is real. He tries to convince the others it’s real and meanwhile knocks down a fan along the way.  The others think he’s nuts but go thinking it’s a job. They go to the alien ship and find it’s real. Only thing is these alien think the actors are really characters they played and they want them to save them from the evil overlord Sarris. When the actors find out the threat is real they try to leave, but eventually decide to stay and help. They have to play their roles for real, but have to figure out tasks they have only done on screen. They make plenty of mistakes and almost get themselves and everyone else killed. Eventually they put aside their egos and problems. Of course they end up defeating Sarris, they get along and they get a new show! Hooray, never give up never surrender and roll the credits.

The negatives-Not much.

The positives-Great casting all the way around the board. Alan Rickman might get my vote for best performance here. The story is story strong as it’s funny, but shows the impact of TV and the characters manage to grow and come together. The effect both special and make-up were good as well. The film has some very quotable lines. There are times when I see a good price at a store and I proclaim “By Grabthar’s Hammer..what a savings”.

Definitely the best space spoof out there. It takes shots at Star trek, it’s cast, it’s fans and the conventions. I watch this film very often and if anything it’s gotten better over the years. I can’t believe it will be 15 years old next month.

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