Movie Reviews: Bio-Dome

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Bio-Dome directed by Jason Bloom

My last retro movie review of Lost in Translation got me thinking; what is a guilty pleasure film for me? Something that sucks by all definition of storytelling, but somehow, someway was positively received by me.

From directorial mind of the product assistant of Action Jackson, Bio-Dome hit theaters in 1996 to the sound of crickets. It barely made $13 million, but I’ll admit I was one who bought a ticket on opening night.

I was a freshman in High School spending a Friday night at a friend’s house. We had nothing to do and were immature as hell.

We, in essence, were the key marketing demographic of Bio-Dome.

I’ll admit a double dose of honestly. At that age, I actually considered myself a Pauly Shore fan.

Yes.

I said it.

Think about it for a second. When I was in middle school, this guy pumped out Encino Man, Jury Duty, Son In Law, and In The Army Now.

I dug the entire thing. The scientific underdog story with the Safety Dance thrown was cool and hip to me and I enjoyed it. A number of years passed in what I call the “Pre-Comeback Era” of Pauly Shore, and I found myself in my last year of college with a ton of DVDs (there were these discs people bought before streaming and youtube). I can’t tell you how many times people would come over and say “Dude, you got Bio-Dome!”

So to the High School class of 1998, 1999 & 2000, I dedicate this movie review to you.

 

 

 

Movie Reviews: Lost in Translation

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Lost in Translation directed by Sophia Coppola

Like many people, certain movies hit me at the exact right moment in my life that otherwise would have been received differently if watched a decade earlier, or a decade later.

Some define these films as guilty pleasures. I personally think this is a misnomer. There is a difference between a movie that doesn’t age well, but you give it a pass later on and a movie that is superb and hits you at the right moment. To me, The Last Starfighter is a guilty pleasure (theme song still kicks ass).

I watched this movie shortly after college after I took a trip to Japan and South Korea. It marked the breakout of Sophia Coppola for those who didn’t catch the Virgin Suicides. It was the continued renaissance of a more subdued Bill Murray, and Scarlett Johansson before she became an Avenger.

I love how this film demonstrates how much can be said with just visuals. The first ten minutes might be “slow” to some, but was perfect for me. It set the tone and pace and showed both main characters lost and disconnected in their environments. The relationship that builds throughout the movie appears real as a result. There is no lame three act romance structure. There are no lame best friend sidekicks. People are trying to figure shit out and that’s what happens in life.

For those of you that still complain about the whisper, well, you simply didn’t pay attention to the movie.

All the hints are there.

 

Movie Reviews: Star Trek Beyond

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Star Trek Beyond directed by Justin Lin

I’m going to warn you here, this is a spoilerific rant of Star Trek Beyond. If you have not seen it after 7 weeks in the theater, well … it is your fault for reading this.

What would you get if you crossed Guardians of the Galaxy with Galaxy Quest? I argue that it churns out about 75% of what this film is. It is a gargantuan attempt at attempting to ratchet up the drama a little bit more all while missing the essence of Star Trek. Much like how Star Trek Into Darkness looks silly for the third act of Wrath of Khan switcheroo with Kirk going in the engine room instead of Spock (but leaving people in suspense for 3 seconds by bringing Kirk back immediately unlike the original cliffhanger), Star Trek Beyond takes this up a notch by copying Star Trek III’s pinnacle moment of blowing up and crashing the Enterprise, except, yes, they have to resurrect it at the very end.

So VFC.

Very.

Fucking.

Convient.

You know, don’t worry about this version of Star Trek. If someone dies, they will be brought back immediately. If the ship blows up, a new one will be built in the same movie. The original series is classic, especially II-IV because of the three movie story arc. Kirk commanded a damn bird of prey in Star Trek IV. There was no marketing department saying it would be better to land the Enterprise in San Francisco so lets give Kirk a new ship at the beginning.

Then, I don’t know about you, but in all my science fiction readings, never have I read some prophecy that the Beastie Boys would be the ones to save the galaxy. Are you kidding me? Did they really pull the plot of Ghostbusters 2 out of their ass?

Talk about batshit unbelievable, and not in a good way.

This is not the direction I thought the franchise would go after a successful reboot of the series that I thoroughly enjoyed. It was fresh and new despite being a bit tropey. We all figured a reboot using space time would work because that meant there would be a  real sense of danger since the future would be unknown.

Instead, the franchise is trying to compete with the demographics of Marvel’s audience and foreign box office receipts (and easy dubbing) instead of the traditional fan.

What is the result? Each movie is doing worse in the box office and we all know what happens when returns keep diminishing for a franchise.

Another reboot.

Paramount, if you need a writer, I’m your man.