REVIEW: RETURN TO THE LOST WORLD

CAST

John Rhys-Davis (The Lord of The Rings)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Eric McCormack (Free Enterprise)
Tamara Gorski (Hercules: TLJ)
Ian Yule (Cyborg Cop III)

untitledBelgian scientist Bertram Hammonds, along with Gomez, who survived being injured in the first film, arrives in the Lost World to drill for crude oil. He and his men begin capturing the natives for slave labor, throwing Chief Palala off the top of the plateau. He survives and is rescued by Malu and taken to a nearby village. Word reaches Edward Malone and Jenny Nielson in England, who remind Professors Challenger and Summerlee of the promise they made to Palala: that they would return to the Lost World should they be needed. However the professors are having a feud. Challenger recently discredited Summerlee on a theory and now they aren’t on speaking terms. With help from Jim, Malone and Jenny manage to bamboozle Challenger and Summerlee into coming along with each mistakenly believing they are commanding the expedition while the other is remaining in England. When they encounter one another aboard the steamship bound for Africa, they nearly come to blows. Upon arriving they are led to the base of the plateau by Malu, where she found Chief Palala.lwfilm3Above, attacks by dinosaurs have set back Hammonds’ work. His drilling crews accidentally tap into a volcanic pipe during a tyrannosaurus’ visit, triggering a volcanic eruption that threatens to destroy the whole plateau. The initial eruption destroys the plane they arrived in. Fleeing, Hammonds and Gomez take hostage Chief Palala’s daughter and threaten to kill her unless the natives show them how to leave. Suddenly Challenger and the others arrive, having come the same way they left last time, through the caves.6244-2Challenger shoots and kills Gomez, and Hammonds is taken prisoner. After several adventures including clashes with the hostile drilling crew members, the group struggles to stop the erupting volcano. Challenger creates a new explosive, “Challengerite,” with which to seal the volcano. Boxes of the explosive are put into a cave nearby but Hammonds chases Jim inside, not wanting them to set off the explosives. He tries to ply Jim with promises of wealth but Jim sets off the explosives, stopping the eruption and seemingly killing Hammonds in the process. Afterward, Summerlee congratulates Challenger on the Challengerite, and they muse on how much longer they can keep the Lost World safe from human intervention1992-the-lost-world-rhys-challengerReturn to the Lost World was not as good as The Lost World. It starts off with the promise of being better than the previous film but it just doesn’t measure up. But that doesn’t mean it is not enjoyable. John Rhys-Davies and David Warner play their roles very well and the lead villain does over act, in a bad way. If you’ve seen the previous movie, I suggest watching this. It’s filled with fun and adventure.

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REVIEW: THE LOST WORLD (1992)

CAST

John Rhys-Davis (The Lord of The Rings)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Eric McCormack (Free Enterprise)
Tamara Gorski (Hercules: TLJ)
Ian Yule (Cyborg Cop III)

returntothelostworlddavidwarner4Set in 1912, the film opens on Edward Malone, a junior reporter looking for an adventurous assignment. Malone is sent to interview Professor Challenger, an explorer and researcher who believes he is on the trail of the “lost world,” a mysterious place in Central Africa. Challenger has a picture of a cliff and a strange beast resembling a pterodactyl that is his only proof of the place. The British scientific community finds his claims laughable. After receiving funding from the family of Jenny Nielson, a wildlife photographer and the daughter of a rich American contributor to the sciences, the “scientific community” agrees to organise an exploratory expedition under the leadership of the antagonistic Professor Summerlee. Summerlee agrees to Malone and Nielson coming on the expedition, but refuses to allow Challenger to be part of the expedition. With obvious reluctance, Challenger gives Summerlee a “map” to be opened at a road-end village in Africa at a particular date and time. The expedition departs. A newsboy associate of Malone named Jim stows away on the trip.1992-the-lost-world-rhys-challengerThe expedition arrives in Africa where they are joined by a female guide named Malu and a Portuguese called Gomez. Summerlee opens the map from Challenger, finding it blank, at which point Challenger appears from nowhere leaving Summerlee no option but to accept his guidance on the exhibition. Under Challenger’s guidance they find the cliff in the picture and reach the top, but Gomez (who turns out to be the brother of a Portuguese who was killed on Challenger’s first journey here) strands them with no way back down. Exploring the Lost World to find another way home, the team finds dinosaurs, from a pair of Anatosaurus to a pterodactyl rookery. Jim, Malone, and Malu narrowly avoid being eaten by a dinosaur (presumably a Herrerasaurus), only to find that their camp was attacked and the rest of the team is gone. The three discover a gathering of native tribesmen (painted with symbolic skeletons) who regularly sacrifice humans off a cliff to the carnivorous dinosaurs. While the ‘skeleton men’ sacrifice a man to a Tyrannosaurus rex, Malone distracts the tribe while the other explorers and captured natives escape, and they retreat to the safety of a second tribe nearby (who use clothes, not paint). During these events, Summerlee notes some oddities about the “ritual” vegetation necklaces that the sacrifices (themselves) were dressed in. The second tribe’s members, through Malu’s translation, tell the explorers about a time long ago when the shamans of their tribe convinced some to worship the carnivorous dinosaurs, splitting the tribe in two.6244-2Summerlee deduces that the vegetation necklaces placed on the sacrifices provided some necessary nutrient or immunisation to the dinosaurs which had protected these dinosaurs from the extinction that the rest of the dinosaurs suffered globally (this being a theory Summerlee had espoused previously). The expedition team uses their modern knowledge and research to benefit the tribe with irrigation and horticultural benefits, to produce the antidote to a prehistoric plague. The skeleton tribe’s leader is killed, and the two tribes reunite. The chief shows the team a hidden cave that will lead them back to their world, and has them promise that they will come back if they are ever needed. Returning to the river, the team is ambushed by Gomez. Gomez is shot and wounded, but instead of killing him, Challenger leaves him behind, saying, “Let the jungle have him.” Malu stays in Africa, and the others return home. The Royal Zoological Society in London rules that Challenger and Summerlee have insufficient evidence of their tale, until Jim reveals that he brought back a baby pterodactyl. The team is celebrated for their achievements, but when Malone, Jenny, and Jim discover the pterodactyl (named Percival), is unhappy being kept in a zoo, they release him, allowing him to fly back to the “lost world”.lwfilm3There is something rather endearing about this cheapie production, there is no sex or nudity and any violence or gore is muted, it’s obviously made for the family audience.Although low budget it’s rather a pleasant looking production. The monsters are hokey with no attempt to hide the fact that they are puppets (Jurassic Park this ain’t), usually they are more cute than frightening. All in all not badly done within it’s limits

REVIEW: SHERGAR

CAST

Ian Holm (The Hobbit)
Mickey Rourke (The Immortals)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Stephen Brennan  (Mystic Knights of Tir Na Nog)
Andrew Connolly (Heroes)

Shergar is a race horse that has been kidnapped by a sub-group of the IRA. They have hidden it on a farm far away from where they abducted it and now ask for a ransom of five million pounds. The government isn’t willing to pay, afraid that the money will be used to buy new weapons and explosives, and decides not to give in. The kidnappers are furious and decide to shoot the horse, to cut of its head, to bury it on the farm and to send the head to an important news paper as proof of what they have done. But they haven’t thought of one person. An orphan boy who works at the farm and who loves horses, decides to save Shergar by fleeing with him into the countryside where the IRA and the police hopefully will not find him.thumbMany people really seem to hate this movie, but I must say that I quite liked it. Was it an excellent movie then? No, definitely not. It was sometimes a bit too unbelievable and predictable, especially at the end, but overall the quality is ok. Take for instance the story of the movie. Let’s forget about the fact that this was based on true events, but with a large fictional part added to it. If you see it as an entirely new story,  then this is quite believable and original.  It’s not the best movie ever, but I liked it.

REVIEW: ZOYA

CAST

Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
Mellisa Gilbert (Little House on The Prairie)
Denise Alexander (Days of Our Lifes)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Diana Rigg (Game of Thrones)
Julie Cox (Children of Dune)
Jennifer Garner (Alias)

165770_fullAs the cousin to Czar Nicholas II, Zoya Konstantinovna Ossupov (Melissa Gilbert) has had not only a sheltered life but one of privilege. But it is a life which is taken from her when along with her grandmother Evgenia (Diana Rigg) they flee Russia for Paris, France due to the Russian revolution. With no money Zoya against her grandmother’s wished finds work as a ballet dancer where again against her grandmother’s wishes meets and falls for American GI Clayton Andrews (Bruce Boxleitner). Following WWI they marry and head to America where Zoya’s journey through life is dealt many blows as she has to deal with the Great Depression and a Second World War as well as meeting a wealthy business magnate. It may not have the detail and camera work of a big budget, big screen movie but it does have a semi-impressive look. As to how accurate that is I have no idea as I am no historian although going on gut instincts I would say the authenticity is minimal with Steel using the back drop of the Russian Revolution as the vehicle for one of her familiar romantic fairytales.1458804971

Both Diana Rigg and Don Henderson are good in supporting roles but the star of Zoya is Melissa Gilbert who whilst delivering a good performance works more because she is so likeable. In fairness in the early scenes Gilbert brings to the screen the carefree abandon of a young woman born in to privilege but as the drama really starts the script lets her down with it frequently being a case of looking a certain way at a specific moment of drama. There is also the fact that at the time Melissa Gilbert and Bruce Boxleitner were a couple in real life which means the scenes they share together have believable chemistry.UntitledWhat this all boils down to is that Zoya is a typical Danielle Steel TV Movie/ mini-series with its impressive production, romantic rollercoaster and plenty of melodrama. It isn’t for everyone and in truth you either need to love Danielle Steel movies or be a big fan of Melissa Gilbert to really enjoy it.

REVIEW: TITANIC

CAST

Leonardo DiCaprio (Catch Me If You Can)
Kate Winslet (Heavenly Creatures)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Victor Garber (Legends of Tomorrow)
Bernard Hill (The Scorpion King)
Billy Zane (Three)
Frances Fisher (The Host)
Gloria Stuart (The Whistler)
Bill Paxton (Agents of SHIELD)
Suzy Amis Cameron (The Ex)
Danny Nucci (Firestarter 2)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Jonathan Hyde (The Mummy)
Jason Barry (Circle of Friends)
Mark Lindsay Chapman (Swamp Thing: The Series)
Ioan Grifford (Ringer)
Jenette Goldstein (Limitless TV)

In 1996, treasure hunter Brock Lovett and his team aboard the research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh search the wreck of RMS Titanic for a necklace with a rare diamond, the Heart of the Ocean. They recover a safe containing a drawing of a young woman wearing only the necklace dated April 14, 1912, the day the ship struck the iceberg. Rose Dawson Calvert, the woman in the drawing, is brought aboard Keldysh and tells Lovett of her experiences aboard Titanic.In 1912 Southampton, 17-year-old first-class passenger Rose DeWitt Bukater, her fiancé Cal Hockley, and her mother Ruth board the luxurious Titanic. Ruth emphasizes that Rose’s marriage will resolve their family’s financial problems and retain their high-class persona. Distraught over the engagement, Rose considers suicide by jumping from the stern; Jack Dawson, a penniless artist, intervenes and discourages her. Discovered with Jack, Rose tells a concerned Cal that she was peering over the edge and Jack saved her from falling. When Cal becomes indifferent, she suggests to him that Jack deserves a reward. He invites Jack to dine with them in first class the following night. Jack and Rose develop a tentative friendship, despite Cal and Ruth being wary of him. Following dinner, Rose secretly joins Jack at a party in third class.Aware of Cal and Ruth’s disapproval, Rose rebuffs Jack’s advances, but realizes she prefers him over Cal. After rendezvousing on the bow at sunset, Rose takes Jack to her state room; at her request, Jack sketches Rose posing nude wearing Cal’s engagement present, the Heart of the Ocean necklace. They evade Cal’s bodyguard and have sex in an automobile inside the cargo hold. On the forward deck, they witness a collision with an iceberg and overhear the officers and designer discussing its seriousness. Cal discovers Jack’s sketch of Rose and an insulting note from her in his safe along with the necklace. When Jack and Rose attempt to inform Cal of the collision, he has his bodyguard slip the necklace into Jack’s pocket and accuses him of theft. Jack is arrested, taken to the master-at-arms’ office, and handcuffed to a pipe. Cal puts the necklace in his own coat pocket.With the ship sinking, Rose flees Cal and her mother, who has boarded a lifeboat, and frees Jack. On the boat deck, Cal and Jack encourage her to board a lifeboat; Cal claims he can get himself and Jack off safely. After Rose boards one, Cal tells Jack the arrangement is only for himself. As her boat lowers, Rose decides that she cannot leave Jack and jumps back on board. Cal takes his bodyguard’s pistol and chases Rose and Jack into the flooding first-class dining saloon. After using up his ammunition, Cal realizes he gave his coat and consequently the necklace to Rose. He later boards a collapsible lifeboat by carrying a lost child. After braving several obstacles, Jack and Rose return to the boat deck. The lifeboats have departed and passengers are falling to their deaths as the stern rises out of the water. The ship breaks in half, lifting the stern into the air. Jack and Rose ride it into the ocean and he helps her onto a wooden panel only buoyant enough for one person. He assures her that she will die an old woman, warm in her bed. Jack dies of hypothermia but Rose is saved.With Rose hiding from Cal en route, the RMS Carpathia takes the survivors to New York City where Rose gives her name as Rose Dawson. She later finds out Cal committed suicide after losing all his money in the 1929 Wall Street crash. Back in the present, Lovett decides to abandon his search after hearing Rose’s story. Alone on the stern of Keldysh, Rose takes out the Heart of the Ocean — in her possession all along — and drops it into the sea over the wreck site. While she is seemingly asleep or has died in her bed, photos on her dresser depict a life of freedom and adventure inspired by the life she wanted to live with Jack. A young Rose reunites with Jack at the Titanic’s Grand Staircase, applauded by those who died.Titanic plays as a true epic.  If you like interesting characters that will give you an insight into the life of characters in the early 1900’s and how they face disaster, then this movie definitely is for you

STAR TREK VI: THE UNDISCOVERED COUNTRY

CAST

William Shatner (TJ Hooker)
Leonard  Nimoy (Transformers: The Movie)
DeForest Kelley (Canon City)
James Doohan (Some Things Never Die)
George Takei (Heroes)
Walter Koenig (Babylon 5)
Nichelle Nichols (Scooby-Doo 4)
Kim Cattrall (Big Trouble In Little China)
Mark Lenard (Planet of The Apes TV)
Brock Peters (Soylent Green)
Grace Lee Whitney (60s Batman)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turltes 2)
Kurtwood Smith (That 70s SHow)
Christopher Plummer (Girl With The Dragon Tattoo)
Michael Dorn (Ted 2)
William Morgan Sheppard  (Transformers)
Jeremy Roberts (The Mask)
Christian Slater (True Romance)
Iman (Out of Africa)
Matthias Hues (At World’s End)
Rene Auberjonois (Boston Legal)

As a Klingon moon, Praxis, explodes without warning, the starship USS Excelsior, commanded by Captain Hikaru Sulu, is struck by the shock wave and its crew discovers that much of the moon has been obliterated. The loss of their key energy production facility and the destruction of the Klingon homeworld’s ozone layer throws the Klingon Empire into turmoil. No longer able to maintain a hostile footing, the Klingons sue for peace with their longstanding enemy, the United Federation of Planets. Accepting the proposal before the Klingons revert to a more belligerent approach, Starfleet sends the USS Enterprise-A to meet with the Klingon Chancellor, Gorkon, and escort him to negotiations on Earth. Enterprise’s captain, James T. Kirk, whose son David was murdered by Klingons years earlier, opposes the negotiations and resents his assignment.

After a rendezvous between Enterprise and Gorkon’s battlecruiser they continue towards Earth, with the crews sharing a tense meal aboard Enterprise. Later that night, Enterprise appears to fire on the Klingon ship with a pair of photon torpedoes, disabling the artificial gravity aboard the Klingon vessel. During the confusion, two figures wearing Starfleet suits and gravity boots beam aboard the Klingon ship and grievously wound Gorkon before beaming away. Kirk surrenders to avoid a fight, and beams aboard the Klingon ship with Doctor Leonard McCoy to attempt to save Gorkon’s life. The chancellor dies, and Gorkon’s chief of staff, General Chang, puts Kirk and McCoy on trial for his assassination. The pair are found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment on the frozen asteroid Rura Penthe. Gorkon’s daughter, Azetbur, becomes the new chancellor, and continues diplomatic negotiations; for reasons of security, the conference is relocated and the new location is kept secret. While several senior Starfleet officers want to rescue Kirk and McCoy, the Federation president refuses to risk full-scale war. Azetbur likewise refuses to invade Federation space, stating that only Kirk and McCoy will pay for her father’s death.

Kirk and McCoy arrive at the Rura Penthe mines and are befriended by a shapeshifter named Martia, who offers them an escape route; in reality, it is a ruse to make their arranged deaths appear accidental. Once her betrayal is revealed, Martia transforms into Kirk’s double and fights him, but she is killed by the prison guards to silence any witnesses. Just before the prison warden reveals who set them up, Kirk and McCoy are beamed aboard Enterprise by Captain Spock, who had assumed command and undertaken an investigation in Kirk’s absence. Determining that Enterprise did not fire the torpedoes but that the assassins are still aboard, the crew begins looking for them. The two assassins are found dead, but Kirk and Spock trick their accomplice into believing they are still alive. When the culprit arrives in Sickbay to finish off the assassins, Kirk and Spock discover that the killer is Spock’s protégé, Valeris. To discover the identity of the conspirators, Spock initiates a forced mind-meld, and learns that a group of Federation, Klingon, and Romulan officers plotted to sabotage the peace talks, fearing the changes their success might bring (the titular “undiscovered country”), and Chang is one of the conspirators. The torpedoes that struck Gorkon’s cruiser came from a prototype Bird of Prey that can fire while cloaked, and hovered just below Enterprise at the time of the assassination.

The crew contacts Sulu, who informs them the conference is being held at Camp Khitomer. Both ships head for the talks as fast as they can. As Enterprise nears the planet, Chang’s cloaked Bird of Prey moves to intercept. With Enterprise unable to track his ship’s position, Chang inflicts severe damage on Enterprise and then Excelsior. At the suggestion of Uhura, the Enterprise’s communication officer, Spock and McCoy modify a photon torpedo to home in on the exhaust emissions of Chang’s vessel, using equipment originally intended to study gaseous anomalies. The torpedo impact reveals Chang’s location, and Enterprise and Excelsior destroy the Bird of Prey with a volley of torpedoes. Crew from both ships beam to the conference and halt an attempt on the Federation president’s life. Kirk pleads for those present to continue the peace process. Having saved the peace talks, Enterprise is ordered back to Earth by Starfleet Command to be decommissioned, but the crew decide to take their time on the return voyage. As Enterprise cruises towards a nearby star, Kirk proclaims that though this mission is the final cruise of Enterprise under his command, others will continue their voyages.With political parallels that most people will recognise, The undiscovered Country is an unabashed political thriller masquerading as a science fiction film, and it works wonderfully. The script is intelligent but not overly confusing, as political thrillers sometimes are. The performances, especially Kim Catrell as the new Vulcan deck officer, taking over for Sulu who now captains his own ship, and Christopher Plummer as a wonderfully Shakespearian old school warlike general, opposed to peace, are first rate. Nicholas Meyers assured and inventive hand in the Directors chair can be felt throughout and you feel like you are watching a film with a proper story to tell. While remaining squarely in the Star Trek universe The Undiscovered Country is more of a thriller than an action adventure and in doing so it has left its own mark, distinct and unusual.

REVIEW: STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER

CAST

William Shatner (TJ Hooker)
Leonard  Nimoy (Transformers: The Movie)
DeForest Kelley (Canon City)
James Doohan (Some Things Never Die)
George Takei (Heroes)
Walter Koenig (Babylon 5)
Nichelle Nichols (Scooby-Doo 4)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turltes 2)
Laurence Luckinbill (Cocktail)
Spice Williams-Crosby  (From Dusk Till Dawn)
George Murdock (Battlestar Galactica)

The crew of the newly commissioned USS Enterprise (NCC-1701-A) are enjoying shore leave after the starship’s shakedown cruise goes poorly. At Yosemite National Park James T. Kirk, recently demoted back to Captain after the events of the previous two films, is camping with Spock and Dr. Leonard McCoy. Their leave is interrupted when the Enterprise is ordered by Starfleet Command to rescue human, Klingon, and Romulan hostages on the planet Nimbus III. Learning of the Enterprise’s mission, the Klingon Captain Klaa decides to pursue Kirk for personal glory.

On Nimbus III, the Enterprise crew discovers that renegade Vulcan Sybok, Spock’s half-brother, is behind the hostage crisis. Sybok reveals the hostage situation was a ruse to lure a starship to Nimbus III. Sybok wants to use a ship to reach the mythical planet Sha Ka Ree, the place where creation began; the planet lies behind a seemingly impenetrable barrier near the center of the galaxy. Sybok uses his unique ability to reveal and heal the innermost pain of a person through the mind meld to subvert the wills of the hostages and crew members. Only Spock and Kirk prove resistant to Sybok; Spock is unmoved by the experience and Kirk refuses the Vulcan’s offer, telling him that his pain is what makes him human. Sybok reluctantly declares a truce with Kirk, realizing he needs his leadership experience to navigate the Enterprise to Sha Ka Ree.

The Enterprise successfully breaches the barrier, pursued by Klaa’s vessel, and discovers a lone blue planet. Sybok, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy journey to the surface, where Sybok calls out to his perceived vision of God. An entity appears, and when told of how Sybok breached the barrier, demands that the starship be brought closer to the planet. When a skeptical Kirk inquires, “What does God need with a starship?”, the entity attacks him in retribution. The others doubt a god who would inflict harm on people for pleasure.

Realizing his foolishness, Sybok sacrifices himself in an effort to combat the creature and allow the others to escape. Intent on stopping the being, Kirk orders the Enterprise to fire a photon torpedo at their location, to little effect. Spock and McCoy are beamed back to the ship, but Klaa’s vessel attacks the Enterprise before Kirk can be transported aboard. The vengeful entity reappears and tries to kill Kirk when Klaa’s vessel destroys it in a hail of fire. Kirk is beamed aboard the Klingon ship, where Spock and the Klingon General Korrd force Klaa to stand down. The Enterprise and Klingon crews celebrate a new détente, and Kirk, Spock, and McCoy resume their vacation at Yosemite.I have read William Shatners book and if they had given him the financial backing this film deserved it would have been up there with the likes of “Wrath of Khan” sadly they didn’t and what we have is a good trek yarn but let down by the special effects.The shots of the Enterprise clearly look cheaper and the whole production does have a strange feel to it. That said Shatner does have a really excellent attempt at directing his first film, the comic touches are clearly the best in the series,Overall for fans this is excellent entertainment.