REVIEW: CONTAGION (2000)

CAST

Peter Weller (Odyssey 5)
William Hurt (A History of Violence)
Natascha McElhone (The Truman Show)

MCDCOMA EC001In 1986, David Whitman came home, contaminated his wife and child, and watched them die. Years later, he leads a hazmat team investigating an industrial accident near Budapest. One contaminated man escaped. Terrorist expert Holly Anderson is part of a unit which operates on the premise that the contaminated man is a terrorist murdering his victims. Whitman, on the other hand, believes the contaminated man to be an innocent victim. Either way, the contaminated man must be found, because after he touches people, they live only a few minutes.contaminated-man-4-1The Contaminated Man is a good film that has a good cast which includes William Hurt, Natascha McElhone and Peter Weller,The acting by all of these actors is very good. Hurt and Weller are really excellent in this film. I thought that they performed good. The thrills is really good and some of it is surprising. The movie is filmed very good. The music is good. The film is quite interesting and the movie really keeps you going until the end. This is a very good and thrilling film.

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REVIEW: STYX

CAST

Peter Weller (Robocop)
Bryan Brown (Cocktail)
Angus Macfayden (Chuck)
Gérard Rudolf (The Siege of Jadotville)

fuller-house-season-3After establishing himself as one of the world’s best safe-crackers, Nelson decides to retire from his life of crime and walk the straight and narrow. However, when his brother is targeted after going into debt with an organized crime ring, Nelson finds himself pulled back into the life he left behind for one last big job. Luckily, he has a little help in the form of fellow top-notch crook Art.UntitledThis isn’t going to win any awards. However, it’s not a bad piece of popcorn entertainment as long as you can ignore some glaring continuity errors and clunky dialogue. The lead performances are unusually strong Bryan Brown plays it just right, MacFadyen does a great scumbag impression while Weller adds gravitas to an unoriginal character.

REVIEW: ROBOCOP 2

CAST

Peter Weller (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Nancy Allen (Children of The Corn 666)
Belidna Bauer (Poison Ivy 2)
John Glover (Smallville)
Tom Noonan (Manhunter)
Mark Rolston (Aliens)
Dan O’Herlihy (Halloween 3)
Robert DoQui (Original Intent)
Felton Perry (Dark Breed)
Stephen Lee (Dark Angel)
George Cheung (Mission Impossible III)
Galyn Gorg (Xena)

After the success of the RoboCop program, Omni Consumer Products (OCP) has a new scheme to have Detroit completely under their control. They plan to have the city default on its debt, then foreclose on the entire city, taking over its government. They will then replace the old neighborhoods with a new city.To rally public opinion behind urban redevelopment and Delta City construction, OCP sparks an increase in street crime. As Detroit Police Department is owned by OCP, they terminate police pension plans and cut salaries, triggering a police strike. RoboCop, due to his directives, is unable to strike and remains on duty with his partner, Anne Lewis. The two raid a manufacturing plant of Nuke, a new designer drug that has been plaguing the streets of Detroit. RoboCop kills all the criminals, except for a young criminal named Hob, who shoots him and escapes.Meanwhile, OCP struggles to develop “RoboCop 2”, which is expected to be mass-produced and completely replace police officers. To their frustration, all the newly resurrected officers immediately commit suicide. Dr. Juliette Faxx, an unscrupulous psychologist, concludes that Alex Murphy’s strong sense of duty and his moral objection to suicide due to his Irish Catholic religion were the reasons behind his ability to adapt to his resurrection as RoboCop. Faxx convinces the Old Man to let her control the project, this time using a criminal with a desire for power and immortality. Despite executive Don Johnson’s objection, Faxx is allowed to proceed.Nuke’s distributor, the power-hungry Cain, feels threatened by the Delta City plan. He fears that he will lose his market if the city is redeveloped into a capitalistic utopia. He is assisted by his girlfriend Angie, Hob, Catzo, and Duffy, a corrupt police officer and Nuke addict. RoboCop tracks down Duffy and beats Cain’s location out of him. He confronts Cain’s gang at an abandoned construction site, but is overwhelmed. The criminals cut apart his body and dump the pieces in front of his precinct. Cain has Duffy vivisected for revealing their location, and forces Hob to watch.RoboCop is repaired, but Faxx reprograms him with over 300 new directives, severely impeding his ability to perform his duties. One of his original technicians suggests that a massive electrical charge might reboot his system. RoboCop shocks himself with a high voltage transformer. The charge erases all of his directives, including the original ones, allowing his human brain (Murphy) to be in complete control. Murphy motivates the officers to aid him in raiding Cain’s hideout. As Cain tries to escape, RoboCop intercepts and heavily wounds him. Hob escapes and takes control of Cain’s drug empire. Believing she can control him with Nuke, Faxx selects Cain for the RoboCop 2 project, and puts his brain in a towering and heavily armed body.Hob arranges a meeting with the Detroit mayor, saying that the mayor needs to institute a “hands off” policy towards Nuke. In exchange, Hob presents the mayor with a truckload of cash and gold in order to retire the city’s debt to OCP, which would nullify the Delta City project. Threatened by this move, OCP sends RoboCop 2/Cain to the meeting to kill Hob. Cain slaughters everyone in sight, except for the mayor who manages to escape. He kills Angie by breaking her neck and fatally wounds Hob. As RoboCop arrives, Hob identifies the attacker and dies.During the unveiling ceremony for Delta City and RoboCop 2, the Old Man presents a canister of Nuke as a symbol of the current crime wave. Seeing Nuke, Cain goes berserk and attacks the crowd. RoboCop arrives and fights Cain. The two battle throughout the building, and the fight eventually extends to the street. The police force arrives and engages Cain, who opens fire at officers and civilians alike. RoboCop recovers the Nuke canister and has Lewis give it to Cain, who stops fighting to administer the drug to himself. As Cain feels the drug’s effect, RoboCop leaps onto his back, shoots through his armor and rips out his brain. He crushes the brain, ending Cain’s rampage. The Old Man decides to scapegoat Faxx to escape blame, and leaves. As Lewis complains that OCP is escaping accountability again, RoboCop insists they must be patient because “We’re only human.”pkuf3xajNzDPzAXtvGNNhs59XBLAll in all, this is one of the best sequels of all time, but got a bad reputation because it was ‘too violent’. Don’t listen to some of the naysayers. Robocop 2 is a masterfully done film from the director of Empire Strikes Back and shouldn’t be missed by any sci-fi buff out there.

REVIEW: ROBOCOP (1987)

CAST

Peter Weller (Odyssey 5)
Nancy Allen (Carrie)
Dan O’Herlihy (Halloween 3)
Ronny Cox (Total Recall)
Kurtwood Smith (That 70s Show)
Miguel Ferrer (Iron Man 3)
Robert DoQui (Original Intent)
Ray Wise (Swamp thing)
Felton Perry (Dark Breed)
Paul McCrane (The Shawshanl Redemption)
Tyrees Allen (Cold Case)

In the near future, Detroit, Michigan, is a dystopia and on the verge of total collapse due to financial ruin and a high crime rate. The mayor signs a deal with the mega-corporation Omni Consumer Products (OCP), giving it complete control of the underfunded Detroit Police Department. In exchange, OCP will be allowed to turn the run-down sections of Detroit into a high-end utopia called Delta City.OCP senior vice president Dick Jones proposes assisting the police with the ED-209 enforcement droid. At its first demonstration, however, ED-209 malfunctions and gruesomely kills employee Kinney. Bob Morton, an ambitious employee, uses the opportunity to introduce his own experimental cyborg design, “RoboCop”. To Jones’s anger, the company chairman (a.k.a. The Old Man) approves Morton’s plan. Meanwhile, police officer Alex Murphy arrives at his new precinct following an OCP-directed transfer where he is introduced to his partner Anne Lewis. On their first patrol, they chase down a gang led by the ruthless criminal Clarence Boddicker, tailing them to an abandoned steel mill, killing two gang members. When he and Lewis get separated, Murphy is caught and repeatedly shot by Boddicker’s gang just before Boddicker himself executes the helpless cop. Morton selects Murphy for the RoboCop program and replaces most of his body with cybernetics, except for his brain and part of his digestive system.RoboCop is given three primary directives: ‘Serve the public trust, Protect the innocent, and Uphold the law’, as well as a classified fourth directive that Morton does not know of. He single-handedly and efficiently begins to cleanse Detroit of crime, earning Morton a promotion to vice president of Security Concepts. Enraged, Jones hires Boddicker to murder Morton in his home. Meanwhile, Lewis realizes that RoboCop is really Murphy due to the way he handles his gun after using it, and tells him his real name. RoboCop remembers past events from his life and returns to his former home, only to find that his wife and son have moved away. He connects to the police database, looks up the deceased Murphy’s entry and discovers Boddicker’s gang, who were responsible for his death.Robocop then goes to a nightclub and sees Leon, forcing him to give up Boddicker’s location. He then tracks down Boddicker to a cocaine factory and after a long gun battle, threatens to kill him. Panicked, Boddicker admits his affiliation with Jones, verbally triggering RoboCop’s law-abiding programming. RoboCop arrests Boddicker and turns him over to the police. He then confronts Jones and attempts to arrest him, but begins to shut down. Jones reveals that he planted the fourth directive, which prevents RoboCop from arresting any member of OCP’s executive board. Jones explains his larger goal of taking over OCP, and confesses to Morton’s murder before activating his personal ED-209 to destroy RoboCop. During the ensuing battle, Jones calls the police claiming that Robocop has malfunctioned and gone rogue. Robocop manages to escape ED-209 (whose poor design is highlighted by its inability to descend stairs), but is soon cornered by heavily armed police units and is nearly destroyed. Lewis helps RoboCop escape, and takes him to the abandoned steel mill. As RoboCop repairs himself, he and Lewis discuss his former life.Under pressure by OCP and fearing their replacement by RoboCop, the police go on strike. Jones frees Boddicker and supplies his gang with anti-tank rifles and a tracking device to hunt down RoboCop. The gang converge on the steel mill, where RoboCop and Lewis are able to kill most of them until they are subdued by Boddicker, but RoboCop stabs Boddicker in the throat with his neural spike, killing him.RoboCop heads back to OCP headquarters, where Jones is presenting his improved ED-209 to the board. RoboCop once again faces off with an ED-209 guarding the building, but he easily destroys it using one of the anti-tank rifles from his encounter with Boddicker. Once inside, Robocop states Jones’ guilt of murder and explains that he cannot intervene due to the fourth directive. He plays a recording of Jones’ confession, exposing his role in Morton’s murder along with his sinister plans. Jones retrieves a nearby handgun and takes the chairman hostage, demanding a helicopter. The chairman verbally fires Jones from OCP, thereby releasing RoboCop from the fourth directive. RoboCop then repeatedly shoots Jones, who crashes through a window and falls to his death far below. Grateful, the chairman says, “Nice shooting, son—what’s your name?”, to which RoboCop smiles and simply replies, “Murphy,” indicating that his humanity has been restored.The movie is not only filled with some typical Verhoeven social satire elements but also with some trademark Verhoeven gore and violence. The way Murphy gets killed is very graphic and disturbing. But as always in most Verhoeven movies is the case, the violence is so over-the-top that it’s not really shocking to look at but almost more comical like because it’s just so over-the-top. Especially what happens to Emil at the end, the gore is way over-the-top there and I absolutely love it!  In a movie like this the characters are also always important. Especially the villains and yes, RoboCop has some highly entertaining and good villains. The group of Clarence, Leon, Joe and Steve are a bunch of entertaining, charismatic stereotypical villains. But also the more educated villains like Dick Jones (Ronny Cox) and Bob Morton (a very young Miguel Ferrer) who also isn’t a very nice person. But also the mechanical villain ED-209 is extremely cool and dangerous looking. All in all this is a brilliantly entertaining science-fiction/action movie that simply is perfect in every way, mainly thanks to Verhoeven his input.

REVIEW: BLUE JEAN COP (AKA Shakedown)

CAST

Peter Weller (Star Trek Into Darkness)
Sam Elliott (The Ranch)
Jude Ciccolella (Sin City)
Richard Brooks (The Crow: City of Angels)
Thomas G. Waites (The Thing)
Blanche Baker (Raw Deal)
John C. McGinley (Scrubs)
Patricia Charbonneau (Manhunter)

Roland Dalton (Weller) is a burned-out, mild-mannered Manhattan public defender, and his last case before leaving legal aid is crack dealer Michael Jones (Richard Brooks), accused of shooting to death police officer Patrick O’Leary in Central Park. According to Jones, the shooting was in self-defense and that officer O’Leary was a ‘Blue Jean Cop’ (an opportunistic police officer who robs drug dealers).Being a ‘creature of habit’, Dalton seeks the truth to his mysterious case and looks to Richie Marks (Sam Elliott), a renegade loner NYPD narcotics agent. Dalton realizes the prosecutor in his last case is a former love interest, the smart and sexy Susan Cantrell (Patricia Charbonneau). Throughout the trial Roland rekindles this former affair with Susan unbeknown to his fiancée Gail (Blanche Baker).Roland and Marks eventually learn that O’Leary was working with a large number of dirty cops who purchased blue jeans and an expensive car. The dirty cops were working with drug lord Nicky ‘N.C.’ Carr (Antonio Fargas). Roland at one point breaks into the police station’s evidence locker to locate the cassette tape that Jones had in a boom box radio at the time of his shooting. The tape recorded the entire incident and when Roland attempts to get the tape he is taken hostage by the team of dirty cops. Just before Roland is going to be killed, Marks bursts into the room and shoots the cops, saving Roland.Although Roland makes it to court, with the assistance of an insane cab driver (Tom Mardirosian) the judge refuses to allow the tape into evidence. After making an impassioned closing statement, the jury acquits Jones of the shooting. Marks then shows up in a Porsche purchased by O’Leary and they go to the airport to hunt down Carr and the last of the dirty cops. Richie jumps onto the planes landing gear and after shooting out an engine and tossing a hand grenade into the landing gear compartment, he jumps to safety just as the plane explodes. The movie ends with Roland again working as a public defender, he’s broken up with Gail and is once again dating Susan. The film is notable for its high number of extremely dangerous stunts.This film is worth watching just for the high calibre performances from both Weller and Elliot. The action scenes are worthwhile as well. The only setback though is these action sequences are used a little too sparsely. The lack of a breath-taking pace destroys an almost superior thriller. Otherwise, Blue Jean Cop is an adequate film. This movie would benefit greatly with a faster pace, but the acting from stars Weller and Elliot make Shakedown a film worth a look.

 

REVIEW: SCREAMERS

CAST

Peter Weller (Robocop)
Roy Dupuis (Hemoglobin)
Jennifer Rubin (A Nightmare On Elm Street 3)
Andrew Lauer (Iron Man 3)
Charles Edwin Powell (Affliction)
Ron White (Defendor)
Liliana Komorowska (The Art of War)
Jason Cavalier (Stonewall)
Leni Parker (Earth: Final Conflict)

In the year 2078, the planet Sirius 6B, once a thriving mining hub, has been reduced to a toxic wasteland by a war between the mining company, known as the New Economic Bloc (NEB), and the Alliance, a group of former mining and science personnel. Five years into the war, Alliance scientists created and deployed Autonomous Mobile Swords (AMS) — artificially intelligent self-replicating machines that hunt down and kill NEB soldiers on their own. They are nicknamed “screamers” because of a high-pitched noise they emit as they attack. Screamers track targets by their heartbeats, so Alliance soldiers wear “tabs” which broadcast a signal canceling out the wearer’s heartbeat and rendering them “invisible” to the machines.A fragile stalemate is in effect between the two exhausted, poorly supplied, and undermanned armies. A message guaranteeing safe passage through NEB territory to discuss a truce is recovered from a dead NEB soldier, killed by screamers as he approached the Alliance compound. When Alliance commanding officer Joe Hendricksson (Weller) reports this development to his Earth-based superiors, he is told that such a meeting will not be necessary; peace negotiations are already underway on Earth. Not true, says Private “Ace” Jefferson (Andrew Lauer), newly arrived from Earth. Hendricksson is not surprised, as he suspects that both sides have simply written off Sirius 6B and abandoned their armies.Hendricksson decides that the only realistic chance of survival for himself and his soldiers is to accept the NEB truce offer. He sets out for a meeting with the NEB commander, accompanied by Jefferson. While traveling through a destroyed city they come upon a war orphan, a young boy named David (Michael Caloz), clutching a teddy bear. Unwilling to abandon a defenseless civilian, they bring the boy along. The following night they are attacked by a reptilian screamer that they have never before encountered. Hendricksson is alarmed that their Alliance tabs did not protect them.As the group nears the NEB compound, two enemy soldiers, Becker (Dupuis) and Ross (Charles Powell), open fire on David, whose chest explodes in a shower of gears, bolts, and wires. They explain to the astonished Alliance men that David was a new “type 3” screamer impersonating a human. Most of the NEB contingent has been wiped out by another “David” screamer that a patrol unwittingly brought into the base; Becker, Ross, and a black marketeer named Jessica (Rubin) are the only survivors. The group heads to the NEB command center but finds only an empty building and large pools of blood. Locating the mainframe computer, Hendricksson learns that the NEB truce offer was just as false as the Alliance message from Earth. The group retreats to the NEB bunker, pursued by “Davids”. The discovery that the screamers have “evolved” new versions on their own that are indistinguishable from humans, and immune to Alliance tabs, leads to paranoia and distrust. Becker becomes convinced that Ross is a screamer and kills him, only to discover that he was human. The four survivors retreat to the Alliance base, only to find that the “Davids” have gained entrance to that compound as well, with equally devastating results. As dozens of “Davids” pour out of the bunker’s entrance, Hendricksson fires a micro-nuclear missile into the bunker. Jefferson rushes to the aid of Becker, who was apparently injured in the blast, but Becker’s cries of distress are a ruse; he is a “type 2” screamer, and he kills Jefferson. After Hendricksson destroys Becker, only he and Jessica remain.Now quite paranoid, Hendricksson worries that Jessica could be a screamer as well. He slashes her hand, and is relieved to see blood dripping from the wound. They locate an emergency escape shuttle, but it can carry only one person. Hendricksson offers the shuttle to Jessica; but a second “Jessica” arrives, confirming that she is a screamer after all, and even more human-like. Hendricksson resigns himself to death; but to his surprise, Jessica shields him, then sacrifices herself in battle with her lookalike. With her last breath, Jessica confesses her love for Hendricksson. Hendricksson departs for Earth on the escape shuttle with a single souvenir, the teddy bear carried by the original “David”. As the screen fades to black, the bear slowly begins to move on its own.Like most sci-fi films, the most interesting part of the movie is the antagonists which in this case is the screamers. They were initially small machines that would burrow underground, that would shoot out of the ground and slice off body parts from people. They have eventually evolved into much more advanced machines, leading to many tense and creepy scenes. There’s no nudity unless you count a woman’s back as nudity, there isn’t much blood and gore which was a surprise considering the screamers all have blades. What the film has is a constant sense of dread, and we’re left as much in the dark as Weller’s character on who can be trusted.

 

REVIEW: A KILLING AFFAIR

CAST

Peter Weller (Odyssey 5)
Kathy Baker (Edward Scissorhands)
John Glover (Smallville)
Bill Smitrovich (Ted)

MBDKIAF EC003WWII era West Virginia. In a rural area, there’s a thoroughly despicable character named Pink Gresham (top character actor Bill Smitrovich), a mill foreman who not only screws over his employees, but cheats on his wife Maggie (Kathy Baker) to boot. Shortly into the story, Maggie finds Pink dead, and is then visited by a stranger, Baston Morris (Peter Weller). Maggie finds herself drawn to Baston, even after he informs her that he’s murdered her husband. The balance of “A Killing Affair” shows how their relationship develops, as she struggles between possible feelings for him and an understandable amount of distrust for the man. Is Baston really on the level with her? He hides out on her homestead while the law searches for him.1184327_full

This marked the directing debut for screenwriter David Saperstein (“Cocoon”), who adapted the novel “Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday” by Robert Houston. This viewer didn’t mind so much the fact that it is a pretty sordid story (with some interesting revelations along the way), but overall it lacks any truly intriguing features). It’s got some decent period atmosphere, some mild titillationa draggy pace, and no on screen violence, but what it does have is a sympathetic, appealing performance by Ms. Baker. Weller is passable as the earnest, somewhat enigmatic Morris. Smitrovich is perfectly vile in his brief time on screen. And John Glover is solid, if not utilized to his full potential, as Maggies’ brother who is also the local priest. The film does also have a lovely score by ever reliable John Barry.