Beyond Comic

Beyond Skyline (Theaters-2017; Streaming-2017)  Rated: R  Runtime: 105-106 minutes

Genre:  Action-Adventure-Drama-Fantasy-Horror-Science Fiction-ThrillerM Skyline 2017

els – 4.5/10

IMDb – 5.4/10

Amazon – 3.3/5 stars

Rotten Tomatoes Critics – 5.9/10

Rotten Tomatoes Audience – 3.2/5

Metacritic Metascore – 46/100

Metacritic User Score – 5.6/10

Directed by:  Liam O’Donnell

Written by:  Liam O’Donnell

Music by:  Nathan Whitehead

Cast:  Frank Grillo, Bojana Novakovic, Jonny Weston

Film Locations:   Toronto, Canada; Batam and Yogyakarta, Indonesia; Los Angeles and Marina Del Rey, US

Budget:   ~$15,000,000

Worldwide Box Office:  ~$1,000,000

Mark (Grillo), a washed up LA cop picks up his troublesome and busted son from the police department and is taking him back home when the aliens, or is it alien, attack the city and suck everyone up into their spaceship via a blue light beaming down, and vacuuming up, from the crowded streets below.  The LA folks who are pulled into the spaceship have their brains removed, inserted into cyborg-like machines, and are reprogrammed to do the bidding of the alien(s), all with a blue twinkle in their eyes.  Mark and his son are eventually captured and brought into the craft but he escapes the brain transference process while his son doesn’t. Mark befriends another cyborg that doesn’t like the alien(s) and together they cause the spacecraft to crash into the drug infested jungles of Laos, actually Indonesia, where they seem to have been totally forgotten by the rest of humanity. At this point Mark joins forces with Laotian drug smugglers and they proceed to battle the alien(s) and cyborgs Kung Fu style, setting the stage for Skyline 3.

Beyond Skyline is an ambitious special effects movie hamstrung with a lousy script and even worse direction; both supplied by Liam O’Donnell. This is O’Donnell’s first shot at directing with the only positive being that he has to improve in his next movie, if there is one. The acting and the special effects are all serviceable but the story just loses all control of reality and veers off into an action soaked craze masquerading as a plot. Each scene seems designed to end the confusion from the previous scene, but fails, and you are left with just witnessing some fairly decent action but not really knowing why. In the end you would be forgiven to think that this flick was a comedy, non-stop slapstick if you will, except it wasn’t funny. Blue lights bad, red lights good.  Red light bombs turn blue lights red. In Skyline 3 we will likely to be informed what green lights are all about. Brains for cyborgs, tots for toys; good grief.  Keep your popcorn in the kernel and move along; nothing to see here.

 

Badly Done Transitory Anarchy

Mayhem  (Theaters-2017; Streaming-2017)  Rated: R  Runtime: 86-87 minutesM Mayham 2017

Genre: Action-Horror-Satire

els – 4.0/10

IMDb – 6.4/10

Amazon – 4.3/5 stars

Rotten Tomatoes Critics – 7.1/10

Rotten Tomatoes Audience – 3.8/5

Metacritic Metascore – 62/100

Metacritic User Score – NA/10

Directed by:  Joe Lynch

Written by:  Matias Caruso

Music by:  Steve Moore

Cast:  Steven Yeun, Samara Weaving, Dallas Roberts

A law firm occupying a modern 9 floor glass and chrome high-rise is infected with a morality inhibiting virus, allowing all that are contaminated to pursue their criminal desires without remorse or retribution. Derek (Yeun), unjustly fired from his job at the firm, is infected with the virus and seeks revenge from the suits upstairs.  He teams up with Melanie (Weaving), a rejected client seeking aid from the firm. They attempt to reach the managing partners on the locked down 9th floor, all the while leaving death, destruction–mayhem in their wake.

Matias Caruso, generally a writer of shorts, scribbled out a screenplay that is shorn of all pretense of artistry, finding a vehicle in the form of a very unoriginal viral infection, that allows him to maximize violent, gory, artery pumping, bloody scenes with an occasional speck of gallows humor interspersed between the bodies, to give the audience time to lessen their laryngeal spasms.  The whole effort is rationalized as a satire on the modern hostile, bureaucratic office. Please.

The director, Joe Lynch, likely to live in the land of forgettable movies for a very long time, plays up the script to its maximum heights allowable, and that still wouldn’t scratch an earthworm’s belly. The voice over narrative is not just distracting, but poorly written and just plain awful. The scene selections and settings are amateurish; B movies are done better.

The acting is tongue-in-cheek throughout and I have yet to decide if that was intentional or not. Enough said.

The Game of Thrones or anything by Quentin Tarantino are likely exhibits number one through a very large integer for efficiently desensitizing the viewing public to gratuitous sex and graphic violence resulting in products that have little to do with art or entertainment. This movie lives in the dark shadows of GoT and Tarantino, badly going where it shouldn’t have. This movie is not art. This movie does not entertain. This movie does not tell a believable story.  This is a movie of gross violence, nudity and cheesy dialog, designed to shock and numb. Save your time, save your dime, don’t watch this movie.

 

Multitudinous Mummy Movies

M Mummy 1932

The Mummy 1932

Five score and 3 years ago our movie producers, directors, and all of that artsy crowd, brought forth on this planet, a new genre, conceived in horror and comedy, and dedicated to the proposition that all mummies are created with white wrappings…

…To you who are the sons and brothers of the dearly departed mummies, I see that the struggle to emulate them will be an irresponsible one. For all men praise the dead, if they stay dead, and, however preeminent your virtue may be, I do not say even to approach them, and avoid awakening their rivals…, but when a mummy is out-of-the-way, back in its tomb, the honor and goodwill which it receives is usually misbegotten…

Apologies to Lincoln and Pericles.

Below are fifty-eight mummies of horror, laughs, action, and occasional distracting romance, captured on film for your eternal mummyificent enjoyment.  Included in the list are feature films, short films, made for TV films, campy movies, low-budget movies, high budget movies, movies made from real events, and to wrap up, movies mostly in the English language but Spanish ones are also included, if only for their amusement value. Myriad big names in Hollywood have lent their talents to the making of successful, and not so successful, mummy movies, including: Boris Karloff, The Three Stooges, Lon Cheney, Charlton Heston, Raymond Burr, Tony Curtis, Christopher Walken, Louis Gossett Jr., Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Danny Glover, Tom Cruise, and as sure as Egyptian tombs have mummies, the future will bring other stars plying their craft on hip new mummy movies.

No attempt was made to make a complete list of all known mummy movies; foreign language and made for TV mummy movies are copious, many worth watching, but for the most part, are not included here.  The list below is ranked by popularity, best films first, as determined from taking the average of IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes Critics, Rotten Tomatoes Audience, and Amazon ratings. The name of the movie is listed first followed by the year of release then its average rating.

M Mummy 1959

The Mummy 1959

  1. The Mummy, 1932, 7.8/10
  2. We Want our Mummy, 1939, 7.6/10
  3. The Mummy, 1959, 7.6/10
  4. Bubba Ho-Tep, 2002, 7.6/10
  5. Mil Mascaras vs the Aztec Mummy, 2007, 7.6/10
  6. Under Wraps, 1997, 7.4/10
  7. The Monster Squad, 1987, 7.2/10
  8. Curse of the Mummy, 1970, 7.1/10
  9. The Mummy, 1999, 7.1/10
  10. The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb, 1980, 7.0/10
  11. The Mummy’s Hand, 1940, 6.9/10
  12. The Curse of the Mummy’s Tomb, 1964, 6.9/10
  13. Abbot and Costello Meet the Mummy, 1955, 6.8/10
  14. The Mummy Returns, 2001, 6.8/10
  15. The Mummy’s Curse, 1944, 6.5/10
  16. The Mummy’s Shroud, 1967, 6.5/10
  17. The Awakening, 1980, 6.5/10

    M Mummy Bubba

    Bubba Ho-Tep 2002

  18. The Egyptian Mummy, 1914, 6.3/10
  19. Blood from the Mummy’s Tomb, 1971, 6.2/10
  20. The Mummy Lives, 1993, 6.2/10
  21. The Mummy an’ the Armadillo, 2004, 6.2/10
  22. The Mummy and the Curse of the Jackals, 1969, 6.1/10
  23. The Mummy’s Revenge, 1975, 6.1/10
  24. The Mummy’s Ghost, 1944, 6.0/10
  25. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, 2008, 5.9/10
  26. The Mummy, 1912, 5.8/10
  27. The Mummy’s Tomb, 1942, 5.8/10
  28. All New Adventures of Laurel and Hardy in For Love or Mummy, 1999, 5.8/10
  29. The Mummy’s Kiss: 2nd Dynasty, 2006, 5.8/10
  30. Mummy’s Kiss, 2003, 5.7/10

    M Mummy Squad

    The Monster Squad 1987

  31. The Curse of King Tut’s Tomb, 2006, 5.7/10
  32. The Mummy, 2017, 5.6/10
  33. The Eternal: Kiss of the Mummy, 1998, 5.3/10
  34. Ancient Evil: Scream of the Mummy, 1999, 5.2/10
  35. The Eyes of the Mummy, 1922, 5.1/10
  36. Tale of the Mummy, 1998, 4.9/10
  37. Dawn of the Mummy, 1981, 4.8/10
  38. Attack of the Virgin Mummies, 2004, 4.8/10
  39. The Attack of the Aztec Mummy, 1957, 4.6/10
  40. 7 Mummies, 2006, 4.6/10
  41. Frankenstein vs The Mummy, 2015, 4.3/10
  42. The Robot vs the Aztec Mummy, 1964, 4.2/10
  43. Legend of the Mummy, 1998, 4.2/10
  44. Curse of the Aztec Mummy, 1957, 4.0/10
  45. El Macho vs the Canadian Mummies of Mars, 2003, 4.0/10

    M Mummy 1999

    The Mummy 1999

  46. Wrestling Women vs the Aztec Mummy, 1964, 3.9/10
  47. Mummy Maniac, 2007, 3.5/10
  48. Day of the Mummy, 2014, 3.5/10
  49. Mummy Raider, 2002, 3.4/10
  50. The Kung Fu Mummy, 2005, 3.0/10
  51. American Mummy, 2014, 3.0/10
  52. The Mummy Resurrected, 2014, 3.0/10
  53. Attack of the Mayan Mummy, 1964, 2.5/10
  54. Isis Rising: Curse of the Lady Mummy, 2013, 1.9/10
  55. Wanted, a Mummy, 1910, NR
  56. The Mummy and the Cow Puncher, 1912, NR
  57. The Mummy and the Humming Bird, 1915, NR
  58. The Mummy of Tutankhamun, 2017, NR

Enough Already

Alien ConvenantAlien: Covenant

Theaters:  May 2017

Streaming:  August 2017

Rated:  R

Runtime:  120-122 minutes

Genre:  Action – Adventure – Fantasy – Horror – Science Fiction – Thriller

els:  2.5/10

IMDb:  6.5/10

Amazon:  2.9/5 stars

Rotten Tomatoes Critics:  6.3/10

Rotten Tomatoes Audience:  3.3/5

Metacritic Metascore:  65/100

Metacritic User Score:  5.9/10

Awards:

Directed by:  Ridley Scott

Written by:  John Logan and Dante Harper, screenplay; Jack Paglen and Michael Green, story

Music by:  Jed Kurzel

Cast:  Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterson, Billy Crudup

Film Locations:  Australia and New Zealand

Budget:  $97,000,000

Worldwide Box Office:  $240,900,000

The year is 2104, a little more than a decade since the ill-fated Prometheus was destroyed, denying humanity’s creators from undoing the birth of man, and the Weyland Corporation is sending another ship: the Covenant, carrying several thousands humans, to populate another, distant planet.  The ship has all its human occupants in stasis for the trip and all are watched over by a new and improved version of the psychopath David: Walter.  A starburst, looking a lot like a meteor shower, pierces the ship’s hull and kills the captain while he sleeps in his stasis chamber.  Walter wakes up the 14 members of the ship’s crew, including those married to each other to repair the ship.  The newly revived crew receives a human-like transmission from a nearby planet that appears to be a perfect place to start a new colony, better than their original destination.  The new captain, with the commonsense of a milk cow, diverts the ship putting in motion a series of explicable bad decisions that endangers everyone, the ship’s crew, the ship’s occupants, and the ship.

Samuel Coleridge, author of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, stated that a written unbelievable narrative that was shown to have a “semblance of truth” could be enjoyed by the reader or audience by suspending judgement on the implausible parts. This is usually stated as the willing suspension of disbelief or to believe the unbelievable.  J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, took this concept in a different direction by suggesting that the narrative could have a secondary belief system within an inner consistency of reality.  Tolkien believed that suspension of disbelief was only required when the story’s plot line does not maintain an internally consistent fictional world.

Alien Covenant fails not because of poor direction or bad acting but because the writers of the story and screenplay put forth an unbelievable and implausible plot that destroys everything else the movie has to offer, and that’s before you even discover it is a complete rehash of the five previous Alien movies (I refuse to add in the Predator vs Alien movies).  The writers, mainly John Logan, somehow believe that the Peter Weyland Corporation is willing to put up a fortune of bitcoins and pieces of eight to build, outfit and send off a colossal starship, containing thousands of human embryos and adults, capable of traversing the vast parsecs of empty space, to find a suitable planet for human colonization; then staff the running of the ship with unintelligent and irrational beings that are incapable of assessing risk or following protocols, all the while compounding the silliness of their decision-making by having spouses or significant others amplifying their emotional buffoonery.  Gads, why not just leave it to Mother, Father, David or Walter.  With computers or androids running the show the writers can at least insert some plausible scenarios for illogical scenes that don’t have to rely on the characters and or audiences being absolute morons.  If  all else fails maybe the space faring chimps: Albert, Ham and Gordo have some offspring that are up for the task.  Hopefully Logan will return to writing plays and leave science fiction to those that can formulate plausible plots.

Alien Covenant goes where the previous Alien movies have already gone. Good androids, bad androids. Sniff and closely examine all gooey eggs, repeat endlessly. Find the Alien, lose the Alien. Burn, nuke, melt, freeze, shoot, chop, slice, dice, mince, atomize the Alien. How about we just bury the concept so deep that all the Alien acid combined will not be able to uncover it again.

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