Monday, April 25, 2016

Movie Monday – Immortal (2004)


The film is set towards the end of this century in New York City.  There are normal people as well as people with genetic modifications.  And then there’s this strange woman and we’re not sure what she is.  She gets arrested for not having an ID, or something, and the doctor who examines her finds out she’s strange.

Above the city is a pyramid.  Inside the gods of Egypt have sentenced Horus to death.  But he has a few days to wander the city looking for an acceptable body.  He finds the body in a political rebel who was sentenced to thirty years suspended animation.  But an accident causes his sleeper tube to fall from the facility a year before he was to be released, and he loses his leg.  Horus finds him and makes him a new leg out of iron.

They find the girl and slip her a divine mickey and go back to her apartment and have sex.  But the next day neither really remember it.  The guy wants to leave, but Horus won’t let him.  He tries to explain all this to the girl, and she eventually comes around to him, and they have sex a few more times. 

It turns out, that this girl is the rarest of the rare in that she can procreate with gods.  But she loses her memory, and the guy is sent back to prison to finish his sentence.  When he gets out, he goes to find her, and she has a son who is a bird.

So that’s the main plot, but there’s also a cop who had half his face eaten by some alien who is investigating because Horus tried several unacceptable bodies before he found the guy and their heads exploded.  There’s a corrupt politician who is afraid of the rebel guy so he sends the alien that almost killed the cop after him.  There’s some dimensional god, or something, that brought the girl to Earth.  There’s some dimensional zone in Central Park that kills people who go in it.  And there might be a plot or two I’m forgetting, all crammed into about a hundred minutes.


I found out about this movie on one of those “10 weirdest scifi movies,” or “10 worst movie special effects” lists.  It doesn’t fully come out in the trailer, but I guess the movie is all CGI backgrounds – some of which aren’t that bad – with some live action actors and a bunch of CGI characters.  And CGI of a level that would make you think it was made in the 90s, not 2004. 

Apparently, this is based on the director’s comic book series, and it has the feeling of trying to cram the plots from twenty issues into one movie.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Orphan Black Season 4 recap – “Transgressive Border Crossing”

“Transgressive Border Crossing”


Sarah is packing things up in Iceland, but Mrs. S. is questioning who MK is and how she got her intelligence.  Then Kira sees lights in the distance, so Sarah takes Kira and Kendell out while Mrs. S. dumps gas and sets the place on fire so the neolutionists can’t get even an eyelash.  Oh, and Cal is in another country for … something.

Donnie takes Helena – posing as Alison – to get an ultrasound.  She learns that she is having twins.  Donnie is excited for her, but Alison is a little distant, probably just unhappy that she can’t have kids.  They decide not to tell Helena that Sarah is back because she has too much going on.

Sarah and company – with the help of Benjamin – show up at Rabbit Hole Comics.  Kendall and Kira are taken to a safe house, with Kira a tad upset that Cal won’t be there.  Sarah and Mrs. S. go in and meet Hell Wizard, who shows them into the basement. 

Cosima and Scott – apparently with the drug money Helena got last season – have set up a secret lab.  With Kendall’s samples, they’ve found the synthetic DNA sequences in Cosima and are working on a cure.  But Cosima isn’t looking the best.  Part of that may be that she is missing Delphine who – as far as they know – has just disappeared.

They got (stole) some of their equipment from Dyad.  Everyone they knew there was either fired or transferred, and as far as they know, Dyad is out of the cloning business.

Sarah meets with Art to talk about MK.  He doesn’t have much, but he does show her the files of the last case he and Beth had, the guy with the cut up cheek.  They figure Beth was probably hiding something, so they go check out her apartment.  Dyad had paid for Paul’s apartment through the end of the year, so all her stuff is boxed up.  They go through and find Leekie’s book, her drug stash, and the hidden camera.

In a flashback, we see Duko – the neolutionist police union rep – show up at Beth’s and talk in a tad creepy, like he knows that she knows about neolution kind of way.

Kendell gives another blood sample, and Scott sees something weird in it.  She tells him that – just before she got caught up in everything – she was diagnosed with leukemia.  She swears him to silence about it because she doesn’t want them fawning over her.

Sarah and Art start watching the hidden footage, seeing where Beth pulled a gun on Paul.  But then they see Trina show up.  That’s the pregnant neolution girl Beth met as Club Neolution.  Sarah takes her photo, to go find her and leaves Art to finish watching everything.

Sarah shows up at Felix’s – who hasn’t been answering his phone – to go for a drink.  But really, she wants him to go into Club Neolution and then let her in the fire door.  He isn’t overly happy about all this, and tells Sarah that he is looking for his birth family.  She tries telling him that Mrs. S. and Kira are his family, but he doesn’t seem to be buying that right now.  While things with Sarah might be a bit strained, he seems to still be close to Alison, who knows what he’s been doing.

Sarah doesn’t have any luck finding Trina, but she is mistaken by this guy Dizzy for MK.  They were supposed to be meeting in an hour, but he figures she was impatient.  She had sent him off looking for some video and he found one of a guy with a worm in his cheek.  These other guys try to cut it out, but it has a self-defense mechanism that kills the host.  After showing her the video, Dizzy realizes she isn’t MK, but Sarah escapes with his phone.

She goes to a laundromat where – after putting her phone in a dryer in case anyone was listening and taking off her boots – MK talks to her.  MK isn’t there, just watching through the security camera. 

Between flashbacks, Art watching the video, and MK talking to Sarah, we get the following story.  Beth puts on a blond wig, and goes out with a gun and some security card.  When she comes back, she has blood on her hands, and MK is waiting for her.  Beth cuts up the card and flushes it and gives the gun to MK, telling her to drop everything and go back into hiding.  But she also tells her to watch over the others.  Beth then leaves for the train station, where we see her in the very first episode.

MK explains that she found Sarah’s and Kendall’s name while searching some offshore servers.  MK doesn’t know why Beth killed herself, just that it had something to do with the “maggotbots.” MK tells Sarah to hide, but Sarah says that hiding doesn’t work.  She then sees MK in a car outside, but MK drives off before Sarah can run out to her.

Sarah is getting her stuff back in the laundromat when the EMTs come in.  They say they’ve been looking for her, but then notice she doesn’t have the scars.  One holds her down and runs his finger in her mouth and figures she’s Sarah.  They then leave.

Sarah rushes to the safe house figuring Dyad did something to her when they had her.  She wakes up Kira, and realizes that Dyad had her too.  Sarah tries to check Kira’s mouth, but only ends up worrying her.  Mrs. S. pulls her away and they put a flashlight in Sarah’s mouth, and we see a tiny worm moving in her cheek.


I wonder if Beth killed Duko, but you’d think a dead cop would be big news at the police station.  That might be a bit much to retcon. 

Basically, I have six questions after watching this episode.  One, what did blonde Beth do?  Two, what is the point of the maggot bots?  Three, does MK have one?  Four, if she doesn’t, then why are the EMTs looking for her?  Five, does MK only think the neolutionists think she is dead?  And six, does any of this relate to what the nurse noticed about Kira when she was in the hospital back in Season One?  That’s something that – as far as I know – still hasn’t been answered.  Is it connected to this in any way, or is it something else entirely?  I guess we’ll have to wait to see.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

007 Movie Rewatch – On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)

(This is a revised version of a Persona Paper post.)


Bond is driving along the coast when he sees a woman walking into the ocean, apparently trying to drown herself. He saves her and is attacked by a couple of guys. He fights them off, and the woman gets in her car and drives off.

Bond shows up at a hotel and sees her car, and learns it belongs to Tracy. He runs into her at the casino and pays her tab. They spend the night together, but she is gone the next morning. Bond is picked up by some goons, and meets Draco, a mob head and Tracy’s father. Draco tells Bond of Tracy’s unhappy life and offers Bond a million pounds to marry her, but Bond agrees to only date her for information Draco has on Blofeld.

During all of this, MI6 has been looking for Bond. He goes back to London where M wants him off the Blofeld case. Bond writes a letter of resignation, but Moneypenny changes it to a request for vacation, which M agrees to.

So Bond has a whirlwind romance with Tracy, and Draco lets Bond know about a lawyer Blofeld is in contact with. Bond breaks into the lawyer’s office and finds out Blofeld is talking to an English genealogist trying to claim the title of “Comte Balthazar de Bleuchamp.”

Bond poses as the genealogist and visits Blofeld at this research station in the Alps. The station studies allergies and Blofeld has cured several women of their various food allergies. Bond starts visiting the women’s bedrooms, and discovers that Blofeld is talking to them in their sleep. His plan is to send these women out with these plagues that would destroy the world’s food sources. But he’ll stop if the world pardons him and gives him his title.

Blofeld recognizes Bond (they met in the last movie, although they were played by different actors) and Bond has to ski down the mountain chased by goons. He runs into Tracy, who came looking for him, and they escape. There’s a blizzard, and the two hide in a barn where Bond proposes. More goons show up the next morning, and Blofeld sets off an avalanche. They capture Tracy and think Bond is dead and buried.

Bond makes it back to England, but M tells him that Blofeld’s ransom will be paid because the situation is too dicey. Fortunately, Draco has his own goons and they fly in to take out Blofeld and rescue Tracy. Blofeld tries to seduce Tracy, and she plays along to distract him a bit.

The women with the plagues have already left, but Bond manages to photograph their locations and Blofeld’s communication equipment is destroyed. The station is blown up, Tracy flies off with her father, and Bond goes after Blofeld. There’s a bobsled chase where Blofeld gets hung up in a tree.

Bond and Tracy get married, but as they drive off Blofeld – in a neck brace – drives by and a goon shoots at them. Bond is unharmed, but Tracy is killed.


When I originally started this James Bond movie rewatch, my thinking was that if I reviewed a Bond movie a week, I would be reviewing Skyfall when Spectre came out. But that didn’t happen, in part because of this movie. I rewatched it, had issues with it (which I’ll get to) but then stuff came up and I never got around to writing up my thoughts. Weeks, then months passed and I realized that I had forgotten some of the story. I didn’t feel like rewatching it again so soon, and so things just sort of ended. When I tried to get back in the reviews again, I ended up re-rewatching this movie, but I just had it on in the background as I typed up my thoughts.

So what issues did I have with this? In You Only Live Twice, Blofeld has thousands of technicians in a hidden volcano base and is working on starting a war between the US and Russia. In this movie he has a couple goons in a little house in the Alps and he wants to unleash some plague, but he’ll stop if they give him a pardon and his title. How the mighty have fallen, I guess. But it does seem a rather bland plot.

A bigger problem I have, is that at the end all Bond has to do is walk a few hundred yards up the bobsled trail to put a bullet in Blofeld to make sure he’s dead. But he apparently doesn’t do even that. If he had, Blofeld would be dead and Tracy alive. Speaking of which, the movie ends with Bond holding his dead wife, and then goes into the upbeat Bond theme music. It’s a bit of a jolt.

Overall, I found the movie rather … bland. I don’t have anything against George Lazenby, this was his only Bond movie, and I think he could have been an interesting Bond. Perhaps with a better script.