Sunday, November 15, 2009

Run for the Hills!!

Thoughts are swarming around in my brain and I am trying to determine which ones are the most interesting. I would hate to bore you...or myself, for that matter.

I am an avid videogame player. I love them. I have loved them since I started up my first Atari 2600 for the very first time and played...well, I don't know what the first game I played was. But I'm sure it looked almost exactly like all the other Atari 2600 games--like a brick vomited on my tv screen. Videogames are much better now than they used to be but, unfortunately, I have grown up. So I traded much better games for a lot less awe and wonderment. I suspect it was worth it but there is still that part of me that longs to recapture that feeling--much akin to Christmas morning as a child.

So where is this all leading? I guess, while awe and wonderment are mostly gone, there are still moments in videogames that I will remember forever, be they scary, intense, or funny. I finished up playing F.E.A.R. on Halloween morning and it was suitably creepy. There was, however, one part of the game that I will always remember, but probably not for the reason the developers intended. I had acquired a weapon that basically turned targets into piles of smoking dust. Quite unfortunate for them, I must say, but a fine weapon. So I blast some nameless dude from across the hallway and approach slowly. One of his fellow soldiers runs up, stands over him ("him" now being smoking ash) and says "Check in! Are you alright?" while looking down at his friend who is now Kool-Aid powder. I had to pause the game to laugh...a lot.

That's just one thought of many swirling around in my head. Here's another...

Syfy Pictures Presents: Ice Twisters!

What's worse than a pissed-off storm cloud throwing numerous tornadoes at you as you try to drive down a country road? How about tornadoes that can freeze you and disappear in a heartbeat!? Scared yet??? neither. In fact, I can imagine the Syfy writer monkeys locked in a room, smoking heavily, and trying desperately to come up with an idea that hasn't been done (by them) yet.

Guy #1: "Dude, how about a crocodile dinosaur? We'll call it...CROCKASAUR!"
Guy #2: "Been done...but maybe if he had bionics and shot lasers..."
Guy #3: "I've got it!! Pissed off storms that can freeze you solid!"
Guy in charge: "Go with that! It'll premier next week!"
Cash Register: "Cha-ching!"

This fine piece of cinema stars Mark Moses who, surprisingly, has been in a metric shit-ton of stuff. It also stars Camille Sullivan who, surprisingly, has also been in a lot of stuff...unsurprisingly, about half of it is on Syfy and USA...but a lot of stuff nonetheless. Moses plays a physics guru turned sci-fi writer ("Charlie") and Sullivan plays his ex-colleague/love interest ("Joanne"). The tornadoes were uncredited.

So Joanne and her cronies have been working on a government project using little flying machines ("seraphs") that create moisture from the air, then seed the clouds they created to make it rain. And it works! But it doesn't stop working...then things get worse. And the government refuses to shut it down because, duh, it's a weapon!!! And some people freeze and die in different ways. Of course the government's answer to finally shut it down is to...shoot explosives at the machines! Have we seen this before? Yes. Does it work? Never. Though the actual solution is about 500 times more implausible. Also, so was the CGI.

Oh, also, there are these two journalism students running around, trying to follow Charlie to document a day in his life. The chick always has to pee and the guy always whines. They get into lots of trouble, pee and whine some more, then repeat.

How I would summarize this movie: I looked at my watch numerous times and said "Jeez, there's still left to go in this movie??"

Here are you Drive-In Totals:
--Menacing, ice-laden killer tornadoes (with nefarious goatee): A dozen or so...maybe more. They all looked the same.
--Pissy computer nerds: 2
--Book agents we couldn't care less about: 1
--Dead book agents we couldn't care less about: 1
--Authors who are way too smart: 1
--Flying cows: 0 (watch "Twister" if you want to see this)

2 stars

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