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AWESOME-tober-fest 2016: Jason X (2001) review

Posted in Friday the 13th, Genres, Halloween, holiday, horror, Jason Vorhees, movies, nostalgia with tags , , , , , , , , on October 28, 2016 by Paxton

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Yesterday for my “greatest hits of AWESOME-tober-fest” week, I looked at the novelization for the movie Jason X, of which I am a fan.  I thought maybe for Fangoria Movie Friday I should revisit the movie itself and see if I do still, in fact, enjoy it.  A 15 years later retrospective on a very maligned movie.

In the late 90s, when Freddy vs Jason was still in “development hell”, Friday the 13th creator Sean Cunningham wanted to make another Jason movie to continue fostering interest in the character. Writer Todd Farmer pitched “Jason in space” and develpment began on what would become the 10th Friday the 13th movie, Jason X.

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The movie starts off in 2010. Jason has been captured by the government and kept in the Crystal Lake Research Facility. They have been testing his ability to regenerate tissue and stay alive. After several failed attempts to kill him it is decided to put him in cryo stasis, but certain other shadowy government departments want him for further study so they prep him for transfer to another facility. However, Jason escapes and kills nearly everyone. One of the researchers, Rowan, traps him in the cryo chamber, but Jason pierces the chamber with his machete and both Jason and Rowan are trapped in cryo sleep as the facility goes into lockdown mode.

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Over 445 years later, a scientific team stumbles upon the two and transports them to their ship. The crew revive Rowan from cryo sleep with nanotechnology and just as she is about to warn them about Jason he revives and starts killing all of the scientists. Rowan and the few survivors must figure out a way to stop Jason and get off the ship before it is destroyed.

That’s the elevator pitch, there’s a little bit more to it. But not much.  Getting this out of the way, the movie is ultra low budget.  Especially for being in space.  The actors are mostly unknowns but the lead girl, Rowan, was on Andromeda, as was one other cast member.  The cast is as good as any other standard Friday the 13th.  The kills are pretty good.  One of the more infamous being the “liquid nitrogen head smash”.

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For the characters, Rowan is pretty good as the female lead. The other “lead” if you want to call her that is an android a la Data from Star Trek: TNG named KM-14. You also get the typical smattering of other character types; “the tough military sergeant”, “the computer dork” and “the outspoken one with loose morals”. They work as well as any of the other F13 movies. Certainly no worse than Jason Takes Manhattan or New Beginning.  But saying “they work as well” and “they are good and interesting characters” are two different things.  They do what they need to do but they aren’t great.

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As far as the story goes, I like the idea of the government wanting to test the captured Jason’s supernatural healing abilities. He has this ability to regenerate after nearly 100% damage. Of course the government is going to want to study him.  I also like the idea of trapping people on a spaceship with a hunting Jason. You can tell the premise of this movie was “borrowed” from Alien. As a plot device, for me, it works.  What also works for me is the idea of Uber Jason.  Towards the end of the movie, the android character gets “an upload”, becomes Rambo and “kills” Jason by shooting off his leg, part of his rib cage and part of his head.  And despite the fact that Jason hasn’t died from some seemingly fatal wound at least 5 times before this, everyone assumes he’s dead.  Then the damaged medical station thinks Jason needs to be fixed so it takes over and rebuilds Jason.  As a cyborg.

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And so is born the best thing in this movie, Uber Jason.  We get precious little time with Uber Jason.  He’s awesome and should have been onscreen more than 20 minutes.  He’s relentless and kills gloriously.  The movie really picks up and seems more fun once Uber Jason is on the scene.  Here’s a nice gallery of Uber Jason pics.

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At one point they trap Uber Jason in a simulated 1980 Camp Crystal Lake environment.  He gets to kill two simulated co-eds by smacking their sleeping bags against a tree.  It’s a pretty great homage to past movies (the sleeping bag stunt was done back in Part VII).

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So, is this a great movie? No, not really. But it’s fun. It has fun with the concept of Jason and the idea to move him into outer space and turn him into a futuristic cyborg Jason was a clever idea. Did everything 100% work? No, of course not. The budget is uber cheap and you get what you pay for with the actors. But I had fun with what the filmmakers were trying to do and I still say I enjoy this movie.


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Also, check out the blog Countdown to Halloween for more Halloween-y, bloggy AWESOMEness.

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The many ridiculous powers of Superman

Posted in comic books, humor, pop culture, Superman, Superman Returns with tags , , , , on June 29, 2006 by Paxton

Superman Week

Day 4, my friends. Hope you are enjoying the daily updates as it’s about to kill me. I’m trying to work in these articles in the middle of working on stuff at the office. It’s fun but I don’t think I could go daily for any longer a length of time. Yikes. Anywho, today’s topic discusses the plethora of super-powers that Superman has been imbued with over the years. It is shocking how much power Superman has been given since his first appearance in Action Comics #1. I want to thank SuperDickery.com for the comic panels I’m about to use. They have a great site with lots of funny stuff about Superman. Check them out.

Everyone knows the many standard powers of Superman. He can fly, super-strength, super-speed, super-breath, invulnerable, heat-vision, etc, etc. Not everyone knows that he didn’t always have many of these abilities. Not only that, Superman has several other super powers that are less used, but still kept in his back pocket for just the right moment when he can whip it out and dazzle everyone. Today I’ll discuss the lesser known powers given to Superman by writers that needed a way out of a stupid story. Regardless of the reason, writers kept tacking on new powers for Superman each year. Supes was becoming so powerful that writers were having to come up with crazier situations to make it interesting, then they needed a new power to get out of that situation. It’s a never-ending cycle. Let’s take a look at some of the lesser known, and therefore more humorous, of Superman’s abilities.

One of the more popular (by writers) powers Supes possesed was super-ventriloquism. Not only Super-V, he had a whole bag full of voice powers that writers tended to wield at their hip like gunslingers. Superman could throw his voice over great distances and also possesed super-voice-mimicry, which means he could make his voice sound like anyone else. That power must come in handy at parties when you are stuck talking to the dud who won’t leave you alone. You know the guy, he keeps talking about World of Warcraft and how his level 45 demon owns that level 40 gryphon from Akron, OH. If you were Supes, you could throw your voice across the room as someone else calling your name and you can get the hell out of there. Nicely done, Superman.

Next up on the “wha-huh?!” list of super powers is Super-Mathematics. What is Super-Mathematics? Check this out for a demonstration. That looks like regular mathematics to me, Superman. I guess Super-Mathematics is really just regular mathematics, but faster and more super. And isn’t 20 x 16 x 10 = 3,200?

And if you thought it was Superman’s muscles or good-looks that made Lois fall in love with him…OH NO. Apparently, Superman also possessed Super-Kisses. Yes, you read that correctly, Super-Kisses. I heard someone in the back call shenanigans on that one, but you can see for yourself.

For all of you quilters and knitters out there, you were undoubtably drawn to reading Superman comics when you found out he had Super-Weaving powers. Now, to answer the question “Isn’t that just Superman weaving at super-speed?” before it’s even asked, I say no, only because it was much cooler and more impressive to say that he had a super-weaving power. Or is that just me?

You know the age-old question, how come NO ONE can see Clark Kent is Superman? The answer is Super-Hypnosis. But I prefer the explanation that everyone is just that DUMB. So Superman is now the Amazing Kreskin? “Someone needs saving. Someone whose name starts with B. Is there someone whose name starts with B, here? Anyone? How about a C?” Wait, that was mind-reading, not hypnosis, wasn’t it? Moving on…

Speaking of dumb, welcome to the wonderful world of Super-Landscaping. Once again, you have to wonder if super-landscaping isn’t just a fancy name for “planting stuff at super speed”. But that’s just me. Maybe I should try that, running around my yard as fast as I can throwing plants at the ground. Think it would work?

Okay, this is ridiculous. At this point, the writers are WAY out of control. Superman now has Super-Hunches?! I think they are just taking verbs and sticking the word Super in front of it. “I was Super-Walking across the street and a cop gave me a ticket for Super-Jaywalking. I had to Super-Call my lawyer to Super-Bail me out of jail. How Super-Embarrassing is that?” It’s Super-Stupid. Ditto for Super-Friction. Welding together bars with Super-Friction? With all of his other powers did Superman somehow get Super-Alzheimer’s and not remember that he has HEAT VISION which would also work?

Today’s final power I am going to discuss pretty much assumes you have no one but participants in the Special Olympics reading your comic. Writers labeled it Super-Makeup, but I call it “putting on a disguise”. The hell? If this is a super power then I could be a super hero. I get super-dressed in the morning then I get clean in a super-shower. Where’s my comic book?

Well, I hope you enjoyed this rundown of some of Superman’s crazier abilities that you may not have been aware of. Tonight Steph and I are going to see Superman Returns so I, myself, will return tomorrow for the final day of Superman Week and my review of Superman Returns.

Peace Out!

Check out the other days of Superman Week here:

Day 1 – Review of Look, Up In The Sky: The Amazing Story of Superman
Day 2 – Scary Superman Merchandise
Day 3 – Review of Christopher Reeve Superman Movies
Day 5 – Review of Superman Returns

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