Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers Review

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It’s time to look at a really old alien film. This is the kind of flick that will remind you why aliens are so scary in the first place. They can’t be reasoned with and just want to take over every planet that gets in their way. You don’t want to mess with these guys and the humans have to desperately scramble to stop them. It’s an entertaining film that may not have the best lead, but still hits most of the right notes.

The film starts off with Russell sending another rocket into space. It’s been a futile mission as so far each missile has been sent right back down to Earth. At this point he is just wasting money and a general tells him this, but the lead refuses to listen. He will keep on sending the missiles into space and nobody can stop him! As he drives away with Carol, a UFO shows up which changes things a bit. They are now readying their invasion force to take over the Earth. Russell will have to build a super laser to shut them down, but can he really invent such a thing or is he already doomed?

As you can tell I thought Russell was rather slow on the uptake. If a bunch of missiles keep losing contact as soon as they are sent out, why would you send more without actually fixing anything about them? The main characters finally decide to add a camera to the last one so they can find out what is happening, but shouldn’t a camera have been there right from the start? It seems to me that for a mission of such importance you would want to document everything at all times.

Russell’s big slip up was in meeting up with the aliens privately. Carol and the army guy do manage to catch him so they all end up being threatened by the aliens as a team. I’ll give the army guy some credit for actually firing at the aliens while in the ship. They might as well go down swinging right? Russell is the one who puts the group in danger constantly. For example, he knew that a little energy orb had been spying on him for the last few weeks and that random lights would show up in the sky, but he thought nothing of them. It seems like nothing would cause him to show even a little bit of the usual alarm that you would expect from a reasonable main character. He may get to run the victory lap at the end, but he certainly put the Earth in quite the predicament.

Meanwhile I can’t say that I was a big fan of Carol. Mainly because she was quick to rat out Russell when he was trying to escape the base. Whether she agreed with him or not, such a call would probably have him arrested and it’s not like she had a better idea. When you make a call to betray someone like that, it’s a big decision. The characters forget about this pretty quick, but that could have been a very damaging moment for them.

I do have to give the army some props for shooting the aliens right away. Obviously that isn’t usually a good idea since the aliens hadn’t actually done anything yet, but we weren’t going to be pushed around this time. Usually when the army shoots first it turns out that the aliens were actually good guys so this was a good way of flipping that around real quick. Too bad their tech was so much better than ours as otherwise it could have been a pretty even fight. We didn’t hesitate to fire off our rockets and heavy armaments either so the world was ready.

There is some plot hax in the climax though. As I mentioned the aliens do have the superior tech here including ships that can run rings around ours. Their speed is so great that they can appear from nowhere to disintegrate us and then vanish again. How is it that they didn’t notice the humans plotting against them? At the very least you would expect them to have the main characters under surveillance until the invention was built. Leaving the humans alone (Even after they broke the alien spy probe) was just not a smart idea. Even once they knew that the humans were turning violent they sent in one robot instead of blasting the place to smithereens. The humans got lucky and they know it.

We do get some decent action sequences at the end though as we shoot down all of their UFOs. You’ll end up feeling bad for the landmarks though as the aliens make sure to crash into them every time one ship is shot down. By the end of the fight I feel like the city will look a whole lot different. I suppose some damage is expected when saving the world though. I also like to think that the aliens made sure to intentionally hit these spots just to at least get a little petty consolation victory. If only they had just tried destroying us all when they had the chance!

Overall, This was a fun movie. It’s a classic Alien Invasion story filled with suspense and action. The writing for the movie is certainly on point even if the main characters are annoying. The characters you will be rooting for the most will be the government agents. They don’t plan to go down without a fight and talk tough whenever they are on screen. That’s exactly what I like to see and even the Aliens admitted that in a battle for the Earth we would keep fighting til the last man. Humanity got its props here.

Overall 7/10

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New Avengers Volume 2 Infinity Review

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I read the first volume a while back so now it’s time to check out the sequel! This one ties into Infinity so now we can get to see the return of Thanos in time for the Age of Ultron! The first volume definitely had some high stakes and was a pretty original Avengers title so I looked forward to more of the same in this volume. It does suffer a little from the Future Foundation problem, but still ends up being a solid read.

From the last volume, you may recall that various versions of Earth are smashing into each other and taking out universes as collateral damage. The heroes had to decide if they were willing to destroy an entire planet of innocents, but the decision was taken out of their hands when they found out that it was uninhabited. Would they be so lucky the next time? That plot continues as the next Earth appears in the sky. It is quickly reduced to the subplot though as Thanos invades the planet with his army. The team is in a pretty tense situation at the moment and Black Panther is not able to get along with Namor. With enemies within and on the outside, this could be the toughest mission for the New Avengers yet!

The main plot was noticeably pushed to the backseat to make room for Thanos, but I give the series kudos for trying to keep it relevant. The planets are still coming, the heroes just have to worry about it while also trying to stop Thanos and his fleet. It’s a tough call and it one where you won’t find out how the heroes ultimately win since you have to read the main series. I may as well address that negative here. The series does cater to the main one a whole lot so you do end up missing huge chunks of the story by just reading this collection. It’s not very subtle so you can definitely tell when something is missing. There are even “previously” segments before each comic just in case you aren’t reading Infinity. I feel like the comics did a better job of that in the old days.

Still, tie ins are great to expand the story so getting to be a part of the event in any shape or form is still a lot of fun. It’s not like the series ended there so we’re still going to go back to the main plot afterwards so that we can see the Avengers get roflstomped again. In the main Avengers series, this happens constantly so I’m glad that this hasn’t been the case in New Avengers…yet. They’re hinting that this will happen soon, which brings up another issue similar to Dragon Ball Rebirth of F.

The classic Marvel heroes simply look way too weak nowadays. The aliens mention that the heroes would be doomed against a number of alien races that haven’t even appeared yet. After a while, you just gotta shake your head and say “No.” I just don’t buy the fact that there are so many more races that can wipe the floor with the Avengers. Dr Strange used to be able to take on the Tribunal and Iron Man’s new armor allows him to dish out Hulk levels of power. They shouldn’t be considered as lightweights anymore, yet it is hinted that they still are weak in the grand scheme of things. That’s really pushing it to be honest.

On the bright side, cosmic beings are not immune to this. The Living Tribunal was taken out in an off screen fight where he was likely one shotted. Now, that’s what I’m talking about! The hype has died and hopefully this will allow more people to realize that Goku could take him out. Of course, that is neither here nor there. It’s definitely an intense scene and you have to wonder who did that. The comic never says, but I’ll assume that a Dark Lord or Thanos managed to defeat him. It makes sense and his expression of fear suggests that it was a spooky villain!

From the core New Avengers, I’d say that Iron Man and Reed Richards get the smallest role. Iron Man is a little uncharacteristically serious, but it’s certainly better than constantly making puns when the stakes are so high. He just doesn’t help out. Reed gives Black Panther some decent advice, but he looked terrible during the beginning. He was threatening Dr Doom a whole lot while teamed with Dr Strange and you actually felt bad for the villain. The New Avengers did bring the fight to Latveria after all and they’re still trying to keep him in the dark. The whole scene felt extremely out of character for Mr Fantastic and he definitely didn’t act like the nice guy that I’ve come to know.

Black Panther and Namor get the largest role from the characters as their civil war intensifies. Both of them are willing to win by any means necessary although Black Panther’s tactics come off as more underhanded than Namor’s. It certainly depends on how you see it though and Namor has had his share of cheap shots. Needless to say, casualties are high and both kingdoms are essentially broken by the time this is all over. If Black Panther really does try to destroy Namor, it’ll be tough to accomplish. Namor should easily be able to defeat Black Panther after all. It’s hard to root for either one of them though since I dislike both characters at this point.

Black Bolt also gets a role and he decides to start bringing out the heavy artillery. The New Avengers show is really hitting us hard with the “Heroes can be corrupted” message as just about every member is hit. Black Bolt lies to the team and builds a weapon of mass destruction. He certainly can’t be trusted and nobody else can either so it is a tricky situation. Dr Strange is naturally nothing like how he used to be. Remember the Dr Strange collection that I reviewed recently? Well, you would never guess that he is the same character. They seriously sound nothing alike at this point and this Dr Strange is certainly less likable and doesn’t feel like the hero of old. It’s the modern comics effect at work. Needless to say, you’re probably better off just being in space right now and as far away from the Earth as possible. I think that the New Avengers goes a little too far in trying to make all of the heroes unlikable, but it has always been made to be the more down to Earth title. It just means that some characters will start to act out of character as a result.

Back to the Wakanda vs Atlantis subplot for a second. You will almost wonder why nobody is trying to get into the middle of this. I suppose that politics will keep a lot of heroes out, but the war is certainly escalating and someone has to put an end to it. Also, it’s hard to know who to root for since both fighters are willing to do anything to win. Hopefully, both lands are laid to waste so that America can come in and take over the countries. At this rate, joining the U.S.A. seems to be their best bet and then Namor and Black Panther can settle their differences in prison. They certainly shouldn’t be allowed to stay outside, much less be allowed to stay on the New Avengers.

As you can imagine, the art is really good for this collection. Each page is very detailed and that does wonders for the fights. Most of the pages are fairly dark to coincide with the theme of the volume, but not overly so. You can still clearly see what is happening and the art does a good job of setting the tone. I certainly have no qualms with the artwork here.

Overall, This volume of New Avengers is pretty good. I think that the heroes are certainly getting a little too corrupted through all of this and hopefully they start to remember why they became heroes in the first place. It’s more than a little embarrassing to see Dr Strange be beaten by telepaths and totally crushed, but that’s what the sorcerer supreme has become nowadays. I’m also hoping that Earth is recognized as a legitamite threat soon, but I realize that this may not happen for quite a while. Still, they just got to keep on fighting until they get their due respect. The tie in with Infinity does derail the main plot a bit, but it’s interesting and a lot of fun to see Thanos back so it is worth the intervention. We also get a cameo by the X Men, which is neat although I don’t think that the telepathy should have worked at all when the X Men already have a telepath at the ready. I guess we’ll see how the Avengers stop the Earth problem from continuing and if they ultimately decide to make the hero call or not. Ultimately, the biggest strength of this title has always been that it is simply very interesting to read and it never fails at that for a moment. You’ll never be bored as you’re reading this and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens next time.

Overall 7/10

The Core Review

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It’s time for another disaster film, but this one doesn’t really manage to be as interesting as the Volcano film. The main problem is that it runs on for a little too long and the plot takes away the chance of us actually getting to see most of the destruction. Is The Core as scary as the poster would have you believe? Not really, but the tone of the film is interesting.

The plot involves a guy by the name of Josh. He’s a professor at a university and he gets called in by the government after a group of people mysteriously die for no discernible reason. He starts to look into the situation and Josh realizes that the Earth is doomed. The Core is not turning anymore and soon the Earth will get cooked by the Sun. The Government actually believes him for once and a crew is assigned to go to the Core and restart it. This’ll be a dangerous mission and Josh must learn what it means to be a true leader as he embarks on the most dangerous quest of all time!

I do have to give the film some credit for the intro. It’s very ominous and action packed so it would have been fitting for something like The Avengers or Man of Steel. It’s a pretty awesome intro. I definitely did not expect something quite like that, but it really helped to set the tone for the film. Unfortunately, you can’t help but raise your expectations after something like that and the rest of the film couldn’t match this.

Near the beginning of the film is a big scene, which immediately destroyed the film’s chances of being very good. A flock of birds is attacked by The Core and there are dozens of fatalities. I definitely didn’t need to see that and it destroyed any momentum that the film had. We also get to see a lot of fishes and whales get terminated by the solar ray that the Sun shot out to take out the planet. These scenes doomed the film as far as I was concerned, but did the rest of it hold up?

Josh is the main character and he likes to keep it real. After he found out that the Earth was doomed, he did what any cheap uncourageous unheroic doubtful main character would do. He quickly went to a bar to get drunk and hopefully sleep it off. Luckily, the Government quickly threw him back into the thick of things and while Josh tried to intimidate them at the meeting…it didn’t work. Josh is still more of a hero than most of the other characters and he tries his best to make sure that everyone is safe. In that sense, he’s easily one of the best characters in the film, even if he wasn’t willing to make the heroic sacrifice at the end. Self Destruction for the sake of the world is a tall order so I can’t blame him for not volunteering even though someone like Goku would have done it without hesitation. Josh does have a quick scene with Rebecca that was incredibly forced and it wasn’t even to produce a romance as it was a spur of the moment emotion that just came out. There was literally no reason to add this to the film and it was likely just to make everyone get ready to exit the theater as it symbolized that we were approaching the climax. Why!!!? It could have been worse, but it was still sad.

Rebecca has a lot of experience at being a co-pilot in an air craft and she did make it all the way up to space with her crew. She saved them all with her superior navigational skills, but that was not enough for the others to take her seriously. She got her chance when the mission for The Core popped up. Granted, the government acknowledged her brave actions, but Robert was convinced that she is still not leader material. You have to lose a few times to be ready for that. (It would have been more convincing if Robert had actually won a battle or two)

Edward is one of the more sympathetic characters. His life’s research was stolen by one of his co-workers and he’s had to live out in the desert for over a decade. It’s been rough, but he never gave up on his super driller. The heroes finally come to help out the planet and they need his design so Edward joins the crew. Tensions are still running high between him and Conrad, which climaxes with a one punch fight. Edward is basically the down to Earth character and he keeps everyone in check.

Conrad is one of the smarter characters in the film and he makes sure to constantly boast about it. He always seeks attention while making sure to put others in the spotlight when things start to get dangerous. He never makes the hero calls though as his personal safety is very important to him. I actually liked him in the beginning, but he started to drop as the film went on. It’s good to see him being the voice of despair as he tries to keep the mood down, but it’s not enough to overlook the fact that he’s one of the big antagonists who’s portrayed as a protagonist.

Serge is Josh’s friend from the beginning of the film and he’s also a part of the crew when they head to The Core. He’s mostly there for the one liners, but he’s also pretty good at setting up weapons. He was all right I suppose, but he didn’t really add anything to the film. I dare say that he was basically inconsequential to the plot and nothing would have changed if he had not been present.

Robert is the GI Joe of the group. His role is likely the smallest from the group members and he’s just there to constantly remind Rebecca that she’ll never be a proper pilot. He’s technically the hardcore/experienced sergeant who makes the tough calls when necessary, but we don’t see a whole lot of that. He mostly operates from hype and that’s typically not enough to impress me while the situation continues to escalate. He was actually a good character for the most part, but he didn’t really help when it was needed. (Josh was having trouble with his tie and Robert didn’t give him any assistance)

Rat is the genius of the group when it comes to hacking. He may not be the nicest guy out there, but he gets the job done and he likes his Hot Pockets. I can definitely sympathize since they are some of the best microwaved food out there! He’s a decent character, but I had to suspend my disbelief a whole lot when he pick pocketed the main character and then hacked his phone in a minute with a whistle. It was also pretty sad for the government since he can hack just about anything. Ah well, he did what he had too and he made the hero call at the end so he’s a solid guy to rely on.

Another critique that I would have to address is the fact that the film tries to be too emotional at times. Every death consists of long scenes where: One character looks around a lot before getting compressed, One character laughs because his last actions will not be remembered, One character melts as he almost made it back…etc. I understand that an emotional death is part of the classic disaster film formula, but overdoing it is certainly not going to win the film any points. Especially when the characters are going to have to be back to their happy selves a few minutes later so the plot can continue.

I would argue that the film also gets hit by the Lord of The Rings curse in that it’s a little too long. I’m always glad to see films crack 2 hours, but this one just didn’t need it. I liked the beginning minus the animal violence scenes because it was pretty ominous and interesting. After that, the action and excitement just died down as they made it into the drill. It just wasn’t as interesting and I like disaster films because you get to see buildings blow up and cars ravaged. Being in the center of the Earth just isn’t as exciting because there sin’t a whole lot to see. I was glad that the film had such an excellent beginning, but it just made the second half’s drought more noticeable.

The soundtrack for the film is very good and the theme from the intro quickly comes to mind. I also liked the music that was playing during the first spaceship scene as the heroes try not to crash into the civilians as they manage to make it to a patch of water. The music in those scenes was very good and maybe movie soundtracks aren’t as dead as I remembered. There have certainly been a number of films that had a good soundtrack at this point.

I do have to give the Government some props for their plan since it was so terrible that I had to smile. To stop the Earth from blowing up, they were going to cause a massive earthquake/explosion to shake things up and hope that everything works again. Okay…..whatever brings in the dough for the inventor of the weapon I suppose. He was probably grinning from ear to ear in Europe when the general gave him the OK to fire it. The government had two agents who were always sent to get Josh and I’ll admit that they were pretty cool. They always had their guns at the ready and these guys meant business. They were easily the two best government agents.

Overall, The Core is not going to be the next hit as far as Disaster films go. The soundtrack was dynamite and the intro for the film is incredible. The first half hour really builds up the excitement and the film had a lot of potential. Unfortunately, animal violence and an uneventful second half filled with (forced) emotion helped to stop the film from reaching its full potential. The government is also very unapologetic at the end as they don’t even want to be bothered to look for the main crew. They could die for all they care since the government just wanted to save the planet. The government typically looks mean or corrupt in these films, but that was still stretching it just a bit. You would be better off watching the first Broly film in the DBZ series if you want to see a lot of destruction.

Overall 4/10