Monday, May 03, 2004

Reviews of movies I watched this weekend (God bless you, little DVR!).

20 Millions Miles to Earth

Ever since I was a little kid and had a book called "Movie Monsters!", I'd wanted to see this flick. It sounded really, really cool what with space ships and monsters. I'm always one for the vintage sci-fi and stuff.

But, as Randy lamented, the things we dug as kids don't always pan out to be as great as we thought they were.

It's the 50's, and our brave astronauts crash in the ocean outside Sicily while returning from Venus. The craft is absolutely enormous and very cool, until it disappears in the sea. A weird cowboy/ Italian kid who looks exactly liek Steve-o from MTV's Wildboyz discovers a big tube filled with some sort of egg in it. The cowboy/Italian/Steve-o sells the egg to a local doctor for the price of a Texas Cowboy hat.

Meanwhile, our alarmingly lantern jawed astronaut/ hero puts down his female doctor which makes her fall in love with him. (Note to self: always treat women like 2nd class citizens, and they will adore you) The female doctor is the neice or something of the doctor who got the egg. The egg hatches and out pops a monster from Venus.

Side note: everyone on board the rocket but the lantern jawed astronaut died of a mysterious venutian virus. THis is never mentioned again despite the fact a huge, venutian monster is running around the countryside contaminating god knows what.

Overnight the monster grows at an exponential rate (despite not being fed or watered or anything). The astronaut and the US space agency realize the egg is missing and go try to find it. Apparently the astronauts saw a lot of the things on the surface of Venus and learned only one thing: THe monsters can be harmed by electricity.


I guess we're to understand they flew all the way to Venus to figure out how to torture the native life.

And here's the important thing: the astronaut hero guy says that the monsters are only aggressive if provoked. And then the astronaut proceeds to poke the monster with a stick. Seriously. he finds a 20 foot pole and begins poking at the damn thing.

The monster retaliates by killing an Italian farmer. This leads them to believe the monster is dangerous, so they capture it, only to let it grow REALLY large. So, of course, the monster escapes. It runs into an elephant (they're keeping him at the zoo), has a pretty convincing fight with the elephant.

Knowing the monster is only aggressive if provoked, the military attacks it with bazookas, causing all kinds of havoc in the streets of Rome. Eventually, the thing falls off the Roman Collosseum and dies. The end

Proving that people are dumb as rocks, this movie asserts that, despite the fact the monster was our responsibility, we should kill it for, you know, trying to get out and about. Yet, this movie is still a bit of a sci-fi classic. Ray Harryhausen provided the special FX, and they're really, really good. But the questions one could raise about the game plan for containing this beast... anyway, the movie is pretty much the third act of King Kong stretched out to two hours.

I also saw Bridge on the River Kwai, which was infinitely better.

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