Brian Hannant’s “The Time Guardian” is about as vintage straight to video science fiction as it can get. It’s a low budget, serviceable genre entry with a hodgepodge of (what feel like) recycled concepts that never quite gel together, and sadly never comes together even by the time the climax rolls around. It’s “Back to the Future,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Star Wars,” and “Terminator” all rolled in to one big Ozploitation mélange. At its best it’s only kind of charming in fleeting moments; at its worst, it’s absolutely dull late night cable fodder.
As we’ve all come to experience at one time or another, our perception of time can vary based on situations and circumstances. Two hours can feel like a day, while two days can fly by like minutes. But through and through two minutes, while sometimes feeling like an instance, can be the deciding factor between life and death. Fortune and poverty. And often times it can be what helps us either escape fate, or confront it head on.
Written by Ryan W. Smith and Tony Dean Smith with the latter directing as well, Volition is a film that requires attention in that it crosses timelines and the story becomes different with each attempt at making things better done by the lead. The story is one that is made for those who do not like when the film takes them for idiots or spoon feeds them what they want to see. Here the film takes its premise and makes the most of it, but it also becomes a bit complicated for itself, requiring the viewer to really pay attention. The film is well-written and directed, but something makes it hard to follow at times, perhaps making it a film made to be watched while fully awaken and energized.
So far we’re about ten alternate time lines deep in to the “Terminator” series, a movie franchise that continues to chug on thanks to the good word from James Cameron. Methinks without Cameron, “Terminator” would and should be put to sleep as a limp IP that loses more and more fans every single year. The convoluted timeline doesn’t even want to try to explain its own concept and logic (and lack thereof) anymore. It’s now basically rebooted itself (once again), and takes off limping to the finish line. From a confusing (bold?) retcon, to an over arching theme with heavy social commentary, “Terminator: Dark Fate” incidentally makes an argument against its existence.
Tim Burton hasn’t been delivering on quality as he once was, so it’s become a rare occasion that he’s able to deliver on something genuinely entertaining. “Miss Peregrime’s” is one of the darkest Burton films ever directed, and while it’s touted toward children, it definitely skirts the edges quite often. That’s mainly due to the creepy villains that make a point of eating children’s eyes, amounting to some of the most horrific material in an otherwise darkly fantastic drama.
I was thoroughly surprised with 2017’s “Happy Death Day.” The more I’ve thought about it and re-watched it, I’ve come to like it more and more as a horror reworking of “Groundhog’s Day.” It’s a fun and creepy character piece about a despicable young woman who realizes that maybe the way to keep herself from dying and end the cycle of re-living the same day over and over, is to think about other people in her life. “Happy Death Day 2U” is that same concept, but a wholly different movie. It’s a sequel that brings us a new angle of the narrative, expands on the concept of the original film, while also continuing to explore the character of Tree Gelbman.
Once upon a time TV movies were an event. They meant something. They were used sporadically during the year for various networks as a means of attracting big ratings. Once upon a time TV used TV movies as a means of competing with theaters, and ever since that’s become something of a lost medium. Even when I was a kid, the nineties were filled with TV movies both of the Stephen King multi-night variety, and occasional biblical epics, and or science fiction epics like “Taken,” or “Noah.” It was an interesting time. “Dead of Night” is one of the various TV movies that’s gone from TV movie to well acclaimed horror movie, and that might be because of Dan Curtis and Richard Matheson.
Written and directed by James Allen Smith, Haskell is a small part, or three small parts, of what feels like a much bigger story. The story deals with time and how it affects people, especially the man who can manipulate it and those around him. The story is one that is multi-layered and deals with plenty to become a full length feature easily. The way it’s written does make it feel like it’s a part of something much bigger and perhaps a proof of concept for a feature film. However, it does still work as a short where not everything is explained and the film works with some mysteries not explained.