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Battle of the Planets (1978–2012)
Why can't I ever see this great show again?
19 October 1999
This was, without a doubt, hands-down, my FAVORITE show when I was eight years old. I wish there were re-runs of it or videotapes. It seems like everyone my age (born around 1970) remembers this show. Yet the way it has disappeared, I'm guessing it was not a success. I suppose if I saw it today it would be really lame and the animation would look poor, but for me the music, direction, action and sound effects all combined to make a great show. It was anime before anime was big in America. And frankly, I don't like anime but I didn't mind it here. Probably because it wasn't true anime, it was just cheap, foreign-made animation.
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Deep Rising (1998)
Accept it for what it is...and enjoy it
24 August 1999
It always amazes me...the number of people in IMDB comment boards who measure the film by what they expected when the film made no such pretense. For example, "Blair Witch Project" just gives a major case of the creeps instead of sending you to a psycho ward screaming in terror. In the same sense, "Deep Rising"...which clearly ran an ad campaign in which it looked like "Aliens" meets "Titanic"...should not be criticized for not being derivative!

Accept it for what it claimed to be: a creepy action/horror movie and then judge it on those terms. Yes, it borrows from "Star Wars" obviously, that I think it's intentional. The "you came in that thing" comment is a giveaway. And please, quit pointing out how similar this is to "Aliens"! Really, Sherlock? I'm so glad you're here to tell me, because the group of ultra-marines with nonstop ammo didn't give me a clue.

So let's quit sniping about originality and review its pros and cons.

The Pantucci character was good...he's definitely a good actor. Pantucci also has the best scene (giving the gun to the terrorist). My only problem with him was that he NEVER mentions his girlfriend after they board the ship! In fact, we don't know what happened to her. This was definitely a flaw in the script (especially since she was an interesting character).

The creatures were interesting and somewhat unique, with CGI of varying quality. But I really couldn't tell if they were worms or tentacles or what. The gory parts were well done.

I really wish that the film's promos hadn't revealed that the ship is deserted. This is one of those movies with few enough surprises that the good ones shouldn't be given away by the advertising.

The race on the jet-ski is a bit lame, both for the "tentacles everywhere" element and the "outracing an explosion" cliche.

The ending...I like the twist, although we know we won't be seeing a sequel. Again, Pantucci is far too positive considering his girlfriend most likely died a horrible death.

Taken on its own merits, this is a five out of ten. Worth renting once, maybe. (It almost makes me wish MST3K could poke fun at it.)
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Mandatory viewing!
4 June 1999
Truly an impressive feat, this animated special is quite a departure from the rest of the Charlie Brown series. Featuring rotoscoped footage of Normandy Beach and a reading of the poem "In Flanders Fields" by Linus, it will touch the hearts of adults while not being too gruesome for kids. If it were up to me, I'd require every person in America to watch this each Memorial Day, Veteran's Day and Fourth of July!
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Species (1995)
Too much of a good body.
12 April 1999
I know this is a sci-fi movie and everyone here is talking about the concept, but the plot is basically that a gorgeous woman gets naked a heck of a lot.

Of course, it isn't marketed like a sex film. When my friends and I were watching and the first glimpse of naked Natasha breast is seen, everyone exclaimed "Ooh! Pause it! Rewind it!". A half hour later, the exclamations were more along the lines of "Oh, she's naked AGAIN? What's the excuse this time?" After an hour and fifty minutes, we all finally understood how hanging around on a nude beach just might ruin the fun of seeing naked women.

Oh, and as for the plot. Eh.
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The X Files (1998)
A 2-hour episode...but so what?
10 August 1998
I've met a LOT of people who whine that this is just a two-hour episode with a big budget. I don't see how that's a complaint. I mean, if one of the best-written, best-directed, most atmospheric shows on television makes a movie-length episode that can stand on its own...what's the problem? That still makes it more intelligent than 90% of the movies put out this summer.
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Doctor Who (1996 TV Movie)
HERE's why the Brits hate us!
10 August 1998
Whenever anyone talked about the possibility of America doing "Dr. Who" (especially after BBC cancelled the show), people would joke, "Oh, right! They'd add car chases and gun fights and the Doctor would fool around with his companions!" Then they'd have a hearty laugh at these stereotypes of Hollywood, confident that they were being sarcastic and, if it ever DID happen, certainly people involved with the show would try to preserve the sensibilities of the series. That'll show 'em for over-estimating the intelligence of our media! I think America should revive the Lend-Lease Act, providing funding for any future movies but letting the Brits actually make them. In turn, the BBC should file for a gun law exemption so they can shoot any Fox producer trying to visit the set.
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Armageddon (1998)
So exciting it's boring.
31 July 1998
The first ten minutes of this film are like the best moments of "Godzilla" without the lizard. Then the excitement and momentum grinds to a dead stop as the movie becomes "Police Academy Goes to Space Camp" for a lousy hour and a half! The movie has its best moments when things finally happen again and two shuttles slingshot around the moon. After that, James Cameron was nice enough to give them all his cutting-room floor pieces from "The Abyss" to fill out the rest of the movie. Michael Bay's typical combination of frenetic, choppy editing and Murphy's Law plot points actually work against feeling any excitement; a viewer gets desensitized by two hours of explosions and quakes! And the plot points are horribly predictable; there aren't any surprises for anyone with an average IQ. I mean, when a young man with his life ahead of him is going to sacrifice himself and a grizzled old guy escorts him out, what's going to happen, ya think? ID4 was much better than this (just to prove I'm not some art house whiner).
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