Saturday, December 11, 2010

more reviews of the Pandora Machine ouevre

Now admittedly grade B sci-fi is not a genre I'm interested in anyway. When it comes to science fiction movies I like the quality stuff like Alien or Starman, although what I really love is time-travel movies like Time After Time (Malcolm McDowell as H.G. Wells) and the Back to the Future trilogy. Which are more fantasy than science, but they tend to at least try to have scientific explanations for everything. And what those movies all have in common are fully realized characters and tightly crafted plots.

My absolutely favorite science-type movie though is Apollo 13 - science fact. But like the good sci-fi movies it has vivid characters and an extremely well-crafted story.

And then there's the stuff from Pandora Machine. The only movie I've seen by them is Angry Planet, and I thought it was bad. But then, I thought it was bad when I read the screenplay, way back when a former friend told me he was in it and I was trying my best to like it for his sake - I mean really trying. But I had to give that up - it was poorly plotted and the characters were strictly cardboard. And I thought the character he was playing was just awful - both evil and retarded and he seemed to exist mainly to give the other characters a chance to be verbally abusive - which made them even more unlikeable than they already were. Although he did take a quick break from being retarded to solve the movie's big plot mystery. I blogged about that in May 2009 - How Not to Write a Screenplay.

I felt embarrassed for my friend's sake - and also indignant - I thought he was too good an actor to play such a lame character. But when I asked him about his role once, and he avoided the question, I thought it was best not to mention it again.

But I haven't found a review yet of Angry Planet. I don't know what people who love grade-B sci-fi would think of it. Those kind of people generally do NOT seem to like Pandora Machine's other output though. I posted one review of Clonehunter on Friday - written not by a "professional" web reviewer, just a consumer who watched the movie. Here's the other one:
Worse than worst, 26 October 2010
Author: gj_r from Netherlands

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I never wrote a review before, but this movie sent me over the edge. Especially if they use WIRED telephones in the 26th century. So here's the deal.

The clone hunter is a middle-aged boring man that loses every fight he's getting himself into. His partner is a fine looking young woman who gets outsmarted by a 10 year old, gets drunk in a bar without noticing she gets the booze on purpose, gets her memory almost erased, and dresses like a Barbie doll in the second half of the movie.

The painfully embarrassing 3rd crew member aboard their spaceship is a holographic cat, that can pilot the ship if necessary. What were they thinking?? And that meowing bugger almost looks as good as a lost ghost from the good old Atari Pac-Man game. Need I write more ? The bad guys are as awfully visible as the "special effects".

Finally, all the action you'll get is you grabbing your remote control pressing the rewind or replay button, thinking "what the hell did I just miss?" The average episode of Blakes Seven or Star Trek was done better.

Or think about watching paint dry....

The reviewer is from The Netherlands and while his English is good - much better than my Dutch - I enjoyed this review in part because of the slightly-off grammar: "The bad guys are as awfully visible as the "special effects." Which I guess means that the bad guys looked as bad as the special effects?

I do love this sentence though: "The clone hunter is a middle-aged boring man that loses every fight he's getting himself into." Both for the phrase "middle-aged boring man" and also the Germanic-sounding "every fight he's getting himself into."

So this is a pretty bad track record - two out of two reviews that are not just negative but scathing.

It doesn't seem to bother Andrew Bellware at all, however - he seems to think that any attention is good. Which I guess is why he harasses me with nasty little messages delivered via search-engine text strings. He sent me another one today at 10 AM.

The harassment seems to spring from the fact that I blogged about his work - and his casting habits - and said I didn't like either. So I'm wondering if he harasses others who say online they don't like his work. Maybe he's decided to try the same marketing technique as that DecoreMyEyes guy in Brooklyn who pushes his web presence up through hostility to customers.