Here’s the Trailer for Robotec…I mean Independence Day: Resurgence

Independence Day Resurgence

For decades fans of Robotech (Macross everywhere else in the world) have been hoping for a live-action film adaptation of this very iconic anime series from Japan. Many Westerners had their first introduction to anime after watching the localized version of the original Japanese series Macross. There have been some traction to get the live-action film up and running but rarely past pre-production stage.

With special effects advancing to the point that we can almost recreate dead people back to life via digital trickery, entire worlds astronomers could only dream of and fantastical lands and creatures it’s high time we got a live-action Robotech film. We fans deserve such a gift.

For now, let’s settle for Independence Day: Resurgence which seems to lift certain elements from the anime series spoken of above to make up the plot of the sequel to 1996’s blockbuster hit, Independence Day.

Independence Day: Resurgence is set for a June 24, 2016 release date.

Attack Of The Clones : “Battle Of The Stars”

Trash Film Guru


Filmed back-to-back with the much-more-widely seen Cosmos : War Of The Planets in 1977, director Alfonso Brescia’s “spaghetti space opera” Battle Of The Stars (or, as they called it back home, Battaglie Negli Spazi Stellari) is something of a curiosity. My best guess — and mind you, it’s only a guess — is that the flick itself never played any cinemas in the English-speaking world, and in fact it sat on the shelf for a nearly a year in Italy and was only released when our guy Alfonso’s first flick for the Nais Film production company had finally run its course in theaters.

I don’t know why, but I kind of like to imagine that the decision as to which one to put out first probably came down to a coin toss, and if it had gone the other way, I have no doubt that Battle Of The Stars

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Attack Of The Clones : “Cosmos : War Of The Planets”

Trash Film Guru


So, I hear that there’s a big new science fiction movie coming out on Friday that people are all excited about. Something about a bunch of 70-year-olds running around in outer space that’s written and directed by a guy who was so excited about getting the gig that his first reaction was to turn it down. Okay — you all have fun with that.

Jut kidding, friends! Sort of. Truth be told, I’m semi-excited for Star Wars : The Force Awakens myself. I’m by no means the world’s biggest Star Wars fan, but the original trilogy was pretty much the pop-culture touchstone of my youth, and while I certainly won’t be lining up on opening night to see what J. J. Abrams has done with the franchise, odds are that once the mad crowds have been boiled down to a more manageable size within a week or two, I’ll be…

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Sci-Fi Review: Regular Show: The Movie (2015, directed by J.G. Quintel)

Regular_Show_the_MovieAfter airing for seven seasons and counting on the Cartoon Network, Regular Show has finally gotten its own feature-length movie!  In Regular Show: The Movie, the Earth is in danger of being destroyed by a time jumping volleyball coach and it is up to our two favorite slacker groundskeepers — Mordecai the Blue Jay and Rigby the Racoon — to save the world.  But to do so, they are going to have to confront their past and Rigby is going to have to reveal something that not even his oldest friend, Mordecai, knows about.

Regular Show: The Movie opens in the future, with a massive battle in space.  Rigby is leading a squadron composed of his former co-workers at the state park against the forces of the evil Mr. Ross, a former high school volleyball coach-turned-cyborg who is using a “timenado” to destroy time itself.  (Ross is in a hurry to destroy Earth because, after devoting 25 years to his evil plan, he has a lot of television to catch up on.)  During the battle, Rigby is shocked to discover that his former friend Mordecai is one of Ross’s soldiers.  Mordecai tells Rigby that he wants revenge for something that Rigby did in the past.  Rigby manages to escape in a time ship but not before getting shot by Mordecai.

Regular Show

Future Rigby lands in a Georgia state park where, as usual, present day Rigby and Modecai are trying to get through the day by doing as little work as possible and without getting fired by their boss, an uptight gumball machine named Benson.  Before Future Rigby dies, he reminds Present Rigby and Mordecai of the time that they built a time machine in high school.  The time machine malfunctioned and caused the science lab to explode, which led to Rigby and Mordecai being expelled from high school.  It also caused Mr. Ross to lose a volleyball game, which set Mr. Ross on his path to madness (or, as Mr. Ross, puts it, drove him “craze-o” because that is how they say crazy in the future).

Regular Show

Using the time ship, Present Rigby and Mordecai try to stop Past Rigby and Mordecai.  But before they can save the world, Rigby has to find the courage to reveal his secret to Mordecai, a secret that causes them to question and reconsider their friendship.

Regular Show: The Movie is a fun and trippy movie that is full of nods to 80s and 90s pop culture.  (The Ferris Bueller homage was my favorite.)  The voice work is also excellent, with Mark Hamill a stand-out in the role of Skips, a very intelligent and reasonable Yeti.  Devotees of the series will not be disappointed by this frequently hilarious expansion.


Before the Force: George Lucas’ THX-1138 (Warner Brothers 1971)

cracked rear viewer


George Lucas was a 23 year old film student at USC when he made the short ELECTRIC LABYRINTH: THX 1138 4EB. This 15 minute highly stylized film won first prize at the National Student Film Festival, and Lucas was given an apprenticeship at Warner Brothers. With the help of his friend and USC alumni Francis Ford Coppola, Lucas expanded his short into the feature film THX-1138.


In the future, the masses are controlled by drugs that keep them in a state of sedation. No emotions allowed, especially sexual feelings. Everyone conforms to standard, with shaved heads and asexual jumpsuits. THX (Robert Duvall) works in a robot factory making android police, while his roommate LUH-3417 (Maggie McOmie) is a surveillance expert alongside SEN-5241 (Donald Pleasence). LUH begins switching THX’s meds, and the two discover the joy of sex. They’re found out and separated, and SEN tries to move in with THX, who…

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Sci-Fi Review – Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (dir. by George Lucas)

Attack of the Clones is, at least in my opinion, the worst Star Wars film ever made. Hands down. That is not to say it’s not mildly entertaining, but it demands a great deal of good will from its viewer to keep him from sneering at the movie constantly, especially if said viewer is a fan.

Christ, where do I even begin.

It’s important to note that Episode II is a transition movie. If that’s not clear enough, what I mean is that it’s a movie that exists to connect both the childish, yet potentially endearing Episode I, and the much darker and edgier Episode III. Episode II is somewhere inbetween these two moods, trying to make the transition smoother, disastrously so. It’s catastrophic in many levels, but mostly because of Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker. We’ll get there soon.

Episode II starts as a movie about politics. Now, I like fictional world politics as much as the next person. I honestly do. Especially in a space opera setting. But in Star Wars the politics are dull and barely explained. Padmé Amidala’s two terms as democratically elected Queen of Naboo (wait, what?) are now over, and she continues her career as a politician by becoming a senator. The story begins by trying to make it interesting that people are trying to kill Amidala, on what appears to be politically motivated crimes. We don’t get much context, except that she opposes some other senators. Palpatine, being the super trustworthy guy everyone always knew he was, assigns the Jedi Order to protect her, and finds that Obi-Wan is a suitable bodyguard for Padmé, considering their friendship way back in Episode I. Of course, Obi-Wan must take his apprentice, Anakin Skywalker, with him. And hilarity ensues.

Now, you’re probably familiar with whom Anakin is to become, and you probably know whose father he is, so this movie must establish one very important thing; an origin to the affection between future Lord Vader and an unwitting woman, so that we can learn whose womb was it that those guys from the original trilogy came from. Therefore, in addition to being about lackluster politics, this is a movie about love.



Now, I have to agree with Padmé. You can preach all you want about how you have a massive crush on Hayden Christensen’s mini braid, but that piercing sex offender gaze made me uncomfortable. Throughout the first act, Anakin goes from flirting with the poor woman to actively doing stuff very similar to sexual harassment. I mean, seriously, look at this lecherous, leering asshole.


Darth Vader has always been regarded as one of the greatest villains of cinema, but I never figured that he was also one of the sleaziest. 

I wish this was the only problem with Anakin. Maybe it’s not Mr. Christensen’s acting, but the poor writing (though I suspect that, considering his absence in major movies this decade, his acting was definitely a factor). Young Skywalker is a very gifted Jedi, being immaculately conceived by midi-chlorians and all (I can’t stop laughing), and he is painfully aware of his skills, which he shows through an overpowering arrogance. Now, arrogance when done right can be charming, and perhaps that was the intention; to make Darth Vader a badass even as a teenager, a daredevil, someone who just barely succeeds, but does it with style. Anakin, however, comes across as impudent, annoying, and exceedingly stupid. It seems Anakin can’t go two scenes without doing something that would displease the Jedi council, and entirely aware of it too. ‘Cause that’s just how he rolls. James Dean from a galaxy far far away.

Second act comes. Anakin grows more and more adolescent and fascist. More politics happen. Then there are some cool action scenes that seem to save the film. Obi-Wan is written as barely having a personality, aside from comments that try to make it evident that he is growing older and grumpier, even though he can’t be much more than 30. Regardless, he is arguably the saving grace in the main cast, at the very least as far as really cool fights go. He pilots fighter ships, he fights with a lightsaber; the man sees some action. It’s almost depressing to see an actor of Ewan McGregor’s caliber being reduced to action hero and grumpy mentor to an angsty teenager.


Their dynamic is oddly reminiscent of Gran Torino

Jar Jar also appears. Fan favourite Jar Jar. I feel this is worth mentioning because in an extremely important scene he proposes (as stand-in senator for Amidala) to convey supreme power to Chancellor Palpatine. Yes, that Chancellor Palpatine, and I have to wonder why they couldn’t task this burden to an unnamed senator. Don’t people hate the poor gungan enough? It’s as if George Lucas is just fucking with his public to see how far they can go, at this point.

And then, in the third act, we are introduced to the big bad: Count Dooku, played by the late Sir Christopher Lee. You’d think that bringing this legend of acting might infer that this character is the highlight of the cast. Might have been. Dooku is a character full of potential. He’s obviously evil, but with just the right amount of idealism to seem more shades of grey than the cruel, pure black villains the series are accostumed to. But apparently all he does is some exposition, then pave the way for the epic arena fight scene that kind of defines this movie as a Star Wars film (perhaps one of the only things that defines this as a Star Wars film), some more exposition, a lightsaber duel (a really cool one, wrapping up the whole two things that make this a Star Wars film), and then he’s gone, apparently having started a war. The movie is over, without fully explaining why things escalated, and who exactly Count Dooku represents that the Republic is at war with.



I’m serious when I say this can be an entertaining movie. The fight scenes can be fun and you can laugh at what ridiculous situations the actors are subjected to. But it’s mostly incredibly dull. It’s a film that throws you into an extended torrent of politics you need to understand beforehand to appreciate, and that lead to Clone Wars, a pretty cool spin-off that most people never got to see and that might as well have been properly included as crucial to the continuity since it’s much better than this. As a standalone film, the story is a confusing, rushed mess even at two hours long. As a Star Wars film, Attack of the Clones makes it obvious that the series is not infallible. Horribly, gapingly, obviously not infallible.