Thursday, June 12, 2014

Alien Uprising (2012)

Number Rolled: 59
Movie Name/Year: Alien Uprising (2012)
Genre: Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Length: 101 minutes
Rating: R
Affiliated Companies: Phase 4 Films, Hawthorn Productions
Executive Producer: Joe Pia, Rafael Quintian, Craig Tuohy
Director: Dominic Burns
Writer: Dominic Burns
Actors: Bianca Bree, Sean Brosnan, Simon Phillips, Maya Grant, Jazz Lintott, Andrew Shim, Peter Barrett, Joey Ansah, Amelia Linney, Raji James, Sean Pertwee, Julian Glover, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Perry Fitzpatrick, Christian Howard

A group of buddies go out to a club. After a night of dancing, liquor and sex, they find the world has changed drastically. UFO’s have appeared in the sky and the population of Earth has gone crazy. What started out as fun and games turns into a fight for survival.

This movie is what you would get if you mixed the Tom Cruise version of War of the Worlds with the original Red Dawn, threw in a little bit of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, put the story in England, and slashed the budget into a tiny fraction of what it should be. Honestly, they probably spent the majority of their budget on Jean-Claude Van Damme. I don’t hate Van Damme, but if that’s where the majority of their casting budget went, they should have reconsidered. One man acting opposite cardboard cutouts does not make a good film.

On top of that, the movie was shot using unnecessary shaky-cam in many of the scenes. I hate shaky-cam when it makes sense, like in The Blair Witch Project; I hate it even more when there’s no cinematic or artistic reason for it.

Despite the issues, and there were many, Alien Uprising was not without some good parts. There was a bit of script in the beginning that made me laugh so hard I nearly fell off the couch. There was also the fact that I didn’t hate the ending. I thought it was a little too obvious, in some ways, but only because I like to try and expect the road less traveled.

The point is, if you’re looking for this kind of storyline you’d be better off watching either of the Red Dawns or Tomorrow, When the War Began. If you’re looking for this kind of alien stuff you’d be better off watching any version of War of the Worlds or Independence Day. If you’re looking for a good film with awesome fighting scenes, choose any other Jean-Claude Van Damme action movie. This movie just isn’t worth it.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – None
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 16%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 2.2/5
Trust-the-Dice Score1.5/5

P.S. This movie’s title was changed to Alien Uprising in 2013 but was created in 2012 under the name U.F.O. – despite the title discrepancy, this is not a remake of the 1970’s work also titled Alien Uprising.

Movie Trailer: 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Center Stage: Turn It Up (2008)

Number Rolled: 83
Movie Name/Year: Center Stage: Turn It Up (2008)
Genre: Drama
Length: 94 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Affiliated Companies: Stage 6 Films, Laurence Mark Productions
Director: Steven Jacobson
Writer: Carol Heikkinen, Karen Block Morse
Actors: Kenny Wormald, Rachele Brooke Smith, Sarah Jayne Jensen, Nicole Munoz, Christopher Russell, Peter Gallagher, Ethan Stiefel, Christian Vincent, Daniela Dib, Crystal Lowe, Lucia Walters, Cody Green, Jacqueline Ann Stuart, Keith Martin Gordey, Anthony Harrison

Kate is a home-trained dancer trying to get into the American Ballet Academy. When she’s rejected, she has to start on a back-up plan. However, she’s in a new city with nothing to help her. Only meeting Tommy helps her find her way out of her funk.

The original Center Stage is one of my favorite movies. It’s creative, the dance is spectacular, the music is great and the script is incredibly entertaining. The sequel, however, is one of the worst kinds of movies out there.

What makes Center Stage so great is that it’s original. There are a few general under-dog stereotypes but, for the most part, the originality of the movie overwhelms the rest. Center Stage: Turn It Up is almost the exact opposite. It banks only on stereotypes with little to nothing original in it. I have no issue with recipe movies, but this one is clunky. It’s ingredient after ingredient with nothing of value holding it all together. The acting and dance is crap compared to its predecessor as well.

I wouldn’t sit through this movie again if someone paid me.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 60%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 58%

Netflix’s Prediction for Me – 2.4/5
Trust-the-Dice Score1/5

P.S. There are dance scenes during the beginning of the end credits.

Movie Trailer: