More in-depth film festival coverage than any other website!
Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About 

Latest Reviews

Laplace's Witch by Jay Seaver

Eighth Grade by Peter Sobczynski

Unfriended: Dark Web by Peter Sobczynski

Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again! by Peter Sobczynski

Boiled Angels: The Trial of Mike Diana by Jay Seaver

Buy Bust by Jay Seaver

Isle of Dogs by Rob Gonsalves

Room Laundering by Jay Seaver

Mega Time Squad by Jay Seaver

Profile by Jay Seaver

Scythian, The by Jay Seaver

Aragne: Sign of Vermillion by Jay Seaver

Cold Steel by Jack Sommersby

Microhabitat by Jay Seaver

Last Child by Jay Seaver

Nightmare Cinema by Jay Seaver

Hotel Transylvania 3 by alejandroariera

Tremble All You Want by Jay Seaver

Skyscraper by Peter Sobczynski

Die Hard by Rob Gonsalves

subscribe to this feed


Sometimes "U" suck
by Charles Tatum

The video store grab and run involves nothing illegal. I never stuff videos and DVDs down the back of my sons' pants, and toss them over the electronic sensors at the video store. I never instigate fistfights between my two boys, distracting the employees while I sneak into the "Over 18 Only" room. And I never anonymously call the police, making up untrue morals charges against my ex-wife so I can raid her stash of videos for material for this column after she is hauled in for questioning...I, really....

This week, me and the kids visited the "U" section of the video store for five unsuspecting victims: "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory," "Universal Soldier," "Universal Soldier: The Return," "Unspeakable," and "Uranus." I do like myself some Dina Meyer...

...except in this. "Unspeakable" is a terrible combination of "Fallen," "The Silence of the Lambs," "Prison," and any other death row flick you can think of. Meyer has invented a brain reading machine and hooks it up to a convict who might be the devil. Too bad she couldn't hook it up to the screenwriter so we could watch any of the better movies he borrowed ideas from for this stinker. Unscary and underwhelming.

"Uranus" is not a space epic, but a French film about the waning days of World War II. A small town struggles with being liberated, and taking revenge on Nazi collaborators, some of whom cooperated merely to survive. Sounds heavy handed, but there are a number of darkly comic moments, and the film is fascinating from start to finish. A real find. Okay, now we'll take that science fiction.

Of course, it's really bad science fiction. In "Universal Soldier," Dolph Lundgren and Jean-Claude Van Damme are perfect, genetically altered soldiers who suddenly remember who they were in their previous lives. Big bloody action sequences follow, and so did my boredom. This film was not written, it was assembled from spare parts of better films. Will the sequel be better? Are you high?

I wish I was. "Universal Soldier: The Return" is not as bad as the original, but that is like saying lung cancer is not as bad as kidney failure. Van Damme returns in this one, cured from the first film, battling a new round of indestructible soldiers. Everyone here moves in slow motion, and no one seems to be enjoying anything about this loser film. The only plus this has on the original is that it is twenty minutes shorter. Let's cleanse our taste buds with a crass little Seagal, full bodied yet genteel.

Steven Seagal killed his only film franchise with the money losing "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory" which features some great stuntwork, a great villain, a cute teenage girl...and Seagal mumbling and stumbling around, hurting various meanies and trying to act. Not as bad as the previously viewed "Universal Soldier" flicks, but do not ever ask yourself why Seagal is not opening in two thousand theaters anymore after watching this.

Yikes, not a good week this week. The five films, ranked best to worst:
1. Uranus
2. Under Siege 2: Dark Territory
3. Unspeakable
4. Universal Soldier: The Return
5. Universal Soldier

That's it for this week. More unhealthy choices lie ahead- bad films, anonymous sex partners, my lunch. See you soon.

link directly to this feature at
originally posted: 10/12/04 00:13:55
last updated: 05/11/05 00:34:31
[printer] printer-friendly format

Discuss this feature in our forum

Home Reviews  Articles  Release Dates Coming Soon  DVD  Top 20s Criticwatch  Search
Public Forums  Festival Coverage  Contests About Australia's Largest Movie Review Database.
Privacy Policy | HBS Inc. | |   

All data and site design copyright 1997-2017, HBS Entertainment, Inc.
Search for
reviews features movie title writer/director/cast