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Day 1: Sequels and Sean Bean

Although the Big Bag Of Movies could have supplied all my viewing needs this year, at least in terms of numbers of movies, I did actually want to make one trip to the video store. I'd done Carnosaur 2 last year and Carnosaur the year before, so I wanted to round out the set with Carnosaur 3. Similarly, I'd done Nemesis 3 last year and Nemesis 2 a few years before, so I wanted to round out that set, too. And just looking at the video boxes indicated that the Big Bag Of Movies was weak on Most Ludicrous Premises, so I figured it would be a good idea to rent something that might fill in that gap.

Carnosaur 3 opens with a military convoy containing a few dino eggs that survived Carnosaur 2 getting hijacked by a group of IRA terrorists, who thought it was carrying uranium. As you might expect that doesn't work out so well for the terrorists and the dinosaurs get loose in the Port of LA. This movie's no Raptor, but it's more fun than Carnosaur and way more fun than Carnosaur 2. It provides the usual Worst Science, Bad Special Effects, Inane Dialog, and Acting Appropriately Stupid, gives us a What?!, and ends with the traditional Carnosaur Crummy Ending (although this is the only one of the four Carnosaur movies that doesn't end with a T-Rex vs. Front-End Loader battle). It was entertaining playing "spot the Raptor footage" but, even if you haven't seen that one, it's still a fun bad movie.

In Nemesis 2, we followed the "adventures" of DNA Human Alex as she was pursued across the African desert by a Terminator cyborg sent back from the future to kill her, finally defeating it at the end of the movie. Nemesis 3 opened with a 20-minute flashback recapping Nemesis 2, followed by 10 minutes of an amnesic, wounded Alex wandering across the African desert. She fights another cyborg and begins to recover her memory, leading to the rest of the movie being a flashback to the events that took place between the end of Nemesis 2 and the start of Nemesis 3. But the flashback (and the film) ends with Alex and a couple hangers-on defeating the cyborgs and walking happily, and unwounded, into the sunset. And it's still 12 hours before the start of Nemesis 3. What happened in those 12 hours to remove her companions, hurt Alex, and cause her to lose her memories? To Be Continued In Nemesis 4!

Nemesis 3 had one of my favorite clips from last year. I'd been looking forward all year to the next series of interminable flashbacks, more badly-acted cyborgs, and to finally solve the mystery of what happened in the missing 12 hours between Nemesis 2 and Nemesis 3. If you're less of a rube than me, you know what happened next.

Nemesis 4 opens with the obligatory interminable flashback sequence, this time telling the stories of what happened in both Nemeses 2 and 3 (nobody seems to care what happened in Nemesis 1). After which, it has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any of the previous Nemesis movies. The only thing this movie has in common with those is that they both star the same actress playing a character with the same name (you can't tell whether the characters are similar or not, because her character is so undeveloped in the previous movies, since all she did was run through the desert in torn clothing).

Nemesis 4 is like a couple stoned, virgin, undergrad philosophy majors (like that sentence isn't completely redundant) decided to get together and make a porn movie. There's lots of pseudo-profound dialog, foux-arty directorial flourishes, creepy cyborg sex scenes, and lots of Sue Price pointlessly naked (unless you're the kind of person who watches Olympic weight lifting for the hot chicks, this is not a good thing).

Still, it had its moments, Smithee-wise. There's, of course, a wealth of Wanna Runs, which are always hard to find. Some wonderfully Bad Special Effects, the expected flashback-filled Crummy Ending, a bit of Acting Appropriately Stupid, some okay One-Liners, and what's gotta be the best Let's Up The Rating To 'R' I'll find all year—unless we decide it's too disgusting to show (it's no Basket Case 2 but, personally, I'd rather watch the Big Gus sequence from Sugar Cookies).

We at the Smithees always encourage you, if you find the clips we show you amusing, to go home and rent and enjoy the whole thing. You can enjoy all the funny stuff we weren't able to show you, spend an amusing 90 minutes, and, of course, support the filmmakers (something we—and our lawyers—always encourage). But, if you can miss only one Smithee movie this year, miss this one.

We rented Equilibrium for two reasons—we needed an MLP and it had Boromir. After the 4th World War, emotion will be outlawed as being too dangerous and everybody will have to take a daily Dose of Prozium, a medication that suppresses all emotions. Despite the fact that this drug seems 100% effective, the government also outlaws everything that might incite emotion—art, literature, pets, fashion, etc. These rules are enforced by the Grammaton Clerics, elite martial artists and weapons masters who destroy works of art and hunt down "Sense Offenders." Christian Bale is the best of the Clerics until he accidentally misses his daily Dose and discovers emotion. And then the revolution is on.

Equilibrium is basically Brazil with Matrix-style fighting. it's visually very pretty, but the plot is actually even stupider than i make it sound. The Premise is as Ludicrous as hoped, there's a nice What?!, an okay Deus Ex, and some Bad Science as they try to actually explain how the Matrix-style fighting works.

So, with one day gone, we've already got a Wanna Run, a Deus Ex, and two What?!s—which are the three categories I usually find hardest to fill. I'm also set for Let's Ups, Crummy Endings, and Worst Science, and probably have my first choice Acting Appropriately Stupid, Worst Special Effect, and Stupidest Looking Monster.


I am frightened at the thought of anything which "Big Gus" is preferable to.

Let's just say, next time Plughead asks, "Why jack off when you can jack in?" you'll be able to point to this clip and say, "That's why."
...creepier than the one with the fat sweaty neighbor and the spyglass?


cool gun fights

gotta love the originality of these pistol fights... plus there's an admirable amount of underlying meaning to the movie for substance's sake