Tag Archives: magic

Introducing: Solarbabies (1986)

solarbabiesSnow! And lots of it. That’s what I have been facing the past couple of days in my neck of the woods. Snow! About two feet of it to be exact. So what better way to spend a couple of snow days then to curl up on the couch and watch some really cheesy movies courtesy of my online streaming subscriptions. That’s exactly what I did. I was in the mood for something nostalgic, something that I remembered from when I was a kid. So, when I saw the movie Solarbabies pop up as a recommended watch in my Netflix queue, I was quite excited. I don’t remember watching it back when I was younger, but I definitely remember the movie poster for it. I was hoping that as I began watching the film, the movie poster wasn’t going to be the only memorable part of the flick.

Streaming on: Netflix

Directed by: Alan Johnson

Starring: Jason Patric, Jami Gertz, Lukas Haas

Tagline: Who Will Rule the Future?

Rated: PG-13

Number of pointless roller skating scenes: 5

In a post=apocalyptic where water is scarce and is being heavily rationed by a militant government, the story centers on a group of young orphans who are searching for their freedom. From what I can gather, the kids were taken from their parents and placed in orphan schools while their parents were put to work and so that the kids could be trained to become workers themselves. During a forbidden game of Skateball, the team of heroes, called the Solarbabies, are challenged by a rival team, the Scorpions. Upon getting caught playing in the middle of the night, the youngest member of the team, their mascot Daniel hides in a mine shaft and discovers a glowing orb with magical powers that cures his apparent deafness. After learning of the orb’s powers, it is stolen and Daniel sets out to find it which in turn sends the Solarbabies out to find their mascot boy. The orb falls into the hands of the evil dictator who, for some unexplained reason, wants the orb destroyed. Yeah, I know doesn’t make much sense, but hey, so goes the film.

Things you won’t want to miss:

  • Title sequence with 80’s MIDI music, and not that great of music either.
  • Where exactly would one get a pair of rollerskates with headlights attached to them?
  • The combination of lacrosse, hockey, and rollerderby could make for an interesting sport.
  • Jami Gertz was a hottie even back in the day. Still looks really good after all these years. Better think twice however if you plan on putting the moves on her when she has a digging tool in her hand.
  • In post-apocolyptic orphanages, everybody runs everwhere.
  • Skate night at the orphanage!
  • Reading Rainbow animated ball makes everyone happier.
  • Wait a minute…did I miss something about the mascot finding out his ball was gone? Did I doze off? How did he know it was missing? And how did she know that the boy went after it?
  • If one wanted to make an escape, I can’t imagine doing it in broad daylight would be the wisest of options.
  • Skating montage to a real crappy 80’s tune.
  • That poor boy’s shirt can’t decide if it want’s to stay on his shoulders or not.
  • Did you know that whipping a person while wearing roller skates can easily get them over a 50 foot jump,
  • Blondie seems to be the only person in the whole movie who didn’t know about the sphere.
  • Oh my god, first the skates and now the dogs have headlamps on them.
  • Tire Town – Solarbabies version of Mos Eisley.
  • Escaping a burning  town by rolling away in giant tires makes for a pretty dizzying experience.
  • Solarbabies, meet Jesus Christ.
  • Do we really know why the baddies are wanting to destroy the ball anyway?
  • Pole vaulting over an electric fence is powerful enough to knock your skates off while jumping. Thank god they are able to return by the time the landing happens.
  • Dogs like to eat blue Stormtroopers.
  • Robot can not only sense weak spots, but apparently potential pedophiles as well. That guy was going to touch the kid’s ball.
  • Water, water everywhere! And poof…the ball is gone without any explanation. Well, might as well stay consist with the rest of the movie, I guess.

Dreadful Dialogue::

“You fixed my ears, thank you.”

“That guy is a total lunar.”

“I believe this man has soiled himself, wash him.”

“I can’t believe I’m standing here taking to a ball…no offense.”

Final Word:

Overall, not a too terribly bad movie, but highly disappointing. The loose plot and bad editing lost me at times, but for the most part the movie held my interest. Or maybe it was just my interest in Jami Gertz held my attention. The movie did sport quite a good cast, and although the actors didn’t give stellar performances, they were good enough given the material they had to work with. There were many plot points that could have been interesting if they were given the time and developed a little more, such as the whole point of the orb the little boy finds. Instead we get several minutes of needless rollerskating to bad 80’s synthesizer music. The special effects I’m guessing were well done for the time it was made, but they do not hold up well by today’s films. The sets were okay, but Tire Town in particular was really well done in a Beyond Thunderdome/Waterworld kind of way. I tend to enjoy post-apocalyptic movies, but this one just left me wanting a little more. So, I am giving this film only 2 turds in a bag, because it definitely had some things going for it, but definitely wasn’t anywhere near some of the bad movies that I’ve seen so far.

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Introducing: Troll (1985)

With Halloween coming just around the corner, I wanted to get my fill of monster movies in to prepare myself for all the upcoming tricks and treats. My first movie of the Halloween season was monster filled classic, Troll. Having already seen Troll 2 earlier this year, I was very curious as to how the “worst franchise in movie history” began. And how could I go wrong with this cast? Sonny Bono, Elaine from Seinfeld, Timmy’s mom from Lassie, Atreayu from NeverEnding Story, and some Carol Anne from Poltergeist look alike. So, I ventured forth and set aside 82 minutes to devote to the viewing of this Halloween must see. If you would rather spend your time having a seizure to the song “Summertime Blues” then I have left you with some quick notes over the film so that you don’t miss a thing.

Streaming on: Netflix

Directed by: John Carter Beuchler

Starring: Noah Hathaway, Michael Moriarty, Shelley Hack, Sonny Bono, Julia Louise-Dreyfuss

Tagline: Apartment for Rent. Inquire Within…

Rated: PG-13

Number of Michael Moriarity dance scenes: 1

Torak, a troll fairy (I know kind of a weird combination huh?) sets out to recreate a fairy universe from centuries past in hopes that it will lead to his ruling of the human world. He accomplishes this by kidnapping adorable little Wendy Anne and shapeshifting into her body, and posing as her throughout their new apartment complex. Torak-turned-Wendy Anne finds her way into the apartments of the buildings tenants only to appear as the troll, and with the help of a magical green ring, turn the tenants into a fern garden that sprouts more little trolls. Harry Potter Jr. (yep, that’s right) suspects that his sister is not quite what she seems to be and after meeting with an old fairy princess from the floor above, Harry is determined to save his sister and foil Torak’s plans.

What you would be Missing:

  • Uh oh, not good to start the film with a girl singing a lame song in a dubbed in voice. The director could have at least asked her to move her mouth.
  • Hello there hairy troll in the basement
  • Harry Potter? Oh great not another wizard movie.
  • Hello there hairy troll on the next floor, oh oops…that’s Sonny Bono.
  • Sonny Bono is changing in to Ron Jeremy who is changing in to a pickle, who changes into a forest, that spawns a troll doll, baby creature from Black Lagoon, and Don King. Yeah it looks as stupid as it sounds.
  • Strange apartment complex first a troll, then a live mushroom that looks like a penis with eyes.
  • Just when you think pink walls can’t get any uglier, the neighbor sports his rattlesnake wallpaper.
  • Disturbing little Michael Moriarity dance number…Yikes!
  • Anybody else feel uncomfortable about a little girl walking in to strange men’s apartments uninvited?
  • Despite the stupidity of it all, the troll is pretty scary looking.
  • And there goes another neighbor turned into forest of bad animatronic puppets.
  • Hey no fair, I do believe Harry Jr. is watching a better movie than I am at the moment.
  • First dancing from Moriarity and now a musical number from a bunch of trolls, a midget reciting The Faerie Queen, and a singing penis.
  • To be truthful, all those trolls look like the Ghoulies, I almost thought that it was a sequel to this.
  • Poor June Lockhart is a long way from Lassie.
  • The knock at the door sounded pre-pubescent? Is she used to young boys knocking on her door? Cougar!
  • Young boy wants to be trained as a wizard and his name just happens to be Harry Potter, I think that would make a good book.
  • Oh okay, it’s a mushroom, not a penis.
  • Animated sparkles and a half-naked Julie Louis-Dreyfuss(s), what more could a guy want?
  • That was a mean Mr. Troll, as if Malcom wasn’t tiny enough, you’ve changed him into an even smaller troll. And he was supposed to be your friend.
  • Ahhh…the back story of the troll and his bad intentions. Now it’s all coming together and starting to make sense…*cough*BULLCRAP*cough*.
  • I always thought that June Lockhart’s acting resembled that of a tree stump and now we have proof.
  • I’m thinking that Torak’s green ring has more cinematic appeal than the Green Lantern’s.
  • Big bat troll on the loose and he looks pissed.
  • TROUPE ALERT!! Bad guy saves the day by killing his own evil creation.
  • And away the family goes off to their new town, Nilbog. (Yes that was a Troll 2 reference)

Dynamic Dialogue:

“I’d rather watch Star Trek. Phasers on dull.”

“Have you been playing with dead cats?”

“I’m in to swinging and children having pillow fights at all hours of  the night while I’m trying to score might cause me a few strikeouts.”

“You can forget the milk honey, he’s in to gin and tonics.”

“Can I come in, I think I’m going to throw up”

“Buzz off you little creeps.”

“Someone probably had their stereo on too loud. Probably one of those kids.” – Good rule of thumb, if in doubt, blame the kids!

Just to be clear, Troll 2, the notoriously so-bad-it’s-hilarious sequel has absolutely no connection to this movie at all. In fact the trolls are referred to as goblins. Nevertheless, this movie is pretty cheesy and the acting isn’t all that great, but there are some enjoyable parts. This would be the perfect scary movie for the 8-10 year old crowd. But if you are looking for some sort of blood and gore slash-fest or a scream flick for your All Hallows Eve get together, this one isn’t for you. I can’t quite give this the dreaded 4 or 5 turds, the mark of reel crap, and I can’t really say that it was all that good either. So, I’ll stick with somewhere in the middle on this one. The 1985 version of Troll gets 3 turds from me. On the good side, I have seen rumors that there is a remake coming on the horizon in the near future.

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