Movie Review: The Whole Damn Cabin Fever Franchise

imdb-cabin-fever-title-screenComprising four films since 2002, including the 2016 remake of the original, Cabin Fever is one of the lesser known horror franchises. One of the purest examples of the “body horror” genre, the stories revolve around a mysterious, never explained virus that slowly, grotesquely liquefies the flesh of its victims.

Eli Roth’s [IMDB] inspiration for the original film, his first, came after suffering a severe skin infection while on vacation. Unfortunately, Hollywood had lost confidence in the horror genre and the script was roundly rejected for several years. After a resurgence of interest in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, the film was completed on a shoestring budget of $1.5 million. Picked up for distribution by Lion’s Gate, it became their highest grossing property, and the highest grossing horror film overall, of the year, with nearly $22 million in domestic sales.

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Movie Review: Infini

imdb-infini“Infini” on IMDB

Sci-fi/Horror, 110 Minutes, 2015

In the future nearly everybody on Earth lives below the poverty level, forcing people to take dangerous work. Mankind has implemented faster-than-light travel via a technology called “slipstreaming”. Matter is broadcast, somehow, to a specific point in the universe, where it’s reconstituted. It can then be called back at any time. This process is rife with danger and is extraordinarily error-prone, often leading to “data corruption”.

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Movie Review: Krampus

IMDB, Krampus“Krampus” on IMDB

Horror/Fantasy, 98 Minutes, 2015

Some people get down around the holidays. The influx of annoying relatives is an inconvenience; an intrusion into their ordered lives. Some are simply jaded and can’t see why others get so excited; presents are nice and all, but do we need all the hoopla? This movie dares to declare: “Hey! If you don’t like Christmas, you and your family should be brutally murdered!”

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Star Trek is 50 and “Deep Space Nine” is its Greatest Achievement

star-trek-deep-space-nine-castWith this being the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, many people are doing retrospectives of the franchises history. Part of this, invariably, are comparisons of the many television shows. Surprisingly, some people are coming up with the correct answer to this contentious question:

These people clearly know what some fail to grasp: Deep Space Nine is the best Star Trek series. Hands down. No qualifications. No arguments.

It’s All About Character

While all of the Trek series had a strong central cast, they did tend towards the shallow end of the spectrum. Each character had a handful of  traits and background facts that defined them, but, with few exceptions, little beyond that. Furthermore those characters experienced very little change over time. Every series had episodes that focused on its characters, but for most they were the exception, not the rule.

This is Tora Ziyal. She appeared on the show nine times and we know more about her life than most of the cast on the other shows.

This is Tora Ziyal. She appeared on the show nine times and we know more about her life than most of the cast on the other shows.

Deep Space Nine did two things differently. Firstly, they placed the cast in a single location that fostered depth rather than novelty. This allowed the writers to delve not only into the main cast, but into a multitude of characters. By the end of the run there were literally dozens of secondary characters with richer backgrounds than most of the main cast of the other series.

Secondly, the story was set within a complex political, religious and cultural web. DS9 was nominally a Federation station, but its crew was forced like none other before or since to walk the edge of what that meant. They took incredible care in building its characters and, naturally, that extended to the many worlds in which they lived.

Star Trek, like any good science fiction, often tackled difficult real-world topics through metaphor, but the environment Deep Space Nine created lent itself to this better than all the others. The characters were not only exposed to challenging ideas and cultural differences, but adapted and changed because of them.

The show did all of this via intricate, long form storytelling that rewarded dedicated, appointment viewing. It was smart, daring and incredibly influential on what came after. It was, and remains, the best Star Trek series and, in general, one of the best science-fiction series ever produced.

Peggapalooza!: Star Trek: Beyond

IMDB, Star Trek, Beyond“Star Trek: Beyond” on IMDB

Sci-fi/Action/Adventure, 122 Minutes, 2016

We’re wrapping up Peggapalooza with Simon Pegg’s [IMDB] latest. Of course, he reprised his role as Scotty from 2009’s Star Trek [IMDB] and 2013’s Star Trek: Into Darkness [My Review], but he also co-wrote this installment. The reboot of the first film left fans cautiously optimistic. The second left them worried. How will this fare?

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