Episode 21 : Dark Side of the Mersey

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Added on Wed, 27 Aug 2008 20:01:56 +0200.
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Once more unto the podcast, dear friends.

My petition to Chris Carter to make The X-Files: I Want to Believe: a Parappa the Rapper-themed film subtitled "I gotta do what? I gotta believe!" fell on deaf ears, so there's another for my enemies list. However, I wanted to believe that there was any point in making this film. Sadly, my faith was unrewarded as this addition to the X-Files canon is disappointingly lacking in any of the alien/government/Cigarette Smoking Man conspiracies that marked out the TV series' most interesting stories. Instead, psychic priest aside, The X-Files: I Want to Believe boils down to a bog standard police procedural, more akin to a filler episode from the first couple of seasons rather than what most fans would expect from a big screen outing for Mulder and Scully.

Rick and Evelyn O'Connell return for another spot of mummy-bashing in The Mummy: The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, joined this time by their son Alex. There's no Arnold Vosloo to battle this time around, instead Jet Li plays the titular villain, and, having been afforded the rare opportunity to smile in last month's The Forbidden Kingdom is back to his typical scowling Hollywood form. Not that any of this matters, as the humans are once again second fiddle to the hordes of CGI creatures that fill the film. Better than either of the previous two Mummy films, there is still nothing in this film to make it worthy of recommendation.

A second straight-to-video sequel to Paul Verhoeven's 1997 classic, Starship Troopers 3: Marauder at least attempts to have some relevance to the universe of the original Starship Troopers. While it's certainly better than Starship Troopers 2, it's still not any good. Best just watch the original again.

Star Wars: The Clone Wars continues George Lucas's attempts to destroy theOneliner.com staff's childhood. While not as bad as feared, this suffers greatly from effectively being the first episode for a TV series. There's little point, though, in giving a recommendation of whether or not to see this as anyone who watched The Phantom Menace and then still saw Attack of the Clones, us included, has been so in Lucas's thrall since their youth that they're likely to see this anyway. Doesn't mean it's any good though. I hate you, George!

The Love Guru is a vehicle for a character Mike Myers has apparently been doing since before he created Austin Powers. That it has taken this long to get to the big screen ought to be telling. A painfully unfunny way to spend 90 minutes, so I'd suggest finding anything else to do instead.

Elite Squad is the second trip in a month into Brazil's favelas, this time in the company of a highly trained-police unit tasked with eliminating the drug dealers that plague Rio. Based on a true story (at least as true as any film 'Based on a True Story' ever is), this is an interesting story but is another example of the philosophy that almost any film with a voiceover would be instantly improved by its removal.

Stephen Chow's CJ7 sees a poor boy and his labourer father befriended by an alien robot dog. Something of a cross between Batteries Not Included and E.T. with a measure of Gizmo from Gremlins, this film, with its delightfully naff CGI, is something I suspect I would have been very fond of had I been twenty years younger. Unfortunately, it's target audience is unlikely to watch a subtitled film and there's not a great deal to recommend it to an adult audience.