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304. Speed 2: Cruise Control (-#97)

Hosted by Andrew Quinn and Darren Mooney, and this week with special guests Jason Coyle and Richard Drumm, The 250 is a weekly trip through some of the best (and worst) movies ever made, as voted for by Internet Movie Database Users. New episodes are released Saturdays at 6pm GMT.

So this week, Jan de Bont’s Speed 2: Cruise Control.

SWAT team member Alex Shaw decides to take his girlfriend Annie on a luxurious ocean cruise, planning to propose to her. Fate has other plans, in the form of mysterious terrorist John Geiger, who has a score to settle and a score to pull, hijacking the liner and setting it on a collision course for disaster. Soon enough, it isn’t just Alex and Annie’s relationship that finds itself careening out of control.

At time of recording, it was ranked 97th on the list of the worst movies of all time on the Internet Movie Database.

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The X-Files – Agua Mala (Review)

This July, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the sixth season of The X-Files and the third (and final) season of Millennium.

Agua Mala means “bad water.” It also makes for a bad episode.

Agua Mala is perhaps the most infamous turkey of the sixth season, beating out Alpha (and – depending on who you ask – Milagro) for that honour. This is the sixth season equivalent of Space or Excelsis Dei or El Mundo Gira or Schizogeny. Conveniently enough, it arrives at around the same point in the season. It is just around the half-way through the year, near the Christmas break. There is a sense of desperation and fatigue to proceedings; it is as if the entire production team just want to get something in front of the cameras to meet the season order.

Choking the life out of him...

Choking the life out of him…

Agua Mala doesn’t really work on any level. The structure is a mess, the plotting is generic. The bulk of the cast are not introduced until half-way through the episode, and climax of the episode takes place off-screen. The monster is ridiculous, and the script decides to compensate by aiming for broad comedy. However, Agua Mala might be the least funny “comedy” episode that the show has produced up to this point in its run. It is an episode that is fundamentally and undeniably flawed.

It feels almost a waste that Agua Mala was broadcast directly after Two Fathers and One Son, representing something of a return to “business as usual” for the show. If this is the new “business as usual”, it is quite unsettling.

Somebody got slimed...

Somebody got slimed…

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Wet Blogathon: I Wish It Would Rain Down…

This is part of the rather wonderful “Wet Blogathon” put together by Andrew over at Encore’s World of Film and Television, asking bloggers to pick their favourite scenes in the rain. It’s a great little idead and I was delighted to be invited to take part.

Though your hurt is gone, mine’s hanging on, inside
And I know, it’s eating me through every night and day
I’m just waiting on your sign –

‘Cos I know, I know, I never meant to cause you no pain
And I realize I let you down
But I know in my heart of hearts
I know I’m never gonna hold you again

Now I… Now I know, I wish it would rain down, down on me
Ohh I wish it would rain, rain down on me now
Ohh I wish it would rain down, down on me
Yes I wish it would rain down, rain down over me.

– Phil Collins, I Wish It Would Rain Down

Yes, I was quite fond of that in my young almost-emo teen-in-love days – you know the kind, when one little attraction meant the entire world. I’ve kinda gotten over it. Still, there is something inherently powerful about the imagery of rain – water pouring down from the skies. It can represent – as it does in that infamous scene from The Shawshank Redemption – a divine shower, washing the character clean of their sins, evoking imagery of baptism and rebirth. Or it can be heavenly tears – as in Se7en, for example – reflecting the tragedy of a broken world where all you can do is cry. The always wonderful Andrew over at Encore’s World of Film and Television invited me to contribute to a blogathon he’s hosting celebrating the most powerful rain imagery in film – and there’s quite a bit to choose from. There are a rake of moody and gothic applications of rain – a wide variety and more than a few outside choices to be made. However, I am going to betray my inherent sappiness by picking Chasing Amy, which offered an inherently straight-forward and almost cliché application of the heavy rain as a metaphor for turbulant emotion, but did it with such heart that even cynical old me could not resist.

The raining champion...

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