Friday, February 5, 2010

Disaster Collector's Set Disc 2 (2009)

So, jumping back into this set, we look at Disc 2...containing the movies Nature Unleashed: Fire, and Crash Landing. We'll start with Fire.

Nature Unleashed: Fire

Nature Unleashed: Fire takes place in the beautiful Duluth National Forest in upper Minnesota. A forest that doesn't exist by that name, for the record. We follow two stories in this movie. The story of Jake, hunky forest ranger, and the story of Marcus, Chuck...and the two girls they are with that are only called by name once or twice during the movie.

Jake's back stoery isn't very extensive. He was on patrol one day, found some folks illegally miningfor gold in the old rickety mine, and he saved all but Tiny...the 300+ pound guy who did this kind of thing all the time. They don't go into much emotional detail, it's just something that happens.

Marcus, Chuck, and the girls are four friends out for a leisurely backwoods dirt bike ride. They come across a makeshift jump, and Marcus and the girls make the jump with ease. Chuck has never jumped, but Marcus the jerk (let's just call it now, that is his only role in this movie) prods him into jumping...and he breaks his leg in the ensuing crash.

So Jake is airlifted to the group to help Chris out, as they try to ride out of the park, Jake stops...he smells a fire. A fire set by a mysterious man of which we only see his boots. What follows basically is a litany of scenes of people riding motorcycles through fiery trees. Once one of those scenes ends, you get a scene of someone dealing with an injury, them overcoming said injury, and then getting back on the bike.

There is a little more than that. There is the whole matter of the person setting the fires, but if you've read this far, you already know who that is. And this "revelation" leads to...

THE M. Night Shamalayan "What a twist" award:

Once the identity of the firestarter is revealed, this movie turns into less of a disaster movie, and more of a light horror movie. The twist is fairly obvious, and the attempt at making this into a horror movie is a case of "one step too far." There is a whole load of disaster going on, the protagonists have dealt with more physical battery than should be able to be endured, and then they throw in another force they must fight off. It just was too much. If they would have left out the horror twist, you may not have had enough for a full 90 minute movie, but you would have had a more cohesive movie.

Overall, Nature Unleashed: Fire isn't a horrible movie, it's just uneven. The subplot with the fire starter was interesting, until they tried to reuse it in a slightly different manner and went horror. The friction between Marcus and Jake never amounts to much because Marcus' friends never have a reason to follow him. They just go "sure, go ahead, jerk" and that's it. And there's only so long that watching people riding bikes through fire stays interesting. Probably another C grade movie.

Crash Landing

This is going to be a very short review. Why? There just isn't much to tell about this movie.

Spoiled girl gets private jet trip to Australia, daddy hires a military guy to watch her, plane gets hijacked, military guy saves the day. That's it. There's a whole lot of attempts at drama, but it's all lifted from other sources...and those sources did it better. What makes this movie absolutely amazing is the first 12 minutes.

The movie starts with Antonio Sabato flying a military plane through a storm, he crash lands the plane on a country road where he comes 2 inches away from a broken down tanker truck on the road. This scene looked like it came straight out of Airplane! I half expected to head "now landing at gate 18, gate 19, gate 20..."

The next few minutes is just a series of scenes of flight attendants being murdered. They all talk to someone about this party plane they are working on, and then within seconds, they are dead. But each death is so over the top's actually laughable. Just try to not laugh when a woman gets pushed off a train, screams for 10 seconds, and then you see outside the train, and realize she was pushed about 4 feet.

The HEY WAIT award:

OK, I'm going to spoil something...the pilot gets shot, but he survives. At the end they show people getting off the plane...but they leave the pilot on the plane bleeding with a bullet near his heart. Literally, everyone walks away with him still on the plane!

Crash Landing is worth watching once. The first 12 minutes or so is pretty funny because it all seems kind of random at first, and the deaths are so overdone. After that, it falls pretty much by the book. I will give Michael Pare an over acting award, as he literally chews the scenery for the scenes he is in. I'd overall give it a low C grade.

So, for $5 was this set worth it? Well, I didn't get any movies for the pantheon of great disaster movies, but I only got one movie that was so awful I'd never want to see it again if it was on. So yeah, it's not great, but it's worth $5.

Catch you next time.