‘Attraction 2’ Is A Movie That Action, Sci-Fi Fans Are Better Off Not Seeing, Knowing About

“There’s always an Arquillian Battle Cruiser, or a Corillian Death Ray, or an intergalactic plague that is about to wipe out all life on this miserable little planet, and the only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT!”  Those were the words of “Kay (Tommy Lee Jones) in the 1997 blockbuster sci-fi flick Men in Black.  While Kay’s words were in the context of his conversation with Jay (Will Smith), it is a line that applies in the bigger picture of the science fiction film realm, including mpi/Sony/Columbia Pictures recently released flick Attraction 2: Invasion.  This movie is sadly one of those works that people would be better off not knowing about.  Released domestically July 21 on Blu-ray, the movie offers little for audiences to enjoy other than its special effects and maybe its story.  Those two elements are its only saving graces.  Its pacing meanwhile poses the biggest problem for its presentation.  It will be addressed here, too.  Each item noted here plays its own important part to the whole of this movie.  All things considered, they make Attraction 2: Invasion a movie that audiences really would be better off not seeing.

mpi/Sony/Columbia Pictures’ recently released sci-fi import Attraction 2: Invasion is a largely forgettable work that even sci-fi fans will find difficult to take in.  That is not to say it is a complete loss.  It does have at least one semi-positive in its story.  The story is relatively easy to follow as long as one pays full attention.  Yulya (Irina Starshenbaum) is caught in the middle of a conflict between her nation’s military and an aritificial intelligence from another world.  The military just wants to use her for her superhuman abilities, which she gained in the movie’s predecessor, while the AI wants her dead.  Though, it’s never fully explained why it wants her dead.  Caught up in the conflict is her alien boyfriend Artyom (Alexander Petrov).  His addition to the story is where things start to get a bit contrived.  The couple’s relationship, set against the conflict, lends itself to comparisons to the Twilight movie franchise, thus causing some problems in its own right.  As the story progresses, it is revealed that in order to beat the alien AI, the humans have to make do with analog and ditch their digital technology.  That is because that technology is what led to all the problems in the first place, as audiences will find out if they even take the time to watch this movie.  If that sounds familiar, it should.  It is a direct rip-off of the same story element from Independence Day.  This causes even more problems for the story.  Add in the confusion that is caused in the story’s conclusion and what audiences get is a story that on the surface is easy to understand, but is still rife with problems.  While the story that is featured in Attraction 2: Invasion something of a mixed bag presentation, the story’s pacing is nothing but problematic.

The pacing of Attraction 2: Invasion’s story is problematic in that it moves so slowly.  The first roughly hour-and-a-half of this story is just buildup that is accompanied by an ongoing chase scene and commentary about the dangers of digital media.  Considering everything we as Americans know about Russia’s clear interference in the 2016 election, it is somewhat ironic that this Russian import is sending such a message.  It is not until the third and final act that this two-hour, 13-minute movie finally picks up.  Even when it does, it still manages to drag on and build up to its conclusion.  Simply put, this movie, which clocks in at just over two hours, finds every opportunity to drag.  As a result, this concern and those raised by the story couple to make the movie that much less worth watching.  Of course, for all of the problems that this story poses, it does have at least one positive – its special effects.

The special effects that are featured in Attraction 2: Invasion are outstanding.  From the giant alien ship to Artyom’s “space cycle” vehicle thing, to the use of the cinematography in the chase scenes and so much more, the special effects rival anything featured in any of Hollywood’s biggest summer blockbusters.  The explosions are just as big and the use of something like giant video screens on buildings just as spectacular.  The final scene in which the giant AI ship starts sucking the water up and flooding the city’s center is just as immense and intense as any similar scene from so many Hollywood sci-fi flicks.  Simply put, this movie shines thanks to its special effects.  They are everything that action and sci-fi fans have come to expect from any blockbuster.  Sadly though, they are about all that this movie has to fully boast.  Sure, its story is simple to follow, but it is problematic in its own right, as is the story’s pacing.  All things considered, the movie really does prove agent Kay’s statement from Men in Black:  The only way these people can get on with their happy lives is that they DO NOT KNOW ABOUT IT!” 

Mpi/Sony/Columbia Pictures’ Russian sci-fi import Attraction 2: Invasion is a movie that action and sci-fi fans are better off not watching.  It does offer a story that is easy to follow.  The problem is that the story comes across at least in part as some kind of Twilight rip-off, considering the unnecessary romance subplot that puts our heroine and her love interest in the middle of a conflict between the two opposing sides.  What’s more, the plot element involving using analog tech in place of digital as a means to defeat the AI is itself a rip-off of a key element from another well-known sci-fi alien invasion blockbuster.  The story’s pacing causes watching this movie painful, even though it runs just over two hours.  The movie feels like it runs two-and-a-half hours instead of just over two hours because of the pacing.  The only real saving grace to this movie is its special effects, which rival those of any Hollywood blockbuster.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of this movie.  All things considered, the movie is a presentation that audiences will find better off unknown and unwatched.

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Are Khloe And Lamar Back Together? That And More In The New Issue Of Us Weekly

Courtesy:  DKC Public Relations

Courtesy: DKC Public Relations

It’s Khloe and Lamar Take Two.  In the new November 11th issue of Us Weekly magazine, Odom has allegedly apologized to Khloe and asked for her forgiveness according to an insider close to the situation.  The unnamed insider said of Lamar’s apology, “Lamar broke down and apologized deeply to her” and that “he got clean, and that’s why she started talking to him again.  She was willing to give him a second chance.”  The article also quotes the anonymous figure as saying that Khloe wasn’t the only one that had to be won over.  His mother-in-law, Kris Jenner, was in attendance at the time of Odom’s apology and that while she was forgiving, she had a small warning for the NBA star.  “She told him she loved him and he said the same.  But she also told him, ‘Don’t you ever do this again.’”

Also in the new issue of Us Weekly, Hart of Dixie star Rachel Bilson is featured in this week’s ’25 Things You Don’t Know About Me.’  Here’s a quick look at some of the things fans might not know about her.

–“I was in a full-on standoff fight with my pet pig; it ended in tears.”

–“The most starstruck I’ve ever been was when I saw Larry David.”

–“Paul Rudd is my hero.”

–“I was memorized the entire dance to Britney Spears’ “I’m a Slave 4 U” and performed it in my living room.”

In “Hot Hollywood” section, Us Weekly takes a look at just how much celebrities charge to make appearances.  Kristin Stewart, star of the Twilight franchise, charged $500,000 just to spend fifteen minutes with a prince that donated money to the Hurricane Sandy relief fund.  And veteran action star Sylvester Stallone was at the recent New York Comic Con, charging $445 for photos.

The features noted here are just part of what readers have to look forward to in the new issue of Us Weekly.  The November 11th issue also includes features on Prince George, Kerry Washington’s pregnancy, and an exclusive interview with Dallas Buyers Club star Matthew McConaughey.  That’s all in the new issue of Us Weekly.  More information on this and other stories from Us Weekly is available online at http://www.facebook.com/UsWeekly and http://www.UsMagazine.com.  To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Seal Team Six An Underappreciated Military Thriller

Courtesy:  Anchor Bay Entertainmen

Courtesy: Anchor Bay Entertainmen

Movies based on actual events make up one of the largest genres of movies in the modern movie industry.  From stories centered on legal cases to sports to everything else in between, movies based on actual events are more bountiful than the egos that fill the movie industry today.  That’s saying something.  Keeping this in mind, it’s easy to discount so many of those movies, whether they be big budget or independent.  And then there are those such as the recent megahit, Zero Dark Thirty that was anything but passable. It was a definite hit for a variety of reasons.  Ironically, as big of a hit as it was, it actually came after a far lesser known, but just as enjoyable story in Anchor Bay Entertainment’s, Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden.  It leaves one wondering what prevented this surprisingly entertaining story from gaining the fame and success of its big blockbuster brother.

The most obvious of reasons why Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden didn’t gain the fame of Zero Dark Thirty is that the prior was an indie flick, while the other was backed by a major studio.  Despite the fact that it was backed by an independent studio, Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden is surprisingly entertaining. Any viewer that was a fan of CBS’ short-lived military drama The Unit or Entertainment One’s more recent military action/thriller, Special Forces will enjoy this movie.  It may not have the deep drama-filled storyline of Zero Dark Thirty or the major special effects, etc.  But it still manages to hold its own against its big brother.  As was noted in the movie’s bonus “Making of” featurette, those behind the camera did not set out to make it another Zero Dark Thirty.  It’s obvious this statement was made after the movie in question had been released, considering that this movie was released before the other.  That aside, it’s good to know that it didn’t want to be about all the extra drama that surrounded the raid before and after.  That it focused mainly on the raid itself and the men that carried out the orders is perhaps another reason that it wasn’t as warmly welcomed as its big screen counterpart.

One of the most important factors pointed out in the “Making of” featurette that accompanies this movie is its tri-pointed story approach.  It’s noted that the story is told from the vantage point of not just the members of Seal Team Six, but also from the point of the CIA operatives in Washington, D.C., and from a pair of intelligence gatherers inside Pakistan.  The three points eventually intersect for the final action filled sequence that will have viewers on the edge of their seats.  What is most impressive of the three stories is that the melodrama between Cherry (Anson Mount – Hell on Wheels) and Stunner (Cam Gigandet—The O.C., Twilight, Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2, Easy A) is kept to an extreme minimum.  This allows the story to progress much more smoothly and stay focused on the central story of the operation to take Bin Laden.  In turn, the story’s pacing never lets up, thus keeping viewers engaged throughout the story’s hour and a half run time. 

The script’s limited melodrama is the tip of the iceberg for Seal Team Six: The Raid on Osama Bin Laden in keeping audiences engaged.  Keeping the melodrama to an extreme minimum allows for more time for action and focus on story development from all three perspectives.  Instead of wasting unnecessary amounts of time focusing on each member’s personal and family drama, it instead used that time to develop the characters themselves and build tension as preparations began for the operation to take Bin Laden.  Throughout the course of these developments, the script’s pacing never lets up.  This is the center of everything.  The pacing is never too fast or slow.  This combined with the minimalist drama and energy packed action scenes all come together to make this movie an underappreciated military action movie.  It proves, in the end, to be a movie that while it may be a TV movie, is still one that is worth at least one watch by fans of this genre now that it is available on DVD and Blu-ray.  It can be ordered online direct from Anchor Bay’s official website at http://www.anchorbayentertainment.com/detail.aspx?projectID=78fae55b-2924-e211-a8d1-d4ae527c3b65.  Fans of this movie can keep up with even more from Anchor Bay on its official Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/AnchorBayEntertainmentCanada

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.