itcamefrom instant queue

IT CAME FROM INSTANT QUEUE!

by James Ross – jamesisanerd.tumblr.com/

Netflix Instant Watch is a blessing and a curse. The ability to have thousands of movies at your fingertips anytime you want is a great power. But sometimes with great power comes great regret.  Cause not every movie is a winner. Some of their suggested films are,  shall we say, horrendous. Awful pieces of crap that should have never seen the light of day. I, James Ross, will brave this sea of mediocrity on a ship made of sheer willpower, to bring back to you a review of something hideous from beyond. Each week I will let Netflix’s Instant Watch sweep me away to a land of regret. But who knows, I may find some treasures buried deep in these virtual caverns of cinema.

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ICEBREAKER (1999)

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Best Bad Quote:

“The real enemy here…is time.”

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You know how people will sometimes use other films as an example to tell you what a film is like? For example, Empire Records is like Clerks in a record store or Surrogates is like Terminator meets The Matrix or something. Well, Icebreaker is like Cliffhanger meets a re-write from a first year cinema student and 20 million dollar budget cut. I enjoyed its moments of ridiculousness but that’s cause I like bad movies. I would hope any regular person would just hate this piece of crap. There is a lot to sift through so let’s just start at the beginning shall we?

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The opening credits sequence is a b-roll fest (or rather a ski-roll fest) of people on the slopes at some mountain resort, set to the overly dramatic Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D Minor. Then onboard a small plane there are two guys, one apparently holding the other (pilot) hostage. There is mention of a mysterious cargo in the plane, and then the pilot tries to crash the plane on purpose but is shot by the baddy in a thoroughly underwhelming “action” sequence complete with an almost inaudible score. Now we find our hero Matt (Sean Astin), at dinner with his mom, er, fiancé Meg. Sorry, my apologies to actress Suzanne Turner but she has one of those faces that makes her look much older. Especially next to the ever youthful Mr. Astin (aka Frodo’s gay lover and One Eyed Willy’s BFF). So after we’re introduced to those two characters we see the baddy from the plane (who survived the crash apparently) steal a car. Cut to him hanging off a helicopter at the mercy of our villain Greig played by Bruce Campbell. For the record, I love Bruce Campbell. Evil Dead 2 is one of my all-time favorite movies. But he must have really needed the money to sign-on for this frozen turd. He’s sporting a bald head because his character is dying, of what exactly we never find out. Which makes it difficult to understand his motives or actions since we, as an audience, know very little. It’s seriously like 45 minutes in when we even find out what was in the plane. It’s weapons grade plutonium, btw. (snore)

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Campbell’s character is on the run from the FBI, for something we never find out about. There is a car chase sequence about 20 minutes in. I use “chase” lightly considering it looks like a sequence you could shoot with your friends over a weekend if you had a flipcam and access to empty country roads with a top speed of 45 mph. At 50 minutes in there is still no established plot. Somehow Campbell’s character ends up at this mountaintop restaurant at the Killington Ski Resort where Meg and her father (Stacy Keach) are supposed to meet Matt. He is a ski patroller there. Meg’s father disapproves of ski bum Matt and thinks he isn’t good enough for her. But Matt is late for their lunch because he was sent out to find a lost Forest Ranger named Beck. He finds Beck and the downed plane with the plutonium. But Greig’s henchmen find them. Beck and Matt escape the henchmen even though Beck is a bumbling Barney Fife character that is just there for bad comedy relief. Matt calls the restaurant to tell Meg he is running late, Greig answers the phone because at this point he has taken the restaurant hostage. Why exactly? We will never know. He wants Matt to bring the press and media to his hostage situation. Greig apparently wants to tell the world why he is evil. He gives Matt a VHS tape with his “story” on it.

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Matt escapes and steals the detonator for the plutonium that Greig has threatened to use to blow-up the mountain. In the ensuing snow ski and snowboard chase down the mountain, there are some wonderfully bad shots. No amounts of sad attempts to make the action look like a Warren Miller ski film seem to work. But I will give the movie props for this bit of action; the bumbling Beck finds himself in a chase with one the lead bad gals, Sondra. In his attempts to shake her he throws a Pez dispenser at her, which bounces off of course. Then he throws a cell phone, but that just flies over her head. In a last ditch effort he chucks the VHS tape from earlier at her, hitting her square in the face. She then crashes into a pole and explodes. Death by VHS, nice.

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Meg is almost blown to bits in a ski gondola but is saved at the last second by Matt. Greig, hell bent on revenge for…something, decides to blow up the plutonium with a futuristic looking bazooka. But Meg’s father blows him up first with another futuristic bazooka. He toasts the happy couple with champagne and we end on a kiss between Matt and Meg, probably the most awkward kiss since Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley on the VMA’s.

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There aren’t many highlights in this film, aside from the deadly VHS tape of course. Campbell has a few great one-liners but he’s Bruce fucking Campbell, would you expect anything less?  The quote I picked for this review is pretty fitting. Campbell’s character says at one point in regards to his mysteriously fatal illness that “The real enemy here is time”. So true. The time that was wasted on writing this piece of shit, on pre-production, filming, post-production, and sadly the time wasted to watch it. Well I’ve added even more wasted time to this film by writing about it and you just added some too by (hopefully) reading about it. Sorry. We’re all victims of the time-sucking void that is Icebreaker.

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