Authored: 05 June 2012
Uncle G’s FUN Movie Reviews
American Warships (2012 The Asylum )
It’s only because I recently got a kick out of SYFY’s original movie Super Shark, that I purchased this new, direct to DVD movie from The Asylum. The same company made both films.
The storyline has have been done before. Aliens from Outer Space attack the Earth. Now here is where the plot changes some. Somehow a race of outer space creatures learned our politics. Maybe they get C-Span in the outer reaches of the Universe? However their intelligence was assembled, they concluded that provoking other Counties here on Earth to go to war with each other, would be the best way to defeat us humans, and take over the Earth. In essence, we can kill each other leaving them with our natural resources, should there be any left. After all, nukes can do some serious damage. Assessing all this myself, I conclude that this sounds like a good B Movie plot to me. Certainly not as far-fetched as some other B movies I already sat through.
In the special features of the DVD, it’s made plain as day that The Asylum does not have the huge bankroll that many of the other Hollywood film studios do. That they attempt to still tell big stories and create big productions, with just a small percentage of the funds that other studios would take for granted. For the most part, they do a good job. One can always nitpick CGI Effects or storyline. All that goes with smaller bank accounts.
The SYFY Channel broadcasts their productions as SYFY Original Movies, getting high ratings in the process. The Asylum also has good distribution with their over 100 films plus back-catalog. Mega retail stores like Walmart carry their films either as a stand-alone offering like American Warship or as part of multi-film collections.
Their website is proud to point out that their movies make a profit. This is a business. No profits mean no more productions. Say what you will. Here’s an independent motion picture company from Hollywood, that appears to be doing financially well. Say their movies suck through a long straw all you want. These folks are making money, and from all appearances, having a good time while pretending to be destroying the planet, in the process.
The American Warships storyline was fine. Played out well being filmed on a real retired military battleship. Whereas the story has the battleship getting ready to be docked and turned into a museum, in real life it was a museum already. Securing the ship and using it for most of the backdrop, provided some nice authenticity.
The stars here were Mario Van Peebles and Carl Weathers. Both put in solid performances. Keep in mind, we’re not talking about performing Shakespeare. This is an action movie. They carried the script fine. Supporting their performances was a good cast of mostly guys. They all played military folks rather believably. A couple of ladies helped move things along. One is Johanna Watts. Fans of Star Trek Enterprise might recognize her name in the credits from the two episodes she did back in 2005. The other actress is Nikki McCauley playing a civilian. Nothing too sexy from either, butt (deliberate misspelling) it’s really not a T & A kind of movie anyway.
For the most part, special effects were in sync with what scenes were taking place. A couple of times I almost laughed out loud when it seemed that the special effect could have been better. I imagine they did the best they could, with the budget they had. That or they knew the actual effect would be too costly to really do, so they just took a stab at it for shits and grins. A combination of both probably.
Overall not that bad a movie. On the IMDb website, I rated it seven stars. It’s being compared at least in title with the BIG Hollywood movie Battleship that is playing in theaters now. I have not watched that, nor do I have any immediate plans to. Frankly, I could do without at least one person that’s in that the cast of Battleship, and I certainly don’t want to give my hard-earned money supporting that individual. My right as a consumer. So watching American Warships instead actually worked for me. I feel I made a good selection between the two. And before going all crazy, remember the main job of these movies is to entertain. Watching American Warships I was. Viewing this with me, my 17-year-old nephew. He dug it as well.
Being a fan of B horror and science fiction movies, I become used to the armchair critics who rip films like these apart. A lot of these so-called fans come off as frankly, not that well versed when it comes to being able to tell the difference between a direct-to-video production, and a big Hollywood release. On the web, you find these haters. Most I believe don’t even watch the films they badmouth. Comparing flicks by independent studios Full Moon Features, or The Asylum, to companies like Paramount or 20th Century Fox. Seriously, you don’t have to go to film school to understand they are miles apart when it comes to being on the same playing field. As soon as these idiots (based on ignorant behavior) realize that, then the rest of us who dig these kinds of films, can at least go without their one-star review comparing whatever B movie it is that costs under a million dollars to make, to one that cost a quarter of a billion dollars to produce, and taking two years for it to finally hit the big screens.
If one is entertained watching movies with bad scripts, bad acting, bad production values, and strings that could be seen holding the so-called flying saucer in place over whatever small town or large city it’s supposed to be attacking, then so be it. Seeing Edward D Wood Jr’s popcorn flick Plan Nine From Outer Space (1959) made me laugh. I instantly fell in love with what ’70’s critics were calling at the time; Turkey Movies. Ever since that experience back in the 1970s which is when I first caught Woods monstrosity, I’ve been going around on purpose looking for cheesiness in what some would label, throw-away movies. Films that were made on purpose as something that would play after the main feature. Think drive-in flicks from the 1970s. And now decades later in the 21st Century, the direct to DVD home market.
I am frankly getting sick and tired of those with their nose in the air when it comes to films. The ones who throw praise at every Sean Penn performance. I’d rather watch Mario Van Pebbles lead us to victory and safety in this newest release by The Asylum, then anything Sean Penn has ever done. Except for the one where he played a stoner; Fast Times at Ridgemont High. That was a real funny movie.
When I purchased the American Warships DVD, I was thinking it wasn’t going to be as good as it turned out. Actually, it was a solid night’s entertainment.
The Asylum’s American Warships is said to be a ripoff of Big Hollywood; Battleship. My opinion is the Earth’s a big enough place to have two of the same type of movies out around the same time. Besides, receiving seven stars on the IMDb website isn’t bad. Seriously, I don’t think the big screen picture Battleship is getting ratings any better.
Official Website of The Asylum – www.theasylum.cc
Bonus – Official Trailer – American Warships
End of Story
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Thanks for great review.l love this movie. Did you notice the crate with 16 inch shells sailors were moving? On the side was labeled THX-1138! Ben Bova’s novel. I thought it cool.
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It’s been a few years since I’ve seen this. I’ll have to give it another watch. I appreciate your comment. And yes, the THX-1138 mention, was pretty cool. Good eyes!