Very very predictable, including the post credit scene !!!
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Such a frustrating disappointment
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good back-story, and good acting
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At first rather annoying in its heavy emphasis on reenactments, this movie ultimately proves fascinating, simply because the complicated, highly dramatic tale it tells still almost defies belief.
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Many thanks for the superb print. The Technicolor process was breath taking. This Island Earth 1955, a Universal International release Was Directed by Joseph Newman, Screenplay by Franklyn Coen, from a story by Raymond Jones. Spoiler Alert; Plot details will be discussed: Its a Classic that rarely gets screened. If you have the chance to see it, do so. The Film stared Rex Reason as Dr Cal Meacham, a hard boiled, jet flying Nuclear Scientist. His Lady associate Dr Ruth, played by Faith Domergue, looked sensational. looking less sensational yet heavily made up, is the mysterious Exeter, played by Jeff Morrow. He's the one who sent Cal, the equivalence of an integrated circuit in the fifties, or in this case a Super resistor. Let us not forget that it was 1954, a year before this film was made, that the newly invented Transistor went into production. I was seven in 1955, This was the movie my parents would not take me to. but I do recall the Bug Eyed Monster on the movie poster. It became iconic for the genera , copied with variation in Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957) and Mars Attacks Playing cards. 1994, and Tim Burton's movie (1996) The other iconic image was the flying saucer, up till this movie, the subject of cheesy special effects. Starting with the movie, "The Flying Saucer" (1950). Here we get an attempt at making it more than just a Frisbee an attempt to make it a interstellar vessel. The Saucer here was to be out done one year later with MGM's "The Forbidden Planet, released in 1956.(a better movie for many reasons). I recall ordering and receiving the paperback This Island Earth, before I saw the movie, at a revival theater in NY, The book impressed me, particularly in the opening chapters where the Doctor puts together his first Interocetor. There was a craze of "Build it yourself" products, like quartz radios, and more advanced, tube TV's. I liked the concept of building fantastic machines, over, the later introduced plot line of dictators who follow orders. concept. The title, "This Island Earth" Seems to want to allude to the "Islands in the Pacific that were used in World War Two. The Pacific islands were used as stepping stones to win the war. But sadly it doesn't manifest itself in this movie that follows a more common B movie theme; "Interplantary war is Hell" Leading to the madly declared "We must re populate on your planet, that we will conquer" The low budget movie "Killers from Space" 1954 shared more plot points, to This Island Earth, than a copy write lawyer could shake a stick at. In its attempt to show audiences wonders they had never seen before, This Island Earth breaks more rules of physics in the process. Big explosions in space where there should be no sound, friction flaming the saucer like a marshmallow in space, The movie is special and precious. but it was never meant to be funny, I can not watch this without channeling the spirit of Robin Williams, may he rest in peace. Some where in Mork, is Exeter. I like the visual presentation even if the intellectual discourse on the nature of insane leaders is weak. The visuals is about travel and adventure. The color sequences cover the rainbow. We get a taste of the animation and Matte work, that would be so impressive in Forbidden Planet. The scope of the plot races to get us there and back again, as expediently as possible. Faith Domergue's form fitting outfit did wonders for the plot. and those poor Mutants got the short end of scary, used in only two scenes. This was the movie to take your kids to. though they might be board with the cover up plot, and the romance stuff. This is a Nine out of Ten Technicolor Stars.
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Superior 1950's sci-fi. Looks like Universal was aiming for A-status with this excellently mounted production. The effects are quite good for the time, and a long way from Roger Corman's drive-in cheapos. Seems that far off planet Metaluna is under a guided meteor barrage from evil planet Radon(?) and needs help from our atomic scientists to harden their planetary shield. Trouble is they're not inviting our guys; instead they're hijacking them with greenish beams of light. Good thing the Metalunans look like us except for white-topped foreheads that almost reach the ceiling. They even have shapely women that I could have used more of. Then too, unlike the usual space invaders, high-domed Exeter turns out to be a pretty nice guy. We understand his motives once we see Metaluna's surface being used for target practice by the evil Radons. Those effects on Metluna's surface, especially with the tiny figures running, struck me as rather dream-like. Then too, the Technicolor and photography are slickly combined, producing a glossy look unusual for 50's sci-fi. And what about that mutant. His bared-brain noggin is enough to scare Frankenstein. Good thing he moves like a garden slug. A lot of these period sci-fi's had lessons for the nuclear peril of that Cold War decade. However, I didn't pick up any pointed subtext here. The 80-minutes looks to be simple entertainment all the way through. Anyhow, the acting, especially the authoritative Morrow and Reason, is much better than expected, while the whole package survives in highly deliverable fashion. So catch it if you haven't already.
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John T. Ryan
WE'VE WONDERED ABOUT just how good of a piece of SciFi film this was; for viewing it just seemed to an eluding experience for years. More precisely, this was ever since my younger brother, Bob, (Robert E. Ryan)bought a copy of a record album with (I believe) money received for his 13th Birthday party. That was in May of 1965.THE PARTICULAR 33 1/3 RPM long play record was titled THEMES FROM HORROR MOVIES by one Dick Jacobs & His Orchestra; from Coral Records (a Subsidiary of Decca Records), 1959. Inasmuch as Coral & Decca were both labels owned by MCA (the owner of Universal Pictures), it should have come as no surprise that the chosen selections were excerpts of soundtracks from Universal's output.*BETWEEN THE EXCITING selection from THIS ISLAND EARTH, titled meteors, and the highly dramatic advertising art that decorated the movie posters, lobby cards & the newspaper movie sections, we received an impression that this was a first rate thriller. Added to our expectations was the highly metaphoric title of the movie; which,in itself, brought a feeling of wonderment and eager anticipation to our youthful imaginations.NOW UNDERSANDING THAT expectation seldom approaches reality, we know that so much of what was at play here is good old fashioned Hollywood hype, Madison Street hoopla and manipulating of our emotions.AS FOR OUR long last being able to view the film, we can only say that it is a mediocre production at best. It is a "B" movie, passing as an "A" grade feature. it has a "B" cast with cut rate sets, economic special effects and formula storytelling.WITH ALL THIS negativity, let us interject right here; that the theme music and incidental music was, at least,very good. ONE PARTICULAR SHORTCOMING would be the short time that the story's setting was limited to 'Metaluna'. It seems that the Eartlings had just arrived there; when they were departing on the second leg of the round trip. To quote Groucho Marx's song in ANIMAL CRACKERS, "... Hello, I must be going...!" THAT WE DID, indeed find it somewhat enjoyable would be due to recollecting on the era from which the movie sprang; namely the 1950's. It was during this time, with the Cold War at its coldest and only ten short years since the end of Workld War II, that our neighborhood shows and drive-ins craved this sort of fair to stay going. Basically, countless pictures relied on the simple formula of: the Government/Military + Sciene = Our World Saved! WE HAVE FOUND that many a TV series episode may well have been derived from failed screenplays,that were originally intended for theatrical features, that never got made; which were then scaled down for presentation on the small screen. It appears to us that THIS ISLAND EARTH saw the light of day by taking the reverse route; bring a story intended for a TV Scienvce Fiction anthology series, then padded out for the movie houses.SO, AS WE reluctantly come to a close to another of our delightful reviews, we can all rest assured that we've fulfilled another item on "Red Ryan's Bucket List!"NOTE: In addition to Universal Productions, there were some themes from the British Company, Hammer Films; which were released by Universal. (Get the picture?)
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I'll be honest. I got this DVD because I only remember seeing this film when I was a Kid, back when my house only had one small Black & White TV that NEVER got channel 11 clearly enough even on a good night. Plus, the TV room was right next to my Parent's bedroom, so I couldn't turn the sound up, else my mother would have growled "GO To BED!" from the other room.And Now with the DVD, I was shocked to realize that the movie was IN COLOR! That said-- post Star Wars, Post ALIEN and everything else, 'Island Earth' is a stilted pulp Sci-Fi movie that was unknowingly CREATED just for Mystery Science Theatre.Yet still, the main reasons I still put the disc in from time to time: One--The Interocitor. Especially when the scientist plugged it in and it started that eery humming and the triangular viewscreen lit up. That staged FX still captivates. And I can never get over the notion of a Communication device that comes equipped with atomic disintegration rays! A) Metalunans evidently don't get many unwanted phone calls. B) Dating Metalunan women must be VERY dangerous-- I mean imagine your girlfriend being able to zap you to dust just because she THINKS you're lying to her or didn't answer her call fast enough! Two--The Flying Saucer. That scene when it rises up on the green pulsing column of energy against the darkening sky while your TV/Sound system pulses with the sound of atomic engines. Sci-Fi FX heaven.The rest of it is truly 'eh-meh' in the TRUE 21st century, but some of the dialogue lines are smile provoking.But know what? rather than a Main event-- this is a great piece of video history to have playing on the flatscreen when you have friends over for get-together while you're all noshing and talking about other things.