Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Starship Troopers 2 Hero of the Federation |
UMD for PSP
Allowing for all the low-budget shortcomings that plague any straight-to-video production, Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation serves up 92 minutes of passable sci-fi action. Parlaying his veteran status as an anim... more »
More like Starship Bloopers....
cookieman108 | Inside the jar... | 06/04/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"How often does a sequel live up to the original? Let's face it, it's pretty rare that one does, and even rarer that it should surpass it...and given the fact that Starship Troopers 2 - Hero of the Federation (2004) was a direct to video release, I had no misconceptions about this film being better than the original. The film features the directorial debut of Phil Tippett, who's better known for his visual effects work in films like Star Wars (1977), Robocop (1987), and the original Starship Troopers (1997). Impressive credits, to be sure, but it's a big leap from visual effects to directing...the film was written by Edward Neumeier, who did the screenplay for the original movie, along with writing for all the Robocop movies. Now granted, given the comparatively minuscule budget of this, many things were going to suffer, but why should one of those things be the writing? I'll get more into this later. As far as the stars go, there are no standout performances to speak of, but there are a couple of recognizable faces. One being veteran character actor Ed Lauter, who's most memorable performance, to me at least, was as Captain Knauer in the Burt Reynolds film The Longest Yard (1974). Also appearing is Brenda Strong, who was in the first Starship Troopers movie, but isn't reviving her role as her original character died, and I suspect the actress was brought back to add a familiarity element to the movie, but since she's now playing a different character, it only serves to confuse the viewer. So very sloppy...the actress may not sound familiar, but if you're a fan of the Seinfeld sitcom, you'll know her better as Elaine's sometimes arch nemesis Sue Ellen Mishkie. Okay, what about the story? Well, here it goes...it takes place a few years after the original, as the Federation seems to have gained the upper hand in capturing the giant brain bug at the end of the first film. They are now pushing back on the alien bugs, more or less taking the fight to them, and we see a group of soldiers on a fairly inhospitable planet, surrounded on all sides, fending off attacking bugs. They radio for an extraction, but help isn't forthcoming, but they received word that an abandoned outpost is in the vicinity, and a decision is made to make their way there and see if they can secure a better position. On reaching the outpost, they discover it's not deserted, but contains a prisoner contained in a cell, an officer accused of killing his superior. As they begin to secure their position, an insidious plot by the bugs begins to unravel, as they have a new method for dealing with the pesky humans. It's an interesting twist, but a highly unoriginal element, especially if you're familiar with popular science fiction films.So what's the weakest element of the movie? I'd say it's a toss up between the directing and the writing...had one or the other been better, it might have propped up the film a somewhat. The directing is passable, showing a modicum of inherit experience within the genre, but it seemed so flat and lifeless, like someone trying to take ground beef and pass it off as filet mignon...and the writing...ugh...now the original film contained some pretty corny lines, but they actually worked and fit in with the context of the patriotic story element. The corn gets pretty thick here, too, with lines like, "You're aces in my book!" but given that the story is considerable weaker than the first, these lines only serve to highlight the overall weaknesses of the film. I was split on the effects...some of it was really good, while some of it really poor...others have mentioned it, and I will too...what was up with the sound effects used for the laser blasts? The popgun sound effect certainly didn't convey any of the power one would expect from a highly sophisticated piece of future weaponry. Did I say laser blasts? We actually didn't see any lasers, as the guns more or less emitted flashes of light...and the sad thing is these details should have been no-brainers. The sets did look pretty good, as did the aliens. There's a fair amount of gore, and even a little bit of nudity, although I am unsure what was the point other than guys wanting to see an attractive woman all nekkid (I certainly didn't mind, but nekkidness for nekkidness' sake means the director is playing a slight of hand game with you, "Hey, look at this nekkid woman, and maybe you won't notice the crummier elements of the movie".The quality of the print looks great, despite the actual quality of the picture (most scenes were way under lit), and there are some decent special features including an honest, almost brutally at times, commentary track by director Tippett, writer Neumeier, and producer Jon Davison, a featurette called `Inside the Federation' that delves into the making of the film, another featurette titled `From the Green Screen to the Silver Screen', dealing with the nuts and bolts of the movie, specifically the special effects (seeing as how it this was a direct to video release, the film never actually saw the silver screen, but whatever), and trailers for this movie along with others like Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004), Hellboy (2004), Steamboy (2004), Wild Things 2 (2004), and Returner (2002). This website currently listed a DVD-ROM link to a Starship Troopers PC game, but I couldn't find it. To paraphrase another reviewer, Andy Hall at DVD Times, the original Starship Troopers was certainly worthy of a sequel, but not this one. More or less, this just ends up being an obvious attempt to cash in on the original, and not an attempt to create a viable franchise.Cookieman108"
Legitimate and Illegitimate Criticism
Ratspit | California, United States | 08/03/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Being a DVD collector (around a thousand films and rising) I own the first Starship Troopers movie and thought about getting the second one when I first heard it was coming out. Negative reviews though made me hesitate. I was not a particularly obsessed fan of the first film (especially its political agenda of bashing on more strong forms of government), but find it fun to watch on occasions. Recently, I found a brand new copy of Starship Troopers 2 at a Wal-Mart for under $10 and picked it up. Having never seen it, I debated on if I should take it back without opening it or if I should risk it and watch it. I spent a lot of time reading reviews at IMDb and at Amazon about this flick. And
oh do the contradictions abound. After a while I began to get a notion about this flick, and about why it has so much criticism, and more. I decided after all to open it up and watch it. Here are some of my thoughts, and some others thoughts as well.
First off, people these days (professional critics included) often do not make the distinction between what is a personal preference against something in a film, and a legitimate generally accepted filming criticism. Granted, there are some areas where these two polarities merge into a gray zone, but it does not take a great deal of brains and common sense to see a general distinction between all out terrible, home video film style acting, and directing (Bog Creatures, Scarecrow, the list goes on), a passable non-intrusive execution of such things, and a brilliant, generally accepted and praised execution of such things.
Starship Troopers 2 falls into that, decent enough B category. Looks about as good enough as Fortress 1 and 2 did to me, and maybe a little better considering they are different atmospheres, etc. The special effects are brilliant in places, and in other places some things are just good enough. The cinematography (which can blow a movie for me more than even if it has bad acting) is done nice enough though there are some places and a few angles I don't prefer. All in all its not too distracting, especially for something shot digitally. This is NO horrid, Sci-Fi channel creation. Not that all Sci-Fi channel creations look horrid; Cube, Silent Warnings, Alien Cargo, and the first Epoch flick, are examples of things that looked good or good enough, but too many others look flat out terrible. You know, the kind of movies that are so bad they even make movies like Dragon Fighter or Mosquito look like a works of art! As for the acting, story line, directing, etc, all of it is fairly typical to pretty decent in places considering the subject matter under consideration. About the same as the first film, give or take a little. Ed Lauter as the Gen. Shepherd is a decent character actor who goes way back and lives up to his usual style and performance. The other did well.
Sometimes when one sees a ton of bad, criticizing reviews, one is better off paying heed. Overall, it does indeed seem like a lot of the more emotional, immature, and foul-mouthed criticizers of this movie are just not happy that it's not more like the first movie. And that's a personal preference, not a legitimate criticism. Others had some more legitimate criticism, but overall, if your open minded, a sci-fi fan in general, and looking for a darker, moodier Starship Troopers that is more horror based, it's a decent enough flick to watch, and to have in your collection if you can get it cheap. I personally think that the elements of psychic stuff in here are a tired and worn out concept that is B.S. in real life, but the first film had it as well and, though I feel they did not need any continuity here with such, the creators of the film probably thought so. However, it didn't prevent me from enjoying watching the flick. It could have also used a little more profanity in my opinion, and I didn't think the whole issue with the realism or not of the guns was as distracting as some feel it to be for themselves. And oh yeah, in general, by any normal, non-ax to grind standards, Kelly Carlson is pretty and nice looking (and so were the other girls in the movie). Considering her role, she made what she could out of it. Some of the stupid, jaded things people have said about her just show how pathetic and ignorant people can be.
Here are some miscellaneous observations from both Amazon and IMDb
reviewers that helped me come to my decision:
"Sure, this ain't no Oscar winning movie, but I found it a decent horror/sci fi film that stands high above some of the other crappy movies I've seen."
"With the piles of negative feedback this film has received, I figured it would
be total crap... I found it to be watchable at the very least, enjoyable at the best. (sit down on a weekend and watch the Sci fi channel, you'll start to appreciate it more, heh)"
"I agree, (I also watched this movie with low expectations) it's not great but for the budget and even the fact that it was recorded digitally, didn't make it a bad movie."
"More horror than sci fi"
"So-So Action film, a Better Horror Flick..,"
"One by one, the troopers fall victim to a sinister alien plot to infiltrate the human army. This is definitely a "B" movie...zombies (yep,that is not a typo: ZOMBIES), exploding craniums, buckets of blood and gore." "There are some bad video releases out there such as From Dusk Until Dawn 2 & 3, Boa vs. Python, Python II, and so on. There are many more bad ones that I haven't seen."
"There are a lot of characters, both low-key and creepy, but they are all well delineated, and the acting ranges from okay to excellent."
"While Alien has been cited as a prime influence here, this film's true ancestors are 1950s classics The Thing From Another World) and Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The script, by Ed Neumeier, holds together despite the discarding of many scenes due to production restrictions. A surprise is the horror element that emerges in the second half, at some moments recalling the gore of various low budget classics from the eighties (Evil Dead, CHUD) but with more polished visuals, and (arguably)heavier psychological subtext.""
Bit of a letdown but still worth a watch.
Gareth Mc Bride | Lynnwood, WA United States | 05/25/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Following the success of the original, "Starship Troopers 2 Hero of the Federation" arrives as a direct to video follow up to the original film. Loosely based on the classic Robert Heinlein novel, the original film followed the exploits of a group of young men and women who join the military in an effort to gain full citizenship in a futuristic Earth and soon find themselves in an all out war for survival against a hostile species of giant insects who have attacked Earth.
The sequel follows a new group of troopers some five years later in the war. Due to the limited budget of the sequel, the action is on a smaller scale, as the creative team has opted for a smaller and more personal story.
On the remote outpost of a band of troopers have retreated from a bug attack and find shelter in an abandoned outpost. As stragglers from the battle start to arrive, the troopers struggle to get the power restored in order to activate the outpost defenses, as swarms of bugs will soon be massing upon their position.
The troopers soon discover that the outpost is holding a prisoner Capt. Dax (Richard Burgi), who was imprisoned by his former unit for murder, and left behind when they pulled out. Since Dax is a decorated veteran, it is decided by the troopers to free him in order to use his experiences in the current crisis.
Unknown to the troopers in the outpost, the bugs have a new weapon and are able to take control of a person from the inside. It is at this point that the film loses much of its momentum as instead of keeping viewers in the dark as to who is and who is not infected, the infections and those behind it are shown clearly and often destroying any suspense. I had thought we would have a suspense filled story reminiscent of "The Thing" and "The Hidden" where fear and paranoia would run amuck amongst the troopers. Instead the story unfolds without any real tension or payoff. The cast of largely unknowns shows a lot of spirit and enthusiasm for their parts, but they are so generically written that they are not able to do much more than stand around when they are not screaming and shooting.
The FX in the film are not bad for a direct to video film as word has it that Phil Tippett offered cut rates on his FX work in order to direct the film.
While not a great film by any stretch of the imagination, "Starship Troopers 2" is at times entertaining and should hold the interest of fans of the first film. While I would have liked to have seen the series continue via the big screen, lets hope that there will be a third outing of the Troopers in the future.3 stars out of 5Gareth Von Kallenbach"
Adequate for its type
Gareth Mc Bride | 05/06/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"First -- I didn't see the original movie. I'm not a fan of action movies, or horror movies, or war movies, and this was a combination of all three. I tuned in only to see Richard Burgi, who starred in UPN's "The Sentinel".
Given that, I thought the movie worked well. Yes, the tone and visual aspects were dark but, in effect, that highlighted the horror/futility of this war, fighting a difficult -- perhaps impossible -- enemy. The bugs' escalation of abilities and the potential for secretly infesting the Federation is a suitably horrific idea, worthy of Dax's all-out final effort to prevent it. Some of the bug scenes were -- as mentioned -- quite gross, but perhaps necessary. It becomes a visceral recognition for the audience of how dangerous/pervasive this enemy is. Although I found the movie merely adequate, I thought Richard Burgi turned in a 5-star performance. His depiction of a cynical, embittered, war-weary, but ultimately pragmatic combat veteran was right on target. This was a heroic non-hero who had "issues" with the military, but kept doing his duty because it was necessary, and because it *was* his duty, a man who cut through all the military nonsense to lay bare the ugly, underlying realities of life -- and death -- in the Federation's war against the Bugs, with a biting dark humor that was very effective. This was a man who upheld his own gut-level codes of honor, while ignoring the false sense of "honor" that the Federation tried to impose. His matter-of-fact observations about the roles of officers and 'troopers' were delivered with a solid, almost frightening, down-to-earth realism -- I could believe this man, and everything he said. In short, Mr. Burgi's portrayal of Captain Dax was masterful.Trying not to give away the ending -- Dax would have been highly irate, I'm sure, at the use the Federation made of his name. The ending demonstrated vividly that, while there may be honor in individuals, there is very little honor in the higher echelons of these particular "Powers that Be". One is left to wonder if, ultimately, all efforts toward honor are doomed to failure, and a bleak realization that, perhaps, the individual counts for nothing.In short, while not really a pleasant movie, it was effective. And, if you're a fan of Richard Burgi, Starship Troopers 2 is well worth seeing as he demonstrates his excellent talent as an actor."