Asteroid vs. Earth is currently available on instant Netflix
Asteroid vs. Earth (2014) – Not Rated
“An elite team of scientists races against time when a torrential storm of giant meteors threatens to annihilate all life on Earth.”
“How do you know the tonnage of our weapons?” – “Google, sir”
Is there a more dire warning of what’s to come in a movie than “The Asylum Presents”? I think not. The movie opens with a young man watching a series of monitors that clearly aren’t conveying anything useful. The monitors are arranged around a circle and he stares at them even though most are showing generic space pictures.
Another scene shows a General at home where a supercell instantly forms over his house. Huh? This is interspersed with scenes of actual flooding in some other, undisclosed location. I’m not sure if we’re supposed to assume these are the same or different locations as neither is labeled though clearly terrain isn’t even remotely similar. It appears as though they just spliced in scenes from another movie as the flooding and supercell don’t appear to have anything to do with the plot.
Our young man tells the military that their warheads won’t do anything to the asteroid but, and I am not making this up, if they detonate them selectively on Earth, at a faultline, they can move the Earth out of the way of the asteroid. The plot does not get more intelligent as we go along.
The usual assortment of AWCs (Actors without Careers) are present. Tia Carrere (Wayne’s World) plays an important scientist. Tim Russ (Tuvok from Star Trek Voyager) takes a break from convention-hopping to represent the military. Veteran heavy Robert Davi collects a paycheck as General Masterson.
One would think that Asylum’s CGI would naturally get better over the past decade but it really hasn’t. In short, no aspect of this movie is competently handled.
Prisoners of the Sun (2013) – Not Rated
“A group of explorers embark on a perilous mission under the Egyptian pyramids to stop the resurrection of hostile ancient beings who threaten mankind.”
“The room is unfortunately now armed.” (referring to a room in the pyramid)
At least this doesn’t start with ‘The Asylum Presents’. Prisoners of the Sun takes the standard start for a mummy movie and adds aliens into the mix. There is an entire movie’s worth of exposition in the first three minutes.
Our slumming actors here are John Rhys-Davies (here clearly trading on his Raiders cred) and Joss Ackland (The Hunt for Red October, Lethal Weapon 2). They at least make an attempt with the material, unlike Asylum’s casts.
Unfortunately there is a worse harbinger than ‘The Asylum Presents’. That would be Uwe Boll’s name in the credits, here as a producer. The director is Roger Christian, the man who directed Battlefield Earth. He most recently directed the execrable Stranded.
Prisoners of the Sun is easily better than Stranded. Unfortunately that doesn’t make it good. Plotting and scripting are slapdash but still much better than Asteroid vs. Earth. Toss in an alignment of the stars, an ancient bloodline, tomb raiding, a woman who has visions, and the requisite mummy and mix well.
Unfortunately the individual elements aren’t handled very well. Prisoners of the Sun only looks good in comparison to Asteroid vs. Earth or Stranded. It is not terrible but there are far better uses of your time, unless you are particularly attached to John Rhys-Davies.