Ratings Key

= Excellent. The best the genre has to offer.
1/2 = Very Good. Perhaps not "perfect," but undoubtedly a must-see.
★★★ = Good. Accomplishes what it sets out to do and does it well.
★★1/2 = Fair. Clearly flawed and nothing spectacular, but competently made. OK entertainment.
★★ = Mediocre. Either highly uneven or by-the-numbers and uninspired.
1/2 = Bad. Very little to recommend.
= Very Bad. An absolute chore to sit through.
NO STARS! = Abysmal. Unwatchable dreck that isn't even bad-movie amusing.
SBIG = So Bad It's Good. Technically awful movies with massive entertainment value.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Boa (2001)

... aka: New Alcatraz

Directed by:
Phillip J. Roth

How many of these giant-monsters-lurk-in-dark-confined-areas movies are there, anyway? An internationally-funded high security prison (nicknamed “The New Alcatraz” and kept secret from the general public) has been built deep in the Antarctic to house some of the world’s most dangerous criminals, including a former Czechnian defense minister (Dean Biasucci) convicted of purchasing atomic missiles, an Eastern European femme fatale (Amanda Reyne) and an American computer hacker (Dana Ashbrook). The place is large enough to house 25,000 felons, but only six have been brough in so far. The warden (Craig Wasson) keeps an eye on things in a room full of video monitors. While doing some drilling near their heat source, a pocket of nitrogen is released and hiding down in one of the tunnels is a giant, hungry, prehistoric snake. Princeton University professor Richard Trenton (Dean Cain) and his wife Jessica (Elizabeth Lackey), who annoyingly insists on being called by her hyphenated last name, are called there to help because of their thesis about “undocumented Antarctic reptiles.” By the time they, along with some military men, arrive, many have already been killed, and the survivors have no choice but to let the dangerous prisoners loose to help them escape. The group has only two hours to get out before their transport takes off without them.

I don’t really understand how the snake could live in freezing cold temperatures without any food for thousands of years, but oh well. Aside from the script, it is technically competent, but Boa has the same characters, the same plot, the same atmosphere and the same cheesy CGI effects as hundreds of other similar films. It was followed by BOA VS. PYTHON (2004).


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