Thursday, October 23, 2008

Triple Feature: Anaconda 1, 2, and 3

With the release of Anaconda 3, this past Tuesday, I realized that I had never seen the 2nd one, even after having enjoyed the 1st one.
[what can I say? I'm a sucker for giant snake, croc, shark, whatever kind of creature movies!] :-)
With that said, I decided to re-watch the 1st one, and then 2 and 3, back-to-back.
Below are my thoughts:

Genre - Horror

Year Released:
Anaconda 1 - 1997
Anaconda 2 - 2004
Anaconda 3 - 2008
Running Time:
Anaconda 1 - 89 minutes
Anaconda 2 - 96 minutes
Anaconda 3 - 91 minutes

Directed by:
Anaconda 1 - Luis Llosa (who also directed Sniper)
Anaconda 2 - Dwight H. Little (who also directed Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers)
Anaconda 3 - Don E. Faunt LeRoy (who also directed Anaconda 4: Trail of Blood which isn't out yet)

Written by:
Anaconda 1 and Anaconda 2 - Hans Bauer & Jim Cash (Hans previously wrote Titan A. E. and Jim also wrote Top Gun, Turner & Hooch, and Dick Tracy)
Anaconda 3 - Nicholas Davidoff & David C. Olson (both of whom also wrote Anaconda 4)

Cast of Anaconda:
Jennifer Lopez (Enough, The Wedding Planner, Maid in Manhattan, Jersey Girl)
Ice Cube (Boyz in the Hood, Trespass, Are We There Yet? It is also rumored that he will be playing the part of B. A. Baracus, in next year's adaptation of The A-Team ~ hopefully that remains just a rumor)
Jon Voight (Father of the beautiful Angelina Jolie He was also in Midnight Cowboy, Deliverance, and National Treasure 1 & 2)
Eric Stoltz (Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Pulp Fiction, Killing Zoe, The Prophecy)
Owen Wilson (Armageddon, I Spy, Shanghai Noon & Shanghai Knights, Drillbit Taylor)

Cast of Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid
Johnny Messner (Running Scared and Believers)
Matthew Marsden (Rambo)
Nicholas Gonzalez Spun)
KaDee Strickland
Eugene Byrd

Cast of Anaconda 3: The Offspring
David Hasselhoff (Knight Rider - from the 80's, he also played Nick Fury, in the TV movie Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Crystal Allen (Maid in Manhattan)
John Rhys-Davies (Gimli in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Ferryman, the professor from the TV show Sliders, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark & The Last Crusade)

Plot Summary for Anaconda:
Jon Voight gives an over-the-top performance as Paul Sarone, an ex-Jesuit turned insane snake hunter who tricks a camera crew into helping him track down a gigantic anaconda.
The crew soon finds itself up the river without a paddle, as people become breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the enormous reptile.

Review for Anaconda:
Danny Trejo (Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn, The Devil's Rejects, Spy Kids 1, 2, and 3) gives an all too short performance as an anaconda poacher at the beginning of the movie.
We also see an anaconda take down a black panther, which shows us just how dangerous these snakes can be.

There are some decent CGI snake attacks - the one where Jonathan Hyde (Jumanji) falls down the waterfall is probably my favorite, and there is also some nice animatronic effects as well.

The real reason to watch this movie though, is Jon Voight - he steals the show!

Rating for Anaconda: 3 Skulls

Trailer for Anaconda:

Plot Summary for Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid
The Blood Orchid is a rare flower, found only in Borneo, and legend has it that anyone who can find it and keep it is sure to stay alive much longer than is presently possible.
Eager to determine what gives the plant its power, a team of scientists, led by the steely Cole Burns, set out for the jungle.
But what they don't know is that the Blood Orchid is protected by anacondas made even stronger and deadlier by the mysterious plant.

Review for Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid
When the scientists first explain to their CEO that the Blood Orchid is the pharmaceutical equivalent of the Fountain of Youth, he replies that it will be even bigger than Viagra. [I just thought that was pretty funny.] :-)

After discovering that the Blood Orchid lies dormant for 7 years and only blooms for 6 months, the team of scientists realize that they only have a few weeks left in which to procure the flower.
When they arrive in Borneo they find out that it is rainy season, and they are unable to obtain a boat, to take them upriver.
Enter Captain Bill (Johnny Messner) who agrees to take them, for the price of $50,000.00

The movie is a little slow going. It is probably a good 40 minutes before the 1st anaconda attack, though their is a croc attack beforehand, as well as a couple of other (failed) "jump moments"

The toilet on the boat is just a seat, open to the water below - as soon as I saw it, I was expecting there to be an anaconda attack, from below, while someone was sitting on the toilet, alas that never happened. . .
After the boat falls off a waterfall (in a huge c'mon! moment) everyone is forced to travel by foot, encountering leeches, poisonous spiders, etc along the way.

Around this time, they discover that there are several giant anacondas roaming about, due to it being mating season!

I have to tell you though that having several snakes, rather than just a few did not work as well for me.

Still, while not as good as the 1st one, this movie was enjoyable and it had a decent premise.

Rating for Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid 3 Skulls

Trailer for Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid

Plot Summary for Anaconda 3: Offspring
Believing that an elusive anaconda may hold the cure for a life-threatening disease, an enigmatic billionaire hires a mercenary, named Hammett, to track down and capture the reptile.
But the snake has other ideas, and soon Hammett and his team find themselves in a battle for their lives against the giant serpent.

Review for Anaconda 3: Offspring
While the 1st & 2nd movies were both shown in the theatre, the 3rd one was made for TV, with a direct-to-DVD release. Funny thing there is that the 1st & 2nd one were both PG-13, while the 3rd one (being made for Sci-Fi) is rated R?!? Go figure!

Where the 2nd one was slow to start, this 3rd one has an anaconda attack in the 1st minute!
We then find out that a pharmaceutical company has been genetically engineering a new strain of anaconda to neutralize the gene that accepts the extract from the Blood Orchid (it works for anacondas, however it is fatal in humans)

When the CEO (John Rhys-Davies) stops by to look into things, he tells the supervisor of the project that if he screws things up, "the only thing that he will be supervising is a proctologist removing his boot from his rectum" HA! :-)

Shortly afterwards, the 60 foot long (!) genetically modified anaconda escapes from the lab. During the escape, we realize that part of the genetic mutation has caused a very lethal spike to grow at the end of the anaconda's tail, enabling it to impale its victims on its tail. [Stupid!]

The CGI in this movie is absolutely horrible! And the size of the anaconda is just hokey looking!
Still, being R-rated, allowed for some decent gore effects. There is one scene where there is a nice fountain of blood spraying out of the neck of a decapitated body.
However, this in no way makes for an enjoyable movie though. In fact, this one was quite lame.

The thing about these movies is that you don't really care about the characters. You're just waiting for the next person to get eaten.

Rating for Anaconda 3: Offspring 2 Skulls

Trailer for Anaconda 3: The Offspring

On the disc for the 3rd movie, there is also a trailer for the 4th movie in the series - Trail of Blood - so, I am sure that I will be suckered into seeing that one as well, though I will probably just wait and catch it on Sci-Fi as I am sure it will not be any better than the 3rd one.

1 comment:

thebonebreaker said...

Please excuse the large gaps in this review - Blogger is giving me a hard time!! Grrrrrrrrrrrrr