Tag Archives: Ice Age

Old Movie Review: The Colony (2013) (3 *’s)

The Colony is a film directed by Jeff Renfroe and starring Laurence Fishburne and Bill Paxton. I don’t remember it ever hitting the theatres; it may have just been a made for Sy fy (I don’t believe they spell it like that!) or something like that. The lead role is played by Kevin Zegers, an actor I know nothing about. Anyway, Kevin plays a young man named Sam living in a colony (I think it’s Colony 7 or Colony 5), one of only several such places that humans can still live. The setting is a post-apocalyptic Earth, one brought on by a new Ice Age that came about after humanity developed the technology to manipulate weather and things got out of control.

 

The story is fairly linear. From the beginning it is clear that the colony is in a rough spot and the measures they have taken to ensure their survival are nearly draconian by our soft cushy standards. For them, disease is a terrible threat. Anyone who comes down with something must be quarantined; if they don’t get better in the allotted time they are given a test. If it comes back positive, they are given a choice: be shot or walk. Walking means leaving the colony and trying to make it on your own in the arctic wasteland around it. Basically, walking is a death sentence as well. Laurence Fishburne plays Briggs the leader of the colony. Bill Paxton plays Mason, the colony’s increasingly draconian bad guy.

 

There are other colonies in the area. The story really takes off when Sam’s colony loses contact with one of the other neighboring ones. Sam, Briggs, and one other colony member set off to investigate. What has silenced their neighbor? Is it simply mechanical error? Or something more sinister.

 

Strengths: I think the acting was fine. The storyline held together well enough. I don’t think there were any parts were you wanted to berate the characters for doing something really stupid. The premise was interesting … a little bit of a twist on the standard post-apocalyptic setting. Weaknesses: Bill Paxton plays the standard jerk/bad guy who everybody wants to see die. He did fine in the role, it’s just that that character-type has been done to death. Also, although the storyline held together, there really weren’t any twists to make it really intriguing. It was okay, but unexceptional. Finally, the movie did not end well. The conclusion wasn’t a conclusion. It left you with a sense of hope, but still unsure whether or not the colony survives. I wanted a stronger sense of closure.

 

Anyway, I’ll give The Colony three stars out of five.

Old Movie Review: Ice Age 4: Continental Drift

I’ve enjoyed all the “Ice Age” movies, even though they are really made for kids—it’s my inner child trying to escape. “Ice Age 4: Continental Drift” continues the story of the first three movies with pretty much the same cast of characters as the first. There’s Manny the Mammoth, Ellie the Mammoth with Peach the daughter of the two mammoths, Diego the Saber Tooth Tiger, Sid the Sloth, and also Sid’s Grandmother Granny. And, of course, it would be a mistake to leave out Scrat the Squirrel, renowned for his insatiable hunger for acorns.

 

The story begins, as many stories do (ha ha!), with Scrat questing after his acorn only to fall into the center of the earth with it. There, while trying to desperately recapture his acorn, he sets the core of the world spinning in various and sundry directions. This, of course, cracks the surface of the earth breaking up Pangaea (or whatever the super-continent was called) and sends the smaller sub-continents adrift in the ocean, thus wreaking havoc on the world above. The mammoths, along with Diego and Sid suddenly find themselves in a world where the land is moving about. Manny, Diego, Sid, and Granny find themselves floating on an iceberg out to sea away from Ellie and Peach who are stuck on land. They try but are unable to turn the iceberg around. Soon, they encounter a fierce storm, then they encounter a pirate named Captain Gut (an ape). Manny and company’s attempts to find his family and Captain Gut’s attempts to stop them form the central conflict in the story. There is also a subplot concerning Peaches, Manny and Ellie’s mammoth daughter, growing up and learning what friendship really means. And, of course, Manny’s over-protectiveness of his daughter. Oh, and there is also a budding romance between Diego and one of Captain Gut’s crew members.

 

Overall, this was an excellent movie. The humor was clean and suitable for young children. The story kept one’s interest and was easy to follow. And the lessons learned were good lessons. And, a big plus for a kid’s movie, I, as an adult, enjoyed it. The only thing I might question was the activity of Sid’s biological family. It comes out in the beginning of the film that they did actually and deliberately abandon him; then, they find him just to drop Granny off into his care and promptly abandon both of them again. It’s presented humorously, I guess, but I’m not sure that belongs in a kids movie—at best, the whole point would be lost on the very young. I’m not sure it doesn’t belong, either … I’m kind of iffy about the whole thing.

 

Anyway, I’ll give this movie four out of five stars.