3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2009
I'm a big SciFi fan and I always check out as many of the new films in the category that I can find. I just picked this one up this weekend and it was pretty decent and compelling. I've seen better FX, but this was a good story and the FX were good enough that it kept my interest. I did wonder why there were no Aliens, but the action and suspense was good, and the obligatory romantic angle was there also. I always wonder why there are not a ton of new indy SciFi films that hit the market, I wish there were more.
on July 8, 2013
I rented Alien Uprising as my partner likes Jean Claude Van Damme. I have enjoyed him in other films but his name in the credits here was a bit misleading. He was hardly in this film that tried to be a takeoff on early alien science fiction.
The story, (mini spoiler here) is about a ship of marines sent to a planet to find out what happened to the people and halt to the explosion of nuclear plane which could destroy some interstellar gates. The idea was fine but the whole thing never came together.
Uprising took to long to get going. I wondered, confused about what was happening for the first couple of minutes. The story structure/writing was careless in places, we never really see aliens, which is strange condsidering the film premise. Shooting style was almost documentary, gritty, fast, dark, and sometimes hard to follow.
Overall however, my biggest issue, (and yes I know it was an Indy film) in the whole affair around Alien Uprising, was that it looked 'cheap' and came across on the screen as a very low budget cut corner job. There were cheap sets, cheap effects and more cheese than a 99 cent macaroni blue box dinner. The alien ships looked like toys.
To be fair the cast tried to sell the story. The writing was good in places and a few decent splashes of directing popped up in some of the lighting and cinematography. However, when surrounded by turkeys in the barn, things don't fly. This didn't. And why was Jean Claude Van Damme, a good action actor in this? He can do better. Ironically, his small role was some of the best acting in the piece since none of the others could really act at all. Writer kudos for use of correct military dialog terms etc, but the cast did not make the words believable.
It reminded of me of my days in film making college. Uprising was overal jaumbled and even flat in except for maybe some of the dialog). It was hardly worth the rental price which was probably more than the budget of the film. Alien Uprising gets 2 stars for some of the places it almost rose above its own flaws.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2011
NOTE: This review is of the 2008 film, not to be confused with a 2013 film that has the same title.
This is a rip-off of "Aliens," pure and simple. But Aliens was a great action film, and this film is good, too. Same story--a unit of tough-as-nails space marines in a deadly cat-and-mouse game against an almost indestructible monster, and a company agent with a secret and sinister agenda. But it moves along swiftly enough, the tension is maintained, and at least some of the characters have enough personality to be engaging so that we care about them. The settings and effects are done well--everything has a gritty, realistic look--and the acting isn't bad. All in all, not a bad way to spend 85 minutes if you're in the mood for some high-intensity sci-fi action.
5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 21, 2009
Here's the deal. This must have gone straight to DVD because it still only has an MPAA "rating pending". Probably it never will have a rating. I would rate it "mild R" based on mild language and mild violence. No nudity (except partial female nudity in the "Pandora Machine" logo, at the beginning and the end of the DVD).
The most-promoted actors are Steve Deighan (Milennium Crisis, Great Pretenders), Tana Sarntinoranont (Blush and Lovesick), and Catherine Zambri (Marconi Bros, Mulberry St)- Zambri was just the ship computer's hologram.
It starts and it plays like "Alien" as well as "Aliens". A prisoner planet with an apparent uprising. Marines en-route to subdue, yet they're really just in service to a corporation trying to develop weapons. (sound familiar?) A dangerous corporate tool on board. A computer running the ship. Dark and aged interiors (like "Alien"). Garbled transmissions. A non-human predator. All this like the "Alien" stories. The visuals are far grainier than the usual movie-but after a while you get used to it. The acting is mediocre. There's no indication where this was actually produced. It's a mult-ethnic cast. I forgot to mention how the very beginning is reminiscent of Alien: the crew is all sleeping, and awake from sleep at the end of the flight and the beginning of the movie. First sci-fi or action film I recall where the love-interest is 2 female lesbians (I hope that isn't a plot-buster). Problems with the DVD: NO subtitling at all, and no special features. If you like sci-fi, you might find it interesting, even if low-budget and derivative (mainly from the "Alien" concepts). I did watch it all the way through. I won't spoil the rest of the plot.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
The problems with ALIEN UPRISING are many and diverse.
The storyline is a ripoff of ALIENS. A squad of Space Marines is sent to a prison planet to subdue rioters, but only a weaselly Company Man knows the true mission. They arrive on the prison planet and discover there's an "alien" on the loose, killing prisoners and guards alike. Of course, the Company Man expected this.
The "characterization" is non-existent. ALL the Space Marines are bad-ass and testy. The only way to tell them apart is by race, sex, or dress. (One female Marine wears a turban.) The white guy Marines, well, it's impossible to tell them apart.
About that turban, the Lieutenant derides the "mercenaries" who came before them, yet these Marines lack discipline or professionalism, behaving just like ragtag mercenaries. No uniform hair styles. Hair comes in various lengths and styles. Some men have facial hair, some not.
They're all so bad-ass it's silly. They're bad-ass without purpose or motivation, always cursing and threatening one another without reason. Especially silly is the bad-ass sergeant, a tiny woman who barks at guys a head taller, threatening to personally kick their ass or tear off their ... if they don't follow orders immediately. When she shoves the Company Man against a wall (yeah, right), he cowers while looking DOWN at her, because she's so tiny.
Look, if you're gonna cast women as Marines, make the effort to cast tall Amazons. The director could have gone down to the local gym and found some female body-builders to play the Marines. Few in the cast, male or female, can act, so it's not like acting was an issue. (Two of the prisoners -- Maduka Steady and Steve Deighan -- and one Marine -- Kumiko Konishi -- are decent, if unexceptional, in their flatly written roles.)
And the weaselly Company Man -- he's so over-the-top, always smirking in oily fashion. As if to signal the audience -- Hey, do you see how untrustworthy I am? Contrast that with Paul Reiser's weaselly company man in ALIENS. Reiser was nice and sympathetic early in the film, only revealing his darker side as the story progressed. That's called a CHARACTER ARC.
There are NO character arcs in this film. No one grows or changes. The Marines start off testy and bad-ass, and end the film testy and bad-ass. The Company Man is weaselly from the start, and ends as such. The closest to a character arc is when a Space Marine and a prisoner begin to form a relationship, but that ends quickly enough.
The dialog is just barking and sniping, from start to finish. It's annoying because it's so pointless and fake. The Lieutenant begins by barking at the Company Man, telling him that she's in charge. Hey, don't they determine chain-of-command BEFORE the mission begins? And then abide by it? In an intelligent script, the chain-of-command only breaks down AFTER the alien starts wrecking havoc, not before the mission has even begun.
The sets are abysmally low-budget and inappropriate. The prison planet looks like a high school. (We never see the planet's surface.) Seriously, I think this film was shot inside a high school. There's a "battle" between a handful of Marines and prisoners (very tiny cast, due to the budget) which appears to occur on an indoor basketball court. And the Marines' command center in the prison has a row of high school lockers against the wall.
The "alien" is just a regular-sized guy in some sort of costume. The rooms are so dark, you can't discern what he's supposed to look like. We learn that this "alien" really IS a man, turned into a monster by prison experiments. Hence, his unimpressive size.
That's right -- there are NO aliens in ALIEN UPRISING.
The film does have an interesting retro feel to it. So much so, I wondered if it WAS shot in the 1980s, then kept on a shelf till 2008. The primitive computer screens and graphics look to be from the 1980s (or at the latest, early 1990s).
The best thing about this film is the lighting. Many of the lights on the spaceship, and in the prison, emit a sickly, yellowish hue. It's appropriately ugly, yet futuristic -- at least, as the future might have been imagined in the 1980s.
Since ALIEN UPRISING wasn't shot in the 1980s, I wondered if its 1980s look wasn't intentionally retro.
But even if intentional, such artistry is not enough to make up for the poor characterization, lame dialog, bad acting, and low-budget "action." Most of this film is just a bunch of interchangeable and annoying Marines wandering about a high school gym, on rare occasion fighting some guy in a monster suit.
ALIEN UPRISING is boring and annoying.
3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2009
I really had high hopes for this movie...What I got was let down HARD....You can tell from the opening of the title that this is a LOW BUDGET film...I cannot review the whole movie for you because I could not bring myself to watch the whole thing...It really was that bad...It is like a bunch of amatuers tried to make a movie in their basement or a deserted wharehouse and use their computer to make some special effects...There is no chemistry between any of the actors and none of them convey any sort of plausable acting skills that would endear them to the character they are potraying.,,Their all good at cussing. This is just a BAD REMAKE of Aliens 2, which was by far better than this stinker. Save your money, if you really have to have it wait till I put my on sale on Amazon and you can have it for the price of shipping. I hope this helps some of you not make the mistake I made by buying this.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2010
I checked this movie out over the weekend, and thought it was great for a low budget film. Although the effects weren't amazing, the plot and action kept my attention, definitely worth seeing.