ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – R – Robot Overlords (2014

Director: Jon Wright

Writer: Jon Wright, Mark Stay (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Kingsley, Gillian Anderson, Callan McAuliffe, Ella Hunt, James Tarpey, Milo Parker


Plot: Earth has been conquered by robots from a distant galaxy. Survivors are confined to their houses and must wear electronic implants, risking incineration by robot sentries if they venture outside.

Tagline – Robots never lie…….

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Young Adult 101


Story: Robot Overlords starts as the Earth has been invaded by robots and humans are confined to their homes, Kate (Anderson) has her own son Sean (McAuliffe) and adopted children Alexandra (Hunt), Nathan (Tarpey) and Connor (Parker). When the kids learn how to disable the electronic devices they venture outside.

Once outside the kids go in search of answers, keeping one step ahead of the robots one the chief Robin Smythe (Kingsley) who is working for the robots, they must learn the secrets of the invasion.


Thoughts on Robot Overlords


Characters – Robin Smythe is the zone chief, he works for the robots while keeping the humans safe when they could be in danger and are worth saving, he will not stop until he gets to be with Kate even if that means taking her son. Kate is the one that has taken in the orphans of the invasion and with her son she keeps them safe even in the battle against Robin. Sean is the eldest of the children, he leads the fight back once he discovers he has a very special ability in the war. The rest of the kids offer us comic relief when needed in the film.

PerformancesWhen we look at performances we must realizes Sir Ben Kingsley is in the film, this is the definition of a pay check performance from him. Anderson is good, but it is always hard to see her in any peril after the X-Files. The kids are good throughout never looking out of place.

StoryThe story here follows the pattern of the young adult movies, we have a group of teens that are in a post-apocalyptic world (well nearly) that must rise up and become the resistance. That is the soft outer shell of this movie, going deeper into the story we do have an original idea by having the robots force the humans into staying in their homes over just having them hiding. For the most part this would pass as what we know, it is the main twist which makes zero sense, but what the hell it worked to save the day somehow.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action in the movie does have a unique style, but just doesn’t come off in the most interesting or entertaining way, the adventure side of the film gives us the standard children, teenagers are the ones that will be the ones to save the day and the sci-fi ideas do work with how robots have taken over the world.

SettingsThe film is set in a small English coastal town, it is nice, but if you took the robots out of the scenes it looked like just backdrop stock photos.

Special EffectsThe special effects for the most part look very CGI, everything looks like a robot placed into the world rather than a robot in the world.

Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The ability seems very random.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic young adult movie, it checks the boxes but never becomes one that you will remember when talking about them in general.


Overall: Standard young adult movie.





The X Files: I Want to Believe (2008)

logoDirector: Chris Carter

Writer: Frank Spotnitz, Chris Carter (Screenplay)

Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, Xzibit, Mitch Pileggi, Callum Keith Rennie


Plot: Fox Mulder (Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Anderson) both worked at the FBI as partners, a bond between them that led to their becoming lovers. But now they’re out of the FBI and have begun new careers. Scully works as a staff physician at a Catholic hospital. Her focus these days is on a young boy with an incurable brain disease. Administration wants to give up on him. Scully, who feels a special bond with the boy, does not. Meanwhile, Mulder’s focus is on clipping newspaper articles, throwing pencils into his ceiling and writing about the paranormal. Scully and Mulder are brought together as partners again when a special case requires Mulder’s expertise and Scully is prevailed upon to convince him to help. The case involves a paedophile priest who claims he is having psychic visions regarding the whereabouts of a missing FBI agent


Verdict: Unnecessary Extra Episode


Story: The X-Files has always been hit or miss to me trying to explain the unexplainable usually focusing on alien abduction. This time we get a film to follow the show finishing and we get a psychic link, really? That is the big extra addition to a series that has asked plenty of questions over the years. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement but I would imagine the diehard fans would be furious. This could just have been a bog standard episode that no one would remember in the show, not a film. (3/10)


Actor Review


David Duchovny: Mulder exiled by the FBI discredited left to live of the radar Mulder gets his chance to come back and he ends up believing what is told to him when others don’t want to know. David gets one last pay check from the franchise before killing it, he gets to poke a bit of fun at the characters too. (3/10)


Gillian Anderson: Scully now a stubborn doctor who will go to extreme lengths to save her patients not bad really, but re-entering the world of the x-files tests her personality again. Does come back to the level she finished the show but gives a TV performance rather than film. (5/10)


Amanda Peet: ASAC Dakota young FBI agent trying to find a missing agent with a paedophile Priest, she brings Mulder back knowing it was a risk but knows it would be worth it for the truth. Standard support performance. (5/10)


Billy Connolly: Father Crissman the priest with the visions and checked past but is he telling the truth? Good performance from Connolly showing he can do a more serious role without making it all jokes. (7/10)


Xzibit: Agent Mosley the FBI against bring the old team back, who never once believes what is happening. Good bad cop performance.(6/10)


Director Review: Chris Carter – The diehard fans will not be happy with this rather boring conclusion to his creation. (3/10)


Mystery: Looking for a missing person is the highlight of the mystery really. (4/10)

Sci-Fi: Yeah a sci-fi film with no sci-fi. (1/10)

Thriller: Will not pull you in. (4/10)

Settings: Simple settings adding nothing to the film. (2/10)
Special Effects
: Some good special effects with the creations. (5/10)

Suggestion: Don’t bother, even if you are a diehard fan it is not worth your time. (Avoid)


Best Part: Nope nothing.

Worst Part: Boring

Believability: The experiment side of the story has happened but the rest is not believable. (4/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $68,369,434

Budget: $30 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

Tagline: Believe Again


Overall: Boring

Rating 20

The X-Files (1998)

logoDirector: Rob Bowman

Writer: Chris Carter (Screenplay) Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz (Story)

Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, John Neville, William B. Davis, Martin Landau, Mitch Pileggi, Jeffrey DeMunn, Blythe Danner, Terry O’Quinn


Plot: With problems appearing between FBI agents Fox Mulder (Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Anderson), a dangerous conspiracy is starting to appear. A deadly virus, which appears to be of extra-terrestrial origin has appeared, which could destroy all life on Earth. With the help of a paranoid doctor Alvin Kurtzweil (Landau) Mulder and Scully must act fast in order to save everyone on the planet.


Verdict: The Conspiracy continues.


Story: In what feels like a bonus extra-long episode of the show you be believed that nothing has changed. They do get closer to the truth than they have got before but this could easily be just another season finale. If you watched the show you know what is coming and how they get there so don’t expect a new challenging story. (8/10)


Actor Reviews


David Duchovny: Mulder always believing in something out there and constantly get Scully involved even when she doesn’t believe him. Good performance as the conspiracy crazy FBI agent. (8/10)


Gillian Anderson: Scully after trying to move on with her career she ends up getting pulled back into the hunt for the truth. Good performance but much like David it is nothing more than we get off the TV show. (8/10)


Director Review: Rob Bowman – Creates an enjoyable film that keeps you interested from start to finish. (7/10)


Mystery: The show always created mystery this continues it. (8/10)

Sci-Fi: Uses its sci-fi elements very well. (9/10)

Thriller: Not quite edge of the seat but keeps your attention. (7/10)

Settings: Uses some isolated location to add to the conspiracy of what is going on in the places people don’t go to. (7/10)
Special Effects
: Good use of special effects throughout. (8/10)

Suggestion: It would be fair to say this is only one for the actual fans of the show, certain things wouldn’t add up completely if you haven’t. (Fans Watch)


Best Part: The bee defence system is good.

Worst Part: Not needed film if show was still going on.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final scene

Believability: Depends what you want to believe. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Yes has one.

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $189,176,423

Budget: $66million

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

Tagline: Discover the past, live the present, fight the future.

Trivia:Chris Carter wanted 5 season show then films, but Fox made him write the film to fill in the gaps between season 5 and 6.


Overall: The Truth Continues to Alluded Mulder

Rating 71

Princess Mononoke (1997)

logoDirector: Hayao Miyazaki

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents English) Billy Crudup, Billy Bob Thornton, Minnie Driver, John DiMaggio, Claire Danes, John DeMita, Jada Pinkett Smith, Gillian Anderson, Keith David


Plot: After being cursed by Tatarigami, Ashitaka must search for a cure. On his adventure he ends up being caught in the middle of a war between forest gods and their Princess San and a mining colony. What follows is an epic battle for what is right, wrong and what should be in the forest.


Verdict: The masterpiece about the forest war

Story: When it comes to animated stories we sometimes get them soften up for a younger audience, but we also know the Studio Ghibili will not do this. This is no exception tell and showing the brutal truth of consequences of action, be it greed, pride or stubbornness. With the characters all have good motives for their actions and well driven to complete their motives gives the story more drive and they all class in an epic battle in the end. (10/10)


Character Review: Ashitaka – Reluctant hero who gets exiled by his people even after defending them from a demon before travel to cure his curse and becoming the only voice of reason in the battle. (10/10)


Character Review: San – It would be fair to say she is like Mowgli of this film, raised by wolves to believe she is one, great warrior who fights to defend the forest. (9/10)


Character Review: Lady Eboshi – With the greed on her side she wants control for her own wealth but also treats her people better than the other villages. (9/10)


Director Review: Hayao Miyazaki – The master of animated direction shines her with yet another masterful story full with wonderful visuals. (10/10)


Adventure: Great adventure shown throughout. (9/10)

Fantasy: The idea of Gods and demons shines through in the story that will be about the beliefs of the viewers. (9/10)

Animation: Brilliant animation throughout the film. (10/10)


Believability: Be it animation all not the idea of a protector of the forest could be seen as a real idea. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: The forest settings make for a stunning backdrop for all the scenes. (10/10)

Suggestion: Most people will here animated films and go straight to the Disney’s of the world, these people have yet to see how well these films do get made. This could eclipse the best of any Disney film with ease. The story is a most watch and visual are a must see so don’t miss your chance to see this. (Watch)


Best Part:  The whole film is great I can’t pick just one part.

Trivia: This was the highest grossing film in Japan for a short time.

Oscar Chances: It should have been.

Chances of Sequel: No

Similar Too: Avatar, Ferngully: The Last Rainforest


Overall: A brilliant story, stunning visuals a must watch

Rating 96