• A Review Page For Those Movies You Watch At Home!

    Couch Potato Movie Reviews is, obviously, a blog that exclusively reviews movies. What makes this blog different is the fact that all of the films we are reviewing are all movies that are available on home movie rental companies such as Redbox, Netflix, Blockbuster, and your quickly disappearing neighborhood rental store. This blog is designed to take a more detailed look at those movies that either were sent straight to DVD, received a very limited release in the theaters, or were distributed through the art house or film festival circuit. We will also review those big Hollywood films, but only after they are available for home viewing.

    All the reviews are written by fans of the great art of film making rather than some newspaper reviewer or stuffy film student. We don’t know everything about film but we do know what we like, and we are more than happy to share our opinions with you. What you do with those opinions are totally up to you, although comments are welcome and encouraged.

    Each film review has a one to five star rating at the end of the critique. Here is what those star ratings mean for you couch potatoes:

    * * * * * : Five stars: go and buy this one, don’t just rent it!

    * * * * : Four stars: put this at the top of your rental list.

    * * * : Three stars: average, not bad just not great either.

    * * : Two stars: only rent if you have to see everything.

    * : One star: don’t waste your time with this.

Cyborg 2

TITLE: Cyborg 2

YEAR: 1993

GENRE: Science Fiction and Action/Adventure

There is an old saying that “you have to start somewhere”, and nowhere it is more true than with Hollywood actors. Some are lucky enough to begin in films that become classics such as Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween, but in most cases some of the biggest names in Hollywood begin their careers in movies that are surely no longer on their resume. Tom Hanks was a teenager who died at the end of a psycho’s knife in He Knows You’re Alone, Renee Zellweger met Leatherface in Texas Chainsaw Massacre 4: The Beginning, and Jennifer Aniston was chased around by the man at the end of the rainbow in Leprechaun. Long before she donned the tight archaeological outfit in the Tomb Raider films and was listed by many magazines as the most beautiful woman in the world, Angelina Jolie had more humble beginnings in the low budget sci-fi film Cyborg 2. This sci-fi film had some interesting moments, but usually takes itself too seriously and gets bogged down under a combination of a sub-par script and lack of quality production values.

In a future ravaged by big business, two companies rule the technological sector. Both of them create cybernetic human androids for multiple purposes including the military, pets, and even prostitution, but both companies are also out to destroy each other. The American company, Pinwheel Productions, creates a beautiful cyborg named Cash (played by Jolie) to infiltrate their competitor’s annual corporate meeting and detonate a bomb within her systems to kill all the top people of that company in one explosion. The problem is that she understands the concepts of self preservation and stars to become enamored with one of her trainers, hence not wanting to “die”. Both of them escape together, and the competitor company and Pinwheel both send mercenaries to find the escaped cyborg. Helping the fugitives is a character named Mercy who is attempting to lead them to a ship that will bring them to a place where they can live out their lives in love and away from persecution, but the journey is a run for their lives.

This film had a very limited theatrical release and would have been lost to the annals of 90’s cinema if it was not for Jolie’s appearance and subsequent nude scene in the movie. There really is not much more memorable about this film, although I will admit that it appears that the project is motivated. It is not that cheesy like some other low budget sci-fi and at times tries to be a very serious film but the too simplistic story and awful 1990’s straight to video soundtrack (it seems like a lot of these films borrowed from the same bad writing pool) does not help. Cyborg 2 comes across as being too serious of a film and needs to lighten up a bit in order to carry this type of storyline more effectively. I’m not saying it should be a jokefest, but the tone is almost suffocating at times and as a result loses the audience. On the positive the character Mercy is played by Jack Palance, and his character is gleeful with a giant machine gun and yelling good one liners like “If you want to eat with the Devil you will need a  long spoon” while mowing down military guys.

It could have been worse (Battlefield: Earth anybody?). It does carry itself well enough for a minimal budget sci-fi film, but overall Cyborg 2 just does not have the chops to raise itself above the 1990’s independent films that filled Mom and Pop video stores. This movie will be fun for Angelina Jolie fans to see how far she has gone from her humble beginnings, but the die-hard sci-fi fan will probably leave a viewing of Cyborg 2 wanting more. It does get some points for a noble effort but overall does not raise itself above other low budget 90’s gems.

* * 1/2

–Mark

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