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Case Number 21715

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Turbulent Skies

Anchor Bay // 2010 // 87 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 6th, 2011

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All Rise...

Pass Judge David Johnson the barf bag.

The Charge

Technology takes over the skies.

The Case

After a horrific plane crash that claimed the lives of hundreds, an airline has decided to move aggressively and develop a solution that will prevent pilots from committing such wanton slaughter because they're horrible and stupid. And that solution is an advanced AI module hardwired into the avionics that will ensure that planes fly and land safely, compensating for human error with its awesome binary consciousness.

This exciting new technology that can no-way-no-how ever short-circuit and endanger innocents was developed by the brilliant and strikingly handsome Tom Woodard (Casper Van Dien, Starship Troopers). Unfortunately, corporate douchebag Charles Devain (Patrick Muldoon, Saved by the Bell) opts to rush the invention and test it out on a flight with actual investors on board. Woodard strenuously objects, especially since his wife Samantha (Nicole Eggert, Baywatch) is on board what is sure to be a doomed flight.

And guess what: it is doomed! Devain messes with the circuitry and it goes haywire, seizing command of the plane and steering into a super lightning storm. A few bolts electrify the jet and kill both pilots (conveniently enough), leaving the plane pilot-less and its passengers bound for hot and sticky electric death…

…that is, unless Tom can take advantage of some file footage of the SR-71 Blackbird and fly up to the plane and deactivate the homicidal flux capacitor or whatever it is and save the day.

And that's just what he does and if you've lasted that long through this atrocity to witness the utterly predictable and derivative finale, then, frankly, you need to get yourself a life.

Turbulent Skies is astoundingly terrible, an exercise in sheer incompetence and I am absolutely certain repeat showings somehow played a key role in securing actionable intelligence about Osama bin Laden's whereabouts. I can hear the desperate screams of "No more Muldoon!!!" in Arabic echoing through the halls of the CIA secret prison now.

All of the action transpires either in a cramped airplane set (the feeling of flight is achieved with incessant camera shake) or a room full of computer terminals, one of which is manned by the guy who plays Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration. Sandwiched between these static sets is some truly awful CGI plane footage.

The human characters are either intensely dumb—I don't care how much of a dickhead rich guy you are, why would you fly a bunch of wealthy investors in a plane piloted by an untested computer brain?!—or, well, they're all dumb actually.

Worse, the homicidal AI is an embarrassment to some of the great homicidal AI from the films of yore. All it manages to do is shake the plane a bit when Casper Van Dien starts digging in with his flathead screwdriver. Where are the laser turrets or Centurions? What kind of sentient computer do you think you are?

A nothing of a DVD: 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 surround, no extras.

The Verdict

Shoot it the f—-- out of the sky, Mr. President.

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Scales of Justice

Video: 80
Audio: 80
Extras: 0
Acting: 40
Story: 20
Judgment: 25

Perp Profile

Studio: Anchor Bay
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
• English (SDH)
Running Time: 87 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Action
• Bad
• Science Fiction
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• None


• IMDb

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