100 Below Zero (2013)
Company: The Asylum
Runtime: 90 mins
Format: Online Streaming Via Space Channel
Plot: When a chain of volcanic eruptions rips through Europe, the enormous ash cloud blocks out the sun, plunging the continent into a new ice age. An American couple must find their college-aged kids and get them out of Paris before it freezes over.
We also have Jeff Fahey (Lost, The Eden Formula, last year's SyFy movie Alien Tornado, Operation Delta Force) once again taking up the role of a pilot, which is quite the nice treat for those of us who are die-hard Lost fans, along with Sara Malakul Lane (Sharktopus, Asylum's 12/12/12, the upcoming Jurassic Block) as his daughter and a couple pretty unknowns as Jeff Fahey's son and new wife, but the fact that they are unknowns is not a testament to their acting as, much like with the others I've mentioned, they were actually surprisingly good actors. Jeff Fahey's kids here are college-age and are actually going to university in Paris, which pleasantly surprised me as that for once, the main focus of this movie is actually not in the U.S. but in France. Normally these kinds of movies (Asylum-made or not) take place in the U.S.A., so it was a nice change from the norm to have this take place largely in Paris. The actors for his kids also had great chemistry together which made their scenes that much more fun to watch, even though Sara Malakul Lane's accent kept slipping in and out, but I can overlook that as she was better then I expected, plus she's just an overall adorable cutie. There are other people and characters in the movie, but they're all pretty crappy to be honest, and pretty much exactly what you would expect from a movie like this.
In all honesty though, it's quite impressive that the acting is as good as it is, because what they're given to work with isn't much – the dialog they have to spew is just painful to listen to, because it's so unrealistic and just not how real people talk. Sentences are very awkwardly-structured, and more often then not filled with piles upon piles of run-on exposition that is not even delivered in any realistic fashion. I can overlook that if it was only in a couple scenes, but the majority of the movie is filled with that, so I'm amazed the actors did such a great job with such crappy dialog.
As for the special effects for these very few scenes of disaster, well they're a mixed bag. Some are better then others, but overall they're not the worst I've seen from this company but they're also nowhere near the best either. The falling hailstones and rushing water was decent, but there was also some truly terrible green-screen work going on in some scenes, even scenes that didn't really require it as there wasn't even anything going on in terms of disasters, just a couple characters walking down a street. Even the scenes where the CGI was decent, such as in the aforementioned moments, it was just kind of a bit of wasted effort since the scenes are so few and far between, and only last about 60 seconds or so.
3/10 rooms in the Psych Ward