TV Episode Reviews & Recaps
Sort By:
[Popular Now]
[Date Posted]
[Series Title]
[Original Airdate]
Agonizer (Everything Else)
Sort By:
[Popular Now]
[Date Posted]
TV Episode Reviews & Recaps
Sort By:
[Popular Now]
[Date Posted]
[Series Title]
[Original Airdate]
Agonizer (Everything Else)
Sort By:
[Popular Now]
[Date Posted]
Blood Splattered Cinema
Hosted by: Horror Guru
The Horror Guru reviews the bloodiest, wildest, and weirdest horror that cinema has to offer!
The Bunny Perspective!
Hosted by: Phil Buni
Media reviews and analysis by a pot smoking, puppet bunny. Do you like weird-but-great underground films? Hate Glee, Gigli, and other Hollywood garbage? The Bunny Perspective offers a blend of humorously angry negative reviews, and honest praise of underground movies and TV. We talk about films, TV, anime, and animation. We are the Cult of the Bunny, and you too can be a Cultist. #CultoftheBunny
Cartoon Palooza
Hosted by: Joey Tedesco
A satirical review show where a guy from Jersey watches and criticizes cartoons, including everything from comic books to animated movies. Whatever it is, Joey will either tell you to run out and see it... or fughetabouit!
The Cheap-Arse Film Review
Hosted by: Liam Barrett
It's the Cheap-Arse Film Review, where a young(ish) man finds out if it's possible to live the life of a cinephile super-nerd on the strictest budget possible. Inspired by growing up in the wilds of Essex, England (that's only partially a joke, by the way) and the current harsh economic times, Liam only reviews DVD that can be purchased for £1.00p or less!
The Count Jackula Show
Hosted by: Count Jackula
There are vampires, and there are men from outer space, but there is only one vampire from outer space! Join Count Jackula from the Planet Drakula as he explains the ins and outs of horror, from the mythic to the modern. Blood, off-color humor, and an obsession with Elvira are in store for you!
The DVD Shelf
Hosted by: David Rose
Life is short, so skip the bad movies and let your host David Rose reveal, review, and recommend the ones you should have on your own DVD shelf. The DVD Shelf is a film-lover's safe haven to bask in the warm glow of cult favorites, over-looked cinematic gems, rediscovered classics, and downright fun flicks on both DVD and Blu-ray.
The Examined Life (of Gaming)
Hosted by: Roland Thompson
Just when video games were getting good, the late '90s and early '00s came along. The Examined Life (of Gaming) dares to delve into the good, the bad, and the value-priced games of this dark period, and sometimes we find something worth playing!
The Film Renegado
Hosted by: Film Renegado
Coming to you from south of the border, it's the Film Renegado! A civil engineer with a cinephile complex, the Film Renegado uses movies made in Mexico or by Mexican directors to share bits from his country's culture, past and present. You will both learn and be entertained! How cool is that?
Friday Night Fright Flicks
Hosted by: Count Jackula & Horror Guru
Welcome, fright knights, to Friday Night Fright Flicks! Join your hosts Count Jackula and the Horror Guru as they stumble their way through current horror releases, letting you know which ones are worth the price of admission.
Good Bad Flicks
Hosted by: Cecil Trachenburg
Good Bad Flicks is a show not only dedicated to rare movies, but also forgotten classics and misunderstood box office bombs. Your host Cecil takes you through each movie, discussing the promotional materials, and taking a look at what went on behind the scenes. With a healthy dose of Irish sarcasm, he throws a few jabs at even his most cherished favorites.
The Graphic Novel Picture Show
Hosted by: Solkir
Your host Solkir presents The Graphic Novel Picture Show, a retrospective of the history of comic book movies!
Joshua the Anarchist
Hosted by: Joshua Bell
Charged with the crime of liking Batman & Robin, Joshua the Anarchist has been declared insane and committed to Arkham Asylum. Locked away in a padded cell, he'll endure movie after movie as doctors attempt to "treat" him. He may not have gone in a madman, but he soon will be.
Minority Report Reviews
Hosted by: Tom Marriott
Minority Report Reviews is where often slated or just plain forgotten films and TV shows come for an ego boost. Focusing primarily on unloved sequels, your host Tom Marriott takes questions from the general public to showcase the positives in these films. Love it or hate it, this is the show where you can have your say and see a guilty pleasure defended by the host with the most... strange tastes.
Movie Dorkness
Hosted by: Sofie Liv
It's the show formerly known as Red Suitcase Adventues! Join Sofie Liv, a nice Dane (who may not be as negative as everyone else!) as she dissects pop culture phenomena to explore both the good and bad in popular films.
The Movie Skewer
Hosted by: Team Agony Booth
From the makers of the Agony Booth™ comes The Movie Skewer, where terrible movies are roasted over an open flame for your enjoyment. Watch the very first online review/recap series that’s too much for one host to handle!
Mr. Mendo's Hack Attack
Hosted by: Michael A. Novelli
Need a healthy dose of cynicism from a guy whose face you can barely see? Then Mr. Mendo’s your man! Whether a movie suffers from Hype Backlash, Intellectual Dishonesty, or is just Complete Shit, Mr. Mendo is there. Mr. Mendo wasn‘t raised in this country, so he takes nothing for granted: if something ain‘t right, he’ll nose it out. So join him as he takes on Oscar winners and legendary flops alike in front of a blanket suspended between his couch and recliner!
Mystery Madness
Hosted by: Full of Questions
Mysteries are awesome! And who's better suited to examine the wonderful, the terrible, and the adequate of the movie mystery genre than a teenager with nerdy glasses and substandard editing software? ...Many people, probably, but enjoy the show anyway!
PGSM Summaries
Hosted by: Nycea
Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon (PGSM for short) is a hilarious live-action retelling of the Sailor Moon story. On this show, your host Nycea summarizes and riffs on this gloriously bad series—one episode at a time.
Reel vs. Reel
Hosted by: Animated Heroine
Animation isn't just for kids; it's also for adults who never learned how to grow up. In Reel vs. Reel, the Animated Heroine looks at two similar animated films to see which one comes out on top and why. Her love for good animated films is only matched by her cynicism towards the bad ones.
Stuff You Like
Hosted by: Sursum Ursa
Stuff You Like is an original show where redhead Sursum Ursa waxes enthusiastic about movies, TV shows, and anything else that comes to mind! Expect singing, snarky subtitles, random pictures she finds on the internet, and lots of fangirling!
Terror Obscura
Hosted by: Fear Fan
Terror Obscura is a show dedicated to exploring the best and worst horror films ever made. While some shows are content to just mock bad films, this one isn't afraid to take even the most sacred of cows to the slaughterhouse. If you like horror, humor, or if you're just looking to find some titles you might want to rent, Terror Obscura is the show for you!
Tom's Retrophilia
Hosted by: Thomas Stockel
Is he a connoisseur of vintage media, or just a bitter old man trapped in the past?  Either way, tune in and watch Tom take a look at the movies and television shows from a time when he was actually in the target audience!
The Unusual Suspect
Hosted by: Unusual Suspect
The Unusual Suspect reviews popular movies, and tears 'em apart! They may be good, but no movie is perfect, and there's always things you may have overlooked and hadn't thought about. So join the Suspect as he exploits and ridicules the films you know and love. Just don't kill him for it!
What We Had to Watch
Hosted by: Il Neige
Il Neige is a smart-ass with a love-hate relationship with movies from the new millennium. Sure, reviews can be fun or cathartic, but there's also the risk of the occasional Twi-hard invasion or fireball to the face! ...That's how these things usually go, right? So join Il Neige as he braves the cinematic dangers that lie just beyond the fourth wall to critique the best and worst of 21st century filmmaking!
Click to see all our shows!
the agony booth

A Sound of Thunder
Posted on: Oct 6, 2008.
A Sound of Thunder (2005)
Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

The Cast of Characters:
Edward Burns as Travis RyerTravis Ryer (Edward Burns). Leader of each Time Safari jump. He justifies his participation in such a—gasp—grossly capitalist venture with crazy talk about studying dinosaur DNA so he can recreate lions. I think. He's only slightly less stiff than the fossilized bones of the dinosaurs they hunt.
Catherine McCormack as Sonia RandSonia Rand (Catherine McCormack). She invented time travel, so I guess she's supposed to be the strong, smart woman who defies stereotypes. McCormack succeeds in defying stereotypes, though not in the way you'd expect—she actually plays the least likable love interest ever.
Sir Ben Kingsley as Charles HattonCharles Hatton (Sir Ben Kingsley). Okay, so is Kingsley supporting a Shakespeare revival theater somewhere? Feeding a ferocious monkey on his back with pharmaceuticals? Paying child support for dozens of illegitimate children? What's up with the roles he's chosen lately? BloodRayne... Thunderbirds... This movie...
Jemima Rooper as Jenny KraseJenny Krase (Jemima Rooper). Time Safari staffer with two main roles in the movie. First, she records holograms of each safari. Second, she looks nummilicious.
David Oyelowo as Marcus PayneMarcus Payne (David Oyelowo). Another Time Safari employee. Seems to be in charge of maintaining the time travel machinery, and delivering enormously wordy slabs of exposition.
Wilfried Hochholdinger as Dr. LucasDr. Lucas (Wilfried Hochholdinger). Medical representation on each Time Safari jump. One of those doctors who totally doesn't get why people aren't as excited about medical science as he is, and is therefore a drag at parties. Also speaks with a thick accent, making him unintelligible much of the time. Considering his lines, that's probably a blessing.
August Zirner as Clay DerrisClay Derris (August Zirner). Government regulator along for the ride on each jump, charged with making sure that nobody alters history. (We'll see how well he succeeds soon enough.) On the take from Hatton, of course.
The article continues after this advertisement...

Before I get started, I want to give special thanks to the Agony Booth forum members who provided suggestions on improving this recap. Also, special thanks to Ivan Druzhkov, who allowed me to pillage from his own partial, unfinished recap of A Sound of Thunder. Thanks, folks!

Roger Ebert defines an idiot plot as "any plot containing problems which would be solved instantly if all of the characters were not idiots." The 2005 Ray Bradbury desecration—er, adaptation, A Sound of Thunder is a lot like an idiot plot fractal. The plot as a whole is an idiot plot, and no matter how far down into the details you wallow, you still find a whole new, glorious idiot plot.

There must be a kernel of pure, unadulterated idiocy somewhere in the center of this movie, surrounded by wave after wave of nonsense. These waves eventually break upon a humble recapper such as myself, and then the recapper engages in a sort of "meta-idiocy" by writing a lengthy, snark-filled recap about it. Now the waves of preposterousness are washing over you, dear reader. Enjoy, but don't let yourself be washed away.

Bradbury's short story, originally published in 1952, is one of those stories that everyone seems to have read. In fact, the story is so famous that even folks who haven't read it probably know the rough outline: hunters use a time machine to travel back to a prehistoric jungle to shoot a dinosaur. Unfortunately, one of the hunters steps on a butterfly, changing the course of history. When they return to the future, they find that the outcome of the most recent presidential election has been reversed, among other subtle changes. The way the death of an insect in the distant past changes things in the present—leading to a fascist president, most notably—provides a relatively understated, but horrifying, conclusion to the story.

Unlike most science fiction short stories, "A Sound of Thunder" has definitely had legs since it was first published: it's one of the most reprinted sci-fi stories in history, and it's also permeated into the popular culture.

To name just a few examples: "A Sound of Thunder" was made into a comic book in the 1950s, featured in a graphic novel in 2003, and referenced in the "Treehouse of Horror V" episode of The Simpsons. It's even managed to become associated with the term "Butterfly Effect," a lay explanation for the concept of sensitivity to initial conditions in chaos theory, a term that was coined by mathematician Edward Lorenz in the 1960s.

Most folks that have a casual grasp of the Butterfly Effect probably think of Bradbury's story first. Few will remember Lorenz, and fewer still will remember the Ashton Kutcher debacle of the same name. And both people that saw The Butterfly Effect 2 are still institutionalized, so we won't count them at all.

I'll save a more detailed discussion of the short story, and how it differs from the movie, for the end of the recap. Because if I were to include these differences in the main text, my comments would mostly be limited to "that didn't happen in the story", repeated ad infinitum.

But that in and of itself shouldn't be too much of a surprise. It's pretty obvious that when scaling up a short story into a feature-length film, lots of material needs to be added. That's not necessarily always a bad thing; for example, Minority Report is based on a short story by science fiction author Philip K. Dick, and last I checked, Minority Report didn't suck. Heck, Dick's short story "We Can Remember It for You Wholesale" also "inspired" Total Recall, and I liked that movie, too. The point being, adapting a short story for the big screen doesn't always result in crap.

But it really, really depends a lot on what you add. If you pad the story out with crap in order to make it movie-length, then you'll get a movie that's, well, full of crap. But calling the stuff added to Bradbury's story "crap", however, is demeaning to crap. My dogs poop smarter than this movie.

Not only is A Sound of Thunder a veritable black hole of stupidity, but its production history seems to have been cursed. The movie was shot in Prague, and production stalled when floods in the summer of 2002 damaged the sets. The European shooting location explains the cast as well, although Europeans trying to fake American accents is the least of this movie's problems.

And as if that weren't enough, the original production company, Franchise Pictures, was forced into bankruptcy after losing a lawsuit involving an investment scam worthy of The Producers.

Basically, Franchise was padding the budgets of their films in order to rip off their investors—much like Cannon Films a decade prior. Investors thought they were financing about half the cost of the movies, when in fact they were carrying almost the whole burden. Then, if a film happened to make some money, Franchise would reap the windfall. One of the films in question was Battlefield Earth, on which Franchise allegedly spent only $44 million, rather than the $75 million they claimed.

I doubt a skuzzy company with a track record of putting out horrible movies (Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever, anyone?) would've done a great job with A Sound of Thunder, even without the bankruptcy. Especially with this script, which so neatly wraps up Bradbury's story with layer upon layer of dung.

But the bankruptcy during post-production seems to have done a number on the "special" effects which, as you'll see later in the recap, are incredibly cheap looking. It's entirely plausible that when the money ran out, some accountant just walked in and unplugged the render farm. The movie was "finished" with whatever CGI was complete when the power was cut.

More evidence of the curse: the director originally hired, Renny Harlin, bolted and was replaced by Peter Hyams. Hyams has written and directed some pretty good films, like Outland and 2010, so his mere presence isn't an immediate harbinger of doom. Actually, Harlin seems to have far more stinkers on his record (Cliffhanger, The Adventures of Ford Fairlane, etc.), so maybe the director swap was an upgrade. At least in theory.

Not only that, but Agony Booth Repeat Offender Pierce Brosnan was originally slated to star. Unfortunately, he was replaced by a wooden marionette that looks a lot like Edward Burns.

And would you believe, there are still more problems?

The actors don't emote, other than Ben Kingsley bugging his eyes out every five minutes. The characters don't care about each other. People talk funny, blathering on for paragraphs at a time. Most of the movie is as dark as the inside of a coal mine at midnight. Scientific accuracy is bitch-slapped to the point of unconsciousness. Most of the characters aren't likable. Ben Kingsley's hair.

I could go on... and I will. This is the Agony Booth, after all.

Latest Comments

Top Trackbacks (Pages linking to this recap)
(2108 hits)
(2100 hits)
(760 hits)
(655 hits)
(242 hits)
(218 hits)
(131 hits)

Popular Right Now

Posted Mar 26, 2015 by Staff Writer
Posted Mar 20, 2015 by Joshua Bell
Posted Mar 25, 2015 by Cecil Trachenburg
Posted Mar 17, 2015 by Chelsey McQuitty
Posted Mar 13, 2015 by Thomas Stockel
Posted Mar 6, 2015 by Dr. Winston O'Boogie
Posted Mar 22, 2015 by Joey Tedesco
Posted Mar 3, 2015 by Jonathan Campbell
Posted Mar 16, 2015 by Hex
Posted Mar 12, 2015 by Joel Schlosberg
About the Site:
Text Archives:
Video Archives:
Other Content:
Series Pages:
Feeds (RSS):
Video Shows:
Support the Site:
On Other Sites:
Top #tags:

All articles posted to the agony booth are the sole property of the author(s). Please do not copy/reproduce entire articles without permission. Screencaps from movies and TV shows are used for non-profit, fair use purposes of parody and commentary. Star Trek and all related images and trademarks are the property of CBS Studios, Inc.

Reviewer icon artwork provided by Tai Porto, Aaron “McKnackus” Rivera, and Magdalen O’Reilly.