Wednesday, March 21, 2007

2007: The Year of Watching DVDs, Week IX: Aliens and Santas

The ninth weekly installment (slightly delayed) of the ever-popular SUPERBLOG!! feature! You know you can view the entire epic by clinging on the label, right?

Philadelphia Story (1940)
Sophisticated-for-its-time tale of drinking and marriage and stuff. Sadly, I could totally identify with James Stewart's character. Story of my life, man! Excellent despite the stupid ending.

Trading Places (1983) (repeat)
I fucking love this movie. I watched it a bunch of times when I was a kid but this is the first time I noticed Clarence Beeks reading Gordon Liddy's Will on the train to establish what an asshole he is. (But did he really deserve to get raped by a gorilla?) It's basically a fairytale, clearly unbelivable, but there's just so many great characters. Synchronicity: Takes place in Philadelphia.

Les Quatre cents coups (1959)
400 Blows blows! Seems Real but it's the kind of Boring Reality I could do without. Every adult in the film seems to be an asshole, but since they're French it's hard to say for sure.

Spartacus (1960) (repeat)
Oysters and snails!

Bad Santa (2003) (repeat)
Original theatrical cut. I was a tad disappointed with this, Terry Zwigoff's follow-up to Ghost World, when I first saw it (in a longer, unrated version). But now I realize that, while it may basically be a one-joke story, it's heart-warming and it captures the true spirit of Christmas (getting stupid drunk and fucking Lauren Graham in a Santa outfit). That PLUS I froze the screen at the end of the end credits and saw this:

"The producers of Stolichnaya Vodka caution viewers to consume alcoholic beverages responsibly and lawfully and not to consume such beverages in an abusive or irresponsible manner."

Synchronicity: I bought it at the same time as Trading Places, which also features a Bad Santa:

Another Bad Santa

The Prestige (2006)
Two stage magicians wage a lonely war against terror. No, wait, against each other I mean. Good actors and directing, but the main "twist" was screamingly obvious at a very early stage. (As Sam is my witness, I guessed it in the first or second scene the character in question was even in. Granted, I'm a lot smarter than most of you who read this, but I imagine even stupid people would figure it out 40 minutes or so before the Big Reveal.) David Bowie guest-stars as Nikola Tesla, real-life inventor of the hairdryer. In this movie he has created a cyborg, intent on killing humanity. No, wait, I just dreamt that.

Alien (1979) (Repeat)
Original theatrical release. Classic claustrophobia.

Aliens (1986)
Original theatrical release. Pretty good, and should get some credit for being very different from the first one. But there's too many action-movie clichés.

Alien3 (1992)
Original theatrical release. Not bad but not good either. Hey, remember when I used to create, or at least Photoshop, things for SUPERBLOG!!? Those were the days. But you know I care about you coz I made sure the "3" in "Alien3" was all sup.

Alien Resurrection (1997)
Guess what? Original theatrical release. Looks fantastic and I like the setup. I felt there was a good movie in there somewhere, struggling to get out. Screenwriter Joss Whedon seems to confirm it:

Whedon was extremely unhappy with the final product. In a 2005 interview, when asked how the film differed from the script he had written, Whedon responded, "It wasn’t a question of doing everything differently, although they changed the ending; it was mostly a matter of doing everything wrong. They said the lines...mostly...but they said them all wrong. And they cast it wrong. And they designed it wrong. And they scored it wrong. They did everything wrong that they could possibly do. There’s actually a fascinating lesson in filmmaking, because everything that they did reflects back to the script or looks like something from the script, and people assume that, if I hated it, then they’d changed the script...but it wasn’t so much that they’d changed the script; it’s that they just executed it in such a ghastly fashion as to render it almost unwatchable."

The quote came from the Internet.

And that's it for this time.

Twofifty update: 211


Moocko said...

Well, I have ALWAYS thought that ALIEN 4 is kind of underestimated. I would even score it 3. And I would score Alien 3 3. And the second one 3 too. But I would score the first one 5.

Moocko said...

SCOOORE. ("Rate", u kno.)

Afe said...

Do you sleep?

Koala Mentala said...

Sleep is for the weak, Apu...

Erika said...

Eddie Murphy is at the top of his game in Trading Places. Every time I watch that movie I see something new.

I don't get why everyone claims that Aliens is better than Alien. James Cameron vs. Ridley Scott? No frickin' contest.

It's important to clarify that it was the Bad Santa, not Lauren Graham, wearing the Santa suit. The English language is so stupid.

Koala Mentala said...

Thank you, Erika! You are right about everything!

I could have simply written "fucking Lauren Graham while wearing a Santa suit" but I thought the ambiguous wording conjured up a more interesting mental image.