Sunday, April 01, 2007

2007: The Year of Watching DVDs, Part XI: Aliens and More Aliens

Okay, so SUPERBLOG!! hasn't been updated in one entire week. That's because a) I've been out of town, and b) my co-blogger is weak and useless (no offense).

Anyway. Here's the eleventh weekly installment of the disturbingly popular SUPERBLOG!! feature in which we watch me watching all the movies on the IMDb top 250 list (actually I'm using the less frequently updated Twofifty list, at least for now) plus a lot of other movies. All installments.

Before Sunrise (1995)
American boy meets French girl on a train. They spend a magical night together in Vienna, walking around and talking about relationships and nothing.

Before Sunset (2004)
Spoilerish: Nine years later they meat up again and spend a perhaps slightly less magical day together in Paris, walking around and talking about relationships and nothing, and something.

Bringing Up Baby (1938)
Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn hunt for a leopard. Isn't that silly? Synchronicity: Hepburn is in The Aviator (played by Cate Blanchette), which I watched last week. Okay, that doesn't count. But how about this? At one point Grant is referred to as a "ladykiller".

The Ladykillers (1955)
See? I watched it 48 hours after I saw the remake (as mentioned last week). It's a Charming British Classic but I don't know. I think I actually prefer the American remake. I mean, Alec Guinness' teeth are awesome, but Peter Sellers is largely wasted.

Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, Season 1 (2003)
The premise (debunking society's bullshit) is much stronger than the execution but I still have a soft spot for this show and I'll probably start watching Season 2 within the next few weeks.

Alien (1979) (repeat)
2003 Special Edition. And God bless Ridley Scott for making a Director's Cut that actually shorter than the original release. But the differences between them are very minor. Hey. What the FUCK are the Alien movies about anyway? Nature versus man? I don't understand the THEME, man. And why are there a lot of SOUNDS in space? Remember the tag line? "In space, no one can here you scream, because it's just a VACUUM", you know?

Alien vs. Predator (2004)
I thought this was supposed to be about aliens and predators. You know, because it's called Alien vs Predator and all. (Well, actually the full title of the movie is AVP: Alien vs Predator but that's like X2: X-Men United and JFK: Jack Kennedy Resurrected.) But there are a lot of humans running around. Talking, even. And the sole survivor is a human (the black chick (that's a SPOILER, don't read it!)). Ewan Bremner who is in Trainspotting is in this. He plays someone, I don't know who exactly, I was a little bit drunk when I watched this. I watched it in a hotel room. (I'm still there as I type this. (But not this.))


The concept is of course GENIUS (and has been milked by comic books for decades) but the execution is KINDA SHIT. Lance Henrikssen as Weyland makes no sense since he was a younger man in Alien3 which takes place a bunch of years in the future. I don't know exactly how many but 57 years passes between Alien and Aliens, right? And Alien doesn't take place before 2004, right? And Alien vs Predator takes place in 2004, yeah? So how does that work? Was that an android in Alien3 after all? But how come he BLED? These are all questions that need to be asked, and asked hard.

Besides, Predators have always looked stupid. And ugly. (Kind of like our old friend Scotty.) One golden Michael Keaton.

Aliens (1986) (repeat)
The director's cut. A little bit better than the original. Not because it's longer (length sucks), but because the scenes that were cut in the theatrical release are kind of important.

A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
Full of Brando goodness. Vivien Leigh, too.

Great Expectations (1946)
John Mills is 20 years too old to play Pip but otherwise it's a fine film. The only element I really miss is Wemmick. He's in the movie but the actor feels wrong and he gets very little screen time anyway.

Alien3 (1992) (repeat)
The special edition. It's fun to see Paul McGann's role expanded. He was "I" from Withnail and I, you know. But it's still not good.

Mystic River (2003)
The movie that cost Bill Murray his Oscar for Lost in Translation. Sean's not too shabby, though.

Alien Resurrection (1997) (repeat)
Special edition. And NOT a director's cut says Jean-Pierre Whatshisname. It doesn't really matter, it's still a mess.

Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Sergio Leone was a very talented filmmaker who somehow found new ways to irritate me with each movie he made. Almost all of them are very slow AND very overlong. (One or the other wouldn't be so bad.) And this is no exception. (I think it's the second longest movie on the 250 list.) And just a little while into the movie, he lets an intensely annoying phone ring for what feels like fifteen minutes (but is probably closer to five). Luckily, it gets better. It's quite sprawling but I think it's surprisingly focused considering SIX people are credited with the screenplay, plus one with "additional dialogue". (Plus one uncredited, according to IMDb.) With this one I've seen 90 percent of the films on Twofifty.

Van Helsing (2004)
Stupid and loud adventure movie/horror spoof. Okay to drink beer to. Strangely downbeat ending. I have a low tolerance for this kind of movie but Hugh Jackman is a charismatic action hero and Kate Beckinsale is hot. Other cast members include Faramir from Lord of the Rings and the Duke from Moulin Rouge. Actually, Faramir had a small part in Moulin Rouge as well, but I don't remember him. The Frankenstein monster looks like Danny Boyle [Update: Fuck, I meant Peter Boyle of course. Thx, Matt.] in Young Frankenstein. I kept waiting (to no avail) for cameos by, like, the Mummy and the Invisible Man.

Of course, the 160 million dollars it cost to make this piece of crap could have been used to save the lives of thousands of people. So we might as well enjoy it.

The Searchers (1956)
God, how I hate John Wayne. The DVD extras features 50s interviews by a guy who's the spitting image of Troy McClure.


Twofifty update: 226


Moocko said...

I love the phone ringing sequence in OUATIA. Great and intense; really punctuates the brain.

Afe said...

I thought OUATIA was a bit boring too. Except the parts with the killing, and the sex, and eating the cream puff on the stairs. Ah, cream puff.

Koala Mentala said...

I liked the movie okay, it's just that it made a very bad first impression on me. It's definitely one of the ten best movies I saw last week.

Matthew said...

Don't you mean Peter Doyle? Danny Doyle directed The Beach. Are you trying to funny. You are not funny.

Koala Mentala said...

I meant Peter Boyle. Danny Boyle directed Trainspotting. Guess I was still thinking about Alien vs Predator.

"Doyle"? NOT FUNNY.

Matthew said...

Okay, okay, that was pretty funny.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I recently added a news widget from to my blog. It shows the latest news, and just took a copy and paste to implement. Might interest you too.