Review: Good and Horrible Science Fiction Films I’ve Watched Lately

alienMy son David has been spending a lot more time over our place since the divorce. OK, he’s living here, and the junk, uh…belongings of three of my adult offspring are strategically arranged throughout my garage.

One such container is a huge, blue bucket full of David’s DVD movies. Last week, I had a lot of down time in the evenings, and since my brain was in no shape to write, I watched a few of these films. Some were crap, others were not.

Crap. Anything by Michael Bay including the first Transformers (2007) film. The only actor worth his or her salt in that movie was Jon Voight, and all I can say is that he must have needed the money to be associated with this turkey. It must have pulled down some significant green for so many sequels to be made, but the American movie goer can’t always be counted upon for good taste.

G.I. Joe: The Rise of the Cobra (2009) was horrible. There were two good actors in this one, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Dennis Quaid (there may have been more, but I was blinded by the incredible stupidity of this movie). Yes, plenty of action and adventure, but the acting was wooden, the writing pathetic, and I just didn’t care what happened to these people. The worst part was Quaid addressing his team as “Joes”.

Alien (1979) scared the hell out of me when I first saw it in the theater back in the day. In fact, I’ve been avoiding this film and all of its sequels just because I don’t find being terrified particularly entertaining at my current stage of life.

But I thought I’d take a chance and see it again. Knowing what’s going to happen ahead of time takes some of the teeth out of this one. It was very watchable and entertaining, and I found I could manage the “scary” parts. A very well put together film (though the technical accuracy sucked…no one on a spacecraft treats water as such a disposable commodity as Ridley did in “Alien”).

I figured I’d risk Aliens (1986) and was pleasantly surprised. It was more action/adventure rather than horror, and the tie in between Ripley mourning the loss of her daughter who she last saw when the girl was 10 (Ripley spent a lot of time in suspended animation) and her connection with the little girl Newt was a particularly nice touch.

I also learned that actor Bill Paxton pretty much plays the same creepy character in every film he appears.

Nice to see Terminator alumni Michael Biehn (Reese) and Lance Henriksen (Detective Vukovich) together in this one.

Both of those DVDs came with Predator (1987) and Predator 2 (1990) included. The first one isn’t exactly fine filmmaking, but it’s just plain 1980s action/adventure fun. The second had Danny Glover and Gary Busey, who typically deliver good performances, and, amazingly, Bill Paxton playing the same old sleeze bag.

It lacked something the original had and, of course, was made to make money, not fun. Barely watchable, but that’s not the worst of it.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007) was the worst. Even worse than “Transformers”. The only really “suspenseful” part was Aliens invading a maternity ward, and that was mostly just gross. The face hugger and chest explorer scenes, which terrified me in “Alien” was merely cheap horror film guts and gore fodder in this mess.

Of all the movies mentioned, the original “Alien” was top-notch followed by its immediate sequel “Aliens” (still haven’t seen the other two). Bottom of the barrel, “AVP: Requiem.” Don’t waste your time, even if you can watch it for free.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.