Tag Archives: Aliens

Attack the Block will rock your socks

Around the same time J.J. Abrams was showcasing his ode to Spielberg, Super 8, Joe Cornish’s Attack the Block was in limited release and getting none of the attention it deserved.  In contrast to Spielberg and Abrams’ penchant for quaint middle-American childhoods, Attack the Block is all about urban hoodlums putting their life of hard knocks to use when they have to fight an alien invasion.  They aren’t going to share Reese’s pieces or heartwarming moments with the invaders – they’re going to fuck ’em up. Continue reading

“Attack the Block” the new “Goonies”?

Attack the Block is one of the current stand-out films of the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) and with good reason: a film co-written and starring Nick Frost (Ed from Shaun of the Dead, who also co-wrote the hilarious Paul) about inner-city kids battling invading aliens looks like great fun. Continue reading

Hard-on for the Marines keeps “Battle: L.A.” from taking off

In the last 1/3 of Battle: L.A. protagonist Michael Nantz finally confesses to one of his men the details of the inner strife that has been percolating.  It’s supposed to be an emotionally charged moment, but it’s abruptly deflated when Nantz proclaims, “But none of that matters right now.”  And much to its detriment, that’s precisely how the film treats anything without bullets and fireballs. Continue reading

New trailer for “Super 8” leaves you wanting more

The world got its first taste of J.J. Abrams newest film, Super 8, during the Super Bowl. And now, the full trailer has arrived. If your interest was only slightly peaked for the teaser trailer, then the latest trailer is going to blow you away. And the best part? Unlike most trailers, it not only seems to avoid giving everything away but generates incredible tension. Prepare yourself for Super 8

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“Predators” is a damn fine sequel to the original

The original Predator (1987) is one of those films that is a defining moment for masculinity.  I saw Predator when I was 8 years old and the mixture of mass muscled men, “bad” words, bullets, and bravado introduced me to what it meant to be male. The film is not a traditional work of art, but like director John McTiernan’s Die Hard, Predator is a quintessential action/sci-fi film. Continue reading

“Monsters” leaves audiences in shock and awe

When you start watching films for a living, “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin'” becomes the haunting muzak filling the background of your consciousness.  Films quickly pile up in the mediocre category, with few hitting genius, or even atrocious levels.  When Monsters finished, however, I was covered with goose bumps and wanted nothing more than to sit quietly in the dark to mull it over. It is a film so powerful, fascinating and personal that it is a celluloid definition of why we go to the cinema.

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Ginger Snaps Trilogy Roundup & The Problem of Genre Distinctions (part 4)

:read part 1, part 2, part 3:

Ginger Snaps: Complete Roundup

Though the final part of the Ginger Snaps trilogy is weak, it’s not Spider-Man 3 weak. Given the track record of horror film sequels, the entire trilogy stands up pretty well. The real strength of the series lies with the characters, specifically female lead characters. The male cast members are all supporting pieces to the story (though they play bigger parts in Ginger Snaps Back), so we get a fresh perspective as Brigitte and Ginger lead us through female territory: sisterhood, mother-daughter relationships, sex, menstruation, relationships with men, etc. Continue reading

Predators Trailer Released!

First Look at New Predators

Predators poster

io9 is reporting from the South by Southwest Film Festival (SXSW) where producer Robert Rodriguez and director Nimrod Antal have shown footage of their film, Predators.  You can see the footage at this io9 piece or at the official website.

For the uninitiated, Predators is a direct sequel to the original 1987 Predator.  In the film Predators have brought the best warriors of Earth to duke it out on the Predator homeworld and stars Adrien Brody, Laurence Fishburne, Topher Grace, and a possible cameo from Schwarzenegger.

io9 has also reported that Brody gained 25 pounds of muscle and refused to sleep in a hotel, staying out in the Hawaiian jungle to get into the part.  This would make sense since Brody had eating issues after losing so much weight for The Pianist.

Director Antal also tried to assuage fears that Predators will not be like recent renditions of the franchise where building suspense and fear are sacrificed in favor of showing off the monsters.  “Trying to keep the monster in the shadows, more than throwing him in your face off the bat.”  The film is supposed to be practical effects heavy and Fox, who financed the film, told Rodriguez to protect the film from the studio’s own interference.

On the one hand, all of this sounds great and the behind the scenes footage jives with the talk, but could this be the filmmakers telling hardcore film fans what they want to hear (practical effects, low studio involvement, investment from cast)?

If it weren’t for Rodriguez’s filmography, I would be more skeptical.  He’s been able to bring us blood and awesomeness for the last two decades (although maybe not enough in the 2000’s), so I think they got the perfect guy to shepherd a new Predator film. With Rodriguez releasing Machete in April and Predators in July, we’ll have a lot to look forward to.

Ten You Missed

We are a rather fortunate bunch. Our grandparents only had two chances to see a film: either when it came out in theatres or if it popped up on television, which is what made the annual television screenings of The Wizard of Oz such a big deal. It was not until VHS revolutionized the industry and films could be watched whenever we desired. Combine this with the communication powers of the internet and a film that never got past screenings in New York can suddenly make a ton of cash and notoriety.

With such fortunes, I find it our job as film enthusiasts to promote our favorite smaller films as a counter-weight to the advertising juggernauts that rumble across our cultural plains. Continue reading