Every Hundred Years The Black Mamba Bites Again And You Vote For Pedro
None of these movies are new, nor was the first time I've seen them, but it's time to talk about some movies I just rented on DVD: Alien Versus Predator, Kill Bill Vol. 2,Napoleon Dynamite, Minority Report, The Rundown, and Black Narcissus. Even more should be coming over the next week, since I had a bunch of 99 cent coupons to use and also hit the library for a few films. Alien Versus Predator: This was one of those movies that I knew would not be as good as the originals, but I had interest in seeing as well. The DVD promised to be the version you never saw in the theater. While that was true, the extra 2-minute beginning is nothing to get excited about. It added nothing to the story and didn't have anything that I could understand why it never made it in the film. The most interesting idea is that a R-rated director's cut might be released sometime in the future. They're were plenty of problems with the story as well:
1) Lance Henriksen, who played Bishop in Aliens, plays a human in this movie. What Paul Anderson forgot was that Lance also played Bishop's creator (a Human character) in Alien 3, at least 300 years into the future. Whoopsie! Oh sure, there are those who say Lance's character in Alien 3 was an android, but androids don't bleed red. Next.
2) During the mission briefing, there is talk of the pyramid containing elements from 3 different cultures. The premise is that the Egyptians, Cambodians, etc. learned things like written language from the predators. However, if this is the case, then why does the predator pyramid use 3 different Human languages instead of Humans using the predator language?
3) If a hunt gone awry is what wiped out the Aztecs, then presumably the Antarctic pyramid wouldn't have been the only one used for hunts, yet the Egyptian and Cambodian pyramids don't have any depictions of aliens or predators like the Antarctic one does.
4) Though the pyramid is buried under 2,000 feet of ice, it was apparently built on dirt, back when Antarctica was much warmer. But continents don't move thousands of miles in just a few thousand years. The last time that pyramid saw sky would have been millions of years before humans inhabited the planet.
5) The predators only come to Earth every 100 years? Well then, what the heck were Danny Glover and the Governator fighting against?
6) The predators come to Earth to hunt Aliens, and we're just chow for the critters? That also contradicts the past two Predator movies, in which the preds come to Earth to hunt Humans, not Aliens.
7) The Predators store their shoulder cannons inside the pyramid, but they bring all their other weapons with them from the ship. Not only does this not make sense, but it again contradicts the Predator films in which the Preds bring all of their weapons - shoulder cannons included - with them from their ships
8) Sebastian says the Aztec calendar was metric, based on powers of ten. This is a big steaming cow patty. The Aztec calendar was actually based on 13 and 20. Of course, the bigger question is why you'd have to input the date at all to retrieve your weapons, when it would be much easier to just push a button.
9) The Queen lays egg after egg after egg. Where's all this bio-mass coming from? The Nostromo had food stores, Hadley's Hope and Fury 161 were certainly abundant feeding grounds, and the bugs on the Auriga were deliberately fed, but what are the pyramid aliens eating? Is there a giant tank of alien kibble inside the pyramid somewhere? If so, why do the Aliens bother venturing anywhere else?
10) There are more Aliens in this movie than there are hosts... heh heh...
11) The predators are supposed to bring hosts to the Sacrificial Chamber before the hunt can begin. Instead, they just enter the pyramid without bringing hosts. Paul Anderson tries to explain this contradiction away by saying that the heatplume was bait for the human expedition, but that contradicts the whole Sacrificial Chamber concept, and doesn't make sense because we wouldn't be able to detect said bait until today.
12) The Pyramid shifts every ten minutes. Except for the part where it shifts twice in the span of 3 minutes and doesn't shift at all for the second half of the movie.
13) The Queen, in order to get free from her restraints, has the warrior aliens bite lots of holes in her so her acid blood dissolves her restraints. But why doesn't she have the aliens impale themselves? And why does she wait so long to do this instead of doing it ASAP? And as soon as the Queen is set free, she decides to run out of and away from the pyramid, without any real reason. I dunno about you, but it seemed to me that she had a pretty cozy spot right where she was. The pyramid made a perfect hive and there was no shortage of food, so why would she leave?
14) The Preds' masks can see aliens inside the hosts. So why didn't they see the alien inside the surviving Pred that they brought aboard their ship? Seriously, if you were a pred and you wanted to bring a fellow pred on board your ship after he'd just spent a day in an alien hive, wouldn't you check him for implanted aliens first?
15) Speaking of the masks... if they can't stop an alien's inner jaw from ramming through your skull, why bother with masks at all? I can understand goggles for the vision modes, but you don't wear a full-blown helmet except for protection.
16) The time required for an Alien to grow into the next stage of its lifecycle is determined by whatever is most convenient from a storytelling perspective, rather than by any sort of precedent set by the other 4 Alien movies. For example, in Alien 1-4, there was at least a day in between implantation and "birth". In AvP, that time is anywhere from a day to 3 minutes. Another example: the fact that the eggs were all laid at least a few second apart from each other doesn't stop them from hatching all at the same time (Resurrection also had this problem, but at least in that movie it wasn't scripted).Kill Bill Vol. 2: This is a great movie and the DVD adds a few nice extras with the behind the scenes info and interviews. I never thought Tarantino would ever make a better film than Pulp Fiction, but the two Kill Bill movies definitely make a strong case for being better. I always love how Tarantino reuses the same actors throughout movies and finally a film where he didn't put himself in it (note to M. Night Shyamalan to do the same). Napoleon Dynamite: A very odd movie that is set in the 1980's, or is it? The 1990's? Probably. It's like the town doesn't know when it is, but there are things like the internet (or atleast email and chat rooms) and all 80's music except for the Backstreet Boys track. Very odd and somehow very popular with kids, since it's very clean. At a recent talent show at my daughters school kids had these 'Vote For Pedro' shirts and did a skit from the movie. Very odd indeed. Minority Report: A very good sci-fi film that has some reality and some wacked out fiction. Overall a very good dark film that's almost a more modern Blade Runner than anything else. If this movie teaches us anything for the future on crime prevention techniques, remember, "the Pre-Cogs are never wrong, sometimes ... they disagree.". The Rundown: When The Rock walked past Arnold Schwarzenegger in the night club, I knew something was going to happen. Either he'd be fighting Danny Divito, or The Rock was taking over the somewhat humorous action flicks Arnold made again and again. Boy, I was right on one level. The action is pretty good and there is plenty of humor. Christopher Walken is brilliant in his role. He's about as Walken-esque as it gets, but in the end you don't feel cheap and dirty for watching an action film like this. Nothing that really makes you think, mind you, but it's worth sharing a bowl of popcorn with. Black Narcissus: Compared to everything else I just mentioned this film is the only one that is more than 50 years old. Keeping that in mind, it makes this masterpiece even more astonishing:
Appropriately enough for a picture named for a flower, Black Narcissus exists in a color-drenched, hothouse atmosphere. The setting is a nunnery in the Himalayas, where sister Deborah Kerr has her hands full with an envious nun (the remarkable Kathleen Byron) and a sardonic Englishman (David Farrar). Director Michael Powell and screenwriter Emeric Pressburger, the team responsible for the mid-forties masterpieces A Stairway to Heaven and The Red Shoes, decided to shoot Black Narcissus entirely in the studio, so they could create their own controlled, slightly unreal world. The choice paid off, as both art director Alfred Junge and cinematographer Jack Cardiff won Oscars for their blazing Technicolor work. The climactic sequence--a murder attempt on the cliffs of the cloister--bears special attention, as Powell "set" the sequence to a preexisting musical track, staging it as though it were a piece of visual choreography.If you haven't seen this film, check it out. Might not be as good as some more modern thrillers, but it's still great to check out classics that really raised the bar in their time.
Shane Guymon said: