Thursday, June 28, 2012
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Thankfully, they did something different. I don't want to drop any spoilers here, but the real horror in this film is not something bursting out of a chest, but rather the moment in the film when you realise why these alien giants created us and why the human race is going to have to die. Great concepts. I also loved Cthulhu and the frantic surgery the black supermutator catalyst gloop. And I loved the look of the film. So creepy. It's eerily similar to a place I've written about in my latest book. Also, Michael Fassbender was excellent. And so was Noomi thingy. And I love the irony in the final scenes and that the title works on multiple levels.
Some people over on IMDB have complained about certain flaws in the story. Notably - our protagonists just happen to stumble upon the alien base very quickly, and that as scientists they shouldn't have removed their helmets even if the air was safe. Well, yeah. But this is a story. The helmets come off so you can see the actors' faces, which allows them to act. Even these new see through plastic bubbles still create a barrier between you and the actor. And finding the base so quickly? As opposed to what? Flying round the surface for several days, mapping and taking readings? I don't want to spend four days in the cinema watching that. It's like the point William Goldman makes about unrealistic things that always happen in films - one of which is that a character can always park outside of a building he is visiting. In real life, Mel Gibson would drive around for 45 mins trying and failing to find a goddamn space for his Ferrari. But who wants to watch that? So - he gets there, parks, on we go. They get the planet, here's the base, on we go. If dreary realism is more important than story then turn off your TV and watch a blank screen for two hours. That's as real as it gets.
I did wonder why Michael Fassbender's character wears a helmet outside. Maybe they'd filmed him without a helmet initially, discovered that it spoiled the fantasy of a poisonous atmosphere, then rescripted it to give him a reason to wear it? And I smiled when, near the start of the film, they point out that one whole section is a self contained lifeboat. Whenever someone says something like that, you know the main ship is going to be destroyed. Was that a spoiler? Not really.
So the story's not perfect. Which story is? I think it's damn fine, an order of magnitude better than the previous Alien films, which is what it needed to be. Alien one and two were both great, but there comes a time when you have to move on. And that black gloop has opened up a whole new Pandora's box of possibilities.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Monday, June 25, 2012
Heroes is a word that's misused when referring to athletes. The media uses it all the time. It can mean someone with great courage or someone who fights for a cause. Someone who triumphs over adversity. I think it means someone who makes a great sacrifice for others. It's used correctly when we talk about our soldiers. But please don't use it to describe someone who is good at playing, which is what sport is. All competitive sport is play fighting. Play fighting is practice fighting. And fighting is about asserting your dominance, which is about sex.
So the Olympic Games is a worldwide chest thumping confrontation driven by sex. The winner of the jumping competition (or the throwing a stick the farthest contest, or whatever the particular area of play it happens to be) comes from my tribe, my country, then I can celebrate because it means that my country is better than your country. Which means we can beat you up and take all your women any time we want to. Which means your women should come over here and breed with us.