Archive for alien

A QUIET PLACE :: HORROR :: 057

Posted in Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 05/13/2018 by joycereview

A Quiet Place (2018)

It doesn’t happen often, but we scored this movie (initially without knowing) the same as the average IMDB voters- an 8. A Quiet Place was not even an unsure or uneasy 8… instead, it was a solid, heartfelt one.

A Quiet Place is the story of a family of five who must live in relative silence as particular sounds attract deadly creatures; grotesque monsters that have overrun the planet.

John Krasinski (of The Office fame) and Emily Blunt (who are also married in real life) play parents that are doing everything they can to keep their family safe. From padding their walking path with sand to marking the planks of wood susceptible to creaking, they try to eliminate any sound that might attract one of these creatures.

Silence, especially in this film, does nothing but build a sense of tension. Will they accidentally drop a pan, step on a twig, or God forbid one of them talks in their sleep? This movie was superbly done. The acting, screen play and directing (which was all Krasinski) was especially brilliant. Emily Blunt was phenomenal as her role demanded a bit more in terms of fear, shock and pain.

If anything went wrong with this film, it did so in the third act. It is hard to describe without giving away spoilers…however, let’s just say that the ending may come to a surprise to movie goers – I even heard a chuckle or two from the audience, probably from disbelief. Not that I disagree with the ending, but I feel that certain elements such as driving a truck down the driveway and (small spoiler!) certainly having a baby are situations when death is (at least should be) guaranteed.

But I understand the reasons behind many of these moments. Like many horror films it gets you thinking, “Well, I would have done this, this and then, this.” Despite what you may or may not have done, there remains a logical reason why things were done the way it was in the film. Hence, it’s no surprise that A Quiet Place has reached it’s high marks. It has already grossed over $50 million dollars.

There are many types of horror, and though the fans of gore my scoff, this is about as good as it gets when it comes to an “edge of your seat thriller”… certainly one that borders on horror and science fiction.

My advice… do see it while it is still in the theaters.  

The scares and chills are always bigger there.

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DISTRICT 9 :: ACTION :: 031

Posted in Action, Drama, Sci-Fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 12/31/2009 by joycereview

I’ll certainly be standing at the gun barrel for my review of this film, but let me spell it out for you if you are using this review as a nudge towards “should I stay or should I go?”

I’m very old-school when it comes to science fiction.  I treasure story-line and style in my sci-fi flicks like I treasure Texas Pete hot sauce in my morning eggs.  If an alien is to be the center-point of any story, they best be either scary (H.R. Giger’s Alien), interesting/realistic (Roswell), cute (E.T.) or a combination or these, to keep my interest.  It could be an obvious sock-puppet-alien, but if the story is intriguing and is shot in a stylistic fashion, I just might, one day, own it on dvd or (the testament for a truly epic filmblu-ray.

THE BEAR BONES

Twenty-eight years ago, an alien spacecraft hovered above the city.  Military raided the ship and found ill and malnutritioned aliens aboard.  They were given refuge at a camp on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa, known as District 9.  The year is 2010 and District 9 has deteriorated into a militarized slum and it is the job of the munitions corporation, MNU (Multi-National United) and operations manager Wikus van der Merwe to evict the alien tenants.  However, during the operation somethings goes wrong and Wikus must save his own skin… and rescue his new-found brothers.

Before I begin to rip District 9 a new alien butt-hole, I have to begin by saying that there is a deeper layer to this film that many of us North American’s (for the most part) cannot appreciate.  If you don’t know about Apartheid in South Africa, please read A Subtle Knife’s article, “Becoming the Alien: Apartheid, Racism and District 9.”  And although I appreciate this aspect of the film, my critical conscience will not allow this film to escape on the basis of it’s social, historical and political underlining.

As I sit here writing, I am being uber-nerdish.  Moving my fanny to-and-fro to the Star Wars IV Cantina song, I am thinking just what could have made this movie a Joyce Review success?  My answer:

  1. Don’t lie to me via the movie’s trailer. The one I saw was short and sweet.  The government had an alien in what looked like an interrogation room.  The alien, so disgusting he was cute, said, “shrump, sher, chularp, twanp.”  Translation: “We just want to go home.”  (awww!) Instantly my heart hurt for the poor gargantuan cockroach and thought this was going to be a fascinating movie with the aliens being held hostage – not that they were so pathetically weak and stupid they couldn’t get back and repair their ship.
  2. Make the Multi-National United actually consist of united, multi-nationals.  If aliens make themselves known, and there is money to be made and research to be had… you better bet your sweet behind that America will be present (not to mention the UK, Germany, France and Russia).
  3. Build a friggin’ wall! Confining a couple million aliens to a refugee camp will take more than a metal fence and barbed wire.  At one point in the film, Wikus actually sneaks into District 9 by crawling under the fence!  Oh, you poor aliens.  You can build and hide secret, underground, laboratories but you can’t arouse a single en-force mutiny or break out?
  4. Create realistic tensions. Racism amongst humans is absurd, but when you have aliens as ugly, irrational and temperamental as this, absurd becomes understandable.  If we know the capabilities of their weaponry, wouldn’t we be a little more kind to them, since we know that a) there may be more of them somewhere; b) they could find a way to leave; c) since they can be hostile, and are quite strong they could cause a rebellion; or d) find a way to leave and return to destroy us?  It is for the same reason we don’t intentionally anger our dentist.  Yes some can be sadists, bent on causing pain to us lesser mortals… but they are usually more intelligent than you or me and does us a decent service.  My feeling is that the world would have seen them as a great nuisance and threat, and would come to the consensus of termination/extermination.

District 9 did satisfy me in a couple of aspects.  It took itself lightly (for the most part) and gave the audience a likable protagonist in Wikus Van De Merwe.  Who wouldn’t enjoy a South African version of Martin Short and Steve Carell?  Personally, I would have liked more backstory.  Had the aliens been able to communicate anything to us other then their love for cat food… maybe it would have earned another bear print (but maybe not)?  Are they scientists, soldiers, or explorers?  Do they have a leader? Do they have similar anatomy/physiology as humans or are they just as we see them, armored Jar-Jar Binkses with octopus lips?  District 9 was entertaining but did not make its way into my top 10 alien films, and is quite far down on my list of sci-fi favorites.  I think I’ll re-watch Blade Runner now.

Just how wrong do you think I am?  Drop your comments below!

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