Friday, December 28, 2007

Alien vs. Predator vs. My Sanity

Some of the year's more critically-acclaimed films are (finally) starting to open up in London*, so of course on Christmas night the boys and I went out to see....Alien vs. Predator: Requiem. Sigh. On the bright side, going to a movie like this with seven other people is fun since it guarantees a MST3K-esque experience of everyone just ripping the movie to shreds, and rip it we did. The thing was even worse than expected. The script was an upgrade on the previous AVP, which was written at about a third-grade level (AVPR was fourth-grade). The acting was uniformly terrible, with the pseudo-exception of Reiko Aylesworth as a soldier --- as I called her, Lt. Not Ripley. In all honesty, Reiko didn't bring much to the table either, but she has some residual goodwill built up from her days as Michelle on 24. The funniest inclusion in the cast was John Ortiz, who plays the inept sheriff. Ortiz is one of those classic 'that guy' actors who has a pretty impressive resume. His credits include films like Carlito's Way, American Gangster, Before Night Falls, Amistad and Narc, and now he's finally gotten a semi-starring AVPR. Ouch. He might've been better off doing porn. John "Orifice Tease" Ortiz has a nice ring to it.

My friends were equally unimpressed. My buddy Trev's brief overview was "one word...awful." Matt liked it better than No Country For Old Men since AVPR had an ending, which is so fucking stupid I'm not going to dignify it with a counter-argument. The best response came from Eric, who was confused as to which one was the predator and which was the alien. Eric doesn't get out much.

It's obviously clear that those behind the franchise have given up on keeping up the quality of the originals and are just cashing in on the names. I can just hope that they release a DVD with commentary from Sigourney Weaver, Lance Henriksen, Schwarzenegger, Danny Glover and/or Carl Weathers. Actually, I'd like to see a commentary track with those five on virtually any movie. This is presuming that Carl Weathers actually acts like he does in Arrested Development. "Baby, you got a stew going!"

Actually, that's not a bad idea for the next installment of the series. Bring back Weathers' character from the original Predator, along with Gary Busey from Predator 2. Alien vs. Predator vs. Carl vs. Busey --- AVPVCVB. Forget Xmas night, I might go see that one on Christmas morning.

* = one of these acclaimed films is Love In The Time Of Cholera, which has to be the funniest title of any serious movie in film history. I was reading a winter movie preview a few months back, and this film was listed next to Walk Hard, yet the write-ups were mistakenly switched. So I read the description of this wacky comedy with John C. Reilly as a country star that had the somewhat weird but funny title of 'Love in the Time of Cholera.' It wasn't until I read the 'Love' entry that I realized the mistake.

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