Thoughts on Prometheus and Other Life Forms…

Such as the ones I help out everyday at work. Work…right…I was going to blab about that today, (you guessed it, more changes!) but alas, something much more interesting happened: the new film by Ridley Scott, Prometheus. The hubby and I have been anxiously awaiting this film for a long time now. Anyone who is a hardcore fan of the original Alien film, Ridley Scott, Sci-fi, the meaning of life, needs to drop everything they are doing at this exact moment and run to the theatre and see this film. NOW.

The film itself has been shrouded in a lot of secrecy, and smartly so. I think having too much hype and pre-conceived notions about it would have ruined the joyous wonder of experiencing it. People have speculated as to whether this is alternately another installment in the Alien saga, or a prequel. Or even that it had nothing to with Alien at all. Since I’m sure the internet and those who love to abuse it will post spoilers galore, and give loads of glorified opinions on the philosophical ramifications of thus and so, the creature’s design, comparisons to Alien, etc. , I’ll spare you all of that.

This is not specifically a review of the film, it’s more about the impact that it had on me. It is smart, and it makes you think. It is also gorgeously filmed with a soaring musical backdrop. The acting – particularly Noomi Rapace, the original Dragon Tattoo girl, Lisbet, in the Swedish version of the film – is excellent. The story and writing are excellent. H.R. Giger‘s design still informs the look. But most of all – it is filled with a hell of a lot of suspense and horror that is reminiscent of the original Alien.

I was engrossed the entire time watching it, and I was very much drawn into the story, as well as the fervor that the lead character had for finding the answers to our origins. It was all handled elegantly, and without the likely cheese factor that such a subject might be prone to (Cocoon anyone?). Go see this film – I hope I’ve made that clear. Final word on the content – it is graphic and definitely deserving of an R rating. Anyone contemplating on taking a kid or teen who is used to gory films, they may not appreciate the origin of the species theme, and find it too boring.

Now that I’ve planned out your weekend’s entertainment, I bid you farewell until next time when I’ll bring you up to speed on the work/new book release stuff. Happy Alien hunting!

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The Grey, The Hunger Games & Struggling to Survive

Apparently, I’m an idiot for not staying after the credits to see the extra scene at the end of the Liam Neeson survival film, “The Grey”.  Although, as John and I both felt, the very fact that everything was left unresolved made for a very impactful end; one that made you have to think for yourself. God forbid.

As long as we’re on the subject of this film, I do want to point out that it is not a typical action thriller. Even though Liam Neeson is so bad-ass that he makes bad-ass cower in the corner, there is a heavy philosophical undertone that is not typically Hollywood. The film is based on the short story (ya’ see short story writers – it’s not just novels that rule the world!) “Ghost Walker” that one of the screenwriters, Ian Mackenzie Jeffers wrote. The story truly makes you consider life, death, and how we choose to fight for our right to exist. Heavy man. Definitely not typical Hollywood. I worry about this film’s prospects though, as it was marketed to appeal more to the Action/Thriller crowd. “Hey dudes, how about a nice exciting film about the underlying layers to the meaning of life with intense metaphysical takes on death? Then we can grab a couple brewskys and shoot some pool after.” Hmmm…

I am also currently reading the final installment of the Hunger Games trilogy, “Mockingjay”. Hey – we’ve been through this before – I get around to stuff when I’m ready, not necessarily when everyone else is obsessing over it. The fact that I made it to a film on opening night for the first time since “Return of the King” is about all I can handle in the being-up-to-date department. Which reminds me – less than 11 shopping months before The Hobbit opens!

Okay, I’m back. For those of you woefully behind the bestseller times – such as myself – The Hunger Games is a YA dystopian trilogy that is going to emerge  in theatres soon. I think they may be trying to turn this franchise into the next Twilight phenomena. God help us – they’d better not ruin it. They have an excellent actress playing the lead (Jennifer Lawrence) and the author (Suzanne Collins) is contributing as a screenwriter. We may be safe.

The books are excellent. Suzanne Collins has said in several interviews that she doesn’t write about adolescents; she writes about what war does to adolescents. The central theme to these books is very much one of survival; again, fighting for one’s right to exist, to stave off death. The choices that each individual makes are not only the difference between you surviving, but another person dying.

The similarities in theme between both The Grey and The Hunger Games cannot be denied. Neither Hero/Heroine of these stories is magically endowed with awesomeness, they are not super heroes. They are everyday people with checkered, difficult pasts that exist in challenging and depressing circumstances that find themselves tested to their limits. Neither of these characters give in. They fight, not only against the odds thrust at them, but against their own personal doubts about the sanctity of their own lives. Can I hear another “heavy man” from the audience?

Yet, these are not depressing stories at all. Hard to believe, right? Yes, they do make you think because they are not cardboard stereotypical beautiful or magic people. They inspire because they are so relatable.  You feel if they can transcend these outrageous circumstances, than you can probably get it together enough to pay your utility bill on time this month. Because seriously, if Batman gets pummelled by Ra’s al Ghul, there’s no way that I can possibly be expected to achieve much with my limited skills. I told you Liam Neeson was bad-ass. 

I like that the characters in The Grey and The Hunger Games are real. It gives me hope.

Where is Bela Lugosi When You Need Him?

I am so freakin’ tired. I was sitting here wondering if the peppers in my pepper jack cheese count as a serving of vegetables, and wondering what shows to record this week. I might go for another round of the new so-called reality show on Lifetime “Dance Moms”.  It premiered last Wednesday after “Roseanne’s Nuts”, which is what we were actually trying to watch and missed altogether. But then again, I might not.

This “Dance Moms” show is like a “Toddlers & Tiaras” for the elementary school set, or possibly what would have happened if the “Charm School” girls had duped rich guys into marrying them, and then spawned. I gotta wonder how much of this outrageousness is staged, since my complete lack of trust in the entertainment industry makes me suspicious. ( I still haven’t gotten over “Operation Repo” being 100% reenacted). If even one bit of this show is staged, then it is vomitous what they are doing to these young girls.  Even unstaged, it borders on child abuse. Hmmm…maybe more than borders. I hope the moms don’t spend all of the show money on hooker heels, bars and spray tans, because these little girls are gonna be needing some serious therapy after being pushed, prodded and degraded by mom and their so-called dance coach.

If you’re going to do a “reality” show, then at least don’t destroy entire young lives. For instance, I was watching the film, “Ed Wood”,  for about the 27th time the other day (hey – anything to keep from writing, huh?), and it occurred to me that poor Bela really missed out on the whole reality TV phenomenon. If he had been around now, he could have really raked it in and become a HUGE celebrity. First, there would have been the whole Celebrity Rehab stint with Dr. Drew. Then, we could have tried to keep up with him as he mindlessly wandered though his meaningless days. Then of course, he would realize just how mindless and meaningless life is without the perfect partner, so we could have watched with anticipation as he met and wooed 20 complete freaks of nature to find his soulmate. It could have been called “Dracula of Love”.  But he definitely would not have died alone and at the mercy of crushing debt, obscurity, and with only the love and compassion of a man who would one day be voted worst director of all time.

Actually, Ed Wood himself would have been an awesome reality TV star. Maybe he and Bela could have teamed up and done “Dracula is 70 and Still Single”, or “Ed Wood Knows Best”, or “Methadone Addict Actor”, or “Dracula & Wood Plus Failure”, or “3 Really Bad Films and Still Counting”, or “Vampires and Cashmere Sweaters”, or, well, you get the idea. I just wish we could see some true colorful characters – ones that are somewhat more interesting and less bland than say, I don’t know, Speidi.  Because wouldn’t Bela, Ed, Vampira, Thor and the entire gang have been so much more fun and watchable than any New Jersey native ponderously hot tubbing and fake-fighting through life ever hope to be?