The massive space-tug Nostromo glides silently through space. Back from the outer reaches of the galaxy, it’s taking its seven-member crew back to Earth. But when the ship’s computer receives a distress signal from a nearby planetary system, it rouses the crew from their cryo-sleep. It isn’t until after the Nostromo has landed on a barren planet named LV-426 and three crewmembers have gone out to investigate a huge derelict spacecraft that the signal is deciphered and found to be a warning. But one crewmember has already experienced a shocking face-to-face encounter with an alien creature while inspecting an egg-shaped pod. And so the horror begins – a horror which will end the lives of six crewmembers and alter the life of the seventh forever.
1979 – Certificate: 15 – American Film
Rating Details: Contains strong language, moderate violence and horror
8.0 out of 10
So anyway, I sat through this entire film convinced I was watching a party political broadcast on behalf of the Conservative Party; one that had chosen to spotlight the Party’s views on immigration. Why? 1. Well, for a start it’s called “Alien”, a phrase which seems to sum up a large proportion of everyone the Daily Mail, (which is the propaganda wing of the Party), doesn’t like. 2. It features a crew of people who are “working hard to get on in life”, before having things suddenly buggered up for them by a nasty alien. This is obviously a reference to wholesome, law-abiding Middle England British families having to deal with the effects of uncontrolled immigration. 3. It features a hideous, unstoppable creature that wants what we have and bleeds acid everywhere if you piss it off. (Well, it’s 45 years since Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech, so I guess you have to up the ante these days.) This is clearly an allusion to foreigners, especially the billions of people from Bulgaria and Romania who’re poised to ‘invade’ Britain (or more importantly the Tory heartland of the South East of England) on the 1st January 2014. From what I’ve seen in some of the media recently, I doubt there’ll be anyone left in either of those two countries by the time everyone here goes back to work the following week. Not that we’ll have jobs anymore, because they’ll all have been taken by them instead, whilst they’re simultaneously signing on the dole, having babies and not learning to speak English. And Romanians in particular are all just gymnasts, orphans or vampires, so why should they be allowed into the country? 4. Crewmember Ash turns out to be an android, in the pay of some nefarious organisation, ready to sacrifice everyone to make sure the alien gets back to Earth. Ash just has to be Vince Cable, working for the Lib Dems. His dark, evil plan? To let some foreigners into Britain. Traitor! And what does the android turn out to be full of? Nasty, goo-spewing Cables. Case proved I think. 5. The movie features a lot of people desperately running and creeping about in dark corridors, with a weird device that uses technobabble to find aliens, until they finally manage to successfully track one down. To me that sounds a lot like politicians quoting from random surveys and statistics, in an effort to concoct some evidence to support their views. 6. When they stop worrying about the alien for a few moments, it suddenly explodes out of John Hurt’s chest. I think that’s self explanatory; give them an inch and they’ll take a mile. 7. When they actually manage to find the alien, they quickly throw together some sort of bizarre, home-made weapon to try and get rid of it, which is undoubtedly analogous to their hastily thrown together ideas about caps on immigration; badly thought out, probably illegal, unfair and unworkable. 8. The alien kills everyone off one by one, which is exactly what all foreigners want to do to our way of life. Indeed, that’s their only reason to exist. (And let’s not forget that John Hurt was also Doctor Who). 9. Most things in the film have an alternative, sexual interpretation, which somehow just comes across as eww. Ever seen British politicians trying to be cool, attractive, or in-touch? It’s provides much the same feeling. 10. The alien is killed, after just about everything is destroyed, including the whole spaceship. This is exactly what will happen to the country if the Tories deal with immigration in their way. Babies and bathwater. Apparently there’s a party political broadcast on behalf of UKIP somewhere too. It’s called “Aliens”.
There can’t be much that hasn’t been said or written about this film. So I’m just going to say it’s essential viewing for anyone interested in cinema.
Most of the music used was composed by Jerry Goldsmith, one of the best film composers ever. It’s good. Very good.
Isn’t this a rubbish trailer? Slow, confusing, and sounding and looking horrible, it makes the film seems about as appealing as snogging a face hugger.
Recommended for aliens, foreigners, politicians and anyone that works on a spaceship.
1 cat, no chainsaws or decapitations. Despite providing one of the most famous cat characters in all of film history, Jonsey doesn’t even get a mention in the credits. It must suck sometimes being a cat.
Top badass moment? Vince Cable giving the rest of the Government shit about its approach to immigration. No, wait, I’m mixing this film up with a Conservative party political broadcast again. Malevolent aliens? Bulgarians? Romanians? It’s confusing. Don’t worry, I’ll check the facts in tomorrow’s Daily Mail. (Interesting, when I was 16 I’d have probably said the top badass moment heavily featured Sigourney Weaver’s panties. I must be getting old.)
“Men in Black” follows the exploits of Agents K (Jones) and J (Smith), members of a top-secret organisation established to monitor alien activity on Earth. The two MIB find themselves in the middle of a deadly plot by an intergalactic terrorist (Vincent D’Onofrio) who has arrived on Earth to assassinate two ambassadors from opposing galaxies. K and J face a simple imperative: track down the interloper or the Earth will be destroyed. It’s all in a day’s work for the Men in Black.
1997 – Certificate: PG – American Film
Rating Details: Mild language, violence and horror
7.5 out of 10
At last, another film that has aliens, spaceships and explosions in it, as well as a plot I can relate to in a very meaningful way. As well as dealing with the scum of the universe, I also work for an organisation that does its best to remain hidden, even down to changing its name on a regular basis, to help ensure we remain a secret. Along with a somewhat stupid smartphone and a Dell laptop with bits falling off it, I have one of those ‘flashy things’ (a neuralyzer) to make people forget stuff, too. And I’m certainly never seen in anything but a black suit/tie and white shirt combo. And as for the cool shades, well I bought mine from eBay for about £2. Will Smith is a talented chap. He can act, sing and dance. I guess when he talks to people about me he says, “that Paul’s a boring guy. He can’t do bugger all.”
For a sci-fi movie made 16 years ago, this one still holds up well; it hasn’t really dated at all. I watched it on Blu-ray and it looks really lovely in that way too. According to IMDB this film contains 1 possible f-word, 13 anatomical terms (including 2 uses of a term for male genitals, i.e. dick), 18 scatological terms (crap, shit and piss), 29 mild obscenities, 3 religious profanities and 2 religious exclamations. There’s also some name-calling (bastard, prick, etc). Sadly, I had to watch the censored version, which of all this lot chooses to replace the word “prick” twice, with “twerp” and “jerk”. There must be a ‘league table’ of ‘bad words’ that people refer to, to find out how bad each one is. I wonder how they check if it’s correct? Get a big group of people in a room, swear at them a lot and see how offended they get? Funny thing is, someone must have sat down and made a record of all that; I bet that job’s a conversation starter at parties. “What do you do for a living then?” “Me? Well I count profanities.” You may also be interested to know that “the principal female character wears a short skirt that reveals a lot of her bare legs. Once, for less than a split second, it hikes up to reveal a little of her lower buttocks.” I must have missed that, I guess I’ll have to go back and use the frame-by-fame function to check for myself; thanks IMDB for letting me know, that’s my evening’s entertainment sorted out. It’s not even that short either. Actually I think I look a bit like Will Smith.
The music in this film is a bit of a disappointment. Danny Elfman wrote the totally brilliant music for “Batman”. I even bought the soundtrack of that on CD. But for this film he seems to have had a bit of an off-day. It’s serviceable but entirely forgettable. On the other hand, we do get Will Smith and his fun theme tune.
Recommended for anyone that works for a secret organisation, aliens and females that wear short skirts.
One cat, no chainsaws or decapitations. A true, starring role for a lovely ginger and white cat, complete with some real acting and lines. He/she just blew Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith off the stage.
Top badass moment? There’s something to be said for driving a souped up car along the roof of an underground tunnel full of traffic and taking the time out to give some advice to your passenger about dealing with stress at work; whilst singing along to Elvis and trying to save the Earth. Even I don’t get to do that every week. That’s therefore very cool and very badass.
After a long night tending bar for a bunch of annoying drunks, Laura isn’t really feeling up to a long bus-ride home. She hails a cab and settles into the back seat, relieved that her terrible night is over. She doesn’t know it yet but her evening is about to get worse. A lot worse. Once Laura figures out what her driver has in mind, it’s too late and she must accompany him on a terrifying journey that she may not survive! “Bleed With Me” is a horrific journey into the mind of a cold-blooded killer.
2009 – Certificate: Not Rated – Danish Film
3.0 out of 10
Today was the hottest day in England for seven years, 92.3F. (I remember the hottest day ever in 2003, when it reached 101.3F. I stood in the roof garden of where I was living at the time and thought it was great.) It’s also really humid and sticky too. I feel like I’m experiencing all the fun of an evening of lovemaking, but without the lovemaking bit. On a related topic, I briefly saw on the Internet tonight that the Duchess of Cambridge has joined the Labour Party and this has made her have a baby. I’m not sure of the details but I expect I’m going to be sickened by the sheer weight of sycophantic and nauseating media coverage of the event over the next few weeks. Please God, if the Earth is going to be invaded by aliens in the next few years, make it now so that we aren’t force-fed Royal baby news 24/7. Not that I’m a killjoy; I’m celebrating by drinking a pint of the organic Dutchy beer Prince Charles brews for Waitrose. As long as mum and baby are fine I don’t need or want to know anymore. I really don’t care what sort of nappies they use or how much the baby’s nose resembles his grandfathers, etc, etc, etc, etc. Like press coverage of the Royal baby, this horror is overwhelmingly sickening too, but for all the wrong reasons.
This is the worst movie I’ve watched for several years. Before you even get to the DVD, you have to deal with the crappy cover and its dreadful photo-editing. I don’t think the building or the woman shown on it are even in the film. And the overview on it (and reproduced above) isn’t even factually correct. The only accurate thing in it is the reference to Laura’s evening getting worse, which is clearly what happened when she first had to sit through a viewing of this rubbish. And don’t even get me started on the fact that it’s an American DVD release of a Danish film, but doesn’t have any subtitles. What’s the point of that? Then again, given its overall quality and the fact that it’s got so little dialogue, not understanding it is probably a mercy; I don’t think they spent much time discussing anything to worry the Nobel Prize or Oscar people. Oh, and the review on IMDB that was blatantly posted by someone to do with the movie, doesn’t exactly earn it any brownie points or sympathy. But what of the film itself? Well, we’re led to believe that Laura’s had a crap evening at work, although we only ever see one customer; (but to be fair the guy was a total asshole). Then she gets a cab home with the most inept killer to grace the small screen for many a year. (Hint to all would-be serial killers out there; don’t leave your tools and weapons where the victim can reach them. It’s stupid, okay?) For much of the film we’re treated to endless minutes of them driving along in his taxi not speaking, at night. He does stop a couple of times, including to kill two prostitutes who he gets the address of his ex-partner from. I’ve no idea why they knew. Why he decided to (presumably) purchase their time to treat him to an erotic dance (whilst he sat with a bag on his head) before killing them, I’m not sure. But whatever, each to their own. At one point the taxi gets randomly stopped by the police but then… nothing happens and we’re back in the taxi driving along again. It was like they were shooting the scene and suddenly realised how awful everything was and just gave up filming it. I can’t finish without mentioning one more thing. Near the end Laura is running away and you’ll never guess what happens? Go on, try. Give up? Okay then, she falls over, enabling the killer to catch up with her. Dreadful. 74 minutes of purgatory. The only emotional response it elicited out of me was boredom.
Other than that under the credits there isn’t a lot more music in this movie, other than a few ‘horror noises’. The exception being when our friendly driver visits the prostitutes, when we’re forced to listen to several minutes of horrible euro-techno-pop as they dance. But at least that’s in English.
Recommended for taxi drivers, bar workers and trainee killers. (Actually I don’t recommend for anyone.)
1 cat, no chainsaws or decapitations. With its brief on-screen appearance and a speaking role that eclipses any of the human actors for its naturalistic delivery and emotional impact, Jonesy (who was apparently named after the cat in “Alien”), is the highlight of the film.
Top badass moment? Never mind the film, anyone careless enough to watch this garbage all the way through deserves to consider themselves badass. I salute your bravery, tenacity and heart. You’re a true movie-warrior who’s faced and overcome great adversity!
For the first time on Blu-ray, see the original theatrical version of the film as it was initially released in theatres. A massive alien presence of enormous power enters Federation space destroying three powerful Klingon cruisers and neutralising everything in its path. As it heads towards Earth, Admiral James T. Kirk returns to the helm of an updated U.S.S. Enterprise and sets course to meet the aggressor head-on.
1979 – Certificate U – USA
7 out of 10
At work I often feel like Kirk does in this film. Like him, I’ve been promoted to such an enormously high level that I too haven’t logged a single star-hour in over two and a half years; (or at least our equivalent of them). Also like him, if I went out and tried to do a real day’s work like I used to, I’d not have a clue what I was doing. And I too, have needed to surround myself with people who do actually know how to do things properly, so I can make myself look good and benefit from their abilities. And, of course, like Kirk, I save the Earth on a regular basis. Actually, now I’ve thought about it in a bit more detail, pretty well the only way to tell us apart, other than the fact that he will live 300 years in the future and I’m here right now, is the fact that he did everything with the support of an effectively endless supply of resources; whereas I do the same with almost no resources whatsoever. I guess we’re probably cousins.
It’s hard to imagine there’s anything that hasn’t been said about this film 1,000s of times before. Yes it’s slow. Yes it’s overlong. Yes it’s not really like any other Star Trek movie or TV show. Yes it’s full of plot holes. One the other hand, it is Star Trek. It was the first new bit of Star Trek for years, (especially if you ignore the animated episodes) and we didn’t know then what we know now about the Star Trek Universe. It was a genuine attempt to turn Star Trek into proper, hard science-fiction; (not like that ‘other’ famous sci-fi film from the late 70’s that was clearly made for children). It’s got Klingons in it, (although not nearly enough of them). Both William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy give great performances; and Persis Khambatta had great legs and was a very attractive skinhead. It’s also a reminder that three of its stars have now been taken from us. :-( It’s far from the best bit of Star Trek ever made, but it’s had a bad press over the years and I think the passage of time has helped it. I watched it on Blu-ray. At points it looked great, but at others it’s pretty dodgy; some of the special effects are certainly showing their age, although to be fair many of them still look very cool. But it’s far from being a great, high-definition presentation. Another odd thing is that I don’t think any of it was filmed outside; it’s all studio shot, which is quite unusual for a major feature film. The trailer is terrible though; it’s like it’s for a low-budget, 50s, B-movie, sci-fi horror.
Jerry Goldsmith’s sound track is one of the high points of the film. From the Star Trek Theme through to the great scene where Kirk (and us) first see the new Enterprise, great stuff. The latter bit of music always reminds me of Jurassic Park for some reason. I wish I was talented enough to write music like that.
No cats, decapitation or chainsaws. There’re some photon torpedoes though; much cooler.
Recommended for people who seek out new life and new civilisations; even when they’re just down the road shopping.
Top badass moment? WTF? It’s the return of the Enterprise! Nothing could be more badass than that.
I got my car serviced today. I had it done at Halfords. After six years of shoddy, sub-standard work and customer service from those fuck-wits at the local Ford dealership, I’d had enough of them. I must say, I did enjoy Ford ringing me up a few weeks ago to remind me that the service was due and to be able to thank them and say I was taking it to Halfords from now on and why. Ford, I bet it’s one, scared multinational that’s probably in the market for some new underwear, now it’s attracted my wrath! Halfords were much nicer, it actually felt as if they wanted me as a customer. And I don’t know what they did to my car, but it feels so much nicer to drive now; they even gave it a good clean inside and out. I realise that all this has absolutely no connection whatsoever to this movie, but sometimes these things have to be said.
2011 – Certificate: Not Rated – USA
Even been dropped in the shit by someone and then had a really crap day as a result? Ever had one of those days where absolutely everything you try goes wrong? Well, welcome to “Ferocious Planet”, a Syfy Original Movie. (I love how there’s a big sticker on the cover stating the latter, as if it’s actually going to encourage anyone to buy to it. Using the same logic, I think I’ll get a massive, “stupid, fat, old bloke” sticker for myself and see if that attracts anyone to me.) This movie has a great concept. But OMG, its characters were straight out of rent a cliché. In fact they were so bad, you wouldn’t even be able to dispose of them via Freecycle. In fact they’d probably be labelled as Special Waste and you’d need a licence even to dump them somewhere legally. It’s a shame the Olympics don’t include an event for “people that can act the most illogically in a dire situation”. In a film dealing with the existence of “billions of parallel universes”, it’s ironic that the paper-thin characters could barely manage a single dimension between them. A sociopathic disinterest in the fate of the other members of their group who were slowly being killed off and the ‘magic’ of a severe injury that five minutes later seem to have no effect on its sufferer, just added to the realism. You may wish to consider how big a space 50 gallons of water needs too. Now at this point I have to fess up that I’ve never actually been transported to a parallel dimension, accidentally or otherwise; I’ve had a few bad hangovers and felt like I’d been to one, but I guess that’s not quite the same thing. Having said that, I think if I was I’d be mainly concerned with trying to get the machine that bought me there fixed, so I could get back home before the short window of opportunity to do so closed; especially if I’d already seen the very scary and deadly monster outside the room and what it could do. I’d not think it was sensible to go ‘exploring’ if I was meant to be a highly intelligent person and I’d seen the monster outside with the huge teeth that had already ripped one of my colleagues in two right outside the door, (however annoying and unhelpful that person might have been). The fact that the place looked exactly like a forestry plantation in Ireland would also probably put me off doing this a bit too; but that’s not a co-incidence, because that’s exactly what it was and probably explains why one of the characters got a stronger and stronger Irish accent as the film progressed. It may have meant to have been an alien planet in a parallel universe, but it sure had some nice ivy, ferns and brambles growing on it. But it’s not all bad. If you watch it expecting to see a modern-day B-movie, then you’ll probably enjoy it. And if you get a kick out of watching other people have a ‘really bad day’ then you’ll love it. And as I said, the concept is great and it was strangely compelling viewing, waiting for them to do the next stupid thing and suffer the consequences. A special “Tell It Like It Is Award” ought to go to Colonel Sam Synn’s too, for his wonderfully understated “Crap” as he faced the millionth problem of the afternoon; he really wasn’t having a good day.
Recommended for viewing when you’ve had a bad day, but you want to see just how much worse it could have been.
No cats and no decapitations.
Top badass moment? In a film filled with idiots, genuine badass moments were hard to come by. However, Dr Karen Fast gets to deliver the best line, “Don’t, poke, the alien.” This is good advice at any time and good advice is often badass.