Geek and sundry on the island of Guam
I’m not really in a shoe box. Just thought I would let any of the worriers of the world know that. But I watched the movie from a broom closet so it seemed like I should be writing the review from some equally confined, inadequate to the task kind of space — for the ambiance. And believe me, if claustrophobic asshattery is the ambiance you’re looking for then there’s no better place to find it than the Tango Theaters’ broom closet. I mean screen 11. You got me this time Tango Theaters, Micronesia Mall but next time I will be avoiding anything being screened in one of your non-operational TARDISes ( tardi? hmmmm, tell me oh great interwebs … and we’re back – nope, TARDISes according to this guy and this pink hippo ). Anyhoo.
Regarding the movie. Good, not super fantastico, but good. Given the dearth of good SF this summer I’ll take it.
[ HERE THERE BE SPOILERS ]
I actually read some very negative reviews (snarktastic review here and feminist, not completely without basis, diatribe here) before going to see this thing, so I was pleasantly surprised. The casting was well thought out. My husband remarked that Noomi Rapace is the new Sigourney Weaver. Tough chicks in space! The role of David played by Michael Fassbender was subtle and evocative. Charlene Theron did her best to play the hard ass captain, but I feel like she was pretty wasted in this film.
The special effects ala the ships and the alien planet put me in the world and kept me there with the same gritty reality that was present in the first Alien movies. This movie is CGI done right, completely in service to the story. I’ve missed this sensibility in recent space flicks ( Avatar, Star Wars, John Carter to name a few ).
Some people have remarked that they’re so beyond things bursting out of people’s chests. Maybe I don’t watch enough horror or I haven’t seen Aliens enough times but the holy-shit-I’m-gonna-have-some bad-dreams-not-brought-on-by-day-old-burritos surgical room effects were not wasted on me. I squirmed. I looked away. I went eeeeewwwww, a lot.
The music by Marc Streitenfeld enhanced the epic feel without forcing the epic upon you. Sweeping scenes of the highlands and the alien planet are especially enhanced by his score. Also, note to myself, if I ever need to add grand scale to anything overlay it with the sounds of distant horns and deep bassy strings. Sprinkle in some ladies wailing “ahhhhh ahhhhh ahhhhh” and bam insta-epic.
The script. Well, the script had some iffy bits. Much of the dialogue felt forced and stilted. Some of the plot points made no damn sense what so ever ( hello intrepid space explorers who take off your helmets at the first sign of “breathable air” ), but you get over it. Or, at least, I did … kinda, maybe I just repressed it and it’s in that deep, dark place of my mind where having to watch the opening sequence of Gungrave went. Ah, and on that note: Guess what? Chicken butt.
Movie Lessons Learned: Keep your damn helmet on and don’t be a woman on a space ship bent on demanding immortality from alien beings. I think we can all take that little gem away and find ways to apply it in our everyday lives. Don’t you?