Alien Trailer: 20th Century Fox Nails This Throwback Thursday Classic You Should Absolutely Own…

 
I have no idea how many times I’ve seen ALIEN since 1979, but it’s one of my favorite films, period. I’d written about it briefly but never in depth because there have been so many other and better dissections of Ridley Scott’s classic that the only thing I have to offer is SEE IT if you haven’t. The cool thing is it’s been released in so many formats that you can find it almost anywhere for whatever you have that plays legally purchased films. Of course, 20th Century Fox wants you to buy it from them HERE, so feel free to do that if you like. Personally, I’d want to grab the first four films in either the ALIEN Quadrilogy or ALIEN Anthology box sets, but if you just want to be scared out of your wits with the best entry in the franchise, go with the first one.

And yeah, I know it’s Friday, silly. I started this post last night but the internet was hating me at home because it vanished for about an hour or so and it was after midnight by the time it came back from wherever it went.

Mad Max “Much Damage?” Clip: Writers, Here’s How To Introduce Your Hero (#1 of A Bunch)…

So, TCM making more (and better) use of its YouTube page means I get to babble about storytelling for a series of posts about one important part of a good (or even not so good) heroic movie. Forget all about Mel’s more current issues, folks. Back when this film was made, he was cool beans on a fresh plate and Mad Max was to many, his breakthrough role (at least in the USA where action fans got both barrels from this wild ride). This particular clip shows George Miller’s assured direction of always hard to shoot vehicle action and some dynamic camerawork along with excellent use of scoring and sound effects. The opening minute of this scene is pure white-knuckle action, then there’s a pause while Max is introduced and takes over the pursuit, completely changing the tone. The contrast between the Night Rider’s ranting and Max’s slow set-up works and when he breaks the Toecutter in that “chicken” match, you know it’s pretty much all over. Granted, Max goes though some breaking of his own as the film progresses, but I’ll let you catch this on TCM (Saturday, May 3 at 2am ET/Fri, May 2 at 11pm PT) and not spoil a thing if you’re now to this one…

Godzilla Toy Reveal: MTV Makes Itself Relevant Again!

Image: MTV

Image: MTV

“Raaaar! Hi Kids!” is what this new Godzilla seems to be saying with a grin on his mug. Thanks to the fine folks at MTV News, here’s a long and loving first look at the 2014 version of this classic beastie from the upcoming film by director Gareth Edwards.

The figure (coming to you from Jakks Pacific) stands a whooping 23 inches tall and with the added tail length, measures a very respectable 43 inches long. Yikes, there goes the neighborhood indeed in terms of finding a shelf at home to put this hefty plastic monster on. Other than his weird feet and manly-muscly arms, I like the new look of the big guy a lot.

Godzilla_MTV

Image: MTV

It’s also got twelve points of articulation including a mouth that opens and closes (important when pretending to chow down on citizens and scenery) and a tail that swings back and forth (also important for keeping away helicopter-sized bugs and other flying things). This massive monster might seem too scary for the wee ones (it’s made for ages 3+, parents), but we all know that boys (and girls) just ADORE dinosaurs of any size, correct?

Besides, it still can’t top the KING of inappropriate movie licensed toys geared for the wrong age group, Kenner’s 18″ ALIEN figure from 1979. I had one of those babies, boxed and all, but it got swiped by my younger brother and wrecked/tossed out eventually while I was away and I’ve been kicking myself since for not buying a few when Gimbels was closing them out at a song. Ah well… you can’t change the past, people… but you CAN get started on the room-sized diorama you’re going to fit this new HUGE Godzilla in. Good luck on that project!

Random Film of the Week(end): The Boys From Brazil

(Thanks, DEATHTRAP TRAILERS!)

The Boys From Brazil_MPDepending on your frame of mind, The Boys From Brazil will either creep you out of make you laugh a wee bit too much. It will do both if you’re somewhere in the middle on the mental front (or are a first time viewer), but I’ll leave you to let this one settle where it lands. Franklin J. Schaffner’s signature directorial style is on full display here as this semi sci-fi/dramal/horror flick does its thing with some interesting casting choices, dialog ripe with amusing yet nasty situations and a number of creative demises for a few characters.

Granted, the subject matter is a bit touchy to some, what with the book and film positing real-life Nazi war criminal Dr. Josef Mengele (Gregory Peck!) as alive and kicking and still working on a pretty outlandish experiment that involves almost a hundred little Hitlers. But the film pulls you in right from the start and keeps you watching as the bad, mad doctor’s plans slowly but surely come to fruition. Well, sort of…

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Random Film of the Week: THE DARK

(Thanks, AussieRoadshow!) 

THE DARK_MPJohn “Bud” Cardos’ one hundred and ten percent wretched sci-fi horror flick The Dark is one of the best reasons for better movie theater security guards and well-caffeinated ticket booth clerks. I paid to see this R-rated waste of time when I was 15 and it was four bucks I still want back. This is one of those “so bad it’s worse” “cult” films that boggles the mind as to not only how it got made, but how it got into theaters. And this is coming from someone who loves crappy movies to death.

Allegedly, Tobe Hooper was in on this mess as the initial director before being replaced by Cardos, but I’d gather he split or was canned because whatever script was presented to him scared him off. Or he was merely killing time before *not* directing Poltergeist a few years later (*ziiiing!*). This won’t be a long and loving look back at this dopey flick, so don’t get too comfortable. In every way possible, this film reeks of people showing up to work just to collect whatever paycheck was promised them (and probably some drugs as well), and that’s a shame…

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Random Film of the Week: Beyond The Poseidon Adventure

beyond the PA_MPOh, why do I do this to myself? Well, because someone had this flick handy, read my review of the original and offered it up for review, that’s why. That and I’m issuing a shot across the bow to anyone thinking this rusty old clunker will be a good movie because of the list of stars (some of the fading and fallen variety). Anyway, thanks in part to the massive success of blockbusters such as Jaws, Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Alien (among others) to by 1979, the star-studded disaster epic was pretty much dead in the water. However, Hollywood kept them coming for a little bit longer despite poor critical and audience reception.

Sadly, when original ideas started drying up, sequels to older crowd pleasers because one escape route that seemed to fail spectacularly despite stunt casting efforts galore. The great 1970 film Airport devolved into three miserable “look at the law of diminishing returns in action” sequels before crash-landing and for some reason, producer/director Irwin Allen decided to hold out for seven years to make a follow up to his smash hit The Poseidon Adventure. Well, he did get the seriously star-packed and seriously goofy disaster flicks The Towering Inferno and Earthquake made plus some TV projects in the interim, so he was a busy man. However, in the case of Poseidon’s second go, the result is pretty awful as a sequel, so seeing Beyond The Poseidon Adventure only comes recommended if you can mentally separate the two films and pretend this follow-up flick is a bad dream had by one of the survivors of the first movie… Continue reading

Saturday Night Dead: Spending the Evening @Home With a Few Friends…

DotD 

Whee. I’ve actually only seen the US edit of Dawn of the Dead, so when I was offered a copy of this Ultimate edition by a friend who had an extra copy, I jumped on it. OK, short post here because I’m now off to see what I missed in those other two versions and of course, watch the hell out of those special features so I can geek out on the stuff I didn’t already know. Yeah, my Saturday nights are less (or more) exciting than yours depending on what you consider “exciting”… Off to watch the Dead now… back in a bit.

Random Film of the Weekend (Too): Time After Time

(thanks, warnervod!) 

time after timeAmusingly enough, this RFoTW post was going to be about Somewhere in Time, but I’d mistakenly typed in Time After Time as the title of that film when doing a search for the poster, looked at the results and remembered that while SoT is indeed a fine (and highly underrated) gem, TAT is more pure fun to watch and does a few more interesting things with its characters and plot as it takes them from past to present.

Adding some unique twists to the time travel and Jack the Ripper mythologies, it combines mystery, drama, action and romance with bits of comedy that work despite some first time director flaws in the ointment. Oh, and it’s a grand little science fiction film that works because you’re sucked in so quickly and completely forget the fantastic elements being so farfetched thanks to the story, characters and direction making it so real…
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