Archives for posts with tag: Alien

Richard Spencer and Mark Brahmin discuss James Cameron’s films The Terminator (1984) and Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991). Readers may want to compare this pair’s very insightful commentary with my remarks on Terminator: Genisys (2015).

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

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In the not-too-distant future, the world is a winter horrorland after a well-meaning attempt to control global warming has gone tragically awry. Consequently, what remains of humanity after the ecological apocalypse and societal collapse lives scattered in dwindling underground colonies plagued by despair and the common cold. Leading one of these colonies as a sort of benevolent despot is Briggs (Laurence Fishburne), who, when he receives a distress call from another colony in the region, sets out with a small group of men to see what aid they can offer their fellows. Unfortunately, what they find when they get there is a pack of savage, marauding cannibals bent on making Briggs and company’s colony next on the menu.

With high-caliber thrills, a pervading dread, and situations and sinister interiors somewhat reminiscent of Alien, The Colony is a film with a firm grasp of the mechanics of suspense and ends up, alongside The Purge and You’re Next, being one of the scariest, most satisfying offerings of the year. Fishburne, of an age now to convey an easy air of mature experience, is a welcome presence in the lead. Bill Paxton delivers a solid supporting performance as the brutal Mason, Briggs’s principal rival for colonial leadership, while Kevin Zegers is likable enough as Sam, a young man forced to toughen up quick when the yellow snow starts to hit the fan.

5 stars. Ideological Content Analysis indicates that The Colony is:

3. Pro-castration. Haunting the icy landscape are immense weather control towers, ruins of modern man’s arrogant and paternalistic presumption.

2. Black supremacist. Briggs, a wise and noble black man, has naturally fallen into the leadership position after Caucasians’ botched schemes have practically destroyed the planet. Reminding viewers of what happens to unsupervised and unprogressive white men who have no black savior to guide and protect them from their own primitive follies are the cannibals, whose leader sports the obligatory skinhead look. The Colony‘s black supremacist street credibility is undermined, unfortunately, by its unoriginal (albeit thrilling) concession to the sacrificial Negro convention – unless, of course, the character’s sacrifice points to his role as the Messiah.

1. Green. Because the world dragged its feet in addressing the challenge presented by global warming, its efforts, when these finally came, were too late and too desperate, resulting in an ecological cataclysm worse than the one mankind had sought to avoid. Rather than pointing to the vain futility of humans’ attempts at controlling atmospheric conditions, however, the moral of the story would seem to be that, in order to avert such a future catastrophe, global warming research needs more funding now – or that, in other words, a well-placed stitch in time saves nine.

Essential viewing for any fan of Alien, Ridley Scott’s new exploration of classic themes alludes to the director’s earlier film in both explicit and subtle ways, beginning with the slow appearance onscreen of the title, starting with two bars where Alien began with one, signaling that this comprises a second installment of a vision and a set of ideas with continuity.  As in Alien, a vessel on a commercial voyage runs afoul not only of unexpected surprises and evidences of life on arrival at a distant destination, but also the secrets being kept from the crew by their employers.  Prometheus is visually captivating and philosophically rich from start to finish, definitely a thinking person’s alien creature flick, and rewards repeated viewings.  Momentum builds irresistibly throughout, with unanswered questions maintaining constant tension and finally leaving the audience yearning for Prometheus 2: The New Batch.  Noomi Rapace’s presence greatly enhances the pleasantness factor of this effectively frightening and often highly revolting film.  Charlize Theron is also unnerving in her icy supporting role.  5 stars.  Highly recommended.

Ideological Content Analysis, meanwhile, indicates Prometheus is:

3. Pro-miscegenation.  The pungency of this aspect is mitigated somewhat by the observation that, from the standpoint of one interpretation, both of those who partake are punished in one way or another.  I also noticed a slyly mischievous segue that hadn’t occurred to me on the first viewing. Immediately after the scene of suggested miscegenation, one of the scientists, seeing menacing slime oozing out of alien canisters, wonders aloud, “What’s all this black stuff?”  Actually surprising that got left in.

2. Pro-choice, making a thrilling medical emergency out of a zany abortion.  (This is actually my favorite set piece and has to be seen.)

1. Antiwar.

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