thecheatisnotdead
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Last Active 02-16-11 12:19 am
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 Lists
06.16.17 Foo Fighters at Anthem05.19.17 Danny McBride vs. The Xenomorphs (No Sp
03.10.17 Flattery02.07.17 Albums I Gots ta Get
12.15.16 My Krampus List11.03.16 Running my First 10k This Weekend
10.05.16 Seeing the Dear Hunter Tonight08.23.16 Upcoming Concerts
07.29.16 2016 Back-Half Albums I'm Excited For06.24.16 My To-Get List
06.04.16 Vinyl Day05.05.16 Mayday, Mayday
04.17.16 Breaking in the ol' New(ish) Turntable02.18.16 Concerts on my Horizon
02.10.16 Giving Up New Music for Lent01.25.16 Rick Remender
01.12.16 January To-Do's10.30.15 No 'Vember Like November
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Danny McBride vs. The Xenomorphs (No Spoilies)

Well, Prometheus was quite disappointing, but its deleted scenes were all extremely good, and goddamn if Ridley Scott doesn't have me excited for a return to whatever random moon frustratingly adjacent to LV-426 we'll be visiting this go-round. Also, I'll be consuming copious, Danny McBride-sanctioned amounts of whiskey beforehand, so it'll be a fun time, even if the film itself isn't. List is digs and other Alien films ranked.
7Forest Swords
Compassion


AVP: Requiem - Hesitated to even include this and its predecessor, since they are the textbook definition of cash-grabs (and also, as a secondary definition, hot garbage), but Showtime must have recently gotten the rights and aired the hell out of this thing a few months back, so it's top of mind for that reason (plus, I have enough digs to justify it). Just bad. John Ortiz deserves much better. At the absolute least, this film *did* do us the courtesy of killing the spin-off franchise.
6Pond (AUS)
Beard, Wives, Denim


Alien: Resurrection - Yep, legitimately think this is worse than the first AVP. Maybe it's got to do with when I saw it (which has legitimately been the better part of a decade ago, at this point; then again, so was AVP, so...), but I feel like the goofy-meets-grossout tone of this film never quite congealed into anything more than that. I will tip my cap to the one escape pod portion, though, and seeing a xenomorph swim around was nifty, as far as that goes (which is to say, not very).
5Sampha
Process


AVP - By no means what you could call a Good Film, or even a Halfway Decent One, but it was, at the least, a hell of a lot more fun than virtually anything else in either leg of the proudly dour franchise. Sometimes, you just need some brainless fun to make the popcorn taste better, and it's always (well, sometimes) nice to see Lance Henriksen, even if it means he's single-handedly fucking up franchise canon.
4The Menzingers
After the Party


Prometheus - As mentioned above, I came out of this movie extremely disappointed, perhaps mainly because of its insistence on squandering potential when- and wherever the opportunity presented. Oh, we've got Idris Elba on the cast? Let's put him in two scenes. Let's slather Guy Pearce (so good as the new Peter Weyland in that viral pre-release TED talk bit) in old man CGI, confine Patrick Wilson's all-of-a-sudden important father to a single, bizarre flashback, & make one of our lead "protagonists" openly unlikable. And that's to say nothing of the plot, such as it is, with all its geologists scared of petrified fossils but pet-happy when it comes to threatening centipede-cobras and absurdly vague villains, which at one's very kindest might be described as half-baked. But, at the very least, you can't fault the film for being ambitious, and I'll be damned if some of the action scenes (including the aforementioned cobras, in spite of everything) from being pretty goddamn gripping.
3Childish Gambino
"Awaken, My Love!"


Alien3 - I'm referring specifically to the "Assembly Cut" here, but I think this is the most unjustly derided entry in the franchise. If nothing else, you have to respect the choice the film made when it came to hitting a hard reset on just who escaped unscathed from the previous entry, bleak and crowd-displeasing as that choice might have been. Its effects don't quite hold up--twas the 90s, after all, when sci-fi directors never met a practical effect they couldn't "improve" with stop-motion-puppet-esque CGI--but the story and performances absolutely do, and it without a doubt has the most effectively gloomy atmosphere in the entire series. Honestly, if the original cut's ending had been used in the otherwise far superior extended version, it might have even made it further up. Plus, getting to see the once-and-future Hand of the King Tywin Lannister sink his teeth into an important but all-too-brief role is pretty awesome for a certain subset of nerds.
2Day Wave
The Days We Had


Aliens - Well, really not much to say on this one that hasn't been said already and eloquently elsewhere. There's a reason it's considered by many to be the Platonic Ideal for action movies, and its setpieces have truly stood the test of time in a way that those of pretty much everything else in the series--even, to a degree, the original--have not. So many quotable lines and memorable characters, but I think its true success lies in its willingness to not simply retread the original, and actually strike out in a new direction (the same reason I like Alien3, in that sense). Oftentimes, the bigger is better mentality is what can sink a sequel, especially in a field as rife with creative sinkholes as sci-fi, but in this case, more really is more.
1Pinegrove
Everything So Far


Alien - There's a justifiable argument for swapping this and #2, and to distill it down into overly simplistic terms, I think it ultimately comes down to whether you favor horror or action, and that I happen to fall into the former camp. Still, that aside, mood and atmosphere once again go a tremendously long way for this film, which hand-in-hand with its naturalistic performances and show-don't-tell style of world-building (here, the proverbial iceberg approach is employed far more effectively than whatever frigid flotsam and jetsam was at work in the purposefully obfuscating Prometheus) make it the crowning achievement of not just the franchise, but also the genre as a whole. Plus, although these days the device overall could be read as cheap, but goddamned if the jump scares like the facehugger and tunnel chase don't hold up. Here's hoping Ridley's latest go-round is more in tune with this masterful, remarkable entry into this disgusting, beautiful, compelling universe.
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