Wednesday, May 7, 2008

I thought I was alone . . .

Anyone who really knows me knows that I despise Mystery Science Theater 3000. I don't just dislike it, I loathe it with ever fiber of my being. I have tried in vein to explain why I don't like it over the years to varying degrees of success. I hate that it belittles movies that are actually some of my favorite films. I hate the culture or "riffing" that was spawned from it's putrid existence. You see, to me this show is just like those lousy VH1 I Love the 80's specials. It makes fun of things simply because they look dated.

Well for years I had thought I was the lone hold-out in geek culture that didn't like this show. All that changed today. Headgeek himself, Harry Knowles feels just like me. He summed up all of my thoughts and feelings way better than I ever could.

Here is what he said about the DVD release of the MST3K Movie:

I have a noted history of not liking and actually hating this show. You have to understand – I like the robots, I like their banter… it’s the concept of belittling movies and declaring certain films as being TERRIBLE STINKERS – that I can’t stand. And never was the case more infuriating to me, than with the theatrical version of MST3KTM…. The film is THIS ISLAND EARTH… literally one of the very best 50’s Science Fiction films… With fantastic aliens from the same planet as Dennis Muren… and Apple technology… and Metaluna Mutants… and art deco Saucers… tractor beams, triangular two way televisions with built in lasers! And I just love the film. I grew up with it. Since this film came out… I’ve attempted to see THIS ISLAND EARTH twice in theaters and both times there were jackasses screaming out quotes from this version of the film and laughing hysterically. FUCK THAT! Now – the humor is funny – but my problem with this and the series is that while I love that tons of awesome genre films that could have been forgotten were discovered via the show… BUT – now they got introduced to those films as “trash cinema” and not the films that they were – prior to self-aware ironic glib humor. I really wish that the guys behind the MST3K phenom – had made their own films – their humor was solid enough to not just be a video commentary added to another’s film.

Harry really hits the nail on the head. Thank you Harry. Here is the link to the original article.

Monday, May 5, 2008

AVP: Alien vs. Predator

Over the weekend I bought the unrated, two-disc set of Alien vs. Predator. This is one of those movies that film geeks seem to think is obligatory to hate. For the life of me I cannot figure out why so many people shit on this movie. Seriously. I really, really enjoy this movie. If you're expecting some pseudo-intellectual explanation as to why I like it, you are going to be very disappointed. I like Aliens and I like Predators. I especially like seeing them do things we have never seen them do before because of the limits of the technology in the earlier movies. The Alien queen just rocks in AVP! We get to see her move in ways that couldn't be shown in 1986. Another cool part to seeing the queen fight in this one is fucking Newt was not involved. I have always hated little kids in science fiction movies! I love the scene of the past when the natives worshiped the Predators as gods. That shot of thousands to Aliens running up the pyramid after the three Predators was cool as shit. I thought the idea of having the young Predator come to respect the female lead and team up with her was cool too. It shows the honor and nobility of the Predator species. There aren't that many changes to this extended cut of the movie. I just wanted to be one, small voice out there that stands up for this movie and its director. I think it has some really cool concepts, really cool fight scenes, and you actually come to care about the main Predator.

I also think Paul W.S. Anderson is a much better director than people give him credit. This movie looks really neat. I watched the pre-production documentary and was very impressed with him. He has been into the concept since the first AVP comics Dark Horse published. He storyboarded almost his entire script when he pitched his idea for the movie and the images were very impressive. The cool part is most of them actually ended up on the screen. This guy is a fan and a true genre filmmaker. That is a rare thing these days. Most guys who make genre pictures long to make "serious drama" or have to undercut high concept stuff with the "we don't take this seriously" mentality. Anderson gave us a movie about Aliens and Predators that used tons of the mythology from both and is really a geek's dream come true. But it seems the gods decreed from on high that we are supposed to hate this movie. Well I don't. So forget all that crap you have heard online and watch this movie with some fresh eyes. It kicks ass.