Leftovers: Movie Night
By Zach Patterson Wednesday, 26 Dec 2007

So a lazy friday evening turns into a night of sci-fi movie watching. Let’s see what’s on cable!

First up…

Alien Resurrection

Bleh. That’s about all I got to say about this one. It’s a pretty unlikeable movie that I still end up watching all the time for some reason. I think it’s that same rehashed formula from The Poseiden Adventure that hooks me in every time, the same way a movie like Deep Blue Sea gets me every time. But yeah, standard horror movie fare about a group of people that need to get off a ship before the “aliens” get them. Ripley’s back again through cloning in a comic book-esque resurrection, and for the most part it feels like the performances are cliched or phoned in all around. But its a watchable, low expectations action movie with some decent kills and alien stuff if you remove the idea from your head that his is just a generic, lackluster sequel to two of the best science fiction movies of all time, Alien and Aliens.

After I finished up Alien Resurrection, I flipped to the Starz channels I get and saw…

Independence Day

Now I haven’t watched the movie in years, and remembered it was pretty hackneyed back in the day, and that certainly hasn’t changed. The movie is still full of overwrought Bill Pullman acting, drunken Randy Quaid non-acting, Goldblum ramblings, and Will Smith jive talkin’. But it is what it is, and I’ll be damned if I wasn’t entertained for 2 hours. I think one thing that gets overlooked in this movie is the excellent ship and creature design. The special effects also still hold up moderately well. When the ships fill the sky over top of New York, you can’t help but feel that these are monolithic, scary machines, almost in a War of the Worlds type atmosphere. I also enjoy the excellent small roles filled by Brent Spiner and Adam Baldwin in the movie, whom I completely forgot were in it until I saw them. So yeah, it’s still a mindless action movie with gaping plot holes and idiotic logic at times, but I turned my brain off and enjoyed it. And plus, Goldblum. Seriously.

Cube Zero

Ahh, I was really going for the trifecta of meh tonight. Cube Zero is everything you expect a sequel/prequel to be, but not in a good sense. It’s safe, uses much of the same setups as the first movie, and never really tries too much new. The only interesting idea is that this one is from the perspective of the people working the traps in the Cube and poses the question of “hey, what if these people are prisoners too?” Kind of an interesting thought, but the whole movie takes the mystique and coolness out of the first movie (most of its appeal lie in the fact that you did not know any more than the characters, and that everything seemed so foreign, cold, and mechanical). It’s replaced with dopey characters watching the Cube and even cornier higher ups that appear later on. This could have been done ok, but it’s clumsy and tries to explain a little too much, but at the same time leaves large portions of the plot unexplained. I would prefer either explain it all, or explain nothing. As it is, this just kinda feels like a SciFi Channel sequel to a much better movie. Again, it’s watchable, but far from great.

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