Archive for alien

‘Spiderman Homecoming’: Meet Peter Parker the Protégé

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Fantasy, Movies, Sci-Fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 23, 2017 by aliciamovie


Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Director: Jon Watts

Studio: Marvel Studios

MPAA Rating: PG 13

Review Rating: 7 out of 10

Web-slinging spoilers catch more than flies!

Coming off the dubious success of the previous Captain America movie, wherein Spiderman was introduced as a protégé of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), we find Peter (Tom Holland) feeling rather too large for his admittedly smaller life back home with May (Marisa Tomei). In this outing, Pete simply calls her ‘May’ and it is only the first of many odd un-Spidey-like actions he takes. Dutifully attending high school and trying to stay out of trouble while sincerely frustrated with the held-back feeling of all the good he could be doing, if only Mr. Stark would but let him. There are bad guys in Pete’s neighborhood, stealing alien tech that’s the consequence of the wider-world fights between the Avengers and other alien invaders and selling it to other bad guys, or forging new weapons and tech from these salvaged parts for their own nefarious purposes.

Pete’s been telling everyone at school and home that he has an internship with Tony Stark, when in reality, it seems as though Stark has left his protégé behind to linger in mediocrity. While Spidey is off with his spiffy Stark-made suit with the training wheels still on, rescuing cats from trees and stopping eensy-weensy thefts, the Avengers are in theory out there having mega-battles with who-knows-what kind of alien villains, and Pete is heartily sick of it. It kinda sorta helps when Pete’s best pal Ned (Jacob Batalon) finds out about his double-life and starts fan-squeeing at him day and night, but seriously, chemistry labs and the academic decathlon are nothing compared to the Avengers world. Yet the film often insists on tossing in we’ll say half of Pete’s so-called “normal” life, like your first major high school party, with the other half, like a tiny bank robbery that turns into murder by alien high tech, in a manner almost expectant of Spidey instantly able to do the necessary thing; poof. We need our Hero Spider-Man and we apparently needed him like yesterday – what’s the rush?

I totally get wanting to fly again after Spiderman’s cameos in the previous movie, but come on fellows. Most of the fans and the general MCU folk want Spider-Man to join the Avengers for whatever varied reasons, but you can’t expect him at a Toby Maguire level if he never had time to be at an Andrew Garfield level. And that’s another place the movie just feels weird – the apparent age of the Spider-Man and his support cast, you know, the high school kids, the girly crush and the best friend who suddenly morphs into ‘the guy in the chair’ level tech mastery. Many of the characters in the film are in an awful hurry to grow up, but that’s unfair to those familiar characters and especially to our beloved web-slinger himself. Spidey trains extra-hard to live up to what he thinks Stark’s expectations of him are, far beyond the point of risking his own safety, and crucially, no real regard for how his actions may affect his loved ones. No Peter Parker-Spider-Man I ever heard of did that (there are other comic book incarnations of Spider-Man now too). Why insist on sticking him in with the Avengers at this young age, and more bogglingly, why cast Tony Stark of all people in the missing-father role? It is what it is; onward we go.

The bright spot in an oddly endearing little fan-film version of Spider-Man we have here, is Michael Keaton as Vulture, and Adrian Toomes. I always thought Keaton’s double performances were some of the best Batmans I had ever seen, and his astounding job in the recent gem Birdman was quite good, so casting him in this beleaguered father role was a very smart move. He took what was essentially, let’s be honest, a boring leftover villain from the glorious 60’s only ever meant to forward the Avengers plot, and made him fun and maybe even a little relatable. How many of you can honestly say, with access to that kind of tech and a bunch of imagination, that you wouldn’t make another version of Vulture, or something like it, for yourself?

Every Spidey film has to have a gigantic “Spidey saves the day!” moment, and Homecoming is no different in this regard. But crossing the epic Spidey-Vulture fight with the high school academic decathlon field trip imminent-elevator-death scene was kind of ridiculous. And the very end scene where Pete finally goes to visit Tony Stark in the new HQ, was once again, mostly all about Starks attempts at mentoring. Does Pete’s decision mean he won’t be in the next Avengers movie? I highly doubt it.

Catch the web-crawler and his flying pals in ‘Spider-Man Homecoming’, in theaters now!


SDCC 2017 ‘Colony’: The Enemy of my Enemy

Posted in Action, comedy, drama, Fantasy, horror, Romance, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 7, 2017 by aliciamovie


By Alicia Glass

Welcome back to our alien invasion occupation, already in progress! Season Two of the USA hit Colony brought us way more intrigue, betrayal, and sacrifice than the first season, and it all culminated in total rendition of the Los Angeles bloc! The Bowmans have survived mostly intact but forever altered, gained new allies and enemies, and further embroiled themselves in the mess of collaboration versus resistance!

The Colony panel of Comic-con 2017 featured Josh Holloway (Will Bowman), Sarah Wayne Callies (Katie Bowman), Peter Jacobson (Snyder), Tory Kittles (Broussard), and Executive Producers Carlton Cuse, Wes Tooke, and Ryan Condal.

Josh Holloway is obviously one of the major heroes of the show, despite his being forced to collaborate, and though the journey for his character in particular through Season Two was dark and hard, “Will went through Hell, and I loved it. Season Two really elevated everything on the show and it was amazing, but I’m glad to be out of that suit and away from those bloodsuckers I was working for.”

Sarah Wayne Callies is a fan favorite purveyor of strong female characters on several shows she’s already been in, same with her character Katie Bowman on Colony. She waxed poetic on the brutal choices Katie Bowman had to make in Season Two, “Is it better to die standing than to live on your knees, yes absolutely, but it’s also a question of what General do you follow into battle? I think one of the big challenges of Season One and going into Season Two, had to do with the costs of waging that war, and in whom do you place your trust? Quail was not a man worthy of that trust, and so I think over Season Two you have the evolution of Katie leaning more and more into Broussard’s leadership, which itself evolves into something more of a partnership.”

And speaking of Broussard, Tory Kittles talked about the more in-depth role his character played in Season Two: “It’s such a grey area with all the characters, the morality changes. Like he (Broussard) was playing both sides to get information, and that does something to a person, to a character. And then he found himself working with Will Bowman, which I don’t think he thought would ever happen, in this world and under these circumstances. Everything is changing, not only for him but for all the characters. At the heart of him I know he’s a good guy, I think he’s doing it for all the right reasons, but sometimes he might be … excessive.” Only when asked where he would like to his character go on the show, did he laughingly reply, “Hopefully to Season Ten!”

Peter Jacobson, who plays everyones’ favorite weasel character Snyder on the show, tried to convince the crowd and himself of Snyder’s survival-only intentions. “It’s so fun to play a morally complex character; I can thank the writers for making me a character to play in that ‘who the hell is he?’ kind of zone, which Snyder really does. For me as an actor, Snyder doesn’t think ‘oh I’m a bad guy,’ no, he’s a master survivor, he will do whatever the hell it takes to survive. He’s not your sort of typical Snidely Whiplash kind of villain, and I think that’s really compelling, that he’s just a normal guy.”

Callies went on to speak proudly of her character Katie Bowman and her great strengths: “There are moments where she seems to be willing to put her own children at risk, in order to take a stand, for all of the children of the bloc. It’s a really complicated space to inhabit as a parent, but also as a woman. By and large in our storytelling, women are defined by our ability to be faithful to our husband, and saintly to our children. And to have a woman who, from the outset, is willing to be devious with her husband and to put her own childrens needs at least on par with the other children of the bloc; I just think its one of the most interesting female characters I’ve ever had the chance to play.”

Newcomer to this years panel Executive Producer Wes Tooke talked about having a clear vision for where the show wanted to go in Season Two, and how it will lead to a seriously more dynamic Season Three. “The challenge of Season Two is how do we create something that’s emotionally engaging, tells a great story and sets us up for where we want to go and the huge leap we want to make to Season Three, which is going to dramatically re-frame the entire show.”

Colony mainstay Ryan Condal spoke of the fascinating challenges in creating such a story for television and the lead-in to Season Three: “We’ve always seen the show as being a series of concentric rings of story, so Season One had to be small, we’re seeing this world through the singular point of view of the Bowman family. But now the show has evolved and we’re now twenty-three episodes into it and we have another thirteen episodes coming this year, so we’re able to expand out those rings and see the world larger and different, more diverse, points of view. There are things that are yet to be revealed, and there are things we’ve given you already, so I would challenge you to go back and take another look (before Season Three airs). There’s a lot of big answers to come, and (after the showing of Season Three preview exclusive to Comic-Con) you’ll have a really good sense of all the big questions that you’re probably asking yourself, and us, right now, will be revealed pretty early in Season Three.”

The panel went through fan questions and ended with a quest for hardy SDCC-goers: the  picture below, along with coordinates and the code-phrase “The enemy of my enemy” was flashed on the big screen, so make of it what you will, Colony fans.

Colony_S3ConceptArt_Final 700

Catch the expanding world of Colony on USA in 2018!

‘Antibirth’: Drugs are bad, mmk?

Posted in horror, Sci-Fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 9, 2017 by aliciamovie


Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Director: Danny Perez

Studio: Traverse Media

Review Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Don’t-give-a-shit druggie Lou, after yet another night of wild partying, finds herself pregnant with something possibly out of this world!

Since watching this film I discovered that the director intended it to be looked at as a psychedelic horror flick, and while the dictionary defines “psychedelic” as both having to do with the drug LSD and the trippy kaleidoscopic visions it causes, I don’t recall ever seeing Lou pop LSD in the movie. Sure, she pops everything else she can get her hands on, like a kid in a candy store, but the movie doesn’t get real specific on what the pills being popped are. Which is, actually, I think kind of the point, one of the very few plot points the film actually has.

Like most other contracted-STD horror flicks out now, the very beginning is where Lou (Natasha Lyonne) apparently gets knocked up, and the whole experience is kind of a drugged-out blur trip. Annnd then we cut to Lou and her friend Sadie (Chloe Sevigny) in the nasty-ass trailer Lou sorta lives in, where Lou complains about the mess of her life and endures pregnancy-like symptoms, all while getting high and noshing and generally not changing a single thing about the way she lives. Lou remains this way pretty much through the entire movie, with her give-zero-fucks attitude and near constant abuse of drugs and alcohol, all through the visit to the veterinary friends office for advice, the few hours of “work” at some rundown motel with another druggie friend of hers, and of course the rest of the time spent getting high on one thing or another and complaining.

It’s really hard to keep a linear timeline of whatever the hells going on in this movie, but I gather Lou’s “pregnancy” only lasts about a week or so. We the audience learn that Lou’s dealer Gabriel (Mark Webber) is also Sadie’s boyfriend, and he and his partner Warren have been keeping all sorts of secrets from the both of them. Mostly this newfangled experimental drug that already destroyed the face of one of their many hooker girls, supposedly some kind of hormone supplement that was discontinued but that Gabriel and Warren decided to distribute anyway, and guess who they administered it to.

Little happens as we follow Lou from one drug score and gripe session to the next, until damn near the very end of the movie when suddenly Lou’s stomach and nightmare psychedelic visions go into overdrive. This strange woman, Lorna (Meg Tilly), that Lou met at the motel shows up at the cottage right as Lou’s about to give birth to whatever’s straining in there, but as the mess and the sheer strangeness of it all reaches a fever pitch, these military-like guys in fatigues with big guns show up and shit gets even weirder!

Barely qualifying as a Horror flick, Antibirth rather reminds me as more of a kind of Sci-Fi warning against promiscuity, the taking of virtually any drugs or drinking, and perhaps even a tiny message against the Pro-Lifers stance of all life being sacred and a woman pregnant of rape or incest being forced to carry the baby to birth. There are some fairly good slices of that misunderstood subgenre of Horror, the Body-Horror category, but the big reveal at the end kind of moved away from that in a big hurry. A good deal of the film does indeed sport psychedelic imagery and swirling visions, characterized as a kind of acidic fever dream borne of a woman’s own desire to not be involved in the incredibly messy and, let’s face it, often downright disgusting process of giving birth.

Make sure you wash your hands after catching Antibirth on Netflix!

San Diego Film Festival 2014 presents Project M

Posted in drama, Foreign, Movies, Sci-Fi, suspense with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 9, 2014 by aliciamovie

project m

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Director: Eric Piccoli

Review Rating: 7.5

In the not-too-distant future with Earth’s supply of natural resources dwindling, four astronauts are sent into space on a 1,000 day space station journey to a moon orbiting Jupiter.

So it stands to reason that, with a great deal of our other natural resources gone, fresh water would become a highly valuable commodity. The four astronauts of Project M were sent to inhabit an orbital space station around Earth that sent a mission to one of Jupiter’s moons, Europa, to drill on the surface to look for this precious commodity. And about the 900th day or so of their 1,000-day mission, the reports come back that yes, water has indeed been discovered on Europa!

This is cause for great rejoicing amongst the crew, celebrations of smuggled-aboard alcohol and spreading the joyous news to the inhabitants of Earth down below. The astronauts are looking forward to completing their mission and coming home to a brighter future. And then, when one of the astronauts is playing a pretty tune on the onboard piano with a nearby window overlooking the Earth, the worst possible thing imaginable happens: lights begin going off over our lovely little blue planet, and we’re not talking EMPs. Explosions are happening all over the place, huge nasty things darkening the atmosphere and the hearts of the astronauts watching, helpless, as humanity destroys itself over water. Our heroes are left broken up there in space, wondering what to do now, and the strain begins to crack even the best of them. The engineer decides to space herself in her despair, the Captain nearly takes off in the single space station return pod alone, only to be stopped at the last moment and have that one pod take off, empty, leaving the astronauts further stranded. A leftover Russian spacecraft with a lone occupant already dying from radiation sickness is dubiously rescued, and of course the Cosmonaut has designs on getting back to Earth of his own. The official mission of Project M is already completed, but the war down on Earth rages on, and none of our heroes can quite figure out why, until they recheck the findings from Europa and find that something else besides water was discovered on Jupiter’s moon! Armed with this staggering new knowledge, something that may bring humanity together when they’re tearing themselves apart over water, the remaining astronauts have to decide what their brave final acts will be.

It is an incredible film, full of what-ifs and could-bes that all of humanity experiences at least once at some point in their lifetime. The documentary feel of the interviews of the film give it more believability, and the all-too-possible portrait of humanities future is terrifyingly real. Yes it is a French foreign film and there are subtitles, be ye warned.


Posted in comedy, Movies, Romance, Sci-Fi with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2011 by aliciamovie

Reviewed by Alicia Glass

Studio: Relativity Media

MPAA Rating: R

Director: Greg Mottola

Review Rating: 6 Motor Homes

A pair of British friends go on a tour of American alien-encounter sites, only to encounter a real alien named Paul.

So, I thought when the movie opened with the pair of total Brit geeks going to Comic-Con in San Diego, that I might actually enjoy this movie. And indeed, there are parts where I laughed aloud. But for the most part, the movie seems rushed and there are so many plots just left dangling. Paul never explains where he came from, what he’s doing on Earth, who’s chasing him really or why, although the female voice of the commander in charge of the Suits after Paul will sound familiar – I wish she had been in more of the movie.

Paul the alien is of course nothing but CGI, and voice inevitably by Seth Rogan. For some reason the voice kept reminding me of Norm from Cheers, but that dates me. At any rate, Rogan’s voice gives Paul a very human manner, which isn’t necessarily a good thing for the storyline (what there is of it), but gives Paul the character personality in spades. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, who’ve already done Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz together, star as Graeme and Clive, the Brit pals off on their Area 51 style tour. They do manage to pull off a camaraderie of two guy geek pals without coming across as gay, despite being mistaken for it all across America. Jason Bateman, I remember him, stars as Agent Zoil, one of the lead Suits off chasing Paul. Kristen Wiig, of SNL and Knocked Up and many other voices fame, stars as Ruth, the rather redneck love interest that Graeme inevitably picks up. And yes, I suppose you could call it a spoiler, the voice of the Big Guy, as she’s called, turns out to be Sigourney Weaver.

Paul seems to focus much more on human relations, how we relate to eachother despite our differences, rather than any kind of Sci-Fi alien presence here on Earth omg. Which is actually fine, as it turns out, Rogan and Frost and Pegg all have a tendency to make movies that celebrate the awkwardness in relationships we all seem to suffer and thrive on, and the love that binds us together as human. And it’s certainly much better than Pineapple Express. I’ll give Paul a rating of 6 Motor Homes, and leave it as another attempt to understand all of us geeks.