June 4, 2010

I haven't had the slightest interest in seeing any of the summer movies until...

"Splice."

32 comments:

traditionalguy said...

Creating monster half humans is the scariest thing that can be done. So the movie should be fascinating.

A.W. said...

i don't know. didn't i already see this movie, as called "Species?"

The thing I don't get with scary alien movies (is this an alien, don't know), is this. what is really scary about aliens is that they might have really powerful technology, not that they will be feral animals. So the cliche of super smart alien that is soon stalking people and ripping people apart with their bare hands, is kind of bizarre.

Like imagine this remake of "Species." She uses her superior intellect to build weapons and defensive measurs that we have no chance against, she uses it to set up a lab, where she then works on a plan to colonize the planet for the aliens. Done well, that could be scarier than the 750th alien knock off.

Not that the movie alien deserves the same criticism. in alien, the creatures were more like giant vermin or parasites, and that made a certain sense, too. i just get annoyed when the supposedly super intelligent alien resorts to the most veral combat styles.

so nah, splice looks boring. i'm gonna skip it.

Alexis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

The 1950s version of The Fly scared any rational person. It spliced a man and a fly. And there was no sex change operatios available at that time.

Brian said...

@AW:
The super-intelligent alien species taking over was the plot of that Charlie Sheen movie, "The Arrival." In that movie, aliens are terraforming earth, and are the main cause of global warming, to make earth habitable for their species.

"Splice" is a horror film, it just happens to be about some sort of alien/human hybrid or genetic engineered creature. It's Frankenstein's monster redux.

Fred4Pres said...

I thought the same thing when I was at the theater last week (I took my kids to see Shrek and bought a ticket to MacGruber but left because I was the only person in the theater, and saw Price of Persia instead).

Bob From Ohio said...

A-Team is coming out later in June.

John said...

I thought perhaps you had come across an alternate title for The Human Centipede. Google it if you wish, but I'm warning you, you'll be sorry you did.

A.W. said...

Brian

Forgot about that one. thanks. But you get my point about too many on the superintelligent yet slobbering alien.

My favorite version of that was actually a mst3k movie. in it, an alien with a giant exposed brain comes at the guy pretty much like a shambling zombie. He starts hitting it on the head, on the exposed brain. And the guys watching start shouting stuff like, "oh now, i just lost my piano lessons! There goes the fifth grade! Ow!"

Fred:

Saw POP, too. Its not very faithful to the game, but it still pretty good in its own right. not as good as, say, Pirates of the Carribean, but still pretty good.

GMay said...

I enjoyed Iron Man II, but then again, I just go to movies to have a good time.

I thought the action was a little too frenetic at times (like most modern action flicks), there wasn't anywhere near enough Mickey Rourke, the final climactic battle with Whiplash was way too short, and I love Sam Rockwell but he over-douched the part.

But it was still a good time.

edutcher said...

We saw "Prince of Persia" because a friend recommended it to The Blonde. Call it average. Too many movie cliches.

If it needed anything, a storyline more like the original game, ironically, might have helped. This had a few dashes of the sequel. I played the original when it first came out and the twists and surprises were what made it fun and interesting.

Bob From Ohio said...

A-Team is coming out later in June.

Saw the trailer. It makes you realize how important casting is. You'll be better off catching the first season reruns on Centric.

Thorley Winston said...

The super-intelligent alien species taking over was the plot of that Charlie Sheen movie, "The Arrival." In that movie, aliens are terraforming earth, and are the main cause of global warming, to make earth habitable for their species.


Isn’t that the same as “They Live” but starring Roddy Piper? ;)


So far I’ve seen Iron Man 2 and Robin Hood this summer and both were enjoyable. I think that the Russell Crowe version may be the best of the eight Robin Hood movies that I’ve seen to date.


A-Team is coming out later in June.


Probably a guilty pleasure movie for a night out with the guys. I don’t expect it to be a great movie but I have no doubt that it will be entertaining, just like the TV show ;)

Troubled Voter said...

i saw it. it's ok. i'm kind of surprised by the high praise for it. i love sarah polley and like adrian brody, and they both did well, as did the actress who lays their 'daughter.'

But it didn't really make me ponder the consequences of playing god. It was basically a long episode of the X-Files. But worth seeing!

amba said...

I plan to see the new Karate Kid with Jackie Chan. First of all, I have a lifetime crush on Jackie Chan. He's as much of an artist as Charlie Chaplin. Very sophisticated and elegant, if you ever see a clip of him "as himself" instead of in his "innocent" Rush Hour character. Second, breathtaking photography of China (a country I have no desire to visit and see for myself). Third, as a martial-arts student I detested the original Karate Kid. This should be far more bearable on that score.

vw: orconess (a splice of an orc, a lioness and a human . . . very Sphinx-like)

Andrea said...

The plot of this movie is antique. It's basically H.G. Wells' Island of Doctor Moreau with added alien stuff. By the way, Island has been made into a movie at least a couple of times.

Bob From Ohio said...

"Saw the trailer. It makes you realize how important casting is. You'll be better off catching the first season reruns on Centric."

Of course, nothing can top the first year of the TV show but I thought the trailer looked good. Lot of fine weaponry.

The casting of Hannibal and Face looked good. The token chick seemed fine too. Didn't see enough of Murdoch to decide. Agree that BA is a disaster.

John Stodder said...

I don't know what's wrong with me, but it seems jarring to see Liam Neeson in the George Peppard part for "A Team." The guy just lost his wife to a makes-you-wonder kind of accident, and here he is, puffing on a cigar, grinning like a gator, saying "I love it when a plan comes together." At least from the preview, it seems like these characters are flying all over the place, surviving falls from the tops of buildings, but his wife died from what seemed like a trivial bump on the head.

I usually try to ignore bringing what I know about the actors into watching them play characters, but this one bugged me.

veni vidi vici said...

Saw "The Runaways" last night. It was the first time I've ever heard their music, so I wasn't coming in as a fan.

It was one of the best films I've seen in a very long time. Cool story, fine acting (and having met Ms. Currie and Mr. Fowley, they were played true to life (except Fowley often used to sport an English accent of Steynian proportions)), good music, and some of the most meticulous attention to nailing the mid-late 70's scenery detail I've ever seen.

Really cool stuff; highly recommended (it's now on its way to home video).

Saw the trailer for Splice. Looks a little intense, and the part I'm not buying is that when it broke out and the girl's in the cleanroom with it, why wouldn't they have a firearm handy to kill it if it attacked? This is one of the dumbest things about films like that. I'm gonna skip it.

A.Worthing said...

gmay

as for rockwell, you are pretty close to how i felt about his part in iron man ii. and there were moments when the man reminded me, in a bad way, of dana carvey. i mean, i like dana carvey, but not as the villian in a super hero flick.

And the rest of this is under a SPOILER ALERT for anyone who hasn't seen it, but...

i also think the final fight had one really stupid element. Why didn't whiplash just put everything at them, at once, including himself? First he sends the drones, then pause, everyone catches their breath and then he takes on two iron men at once. And he gives them a good go, but strategically speaking, why not do all of that, while his drones are still alive and attacking them?

But besides that, i liked the movie. i liked its unabashed patriotism, action, and dealing with adult issues.

Fred4Pres said...

Prince of Persia is a fine mid week rental from the supermarket at the .99 rate if you can get it.

Splice looks like stupid fun. I did like Iron Man II.

Fred4Pres said...

PoP is very kid friendly.

Synova said...

I was going to say something about the animal/human chimera and "furry" and how much written science fiction has done with this and how CGI is probably up to the task these days and realized that...

... I think I have some scripts to write.

*sigh*

Andrea said...

John Stodder, Natalie Richardson died over a year ago. It's time to move on. Also, Liam Neeson is an actor -- he's acting. You don't know how he really feels about anything. That's how a good actor does it anyway.

How we've become such a nation of emotionally bankrupt voyeurs. Decades ago an actor who lost his wife who went on with his job instead of holding up a project so he could ostentatiously mourn for months would have been praised for his self-discipline and ability to control his emotions in public. But then the therapy culture took over and it was decided that it was unhealthy to not "let it all hang out" and drag everyone into your personal dramas. Previous eras may have been repressed and hard on people having emotional or mental problems, but at least it was recognized then that strangers had a right not to be brought down by your problems, which after all they have no control over and really can't help you with.

fivewheels said...

I'm pretty excited for "Inception." Nolan's been pretty good to me. I'm even a fan of "The Prestige."

D. B. Light said...

We saw "Splice" today. It's Mary Shelly's Frankenstein with the gender roles reversed. The early part has a lot of similarities to "Species", but then the Frankenstein themes take over. The special effects are..., well, effective. The acting is pretty good. Interestingly, the most responsible figures in the whole film are corporate officers. How many times do you see that in a film?

Robert Cook said...

I would not characterize the corporate officers in SPLICE as "responsible."

Rather, they're mercenary. They didn't care to pursue Clyde and Elsa's agenda because they didn't see any immediate profit potential from it. Later, when this perspective seems to have been proved wrong, they swiftly prove eager to make use of that which they had shut down previously.

D. B. Light said...

Robert, they are certainly more responsible than the idiot scientists with their absurd sense of entitlement and determination to follow their dream regardless of the consequences. Certainly the corporation sought profit and explained that without a hope of profit they could not continue to fund the expensive research. It's the old artists vs beancounters problem that has plagued the movie industry since its inception. In this case the beancounters were portrayed far more sympathetically than is usual in films. And, using the results of the scientists' folly to produce medicines is, I would argue, a responsible position to take.

Robert Cook said...
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Robert Cook said...

"And, using the results of the scientists' folly to produce medicines is, I would argue, a responsible position to take."

Recall the words of the corporate head to Elsa toward the end, to the effect that they would be obtaining patents for years to come. It's not about making medicine, per se, it's about owning patents on valuable scientific property. Their aim is profit, and the betterment of mankind or the curing of illness is only incidental to this goal...it could just as easily be the creation of more efficient ways to kill people. (I don't say this to characterize the corporation depicted here as particularly evil; to the contrary, it is to say that this is what corporations are about: returning profit on investments. That this can and does produce harmful results and evil behavior is axiomatic.)

Given the arrangement agreed to late in the story between Elsa and the corporate head, we see that both science and commerce are, or can be, essentially amoral, doing that which serves their interests--justifying their actions, of course, however they may--but really giving precedence to their immediate goals and less or none to possible long term consequences or to the moral dimensions of what they do.

Robert Cook said...

Rather than deleting my comment a second time to make an edit, I'll just add that while the profit motives of large business concerns can and does produce harmful results and evil behavior, it can and has also realized great advancements for humankind in all areas of endeavor, and has alleviated suffering and illness, advanced knowledge, created better quality of life, and otherwise improved living conditions for many--if not all--people around the globe.

I don't deny that, but I do assert that the potential (and too often realized) harm than can result from unchecked corporate power is so great that it should be firmly leashed to public regulation, to mitigate as far as possible the bad behavior or harmful results which we too often see when they are left to, ahem, "moderate their own behavior."

A corporation is legally required to maximize shareholder profit; balancing this, the public should have full oversight over corporate behavior, joined with full power to arrest any such behavior as is deemed not in the public interest.

D. B. Light said...

Robert, I was discussing the film, not the general question of corporate regulation, regarding which I will only point out that historically governments have been responsible for far greater horrors than any corporations and that the immense wealth that is elevating the living standards of billions of people around the world has been produced by corporations, not by governments. Within the context of the film the notable point is that, whereas nearly all film-makers would have produced a story in which the corporate executives were the real monsters, here it is the scientists, particularly Elsa, who are monstrous. That was something I found interesting and worthy of comment.

Robert Cook said...

D.B., I understand you were discussing the film and not corporate civic responsibility in general, and my digressions along those lines were simply my own digressions.

However, even within the parameters of the film I do not think the corporation was depicted as being particularly "responsible," (except insofar as their bottom line was concerned), but merely doing what corporations do: acting to maximize their potential profit and shutting down projects that promised no immediate remuneration, regardless of the longer term benefits--financial or humanitarian--that might accrue to continuing with pure R & D. Their only stated objections to pursuing Clive and Elsa's project--aside from their need to derive profits now rather than later from what Fred and Ginger promised--was that it would be a "public relations nightmare," not that it would be immoral on its own terms.

You say Clive and Elsa were idiots, and yes, in terms of the specifics of their project, they behaved recklessly and reprehensibly--otherwise there would have been no story--but take away the specifics of their project and the ethical questions it must raise, one can see this as a case of a short-sighted profit-motivated corporation choosing the easy, short-term cash-in rather than choosing to devote resources to pure research that promised to be paradigm-shifting in its possibilities, but where profits were uncertain and, at best, long term. Remove the specifics of the story and the necessary ethical ramifications, one can see Clive and Elsa acting as scientists do: trying to expand their understanding, expanding the store of humankind's knowledge, and seeing this as a value for its own sake.

Yes, there were practical reasons for the corporation's decisions, as there are in the real world, but those decisions were not particularly more "responsible" than that of the scientists desire to pursue their pure research, and the scientists were not particularly "irresponsible" to prefer to pursue their pure research--as this is, after all, what research scientists do. They each had their motives, that's all.

I will grant you this point: the corporation was not depicted as being particularly malevolent in its behavior, as we might see in other films, but was presented in a neutral manner. I think each viewer's personal sympathies and antipathies will influence how the actions of the antagonists are interpreted vis a vis "responsibility" or "irresponsibility."