Sunday, May 20, 2012

Another Extraterrestrial

Shucks... I wasn't able to finish a book this week. Well, that's okay. I might have something better right now anyways. I got a visit from my brother, and as always, I felt it better to spend some time with him than all by myself, curled up with a book. So I watched a couple of movies with him. One of them I'll talk about tonight, and the other one I'll save for a rainy day.

What's the movie of the night then, you ask? And why might it be better than a book?
The movie of the night is Alien. To be honest, I don't know if it's necessarily better than a book, but many people feel that the movie is a good primer for Ridley Scott's upcoming film, Prometheus. I can't tell you how much of a primer it is without seeing the new movie, but it's still fun to go back and watch the classics anyways. This was my second time watching this movie, and I feel like I caught a lot that I didn't in my first viewing.

The movie revolves around a seven-man — two women and five men — crew as they make their homeward journey onboard a refinery ship. The ship's computers receive some sort of signal halfway through the trip and wakes the crew up early from their cryo-sleep. It's company policy to check in on signals out in space. It could mean their bonuses, or worse, their jobs. Shortly after they land on the planet and proceed to look for whatever it was that sent the signal, one member of the crew promptly gets attacked by one of the planet's creatures. The rest of the story, you could say, is sci-fi history.

New Things I Noticed
You know how it is when you watch a movie for the second time. Already knowing what's about to happen later in the story, you let your mind wander and start to make connections with details that you would have otherwise forgotten or just plain overlooked. Here is a couple of the things I noticed this time around.

  • Ash somehow still managed to surprise me. That's right. This is the second time that this has surprised me. That scene really feels like a curveball, doesn't it? (For those of you who have seen the movie, you'll know what I'm talking about. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, watch the movie. It's a classic for a reason.)
  • There was one black man on the crew (who isn't the first to die). While watching another movie, my brother and I were musing over the cliché of black men being the first to die in most movies. So, when we saw that the crew had just one black man on it, the cliché sprung up in my mind. However, Parker, the only black man on the crew, is not the first person to be killed in the movie. In fact, after each death, the camera seemed to pan straight to him immediately, as if they wanted to show us that he wasn't dead yet.
  • The movie contains sexual themes. I actually didn't learn this until after watching the movie when I looked it up on Wikipedia (oh, the things you teach us). For instance, the face-hugger represents rape while the chest-burster represents violent birth. I did not pick up on that while watching the movie. Instead, I only focused on the parasitic aspect of the alien. However, in retrospect, it's pretty easy to see those depictions as rape and birth.

Well, that's all for tonight. Until the next we meet (this upcoming Friday), may you have safe travels through your fictional adventures.

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