Just let Alien die

So Fox is “reassessing” the future of Alien because Covenant made less than half of what Prometheus did.

People are saying they need to improve the quality of the films. I have an alternative suggestion.

Just take Alien out back and kill it humanely. Why? They won’t improve things. THEY WILL NEVER IMPROVE THINGS. And I’m not just talking out my posterior here. I can back this up with cold hard science (of a sort).

A film’s legacy can be a tricky thing to determine, but it gets easier with lengthy franchises.

We haven’t had a even MOSTLY well-liked film since 1986. For those keeping track at home, we haven’t had anything but highly divisive “love-it-or-hate-it” films in this series in over three decades. Here are the facts:


1979: Everyone agrees that Alien, the Ridley Scott original is AMAZING.

1986: Everyone agrees that Aliens, James Cameron’s follow up is AMAZING, but for different reasons.

1992: Most people dislike Alien 3, but it has a few fans who inevitably crawl out of nearby air ducts like Xenomorphs when you criticize the film online.

1997: Alien Resurrection is damn near universally hated, and by all rights should have been the end of things.

2004: Alien vs Predator was goofy and silly and felt about as good as Sharktopus or Boa Vs Python, and again, most viewers weren’t very fond of it.

2007: EVERYONE HATES Alien vs Predator: Requiem. By all rights, once again the franchise should REALLY have fucking ended here. It’s easily the worst film featuring the Alien brand, and again, managed to piss off just about everyone who saw it.

2012: Prometheus is very much like Alien 3: it’s got a few fans, but again, most didn’t like it.


And now it’s 20-goddamn-17. We’ve got Alien: Covenant, which shaped up WORSE than Prometheus, but at least wasn’t AVP:R level terribad (not that that’s a great compliment. Lots of things are better than AVP:R. Stepping in fresh dog excrement for example. On a day you weren’t wearing socks and shoes. Because a mugger had stolen them after murdering your mom and dad in front of you).

Seriously. Put this franchise in a little pine box and bury it already.

It’s the merciful thing to do. Keeping it around is torturing the fans of a formerly-good thing like David torturing and experimenting on Elizabeth Shaw to death off screen so he can create the very first Xenomorph.

Oops. Spoilers to a terrible film you shouldn’t waste your time with anyway.

My bad. 

I regret nothing if it saved you from the sin of being interested enough to see the film.

Stay classy, internet.

OH MY GOD I ABSOLUTELY LOVE SKY HIGH

This is my blog and I totally reserve the right to lose my shit and rant about things I absolutely adore.

Which I shall do presently.

OMG ITS SUCH A PERFECT MOVIE ABOUT GROWING UP

WTF ITS SO AWESOME ABOUT HOW IT SETS UP THE “BE COOL WITH WHO YOU REALLY ARE” ANGLE, SUBVERTS IT, THEN PLAYS IT PERFECTLY STRAIGHT.

OR HOW ABOUT THAT BIT WHERE IT ACTUALLY PULLS OFF A THIRD ACT TWIST SUPERBLY IF YOU HADN’T BEEN PAYING PERFECT ATTENTION

OMG

OMG

OMG

LYNDA CARTER HAS NO BUSINESS STILL BEING THIS AWESOME; KEEP THAT SHIT UP LYNDA!

Whew. Finally got some mileage out of my caps lock key. I could rant on, but I think you get the idea. I just really love Sky High.

Glad they’re making a sequel.

Peace. 

Ten Years After “Live Free Or Die Hard”

Can you believe that Live Free or Die Hard released June 22nd, 2007?

I mean, damn. I feel old.

Ten years later, and I have such a mixed relationship with this movie. The Hollywood Hacking cliches are offensively straight out of an early 1990’s film, but the dialogue is spot on. The action scenes are completely over the top, and yet they are fun as hell to watch.

Ten years later, I still have no idea how I feel about the film.

Ten years later, we are more dependent on computers than ever before, but if anything, the film’s premise of a dedicated group of cyberterrorists being able to shut down the entire national infrastructure seems more distant than it did in 2007. Part of that is we just have a better public understanding about how IT works today — one of the benefits of being so uniformly dependent on computers. Another part is that the technology has advanced more, and still yet another part is that the movie’s plot has always been… well, let’s be charitable and call it “highly implausible”.

So why do techies hate this movie? I mean, it’s a dumb but fun summer flick, isn’t it? Well yes, but it presented just realistically enough in 2007 that a lot of people believed it was pretty accurate. More than that though, as I’ve said before when discussing this movie: “You don’t go into an alley to get stabbed, but you still feel the knife when it happens.”

Live Free or Die Hard doesn’t mean to fool people. It doesn’t mean to cause a virtual aneuryism in techies and gadget geeks. It just wants to be a fun movie. Fortunately, for the most part, it is. So, the science underpinning the plot is hilariously and offensively wrong. Big whoop. The action scenes are fun to watch and appreciably over the top, even if the previous films felt a bit more grounded in reality. The dialogue is snappy, snarky, and sarcastic at all the right points, with Bruce Willis and Justin Long trading positions regularly as the guy calling out the absurdities of the plot, and there are plenty of those moments to be found.

Ultimately, Live Free Or Die Hard doesn’t play by the rules of reality. It plays by John McClane’s, which as the films repeatedly go out of their way to point out, don’t really ever make full sense.

Live Free or Die Hard  is a great movie. It’s fun, it’s witty, stuff blows up and Bruce Willis manages to be himself throughout.

I just wish I wasn’t so compelled to scream “OH MY GOD THAT COULDN’T BE MORE WRONG” at every single turn of technobabble.

And fuck that F-35 scene.

Here’s hoping you all get another opportunity to enjoy this underrated classic of American Summer action cinema on this upcoming Fourth of July.

Peace out.

Thorns of a Rose (by any other name)

It’s true it would smell as sweet
that rose by any other name
People are like roses too:
Who they are remains the same.

You can cut the tusks off a Walrus
You can paint a Zebra brown
You can bleach a Raven’s feathers
Or put a beggar beneath a crown.

You can call a Devil an Angel
You can put a Chimp in a Suit
You can stick wings upon a pig
And call a vegetable a fruit.

But a Zebra isn’t a horse
A Walrus isn’t a Seal
A Raven’s not a Dove
And your fruit just isn’t real

The Devil’s not an Angel
A Chimp won’t start hiring
A Pig is not a Hawk
And a Crown doesn’t make a King.

Claim whatever you want
Sling blame and point where it lands
A fox
The papers
Your neighbors
Your rivals
Fault can never be washed off your hands

Say the office has changed
And hand things over to a successor
But no matter what you say you are
The tyrant will always be the oppressor.

“As long as we have a SINGLE homeless child…!”

You’ve heard this one, right?

16427614_1244617158926644_2218658294909234732_n

Horse. Shit.

I used to say stuff like this myself before I actually met some folks in my hometown who came the the USA as refugees from Afghanistan in the 1980’s (pretty sure it was Afghanistan, but don’t quote me on that). Now, their oldest son runs the Halal market started by his parents when they first came to the United States what seems like ages ago, and it really changed my tune because I was running personally into the fact that we are a nation of immigrants and refugees. Alaska, my home state, was largely settled by people who couldn’t make it anywhere else, or were running from something.

It’s easy to read about that stuff in history class and file it as a tidbit in your head, but quite another to find yourself face to face with the reality of that fact.
 
And Detroit? The former Motor City that fell apart in the 1960’s and 1970’s? It’s beginning to shine again. Who’s doing it? Muslim immigrants who weren’t wanted anywhere else, but saw the almost abandoned ruins of a former capital of industry and decided to make something of it. There is nothing more fucking American than that. That is the American Dream, the idea that people with nothing can make themselves and even their communities into something great. Maybe we don’t all get to be as rich as the Walton Family, but we can all be MORE than we started as, and our children can be more than what we finish as, and down the line that goes, propelling us further as long as we keep the Dream alive.
 
America was built by that attitude. And if immigrants and refugees want to bring that to my country and give us a shot in the arm of a powerful cocktail of new blood and a can-do attitude, then let them come. Bring them in by the barge-load. Because Trump is more right than he knows. This IS the time to Make America Great Again, and these brand new first and second generation Americans are going to be invaluable in that pursuit. Because nobody wants to build something new more than someone who has already lost everything.
 
Let them come. Let them have a fair shot at living the Dream. And if some of them want to start trouble? We’ll deal with them. But punishment comes after the crime, and we don’t prosecute the innocent along with the guilty.
As Captain America once said:
1458338382818
So should we all.
I refuse to stand in the way of honest folks who just want a piece of that for their own families. I’ve no more right to it than they. No one has any more right to it than they.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

Emma Lazarus

I hope you’re happy Gaben

Oh hey, two posts in one day! Both about nostalgia!
It’s like I’m on a roll or something.
Well, I may as well get to the point.

All these years later and I’m still mad that the Half-Life series killed the SiN franchise.
And now it looks like neither story will ever be finished. SiN Episodes: Emergence ends on a cliffhanger, and guess what? So does Half-Life 2: Episode 2. Ironic that the two franchises who set out to reinvent shooters forever will never actually tell the ends of their stories. While I have largely come to peace with the fact that Half-Life 2: Episode 3
and Half-Life 3 will never happen, I’m still furious that it had to take SiN Episodes down with it — it was fun as hell and seemed like it was building up to something epic, and the silly 90’s action hero cyberpunk angle of the SiN franchise was hard to beat, and still is impossible to find a decent surrogate for.

I hope you’re happy, Gaben.

You killed the most innovative shooters of our times.

Can we get a do-over?

In memory of an aborted but promising franchise taken from us too soon, have a trailer.

FUCK I’m mad about losing this series.

Goddamn I miss the 1.0 Internet

So I was touring the old Space Jam website (as I occasionally do) and reliving a whole bunch of childhood, when I stumble onto some missing bits that just dead end.

..No. I wanted to keep going, you monsters!

And while the nostalgia is utterly lost on people who were either too young or didn’t have internet at all in the 1990’s, well… web design kind of sucked by modern standards. But we made it work, and while the end results were about as pretty as the mugshot for the Frankenstein Creature, the fact that it worked at all was kind of sexy. These were the days of Geocities, Tripod, and Angelfire. MySpace wasn’t around to be a meme yet, and above all, America Online seemed like it ruled all. Furthermore, we ALL had dial up (Only folks like Bill Gates and co. could afford broadband in those days, or at least it seemed that way), which was accompanied by the most delightful noise to ever grace your eardrums. We didn’t have Facebook groups, we had fanlistings and fansites (most of which were hosted on the aforementioned Geocities, Tripod, or Angelfire), and you were a trailblazer if you had one. The opening of Friendster heralded the beginning of the Social Media Era, and all the cool kids were using it, and neither Apple nor Google had yet taken over the effing world. Indeed, Google was barely getting started by the close of the 1.0 era.

And I guess most importantly about the Internet 1.0 era was that it was, apparently, NOT “the internet” but “the world wide web”. Oh, and everything felt like it broke every half hour.

That too.

But despite all the troubles that came with it and the frustrations of the limitations of the technology, I miss it a lot.

Not because it was in any way better than what we have now (BY NO MEANS), but because it all still felt infinite, especially to those of us who were kids at the time, and like the best was yet to come.

Now, in more ways than one, it feels sort of like we’re rapidly approaching the end of the internet.

Not literally of course. But the wild west anything-is-possible feel of the digital frontier is now very greatly diminished, and I miss when we had it in abundance.

That’s all.