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Saturday, February 7th, 2004

Alien Lanes

Vic lent me his copy of Alien: Resurrection from the Alien Quadrology box set with the glowing endorsement of, “it sucks”. And while I’m generally loathe to dismiss anything with so flippant a comment… I won’t debate him on this. I liked Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s previous film, The City Of Lost Children, so it stands to reason I’d at least like the look of Resurrection since it draws heavily on the same visual style. The story though… scribe Joss Whedon should have gone with ‘Alan Smithee’ for this one, because it’s really not something anyone should want on their resume.

There were some interesting twists on the Alien mythos, but on the whole it all seemed awful cliche and predictable. “Okay, this is the part where he checks out the goo on the floor and the alien comes up behind him… now.” “Here’s where the bad guy thinks he’s gotten away but the alien comes up behind him… now” “Oh look, they think they’ve escaped… but wait! The big bad somehow snuck onto the ship!” Yawn. The aliens weren’t especially scary, there wasn’t much suspense, the characters were all disposable stereotypes. And I don’t even know what to say about the final alien fight, save that’s one of the more extended and grotesque (yet somehow antiseptic) demises I’d seen in a while. On the whole, it was just very flat-feeling and didn’t seem to do much of anything. For reasons I can’t quite articulate it felt like a video game to me. And not an especially good one. Oh well. ‹sarcasm›Maybe ALIENS VS PREDATOR will renew my faith in the franchise.‹/sarcasm› I do feel like watching Alien 3 again, though – I think that one was really misunderstood and underappreciated.

Jay Farrar explains to Uncut why The Byrds’ Fifth Dimension is a record that changed his life.

One reason to vote for John Kerry – in the 60s, he played bass in New Hampshire garage rockers The Electras. Not that would make him a better candidate/president, just a slightly cooler one. Unless you’re into the screaming thing, in which case Howard Dean is still your man.

The Late Night with Conan O’Brien Toronto edition runs this week Tuesday through Friday. Guests are as follows:

Tu 2/10: Mike Myers, Ron James

We 2/11: Michael J. Fox, Ken Capling, Nickelback

Th 2/12: Adam Sandler, Stompin’ Tom Connors

Fr 2/13: Jim Carrey, Eric McCormack, Barenaked Ladies

Hardly the most scintillating lineup, but I will be watching anyway, obviously. Because like all Canadians, I desperately crave the validation that American television exposure provides. I’m kidding – I actually desperately crave validation from everyone. Anyhoo, naturally there’ll be a slew of local media coverage on the event – like this Globe & Mail piece. I’ll post links to the better ones till I get bored, which shouldn’t be long.

Okay, this is strange. Someone has syndicated my site as a Livejournal. And it wasn’t me. Was it you? I’m not upset or anything, since there’s no indication that this is some sloppy indentity or content theft, I’m just a little perplexed.

np – The Olivia Tremor Control / Dusk At Cubist Castle

By : Frank Yang at 11:16 am
Category: Uncategorized
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  1. graig says:

    I wouldn’t say it’s JP Jeuenet’s visual style on Resurrection and City of Lost Children, but his partner at the time, Marc Caro. I just watched Vidocq on which Caro was the production designer (or some major atistic role in the film) and you can feel his influence on the film. It also gives you appreciation of his role in Jeuenet’s pre-Amelie films.

    I too think Alien3 is a underappreciated film, and I look forward to watchin the extended Quadroligy edition.

  2. Joseph J. Finn says:

    To be fair to Whedon, he’s claimed in various venues that he was rewritten a lot on Ressurection. And I do give Weaver credit for doing as well as she could with weak material.

  3. Karen says:

    the ‘look’ of jeunet-caro films also had a great deal to do with the amazing dp darius khondji. he shot ‘resurrection’ and is quite known for creating that dark atmosphere in his earlier work (delicatessen/city of lost children). also shot for david fincher, chris cunningham, polanski, etc.

  4. Victor Ng says:

    Hey man – I can lend you Alien 3 if you want. I’ll bring it along with me on Monday.

    I really like Alien 3 – I just love the way the camera goes all whirly-twirly in the tunnel scenes.