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AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004)
soooo close.....but yet...
Standing on its own merit, and not counting the previous Alien or Predator movies, this film succeeds quite well in a variety of areas. Don't get me wrong, I like the film, and found it entertaining. I especially enjoyed how the plot attempted to weave a bit of human history, such as the extinction of the Mayans, into the Predator mythos. I felt that the actors gave a good performance for the most part.
Yet, like many, I can't help but be stumped by the sudden and surprising complete personality change in Lance Hendrickson's character, Weyland. For the entire series he has been an obsessed megalomaniac with only one goal, capture Aliens to bring to earth for "The Company" bioweapon devision. He has gladly sacrificed entire ships of people to get what he wanted....and yet now he's somehow on some quest to save his soul and to make the "great discovery"? It's a complete personality flop for the character, and I must say that his character being portrayed as having no clue about the Aliens whatsoever, makes absolutely no sense at all.
Likewise, the film has a history, which this particular film seems to fall short of in a sense. Aliens have a gestation period, and true no one has ever stated just how long that is...in the film it was like the Aliens were being born as chest burster's in a matter of a few minutes, whereas in all previous films in the series, it took several hours at least for an alien to mature from the time of implantation to bursting out for the world to see. Sadly, that particular part of the film always comes across as being "rushed".
I did find it interesting that they kept true to form on just how deadly the aliens are. The film showed that in spades when the inexperienced Predator youth's were getting caught and sliced and diced up easily by them. Yet...something seems lacking, even for a young Predator going through a right of passage, you would think they would be somewhat better prepared for their foes. The first 2 Predators that go down, seem to have been killed way too easily by the Aliens.
It has never really been shown just how intelligent the Aliens are, but it does seem odd that they have the intelligence to go and free the Alien queen from her prison, by using the acid blood of one of their own...and yet these hunts have supposedly been going on for how long? It doesn't seem to add up, that they would never have attempted to free her previously using the same method.
That being said, I still find it an enjoyable movie to watch. I would even be willing to see a sequel, were it to ever happen. I doubt we will ever see Riply in the series again, but you never know. This particular film is leaps and bound better than either Alien 3 or Alien Resurrection. Honestly, prior to this, the 2nd movie...the one called Aliens, was the last good one in the series to me... Alien Resurrection has some great potential but it falls flat on its face....and comes across as something more comical than frightening.
Alien 3 was a bit better, but not by much. After the huge build up of the romance between Riply and Hicks in Aliens, and the huge story build up between Riply and Newt....killing them both off within the first couple of minutes in the movie makes absolutely no sense to me in Alien 3. It also seems to flop, that one solo alien, from a dog no less....is able to decimate an entire colony of hardened criminals with minimal effort.
If you can ever find it, there is a fan written script floating around the net called "The Survivors of Aliens" or something similar. It's well worth a read, and in my honest opinion, would have made a miraculous sequel to Aliens, far better than Alien 3 or Alien Resurrection ever did.
The Transformers: The Movie (1986)
This movie is definitely one that fans of the original G1, (Generation 1), Transformers series will enjoy. Fans of similar types of animated TV shows and movies should enjoy this movie also, but it is easy to be a little lost if you haven't seen the series before. Unlike a lot of modern day remakes that have attempted to recapture the magic of Transformers, this movie was done during the "prime" of the series and the peak of its popularity. Overall I found the movie to be very well done. However, as mentioned by a few others, in ways this movie comes across like a giant advertisement.
It seems an interesting coincidence that shortly after the movie the line of toys got shaken up with several changes. After watching the movie, I'm sure you can guess which character's toys got canceled and which ones were being pushed on consumers at the time. It is still an enjoyable movie, with a few notable differences not seen in the TV series prior to the movie. One rather large difference being that in the movie it is quite possible for the robots to sustain such injuries as to actually die, whereas in the entire series leading up to the movie, the exact opposite was true...they could sustain near body destroying damage, and just have parts swapped out and replaced and be good as new. This was one change that was received well by some fans and poorly by others.
The movie has a surprising cast of some high profile actors doing the voices of the characters, and has a soundtrack that really fits each scene very well. Although the music is very "80s" sounding, it is fitting as the movie was released during that time frame. In particular, the score written for the "infamous" scene involving Optimus Prime, was quite moving. I've seen adults watch that scene and get choked up by it.
This was also what many fans feel to be the reason for the decline of the original series. Optimus Prime was the heart of the show, being the leader of the Autobots, (the good robots).... a lot of fans lost interest in the series when they killed him off in the movie. They brought him back at a later point, but it was really too little too late for it to save the series.
The series, and the movie, is very enjoyable and still one of my favorites, despite all the obvious goof ups by its creators. However, much like is the case with Star Trek fans. If you are going to nit pick and focus on the mistakes, then you obviously aren't a fan and shouldn't be spending your time watching it.
This movie stands well on its own, but I'd highly recommend renting the DVDs for the first couple of seasons of the TV series before watching this movie, or you can end up quite lost with a lot of things not making sense.
This is one of my favorite movies. It has all the makings of a great comedy, but it also has several deep meaningful moments that can really move a person watching it. This movie is one that can make you laugh and make you cry. It truly is one of the underrated movies out there. I'd highly recommend anyone watching this film. Dennis Hopper plays his role with near perfection, and it almost seems like he fit the part a little too well. The supporting cast does a great job as well, and overall I'd say the acting, while not Oscar worthy, is well done. This movie is no grand epic, but does carry a lot of depth and meaning for those perceptive enough to pick up on the subtle parts. Both of the lead actors play off of each other very well in their respective roles in the film. I greatly enjoyed this film and I think anyone can get something out of watching it.