Happy freakin’ New Year, everyone! Let’s ring out the year with a Bag, a Grab Bag, shall we? Since this month/year was supposed to be the end of it all, why not have a Grab Bag that focuses on life from other worlds? We’ve got a movie, a series, a book with characters from a series, and a toy of a movie about… it’s about aliens, man.
Before The Avengers came along this year, this was probably the last movie that I absolutely loved. I loved every second of it. I went to see it in theatres twice, which is something that I simply didn’t do anymore in the late ‘aughties. The special effects are brilliant. The story is engaging, although overly preachy. There is great action, and good drama. Another thing that stands out about the movie is how it manages to switch gears from found-footage/mockumentary to full on action movie cinematics relatively seamlessly. I can’t really think of any other movie that pulls that off. There is a bit of a pacing problem which I didn’t really notice the first two times in the theatre, but I started to notice it on viewing #3, which was at home. Regardless, this movie is still rock-solid 5/5.
So, somehow, during the summer of 2011, this show managed to slip entirely under my radar. It continued to do so until this past summer, when I saw previews for Season 2 of an aliens-have-landed-and-fucked-us-all show starring ER’s Carter (Noah Wyle) as grown-up John Connor-esque, Tom Mason. With only ten episodes in the first season, and me bachin’r again through the post-X-mas season, I finally got around to eating this show up like it was being spoon fed to me by a six-legged creepy alien. It’s a decent series, with enough action to keep me satiated, but I’d like to see greater things from it in the future. Specifically more aliens, more danger, and less romantic tension. Seriously. There’s one guy, Carte–I mean, Mason’s son, on this show that you’d think had some kind of alien pheremone injected into him. Every single speaking female (other than his father’s love interest) tries to get with him. It’s ridiculous. Still, I’m looking forward to getting a hold of Season 2. We’ll see if I’m still interested in Season 3 after that. Currently holding steady at 3/5.
This was a combination of firsts for me. It was my first true Star Trek novel. It was my first audiobook. And it was my first 3 1/2 hour drive back from my in-laws that I didn’t have to deal with gawdawful Christmas music on Boxing Day. This is one of three Q related novels co-written by de Lancie and David. I can’t speak for the quality of the actual book, or any of the others. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy the audio book, narrated by de Lancie (who plays the omnipotent character Q on Star Trek: TNG). At times it borrows a page from Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, making light of all things human & our undeserved sense of superiority. Other times it attempts to take a serious look at our own spirituality & theology. While Q himself takes a decidely atheistic stance, overall the book comes across a bit more agnostic. This is good, because I don’t think any fan of Star Trek wants to see it take an absolute stance on any moral issue that isn’t clearly black or white. While it comes close to being preachy, and has an absolutely ludicrous plot, I still really enjoyed it, because de Lancie does such a great job Q. Just crosses the borderline to register a 4/5.
Here we supposedly have Lt. Ellen Ripley from the original Alien quadrilogy. I say supposedly, because Kenner either was unable to, or never bother to, secure the likeness rights to the films’ non-xenomorph stars. This was a pretty poor choice, in my opinion. I can think of precisely one occassion in a toy line where not securing the likeness rights of the original material worked out, and that had an amazing cartoon with similar restrictions to back it up. Obviously though, the colonial marines weren’t Kenner’s focus on this line. They threw their weight behind the aliens in the line, putting together 4 different animal variations and a Queen in this first wave. But that doesn’t forgive this “Ripley” for just being terrible anyway. What the hell is that around her neck? A scarf? An ascot? A bandana that’s been pulled down? And why is she wearing bright yellow rubber boots ? Were they expecting a lot of rain on LV-426? I suppose that a true to the movie Ripley would mostly be carrying around a mini Newt action figure, mostly, along with her modified flamethrower. What the fuck am I supposed to do with those stickers though? And a rolled up mini-comic? Seriously? They rolled it up. How am I supposed to read that without shoving it under a fucking math textbook for two weeks? This toy is definitley Not Recommended.
I think I need a drink.