When I first saw Alien, I was blown away. OK, I was 8, but still, it was one of the coolest things I'd ever seen. It started a life-long love for the slinky, brain-munchin' bastards (and introduced me to H.R. Giger, as well). Pretty soon, 'Aliens' came along, and at15, I was able to better appreciate it...and loved it even more. I know there were a lot of people who weren't as crazy about 'Alien3', but I ate it up. The alien grown in the dog showed the versatility of the species, and both Dillon's and Ripley's decisions to sacrifice themselves were powerful and tough. Hell, I even liked 'Alien: Resurrection', which really didn't do all that good, partly just for the (mostly) excellent cast (Michael Wincott, Ron Perlman, the ass-kickin' Brad Dourif...now, if they'd just left Winona Ryder out of it!).
'Predator' was supposed to be just another Schwarzenegger flick, with Some Jesse Ventura and Carl Weathers thrown in for good measure...but the star was the extra-terrestrial hunter who kicked everyone's ass. Never before had a simple clicking noise become so ominous. And, as proved in 'Predator 2', you didn't NEED much of a star (Danny Glover? Did you believe him for even a second? No...OK, admittedly, it had Gary Busey in it) for the creature to shine...and shine he did. And hey, speaking of stars, Bill Paxton was in it...who had so recently faced down the Alien! The ending gave a nod to the Alien as well, with the skull of one in the hunter's trophy room. by the end of the film, I was hungry for more info on this tribal, militaristic species, living by a code of honour unlike any we knew.
Dark Horse comics did, what, three different 'Alien Vs. Predator' series, maybe four? All of them were excellent, well written, well developed, interesting. It was only a matter of time before Hollywood got it into their heads to make a film. Two movie series with sci-fi fanboy followings? Good start. 'Freddy Vs, Jason', for all it's faults, showed that the idea could make money. Comics are becoming big-time fodder for the Hollywood grist mill...the stage was set. Get the idea in the pipe, leak a few news stories to the right outlets, and clamour for the film goes through the roof. Bring it on.
The time is almost upon us; the movie starts in August. By all factors, I should be ejaculating like a fire-hose all over the walls. Truth? A cold feeling deep in my gut, the kind you feel when you wake up in a strange house, and you keep hearing weird little sounds that you can't identify; the fearful anticipation of mediocrity. We're talking about Hollywood here: give them a script like this and they will go with the same shit they usually do. You know exactly what you expect: the same cliché characters as every other of these films (the tough guy, the nerdy scientist, the fox, the wise-cracker, the weenie), the same stilted dialogue, the same pithy lines (properly sanitized to make them infinitely repeatable but in no way offensive to anyone), the same chase/fight/explosion sequences. Now, there is a little ray of hope here. The film is written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. It's true, he admittedly directed the 'Mortal Kombat' films (not exactly classics of cinema, if you dig), but has since directed 'Event Horizon' and 'Resident Evil', both of which I enjoyed.
So, who knows. Hollywood is a powerful strike to have against it, but maybe this one guy can pull it's fat outta the fire. I'm trying to have an open mind about it...but that cold feeling in my gut just won't go away.
Oh, you can dig the "exclusive Internet trailer" here. Apparently, "exclusive Internet trailer" is code for "some nifty looking frames, interspersed with some artsy graphics, while not telling you a fucking thing."