The Sky is Falling! The Sky is Falling!

TV-Falling-Skies

Ugh.  I’m home sick today.  No bueno.

I took the day off from work and was going to take the day off from blogging (especially since no nerdy movies came out this past weekend) but after catching up on Falling Skies and being asked my thoughts about it…well…it seems I just can’t quit you.  Not even for a day.

So I’m not promising genius (I am pretty doped up on DayQuil, after all) but here are my thoughts after watching the first two episodes of Falling Skies.

SPOILERS AHEAD!

I’ll always think of Noah Wyle as Dr. Carter.  I’m sure he’d be THRILLED to hear that for the 100,000th time but, oh well, type casting’s a bitch.  That said, he’s surprisingly believable as Tom Mason, a history professor / Second in Command of the 2nd Massachusetts resistance fighters.  Especially once you get past the fact that the kid on the operating table is being poked and prodded by the womanizing pilot from Wings instead of him.

I was totally convinced that Anne Glass aka the hot chick from Terminator: Salvation, was Native American.  Hell, her name is Moon Bloodgood after all.  Turns out she’s Korean, Irish and Dutch.  Oops, my bad.  She’s perty and she likes to use her hands a lot in a strange, overly graceful way.   Like she’s in a soap commercial or something.  It’s her way of showing tenderness and sexual tension during the scenes between her and Tom.  They totally want to bang, they just have to hold out until Tom rescues his middle child (why is it always the middle child that gets screwed??) and they’re on the offensive against the skitters.

Tom’s oldest son, Hal Mason (Drew Roy) is fond of over-acting.  He REALLY wants you to know what emotion he’s playing at any given time.  It’s a little distracting.  He’s best when he’s pretending to be cocky, which he does even though he’s really a big ‘ol mushy teddy bear of an older brother.  Hal’s dating fellow scout Karen but some medic girl named Lourdes (Seychelle Gabriel) has a real hard on for him.  But, you know, an innocent hard on cause she’s Catholic and she wants to make sure you know that she prays.  A lot.

Through my DayQuil haze I was having the hardest time figuring out where I’d seen Karen (Jessy Schram) before.  Then it hit me that I remember her playing the wife in Unstoppable.  It’s very probable that I remember this only because her husband was played by Chris Pine aka the new Captain Kirk.  Typical HNG brain, typical.  She sure is a cutie though.  Good choice for a “girl next door” turned “post apocalyptic freedom fighter chick.”  Her fate is unclear and considering the huge crush Lourdes has on Karen’s man, Hal Mason, I’m guessing that Lourdes is going to be mending Hal’s broken heart with her sweet lady kisses in an upcoming episode.

Lourdes, Anne, Karen, Hal and Tom

My favorite characters thus far are Captain Weaver, John Pope, and Margaret.  It’s probably because they are the hardest characters to like.  Typical HNG brain, typical.  Captain Weaver (Will Patton) is gruff and unrelenting.  Until he relents.  Which he does when someone is being unrelenting with him.  But I like him.  He’s doing the best he can with what he’s got.  And I like his ponytail.  John Pope (Colin Cunningham) is the closest thing to a human bad guy that we’ve got at this point. He’s a bad ass ex-con motorcycle gang leader until we find out that what he really likes to do is…..cook.  I don’t eat meat (ok, cue the jokes now) but I’m now aware that you must, MUST poach a chicken before you cook it.  Once you poach it you can cook it however you want.  Salmonella, I’m on to you, you little shit.  I like Margaret (Sarah Carter) cause she’s all mysterious and stuff.  I think I remember them calling her Maggie at some point.  I like the name Maggie better so I’m sticking with it.  Don’t try to have sex with her; she’ll pop a cap in your ass for it eventually.  And bringing her chocolate won’t help.  You have been warned.

And lastly, the alien critters.  They call them Skitters…I guess because they are kind of lizard-like and lizards skitter around and can climb up walls and stuff.  These guys do that and are really hard to kill unless you shoot off two of their six legs.  Then they magically become weak and you can defeat them.  They also have robots called Mechs which are pretty much a rip-off of the toasters from BSG.  Everyone wants to know why the aliens invented robots that look vaguely humanoid instead of robots with six legs in their own image.  Apparently we humans are so self-involved that we only build robots that look like us and since the skitters did too, they must be trying to fuck with our minds.  We’re so self-involved that it’s always about us, all the time.

Spitting image of my Uncle Lester

Oh, and they slap alien harnesses onto our children and turn them all into slaves.

Yaaaay!!!

I’m into it.  I’ll keep letting my DVR record it for a while longer, see where it goes.  Now excuse me while I unfold my stiff legs from my desk chair, gag down some more DayQuil and watch The Last Starfighter.

I don’t care what you say, Larry Santy, it’s one of the greatest movies EVER.

Super 8 + DBox = DBest movie experience ever

Alien movies are pretty much universally awesome.  Even the bad ones have something going for them in the form of a grotesque, salivating creature bent on devouring some random buxom blond.  Most of the time though, alien movies are just kick ass.  When making an alien movie, you have two choices.  Make the alien friendly or make them fearsome.  Most of the time they go with fearsome.  JJ Abrams decided he wanted all of the above.

I would expect nothing less from you JJ.

Since Super 8 has been out for a couple of weeks now (sorry, went to Iowa, remember?) and I just got around to seeing it last night, this review is less of a review of the movie itself and more about the experience as a whole.

What made this movie such an experience?

Well, my nerdy friends, I have four letters for you.  D-Box.  Learn them, remember them, go out and find them at a movie theatre near you. Only for a completely new theatrical experience (and to hang out with Hayden, my friend, and frequent companion in all things nerdy) would I drive for an hour and a half in Los Angeles rush hour traffic.  Let me tell you, it was worth it.  I’m not revealing a whole lot of SPOILERS, but in typical HNG fashion, I always reveal something, so beware.

You even get cool head flaps like on an airplane

When the seat rumbles to life it definitely catches you off guard.  The first time it happened I thought I was sitting on my cell phone before I remembered that I was sitting in a specially designed chair programmed to move along with the action in the movie.  If it had been a different movie I may have been turned on by it (haha, j/k…sort of) but luckily aliens with six appendages don’t really do it for me.  At first it only moved when a car would roll by so it would surprise me every time.  But once the real action started I quickly became adapted and decided that I never want to watch a movie while sitting still ever again.  The train crash scene in particular was SPECTACULAR and I sat there with the biggest, goofiest grin plastered on my face while I got jerked around from side-to-side and up-and-down.  Afterwards, I had goose bumps.  Hayden and I kept looking at each other with those “no fucking way!” expressions you get when experiencing something totally epic.

Strangely, the theatre only had three rows of D-Box seats in it so I’m not sure how the people in the regular seats behind us managed to sit through the movie without being distracted by our rows moving around in front of them.  Maybe it’s less obvious if you’re not sitting in them?  All I know is that the seats are so huge that my feet didn’t touch the floor and you can’t turn and bury your head in your friends shoulder.  That’s right, I was on my own with only my sweater to cover my eyes when Elle Fanning did her super creepy zombie impression (GAH!!!)

The tickets are more expensive, so heads up about that.  We may or may not have pretended to be Senior citizens when ordering them online…

I guess I should stop talking about the vibrating chairs and discuss the movie already (even though I know a lot of you have already seen it and chided me for being late to the party ;) ).  This is one of those movies that has it all.  Humor and horror are somehow woven seamlessly together in ways that don’t feel cheesy or forced in the slightest.  The kids are hysterical.  Charles and Cary in particular.  I’m not gonna lie, it was a little bizarre watching Nan Flanagan play a Susie Homemaker but that was the only time I was pulled out of the story.  Kyle Chandler had some nice moments when he got to play action hero but otherwise I didn’t take much notice of him.  My main focus was always on the kids.  Kids who showed off some extremely impressive acting skillz if I do say so myself.

Is this the ET for the next generation?  No.  ET touched a collective, world-wide nerve that I don’t think can be replicated.  Super 8 has come closest though and really, it’s because of the kids.  The alien is large and scary but that doesn’t keep Joe from making a connection with him (I’m assuming it’s a him?) and helping him get home, sacrificing his most precious possession to do so.

As Charles would say, “That was mint!”

Hayden had a strangely alien-filled week and wanted to put in his 2 cents:

“Due to my (hopefully) healthy obsession with anything extra-terrestrial or UFO related, I’m always up for a great alien invasion flick.  While I honestly didn’t plan on it, I ended up taking in Evolution, Skyline, Battle: Los Angeles, Falling Skies and Super 8 in such an abbreviated time period, it would have given Ellen Ripley nightmares.  Needless to say, after sitting through everything from an atrocity of a so-called movie called Skyline to the superb Super 8 in interactive motion D-Box seats, I feel like I’ve been personally probed in my hind quarters by a group of blind Predators.  While “Alien Week” was fun and educational, I’m ready to change course for awhile so please excuse me while I grab a hemorrhoid pillow and a bag of ice as I throw in a copy of Disney’s Tangled into my Blu-Ray player for the next 27 days.”

I give the experience as a whole 4.5 out 5 sci-fives!

Sci Five 4.5 - exlcusion