Sci-fi “what’s real and what’s virtual” schlock. This movie is entertaining enough, and beautifully filmed, but somewhat generic, and slow-moving in parts. The major issue is that the protagonist (Craig Bierko) and his pouty girlfriend-type (Gretchen Mol) are horrendously boring. The side characters are much more interesting. Vincent D’Onofrio plays one of the main side characters. He plays the virtual reality operator in the modern reality, and a dangerous bartender in the 1930’s reality. Armin Mueller-Stahl is excellent as the father of the system.
La Moustache is a comment on modern existentialism. Marc (played by Vincent Lindon) has worn a mustache all his adult life. One day on a whim, he decides to shave it off. Certain his wife will comment on the drastic change in his appearance, Marc is baffled when neither she nor friends notice at all. Even more disturbing is that once he calls attention to it, everyone insists he’s never had a mustache.The soundtrack is beautiful. Although we never figured out what really happened, we liked the movie and had a good time talking about it.
It reminded me of Memory of a Killer, a German movie about a hitman suffering the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s.
Also, my boyfriend shaved his facial hair, and I didn’t notice.
Alien is a one of my all-time favorite movies. In the 1979 classic starring Tom Skerrit and Sigourney Weaver, the alien is capable of huge transformation throughout its life cycle, starting as a “face hugger” and turning into a more traditional monster; people on a remote and isolated outpost are terrorized; one by one, despite their best efforts, they meet their doom. What could be colder and more isolating than outer space? I consider this as more horror than science fiction, though really it’s a lovely merge of the two.
Then there’s the sticky (hah hah) topic of the face-hugger and what it really represents. A lot has been written about the role of rape and gender in the Alien franchise:
- Representations of The Body in Alien (academic article, a little dense)
It’s all true. The symbolism basically knocks you over the head, but it’s fresh, new symbolism, so that’s okay. Fantastically weird sets and alien designed by Swiss artist H.R. Giger really make you feel like you’re in an alien (hah hah) environment.
There’s a delicious sense of everyman in the characters. This first of the series is sometimes called “Truckers in Space”. Everyone is there for a commission; they aren’t your typical action heroes chosen for amazing technical abilities or heroism. Everyone is relatable as a normal Joe/Jane, just out there to finish a job and collect their money. The second installation in the series, Aliens, would be “Soldiers in Space”. I think Alien is the better movie because the characters are more subtle and believable.
At merely seven characters–nine if you consider the ship (Mother) and the alien–it’s an amazingly slim cast, but all of them play an important part. Sigourney Weaver kills it as the feminist heroine, taking control and surviving when nobody else can sort their asses from their elbows. I even like Veronica Cartwright, who played the hysterical woman. She played other hysterical women in other movies later in her career, notably, The Witches of Eastwick.
My boyfriend thought the movie was slow. That’s how movies were made before the instant gratification/jump-cut era took hold. Movies had details and subtlety.
Finally, an analysis I really loved, all about the fonts in Alien: