First off. . . I've never read screen plays on-line like this before. What can I say? I had a lot more fun doing this than actually having to watch a movie! And I enjoy movies! Maybe it's because I didn't have to pay for this, and because I got to see the un obstructed vision of a single writer unhampered by Hollywood imbeciles, my brain got to work a little harder and I know the whole affair didn't cost a hundred million dollars and a whole lot of stupidity.
Anyway. . .
Aliens 3, by David Twohy.
1. The first Alien film was brilliant and frightening because the monster was Unknown. The minds of all the movie goers had never seen or even heard of anything remotely like this. When the mind is scrambling to catch up with a new idea, Fun and Fascination are the results.
2. James Cameron's Aliens was brilliant and exciting because while the Unknown was now known, but had as of yet been un-challenged. How would the Alien Monster stack up against the might of a fully prepared human military command? This film was the archetypical comic book 'Who Would Win' slug-fest, appealing to the minds of the 14 year old in all of us, and also, I am fairly certain, tapping into some primeval aspect of the human psyche. Again, Fun is the result!
3. Every Alien film since, including this un-produced screen play and the ones which did get shot, were either half-measures or complete failures. Why? Because nothing was Unknown and nothing was Proven. The Alien at this point is fully explored, it's biology probably now better comprehended by every person of movie-going age than that of many real Earth creatures we actually share the planet with. We also know that bullets DO kill them, technology and human cleverness CAN indeed win. So problem solved. In fact, until somebody comes up with a burning question everybody wants to see answered, then I don't think at this point there is any need for further episodes in the Alien 'franchise'.
David Twohy's film was basically a prison film/monster movie where we already knew everything about the monster. It wasn't badly executed, (except for some basic physics questions, like "Why the heck would anybody build something ultra-expensive like a space station and put a prison inside it -of all things!- and then fill it with millions of gallons of water?"), but other than that, it was fairly engaging for a bit of free and light-weight evening reading. The spelling was good, anyway.
Of course, it didn't get made, did it? Instead we got the crappy Aliens 3 where they killed Ripley and the little girl. And, frankly, I'll take a few million gallons of implausible water floating in space rather than a bleak bullshit movie about Ripley dying for no good reason and a bunch of psychopathic prisoners shot with too-tight camera framing, (to make us feel 'confined') (bloody film-students!), any day of the week!
Next up. . .
Avatar, by James Cameron
Okay, the first half of this one I actually really liked! --And knowing what a Cameron film looks like, I'll probably remember it as though I did see it in full color and motion.
Even though it was basically Dances with Wolves meets Aliens with a Strange Days twist thrown in.
But then, Cameron has never been accused of originality. (Indeed, in the case of Terminator, he's be accused of outright theft.) But whatever the situation, he knows formula and he knows how to swing it. And above all, he's a very smart man who knows his physics better than most of the chuckle-heads working in big-money Hollywood today. Cameron wouldn't be dumb enough to put a million gallons of water into a prison space station. (A Prison space station. . ? Sheesh. Even an underwater base would have been less expensive! Why not just line the whole prison with gold and be done with it? Sheesh.)
Cameron's his wise-ass, punchy approach to writing is fun, (if slightly overbearing), to read. There seems to be a real conflict in the man; He's got this real clever asshole demeanor thing happening while beneath it all he understands the basic heart-breaking problems which are built into the human condition. When I mist up at the end of Terminator 2, I really have to give the man due credit. --While at the same time, I hope he manages to deal with his edgy external character which seems to be really awkward and artificial and broken. But that's his problem. (Thank goodness!)
Avatar was Brilliant and New in the first half. Formulaic, predictable and adolescent in the second.
The idea seemed inspired from somewhere higher than Cameron, and then left to his childish devices (and those of Hollywood) to solve.
I'm not joking about that. The Grey Aliens currently giving our planet trouble, work in somewhat the same way to the avatar. --Although it's much more complex than simple atmospheric barriers keeping the controlers at a distance! This movie was, I think, the result of deep suggestion from outside forces trying to Give Humanity A Hint.
But I digress. (When do I not?)
I'll have to read the David Lynch thing another time. I don't know if my little head can stand much more weirdness tonight!