Iliked “Cabin in the Woods” (2011), but I’m uncomfortable with how it has risen to classic status in the horror genre. Wild genre shifting and brazen disregard for the illusion of fear you’ve created for the audience is eye-opening the first time but it would be an unappealing trend. Luckily, films like that aren’t the norm, and if “Cabin” shows how they can go right, “The Hunt” shows how they can go wrong.
Creator Damon Lindelof has taken the lessons learned on “Lost” – where time-jumping was a sometimes fun, sometimes hoary narrative device – and beautifully applied them to the nine-episode “Watchmen” (2019, HBO), a sequel to the comic/movie of the same name. Time is central to the “Watchmen” saga, the primary image of which is a clock counting down to the 1980s nuclear doomsday, especially with Dr. Manhattan existing outside of time as we mere mortals perceive it.
“Lost” Season 2 (2005-06, ABC), episode 1 – “Lost” is not the best show on TV (it’s not even the best show in its time slot). The weaknesses became apparent last season when Claire (Emilie de Ravin) was kidnapped and Jack (Matthew Fox) and his gang couldn’t be bothered to seriously search for her even though they didn’t have anything more pressing to occupy their time. (They eventually found her while searching for Walt’s dog.)
“Lost” Season 1 (2004-05, ABC), episodes 1-11 – I was hooked on “Lost” (7 p.m. Wednesdays on ABC) from the get-go. The pilot came complete with a plane crash and a monster; if it had been a summer blockbuster, it’d be topping my year-end movie list. But “Lost” is a TV series, and the key to its longevity is, as with “Veronica Mars,” back stories.
The first thing I did after watching “Tomorrowland” and discussing its peculiarities with my buddy Michael was to look up articles explaining what the hell happened in the movie. (This Overmental piece is a decent one.) That’s what happens when a movie is more confusing than it needs to be, yet is filled with so many cool ideas that I can’t dismiss it from my mind.
Like director J.J. Abrams’ 2009 “Star Trek” film, “Star Trek Into Darkness” gets all the Trek-isms correct. Everyone is still spot-on as alternate-universe versions of the iconic characters, Scottie and Chekov have thick accents, there are winks about red shirts, Bones says a variation on “Dammit, Jim, I’m a doctor …” and so forth.
It’s really a shame that the novelization has died out. “Prometheus,” which recently hit home video, is begging for a talented sci-fi author to delve deeper into its themes via the written word. In fact, “Prometheus” is by far the most idea-oriented chapter among the 10 films in the “Aliens/Predator” saga. The two other entries that come closest are “Alien Resurrection” (1997) with its exploration of the creation of life (in that case, via cloning and the purposeful use of humans as incubators for xenomorphs), and “Alien vs. Predator” (2004), with its idea that an alien race (in that case, the Predators) has seeded Earth (in that case, with Aliens).
The things that make “Prometheus” cool (A new “Alien” universe movie! And from “Alien” director Ridley Scott, no less!) also cause problems. I’ll go into spoiler-laden specifics later in this post, but suffice it to say that this “Alien” prequel feels a lot like last summer’s “X-Men: First Class.” It’s a slick, well-made piece of science-fiction in a comfortably familiar universe, but it will leave people familiar with the other nine movies in the “Alien/Predator” series to wonder if everything ties together — and then to realize it doesn’t.
Continue reading “‘Prometheus’ undeniably cool, but continuity glitches are annoying (Movie review)”
On Tuesday morning, television is going to look a lot worse than it does right now. On Sunday, we’ll say farewell to “Lost,” and on Monday, “10 Things I Hate About You,” “24” and “Law & Order” will bow out.
I kind of feel sorry for Jacob and the Man in Black after watching this week’s episode of “Lost” (8 p.m. Central Tuesday on ABC, followed by the two-and-a-half-hour series finale at 8 p.m. Sunday, May 23). We learned that they are twin brothers who were raised by a crazy woman who claimed to be their mother, but actually was the killer of their mother. And we learned that neither of them are inherently supernatural, but rather that they gained their supernatural powers from the island.