Monday, November 9, 2009

Weekend Watching: They Live

I'd originally intend to write up a synopsis and review of everyhing I'd watched this weekend, but that quickly got out of hand, so I'm going to make a separate entry for each movie and shows. So, to start with, the only movie I watched this weekend

John Carpenter's They Live - This is only the second time I've ever watched this movie, and I was surprised to find that it's a solid sci-fi flick, even given it's age and the fact that the movie's hero is played by former WWF wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper. It concerns a race of aliens that live amongst us, and secretly conspire to keep the human race subdued through the use of some kind of mass hypnosis. Our hero, a down on his luck steel mill worker, stumbles across a resistance cell as it's discovered abd put down, but not before he can get his hands on a magic pair of sunglasses. This glasses allow him to see through the hypnotic veil, which gives us a couple of amusing scenes where he looks upon his city, and every piece of written material is really a hidden command: CONSUME, MARRY AND REPRODUCE, STAY ASLEEP, NO FREE THOUGHT, and my personal favorite, as seen on a stack of dollar bills "THIS IS YOUR GOD".

This builds up until we finally see our first alien, without the glasses they just look like normal people, but with the glasses on, they look like a normal human with its face ripped off, and bulbous eyes. After making a scene in a super market, our hero manages to fend off and kill two police officers (relax, they're aliens) and takes their guns to go hold up a bank, then kill any aliens he sees. This scene always strikes me as a little odd, I guess he's decided to wage war on the aliens somehow, but just picking a bank at random and starting to slaughter aliens while spouting action movie one liners just seems like such a change of pace from the rest of the movie. After escaping from the bank, he takes random sexy office lady hostage, and makes her drive him to her home. At just about the point where I'm starting to think "Haven't I seen this exact scene in no less than five Schwarzenegger movies?" she breaks a bottle of booze over his head and pushes him out of a floor to ceiling window, which drops him 20 feet onto a steep hill that he then proceeds to tumble down for quite a ways. Ladies and Gentlmen! If you are ever taken hostage at gun point, and have the opportunity to employ this maneuver against your assailant, I highly recommend it, it is not only effective, but extremely hilarious to see.

Shortly after this, our hero tracks down where he stashed the extra glasses that he obtained, and tries to get his recently made friend to where them, played by the always intense Keith David. Keith's not having it though, and what ensues is one of the best knock down, drag out, no holds barred fights that I have ever scene in a movie. It goes on for probably 10 minutes, far longer than either of the combatants clearly wants it to last, but neither of them are willing to back down. It is also very well choregraphed with a much better blend of boxing and grappling moves than I normally expect from movies of that era. Finally the glasses are forced to be worn, and our hero has an ally. I won't go into the rest of the movie, because honestly, it's all downhill from that scene, it still manages to wrap everything up for the finale, but there's not much there that's going to surprise you.

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