Sigourney Weaver has the best resume of any actress in the science fiction genre (including impressive turns in the Aliens franchise, Galaxy Quest, The Cabin in the Woods, Avatar) in addition to being one of the best dramatic and comedic actresses in Hollywood for three decades. She is THE template for a female action star for her work in Alien and Aliens, and she’s done some very covert work as a voice actor in two of Pixar’s gems (WALL-E and Finding Dory…ok, not so covert in Finding Dory). Her body of work is even more impressive than I realized when I began putting her list together and was forced to leave off things like Gorillas in the Mist or The Year of Living Dangerously that would easily make most actresses’ lists.
Continue reading Sigourney Weaver’s 10 Best Movies
First of all, shame on YouTube for not having one of the greatest fights in film history in one clip, and yes, the annoying intro for each part ruins the flow, but believe it or not, this is the best take I could find on the infamous climax in the second film in the Alien Franchise. While Alien was a horror movie, James Cameron (remember when he wasn’t just the Avatar guy?) came in and made Aliens a war film. It’s a total toss-up as to which is the better film. They’re both perfect at what they were trying to achieve. Back when sequels that matched the original really only had Godfather Part II and Empire Strikes Back as peers, Aliens completely matched its predecessor. Instead of just one xenomorph, now there was an entire hive, which leads to the reveal at the end of the film of one of film’s greatest monsters: The Alien Queen. Whereas in the first film, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is really just a survivor and a victim, in Aliens she becomes a warrior. Weaver broke ground on what a woman could do as the star as an action movie, and remains the standard (she even managed to shake an Oscar nomination out of the Academy for something cool, which still blows me away). From the discovery of the Queen and her nest to the loader battle in the dock, this titanic battle of two mothers over their “children” still remains one of science fiction’s greatest moments.
Yes, as you may have surmised from the above still, if you don’t know anything about Alien…..there’s a dinner surprise that gets a bit gory. We’re under two weeks from Alien 6 (counting Prometheus), and Alien: Covenant is getting fairly positive reviews so far, but nothing like the groundbreaking science fiction that were the first two films in the series. Alien came along two years after Star Wars, and it couldn’t be more different and be in the same genre. This crew of essentially space truckers stumbles across one of the greatest, most ingeniously horrific, monsters in cinema history. The horror of the Alien isn’t just that’s it’s a pretty perfectly designed killing machine. It’s the life cycle of the creature itself. From the freaky eggs, to the “face huggers” that implant the victims in a manner that would seem to be the most disturbing part of the process until you get to the ….hatching. When the alien grows to a certain size and no longer needs its host, it simply leaves in the most direct way possible. I cannot imagine what it must have been like to sit in a theater in 1979, having no idea what this thing was, and watch this dinner scene from hell unfold. People must have been clinging to the ceiling. It’s one of the most horrifying, most shocking scenes ever filmed. And it’s not like things get better, because the next time you tend to see the buggers, they look like this:
and that tends to be the last thing you ever see.
My wife died of cancer. It’ll be two years in October. That’s the whole reason I started Killing Time. I needed a place to go, a place to be where there was no cancer, no death, no pity, and no tears. When someone you love dies, no one really knows what to say other than how sorry they are, but they do seem to fire books at you by the truckload. I never got that. Why would I want to read more about grief when it was my whole life? That being said, most I just flipped through. Only two helped me at all. Early on, it was A Grief Observed by CS Lewis. It’s essentially a journal Lewis kept in the days and months following his wife’s death from cancer (a story that is brilliantly told by Anthony Hopkins and Debra Winger in Shadowlands). After awhile, when grief is all you have known for ages, you stagnate. That’s when a dear friend of mine gave me Patrick Ness’s masterpiece A Monster Calls. Continue reading Trailer Time: A Monster Calls Trailer #1 (2016) *A Literary Masterpiece Comes to the Screen*
Sadly, instead of a Ghostbusters III, next week we’re getting a remake of the classic film with an inverted gender cast. The film’s director, Paul Feig, is making waves by screaming that the negative buzz that’s surrounded the film pretty much since its announcement and DEFINITELY after we saw the first trailer is a misogynistic response. No, Paul. No, it’s not. I love Kristen Wiig, Elizabeth Banks, Chris Hemsworth, and Melissa McCarthy (not familiar with the fourth member). The problem with the remake, and I am not going to even bother seeing it because it never needed making, is that everything about it looks stupid. It’s unfunny. It’s trying to piggyback on one of the most beloved films of the 1980’s without doing any work to justify its existence. That’s why everyone pre-hates it. Continue reading My Favorite Scene: Ghostbusters (1984) “He Slimed Me”