Space Oddities 1 : It’s Alive! (It’s an Alien)


Father Hank Hank: It sits in a Petri dish. It has a nucleus. It develops cilia. It has nerves. Muscles. A heart. A brain. It is “Life,” Daniel Espinosa’s 2017 sci-fi flick, a thrilling tale about a Martian life-form… and the handful of people in the International Space Station who have to fight against it. An Earthly (ok, American) reality-show contest makes it so the little bundle of Martian joy is named “Calvin,” after President Coolidge.

Grandpa Felicius Grandpa Felicius: Ah, yes. “Coolidge. At least he wasn’t Hoover.” That was how we honored him.

Beatricia Beatricia: Why, I can almost imagine how “Life” came to be! October 31, 2016!

Hollywood Billionaire A phones his buddy, (this is important enough to be a phone call, not just a text!): “I’m browsing Netflix. They don’t have ‘Alien.’ I want ‘Alien’ right now.”

Hollywood Billionaire B: “Netflix? No ‘Alien’? Losers. Why do they even exist? You wanna drop by Ridley Scott’s pad, C if he’s got the Blu-ray?”

Hollywood Billionaire A: “Eh, I’ll rather not. Last time we hung out, I said Matt looked fat in ‘The Martian’ (JK!) Ridley got all offended. So, no, that’s a passarino on Ridley.”

Hollywood Billionaire B: “Hmmmm. There’s, like, a Blockbuster still open in Junction, Alaska. They GOTTA have ‘Alien.’ Want me to fire up the jet? Meet me at Bob Hope Airport in 40.”

Hollywood Billionaire A: “Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuggghhhhhhhhhhh, but then I have to catch all that Toluca traffic on the way!”

Hollywood Billionaire B: “Regrettable! How about this? I’m currently chilling with Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, and Hiroyuki Sanada. Why don’t I just have them recreate ‘Alien’ right now in my laundry room? My washing machines are pretty futuristic. I’ll film it on my IPhone in three hours, touch it up on Filmora. Send it right over to you in five or six? Better than driving through Burbank.”

Hollywood Billionaire A: “Why isn’t this happening already?”

Father Hank Hank: Babe, there is so much imagination in you! You could totally write movies!

Beatricia Beatricia: Hanky, that’s sweet, but realistically, I can’t even write Tracey and Trent’s weekly schedule of chores in a persuasive manner.

Cousin Franz Cousin Franz: “Curiosity outweighs fear” is the purported theme of this derivative experiment in gravity-free thrills. But didn’t any of these sci-fi folk WATCH sci-fi? Clearly be very scared of the rapidly-growing life-form! There’s nothing wrong with “Life,” (the sound design is particularly effective) but this is “Ancient Aliens” material. Not a single original moment. Add to the movie’s sins that it sabotages and telegraphs what could have been a great, shocking finale, at least worthy of an “Analog” magazine novelette.

Trent Trent: Cousin Franz! What’s this about an Anal Log Magazine?

Cousin Franz Cousin Franz: There’s nothing anal or loggy about it! It is HARD SF! Analog is much harder than Asimov’s!

Trent Trent: I bet it’s harder! Cousin Franz is a sicko, I knew it! I’m not judging!


Tracey Tracey: I never thought I would say this, but astronaut outfits aren’t a good look on either Jake Gyllenhaal or Ryan Reynolds, who end up looking interchangeable. Also, I don’t need movies about grotesque, idiotic aliens that aren’t worth the oxygen they consume. I already have to live with one such mindless, ugly critter.

Trent Trent: HA! Fiery burn! I know who you’re talking about! It’s Blurbarella, isn’t it?

Tracey Tracey: Nope.

Trent Trent: OH. I see. Pug McClure, then? True, not the handsomest or sharpest of mascots. I was hoping for a smooth-talking dingo, to go with my Dingo Skarr alter ego, but whatcha gonna do. When free talking animals come into our lives, we say “ok.” It’s like a gift horse! You don’t look it in the mouth! You look it in the eyes, so it doesn’t think you’re a pervert! Oh, and “Life” is good!

pugmclure Pug McClure: I’m not at all involved in this episode.

Grandpa Felicius Grandpa Felicius: I liked this movie a lot better when it was directed by Howard Hawks and it was called “The Thing.” However, I did enjoy the way Commie Cosmonauts in the International Space Station got tossed about by a rowdy Martian octopus. Did they really think there would be no repercussions when trying to pierce the Veil of the Heavens with Beelzebub’s Heathen Outpost in the Sky? God always gets his vengeance, Tovarich Gagarin!

Blurbarella Blurbarella: “Science Fiction Tale– That Was Regrettable– Doesn’t Present Anything New.”

2 out of 6 Cherries



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