Patrick McGinlay's Internet Tendency

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November 20, 2003

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In 1979 Alien was given the title of one of the scariest films of all time. Now almost 25 years later as well as a large amount of wannabe clones, Alien hasn't lost any of its old school charm.

The plot is simple. On what should have been a trip back to Earth, the Nostromo, a mining freighter, is automatically re-routed to a desolate planet after receiving an SOS coming from it. After the crew is awakened, they investigate the source of the SOS, and discover a derelict alien ship on the planet. One of the crew members is put into a coma by an alien creature while investigating the ship only later for the alien parasite to die. The crew think all is finally well but the small ordeal was only a prelude for greater things to come...

In 1979 I wasn't even born, so I've never had the pleasure of seeing Alien on a big screen but now that I've seen it, I understand why it's one of the all time greatest science fiction film. Unlike its sequel Aliens, which was pure action mostly due to the directing of James Cameron, Alien takes the more traditional sci-fi storytelling of slowly engrossing you into our characters plight, which was a lot more enjoyable.

The best thing about Alien is that the special effects look as good if not better than the ones used today. This just shows that computer effects are not always the answer to a big Sci-Fi film. I will however concede that the computers and hair cuts of the actors do give you that good old '70s feel but other than that this is indeed an excellent film.


I thought Uptown Girls was meant to be a slap stick comedy or at least that was what the trailer led to me to believe, instead I lost an hour and a half of my life to this really annoying film.

Molly Gunn (Brittany Murphy), the freewheeling daughter of a deceased rock legend, is forced to get a job when her manager steals her money. As nanny for precocious Ray (Dakota Fanning), the oft-ignored daughter of a music executive (Heather Locklear) she learns what it means to be an adult while teaching Ray how to be a child.

I'll be honest, the only reason I stayed awake during this film was because Brittany Murphy was showing a lot of skin in every scene she was in, otherwise I would have been out like a light.

This film should not have been sold as a comedy, instead it should have been sold as a heart warming pre-teen movie then maybe it would have been good but instead we got this and to top things off it had ex-Neighbours star Jesse Spencer putting on a piss week English accent, he alone may have made me hate this film even more.

One last point I would like to add about this film. It was called Uptown Girls yet nowhere in the film did I hear the song Uptown Girls by Billy Joel or any of the crappy boy band covers of it. WHY MAKE A FILM CALLED UPTOWN GIRLS IF YOU DON'T USE THE SONG ANYWHERE IN IT? IT DOESN'T MAKE SENSE!!!

Watch at your own risk but I think this film is only beaten by Trojan Warrior for worst film ever and at least Trojan Warrior has the defence of being Australian.



"Uptown Girl" is one of the hit singles from Billy Joel's 1983 album An Innocent Man. This album was designed as Joel's tribute to the soul/pop/doo-wop music of his childhood (hence "Tell Her About It" and the a cappella "The Longest Time").

"Uptown Girl" is, of course, one of many songs Joel wrote about Christie Brinkley while he was doing her, and is an excellent Four Seasons pastiche. The video clip features Joel, Brinkley and lots of pretend grease-monkeys dancing around the front lot of a garage.

The "Uptown Girl" video is about three-and-a-half minutes long, which means that you could watch it 29 times in the time it takes to watch Uptown Girls, the movie. If you like the song, this may be a preferable use of your time. If you don't, you can imagine watching the clip 29 times and consider that Jake, having watched the whole film, probably suffered about that much.


But rather than taking one of those options, consider going to see Spellbound. Some people have said they can't believe it was possible to make an interesting, emotional, even suspenseful documentary about a bunch of American kids in a big national spelling bee.

Personally, I think it'd be hard NOT to. Spelling bees are at least as exciting as watching <insert country> Idol or a beauty pageant, with the added plus that the contestants aren't really trained performers, cute enough to cause heart disease. The kids in this movie (the filmmakers followed eight of them) just go up to the microphone and try to spell words. If they fuck up, a bell rings and they're GONE. Watch dreams shatter! Watch the pain of a severe CHOKE UNDER PRESSURE! This film, while seemingly made from twine and sticky tape, is an excellent look at a bunch of weird little smart kids and their road to spelling glory. It was nominated for an Academy Award last year, the one that Bowling For Columbine got. Mike Moore's film was simply too timely to lose, but be thankful that some distributor picked Spellbound up to show here.

Does one of "our" kids win? I'M NOT TELLING! YOU NEED TO WATCH IT YOURSELF!


ALIEN - DIRECTOR'S CUT stars Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. It is rated M and runs 111 minutes.

UPTOWN GIRLS stars Brittany Murphy, Heather Locklear, Dakota Fanning and Jesse Spencer for some reason. It does not feature the Billy Joel song "Uptown Girl". It is rated PG and runs 102 minutes.

SPELLBOUND is currently in limited release. It is showing at Cinema Europa, Jam Factory. It is rated G. $7 tickets are available for school groups (teachers get in free). For bookings, contact Anna Pearson on (03) 9825 4615.


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