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BY JACOB ZHIVOV
& DAVID BLUMENSTEIN
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
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
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
"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
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
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.