August 2003
© 2003 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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DVD Review by The Damnaliens
Note: order the films from Amazon by following the hyperlinks to buy  junk food for the aliens and keep them away from the dog.)   Want a second opinion? We suggest www.imdb.com - Ernest

Invisible Friends: If you've read Steve's DamnAliens short stories, or stopped by his house, you know that for several years now a host of aliens has been living in his basement. Of course, he's building a new house without a basement, so I'm not sure where they're planning on going next, but when they heard that Steve was going to do a short fiction column for SFRevu, they've asked if they could take over the column. They offered to take over the planet, but I suggested that they start small and work up to it. - Ern (for more information on the aliens, read Steve's novella: "Invisible Friends," in the Spring 2001 issue of Absolute Magnitude.

Greenings Earth Humans! It is our vast enjoyment to be able to share with you our studies of your cultures as we continue to spend time on your planet. As you undoubtedly already know, one can learn much by studying the things a peopleís produce. Why, you have drawn your own, mostly mistaken, conclusions about your own ancestors by studying their waste by-products. We will replicate that effort, without the errors of course. - The Damnaliens

Recent Releases / Classics / SFTV / Anime

Recent Releases

We find it humorous that you spend so much time trying to become machines. Are you not aware that machines will never be more intelligent than beings? Certainly your toaster stands a good chance of surpassing your dog friends but letís be honest, how difficult is that? Robocop 2 is an excellent example of your fantasization of the man/machine interface. This eventuality takes place in your future. Not your real future of course but one of the depressing ones that you so frequently imagine for yourselves. This machine man is sort of a peace officer although he spends little time in peaceful activities. It is rumored that during the filming of this movie this Robocop was heard to compare himself to Gort. This is simply too false. We know Gort and Robocop is no Gort. Still, if you enjoy watching the machine/man interface destroy public and private property with abandon then you will most likely run to view this.

We also find it humorous that when you visualize your future spaceships you visualize them as spacious and tidy, even while your real spaceships are cramped and stuffy, that is when they are not catching on fire or bursting into pieces as they travel through the atmosphere. Do you not comprehend the physics involved in moving matter through space? Sure, itís a vacuum but that does not mean itís empty. Submarines is an excellent example of what a spaceship looks like. Cramped, every space used for multiple purposes, important plasma and anti-matter conduits running through the corridors, just like the mothership. The only difference between a submarine and a spaceship is that if you spring a leak you get more than wet. In space no one can hear you squish. Besides being an excellent example of spaceship construction, this movie continues your species particular bent of predicting grim futures. In this one terrorists seize control of a Russian sub and want to use it shoot big missiles at American cities. Thereís lots of shooting and running about, albeit briefly since submarines are not that spacious. Interesting to watch we think.

Classics                                    

It amuses us that you people, especially you people who consider yourself modern, think that anything that has survived twelve months is a classic. We suppose it is because you throw so many things away. The Thing From Another World is not a good example of this, having been around for more than two quarters of one of your centuries. It is a movie about aliens and there is much shooting and running about. This seems a common theme, particularly in your American movies. The alien, who actually comes to your planet in a flying saucer (saucers have not been used for interstellar travel for many light years), has become frozen. Your scientists decided to collect the alien and from there it is bad news. It seems your scientists are not as smart as you think they are. We also are not sure why kind of alien this is. We think it is something you made up although it does bear a slight resemblance to the Quilenee, especially when their planet is at aphelion. We donít believe it is one of them though as they rarely leave their home system and when they do it is mostly just a quick trip to get eggs.

We were out looking for snacks the other night when we happened upon a dvd aisle at the local grab and gulp. You seem to have these things everywhere. Having just purchased a mass of weaponry from him we decided to check out his work in his previous employment. Soylent Green was interesting albeit extremely slow. And we thought watching Clarg grow was tedious. Once again youíve pondered a dystopian future where things are really bad and once again youíve put your foot in it. We wonít give away the ending since it seems to have such shock value, although weíre not sure why given what else you tend to put in your mouths.

Okay so we are beginning to notice themes in your video works. Foreshadowing the days that would make him famous, this actor parades through this DVD with more weapons than your Saddam Hussein. No, thatís a bad example since he had so few, make that your Little George Bush man. The Omega Man once again posits a future where things are grim and once again youíre eating each other. Does being dystopian make your people hungry? We will have to assess this theory.

SFTV

We occasionally will launch the mothership and travel a few lightyears out to catch episodes of television shows that we have missed. Since you have squandered your chance to develop a sublight engine, turning your efforts to creating colored grout instead, you cannot do this. This, we believe, is the underlying reason we see so many of these compilation things. Star Trek Deep Space Nine - The Complete Fourth Season (1996) collects all of the shows that were on in that year and manages to show them in order. We like this Star Trek, although it is no Battlestar Galactica, and try to watch as much of it as we can stomach. It is one of the few examples of a future where everything is not totally bleak, although many of the episodes seem to be attempting to create that future. We like the aliens here although we recognize so few of them.

And speaking of not recognizing aliens, we recently viewed Babylon 5 - The Complete Third Season (1996) and failed to recognize a single sentient. Where are you finding these beings? While we have not been everywhere in the universe we have been to our share of planets and space stations and we simply do not recognize a single one of them. You arenít making them up, are you? While your species prizes itself on itís imagination this prizing is mostly just ego. We mean, really, weapons of mass destruction? We looked through your own satellites, something you apparently neglected to do, and didnít see a single one, well, except for that 1957 Edsel, but thatís something else entirely. We hope you watch shows like this and take notes on what not to do so that when you actually get into space you are not summarily destroyed as a species for being just too ignorant. We would miss the entertainment you provide.

Anime  

We like your animations. We particularly like the bunny and that French skunk, although the level of violence is extremely high. Android Kikaider - Lonely Soul allows us to loop to a crescendo. Once again you are exploring the machine/man interface and projecting it to be flawed in some fatal way. You people just canít seem to think happy thoughts when it comes to your futures. There is much killing here so perhaps Charlton Heston acted as a technical advisor although we did not see him listed. We also noted that this story was not one which showed much ingenuity instead playing through tired themes and tropes. But, itís what you all seem to like so who are we to say different?

Well, we had more dvds to watch but we set them too close to the disintegration device and there was a minor accident so thatís all for this month. Anyone with advice on how we will be explain these half vaporized discs to Blockbuster is welcomed to electronically communicate to us.

 

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