April 2004
2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
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Damnaliens DVD Review by the Damnaliens
Want a second opinion? We suggest www.imdb.com - Ernest

Recent Releases / Classics / SFTV / Anime

We despair that we have come to study you at a time when you are no longer doing big things.  Even the probing you do is not as great as it once was.  Why, just look at Mars.  Instead of having people romping about the Bradbury Plenarum you have essentially a vacuum cleaner putting along in the dust at a majestic 2 meters a day.  Instead of getting excited that some human has secretly smuggled a soccer ball to the red planet and kicked it into the face of Mars you giggle with wonder that some little robot manages to scrape itself against a rock.  Wed go there ourselves and show you how it should be done but Klaarg still has that robot thing and we cant go without him as hes the only one who remembers what all the buttons on the navigation console do.  We're worried about what he's going to do when I Robot comes out this summer. Evidentially, even the Three Laws aren't safe anymore.

Small sightedness seems to have crept into everything you do nowadays so that instead of living large you are replicating your past.  How else to explain all the remakes you are fostering in your movie business.  We know you love the big guy but another King Kong remake?  And we really believe you should leave Willy Wonka and the living dead alone.  You dont even produce much new television anymore.  Instead of 26 or 30 episodes of a show you now are proud to produce thirteen as if producing less than half were some accomplishment to brag about.

Recent Releases

Perhaps we are mistaken in our ideas that sequential serialization requires a continuous expansion of concepts and ideas which are set forth in an initial effort and then developed over the course of the work.  If this is so then you have much to explain with The Matrix Revolutions. You cant fool us.  Really, you cant.  You are not highly developed enough to be able to do so.  And if you think uttering quasi-philosophical half sentences while hefting a rocket launcher counts as plot development you are sadly mistaken.  And what of that big attack on the buried city?  At least make it so we could believe you could have won.  We know we are supposed to believe three impossible things before lunch but this is just too much.  Wed also like to point out that if we could imagine ourselves wearing anything wed pick something besides black, shiny raingear.

Weve been studying your sports exhibitions and recently spent the weekend hovering over the big lake where they were doing the big fishing competition.  We think we missed some of the nuances though because we did not find it very exciting.  Big Fish, on the other hand, was a much better catch.  We love stories and the bigger the better.  Here we get a story full of tall stories so we were pretty ecstatic about it.  Klaarg was actually electrostatic but were pretty sure it was because he kept dipping his tenstacles into the power-ups instead of the tuna dip.

It used to be you read the book, went to the movie, bought the soundtrack and then waited for the game material to be developed.  Now, you Earthers have everything backwards.  The Haunted Mansion is nothing less than the epitomization of this.  Sure its got some real spiffy special effects but dont we all expect those now?  And sure its got some decent support cast members, but with the money they spent on this isnt that the way it should be?  And sure they have Eddie Murphy who seems to be funny once again or maybe his funniness is cyclical, but you have to ask yourself did I go on this ride five times or six?  In all the excitement we just plain forgot.  So far Disney is doing okay turning rides into movies but we dont think they can do it forever.  While Klaarg thinks an epic involving the rotating teacups would be just smashing, were not so sure.

Classics                                    

If weve learned one thing here its that pretty much everything scares you Earthers.  Weve documented this through your dvd archives and its clear.  We agree that the giant bug problem you had in the 1950s was pretty bad but we draw the line at normal sized reptiles even if they are in the sewers of New York.  The Hound of the Baskervilles might be another story though.  We dont know where Baskerville is exactly.  We did try to look for it as we enjoy a good hounding as much as the next extraterrestrial but we could not quite put our tenstacle tips on it.  We have to admit, after watching the dvd, that the people in this Baskerville seemed to be making much of not much.  Weve had our run ins with enraged Shitzus and crazed Dachshunds and excuse us because maybe they were making hounds different then, but theyre just not that terrifying.

We rarely bubble about things but we have to about this new release.  Frankenstein - The Legacy Collection (Frankenstein / Bride of / Son of / Ghost of / House of Frankenstein is something that you simply must rush out and purchase right now.  Not only have these films been combined for your pleasure but they have also been restored to the original release value which means you get lots of good stuff that was cut out when it was thought to be too scary.  You also get dialogue that was cut because of religious references.  This is the definition of the word classic.  While wed like to tell you more about the films and about the alien who played the hunchback character we really cant.  We will close this section by saying that truly it must have been marvelous to live in the days when scientists were mad and all sorts of things could be put together in the basement.

SFTV

We are so confused about what we have seen and what we havent seen and what we are about to see that we can barely think straight.  We really should stop traveling out to pick up those transmissions of the West Wing that we miss.  Its just too tempting to zip about picking up other things wed like to see.  Unfortunately this leaves us with few reference markers so we can no longer call forth whether weve seen Babylon 5 - The Complete Fifth Season on television or on dvd or by rubbing cosmic string together.  We think we saw it in space when we went to settle that argument about the eleventh Star Trek movie.  It makes no difference as the entire season was pretty much cast away by everyone except for Ivanava who managed to jump ship as it were before the whole thing started.  They should have followed Star Treks lead and completed their five year mission ahead of schedule. 

Anime  

No robots this month.  Theyre all evidently off at the Pan-Galactic Mechanical Man and Artificial Homeland Security convention on Transfateen 5.  Were not worried though because weve been told that theyll be back.  So, to fill that huge void we went out and got Samurai Jack - Season 1.  Were not sure about this cartoon--excuse us, Anime offering because we think it might just be doodles someone left on the luncheon counter after having chili.  We think we recognize some of the other food items as well.  Just in case were wrong (and really how often does that happen?) we figure well treat this like a real dvd instead of face wipings. 

We hate to mention it but were concerned about your getting too excited about the lump you have noticed just past Pluto.  Its nothing really.  Perhaps a dust mote on the lens or some reflection in the eye of the beholder or perhaps nothing more than a collection of fused dvd husks which some superior species needed to dump because they were taking up too much space in the luggage rack of the mothership.  Well get around to moving the pile as soon as we find time.  In the meanwhile could you look in some other direction?

2004 Ernest Lilley / SFRevu
columns - events - features - booksmedia     home - subscribe