Wednesday, March 9, 2011

ARE ALIENS HOLLYWOOD'S NEW VAMPIRES?

A guide to the extra-terrestrial films landing in theaters.
By Alex Nagorski 

Alines are everywhere!
Vampires are so two-thousand-and-late. Aliens are totes where it’s at, y’all. A massive crop of alien films are invading movie screens this year and I couldn’t be more excited about it. After a slew of abysmal films like last year’s Skyline, it’s about time that Hollywood delivers some grade-A sci-fi. Here is a guide to some of the alien movies arriving soon:

I Am Number Four (in theaters now)
Alien invasion for the tween crowd. Starring Glee’s Diana Agron and Hollywood’s new “it” boy, Alex Pettyfer, I Am Number Four follows John, a “teenager” on the run from the enemies sent to annihilate him. A member of a group of nine people with extra-terrestrial roots that are scattered across the planet, John must hide from a galactic army hell-bent on destroying his kind. As cheesy as the film looks, the fanboy in me has already added it to the “saved” section of his Netflix queue.
Michelle Rodriguez 
Battle: Los Angeles (in theaters March 11) It’s sometimes hard to watch a trailer for a brand new movie that’s not associated with any pre-established franchise and get unnaturally excited. Such was not the case for me with Battle: Los Angeles. The second the news caption appeared in the trailer about meteors falling to Earth, I knew I’d be hooked. The movie is about aliens who invade our planet in an attempted take-over, causing a platoon of marines to gather in Los Angeles to fight off the unwelcome visitors.  The result? A good ol’ fashioned man vs. alien war movie. Starring Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, Bridget Moynahan, and Ne-Yo.

Mars Needs Moms (in theaters March 11)
Disney’s entry for the 2012 Best Animate Picture Academy Award. The film follows a young boy named Milo, whose mother is abducted by aliens, forcing him to figure out how to bring her back home to Earth. Featuring the voices of Seth Green, Joan Cusack, Breckin Meyer, Tom Everett Scott, and Mindy Sterling.

Paul (in theaters March 18)
An interesting twist on the genre, Paul is an adult comedy about a duo of British nerds who encounter a CGI alien on a road trip across America to the site of an apparent UFO landing. The slapstick shown in the trailer seems to be a bit of a stretch, but with a cast that sports such mega-talents as Seth Rogen, Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jason Bateman, Kristen Wiig, Jane Lynch, Blythe Danner, and the queen of alien films herself, Sigourney Weaver, I’m willing to give Paul a chance.

Apollo 18 (in theaters April 22)
The same way Paranormal Activity used “real footage” to tell its story, Apollo 18 pieces together “found” video documentation from a real, canceled NASA mission to return to the moon in the 1970s. And what do these clips show? Proof of alien life that NASA has apparently attempted to cover up for decades. A trailer has only just surfaced, causing the blogosphere to buzz about the ethics of turning a real, tragically failed space mission into an alien film. But what do I care? It’s probably going to be a kick-ass movie.

Super 8 (in theaters June 10)
It is hard to remember the last time a film’s premise was kept so tightly under wraps. A teaser for this movie premiered during the Super Bowl, with a voiceover that said, “do not speak of it, or it will find you” and a tagline that read “next summer, it arrives.” With the master of alien invasion films, Steven Spielberg, producing, and Star Trek’s J.J. Abrams at the directorial helm, I have full confidence that Super 8 will be the alien invasion film of 2011.
I'm bent over already 
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (in theaters July 1)
The third installment of the Transformers saga will be worth seeing on the sheer basis that Grey’s Anatomy heartthrob Patrick Dempsey has joined the cast in a lead role – and any movie that involves staring at P Dempz for two hours straight has secured my $13 at the box office. The trailer for this film looks like it’ll be the first Transformers movie that's actually remotely decent. A final, epic battle on the moon? I’m down.

Cowboys & Aliens (in theaters July 29)
Not since Snakes on a Plane has the title of a movie been so blatantly unsubtle. I literally could not be more excited for this movie. It’s campy. It’s brilliant. It’s starring Indiana Jones AND James Bond. When a spaceship arrives in the Wild West in 1873, the only thing preventing aliens from an Earth takeover is a band of gun slinging cowboys. Just watching the trailer made me have to change my underwear like three times. Starring Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Sam Rockwell, Paul Dano, and Olivia Wilde. Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Elf).

The Darkest Hour (in theaters August 5)
Not much is known about this project aside from the fact that it is being shot in 3D and the skeleton of its plot: a group of attractive twenty-somethings (including Emile Hirsch, Olivia Thirlby, Rachael Taylor, and Max Minghella) must fight for their lives after an alien invasion in Russia. Rumors say that a trailer will debut before Battle: Los Angeles this weekend.

The Thing (in theaters October 14)
A prequel to John Carpenter’s 1982 cult-classic of the same name, The Thing follows a crew of international scientists who discover an isolated alien refuge in Antarctica. Paleontologist Kate Lloyd conducts an experiment that releases an alien organism from a block of ice, but quickly learns that the alien is in fact alive and is capable of turning into anything it comes into contact with.  As the alien mimics human form and pits crewmembers against one another, Kate and her team must figure out how to survive. 

So are aliens only taking over in 2011?

Doesn't look like it! Plenty more alien films are currently in development and are looking to be released soon. Films like Area 51 and Battleship are already in post-production. Sequels such as Cloverfield 2, District 10 and Men In Black III have all been green lit by their backing studios. And while these films do hold some clout, there are no sequels I am looking forward to more than James Cameron’s Avatar 2 and Avatar 3, which are set to be filmed back to back and be released in 2014 and 2015.
Sigourney Weaver in ALIEN
But the alien movie currently in development that I am most excited for is Prometheus. Starring Charlize Theron (Monster) and Noomi Rapace (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo), this film is being directed by legendary filmmaker Ridley Scott. Originally written as a two-part prequel to Scott’s 1979 masterpiece, Alien, Prometheus has taken a new life of its own.

“While Alien was indeed the jumping off point for this project, out of the creative process evolved a new, grand mythology and universe in which this original story takes place. The keen fan will recognize strands of Alien’s DNA, so to speak, but the ideas tackled in this film are unique, large and provocative. I couldn’t be more pleased to have found the singular tale I’d been searching for and finally return to this genre that’s so close to my heart,” Scott said.

With all the alien movies coming out, which ones will YOU be seeing?

Originally published on Crazytown Blog

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