Tuesday, August 17, 2010
This trailer bugs me. I'm not bugged that it's yet another movie about the invasion of teh 3v1l aliens. Goodness, I don't think we can ever have enough of those. And I'm not bugged that the trailer contains nothing that looks startling or original. I don't believe ideas can ever be completely played out. I think I'm bugged because it pretends to be original even as it's ripping off imagery from Independence Day, as if I'm supposed to say, "Whoa, it totally never occurred to me that aliens could be unfriendly."
I've seen it before and you should know I've seen it before, so either make me feel good about the possibility of seeing it again, or else promise me you're going to do something new.
And did you notice they mentioned Stephen Hawking's name twice in just the trailer? Why does being an astrophysicist and being smart make him an expert on extraterrestrials? Last I checked, we didn't have any experts on extraterrestrials, but if I wanted the next best thing, I'd probably call a biologist or an anthropologist before I'd call an astrophysicist. On second thought, I'd just call the biologist because I guarantee the anthropologist is full of hot air.
MSNBC has a brief article on Hawking's thoughts on aliens, in which he is quoted as saying, "I imagine they might exist in massive ships ... having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach." Wait a minute, that is Independence Day.
Notice at the end of the trailer there that the aliens are sucking people up into their big hovercraft thingies. Is that for food? Why is it that when the bad aliens visit, the first thing they want to eat is human? Are we the only edible thing on this planet? Are we some kind of delicacy? Are we even digestible to something that comes from a distant star? I mean, using humans for food is good old-fashioned campy fun and I firmly believe that bug-eyed monsters should drool over bronze-bikini-clad Earth vixens before being lased to pieces by square-jawed Earth alpha males, but tacking Stephen Hawking's name onto that kind of thing somehow makes it look...stupid. He's a serious scientist of the highest order, and that's the pulpiest kind of literary trash. I'm not sure they go together. Maybe they do, but I'll require some convincing.
On the other hand, if they're using those captured people for something more original than lunch, it might get interesting. Or, if it's not original, perhaps the actual film is less pretentious than the trailer and it will turn out to be good old-fashioned fun.