Traditionally, Friday is Date Night between zaiah and I. There are certain rituals and traditions we have associated with Date Night, some of which I shan’t go into here, as I fear they may upset those of you with more…delicate sensibilities. One of those traditions which I feel it is safe to discuss is the tradition of watching a movie on Friday.
Usually, this means Netflix, as watching a first-run movie every week would require taking out another mortgage on the house. Occasionally, this means going to the cheap theater for a second-run movie and pizza, which a couple of weeks back is where we saw the Americanized version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, a remake of a Swedish film that was less than half as abominable as I had any right to expect. (As a matter of fact, it was quite good, and even improved on the original in a couple of minor ways…and the original is one of my favorite movies, and a movie I have seen many times.)
This week, we decided to see a first-run movie; namely, The Hunger Games. We made this decision based on two criteria: first, it looks for all the world to be a perfect film to enjoy after an afternoon of extraordinarily kinky sex; and second, zaiah‘s daughter has been bugging us to see it, on the grounds that the book version is her favorite story of the moment and she wanted to
speak freely gush enthusiastically about it without worrying about spoilers.
When we went into the theaters, gentle readers, I will confess I had no idea what to expect. I’d vaguely heard of the film, in the sense that I knew its title, but nothing else about it at all.
And then it happened.
They showed us trailers in front of the movie.
Which is Ridley Scott’s prequel to Alien.
Which has had a larger impact on my life than any other movie ever committed to film.
Because I saw it one month and two days after turning ten years old.
The movie Alien has been a fixture in my life from a very young age. What I mean by that is that the movie Alien has given me nightmares for approximately two-thirds of my entire life.
I am not quite sure what my parents were thinking, to be honest. In most other regards, they raised me pretty well, and I will thank you in the back there to stop that snickering. However, what on earth would possess otherwise fine, decent, upstanding, tax-paying, non-serial-killer-being grown adults to take a ten-year-old boy to see the movie Alien is quite beyond your humbler chronicler. I say without the slightest trace of exaggeration or hyperbole that it gave me nightmares for more than thirty years, and yes, that does date me.
Seriously. No shit. That movie gave me nightmares for Thirty. Fucking. Years. I can recall one particular occasion, back when I was still working pre-press in Tampa, when I and a buddy of mine were alone in the building, I was tasked with the job of running some film through the automated processor. This basically means carrying a large canister into a room that is pitch black save for the softly glowing readouts on the displays of the automated film processing equipment. And on this particular night, a wandering opossum, I shit you not, fell through the ceiling with quite a loud crash.
It took my coworker and I a couple of hours to catch it. Most of the pursuit was very Keystone Kops, truth be told–the two of us running around through the film strippers’ territory with a big plastic trash can…you don’t want to know. But the bit when it fell through the ceiling? The nightmares had been going into remission then. After that, they came back with redoubled vigor.
Where was I? Oh, yes. Prometheus.
I had planned to write a review of The Hunger Games. Instead, I am going to write a review of Prometheus.
Now, I can hear your questions already. “The movie comes out in June,” you say. “This is only April. You clearly haven’t seen it. How can you write a review of it?”
To that I say, “pish-posh.” It makes no difference if I write the review after I’ve seen it, for I will be just as qualified then as I am now, considering that I am likely to have my hands in front of my face for the entire thing. And yes, Gentle Readers, I am going to see it when it comes out.
So, without further ado…
Cute Female Scientist: Look! We’ve discovered something interesting in these abandoned ruins! Many ancient civilizations on Earth have drawn the same pictograph, even thought they had no contact with each other. And look, it’s a star map!
The Weyland-Yutani Corporation: We would be happy to sponsor an expedition to see what’s up with that.
Audience: Oh, fuuuuuuuck. This isn’t going to end well.
Ridley Scott: It’s a motherfucking Alien prequel. What, you expected My Little Pony?
Sinister Weyland-Yutani dude: I work for the company. But don’t let that fool you. I’m really an okay guy.
Cute Female Scientist: Let’s go!
Captain: We’re here!
They find some REALLY CREEPY STUFF.
Other scientist dude: Man, this is some really creepy stuff.
Yet another scientist dude: I’m getting life signs down there.
Some guy who’s totally insane: Let’s go investigate!
Something REALLY BAD HAPPENS.
Crew of the Prometheus: Something really bad has happened. We need medical attention here.
Something REALLY REALLY REALLY BAD HAPPENS.
The movie GOES BLACK, as I put my HANDS in front of my EYES and curl up into a FETAL POSITION.
Someone on the CREW starts SCREAMING HORRIBLY and DIES.
One of the scientists: Oh, fuuuuu–
Something REALLY REALLY REALLY REALLY BAD HAPPENS.
One of the crew: Wait! I have an idea that could keep this from turning any worse than it already has, and might even save some of us!
The SINISTER WEYLAND-YUTANI DUDE does something UNSPEAKABLE.
Surviving crewmembers: Oh fuuuuuu—
Something EVEN WORSE happens.
People do HEROIC THINGS. It DOESN’T HELP.
Me: Oh fuuuuu–
I have NIGHTMARES for THIRTY MORE YEARS.
Ridley Scott: Pwn3d j00!
By the way, The Hunger Games rocks. Go see it.