Yesterday, we had a coupon for a free ticket at Hollywood 24 out in Chamblee (shudder), and because I liked what fellow Atlantian curt_holman had written about Greg and Colin Strause's AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem, and because the coupon allowed us to see it for something at least approximating genuine matinée prices ($8, as opposed to $16), we did that instead of Fernbank or the Botanical Gardens. And I was quite pleasantly surprised. We both were. Curt had said, in his LJ, "Requiem is almost exactly like Planet Terror from Grindhouse, only without the clever scratchy-print effects and juvenile humor (or any humor at all, really). It's completely dumb, but I ended up having more fun with it than I did with Planet Terror." And I say that's a pretty fair approximation. AVPR: Aliens vs Predator - Requiem is not a good movie. It's a B-movie, but it's very good at being a B-movie, something at which most B-movies fail utterly. It was, for example, a far better film than 30 Days of Night. In short, we had fun, passed a couple of hours, etc. We were entertained.
The human cast is mostly irrelevant, but the creature effects are superb. And I must admit, this film was quite a bit darker and more violent than I'd expected. I am impressed the directors and the studio didn't futz around trying to get a PG-13 rating, but settled for the R. The shot of three newly erupted chestbusters squirming about in the ruptured belly of a dying pregnant woman (a marvelous metaphor for the 21st Century that threatened to elevate this film above B status) was, itself, worth the price of admission. We knew we were in for more than we'd expected when, in the first few minutes of the film, a hunter and his young son are attacked and both die horribly. Nothing is spared, not even a hospital ward of newborns. And the film's ending, which has the US government luring most of the survivors to the center of town before nuking the place, is yet another nice bit of post-Katrina commentary on the loss of faith in Washington's ability or even interest in keeping any of us safe from anything. This movie wasn't nearly as good as I Am Legend, but is was at least not dishonest. Keep in mind, the plot is basically The Blob recycled, and many moments and images are stolen directly from "real" Alien films (mostly from Aliens and Alien3). We have a shameless Ripley stand-in in the form of Reiko Aylesworth's Kelly, and she even comes complete with a Newt stand-in (Ariel Gade's Molly). Hell, I'll even forgive that silly last scene where we meet "Miss Yutani" (played by Françoise Yip). Despite all this, I was grimly delighted. Again, not a good film, but a wicked little thing that is quite good at being exactly what it is (unlike the first AVP outing), and I admire that. And no, there was nothing as hot as Rose McGowan with a machine gun for a leg, but I still find the "Predators" sexy, even after all these years.
Okay. I have a virtual hangover from staying up all night (until five ayem) dancing naked in a virtual strip club full of virtual demons and angels. Someone must have slipped me too much virtual champagne. Probably one of the angels. The only non-virtual alcoholic beverage I had last night was one glass of Coppola Rosso Classic (2005) with dinner. I must shake it off, because I have to cook black-eyed peas with ham hocks, collards, macaroni and cheese, and cornbread for Spooky and Byron. I must find a coffee bean on which to suckle.