Evil Aliens...and Britons
Alien - The Director's Cut: 4 Stars. Sure, I've got it at home on DVD, but I decided to see this bad boy at the Arclight Cinerama Dome . Dead center, perfect distance from the 91-foot screen (diagonal length), so my entire glasses-framed vision was filled with Ridley Scott's greatest film. I still jumped, more than once, when the acid-blooded beast tore through Tom Skeritt and his crew. This is a horror movie, pure, pristine, and terrifying. It's sequel, Aliens, was more of an action-adventure flick, and one of the best of all time, but it isn't one-tenth as scary, especially on the big screen.
Love Actually: 2.75 Stars. I've loved the work that this producer/director crew has put together before: Bridget Jones' Diary and Notting Hill to name two, but this one wasn't up to their standards. They've got great characters, a veritable who's who of British cinema, and great dialogue, but just too much was going on in this film. I read somewhere that there were 22 "main" characters in this film, all with love stories (every sort of love, really...husband-wife, father-son, friend-friend, etc), some of them interwoven. The problem was that the most interesting ones (Hugh Grant and Martine McCutcheon, Martin Freeman and Joanna Page) had to share time with the likes of Laura Linney and Andrew Lincoln. It was just too much, and the film suffered as a result. Still, though, when it was good, it was very good. I wish they'd make another movie just with Grant and McCutcheon, perhaps intersplicing all of the footage from this movie into it. It'd be a pretty cool gimmick, n'est-ce pas? Special kudos to showing boobs in this flick...it's not done enough anymore. Also, great cameos.