Since it's so trendy to love all things Earth these days, I'm glad* Entertainment Weekly's dot-com celebrated Earth Day by focusing on movies that blow this planet the eff up. Or at least ones where aliens invade our collective subconscious and can only be seen with special sunglasses.
*Not that I'm against Earth or anything, but I can think of at least one positive in its demise: No more Palmetto Expressway.
Thoughts on some of the movies ...
-Independence Day: With this 1996 film, director Roland Emmerich embarks on a career in which he tries to figure out just how ... many ... ways he can destroy New York City. In doing so, beats Isiah Thomas to the task by almost a decade. Oh, and the movie's pretty good, at least in that jeez-I-hope-Bill-Pullman-is-trying-to-suck way.
-War of the Worlds: An incredible opening third that turns to complete junk, and fast. Additionally, director Steven Spielberg's 1,252,876th (phony) happy ending shows that, if Spielberg had been directing, Pvt. Pyle and his drill instructor would have become best buddies by the end of boot camp.
-Mars Attacks: Ah, back when Tim Burton's movies couldn't be used as insomnia treatment ...
-Starship Troopers: There are aliens in this one? I couldn't tell with all the TALKING in the movie's first six hours.
-Signs: Ah, back when M. Night -- oh, well, you know what I'm going to say.
-Men in Black: Someday I'll convince people that this deserved a Best Picture nomination, or at least ahead of the flawed (or downright awful*) stuff that hogged all the spots in 1997.
-They Live: Classic John Carpenter, where he's winking at you and being serious at the same time. Also, features the best hand-to-hand fight scene I've seen (below), plus a hilarious ending (not gonna link there; if you remember it, you know why).
Now, speaking of Carpenter, where the @#%$!#$% is ...
The Thing: Chilling (almost literally), intense, gory perfection. I'll never resuscitate someone with a defibrillator again.
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