Tag Archives: aliens

The Night the Sky Split by Lisa

It happened the night the sky split.

It was all over the news. The Milky Way would be extra-visible due to atmospheric somethingorother. The scientist were explaining it left and right. The pictures, they said, would be breathtaking. And they were.

But no one saw what I saw.

I was out at the lake with my family that weekend. We were all staying out to watch the sky darken, to watch the stream of light that seemed to tear the sky in two. I’d seen the Milky Way before, but only as a dim trail across the sky. Not this vibrant, violent thing.

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Movie Magic Monday: Avatar

I pretty much resolved to go see Avatar after I read a blog post on The Galaxy Express, an awesome sci-fi romance blog. I’ve always liked James Cameron. Titanic remains one of my favorite movies of all time as it was the first movie that made me bawl uncontrollably. The love story was epic and beautiful and memorable. But I’m also a fan of the other spectrum of his work, his earlier more action packed movies. Come on, you all know exactly what I’m talking about. The Terminator series was fascinating. Watching Sarah Connor fight to save her life and the life of her child, the child who would one day be the salvation of humanity against the evil robots. Awesome. And then, after all that madness in part one, to watch poor Sarah locked up in the crazy house (getting all strong and ripped) face the man who was originally sent to kill her, but is now meant to protect her. Talk about drama. It was brilliant. The backstory was intelligent and exciting and although Arnold Schwarzenegger is not what I’d call a talented actor, he had the robot thing down.

Anyway, I digress. The reason I brought up Heather’s post is because she quoted Cameron’s Entertainment Weekly article (Dec. 18th issue) as saying:

EW: Despite the guns and explosions and robots, your movies usually have an element of romance and a strong female protagonist, like Ripley in Aliens or Sarah Connor in the Terminator movies. Where does that impulse come from?

Cameron: First of all, last time I checked, women were 50 percent of the population. And when you’re making a movie that costs over $200 million, you don’t want to have a target audience. Your target audience is people with a pulse and $15–or even just $15. [Laughs] Secondly, I like women. I like how they think. I like how they see the world. The funny thing is, with Avatar I set out to do a pretty male adventure movie: a stranger in a strange land encountering this other culture. But in the back of my mind, I’m thinking, ‘Well, in my life, the way I’ve learned the most is through relationships.’ I’ve always found that lovers tend to be teachers. So I took that idea and made the story. What we found as we were editing the film was that the emotion was so strong, we just said, ‘F– it, it’s a love story.'”

(pgs. 49-50)

His potty mouth aside, those words thrilled me. I mean, he really GETS it. He knows that what really cuts to the core of a movie, be it a good fantasy or scifi or even contemporary is something that will move the heart. And romance is what does that.

So I saw Avatar in 3D (it wasn’t necessary but it was fun) and I was not disappointed. What a fantastic story. The hero was conflicted and impulsive. The aliens’ culture was well thought out and felt genuine, as though it existed far longer than our knowledge of it.

Their physical world was beyond the imagination- visually breathtaking. The CGI was amazing. There was no doubt in my mind Cameron had really lived and breathed there because I believed every moment I spent among them. The science behind the avatars was interesting and plausible, in so far fictional hybrids are concerned and in the end the entire package just really impressed me. Of course, the love story at the core really held the rest of the movie together and it was the perfect stranger in a new land scenario. Yes, that’s been done before, but Cameron’s vision was so unique it didn’t matter. He brought us on a unique journey, all his own. Score: A


Movie Magic Monday: Race to Witch Mountain

The selling point for me to watch this movie was aliens. Aliens with cool powers. I’m always down to watch humanoid aliens do neat things that we humans only dream about. I figured, it’s Disney, so I’m sure it’ll have a feel good element. And well, The Rock isn’t too bad to look at either. 😉

Though I really enjoyed the logic of the storyline once it was explained, I was very disappointed that it happened in the form of an infodump, rather than through interesting scenes involving character discovery. Yes, I get that we only had so much time in the movie, but the alien kids remained very vague and unimportant to me. I cared about them only in so far as I couldn’t bear two kids getting caught by the government. As people, as characters, they failed to truly capture me.

The story seemed to focus much more on Dwayne Johnson’s character, the non-believing taxi driver who gets caught in all the action. His paternal instinct to protect is charming and his progression toward discovering the truth is amusing. The action scenes were fun to watch, particularly the one advertised in the commercials where the boy is standing in front of the SUV. If you haven’t seen it, I won’t spoil it for you, but I did get pretty psyched by it, visually.

I think the movie had a lot of promise but failed to deliver on most aspects. It was entertaining but not overly memorable. It was fun in a sci-fi meets pop culture kind of way, but not a genuine science fiction story, like ET or the new Avatar (which I am SO going to go see in 3d soon!).

Unfortunately, I have to give this movie a C+. But for light, family entertainment, it does what it set out to do. dwayne john


TV Magic Monday: Roswell

First, I’d like to start by congratulating our winner of the New Moon Tattoos from Friday’s Mini Giveaway! I inserted the entries into random.org and the winner is:

Jaclyn Reynolds!!!!

Please contact us at hollowtreetales AT gmail DOT com with your address so I can ship those out! 🙂

Now, I know this this is a bit of a diversion from our usual movie Mondays but after talking about the striking similarities between Roswell and Twilight last week, Roswell has been on my mind.

The premise was simple. A small town girl is saved from death by a quiet, not so human hottie. But he’s not a vampire. He’s an alien. And he has the power to see into someone’s soul. *dreamy sigh* This may all sound kind of corny in theory, but the acting and the writing were so moving that they not only sold it, they made me believe it was real. Its one of those things you have to see for yourself because describing it doesn’t do it justice.

There were so many things that worked about that first episode. For starters the hook is phenomenal. When Max ran into the corner and told Liz to look at him I was breathless with anticipation. Their chemistry is effortless. It sizzles. And it only gets better throughout the season. The storyline perfectly blended scifi intrigue with high school drama constantly incorporating the themes of loneliness and alienation. And although by its 3rd season the show suffered miserably because of the corporate tools meddling in the writing, most fans watched loyally, too emotionally invested with the characters to leave them.

Even the side characters grew into their own. Everyone was multi-layered and well rounded. They all had their obvious flaws but we loved them even more for it. By the end of the first season, there were 3 couples, involving 6 of the characters, each unique and interesting in their own ways, each drawing a seperate fanbase. And who could blame them. Have you seen the pretties on this show?

If you’ve never seen it, I would highly recommend renting it. It has the allure of Twilight, but is… well, can I say this?… infinitely better. Roswell is everything Twilight failed to be. And it is still, in my heart, one of the best teen dramas ever to air. I miss it.


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