All the Aliens on Netflix

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Behold, mini-reviews!

Aerials: An alien invasion plot set in Dubai. It’s mostly about how people react when they are forced to hide out inside their houses, not knowing what is going to happen. (They mostly do nothing and argue a lot.) I enjoyed it for the glimpse of Dubai itself: the beautiful inside of the couple’s apartment, and how the main character relates to his wife versus to his men friends in the tea shop. Interestingly, the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world) is featured in this movie. The alien spacecraft hovers directly above it, and the title would seem to imply that they showed up there because they took it for a huge antenna. But this point is never developed. It’s more a character study about the people.

Ancient Aliens: A nothingburger. The worst “documentary” I have ever seen.

The Darkest Hour: Two friends who arrive in Moscow to check out the club scene find their trip interrupted by aliens. Great views of Moscow in the summertime, and for once, a really creative kind of alien that is not organic.

Revolt: An American soldier and a French aid worker deal with an alien invasion in Kenya. Really disappointing. I want to see the actual aliens, not just their machines.

Rim of the World: I watched this a few years ago, so I don’t remember it very well, but I remember it being a good apocalyptic film with teenaged protagonists and satisfyingly horrible aliens.

Battle: Los Angeles: O.K. Kind of meh. Running around and getting killed. It’s a little bit better than Revolt, but the same type of thing.

The Fourth Kind: Supposedly, these are aliens, but they are obviously actually demons.

Stargate (the original movie, not the series): I will never not love Stargate. The nerdy linguist hero, the spaceship that fits down over the pyramid …bliss.

10 thoughts on “All the Aliens on Netflix

  1. Chris Schallert, Idea Engine

    Stargate! A childhood fave that has only gotten faver-er as the years go on.

    You ever check out Cowboys and Aliens? Silly idea, but it played out like a perfect combo of what it sounds like. One of my dark horse favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, Stargate held up really well, watching it again years later. Sort of like Back to the Future that way.

      Ah yes, I did see at least the end of Cowboys & Aliens. I didn’t put it on here because it wasn’t one that I watched on Netflix recently. There is also John Carter, an Old West dude who gets whisked to (Mars?) via cave in the desert. That one has some good cross-cultural stuff between him and the aliens. It’s interesting how well Western mixes with aliens … but then, I guess it mixes well with everything.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Chris Schallert, Idea Engine

        I love John Carter! I read the whole series by Edgar Rice Burroughs, and it was just as swash-buckling good (the movie did depart from it somewhat, but the spirit was remarkably true!).

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I didn’t watch the Stargate TV show. It looked me like a different animal. Perhaps I’ll check it out some day.

      In The Fourth Kind, the people who have had contact with the “aliens” show all the signs of demonic possession found in both the New Testament and some modern accounts, like suicides, memory blackouts, extreme anxiety, violent seizures strong enough to break their bones, and eventually (spoilers here) even levitation and speaking in a different voice. The “alien” speaks in Sumerian and says “I am [a] god.” All of this sounds pretty conclusive to me.

      The movie is shot as if it is a fictionalized account of the actual experiences a psychiatrist had with her patients. I’m not sure whether that is actually the case, or whether the “real” footage that they splice in, is just another layer of fiction in the style of the Blair Witch Project. But either way, it’s doggoned scary. I would believe this stuff actually happened, except that supposedly a Sumerian expert is able to recognize spoken Sumerian on a grainy video tape and translate it, and then later translate it in real time. That stretches belief for me, and it’s so important to the plot that if it’s poetic license, it calls the veracity of the whole thing into question.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The tv show is definitely much lighter than the movie. Jack Oneill is much more humorous and one liner’y than the serious guy in the movie. And it starts out rather low budget but gets bigger and better. Give it a chance, some day 🙂

        Thanks. That’s what I was afraid of. Definitely not something I’d try watching then.

        I hate when movies try to blur the line between reality and fiction. Especially when it turns out to be fake reality ;-/

        Liked by 1 person

        1. OK, I just Googled it, and it appears the “real” footage from the movie is, indeed, also fake. They often use a split screen with an actor or actress playing the psychiatrist or patient, and then a more ordinary-looking actor or actress playing the “real” person that the other actor is supposedly re-enacting. This also explains why the “real” psychiatrist is extremely spooky-looking herself, and just the shots of her looking traumatized and telling her story are among the most tense in the movie.

          I gotta say, I’m relieved. I was almost prepared to believe it, because it takes place in Alaska and we know that bad stuff happens during the long, dark winters there. Really glad that in this case, it didn’t.

          Liked by 1 person

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