1. It turned out to be a movie about heroic creationists out to prove evolution wrong. Which I’m not very sympathetic to, at all. I keep seeing reviews talking about how the movie asks “existential questions” but it was just a bunch of creationism. We already have an answer to “where we came from“— fact people don’t like that the answer is “a pile ‘a shit” doesn’t make them re-asking the question very deep to me… Culture-wise, I felt like this movie was way, way on the opposite side of a chasm from anywhere I’d ever want to be.
2. I went in wanting to see cool spaceship stuff and design-y stuff, and it had a butt-load of sci-fi shit, which made me happy. (After the Singularity, Sir Mix-a-Lot is going to get Robert Heinlein pregnant and their kids will be happy with this movie too.)(?) So I was always pretty happy throughout just looking at the movie, and nerdy enough to just enjoy the production design, even if I was never really engaged by the story, characters, whatever as much as I wanted to be.
3. I didn’t ever really understand what was going on, or why anyone was doing any of the things that they were doing. Everything just seemed arbitrary to me. I found the whole thing entirely befuddling, and left the theater confused what the basic story was. At one point at the end, a character tried to explain the story up to that point, and I had no idea what the hell she was talking about. Maybe I didn’t bring my A-game mentally, but I found it mystifying.
4. I went looking to see if the internet could explain any of it, and just found some livejournal blog where a guy was talking about how the whole movie was about aliens angry because we’d killed Jesus (wat???) (which still didn’t answer a lot of my questions but marked the point where I gave up). Dangling mysteries and letting the audience “solve” them with theories…? I feel like that speculatorium quality is an invention of modern TV sci-fi (obv Lost), that … It’s not what I get into. Lindelof seems interested in his career, revealing how underneath a hard-sci-fi surface is an unknowable mystery, but that’s not… I like hard sci-fi surfaces more than “spirituality,” or whatever, I think, so that’s not that interesting to me.
5. Why did they bring Bro McBudweiser with them into outer-space? That movie had all these actors I dig like Rafe Spall or Stringer Bell or Charlize Theron, but kept spending time with the main girl’s boyfriend who’s like, “Let’s get on the spaceship, bro— we gotta find the dudes who made up people and shit, do some shots wit’ them. We’re doing shots— quit being a pussy, bro, and do some shots with me on a spaceship. Let’s science shit, bitches.” Why would you take that guy into outerspace?? He didn’t seem like a bad actor— I just didn’t get why that character… was written…
6. Stringer Bell didn’t get to get all Luthor-angry, Rafe Spall didn’t get to be scary, and Charlize Theron didn’t get to be the girl whose good looks hide that she’s rotting from the inside. Which is what I dig from those folks usually, in other contexts, so it was kind of frustrating.
7. Don’t really get why people like stories about robots who have all sorts of feelings constantly, having long conversations about what it’s like to not have feelings, though. “I have no feelings,” the robot said angrily while crying. That robot guy in the movie was more emotional than a J.V. cheerleader camp, but somebody programmed him with a “witty repartee” app, I guess.
8. I liked that even if it didn’t make any sense, it was extremely confident and constantly moving forward. There were a couple thrill-scenes that did work (like… for me, just two). But for those two, they were simple enough that I could understand what was at stake and I could enjoy the staging of them (i.e. (1) Charlize Theron’s action scene and (2) that one obvious bit that everyone likes). Those were swell things. There was a review at Grantland that mentioned that the Alien movies may not always be good but they’re always at least nuts in a distinct and noticeable way. That sounded about right.
9. I think it’d have been cool if the bad guys were scary. The whole movie you’re waiting for the shit to hit the fan, but instead, Powder just runs out of nowhere and starts pushing people over and slapping them (because of Jesus?), which wasn’t all that scary, not compared to being impregnated by alien babies anyways. Powder didn’t really even have any cool finishing moves— he was just super-into pushing people over. “Push you, and you die— grawr“…? I just remember a lot of pushing… It’s a horror movie where the main characters can leave at any time on the spaceship they brought with them; that’s kind of a problem I don’t know if they ever found a way to solve…
10. There’s something about crew of malcontents on a spaceship that’s really sweet to me, though. Like, I can’t pretend I wasn’t super-into it that aspect of it, just by … by nature, more than any conscious choice. I couldn’t even say why I like it— I’m not going to be a malcontent on a spaceship anytime soon, not without a major course correct career-wise. It’s not even so much that I always like the results— I’m not, like, a Firefly-shirt or whatever those people are called. I just always want to like it, every time. (Bonus points for 80’s era evil-corporation-in-future, but when doesn’t that work… hard to blow that one…).