Whoever came up with the bright idea of violently pitting Alien against Predator
sure deserves a pat on the back and a raucous round of applause, for this big-budget
movie scores on many levels.
Whereas the bulk of the Alien franchise has long relied on
atmospheric tension rather than all-out action for its thrills, the excitement
of the Predator movies is perfectly suited to Alien Vs. Predator,
which pretty much pivots on breathtakingly relentless action set-pieces for its entirety.
Coming on like a manic cross between Tomb Raider, The Mummy and Sphere, if you
are claustrophobic you might want to stay away from this, as the majority of it
is set in an elaborate and gigantic pyramid that a bunch of scientists discover
under an iceberg just off the edge of the Antarctic icesheet. Mineral deposit
entrepreneur Lance Henrikson rounds up experts from as far afield as Nepal and
Mexico and has them escorted to the mysterious pyramid.
Once on the iceberg, the team coincidentally discovers a chute down from the ice to the pyramid.
Unprepared for foul play of an alien sort, it's bad enough running into a bunch
of Aliens down there, let alone a group of Predators which have the
ability to make themselves invisible. For once, us humans aren't really meant
to be involved in the ensuing violence, as the Predators are fighting the
Aliens. See, these Predators are meant to have been ruling mankind
for centuries and - just like in Stargate - the ancient pyramid structures found
in Egypt and Mexico (for example) are actually of alien origin, designed by the Predators.
Obviously the humans get in the way of the battle down below and many of them
naturally wind up dead, due primarily to baby aliens giving them the kiss of
death. As the end of the movie - and battle for survival - approaches,
the sole surviving Predator actually teams up with the sole surviving human
for a bit of bizarre bonding, and there is one scene in which the dread-locked
beast takes off its mask as though it intends to kiss the one remaining woman.
But that would have been taking things too far, so they just have sex instead.
Only joking! The Predator merely reveals to her what it really looks like... and,
trust me, its face is a sickening sight to behold.
Alien Vs. Predator must have truly cost a fortune to make.
It's visually stunning like few other movies - and the special effects are fab.
The Predator race ultimately triumphs over that of the other Alien
one, and there really is no wonder: the Predator is perfectly suited for war what
with its Spiderman-esque ability to fling lethal restraining nets onto its enemy,
whilst being able to call upon a hugely effective and sharp boomerang that can behead
an Alien before you can say Duck, Donald Duck!!! if needs be.
And if neither of those neat little tricks works, there is always the mega rocket
launcher that's conveniently strapped to the Predators' shoulder. Yep, if
the Predator got beat he'd be a right old laughing stock, I tell you.
Oh, and just wait for the rather quite sentimental ending when the last remaining
Predator (having successfully killed off all of the Aliens) is picked up by its
mothership in a classy ET-styled moment of disbelief... especially since his mates
actually stretcher the half-dead Predator aboard due to its injuries. Still, the
final scene virtually guarantees that this
Alien Vs. Predator movie is simply the first in a line of such movies, because
what do you know - an Alien manages to worm its way onto the Predator's
space-ship. Typical, eh?
But if any sequel that may materialise in the near future is even half as
action-packed and as cool as this movie, I - for one - can't wait.
Reviews, Books - The Promise of Bruce Springsteen by Eric Alterman. Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Brucie, we need you - and more than ever!
A true rock 'n' roll star in every sense and then some, Bruce has had a truly staggering career in the music business, and even as we maniacally rush headlong into the 21st Century he is more popular than ever.
This biography of
Reviews, Films - Open Water By Steve Rudd
I really don't understand why this movie was ever made.
Based on true events, this follows a couple of young lovers (Daniel Travis and blonde bombshell Blanchard Ryan)
on a diving day-out as part of a vacation they're taking together.
Before we know it, they've been stranded in the middle
Reviews, Books - The Beach by Alex Garland Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Escape through travel works. Almost from the moment I boarded my flight, life in England became meaningless.
Seat-belt signs lit up, problems switched off. Broken armrests took precedence over broken hearts.
Before the hit movie there was the cult novel written by an unknown
Reviews, Theatre - Fields of Gold at Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough By Nick Quantrill
For some time now thisisUll.com has been bringing news
and reviews of events that are happening in Hull.
It is quite noticeable that what is going unreported is what's happening in the near-by towns
surrounding the city of Hull.
Reviews, Books - The Body by Hanif Kureishi Reviewed By Steve Rudd
I imagine that to participate in the world with curiosity and pleasure, to see the point of what is going on, you have to be young and uninformed. Do I want to participate?
This is an incredibly compelling novel from Kent-born Hanif (who proves himself to be ever-the-philosopher)
Reviews, Films - Five Children and It Reviewed by Ruth Wilson
The other day I went to the UGC cinema in Hull to see 5 Children and It.
It was a very good film, based on a book by E. Nesbit. It's about 5 children
(surprise, surprise! I can't remember their names, though!) who get sent to live
with their loopy uncle in the country during the
Kids, Reviews, Books - Freak-Outs and Very Secret Secrets by Karen McCombie Reviewed by Ruth Whitehouse
I have recently read a brilliant book called Friends, Freak-Outs and Very Secret Secrets by Karen McCombie,
a teenage book, part of the Ally's World Series. If you want me to be precise, it's number 4.
Now, onto the actual review. It is about a teenage girl called Ally who has a best
Reviews, Books - Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer Reviewed By Steve Rudd
Reaching the top of Everest is supposed to trigger a surge of intense elation; against
long odds, afterall, I had just attained a goal I'd coveted since childhood.
But the summit was really only the halfway point. Any impulse I might have felt toward
Reviews, Books - Down Under by Bill Bryson Reviewed By Steve Rudd
As I write this review it is the height of British summertime, and as I'm staring
outside the window at 8:30 PM it's almost black dark out there and pouring it down with rain.
Which is - to extents - to be expected, given the UK's terminally unpredictable climate.
Reviews, Films - Saw By Steve Rudd
As if there isn't enough sick and twisted violence out there in the real world as it is,
there are hordes of film-makers that feel that violence is the essential ingredient to
make a winning movie. To make their movie as violent as possible often seems