|Alien Nation (DVD, 2001)|
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I had never seen the original Alien Nation Movie. Missed it in the theaters, and on HBO, but I watched the TV series, and all the TV movies. Recently, I found that they were all available for home DVD and shot the load getting them all. I even held back to finally watch the original first, so I could see it all in order.
Although it was ok, I really found that the opening credits that are lifted from the first movie are enough to start the show. One really doesn't get much out of seeing the first movie, nor would one feel cheated for not having seen the first movie. I do think it is a shame that the so called "Ultimate Alien Nation Movie Collection" some how doesn't have the original movie in the package, but now that I have seen it all, I can really say that it was no big loss.
The thing that is sort of startling having seen the first movie is how the time difference between the first movie and the pilot movie for the TV show is supposed to be only one month, and yet, the Francisco family is already moving into a new house in the high rent district, Matt is way more handsome, and has a new personal car in addition to the new police undercover car to replace the one destroyed in the movie, and The Francisco children have grown up by years in that one month.
If it were a soap opera, someone would have went to the attic to wax their skis.
I enjoyed this movie when it first was released. I this like it years later. I understand that story and the later series are based on a comic book. The Newcomers are stronger, faster, smarter and tougher than humans. They have been genetically designed to be the perfect slave. They managed to revolt on the ship and crash landed on Earth. The ship was huge so over 200,000 thousand Newcomers have settled on Earth. Human react in the classic way to new group of immigrants. Human at least to live to higher standards. The Newcomers are starting to establifh themselves on their new planets. There are lots of secrets about the Newcomers that are slowly reveal in the series. It seems that a group is selling an addict drugs that is useless to humans.
James Caan is a misfit detective that agrees to partner with a Newcomer to find out who killed his partner. Slowly he is started to be a relationship with his new partner.
One of the things I still don't understand is that ocean water will dissolve Newcomer bodies like acid. They eat Earth animals fine. Mammal blood is basically dilute ocean water. Over time the ocean have become more salty. When live started in the ocean and evolved into land animals blood provides a similar environment for the cells. It is a minor point. One of the funny things is spoiled milk acts like alcohol to them. Also they are many funny names. The Newcomers were assigned Earth name when they were processed by immigrantion. Some of the names are very punny. The Newcomer dectective calls themself Sam. The name on his ID is San Francisco.
The two season of the TV series and the later movies are very good. Look for them on Ebay. If you missed the show the first time, here is your chance to see it.
I was in a conversation where a joke about the characters in Alien Nation came up. It was a TV series for a short lived run on Fox network. I was surfing ebay a few days later and came across a copy of the film up for auction. I bid an won. Two days later it was in my mail box. That satruday, I sat with my partner and a tub of microwave popcorn and we both enjoyed this Sci-fi gem completely. It stars a young but established Mandy Patenkin and James Caan. As well as the rising awarness of Terrence Stamp as the villian. It was such a wonderful statement about aliens coming into the United States that it's message is highly topical of our current political climate. It resonates of the imagrant flooding of the 1910's. A wonderful (though dated) script, and a fantastic cinematographer. You have to check out this gem of a story. It's one for the vaults, and a great treat to dust off and pop into your DVD player on a boring Saturday afternoon or evening.
Alien Nation has a bit more to it than it appears.
The makers of this movie were very creative when it came to costume and makeup design for the aliens, their social habits, and their eating preferences (Unlike in old alien movies, in which you just take a man, paint him blue, and add antennae).
As time goes on, you learn more about the aliens and the oppression they'd previously suffered... and yet this is presented in a way that makes the viewer sympathetic, but it's not overwhelming and doesn't make you feel defeated or depressed.
There is some very good humor in it (Similar to the Lethal Weapon movies), fun action scenes, and characters that are stereotypical (Such as "tough-opinionated-cop") and some that are believable and easy to relate to.
While it seems to be primarily an action movie, it shows the gradual process within a human being of overcoming prejudice and seeing the value and strength others - however different - possess.
This is a great movie for a stay-at-home Sunday with delivered pizza.
A tv movie, with james caan and mandy patkin. Great special effects for the early 80s. Especially the morphing ewffect, and the salt water effects were fantastic. James caan is a cop who is after anybody who getrs in his way. mandy patkin the alien is superb. The alien, who slowly understands james caans character and why he is like that. Slowly the two un-professional paired slowly become friends. And james caan helps the alien cop, to hide certain things about their past. And be welcomed into society here.