Alexander and the Very, Very, Very, Very Long Title is based on a 32 page picture book by Judith Viorst about a young boy who feels trampled by the world and feels that his personal misfortunes are neither recognised nor understood by his family. In a moment of sly retribution, he wishes the worst possible day on his parents and siblings in a desperate attempt to have them understand his plight. Read more >>

 



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Skyline

Skyline should have been called Attack of the 50ft Vagina Monsters. Freudian film making at its most unsubtle, it will have psychoanalyst film critic, Slavoj Zizek, giggling like a little school girl as men and women alike are unceremoniously schlepped into belegged feminine alien orifices and their brains and spinal columns plucked out of their skulls (a literal head job, perhaps?) I'm sure there is a cautionary message in this for all of us on the subversive aggression of the female id unfettered by the restrictions of the superego (or some such thing) - hormonal teenagers beware!


In the hands of a director like Paul Verhoeven (its parallels to Starship Troopers in theme, imagery and overt entomological sexualisation are unmistakable) this could have been a fun, successful and trashy mix but in the hands of ‘The Brothers Strause’ it's just the trash without the underlying subtext (angry vulvas notwithstanding).

This is the kind of movie Roger Corman would have made had he had access to modern CG technology. The Strausians liberally ‘borrow’ ideas; images and entire shots from Day of the Triffids, Alien and Transformers just to name a few. The difference is, Corman's B-movie would have gone straight to DVD.

The film is deliberately structured to get an action scene right off the bat in an effort to stop us from falling asleep during the following pointless and mind-numbing character exposition. It just doesn't work. The same action sequence is unconscionably repeated in its proper chronological place, albeit from an ever so slightly different perspective. Note to The Brothers™: two bites of the orgiastic visual cherry never works. When you've blown your load, you've blown your load, boys.

So what do we know about our heroes? Okay, they have lots of money; they like to party and the fellas all have pretty wives. Beyond that, we know nothing about them whatsoever. Intriguing character traits are alluded to but are oddly never revealed. It's no surprise that the Strause Siblings have a visual effects background - the script and direction reflects that. The dialogue is universally soap opera dumb and the cast delivers performances to match. A point of particular hilarity occurs when, during all the commotion of the ensuing full-scale alien invasion, one of our heroines openly decries the possible harmful effects of another character's smoking on the health of her unborn child. Hilarious! Kudos to the cast for reciting their lines with a straight face, however.

It winds up in a conclusion so wholly underwhelming, one wonders whether the script made final draft. The films ‘twist’ is a major anti-climax of "Is that it?" proportions and to finish the story with a sequence of action figure stills is as blindingly underwhelming as its gratuitous use of lens flares. The film looks amateurish and unfinished. Perhaps The Brothers ran out of money?
Stuart Jamieson
www.iamrogue.com/skyline


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