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The Bottom Shelf #104

Apr. 19, 2007by: AwesomeZara
100%

Science Fiction is normally that genre best applied liberally amongst a select group of sexless nerds hoping to score with some blue-skinned, multi-breasted (well, "multi" as in more than the standard set of 2) women. But like all good genres, it's got to get its claws in somewhere. This week I offer you the Sci-Fi starter kit for the Nickelodeon generation.

ENEMY MINE (1985)
Directed by: Wolfgang Petersen
Starring: Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett Jr.

-- click here to buy this DVD at Amazon.com --
-- click here to rent this movie at NetFlix.com --

Funny how things change when you grow up. I was only 10 when I watched this movie for the first time and I hadn't watched it until this recent weekend, some 22 years later. For some reason, I remembered it as being very traumatic for me to watch as a kid and I was concerned when I snuggled up on the Saturday afternoon couch with my 6 year old daughter. As the movie began, atrocious '80's special effects and soap-opera-esque acting in place, I had to stifle laughter. I couldn't believe that this was the same movie that carved so deeply into me when I was a kid. Then I looked down at my daughter's face and saw her tiny brow knitted tightly. It dawned on me that sometimes things resonate stronger with us in the more vulnerable times in our lives.

Focusing on a group of reptile looking creatures in the future who have been accused by the human race as invading other planets, the movie starts with a space craft fight, with one fighter from each race crash landing on a deserted planet. Battling the elements, the two fighters band together for survival and end up bridging the gap between their species. It's simplistic in its approach, assuming that two different people would get along so quickly (or learn one another's languages so rapidly). It's idealistic in its belief that a child would bring understanding and acceptance to a long-fought feud.

But it's still effective. I don't know why, what with the amateurish script, low-budget looking sets (the movie was originally shot in its entirety and then when the first director and producers argued over budget and the finished project Petersen was brought in and the movie was completely reshot. I believe this might have contributed to the low budget look) and morally idealistic point of view. You end up caring about the actors and their situation, something that I think Gossett Jr, completely unrecognizable in his make-up, is mostly responsible for. It's a gut thing. Or perhaps, like is stated in the movie, truth is just truth.

Favorite Scene:

The dumping of the dead bodies out into space. Funerals always get to me.

Favorite Line:

"Earthman, your Mickey Mouse is one big stupid dope!"

Trivia Tidbit:

Terry Gilliam was one of the directors considered but he turned it down, preferring instead to develop his own project, which would eventually become BRAZIL.

See if you liked:

STARMAN, ALIEN NATION, INNERSPACE

THE CAT FROM OUTER SPACE (1978)
Directed by: Norman Tokar
Starring: Sandy Duncan, Ken Berry

-- click here to buy this DVD at Amazon.com --
-- click here to rent this movie at NetFlix.com --

I'm unabashedly more of a cat person than a dog person. There is a strong sense of expression in a cat's eyes, something in their face that conveys more than just happiness and loyalty. Whenever there's a cat in a movie, I know that there was more to getting it where it was supposed to be, looking like it was supposed to look than there ever would have been with a dog. Dogs are just too easy and eager to please. Cats have that look like they've already taken over the world and are just waiting for everyone else to catch on.

That concept is explored in this family-friendly Disney outing. When an alien ship crash lands on a farmer's back acres, it is a cat that emerges from the wreckage. We come to find out that he is from a species which developed their minds as opposed to developing tools like the human race did. That the furthest they deemed necessary to evolve was to the point of a cat, since their brains were so much more advanced. The cat is taken under the wing of a scientist (although it's really the other way around) and gets his assistance in repairing his damaged space ship.

The movie is classically Disney cute, but no where near the popularity or notoriety of the other films they've made. You have to be a cat person to like the movie, I suppose, and even though studies have recently been released stating that more people in the world own cats than dogs, it still is the canine features that people go to the theaters in droves to watch. Personally, I think it's more interesting to feed a child's brain with the idea that an animal can be smarter rather than just being dumbly loyal. I've always claimed to be the most loyal person that you'll ever meet, but I admire the reserved nature and intelligence of the cat. Plus Sandy Duncan is cuter than a puppy any day.

Favorite Scene:

The scene hustling pool at local gamblers' dive. Who doesn't love a set-up like that?

Favorite Line:

"Has anyone ever told you what lovely fur you have?"

Trivia Tidbit:

Harry Morgan and McLean Stevenson flipped memorable roles in this movie. They previously had starred together on the television show "M*A*S*H*," with Stevenson playing a doctor and Morgan playing a general.

See if you liked:

HERBIE FULLY LOADED, THAT DARN CAT, THE SHAGGY DOG

Next week, the kid's Porn starter kit. I haven't yet figured out which picks will be in that, but I'm bored already looking for them.

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5:23PM on 04/19/2007

Enemy Mine ROCKS

I know the effects don't look great for today, but really all you can say for that is, "DUH! Of course, b/c it's an OLD movie. The movie is a CLASSIC scifi flick and rightfully so.

I'm astounded no one has tried to remake it actually although a remake would only just make the effects CGI, probably crappy CGI.
I know the effects don't look great for today, but really all you can say for that is, "DUH! Of course, b/c it's an OLD movie. The movie is a CLASSIC scifi flick and rightfully so.

I'm astounded no one has tried to remake it actually although a remake would only just make the effects CGI, probably crappy CGI.
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5:01PM on 04/19/2007
I think I remember seeing a little of The Cat From Outer Space on the Disney Channel as a kid. You know, back when they played their back catalog instead of showing crappy original programming.

I haven't seen Enemy Mine, but it sounds like my kinda movie. It's packaged with the great Alien Nation at Wal-Mart, so I might have to pick it up.
I think I remember seeing a little of The Cat From Outer Space on the Disney Channel as a kid. You know, back when they played their back catalog instead of showing crappy original programming.

I haven't seen Enemy Mine, but it sounds like my kinda movie. It's packaged with the great Alien Nation at Wal-Mart, so I might have to pick it up.
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