Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Great (film) Debates vol. 47

The universe is packed with aliens. Fat aliens, skinny aliens, aliens who climb on rocks. Tough aliens, sissy aliens, even aliens with chicken pox.

What is the coolest alien on film?


Panelist: AndrewPrice

I gotta go with the Mangalores from Fifth Element. They're one of the few aliens on film to actually show emotion. Granted, they're borderline retarded, but they're still pretty cool.

Panelist: BevfromNYC

I know that it’s may not be the most effects-filled alien movie, but I really think that ET was the coolest alien film. It was one of the first alien movies that I have seen where the alien was harmless and benevolent rather than a psychotic killing machine.

Panelist: T-Rav

I'm going to say The Thing. Okay, maybe "cool" isn't the right word for it--that creature didn't scare me so much as make me want to throw up, and I'm sure you can guess why. But if you think about it, this is possibly the perfect life-form. There's practically no sure-fire (get it?) way to completely eradicate it, it doesn't have to go to great lengths to perpetuate itself, and it can shape-shift into whatever will allow it to survive in its surroundings. Actually, come to think of it, it is kind of scary, but you have to admire how well-suited it is to launch an invasion, one Will Smith and his spaceship would be powerless against.

Panelist: Tennessee Jed

The original GORT. Why? the language . Alright, he's a robot so . . . . those cool aliens from Close Encounters. Bah, Bah, Bah, Bah, Bah ;)

Panelist: ScottDS

In terms of execution, definitely the Predator. It was designed by Stan Winston and played (in the original films) by Kevin Peter Hall. What can I say? It's a badass!

Comments? Thoughts?


133 comments:

LawHawkRFD said...

The giant carrot (played by James Arness) in the original The Thing From Another Planet(1951). He didn't show up much in the movie, but you knew he was lurking. Then he would suddenly appear briefly to terrify the crew. Sadly, at the end he became a giant fried carrot.

K said...

Kreton, as played by Jerry Lewis in "Visit to a Small Planet".

He was so cool that he made beatniks shave their beards and go normal.

tryanmax said...

I'm gonna go with the Martians from Mars Attacks! just because they are so iconic. I realize their look was inspired by several different mid-century cinema aliens, especially the Metalunans from This Island Earth, but the amalgamation is so much better than any of the individual aliens that make them up.

El Gordo said...

There are many kinds of cool.

The lethal aliens from Alien and Aliens, both facehuggers and adult ones. The Giger design was really something new back then. The are fast kamikazes with acid blood. What Ash said: "I admire its purity. A survivor... unclouded by conscience, remorse, or delusions of morality."

Mathilda May as the alien space vampire in Lifeforce. Do I have to explain? I was 19 at the time.

The Martians from Mars Attacks! for their sense of humor (can´t recommend the movie).

John Lithgow as Lord John Whorfin in Buckaroo Banzai. "Laugh while you can, monkey boy!"

Floyd R. Turbo said...

I'm assuming by "cool" you mean "hawt" so I'll go with Natasha Henstridge as Sil in "Species".

Tennessee Jed said...

I'll have to be honest and say this was not my favorite or easiest category. As such, it may be the first time I cannot honestly say "great choice" to all my fellow panelists. One could argue that, like nominees at the Oscars, people say "great choice" while they are actually thinking "WTF, why didn't I think of that." I wouldn't because at Commentarama, we are all adults who are much bigger than that (at least usually.)

No, the reason I can't truthfully say that this time is that I can't recall the Mangalores from 5th element or recall what the thing looks like (are their multiple re-makes?) Of that group, I surely liked E.T. even if some of the product placements were a tad off-putting. And the original Predator was really neat; perhaps chilling is a better word.

Still, when it comes to "cool" anything that responds to "Gort--verada nictu" is pretty freakin' cool in my book. Oh, btw, my bah, bah, bah, bah, bah looks awfully stupid in print. I was trying to represent that very cool 5 note bar used by the close encounter aliens to communicate with earlings. Loved that and even the noxious duddy kravitz jerk didn't ruin that film too much.

Tennessee Jed said...

Oh, and camp "cool." Why George Reeves in those ridiculous padded Superman tights. Still, it's what I grew up on.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, LOL! Yes, the giant carrot!

AndrewPrice said...

K, That is a special power indeed! :)

T-Rav said...

Since Jed didn't mention it, that means my choice of "The Thing" was a great choice...right? <:-)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, There were an iconic design indeed. They're very memorable and the "feel right". That's pretty impressive, especially in the modern world where things soon began to trend toward blobs.

BevfromNYC said...

Yes, T-Trav, you choices are always great.

[Geez...men are so needy... {{{eyeroll}}} ]. ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

El Gordo, Indeed, there is no need to say more about Matilda May. I enjoyed Lifeforce a lot. :)

The alien is now a much copied but still completely unrivaled design, both in terms of how it's described and how it looks physically.

I agree about Mars Attacks, excellent design on the aliens, but hard to recommend the movie.

Lithgow was hilarious in Buckaroo Banzai!

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, Yes, cool always means hot! LOL!

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I'm shocked you don't like our choices?! LOL! But that is why we do these things, to see what different people think.

Fifth Element wasn't a big hit, though it's become a cult classic with fairly widespread appeal since it's initial failure. The Mangalores are the main bad guy henchmen. This is them: LINK. What I like about them is that they are some of the only aliens on film who aren't "alien." They're goofy, stupid and emotional. They're much more like real people than most aliens who I typically find too mechanical.

The Thing was really just a collection of cells, but it took shape while it was trying to duplicate people and those were some cool puppet effects in the original.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Hmmm. I hadn't thought of Superman as an alien, but I guess he is?!

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Sorry, he mentioned it. You've been shamed too. This is going on your permanent record. :(

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, We men are not needed.... but my choices are always great too, right? right? ;)

Floyd R. Turbo said...

At the risk of sound like a Commentarama suck-up I would have to say that the coolest (non-hot variety) aliens would be the Klingons. Maybe that's because they've been fleshed out so much over the movies, series, etc., but there you have it. The militarism, the toughness, etc., etc.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, I just googled "best movie aliens" and, wouldn't you know? Superman comes up on almost every list. But I never thought of him as an alien, either.

Room, I have never seen Lifeforce but I am aware of Mathilda May's contribution. I see it's available streaming on Netflix. I may have to watch it this afternoon for research purposes.

AndrewPrice said...

Floyd, We like Commentarama suck-ups around here. :) That said, the Klingons are pretty cool for precisely the reason you mention, they are well fleshed-out and they've got a neat culture.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

ET: The true story.

ET the Return

EHET The Extra Homicidal Extra Terrestial

T-Rav said...

It wasn't really a cool alien but you know what had a cool concept of an alien? Virus, with Donald Sutherland and Jamie Lee Curtis. The premise is that the life-form is electrical rather than biological, so while it can program computers and machines to build contraptions to house itself, it doesn't really have a body. Not a great movie, but props for thinking outside the box.

T-Rav said...

The heck with you guys! This is what I get for trying to come up with an honest answer and everything.... >:-(

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, It never would have occurred to me to think of Superman as an alien, but he is. I guess I just always thought of him as an American?

I enjoyed Lifeforce a lot. It's a combination science fiction, alien, zombie movie that I think does a great job despite a somewhat high cheese factor. It deserves to be better known.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I gotta go with the Mangalores from Fifth Element. They're one of the few aliens on film to actually show emotion. Granted, they're borderline retarded, but they're still pretty cool."

You forgot the Gorn in STOS. One of the most powerful, emotional performances by any alien, bar none!

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, The Extra Homicidal Extra Terrestrial, LOL!

That should be starring Samuel L. Jackson as the ET... "Those are some tasty M&M's motherf****!"

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I didn't care much for the movie Virus itself, but I agree about the alien.

AndrewPrice said...

While we're at it, I should mention some of the coolest Doctor Who villains of late: the weeping angels, the creature in The Satan Pit and the shadow piranha from Silence in the Library.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Surely, no one meant any offense... at least not too much. ;)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

All kidding asnide (well, almost) these are some good picks! :^)

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, LOL! Yes, the Gorn was truly Shakespearean in terms of emotion.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, I agree and I like that they are varied.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Andrew: LOL! I would watch that. "ET phone hoe."

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Hey, speaking of ET...

"What? Ow! No Bev! I'm sorry! Ahhh! Noooo! Gack! Gack!! Ga..."

tryanmax said...

Andrew, they were Reese's Pieces. As in "I am tired of these m***** f****** Reese's Pieces on this m***** f****** spaceship!"

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, I thought The Thing was an excellent choice. You can put the kitten down now, and back away slowly.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Close Encounters Original Soundtrack Snippet

Tennessee Jed said...

T-Rav: what part of "I can't recall what the thing looks like (are their any remakes?" did you think doesn't apply to your choice? Just because my typing skills and eyesight are eroding is no reason to get snippy my young Jedi.

Andrew - leave it to me to not be very clear. It's not that I don't like everybody's choices, I just honestly cannot picture either "The Thing" or the "Mangliores" in my mind, I simply can't picture either of them. I'm certain they must be wonderful aliens, and Gort assures me, he and Michael Rennie are honored just to be nominated for the award. He says "If I win, the award really honors everybody." He sounded kind of like POTUS when he said it though.

BevfromNYC said...

Ummm, Ben, are trying to tell me something?

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I couldn't remember. At least I didn't say Skittles?!

Great quote, by the way. Someone really should remake ET with Samuel L! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, That's hilarious!

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Be kind to T-Rav, he's young... you know they don't teach whippersnappers reading comprehension anymore! ;)

On your harsh, harsh, harsh criticism (which made me cry), I got your point. :) And you make a valid point, most people probably don't know what those aliens look like. But to me, they're still the best.

Tennessee Jed said...

One quick off topic: be sure to root for our local olympian swimmer, Claire Donahue of Lenoir City, Tn., as she competes in the finals of the 100 meter butterfly at 2:30 p.m. EDT. :)

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

N-n-no Bev. It was a mispelling. Honest! Y-y-you know me, I would never even think about some hidden message message.

Except right now, of course. Since you brought it up.
I blame my childhood.

T-Rav said...

Jed, you're the one who's getting snippy with me! It's not my fault you didn't capitalize "Thing"! Aarrgghhhh....now I'm in a bad mood. This kitten is gonna get it.

e.e. cummings said...

ppffft. capitalization is for losers.

EricP said...

Floyd R. Turbo's Species selection for the win, Elvis-loving Stitch for the runner-up.

T-Rav said...

Well, I've gotta split for a while. Bev, try not to kill Ben for his lack of courteousness, and Jed, I'll see you in hell.

Backthrow said...

Apart from Mathilda May, the Queen Alien from ALIENS, Predator, Carpenter's shape-shifting THING and the MARS ATTACKS guys, I'd vote for:

1.) Ray Harryhausen's 'Ymir' from 20 MILLION MILES TO EARTH

2.) The "We Are DEVO" aliens from Planet X in GODZILLA VS MONSTER ZERO

3.) The Martian from the 1953 version (aka the *good* one) of WAR OF THE WORLDS

4.) Louis Gossett, Jr. as the reptilian humanoid in ENEMY MINE

5.) The Martian Intelligence (creepy silent head with tentacles) in the glass sphere from the original INVADERS FROM MARS (1953)

6.) Ro-Man, the gorilla suit with the space helmet, from ROBOT MONSTER

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Best of luck to your local! I'm rooting for James Bond, as I'm watching a James Bond-athon on the pay channels.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, "And Jed, I'll see you in hell" LOL! Ok, that was funny.

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, Floyd's selection was indeed a top notch. I haven't actually seen Lilo and Stitch, so I will have to take your word for it.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, I loved Robot Monster, or at least I loved the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of it. :)

Here's one to add to your list, the Krell from Forbidden Planet. What was so cool about them to me was that you never actually saw them, but you had a pretty clear sense of what they looked like based on how Morbius described them bit by bit throughout the film.

Tennessee Jed said...

But if my comments cause Rav to slap around the cat, it will haunt me for the rest of the time it takes to type this sentence. :) "see you in hell Johnny Reb. See you in hell, Billy Yank!"

AndrewPrice said...

That long, Jed?

Excellent quote, by the way.

tryanmax said...

Eric, RE: Stitch -- good call!

tryanmax said...

Andrew, if it were Skittles, he woulda said, "Taste the rainbow, B****!"

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Good point! I love that you can translate anything effectively into Samuel L. speak! :)

tryanmax said...

It's just one of the many services I offer.

tryanmax said...

I know most of you haven't seen it, but there is a series Cars shorts called Mater's Tall Tales and one titled "Unidentified Flying Mater" features a cute lil UFO named "Mator." I think he deserves a spot on the list.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's why we keep you around! :)

I haven't heard of this Mator of which you speak.

Individualist said...

I was always partial to the Horta from TOS.

Don't know why?

AndrewPrice said...

Because it's friendly and productive.

Tennessee Jed said...

indi- everyone loves silicon based life forms

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, LOL! So true. They're very cuddly.

tryanmax said...

Courtesy of YouTube: MATOR

AndrewPrice said...

Arg. It's animated Ernest.

DUQ said...

So I guess the difference between and alien and a monster is where it was born? So Godzilla is a monster because he's a local boy, whereas Luke Skywalker is an alien because he was born on Tatooine?

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, Yep, that's the test. :)

LawHawkRFD said...

Andrew: I grew up with and attended church with the little girl in Robot Monster. Her name was Pamela Paulson (married name Pam Casey) and she lives in and enjoys her grandkids in Newark, California. We were in little theater together in Downey, California. She got the movie part and all I got was a bit part in the pilot for the Lassie TV series. We watched the movie together a couple decades back, and she got the giggles because during filming she started to choke from the bubbles being emitted by the Billion Bubble Machine. Talk about "low budget." A gorilla suit and a diving helmet with antennae? Gimme a break! LOL

BevfromNYC said...

LawHawk - You were a child television actor/star??? Who knew? So, did Lassie look the same in person or was that all just makeup?

LawHawkRFD said...

Bev: And my part was type-casting. I played a bully. That was all makeup. Lassie was actually a French poodle. Now you have some real Hollywood Insider information. LOL

BIG MO said...

There is only **one** cool alien:

Kneel before Zod!

Commander Max said...

Gotta love the Mangalores, the 5Th Element was truly a mind candy movie. One of my most favorite films.

I thought the Alien(Alien/Aliens)was quite a creature. They turned it into something not so cool in the later features, perhaps because it was overdone.

Gremlins were really cool, starting out as a cute and cuddly creature. They eat after midnight, then it's all pandemonium.

The Borg, I think they were one of the best aliens ever conceived. "They look at you as something they can consume." Then the ST writers ran away from that concept as fast as they could.

One of the creepiest aliens for me was from Space 1999. "Dragon's Domain", when I first saw the monster from that show, sucking people in and spiting out corpses. That left me freaked out for weeks. Now I look back at that episode and laugh. It's amazing how effective such simple things are on a young mind(at least a kid of the 70's).

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, So you were a child actor? Who knew?

Yeah, a gorilla costume and a diving helmet. Such amazing costuming! But then, it was a low-no budget film, so it's hard to complain.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Lassie was all CGI. ;)

AndrewPrice said...

Big Mo, Zod. LOL! He was pretty cool, I'll give him that. And it didn't hurt that Terence Stamp was pretty cool too.

AndrewPrice said...

Max, Fifth Element was one of my favorites too.

I enjoyed Space 1999 a lot growing up. I hadn't seen it for years until recently when someone sent me a link to the episodes. They stand up pretty well, but not perfectly.

T-Rav said...

Cars and Cars 2 are a perfect example of how to handle (and not handle) show-stealing supporting characters. I don't care what anyone says, Mater the Tow Truck was a great addition in the first movie, he was funny and even kinda lovable--in small doses. But the sequel became "All About Mater" with Lightning McQueen reduced to the background. It's very rare that a supporting character can hold an entire movie, even a good supporting character. They should be used for comic relief or to reflect off of the main characters, not for pandering and all that.

AndrewPrice said...

It's all about toy sales, Mr. Rav. If you get a popular character that can be marketed, you exploit the hell out of them until the kids stop buying.

rlaWTX said...

I'm kinda impressed LeeLoo (Milla Jovovich)wasn't your Fifth Element alien choice!!! The blue singing chick was pretty cool too.

The Tribbles!!!

Galaxy Quest's Thermians

I gotta admit that for sheer cool killingness, the Alien/Aliens critter wins...

(Mork!! ALF!!!)

rlaWTX said...

T-Rav, the kittens know where you sleep...

AndrewPrice said...

Excellent list rlaWTX! Mork, Alf, the Thermians, LOL!

LeeLoo was ok, but she's no Mangalore! They're awesome. :)

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. The blue alien, the Diva Plavalaguna, was great too.

Patriot said...

Just saw Starship Troopers again the other night....now come on.....those ass firing beetles were pretty badass. I also loved the way the humans kept attacking in their battle cruisers all bunched up so that the shit balls would destroy them and they would run into each other. What a bunch of maroons!

I always loved Q from TNG. Here is/are a race that can do and be whatever they wish. gotta love that! And what do they do with this universal power.....mess with Picard and the humans. Idiots.

And yes.....loved the Bangalores! Also loved Zorg after he gave them the weapons and walked off......classic !!

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, Those were indeed pretty cool beetles.

Yeah, Q is cool, but what a waste of time to mess with Picard. You'd think they would find something more productive to do?

That is a classic scene when Zorq walks off. I love the line, "so you are merchants after all!"

Patriot said...

Andrew.....do you remember when te Denise Richards character (dang!!) was piloting the cruiser and she finally saw that they were about to hit the meteor?

Why the heck did she wait until the last minute to swerve to miss the rock, when she could have taken evasive action immediately upon seeing it!?!? Oh....you just destroyed the superstructure....?! Well that was some pretty damn good flying Newbie......wait.....you're smoking hot!!!........never mind the piss poor piloting......here take command!

The book was SO much better.....Heinlein must be rolling over in his Borg unit right now.

AndrewPrice said...

Patriot, Yep. That was a truly stupid moment. So was bunching all the ships together as you noted in your prior comment so they could be easy targets and slam into each other. A lot in that film made no sense.

ScottDS said...

Sorry it took so long but I see all the good stuff has been mentioned already (especially Natasha Henstridge and Mathilda May, ahem).

I have to mention the Red and Black Lectroids from Buckaroo Banzai and Morn from DS9, who never talked though I loved the running gag they did implying that he was a great conversationalist!

No love for the aliens - I mean, "interdimensional beings" from Crystal Skull? :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, What's this "Crystal Skull" thing you mention? I don't believe I know that one. Perhaps some B-movie?

Anonymous said...

Only one person mentions Star Wars?

The coolest alien by far has to be my favourite Corellia (and yours), Han Solo with Chewbacca a close second.

I too loved the Mangalores from The Fifth Element, but I'd put Leeloo above them as cool.

Then as mentioned the Klingons have to get an honourable mention.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, I'm glad to see so much Mangalore love! :)

Yeah, Han Solo is probably THE coolest alien of all time. I guess I just like to think of him as one of us rather than as an alien.

Anonymous said...

They were cool and as you said while non human more human like then most aliens.

Maybe the question should have been 'the coolest non-humanoid'. While Corellians were humanoids there were aliens and of course Han is cool as all hell.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott,

That's a good point, maybe we should have limited it to non-humanoids?

Out of curiosity, how do you view Superman down in Australia? Do you see him as an alien, an American, or just "one of us"?

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, I agree about the use and misuse of Mater. Beyond a supporting character, he's really only suited to short subjects. I thought Mater's Tall Tales was a perfect extension of the character and I'm a little disappointed that they've called it quits on them. They could've made a hundred before it got old. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

Andrew,

I guess it all depends on how you look at it. Personally I've always seen Superman as both an American and an Alien. But a lot of people would just call him American which in a way is correct as he grew up as one and I'd suppose he has an American passport. Others would call him an alien as that is his main identity and how he gets his super powers.

Mostly I don't think that many people here think that hard about it.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Scott, I figured that might be the case. He's never struck me as a character who is meant to be country-specific, like a Captain America or James Bond. I mean, he is an American and he speaks about "the American way" but he seems to be more universal than that. Maybe it's because he doesn't even live in a real city?

Anonymous said...

Welcome Andrew.

I don't think where he lives has anything to do with it. We just grew up watching some British and a lot of American TV and movies, so while they were never Australians our cultures are close enough that we could relate to the characters and situations easily enough.

I agree with Nolte from Big Hollywood that the world loves American movies where Americans are the hero's (and if they have an Aussie actor or Aussie character helping out all the better for us). I'm not into Anti American movies because that also paints badly on Australia as were are very similar and Allies. So we are tarnished as well. Though you would find some Australians (and some Brits and Americnas) who love these movies as it backs up their own feelings.

Well that went a bit deeper then I expected. I might got watch ID4 now! :)

Scott.

Anthony said...

Mac from Mac and Me. He showed us the greatness of McDonalds and the curative powers of Coca-Cola.

http://www.avclub.com/articles/ronald-mcdonald-approved-case-file-151-mac-and-me,36033/

EricP said...

Han was cool till Lucas castrated him, first in Return of the Jedi and then with the "Greedo fired first" kerfluffle. Lando, with his "Who have we here," smooth-up-in-ya moves on Leia, defined Star Wars alien cool. Of course, though un-cool with "I had no choice" trapping Han & Co., did redeem himself with the rescue.

Andrew, Lilo & Stitch is proof-positive 2-D animation can absolutely still work as long as you have a great story. The Elvis tunes also a huge plus.

BIG MO said...

Re: Star Wars -- coolest is Darth Maul. Upon seeing TPM the first time, a colleague said that Maul was like a "caged predator, pure animal ferociousness".

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, That's interesting and I think we're actually kind of the same. James Bond, for example, is meant to be British, but I don't think American audiences see him as a foreigner at all. He's just James Bond and part of our culture.

Similarly, you never hear Americans worrying about having a Brit or an Aussie in a leading role. To the contrary, I think we like it because America is very much a nation of immigrants, and we like the idea that we have friends around the world.

And interestingly, the more I think about it, the more I realize that a huge percentage of our biggest stars are not native-born Americans.

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, LOL! Yes, those are indeed special products! Addictive products, but special. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Eric, I haven't seen it, but I absolutely prefer old school animation over the new stuff. The new stuff strikes me as artificial somehow.

Lando was pretty cool, that's for sure. And yeah, Lucas has been trying to castrate Han (and Vader) for years now.

AndrewPrice said...

Mo, I like Maul a lot, but they didn't do enough with him. That was probably the biggest failing of Phantom Menace, that they had this fascinating character and just used him for a couple sword fights.

Anonymous said...

Andrew.

That makes a lot of sense, while Brits, Americans and Aussie are different we all originated from the same group and have a similar shared culture. I remember growing up and a Brit always played the Australian character in Hollywood movies for so long.

But that is acting, as long as they get the accent right (which too often they didn't) and they can act, then who cares. And yes we are both immigrant countries so we accept everyone who wants to join us.

And while Lucas has messed with Han, we all remember what a badass he is and ignore any later tweaks Lucas has done. As to Darth Maul, he could have been up there but he was never used properly and was killed off way to soon so he never achieved the coolness he could have to me.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, We get BBC US here and they show things like Doctor Who, which I watch. I have to say I find it hilarious when they hire a Brit to play an American and they use all the wrong words and the accent never sounds quite right. On the other hand, there are actors I didn't know where British or Australian until I saw them in interviews.

I often wonder if the rest of the world gets how countries like ours work regarding immigrants? You always hear about the US being racist or nativist, etc. etc., but the truth is that the vast, vast majority of Americans love immigrants. We love seeing people come here and succeed and fall in love with this country.

Agreed about Han Solo. I simple refuse to be pulled into Lucas's later attempts to mess with the characters. Agreed on Maul too: lots of potential, poorly realized.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, I grew up with British shows so they were just as normal to me as American and Australian shows.

Too many movies have bad accents but it is a lot better then it used to be. I've also been fooled by good actors, the best being Dominic West and Idris Elba from The Wire and Hugh Laurie from house, it took me a few episodes to realise he was in Blackadder!

And I bet money that most foreign countries (which doesn't have large scale immigration) do not understand western democracies like the US, Australia, NZ and Great Britain. They have different cultures and vastly different histories then we do.

I had an argument with an Indian student in Australia who told me that Australia was a racist country. I told him to his face that if we were racists that we wouldn't let him into our country in the first place. He was struck speechless and had no comeback to that simple truth.

I've met lots of Aussies who don't look a bit like me (ie. white), they were either born here or immigrated here but they chose to become Australians so I consider them an Australian just like me. A lot of countries and quite a few people from Australia cannot get that simple fact.

Plus too many people purposely confuse a dislike of illegal immigration as a dislike of ALL immigration. That is mostly just to push a specific political point of view.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott,

Exactly. We have serious problems with illegal immigration because it shows a disrespect for the law and for the people who have done it legally. Plus, these people tend to be here simply for economic reasons with plans to return home and they never want to become Americans.

But that is very different than our view of legal immigrants. They come here because they want to become Americans and we love that.

And like you, it doesn't matter what color someone is, where they grew up, or if they speak with an accent. If they are here doing what everybody else is doing, we see them as Americans. Is there some racism? Sure. Humans are like that. But the vast majority of Americans really aren't racist, quite the opposite actually.

And I think you're absolutely right that countries without the immigrant tradition don't understand our mentality on this. It's the same thing with us not having an imperial tradition. I have German relatives who simply can't believe that we don't want to run countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. But we really don't. Americans genuinely don't want an empire. We view war as a necessary thing you have to do sometimes and then you go home again. We don't want more land or more people. It's just not something that would occur to an American.

Anonymous said...

Andrew,

I always say to people who support the boat people why would you support people who's first action in coming to our country is to break the law? Then in some cases the government gives them money, so what do you expect to learn from that? Break the law and profit from it, is that how we want people to join our countries?

I would rather someone who sacrificed everything, worked their but off and and followed the law to become an Australian. I'd rather them then a lot of Australian born people who take advantage of our lax laws and are a real drain on our society.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Same here. I still remember when I first moved to DC, I got to talking to a guy fresh off the boat from Jamaica. He'd been in the country three days and he already had a job and a plan for how to open his own business at some point. That was great.

At the same time, there were a lot of people who were born here who were whining about "there ain't no jobs." Uh, sure there are, did you bother looking?

And I agree, what kind of message is it to let somebody come here illegally and then hand them money? How does that help?

Anonymous said...

Andrew,

I know what you mean, I was talking to a taxi driver from India whose parents supported him to come here as a student. He worked while he studied, he then worked two jobs, while sending money back home and he was already planing to open up a delivery business.

I would rather call him a fellow Australian then the slack bastard who doesn't want to work and who offers nothing to Australia.

It has nothing to do with race, you could see my two sister in-laws to see that, it has to do with who wants to be an Australian. Who wants to work hard and take advantage of our country and make the most of their hard work.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Exactly. It has nothing to do with race. It's about attitude.

ellenB said...

Scott and Andrew, I agree with both of you.

Anonymous said...

We went from favourite aliens to a debate on immigration, I suppose it is apt.

In the end I'm just glad that no one mentioned Keanu Reeves as Klaatu as that is by far one of the worst movies I've ever seen.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Ellen! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, We do that around here, we roam from topic to topic. LOL!

whitsbrain said...

Rob Bottin's Thing (from "John Carpenter's The Thing")
Metalunan (from "This Island Earth")
The Alien Queen (from James Cameron's "Aliens")

AndrewPrice said...

whitsbrain, Excellent list! The Thing was definitely a well done effect, and the creature itself has unique talents... very impressive all around. I like the Alien Queen too. That was quite a surprise when it appeared on film.

shawn said...

No love for the beachball alien from Dark Star?

Personal favorite: the alien from Alien.

rlaWTX said...

Scott, I have a friend (my friend's dad so he's my parents' age - late 50s-early 60s) in Perth (originally from Scotland). Anyway, he sounds off regularly about Aussie illegal immigration issues [there was a SAR off the coast recently?]. He's also rather put out by some current politicians. Since I don't recognize them, I can't remember their names (that's very US-centric, isn't it?). It's kinda funny when he pops up on my fb feed with a political comment and I have to remember where he is...
His son, my friend, is up in a mining office in Port Hedland - a paraplegic, former Aussie paralympic rugby team member...

Shawn said...

And let me add Kim Bassinger from My Step Mother is an Alien. Yowza!

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, The beachball alien honestly slipped my mind. LOL! Yeah, Kim Bassinger... good call. ;)

Kit said...

The Doctor on Doctor Who.

No contest.

Anonymous said...

rla WTX as a guess your friends dad would be put out by the Labor party and our Prime Minister Julia Gillard who only came to power after backstabbing her boss. She then promised no Carbon Tax and only formed government with the help of three independents then of course went back on her word and is now going to tax the hell out of us.

The Labor government when they came to power changed the immigration law (saying it was mean) which saw an influx of illegal immigrants coming here by boat (a record numbers of them dying in the attempt which isn't nice either). They have basically stuffed up everything they have touched and they will loose the next election.

I understand that most Americans know nothing of our politics, we are a small country half way around the world. I do follow American politics as it can have a large affect on us here and I'm on the net a lot.

I've seen American friends on Facebook posting anti Romney stuff about him laundering money so I ask them about the fast and furious scandal scandal. It's fun poking them, I think they expect me to not know enough to swallow what they are saying and not point out faults in their guy.

Scott.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Let's not forget Critters and Killer Clowns From Outer Space, LOL.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, He is pretty darn cool.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Interestingly, the rise of the internet has probably helped us learn a lot about each other. Most of my German relatives, who are not on the net really, only know what they heard on their nightly news, which is even further left than out networks.

On Australia, I read about it periodically, but don't follow the day to day stuff.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Who could forget the Killer Clowns! :)

Anonymous said...

Most Australians don't follow the day to day stuff here and from what I see a lot of Americans don't follow their own day to day, let alone some other countries.

I still remember all the anti Bush stuff from early 2000s that we got locally and from America. As we had no other source of information at the time we all ate it up and believed it.

If I hadn't gotten on the net then I would still believe what ever the left wing media told me.

Scott.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Most Americans are oblivious as well, and they definitely don't care about anything outside the border. Still, I like to remain aware of the world. :)

The internet has helped a lot, even in the US conservatives were isolated before the internet came along. All of our media is left wing and so you and your friends may have known what they were saying wasn't right, but you had no way to know that other people felt that too.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. I'm not fan of Bush, but the attacks on him were WAY over the top and a total disgrace.

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