movie monday #2: cowboys and aliens

My girlfriend and I stopped at the 711 closest to our house on Sunday night in a mild panic that we hadn’t watched anything for me to write about today. We’d been gone all weekend (Disneyland! Then pulling the Christmas lights down at her mom’s house because we are Good People Who Are Helpful.) and she didn’t want me to go to the movies without her on Monday PLUS there is NOTHING out right now. Dead zone misery. So we stopped at the 711 and I gave her three options: Apollo 18, Cowboys and Aliens, and Warrior. Desired in that order. And they had Cowboys and Aliens, so that’s what we ended up with. [Spoilers!]

I… was expecting this to be super terrible. And it wasn’t. But it was reeeeeeally racist. And sexist. But since I am still not as equipped to talk about those things as I wish I were, I will leave you to Google: Cowboys and Aliens racism. Take your pick.

That being said and keeping in mind that it’s okay to like things that are problematic, this was… okay? Crystal and I talked about it a lot afterward just trying to figure out how we felt about it, racism and weak female characters aside, and we never made any real headway. I know it got really mixed reviews and that the people who hated it seemed to REALLY hate it, but we sort of decided that we felt very little about it. It was a buck well-spent (I mean, it’s a BUCK.) and we don’t think we would’ve been that disappointed/angry had we paid to see it in the theater. But we weren’t even really excited once it was over and that’s sad.

Olivia Wilde’s character was vaguely interesting, but ended up being fodder for Daniel Craig’s brooding. Daniel Craig brooded prettily and I actually liked him, mostly for popping Paul Dano’s dickbag character who TOTALLY DESERVED TO BE EATEN BY ALIENS. And that brooding thing gets OLD.

Harrison Ford’s character was HIDEOUSLY TERRIBLE IN SO MANY WAYS. HERE IS A KNIFE, BE A MAN. And the RACISM and just. Harrison Ford you are a weirdo stoner old babe in real life, get it together in the movies! And stop emulating Christian Bale as Batman when you talk!

I love Sam Rockwell and thought he and his wife had a lot of really interesting potential that never delivered. And I don’t even want to talk about the Native American characters because I will just get angry about how racist it all was and I’m sick and my heart can’t take anymore. It could’ve been great! And about cooperation and learning! It could’ve been done well and sensitively and smartly. But it wasn’t. And it’s irritating/infuriating/gross/awful.

I liked the alien design! Kind of. I don’t know how to feel about those weird little secondary, internal baby hands. Like, who thought that was a good/feasible idea? It would’ve made sense had they displayed some kind of telepathic abilities, so you’d know the small motor skill hands were rarely used. But they don’t. They use their exterior hands! And then, especially apparently when another life-form is particularly close by, they open up their chests to use their baby hands and EXPOSE THEIR INTERNAL ORGANS?! ARE YOU HIGH?!

(My ideal job at this point in life is being a logic consultant for all media entities. There is nothing I bitch about more than when stuff doesn’t follow through. Like the Cheerios commercial where the waitress incorrectly distributes the bowls of cereal? DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED ON IT.)

But I liked their mouths and bite-y-ness and locomotion. I like a swiftly moving alien.

So basically, at the end, I was like, “Yeah, alright.” And I probably won’t spend any additional money or time or thought-space on it because it just wasn’t good enough to deserve it. I’d rather watch Super 8 or Attack the Block or even Independence Day (for the… 5,000th time…)