News: “Alien” the Prequel, Blockbuster Video shows their desperation and more…

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“Alien” the Prequel:

An “Alien” prequel has been verified by  director Tony Scott.  He is the brother of Ridley Scott, the director of “Alien.”  The prequel will be directed by Carl Rinsch, director of 1994’s “The Quiz.” Tony Scott guesses that production will begin “Hopefully (at) the end of the year.”

I am hoping this will allow the franchise to dig itself out from the hole of 1997’s “Alien:  Resurrection” as well as the “Alien vs. Predator” flicks.  The former was just ridiculous; (dead Ripley is back…but as a clone with a different personality? Huh?)  I hope Fox compensated Sigourney Weaver very well for being in that complete mess.  The latter films were just bad CGI wrapped around terrible dialogue.  Maybe this latest installment will act at least as a companion piece that can at least stand alongside the original trilogy.  I hope that the effects are more based on the earlier style of using those eerie alien figurines, which looks far scarier and realistic than CGI.


RIP Jay Bennett:

Former Wilco member Jay Bennett was announced dead a week ago at the tragically young age of 45.   He was an integral part of the Wilco documentary “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.”  That documentary was quite possibly one of the most revealing and emotionally raw music documentaries ever made.  The film graphically depicts the ego clashes between Bennett and Wilco lead singer Jeff Tweedy during the making of their critical breakthrough album “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.”  The film chronicled the departure of Jay Bennett; “Bennett cowrote several songs and engineered much of the album, yet tension between him and his bandmates mounted. He was fired soon after the album was completed… Earlier this month, Bennett sued Tweedy in Cook County Circuit Court, claiming that he was owed royalties… and compensation for his appearance in the 2002 documentary “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.”

The music industry lost a great musician, and I would suggest that as a tribute we should all rent the documentary as a fitting tribute to his memory.  It is a chance to see a terrific piece of documentary filmmaking.


Blockbuster Video shows their desperation:

The lousy economy has not spared Blockbuster Video–“…shares of Blockbuster have sunk 90% in less than two years, closing at 71 cents on Thursday.”  They have tried playing with new technology to increase revenue.  The stores have employed new media technologies such as “…DVD-by-mail, kiosks and Internet-delivered VOD…,” but they have not lifted the company out of its economic doldrums.  The latest gimmick is the sale of “movie prop replicas.”  A few examples of the products in mind are “replicas of the sunglasses Tom Cruise wore in “Top Gun” and that Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith wore in “Men in Black.”

I have a proposal for Blockbuster that does not include cheap knockoff shades.  How about improving the selection?  Instead of putting in walls of the same new releases, how about some old films, foreign films, and some obscure titles?  What hiring some knowledgeable staff?   I think employing the values of the smaller independent video store might save the chain store.  Personally, I would prefer that more people switch to the mom-and-pop shops; but  the chain places have an omnipresence with which the small places cannot compete.  But perhaps the failing economy will level the playing field by lessening the stranglehold the chains have had on the rental business.

Drew Williamson

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