Tuesday, January 06, 2009

John Scalzi on Worst SF Film of Past 12 Months


Over at the AMCtv website, SF author extraordinaire John Scalzi gives his opinion regarding the worst SF film of the past 12 months. His choice of AVP: Requiem is what some might call a "gimme," but Scalzi's analysis of the film is full of the insight and humor that Scalzi fans know and love.

Two of his comments stuck in my minds eye as particularly noteworthy. The first is his statement, "there's bad, from which campy enjoyment can still be wrung (see: Speed Racer), and there's joyless, depressing bad, which this movie oozes." Never mind that I actually believe that Speed Racer is not merely entertaining, but also good. Leave that aside and the sentence manages to convey just how awful Scalzi found AVP:Requiem to be. He "shows rather than tells" as our English professors continually pounded into our heads. The thought of joyless and depressing ooze has a nice Lovecraftian feel to it. It's almost as if Scalzi is saying that the act of watching AVP:Requiem can provide viewers with full knowledge of true cosmic horror. Good meaty stuff this.

The second striking comment, more a set of comments, was "Paul W.S. Anderson, [is] a director of such general hackery that I've actually instructed my film agent to demand I get an extra $2 million if he's attached to direct a movie based on one of my books." Now I would love for Scalzi to receive an extra $2 million for having any of his books made into films. I don't need there to be a reason except for Scalzi's authorship. But it strikes me that he's being slightly unfair to Paul W.S. Anderson's actual ability to make an entertaining film.

Before you jump through the screen and choke me to death, let me assure you that I am not some kind of Anderson fanatic. Cinerati didn't exactly fawn over Deathrace, though we did find it entertaining. I just think that the director of Event Horizon and Soldier might be a good fit for The Ghost Brigades. We just have to bring the Haitian from Heroes in to remove things like AVP, Mortal Kombat, and the various Resident Evil films from Anderson's mind before production begins.

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