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PCR # 230  (Vol. 5, No. 34)  This edition is for the week of August 16--22, 2004.

This Week's PCR
Movie Review
"Alien vs Predator"

Movie review by:
Michael A. Smith

Three stars

Movies are rated 0 to 4 stars

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20th Century Fox     
Starring: Sanaa Lathan, Raul Bova and Lance Henriksen
Directed by: Paul W. S. Anderson
Rated: PG 13
Running Time: 1 hour 36 mins

After the success of "Freddy vs Jason," film companies were scrambling to find a way to pair up a couple of their big time villains on the big screen. And ever since the skull of an Alien was seen in a Predator's lair in "Predator 2," the question of which creature was the baddest was raised. Well, wonder no more because the battle has arrived.

Our story begins in the present. Two different scientists, one an expert in frozen territories (Lathan) and the other a renown archeologist (Bova), are summoned by business big wig Charles Bishop Weyland (Henriksen). One of his satellites has discovered what appears to be a pyramid on Antarctica. Well, on is really a stretch. Actually, the pyramid is 2000 feet below the surface. Meanwhile, somewhere in space, a band of Predators is heading to the same place. When the research team arrives, they are given three rules, the most important being "never go off alone." Too bad there wasn't a fourth rule, "never touch anything!" Yes, each time a curious scientist touches something the pyramid moves, revealing various secret chambers and sliding walls. Unfortunately, all of this noisy wall moving wakes up an Alien queen, who begins laying eggs as fast as she can squeeze them out. Anyone familiar with the "Alien" films know that soon those eggs will hatch and a herd of Alien creatures will soon be among us. Hmmmmmm.............Aliens, Predators and humans in the same space. Can't be good for the humans.

What could have been a quick attempt to make a buck turns out to be a very well made science fiction/horror story, one which would have easily stood on its own if the previous films in the series had not existed. Much credit must go to director Anderson, who also wrote the film. A veteran of the "Mortal Kombat" films and the recent "Resident Evil," Anderson knows how to set up a scene to deliver the most jolt. The cast, especially the three leads, deliver strong performances, and production designer Richard Bridgland has created an underground world that is spectacularly full of detail. Fans of the "Alien" film series should note that Charles Weyland was co-founder of "the Company" that sent the crew of the Nostromo out on its mission in "Alien." Weyland's middle name, Bishop, was also the name of the android character Henriksen played in "Aliens."

The ads proclaim that "whoever wins.....we lose," but if you enjoy a good scare and some serious kick-butt battles, then "Alien vs Predator" is a winner. On a scale of zero to four stars, I give "Alien vs Predator"  Three stars

This week's movie review of "Alien vs Predator" is ©2004 by Michael A. Smith.  All graphics this page are creations of Nolan B. Canova, ©2004, all rights reserved. All contents of "Nolan's Pop Culture Review" are ©2004 by Nolan B. Canova.