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The best and worst of Aliens.

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by rah, Nov 10, 2019.

  1. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    I just re-watched Star Trek IV this morning curled up on the couch. Always one of my favorites.
    The final scene showing the council and all the citizens of the universe always makes me laugh. The representation of all the different aliens is worse than most costume parties. So it got me thinking. Which SF movie or TV show portrayed Aliens either really well or really poorly. Do you like your aliens basically humanoid wearing silly masks or do you like/hate the totally different concept like Yaphit in the Orville? Where does the Star Wars bar scene rank.
     
  2. Synsensa

    Synsensa - Retired Moderator

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    I'm more interested in social differences than physical differences. They're more relevant to us, which matters most since the audience is, well... us. I think physical differences can be done well but it's incredibly difficult to do so, and I'd really rather there just be different humanoids with different attitudes than watching a set team exert all their effort in making one incomprehensible alien. The weird aliens aren't any more realistic than the humans-with-masks aliens anyways.
     
  3. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    US movies suck.

     
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  4. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    Because Greek movies are so much better. ;)
     
  5. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    There aren't that many greek movies to begin with :p
     
  6. Synsensa

    Synsensa - Retired Moderator

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    They don't need special effects, they just have to get the guy from the local gyro cart.
     
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  7. rah

    rah Deity Supporter

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    And there's a good reason for that :p

    And of course with any type of high volume you're going to get some good ones and some real bad ones.
     
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  8. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Seems false, given there are no good US movies :smug:

    Anyway, no, I haven't seen any interesting representations of aliens. At least Solaris has a hallucination-causing sentient planet.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2019
    yung.carl.jung likes this.
  9. Imaus

    Imaus Prince

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    No one's done it right. It's why I like Firefly - it's just Humans. Humans messing up and going after each other for messing up. Or even BSG. Again, Humans made a mess, and they have to deal with it and their spawn.

    We can't really comprehend the complexity of other life or their structures. Until reading Xenology and Atomic Rockets becomes mandatory for Sci-fi creators, it's better to just play with the big sandbox we have here in Solsys.

    Though there are some who swear up and down on some Space 4xs from the day....
     
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  10. Synsensa

    Synsensa - Retired Moderator

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    I really do. Although I've actually never had a gyro. The Greek guy here runs a "normal" Western restaurant. He makes an incredible burger.

    There's another Greek guy who sells baklava at the train station. I haven't tried it yet since it's cash-only and he doesn't have a schedule. Just randomly shows up at a station, sells for a while, and then disappears into the wind.
     
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  11. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    I thought Arrival did a great job of portraying how alien some aliens could be. It was nothing like us and was only vaguely reminiscent of Earth life. The language and time-traveling aspects of their language were intriguing and well-executed even if I thought the time-traveling premise was a bit dumb.

    District 9 was a cool commentary and realistic portrayal of an alien refugee population.
     
  12. Synsensa

    Synsensa - Retired Moderator

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    District 9! Great movie. One of two movies that did mockumentaries well.
     
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  13. hobbsyoyo

    hobbsyoyo Deity

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    What's the other in your opinion?
     
  14. Synsensa

    Synsensa - Retired Moderator

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    End of Watch. Used that format REALLY well. Maybe too well for average watchers. :lol:
     
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  15. bernie14

    bernie14 Filter Manipulator

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    Ewoks are the worst. Why would a little uncoordinated bear creature live in trees :thumbsdown:
     
  16. Synsensa

    Synsensa - Retired Moderator

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    Yeah! Why would they?

     
  17. tjs282

    tjs282 Un(a)bashed immigrant

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    These guys would like a word with you:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koala
    Edit: damn, ninja'd:ninja:

    (Or should that be 'Synja'd'...?)
     
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  18. bernie14

    bernie14 Filter Manipulator

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    No way that little upright monster lives in trees!! :mad:
     
  19. AdamCrock

    AdamCrock Polish Pudding

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    I like all sorts of aliens ! Which is why I like Rick and Morty so much , becuase it has all sorts of them ! :D
     
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  20. tjs282

    tjs282 Un(a)bashed immigrant

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    While I totally understand why most TV-and-movie(-intelligent)-aliens prior to the 2000s followed the 'man-in-rubber-mask' body-plan, I think with the advent of seamless CGI, there's a lot less excuse for that nowadays than there used to be.

    So e.g. Mos Eisley Cantina just about gets a pass, but anything done in the last 10-15 years, not so much. Counterpoint though: technically the Xenomorphs in the Alien movies were men-in-masks as well, but the suits (and the gaits) were sufficiently, erm... alien, that it wasn't immediately obvious.

    Sooo... hmmm, tricky...

    Apart from the Na'avi (i.e. mocapped men-and-women-in-masks!), Avatar showed some great alien species -- just not intelligent ones. And whatever you might say about the acting quality (or lack thereof), Valerian had some funky aliens (not the main characters, obvs).

    (Off the top of anyone's head, have we actually seen [m]any [new] 'alien'-species characters in the Sequel Trilogy yet? i.e. not including the blue-milk space-whales and the space-horsies? The OT -- at least ANH and RotJ -- had a Wookie, Ewoks, Mon Calamari, a Sullustun, Twi'leks, most of Jabba's court...)

    I would love to see some more varied intelligent-alien-species body-plans than the 'roughly humanoid' that movie- and TV-audiences generally get presented with, though - because there is so much good sci-fi out there that's never been adapted. For example, Larry Niven invented quite a few non-humanoid intelligent aliens in his various books (e.g. Puppeteers, Outsiders, the Fithp). David Brin's Uplift-universe has some good ones too (not just mammalians: also insectoids, avians, reptilians), as does Julian May's Galactic Milieu (there was at least one intelligent vegetable species in there, IIRC), and Iain Banks' Culture (e.g. the Affront, and the Chelgrians). And in Peter F Hamilton's Night's Dawn trilogy, though the characters were mostly human, there were also a few intelligent-insect and -elephant type aliens; the 'Starflyer'-ecology in his Commonwealth Saga was an interesting idea, too.
     

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