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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

V: (The Second Generation) by Kenneth Johnson

  This is what the latest remake of V should have been. In fact, this was what the remake would have been until Warner Bros decided to remake the series completely. Nothing against the newer V series, I did like it and was bummed when it was cancelled.
   But this version of V is in a word awesome. It's pays tribute to the show's history and manages to create new story lines that keep the story fresh. First of all, it did what the new series did not, bring back all the old characters not just Diana. In fact, Diana barely came back, the remake flanderized her and wasted the talents of the phenomenal Jane Badler. 

  The novel takes place 20 years after the original series ended. The Visitors are in full control of the world and having been slowly draining the world's water, turning San Francisco into a desert wasteland. The Resistance has been almost destroyed in the Great Purge of '99, leaving only a few left. Things change when a new race of aliens arrives to help the humans take back their planet.

  Starting off, most of the old favorites are back. Mike, Juliet, Willy and Harmony, Robert, Martin, and Diana are all back. There is also the introduction of the second generation who are well written and fit seamlessly with the older series. Particular favorites are Emma and Nathan, former Visitor sympathizers turned vigilantes. And Ruby, Juliet's scrappy half-breed daughter, who avoids being a stereotypical Mary Sue like a lot of child characters turn out to be.

  I wasn't too crazy about the newer alien race; they were rather bland with no real back story. In fact, most of their story was observations on how hot the alien babes were. If I wanted to read alien porn, I would. My biggest quibble with the book was the absence of Robin and her half-breed child, Elizabeth.

  Robin and Elizabeth were an integral part of not only the original mini-series but also the following television series. The alien birth scene is probably one of the most memorable in Sci-Fi history and they don't even warrant a mention. At least scribble a couple of lines about them dying in the purge or whatever. To add insult to injury, Robin's father is a major character in this novel and all he utters is some throwaway line about Mike saving his daughters, just insulting.

 Still this is a great novel, if you loved V or even just love a good Sci-Fi novel, then check it out. You won't be disappointed. 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Alien Nation #1: The Day of Descent by Judith &Garfield Reeves-Stevens

Normally I am not a fan of tie-in novels. While there are some good ones out there, there are plenty more mediocre ones as well. But since I was a huge fan of the Alien Nation series, I had to give this one a shot. This is definitely one of the good ones.

Day of Descent is sort of a prequel to the original series. It picks up just after the season finale left off, with George’s wife and daughter in critical condition after a terrorist attack. While waiting in the hospital George and his son, Buck relieve the events that led to them crash landing on Earth.

Meanwhile, George’s partner, Sikes reveals his first encounter with the aliens to his Cathy, his alien love interest.

I loved being able to delve into George’s past while on the slave ship and how he got the courage to revolt. Buck’s story line about being torn between family and duty was also well-written, though it was hard seeing him as a child as opposed to the teenager we saw in the series. I loved getting a more proper feel for their lives before breaking free from their captors.

I wasn't too fond of the Sikes story line  nothing against the character, I just couldn't get into it. The whole finding out about the aliens/government cover up was done in V and much better in my humble opinion. I found myself being disappointed when the story would shift to him and pretty much skimmed the chapters until I got back to the slave ship.

If you were a fan of the series, then this book is a must read. It gives you a better appreciation of the characters and fills in a lot of necessary back-story. I look forward to reading the other books in the series. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Horrifying Non-Horror or Oh Hai, Romy & Michelle.


 As far as '90s movies go, Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion is a personal favorite. It had likable characters, a solid cast, and an awesome soundtrack. It was the magic of this film that made me stupid enough to seek out this insipid prequel.

  The prequel could have had excellent casting had the casting director not mucked it up. Katherine Heigl plays Romy who was the smarter half of the duo in the original film. She plays Romy as an absolute ditz, same with Alexis Breckinridge who takes the ditzy role of Michelle and makes her more serious and smarter. Had they simply switched roles this movie might have been more tolerable. Maybe the people who made this film couldn't tell the characters apart but the fans could.

  We meet up with a post high school Romy and Michelle who are desperate to leave Phoenix. Inspired by their new favorite movie, Pretty Woman, they decide to move to Hollywood and become hookers. Since this was made by ABC Family, they obviously don't go through with their goal. They are befriended by Donna, a transgender Fairy Godmother who takes the poor girls in. Donna is by far the most likable and entertaining character who should have gotten more of a plot.

   The plot of the original Romy & Michelle was actually relatable. It was about two high school outcasts hoping to show up their former tormentors. The plot of the prequel: Romy & Michelle are desperate to get into a trendy nightclub. This is not a movie plot, this is something you would fined in a typical sitcom or teen drama. 

   There are other more inane subplots, such as the girls’ lucky red shoes whom the original owner is desperate to get back. There’s an insecure model threatening to end the girls’ friendship. There is also a romantic subplot with two actors completely lacking in chemistry. They even trot out a shy maid with musical aspirations to butcher a Cyndi Lauper song. And of course a completely random cameo by Paula Abdul that makes no sense.

  The ditzy duo learns that they should be their selves and not try to fit in with everyone else. This is a lesson that they will completely years later and will have to learn all over again.

    I was at best hoping to find a cute little TV movie to bide my time. This was seriously an in name only movie that felt more like a drawn out cheap sitcom sans the laugh track. Save yourself the agony and simply rent the original instead.