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film criticism by maryann johanson | since 1997

trailer break: ‘Alien Trespass’

Take a break from work: watch a movie trailer…

A little late today, but hey, it’s still time to take a break from work on the West Coast…

Ooo, a pastiche of 1950s science fiction! Excellent!

And tricky, too. It has to have just the right tone to work. If it’s not bad enough — and frankly, the FX look a little too polished here, even if those UFOs are clearly and obviously miniatures — then it’s merely yet another mediocre sci fi flick. And if it’s too cheesy, well, then, it’s too cheesy.

The idea is to walk a fine line among a host of different requirements: It has to be funny enough to work as a sendup; smart enough to work for those few who may not realize it’s a sendup, because if it doesn’t work on its own terms, then it’s missing the essential element that made those 50s sci fi flicks work on their terms, which is that they plugged into real cultural neuroses; and self-aware enough to work as both a dissector of 50s cultural neuroses while also speaking to our own today.

I realize this is a lot to ask. But I ask and expect and hope out of love.

Ooo, and my stalker Robert Patrick is in this. Of course he is.

Alien Trespass opens in the U.S. on April 3; no U.K. release date has been announced yet.

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