Alien (1979) vs. Predator (1987) Review Part2

Read the first part of the movie review!

The origins of both these creatures are extremely mysterious, to the point where almost all we know about them is that they are from another planet and are extremely dangerous. Strangely, despite the more inhuman and shrouded treatment of the Alien over the franchise, in the original film we know more about it than Predator tells us about the Predator.

The basic life cycle of the Alien is laid out in Alien, as we are shown the Alien eggs; the infestation of a human being by the spider-like facehugger; the facehuggers, and by extension the Alien’s, acidic blood making surgical removal impossible until the creature just drops off; the infected individual’s apparent recovery, though with a prodigious appetite; and finally the Alien bursts from the victim’s chest and grows to its full size within an astonishingly small space of time.

The sequel added further stages to the lifecycle, and originally (in a deleted scene) the life cycle was completed by cocooned victims’ bodies becoming more eggs. But beyond simple biological facts, we know nothing of the Aliens’ true origins. Theories include them being just hostile animals, biological weapons, bred to be the ultimate game prey, or simply the twisted brainchild of an insane Swiss genius. The Predator is even more mysterious, as he essentially descends from space to hunt man with little more motivation than that he is looking for a challenge. We don’t know where he comes from, we don’t know if he is an individual or part of a larger race of hunters, and even his motivation in hunting the commandos is clouded, as it is a mere assumption based on his actions. He seems much more like a scary alien that was created for the purposes of killing people in a one-off film, without any backstory on culture or biology, and later developments were likely afterthoughts, where the later films in the Alien franchise were building upon elements established in the original movie.
The Alien was supposed to be a hellish amalgam of human and monster, with a vaguely humanoid shape corrupted its black and vaguely biomechanical features. So it seems appropriate that the filmmakers would eventually settle on a man-in-a-suit format to realise the creature, after several failures with multiple men in one costume. In this case, the man inside was the 7′2″ Bolaji Badejo, who was tall and thin enough to make the creature look human yet unnatural. The most striking feature of the Alien is its bulbous and over-sized head, which was an incredible example of engineering, incorporating approximately nine hundred moving parts to allow the iconic inner jaws of the Alien to function. In a strange piece of coincidence, the actor portraying the Predator was also 7′2″, though his frame was rather different from the slight figure of Badejo. Kevin Peter Hall was chosen to be the man in the Predator suit because he was so enormous as to look physically imposing even when compared with human behemoths like Schwarzenegger and Jesse Ventura.

Originally Jean-Claude Van Damme was set to be the Predator, lending his martial arts skill to the creature, but his (relatively) small stature made him an incredible threat to the commandos. Hall, on the other hand, is entirely believable when he is throwing Schwarzenegger around, yet still manages to make the stealth aspects convincing as well. This is even more impressive when you realise that the Predator suit itself was (in true film fashion) built very much for form, not function. Hall was unable to see properly through the mask, and the weight of the suit made it cumbersome for filming in the jungle. Between the two, there’s really no superior in terms of realisation.

If pushed I would choose the Predator suit, simply because of the added challenge of making the creature seem real in a jungle, as opposed to the soundstage that Alien was filmed on. But the practical effects still stand up today, despite the Alien looking a little cheesy in some scenes, and both art directors deserve kudos (though not unreserved praise – while Alien art director Roger Christian also won an Oscar for his exemplary work on Star Wars, he was the director of Battlefield Earth).
To be continued…

My favorite books review

Five go to Demon’s Rocks

When Professor Hayling requests to meet with Quentin, The Five, Professor Hayling’s son, Tinker and his pet monkey Mischief are forced to leave due to the noise, but where will they stay?

Tinker proudly exclaims that he owns a Lighthouse out in Demon’s Rocks so The Five all stay there. The Famous Five include Georgina, Julian, Dick, Anne and Georgina’s dog Timmy.

Georgina, Dick, Anne, Julian and Timmy encounter many mysterious people, places and things like a terrifying cave, a rickety lighthouse, a locked door, a stolen boat , something very valuable in the caves and many others figures that I had better not tell you about.

The next book in the Famous Five series by Enid Blyton is called Five Have a Mystery to Solve. The previous book is called Five on Finniston Farm. I would recommend you to read the series in order if possible, but that is not critical.

The Secret Seven

When the Secret Seven are meeting together you can be pretty sure that there is a mystery behind all of it. In this book Jack loses his secret seven (ss) badge. He knows where he dropped it so in the middle of the night he sets off to find it but accidentally becomes a witness of some thieves that stole the famous race horse, Kerry Blue.

As a witness to smuggling the horse into the cellar of an old house where a partly deaf caretaker lives Jack requests a meeting of the ss where He explains everything. Peter tells everyone to go find evidence to tell the police about. Everyone collects some information and reports it to each other. About two days later all the boys, which include Peter, George, Colin and of course Jack set off to see them again.

Peter and Jack climb in the window and sneak around to find Kerry Blue and then see the robbers force the race horse into a cellar.

The two boys follow Kerry but get locked in. Read this book or the whole series to find out if they escape and report to the police. I have read this book and I can tell you, you will not be disappointed at the quality of this series and all of Enid Blyton’s books!

You are Ready to Write a Book

This article series offers a set of guidelines for anyone who feels ready to write a book. Do not use these writings as the only source of information when doing your research. Read a lot and read different writer’s opinions to get a well-rounded education on the best way to get your book written. There is no one right way. Every writer is going to have different ideas of the best way to do something. Each editor will have different expectations, as well. Keep those things in mind as you begin your writing journey.

Once you decide to write a book you may want to ask yourself why you want to write. Examining your motive is a very important part of the writing process. Believing that writing a book will take you to a new place, or out of an old place, may not be the right motivation for writing a book. People have romantic ideas about writing and writers.

In the movies the writer locks herself away in a cozy country cottage and hammers away for six months, ending up with a New York Times best seller. This process takes less than two hours. Or there is the young muscular bad-boy who moves in next door for the summer to write a book. After a torrid affair with the mistress of the house and a violent break-up he is flung to the streets to find another place to begin his book again.

Both of these scenarios sound great but they are not very realistic.

Writing a book will not save your business either. If you don’t have a successful business, writing a book will only reinforce that. The time and energy you need to write a book should be put to better use building your business. After your business is a success then you can think about writing a book.

The best reasons for wanting to write a book are:

1, having a passion for your topic

2, having a need to share your passion

3, practical experience

Let’s look at these a little closer.

Passion is not just a part-time pass-time. Passion consumes you. When you feel a passion for something it is always on your mind. You can be at your regular job, but in the back of your mind you can find your passion just waiting for a spare minute to sneak to the forefront. This is what we mean by passion. There is a difference between, “I love ice cream.” And “Ice cream is my world. I know how to make seven different kinds of ice cream. I have invented 36 more flavors than Baskin Robins.” It is obvious that the latter has a passion for ice cream. The former may eat a bowl of ice cream a few times a week, when he’s not on a diet.

Teaching is another reason people write books. They feel so strongly about their passion that they want to share it with the world. They have a message that needs to be told. Sharing their passion with as many people as possible becomes a mission. They have received so much happiness from their passion that they want to share it with everyone else by spreading the word.

Experience is the last of the three main reasons people write books.. Once you have really lived something you can write about it. Know the inside-outs of your subject. If you write after doing a little research and not actually experiencing something yourself, people will feel it. They will know it is not authentic and that you are not an authoritative author.

Now you have an idea of what motivation is all about. You know why someone decides to write a book. It’s not that some people don’t have other reasons. It is just that usually those people don’t finish their book. They start out with good intentions but don’t get past chapter three. Rather than saying, “I’ve always thought I have a book in me.” Try examining your true purpose for wanting to write. Do you feel you have a passion for your topic? Do you have a need to share your passion with the world? Are you experienced in your subject and feel you can offer value to your reader? Then you may actually have a book in you.

 

How to Hear Your Reviewers and Stay Calm

Now that you have poured your heart and soul into creating your masterpiece and made a thing of beauty from crude letters, it is time to share it with the world. Your book is complete. The meaning of your message is clear in a format that’s fun to read.

Unfortunately, the ones with whom you will share your baby weren’t there through the tears and confusion. They won’t understand the pain and love that went into this creation. They weren’t the ones sitting up nights wondering if they would ever sleep again.

They just want to tell you how to fix it.

When you have an editor, it is their job to build this into a money maker. It is rare that an editor will receive a book and give it a green light immediately. There are several processes by which the editor reviews a book and deems it ready for publication.

The process of having a book reviewed is different for every publishing house. Some will ask for chapters as they are ready, and review them one at a time. Some will read the entire book at its completion and then offer their editorial. Some get the public to review the book as it is being written in a beta-book procedure.

However your book is reviewed, the criticisms may be difficult to accept. There are a few tricks you can use to help ease the process.

Remember that any review is a good review. It means that someone actually read your book and has taken the time to comment on it. Their purpose is in wanting to help you.

Hopefully, your reviewers will be from a variety of readers. You will want members of your target audience to review your book. And maybe even a few experts to be sure your content is correct.

If you get a review that doesn’t make sense and you think the reviewer is just ignorant, this is a sign that you need to really understand the criticism and see where you failed the reader. Go over the part of the book that the reviewer is talking about and see where you mayhave missed the mark.

Did you use a colloquialism that is not universally understood? Is there something that seems obvious to you, but may not be recognized by everyone? Do you need to improve on your introduction? Would a sidebar help? Ask yourself these questions while reviewing the reviewer’s review.

There are some reviewers who come across as though they think themselves superior. They guffaw at the inanities of your blunders. It may be difficult at first to swallow your pride and hear what they’re saying, but if you are able to look past the messenger to the message you may find valuable information there.

Maybe the most annoying of reviewers is the “copy editor” type. They like to point out every little spelling mistake and punctuation error. They also won’t like your formatting. Double check with your publisher about house rules regarding punctuation and formatting. Re-read the proofs to be sure the issues brought out by this informative reviewer were taken care of.

These examples are a little extreme, but they do happen. Most of your reviewers will be somewhat shy of these examples. You will probably find that your reviewers are supportive and helpful. They may rave about your effort and be reluctant to offer any criticism at all. Remember to thank your reviewers for any helpful insight.

Coping with difficult reviewers may be challenging. As you tolerate another pompous know-it-all’s evaluation of your work, be grateful that the issues were brought to your attention now and not after your book went to print.

 

Valuable Pre-Reading Skills

 

Yesterday, I talked about preparing my son to read and I talked about valuable pre-reading skills to integrate in your preparation. Here is a little explanation about what to do on each skill:

Knowing letter names and letter sounds – beginning phonic knowledge

Being able to read his own name– and a few other words

Retelling stories– remembering and saying what happens in a story

Sequencing – putting pictures and events in the right order

Predicting– saying what will happen or might happen next

Picture reading– telling a story from pictures

Matching – spotting what’s the same and also saying what’s different

Sound awareness – hearing sounds, especially at the beginning of words

Rhyme awareness – hearing that certain words rhyme

 

monthly news

June, 2010

1 8th Grade Graduation 7:00 pm
4 Last day of school

Closing service 8:45 am

School Picnic 11:30 am

6 HC Worship:  8:00 and 10:45 am

MC Worship:  10:30 am

11 Last day for teachers

Report cards mailed

13 HC Worship:  8:00 and 10:45 am

MC Worship:  10:30 am

20 HC Worship:  8:00 and 10:45 am

MC Worship:  10:30 am

21 Holy Cross Vacation Bible School 7:00-8:45

Mt. Calvary Vacation Bible School

22 Holy Cross Vacation Bible School 7:00-8:45

Mt. Calvary Vacation Bible School

23 Holy Cross Vacation Bible School 7:00-8:45

Mt. Calvary Vacation Bible School

24 Holy Cross Vacation Bible School 7:00-8:45

Mt. Calvary Vacation Bible School

27 HC Worship:  8:00 and 10:45 am

MC Worship:  10:30 am

You may find the following sites interesting and helpful

 

Schools connected to West Park Lutheran School

Lutheran High School West

Our Association congregations:

        Holy Cross Lutheran Church at

        http://holycrosslife.org

 

Lutheran Church Bodies

The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod

       http://www.lcms.org

Educational Sites

Education Index  – Lists many useful educational sites on the web

HomeworkSpot – Gives subject area, research, and study skills help

Accelerated Reader – Download the latest Accelerated Reader book listing used at West Park Lutheran School in pdf format  (Right Click and Save Target As…) 

Lutheran Schools of Cleveland

 

 Cleveland Sites

Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Indians

Cleveland Live

Admission and Tuition Policies

 Applications for enrollment are processed upon submission of the written application, birth certificate copy, and tuition prepayment of $50.00 per student.

 

Following are the tuition rates for the 2009-2010 school year.  

 

Tuition Rate

        $3500 per year

       

West Park Lutheran School participates in the Cleveland Scholarship and Tutoring Program.

Pre-Kindergarten Rate  

$150 per month for a 4 day program, 

Monday through Thursday:  8:45 – 11:45 am

 

West Park Lutheran School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school.  The school does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in the administration of educational policies, admission policies, and other school administered programs.