Sunday, June 26, 2011

Falling Skies Episode 2

What is new in Episode 2?  Well we get a closer look at how the aliens use the kids they have captured, a new character is introduced along with a complication to personal relationships that it brings, and a bit more insight into the intelligence level of the aliens.

Every work of fiction requires us to suspend our rational selves to accept certain elements of the plot.  This work of fiction is a bit more intelligent about it. Some of these elements are as follows.

1. The aliens kill the adults, but use a spinal like device to control the children.  They are used by the aliens to carry out tasks like gathering scrap.  Now my question is this...why?  Wouldn't an advanced alien culture be able to construct machines to do the same job faster?  Then again a ready made expendable organic work force might be better?  That is something worthy of discussion.

2. In one of the first scenes, the character played by Noah Wyle organizes a group to try and free some of the kids, primarily his own son, exposes another good point for discussion.  If you had invaded and defeated an enemy that you consider inferior, what precautions would you take in guarding your captives?  The aliens only used a few mechs and skitters to protect their captive work party. Does this mean the aliens are spread thin?  Maybe they are so convinced of their own superiority that they don't feel they need more?

3. During the attempt to rescue some of the kids one of the rescuers sees his own son, and in true movie fashion he screws up the plan by dashing out to save him.  This sets in motion a series of predictable events and also gives us a little more insight into the aliens.  During the ensuing short battle, the rescuers save the man's son, but at the same time two of the rescuers are taken prisoner by a mech.  Later, some of the kids drag off one of the rescuers to do who knows what to her, while the other rescuer is left behind.  A mech is guarding him when a group of captured children are lined up and then shot by the mech.  The rescuer is set free to tell the others of what will happen if the resistance continues to resist.  This is straight out of World War II tactics by Nazi Germany.  It didn't work for the Germans...of course it will not work here. But would it work in today's world?

Those are some interesting things to ponder.

A new character is introduced...I remember this guy from the show "Wings" even though I seldom watched the show.  I also think he was in the movie "Hamburger Hill"...good movie. The new character is a doctor who says he can remove the mind control device from the kids.  We will see how that works out.

The main charcter (Noah what'shisname) captures an alien and now we will probably learn a lot more about these skitters in the next episodes.

The premier had way too many commercials...this time out in a 60 minute show there were ~20 minutes of commercials.  Commercials can be annoying..but they do make TV possible.  I will say that they planned the breaks in a fairly artful way.

This is only the second episode, will it keep me for the third?  Yes.  However, I do reserve the right to go fishing for the 4th.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Falling Skies Episode 1

My first impression of the movie was the promo image...suddenly I found myself doing the flashback thing to the original series "V".  I sort of watched "V", but mostly didn't.  So, I went into this experience with a prejudiced view of what I would see.

As with many shows there is, or at least should be some sort of plot.  If my conjecture of what I will see in future episodes is correct, I think many of you will be surprised.  I know I will be if I am right.  So let's start at the beginning.

If you have not seen the 2 hour no further

The show starts with action...action is good.  Within just a few minutes you know a great deal of the background story...Aliens have invaded earth and destroyed the military...taken most of the cities..and are enslaving children.  A group of humans have formed a resistance movement to oppose the freedom sucking aliens.  If that is the story then this will bore me to tears...I don't think this will be the case...or shouldn't be...this story line has potential.

Noah Wiley (no clue who he is) and Dale Dye (I know who he is) along with some other (I don't know who they are) make up the resistance group.  The acting is...pretty good so I will not be annoyed at people who are reading their lines.  Now lets look a little deeper into this whole storyline thing.

Noah Wiley makes references to the resistance movement style of the American Revolution.  He had to dumb it down for the younger people he was talking with by making sports references...I actually liked that they took the time to do some teaching in the world of reality.  

There were references to religion...neither in favor or opposition..just the statement of fact that people are religious.  Again a nice neutral approach to a touchy subject...bravo.

There were some other plot elements added that I think are exciting...and could make for some decent TV...but the biggest clue to a plot twist is what I call the "Inverse V". During two spots in the premiere clues were given about what I think will be an eventual plot twist.

The first is where children are gathered around an old man who is teaching them biology.  He tells the kids that we need to find a way to kill the "skitters".  The Skitters are the organic life form that are the aliens.  They have the required ugly heads, and 4 legs.  They are almost tripod-like in appearance.  The second alien form are the "Mechs".  The Mech's are two legged robots.  One of the characters asked about why the Skitters that have four legs and the Mechs have two.

Now...What if.  The Skitters are not the actual mastermind aliens (maybe they are more like dogs..or lemurs).  Since we humans make our robots to look like us...would it stand to reason that the actual mastermind aliens create Mechs to look like them?  If you remember in "V" the aliens disguised themselves as humans...what if in Falling Skies...the aliens do look human?  This could be fun.

Based on the premiere I am interested enough to watch the next installment on Sunday at 10pm Eastern.  Can they keep my interest?  We will see.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Falling Skies

For those of you who follow me on The Crows Nest, and Cosmic Chili you know I do not blog about entertainment, much less Television Shows.  There is a reason for this.  I have very limited time to watch TV.  I reserve my television gazing time for History or Science shows.  When it comes to mini-series it will be things like a nice Ken Burns documentary, or the Hanks/Spielberg series like Band of Brothers, or from Earth to the Moon.  So what possessed me to even dedicate 2 hours of my time watching a show about fiction?  Marketing.

I am as cynical as can be when it comes to marketing ploys.  I am oblivious to most marketing attempts.  When the commercials come on my mind goes somewhere else.  In this case the marketing came out of nowhere.  For a reason I can not recall I signed up for a site called Klout. You can read more about it at the link.  They sent me an email that offered some free stuff just for saying I want the stuff.  Although they said I didn't have to do anything (which is totally true), I thought I would conduct an experiment.  I would participate as best I could with what limited time I have.  This blog is part of the well as some tweets.  It got me interested in the Movie, and TNT in general ( still regard Ted Turner as a total ass). This is what brings me to the movie.

Over the life of this series I will comment on the Movie, what I like and what I don't.  I will be upfront with you...I am not a professional movie critic.  I am, however, very good at observing those around me, and describing what I like.  Stay tuned as I give my impressions of Falling Skies.


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