Alien Nation/Enemy Mine (Double Feature)
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Alien Nation: They get drunk on sour milk. They have two hearts and bald, spotted heads. They're highly intelligent, but if you drop them in seawater they'll melt into a puddle of goop. They're "Newcomers," and they arrived as refugees in a massive alien slave-ship, quarantined for three years and then reluctantly accepted as citizens of Earth. To some humans--including seasoned Los Angeles cop Matt Sykes (James Caan)--the Newcomers are unwelcome "slags." Sykes's own virulent "speciesism" intensifies when Newcomer thugs kill his partner, but he sees logic in teaming up with Sam Francisco (Mandy Patinkin), the first Newcomer detective in the LAPD. Francisco's Newcomer knowledge is vital to their investigation of an alien drug ring, and a friendship grows from life-or-death circumstances.
A routine cop thriller with a comedic sci-fi twist, Alien Nation has two things working in its favor: Caan and Patinkin form a memorable duo, and the basic premise--as conceived by Rockne S. O'Bannon (who later developed the film as a TV series)--intelligently accounts for the sociological impact of an alien population. The subtle point is made that humans are extraordinary beings who squander their potential, and the evil of drugs--as dealt by a social-climbing Newcomer played by Terence Stamp--leads to a crisis that threatens to generate global intolerance. These points are well presented in a context of overly familiar plotting and standard-issue sarcasm. It's entertaining for a brisk 90 minutes, but in its attempt to be widely appealing, Alien Nation glosses over issues that might have made it more uniquely provocative. --Jeff Shannon
Enemy Mine: Lizard-like Draconian Louis Gossett Jr. and his mortal enemy, earthling Dennis Quaid, crash-land on a hostile planet during a brutal space battle. Forced to rely on one another for survival, they overcome their differences and become fast friends. You can almost hear them break into an off-key version of "It's a Small World." German director Wolfgang Petersen, so brutally honest with his film Das Boot, turns warm and cuddly on us with this intergalactic buddy movie. Much of the problem, though, is that the script sets us up for an intriguing encounter, then settles for a simple and sentimental resolution. Noteworthy set design and strong performances, especially by Gossett, push this beyond mere mediocrity. His performance is fascinating, as he must speak in an alien tongue, which he maintains with artistry and consistency. --Rochelle O'Gorman
Top Customer Reviews
Alien Nation is actually more of an 80s style cops and robbers buddy movie a la 48 HRS, but with aliens. The aliens have landed and are trying to become productive members of human society, but of course there are those humans who aren't too happy about the "Newcomers" taking their jobs and zipping through the educational system faster than the human children. Detective Sykes(James Caan) doesn't like these guys at all, especially after his partner is killed by one. Then he teams up with the first Newcomer detective played by Mandy Patinkin. As you can imagine, it's a rough road for these two, but in the end they're buddies. The villain is a rich Newcomer drug dealer played by the always cool Terence Stamp. A fun movie with some funny dialogue and some good ol' mindless action. But you already knew that.
Enemy Mine is another one of those great flicks to revisit now and again. This one has rival fighter pilots Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett, jr. crash landing on a barren planet where they have to learn to overcome their hatred for one another and work together to survive. Quaid is a human being while Gossett is a Drac, which is a hermaphroditic reptilian species of alien. Once they overcome hatred and get comfy, they realize there is a bigger threat to the planet in the form of human scavengers that use Dracs as slaves in their mine. Quaid has to save his "nephew"(Gossett's child) when he's captured by the miners. This was a very good film.Read more ›
1985 might as well have been an eternity ago to today's filmgoer who has become dependent upon heavily computer-generated imagery, fast cuts, and inconceivable perspectives. Enemy Mine could very easily be considered the opposite of these trends in every possible arena. Pacing is methodic, visual effects are all practical, and fairly restrictive sets force the viewer into appreciating the writing through dialog exchange.
The premise, based on the 1979 short story of the same title by Barry B. Longyear, takes place in the late 21st century, amidst an ongoing interstellar war between human beings (Bilateral Terran Alliance, or BTA as its referred) and the Dracs (a mysterious reptilian race). Human pilot Willis E. Davidge (Dennis Quaid) and Drac Jeriba "Jerry" Shigan (Louis Gossett, Jr.) engage in a spacecraft skirmish, which results in them both crash-landing on a hostile moon known as Fyrine IV.
The core of the tale works of the idea of members of opposing armed forces discovering that they have more in common than they do discrepancies.Read more ›
For ESL use, "Enemy Mine" is delightful. Not only do two beings have to learn each other's languages, there is also a depiction of becoming appreciative of another culture. For some it will be too sappy, but I like the stongly-felt emotions in the movie.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I bought this one for Enemy Mine over Alien Nation but both films are a good watch. Enemy Mine is probably Dennis Quaid's best performance. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Carl P.
I received this DVD, and Enemy Mine played fine. Alien Nation's sound track was really messed up, so I sent it back and got a replacement. SAME PROBLEM!! Read morePublished 7 months ago by Shannon
they were everything I remembered them being.... great concepts, cheesy filmingPublished 8 months ago by Robert Mulligan
Enemy mine is from the 80's and a very good spacemovie anout how two enemies became the best of friends which help end the war between their planet and ours.Published 9 months ago by Shania Cheyanne
Excellent movies on how people with differences can overcome anything together despite preconceived notions. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Eddy Z
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