Review Index


1. A v. P
In this year 2004, amidst the current indecency witch hunt, an upcoming election, increased terrorist threats and the ongoing war in Iraq, it’s time to focus on what’s really important: the Alien vs. Predator debate!  I know I’m hardly the first to ask, but really, who would win in an Alien-Predator mano-a-mano?

     This is a quandary that has captured the attention of quite a few horror/sci fi fans in recent months, ever since the announcement of the upcoming ALIEN VS. PREDATOR movie set to be released in August.  I’ve heard quite a few passionate—and convincing—arguments in favor of both parties, and I’ve certainly got my own views on the subject: I believe that in an Alien vs. Predator fight, Alien would win hands down.

     I say that after careful thought.  The H.R. Giger designed Alien is first of all much cooler looking than the ugly, dreadlock-sporting Predator, and has had a far more enduring screen career: four movies at last count, while Predator’s only showed up in half as much and had to share the spotlight with Der Governator in the more popular of the two.  Furthermore, Alien has the ability to generate offspring in the bellies of living subjects—including that of the Predator itself—so even in the unlikely event that the Predator gets the upper hand, there may still be an (as yet unborn) Alien left over to carry on the fight.

     I will concede Predator has some advantages, mostly in the form of cool body armor, a powerful camouflage device and lots of high tech weaponry--but the fact that he needs such things at all puts him at a disadvantage, as Alien doesn’t.  What Alien does have is acid blood that can eat through metal and the ability to blend in with its immediate surroundings (think back to that scene in ALIEN 1 where it fakes out Harry Dean Stanton and the viewer, all without a stupid camouflage device).  Yes, I’ll concede that Alien has gotten its ass kicked by a chick in every one of its movies, yet I’ve never seen Predator go up against Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley, who’s extremely proficient with futuristic firearms, has outlasted both a platoon of tough Marines and a gaggle of hardened outer space convicts, survived being directed by “Iron Jim” Cameron, and, in the last ALIEN movie, actually died and came back to life.  Personally I believe Ripley could easily get the jump on Predator’s bitch ass...that is if Alien doesn’t do so first!

2. A v. A
     While on the subject of hypothetical fights, there’s another, albeit slightly less popular, proposed round currently making the fan circuit: Angelina Jolie vs. Ashley Judd!  Both Angelina and Ashley are beautiful, assertive, reasonably intelligent gals known for headlining middling thrillers like 1999’s THE BONE COLLECTOR (Angelina) and 1997’s KISS THE GIRLS (Ashley); right now, in fact, both actresses can be seen onscreen in TWISTED (Ashley) and TAKING LIVES (Angelina).  Were these two to take each other on, who do you think would win?  There’s no such movie in the works, but I really wish there were; it would doubtless be far more entertaining than Angelina Jolie or Ashley Judd’s recent films.

     As with the Alien Vs. Predator debate, convincing arguments can be made in favor of either party, and again, I’ve got strong opinions on this subject.  Quite simply put, in my view Angelina would stomp Ashley’s ass to next week.

     Consider: Angelina Jolie is the more physically imposing of the two (and is in my view far better looking).  She also has a genuinely psychotic edge; it’s no surprise that Angelina’s most honored performance to date was in 1999’s GIRL INTERRUPTED, where she played the scariest, most aggressive resident of an insane asylum.  Even in ostensibly “normal” roles there’s always something a little unhinged about her; see the formulaic romantic comedy LIFE OR SOMETHING LIKE IT (2002), in which Angelina plays a spunky newscaster who finds out her time on Earth is limited...and no wonder, as she sports an insanely unflattering platinum blonde hairdo that turned off quite a few moviegoers, but was reportedly insisted upon by the actress herself.  Even her reasonably well-adjusted detective character in TAKING LIVES is first glimpsed lying in an open grave!

     Ashley Judd, on the other hand, established her onscreen persona in 1993’s RUBY IN PARADISE—her “breakout” role—where she played a seemingly hopeless babe who ditches her abusive BF in favor of steady employment and inner peace in a sunny Florida beach community.  While the narratives and locales of her subsequent films differ, the character arc is nearly always the same.  In THE PASSION OF DARKLY NOON (1996) Ashley again escapes a violent relationship, this time with religious loony Brendan Fraser, who chases her around in her undies and burns down her house; she turns things around, though, by joining a procession of cute kids who conveniently show up in the movie’s final minutes.  1999’s DOUBLE JEOPARDY finds Ashley fleeing yet another intolerable existence for a peaceful one, facilitated by shooting her slimeball hubby.  Even in 1996’s NORMAL LIFE (containing what is arguably Ashley’s finest performance to date), where she plays a schizophrenic sexpot, she manages to improve her cluttered life somewhat by channeling her destructive energy into a series of intricately planned bank robberies. 

     In many of Ashley Judd’s thrillers she’s a psycho’s prey who eventually stands up to her attacker.  KISS THE GIRLS and TWISTED even feature scenes of Ashley practicing martial arts moves in order to make the confrontations more believable.  Angelina Jolie needs no such scenes, as nobody should have any trouble picturing her giving the bad guys what-for.  This was the chick, after all, who in real life has spent time in mental institutions, wore a vial of hubbie B.B. Thornton’s blood around her neck and publicly rejected estranged father Jon Voight’s televised pleas to reconcile with him—in short, NOT somebody you’d wanna fuck with, and definitely not someone Ashley Judd should take on!  Again, however, I wouldn’t mind seeing her try. 



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