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Thursday, September 19, 2013

They Live, We Sleep… a Movie Review

They Live
Last night, I saw They Live. This movie can easily be pushed aside as yet another campy 80’s sci-fi action movie. Classic quotable lines include: “I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass... and I'm all out of bubblegum” and “I'm giving you a choice: either put on these glasses or start eatin' that trash can. “ Sure, this is a tale of aliens living among humanity, but They Live is much more than that, my friend.

John Carpenter is a cinematic genius who works best under tight budget constraints. However, for some reason, They Live is swept aside. A box office bomb when released in 1988, They Live has slowly become a cult-classic. Carpenter chose ex-WWF wrestler "Rowdy" Roddy Piper & Keith David to star. Piper seems a lot less “Rowdy” than when fighting the likes of Hulk Hogan, his performance here is very subtle until the final act. I’m sure this was done on purpose as Nada represents the everyman.

Rumors of a re-make are floating around the net. I’m usually against re-makes, but the odd re-make can be just as good. Occasionally, a remake will *gasp* surpass the original (y’all are going to give me hell) such as Rob Zombie’s Halloween. This, of course, is a re-make of Carpenters’ classic slasher film.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Roddy Piper walks around like an early precursor to Keanu Reeves in The Matrix. Hmm Neo = Nada? This is a tale of perception, or rather lack of perception. What exactly is freedom, and are we truly a free society? Every part of this movie is a metaphor. They Live is all about opening your mind, and seeing what has always been there hiding in plain sight. Our hero, Nada, puts on a stylish pair of Ray Ban’s and the world appears black and white. This reminds me of a reverse Wizard of Oz. He starts seeing subliminal message hidden beneath billboards, and magazine articles become one or two word commands. These subliminal messages are hidden in every aspect of the media around him.  

**Spoiler Alert! If You haven't seen this movie yet...**

"Rowdy" Roddy Piper - They Live

Nada soon comes to the realization that aliens are living among us. “They” are commanding us to eat, sleep, work and reproduce. We are rats in the maze, and the cheese at the end of the tunnel is money! To “Them”, we are no more than livestock or pets. This film is a study of the over-indulgent Reagan era. They Live takes place in a near future where there is no middle class, only the very rich and the extremely poor. I believe this movie is even more prophetic of our current trends. The future is NOW!  The elite upper-class that rules us all and makes the important decisions is none other than “Them”. But, what are “They” exactly?  The movie has a five minute long fight scene where Nada is trying to convince his friend (Keith David) to put the glasses on! The friend resists, and eventually fights Nada. This is another metaphor: society doesn't want to see the truth. We are comfortable in our so-called freedom. We will fight and give up our lives for this freedom, even if it is nothing but illusion.

Buy this Classic on DVD Now!!!

Rating:   Freaking EPIC!!!

see Nada figure it all out..

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