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  1. #646
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    Past Tense


    A brand new (yet short) entry! This outing we travel to a nostalgic land before it was overtaken in "The Lost City"...



    The motion picture opened on April 28th, 2006. It was made with a budget of $9,600,000 (estimated); counting foreign receipts it made $5,256,839. The film opened number twenty-three at the box office, the following week it dropped to number twenty five.

    The feature opened against "Stick It", "Ice Age: The Meltdown", "United 93" and "Silent Hill".

    There was no slipcover, nor insert.

    - - -

    The initial home video release on August 8th, 2006 was DVD only. There was only one exclusive from Target which sold the movie with a bonus disc for $15.99. The extra DVD came inside - in a two disc case.



    Sorry, I do not have the weekly store ad.

    Didn't get this title at the time. It became part of my collection from one of Dollar Tree's annual DVD sales (three times a year). This didn't happen until 2016. It was a blind buy and I hadn't known - thinking this was the regular edition was in fact the Target exclusive set... bought for a dollar.

    Bonus has a run time of 2:00:05 minutes; presented in letterbox and full screen.

    What is the difference between "The Making Of Lost City" documentaries? The original (on disc I) is 37:54 minutes long. The extended cut is 1:23:02, practically feature length (45:08 longer). The bonus deleted scenes have optional commentary by the director, Andy Garcia.

    On May 1st, 2007 the Blu-Ray streeted for $29.98, this pretty much included all the extras from the Target disc.

    Man, this feels like "Elizabethtown" (a previous Past Tense); a movie that bombs - yet gets a store exclusive.

    By the way, the soundtrack sample "Guajira Clåsica" just plays from the menu screen, no way to flash forward or rewind. Say thank you - played with my Casio watch's stop watch function; 17:46 minutes. This extra didn't carry over to the BD release.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    I should since this isn't well know.



    "The Lost City" is a period drama set in late 1950s before the landscape changed. We follow Fico Fellove (Garcia) who is the owner of "El Tropico" night club in Cuba - a popular entertainment lounge. The rise of Fulgencio Batista among other things.

    The film is about his family and how they reacted to the change; losing their freedoms, lives and culture vanishing. Thinking it would never be accepted/tolerated, a passing thing. Things which then brought about Fidel Castro and Che Guevara.

    Fico tries to keep his family together and fails... hard.

    It's a somber tale with Fellove losing it all and making his way to New York trying to make enough money to bring his loved ones to America.



    The thing is... some can't be saved, love is not enough. And would crush him if he even tried. There is no happy ending here. Depressing at times.

    As I wrote, I didn't see this movie until '16. Glad I bought it, it's a solid flick.

    - - -

    This was a long term pet project of actor/producer Andy Garcia. Which began in the late 1980s. A friend of his suggested he should read Guillermo Cabrerra Infante - who was an exiled Cuban. Life at the time when the nation was taken away.

    Should be noted, the Garcia family were from Cuba and had fled.

    The Cuban story would make a good movie. Garcia was working for Paramount and was trying to get them to green light the project. It never happened. So much time happened that at that point, Andy wanted to play the youngest Fellove sibling, Ricardo (now played by Enrique Murciano). When it finally happened - he played the eldest son.

    During the press junkets, Garcia talks about memories of life in Havana. Not too many of them, he was very young; remembers his parents house and the beach which was nearby where he played.



    Garcia was so passionate about the project - he took lessons to be proficient at piano so he could composed parts of the soundtrack. That's drive. This was his obsession which included gathering a library of island's music recordings. This was years in the making as was the feature.

    I know that some didn't care for the film saying the editing was poor. I didn't have a problem with it. The other problem some had was - nobody was clean. Nobody is a saint, folks - we all have skeletons. And another is that the movie is too slow. Didn't feel like that for me. Lets say, this isn't a feature for everybody.

    Can't fully recommend - you got to be in the mood to watch. But it's a worthwhile watch. This was Andy Garcia's directorial debut.

    Doing research, discovered; Garcia did a concert in 1995 in Cuba for 16,000 refugees who were staying at the U.S. naval base on the island.

    Okay. Lets make this lighter...

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Void.



    Back in September of last year - was doing my usual internet thing; had an unexpected epiphany - in the early 1990s one of the IT girls was model turned actress - April Storms.

    She pretty much came to fame due to a syndicated swimsuit TV special (Channel 9 here in SoCal), "U.S. Bikini Open". April really stood out from the other models, hot.

    A Southern gal who only did swimwear shoots, no nudity. She was a semi-regular in "American Swimsuit" magazine. A Venus swimsuit model.

    Then it hits me...



    Storms was the pro-version of Playboy's model (never a centerfold) - Sara Jean Underwood. She appear in several episodes of the E! cable series, "The Girls Next Door".

    April turned her minor fame into guest spots on TV shows and even had her own calendar. Why yes, I do own it. *wink* Never used, no marks on it, collector's item of sort. Indeed. April just like Sara was bubbly, a playful personality. A fun gal.

    But unlike April, Sara is still working, an Instagram model today. Traveling the world under fan dollars - donations and doing various photos shoots. She does do nudity, mostly outdoor images. Sway.

    Anyhow, April could've been as huge as Underwood, but she faded away. She could act well enough. And I don't think the non-nudity was a deal breaker. I'm under the thought she probably got married and started her own family, stopped modeling.

    Man, for a few years she a was a bright star and even Hollywood took interest. Oh well. Wherever she is, I wish her well. There you go. Come back here on January 23rd for another bite into exclusive cake, it's got strawberry fosting. Honest, it's not blood. *cough cough*

  2. #647
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    Target - January 14th, 2020


    Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil
    Exclusive photo book packaging; 4k BD/BD/DC combo $34.99

    - - - - - - - - - -

    CD available 01/17

    "Billie Eilish - When We All Fall Asleep" exclusive deluxe album $11.99
    "Billie Eilish - When We All Fall Asleep" exclusive glow-in-the-dark vinyl $20.99 (available now)
    "Taylor Swift - Lover" exclusive color vinyl $22.99 (available now)

  3. #648
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    Target - January 24th, 2020


    CDs

    "Camila Cabella - Romance" with exclusive poster $10.00
    "Lindsey Stirling - Artemus" with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $10.00
    "Jonas Brothers - Happiness Begins" with 2 exclusive bonus tracks $11.99
    "Halsey - Manic" exclusive song and voice memo $13.99 (available now)

  4. #649
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    Best Buy - January 21st, 2020


    Zombieland: Double Tap
    Exclusive steelbook; 4k BD/BD/DC combo $32.99

  5. #650
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    Past Tense - Cosmic Nightmares And 2122 Terrors Part I


    Another brand new entry!

    Gonna do something I have never done before; talk about the making of this post before we get into this multi-part entry. Back in July of 2015 I had begun preliminary image work for this PT. Then nothing came from it. The reason became quite clear when I made this my focus.

    There were so many rabbit holes with most of the data scattered; some were located online, others from my personal archives done with diligent detective work. In the end, three bits appear to have been lost to time - dead ends. I made multiple hunts. I tried, but there is no more net magic to conjure. I just don't know where to look. There isn't a master database or blogs to examine. That info somewhat pre-dates modern internet use - 1999.

    Man, the amount of work needed to complete *shakes head*... not even talking about the images (more were added - many needed restoration); serious research on the subject was staggering. The dates, prices, TV Guide ad, omissions, the proto-movie, release day titles (that was nearly impossible), missing concealment, easter eggs, deception, YouTube and a mysterious gargoyle on top of it all.

    Now I know why I didn't finish this Past Tense in '15 - too much trouble. Now close to five years later, I did it. Yeah. A step back. About a week after I had finished the first PT entry for January 2020, "The Lost City". I begun early efforts for the second. Images were collected to be worked on and various stats gathered. In the details I found a personal gap.

    I was looking for a price on the regular edition, but only found the Wal-Mart exclusive price. Where's the amount? My main DVD index, list the price (when there isn't an exclusive), but my exclusives' page (which would have the regular price) - had no entry. I was lacking a title and price. Somehow had forgotten to include the write up. That took me on a quest - information which I found.

    Turns out because of that discovered gap, that post could be branched off into two Past Tense entries - which comes next month... and begin "Sword And Sandal Quarter", three months of manly men in action. First two months - covering a single title since everyone had exclusives including itself (a gift set). Plus two brand new entries.

    Very cool, but that ultimately means I need another post to round out January. And I had the misfortune of choosing this title.

    I'm very proud of what I accomplished on this entry; I had given up on various items and while seeking another - came back for 'one more try' and was able to actually unearth. And in doing, discovered I had been lied to (rest of the public too) AND finding out that, that release has extras which didn't port over to the massive box set. A Black Friday 2019 purchase that had to be rebought from eBay to complete - scratched discs. I'm anal, I want my DVDs mint.

    You will never know how many hours and hours of work went into this post. Hair pullers and collective small victories. Just wanted to make it known, this isn't one of my regular Past Tenses. The only thing comparable is the entries for "Terminator 3: Rise Of The Machines" and "Terminator Salvation", but those multi-installments were created over the course of eight months - at my leisure. This...

    Had to be finished in under two weeks to meet my schedule for February through April entries. PLUS I need to do a write up for my "Night Of The Living Dead DVD Retrospective" (a book review). Let that sink in - a rush job that needed to be up the standards of accuracy and depth - and snarkness. With enough time for me to digest and tinker to satisfaction. Ideas pop and pop which mean I need more pictures and pictures which need modding and/or repairs.

    January turned to a busy month for writing.

    And making a connection on an error which isn't so much an error as it was a deleted moment and finding additional proof - I'll get into that much later. It's an interesting 'what if'.

    Okay I'm done. Lets dive in...

    - - -



    "The Alien Legacy: 20th Anniversary Edition" was released on home video on June 1st, 1999 for both DVD and VHS collections. The video tape sets came in two styles: full screen or widescreen (a.k.a. letterbox).

    DVD retailed for $79.98. Unknown for VHS.

    It streeted against "Gleaming The Cube", Playboy's (not Pixar's) "Inside Out", "Silverado" and "So I Married An Axe Murderer" (snapper case).



    The sets consist of "Alien" (1979), "Aliens" (1986; presentation of the 'Special Edition' cut - twenty minutes longer), "Alien3" (1992) and "Alien Resurrection" (1997) with various 'brand new' extras; the sister release had the movies with very minor extras - cassettes after all.

    Also included were a coupon for a mail-in offer and a set of nine "Alien Legacy" chase cards from Inkworks' upcoming trading card collection. The cards were exclusive to the American release. All came housed in a embossed foil slipcase.

    Each of the movies (DVD set) came in their own Alpha cases with individual booklets covering that film's trivia and photos. VHS each came with their own individual card stock slipcovers.



    That coupon was for an additional disc/cassette, a documentary on the making of the first film, "The Alien Legacy" (1999). This wasn't included in the boxes since it as still in production when the sets streeted. The exclusive on DVD cost $1.75 (for shipping). Unknown price for the exclusive video tape. The offer was from June 1st to September 1st, 1999 or while supplies last.

    The bonus doc is presented in full screen and is 1:06:47 minutes long. The VHS copy came in a similar card stock case. The DVD came in a printed cardboard sleeve (above). The DVD has no menu screen - just plays. It comes subtitled in English, French and Spanish. And has no chapters.

    Should be noted, the bonus content came in the mail months later. It was not reisued for DVD - well not for the Legacy sets.

    But the re-release of the VHS collection included the fifth tape in a larger box; price is unknown.

    That extra DVD had a limited individual release - as a rental only. This came in a standard DVD case with a regular wraparound. Kinda wish I had picked that up when I had the opportunity. I own the sleeve version, bought off eBay years ago.

    The bonus is online. Go to YouTube, type in "The Alien Legacy (1999), documentary about 1979 ALIEN film" in search. Or if you know how, "QTr-ptJGp0c". It's still there (as of writing), checked. Uploaded on May 3rd, 2016 by H0ll0wm9n.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Footnotes.

    Just noticed that - Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) is wearing high heel cowboy boots in that promo pix for "Alien".



    Should be noted that this doc was not included in the mega (digipak) DVD collection that was "Alien Quadrilogy". The colossal collection, nine discs set streeted on December 2nd, 2003 for $99.99.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 01-25-2020 at 08:01 AM.

  6. #651
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    Past Tense - Cosmic Nightmares And 2122 Terrors Part II


    There are in fact other extras in "Legacy" which didn't carry over.

    1) "Alien" - commentary by director Ridley Scott (new one was recorded for Quadrilogy); isolated Jerry Goldsmith score with alternate music; screensaver for Mac and PC) plus hidden gems (covered later).

    2) "Alien3" - EPK (Electronic Press Kit) featurette on the making.

    3) "Alien Resurrection" - EPK featurette on the making.

    "The Alien Legacy" is included in the "Alien Anthology" Blu-Ray set; streeted on October 26th, 2010 for $139.99.

    I have my exclusive inside the DVD case for "Alien" - 20th Anniversary; bought since I found out - was missing the above (number one). You see 20th Century Fox had re-released the DVD with new cover art and added a lenticular slipcover. The iconic xeno egg.



    My copy came from Wal-Mart for ten bucks - which came with a single chapter sheet insert. Later I found on eBay, the original DVD. Got it rather cheap just for the booklet (above) and wraparound. Then moved this all into a two disc transparent case.

    The new cover on the outside and the older one inside. Inside is the inserts and documentary sleeve. Two disc case says it all; extras not in Quadrilogy are here.

    - - -

    I want to begin part two with a quote. A massive logic problem with the first film...

    In the end, Ripley and the Alien are in the escape ship. She grabs a harpoon gun of some sorts.. and opens the door. The Alien is holding on, and Ripley shoots it with the harpoon.

    The Alien's chest is punctured, and it flies out of the door. The door shuts, just as the gun reaches it, causing the Alien to hang behind the ship like someone water skiing.

    Okay, considering the biology of the Alien, and it's ACID FOR BLOOD, that can eat through 3 floors of a ship in seconds.

    HOW THE HELL DID THE HOOK AND CABLE NOT MELT OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    - NataliePortmansYummyAfterbirth

    He's totally right. Never thought about it until reading that internet comment.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Rant.

    Want to make this clear - I do not own this set... but do now in a very round about way which I'll cover in a while.



    This seems like a stupid error, but turns out to be something deeper that got cut, not a game changer, but an option not used. And it all started with TV Guide advertisement for ABC; first time on television - "Alien". Was doing research and fell into this other rabbit hole.

    WTF? That doesn't look like Tom Skerritt - a lot more like Richard Chamberlain from "Shogun"; NBC's 1980 mini-series (if he was in a disco outfit). Wishful thinking by the artist? 'Chamberlain would've have totally kicked alien butt.'

    What up with Sigourney Weaver's Jay Leno chin? And John Hurt looks very Korean - oh my God, Jonesy!

    That's raaycist!!! Little Tiger soup. Yup I went there.

    Well at least Yaphet Kotto looks like Yaphet Kotto.

    Do you see the problem in the ad, beyond my comments? Let me give you a moment and show you the network opening for Sunday night - March 25th, 1984.

    YouTube - ""Alien" 1984 ABC Sunday Night Movie Intro (Parental Discretion Advised)" or fQ2TnT-33ec; uploaded by RetroTVnstuff on July 14th, 2016. This is how I first saw the movie. Never had cable, still don't.

    Catch it?

    That gun isn't in the movie. No gun is in the feature, just stuff they improvised. Right? Right? Why is it in the ad? Dramatic license? Yes - and no. There WAS a gun in the movie.



    It's in a deleted scene. When Caine (Hurt) is inside the derelict - within the egg chamber; he gets spooked and pulls out his weapon. Each of the space suits has a hip holstered pistol. You'll notice the gun is very similar to the weapon Ripley is holding in the broadcast ad. The artist probably saw a print of the movie with that scene in it and drew it from memory.

    Can see why the scene was taken out. Having guns mean the crew could've defended themselves. Strip that away, they are left to creative measures - which makes for a better story and characters. Plus a bullet to the critter means acid blood getting all over the place. See Pvt. Mark Drake (Mark Rolston) from "Aliens" as a warning - what not to do to a xenomorph. *nods*

    Want more proof?

    Look at the promo pix with the cast for "Alien" in part one...



    Zoomed in - Kotto and Skerritt are both holding their space suit guns! Kotto is being all gangstar. 'Bitch where's my space dollars!'

    - - -

    This next rabbit hole goes into lore - does it exist? Was it filmed? There is production photo that kinda hints at it and the comments from a comic book artist which said it was made.

    What am I talking about?

    The infamous flesh box scene. A step back...



    In July 1979 Heavy Metal/Futura published for $3.95 - "Alien: The Illustrated Story". The comic adaptation was done by Archie Goodwin with art by Walter Simonson; sixty-four pages. "Alien" opened on June 22nd, '79.

    Movie; Ripley has set the Nostromo to auto-destruct, tried to abort it. But MU-TH-UR cancels her, too late - can't undo. She has her pet, Jones in a cat carrier running down corridors hoping not the run into the monster, trying to reach the Narcissus - the craft's escape shuttle which navigator Joan Marie Lambert and chief engineer Dennis Monroe Parker (Kotto) was stocking with coolant.

    Dashing down one of the corridors she nearly runs into the star beast as she tries to peek around a corner. In her panic she drops her cargo and flees like it's nobody's business. Later she require the carrier when she goes back to that corridor to reach the lifeboat.

    In an earlier version - the escape shuttle was named "Leviathan". Random trivia.

    BUT...

    The official comic book has a different version of that moment.



    The xenomorph can compress into itself to lure prey.

    Attempting to reach her escape - Ripley runs into a mysterious box at the center of the floor, very out of place. She gets curious, moves closer and sees movement in it. Not a box, flesh - she dashes away. The creature unfurls to full form. The nightmare tried to get her to come to it.

    In an interview with Simonson in 2014, he claims he saw the scene. He was privy to a preview screening in December 1978 (rough cut) with illustrations beginning in March. He drew what he saw. The movie was still being edited at the time. Simonson wanted to know if the scene was still there or revise the comic. He was told the flesh box was still in the movie. It's not.

    There is no mention anywhere of this moment - NONE. Like it never happened. Simonson says he saw it.



    But there is this image, a promo shot or something else? By the way, that's graphic artist, Bolaji Badejo in the suit. A very skinny fellow.

    Now this could very well be foreshadowing the ending with the beast compressed within the workings of the Narcissus.

    The end of the lore? No, that would be too easy. There's another deleted scene which gives serious consideration to the flesh box.

    It would take decades before Scott would direct another movie in the franchise - "Prometheus" (2012). A prequel to the movies.



    There is a cut scene where an infected - more like mutated, Fifield (Sean Harris) returns outside of the gangway of their ship. Fifield had folded into his space suit; one of the crew is confused and comes to him. He's murdered, pounded to death - then Fifield goes onto killing rampage in the hold.

    A random moment, coincidence or callback to that deleted scene?

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    Past Tense - Cosmic Nightmares And 2122 Terrors Part III


    How did Lambert die? We don't see.

    In the (1979) novelization by Alan Dean Foster - she was killed when the creature forced her body into a vent far too small, crushed. Which is why we see her bloody limbs suspended, dangling from the wall.

    - - -

    Oh yeah... in lieu of "The Alien Legacy" - Quadrilogy has "Alien Evolution" doc. This was British TV special that aired on October 13th, 2001 on Channel 4. The sixty-four minute program only covers the making of "Alien"... the problem, that's not the full broadcast.

    It included the making of the saga; all the materials and footage concerning the rest of the movies were taken out. The narration of Mark Kermode is gone minus just the opening. The full run time is seventy-five minutes.

    - - -

    Something I want to address; all the dripping water in the lower decks of the Nostromo, falling like rain. What was happening was mass condensation from temperature differential; upper decks and lower decks - heat from the engine room.

    Any large (and I mean huge) structure can create their own evaporation cloud just as the Earth does. As heat rises so does water vapor. As these water particles cool, they form droplets. These droplets fall once they get too big - gravity and it rains, basic physics.
    - quoting myself from the PT entry for "Under The Dome: Season One"

    On July 30th, 1972 - rain inside the Astrodome in Houston, Texas; poor air conditioning was to blame. It failed remove excessive heat and moisture from the air. This is what's going on in the lower decks of the behemoth towing ship.

    So why did I say I don't own this set and yet do now?



    On October 7th, 2014 "Alien Quadrilogy" was re-released for $29.98. Now all in standard DVD case, reduced to a four disc set; one for each movie. No slipcover was issued. Wal-Mart by the way sold it with digital copies on their exclusive streaming service, VUDU.

    Didn't buy at the time. As said in Part I, would be Black Friday 2019 (November 28th) when I took home that trimmed collection. Six bucks. A good price, I bit. The BF sale didn't include digital copies. Why? Why rebuy? I wanted convenience; all the movies to watch with easy access without having to deal with digipaks - very plural.

    Best description for Quadrilogy I read - liken it to an accordion. This thing unfolds, unfolds, unfolds, unfolds and unfolds. A great and fantastic box set, but it's a pain to get to the movies.

    So Quadrilogy 2.0 was taken home (among other DVDs); found three of the discs were scratched. So on the final days of 2019 I bought another copy off eBay for $7.50 - the collection was had for $2.50 - making an offer that the seller accepted (rest was postage). I did good. The package arrived on January 2nd of the new decade.

    Mixed with my existing set, I now have a complete mint collection. Sway.

    Another step back because I had thought this was something else. Which it wasn't. Yeah.

    Quadrilogy is a nine disc set and expensive. Got my copy years after the fact. Want to say a sale from Deep Discount back when it was called Deep Discount DVD. Can't recall the price, too many moons ago. A hundred bucks for four movies is stretching for a lot of folks.



    January 6th, 2004 - each of the movies were given two disc, individual releases. The two discs partitions from Quadrilogy, priced at $26.98 each. The ninth disc was not included.

    That above image; Alien: The Director's Cut, Aliens: Collector's Edition, Alien3: Collector's Edition and Alien Resurrection: Collector's Edition.

    Bought my sets from Wal-Mart for thirteen bucks each, their sale price. That's awesome, didn't buy them all together - took them home in one month.

    Each digipak came in a slipcase with booklet. Very nice looking. These are films I want to come back to and I don't want to risk doing accidental damage while pulling them out to watch. So the slimmed down Quadrilogy actually made sense.

    But it was a lie. We were all lied to.

    The cover reads "Alien Quadrilogy" for crying out loud. I thought this collection was disc one from each of the Quadrilogy partitions. No. It's not.

    You may have guessed, this is The Legacy Collection repackaged! They even have new disc art, tricking you - until you play them. You can imagine my mood. I paid how much for this 1999 compendium???

    Only when doing the research for this Past Tense did I discover the various bonus content omissions. I'm not happy, but I'm living with it. You see, the real Quadrilogy, remastered the movies once more after the Legacy box.

    - - -

    You know what I want?

    I want a proper documentary on the lost proto-movie - "Star Beast". Or better yet, have the final draft become animated horror, like the video game adaptations "Dead Space: Downfall" (2008) and its sequel "Dead Space: Aftermath" (2011), both on DVD.



    Here the crew of the Snark intercept a long ago made signal - on their way back to Earth; investigate and find themselves caught in the same mess that the crew of the Nostromo did. That communication dish recedes onto the hull when not in use. That ship has an excellent design.

    The was no android or corporate conspiracy here. Just space explorers with a despicable stowaway. And yes, from a chestbuster.

    Much of the artwork was done by Ron Cobb who does industrial tech illustrations.



    Here's the earlier version of finding the Space Jockey.

    So the crew receive the unknown signal and triangulate it's location a small planet. They land and discover the alien craft. But sensors reveal a large structure in the distance, they travel to it and find a long extinct civilization who had built a stone pyramid.

    No way in around the base, but it can be accessed from a hole at the summit, they climb up and then tether down.

    This was a people who were very similar to the Mayans. They engaged in sacrifice.... you can guess to what. And worshipped the xenomorph. Turns out that alien ship crash landed the locals thought them as gods. Created a religion out of it.

    One on of the walls there's stone carving of the xeno life cycle. Inside of one them discovers the egg chamber. You can guess the rest.



    This is what the creature was planned to look like. On left is the early stage, then it became a quadruped. Both iterations were quite violent. Reminds me like a cross between a cockroach and a squid. That's great design that should be used in a horror flick. Imagine that brute walking/running on walls trying to dismember you.

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    Past Tense - Cosmic Nightmares And 2122 Terrors Part IV


    *rise eyebrow*

    Or... Legofy it. "The Lego Movie" and sequel, plus Batman Lego film showed that you could have a feature entirely made of (CGI) Lego parts. Why not have "Star Beast" done in the same way? It would be both cute and disturbing.



    There's a guy online who sells custom Lego mini-figs - Dan's Collectibles. Above is the xenomorph, the mouth opens and closes. This is a do-able thing. He also does a Predator for twenty bucks.

    ...that's was odd.

    Like magic.

    Two days ago on the 21st, I found out that this is indeed happing in a round about way. Not a doc, but a five issue comic book mini-series from Dark Horse Comics.



    Cristiano Seixas has adapted Dan O’Bannon original script and with artist Guilherme Balbi and colorist Candice Han have made - "Alien: The Original Screenplay". Above is the cover.

    The comic streets on April 22nd, 2020 for $3.99.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Just because.

    You perv!



    Let me make this wholesome - here's a pix of Ripley with her furry friend, Jones.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Tangent.

    What did I mean by gargoyle?

    Just that - a gargoyle.

    The xenomorph appears in a 12th century church; Paisley Abbey in Paisley, Scotland. It was a short lived intenet viral mystery in 2013. Though it did appear back in the early days of the internet - 1997, but nobody cared then.



    The '13 stir was being used as claims - proof extraterrestrials to even time travel. Nah. No discontinuity here.

    Early 1990s the church was being renovated. It had thirteen gargoyles - only one was kept in original form, didn't need fixing. The rest were built from scratch. So the iconic space monster was added, imagined as a demon.

    Makes sense - in one of the many aborted screenplays for "Alien3", Ripley crashed into a man-made planetoid, a huge wooden church (just go with it). She is helped to rid herself of the queen inside by an android in the closet. The place is anti-tech, the synthetic would be an abomination in their eyes. Anyhow, the xeno is found in an ancient book as... a demon. *nods*

    That was the 1990 Vincent Ward and John Fasano "Alien III" screenplay. A lot of history, so many writers wrote scripts for that sequel that failed to get picked. From author William Gibson of "Neuromancer" (1984) fame to even David Twohy writer/director of "Pitch Black" (2000) and "Chronicles Of Riddick" (2004). And many more.

    Stonework was done by David Lindsay as a easter egg/lark. He no longer carves stone; no more money in it. A dead trade. That's sad.

    Perhaps the film was fairly new when they were carving this [no it wasn't] and if he was thinking of an alien. Perhaps the alien from the film was his idea of an alien. I’m sure he wasn’t deliberately copying the alien in the film. [That's what it is] It was just a concept of an alien.
    - Reverend Alan Birss on the topic

    No sir. It was deliberate, Lindsay is a fanboy.

    The gargoyle isn't obvious - unless you were looking, you wouldn't notice it. As it should be.

    - - - - - - - - - -

    Easter Eggs.

    These were not carried over to Quadrilogy. Didn't know about these until I did the research - the eggs surfaced. You get three, one of which is so-so from The Legacy Collection.

    USCSS Nostromo's crew histories and flight plan.

    Main Menu -> highlight "Scene Selection", press right; highlight right 'data screen' - ENTER.

    It reveals the Nostromo departed on June 12th, 2121 at 800 hours (8am) and landed on LV-426 (Acheron) on April 1st, 2122 at 1530 hours (3:30pm). The crew info is based on Ridley Scott's original character notes.

    - - -

    Ash's secret transmission to Weyland-Yutani on the xenomorph's life cycle.

    Extra Features -> press down six times, highlight the 'acid hole' in the corridor - ENTER.

    - - -

    DVD production credits.

    Main Menu -> highlight "Extra Features", press left; highlight left 'data screen' - ENTER.

    Two final pictures before I close this PT.



    Here is a BTS pix of Badejo taking a break on set; filming of the fates of Lambert and Parker; coolant tanks. Yes, that's a skull under the xeno's opaque head dome. Creepy. On the right is Cobb's design of the Snark's bridge. Damn, that is beautiful - the planet with the unknown signal shown in the windows and screens.

    Man this thing sure ballooned from three parts into four.

    Just so you know - the next Night Of The Living Dead DVD Retrospective post is up, a three parter.

    Doing this write up had me re-watching "Alien"; forty years old - still hasn't lost its bite. A genuine horror classic. Come back here on February 6th, 2020 for the first installment of "Sword And Sandal Quarter"!

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    CD available 1/31

    "Meghan Trainer - Treat Myself" with two exclusive bonus tracks $11.99

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    Past Tense - Sword And Sandal Quarter Part I


    [An earlier version of this PT was originally posted on March 13th, 2013 on JoBlo's "DVD, Blu-Ray & Home Theater Discussion" forum.]

    This PT kicks off - "Sword And Sandal Quarter", three months of manly dudes doing manly things. SADQ starts with a retelling of the Battle Of Thermopylae (480 BC) with a living God, a giant, flashy cinematography and dudes with swords protecting their realm in "300"...



    The motion picture opened on March 9th, 2007. It was made with a budget of $65,000,000 (estimated) and grossed over 210 million during its U.S. theatrical run; worldwide it made over $456 million. The film opened number one at the box office, the following week it remained at number one

    The feature opened against "Ghost Rider", "Bridge To Terabithia", "The Number 23" and "Wild Hogs".

    This was released in two main versions; full screen as a single disc and a two disc widescreen special edition - which is what I'm going to be talking about.

    There was no insert for the two disc set, but it did come with an embossed cardboard slipcover which mirrored the case's wraparound. I apologize, can not recall if the single disc came with a slipcover. Sorry, that was nearly thirteen years ago.

    - - -

    As mentioned in the last Past Tense heralding this gimmick *cough* - I mean 'showcase'... this feature had so many exclusives from multiple stores and itself. Coverage will take two months just on this movie. The inaugural entry will cover the two items which came from Best Buy.



    The first was a pre-release, promo disc; weekly ad shown above. It came in a black slimcase and was made available on February 27th, 2007; free with the purchase of any DVD.

    There was a minimum ninety per store. It came with a theater voucher to see "300" for free ($10.50 value for one; the window was March 9th to April 9th, 2007). I didn't use mine, it's still in the slimcase. I'm a collector.

    This was both in the new releases display rack and in the 'Adventure' section.



    Got mine from buying a copy of "Giant: Two - Disc Special Edition". Don't ask, can't remember the price. It's a great flick, James Dean just eats up his scenes. Granted I had to make an exchange since one of the discs was scratched up.

    The promo disc has a run time of 43:01 minutes. Most the webisodes carried over onto the two disc set.

    Most not all... minus "Sneak Peak At 300", "First Look", "Creatures" and the mobile game trailer "300: March To Glory". *nods*



    The next exclusive arrived on its street date of July 31st, 2007. A mini Spartan helmet with four collectible art cards. All the store exclusives was for DVD only. This movie did come out on HD DVD/DVD combo ($39.98) and a single disc BD for $34.98 on that date too.

    This came in box with a folding side door (sealed/locked with two velcro dots) that opened to a large window showcasing the replica.

    One side also had a window, didn't need to be opened to view. This exclusive was for the two disc special edition and sold for $34.99.



    The art cards were printed on card stock and embossed on "300" logo/name. They are 5 x 7 inches each.

    The back is blank minus some fine print, studio credits ("For promotional use only. Not for sale. © 2007 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved." Below that it read "116724-90-CR"; with a number at the end of CR indicating the card number, such as CR4.).

    Have my BB cards here and Circuit City's (next Past Tense) inside the slipcover - inside that big box. I'll explain in a few.



    Above is a couple of photos from a fellow enthusiast. Man, getting this particular exclusive was a pain, not as much as it was for the FYE/Suncoast offering (next month's post). *shakes head* I'm way too anal for my own good.

    That helmet is not some plastic crap, it has real weight to it. Kinda like what Best Buy did with the ceramic mask for "V For Vendetta" (2006; have that too). Thing feels like it was made from some kind of resin - not metal. It measures 5 1/2 inches tall.

    A good sculpt and paint job on it. I'm lucky to have mine, very sway.

    On release day I arrived in store around noon and they were already sold out. Only fifteen per store.. Crap! Fanboys like myself had been waiting in front of the store before it opened to get that exclusive - found that out later from an online forum.

    That means I had ZERO chance finding it. In fact that was happening across the nation. A thought popped in my head (wasn't the only one) - I raced home.



    Could the internet save me? I went online (home) and saw through the store's website - still available. Hope it was accurate and ordered it. What you're seeing above is an actual screen snap from that afternoon; image was taken roughly at four PM (did I not tell you, I'm anal?).

    The question was whether or not my order went through. You see, the email I got shortly there after said, it was on back order. Then I got a second message saying the same. I pretty much figured, I lost it.

    There was a bit of false hope. Looking about on the web, read that some Best Buys might be getting restocked that Thursday. I gave it a shot, nope - my local store didn't have it.

    I did however talk to a clerk there - did happen, but only to a few stores in Las Vegas. Which means - my order still could happen, hadn't gotten an email saying it was canceled.

    On August 7th, came a message saying it was shipped; five days later it arrived. *smiles* This very exclusive is now selling from Amazon resellers from $75.99 to $80.00 (as of this morning, posting). With one seller asking for $647.74 for a mint in box copy. I'm glad I have my set.

    The cards.

    All and all I bought this movie three times over. The DVD with slipcover fits inside the box, behind the replica giving it structural support, otherwise would wobble.

    Sold my extra copy on Ebay (didn't break even), but kept the extra slipcover for the box. I use that slipcover like a pocket for the card exclusives. The movie isn't inside the box, I would rather have easy access for viewing. And would put ware on it, opening and closing the flap each time; damage can happen. I'm a collector.

    There you go folks, "Sword And Sandal Quarter" continues with Part II which will pop up on February 20th, 2020. See you there - in fancy slow-mo.
    Last edited by JohnIan101; 02-20-2020 at 03:19 AM.

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