Series Premiere: The Prisoner

As I mentioned over in my now weekly (and also, soon-to-go-up-every-Monday) TV column over on Maxim.com called We Like To Watch last week, I’ve been looking forward to The Prisoner. It’s not because I’m a huge fan of the original (I’ve never seen it), but more so because the combination of Jim Caviezel (Jesus) and Ian McKellen (Magneto) is a solid one, plus the original concept influenced everything from Lost to Final Crisis: Escape (a DC comic I thoroughly enjoyed).

Anyway, the first two episodes played tonight and I liked them both (though I watched the second one first and the first one second because we watched Amazing Race at 8:00PM). I’m not going to pretend like I know everything that was going on. I do have a few theories though, that might be completely obvious to someone familiar with the new series, but that’s not me, so what are you gonna do? First up, it seems like 6 is a pretty high number, I’m guessing that’s significant, especially since everyone else (aside from 2) sports a significantly higher number. I’m also guessing that 2 is the main dude and that 1 (if there is a 1, I didn’t hear him or her mentioned) doesn’t really exist and 2 is the main man. Hm, seems like I had another theory, but can’t remember it now. Oh, I’m guessing 2’s wife was an early subject of the mind-altering stuff and that’s why she’s messed up (or she can’t be mind-altered and 2’s keeping her sedated). Em thinks that 93 is somehow related to 6 (and may even be the same person somehow). Not sure about that one, but I figured I’d throw it out there.

I was definitely entertained by these two episodes and left with plenty of questions. What’s the deal with The Village? Is this a brand new interpretation of whatever happened in the original series or a continuation (like Dragnet)? What’s the deal with the white bubbles and the two towers? Who is 6 really? With all these mysteries floating around, I’m absolutely hooked, though I wish AMC wasn’t rolling all six episodes in three days, that’s a bit annoying, especially since we have a full TV night tomorrow.

Outlander Was Surprisingly Good

I say surprisingly because the only thing I ever heard about Outlander (2008) is that it feature Vikings vs. aliens. In fact, when it was released on DVD in the last couple of weeks everyone referred to it as such. So, I added it to the top of my queue as I’m want to do with delayed movies and forgot about it. I was pleasantly surprised with the results.

The funny thing about watching movies on the train is that I don’t have any information on the movie, just what’s in front of me. Having put the disc in the player the night before and not reading any of the Netflix disc info I thought I was watching a really impressive movie from no name actors. It wasn’t until I looked the movie up on IMDb that Jesus himself starred. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen Jim Caviezel in anything, so he just looked like any other dude to me and I definitely didn’t recognize Ron Perlman with all that Viking gear on (and sans Hellboy trench coat). William Hurt’s in it too, but he just looked like an old guy to me.

I’d like to flesh out the plot a little bit more for you guys too, assuming there aren’t a lot of people who saw it (according to Wiki it was only given a one week release, which is a shame because it’s one of the best original sci-fi movies I’ve seen in a while). It’s kind of a mix between Halo, Planet of the Apes, Predator, Alien, Pathfinder (but not shitty) with a few other references/homages thrown in like The Fugitive. Our main character is actually an alien of the space marine variety. He crashes on Earth during Viking times and helps them fight a rad-looking alien monster thing called the Moorwen.

Speaking of the Moorwen, the filmmakers did a great job creating the beast and really had fun with all the tail-whips and whatnot, but the really interesting aspect of the creature for me was the fact that it utilized bioluminescence to lure it’s prey (and to look like a rave at times). It’s just a cool idea that I haven’t seen before and the effects looked really good. Maybe it’s because I was watching it on a tiny screen, but I hope it would have looked just as good on my big TV.

It might sound kind of a straightforward plot, but there are all kinds of reveals and not the crazy twist kinds, just past-revealing moments that really flesh out the plot. Turns out our hero may not have been such a good dude and the Moorwen might have been victims themselves. There’s also a whole other mess going on between Hurt and Perlman’s people. Plus, the films I rattled off above don’t get copied exactly by any means, it’s just hard to watch any alien movie without thinking of Alien or Predator. Outlander takes all the elements, adds their own twists, mixes in the Viking stuff and blends them together in a nice cocktail, kind of like how Doomsday took all these rad elements and put them together, though I think it’s a bit smoother in Outlander (and with fewer ingredients).

If you’re an action, sci-fi fan or even a horror fan (there’s lots of blood, caves, monsters and corpses), you should definitely check it out.