Strange Invaders (1983) – I don’t normally post any sort of review of movies that I don’t manage to finish, but in the case of Strange Invaders I’ll make an exception. the premise of the movie — aliens take over a small town in the 1950s and keep in unchanged for decades — could be the foundation for a good movie, but this isn’t it. Everything is slow, slow, slow, and the protagonist is ineffective and nebbish, so much so that halfway through, the script starts casting around for a different protagonist. Wallace Shawn has an early role in this, leading to my formulation of a new rule: If even Wallace Shawn is boring in your movie, your movie is too dang boring.
The 5th Wave (2016) – The first act is a series of emotional punches as a systematic alien assault destroys the Earth’s infrastructure, as seen through the eyes of a teenage girl. Everything from the midpoint on is dominated by a stupid teenybopper “Your lurv turns my alien nature all human!” relationship, and a plot twist that (a) I saw from so far away that I don’t think I need to wear glasses anymore, and (b) is really dumb.
The Creation of the Humanoids (1962) – This isn’t exactly a good movie, but it’s also definitely not a stupid movie. Set in a civilization rebuilt after an atomic war, the plot — such as it is — posits a society propped up by a class of sentient androids, whose near-humanity is seen as a threat by a reactionary force calling itself “The Order of Flesh and Blood,” dedicated to keeping the robots in their places. These robots are in the classic Asimovian mold, being entirely guided by an inborn ethic of helping the human race, but what the human race needs and what it may want to believe it needs are two separate things… Most of the movie is composed of conversations — between robots, between humans helping the robots’ beneficent schemes, between members of the Order, between a high-ranking member of the Order and his sister who’s recently gotten herself a made-to-please-her robotic “companion” (there isn’t a legitimate word describing this kind of male concubinage), between humans falling in unlikely love… Nothing but rhetoric and general talkiness as far as the eye can see, but if you accept that the storyline’s mostly an excuse for an ongoing philosophical discussion, it’s not half-bad.