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JK Figueroa
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Rocky roads
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12/4/17
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Cold, wet, climb up to the Dragon's tooth.
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11/7/17
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My Monday morning
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On this day:
At 4th November of 1988, the movie "They Live" opened in US theaters. Horror master John Carpenter directs this heart-pounding thriller. Aliens are systematically gaining control of the earth by masquerading as humans and lulling the public into submission. Humanity's last chance lies with a lone drifter who stumbles upon a harrowing discovery: a unique pair of sunglasses that reveal the terrifying and deadly truth. At release it was number one in the box office, but sales soon suffered, though the film was nominated for two Saturn Awards. "They Live" has since become a cult film.

Director John Carpenter helmed a number of fantastic films during the 1980s (most notably "The Thing"), but "They Live" is perhaps his most fun. Blending together social commentary, violence and terrific one-liners that approach Robocop levels of greatness, it's an engaging and accessible romp that's aged quite well during the last 29 years. It doesn't hurt that its star is well-versed in brawling and over-the-top dialogue, but there's more to "They Live" than its deceptively simple premise of "us vs. them".

John Nada (Roddy Piper) is a drifter who just arrived in Los Angeles, and he's lucky enough to find construction work and shelter at a shantytown with the help of co-worker Frank Armitage (Keith David). As time passes, Nada can't help but notice strange occurrences at a nearby church, and it isn't long before curiosity gets the best of him.

Among other things, he discovers a box of sunglasses that allow their wearer to see...well, "the truth": aliens are lurking about and the unwitting lower classes are being controlled by their advertisements, suggestions and news reports.

Unfortunately, it's tough to convince fellow citizens that they're being brainwashed by extra-terrestrials, especially when you're perceived as a homeless nut job. Soon enough, however, Nada and company begin to fight back against the repulsive invaders...and things get serious pretty fast, since those in power generally like to stay on top.

It's impossible to recollect "They Live" without immediately thinking of the film's most memorable moments. The black-and-white reveal of a seemingly harmless billboard. Those lines about cheese dip and bubble gum. The endless back-alley brawl. A heroic third act takeover of the aliens' news station headquarters. Yet lurking under "They Live's" goofy, over-the-top exterior is a politically subversive story loaded with heart and conviction...and what's more, it plays even better in hindsight.

There is a plot hole or two, some bad alien makeup, and a few cheesy scenes, but its hard not to like this film as an action/sci-fi adventure, and its hard not to appreciate the layers of commentary Carpenter manages to cleverly conceal here. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but it should be recommended to any action, sci-fi, or Carpenter fans for the underrated 'hell of an adventure' film this is.

#TheyLive #JohnCarpenter
#RoddyPipper #80sMovies #Movies
#SciFi #SciFiFilm #Thriller
#ActionFilm #Horror #HorrorFilm
#Onthisday #MovieReview
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Adventures on the trail
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10/29/17
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Shelters on the appalachian trail
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9/28/17
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