I really enjoyed the film Cowboys and Aliens. Some time ago, I had put together a little RPG setting called "The Eerie Exploits of Ranger Company X," which was a sort of a X-Files-meets-Walker, Texas Ranger-meets-The Wild, Wild West (TV series) mashup. So you can probably imagine that I was stoked to see C&A. Now, don't get me wrong: it wasn't the best cowboy movie, nor was it the best alien movie, but it was the best cowboy and alien movie. The name certainly told you everything you needed to know.
Having said that, I wasn't disappointed by the movie, but I was disappointed by the fact that more moviegoers didn't go see it. I thought it was a pretty decent sci-fi action flick, and didn't buy most people's critiques of the film. I wondered what could have turned people off.
The other night, I caught "Entertainment Tonight." I don't normally watch ET, but for some reason, I didn't turn it off. This particular episode featured an "on-the-set" segment of a new film Battleship, due out next spring, and then it hit me. Moviegoers are dealing with Alien Fatigue Syndrome. (AFS).
Consider: since 2009 alone there have been over twenty films (not counting animated or superhero comic films) featuring an alien invasion motif, including some noteworthy films like Skyline, District 9, Battle: Los Angeles, Super 8 and the upcoming Apollo 18 (source). This also doesn't count television series like V and Falling Skies.
Next we will be "treated" to Battleship, and I have little to no hope that it will fare any better than Cowboys and Aliens. In fact, when I heard the high concept, I said it was Cowboys and Aliens at sea.
Once again, we see Hollywood beating a good concept to death.
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