FILM INFO: Conveyed through sensual black and white photography, brooding musical compositions and wry humor, 'Mickey Reece's Alien' is a rumination on spirituality, space and divine existentialism inspired by the later years of Elvis and Priscilla Presley's tumultuous marriage.
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Mickey Reece's Alien ( 2017 )
Feature Film Review
You think you're a real Elvis fan? Think you know all there is to know about the King of rock 'n' roll? Well maybe you do but that's really no reason to skip "Mickey Reece's Alien" from Mickey Reece himself. This film is a period piece that is actually a fiction about the King and his wife Priscilla. Could many of the events in the film have actually taken place? Who's to say. Sometimes fiction walks a line close to reality, but that's not the intent here. Writer, director Mickey Reece simply wanted to have some fun with some names we all know. His take on how things possibly were. It's an interesting film to say the least. Elvis and his wife, friends and acquaintances, played quite "freshly" by this films cast, deliver an often over the top, comedic portrayal of their celebrity counter-parts. To be completely blunt, this film is not so much a biography, as it is some fun fan fiction. What I personally found interesting was that I was constantly thinking: This "could" have been the way things really were. Of course, after this thought, I would find myself smiling a little. I'm pretty sure that was the real magic behind this title. You "know" this is a fiction full of comedic bloating, but you also find yourself stopping to wonder just how fictional it may be. Then, when you are done chuckling at the no-so-in-your-face comedy, Mr. Reece hits you with a more serious shift in the narration. This serious to funny routine continues through the feature, all the time keeping things interesting. But my absolute favorite thing about "Mickey Reece's Alien" was that even the humor was only hinting at being a joke. There's no outright gags, just ridiculous conversations and situations that are so strange they make you smile. That's the real winning element of this movie. Hands down. This is a low budget indie film and as such, don't expect all the bells and frills of a heavily budgeted production. With that written, there's still a lot packed into this hour long adventure. Some real care, "and probably a lot of creative thinking" still manages, without the huge budget, to showcase some excellent wardrobe and set pieces. The production team tried their damndest to give the viewer the real look for the period. They succeeded. The mix of black and white photography and creative use of props really does ooze, visually, of yester-year. Of course, this is one of the highlights that really add to the charm of this production. The leads, Jacob Snovel and Cate Jones as Elvis and Priscilla do one hell of a job portraying their respective characters... in very unusual ways. Elvis always seemed like he was on a stage performing, and Priscilla, well let's just say she was played in a completely unique manner. Her portrayal reminded me a lot of the "Lydia" character from Beetlejuice. My one gripe, that drove me insane, was what I'm sure was intentional. Her (Priscilla's) constant use of "Elvis" in her dialog. While speaking to the King, she constantly referred to him by his first name. In almost all dialog. Who does that? As I wrote, this was probably intentional, but it drove me completely crazy through the duration of the film. As for the rest of the cast, in their supportive roles, I found that they easily stayed on pace with the leads. There really is no performance that I would write is bad. Simply unusual and fitting to the film. When it's all said and done, this is a very unique movie. Die hard fans will either hate it or simply laugh straight through. The rest of us casual viewers, will have no problem understanding it's a fiction, and something meant to have fun with. "Mickey Reece's Alien" succeeds in making entertainment come first, reality after. With people who were/are this interesting in real life, why not have some fun? As a purely fictional story based on people most of us know, this title succeeds on a grand scale. Excellent work all around. -JT