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Aliens on Film: Hollywood''s Alien Obsession Still Going Strong
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4 Jul 2011 12:04 PM EST

- by Drew Kolar, Senior Staff Writer

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Aliens are invading... Hollywood! Or rather, they have been for decades, but with the release Steven Spielberg’s new show Falling Skies, J.J. Abrams’s Super 8 and the 15th anniversary of the hit film Independence Day, it’s hard to not acknowledge just how much our entertainment business is influenced by the possibility of otherworldly beings paying a visit—for better or for worse. Here’s a top five list of some of the most influential aliens-on-earth movies and shows.

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5. V

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We’re not talking any lame re-makes, here; the original V miniseries of 1983 sparked a bit of a phenomenon in the sci-fi world. Audiences were captivated by the story of the “visitors,” who came to Earth pretending to need our help but really just wanted to take over the planet—and maybe eat us, too. The reptilian creatures wore human disguises to win the world over, but a few people saw through their lies. Cameraman Michael Donovan (Marc Singer), for example, discovers their true faces when sneaking aboard a mothership.

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4. Mars Attacks!

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While an alien attack may be no laughing matter, the creators of Mars Attacks! seemed to think otherwise. Directed by Tim Burton, the 1996 star-studded comedy featured appearances by a slew of huge celebrities, including Jack Nicholson, Pierce Brosnan, Sarah Jessica Parker, Glenn Close, Michael J. Fox and Danny DeVito. Even Jack Black and Natalie Portman made appearances before they became even bigger stars. These big-brained aliens may not have been as scary as others, but their invasion definitely made for a hilariously dark B-movie.

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3. Roswell

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Teen drama met alien encounters on The WB’s Roswell. Based on the Roswell High book series, the show definitely gained a huge cult fanbase throughout its three-season run, beginning in 1999. Perhaps it was the fact that the aliens were pretty hot—the series starred Jason Behr, Katherine Heigl and Brendan Fehr as Max and Isabel Evans and friend Michael Guerin, three alien-human hybrids residing in Roswell, New Mexico, who must keep their secret from the government while attempting to return to their home planet. The series brought a whole new meaning to “loving the alien” to Liz Parker (Shiri Appleby), who was Max’s main love interest.

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2. District 9

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District 9, released in 2009, makes us actually sympathize with the aliens, depicting their captivity in South Africa, including slum-like housing and horrible treatment from locals. Then protagonist Wikus van de Merwe (Sharlto Copley) actually starts to become one of the creatures when his DNA gets mixed with that of the “prawns,” as they’re nicknamed. The story is sad and is definitely a jab at modern society’s xenophobia and racism (species-ism?) even after years of fighting for equal rights.

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1. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

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After watching E.T., every kid wanted an alien of their own. Yet another sympathetic movie about an extraterrestrial, it’s obvious early on that E.T. really just wants to go home. Unfortunately for him and his buddy Elliott (Henry Thomas), the government is on the hunt for the visitor as well. When the two become linked physically, both Elliott and E.T. begin to fall ill, especially after the government ultimately captures them. E.T.’s great escape back to his ship produced the iconic bike-across-the-moon scene, which has helped to fill Spielberg’s pockets since 1982.

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Recently Posted Comments
Date: 13 August, 2011
Posted by: JOE S HILL
Comment: Unquestionably,Kenneth Johnson's original "V" mini- series,IS still the best,which is far more then ABC's recently departed version.which had no business being made! remakes today,are BAD ideas,because the people who do these things are not the original producers,nor are their versions anywhere as superior as the originals! "V" should have been left to Mr Johnson-and i belive he'll agree with that point,with little trouble!
Date: 7 August, 2011
Posted by: Spud
Comment: A few years ago I'd have to pay someone for this infortmaion.
Date: 13 July, 2011
Posted by: Venita Ozols Graham
Comment: 'V' was and is one of the most original, outstanding works of science fiction EVER.
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