January 21st, 2004


A good friend of mine recommended the movie Alive to me and I just finished watching it. Are you familiar with this movie? It’s a true story about a rugby team flying to Chile to compete in a match in 1972. The plane crashes. In the Andes Mountains. And no one rescues them until 71 days after they crashed. Sixteen people out of 45 or so survived.

Did I mention that the survivors ate people to help them survive?

I remember this movie causing quite a bit of controversy when it was released – “They eat people!!!” was the common argument as to why the movie was bad. Granted, it’ll be a long time before I eat shredded ham again, but if the people ate people and this is a true story, I’m guessing that’s kind of important to the story.

But it is nasty.

I have a hard time keeping track of people in movies. I don’t recognize faces well without repeated viewings and interaction, so a two-hour movie hardly gets the job done for me. If a person is famous and I’ve seen them in things before, I have a better time of it. The only person I recognized in this movie was Ethan Hawke. Well, and Illeana Douglas, but that’s because she guested on Seinfeld once. Everyone else all kind of looked the same to me. When someone else would die and it was supposed to be emotional because we had just seen them do that one thing, you know? I wouldn’t be too upset by it because I couldn’t keep them straight. Most of them had pretty good beards going after that long, and that didn’t help me any. Everyone, that is, except Ethan. For some reason he never got a full beard. He just had that little scruffy sorta-mustache and sorta-goatee that you always see him with. Either he was shaving out there or his character couldn’t grow a full beard, I don’t know which.

Anyway, everything turns out okay – for 16 people anyway. Of course, we don’t get to see them back in society, going to restaurants, and playing rugby, so we don’t know how they handled all that. Not very well, I would imagine.

There were two documentaries on the DVD. One was 52 minutes long, and I didn’t feel like investing another hour in the story tonight, so I didn’t watch that one. I did watch the 12 minute one chronicling the main character’s return trip to the site 30 years later. That was kind of interesting. I think Ethan should have gone with him, but I’m sure he was very busy.

Anyway, it was a good movie. Thought-provoking. See it once if you haven’t, but don’t plan on serving snacks during the movie.

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