Directed by: Mickey Reece
Written by: Mickey Reece
Genre: Drama / Comedy
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Mickey Reece's Alien (2017)
Promising to set itself apart from the countless documentaries and general films about Elvis Presley, "Mickey Reece's Alien" presents an alternate life and times of himself, and ex wife Priscilla. Along for the ride are numerous, now famous names associated with the king of rock and roll; as well as a couple folks that are famous in their own right. This is all presented over a mostly black and white palette with a documentary style narrator of sorts, presumably telling us the tale. Don't mistake this for an actual documentary film by any means, even "with" the mention of a narrator. These few interview style scenes are simply meant to hold the story together, and do a pretty decent job. Interestingly enough, the unusual title of the film does not imply Elvis in any way, unless you look at the poster art. However, it does make sense once you begin watching; and I'm assuming the addition of "Mickey Reece's" name itself is to separate this film from the Sci-Fi adventure bearing the same main title. Avoiding countless let-downs of people looking for a chest bursting surprise from our king of rock.
As the story goes, Elvis himself, in private, is more or less the way he is in the public eye. Extravagant and "maybe" a little strange. The main liberties taken in this story, would have you believe that he's incredibly self centered and often talks to, and answers himself. As showcased in what turned out to be a very interesting scene of the film. Jacob Snovel does a very credible job portraying this "alternate Elvis" and in reality, who can say if the real deal wasn't very similar? Cate Jones takes on the role of Priscilla and really does her best with the script handed to her. What's that mean you ask? Put simply, I was not a huge fan of how Priscilla Presley was crafted. Even "knowing" this is a fictional story. Her completely exaggerated persona came across as distant and more than a little depressing. This was the intended portrayal I'm pretty sure, but that doesn't mean I had to like it. Being miserable and depressed doesn't have to be stereotypical, unless it actually adds humor to the film. In this case, it didn't. I can't fault Cate Jones for this, rather the opposite. In that written role, the way it was meant to be, she did a great job. I just wasn't a fan of how the character herself was put down on paper to start with.
As for the story, taking place just before the big come-back show, there was a lot to laugh at. Especially how it hinged on a history we all (most of us) know, and then made it's own path. For this unique trait, "Mickey Reece's Alien" truly is a one of a kind film. We can all watch along and even laugh a little at the ludicrous behavior of many a-house-hold name. The real fun then becomes wondering just how much of this stuff "could" have actually been real. Nobody truly knows what happens behind closed doors do they? I think it's also a safe bet to say that when "Alien" shines... it really shines bright. It's not hard to write that if you, the viewer, came across this title playing randomly, somewhere, you would probably end up watching the entire thing. If nothing else, Mickey Reece does know how to entertain. He also knows how to create an excellent vibe with very little money. Did I mention the actual "feel" of the film, through the use of props and stylistic choices, feels pretty close to perfect? Never have I said this title looks or feels cheap. Quite the opposite actually. One should also point out that to make a title such as this, when the world is filled with "Elvis" related everything, took a lot of guts. To take the fictional liberties taken, in a world where die hard fans would likely slit your throat... figuratively of course, took some real courage and faith in the desired story. For all this to come together, and actually be a good flick, deserves more than a few pats on the back to the entire cast and crew. That much is certain.
If you happen to be a fan, or just someone looking to see something a little different, this is a hands down film to watch for. It's mix of comedy and drama, unusual narrative and zany portrayals make it an easy bet to win some awards. The alternate reality version of events portrayed was a gamble that in my eyes, paid off well. My favorite scene? A certain individual throwing a newspaper into the pool. What's on that paper and why was it thrown? You'll just have to watch and see but for myself, that one quick instance sums up the entire film. As a whole production, "Mickey Reece's Alien" is not all perfect stars and rainbows, but it's entertaining enough to do the trick.