Saturday, February 9, 2013

The Powers Of Number Four or I Am Matthew Star

So I'm sitting there watching the film I Am Number Four, a 2011 release about an alien kid with special powers and his guardian hiding out on earth from the evil forces from their home planet who are determined to wipe them out...hey, OMG, this is just a rehash of The Powers Of Matthew Star!

Check it, Matthew Star was a 1982 scif TV show about an alien kid with special powers and his guardian...heck, since this was the 80s, the opening credits of every episode TOLD THE WHOLE STORY.  Here they are, courtesy of Wikipedia:

"Quadris, twelve light years across the galaxy from Earth. It was home for us until an intergalactic armada conquered it. I fought by the royal family's side, but in vain. Even their remarkable powers weren't enough. The crown prince and I escaped to the nearest planet on which we could survive and further his powers in order to some day return to free his people.

"Here on Earth, the prince is known as Matthew Star. He's a typical American teenager. He has friends; people who love him. And me, his guardian. I'm the only one who knows how special he is. Life for us is a series of joys and dangers. Enemy assassins constantly come to destroy us. Alone, we must survive."

That's pretty much the plot of Number Four, minus the planet Quadris (giggle), and the fact that in this story there is more than one kid with the "power cosmic," as Stan Lee would put it.

Number Four annoyed me almost immediately in that the high school kids looked like they were in their 20s, which they mostly were (how very The CW of them).  Its funny how Hollywood is never able to find 16 or 17 year old actors to play 16 or 17 year old characters; it's always people in their mid-20s.

This movie just about put me to sleep right away.  Alex Pettyfer as the put upon Numero Quatro hardly registered as a screen presence (his pecs notwithstanding), Justified's Timothy Olyphant was miscast as Henri the guardian, aka the Louis Gossett Jr role on Matthew Star.  Much better was Teresa Palmer as Number Six who appears in the latter part of the film.  She's pretty, looks like she could be in high school, and had a fun kick-butt character, kind of like a well-adjusted Hit Girl.

The alien Mogadishu or Mogadorians or whatever looked stupid, with their tattooed bald heads, black eyes,  goofy teeth and Matrix trenchcoats - they resemble a Filmation cartoon's animated villain brought to live action life.

I Am Number Four is based on a Young Adult series of novels, but the juvenile tone of the move, the negative response from the critics and shallow box office would indicate that this is not the first film of the hoped-for franchise.

Maybe they could just reboot The Powers of Matthew Star for the big screen.  Or not.

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