THRESHOLD – I was at LORD OF WAR on Friday and didn’t get to see the two hour premiere live. Subsequently I’ve only been able to find the first hour online (at least in a legal context, and after my idiot friend Quincy preached that downloading movies or TV without permission was a sin I’ve been unable to do it). Anyway, the first part of THRESHOLD majorly rips off Michael Crichton’s best book (and worst movie) SPHERE. Imagine (and this has to be true) that the government has a plan in place for extra-terrestrial contact. Would they alert people? Almost certainly not. Panic and all that.

Carla Gugino (from KAREN SISCO, and more recently Marv’s hot parole officer in SIN CITY) is the world’s smartest woman. (Aside: why do the world’s smartest women always look like potential strippers on TV, but the men can be as ugly as Raymond Burr? Just asking.) Gugino’s character developed the protocol for meeting alien life, codenamed “Threshold.” It calls for a biology expert (played by STAR TREK’S Brent Spiner) a mathematics expert (some kid) and a linguist (played by a dwarf; natch). I was a bit annoyed at how blasé everyone seemed when they found out aliens had come here, but whatever.

What makes THRESHOLD work is how they’ve worked out the alien craft. Instead of sending actual aliens, the invaders sent information designed to change our DNA from a double to triple helix. I guess make “us” more like “them.” Talk about your ethnic cleansing.

There is a great sequence where the alien “craft” is a four-dimensional object but humans can only see it in our three-dimensional world, so it keeps folding in on itself. Whomever sees this shape (even by videotape) is altered, and several of the scientists start dreaming of this forest full of trees made of glass. Really cool visual, but that’s as far as I got. Anyway, if you’re home on Friday nights, this could turn into another X-FILES. Might be worth a look.