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I've Outgrown...Aliens - Page 2

post #51 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crow
If we didn't ban Quarant for hating The Godfather, we're not gonna ban Spike for this.

Lower my filmic opinion of Spike, sure. But not banning.

When it comes down to it, I truly believe this is one of the few series to truly jump genres every single film. Alien is the horror film. Aliens is an action film. Alien 3 is a drama. As such, it makes the fact that Cameron doesn't inject the same sense of suspense or psychological fear into his film than Scott much easier to take as the film ages. It's the lesser of the three, yes, but that's like saying fucking isn't as good as lovemaking.
I would agree. And knowing this, I guess it's safe to assume that Resurrection was intended to be the comedy of the series. Brilliant!

What a piece of shit that film was.

Alien 3 is actually becoming my favorite over Aliens (though I do adore Aliens).
post #52 of 445
I actually tend to think of Resurrection as some kind of weird, sexless inter-species porno. It could also be considered the foreign film, on some level.
post #53 of 445
ALIEN is a classic film, ALIENS is fun if a bit overlong, the re-cut version of ALIEN 3 is very interesting and RESURRECTION is pure garbage.

Quote:
The director's cut is shit. It takes forever to get to the action. It's a long and boring film and I can't stand it. I very much regret buying that edition.
This is truth. Cameron seems to think making his films five fucking hours long gives them depth, but it just makes them boring and unwatchable.
post #54 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil!
Ian Holm doing the knife trick and being impaled by an Alien Queen's tail would kinda play differently.
I was talking about the scene of Bishop actually helping out Ripley instead of being a robot psycho asshole. I mean they were supposed to look alike, right? Isn't that why Ripley freaked out when she saw him at the mess hall?
post #55 of 445
No, she saw his white blood after he cut himself during the knife trick. That is when she knew Bishop was a synthetic. Ian Holm's robot character in Alien was named Ash. They weren't meant to be the same model.
post #56 of 445
Woops.
post #57 of 445
Yeah, Bishop even refers to Ash's model of android as being "twitchy."

I guess that's a kind way of saying they tried to rape people with magazines.
post #58 of 445
Quote:
Yeah, Bishop even refers to Ash's model of android as being "twitchy."

I guess that's a kind way of saying they tried to rape people with magazines.
That's how I've always defined it.
post #59 of 445
Been ages since I've seen the movie. We're talking about the film where Paxton gets mauled in a subway tunnel, right?
post #60 of 445
I'm so confused.

At what point does the alien sing show tunes?
post #61 of 445
You're thinking about Weekend at Bernie's.
post #62 of 445




Oh, there it is.
post #63 of 445
That's not Weekend at Bernie's. That's Weekend at Bernie's 2.
post #64 of 445
Spike, there are no words for how much I admire your willingness to take an online beating by posting this. Bravo.

And I agree completely. I do not understand the worship of this film. It's inferior to the first film by many, many degrees. It's juvenile, simplistic, stocked with pencil sketches in lieu of complete characters, and uses the easiest of cinematic cliches - motherhood - to motivate the main character. Worst of all, it takes the highly original and creepy HR Giger designs and reduces them to that standby of lazy science fiction, the alien species patterned after insects. It misses the point of the first film to a spectacular extent, and then apes its finale of flashing lights, sirens and steam jets.

I can understand the enjoyment of it as sheer spectacle; its action sequences are absolutely blistering. But the volume of people who number it among the best movies ever made stuns me.
post #65 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by JuddL
And as Johnsamo said, Aliens was a pioneer. You can't charge it's characters as being stock caricatures when it invented them.
Invented them? Are you fucking serious? This is patently insane. Have you never seen a war movie in your life?
post #66 of 445
I was just talking about this with Werbal the other night, actually. I don't hate Aliens, or even dislike it. I loved it growing up, but I haven't been able to watch it as an adult. It's been about five years or so since the last time I watched it, and every time I'd try while I was in college, I'd find myself growing very bored and either skipping to the power loader scene, or just turning it off outright. I've pledge to give it another shot down the road, maybe time away from it will change my perspective.
post #67 of 445
While there are some totally legitimate points in this thread, I wonder how much (if any) of the revisionism is connected to having just burned out on the film from having seen it too many times. For myself, as long as I treat the film as a prime example of the action genre, circa 1986, it still works surprisingly well.
post #68 of 445
The extended edition is indeed shit. It undermines so much of what makes the original cut work. Except for the sentry guns scene. That shit is WICKED.
post #69 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel Williams
While there are some totally legitimate points in this thread, I wonder how much (if any) of the revisionism is connected to having just burned out on the film from having seen it too many times. For myself, as long as I treat the film as a prime example of the action genre, circa 1986, it still works surprisingly well.
Well, I agree that it isn't a particularly fantastic film, and while it's been a movie I've revisited, I have not done so ad nauseum.

I remember watching it as a kid and thinking it was just the best fucking thing ever. And yet I view it with more mature eyes and, at least for me, the shortcomings are too glaring not to acknowledge. I went from thinking that the Space Marines were the coolest characters ever to finding them to be completely fucking obnoxious. Was that the point? I don't know, and I honestly really don't care. All I know is that I've grown to dislike them as characters, but I will more than willingly concede that's purely a personal thing. Still, I've come to realize that I just don't care about them as characters. I don't feel that way about everyone in the movie as I like Newt, Ripley, and Bishop, but besides those three I just don't care. And the fucking less said about Paul Reiser the better. The man is horrible incarnate. Yes, I know I was supposed to dislike him, but I've come to dislike him for very different reasons than I was supposed to. I dislike him not because he's a slimy, snivelling beuracrat, but because I fucking hate Paul Reiser.

Part of it may have to do with the way I was exposed to the series. I saw Aliens first as a kid, and didn't see Alien until many, many years later. When I finally did see it, I saw a film so totally superior in every way that it may have colored my view of Aliens. I didn't get the luxury of being able to say "Alien was a fucking brillaint sci-fi horror movie and the sequel was an awesome sci-fi action movie." because I saw rollercoaster ride movie first and the atmospheric, layered film second.

But hey, that's just me.

And I'll also give a shout out to all those that think Cameron's films just aren't aging that well. I watched T2 the other day and man....You could smell the early 90's all over that thing.
post #70 of 445
T2 hasn't aged well at all. I find it almost unwatchable now. I used to think it was a better movie than Terminator (which is still a very tight, very rewatchable sci-fi action/suspense movie), but it isn't. It's just a much bigger, much louder movie. It's well crafted, to be sure, but it's a paper thin, vapid film full of nothing more than explosions and fancy set pieces.
post #71 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by BobClark
The extended edition is indeed shit. It undermines so much of what makes the original cut work. Except for the sentry guns scene. That shit is WICKED.
That's true. I've never understood why it was taken out in the first place.
post #72 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg David
Invented them? Are you fucking serious? This is patently insane. Have you never seen a war movie in your life?
Yeah, that statement is exceedingly confusing. Aliens is little more than a squad war movie like THE DIRTY DOZEN with bug monsters instead of Germans.
post #73 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel Williams
While there are some totally legitimate points in this thread, I wonder how much (if any) of the revisionism is connected to having just burned out on the film from having seen it too many times. For myself, as long as I treat the film as a prime example of the action genre, circa 1986, it still works surprisingly well.
I actually think it's the opposite. I think people are recalling the feelings they had when they watched it the first time and it's clouding their critical sense a bit.

I think Spike is right in assessing it as a juvenile film. It has well shot action sequences with stock war movie characters and fairly shallow subtext. That doesn't make it a bad film. Just not a very deep one.
post #74 of 445
Ah, what time can do! Aliens used to be one of my favorite films and I hated Starship Troopers the first time. Now I never watch Aliens and ST is one of my favorites.

"Outgrown" is a good word for Aliens. Just like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, I never have the desire to watch them. Part of it is because I've seen them so many times but it's mostly because they are kids/teens movies.

Although I strongly disagree that Aliens is now "shit".
post #75 of 445
The Alexor, While everyone has their own opinion, I do not understand how anyone can outgrow Raiders Of The Lost Ark. ROTLA is a true classic and the best film Steven Spielberg has ever made. Raiders has great characters like Indy, Belloc, Karen Allen (the best female lead of the trilogy), amazing action scenes, while still maintaining a sense of humor of it all. Also I think Aliens is the best of that franchise. Yes, I do prefer action films, but there is great acting as well. Sigourney Weaver recieved the only Best Actress nomimation for a science fiction film in the last 30 years. Finally, in order I would list James Camerons best films as...1)True Lies, 2) The Terminator, 3) Aliens, 4) T2-Judgement Day, 5) Titanic. I think James Cameron is one of the best directors of the 1980-90s. He also wrote one of the best action films of all time in Rambo First Blood II. Hopefully Avatar reuniting JC with Sigourney Weaver will be yet another fantastic film.
post #76 of 445
Quote:
Just like Star Wars and Raiders of the Lost Ark, I never have the desire to watch them. Part of it is because I've seen them so many times but it's mostly because they are kids/teens movies.
If the day comes that I feel that I've "outgrown" Raiders of the Lost Ark, put a bullet in my fucking skull.
post #77 of 445
I still think Cameron's best film is THE ABYSS (Director's Cut).

I think there's a lot more fat in ALIENS than people care to admit. I mean, it practically takes almost an hour before the first Marines/aliens firefight. And then it's dead weight until the facehuggers in the medlab scene. Sure, it's a lot of good character stuff, but you can feel the time passing, too. But when ALIENS is on, it's fuckin' on.

I think ALIEN is the best of all of them, and ALIENS for the most part is really, really good. But it is flawed, for sure.
post #78 of 445
I agree about THE ABYSS. It's a good film, and it's a little two-dimensional, but it seems to be his most character-driven piece, and overall it works very well. I'm not sure how much of that is bolstered sheerly by Ed Harris' on-screen charisma, but I think it's a movie that works on more levels than Cameron's other films.

On a technical level, I'd still say he's yet to surpass Terminator.
post #79 of 445
There's nothing in Cameron's other films that approaches "LOVE YOU WIFE".
post #80 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan S~
I think Spike is right in assessing it as a juvenile film. It has well shot action sequences with stock war movie characters and fairly shallow subtext. That doesn't make it a bad film. Just not a very deep one.
I don't think anyone is calling it deep. It's got more of an emotional core than most action films, sure, but look at the tag line -- "This time, it's war." He wasn't making Interiors here.
post #81 of 445
I have no problem with how shallow the movie is, just how it fails to really entertain me.
post #82 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnsamo
Dude, trust me, seeing that movie back in the day with a crowd... The last 20 or so minutes the audience was going nuts. When Ripley finds herself facing the queen for the forst time, or when the Queen shows up AGAIN and rips apart Bishop, it was Amazing... And the "get away from her you bitch" line... THe first time you heard that, you felt it.
This is an essential point for me. This is why the movie resonated with me for so long. My dad took me to see this with him when I had just turned 14. It blew my fucking mind. I still go to movies chasing the feeling that Aliens gave me in the theater.

It's what made me love cinema.

After many years, may other films, going through a Radio-TV-Program, and getting a little distance, I know it's not the Great Film that I once thought it was. And yeah, I even have trouble sitting down to watch the entire thing these days. But I'll always treasure it. I think anyone who saw the film first on video and/or at an older age just wouldn't have the kind of visceral reaction and imprinting that a young kid would have sitting in a dark theater yelling his head off with everyone else when Ripley delivers That Line.
post #83 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Calkins
This is an essential point for me. This is why the movie resonated with me for so long. My dad took me to see this with him when I had just turned 14. It blew my fucking mind. I still go to movies chasing the feeling that Aliens gave me in the theater.

It's what made me love cinema.

After many years, may other films, going through a Radio-TV-Program, and getting a little distance, I know it's not the Great Film that I once thought it was. And yeah, I even have trouble sitting down to watch the entire thing these days. But I'll always treasure it. I think anyone who saw the film first on video and/or at an older age just wouldn't have the kind of visceral reaction and imprinting that a young kid would have sitting in a dark theater yelling his head off with everyone else when Ripley delivers That Line.
Pretty much it exactly. It's such a good action movie that it easily fools adolescents into thinking that it's the ultimate movie, period. It loses a step when you're an adult, but it's still a great ride.

And pay no attention to Patrick. It's just his burning desire to hate-fuck Paul Reiser talking.
post #84 of 445
Are you nuts? I want to love-fuck Paul Raiser!
post #85 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquafresh
"I prefer the term artificial person."

Says it all.
Fixed that for you, but agreed.

I can't say I have any issue with Spike's post. To each is own. Although I do strongly disagree about the female characters. Ripley is one of the best, most intriguing actions heroes in modern movies.

What I never get in these debates is the point in making direct comparisons between ALIEN and ALIENS (or the little known film between them, ALIEN(S), where nobody was really sure how fucked they were until they got there and took a headcount). Besides certain story points, they're completely different films. Scott made a suspense movie dripping with gothic horror, and Cameron made a Vietnam allegory. I happen to love both films, but I find it hard to say one is better than the other because I go to them looking for different things.
post #86 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll
Are you nuts? I want to love-fuck Paul Raiser!
I smell sit-com! MAD ABOUT UNITS?
post #87 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson
I don't think anyone is calling it deep. It's got more of an emotional core than most action films, sure, but look at the tag line -- "This time, it's war." He wasn't making Interiors here.
And that's why I called it juvenile. And, in this case, I don't think juvenile is a bad or inappropriate thing to say about it. It's a very young movie that doesn't hold up to any critical scrutiny. Is it entertaining? Sure. But there's not much to talk about after discussing the action scenes. And I don't think Cameron intended it to be talked about after.

It's kind of like eating at Olive Garden. It's a step above Burger King but it sure isn't haute cuisine either.

(Add me into the group-think of Abyss being his best movie)
post #88 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Banks is my hero
Scott made a suspense movie dripping with gothic horror, and Cameron made a Vietnam allegory.
I've never seen Aliens interpreted in that way before. Aside from the basic "military guys in way over their heads," how exactly does it work?

The last time I watched Aliens was with a bunch of people at a party a couple years ago. I'm not sure how much it would still resonate with me minus other people in the room, but I'm not even much of an action movie guy, and I still enjoyed it lots.
post #89 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan S~
(Add me into the group-think of Abyss being his best movie)
I understand why one might call the Abyss his best, and I think it does contain the most emotionally convincing scenes in Cameron's movies (which wouldn't be saying much, you'd think, but the acting is uncharacteristically good), but it's so damn saggy. It's a pretty good movie, but character development isn't Cameron's forte, and the Abyss is that rarest of beasts in his catalog in which the plot development takes a backseat to character for much of the runtime. That works great in the big emotional set pieces, but not so great for the less explosive stretches.

Aliens and the Terminator do a better job at what they set out to do - they're tight adventure movies with better-than-average sf concepts (whether Cameron developed them or not) at their cores.
post #90 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveB
I've never seen Aliens interpreted in that way before. Aside from the basic "military guys in way over their heads," how exactly does it work?
A couple ways, as I see it.

The most basic way, removing any politics, is in the surface similarities. Heavily armed forces enter into hostile foreign territory convinced that superior firepower will win the day and they'll be home by dinner. But the opposing forces are well-suited to the terrain and quite ingenious, and manage to overcome technology by using superior tactics. And then of course, the military says fuck this, flies away and bombs the shit out of the place.

Bringing politics back into it, you might also argue that there's some similarity between the way LBJ parlayed the Gulf of Tonkin incident into support for his policy in Vietnam (which ultimately led to war) and the way the Company used the incident at the terraforming installation to try again to get its hands on a specimen (which ultimately led to a war of sorts). Maybe that's giving too much credence to Cameron's plotting, but at the same time I don't think it's a moot point.
post #91 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveB
I've never seen Aliens interpreted in that way before. Aside from the basic "military guys in way over their heads," how exactly does it work?
Superior military tech defeated by basic guerilla tactics and sheer numbers. Cameron talks about it a lot on the ALIENS docs out there. He meant it to be referencing Vietnam quite a bit.
post #92 of 445
Quote:
Why Cameron thought that following up a film which was famous for its slow build of tension and claustrophobic horror, with a sequel that was never particularly scary or tense is beyond me.
Not to add sperm to an already pregnant dogpile, but this is bologna. For a film that clocks in at 2.5 hours, the Aliens take up a very small percentage of screen time, and the film really benefits from it. Hell, the rescue mission where the creatures make their first appearance is nearly an hour into the film, and there are really only two other set pieces in the movie like that one- the marines' final escape, and Ripley's climactic Newt rescue. The bulk of the movie is an exercise in tension building, which is what makes the battles memorable and intense.

However, I do enjoy the extended cut of Alien 3 much more than I remember enjoying the theatrical cut, and Aliens has lost some of its luster over the years. This is a result of the dozens upon dozens of Aliens imitators who aped its successful formula, which had the unfortunate side effect of diluting the original.
post #93 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveB
I've never seen Aliens interpreted in that way before. Aside from the basic "military guys in way over their heads," how exactly does it work?
Grunts used as cannon fodder to protect the interests of the military-industrial complex? Failing to recognize a no-win situation and losing to a technologically inferior enemy? I could see it.
post #94 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spike Marshall
I know, I just need to know if this is normal...or if something is wrong with me medically.
I felt the same way a couple years ago and everyone thought I was crazy too. I also remember liking Alien3 a lot more around that time also. I'll have to revisit the Quadrilogy soon and see what I think now.
post #95 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Banks is my hero
A couple ways, as I see it.

The most basic way, removing any politics, is in the surface similarities. Heavily armed forces enter into hostile foreign territory convinced that superior firepower will win the day and they'll be home by dinner. But the opposing forces are well-suited to the terrain and quite ingenious, and manage to overcome technology by using superior tactics. And then of course, the military says fuck this, flies away and bombs the shit out of the place.

Bringing politics back into it, you might also argue that there's some similarity between the way LBJ parlayed the Gulf of Tonkin incident into support for his policy in Vietnam (which ultimately led to war) and the way the Company used the incident at the terraforming installation to try again to get its hands on a specimen (which ultimately led to a war of sorts). Maybe that's giving too much credence to Cameron's plotting, but at the same time I don't think it's a moot point.
I guess I see it (and, as Nordling said, Cameron affirms it), but it seems like a pretty thin comparison, overall. Now, if the aliens managed to take down the marines strictly on cunning, maybe I could buy it, but my understanding is the Viet Cong weren't super strong, didn't have acid for blood, and didn't implant chestbursters. I think that hurts the "superior firepower vs. strategic ingenuity/adaptation to the environment/sheer numbers" analogy. It kinda stacks the deck when your Viet Cong stand-ins are monstrous killing machines.

Politically, it also kind of falls apart, since it's not like the marines in Aliens are forced by the government to stick around in a no-win situation.

The hopeless vibe seems pretty 'Nam influenced, but I don't buy the other analogies that Cameron's trying to draw (or that he might be trying to draw, based on what you guys have written).
post #96 of 445
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveB
I've never seen Aliens interpreted in that way before. Aside from the basic "military guys in way over their heads," how exactly does it work?
Like the Ewoks and the Empire in Return of the Jedi.
post #97 of 445
I think the Vietnam metaphors are thin at best. But interestingly enough-
Cameron wrote a draft for Rambo, which was later revised. In it he dwelled a lot on John Rambo's need to return to Vietnam. Rambo is haunted by nightmares and feels out of place in the world. He goes back to confront his personal demons and, more literally, end his nightmares. This was all cut from his script, so he applied it to Ripley.
Don't have a link, but I promise you he said it in a Fango interview way back in 1986.
post #98 of 445
I still say the concept and structure of RAMBO and ALIENS are essentially the same.
post #99 of 445
No way. Paul Reiser isn't fit to eat Richard Crenna's shit.
post #100 of 445
Reiser is the Chuck Napier, minus the sandwich.
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