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ALIEN series

post #1 of 140
Thread Starter 
Ok well time to dip in and actually start a topic.....

I must confess to being a huge ALIEN fan, I thought, rightly or wrongly, that ALIEN is one of the best SF horror films of the past 30 years. From a fantastic script, brilliant cinematography, amazing set design and of course one of the best movie monsters ever handled carefully enough to keep it scary to the last moment when finally its revealed to be a guy in a suit....

Aliens was a great natural progression for the series, but I didn't like the concept of a Queen, which seemed to fullfill the need to have a single bad guy for the audience to cheer once it was beaten to a pulp and flushed out of the airlock.

Alien 3, was in hindsight a David Fincher film and was always going to be relentlessly grim, again this is all said with the knowlege of hindsight... at the time I hated it and the fact that it renders the whole end of Aliens pointless by the killing off of three major characters within 20 mins of the opening credits. But now I've managed to come to terms with it and while I will never truely love the film I can at least accept it for what it is.

Alien Ressurection was just awful, with no redeming features what so ever, dispite Jeunets attempts to stamp his own vision on the project ultimately is was just pointless and the less said about the fucking newborn and its slapping the face off a Queen the better....

And now we have Alien Vs Predator which frankly devolves and defangs the fantastic creation of HR Giger and kills the mythos and fear around the title creature created so carefully in the first two movies by Ridley Scott and James Cameron.... Poor doesnt even cover it....

So... I'm sure I'm not alone in having an opinion on these films? And given the proven law of deminishing returns would you ever want to see another Alien film?
post #2 of 140
I´d love to see a new Alien film!
Ridley Scott and Sigourney Weaver have been talking about doing a new one, it doesn´t seem like it´s gonna happen though, at least not according to this quote by Ridle Scott from Darkhorizons.com

Scott also confirmed he's eager to do more science fiction, but he won't be revisiting one franchise he helped create: The "Alien" movies - "No, I think they've wrung it dry".


What a shame.
post #3 of 140
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Randolph Carter
I´d love to see a new Alien film!
Ridley Scott and Sigourney Weaver have been talking about doing a new one, it doesn´t seem like it´s gonna happen though, at least not according to this quote by Ridle Scott from Darkhorizons.com

Scott also confirmed he's eager to do more science fiction, but he won't be revisiting one franchise he helped create: The "Alien" movies - "No, I think they've wrung it dry".


What a shame.
A shame but lets be honest, not a surprise..... Scott did the best Alien film from the off, no need to reinvent the wheel I suppose, but I would say that in my heart of hearts I'd love to see what Scott would have done with another Alien movie.
post #4 of 140
The first Alien film is actually my favorite film. I think it's the best movie of the series. Gritty, real characters involved in a nightmare. Best haunted house and possibly sci fi flick ever imo.

The second film is ssoooo close to topping the first one, but the characters are more cartoonish than the original which drops it down a bit for me. Great, great film however with adrenaline to spare.

I like the third film. Grim and hopeless with a (strong) dash of artiness.

The fourth one sucks. I've tried to like it, and there are a couple of scenes that (barely) make me forget what a complete turd this one is.

I have the Quadrilogy box set which has the most amazing transfer of Alien on it. This is a must have for Alien lovers.

I wouldn't mind seeing a well done Alien film. Well done being the caveat. There are definitely still legs in the franchise.
post #5 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
I didn't like the concept of a Queen, which seemed to fullfill the need to have a single bad guy for the audience to cheer once it was beaten to a pulp and flushed out of the airlock.
or maybe fulfil the need to explain where the eggs seen in the first film came from, no? or did you think those babies just popped up right out of nowhere one chilly november morning?

btw, the search engine should give you at least 2-3 old threads where we've discussed hopes and wishes for a fifth film.
post #6 of 140
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowpulse
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
I didn't like the concept of a Queen, which seemed to fullfill the need to have a single bad guy for the audience to cheer once it was beaten to a pulp and flushed out of the airlock.
or maybe fulfil the need to explain where the eggs seen in the first film came from, no? or did you think those babies just popped up right out of nowhere one chilly november morning?

btw, the search engine should give you at least 2-3 old threads where we've discussed hopes and wishes for a fifth film.
Firstly my apologies for starting another Alien topic..... I didnt see a search engine at the time of posting but I am still finding my way around here, but considering theres about 20 star wars threads I kinda figured an Alien thread wasn't going to be too big a deal... still I'll check next time I start a thread....

As far as the Queen thing is concerned, because I consider Alien as the best of the series and the Directors cut had the inclusion of the cocoon / egg transformation sequence, along with the fact I had seen that sequence on a old VHS copy a long while back. Combined with the fact the egg transform sequence was in the novelisation of Alien which came out some years before Aliens, I was hoping that they'd stick with the explanation / suggestion that the eggs in the egg chamber seen in the first film were the rest of the crew of the Alien derelict, as hinted by Lamberts line while in the derelict of "I wonder what happened to the rest of the crew?"

That concept negates the need for a big beasty at the end of Aliens and makes the monsters even more creepy and odd, rather than just suggesting with a Queen that they are nothing more than a bunch of big intergalactic ants.
post #7 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
I was hoping that they'd stick with the explanation / suggestion that the eggs in the egg chamber seen in the first film were the rest of the crew of the Alien derelict
yeah, but even so, those eggs had to come from some place. they were put there by someone, yes, but were they artificially created in a lab or biologically by some creature?

cameron answered that question and completed the zoological picture of the alien species. as for the queen, she had to be pretty big because the eggs are huge themselves, and when a creature is that big, it naturally packs quite a punch.
post #8 of 140
[SPOILERS]

I absolutely love the two first. Period. Blind love with those two (I can see their flaws, I don't give a shit about them).

I really really like Alien3. It's flawed, that's for sure, but holy shit - an alien born out of a rottweiller (sp?) is a truly powerful idea, meant to delete any clue of human in this creature. I like more the producer's cut in the Quadrilogy (except for the ox part - a cow alien to milk? No way!), as it seems to fill the black plot holes that damaged the theatrical version so badly. Still there are the "blah" secondaries (an EXCELLENT bunch of actors with no meat to chew, a shame) and some nonsensical choices, but I tend to be very indulgent with this entry. And I love the ending - a really ballsy choice not too well executed, but I like it.

Alien Resurrection is a studio product, a byproduct, a good-looking cutie with no brain: you date twice and you know it upside-down. It's filled with good ideas (the mixed alien-human breed is a good one, but it ended looking like shit) but it's too episodic, and the really good characters that are killed (fuck! You cannot kill Michael Wincott, Kim Flowers and Michael Dourdan!) in a row. Dan Hedaya does not work here, and the humor is clumsy like hell.

I could go on, but I don't want to. Bye.
post #9 of 140
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowpulse
yeah, but even so, those eggs had to come from some place. they were put there by someone, yes, but were they artificially created in a lab or biologically by some creature?

cameron answered that question and completed the zoological picture of the alien species. as for the queen, she had to be pretty big because the eggs are huge themselves, and when a creature is that big, it naturally packs quite a punch.
I agree Cameron did put a logical earthbound progression in to creature and that is fair enough! But some of the horror of the creature was the fact that by its nature in the first film it was very very alien... who knows how the eggs started off or where the creature came from? Like the beast itself the mystery and the fact that it was unknowable & unpredictable beyond the fact that it was changing and extremely hostile was part of its mystique. Part of the thing that made it so terrifying....

By suddenly giving explanations and a reason for this that and the other based around earth examples, the creature stops being scary on a psychological level and simply becomes a predictable monster. Aliens didnt treat the creature badly, but it certainly started that slide from a scary thing to a simple easy to handle critter....

Using a different franchise as an example, The Borg in Star Trek were a pretty scary and relentless villain to start with. You couldnt reason with it, you couldnt stop it, its motives were almost a complete mystery and in the end they were pure alien malevolence just like the Alien in the first film... until along comes the movie and killing off drone after drone is no longer going to be enough and so Hey Presto we have a Queen so we have a bad guy which allows us as an audience to put a face on the enemy and give the good guys a single target to beat to win the day.
post #10 of 140
There was no way the series could have progressed without adding some sort of explanation for the lifecycle. Anything else would have been retreading the first film. I do agree that the mystery of the creature was terrifying and effective; I certainly spent enough time pondering it as a nine year old. But I wasn't let down by Cameron's evolvement. (Is that a word?) Besides, the alien queen is one of the coolest creatures in cinema history.
For more Alien excitement, check out http://www.probotproductions.com/alien5squared.html It's an unofficial Alien sequel done entirely with action figures.
post #11 of 140
The ideas in Aliens get expounded upon in Alien3 (and even 4), where the Alien is essentially infinitely adaptable. It's lifecycle changes as its needs change for survival. This was one of the conceptual highlights of the last film, where the scientists are marvelling over the creature as a specimin of pure evolutionary will. None of this was necessarily part of the first film, but all of it logically springs from the first one which is what makes the whole series enjoyable.

I'll defend Alien3 to the end though, even though it wasn't released as the film Fincher wanted to make and wasn't properly planned or constructed. The basic premise of ending the series with Ripley having to make the ultimate sacrifice because her life is tied to the Alien is a beautiful idea that was handled well until the bad shot of her doing the reverse swan dive into the furnace. Killing off the characters from Aliens was essential to bringing the story around--Ripley IS the Alien franchise, and it's her burden to bare to make sure the Alien is extinquished. Having a Marine around with a gun would have negated that very important existential struggle. Killing off Ripley's hope in the form of Newt is what makes the whole movie tragic--that Ripley has to go on without any hope or comfort and is able to project towards her own end.

All of that was not completely scrapped with the fourth installment, and in fact the idea that the Alien and Ripley come back together kind of reinforces it, but I still could have done without that film altogether. It should have been Call's movie; a much more interesting fable where the self-actualized robot is the most human character.
post #12 of 140
I for one find the ending of Alien 3 incredibly hopeful. Ripley finally gains control over and defeats the evil that has taken everything from her and dominated her life. In the end, she is free.

Of course, the fans would rather have her hounded by aliens for the rest of her life....
post #13 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Dickson
I for one find the ending of Alien 3 incredibly hopeful. Ripley finally gains control over and defeats the evil that has taken everything from her and dominated her life. In the end, she is free.

After her first encounter she is haunted by these nameless things for the rest of her life, is eventually infected, or infested, or whatever, by them, and dies trying to keep them from humanity in general. I dunno, I think it's a bit of a stretch to call her eventual fate 'hopeful'. How about 'peaceful' instead, in that she finally finds peace in her struggle?
post #14 of 140
I've never gotten the love for the first film. A triumph of production design to be sure, but the film is so hollow and emotionless that I've never been able to connect to it. I also never understand those who say the film is rich in characters, which for me have never been anything more than fool-mouthed archtypes.

I don't give a shit what happens to Brett or Captain Dallas. Whatever feeling I have for them is because of who's playing them. The one character I like in the film is Parker, and again it isn't so much that he's a cool character as it is that Yaphet Kotto is a cool character.

Ridley Scott loves to say that the film is slow on purpose, that it's okay because of all the visual information you're getting. This is partically true I suppose. But the fact remains that it takes nearly an hour to get going and the design grows less interesting the more he lingers on it.

I'm not saying it's a bad film, it's not. But I wouldn't call it a masterpiece as many do. Outside of the Giger design and the chestbuster...I don't think it would have become as legendary as it has.

Cameron tops the film. Every signature scene or moment from Scott's film is repeated and done better. Right down to the 'cornbread' line at the breakfast table. I'll never forget seeing Alien on the big screen during the SE release and finally hearing Kotto argue to Harry Dean Stanton about the Nostromo's cornbread. My immediate reaction was 'Holy shit...Cameron used that too!'

The marines are archtypes as well for the most part. However once most are killed off we're left with the more complex ones...Hicks, Bishop. There's a reason fans are still pissed at how Fincher and Weaver killed them off some twelve years later.

I love the paradox thematic of how technology is supposedly failing the marines, the old Vietnam alagory...only to have the same technology redeem itself in the final act. That's funny.

I could go on. I won't since I fully expect someone to come charging in here calling me a Cameron Worshipper as per usual.

To me it is just the superior film. More emotional. More exciting, thrilling. Better creature effects. Better characters and story.

Alien 3...I guess I've gotten over the opening, which if nothing else is well put together. I also love the ending, the final moments and how they handled them. But my favorite scene is the funeral one, which is simply beautiful in execution.

Alien Resurrection sucks ass, always did starting with that piece of shit 'isn't it clever' script by Joss Whedon. He introduces a potentially great idea - the hybrid alien/Ripleys - and proceeds to do jack shit with them. Not to mention the characters are a grab bag of standard alien series favorites.

That film was fucked long before Jeunet stepped up.

As for AVP...I like it for what it is, bullshit entertainment. A popcorn movie. I'd rather watch it than Predator 2, I like it a whole lot better than Alien 3 or Resurrection.

And there you go. Flame on...
post #15 of 140
ALIEN : Ghost story in space. Simple, elegant, wonderfully executed. Amazing ensemble, and great performances. I think that my favorite aspect of Alien is the portrayal of the future as a diryt and realistic place that still requires manual labor. No ray guns, no teleporting, no light speed. Really creates the atmosphere.

ALIENS : My favorite all-time movie, period. I think that James Cameron makes nothing but love stories, and this one is the strongest due to the various relationships formed with Ripley/dead daughter, Ripley/Newt, and Ripley/Hicks (director's cut). The action is still unparalleled, and the attention to detail in the sets, costuming, special effects, etc, is almost a primer on how to make an action/sci-fi/horror movie. I think that it also shows how good a job he did in creating characters that we can identify with when there is so much backlash to Fincher for killing them off. We grew attached. Hell, Hudson is Paxton's most recognizable role!

ALIEN3 : I am a huge Fincher fan, and this movie grew on me. I felt like I had been slapped around in the theater in 92. My hero was dead (Hicks), our foil was dead (Bishop), the innocent one was dead (Newt), and the heroine was dead (Ripley). Whew. But, a very strong film, and all of these deaths are necessary in a tragedy such as this. Look at Romeo & Juliet. Now, don't take me wrong - this is not Shakespeare, but it is good. What I think I liked most about Alien3 is the fact that it is a different direction than the others. It is similiar to Alien, but only due to fact that there is only 1 alien running around. The themes are different, the look is WAY different (Fincher apparently shoots through a shit-filter), and the sense of dread is SOO much more pronounced. By the time Ripley is killing herself, you know it's the ONLY way that it could end.

ALIEN: RESURRECTION : This movie felt like a hastily-put-together graphic novel. It never really gels together. I think that it has some of the most beautiful imagery in the whole series, but the director is known for his visuals. I enjoy the scene under the water in the kitchen, and the concept of the military buying humans to experiment on is creepy. With the others in the series, though, the material demands more than this film can deliver.

AVP : As far as I'm concerned, this is not part of the canon.

There's my .02. I never post stuff like this, and I sure would like to hear some opinons regarding mine.

LATER

"What the hell are we supposed to use, man, harsh language?!?"
post #16 of 140
The Alien franchise NEEDS a final chapter...after Resurrection things are just left floating.

Unfortunately that also means Weaver; her charactor has been seriously mangled over the past 2 films (partly down to her as producer)...but we need to see the saga between alien and Ellen Ripley come to a close.

The franchise could of course continue...and should...but the Ripley arc should end.

Cue loads of 'the Alien franchise ended after 'Aliens'' type posts.
post #17 of 140
AVP makes more sense continuality wise than Resurrection.

Which for me means that Ripley's saga ended with her heroic sacrifice in Alien 3.
post #18 of 140
Like Alien and Aliens. Alien3...

...of course Newt couldn't come back, if she was in hypersleep over that time, then she would of aged very little. Too bad the actress went through puberty and looked a little different. So thats the reason she couldn't be in Alien3.

Didn't the guy who played Hicks also wanted a quite a bit of money?

Yes, I'd like to see the original Fincher cut. I still hate Ressercution, and after I saw it, I wrote my own Alien5 storyline that undoes Alien 4 and if I want to, Alien3. It envolves all the characters, and reasons for their age differences. Yes its the ORIGNAL Ripley. Not some clone. It's very much in vain of the first film.
post #19 of 140
Alien is a horror film first. It's got the mood, the atmosphere, the pacing, the unknown enemy, the confined spaces... it just works so damn well. As sci-fi it's still one of the greats, *almost* on par with 2001 and Star Wars... over 25 years and it still looks good. It's effective, timeless, a legit classic.

Aliens... I can't distinguish Aliens from the rest of Cameron's career, and like some people have outgrown Star Wars, I've completely outgrown Cameron.
You know when you watch something you liked as a kid but with adult eyes (like Dukes of Hazzard) and you wonder what you were thinking? That's James Cameron's career for me. He's akin to Stephin King, I like the ideas, but I don't enjoy the completed works. I don't like the Terminator movies, True Lies is horrendous, Titanic was pap, the Abyss was sleep inducing...
I like all the ideas of Aliens, I like all the scenarios but the film just doesn't work for me. I'd have to watch it again to go into specifics about what I don't like, and I'm not doing that any time soon.
Send me your vitriol....

Alien3. I like. Always have. As great as the first one was, the characters in 3 were the most interesting... the best developed. It's a smaller film than what came before it and it stands on its own.

Resurrection. Goddamn is it pretty to look at, but aside from that the film is unbearable.

AvP. Disposable. Not as bad as Resurrection but it missed out on two great opportunities to explore the Predator race further and to explore an alien hive further. It brought nothing new to either franchise.

Aside from the first Alien though, there are a bunch of Alien comics that Dark Horse put out that I'd turn to for my Alien fix before the films.
post #20 of 140
Making another Alien film is a risk I think no one should take. Even if it turned out good it would still be far, far removed from the two good films by two shitty ones. It couldn't hope to salvage the series' integrity and besides, five films in any franchise is overkill.

Alien is a horror masterpiece, a haunted house movie in space. It goes by the Jaws principle of less is more, and is all about pure atmosphere: the shadows, the dripping water, the low hum of the ship. The sight, the sound, the smell of fear on that lonely vessel. In space, no one can hear you scream. It's poetry.

Aliens is a spectacular action movie, a refreshingly different sequel which never disrespects its predecessor. Cameron finds a way to make the creature a more visible threat without cheapening it as a villain. He also introduces the queen, in one heart-stopping scene which is more terrifying than anything in the first film. What in my opinion separates Cameron's movie from the greatness of Ridley Scott's are the marines, who lighten the mood in a way that Scott never did. I love them, but there is a hint of cheese in their banter which can sometimes be grating. I also feel that, like Cameron's other movies, Aliens has limited rewatchability. I'll probably buy the DVD at some point though. Aliens is great.

I do agree with Django about the opening of Alien3. Were it a better film, killing off Hicks, Newt and Bishop might have been a brave decision. But Alien3 is a mess, and as such Fincher shits all over Aliens and rubs James Cameron's face in it. Who wants to see Bishop dying in a pile of garbage, covered in slime? I like the gloomy mood Fincher was trying to create, but Alien3 is a failure. I don't even need to see the extended cut because I know it can't be fixed.

As for Alien Resurrection, all I can say about it is that it has completely faded from memory. I intend to keep it that way.

The world doesn't need five Alien movies.
post #21 of 140

Boiling Down

Being the Alien nut that I am I have to give my 2 cents, and believe me, that's all it is.

I guess I'm a born optimist but I firmly believe the series can be redeemed in one last film. I really believe that. I also believe that the last Alien story can involve Ripley. I realize most people believe that the character of Ripley is tired and I think in her current status, she's more than tired. Ripley didn't do much in AR except for look scary. I think back to the days prior to AR, all the hype, seeing sneak peak photos, I was so hopeful. Anyways.

I think ALIEN & ALIEN3 are both masterpieces save for the awful Amalgamated Dynamic effects in Alien3. The point of the the original story was character, character, character. Real, real, real. I'll agree with the above poster that James Cameron took a turn for the cartoon worst in ALIENS. No doubt I enjoy the film, but there's something a little to "kick ass" about the film for my tastes.

I would love an alien film that returned to darkness, absolute darkness where the creature has returned to the shadows and is scarely seen. I would also love the creature design to really take on H.R. Giger's fleshy bio mechanical feel. I think that creatively, AvP was a step in the right direction regarding the alien creature design.

The above aside I would love to see realism, real characters who are actually believably terrified by the creature. The scene in AR where Call & co. come upon the creature for the first time was so ridiculous. Hollywood has always had a difficulty displaying real fear. I like what Gore Verbinski did with The Ring, that visceral reality, it's a little to stylized for the alien world but it [for me] was truly scary. Remember the face of the girl found in the closet? That is scary shit.

Concerning Ripley, I believe that she has an interesting role but she needs to do something, something worthwhile. Ripley's character really grew leaps and bounds in ALIENS because she was really doing something. Much like in ALIEN3, in ALIENS, Ripley is pushed into a leadership role. For the record I love that Fincher shit all over Cameron's vision. James Cameron makes movies, David Fincher makes actual films. There's not a subtle bone in Cameron's creative body. But back to Ripley. I would love to explore her psychosis in her current state, what the effects of cloning is doing to her emotionally, physically and so on. I realize that other people aren't interested in this and they'd rather be through with her.

It boils down to doing the seemingly impossible, and that is making the creature scary again. How can that be done? Can that be done? I believe it can be. There is a great little bit in ALIENS when the gang is waiting for the aliens to breach the perimeter. Hudson is taking sensor readings and it shows that the creatures should be inside the room. After a few moments Hicks looks up, that is scary, psychologically scary. The Exorcist was scary not because of how the little girl looked so much but what she said, how she said it.

I have hope. I wish Fox would give someone a crack at a new script [choose me ] I believe there's still life in the bitch yet.

J.M. Prater
post #22 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.M. PRATER
James Cameron makes movies, David Fincher makes actual films. There's not a subtle bone in Cameron's creative body.
Actual films? What does that mean? David Fincher is not subtle. Panic Room was worse than any of James Cameron's "movies", and horribly written too.
post #23 of 140

That's Right

Admittedly, Panic Room was somewhat if not entirely ridiculous, a paycheck for Fincher.

Yes, James Cameron makes popcorn movies that, in my opinion are crafty as opposed to artistic. Fincher has more in Common with European directors and painters, his films are art. Cameron's films are one dimensional summer blockbusters, he isn't capable of anything else. Yes, Cameron is brilliant at what he does and his MOVIES are some of the most fun I've had in theaters. He has yet to show any sort of portfolio, he's made the same kind of film over and over. I'd love him to make a small character driven piece. His next film, Battle Angel is again HUGE, HUGE, HUGE. Huge isn't bad, it's just obvious.

J.M. Prater

For the record, Fight Club, The Game, Seven work on so many different levels. I don't worship the ground he walks on, absolutely not, but he's actually a filmmaker with depth, something that the bankrupt world of Hollywood doesn't even know how to spell. Also, I was at an advanced screening of Panic Room and when the time came to write what I thought about the film, its actors, etc... I unloaded my fury LOL, well, I wasn't kind. There's a lot that's just mediocre in Panic Room, and that includes one of the worst performances by Jared Leto I have ever seen. He's gorgeous and I'd sleep with him in a heartbeat but he was awful.
post #24 of 140
ALIEN- One of the things I love about ALIEN is that it's characters are so natural, and the dialogue is so effortless that it almost seems like there wasn't a script at all. Granted, there's not that much characterization, and no real arcs for any of the characters, but really, the audience doesn't always need that. The crew of the Nostromo seemed like normal people, despite the setting. On top of that, it's BEAUTIFUL. I don't mind a movie being "slow" when it's this well done.
ALIENS- This one is written all the way(lots of one-liners, etc). But it's still great. On par with the 1st, but for totally different reasons. The action is great, the characters are memorable, and hey, I like Cameron's films. While not a bad looking movie at all, this is the ugliest of the 4.
ALIEN3- Returns to the generally more natural dialogue of the 1st, even though many of the prisoners seem like carbon copies of each other(in look and in dialogue). Other than the killing of Newt and Hicks, it seemed like a big step backward after the blow shit up attitude of ALIENS, and I think that's why a lot of people hate it. Not to mention none of the characters really have any redeeming qualities. The alien looks like bad CGI, amazing considering that it wasn't CGI at all. The "director's cut"(or whatever you want to call it) from the Quadrilogy is indeed a better movie, but not a better Alien movie. The change from dog to cow makes no sense at all though.
ALIEN:RESURRECTION- Looks great, but is shit. It seems like they tried to go back to Aliens and the "blow shit up" attitude but failed miserably. The dialogue is awful, Sigourney is terrible, Winona Ryder is terribly miscast, the hybrid alien is laughable at best, and none of the "jokes" work, oh and wait, there's a sex scene? With aliens? Oh god what a terrible idea. Good one, producer Sigourney(she didn't want guns in 3 either, so why are they back in 4?). Leland Orser still manages to be good in it, in fact he's been good in everything I've seen him in. Give this guy more work somebody.
AVP- Saw it today, fucks up lots of basic ideas from the alien series(time from infection to adult alien, setting it on Earth... TODAY, making it basically bloodless, etc), but it's really not that bad. Not that good either, but ten times better than Resurrection. There isn't a single memorable character either. Despite some really stupid stuff... like the alien head as a shield, for instance. In fact all the beginning "team up stuff" with the Predator and the chick was pretty terrible. It made up for it with little unexpected things like the Predator snapping the baby alien's neck, stuff like that. Overall it's more entertaining than 3 and 4, but not as, well, "good" as 3. I don't know if that makes any sense but oh well. It's a much better follow-up for Predator fans than Alien ones.

Oh, if they make any more Alien flicks, keep Sigourney the hell away from them. Ripley died in Alien 3, and 4 never should have been made. It's too bad Cameron and Scott got shot down in favor of AVP, but oh well. I don't mean to dog on Weaver, she's a great actress, and deserved the oscar nom for Aliens, it's just, her ideas haven't been all that hot as far as the direction of the "franchise". I'm not even all that passionate about the series now, it's just one of those vain hopes of seeing another GREAT Alien film.
post #25 of 140
Have the ship at the end of A4 blow up as it aproaches earth. A group of scientist sent to find out what happened. The last records of the Bankrupt W&Y corp shows operation Prize. And the Planet Lv 426. Here they find a notebook of Ripley and what is going on. The Planet has become a dence and hot place muggy and what not. After a few survivers make it to there ship a Predator ship lands and the last scene is a spear going threw an Alien head
post #26 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee
...some of the horror of the creature was the fact that by its nature in the first film it was very very alien... who knows how the eggs started off or where the creature came from?
actually, most of that is still a big question mark. cameron explained where the eggs came from, but that doesn't answer the more interesting question: who brought the original eggs to LV-426 in the crashed spaceship? it can't be the aliens themselves cause they don't seem capable of operating such a machine (plus we see a skeleton of another creature inside the ship in the first film).

this could be compared to an alien race finding an ant colony on some abandoned colony in space: they could learn everything they needed about them, but the big mystery would still be finding out where they came from (earth) and who brought them there (humans).
post #27 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.M. PRATER
I think ALIEN & ALIEN3 are both masterpieces save for the awful Amalgamated Dynamic effects in Alien3. The point of the the original story was character, character, character. Real, real, real. I'll agree with the above poster that James Cameron took a turn for the cartoon worst in ALIENS. No doubt I enjoy the film, but there's something a little to "kick ass" about the film for my tastes.
Alright, what's going on here? Why is Aliens being singled out for criticism in the 'film as art' category? You make a point about character, you make a point about realism, Cameron's characters he created in Aliens are some of the best-known characters in all movie history! Through casting, wardrobe, dialog, script, he set the stage for a bunch of actors to become a real team of marines - totally believeable in their attitudes, strengths, and perhaps more importantly, their weaknesses. Yes they are different to the characters in one and three, but that is due to the different natures of the films. One and Three are bleak movies, about survivors hanging on. Two is the opposite, about taking the fight to the creatures first, therefore the characters will obviously have a different focus. But that different focus doesn't then give you license to dismiss them as 'cartoonish'. Aliens, too, is a masterpeice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.M. PRATER
James Cameron makes movies, David Fincher makes actual films. There's not a subtle bone in Cameron's creative body
What? If Cameron isn't 'subtle', then neither is Fincher.
post #28 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Van Jones
Aliens, too, is a masterpeice.
I'm not defending anything in the series as a masterpiece, but Aliens is certainly not a masterpiece of anything more than pulpy fun. The characterization of the marines is downright laughable. I cringed through most of the dialogue whenever people with guns are on the screen, but it's still a fun action movie. It's a movie that turned a single film into a bonafide franchise, but it's a lot of guns and little brains which always seems a little disappointing. Masterpiece seems to get thrown around a lot in threads like this where it really doesn't belong.
post #29 of 140
Well, I think it's a masterpeice, and if One and Three qualify, then so does Two.
post #30 of 140

Well....

"If James Cameron isn't subtle than neither is Fincher" Where is the logic to back that up?

Cameron is the master of big huge, where as Fincher seems to know how to work emotionally, lyrically and psychologically. What I love about Alien 3 is that Fincher said "Fuck Newt & Hicks" and that takes some balls. I never believed that the ALIEN franchise was about mommy and daddy and happy endings. When fans read this stuff they seem to skip over the part when I say "I love ALIENS." ALIENS is a great film for what it is, it's just not subtle, it's obvious and as fun as the marines are, the film ushered in the one-liners that Joss 'hack' Whedon tried to revive for the shit bomb known as Alien Resurrection.

I believe Ripley was at the top of her game in Aliens, I'll even go so far as to say that there is brilliance in her character arc as written by Cameron, but ultimately, as aforementioned, the film is far too "kick ass" for me. "Kill em' all, motherfuckin Aliens." That's the general take on the film as opposed to "I'm alone, I'm scared to death, what do I do" in ALIEN and somewhat in ALIEN3.

If anyone has ever seen The Game by David Fincher than I think you get my drift. BUT, this isn't a cock size debate. Fincher does what he does and Cameron does what he does. I believe in the end, a film like Fight Club, Seven, & The Game will linger on in the minds of viewers as opposed to True Lies, The Abyss, and Titanic, films that are exactly what you seem them to be.

J.M. Prater
post #31 of 140
Quote:
I never believed that the ALIEN franchise was about mommy and daddy and happy endings.
That's exactly why I love ALIENS the most. And why I'm not the world's biggest ALIEN 3 fan.

Quote:
the film is far too "kick ass" for me. "Kill em' all, motherfuckin Aliens."
Well, it was a commentary on Vietnam. Besides, the horror side was done already in ALIEN perfectly, so it was natural to take a different approach.
post #32 of 140

and so on...

Great lines and sweet little character moments however much fun don't always add up to realism which is what the first ALIEN film was all about. ALIENS is clever, witty and action-packed for sure, and it's fun, but I prefer quiet, sterile, and horror. The Aliens ceased to be thes intelligent organisms and became the beasts of StarShip Troopers.

J.M. Prater
post #33 of 140

Vietnam

Oooooooh, so it was a commentary on Vietnam? Alright everything is okay now.

J.M. Prater

ALIENS isn't at all a bad film, it was just obvious and far more peripheral than the first film and brought the mythologuy to this comic book slash americana patriotism that I don't care for.
post #34 of 140
Look deeper under the skin, it's a lot more intelligent than you're giving it credit for.

The thing is, ALIEN already nailed the horror. It's like JAWS, that just ended up being remade over and over again and nothing changed. ALIEN 3 was the same. As much as I love Fincher, that flick suffered from Ridley envy, and none of it was scary, especially compared to ALIEN.
post #35 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.M. PRATER
Cameron is the master of big huge, where as Fincher seems to know how to work emotionally, lyrically and psychologically. What I love about Alien 3 is that Fincher said "Fuck Newt & Hicks" and that takes some balls. I never believed that the ALIEN franchise was about mommy and daddy and happy endings.
With respect, none of this is about subtlety. You stated clearly that Fincher is more'subtle' than Cameron, I think you're wrong, and the above doesn't counter it. Emotionally, lyrically (?), psychologically - take a look at The Abyss, the two Terminator films, hell even Titanic (emotion city). As far as Aliens is concerned, the emotions are on full display - from the soldiers in a full-on Vietnam-esque stress combat situation to Ripley trying to combat her own demons while taking care of daughter-replacement Newt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J.M. PRATER
If anyone has ever seen The Game by David Fincher than I think you get my drift.
I love The Game, it's one of my all time favourites, it's brilliant. But again, it is not 'subtle', it's a building cresendo of long-repressed emotion (something Michael Douglas does so well). Is it different to Cameron's films? Yes of course it is. But I don't believe it's superior in terms of 'emotions' to the likes of Terminator or The Abyss. It's a different 'story' (or a different focus - where Fincher focuses more on characters, Cameron focuses more on story), but the 'craft' (for lack of a better word) is equally genius.
post #36 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by coffnrock
The marines in Cameron's film are one of the strongest elements of that movie. I wanna shout out, "that's a fact !" but I know from experience that can lead to trouble.

But seriously, man, I just don't see how we could have seen the same movie. The marines numbered, what, 11 or 12 maybe ? Almost all of them had a nice little character moment or two and of course, several of the marines became major characters as the film moved along. I thought they felt geniune as soldiers, the dialogue was technical when it needed to be, or it least it sounded technically correct to me, someone who is admittedly not into ordnance, guns and the like. The individual characters' dialogue was spot on:

Hudson's "Quit messin' around" when he was spitting down the levels of the station and another marine comes up behind him and gives him a little shove--I always thought that bit might have been improvised because Hudson's reaction rang so true (of course, Hudson's got a bunch of classic lines in the film). Apone and Vasquez and Drake all have terrific lines and I've always loved how the pilot of the drop ship (forget the name right now....Spunkmeyer, maybe) so nonchalantly delivers her "we're Five by Five" line, she sounds like her character's totally comfortable in her little world there as the pilot.

I don't really have a problem with your "pulpy fun" description of the movie, I just think it's that and more and a classic thru and thru.
That'd be "Ferro." (Almost typed "Frodo.") Spunkmeyer was the fat bald guy.

Off the top o' me head, the marines who went sans "moments": Crowe, and........um..........Crowe.

Wierzbowski had his "AAAUUGGGGrrrHGGHHGHHHGrrGGGGHHHGGG." Which counts. So there.
post #37 of 140
Crowe's moment was his three-second 'oh shit' face right before Frost's bag with the ammo blew up.

Speaking of which...Frost. My favorite of the killed-too-quick supporting Marines. Man wanted some more Arturian Poontang, didn't like the cornbread, and would have called your folks when you didn't make it back.

How 'bout a moment of silence for My Man Frost.



Fincher's Alien movie had four good characters: Dillion, which was all Charles S. Dutton. It wasn't on the page, believe me. Clemens, who had that neat little medical malpractice bit of backstory and some good character scenes with Ripley. Morse, who was just a cool supporting convict. And Bishop II, who was interesting thanks to the resonance left from Cameron's work.

It also had four good sequences: The opening montage, which was pieced together in the editing room. The Funeral/Birth sequence, which Charles S. Dutton owns. The Third Act 'God never gave me nuthin' motivational speech of Dillion's. And the finale, minus the whole 'I'm not a fuckin' droid!' bit.

However I do find it funny that we're debating Cameron vs Fincher. Master of Cobalt Blue Filter vs Master of Piss Yellow/Puke Green Filter.

At least Cameron writes his own scripts. All I'm sayin'...
post #38 of 140
Clinical proof positive that we've ALL officially lost it:
The Wierzbowski Online Shrine
(......and I do mean "all" in the lovingest possible way, of course......)
post #39 of 140
I am an Alien 3 apologist. Always was. Even before the SE. Which DOES make the movie better.
post #40 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Striding Cloud Django
It also had four good sequences: The opening montage, which was pieced together in the editing room. The Funeral/Birth sequence, which Charles S. Dutton owns. The Third Act 'God never gave me nuthin' motivational speech of Dillion's. And the finale, minus the whole 'I'm not a fuckin' droid!' bit.
I couldn't agree more however I think Fincher does a real nice job with the last half than he did with the first. The moments you listed are highlights as is the numerous chases. I hated Alien 3 when I first saw it but I rewatched it on the Sci-Fi channel a few years back and grew to appreciate it in some measure. Dutton especially did some great, great work here and I always enjoy his performance. Also Goldenthal's score is really good.

I agree on Aliens however I really respect and like Alien. Then again I love Cameron and his films as well so..
post #41 of 140
I appreciate that all of the marines have a moment or two, but that's all that they get, a single moment in a film. They are sketches of chracters, not characters (for the most part). I love Bill Paxton's whiny bitch, but the rest with the exception of maybe Vasquez just feel like Xenomorph fodder from the get-go. They are all given a weird trait or a token line so that their deaths aren't completely meaningless, but the film is not about the marines.

Look at something like The Dirty Dozen that has about as many soldier characters as Aliens, but then look at how much we know about every member of the Dirty Dozen compared to what we know about the Colonial Marines. That's the difference between a character-centered movie with lots of casualties and a movie with a lot of characters that are just set up to die. In the end, they are bit players in Ripley's story. And yeah, the dialogue bugs me because it's typical macho bullshit which never seems unique enough to be interesting.
post #42 of 140
Alien - A slow burning, atmospheric sci-fi/horror masterpiece and one of Scott's best. Great performances from Sigourney Weaver, Yaphet Kotto, and Ian Holm (who almost always gets forgotten. He's Ash, not Bilbo!). I don't think I really have much to say about this that hasn't already been stated. It's a classic.


Aliens - In my opinion, just as "classic" yet vastly different than the first. Cameron realized that any attempt to recreate the original would just turn out as a lesser quality rehash. Instead he injected a completely different style into it. Great character work from Weaver, Lance Henriksen, Jeannette Goldstein, the underrated Michael Biehn, and the girl who played Newt, who's name escapes me. Also loved the Alien Queen concept and the "hive" related story bits.


Alien 3 - While not as good as the first two, it's damn close. I won't criticize Fincher for killing off Newt and Hicks, but I WILL criticize the manner in which he did so. Killing them was necessary to completing Ripley's isolation/lack of reason to live. However, they should have survived the crash and been killed by the alien itself. He owed the characters at least that much. Yeah, we would have had to recast the role of Newt, but it still would have been worth it to the characters. The destruction of Bishop was needed however. I absolutely love the mood and depressingly dark tone of the film. The look and style is wonderfully gothic. Good work from Weaver, Henrikson, Charles Dance, Brian Glover, Daniel Webb, and Charles Dutton. Perfect ending.


Alien Resurrection - Hmm. I have a small soft spot for this film. That aside, it's just really damn weird. Very European Art Cinema-esque, which is not surprising considering who the director is (Jeunet). It contains a great group of actors and some really interesting concepts, but all are ill-used. One of those "could have been great" films. It is very visually stunning, however. Winona Ryder is out of her element and as stated somewhere above, some of the most interesting characters get a small amount of screen time or are killed off too soon. Killing Michael Wincott so early on is a big no-no. What I liked: Weaver, Ron Perlman, Dominque Pinon, Brad Dourif, Michael Wincott (in his "cameo"), JE Freeman, and most of the concepts. Disliked: The look of the Alien hybrid (very un-Giger) and the entire execution of the project. Wasted potential.


Alien vs. Predator - At last we come to it. This is the single worst installment in either franchise and anyone who thinks differently is seriously delusional (Predator 2, while no classic, is very underrated). Continuity my ass. When this was given a PG-13 rating because the violence was supposed to be more "creature on creative" with non-red gore flying, though kinda silly, I accepted it because it kind of made sense. What doesn't make sense is when you have 6 films of openly shown gory slayings, that almost all human deaths are done in cut away shots. First off, I don't have a biased towards one species more than another because I loved both series equally. That said, the other two predators died WAY too quickly and easily in combat with a single alien. The Alien designs for this film were fine (although the Queen was WAY too big). The Predator designs were poor, especially in the faces. Now we come to acting. You can tell when an actor thinks that they are slumming it in a film and that is the vibe I was getting from Sanaa Lathan. I liked Colin Salmon and Lance Henriksen, but other than that, this is the worst cast of any series installment. Also, what's with the complete and total redesign of the Predator ship interior? Again, continuity my ass. This film is even more wasted potential than Alien Resurrection, and I fear that even though it did very well, that it has buried both franchises instead of giving them a boost. I haven't read a single thing about an AVP 2, Alien 5, or Predator 3 since this film was released. Not a good sign. While I am quite aware of how much time and effort Anderson put into making this film, none of his ideas are translated properly or are fully developed on screen. The execution is horrible. I bet Stan Winston is now glad that we wasn't apart of this travesty.



While I know the long rumored Alien 5 dream project (Ridley Scott directing, with James Cameron writing) will never happen, I really hope that the series is not finished. I would love to see one final installment with Weaver as Ripley again. I am not too sure if the series would work without her involvement though (the Predator concept, however, has unlimited possibilities. Set in space, Ancient Epypt, Colonial times, Medievel Europe, etc.). I just hope our last theatrical memory of a new installment in each series is not of Anderson's Alien vs. Predator. I would definately be willing to give an AVP 2 a shot as an alternative, if it actually had some talent in front of and ESPECIALLY behind the camera.


By the way, please explain to me WHY everyone has a hard on for giving Joss Whedon the reigns to the X-Men franchise. Now I'm not familiar with his comic works, but if his television projects are any clue this is a big HELL NO!!! I have not seen Firefly, so I cannot comment on that (and I'll probably base my opinion of it off of Serenity when it comes out). I have, however, seen episodes of Buffy and Angel. What about those TV shows inspires anyone to let him loose on X-Men 3? Of course I am one of the people that's of the mind that the only decent aspect of the Buffy/Angel media franchise is the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer film. And if none of that convinces anyone, look at Alien Resurrection. That's Whedon's answer to taking on a film franchise. That script was absolute shit! I blame the failure of Resurrection more on Whedon and the producers than on the director. Jeunet did his job in making a visually stunning film, it was the script that reeked. Don't give me that "he should have vetoed it" crap. Somehow I think that if Jeunet had the clout to do such a thing, that it would have been done.

Alright, that's it. My fingers are tired.
post #43 of 140
Quote:
By the way, please explain to me WHY everyone has a hard on for giving Joss Whedon the reigns to the X-Men franchise. Now I'm not familiar with his comic works, but if his television projects are any clue this is a big HELL NO!!! I have not seen Firefly, so I cannot comment on that (and I'll probably base my opinion of it off of Serenity when it comes out). I have, however, seen episodes of Buffy and Angel. What about those TV shows inspires anyone to let him loose on X-Men 3? Of course I am one of the people that's of the mind that the only decent aspect of the Buffy/Angel media franchise is the original Buffy the Vampire Slayer film. And if none of that convinces anyone, look at Alien Resurrection. That's Whedon's answer to taking on a film franchise. That script was absolute shit! I blame the failure of Resurrection more on Whedon and the producers than on the director. Jeunet did his job in making a visually stunning film, it was the script that reeked. Don't give me that "he should have vetoed it" crap. Somehow I think that if Jeunet had the clout to do such a thing, that it would have been done.
Excellent post, S.D.! And a great summary/analysis of all 4 Alien films along with Anderson's wannabe piece of sh*t. My only nitpick is your comment about Hicks and Newt's death in ALIEN 3. Ripley could just have easily been isolated and weary of living by doing this:

Sulaco's computer detects the queen embryo inside Ripley so upon following hidden Company Emergency Override Protocols, it ejects Ripley's hypersleep tube into the EEV and depositis her onto the nearest planet - Firiona. The Sulaco continues onward with Newt and Hicks unharmed and ready for possible further adventures. Meanwhile, Ripley awakens alone, thinks the ship's been destroyed (because that's the only reason she knows that the EEV would have been launched) and her friends dead from the fire. Now THAT would have been a real mindfuck, while also not irreperably damaging the franchise.

As for Whedon directing, S.D., I'm 1000% in agreement with you on that. What works for Buffy/Angel doesn't necessarily work for Alien or Xmen. However, as for the script sucking, check out this thread:

http://chud.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69813

Read posts #22- 24, and #28 in particular. I'm curious to see what your opinion is.
post #44 of 140
AVP is ripped into because geeks hate Anderson. So much so that the desperately search for reasons to dislike the film, the funniest of which is the PG-13 rating. With the exception of the chestbuster sequence featuring Bova - which is kinda hard to get around the idea that the buster rips through his chest and comes out clean, however the Predator's reaction is classic so I can forgive it - the lack of gore doesn't hurt the film in any way.

Anderson's biggest folly was setting the film on Earth, which is nothing more than his ego talking. The fanboy inside him getting off on the idea that he was the one who brought the alien 'home.'

As far as the Antarctica thing...yes, the predators prefer to hunt in tropical climates. Then again this is a 'male rite of passage' for a bunch of 'teen' predators who are dropped into an extremely hostile environment without most of their weapons...so one could say they did it on purpose. Course Dark Horse also had them in artic conditions in the comics as well.

Now the 'Bullet-time' facehuggers, sped up incubation period, and lackluster characters...those are all him.

But saying it's a worse film than Resurrection is just plain silly...
post #45 of 140
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Striding Cloud Django
But saying it's a worse film than Resurrection is just plain silly...
Yeah I'd go with that. At least AvP had some kind of consistancy even if it was shit.

I can't say I'm andersons biggest advocate (Resident evil was utter dog egg, Event Horizon was The Shining in space but without the skill) but I dont hate AvP because of him, more because he has done nothing to help the franchises. He simply cashed in with "Cool" sequences and "Cool" ideas, but he didnt return the scariness of the title monsters at all... instead opting to just appease the fanboy in him and hoping that there'd be enough people out there like him, who would discard internal logic set up by the previous movies and discard them in favour of getting to the "cool" bits ASAP!

The logic of ALIEN with the speed of the alien's development... gone
The fact that the ALIEN takes on certain characteristics of its host.... gone (they all walked around Alien3 fashon)
The fact that the first three films were about the humans battling unknown and that character matters otherwise you dont give a shit who gets eaten.... gone (especially with the french guy who was just mr exposition "ahh it all makez zenze nawwww")
The fact that the Alien could easily knock a human around... gone (as Ripley lite skewers one of them managing not to get sprayed with acid oops forgot about that eh?)


And so on..... So if Anderson has done anything to incur fanboy wrath I think its more the fact that he's done NOTHING but devolve the Alien and the Predator even further from their original scary roots...
post #46 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Striding Cloud Django
It also had four good sequences: The opening montage, which was pieced together in the editing room. The Funeral/Birth sequence, which Charles S. Dutton owns. The Third Act 'God never gave me nuthin' motivational speech of Dillion's. And the finale, minus the whole 'I'm not a fuckin' droid!' bit.
Don't forget Ripley's suicidial confrontation with the Alien ("just do what you do") followed by asking Dillion to kill her. Pretty powerful couple of scenes.
post #47 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kreeper
http://chud.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69813

Read posts #22- 24, and #28 in particular. I curious to see what your opinion is.

That was fairly interesting. Since I haven't actually read the unmarred Alien 4 screenplay(s) of Joss Whedon, I guess that I cannot give a full critique, but I will say this: If his original script was nothing but what is on film plus thoses deleted scenes listed in that forum, while it would have made it better, it still would not have saved that film. The producers screwed that movie many times over (turning down Cronenberg's request of full creative control after offering it to him was one of them). If Cronenberg had been given that Whedon script we would have had a better film, because a lot of it is definately made up of a lot of his tastes. Point is, it was fucked.

Again I ask, has anyone read ANYTHING regarding a sequel to this franchise in any form (be it AVP 2 or Alien 5) since Alien vs. Predator came out? Last time I checked, AVP had only made about 30 million in the US past its budget. I'm not sure about worldwide. Apparently it sold almost 2 million copies on Tuesday though, so I guess it is conceivable that they were waiting for a look at DVD grosses before making up their minds. Fox has had two big missteps when it comes to this franchise. Let's hope that if they decide to continue it (and the Predator one) that they begin to make some better directorial choices and decide to step back from controlling it a bit. Not likely though.

I still wish Fincher would have made an appearance in the Alien 3 documentaries in the Quadrilogy set. I would really like to get a full, straight opinion from him on what he had originally conceived, what turned out on film, and what he still thinks of the whole experience (which I guess is a little obvious since he declined to participate). It would have been interesting.
post #48 of 140
I just got through watching the Director's Cut of Alien3. I had a few observations regarding the film:

First off, it is a much stronger film than I remember it being. Even with my previous post, and my defense of it, I enjoyed it quite a bit this evening, more so than in the past. It felt like a more complete film in this incarnation.

Secondly, I felt that the characterizations present in the Director's Cut (Golic in particular) added depth to the picture and answered a criticism that is often levied against Alien3, which is we've got a bunch guys runnign around that we don't know or care about. I cared about Golic, remembered Murphy's name, etc. Also, while the prayer and speech sequences may have started to get repititious, it added even more depth to the prisoners as a unit. They had routines in those prayers, and they sought solace in them.

Third, the removal of the dog sequence and the inclusion of the ox sequence I felt carried much more weight. I always sort of felt that the dog-burster was a bit contrived and existed almost to pull on the heart strings of dog lovers. Plus the shot of Murphy holding up the facehugger in the background was great.

Fourth, Fincher has great control of the camera in this film. From the Alien vision shots on the ceiling to the Alien peeking around a corner behind an inmate up above in the air vent, he brings us in and holds on. I think my favorite shot, be it intentional or not, is when the aspect ratio changes so drastically as the flare is floating slow motion into the spilled bucket of nitro. What a great shot. Also, when the Alien pulls Abbot up into the air duct of the mess hall, the camera is set low, pans left across the prisoners as they get into a defensive position and pick up chairs, and his ball drops into the pool of blood. Then Morse shouts "FUCK!" Exactly.

Fifth, and my favorite : the bobbing water bird thing on Abbot's desk. Same one from the dining table in the Nostromo. Great.

Just my thoughts. Since htis thread started, I decided that I would re-visit each of the films soon and throw my thoughts out there for discussion. Aliens tomorrow!

LATER

P.S. I love how the Queen burst during the furnace dive was excised! Thank christ!

SOunds like we've still got a good discussion going here. Stay Frosty, and alert!
post #49 of 140
Quote:
Originally Posted by J.M. PRATER
ALIENS isn't at all a bad film, it was just obvious and far more peripheral than the first film and brought the mythologuy to this comic book slash americana patriotism that I don't care for.
Decrying the "patriotic macho bullshit" of Aliens without mentioning the rest of the story, completely misses the irony of what Cameron was doing structurally with the piece. He obviously was methodically and comically playing up the Marines in the first half of the narrative, to ultimately juxtapose it with the actual true heroes of the tale:

A little girl, a "kind" (almost effeminate) android, a marine in touch with his feminine side, and a woman/surrogate mother

That's as far away as you can get from the macho Reagan style heroics of the 80s action films, which those wiseass marines were obviously commentating on.

Rambo, it ain't.

"Aliens'' (and all Cameron films for that matter) are really be about the triumph of femininity. The "testosterone charged" showboating didn't mean dick by the half way point of the film. It basically came down to a mother rescuing her child from the Queen she-beast of the universe. A very human tale of survival with a STRONG feminist subtext. It's why the 3rd act is so primal and emotionally-charged. It completely subverts the Rambo mystique so carefully laid out during the first half of the narrative. The flick stood out in it's decade because of that element. It was specifically designed to break ranks with the genre flicks of the day (excepting "The Terminator"). Cameron was inspired by Ridley's "surprise" story element of having the female the lone survivor of the yarn (swiped from the Horror genre). But he went further with his treatise by making Ripley's character that much more real, 3 dimensional, and yes-----FEMININE. It upped the stakes in terms of subtext.

The tale ultimately came down to a mother's journey, so far away from the tough talking marine showboating during the first half of the picture. Heck, the only marine who survives with Ripley and Newt is the one set up as decidedly un-Marine-like. Ripley, Newt, Hicks and Bishop are the survivors and characters you root for - not the larger-than-life marines of the first half. Never forget that when you segregate the "kick ass marine element" as the heart of the film. Because it aint'. The film is about more than that.

Much more.
post #50 of 140



I will say that Alien did not need a sequel. It was singular vision which concluded it's tale brilliantly (especially if you include the deleted cocoon sequence, completing the "perfect organism's" circuitous lifecycle). Cameron was commisioned to come up with a continuation to that story. What we got was another visionary director giving his take on the mythos through a plausible elaboration of the 1979 movie. But there was no point making a pale imitation of Scott's precise vision. He was definitely crafting a James Cameron movie.

You have to remember that Scott's evocation and treatment of the creature was predicated by a genre he had chosen to transport to the Sci-fi realm. Placed in an utterly believable futurescape with banal characters making it even more real, it was basically the killer from "Halloween" pegging off the victims from the shadows. The claustrophobia and paranoia conjured on the Nostromo by this sleek force of nature, had about as much to do with following the rules of a particular genre as it did because the star beast was a meticulously designed and executed fictionalized organism.

Cameron was not making a "haunted house in space" any longer. Different dynamics were in order.
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