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Why no love for ALIEN 3?

post #1 of 114
Thread Starter 
I never quite understood this. I always thought it was a fine movie, and a third viewing this afternoon confirmed these feelings. What is it about Alien 3 that most people find fault in? I know David Fincher even disowned it but I still think it's pretty good, especially the set design, which is phenomenal.
post #2 of 114
Many of the ill feeling stem from the roller coaster ride of 'Aliens' - which was a good action film of the time, but doesn't hold up very well all these years later. The sloppy script also has a factor in it.

That being said, I've found myself enjoying Alien3 far more than 'Aliens.' It's closer in tone and style to the first movie and is a more risky film by not picking up the silly jingoistic blather of part 2.
post #3 of 114
But the whole point of the film is that the jingoistic blather is silly, hence why the marines get torn to shreds. It's 'Nam in space.

I think ALIEN 3 as this mega-hated movie is a bit of a myth these days, especially in the shadow of ALIEN: RESURRECTION. I like the film, although it has its problems, and I don't think it's as good as ALIENS, and nowhere near the first movie. But I think its rep is much improved since it came out.
post #4 of 114
I've always liked this flick. I never saw it back in 1992, but my Mother got it for me for christmas of '92 as a used rental tape that I still have by the way, since my folks never took me to see it, and they both knew that I liked Aliens.

After seeing it, I thought it was way different than Aliens, and I was sad that Newt and Hicks were dead, but for some reason I still liked it. It was different. I saw the "assembly cut" at my cousins, since I never bought the quadrilogy, jeez what a ridiculous name, anyway, I just have the legacy series dvds, and I thought that the assembly cut was even better than the regular version, fleshing out backstories for some of the characters.

My only gripe is that to this day I still can't seperate the characters from each other. Especially during the final sequence where they're running around and getting killed, and I don't know who's who except for pete postlewaite, and even adding several whole new sequences.
post #5 of 114
Thread Starter 
The only major fault I have is that the last couple of sequences where they are trying to trap/kill the alien are so damned disorienting and confusing that they're unpleasant to watch.


I also prefer this to Aliens, but I was too afraid to say it.
post #6 of 114
I'll be the first to jump into the Aliens fan club. Coming off of Aliens into this convict world was sudden and didn't settle well. I'll also throw in my "If only" comment, as in if only Wards wooden planet script was shot. This is a fine movie, but I was more or less pissed off at how grim it was. Cameron closed these movies wonderfully. They didn't need to kill off all of those close to Ripley, and then Ripley herself. Give me a good reason why.
post #7 of 114
I think most of the hate attitude that popped up around this movie came from what people thought it should be, rather than what it was. This was one of the most anticipated movies of its year, and when it failed to live up to its hype, people skipped past mild disappointment and straight into hatred. I never felt that it deserved the bad rap, as it's really quite a good film, closer in tone to the first than the second, which is a plus in my book.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Domingo
This is a fine movie, but I was more or less pissed off at how grim it was.
You were pissed off that an Alien movie was grim? Have you actually seen the first two? I don't remember any rainbows or happy elves in those movies.
post #8 of 114
There's always a chance in those movies. There's some good in them to hold onto that reminds you there's a reason to keep fighting.
post #9 of 114
I alwyas thought they were the least hopeful films around.
Everytime Ripley comes out on top, she gets her ass kicked again.
She did get killed off you know, that clone business in the fourth one- that's not really Ellen Ripley.

Alien 3 is not so much a bad film, just the first not brilliant one of the series.
post #10 of 114
Alien 3 is THE ONLY non brilliant one. Alien 4 is retarded.
post #11 of 114
I don't remember too much about the film. I remember I liked it taking place in a prison, and the scene where the warden was picked off, and the scene where the alien comes face to face with Ripley only to NOT kill her (its a queen).

But I also recall the dumbest scene of the movie being the dog exploding and the alien is just sitting there curled up doing nothing. WTF?

EDIT: <<Alien Resurrection is retarded>> And Alien vs. Predator is unwatchable.
post #12 of 114
I admit to having a fondness for Alien 3, though its nowhere near as good as Alien or Aliens.

Which is where I think all the badmouthing comes from. After Aliens, expectations where so high that nothing could have lived up to them.

As it stands, the theatrical cut of Alien 3 is an utter mess (a fun mess, but still a mess), but the extended cut in the Quadrilogy set is pretty damn good.

And for the record, Alien: Ressurection is actually pretty good if you realize it's not supposed to be taken seriously. It's a comic book, and its goofy as hell, but I find it almost as much fun to watch as Aliens.
post #13 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Domingo
Alien 3 is THE ONLY non brilliant one. Alien 4 is retarded.

So the last two are not brilliant, then?
post #14 of 114
Fox fucked over Alien 3. They made a release date before they even had a script, and then were surprised when the movie had story problems. And then they didn't allow Fincher to go back and shoot the extra scenes to fill in the blanks, so he left.

As for Alien: Resurrection, I honestly think Fox tried on that one. They got a good director, and the script wasn't bad...but the movie was. It was beautifully shot, and it had Ron Perlman, but something went wrong...terribly wrong with that movie.
post #15 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Eko

My only gripe is that to this day I still can't seperate the characters from each other. Especially during the final sequence where they're running around and getting killed, and I don't know who's who except for pete postlewaite, and even adding several whole new sequences.
I think this is a mistake a first time Director is more likely to make. He obviously learned from his mistake, as I think he's made a point to get "different" looking characters with interesting features in his movies since.
post #16 of 114
I know there are more behind the scenes stories about ALIEN 3 than one can count but I really don't care who screwed who over because any way you slice it the film does not work. If you're gonna lamely kill off 2 characters from the previous installment you better make up for it with a new assortment of watchable characters and that never materializes is ALIEN 3. People get picked off that you could care less about. The last 10 minutes are well done, but most of what worked there is tainted by ALIEN RESURRECTION.
post #17 of 114
People hate Alien 3 for killing Newt and Hicks during the opening credits, plain and simple. Could have been Citizen Kane afterwards, that move pissed people off.

That said, I enjoyed the film, and found the ending actually hopeful -- Ripley in death finally has a control over her life she hadn't had since the Nostromo encountered the alien in the first film. Her plunge at the end is positively uplifting.
post #18 of 114
I too disagree with the killing off of Newt and Hicks to an extent, but through all the movies the only continuity involved Ripley. I think its because they seemed to find directors all of which wanted to put there own stamp on the franchise, rather than carry on with a previous ones characters.

In a perfect world they would have had Cameron do the third film and directly continue with the characters, taking it back to Earth probably.

I just always think of every film individually.
post #19 of 114
>So the last two are not brilliant, then?

Alien 3 is non brilliant, Alien 4 is crud. Meaning the brilliant movies, are the first two. Easy, see?
post #20 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by M.I.A.
I too disagree with the killing off of Newt and Hicks to an extent, but through all the movies the only continuity involved Ripley. I think its because they seemed to find directors all of which wanted to put there own stamp on the franchise, rather than carry on with a previous ones characters.
That's fine, and I definitely wish they had ditched any incarnation of Ripley for the 4th film. But there is a difference between leaving characters out of a film and killing them off just because they are seen as an obstacle. The reason the first couple films work so well isn't just because of the creature but because the audience has a connection with a lot of the characters. It's a lot to ask of an audience to lose 2 characters from a film that was enjoyed by most so early in the next movie, and then be saddled with a bunch of characters who fail to stir much in the way of sympathy.
post #21 of 114
Thread Starter 
I honestly didn't really like Aliens much at all. Alien 3 wasn't amazing but visually it was fantastic. (Set design alone held my interest!)

As for killing off Newt and Hicks, it was indeed rather lazy writing, but I didn't mind much because I didn't care much about Aliens.

Maybe if I did like Aliens, I wouldn't have liked this, but as it is I prefer this.
post #22 of 114
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Domingo
>So the last two are not brilliant, then?

Alien 3 is non brilliant, Alien 4 is crud. Meaning the brilliant movies, are the first two. Easy, see?
point is, crud isn't brilliant. So crud would be non-brilliant.
post #23 of 114
One of my favorite aspects of Alien 3 is that Newt and Hicks are killed the way they are. It's a great setup for a movie that will be nothing like the movie that came before it. You don't know what's going to happen next, but it will probably be grim and you now know that no character is safe (which is nicely reinforced when the sympathetic doctor gets killed.) I've always loved that each Alien tried to be something different (it's just too bad Alien 4 was so successful at trying to be god-awful.)
post #24 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moltisanti
The reason the first couple films work so well isn't just because of the creature but because the audience has a connection with a lot of the characters. It's a lot to ask of an audience to lose 2 characters from a film that was enjoyed by most so early in the next movie, and then be saddled with a bunch of characters who fail to stir much in the way of sympathy.
I totally agree. When charatcers start getting aced, I should care about it. In Aliens 3, the only character that stirred anything with me was Ripley. So ended up being a decent movie but not in the same class as the previous.
post #25 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by Domingo
There's always a chance in those movies. There's some good in them to hold onto that reminds you there's a reason to keep fighting.
As far as I'm concerned, the only attitude in those movies is pure survival, and that's all anyone can hope for. You must have seen different movies than I did.
post #26 of 114
Moltisanti has hit the nail on the head. A planet full of prisoners- who try to rape Ripley are hardly people that I care about getting killed. I guess they were hoping for a planet of Burkes- people that the audience could cheer to get killed, but that didn't work.

And while Jean-Pierre Jeunet was an inspired choice to direct, it turned out to be a horrific one. He admitted that he didn't know how to make an Alien movie scary- earning the ire of Cameron. Again the mistake was made against having sympathetic characters. Oh, I am supposed to feel bad for mercenaries who sell cryogenically asleep humans to the highest bidder- no thanks. Only Leland Orser's character of the guy who wakes up finding out he has been impregnated is worthy of empathy. Winona Ryder and Dan Hedeya are horridly miscast. The only redeeming thing about the film in my eyes is Sigourney's performance.

Back to the topic at hand- Alien Cubed is much better in its extended form. However, I think its fair to say that the terrible time Fincher had making the film certainly informed his follow-up work.
post #27 of 114
Thread Starter 
I think one of the great things about the Alien series is that each one has a different feel because they're all directed by capable and talented directors. (Though the results aren't always up to their level.)

Hypothetically, who would best deliver #5?
post #28 of 114
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnycinco
A planet full of prisoners- who try to rape Ripley are hardly people that I care about getting killed. I guess they were hoping for a planet of Burkes- people that the audience could cheer to get killed, but that didn't work.
I don't think the sympathy was the most important thing as much as establishing the fact that these are real dangerous people. The attempted rape was the only real event that established that, and created, in my opinion, a heightened sense of tension.
post #29 of 114
I agree; the attempted rape scene is important because it's one of the few scenes in the movie that reinforces the fact that these men were put here because they're all dangerous criminals. That needed to be dealt with.
post #30 of 114
Dramatically it is still idiotic. You care about Ripley- because of the previous movies. The other characters did almost nothing to earn the slightest bit of sympathy. Its like Alien 3 was the greatest production of Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning. If you could care less about a character- its just violence when they get offed. If you care about a character- their deaths become tragedy. Alien 3 needed to be emotionally engaging. It was not.
post #31 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by soybomb42
I think one of the great things about the Alien series is that each one has a different feel because they're all directed by capable and talented directors. (Though the results aren't always up to their level.)

Hypothetically, who would best deliver #5?
That would be difficult to say since the producers have always gone out of their way to find someone out in left field that general audiences haven't heard of. The unique vision of each film is one of the things I like about the series, though obviously it can go horribly wrong. I know a lot of people would holler to have Scott or Cameron come back in, but I think that would muck up more things than it solved. The films really have no continuity worth speaking of, so bringing one of the original directors back to his vision would just muddy the waters even further. Would they be required to uphold the world depicted in Resurrection, or the history in Alien vs Predator?

All that said, Rob Zombie would be interesting.
post #32 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnycinco
Dramatically it is still idiotic. You care about Ripley- because of the previous movies. The other characters did almost nothing to earn the slightest bit of sympathy. Its like Alien 3 was the greatest production of Friday the 13th Part 5: A New Beginning. If you could care less about a character- its just violence when they get offed. If you care about a character- their deaths become tragedy. Alien 3 needed to be emotionally engaging. It was not.
By the way, people, the term is couldn't care less, not could care less. If you could care less, then by definition, you actually do care. Think about it.
post #33 of 114
Thread Starter 
Maybe it's just me but I did have sympathy for the prisoners. As characters they weren't well developed, but their plight of, after decades of banding together to overcome their homocidal tendencies through religion, suddenly a woman is dropped into the mix, messing it all up and breaking this powerful bond they all had. By the end you see that brotherhood break apart a bit.

I'm not saying it was a great dramatic performance overall, but it was enough for me to lend sympathy towards them.

They were indeed very likable, in my opinion, compared to the assholes that were the Marines in Aliens.
post #34 of 114
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel St. Buggering
Would they be required to uphold the world depicted in Resurrection, or the history in Alien vs Predator?

All that said, Rob Zombie would be interesting.
Doesn't Alien Vs. Predator take place in present day? I didn't see it but I got that impression. If so, I'd imagine they'd never have to mention it again.
post #35 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by soybomb42
Doesn't Alien Vs. Predator take place in present day? I didn't see it but I got that impression. If so, I'd imagine they'd never have to mention it again.
Really, never mentioning it again is the only sound policy for anybody.
post #36 of 114
I'd be tempted to choose Verhoeven for a new ALIEN film but he pretty much already did a spectacular one. I know Robert Rodriguez has shown more interest in doing a PREDATOR film in the past, but I'd be happy with him getting a shot with either of the 2 franchises.
post #37 of 114
I've never seen the whole thing, but I just thought Aliens 3 was a little drab and cheap looking after Aliens.
post #38 of 114
Thread Starter 
I don't know. On the one hand, the thing I like about the Alien series is the varying takes on it, on the other I'd be frightened to see what Robert Rodriguez would do with it.

He can do Predator though, no problem. That's an action movie through and through.
post #39 of 114
Regardless of my lack of proper English usage, Nigel feels that the attempted rape scene is necessary for Alien 3. While giving Ripley yet another obstacle is great- the fact that I can't muster any positive feelings toward anyone aside from Charles Dance is a sign that the entire plot should have revolved around a different concept altogether. I would have much rather seen a Vincent Ward directed Alien film (or atleast fully scripted by him).

The decision to kill off Newt actually makes sense- even if it is weak dramatically. The 6 years that had passed since Aliens would have clearly made it impossible for Carrie Henn to reprise (barring them returning to Earth).
post #40 of 114
I think that another major problem with 'Alien 3' is that sequels to 'Aliens' were already being produced by Dark Horse Comics that continued with the Hicks, Newt, and (later on) Ripley characters in interesting ways. They brought the aliens to Earth (which is what everyone was expecting with 'Alien 3') and also brought back the alien race that piloted the cargo ship from the first 'Alien' movie. Those stories were good and would have made good movies, and had a richer plot that what they came up with for 'Alien 3'.

That being said, I did enjoy 'Alien 3' for what it was, and I appreciated the fact that Fincher really went for something different in style and tone from the previous 2 movies. The original cut of the film in the quadrilogy box is much more satisfying than the theatrical cut, as it gives Golic character a subplot that is desperately needed, and the movie as a whole fleshes out many more of the supporting characters.

My main problem with 'Alien 3', though, is that the killing of Newt and Hicks right at the beginning negates all of the point of the ending of 'Aliens'. The whole final third of that movie is about saving Newt and getting home, being able to dream again. Within the first 5 minutes of 'Alien 3', virtually all of 'Aliens' is rendered moot.

It's a solid first film for David Fincher, and I think that he should be proud of it, warts and all.
post #41 of 114
Another really big problem with 'Alien 3' is that it doesn't know what to do with some of its characters. Why take the time to establish who and what the Charles Dance character is and make him the most sympathetic person there, and then KILL him right away? By that point of the movie, his relationship with Ripley was one of the few really interesting plotlines, and by killing him the emotional center of the movie was torn away. It should have been him at the end, helping Ripley kill herself, and leaving the planet as the only survivor. That would have been a much better solution, scriptwise.
post #42 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by soybomb42

They were indeed very likable, in my opinion, compared to the assholes that were the Marines in Aliens.
The Marines were assholes? Hudson, sure, but a loveable one second only to Paxton's portrayal of Chet. They certainly were filled with Bravado, but I wouldn't call them assholes.
post #43 of 114
and who knew Spunkmeyer had so many credits? The man has worked non-stop the past 20 years.
post #44 of 114
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Judas Booth
Another really big problem with 'Alien 3' is that it doesn't know what to do with some of its characters. Why take the time to establish who and what the Charles Dance character is and make him the most sympathetic person there, and then KILL him right away?
It's the whole Janet Leigh effect, where he is set up to be one of the survivors and then is killed in the most sudden and jarring way.

It also re-establishes the whole tension. The one person she knew she could count on is dead. There's a real risk and danger there. In Aliens you pretty much knew that Newt was going to survive, so you had at least that to sort of cling to, limiting the tension. The audience doesn't have that safety net in Alien 3.

On a side note, do you say "Alien Three" or do you say "Alien Cubed".
post #45 of 114
I never saw them as assholes, they were just cocky grunts who really had no clue as to what type of situation they were heading into. I would have liked more of the marines to be fleshed out a bit more but even with that said I had way more of a rooting interest in their well being than practically all the supporting cast in part 3.
post #46 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by soybomb42
It's the whole Janet Leigh effect, where he is set up to be one of the survivors and then is killed in the most sudden and jarring way.

It also re-establishes the whole tension. The one person she knew she could count on is dead. There's a real risk and danger there. In Aliens you pretty much knew that Newt was going to survive, so you had at least that to sort of cling to, limiting the tension. The audience doesn't have that safety net.
And I understood that THEN and NOW, and I respect the decision to do that. However, in 'Psycho', the Janet Leigh character is replaced when other characters enter the movie...the boyfriend and the sister. They get fleshed out, creating another emotional core. That doesn't happen in this movie. Once Dance is killed, the movie totally switches gears and never goes back, leaving everyone else a blank slate that we really don't care about. The Charles S. Dutton character could have been Dance's replacement, be we never find out his story or really grow to care at all about him. The whole movie gets detached, since you aren't invested in any of the other characters...who lives, who dies, who CARES? Ripley's death would have had much more payoff with a group of prisoners around her that we cared about and that cared about her in some way.

That's my $.02, anyway.
post #47 of 114
Thread Starter 
Assholes was a bit strong, but I didn't really feel for them because they seemed like such cliches. Then again, I do not have the historical context of seeing these movies as they were released. I saw Starship Troopers before I saw Aliens, so who knows, they probably weren't cliches when it was released.

Or I could be completely off the mark and they aren't cliches at all. It's happened before.
post #48 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by soybomb42
It's the whole Janet Leigh effect, where he is set up to be one of the survivors and then is killed in the most sudden and jarring way.

It also re-establishes the whole tension. The one person she knew she could count on is dead. There's a real risk and danger there. In Aliens you pretty much knew that Newt was going to survive, so you had at least that to sort of cling to, limiting the tension. The audience doesn't have that safety net in Alien 3.

On a side note, do you say "Alien Three" or do you say "Alien Cubed".
I agree completely, and it's one of my big complaints with Aliens, and with Cameron as a writer in general (not that I want to open that thread of worms again). Cameron likes safe, predictable character arcs and plotlines, and almost always does exactly what's expected. Who's going to die and how soon is almost predestined when the characters are introduced.

I love it when a character who, by traditional storytelling, should live, is killed in as random and abrupt a manner as possible. It makes everyone unsafe. I'd list some great examples of this, but I don't want to ruin any movies that people haven't seen yet.
post #49 of 114
Quote:
Originally Posted by soybomb42
Assholes was a bit strong, but I didn't really feel for them because they seemed like such cliches. Then again, I do not have the historical context of seeing these movies as they were released. I saw Starship Troopers before I saw Aliens, so who knows, they probably weren't cliches when it was released.

Or I could be completely off the mark and they aren't cliches at all. It's happened before.
Well, since Aliens is a thinly-veiled adaptation of Starship Troopers (the novel), it could be argued that you saw them in the proper order.
post #50 of 114
On another note, regarding 'Alien 3', I personally think that Sigourney Weaver did her best acting in ANY movie in this film. I've always been a fan of hers, and while I was happy that she got nominated for 'Aliens' (she WAS excellent in it, and it was cool to see a science-fiction/action film get an award nomination), she should have gotten one for 'Alien 3' She is much more intense and goes places as an actress that impressed me greatly. If the movie had been more successful, I wonder if her performance would have been noticed more. Actually, 'Alien 3' is arguably the best acted of ANY of the Alien movies.

Also, you can really get drunk if you play the 'Fuck' drinking game with 'Alien 3'. They sure drop the F-bomb alot.
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