Movie Defense Force: Alien 3

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT
 

Oh dear, Jim. You did not just call Ripley's shoehorned dead daughter subplot from the Aliens director's cut a "good" character development, right?

That shit was adding an emotinal core were none was needed. The reason Ripley and Newt bonded the way they did is because they were both survivors of an Alien attack, not because Ripley saw in Newt her long lost shoehorned daughter. It was bullshit!

Can't comment on Alien 3 since it was years when I last saw it. But if you say the characters from Alien had no character or character development, it means you haven't been watching the movie or that the ability to detect subtlety in movies is completely gone from today's audience. I fear it's the latter.

And the worst thing to ever happen to the Alien was turning it into a space bug. Courtesy of James Cameron.

Alien3 is more like the original Alien IMO, more of a horror movie than Aliens, which let's face it, it's not a horror, it's an action movie.

But to say that Alien3 is better than Aliens, well WTF have you been smoking Jim!

Aliens is about the best sci-fi movie ever made, it's held in the same regard as Bladerunner, Star Wars, Robocop, Predator, Terminator - Alien3 is not.

I like all the Alien movies, even Ressurection, but Aliens transcends it's own genre and stands on it's own as a great movie, Alien also stands on it's own as a great movie, Alien3 relies on Alien and Aliens to make any sort of impact. Visually it's great (sans the ropey 90's CGI), but it doesn't do anything that Bladerunner, Aliens, Predator etc didn't already do better - if you think about gritty sci-fi, you think Bladerunner or Mad Max, the future scenes in Terminator - nobody really thinks of Alien3, mostly because the CGI lets it down so much.

The prisoners are basically just the marines from Aliens with social issues. Ripley has to gain their trust, has to be almost raped, has to see some of them die... these are necessary plot vehicles. The point of Alien3 isn't that criminals can change, can stop raping people, or that people can change in general, the point of the prisoners was just like any non-Ripley character in any Alien movie, to die, so that Ripleys survival counts for more. If your names not Ripley, your cannon fodder, whether you survive or not, Ripley is the constant - you think that if they made an Aliens4, Winona Ryder would be playing the part of her semi-adopted robot daughter?, you think she'd be hanging out with Ron Perlman?, making wise-cracks over breakfast about her acid blood and questionable genetic makeup? You shouldn't get so attached to disposable commodities - but in any case, most people can probably tell you their favorite Aliens marine, but then ask them who their favorite rapist was from Alien3.

Let's be honest though, Ridley Scott took a huge steaming dump on the whole Aliens and vs Predator franchise with Permetheus. God, I hope he doesn't do the same to Bladerunner.

I like the aliens trilogy its just people had a hard time to get along with a serise that went from horror to action and back to horror. I like them all as i do with the three predator films - not the AVP films they were pretty rubbish and retarded but otherwise agree and good going Jim nice to get your film opinion out through this show :P

To start, like the new show. Agree with whats already been posted that the whistling music in the background was a bit annoying, but it sounds like you are going to fix that. Looking forward to more as you bring up some interesting points. So with that taken care of, my retort.

The issues with the opening scene have already been covered so I will be brief, drowing in a tube isn't a peaceful death. Plus, the issue for me isn't so much that Hicks and Newt died, but that they were sort of just removed off screen. I realize getting actors back can be an issue, but that was sort of a big middle finger to the ending of Aliens. Getting the egg on the ship was beyond contrived as well as having her go off course yet arrive somewhere "safely" yet again.

Now, let's talk characterization. Yes Charle Dance's character was given a real arc, thats great, but that was about it. Dillon's character was pretty much the same from start to finish and, to me, not particularly interesting even though they were trying to bring up some deeper duality stuff. The rest of the cast may as well have been CGI, animatronics, or muppets for all they mattered to me. Whats even worse is that they looked so similarly that they were all but indistinguishable. Nothing more than fodder.

Compare that to the first two movies, where, as much as they may not have had the depth that Dance was given, I knew who every character was and to this day can name every crew member and every solider in those two movies. Each of those characters was more of a person with less screen time and development than nearly everyone in 3.

Now you can talk beatiful sets, I will point out that the cinemetography, lighting and sound in part 1 blew away 3. Watch the scene where Parker and Lambert get it and tell me there is any scene in part 3 with near that tension. I will give full props to the scene w/ Riply and the alien in her face, I think everyone recognizes that, but its not much more than a great still. Never once do I get moved in that movie like I do getting the first view of the eggs, or seeing Dallas swing the flame thrower back and forth in the vent shaft.

As for Aliens, its more action than thriller and that is where it shines. The pacing is spot on. It is textbook roller coaster. (On a side note, if you are going to include removed footage, the automated guns scene from Aliens director's cut is phenomenal and its too bad it was left out). Part 3 starts slow, stays slow, and simply never gets your heart pounding. Even the final "battle" goes on way too long and doesn't really feel like much is really happening. I mean its seriously like 20 minutes of monster-cam running down tunnels with the same door closing repeatedly and a couple more nameless dudes getting killed.

And, while it may not be the mark of a great movie, how many quotes have been taken from Aliens? Can you think of a single thing from part 3, the dying on your knees speech maybe, that has been quoted even half as much as the stuff from Aliens? Heck, I bet even the more mundane sutff like "I guess she don't like the cornbread either" has been quoted more.

Now, you are right that Alien3 really did try and take the story somewhere new and different. And kudos to it for that. As expressed it had a lasting impact on the lore. But that doesn't make the movie any good. It had interesting ideas, but were poorly implemented in a movie that was a real chore.

Sorry Jim but Alien 3 is alright at best, but not even in the same realm as Aliens. Your whole argument about the dialogue and writing in Alien 3 being the best is just absolutely absurd, there is a reason that there have spawned countless quotes from Aliens and not from the third movie because it was overall completely dull.

I personally love all the Alien movies (not the AVP movies, hell no!) and consider them the best Scifi movies period, but to say that Alien 3 is the strongest is just nonsensical. If this is going to be the essence of this new series just shitting on other movies as your best defense for bad movies, then I have pretty much lost interest already.

Good video. I've always said that Alien 3 is easily as good as the first two and it's nice to see so many with the same opinion.

I loved Alien 3 (albeit the Director's Cut) and never fully understood the stick it got from fans and critics alike. Alien Resurecction, however, I did.

But Aliens is by far the best film in the series and I dare say the entire frnachise, as each death was crushing and even when you believed the film was coming to a close, they go ahead and took away another character.

I never thought Alien 3 was bad, it was just kinda 'meh' nothing really new or astounding but it functions well as a movie.

I agree Master Sterling that it's better than most people give it credit, but the best in the series? I think you're pushing it there.

Now do Ang Lee's Hulk.

Jimmy boy, do Street Fighter the Movie. It is an awesome movie that is very funny.

I like the concept for this new series. Every enjoyable film doesn't have to be an Oscar winner so it's nice to have something on the Escapist that is almost a throw back to drive in B-movies. Films that aren't going to crack many best of list but still offer something up for the viewer.

Yea Aliens 3 biggest problem was having to be a follow up to Aliens. Just kind of hard to have such a big change in tone between two films. But on it's own and even with the host of problems caused by the studio Aliens 3 does have plenty to offer up as a movie.

The background music; MAKE IT STOP. Jesus, it's distracting.

I am still uncertain whether he's taking the piss or not.

Loved the video, though. Kudos!

It's like a backwards Confused Matthew. Great stuff!

Casual Shinji:
Oh dear, Jim. You did not just call Ripley's shoehorned dead daughter subplot from the Aliens director's cut a "good" character development, right?

That shit was adding an emotinal core were none was needed. The reason Ripley and Newt bonded the way they did is because they were both survivors of an Alien attack, not because Ripley saw in Newt her long lost shoehorned daughter. It was bullshit!

Can't comment on Alien 3 since it was years when I last saw it. But if you say the characters from Alien had no character or character development, it means you haven't been watching the movie or that the ability to detect subtlety in movies is completely gone from today's audience. I fear it's the latter.

And the worst thing to ever happen to the Alien was turning it into a space bug. Courtesy of James Cameron.

There was nothing shoehorned about it. Ripley's entire character arc was built around Ripley regaining a lost child and becoming a mother again - the dead daughter works to that specific purpose, and makes perfect sense in the setting, tone and the story.

As for Alien, I disagree with Sterling's claim (and agree with yours) that they aren't developed characters. It's more that they are like normal people, each with distinctive personalities, but lacking the obvious distinguishing features that are exaggerated by most movies. It didn't have "the angry one, the fatherly one, the bookish one" or whatever, like most movies, it just had ordinary guys. It's a lot like The Thing in that regard; most of the personalities aren't spelt out, they're just hinted.

I didn't get too far due to the whistling, but I like the concept for this series.

I really did not like the intro: the sound was muddled, it was way too long. I suspect it will be pared down for subsequent episodes, and I suppose ultimately it's easy enough to skip.

Kind of funny how Jim says Alien 3 had developed characters when I thought exactly the opposite. I didn't know who any of the characters were because all of them were the bald British guy. There's a gag at the end where the guy who lived was the chap who earlier had stated that he'd made a deal with god that he would not die. I didn't get this gag when I had first seen it because none of the characters stood out because they were all the bald British guy. When someone died, I didn't care. Still don't.

I can see where he's going RE: the death of Newt, but I disagree. But then, I also hated the Special Edition of Aliens and though Ripley had a stronger bond with Newt without having lost a biological daughter than with. it was better that their bond was that they were both survivors of this alien threat and the motherhood theme worked more organically without that ham-fisted device. The death of Newt, and Hicks, I guess just does the otherwise triumphant ending of the previous movie. It's like how Exorcist II: the Heretic was laughed out of theaters because it simply did not fit with the previous film. Besides, having her die between films due to a cryopod malfunction or whatever is just cheap. I would have accepted it better if it wasn't so cheap, but it's goddamned cheap and that we waste a good chunk of the film with the autopsy was just shoving the cheapness into our face, rubbing our noses into the film's filthy, stained underpants. Remember this character you came to like in the previous movie? Well, fuck you. She'd dead. No, nothing special about it. She's just dead. Because we didn't feel like dealing with the character but for reasons of absolute stupidity we still needed Sigourney Weaver in this movie, we're just going to kill off these two other characters for no reason other than to use it as a reset button so we can have that character alone with a bunch of bald British rapists. And a token black guy. It was almost, but not quite, Highlander II as a sequel goes. Just sweeping portions of the previous film under the rug because they proved inconvenient to the story they wanted to tell. They could have just as easily avoided that by going much, much further into the future with Ripley doing the space trucker thing again, leaving Hicks and Newt back on Earth, like Jones. (Hey! The cat got to live. I guess the aliens don't always win. Eat it!) But it turns out her ship is transporting alien eggs and it crashes on a prison planet and she's the only survivor and there you go. But, no. For some stupid reason they felt the need to follow on directly from the previous movie and ruin that previous movie if you don't just ignore the third. Which I do.

Yeah. I just didn't get a feeling of threat from the alien over the death of Newt and Hicks. I got a feeling of pointlessness to even trying. A nadir and a malaise and other fancy words I'm likely misusing. It didn't ramp up the tension but defused all the tension because the monster is going to win no matter what (except for Ripley who always lives and still returned in the next, terrible movie). It's kind of funny how making the monster an insurmountable obstacle that cannot be escaped makes them a less credible threat. Aliens did this better where Ripley was plagued by nightmares back at Earth until she decided to go back to face the demons. Even when she was safe, they still haunted her. That's better at making the treat inescapable.

That all said, Alien 3 is the strongest of the not good Alien sequels. I had tagged the director as someone to watch in the future and I turned out to be right. Go me. It's watchable unlike Alien Resurrection which I can only recommend to Firefly fans and indecisive suicidals. Alien 3 competently made, competently shot. I just don't think it's a very good part of the franchise. It could have been better, though, which I doubt can be said of the Alien vs Predator movies.

One additional thing: how Alien 3 established some addition cannon to the xenomorph's life cycle, I honestly don't care about that. That's mostly been used in video games to give us different kinds of aliens to rest the cross-hairs upon, and the Aliens arcade game did that without this justification, so it wasn't necessary.

Pretty much, I can see someone liking Alien 3. I can respect someone for doing that while anyone who likes Alien Resurrection is obviously as sharp as a sack of wet mice. Alien 3 has things to like about it, but also much to not like about it. If it had managed to kill off Newt and Hicks and take me with it on that, it would have been a work of genius. It didn't, so it's not.

maninahat:

Casual Shinji:
Oh dear, Jim. You did not just call Ripley's shoehorned dead daughter subplot from the Aliens director's cut a "good" character development, right?

That shit was adding an emotinal core were none was needed. The reason Ripley and Newt bonded the way they did is because they were both survivors of an Alien attack, not because Ripley saw in Newt her long lost shoehorned daughter. It was bullshit!

Can't comment on Alien 3 since it was years when I last saw it. But if you say the characters from Alien had no character or character development, it means you haven't been watching the movie or that the ability to detect subtlety in movies is completely gone from today's audience. I fear it's the latter.

And the worst thing to ever happen to the Alien was turning it into a space bug. Courtesy of James Cameron.

There was nothing shoehorned about it. Ripley's entire character arc was built around Ripley regaining a lost child and becoming a mother again - the dead daughter works to that specific purpose, and makes perfect sense in the setting, tone and the story.

As for Alien, I disagree with Sterling's claim (and agree with yours) that they aren't developed characters. It's more that they are like normal people, each with distinctive personalities, but lacking the obvious distinguishing features that are exaggerated by most movies. It didn't have "the angry one, the fatherly one, the bookish one" or whatever, like most movies, it just had ordinary guys. It's a lot like The Thing in that regard; most of the personalities aren't spelt out, they're just hinted.

It was not in the original Aliens cut and it never felt like it was missing, because it was never supposed to be there. Nothing about Alien indicated that Ripley had a kid. And why would it? Why would a mother spend years upon years in space away from her daughter?
I doubt it would've been because she needed the money, she was a senior officer.

Also, in Alien Ripley was a notorious ice queen who was kinda reviled by the rest of the crew. Not really someone I see as a loving mother who yearns to be back with her daughter.

Again, the reason she bonded with Newt is because at that point Ripley was alone in her nightmares. Nobody else could understand or believe what she'd been through. When coming across Newt, who had suffered through the same experience, Ripley saw herself in her. And this is what triggered Ripley's response to want to protect her at all cost and conquer her own fears. That's what Aliens is about, not this dragged-in-by-the-hairs motherhood silliness.

I can't decide what to say first.

"Yay another Friday show!"
"Yay another Jim show!"
"Yay another good show!"
or
"Yay somebody else thinks Alien 3 was better than Aliens! and I can stop being ashamed of my opinion."

I guess I'll just say them in that order.

I actually don't remember a whole lot from Alien 3, except that I didn't think it was bad so much as wasted. I remember thinking the death of the survivors at the beginning of the movie not being a deal breaker, and the idea of being stuck on a prison planet being kind of interesting. But it didn't do anything interesting or scary with what it had apart from the ending. Then again my memory is kind of blurry, I'll probably give it another go someday in the future.

Directors cut = awesome. also, thank you. Alien 3 was good, but for those who want another look at it, try the directors cut.

Point well made on Alien 3, however since this is seeing the good in the bad, i therefore decide to set you a challenge.

Ghostbusters 2.

Casual Shinji:
It was not in the original Aliens cut and it never felt like it was missing, because it was never supposed to be there. Nothing about Alien indicated that Ripley had a kid. And why would it? Why would a mother spend years upon years in space away from her daughter?

What kind of bullshit is this? You've seriously never heard of single parents spending time away from their kids in order to support them on the job? WTF? That's the life of half the people I know in real life. I understand if you've lived a sheltered, privilege life, but can you really refuse to believe that yours is the only way people live? And if you haven't lived a sheltered, privileged life, my WTF spirals into infinity.

Casual Shinji:
I doubt it would've been because she needed the money, she was a senior officer.

That makes no goddamn sense. There's no garauntee that being a senior officer is worth a lot of money: do managers at McDonalds make bank? And second, if she's senior officer, she became so because she needed the money. Presumably to take care of her kid. Circular logic, meet circular logic.

Casual Shinji:
Also, in Alien Ripley was a notorious ice queen who was kinda reviled by the rest of the crew.

Yes, because no mother in the history of mankind has ever been a hardass. And it wasn't like being a hardass mother isn't the theme of Aliens. Oh, wait.

And, frankly, Ripley wasn't an ice queen in Alien. That's just plain wrong. She was imminently practical and less emotional than the other woman onboard -- but, then again, that's because she handled the whole "alien rape-monster" thing with more aplomb.

If you can't see the themes of sexuality, rape, body horror, and above all motherhood in set of movies where the most powerful single entity in Alien (the ship itself) is called MOTHER, where the most locally dangerous antagonist in the second film is a QUEEN, and where the drive of the main opponents is REPRODUCTION, than I can only simply reiterate the WTF issued above with all the force that sane humankind can muster behind it.

Jim gets everything that matters wrong here. The failure here is built around an empirically, not aesthetically, wrong assumption he made about Alien and Aliens:

The xenomorphs aren't the bad guys. They aren't even important in the long run for the humans. That's why they're wonderful.

The Company is the bad guy.

The first two films are, effectively, about the Company, a faceless, cowardly authority, screwing over innocent people for a bit of market share. The xenomorphs themselves are terrible monsters precisely because of how normally non-threatening they'd be. They're nonsentient beasts. They're bugs. You can just fucking shoot them and they die. You can blow them up easily. Any amount of preparation with modern technology completely eliminates their threat.

Unless your commanding authorities fuck you solid.

The xenomorphs have, one, and only one, virtue, over the humans attempting to survive them: loyalty. And because of that one virtue, they are scary, scary monsters.

(In the first film, the android expresses this as purity, calling the organism "perfect." Since there was only one mobile xenomorph on the ship at one time, loyalty isn't as evident, but if you include the deleted scene, you can see how "loyalty" and "purity" are essentially the same thing: for a bug, there is no other mission than to serve the species, no other purpose.)

Here is the most important line in the Aliens franchise:

Aliens said:
Ripley: You know, Burke, I don't know which species is worse. You don't see them fucking each other over for a goddamn percentage.

And what's the situation in that quote? Not only are the protagonists trying to survive an attack by space fire ants, they are trying to find a way to defeat the true villain: the Company. Ripley insists on bringing Burke back for just that reason. And they fail. The officials behind the LV-426 fiasco, hiding behind Weyland-Yutani's power and influence, get away with everything.

Jim says something empirically untrue. He says the xenomorphs always win. Bullshit. The bugs fucking die. They're fucking bugs. The first bug wanted to reproduce. (Check out the deleted scene of Alien that would have made the Queen of Aliens redundant.) It died. It failed. The second bugs. . . wanted to reproduce. They died. They failed. The brief, initial successes of the bugs in both films notwithstanding, none of them set up long-term colonies.

Jim said the Aliens always win. Completely wrong: They always fucking lose. But that doesn't matter because, well, they're bugs. They don't notice. There's always more bugs. Who cares? I destroyed an ant nest when I was five. What did I accomplish? Ants lived on and I got stung.

In the first two -- that is, the only two good -- films of the franchise, the Company always wins.

And the notion that the Company is the main antagonist pans out precisely because of the secondary status of the aliens from the perspective of powerful actors in the narrative. The first film is, essentially, about space rape. It was a clever way at putting body horror and out-of-control sexuality front and center in one of the nastiest non-metaphors in cinematic history. So where's the Company in all this? It's the voyeur, paying top dollar for a horrid snuff film. Even within this narrative, the Company is front and center as the bad guy; the alien is just the bagman, a drone in every sense of the word.

In the sequel, the protagonists are in Super Vietnam 2: Space Frag. The Company takes on the role of the U.S. government in this mess even though we have actual, traditional marines from a U.S.-like authority in the film. This presents no dichotomy because we accept a lil' bit of fascism as normal: government interests equal corporate interests? Business As Usual. The vastly different immediate narratives of both films embrace the meta-narrative of the Company as the Ultimate Betrayer without any contradictions whatsoever.

Which brings us to why Alien 3 was shit. Alien 3 was the epitome of the empty arthouse piece, a film that thinks that if it shoves enough imagery and buzzwords and tropes up the narrative turkey that the result will be a wonderful thanksgiving dinner of meaning as opposed to a vomitous turducken of bullshit. In contrast to Jim's claim that the characters in Alien 3 were memorable and significant, I couldn't remember the names of ANY of the characters from that film that weren't in previous ones. (This is the first time in years I've heard the names of these characters -- but I remembered Apone's name after Aliens immediately.) They were a series of played-out, unrealistic cliches -- religious asshole, sympathetic love-interest, obvious first monster victim, and other hack-screenwriter categories. They were cardboard cutouts, unrealized and unimportant: the important thing was that you be impressed with the screenwriters masturbation session and feel moved by the impressive number of ham-fisted cliches that were being tossed at you.

In fact, I think that was the point. I think I was SUPPOSED to forget these characters and their names. I was supposed to be impressed by how meaningful they were. Ripley is Christlike!!!! See how she has her arms!!!! This was cloying, mugging the audience, the film version of "We've played a lot of shows on this tour, but nobody rocks like [Insert Your Town Here] does!" Lookie, I saw a Christ-figure, aren't I clever, this movie is deeeeeeep!!!

I didn't care about a single death in Alien 3, and I don't think the film minded. I was supposed to herp-derp to the religious theme -- there was no "subtext," it was shoved in your face -- and the actual narrative was a detail.

Indeed, the characters of the first two films were far more realized precisely because they weren't in bullshit setpieces designed to spew poorly-conceived mysticism. They felt heavier and more real because their environments were more real. They weren't exaggerated cliches, they were just normal people (a point made by maninahat, above)

The clincher is this: I can find Alien and Aliens in the real world, right now:

Deepwater Horizon.

The Gulf Oil Spill involved the murder of several workers. Not tragic death: murder. Long story short: the oil company knew that doing the op on the cheap could lead fatal accidents and didn't care. That's negligent homicide, a.k.a. murder in any U.S. jurisdiction. Will there be prosecutions? Fuck no. Will the company pay even a significant percentage of the compensation deserved? Fuck no. What about the environmental dama -- ahahahahahaha Fuck No. The Company wins.

The Company Always Wins. Fuck you forever and ever, you don't have the juice, you lose.

Aliens resonates because that's literally how the world works. We are tricked into accepting FTL travel and biophysically impossible organisms because, holy shit, that's how human society works now.

Alien 3 is a fucking fever dream that relates to the real world in the exact same way that Naked Lunch relates to Xerox repair. It's self-indulgent bullshit with a xenomorph in it. Were there not a xenomorph in it, it wouldn't get the time of day. We'd ignore it and move on.

The protagonists of the first film weren't space truckers. They were space oil refiners. We can relate to that. That's a "real" job. The protagonists of the second film were space marines. There's a real thing called a marine -- again, there's some grounding. The third film features silly parodies of religious fanatics (which are nasty and complex enough and real life to warrant serious treatment) that we're supposed to pretend are deep and complex, even though they contradict how people actually fucking work at several levels. And there's a bug in it. Weee.

Alien 3 is about basically nothing. It relates to nothing, it tells us nothing. That's why it's rightly panned.

And btw:

SPOILER WARNING (though if you haven't seen Aliens yet, WTF?)

° Hicks isn't meant to be that important in Aliens. Sure he's dull compared to Ripley, but who fucking isn't? Hudson and Vasquez and even fucking Goreman are more compelling because they have a bigger character arc -- and then they fucking die (there's your spoiled material). That's meant to be painful. It is. Hicks dying wouldn't have had nearly as much resonance because he was a Fairly Decent Fellow throughout: he lacks improvement so his death is less tragic. Thus, he doesn't die. Moral: Space Vietnam Sucks.

° Ripley becomes the surviving protagonist at the last minute precisely because that was an interesting narrative twist for the time. A horror-rape movie where the men die and the only survivor is the strong, smart female who was right-about-everything-but-not-an-asshole-about-it was basically completely fucking unique. Many of us have Alien committed to memory now, but for 1979, that was brand freakn' new, a shocking twist.)

° The xenomorph lifecycle change in Alien 3 wasn't made to make it interesting, it was made in order to shove the alien into the film. Period. Other writers came along and rolled with it. For a BETTER example of how this is done, the alien lifecycle in Alien was completely retooled in Aliens. Again: Alien deleted scene. Originally, the xenomorph sting slowly transformed you into an egg (which produced a facehugger, etc.). In the deleted scene, Ripley finds the crew transforming into eggs and flames them. The original concept of the xenomorph was to make it into a space wasp: it makes eggs and then croaks. Do you know why the xenomorph was in the shuttle at the end? It had crawled there to die.

Aliens scrapped that because it needed space vietnam which means lots of bugs. And that's fine; the scene was deleted, anyway, so we can roll with that. The change in lifecycle continued the exploration of body-horror and motherhood of the first film: both Ripley and the Queen are just looking out for their kids. Again, the xenomorphs aren't the bad guys. The Queen dies because Ripley is the more badass mom, not because Ripley is righteous. Fuck righteousness: the Company Always wins. That's the horror of Alien and Aliens.

The lifecycle changes in Alien 3 were effectively self-indulgent because they carried none of the themes of the first two films forward when making the change. It was meant to be vaguely evocative, nothing more. And nothing was exactly what it achieved.

° Hicks and Newt aren't in Aliens 3 because their actors refused to be in the movie: Michael Bein was promised a bigger role and then had the rug pulled out under him, so, rather than be diminished to being a cameo, he pulled out. They changed the script as a result. Had the script been, well, about something, this would have been fatal. As it stands, a conceptual empty narrative can handle infinite character changes, so, no loss. Thus, Newt's death is also empty and pointless. There's nothing to it. They wanted to cash in on a third movie, the original actress wasn't going to be around, so fuck it, kill her, move on. There's nothing deep about it: it was an economic decision.

The series was not about "loss." The xenomorphs didn't take shit from Ripley: the Company did. The xenomorphs are bugs. If termites infest my house because the exterminator only pretends to spray pesticide, I don't shake my fist at the termites, I sue that fucking exterminator. In Alien 3, the bug wins because the screeenwriter fucking hates you. No logic, no reason. It's anime logic: this dangerous animal that's less threatening than the original Alien kills everyone Just Because. Aren't you impressed by our theme!!????!?!?!

Alien 3 wasn't brave: it was a cheap cash-in, a Rorschach blot that hopes that if you push enough of your own hopes for a better film into it it can squeak by with terrible plots and horrible, unrealized characters.

Edit: Paxton != Bein

You don't have to defend 3 to me.
My favorite is Resurrection.

Okay, speaking for Jim's new series, I like this idea...though if the opening is an indication of what movies we can expect to be on in the future, i'm really curious how he's gonna defend somthing like Hellraiser 3.

My suggestion for future episodes...

Let MovieBob do it.

The end.

keserak:
If you can't see the themes of sexuality, rape, body horror, and above all motherhood in set of movies where the most powerful single entity in Alien (the ship itself) is called MOTHER, where the most locally dangerous antagonist in the second film is a QUEEN, and where the drive of the main opponents is REPRODUCTION, than I can only simply reiterate the WTF issued above with all the force that sane humankind can muster behind it.

Yes, I can see that. So I don't need some long lost daughter nonsense shoved in my face to emphisize what is already perfectly clear. This was not in the original cut and it was better for it.

That "Your daughter whom we've never heard of is dead" scene was as pointless as the scene where Newt's family goes out to the Derelict (What a coincedence!!!). But then both the Alien and Aliens director's cut suck.

And by the way, I fucking hated how Cameron turned the Alien into cannon fodder space bugs. That includes the queen.

Jim Sterling, I may not agree with you about this being the best of the franchise, but I do agree it is a damn fine movie; I've always liked it. The first movie had a sci-fi vibe to it, while the second had this summer-movie action-adventure thing going. The third installment was just so serious, and dark. It was like a genuine horror movie. I think it certainly deserves it's place among the others, unlike it's younger brother...

I am very excited to see what movies you do next!

Good stuff. Really interested to see what other movies you do.

Honestly, I didn't see why Alien 3 needed a defense at all. It's a great movie and revitalizes the fear of one creature being the source of death and gore. Try to defend Star Wars Episode I,II, or III if you want a lost cause, uphill battle, or something impossible to do with your time.

A few people have said it, and add me to the list; the fundamental problem with the defence of the movie is that it's predicated on a false notion. The Alien does not always win. Show me which Alien movie has all the humans dead at the end and a Xenomorph roaring at the sky like a T-Rex out of Jurassic Park and I'll buy your argument, but until then it's bogus. Ripley survives. Ripley, Hicks, Newt and the important parts of Bishop survive. Morse survives. Ripley and Call and that bloke in the chair played by the dude who was in Amelie survive. Humans and androids 4, Xenomorphs 0. "Whoever wins, we lose"? Bull. Shit. However bad shit gets, we come through.

As for characterisation... look, the first movie was a haunted house film in space, and they're always about the horror and the monster. The second film was a Vietnam film in space, and they're always(ish) about the unit and the action. The third film is a prison film in space, and they're always about characters. Of course the characterisation was a bit better, the setting lent itself to it. (The fourth film had no idea what it was, which is why it's a bit pants.)

I think my biggest problem with 3 is that at its heart is a brilliant and interesting idea - that of taking a group of murderers and rapists and throwing in the Alien, which is basically a better* murderer and rapist - and yet it abjectly fails at any point to even address that duality. If we had some hint about how each of the prisoners became who they were, what drove them to become the rapists and murders that got them sent to Fiorina 161 rather than just "they're more manly men" - the only possible interpretation of the biologically shit double-Y chromosome idea - , then there'd have been some reference point for the comparative lack of such story about the Alien. If they'd had a prisoner be on the receiving end of a face hugger (rather than a dog or an ox, which - lame, even if I concede the Runner-type Alien and the circumstances that birthed it are an interesting addition to the mythos), it could have brought some pathos to the aggressors in the attempted rape of Ripley and the prisoners' own violent sexual pasts while reinforcing the sexual imagery that has always surrounded the Alien creature.

And so on. We got none of that. Boo and I say Hiss.

captcha: now look here

I'll respond to the three points of this Defense that held no water for me just summarizing them as I remember. I might have to watch the directors cut someday... I still dislike this movie from an opening day viewing after standing in a long line... so maybe I'm a bit dank on it.

-The only developed character in a movie filled with a ton of gritty bald guys in dank clothing got killed by the Dogien just when he got interesting - that makes the dogien real because now all the people you couldn't give a s--- about might die.

-The bad movie has a lot of dank sets and other both bad and good movies will start having a lot of dank sets so therefore this is a good movie because it was the first to be dank during a decade of fewer dank sets. Dank you.

-Killing off Newt's screaming and Hudson's sturdy-soldier foil to Ripley in the start is a great way to die versus all the other ways to die and there's no more meaningful way these characters could have died to possibly give the story more meaning than a 30s prologue scene. They both meant something to Ripley so really... noone could have possibly worked them in anywhere in any sort of story to have greater impact than a prologue death. Impossible. I mean you might recognize them as some sort of separate character from the 30 bald drab prisoner set. That would really suck to have different characters in a movie. Killing the character off "nicely" might be nice for the character. Killing the character off with some impact might make a better movie. Which of those seems more important when writing a screenplay?

Well for me I haven't watched any of the alien films; I might of but not for a long while. I can see that alien 3 could be good, however. I can't really agree of the aliens win in the end, after all that effects of the last 2 films.

What if say in mass effect, the reapers have won, after hearing countless of times how they are unstoppable and then the reapers win in mass effect 3. You could have that ending and have it as a sad, bleak, tragic, depressing yet beautiful and moving ending, but you know what? I would still prefer seeing commander shepherd and the others stop them winning. It would be darn pointless and spiritless, having all the hope and positive chance just die out. what would the point be of the survival, what's the point knowing the characters, get to like them, then they get killed off while the big threat wins, what's the point having that sense of hopeful chance as we see nearly all characters try to find a way to shopping them. It would been a more powerful if the threat did wipe out galactic civilization (like most humans in alien 3), however It wouldn't leave me feel good after playing/seeing to that ending.

I shouldn't really talk much about this film as I haven't seen alien 3 for a long while, but what I'm saying is that I would watch the last 2 films, then see the third film, as I'll watch the fear and the action but not the despair.

Well reviewed by the way Jim. Looking forward to see what other films you have to say about.

Casual Shinji:

keserak:
If you can't see the themes of sexuality, rape, body horror, and above all motherhood in set of movies where the most powerful single entity in Alien (the ship itself) is called MOTHER, where the most locally dangerous antagonist in the second film is a QUEEN, and where the drive of the main opponents is REPRODUCTION, than I can only simply reiterate the WTF issued above with all the force that sane humankind can muster behind it.

Yes, I can see that. So I don't need some long lost daughter nonsense shoved in my face to emphisize what is already perfectly clear. This was not in the original cut and it was better for it.

That "Your daughter whom we've never heard of is dead" scene was as pointless as the scene where Newt's family goes out to the Derelict (What a coincedence!!!). But then both the Alien and Aliens director's cut suck.

And by the way, I fucking hated how Cameron turned the Alien into cannon fodder space bugs. That includes the queen.

I don't completely agree with you, but I do agree that using Newt's family was a (very) bad idea and that showing LV-426 before the Sulaco arrived is a VERY bad idea for both pacing and impact reasons -- my God, the arrival scene still resonates with me today. Hell, the first view of the Hadley's Hope colony in Aliens vs. Predator (the original PC game) is still amazing because it evokes that same sense of dread and horrible build-up. Seeing the colony occupied and vibrant before the arrival detracts from that. I enjoyed that scene, actually -- it's well-acted -- and it's harmless for someone who's seen the movie a dozen times before, but it shouldn't be there.

TBH, the xenomorphs would end up being cannon-fodder in the face of human (or other sentient) military. I can understand your complaint, but if Cameron had made the xenomorphs individualistic and clever enough to avoid being bugs, well, that wouldn't have been Vietnam, that would have been weird. Maybe not bad, though. And, like it or not, the original alien was based off of the life cycle of (mistaken spider, actually ichneumon) wasps. They were Interstellar Dickwasps from jump; Cameron didn't add that.

keserak:

Casual Shinji:

keserak:
If you can't see the themes of sexuality, rape, body horror, and above all motherhood in set of movies where the most powerful single entity in Alien (the ship itself) is called MOTHER, where the most locally dangerous antagonist in the second film is a QUEEN, and where the drive of the main opponents is REPRODUCTION, than I can only simply reiterate the WTF issued above with all the force that sane humankind can muster behind it.

Yes, I can see that. So I don't need some long lost daughter nonsense shoved in my face to emphisize what is already perfectly clear. This was not in the original cut and it was better for it.

That "Your daughter whom we've never heard of is dead" scene was as pointless as the scene where Newt's family goes out to the Derelict (What a coincedence!!!). But then both the Alien and Aliens director's cut suck.

And by the way, I fucking hated how Cameron turned the Alien into cannon fodder space bugs. That includes the queen.

I don't completely agree with you, but I do agree that using Newt's family was a (very) bad idea and that showing LV-426 before the Sulaco arrived is a VERY bad idea for both pacing and impact reasons -- my God, the arrival scene still resonates with me today. Hell, the first view of the Hadley's Hope colony in Aliens vs. Predator (the original PC game) is still amazing because it evokes that same sense of dread and horrible build-up. Seeing the colony occupied and vibrant before the arrival detracts from that. I enjoyed that scene, actually -- it's well-acted -- and it's harmless for someone who's seen the movie a dozen times before, but it shouldn't be there.

TBH, the xenomorphs would end up being cannon-fodder in the face of human (or other sentient) military. I can understand your complaint, but if Cameron had made the xenomorphs individualistic and clever enough to avoid being bugs, well, that wouldn't have been Vietnam, that would have been weird. Maybe not bad, though. And, like it or not, the original alien was based off of the life cycle of (mistaken spider, actually ichneumon) wasps. They were Interstellar Dickwasps from jump; Cameron didn't add that.

I'm not saying Aliens is a bad movie, as a matter of fact it does what any good sequel should do; Take the original concept in a new direction. But I didn't much care for that direction.

What I loved so much about Alien is that everything felt trully... alien. Everything from the Derelict, to the Space Jockey, to the Alien itself was unlike anything you'd ever seen. All of it felt like it came from the farthest and darkest reaches of space. That moment you see Kane, Dallas, and Lambert come across the Space Jockey, you can't help but feel captivated by this tremendous sense of Lovecraftian dread. At least, I did. Making a direct link to hive insects felt like a detriment to that.

I guess I also much prefered the nightmarish setting of the first movie. Because in many ways it's kind of structured like a dream/nightmare; You never see where the crew comes from or where they're going. you hear it, but you never actually see them leave or arrive. Just as in a dream you always just start off somewhere without really knowing how you even got there, and that arriving where you want to go somehow never works. And then ofcourse the Alien itself wich is practically undefeatable, just as something in your nightmare is undefeatable simply because of the fear you have for it.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here