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ALIEN series
Nah Shaun, we're just liars.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
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I remember seeing someone once describing Resurrection as Whedon doing a kind of dry-run for Firefly, I've been wanting to revisit it with that angle in mind.

I haven't seen it in many years, but both times I saw it I found it pretty bad, if not entirely uninteresting. It has some of that Jeunet quirk in there.

Odd though that all of the big names that were attached to the movie, the one who finally directed it is the one who stayed away from Hollywood and never did anything remotely like it again.
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It's a dry run only in that it's a group of misfits in a spaceship. Doesn't really line up much otherwise.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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Mercenaries on a run-down spaceship with a lived-in aesthetic, with the new girl having a grand conspiratorial secret (Call/River) and the "muscle" being a bit of a meathead (Johner/Jayne), dealing with a militaristic, fascist government (Union of Allied Planets/United Systems Military) who want to use science (xenomorphs/behavior modifying gas) for "urban pacification."

I mean, Whedon definitely has some ideas he likes to explore. You can see echoes of the scientists in Alien: Resurrection in the Initiative from the fourth season of Buffy, the underground lab in The Cabin in the Woods, and even SHIELD trying to use the Tesseract in The Avengers.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
Reply
Except a bunch of that stuff was already in the DNA of the series! (The Alien series, I mean.)
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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The scary authoritative presence is from Weyland-Yutani in the first three movies. The military is just a pawn caught up in the corporate machine, and if anything we see the marines as unblemished good guys.

Whedon, who has never really had concerns with class or greed in his work, switches that idea squarely onto the government/military.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
Reply
I meant the grungy aesthetic and the use of something from deep space as a bioweapon.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
Reply
MM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
Reply
(05-23-2018, 03:19 PM)bartleby_scriven Wrote: Whedon, who has never really had concerns with class or greed in his work ...

O RLY?
[Image: latest?cb=20130405010724]
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There's enough wiggle room in "never really" for me to never give any ground.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
Reply
(05-23-2018, 03:38 PM)bartleby_scriven Wrote: There's enough wiggle room in "never really" for me to never give any ground.

You hedging your language?

So good.
[Image: latest?cb=20130405010724]
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Well, Whedon likes his working-class characters (Buffy is rich in the movie but the show has her and her mom as upper-middle class because Joyce...owns an art gallery, then she's struggling by season six), but generally they're not pitted against the rich.

Maybe Wolfram & Hart is Whedon's riff on Weyland-Yutani, but it never really feels like a business so much as yet another secret society.

Hey, I can admit I'm wrong if someone offers me examples. But generally, from Buffy to Firefly and other works, the Big Bads come in the form of government officials. Military scientists, the Mayor, the Initiative, the Alliance, the organization in The Cabin in the Woods. Even the World Security Council in The Avengers is yet another shady government organization.

But hey, if there's a bourgeois villain I'm forgetting then I'm all eyes.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
Reply
Up-thread someone pooh-poohed Whedon's defence of his script, but I think he's probably got a point.  A Resurrection directed like Alien, Aliens, or Alien 3 and made to be of a piece with their tones (while Alien 1-3 are definitely very different stylistically, their similarities are often forgotten about, and they do fit together well) would be quite a thing to see.

Alien Resurrection came out when I was way too young to see it in the cinema, so I read the comic adaptation before seeing it. It's very truncated, but there's some pretty striking art, and it swaps the cartoony bits of Jeunet's style for nightmarishness. I was 9 when I saw the film, and though I wouldn't have been able to articulate, felt it was excessive and silly. Until I was into my teens a bit, I really felt uncomfortable with anything that tried to meld horror and humour with anything more intense than Simpsons Halloween specials.

[Image: al4r1p1.jpg]
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Huh, is that the same artist from 100 Bullets?

I also read the novelization by A.C. Crispin back in the day and without the quirky Frenchness it feels much more of a piece with the first three.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
Reply
I don't get it, I don't see how the script (or story) of Alien 4 really is like the first 3 films at all. Fundamentally, in 4 people are trying to control and manipulate these things. The theme is that of the illusion and or corruption of control or something - which is not what was happening in the trilogy. Ripley is totally different, and the film is just a long escape sequence.
There are weapons in my hands, my hands are weapons.
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The story's like the previous ones in that it's full of dark corridors, people being dicks to one another, gruesome deaths, and some pretty intense body horror.

I think the illusion of control theme is a natural progression from the trilogy: the Company kept trying to get their hands on them, now a Company-like entity managed it. I'm never quite sure whether I think Weyland-Yutani being bought out by Walmart is the worst kind of lazy, eye-rolling 90's satire or a depressingly truthful note to wrap that thread up with.
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(05-23-2018, 04:37 PM)rexbanner Wrote: Up-thread someone pooh-poohed Whedon's defence of his script, but I think he's probably got a point.  A Resurrection directed like Alien, Aliens, or Alien 3 and made to be of a piece with their tones (while Alien 1-3 are definitely very different stylistically, their similarities are often forgotten about, and they do fit together well) would be quite a thing to see.

Alien Resurrection came out when I was way too young to see it in the cinema, so I read the comic adaptation before seeing it. It's very truncated, but there's some pretty striking art, and it swaps the cartoony bits of Jeunet's style for nightmarishness. I was 9 when I saw the film, and though I wouldn't have been able to articulate, felt it was excessive and silly. Until I was into my teens a bit, I really felt uncomfortable with anything that tried to meld horror and humour with anything more intense than Simpsons Halloween specials. 

[Image: al4r1p1.jpg]

It's easy to pooh pooh when Whedon's defense of his bad script (of which some would have been unfilmable) was that everyone did everything wrong besides him. When he further elaborates on things like he hates Dan Hedaya in that movie, that Brad Dourif was totally miscast because as he sees it we should be wondering if his scientist character is really good or bad, (this is a aspect that doesn't sound like it would've work) and that the crew of the Betty were all cast wrong (the actors playing those characters are the only thing making them interesting) it just seems even easier to dismiss Whedon when it comes to his thoughts on Alien Resurrection.

That Alien Resurrection comic is also extremely cartoony. Eduardo Risso's style in that comic is somewhere between Dark Horse era Frank Miller and Richard Corben, it's a very stylized comic book. It's also very much based on what they shot and not Whedon's actually script too, it plays out like the movie as opposed to ending with a giant action sequence; it also doesn't have some weird dream sequence of a vast feild of flowers changing color. How Jeunet shot it, and how Risso drew it both look like something you'd see if Alien Resurrection had been in Heavy Metal. Of those first three Alien movies it's probably most like the original in terms of looking somewhat like something you'd seen in Heavy Metal.

Will say I'm not a fan of the design changes the FX studio made to the Alien. Although they're not as bad as the changes made in Aliens, or how cheap those look.
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So on a whim I watched ALIENS last night. Not sure when the last time I actually watched it was, but it's been at least two years.

Lo and behold, a couple of new things popped out. One is a DUH! for most of you, I am sure. One is genuinely new.

First: it finally hit me how well Cameron paralleled story elements from the first film while making them new and fresh and full of tension and energy. In both ALIEN and ALIENS, the penultimate sequence is Ripley charging through a technological landscape, flashing lights, smoke, blaring alarms, and, of course, an alien in the mix. Except in ALIENS, Ripley is the hunter, the initiator, and she's the one who shapes the hunt (other than the countdown).

Second: since my first screening, I've had a huge problem with how the Alien Queen is sucked out of the airlock while Ripley hangs on. It beggared willing suspension of disbelief that something as big and strong as the queen couldn't hang on while Ripley could. And I actually posted about it before that scene....and Bart, being the accidental genius that he is, said something about Cameron should've had Ripley's shoe come off.

And you know what?

He did.

Thanks to my newer 60" screen and the clarity of the blu ray, I clearly saw the Queen clutching Ripley's shoe when she shoots into space. And Ripley is clearly wearing only one shoe, with the other foot in a sock alone.

It may not be much more believable, but it actually changes that scene for me and makes me feel better about Cameron. I never bought Ripley was able to just outmuscle the Queen....and it turns out, neither did Cameron.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
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Yeah, Ripley going back for Newt is her lugging Jonesy around in a cat carrier. Except like everything else it’s cranked up to 11.
"I'd rather have hope...than nothing at all."
-Illyana Rasputin, X-Men: Omega #1

"But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic books survive."
-Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Twitter: @BartLBishop
Reply
I thought there was a specific shot of her shoe coming off? Anyway, yeah, Ripley's elbow-hold on the ladder is just enough to outlast her shoelaces.
There are weapons in my hands, my hands are weapons.
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There isn't - not a close up or anything. You have to be watching for it. And a bigger screen/clear visual helps a lot.
"Nooj's true feelings on any given subject are unknown and unknowable. He is the butterfly flapping its wings in Peking. He is chaos and destruction and you shall never see his true form." - Merriweather

My Steam ID: yizashigreyspear
Reply
(6 hours ago)Jones Wrote: I thought there was a specific shot of her shoe coming off?  Anyway, yeah, Ripley's elbow-hold on the ladder is just enough to outlast her shoelaces.

(5 hours ago)MichaelM Wrote: There isn't - not a close up or anything. You have to be watching for it. And a bigger screen/clear visual helps a lot.

There is a shot that shows her shoe coming off but if you blink, you'll miss it.
I used to be with "it", but then they changed what "it" was. Now, what I'm with isn't "it", and what's "it" seems weird and scary to me. -Grandpa Simpson
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