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I've Outgrown...Aliens
#36
A friend of mine had never seen the first two aliens and last year he rented the four movies and watched them in a short period of time. He loved them all (yes, he loves Resurrection, he's got a boot fetish) except Aliens. I think there are two reasons for that:

- Aliens is tonally different from the others. It's a action movie with horror in it, the others are the opposite. It feels a bit out of the series.

- The director's cut is shit. It takes forever to get to the action. It's a long and boring film and I can't stand it. I very much regret buying that edition.
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#37
"I prefer the term synthetic human."

Says it all.

(Forgive me if I paraphrased.)
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#38
"I'll go. Believe me I'd prefer not to. I may be synthetic, but I'm not stupid."
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#39
Spike, the film is a ride picture. It works on the level it's meant to, plays with a crowd, everything said previous. But there's no hidden depth or anything like that, so don't feel bad, just take some time off from it, and maybe watch it in five years. When it came out on video I must have watched the thing somewhere between 30-100 times. I don't think I've watched it more than twice all the way through since the DC hit LD. Such is life.
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#40
Was Aliens the first movie to do the thing with the map, showing the enemy approaching? I'm watching Prisoner of Azkaban right now and they're doing it here.
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#41
Quote:

Originally Posted by stump

Was Aliens the first movie to do the thing with the map, showing the enemy approaching?

I think Ridley Scott made a movie called ALIEN where he did something like that.
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#42
fuck. i saw aliens first, around 12 maybe, and it always eclipsed my memories of alien, including the birth scene.
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#43
Quote:

Originally Posted by Seabass Inna Bun

A double red herring! I love the way Bishop totally fails to screw Ripley over in any way, shape or form.

Good point.

I'm in the (lonely) camp of thinking none of Cameron's films are aging all that well, though I really enjoy them to varying degrees. I really enjoy the rides, but I often don't get when his name is mentioned alongside the names it often is.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crow

I'll banter back and forth the merits and flaws of Alien 3 all night without complaint....but anyone who says an unkind word about Ripley's swan dive, in either cut....if I was a parent, I'd say you need to go to your room and think about what you've done.

I only saw the theatrical cut. Narratively, I love the swan dive. Such a potentially great moment dramatically underserved by a distracting process shot, and harmed further by her catching it and not letting it escape. Maybe John Hurt was a real pussy, but c'mon.
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#44
I'm with Spike. This movie isn't anywhere CLOSE to as good as Alien or as visually interesting as Alien 3. Fuck this movie.
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#45
Spike, I'm ususally in your camp so my opinion may be regarded as meaningless but I totally agree. Ever since I saw the original Alien, Aliens always felt like a mindless action romp (mind you above average in that regard), but it didn't even seem to bother doing right what the first did and feels like it might as well be the superior entry in the Xtro series. A crowd pleasing where it should have been chilling affair.
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#46
Not that this has any bearing on quality, but I feel more personally attached to Aliens, as it's among the first movies I ever saw. Why would I be allowed to watch an R-rated movie full of terrifying creatures at age 4? Because it's awesome, that's why. Plus, there was a kid in the movie to relate to, and I think monster movies are most effective at that early age, where we're just as facinated as we are frightened. As such, I just think the Queen is one of the coolest, most disgusting things ever put on film. I don't really think the characters are any better drawn in Alien, in fact I like the characters in both because they're human but not totally sympathetic.

I've seen all of them on the big screen except for Alien 3, and I think that if there's one thing working against Aliens it's that it's not much to look at compared with the others. Alien is just a gorgeously lit, brilliantly designed movie full of really nightmarish imagery that plays off a lot of common sexual hang-ups. Aliens is just about as hardcore as it gets, plus I don't think enough credit can be given to the relationships between the four characters that survive. Alien 3 is a huge, bleak mess, but it does have some nice moments, especially toward the end. Alien Resurrection is goofy as all hell, but it's got style and energy to spare...at least until Ripley falls into that pit of xenomorphs and things totally fall apart.

Now if only I could find a week to set aside so I could actually watch all the extras on the Quadrilogy. I've had that thing for four years and I've only watched the different cuts of the films, nothing else.
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#47
Cameron makes popcorn movies with unrivaled visual acumen, and envelop pushing FX. I don't think any director uses special effects as well as Cameron, not even Spielberg. Cameron's movies are always heavy on the FX but he's so careful about how and when he uses them that his movies (as effects dependent as they are) still hold up amazingly well.

I'm not one to be easily wooed by empty attention grabbing popcorn flicks (I don't like Michael Bay or Tony Scott except for three or four of their films), and I don't think that's what his movies are. So Cameron's movies are relatively shallow? They're not lowest-common denominator shallow. They're just not high-brow. They're cool action packed stories, well told.

And as Johnsamo said, Aliens was a pioneer. You can't charge it's characters as being stock caricatures when it invented them.
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#48
Quote:

Originally Posted by Richard Dickson

Yes, Cameron nicely plays off of the audience's knowledge of the first film there.

It would have been even better if they got the original actor that played Bishop in Alien to reprise his role.
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#49
Ian Holm doing the knife trick and being impaled by an Alien Queen's tail would kinda play differently.
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#50
Quote:

Originally Posted by Patrick Ripoll

Fuck this movie.

Whoa now, let's not get crazy and say things we can't take back.
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#51
Quote:

Originally Posted by Crow

If we didn't ban Quarant for hating The Godfather, we're not gonna ban Spike for this.

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

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

I would agree. And knowing this, I guess it's safe to assume that Resurrection was intended to be the comedy of the series. Brilliant!

What a piece of shit that film was.

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

Quote:

The director's cut is shit. It takes forever to get to the action. It's a long and boring film and I can't stand it. I very much regret buying that edition.

This is truth. Cameron seems to think making his films five fucking hours long gives them depth, but it just makes them boring and unwatchable.
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#54
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil!

Ian Holm doing the knife trick and being impaled by an Alien Queen's tail would kinda play differently.

I was talking about the scene of Bishop actually helping out Ripley instead of being a robot psycho asshole. I mean they were supposed to look alike, right? Isn't that why Ripley freaked out when she saw him at the mess hall?
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#55
No, she saw his white blood after he cut himself during the knife trick. That is when she knew Bishop was a synthetic. Ian Holm's robot character in Alien was named Ash. They weren't meant to be the same model.
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#56
Woops.
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#57
Yeah, Bishop even refers to Ash's model of android as being "twitchy."

I guess that's a kind way of saying they tried to rape people with magazines.
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#58
Quote:

Yeah, Bishop even refers to Ash's model of android as being "twitchy."

I guess that's a kind way of saying they tried to rape people with magazines.

That's how I've always defined it.
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#59
Been ages since I've seen the movie. We're talking about the film where Paxton gets mauled in a subway tunnel, right?
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#60
I'm so confused.

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




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

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

I can understand the enjoyment of it as sheer spectacle; its action sequences are absolutely blistering. But the volume of people who number it among the best movies ever made stuns me.
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#65
Quote:

Originally Posted by JuddL

And as Johnsamo said, Aliens was a pioneer. You can't charge it's characters as being stock caricatures when it invented them.

Invented them? Are you fucking serious? This is patently insane. Have you never seen a war movie in your life?
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#66
I was just talking about this with Werbal the other night, actually. I don't hate Aliens, or even dislike it. I loved it growing up, but I haven't been able to watch it as an adult. It's been about five years or so since the last time I watched it, and every time I'd try while I was in college, I'd find myself growing very bored and either skipping to the power loader scene, or just turning it off outright. I've pledge to give it another shot down the road, maybe time away from it will change my perspective.
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#67
While there are some totally legitimate points in this thread, I wonder how much (if any) of the revisionism is connected to having just burned out on the film from having seen it too many times. For myself, as long as I treat the film as a prime example of the action genre, circa 1986, it still works surprisingly well.
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#68
The extended edition is indeed shit. It undermines so much of what makes the original cut work. Except for the sentry guns scene. That shit is WICKED.
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#69
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gabriel Williams

While there are some totally legitimate points in this thread, I wonder how much (if any) of the revisionism is connected to having just burned out on the film from having seen it too many times. For myself, as long as I treat the film as a prime example of the action genre, circa 1986, it still works surprisingly well.

Well, I agree that it isn't a particularly fantastic film, and while it's been a movie I've revisited, I have not done so ad nauseum.

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

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

But hey, that's just me.

And I'll also give a shout out to all those that think Cameron's films just aren't aging that well. I watched T2 the other day and man....You could smell the early 90's all over that thing.
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#70
T2 hasn't aged well at all. I find it almost unwatchable now. I used to think it was a better movie than Terminator (which is still a very tight, very rewatchable sci-fi action/suspense movie), but it isn't. It's just a much bigger, much louder movie. It's well crafted, to be sure, but it's a paper thin, vapid film full of nothing more than explosions and fancy set pieces.
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