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  #61  
Old 07-05-2011, 11:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ShakeWell View Post
I will fight you. One day, you and I will have a podcast about this. THERE WILL BE NO SURVIVORS!

Also, I've stopped trying to decide which I like more a long time ago. I'm pretty sure Alien and Aliens are equally fantastic movies, my mood is all the determines which I watch (and which cut) at any given time.
I look forward to it.

Seriously, though I bet we could do a pretty good Alien Centric OTS. Even if that meant having to watch the AVP films.
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  #62  
Old 07-05-2011, 11:20 PM
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I saw the white text, so good on yer, but I will say that there's a difference between investing emotion in fiction and investing too much emotion. Not in a "lol star wars nerd" way, but in a way that makes it so you can't see the merits of other chapters in the same overall narrative. For what it's worth, though, your qualms (even if I don't share them) make more sense than G-shings.
I can go with that, but I'd argue that considering all the movies were written and directed by different people, you're giving them a lot of credit to call them part of the same overall narrative.

On the other hand, if they are part of the same overall narrative, the way they connect to each other as chapters of a story is important as well. If The Return of the King had started with everyone having died offscreen except for Sam who decided to become the best cook on middle earth, yeah that might be good on its own right, but it's not really in keeping with what came before and doesn't really work as a sequel/continuation.
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  #63  
Old 07-06-2011, 12:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
On the other hand, if they are part of the same overall narrative, the way they connect to each other as chapters of a story is important as well. If The Return of the King had started with everyone having died offscreen except for Sam who decided to become the best cook on middle earth, yeah that might be good on its own right, but it's not really in keeping with what came before and doesn't really work as a sequel/continuation.
But if you go by that logic, then Aliens is just as guilty of this kind of tonal shift as Alien 3, since the shift was from basically straight-up horror in Alien to tense action/suspense in Aliens. What it comes down to is: some people don't like the fact that 3 is a total downer, and some do. The people who don't tend to use that as a basis to call it bad, which is where I have the most problems.
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  #64  
Old 07-06-2011, 02:21 AM
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Except that again, nobody is complaining about the tone. The tone is fine. The issue is with completely aborting the established narrative to do something completely different.

Plus, you know, various other problems which would still apply in a vacuum.
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  #65  
Old 07-06-2011, 02:43 AM
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If it's to be judged as a direct payoff of the final scenes of Aliens, you're right, it's problematic. But Alien 3 came six years later, was helmed by a different director, had its own confusing story-development process, and did not contain any input from the leading creative force behind the previous movie. I think it's fair to judge it as an entity on its own, where those other bodies in the EEV are just part of the protagonist's backstory. The relevant part of that opening sequence is Ripley learning that the young girl she was in the vessel with, an obvious daughter figure, has died, because that establishes her emotional state going into this new story. The actual Newt character is not relevant to the story. The movie does not "kill" Newt. It just establishes a set of conditions for itself where Ripley has this girl's death as a motivation.

I guess I generally don't like the idea that an entry into a series has to pretend it's part of the same arc as the previous entry, just because it's using the same lore. After all, the lore is not the meat of the movie. The story is the meat. Sure, the lore does inspire and inform the story to a great degree, but it's still its own story, so it should set its own rules to a degree.

Last edited by Ethan; 07-06-2011 at 03:03 AM.
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  #66  
Old 07-06-2011, 03:30 AM
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One thing I like about Alien is that the spaceship doesn't look like modern sci-fi movies, where everything is shiny and looks glamorous. In Alien it looks more utilitarian and kind of dingy.
In The 100 Scariest Movie Moments they described it as the "blue-collar" version of space.
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  #67  
Old 07-06-2011, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Wolfgang View Post
But if you go by that logic, then Aliens is just as guilty of this kind of tonal shift as Alien 3, since the shift was from basically straight-up horror in Alien to tense action/suspense in Aliens. What it comes down to is: some people don't like the fact that 3 is a total downer, and some do. The people who don't tend to use that as a basis to call it bad, which is where I have the most problems.
I like how you're still latching onto the connection between the two films and ignoring all the other complaints about the film. I hate what it does to Aliens, but even if they got around that, it still wouldn't be a very interesting movie.
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  #68  
Old 07-06-2011, 07:59 AM
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I dunno, I'd classify The Thing as more cerebral rather than visceral. Paranoia is a reaction that has to be regarded consciously, whereas Alien deals more in primal fears.
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  #69  
Old 07-06-2011, 09:49 AM
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Alien is the better movie. That said, I've seen Aliens far more times, because it's also really fuckin' rad and a great action movie is easier to be in the mood for. Both are some of my favorite movies, period.

Re: the psychosexual stuff: I totally wrote a paper in college comparing the fear of male sexuality in Disney's Pinocchio to the fear of female sexuality in Alien. It was good stuff.
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  #70  
Old 07-06-2011, 10:02 AM
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I like how you're still latching onto the connection between the two films and ignoring all the other complaints about the film.
I like how you're still a cock who can't understand how those things are also matters of taste. So I guess we both like things!
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  #71  
Old 07-06-2011, 10:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Wolfgang View Post
I like how you're still a cock who can't understand how those things are also matters of taste. So I guess we both like things!
Of course they're a matter of taste, but you're dismissing everyone here as bad people for not liking an unpopular movie.
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  #72  
Old 07-06-2011, 10:34 AM
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I like how you're still a cock who can't understand how those things are also matters of taste. So I guess we both like things!
A matter of taste? That's the white flag right there. You've given up!
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  #73  
Old 07-06-2011, 10:42 AM
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Of course they're a matter of taste, but you're dismissing everyone here as bad people for not liking an unpopular movie.
Not at all. Look at my response to Paul earlier. I dismiss people who lazily call it a bad movie.
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  #74  
Old 07-06-2011, 10:43 AM
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I thought Alien 3 was balls when I first saw but maybe it's worth another shot.
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  #75  
Old 07-06-2011, 10:58 AM
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Not at all. Look at my response to Paul earlier. I dismiss people who lazily call it a bad movie.
How can you assess how much effort a person is putting into not liking a movie?
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  #76  
Old 07-06-2011, 11:14 AM
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A while back I was talking with a buddy about Alien and we were talking about how Ripley and Lambert (the other woman) aren't really close but they're not really adversaries either and we came to the conclusion that everyone on board the Nostromo has basically slept with everyone else and Ripley and Lambert's relationship is best described as "Sister Wives." I don't have anything to back that up but it's fun to watch it with that in mind.
That's stupid. There is absolutely nothing about either character that implies anything of the sort. The only possible reason to read that kind of relationship into it would be idiotic, trite preconceptions about what female characters can or should be about. Their relationship is the same as the relationship between any two crew members: grown-ass human beings who work together.
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  #77  
Old 07-06-2011, 11:21 AM
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How can you assess how much effort a person is putting into not liking a movie?
...almost had me that time!
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  #78  
Old 07-06-2011, 11:22 AM
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I watched the first five minutes of Juno and turned it off, declaring it terrible. That's probably pretty lazy.
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  #79  
Old 07-06-2011, 11:34 AM
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That's stupid. There is absolutely nothing about either character that implies anything of the sort. The only possible reason to read that kind of relationship into it would be idiotic, trite preconceptions about what female characters can or should be about. Their relationship is the same as the relationship between any two crew members: grown-ass human beings who work together.
No way, Makkara.
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  #80  
Old 07-06-2011, 11:35 AM
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Makkara is very serious.
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  #81  
Old 07-06-2011, 01:33 PM
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If it's to be judged as a direct payoff of the final scenes of Aliens, you're right, it's problematic. But Alien 3 came six years later, was helmed by a different director, had its own confusing story-development process, and did not contain any input from the leading creative force behind the previous movie. I think it's fair to judge it as an entity on its own, where those other bodies in the EEV are just part of the protagonist's backstory. The relevant part of that opening sequence is Ripley learning that the young girl she was in the vessel with, an obvious daughter figure, has died, because that establishes her emotional state going into this new story. The actual Newt character is not relevant to the story. The movie does not "kill" Newt. It just establishes a set of conditions for itself where Ripley has this girl's death as a motivation.

I guess I generally don't like the idea that an entry into a series has to pretend it's part of the same arc as the previous entry, just because it's using the same lore. After all, the lore is not the meat of the movie. The story is the meat. Sure, the lore does inspire and inform the story to a great degree, but it's still its own story, so it should set its own rules to a degree.
Yeah, but see, the problem here is the lack of distancing. One could very easily just, you know, set the movie a few years later. All these other characters we don't want to deal with being here can be assumed to have wandered off to do whatever (which, by the way, is an excellent way to leave the door open for a sequel if you're planning to kill off the main character), and heck you could use the interim to actually have Ripley start a family between movies, actually have a couple years of relaxed happiness so there's a farther fall for the total destruction of all she holds dear you want to do.

As is, we're setting these back to back. Literally (from the main character's perspective) no time at all passes between then end of one movie and the start of the other, which... generally implies that yeah, we're trying to continue one long story and not start another one, and again, I maintain the only reason to start the way it does is to give the finger to the previous movie and rewrite its ending.

Anyway though, we've probably kicked this issue around enough. Let's focus on some of the other problems! Youtube is generally failing me when it comes to finding clips to demonstrate what I'm talking about, but here's trailers for the first three movies here. Which... I suggest you mute your speakers before watching because it's nice not to have the cheesy 80's trailer narration distracting from the point here.
1
2
3

Not a whole lot to actually see in the first one, but we all seem to have pretty clear memories of what it's generally all about. We've got a bunch of people in a really cramped, poorly lit ship with lots of blind corners arguing a lot and having to react to all kinds of weird sudden freaky developments. Freaky monster stuck to someone's face, it has acid for blood that almost breaches the ship's freaking hull, a penis with teeth just burst out of his chest and leapt across the room, now we've got some big freaky monster, Ash is secretly a milk-filled robot, lots of running around in the dark and screaming and such.

Aliens is really an action movie (as yon trailer reveals with all its laughably macho marines-gearing-up action here), but it still knows how you have to handle these aliens to make them seem like a proper threat. You keep'em in poorly lit cramped areas where they can kill people before they know what's hit'em, harp on the threat the acid blood poses, and throw out some weird little surprises, like that oh %@$#, turns out that these things are actually social, surprisingly intelligent, and will employ group hunting tactics and given the right circumstances will build nasty goopy hives, the better to store victims in, and have an extra big and tough queen to lay those eggs.

Then you've got Alien 3. We're theoretically trying to push things back towards horror here, but if so we're doing just about everything wrong. There's no new surprises here. We know everything there is to know about the alien, and quite frankly we get to see the whole thing plenty often, in brightly lit conditions... and not even as it's killing people. Just, hanging out by the big fan there. The whole thing is set in brightly lit open spaces, where people are actually able to see it coming and try and run from it. It's inherently less threatening because we've pretty firmly established its mortality at this point. We've only got one character we care about going in, don't add any new ones because, well, hardened criminals who all tend to also be stupid jerks, we aren't really able to care about the one we had going in because we pretty much immediately come right out and say she's doomed no matter what happens, and even worse, as the parting shot of that trailer reveals, the monster doesn't ever intend to kill her. So... OK, great. We've got what is now a boring and predictable monster chasing cannon fodder through brightly lit open spaces for 2 hours, capped off by shamelessly, laughably, stealing the final scene from Terminator 2 (which, hey, was both the previous year's big movie, and another another James Cameron project to prop this thing up against).

And I have to say too, that final trailer shot there, despite being the one scene everyone involved was clearly so proud of, really is just plain stupid. Stop me if I'm misremembering here because it's been a WHILE, but what's the deal? It's swinging by to taunt her? It's planning to kill her but takes the time to check if she smells pregnant or something first? If nothing else, didn't the previous movie establish it could hwark some black goo up on her to stick her to the wall, so she won't be posing a threat while waiting for our little baby alien queen here to pop out?
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  #82  
Old 07-06-2011, 02:12 PM
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Oh, so everyone in prison is shit and deserves to die. Good to know. calm down
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  #83  
Old 07-06-2011, 02:36 PM
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hey you guise

guess who just decided to watch the Alien movies because of this thread (and also because I'm on a huge Metroid kick lately).


Just finished Alien. I had seen most of it before, but not all of it. In particular, I missed the beginning, which the film really needed to set up the characters.
Good stuff, although I still don't know where that water came from (the "raining indoors" bit with the ceiling chains).

Next is Aliens.
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  #84  
Old 07-06-2011, 05:11 PM
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Oh, so everyone in prison is shit and deserves to die. Good to know. calm down
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We've only got one character we care about going in, don't add any new ones because, well, hardened criminals who all tend to also be stupid jerks,
You can totally have hardened criminals from Space Jail in an Alien movie who are likable enough to care about. That's actually pretty much Pitch Black's whole deal. It's just that these particularly Space Jail inmates are all totally unlikable cannon fodder is all.
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  #85  
Old 07-06-2011, 05:23 PM
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Alien is the best visceral horror film in history.

Aliens is the best action movie ever made.
This is basically the way I see it. Granted, I have yet to see 3 and Resurrection.
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  #86  
Old 07-06-2011, 05:34 PM
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Just finished Aliens!

Judging by what you guys have been saying, it looks like the versions I'm watching have been Director's cuts. Hm.

I liked it. It was refreshing to see that the Ragtag Team Of Commandos was completely unprepared for the job and had their asses handed to them inside of five minutes.

Not sure whether to continue into the bad movies or not.
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  #87  
Old 07-06-2011, 05:47 PM
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Guys, let's all stop arguing about the relative merits of Aliens (my opinion: Director's cut drools, original cut rules, but not as much as people usually think) and focus on something productive:

Reading William Gibson's aforementioned Alien 3 script.

The formatting is pretty trashy, but man, this is a great way to spend about an hour or so and gain an appreciation for even the shitty theatrical Alien 3 cut that we managed to get.
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  #88  
Old 07-06-2011, 07:02 PM
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list of reasons why Alien 3 is bad
Eh. I mean, most of what you say is true, and the movie does have some big flaws, which are why it's generally a poorly-liked movie. But I can personally deal with deep flaws when I'm into the characters and the general feeling of the movie, and when there are individual standout moments. I thought Clemens and Dillon were interesting and likable. (There's more of them in the extended cut.) I also liked 85 since he manages to play the Paul Reiser role but actually stays sympathetic throughout because his motivations are noble. I liked the setting, which felt like an old abandoned castle. I loved the cross-cutting of the funeral and the alien birth (though it's a different birth sequence in the extended cut). I liked how creepy Golic was, especially in the dish-dropping scene (extended cut) and "Magnificent!" (extended cut). Great music and cinematography throughout. All those creepy plastic hospital curtains. That stomach-churning sound of the bonesaw splitting the sternum. The little things add up, for me. They're enough for me to really enjoy most of the movie.

For some perspective: my favorite movies in the world are Pat Garrett And Billy The Kid and Keetje Tippel. You could make very convincing cases that both of these movies are complete shit — loaded to the gills with bad narrative choices and extreme tastelessness. Those cases would be mostly correct. I love those movies, though. I'm not the kind of guy who enjoys the "best" movies the most, and I suspect anyone defending Alien 3 in this thread is the same way, and that is fine.
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  #89  
Old 07-07-2011, 10:37 PM
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Just finished Aliens!

Judging by what you guys have been saying, it looks like the versions I'm watching have been Director's cuts. Hm.
Did you see any of the colony on LV426 before it was earfucked by the Aliens? If yes, you saw the Director's Cut. Which is a different, but awesome in other ways movie. Both versions are pretty great, in my opinion. Don't listen to Bryce.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stiv View Post
Guys, let's all stop arguing about the relative merits of Aliens (my opinion: Director's cut drools, original cut rules, but not as much as people usually think) and focus on something productive:

Reading William Gibson's aforementioned Alien 3 script.

The formatting is pretty trashy, but man, this is a great way to spend about an hour or so and gain an appreciation for even the shitty theatrical Alien 3 cut that we managed to get.
I have this and George Romero's Resident Evil script and I keep meaning to read them both and I still haven't. Need to do that.
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  #90  
Old 07-08-2011, 12:51 AM
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I haven't seen Alien 3 in years, so I can't comment on its overall quality, but that chase sequence at the end was totally sweet.
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