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Old 07-05-2011, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Squid Brand View Post
I don't think this is quite true, on two counts. First I don't think Aliens needs a "for the time" qualifier in terms of special effects. With the exception of a few slightly rough-looking composite miniature shots of the drop ship, I can't think of a movie from any era with more convincing effects than Aliens.

And second, while you do see more of the creatures in Aliens, you actually see-see a lot less of them than you think you do. The queen notwithstanding, there are almost no parts of that movie where you just get a full view of an alien in decent light. They're always seen partially in shadow, or in extremely brief shots, or drenched in red light, or something else that masks them. That's why you never realize that the suits are actually less complete in that movie than in the first. Cameron used an appliances-on-spandex design that was lighter and more segmented so the actors would have a fuller range of motion, so there were a lot of seams and such. But when he takes those suits and shows them in a dark corner with strategically placed specular reflections and fucking incredible sound design, and has the guys make those smooth, reptilian movements, you just think, "oh, I see they saved their bodysuit budget and just hired xenomorph actors". So I think "balls-out" fails to describe just how tactful it was.

On the queen, though, he went balls-out.
Alot of this was necessitated by the budget. He only had two full suits and six of the leotard with full head suits and he had to make that look like an swarm.

The thing about Cameron is that he is one of the greatest innovaters in cinema history. The problem is as his budgets go up his need to innovate decreases. In Aliens he had to make a couple of low rent ballet costumes look like an army of Aliens and it was amazing. In Avatar he got to construct his own virtual world and it was boring as fuck.
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