The Return of Talking Time

Go Back   The Return of Talking Time > Talking about media > Talking about TV and film

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #31  
Old 07-05-2011, 01:46 PM
ArugulaZ's Avatar
ArugulaZ ArugulaZ is online now
Just bear with me
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 12,307
Default

I've said this before, but I firmly believe that Alien is the better film. Aliens is good popcorn entertainment, though, and it's not as dumb as it COULD have been. There's a lot of character development going on and the special effects are ace for the time. Ridley kept the alien in the shadows to ratchet up the suspense and hide the limitations of 1970s movie technology, but Cameron goes balls out with everything he can muster, and the results are incredibly satisfying.

Alien and its sequel perfectly illustrate the differences between the directing styles of the two men... Ridley is more conservative, asking the audience to use their imagination to fill in the blanks, while Cameron leaves nothing in doubt, using everything at his disposal to achieve his vision and sometimes reaching beyond his grasp as a result.

I think the advancements of the 1990s and 21st century have worked in Cameron's favor and against Ridley. Classic film techniques don't satisfy today's mainstream audiences... they want their entertainment loud and brash, with nothing left in the dark. Ridley represents the past of moviemaking, while Cameron represents its future. That's not to say that Cameron is a better director; just better suited to today's big-budget films that put style above substance.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 07-05-2011, 02:00 PM
Wolfgang's Avatar
Wolfgang Wolfgang is offline
borgn
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Fooboomagoo
Posts: 28,105
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArugulaZ View Post
Classic film techniques don't satisfy today's mainstream audiences... they want their entertainment loud and brash, with nothing left in the dark. Ridley represents the past of moviemaking, while Cameron represents its future. That's not to say that Cameron is a better director; just better suited to today's big-budget films that put style above substance.
This is why I like 3. It tried to take it to a more emotionally ambiguous, less gung-ho place after the second movie. Which of course is why everyone hates it. It's just weird to see people say that it's a failure because of it.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 07-05-2011, 02:46 PM
Googleshng's Avatar
Googleshng Googleshng is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: CT
Posts: 15,708
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArugulaZ View Post
Alien and its sequel perfectly illustrate the differences between the directing styles of the two men... Ridley is more conservative, asking the audience to use their imagination to fill in the blanks, while Cameron leaves nothing in doubt, using everything at his disposal to achieve his vision and sometimes reaching beyond his grasp as a result.
A lot of that is just because one is a horror movie and one is an action movie, with each genre having different strengths and needs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang View Post
This is why I like 3. It tried to take it to a more emotionally ambiguous, less gung-ho place after the second movie. Which of course is why everyone hates it. It's just weird to see people say that it's a failure because of it.
No... the reason everyone hates 3 is that it starts off by killing off all the surviving characters from the previous movie, which would be a lame thing to do under any circumstances, but is particularly bad here because it's done in a fashion which totally robs the previous movie's climax of any sort of its purpose (we're going to save this one girl here no matter what), while also undoing some world building and character development (you're such a cool guy I've overcome my prejudice about robots and consider you a real person... but you're kinda mashed up, out to the curb with you).

Plus seriously, it's just not a very good movie. Pacing, characters, long shots of the alien just standing around by an arbitrarily huge fan, ending shamelessly ripped off from another movie by the same director as what it's a sequel to...

Plus there's something to be said for the lowering of stakes. First movie: The lives of this handful of people out in the middle of nowhere are in danger due to this one mysterious monster! Second movie: This whole colony of people is... well, OK, they're dead already, but this whole military force is in danger from this colony overrun with this race of monsters! Third movie: This one monster we totally know pretty much all there is to know about might kill some of these horrible criminals we aren't really going to bother and develop any.
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 07-05-2011, 03:02 PM
SpoonyGundam's Avatar
SpoonyGundam SpoonyGundam is offline
The Great
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 7,285
Default

When I was in middle school, I brought up Alien with a group of four or five friends once. Nobody had any idea what I was talking about.

I described the movie, mentioned all those Alien VS Predator games, and described what the things looked like. "All black, long head, has a smaller, extendable mouth in its main mouth, etc." one of the friends goes, "Oh, like a zergling," and I just gave up. (None of that applies to a zergling.)

It was one of the most surreal things that ever happened to me. It made sense to me when nobody knew what I was talking about when I brought up, say, Short Circuit or Gremlins. But Alien? The franchise was a pretty big deal, and when this happened Alien Resurrection was only 2-3 years old.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 07-05-2011, 06:30 PM
chud_666's Avatar
chud_666 chud_666 is online now
120 Days
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Salo
Posts: 7,981
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Dead Junkie View Post
I love Alien I think the best thing about it is that it's a Lovecraft story in which man is stupid enough to go find the Elder Gods rather then the other way around.

And the best part is that Prometheus seems to totally be backing this up.

Aliens is one of the best action movies with one of the worst directors cuts ever made. For serious it takes twice as long to get to the planet in the DC. In the OC you donít know what youíre going to find when they touch down on the planet. You donít know what the colony looks like much less the what the Aliens have done to it. Itís a total fear of the unknown situation which the director cut spoils.

The only point to all the extra footage is knowing that Ripley's daughter has died explaining the bond to Newt. Now this might seem like a good idea but really was anyone wondering about this? Did anyone ever in the history of movie watching go "Well gee I liked Aliens but I find it sort of unrealistic that she would have the desire to protect that adorable little girl."

Boo to the Aliens Director Cut. Boo I say!
This is all true. HOWEVER!!!! DC has turret bots. So thats neat. The Quad versions of these movies have excellent special features. Alien 3 has all this stuff about Giger's aborted lady mouth alien design, and all the crazy talk about the 'wood planet' version of the movie that almost got made.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 07-05-2011, 07:05 PM
Ethan's Avatar
Ethan Ethan is offline
REFRIGERATOR STAY EMPTY
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Seattle, apparently
Posts: 3,271
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArugulaZ View Post
the special effects are ace for the time. Ridley kept the alien in the shadows to ratchet up the suspense and hide the limitations of 1970s movie technology, but Cameron goes balls out with everything he can muster, and the results are incredibly satisfying.
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.
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 07-05-2011, 07:16 PM
Mr. Sensible's Avatar
Mr. Sensible Mr. Sensible is offline
Spear of Justice
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: VA/TN
Posts: 4,915
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Squid Brand View Post
you just think, "oh, I see they saved their bodysuit budget and just hired xenomorph actors".
Well, they would have hired those xenomorphs if SAG hadn't gotten all uppity about it being non-union work. It's just too difficult to represent animal carcasses as payroll expenditures on a ledger sheet!
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 07-05-2011, 07:20 PM
ArugulaZ's Avatar
ArugulaZ ArugulaZ is online now
Just bear with me
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 12,307
Default

To say nothing of the human actors.
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 07-05-2011, 07:33 PM
Wolfgang's Avatar
Wolfgang Wolfgang is offline
borgn
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Fooboomagoo
Posts: 28,105
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Googleshng View Post
No... the reason everyone hates 3 is that...
And what follows is why it's pointless to try and talk about movies on TT. You want to come off as high-minded and sophisticated with a taste for the unconventional but what you really want to see is feelgood action flicks. Alien 3 undid everything from Aliens because it's a bleak story that doesn't particularly want you to feel good. It's an interesting (for its time) take on the summer blockbuster.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 07-05-2011, 07:37 PM
teg teg is offline
HP 50/150 █████▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒▒
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: the Tim Hortons Capital of Canada
Posts: 9,032
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfried View Post
That said why isn't the Anthology on DVD? I only see it on Blu-Ray and I'm not much of an HD guy so...
It came out years ago. It was a ten-disc set with the coolest special edition ever. The Blu-Ray set is just to get them on Blu-Ray.
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 07-05-2011, 07:38 PM
chud_666's Avatar
chud_666 chud_666 is online now
120 Days
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Salo
Posts: 7,981
Default

I think it was cool that 3 didnt just escalate the action to earth war like in the dark horse comics. It escalated the action in personal consequence to the character of Ripley. I know Fincher disowns the movie, but Ive always liked it as a happy accident. Awesome soundtrack as well.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 07-05-2011, 07:46 PM
Dizzy Dizzy is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 27,309
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang View Post
And what follows is why it's pointless to try and talk about movies on TT. You want to come off as high-minded and sophisticated with a taste for the unconventional but what you really want to see is feelgood action flicks. Alien 3 undid everything from Aliens because it's a bleak story that doesn't particularly want you to feel good. It's an interesting (for its time) take on the summer blockbuster.
This post needs more psychoanalysis of Alien 3.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 07-05-2011, 07:47 PM
Wolfgang's Avatar
Wolfgang Wolfgang is offline
borgn
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Fooboomagoo
Posts: 28,105
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by chud_666 View Post
I think it was cool that 3 didnt just escalate the action to earth war like in the dark horse comics. It escalated the action in personal consequence to the character of Ripley.
These aliens completely ruined her life. I love the subvertion the big, 'splodey Cameron movie, as fun as it is, with a gut punch right off the bat. This doesn't make it a "bad" movie by any stretch. I mean, I guess it does if you put too much emotional investment in the fictional characters and situations from the previous movie.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:00 PM
chud_666's Avatar
chud_666 chud_666 is online now
120 Days
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Salo
Posts: 7,981
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang View Post
These aliens completely ruined her life. I love the subvertion the big, 'splodey Cameron movie, as fun as it is, with a gut punch right off the bat. This doesn't make it a "bad" movie by any stretch. I mean, I guess it does if you put too much emotional investment in the fictional characters and situations from the previous movie.
Respect knux!
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:06 PM
Wolfgang's Avatar
Wolfgang Wolfgang is offline
borgn
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Fooboomagoo
Posts: 28,105
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by chud_666 View Post
Respect knux!
*dap*

If even one person agrees with me on this I can rest peacefully in the knowledge that the world isn't entirely full of villains.
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:18 PM
Karzac's Avatar
Karzac Karzac is offline
Dinger!
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 10,507
Default

I've never seen any of the Alien movies, but my uncle played Spunkmeyer in Aliens. So there's that.

I should really watch them sometime.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:23 PM
chud_666's Avatar
chud_666 chud_666 is online now
120 Days
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Salo
Posts: 7,981
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang View Post
*dap*

If even one person agrees with me on this I can rest peacefully in the knowledge that the world isn't entirely full of villains.
Not entirely.

Spunk-meyer??
Reply With Quote
  #48  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:24 PM
Karzac's Avatar
Karzac Karzac is offline
Dinger!
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 10,507
Default

One of the marine guys, I guess. I've never seen the movie.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:24 PM
KCar's Avatar
KCar KCar is offline
Goodbye!
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Vancougar, BC
Posts: 5,523
Default

I guess you could explain it by saying some people enjoy trolling from movies precisely as much as they enjoy trolling on the internet. I've never seen Alien 3.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:38 PM
Evil Dead Junkie's Avatar
Evil Dead Junkie Evil Dead Junkie is offline
Inscaper
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 7,039
Default

Quote:
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.
Reply With Quote
  #51  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:45 PM
Ethan's Avatar
Ethan Ethan is offline
REFRIGERATOR STAY EMPTY
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Seattle, apparently
Posts: 3,271
Default

Yeah, and I would argue The Terminator is either his most effective movie or second-most effective movie, and that was made on, like, 40 bucks from his wallet and some quarters from the couch. (In comparison, I mean.)
Reply With Quote
  #52  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:45 PM
Paul le Fou's Avatar
Paul le Fou Paul le Fou is offline
We just don't know.
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Seattle
Posts: 18,800
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang View Post
These aliens completely ruined her life. I love the subvertion the big, 'splodey Cameron movie, as fun as it is, with a gut punch right off the bat. This doesn't make it a "bad" movie by any stretch. I mean, I guess it does if you put too much emotional investment in the fictional characters and situations from the previous movie.
Everything you're saying about Alien 3 can be completely true, and I'm inclined to agree with you about most of it. But just like they don't make it a "bad" movie by any stretch they also don't nearly make it a "good" one.

You accuse people who don't like 3 of just wanting feelgood action flicks, but that doesn't make sense with all the love that the original Alien has also been getting. I think it's a better movie than the second (but the second is more fun because, surprise, they're different kinds of movies!).

But I still don't like Alien 3 that much, because it's just not that good a movie. The writing is mediocre, the story is kind of pointless, it feels too much like a rehash of what we've seen before, the characters aren't sympathetic or interesting, etc. I don't hate Alien 3, I thought it was OK. But it has plenty of failings beyond its dissimilarity to Aliens. It's not a good movie entirely on its own terms.

Also I can't believe that you're saying that emotional investment in the characters of a story is somehow not a desirable goal. That is stupid. It is a stupid thing to say. Someone who would say it is probably stupid, and most likely just never learned to engage with characters or stories beyond the level of a kid watching sesame str- oh trollface.jpg
Reply With Quote
  #53  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:52 PM
Ethan's Avatar
Ethan Ethan is offline
REFRIGERATOR STAY EMPTY
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Seattle, apparently
Posts: 3,271
Default

Alien 3 has problems, but I didn't think killing the Aliens characters was one of them. I don't remember how it plays out in the theatrical cut, but the "Workprint" is fresh in my head, and the first 5 minutes kind of sent a chill up and down my spine. I like that you see the whole disaster play out in those isolated moments, intercut with the credits. And the autopsy scene is pretty hard-hitting as well. Like I said in the original post, I thought it was an awesome movie until the plot became over-encumbered and she started having to explain it to the other characters.
Reply With Quote
  #54  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:55 PM
Dizzy Dizzy is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 27,309
Default

Titanic was probably Cameron's second most expensive movie, and that was a damn good movie.
Reply With Quote
  #55  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:58 PM
Ethan's Avatar
Ethan Ethan is offline
REFRIGERATOR STAY EMPTY
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Seattle, apparently
Posts: 3,271
Default

I thought Titanic was incredible when I first saw it in the theater at age 14, but I haven't had the desire to see it since, and every time I see scenes from it they seem overwrought and boring.
Reply With Quote
  #56  
Old 07-05-2011, 08:58 PM
Sir Sly Ry's Avatar
Sir Sly Ry Sir Sly Ry is offline
l AM THE MANFIGHTER
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Endless Mountains, PA
Posts: 7,180
Default

Titanic would have been good were it not for the story and the characters.

I really need to see Alien 3 again. Just to see if I like it. It's been so very long.
Reply With Quote
  #57  
Old 07-05-2011, 09:13 PM
Zef's Avatar
Zef Zef is online now
Find Your Reason
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: The Vortex World
Posts: 28,315
Default

Alien is the best visceral horror film in history.

Aliens is the best action movie ever made.

Titanic has the potential to be good but it's too melodramatic and suffered a massive backlash due to overzealous hype.

Avatar is full of plot holes and its major contribution to film presentation --its lavishly-rendered CG cutscenes-- was already enjoyed regularly by fans of console RPGs ten years ago.

Aliens Vs. Predator had an Aztec culture living in the Antarctic jungle and that's all I have... to...

Wait, something got away from me here.
Reply With Quote
  #58  
Old 07-05-2011, 09:18 PM
Wolfgang's Avatar
Wolfgang Wolfgang is offline
borgn
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Fooboomagoo
Posts: 28,105
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul le Fou View Post
Also I can't believe that you're saying that emotional investment in the characters of a story is somehow not a desirable goal.
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.
Reply With Quote
  #59  
Old 07-05-2011, 11:18 PM
ShakeWell's Avatar
ShakeWell ShakeWell is offline
Slammaster
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Our Nation's Capital
Posts: 5,999
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evil Dead Junkie View Post
Boo to the Aliens Director Cut. Boo I say!
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.
Reply With Quote
  #60  
Old 07-06-2011, 12:08 AM
Googleshng's Avatar
Googleshng Googleshng is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: CT
Posts: 15,708
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang View Post
And what follows is why it's pointless to try and talk about movies on TT. You want to come off as high-minded and sophisticated with a taste for the unconventional but what you really want to see is feelgood action flicks.
... How the heck are you getting any of that from what I said there, and what relevance would it have if it were true?

Anyway, I do need to backpedal a little here since I could have sworn they went and said "Oh yeah, and it turns out Newt was face-hugger-pregnant the whole time" but double checking, oh yeah. She was just killed in a random arbitrary crash, and we're keeping things going by saying that oh yeah, turns out there were 2 facehuggers that somehow got onto the ship, one just kinda hanging out, one breaking into a cryogenic chamber, the other... ignoring the other two and hanging out until it can sneak off to go find a dog to knock up... which somehow develops like a day sooner than the one that had a head start of however long. Which is still stupid, but doesn't have as big a plot hole as what I could have sworn the deal was.

Anyway though, my point there was, I'm totally cool with making a scaled back darker sequel with a downer ending. That's totally something you can do, and is called for in this sort of situation even. Killing off everyone from the previous movie off camera though isn't telling a new darker story, it's retroactively changing the ending of the previous movie to one which totally doesn't work for it. Imagine the end of the second movie, big fun industrial power armor vs. monster fight, all that. Everyone goes into cryo, and then... the ship crashes and everyone dies anyway. That'd tick you off, because that ending doesn't work with that movie thematically (and because it's just kind of stupid really).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfgang View Post
Alien 3 undid everything from Aliens because it's a bleak story that doesn't particularly want you to feel good. It's an interesting (for its time) take on the summer blockbuster.
I'd also argue against this being the reasoning. It'd work better to reintroduce these people and then kill them off, if that's what we were going for. It seems to me more like the scriptwriter just wanted to get these extra characters out of the way as quickly as possible, due to not having any idea what to do with them. Really, the whole movie feels like something that was written as a sequel to the original, with very little effort put into tweaking it to follow Aliens instead. Which... I guess may have been the case with one or two of the scripts that were cannibalized to throw it all together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zef View Post
Alien is the best visceral horror film in history.
Hey now.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
alien , aliens , game over man , movies , quadrilogy , rise from your grave! , science fiction

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:51 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Your posts ©you, 2007