Jump to content
rllmuk
Sign in to follow this  
kempstar

The Alien films

Recommended Posts

The special edition of Alien 3 seemed to be much better, though I've not seen either version many times. I love the bit where they find the dead uber-facehugger. I think there are some really atmospheric shots of outdoor shots added in as well (perhaps one where Clemens goes outside?). I must admit I didn't notice a drop in audio/video quality, but then that kind of thing doesn't really bother me.

I really must watch Alien and Alien 3 again!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Really? So, you watched the theatrical cut thinking to yourself “Hmmm… why is Ripley so dedicated to taking care of Newt? Why doesn’t she just chuck her down an air vent and get the fuck out of Dodge? It makes no sense!”. And then the Special Edition came out, and a lightbulb suddenly appeared above your head after the scene with her dead daughter.

I mean, I’m being facetious, but isn’t it obvious from the theatrical cut that Ripley has taken Newt in as a surrogate daughter, and that the showdown at the end between her and the Queen is two mothers protecting their offspring? I don’t think the SE adds anything to this, apart from spelling out explicitly something that was very effectively implied in the original film.

Anyway, I prefer the original release of Aliens; by and large, a short film is a good film, and the SE adds nothing that isn’t mostly redundant.

You are being facetious. It's a fair point: although it's obvious that Ripley has taken Newt in (which isn't the point he made), the weight of her daughter being dead by the time she's woken adds so much extra weight. Her just being a woman and therefore motherly is in some respects fairly prejudicial and lazy (what's to say one of the Marines couldn't be fatherly?) so it's nice to have the background to the relationship. I also think it adds an extra dimension to Ripley's character in terms of desperation: she has nothing to lose until she finds Newt. I love the scene with Burke and Gorman visiting her in that tiny apartment.

I like the SE cut but the Theatrical cut is better in one respect for me: the loss of the colony scene. Next time I watch it I think I'll just skip to the laser scene.

SE of Alien 3 was really good, I thought, showed a lot of its potential. Still holds up really well visually for me, a very interesting film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The thing is with the theatrical version of Aliens is that it is a far 'tighter' film - better pacing. It tells you everything that you need to know without spelling it out for you, which the special edition does in 1 or 2 occasions - the scene with 'there must be something else...a queen' for example is just not need what so ever as is every scene section the Colonists - the film isn't about them, really, they are just a means to an end. There is nothing to make me even care about them.

And that is why the theatrical version is the best. Thank you and goodnight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to say that the Director's Cut of the first film is rubbish. It actually shows the Alien hanging above Brett before it kills him, and there's an embarrassing bitch-fight between Lambert and Ripley just after they bring Hurt on board. The cocoon sequence is interesting, but just slows the film down.

The original was perfect anyway, so this really was just tinkering for the sake of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I don't like the DC of the original film at all. Theatrical one's miles better.

re: 'something like a queen'. Well, I kinda like that. Hudson's portrayed as the goof-off dumb one but it's a valid suggestion that gets shot down for being technically incorrect. I like it, and on first playing I'm not convinced you'd pick it up. Some things only become laboured because you know how it ends.

Edit: as I pointed out about the Japanese version of The Ring, there's the TV interview and one of the school girls says "they say she comes out of the TV" or similar. Yet everybody who says it's the finest incarnation and the US one is shit etc. never seemed to notice. I did, however, because I saw the US one first. *shrug*

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't realise the queen conjecture wasn't in the theatrical cut. So many good lines missing!

"...something we haven't seen yet."

"These things ain't ants, man"

"B gun down 50 per cent!"

"Next time they walk right up and knock." "Yeah, but they don't know that."

"Sonic electronic ball-breakers!"

I can't imagine watching Aliens without these scenes, but then again the SE is the first version I saw.

I can see the point about the colony scene taking away some of the spookiness, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You are being facetious. It's a fair point: although it's obvious that Ripley has taken Newt in (which isn't the point he made), the weight of her daughter being dead by the time she's woken adds so much extra weight. Her just being a woman and therefore motherly is in some respects fairly prejudicial and lazy so it's nice to have the background to the relationship. (what's to say one of the Marines couldn't be fatherly?)

Nothing, except that’s not what happens in the film. In the film, Ripley, a woman, takes charge of a child whose parents are dead and has a fight with an alien (of no specific gender, but lays eggs and is referred to as a “Queen”, so not unreasonably can be considered as female) over the fates of their respective offspring. I don’t think it’s prejudicial or lazy to make that comparison. Ripley acts as a parent to Newt; Ripley is female; a female parent is a mother; Ripley is acting in a motherly fashion towards Newt. I think it’s redundant to have Ripley explicitly have lost a child, the themes come across perfectly well without that information – the ‘mothers protecting their children at any cost’ theme is explicit.

And yeah, there’s no reason why they couldn’t have rewritten the script so that Hicks becomes Newt’s surrogate father, and fights the alien King (complete with swinging chitinous balls and ichor-dripping two-jawed willy), but in that instance I think it would have been unnecessary to have Hicks tearfully relate the story of his son Billy, who tragically stepped into an enormous catapult and was launched into a combine harvester at distressing speed.

  • Upvote 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
re: 'something like a queen'. Well, I kinda like that. Hudson's portrayed as the goof-off dumb one but it's a valid suggestion that gets shot down for being technically incorrect. I like it, and on first playing I'm not convinced you'd pick it up. Some things only become laboured because you know how it ends.

Good point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Nothing, except that’s not what happens in the film. In the film, Ripley, a woman, takes charge of a child whose parents are dead and has a fight with an alien (of no specific gender, but lays eggs and is referred to as a “Queen”, so not unreasonably can be considered as female) over the fates of their respective offspring. I don’t think it’s prejudicial or lazy to make that comparison. Ripley acts as a parent to Newt; Ripley is female; a female parent is a mother; Ripley is acting in a motherly fashion towards Newt. I think it’s redundant to have Ripley explicitly have lost a child, the themes come across perfectly well without that information – the ‘mothers protecting their children at any cost’ theme is explicit.

Yes, but i've already explained how you don't need the theme to explain the behaviour, and also that the themes are only strengthened by Ripley having a daughter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And yeah, there’s no reason why they couldn’t have rewritten the script so that Hicks becomes Newt’s surrogate father, and fights the alien King (complete with swinging chitinous balls and ichor-dripping two-jawed willy), but in that instance I think it would have been unnecessary to have Hicks tearfully relate the story of his son Billy, who tragically stepped into an enormous catapult and was launched into a combine harvester at distressing speed.

Again, faecitious. The female/mother theme is present there, but Ripley could be male and it could work almost exactly the same, but parents protecting children. The sex is unimportant, surely?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Again, faecitious. The female/mother theme is present there, but Ripley could be male and it could work almost exactly the same, but parents protecting children. The sex is unimportant, surely?

Well, yes. That’s what I said. If my grandmother had balls, she’d be my grandfather – the sex of the grandparent is unimportant. The thing is, my grandmother doesn’t have balls, and neither does Ripley in the film Aliens, which is what we’re discussing, right?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, yes. That’s what I said. If my grandmother had balls, she’d be my grandfather – the sex of the grandparent is unimportant. The thing is, my grandmother doesn’t have balls, and neither does Ripley in the film Aliens, which is what we’re discussing, right?

Yes.

Sorry, my point is that you can read into the narrative and come up with the themes of daughter/mother, and that's fine, but it is underscored and given personal emotional impact in Ripley's example with her having a dead daughter.

It's resonant in the theatrical but even more resonant in the SE.

Also, as I said, it doesn't just feed into that, it gives the fact that Ripley has been away for 50 years some real impact and consequence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If you didn't know it was the same planet from the original with the crashed alien ship, you must've severely misjudged a teabreak somewhere near the start.

:) It has been a while but I thought the purpose of this scene was to to reiterate this point & how the colonists got infected

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
:) It has been a while but I thought the purpose of this scene was to to reiterate this point & how the colonists got infected

Also doesn't it reinforce the idea that the Company deliberately sent someone out to the ship, thus adding gravitas to the Burke betrayal?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also doesn't it reinforce the idea that the Company deliberately sent someone out to the ship, thus adding gravitas to the Burke betrayal?

Ripley finds out later by looking at the logs that it was Burke that sent them out to look for the ship, so that bit at the start really isn't needed. If anything, it gives away that the company was behind it, too early.

One thing that has always really bothered me about the film is that after all that time living on that planet(plus all the time it took to build the atmosphere processor), they never onced noticed the MASSIVE crashed alien ship within driving distance of the compound.

It's a bit silly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of all the DCs, I've only seen that of Aliens (although I've seen the extra added bits from Alien on their own), and I'm in the camp that prefers the theatrical cut. It seemed perfectly complete the first two or three times I saw it, and when the DC came out and I saw that I felt the extra sequences did little but interrupt the pace of the film and add unnecessary emphasis (in the case of the dead child backstory) or even distraction (in the case of the colonists). The sentry guns scene itself is fine in isolation, but the film moves better without it.

If I ever get to watch it again, it'll be the theatrical cut every time. I'm glad I saw the extended version and some of the extra sequences aren't without interest, but I think it's the worse film overall.

There are a couple of great scenes added to Alien in the DC, although I couldn't believe 'What are my chances' scene was removed - one of my favourites, that.

Do what? That's one of the most memorable moments in the film.

And yeah, there’s no reason why they couldn’t have rewritten the script so that Hicks becomes Newt’s surrogate father, and fights the alien King (complete with swinging chitinous balls and ichor-dripping two-jawed willy), but in that instance I think it would have been unnecessary to have Hicks tearfully relate the story of his son Billy, who tragically stepped into an enormous catapult and was launched into a combine harvester at distressing speed.

:)

I really must make a long overdue appointment with the DC of Alien 3, judging from what many say the re-added stuff does for the film. I'm one of those oddballs who saw a lot to like in the theatrical release (clearly flawed though it was, at least it killed off Newt and that fucking dozy love interest straight off the bat), and if this fixes some of its problems then I'll be a happy man. For an hour or two.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Also doesn't it reinforce the idea that the Company deliberately sent someone out to the ship, thus adding gravitas to the Burke betrayal?

I don't see how it adds gravitas, or weight, or resonance, at all. It just overcooks the point by adding unnecessary emphasis, a point which was hardly subtly made or difficult to see in the first place.

I wonder if anyone who'd seen the film a few times around the time it came out, and couldn't, therefore, have seen the DC until a good few years afterwards, really thinks the extra stuff added anything to their understanding or appreciation of the film. I mean, me and some friends looked forward to and enjoyed the extras in that way that people intimately familiar with a film often do, but I'm pretty sure we all concluded that the original worked better on just about every level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I wonder if anyone who'd seen the film a few times around the time it came out, and couldn't, therefore, have seen the DC until a good few years afterwards, really thinks the extra stuff added anything to their understanding or appreciation of the film. I mean, me and some friends looked forward to and enjoyed the extras in that way that people intimately familiar with a film often do, but I'm pretty sure we all concluded that the original worked better on just about every level.

I reckon this is true. In general you tend to prefer what you grew up with. Even things like the "Give me life, father" line in the new Blade Runner cut jars because it is different to the line I'd heard the previous ten times I'd watched it, whether or not it is better or worse.

When I first saw the T2 Director's Cut, I thought most of the additions were pointless. I do like the bit where they take the CPU out of Arnie's head now, though, as it adds a nice bit of extra detail to how Skynet operates, and that scene has some great effects work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
When I first saw the T2 Director's Cut, I thought most of the additions were pointless. I do like the bit where they take the CPU out of Arnie's head now, though, as it adds a nice bit of extra detail to how Skynet operates, and that scene has some great effects work.

Again though, the film works perfectly well without it. Terminator 2 is probably the most well-paced film I’ve ever watched; every single setpiece flows smoothly into the next like a T1000 slithering into the cockpit of a helicopter. Every scene serves to move the story along, and the brain-surgery sequence is just surplus to requirements – it seems a shame to unseat the perfect flow of the film, despite it being an interesting, cleverly-shot scene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was under the impression that the Special Edition was Cameron's original preferred version of Aliens, but he was told to shorten it so that cinemas could cram in more screenings a day. This was before multiplexes, where cinemas now prefer longer films, as they're more of an opportunity to sell drinks and sweets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
the brain-surgery sequence is just surplus to requirements – it seems a shame to unseat the perfect flow of the film, despite it being an interesting, cleverly-shot scene.

I love that scene. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The director's preferred vision isn't always the best choice, though. For example, I'd much rather see Kill Bill as a single film, and I'm sure the shorter Death Proof as it first appeared in the States would be better than the indulgent version we got.

T2 and Aliens are two of my favourite films, so I'm bound to prefer the longest versions, because it just means I get to see more. If there was a four hour cut of Aliens it would probably be my preferred version.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The director's preferred vision isn't always the best choice, though. For example, I'd much rather see Kill Bill as a single film, and I'm sure the shorter Death Proof as it first appeared in the States would be better than the indulgent version we got.
I seemed to be in the minority when the Lord of the Rings extended editions were released because I still preferred the theatrical cuts. There were some additions I appreciated, but for the most part I agreed with the commentaries' descriptions of why they were originally left out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. Use of this website is subject to our Privacy Policy, Terms of Use, and Guidelines.