This will be the last of the in-flight movie reviews...
While I was on vacation in May H.R Giger passed away. It seemed like a strange coincidence that the flight included Alien and Aliens in their original, uncut, theatrical release versions. How I just felt like watching these at that time, I don't know. It was certainly timely.
The crew of the Nostromo is wiped out by an alien that they unwittingly brought aboard their vessel after responding to a distress call.
After the wild success of STAR WARS in 1977, the movie studios were all trying to cash in on the recent sci-fi craze. Director Ridley Scott decided to bring the vile artwork of H.R. Giger to life in a movie about this thing of nightmares. He wanted to create JAWS in space. He succeeded.
ALIEN is one of those science fiction classics that will be a yardstick by which similar films would be compared to for ages to come. The suspense. The fear. The ill-feeling of foreboding. While the movie is nearly two hours long, you're waiting for something, ANYTHING to happen. Scott cleverly put the clues regarding what will unfold later on right from the beginning. The Space Jockey with the chest cavity burst outwards was not a throw-away scene.
The special effects were largely flawless. This movie was beyond original for the time period. The grittiness of the ship was perfect. The casting was dead-on.
When ALIEN came out in 1979, I was only 8. There was no chance that I was getting in to see it in the theater as it was rated R. Years later, it came to television. I was still young and recall being horrified by the monster. I already knew what it looked like. My brother had a toy of the vicious looking beast. I just didn't want to see what damage it was capable of. Fast forward a couple decades and I'm sitting on an Airbus A330 analyzing the flick. One of the first things I noticed was that while the effects of the space ship traveling, the landing on the planet, the creature effects, these were all outstanding. So it struck me as odd when they had the awful piped in explosions sounds from every movie when the craft landed hard. In fact, everything about that scene just didn't line up with the expertise shown in the rest of the movie. The Christmas tree lights used in the control panels, the lame showers of sparks spraying down all over. Then they leave the ship and the derelict ship was awesome. The Space jockey and the egg room, outstanding. The other poorly seamed scene was when they re-animated the android's head. Couldn't they cut to a different view, maybe the crew looking at each-other THEN go back to the head, but now it's Ian Holm instead of the prop? I suppose hindsight is 20/20.
By large, I'd say the movie holds up well to time. Even the clothes don't seem out of place. Who knows what people will wear on a deep space freighter? Okay, I'm fine will all that. ALIEN, still terrifying after 35 years.
Ripley returns to the planet from the first movie, LRV-426, with a team of Colonial Marines to investigate why the colony there has broken contact.
After his success with TERMINATOR, James Cameron brought us a sequel to the original movie ALIEN. It's some 70 years since we last saw the only survivor of the Nostromo, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver). She was rescued from the escape shuttle Narcissis. The company is not pleased with her account of how the ship and ore had been lost. Hell, they already had a mining colony on that piece of rock and there were no reports of hideous chest-bursting monsters killing everyone. They were thinking in terms of dollars and cents and a result ended up punishing her by demoting Ripley to a loading bay job.
Then Ripley was contacted. Communications with LRV-426 had been severed. They needed to deploy soldiers to the scene, and thought it would be best to have her along as an adviser if one of her creepy crawlies was, in fact, the culprit.
The Colonial Marines are a small group of well trained colorful soldiers. No matter how well trained you might be, when you're heavily outnumbered by aliens bent on killing you, there's little hope.
Many consider ALIENS to be the best installment in the franchise. I tend to prefer the original just because it was the vision that gave birth to a million nightmares. That doesn't mean that I don't love ALIENS. It's mostly brilliant.
They wanted to leave the planet and nuke the colony from orbit to be sure the Aliens wouldn't get away. Then the team noticed that the plant's nuclear core was going to do that whether they liked it or not, sooner than later. Of course the child, the sole survivor of the colony, that they find is grabbed by the Aliens. Ripley decides to go back for HER (in the beginning she told them not to go back for the soldiers grabbed by the Aliens) and decided to face off with the Queen Alien.
This scene was supposed to show what a bad-ass Ripley had become because of these monsters. The two bitches go toe-to-toe. But logically, if she grabbed the girl and ran off, the exploding core would finish off the Aliens and life would be fine. I suppose they wanted a device to add an extra ten minutes to the movie, but it seemed plain dumb. Visually it was great, and fun to watch, but logically it was stupid move on Ripley's part. She risked the life of the child she went back to save, as well as her own.
Great special effects. Great cast. Still a lot of fun to watch and still holds up to the passing of time.