Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Movie Reviews: Sigourney Weaver Edition

Three more movies are under my belt in my movie viewing project.  The last couple of days, I have tackled Alien, Aliens, and Alien 3.  There are definitely worse movies to have to sit down and see. 

Movie #4 - Alien
What more needs to be said about this sci-fi horror classic that hasn't been said before?  I am a HUGE fan of the Alien franchise, especially the first two films.  As this movie came out when I was only a year old, I wish I could pinpoint when I first saw this movie, but I know it had to have been at an early age.  Despite this, I don't remember ever being afraid while watching this film.  I can totally see why it does creep some people out, but I was never affected by it.  Instead, I just sit back and enjoy the film. 

It really is a brilliant film.  It has horror qualities, but it doesn't follow the horror structure that many people might be used to.  Hell, we don't even see the actual Alien until halfway through the movie and even then, we barely see him.  What we get in the first hour is a slow build up that sets the claustrophobic tone of the film.  You feel like something dire can happen at any moment, but tease after tease almost sets you at ease before things really get out of hand.  By now, everyone knows about the chest burster scene, but can you imagine seeing that for the first time and not knowing what would happen?  I would love to be able to experience that for the first time again.  Hell, not even the actors knew the full details of what would happen in that scene when they filmed it and that is why you really get some genuine looks of fear and disgust when you watch that movie.  As the scene was filmed in just one take, you really are seeing the full surprise of the actors. 

I have a hard time believing that a movie like this could be made nowadays.  Today's horror films often feel the need to show too much too fast and the slow build up would probably not be too popular.  And let's not forget that the film cast a bunch of adults in the film.  They make this movie now, the alien would be picking off teens or very young adults one by one over the course of 90 minutes.  It really is a unique and special film.  I give it 4.5 out of 5 cheeseburgers. 

Movie #5 - Aliens
It's Sci-Fi action, but I consider this one of the top 2 action films of all time.  You really have to hand it James Cameron for not messing this movie up.  Ridley Scott's Alien was such a suspenseful, slow moving (but awesome) thriller and to turn around and make the sequel an action film took some guts.  But it worked.  And it worked well. 

Now, despite me considering it one the top 2 action films of all time, there really isn't any action nor do we really even see the aliens until an hour into the film, much like the first film.  The first hour is necessary to the whole plot though, and really does a good job of making us like all of the characters.  And that is one of the main reasons why the movie is so enjoyable - the characters in this film are so fun.  And with these great characters comes great lines.  Just say one line from the movie around people and you'll instantly be flooded with many more memorable quotes.  It has to be one of the most quotable movies out there. 

And once the action starts, it is almost nonstop save for a few scenes.  And despite not being in a closed area like the first film and despite there being Marines with guns, the situation still fears just as dire as the first film.  A special nod to Sigourney Weaver for being so excellent in the role of Ripley that she was nominated for an Academy Award and to James Horner who also garnered an Academy Award nomination for his amazingly memorable score.  I can watch this movie over and over and despite Alien being a classic, I prefer this film because it combines everything I would want in a movie - action, suspense, humor, horror, and drama.  It really is a perfect movie.  5 out of 5 cheeseburgers!

Movie Review #6 - Alien 3
The Alien franchise could have ended after the first two films and I would have been happy.  Sure, I would have craved more films, but at least it could have ended on a high note and had no other films come along to tarnish the legacy of two great films.  Alien 3 doesn't necessarily tarnish the legacy, but it does start the downward spiral.

It really isn't even that bad of a film and I quite enjoy it but after two spectacular films, this was a step down.  I am sure that the main reason for this issue has to be with the developmental hell that this film went through prior to its release.  The storyline and script changed numerous times.  At one point, the film was going to be set on Earth.  At another point, the film wasn't even going to focus on Ripley but instead focus on Bishop and Hicks from Aliens and allegedly, this script is far superior to the one that was finally used.  Different directors came on and then left before David Fincher finally came aboard.  And after the film, he was at such odds with the studio, he was often not talking to them and editing went on for over a year.  This film was almost doomed from the beginning with all these issues and despite this, they were able to come up with a coherent storyline that stays fairly loyal to the story from the first two films.  The tone is much more similar to the first film than the second, but something about it has always seemed a little off to me.  It's a bit...preachy?  I don't know, when I watch the film, I do enjoy it, but if it didn't exist, I also wouldn't complain.  But it did get made and I am actually quite happy with how it ended.  It was a great ending and that last lines are absolutely perfect.  This is something they got totally right.  If only they had stopped there.  3 out of 5 cheeseburgers.


laura b. said...

Somehow...somehow...I have not seen any of the Alien movies. *ducks* I don't know how it happened! Sounds like I have made a large, but fixable mistake.

Nani said...

Exactly! :-) Hugs, Nani

Miss Sassy Pants said...

I don't think Bill Paxton's character in Aliens - or any other movie he's in, for that matter - is likeable at all. Worst. Actor. EVER.

Tara said...

I must've first watched "Alien" when I was a kid, and the chest-burster scene was carved into my memory. I remembered being scared when the guy started to choke and then when the alien started to make its grand entrance on the dinner table. However, I didn't realize that "Aliens" was a sequel until the scene where Ripley tries to tell the marines about the alien bursting out.

I didn't know that the actors weren't fully aware of what was going to happen! That's interesting!

Wasn't crazy about "Alien 3", but I actually liked "Alien: Resurrection". It had some weird, memorable quotes, and I liked that Ripley (or her clone) was back.

Mom said...

It has been so long since I have seen any of these movies. I love your reviews because it definitely makes me want to see them again. I love the little snipets of information you give us as well. Great review. Love that you went to the cheeseburger rating!