The Vern Vs The Alien Quadrilogy: Part 2

alien_3As stated before in my last post.  “Alien” and “Aliens” are sci-fi masterpieces.  You can watch them both together or you can watch them both separately and you will still have a very fun experience.  In my opinion I really can’t watch one without seeing the other but I can respect that many of you out there  may prefer one over the other, and that is cool.  I have mixed feelings about the next two entries in the franchise.  I am glad that they were made, but I wished they put a little more time and effort into the actual stories and the characters.  Because the outcome may have been just as enjoyable as the first two.

 

Alien 3

Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Charles S. Dutton, Charles Dance

Writers: Walter Hill, David Giler,Lance Ferguson,Vincent Ward

Director: David Fincher

Alien_three_ver1_xlgSpoiler Warning!!!!

It seems kind of redundant to even put a spoiler warning on here. But I really can’t talk about this movie without revealing any plot points about it.   Plus this event happens during the first five minutes of the movie so it’s kind of hard to ignore.

At the end of “Aliens” after Ripley blew the Queen out of the airlock.  She puts both Hicks and Newt  in those sleep chambers and the girl asks if she can dream again.  To which Ripley replies that they all should now.  We see the ship fly off into the distance and it was a real satisfying ending to not only that picture but the one before it too.  For the start of this movie we get really quick cuts that there was another Alien creature on board.  That other being sabotages the ships and kills both Newt and Hicks. DAMN IT.  I’m not saying that these characters can’t be killed off, but seeing them done off screen felt like really lazy screen writing for me.  These were major characters and to see their deaths displayed as little text displays on the screen felt like a major insult to me.  So already this was not looking good.

The ship lands on this planet that is occupied by a prison.  A very small one I should note, and not one with a lot of criminals either.  You would think that a planet dedicated to holding all of the killers, rapists, and various criminals in the world there would be more of a population, but not in this one.  With Ripley being the only women, it makes the men nervous because many of them have become god fearing and have taken a vow of celibacy.  The only man she doesn’t make nervous is the inmate doctor Jonathan Clemens(Charles Dance).   They start up a little romance, but there is no time for much love Doctor Jones.  Another Alien has been spotted and it’s killing the criminals.  Hey what the hell are my hard earned tax dollars doing killing hardened criminals if aliens from outer space will do it for free.  Ripley also discovers later on that the alien creature that killed both Newt and Hicks also impregnated her with another baby fetus.  Talk about pouring salt into an open wound situation. Hey I just killed your friends, and now I’m going to rape you while you sleep and give you my child.  Geeze those aliens are real assholes. The rest of the movie is spent with the remaining survivors trying to trap the creature so that they can destroy it.  Lesser characters are killed of one by one until only Ripley and maybe one other person is left to kill the beast.  Come to think of it,I really can’t remember if there was a big battle between the alien and her at the end of this.  I’m pretty sure there was but it’s not as memorable as the first two.

 

Alien 3” is best known for being director David Fincher’s debut film.  Although he wishes that it was never made.  He was mainly brought in as a last minute replacement and despite the many changes that had to be made.  He tried his best at making at least a decent picture. The look of it has some of his visual trademarks and it would have been interesting to see what would happened if he actually did cared about the project. in 2003 an assembly cut was released that added in 30 minutes of footage to the material.  This was not a director’s cut and Fincher has pretty much wiped his hands clean of the whole thing.  The extra material did nothing to strengthening the story and for the most part made it feel a lot longer then the theatrical version.  The only thing that was cool about this feature was the POV shots of the alien chasing people through the ducts and having them turn upside down and all around to chase them.   That and the image used as the header for this post.

 

There was one story idea about having the third one focus mainly on Corporal Hicks and not having Ripley show up until the very end.  This wasn’t a bad idea because it could have helped open this world up a little more.  We already know Ripley from the first two movies.  Let’s learn about these other characters in this universe.  The corporation of Weyland-Yutan could have gave us a lot of good stories because I never knew if the whole business was corrupt or just certain people running it.   This third one was nothing more then a failed version of the first movie with no interesting characters and only a few cool visuals to keep your interest.  But hey at least the thing ends with Ripley dieing so there is no way that it can continue right… Right…  It does end here… Wait … What?…. There is a fourth movie.    Oh GOD DAMN IT.

 

Alien Resurrection

Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Ron Pearlman

Writer: Joss Whedon

Director Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Alien Resurrection 3

Many of you may be surprised to read this, but I actually enjoyed this fourth installment quite a bit.  The story itself was predictable and cliched in certain sections.  But at least the characters were better developed.  They certainly were more interesting then the inmates in the third one. At least there was more then just one alien and they were not the only villains involved in this story.

After our last adventure with Ripley, we already know that she has killed herself and the alien that was breeding inside of her.  Cut to millions of years later where she is being cloned for the sole purpose of breeding these aliens for scientific studies. Aboard a ship, a group of Mercenaries show up to help transport frozen kidnapped humans for the scientists.  But the other aliens inside the facility have escaped and the vessel is now on it’s way to earth. Both the clone of Ripley and the space jockeys must team up to stop these beings from reaching their destination.  Otherwise it will be a Final Dest……allright I’ll stop.

Despite this group of mercenaries being kind of the bad guys in this,(Trafficking humans for the sole purpose of breeding aliens is not a good thing) I kinda liked them.  They reminded me a bit of the crew of the Nostromo mixed in with the marine characters of both “Alien” and “Aliens”  It also felt like they were test characters for Joss Whedon’s other sci-fi property “Firefly“. The only slightly weak element was Winona Ryder as Call.  Mainly after she was discovered to be an Android.  In the other movies all of the androids act and behave in a particular robotic nature. But Call just acts like a normal girl.  Anyone could have been revealed as a robot and it would have made no real difference.

Alien Resurrection” was directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet right after he made “City of Lost Children” and before he made “Amelie“.  It was his only movie made by an American studio for an English speaking audience to date.  During production he did not speak a word and used his long time cast member Dominque Pinion and cinematographer Darius Khondji to help translate. The result is one that is mainly rich in visuals and it does stand out from the others in the franchise.  The story becomes nothing more then a point A to point B journey but for the most part the characters make it appear not as dull as one would expect. I even liked the Clone of Ripley because she wasn’t this tortured soul anymore.  She could be a little conniving and I liked that you never knew whose side she was really on.  I do wonder if audiences would have like this better if the character of Ripley wasn’t cloned and instead.  You had this story focus on just the group of mercenaries.  This would have been a good movie to put Corporal Hicks in as the lead or hell put Newt in there while you’re at it.  I’m sorry for keep bringing that up, but that was really careless of the screenwriters to do for that third movie.

I stand by my statement that I am not upset that these got made.  I like the charter of Ripley and it was exciting seeing more adventures with her.   I just wished that there were more on par with the first two.  I almost consider these to be stories to be more like dreams.  When Ripley tells Newt that they can all dream now.  Maybe the events in these were just that.  Dreams.   I’m going to stand  by my statement that the series ends perfectly with the second one and that everything else was just a dream in Ripley’s mind.  I may be wrong but it’s how Im choosing to remember this.

Alien 3img_0846 

 

Alien Resurrection

 8442&v=fit512I want to note that I’m having some computer issues right now and I apologize if I don’t respond back to comments right away.  I hopefully will have this issue fixed soon.  Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

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About The Vern

I love movies and I enjoy writing about them too. They both go pretty much hand in hand with each other and it's fun to discover new classics. I co host the podcast The Film Pasture and As You Watch. While also contributing reviews and articles to other great sites when I can.
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8 Responses to The Vern Vs The Alien Quadrilogy: Part 2

  1. nicholasjobe says:

    I’m with you–Alien 4 is much more entertaining than Alien 3. I *hate* Alien 3, particularly that Assembly Cut. The whole movie is pretty awful.

  2. ninvoid99 says:

    I liked Alien: Resurrection despite its flaws where at least it tried to be something worth watching and had a cool ensemble to work with. Alien 3 sucked and I hated the fact that Hicks and Newt got killed off in the beginning of the film.

  3. The Vern says:

    Thank you for the comments Gentlemen. Yeah Alien 3 was a disappointment. Why the hell would you kill those characters off. Newt could have gone on to helm her own pictures

    • ninvoid99 says:

      If I was helming Alien 3. I would have Ripley and Hicks be the leads as they not only fight the aliens but also the corporation that were stupid enough to bring alien eggs in hope to create weapons and end up causing trouble. I would have Newt be placed on Earth to be with family just so she can be safe and have Ripley and Hicks have someone to go home to.

  4. 70srichard says:

    Alien 3 just destroys the movie before it, because they needed a new film right damn now.! I hated it, and it does not exist in this domo. Alien 4, better but that is not saying much.

  5. The Vern says:

    You make a good point Steven about having Hicks and Ripley being a team and leaving Newt on Earth. I would have still loved to see a movie where an older Newt fought off the Alien.

    70’s Richard: I will agree that Alien 4 is better then 3 but it’s not really saying much compared to the first two. I still enjoyed it. Thanks for the comments

  6. Chris says:

    I liked the comedy moments in Alien 4. Alien 3 is almost entirely forgotten, though the ending stayed with me.
    3 and 4 are weaker than 1 and 2, no doubt.

  7. The Vern says:

    I too liked there were more lighter moments in number 4. If you do watch Alien 3 don’t watch the assembly cut edition It’s way too long. Thanks for the comment Chris

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