Thursday, October 22, 2009

Alien 3

(1991) ** 1/2

The film starts, and we find out all the survivors from Aliens: the little girl, Hicks the marine, and the synthetic android, are dead. WTF!!!
Picture inserted for Jordan's entertainment
Watching these films back to back, one really gets hit by how obscene it is to take some very strong characters from the second film, that they spent most of the second film trying to save, and just suddenly kill them off. James Cameron apparently said that killing off these characters was an insult to the fans of Aliens, and I couldn't agree more, despite some commentary yesterday that this is what happens in horror films. True, but I think that this reaction is a testament to how strongly the characters are actualized in the second film.
sob, sob, I miss Hicks

In the summer of 1991, before seeing Terminator 2, I was shown a teaser for Alien 3 with the tagline, "Before, we learned that in space, no one can hear you scream. Now, we learn that on Earth, Everyone can hear you scream." FREAKING AWESOME I thought - in Alien 3, aliens are gonna come tear it up on futuristic planet Earth! Sweet! Then, the script changed, and that wasn't the plot of the movie at all. Here is the plot: Ripley is the only survivor, she lands on a prision planet, and soon learns that she has an alien gestating inside of her. Plus, an alien pops out of a dog, and spends most of the film going around killing prisoners. That's it.

So, I could go off about what is wrong with this film and what still works, but I prefer to daydream about what could have been: the original script called for a two-part movie. Basically filming Alien 3 and 4 back to back with a connecting storyline (a la Pirates of the Cariibbean, Back to the Future, etc.) The storyline called for Hicks, Bishop, and Newt, returning to Earth and battling a class of warrior aliens that were genetically engineered by "the company". The third film was to end with a small victory on Earth, and the decision to track the aliens to their source! Whatever, that may have been. Ripley was only to make a cameo in the third film with a more pronounced force in Alien 4. This would have been awesome.

Instead, we get a very anti-climactic end to what was supposed to just end up being a cool trilogy.


DCD said...

That picture is freaking me out!!

I am pretty sure I never saw this. I'm going to go with your pretend version!

JPX said...

Trevor, have you ever watched the alternate cut of Alien 3? From wiki,

"An alternate version of Alien³ (officially titled the "Assembly Cut") with over 30 minutes of additional footage was released on the 9-disc Alien Quadrilogy box-set in 2003. Nearly 3/4 of the scenes in this version contain footage not included in the 1992 theatrical release. Director David Fincher was the only director from the entire franchise who declined to participate in the box-set release, and chose not to be interviewed or record a commentary track.

The Assembly Cut has several key plot elements that differ from the theatrical release. The alien gestates in an ox rather than a dog, and one of the inmates discovers a dead facehugger which is visually different from those seen in the previous films. Some scenes are extended to focus more on the religious views of the inmates. Most notably, in the Assembly Cut the inmates succeed in their attempt to trap the alien, but it is later released by the disturbed inmate Golic. In this version, the alien Queen does not burst from Ripley's chest as she falls into the furnace.

Some of the audio in the Assembly Cut is of noticeably poorer quality, often during footage that was not included in the theatrical release. The lesser quality is attributed to the fact that ADR by the original actors was not recorded for this footage, since it had been cut from the film by the time the film was being dubbed."

Octopunk said...

I'm a big fan of Fincher and this movie has a lot of game, but I'll never forget the sublime disappointment of seeing it the first time. Big group of friends, all psyched for Aliens-type action. It's a different beast.

Anonymous said...

I think this franchise is so badly hurt that it will never recover. So many of the fans refuse to regard particular sequels as canon. Some will not accept Alien 3, others denounce 4, and still others, including Sigourney Weaver, reject the Alien vs. Predator films.