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alien

Alien: Covenant (2017)

DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott

CAST: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Danny McBride, Billy Crudup

REVIEW:

In 2012, Ridley Scott returned to the universe of his 1979 sci-fi horror classic Alien with the ambitious, sporadically compelling, but in some ways unwieldy and half-formed Prometheus, but those who went to the theater expecting more traditional xenomorph action were disappointed.  Originally, Scott intended to follow up Prometheus with a follow-up tentatively titled Paradise which would have gone even further afield from Alien, but in the wake of Prometheus‘ lukewarm reception, Fox decided to play it safe and explored other options for getting back to the aliens as we know them, including with Neill Blomkamp’s proposed sequel to James Cameron’s 1986 Aliens which would have reunited Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn and potentially wiped all other sequels out in favor of an alternate storyline (which, given the declining quality level of Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrectionmany fans would have been okay with).  However, when the grandfather of the franchise Ridley Scott himself expressed willingness to make an Alien movie that was less like Prometheus and more like the traditional films, Fox gave him the green light and Blomkamp’s project became indefinitely dead in the water.  The result bears all the hallmarks of a movie stuck in some netherworld between being a follow-up to Prometheus and a more conventional Alien movie, but serves up enough of what fans liked about the series in the first place to be an engaging diversion, even if it doesn’t approach the franchise at its height. Continue reading

Prometheus (2012)

DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott

CAST:

Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Charlize Theron, Idris Elba, Guy Pearce, Logan Marshall-Green, Rafe Spall, Sean Harris, Benedict Wong, Patrick Wilson

REVIEW:

WARNING: THIS REVIEW WILL MENTION SPECIFIC ASPECTS OF THE FILM’S PLOT

One’s appreciation of Prometheus might be heavily-influenced by what one goes in expecting.  Despite Ridley Scott’s attempts to downplay Prometheus‘ description as a prequel to his 1979 sci-fi horror classic Alien and have it viewed as a stand-alone story, many were disappointed by its loose connections and markedly different aims to its predecessor.  While it does contain elements of horror, Prometheus is less single-minded in its intentions than Alien and has far broader themes it’s trying to tackle.  Chief among Prometheus‘ flaws is that it bites off more than it can chew, but it’s still an intriguing sci-fi entry for those not expecting too much xenomorph action. Continue reading

Alien Resurrection (1997)

DIRECTOR: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

CAST:

Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Ron Perlman, Michael Wincott, Dominique Pinon, Gary Dourdan, Dan Hedaya, J.E. Freeman, Brad Dourif, Leland Orser, Kim Flowers

REVIEW:

Like many a film franchise, the Alien series started out strong, then didn’t know when to quit. Greed to make more money overrode the artistic integrity of stopping when the series was ahead and had fresh, original places to take the story. Alien Resurrection is at least not the dreary, depressing experience of the morbid Alien 3, but that’s damning with faint praise. Continue reading

Alien 3 (1992)

DIRECTOR: David Fincher

CAST:

Sigourney Weaver, Charles Dance, Charles S. Dutton, Brian Glover, Ralph Brown, Pete Postlethwaite, Lance Henriksen

REVIEW:

The phrase ‘third time’s the charm’ doesn’t ring true for the Alien series. Alien was a solid start, and Aliens represented the series at its peak; everything else was downhill from there. Continue reading

Aliens (1986)

DIRECTOR: James Cameron

CAST:

Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser, Lance Henriksen, Bill Paxton, Jenette Goldstein, William Hope, Mark Rolston, Al Matthews

REVIEW:

Aliens, along with James Cameron’s sci-fi hit five years later, 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day , is both among the best sci-fi action thrillers ever made, and a rare example of a sequel surpassing the original. Continue reading

Alien (1979)

DIRECTOR: Ridley Scott

CAST:

Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Ian Holm, Veronica Cartwright, Yaphet Kotto, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt

REVIEW:

In some ways, Alien could be seen as moving the Halloween-style slasher horror movie into outer space, but its achievement was more than that. While the best-known sci-fi at the time was the fairly lightweight Star Wars and Star Trek, with Alien Ridley Scott looked through the glass darkly. Continue reading

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