What more can be said that hasn't been said before about one of the greatest movies of our time? One of Jim Cameron's top three films, this is by far the best of the ALIEN saga, an endlessly rewatchable piece of classic action cinema which can best be described as "Vietnam in space". The alien is back and has multiplied, so now we have the now-classic action premise of "group of marines vs. invincible enemy".From start to finish this is perfectly made entertainment with every frame minutely conceived to be the best. The music is eerily gripping and there are dozens of one-liners to be had from Bill Paxton, excelling in his first big role as the comic relief. The horror and gore quotient hasn't been reduced at all, this is definitely not a film for the kids. But oodles of gripping suspense and guns-blazing action violence is the main thing this sequel offers and it still remains one of the best action classics of our time. Even now, when some of the special effects are starting to look a little ropey (most remain fantastic, however, especially the Queen) and when you begin to realise there are no more than six aliens on screen at one time, this is still pulse-pounding entertainment, packed with horror, suspense, tension and plenty of thrills.The cast is efficient, an ensemble outfit that pays off nicely. Sigourney Weaver puts in her best performance in her best role that she can never hope to better success-wise. Michael Biehn is the hard-but-human soldier who befriends her, Lance Henriksen has his mainstream breakthrough role as the likable android Bishop. Paul Reiser's Burke is one of the greatest portrayals of corporate evil I've seen, a fantastic show of strength, corruption, evil and cowardice from Reiser. The rest of the marines are great and, most importantly, believable and likable. The action never lets up and the extended version has to be seen to get the full story. Although it runs for two and a half hours this is a film that never runs out of steam; instead it will just age gracefully like the finest wines, sitting in its place in history as a classic of the '80s.
An alien distress call from an uncharted planet awaken the crew of the deep space towing vessel Nostromo. They go down to the planet to investigate only to bring back something dangerous.The story is a fairly simple creature feature in a spaceship. Ridley Scott took that simple story and gave it everything needed to make a new standard in sci-fi horror. Before it the sci-fi horror is the mainstay of B-movie schlock. After it the genre reach a new golden age. The same way that Star Wars pushed the envelope, the same can be said of Alien.The atmosphere is fantastic. Ridley Scott has packed in some iconic scenes. Who can forget the meal scene? It's going down in movie history. That are some movies that transcend a simple movie. This is one of them.
There's no doubt that ALIEN is a classic of the science fiction genre. It's a film that came along at just the right time, proving to be an antidote to the kind of kiddie-friendly sci-fi that was popularised by STAR WARS during the period. While this first film in the long-running series has since been overshadowed by a superior sequel (Jim Cameron's ALIENS, one of the best sci fi/horror/action films ever) and a third film that nearly equalled the highs found here, it's nevertheless a hugely entertaining movie that works thanks to a simple, straightforward plot line that offers maximum terror, all of the time.One thing it isn't is original. The likes of this go back to the 1950s and earlier. Essentially it's one of those 'old dark house' films of the '30s, transferred to a futuristic spaceship. One film, a '50s B-movie - IT! THE TERROR FROM BEYOND SPACE - has almost exactly the same plot as this film, while Mario Bava's sci-fi outing PLANET OF THE VAMPIRES has the same visual look. Yet ALIEN isn't about originality, just old-fashioned scares executed in a clean, professional manner. This is a film of shadowy corners and dark spaces, of menaces and monsters lurking in air ducts, ready to kill and do worse to you at a moment's notice. It's still terrifying to this day, and the atmosphere is helped no end by an effective soundtrack that includes a beating human heart to up the tension.Technical qualities are superior and the cast is great. There's a pleasing tendency to kill off random actors regardless of their status which means you can't second-guess who's going to bite it next. Stand-outs include Sigourney Weaver, transforming here from a faceless crew member to a tough heroine, a remarkable progression that carried on into the sequels. Tom Skerritt is perfectly cast as the good-natured captain while Yaphet Kotto steals the show as the hard guy engineer. In fact, all of the cast give excellent turns and a role for Ian Holm early on in his career is a real standout.Another plus is the scary, sexual design of the alien stuff by H. R. Giger. The facehugger is the stuff of nightmares while the alien itself is probably the pinnacle of man-in-a-rubber-suit technology; there's certainly been nothing scarier than the creature you'll see here. Great pacing, excellent effects, and an underlining realism combine to make ALIEN a genre classic and a film that's been rarely touched by the rip-offs that followed. One for the collection.
Steven Mills (Dan Aykroyd) is searching for alien intelligence with his brother Ron Mills (Jon Lovitz). He has his adoring 13 year old daughter Jessie (Alyson Hannigan). He sends out a signal to another galaxy which gets him fired. It also attracts sexy alien Celeste Martin (Kim Basinger) sent to investigate the source of the signal.Basinger is trying to be wacky. It doesn't always work and Aykroyd's straight man isn't great either. Some of it is funny but a lot of this is awkwardly not funny. Something occurs to me at the start of the third act. This should have been a kids movie with Alyson Hannigan as the lead. She's paired up with Seth Green, pre-Buffy. They would investigate her suspicious new stepmother. That's the better movie.
MY STEPMOTHER IS AN ALIEN is one of those films with a great title but little in the way of a real plot to go with it. It's a typical lame '80s comedy in which a bunch of dated aliens beam down on Earth and one of them adopts the rather unlikely form of Kim Basinger in order to infiltrate mankind's society. What follows is an endless barrage of dated jokes, unfunny jokes, and just plain weirdness.I'll admit from the outset to not being a fan of Basinger, although she's well cast as an alien character here; there's always been something a bit weird about her, after all. Dan Aykroyd is stuck in the 'everyman hero' type role and can do little with it, although there's novelty value that arises from seeing future stars like Alyson Hannigan, Seth Green, and Juliette Lewis when they were but children.The special effects in the film have dated, not to mention the fashions and hairstyles, and overall it only raised a few chuckles along the way. Overall I think the '80s wave of alien comedies (such as MORONS FROM OUTER SPACE and EARTH GIRLS ARE EASY) was a disappointing one, an assembly of movies that did little to progress either the sci-fi or comedy genres in any way.
I mainly heard of this film because of the leading star, and the fact that this was the first film to feature body double Shelley Michelle, any nudity was cut for pre-watershed TV, but never mind. Anyway, basically slob widower Dr. Steven Mills (Dan Aykroyd) accidentally sends a great surge of energy into outer space, threatening the existence and life on another planet. This other planet has dispatched one of the agents, disguised as a human, named Celeste Martin (Kim Basinger), to sort things out, along with her superior, her talking handbag (voiced by Ann Prentiss). Steven is indeed attracted by Celeste, and with her little knowledge of Earth stuff, he, and in secret the bag, teach her everything she should know, Steven obviously finds her funny and fascinating. Eventually they do get to sex, and Celeste over time (and she was only meant to stay for 24 hours) grows to like Earth. Then there's the marriage, and until she reveals it herself, Steven's daughter Jessie (introducing young American Pie's Alyson Hannigan) was the only person that knew Celeste was an alien, so when Steven does find out, he realises the reason she's there, and helps her. In the end, the bag is destroyed, and instead of Celeste going home and telling about everything Earthy, they take Steven's womanising brother Ron (Jon Lovitz), more specifically because of the alien women taking him, so a happy ending, Ron gets endless women, and Steven, Celeste and Jessie become a proper family. Also starring Joseph Maher as Dr. Lucas Budlong, Seth Green as Fred Glass, Wesley Mann as Grady, Adrian Sparks as Dr. Morosini, Juliette Lewis as Lexie and Harry Shearer as the voice of Carl Sagan. I can agree (with the critics) it is not the story that is important, it is Basinger's charming E.T. character, and there are some good giggly moments, my favourite and most hilarious being Celeste learning to kiss using clips from well known media. Worth watching!
One of the longest running modern day horror franchises, "Alien" is a fascinating beast in the world of entertainment and media. With its humble origins as a quiet, slow-burn sci-fi thriller, the series evolved through sequels and spin-offs into something else entirely. Whether it be through James Cameron's exquisite action-extravaganza "Aliens", or the Paul W.S. Anderson schlock-tastic crossover "AVP: Alien VS Predator", or even series co-creator Ridley Scott's own pseudo- philosophical quasi-prequel "Prometheus"... "Alien" has changed and evolved quite a bit over the past forty years.But one release in particular has attracted an almost unanimous scorn and unending ridicule from all over the fanbase. A film that's so reviled, it's almost become a prerequisite that you're just expected to hate it. That being 1997's "Alien: Resurrection"- a strange little footnote in the series that tries its hardest but never quite comes together into much of anything. An attempt to turn the series around after the mixed reception garnered by "Alien 3", this fourth film aims for the stars, but stumbles and falls flat on its face. Although, if I am to be completely honest... I actually don't mind it too much. It's silly, but quite amusing and thrilling, with stylish visual direction and plenty of laughs and thrills to go around. Yes, "Resurrection" might be a mindless and trite exercise in style over substance... but it's also bold and extraordinarily entertaining. It's a ton of fun, even if it is objectively a "bad movie."Two-hundred years after the events of the previous film, scientists working for the military successfully clone Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and the queen embryo she had been impregnated with, intent on allowing the alien life-form to reproduce so that they might study its race. This "new" Ripley has retained some faint memories of her former life thanks to genetic memory, but as a result of the cloning process, has also taken on some characteristics of the dreaded "xenomorph" species. When the offspring of the alien queen manage to escape, however, Ripley is forced to team up with a group of mercenary space-pirates (including Ron Perlman, Winona Ryder) in order to escape. Along the way, she will uncover startling and deadly revelations about the project that brought her back to life, and come face to face with a devilish new threat...Directed by Jean-Pierre Jeunet from a script by the world-renowned geek-god Joss Whedon, "Resurrection" does so much right that it's frankly a shame it's so routinely dismissed without much thought. It's essentially an incredibly slick and exceedingly well-made crappy B-movie. The plot is ridiculous. The characters silly and archetypal. And it's filled to burst with nonstop gore and effects. But it's made with a massive budget, an A-list cast and comes from a wildly talented director with a clear vision. Even on a pure aesthetic level, it's one of the most striking films of the franchise, with Jeunet's wonderful eye for flow and composition delivering many incredible set-pieces and designs that'll stick with you. It's just a gorgeous film all around.The cast is an absolute blast, with Weaver once again knocking it out of the park. Especially as this "new" Ripley also goes through some fascinating changes that both allow Weaver to stretch her acting chops... and have some fun chewing the scenery from time to time. Perlman and Ryder are good fun as members of a space-pirate team, with Perlman in particular being a good fit for the franchise. He's a criminally underrated performer and it's a joy seeing him on- screen. We also get small but fun turns from the likes of Brad Dourif, Dan Hedaya and Michael Wincott, and all serve the film quite well. The effects and action are top-notch for the time, with many sequences still holding up quite well to this day. An underwater chase-scene and a trippy climactic battle against a potential new threat in particular being eye-popping and absolutely jaw-dropping. And the wonderful cinematography and almost amniotic musical score add much to every single scene.But yeah... despite that praise, the film does have a lot of problems. Like I said above- it's basically a big-budget B-movie filled with the tropes and archetypes you'd expect, and it doesn't fit in with the rest of the series quite well. Unless you're willing to forgive a lot and go with the flow, you're not gonna have a good time with "Resurrection." There has been a lot of talk of how Whedon disowned the film and felt his script wasn't translated properly to screen, and I could definitely see shades of that. For all the amazing things he does, Jeunet seems less interested with story and more interested in increasingly psychotic visuals. And if you're looking for anything more than surface-level entertainment, you'll be sadly let-down.But me? I take movies for what they are and what they aspire to be. It's clear everyone involved on-screen is having a lot of fun. It's clear that Jeunet is trying to build a wild thrill-ride of a monster-movie. And it's clear that this is a film more concerned with crazed displays of gore and effects than a cohesive story. And you know what? I had a lot of fun with it. It's technically a "bad" movie, but to me... it's a FUN bad movie. And I'm giving it slightly above average 6 out of 10. Give it another shot with an open mind. It just might surprise you how enjoyable "Alien: Resurrection" really is. 041b061a72